Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Fresh ink - new authors for jaded readers

They're the reason people keep trying to write. (Aside from that nagging little parasite in your ear, continually popping out to ask "So, have you done any writing lately?" and winkling itself back in again before you can get him with the tweezers.)

Debut authors who make it big - J. K. Rowling, E. L. James, S. J. Watson, and all those other initials. Who doesn't dream of being one? For most, it's a slow burn, gradually building an audience until one day you're on top of the pile. That's how it worked for Ian Rankin and Hilary Mantel, and even Dan Brown had three books behind him before his sudden leap to the peak. Who can predict the next big thing?

As they say in showbiz - no one knows anything.

So here's your chance to take a look at the crop of new authors for this year, before requests go sky-high. Which do you think will make it big?

City of Dark Magic - Magnus Flyte
Once, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it’s whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloguing Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood. Soon after Sarah arrives, she learns that her mentor, who was working at the castle, may not have committed suicide after all. Could his cryptic notes be warnings? As Sarah parses his clues about Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” she manages to get arrested, to have sex in a public fountain, and to discover a time-warping drug. She also catches the attention of a four-hundred-year-old dwarf, the handsome Prince Max, and a powerful U.S. senator with secrets she will do anything to hide.

Shadow on the Crown - Patricia Bracewell
In 1002, fifteen-year-old Emma of Normandy crosses the Narrow Sea to wed the much older King Athelred of England, whom she meets for the first time at the church door. Thrust into an unfamiliar and treacherous court, with a husband who mistrusts her, stepsons who resent her and a bewitching rival who covets her crown, Emma must secure her status as queen by bearing a son and forming alliances with influential men. But her growing love for a man who is not her husband and the imminent Viking invasion jeopardize both her crown and her life.

The Office of Mercy - Ariel Djanikian
A riveting, dystopian story of love and adventure. Twenty-four-year-old Natasha Wiley lives in America-Five—a high-tech, underground, utopian settlement where hunger and money do not exist, everyone has a job, and all basic needs are met. But when her mentor and colleague, Jeffrey, selects her to join a special team to venture Outside for the first time, Natasha’s allegiances to home, society, and above all to Jeffrey are tested. She is forced to make a choice that may put the people she loves most in grave danger and change the world as she knows it.

The River of No Return - Bee Ridgway
Two hundred years after he was dying on a Napoleonic battlefield, Nick Falcott wakes up in a hospital in modern London. The Guild, an entity that controls time travel, has chosen to save him, on the proviso that he can never go back. But Nick yearns for home and for one girl, lost now down the centuries. Then the Guild asks him to break its own rule. It needs Nick to return to 1815 to fight its enemies and find something called the Talisman.

Julia Percy mourns the death of her grandfather, an earl who could play with time. On his deathbed he whispers in her ear: “Pretend!” When Nick returns home as if from the dead, older than he should be and battle scarred, Julia begins to suspect that her life depends upon the secrets Grandfather never told her. Soon enough Julia and Nick are caught up in an adventure that stretches up and down the river of time. As their feelings for each other grow, the fate of the future itself is hanging in the balance.

Just What Kind of Mother Are You? - Paula Daly
You were supposed to be watching your best friend's 13-year-old daughter, and now she's missing. Taken. Lucinda is the second girl to be abducted within a fortnight. The first was found on a busy high street, naked and severely traumatised. No one expects the next to be so lucky. You're going to have to figure out who did it. Because if you don't, then Lucinda will be next - and you'll never forgive yourself.

Billy and Me - Giovanna Fletcher
When you've got the dream boyfriend everything should be perfect, right? So why isn't it? wonders Sophie May. When Sophie and Billy met and fell in love, she thought she was living in a fairytale. She's the only girl for him. But being on Billy's arm comes at a price - because Billy is a film star.

Natural Causes - James Oswald
A young girl's mutilated body is discovered in a sealed room. Her remains are carefully arranged in what seems to have been a cruel and macabre ritual, which appears to have taken place over 60 years ago. For Detective Inspector Tony McLean this baffling cold case ought to be a low priority, but he is - quite literally - haunted by the young victim.

Ghostman - Roger Hobbs
When a casino robbery in Atlantic City goes horribly awry, the man who orchestrated it is obliged to call in a favor from someone. A criminal’s criminal and professional fixer who does entirely as he pleases. Within hours a private jet is flying him from Seattle to New Jersey and into a spectacular mess: one heister dead in the parking lot, another winged but on the run, the shooter a complete mystery, the $1.2 million in freshly printed bills god knows where and the FBI waiting for him at the airport. He has only forty-eight hours until the twice-stolen cash literally explodes. He's not Jack Reacher - he's just Jack.

Thorn Abbey - Nancy Ohlin
When Tess transfers to New England's premier boarding school, Thorn Abbey, she quickly falls for mysterious, brooding Max but Max is still mourning the death of his girlfriend, Becca, and Becca's ghost is not quite ready to let him go. (And another Nancy Ohlin, Beauty, is coming out soon!)

The Falconer - Elizabeth May
18-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined to a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery kills her mother. Now it’s the 1844 winter season. Between endless parties, Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother. But she never even considered that she might become attracted to one: Kiaran MacKay, the faery who trained her to kill his own kind. And Midwinter is approaching, and with it an eclipse that has the ability to unlock a Fae prison and begin the Wild Hunt. A battle looms, and Aileana is going to have to decide how much she’s willing to lose – and just how far she’ll go to avenge her mother’s murder.

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