Debut Showcase – Two Fantasies and a Quirky Mystery

Black Blade Blues

by J. A. Pitts
Tor Books
Trade Paperback – 15.99

Sarah Beauhall has more on her plate than most twenty-somethings: day job as a blacksmith, night job as a props manager for low-budget movies, and her free time is spent fighting in a medieval re-enactment group.

The lead actor breaks Sarah’s favorite one-of-a-kind sword, and to avoid reshooting scenes, Sarah agrees to repair the blade. One of the extras, who claims to be a dwarf, offers to help. And that’s when things start to get weird. Could the sword really be magic, as the “dwarf” claims? Are dragons really living among us as shapeshifters?

And as if things weren’t surreal enough, Sarah’s girlfriend Katie breaks out the dreaded phrase… “I love you.”  As her life begins to fall apart, first her relationship with Katie, then her job at the movie studio, and finally her blacksmithing career, Sarah hits rock bottom. It is at this moment, when she has lost everything she has prized, that one of the dragons makes their move.

And suddenly what was unthinkable becomes all too real…and Sarah will have to decide if she can reject what is safe and become the heroine who is needed to save her world.

Deborah reviewed Black Blade Blues just last week, and she loved it. Check it out here!


Song of Scarabaeus
by Sara Creasy
MM Paperback – 7.99

The best cypherteck in the galaxy, Edie can reinvent planets with little more than a thought. Trained since childhood in advanced biocyph seed technology by the all-powerful Crib empire, her mission is to terraform alien worlds while her masters bleed the outlawed Fringe populations dry. When renegade mercenaries kidnap Edie, she’s not entirely sure it’s a bad thing… until they leash her to a bodyguard, Finn—a former freedom fighter-turned-slave, beaten down but never broken. If Edie strays from Finn’s side, he dies. If she doesn’t cooperate, the pirates will kill them both.

But Edie’s abilities far surpass anything her enemies imagine. And now, with Finn her only ally as the merciless Crib closes in, she’ll have to prove it or die on the site of her only failure… a world called Scarabaeus.

This looks like a complicated but engaging plot. It’s being compared to Ann Aguire’s science fiction, which I enjoyed, and I haven’t read any science fiction in a while. Allow me one critique–I do hate that cover. If she’s all that powerful, then why is she at that guy’s feet, clinging to his leg a la Princess Leia??? Crikey! I thought we were over covers like that!


Orion You Came and You Took All My Marbles

by Kira Henehan
Milkweed Editions
Trade Paperback – $16

Welcome to the off-kilter world of Finley, an investigator of indiscernible origins and prowess. Her assignment: the mysterious Professor Uppal and his puppets. The objective: impossible to say. But Finley is unassailable. She forges ahead with occasional assistance and hindrance from her colleagues Murphy, The Lamb, and Binelli, as well as the professor’s beautiful daughter and her sinister artiste boyfriend. In her meticulous and completely unbiased report, Finley tracks the investigation’s slow spiral back upon itself, as the clues she uncovers reveal questions that lead directly back to her own forgotten past.

No, this isn’t a self-published novel, just a novel with a quirky title. It won the Milkweed National Fiction Prize, which appears to be a contest run by the publisher.

8 Thoughts to “Debut Showcase – Two Fantasies and a Quirky Mystery”

  1. I already had the first of these on my To Read list–and in fact just grabbed it for my Nook this morning, now that the ebook is finally available!

    But the latter two look intriguing. Sample grabbed for the SF one, and I may have to go look at a paperback of the third. That title IS very evocative, I gotta say. 🙂

  2. All three look intriguing for different reasons. I may look into them further. {Smile}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

  3. Tia Nevitt

    I’m a big fan of quirky mysteries, but I wish the blurb gave me a better idea of what it’s all about. I’d also want to peruse the first pages.

    1. I found a sample of Orion on the Kindle section of; it’s definitely quirky. I need to take another look or three to see if the style grows on me.

  4. And I’ll second your “WTF” on the cover. Covers are getting very strange these days. For instance, I actually like the cover on Black Blade Blues…but I read the book and don’t remember anything about the protagonist having white hair. But the rest of the picture works pretty well. So again, WTF?

    Half the time, I think the cover artists have no idea of what is in the books they do art for. No idea who to blame for that, either.

  5. Black Blade Blues I’m already aware of, of course, since Deb’s review. 🙂 Song of Scarabaeus was actually on my radar too, although I haven’t had a chance to check out the sample chapters yet. But since I understand it’s a science fiction romance, maybe it wouldn’t be for me.

    Orion, though… I simply have no idea what this book is about. The blurb doesn’t pull me in, and isn’t that the job of a blurb? 😐

  6. Chicory

    I rather like the cover for `Song of Scarabaues,’ but mostly because the guy looks a little like Mal from Serenity.

    1. Hmm, he does look a little like Mal!

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