Friday, January 31, 2014

2014 Debut Author Challenge Update - Cold Iron by D. L. McDermott

The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2014 Debut Author Challenge.

D. L. McDermott

Cold Iron
Cold Iron Trilogy 1
Pocket Star, February 10, 2014
eBook, 381 pages

For fans of Jeaniene Frost and Kresley Cole, this full-length novel is the first in D.L. McDermott’s fast-paced, sexy paranormal romance series—available exclusively in ebook!

The Fae, the Good Neighbors, the Fair Folk, the Aes Sídhe, creatures of preternatural beauty and seduction. Archaeologist Beth Carter doesn’t believe in them. She’s always credited her extraordinary ability to identify ancient Celtic sites to hard work and intuition—until she discovers a tomb filled with ancient treasure but missing a body. Her ex-husband, the scholar who stifled her career to advance his own, is unconcerned. Corpses don’t fetch much on the antiquities market. Gold does. Beth knows from past experience that if she isn’t vigilant, Frank will make off with the hoard.

So when a man—tall, broad shouldered, and impossibly handsome—turns up in her bedroom claiming to be the tomb’s inhabitant, one of mythic god-kings of old Ireland, Beth believes it is a ploy cooked up by her ex-husband to scare her away from the excavation.

But Conn is all too real. Ancient, alien, irresistible, the Fae are the stuff of dreams and nightmares, their attentions so addictive their abandoned human lovers wither and die. And this one has fixed his supernatural desire on Beth.

Review: The Daedalus Incident by Michael J. Martinez

The Daedalus Incident
Series:  Daedalus 1
Publisher:  Night Shade Books, August 13, 2013
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
(the eBook was published in May 2013)
List Price:  $15.99 (print)
ISBN:  9781597804721 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Mars is supposed to be dead…...a fact Lt. Shaila Jain of the Joint Space Command is beginning to doubt in a bad way.

Freak quakes are rumbling over the long-dormant tectonic plates of the planet, disrupting its trillion-dollar mining operations and driving scientists past the edges of theory and reason. However, when rocks shake off their ancient dust and begin to roll—seemingly of their own volition—carving canals as they converge to form a towering structure amid the ruddy terrain, Lt. Jain and her JSC team realize that their realize that their routine geological survey of a Martian cave system is anything but. The only clues they have stem from the emissions of a mysterious blue radiation, and a 300-year-old journal that is writing itself.

Lt. Thomas Weatherby of His Majesty’s Royal Navy is an honest 18th-century man of modest beginnings, doing his part for King and Country aboard the HMS Daedalus, a frigate sailing the high seas between continents…and the immense Void between the Known Worlds. Across the Solar System and among its colonies—rife with plunder and alien slave trade—through dire battles fraught with strange alchemy, nothing much can shake his resolve. But events are transpiring to change all that.

With the aid of his fierce captain, a drug-addled alchemist, and a servant girl with a remarkable past, Weatherby must track a great and powerful mystic, who has embarked upon a sinister quest to upset the balance of the planets—the consequences of which may reach far beyond the Solar System, threatening the very fabric of space itself.

Set sail among the stars with this uncanny tale, where adventure awaits, and dimensions collide!

The Daedalus Incident opens earth-shatteringly, or more appropriately, mars-shatteringly. The date is August 1, 2132 and Mars, a planet which has been quiet for a million years, erupts in a quake during routine mining operations making it dangerous for activities to continue. Lt. Shaila Jain is part of a military team stationed at the McAuliffe Base to oversee the miners. Tensions rise as erratic seismic activity continues and operations are forcibly put on hold. Jain’s investigation lead her to question whether the miners are digging too deep or if someone is pursuing another agenda; an agenda which could lead to the total instability of the red planet.

Shift gears to 1779. Second Lt. Thomas Weatherby, of his Majesty’s Navy writes a journal entry to his father. Lt. Weatherby is aboard the HMS Daedalus, but the Daedalus is not a traditional seafaring vessel. Through the use of alchemy this vessel can traverse both the sea and space. At the time of the first journal entry, its course is set for Jupiter. However, mid voyage, the Daedalus is involved in an unexpected battle and the ship docks on the planet Mercury for repairs. An unexpected mission is assigned to the Daedalus and its far-reaching effects could change everything.

Trinitytwo’s point of view:

First and foremost, as I turned the last page, I had a smile on my face. There are so many great things about this book, I don’t know where to begin. The Daedalus Incident is a tale of two separate universes, one full of mystery and peril and the other, high adventure aboard a space-faring vessel. Michael J. Martinez strikes a perfect balance between historical science fiction and standard sci fi. It did take me a few chapters to wrap my brain around and visualize the means of travel that the Daedalus was employing. Once it clicked, I was totally on board. The futuristic mining station on Mars was much easier to immerse myself in. Yes, there are two sets of characters and two story lines but it never becomes confusing. Overall, the characters are fleshed out and interesting. I easily identified with both Lt Thomas Weatherby in 1779 and Lt. Shaila Jain in 2132. I grew immensely fond of both characters; for their flaws as well as their strengths. On Mars, someone was causing the quakes and I was slightly disappointed that I figured out who was responsible in advance of the reveal. But other than that, the story kept me spellbound and excited. When the two sets of characters collide, it’s pure, exciting, nonstop action. I thought this book was unique in many ways and I can honestly say it was my pleasure to read. I am looking forward to reading The Enceladus Crisis and The Gravity of the Affair. Michael J. Martinez has created a sci fi adventure that is just too good to miss, so make sure you don’t!

Interview with Delilah S. Dawson, author of the Blud series - January 31, 2014

Please welcome the fabulous Delilah S. Dawson to The Qwillery. Delilah is the author of the Blud series consisting of 3 novels and 3 novellas. Wicked After Midnight, Blud 3, was published on January 28, 2014. 

TQ:  Welcome back to The Qwillery! Please tell us something about your newest Blud novel, Wicked After Midnight, that we won't find in the book description.

Delilah:  Thanks so much for having me!

Hmm. Well, there are a few Easter eggs that aren't in the description. Just as book 2, Wicked as She Wants, is peppered with hidden Walt Whitman quotes, so is Wicked After Midnight haunted by some of my favorite Impressionist artwork. Fans of Van Gogh, Monet, Toulouse Lautrec, et al might recognize places, people, and scenes portrayed in famous paintings described as part of the story. I wanted to weave Demi's art history past with the world of Paris in Sang.

TQ:  What do you wish you'd known about publishing when Wicked as They Come (Book 1) came out that you know now?

Delilah:  You know, I'm satisfied with my publishing journey. As much as I wish the series had gotten huge and that I could keep writing Blud books forever, I still feel confident about the stories and characters I was able to create and gratified by the kindness of fans. If I had known at the beginning that there would only be three books in the series, I might've found a way to finish Criminy and Tish's story for good in print. But I have plans. Dastardly plans. Whether it has to be self-published or Kickstarted, their story definitely isn't over...

TQ:  Wicked After Midnight, the 3rd novel in your Blud series, was published on January 28, 2013. What is the most challenging thing for you about writing? Has this changed from when you wrote Book 1 to Book 3?

Delilah:  For the Blud books, my biggest challenge is creating new romantic couples that will appeal to fans of the series as a whole. Criminy Stain is a tough act to follow, and I would hate to disappoint! In Wicked as She Wants, my main goal was to write the most kick-ass woman I could, the perfect foil and redemption for the walking disaster Casper Sterling had become. In Wicked After Midnight, I wanted to go out with a bang, throwing in as much fun, adventure, sexiness, and glitter as possible. I want to make sure that each book not only has a hot romance but also an escapist adventure and a deeper meaning. I want my books to be more than just bodice rippers. When I wrote book 1, it was a scifi adventure with added romance, and I wanted each book to be better than the last!

TQ:  You've also written 3 Blud novellas: The Mysterious Madam Morpho, The Peculiar Pets of Miss Pleasance and The Damsel and the Daggerman. How do the Novellas fit in with the novels?

Delilah:  The novellas are each their own self-contained romance in the Blud world, but they support the main books by introducing characters or following those characters beyond Criminy's caravan and between books. I hope that the cheaper novellas will entice new readers to pick up the bigger, juicier books while giving fans of the series a little snack between launch days. That being said, at about 30-40k words, each novella is 1/3 of a big book and has its own characters, love story, villain, adventure, and sexytimes. You can read the novellas without the books and the books without the novellas, but if you love dwelling in the world of Sang as much as I do, they're all instruments contributing to the same song.

TQ:  What sorts of research have you done for Wicked After Midnight and what is the oddest thing you've found?

Delilah:  You know, I simply *had* to know what it felt like to do tricks on the flying trapeze! When I was up in New York last year, my pal Parisa at Simon & Schuster took me to STREB NYC, where I got to fly, flip, and practice catches on the flying trapeze. It was amazing! I've never been so bruised, but I can't wait to try it again. I've also taken circus classes in static trapeze, Spanish web, aerial silks, acrobatics, juggling, and tightrope. And I've watched Moulin Rouge dozens of times. Sang, for me, is less about history and reality and more about pulling the most magical parts from our world and channeling them into a new world. And I wear a lot of corsets, too, mainly because they make me feel fantastic!

But for the record, I have never done on a trapeze what Demi and Vale do on a trapeze, and let's just leave it at that.

TQ:  Which character in the Blud series has surprised you the most?

Delilah:  I'll tell you a secret. When I first envisioned Ahna breaking out of that suitcase and going after Casper at the beginning of Wicked as She Wants, I wasn't sure if even she was strong enough to save him. I've witnessed addiction and depression first hand, and I worried that Casper might be a lost cause, that I had written him into an early grave. Of all the books I've written, that one feels like the biggest triumph. I was also surprised when Emerlie just walked right up to Tish and grabbed her arm in Wicked as They Come. That was only the third book I'd ever written, and it was the first time a character appeared out of nowhere and just took over the scene. Now, I'm always grateful when that happens. Characters with that much power are a joy to write.

The character who surprised me the most in Wicked After Midnight was Monsieur Charmant. I love him and his striped suit and curly mustache. And he has his own story in an anthology that's out next year, too.

TQ:  If you could, would you travel to Sangland or Freesia or Franchia? Why or why not?

Delilah:  I would want to ride in Criminy's caravan and see all the sights of Sangland. I've never been to England, and I'd love to see the moors, the sea, the cities and towns. I love writing the caravan because it's above and beyond the laws, a group of freaks who live as they wish. Plus, Criminy would keep me safe. And Marco and Henry are there, too. Meow.

TQ: The Blud novels/novellas have been called "Carniepunk." What is Carniepunk?

Delilah:  Isn't that the best word? The idea of the carnival doesn't always match the reality, at least from what I've seen in my suburban American town, but still its siren song calls to us. I think carniepunk is the longing, the mystery, the glitter, the shimmer of lights just out of reach. Carniepunk is the colorful wagon that visits our boring reality and taunts us to run away. It's a world where freaks can shine, where feats defy death, where everything is beautiful and colorful and smells delicious, where the great mysteries wait behind velvet drapes. Carniepunk is the romance of the traveling circus… and often the treachery it hides.

And now you're making me miss it all over again! Writing Criminy's caravan is great therapy.

TQ:  What's next?

Delilah:  My first YA is out this August with Simon Pulse, a paranormal about Savannah and demons called SERVANTS OF THE STORM. It's got the strangeness and darkness and slight whimsy of the Blud books, but it's written in first person and follows Dovey Greenwood, a Savannah girl who lost her best friend to Hurricane Josephine. And I just sold two more books to my editor, the first of which is tentatively called DELINQUENT and centers on the plight of a teen girl forced to pay off her mother's debts as a bounty hunter under the new bank-owned government. And I'm working on a geeky teen contemporary and a weird western.

But if everyone were to petition Pocket to buy a Tish and Criminy book, I would drop all that newfangled stuff and start writing tomorrow. Just sayin'. ;)

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery!

Delilah:  Thanks so much for having me! I hope y'all enjoy the end of the Blud series!


Wicked After Midnight
Blud 3
Pocket Books, January 28, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

An electrifying paranormal romance . . . with a twist!

Only rebellious Demi Ward could be bored with her life as a contortionist in Criminy Stain’s magical traveling circus. But being a cabaret star in the City of Light is dangerous . . . especially for an audacious Bludman.

After Demi’s best friend, Cherie, is brutally kidnapped en route to Paris by a roving band of masked slavers, passionate highwayman Vale Hildebrand shows up to save the day. With his help, Demi rises to the top of the cabaret scene as part of her plot to find Cherie—but what she really discovers is a taste for Vale’s kisses. Meanwhile, wealthy suitors vie for a night of her charms, crowding the glittering club where Demi commands the stage with a host of colorful daimons. She is soon seduced by a smoldering portrait artist whose ties to a secret society could be the break she and Vale need on their hunt. But—unlike the Paris that Demi read about in college on Earth—the Paris of Sang is full of depraved pleasures and deadly surprises. . . .

The Damsel and the Daggerman
A Blud Novella
Pocket Star, January 6, 2014
eNovella, 100 pages

In this “carniepunk” e-novella from the author of Wicked As They Come, a knife-thrower meets a lady journalist determined to uncover his dark and dangerous past.

Bad boy knife-thrower Marco Taresque is the hottest and most dangerous performer in the caravan. He keeps to himself until a pesky female journalist arrives, anxious to interview him about his checkered past—his last assistant disappeared under mysterious and bloody circumstances, earning him the nickname “The Deadly Daggerman.”

Unsinkable journalist and adventurer Jacinda Harville doesn’t take no for an answer, and she’s determined to wear down Marco no matter how threatening—or incredibly desirable—he might appear. He agrees to an interview—but only if she’ll let him strap her to a spinning table and throw knives at her body. How can she say no? And how can she resist him when he leans close for a kiss that strikes her more sharply than any blade? It’s the first time she’s let a man get the better of her, and she’s determined it will be the last…

Just when she thinks she can’t take any more of his games, Jacinda receives a note from Marco saying he’s finally ready to tell her the truth about what happened to his missing assistant. She sets out for an address miles away, but what she finds there turns the tables on everything she thought she knew about the tender lover who wears a smile as sharp as his knives.

As secrets are unraveled and passions take hold, Ginger realizes her hard heart has melted. But will it be too late to save Marco—and herself—from the daggerman’s dangerous past?

Wicked As She Wants
Blud 2
Pocket Books, April 30, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

The second book in the darkly tempting Blud series, featuring a vampire princess who embarks upon a dangerous journey to claim what is rightfully hers.

When Blud princess Ahnastasia wakes up, drained and starving in a suitcase, she’s not sure which calls to her more: the sound of music or the scent of blood. The source of both sensations is a handsome and mysterious man named Casper Sterling. Once the most celebrated musician in London, Sangland, he’s fallen on hard times. Now, much to Ahna’s frustration, the debauched and reckless human is her only ticket back home to the snow-rimmed and magical land of Freesia.

Together with Casper’s prickly charge, a scrappy orphan named Keen, they seek passage to Ahna’s homeland, where a power-hungry sorceress named Ravenna holds the royal family in thrall. Traveling from the back alleys of London to the sparkling minarets of Muscovy, Ahna discovers that Freesia holds new perils and dangerous foes. Back in her country, she is forced to choose between the heart she never knew she had and the land that she was born to rule. But with Casper’s help, Ahna may find a way to have it all….

The Peculiar Pets of Miss Pleasance
Blud Novella
Pocket Books, April 3. 2013
eBook, 100 pages

A lady with a penchant for pets meets a sexy fireman in this magical and saucy steampunk eNovella from the author of Wicked as They Come.

In a world ruled by blood, live pets are rare and kindness rarer still. London pet shop owner Frannie Pleasance has a mysterious way with animals and keeps her charges (and heart) locked in a veritable Eden. She thinks Casper Sterling is just another stray...until she takes in the troublesome lodger (and unwelcome suitor) and becomes the victim of a series of strange and dangerous occurrences.

When an unexplained fire threatens to destroy Frannie's carefully guarded world, firefighter Thom Maccallan is there to extinguish the blaze and help gather the lost creatures. The heat between Frannie and Thom begins to burn,but someone's still after the lady. Could it be Casper himself, or is Frannie’s new lodger just another victim of fate? Will they be able to figure out who's pursuing Frannie—and stop them—before she loses everything?

The Mysterious Madam Morpho
Blud Novella
Pocket Books, October 2, 2012
eBook, 131 pages

Taking place after Wicked as They Come, this original eBook features a mysterious lady and a reclusive mechanical genius who find love and danger in a traveling circus.

An elusive woman arrives at Criminy’s doorstep with a steamer trunk, begging for a position in the caravan to perform her unique new act. She opens her trunk to reveal a menagerie of brilliantly colored butterflies. The woman, who calls herself Madam Morpho, is on the run from a dark past in London, where she was forced to leave her equipment behind and abscond with only her tiny performers. Playing a hunch, Criminy hires Madam Morpho on the spot. Taking her down to meet Mr. Murdoch, the reclusive talented engineer who keeps the carnival’s clockworks running, Criminy instructs them to work together to design and build a groundbreaking new circus for the butterflies. Amid the magical ambiance of the circus and the hint of danger from Madam Morpho’s pursuers, she and Mr. Murdoch soon find that their scientific collaboration has produced chemistry of a more romantic kind.

Wicked as They Come
Blud 1
Pocket Books, March 27, 2012
Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages

Have you ever heard of a Bludman? They’re rather like you and me—only more fabulous, immortal, and mostly indestructible. (They’re also very good kissers.)

Delilah S. Dawson’s darkly tempting debut drops her unsuspecting heroine into a strange faraway land for a romantic adventure that’s part paranormal, part steampunk . . . and completely irresistible.

When Tish Everett forces open the ruby locket she finds at an estate sale, she has no idea that a deliciously rakish Bludman has cast a spell just for her. She wakes up in a surreal world, where Criminy Stain, the dashing proprietor of a magical traveling circus, curiously awaits. At Criminy’s electric touch, Tish glimpses a tantalizing future, but she also foresees her ultimate doom. Before she can decide whether to risk her fate with the charming daredevil, the locket disappears, and with it, her only chance to return home. Tish and Criminy battle roaring sea monsters and thundering bludmares, vengeful ghosts and crooked Coppers in a treacherous race to recover the necklace from the evil Blud-hating Magistrate. But if they succeed, will Tish forsake her fanged suitor and return to her normal life, or will she take a chance on an unpredictable but dangerous destiny with the Bludman she’s coming to love?


Servants of the Storm
Simon Pulse, August 5, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages
Grades 9 and up

Dovey learns that demons lurk in places other than the dark corners of her mind in this southern gothic fantasy from the author of the Blud series.

A year ago, Hurricane Josephine swept through Savannah, Georgia, leaving behind nothing but death and destruction—and taking the life of Dovey’s best friend, Carly. Since that night, Dovey has been in a medicated haze, numb to everything around her.

But recently she’s started to believe she’s seeing things that can’t be real…including Carly at their favorite café. Determined to learn the truth, Dovey stops taking her pills. And the world that opens up to her is unlike anything she could have imagined.

As Dovey slips deeper into the shadowy corners of Savannah—where the dark and horrifying secrets lurk—she learns that the storm that destroyed her city and stole her friend was much more than a force of nature. And now the sinister beings truly responsible are out to finish what they started.

About Delilah

Photo by Dolorianne Morris
Delilah S. Dawson is a native of Roswell, Georgia and the author of the paranormal romance Blud series for Pocket, including WICKED AS THEY COME and WICKED AS SHE WANTS and two e-novellas, THE MYSTERIOUS MADAM MORPHO and THE PECULIAR PETS OF MISS PLEASANCE. Her short story THE THREE LIVES OF LYDIA is in Gallery's Carniepunk anthology, and her e-novella SHADOWMAN: FOLLOW ME BOY was commissioned by Amazon's Kindle Worlds program. Her first YA, a creepy paranormal called SERVANTS OF THE STORM will be available in August 2014 from Simon Pulse. RT Book Reviews has called her "a wonderfully fresh new voice!" and "on the fast track to the top of the genre!" and awarded WICKED AS SHE WANTS the May Seal of Excellence.

Delilah is Associate Editor at and She's a geek of all trades, a synesthete, and the sort of person who saw Spawn in the theater and made other people angry by laughing. Find her online at Bring cupcakes.

Website  ~   Amazon Author Page  ~   Twitter @DelilahSDawson   ~  tumblr
Facebook   ~  Pinterest

The Giveaway

What:  One entrant will win Mass Market Paperback copy of Wicked After Midnight (Blud 3)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 11:59PM US Eastern Time on February 9, 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

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Interview with Kerry Schafer, author of the Books of the Between and The Dream Wars Novellas- January 30, 2014

Please welcome Kerry Schafer to The Qwillery. Kerry's most recent novel, Wakeworld, was published on January 28, 2014 by Ace.

TQ:  Welcome back to The Qwillery. You've written 2 Between novels and 3 Dream Wars novellas. Has your writing process changed (or not) from when you wrote Between (Between 1) and now?

Kerry:  Yes, it has changed a lot. I used to be a complete and utter pantster, just letting the story and characters take me wherever they wished. I also had a tendency to write when I felt like it. This was fun, but involved extensive rewrites. Between, for example, contains almost nothing from the original version other than a few themes, Vivian, Zee, and a penguin. Since then I've become much more disciplined. I usually have daily word count goals, which is new to me since getting a contract. I also have a tentative (although highly flexible) outline before I start writing, and definite sign posts I watch out for along the way. I still do a lot of re-writing, but not so much as I used to. (Knock wood, and hope I haven't jinxed my current projects! Yes, I'm a little superstitious)

TQ:  What do you wish that you knew about book publishing when Between (Between 1) came out that you know now.

Kerry:  Everything! Seriously - I had precious little idea of anything related to either traditional publishing or self publishing, and no idea of what was involved in marketing or PR. It would have made the road a little smoother to have had foreknowledge, but I don't think it would have changed my decisions or significantly altered the course of history in regards to my writing career. It's been a fascinating roller coaster ride!

TQ:  Are the Dream Wars novellas and the Between novels related? What are the Dream Wars novellas about?

Kerry:  There is absolutely no relation between the two series, other than that both of them play around with dreams. The Dream Wars are set in the small town of Williamsville, and are built around the concept of a supernatural being called the Dream Merchant, who will design a dream for you at your request - at a price that will be determined after delivery. The cost to our heroine, Jesse Davison, is her soul. She's stuck serving as a dream runner, a job she doesn't mind too much until her old sweetheart Will is sucked in and a group of bad guys start bootlegging dreams. The novellas are only the beginning - I fell in love with this world, and especially with Jesse, so there will be more forthcoming

TQWakeworld (Between 2) was published earlier this week. Tell us something about Wakeworld that is not in the book description.
Kerry:  There are a lot more dragons, and the relationship between Zee and Vivian gets complicated by the fact that he is a born Dragon Slayer and she is part dragon. Also - Jared gets some payback for his many sins in Between.

TQ:  Which character in the Between series so far has surprised you the most?

Kerry:  Weston Jennings, actually. I had no idea that he was going to turn out to be so important to the plot, or have such a devastating history. He was a lot of fun to develop.

TQ:  What's next?

Kerry:  Between #3! And a novel set in the war of the Dream Wars books. I'm also finishing up a paranormal mystery called Dead Before Dying. The first chapter of that is up at Book Country and I'm working on revisions.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Kerry:  Thanks so much for having me!

Books of the Between

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.

Between 1
Ace, January 29, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

Vivian Maylor can’t sleep. Maybe it’s because she just broke up with her boyfriend and moved to a new town, or it could be the stress of her new job at the hospital. But perhaps it’s because her dreams have started to bleed through into her waking hours.

All of her life Vivian has rejected her mother’s insane ramblings about Dreamworlds for concrete science and fact, until an emergency room patient ranting about dragons spontaneously combusts before her eyes—forcing Viv to consider the idea that her visions of mythical beasts might be real.

And when a chance encounter leads her to a man she knows only from her dreams, Vivian finds herself falling into a world that seems strange and familiar all at once—a world where the line between dream and reality is hard to determine, and hard to control…

The Dream Wars Novellas

The Dream Runner
The Dream Wars 1
TKA Distribution, October 27, 2013
eBook, 81 pages

What if you could order a custom dream? Any kind. Dark and twisted, sweet, sensual, or redemptive. For the right price, a dream runner will deliver one to your doorstep.

Jesse Davison skipped town the week she turned sixteen, with nothing but the clothes on her back and her father’s vintage Indian Scout motorbike. She swore never to return to the town where in one night of tragedy she lost everything she ever loved.

When news of her estranged mother’s death calls her home, she hopes for some time to sort out ten years of tangled emotions. But Jesse’s job doesn’t exactly allow personal days. She’s been forced into service as a runner by the Dream Merchant to pay back a debt for her own dream of revenge, and there are always orders to fill.

Struggling to figure out her mysterious inheritance is more than enough to get a girl down, and things get even worse when the man Jesse loathes—ex-boyfriend Will Alderson—shows up. But she soon discovers the person she’s been running from might just be the one she should be running towards. Too bad she’s been dreaming of killing him for the past ten years.

The Dream Thief
The Dream Wars 2
TKA Distribution, October 27, 2013
eBook, 90 pages

The underground dream trade is growing hotter by the second, and the Dream Merchant’s top delivery girl Jesse Davison wants out. She knows the ugly truth—that playing around with dreams can drive you crazy, or worse.

But it turns out freeing herself from the Dream Merchant isn’t Jesse’s biggest worry, and neither is the fact that her feelings for ex-boyfriend Will are resurfacing with a vengeance. Strange things begin happening as she investigates the circumstances surrounding her mother’s death in the sleepy mill town of Williamsville. Will’s father remembers her in an instant, despite his severe dementia. Her realtor Tom disappears into thin air, and his assistant claims to have killed him. It’s up to Jesse to get to the bottom of it all. And, unfortunately, working with Will seems to be the only way.

As the crimes begin to mount, Jesse realizes that Will’s memories, too, have been stolen, and it’s only a matter of time before the thief comes for her.

The Dream Wars
The Dream Wars 3
TKA Distribution, October 27, 2013
eBook, 85 pages

Ever since Jesse Davison returned to her hometown, life has progressively gotten worse. The more she delves into her mother’s death, the deeper the mystery gets. Her lover, Will, the only person she can trust, has been pressed into service by the Dream Merchant as a Collector—a soul sucking job Jesse didn’t even know existed. And it turns out the dream bootleggers who have been operating out of her barn aren’t just manufacturing dreams and stealing memories – they’ve found a way to control people’s minds. Marsh, a childhood bully-turned realtor, is convinced he killed his boss. And now he’s consumed by the desire to make Jesse his next victim.

Somehow, Jesse must find a way to free Will and put a halt to the bootleggers’ scheme. Because the way things are going? This dream business is about to explode into a full scale war…

About Kerry

Diane Maehl Photography
Kerry Schafer was born and raised in Canada*, moved back and forth across the border several times, and finally settled on a compromise. She now lives in Washington state, but within an hour’s drive of her home and native land. Her childhood book collection traveled with her through all of those moves, and although she now owns a Kindle she continues to acquire books and bookshelves. During her lifetime, Kerry has worked as a lumber piler, an OB nurse, a secretary, and a substitute teacher, among other things. No matter where she lives or what she is doing, she finds a way to create writing time. Currently she balances writing and family with her work as a mental health counselor.

*And yes, she does sometimes say ‘eh?’ but never, ever ‘aboot.’

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @KerrySchafer  ~  Pinterest

Cover Revealed: Enslaved by the Others by Jess Haines

Jess Haines has revealed the cover for Enslaved by the Others, the 6th book in the terrific H&W Investigations series.


Enslaved by the Others
H&W Investigations 6
Zebra, July 1, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Vampires, werewolves, magi and worse--the Others have joined the mortal world, and there's no turning back now...

As a New York P.I. and Other specialist, Shiarra Waynest has been in plenty of trouble before. But waking up in a windowless room the prisoner of a vampire slave trader is a shock for anyone. Shia has her wits, her bravado, and a couple of used staples, so maybe she can take on a mansion full of serious evil.

But although she's desperate to escape, Shia needs some answers too. Her friends are in danger. There are betrayers and spies among them. And even if she can figure out what's going on and somehow get a message out, she's still a captive of the worst kind... 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Interview with Myke Cole, Review of Breach Zone and Giveaway - January 29, 2014

Please welcome Myke Cole to The Qwillery. Breach Zone (Shadow Ops 3) was published on January 28, 2014.

TQ:  Welcome back to The Qwillery again. Your 3rd (and final?) Shadow Ops novel, Breach Zone, is out on January 28th. How has becoming an author changed your life? Is there any advice that you'd give debut authors?

Myke:  Becoming an author has changed everything, but mostly because I completely uprooted myself and changed skins. When I got the book deal, I was a senior government official in DC, but the truth was that I didn't like my life there, and was looking for a way out. I've been in New York City for 3 years now, and I think I'm finally starting to settle in and feel like this place is home.

It's interesting how quickly goal posts move when you get what you want. Before I had a book deal, I was absolutely convinced that all my problems would be solved if I could just get published. When it happened, my horizons immediately shifted. Now I have a little voice in my head telling me that everything will be great if I can just make the New York Times Bestseller list. Should that ever happen, I know that they will shift again, just as quickly. Doesn't mean I stop striving for that brass ring, though.

Advice for debut authors? Don't quit your day job, even if you hate it. Financial uncertainty and struggle can take a murderous mental toll. Wait until you are on certain financial footing (or that you have some other safety net, such as a working spouse) before you take the plunge. You can't write effective work if you are busy going insane from anxiety from flying without a net.

TQ:  Has your writing process changed from Control Point (Book 1) to Breach Zone (Book 3)?

Myke:  Not terribly. I outline a bit less, but otherwise it remains the same in that I write in every spare second of every day. Portable technology (the miniaturization of computers) has absolutely made my career possible. Thanks to laptops, tablets and smartphones I'm able to write anywhere at anytime, and promote at anywhere at anytime. If I had to do this back in the days before the laptop, I'd be screwed.

While my process hasn't changed, my focus has. The more I write, the more convinced I become that character is really the only thing that matters in a story, and the better I become at crafting great characters.

TQ:  What is Military Fantasy? Do you have any favorite Military Fantasy novels, movies, etc.?

Myke:  Military fantasy is a genre classification that publishers use to assist booksellers in organizing shelf-stock. Beyond that, it has little value. My stories do center around the US military, but they also address a wide range of other topics and issues. The idea of "military fantasy" is also based on a false concept of what makes a "military." I have a piece coming out on soon that discusses this very topic.

As for military fantasy novels, I'd argue that nearly every fantasy novel is "military" in the sense that it revolves around organized violence. Joe Abercrombie's THE HEROES is a good one if armies clashing is the aspect of military life you're after. Naomi Novik's TEMERAIRE series is another great one if you want to see traditional fantasy elements mingling with Western Napoleonic conceptions of what makes a military.

TQ:  Would you change anything in the Shadow Ops novels if you could?

Myke:  Tons of things, but it doesn't help to ruminate on them. You can tinker with a manuscript right up to the moment it is released. At some point, you have to resign yourself to it being the best you can make it, and let it go.

TQ:   Tell us something about Breach Zone that is not in the book description.

Myke:  About 25% of the book takes place on a Coast Guard Cutter. There's also a sea monster.

TQ:  Give us one of your favorite lines from Breach Zone.

Myke:  "I never had a chance. I never had a choice." - Scylla. Also, "Sometimes, you win." - Bookbinder.

TQ:  Who is your favorite ethically ambiguous character from the Shadow Ops series? Which character has surprised you the most?

Myke:  The same character is the answer to both those questions: Scylla. Readers of BREACH ZONE will see the method behind her madness. You may not agree with the choices she makes, but if I did my job right, you'll understand them.

TQ:  What's next?

Myke:  GEMINI CELL is the next book under contract. It's done and well into its 6th draft, which is most just first chapter hair-splitting arguments with my agent. It takes place many years before CONTROL POINT and starts a completely different storyline. I'm also working on THE FRACTURED GIRL, a dark medieval fantasy that I hope to convince my agent to take to market. Lastly, I'm 12,000 words into a first draft of JAVELIN RAIN, the 5th book in the SHADOW OPS universe, that will follow GEMINI CELL.

Breach Zone

Breach Zone
Series:  Shadow Ops 3
Publisher:  Ace, January 28, 2014
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

The Great Reawakening did not come quietly. Across the country and in every nation, people began “coming up Latent,” developing terrifying powers—summoning storms, raising the dead, and setting everything they touch ablaze. Those who Manifest must choose: become a sheepdog who protects the flock or a wolf who devours it…

In the wake of a bloody battle at Forward Operating Base Frontier and a scandalous presidential impeachment, Lieutenant Colonel Jan Thorsson, call sign “Harlequin,” becomes a national hero and a pariah to the military that is the only family he’s ever known.

In the fight for Latent equality, Oscar Britton is positioned to lead a rebellion in exile, but a powerful rival beats him to the punch: Scylla, a walking weapon who will stop at nothing to end the human-sanctioned apartheid against her kind.

When Scylla’s inhuman forces invade New York City, the Supernatural Operations Corps are the only soldiers equipped to prevent a massacre. In order to redeem himself with the military, Harlequin will be forced to face off with this havoc-wreaking woman from his past, warped by her power into something evil…

Qwills Thoughts:

Breach Zone is a stunning novel. Myke Cole takes the helm assuredly in the 3rd novel of his Shadow Ops series. The novel is centered on the battle in New York City between the government forces led by Lt. Colonel Jan Thorsten/Harlequin, an Aeromancer, along with General Bookbinder who has a magical ability all his own. We've met both characters in the Trilogy before. On the other side of the battle is Scylla, who is a Probe. She has a magic that is forbidden. We've also met her in prior novels.

While the story obviously involves the battle raging in New York City, the story moves on both a grander and smaller scale.  This is a story about the rights of Latents (humans who have magical abilities) and humans who don't. It's about the fear of Latent humans and laws put in effect to ostensibly to protect non-magical humans. You could insert other words for Latent and non-magical and see an even larger story here.

It is also the very personal story of Harlequin and Scylla and their interactions 6 years before the battle in New York City. Getting to know both of these characters made Breach Zone a wonderful read.  While you may side with Harlequin or Scylla or neither, you will certain understand their motivations. There are no black and white caricatures of good and evil in Breach Zone.

In addition, Oscar Britton, Sarah Downer, Swift, and other characters from the prior novels return. Oscar is the government's enemy Number One (see the first 2 novels). While Oscar may act very differently from Scylla, their goals are very similar - rights for Latent humans.

One of the things that Cole does very well is develop his characters. I have enjoyed seeing the characters really grow as individuals throughout the series. In addition the worldbuilding and mythology is exceptional. Cole also writes believable fantastical battle sequences and takes you behind the battle to understand the chain of command and the logistics in a way that enhances the story.

Breach Zone is a well written, emotional, exciting, and a superb end to the Shadow Ops trilogy.

Cole provides a glossary of terms and a guide to magical schools at the end of the novel so you are able to understand all the terminology. While not completely necessary, I recommend reading the prior 2 novels in the Trilogy.

Shadow Ops

Fortress Frontier
Shadow Ops 2
Ace, January 29, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

The Great Reawakening did not come quietly. Across the country and in every nation, people began to develop terrifying powers—summoning storms, raising the dead, and setting everything they touch ablaze. Overnight the rules changed…but not for everyone.

Colonel Alan Bookbinder is an army bureaucrat whose worst war wound is a paper-cut. But after he develops magical powers, he is torn from everything he knows and thrown onto the front-lines.

Drafted into the Supernatural Operations Corps in a new and dangerous world, Bookbinder finds himself in command of Forward Operating Base Frontier—cut off, surrounded by monsters, and on the brink of being overrun.

Now, he must find the will to lead the people of FOB Frontier out of hell, even if the one hope of salvation lies in teaming up with the man whose own magical powers put the base in such grave danger in the first place—Oscar Britton, public enemy number one…

Control Point
Shadow Ops 1
Ace, January 31, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Lieutenant Oscar Britton of the Supernatural Operations Corps has been trained to hunt down and take out people possessing magical powers. But when he starts manifesting powers of his own, the SOC revokes Oscar's government agent status to declare him public enemy number one.

About Myke

Photo by Tim Lundin
As a secu­rity con­tractor, gov­ern­ment civilian and mil­i­tary officer, Myke Cole’s career has run the gamut from Coun­tert­er­rorism to Cyber War­fare to Fed­eral Law Enforce­ment. He’s done three tours in Iraq and was recalled to serve during the Deep­water Horizon oil spill.

All that con­flict can wear a guy out. Thank good­ness for fan­tasy novels, comic books, late night games of Dun­geons and Dragons and lots of angst fueled writing.

Website : Blog : Facebook : Twitter : Goodreads


What:  Three copies of Breach Zone (Shadow Ops 3) - 3 Winners/1 book each - from Ace. US/CANADA  ONLY

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 US or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on February 8, 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

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Interview with James L. Cambias, author of A Darkling Sea - January 28, 2014

Please welcome James L. Cambias to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews and the A Darkling Sea Blog Tour. A Darkling Sea, James' debut novel, is published today, January 28, 2014 by Tor. Please join The Qwillery in wishing James a Happy Publication Day!

TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

James:  I started writing in 1980. I'd just read Isaac Asimov's autobiography and was struck by the fact that he sold his first story at the age of only 15. "I'm 14," I thought. "Maybe I can beat him!" So I wrote something mostly for the sake of writing something and sent it to (where else) Asimov's SF Magazine. Unsurprisingly, they rejected it. I kept getting rejections as I finished high school and college, and made my first sale in 2000 to Gordon Van Gelder.

However, by then I had broken into roleplaying game writing, with dozens of published scenarios, magazine articles, and sourcebooks. I started doing that in 1990. The game writing let me practice and get paid for it.

I still haven't sold anything to Asimov's.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

James:  Plotter. I write outlines and tinker with them. When the Muse doesn't come calling, her sister the Outline is very comforting to have around.

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing? Where do you write?

James:  Where I write depends on the time of year. In summer I sit out on my screen porch at home and write, while watching the chickens harass each other. When the weather's too nasty for that (and in New England that means about 2/3 of the time) I go to coffeeshops or libraries. If I sit at home alone indoors I don't get anything done; I'm not sure why. I have to be "out" even it it's just the porch.

The most challenging thing is plotting. I can come up with a good "hook" but after that it's real brute-force engineering: "what would that character do next?"

TQ:  Who are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

James:  I'll split this between SF and non-SF. In science fiction my strongest influences are probably Larry Niven, Poul Anderson, and John M. Ford. Outside SF I'd cite James Thurber, Raymond Chandler, and Geoffrey Household.

As to my favorites, I love Alistair Reynolds, Rudyard Kipling, Tim Powers, Jack Vance, Jorge Luis Borges, and Lois Bujold.

TQ:  Describe A Darkling Sea in 140 characters or less.

James:  Scientists under an ice-covered alien ocean fight to keep their research topic.

TQ:  Tell us something about A Darkling Sea that is not in the book description.

James:  It's about two spacefaring civilizations acting like fools while the low-tech native inhabitants they're fighting over try to figure out why.

TQ:  What inspired you to write A Darkling Sea? Why did you choose to write hard Science Fiction? Do you want to write in any other genres?

James:  I was inspired to write it by my growing irritation with the notion that people should keep our grubby hands off the universe, like we're a disease or something. I wanted to write a pro-contact novel.

As to why I picked a hard-SF approach, well, part of that's just my personality. I like to get stuff right. Plus I'm married to a scientist so I can show scientists doing science stuff pretty well.

That being said, I'm also a history devotee, so I'd love to write a historical fantasy novel or an alternate-history adventure.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for A Darkling Sea?

James:  Oh, lots. I talked with my wife (a biologist) about creature design, and with a biochemist friend about the metabolism the organisms might use in the story's environment.

A lot of my research was double-dipping: I've written two or three different roleplaying sourcebooks on how to build a science fiction universe, so I've done lots of research for those on how to create planets, aliens, cultures, et cetera. Basically I breathe this stuff all the time.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why? Who is your favorite good guy, bad guy or ethically ambiguous character?

James:  The easiest character in Darkling Sea is the human viewpoint character, Rob Freeman. He's kind of a meatball Everyman hero, so I could just mentally turn my cap backwards and write him. The native scientist Broadtail was also pretty easy for me (though avoiding any visual or time-based references in his passages was hard).

The hardest was undoubtedly Gishora, the alien leader who helps to bring about the conflict even though he's trying to prevent it. He's a social manipulator who isn't as clever as he thinks he is, and I had a lot of difficulty showing that.

TQ:  Give us one of your favorite lines from A Darkling Sea.

James:  I have two. The first one is the first line of the book: "By the end of his second month at Hitode Station, Rob Freeman had already come up with 85 ways to murder Henri Kerlerec."

The second comes about midway through the book, after the humans have made contact with the inhabitants of Ilmatar: "There was a huge spiky alien monster perched atop the rock, but it was a familiar one and Rob gave a huge sigh of relief."

TQ:  What's next?

James:  My next novel is a near-future tale of space piracy, called Corsair. It's about a hacker who steals payloads bound from the Moon to the Earth and his nemesis, an Air Force officer trying to catch him. But when he gets involved in a plot much more sinister than he realizes, he has to join forces with his adversary to stop the real villains.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

James:  Thanks for inviting me!

A Darkling Sea

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.


There is a terrific tie-in website for UNICA (The United Nations Interstellar Cooperation Agency):
  • A mission statement for Ilmatar Expedition III
  • Facts about Ilmatar
  • What we currently know about life on Ilmatar
  • A description of the Hitode Station
  • Crew bios where you can meet the personnel of the Ilmatar mission
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • The Ilmatar Expedition 111 Mission Blog
  • Information about The United Nations Interstellar Cooperation Agency
  • The personal website of the universally famous explorer and adventurer Henri Kerlerec, currently on mission with the Ilmatar Expedition

About James

James L. Cambias was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, and no matter where he goes, that city will always be home. He attended the University of Chicago intending to become an astronomer, but became fascinated by the history of science and wound up getting his degree in History and Philosophy of Science in 1988. At Chicago he also met Diane Kelly, who later became his wife.

Jim worked for two publishing companies right out of college -- Pelican Publishing of Louisiana in New Orleans, and then Nelson-Hall Publishers in Chicago. But in 1990 he decided to try freelance writing full time.

For most of a decade Jim wrote for roleplaying game publishers, becoming a mainstay at game magazines like GDW's Challenge, Steve Jackson's Pyramid, and the Star Wars Adventure Journal. Because of his Star Wars pieces he has an entry in the online "Wookieepedia," which is extremely impressive to his young son.

His first game book was Arabian Nights, a sourcebook for the Rolemaster game system from Iron Crown Enterprises. Over the next two decades he wrote six game books and coauthored to ten others. His best-known game products are probably GURPS Mars, GURPS Castle Falkenstein, Star HERO, and GURPS Space Fourth Edition.

In 2006 he joined with Diane Kelly and Joseph Steig to start Zygote Games, a company publishing science and nature-based games, dedicated to the idea that educational games don't have to be lame. The Zygote game Parasites Unleashed was picked by Scientific American as one of their "Top Science Toys" in 2012.

He has also written nonfiction for a variety of magazines and newspapers, including aviation history pieces for Airpower and Balloon Life, articles on maps, wine, parenting advice, travel, restaurant reviews, and astronomy. He writes a weekly stargazing column for the Greenfield Recorder.

Mr. Cambias has been writing science fiction since his teens, but his first professional sale came in the year 2000, when his short story "A Diagram of Rapture" appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Since then he has published 19 short stories in F&SF, Shimmer, and several original anthologies. In 2001 he was nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer. A Darkling Sea is his first novel.

When he isn't writing, Jim Cambias cuts firewood, cooks, plays roleplaying games, and haunts coffee shops in western Massachusetts. He blogs at

Book Tour

James L. Cambias, Brian Staveley (The Emperor's Blades) and Ramona Wheeler (Three Princes) will be touring together. Here is the schedule:

2/4, 7pm - Towne Book Center, Collegeville, PA

2/6, 7pm - Barnes & Noble, Holyoke, MA

2/7, 7pm -Annie’s Book Stop, Worcester, MA

2/8, 2pm - Barnes & Noble, Hingham, MA

2/11, 7pm - RiverRun Bookstore, Portsmouth, NH

2/13, 7pm - Harvard Coop, Cambridge, MA

2/15, 3pm - Bartleby’s Books, Wilmington, VT

2/22, 7pm - Flights of Fantasy, Albany, NY

2/24, 7:30pm – Housing Works Bookstore, New York, NY

Cover Revealed - House of the Rising Sun by Kristen Painter

Kristen Painter recently shared (via her newsletter and Facebook) the cover for the first novel in her Crescent City urban fantasy series, House of the Rising Sun. The series is set in the same world as the House of Comarré series and picks up a few months after the events in Last Blood (House of Comarré 5). The cover art is by Mélanie Delon with the cover design by Lauren Panepinto of Orbit Books.

The cover is very different from the House of Comarré covers. What do you think?

House of the Rising Sun
Crescent City 1
Orbit, May 13, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

Augustine lives the perfect life in the Haven city of New Orleans. He rarely works a real job, spends most of his nights with a different human woman, and resides in a spectacular Garden District mansion paid for by retired movie star Olivia Goodwin, who has come to think of him as an adopted son, providing him room and board and whatever else he needs.

But when Augustine returns home to find Olivia's been attacked by vampires, he knows his idyllic life has comes to an end. It's time for revenge -- and to take up the mantle of the city's Guardian.