Debut Bookshelf

While researching agents to query, I’ve stumbled across some magnificent debut authors/books of 2016 who have seized the publishing world by the horns. These authors–both indie and traditional– deserve your attention, and if you want to publish, maybe this list will provide some perspective. My flavors range from YA to adult, Sci-fi to Fantasy, so if you’re searching this list for a pure romance novel, you’re probably not going to find it. Now don’t get me wrong, I love romantic elements in my novels, just not usually as the main focus.

Give these up-and-coming novels a moment of your attention and read some excerpts!

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2016 RELEASES:

SLEEPING GIANTS by Sylvain Nuevel

This thriller of a book will keep you turning pages way past your bedtime. Sci-Fi, conspiracy, high concepts, giant machinery buried in the earth–this book is, in my mind, flawless. The format is interesting but feels natural, and I fell right into it and the unforgetable characters. Read an excerpt


THE MIRROR THIEF by Martin Seay

This story steeps you in a tea of wonder all the way to the end. Martin Seay braids three stories from different times and places, and keeps you on your toes with his slippery narrative. Read an excerpt


THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US by Emily Skrutskie

This gem is the epitome of original concept writing, which I adore. Fall into a waterworld complete with sea monsters, pirates, and tough women. I couldn’t find the excerpt since the publisher FLUX is in the process of transitioning, but you can  read about it here.


THE FRAY THEORY:RESONANCE by Nelou Keramati

Nelou takes your hand and walks you through the Fray Theory so you understand completely the rules of her alternate reality, then the mind-bending journey begins. The characters are so deep and realistic, I found myself shirking my chores just to keep reading more about each of them. Read about it


OF FIRE AND STARS by Audrey Coulthurst

I’ve always found myself rooting for the princess who fights against arranged marriage, but Audry Coulthurst took the defiance to the next level! This LGBT friendly read is a diverse addition to the YA world. Read about it


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SHALLOW GRAVES by Kali Wallace

Kali Wallace’s MC explores the deeper, darker recesses of the human soul. The character arc in this page-turner is well thought out and believable, and the concept is intriguing. A girl back from the dead but isn’t a zombie? Yes, please! Read an excerpt


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A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING by Jessica Cluess

Another tough-girl heroine, but this one bursts into flames. Literally. Talk about one hot main character. She must prove herself in a man’s world and become a sorceress, despite the world telling her she can’t. Read an excerpt


SHADOW FALL by Audrey Grey

Who in today’s world couldn’t relate to this book? It’s the little people versus the high class, and I always root for the underdog. Plus there’s excellent sci-if elements, an asteroid hurtling toward a dystopian world, and very memorable characters. Read an excerpt


THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE by Heidi Heilig

Now this is one unique premise! Time traveling, pirates, history–intrigued yet? The familial dynamics in this book are deep, and the MC truly is stuck between a rock and a hard place. The originality is this story sets it apart from others. Read an excerpt


BORROWED MAGIC by Shari Lambert

The premise isn’t so far-fetched your left disjointed from reality, but deep enough to keep you engaged and remarkably on edge. Forced to choose between using and not using her magical gift since it could kill her is what makes the MC so realistic. Read about it


BLACK HEARTS by Nicole Castroman

Okay, you know how I said up top that you probably weren’t going to find any romances in this list? Well that ‘probably’ means this book is the one exception. It’s a pirate-y, historical romance, so I gave it a shot, and I liked the realness of the characters. Congrats for making a non-romance reader read romance! Read an excerpt 


TIME KEEPER by Tara Sim

A Victorian/steampunk world where clocks control time certainly sets the bar for other LGBT-friendly debuts. I’m a sucker for original ideas. 🙂 Read about it


THE STAR HOST by F.T. Lukens

I love the imagery in Lukens fictonal galaxy, and I equally love the fact that the main character has already come out of the closet, leaving the angst and confusion associated with it behind, focusing more on plot and a natural feeling romance. Great book to ease you into the LGBT craze.  Read an excerpt


IRON INHERITANCE by G.R. Fillinger

This has a bit of a Mortal Instruments vibe with nephilim and dark and light forces. I love fast-paced novels and this one does not disappoint! And who doesnt love a little romance in their fantasies? Read about it


ENDANGERED  by Dani Hoots

This book is for fans of mythology, and Hoots does a wonderful job weaving it into the modern world. Daughter of Hades tired of being in hell? This premise is on fire.  Read about it 


BOUND BY BLOOD AND SAND by Becky Allen

The well is drying up in the arid desert, and the MC is ready for it. She’s tired of being a slave, especially one who is bound to perfect obedience and truthfulness. The character-building in this book is top-notch. Read an excerpt


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BURNING MIDNIGHT  by Will McIntosh

I love the idea of sphere-hunting. It’s like an Easter egg hunt for adults, except instead of cheap candy, you get better teeth or perfect memory, depending on the sphere. Props for originality! Read an excerpt


BURNING GLASS by Kathryn Purdie

The MC is an empath of sorts, and is sent to protect the emperor with her gifts but finds herself lost and can’t discern the difference between her feelings and others’. Throw in a love triangle between two brothers and this makes one twisty plot. Read about it


KINGDOM OF ASH AND BRIARS by Hannah West

West puts a new twist on our classic fairytales, paying homage to Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Mulan and others. The MC is an elicromancer, or shapeshifter, and finds herself in the middle of a war between two magical kingdoms. This novel will keep you turning pages well past your bedtime! Read about it


SWORD AND VERSE by Kathy MacMillan

The heroine in this story isn’t your typical heroine. She’s strong willed and doesn’t wait around for anyone to save her (which I love) but her real strength is in her brains.  Read about it


EVER THE HUNTED by Erin Summerill

This book stays with you days after reading it, because you truly become a part of Summerill’s world. A girl, a bow, the woods (sounds like a book about me) the MC really comes off as a female Robin Hood, hunting for the man who murdered her father–a boy she once loved. Ooh, conflict baby! Read about it


FLASHFALL by Jenny Moyer

The world-building in this piece is masterful and really sticks with you. The MC is a slave miner on a dystopian world, and her romantic interest is also her protective mining partner. The slow-burn romance really creates a believable couple, something many novels struggle with. Read about it


THE CROWN’S GAME by Evelyn Skye

This sort of reminds me of the hunger games in that there’s a fight to the death, but with a very original twist. The killers are all volunteers, and they are enchantersfighting to become an imperial advisor to the Russian Tsar. Read about it


CONSIDER by Kristy Acevedo

Holograms in the sky, comet crashing to earth–I’m already questioning what I would do. I read the sneak peak and immediately connected with the main characters. Read about it


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REBEL OF THE SANDS by Alwyn Hamilton

Ooo I’ve never read a book set in a desert. Plot sounds intriguing, several new ideas I’ve never read about, I think I’m ready to read this right now! It’s a man versus beast novel with a feisty heroine. I love a tough-girl novel. Read an excerpt


INTO THE DIM by Janet B. Taylor

Set in Scotland (a place I’ve always wanted to go) this teen girl travels time in an effort to save her mother. Of course she bumps into a nice young lad along the way… This has an Outlander feel. Read about it