I have incredibly talented friends. In fact, they are so talented that four of them have book releases today. (I am talented, too, since I already have copies of all of them.) Feast your eyes on this cornucopia of awesome:
And Blue Skies From Pain by Stina Leicht
This is the second book in her “A Book of the Fey and the Fallen” series, after the critically acclaimed Of Blood and Honey. (Book 1 pictured in hardcopy, book 2 pictured on my Nook.) Here’s an overview of book 1, since I don’t want to accidentally spoil book 2 for those who haven’t read it yet:
Liam never knew who his father was. The town of Derry had always assumed that he was the bastard of a protestant – his mother never spoke of him, and Liam assumed he was dead. But when the war between the fallen and the fey began to heat up, Liam and his family are pulled into a conflict that they didn’t know existed. A centuries old conflict between supernatural forces seems to mirror the political divisions in 1970’s era Ireland, and Liam is thrown headlong into both conflicts! Only the direct intervention of Liam’s real father, and a secret catholic order dedicated to fighting “The Fallen” can save Liam… from the mundane and supernatural forces around him, and from the darkness that lurks within him.
About Stina: We met at my agency’s annual retreat, and I fell in love with Stina’s huge heart and passion for… well, pretty much everything. She’s the kind of person brave enough to wear her heart on her sleeve, and I admire her for it. She’s also an amazing friend, and one of the first people I’d call if I needed to hide a body.
Fair Coin by E.C. Myers
E.C.’s first book (yay!) is a fast-paced YA adventure with a fantabulous mystery at its core:
Sixteen-year-old Ephraim Scott is horrified when he comes home from school and finds his mother unconscious at the kitchen table, clutching a bottle of pills. The reason for her suicide attempt is even more disturbing: she thought she’d identified Ephraim’s body at the hospital that day. Among his dead double’s belongings, Ephraim finds a strange coin–a coin that grants wishes when he flips it. With a flick of his thumb, he can turn his alcoholic mother into a model parent and catch the eye of the girl he’s liked since second grade. But the coin doesn’t always change things for the better. And a bad flip can destroy other people’s lives as easily as it rebuilds his own. The coin could give Ephraim everything he’s ever wanted–if he learns to control its power before his luck runs out.
About E.C.: Eugene and I have known each other for years. When I was first starting to query agents for my own book, Eugene helped in a million ways, generously sharing his agent list, query advice, and brilliant synopsis. I couldn’t be happier that his own book found such a great publisher, got such a perfect cover, and is finally out in the world, ready to be enjoyed by the hordes.
Goblin Secrets by William Alexander
Another debut book and another agency-mate! Goblin Secrets is for middle-grade readers, and has the same cover artist — Alexander Jansson — as Above World. It’s also gotten a starred review from Kirkus!
In the town of Zombay, there is a witch named Graba who has clockwork chicken legs and moves her house around—much like the fairy tale figure of Baba Yaga. Graba takes in stray children, and Rownie is the youngest boy in her household. Rownie’s only real relative is his older brother Rowan, who is an actor. But acting is outlawed in Zombay, and Rowan has disappeared. Desperate to find him, Rownie joins up with a troupe of goblins who skirt the law to put on plays. But their plays are not only for entertainment, and the masks they use are for more than make-believe. The goblins also want to find Rowan—because Rowan might be the only person who can save the town from being flooded by a mighty river. This accessible, atmospheric fantasy takes a gentle look at love, loss, and family while delivering a fast-paced adventure that is sure to satisfy.
About Will: We met at our agency retreat and I was immediately impressed with Will’s facility with words and his theatrical presence. Who better to write a book about a magical theater troupe? If you ever get a chance to see Will read in person, take it. You be so glad you did.
Venom in Her Veins by Tim Pratt
Tim has written many, many novels, but this one makes my D&D-obsessed self squee like a skewered kobold. Look at that cover! How awesome is that? And even better, Tim wrote a big chunk of this book while staying at my Bed & Breakfast (aka “my spare room”). Check this out:
Zaltys is a girl like any other to grow up ranging thejungles of the Southern Lluirwood. She’s a crack shot with a bow and no stranger to the dangers that lurk beneath the deep forest canopy. On expedition with her family to harvest the forbidden terazul flower, a powerful drug that has gathered many a dreamer into its narcotic embrace, Zaltys is about to unearth a truth long buried by the feculent loam of deception. As the veil is lifted on the world Zaltys thought she knew, a pathway to the Underdark promises the answers her family never gave. Venturing forth in search of truth, Zaltys finds betrayal to be a much easier quarry. But it will take more than a lode of lies to quell the venom in her veins.
About Tim: Jeez, where to start? Tim and I met at the Clarion Writing Workshop back in 1999, when both our lives were completely different. He’s been one of my best friends and favorite people ever since. I was even a groomsman at his wedding. He’s an amazing person and an incredibly skilled writer. I can’t wait to see what twisted surprises he put into his new book.