Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Announcing the 2014 Debut Author Challenge!


I can't think of a better way to end 2013 than by announcing the the initial 14 authors featured in The Qwillery's 2014 Debut Author Challenge. To participate in the Challenge as a reader, please head to the 2014 Debut Author Challenge page for the rules.






Mary Behre

Spirited
Tidewater 1
Berkley, March 4, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

She’s running from who she is…

All Jules Scott wants is to live a normal, quiet life—preferably one that doesn’t include ghosts. Jules’s talent for communicating with the dead has brought her nothing but trouble. Despite her best efforts, needy spirits always find her and draw her into their otherworldly drama. When one implicates her in a series of deadly crimes, she may need to entrust her secrets to the person least likely to believe her…

He’ll do whatever it takes to catch her.

Detective Seth English can’t get distracted from the big case he’s working on, not even by his alluring new neighbor. He doesn’t believe that Jules had anything to do with the string of robberies-turned-murders that he’s investigating, but when she keeps showing up in all the wrong places, his gut tells him she knows more than she’s letting on. To solve his case, he’ll need to expose what the sexy redhead is hiding—no matter how impossible the truth may be…



Pierce Brown

Red Rising
Red Rising Trilogy 1
Del Rey, January 28, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

Pierce Brown’s relentlessly entertaining debut channels the excitement of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”


Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.



James L. Cambias

A Darkling Sea
Tor Books, January 28, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

On the planet Ilmatar, under a roof of ice a kilometer thick, a team of deep-sea diving scientists investigates the blind alien race that lives below. The Terran explorers have made an uneasy truce with the Sholen, their first extraterrestrial contact: so long as they don’t disturb the Ilmataran habitat, they’re free to conduct their missions in peace.

But when Henri Kerlerec, media personality and reckless adventurer, ends up sliced open by curious Ilmatarans, tensions between Terran and Sholen erupt, leading to a diplomatic disaster that threatens to escalate to war.

Against the backdrop of deep-sea guerrilla conflict, a new age of human exploration begins as alien cultures collide. Both sides seek the aid of the newly enlightened Ilmatarans. But what this struggle means for the natives—and the future of human exploration—is anything but certain, in A Darkling Sea by James Cambias.



Rachel Cantor

A Highly Unlikely Scenario or, a Neesta Pizza Employee's Guide to Saving the World
Melville House, January 14, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 256 pages

In the not-too-distant future, competing giant fast food factions rule the world. Leonard works for Neetsa Pizza, the Pythagorean pizza chain, in a lonely but highly surveilled home office, answering calls on his complaints hotline. It’s a boring job, but he likes it—there’s a set answer for every scenario, and he never has to leave the house. Except then he starts getting calls from Marco, who claims to be a thirteenth-century explorer just returned from Cathay. And what do you say to a caller like that? Plus, Neetsa Pizza doesn’t like it when you go off script.

Meanwhile, Leonard’s sister keeps disappearing on secret missions with her “book club,” leaving him to take care of his nephew, which means Leonard has to go outside. And outside is where the trouble starts.

A dazzling debut novel wherein medieval Kabbalists, rare book librarians, and Latter-Day Baconians skirmish for control over secret mystical knowledge, and one Neetsa Pizza employee discovers that you can’t save the world with pizza coupons.



John Dixon

Phoenix Island
Gallery Books, January 7, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

The judge told Carl that one day he’d have to decide exactly what kind of person he would become. But on Phoenix Island, the choice will be ma de for him.

A champion boxer with a sharp hook and a short temper, sixteen-year-old Carl Freeman has been shuffled from foster home to foster home. He can’t seem to stay out of trouble—using his fists to defend weaker classmates from bullies. His latest incident sends his opponent to the emergency room, and now the court is sending Carl to the worst place on earth: Phoenix Island.

Classified as a “terminal facility,” it’s the end of the line for delinquents who have no home, no family, and no future. Located somewhere far off the coast of the United States—and immune to its laws—the island is a grueling Spartan-style boot camp run by sadistic drill sergeants who show no mercy to their young, orphan trainees. Sentenced to stay until his eighteenth birthday, Carl plans to play by the rules, so he makes friends with his wisecracking bunkmate, Ross, and a mysterious gray-eyed girl named Octavia. But he makes enemies, too, and after a few rough scrapes, he earns himself the nickname “Hollywood” as well as a string of punishments, including a brutal night in the “sweatbox.” But that’s nothing compared to what awaits him in the “Chop Shop”—a secret government lab where Carl is given something he never dreamed of.

A new life. . . .

A new body. A new brain.

Gifts from the fatherly Old Man, who wants to transform Carl into something he’s not sure he wants to become.

For this is no ordinary government project. Phoenix Island is ground zero for the future of combat intelligence.

And for Carl, it’s just the beginning. . . .



David Edison

The Waking Engine
Tor Books, February 11, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages

Welcome to the City Unspoken, where Gods and Mortals come to die.

Contrary to popular wisdom, death is not the end, nor is it a passage to some transcendent afterlife. Those who die merely awake as themselves on one of a million worlds, where they are fated to live until they die again, and wake up somewhere new. All are born only once, but die many times . . . until they come at last to the City Unspoken, where the gateway to True Death can be found.

Wayfarers and pilgrims are drawn to the City, which is home to murderous aristocrats, disguised gods and goddesses, a sadistic faerie princess, immortal prostitutes and queens, a captive angel, gangs of feral Death Boys and Charnel Girls . . . and one very confused New Yorker.

Late of Manhattan, Cooper finds himself in a City that is not what it once was. The gateway to True Death is failing, so that the City is becoming overrun by the Dying, who clot its byzantine streets and alleys . . . and a spreading madness threatens to engulf the entire metaverse.

Richly imaginative, David Edison's The Waking Engine is a stunning debut by a major new talent.



Adrianne Harun

A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain
Penguin, February 25, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 272 pages

The seductive and chilling debut novel from the critically acclaimed author of The King of Limbo


In isolated British Columbia, girls, mostly native, are vanishing from the sides of a notorious highway. Leo Kreutzer and his four friends are barely touched by these disappearances—until a series of mysterious and troublesome outsiders come to town. Then it seems as if the devil himself has appeared among them.

In this intoxicatingly lush debut novel, Adrianne Harun weaves together folklore, mythology, and elements of magical realism to create a compelling and unsettling portrait of life in a dead-end town. A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain is atmospheric and evocative of place and a group of people, much in the way that Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones conjures the South, or Charles Bock’s Beautiful Children provides a glimpse of the Las Vegas underworld: kids left to fend for themselves in a broken world—rendered with grit and poetry in equal measure.


Anne Leonard

Moth and Spark
Viking Adult, February 20, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

A prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed—at any cost.

Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control. Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in the capital that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming to Caithen. Torn between Corin’s quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, the lovers must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off.



Robin Riopelle

Deadroads
Night Shade Books, April 1, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook,  320 pages

Lutie always wanted a pet ghost-but the devil's in the details.

The Sarrazins have always stood apart from the rest of their Bayou-born neighbors. Almost as far as they prefer to stand from each other. Blessed-or cursed-with the uncanny ability to see beyond the spectral plane, Aurie has raised his children, Sol, Baz, and Lutie, in the tradition of the traiteur, finding wayward spirits and using his special gift to release them along Deadroads into the afterworld. The family, however, fractured by their clashing egos, drifted apart, scattered high and low across the continent.

But tragedy serves to bring them together. When Aurie, while investigating a series of ghastly (and ghostly) murders, is himself killed by a devil, Sol, EMT by day and traiteur by night, Baz, a traveling musician with a truly spiritual voice, and Lutie, combating her eerie visions with antipsychotics, are thrown headlong into a world of gory sprites, brilliant angels, and nefarious demons-small potatoes compared to reconciling their familial differences.

From the Louisiana swamps to the snowfields of the north and everywhere in between, Deadroads summons you onto a mysterious trail of paranormal proportions.



Lauren M. Roy

Night Owls
Night Owls 1
Ace, February 25, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

Night Owls bookstore is the one spot on campus open late enough to help out even the most practiced slacker. The employees’ penchant for fighting the evil creatures of the night is just a perk…

Valerie McTeague’s business model is simple: provide the students of Edgewood College with a late-night study haven and stay as far away as possible from the underworld conflicts of her vampire brethren. She’s experienced that life, and the price she paid was far too high for her to ever want to return.

Elly Garrett hasn’t known any life except that of fighting the supernatural beings known as Creeps or Jackals. But she always had her mentor and foster father by her side—until he gave his life protecting a book that the Creeps desperately want to get their hands on.

When the book gets stashed at Night Owls for safekeeping, those Val holds nearest and dearest are put in mortal peril. Now Val and Elly will have to team up, along with a mismatched crew of humans, vampires, and lesbian succubi, to stop the Jackals from getting their claws on the book and unleashing unnamed horrors…



Mark Smylie

The Barrow
Pyr, March 4, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 700 pages
Cover Illustration © Gene Mollica

Action, horror, politics, and sensuality combine in this DEBUT EPIC FANTASY novel for fans of George R. R. Martin and Michael J. Sullivan, set in the world of the Eisner-nominated Artesia comic books.

To find the Sword, unearth the Barrow. To unearth the Barrow, follow the Map.

When a small crew of scoundrels, would-be heroes, deviants, and ruffians discover a map that they believe will lead them to a fabled sword buried in the barrow of a long-dead wizard, they think they've struck it rich. But their hopes are dashed when the map turns out to be cursed and then is destroyed in a magical ritual. The loss of the map leaves them dreaming of what might have been, until they rediscover the map in a most unusual and unexpected place.

Stjepan Black-Heart, suspected murderer and renegade royal cartographer; Erim, a young woman masquerading as a man; Gilgwyr, brothel owner extraordinaire; Leigh, an exiled magus under an ignominious cloud; Godewyn Red-Hand, mercenary and troublemaker; Arduin Orwain, scion of a noble family brought low by scandal; and Arduin's sister Annwyn, the beautiful cause of that scandal: together they form a cross-section of the Middle Kingdoms of the Known World, brought together by accident and dark design, on a quest that will either get them all in the history books, or get them all killed.



Brian Staveley

The Emperor's Blades
Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne 1
Tor Books, January 14, 2013
Hardcover and eBook, 480 pages

In The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley, the emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But each of them also has a life-path on which their father set them, destinies entangled with both ancient enemies and inscrutable gods.

Kaden, the heir to the Unhewn Throne, has spent eight years sequestered in a remote mountain monastery, learning the enigmatic discipline of monks devoted to the Blank God. Their rituals hold the key to an ancient power he must master before it's too late.

An ocean away, Valyn endures the brutal training of the Kettral, elite soldiers who fly into battle on gigantic black hawks. But before he can set out to save Kaden, Valyn must survive one horrific final test.

At the heart of the empire, Minister Adare, elevated to her station by one of the emperor's final acts, is determined to prove herself to her people. But Adare also believes she knows who murdered her father, and she will stop at nothing—and risk everything—to see that justice is meted out.



Ramona Wheeler

Three Princes
Tor Books, February 4, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

Lord Scott Oken, a prince of Albion, and Professor-Prince Mikel Mabruke live in a world where the sun never set on the Egyptian Empire. In the year 1877 of Our Lord Julius Caesar, Pharaoh Djoser-George governs a sprawling realm that spans Europe, Africa, and much of Asia. When the European terrorist Otto von Bismarck touches off an international conspiracy, Scott and Mik are charged with exposing the plot against the Empire.

Their adventure takes them from the sands of Memphis to a lush New World, home of the Incan Tawantinsuyu, a rival empire across the glittering Atlantic Ocean. Encompassing Quetzal airships, operas, blood sacrifice and high diplomacy, Ramona Wheeler's Three Princes is a richly imagined, cinematic vision of a modern Egyptian Empire.



T. R. Williams

Journey into the Flame
Rising World Trilogy 1
Atria Books, January 7, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

In 2027, the Great Disruption shook the world. An unexplained solar storm struck the earth, shifting it four degrees south on its axis. Everything went dark. Humanity was on the verge of despair. Then a man named Camden Ford discovered a set of ancient books called the Chronicles of Satraya.

Thirty years later, the world is a different place. Thanks to the teachings of the Chronicles, hope has been restored, cities rebuilt, technology advanced. The books also have a different owner: Logan Cutler, who inherited them when Camden mysteriously disappeared. But when Logan auctions off the books to pay his debts, they fall into the wrong hands. The Reges Hominum, a clandestine group that once ruled history from the shadows, is launching a worldwide conspiracy to regain control.

Soon Logan realizes he’s made a terrible mistake. With the help of special agent Valerie Perrot and the wisdom of the Chronicles as his guide, he embarks on an epic quest to get the books back before it’s too late.

Abounding with questions about humanity’s secret past and its unknown future, Journey into the Flame will not only take you to the start of an incredible new world, it will also take you deep into the greater mysteries of the self.




Monday, December 30, 2013

Review: Masks by E. C. Blake


Masks
Author:  E. C. Blake
Series:  Masks of Aygrima 1
Publisher:  DAW, November 5, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages
List Price:  $19.95 (print)
ISBN:  9780756407599 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Masks, the first novel in a mesmerizing new fantasy series, draws readers into a world in which cataclysmic events have left the Autarchy of Aygrima the one land blessed with magical resources cut off from its former trading partners across the waters, not knowing if any of those distant peoples still live. Yet under the rule of the Autarch, Aygrima survives. And thanks to the creation of the Masks and the vigilance of the Autarch s Watchers, no one can threaten the security of the empire.

In Aygrima, magic is a Gift possessed from birth by a very small percentage of the population, with the Autarch himself the most powerful magic worker of all. Only the long-vanquished Lady of Pain and Fire had been able to challenge his rule.

At the age of fifteen, citizens are recognized as adults and must don the spell-infused Masks which denote both status and profession whenever they are in public. To maintain the secure rule of the kingdom, the Masks are magically crafted to reveal any treasonous thoughts or actions. And once such betrayals are exposed, the Watchers are there to enforce the law.

Mara Holdfast, daughter of the Autarch s Master Maskmaker, is fast approaching her fifteenth birthday and her all-important Masking ceremony. Her father himself has been working behind closed doors to create Mara s Mask. Once the ceremony is done, she will take her place as an adult, and Gifted with the same magical abilities as her father, she will also claim her rightful place as his apprentice.

But on the day of her Masking something goes horribly wrong, and instead of celebrating, Mara is torn away from her parents, imprisoned, and consigned to a wagon bound for the mines. Is it because she didn t turn the unMasked boy she discovered over to the Night Watchers? Or is it because she s lied about her Gift, claiming she can only see one color of magic, when in truth she can see them all, just as she could when she was a young child?

Whatever the reason, her Mask has labeled her a traitor and now she has lost everything, doomed to slavery in the mines until she dies. And not even her Gift can show Mara the future that awaits her a future that may see her freed to aid a rebel cause, forced to become a puppet of the Autarch, or transformed into a force as dangerous to her world as the legendary Lady of Pain and Fire.



Brannigan's Review

Masks is the first novel in a new fantasy series. From the first page, you're thrust into an epic story involving a very interesting magic system. One I've never see before and one that I never got tired learning about. The magic system is its own character in the book, and since it is unique, you spend a lot of time learning about it and how it relates to the world. Still, the author leaves enough mystery that you hope to learn more about it in future books.

Mara Holdfast is a very identifiable character, one that almost any female can find a common thread with, while also not alienating males who would like to read the series. The book begins with Mara being very young and illustrates her ideal home life and the tests she goes through to discover her magical gift. This is an important area to develop her character, so the readers will be able to understand the struggles she goes through later in the book. In the majority of the story, however, she is a 15-year-old.

I've read some complaints by other reviewers that Mara is a bit whiny in the book and it drove them away. I think it's important to talk about the target audience for this book. The publisher has categorized it as General Adult/Grades 12 & Up, however based on the character's age and the plot, I see it as more of a Young Adult book. I think some adult readers will find Mara on the whiny side, whereas older teenagers may not find it annoying, since they're still exploring the world around them as well as exploring the same inner emotions and learning how to deal with their world. Mara is true to this and does spend time thinking about what she has been forced to do.

For you romance fans, there is also the beginning of a love triangle in the story, but thankfully for the non-romantics it's not the center of the story. I suspect it will be used in future books, but since it is handled very naturally, I don't think I'd mind reading more about it in future books.

The only complaint I have about the book other than an unclear target audience, is I didn't get to spend more time with the villain of the series, the Autarch. He's still a bit of an enigma. I know some authors like to take this approach with villains—less is more. There are plenty of other minor villains in the book, but I kept wanting to see the Autarch in action, instead of learning about him second hand from other characters.

If young adults or parents of young adults would like to read the book, I do feel obligated to mention there are several scenes of graphic violence, as well as several implied references to rape and one scene of attempted rape. There are also a few instances of strong language. Lastly, there is a scene of under-age drinking, but it also shows the morning-after effects.

Masks is a strong first book in a promising new series, however, I hope the author finds his target audience by the second book. I'd recommend Masks to older young adults, and adults who enjoy Fantasy and Dystopian fiction with teenage characters or anyone who likes unique magical systems.

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 9


This is the eighth in a series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge (DAC) authors and their upcoming books for 2014. This update covers some of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge authors. Look for update throughout 2014 as well! And remember, publication dates can change!


Part 1 is here - 2011 DAC Authors.
Part 2 is here - 2011 DAC Authors.
Part 3 is here - 2012 DAC Authors.
Part 4 is here - 2012 DAC Authors.
Part 5 is here - 2012 DAC Authors.
Part 6 is here - 2013 DAC Authors.
Part 7 is here - 2013 DAC Authors.
Part 8 is here - 2013 DAC Authors.






Liesel Schwarz

Sky Pirates
The Chronicles of Light and Shadow 3
Del Rey, July 1, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

For romance and urban fantasy fans and readers of Gail Carriger’s Changeless and Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker, this thrilling historical fantasy adventure features warlocks, fairies, and the unforgettable heroine—the daring dirigible pilot Elle Chance—who navigates the realms between the Light and Shadow.

With her husband, Hugh Marsh, missing in the netherworld and presumed dead, Elle Chance loses herself in the task at hand: piloting the airship Water Lily on commissions across the globe. But as it turns out, her beloved is very much alive—the once-powerful warlock reduced to a wraith. When Water Lily is threatened by pirates, Elle will have to channel all her power as the Oracle—the keeper of the barrier between the two Realms—to try to save what she loves most. As the dark forces of Shadow converge around her, Elle must find a way to breach the curse that binds Marsh. But once released, will Marsh return to her—or is their love destined to die so that he can live?




Luke Scull

Sword of the North
Grim Company 2
Roc, 2014
Hardcover and eBook


Cover image from the author's website



Lori Sjoberg

Grave Destinations
Grave 2
eKensington, January 2, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook

She’s sexy-fierce, resourceful—and will do anything to protect victims as innocent as she once was. But this kick-ass reaper never bargained on meeting her not-quite-human match…or putting their very souls on the line.

A luxury Caribbean cruise is Ruby Dawson’s idea of hell even under the best circumstances. Too many bad memories bubble up—especially of the wrenching injustice that made her a reaper. It doesn’t help that Jack Deverell is making this routine soul-collecting job twice as difficult with his devilish good looks and not-so-innocent questions. Now, as several unscheduled, unexplainable deaths throw passengers and crew into a panic, Jack becomes the prime suspect. The only way Ruby can save him is to challenge the decades-old curse threatening his soul. And as a malevolent unstoppable force turns their immortality into a fatal weakness, Ruby and Jack must risk their fragile humanity to save Fate’s delicate balance and their own unexpected destiny…




Menna van Praag

The House at the End of Hope Street
Penguin, March 25, 2014
Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Previously released in Hardcover and eBook, April 4, 2013

A magical debut about an enchanted house that offers refuge to women in their time of need

Distraught that her academic career has stalled, Alba is walking through her hometown of Cambridge, England, when she finds herself in front of a house she’s never seen before, 11 Hope Street. A beautiful older woman named Peggy greets her and invites her to stay, on the house’s usual conditions: she has ninety-nine nights to turn her life around. With nothing left to lose, Alba takes a chance and moves in.

She soon discovers that this is no ordinary house. Past residents have included Virginia Woolf and Dorothy Parker, who, after receiving the assistance they needed, hung around to help newcomers—literally, in talking portraits on the wall. As she escapes into this new world, Alba begins a journey that will heal her wounds—and maybe even save her life.

Filled with a colorful and unforgettable cast of literary figures, The House at the End of Hope Street is a charming, whimsical novel of hope and feminine wisdom that is sure to appeal to fans of Jasper Fforde and especially Sarah Addison Allen.




Dani Ware

Ecko Burning
Ecko 2
Titan Books, June 3, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 464 pages

Ruthless and ambitious, Lord Phylos has control of Fhaveon city, and is using her forces to bring the grasslands under his command. His last opponent is an elderly scribe who’s lost his best friend and wants only to do the right thing.

Seeking weapons, Ecko and his companions follow a trail of myth and rumour to a ruined city where both nightmare and shocking truth lie in wait.

Back in London, the Bard is offered the opportunity to realise everything he has ever wanted – if he will give up his soul.

When all of these things come together, the world will change beyond recognition.









Chris Willrich

The Silk Map
Gaunt and Bone 2
Pyr, May 6, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 450 pages

It's Brent Weeks meets China Mieville in this wildly imaginative fantasy adventure featuring high action, elegant writing, and sword and sorcery with a Chinese flare.

At the end of The Scroll of Years, the poet Persimmon Gaunt and her husband, the thief Imago Bone, had saved their child from evil forces at the price of trapping him within a pocket dimension. Now they will attempt what seems impossible; they will seek a way to recover their son. Allied with Snow Pine, a scrappy bandit who's also lost her child to the Scroll of Years, Gaunt and Bone awaken the Great Sage, a monkeylike demigod of the East, currently trapped by vaster powers beneath a mountain. The Sage knows of a way to reach the Scroll-but there is a price. The three must seek the world's greatest treasure and bring it back to him. They must find the worms of the alien Iron Moths, whose cocoons produce the wondrous material ironsilk.

And so the rogues join a grand contest waged along three thousand miles of dangerous and alluring trade routes between East and West. For many parties have simultaneously uncovered fragments of the Silk Map, a document pointing the way toward a nest of the Iron Moths. Our heroes tangle with Western treasure hunters, a blind mystic warrior and his homicidal magic carpet, a nomad princess determined to rebuild her father's empire, and a secret society obsessed with guarding the lost paradise where the Moths are found-even if paradise must be protected by murder.



The Dagger of Trust
Pathfinder Tales
Paizo Publishing, 2014
Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages

Gideon Gull leads a double life: one as a talented young bard at the Rhapsodic College, and the other as a student of the Shadow School, where Taldor’s infamous Lion Blades are trained to be master spies. When a magical fog starts turning ordinary people into murderous mobs along the border between Taldor and Andoran, it’s up to Gideon and a crew of his fellow performers to solve the mystery. But can a handful of entertainers really stop a brewing war?

From author Chris Willrich comes a new adventure of intrigue, espionage, and arcane mystery, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.







The View From Monday - December 30, 2013


Happy last Monday in 2013! This year has zipped by and I'm looking forward to the new year. I'm reading a bunch of books which I will be telling you about soon! Since this is the last View From Monday for 2013, I'd thought I'd do a little giveaway. You can enter below to win 4 books that I've picked out from this week's releases.

The year ends with many books out on the last 2 days of the year. Look for the full January release list later this week, along with the announcement of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge as well as a list of January debuts.




There is one Debut out this week:

Starter House by Sonja Condit.


From formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

Deadshifted  (Edie Spence 4) by Cassie Alexander;

The Cormorant  (Miriam Black 3) by Chuck Wendig;

The Sharpest Blade  (McKenzie Lewis 3) by Sandy Williams;

and changing format:

Tarnished  (Silver 2) by Rhiannon - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback;

Fifth Grave Past the Light  (Charley Davidson 5) by Darynda Jones - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback; and

The Golem and the Jinni  by Helene Wecker - Hardcover to Trade Paperback.




December 30, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Ruined (e) Jus Accardo PNR - Eternal Balance 1
Nostrum Roberto Calas F - Scourge 2
Break Out (e) Nina Croft SFR - Blood Hunter 1
Ashes (e) Sarah Gilman PNR
Beg Me to Slay (e) Lisa Kessler PNR
Heart of the Incubus (e) Rosalie Lario PNR - Demons of Infernum 3.5
Journey of Wisdom (e) Shawna Thomas F - Riune Stone 3



December 31, 2013
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Once Upon a Time in Hell Guy Adams WW/F - Heaven's Gate Trilogy 2
Deadshifted Cassie Alexander UF - Edie Spence 4
Farside (h2mm) Ben Bova SF - Grand Tour
Code White (h2mm) Scott Britz-Cunningham Th/NF
Witch Wraith (h2mm) Terry Brooks F - The Dark Legacy of Shannara 3
The Heritage of Heinlein: A Critical Reading of the Fiction Thomas D. Clareson
Joe Sanders
HC - Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy
Starter House: A Novel (D) Sonja Condit H
Sunroper Natalie J. Damschroder PNR - Goddesses Rising 3
Love Your Entity Cat Devon PNR - Entity 3
Extraordinary Powers (ri) Joseph Finder Th/M/Su
Dark Heat: The Dark Kings Stories Donna Grant PNR - Dark Kings
Great North Road (h2mm) Peter F. Hamilton SF
How to Run with a Naked Werewolf Molly Harper PNR - Naked Werewolf 3
Tarnished (h2mm) Rhiannon Held UF - Silver 2
A Study in Ashes Emma Jane Holloway SP/M - The Baskerville Affair 3
Born in Blood Alexandra Ivy PNR - Sentinels 1
Fifth Grave Past the Light (h2mm) Darynda Jones PM - Charley Davidson 5
A Memory of Light (h2mm) Robert Jordan
Brandon Sanderson
F - Wheel of Time 14
The Night Watch Sergei Lukyanenko UF/Th - Night Watch 1
A Little Night Magic (tp2mm) Lucy March PNR
Scent of Roses (ri) Kat Martin PNR
Things Withered Susie Moloney H
The Iron Breed: The Iron Cage and Breed to Come (tp2mm) Andre Norton SF
The Vastalimi Gambit Steve Perry SF - Cutter's War 2
Hive Monkey Gareth L Powell AH/SF - Ack-Ack Macaque 2
The Iron Wolves Andy Remic F - Rage of Kings 1
Harold Robbins' The Curse (h2mm) Julius Podrug Th - Madison Dupre 4
The Grendel Affair Lisa Shearin UF - SPI Files 1
After Dark (tp2mm) Gena Showalter
Kait Ballenger
PNR - Novellas
Taste of Darkness Maria V. Snyder FR - Healer 3
The Sixth Station (h2mm) Linda Stasi Th
The Shadowed Throne K. J. Taylor F - The Risen Sun 2
Angelopolis (h2tp) Danielle Trussoni F/Th - Angel 2
The Bread We Eat in Dreams Catherynne M. Valente F
Star Trek: The Fall: Peaceable Kingdoms Dayton Ward SF - Star Trek
Heart of Stone Christine Warren PNR - Gargoyles 1
A Rising Thunder (tp2mm) David Weber SF - Honor Harrington 13
The Golem and the Jinni (h2tp) Helene Wecker HistF
The Cormorant Chuck Wendig UF - Miriam Black 3
Sunset of the Gods (tp2mm) Steve White SF/TT  - T.R.A. 2
The Sharpest Blade Sandy Williams UF - McKenzie Lewis 3


D - Debut
e - eBook
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - reprint or reissue
tp2mm - Trade to Mass Market Paperback


AH - Alternate History
F - Fantasy
FR - Fantasy Romance
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
HistF - Historical Fantasy
M - Mystery
NF - Near Future
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SFR- Science Fiction Romance
SP - Steampunk
Su - Supernatural
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
WW - Weird Western





The Giveaway

What:  One commenter will win Mass Market Paperback copies Once Upon a Time in Hell by Guy Adams, The Grendel Affair by Lisa Shearin, Heart of Stone by Christine Warren, and The Cormorant by Chuck Wendig from The Qwillery.


How:  Log into and follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on January 6, 2014. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change without any notice.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Entangled Covet: New eBooks and Giveaways! - December 30, 2013




Covets have all the sexiness, emotion, and happily ever after that readers have come to expect and love from Entangled. They are firmly grounded in the contemporary world, but each novel brings in supernatural twists, breaking the contemporary and paranormal rules, alike. 
To find out more about Covet's titles, chat with authors, participate in special events, visit the Entangled website, follow Covet on Twitter, like Covet's Facebook page, and / or join Covet's Book Club.


Lisa Kessler

Beg Me to Slay

He’ll slay her demons, but it may cost her heart…

Four years ago Tegan Ashton was attacked. Determined never to be a victim again, she devotes her life to martial arts and self-defense. When her assailant returns to finish what he started, only one person can help her.

Gabe is a private investigator by day and demon slayer by night. After losing loved ones, he vows to defend people from a threat they don’t realize exists.

The relationship is supposed to be strictly business, but fighting demons together stirs up emotions they never expected. Turns out demon slaying is a breeze compared to facing their scarred pasts and even worse - hearts.



Sarah Gilman

Ashes

Journalist Ambrosia Pellerin accepts an assignment involving the legendary phoenix, expecting, if nothing else, a little entertainment. Instead, she winds up pregnant—by a surprisingly human-looking firebird, Reece Bennu.

As the Phoenix prince, Reece is next in line to the throne and expected to marry a purebred royal. A common human such as Ambrosia is not in the cards. He swears, though, he’ll never be an absentee father.

As Ambrosia’s due date grows closer, so do the soon-to-be parents. But will their tentative love survive the prejudice of Reece’s grandmother, who will stop at nothing to tear the two apart?





Publisher Giveaways

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Entangled Edge: New eBooks and Giveaways! - December 30, 2013


Edge, a digital-first single-title romance line from Entangled Publishing, takes its lead from their popular Select imprint but gives its novels an edge in the marketplace by bringing great stories to readers at reasonable prices in a quick-and-easy way. Whether sexy or sweet, traditional romance or love and lust with a women’s fiction bent, at the center of every Edge book is heart. From Urban Fantasy to Contemporary Romance to Science Fiction Romance, Edge has a book for all romance readers—and right at their fingertips!
To find out more about Edge's titles, chat with authors, participate in special events, or to find out which books are coming next, visit the Entangled website, follow Edge on Twitter, and / or like Edge's Facebook page.



Nina Croft

Break Out
Blood Hunter 1

Special $0.99 Promo Limited Time Only!

The year is 3048, Earth is no longer habitable, and man has fled to the stars where they've discovered the secret of immortality—Meridian. Unfortunately, the radioactive mineral is exorbitantly expensive and only available to a select few. A new class comprised of the super rich and immortal soon evolves. The Collective, as they're called, rule the universe.

Two-thousand-year-old Ricardo Sanchez, vampire and rogue pilot of the space cruiser, El Cazador, can't resist two things: gorgeous women and impossible jobs. When beautiful Skylar Rossaria approaches him to break a prisoner out of the Collective's maximum security prison on Trakis One, Rico jumps at the chance. Being hunted by the Collective has never been so dangerous—or so fun.




Rosalie Lario

Heart of the Incubus
Demons of Infernum 3.5

Biochemist Cresso Taylor lives the sort of lifestyle most men would envy—he has wealth, natural incubus charm, and more women than he can handle. But it’s not enough anymore. Not after meeting Genevieve Russell, the sexy scientist who works with him at Elcorp Laboratory. And she wants absolutely nothing to do with him.

After her fiancé broke her heart, Genevieve has had enough of womanizers. She’s determined to steer clear of sexy-as-sin Dr. Taylor, despite the fact that his incubus allure makes her want to rip his clothes off. But when a secret admirer’s affection turns to the macabre with threatening notes and grisly gifts, Cresso appoints himself her protector. As she and Cresso hunt her stalker, she discovers there’s a lot more to the sensual incubus than she ever imagined.





Publisher Giveaways

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 8


This is the eighth in a series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge (DAC) authors and their upcoming books for 2014. This update covers some of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge authors. Look for update throughout 2014 as well!


Part 1 is here - 2011 DAC Authors.
Part 2 is here - 2011 DAC Authors.
Part 3 is here - 2012 DAC Authors.
Part 4 is here - 2012 DAC Authors.
Part 5 is here - 2012 DAC Authors.
Part 6 is here - 2013 DAC Authors.
Part 7 is here - 2013 DAC Authors.






J. Kathleen Cheney

The Seat of Magic
The Golden City 2
Roc Trade, July 1, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Magical beings have been banned from the Golden City for decades, though many live there in secret. Now humans and nonhumans alike are in danger as evil stalks the streets, growing more powerful with every kill….

It’s been two weeks since Oriana Paredes was banished from the Golden City. Police consultant Duilio Ferreira, who himself has a talent he must keep secret, can’t escape the feeling that, though she’s supposedly returned home to her people, Oriana is in danger.

Adding to Duilio’s concerns is a string of recent murders in the city. Three victims have already been found, each without a mark upon her body. When a selkie under his brother’s protection goes missing, Duilio fears the killer is also targeting nonhuman prey.

To protect Oriana and uncover the truth, Duilio will have to risk revealing his own identity, put his trust in some unlikely allies, and consult a rare and malevolent text known as The Seat of Magic….




Suzanne Palmieri

The Witch of Belladonna Bay
St. Martin's Griffin, May 13, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

In Suzanne Palmieri’s thrilling new novel, The Witch of Belladonna Bay, Bronwyn is forced to return home to Magnolia Creek, Alabama—a place she hasn’t been since her mother, Naomi, died fourteen years earlier—and the troubled family she left behind. With her brother Patrick behind bars for the murder of her childhood friend and her eccentric father, Jackson, at wits end with her eleven year old niece Byrd, Bronwyn finds herself back at her childhood home, the Big House, and surrounded by ancient Magnolia trees dripping with Spanish moss. But before she can even take in what she left behind, she’s wrapped up in the mysteries surrounding the murder and what the “Strange Ways” running through little Byrd might mean. As Bronwyn unravels the secrets behind the murder, long forgotten memories surface, and the magic living quietly inside of her grows stronger, creating an unbreakable bond between her and Byrd—a bond that will define both of their fates forever.




Jay Posey

Morningside Fall
Duskwalker Cycle 2
Angry Robot Books, April 29, 2014 (US and eBook)
May 1, 2014 (UK)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

The lone gunman Three is gone, and Wren is the new governor of the devastated settlement of Morningside, but there is turmoil in the city. When his life is put in danger, Wren is forced to flee Morningside until he and his retinue can determine who can be trusted.

They arrive at the border outpost, Ninestory, only to find it has been infested with Weir in greater numbers than anyone has ever seen. These lost, dangerous creatures are harbouring a terrible secret – one that will have consequences not just for Wren and his comrades, but for the future of what remains of the world.

File Under: Science Fiction










Amy Raby

Archer's Sins
Hearts and Thrones Novella
January 2014
eNovella

Nalica Kelden, war mage and world-class archer, doesn’t need love. She’s come to the imperial city for a single purpose: to win Kjall’s most prestigious archery tournament.

Until she meets one of her fellow competitors, and he sends an arrow straight into her heart.

Justien Polini is the man she’s always dreamed of. Like Nalica herself, he’s from the rough country in the eastern highlands. He’s big and strong and handsome, and he’s nearly as good an archer as she is. Best of all, in a country where most men look askance at women warriors, Justien admires Nalica’s talent and strength.

But Nalica can’t let her personal feelings get in the way of her ambitions. The tournament must come first… and there will be only one winner.
[from the author's website]


Prince's Fire
Hearts and Thrones 3
Signet, April 1, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

As the sister of the Kjallan emperor, Celeste cannot choose where to bestow her heart....

The imperial princess has been offered in marriage to the Prince of Inya as part of an alliance needed to ensure Kjall’s military prowess. And despite having been hurt in the past by men using her to gain power, Celeste finds herself falling for the passionate fire mage.

Prince Rayn has no intention of allying his country with the militaristic Kjallans. But his political enemies at home may be the greater threat. The princess’s beauty and intelligence catch him off guard, throwing an unexpected and dangerous hurdle in the way of his plans.

As a deadly political plot threatens Rayn’s life, the attraction between Celeste and Rayn ignites into a sizzling affair. But to save her people and herself, Celeste will have to discover if Rayn’s intentions are true or risk having her love burn her yet again....




Bee Ridgway

The River of No Retunr
Plume, March 25, 2014
Trade Paperback, 464 pages
Previously released in Hardcover and eBook, April 23, 2013

Named a Notable Fiction Book of 2013 by The Washington Post

An engrossing adventure, with mystery, romance, humor, and impeccable historical detail. The Boston Globe

Devon, 1815. The charming Lord Nicholas Davenant and the beguiling Julia Percy should make a perfect match.

But before their love has a chance to grow, Nicholas is presumed dead in the Napoleonic war.

Nick, however, is lost in time. Somehow he escaped certain death by leaping two hundred years forward to the present day where he finds himself in the care of a mysterious society the Guild. Questioning the limits of the impossible, Nick is desperate to find a way back to the life he left behind. Yet with the future of time itself hanging in the balance, could it be that the girl who first captured his heart has had the answers all along? Can Nick find a way to return to her?




Anthony Ryan
Tower Lord
Raven's Shadow 2
Ace, July 1, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 624 pages

In Blood Song, Anthony Ryan introduced readers to “a fascinating world of conflicting religions and the wars fought in the name of those faiths” (Library Journal). Now Ryan’s epic tale continues as Vaelin Al Sorna discovers that there is no escape from the call of destiny…

“The blood-song rose with an unexpected tune, a warm hum mingling recognition with an impression of safety. He had a sense it was welcoming him home.”

Vaelin Al Sorna, warrior of the Sixth Order, called Darkblade, called Hope Killer. The greatest warrior of his day, and witness to the greatest defeat of his nation: King Janus’s vision of a Greater Unified Realm drowned in the blood of brave men fighting for a cause Vaelin alone knows was forged from a lie. Sick at heart, he comes home, determined to kill no more. Named Tower Lord of the Northern Reaches by King Janus’s grateful heir, he can perhaps find peace in a colder, more remote land far from the intrigues of a troubled Realm.

But those gifted with the blood-song are never destined to live a quiet life. Many died in King Janus’s wars, but many survived, and Vaelin is a target, not just for those seeking revenge but for those who know what he can do. The Faith has been sundered, and many have no doubt who their leader should be. The new King is weak, but his sister is strong. The blood-song is powerful, rich in warning and guidance in times of trouble, but is only a fraction of the power available to others who understand more of its mysteries. Something moves against the Realm, something that commands mighty forces, and Vaelin will find to his great regret that when faced with annihilation, even the most reluctant hand must eventually draw a sword.
[from the author's website.]




Kerry Schafer

Wakeworld
Between 2
Ace, January 28, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

Vivian Maylor is trying to hold it together. But her attempts to build a life with the man she loves seem doomed by the dragon inside her yearning to break free. Vivian is a dreamshifter, the last line of defense between reality and the dreamworld, and the only one of her kind.

Weston Jennings also believes he is the only one of his kind. He fears his powers as a dreamshifter, and resists learning to control them. After suffering a tragic loss, Weston heads deep into the woods of the Pacific Northwest to embrace a safe life of solitude. But when a terrible mistake leads to an innocent’s death, his guilt drives him to his former home, where he encounters what he never thought he would find: another shifter.

Now Vivian and Weston must work together to defeat a new threat to the dreamworld.