Sunday, January 21, 2018

Melanie's Week in Review - January 21, 2018




Well hello, I hope you have a good week. I am suffering a bit from 'readers block'.  This is my very own malady similar to writers block where an author loses the ability to write. Well I have lost the ability to read. This is in part from reading books for SPFBO 2017. Not only do we have to read a bunch of books fairly quickly  - usually not a problem as I read quickly - but I have to read those and try to have some other books to review for you here on my Week in Review. I wasn't always able to do both. The other attribute to my reading malaise is birthday related. It is the Hubinator's milestone birthday and we (his sons and I) thought that we would surprised him with tickets to see his favourite football team play (that's soccer for those North American readers). Wow, organising a surprise is exhausting! Never again!

So, I couldn't get into reading but still needed to write my WIR so what did I do? I checked out Audible to see if I could find a book that I wanted to listen to instead. I don't always get along with audio books as I normally get put off by the narrators voice  - or should I say that their voice isn't what I imagined the voice of the main character to sound like. However, I found not 1 but 2 books that I really enjoyed. What did I listen to?


I first read Dragon Bones by Patricia Briggs back in 2011 after a recommendation from one of my sisters. Dragon Bones is book 1 of the Hurog duology, one of Briggs' earliest books, the only one that isn't a romance and only one she had written primarily from a male POV.

The story starts by introducing the reader to Ward who has just become the ruler of Hurog following the unexpected death of his father. Hurog is a fairly poor kingdom that is rich in folklore and history. Hurog means dragon and Ward has just become the Hurogmeten - protector of dragons. When Ward discovers dragon bones underneath the castle that, if they fall into the wrong hands, could prove the death of everyone and everything he loves. The dragon bones aren't Ward's only worry as there have been skirmishes on the borders of the kingdom and Ward decides to prove that he can live up to the role of Hurogmeten. It's up to Ward and a few of his family to stop the war and stop the dragon bones falling into enemy hands.

Book 2 - Dragon Blood - is set a few years after book 1 and this time Ward finds himself on the evil King Jakoven's hit list. He ends up imprisoned in the King's asylum suffering at the hands of his mage. The King needs Hurog blood to fuel an ancient weapon of mass destruction and guess who has that blood - Ward. While Ward tries to survive his friends try to release him and find a way to avoid the destruction of the five kingdoms. That is all I can say without giving too much away.

I loved these books. Ward is a great hero who starts out the victim and turns out the protector. Ward is complimented by an engaging cast of secondary characters across both books. Ward's family and his 'sort of' relative Oreg help to deliver the plot in both books and support Ward in all his escapades. Brigg's deals with  issues such as abuse, rape and torture in a sensitive way and they add context to the characters rather than being a focal point of the plot. Yet again, Brigg has written two books that are well balanced, have great characters and a well paced plot.

I really enjoyed the audio versions and even though I knew the stories they were still fresh. Joe Manganiello (the narrator) made a convincing Ward. He sounded very similar to the Ward voice in my head. Manganiello even managed to keep the pace and tension of the story and I found it difficult to stop listening. If you haven't read either of these books and enjoy audio books then add these to your TBR.


That is it for me this week. Off to make another birthday dinner! Wish me luck and until next week Happy Reading.





Dragon Bones
The Hurog Duology 1
Ace, February 26, 2002
     Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages
Buzzy Multimedia Publishing, November 15, 2010
     Audible Audio Edition, 8 hours and 56 minutes

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs comes the first thrilling* novel in the Hurog duology.

Most everyone thinks Ward of Hurog is a simple-minded fool—and that’s just fine by him. But few people know that his foolishness is (very convincingly) feigned. And that it’s the only thing that’s saved him from death.

When his abusive father dies, Ward becomes the new lord of Hurog…until a nobleman declares that he is too dim-witted to rule. Ward knows he cannot play the fool any longer. To regain his kingdom, he must prove himself worthy—and quickly.

Riding into a war that’s heating up on the border, Ward is sure he’s on the fast track to glory. But soon his mission takes a deadly serious turn. For he has seen a pile of magical dragon bones hidden deep beneath Hurog Keep. The bones can be dangerous in the wrong hands, and Ward is certain his enemies will stop at nothing to possess them…





Dragon Blood
The Hurog Duology 2
Ace, December 31, 2002
     Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 288 pages
Buzzy Multimedia Publishing, April 11, 2011
     Audible Audio Edition, 9 hours and 36 minutes

The Hurog duology concludes with this fantastical adventure from #1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs.

Ward, ruler of Hurog, is striving to restore his lands and people to prosperity, wanting nothing more than a quiet life. But when an old friend, escaping from High King Jakoven’s torturers, seeks refuge in his keep, Ward can no longer ignore the growing rebellion against the tyrannical High King. He realizes that he cannot stand aside—he must join with the rebels.

However, Jakoven has a secret weapon with which he intends to crush the rebellion: Farsonsbane, a magical artifact that has destroyed entire cities. But first, Jakoven needs blood to awaken it. Dragon’s blood. The very blood that courses through Ward’s veins…

Saturday, January 20, 2018

2018 Edgar Allen Poe Awards Nominees



The Mystery Writers of America have revealed the nominees for the 2018 Edgar Allan Poe Awards honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in 2016.  The Edgar® Awards will be presented at the 72nd Gala Banquet at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City on April 26, 2018.

Best Novel
  • The Dime by Kathleen Kent (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown & Co./Mulholland Books)
  • Prussian Blue by Philip Kerr (Penguin Random House – Marian Wood Books/G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
  • Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown & Co./Mulholland Books)
  • A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee (Pegasus Books)
  • The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti (Penguin Random House – The Dial Press)

Best First Novel By An American Author
  • She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper (HarperCollins – Ecco)
  • Dark Chapter by Winnie M. Li (Polis Books)
  • Lola by Melissa Scrivner Love (Penguin Random House – Crown)
  • Tornado Weather by Deborah E. Kennedy (Macmillan – Flatiron Books)
  • Idaho by Emily Ruskovich (Random House)

Best Paperback Original
  • In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen (Amazon Publishing – Lake Union)
  • Ragged Lake by Ron Corbett (ECW Press)
  • Black Fall by Andrew Mayne (HarperCollins Publishers – Harper Paperbacks)
  • The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola (Sourcebooks – Sourcebooks Landmark)
  • Penance by Kanae Minato (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown & Co./Mulholland Books)
  • The Rules of Backyard Cricket by Jock Serong (Text Publishing)

Best Fact Crime
  • Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann (Penguin Random House – Doubleday)
  • The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple by Jeff Guinn (Simon & Schuster)
  • American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse (W.W. Norton & Company – Liveright)
  • The Man From the Train: The Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer Mystery by Bill and Rachel McCarthy James (Simon & Schuster – Scribner)
  • Mrs. Sherlock Holmes: The True Story of New York City’s Greatest Female Detective and the 1917 Missing Girl Case that Captivated a Nation by Brad Ricca (St. Martin’s Press)

Best Critical / Biographical
  • From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men and Women who Created an Icon by Mattias Bostrom (Grove/Atlantic – The Mysterious Press)
  • Manderley Forever: A Biography of Daphne du Maurier by Tatiana de Rosnay (St. Martin’s Press)
  • Murder in the Closet: Essays on Queer Clues in Crime Fiction Before Stonewall by Curtis Evans (McFarland Publishing)
  • Chester B. Himes: A Biography by Lawrence P. Jackson (W.W. Norton & Company)
  • Arthur and Sherlock: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes by Michael Sims (Bloomsbury USA)

Best Short Story
  • “Spring Break” – New Haven Noir by John Crowley (Akashic Books)
  • “Hard to Get” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Jeffery Deaver (Dell Magazines)
  • “Ace in the Hole” – Montana Noir by Eric Heidle (Akashic Books)
  • “A Moment of Clarity at the Waffle House” – Atlanta Noir by Kenji Jasper (Akashic Books)
  • “Chin Yong-Yun Stays at Home” – Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine by S.J. Rozan (Dell Magazines)

Best Juvenile
  • Audacity Jones Steals the Show by Kirby Larson (Scholastic – Scholastic Press)
  • Vanished! by James Ponti (Simon & Schuster – Aladdin)
  • The Assassin’s Curse by Kevin Sands (Simon & Schuster – Aladdin)
  • First Class Murder by Robin Stevens (Simon & Schuster – Simon & Schuster BFYR)
  • NewsPrints by Ru Xu (Scholastic – Graphix)

Best Young Adult
  • The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group – Feiwel & Friends)
  • Grit by Gillian French (HarperCollins Publishers – HarperTeen)
  • The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak (Simon & Schuster)
  • Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (Simon & Schuster – Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (HarperCollins Publishers – Balzer + Bray)

Best Television Episode Teleplay
  • “Episode 1” – Loch Ness, Teleplay by Stephen Brady (Acorn TV)
  • “Something Happened” – Law and Order: SVU, Teleplay by Michael Chernuchin (NBC Universal/Wolf Entertainment)
  • “Somebody to Love” – Fargo, Teleplay by Noah Hawley (FX Networks/MGM)
  • “Gently and the New Age” – George Gently, Teleplay by Robert Murphy (Acorn TV)
  • “The Blanket Mire” – Vera, Teleplay by Paul Matthew Thompson & Martha Hillier (Acorn TV)

Robert L. Fish Memorial Award
  • “The Queen of Secrets” – New Haven Noir by Lisa D. Gray (Akashic Books)

Grand Master
  • Jane Langton
  • William Link
  • Peter Lovesey

Raven Award
  • Kristopher Zgorski, BOLO Books
  • The Raven Bookstore, Lawrence Kansas

Ellery Queen Award
  • Robert Pépin


******************************

The Simon & Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award
  • The Vineyard Victims by Ellen Crosby (Minotaur)
  • You’ll Never Know Dear by Hallie Ephron (HarperCollins – William Morrow)
  • The Widow’s House by Carol Goodman (HarperCollins – William Morrow Paperbacks)
  • Uncorking a Lie by Nadine Nettmann (Llewellyn Worldwide – Midnight Ink)
  • The Day I Died by Lori Rader-Day (HarperCollins – William Morrow Paperbacks)




The EDGAR (and logo) are Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by the Mystery Writers of America, Inc.

2017 Bram Stoker Award - Preliminary Ballot



The Horror Writers Association (HWA) has released the Preliminary Ballot for the 2017 Bram Stoker Awards®.
"Works on this ballot are not referred to as “nominees” or “finalists”. Only works appearing on the Final Ballot may be referred to as “nominated works” and their authors as “finalists”."
The final ballot will be revealed in February. The winners will be announced on March 3rd at StokerCon 2018 in Providence, RI  (March 1 - 4, 2018)


2017 Bram Stoker Awards® Preliminary Ballot

Superior Achievement in a Novel
  • Barker, J.D. – The Fourth Monkey (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • Golden, Christopher – Ararat (St. Martin’s Press)
  • Jemc, Jac – The Grip of It (FSG Originals)
  • King, Stephen and King, Owen – Sleeping Beauties (Scribner)
  • Malerman, Josh – Black Mad Wheel (Ecco)
  • McGrath, Patrick – The Wardrobe Mistress (Hutchinson)
  • Miskowski, S.P. – I Wish I Was Like You (JournalStone)
  • Nevill, Adam – Under a Watchful Eye (Pan Macmillan)
  • Rabarts, Dan and Murray, Lee – Hounds of the Underworld (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
  • Purcell, Laura – The Silent Companions: A Ghost Story (Raven Books)
  • Tem, Steve Rasnic – Ubo (Solaris)

Superior Achievement in a First Novel
  • Cabeen, Robert Payne – Cold Cuts (Omnium Gatherum Media)
  • Davidson, Andy – In the Valley of the Sun (Skyhorse Publishing)
  • Hartwell, Ash – Tip of the Iceberg (Stitched Smile Publications)
  • Hayward, Matt – What do Monsters Fear? (Post Mortem Press)
  • Hepler, Jeremy – The Boulevard Monster (Bloodshot Books)
  • Rosson, Keith – The Mercy of the Tide (Meerkat Press)
  • Thomas, Scott – Kill Creek (Ink Shares)

Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel
  • French, Gillian – The Door to January (Islandport Press)
  • Leveen, Tom – Hellworld (Simon Pulse)
  • Liggett, Kim – The Last Harvest (Tor Teen)
  • Lukavics, Amy – The Ravenous (Harlequin Teen)
  • Porter, Sarah – When I Cast Your Shadow (Tor Teen)

Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel
  • Carey, Mike and Arvind, Ethan David – Darkness Visible (IDW)
  • Duffey, Damian and Butler, Octavia E. – Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation (Abrams ComicArts)
  • Ferris, Emil – My Favorite Thing is Monsters (Fantagraphics)
  • Haun, Jeremy and Hurley, Jason – The Beauty Volume 3 (Image Comics)
  • Hickman, Jonathan – The Black Monday Murders (Image Comics)
  • Liu, Marjorie – Monstress Volume 2: The Blood (Image Comics)

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction
  • Baxter, Alan – The Book Club (PS Publishing)
  • Deady, Tom – Weekend Getaway (Grinning Skull Press)
  • Edelman, Scott – Faking it Until Forever Comes (Liars, Fakers, and the Dead Who Eat Them) (Written Backwards)
  • Jones, Stephen Graham – Mapping the Interior (Tor.com)
  • Keisling, Todd – The Final Reconciliation (Crystal Lake Publishing)
  • Kiernan, Caitlín R. – Agents of Dreamland (Tor.com)
  • McGuire, Seanan – Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Tor.com)
  • Taylor, Lucy – Sweetlings (Tor.com)
  • Vandermeer, Jeff – The Strange Bird: A Borne Story (MCD x FSG Originals)
  • Waggoner, Tim – A Kiss of Thorns (DarkFuse)

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction
  • Bailey, Michael – “I Will Be the Reflection Until the End” (Tales from the Lake Vol. 4) (Crystal Lake Publishing)
  • Bodner, Hal – “The Baker of Millepoix” (Behold!: Oddities, Curiosities & Undefinable Wonders) (Crystal Lake Publishing)
  • Chambers, James – “A Song Left Behind in the Aztakea Hills” (Shadows Over Main Street, Volume 2) (Cutting Block Books)
  • Fawver, Kurt – “Etch the Unthinkable” (Gamut #1) (Gamut Magazine)
  • Lombardi, Nicola – “Even the Stars Fall” (The Beauty of Death Vol. 2: Death by Water) (Independent Legions Publishing)
  • Mannetti, Lisa – “Apocalypse Then” (Never Fear: The Apocalypse) (13Thirty Books)
  • Marceau, Caitlin – “No Filter” (Read-Only: A Collection of Digital Horror) (WatchMojo Publishing)
  • Neugebauer, Annie – “So Sings the Siren” (Apex Magazine #101) (Apex Publications)
  • Rourke, Naomi Brett – “Coyote” (Straight Outta Tombstone) (Baen)
  • Taff, John F.D. – “A Ware That Will Not Keep” (Behold!: Oddities, Curiosities & Undefinable Wonders) (Crystal Lake Publishing)
  • Wahl, M.F. – “Absolution” (Feverish Fiction Magazine Issue #6) (Sleazy Viking Press)
  • Walters, Damien Angelica – “All the Windows, All the Doors” (Chopping Block Party: An Anthology of Suburban Terror) (Necro Publications)
  • Yardley, Mercedes M. – “Loving you Darkly” (F(r)iction Magazine #8) (Tethered by Letters)

Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection
  • Cain, Kenneth W. – Embers (Crystal Lake Publishing)
  • Cataneo, Emily B. – Speaking to the Skull Kings (Trepidatio Publishing)
  • Dorr, James – Tombs (Elder Signs Press)
  • Fracassi, Philip – Behold the Void (JournalStone)
  • Gafford, Sam – The Dreamer in Fire and Other Stories (Hippocampus Press)
  • Hill, Joe – Strange Weather (William Morrow)
  • Kiste, Gwendolyn – And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe (JournalStone)
  • Malerman, Josh – Goblin (Earthling Publications)
  • Matsuura, Thersa – The Carp-Faced Boy and Other Tales (Independent Legions Publishing)
  • McGrath, Patrick – Writing Madness (Centipede Press)
  • Sheldon, Deborah – Perfect Little Stitches and Other Stories (IFWG Publishing Australia)

Superior Achievement in a Screenplay
  • Aronofsky, Darren – Mother! (Paramount Pictures, Protozoa Pictures)
  • Del Toro, Guillermo and Taylor, Vanessa – The Shape of Water (TSG Entertainment, Double Dare You Productions)
  • Duffer, Matt and Duffer, Ross – Stranger Things: MadMax, Episode 02:01: Chapter One (21 Laps Entertainment, Monkey Massacre)
  • Ducournau, Julia – Raw (Frakas Productions/Petit Film/Rouge International)
  • Frost, Mark and Lynch, David – Twin Peaks: The Return “Gotta Light?”, Episode 3:08 (Rancho Rosa Partnership Production)
  • Palmer, Chase, Fukunaga, Cary, and Dauberman, Gary – It (New Line Cinema)
  • Peele, Jordan – Get Out (Universal Pictures, Blumhouse Productions, QC Entertainment)
  • Shyamalan, M. Night – Split (Blinding Edge Pictures, Blumhouse Productions)

Superior Achievement in an Anthology
  • Bailey, Michael and Speegle, Darren – Adam’s Ladder (Written Backwards)
  • Brooks, Kinitra, PhD., Addison, Linda D., and Morris, Susana, PhD. – Sycorax’s Daughters (Cedar Grove Publishing)
  • Datlow, Ellen – Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales: An Anthology (Pegasus Books)
  • Eads, Ben – Tales from the Lake Vol. 4: The Horror Anthology (Crystal Lake Publishing)
  • Ferguson, Cin and Campbell, Broos – Mother’s Revenge: A Dark and Bizarre Anthology of Global Proportions (Scary Dairy Press)
  • Kaheaku, Danielle – California Screamin’ (Barking Deer Press)
  • Maberry, Jonathan and Romero, George A. – Nights of the Living Dead: An Anthology (St. Martin’s Griffin)
  • Manzetti, Alessandro and Lester, Jodi Renee – The Beauty of Death Vol. 2: Death by Water (Independent Legions Publishing)
  • Matthews, Mark – Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror (Wicked Run Press)
  • Murano, Doug – Behold!: Oddities, Curiosities & Undefinable Wonders (Crystal Lake Publishing)
  • Price, David – Northern Frights: An Anthology by the Horror Writers of Maine (Grinning Skull Press)

Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction
  • Brittany, Michele – Horror in Space: Critical Essays on a Film Subgenre (McFarland)
  • Brooks, Kinitra D. – Searching for Sycorax: Black Women's Hauntings of Contemporary Horror (Rutgers University Press)
  • Cardin, Matt – Horror Literature through History: An Encyclopedia of the Stories That Speak to Our Deepest Fears (Greenwood)
  • Hendrix, Grady - Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of ‘70s and ‘80s Horror Fiction (Quirk Books)
  • Jones, Stephen – The Art of Horror Movies: An Illustrated History (Applause Theatre & Cinema Books; Ill edition)
  • Mynhardt, Joe and Johnson, Eugene – Where Nightmares Come From: The Art of Storytelling in the Horror Genre – (Crystal Lake Publishing)
  • Rhoads, Loren – 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die (Black Dog & Leventhal)

Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection
  • Bolivar, Adam – The Lay of Old Hex: Spectral Ballads and Weird Jack Tales (Hippocampus Press)
  • Fantina, Michael – Alchemy of Dreams and Other Poems (Hippocampus Press)
  • Frazier, Robert and Boston, Bruce – Visions of the Mutant Rain Forest (Crystal Lake Publishing)
  • Hanson, Michael H. – When the Night Owl Screams (MoonDream Press)
  • Manzetti, Alessandro – No Mercy (Crystal Lake Publishing)
  • Ness, Mari – Through Immortal Shadows Singing (Papaveria Press)
  • Razvi, Saba – Heliophobia (Finishing Line Press)
  • Simon, Marge and Turzillo, Mary – Satan’s Sweethearts (Weasel Press)
  • Sng, Christina – A Collection of Nightmares (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
  • Weikel, Cynthia O’Quinn – Return to Graveyard Dust (Goose River Press)
  • Wytovich, Stephanie M. – Sheet Music to my Acoustic Nightmare (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Friday, January 19, 2018

Interview with Tyrell Johnson, author of The Wolves of Winter


Please welcome Tyrell Johnson to The Qwillery as part of the of the 2018 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Wolves of Winter was published on January 2nd by Scribner.







TQWelcome to The Qwillery. What is the first fiction piece you remember writing?

Tyrell:  When I was in grade school, I wrote a five-page story about a farmer who loses his cow. In a twist no one saw coming, he finds the lost cow hiding at the top of a nearby tree.



TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Tyrell:  I’m probably something of a hybrid. I start with an idea, setting, or character; I’ll have vague notions of plot; and then I’ll move forward one sentence at a time. Every once in a while, I’ll write a rough outline of where I think things are headed, but it’s very vague, and I often don’t stick to it.



TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Tyrell:  Right now it’s probably staying focused. I have a lot of things going on at the moment that keep drawing my attention away from the page and my time to be creative.



TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Tyrell:  Everything from books I’ve read, to movies I’ve watched, to family and friends. These things blend together with my experience and personality and preferences and somehow inform my writing. That’s a very vague answer! Sorry.



TQDescribe The Wolves of Winter in 140 characters or less.

Tyrell:  A young woman surviving in a post-apocalyptic Yukon meets a stranger with secrets of the past that will change her life forever.



TQTell us something about The Wolves of Winter that is not found in the book description.

Tyrell:  There are 27 instances of the F word in the novel.



TQWhat inspired you to write The Wolves of Winter? What appeals to you about writing Post-Apocalyptic fiction?

Tyrell:  I knew I wanted to write a post-apocalyptic novel because I like the genre. I like the questions it poses about humanity and about what life would be like if we didn’t have the luxuries we have today. I was also a new father at the time and wanted to use that experience and those emotions in the novel, which is why the father/daughter relationship is so prevalent. And, finally, before any of this, I had been writing fiction primarily with male protagonists. However, many of my readers’ favorite characters were the females in my stories. So my wife very kindly urged me to go write a book with a female as the protagonist. I gave it a try.



TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Wolves of Winter?

Tyrell:  I did research on the flora and fauna of the Yukon and looked at a lot of maps. I also watched many YouTube videos on things like how to build an igloo and how to gut a deer. I didn’t want to just read about these things, I wanted to watch them being done so I could more accurately describe them. I don’t recommend, however, eating a turkey sandwich while watching a deer being field dressed.



TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Wolves of Winter?

Tyrell:  The cover was done in part by Pete Garceau and in part by HarperCollins Germany. We had the basic layout and background, but knew it still needed something to give it that edge. Then we saw the German cover of the novel, in which they use the figure of a woman in the place of the “I” in “Winter.” We thought it was a fantastic idea, inserted the woman into our own backdrop, and the cover was born. And no, it doesn’t depict any specific scene from the novel.



TQIn The Wolves of Winter who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Tyrell:  I suppose I might say my main character was both the easiest and the hardest. I’ve spent the most time in her head, so really, I feel like I know her best and could write her voice the easiest. However, she was also the hardest because I’m a man writing from a woman’s perspective, and so there were a lot of things that I was very consciously trying to get right.



TQWhy have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in The Wolves of Winter?

Tyrell:  I didn’t intend to focus on any one social issue, however, I think there are issues that are sort of innate in the post-apocalyptic genre. It forces us to take a hard look at our ruling powers, at the environment, and at what we put value on in our lives. This is one of the reasons I like the genre: hopefully there’s a fascinating story with relatable characters, but there’s also that subtext (dare I call it a warning?) of society falling apart.



TQWhich question about The Wolves of Winter do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Tyrell:  Was the dog in the novel based off your own dog?

Yes! He’s the only character that is actually based off a character in real life. My dog is just as energetic, just as curious, just as happy, just as quasi-annoying as the dog, Wolf, in the book.



TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Wolves of Winter.

Tyrell:  I’ve always been a little partial to my first sentence: “The trap was empty and the snow was bloody, which meant one of three things.” I hope that this immediately makes readers want to read, at the very least, the next sentence.



TQWhat's next?

Tyrell:  I’m working on a book two, though I can’t make any promises that it’ll see the light of day.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Tyrell:  Thanks so much for having me!





The Wolves of Winter
Scribner, January 2, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

A captivating tale of humanity pushed beyond its breaking point, of family and bonds of love forged when everything is lost, and of a heroic young woman who crosses a frozen landscape to find her destiny. This debut novel is written in a post-apocalyptic tradition that spans The Hunger Games and Station Eleven but blazes its own distinctive path.

Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive in the endless white wilderness beyond the edges of a fallen world.

Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As the memories of her old life continue to haunt, she’s forced to forge ahead in the snow-drifted Canadian Yukon, learning how to hunt and trap and slaughter.

Shadows of the world before have found her tiny community—most prominently in the enigmatic figure of Jax, who brings with him dark secrets of the past and sets in motion a chain of events that will call Lynn to a role she never imagined.

Simultaneously a heartbreakingly sympathetic portrait of a young woman searching for the answer to who she is meant to be and a frightening vision of a merciless new world in which desperation rules, The Wolves of Winter is enveloping, propulsive, and poignant.





About Tyrell

© Josh Durias
Tyrell Johnson is a twenty-nine-year-old writer and editor who grew up in Bellingham, Washington. He received his MFA from the University of California, Riverside, where he studied fiction and poetry. An avid outdoorsman, he currently lives in Kelowna, British Columbia, northeast of Vancouver with his wife, two kids, and a Siberian husky. The Wolves of Winter is his first novel.



Website  ~  Twitter @tjohnso14  ~  Facebook

ISOLA Launches in April


GOTHAM ACADEMY ALUMS
BRENDEN FLETCHER AND KARL KERSCHL

REUNITE FOR ISOLA

A comic two decades in the making

PORTLAND, OR, 01/18/2018 — Acclaimed writer Brenden Fletcher (MOTOR CRUSH, Gotham Academy) and Eisner Award-winning storyteller Karl Kerschl (Gotham Academy, The Abominable Charles Christopher) team up with colorist Msassyk (Gotham Academy) and letterer Aditya Bidikar (MOTOR CRUSH) for the lush, breathtaking fantasy ISOLA this April.

The captain of the Royal Guard has fled the capital city with the Queen of Maar, suffering under the effects of an evil spell. Captain Rook’s only hope of returning Queen Olwyn to her throne and saving the kingdom from impending war lies on an island half a world away—a place known in myth as Isola, land of the dead.

“Karl and I have been friends since we were 10 years old,” said Fletcher. “Publishing ISOLA with Image Comics is the culmination of everything we dreamed about as kids and worked toward as adults.”

“ISOLA is my dream comic,” said Kerschl. “Exotic animals, sprawling forests, mythic creatures: all of my artistic indulgences under one roof.”

ISOLA #1 (Diamond code: FEB180500) hits comic shops Wednesday, April 4th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, March 12th.


Early praise for ISOLA:

“ISOLA is one of the most beautifully illustrated North American fantasy comics I’ve
ever seen. It mixes European and Japanese influences with Fletcher and Kerschl’s
considerable charm to make something new and exciting.” —Tim Seeley

“ISOLA is an original fantasy world brought to life with breathtaking art. You can feel the
blood, grass, and fur. A stunner from the get-go.” —Annie Wu

“This book is beautiful! It reads like a really high-end animation production! —Dustin Nguyen

“I have been waiting greedily for ISOLA, and it’s everything I ever wanted. Beautiful,
lush, heartfelt, and dangerous. Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl are at the top of their
game with masterful storytelling and an intriguing epic. Every panel hums with life and
energy and reminds us that there are still magical worlds to escape to...if we can find
them.” —Patrick Gleason



ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit
www.imagecomics.com.

Nintendo Download, January 18, 2018: Kirby, a Dark Dungeon, Lost Memories … and More Kirby!


This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content:
  • Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch
    • LOST SPHEAR – The adventure of LOST SPHEAR begins in a remote town of Elgarthe, where a young boy, Kanata, awakens from a devastating dream to find his hometown disappearing. To stop the world from disappearing forever, Kanata and his comrades set out to rebuild the world, mustering different Memory and crafting the world around them. The LOST SPHEAR game launches on Jan. 23.
    • Darkest DungeonDarkest Dungeon is a challenging, gothic roguelike turn-based RPG about the psychological stresses of adventuring. Recruit, train and lead a team of flawed heroes against unimaginable horrors, stress, famine, disease and the ever-encroaching dark. Can you keep your heroes together when all hope is lost?
  • Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS
    • Kirby Battle Royale – Kirby is entering a tournament against his toughest rival yet … himself! One to four players can fight in local or online battles (additional games and accessories required; sold separately). Pick from more than 10 abilities and 10 battle types to compete in countless matchups. Hoard treasure in Ore Express, knock out opponents in Slam Hockey and shoot missiles in Robo Bonkers. There’s a single-player story mode, too! The Kirby Battle Royale game launches on Jan. 19. A free demo version of the game is available now for download in Nintendo eShop. Game in 2D.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Coloring Books from Fox Chapel Publishing


Book Expo America, or BEA is the largest annual publishing trade fair held in the U.S. It is one of The Qwillery's favorite events, as we get the chance to meet some very cool authors and talk to publishers who educate us on what new books to look forward to in the coming year. Qwill and I were fortunate to meet with a representative of Fox Chapel Publishing during BEA 2017 who kindly provided The Qwillery with samples of their fantasy-themed adult coloring books by illustrators Eric Messenger, Krisa Bousquet and Thaneeya McArdle. I find a great way to relax is to break open a box of colored pencils, markers, or even crayons and get busy coloring, so I absconded with the books.

For the purpose of this review, I'll be breaking down the books by author. I am also including some samples of my finished pages as a reference. Each book has 80 pages, with about 32 of these for coloring. (The backs of the pictures have quotes and little pictures to embellish as well as several lines for notes.) All of the books start with a tutorial which includes a color wheel, coloring tips, and some samples of finished pieces. I found this extremely useful and thought the samples provided inspiration and ideas that sparked my imagination. I think the samples will provide expert guidance to even the most novice artist. Another great feature is that finished masterpieces are neatly and easily torn from the book for display purposes because of their handy perforations.



Fairies, Fantasy Garden and Flower Girls by Krisa Bousquet are whimsical, beautiful, and brim with positivity. Since unicorns are among my favorite fantasy creatures, I chose to start with a picture entitled "Homecoming" in the Fantasy Garden Coloring Book. I used assorted color pencils, water color pencils and markers for highlighting. I really enjoyed working on this picture and tried to use some of the same color schemes that were shown in the example. I was pretty happy with my results shown below. Next, I moved on to a larger picture entitled "A Wave of Magic" in the Fairies Coloring Book. I chose this picture because it had a colored sample on the preceding page and I thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast. I think this was my favorite as I really enjoyed experimenting with color on all the intricate designs.

"Homecoming" color by T.
Maknis with assorted
colored pencils and markers
"A Wave of Magic: color by Krisa Bousquet (right)
and colored by T. Maknis (left) - Markers (Staedler)
Watercolor Pencils (Prismacolor) and Metallic Markers
(Sharpie)



Both the Dominion of Giants: Behemoths of the Fantasy World and Fantasy Adventure: Dragons, Dwarves, Elves, and other Extraordinary Creatures coloring books appealed to my sense of adventure. Each book features fantasy creatures created by Eric Messenger that are sure to inspire and entertain colorists from about 10 years old and up. Before choosing a page to color, I took my time admiring the vast array of choices. I really enjoyed the diversity of the subjects as well as the awesome weaponry and epic quotes. In my opinion, some of the pictures in Messenger's books are better suited for seasoned colorists. Although pictures like Desert Elf, shown below, would be great for beginners on up.

Partially completed "War Orc" color by T. Maknis
- Markers (Staedler)
"Desert Elf" color by T. Maknis
- Markers (Staedler)


Sugar Skulls by Thaneeya McArdle is a cool coloring experience. Sugar Skulls have always intrigued me so I did a little research and found out that Sugar Skulls are one of the most popular symbols associated with the Day of the Dead celebration. They are traditionally decorated in vibrant colors which reflect the Day of the Dead as an opportunity to fondly remember the dearly departed. I really enjoyed the different selections and for my first attempt I chose a design with multiple skulls so I could try out a few color combinations. I enjoyed using the example as a guideline and am very pleased with the results. This book is suitable for all coloring levels.

    
    
Sugar Skull Wheel color by T. Maknis
- Markers (Staedler)


To recap, I really enjoyed my coloring experiences and look forward to more coloring! There is something immensely satisfying about finishing these fantasy creatures. One note of caution: All the books state on their back covers that the high quality paper resists bleed-through, but I did end up with quite a bit of bleeding on a few of my pieces. The bleed-through did not affect the picture on the next page and I would just use caution when blending markers. I also experienced some "pilling" when I used my markers and although none of the pages tore, I was worried about it once or twice. Some of the samples mention the use of Copic markers, but since these are a little pricey, I don't own any and therefore did not have the opportunity to try them. I was most pleased with the results when I used color pencils, but like anything in the world of art, it comes down to personal preference. I would suggest starting with your favorite medium and experimenting from there. I really enjoyed this line of fantasy coloring books and I wholeheartedly recommend them.





KC Doodle Art Fantasy Garden Book
Design Originals, November 8, 2016
Trade Paperback, 80 pages

This bewitching adult coloring book will whisk you away to a land of fairy tale make-believe. From mushroom houses to the carriage that turned into a pumpkin, each magical drawing is ready for easy or advanced coloring depending on your mood.

Visit an enchanted garden where gnomes guard secret treasures, animals can talk, and mysterious flowers bloom! This bewitching coloring book will whisk you away to a land of fairy tale make-believe. From mushroom homes and hidden cottages to the carriage that turned into a pumpkin, each magical drawing is ready for easy or advanced coloring depending on your mood. Social media trendsetter Krisa Bousquet offers dozens of her intricately detailed illustrations, ready to color with markers, colored pencils, watercolors, or gel pens. Krisa gets you started with handy coloring guides that include suggested color palettes and fully colored examples. Printed on one side only of archival-grade, acid-free, 200-year paper, each perforated page detaches easily for gifting or display.




KC Doodle Art Fairies Coloring Book
Design Originals, November 8, 2016
Trade Paperback, 80 pages

This spritely adult coloring book will whisk you to a mystical world of enchanting fairies, ready for easy or advanced coloring depending on your mood. Dozens of whimsical, fun-loving fairies are ready to color with markers, colored pencils, watercolors, or gel pens.

Magical creatures have a way of appearing when you least expect them—hiding in the greenery, dancing in the vines, or peeping through the flowers! This spritely coloring book will whisk you to a mystical world of enchanting fairies, ready for easy or advanced coloring depending on your mood. Social media trendsetter Krisa Bousquet presents dozens of whimsical, fun-loving fairies, ready to color with markers, colored pencils, watercolors, or gel pens. Krisa gets you started with handy coloring guides that include suggested color palettes and fully colored examples. Printed on one side only of archival-grade, acid-free, 200-year paper, each perforated page detaches easily for gifting or display.




KC Doodle Art Flower Girls Coloring Book
Design Originals, November 8, 2016
Trade Paperback, 80 pages

This adult coloring book presents dozens of captivating images of pretty girls surrounded by flowers, ready for you to color with markers, colored pencils, watercolors, or gel pens. Each garden-fresh enchantress is ready for easy or advanced coloring depending on your mood.

From dazzling and delicate to ravishing and radiant, the strong women in this empowering coloring book are deeply in tune with the bursting, blooming earth. Social media trendsetter Krisa Bousquet presents dozens of captivating images of pretty girls surrounded by flowers, ready for you to color with markers, colored pencils, watercolors, or gel pens. Filled and inspired by nature’s bounty, each garden-fresh enchantress is ready for easy or advanced coloring depending on your mood. Krisa gets you started with handy coloring guides that include suggested color palettes and fully colored examples. Printed on one side only of archival-grade, acid-free, 200-year paper, each perforated page detaches easily for gifting or display.




Dominion of Giants Coloring Book: Behemoths of the Fantasy World
Design Originals, March 7, 2017
Trade Paperback, 80 pages

Discover a fabled dominion where Giants are a part of everyday life. In this imaginative coloring book, fantasy illustrator Eric Messinger takes you inside an alternate fantasy world of Kingdom Giants, Hill Giants, Mountain Giants, War Giants, and more.

Ranging in mood from ferocious to gentle, these gargantuan humanoids are ready to color with markers, colored pencils, watercolors, or gel pens. Dominion of Giants Coloring Book includes handy guides to coloring techniques like patterning, combinations, and shading. Guided Coloring Pages make coloring easy for beginners, with beautifully colored examples and ready-to-use color palettes. Each design is printed on one side only of archival-grade, acid-free, 200-year paper, and perforated pages detach easily for gifting or display. This book has earned the DO Magazine Artist Fair Trade Seal of Approval.




Fantasy Adventure Coloring Book: 
        Dragons, Dwarves, Elves, and Other Extraordinary Creatures
Design Originals, March 7, 2017
Trade Paperback, 80 pages

Enter an enchanted land of awesome ogres, legendary dwarves, and supernatural beasts. This imaginative coloring book will cast a spell on colorists of all ages, with fantastic visions of mythical creatures.

Fantasy illustrator Eric Messinger presents dozens of detailed illustrations, ready to color with markers, colored pencils, watercolors, or gel pens. Fantasy Adventure Coloring Book includes handy guides to coloring techniques like patterning, combinations, and shading. Guided Coloring Pages make coloring easy for beginners, with beautifully colored examples and ready-to-use color palettes. Each design is printed on one side only of archival-grade, acid-free, 200-year paper, and perforated pages detach easily for gifting or display. This book has earned the DO Magazine Artist Fair Trade Seal of Approval.




Sugar Skulls Coloring Book
Design Originals, October 4, 2016
Trade Paperback, 80 pages

Inspired by the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos), this quirky folk art coloring book offers dozens of fun and playful “Sugar Skull” art activities that will take you on a playful journey of patterning, shading, and coloring.

Enter an exotic world of creative self-expression with this quirky folk art coloring book! Inspired by the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos, it offers dozens of fun and playful “Sugar Skull” art activities that will take you on a playful journey of patterning, shading, and coloring. These vibrantly detailed images offer an easy way to de-stress and unleash your inner artist. Thaneeya McArdle’s transcendental art explores a visual language of shape, form, line, and color. Beautifully colored finished examples are provided, along with a handy guide to basic art techniques, from patterning and combinations to shading and color theory. This therapeutic coloring book is perfect for decorating with markers, colored pencils, gel pens, or watercolors. Each design is printed on one side only of archival-grade, acid-free, 200-year paper. Each perforated page detaches easily for gifting or display.

Kodansha Comics announces the “Humble Manga Bundle: Attack on Titan Universe”



Kodansha Comics announces the “Humble Manga Bundle: Attack on
Titan Universe”—including 44 volumes of the apocalyptic megahit plus
exclusive artbook—to go on sale January 17

Buyers of Humble Bundle’s latest pay what they want for first 22 volumes of 
Hajime Isayama’s masterwork, plus all volumes of Lost Girls, No Regrets,
Before the Fall, Junior High, and Spoof on Titan spinoff series!

San Francisco, Calif. (January 16, 2018)—Starting ... January 17, Kodansha Comics will be making available its most highly anticipated Humble Manga Bundle yet, the “Humble Manga Bundle: Attack on Titan Universe” in partnership with Humble Bundle.

The offering amounts to over $500 worth of digital manga, or 44 complete volumes of Hajime Isayama’s monster hit manga Attack on Titan. The actual cost of the bundle is based on Humble Bundle’s unique pay-what-you-want charitable model.

Nintendo Labo Combines the Magic of Nintendo Switch with the Fun of DIY Creations



Nintendo Labo Combines the Magic of Nintendo Switch with the Fun of DIY Creations

Make, Play and Discover with Interactive DIY Kits for Nintendo Switch

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 17, 2018 – Introducing Nintendo Labo, a new line of interactive build-and-play experiences designed to inspire kids and those who are kids-at-heart. Building on the 129-year history of Nintendo, which is rooted in innovative entertainment and game-play experiences, Nintendo Labo continues the company’s mission of putting smiles on people’s faces.

Together with the Nintendo Switch system (sold separately), the Nintendo Labo kits provide the tools and technology to MAKE fun DIY creations, PLAY games with your creations and DISCOVER how the magic of Nintendo Switch technology shapes ideas into reality.

With each Nintendo Labo kit, kids can transform modular sheets of cardboard – specially designed to interact with the Nintendo Switch console and Joy-Con controllers – into creations called Toy-Con. From a piano to a motorbike, a robot and more, each Toy-Con comes to life when combined with Nintendo Switch in different ways. As you build, you will have fun discovering how the technology works, and might even invent new ways to play with each Toy-Con!

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux in the Americas on May 15


Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux
Will Arrive in the Americas May 15 for Nintendo 3DS!


IRVINE, Calif. - Jan. 17, 2018 - Calling all United Nations soldiers, a spatial distortion is expected to appear in Antarctica on May 15 when Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux releases for $39.99 (with commensurate European pricing) for Nintendo 3DS™! Featuring additional story content, new illustrations by Masayuki Doi, and a brand-new character, Alex, Strange Journey Redux is an ATLUS JRPG adventure fans of the series won't want to miss!

The Story
A spatial distortion full of demons appeared in Antarctica, threatening to engulf the Earth in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey. The United Nations responded by tasking a team of highly advanced specialists with piercing the anomaly and figuring out how to stop it from the source. Well, get ready to don your Demonica once again in this new, expanded port. Expect new story content, additional endings, a new dungeon to explore, and more in the return of this sci-fi tinged SMT adventure.