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The View From Monday - May 14, 2018


Happy Monday! Our last SPFBO review will post this week, which will wrap up the latest SPFBO for us. It's always a learning experience. Many thanks to Mark Lawrence for founding and hosting SPFBO.

Look for the start of May's Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars tomorrow and vote in the poll.


There is one debut this week:

The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn (Kingdom of Grit 1) by Tyler Whitesides.

The View From Monday - May 14, 2018
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

By Fire Above (Signal Airship 2) by Robyn Bennis;

Warlock Holmes - My Grave Ritual (Warlock Holmes 3) by G.S. Denning;

Armistice (Amberlough Dossier 2) by Lara Elena Donnelly;

Mirror Bound by Rhiannon Held is out in eBook;

Wrath of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder 2) by Brian McClellan;

The Crossing by Jason Mott;

and

The Forbidden City by Deborah A. Wolf.

The View From Monday - May 14, 2018The View From Monday - May 14, 2018
The View From Monday - May 14, 2018The View From Monday - May 14, 2018
The View From Monday - May 14, 2018The View From Monday - May 14, 2018
The View From Monday - May 14, 2018
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - May 14, 2018



Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.

May 13, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
How To Marry A Werewolf (e) Gail Carriger SP - Claw & Courtship Novella 1



May 14, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Ghost Moon (e) Heather Graham Sus/GH/Sup - Bone Island Trilogy 3
Grayghost Tamara Grantham FR/FairyT/FolkT/LM/P - Fairy World MD 7
Lords of the Underworld Collection Volume 3: The Darkest Secret\The Darkest Surrender\The Darkest Seduction (e) Gena Showalter PNR - Lords of the Underworld Series 7
The Healer Series Complete Collection: Touch of Power\Scent of Magic\Taste of Darkness (e) Maria V. Snyder F - Healer
Tide of Stone (e) Kaaron Warren PsyTh



May 15, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Soldier Neal Asher SF/SO/AC - Rise of the Jain 1
By Fire Above Robyn Bennis SP - Signal Airship 2
Buying Time E.M. Brown SF
Ascendant Jack Campbell SF - The Genesis Fleet 2
Warlock Holmes - My Grave Ritual G.S. Denning UF/Cr - Warlock Holmes 3
Armistice Lara Elena Donnelly HistF/Th -  Amberlough Dossier 2
The Queen of Sorrow Sarah Beth Durst F - Queens of Renthia 3
Harvest Song (e) Yasmine Galenorn PNR - Otherworld 20
Ghost Radio (ri) Leopoldo Gout SupTh
Mirror Bound (e) Rhiannon Held UF
Toroa (Ke) Erik Hofstatter H
The Plastic Magician Charlie N. Holmberg FR - A Paper Magician Novel 4
Meltdown GP James SF/PA
In Our Own Worlds: Four LGBTQ+ Tor.com Novellas (e) Margaret Killjoy
Ellen Klages
Kai Ashante Wilson
JY Yang
F/SF
Salamanders: The Omnibus Nick Kyme SF - Salamanders
The Big Alpha in Town Eve Langlais
Milly Taiden
Kate Baxter
PNR - Anthology
Bearing His Sins (e) Eve Langlais PNR
In the Region of the Summer Stars Stephen R. Lawhead F/HistF - Eirlandia 1
Wrath of Empire Brian McClellan F - Gods of Blood and Powder 2
The Crossing Jason Mott LF/Dys
The Bedlam Stacks (h2tp) Natasha Pulley HistF
The Immortal Renshai Mickey Zucker Reichert FairyT/FolkT/LM/DF/F - Renshai Saga 3
Hell Divers III: Deliverance Nicholas Sansbury Smith SF/AP/PA - Hell Divers 3
Taste of Darkness (e)(ri) Maria V. Snyder FR - The Healer 3
Ghost Warrior Gav Thorpe SF - Rise of the Ynnari 1
Overlords of the Iron Dragon C L Werner F - Kharadron Overlords 1
The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn (D) Tyler Whitesides F - Kingdom of Grit 1
The Forbidden City Deborah A. Wolf F



May 16, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Grace's Family: A Tor.com Original (e) James Patrick Kelly SF
Trade Deal (e) Malka Older F - Born to the Blade Season 1, Episode 5
The Best Science Fiction Stories of H. G. Wells H. G. Wells SF



May 17, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Extinct RR Haywood SF/TT/Dys - Extracted Trilogy 3



D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator



AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CulH - Cultural Heritage
CW - Contemporary Woman
CyP - Cyberpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
Fict - Fiction
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
GN - Graphic Novel
Gothic - Gothic
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HU - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PopCul - Popular Culture
Psy - Psychological
Psy Th - Psychological Thriller
SF - Science Fiction
SciFan - Science Fantasy
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
VisM - Visionary and Metaphysical

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

The View From Monday - April 16, 2018


Happy Monday!

There are five debuts this week:

The City of Lost Fortunes (A Crescent City Novel 1) by Bryan Camp;

Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller;

From Unseen Fire (Aven Cycle 1) by Cass Morris;

The Spirit Photographer by Jon Michael Varese;

and

Collision Theory by Adrian Todd Zuniga.

The View From Monday - April 16, 2018The View From Monday - April 16, 2018
The View From Monday - April 16, 2018The View From Monday - April 16, 2018
The View From Monday - April 16, 2018
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

The Guns Above (Signal Airship 1) by Robyn Bennis is out in Trade Paperback;

The Brass God (Gates of the World 3) by K. M. McKinley;

and

Before Mars (A Planetfall Novel 3) by Emma Newman.

The View From Monday - April 16, 2018The View From Monday - April 16, 2018
The View From Monday - April 16, 2018
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - April 16, 2018



Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.

April 16, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Ghost Memories (e)(ri) Heather Graham Th/GH - Bone Island Trilogy Prequel
Ghost Shadow (e)(ri) Heather Graham Th/GH - Bone Island Trilogy 1



April 17, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Lost: A Gaunt's Ghosts Omnibus Dan Abnett SF - Gaunt's Ghosts
Traitor Born Amy A. Bartol Dys - Secondborn 2
The Guns Above (h2tp) Robyn Bennis SF/SP - Signal Airship 1
The City of Lost Fortunes (D) Bryan Camp CF - A Crescent City Novel 1
Future Fiction: New Dimensions in International Science Fiction (e) Bill Campbell (Ed)
Francesco Verso (Ed)
SF - Short Stories
Shadow Star: Book Three of the Saga Based on the Movie Willow (e) Chris Claremont
George Lucas
F - The Chronicles of the Shadow War 3
Shadow awn: Book Two of the Saga Based on the Movie Willow (e) Chris Claremont
George Lucas
F - The Chronicles of the Shadow War 2
Shadow Moon: Book One of the Saga Based on the Movie Willow (e) Chris Claremont
George Lucas
F - The Chronicles of the Shadow War 1
Dead But Once Auston Habershaw DF - Saga of the Redeemed 3
The Music of the Deep Elizabeth Hall CW
Champions of Chaos Darius Hinks
S. P. Cawkwell
Ben Counter
F - Warhammer Chronicles 5
The Talisman (ri) Stephen King
Peter Straub
DF
Black House (ri) Stephen King
Peter Straub
H
The Green Mile: The Complete Serial Novel (ri) Stephen King P
Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales (ri) Stephen King H - Collection
The Night Lies Bleeding M.D. Lachlan HistF - Wolfsangel 5
The Long Sunset Jack McDevitt SF - The Academy 8
The Brass God K. M. McKinley F - Gates of the World 3
Blackfish City (D) Sam J Miller F
Noir Christopher Moore F/HU
EMPulse2 Deborah D. Moore SF/AP/PA
It's Not the End and Other Lies Matt Moore SF - Collection
From Unseen Fire (D) Cass Morris F/HistF - Aven Cycle 1
Before Mars Emma Newman SF/Psy - A Planetfall Novel 3
Last Shot: A Han and Lando Novel Daniel José Older SF/SO/MTI - Star Wars
Harry Potter Talking Dobby and Collectible Book Running Press F
The Real-Town Murders Adam Roberts SF
Pocalypse Road (e) Lilith Saintcrow H/Z - Roadtrip Z3
Head On: A Novel of the Near Future John Scalzi SF/CyP/Th - Lock In 2
The Atrocities Jeremy C. Shipp SF/Gothic
The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. (h2tp) Neal Stephenson
Nicole Galland
SF/TT
The Spirit Photographer (D) Jon Michael Varese Hist/Sus
Jules Verne: The Essential Collection Jules Verne SF - Knickerbocker Classics
Collision Theory (D) Adrian Todd Zuniga LF/CoA/GH/HU



April 18, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Arrivals (e) Michael R. Underwood F - Born to the Blade, Season 1 - Episode 1



D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator



AC - Alien Contact
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
CulH - Cultural Heritage
CW - Contemporary Woman
CyP - Cyberpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
Fict - Fiction
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
GN - Graphic Novel
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HU - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PopCul - Popular Culture
Psy - Psychological
Psy Th - Psychological Thriller
SF - Science Fiction
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
VisM - Visionary and Metaphysical

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

2018 Nominees for the Compton Crook Award 36


The Baltimore Science Fiction Society has announced the 2018 Nominees for the Compton Crook Award 36:

Nicky Drayden for The Prey of Gods published 6/13/2017 by Harper Voyager with ISBN-13: 978-0062493033

Elan Mastai for All Our Wrong Todays published 2/7/2017 by Dutton with ISBN-13: 978-1101985137

Robyn Bennis for The Guns Above: A Signal Airship Novel published 5/2/2017 by Tor Books with ISBN-13: 978-0765388766

Karin Tidbeck for Amatka published 6/27/2017 by Vintage with ISBN-13: 978-1101973950

Vic James for Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts) published 2/14/2017 by Del Rey with ISBN-13: 978-0425284155

Theodora Goss for The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter published 6/20/2017 by Saga Press with ISBN-13: 978-1481466509

Cat Sparks for Lotus Blue published 3/7/2017 by Talos with ISBN-13: 978-1940456706

The members of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, Inc. (BSFS) created the Compton Crook Award in 1982 to honor the best first novel of the year written by an individual author (collaborations are not eligible) in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror genre. Since its inception, the award has been presented at Balticon — the four-day annual Maryland regional science fiction convention produced by BSFS, currently held on Memorial Day weekend in the Baltimore, MD area.

The Award was named in memory of Towson State College Professor of Natural Sciences Compton Crook, who wrote under the name Stephen Tall, and who died in 1981. Professor Crook was active for many years in the Baltimore Science Fiction Society and was a staunch champion of new works in the fields eligible for the award.




2018 Nominees for the Compton Crook Award 36
The Prey of Gods
Harper Voyager, June 13, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

*A Wall Street Journal "Summer Reading: One expert. One book" pick for 2017!

*The RT Book Reviews "June 2017: Seal of Excellence" pick!

*A B&N Sci Fi and Fantasy Blog "Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of 2017 So Far" pick!

*A Book Riot Best Books of 2017 Pick!

*A Vulture "The 10 Best Fantasy Books of 2017" Pick!

From a new voice in the tradition of Lauren Beukes, Ian McDonald, and Nnedi Okorafor comes The Prey of Gods, a fantastic, boundary-challenging tale, set in a South African locale both familiar and yet utterly new, which braids elements of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and dark humor.

In South Africa, the future looks promising. Personal robots are making life easier for the working class. The government is harnessing renewable energy to provide infrastructure for the poor. And in the bustling coastal town of Port Elizabeth, the economy is booming thanks to the genetic engineering industry which has found a welcome home there. Yes—the days to come are looking very good for South Africans. That is, if they can survive the present challenges:

A new hallucinogenic drug sweeping the country . . .

An emerging AI uprising . . .

And an ancient demigoddess hellbent on regaining her former status by preying on the blood and sweat (but mostly blood) of every human she encounters.

It’s up to a young Zulu girl powerful enough to destroy her entire township, a queer teen plagued with the ability to control minds, a pop diva with serious daddy issues, and a politician with even more serious mommy issues to band together to ensure there’s a future left to worry about.

Fun and fantastic, Nicky Drayden takes her brilliance as a short story writer and weaves together an elaborate tale that will capture your heart . . . even as one particular demigoddess threatens to rip it out.






2018 Nominees for the Compton Crook Award 36
All Our Wrong Todays
Dutton, February 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages
Trade Paperback published February 20, 2018

One of Wall Street Journal’s Best of 2017

“Entertainingly mixes thrills and humor.”Entertainment Weekly

“[An] amazing debut novel. . . . Dazzling and complex. . . . Fearlessly funny storytelling.”—The Washington Post

“Instantly engaging. . . . A timeless, if mind-bending, story about the journeys we take, populated by friends, family, lovers, and others, that show us who we might be, could be—and maybe never should be—that eventually leads us to who we are.”USA Today

Elan Mastai’s acclaimed debut novel is a story of friendship and family, of unexpected journeys and alternate paths, and of love in its multitude of forms.

It’s 2016, and in Tom Barren’s world, technology has solved all of humanity’s problemsthere’s no war, no poverty, no under-ripe avocadoes. Unfortunately, Tom isn’t happy. He’s lost the girl of his dreams. And what do you do when you’re heartbroken and have a time machine? Something stupid.

Finding himself stranded in a terrible alternate realitywhich we immediately recognize as our 2016Tom is desperate to fix his mistake and go home. Right up until the moment he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and the woman who may just be the love of his life.

Now Tom faces an impossible choice. Go back to his perfect but loveless life. Or stay in our messy reality with a soulmate by his side. His search for the answer takes him across continents and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his futureour futureis supposed to be.

Filled with humor and heart and packed with insight, intelligence, and mind-bending invention, All Our Wrong Todays is a powerful and moving story of life, loss, and love.






2018 Nominees for the Compton Crook Award 36
The Guns Above
A Signal Airship Novel 1
Tor Books, May 2, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
Trade Paperback to be published April 17, 2018

Robyn Bennis’s THE GUNS ABOVE is an adventurous military fantasy debut about a nation's first female airship captain.

They say it’s not the fall that kills you.

For Josette Dupre, the Corps’ first female airship captain, it might just be a bullet in the back.

On top of patrolling the front lines, she must also contend with a crew who doubts her expertise, a new airship that is an untested deathtrap, and the foppish aristocrat Lord Bernat, a gambler and shameless flirt with the military know-how of a thimble. Bernat’s own secret assignment is to catalog her every moment of weakness and indecision.

So when the enemy makes an unprecedented move that could turn the tide of the war, can Josette deal with Bernat, rally her crew, and survive long enough to prove herself?
“Full of sass and terrific characters. Great storytelling. Loved it.” —Patricia Briggs






2018 Nominees for the Compton Crook Award 36
Amatka
Vintage, June 27, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 224 pages

ONE OF THE GUARDIAN’S BEST SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY BOOKS OF 2017

A surreal debut novel set in a world shaped by language in the tradition of Margaret Atwood and Ursula K. Le Guin.


Vanja, an information assistant, is sent from her home city of Essre to the austere, wintry colony of Amatka with an assignment to collect intelligence for the government. Immediately she feels that something strange is going on: people act oddly in Amatka, and citizens are monitored for signs of subversion.

Intending to stay just a short while, Vanja falls in love with her housemate, Nina, and prolongs her visit. But when she stumbles on evidence of a growing threat to the colony, and a cover-up by its administration, she embarks on an investigation that puts her at tremendous risk.

In Karin Tidbeck’s world, everyone is suspect, no one is safe, and nothing—not even language, nor the very fabric of reality—can be taken for granted. Amatka is a beguiling and wholly original novel about freedom, love, and artistic creation by a captivating new voice.






2018 Nominees for the Compton Crook Award 36
Gilded Cage
Dark Gifts 1
Del Rey, February 14, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
Trade Paperback published July 25, 2017

MAGIC RULES. WE SERVE.

In a darkly fantastical debut set in modern-day Britain, magic users control everything: wealth, politics, power—and you. If you’re not one of the ultimate one-percenters—the magical elite—you owe them ten years of service. Do those years when you’re old, and you’ll never get through them. Do them young, and you’ll never get over them.

This is the darkly decadent world of Gilded Cage. In its glittering milieu move the all-powerful Jardines and the everyday Hadleys. The families have only one thing in common: Each has three children. But their destinies entwine when one family enters the service of the other. They will all discover whether any magic is more powerful than the human spirit.

Have a quick ten years. . . .






2018 Nominees for the Compton Crook Award 36
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter
Saga Press, June 20, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages
Trade Paperback to be published on February 27, 2018

Based on some of literature’s horror and science fiction classics, this is the story of a remarkable group of women who come together to solve the mystery of a series of gruesome murders—and the bigger mystery of their own origins.

Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes.

But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.

When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous.






2018 Nominees for the Compton Crook Award 36
Lotus Blue
Talos, March 7, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 388 pages

“Imaginative and richly rendered . . . Sparks frames all of this in haunting, near-poetic detail, such that the readers can smell the toxic red sand and perhaps taste the blood. Recommended for people who crave fresh post-apocalypse chaos—because Sparks’s post-apocalyptic chaos is pretty fresh, at that.”—NK Jemisin, The New York Times

Powerful war machines of the far-future collide across a barren desert world in this post-apocalyptic debut novel from award-winning Australian author Cat Sparks.

Seventeen-year-old Star and her sister Nene are orphans, part of a thirteen-wagon caravan of nomadic traders living hard lives travelling the Sand Road. Their route cuts through a particularly dangerous and unforgiving section of the Dead Red Heart, a war-ravaged desert landscape plagued by rogue semi-sentient machinery and other monsters from a bygone age.

But when the caravan witnesses a relic-Angel satellite unexpectedly crash to Earth, a chain of events begins that sends Star on a journey far away from the life she once knew. Shanghaied upon the sandship Dogwatch, she is forced to cross the Obsidian Sea by Quarrel, an ancient Templar supersoldier. Eventually shipwrecked, Star will have no choice but to place her trust in both thieves and priestesses while coming to terms with the grim reality of her past—and the horror of her unfolding destiny—as the terrible secret her sister had been desperate to protect her from begins to unravel.

Meanwhile, something old and powerful has woken in the desert. A Lotus Blue, deadliest of all the ancient war machines. A warrior with plans of its own, far more significant than a fallen Angel. Plans that do not include the survival of humanity.

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors

Here are some of the upcoming works by formerly featured DAC Authors! The year in parentheses is the year the author was featured in the DAC.


Jenn Bennett (2011)

Alex Approximately
Simon Pulse, April 3, 2018
Trade Paperback, 416 pages
Hardcover and eBook, April 4, 2017

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.



Starry Eyes
Simon Pulse, April 3, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
In this romantic dramedy from the author of Alex, Approximately, a teen girl’s way-too-ordinary life is driven off the beaten path when she’s abandoned in the wilderness with her worst adversary—the boy who broke her heart.

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?





Robyn Bennis (2017)

The Guns Above
A Signal Airship Novel 1
Tor Books, April 17, 2018
Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Hardcover and eBook, May 2, 2017

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
Robyn Bennis’s THE GUNS ABOVE is an adventurous military fantasy debut about a nation's first female airship captain.

They say it’s not the fall that kills you.

For Josette Dupre, the Corps’ first female airship captain, it might just be a bullet in the back.

On top of patrolling the front lines, she must also contend with a crew who doubts her expertise, a new airship that is an untested deathtrap, and the foppish aristocrat Lord Bernat, a gambler and shameless flirt with the military know-how of a thimble. Bernat’s own secret assignment is to catalog her every moment of weakness and indecision.

So when the enemy makes an unprecedented move that could turn the tide of the war, can Josette deal with Bernat, rally her crew, and survive long enough to prove herself?

“Full of sass and terrific characters. Great storytelling. Loved it.” —Patricia Briggs



By Fire Above
A Signal Airship Novel 2
Tor Books, May 15, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
Rip-roaring new adventure in Robyn Bennis's military airship fantasy series that Patricia Briggs hails as “full of sass and terrific characters.”

"All's fair in love and war," according to airship captain Josette Dupre, until her hometown becomes occupied by the enemy and her mother a prisoner of war. Then it becomes, "Nothing's fair except bombing those Vins to high hell."

Before she can rescue her town, however, Josette must maneuver her way through the nest of overstuffed vipers that make up the nation's military and royal leaders in order to drum up support. The foppish and mostly tolerated crew member Lord Bernat steps in to advise her, along with his very attractive older brother.

Between noble scheming, under-trained recruits, and supply shortages, Josette and the crew of the Mistral figure out a way to return to Durum—only to discover that when the homefront turns into the frontlines, things are more dangerous than they seem.

“Full of sass and terrific characters. Great storytelling. Loved it.” —Patricia Briggs

“Marvelous, witty and action-packed steampunk with exquisite attention to detail. Bennis's writing is incredible, her vocabulary impressive, and she honest to God made me believe you could build an airship from spare parts.”—New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Ann Aguirre


Read an interview with Robyn Bennis here.





Terri Favro (2017)

Generation Robot
    A Century of Science Fiction, Fact, and Speculation by Terri Favro
Skyhorse Publishing, February 6, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 300 pages

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors
Generation Robot covers a century of science fiction, fact and, speculation—from the 1950 publication of Isaac Asimov’s seminal robot masterpiece, I, Robot, to the 2050 Singularity when artificial and human intelligence are predicted to merge. Beginning with a childhood informed by pop-culture robots in movies, in comic books, and on TV in the 1960s to adulthood where the possibilities of self-driving cars and virtual reality are daily conversation, Terri Favro offers a unique perspective on how our relationship with robotics and futuristic technologies has shifted over time. Peppered with pop-culture fun-facts about Superman’s kryptonite, the human-machine relationships in the cult TV show Firefly, and the sexual and moral implications of the film Ex Machina, Generation Robot explores how the techno-triumphs and resulting anxieties of reality bleed into the fantasies of our collective culture.

 Clever and accessible, Generation Robot isn’t just for the serious, scientific reader—it’s for everyone interested in robotics and technology since their science-fiction origins. By looking back at the future she once imagined, analyzing the plugged-in present, and speculating on what is on the horizon, Terri Favro allows readers the chance to consider what was, what is, and what could be. This is a captivating book that looks at the pop-culture of our society to explain how the world works—now and tomorrow.


Read an interview with Terri Favro here.

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts


2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts


Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from that month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2017 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is published in the US. Cover artist/illustrator/designer information is provided when we have it.

I'm using PollCode for this vote. After you the check the circle next to your favorite, click "Vote" to record your vote. If you'd like to see the real-time results click "View". This will take you to the PollCode site where you may see the results. If you want to come back to The Qwillery click "Back" and you will return to this page. Voting will end sometime on May 31, 2017.

Vote for your favorite May 2017 Debut Cover!
 
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2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts
Cover artwork by Jeff Chapman
Cover design by Rain Saukas




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts
Cover art bySebastien Hue




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts
Cover design by Aleta Rafton



2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts
Jacket design by Young Jin Lim




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts
Cover art by Tommy Arnold




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May Debuts

Interview with Robyn Bennis, Author of The Guns Above


Please welcome Robyn Bennis to The Qwillery as part of the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Guns Above , the first Signal Airship Novel, was published on May 2nd by Tor Books.



Interview with Robyn Bennis, Author of The Guns Above




TQWelcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Robyn:  I started writing in grade school, because I needed somewhere to put all the ideas that didn't fit inside my head. I mean, it's a pretty large head—people at movie theaters often complain—but I would be sitting in class, dreaming up so many worlds and fanciful situations that I couldn't keep track of them all without writing them down. Of course, that gradually evolved into writing actual stories.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Robyn:  I'm a plotter, and I plot hard. That's not just a glib response, it's also going to be the tagline if they ever make an action movie about me.

I won't start chapter one unless I have a full, scene-by-scene outline prepared and annotated. Sometimes I have to deviate from it, but it's always there when I need it, waiting to bring me home. (That'll be the tagline of the sequel.)



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Robyn:  Like many writers, the hardest part for me is sitting down and doing the thing I love more than almost anything else in the world. It's weird, right? Getting the next scene started is often one of the hardest challenges a writer faces.

If I may be allowed to play amateur psychologist for a moment, I believe it's because writing is very much an exercise in free association. You have to open up every corridor of your mind and let whatever's in there spill out, to be poked at and combined until the right words present themselves.

Now, once I get going, there's no stopping me, because it's a fun exercise and I love my characters. But getting into that state—going through the transition period between the protected mind of daily life and the wide open mind of creativity—is stressful, and it's easy to develop an aversion to stressful things, even if they lead you straight to something you love.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Robyn:  Oh, finally someone has asked that question without the word "literary" stuck in there! I've been waiting for this chance to reveal the true font of my writing: my family. They are the wildest, weirdest, rottenest bunch of miscreants and lawbreakers that you'll ever meet, and they are collectively my muse.



TQDescribe The Guns Above in 140 characters or less.

Robyn:  I'll do you one better! I'll describe it with less than 140 characters, in haiku.

Explosions and wit.
That Lady Captain shot me.
Don't you love airships?



TQTell us something about The Guns Above that is not found in the book description.

Robyn:  I had a blast writing it. I set out to make the sort of military fiction I enjoy reading, like Hornblower, Aubrey-Maturin, and the Sharpe series, and I loved almost every minute of writing it. I'm not sure many authors can say that about their novels, so I consider myself a very lucky book-momma.



TQWhat inspired you to write The Guns Above? What appeals to you about writing what your publisher describes as "military fantasy"?

Robyn:  I've often answered this by citing Poe's "Great Balloon Hoax", but my inspiration also stems from a story I wrote years ago. The only things my beta readers liked about it were the dialogue and the action scenes, which they absolutely adored. So I thought, "Well, what kinds of books have a lot of both?" The rest is history. Somewhere along the line, I must have gotten good at plotting and character, or I wouldn't have been picked up by Tor, but the genesis was simply a desire to write a lot of what I'm best at.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Guns Above?

Robyn:  Wow. What research didn't I do? Because I did all the research. Everything from reading old War Department airship manuals from cover to cover, to actually going up in a real Zeppelin—the Eureka, flying out of Moffett Field in Mountain View, California. I purchased or borrowed every book I could find on airships and airship service, and I spent months with my nose in them, taking notes and doing my own calculations on ballast, horsepower, and estimated top speeds of various airframe and engine combinations. And let me tell you, I was in heaven.



TQPlease tell us about The Guns Above's cover.

Robyn:  It's beautiful, isn't it? That is one of the most gorgeous covers I have ever seen, and I'm still having trouble believing that it's on my book. I cannot thank Tommy Arnold enough for his work on it. His art captured Josette and Bernat so perfectly that they could have been ripped from my own mind.
The scene it depicts is near the end of the book, so I won't spoil the context, but readers will know it when they get there. Then they can turn back to the cover and just gawk at it for a while, before reading on.



TQIn The Guns Above who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Robyn:  Josette was the easiest, which is odd now that I think of it. She's just about my opposite, a woman of action and resolve. Yet, all I have to do is let her loose, and she practically writes herself. I guess there must be a small part of Josette hiding in me, like the wolf hiding in every dog.

The hardest character was the ornery bitch herself, His Majesty's Signal Airship Mistral. The ship is very much a character in The Guns Above. It has its own sort of personality, quirks, and habits. That was tough to pull off, to give life and depth to a mere thing. It took a lot of work, but I think I managed it pretty nicely.



TQWhich question about The Guns Above do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Robyn:  The question I wish someone would ask is, "How many mansions did you buy with the money from this book?" Or, I suppose, I wish someone had cause to ask that.

My answer would be, "So many mansions I've lost count. I haven't even been inside most of them, you know. I just use them to store the cryogenically frozen bodies of all the celebrities I've hunted for sport. Why cryogenically freeze them? So that I may revive them and hunt them again and again, over the next ten thousand years."

Hey, I can dream, right?



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Guns Above.

Robyn:  Here's one of my favorite moments from the first half of the book:
“Private Corne, what the hell are you doing?”

Corne looked up from the pigeons, but continued to rattle their cages with both hands. “Er, Corporal Lupien told me I had to keep the pigeons flying, so we’d be light enough to stay in the air, sir. He said we’ll crash if more than half of them land at once.”

Despite the noise of the engine and the airscrews, Bernat could hear snickering coming from the hurricane deck.

“And you believed him?” Dupre asked.

Corne swallowed. “Er—no, sir.”

She put her hand on her hip and took a deep breath. “Then why are you harassing those birds, man?”

“Well, you see, sir, he is my superior, sir. That and, well, better safe than sorry?”

Dupre seemed to consider this. “Very well, Private. Carry on.” She walked aft along the catwalk.

Bernat followed. “You’re just going to let him keep at it?”

“Well, I don’t want the ship to crash.”


TQWhat's next?

Robyn:  My editor, Diana Pho, and I are currently polishing up the sequel. Tentatively named By Fire Above, it will continue the adventure and delve deeper into some of the characters. Beyond that, I'm trying not to think too hard about my next steps. I just want a chance to catch up on my reading, to be honest. Over the past couple years, I've gotten hooked on some amazing novel series by Geonn Cannon, Garrett Calcaterra, S. Usher Evans, Jacqueline Koyanagi, and Suzanne Lazear, but haven't had the free time to finish them, which is a kind of torture.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Robyn:  Thank you for having me!





The Guns Above
A Signal Airship Novel 1
Tor Books, May 2, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

Interview with Robyn Bennis, Author of The Guns Above
In the tradition of Honor Harrington and the high-flying Temeraire series, Bennis’s THE GUNS ABOVE is an adventurous military fantasy debut about a nation's first female airship captain.

They say it’s not the fall that kills you.

For Josette Dupre, the Corps’ first female airship captain, it might just be a bullet in the back.

On top of patrolling the front lines, she must also contend with a crew who doubts her expertise, a new airship that is an untested deathtrap, and the foppish aristocrat Lord Bernat, a gambler and shameless flirt with the military know-how of a thimble. Bernat’s own secret assignment is to catalog her every moment of weakness and indecision.

So when the enemy makes an unprecedented move that could turn the tide of the war, can Josette deal with Bernat, rally her crew, and survive long enough to prove herself?

“Full of sass and terrific characters. Great storytelling. Loved it.” —Patricia Briggs





About Robyn

Interview with Robyn Bennis, Author of The Guns Above
ROBYN BENNIS works in biotech but dreams of airships. She lives in Mountain View, CA, within sight of the historic Hangar One at Moffett Airfield. The Guns Above is her debut novel. You can learn more about Robyn Bennis at http://www.robynbennis.com or follow her @according2robyn and RobynBennisWriteringPun on Facebook.









Website  ~  Twitter @according2robyn ~  Facebook


2017 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts


2017 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts

There are 12 debut novels for May.

Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The May debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). Take a good look at the covers. Voting for your favorite May cover for the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on May 15, 2017.

If you are participating as a reader in the Challenge, please let us know in the comments what you are thinking of reading or email us at "DAC . TheQwillery @ gmail . com" (remove the spaces and quotation marks). Please note that we list all debuts for the month (of which we are aware), but not all of these authors will be 2017 Debut Author Challenge featured authors. However, any of these novels may be read by Challenge readers to meet the goal for May 2017 The list is correct as of the day posted.



Robyn Bennis

The Guns Above
A Signal Airship Novel 1
Tor Books, May 2, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
Epic Fantasy, Steampunk, Humorous Fantasy, Military SF

2017 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
In the tradition of Honor Harrington and the high-flying Temeraire series, Bennis’s THE GUNS ABOVE is an adventurous military fantasy debut about a nation's first female airship captain.

They say it’s not the fall that kills you.

For Josette Dupre, the Corps’ first female airship captain, it might just be a bullet in the back.

On top of patrolling the front lines, she must also contend with a crew who doubts her expertise, a new airship that is an untested deathtrap, and the foppish aristocrat Lord Bernat, a gambler and shameless flirt with the military know-how of a thimble. Bernat’s own secret assignment is to catalog her every moment of weakness and indecision.

So when the enemy makes an unprecedented move that could turn the tide of the war, can Josette deal with Bernat, rally her crew, and survive long enough to prove herself?

“Full of sass and terrific characters. Great storytelling. Loved it.” —Patricia Briggs




Paula Cocozza

How to Be Human
Metropolitan Books, May 9, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages
Literary Fiction, Contemporary Women

2017 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
From Guardian writer Paula Cocozza, a debut novel of the breakdown of a marriage, suburbian claustrophobia, and a woman's unseemly passion for a fox

One summer’s night, Mary comes home from a midnight ramble to find a baby lying on her back door step. Has Mary stolen the baby from next door? Has the baby’s mother, Mary's neighbor, left her there in her acute state of post-natal depression? Or was the baby brought to Mary as a gift by the fox who is increasingly coming to dominate her life?

So opens How to Be Human, a novel set in a London suburb beset by urban foxes. On leave from work, unsettled by the proximity of her ex, and struggling with her hostile neighbors, Mary has become increasingly captivated by a magnificent fox who is always in her garden. First she sees him wink at her, then he brings her presents, and finally she invites him into her house. As the boundaries between the domestic and the wild blur, and the neighbors set out to exterminate the fox, it is unclear if Mary will save the fox, or the fox save Mary.

In this masterful debut, Paula Cocozza weaves together a penetrating portrait of marital breakdown, a social novel of wit and nuance, and an obsessive love story that crosses new boundaries.




Kathleen A. Flynn

The Jane Austen Project
Harper Perennial, May 2, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages
Historical Fiction, Time Travel

2017 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
Perfect for fans of Jane Austen, this engrossing debut novel offers an unusual twist on the legacy of one of the world's most celebrated and beloved authors: two researchers from the future are sent back in time to meet Jane and recover a suspected unpublished novel.

London, 1815: Two travelers—Rachel Katzman and Liam Finucane—arrive in a field in rural England, disheveled and weighed down with hidden money. Turned away at a nearby inn, they are forced to travel by coach all night to London. They are not what they seem, but rather colleagues who have come back in time from a technologically advanced future, posing as wealthy West Indies planters—a doctor and his spinster sister. While Rachel and Liam aren’t the first team from the future to “go back,” their mission is by far the most audacious: meet, befriend, and steal from Jane Austen herself.

Carefully selected and rigorously trained by The Royal Institute for Special Topics in Physics, disaster-relief doctor Rachel and actor-turned-scholar Liam have little in common besides the extraordinary circumstances they find themselves in. Circumstances that call for Rachel to stifle her independent nature and let Liam take the lead as they infiltrate Austen’s circle via her favorite brother, Henry.

But diagnosing Jane’s fatal illness and obtaining an unpublished novel hinted at in her letters pose enough of a challenge without the continuous convolutions of living a lie. While her friendship with Jane deepens and her relationship with Liam grows complicated, Rachel fights to reconcile the woman she is with the proper lady nineteenth-century society expects her to be. As their portal to the future prepares to close, Rachel and Liam struggle with their directive to leave history intact and exactly as they found it…however heartbreaking that may prove.




Katie Khan

Hold Back the Stars
Gallery Books, May 23, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
Literary Fiction

2017 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
A startling and evocative novel, harkening to both One Day and Gravity, a man and a woman revisit memories of their love affair on a utopian Earth while they are trapped in the vast void of space with only ninety minutes of oxygen left.

After the catastrophic destruction of the Middle East and the United States, Europe has become a utopia and, every three years, the European population must rotate into different multicultural communities, living as individuals responsible for their own actions. While living in this paradise, Max meets Carys and immediately feels a spark of attraction. He quickly realizes, however, that Carys is someone he might want to stay with long-term, which is impossible in this new world.

As their relationship plays out, the connections between their time on Earth and their present dilemma in space become clear. When their air ticks dangerously low, one is offered the chance of salvation—but who will take it? An original and daring exploration of the impact of first love and how the choices we make can change the fate of everyone around us, this is an unforgettable read.




Andrew Lane
Nigel Foster

Netherspace
Netherspace 1
Titan Books, May 2, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
Science Fiction

2017 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
Aliens came to Earth forty years ago. Their anatomy proved unfathomable and all attempts at communication failed. But through trade, humanity gained technology that allowed them to colonise the stars. The price: live humans for every alien faster-than-light drive.

Kara’s sister was one of hundreds exchanged for this technology, and Kara has little love for aliens. So when she is drafted by GalDiv – the organisation that oversees alien trades – it is under duress. A group of colonists have been kidnapped by aliens and taken to an uncharted planet, and an unusual team is to be sent to negotiate. As an ex-army sniper, Kara’s role is clear. But artist Marc has no combat experience, although the team’s pre-cog Tse is adamant that he has a part to play. All three know that success is unlikely. For how will they negotiate with aliens when communication between the species is impossible?




Juliet Lyons

Dating the Undead
A V-Date.com Novel 1
Sourcebooks Casablanca, May 2, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
Paranormal Romance, Vampires

2017 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
For those mortals wanting to get up close and personal with the beautiful undead, there’s…

V-DATE, THE UNDEAD DATING SERVICE

Silver Harris is done with clingy men—maybe men altogether. But when she shares a toe-curling kiss with a sexy Irish vampire on New Year’s Eve, she decides maybe it’s human men she’s done with. Silver turns to the popular vampire dating site, V-Date. When the undead gentlemen come calling, soon she’s in over her head. And her mysterious hottie is nowhere to be found…

Logan Byrne can’t get that sassy redhead out of his head—or that kiss! When his boss assigns him to spy on V-Date members, he meets Silver again. Turns out, the police are recruiting humans to snitch on vampires through the dating site. As the snark and sparks fly, feelings between Silver and Logan grow deep. Logan isn’t sure he can go through with his mission to make Silver forget everything she knows about vampires…and betray her.

But in the tight-knit London community of centuries-old vampires, history and grudges run deep and dating the undead can be risky business.




Dan Moren

The Caledonian Gambit
Talos, May 23, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 312 pages
Space Opera, Military SF, SF Action & Adventure

2017 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
The galaxy is mired in a cold war between two superpowers, the Illyrican Empire and the Commonwealth. Thrust between this struggle are Simon Kovalic, the Commonwealth’s preeminent spy, and Kyle Rankin, a lowly soldier happily scrubbing toilets on Sabea, a remote and isolated planet. However, nothing is as it seems.

Kyle Rankin is a lie. His real name is Eli Brody, and he fled his home world of Caledonia years ago. Simon Kovalic knows Caledonia is a lit fuse hurtling towards detonation. The past Brody so desperately tried to abandon can grant him access to people and places that are off limits even to a professional spy like Kovalic.

Kovalic needs Eli Brody to come home and face his past. With Brody suddenly cast in a play he never auditioned for, he and Kovalic will quickly realize it’s everything they don’t know that will tip the scales of galactic peace. Sounds like a desperate plan, sure, but what gambit isn’t?

The Caledonian Gambit is a throwback to the classic sci-fi adventures of spies and off-world politics, but filled to the brim with modern sensibilities.




Chelsea Mueller

Borrowed Souls
A Soul Charmer Novel 1
Talos, May 2, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
Urban Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal

2017 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
Callie Delgado always puts family first, and unfortunately her brother knows it. She’s emptied her savings, lost work, and spilled countless tears trying to keep him out of trouble, but now he’s in deeper than ever, and his debt is on Callie’s head. She’s given a choice: do some dirty work for the mob, or have her brother returned to her in tiny pieces.

Renting souls is big business for the religious population of Gem City. Those looking to take part in immoral—or even illegal—activity can borrow someone else’s soul, for a price, and sin without consequence.

To save her brother, Callie needs a borrowed soul, but she doesn’t have anywhere near the money to pay for it. The slimy Soul Charmer is willing to barter, but accepting his offer will force Callie into a dangerous world of magic she isn’t ready for.

With the help of the guarded but undeniably attractive Derek—whose allegiance to the Charmer wavers as his connection to Callie grows—she’ll have to walk a tight line, avoid pissing off the bad guys, all while struggling to determine what her loyalty to her family’s really worth.

Losing her brother isn’t an option. Losing her soul? Maybe.




Craig A. Munro

The Bones of the Past
The Books of Dust and Bone 1
Inkshares, May 30, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 450 pages
Epic Fantasy, Dark Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
The Night Guard walk the streets of the old kingdom of Bialta seeking out threats that are beyond the abilities of the common soldier. Nial is one such threat a girl changed into something other and on the hunt for human souls. Salt, a sailor recently rescued by the Night Guard, has been inducted into their ranks. He s a quick study, but as new threats multiply all around them, will he have what it takes to survive?

Bialta is not alone in its woes. Sacral, a city that vanished in the distant past, has reappeared where it once stood at the heart of the Wastes. Like many of Sacral s people, Maura is content living a quiet life, ignoring the outside world. But she finds herself desperately fighting to save her home as war comes to the city returned.

Meanwhile, across the Great Desert, creatures are stirring. Carver, the last living master of the magic known as fleshcarving, has won the support of the tyrant of Tolrahk Esal. Together they will unleash his twisted creations to sweep across the land and forever disrupt the balance of power.

In this epic tale, there is no good and evil. Armies march, demons feed, and deities unleash their powers on a world that will never be the same.




Gian Sardar

You Were Here
G.P. Putnam's Sons, May 16, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages
Psychological, Gothic, Contemporary Women

2017 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
Readers of Kate Atkinson will delight in this suspenseful debut novel about a woman haunted by nightmares and her grandmother’s role in a doomed love triangle almost seventy years before.

What if the past is never buried?

Death, accidental and early, has always been Abby Walters’s preoccupation. Now thirty-three and eager to settle down with her commitment-shy boyfriend, a recurring dream from her past returns: a paralyzing nightmare of being buried alive, the taste of dirt in her mouth cloying and real. But this time the dream reveals a name from her family’s past. Looking for answers, Abby returns home to small-town Minnesota for the first time in fourteen years, where she reconnects with her high school crush, now a police detective on the trail of a violent criminal. When Abby tries on her grandmother’s mesmerizing diamond ring, a ring she always dreamed would be hers, she discovers a cryptic note long hidden beneath the box’s velvet lining. What secret was her grandmother hiding? And could this be the key to what’s haunting Abby? As she begins to uncover the traces of a love triangle gone shockingly wrong nearly seventy years before, we, too, see that the layers of our lives may echo a past we’ve never known. With mesmerizing twists and a long-buried secret that may finally rise to light, You Were Here weaves together two worlds separated by decades, asking if the mistakes made in past lives can ever be corrected in the future, and if some souls are meant to find one another time and time again.




Isabelle Steiger

The Empire's Ghost
Thomas Dunne Books, May 16, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages
Epic Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
Isabelle Steiger has crafted a powerful and masterful debut with The Empire's Ghost, the first book in a haunting new epic fantasy series.

The empire of Elesthene once spanned a continent, but its rise heralded the death of magic. It tore itself apart from within, leaving behind a patchwork of kingdoms struggling to rebuild. But when a new dictator, the ambitious and enigmatic Imperator Elgar, seizes power in the old capital and seeks to recreate the lost empire anew, the other kingdoms have little hope of stopping him. Prince Kelken of Reglay finds himself at odds with his father at his country’s darkest hour; the marquise of Esthrades is unmatched in politics and strategy, but she sits at a staggering military disadvantage. And Issamira, the most powerful of the free countries, has shut itself off from the conflict, thrown into confusion by the disappearance of its crown prince and the ensuing struggle for succession.

Everything seems aligned in Elgar’s favor, but when he presses a band of insignificant but skilled alley-dwellers into his service for a mission of greatest secrecy, they find an unexpected opportunity to alter the balance of power in the war. Through their actions and those of the remaining royals, they may uncover not just a way to defeat Elgar, but also a deeper truth about their world’s lost history.




Melodie Winawer

The Scribe of Siena
Touchstone, May 16, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 464 pages
Sagas, Historical Fiction, Time Travel

2017 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts
“Will remind historical fiction readers of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander and Tracy Chevalier’s Girl with a Pearl Earring…Lovers of meticulously researched historical fiction and time-travel narratives will be swept away by the spell of medieval Siena” (Library Journal, starred review).

“Winawer’s debut is a detailed historical novel, a multifaceted mystery, and a moving tale of improbable love…Winawer has created a prodigious, vibrant tale of past and present that transports readers and fills in the historical gaps. This is a marvelous work of research and invention” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

Equal parts transporting love story and gripping historical conspiracy, debut author Melodie Winawer takes readers deep into medieval Italy, where the past and present blur and a twenty-first century woman will discover a plot to destroy Siena.

Accomplished neurosurgeon Beatrice Trovato knows that her deep empathy for her patients is starting to impede her work. So when her beloved brother passes away, she welcomes the unexpected trip to the Tuscan city of Siena to resolve his estate, even as she wrestles with grief. But as she delves deeper into her brother’s affairs, she discovers intrigue she never imagined—a 700-year-old conspiracy to decimate the city.

After uncovering the journal and paintings of Gabriele Accorsi, the fourteenth-century artist at the heart of the plot, Beatrice finds a startling image of her own face and is suddenly transported to the year 1347. She awakens in a Siena unfamiliar to her, one that will soon be hit by the Plague.

Yet when Beatrice meets Accorsi, something unexpected happens: she falls in love—not only with Gabriele, but also with the beauty and cadence of medieval life. As the Plague and the ruthless hands behind its trajectory threaten not only her survival but also Siena’s very existence, Beatrice must decide in which century she belongs.

The Scribe of Siena is the captivating story of a brilliant woman’s passionate affair with a time and a place that captures her in an impossibly romantic and dangerous trap—testing the strength of fate and the bonds of love.

The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2


The 7th year of the Debut Author Challenge commenced on January 1, 2017. I already have a list of nearly 150 debut novels the majority of which will be published in 2017. Here are the 12 debuts being published in April, May and June 2017 that I most looking forward to reading.



Ruthanna Emrys

Winter Tide
The Innsmouth Legacy 1
Tor.com, April 4, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
Historical Fantasy, Dark Fantasy

 The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2
"Winter Tide is a weird, lyrical mystery — truly strange and compellingly grim. It's an innovative gem that turns Lovecraft on his head with cleverness and heart" —Cherie Priest

After attacking Devil’s Reef in 1928, the U.S. government rounded up the people of Innsmouth and took them to the desert, far from their ocean, their Deep One ancestors, and their sleeping god Cthulhu. Only Aphra and Caleb Marsh survived the camps, and they emerged without a past or a future.

The government that stole Aphra's life now needs her help. FBI agent Ron Spector believes that Communist spies have stolen dangerous magical secrets from Miskatonic University, secrets that could turn the Cold War hot in an instant, and hasten the end of the human race.

Aphra must return to the ruins of her home, gather scraps of her stolen history, and assemble a new family to face the darkness of human nature.

Winter Tide is the debut novel from Ruthanna Emrys, author of the Aphra Marsh story, "The Litany of Earth"--included here as a bonus.




Kent Lester

The Seventh Sun
Forge Books, April 18, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages
Technological Thriller, Political Thriller

 The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2
In a breathtaking debut, Kent Lester has married fast-paced narrative and cutting-edge, reality-based science to produce an edge-of-the-seat thriller in The Seventh Sun.

A seemingly random murder alerts scientist Dan Clifford to a global conspiracy that stretches from the halls of Washington to the Honduran coast. Illegal, undersea activities have unwittingly uncovered a primordial secret that is wreaking havoc on aquatic life and the local human population.

When the CDC and the full resources of a U.S. “threat interdiction” team fails to uncover the source of the devastation, Dan and a brilliant marine biologist, Rachel Sullivan, must race to unravel an unimaginable, ancient mystery in the murky depths. It's up to them to stop this terror before a determined multi-national corporation triggers a worldwide extinction event, the Seventh Sun of ancient myth.




Deborah A. Wolf

The Dragon's Legacy
The Dragon's Legacy Book 1
Titan Books, April 18, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
Epic Fantasy

 The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2
In the heart of the singing desert, the people are fading from the world. Mothers bear few live children, the warriors and wardens are hard-pressed to protect those who remain, and the vash’ai—the great cats who have called the people kithren for as long as there have been stories— bond with fewer humans each year.

High above, the Sun Dragon sings a song of life and love, while far below, the Earth Dragon slumbers as she has since the beginning of time. Her sleep is fitful, and from the darkness of her dreams come whispers of war… and death.

Sulema is a newly minted warrior of the people and a true Ja’Akari—a daughter of the unforgiving desert. When a mysterious young man appears in her home of Aish Kalumm, she learns that the Dragon King is dying in distant Atualon. As the king fades, so does the magic that sings the Earth Dragon to sleep.

There are those who wish to keep the dragon trapped in endless slumber. Others would tap her power to claim it for their own. And there are those who would have her wake, so they might laugh as the world burns.




Robyn Bennis

The Guns Above
A Signal Airship Novel 1
Tor Books, May 2, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
Epic Fantasy, Steampunk, Humorous Fantasy, Military SF

 The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2
In the tradition of Honor Harrington and the high-flying Temeraire series, Bennis’s THE GUNS ABOVE is an adventurous military fantasy debut about a nation's first female airship captain.

They say it’s not the fall that kills you.

For Josette Dupre, the Corps’ first female airship captain, it might just be a bullet in the back.

On top of patrolling the front lines, she must also contend with a crew who doubts her expertise, a new airship that is an untested deathtrap, and the foppish aristocrat Lord Bernat, a gambler and shameless flirt with the military know-how of a thimble. Bernat’s own secret assignment is to catalog her every moment of weakness and indecision.

So when the enemy makes an unprecedented move that could turn the tide of the war, can Josette deal with Bernat, rally her crew, and survive long enough to prove herself?

“Full of sass and terrific characters. Great storytelling. Loved it.” —Patricia Briggs




Chelsea Mueller

Borrowed Souls
A Soul Charmer Novel 1
Talos, May 2, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
Urban Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal

 The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2
Callie Delgado always puts family first, and unfortunately her brother knows it. She’s emptied her savings, lost work, and spilled countless tears trying to keep him out of trouble, but now he’s in deeper than ever, and his debt is on Callie’s head. She’s given a choice: do some dirty work for the mob, or have her brother returned to her in tiny pieces.

Renting souls is big business for the religious population of Gem City. Those looking to take part in immoral—or even illegal—activity can borrow someone else’s soul, for a price, and sin without consequence.

To save her brother, Callie needs a borrowed soul, but she doesn’t have anywhere near the money to pay for it. The slimy Soul Charmer is willing to barter, but accepting his offer will force Callie into a dangerous world of magic she isn’t ready for.

With the help of the guarded but undeniably attractive Derek—whose allegiance to the Charmer wavers as his connection to Callie grows—she’ll have to walk a tight line, avoid pissing off the bad guys, all while struggling to determine what her loyalty to her family’s really worth.

Losing her brother isn’t an option. Losing her soul? Maybe.




Isabelle Steiger

The Empire's Ghost
Thomas Dunne Books, May 16, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages
Epic Fantasy

 The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2
Isabelle Steiger has crafted a powerful and masterful debut with The Empire's Ghost, the first book in a haunting new epic fantasy series.

The empire of Elesthene once spanned a continent, but its rise heralded the death of magic. It tore itself apart from within, leaving behind a patchwork of kingdoms struggling to rebuild. But when a new dictator, the ambitious and enigmatic Imperator Elgar, seizes power in the old capital and seeks to recreate the lost empire anew, the other kingdoms have little hope of stopping him. Prince Kelken of Reglay finds himself at odds with his father at his country’s darkest hour; the marquise of Esthrades is unmatched in politics and strategy, but she sits at a staggering military disadvantage. And Issamira, the most powerful of the free countries, has shut itself off from the conflict, thrown into confusion by the disappearance of its crown prince and the ensuing struggle for succession.

Everything seems aligned in Elgar’s favor, but when he presses a band of insignificant but skilled alley-dwellers into his service for a mission of greatest secrecy, they find an unexpected opportunity to alter the balance of power in the war. Through their actions and those of the remaining royals, they may uncover not just a way to defeat Elgar, but also a deeper truth about their world’s lost history.




Katie Khan

Hold Back the Stars
Gallery Books, May 23, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
Literary Fiction

 The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2
A startling and evocative novel, harkening to both One Day and Gravity, a man and a woman revisit memories of their love affair on a utopian Earth while they are trapped in the vast void of space with only ninety minutes of oxygen left.

After the catastrophic destruction of the Middle East and the United States, Europe has become a utopia and, every three years, the European population must rotate into different multicultural communities, living as individuals responsible for their own actions. While living in this paradise, Max meets Carys and immediately feels a spark of attraction. He quickly realizes, however, that Carys is someone he might want to stay with long-term, which is impossible in this new world.

As their relationship plays out, the connections between their time on Earth and their present dilemma in space become clear. When their air ticks dangerously low, one is offered the chance of salvation—but who will take it? An original and daring exploration of the impact of first love and how the choices we make can change the fate of everyone around us, this is an unforgettable read.




Dan Moren

The Caledonian Gambit
Talos, May 23, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 312 pages
Space Opera, Military SF, SF Action & Adventure

 The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2
The galaxy is mired in a cold war between two superpowers, the Illyrican Empire and the Commonwealth. Thrust between this struggle are Simon Kovalic, the Commonwealth’s preeminent spy, and Kyle Rankin, a lowly soldier happily scrubbing toilets on Sabea, a remote and isolated planet. However, nothing is as it seems.

Kyle Rankin is a lie. His real name is Eli Brody, and he fled his home world of Caledonia years ago. Simon Kovalic knows Caledonia is a lit fuse hurtling towards detonation. The past Brody so desperately tried to abandon can grant him access to people and places that are off limits even to a professional spy like Kovalic.

Kovalic needs Eli Brody to come home and face his past. With Brody suddenly cast in a play he never auditioned for, he and Kovalic will quickly realize it’s everything they don’t know that will tip the scales of galactic peace. Sounds like a desperate plan, sure, but what gambit isn’t?

The Caledonian Gambit is a throwback to the classic sci-fi adventures of spies and off-world politics, but filled to the brim with modern sensibilities.




Andy Davidson

In the Valley of the Sun
Skyhorse Publishing, June 6, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages
Horror, Westerns, Occult & Supernatural

 The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2
Deftly written and utterly addictive, this Western literary horror debut will find a home with fans of authors like Joe Hill, Cormac McCarthy, and Anne Rice.

One night in 1980, a man becomes a monster.

Haunted by his past, Travis Stillwell spends his nights searching out women in West Texas honky-tonks. What he does with them doesn’t make him proud, just quiets the demons for a little while. But after Travis crosses paths one night with a mysterious pale-skinned girl, he wakes weak and bloodied in his cabover camper the next morning—with no sign of a girl, no memory of the night before.

Annabelle Gaskin spies the camper parked behind her motel and offers the cowboy a few odd jobs to pay his board. Travis takes her up on the offer, if only to buy time, to lay low and heal. By day, he mends the old motel, insinuating himself into the lives of Annabelle and her ten-year-old son. By night, in the cave of his camper, he fights an unspeakable hunger. Before long, Annabelle and her boy come to realize that this strange cowboy is not what he seems.

Half a state away, a grizzled Texas Ranger is hunting Travis for his past misdeeds, but what he finds will lead him to a revelation far more monstrous. A man of the law, he’ll have to decide how far into the darkness he’ll go for the sake of justice.

When these lives converge on a dusty autumn night, an old evil will find new life—and new blood.




Anne Corlett

The Space Between the Stars
Berkley, June 13, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
Literary Fiction, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic

 The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2
When the world ends, where will you go?

In a breathtakingly vivid and emotionally gripping debut novel, one woman must confront the emptiness in the universe—and in her own heart—when a devastating virus reduces most of humanity to dust and memories.

All Jamie Allenby ever wanted was space. Even though she wasn’t forced to emigrate from Earth, she willingly left the overpopulated, claustrophobic planet. And when a long relationship devolved into silence and suffocating sadness, she found work on a frontier world on the edges of civilization. Then the virus hit…

Now Jamie finds herself dreadfully alone, with all that’s left of the dead. Until a garbled message from Earth gives her hope that someone from her past might still be alive.

Soon Jamie finds other survivors, and their ragtag group will travel through the vast reaches of space, drawn to the promise of a new beginning on Earth. But their dream will pit them against those desperately clinging to the old ways. And Jamie’s own journey home will help her close the distance between who she has become and who she is meant to be…




Nicky Drayden

The Prey of Gods
Harper Voyager, June 13, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
Contemporary Fantasy

 The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2
From a new voice in the tradition of Lauren Beukes, Ian McDonald, and Nnedi Okorafor comes The Prey of Gods, a fantastic, boundary-challenging tale, set in a South African locale both familiar and yet utterly new, which braids elements of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and dark humor.

In South Africa, the future looks promising. Personal robots are making life easier for the working class. The government is harnessing renewable energy to provide infrastructure for the poor. And in the bustling coastal town of Port Elizabeth, the economy is booming thanks to the genetic engineering industry which has found a welcome home there. Yes—the days to come are looking very good for South Africans. That is, if they can survive the present challenges:

A new hallucinogenic drug sweeping the country . . .

An emerging AI uprising . . .

And an ancient demigoddess hellbent on regaining her former status by preying on the blood and sweat (but mostly blood) of every human she encounters.

It’s up to a young Zulu girl powerful enough to destroy her entire township, a queer teen plagued with the ability to control minds, a pop diva with serious daddy issues, and a politician with even more serious mommy issues to band together to ensure there’s a future left to worry about.

Fun and fantastic, Nicky Drayden takes her brilliance as a short story writer and weaves together an elaborate tale that will capture your heart . . . even as one particular demigoddess threatens to rip it out.




Callie Bates

The Waking Land
Del Rey, June 27, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
Epic Fantasy, Action & Adventure

 The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2
In the lush and magical tradition of Naomi Novik’s award-winning Uprooted comes this riveting debut from brilliant young writer Callie Bates—whose boundless imagination places her among the finest authors of fantasy fiction, including Sarah J. Maas and Sabaa Tahir.

Lady Elanna is fiercely devoted to the king who raised her like a daughter. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Elanna is accused of his murder—and must flee for her life.

Returning to the homeland of magical legends she has forsaken, Elanna is forced to reckon with her despised, estranged father, branded a traitor long ago. Feeling a strange, deep connection to the natural world, she also must face the truth about the forces she has always denied or disdained as superstition—powers that suddenly stir within her.

But an all-too-human threat is drawing near, determined to exact vengeance. Now Elanna has no choice but to lead a rebellion against the kingdom to which she once gave her allegiance. Trapped between divided loyalties, she must summon the courage to confront a destiny that could tear her apart.

The View From Monday - May 14, 2018The View From Monday - April 16, 20182018 Nominees for the Compton Crook Award 36Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works by DAC Authors2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - May DebutsInterview with Robyn Bennis, Author of The Guns Above2017 Debut Author Challenge - May Debuts The 2017 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To Reading - Part 2

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