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The Wife in the Attic

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…


Duckett & Dyer: Dicks For Hire

Duckett & Dyer: Dicks For Hire by G.M. Nair

SFFOasis SPSFC

Michael Duckett is fed up with his life. His job is a drag, and his roommate and best friend of fifteen years, Stephanie Dyer, is only making him more anxious with her lazy irresponsibility. Things continue to escalate when they face the threat of imminent eviction from their palatial 5th floor walk-up and find that someone has been plastering ads all over the city for their Detective Agency. The only problem is: He and Stephanie don’t have one of those. Despite their baffling levels of incompetence, Stephanie eagerly pursues this crazy scheme and drags Michael, kicking and screaming, into the fray only to find that they are way out of their depth. They stumble upon a web of missing people that are curiously linked to a sexually audacious theoretical physicist and his experiments with the fabric of space-time. And unless Michael and Stephanie can put their personal issues aside and fix the multi-verse, the concept of existence itself may, ironically, no longer exist.


The Place Below (Maer Cycle book 3)

The Place Below (Maer Cycle book 3) by Dan Fitzgerald

SFFOasis

It’s been twenty-five years since the Battle for the Archive. Peace reigns over the Silver Hills, and humans and Maer are preparing to sign their first trade agreement. Even warring tribes of the Free Maer have set aside old quarrels. Sasha is a young scholar of mixed Maer and human parentage, traveling throughout the Maer lands collecting stories of the Ka-lar, the buried Forever Kings. She finds a reference in the Archive to a Ka-lar named Kuun, a scholar in life, who was laid down in an ancient brightstone mine, beneath a mountain said to be the home of the fabled Skin Maer. The lure of the tale is too strong to resist. Joined by some old friends, Sasha sets out to uncover secrets that have lain buried for over a thousand years. In The Place Below, the Maer Cycle comes to a close as the darkest mysteries of the Maer are at last brought into the light.


A Circle of Stars

A Circle of Stars by Craig Montgomery

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 Lost War (Eidyn #1)

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.


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)


Bad End

Bad End by A M Blaushild

Archangel Michael's death at the hands of Iofiel may have prevented him from forcing the apocalypse, but it's hardly brought peace. The new Archangel Michael is relentless in his quest for revenge, believing Iofiel is still out there- and shirking his duties to prove it. Afraid of his connection to the traitor, Maalik has fled to Hell, also looking for Iofiel- but what he finds instead is an oddly amicable Morningstar with shocking plans that Maalik may be unable to stop. Archie and Salem, abducted and now working as assistants for the devil, struggle to define their place in what is about to unfold. And on Earth, Santiago and Damien have found refuge in a small American town, comfortably leading a coven of witches. But when magic begins to crop up among ordinary humans, their disguises can only last so long. And what ever happened to Iofiel, The Saintkiller, the Second Traitor? The apocalypse may have been averted, but something is clearly going wrong.


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.


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.


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.


The 5-Day Plan

The 5-Day Plan by Ashish Rastogi

Curly-haired, bespectacled, Dr. Akhil can replace your hip without a sweat, but he is a rambling, fidgeting fool outside the operation room. The worst qualifications to have for a man in search of love. However, one can overcome any obstacle with a bit of planning. Right? Plan A is simple. Unfortunately, the heart-to-heart blows up in shouting hysterics, tears, and abandonment. Worry not; time for Plan B. A year in London, and Plan B goes belly up. All because of a reality dating show. Anyway, who cares. Akhil has his plant babies. They are not traitors like the stars that Akhil loves gazing at night. The twinklers conspire to bring the dark enemy back into his orbit. Nope, not happening. Akhil has a plan. This time a three-letter one. Plan KDA- Keep Dan Away. But it is not easy blocking "the player" hell-bent on dribbling his way past Akhil's defences one accident at a time- ready to score. Add the nosy Keely matriarch and her two sidekick clowns to flying forks, tripping legs, and an accomplished kiss coach; our Akhil is in deep trouble.


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.


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?


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.


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.


Fyskar: Book 1 of Legend of the Bai

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.


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.


Wolf, Willow, Witch

Wolf, Willow, Witch by Freydís Moon

A vicious romance imbued with magic, thievery, and necromancy… When Tehlor Nilsen stumbles upon an abandoned corpse hidden in her friend’s empty house, she can’t ignore the energy lingering around the broken albeit familiar body. Entranced by the promise of ritualistic power, she seizes her chance to secure a vorðr. Miraculously, Hel, the goddess of death, grants Tehlor an audience. But Lincoln Stone has no interest in becoming a magical sentry and raising him from the dead comes with violent consequences. When a mysterious neo-church arrives in Gideon, Tehlor catches wind of a rare relic. Despite Lincoln's troubling enthusiasm for demonology, she strikes a deal with her unruly vorðr, hoping to mend their strained relationship… Work together. Steal the Breath of Judas. Control the dead. As the magically bound pair infiltrate Haven and their heist becomes a hunt, Tehlor isn't sure if she's the predator or prey…


The Aqua Human

The Aqua Human by J. Elizaga

A teenager in the Pacific during World War II, evades capture by escaping to sea. She survives a tragedy and discovers new physical abilities underwater. Alone, she grapples to survive on land. But under the sea, she finds friendship from the most intelligent marine creatures. Over the decades, Amaya searches for the answer about her mysterious transformation while hiding her secret. But her secret may have finally been captured on film.


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.


Cruelty: Unmasked

Cruelty: Unmasked by Ellen Crosháin.

Henry used to be a god. Now, he’s just the gardener. Nearly twenty-five years have passed since the ancient Faroust fell in love with Eliza MacTir. Stripped of his powers and forced to work for the family he used to rule, he can’t avoid the woman who ruined him. But when a chance encounter brings him into contact with Eliza’s daughter Áine, a twenty-one year old student looking for a chance to explore herself, he sees a chance to exact revenge. The affair is sweet and Henry knows that when he finally reveals it to Eliza, it will be even sweeter. But Henry and Áine aren’t the only ones keeping secrets. Áine’s brother Caolán, sixteen and rebellious, has his share of demons and not all is well with Eliza and Cornelius. The veneer of the perfect family has cracks and once the truths start to spill, everything Eliza fought for will start to unravel. Secrets cannot be buried forever and the Veil won’t stay shut. Darker forces are watching and waiting…


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.


The Wolf and the Water

The Wolf and the Water by Josie Jaffrey

Some secrets are worth killing for The ancient city of Kepos sits in an isolated valley, cut off from the outside world by a towering wall. Behind it, the souls of the dead clamour for release. Or so the priesthood says. Kala has never had any reason to doubt their word - until her father dies in suspicious circumstances that implicate the city's high priest. She's determined to investigate, but she has a more immediate problem: the laws of the city require her mother to remarry straight away. Kala's new stepfather is a monster, but his son Leon is something altogether more dangerous: kind. With her family fractured and the investigation putting her life in danger, the last thing Kala needs is romance. She would rather ignore Leon entirely, however difficult he makes it. But when she learns the truth of what really clamours behind the wall at the end of the valley, she faces a choice: share what she knows and jeopardise her escape, or abandon him to his fate along with the rest of the city. If she doesn't move fast, then no one will make it out of the valley alive.


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.


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.


Lesser Known Monsters

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.


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.


The Pirates of Pepper Pot Point

The Pirates of Pepper Pot Point by Michele Schultz

The Pirates of Pepper Pot Point is the story of a little boy named Peter that has a scary adventure with a pirate who circles the waters of a town called Pepper Pot Point. During this adventure, Peter befriends this pirate and teaches him a valuable lesson, friends are worth more than their weight in gold.


The Gatekeeper's Staff

The Gatekeeper's Staff by Antoine Bandele

SPFBO7 Indie Recs Indie

TJ Young has been surrounded by magic his entire life, yet he has never tapped into it… until now. Fourteen-year-old TJ grew up normal in a secret community of gifted diviners in the heart of modern-day Los Angeles. His powerful sister was ordained to lead his people into a new age of prosperity, but her mysterious death in Nigeria threatens to destroy the very foundations of TJ’s world. Desperate to pick up where his sister left off and uncover the secrets behind her questionable death, TJ commits himself to unlocking the magical heritage that has always eluded him. So he enrolls in Camp Olosa—a remedial magic school for the divinely less-than-gifted in the humid swamps of New Orleans. But little does he know, TJ is destined to cross paths with powerful spirits of old thought lost to time: the Orishas. Delve into this young adult fantasy based on the mythology of the West African gods, where TJ will encounter unlikely allies, tough-as-gatorhide instructors, and the ancient secrets of the Orishas.


The Crew

The Crew by Sadir S. Samir

SPFBO9

Kings of the Wyld meets Deadpool in this action-packed fantasy adventure set in an Arab-inspired landscape. Varcade fled to the deserts of Harrah to escape his past as an Educator, a member of an order of zealot warrior-monks that aims to shape the world according to their sacred Teachings by force. Varcade makes his living as a reckless sword-for-hire, caring only about himself, until his self-centered lifestyle is turned on its head when he is contracted to recruit a misfit team of unruly assassins and take out the mighty Bone Lord of Akrab. But the Bone Lord is aware of the plot and sends her band of Dusters to stop them; individuals who have gained bizarre and lethal magical powers by snorting the pulverised bones of dead gods. Hunted by Educators and Dusters in a city-state where an escalating conflict between the human and demon population threatens to boil over in a civil war, will Varcade and his ragtag crew save Akrab from the cruel Bone Lord, or will they make things even worse?


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.


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…


Cute Mutants Vol 1: Mutant Pride

Cute Mutants Vol 1: Mutant Pride by SJ Whitby

My name is Dylan Taylor, human incarnation of the burning dumpster gif, and this is my life. I always wanted to be an X-Man. Except people and me never got along, and apparently you need social skills to run a successful team. Cue Emma Hall’s party. One hot make out session with the host herself, and I can talk to objects like my pillow (who’s far too invested in my love life) and my baseball bat (who was a pacifist before I got hold of him). Now there’s a whole group of us with strange abilities, including super hot ice queen Dani Kim who doesn’t approve of how reckless I can be. The bigger problem is a mysterious mutant causing unnatural disasters, and we’re the ones who have to stop him. Except trying to make a difference makes things blow up in my face and the team’s on the verge of falling apart. Can I bring them back together in time to stop the villain from taking revenge? Have I mentioned I’m not a people person? Magneto help us.


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 Forgotten Lyric

The Forgotten Lyric by Carolina Cruz

How can an assassin retire and live with everything they’ve done? Some men turn to drink, while others choose to live in denial. Kennet Peders, on the other hand, is just trying to be a better person. Saving a young girl from death by poison seems to be the perfect place to start, yet even as he takes a job that does nothing but good, Kennet can’t fully escape his past… With the supernatural ability to influence other people’s emotions, Asa never felt quite comfortable in the society they were raised in. Luckily, being a bard means they can easily leave that society to find a home somewhere new—and the country of Bladland is very new to them. Here Asa finds themself presented with an opportunity: use their influence to help save a young girl and befriend a mysterious (and handsome) sword-for-hire in the process. It’s an adventure they’d be a fool to pass up on. The Forgotten Lyric is the second book in the Creed of Gethin trilogy.


It Haunts the Mind and Other Stories

It Haunts the Mind and Other Stories by Nick Roberts

Nick Roberts delves into the darkest corners of the soul, where horror meets raw emotion. Dive into the chilling depths of the human psyche with Nick Roberts, the acclaimed author behind bestsellers like The Exorcist’s House and Anathema. Presenting a collection of fifteen tales, It Haunts the Mind masterfully weaves horror with raw emotion, leaving an indelible mark on the reader's soul. From the malevolent presence in “Sally Under the Bed” and the eponymous “It Haunts the Mind” to the raw brutality of “The Noose” and “The Bitter End,” Roberts showcases his unparalleled ability to terrify. Yet, it’s not just supernatural dread that lurks in these pages. Stories like “Thanks for Sharing” and “The Weeping Wind” delve into the very real horrors of addiction and grief, while “The Paperboy” and “Voodoo Bay” introduce monsters that defy reality. John Durgin, author of The Cursed Among Us and Inside The Devil’s Nest, praises the collection, stating, “Come for the horror, stay for the heartbreaking emotion that bleeds into every page... It Haunts The Mind is that damn good.” James Aquilone, a Bram Stoker Award-nominated editor and writer, warns of the collection's potency: “Nick Roberts has an uncanny ability to scare the bejesus out of readers... Highly recommended if you don’t want to sleep in the dark again.” Perfect for aficionados of horror short stories, suspenseful tales, and narratives that explore the human condition, It Haunts the Mind is a testament to the power of storytelling, blending supernatural terror with the very real demons that haunt our lives. Whether you're drawn to tales of possession, substance abuse, or coming-of-age horror, this collection promises to both terrify and move you in equal measure. Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.


Prince of the Sorrows

Prince of the Sorrows by Kellen Graves

Without an academic endorsement to make him valuable to the high fey, Saffron will be sent back through the veil to the human world. The place he was traded from as a changeling-baby, and a place he is terrified of. And while getting an endorsement shouldn't be impossible, it's hindered by the fact his literacy is self-taught, using books stolen off of Morrígan Academy's campus of high fey students. When mistaken identity leads to Saffron learning the true name of brooding, self-centered, high fey Prince Cylvan, what begins as a risk of losing his life (or his tongue) becomes an opportunity to earn the future he wants. In exchange for an endorsement, he and Cylvan form a geis where Saffron agrees to find a spell to strip power from Cylvan's true name. While Prince Cylvan doesn't know Saffron can barely read, Saffron is determined to meet his end of the deal in order to remain in Alfidel—or, maybe, just to remain by Cylvan's side, as affections grow stronger every night they spend alone in the library together. But as other human servants soon fall victim to a beast known only as “the wolf”, Saffron realizes he has embroiled himself in a manipulative reach for power like he never anticipated—and even Prince Cylvan cannot be trusted. Between the wolf, uncovering forbidden magic, and his growing feelings for the prince, Saffron will have to decide which is most important to him—his endorsement, the lives of his friends, or the prince’s life and wellbeing.


The Living Waters

The Living Waters by Dan Fitzgerald

SFFOasis SPFBO9

Wonder swirls beneath murky water. When two painted-faced nobles take a guided raft trip on a muddy river, they expect to rough it for a few weeks before returning to their life of sheltered ease. But when mysterious swirls start appearing in the water, even their seasoned guides get rattled. The mystery of the swirls lures them on to the mythical wetlands known as the Living Waters. They discover a world beyond their imagining, but stranger still are the worlds they find inside their own minds as they are drawn deep into the troubles of this hidden place. The Living Waters is a sword-free fantasy novel featuring an ethereal love story, meditation magic, and an ancient book with cryptic marginalia. It is the first book in the Weirdwater Confluence duology; the second book, The Isle of a Thousand Worlds, comes out January 15 2022.


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.


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.


The Trials of Ashmount

The Trials of Ashmount by John Palladino

SPFBO8

Cedain is destined to collapse. Across a world rife with blood, betrayal, and brutality, five people wade through unexpected tragedies. An egotistical student, a fleeing refugee, a nomadic warrior, a fallen noble, and a criminal in hiding navigate the sinister dealings of politicians, two sudden wars, and nefarious lies that surface at Ashmount—a university dedicated to teaching the five branches of magic. Survival means adapting or dying. Fans of Joe Abercrombie and hard magic systems will enjoy navigating a morally gray cast of characters in a world on the brink of collapse.


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.


Shades and Silver

Shades and Silver by Dax Murray

Kraken Collective

The birthright of every Ástfríður is to know each metal in the earth, command it, and bend it to their desires. To hear metal singing, some of it waiting just beneath the surface, so much of it deeper in the earth. If they wanted, they knew they could pluck that metal from the earth, melt it with a thought, and shape it as they pleased with a breath of air and their will. Each Ástfríður must choose which metal they would wear upon their heads, denoting the path they would walk. They craft beautiful horns to wear on their brow, forged with the metal they wish to identify with. But Britt does not know if they can choose the path they want; if they can overcome a past that has stolen their identity. The day has come for them to choose, and they have no idea if they have any right even to try to. And Astrid has never felt the pull of the metal at all. Wearing a forged circlet and horn, they try to navigate a world that they feel has rejected them, all the while fearing someone will learn their secret. The Veil of the Ástfríður has kept them hidden from the world and safe from intruders. Yet Britt and Astrid feel they are imposters in their own homes. Shades and Silver is a duology of novellas about identity, doubt, and acceptance.


Jack of Thorns (Inheritance, 1)

Jack of Thorns (Inheritance, 1) by AK Faulkner

SFFOasis SPFBO8

You’d think seeing the future would make life easy, but Laurence Riley knows better. No matter how hard he tries to master the chaos, everything slips out of control. His violent ex-boyfriend, his supernatural talents, his drug addiction—seeing what’s coming doesn’t help with any of them. He needs help and he knows it. Help that only a god can provide. The answer to his prayers is Jack, who offers aid with reining in his powers and mastering his life. In exchange, all Jack asks is regular offerings of sexual energy from Laurence's conquests. A month ago, that would have been just fine with Laurence. If not for Quentin, it still would be. Devastatingly handsome, incredibly desirable, and so far out of Laurence’s league it’s not even funny, Quentin is the flame to Laurence’s moth. Laurence doesn’t want anyone else, he can’t think of anyone else, and neither Quentin’s frustratingly chaste behavior nor his uncontrollable telekinesis are enough to put him off. Not even if his focus on Quentin means breaking his bargain with Jack and facing the consequences of disappointing a god. Laurence doesn’t need to see the future to know that’s a bad idea, but he has no clue how dangerous Jack really is…


No Heart for a Thief

No Heart for a Thief by James Lloyd Dulin

SPFBO9

We are the stories we tell ourselves...even the lies. The Thief, a great spirit, and her descendants have abused their ability to steal magic for centuries. When Kaylo starts to hear the song of other people’s magic, he must learn to hide from his people as well as the invaders. A gift or a curse, Kaylo may be able to save his people from the Gousht Empire that claimed their land with this stolen magic.

 Eighteen years later, Kaylo still prays to the spirits, but not out of loyalty or love. He knows better than to rely on those selfish bastards for anything. While hiding in the forest from his foolish acts of rebellion, he encounters a girl, Tayen, being pursued by two soldiers of the empire. Against his better judgment, he risks facing the consequences of his past to intervene.

 When Tayen attempts to run off seeking vengeance for her family, he offers to train her to wield her magic and a blade. If he can’t convince her to relinquish her need for vengeance and stave off the demons of his past, he’s going to get them both killed.


The Rust Maidens

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.


River in the Galaxy

River in the Galaxy by Natalie Kelda

SPFBO9 Indie Recs Indie

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.


A Case of Madness

A Case of Madness by Yvonne Knop

Andrew Thomas just got sacked. He's permanently drunk. He's got cancer. Is inescapably gay. Was hit by a bus. And he's fallen in love with a stranger whose life he saved. As a newly-unemployed Sherlock Holmes scholar, Andrew knows only Holmes can help him untangle the madness his life has become, but Holmes isn't real. Except he absolutely appeared in Andrew's house, told him he's in love with a man he just met…and then in a fit of pique Andrew sent him away. Sure Holmes is probably a hallucination or a specter or a ghost, but now Andrew desperately needs his help. So to find the answer to his case and the man of his dreams, Andrew takes to chasing a fictional character through London with his very own Watson.


Elevated Inferno

Elevated Inferno by Carlotta Ardell

Monet Parker wasn't a sucker for a man in uniform. Even if he was a firefighter with dimples deep enough to swim in and ebony skin painted by the gods. She was just trying to get her dream internship and prepare herself for a career in social robotics. She had no idea how her life would change with the simple push of a button. When the elevator taking her to her interview at Real World Robotics stops, Monet isn't sure if she will live, let alone make her interview. She's rescued by Rhys Banks: the gorgeous hunk of a fireman. As much as their magnetism is palpable, Monet is trying to ignore her feelings. Focusing on her career and navigating her chaotic family drama is more than enough excitement for her. Still, it's hard to ignore #FiremanBae when her sister is hosting an Instagram Live video of the rescue and getting the whole internet buzzing. What happens when the internet becomes a third wheel in Monet's love life? What happens when past hurts, career goals, and family baggage are in conflict with their desires? Will these distractions win out and quash the elevated inferno? Can Monet have it all, including love?


At the Trough

At the Trough by Adam Knight

In a future where schools have no teachers and no classrooms, Jennifer Calderon is the perfect student. Every day she watches her video modules, plays her edu games, and never misses an answer. Life is comfortable in the Plex, a mile-wide apartment building. Corporations and brand names surround her and satisfy her every want and need. Then one day, her foul-mouthed, free-spirited, 90’s-kitsch-wearing girlfriend Melody disrupts everything. She introduces her to a cynical, burned-out former teacher, who teaches them the things no longer taught in school. Poetry. Critical thinking. Human connection. But these lessons draw the attention of EduForce, the massive corporation with a stranglehold on education. When they show how far they are willing to go keep their customers obedient, Jennifer has to decide what is most important to her and how much she is willing to sacrifice for it.


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