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A Threat of Shadows (The Keeper Chronicles Book 1) by JA Andrews

#SPBFO Semifinalist Alaric betrayed everything he believed to save Evangeline — and failed. His last chance to save the woman he loves lies in an ancient Wellstone, a repository of power, buried and lost long ago. Luck—or something more troubling—leads him to a small group searching for the same stone. A disgruntled dwarf, a bumbling wizard, and an elf with an unsettling amount of power. If he can gain their trust, they might help him find the cure. But the Wellstone holds more than he knows, and a terrible evil he’d thought defeated is stirring again, searching for the stone. Can the companions survive a traitor, a dragon, and their own pasts to reach the stone before time runs out?


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.


Behind Blue Eyes by Anna Mocikat

In a future world ruled by warring mega-corporations, cyborg Nephilim believed she was fighting a righteous cause. As a powerful, cybernetically enhanced elite soldier her job is to do all the dirty work for the mega-corporation she belongs to. She and her elite cyborg squad are deployed on the most dangerous missions – to protect Olympias from threats outside and inside at any cost. One day, a malfunction in her implants separates her from the all-controlling grid. For the first time in her life, Nephilim is free. She learns that everything she has believed in all her life is a lie and decides to defend her newfound freedom. But Metatron, the leader of her unit, has very special plans for her future and won’t let her get away. Soon, Nephilim finds herself hunted by the killer squads she once belonged to. She’s the best of them but will her skills be enough to survive? Blade Runner meets John Wick with a badass female lead.


(Not) In This Lifetime by Rebecca Ouellette

Time Travel! 1980s! Rock 'n' Roll! Charlie North doesn't want to be a rock star, that was his overbearing father's dream. It is only out of a sense of parental loyalty that Charlie drags himself into seedy clubs and dive bars night after night, when he would rather be anywhere else. For years, he does this without hesitation, until a devastating nightclub fire forces him to question everything he thought he knew about his father, and himself. In the days following the fire, Charlie begins to dream about another band, long ago, and the tragic death of a beautiful girl he’s never met. Soon, they are all he can think about. He struggles to grasp onto any kind of logical explanation as he spirals out of control, consumed by feelings and memories not his own. It isn’t until he awakens one morning, in another time, 21 years in the past, that everything finally makes sense.


Louisiana Longshot by Jana Deleon

It was a hell of a long shot.... CIA assassin Fortune Redding is about to undertake her most difficult mission ever—in Sinful, Louisiana. With a leak at the CIA and a price placed on her head by one of the world's largest arms dealers, Fortune has to go off-grid, but she never expected to be this far out of her element. Posing as a former beauty queen turned librarian in a small bayou town seems worse than death to Fortune, but she's determined to fly below the radar until her boss finds the leak and puts the arms dealer out of play. Unfortunately, she hasn't even unpacked a suitcase before her newly inherited dog digs up a human bone in her backyard. Thrust into the middle of a bayou murder mystery, Fortune teams up with a couple of seemingly sweet old ladies whose looks completely belie their hold on the little town. To top things off, the handsome local deputy is asking her too many questions. If she's not careful, this investigation might blow her cover and get her killed. Armed with her considerable skills and a group of elderly ladies the locals dub The Geritol Mafia, Fortune has no choice but to solve the murder before it's too late.


Scarlet Shadows by Scylla Grand

Scarlet Shadows is a chapbook of meticulously polished poetry describing a journey: from ignorance and pain to insight and hope. The poems use a combination of rhyme, meter, alliteration, assonance, and other literary techniques.


A Sea of Pearls & Leaves by Rosalyn Briar

Princess Ingrid of Norella Isle does not want to get married. So, her priestess girlfriend, Lilura, devises a wicked plot to deter suitors with a nearly impossible marriage contract: should Ingrid die first, her husband must be buried at sea beside her. The plan backfires when all seven suitors agree, and the king announces a competition for Ingrid’s hand. Ingrid must keep her head above water as she deals with the suitors, a jealous girlfriend, and the news of two murdered priestesses. As the suitors are eliminated, one man stands out: the quirky and anxious Prince Soren who charms both Ingrid and Lilura. When Lilura goes missing, Ingrid and Soren must piece together who has murdered the priestesses and why before it’s too late. CW: This novel contains violence, sexual situations, and adult language.


Where Shadows Lie by Allegra Pescatore

The Chosen One Is Dead. Magic Is Going Haywire. Time Is Running Out. When the King of Lirin murders Elenor's brother during a failed coup attempt, she must choose between turning a blind eye to her people's suffering or joining the rebellion and helping bring down the tyrant king. There's only one problem--the king is her father. Helped along the way by a grouchy old doctor, a boisterous group of nobles, and a well-meaning assassin, Elenor is forced to dance between duty and defiance as she tries to save her kingdom. Meanwhile, from the rainy streets of Lirin to the scorching dunes of the Mondaer Desert, the ripples of her actions have inadvertently broken a chain of events five centuries in the making. Ancient forces move in the shadows, calling in debts and striking deals. A monster with a thousand faces fingers his knife, ready to kill, and a pair of fugitives run for their lives. Where Shadows Lie is a non-stop, epic fantasy ride featuring an lgbtq+ and disabled protagonist and filled with court intrigue, sizzling romance, adorable baby dragons, and the battle between oppression and freedom. Dive in and get swept away!


Legacy of the Brightwash by Krystle Matar

Follow the law and you’ll stay safe. But what if the law is wrong? Tashué’s faith in the law is beginning to crack. Three years ago, he stood by when the Authority condemned Jason to the brutality of the Rift for non-compliance. When Tashué’s son refused to register as tainted, the laws had to be upheld. He’d never doubted his job as a Regulation Officer before, but three years of watching your son wither away can break down even the strongest convictions. Then a dead girl washed up on the bank of the Brightwash, tattooed and mutilated. Where had she come from? Who would tattoo a child? Was it the same person who killed her? Why was he the only one who cared? Will Tashué be able to stand against everything he thought he believed in to get the answers he’s looking for?


Shadows of Ivory by T L Greylock and Bryce O'Connor

I burned cities and drowned mountains. I pulled stars from the night sky and scorched the world with their flames. I am the Fisher King, and the grave does not bind me. An academic with a taste for adventure, Eska de Caraval has means and influence, wit and charm... and a knack for acquiring artifacts that may not be hers to claim. But when Eska comes into possession of a strange disc of rune-carved bronze, she finds herself abruptly hunted by all manner of adversaries: an assassin in the shadows, a monster in the deep, a bitter rival burning with vengeance. From sword and fang and flame Eska must defend herself, struggling all the while to unravel the mysteries of a dangerous artifact. An artifact so powerful, a dead tyrant will rise again to wield it.


The Demons We See by Krista D. Ball

Society was rocked when the Cathedral appointed Allegra, Contessa of Marsina, to negotiate the delicate peace talks between the rebelling mage slaves and the various states. Not only was she a highborn mage, she was a nonbeliever and a vocal objector against the supposed demonic origins of witchcraft. Demons weren’t real, she’d argued, and therefore the subjection of mages was unlawful. That was all before the first assassination attempt. That was before Allegra heard the demonic shrieks. All before everything changed. Now Allegra and her personal guards race to stabilize the peace before the entire known world explodes into war with not just itself, but with the abyss from beyond. So much for demons not being real.


Truth and Other Lies by Lyra Wolf

Nothing is trickier than the truth. All Loki the trickster god of Asgard wants is a quiet, peaceful life where he’s free to needle Balder, occasionally stir up the inter-realm porridge pot, and get Thor to dress in women’s garments (for all the best reasons). Getting beset by sudden, painful, and terribly inconvenient visions of blood, ash, and death are definitely not on his to-do list. But, because of some small, ridiculous remnant of caring that refuses to be extinguished, Loki feels he must save Asgard...and that means warning Odin, his least favorite god (next to Thor). But getting the gods to believe the boy who cried Fenrir is harder than it looks, and time is running out, not just for Asgard, but also for a mortal woman named Sigyn who may just hold the key to Loki’s future. Loki is about to find out the hard way that the only thing crueler than truth are the lies behind it all. "Truth and Other Lies" is the first book in a new series inspired by Norse mythology, and has snarky anti-heroes, lovers-to-enemies, and strong female characters.


The Merry Maids by Stefanie Contreras

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.


Consequences: A Wilders Finale by Cass Kim

The exciting conclusion to the captivating Wilders Series. The virus is morphing and moving fast. Wilders aren't following the three rules anymore. Nobody is safe. Running low on supplies while waiting for a response from their plea for help, the camp in the Adirondak forest can't wait any longer. Emerson is selected to lead a supply run on what should be a short trip into town. With the world sliding dangerously close to a full apocalypse, his team will have to make hazardous decisions. Back in the camp, help arrives. But the form it takes is unexpected. Renna doesn't know who to trust. Or how she'll survive. Bold choices always have consequences. Now it's time to face them.


Searching for Sun by Elizabeth Kaida

Genetically altered to be the perfect botanist, Asami and her diva android desperately want to make planet Gliese their new home-and escape from the overburdened and industrialized Earth. But it's been over eighty years since the first settlers began terraforming; and before she's even landed, the paradise of the Gliese colony slowly reveals shades of horror. Gliese isn't new Earth, and it isn't a dead planet. Caught between a virulent plague, a rogue colonist faction, and a deadly alien army, Asami must uncover Gliese's secrets if she wants to save the lives of her crew. In a desperate gamble, Asami must adapt her view of what being human means as she becomes something other than human herself. Through unlikely friendships, and some dangerous sentient objects, Asami unravels the truth behind a war that began before her birth, and the means to change her new world.


A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden

A thousand years in the future, the last of humanity live inside the walls of the totalitarian Kingdom of Cutta. The rich live in Anais, the capital city of Cutta, sheltered from the famine and disease which ravage the rest of the Kingdom. Yet riches and power only go so far, and even Anaitians can be executed. It is only by the will of the King that Nate Anteros, son of the King’s favourite, is spared from the gallows after openly dissenting. But when he’s released from prison, Nate disappears. A stark contrast, Catherine Taenia has spent her entire life comfortable and content. The daughter of the King’s Hangman and in love with Thom, Nate’s younger brother, her life has always been easy, ordered and comfortable. That is, where it doesn’t concern Nate. His actions sullied not only his future, but theirs. And unlike Thom, Catherine has never forgiven him. Two years pass without a word, and then one night Nate returns. But things with Nate are never simple, and when one wrong move turns their lives upside down, the only thing left to do is run where the King’s guards cannot find them – the Outlands. Those wild, untamed lands which stretch around the great walls of the Kingdom, filled with mutants and rabids.


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?


Of Blood and Fire by Ryan Cahill

Born in fire. Tempered in blood. Epheria is a land divided by war and mistrust. The High Lords of the South squabble and fight, only kept in check by the Dragonguard, traitors of a time long past, who serve the empire of the North. In the remote villages of southern Epheria, still reeling from the tragic loss of his brother, Calen Bryer prepares for The Proving – a test of courage and skill that not all survive. But when three strangers arrive in the village of Milltown, with a secret they are willing to die for, Calen’s world is ripped from under him and he is thrust headfirst into a war that has been raging for centuries. There is no prophecy. His coming was not foretold. He bleeds like any man, and bleed he will.


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