Friday, June 29, 2018

Review: Embracing The Demon by Beth Woodward

Embracing the Demon
Author:  Beth Woodward
Series:  A Dale Highland Novel 2
Publisher:  Rare Bird Books, June 19, 2018
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 360 pages
List Price:  US$16.95 (print); US$13.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9781945572845 (print); 9781947856820 (eBook)

Dale Highland never wanted to be a demon, never wanted to go back to the supernatural world, but now she has no choice.

A militant anti-supernatural group called the Zeta Coalition is trying to kill Dale, and a mysterious illness ravages angels and demons throughout the world. As the death toll rises, and the Zetas get closer and closer to Dale, she starts to realize the two things are connected.

To save them all, Dale will have to team up with John Goodwin, the man she once loved. The man who destroyed her.

But by the time Dale and John figure out the Zetas’ real intentions, it may be too late…

Zombie Joe's Review

Let me start off by telling you this is the second book in the series. You shouldn't have too much trouble getting into it, but there will be a touch of backstory you will be missing out on. What you really need to know about Dale from the first novel is that she has demon blood due to being a half-demon. And now that she is aware of this, she has been forced into a conflict between angels and demons that she never asked for.

Dale is the progeny of Amara, a leader among the demons. As such, there is a certain amount of influence she could exert. Should she choose to. The issue is that it feels as if she is unwilling to do so. In spite of her brooding and turbulent manner, she has an empathetic, human heart. One of the key elements she has from her human half.

Full transparency, Dale can be a little tough to relate to as a reader. If you are looking for that likable protagonist, she might not be your cup of tea. For me, I prefer the protagonists that others refer to as unlikable. They seem far more interesting. Of course, I have been described as unlikable before as well. So there is that.

In this novel, the world of angels and demons becomes revealed to humans. And it isn't a welcoming exchange like you might think. Which definitely leave Dale stuck between two worlds. And while you might root for her human heart, there is so much that can be done with those demon blood powers.

You are also faced with the challenge of shifting narrators. John, her love interest from book one, takes the mic from time to time. And by challenge, I mean an opportunity to truly see the situation from a different point of view. Which, honestly can be either an excellent tool, or pull you straight out of the story. I was definitely not pulled out of the story.

As for the story as a whole, it was definitely worth the wait. An excellent addition to her ongoing narrative. The ending alone sold me on the book, but to tell you too much would be to give away the experience. As I finished the last page, I definitely found myself already starting the countdown to the next in the series.

I'm going ahead to give this one 4.5 demons out of 5. Not the perfect storm, by damned near close to it.


The Demon Within
A Dale Highland Novel 1
Rare Bird Books, April 5, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 360 pages

Heaven is hunting Dale Highland.

For ten years, she’s been on the run, plagued by violent blackouts and increasingly baffled by a growing array of superpowers—mind control, super strength, enhanced healing abilities.

What Dale doesn’t know is that Heaven’s greatest bounty hunter, John Goodwin, has been on her trail the whole time. When John finally corners her in New York City, he reveals the source of her powers: her mother was a demon.

They forge an unlikely connection and go on the run. In pursuit are his fellow bounty hunters, a deadly guild of angels known as the Thrones. Their goal: eradicate all demons—which includes Dale. As they flee across New England, Dale delves into the mystery of her own heritage and discovers that she’s a key figure in an ancient war between angels and demons.

Only this time, the angels are the bad guys.

Headlong and action-packed, The Demon Within is the first of the four-volume Dale Highland series.

Gideon Falls Acquired for TV by Hivemind

Hivemind Acquires Hit Comic Series GIDEON FALLS for TV Adaptation Following Multi-Studio Bidding War

New Company from Veteran Producers Sean Daniel, Jason Brown, and Kathy Lingg
Adds Co-President Dinesh Shamdasani; Scores Hit Comic Franchise from New York
 Times Bestselling Author Jeff Lemire and Superstar Artist Andrea Sorrentino

PORTLAND, OR, 06/28/2018 — Hivemind today announced that it has won an intense multi-studio bidding war and acquired the rights to bring the hit Image Comics comic book series, GIDEON FALLS, to television in partnership with co-creators Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino. Hivemind's Jason Brown, Sean Daniel, Kathy Lingg, and Dinesh Shamdasani will executive produce the series alongside co-creators Lemire and Sorrentino with high-level creative talent already circling the project.

An atmospheric thriller colliding rural mystery and urban horror, the series follows an ensemble cast of seemingly random strangers—a washed-up Catholic priest, an uncompromising female sheriff, and a young recluse obsessed with unraveling a conspiracy buried in his city’s trash—as they become drawn into a mystery connected to a long-forgotten local legend.

Established in 2018, Hivemind is the new production entity from long-time producing partners Sean Daniel and Jason Brown, Bad Robot veteran Kathy Lingg and former Valiant Entertainment CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. Dedicated to partnering with high-level creative talent and globally recognized intellectual properties from the worlds of science fiction, fantasy, horror, comic books, video games, anime, and more, Hivemind recently inked a first-look deal with Amazon Studios. GIDEON FALLS marks a major new rights acquisition for the label, which will develop the series as an hour-long horror drama based on Lemire and Sorrentino’s repeatedly sold-out, critically acclaimed comic title of the same name that instantly became one of 2018’s biggest breakout hits upon its debut in March.

Infidel In Trade Paperback in September


PORTLAND, OR, 06/26/2018 — The complete series of the critically acclaimed, powerful new horror story INFIDEL—by bestselling writer and former Vertigo editor Pornsak Pichetshote and artist Aaron Campbell—will be collected into trade paperback and available this September.

This tautly woven series tackles controversial topics in race and racism and how it can affect people from different cultures and landed a movie deal after just two issues, with The Hollywood Reporter breaking the news that Michael Sugar (Academy Award-winning producer of Spotlight for Best Picture) and TriStar will adapt the series for the big screen.

Rife with political undertones, INFIDEL can best be described as Get Out meets Insidious and explores Islamophobia through a haunting and chilling story about one American Muslim woman and her multi-ethnic neighbors who move into a building haunted by creatures that feed on xenophobia.

Crowded Picked Up For A Movie Adaptation


PORTLAND, OR, 06/26/2018 — Even before hitting shelves this August, the forthcoming CROWDED by Eisner-nominated writer Christopher Sebela (Heartthrob, We(l)come Back, Harley Quinn), Ro Stein and Ted Brandt (Captain Marvel, Raven: The Pirate Princess), Triona Farrell (Runaways, Mech Cadet Yu), and Cardinal Rae (BINGO LOVE, ROSE) is stirring up buzz with The Hollywood Reporter dropping the news yesterday that Rebel Wilson has optioned the film rights to the series with the goal of starring in and producing the movie adaptation. Wilson will develop the project and produce it via her Camp Sugar production banner. Also producing is Oni Entertainment.

First announced at the prestigious Image Expo in February, CROWDED explores the seedy implications of today’s technology with the gut-wrenching resonance of a Black Mirror episode. In CROWDED, the world runs on an economy of job shares and apps, including Reapr: a crowdfunding platform to fund assassinations. Charlie Ellison leads a quiet, normal life until she’s suddenly targeted by a million-dollar Reapr campaign. Hunted by all of Los Angeles, Charlie hires Vita, the lowest-rated bodyguard on the Dfend app. As the campaign picks up speed, they’ll have to figure out who wants Charlie dead before the campaign’s 30 days—or their lives—are over.

CROWDED #1 Cover A by Stein & Brandt (Diamond Code JUN180046) and CROWDED #1 Cover B by Stott (Diamond Code JUN180047) hit stores on Wednesday, August 15th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, July 23rd.

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

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Nintendo Download, June 28, 2018: Wolfenstein II Comes to Nintendo Switch!

This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content:
  • Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch
    • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus – As BJ Blazkowicz, experience an unforgettable action-packed story brought to life by extraordinary characters. Reunite with your friends and fellow freedom fighters as you take on the evil Frau Engel and her Nazi army. Wage the second American Revolution your way – at home or on the go. And for the perfect blend of immersion and accuracy, use the Nintendo Switch system’s motion controls to stop the Nazi threat. The Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus game is available on June 29.
    • Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy – Spin, jump, wump and repeat as you take on the epic challenges and adventures through the three games that started it all: Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped. Relive all your favorite Crash moments in their fully remastered graphical glory. The Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy game is available on June 29.

Outland Entertainment Has Announced VIKINGVERSE

Outland Entertainment has announced the beginning of a new transmedia project, with fiction, comics, and games in development!


From a concept created by Ian Sharpe, Vikingverse is going to launch this fall with a novel by Ian called All Father Paradox.

Here is the line art for the fabulous cover-in-progress by Jeremy Mohler:

All Father Paradox is coming in October!

Odin has escaped his doom at Ragnarok. Now, history has been thrown to the wolves

In the All Father Paradox, Ian Sharpe reveals a parallel universe where Vikings rule seas and stars with restless fleets. In a series of interwoven sagas, a young Norse prince plots to shatter empires and claim the heavens; a newly qualified professor finds the key to new horizons but unlocks a ceaseless hunger; and a bold empress discovers there is a price for immortality, one her ancestors have come to collect.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Interview with Rebecca Roanhorse, author of Trail of Lightning

Please welcome Rebecca Roanhorse to The Qwillery, as part of the 2018 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Trail of Lightning was published on June 26th by Saga Press.

TQWelcome to The Qwillery and congratulations on your recent Nebula win for Short Story. What is the first fiction piece you remember writing?

Rebecca:  Thanks for having me! Let's see...I remember writing a poem in 3rd grade about a tree succumbing to the inevitability of Fall. It was very tortured and angst-ridden. It went on to win a school-wide award. The first SFF story I remember writing was in 7th grade. We were supposed to write a science report on the planets and I turned my report into a story about a an astronaut on a suicide mission into the sun. That one did not win any awards. lol. What can I say, I was an emo kid.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Rebecca:  A hybrid. I like to know where I’m going, but I’m not married to it. I like to leave room for the story to surprise me while I’m telling but, but I find that without a clear goal of what kind of story I’m telling, the writing gets lost and slo​pp​y and I end up doing too many rewrites. I like to write fairly clean out of the gate.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Rebecca:  Finding the time. I have a full-time job and a family. Sometimes words don’t get written until after work, soccer practice, dinner and bedtime. Some days words don’t get written at all.

TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

Rebecca:  What hasn't? Everything around me. Everything I read. My lived experiences. I sponge it all up and it comes out in my writing. I think most writers are like that.

TQ Describe Trail of Lightning in 140 characters or less.

Rebecca:  An Indigenous Mad Max: Fury Road. A post-apocalyptic monster hunting adventure with a badass Navajo woman protagonist and her unconventional medicine man sidekick.

TQTell us something about Trail of Lightning that is not found in the book description.

Rebecca:  There’s a gun-running, boot-legging paramilitary hideout that's also a honky tonk bar called Grace’s All-American that’s run by a Black woman and her kids. They are the only non-Navajo characters in the book, and they will become Maggie's allies and sometimes antagonists and second family. They're a lot of fun.

TQWhat inspired you to write Trail of Lightning? What appeals to you about writing Dystopian / Post-Apocalyptic fiction?

Rebecca:  I wanted to write an Indigenous story set in the future because so many stories set us in the past. But I think it’s not really accurate to call the story dystopian. The world after cataclysmic climate change is bleak outside the walls of the Navajo reservation, but inside things are going pretty good…except for the monsters, of course.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for Trail of Lightning?

Rebecca:  A lot of it is simply drawn from my real life experiences of living on the Navajo reservation. The people and places are familiar because I lived them. The stories are stories that I learned through studying Navajo law (I practiced law on the Navajo reservation and part of passing the ​B​ar is learning traditional stories) or by reading the traditional stories that are publicly available. I tried to be thoughtful in what stories I told and what stories and characters I changed to fit my imaginary world. I got various Navajo friends to read the book and make sure I was staying in my lane. But that’s not to say my story isn’t wholly fictitious. I’m writing SFF, after all.

TQPlease tell us about the cover for Trail of Lightning.

Rebecca:  I love that cover. Two Navajo characters (Maggie Hoskie the protagonist and her sidekick, Kai Arviso) and Maggie's rez truck. But the best thing about it is there are no feathers, no braids, nothing that screams stereotypical Native. Instead we have two very contemporary Native characters looking pretty badass, if I do say so myself. Thanks to Tommy Arnold for that incredible art and Nick Sciacca for the art design, including that peeling weathered font. Very cool.

TQIn Trail of Lightning who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Rebecca:  ​Ma'ii (The Coyote) was probably the easiest to write, or if not the easiest, certainly the most fun. He's got such a distinct personality and he's a scene stealer. The hardest was probably Kai Arviso because while he is a sidekick, I wanted him to be a fully fleshed out character. He is also complex and contradictory in a lot of ways and he needed to be Maggie's foil, and her balance. I'm still not sure I understand him totally, but I have no doubt he will reveal himself to me in future books.​

TQWhich question about Trail of Lightning do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Rebecca:  While Trail of Lighting is a fast, fun post-apocalyptic adventure, it's also about violence and how it haunts us and changes the course of our lives. I would love for people to ask more about how they think trauma has changed Maggie's life, for better or worse. My answer would be it has alienated her from her community and her own self and because of it, she makes some spectacularly bad decisions. But it is also the source of her greatest strengths, quite literally, since her supernatural powers springs from trauma. It's a core idea in the book and I'm excited when people pick up on it.

TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Trail of Lightning.


1. "But I’m no hero. I’m more of a last resort, a scorched-earth policy. I’m the person you hire when the heroes have already come home in body bags."

2. “One of you assholes better start talking about that dead body in your truck, quick. Or I’m hauling you all down to the jail, where I’ll be happy to beat the both of you like a piñata until the truth falls out of your mouth like goddamn candy.”

TQWhat's next?

Rebecca:  The second book in the Sixth World Series, Storm of Locusts, drops April 2019, and later that year I also have a middle grade book, Race to the Sun, coming out on Rick Riordan's imprint for Disney-Hyperion. And then in 2020 I have an Anasazi-inspired epic fantasy coming, Between Earth and Sky, wherein the great matriarchal clans of a prosperous cliff-city vying for power against a backdrop of political intrigue, celestial prophecies, rising rebellion & dark magic.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Rebecca:  Thanks for having me!

Trail of Lightning
Sixth World 1
Saga Press, June 26, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

“Someone please cancel Supernatural already and give us at least five seasons of this badass indigenous monster-hunter and her silver-tongued sidekick.” —The New York Times

“An excitingly novel tale.” —Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series and Midnight Crossroads series

“Fun, terrifying, hilarious, and brilliant.” —Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper and Star Wars: Last Shot

“[C]rafts a powerful and fiercely personal journey through a compelling postapocalyptic landscape.” —Kate Elliott, New York Times bestselling author of Court of Fives and Black Wolves

While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.

Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last best hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much more terrifying than anything she could imagine.

Maggie reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel the rez, unraveling clues from ancient legends, trading favors with tricksters, and battling dark witchcraft in a patchwork world of deteriorating technology.

As Maggie discovers the truth behind the killings, she will have to confront her past if she wants to survive.

Welcome to the Sixth World.

About Rebecca

Photograph by Stephen Land
Rebecca Roanhorse is speculative fiction writer and Nebula, Hugo, and Sturgeon Award Finalist. She is also a 2017 Campbell Award Finalist for Best New Science Fiction and Fantasy writer. Her novel Trail of Lightning is the first book in the Sixth World series, followed by Storm of Locusts in 2019. She lives in northern New Mexico with her husband, daughter, and pug. Find more at and follow her on Twitter at @RoanhorseBex.

Website  ~  Twitter @RoanhorseBex  ~  Facebook

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Interview with Jeremy Finley, author of The Darkest Time of Night

Please welcome Jeremy Finley to The Qwillery, as part of the 2018 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Darkest Time of Night is published on June 26th by St. Martin's Press.

Please join The Qwillery in wishing Jeremy a Happy Publication Day!

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

Jeremy:  The epic tale of my dog using GI Joe toys to rescue bunnies stuck in my family’s drainage ditch. In retrospect, it sounds like a bad drug trip.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Jeremy:  Obsessive, diabolical plotter.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Jeremy:  Remember the dog from the movie “UP?” Instead of “squirrel!” I sit at the blank page in front of me while my head whips around to “Baseball scores! Movie trailers! Unfolded laundry!”

TQYou are the chief investigative reporter for WSMV-TV. How does being an investigative reporter affect (or not) your fiction writing?

Jeremy:  The constant need to verify what I’m claiming. In investigative reporting, it’s best to always have hard, undisputable proof of corruption. So in my fiction writing, if I’m describing, let’s say, an ashtray from the 1970s, I have to make sure I have the details right, down to the reflective amber color and the smooth notches to rest the smokes. I imagine they looked incredible alongside green shag carpets.

TQDescribe The Darkest Time of Night in 140 characters or less.

Jeremy:  When a U.S. Senators’ grandson goes missing, the politician’s wife must return to her hidden, controversial research into vanished people to try and find him.

TQ Tell us something about The Darkest Time of Night that is not found in the book description.

Jeremy:  Beneath the suspense of trying to find a missing child, it is also a story of a marginalized grandmother who begins a journey to recapture the young woman she always intended to be.

TQWhat inspired you to write The Darkest Time of Night? What appealed to you about writing a thriller?

Jeremy:  The inspiration came from my mother-in-law’s startling admission that when she was young, she worked as a secretary in a university’s astronomy department for a professor who did UFO research. She used to take bizarre messages for him about mysterious sightings. I laid awake that night and thought that this could make a hell of a speculative thriller, which is, hands down, my favorite genre to read.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Darkest Time of Night?

Jeremy:  I spent a lot of time examining the research of organizations in the 1950s and 1960s that investigated UFOs. This was obviously before the Internet, and it’s fascinating how they were still able to gather accounts and data from all over the world. Also, they were undeterred despite the scrutiny and disbelief they faced.

TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Darkest Time of Night.

Jeremy:  The cover is exactly – and I mean exactly – what I pictured in my mind when I wrote the first draft of the novel. It perfectly captures the ominous woods where the mystery begins and – hopefully – makes potential readers wonder, “What is that faint light in the trees?”

TQIn The Darkest Time of Night who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Jeremy:  The main character, Lynn, has a best friend by the name of Roxy Garth. I could write Roxy all day, because her endless sarcasm comes naturally to me. Writing from Lynn’s perspective was a challenge because, obviously, I am not a sixty-something woman. But I had two great ladies as grandmothers, and my mother and mother-in-law have given me great material to create strong heroines.

TQWhich question about The Darkest Time of Night do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Jeremy:  WasThe Darkest Time of Night your original title?

The answer is no, I had another title that I clung to like a child and his favorite blanket. But my brilliant publisher knew there was a better title out there, and after thirty or so failed suggestions on my part, it finally came to me. I’m so thrilled with the title now, and I will be forever grateful to the publisher for pushing me to strike the right tone.

TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Darkest Time of Night.

Jeremy:  “I wish I could go back to the beliefs I had before this, where the only purpose of the stars was to bring us light in the dark. Now I cannot look too long into the heavens for fear of what I might see.”

TQWhat's next?

Jeremy:  Just finished the sequel to The Darkest Time of Night. I hope you’ll enjoy the novel enough to want to find out what happens next, because the Roseworthy family has no idea what I have in store for them.

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Jeremy:  I so appreciate the opportunity!

The Darkest Time of Night
St. Martin's Press, June 26, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

Investigative journalist for WSMV-TV in Nashville, Jeremy Finley's debut thriller explores what happens to people’s lives when our world intersects with the unexplainable.

"The lights took him."

When the seven-year-old grandson of U.S. Senator vanishes in the woods behind his home, the only witness is his older brother who whispers, “The lights took him,” and then never speaks again.

As the FBI and National Guard launch a massive search, the boys' grandmother Lynn Roseworth fears only she knows the truth. But coming forward would ruin her family and her husband’s political career.

In the late 1960s, before she became the quiet wife of a politician, Lynn was a secretary in the astronomy department at the University of Illinois. It was there where she began taking mysterious messages for one of the professors; messages from people desperate to find their missing loved ones who vanished into beams of light.

Determined to find her beloved grandson and expose the truth, she must return to the work she once abandoned to unravel the existence of a place long forgotten by the world. It is there, buried deep beneath the bitter snow and the absent memories of its inhabitants, where her grandson may finally be found.

But there are forces that wish to silence her. And Lynn will find how far they will go to stop her, and how the truth about her own forgotten childhood could reveal the greatest mystery of all time.

The Darkest Time of Night is a fast-paced debut full of suspense and government cover-ups, perfect for thriller and supernatural fans alike.

June 2018 SIBA Okra Selection

About Jeremy

Courtesy of the Author
JEREMY FINLEY is the chief investigative reporter for WSMV-TV, the NBC-affiliated station in Nashville. Jeremy Finley’s investigative reporting has resulted in some of the highest honors in journalism, including more than a dozen Emmys, Edward R. Murrow awards and a national certificate from Investigative Reporters and Editors. He lives with his wife and daughters in Nashville, TN. The Darkest Time of Night is his first novel.

Monday, June 25, 2018

The View From Monday - June 25, 2018

Happy last Monday in June!

There are 3 debuts this week:

The Darkest Time of Night by Jeremy Finley;

Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World 1) by Rebecca Roanhorse;


Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg.

Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.

From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Killing Is My Business (Ray Electromatic Mysteries 2) by Adam Christopher is out in Trade Paperback;

The Half-Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker is out in Trade Paperback;

A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne is out in Mass Market Paperback;

Gork, the Teenage Dragon by Gabe Hudson is out in Trade Paperback;

Gate Crashers by Patrick S. Tomlinson;

All the Nations of the Sky (Born to the Blade Season 1, Episode 11) by Michael R. Underwood;


A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe (The Salvagers 1) by Alex White.

Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.

Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.

June 25, 2018
Entangled: The Homecoming (e) Barbara Bretton PNR - The Sugar Maple Chronicles 6

June 26, 2018
The Fall of Lucifer (ri) Wendy Alec F - Chronicles of Brothers, Time Before Time 1
The First Judgement (ri) Wendy Alec F - Chronicles of Brothers, Time Before Time 2
Iron and Magic (e) Ilona Andrews PNR - The Iron Covenant 1
Yarrick: The Omnibus David Annandale SF - Yarrick
The Girl in the Tower (h2tp) Katherine Arden F/MR/LF - Winternight Trilogy 2
Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead: Return to Woodbury (h2tp) Jay Bonansinga H/SupTh/MTI - The Walking Dead 8
The Hospital Ahmed Bouanani
Lara Vergnaud (Tr)
The Complete Aliens Omnibus: Volume Six Diane Carey
John Shirley
Killing Is My Business (h2tp) Adam Christopher SF/PI/Noir - Ray Electromatic Mysteries 2
Paradox Bound (h2tp) Peter Clines SF/H/TT
The Day After Gettysburg (h2mm) Robert Conroy
J.R. Dunn
Outside the Fire Boyd Craven SF/AP/PA - An Economic Collapse Story
The Master of Mankind (tp2mm) Aaron Dembski-Bowden SF - The Horus Heresy 41
Dark Challenge (ri) Christine Feehan PNR - Dark 5
The Darkest Time of Night (D) Jeremy Finley Sus/SF/AC
The Gods of Sagittarius Eric Flint
Mike Resnick
HALO: Bad Blood Matt Forbeck SF - Halo
Red Waters Rising Laura Anne Gilman HistF - The Devil's West 3
The Map of Moments Christopher Golden
Tim Lebbon
DF/UF/CF - Hidden Cities 2
Spoonbenders (h2tp) Daryl Gregory FL/SH/LF
The Half-Drowned King (h2tp) Linnea Hartsuyker Saga - The Golden Wolf Saga 1
A Plague of Giants (h2mm) Kevin Hearne F/P
Strange Weather: Four Short Novels (h2tp) Joe Hill H- Collection
The Rules of Magic (h2tp) Alice Hoffman LF - The Practical Magic Series 1
The Book of the Unwinding (h2tp) J.D. Horn CF - Witches of New Orleans 2
Gork, the Teenage Dragon (h2tp) Gabe Hudson LF/F/HU/SF
Devil Sharks Chris Jameson H/Sus
Damnation Valley William W. Johnstone
J.A. Johnstone
W/F/Hist - The Frontiersman 4
War of Secrets Phil Kelly SF - Space Marine Conquests 3
Jade City (h2tp) Fonda Lee F/Cr/Saga - The Green Bone Saga 1
Drop by Drop Morgan Llywelyn SF/AP/PA/TechTh - Step by Step 1
What Blooms from Dust James Markert Hist/Rel/MR/LF
The Dinosaur Princess (h2mm) Victor Milan F - The Dinosaur Lords 3
Awakened James S. Murray
Darren Wearmouth
Summerland Hannu Rajaniemi SF/AH
Trail of Lightning (D) Rebecca Roanhorse Dys - The Sixth World 1
The Trial and Execution of the Traitor George Washington Charles Rosenberg AH/HistTh/LegalTh
Confessions of the Fox (D) Jordy Rosenberg LF/Hist
The Round-Dance of Water Kuznetsov Sergey
Valeriya Yermishova (Tr)
LF/MU/MR - Russian Literature Series
The Darkest Warrior Gena Showalter PNR - Lords of the Underworld 14
Head Full of Joy Ognjen Spahic LF/Dys
Gate Crashers Patrick S. Tomlinson SF/AC
The Dark Blood of Poppies (ri) Freda Warrington F/DF/CF
The Risen Empire Scott Westerfeld SF/SO - Succession 1
A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe Alex White SF/GenEng/SO - The Salvagers 1
The Clockwork Dynasty (h2tp) Daniel H. Wilson SF/Th/AH

June 27, 2018
All the Nations of the Sky (e) Michael Underwood F - Born to the Blade Season 1, Episode 11

June 30, 2018
Rough Justice Kelley Armstrong F
Mira's Last Dance Lois McMaster Bujold F
Blood's a Rover Harlan Ellison SF
University Bentley Little H

D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator

AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CulH - Cultural Heritage
CW - Contemporary Woman
CyP - Cyberpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
Fict - Fiction
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
Gothic - Gothic
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
LegalTh - Legal Thriller
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
Med - Medical
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
MU - Mash Up
NF - Near Future
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PI - Private Investigator
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Pol - Political
PopCul - Popular Culture
Psy Th - Psychological Thriller
Rel - Religious
SF - Science Fiction
SH - Superheroes
SocSci - Social Science
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
Tech - Technological
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
TTR - Time Travel Romance
UF - Urban Fantasy
VisM - Visionary and Metaphysical
W - Western

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Born to the Blade: An Interview with Michael R. Underwood and Marie Brennan

Please welcome Michael R. Underwood and Marie Brennan to The Qwillery to answer some questions about Born to the Blade, a Serial Box series. The first episode, Arrivals, was published on April 18, 2018. The series is written by Marie Brennan, Cassandra Khaw, Malka Older, and Michael R. Underwood.

TQWelcome to The Qwillery. How did the Born to the Blade serial come about?

Michael R. Underwood (MRU):  Born to the Blade started as a magic system I imagined over ten years ago. I wanted to have magic that felt embodied, that was the opposite of the D&D stereotype of the frail wizards that can’t lift a sword. In this world, magical talent isn’t heritable, but it is common enough that each nation has their own way of considering and utilizing people with the gift. Bladecraft, the magic of this world, uses edged metal for carving sigils to create magical effects. I first explored the world in a very pulpy sky pirate adventure (a trunk novel, never to be seen) that set up some of the political tensions we explored in Born to the Blade (Quloo’s aerstone shortage, Mertikan imperialism, Tsukisen’s isolationism).

When I found out about Serial Box, I got in touch and talked with co-founders Julian Yap and Molly Barton about what they were looking for, and developed several pitches. Born to the Blade, re-working a concept I had for an unfinished novel in the setting, was the one that most excited them, so we developed the world together toward the series order. And here we are, with the fabulous team of Malka Older, Cassandra Khaw, and myself weaving the tale for readers to enjoy.

TQWhat's Born to the Blade about? How many episodes will it be?

MRU:  Born to the Blade is an epic fantasy series of diplomacy, swordplay, and magic, focusing on duelist-diplomats from a variety of nations that work together in an analogue to the UN security council based in the neutral city of Twaa-Fei. It’s a story about people caught between personal loyalties and national loyalties, between friendship and duplicity, between ambition and compassion. Another way that I’ve been pitching it is like Avatar the Last Airbender meets The West Wing, with magic swordfights.

The first season is eleven episodes, and if we get renewed, I’d love to take the series forward with a total of three to five seasons. I have plans for a three-season version and a five-season version, so we’ll see where the winds of fate take us.

TQWhy is this story suited to the serial format?

MRU:  Born to the Blade was specifically built for the Serial Box format, drawing on drama series like Babylon 5 and Game of Thrones that unfold story bit by bit, balancing a cohesive story for each episode with the ongoing serial drama of character arcs and widescreen storytelling about war, diplomacy, and so on.

TQPlease tell us in general how the collaborative process works with each of you writing different episodes? Do each of you try to write in the same style for each episode?

MRU:  We kicked off the development process for season one with a weekend-long writers’ summit, where all four of us on the writers’ team talked about what we wanted the series to be, ideas about the world and characters, and once we had the world, characters, and their relationships more firmly established, we broke the story for season one, with character arcs, twists, mysteries, and so on. We broke the story within the episode structure, so that we already had a pretty clear sense of what major story beats went where in the season.

The actual collaboration process was not unlike a TV show, where each episode was assigned to one member of the writing team. For each episode, we developed a more detailed outline which the team discussed, then wrote the episode and shared with the team, arranged in phases (roughly act one, two, and three of the season). We all gave feedback on each episode, so while any given episode is entirely written by just one team member, every episode represents all of our ideas and creativity. We didn’t push ourselves to all write in identical prose styles, but as the team lead, I did take the lead in setting the tone and approach for the series in writing the pilot episode before any of the other episodes were written, helping us find the voice and approach for the series and characters (though as I said above, all of this represents everyone’s approach rather than just my own).

TQWhat do you like about writing a serial? Is writing episodes in a serial easier or harder than writing a novella?

MRU:  It’s been a great challenge to pack in as much story as possible to 10K word episodes (about 40 pages or an hour of audio). I’m definitely more used to novella and novel-length writing, so I have had to continually push myself to focus, to make every scene do double or triple duty, and to pack as much worldbuilding into other parts of the story as possible in order to keep the wordcount on target.
Working on Born to the Blade has definitely helped me become a stronger writer, and I have also set myself other challenges, like writing fight scenes that are exciting and easy to follow while also being emotionally resonant.

TQWhat is the easiest and hardest thing about writing a serial?

Marie Brennan (MB): It might seem counter-intuitive, but I feel like one of the easiest things was making sure every episode had something cool happening in it. An episode isn't the same thing as a chapter; if you think about a TV show and compare it to a novel, you'll generally see a different structure for how they're broken up. (Depending on the writer. Some novelists structure their books like TV shows.) Both approaches work, but once I got my brain into TV-style gear, it was pretty easy to think of each episode as having some kind of set-piece or ending punch, rather than building toward the ultimate end goal in a more gradual fashion.

The hardest thing was making we kept all the balls in the air. Most novels focus on only one or two protagonists, or if they have more, each one tends to get their own chapter. But because Serial Box's projects are structured more like TV series, we had to make sure the central characters were doing something significant in every episode, and the secondary characters weren't neglected for too long. It creates challenges for pacing both within an episode and across the whole season.

TQDo you have a favorite secondary character?

MB: Several! Our development process meant we spent a chunk of time considering each major secondary character directly, rather than focusing only on the main protagonists and positioning everyone else in relation to them. My answer changes from day to day; I wrote a piece for Mary Robinette Kowal's "My Favorite Bit" feature about Bellona Avitus, the junior warder for Mertika. But while she's one of my favorite bits of the story, I don't actually like her -- she's really not a good person.

So I'll choose Ueda no Takeshi, the Ikaran warder. I can't go into detail as to why without giving spoilers, but he's a "still waters run deep" kind of guy. And I like that he's a nerd: he studies the magical elements of his world, like the birthrights people acquire from being born on a particular island, and gets his strength from knowlege as much as his ability to hit people with a sword. (He's actually not all that great at hitting people with a sword.)

TQHave any of the characters in Born to the Blade been surprising?

MRU:  A lot, especially because I’ve had the fortune of witnessing how Malka, Marie, and Cassandra write the characters and take them in ways I didn’t expect. I think Bellona came to surprise all of us, as we dug in on what made her tick, how she tried to deal with Lavinia (her superior)’s domineering and demanding approach, as well as the ways that we showcased Bellona’s calculating but obvious social maneuvering through the baby shower and other efforts to make a grand gesture or big display.

TQWhat kinds of research have you done for Born to the Blade?

MRU:  A lot of the research that shows up in Born to the Blade was more a result of me and the other team members applying what we already knew, from martial arts (unarmed and swordplay) to the material and intangible culture of a variety of civilizations and peoples from around the world that we drew from to create the numerous nations of the sky. Marie did a bunch of extra work in developing a resource document for hairstyles and clothing notes for the different nations, condensing and clarifying the brainstorming that all four of us had done along the way.

TQAre social issues touched upon in Born to the Blade?

MRU:  The issues we touch on most directly are imperialism and colonialism, with Michiko as a subject of the Mertikan empire. But with Quloo we have a story that resonates with peak oil and/or climate change. Because it is a political and diplomatic series, social issues are never far from the surface, and I am especially happy with the ways that the team was always very conscious of the different levels that character actions and big moves in the story operated on, always boiling down to power – who has it, who uses it, for what purpose, and with what unintended effects.

TQAny hints to what is upcoming for Oda no Michiko and Kris Denn?

MRU:  Michiko, Kris, and Ojo are all in very different places at the end of the season than they were at the series’ start, with new perspectives, drastically different relationships, and new objectives emerging from the action and intrigue of the season. Born to the Blade is the most character-driven story I’ve worked on as a writer, which makes it very exciting, as I came out of the season with a clear sense of what each character wants based on the season’s events, and what they’re willing to do now to achieve those goals.

Just talking about it makes me want to dive back in and start writing season two. But that will have to wait to see how readers react and whether the series has earned enough support to get picked up (again, think TV series). So if you have already been reading and want to see more, make sure to spread the word and encourage friends to subscribe and read, too!

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery!

Born to the Blade is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, Google Play, iBooks, Kobo and Serial Box.

The Episodes:

 1.  Arrivals by Michael R. Underwood
 2.  Fault Lines by Marie Brennan
 3.  Baby Shower by Cassandra Khaw
 4.  The Gauntlet by Michael R. Underwood
 5.  Trade Deal by Malka Older
 6.  Spiraling by Marie Brennan
 7.  Dreadnought by Cassandra Khaw
 8.  Refugees by Malka Older
 9.  Assassination by Malka Older
10. Shattered Blades by Marie Brennan
11. All the Nations of the Skies by Michael R. Underwood

Look for Born to the Blade: The Complete Season One on July 27th:

For centuries the Warders' Circle on the neutral islands of Twaa-Fei has given the countries of the sky a way to avoid war, settling their disputes through formal, magical duels. But the Circle's ability to maintain peace is fading: the Mertikan Empire is preparing for conquest and the trade nation of Quloo is sinking, stripped of the aerstone that keeps both ships and island a-sky. When upstart Kris Denn tries to win their island a seat in the Warder’s Circle and colonial subject Oda no Michiko discovers that her conquered nation's past is not what she's been told, they upset the balance of power. The storm they bring will bind all the peoples of the sky together…or tear them apart.

The Authors

Marie BrennanWebsiteTwitter
Cassandra KhawFacebookTwitter
Malka OlderWebsiteTwitter
Michael R. UnderwoodWebsiteTwitter

Pix: Too Super for School Wins 2 Kids' Comics Awards


PORTLAND, OR, 06/22/2018 — Gregg Schigiel's original graphic novel, PIX: TOO SUPER FOR SCHOOL, took home two Kids' Comics Awards at a ceremony held on Saturday, June 16th as part of the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival (A2CAF). PIX won in the categories “Favorite Author” and “Be Cool, Stay in School” (for books set in school).

“These are the only comics awards exclusively about comics for younger readers and the love and appreciation for that material shows,” said Schigiel. “The categories are unique and fun, the ceremony itself is joyous and entertaining, kids vote for the winners, and the trophy is a literal toy! When I learned about these awards I dreamed of winning one. That Pix got two nominations and then won them both feels like overkill...but I'm not giving them back!”

While kids and teens vote for the KCA winners (who receive a Lego mini-figure trophy), the final nominees and categories are curated by active and retired librarians based upon online open nominations and internal review of material released in the prior year.

PIX, a superhero/fairy tale mash-up, follows the adventures of Pix, a teenage superhero who believes herself a fairy princess. TOO SUPER FOR SCHOOL, the second volume in the series, has Pix dealing with the challenges of her fairy beliefs and superhero actions at school.

The PIX books are intended for middle-grade readers, a growing category in publishing, particularly for graphic novels. Schigiel hopes the Kids' Comics Awards wins will bring some attention to the series he writes and illustrates. He added: “I love the Lego trophy, but the bigger 'prize' is the potential to raise awareness of the Pix books... I'm excited for the new eyes this can bring.”

2018 marks the sixth year for Kids' Comics Awards. Other winners at the 2018 ceremony included Hilo by Judd Winnick, Phoebe & Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson, Brobots by J. Torres and Sean Dove, Science Comics: Dogs by Andy Hirsch, and the anthology SpongeBob Comics. Past winners include kids' comics notables Raina Telgemeier, Jeff Kinney, Nathan Hale, Kazu Kibuishi and Chris Giarrusso.

For more information about PIX, please visit For more about Gregg Schigiel, visit

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

The Weatherman - Special Wraparound Cover Revealed


PORTLAND, OR, 06/21/2018 — Image Comics is pleased to reveal a special, breathtaking wraparound cover for THE WEATHERMAN #2 by Jody LeHeup (SHIRTLESS BEAR-FIGHTER) and Nathan Fox (DMZ, HAUNT, Dark Reign: Zodiac). This limited cover will feature artwork by Fox and will hit select stores this July.

THE WEATHERMAN follows Nathan Bright—a man who had it all: an awesome girlfriend, a kickass dog, and a job as the number one weatherman on terraformed Mars. But when he’s accused of carrying out the worst terrorist attack in human history—an event that wiped out nearly the entire population of Earth—Nathan becomes the most wanted man alive and a target of a manhunt that spans the galaxy. But is Nathan truly responsible for such a horrific crime? And why can’t he remember?

THE WEATHERMAN #2 Cover A (Diamond Code MAY180284), THE WEATHERMAN #2 Cover B (Diamond Code MAY180285), and THE WEATHERMAN #2 Cover C (Limited, Diamond Code MAY188886) wraparound cover will be available on Wednesday, July 18th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, June 25th.

[click to embiggen]

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