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2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts


2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April 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 2016 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 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 April 24, 2016.


Vote for your favorite April 2016 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts





2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts





2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts
Cover design by Danielle Christopher





2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts
Cover by Jakob Vala




2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts





2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts





2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts





2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts
Artist Kelly Martin





2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts





2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts





2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts
Cover painting by Cynthia Reeser.
Cover design by Matthew Revert.





2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts





2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April Debuts


Review: Secrets of Men in a Lifeboat by Todd R. Baker


Secrets of Men...in a Lifeboat
Author:  Todd R. Baker
Publisher:  Aqueous Books, April 1, 2016
Format:  Hardcover, Trade Paperback and eBook, 460 pages
List Price:  $24.99 (Hardcover); $16.99 (Trade Paperback); $9.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9780692554852 (Hardcover); 9780692554845 (Trade Paperback)

Review: Secrets of Men in a Lifeboat by Todd R. Baker
Luke Morrow, a financially struggling young single parent to an 8-year-old boy, comes to believe that he has nothing, until by a magical twist of fate, his improbable internet technology start-up turns him into a Silicon Valley billionaire star. Secrets of Men in a Lifeboat begins with Luke’s harrowing romantic sojourn on the moneyed Westside of Los Angeles. Just when Luke can’t bear life’s pain anymore, he is remade—into a rich but brutal man. As Luke catapults through realms of fame and fortune, he is granted one last chance to seek redemption in a final showdown between honor and his own devastating power.



Trinitytwo's Point of View

Luke Morrow's downward spiral began years ago when his startup business failed and his wife left him, taking with her their young son, Trevor. Things go from bad to worse and Luke is reduced to working at a minimum wage job and forced to downsize from a modest one bedroom apartment in a good neighborhood to something much smaller and not so nice. The light of Luke's life is his son. During Trevor's visits, the two share adventures and happiness that money can't buy. Then Luke discovers his ex-wife and her husband plan to relocate to the east coast which would make it impossible for him to see his son. Luke is filled with self-loathing and becomes obsessed with the idea that if only he were rich and powerful, his life would be perfect. Or would it?

Secrets of Men in a Lifeboat is hard to break down into neat categories. It has an It's a Wonderful Life aspect that delivers some very powerful messages about consequences. Todd R. Baker expertly paints a portrait of an unfulfilled man who has reached rock bottom. Luke is mildly unlikeable but his tenderness towards his son makes him sympathetic. So much so that in Part 1, Luke's lonely journey into the depths of desperation and fear as he struggles in a cruel, uncaring world actually made me uncomfortable. But Secrets of Men tells two very different stories through its alternate timeline. Part 2 depicts a very different Luke Morrow. In his pursuit of wealth and power he brutally tramples everyone in his path, including his son. His heartless behavior towards his son and his degrading treatment of the women who love him is despicable.

I was intrigued by the author's observations of the psyches of married/divorced men and their expected role in society. The novel explores the stress men put themselves under to attain financial success and offers a rare perspective of their struggle to find their place in a competitive world.

Todd R. Baker's writing style is aggressive and direct and might have seemed somewhat disjointed if the approach didn't serve the story so well. Its third person narrative softens the impact of some of the hard-to-take events making them feel less personal and more objective.

Secrets of Men in a Lifeboat is thought provoking and unusual. It touches on difficult topics such as anxiety, autism, infidelity, divorce, depression and suicide in a realistic manner and without stigmas, which I found refreshing. I believe it will become a favorite of Book Clubs because it's packed with symbolism and issues ripe for discussion.

Secrets of Men in a Lifeboat has only a small speculative fiction portion, so it's not my usual fare and parts of the book were difficult for me to read due to the ugliness of the situations. However, its message of redemption won me over. Ultimately, I enjoyed the love story between father and son. The touching moments between Luke and Trevor stand out as memorable highlights. Todd R. Baker has written a strong debut novel. Secrets of Men in a Lifeboat is haunting and unforgettable.

Interview with Todd R. Baker, author of Secrets of Men...in a Lifeboat


Please welcome Todd R. Baker to The Qwillery. Secrets of Men...in a Lifeboat is published on April 1st by Aqueous Books. Please join The Qwillery in wishing Todd a very happy Publication Day!



Interview with Todd R. Baker, author of Secrets of Men...in a Lifeboat




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

Todd:  Thank you for having me! I started writing screenplays right out of college on the side; I had a day job as a young television and film executive. Over the years, I sold a comedy film script to 20th Century Fox and an action film script to Columbia Pictures, but neither one got made. I didn’t start writing Secrets of Men…in a lifeboat until I had left the film business behind for good (after nearly 15 years as a studio executive and movie producer).

I think I started writing my novel seven years ago; it took five years to finish, and I simply wrote it because I had a story to tell and I couldn’t stop myself.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Todd:  Ha, I wasn’t sure what this meant until I looked it up! At the root, I’m a plotter. I knew the story’s crucible and the words of my final page before I began. I see stories in scenes and arcs, and I outlined the novel chunk by chunk—using headers on my notes like “Part 1, Section 1, Building Blocks.” I would finish a “section,” then outline the building block scenes of the next section, adding in important lines of dialogue, character, and theme to my notes as I went.

However, when I’m actually writing the novel, I never know how the dialogue, the descriptive language, or the characters will actually turn out on the page—I guess that would be unforeseen pantser, which makes writing for me a journey of discovery and a joy.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Todd:  Just finding the time, with all of life’s real life challenges, including my responsibilities and commitments to my family, which come first.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Todd:  Most of all, trying to figure out why people want what they want and how they decide to behave the way they do. Writing is a way for me to explore folks who startle, confuse, and inspire me.



TQYou've worked in the film industry producing and developing movies. Had this affected (or not) your writing?

Todd:  100%. I visualized my story in a filmic way, from years of working with film writers, directors and editors. I think Secrets of Men is filmic, but not because I set out to write a story that would become a film. It’s filmic because that’s how I understand an unfolding story.



TQDescribe Secrets of Men...in a Lifeboat in 140 characters or less.

Todd:  By a magical twist of fate an empathetic man who thinks he has nothing gets everything but loses his soul—with a last chance at redemption. 140 characters exactly with spaces!



TQTell us something about Secrets of Men...in a Lifeboat that is not found in the book description.

ToddThe Meditation on No. The Chestnut Rhetoricals. The Reverie on Luck.



TQWhat inspired you to write Secrets of Men...in a Lifeboat?

Todd:  The thorn in my side to understand fate and destiny.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for Secrets of Men...in a Lifeboat?

Todd:  I spent years in the movie business observing a tableau of sociopaths, narcissists, and the occasional humane dreamer—all the research I needed.



TQWho was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Todd:  The easiest: Lisa, the discarded wife but fierce, deeply-loving, devoted mother to her son Trevor in Part Two of the novel. Because she is eminently decent and lives by the golden rule; it’s easy to write an honorable character worthy of her strength.

The hardest: Luke in Part Two. How can someone be so heartless? How does an author explore and realize an unfortunately common, cruel archetype, when the writer can’t begin to understand the character’s despicable, selfish mind.



TQWhich question about Secrets of Men...in a Lifeboat do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Todd:  Why has the novel appealed to so many women readers? Because Luke in Part One is an honorable, single father committed to being an extraordinary man, and once women readers embrace and respect him for his decency, emotional IQ and unplanned struggles, they read on, hoping for his ultimate redemption, despite Luke’s descent in Part Two into cavalier brutality.



TQPlease give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Secrets of Men...in a Lifeboat.

Todd:

1. “Take a man like me and give me some strength, because I will not tempt a woman’s heart unless I can shelter her from want. I’m here to admit that I’ve dated my share these last lost years and I’ve had my way with good, kind souls. But I was insincere and unfair to all of them and I will never go there again.”

2. “And how this could be on that spindly tree is but the first of the infinite components of a miracle.”



TQWhat's next?

Todd:  I wrote the book with an open heart, and I hope the story is a ray of light for our better qualities: fairness, empathy, and love.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.





Secrets of Men...in a Lifeboat
Aqueous Books, April 1, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 460 pages

Interview with Todd R. Baker, author of Secrets of Men...in a Lifeboat
Luke Morrow, a financially struggling young single parent to an 8-year-old boy, comes to believe that he has nothing, until by a magical twist of fate, his improbable internet technology start-up turns him into a Silicon Valley billionaire star. Secrets of Men in a Lifeboat begins with Luke’s harrowing romantic sojourn on the moneyed Westside of Los Angeles. Just when Luke can’t bear life’s pain anymore, he is remade—into a rich but brutal man. As Luke catapults through realms of fame and fortune, he is granted one last chance to seek redemption in a final showdown between honor and his own devastating power.





About Todd

Interview with Todd R. Baker, author of Secrets of Men...in a Lifeboat
Todd R. Baker grew up on the North Shore of Chicago and somehow ended up on the shoal of Los Angeles. During Todd’s film industry career, he produced and developed movies for 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Disney, Miramax, and Universal Pictures, starring Kevin Costner, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Robert Downey, Jr., Adam Sandler, Elijah Wood, Robert Duvall, Anjelica Huston, Whoopi Goldberg, Raul Julia, Daryl Hannah, Chris Farley, Steve Buscemi, Brendan Fraser, Christopher Lloyd, and Kenneth Branagh. He licenses two of his U.S. patents for one of his inventions and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stanford University. Todd lives in Playa Vista/Silicon Beach, California. Visit Todd online at toddrbaker.com.




2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts


2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts


There are 13 debut novels for April. Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The April 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 April cover for the 2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on April 15, 2016.

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 2016 Debut Author Challenge featured authors. However, any of these novels may be read by Challenge readers to meet the goal for April 2016 The list is correct as of the day posted.



Todd R. Baker

Secrets of Men in a Lifeboat
Aqueous Books, April 1, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 460 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
Luke Morrow, a financially struggling young single parent to an 8-year-old boy, comes to believe that he has nothing, until by a magical twist of fate, his improbable internet technology start-up turns him into a Silicon Valley billionaire star. Secrets of Men in a Lifeboat begins with Luke’s harrowing romantic sojourn on the moneyed Westside of Los Angeles. Just when Luke can’t bear life’s pain anymore, he is remade—into a rich but brutal man. As Luke catapults through realms of fame and fortune, he is granted one last chance to seek redemption in a final showdown between honor and his own devastating power.




Dana Cann

Ghosts of Bergen County
Tin House Books, April 25, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 288 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
Set in New York City and New Jersey on the cusp of the financial crisis, Ghosts of Bergen County is a literary mystery with supernatural elements.

Gil Ferko is a private-equity lieutenant who commutes to Manhattan from the New Jersey suburbs. His wife, Mary Beth, has become a shut-in since a hit-and-run accident killed their infant daughter. When Ferko reconnects with Jen Yoder, a former high school classmate, Jen introduces him to heroin. As his dependency on the drug grows, his downward spiral puts his life in danger and his career in jeopardy. Mary Beth has also found an escape―first in prescription drugs that numb her senses, then in the companionship of a mysterious girl who heightens them. A ghost? Mary Beth believes so. And Jen is also haunted. Years ago she witnessed a man she had just met fall from a rooftop. She walked away from the accident and has been haunted since by the question of why she did so. As her quest to rectify that mistake starts to collide with the mystery of the hit-and-run driver who killed Ferko and Mary Beth’s daughter, all of the characters are forced to face the fine line between fate and happenstance. Dana Cann’s debut novel is a tautly paced and intricately plotted story in which collective burdens manifest into hauntings.




Emily Carpenter

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls
Lake Union Publishing, April 26, 2016
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 310 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
Althea Bell is still heartbroken by her mother’s tragic, premature death—and tormented by the last, frantic words she whispered into young Althea’s ear: Wait for her. For the honeysuckle girl. She’ll find you, I think, but if she doesn’t, you find her.

Adrift ever since, Althea is now fresh out of rehab and returning to her family home in Mobile, Alabama, determined to reconnect with her estranged, ailing father. While Althea doesn’t expect him, or her politically ambitious brother, to welcome her with open arms, she’s not prepared for the chilling revelation of a grim, long-buried family secret. Fragile and desperate, Althea escapes with an old flame to uncover the truth about her lineage. Drawn deeper into her ancestors’ lives, Althea begins to unearth their disturbing history…and the part she’s meant to play in it.

Gripping and visceral, this unforgettable debut delves straight into the heart of dark family secrets and into one woman’s emotional journey to save herself from a sinister inheritance.




Matthew Franks

The Monster Underneath
Samhain Publishing, April 5, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 208 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
Reality can be the difference between a dream and a nightmare…

Max Crawford isn’t a typical prison therapist. He uses his unusual psychic ability to walk with convicts through their dreams, reliving their unspeakable crimes alongside them to show them the error of their ways.

Max always has to be on his toes to keep himself grounded, but the FBI agent waiting for him in his private office immediately puts him on edge. The bureau wants Max to go way outside his comfort zone to enter the dreams of suspected serial killer William Knox.

To get a confession and secure the future of his prison program, Max must gain Knox’s trust by any means necessary—and survive the minefield of secrets waiting inside a murderer’s mind. Secrets that could turn Max’s reality into a living nightmare.




Manuel Gonzales

The Regional Office is Under Attack!
Riverhead Books, April 12, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
In a world beset by amassing forces of darkness, one organization—the Regional Office—and its coterie of super-powered female assassins protects the globe from annihilation. At its helm, the mysterious Oyemi and her oracles seek out new recruits and root out evil plots. Then a prophecy suggests that someone from inside might bring about its downfall. And now, the Regional Office is under attack.

Recruited by a defector from within, Rose is a young assassin leading the attack, eager to stretch into her powers and prove herself on her first mission. Defending the Regional Office is Sarah—who may or may not have a mechanical arm—fiercely devoted to the organization that took her in as a young woman in the wake of her mother’s sudden disappearance. On the day that the Regional Office is attacked, Rose’s and Sarah’s stories will overlap, their lives will collide, and the world as they know it just might end.

Weaving in a brilliantly conceived mythology, fantastical magical powers, teenage crushes, and kinetic fight scenes, The Regional Office Is Under Attack! is a seismically entertaining debut novel about revenge and allegiance and love.




Thomas Olde Heuvelt

HEX
Tor Books, April 26, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
The English language debut of the bestselling Dutch novel, Hex, from Thomas Olde Heuvelt--a Hugo and World Fantasy award nominated talent to watch

Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay 'til death. Whoever settles, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children's bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened or the consequences will be too terrible to bear.

The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town's teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into dark, medieval practices of the distant past.

This chilling novel heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice in mainstream horror and dark fantasy.




Holly Jennings

Arena
An Arena Novel 1
Ace, April 5, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
A fast-paced and gripping near-future science fiction debut about the gritty world of competitive gaming…

Every week, Kali Ling fights to the death on national TV.
She’s died hundreds of times. And it never gets easier…

The RAGE tournaments—the Virtual Gaming League’s elite competition where the best gamers in the world compete in a no-holds-barred fight to the digital death. Every bloody kill is broadcast to millions. Every player is a modern gladiator—leading a life of ultimate fame, responsible only for entertaining the masses.

And though their weapons and armor are digital, the pain is real.

Chosen to be the first female captain in RAGE tournament history, Kali Ling is at the top of the world—until one of her teammates overdoses. Now, she must confront the truth about the tournament. Because it is much more than a game—and even in the real world, not everything is as it seems.

The VGL hides dark secrets. And the only way to change the rules is to fight from the inside…




Jadah McCoy

Artificial
The Kepler Chronicles 1
Curiosity Quills Press, April 4, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 226 pages


2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
She struggles to feel human.

In 2256, the only remnants of civilization on Earth’s first colonized planet, Kepler, are the plant-covered buildings and the nocturnal, genetically spliced bug-people nesting within them: the Cull. During the day, Syl leaves her home in the sewers beneath Elite City to scavenge for food, but at night the Cull come looking for a meal of their own. Syl thought gene splicing died with the Android War a century ago. She thought the bugs could be exterminated, Elite city rebuilt, and the population replenished. She’s wrong.

Whoever engineered the Cull isn’t done playing God. Syl is abducted and tortured in horrific experiments which result in her own DNA being spliced, slowly turning her into one of the bugs. Now she must find a cure and stop the person responsible before every remaining man, woman, and child on Kepler is transformed into the abomination they fear.

He struggles not to.

For Bastion, being an android in the sex industry isn’t so bad. Clubbing beneath the streets of New Elite by day and seducing the rich by night isn’t an altogether undesirable occupation. But every day a new android cadaver appears in the slum gutters, and each caved in metal skull and heap of mangled wires whittles away at him.

Glitches—androids with empathy—are being murdered, their models discontinued and strung up as a warning. Show emotion, you die. Good thing Bastion can keep a secret, or he would be the next body lining the street.

He can almost live with hiding his emotions. That is, until a girl shows up in the slums—a human girl, who claims she was an experiment. And in New Elite, being a human is even worse than being a Glitch. Now Bastion must help the girl escape before he becomes victim to his too-human emotions, one way or another.




Julie McElwain

A Murder in Time
Pegasus, April 11, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
When brilliant FBI agent Kendra Donovan stumbles back in time and finds herself in a 19th century English castle under threat from a vicious serial killer, she scrambles to solve the case before it takes her life—200 years before she was even born.

Beautiful and brilliant, Kendra Donovan is a rising star at the FBI. Yet her path to professional success hits a speed bump during a disastrous raid where half her team is murdered, a mole in the FBI is uncovered and she herself is severely wounded. As soon as she recovers, she goes rogue and travels to England to assassinate the man responsible for the deaths of her teammates.

While fleeing from an unexpected assassin herself, Kendra escapes into a stairwell that promises sanctuary but when she stumbles out again, she is in the same place - Aldrich Castle - but in a different time: 1815, to be exact.

Mistaken for a lady's maid hired to help with weekend guests, Kendra is forced to quickly adapt to the time period until she can figure out how she got there; and, more importantly, how to get back home. However, after the body of a young girl is found on the extensive grounds of the county estate, she starts to feel there's some purpose to her bizarre circumstances. Stripped of her twenty-first century tools, Kendra must use her wits alone in order to unmask a cunning madman.




David Means

Hystopia
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, April 19, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
At the bitter end of the 1960s, after surviving multiple assassination attempts, President John F. Kennedy has created a vast federal agency, the Psych Corps, dedicated to maintaining the nation’s mental hygiene by any means necessary. Soldiers returning from Vietnam have their battlefield traumas “enfolded”--wiped from their memories through drugs and therapy--while veterans too damaged to be enfolded roam at will in Michigan, evading the Psych Corps and reenacting atrocities on civilians.

This destabilized, alternate version of American history is the vision of the twenty-two-year-old veteran Eugene Allen, who has returned from Vietnam to write the book at the center of Hystopia, the long-awaited first novel by David Means. The critic James Wood has written that Means's language "offers an exquisitely precise and sensuous register of an often crazy American reality." In Hystopia, Means brings his full talent to bear on the crazy reality of trauma, both national and personal. Outlandish and tender, funny and violent, timely and historical, Hystopia invites us to consider whether our traumas can ever be truly overcome. The answers it offers are wildly inventive, deeply rooted in its characters, and wrung from the author’s own heart.




Sylvain Neuvel

Sleeping Giants
Del Rey, April 26, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
A page-turning debut in the tradition of Michael Crichton, World War Z, and The Martian, Sleeping Giants is a thriller fueled by an earthshaking mystery—and a fight to control a gargantuan power.

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?




Steve Toutonghi

Join
Soho Press, April 19, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
What if you could live multiple lives simultaneously, have constant, perfect companionship, and never die? That’s the promise of Join, a revolutionary technology that allows small groups of minds to unite, forming a single consciousness that experiences the world through multiple bodies. But as two best friends discover, the light of that miracle may be blinding the world to its horrors.

Chance and Leap are jolted out of their professional routines by a terrifying stranger—a remorseless killer who freely manipulates the networks that regulate life in the post-Join world. Their quest for answers—and survival—brings them from the networks and spire communities they’ve known to the scarred heart of an environmentally ravaged North American continent and an underground community of the “ferals” left behind by the rush of technology.

In the storytelling tradition of classic speculative fiction from writers like David Mitchell and Michael Chabon, Join offers a pulse-pounding story that poses the largest possible questions: How long can human life be sustained on our planet in the face of environmental catastrophe? What does it mean to be human, and what happens when humanity takes the next step in its evolution? If the individual mind becomes obsolete, what have we lost and gained, and what is still worth fighting for?




Benjamin Warner

Thirst
Bloomsbury USA, April 12, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts
On a searing summer Friday, Eddie Chapman has been stuck for hours in a traffic jam. There are accidents along the highway, but ambulances and police are conspicuously absent. When he decides to abandon his car and run home, he sees that the trees along the edge of a stream have been burnt, and the water in the streambed is gone. Something is very wrong.

When he arrives home, the power is out and there is no running water. The pipes everywhere, it seems, have gone dry. Eddie and his wife, Laura, find themselves thrust together with their neighbors while a sense of unease thickens in the stifling night air.

Thirst
takes place in the immediate aftermath of a mysterious disaster--the Chapmans and their neighbors suffer the effects of the heat, their thirst, and the terrifying realization that no one is coming to help. As violence rips through the community, Eddie and Laura are forced to recall secrets from their past and question their present humanity. In crisp and convincing prose, Ben Warner compels readers to do the same. What might you do to survive?


2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Secrets of Men in a Lifeboat by Todd R. Baker


2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Secrets of Men in a Lifeboat by Todd R. Baker


The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2016 Debut Author Challenge.


Todd R. Baker

Secrets of Men in a Lifeboat
Aqueous Books, April 1, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 460 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Secrets of Men in a Lifeboat by Todd R. Baker
Luke Morrow, a financially struggling young single parent to an 8-year-old boy, comes to believe that he has nothing, until by a magical twist of fate, his improbable internet technology start-up turns him into a Silicon Valley billionaire star. Secrets of Men in a Lifeboat begins with Luke’s harrowing romantic sojourn on the moneyed Westside of Los Angeles. Just when Luke can’t bear life’s pain anymore, he is remade—into a rich but brutal man. As Luke catapults through realms of fame and fortune, he is granted one last chance to seek redemption in a final showdown between honor and his own devastating power.

2016 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April DebutsReview: Secrets of Men in a Lifeboat by Todd R. BakerInterview with Todd R. Baker, author of Secrets of Men...in a Lifeboat2016 Debut Author Challenge - April 2016 Debuts2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Secrets of Men in a Lifeboat by Todd R. Baker

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