Monday, August 01, 2011

2011 Debut Author Challenge - August Debut Authors

August is an amazing month for debuts! Here are the August debut authors and their novels (in alphabetical order). Pick one or more and let us know in the comments which one(s) you'll be reading. If I've missed any, let me know in the comments.

Where Demons Fear to Tread
Author:  Stephanie Chong
Series:  Company of Angels
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Publisher:  MIRA Books (August 30, 2011)
Price:  $7.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
ISBN:  978-0-7783-1247-5

Where angels fall from grace and demons fall…in love.

"Welcome to DEVIL's Paradise."

The arch demon’s voice was low and deep. His fingers caressed her through the fabric of her dress. “Your soul—or his, Serena. Choose.”

Fledging guardian angel and yoga teacher Serena St. Clair dares to enter Devil’s Paradise nightclub on a  mission—to retrieve the wayward Hollywood “It Boy” she’s assigned to protect. But she’s ambushed by the club’s owner, arch demon Julian Ascher. The most powerful demonic entity in Los Angeles, Julian is handsome as sin, a master of temptation who loves nothing more than corrupting pleasure-seeking humans. He won’t release the lost soul Serena is supposed to guard. Unless she accepts his dangerous wager.…

After the disastrous way his human life ended, Julian vowed that no woman would get the better of him again.
Yet this sexy-sweet angel, smelling of fresh ocean air and happiness, triggers centuries-old feelings. Now, their high-stakes game of seduction, where angels fall from grace and where demons fear to tread, will lead them either to an eternity in hell…or a deliciously hot heaven.

Ready Player One
Author:  Ernest Cline
Format:  Hardcover, 384 pages
Publisher:  Crown (August 16, 2011)
Price:  $24.00
Language:  English
Genre:  Science Fiction
ISBN:  978-0-307-88743-6

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.  

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

Luck of the Devil
Author:  Patricia Eimer
Series:  Speak of the Devil
Format:  Trade Paperback, 273 pages
Publisher:  Entangled Publishing (August 2, 2011)
Price:  $15.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Paranormal Comedy
ISBN: 978-1-937044-11-4

Being the youngest daughter of the Devil isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The days of teenage rebellion and vows of chastity made just to tick off her father are over, and now all Faith Bettincourt wants is a nice, quiet life. Unfortunately, thanks to the unexpected arrival of her demonically-downsized sister, a ditzy succubus roommate, and dear old Dad himself, Faith’s plans for a relaxing vacation spent watching reruns go up in flames.

Now it’s all Faith can do to keep the family reunion from Hell (literally) under wraps, and the angelically-inclined hottie across the hall from realizing there’s something weird about his neighbor. And, thankfully, it’s working. Until an angelic stalker shows up in a bid to steal her powers and take over the world.

Forget watching reruns. With the way things are going, Faith will need the luck of the Devil just to survive until Monday.

Out in Blue
Author:  Sarah Gilman
Series:  Return to Sanctuary
Format:  Trade Paperback, 251 pages
Publisher:  Entangled Publishing (August 2, 2011)
Price:  $15.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
ISBN:  978-1-937044-27-5

In a violent world where fallen archangels are hunted for their valuable plumage, Wren knows one thing for certain: the human woman who saved him from a poacher attack will die if she stays with him. The demon responsible for his parents’ gruesome deaths two decades ago pines for the chance to rip apart any woman who stands under Wren’s wing.

Wren doesn’t expect Ginger to stay by his side once she discovers his ability to drain life with a mere touch, yet she lingers. When an unusual talent of her own reveals the location of Wren’s father, Wren’s isolated world implodes. With the help of the demon protectors he’s sworn never to trust again, Wren risks everything to rescue his father, confront the demon who stalks his and Ginger’s every step, and claim his eternity with the most courageous woman he’s ever known.

Southern Gods
Author:  John Hornor Jacobs
Format:  Trade Paperback, 300 pages
Publisher:  Night Shade Books (August 1, 2011)
Price:  $14.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Horror
ISBN:  978-1-59780-285-7

Recent World War II veteran Bull Ingram is working as muscle when a Memphis DJ hires him to find Ramblin' John Hastur. The mysterious blues man's dark, driving music--broadcast at ever-shifting frequencies by a phantom radio station--is said to make living men insane and dead men rise.

Disturbed and enraged by the bootleg recording the DJ plays for him, Ingram follows Hastur's trail into the strange, uncivilized backwoods of Arkansas, where he hears rumors the musician has sold his soul to the Devil.

But as Ingram closes in on Hastur and those who have crossed his path, he'll learn there are forces much more malevolent than the Devil and reckonings more painful than Hell . . .

In a masterful debut of Lovecraftian horror and Southern gothic menace, John Hornor Jacobs reveals the fragility of free will, the dangerous power of sacrifice, and the insidious strength of blood.

The Noble Pirates
Author:  Rima L. Jean
Series:  Noble Pirates
Format:  Hardcover, 352 pages
Publisher:  Cogito Media Group (August 29, 2011)
Price:  $24.95
Language:  English
Genre:  Historical Fantasy/Time Travel Romance
ISBN:  978-1-926893-40-2

A vacation in the Bahamas goes awry, and a woman from 2009 unexpectedly finds herself in 1718 – amidst pirates. Sabrina is so consumed with her present-day problems that the last thing she expects is to suddenly end up face to face with real pirates. The notorious bad boys of the Golden Age of Piracy, Edward England, Howel Davis, and “Black Bart” Roberts, become Sabrina’s means of survival in the past, and ultimately, her key to returning to the future.

The catch? Sabrina happens to be carrying a book about pirates when she is swept into the past, and that book contains biographies of the very men she meets. She forms relationships with them and learns that, contrary to what she previously thought, they are sailors, servants, and slaves who were pressed into service, victims of social and historical circumstances of the era.

When Sabrina finds herself falling in love with Howel Davis, a sailor who becomes a pirate out of desperation, she begins to wonder: Can she use her knowledge to change the past? Is her knowledge a blessing or a curse?

Night Walker
Author:  Lisa Kessler
Series:  The Night
Format: Trade Paperback,  266 pages
Publisher:  Entangled Publishing (August 2, 2011)
Price:  $15.99
Language: English
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
ISBN:  978-1-937044-13-8

He gave up his soul for a second chance to love her…
Two and a half centuries ago, Calisto Terana lost everything when a zealous priest murdered the woman he loved. Now, desperate for another chance to love her, he wants redemption for the mistake that cost her life.

She’s haunted by dreams of her own death…

After catching her fiance with another woman, Kate Bradley returns to San Diego to clear her head. The last thing she needs is romance, but after meeting Calisto she’s drawn to him in ways she doesn’t understand.

They’ve waited in the shadows for centuries…

Calisto has no doubt Kate is the reincarnation of his lost love, but the Fraternidad Del Fuego Santo has a new watcher with dark ambitions of his own. As old enemies reemerge and a new threat arises, the betrayal that enslaved Calisto to the night might destroy the only woman he’s ever loved again.

Prince of Thorns
Author:  Mark Lawrence
Series:  The Broken Empire
Format:  Hardcover, 335 pages
Publisher:  Ace (August 2, 2011)
Price:  $25.95
Language:  English
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  978-0-441-02032-4

A stunning fantasy debut from a major new talent!

When he was nine, he watched his mother and brother killed before him. By the time he was thirteen, he was the leader of a band of bloodthirsty thugs. By fifteen, he intends to be king...

It's time for Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath to return to the castle he turned his back on, to take what's rightfully his. Since the day he was hung on the thorns of a briar patch and forced to watch Count Renar's men slaughter his mother and young brother, Jorg has been driven to vent his rage. Life and death are no more than a game to him-and he has nothing left to lose.

But treachery awaits him in his father's castle. Treachery and dark magic. No matter how fierce, can the will of one young man conquer enemies with power beyond his imagining?

Author:  Edward Lazellari
Series:  Guardians of Aandor
Format:  Hardcover, 352 pages
Publisher:  Tor (August 30, 2011)
Price:  $24..99
Language:  English
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  978-0-7653-2787-1

Cal MacDonnell is a happily married New York City cop with a loving family. Seth Raincrest is a washed-up photographer who has alienated even his closest friends. The two have nothing in common—except that they both suffer from retrograde amnesia. It’s as if they just appeared out of thin air thirteen years ago, and nothing has been able to restore their memories. Now their forgotten past has caught up to them with a vengeance.

Cal's and Seth’s lives are turned upside down as they are stalked by otherworldly beings who know about the men's past lives. But these creatures aren't here to help; they're intent on killing anyone who gets in their way. In the balance hangs the life of a child who might someday restore a broken empire to peace and prosperity. With no clue why they're being hunted, Cal and Seth must accept the aid of a strange and beautiful woman who has promised to unlock their secrets. The two must stay alive long enough to protect their loved ones, recover their true selves—and save two worlds from tyranny and destruction.

Awakenings launches a captivating fantasy saga by an amazing and talented new storyteller.

Author:  T.C. McCarthy
Series:  Subterrene War Trilogy
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Publisher:  Orbit (August 1, 2011)
Price:  $7.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Science Fiction
ISBN:  978-0-316-12818-6

Germline (n.) the genetic material contained in a cellular lineage which can be passed to the next generation. Also: secret military program to develop genetically engineered super-soldiers (slang).

War is Oscar Wendell's ticket to greatness. A reporter for The Stars and Stripes, he has the only one way pass to the front lines of a brutal war over natural resources buried underneath the icy, mineral rich mountains of Kazakhstan.

But war is nothing like he expected. Heavily armored soldiers battle genetically engineered troops hundreds of meters below the surface. The genetics-the germline soldiers-are the key to winning this war, but some inventions can't be un-done. Some technologies can't be put back in the box.

Kaz will change everything, not least Oscar himself. Hooked on a dangerous cocktail of adrenaline and drugs, Oscar doesn't find the war, the war finds him.

Low Town (The Straight Razor Cure in UK)
Author:  Daniel Polansky
Format:  Hardcover, 352 pages
Publisher:  Doubleday (August 16, 2011)
Price:  $25.95
Language:  English
Genre:  Fantasy/Thriller
ISBN:  978-0-385-53446-8

Drug dealers, hustlers, brothels, dirty politics, corrupt cops . . . and sorcery. Welcome to Low Town.
In the forgotten back alleys and flophouses that lie in the shadows of Rigus, the finest city of the Thirteen Lands, you will find Low Town. It is an ugly place, and its cham­pion is an ugly man. Disgraced intelligence agent. Forgotten war hero. Independent drug dealer. After a fall from grace five years ago, a man known as the Warden leads a life of crime, addicted to cheap violence and expensive drugs. Every day is a constant hustle to find new customers and protect his turf from low-life competition like Tancred the Harelip and Ling Chi, the enigmatic crime lord of the heathens.

The Warden’s life of drugged iniquity is shaken by his dis­covery of a murdered child down a dead-end street . . . set­ting him on a collision course with the life he left behind. As a former agent with Black House—the secret police—he knows better than anyone that murder in Low Town is an everyday thing, the kind of crime that doesn’t get investi­gated. To protect his home, he will take part in a dangerous game of deception between underworld bosses and the psy­chotic head of Black House, but the truth is far darker than he imagines. In Low Town, no one can be trusted.

Daniel Polansky has crafted a thrilling novel steeped in noir sensibilities and relentless action, and set in an original world of stunning imagination, leading to a gut-wrenching, unforeseeable conclusion. Low Town is an attention-grabbing debut that will leave readers riveted . . . and hun­gry for more.

The Whitefire Crossing
Author:  Courtney Schafer
Series:  The Shattered Sigil
Format:  Trade Paperback, 300 pages
Publisher:  Night Shade Books (August 1, 2011)
Price:  $14.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Fantasy Adventure
ISBN:  978-1-59780-283-3

Dev is a smuggler with the perfect cover. He's in high demand as a guide for the caravans that carry legitimate goods from the city of Ninavel into the country of Alathia. The route through the Whitefire Mountains is treacherous, and Dev is one of the few climbers who knows how to cross them safely. With his skill and connections, it's easy enough to slip contraband charms from Ninavel--where any magic is fair game, no matter how dark--into Alathia, where most magic is outlawed.

But smuggling a few charms is one thing; smuggling a person through the warded Alathian border is near suicidal. Having made a promise to a dying friend, Dev is forced to take on a singularly dangerous cargo: Kiran. A young apprentice on the run from one of the most powerful mages in Ninavel, Kiran is desperate enough to pay a fortune to sneak into a country where discovery means certain execution--and he'll do whatever it takes to prevent Dev from finding out the terrible truth behind his getaway.

Yet the young mage is not the only one harboring a deadly secret. Caught up in a web of subterfuge and dark magic, Dev and Kiran must find a way to trust each other--or face not only their own destruction, but that of the entire city of Ninavel.

The Armageddon Chord
Author:  Jeremy Wagner
Format:  Trade Paperback, 264 pages
Publisher:  kNight Romance Publishing (August 22, 2011)
Price:  $17.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Horror/Thriller
ISBN:  978-0-9831297-7-6

Deep beneath the Egyptian sands, an ancient and evil song written in hieroglyphics is discovered in the long lost and buried pyramid of the demonic pharaoh, Aknaseth. It is written, that if this song is performed for the world to hear, it will unleash the Apocalypse upon the world of man…Satan will reign and grant immortality to the chosen.

With the help of abominable Egyptologist, Helmut Hartkopff, nihilistic multibillionaire, Festus Baustone the Third will do whatever it takes to bring the song to life at any cost- even if his only daughter is to be sacrificed.

Kirk Vaisto, dubbed the “God of Guitar” by his millions of fans, soon finds himself caught between the forces of divine good and monumental evil. Vaisto begins a musical journey that takes him from an unholy chapter in ancient Egyptian history to the very remains of the Holy Cross, to the concert stage, and beyond all this, to the very edge of Hell itself.

Will Kirk give the performance of a lifetime and either deliver our world from evil…or will he annihilate us all with the stroke of his hand?

What will happen when Kirk Vasito strikes The Armageddon Chord?


  1. Prince of Thorns has some elements that mirror those in the series I am writing. I look forward to reading it. Thanks for this list!

  2. I'm looking forward to reading Where Demons Fear to Tread and The Nobel Pirates.

  3. Low Town, Southern Gods and The Armageddon Chord strike my fancy..death, magic and rock and roll