Monday, January 26, 2015

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 16

This is the sixteenth in a series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors and their upcoming 2015 books. This update covers some of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge authors. What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2015? - Part 17 will cover additional 2014 DAC authors.

See Part 1 here
See Part 1.5 here
See Part 2 here
See Part 3 here
See Part 4 here
See Part 5 here
See Part 6 here
See Part 7 here
See Part 8 here
See Part 9 here
See Part 10 here
See Part 11 here
See Part 12 here
See Part 13 here
See Part 14 here
See Part 15 here

Daniel Levine

Mariner Books, April 7, 2015
Trade Paperback, 416 pages
Previously published in Hardcover and eBook,

A New York Times Editors’ Choice and one of the Washington Post’s 5 Best Thrillers of the Year 

“[A] knockout debut novel . . . As dark and twisted and alluring as the night-cloaked streets of nineteenth-century London, and this book is as much a fascinating psychological query as it is a gripping narrative.” —Benjamin Percy, author of Red Moon

Summoned to life by strange potions, Hyde knows not when or how long he will have control of “the body.” When dormant, he watches Dr. Jekyll from a remove, conscious of this other, high-class life but without influence. As the experiment continues, their mutual existence is threatened, not only by the uncertainties of untested science, but also by a mysterious stalker. Hyde is being taunted—possibly framed. Girls have gone missing; someone has been killed. Who stands watching in the shadows? In the blur of this shared consciousness, can Hyde ever be confident these crimes were not committed by his hand?

“A pleasure . . . Rich in gloomy, moody atmosphere (Levine’s London has a brutal steampunk quality), and its narrator’s plight is genuinely poignant.” —New York Times Book Review

Peter Liney

The Detainee
Detainee 1
Jo Fletcher Books, February 3, 2015
Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Previously published in Hardcover and eBook, March 2014

Peter Liney honed his strong narrative skills and attention to detail during his long career as a writer of German, Australian, British, and South African television and radio programs. In his debut novel, The Detainee, Liney has crated a dystopian world in which the state has gone bust and can no longer support its weakest members.

The Island is a place of hopelessness. The Island is death. And it is to this place that all the elderly and infirm are shipped, the scapegoats for the collapse of society. There's no escape, not from the punishment satellites that deliver instant judgment for any crime--including escape attempts--and not from the demons that come on foggy nights, when the satellites are all but blind. But when one of the Island's inhabitants, the aging "Big Guy" Clancy, finds a network of tunnels beneath the waste, there is suddenly hope--for love, for escape, and for the chance to fight back.

Into The Fire
Detainee 2
Jo Fletcher Books, March 17, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages

Having escaped the Island--a wasteland that housed those no longer able to contribute to society--Clancy thought his fight was over. But they have returned to the mainland to find that it is not the haven they anticipated. With the punishment satellites that kept them on the Island gone, hell has been unleashed. Clancy is about to discover that his work is far from over. The fires of hell don't burn much hotter than this.

Scott Meyer

An Unwelcome Quest
Magic 2.0 # 3
47North, February 10, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

Ever since Martin Banks and his fellow computer geeks discovered that reality is just a computer program to be happily hacked, they’ve been jaunting back and forth through time, posing as medieval wizards and having the epic adventures that other nerds can only dream of having. But even in their wildest fantasies, they never expected to end up at the mercy of the former apprentice whom they sent to prison for gross misuse of magic and all-around evil behavior.

Who knew that the vengeful Todd would escape, then conjure a computer game packed with wolves, wenches, wastelands, and assorted harrowing hazards—and trap his hapless former friends inside it? Stripped of their magic powers, the would-be wizards must brave terrifying dangers, technical glitches, and one another’s company if they want to see medieval England—and their favorite sci-fi movies on VHS—ever again. Can our heroes survive this magical mystery torture? Or will it only lead them and their pointy hats into more peril?

J. C. Nelson

Soul Ink
A Grimm Agency Novella
Ace, January 6, 2015
eNovella, 90 pages

As the right hand woman at the Fairy Godfather’s Grimm Agency, Marissa Locks has a grip on all things magical. If only she could get control of her own not-so-charmed life…

For most people, waking up after a night of partying next to a dragon, sporting a tattoo with a mind of its own, would be a new low. For Marissa, only the tattoo is new—and, unfortunately, it’s not the weirdest part of her day. The Agency has been called in to stop a string of messy murders, a problem that’s turning into a disaster of biblical proportions, and Marissa’s been assigned to the case.

One of the archangels from Paradisia is attempting to switch teams, and he’s willing to use as many souls as it takes to pay his way. With Grimm contractually bound to clean up the chaos, Marissa must find a way to keep the former cherub from completing his rampage. But between fighting an angel gone bad and battling the magical compulsions of her new Fae tattoo, Marissa’s definitely facing the worst hangover in history…

Includes a preview of the Grimm Agency novel, Armageddon Rules.

Armageddon Rules
Grimm Agency 2
Ace, February 24, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Marissa Locks, newly appointed partner of the Grimm Agency, has a reputation for making a mess of magical matters—although causing Armageddon is a new low, even for her…

Marissa is due for a little happily ever after. After all, she did kill the evil Fairy Godmother, end a war, and snag a sweet promotion within the Fairy Godfather’s magical-problem-solving Agency. But between maintaining a relationship with someone whose amorous advances can cause third-degree burns, dealing with a killer-poodle infestation, and helping her best friend, Princess Ari, learn to wield spells more powerful than curing a hangover, she’s not getting as much peace and quiet as she hoped.

When an enemy from her past appears to exact a terrible revenge, Marissa’s life goes from hectic to hell on earth. With Grimm inexplicably gone and Ari trapped by a sleeping spell, Marissa decides to fight fire with hellfire—and accidentally begins a countdown to the apocalypse.

With the end of days extremely nigh, Marissa will have to master royal politics, demonic law, and biblical plagues in a hurry—because even the end of the world can’t keep the Agency from opening for business…

Wish Bound
Grimm Agency 3
Ace, August 25, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

From the author of Armageddon Rules, the fanciful and fun continuation of the Grimm Agency novels…

As a partner at Grimm’s magical Agency, Marissa Locks is used to working odd jobs. But when an evil queen reappears in Kingdom, life becomes too strange to handle…

Even when she’s not starting it, trouble follows Marissa everywhere. First there was the incident with the homicidal Fairy Godmother. Then there was the time she accidentally started Armageddon. But the problems that always seem to arise on Marissa’s birthday take the cake.

This year, her annual bad-luck presents include an army of invading goblins, the resurrection of two vengeful enemies from hell, and the return of the Black Queen, the evil sorceress whose reign of terror still haunts Kingdom and who happens to have claimed Marissa as her servant.

As Marissa’s friends try to save her from the Black Queen’s clutches, Marissa fights to end a bitter war that started before her birth. But her quest for peace is about to bring up some inconvenient truths about her own past—ones that might cost her the happily ever after she’s always dreamed of…

Bishop O'Connell

The Forgotten
An American Faerie Tale 2
Harper Voyager Impulse, March 17, 2015
eBook, 336 pages

Across the United States, children are vanishing. Only this time, faeries may not be to blame …

Dante, Regent of the fae's Rogue Court, has been receiving disturbing reports. Human children are manifesting magical powers in record numbers. Shunned and forgotten, they live on the streets in ragtag groups with the already-booming population of homeless changelings. But the streets aren't a haven; someone, or something, is hunting these children down.

Wraith, a teenage spell slinger, has no home, no family, and no real memories of her past. She and her friends SK, Fritz, and Shadow are constantly on the run, fleeing from a dark and unknown enemy. But when her companions are taken by "the snatchers," Wraith is their only hope. Her journey to find them will test the limits of her magic—and her trust. A dark force is on the rise, and it could spell the end of our world as we know it.

Review: Transmuted by Karina Cooper

Author:  Karina Cooper
Series:  The St. Croix Chronicles 6
Publisher:  Carina Press, January 26, 2015
Format:  eBook, 290 pages
List Price:  $3.99
ISBN:  9781426899485
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Book six of the St. Croix Chronicles

In this final installment of Cherry St. Croix's adventures, only one thing could compel the disgraced countess to return to Society--the threat of immortality.

All is not peaceful in the wake of the Midnight Menagerie's ruin. Although the Karakash Veil has been forced to flee its stronghold, the mysterious head of the criminal organization is not content to fade away.

Above the foggy drift, a priceless diamond vanishes. In the dangerous Underground, a murderous rampage demands retribution. The hunt for the mastermind behind these misdeeds sends me back to Society--and into the unforgiving embrace of the world I'd left behind.

Nothing is what it seems. Enemies, allies--and a man who struggles with a nature even devotion cannot tame. Torn between the scars of the past and fragile new beginnings, I must create balance in the world I have chosen--and with the people I have come to love. The game has changed; should the Veil achieve the immortality it craves, I will have nowhere left to run.

Melanie's Thoughts

Transmuted is the sixth and final book in the St.Croix Chronicles. It starts a few weeks after the end of book 5 which found Cherry alive and well and living back with her loved ones. She also managed to save the enigmatic Hawke from the clutches of The Veil but she is determined to make him pay for what he did to her, to Hawke and her friends at the Menagerie. Of course, the path to revenge is never straightforward and takes Cherry from the smoggiest slums of London to the dizzy heights of high society.

I enjoyed Transmuted and thought that Cooper wrapped up the series well. She brings back almost all of the characters from previous books including those that died at either her hand or The Veil's. Cooper uses the sub-plot of trying to find a rare diamond stolen from the Queen's vault's as the means of bringing Cherry back into high society and as a result, back in the company of her brother and mother-in-law. Her introduction back into society came on the arm of her brother-in-law Piers. These scenes were dramatic, amusing and worked well to both develop the plot and tie up some loose ends.

As much as I enjoyed Transmuted I did think there were a number of flaws. Cherry seems to spend quite a bit of time lamenting the death of her husband Lord Compton and very little time mourning the death of his murderer and her best friend. I thought that it was odd that Teddy barely got a mention considering he died at her hand and was her closest, if only friend. I didn't enjoy the diamond sub-plot which was the focus for the first third of the book but then side-lined until the very end. In fact, I completely forgot about the stolen diamond until the very end of the book. I was also much less enamored with the former ring master Hawke in this final book. I thought he acted like a bit of a jerk to Cherry by pushing her away and being jealous of Ashmore. I know they had a fairly unromantic romance but Cage was almost mean to the fallen socialite.

Flaws or not Cooper has created a gritty and colourful steampunk London for her characters. This series has been a bit of a roller coaster for me with it's ups and downs but if I look at this series as a whole I think there is something for everyone with a strong heroine at its centre. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.

Excerpt: Ourselves by S. G. Redling

Please welcome S. G. Redling to The Qwillery with an excerpt from Ourselves, which will be published on January 27, 2015 by 47North.

Nahan Da Li

Nahan da li: literally, Are you Nahan? A traditional welcome, a friendly greeting, affectionate.

Stell knew there was something wrong with her. Something dark lived inside of her. She didn’t know what it was or how the others could see it. She might not even have known about it herself if she didn’t see it in the eyes of the congregation and feel it in the fists of her uncle. When she was little, she used to look for it in the ribbons of blood that poured from her body when the ritual knives cut into her.
         Now she knew better.
         Whatever was wrong with her couldn’t be cut out like a splinter underneath her skin. Whatever was wrong with her was wrong to the bone.
         Since she couldn’t cut it out or pray it out, Stell took herself and her darkness out of the compound at every opportunity. She’d climb through the hole in the wall behind her bed, crawl through the forsythia, and run hard and fast up the steep western side of Calstow Mountain. She’d run like someone chased her although she knew the congregation wouldn’t miss her. Her classmates wouldn’t. Stell drew the wrath of Uncle Rom like a magnet to a lodestone and everyone gave Stell a wide berth.
         She thought maybe her mother missed her when she took off into the woods of Calstow Mountain. She thought maybe Malbette might worry about her daughter alone in the darkness of the mountain forests, might wonder if her child was safe and unharmed running through streams and climbing trees, sleeping under the stars and waking in beds of pine needles day after day. She thought her mother might miss her but Malbette’s eyes had a distance in them that was impossible to read so Stell didn’t think about her mother much.
         After all, Stell wasn’t a kid anymore. She had to be at least twenty by now. Maybe closer to twenty-five.
         Nobody ever told Stell how old she was. Nobody ever told Stell anything except to shut up and to repent and to pray. Nobody cared whether or not she could read. (She could but she hated to.) The teachers didn’t care that Stell never looked at the maps or listened to the Traditions or that she learned her numbers quickly. Stell never asked questions and nobody noticed or cared.
         When she was little, before she knew better, she’d ask questions.
         She’d asked why she had to pray so hard, why she had to bleed into the bowls in the filthy church room. She’d stomped her foot and cried and clung to her silent mother as the two of them were led to Uncle Rom’s waiting ritual chamber to be cut and bled before the pale faces of the congregation.
         Uncle Rom had answered those questions with snarls and threats and long recitations of Tradition but those weren’t the questions that silenced Stell. Malbette had done that.
         Stell had asked about her father.
         She didn’t know how old she was when she’d asked but since she hadn’t been tall enough to look out the window, Stell figured she’d been pretty young. Young enough to press her luck. Stell had demanded her mother tell her why she didn’t have a father like the other kids in the compound. Stell had shouted and pled, whined and wept, badgering Malbette to tell her who father was and why he wasn’t with them and why nobody would tell her anything about him.
         Malbette hadn’t answered her. Instead, she ignored her daughter’s dirty, grasping hands and settled into the only chair in the small shack they called home. She folded her hands in her lap, stared into the grimy wood of the near wall, and fell silent. At first Stell had raged as small children do. She cried and pulled but Malbette wouldn’t move. She climbed into her mother’s lap but the larger hands made no move to comfort her. And finally Stell got quiet too. She curled up on the floor beside her mother’s chair, thumb tucked securely in her mouth, her cheeks pressed into the scratchy wool of her mother’s skirts.
         They sat that way for three days.
         When Malbette rose from the chair on the third day, smoothing her skirts, and walking off as if nothing unusual had happened, Stell wiped at the tears and spit and snot that had dried on her face. She headed into her room, pulled the cot away from the wall, and kicked at the loose board behind it. She crawled through that hole and ran up to the mountain.
         On Calstow Mountain it didn’t matter what was wrong with Stell. Whatever darkness she had inside her didn’t bother the raccoons or opossum or hawks. The wild turkeys kept their distance but the streams and poplars didn’t mind her. The only ones that screamed at her were the blue jays and they screamed at everything. They even screamed at the common.
         Stell loved those moments when she heard something crashing through the brush louder than any forest creature would. Birds would fly and Stell would climb as fast as she could up into the nearest tree, folding into herself and being as silent as an owl so she could watch and listen to the strangely dressed, heavily burdened common making their way along the forest trails. She listened to their voices; their English sounded so different from hers, no trace of a Nahan accent at all. And sometimes if she really stared at one of them, if she really focused on one particular part of one particular common, that common would freeze. Stell would bite her lip, trying not to giggle as they scanned the forest around them, some ancient instinct alerting them to a danger they couldn’t see.
         Stell didn’t know why they would fear her but she loved it when that happened.
         Maybe that had something to do with the darkness within her.
         She didn’t care. The common would go and Stell would climb down and the mountain would be hers again. It was hers today and Stell lay in her favorite spot, a thick blanket of moss between the creek bed and a thicket of blackberry bushes. Summer had only just started warming up the mountain and it would be weeks until the blackberries appeared but Stell had peeled off her gray, woolen dress as she always did once the snow melted. She’d tossed the hated garment into the poplar branches and sprawled out along the chilly moss.
         The canopy overheard hadn’t thickened fully yet and the sun warmed her pale skin. Bits of mud flaked off her body as she stretched long. She must have fallen asleep because she didn’t hear the rattling of the blackberry branches or the swearing until it was too late to hide. Stell leapt to her feet, blinking away the sleep, as the branches closed together, catching the skin of a young man who pulled at the thorns.
         They stared at each other. Stell knew her eyes and mouth were as wide open as his.
         He was Nahan. She could see it and smell it and feel it.
         And he was beautiful.
         “Nahan da li?” she asked, smiling at this wondrous site before her.
         He looked nothing like the congregation. His clothes weren’t drab and rough. His skin shone with a health she had never seen. And most wondrous of all? His surprised gape turned into a smile.
         “What? Oh yeah, yeah.” He nodded but Stell didn’t think he blinked. “I’m Nahan. I’m…I’m…I’m Thomas. Tomas. Tomas is my real, you know, my real name, um, that we, you know, use here because my grandparents…that’s my name when I’m here. I mean it’s my name but I use Thomas when I’m home but here I use, you know, my name. Tomas.”
         Stell watched the words pour out of his beautiful mouth. She wanted to touch the shadows of pink that rose on his pale cheeks as he talked and talked. He said more to her in that minute than anyone had said to Stell in months.
         “I’m Stell, " she said but he seemed to want more. “All the time. I’m only ever Stell.”
         The pink on his cheeks settled into a glorious rose shade that matched the lower lip he licked. His teeth shone white as he bit into it and Stell couldn’t think of a single reason to ever look at anything else again. She watched his mouth move and waited for more words.
         “Why are you naked?”
         “My dress is in the tree.”
         “Do you want me to get it down?”

Excerpted from OURSELVES by S.G. Redling. Copyright 2015. Published By 47North. Used by permission of the publisher. Not for reprint without permission.

The Nahan 1
47North, January 27, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 334 pages

They have always been among us.

An ancient, enigmatic race, the Nahan have protected their secret world by cultivating the myths of fanged, bloodsucking monsters that haunt legends. Yet they walk through our world as our coworkers and our neighbors, hiding in plain sight and coexisting in peace. They survive…and they prosper.

A shy young dreamer, Tomas wanders through his life with help from his good friends and influential family on the ruling Council. Now, he’s decided his future lies with the Nahan’s most elite class: the mysterious Storytellers. But his family is troubled by his new choice—and by his new girlfriend, Stell, a wild, beautiful, and deadly outcast from a fanatical Nahan sect.

As Tomas descends into the dark wonders of the Nahan’s most powerful culture, Stell answers her own calling as an exceptional assassin. But when a lethal conspiracy threatens their destinies, Tomas and Stell must unite their remarkable talents against the strongest—and most sinister—of their kind.

About S. G. Redling

S. G. Redling hosted a morning radio program for fifteen years before turning to writing. A graduate of Georgetown University, she was a finalist in the 2011 Esquire Short Short Fiction Contest. She is the author of The Widow File, Redemption Key, Damocles, Flowertown, and Braid: Three Twisted Stories. She currently resides in her home state of West Virginia.

Facebook  ~  Twitter @SGRedling

The View From Monday - January 26, 2015

Happy last Monday in January! We're going to be have a bit of snow over the next couple of days - actually a blizzard with up to 30" of snow so I'll be staying in and getting some reading done... in between bouts of shoveling. If you are in the storm's path, please take care! If you are having lovely weather in the 70s, for example, enjoy! Now on to books:

There are 2 debuts this week:

Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekback;


The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac by Sharma Shields.

And from formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

Transmuted (St. Croix Chronicles 6) by Karina Cooper

Gemini Cell by Myke Cole;

The Mime Order (Scion 2) by Samantha Shannon;


Blind Faith (Sin Brothers 3) by Rebecca Zanetti.

January 26, 2015
Transmuted (e) Karina Cooper HistF - St. Croix Chronicles 6
The Second Lie Anna Richland UFR - Immortal Vikings 2

January 27, 2015
Wastelands - Stories of the Apocalypse John Joseph Adams (ed) Ap/PA - Anthology
Hunger's Mate Part 3 A. C. Arthur PNR - Shadow Shifters 5
Mercy Snow (h2tp) Tiffany Baker Gothic
Shattered Pillars (h2tp) Elizabeth Bear F - The Eternal Sky 2
Night Broken (h2mm) Patricia Briggs UF - Mercy Thompson 8
Queen of the Dark Things (h2tp) C. Robert Cargill UF - Dreams and Shadows 2
Gemini Cell Myke Cole F/Mil - Shadow Ops
Forged in Fire (e) Juliette Cross PNR - Vessel Trilogy 1
Deadeye William C. Dietz SF - Mutant Files 1
The Sea Without a Shore (h2mm) David Drake SF - RCN 10
Pacific Fire Greg van Eekhout UF - Daniel Blackland 2
Wolf Winter (D) Cecilia Ekback Hist/Su
Viper Game Christine Feehan PNR - Ghostwalker 11
Pillar to the Sky (h2tp) William R. Forstchen Th/Ap
Bound by Flames Jeaniene Frost PNR - Night Prince 3
Panther Prowling Yasmine Galenorn UF -  Otherworld 17
Waking the Dead (h2mm) Heather Graham M/Su/R - Cafferty & Quinn 2
The Orphan Choir (h2tp) Sophie Hannah H
The Salt Roads (e)(ri) Nalo Hopkinson TT/R
Skin Folk: Stories (e)(ri) Nalo Hopkinson F/SF - Collection
Weirder Shadows Over Innsmouth Stephen Jones (ed) H
Come and Take Them (h2mm) Tom Kratman SF - Carerra 5
The Man Who Made Models R.A. Lafferty SF - Collection
Season of Strangers (ri) Kat Martin PNR
Misery Loves Company (e) Tracey Martin UF - Miss Misery 3
Vengeful Spirit Graham McNeill SF - The Horus Heresy2 9
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Takedown John Jackson Miller SF - Star Trek: The Next Generation
Inside a Silver Box Walter Mosley SF
Master Sergeant Mel Odom SF - The Makaum War 1
The Originals: The Rise Julie Plec UF - The Originals 1
The Long Mars (h2mm) Terry Pratchett
Stephen Baxter
SF - Long Earth 3
The Three Fates of Ryan Love Erin Quinn PNR - Beyond 2
Ourselves S.G. Redling UF - Nahan1
The Great Zoo of China Matthew Reilly Th
The Silent Girls Eric Rickstad Th
Star Wars: Maul: Lockdown (h2mm) Joe Schreiber SF - Star Wars: Maul
The Mime Order Samantha Shannon F - Scion 2
The Dragon Conspiracy Lisa Shearin UF - SPI Files 2
The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac (D) Sharma Shields LF/F
The Revolution Trade: A Merchant Princes Omnibus Charles Stross F - Merchant Princes
The City Stained Red Sam Sykes F - Bring Down Heaven 1
The Girl in 6E (h2tp) A R. Torre Th - Deanna Madden 1
Guardian (e) Erik Williams F/Mil
Blind Faith Rebecca Zanetti RSus - Sin Brothers 3

January 29, 2015
Alien Imaginations: Science Fiction and Tales of Transnationalism Ulrike Kuchler (ed)
Silja Maehl (ed)
Graeme Stout (ed)
SF - Anthology
A Wizard Rises: HarperImpulse Fantasy Romance (A Serial Novella) (e) AJ Nuest FR - The Golden Key Legacy 3
The Boy Who Wept Blood (e) Den Patrick F

January 30, 2015
Wolf's Song (K e) Taryn Kincaid PNR - Black Hill Wolves 4

January 31, 2015
Forsaken Kelley Armstrong UF - Otherworld Stories 13.3
The Way into Magic Harry Connolly F - The Great Way 2
Jacaranda Cherie Priest SP - Clockwork Century Novella
Ashes and Arsenic (e) SM Reine PM - Preternatural Affairs 6

D - Debut
e - eBook
ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
K e - Kindle eBook only
ri - reissue or reprint

Ap - Apocalyptic
F - Fantasy
FR - Fantasy Romance
H - Horror
HistF - Historical Fantasy
LF - Literary Fiction
M - Mystery
Mil - Military
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
R - Romance
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
SP - Steampunk
Su - Supernatural
Sus - Suspense
UF - Urban Fantasy
UFR - Urban Fantasy Romance