Sunday, December 22, 2013

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 1

This is the first in a series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors and their upcoming books for 2014. This update covers some of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge authors. Look for What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 2  on The Qwillery tomorrow, which will cover more of the 2011 authors.

Please note that publication dates are subject to change and that The Qwillery uses U.S. publications dates. In addition, some cover images are not yet available.

Ben Aaronovitch

Broken Homes
Peter Grant 4
DAW, February 4, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

My name is Peter Grant, and I am a keeper of the secret flame -- whatever that is.

Truth be told, there's a lot I still don't know. My superior Nightingale, previously the last of England's wizardly governmental force, is trying to teach me proper schooling for a magician's apprentice. But even he doesn't have all the answers. Mostly I'm just a constable sworn to enforce the Queen’s Peace, with the occasional help from some unusual friends and a well-placed fire blast. With the new year, I have three main objectives, a) pass the detective exam so I can officially become a DC, b) work out what the hell my relationship with Lesley Mai, an old friend from the force and now fellow apprentice, is supposed to be, and most importantly, c) get through the year without destroying a major landmark.

Two out of three isn’t bad, right?

A mutilated body in Crawley means another murderer is on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil, who may either be a common serial killer or an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man -- a man whose previous encounters I've barely survived. I've also got a case about a town planner going under a tube train and another about a stolen grimoire.

But then I get word of something very odd happening in Elephant and Castle, on a housing estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans, and inhabited by the truly desperate. If there's a connection to the Crawley case, I'll be entering some tricky waters of juristiction with the local river spirits. We have a prickly history, to say the least.

Just the typical day for a magician constable.

Jenn Bennett

Bitter Spirits
Roaring Twenties 1
Berkley, January 7, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

It’s the roaring twenties, and San Francisco is a hotbed of illegal boozing, raw lust, and black magic. The fog-covered Bay Area can be an intoxicating scene, particularly when you specialize in spirits…

Aida Palmer performs a spirit medium show onstage at Chinatown’s illustrious Gris-Gris speakeasy. However, her ability to summon (and expel) the dead is more than just an act.

Winter Magnusson is a notorious bootlegger who’s more comfortable with guns than ghosts—unfortunately for him, he’s the recent target of a malevolent hex that renders him a magnet for hauntings. After Aida’s supernatural assistance is enlisted to banish the ghosts, her spirit-chilled aura heats up as the charming bootlegger casts a different sort of spell on her...

On the hunt for the curseworker responsible for the hex, Aida and Winter become drunk on passion. And the closer they become, the more they realize they have ghosts of their own to exorcise…

Grim Shadows (Roaring Twenties 2) will be published in June 2014.

Banishing the Dark
Arcadia Bell 4
Pocket Books, May 27, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

The fourth book in Jenn Bennett’s critically beloved urban fantasy series, gutsy renegade mage and tiki bar owner Arcadia Bell faces the last danger standing between her old identity and the new future she desperately wants: herself.

Complicated does not begin to describe Arcadia Bell’s life right now: unnatural magical power, another brush with death, and a murderous mother who’s not only overbearing but determined to take permanent possession of Cady’s body. Forced to delve deep into the mystery surrounding her own birth, she must uncover which evil spell her parents cast during her conception…and how to reverse it. And fast. As Cady and her lover Lon embark on a dangerous journey through her magical past, Lon’s teenage son, Jupe, sneaks off for his own investigation. Each family secret they uncover is darker than the last, and Cady, who has worn many identities—Moonchild, mage, fugitive—is about to add one more to the list.

Sabrina Benulis

The Books of Raziel 2
Harper Voyager, April 1, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

The haunting gothic tale started in Archon continues-a mesmerizing work of the paranormal in which a young woman discovers that she is caught in a labyrinth of intrigue where angels, demons, and all the creatures between Heaven and Hell will stop at nothing to possess her.

A year ago, Angela Mathers, a talented artist with a tortured soul, enrolled at the Westwood Academy and encountered the angels who haunted her dreams. Then she discovered the dark truth … she is the Archon, a being of supreme power who will determine the fate of the universe. But with such power comes great danger, and for every force seeking to aid Angela there is another burning to stop her. After a scheming demon kidnaps the Book of Raziel, Angela must find her way through a nightmarish game and enter the Door to Hell to rescue her only friend before it is too late.

The perilous fate of both Heaven and Hell rests on her success.

Adam Christopher

Hang Wire
Angry Robot Books, January 28, 2014 (US/Canada and eBook)
February 6, 2013 (UK)
Trade Paperback and eBook

Ted Hall is worried. He’s been sleepwalking, and his somnambulant travels appear to coincide with murders by the notorious Hang Wire Killer.

Meanwhile, the circus has come to town, but the Celtic dancers are taking their pagan act a little too seriously, the manager of the Olde Worlde Funfair has started talking to his vintage machines, and the new acrobat’s frequent absences are causing tension among the performers.

Out in the city there are other new arrivals – immortals searching for an ancient power – a primal evil which, if unopposed, could destroy the world!

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Tensile Strength | Dual Identities | The Greatest Show | Bandits ]


The Burning Dark
Spider Wars 1
Tor Books, March 25, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

Adam Christopher’s dazzling first novel, Empire State, was named the Best Book of 2012 by SciFi Now magazine. Now he explores new dimensions of time and space in The Burning Dark.

Back in the day, Captain Abraham Idaho Cleveland had led the Fleet into battle against an implacable machine intelligence capable of devouring entire worlds. But after saving a planet, and getting a bum robot knee in the process, he finds himself relegated to one of the most remote backwaters in Fleetspace to oversee the decommissioning of a semi-deserted space station well past its use-by date.

But all is not well aboard the U-Star Coast City. The station’s reclusive Commandant is nowhere to be seen, leaving Cleveland to deal with a hostile crew on his own. Persistent malfunctions plague the station’s systems while interference from a toxic purple star makes even ordinary communications problematic. Alien shadows and whispers seem to haunt the lonely corridors and airlocks, fraying the nerves of everyone aboard.

Isolated and friendless, Cleveland reaches out to the universe via an old-fashioned space radio, only to tune in to a strange, enigmatic signal: a woman’s voice that seems to echo across a thousand light-years of space. But is the transmission just a random bit of static from the past—or a warning of an undying menace beyond mortal comprehension?

Anita Clenney

Heart of a Highland Warrior
Connor Clan 3
Montlake Romance, June 3, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook

A bloodthirsty evil stalks the Connor Clan…

Brave, beautiful, and haunted by her past, demon hunter Anna MacKinley will do anything to help the Connors. Under divine orders, the headstrong warrior travels the world, slaying demons and vampires. When she stumbles upon a hidden stone fortress while searching for her clan’s lost Book of Battles, dark forces swiftly imprison her—and she discovers her cell mate is a gorgeous Scottish warrior who has no memories, but looks strikingly familiar.

And only a secret from the past can win the day…and her heart.

The warriors of the centuries-old Connor Clan search for their missing time-vault and the powerful relic within. What they find is a grave…and a kilt-clad body they fear is the long-lost Tavis Connor. But there may yet be more to the Highland warrior’s fate than a pile of bones. Desperate to save his brother and his clan’s Book of Battles from a demon hell-bent on destruction, Tavis begins a 150-year quest that will end in modern-day New York. But when he wakes, he discovers he’s the one in need of help. His only hope of rescue is a bonny lass who claims to be a warrior. A warrior waging war on demons…and his heart.

Karina Cooper

St. Croix Chronicles 4
Carina Press, February 10, 2014
eBook, 333 pages

Forced out of London's coal-blackened streets, Cherry St. Croix is faced with her most difficult undertaking yet: sobriety.

At long last, my guardian, the enigmatic Mr. Oliver Ashmore, has revealed himself—and his order is clear: I am to be dried out at once, regardless of my wishes.

I loathe the country estate I am imprisoned within. Footsteps follow me, voices call for me, and my sanity wavers. In my fevered dreams, I am haunted by those I failed, while waking proves no protection from the ghosts of my reckless past. The craving for laudanum plagues me. I require a distraction.

To unravel the alchemical mysteries of my mother’s family, I must rely on Ashmore’s tutelage. I am lured to the art and drawn by the secrets my guardian possesses. Yet the deeper I delve, the more I believe that something dreadful disturbs these haunted corridors. In my madness, I fear that what it wants me.

(Cover and description from the author's website.)

Ms. Cooper recently stated on Twitter:

Virna DePaul

The Belladonna Agency 1
Bantam, April 1, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Welcome to a mesmerizing world where vampires hide among humans. This centuries-old species has its own rules, code of conduct, and taboos. Only the FBI knows that vampires exist—and although the Bureau agrees to keep their secret, it also plots to give humans the upper hand.

Turning mortals into vampires is forbidden.

But there are creatures who refuse to play by the rules.

Ever since he was turned, FBI special agent Ty Duncan has had one mission: bring rogue vampires to justice. As a recruiter for Belladonna, a shadow agency formed to keep vampires in check, Ty must tap Ana Martin, a troubled ex–gang member and one of the few mortals who can infiltrate places that his kind and the law cannot. From their first encounter, Ty fights a hunger to make Ana his own.

When Ty claims to have information about Ana’s missing sister, Ana has no choice but to trust this captivating stranger who awakens her deepest desires. But as she and Ty climb the heights of pleasure and passion, an enemy is conspiring to destroy them both.

Can Ana help Ty find his humanity in a love that could heal them both, or will their passion lead them into a darkness impossible to escape?

The Belladonna Agency 2
Bantam, July 1, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Ex-soldier Barrett Miles had no idea that vampires were real—until Belladonna recruits her to serve as a covert agent and infiltrate a murderous sex ring run by the most depraved of immortals, those who feed on the purity and blood of innocents. Their latest victim: a young girl whom Barrett promised to protect. She will be sold—unless Barrett can find her first. Forced to team up with her former lover, Nick Maltese, an undercover sniper, Barrett is caught between fulfilling her personal mission and shielding her heart from the man who betrayed her.

Nick’s hunting a new breed of vampires and harboring a terrible secret when Barrett finds him. Soon a seething underworld of strange desires threatens to engulf them all. Can he save the girl and reclaim Barrett’s heart? Nick knows he has only one chance to prove himself to her as the hunt begins—and their love forces them to embrace the darkest places in their souls.

Revealed (The Belladonna Agency 3) will be published in the Fall 2013.

Dani Harper

Storm Bound
Grim 2
Montlake Romance, March 18, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook

Kidnapped on his wedding day in the twelfth century and forced into a thousand years of servitude by a cold-hearted faery princess, rugged blacksmith Aidan dreams of nothing but revenge on his captor. Then the spell of a beautiful witch awakens him to the present day—and a passionate desire. But to build a future, he must first confront his past…

Modern witch and magic-shop owner Brooke doesn’t think her life is missing anything, until a wayward enchantment lands a brooding medieval blacksmith in her spell room—and in her arms. Yet even after their passion proves to be truly magical, Aidan’s first commitment is to vengeance. Now Brooke must team up with friends and ancient warriors alike—and push her own powers to their limits—to save her love from the wrath of an evil fae.

From the bestselling author of Changeling Moon, this thrilling and sensual novel adds a new chapter to Dani Harper’s Celtic folklore–themed Grim Series.


  1. Hi there!! Thanks so much for featuring my books. Have a wonderful holiday!!

    1. Of course! I love to see what the DAC authors are up to. Happy and Merry to you and yours!