Debut Showcase – Latter December and Early January

by Nancy Holzner
Penguin/Ace Fantasy
Paperback – $7.99
Genre: Urban Fantasy (looks humorous, too!)

They call it Deadtown: the city’s quarantined section for its inhuman and undead residents. Most humans stay far from its borders—but Victory Vaughn, Boston’s only professional demon slayer, isn’t exactly human…

Vicky’s demanding job keeping the city safe from all manner of monsters is one reason her relationship with workaholic lawyer (and werewolf) Alexander Kane is in constant limbo. Throw in a foolhardy zombie apprentice, a mysterious demon-plagued client, and a suspicious research facility that’s taken an unwelcome interest in her family, and Vicky’s love life has as much of a pulse as Deadtown’s citizens.

But now Vicky’s got bigger things to worry about. The Hellion who murdered her father ten years ago has somehow broken through Boston’s magical protections. The Hellion is a ruthless force of destruction with a personal grudge against Vicky, and she’s the only one who can stop this demon before it destroys the city and everyone in it.

I love the over-the-top cover here. I tried this one and while it was fun, I knew someone who was a true fan of urban fantasy would make a much better reviewer than me. So I sent it off to Mystery Urban Fantasy Guest Reviewer. Stay tuned!

Plain Jayne

by Hilary Manton Lodge
Harvest House Publishers
Trade Paperback – $13.99
Genre: Inspirational Romance

Jayne Tate loves her life as it is—living in a big city, working as a reporter for a fast-paced newspaper, and dating a guy who knows nothing about her past.  When her father passes away though, she’s forced to take another look at what she wants out of life.  After losing out on the big career opportunity she was hoping for, she decides to escape to Oregon Amish country, seeking solace and maybe a big story.

Even in this land of buggies and bonnets, Jayne finds life more complicated than she expected.  Can she persuade herself that her growing friendship with the mysterious and handsome Levi Burkholder is just about research?  And what’s a latte-drinking, laptop-using, motorcycle-riding reporter to do when this new life starts to change her?

The author keeps a good blog but really needs to finish her website. I like the look of it and since I’ve been meaning to read more than fantasy and science fiction, this is a possibility.

Pieces of Sky

by Kaki Warner
Trade Paperback – $15
Genre: Romance

via Publishers Marketplace

Pregnant and burdened with a terrible secret, Jessica has left England for the American West in search of a new life. Brady, a hard-bitten rancher haunted by the violence of his past, is desperate to protect his land and family from a blood feud that has already claimed one brother. She’s fancy hats and pamphlets on deportment. He’s rough manners and twenty years of blood on his hands. An improbable pair. But after their stagecoach crashes and Jessica is stranded at his high mountain ranch until she gives birth, antipathy slowly becomes attraction. He teaches her to trust and laugh again—she helps him find the joy he’d lost. Faced with hard choices and unspeakable loss, they draw strength from each other to overcome the horrors of their pasts, and in the process find redemption, forgiveness, and ultimately love.

It’s an old west story, a fish-out-of-water story and a pregnant-and-on-the-run story all at once. I’m not sure I feel qualified to read this one, but her being pregnant while traveling makes me sympathetic. Always a good place to start from after reading a blurb.


by Laura Bynum
Pocket Books
Hardcover – $25
Genre: Dystopian Science Fiction

Harper Adams was six years old in 2012 when an act of viral terrorism wiped out one-half of the country’s population. Out of the ashes rose a new government, the Confederation of the Willing, dedicated to maintaining order at any cost. The populace is controlled via government-sanctioned sex and drugs, a brutal police force known as the Blue Coats, and a device called the slate, a mandatory implant that monitors every word a person speaks. To utter a forbidden, Red-Listed word is to risk physical punishment, or even death.

But there are those who resist. Guided by the fabled Book of Noah, they are determined to shake the people from their apathy and ignorance, and are prepared to start a war in the name of freedom. The newest member of this resistance is Harper—a woman driven by memories of a daughter lost, a daughter whose very name was erased by the Red List. And she possesses a power that could make her the underground warriors’ ultimate weapon—or the instrument of their destruction. . . .

I have this book. I read this book. Did I like this book? You’ll soon see! I love the author’s website. She had a press kit with everything I need. Authors: take note of this excellent example of a press page for an author website!

The Secret Year
by Jennifer Hubbard
Viking Juvenile
Trade Paperback – $16.99
Genre: Young Adult Romance

via Nathan Bransford

Take Romeo and Juliet. Add The Outsiders. Mix thoroughly.

Colt and Julia were secretly together for an entire year, and no one—not even Julia’s boyfriend— knew. They had nothing in common, with Julia in her country club world on Black Mountain and Colt from down on the flats, but it never mattered. Until Julia dies in a car accident, and Colt learns the price of secrecy. He can’t mourn Julia openly, and he’s tormented that he might have played a part in her death. When Julia’s journal ends up in his hands, Colt relives their year together at the same time that he’s desperately trying to forget her. But how do you get over someone who was never yours in the first place?

Nathan Bransford is the author’s agent and he has been aggressively promoting her book on his blog. Makes me think that an author lucky enough to snag an agent with a popular blog is bound to have a head’s start over authors with nonblogging agents. But the role of an agent isn’t necessarily that of a publicist, so I’ll shut up now.

by Alexandra Bullen
Young Adult Fantasy
Point (publisher)
Hardcover – $17.99

via Maw Books

For broken-hearted Olivia Larsen, nothing can change the fact that her twin sister, Violet, is gone… until a mysterious, beautiful gown arrives on her doorstep. The dress doesn’t just look magical; it is magical. It has the power to grant her one wish, and the only thing Olivia wants is her sister back.

With Violet again by her side, both girls get a second chance at life. And as the sisters soon discover, they have two more dresses-and two more wishes left. But magic can’t solve everything, and Olivia is forced to confront her ghosts to learn how to laugh, love, and live again.

A video starts when you load up the website, so you have been warned. The blurb was very powerful for me until the last sentence, when it just sort of collapsed. After that, it’s just hyperbole, which I never reproduce. Anyway, right away Olivia is very sympathetic to me because she uses a wish to bring her sister back to life. I find myself wanting to learn more.


I know there are more, but Edelweiss is still acting up. I went through my Google Reader for recently-featured debuts, which is why you see so many hat tips today. On my ToDo list: Get my debut submission form working again. In the meantime, the one at Fantasy Debut still works, so if you have a mainstream, traditionally-published novel coming out, or know someone who does, please fill it out. It mentions SFWA, but I am looking to showcase all genres.

One Thought to “Debut Showcase – Latter December and Early January”

  1. Deborah Blake

    As always, a fascinating and eclectic bunch of books. Can’t wait to see more 🙂

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