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2021 Debut Author Challenge - June 2021 Debuts



There are 12 debuts for June 2021.

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 2021 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting in the latter half of June.





Emily Brewes

The Doomsday Book of Fairy Tales
Dundurn, June 8, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 288 pages
An astounding tale of a dangerous quest, a talking dog, and fragmented fairy tales in an eerie post-climate collapse future.

A long time ago, the Vanderchucks fled the growing climate disaster and followed their neighbours into the Underground. Jesse Vanderchuck thought it was the end. Of the world. Of life. Eventually, Jesse’s little sister, Olivia, ran away and Jesse started picking through trash heaps in Toronto’s abandoned subway tunnels. Day in, day out.

Now, years later, Jesse meets a talking dog. Fighting illness and the hostile world aboveground, Jesse and Doggo embark on a fool’s errand to find Olivia — or die trying. Along the way, Jesse spins a series of fairy tales from threads of memories, weaving together the past, present, and future into stories of brave girls, of cunning lads, of love in the face of wickedness, and of hope in the midst of despair.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Kerstin Hall

Star Eater
Tordotcom, June 22, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 448 pages
From Nommo Award finalist Kerstin Hall comes “a layered and incisive examination of power.”—Rory Power, New York Times bestselling author of Wilder Girls

All martyrdoms are difficult.

Elfreda Raughn will avoid pregnancy if it kills her, and one way or another, it will kill her. Though she’s able to stomach her gruesome day-to-day duties, the reality of preserving the Sisterhood of Aytrium’s magical bloodline horrifies her. She wants out, whatever the cost.

So when a shadowy faction approaches Elfreda with an offer of escape, she leaps at the opportunity. As their spy, she gains access to the highest reaches of the Sisterhood, and enters a glittering world of opulent parties, subtle deceptions, and unexpected bloodshed.

A phantasmagorical indictment of hereditary power, Star Eater takes readers deep into a perilous and uncanny world where even the most powerful women are forced to choose what sacrifices they will make, so that they might have any choice at all.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





T.L. Huchu

The Library of the Dead
Edinburgh Nights 1
Tor Books, June 1, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages
"An absolute delight . . . kept me totally hooked." – Genevieve Cogman, bestselling author of The Invisible Library

Sixth Sense meets Stranger Things in T. L. Huchu's The Library of the Dead, a sharp contemporary fantasy following a precocious and cynical teen as she explores the shadowy magical underside of modern Edinburgh.


WHEN GHOSTS TALK
SHE WILL LISTEN

Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghostalker – and they sure do love to talk. Now she speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to those they left behind. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children – leaving them husks, empty of joy and strength. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honor-bound to investigate. But what she learns will rock her world.

Ropa will dice with death as she calls on Zimbabwean magic and Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. And although underground Edinburgh hides a wealth of dark secrets, she also discovers an occult library, a magical mentor and some unexpected allies.

Yet as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?

"A fast-moving and entertaining tale, beautifully written." – Ben Aaronovitch, bestselling author of Rivers of London
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Joss Lake

Future Feeling
Soft Skull, June 1, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 304 pages
An embittered dog walker obsessed with a social media influencer inadvertently puts a curse on a young man–and must adventure into mysterious dimension in order to save him–in this wildly inventive, delightfully subversive, genre-nonconforming debut novel about illusion, magic, technology, kinship, and the emergent future.

The year is 20__, and Penfield R. Henderson is in a rut. When he’s not walking dogs for cash or responding to booty calls from his B-list celebrity hookup, he’s holed up in his dingy Bushwick apartment obsessing over holograms of Aiden Chase, a fellow trans man and influencer documenting his much smoother transition into picture-perfect masculinity on the Gram. After an IRL encounter with Aiden leaves Pen feeling especially resentful, Pen enlists his roommates, the Witch and the Stoner-Hacker, to put their respective talents to use in hexing Aiden. Together, they gain access to Aiden’s social media account and post a picture of Pen’s aloe plant, Alice, tied to a curse:

Whosoever beholds the aloe will be pushed into the Shadowlands.

When the hex accidentally bypasses Aiden, sending another young trans man named Blithe to the Shadowlands (the dreaded emotional landscape through which every trans person must journey to achieve true self-actualization), the Rhiz (the quasi-benevolent big brother agency overseeing all trans matters) orders Pen and Aiden to team up and retrieve him. The two trace Blithe to a dilapidated motel in California and bring him back to New York, where they try to coax Blithe to stop speaking only in code and awkwardly try to pass on what little trans wisdom they possess. As the trio makes its way in a world that includes pitless avocados and subway cars that change color based on occupants’ collective moods but still casts judgment on anyone not perfectly straight, Pen starts to learn that sometimes a family isn’t just the people who birthed you.

Magnificently imagined, linguistically dazzling, and riotously fun, Future Feeling presents an alternate future in which advanced technology still can’t replace human connection but may give the trans community new ways to care for its own.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Melissa Larsen

Shutter
Berkley, June 15, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages
“[A] chilling debut novel.” — The New York Times Book Review

A young woman agrees to star in a filmmaker’s latest project, but soon realizes the movie is not what she expected in this chilling debut novel.

In the wake of her father’s death, Betty Roux doesn’t allow herself to mourn. Instead, she pushes away her mother, breaks up with her boyfriend, and leaves everything behind to move to New York City. She doesn’t know what she wants, except to run.

When she’s offered the chance to play the leading role in mysterious indie filmmaker Anthony Marino’s new project, she jumps at the opportunity. For a month Betty will live in a cabin on a private island off the coast of Maine, with a five-person cast and crew. Her mother warns against it, but Betty is too drawn to the charismatic Anthony to say no.

Anthony gives her a new identity–Lola–and Betty tells herself that this is exactly what she’s been looking for. The chance to reinvent herself. That is, until they begin filming and she meets Sammy, the island’s caretaker, and Betty realizes just how little she knows about the movie and its director.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Marissa Levien

The World Gives Way
Redhook, June 15, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages
“Marissa Levien's debut novel is a thrilling adventure, and in a moment when we're all looking for escape pods, this is a great one.”—Emma Straub, New York Times bestselling author

ONE OF LITHUB'S MOST ANTICIPATED TITLES OF 2021

In a near-future world on the brink of collapse, a young woman born into servitude must seize her own freedom in this glittering debut with a brilliant twist.

In fifty years, Myrra will be free.

Until then, she's a contract worker. Ever since she was five, her life and labor have belonged to the highest bidder on her contract—butchers, laundries, and now the powerful, secretive Carlyles.

But when one night finds the Carlyles dead, Myrra is suddenly free a lot sooner than she anticipated—and at a cost she never could have imagined. Burdened with the Carlyles' orphaned daughter and the terrible secret they died to escape, she runs. With time running out, Myrra must come face to face with the truth about her world—and embrace what's left before it's too late.

A sweeping novel with a darkly glimmering heart, The World Gives Way is an unforgettable portrait of a world in freefall, and the fierce drive to live even at the end of it all.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Terry Miles

Rabbits
Del Rey, June 8, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages
A deadly underground game might just be altering reality itself in this all-new adventure set in the world of the hit Rabbits podcast.

“A taut mystery for a time of conspiratorial madness.”—Cory Doctorow

It’s an average work day. You’ve been wrapped up in a task, and you check the clock when you come up for air—4:44 p.m. You check your email, and 44 unread messages have built up. With a shock, you realize the date is April 4—4/4. And when you get in your car to drive home, your odometer reads 44,444.

Coincidence? Or have you just seen the edge of a rabbit hole?

Rabbits is a mysterious alternate reality game so vast it uses the entire world as its canvas.

Since the game started in 1959, ten iterations have appeared and nine winners have been declared. The identities of these winners are unknown.

So is their reward, which is whispered to be NSA or CIA recruitment, vast wealth, immortality, or perhaps even the key to the secrets of the universe itself.

But the deeper you get, the more dangerous the game becomes. Players have died in the past—and the body count is rising.

And now the eleventh round is about to begin.

Enter K—a Rabbits obsessive who has been trying to find a way into the game for years. That path opens when K is approached by billionaire Alan Scarpio, rumored to be the winner of the sixth iteration. Scarpio says that something has gone wrong with the game and that K needs to fix it before Eleven starts, or the whole world will pay the price.

Five days later, Scarpio is declared missing.

Two weeks after that, K blows the deadline: Eleven begins.

And suddenly, the fate of the entire universe is at stake.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Ava Reid

The Wolf and the Woodsman
Harper Voyager, June 8, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages
In the vein of Naomi Novik’s New York Times bestseller Spinning Silver and Katherine Arden’s national bestseller The Bear and the Nightingale, this unforgettable debut— inspired by Hungarian history and Jewish mythology—follows a young pagan woman with hidden powers and a one-eyed captain of the Woodsmen as they form an unlikely alliance to thwart a tyrant.

In her forest-veiled pagan village, Évike is the only woman without power, making her an outcast clearly abandoned by the gods. The villagers blame her corrupted bloodline—her father was a Yehuli man, one of the much-loathed servants of the fanatical king. When soldiers arrive from the Holy Order of Woodsmen to claim a pagan girl for the king’s blood sacrifice, Évike is betrayed by her fellow villagers and surrendered.

But when monsters attack the Woodsmen and their captive en route, slaughtering everyone but Évike and the cold, one-eyed captain, they have no choice but to rely on each other. Except he’s no ordinary Woodsman—he’s the disgraced prince, Gáspár Bárány, whose father needs pagan magic to consolidate his power. Gáspár fears that his cruelly zealous brother plans to seize the throne and instigate a violent reign that would damn the pagans and the Yehuli alike. As the son of a reviled foreign queen, Gáspár understands what it’s like to be an outcast, and he and Évike make a tenuous pact to stop his brother.

As their mission takes them from the bitter northern tundra to the smog-choked capital, their mutual loathing slowly turns to affection, bound by a shared history of alienation and oppression. However, trust can easily turn to betrayal, and as Évike reconnects with her estranged father and discovers her own hidden magic, she and Gáspár need to decide whose side they’re on, and what they’re willing to give up for a nation that never cared for them at all.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Benjamin Rosenbaum

The Unraveling
Erewhon Press, June 8, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 416 pages
In a society where biotechnology has revolutionized gender, young Fift must decide whether to conform or carve a new path.

In the distant future, somewhere in the galaxy, a world has evolved where each person has multiple bodies, cybernetics has abolished privacy, and individual and family success are reliant upon instantaneous evaluations of how well each member conforms to the rigid social system.

Young Fift is an only child of the Staid gender, struggling to maintain zir position in the system while developing a friendship with the acclaimed bioengineer Shria—a controversial and intriguing friendship, since Shria is Vail-gendered.

Soon Fift and Shria unintentionally wind up at the center of a scandalous art spectacle which turns into a multilayered Unraveling of society. Fift is torn between zir attraction to Shria and the safety of zir family, between staying true to zir feelings and social compliance . . . when zir personal crises suddenly take on global significance. What’s a young Staid to do when the whole world is watching?
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Neil Sharpson

When the Sparrow Falls
Tor Books, June 29, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages
Life in the Caspian Republic has taught Agent Nikolai South two rules. Trust No One. And work just hard enough not to make enemies.

Here, in the last sanctuary for the dying embers of the human race in a world run by artificial intelligence, if you stray from the path – your life is forfeit. But when a Party propagandist is killed – and is discovered as a “machine” – he’s given a new mission: chaperone the widow, Lily, who has arrived to claim her husband’s remains.

But when South sees that she, the first “machine” ever allowed into the country, bears an uncanny resemblance to his late wife, he’s thrown into a maelstrom of betrayal, murder, and conspiracy that may bring down the Republic for good.

WHEN THE SPARROW FALLS illuminates authoritarianism, complicity, and identity in the digital age, in a page turning, darkly-funny, frightening and touching story that recalls Philip K. Dick, John le Carré and Kurt Vonnegut in equal measure.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Nghi Vo

The Chosen and the Beautiful
Tordotcom, June 1, 2021
Hardcover and eBook, 272 pages
An Indie Next Pick!

A Most Anticipated in 2021 Pick for Oprah Magazine | USA Today | Buzzfeed | Greatist | BookPage | PopSugar | Bustle | The Nerd Daily | Goodreads | Literary Hub | Ms. Magazine | Library Journal | Culturess | Book Riot | Parade Magazine | Kirkus | The Week

A Best of Summer Pick for TIME Magazine | Book Riot | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Goodreads | Bustle | Veranda Magazine | Bookish | St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Gatsby the way it should have been written—dark, dazzling, fantastical.” —R. F. Kuang

“Vo has crafted a retelling that, in many ways, surpasses the original. . . . Astonishingly crafted."—Kirkus Reviews, **starred review**

Immigrant. Socialite. Magician.

Jordan Baker grows up in the most rarefied circles of 1920s American society—she has money, education, a killer golf handicap, and invitations to some of the most exclusive parties of the Jazz Age. She’s also queer and Asian, a Vietnamese adoptee treated as an exotic attraction by her peers, while the most important doors remain closed to her.

But the world is full of wonders: infernal pacts and dazzling illusions, lost ghosts and elemental mysteries. In all paper is fire, and Jordan can burn the cut paper heart out of a man. She just has to learn how.

Nghi Vo’s debut novel The Chosen and the Beautiful reinvents this classic of the American canon as a coming-of-age story full of magic, mystery, and glittering excess, and introduces a major new literary voice.
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo





Hannah Whitten

For the Wolf
The Wilderwood 1
Orbit, June 1, 2021
Trade Paperback and eBook, 480 pages
The first daughter is for the Throne.
The second daughter is for the Wolf.

For fans of Uprooted and The Bear and the Nightingale comes a dark, sweeping debut fantasy novel about a young woman who must be sacrificed to the legendary Wolf of the Wood to save her kingdom. But not all legends are true, and the Wolf isn't the only danger lurking in the Wilderwood.

“A masterful debut from a must-read new voice in epic fantasy”—Kirkus (starred review)

As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose—to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he'll return the world's captured gods.

Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can't control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can't hurt those she loves. Again.

But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn't learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood—and her world—whole.

"A brilliant dark fantasy debut!" —Jodi Picoult, NYT bestselling author
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Bookshop : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
Google Play : iBooks : Kobo

2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR!


2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR!



It's time to vote for the 2019 Debut Author Challenge COVER OF THE YEAR! Below you will find the 12 monthly winners in alphabetical order by book title (excluding "the" or "a" or "an", etc.).

Vote for your favorite from the monthly 2019 Winners! Note that there was only 1 debut for December 2019 so it is automatically the December 2019 winner.

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 January 30, 2020 unless voting is extended.


Vote for your favorite 2019 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls





November

2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR!
Cover illustration by Luis Toledo at Dutch Uncle
Cover copyright © 2019 by Hachette Book Group, Inc.





July

2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR!
Illustration by Kathleen Jennings
Cover design by Christine Foltzer





February

2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR!
Cover art by Chris Thornley





September

2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR!
Cover art by Tommy Arnold
Cover design by Jamie Stafford-Hill





January

2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR!
Cover art by Richard Anderson





June

2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR!
Cover design by Najla Qamber





August

2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR!
Jacket art by Ryan Pancoast
Jacket design by Katie Anderson





March

2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR!
Cover Art by Jaime Jones





December

2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR!
Book design by archiefergusondesign.com





October

2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR!
Cover design by Micaela Alcaino





April

2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR!
Cover art by Victor Mosquera





May

2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR!
Jacket design by Owen Corrigan
Jacket photograph © Utro_na_more/iStock/Getty Images (glove);
From the New York Public Library (map)

Interview with Kerstin Hall, author of The Border Keeper


Please welcome Kerstin Hall to The Qwillery as part of the 2019 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Border Keeper is published on July 16, 2019 by Tor.com.



Interview with Kerstin Hall, author of The Border Keeper




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

Kerstin:  In second grade, the teacher told us to write an original short story. I wanted to play outside instead. So I plagiarised Swan Lake, but ended it with everyone dying at the end of the first act. Miss Woods noticed and asked whether that was really how the story concluded.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Kerstin:  I think I aspire to be planner. I always start projects with the best of intentions — namely that I will create a neat outline, follow it, and reach my destination in an orderly fashion. In practise, I tend to get bored and jump into the writing too early. I guess that makes me a hybrid.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Kerstin:  I’m a perfectionist, so I struggle not to go back and endlessly revise the same sentences over and over. I also find killing major characters very difficult; I get far too emotionally invested in them. Oh, and structural revisions. Do not like those at all.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Kerstin:  A large influence on my writing has been working for Beneath Ceaseless Skies magazine. The editorial tastes of the publication have rubbed off on me, especially with regards to worldbuilding. In terms of specific writers, I greatly admire Ann Leckie and China Miéville. And I’m significantly influenced by my environment, although I wouldn’t say my work is recognisably South African.



TQDescribe The Border Keeper using only 5 words.

Kerstin:  Man inadvisably manipulates grumpy psychopomp.



TQTell us something about The Border Keeper that is not found in the book description.

Kerstin:  I think the book might be funnier than the blurb implies. There’s also a very slow-burn romance. And dangerous fish.



TQWhat inspired you to write The Border Keeper? What appeals to you about writing Fantasy?

Kerstin:  A lot of the scenery of The Border Keeper is abstracted from places in southern Namibia. The desert and Eris’ house bear resemblance to the abandoned stations along the railway line between Aus and Lüderitz. There’s a creepy cottage that draws on the buildings in the ghost town of Kolmanskop. And the shadowline -- or border between worlds -- might owe a certain degree of unconscious credit to the Sperrgebiet. The Sperrgebiet is a vast swath of the Namibian desert owned by diamond mining companies. It’s inaccessible to ordinary people, and to enter the region requires a permit and a guide.

I love writing fantasy because I get to set all the rules, which is very convenient. I also love that I can create completely outlandish settings and characters, and readers usually just nod along. Faceless monsters playing violins? Cool. Holes in the ocean? Carry on. Evil demon cats? Maybe not even that implausible. The playfulness inherent to the genre appeals to me.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Border Keeper?

Kerstin:  This is an interesting question for me, because the honest answer is: ‘not much’. There’s the obvious small detail stuff —what trees could grow in this climate, crab anatomy, first aid 101 — but I was very deliberate and careful in not drawing heavily on existing mythologies or cultures in shaping the broader world of the narrative.

The reasons for this are quite personal, and I won’t go into too much detail. In brief, The Border Keeper was submitted during Tor.com Publishing’s open window for non-European fantasy, and I wasn’t sure the degree to which my authorial standpoint ‘counted’ as non-European. With that in mind, I felt that the most ethical thing to do would be to try and generate a narrative world that stood mostly separate from existing belief systems and communities. Basically, to invent everything I could.

Tor.com Publishing apparently liked it, but my grand effort was rendered a little redundant when I realised that I had accidentally named my female protagonist after a Greek goddess. I only realised the mistake six months after I’d submitted it!



TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Border Keeper.

Kerstin:  The cover is the work of Kathleen Jennings (illustration) and Christine Foltzer (design). It’s actually very intricate cut-paper silhouettes, not digitally rendered art! Jennings hid a lot of lovely little story references in the trees; so you can see a compass, a teapot, an egret, a crab, etc. The split figure is Eris, as she passes between realms.



TQIn The Border Keeper who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Kerstin:  Both Vasethe and Eris were easy to write, especially when they were interacting with one another. A lot of tension existed between them, which lent those scenes a fun dynamic.
The hardest character to write was probably the antagonist. I have a terrible tendency to write full-blown cackling evil villains at any given opportunity, and my editor had to gently rein that in.



TQDoes The Border Keeper touch on any social issues?

Kerstin:  Yes, although I tried to approach the topics obliquely. It explores the tensions between violence, forgiveness and justice, and the way I wrote my characters was with the intention of subverting a particular gendered trope — I can’t say which one without spoilers though.



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

Kerstin:  This is quite specific, but: “What happened to Yett’s realm after his murder?”

Answer: Eris should have inherited it, but she couldn’t bring herself to claim it. She has, however, cared for it ever since his death and serves as its de facto ruler.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Border Keeper.

Kerstin:  Here’s one from quite early in the story:

“Here.” Eris tossed Vasethe a black bundle of velvet. He caught it.

“A blindfold?”

“You are familiar with them?” She raised an eyebrow.

He chose not to reply, running a finger along the edge of the musty ribbon.


And here’s another from the middle:

         Vasethe rowed evenly. The water scattered light as he cut through the surface, and shoals of pale blue fish swam in their wake. A flock of waterfowl watched them from the shallows before melting into the reeds, and a lone kite hovered far above, her wingtips fluttering in the cool breeze.



TQWhat’s next?

Kerstin:  I can’t be too specific, but there should be announcements soon. I’m very excited about a certain project I just handed in, and I’m furiously revising another for a deadline in November.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Kerstin:  Thanks for having me!





The Border Keeper
Tor.com, July 16, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 240 pages

Interview with Kerstin Hall, author of The Border Keeper
"Beautifully and vividly imagined. Eerie, lovely, and surreal"—Ann Leckie

She lived where the railway tracks met the saltpan, on the Ahri side of the shadowline. In the old days, when people still talked about her, she was known as the end-of-the-line woman.

In The Border Keeper, debut author Kerstin Hall unfolds a lyrical underworld narrative about loss and renewal.

Vasethe, a man with a troubled past, comes to seek a favor from a woman who is not what she seems, and must enter the nine hundred and ninety-nine realms of Mkalis, the world of spirits, where gods and demons wage endless war.

The Border Keeper spins wonders both epic—the Byzantine bureaucracy of hundreds of demon realms, impossible oceans, hidden fortresses—and devastatingly personal—a spear flung straight, the profound terror and power of motherhood. What Vasethe discovers in Mkalis threatens to bring his own secrets into light and throw both worlds into chaos.





About Kerstin

Interview with Kerstin Hall, author of The Border Keeper
Photo by Sylvia Hall
KERSTIN HALL is a writer and editor based in Cape Town, South Africa. She completed her undergraduate studies in journalism at Rhodes University and, as a Mandela Rhodes Scholar, continued with a Masters degree at the University of Cape Town. Her short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, and she is a first reader for Beneath Ceaseless Skies. She also enjoys photography and is inspired by the landscapes of South Africa and Namibia.







Website  ~  Twitter @kerstin__hall

2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts


2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July 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 2019 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is published in the US. Cover artist/illustrator/designer information is provided when we have it.

I'm using PollCode for this vote. After you the check the circle next to your favorite, click "Vote" to record your vote. If you'd like to see the real-time results click "View". This will take you to the PollCode site where you may see the results. If you want to come back to The Qwillery click "Back" and you will return to this page. Voting will end sometime on August 10, 2019, unless the vote is extended. If the vote is extended the ending date will be updated.

Vote for your favorite July 2019 Debut Cover!
 
pollcode.com free polls




2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts
Illustration by Kathleen Jennings
Cover design by Christine Foltzer





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts
Cover art by Yoshi Yoshitani





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts
Cover design by Lauren Panepinto
Cover illustration by Karla Ortiz





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts
Cover design by Adam Auerbach
Cover photo of stars courtesy of Shutterstock





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts
Cover art by Mikio Murakami





2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July Debuts
Cover design by Lisa Marie Pompilio
Cover illustrations by Shutterstock

The View From Monday - July 15, 2019


Happy Monday!

There are 3 debuts this week:

The Border Keeper by Kerstin Hall;

Snow Over Utopia by Rudolfo A. Serna;

and

The Rage of Dragons (Burning 1) by Evan Winter.

The View From Monday - July 15, 2019The View From Monday - July 15, 2019
The View From Monday - July 15, 2019
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone.   (Max Gladstone was featured in the DAC in 2012.)

and

Howling Dark (Sun Eater 2) by Christopher Ruocchio.

The View From Monday - July 15, 2019The View From Monday - July 15, 2019
Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



The View From Monday - July 15, 2019




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

July 15, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Conversations From the Edge: The Galaxy's Edge Interviews (e) Joy Ward SF/HC/LC



July 16, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Redemption of Time: A Three-Body Problem Novel Baoshu SF/AC/HSF - Remembrance of Earth's Past 4
Earth Ben Bova SF/HSF/AC - Grand Tour 22
Someone Like Me (h2tp) M. R. Carey PsyTh/Occ/Sup/LF/SF/SupTh
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Four Neil Clarke (Ed) SF -Anthology
The Eagle Has Landed: 50 Years of Lunar Science Fiction Neil Clarke (Ed) SF - Anthology
Vox (h2tp) Christina Dalcher CW/Dys/PolTh
Talking to Robots: Tales from Our Human-Robot Futures David Ewing Duncan Comp/Intelligence/Semantics/Robotics/Tech/Eng
This Is How You Lose the Time War Amal El-Mohtar
Max Gladstone
SF/TT
Unforeseen: Stories Molly Gloss SS - Collection
The Border Keeper (D) Kerstin Hall F
The Mere Wife (h2tp) Maria Dahvana Headley LF/CF
The Seas (h2tp) Samantha Hunt CoA
Modern Japanese Short Stories: Twenty-Five Stories by Japan's Leading Writers Ivan Morris H/FairyT/FolkT/LM/P/Japanese - Anthology
Howling Dark Christopher Ruocchio SF/SO/HSF/AC - Sun Eater 2
Snow Over Utopia (D) Rudolfo A. Serna SF/PA/Dys
Children of the Lens (ri) E.E. 'Doc' Smith SF/Classics/SO - Golden Age Masterworks
Baby Teeth (h2tp) Zoje Stage PsyTh/FL/H
Low Chicago (h2tp) George R.R. Martin (Ed)
Wild Cards Trust
SF/SH/ - Wild Cards 18
Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe Heather Webber CW/MR/ST+R
The Rage of Dragons (D) Evan Winter F/African American - Burning 1



July 17, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Absolute at Large (ri) Karel Capek SF



July 18, 2019
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Paradox of Blackness in African American Vampire Fiction Jerry Rafiki Jenkins LC - New Suns: Race, Gender, and Sexuality



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



AA - Action and Adventure
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternative History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
Eng - Engineering
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
Gothic - Gothic
GothicR - Gothic Romance
H - Horror
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
Ke - Kindle eBook
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PerfArts - Performing Arts
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PolTh - Political Thriller
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
RF - Romantic Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SO - Space Opera
SS - Short Stories
ST+R - Small Town and Rural
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
Tech - Technology
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
WS - Women Sleuths

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

2019 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts




There are 9 debut novels for July.

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

The July 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 July cover for the 2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place starting on July 15, 2019.



Naomi Booth

Sealed
Titan Books, July 2, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 240 pages

Heavily pregnant Alice and her partner Pete are done with the city. Alice is haunted by rumors of a skin-sealing epidemic starting to infect the urban population. She hopes their new remote mountain house will offer safety, a place to forget the nightmares and start their family. But the mountains and their people hold a different kind of danger. With their relationship under intolerable pressure, violence erupts and Alice is faced with the unthinkable as she fights to protect her unborn child.

Timely and suspenseful, Sealed is a gripping modern fable on motherhood, a terrifying portrait of ordinary people under threat from their own bodies and from the world around them.





Tom Chatfield

The Gomorrah Gambit
Mulholland Books, July 23, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 304 Pages
(Fiction Debut)

With dark technology hollowing out global privacy, an elite hacker enters the belly of the beast in this “gripping, intelligent, and stylist” international conspiracy thriller (Sophie Hannah, author of Closed Casket).

Azi Bello is an amiable outsider with a genius for hacking. Having spent the better part of his life holed up in a shed in his backyard, Azi has become increasingly enmeshed in the dark side of the internet. With the divide between online and offline worlds vanishing, so too is the line between those transforming civilization through technology and those trying to bring it to its knees. Dark networks rule. Someone with the right connections can access to anything imaginable, and power is theirs for the taking-although even they can’t know what kind of bargain they’ve struck.

Tipped off by a secretive young woman named Munira, Azi sets out to unravel the mysterious online marketplace known as Gomorrah, sacrificing his carefully constructed privacy in the process. Munira’s life is spiraling out of control: her cousins recruited to work for a terrorist state that’s hunting them both, her destiny in Azi’s hands. Her desperation drags Azi into the field where, working together, the two uncover an unimaginable conspiracy.

As pressure mounts, Azi has no choice but to take on the ultimate infiltration. In an age when identities can be switched at will and nobody is who they seem, how far will he go to end the nightmare?





Kimi Eisele

The Lightest Object in the Universe
Algonquin Books, July 9, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

“A triumphant story for anyone with a shred of faith left in the human spirit.” —David McGlynn, author of One Day You’ll Thank Me

What if the end times allowed people to see and build the world anew? This is the landscape that Kimi Eisele creates in her surprising and original debut novel. Evoking the spirit of such monumental love stories as Cold Mountain and the creative vision of novels like Station ElevenThe Lightest Object in the Universe imagines what happens after the global economy collapses and the electrical grid goes down.

In this new world, Carson, on the East Coast, is desperate to find Beatrix, a woman on the West Coast who holds his heart. Working his way along a cross-country railroad line, he encounters lost souls, clever opportunists, and those who believe they’ll be saved by an evangelical preacher in the middle of the country. While Carson travels west, Beatrix and her neighbors begin to construct the kind of cooperative community that suggests the end could be, in fact, a bright beginning.

Without modern means of communication, will Beatrix and Carson find their way to each other, and what will be left of the old world if they do? The answers may lie with a fifteen-year-old girl who could ultimately decide the fate of the lovers.

The Lightest Object in the Universe is a moving and hopeful story about resilience and adaptation and a testament to the power of community, where our best traits, born of necessity, can begin to emerge.





Kerstin Hall

The Border Keeper
Tor.com, July 16, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 240 pages

"Beautifully and vividly imagined. Eerie, lovely, and surreal"—Ann Leckie

She lived where the railway tracks met the saltpan, on the Ahri side of the shadowline. In the old days, when people still talked about her, she was known as the end-of-the-line woman.

In The Border Keeper, debut author Kerstin Hall unfolds a lyrical underworld narrative about loss and renewal.

Vasethe, a man with a troubled past, comes to seek a favor from a woman who is not what she seems, and must enter the nine hundred and ninety-nine realms of Mkalis, the world of spirits, where gods and demons wage endless war.

The Border Keeper spins wonders both epic—the Byzantine bureaucracy of hundreds of demon realms, impossible oceans, hidden fortresses—and devastatingly personal—a spear flung straight, the profound terror and power of motherhood. What Vasethe discovers in Mkalis threatens to bring his own secrets into light and throw both worlds into chaos.





Suyi Davies Okungbowa

David Mogo, Godhunter
Abaddon, July 9, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 360 pages

LAGOS WILL NOT BE DESTROYED

The gods have fallen to earth in their thousands, and chaos reigns.

Though broken and leaderless, the city endures.

David Mogo, demigod and godhunter, has one task: capture two of the most powerful gods in the city and deliver them to the wizard gangster
Lukmon Ajala.

No problem, right?





H. G. Parry

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep
Redhook, July 23, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 464 pages

The ultimate book-lover’s fantasy, featuring a young scholar with the power to bring literary characters into the world, for fans of The Magicians, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, and The Invisible Library.

For his entire life, Charley Sutherland has concealed a magical ability he can’t quite control: he can bring characters from books into the real world. His older brother, Rob — a young lawyer with a normal house, a normal fiancee, and an utterly normal life — hopes that this strange family secret will disappear with disuse, and he will be discharged from his life’s duty of protecting Charley and the real world from each other. But then, literary characters start causing trouble in their city, making threats about destroying the world… and for once, it isn’t Charley’s doing.

There’s someone else who shares his powers. It’s up to Charley and a reluctant Rob to stop them, before these characters tear apart the fabric of reality.





Rudolfo A. Serna

Snow Over Utopia
Apex Book Company, July 16, 2019
Trade Paperback and eBook, 180 pages

Snow Over Utopia is a genre bending short novel of apocalyptic fantasy, sci-fi psychedelia, and doom metal.

In an age of savage science powered by black-mass, and thrown away bio-matter leaked into an underground sea lit by the heart of the great tree, a girl named Eden loses her rare blue eyes. Escaping her fanatical and sadistic slave masters with her eyes in a jar, she runs away with a murderer named Miner. After fleeing for their lives deep within the forest, they are found by the Librarian and his daughter Delilah, and sheltered in their mountain-top sanctuary. But she cannot stop there. If Eden wants to restore her eyes, then she must go on through time and space in a necrotronic stream generated by the living computer program called Witch Mother.

While mutantoid priests in underground bunkers monitor transmissions from the great tree, Eden and Miner must face the horrors of the factories and the coliseum run by the Robot Queen in the city of Utopia.

Can they make the ultimate sacrifice and complete their mission? Or will they fail in Snow Over Utopia?





Kali Wallace

Salvation Day
Berkley, July 9, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
(Adult Debut)

A lethal virus is awoken on an abandoned spaceship in this incredibly fast-paced, claustrophobic thriller.

They thought the ship would be their salvation.

Zahra knew every detail of the plan. House of Wisdom, a massive exploration vessel, had been abandoned by the government of Earth a decade earlier, when a deadly virus broke out and killed everyone on board in a matter of hours. But now it could belong to her people if they were bold enough to take it. All they needed to do was kidnap Jaswinder Bhattacharya—the sole survivor of the tragedy, and the last person whose genetic signature would allow entry to the spaceship.

But what Zahra and her crew could not know was what waited for them on the ship—a terrifying secret buried by the government. A threat to all of humanity that lay sleeping alongside the orbiting dead.

And then they woke it up.




Evan Winter

The Rage of Dragons
The Burning 1
Orbit, July 16, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 544 pages

Game of Thrones meets Gladiator in this debut epic fantasy about a world caught in an eternal war, and the young man who will become his people’s only hope for survival.

The Omehi people have been fighting an unwinnable fight for almost two hundred years. Their society has been built around war and only war. The lucky ones are born gifted. One in every two thousand women has the power to call down dragons. One in every hundred men is able to magically transform himself into a bigger, stronger, faster killing machine.

Everyone else is fodder, destined to fight and die in the endless war.

Young, gift-less Tau knows all this, but he has a plan of escape. He’s going to get himself injured, get out early, and settle down to marriage, children, and land. Only, he doesn’t get the chance.

Those closest to him are brutally murdered, and his grief swiftly turns to anger. Fixated on revenge, Tau dedicates himself to an unthinkable path. He’ll become the greatest swordsman to ever live, a man willing to die a hundred thousand times for the chance to kill the three who betrayed him.

The Rage of Dragons launches a stunning and powerful debut epic fantasy series that readers are already calling “the best fantasy book in years.”


The Burning
The Rage of Dragons
2021 Debut Author Challenge - June 2021 Debuts2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - COVER OF THE YEAR!Interview with Kerstin Hall, author of The Border Keeper2019 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - July DebutsThe View From Monday - July 15, 20192019 Debut Author Challenge - July Debuts

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