Wednesday, February 01, 2012

2012 Debut Author Challenge - February 2012 Debuts

There are 15 debuts in February so I'm sure that everyone will find at least one debut, maybe 2 or 3, to read this month.  Please note that I use the publisher's publication date in the United States.

Take a good look at the covers. Voting for the your favorite February cover for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place later this month.

The February debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). 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.

Throne of the Crescent Moon
Author:  Saladin Ahmed
Series:  The Crescent Moon Kingdoms
Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
Publisher:  DAW (Feburary 7, 2012)
Price:  $24.95
Language:  English
Genre:  Fantasy Adventure

From Saladin Ahmed, finalist for the Nebula and Campbell Awards, comes one of the year's most anticipated fantasy debuts: THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON, a fantasy adventure with all the magic of The Arabian Nights.

The Crescent Moon Kingdoms, home to djenn and ghuls, holy warriors and heretics, are at the boiling point of a power struggle between the iron- fisted Khalif and the mysterious master thief known as the Falcon Prince. In the midst of this brewing rebellion a series of brutal supernatural murders strikes at the heart of the Kingdoms. It is up to a handful of heroes to learn the truth behind these killings.

Doctor Adoulla Makhslood, "the last real ghul hunter in the great city of Dhamsawaat," just wants a quiet cup of tea. Three score and more years old, he has grown weary of hunting monsters and saving lives, and is more than ready to retire from his dangerous and demanding vocation. But when an old flame's family is murdered, Adoulla is drawn back to the hunter's path.

Raseed bas Raseed, Adoulla's young assistant, is a hidebound holy warrior whose prowess is matched only by his piety. But even as Raseed's sword is tested by ghuls and manjackals, his soul is tested when he and Adoulla cross paths with the tribeswoman Zamia.

Zamia Badawi, Protector of the Band, has been gifted with the near- mythical power of the lion-shape, but shunned by her people for daring to take up a man's title. She lives only to avenge her father's death. Until she learns that Adoulla and his allies also hunt her father's killer. Until she meets Raseed.

When they learn that the murders and the Falcon Prince's brewing revolution are connected, the companions must race against time-and struggle against their own misgivings-to save the life of a vicious despot. In so doing they discover a plot for the Throne of the Crescent Moon that threatens to turn Dhamsawaat, and the world itself, into a blood-soaked ruin.

Author:  Kristen Callihan
Series:  Darkest London
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
Publisher:  Forever (February 1, 2012)
Price:  $5.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
ISBN:  9781455508594

London, 1881
Once the flames are ignited . . .
Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family's fortune decimated and forced her to wed London's most nefarious nobleman.

They will burn for eternity . . .
Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it's selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can't help being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn't felt in a lifetime. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. But the curse that haunts him cannot be denied. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask.

Songs of the Earth
Author:  Elspeth Cooper
Series:  The Wild Hunt
Format:  Hardcover, 480 pages
Publisher:  Tor Books (February 28, 2012)
Price:  $24.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Fantasy
ISBN:  978-0-7653-3165-6

The Book of Eador, Abjurations 12:14, is very clear: Suffer ye not the life of a witch. For a thousand years, the Church Knights have obeyed that commandment, sending to the stake anyone who can hear the songs of the earth. There are no exceptions, not even for one of their own.

Novice Knight Gair can hear music no one else can, beautiful, terrible music: music with power. In the Holy City, that can mean only one thing: death by fire—until an unlikely intervention gives him a chance to flee the city and escape the flames.

With the Church Knights and their witchfinder hot on his heels, Gair hasn’t time to learn how to use the power growing inside him, but if he doesn’t master it, that power will tear him apart. His only hope is the secretive Guardians of the Veil, though centuries of persecution have almost destroyed their Order, and the few Guardians left have troubles of their own.

For the Veil between worlds is weakening, and behind it, the Hidden Kingdom, ever-hungry for dominion over the daylight realm, is stirring. Though he is far from ready, Gair will find himself fighting for his own life, for everyone within the Order of the Veil, and for the woman he has come to love.

Eternity's Mark
Author:  Maeve Greyson 
Format:  Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher:  Brava (February 28, 2012)
Price:  $14.00
Language:  English
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
ISBN:  978-0-7582-7339-0

A sexy Scot. A mystical inheritance. What could go wrong?

Veternarian Hannah MacPherson knows better than to believe in love at first—or any—sight. True, being swept away by Taggart de Gaelson to the vast Scottish castle she’s mysteriously inherited is uber-romantic. The legacy is totally legitimate, and its messenger is big, broad-shouldered, and smokin’ in more ways than one …

Too bad Taggart forgot to mention that Hannah’s also a Guardian of magical dragons called the Draecna. And as Hannah’s sworn otherworldly protector, Taggart is honor-bound not to lay a hand on her, no matter how close he gets…

But turning duty into pleasure is just too tempting. And for Hannah, mastering her powers and saving two worlds from evil will be way easier than showing one hardheaded warrior that breaking all the rules means they are eternally made for each other …

Vengeance Born
Author:  Kylie Griffin
Series:  Light Blade
Format:  Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher:  Berkley Trade (February 7, 2012)
Price:  $15.00
Language:  English
Genre:  Fantasy Romance

There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not pure bred is virtually powerless. Until an unlikely champion is born...

Annika, half-blood daughter of the Na'Reish King, longs for more than her tormented life among her father's people. Conceived in hatred and bred as a tool of retribution, she's gifted with a special talent that can heal as well as destroy...

With the Na'Reish vastly outnumbering them, Kalan, a Light Blade warrior, knows the future of humankind depends on him alone. Incursions into human territory and raids for blood-slaves by the Na'Reish Horde have increased. As Chosen-leader, he faces the task of stopping the demons-and convincing the Council of aging Light Blade warriors that change is necessary for survival.

When Annika learns Kalan is a prisoner in her father's dungeon, her dream of escape seems within reach. She agrees to free him in exchange for his protection once they reach human territory. Now, marked for death for helping him, Annika must learn to trust Kalan as they face not only the perilous journey to the border but enemies within the Council-and discover a shocking truth that could throw the human race into civil war...

Deliver Me From Darkness
Author:  Tes Hilarie
Series:  Paladin Warriors
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Casablance (February 7, 2012)
Price:  $6.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
ISBN:  978-1-4022-6434-4


He had once been a warrior of the Light, one of the revered Paladin. A protector. But now he lives in darkness, and the shadows are his sanctuary. Every day is a struggle to overcome the bloodlust. Especially the day Karissa shows up at his doorstep.


She is light and bright and everything beautiful—despite her scratches and torn clothes. Every creature of the night is after her. So is every male Paladin. Because Karissa is the last female of their kind. But she is his. He may not have a soul, but he can't deny his heart.

Dead Harvest
Author:  Chris F. Holm
Series:  The Collector
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Publisher:  Angry Robot (February 28, 2012 US/Can; March 1, 2012 UK/RoW)
Price:  $7.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Urban Fantasy Noir
ISBN:  978-0-85766-218-7

Meet Sam Thornton. He collects souls.

Sam’s job is to collect the souls of the damned, and ensure they are dispatched to the appropriate destination. But when he’s sent to collect the soul of a young woman he believes to be innocent of the horrific crime that’s doomed her to Hell, he says something no Collector has ever said before.


File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Souled Out | Damned If You Don't | Collector Mania | On The Run ]

The Snow Child
Author:  Eowyn Ivey
Format:  Hardcover, 400 pages
Publisher:  Reagan Arthur Books/Little, Brown (February 1, 2012)
Price:  $24.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Fairy Tales/Fantasy
ISBN:  978-0-316-17567-8

Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart--he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone--but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees.

This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.

Author:  Benedict Jacka
Series:  Alex Verus
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher:  Ace (February 28, 2012)
Price:  $7.99
Language: English
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
ISBN:  978-1-937007-29-4

Alex Verus is part of a world hidden in plain sight, running a magic shop in London. And while Alex's own powers aren't as showy as some mages, he does have the advantage of foreseeing the possible future--allowing him to pull off operations that have a million-to-one-chance of success.

But when Alex is approached by multiple factions to crack open a relic from a long-ago mage war, he knows that whatever's inside must be beyond powerful. And thanks to his abilities, Alex can predict that by taking the job, his odds of survival are about to go from slim to none...

Curses! A F**ked-Up Fairy Tale
Author:  J.A. Kazimer 
Format:  Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher:  Kensington (February 28, 2012)
Price:  $15.00
Language:  English
Genre:  Fantasy/Humor
ISBN:  978-0-7582-6912-6

I’m no hero. In fact, up until a couple of days ago, I was the villain. Kidnapped maidens, scared kids, stole magic tchotchkes—until I got into a little scrape with the union. Now I’m cursed with the worst fate in New Never City—no matter what I do, I gotta be nice.

So when a head-case princess named Asia barges into my apartment and asks me to find out who whacked her stepsister, Cinderella, I have no choice but to help her. And I’m more than willing to head back to her parents’ castle and do some investigating if it means I can get into her black leather cat suit. Except this twisted sister has a family nutty enough to send the Biggest Baddest Wolf running for the hills—and a freaky little curse of her own...

The Ritual
Author:  Adam Nevill
US Debut
Format:  Trade Paperback, 432 pages
Publisher:  St. Martin's Griffin (February 14, 2012)
Price:  $15.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Horror
ISBN:  978-0-312-64184-9

When four old University friends set off into the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle, they aim to briefly escape the problems of their lives and reconnect with one another. But when Luke, the only man still single and living a precarious existence, finds he has little left in common with his well-heeled friends, tensions rise. With limited experience between them, a shortcut meant to ease their hike turns into a nightmare scenario that could cost them their lives. Lost, hungry, and surrounded by forest untouched for millennia, Luke figures things couldn’t possibly get any worse. But then they stumble across an old habitation. Ancient artefacts decorate the walls and there are bones scattered upon the dry floors. The residue of old rites and pagan sacrifice for something that still exists in the forest. Something responsible for the bestial presence that follows their every step. As the four friends stagger in the direction of salvation, they learn that death doesn’t come easy among these ancient trees . . .

The Man from Primrose Lane
Author:  James Renner
Format:  Hardcover, 384 pages
Publisher:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux (February 28, 2012)
Price:  $26.00
Language:  English
Genre:  Horror
ISBN:  978-0-374-20095-4

A mind-bending, genre-twisting debut novel

In West Akron, there lived a reclusive elderly man who always wore mittens, even in July. He had no friends and no family; all over town, he was known only as the Man from Primrose Lane. And on a summer day in 2008, someone murdered him.

Four years later, David Neff is a broken man. The bestselling author of a true-crime book about an Ohio serial killer, Neff went into exile after his wife’s inexplicable suicide. That is, until an unexpected visit from an old friend introduces him to the strange mystery of “the man with a thousand mittens.” Soon Neff finds himself drawn back into a world he thought he had left behind forever. But the closer he gets to uncovering the true identity of the Man from Primrose Lane, the more he begins to understand the dangerous power of his own obsessions and how they may be connected to the deaths of both his beloved wife and the old hermit.

With a deft and singular blend of suspense, literature, and horror, James Renner's The Man from Primrose Lane boasts as many twists and turns as a roller coaster. It’s a spellbinding journey of redemption and a reflection on the roles of fate, destiny, and obsession when it comes to matters of the heart.

King of Darkness
Author:  Elisabeth Staab
Series:  Chronicles of Yavn
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Casablanca (February 7, 2012)
Price:  $6.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
ISBN:  978-1-4022-6315-6


Scorned by the vampire community for her lack of power, Isabel Anthony lives a carefree existence masquerading as human—although drifting through the debauched human nightlife, she prefers the patrons' blood to other indulgences. But when she meets the sexy, arrogant king of the vampires, this party-girl's life turns dark and dangerous.


Dead-set on finding the prophesied mate who will unlock his fiery powers, Thad Morgan must find his queen before their race is destroyed. Their enemies are gaining ground, and Thad needs his powers to unite his subjects. But when his search leads him to the defiant Isabel, he wonders if fate had gotten it seriously wrong...

Author:  Joan Swan
Format:  Trade Paperback, xxx pages
Publisher:  Brava (February 28, 2012)
Price:  $14.00
Language:  English
Genre:  Paranormal Romantic Suspense
ISBN:  978-0-7582-6638-5

Dr. Alyssa Foster will admit to a bad boy fetish...

But when she finds herself face to face with a convicted murderer with a ripped body, a determination for freedom and an eye on her as his get out of jail free card, Alyssa knows she’s in deep trouble.... Not just because Teague Creek is a prisoner desperate for freedom, but because his every touch makes her desperate for more.

A man with a life sentence has nothing to lose...

Teague Creek has one shot at freedom, but his plan to escape with a hostage develops a fatal flaw: Alyssa. On the run from both the law and deadly undercover operatives who know of his strange abilities, he needs to avoid trouble, but every heated kiss tells him the fire between them could be just as devastating as the flames that changed him forever.

Blood and Bullets
Author:  James R. Tuck
Series:  Deacon Chalk, Occult Bounty Hunter
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher:  Kensington (February 7, 2012)
Price:  $7.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
ISBN:  978-0-7582-7147-1

He lives to kill monsters. He keeps his city safe. And his silver hollow-points and back-from-the-dead abilities help him take out any kind of supernatural threat. But now an immortal evil has this bad-ass bounty hunter dead in its sights…

Ever since a monster murdered his family, Deacon Chalk hunts any creature that preys on the innocent. So when a pretty vampire girl “hires” him to eliminate a fellow slayer, Deacon goes to warn him—and barely escapes a vampire ambush. Now he’s got a way-inexperienced newbie hunter to protect and everything from bloodsuckers to cursed immortals on his trail. There’s also a malevolent force controlling the living and the undead, hellbent on turning Deacon’s greatest loss into the one weapon that could destroy him…


  1. I'm really looking forward to reading Firelight and Blood and Bullets, although there are several others that look very interesting that I'll be checking out as well.

    1. I've read a King of Darkness and Deliver Me from Darkness already. Reviews soon. And will read Dead Harvest, Firelight, Blood and Bullets, and probably The Snow Child. I may even read a couple more after that if I have time. :D