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2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts


2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August 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 August 31, 2017.


Vote for your favorite August 2017 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls




2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts
Cover by Tom Sanderson





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts
Cover art by Thom Tenery





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts
Cover illustration by Gene Mollica and Shutterstock
Design by Lauren Panepinto





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts
Cover design by Olga Grlic
Cover photograph: plainpicture / alt6 / Roger Proulx





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts
Cover illustrated by Patrick Arrasmith





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts
Cover design by Sandra Chui
Cover photo of the boy by Sean Gladwell/ Getty Images
Photo of the dog by Maya Karkalicheva/Getty Images





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts
Cover art by Steven Messing
Overall design by Owen Corrigan





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts
Cover art by Sparth
Cover design by Christine Foltzer





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts
Cover art and design by Design by Committee





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts





2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August Debuts

Interview with Sophie Chen Keller, author of The Luster of Lost Things


Please welcome Sophie Chen Keller to The Qwillery as part of the of the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Luster of Lost Things is published on August 8th by G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Please join The Qwillery in wishing Sophie a Happy Publication Day!



Interview with Sophie Chen Keller, author of The Luster of Lost Things




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

Sophie:  Thanks for having me! I’ve always loved books and reading. Some of my earliest memories are of my mom reading out loud to me before bed, from books by EB White and Roald Dahl, to help me learn English after we moved to the US from China. Pretty soon I started writing stories of my own—one of them was about talking animals who lived under the sea, after I became obsessed with the Redwall series. Back then, in elementary school, whenever someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said, “A writer,” and when I was 15, my first short story was published in a literary magazine, Glimmer Train.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Sophie:  A pantser, which makes me feel like a mischievous kid who’s about to get in big trouble. My writing usually starts with some kernel of an idea—a person, an image—that just gets stuck in my heart, and when it bothers me enough, I start writing about it, trying to better understand it and figuring out the rest as I go along.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Sophie:  I lean a lot on instinct when I write. I love the sound and rhythm and sensation of words, and the creation of a fictional world out of nothing as I try to make sense of this real world and the people in it. Revising is more deliberate and critical. It can give me a headache, but it’s necessary in order to tell a satisfying story.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Sophie:  In middle school and high school, I spent much of my time reading about writing and reading good writing. I loved Stephen King’s On Writing and short stories by writers like Flannery O’Connor, Joyce Carol Oates and Jhumpa Lahiri.

I find inspiration anywhere there are people living their life, doing their thing, telling their stories. I’ll have a brief exchange with a stranger, I’ll overhear an offhand comment, I’ll notice some detail or situation, I’ll be struck by a strange and random thought—I never know when something will flip a switch and send me scrambling for my notes.



TQDescribe The Luster of Lost Things in 140 characters or less.

Sophie:  When all seems lost, 12-year-old Walter Lavender Jr.—who has an uncanny ability to find missing objects—searches for what matters most.



TQTell us something about The Luster of Lost Things that is not found in the book description.

Sophie:  Writing the book, I thought of it as a grown-up version of those childhood classics my mom would read to me before bedtime. I wanted it to be warm and wondrous and pure, yet layered with meaning to dig into and questions to ponder around what it means to live and be human. I wanted The Luster of Lost Things to take us back to that time when the world was bright and brimming with possibility, so that when we are feeling suffocated by darkness, we might remember that there is goodness that lives in us and around us. It’s a breath of fresh air that I feel so many, including myself, need.



TQWhat inspired you to write The Luster of Lost Things?

Sophie:  In the summer of 2014, my husband and I spent a night camping on a volcano in Maui as part of our honeymoon. At the campsite, I stumbled across a “Lost” flyer that someone had posted, for a missing camera that held sentimental family photos. That detail captured me, and I wondered about the things people lost, and what they were really looking for when they looked for something like a missing camera. I wondered if the camera had been found, if anyone had seen this flyer and returned the lost item. That’s when I had my first idea of who Walter would be—a boy who answered “Lost” flyers, bringing home the things that people had lost and were so desperately looking for.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Luster of Lost Things?

Sophie:  The book’s main character, Walter Lavender Jr., is 12 years old, but virtually never speaks. Because of his silence, he’s often written off as a “slow amiable boy,” but we can tell from the beginning that he clearly is not. He has a motor speech disorder called childhood apraxia of speech, a neurological disorder where the brain knows what it wants to say but has trouble coordinating the muscle movements necessary to produce the intended speech. To better understand his condition, I read books like The Late Talker (by Lisa F. Geng, Malcolm J. Nicholl, and Marilyn C. Agin), and spoke with parents, speech pathologists, doctors, professors and researchers. I was surprised to learn how often childhood apraxia of speech is misdiagnosed as autism or ADD, among others, which results in frustration for the child, who isn’t getting effective treatment, and for the parents, who can’t figure out what’s going on.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Luster of Lost Things.

Sophie:  I love how the cover evokes a sense of magic and awe, and at the same time is tinged with something melancholic, a feeling of longing. It captures the tone of the book, and it gives us our first introduction to Walter and his overweight golden retriever, Milton. They’re searching for something, although they’re not sure what they’ll find…

The cover design is by Sandra Chui. The cover photo of the boy is by Sean Gladwell/ Getty Images and the dog is by Maya Karkalicheva/Getty Images.



TQIn The Luster of Lost Things who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Sophie:  I’m not sure if any of them were easier or harder to write. The characters are the beating heart of the book, and their faces, their stories, were so vivid to me. I wrote them because they had to be seen and heard. Milton was especially vivid. He was inspired by Thor, my dog from when I was growing up. Thor was always getting in the way (tripping you when you were carrying precarious stacks of breakable things, for one), and doing what he wasn’t supposed to (eating toilet paper and chewing up the carpet, for another), but boy, did he have soul. When I played the piano, he would half-sing, half-howl along to the passionate parts, a most beautiful and sorrowful wail.



TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in The Luster of Lost Things?

Sophie:  The book touches on gentrification, immigration, homelessness, and alternative family structures. Walter’s journey takes him through many of New York City’s characterful neighborhoods, and to the diverse people who live in them; I encountered all those issues when I lived in Manhattan, and a true characterization of this great city must articulate them. The people he meets are different from each other in many ways, and yet they are united in their humanity. They have aspirations and disappointments and joys. They know the pain of losing something; they know the ache of searching for what’s missing.



TQWhich question about The Luster of Lost Things do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Sophie:  In The Luster of Lost Things, the main character, Walter Lavender Jr., has a knack for finding the things that people lose, thanks to his extraordinary abilities of perception. Can you explore that idea?

Because he has spent his entire life in silence, simply listening and observing, Walter has developed an ability to perceive “traces of light, shifts in matter, changing undercurrents”—subtle details that are all-too-easy to overlook. He’s literally able to see beyond the surface—and not just when it comes to lost objects. In his search for the one lost object that will save his mother’s magical bakery, Walter encounters some of the lost and forgotten people of the city, from an aging immigrant who forges ahead on a crippled leg, to an Upper East Side girl with a tragic past and a defiant streak, to a grieving Columbia physics professor with haunted dreams of flying. As Walter hears their stories—unexpected and poignant tales of heartbreaks and losses and yearnings—he learns that there is more to them than meets the eye. And as he narrates his own story to us, his voice—fluid and rich with insight and compassion—stands in sharp contrast to the verbal speech patterns of the “slow amiable boy” he is often dismissed as, the clearest reminder of all that when we see beyond the surface, what we find can be luminous.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Luster of Lost Things.

Sophie:

On the significance of the things we lose, and the appeal they hold for Walter Lavender Jr.:

“In the things they look for, parts of people turn clear as glass and you can see into them and what they are made of and how they live…There was the long-ago transplant who lost a piece of Maine driftwood, and there was also the man with lupus who lost an unused barber kit and the tattooed biker who lost a picture of his grandmother and the teenager with scarred wrists who lost George and Martha.”

“Lost things are bridges. They are connections to some other time or place or person or feeling.”

On the power of kindness:

“Walter Lavender Sr. never taught me to play catch or ride a bike or fix a blown fuse or grow to be a man. He left only one lesson for me and the Book is the embodiment of it: physical proof of how much a gesture can matter and how it can even expand across time and place.

An introduction to The Lavenders, the magical bakery portrayed in The Luster of Lost Things:

“The shopfront was small and plain, a solid gray-blue that your eyes wanted to skip past. But on the right day, when you finally saw it, you’d step through the door and take in the brass trimmings and the saucer chandeliers, the black-and-white checkered tiles and the gleaming glass cases, and you would be transported. Inside the shop, it smelled like whipped butter and light and sugar, and a happy breeze seemed always to be dancing through. Dazzling mirrored displays encased little desserts like gems, and dark polished surfaces were offset by battered accents collected by Lucy on her early travels with Walter Lavender, Sr., here a dappled giraffe carved from a jacaranda tree in South Africa, there an embroidered scroll arrayed with the colors of Tibetan folklore.

But the most extraordinary thing was that something happened in the slice of time when the vols-au-vent baked in the oven or waited to be dressed, because when they appeared finally in the displays, stuffed with fig mascarpone cheese and outfitted with chocolate whiskers and ears and tails—before they were chosen and eaten, the undersized treats sniffed endearingly at each other and squeaked and sometimes stood on their hind legs and bounced.”



TQWhat's next?

Sophie:  I’m working on a second novel, and am already very excited about it! Keep in touch—subscribe to my newsletter at sophiechenkeller.com/subscribe.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.





The Luster of Lost Things
G.P. Putnam's Sons, August 8, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Interview with Sophie Chen Keller, author of The Luster of Lost Things
In this story for readers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and A Man Called Ove, when all seems lost, he finds what matters most.

Walter Lavender Jr. is a master of finding. A wearer of high-tops. A maker of croissants. A son keeping vigil, twelve years counting.

But he wouldn’t be able to tell you. Silenced by his motor speech disorder, Walter’s life gets lonely. Fortunately, he has The Lavenders—his mother’s enchanted dessert shop, where marzipan dragons breathe actual fire. He also has a knack for tracking down any missing thing—except for his lost father.

So when the Book at the root of the bakery’s magic vanishes, Walter, accompanied by his overweight golden retriever, journeys through New York City to find it—along the way encountering an unforgettable cast of lost souls.

Steeped in nostalgic wonder, The Luster of Lost Things explores the depths of our capacity for kindness and our ability to heal. A lyrical meditation on why we become lost and how we are found, from the bright, broken heart of a boy who knows where to look for everyone but himself.





About Sophie

Interview with Sophie Chen Keller, author of The Luster of Lost Things
Photo © Kai Keller
Sophie Chen Keller was born in Beijing, China, and was raised in Ohio and California. Her fiction has won several awards and has appeared in publications such as Glimmer Train and Pedestal. After graduating from Harvard, she moved to New York City, where she currently resides with her husband and a not-so-secret cabinet of sweets.










Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @ImSophieCKeller



The View From Monday - August 7, 2017


Happy Monday!

There are 3 debuts this week:

Masked Possession (Masked Arcana 1) by Alana Delacroix;

The Talented Ribkins by Ladee Hubbard;

and

The Luster of Lost Things by Sophie Chen Keller.

The View From Monday - August 7, 2017The View From Monday - August 7, 2017
The View From Monday - August 7, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

The End of Ordinary by Edward Ashton is out in print (Mass Market Paperback);

Blackthorne (Malorum Gates 2) by Stina Leicht;

Infomocracy (Centenal Cycle 1) by Malka Older is out in Trade Paperback;

Magpie's Song (IronHeart Chronicles 1) by Allison Pang;

and

World Tree Girl (Shadow Valley Manor 2) by Kerry Schafer.

The View From Monday - August 7, 2017The View From Monday - August 7, 2017
The View From Monday - August 7, 2017The View From Monday - August 7, 2017
The View From Monday - August 7, 2017
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - August 7, 2017




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

August 8, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The End of Ordinary Edward Ashton SF/GenEng
The Mystery Knight: A Graphic Novel George R. R. Martin
Ben Avery (Adapter)
Mike S. Miller (Illus)
F/GN - Game of Thrones World
The Medusa Chronicles (h2tp) Stephen Baxter
Alastair Reynolds
SF
Biketopia Elly Blue (Ed) SF - Bikes in Space / Collection
Binary System Eric Brown SF
Valerian: The Illustrated Treasury Pierre Christin
Jean-Claude Mézières
Art/SF
The Death and Life of Schneider Wrack Nate Crowley H - Tomes of the Dead Collection
Pack Enforcer Lauren Dane PNR - Cascadia Wolves 2
Masked Possession (D) Alana Delacroix PNR - Masked Arcana 1
The Marker Chronicles, The First Trilogy (e) Danielle DeVor Sup/Occ - The Marker Chronicles
Devil's Call J. Danielle Dorn Occ/Sup/W
Mark of the Moon Beth Dranoff PNR - Mark of the Moon 1
The Budayeen Cycle (e) George Alec Effinger CyP
The World of Tiers Volume One (e)(ri) Philip José Farmer SF - World of Tiers
The World of Tiers Volume Two (e)(ri) Philip José Farmer SF - World of Tiers
Dayworld Rebel (e)(ri) Philip José Farmer SF/Dys - Dayworld Trilogy 2
Dayworld (e)(ri) Philip José Farmer SF/Dys - Dayworld Trilogy 1
Riverworld: And Other Stories (e)(ri) Philip José Farmer SF - Collection
Dayworld Breakup (e)(ri) Philip José Farmer SF/Dys - Dayworld Trilogy 3
The Lovers * Dark Is the Sun * Riders of the Purple Wage: Three Powerful Science Fiction Classics (e)(ri) Philip José Farmer SF - Collection
Scythes of Emperor L J Goulding SF - Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine Battles
American Ghost Paul Guernsey CF/GH/Occ/Sup
The Talented Ribkins (D) Ladee Hubbard AA/F/CF/FL
The Luster of Lost Things (D) Sophie Chen Keller CoA/FL/ LF
Dead and Breakfast (h2tp) Kate Kingsbury PM - A Merry Ghost Inn Mystery 1
Ghost Talkers (h2tp) Mary Robinette Kowal HistF/P/GH
Witch's Hunger Deborah LeBlanc PNR
The Adventures of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser: Swords and Deviltry, Swords Against Death, and Swords in the Mist (e)(ri) Fritz Leiber SF - Collection
Blackthorne Stina Leicht F - Malorum Gates 2
The Wingman Adventures Volume One (e)(ri) Mack Maloney Th/SF
Infomocracy (h2tp) Malka Older CyP/TechTh/Pol - Centenal Cycle 1
Magpie's Song Allison Pang SP/Dys - IronHeart Chronicles 1
The Meridian Ascent Richard Phillips SF - Rho Agenda Assimilation 3
World Tree Girl Kerry Schafer SupTh - Shadow Valley Manor 2
The New Springtime: The Complete Series (e)(ri) Robert Silverberg SF
Daemon (ri) Daniel Suarez TechTh/CyP
Garro James Swallow SF - The Horus Heresy 42
Bones of the Earth, In the Drift, and Vacuum Flowers (e) Michael Swanwick SF/Th
Desert Wolf Linda Thomas-Sundstrom PNR - Wolf Moons 11
The Story of Kullervo (h2tp) J.R.R. Tolkien F
Blue Plague: Survival Thomas A. Watson SF/AP/PA - Blue Plague 2
Lord of Undeath C L Werner F - Realmgate Wars 10



August 9, 2017
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Uncanny Valley: A Tor.com Original (e) Greg Egan SF
All in a Day's Work (e) Brian Francis Slattery F/Th - Bookburners Season 3 #4



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



AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CB - Coloring Book
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
GN - Graphic Novel
H - Horror
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistR - Historical Romance
HistTh - Historical Thriller
HU - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legends and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PI - Private Investigator
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
PP - Police Procedural
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
R - Romance
Satire - Satire
SF - Science Fiction
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
TTR - Time Travel Romance
UF - Urban Fantasy
VM - Visionary and Metaphysical
W - Western

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

2017 Debut Author Challenge - August Debuts


2017 Debut Author Challenge - August Debuts


There are 15 debut novels for August.

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

The August 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 August cover for the 2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on August 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 August 2017 The list is correct as of the day posted.



Asa Avdic

The Dying Game
Penguin Books, August 1, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 288 pages
     Dystopian, Thrillers, Psychological Thrillers
      Contemporary Women

2017 Debut Author Challenge - August Debuts
A masterly locked-room mystery set in a near-future Orwellian state—for fans of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Dave Eggers’ The Circle, and Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games

Do you live to play? Or play to live?

The year is 2037. The Soviet Union never fell, and much of Europe has been consolidated under the totalitarian Union of Friendship. On the tiny island of Isola, seven people have been selected to compete in a forty-eight-hour test for a top-secret intelligence position. One of them is Anna Francis, a workaholic bureaucrat with a nine-year-old daughter she rarely sees and a secret that haunts her. Her assignment: to stage her own death and then to observe, from her hiding place inside the walls of the house, how the six other candidates react to the news that a murderer is among them. Who will take control? Who will crack under pressure? But then a storm rolls in, the power goes out, and the real game begins. . . .

Combining suspense, unexpected twists, psychological gamesmanship, and a sinister dystopian future, The Dying Game conjures a world in which one woman is forced to ask, “Can I save my life by staging my death?”




RJ Barker

Age of Assassins
The Wounded Kingdom 1
Orbit, August 1, 2017
Paperback and eBook, 432 pages
     Epic Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - August Debuts
IT'S A GAME OF ASSASSIN VERSUS ASSASSIN

Girton Club-foot has no family, a crippled leg, and is apprenticed to the best assassin in the land.

He's learning the art of taking lives, but his latest mission tasks him with a far more difficult challenge: to save a life. Someone is trying to kill the heir to the throne, and it is up to Girton to uncover the traitor and prevent the prince's murder.

Age of Assassins is the first in an epic new trilogy set in a world ravaged by magic, featuring a cast of assassins, knights, ambitious noblemen, and fools.




Brian Allen Carr

Sip
Soho Press, August 29, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages
     Science Fiction, Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic,
       Literary Fiction

2017 Debut Author Challenge - August Debuts
A lyrical, apocalyptic debut novel about addiction, friendship, and the struggle for survival …

It started with a single child, and quickly spread: you could get high by drinking your own shadow. At night, lights were destroyed so that addicts could sip shadow in the pure light of the moon.

Gangs of shadow addicts chased down children on playgrounds, rounded up old ladies from retirement homes. Cities were destroyed and governments fell. And if your shadow was sipped entirely, you became one of them, had to find more shadow, at any cost, or go mad.

150 years later, what’s left of the world is divided between the highly regimented life of those inside dome-cities that are protected from natural light (and natural shadows), and those forced to the dangerous, hardscrabble life in the wilds outside. In rural Texas, Mira, her shadow-addicted friend Murk, and an ex-Domer named Bale, search for a possible mythological cure to the shadow sickness—but they must do so, it is said, before the return of Halley’s Comet, which is only days away.




Curtis Craddock

An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors
The Risen Kingdoms 1
Tor Books, August 29, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages
     Epic Fantasy, Historical Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - August Debuts
A delightful and engrossing fantasy debut featuring an intelligent heroine and her guardian, a royal musketeer.

In a world of soaring continents and bottomless skies, where a burgeoning new science lifts skyships into the cloud-strewn heights, and ancient blood-borne sorceries cling to a fading glory, Princess Isabelle des Zephyrs is about to be married to a man she has barely heard of, the second son of a dying king in an empire collapsing into civil war.

Born without the sorcery that is her birthright but with a perspicacious intellect, Isabelle believes her marriage will stave off disastrous conflict and bring her opportunity and influence. But the last two women betrothed to this prince were murdered, and a sorcerer-assassin is bent on making Isabelle the third. Aided and defended by her loyal musketeer, Jean-Claude, Isabelle plunges into a great maze of prophecy, intrigue, and betrayal, where everyone wears masks of glamour and lies. Step by dangerous step, she unravels the lies of her enemies and discovers a truth more perilous than any deception.




Alana Delacroix

Masked Possession
The Masked Arcana 1
Lyrical Press, August 8, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 258 pages

2017 Debut Author Challenge - August Debuts
A Man Who Can Wear Any Face

Caro Yeats doesn’t run from much. As a former investigative reporter now working PR for Toronto’s supernaturals, what she hasn’t seen mostly isn’t worth seeing. But the assignment to “rebrand” Eric Kelton’s out-of-control alter egos has her on edge from the start. Kelton is the heirarch of the Masquerada, beings able to change their face—their entire persona—on a whim. Eric’s charisma muddles her instincts. How can she trust a man who can become anybody?

A Woman Without A Past

Eric has never met anyone like Caro, with her lightning wit and uncanny insight. But desirable as she is, he’d be a fool to let her near. Struggling to hide the sudden loss of his powers, Eric can’t risk becoming entangled with a woman who scorns her supernatural side and claims not to play politics. The enemies on her trail are strong, clever, and vicious. And when they force Eric and Caro together, the fallout could shatter far more than two hearts . . .




Spencer Ellsworth

A Red Peace
The Starfire Trilogy 1
Tor.com, August 22, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 208 pages
     Science Fiction, Space Opera

2017 Debut Author Challenge - August Debuts
A Red Peace, first in Spencer Ellsworth's Starfire trilogy, is an action-packed space opera in a universe where the oppressed half-Jorian crosses have risen up to supplant humanity and dominate the galaxy.

Half-breed human star navigator Jaqi, working the edges of human-settled space on contract to whoever will hire her, stumbles into possession of an artifact that the leader of the Rebellion wants desperately enough to send his personal guard after. An interstellar empire and the fate of the remnant of humanity hang in the balance.

Spencer Ellsworth has written a classic space opera, with space battles between giant bugs, sun-sized spiders, planets of cyborgs and a heroine with enough grit to bring down the galaxy's newest warlord.




Linnea Hartsuyker

The Half-Drowned King
Harper, August 1, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 448 pages
     Sagas

2017 Debut Author Challenge - August Debuts
"Lovers of epic rejoice! Hartsuyker illuminates these old stories with authority and visceral detail, bringing to life the adventure, bleak beauty, and human struggle that lie at their heart. A vivid and gripping read." —Madeline Miller, bestselling author of The Song of Achilles

"Linnea Hartsuyker brings myth and legend roaring to life in this superbly good page-turning saga of Viking-era Norway. Hartsuyker is fearless as she navigates a harsh, exacting, and hair-raising world, with icy fjords and raiding seasons and ancient blood feuds. But the book’s fiercest magic shines in the characters of Ragnvald and Svanhild, as unforgettable a brother and sister duo as I can remember in recent literature. Linnea Hartsuyker is an exciting, original voice in historical fiction, and The Half-Drowned King is nothing short of mesmerizing."—Paula McLain, bestselling author of The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun

An exhilarating saga of the Vikings that conjures a brutal, superstitious, and thrilling ninth-century world and the birth of a kingdom—the debut installment in a historical literary trilogy that combines the bold imagination and sweeping narrative power of Game of Thrones, Vikings, and Outlander.
Centuries ago, in a blood-soaked land ruled by legendary gods and warring men, a prophecy foretold of a high king who would come to reign over all of the north. . . .

Ragnvald Eysteinsson, the son and grandson of kings, grew up believing that he would one day take his dead father’s place as chief of his family’s lands. But, sailing home from a raiding trip to Ireland, the young warrior is betrayed and left for dead by men in the pay of his greedy stepfather, Olaf. Rescued by a fisherman, Ragnvald is determined to have revenge for his stepfather’s betrayal, claim his birthright and the woman he loves, and rescue his beloved sister Svanhild. Opportunity may lie with Harald of Vestfold, the strong young Norse warrior rumored to be the prophesied king. Ragnvald pledges his sword to King Harald, a choice that will hold enormous consequence in the years to come.

While Ragnvald’s duty is to fight—and even die—for his honor, Svanhild must make an advantageous marriage, though her adventurous spirit yearns to see the world. Her stepfather, Olaf, has arranged a husband for her—a hard old man she neither loves nor desires. When the chance to escape Olaf’s cruelty comes at the hands of her brother’s arch rival, the shrewd young woman is forced to make a heartbreaking choice: family or freedom.

Set in a mystical and violent world defined by honor, loyalty, deceit, passion, and courage, The Half-Drowned King is an electrifying adventure that breathtakingly illuminates the Viking world and the birth of Scandinavia.




Ladee Hubbard

The Talented Ribkins
Melville House, August 8, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages
      African American, Fantasy, Contemporary Fantasy, Family Life

2017 Debut Author Challenge - August Debuts
At seventy-two, Johnny Ribkins shouldn’t have such problems: He’s got one week to come up with the money he stole from his mobster boss or it’s curtains for Johnny.

What may or may not be useful to Johnny as he flees is that he comes from an African-American family that has been gifted with super powers that are rather sad, but superpowers nonetheless. For example, Johnny’s father could see colors no one else could see. His brother could scale perfectly flat walls. His cousin belches fire. And Johnny himself can make precise maps of any space you name, whether he’s been there or not.

In the old days, the Ribkins family tried to apply their gifts to the civil rights effort, calling themselves the Justice Committee. But when their, eh, superpowers proved insufficient, the group fell apart. Out of frustration Johnny and his brother used their talents to stage a series of burglaries, each more daring than the last.

Fast forward a couple decades and Johnny’s on a race against the clock to dig up loot he’s stashed all over Florida.  His brother is gone, but he has an unexpected sidekick: his brother’s daughter, Eloise, who has a special superpower of her own.

Inspired by W. E. B. Du Bois’s famous essay “The Talented Tenth” and fuelled by Ladee Hubbard’s marvelously original imagination, The Talented Ribkins is a big-hearted debut novel about race, class, politics, and the unique gifts that, while they may cause some problems from time to time, bind a family together.




Lucy Ives

Impossible Views of the World
Penguin Press, August 1, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages
     Literary Fiction, Contemporary Women,
      Mystery and Detective, Amateur Sleuth

2017 Debut Author Challenge - August Debuts
A witty, urbane, and sometimes shocking debut novel, set in a hallowed New York museum, in which a co-worker’s disappearance and a mysterious map change a life forever

Stella Krakus, a curator at Manhattan’s renowned Central Museum of Art, is having the roughest week in approximately ever. Her soon-to-be ex-husband (the perfectly awful Whit Ghiscolmbe) is stalking her, a workplace romance with “a fascinating, hyper-rational narcissist” is in freefall, and a beloved colleague, Paul, has gone missing. Strange things are afoot: CeMArt’s current exhibit is sponsored by a Belgian multinational that wants to take over the world’s water supply, she unwittingly stars in a viral video that’s making the rounds, and her mother–the imperious, impossibly glamorous Caro–wants to have lunch. It’s almost more than she can overanalyze.

But the appearance of a mysterious map, depicting a 19th-century utopian settlement, sends Stella–a dogged expert in American graphics and fluidomanie (don’t ask)–on an all-consuming research mission. As she teases out the links between a haunting poem, several unusual novels, a counterfeiting scheme, and one of the museum’s colorful early benefactors, she discovers the unbearable secret that Paul’s been keeping, and charts a course out of the chaos of her own life. Pulsing with neurotic humor and dagger-sharp prose, Impossible Views of the World is a dazzling debut novel about how to make it through your early thirties with your brain and heart intact.




Sophie Chen Keller

The Luster of Lost Things
G.P. Putnam's Sons, August 8, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages
Coming Of Age, Family Life, Literary Fiction

2017 Debut Author Challenge - August Debuts
In this story for readers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and A Man Called Ove, when all seems lost, he finds what matters most.

Walter Lavender Jr. is a master of finding. A wearer of high-tops. A maker of croissants. A son keeping vigil, twelve years counting.

But he wouldn’t be able to tell you. Silenced by his motor speech disorder, Walter’s life gets lonely. Fortunately, he has The Lavenders—his mother’s enchanted dessert shop, where marzipan dragons breathe actual fire. He also has a knack for tracking down any missing thing—except for his lost father.

So when the Book at the root of the bakery’s magic vanishes, Walter, accompanied by his overweight golden retriever, journeys through New York City to find it—along the way encountering an unforgettable cast of lost souls.

Steeped in nostalgic wonder, The Luster of Lost Things explores the depths of our capacity for kindness and our ability to heal. A lyrical meditation on why we become lost and how we are found, from the bright, broken heart of a boy who knows where to look for everyone but himself.




Marina J. Lostetter

Noumenon
Harper Voyager, August 1, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages
     Science Fiction, Space Opera

2017 Debut Author Challenge - August Debuts
With nods to Arthur C. Clarke’s Rama series and the real science of Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves, a touch of Hugh Howey’s Wool, and echoes of Octavia Butler’s voice, a powerful tale of space travel, adventure, discovery, and humanity that unfolds through a series of generational vignettes.

In 2088, humankind is at last ready to explore beyond Earth’s solar system. But one uncertainty remains: Where do we go?

Astrophysicist Reggie Straifer has an idea. He’s discovered an anomalous star that appears to defy the laws of physics, and proposes the creation of a deep-space mission to find out whether the star is a weird natural phenomenon, or something manufactured.

The journey will take eons. In order to maintain the genetic talent of the original crew, humankind’s greatest ambition—to explore the furthest reaches of the galaxy— is undertaken by clones. But a clone is not a perfect copy, and each new generation has its own quirks, desires, and neuroses. As the centuries fly by, the society living aboard the nine ships (designated Convoy Seven) changes and evolves, but their mission remains the same: to reach Reggie’s mysterious star and explore its origins—and implications.

A mosaic novel of discovery, Noumenon—in a series of vignettes—examines the dedication, adventure, growth, and fear of having your entire world consist of nine ships in the vacuum of space. The men and women, and even the AI, must learn to work and live together in harmony, as their original DNA is continuously replicated and they are born again and again into a thousand new lives. With the stars their home and the unknown their destination, they are on a voyage of many lifetimes—an odyssey to understand what lies beyond the limits of human knowledge and imagination.




Maja Lunde

The History of Bees
Touchstone, August 22, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
     Literary Fiction

2017 Debut Author Challenge - August Debuts
In the spirit of Station Eleven and Never Let Me Go, this dazzling and ambitious literary debut follows three generations of beekeepers from the past, present, and future, weaving a spellbinding story of their relationship to the bees—and to their children and one another—against the backdrop of an urgent, global crisis.

England, 1852. William is a biologist and seed merchant, who sets out to build a new type of beehive—one that will give both him and his children honor and fame.

United States, 2007. George is a beekeeper fighting an uphill battle against modern farming, but hopes that his son can be their salvation.

China, 2098. Tao hand paints pollen onto the fruit trees now that the bees have long since disappeared. When Tao’s young son is taken away by the authorities after a tragic accident, she sets out on a grueling journey to find out what happened to him.

Haunting, illuminating, and deftly written, The History of Bees joins these three very different narratives into one gripping and thought-provoking story that is just as much about the powerful bond between children and parents as it is about our very relationship to nature and humanity.




Sarah Schmidt

See What I Have Done
Atlantic Monthly Press, August 1, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 324 pages
     Literary Fiction

2017 Debut Author Challenge - August Debuts

Lizzie Borden took an ax
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.
 Or did she?

In this riveting debut novel, See What I Have Done—which is already gaining outstanding acclaim—Sarah Schmidt recasts one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time into an intimate story of a volatile household and a family devoid of love.

On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell—of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; and two spinster sisters, with a bond even stronger than blood, desperate for their independence.

As the police search for clues, Emma comforts an increasingly distraught Lizzie whose memories of that morning flash in scattered fragments. Had she been in the barn or the pear arbor to escape the stifling heat of the house? When did she last speak to her stepmother? Were they really gone and would everything be better now? Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, the events of that fateful day are slowly revealed through a high-wire feat of storytelling.




Jonathan Skariton

Séance Infernale
Knopf, August 29, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages
     Private Investigators, Thrillers, Historical Thrillers

2017 Debut Author Challenge - August Debuts
An extraordinary debut novel—dark, fast-paced, thrilling—set in contemporary and nineteenth-century Europe, the United States, and Scotland, involving the true inventor of moving pictures; his lost film made in Edinburgh in 1888; and a shocking series of crimes terrorizing the city in present time.

The time: 2002. The city: Los Angeles.

Alex Whitman, movie memorabilia dealer who can find anything, is hired by an eccentric film collector to locate what could be the first film ever made, Séance Infernale. Its creator, Augustin Sekuler, is considered by those who know about movies to be the true inventor of motion pictures—not the Lumiére brothers; nor Thomas Edison.

Sekuler was to present to the world in 1890 his greatest new invention, the first of its kind—a moving picture machine. He had boarded a train headed from Dijon to Paris, but never arrived at Gare de Lyons station. He and his moving picture machine vanished, never to be heard from again, his claim in history as the inventor of the moving image vanishing with him.

When Whitman tracks down what could be fragments of Sekuler’s famously lost film, questions are raised—about Sekuler, about what happened to him and to his invention, and about the film itself.

In this riveting story of suspense, the search for the answers lead to curious riddles that may (or may not) shed light on Sekuler’s darkest secret locked away for more than a century, riddles that set in motion a frantic hunt taking Whitman from Los Angeles and Paris, to Geneva, and finally to Sekuler’s ancient labyrinthine city of Edinburgh, where the stakes become ratcheted up as the film’s riddles lead to a darker, far more dangerous mystery.




Anna Smith Spark

The Court of Broken Knives
Empires of Dust 1
Orbit, August 15, 2017
Trade Paperback, 512 pages
eBook, June 27, 2017
     Epic Fantasy

2017 Debut Author Challenge - August Debuts
In this dark and gripping debut fantasy that Miles Cameron called "gritty and glorious!" the exiled son of the king must fight to reclaim his throne no matter the cost.

It is the richest empire the world has ever known, and it is also doomed. Governed by an imposturous Emperor, decadence has blinded its inhabitants to their vulnerability. The Yellow Empire is on the verge of invasion--and only one man can see it.

Haunted by prophetic dreams, Orhan has hired a company of soldiers to cross the desert to reach the capital city. Once they enter the Palace, they have one mission: kill the Emperor, then all those who remain. Only from the ashes can a new empire be built.

The company is a group of good, ordinary soldiers, for whom this is a mission like any other. But the strange boy Marith who walks among them is no ordinary soldier. Young, ambitious, and impossibly charming, something dark hides in Marith's past--and in his blood.

Dark and brilliant, dive into this new fantasy series for readers looking for epic battle scenes, gritty heroes, and blood-soaked revenge.

2017 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - August DebutsInterview with Sophie Chen Keller, author of The Luster of Lost ThingsThe View From Monday - August 7, 20172017 Debut Author Challenge - August Debuts

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