Thursday, December 24, 2015

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors? - Part 10

This is the tenth 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.
Part 9 here.

Linda Grimes (2012)

A Ciel Halligan Short Story
Tor Books, March 31, 2015
e-Book, 32 pages

Meet Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire, in this charming introduction to Linda Grimes' "sparkling series" (Publishers Weekly).

A genetic quirk means Ciel can take on the appearance of anyone she meets by projecting their aura. This startling ability presents endless possibilities, and she's one of a rare few who has you'd think it'd be easier finding a day job that lets her put it to use. Actress? Model? Ethically dubious and possibly criminal activities, like her best friend Billy? Ciel's long-time crush and fellow aura adaptor, Mark, has found his calling as a CIA agent-a life of intrigue, danger, and the perfect utilization of their rather unique skill set. It seems like the obvious choice to Ciel: She could do good and spend time with her crush. What could be better?

"Seamlessly blending humor and action...This deliciously sexy and fun-filled romp simply is a must-read."-RT Book Reviews, 4 ½ stars, Top Pick! on In a Fix

The Big Fix
Ciel Halligan 3
Tor Books, May 12, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

Linda Grimes's sexy and hilarious urban fantasy series that began with In a Fix and Quick Fix continues in The Big Fix.

Aura adaptor extraordinaire Ciel Halligan, who uses her chameleon-like abilities to fix her clients' problems—as them—is filling in on set for action superstar Jackson Gunn, whose snake phobia is standing in the way of his completing his latest mega-millions Hollywood blockbuster. There's only one thing Jack fears more than snakes, and that's the possibility of his fans finding out he screams at the sight of one. Going from hero to laughing stock isn't part of his career plan.

Seems like a simple enough job to Ciel, who doesn't particularly like snakes, but figures she can tolerate an afternoon with them, for the right price—which Jack is offering, and then some. What she doesn't count on is finding out that while she was busy wrangling snakes for him, his wife was busy getting killed. When Ciel goes to break the sad news to the star, she finds out Jack was AWOL from her client hideaway at the time of the murder.

Ciel begins to suspect Jack's phobia was phony, and that he only hired her to provide him with an alibi—but if she goes to the police, she'll have to explain how she knows he wasn't really on set. Up against a wall, Ciel calls on her best-friend-turned-love-interest Billy, and her not-so-ex-crush Mark, to help her set up the sting of a lifetime.

All Fixed Up
Ciel Halligan 4
Tor Books, May 24, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire, has a lot of experience filling in for her clients--as them. A rare genetic quirk gives her the ability to absorb human energy and project it back out in a flawless imitation. She's hard at work, posing as a well-known and celebrated astronaut, about to make a stunning announcement on behalf of the space program...when the photographer documenting the job sees right through her aura. Worse, it soon becomes apparent that he not only knows Ciel’s not who she's supposed to be, but means her harm.

When Ciel's elderly Aunt Helen—also an aura adaptor—is murdered in Central Park, and the same photographer shows up at the funeral, Ciel starts to feel even more exposed. Then more adaptors are killed in the same way, and she becomes terrified her friends and family are being systematically exterminated ... and it's starting to look like she's the ultimate target. She turns to Billy Doyle, her best-friend-turned-boyfriend, for help, but when an unexpected crisis causes him to take off without a word, she's left to rely on her not-so-former crush, CIA agent Mark Fielding.

Staying alive, keeping control of her romantic life, and unraveling the mystery of why adaptors are being pursued becomes a harder balancing act than ever in this new Ciel Halligan adventure from Linda Grimes.

Rhiannon Held (2012)

Back a Winner
A Silver Universe Story
July 6, 2015
eBook, 12 pages

Pierce must soon give his alpha an answer whether he will accept a position of Seattle pack beta, but he can’t bring himself to decide. At the track, memories haunt him, throwing his fear into sharp relief.

A Silver Universe Story
July 6, 2015
eBook, 21 pages

Hoping for a relaxing vacation to roam and get over a bad break-up, Tom instead finds something incredibly dangerous for all werewolves: a cemetery with Were secrets engraved on the stones for any human to see. When a couple of young werewolves from the Billings pack interfere with his plans to take care of the problem, it gets hard for him to keep his anger in check.

Lady Ceremony
A Silver Universe Story
Aug 5, 2015
eBook, 16 pages

School’s out for the summer, and Ginnie’s determined to visit her friends in the Boston pack, even if she has to defy her father and sneak out to do it. After all, it was her father the alphas exiled to the wilds of northern Quebec, not her. But she never counted on her first shift into wolf coming so soon, leaving her aching and frightened on a bus, surrounded by humans who can’t be allowed to see her other form.

Silver 4
Rhianon Held, August 22, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

When an envoy arrives from the secretive Russian werewolf pack, Roanoke alphas Silver and Andrew Dare are instantly suspicious. Tatiana claims she has been sent to locate an heirloom, lost by immigrants centuries ago, but she and the alphas both suspect that Russia fears the strength of the newly-united, continent-spanning Roanoke pack.

What Tatiana doesn't realize is that her pack is willing to sacrifice even their own trained spy for their goals. The drugged wine they’ve given her is too strong, and instead of rendering Silver and Andrew biddable, it nearly kills her and traps the alphas in dreams that could destroy them. The alphas must fight to wake and Tatiana must fight to help them—because with the furious Roanoke pack howling for her blood, her life could depend on it.

Chris Holm (2012)

The Killing Kind
Mulholland Books, September 15, 2015
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
Trade Paperback to be published September 1, 2016

A hitman who only kills other hitmen winds up a target himself.

Michael Hendricks kills people for money. That aside, he's not so bad a guy.

Once a covert operative for a false-flag unit of the US military, Hendricks was presumed dead after a mission in Afghanistan went sideways. He left behind his old life--and beloved fiancée--and set out on a path of redemption...or perhaps one of willful self-destruction.

Now Hendricks makes his living as a hitman entrepreneur of sorts--he only hits other hitmen. For ten times the price on your head, he'll make sure whoever's coming to kill you winds up in the ground instead. Not a bad way for a guy with his skill-set to make a living--but a great way to make himself a target.

Alex Hughes (2012)

How to Drive Yourself Crazy as a Writer
July 2015
eBook, 68 pages

Lately I’ve been noticing a distressing excess of sanity in the creative and writing worlds. Why, new writers have even begun to challenge the Great Assertion that one must be poor and miserable to be any good! This Assertion, as you know, is the bedrock to creating meaningful Art.

Fear not. You are not at the mercy of the forces of Sanity and Productivity. For those distressed by the relentless forward drive of Efficiency, this book will provide a refreshing antidote.

Before you know it, through my simple and practical Assertions, you too will adopt the maddening and complex process that is True Writing, and embrace creative insanity as comfortably as a bat in a belfry!

How to Drive Yourself Crazy as a Writer is the satirical how-to writing book you never knew you needed, chock-full of practical advice and easy steps to fill your creative life with trauma, missteps and angst.

Take another look at the life of a writer, and immerse yourself in the hysterical chaos of the life of a miserable, starving-in-a-garret author… or, perhaps, laugh your way to the other side of writer’s block.

A Mindspace Investigations Novella
Book 4.5
October 27, 2015
Paperback and eBook

Good Cop, Bad Cop

A prominent journalist has been found dead, a journalist investigating police corruption. I'm supposed to be working in my new P. I. firm, but the money's not enough so I'm back consulting for the police as a telepath. Turns out this case is a doozy--the journalist was an addict, even worse than I was before I cleaned up my act. But he saved some kids from a sweatshop years ago, and then there's this corruption thing he's been looking into, which makes all the cops sweat.

The police's Powers That Be would really, really like for the journalist's death be an accident--the physical evidence even points in that direction. In Mindspace, however, it's clearly murder. With increasing pressure on myself and Detective Freeman to drop this case, I'll have to fight my way through to find the killer. And worse? If it's one of the cops who did the killing, I don't know if they'll get justice, or I'll get paid.

Fluid and Temper are companion novellas, taking place at the same time.  Fluid follows Adam’s activities; Temper follows Cherabino’s.

The Three Words Project
Stories Inspired by Readers
November 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 62 pages

Banana. Elephantine. Kendama. -- What kind of worlds can be created from just three words?

In the summer of 2014, I asked the readers of my email newsletter to send me just three words, which I would use to inspire flash fiction pieces I'd write on the spot. The project ended up a lot more popular than I expected, with dozens of word sets coming in both that summer and the following winter. The words ranged from fedora to susurrus, from explosion to widdershins, and I was inspired to write flash fiction stories just as diverse in content.

From a time traveler stuck on hold while being chased by a dinosaur, to family inheritance dispute, a magician's quarrel to a private investigator on New Mars, not to mention a haunted bone garden and a Viking coming of age story, these stories run the gamut of time and space in bite-sized pieces. Each comes labeled with the three words that inspired it, both as a tribute to the original reader and as a fun glimpse into the mind of a writer at play.

A Mindspace Investigations Novella
Book 4.7
Alexandra Hughes LLC, December 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 100 pages

Introducing Temper, the first Mindspace Investigations novella from ex-Homicide Detective Isabella Cherabino's point of view...

Some Clients Test You More Than Others

Getting fired from the DeKalb County P.D. was hard, and starting up a private investigation firm has turned out to be even harder. The bills aren't getting paid, and it doesn't help that my partner the telepath keeps getting called away to work for the police department that dropped me like a bad habit. It makes me sad. And angry. A whole lot angry. But when a big-time steel mill mogul comes to Mindspace Investigations PI for help finding his blackmailer, I jump at the chance to get justice for someone again.

Unfortunately, there's a lot more to this case than meets the eye. Shady union dealings. Ties to the mob. Questionable motives. Lies and half-truths. But we need the money, and I can't afford to be picky about jobs right now. No matter how much I dislike the client.

My sensei used to tell me that picking a fight was a bad idea for anyone, but a particularly bad idea for me. But sometimes you don't get to pick your battles. I just hope this is a fight I can win without crossing too many lines.

Fluid and Temper are companion novellas, taking place at the same time.  Fluid follows Adam’s activities; Temper follows Cherabino’s.

Benedict Jacka (2012)

Alex Verus 7
Ace, April 5, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Mage Alex Verus is back in the seventh in the “gorgeously realized”* urban fantasy series from the national bestselling author of Veiled.

I’m used to people wanting me dead. But, this time, I’m not the only one on the hit list—and time is running out…

Diviner Alex Verus finally made one too many enemies on the Council of Mages, and now one of them is angry enough to have him executed. Fighting for his life is nothing new, but this kill order also calls for the death of Alex’s dependents—and there’s no way that he’ll let Luna, Anne, and Vari take the heat.

With only a week before he’s history, Alex will have to figure out how to disassociate himself from his friends, scrounge up allies on the Council, and hopefully keep his head attached to his body.

But saving himself is going to bring him into direct opposition with his former master and the Dark mages surrounding him. And, this time, escaping with his life might mean losing his soul…

Anne E. Johnson (2012)

Things from Other Worlds
October 8, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 82 pages

"Enchanting!" -Ellie Ann, New York Times bestseller

Many strange things wait inside these pages. There's a fuzzy ball of kindness, camped out on a grumpy man's porch. A chewed piece of gum with a mind of its own. A smart Alec who actually stands in line twice when they're handing out brains. A girl who isn't afraid when all the plants in her neighborhood come to life.

This collection of science fiction and fantasy stories for kids by award-winning author Anne E. Johnson is perfect for ages 8-12, or anyone with a child's heart.

The Clay War
November 8, 2015
eBook, 16 pages

One minute, Shelly is on her fire escape in Detroit. The next, she's in a strange world with two rival battalions of fairies flying toward her. Good thing she has some city-smarts to get her out of this alarming situation.

This short fantasy story by award-winning children's author Anne E. Johnson is intended for ages 8-12.

Amazon : Barnes and Noble : iBooks : Kobo

2016 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide     Multiple Authors including Anne E. Johnson
Dreaming Robot Press, November 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 402 pages

The Universe keeps getting bigger! The adventure continues in this second collection of science fiction short stories for middle grade readers. From a future that could be right around the corner, to cultures that stretch what it means to be human, the common thread of our stories are the girls and boys who take action, solve problems, and become the leaders of tomorrow. Welcome Young Explorers!
Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Book Depository : Books-A-Million : IndieBound
iBooks : Kobo

The Orpheus Factor
December 15, 2015
ebook, 59 pages

Maybe the aliens are already here.
These six works of short science fiction by award-winning author Anne E. Johnson range from Earth-bound cyberpunk to a space-opera retelling of an ancient Greek myth. All-in-all, the collection will leave you ... unsettled.


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