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Boyfriends For Now

Boyfriends For Now by Imogen Markwell-Tweed

Anthony Astor’s no nonsense attitude serves him well as CEO of his tech company, but it withers his love life. So when a miscommunication has his mother tearfully ecstatic about Anthony bringing someone home, he has no choice but to go along with the ruse. The solution comes in the form of the kind, clumsy intern, Ben McRobbie. Ben isn’t sure the CEO is for real when he asks him to be his “fake boyfriend for Christmas,” especially after Ben spilled coffee all over him. Nevertheless, Ben is sure that the gorgeous Anthony is serious about giving him a full-time job if he can politely sit through a dinner with the Astors. But as Ben grows closer to his rich, handsome boss, he struggles to remain professional behind the scenes of their fake relationship. Imogen Markwell-Tweed’s Boyfriends for Now is a charming and endearing romance about embracing love, wherever you find it.


Death of Dulgath

Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan

Three times they tried to kill her. Then a professional was hired. So was Riyria. When the last member of the oldest noble family in Avryn is targeted for assassination, Riyria is hired to foil the plot. Three years have passed since the war-weary mercenary Hadrian and the cynical ex-assassin Royce joined forces to start life as rogues-for-hire. Things have gone well enough until they're asked to help prevent a murder. Now they must venture into an ancient corner of the world to save a mysterious woman who knows more about Royce than is safe and cares less about herself than is sane. From the best-selling author of The Riyria Revelations comes the third installment of The Riyria Chronicles. Although part of a series, it's designed to thrill both new readers looking for fun, fast-paced fantasy and Riyria veterans wishing to reunite with old friends. For those who do wish to experience the entire Riyria saga, two reading options exist: Order of Publication: Theft of Swords | Rise of Empire | Heir of Novron | The Crown Tower | The Rose and the Thorn | The Death of Dulgath Chronological Order: The Crown Tower | The Rose and the Thorn | The Death of Dulgath | Theft of Swords | Rise of Empire | Heir of Novron


The Crew

The Crew by Sadir S. Samir

SPFBO9

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


The 5-Day Plan

The 5-Day Plan by Ashish Rastogi

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


The Living Waters

The Living Waters by Dan Fitzgerald

SFFOasis SPFBO9

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


The Yellow Oak

The Yellow Oak by Victor Vahl

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


Jack Forest, Soul Collector

Jack Forest, Soul Collector by E. Reyes

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


The Girl in White

The Girl in White by Shannon Reber

Two years before, Madison Meyer’s best friend killed herself . . . or that’s what they all believed. The truth about Emma’s death was something only Emma and her killer knew. Now, Emma’s spirit has returned to try and show Maddie what really happened to her. Seventeen-year-old Madison’s life has just begun to go back to something that resembles normal for a genius level girl with a special proclivity for anything electronic. Computers were the world she immersed herself in after the death of her friend. Now, Maddie has to figure out what really happened to Emma, using the intelligence that is her stock and trade. The trouble is, lives are being lost. Can Maddie and her friend Ian figure out the mystery of Emma’s death before it’s too late? Find out in this gripping mystery which is the first book in the exciting series to come!


Untouched

Untouched by Jayme Bean

Dr. Julia Morrow and her graduate students, David and Marisol, embark on a research trip to explore a remote section of the Amazon rainforest. When their trails seem to change direction at will and they find themselves lost and without communication, the trio worry they may be in for more than just the latest scientific discovery. Banding together, they’re left deciding which is more important - finding out how to escape the unexpected horrors lurking within the rainforest or getting back home in one piece. The deeper they travel into the jungle, the more they realize that some places are meant to remain untouched.


The Blood of the Spear

The Blood of the Spear by Mark Timmony

SPFBO7 SFFOasis

Two brothers. One prophecy. A world in peril. When Kaiel loses his chance to become part of the legendary Daemon Hunters, joining the Bronze Guard mercenaries seems like the logical alternative. It is an opportunity to put his training to use and, more importantly, as the company is currently in the employ of Prince Alesandr, it will allow him to keep an eye on his younger brother, Darien, who's determined to follow his dream of becoming a Ciralys magic-user. But the broken continent of Athmay still bears the scars of the war between the Summoners some three-thousand years ago, and an unexpected battle with a daemon - a remnant of that ancient war - reveals the brothers' connection to a forbidden bloodline. Soon they find themselves on the run from the prince, daemonic hordes, and a prophecy that could break the world anew.


Dragon Mage

Dragon Mage by ML Spencer

SPFBO7

Aram Raythe has the power to challenge the gods. He just doesn't know it yet. Aram thinks he's nothing but a misfit from a small fishing village in a dark corner of the world. As far as Aram knows, he has nothing, with hardly a possession to his name other than a desire to make friends and be accepted by those around him, which is something he's never known. But Aram is more. Much, much more. Unknown to him, Aram bears within him a gift so old and rare that many people would kill him for it, and there are others who would twist him to use for their own sinister purposes. These magics are so potent that Aram earns a place at an academy for warrior mages training to earn for themselves the greatest place of honor among the armies of men: dragon riders. Aram will have to fight for respect by becoming not just a dragon rider, but a Champion, the caliber of mage that hasn't existed in the world for hundreds of years. And the land needs a Champion. Because when a dark god out of ancient myth arises to threaten the world of magic, it is Aram the world will turn to in its hour of need.


The Hunt for Valdune

The Hunt for Valdune by Blake Shimshock and Sherry Shimshock

Senior Agent Derek Fade loved his job chasing down weapons runners and drug traffickers, hunting terrorists, and ruining the fun of major crime lords all across the galaxy. In fact, despite his reputation for being difficult to work with, he was respected among colleagues as one of the most talented agents in the Galactic Intelligence Agency (GIA). Life was pretty good until a powerful gangster, known only as Valdune, brutally murdered his wife. Now, tortured by grief and guilt, Derek Fade struggles between his dedication to the ideals of the GIA and the need for vengeance against the monster who killed Lana. Set in an expansive Fireflyesque galaxy ripe for exploration by those who enjoy science fiction and fantasy, self-proclaimed loner Derek Fade reluctantly lets readers into a dark period of his 007, semi-secret agent life that twists and turns like an Indiana Jones adventure.


Fear and Fury

Fear and Fury by Jamie Jackson

SPFBO8 SPSFC 2023

Meet Megaera, Meg for short. She’s like Deadpool, except for funner. For a girl with the power of fear the recruitment attempts from both sides are never-ending. A self-described not-a-hero, villain-leaning humanoid, Meg just wants to live her life, work her dead-end job and have everyone else (especially the heroes) leave her alone. But when a bigger fish who can turn superpowers back on their users enters the picture and threatens the person Meg loves the most (herself), she must turn to the last group of people she would admit she needs help from. Forced to team up with the heroes she despises (but won’t murder, because let’s face it, orange is not the new black), Meg will have to face the choices from her past that she won’t get therapy for. Self-centered, snarky, sarcastic and a little bit dramatic, she’s going to have to save the world, even if that wasn’t her intention. And try not to get shot in the process. Because that shit hurts.


Spirits of Vengeance

Spirits of Vengeance by Rob J. Hayes

SPFBO8

He'll die as many times as it takes. The Ipian Empire was once a land that welcomed dragons and spirits alike, but a century of war and bloodshed saw them all but vanish. Now, the lost things are returning and the Onryo have gathered. Five legendary spirits with mysterious powers, bent on freeing an ancient evil that would wreak havoc on humanity. Haruto swore his soul to the God of Death for the chance to hunt down the vengeful ghost of his wife. Now an onmyoji, he’s tasked by the Imperial Throne to hunt down monsters and malicious spirits. But he knows not all spirits are evil and not all deserve the peace of the sword. Kira is a student at Heiwa, an academy for children with dangerous techniques. But she has a secret, she’s not like the other students. When the school is attacked, she flees with one of the tutors, determined to hide both from those who would kill her, and those who would use her. As a plague of spirits sweeps across the land, the Onryo leave a bloody trail for Haruto to follow. But who’s hunting who? The Mortal Techniques novels are a series of stand-alone stories that can be read entirely independently, set in the award-winning Mortal Techniques universe.


Soultaming the Serpent

Soultaming the Serpent by Tar Atore

Jun was barely ten years old when the last dragon died. Half a century later and Jun still dreams of the rain that hasn’t fallen since. Her mundane life takes a turn when she encounters Aurel, who she suspects may be the one that holds the key to restoring balance and is destined to find the elusive serpent from the prophecy.  Joined by Casey, Jun’s closest friend and the village brewer, the three embark on a journey to unravel the prophecy's intricacies, figure out what the serpent's role truly is, and why the dragon has to die, not knowing they are being watched.  Follow our trio as Jun discovers a love of adventure, Casey’s devotion takes an unexpected turn, Aurel spills his secrets like dust in the sand, and the three of them discover the true power of their bond.


Rising Ember (Children From Sacrifice - Vol. 1)

Rising Ember (Children From Sacrifice - Vol. 1) by Arleta Rae

Fire is destruction. Fire is rebirth. When Thea Knight is involved in a fatal car accident, she falls victim to the sinister shadows looming in the darkness who change her life forever. She wakes up . . . craving blood. Thea is immediately thrust into a dangerous immortal civil war between the Essites and the Brais. Cole Moretti is an Essite who has killed, saved, and endangered Thea. Her transition to vampire by his hand awakens a rare elemental magic within that marks her as the rogue Brais’ next target. She must resist being consumed by their need to destroy humanity before they kill Cole and all those she cares for. A magical and suspenseful contemporary dark fantasy perfect for fans of Vampire Academy and The Vampire Diaries.


Prince of the Sorrows

Prince of the Sorrows by Kellen Graves

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


The Place Below (Maer Cycle book 3)

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

SFFOasis

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


Trail Markers

Trail Markers by Cym Aros

Indie Recs Indie

This tale - the first in a series of three - opens in the summer of 1874, in a prison camp south of Carson City. Falsely accused and incarcerated, two half-brothers find themselves in a losing battle to survive corrupt and brutal conditions. Cole Franklin, twenty-nine, is the privileged scion of the late, much-lionized patriarch of a wealthy California family. Jesse, twenty-four, is that patriarch's bastard son, a fact unknown to Jesse or the surviving Franklins until a scant year and a half before. Jesse had come to the Franklins as an itinerant cowboy. He is the younger of the two men, but he had ridden a long, hard trail of poverty, prejudice, and violence in his few years. Jesse had grown up a dirt-poor, hard-working, fatherless boy in a dying Sierra mining town; by age sixteen, he had seen three years of combat as a scout and sharpshooter for the Union Army, and spent the last eight months of the war interred in a Confederate prisoner-of-war camp. Cole is a strong man, and brave, but their current predicament is unlike any battlefield he has ever faced. Jesse understands too well where they are, and what might lie ahead. He takes desperate action to ensure Cole's freedom. The consequences of that action, for Jesse and the Franklin family, are severe and far-reaching. Trail Markers begins with the brothers' struggle against raw criminality - first, for simple survival; ultimately, for justice. Jesse faces bigotry, mob violence, and the shattering of his own mental health as he battles to regain his freedom and find an honorable path home to family and to the woman he loves.


Devil’s Hill II

Devil’s Hill II by E. Reyes

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


Cherry Blossom Eyes

Cherry Blossom Eyes by S.T. Cartledge

“A work of poetic surrealism reminiscent of the films of Guillermo Del Toro and the Siúil A Rún manga, The Girl From The Other Side” - Carlton Mellick III Margot and Blanko live on the Isle of Flowers, blessed by the rose gold light of the cherry blossom sun. In the season of the Cold, they build bonfires on the beach to ward off the malicious shape-shifting sea creatures known as tourists from the island. Each year their home becomes colder, their resources become tighter, and more tourists swim ashore and murder the locals, bury them beneath the cherry blossom trees, and take their identities like nothing ever happened. Can they survive long enough to sort out real from imposter and put a stop to this hostile takeover? From Shane Cartledge, the author of The Orphanarium, comes a surreal YA bizarro novella about young love and finding one’s true identity.


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)


Legends of Andolin: Adella of the Campos

Legends of Andolin: Adella of the Campos by A.M. Portman

A WOMAN IN A DESPERATE SEARCH Adella's life had been peaceful on the frontier of Valenna. But when mysterious raiders attack and burn her town down, her brother goes missing. Leaving everything behind, she sets off in a desperate ride across the plains to find him. A MERCENARY IN DIRE NEED OF HER HELP Kol, a highly-skilled Sornian soldier, needs Adella's help if he wants to live to see another day. A traitor to his country with nowhere else to turn, he agrees to guide Adella across the wilderness of the Campos. A HIGH-SEAS ADVENTURE When Adella is captured by the enemy, she inadvertently lets a powerful artifact fall into the wrong hands. Risking everything to find her, Kol takes a gamble and joins forces with the mysterious Captain Declan, a notorious reaver known for plundering Sornian ships. Each must face the same choice: Save the life of someone dear to them, or retrieve the artifact and prevent the awakening of Mundil and the rise of the Twelve Calamities... In a world of intrigue, mystery, and betrayal, will the choices they make lead to disaster? Legends of Andolin: Adella of the Campos is the first in an all-new series that takes you on a captivating adventure filled with excitement, danger and, most importantly, sea serpents. Read it today!


Coldlander

Coldlander by Jacob Tanner

Yarla, a middle-aged has-been, lives so far from the failing Low Temperature Temple that it's almost inhospitable for coldlanders like herself. Ice nearly melts, and it's getting worse, when she'd prefer things a few hundred degrees colder. But when a stranger from the boiling-hot side of the planet arrives with a key to the Temple, she begrudgingly takes it upon herself to travel south and fix what is broken. With her new hot-suited ally, Lazarus, she must fight her way to the Temple through deadly wildlife, the rude coldlander culture, her own impatience, the consequences of age, and one very unhelpful teenage girl.


The Wife in the Attic

The Wife in the Attic by Rose Lerner

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


Bad Grains

Bad Grains by Susanne Schmidt

SFINCS

Eleven-year-old Jo loves Halloween and all things horror, but she doesn't believe anything bad could ever happen in Fels, her small German hometown. When Hektor, her annoying older brother, disappears on his way home from school, Jo assumes he is playing a prank on her. But then both her father and grandma forget Hektor's name, and his stuff mysteriously disappears from his room. With the adults of no help whatsoever, Jo starts an investigation of her own, uncovering an old legend that has haunted the children of Fels for centuries. A monster lives in the rye fields, and draws children into its world under the roots. With two days until the gate between their worlds closes, and only Hektor's obnoxious best friend to help her, Jo must figure out a way to rescue her brother, or lose him forever.


The Pirates of Pepper Pot Point

The Pirates of Pepper Pot Point by Michele Schultz

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


Black Table

Black Table by Anttimatti Pennanen

SPSFC 2022

Jon and Gus, science fiction fans from Finland with a penchant for fist bumping and pop culture references, travel to the Portland Comic Con where tragedy strikes. Their hero, Dr Wells, suffers a heart attack. With his dying breath, the doctor exhorts Jon to “find the …” as he pushes a book into Jon’s hands. Following clues inscribed in the book, Jon and Gus discover an alien structure with a mysterious Black Table which they accidently activate, transporting them to an alien world. Jumping from world to world via the Black Table galactic transportation network, Jon and Gus embark on the adventure of a lifetime where they encounter monsters, alien tech, giant vessels made of water and make new friends. But those friends are facing an unstoppable and mindless enemy. An enemy that is destroying the galaxy, and Earth is next in its path. Can two fans from Finland save the day? Black Table is a rollicking yarn of two likeable, wise-cracking friends who like nothing better than pranking each other. That is, except when they are not doing something more serious, like saving the universe. JOIN THE FIGHT, JOIN THE BLACK TABLE NETWORK!


Sending Love Letters to Animals and Other Totally Normal Human Behaviors

Sending Love Letters to Animals and Other Totally Normal Human Behaviors by Chase Connor

Ryan Offsteader had one major problem, but now that he’s out of the closet and no one in his family or school actually cares, his problems are few. Life is a cycle of family, school, homework, Journalism Club, his friends, hanging out, and waiting for life to begin. It’s a simple, boring life at times, but his problems are few. When Ms. Tabatabai, his English teacher and Journalism Club mentor, announces to the class that there will be a project where students pair up, Ryan and his best friend, Jules, assume they will work together. Ms. Tabatabai has other plans. Students will be paired off randomly. Ryan is left without a partner since his English class has an odd number of students. However, Ms. Tabatabai assures him that he will have a partner since a new student is enrolling. It’s not an ideal situation for Ryan since he is used to working with Jules on every project, but it’s not the worst. Until the new student shows up and Ryan realizes this isn’t their first time meeting. Ms. Tabatabai announces to the students that they are to get to know each other and write a paper about their partner. An oral report in front of the class will be expected once the project deadline arrives. There’s just one caveat—the pairs must get to know each other without speaking. How they do this is up to them. Points will be given for creativity. Ryan’s partner does everything he can to make the project impossible, Ms. Tabatabai assigns Ryan to a new project in Journalism Club, his friends want to occupy all of his time, and, if all that wasn’t enough, he’s tasked with helping the Drama teacher, Mr. Melvin, organize the spring singing recital, A Night on Broadway. Unless Ryan can confront his history and right a wrong, his whole world could fall apart. Will he choose to confront his past, or will history repeat itself?


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.


Heart, Haunt, Havoc

Heart, Haunt, Havoc by Freydís Moon

Laced with romance, gothic imagery, Catholic mysticism, diaspora, and horror… When lonely transgender exorcist, Colin Hart, finds himself challenged by an unruly haunted house in Gideon, Colorado, he’s kept awake by ghosts, demons, ghouls, and the handsome nonbinary owner of the house, Bishop Martínez. Unlike the simple hauntings Colin is accustomed to, Bishop’s house is a living beacon, attracting a plethora of inhuman creatures, including a vengeful wolf-headed spirit who might be the key to quieting their sleepless nights. But as a heartbreaking mystery unravels, Colin comes face-to-face with the past Bishop tried to bury, opens a closet full of bloody skeletons, and trips into an accidental romance. As paranormally skilled as Colin might be, this particular haunting may be too messy for him to handle…


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.


Mistletoe & Mishigas

Mistletoe & Mishigas by M.A. Wardell

Beauty and the Bear: Can these opposites fake their way into something real? Sheldon Soleskin should be having a horrible day. Even though he’s been unexpectedly transferred to a new school right before the holidays, has only one day to set up his new classroom, and just discovered his twin sister's been hiding an invitation to his ex-boyfriend’s Christmas Eve wedding, he’s still ready to take on the world with a smile on his face and a skip in his step. Theo Berenson just wants to be left alone to his custodial duties. But when the chipper new first-grade teacher needs help moving furniture the Sunday after Thanksgiving, he's forced to do something he detests. Help. To make matters worse, Theo's overbearing parents are coming for Hanukah in a few weeks, and he's told them he has a boyfriend. Except he doesn't. Because who would want to date an oaf like Theo? Working together, these opposites discover they might be able to help each other out. Agreeing to be each other’s dates, they become friends as they practice for their upcoming events. But when all the rehearsing starts feeling a little too real, and both men's pasts come roaring back to haunt them, will they be able to pull off the ultimate holiday masquerade?


Stones of Light

Stones of Light by Zack Argyle

Stones of Light continues the story begun in Voice of War, the multi-award-winning start to the Threadlight series. FEAR THE ROSES. FEAR THE LIGHT. Chrys swore to never again let the Apogee take control but, in a moment of desperation, he gave in. Now, he will learn what the Apogee truly wants. In Alchea, Laurel will do anything to get her threadlight back, even if it means working for the leader of the Bloodthieves. But she has no choice...a life without threadlight is no life at all. To the west, Alverax travels with the Zeda people to the large port city of Felia, where they seek refuge after the fires in the Fairenwild. But he shattered the coreseal, and no one quite knows what the consequences will be. They only know it won't be good. Together, they changed the world—now, they must save it.


How To Sell Your Blood and Fall In Love

How To Sell Your Blood and Fall In Love by D.N. Bryn

Kraken Collective

No romantic story has ever lived up to Dr. Clementine Hughe’s reality but at least he has his steamy two-million-word fanfic and a prestigious research position at Vitalis-Barron Pharmaceuticals, where their benefits are superb and their experimentation on vampires highly unethical. When a mysterious accident turns Clementine into a vampire, discovery would demote him to lab rat and his growing thirst for his coworker’s veins forces him to the streets to hunt. Justin Yu is usually the one attacking villains in alleys, not the other way around. After the tragedy he brought upon his local vampiric community in his youth, he’s struggled tirelessly to keep their vampires safe. So when a panicking Clementine botches a bite attempt, Justin takes pity—and advantage—and offers the vampire a trade: his blood in exchange for an exorbitant fee. In desperation, Clementine accepts. Justin’s blood is bland and unappealing, but the more Clementine learns to appreciate the man’s sharp humor and persistent compassion, the more he acquires a taste for Justin. Justin is determined not to let Clementine’s good looks and thoughtful intellect distract him as hunters from Vitalis-Barron close in on Justin’s neighborhood, and it turns out someone there knows Clementine’s vampiric secret…


Tracker

Tracker by Bethany Votaw

A young detective desperate to fix his mistake. A recluse pulled from the woods. A murderer on the run. Detective Adam Reis has everything to prove and mistakes to fix. He enlists the help of local search and rescue and an unlikely tracker to help him find a murderer who fled into the winter Montana wilderness. An old recluse, Clay, comes out of the forest when asked to be a tracker. Clay has his own secrets to hide but reluctantly agrees to help the young detective. Will these two unlikely men work together to track a dangerous man through the fierce terrain and snow? Or will their own secrets be their downfall?


Nightmare Tenant

Nightmare Tenant by Richard Holliday

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


The Ghosts of Thorwald Place

The Ghosts of Thorwald Place by Helen Power

A Mystery Scene Magazine 2021 Editor's Pick Trust No One. Especially Your Neighbors. Rachel Drake is on the run from the man who killed her husband. She never leaves her safe haven in an anonymous doorman building, until one night a phone call sends her running. On her way to the garage, she is murdered in the elevator. But her story doesn’t end there. She finds herself in the afterlife, tethered to her death spot, her reach tied to the adjacent apartments. As she rides the elevator up and down, the lives of the residents intertwine. Every one of them has a dark secret. An aging trophy wife whose husband strays. A surgeon guarding a locked room. A TV medium who may be a fraud. An ordinary man with a mysterious hobby. Compelled to spend eternity observing her neighbors, she realizes that any one of them could be her killer.


Down Below Beyond

Down Below Beyond by T. A. Bruno

SPSFC 2023

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


No Heart for a Thief

No Heart for a Thief by James Lloyd Dulin

SPFBO9

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

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

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


Glimmer of The Other

Glimmer of The Other by Heather G Harris

SPFBO8

I can tell when you’re lying. Every. Single. Time. I’m Jinx. As a private investigator, being a walking, talking lie detector is a useful skill – but let’s face it, it’s not normal. You’d think it would make my job way too easy, but even with my weird skills, I still haven’t been able to track down my parent’s killers. When I’m hired to find a missing university student, I hope to find her propped up at a bar – yet my gut tells me there’s more to this case than a party girl gone wild. Firstly, she’s a bookish soul who’s as likely to go off the rails as Mother Theresa. Secondly, I’m not the only one on her trail; she’s also being tracked by the implacable and oh-so-sexy Inspector Stone. Stone and I team up, and he shoves me into a realm where magic is real – a place where there are vampyrs and werewolves, dragons and trolls. And where my skills are more than just detecting lies… Oh, and my dog? He’s a freaking hellhound who can manipulate the magical realms themselves. I need to find the girl. I need to discover who killed my parents. And I need to find out more about the attractive but mysterious Zachary Stone…


I Found Christmas Lights Slithering Up My Street

I Found Christmas Lights Slithering Up My Street by Ben Farthing

Something festive is growing in the sewer... After last year’s tragedy, Douglas’ parents are ignoring Christmas. But when Douglas finds an eerie strand of lights slithering through the sewer, he unwittingly unleashes merry terror upon his neighborhood’s tacky lights contest. String lights spread like invasive kudzu, turning festive decorations into surreal, predatory nightmares. Determined not to lose both Christmas and his family forever, Douglas gathers his courage to confront the source of the holiday horror: deep in the concrete pipes beneath the street. I Found Christmas Lights Slithering Up My Street is a horror tale from the “darkly inventive” purveyor of uncanny places and wondrous evils, Ben Farthing.


The Century Blade

The Century Blade by Rob J. Hayes

Orochi, the king of the dragons, has ordered his brothers and sisters to destroy humanity. It falls to a young hero to assemble a team and stop the dragons' rampage. It falls to the Century Blade. This is a short story set in the world of the award-winning Mortal Techniques. It is designed to be read as a standalone story, completely independent from the full length novels set in the same world.


Duckett & Dyer: Dicks For Hire

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

SFFOasis SPSFC

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


The Long Lost War

The Long Lost War by Jeff Walker

SFINCS

Far from Earth, in a distant solar system, clone soldiers are stuck in an on-going battle against colonial separatists. John 999801 must battle against an enemy that refuses to give up, and dreams of a woman he feels he's seen before. The life of this low ranking clone soldier is about to take a turn for the worst. Or is it going to open his eyes to the truth? Can one clone soldier make a difference? And who is the woman in his dream? Answers and horrors await him as he joins his fellow replicas to the surface of a planet called... Hell.


The Aqua Human

The Aqua Human by J. Elizaga

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


Sleeping Celeste

Sleeping Celeste by Alana K. Drex

It is October 1885, and Marie Maecott seems to be the only one who knows what has happened to her daughter, Celeste. She is angry that no one else understands her daughter's condition, as any mother would be. Then one chill night, groundskeeper for Heathridge Cemetery, Jacob Willis, tells her a dark secret in his family's past that just may hold the key to her problem. Marie will need to set off on a journey to find out--one in which she will discover terrible parts of herself--parts that would have been better off left buried. And some are going to find out the truth of the timeless adage: it is best not to come between a mother and her child.


Bring Her Home

Bring Her Home by R.N. Barbosa

Forbidden love… If Susana’s sister knew she was dating, she’d sequester her ass to the tallest tower so fast her head would spin. Her boyfriend is everything Cassandra hates, an Outcast and a biker, and it’s only a matter of time before their clandestine rendezvous blows up in her face. A missing sister… Fighting professionally might be Cassandra Dayan's livelihood, but it's her sister that's her life. When she comes home to a wrecked house and a missing sister, her desperate search upsets the brutally maintained balance of the North Californian coast. At any cost… Going against the Order is a death sentence, but doing nothing is not an option. Cassandra will find her sister even if it means endangering the lives of everyone who crosses her path or joins her cause. She doesn’t care who gets hurt or what promises get broken. All that matters is bringing her sister home.


Blanky

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.


The Sunset Sovereign: A Dragon's Memoir

The Sunset Sovereign: A Dragon's Memoir by Laura Huie

When a dragon finds an assassin sneaking into his lair, he tells her of his life's work and his soon to be final chapter. For the past thousand years, the dragon Vakandi has watched the people of Vakfored grow from a wandering band of refugees to a glorious city of art and magic. Under his protection, the city has survived monsters, floods, and wars all without building an army, dam, or even a wall. But time changes everything and now the citizens of his beloved city want him dead. Vakandi spends his last day telling his assassin why he loves them, and why it's his time to die.


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