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The Rust Maidens by Gwendolyne Kiste

Something’s happening to the girls on Denton Street. It’s the summer of 1980 in Cleveland, Ohio, and Phoebe Shaw and her best friend Jacqueline have just graduated high school, only to confront an ugly, uncertain future. Across the city, abandoned factories populate the skyline; meanwhile at the shore, one strong spark, and the Cuyahoga River might catch fire. But none of that compares to what’s happening in their own west side neighborhood. The girls Phoebe and Jacqueline have grown up with are changing. It starts with footprints of dark water on the sidewalk. Then, one by one, the girls’ bodies wither away, their fingernails turning to broken glass, and their bones exposed like corroded metal beneath their flesh. As rumors spread about the grotesque transformations, soon everyone from nosy tourists to clinic doctors and government men start arriving on Denton Street, eager to catch sight of “the Rust Maidens” in metamorphosis. But even with all the onlookers, nobody can explain what’s happening or why—except perhaps the Rust Maidens themselves. Whispering in secret, they know more than they’re telling, and Phoebe realizes her former friends are quietly preparing for something that will tear their neighborhood apart. Alternating between past and present, Phoebe struggles to unravel the mystery of the Rust Maidens—and her own unwitting role in the transformations—before she loses everything she’s held dear: her home, her best friend, and even perhaps her own body.


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.


Racing with the Serpent by A.R.K Horton

You can't ignore destiny when it breaks down your barriers, even if that means defeating a god. Eya has found safety among friends, but she knows it's only temporary. The battle is far from over, and she has a duty to protect Telverin from the power-hungry. With true allies by her side and unique abilities, it's only a matter of time before she wins back her home and rescues the Goddess Winds. Yet, Eya's recklessness might mean her ruin. Can she learn to control her impulses, the way she's learning to control the elements? Racing With the Serpent is the third and last book of The Telverin Trilogy, a fantasy war story that takes place between several countries in the world of Telverin.


River in the Galaxy by Natalie Kelda

SPFBO9

When Merlon's parents disappeared, his world fell apart. When his best friend died, he lost the ability to enjoy life. For Captain Merlon Ricosta, Lanier's death, two years prior, feels like yesterday. But when a map from his parents is discovered, he decides to push aside his grief to get closure and follow the route they vanished along eighteen years ago. Despite political trouble, Merlon leads his crew into the unknowns of strange galaxies in his quest to find out why his parents never returned. In River in the Galaxy Merlon fights to keep his crew alive and suppress his prolonged grief and depression. But he must face his own struggles in order to protect the ship and the people aboard.


Bloody Spade by Brittany M. Willows

SPFBO8

A girl full of heart A thief touched by darkness A boy with a fiery temper An unwitting servant of evil The era of magic was once thought to be a myth, but after the Reemergenceushered forces both dark and light into the mundane world, it has sincebecome a harsh reality. Now those affected by this strange power—aspecialized group of Empowered called Jokers, known collectively asCardplay—must protect their world from the darkness that threatens toconsume it, all the while fighting for equality in a society clinging to normalcy. But the Reemergence was only the beginning. When another influx occurs on the seventh anniversary of that fateful event, an unfortunate encounter at ground zero lands Iori Ryone, a teenage boy in possession of a corrupt and legendary magic, in the care of recentJoker graduate Ellen Amelia Jane. From him, she learns the Reemergencemay not have been the inevitable natural disaster it first seemed. Someone is trying to tear down the barrier that separates the magical realmsfrom the mundane. The question is, can Cardplay stop them before it'stoo late Bloody Spade is the first installment in anurban fantasy duology that follows a cat-eared thief and a spirited girl as they try to navigate his wild magic, her hotheaded brother, asinister plot, and the feelings they're developing for each other.


Blood of Heirs (The Coraidic Sagas #1) by Alicia Wanstall-Burke

SPFBO Finalist

Lidan Tolak is the fiercest of her father’s daughters; more than capable of one day leading her clan. But caught between her warring parents, Lidan’s world begins to unravel when another of her father’s wives falls pregnant. Before she has time to consider the threat of a brother, a bloody swathe is cut through the heart of the clan and Lidan must fight, not only to prove her worth, but simply to survive. Ranoth Olseta wants nothing more than to be a worthy successor to his father’s throne. When his home is threatened by the aggressive Woaden Empire, Ran becomes his city’s saviour, but powers within him are revealed by the enemy and he is condemned to death. Confused and betrayed, Ran is forced to flee his homeland, vowing to reclaim what he has lost, even if it kills him. Facing an unknown future, and battling forces both familiar and foreign, can Lidan and Ran overcome the odds threatening to drag them into inescapable darkness?


The Price of Power by Michael Michel

SPFBO9

Prince Barodane could not hold back the darkness. Not even in himself. He laid an innocent city in its grave and then died a hero. In his absence, war whispers across the land. Power-hungry highborn dispatch spies and assassins to the shadows as they maneuver for the throne, while an even greater threat rises in the South. Monsters and cultists flock to the banners of a mad prophet determined to control reality…and then shatter it. Destiny stalks three to the brink of oblivion. A dead prince that isn’t actually dead. Barodane buried his shameful past in a stupor of drugs, drink, and crime, and now, he’d rather watch the world fall apart than wear a crown again. An orphan with hero’s blood who is forced to make a harrowing choice: betray her country or sacrifice her first love. And a powerful seer who has no choice at all–her grandson must die. If any of them fails to pay the price… The cost will be the world’s complete annihilation. "This book feels like a worthy successor to some of the greats of fiction, including Malazan, A Song of Ice and Fire, and Wheel of Time." - Andy Peloquin, Amazon #1 bestseller of the Darkblade series.


Between Starfalls by S. Kaeth

SPFBO6 WriteHive Book Club Teacup Dragon Coop SFFOasis

Never leave the path.  It’s sacred law, punishable by exile. When her son goes missing in the perilous mountains, Kaemada defies the law to search for him. She enlists the help of her hero brother, a priestess berserker, and a fire-wielding friend. But the law exists for a reason. When the search party is captured by the mythical Kamalti, they learn that Kaemada’s son was sent to an ancient prison city. As they battle for freedom, they discover a horrible truth that will change the future of both races forever. With their world in upheaval, Kaemada must find a way to peace if she's to save her son—but tensions between the two races are leading to war.


Lesser Known Monsters by Rory Michaelson

Being the chosen one isn’t always a good thing. Oscar Tundale is useless, or at least that's what he's always thought. He and his friends are about to discover that not only are monsters real, but some of them are very interested in Oscar. Now, they must find out what the monsters want, before something terrible happens to London; or worse yet, the world. Lesser Known Monsters is an own voices queer dark fantasy featuring diverse characters on a found family adventure. Perfect for fans of action and paranormal romance seeking LGBTQ+ heroes. This is the first book in the Lesser Known Monsters series.


The Delicate Things We Make by Milena McKay

Hitting rock bottom in the concrete jungle of Manhattan, investigative journalist Jamie Walker lands the assignment of a lifetime: Find the most elusive artist of a generation, who has enthralled the art and fashion world for over a decade. This assignment is supposed to finally be Jamie’s ticket to journalistic fame and fortune. The quest, however, proves to be difficult, as—so far—nobody has managed to discover who the legendary DeVor really is. As Jamie delves deeper into the mysteries surrounding the enigmatic artist, trying to salvage her stagnant career, she risks getting in over her head and losing her heart in the process.


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.


Starbinder: An Eye of Eternity Novella (The Eye of Eternity) by Mark Timmony

SFINCS

Forged in betrayal. Tempered by the stellar winds. Chosen by the stars. For five hundred years since the Sundering, the order of the Shaluay Starbinders has been dwindling. With their Starwells lying dormant, key artefacts of their order lost and their seers driven mad by the powers that broke the world, only one hope remains to the man who leads them; a fifteen year old girl. Born to a clan of Wanderers, Reiana has been raised by a harsh grandmother who blames her for the death of her daughter, Reiana's own mother. When bandits attack the clan's camp, Reiana leaves the safety of the caravans to pursue the abductor of her younger cousin, heedless of the dangers. But when a creature of the Void takes notice can Reiana's own untapped abilities save her, or will the truth of a betrayal see her lost forever? Starbinder is an action-packed prequel novella to The Blood of the Spear. If you like flawed heroes, fast-paced storytelling, and intricate world-building, then you'll Love Mark Timmony's character-driven introduction to the epic fantasy series, The Eye of Eternity.


Elendil by Andrea Rose Washington

I stood there, looking at this stranger with eyes like mine, hair like mine. It slowly dawned on me that it was her. After all these years...it was her. A wave of rage coursed over me as I stood there, staring at this woman. I couldn't bring myself to call her that because she was never that to me. Just an egg donor as far as I was concerned. Then my dad spoke."Abriana, I would like to introduce you to Acadia...your mother."Abriana was forced to deal with a lot of things over the short sixteen years of her life: adapting to a new neighborhood, the wondering eyes that fell on her when she was out with her father, the whispers of the town. But this - facing the woman who abandoned her at the tender age of three days old - was the one thing she wasn't prepared to deal with. When Abriana is forced to flee with this woman she barely knows, she soon realizes that her life will never be the same


The Last Prince by E. G. Radcliff

SFFOasis

In a hellish city, the fate of a young boy rests on the very thing he fears most… Robbed of his childhood by tragedy and betrayal and forced onto the streets, only fury makes young Ninian feel whole - and in a world of gangs and fae, Ninian is more than willing to fight for his life. But it doesn’t take much to topple a life which is already balanced on the edge of a knife. And by the time a desperate Ninian realizes he’s crossed the wrong person, it is much, much too late. In his frantic struggle to right his collapsing world, Ninian’s furious, bloody efforts are dredging up history he’d rather forget - the past is tired of being held at bay, and even fighting cannot protect Ninian from himself. So when he meets a crimson-eyed stranger, a boy so broken he refuses even to speak, Ninian does not believe he has the capacity to care. He is wrong. And that will change everything… (This title is a full length prequel to The Hidden King)


The Wife in the Attic by Rose Lerner

Goldengrove’s towers and twisted chimneys rose at the very edge of the peaceful Weald, a stone’s throw from the poisonous marshes and merciless waters of Rye Bay. Young Tabby Palethorp had been running wild there, ever since her mother grew too ill to leave her room. I was the perfect choice to give Tabby a good English education: thoroughly respectable and far too plain to tempt her lonely father, Sir Kit, to indiscretion. I knew better than to trust my new employer with the truth about my past. But knowing better couldn’t stop me from yearning for impossible things: to be Tabby’s mother, Sir Kit’s companion, Goldengrove’s new mistress. All that belonged to poor Lady Palethorp. Most of all, I burned to finally catch a glimpse of her. Surely she could tell me who had viciously defaced the exquisite guitar in the music room, why all the doors in the house were locked after dark, and whose footsteps I heard in the night…


The Syren Stories: Meraki & Kairos by Naomi Kelly

MERAKI and KAIROS come together to form THE SYREN STORIES in a never-before-seen duology collection. In Meraki, seventeen-year-old Wren believes she has just swum away from the greatest threat in the sea. That's until she finds herself being hauled upon a warlord's boat. With her life at the mercy of a young, temperamental King, Wren must decide who is her ultimate enemy, and figure out what the Hel do the gods have planned? Syrens are bound to tell the truth, but that doesn’t mean their lives cannot be riddled with lies. And in Kairos her adventure continues. Having survived the battle against Kestrel, and with spring arriving, everything appears to be going swimmingly for Wren- that is until an arrow knocks her out of the sky. When the mortals she defeated last winter come seeking retribution, Wren learns that although these mere men are not immortal, they have no problem biding their time. Revenge, after all, is a dish best served cold. And forgiveness is a gift which can swiftly be retracted.


The Lost War (Eidyn #1) by Justin Lee Anderson

SPFBO6 SPFBO Winner SPFBO Finalist

The war is over, but something is rotten in the state of Eidyn. With a ragged peace in place, demons burn farmlands, violent Reivers roam the wilds and plague has spread beyond the Black Meadows. The country is on its knees. In a society that fears and shuns him, Aranok is the first magically-skilled draoidh to be named King’s Envoy. Now, charged with restoring an exiled foreign queen to her throne, he leads a group of strangers across the ravaged country. But at every step, a new mystery complicates their mission. As bodies drop around them, new threats emerge and lies are revealed, can Aranok bring his companions together and uncover the conspiracy that threatens the kingdom? Strap in for this twisted fantasy road trip from award-winning author Justin Lee Anderson.


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.


Cursed Song by Samantha Krose

Bound by Song. Cursed by Fate Ruyne, Leader of the Dusksinger bards, travels with his band from town to town, thrilling crowds with inspiring music born from an ancient magic. He leads a charmed life with his brother, and two life-long best friends. Disaster strikes when Ruyne ignores a cryptic message from a loved one. The band’s idyllic peace is shattered by a monster from the past, and the horrifying truth behind their magic is revealed, leaving their lives in tatters and the hearts of the four men forever scarred. Scattered and broken, can they harmonize their Song in time to prevent a tragedy of apocalyptic proportions?


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.


Jack Forest, Soul Collector by E. Reyes

In the gripping novelette Jack Forest, Soul Collector, the town of Devil’s Hill, Arizona, becomes the stage for a chilling and morally complex tale. Jack Forest, a man returned from the dead on Halloween night, is compelled to serve as a soul collector for Hell. Tasked with branding the souls of woman abusers, he embarks on a haunting mission. As Jack navigates the shadowy realm between the living and the dead, he is torn between the ruthless directives of Hell and his own sense of justice. The line blurs when faced with a momentous decision that challenges his very nature. This gripping narrative explores themes of redemption, the consequences of one’s actions, and the power of individual choice. Jack Forest, Soul Collector delves into the darkness of the human soul and the depths of compassion that may yet emerge from the most unlikely circumstances.


Children of Fallen Gods (The War of Lost Hearts Book 2) by Carissa Broadbent

No war can be fought with clean hands. Not even the ones waged for the right reasons. Not even the ones you win. Tisaanah bargained away her own freedom to save those she left behind in slavery. Now, bound by her blood pact, she must fight the Orders’ war -- and Max is determined to protect her at all costs. But when a betrayal tears apart Ara, Max and Tisaanah are pushed into an even bloodier conflict. Tisaanah must gamble with Reshaye’s power to claim an impossible victory. And Max, forced into leadership, must confront everything he hoped to forget: his past, and his own mysterious magic. All the while, darker forces loom -- far darker, even, than the Orders’ secrets. As Tisaanah and Max are ensnared in a web of ancient magic and twisted secrets, one question remains: what are they willing to sacrifice for victory? For power? For love?


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)


Fyskar: Book 1 of Legend of the Bai by Chapel Orahamm

1692 The Isle of Skye Eoin has returned as a plague doctor after ten years of banishment for revenge and a birthright. Fearchar and Seonaid have allowed the man to set up shop in their croft at the request of an old friend. The Plague Doctor is keeping secrets, though, and killing an entire clan is only the beginning. The void is waiting.


Cleansing Rain by Holly Ash

SPSFC 2022

Earth is dying and the only way to save it is to eliminate its biggest threat. All Zoe Antos wanted was to make it home from work in time for date night with her fiancé Cole Wilborn, something her research had been preventing a lot recently. After managing to get out the door on time, all hope of making it home is lost when she is kidnapped by a man trying to steal files from her lab. Zoe is thrown into a world of conspiracy theories as her kidnappers reveal that they are trying to stop The Arrow Equilibrium, a powerful eco-terrorism group Zoe has never heard of, from going through with their plan to restore balance to the environment. It doesn’t sound too bad until she realizes the only way to have a shot at doing that would be to eliminate the human factor from the scales. Zoe almost starts to believe them, until it’s revealed that her kidnappers believe the Wilborn family is the behind The Arrows, something she knows can’t be true. Once rescued, Zoe starts to notice irregularities with her future father-in-law that makes her question if her kidnappers might have been right. Zoe must decide who to trust, her fiancé’s family or her kidnappers. Her life, and the fate of humanity, could depend on her making the right choice.


Sordaneon (The Triempery Revelations Book 1) by L.L Stephens

Secrets sheathe swords. A fallen world is littered with the corpses of broken god-machines, and a sheltered, angry youth is destined to re-awaken their power. But to embody a god, Dorilian Sordaneon must first learn to be human... Dorilian is blood bound to the Rill, a quasi-living artifact that spans continents and empowers a privileged few to reap the riches of an entire civilization. Unfortunately, decades after seizing control of the remaining god-machines, those privileged few aren’t willing to give up their power—even if it means destroying the human bloodline to which the Rill is tethered.


The Feast of the Innocents by Colin Harker

In the spirit of Mary Shelley and Thomas Ligotti, a new novel that unites the charismatic, scheming villains and chilling atmosphere of classic Gothic horror with visceral, supernatural terrors and historical intrigue... Winter 1665. Cyrus flees England to escape the human monster who murdered his father, but the horrors of Laughlin Priory are as inescapable. Pursued by a mysterious killer from France — haunted by a one-eyed chimney sweeper with sinister motives and an insatiable curiosity — in the Priory, Cyrus learns some secrets are worse than death.


Nightmare Tenant by Richard Holliday

WHERE OCCUPANCY BECOMES POSSESSION… The chilling prologue left me hanging and I had no idea what was going on – so I just had to read on! I know the world, I spent most of my life driving past those flats, so I totally get the inspiration! Top notch horror with some brutal but satisfying scenes. Really enjoyed it, didn’t see some of the twists coming! Very effective! Loved the setting and reasons behind its hauntedness. I finished reading Nightmare Tenant in one sitting. That’s one block I wouldn’t want to live in! For years, Chivron Tower was abandoned and left to rot as the world turned. It loomed in the skyline a desolate, abhorred ruin; a forgotten relic of the past. That was how it should have stayed. But now, the Tower has been resurrected and shown a renewed lease of life, ready for a new generation of families to move in. Everyone in the community is celebrating this achievement. Councillors, developers, residents all applaud the regeneration of this unloved eyesore. Except for one member of the community. The one who still lives in Chivron Tower, unknown to all. The one who never left. The lone occupant’s way of life is under threat by these new invaders with their new ideas – sullying their idea of urban perfection cast in steel and concrete. Great hope for this restoration is soon to be extinguished. The mysterious tenant is angry, is without mercy and is hungry. It feeds on suffering, making things go bump in the night. It brings more victims to its lair. The warnings it gives turn to torment it revels in. Joel Barton and his family find they are trapped, with the last remaining residents, good and bad, as they realise escape means confronting a… NIGHTMARE TENANT


Lady Vago's Malediction by A.K.M. Beach

SPFBO7

In the blackened heart of a cursed forest, a banshee haunts her crumbling castle with lethal screams. Lady Vago is trapped in this place. She cannot fulfill her purpose as a banshee: to warn her loved ones of their deaths and watch over them while they pass. To solve the mystery of her imprisonment, she must sift through the rubble and ruin that surrounds her. By communing with old paintings, broken furniture, and even the stones themselves, she rediscovers who she was in life. Before she was Lady Vago, she was Rovena Stoddard, a sharp-witted horse merchant's daughter that caught the eye of a charming baron. Lord Kalsten Vago's life as a wandering knight was over, but it inspired visions of a better life for his most vulnerable subjects. Rovena was far less afraid of bold change than his staunch and loyal steward, who saw her presence as a threat to Lord Kalsten's success. Love and shared dreams alone wouldn't overcome the controversy of the couple's hasty and unequal union, as well as the trials of governing a fledgling barony—Rovena knew that. What she failed to recognize was the deeper darkness taking root in Vago lands and hearts... Every memory of what Rovena loved is a reminder of what she lost, but she cannot let grief halt her search. Devoted spectres of ash are begging their lady for an end to their torment, and she will not let their agony–or her own–go unanswered anymore. An intensely atmospheric and emotional story of corrupt magic and lost love, Lady Vago's Malediction is a dark fantasy with gothic flair.


Down Below Beyond by T. A. Bruno

SPSFC 2023

Lodespace is a collection of worlds dominated by the Fessenog Fleet trade empire. Thanks to the Voyalten portals, alien civilizations from all over the universe can gather for glorious trade. For the wealthy, there has never been a more lucrative circle. But the Fleet is hiding something from its investors. A secret that, if exposed, could bring the empire to its knees. Levort Aatra is a prospector on the planet Tayoxe. While scavenging the wastes of the abandoned world, he discovers a mysterious starship and stakes his claim on it. Little does he know, he just made himself the most wanted man in Lodespace. DOWN BELOW BEYOND is a stand-alone sci-fi fantasy adventure filled with aliens, planets, and portals set in a universe crafted by T. A. Bruno, author of the award-winning Song of Kamaria trilogy.


The Invisible Tether by JP McDonald

Cooper Belrose and his friends gear up for a sporting tournament in tropical North Queensland (Australia) for a week of carefree fun. In an unnerving twist of fate, a cryptic flight attendant hijacks the plane, altering their lives forever. After surviving the plane crash, Cooper and his friends learn the flight attendant was part of a much larger threat, not only to their existence but to the entire human race. In their desperation to return home and find answers, they discover abnormal abilities within themselves activated by the crash and the threat of an opposing force. Will these newfound abilities wield an edge over their enemies? As they strive to combat each twist and turn, Cooper and his friends learn the value of teamwork by navigating the space between life and death. If faced with an imminent threat to the human race, would you and your friends take up the fight? "The Invisible Tether," is a story of love, adventure and the pursuit of truth.


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.


The Queen Protocol by Gregory Benson

They thought they were finally safe… How did they end up on Nathasia, a planet of horrors? A place haunted by the souls of billions murdered in war, its seas poisoned by toxins explicitly engineered to kill and mutate, infested with Thraxon breeding pits, and quarantined by the Marck fleet. Kerriah and her companions awaken with holes in their memories, and the young Tolagon is missing. However, there is a twist of fortune. The yellow orb, lost for decades and protected by the terrors of this world, is finally within their grasp. Now, the calculating Marck Queen, hidden away in an impenetrable fortress, unfolds her diabolical plot. Her order is clear: destroy all life within the Oro system. Crushing pressure, frozen death, and the sacrifice of heroes is the only path to defeat her. As she breaks from her protocol, the queen's protocol, the system falls into darkness. With the return of the Thraxons, bitter alliances have formed, and fate has opened its dark eyes. Learn more about the different species and locations in this story!


The Gatherings by Jeremy Ray

The Gatherings were supposed to bring world peace. What they brought was the apocalypse. Celebrities, politicians, and other prominent figures put together The Gatherings, an event to be held worldwide promoting global peace. When a friend invites Emily to one of the gatherings in a secluded apple orchard, she obliges. Sure, she is an introverted writer, but the world is so fractured that The Gatherings are something even she can get behind. Everything is great until the dancing begins. Then it happens... In most apocalyptic tales, the end comes by way of viral plague, world war, or robot invasion. Never in a million years could Emily imagine it would be this way. Will Emily survive to see what happens after the end of the world?


The Wolf in Me: Survive by Alex Smith

The 23rd century is nearing its end. Having been treated as subhuman (and worse) for over 300 years, the Wolves - a race of wolf-human hybrids - have reached their breaking point. With a clear threat of war rising daily, the US Military devises a plan to destroy the beasts they helped create. However, utilizing their intelligence and raw bestial instincts, the Wolves hatch a plan of their own: plunge the entire world into a war to end all wars! In the aftermath of a deadly airship crash, Percy - a six-year-old human boy - finds himself behind enemy lines; in the claws of the creatures he's been taught to fear his entire life. Xander - a twenty-eight-year-old elite black ops Wolf, finds himself with a very difficult choice to make; kill the innocent child he has found, or be ostracized by his own kind and protect the boy? What is a small, frail, boy to do when surrounded by beasts fighting to end his very existence? Survive!


Lightblade by Zamil Akhtar

SPFBO8 SPSFC 2022

In three days, Jyosh will slay the God Emperor, or die trying. But first he must train his lightblade skills. While asleep. Each hour of sleep equals a day in a lucid dream, plenty of time to master the essential lightblade techniques and hopefully get skilled enough to defeat the monster who enslaved him and beheaded his parents and sister. When Jyosh awakens to learn that the God Emperor has surrendered to an even crueler foe, a mysterious lightblade master who can summon divine dragons to burn whole cities, he’ll face a trial by fire against forces far more frightening than he could ever dream. That is, if he’s not still in one.


Christmas in the Empty Cabin by E. Reyes

Horror and the supernatural don’t take holiday vacations… Take a holiday trip with E. Reyes to the dark side of the most wonderful time of the year. While you’re there visit… A hot holiday toy that brings terror to a department store. A man caught in a blizzard as he searches for help for a dying friend. A girl who wakes up to surprise visitors on Día de los Muertos. A man who recounts a sick and twisted Thanksgiving. A boy who becomes intrigued by a mysterious house and the girl who resides there during fall break. A family man who struggles with a dilemma that may cost him his soul. “A beautifully written collection… a unique and creative delight… I devoured it and loved it!”—Julie Hiner, author of Final Track “A great collection of thrilling and shocking tales that will get your heart pounding!”—Eric Woods, author of Pummeled “A great range of short tales for anyone looking for a quick, mysterious read.”—M.E. Aster, author of Three Halves of a Whole “Captures the melancholy, dark side of the holidays.”—Elford Alley, author of Ash and Bone


The Fear of Moncroix by Bryan Asher

SPFBO9

All the Waywards have Fallen… After a mission against the Royal Vampiric Court goes horribly wrong, all of the Waywards are slaughtered. All except one. Davion, the last surviving member, must consume potions to mask himself and hide amongst the very people who killed his brethren. After a decade of living this double-life, Davion has resigned himself to his new purgatory. But all will not remain calm for him or the Court. An unknown swordsman arrives, and after killing several Royal Vampires, rumor spreads that he’s searching for anyone still belonging to The Wayward order. Davion decides he must track down this mysterious swordsman. But will finding him bring freedom or his own demise.


Bonds of Chaos by Zack Argyle

Bonds of Chaos is the final installment of the Threadlight trilogy, which begins with the multi-award-winning Voice of War. TO BREAK THE BONDS, THERE WILL BE SACRIFICES When all was lost, the Heralds returned, and the world embraced them as gods and saviors. But there are some who know the truth: the Heralds are not what they seem. Now, in a desperate attempt to stop them, Chrys and the others travel to Cynosure with hopes of enlisting the only Amber threadweaver with the power to help. Chrys, Laurel, Alverax, and those they love. Together, they will stop the gods...or they will die trying.


The Chaos Circus by Renee Dugan

SPFBO6

All Tessa LaRoche wants is to be the most ordinary person on Barrow Island. After a stint in a mental asylum, she's had quite enough of being anything else, thank you very much. But when a commission at her new reporting job forces her into the path of a not-quite-human murder suspect, Tessa finds that the unordinary is not through with her yet. Spirited away by a devilishly charming Nicolai to the Mirror Lands-- a parallel reality manipulated by the immortal Deathless-- Tessa loses one of the most precious tethers to her sanity. In order to reclaim it, she must risk entering The Chaos Circus: a citywide fair where mortals trade years for prizes in vicious attractions from which the Deathless draw their power. But there's a catch: if Tessa can't defeat the Deathless at their own freakish carnival games, she will lose her mind...and Nicolai will lose his life. Forced to rely on one another despite the secrets that come between them, Tessa and Nicolai embark on a dangerous adventure through the deceptively beautiful life of the Circus, where little is as it seems--even the games, their pasts, and the strange whirlwind of memories that Tessa can no longer recall.


Pawn's Gambit by Rob J. Hayes

SPFBO9

Yuu wants nothing more than to forget the mistakes of her past. The Gods have other plans. Once a renowned strategist and general, five years ago Yuu made a mistake that cost her everything. Now she is on the run, royal bounty hunters snapping at her heels. But what if there was a way to get back what she lost, a way to bring back a murdered prince? Every century, the gods hold a contest to choose who will rule from the Heavenly Jade Throne. Each god chooses a mortal champion, and the fate of all existence hangs in the balance. On a battlefield full of heroes, warriors, assassins, and thieves can Yuu survive long enough to learn the rules of the game, let alone master it? Pawn's Gambit is a stand alone story set in the award-winning Mortal Techniques universe. It's a wuxia adventure filled with heroes, gods, spirits, and magic.


Gold, Lock and Key by E J Doble

From grimdark author E J Doble, comes a fairytale with a dark twist... "All it needs, is a bit of tenacity... and three little bears." Goldie, an outlaw and contract hunter of the Baron's State, accepts a new assignment from her employer to find an old cabin in the woods, home to three 'shapeshifters' who can morph into bears. Considered to be little more than a myth, Goldie assumes at first that the shapeshifters are an exaggeration - but with the sizeable bounty her employer is offering, she soon realises there may be more truth in it than she realised. And that isn't the only thing on her mind: she discovers her main rival - a manipulative and incredibly cunning trapper named Southey - has also taken on the contract, and will be contending for the same bounty she so fervently desires. Having waited many long years to have her revenge and outsmart Southey for past mistakes, Goldie sees the new contract as a perfect opportunity to do so. All she has to do is play her cards just right. And kill three bears...


A Dagger in the Dark by Tom Dumbrell

Twenty years before the events of The Look of a King, in a world on the cusp of change, a young man dreams of a life far from the one he has known. Is he a captain in the making, or out of his depth? The stakes are high, and only time will tell if the spoils are worth the gamble. . .


The Yellow Oak by Victor Vahl

Trapped in never-ending terror. Isolated from the outside world, with mysterious beings feasting on their sanity. How can they survive long enough to find their escape? Find out in this thrilling psychological tale. Rye Davidson, a third-generation woodworker, relocated his family to a small town near the dense forests of Oregon in the 1980s to make a better life and escape his troubled history. Starting a new job at an old factory, he meets Spencer Mills, a veteran worker who's isolated himself from the rest of the town. When Rye is sent out on his first job with Spencer, they're transported to an unknown forest far unlike their normal reality. Soon, they realize there's no path out, and the path they stumbled through has disappeared. Their job is now a journey of survival. A journey quickly spiraling into psychological suspense, mystery, and horror. The odds to stay alive are slim. The odds to escape are even slimmer. Discover the enigmas and tap into the fears buried within...The Yellow Oak. The Yellow Oak is Victor Vahl's sophomore novel, a psychological thriller inspired by the mind-bending essence of Lovecraftian horror, the bone-chilling atmosphere of Robert Egger's films, and heart-pounding scenarios. If you like The Lighthouse, House of Leaves, Lovecraftian horror, and The Shining, then you'll love Victor Vahl's psychological thriller. Order your copy today!


Blades of the Ice: Age of Rekindling: A Prequel by Luis Falcao De Magalhaes

SFINCS

In a land ruled by patriarchy, an assassin sisterhood delivers justice from the shadows. Now, their mysterious patron has charged burly fighter Erika Langeshen and lithe shadow-stalker Annah Barksdottir with uncovering a plot against the very rulers that have mistreated and oppressed them their whole lives. Their quest will take them to a faraway village on the borders of the Razor Teeth Woods, where they will need to use all the tricks of their trade to build a base of power and expose the machinations of the local lord and his allies. But before they do, they must break into one of the Patriarchate's fortresses and retrieve an unlikely ally… Blades of the Ice is the prequel novella to The Daughter of The Ice, the first book in the Legends of Elessia: Age of Rekindling series. Expect a fast-paced sword & sorcery adventure in the style of R.A Salvatore and an homage to the Forgotten Realms fantasy series. Readers and reviewers alike have compared it to The Witcher and The Wheel of Time


Devil’s Hill II by E. Reyes

Welcome back to Devil’s Hill, AZ, where reality distorts, and nightmares walk in E. Reyes’ latest collection of terrifying tales. A séance to contact a deceased horror author unleashes chaos. A girl works with ghosts to stop kidnappings and murders on Halloween night. A group of teens are attacked by wolf-like creatures in the desert. The jack-o’-lantern-headed “Pumpkin Man” goes on a rampage collecting souls. These unnerving tales and others each draw you one step closer to becoming a permanent resident of Devil's Hill!


Legacy of the Brightwash by Krystle Matar

SPFBO7 Indie Recs Indie SPFBO Finalist

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?


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.


Obsidian: Awakening by Sienna Frost

An epic tale of humanity that survives its ugliest and most admirable moments, one that will change your perception on love, life, and what it means to be human forever. When Hasheem, a legendary male-escort-turned-assassin finally escapes the city that enslaved him as a child, he finds himself trapped in the centuries-long war between his nomadic race of desert warriors and an empire that seeks to rule them. There, a new set of shackles awaits him in the form of a fifteen-year-old girl and her oracle brother whose agenda plunges him into the blood sport of power and politics. As warfare exacts its price and the line between good and evil gets put to the test, the men and women from both sides are forced to fight a common enemy that remains the greatest threat to mankind: humanity and all its flaws.


Where Shadows Lie by Allegra Pescatore

SPFBO6

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!


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