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2021 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April 2021 Debuts



Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from that month's debut novels. At the beginning of 2022 the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2021 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 3, 2021, unless the vote is extended. If the vote is extended the ending date will be updated.

Vote for your favorite April 2021 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls















Cover by Rohan Eason










Cover design: Stephanie Ross
Cover illustration: Misha Gurnanee Gudibanda

























Interior and cover design by Elizabeth Story

The View From Monday - April 12, 2021

Happy Monday!

There are 4 debuts this week:

Becoming Leidah by Michelle Grierson;

Composite Creatures by Caroline Hardaker;

The Cleveland Heights LGBTQ Sci-Fi and Fantasy Role Playing Club by Doug Henderson;

and

Malice by Heather Walter.

Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Gifting Fire (Stealing Thunder 2) by Alina Boyden;

The Worldbreaker Saga Omnibus by Kameron Hurley;

The Girl and the Mountain (The Book of the Ice 2) by Mark Lawrence;

and

The Helm of Midnight (The Five Penalties 1) by Marina Lostetter.

Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - April 12, 2021
 
 
 
Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.

April 13, 2021
TITLEAUTHORGENRE - SERIES
Westside Saints (h2tp)
W.M. Akers HistM/GH - A Gilda Carr Tiny Mystery 2
The Immortals of Tehran (h2tp)Ali Araghi LF
Love in ColorBolu Babalola FairyT/FolkT/LM/SS
Gifting FireAlina Boyden F - Stealing Thunder 2
VicariousRhett C. Bruno SF
Multispecies Cities: Solarpunk Urban FuturesPriya Sarukkai
Chabria Taiyo Fujii
hweta Taneja
SF/GenEng/PA - Anthology
Trial of the Wizard KingChad Corrie F - The Wizard King Trilogy 2
TrafikRikki Ducornet SF
MortisJohn French SF - Horus Heresy: Siege of Terra
Becoming Leidah (D)Michelle Grierson F
Composite Creatures (D)Caroline Hardaker SF
Near the BoneChristina Henry H
The Worldbreaker Saga Omnibus (e)Kameron Hurley F - The Worldbreaker Saga
Savage GerryJohn Jantunen SF
Voices in the DarknessDavid Niall Wilson (Ed)
DF - Anthology
The Girl and the MountainMark Lawrence F - The Book of the Ice 2
The Night Library of Sternendach: A Vampire Opera in VerseJessica Lévai HistF
Breath by BreathMorgan Llywelyn SF - Step by Step 3
The Helm of MidnightMarina Lostetter F - The Five Penalties 1
Litany of DreamsAri Marmell F - Arkham Horror
NightbringerGraham McNeill SF - Black Library Masterworks
My Mother's House (h2tp)Francesca Momplaisir MR/CulH/LF
Vampire GenevieveKim Newman H - Warhammer Horror
Monstrous Affections: Stories (ri)
David Nickle H
Before the Devil Fell (h2tp)
Neil Olson LF/M/Occ/Sup/Th
The Anthill (h2tp)
Julianne Pachico LF/H
Space Marine Conquests: Masters of ShadowThomas Parrott
The Devil's PawnOliver Pötzsch
Lisa Reinhardt (Tr)
Medieval/HistF - Faust 2
Crooked River (h2mm)
Douglas Preston
Lincoln Child
PP/Occ/Sup/Sus
The Light of the Midnight StarsRena Rossner FairyT/FolkT/LM/Jewish/HistF
StormlandJohn Shirley SF/CyP
The Book of Speculation (h2tp)Erika Swyler LF/F
Luther: First of the FallenGav Thorpe SF/SO - Horus Heresy
The Ancestor (h2tp)
Danielle Trussoni Gothic
Savage Legion (h2tp)
Matt Wallace F - Savage Rebellion 1
Malice (D)Heather Walter F/FairyT/FolkT/LM
Lady of SorrowsC L Werner F - Warhammer: Age of Sigmar
Otherland: Mountain of Black GlassTad Williams SF/CyP/HSF - Otherland 3



April 15, 2021
TITLEAUTHORGENRE - SERIES
The Cleveland Heights LGBTQ Sci-Fi and Fantasy Role Playing Club (D)
Doug Henderson LBBTQ+/Fantasy/HU



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



AB - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternative History
AP - Apocalyptic
BHU - Black Humor
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CM - Crime & Mystery
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
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)
GothicR - Gothic Romance
GW&CC - Global Warming and Climate Change
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HistR - Historical Romance
HistTh - Historical Thriller
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
Med - Medical
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
MU - Mash-Up
NF - Near Future
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PF - Paranormal Fantasy
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
PolTh - Political Thriller
PopCul - Popular Culture
PP - Police Porcedural
Psy - Psychological
R - Romance
RF - Romantic Fantasy
ScF - Science Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SFTh - Science Fiction Thriller
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
SpecFic - Speculative Fiction
SS - Short Stories
STR - Small Town and Rural
Sup - Supernatural
SupM - Supernatural Mystery
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
TTR - Time Travel Romance
UF - Urban Fantasy
VM - Visionary and Metaphysical
WS - Women Sleuths

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

2021 Debut Author Challenge - April 2021 Debuts



There are 10 debuts for April 2021.

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 2021 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on or about April 15, 2021.




Elly Bangs

Unity
Tachyon Publications, April 13, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 304 pages
“Imagine Neuromancer and Lilith’s Brood conceived a baby while listening to My Chemical Romance and then that baby was adopted by Ghost in the Shell and Blue Submarine no. 6. The baby’s name is Unity.” —Meredith Russo, author of If I Were Your Girl

Evoking the gritty cyberpunk of Mad Max and the fluid idealism of Sense8, Unity is a spectacular new re-envisioning of humanity. Breakout author Elly Bangs has created an expressive, philosophical, science-fiction thriller that expands upon consciousness itself.

Danae is not only herself. She is concealing a connection to a grieving collective inside of her body. But while she labors as a tech servant in the dangerous underwater enclave of Bloom City, her fractured self cannot mend.

In a desperate escape, Danae and her lover Naoto hire the enigmatic ex-mercenary Alexei to guide them out of the imploding city.

But for Danae to reunify, the three new fugitives will have to flee across the otherworldly beauty of the postapocalyptic Southwest. Meanwhile, Danae’s warlord enemy, the Duke, and a strange new foe, the Borrower, already seek them at any price.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
iBooks : Kobo





J. S. Dewes

The Last Watch
The Divide 1
Tor, April 20, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 480 pages
The Expanse meets Game of Thrones in J. S. Dewes's fast-paced, sci-fi adventure The Last Watch, where a handful of soldiers stand between humanity and annihilation.

The Divide.

It’s the edge of the universe.

Now it’s collapsing—and taking everyone and everything with it.

The only ones who can stop it are the Sentinels—the recruits, exiles, and court-martialed dregs of the military.

At the Divide, Adequin Rake commands the Argus. She has no resources, no comms—nothing, except for the soldiers that no one wanted. Her ace in the hole could be Cavalon Mercer--genius, asshole, and exiled prince who nuked his grandfather's genetic facility for “reasons.”

She knows they’re humanity's last chance.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Michelle Grierson

Becoming Leidah
Simon & Schuster, April 13, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages
An utterly gripping love story set in nineteenth-century Norway, about a woman rescued from the sea, the fisherman who marries her, their tiny and unusually gifted daughter, and the shapeshifter who follows their every move, perfect for fans of Alice Hoffman, Yangsze Choo, Eowyn Ivey, and Neil Gaiman.

The sky opens up... I hear them laugh.
They don’t feel the sadness in the air.
They don’t feel the danger coming, riding in on the wind.

In the hinterlands of old Norway, Leidah Pietersdatter is born blue-skinned, with webbed hands and feet. Upon every turn of season, her mother, Maeva, worries as her daughter’s peculiarities blossom—inside the root of the tiny child, a strange power is taking hold.

Maeva tries to hide the girl from the suspicious townsfolk of the austere village of Ørken, just as she conceals her own magical ancestry from her daughter. And Maeva’s adoring husband, Pieter, wants nothing more than for his new family to be accepted by all. But unlike Pieter, who is blinded by love, Maeva is aware that the villagers, who profess a rigid faith to the new God and claim to have abandoned the old ways, are watching for any sign of transgression—and are eager to pounce and punish.

Following both mother and daughter from the shadows and through time, an inquisitive shapeshifter waits for the Fates to spin their web, and for Maeva to finally reclaim who she once was. And as Maeva’s elusive past begins to beckon, she realizes that she must help her daughter navigate and control her own singular birthright if the child is to survive the human world.

But the protective love Pieter has for his family is threatening the secure life they have slowly built and increasingly becoming a tragic obstacle. Witnessing this, Maeva comes to a drastic conclusion: she must make Leidah promise to keep a secret from Pieter—a perilous one that may eventually free them all.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Caroline Hardaker

Composite Creatures
Angry Robot, April 13, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook 400 pages
How close would you hold those you love, when the end comes? And what would you do for your own survival?

In a society where self-preservation is as much an art as a science, Norah and Arthur are learning how to co-exist in domestic bliss. Though they hardly know each other, everything seems to be going perfectly – from the home they’re building together to the ring on Norah’s finger.

But survival in this world is a tricky thing, the air is thicker every day and illness creeps fast through the body. The earth is becoming increasingly hostile to live in.Fortunately, Easton Grove have the answer, a perfect little bundle of fur that Norah and Arthur can take home. All they have to do to live long, happy lives is keep it, or her, safe and close.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Teratoma for One | Nine Lives | Cell Patchwork | Till Death ]
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Doug Henderson

The Cleveland Heights LGBTQ Sci-Fi and Fantasy Role Playing Club
University of Iowa Press, April 15,2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 252 pages
On Thursday nights, the players assemble in the back of Readmore Comix and Games. Celeste is the dungeon master; Valerie, who works at the store, was roped in by default; Mooneyham, the banker, likes to argue; and Ben, sensitive, unemployed, and living at home, is still recovering from an unrequited love. In the real world they go about their days falling in love, coming out at work, and dealing with their family lives all with varying degrees of success. But in the world of their fantasy game, they are heroes and wizards fighting to stop an evil cult from waking a sleeping god. The Cleveland Heights LGBTQ Sci-Fi and Fantasy Role Playing Club

But then a sexy new guy, Albert, joins the club, Ben’s character is killed, and Mooneyham’s boyfriend is accosted on the street. The connections and parallels between the real world and the fantasy one become stronger and more important than ever as Ben struggles to bring his character back to life and win Albert’s affection, and the group unites to organize a protest at a neighborhood bar. All the while the slighted and competing vampire role playing club, working secretly in the shadows, begins to make its move.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
University of Iowa Press





Erik Hoel

The Revelations
The Overlook Press, April 6, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages
An edgy and ambitious debut about neuroscience, death, and the search for the theory of human consciousness, by a powerful new voice in contemporary literary fiction

Monday, Kierk wakes up. Once a rising star in neuroscience, Kierk Suren is now homeless, broken by his all-consuming quest to find a scientific theory of consciousness. But when he’s offered a spot in a prestigious postdoctoral program, he decides to rejoin society and vows not to self-destruct again. Instead of focusing on his work, however, Kierk becomes obsessed with another project—investigating the sudden and suspicious death of a colleague. As his search for truth brings him closer to Carmen Green, another postdoc, their list of suspects grows, along with the sense that something sinister may be happening all around them.

The Revelations, not unlike its main character, is ambitious and abrasive, challenging and disarming. Bursting with ideas, ranging from Greek mythology to the dark realities of animal testing, to some of the biggest unanswered questions facing scientists today, The Revelations is written in muscular, hypnotic prose, and its cyclically dreamlike structure pushes the boundaries of literary fiction. Erik Hoel has crafted a stunning debut of rare power—an intense look at cutting-edge science, consciousness, and human connection.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Sanjena Sathian

Gold Diggers
Penguin Press, April 6, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages
“A dizzyingly original, fiercely funny, deeply wise novel about the seductive powers—and dangers—of borrowed ambition.” —Celeste Ng, #1 bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere

Gold Diggers is so many things—truly funny, insightful, smart, and filled with wonderful characters. I loved reading this novel.” —Ann Napolitano, bestselling author of Dear Edward

How far would you go for a piece of the American dream?

A magical realist coming-of-age story, Gold Diggers skewers the model minority myth to tell a hilarious and moving story about immigrant identity, community, and the underside of ambition.

A floundering second-generation teenager growing up in the Bush-era Atlanta suburbs, Neil Narayan is funny and smart but struggles to bear the weight of expectations of his family and their Asian American enclave. He tries to want their version of success, but mostly, Neil just wants his neighbor across the cul-de-sac, Anita Dayal.

When he discovers that Anita is the beneficiary of an ancient, alchemical potion made from stolen gold—a “lemonade” that harnesses the ambition of the gold’s original owner—Neil sees his chance to get ahead. But events spiral into a tragedy that rips their community apart. Years later in the Bay Area, Neil still bristles against his community’s expectations—and finds he might need one more hit of that lemonade, no matter the cost.

Sanjena Sathian’s astonishing debut offers a fine-grained, profoundly intelligent, and bitingly funny investigation into what’s required to make it in America.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Catriona Silvey

Meet Me in Another Life
William Morrow, April 27, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
“Inventive, bold and surprising . . . Cleverly constructed and highly entertaining.” — Charles Yu

A powerful and poignant speculative love story about a man and woman whose paths continue to cross in different lifetimes—a thrilling and imaginative exploration of what truly defines us and how our choices can change everything, perfect for fans of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Life After Life.

Two people. Infinite lifetimes. One impossible choice.

Thora and Santi are strangers in a foreign city when a chance encounter intertwines their fates. At once, they recognize in each other a kindred spirit—someone who shares their insatiable curiosity, who is longing for more in life than the cards they’ve been dealt. Only days later, though, a tragic accident cuts their story short.

But this is only one of the many connections they share. Like satellites trapped in orbit around each other, Thora and Santi are destined to meet again: as a teacher and brilliant student; a caretaker and dying patient; a cynic and believer. In numerous lives they become friends, colleagues, lovers, and enemies. As blurred memories and strange patterns compound, Thora and Santi come to a shocking revelation—they must discover the truth of their mysterious attachment before their many lives come to one, final end.

By turns joyful, devastating, and quietly profound, Meet Me in Another Life is a spectacularly compelling page-turner filled with astonishing twists that affirms the power of love to connect us beyond time and space.

“Entirely surprising, thoroughly enjoyable . . . A truly captivating work with an ending that rocked my socks off.” — Erika Swyler, author of Light From Other Stars and The Book of Speculation
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Christina Sweeney-Baird

The End of Men
G. P. Putnam's Sons, April 27, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 416 pages
The End of Men is a fiercely intelligent page-turner, an eerily prescient novel, at once thoughtful and highly emotive.” –Paula Hawkins, #1 internationally bestselling author of The Girl on the Train

Set in a world where a virus stalks our male population, The End of Men is an electrifying and unforgettable debut from a remarkable new talent that asks: what would our world truly look like without men?

Only men carry the virus. Only women can save us all.

The year is 2025, and a mysterious virus has broken out in Scotland–a lethal illness that seems to affect only men. When Dr. Amanda MacLean reports this phenomenon, she is dismissed as hysterical. By the time her warning is heeded, it is too late. The virus becomes a global pandemic–and a political one. The victims are all men. The world becomes alien–a women’s world.

What follows is the immersive account of the women who have been left to deal with the virus’s consequences, told through first-person narratives. Dr. MacLean; Catherine, a social historian determined to document the human stories behind the “male plague”; intelligence analyst Dawn, tasked with helping the government forge a new society; and Elizabeth, one of many scientists desperately working to develop a vaccine. Through these women and others, we see the uncountable ways the absence of men has changed society, from the personal–the loss of husbands and sons–to the political–the changes in the workforce, fertility, and the meaning of family.

In The End of Men, Christina Sweeney-Baird turns the unimaginable into the unforgettable.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Heather Walter

Malice
Malice Duology 1
Del Rey, April 13, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 480 pages
A princess isn’t supposed to fall for an evil sorceress. But in this “bewitching and fascinating” (Tamora Pierce) retelling of “Sleeping Beauty,” true love is more than a simple fairy tale.

“Walter’s spellbinding debut is for all the queer girls and women who’ve been told to keep their gifts hidden and for those yearning to defy gravity.”—O: The Oprah Magazine

Once upon a time, there was a wicked fairy who, in an act of vengeance, cursed a line of princesses to die. A curse that could only be broken by true love’s kiss.

You’ve heard this before, haven’t you? The handsome prince. The happily ever after.

Utter nonsense.

Let me tell you, no one in Briar actually cares about what happens to its princesses. Not the way they care about their jewels and elaborate parties and charm-granting elixirs. I thought I didn’t care, either.

Until I met her.

Princess Aurora. The last heir to Briar’s throne. Kind. Gracious. The future queen her realm needs. One who isn’t bothered that I am Alyce, the Dark Grace, abhorred and feared for the mysterious dark magic that runs in my veins. Humiliated and shamed by the same nobles who pay me to bottle hexes and then brand me a monster. Aurora says I should be proud of my gifts. That she . . . cares for me. Even though a power like mine was responsible for her curse.

But with less than a year until that curse will kill her, any future I might see with Aurora is swiftly disintegrating—and she can’t stand to kiss yet another insipid prince. I want to help her. If my power began her curse, perhaps it’s what can lift it. Perhaps together we could forge a new world.

Nonsense again. Because we all know how this story ends, don’t we? Aurora is the beautiful princess. And I—

I am the villain.

Book One of the Malice Duology
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo
2021 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - April 2021 DebutsThe View From Monday - April 12, 20212021 Debut Author Challenge - April 2021 Debuts

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