Sunday, February 07, 2016

Melanie's Week in Review - February 7, 2016

Welcome to February. While some people find January the toughest month of the year I definitely get the February blues. As I write this it is grey, overcast, windy, and cold outside (although this is England so that could be any day in any month). Lucky for you (and for me) I read a couple of great books that I get to tell you all about.

US Cover - Ace
First up is Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs which is the 9th in the Mercy Thompson series. In this instalment tensions are running high between the werewolves, the humans and the fae. After saving her city from a rampaging troll Mercy discovers a way a key to help slow down the escalating tensions with the fae - a human child who was kidnapped by the fae centuries ago. Mercy and her mate Adam decide to protect the child regardless what the cost, and the cost turns out to be pretty high. This isn't your average human child as the young boy is fire-touched and could turn their very lives into a pile of ash. Is this boy worth being excised from The Pack? You need to read it to find out.

UK Cover - Orbit
I have been thinking since about book 6 that Briggs needed to start to wrap this series up as I was getting a tad bored with Mercy getting beaten up every instalment (or worse). The last book she nearly dies after being almost barbecued by a volcano god. But guess what readers?  She barely gets a scratch in Fire Touched! What a relief. This book still had action but more importantly character development. There were actually repercussions from Mercy's actions but this time they weren't physical. All in all a great read. I have also included both covers.  Which one do you prefer?  One is a bit more graphic novel than the other and I don't think Mercy ever wears a denim crop top!

Book 2 for me was Tanya Huff's Sing the Four Quarters. This book was first published 22 years ago and re-released in digital format last year. I love Tanya Huff and I really enjoyed this first instalment of the Quarters series.

Annice is a bard, not just any bard as she can sing all four quarters. What does this mean?  She can sing to the all four of the kigh (aka elementals)  -wind, water, earth, and fire. When Annice comes back from a Walk no one is more surprised than she that she is pregnant. Normally, this wouldn't be considered treason, but Annice was forbidden to have children by her brother, the new king, when she left the royal family to be trained as a bard. What makes it worse is that the father of her child is found to have committed treason and Annice is determined to clear his name.

If you like high fantasy, amusing characters and a nice mystery then I urge you to try this book. I am not sure however, I will continue with the series as subsequent books are about completely different characters. I liked Annice and the other bards so not sure I want to read about completely other characters, especially when I have a few books on my TBR to get through. Who knows, I may just grab book 2, Fifth Quarter, and try it out.

That is it for me this week. Nice and short, just like February! Enjoy whatever you have on the go and I look forward to sharing with you what I hope are some more great reads.

Fire Touched
Mercy Thompson 9
Ace, March 8, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

Mercy Thompson has been hailed as “a heroine who continues to grow and yet always remains true to herself.”* Now she’s back, and she’ll soon discover that when the fae stalk the human world, it’s the children who suffer…

Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

*Library Journal

Sing the Four Quarters
Quarters 1
JABberwocky Literary Agency, Inc.
eBook, August 4, 2015
Trade Paperback (Amazon), January 21, 2016

The Bards of Shkoder hold the country together. They bring the news of the sea to the mountains, news of the mountains to the plains. They give their people, from peasant to king, a song in common.

Annice is a rare talent, able to Sing all four quarters, but her brother, the newly enthroned King Theron, sees her request to study at the Bardic Hall as a betrayal. But Annice renounces her royal blood and swears to remain childless so as not to jeopardize the line of succession.

Ten years later, she’s on the run from the Royal Guards with the Duc of Ohrid, the father of her unborn child, both of them guilty of treason – one of them unjustly accused. To save the Duc’s life, they’ll have to cross the country, manage to keep from strangling each other, and defeat an enemy too damaged for even a Bard’s song to reach.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Review: Blood in Her Veins by Faith Hunter

Blood in the Veins: Nineteen Stories from the World of Jane Yellowrock
Author:  Faith Hunter
Series:  Jane Yellowrock
Publisher:  Roc, February 2, 2016
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 560 pages
List Price:  $16.00 (print); $9.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9780451475756 (print); 9780698196988 (eBook)

New York Times bestselling author Faith Hunter presents a comprehensive collection of stories starring everyone’s favorite “smart, sexy, and ruthless”* shapeshifting skinwalker…

In this must-have collection of stories, experience nineteen thrilling adventures from the world of vampire-hunter Jane Yellowrock, including many fan favorites and two all-new novellas. Read about the first time Jane put the pedal to the metal in “The Early Years,” and the last thing a werewolf will ever see as Jane delivers justice in “Beneath a Bloody Moon.” Get a searing look into the pasts of some of the series’ best-loved characters: Beast in “WeSa and the Lumber King,” Rick LaFleur in “Cat Tats,” and Molly Everhart Trueblood in “Haints.”

In the brand-new “Cat Fight,” the witches and vampires of Bayou, Oiseau, are at war over a magical talisman—and Jane must figure out how to keep the mysterious artifact out of the covetous hands of the Master of New Orleans. And in the never-before-published “Bound No More,” Jane welcomes a visit from Molly and her daughter, Angie, who is about to prove she’s the most powerful witch in Everhart history….

From the Big Easy to the bad bayou, from the open road to a vampire’s lair—with Jane Yellowrock, it’s always a given: have stakes, will travel.

*New York Times Bestselling Author Kim Harrison

Doreen’s Thoughts

Blood in Her Veins is a terrific addition to the Jane Yellowrock canon; however, newcomers should probably start with Skinwalker, the first novel in the Jane Yellowrock series. This is a terrific collection of stories that center around Jane and some of her secondary characters. About half of the stories focus on Jane herself, while the others are told from the perspective of others. Hunter has collected stories that were published elsewhere as well as a couple of new stories, and in the process, she elaborates on her best characters.

Jane’s story originally starts in the middle of her vampire hunting days, and memories of her early years have been doled out judiciously throughout the rest of the series. Here are a couple of takes that focus on her life before vampires. In “WeSa and the Lumber King,” we see Jane early in her bond with Bigcat, and while she takes little action herself, she is instrumental in the puma’s actions against the white men who are destroying the best hunting lands. “Snafu” introduces Jane as a new apprentice who is being tested by her employer.

Those stories told from the perspective of secondary characters often center on Jane herself and offer a different perspective of the woman. Several stories have been written from the perspective of Ricky Bo, Jane’s first boyfriend. The stories here explain how he becomes a werecat and how Jane gets him the training that he needs to deal with the change. Recently, however, Bruiser has begun courting Jane, and their interaction is rather sweet. “First Sight” is short, little more than a scene sketch, but it makes shows the reason why Bruiser was interested in Jane from the beginning, even before she was aware of it. “Dance Master” is a terrific little story that looks like nothing more than the description of a dance Jane and Bruiser share, but is really so much more.

Several of the stories focus on Molly Trueborn Everhart, a witch with numerous sisters, two children, and a large husband. As Jane’s best friend, Molly often gets pulled into her cases and ends up helping magically. During several novels, Molly and Jane were somewhat estranged, and few of those stories focus on that time period. One of the stories actually focuses on two of Molly’s sisters, and Jane only appears briefly at the end.

Overall, these stories are terrific. They fill in gaps that most readers never realize are in the primary novels. Jane herself is very modest, never recognizing the effect she has on others; seeing her through other people’s eyes better fills out her description. Nothing is better than finding a new book in a favorite series, but short stories that occur in between the novels are the next best thing.

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 41

This is the forty-first in a series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors and their 2015 works published since the last update and any upcoming works for 2016. The year in parentheses after the author's name is the year she/he was featured in the Debut Author Challenge.

This Update includes covers that have recently been revealed (by the author or publisher) for books already mentioned in a previous update and/or new books.

Part 1 herePart 11 herePart 21 herePart 31 here
Part 2 herePart 12 herePart 22 herePart 32 here
Part 3 herePart 13 herePart 23 herePart 33 here
Part 4 herePart 14 herePart 24 herePart 34 here
Part 5 herePart 15 herePart 25 herePart 35 here
Part 6 herePart 16 herePart 26 herePart 36 here
Part 7 herePart 17 herePart 27 herePart 37 here
Part 8 herePart 18 herePart 28 herePart 38 here
Part 9 herePart 19 herePart 29 herePart 39 here
Part 10 herePart 20 herePart 30 herePart 40 here

Jay Kristoff (2012)

Thomas Dunne Books, August 9, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages
[revealed at]

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, a sixteen year old Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. Treachery and trials await her with the Church’s halls, and to fail is to die. But if she survives to initiation, Mia will be inducted among the chosen of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the only thing she desires.


Michael J. Martinez (2013)

The  Daedalus Incident
Daedalus 1
Night Shade Books, February 23, 2016
Mass Market Paperback, 464 pages
Trade Paperback and eBook, August 13, 2013

Bizarre earthquakes are rumbling over the long-dormant tectonic plates of the planet, disrupting its trillion-dollar mining operations and driving scientists past the edges of theory and reason. However, when rocks shake off their ancient dust and begin to roll—seemingly of their own volition—carving canals as they converge to form a towering structure amid the ruddy terrain, Lt. Jain and her JSC team realize that their routine geological survey of a Martian cave system is anything but. The only clues they have stem from the emissions of a mysterious blue radiation, and a 300-year-old journal that is writing itself.

Lt. Thomas Weatherby of His Majesty’s Royal Navy is an honest 18th-century man of modest beginnings, doing his part for King and Country aboard the HMS Daedalus, a frigate sailing the high seas between continents . . . and the immense Void between the Known Worlds. Across the Solar System and among its colonies—rife with plunder and alien slave trade—through dire battles fraught with strange alchemy, nothing much can shake his resolve. But events are transpiring to change all that.

With the aid of his fierce captain, a drug-addled alchemist, and a servant girl with a remarkable past, Weatherby must track a great and powerful mystic, who has embarked upon a sinister quest to upset the balance of the planets—the consequences of which may reach far beyond the Solar System, threatening the very fabric of space itself.

Set sail among the stars with this uncanny tale, where adventure awaits, and dimensions collide!

The Enceladus Crisis
Daedalus 2
Night Shade Books, May 3, 2016
Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Trade Paperback and eBook, April 15, 2014

Lieutenant Commander Shaila Jain has been given the assignment of her dreams: the first manned mission to Saturn. But there’s competition and complication when she arrives aboard the survey ship, Armstrong. The Chinese are vying for control of the critical moon Titan, and the moon Enceladus may harbor secrets deep under its icy crust. Back on Earth, Project DAEDALUS now seeks to defend against other dimensional incursions, but there are other players interested in opening the door between worlds . . . and they’re getting impatient.

For Thomas Weatherby, it’s been nineteen years since he was second lieutenant aboard the HMS Daedalus. Now captain of the seventy-four-gun Fortitude, Weatherby helps destroy the French fleet at the Nile and must chase an escaped French ship from Egypt to Saturn, home of the enigmatic and increasingly unstable aliens who call themselves the Xan. Meanwhile, in Egypt, alchemist Andrew Finch has ingratiated himself with Napoleon’s forces . . . and finds the true, horrible reason why the French invaded Egypt in the first place.

The thrilling follow-up to The Daedalus Incident, The Enceladus Crisis continues Martinez’s Daedalus series with a combination of mystery, intrigue, and high adventure spanning two amazing dimensions.

The Venusian Gambit
Daedalus 3
Night Shade Books, July 5, 2016
Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Trade Paperback and eBook, April 14, 2015

In the year 2135, dangerous alien life-forms freed in the destruction of Saturn’s moon Enceladus are making their way toward Earth. A task force spearheaded by Lieutenant Commander Shaila Jain is scrambling to beat them there while simultaneously trying to save crewmember Stephane Durand, who was infected during the mission to Saturn and is now controlled by a form of life intent on reopening a transdimensional rift and destroying the human race. But Jain doesn’t realize that the possessed Stephane has bigger plans: beaming critical data to other conspirators suspiciously heading not for Earth, but for Venus . . .

In 1809—a Napoleonic era far different from our own—the French have occupied England with their Corps Eternélle, undead soldiers risen through the darkest Alchemy. Only the actions of Lord Admiral Thomas Weatherby and the Royal Navy have kept the French contained to Earth. But the machinations of old enemies point to a bold and daring gambit: an ancient weapon presumed lost in the jungles of Venus.

Now Weatherby must choose whether to stay and fight to retake his homeland, or pursue the French to the green planet. And Shaila must decide if it’s possible to save the man she loves, or if he must be sacrificed for the good of two dimensions. In the dark alien jungles of Venus, humanity’s fate in both dimensions hangs in the balance—forcing past and present to once again join forces against an ancient terror.

Note: MJ-12: Inception (Majestic 12 #1) will be published in Fall 2016 by Night Shade Books. Read more about it at Michael J. Martinez's website.

Will McIntosh (2011)

Tor Books, October 25, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages
[revealed at]

Day One

No one can remember anything—who they are, family and friends, or even how to read. Reality has fragmented and Earth consists of islands of rock floating in an endless sky. Food, water, electricity—gone, except for what people can find, and they can’t find much.

Faller’s pockets contain tantalizing clues: a photo of himself and a woman he can’t remember, a toy soldier with a parachute, and a mysterious map drawn in blood. With only these materials as a guide, he makes a leap of faith from the edge of the world to find the woman and set things right.

He encounters other floating islands, impossible replicas of himself and others, and learns that one man hates him enough to take revenge for actions Faller can’t even remember.
[catalog copy from reveal]

Melissa F. Olson (2012)

Nightshades, July 19, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 176 pages
[revealed at Author's Facebook Page]

Alex McKenna is the new Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago office of the Bureau of Paranormal Investigations―the division tasked with investigating crimes involving shades.

Or vampires, as they’re more widely known.

Children have been going missing, and agents are routinely being slaughtered. It’s up to McKenna, and some unlikely allies, to get to the bottom of the problem, and find the kids before it’s too late.

Nightshades is a new gritty urban fantasy from Melissa F. Olson.

Anthony Ryan (2013)

Queen of Fire
A Raven's Shadow Novel
Ace, June 7, 2016
Trade Paperback, 656 pages
Hardcover and eBook, July 7, 2015

The thrilling conclusion to the “deftly and originally executed” (Booklist) New York Times bestselling Raven’s Shadow trilogy from the author of Blood Song and Tower Lord.

After fighting back from the brink of death, Queen Lyrna is determined to repel the invading Volarian army and regain the independence of the Unified Realm. To accomplish her goals she must not only rally her loyal supporters, but also align herself with forces that possess the strange and varied gifts of the Dark, and take the war to her enemy’s doorstep.

Victory rests on the shoulders of Vaelin Al Sorna, Battle Lord of the Realm. However, the Volarians have a new weapon on their side that Vaelin must destroy if the Realm is to prevail: a mysterious Ally with the ability to grant unnaturally long life to his servants. And defeating one who cannot be killed is a nearly impossible challenge, especially when Vaelin’s blood-song, the mystical power that has made him the epic fighter he is, has gone ominously silent…

Friday, February 05, 2016

Interview with Marshall Ryan Maresca and Review of The Alchemy of Chaos

Please welcome Marshall Ryan Maresca to The Qwillery. The Alchemy of Chaos was published on February 2nd by DAW.

The QwilleryWelcome back to The Qwillery! Since the publication of The Thorn of Dentonhill, A Murder of Mages and now The Alchemy of Chaos have been published. How has your writing process changed since The Thorn of Dentonhill was written?

Marshall Ryan Maresca:  The big thing is that I’ve grown far more disciplined in my day-to-day process. Partly because it’s an easier thing to justify (to yourself and others) when writing moves from being a thing you do purely out of hope and faith to having a concrete goal and expectation. I wrote The Thorn of Dentonhill still learning what a novel is and how to structure it, let alone having no idea what its fate might be. I was able to write Alchemy knowing what its destiny was going to be, which made a lot of those “why am I even doing this?” doubts evaporate.

TQWhat do you wish that you knew about book publishing when The Thorn of Dentonhill came out that you know now?

MRM:  That’s a tough one. If anything, it’s to not worry about what I perceive the is going on, not to worry about how other writers or other books are doing. “The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.”

TQYou are writing two series set in Maradaine: Novels of Maradaine and Novels of the Maradaine Constabulary. How are the two series related and how are they different?

MRM:  Both series are set in the same city, but in different parts. They’re both fantasy-crime books, but looking at it from very different angles. In Thorn and Alchemy the focus is on street gangs and living in or near these neighborhoods, with Veranix having a foot each in and out of that world. The Constabulary books takes the point of view of the city infrastructure, primarily the police force— but keeping that street-level perspective. Plus there’s some character overlap: a minor character in Thorn appeared in Murder, and a couple minor characters from Murder show up in Alchemy.

TQTell us something about The Alchemy of Chaos (A Novel of the Maradaine 2) that is not found in the book description.

MRM:  Veranix is going to have to deal with several new challenges, including having his secret discovered, facing flamboyant assassins and having to navigate a formal collegiate dinner.

TQWhich character in the Novels of Maradaine (so far) has surprised you the most? Who has been the hardest character to write and why?

MRM:  Surprised me the most? I’m going to have say Jutie, one of the Rose Street Princes. He started as a character that mostly exists for Colin’s sake— to give us someone Colin would have a stake in— but he expanded into being a lot more than that. Hardest to write? Probably Lieutenant Benvin, the constable in Aventil. He’s got to be a adversary for both Veranix and Colin, in different ways, while at the same time I can’t just make him bad. He’s a decent cop trying to do the best job he can in an environment that doesn’t give a damn about that.

TQWhich question about the Novels of Maradaine or the Novels of the Maradaine Constabulary do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

MRM:  “With two separate series running in the same setting, do you have a grander Maradaine plan in the works?”

Yes. Yes I do.

TQPlease give us one or two of your favorite quotes from The Alchemy of Chaos.

“Veranix,” she said coolly. “Come with me to my workshop. Right now. Or I’ll have to let everyone know what you were doing last night.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Veranix said.
“Then let me talk you through it.” Arm still around him, she led him off the walkway so they could face the south lawn. Veranix craned his neck to see Delmin standing petrified in between the two buildings. She pointed to the wall in the distance. “I know you’re the Thorn, I know when you returned to campus right over there from doing Thorn things, and I have proof. Proof that my roommate will deliver to the captain of the cadets if I don’t explicitly tell her not to in two hours. So be a good boy and come with me.”

TQWhat's next?

MRM:  Next up for readers is the second Constabulary book, An Import of Intrigue. Inspectors Rainey and Welling must solve a murder deep in The Little East, the foreign enclaves of Maradaine. After that, there will be third books in both series, as well as launching a third Maradaine-based series.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

MRM:  Thank you for having me!

The Alchemy of Chaos
Series:  A Novel of Maradaine 2
Publisher:  DAW, February 2, 2016
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (print and eBook)
ISBN:  9780756411695 (print); 9780756411701 (eBook)

Veranix Calbert is The Thorn—the street vigilante-turned-legend—and a danger to Willem Fenmere, the drug kingpin of Dentonhill. Veranix is determined to stop Fenmere and the effitte drug trade, especially when he discovers that Fenmere is planning on using the Red Rabbits gang in his neighborhood. But Veranix is also a magic student at the University of Maradaine, and it’s exam week. With his academic career riding on his performance, there’s no time to go after Fenmere or the Red Rabbits. But when a series of pranks on campus grow deadly, it’s clear that someone has a vendetta against the university, and Veranix may be the only one who can stop them…

Doreen’s Thoughts

Marshall Ryan Maresca’s third novel, The Alchemy of Chaos, returns to the University of Maradaine and the surrounding neighborhoods. The focus is again on Veranix, the University student learning magic who also is a vigilante against the drug dealer, Fenmere. Veranix is trying to prepare for his finals while dealing with a Prankster at school and rumors of a new drug that may be more threatening than effitte. In addition to Veranix, we also see the perspectives of his cousin Colin, a self-righteous constabulary Benvin, and one of Fenmere’s goons, Bell. The story circulates among the four of them, and readers are able to learn what is happening in multiple parts of the city.

The story assumes that the reader has read the previous novel about Veranix and jumps right into the action again. Since the last story, Fenmere has stopped trying to cross the river into the Thorn’s chosen territory, and Veranix’s life has quieted down somewhat. However, with finals coming, his professor chooses him and his roommate, Delmin, to assist another student to prepare for his Letters presentation. Delmin must calibrate machinery while Veranix pushes numina (magic) at specific levels. This leaves very little time between preparing and taking the tests for scouting the neighborhood. In addition, someone begins playing pranks on the University students, pranks that become increasingly dangerous. These pranks are not entirely magical in nature, but Delmin senses that they have some relationship to magic.

Veranix struggles with whether he should be responsible for solving the prankster danger. He already has his vendetta against Fenmere and has taken responsibility for keeping his part of the City clean of effitte. He questions whether he is capable, let along responsible, for taking on more burden.

There is some cute interplay with his friend, Kaiana, and it is obvious to the reader than Veranix feels more than just friendship for her. His unrecognized jealousy is fun to watch. The story continues Veranix’s friendship with both her and Delmin and introduces Phadre, the student needing practical help for his exams, and Jiarna, a female student who has difficulty being taken seriously in her studies. Colin himself is struggling with his place in the Princes gang, and some of the gang leaders are starting to question exactly who the Thorn might be and where Colin’s allegiance lies. In addition, the overall action scenes are tightly written and fast-paced. The Alchemy of Chaos is another stirring story of magic and mayhem.

Also by Marshall Ryan Maresca

The Thorn of Dentonhill
A Novel of Maradaine 1
DAW, February 3, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Veranix Calbert leads a double life. By day, he’s a struggling magic student at the University of Maradaine. At night, he spoils the drug trade of Willem Fenmere, crime boss of Dentonhill and murderer of Veranix’s father. He’s determined to shut Fenmere down.

With that goal in mind, Veranix disrupts the delivery of two magical artifacts meant for Fenmere’s clients, the mages of the Blue Hand Circle. Using these power-filled objects in his fight, he quickly becomes a real thorn in Fenmere’s side.

So much so that soon not only Fenmere, but powerful mages, assassins, and street gangs all want a piece of “The Thorn.” And with professors and prefects on the verge of discovering his secrets, Veranix’s double life might just fall apart. Unless, of course, Fenmere puts an end to it first.

See Doreen's review here.

A Murder of Mages
A Novel of the Maradaine Constabulary 1
DAW, July 7, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

A Murder of Mages marks the debut of Marshall Ryan Maresca’s novels of The Maradaine Constabulary, his second series set amid the bustling streets and crime-ridden districts of the exotic city called Maradaine. A Murder of Mages introduces us to this spellbinding port city as seen through the eyes of the people who strive to maintain law and order, the hardworking men and women of the Maradaine Constabulary.

Satrine Rainey—former street rat, ex-spy, mother of two, and wife to a Constabulary Inspector who lies on the edge of death, injured in the line of duty—has been forced to fake her way into the post of Constabulary Inspector to support her family.

Minox Welling is a brilliant, unorthodox Inspector and an Uncircled mage—almost a crime in itself. Nicknamed “the jinx” because of the misfortunes that seem to befall anyone around him, Minox has been partnered with Satrine because no one else will work with either of them.

Their first case together—the ritual murder of a Circled mage— sends Satrine back to the streets she grew up on and brings Minox face-to-face with mage politics he’s desperate to avoid. As the body count rises, Satrine and Minox must race to catch the killer before their own secrets are exposed and they, too, become targets.

See Doreen's review here.

About Marshall

Photo by Kimberley Mead
Marshall Ryan Maresca grew up in upstate New York and studied film and video production at Penn State. He now lives Austin with his wife and son. His work appeared in the Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction and Rick Klaw’s anthology Rayguns Over Texas. He also has had several short plays produced and has worked as a stage actor, a theatrical director and an amateur chef. His novels The Thorn of Dentonhill and A Murder of Mages each begin their own fantasy series, both set in the port city of Maradaine. For more information, visit Marshall’s website at

Website  ~  Twitter @marshallmaresca

2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - Noah's Wife by Lindsay Starck

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

Lindsay Starck

Noah's Wife
G.P Putnam's Sons, January 26, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

In the tradition of Daniel Wallace’s Big Fish and Eowyn Ivey’s The Snow Child, a gorgeously written, brilliantly introspective, fable-like novel reimagining Noah’s Ark in our modern times

Noah’s Wife may be a contemporary allegory, but Lindsay Starck is a classic storyteller. . . . Her novel is an engrossing fusion of wisdom and beautiful writing.” — Mary McGarry Morris, internationally bestselling author

When young minister Noah and his dutiful wife arrive at their new post in the hills, they find a gray and wet little town where it’s been raining for as long as anyone can remember. Noah’s wife is determined to help her husband revive this soggy congregation, but soon finds her efforts thwarted by her eccentric new neighbors, among them an idiom-wielding Italian hardware store owner, a towering town matriarch, and a lovelorn zookeeper determined to stand by his charges. Overwhelmed, Noah’s wife fails to realize that Noah, too, is battling his own internal crisis.

Soon, the river waters rise, flooding the streets of the town and driving scores of wild animals out of the once-renowned zoo. As the water swallows up the houses, the telephone poles, and the single highway out of town, Noah, his wife, and the townspeople must confront not only the savage forces of nature but also the fragile ties that bind them to one another.

Full of whimsy and gentle ironic humor, Noah’s Wife is a wise and poignant novel that draws upon the motifs of the biblical flood story to explore the true meaning of community, to examine the remarkable strength of the human spirit, and to ask whether hope can exist even where faith has been lost.