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Broken Wings and Buried Secrets: A Short Story Collection by Bethany Votaw

This short story collection offers a glimpse into some of the mind's darkest and strangest corners. It features the lies we tell ourselves, the truths we pretend to face, the pain we inflict on our family, and the shadows we try to outrun. It explored the complex family dynamics and secrets. The collection includes 25 stories, including micro-fiction, flash fiction, and short stories


The Naughty or Nice Clause by Kate Callaghan

Being Naughty Has Never Been So Nice! When Lyla's father retired as CEO of the toy company which has been in their family for generations, she was meant to receive his shares. Instead, she discovers the company is bankrupt and her father has given her shares to Mason Klaus, an investor known in the corporate world for his cold and callous nature. Much to Lyla's frustration, her only option is to run the company with him, despite their evident loathing for one another. When Mason cancels the annual Christmas party, Lyla throws it anyway - only for the event of the season to result in a terrible fire. With the offices and Lyla's credibility ruined, Mason offers her a deal: he'll forget her part in the disaster, but she must join his family for the twelve days of their Christmas holidays. Taken to a fantastical winter wonderland, Lyla hopes that she might discover some of the secrets Mr Klaus is hiding, and maybe even a way to get her company back. However, when Mason introduces her to the secret village as his fiancée, she is horrified to realise she has no choice but to go along with the pretence - because the cost of bringing an outsider to their magical land is far too high. Can Lyla resist the devilishly handsome Mr Klaus and the enchanting village to win back her company, or will she give into temptation? Readers who fell in love with Yule: 'Definitely a must-read for anyone who likes Christmas books with a beautiful touch of fantasy.' ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 'Magical. Felt like stepping into a snow globe Christmas village.' ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 'I'm a sucker for cheesy hallmark Christmas movies, so if you're like me you'll love this book!' ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 'Adventure, romance, a bit of spice, and a sprinkle of gold dust to put you in the holiday spirit!' ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 'Workplace rivals featuring Santa's hot son and forced proximity in the North Pole? Count me in.' ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Tropes & Themes: Low-Fantasy Romance Workplace, Enemies to Lovers Fake Engagement Forced Proximity Cosy, Christmas feels


The Hunt of the Pumpkin King by Rowena Andrews

Legend speaks of the Pumpkin King, a tale steeped in superstition and fear. But all legends carry a grain of truth, and autumn is coming. CW: Mild body horror, decapitation.


Anachrony by Susana Imaginário

Arianh had one wish. Yewlow made it real. And Time turned it into a regret. Anachrony takes you on a journey to the bleak future of Aegea and the darkest places of the mind. Can fate be avoided, or is the future just someone else's past?


The Fall by Ryan Cahill

The Order have watched over the continent of Epheria for thousands of years. But there are those who believe The Order has had its day. That it is corrupt, indulgent, and deceitful – that it is ready to fall. The City of Ilnaen is on fire. Dragons fill the skies. Traitors fill the streets. The Fall is a prequel novella that takes place four hundred years before the events in Of Blood and Fire – book one in The Bound and The Broken series


She Is Coming by Midori Anzai

Salt merchant Seijiro doesn't know how he ended up alone and far from the Japanese Salt Road... ...nor why a yuki-onna is hunting him. As Seijiro braves freezing temperatures, he must piece together what has happened to him if he is to escape the yuki-onna's clutches. But the truth might just be colder than the air he breathes.


Errant by Montrez

16 year old Savannah becomes New York's most wanted while struggling to reclaim her life after the devastating loss of her father. As things continue going downhill Savannah witnesses an impossible phenomenon that triggers the emergence of a wild and powerful gift. While being hunted she finds refuge in a group of ragtag misfits. A Supernatural war is coming and Savannah will need to adapt to her new world or die trying.


Blanky by Kealan Patrick Burke

In the wake of his infant daughter's tragic death, Steve Brannigan is struggling to keep himself together. Estranged from his wife, who refuses to be inside the house where the unthinkable happened, and unable to work, he seeks solace in an endless parade of old sitcoms and a bottle of bourbon. Until one night he hears a sound from his daughter's old room, a room now stripped bare of anything that identified it as hers...except for her security blanket, affectionately known as Blanky. Blanky, old and frayed, with its antiquated patchwork of badly sewn rabbits with black button eyes, who appear to be staring at the viewer... Blanky, purchased from a strange old man at an antique stall selling "BABY CLOSE" at a discount. The presence of Blanky in his dead daughter's room heralds nothing short of an unspeakable nightmare that threatens to take away what little light remains in Steve's shattered world. Because his daughter loved Blanky so much, he buried her with it. A new novella from the Bram Stoker Award-Winning author of SOUR CANDY and KIN.


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?


The Wild Court by E. G. Radcliff

SFFOasis

What perils await on the other side of the veil? In the seventh year of Áed's reign, night descends on the autumn festival. But a time of revelry turns into one of fiery destruction—as fae pour across the veil and the Gut becomes a battlefield in an otherworldly war. Determined to protect his kingdom and the people he loves, Áed finds himself catapulted into a realm as unfamiliar as it is dangerous, where magic is king and wild courts vie for supremacy. While the faerie Queen's missing consort holds the key to life and death, tenuous alliances raise questions about Áed’s connection to the mysterious Bone Court. His survival hinges on cunning as much as illusion. On a mission like no other, only one thing is certain: no one will survive unscathed.


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!


Worse Than Dying by Brett Van Valkenburg

After his father suffers a nervous breakdown, Noah Barnes is tasked with caring for his family in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. A dark novella about fight and family, as one survivor confronts untold loss and struggles with unimaginable choices. Worse Than Dying takes place in a small town in upstate New York toward the beginning of an inexplicable uprising of the living dead. This powerful story is a more adult take on the zombie horror genre with fast pacing, mature themes, and, of course, plenty of disfigured, flesh-eating corpses. "Beautiful. If a sequel isn't forthcoming, it's a shame." -talesofworldwarz.com


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!


Of Honey and Wildfires (Songs of Sefate #1) by Sarah Chorn

SPFBO6 Indie Recs Indie SFFOasis

From the moment the first settler dug a well and struck a lode of shine, the world changed. Now, everything revolves around that magical oil. What began as a simple scouting expedition becomes a life-changing ordeal for Arlen Esco. The son of a powerful mogul, Arlen is kidnapped and forced to confront uncomfortable truths his father has kept hidden. In his hands lies a decision that will determine the fate of everyone he loves—and impact the lives of every person in Shine Territory. The daughter of an infamous saboteur and outlaw, Cassandra has her own dangerous secrets to protect. When the lives of those she loves are threatened, she realizes that she is uniquely placed to change the balance of power in Shine Territory once and for all. Secrets breed more secrets. Somehow, Arlen and Cassandra must find their own truths in the middle of a garden of lies.


Under the Lesser Moon by Shelly Campbell

Indie Recs Indie SPFBO9

“Dragons once led our people across the wastelands, away from storms, and toward hunting grounds.” That’s what the elders say, but Akrist has squinted at empty skies his whole life. The dragons have abandoned them, and it’s Akrist’s fault. He’s cursed. Like every other firstborn son, he has inherited the sins of his ancestors. In his camp, he’s the only eldest boy left. Something happened to the others. Something terrible. When Akrist befriends Tanar, an eldest boy from another tribe, he discovers the awful truth: they’re being raised as sacrifices to appease the Goddess and win back her dragons. The ritual happens when the dual moons eclipse. Escape is the only option, but Akrist was never taught to hunt or survive the wastelands alone. Time is running out, and he has to do something before the moons touch.


The Worthy by Anna K Moss

Blood is thicker than water. Tell that to Prince Barsten, betrayed and abandoned on foreign soil. His sister is intent on claiming the throne and he’s intent on stealing it back. One of them might succeed, if it weren’t for a sacred creature infecting people with its emotions. Rage, fear, paranoia, despair. As their country collapses, the royal siblings must stay true to themselves or find out just how thick their blood really is. Moss’s compelling debut novel dives into a desperate kingdom, full of intrigue, treachery and sapphic-longing. Fast-paced and awash with sinful characters and fetid settings, The Worthy is a must-read for all lovers of dark fantasy. Content warning: This novel contains scenes of violence, assault and occasional dialogue of a homophobic and racist nature. The opinions of the awful characters herein are not the authors own.


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.


Scribbles and Scrawls: A Short Story Collection by Bethany Votaw

Bethany Votaw gives you sixteen short stories featuring the darkness and the monsters surrounding us. Experience the uncomfortable realities lurking beneath the surface. Meet a devil at a coffee shop, discover what the Night Man is really after, and stumble upon strange creatures and events lurking just beneath the surface. If you like supernatural horror, psychological thrills, and mind-bending twists, then you’ll love this debut short story collection by Bethany Votaw. Unlock Scribbles and Scrawls and begin the journey into madness.


The Headsman by Christina Mîrzoi

Take a glimpse into the world of a headsman, a gloomy village in which each dweller has a secret: an evil witch, a shrewd florist, a naive young man, a foreign merchant, a dreadful husband, a mischievous maid, and a lustful duke. These stories are intertwined, weaving a dark narrative of love, trickery, brutality, and loss. Under the bleak aesthetic, raw human emotions unravel themselves in a gripping story about moral decay. In a world that belongs to the wicked, how far can one walk this path while keeping a clean conscience? The Headsman is a collection of short stories that focus on interconnected characters, sometimes looking at the same event from a different perspective. As a genre, it falls somewhere under dark fiction territory.


Gates of Mars: Book 1 of the Halo Trilogy by Kathleen McFall

SPSFC

What happens after the plutocrats colonize Mars? An interplanetary mystery and a searing critique of the billionaire quest for Mars. Funny, irreverent, a bit hopeful. Plus, giraffes.   IN THE AGE OF SURVEILLANCE, HOW CAN A PERSON GO MISSING?  The year is 2187. Crucial Larsen, a veteran of the brutal Consolidation Wars, is working as a labor cop on Earth. The planet is a toxic dump and billions of people are miserable, but so what? It's none of his business. He's finally living a good life, or good enough. But then Essential, his beloved kid sister, disappears on Mars.  When Halo--the all-powerful artificial-intelligence overseeing Earth and Mars on behalf of the ruling Five Families--can't (or won't) locate his sister, Crucial races up-universe to find her. In the Choke, the frigid, airless expanse outside the luxury domes, Crucial uncovers a deadly secret from Essential's past that threatens to shatter his apathetic existence...and both planets. Blending science-fiction with the classic, hard-boiled detective story, Gates of Mars is a page-turning, futuristic thrill-ride featuring a gritty, irreverent anti-hero--Crucial Larsen.  The first book of the Halo Trilogy, Gates of Mars is the eighth novel by award-winning authors Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall.


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.


No Place for Peace by Tom Dumbrell

As Cyrus rides away from the safety of his family in Highcastle to face his destiny in cunning King Simeon's kingdom, Augustus braces himself for the arrival of a new threat: an invading army is coming for the capital. Easthaven's young king will need the support of those closest to him if there is any hope of saving not just the city but their kingdom. Will Thaddeus and Adaline be able to guide Augustus toward victory, or will a magnetic new influence cloud his judgement? What fate awaits Cyrus in Auldhaven, and is there more to Simeon than meets the eye? As Cyrus's journey takes him farther from home than ever before, his future will become more unpredictable. The outcome seems destined to be explosive. War is coming, but the fiercest battles are often fought within.


Sons of Darkness by Gourav Mohanty

SOME BALLADS ARE INKED IN BLOOD. Bled dry by violent confrontations with the Magadhan Empire, the Mathuran Republic simmers on the brink of oblivion. Krishna and Satyabhama have put their plans in motion within and beyond the Republic's blood-soaked borders to protect it from annihilation. But they will soon discover that neither gold nor alliances last forever. They are however not alone in this game. Mati, Pirate-Princess of Kalinga, has decided to mend her ways to be a good wife. But old habits die hard, especially when one habitually uses murder to settle old scores. Brooding but beautiful Karna hopes to bury his brutal past but finds that destiny is a miser when it comes to giving second chances. The crippled hero-turned-torturer Shakuni limps through the path of daggers that is politics only to find his foes multiply, leaving little time for vengeance. Their lives are about to become very difficult for a cast of sinister queens, naive kings, pious assassins and ravenous priests are converging where the Son of Darkness is prophesied to rise, even as forgotten Gods prepare to play their hand


El Jefe by Tiffany Christina Lewis

In this third installment of the series, Detective Michael Taylor of the Oakland PD has a decision to make: Should he begin an investigation against his corrupt lieutenant? After being given a file of evidence against him, Michael is expected to act. He knows that after multiple attempts on his own life, opening this investigation would put himself, all of his loved ones and his partner Det. Alex Jamison in danger. As Michael contemplates the case, he and Jamison get a late-night call to the residence of Mia McDowell, who is found assaulted and murdered. Although it initially looks like a breaking and entering, Michael can sense something isn’t right. Just as his momentum rises, Lt. Bruce Vega, the corrupt supervisor in question, arrives on the scene. As the two come head to head, Michael removes himself from the situation only to find that he has fueled Lt. Vega’s fire, and he is now under a month’s suspension. Now Michael has to make some choices: will he investigate Lt. Vega and risk everything or will he do nothing and risk losing himself?


Lipstick Covered Magnet by Amber Herbert

She’s running from her past. He’s hoping to become her present. Skylar has avoided the past for three years. She can’t be plagued by guilt and regret if she never has time to process what happened. When a song triggers the memories she’s tried so hard to bury, she knows she can’t run anymore. Despite her ex being gone, he’s hiding in the quiet and stillness. There’s no escape. Connor has always been passionate. If he’s into you, he will follow you to the ends of the earth. Sure, his fixation once ended in a restraining order, but that was just one girl. When he meets Skylar, he feels that same itch. Despite her attempts to brush him off, he increases his efforts—even if that means tracking her movements and stalking her online. He knows he’ll win her over if he’s persistent. As Skylar does her best to heal, Connor sinks further into obsession. Lipstick Covered Magnet is a genre-bending debut that weaves the intricacies of healing with delusion and suspense. For fans of You and I May Destroy You *Content warning: contains sexual assault, mentions of suicide, and stalking.


Divinity’s Twilight: Rebirth by Christopher Russell

“Russell’s new high fantasy series launch is well written with a definite steampunk vibe and sword-and-sorcery appeal.” —Library Journal A world consumed by war. An ancient evil resurrected. A millennia-old bargain comes due . . . When two blades clash, the third will fall, and the fate of all will be jeopardized. To save Lozaria, the failures of the past must be atoned for by a new generation of heroes. The time has come for mortals to cast off sight and, in doing so, truly come to see . . . Victory is never absolute. Seven centuries ago, the forces of order won the Illyriite War on the plains of Har’muth. Darmatus and Rabban Aurelian slew their elder brother, Sarcon, the despotic architect of the conflict, then sacrificed themselves to banish the cataclysmic vortex opened with his dying breath. The first advent of the Oblivion Well was thwarted. Even without their vanished gods, the seven races of Lozaria proved themselves capable of safeguarding their world. Or so the story goes. The year is now 697 A.B.H. (After the Battle of Har’muth). Though war itself remains much the same, the weapons with which it is waged have evolved. Airships bearing powerful cannons ply the skies, reducing the influence of mages and their spells. Long-range communication has brought far-flung regions of Lozaria closer than ever before. At the center of this technological revolution are the three Terran states of Darmatia, Rabban, and Sarconia, who have fought a near ceaseless campaign of seven hundred years in an attempt to best each other. The roots of their enmity lie buried beneath the wasteland of Har’muth, a place all three nations consider best forgotten. However, an ancient power sealed within Har’muth has not forgotten them, and the descendants of those who fought on that field must now take a stand to rectify the mistakes of the past . . .


A Pale Box on the Distant Shore by P.J. Nwosu

A silent killer stalks the slum towers of Death City. In the shadow of a drowned death god, a young soldier risks his life to solve a violent crime. To catch a killer, Soldier Honnan Skyin carves a bloody trail over the behemoth bones of a dead giant and through the deepest forest of a frozen island. But some secrets should stay buried. Welcome to Death City. The Red Kingdom is a new series of dark mysteries in fantasy worlds that delve into a land of vicious crimes, strange lore and Purge House zealots.


Keeper of the Fallen by Alyssa Lauseng

"The spirits have placed a very important task in your hands." A massacre. An escape. Sonika could have been a warrior and a leader if she hadn't been ripped from her homeland as a child. As the last of the Okami, she will never stop fighting for her right to live. Stalking the shadows is the only world Kulako knows. Heart filled with hatred, death by his blade is inevitable, but who he is beneath that darkness longs for something else. When a twist of fate forces their lives to collide, their choices may be enough to hold back the merciless coils of the Giahatio. But not even the will of the Gods can stop the will of the Emperor.


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.


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.


Night Warrior by Jordan J. Scavone

SPFBO6

When a bolt of lightning strikes seventeen-year-old Viranda’s home during a severe thunderstorm, she awakens, dazed, to find a strange blood-covered man sitting calmly on her bed. This man claims to be Cillian Balor, The Night Warrior, the same character Viranda herself had created in her novel. Cillian believes Viranda to be the Goddess of Fate from his homeworld of Lingard. However, Viranda claims there is no Goddess of Fate in Lingard; she should know, she did create it after all. When other characters from her book begin to appear in her world, Viranda fears what would happen if the likes of Finn Razorclaw, a deadly werewolf and the arch-rival of Cillian, or the feared witches of The Black Cat Clan arrived as well. With the help of her best friend Bee, and a protection gnome named Mo, Viranda and Cillian must discover the secret to Cillian’s existence and prevent catastrophic damage by powerful supernatural beings.


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?


Those Once Forgotten by N. C. Scrimgeour

They were a memory once forgotten. For millennia, they waited. Now, they are coming. The galaxy has been plunged into chaos, left reeling from the trap Alvera Renata triggered around the ancient alien waystations. As the leaders of the allied systems desperately try to prepare for what might be coming, Ridley and Kojan go on the hunt in search of answers. But the one person who might hold the key—the rogue starship captain who started it all—is missing in action, and her old friends aren’t the only ones looking for her… Meanwhile, tensions between the Coalition and the Idran-Var are at breaking point in the aftermath of a brutal attack. The only hope for peace may lie in a fragile alliance between Rivus and Niole, old enemies thrown unwillingly onto the same side. But even if they can bury their past, what will it take to overcome the centuries of bloodshed dividing their people? As the mysterious signal coming from the waystations counts down, only one thing is for certain: something is coming, and if the fractured factions of the galaxy can’t find a way to stand against it together, it may be the end for them all.


The Demon's Dagger: A Noir Urban Fantasy Novella (Alexander Southerland, P.I.) P by Douglas Lumsden

SFINCS

Once he checked in, checking out became an obsession! Crawford the were-rat checks into a shady hotel and promptly stumbles over a dead man. A mysterious troll is obsessed with finding the dagger that killed him—a dagger possessed by a demon! The demon denies that he is a demon and is obsessed with regaining his freedom. Meanwhile, the hotel’s night clerk is obsessed with the hooker on the third floor. Crawford is obsessed with what’s in the hooker’s room: a solid gold statuette of a demon-slaying goddess! Crawford has checked in, but, when obsessions collide, does he have any hope of checking out? Content Advisory: This book is intended for a mature audience. It contains misogynistic characters, language, and acts. It also contains graphic violence (including violence against women), smoking, drinking, drug use, graphic sexual acts, and crude language and images.


A Canticle of War by Steven Raaymakers

When the world is threatened with total destruction, can warchildren unite to save it? A grim story of trauma and power with a Sanderson-esque magic system. In this epic conclusion, all bets are off as Raziel and his rag-tag crew must finally come together against the rising dark power. If death doesn’t find them first. The city of Archehan lies in ruins, banshees circle the crumbling towers. Famine and violence spread across the fallen kingdom. An empire marches its armies to war. Ancient magics are stirring, woken by Raziel’s choices. With the fate of the world in their hands, will Raziel and his companions find the way forward through the darkness, or will they be the architects of their own doom? The ‘Aria of Steel Trilogy’ is a heavy-metal power ballad of clashing blades, blood-soaked betrayal, and sweet revenge. Join the fight today!


Petrified Women by Jeremy Ray

Some pranks go too far. This one could be deadly. Harley has the perfect boyfriend. Why can’t her best friend see that? He’s nothing like the others, especially the one who still haunts her memories. She’s finally picked a “keeper” with Aiden. Sure, he’s a bit eccentric. His wood carving hobby is a little odd. His need for isolation while he carves his life-size female figurines is strange. And maybe his obsession with pranks, or "scares" on Harley goes a little too far. But what do you expect? Aiden’s an artist. Harley has finally picked the perfect boyfriend. That’s why this year, Harley ignores all her best friend’s warnings. She has the ultimate surprise planned for Aiden’s birthday, one that’s going to help her get even in their battle to out-prank each other. She hides in his apartment, excitedly waiting to pull off the scare of a lifetime… But then he comes home, and Harley witnesses a different side of her boyfriend. The side that exists behind closed doors when he doesn’t know anyone’s watching. Is this just one of his scares? Or is there something more sinister lurking behind his playful nature? Harley’s about to find out.


Cthulhu Armageddon by C.T. Phipps

“Under an alien sky where gods of eldritch matter rule, the only truth is revenge.” CTHULHU ARMAGEDDON is the story of a world 100 years past the rise of the Old Ones which has been reduced to a giant monster-filled desert and pockets of human survivors (along with Deep Ones, ghouls, and other “talking” monsters). John Henry Booth is a ranger of one of the largest remaining city-states when he’s exiled for his group’s massacre and suspicion he’s “tainted.” Escaping with a doctor who killed her husband, John travels across the Earth’s blasted alien ruins to seek the life of the man who killed his friends. It’s the one thing he has left.


ARvekt by Craig Lea Gordon

SPSFC

Will the battle for humanity be fought in reality? Or in her mind? Tannis Ord is a black-ops cyborg assassin. A highly-trained human-weapon, dedicated to hunting down the last of the brain hacking syndicates. There’s just one problem… Her mind was broken from a psychotic episode. Neural programming erased her trauma, gave her a fresh start. But when an old brain hacker cult resurfaces, and a sentient AI is set to govern the entire human population, she starts seeing things. Horrors that can’t possibly be real… that make no sense… that only she can see. Ix, their AI Guardian, is abducting innocent citizens from the streets in broad daylight. And it’s using the Augmented Reality it has thrown over the world as cover. Is the AI hellbent on humanities destruction? Or is her mind tearing itself apart again? ARvekt is an explosive story, fusing action and intrigue into a journey full of twists and turns where you won’t know what’s real and what isn’t. If you enjoy books with amazing plots and characters, set in a stunning futuristic world, then input ARvekt into your brain now. ARvekt is book two of the Instant Reality Series.


Norse Mythology for Bostonians: A Transcription of the Impudent Edda by Rowdy Geirsson

Norse Mythology for Bostonians is a humorous retelling of the trials and tribulations of Odin, Thor, and the other Norse gods. Regarded as an authentic, new "Edda" (as the original Icelandic source material is called), the main narrative is told in the charmingly quaint dialect of a foul-mouthed Bostonian. New mythological episodes, such as Thor's attempt to renew his driver's license and Odin's mysterious journey to Boston Common, supplement the more traditional stories such as Odin's acquisition of the mead of poetry and the theft of Idunn's apples of youth. Substantial historical background information about the myths is provided in the introductory material, as well as in the footnotes that occur throughout the volume. Based on the long-running McSweeney's Internet Tendency column Norse History for Bostonians, Norse Mythology for Bostonians, introduces readers to a fresh, new perspective on both familiar and previously unknown narratives of Norse mythology.


The Dragon’s Reign: Heart of the Depths by Tim Mullins

After his mother suffers a life-altering brain injury during a tragic accident, Andy books two tickets aboard The Heart - a luxury cruise ship built for the super-rich, to give her the holiday she had always dreamed of. Shortly after the ship sets sail, catastrophe hits the mainland and the pair can only watch as the life they left behind is turned to ash. The Heart continues out to sea, hoping to put some distance between its passengers and the devastated mainland, but as the ship ventures into deeper waters Andy soon realizes that the ocean may not be the safe haven the ship's Captain first thought... For something lurks below, and now it's rising from the depths... Set during the events of The Dragon’s Reign, this short-story will tell a heartfelt tale about a mother and son that will test their definition of love as they learn just how far they will go for family.


An Ocean of Others by Joshua Scott Edwards

SPFBO9

REMEMBER WHAT'S REAL OR YOUR HEAD WILL BE THEIRS Survival is never easy, but it’s never been harder for Grim, the last bounty hunter in Liwokin. He survived the Great Riot that killed Liwo by the thousands, endured the bloody chaos that ruled the city in its aftermath, and avoided the crushing fist of the Agency created to quell the unrest. Rule of law returned, but following the rules doesn’t put food in your belly. On a job gone wrong, Grim stumbles into a conspiracy that targets Ulken, the Head of the Agency, a man who has done more to ruin Grim’s life than any other. Struggling to earn honest coin, Grim plans to use this information to rise quickly through the ranks of the organization so an empty purse never worries him again. He becomes a Finger of the Agency, joining a sardonic ranger, two fugitive siblings, a stone-skinned Skardwarf, and a powerful dark mage—none of whom know any better than Grim what they’ve gotten themselves into. Grim’s Hand soon discovers the Agency’s furtive work is far deadlier than hunting bounties. While fighting to save his home from monsters who once were men, Grim discovers the conspiracy runs deeper than just Ulken and the Agency—what was unleashed is spreading, and if Grim’s sanity doesn’t prevail, it will consume the minds of the Bright Empire and beyond. Action-packed, bloody, and full of brain-bending intrigue, in An Ocean of Others the line between monster and man is thin enough to drive you out of your mind.


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...


Witch of the Lunar Order by S.F. Henne

Exile or forfeit my magic. Not the choices I expected after graduating university. An unstable magic surges through my veins, and it’s growing harder to suppress. Desperate to save my powers, I moved to the big city to hunt for a cure and escape the witches who would strip away my magic. After stealing an ancient codex—blame the magical fox—I discover a potion recipe that offers a chance to learn control. The allure of mastering my magic is tempting. A little sip won’t hurt, right? But when I rush to aid my wounded friend, dark creatures ambush us. I unleash my magic, saving our lives and almost destroying the street. Barista in the morning and alchemist by night. I’m just trying to make ends meet. But a hidden danger stalks the shadows and I fear it's drawn to my new magic. Hunted by demonspawn, nephilim and dark magic, I must decide what I will sacrifice to hold on to my dreams. Will embracing this new power save my future or destroy it? If you like fast-paced Urban Fantasy with a strong heroine, heart pounding action, found family and a dash of humor, then you’ll love Witch of the Lunar Order.


One Road In by Hannah R. Palmer

'Some say, at night, you can see glowing eyes of fire between the trees, watching. Waiting...' Sadie’s younger brother Ben went missing 5 years ago. No one knows where he went. No one knows who, or what, took him. So explain the look of guilt on Sadie’s face when her mother called with the best news possible: Ben has come home. What does Sadie know about his disappearance? And what has her brother brought home with him? There’s something on the small island off the coast of Rose Bay, and its glowing amber eyes are making its presence known. Sadie needs to reconcile what happened all those years ago with where she finds herself now, before it has the chance to tear her family, and her hometown, apart again.


Red Darkling by L. A. Guettler

SPSFC 2023

Red Darkling’s ship is a weevil-infested piece of junk. Her smuggling business barely brings in enough credits to buy cheap beer. Alien creeps think a blaster can get them favors when their charm fails. Her only company is a glitchy cat and the occasional hook-up. Her life is dirty, dangerous, and lonely: just how she likes it. It all takes a turn for the worse when things start going well. A little too well. Partying with movie stars, weekends in paradise, troublesome people turning up dead—it’s maddening. Who is this anonymous benefactor, and why does he think she needs protecting?


Disseverment by Z.C. Krol

When Tyler receives a mysterious letter in the mail from a man claiming to be his stepfather, he is suddenly plunged back into the nightmares of his past, and has to make an important decision that will change him forever. Disseverment is a psychological horror story not for the squeamish. Z.C. Krol lives in Ohio with his wife and dogs, and is working on another project. When he's not writing, he's probably watching a bad horror movie or reading something creepy. You can email him at zckrol.writing@gmail.com and he'll absolutely respond to you. You can also find him on this new website called Facebook. Bonus points if you send him horror memes.


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 Summoner's Cry by Ana C. Reis

SFINCS

A powerless Summoner. A cursed Witch Lord. A clash of demons and magic. After a failed coup against Witch Queen Lilith, rogue witches Lau and Adam have no choice but to flee and hide. Crushed and surrounded by enemies, the pair arrives at Latis, a peculiar island brimming with strange tales of the supernatural, where they hope to find Adam's long-lost grimoire -- their only shield against Lilith's wrath. Rendered powerless after sealing a dragon Spirit in Adam's flesh to save his life, Lau struggles with loneliness and resentment. Helpless and doomed to live forever in a child's body, Adam seeks to make peace with a spell he has no strength nor skill to undo. Once allies in an ancient war, Lau and Adam start drifting apart. But when a dangerous visitor sets foot on Latis and the grimoire is nowhere to be found, the two estranged Witches must work together if they want to save themselves and the lives of the townsfolk they've come to love. Inspired by the show 'Supernatural' and 'Howl's Moving Castle', The Summoner's Cry is a nerve-racking dark fantasy tale rooted in modern times with razor-sharp dialogues, vibrant descriptions, and dark cottagecore aesthetics. The perfect read for fans of the reluctant hero, found-family, and enemies-to-allies-to-lovers tropes.


Wings of the Storm (The Dunes of Aelaron: Book One) by Aaron Bunce, Christopher Guhl

SPFBO9

My name is Vayo, and I am a slave. My people lived in Argia, the City of Light, before Nabonidus the Defiler swept across the land. He conquered, murdering and enslaving the other tribes. I was born after the fall, in a crumbling pit of despair and sadness. Nabonidus crowned himself ruler of the land, building his new kingdom from the rubble of our fallen world. I live and serve them now, my head bowed, and my eyes down. That is, until a master servant chose me. My new duty? Attending the King himself, serving the man that ruined my people. Desperate for blessings, I placed an offering to the Mother Goddess on my roof. Afterwards, I fell into a strange dream. One where I soared over the dunes on wings of radiant feathers. Shouts and screams startled me awake, and I watched as the King’s men carried my friend away. I followed, deep into dark tunnels beneath my fallen city. Fleeing the horrors I witnessed below, I hid in the one place they would not think to look. Inside that forbidden temple and buried beneath the rubble of our broken past I stumbled upon a peculiar sight. A beautiful warrior, with her arms wrapped around a shimmering, blue egg. Life as I know it 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)


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