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Aestus, Book 1: The City

Aestus, Book 1: The City by S. Z. Attwell

SPSFC 2022

An underground city, built centuries ago to ride out the devastating heat. A society under attack. And a young solar engineer whose skills may be the key to saving her city…if she doesn’t get herself killed first. When Jossey was ten, the creatures of the aboveground took her brother and left her for dead, with horrible scars. Now, years later, she’s a successful solar engineer, working to keep her underground city’s power running, but she’s never really recovered. After she saves dozens of people during a second attack, she is offered a top-secret assignment as a field Engineer with Patrol, but fear prevents her from taking it…until Patrol finds bones near where her brother disappeared. She signs on and finds herself catapulted into a world that is far more dangerous, and requires far more of her, than she ever imagined. The creatures and the burning heat aboveground are not the only threats facing the City, and what she learns during her assignment could cost her her life: one of the greatest threats to the City may in fact lie within. With thousands of lives at stake, can she act in time? Aestus is an adult dystopian science-fiction series set centuries after climate change has ravaged much of Earth. An epic story of vengeance, power, shifting loyalties, and survival that looks at just how far people will go to protect what they love, brought to you by science writer S.Z. Attwell, Aestus paints a picture of a world in which far too little has changed.


A Prophecy Unsung

A Prophecy Unsung by Adam R. Bishop

William and Baldric were successful in trekking across the uncharted lands of the elves. After reaching the Viridian Veil and warning Lord Thinduill of Dadro’s deceit, they thought their journey had come to a close. But in truth, it had only just begun—and the more they descend into the battle for Cellagor’s fate, the more they’ll learn about their own mysterious pasts. Preceding their arrival to the Veil, Avolin’s visions revealed that William and Baldric were tied to the Book of No Quarter. Upon learning this, Lord Thinduill insisted they accompany him to the elven capital of Leof Ealdwin. Meanwhile, Rhan is no more, and its ashen remains mark the beginning of a new age. Arnion’s sacrifice may have altered the fate of Cellagor, but his father’s resolve continues to be tested. In the north, houses have reunited once again, and the Braxi army slowly encroaches on the Unspoken Border. Talfryn remains the last standing house to refuse Dadro’s rule—but they must rekindle old alliances if they mean to survive further bloodshed. Word of Dadro’s victory over the elves continues to spread across the realm. Thousands have sworn their fealty to him, and whispers of a promising union linger on the horizon. But war does not come without its price. Dadro’s brother has yet to recover from the Battle of Rhan, and the pyromancer Aleister’s treachery remains unseen. With his ambitions still unknown, neither side is safe during this ushering in of a new age.


Not Your Mountain

Not Your Mountain by Greg Yates / AJ Alexanders

He wanted to be an adventurer, but adventure could cost him his home. Matty has spent his whole life working in the mines, it's all he's ever known to do: sing to the stone, extract its riches, and learn its properties. But after an unexpected visit from a dwarven adventurer, his life takes a seismic shift. Dwarves never leave Craig'n Dell and guests never visit, but now Matty wants to change all of that. With his cunning, bravery, and will, Matty sets off with his left foot forward... and stumbles. Join Matty as he embarks on a comedic fantasy adventure meant to captivate and amuse; where monsters, adventure, and unlikely companionship await!


Magissa

Magissa by Kassandra Flamouri

For as long as she can remember, Chrysa Markou has longed for Pyrga, her native village in the mountains of Greece. But she never thought she would return like this—an orphan, crushed by grief and wracked with guilt over her parents’ deaths. Even surrounded by family, she feels like a xeni—a foreigner. A stranger All she wants is to belong, but Chrysa instead finds herself beset by vicious gossip, family secrets, and a magical heritage that could derail the future her parents wanted for her. To make matters worse, the one responsible for orphaning Chrysa has returned to unleash a reign of supernatural terror over her new home. With the help of a handsome but moody Seer and a pair of burly guard dogs, Chrysa scrambles to protect her village from an onslaught of dark creatures commanded by her parents’ murderer. As the noose of the killer's malice draws tighter, Chrysa grapples with festering doubts: Is she the victim, the hero...or the true cause of her people's suffering? Triumph over evil seems worth any cost, until it threatens to unravel everything Chrysa believed she was fighting for.


Goodbye to the Sun

Goodbye to the Sun by Jonathan Nevair

SPSFC 2022

A daring rebel pilot. A lost soul pursued by an infamous bounty hunter. One impossible moral choice... On a lone wind-shaped planet, the Motes are on the brink. Razor, a bold and fearless pilot, leads a last-ditch gambit to save her people. The plan - abduct visiting Ambassador Keen Draden and use him as a bargaining chip to restore their independence in the Sagittarius Arm. But when the operation unravels, Razor is forced to renegotiate terms with the arrogant diplomat. GOODBYE TO THE SUN: a nonstop thrill ride across an unstable galaxy, combining moral struggle with character-driven adventure.


The Last Gifts of the Universe

The Last Gifts of the Universe by Rory August

SFFOasis SPSFC 2022 SPSFC Winner Indie Recs Indie

A dying universe. When the Home worlds finally achieved the technology to venture out into the stars, they found a graveyard of dead civilizations, a sea of lifeless gray planets and their ruins. What befell them is unknown. All Home knows is that they are the last civilization left in the universe, and whatever came for the others will come for them next. A search for answers. Scout is an Archivist tasked with scouring the dead worlds of the cosmos for their last gifts: interesting technology, cultural rituals—anything left behind that might be useful to the Home worlds and their survival. During an excavation on a lifeless planet, Scout unearths something unbelievable: a surviving message from an alien who witnessed the world-ending entity thousands of years ago. A past unraveled. Blyreena was once a friend, a soul mate, and a respected leader of her people, the Stelhari. At the end of her world, she was the last one left. She survived to give one last message, one final hope to the future: instructions on how to save the universe. An adventure at the end of a trillion lifetimes. With the fate of everything at stake, Scout must overcome the dangers of the Stelhari’s ruined civilization while following Blyreena’s leads to collect its artifacts. If Scout can’t deliver these groundbreaking discoveries back to the Archivists, Home might not only be the last civilization to exist, but the last to finally fall.


Unsouled

Unsouled by Will Wight

Sacred artists follow a thousand Paths to power, using their souls to control the forces of the natural world. Lindon is Unsouled, forbidden to learn the sacred arts of his clan. When faced with a looming fate he cannot ignore, he must rise beyond anything he's ever known...and forge his own Path.


The Legend of Black Jack

The Legend of Black Jack by A. R. Witham

SFFOasis SPFBO9

Thrilling fantasy adventure debut from Emmy-winner A. R. Witham. Jack Swift can tell you every element on the periodic table, recite Treasure Island verbatim, and would remember in perfect detail every word you’d ever say to him. He has been alone for a long time, so he has buried himself in books, using them to plan his escape. But no textbook could ever prepare him for the land of Keymark. At 3:33 a.m. on his fourteenth birthday, Jack is kidnapped by a hideous monster to another sphere of existence. Now there are two moons in the sky, and he is surrounded by grotesque creatures and magical warriors training for battle. They want the impossible: Jack must use his abilities to save a life or be trapped in this bizarre world with no chance of rescue. Jack doesn’t have secret magic, a great destiny, or any experience. So why do they all expect him to become a legend?


A Canticle of Two Souls

A Canticle of Two Souls by Steven Raaymakers

A magic sword forged of a demon. A broken boy seeking revenge. A grim coming-of-age tale with a Sanderson-esque magic system. Raziel watched the Rhotian Empire slaughter his family. When a sentient sword promises him the head of the emperor, Raziel carves a bloody path in an epic journey across a land filled with banshees and mercenaries in pursuit of his revenge. But forced to travel with a strange young woman with a dark past, will Raziel even reach his destination? Alicia has plans of her own. Gifted with a terrible magic that can bend others to her will, she also has revenge on her mind and Raziel in her sights. Can two enemies put aside their differences to seek a higher goal, or will mistrust and inner-demons condemn their fates? Magic is a dangerous thing. So is hope. The ‘Aria of Steel Trilogy’ is a heavy-metal power ballad of clashing blades, blood-soaked betrayal, and sweet revenge. Will you walk away or join the fight?


Coldlander

Coldlander by Jacob Tanner

Yarla, a middle-aged has-been, lives so far from the failing Low Temperature Temple that it's almost inhospitable for coldlanders like herself. Ice nearly melts, and it's getting worse, when she'd prefer things a few hundred degrees colder. But when a stranger from the boiling-hot side of the planet arrives with a key to the Temple, she begrudgingly takes it upon herself to travel south and fix what is broken. With her new hot-suited ally, Lazarus, she must fight her way to the Temple through deadly wildlife, the rude coldlander culture, her own impatience, the consequences of age, and one very unhelpful teenage girl.


The Merry Maids

The Merry Maids by Stefanie Contreras

SPSFC

Alyvia Tippin is done with her training at the Academy, and ready to serve the Order. Her abilities with movement and telekinesis earn her a spot with The Merry Maids, a small black-ops team that works on the Order's behalf to unofficially clean up official messes. As the new Courier for The Merry Maids, Alyvia's training is immediately put to the test when the Order sends them on a mission to collect the disassembled pieces of an artifact called the Starkiller. The pieces are hidden across the galaxy like a deadly scavenger hunt, and the person who hid them wants Alyvia to destroy the Starkiller instead of turning it over to the Order. Luckily, The Merry Maids have her back. She's going to need it.


Rising Ember (Children From Sacrifice - Vol. 1)

Rising Ember (Children From Sacrifice - Vol. 1) by Arleta Rae

Fire is destruction. Fire is rebirth. When Thea Knight is involved in a fatal car accident, she falls victim to the sinister shadows looming in the darkness who change her life forever. She wakes up . . . craving blood. Thea is immediately thrust into a dangerous immortal civil war between the Essites and the Brais. Cole Moretti is an Essite who has killed, saved, and endangered Thea. Her transition to vampire by his hand awakens a rare elemental magic within that marks her as the rogue Brais’ next target. She must resist being consumed by their need to destroy humanity before they kill Cole and all those she cares for. A magical and suspenseful contemporary dark fantasy perfect for fans of Vampire Academy and The Vampire Diaries.


Blood of Vanris

Blood of Vanris by Nikki McCormack

Kasiel’s healing injuries still trouble him, almost as much as the memories of what he did at the Hall in Katovan. Though he trains to become a better fighter and mind-crafter, a deeper understanding of the roles he is expected to fill makes it harder for him to come to terms with his place in Vanrian society. Then the southern kingdoms emerge with a new weapon for fighting Vanrian mind-crafters. One that could change the course of the war. The situation leads to Kasiel being required to take a more active role in the conflict sooner than planned. With his country’s growing need of mind-crafters like him, Kasiel learns what it really means to be at war, and what it feels like to lose. He is about to discover how far he’s willing to go to protect the ones he loves.


The Sunset Sovereign: A Dragon's Memoir

The Sunset Sovereign: A Dragon's Memoir by Laura Huie

SPFBO10

When a dragon finds an assassin sneaking into his lair, he tells her of his life's work and his soon to be final chapter. For the past thousand years, the dragon Vakandi has watched the people of Vakfored grow from a wandering band of refugees to a glorious city of art and magic. Under his protection, the city has survived monsters, floods, and wars all without building an army, dam, or even a wall. But time changes everything and now the citizens of his beloved city want him dead. Vakandi spends his last day telling his assassin why he loves them, and why it's his time to die.


Eldritch Sparks: Shadows of Otherside Book 2

Eldritch Sparks: Shadows of Otherside Book 2 by Whitney Hill

The deal that secured Arden Finch a measure of freedom came with strings, and now everybody wants to pull them. Arden has carved out a place for herself in Otherside—at a price. Pressure mounts as she juggles her day job as a private investigator with her new obligations, fraying relationships, and growing elemental powers. If that wasn't enough, a lich has appeared in the Triangle, sowing violence and raising zombies. Everyone wants Arden to get rid of it⁠, including the gods. But the lich offers something Arden has always wanted: enough power to stand alone. All she has to do is put herself first for once...and betray everyone she cares about. Urban fantasy and paranormal fans of Kim Harrison, Faith Hunter, Seanan McGuire, and the early Anita Blake series will find a kick-ass heroine in Arden. Praise for Eldritch Sparks: Shadows of Otherside Book 2 "A compelling book of Otherside that goes from strength to strength." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


Aestus: Book 2: The Colony

Aestus: Book 2: The Colony by S. Z. Attwell

An underground city. A deadly project. And an Intelligence agent who can help Jossey take down the City...if she can trust him again.Jossey grew up believing the Onlar, creatures of the aboveground, were monsters. But when they kidnapped her, she found out terrible secrets about her city and her family. Her choice to help the Onlar against the City almost cost her her life. And the Intelligence agent she'd thought was her friend was the one tasked with carrying out her execution.But he didn't quite succeed.Now Jossey, barely alive, has been sent to the Onlar by a mysterious figure from the City. And time is of the essence - her solar network project could mean disaster not only for the Onlar, but for thousands of citizens as well. She can’t do much from the Onlar camp, but Gavin, Jossey’s Patrol leader and longtime friend, isn’t convinced she’s dead. And Patrol has started to learn the truth.As tentative alliances form, Jossey begins to think this might be easier than she’d thought. But a terrible miscalculation has been made, one that may cost her and her friends both the City and their lives. Can she see it before it’s too late?Aestus is an adult dystopian science-fiction series set centuries after climate change has ravaged much of Earth. An epic story of vengeance, power, shifting loyalties, and survival that looks at just how far people will go to protect what they love, brought to you by science writer S.Z. Attwell, Aestus paints a picture of a world in which far too little has changed.


A Simple Tale of Water and Weeping

A Simple Tale of Water and Weeping by Kami King Larsen

In the frigid waters, off a moonlit beach, a magical transformation is occurring. The Girl Aylee is a shop-keeper’s daughter in a nameless coastal town. Kind, thoughtful, and recovering from a broken heart, she yearns for a life she may never have. She would do just about anything to make her parents happy, including perhaps, living a life she doesn’t want. The Stranger On a brisk autumn morning, Aylee stumbles upon Cailean. He’s an outsider—lost, confused, and very much out of place. Cailean has more than a few secrets, but for reasons Aylee can’t quite explain, the two strike up a quick friendship. The Peril Cailean has lost a very valuable item—one that may mean the difference between life and death. As Aylee and Cailean search for answers, they call on friends and enemies alike in the hope of avoiding tragedy. In the process, Aylee must confront danger in many forms—both human and fey—all while learning just as much about herself as the mysterious people and creatures surrounding her. What will she choose for herself in the end, and who will she lose as she fights for her new friend and her own future? Steeped in Celtic folklore, A Simple Tale of Water and Weeping is a timeless tale sure to bring a smile to your heart and possibly a tear to your eye. It is a magical story of love, friendship, and accepting not only ourselves, but also those around us.


The Flying Tiger: Mortal Engine

The Flying Tiger: Mortal Engine by Henry Spector M.

Aarón Melisandré knows that he is more than human. This truth scares him, it is the very thing that led to the death of a loved one years ago, and now something from a different dimension is coming for him. Aarón realizes that he must fully embrace what he is when he and his nephew are thrust into the vast multiverse on a dangerous mission to stop a troubled supervillain from activating the fabled Mortal Engine.


Shadow of a Dead God (Mennik Thorn #1)

Shadow of a Dead God (Mennik Thorn #1) by Patrick Samphire

SPFBO6 SPFBO Finalist

A dead god. A brutal murder. A second-rate mage. It was only supposed to be one little job – a simple curse-breaking for Mennik Thorn to pay back a favor to his oldest friend. But then it all blew up in his face. Now he's been framed for a murder he didn't commit. So how is a second-rate mage, broke, traumatized, and with a habit of annoying the wrong people supposed to prove his innocence when everyone believes he's guilty? Mennik has no choice if he wants to get out of this: he is going to have to throw himself into the corrupt world of the city’s high mages, a world he fled years ago. Faced by supernatural beasts, the mage-killing Ash Guard, and a ruthless, unknown adversary, it’s going to take every trick Mennik can summon just to keep him and his friend alive. But a new, dark power is rising in Agatos, and all that stands in its way is one damaged mage…


Pallas Lost

Pallas Lost by Jake Morrison

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

When Ensign Vasyli Nikonov’s ship happened upon a drifting derelict, he had no idea how drastically his life was about to change. Not only had the crew been killed in an impossible manner, the Captain of the ship left a reference to the child’s tale of the lost colony of Pallas. Elsewhere in the Fifteen Systems, scholar Eliot Charter gamely starts his own fool’s quest to prove that Pallas is real. Armed with nothing but naivety and knowledge, he hires mercenary Captain Skadi Ulfsdöttir to help him on his journey. Things quickly spiral out of hand, leaving them all wondering if Pallas was truly Lost...


METANOIA The Fifth Yanai: Book One

METANOIA The Fifth Yanai: Book One by Juniper Lake Fitzgerald

SPFBO8

The Fifth Yanai is a story of the value of free will, the triumph of love, and the fight to live life on one's own terms. Metanoia is the first installment. In a world ravaged by famine, kindhearted Cultist Ohkai lives in the wilderness serving his Gods, when he is sent from his Sect on a Calling of divine origin. He travels into the heart of a society that opposes the very existence of his kind. But what he expected to be a simple test of his devotion will bring him face to face with his greatest rival - a Temple assassin. When the life of a friend is in danger, Ohkai must risk not only discovery, but his life, to save his friend and fulfill his Calling. Velyr is a ruthless Temple assassin trained for one thing - to fulfill the will of the Gods. Sent to eliminate a target in the township of Obeaon, he encounters an unexpected obstacle in the form of a Cultist who claims to serve his same Gods - blasphemy on the lips of his enemy. When he nearly loses his life only to be saved by the embodiment of what he hates most, Velyr begins to question everything he's been taught to believe. An unlikely connection forms between cultist and assassin, and little do they know their meeting was fated, meant to be something more than they - or even their all-knowing Gods - could have ever foreseen.


Starkiller: The Merry Maids Book Three

Starkiller: The Merry Maids Book Three by Stefanie Contreras

Alyvia Tippin is not a fan of big changes, and yet that's all her life has been since leaving the Academy. Now that she's discovered more about her abilities, the Council seems determined to add even bigger changes to her life. Despite The Merry Maids' protests, the Council wants Alyvia to train with the Shadows, to figure out how her Amplifier skills could be useful to their team. At least she can stop worrying about her best friend now that she knows he is one of the Shadows. As The Merry Maids' quest to find the Starkiller pieces nears completion, their course is set to collide again with Maks, and all of the horrors Lyv thought she left behind when she escaped Cayberra. Change is inevitable. Alyvia just hopes her team can survive.


Privilege: A Trilogy

Privilege: A Trilogy by Bharat Krishnan

SPFBO7 WriteHive Book Club

In this epic saga about privilege and power, Rakshan Baliga will have to choose between the American Dream… and his own. New York’s drug problem is Rakshan's solution. Getting his hands on a super drug called WP could earn him glory, power, and a chance to win back his ex. But stealing it from the Top 1% is costly, and if Rakshan isn’t careful he’ll pay with his life. Discover how Rakshan’s journey sets off a chain of events that changes his city, his country… and the world. This OwnVoices political thriller is perfect for fans of Ocean’s 11 and House of Cards.


Reign & Ruin

Reign & Ruin by J. D. Evans

SPFBO7 SPFBO Finalist SPFBO Winner

“All magic is beautiful...and terrible. Do you not see the beauty in yours, or the terror in mine? You can stop a heart, and I can stop your breath.” She is heir to a Sultanate that once ruled the world. He is an unwanted prince with the power to destroy. She is order and intellect, a woman fit to rule in a man's place. He is chaos and violence and will stop at nothing to protect his people. His magic answers hers with shadow for light. They need each other, but the cost of balance may be too high a price. Magic is dying and the only way to save it is to enlist mages who wield the forbidden power of death, mages cast out centuries ago in a brutal and bloody war. Now, a new war is coming. Science and machines to replace magic and old religion. They must find a way to save their people from annihilation and balance the sacred Wheel—but first, they will have to balance their own forbidden passion. His peace for her tempest, his restlessness for her calm… Night and day, dusk and dawn, the end, and the beginning.


Doppelganger

Doppelganger by S. L. Phanes

Oasis Utterson and Elliot Warlow endeavor to remake Dr. Jekyll’s formula and prove that it is safe in order to secure funding for their Institute of Lysology, an institute created by the late Jekyll and his husband, John Gabriel Utterson, to further the understanding of the soul. Of course, no one is willing to be the test subject of such experimentation. So Elliot decides to test it on himself. Elliot uncovers his past traumas through his soul and Oasis must balance Elliot’s life against the growth of her Institute.


Effigest

Effigest by Amy Campbell

When the sins of the past demand payment, his magic is the price. ​Blaise Hawthorne never wanted to hurt anyone, and he certainly didn’t want to become a weapon. When using his dangerous magic to free his outlaw friends destroys an enemy fortress, the young mage is imprisoned for his crimes. Abused and at the mercy of his tormenters, Blaise’s only ally is a duplicitous man he’s not sure he can trust. ​After escaping his cruel upbringing, politician Malcolm Wells had everything—or so he thought. He didn’t count on falling for Breaker Blaise Hawthorne. And it’s all his fault that Blaise has been captured as a war criminal. The Breaker is running out of time, and Malcolm’s money, power, and influence have proven useless to win his freedom. ​When a magic-slinging outlaw storms into town, Malcolm seizes the opportunity to form an uneasy alliance. The pair hatch a bold gambit to free Blaise, but their enemy is one step ahead. At the mercy of Malcolm’s dark past, everything they fought for unravels. All the magic in the world may not be enough to save any of them from the nightmare to come.


Perception Check

Perception Check by Astrid Knight

Her favorite tabletop roleplaying game is real, and her kidnapped childhood best friend is trapped in a far off land. Will she be able to save her? Let's roll initiative! Violet Spence wants nothing more than to have a normal life. After witnessing her childhood best friend get abducted by monsters, that’s easier said than done. At twenty-three years old, Violet cannot seem to move past that fateful night ten years ago. Her only solace is Mages of Velmyra, a tabletop roleplaying game filled with goblins, fairies, and all-powerful magicians. But of course, that’s all fantasy. Or, so she thought. As it turns out, the land of Velmyra is very real and the home of the monsters that took her best friend. With the help of her friends (and the creator of the game itself), Violet must navigate the once-fictional creatures and powerful mages of Velmyra to retrieve a set of ancient relics—all in the hopes that the journey will lead her back to her friend. But for Violet, fighting monsters and magic workers doesn’t seem nearly as terrifying as confronting her own demons. And she’ll soon realize fighting the battle within herself can be just as tough as those fought against demigods. Perception Check is the magical first installment of the Mages of Velmyra Saga, great for fans of Dungeons and Dragons, Critical Role, and The Magicians. With endearing and hilarious characters, an exploration of mental health and trauma, LGBTQ+ representation, gut-wrenching twists, and a whirlwind of an ending, you will never want to leave the world of Velmyra.


The Thirteenth Hour

The Thirteenth Hour by Trudie Skies

SPFBO8 SPFBO Finalist

When the saints fail, the sinners step up. Cruel gods rule the steam-powered city of Chime, demanding worship and tribute from their mortal subjects. Kayl lost her faith in them long ago, and now seeks to protect vulnerable and downtrodden mortals from their gods’ whims. But when Kayl discovers powers that she didn’t know she had—and destroys a mortal’s soul by accident—she becomes Chime’s most wanted. Quen’s job was to pursue sinners, until the visions started. Haunted by foreboding images of his beloved city’s destruction, Quen hunts soul-sucking creatures made of aether who prey on its citizens—and Kayl is his number one target. To ensure Chime’s future, Kayl and Quen must discover the truth of Kayl’s divine abilities before the gods take matters into their own hands. For a city that bows to cruel gods, it’ll take godless heathens to save it. The Thirteenth Hour is the first book in The Cruel Gods series—a gaslamp fantasy featuring magical portals, gothic cosmic deities, quaint Britishisms, and steampunk vibes. This is an adult book containing strong language and mature themes that some readers may find disturbing. For a full list of content warnings, visit Trudie Skies's website.


The Headmistress

The Headmistress by Milena McKay

A chance encounter. An unforgettable night. And back home, trouble is brewing on the remote island of Three Dragons, where nothing feels like it used to. Alone and lonely, Sam Threadneedle wishes upon a star, hoping for change. But when said change comes, it’s with a roar and not a whimper. Torn between loyalty and lust, Sam is forced to re-evaluate everything. Can she and the Home of Dragons withstand the storm that is Magdalene Nox, or will any and all crumble? Not everything is as it seems, and as she slowly unravels the mysteries behind the centuries-old walls, Sam realizes that home is much more than oak and stone.


Trail Markers

Trail Markers by Cym Aros

Indie Recs Indie

This tale - the first in a series of three - opens in the summer of 1874, in a prison camp south of Carson City. Falsely accused and incarcerated, two half-brothers find themselves in a losing battle to survive corrupt and brutal conditions. Cole Franklin, twenty-nine, is the privileged scion of the late, much-lionized patriarch of a wealthy California family. Jesse, twenty-four, is that patriarch's bastard son, a fact unknown to Jesse or the surviving Franklins until a scant year and a half before. Jesse had come to the Franklins as an itinerant cowboy. He is the younger of the two men, but he had ridden a long, hard trail of poverty, prejudice, and violence in his few years. Jesse had grown up a dirt-poor, hard-working, fatherless boy in a dying Sierra mining town; by age sixteen, he had seen three years of combat as a scout and sharpshooter for the Union Army, and spent the last eight months of the war interred in a Confederate prisoner-of-war camp. Cole is a strong man, and brave, but their current predicament is unlike any battlefield he has ever faced. Jesse understands too well where they are, and what might lie ahead. He takes desperate action to ensure Cole's freedom. The consequences of that action, for Jesse and the Franklin family, are severe and far-reaching. Trail Markers begins with the brothers' struggle against raw criminality - first, for simple survival; ultimately, for justice. Jesse faces bigotry, mob violence, and the shattering of his own mental health as he battles to regain his freedom and find an honorable path home to family and to the woman he loves.


Let Loose the Fallen: Book Two of Children of the Nexus

Let Loose the Fallen: Book Two of Children of the Nexus by S. Kaeth

Teacup Dragon Coop SFFOasis

The priestess searches for her faith. The fire-wielder wrestles with her past. The psion dreams of peace. And the hero is torn between his heart and his duty. While grief scatters the four protectors to the winds, outside forces write history according to their own whims. The fate of the Rinaryns lies twined with that of the boy, Eian, caught in a tug of war the heroes are unaware of. But the evidence lies waiting for Taunos and the others to see, if only they can move past their betrayal.


Reverend of Silence

Reverend of Silence by Pamela Sparkman

A coming of age story about faith, love, and overcoming society's prejudices during the American Antebellum period. In 1810, Lucy Hallison suffered from a severe illness at the age of three, and later recovered, a deaf-mute. Unable to relate to the world in which she lives, she’s often ignored and sometimes treated with cruelty. Until a boy, Samuel Burke, steps into her life at the tender age of seven, coloring her world and showing her what it means to be seen, to not be invisible, to be understood. The two become inseparable childhood friends, and as they grow and mature, there is the promise and hope of something more that also grows between them. But the hope of something more is put on hold so she can attend The American Asylum at Hartford for the Deaf and Dumb, the first of its kind, requiring her to leave the only home she’s ever known and the only boy she’s ever loved. But while she is away, tragedy strikes, and Samuel is now the one unable to relate to the world in which he lives, unable to find his own voice, and withdrawing from everyone and everything he’s ever known. When Lucy returns home from school, she has one goal in mind—to put color back into his world the way he had once put color into hers. Because Samuel Burke had been her voice when she had needed him most. Now, she is determined to be his. Note: Inspired by real people and true historical accounts.


Realm of Hope

Realm of Hope by E.L. Li

In a Mortal Realm plagued by darkness, Skye, a descendant of a powerful Goddess, finds herself caught in the grip of a burdening curse. Possessing extraordinary abilities and marked by a dark power, she battles to save the Realm while grappling with the struggle to retain her own humanity. Accompanied by her unwavering team of Agents, descendants of powerful warriors and revered lineages from throughout history, Skye embarks on a perilous journey. Together, they fearlessly undertake relentless missions, confronting the encroaching darkness and uncovering ancient truths. As they battle inner demons and external foes, they must defy the odds and climb the ranks before it’s too late. In the face of overwhelming darkness, they are the last hope for their worlds. Will they rise above their ancestral legacies and claim victory, or will the consuming darkness prevail, plunging the realms into eternal despair? The battle for humanity begins now, as the Agents dare to challenge destiny itself.


Ringlander: The Path and the Way

Ringlander: The Path and the Way by Michael S. Jackson

SPFBO7

The first book in the Ringlander Series: a fast-paced, epic fantasy adventure full of games, grit and magic. Holes between worlds are tearing through Rengas. Firestorms are raging as multiple realities battle for control of the elements. Even the Way, the turbulent channel that separates Nord, Határ and Kemen, the lifeblood of the city of Tyr, has turned. Kyira’s search for her missing brother draws her away from the familiar frozen lines of Nord and south into the chaotic streets of Tyr where games are played & battles fought. As reality tears Kyira must choose between her family or her path before the worlds catch up with her.


Hotel Fen

Hotel Fen by Meri Benson, Marie Sinadjan

The Shining meets Norse mythology in this tale of star-crossed romances, ancient prophecies, and revenge. Are you ready for the vacation of a lifetime? Victor has always had a passion for Norse history and mythology, but after hitting a dead end with his book on valkyries, not even that passion is enough to move him forward. Just when he's ready to abandon the project, he receives an email: he's won a free trip to Hotel Fen, a remote vintage resort in the Scandinavian Mountains. Silje has always felt that her life was fairly unremarkable. She cares deeply about people and that has led her to find her purpose at a nursing home in Oslo. When a resident dies and leaves her an all-expense paid vacation package to Hotel Fen, however, she takes the opportunity to experience something different. It all starts innocently enough, with a little meet-cute in the hotel elevator that takes forever to arrive on their floor. But the longer Victor and Silje remain together, the more dangerous the hotel becomes, and the more they question where reality ends and the impossible begins.


Spirits of Vengeance

Spirits of Vengeance by Rob J. Hayes

SPFBO8

He'll die as many times as it takes. The Ipian Empire was once a land that welcomed dragons and spirits alike, but a century of war and bloodshed saw them all but vanish. Now, the lost things are returning and the Onryo have gathered. Five legendary spirits with mysterious powers, bent on freeing an ancient evil that would wreak havoc on humanity. Haruto swore his soul to the God of Death for the chance to hunt down the vengeful ghost of his wife. Now an onmyoji, he’s tasked by the Imperial Throne to hunt down monsters and malicious spirits. But he knows not all spirits are evil and not all deserve the peace of the sword. Kira is a student at Heiwa, an academy for children with dangerous techniques. But she has a secret, she’s not like the other students. When the school is attacked, she flees with one of the tutors, determined to hide both from those who would kill her, and those who would use her. As a plague of spirits sweeps across the land, the Onryo leave a bloody trail for Haruto to follow. But who’s hunting who? The Mortal Techniques novels are a series of stand-alone stories that can be read entirely independently, set in the award-winning Mortal Techniques universe.


Memories of Blood and Shadow

Memories of Blood and Shadow by Aaron S. Jones

SPFBO8

Guilt cuts deeper than the deadliest of blades. Tavar Farwan lives alone past the Undying Sands. During a violent storm, he is attacked by two young warriors claiming a need for vengeance for pain from ages past. Tavar defends himself, killing one of the intruders and leaving the other to bleed on the floor. Weary and filled with regret, Tavar offers to tell the young man his story: a story of how, in a world of Naviqings, Leviathans, and Shadow Warriors; a poor, nomadic orphan rose to inspire a kingdom, and kill a God.


The Order of the Key

The Order of the Key by Justine Manzano

WriteHive Book Club Teacup Dragon Coop

Jacklyn Madison never expected to be attacked by a beast on an evening snack run. Add a rescue mission enacted by a trained regiment of teenaged warriors, and her night officially becomes just like a scene from one of her beloved comic books. Turns out, her parents were once members of the Order of the Key, gifted humans that protect humanity from creatures spilling through inter-dimensional rifts. Unable to control her newfound abilities, Jacklyn and her family rejoin the Order. After an attack on their headquarters leaves Jacklyn questioning their leadership, Kyp—the boy who led her initial rescue—reveals a darker secret. The Order’s leader may be corrupt, and Jacklyn’s questions could put her family in danger. Drawn into the search for proof, Jacklyn must use her guts and magical brawn to protect her family, her friends, and herself from the monsters spilling from rifts, and those hiding within the Order.


Sending Love Letters to Animals and Other Totally Normal Human Behaviors

Sending Love Letters to Animals and Other Totally Normal Human Behaviors by Chase Connor

Ryan Offsteader had one major problem, but now that he’s out of the closet and no one in his family or school actually cares, his problems are few. Life is a cycle of family, school, homework, Journalism Club, his friends, hanging out, and waiting for life to begin. It’s a simple, boring life at times, but his problems are few. When Ms. Tabatabai, his English teacher and Journalism Club mentor, announces to the class that there will be a project where students pair up, Ryan and his best friend, Jules, assume they will work together. Ms. Tabatabai has other plans. Students will be paired off randomly. Ryan is left without a partner since his English class has an odd number of students. However, Ms. Tabatabai assures him that he will have a partner since a new student is enrolling. It’s not an ideal situation for Ryan since he is used to working with Jules on every project, but it’s not the worst. Until the new student shows up and Ryan realizes this isn’t their first time meeting. Ms. Tabatabai announces to the students that they are to get to know each other and write a paper about their partner. An oral report in front of the class will be expected once the project deadline arrives. There’s just one caveat—the pairs must get to know each other without speaking. How they do this is up to them. Points will be given for creativity. Ryan’s partner does everything he can to make the project impossible, Ms. Tabatabai assigns Ryan to a new project in Journalism Club, his friends want to occupy all of his time, and, if all that wasn’t enough, he’s tasked with helping the Drama teacher, Mr. Melvin, organize the spring singing recital, A Night on Broadway. Unless Ryan can confront his history and right a wrong, his whole world could fall apart. Will he choose to confront his past, or will history repeat itself?


The Hidden King (The Coming of Áed #1)

The Hidden King (The Coming of Áed #1) by E.G. Radcliff

SPFBO6 Indie Recs Indie SFFOasis

Hidden truths. Hidden power. Hidden destiny. On the shores of a rusty sea, in the streets of a starving city, a young man named Áed scraps to build a life for himself and the makeshift family he loves. Scarred by a trauma he cannot remember, and haunted by the brutal damage it left behind, he has no idea of the courage his future will demand. When tragedy strikes, a desperate Áed risks a treacherous, life-changing journey in his last chance to save the only family he has left - but an ancient legacy smoldering within him is about to turn deadly. Neither he - nor a kingdom - will ever be the same.


A Circle of Stars

A Circle of Stars by Craig Montgomery

SPFBO10

Sometimes you have to leave home to find it… All Casper Bell has ever wanted is to belong. But now, abandoned by his friends and family after being outed, he has nothing left to lose when the people of Novilem abduct him. Except Earth. Teleported to a world where stars grant humans magic, Casper discovers he has the rare ability to draw power from all twelve astrological signs — a gift that makes him a political pawn for the Estellar Council. But Novilem’s inhabitants seem as hard and cold as the stone their city is carved from, and Casper’s new role leaves him more isolated than ever. Until he meets the grandson of the council’s most powerful woman. Helix is kind, playful, and heartbreakingly handsome, yet it’s how Helix makes him feel that gives Casper hope. As rebellion brinks in the city, even the Council starts to fracture, reaching for extreme measures that could cost Casper not only his newfound abilities, but the first place he has ever wanted to call home. Together with Helix, he must uncover the secrets of his full potential — because the survival of Novilem hinges on Casper’s powers, whether he’s using them or not. Set inside a hidden lunar city, where astrology is magic and your birth sign defines your social status, A Circle of Stars is a queer young adult fantasy filled with political intrigue and romance.


The Monsters We Feed

The Monsters We Feed by Thomas Howard Riley

SPFBO9

The morning before he found the dead body, Jathan Algevin thought he had his whole life just the way he wanted it. He knows his city inside and out, and doesn't bother carrying a sword, trusting his wits and his fists well enough to get by, hustling extra coin by ratting out loathsome magi to the law for execution. He and his sister, Lyra, have watched out for each other ever since the day they were orphaned by a bloodthirsty rogue sorcerer, and now they finally have steady work, good friends, and the freedom to spend every night laughing at the bottom of a bottle. But nothing lasts forever.When he stumbles across a brutal murder, Jathan discovers a strange crystal lens that opens his eyes to an invisible world of magick and terror lurking just beneath the surface of his own, making him question everything he thought he knew. But will gazing into this new arcane realm lead Jathan to save lives, or help destroy them?With dangerous people hunting for the lens, monstrous lies unraveling his life, and a hidden underworld calling to him, it is only a matter of time before his whole world comes crashing down. Will he find the answers he is looking for, or will he only find a monster needing to be fed?Rated-R Dark Fantasy Noir in a city of hope, lust, and brutality, where swords are banned, and magick is just as likely to get you killed as it is to save your life.There are always things about ourselves that we don't want to see.There are always things we can't stop doing no matter how hard we try.We all lie. We all have secrets.We are all feeding monsters.


Piecefinder: The Merry Maids Book Two

Piecefinder: The Merry Maids Book Two by Stefanie Contreras

Alyvia Tippin is slowly finding her way as the Courier for The Merry Maids but their last mission on Jubilee broke open something in her memories that couldn't stay buried. It's time to tell her team where their Courier came from, and the truth isn't pretty. She isn't the only one with stories to tell. For The Merry Maids, the past can't seem to stay in the past as the team is targeted by people they know. Their deadly scavenger hunt in search of the disassembled Starkiller pieces is being haunted by people The Merry Maids used to trust. When Alyvia left behind the safety of the Academy, she didn't realize how risky it would be to follow her dream of flying among the stars. Now that The Merry Maids are becoming the family she always wanted, there is nothing she wouldn't risk for them. Even if the risk is to herself.


Dragon Mage

Dragon Mage by ML Spencer

SPFBO7

Aram Raythe has the power to challenge the gods. He just doesn't know it yet. Aram thinks he's nothing but a misfit from a small fishing village in a dark corner of the world. As far as Aram knows, he has nothing, with hardly a possession to his name other than a desire to make friends and be accepted by those around him, which is something he's never known. But Aram is more. Much, much more. Unknown to him, Aram bears within him a gift so old and rare that many people would kill him for it, and there are others who would twist him to use for their own sinister purposes. These magics are so potent that Aram earns a place at an academy for warrior mages training to earn for themselves the greatest place of honor among the armies of men: dragon riders. Aram will have to fight for respect by becoming not just a dragon rider, but a Champion, the caliber of mage that hasn't existed in the world for hundreds of years. And the land needs a Champion. Because when a dark god out of ancient myth arises to threaten the world of magic, it is Aram the world will turn to in its hour of need.


The Reanimator's Heart

The Reanimator's Heart by Kara Jorgensen

A reluctant necromancer, a man killed before his time, and the crime that brings them together. Felipe Galvan’s life as an investigator for the Paranormal Society has been spent running into danger. Returning home from his latest case, Felipe struggles with the sudden quiet of his life until a mysterious death puts him in the path of the enigmatic Oliver Barlow. Oliver has two secrets. One, he has been in love with the charming Felipe Galvan for years. Two, he is a necromancer, but to keep the sensible life he’s built as a medical examiner, he must hide his powers. That is until Oliver finds Felipe murdered and accidentally brings him back from the dead. But Felipe refuses to die again until he and Oliver catch his killer. Together, Felipe and Oliver embark on an investigation to uncover a plot centuries in the making. As they close in on his killer, one thing is certain: if they don’t stop them, Felipe won’t be the last to die.


The Hunter

The Hunter by K. Aagard

SPFBO10

Strider is content to die...After 50 years, his revenge is complete and his purpose fulfilled. When a teenager steals the Hunter's sword, his wolf companion Greer sees a way to help them in convincing Strider to escort the girl home safely, there's hope his friend might find the will to keep on living - to keep on fighting.But this is no ordinary job. His young employer is deeply entangled in a dark plot that threatens her and her fiefdom. Strider must employ his magic and battle training to ensure their survival against soldiers and mercenaries out to claim their bounty.Can these unlikely allies find a way to survive, or will their differences and secrets destroy them all?


Blind Man's Wolf

Blind Man's Wolf by Amelia Faulkner

A night-blind vampire. A werewolf with lousy self-confidence. And a whole hell of a lot of danger... Ellis O'Neill is an art dealer with too many problems: his eyesight has deteriorated to the point of night-blindness; he's estranged from his family, to whom he owes a considerable sum of money; and his guide dog went right off him the night Ellis died. Without his dog, Ellis is trapped in a life bouncing between home and work, dependent on his personal assistant. Werewolf Randall Carter has problems of his own. He loves his pack, he really does, but as their Omega he's always the one to bear the brunt of their rage. It's a role he can't avoid, and Randall isn't sure he can take it for much longer, so he buries himself in his day job. Randall's the best dog trainer in the city, and when he's offered a client who needs him to work evenings he'd be a fool to turn it down. Soon Randall is falling for someone he should despise. Everything about the undead is anathema to his kind, but Ellis is exactly the kind of guy Randall would want to ask out on a date - if he were still breathing. Worse, they may not have too long to figure their feelings out. Someone or something is gunning for Ellis and anyone else who gets in the way; they won't rest until the vampire is destroyed.


Heart, Haunt, Havoc

Heart, Haunt, Havoc by Freydís Moon

Laced with romance, gothic imagery, Catholic mysticism, diaspora, and horror… When lonely transgender exorcist, Colin Hart, finds himself challenged by an unruly haunted house in Gideon, Colorado, he’s kept awake by ghosts, demons, ghouls, and the handsome nonbinary owner of the house, Bishop Martínez. Unlike the simple hauntings Colin is accustomed to, Bishop’s house is a living beacon, attracting a plethora of inhuman creatures, including a vengeful wolf-headed spirit who might be the key to quieting their sleepless nights. But as a heartbreaking mystery unravels, Colin comes face-to-face with the past Bishop tried to bury, opens a closet full of bloody skeletons, and trips into an accidental romance. As paranormally skilled as Colin might be, this particular haunting may be too messy for him to handle…


Boyfriends For Now

Boyfriends For Now by Imogen Markwell-Tweed

Anthony Astor’s no nonsense attitude serves him well as CEO of his tech company, but it withers his love life. So when a miscommunication has his mother tearfully ecstatic about Anthony bringing someone home, he has no choice but to go along with the ruse. The solution comes in the form of the kind, clumsy intern, Ben McRobbie. Ben isn’t sure the CEO is for real when he asks him to be his “fake boyfriend for Christmas,” especially after Ben spilled coffee all over him. Nevertheless, Ben is sure that the gorgeous Anthony is serious about giving him a full-time job if he can politely sit through a dinner with the Astors. But as Ben grows closer to his rich, handsome boss, he struggles to remain professional behind the scenes of their fake relationship. Imogen Markwell-Tweed’s Boyfriends for Now is a charming and endearing romance about embracing love, wherever you find it.


Kit & Basie

Kit & Basie by Tess Carletta

Immortality is a dangerous affair when it isn’t done right. Basie Yeats knows he’s doing immortality all wrong, spending endless days in the same place, but he doesn’t see a reason to leave the home he loves in Long Lily, Pennsylvania. Once the impossible death of his mother leaves him the only immortal person he knows, Basie decides that the only thing he wants to do is get out of Long Lily and start doing immortality the right way—alone. Kit Elliot has wandered the world looking for the right place to call home, so when a church-turned-cottage suddenly goes up for sale in a quaint Pennsylvania town, it feels like it was meant to be. It takes only a few days at Wellhead Cottage for Kit to decide that the man who sold it to him is frustrating, awkward, and terribly handsome. He offers to help Basie find a new home away from Long Lily—but as days turn to months, Kit finds himself wishing he could make Basie stay.


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