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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.


A Simple Tale of Water and Weeping

A Simple Tale of Water and Weeping by Kami King Larsen

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


Pallas Lost

Pallas Lost by Jake Morrison

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

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


Neglected Merge

Neglected Merge by Eve Koguce

SPFBO7

“Neglected Merge” is an inspirational thought-provoking futuristic fantasy romance novel. The story of fated lovers developed against a backdrop of a new post-apocalyptic world painted in bright tones. A fortuitous meeting of Tauria, an independent woman living in one utopian-style world, and Doron from high society of the other world, is destined to be the new beginning for both worlds. Tauria, aged 32, lives in the society that seems to believe that happiness is a universal concept. People, who had survived the near apocalyptic experience, have built a whole new world full of pleasure and easiness. It is designed to make everyone feel happy every minute of their lives. Work brings satisfaction, hobbies are encouraged, relationships are supposed to bring out only positive emotions. Does it matter that things that don’t fit into the general happy pattern get discarded and disappear? Things like friendship and commitment. Things like true love. It is supposed to be enough with lightness and never-ending joy. But there are two worlds now. They are forced to exist side by side. Can they find a way to live together? The Chinese proverb says: “When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.” What will the people of two worlds, so utterly different and at the same time so similar, choose?


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.


Starkiller: The Merry Maids Book Three

Starkiller: The Merry Maids Book Three by Stefanie Contreras

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


The Hidden King (The Coming of Áed #1)

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

SPFBO6 Indie Recs Indie SFFOasis

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


The Legend of Black Jack

The Legend of Black Jack by A. R. Witham

SFFOasis SPFBO9

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


Not Your Mountain

Not Your Mountain by Greg Yates / AJ Alexanders

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


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.


The Merry Maids

The Merry Maids by Stefanie Contreras

SPSFC

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


The Order of the Key

The Order of the Key by Justine Manzano

WriteHive Book Club Teacup Dragon Coop

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


Magissa

Magissa by Kassandra Flamouri

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


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.


Effigest

Effigest by Amy Campbell

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


Aestus: Book 2: The Colony

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

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


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)


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.


Kingdom of Embers

Kingdom of Embers by Tricia Copeland

Her pale skin and weird diet make her a target at school. If only they knew the truth about her feeding habits… Seventeen-year-old Alena Scott is tired of pretending to be something she’s not. As an outlawed vampire-witch hybrid, she’s forced to abide by the oppressive secrecy imposed by her Vampire Chancellor mother. But she’ll have to ignore the rules when she comes face-to-face with a handsome, full-grown version of her childhood imaginary friend. Shocked that he recognizes her as his own pretend play pal, the two embark on a quest to solve the mystery of their fantasized companionship. And as they unravel their entwined destinies, Alena realizes she holds the key to a curse which could free them all—or condemn witchkind to eternal suffering. Can Alena and her impossibly familiar partner reverse an ancient spell before they’re sent to a mortal grave? Kingdom of Embers is the first book in the enthralling Kingdom Journals YA urban fantasy series. If you like intriguing characters, shadowy magic, and a fresh twist on modern vampire storylines, then you’ll love Tricia Copeland’s heart-stopping tale.


Helpless: A Short Story Collection

Helpless: A Short Story Collection by Tiffany Christina Lewis

WriteHive Book Club

A Short Story Collection Women are powerful and can be rational thinkers under pressure. They can also be devious and vengeful. A woman is not just a ball of emotion. Women can fight, they can protect, and they can win. These eight stories of women kicking ass, standing tall, and refusing to be victims are Tiffany’s opposition to the tropes of true crime. With stories from five genres including Paranormal, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Romance, and Crime Fiction, you are sure to find a story you love. Content warnings: https://tiffanychristinalewis.com/2021/02/25/helpless-warnings/


Three Kings

Three Kings by Freydís Moon

Ethan Shaw—lighthouse keeper and local witch—lives a charmed life in his chilly, coastal hometown. Blessed with a flourishing garden and a stable livelihood, Ethan can’t complain. But when his husband, Captain Peter Vásquez, brings home a wounded leopard seal after an impromptu storm, Ethan is faced with a curious situation: caring for a lost selkie named Nico Locke. As Ethan struggles with the possibility of being infertile, insecurities surrounding his marriage, and a newly formed magical bond with a hostile, handsome selkie, his comfortable life begins to fracture. But could breakage lead to something better? With autumn at their heels and winter on the horizon, Ethan, Peter, and Nico test the boundaries of a new relationship, shared intimacy, and the chance at a future together.


 Strong Fort Spathi

Strong Fort Spathi by Heather C. Wright

Sinikka is returning home after a late meeting, but never makes it. Her best friend, Jordan, discovers she’s missing. Before Jordan and his werewolf pack can begin looking for her, he finds himself host to Andrew Farkas. Andrew hopes to gain the support of Jordan’s pack in his bid to become the leader of all the American packs. When Andrew’s ward, Tyler, disappears as well, the entire situation becomes even more complicated. Will Jordan and Andrew be able to find Sinikka and Tyler? Will they be in time?


A Canticle of Two Souls

A Canticle of Two Souls by Steven Raaymakers

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


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.


Sisters of the Stars: Men Rule Earth - Women The Stars (The Sisters of the Stars Series Book 1)

Sisters of the Stars: Men Rule Earth - Women The Stars (The Sisters of the Stars Series Book 1) by Hellen Allan

When the end came for women they fell, as corn to a scythe. Only a handful could be saved; those with exceptional intelligence, strength and creativity. Sent to the stars, they hid, as darkness descended upon the Earth, knowing that one day that darkness would reach for them – and when it did, it would be worse than the scythe. For it sought not their intelligence, their strength, or their creativity - but their bodies. That time has come. For 20-year-old Selena, just thrown off the Star Biosphere Force for insubordination and anger management issues, this couldn’t have come at a worse time. Finding out her sister has been captured by the men who rule Earth, she resolves nothing is going to prevent her from getting her sister back, even if it means risking her own freedom.


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…


Consequences: A Wilders Finale

Consequences: A Wilders Finale by Cass Kim

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


The Reanimator's Heart

The Reanimator's Heart by Kara Jorgensen

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


Reverend of Silence

Reverend of Silence by Pamela Sparkman

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


Lady Vago's Malediction

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

SPFBO7

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


Piecefinder: The Merry Maids Book Two

Piecefinder: The Merry Maids Book Two by Stefanie Contreras

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


Kit & Basie

Kit & Basie by Tess Carletta

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


They Mostly Come Out At Night

They Mostly Come Out At Night by Benedict Patrick

Semi finalist in Mark Lawrence’s SPFBO (2017) Are you scared of the dark? The villagers of the forest seal themselves in their cellars at night, whispering folktales to each other about the monsters that prey on them in the dark. Only the Magpie King, their shadowy, unseen protector, can keep them safe. However, when an outcast called Lonan begins to dream of the Magpie King’s defeat at the hands of inhuman invaders, this young man must do what he can to protect his village. He is the only person who can keep his loved ones from being stolen away after dark, and to do so he will have to convince them to trust him again. They Mostly Come Out At Night is the first novel from Benedict Patrick’s Yarnsworld series. Straddling the line between fantasy and folklore, this book is perfect for fans of the darker Brothers Grimm stories.


The Children of Gods and Fighting Men

The Children of Gods and Fighting Men by Shauna Lawless

The first in a gripping new historical fantasy series that intertwines Irish mythology with real-life history, The Children of Gods and Fighting Men is the thrilling debut novel by Shauna Lawless. They think they've killed the last of us... 981 AD. The Viking King of Dublin is dead. His young widow, Gormflaith, has ambitions for her son – and herself – but Ireland is a dangerous place and kings tend not to stay kings for long. Gormflaith also has a secret. She is one of the Fomorians, an immortal race who can do fire-magic. She has kept her powers hidden at all costs, for there are other immortals in this world – like the Tuatha Dé Danann, a race of warriors who are sworn to kill Fomorians. Fódla is one of the Tuatha Dé Danann with the gift of healing. Her kind dwell hidden in a fortress, forbidden to live amongst the mortals. Fódla agrees to help her kin by going to spy on Brian Boru, a powerful man who aims to be High King of Ireland. She finds a land on the brink of war – a war she is desperate to stop. However, preventing the loss of mortal lives is not easy with Ireland in turmoil and the Fomorians now on the rise...


The Prince of Starlight

The Prince of Starlight by Lou Wilham

An outbreak of strange curses. A kingdom in chaos. With the kingdom of Lunette's people in peril, their prince has one choice. Aided by his best friend and protector, knight Dame Ignacia, Prince Cricket—young, cheerful, and oft-times ridiculous—set out in search of answers. Swords and opinions clash as Cricket and Ignacia work together to solve the mysteries that surround them. But they must set aside their differences to find the culprit before the perpetrator can launch their next attack on Lunette and plunge the kingdom into darkness. A frolicking LGBTQ+ fantasy novel steeped in action, wit, and all of the corniness. Perfect for fans of Terry Pratchett's Discworld, Neil Gaiman's Stardust, and William Goldman's The Princess Bride.


A Sea of Pearls & Leaves

A Sea of Pearls & Leaves by Rosalyn Briar

Indie Recs Indie

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


Goodbye to the Sun

Goodbye to the Sun by Jonathan Nevair

SPSFC 2022

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


The 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.


Meshkwadoon

Meshkwadoon by Alex Tilley

Meshkwadoon is a psychological, atmospheric experience, more focused on the individual perception of events rather than on the events themselves. As a perspective driven tale, it delves into the minds of a woman, a man, and a boy, as they are dragged through an experience of fear, obsession, trauma, and terror. Where the foundational spirit of the land seeks to fulfill its obligation to an exchange of life for the life of all. Discover the unspoken impact a melting pot society has on the folk lore and language of a land whose roots go deeper than 150 years. A world whose spirits carry on despite the hunger of the living. Genre: Fiction/ Thriller/ Folk Horror/ Magic Realism Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alexander_tilley/


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.


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.


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.


Lord of Ravens (Inheritance, 3)

Lord of Ravens (Inheritance, 3) by AK Faulkner

SFFOasis

Hunter and prey. Which is which? Laurence Riley believed that he was nothing. He couldn’t have been further from the truth. Descended from Herne the Hunter, his own need to seek prey has long gone unfulfilled. Now it’s out of control. Something ancient is coming to take Quentin home: a creature of nightmare who feasts on the flesh of children. But Laurence has seen the real monster. The one who is pulling all their strings from afar. Only Herne can prepare Laurence to face an evil which far outmatches him. Their enemy wields the most powerful weapon of all, and will destroy everyone Laurence loves unless he can master the same power. He must learn magic.


A Circle of Stars

A Circle of Stars by Craig Montgomery

SPFBO10

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


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.


Birth of the Storm

Birth of the Storm by Valerie Storm

A bolt of lightning. And a dream of vengeance. For wolf-demon Kari, these define her every waking moment. Her parents are dead, slaughtered by human hands, forcing their only daughter to masquerade among their killers to save her own skin. Now she dwells among them, hiding her lightning-based abilities and plotting a terrible revenge, believing her schemes are all she's good for now. But when she discovers unexpected solace among a group of humans who look past her monstrous nature, Kari finds herself questioning everything. Her mission. Her dreams. Even the hatred festering in her heart. Is it possible for a creature like Kari to find happiness in a world that despises her? Or will the specters of her past force her down the path of vengeance in the end?


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.


Heroes & Harbingers

Heroes & Harbingers by ARK Horton

Food fights. Detention. Dissecting fairies for science class. Just another day for teachers at a Magical Public School. Ms. Sirin’s fate as a death harbinger has ruined her life. She longs to be more than a herald of doom, aspiring to impact lives in her teaching career. But when a new student with bold dreams joins her class and is picked as this century's Chosen One, Ms. Sirin’s dark power senses a terrible sacrifice to come. Finn MacCool’s warrior past didn’t prepare him for a hundred years of teaching for his community service. Spending the last decade of his sentence at a new school, the immortal develops a crush on his tempting but aloof coworker. The Irish legend blows his chance when he butts heads with the Council of Pantheons’ latest brave heroine—who also happens to be Ms. Sirin’s favorite pupil. However, the Chosen One’s quest isn’t all it seems. Pavlina’s lethal prophecies come to pass, and her gift warns of more to come. Will this daring trio of heroes have what it takes to make the grade, or will they fail before they even make it to Summer Break? Set in an alternate reality of Jacksonville, Florida, this adult urban fantasy is the first book in the Secret of Pantheons series. If you enjoy a hearty helping of mythology, found family, and unbreakable bonds, this book is for you. Class is in session with Heroes & Harbingers—delve in now before the bell rings!


A Touch of Death

A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden

SPSFC

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


(Not) In This Lifetime

(Not) In This Lifetime by Rebecca Ouellette

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


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