Wednesday, December 23, 2015

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

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

Part 1 here.
Part 2 here.
Part 3 here.
Part 4 here.
Part 5 here.
Part 6 here.
Part 7 here.
Part 8 here.

Deborah Coates (2012)

Strange Country
Hallie Michaels 3
Tor Books, May 12, 2015
Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Hardcover and eBook, May 27, 2014

After facing Death himself and banishing a reaper bent on the destruction of Sheriff's deputy Boyd Davies, Hallie Michaels had hoped things would finally settle down; that she and Boyd would find more time to spend together, and that the ghosts she attracts would stay in the cemeteries where they belong.

But on a wintry night in mid-December, a woman is murdered with a high-powered rifle. Not long after, another of West Prairie City's citizens is killed in exactly the same way, drawing the attention of state investigators. But the connection between the victims is not easily uncovered.

Meanwhile, Hallie finds a note tied to post outside her home. "What do you fear most?" it asks, accompanied by a set of map coordinates. Over the next few days she receives an anonymous phone call, and a letter left for Hallie at the local ag supply. All pose the same question and offer the same set of coordinates. The mystery deepens, and Hallie must solve it before the body count rises again, in Strange Country by Deborah Coates.

Myke Cole (2012)

Javelin Rain
A Shadow Ops Novel
Ace,  March 29, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

The fast-paced, adrenaline-filled sequel to Gemini Cell, set in the same magical and militaristic world of the acclaimed Shadow Ops series.

Javelin: A code denoting the loss of a national security asset with strategic impact.

Rain: A code indicating a crisis of existential proportions.

Javelin Rain incidents must be resolved immediately, by any and all means necessary, no matter what the cost…

Being a US Navy SEAL was Jim Schweitzer’s life right up until the day he was killed. Now, his escape from the government who raised him from the dead has been coded “Javelin Rain.” Schweitzer and his family are on the run from his former unit, the Gemini Cell, and while he may be immortal, his wife and son are not.

Jim must use all of his strength to keep his family safe, while convincing his wife he’s still the same man she once loved. But what his former allies have planned to bring him down could mean disaster not only for Jim and his family, but for the entire nation…

Delilah S. Dawson (2012)

Three Slices
  with Kevin Hearne and Chuck Wendig
May 5, 2015
eBook, 166 pages
Illustrated by Galen Dara

Three Slices presents three novellas by modern fantasy writers:

A Prelude to War by Kevin Hearne
After an old friend is murdered in retaliation for his mercenary strikes against the oldest vampires in the world, Atticus O'Sullivan must solicit the aid of another old friend in Ethiopia if he's going to have a chance of finishing a war he never wanted. Meanwhile, Granuaile MacTiernan starts a private war of her own against Loki, the lord of lies, and if it brings Ragnarok early—so be it.

Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys by Delilah S. Dawson
The number one rule of the circus? Don't kill your volunteers, even accidentally. That's how young magician Criminy Stain ends up on the run in a forest, where he meets a beautiful woman holding a bucket of blood. But is Merissa the answer to his prayers-- or the orchestrator of his ruin?

Interlude: Swallow by Chuck Wendig
Miriam Black is back. Miriam is tired of her curse and finally believes she knows how to be rid of her ability to see when and how other people die. She follows a lead to the mountains of Colorado, where she believes she sees signs of a serial killer she thought she already killed. (Set between THE CORMORANT and THUNDERBIRD.)

Wicked Ever After
Blud 7
Pocket Star, October 5, 2015
eBook, 177 pages

Delilah S. Dawson’s award-winning Blud series comes full circle as Tish and Criminy, stars of Wicked as They Come, embark on a sexy and harrowing final adventure in a world RT Book Reviews calls “delightfully edgy with hidden charms.”

Ever since landing in the magical world of Sang and falling in love with dashing ringmaster Criminy Stain, Tish has been waiting for the axe to fall. Until her dying grandmother’s last breath on Earth, Tish can’t bring herself to give up her all-too human frailty and commit to life on Sang as a youthful, long-lived Bludman like her handsome husband. But when a peculiar twist of fate delivers Tish’s grandmother to Sang, an unexpected chain of events forces Tish and Criminy to embark on one last wild adventure. From old friends to new and into the lair of terrifying enemies, the couple’s love and longevity will be pushed to the brink by each harrowing encounter. Is blud thicker than blood, and can Tish and Crim find their wicked ever after?

The Perfect Weapon
Star Wars Short Story
Del Rey, November 24, 2015
eBook, 57 pages

Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens with this exclusive ebook short story set shortly before the events of the film, featuring a quick-witted mercenary who takes big risks for bigger rewards—and now faces the challenge that will take her to the edge.

There are plenty of mercenaries, spies, and guns for hire in the galaxy. But probably none as dangerous and determined as Bazine Netal. A master of disguise—and lethal with a blade, a blaster, or bare handed—she learned from the best. Now it’s her turn to be the teacher—even if schooling an eager but inexperienced recruit in the tricks of her trade is the last thing she wants to do. But it’s the only way to score the ship she needs to pull off her latest job.

An anonymous client has hired Bazine to track down an ex-stormtrooper and recover the mysterious package he’s safeguarding. Payment for the mission promises to be astronomical, but the obstacles facing Bazine will prove to be formidable. And though her eager new sidekick has cyber skills crucial to the mission, only Bazine’s razor-sharp talents will mean the difference between success or failure—and life or death.

Hit 1
Simon Pulse, March 8, 2016
Trade Paperback Paperback, 352 pages
Hardcover and eBook, April 14, 2016

In order to save her mother, a teen is forced to become an indentured assassin in this sizzling “movie ready” (Kirkus Reviews) dystopian thriller.

No one reads the fine print.

The good news is that the USA is finally out of debt. The bad news is that it was bought out by Valor National Bank, and debtors are the new big game, thanks to a tricky little clause hidden deep in the fine print of a credit card application. Now, after a swift and silent takeover that leaves 9-1-1 calls going through to Valor voicemail, they’re unleashing a wave of anarchy across the country.

Patsy didn’t have much of a choice. When the suits showed up at her house threatening to kill her mother then and there for outstanding debt unless Patsy agreed to be an indentured assassin, what was she supposed to do? Let her own mother die?

Patsy is forced to take on a five-day mission to complete a hit list of ten names. Each name on Patsy’s list has only three choices: pay the debt on the spot, agree to work as a bounty hunter, or die. And Patsy has to kill them personally, or else her mom takes a bullet of her own. Since yarn bombing is the only anarchy in Patsy’s past, she’s horrified and overwhelmed, especially as she realizes that most of the ten people on her list aren’t strangers. Things get even more complicated when a moment of mercy lands her with a sidekick: a hot rich kid named Wyatt whose brother is the last name on Patsy’s list. The two share an intense chemistry even as every tick of the clock draws them closer to an impossible choice.

An absorbing, frightening glimpse at a reality that is eerily just steps away from ours—Hit is a taut, suspenseful thriller that absolutely mesmerizes from start to finish.

Hit 2
Simon Pulse, April 12, 2016
Hardcover, 480 pages

From the author of the “gritty near-future dystopian tale,” (Booklist) Hit comes the thrilling sequel about an indentured assassin fighting to survive in a world of anarchy.

The hit list was just the beginning.

Time to strike back.

After faking her own death to escape her term as an indentured assassin for Valor Savings Bank, Patsy is on the run with her boyfriend, Wyatt. All she wants to do is go home, but that’s never going to happen—not as long as Valor’s out to get her and the people she loves.

Left with no good choices, Patsy’s only option is to meet with a mysterious group that calls itself the Citizens for Freedom.

Led by the charismatic Leon Crane, the CFF seem like just what Patsy has been looking for. Leon promises that if she joins, she’ll finally get revenge on Valor for everything they’ve done to her—and for everything they’ve made her do.

But Patsy knows the CFF has a few secrets of their own. One thing is certain: they’ll do absolutely anything to complete their mission, no matter who’s standing in their way. Even if it’s Patsy herself.

Delilah S. Dawson brings anarchy and high-octane drama to the next explosive level in this sequel to the “practically movie-ready” (Kirkus Reviews) novel, Hit.

As Lila Bowen

Wake of Vultures
Shadow 1
Orbit, October 27, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

A rich, dark fantasy of destiny, death, and the supernatural world hiding beneath the surface.

Nettie Lonesome lives in a land of hard people and hard ground dusted with sand. She's a half-breed who dresses like a boy, raised by folks who don't call her a slave but use her like one. She knows of nothing else. That is, until the day a stranger attacks her. When nothing, not even a sickle to the eye can stop him, Nettie stabs him through the heart with a chunk of wood, and he turns into black sand.

And just like that, Nettie can see.

But her newfound ability is a blessing and a curse. Even if she doesn't understand what's under her own skin, she can sense what everyone else is hiding -- at least physically. The world is full of evil, and now she knows the source of all the sand in the desert. Haunted by the spirits, Nettie has no choice but to set out on a quest that might lead to her true kin... if the monsters along the way don't kill her first.

Sharon Lynn Fisher (2012)

Before She Wakes: Forbidden Fairy Tales
Loveswept (July 5, 2016)
eBook, 216 pages

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Max Gladstone (2012)

      Written by Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, Brian Francis Slattery
Note: Episodes should be read in order from 1 to 16!

Badge, Book, and Candle: Episode 1
Bookburners Season 1
Serial Box, September 11, 2015
eBook, 44 pages

Detective Sally Brooks investigates an unusual robbery, and discovers that magic is real—and hungry!

NYPD Detective Sal Brooks is no rookie—but even the most hardened cop would think twice when they see their brother open a book and become…well…something entirely not their brother. When her attempts to solve the case cross paths with a mysterious team led by a priest, she starts to realize that the world is far more than what is seems, and, just maybe, magic is real—and hungry.

This episode is the first in a 16-part Serial, Bookburners, presented by Serial Box. From a team of writers, this collaborative effort unfolds an epic urban fantasy narrative across an entire season in weekly installments.

Follow along as Sal learns the life changing lesson: some books have teeth.

Now and Then: Episode 7
Bookburners Season 1
Serial Box, October 8, 2015
eBook, 43 pages

Grace's adventures in Shanghai come to light. While all the members of Team Three have their secrets, only Grace seems willing to guard hers with fists of fury. Finally fed up with being kept in the dark, Sal takes matters into her own hands and engages in a friendly stalking operation to learn just what Grace's deal is. A lit candle and flashbacks to 1930s China help illuminate matters--but things are never simple when magic is in play.

This episode is brought to you by team-writer Max Gladstone and reveals the backstory of one of most mysterious cast members while skipping through time, place, and emotion.

Codex Umbra: Episode 11
Bookburners Season 1
Serial Box, November 18, 2015
eBook, 43 pages

An epic smackdown ensues as Sal and Team Three match wits and magic with Mr. Norse in the latest thrilling adventure in everyone's favorite online urban fantasy episodic series. The stage is set for the Mr. Norse’s grand move in possessing "The Norton Anthology of Evil͟" aka the Codex Umbra. The team’s plans include infiltrating a yacht-party, sneaking into a secret compound, and generally trying to stop an evil billionaire from gaining control of a compendium of demons. But, as usual, even the best plans go awry and the team must be quick on their feet as Mr. Norse jumps through the looking glass and they having nothing left but to follow. This episode is brought to you by team-writer Max Gladstone who shows us that no matter how the battle is won or lost; the war wages on.

Codex Umbra continues the 16-part Serial, Bookburners, presented by Serial Box. From a team of writers, this collaborative effort unfolds an epic urban fantasy narrative across an entire season in weekly installments. Follow along as Sal learns the life changing lesson: some books have teeth. To learn more about Bookburners and find out how you can read the whole serial, check out

Siege: Episode 16
Bookburners Season 1
Serial Box, December 30, 2015
eBook, 39 pages

Questions are answered and new mysteries introduced as Season One of Bookburners, the urban fantasy episodic series from Serial Box, comes to its thrilling conclusion.

With The Book of the Hand in their possession at last, Team Three can finally kick the Hand out of Sal's body. The only problem is, if she wants to save Perry, too, she'll have to bring him back from the Hand's dark dimension. That's a tall order, even with the help of Aaron—whatever he is. And meanwhile, Thuvani Shah and Team One are getting ready to move in on the renegades with guns blazing.

This episode is brought to you by team-writer Max Gladstone and is guaranteed to leave you on the edge of your seat, if not flat on the floor.

Battleground continues the 16-part Serial, Bookburners, presented by Serial Box. From a team of writers, this collaborative effort unfolds an epic urban fantasy narrative across an entire season in weekly installments.

Follow along as Sal learns the life-changing lesson: some books have teeth. To learn more about Bookburners and find out how you can read the whole serial, check out

Last First Snow
Craft Sequence 4
Tor Books, April 26, 2016
Trade Paperback, 400 pages
Hardcover and eBook, July 14, 2015

Last First Snow: the fourth novel set in Max Gladstone's compellingly modern fantasy world of the Craft Sequence
Forty years after the God Wars, Dresediel Lex bears the scars of liberation—especially in the Skittersill, a poor district still bound by the fallen gods' decaying edicts. As long as the gods' wards last, they strangle development; when they fail, demons will be loosed upon the city. The King in Red hires Elayne Kevarian of the Craft firm Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao to fix the wards, but the Skittersill's people have their own ideas. A protest rises against Elayne's work, led by Temoc, a warrior-priest turned community organizer who wants to build a peaceful future for his city, his wife, and his young son.

As Elayne drags Temoc and the King in Red to the bargaining table, old wounds reopen, old gods stir in their graves, civil blood breaks to new mutiny, and profiteers circle in the desert sky. Elayne and Temoc must fight conspiracy, dark magic, and their own demons to save the peace—or failing that, to save as many people as they can.

Four Roads Cross
Craft Sequence 5
Tor Books, July 26, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

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