The Qwillery | category: K. D. Edwards


The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

Interview with K. D. Edwards, author of The Last Sun

Please welcome K. D. Edwards to The Qwillery, as part of the 2018 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Last Sun is published on June 12th by Pyr.

Please join The Qwillery in wishing K. D. a Happy Publication Day!

Interview with K. D. Edwards, author of The Last Sun

TQWelcome to The Qwillery. What is the first fiction piece you remember writing?

K. D.:  What is the statute of limitations on copyright infringement….? Because when I was in elementary school, I wrote a barely-disguised rip-off of a THREE INVESTIGATORS novel that sent the kids back in time to the Middle Ages. And I am being very, very loose with the word “novel.”

I also wrote a scathing article about someone leaving loose caps on the coca-cola bottles in the family refrigerator, which, in a sense, was fiction, because IT WAS ME. IT WAS ALWAYS ME.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

K. D.:  You have no idea how much of a plotter I am. I am a ridiculously detailed outliner. I began HANGED MAN, the second novel in TAROT SEQUENCE, with a 43,000-word outline. I literally have outline notes, settings, random bits of dialog, and 1-liners for the entire series that tops off at nearly 300,000 words.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

K. D.:  Actually sitting down and putting the meat on the bones. Having such a detailed outline always makes me feel like I’m doing acrobatics way, way beyond my skill over a big, nice safety net – but finding the time to sit down and write after a long day’s work is always a challenge. I mean, at 5pm? There are books to be read….and video games to be played….and sofas. There are so many sofas in my life at 5pm on a week night. It takes real motivation to sit down in front of a computer again, and bring my story home.

TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

K. D.:  Different writers at different stages. There are so, so, so many writers I love now. But if I had to pick writers who -- or writing that -- helped define or evolve my style?
  • One Life to Live and General Hospital when I was a tween -- many, many years ago. Want to learn how to write dialog in massive volume? Watch a soap opera.
  • Twin Peaks, the original. Taught me to apply surreal, trippy edges to something as innocuous as a soap opera.
  • The Sandman, Preacher, and Hellblazer. The Sandman in particular. That’s when I really developed a love for deep, deep world building.
  • And the authors who changed my perspective…. Laurell Hamilton, Jim Butcher, JD Robb, Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Charlie Huston, Richard Kadrey, Robbin Hobb, Perry Moore.

TQDescribe The Last Sun in 140 (OR SLIGHTLY MORE IF YOU’RE A CHEATER) characters or less.

K. D.:  A reimagining of Atlantis. Rune, a fallen prince, lives in a patchwork Gotham with his caustic bodyguard. An assignment will take him into the halls of power, closer than ever to the mystery of his past.

TQTell us something about The Last Sun that is not found in the book description.

K. D.:  It’s imagined as a 9-part series. And when I say imagined, I mean obsessively plotted, right down to the very last scene.

TQWhat inspired you to write The Last Sun? What appeals to you about writing Urban Fantasy?

K. D.:  I fell in love with the genre after gobbling up the Anita Blake Series, JD Robb’s In Death series, Ilona Andrew’s Kate Daniels series, and the Sandman collected works. I love taking the world as we know it, and then stuffing the drawers and corners and attics with batshit crazy, surreal stuff.

TQAtlantis seemingly has been a source of fascination for centuries. What do you think are the reasons for Atlantis' enduring appeal?

K. D.:  I think ALL lost civilizations – real or otherwise – have enduring appeal. The unknown hits on all our adrenaline responses – it’s a source of entertainment, fear, mystery, fright, excitement. Lost civilizations are as wonderful and terrible as the spans & layers of your imagination.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Last Sun?

K. D.:  Nothing for Atlantis. But the book is filled with abandoned human ruins and buildings that have been teleported from all across the world. I did an exhaustive amount of research on those buildings. Past that, there are a score of topics I researched in depth – fighting styles, mansion architecture, lesser-known monster mythologies. And it doesn’t even hold a candle to the research I’ve done for Novel #2. I’ve spent a year researching ghost ships and US battleships for THE HANGED MAN!

TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Last Sun.

K. D.:  Oh God, what a wonderful, amazing experience it was. I was So. Damned. Scared. Out of every part of publishing, the only thing that really terrified me was: what is the cover sucked? What if the cover was a half-naked man, and I’d be embarrassed to read it on the subway? What if it was so bad I’d be ashamed to show my parents? But my editor, Rene Sears, hooked me up with Micah Epstein; and even more, she gave me the chance to write up my own summary of the novel, and details of the characters. I put in the work, drafted that document, and the result was…..I just can’t say enough about Micah. He literally created metaphors on his own that were perfect, like the broken Sun tarot card stained glass window. And he listened to what I said – he shows Rune’s leather jacket; and the sigils on Rune’s finger; and the necklace….. I was so freaking lucky to wind up with him. It doesn’t show any spoilers from the novel, but it captures the essence of Rune and Brand perfectly.

TQIn The Last Sun who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

K. D.:  Brand. Definitely Brand. He’s my foul-mouthed avatar who will say exactly what needs to be said. He has the best 1-liners. I told you how I have hundreds of thousands of words of brainstorming notes for future novels? About 20% of all those notes are Brand 1-liners. The first two times that people quotes a line of my novel back to me, it was one of Brand’s most inventive swears. But in a larger sense, all of Brand’s best humor is tied up in his relationship with Rune – so any scene with the two of them is easy to write. They play off each other better than I could have ever expected.

TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in The Last Sun?

K. D.:  I don’t really touch on real-world events, but Rune identifies as gay, and there is an enormous amount of queer representation in the novel. I don’t want THE LAST SUN – or the series as a whole – to be called “gay sci-fi.” I want it to be considered good, funny, enjoyable sci-fi with a protagonist who just happens to be gay. That’s my goal in all my writing. To have main characters that just happen to be gay, in novels that represent what I consider mainstream. I want gay and lesbian youth to see themselves in this novel.

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

K. D.:  Hmmm. Two things. One, you already asked. I love talking about outlining. I’m pretty proud of the work I’ve put into outlining this series. And two, since I know everything that’s going to happen, I’ll be curious if people ask about the many easter eggs I hide in the novel. Everything that the character Quinn says, in particular, is important. I’ve given hints to major story lines that happen throughout the entire series.

TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Last Sun.

K. D.:  Oh man. Can I swear. You can black this part out if you need to.

The swear that people have quoted back to me, when Brand gets really upset in one scene, is: “Mother-fucking horsefire shit!” And I have no idea where that came from.

Other quotes are difficult, because they operate so well in the larger flow of scenes – especially the banter between Rune and Brand. I suppose I love when Brand makes fun of Rune. (Like when Rune tries to use Brand’s smart phone, and Brand finally snatches it away, saying, “It’s like watching Gilligan try to make a radio out of coconuts.” Or when Brand tries to cheer Rune up by offering to spar, and Rune says, “Sparring means something different to me that you. Sparring means getting hit in the face a lot.”)

TQWhat's next?

K. D.:  THE HANGED MAN! Book 2! It’s going very well….I can’t remember the last time a work-in-progress has gone so well. I’m barreling towards the deadline (and, if I was being honest, a mite past it), but it’s the best work I’ve ever done.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

K. D.:  Thank you for being one of my first interviewers! I am, sincerely, honored.

The Last Sun
The Tarot Sequence 1
Pyr, Jun 12, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Interview with K. D. Edwards, author of The Last Sun
In this debut novel and series starter, the last member of a murdered House searches for a missing nobleman, and uncovers clues about his own tortured past.

Rune Saint John, last child of the fallen Sun Court, is hired to search for Lady Judgment's missing son, Addam, on New Atlantis, the island city where the Atlanteans moved after ordinary humans destroyed their original home.

With his companion and bodyguard, Brand, he questions Addam's relatives and business contacts through the highest ranks of the nobles of New Atlantis. But as they investigate, they uncover more than a missing man: a legendary creature connected to the secret of the massacre of Rune's Court. In looking for Addam, can Rune find the truth behind his family's death and the torments of his past?

About K. D.

K.D. Edwards lives and writes in North Carolina, but has spent time in Massachusetts, Maine, Colorado, New Hampshire, Montana, and Washington State. (Common theme until NC: Snow. So, so much snow.) Mercifully short careers in food service, interactive television, corporate banking, retail management, and bariatric furniture have led to a much less short career in higher education, currently for the University of North Carolina System.

Website  ~  Twitter @KDEdwards_NC

The View From Monday - June 11, 2018

Happy Monday! There are 2 debuts this week:

The Last Sun (The Tarot Sequence 1) by K. D. Edwards;


A Demon in Silver (War of the Archons 1 ) by R.S. Ford.

The View From Monday - June 11, 2018 The View From Monday - June 11, 2018
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.

From formerly featured DAC Authors:

The Voodoo Killings (Kincaid Strange 1) by Kristi Charish;

Winter Tide (The Innsmouth Legacy 1) by Ruthanna Emrys is out in Trade Paperback;

An Echo of Things to Come (The Licanius Trilogy 2) by James Islington is out in Trade Paperback.

Revenant Gun (Machineries of Empire 3) by Yoon Ha Lee


Assassination (Born to the Blade, Season 1, Episode 9) by Malka Older.

The View From Monday - June 11, 2018The View From Monday - June 11, 2018
The View From Monday - June 11, 2018The View From Monday - June 11, 2018
The View From Monday - June 11, 2018
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.

The View From Monday - June 11, 2018

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

June 11, 2018
The Keepers & Waking the Bear (e) Heather Graham
Kerry Adrienne
PNR - Keepers 2

June 12, 2018
The Crystal World J. G. Ballard SF/VisM/Dys
Starless Jacqueline Carey F
We Are Where the Nightmares Go and Other Stories C. Robert Cargill DF/F/H - Collection
The Voodoo Killings Kristi Charish UF/M/P - Kincaid Strange 1
Harry's Trees Jon Cohen LF/FL/CW
The Best Horror of the Year Volume Ten Ellen Datlow (Ed) H - Anthology
The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (and Their Muses) Terri-Lynne DeFino CW
Star Trek: The Official Poster Collection Insight Editions SF - Star Trek
The Last Sun (D) K. D. Edwards UF/P - The Tarot Sequence 1
Dichronauts (h2tp) Greg Egan SF/HSF/GenEng
Winter Tide (h2tp) Ruthanna Emrys DF/HistF - The Innsmouth Legacy 1
Venom in the Veins (e) Jennifer Estep FR/UF - Elemental Assassin 17
A Demon in Silver (D) R.S. Ford F - War of the Archons 1
Before the Storm Christie Golden F - World of Warcraft
Night Fall Simon R. Green UF - Secret Histories 12
Hangman Jack Heath Cr/H/PI
The Triumph of the Dwarves (e) Markus Heitz F
An Echo of Things to Come (h2tp) James Islington F/HistF - The Licanius Trilogy 2
Close Your Eyes Paul Jessup SF/GenEng
The Darwin Variant Kenneth Johnson TechoTh/GenEng/SF
You Should Have Left Daniel Kehlmann
Ross Benjamin (Tr)
Prisoner of the Crown Jeffe Kennedy F/HistF/DF - Chronicles of Dasnaria 1
Full Dark, No Stars Stephen King H - Collection
Old Earth Nick Kyme SF - The Horus Heresy 47
The Green Universe Trilogy: Green, Endurance, Kalimpura (e) Jay Lake F - Green Series
Revenant Gun Yoon Ha Lee SF/SO - Machineries of Empire 3
Low Chicago George R. R. Martin SF/SH - Wild Cards 17
A Fever of the Blood Oscar de Muriel M/H - A Frey & McGray Mystery 2
The Complete Fleet of Worlds: A Ringworld Series: Fleet of Worlds, Juggler of Worlds, Destroyer of Worlds, Betrayer of Worlds, Fate of Worlds (e) Larry Niven
Edward M. Lerner
SF - Known Space
Death in Time Robyn Nyx TTR/SF - Extractor Trilogy 3
The Store (h2tp) James Patterson
Richard DiLallo
The Dark Net (h2tp) Benjamin Percy H
Clonelord Josh Reynolds SF - Fabius Bile 2
Oscar Mauricio Segura
Donald Winkler (Tr)
Ocean Light Nalini Singh PNR/SFR - Psy-Changeling Trinity 2
Tor Classics Collection: Jules Verne: Journey to the Center of the Earth, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in Eighty Days (e) Jules Verne SF - Tor Classics
The Freeze-Frame Revolution Peter Watts SF/HSF/AP/PA/SO
Spymaster (h2tp) Margaret Weis
Robert Krammes
F/SP - The Dragon Corsairs 1
Witch Hunter: The Mathias Thulmann Trilogy C L Werner F - Warhammer Chronicles 7
Golden Skies Juan Zapata SF - The New Order Trilogy 1

June 13, 2018
Assassination (e) Malka Older F - Born to the Blade Season 1, Episode 9

June 14, 2018
Science Fiction and the Imitation of the Sacred Richard Grigg SF
Nightly Owl, Fatal Raven Jessica McHugh DF/F
The Old Religion Martyn Waites Gothic/H/Occ

June 15, 2018
Ring of Fire David Agranoff H
Beyond the Dreams We Know: A Collection (Ke) Rachel Neumeier F - Collection
Under The Bronze Moon Richard J. O'Brien TT/F
Hybrid Child Mariko Ohara
Jodie Beck (Tr)
Parallel Futures - SF/GenEng/SO
Arthur C. Clarke Gary Westfahl SF/HC - Modern Masters of Science Fiction

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

AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CulH - Cultural Heritage
CW - Contemporary Woman
CyP - Cyberpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
Fict - Fiction
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
Gothic - Gothic
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
LegalTh - Legal Thriller
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
PI - Private Investigator
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
PopCul - Popular Culture
Psy Th - Psychological Thriller
Rel - Religious
SF - Science Fiction
SH - Superheroes
SocSci - Social Science
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
Tech - Technological
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
TTR - Time Travel Romance
UF - Urban Fantasy
VisM - Visionary and Metaphysical
W - Western

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

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts

There are 15 debut novels for June.

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

The June 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 June cover for the 2018 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on June 15, 2018.

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 2018 Debut Author Challenge featured authors. However, any of these novels may be read by Challenge readers to meet the goal for June 2018. The list is correct as of the day posted.

K. D. Edwards

The Last Sun
Pyr, Jun 12, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
In this debut novel and series starter, the last member of a murdered House searches for a missing nobleman, and uncovers clues about his own tortured past.

Rune Saint John, last child of the fallen Sun Court, is hired to search for Lady Judgment's missing son, Addam, on New Atlantis, the island city where the Atlanteans moved after ordinary humans destroyed their original home.

With his companion and bodyguard, Brand, he questions Addam's relatives and business contacts through the highest ranks of the nobles of New Atlantis. But as they investigate, they uncover more than a missing man: a legendary creature connected to the secret of the massacre of Rune's Court. In looking for Addam, can Rune find the truth behind his family's death and the torments of his past?

Jeremy Finley

The Darkest Time of Night
St. Martin's Press, June 26, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
Investigative journalist for WSMV-TV in Nashville, Jeremy Finley's debut thriller explores what happens to people’s lives when our world intersects with the unexplainable.

"The lights took him."

When the seven-year-old grandson of U.S. Senator vanishes in the woods behind his home, the only witness is his older brother who whispers, “The lights took him,” and then never speaks again.

As the FBI and National Guard launch a massive search, the boys' grandmother Lynn Roseworth fears only she knows the truth. But coming forward would ruin her family and her husband’s political career.

In the late 1960s, before she became the quiet wife of a politician, Lynn was a secretary in the astronomy department at the University of Illinois. It was there where she began taking mysterious messages for one of the professors; messages from people desperate to find their missing loved ones who vanished into beams of light.

Determined to find her beloved grandson and expose the truth, she must return to the work she once abandoned to unravel the existence of a place long forgotten by the world. It is there, buried deep beneath the bitter snow and the absent memories of its inhabitants, where her grandson may finally be found.

But there are forces that wish to silence her. And Lynn will find how far they will go to stop her, and how the truth about her own forgotten childhood could reveal the greatest mystery of all time.

The Darkest Time of Night is a fast-paced debut full of suspense and government cover-ups, perfect for thriller and supernatural fans alike.

June 2018 SIBA Okra Selection

R.S. Ford

A Demon in Silver
War of the Archons 1
Titan Books, June 12, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
In a world where magic has disappeared, rival nations vie for power in a continent devastated by war.

When a young farm girl, Livia, demonstrates magical powers for the first time in a century there are many across the land that will kill to obtain her power. The Duke of Gothelm’s tallymen, the blood-soaked Qeltine Brotherhood, and cynical mercenary Josten Cade: all are searching for Livia and the power she wields.

But Livia finds that guardians can come from the most unlikely places… and that the old gods are returning to a world they abandoned.

Jonathan French

The Grey Bastards
The Lost Lands 1
Crown, June 19, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
Live in the saddle.
Die on the hog.

Call them outcasts, call them savages—they’ve been called worse, by their own mothers—but Jackal is proud to be a Grey Bastard.

He and his fellow half-orcs patrol the barren wastes of the Lot Lands, spilling their own damned blood to keep civilized folk safe. A rabble of hard-talking, hog-riding, whore-mongering brawlers they may be, but the Bastards are Jackal’s sworn brothers, fighting at his side in a land where there’s no room for softness.

And once Jackal’s in charge—as soon as he can unseat the Bastards’ tyrannical, seemingly unkillable founder—there’s a few things they’ll do different. Better.

Or at least, that’s the plan. Until the fallout from a deadly showdown makes Jackal start investigating the Lot Lands for himself. Soon, he’s wondering if his feelings have blinded him to ugly truths about this world, and the Bastards’ place in it.

In a quest for answers that takes him from decaying dungeons to the frontlines of an ancient feud, Jackal finds himself battling invading orcs, rampaging centaurs, and grubby human conspiracies alike—along with a host of dark magics so terrifying they’d give even the heartiest Bastard pause.

Finally, Jackal must ride to confront a threat that’s lain in wait for generations, even as he wonders whether the Bastards can—or should–survive.

Delivered with a generous wink to Sons of Anarchy, featuring sneaky-smart worldbuilding and gobs of fearsomely foul-mouthed charm, The Grey Bastards is a grimy, pulpy, masterpiece—and a raunchy, swaggering, cunningly clever adventure that’s like nothing you’ve read before.

Caleb Johnson

Picador, June 5, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
"I can’t remember the last time I read a book I wish so much I’d written. Treeborne is beautiful, and mythic in ways I would never have been able to imagine...I can’t say enough about this book."—Daniel Wallace, national bestselling author of Extraordinary Adventures and Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions

One of Southern Living's Best New Books Coming Out Summer 2018

Janie Treeborne lives on an orchard at the edge of Elberta, Alabama, and in time, she has become its keeper. A place where conquistadors once walked, and where the peaches they left behind now grow, Elberta has seen fierce battles, violent storms, and frantic change—and when the town is once again threatened from without, Janie realizes it won’t withstand much more. So she tells the story of its people: of Hugh, her granddaddy, determined to preserve Elberta’s legacy at any cost; of his wife, Maybelle, the postmaster, whose sudden death throws the town into chaos; of her lover, Lee Malone, a black orchardist harvesting from a land where he is less than welcome; of the time when Janie kidnapped her own Hollywood-obsessed aunt and tore the wrong people apart.

As the world closes in on Elberta, Caleb Johnson’s debut novel lifts the veil and offers one last glimpse. Treeborne is a celebration and a reminder: of how the past gets mixed up in thoughts of the future; of how home is a story as much as a place.

Cameron Johnston

The Traitor God
Angry Robot, June 5, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
A city threatened by unimaginable horrors must trust their most hated outcast, or lose everything, in this crushing epic fantasy debut.

After ten years on the run, dodging daemons and debt, reviled magician Edrin Walker returns home to avenge the brutal murder of his friend. Lynas had uncovered a terrible secret, something that threatened to devour the entire city. He tried to warn the Arcanum, the sorcerers who rule the city. He failed.

Lynas was skinned alive and Walker felt every cut. Now nothing will stop him from finding the murderer. Magi, mortals, daemons, and even the gods – Walker will burn them all if he has to.

After all, it wouldn’t be the first time he’s killed a god…

File Under: Fantasy [ Look Who’s Back | Blood Sorcery | Tyrants & Titans | Mind Mates ]

Jane Rosenberg LaForge

The Hawkman: A Fairy Tale of the Great War
Amberjack Publishing, June 5, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook 320 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
A great war, a great love, and the mythology that unites them; The Hawkman: A Fairy Tale of the Great War is a lyrical adaptation of a beloved classic.

Set against the shattering events of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, at the tale’s heart are an American schoolteacher—dynamic and imaginative—and an Irish musician, homeless and hated—who have survived bloodshed, poverty, and sickness to be thrown together in an English village. Together they quietly hide from the world in a small cottage.

Too soon, reality shatters their serenity, and they must face the parochial community. Unbeknownst to all, a legend is in the making—one that will speak of courage and resilience amidst the forces that brought the couple together even as outside forces threaten to tear them apart.

Todd McAulty

The Robots of Gotham
John Joseph Adams/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, June 19, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 688 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
“J.D. Barker is a one-of-a-kind writer and that’s a rare and special thing. Stephen King comes to mind and Lee Child, John Sanford.  All one-of-a-kinds.  Don’t miss anything J.D. writes.”  James Patterson

A thrilling adventure in a world one step away from total subjugation by machines

After long years of war, the United States has sued for peace, yielding to a brutal coalition of nations ruled by fascist machines. One quarter of the country is under foreign occupation. Manhattan has been annexed by a weird robot monarchy, and in Tennessee, a permanent peace is being delicately negotiated between the battered remnants of the U.S. government and an envoy of implacable machines.

Canadian businessman Barry Simcoe arrives in occupied Chicago days before his hotel is attacked by a rogue war machine. In the aftermath, he meets a dedicated Russian medic with the occupying army, and 19 Black Winter, a badly damaged robot. Together they stumble on a machine conspiracy to unleash a horrific plague—and learn that the fabled American resistance is not as extinct as everyone believes. Simcoe races against time to prevent the extermination of all life on the continent . . . and uncover a secret that America’s machine conquerors are desperate to keep hidden.

C. L. Polk

Witchmark, June 19, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
C. L. Polk arrives on the scene with Witchmark, a stunning, addictive fantasy that combines intrigue, magic, betrayal, and romance.

One of Publishers Weekly's Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2018!

In an original world reminiscent of Edwardian England in the shadow of a World War, cabals of noble families use their unique magical gifts to control the fates of nations, while one young man seeks only to live a life of his own.

Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be enslaved to his family's interest or to be committed to a witches' asylum. He went to war to escape his destiny and came home a different man, but he couldn’t leave his past behind. The war between Aeland and Laneer leaves men changed, strangers to their friends and family, but even after faking his own death and reinventing himself as a doctor at a cash-strapped veterans' hospital, Miles can’t hide what he truly is.

When a fatally poisoned patient exposes Miles’ healing gift and his witchmark, he must put his anonymity and freedom at risk to investigate his patient’s murder. To find the truth he’ll need to rely on the family he despises, and on the kindness of the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen.

Rebecca Roanhorse

Trail of Lightning
Sixth World 1
Saga Press, June 26, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
“An excitingly novel tale.” —Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series and Midnight Crossroads series

“Fun, terrifying, hilarious, and brilliant.” —Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper and Star Wars: Last Shot

“[C]rafts a powerful and fiercely personal journey through a compelling postapocalyptic landscape.” —Kate Elliott, New York Times bestselling author of Court of Fives and Black Wolves

While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.

Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last best hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much more terrifying than anything she could imagine.

Maggie reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel the rez, unraveling clues from ancient legends, trading favors with tricksters, and battling dark witchcraft in a patchwork world of deteriorating technology.

As Maggie discovers the truth behind the killings, she will have to confront her past if she wants to survive.

Welcome to the Sixth World.

Jordy Rosenberg

Confessions of the Fox
One World, June 26, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
A love story set in the eighteenth-century London of notorious thieves and queer subcultures, this genre-bending debut tells a profound story of gender, desire, and liberation.

Jack Sheppard and Edgeworth Bess were the most notorious thieves, jailbreakers, and lovers of eighteenth-century London. Yet no one knows the true story; their confessions have never been found.

Until now. Reeling from heartbreak, a scholar named Dr. Voth discovers a long-lost manuscript—a gender-defying exposé of Jack and Bess’s adventures. Dated 1724, the book depicts a London underworld where scamps and rogues clash with the city’s newly established police force, queer subcultures thrive, and ominous threats of the Plague abound. Jack—a transgender carpenter’s apprentice—has fled his master’s house to become a legendary prison-break artist, and Bess has escaped the draining of the fenlands to become a revolutionary.

Is Confessions of the Fox an authentic autobiography or a hoax? Dr. Voth obsessively annotates the manuscript, desperate to find the answer. As he is drawn deeper into Jack and Bess’s tale of underworld resistance and gender transformation, it becomes clear that their fates are intertwined—and only a miracle will save them all.

Confessions of the Fox
is, at once, a work of speculative historical fiction, a soaring love story, a puzzling mystery, an electrifying tale of adventure and suspense, and an unabashed celebration of sex and sexuality. Writing with the narrative mastery of Sarah Waters and the playful imagination of Nabokov, Jordy Rosenberg is an audacious storyteller of extraordinary talent.

Amber Royer

Free Chocolate
Angry Robot, June 5, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
In the far future, chocolate is Earth’s sole unique product – and it’s one that everyone else in the galaxy would kill to get their hands, paws, and tentacles on

Latina culinary arts student, Bo Benitez, becomes a fugitive when she’s caught stealing a cacao pod from the heavily-defended plantations that keep chocolate, Earth’s sole valuable export, safe from a hungry galaxy. Forces arraying against her including her alien boyfriend and a reptilian cop. But when she escapes onto an unmarked starship things go from bad to worse: it belongs to the race famed throughout the galaxy for eating stowaways. Surrounded by dangerous yet hunky aliens, Bo starts to uncover clues that the threat to Earth may be bigger than she first thought.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Heiress Apparent | Sticky Fingers | Pod People | The Milky Way ]

Michael Rutger

The Anomaly
Grand Central Publishing, June 19, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
Not all secrets are meant to be found.

If Indiana Jones lived in the X-Files era, he might bear at least a passing resemblance to Nolan Moore — a rogue archaeologist hosting a documentary series derisively dismissed by the “real” experts, but beloved of conspiracy theorists.

Nolan sets out to retrace the steps of an explorer from 1909 who claimed to have discovered a mysterious cavern high up in the ancient rock of the Grand Canyon. And, for once, he may have actually found what he seeks. Then the trip takes a nasty turn, and the cave begins turning against them in mysterious ways.

Nolan’s story becomes one of survival against seemingly impossible odds. The only way out is to answer a series of intriguing questions: What is this strange cave? How has it remained hidden for so long? And what secret does it conceal that made its last visitors attempt to seal it forever?

Peng Shepherd

The Book of M
William Morrow, June 5, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 496 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
"Eerie, dark, and compelling, [The Book of M] will not disappoint lovers of The Passage (2010) and Station Eleven (2014)." --Booklist


Set in a dangerous near future world, The Book of M tells the captivating story of a group of ordinary people caught in an extraordinary catastrophe who risk everything to save the ones they love. It is a sweeping debut that illuminates the power that memories have not only on the heart, but on the world itself.

One afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man’s shadow disappears—an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. The phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories.

Ory and his wife Max have escaped the Forgetting so far by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods. Their new life feels almost normal, until one day Max’s shadow disappears too.

Knowing that the more she forgets, the more dangerous she will become to Ory, Max runs away. But Ory refuses to give up the time they have left together. Desperate to find Max before her memory disappears completely, he follows her trail across a perilous, unrecognizable world, braving the threat of roaming bandits, the call to a new war being waged on the ruins of the capital, and the rise of a sinister cult that worships the shadowless.

As they journey, each searches for answers: for Ory, about love, about survival, about hope; and for Max, about a new force growing in the south that may hold the cure.

Like The Passage and Station Eleven, this haunting, thought-provoking, and beautiful novel explores fundamental questions of memory, connection, and what it means to be human in a world turned upside down.

Raymond A. Villareal

A People's History of the Vampire Uprising
Mulholland Books, June 5, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

2018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts
In this ambitious and wildly original debut–part social-political satire, part international mystery–a new virus turns people into something a bit more than human, upending society as we know it.

This panoramic fictional oral history begins with one small mystery: the body of a young woman found in an Arizona border town, presumed to be an illegal immigrant, disappears from the town morgue. To the young CDC investigator called in to consult with the local police, it’s an impossibility that threatens her understanding of medicine.

Then, more bodies, dead from an inexplicable disease that solidified their blood, are brought to the morgue, only to also vanish. Soon, the U.S. government–and eventually biomedical researchers, disgruntled lawmakers, and even an insurgent faction of the Catholic Church–must come to terms with what they’re too late to stop: an epidemic of vampirism that will sweep first the United States, and then the world.

With heightened strength and beauty and a stead diet of fresh blood, these changed people, or “Gloamings,” rapidly rise to prominence in all aspects of modern society. Soon people are beginning to be “re-created,” willingly accepting the risk of death if their bodies can’t handle the transformation. As new communities of Gloamings arise, society is divided, and popular Gloaming sites come under threat from a secret terrorist organization. But when a charismatic and wealthy businessman, recently turned, runs for political office–well, all hell breaks loose.

Told from the perspective of key players, including a cynical FBI agent, an audacious campaign manager, and a war veteran turned nurse turned secret operative, A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising is an exhilarating, genre-bending debut that is as addictive as the power it describes.
Interview with K. D. Edwards, author of The Last SunThe View From Monday - June 11, 20182018 Debut Author Challenge - June Debuts

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