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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.


The Black Sun (Tales of Askalon #1)

The Black Sun (Tales of Askalon #1) by Sebastian P. Melang

"—when found, the bodies bore no signs of injuries, other than the eyes that appeared as if they had burned out from the inside and turned into stone; dark, black, like obsidian." So reads the report, which Lorian holds in his hands. As an inquisitor and servant to the aristoi—noble and sublime beings revered by the mortals of Askalon—he had taken an oath to uphold their sacred law, to uncover any forbidden magic, and to hunt those who dared to cast it. Gruesome as these words are, they also remind him of another murder that happened so long ago. And a woman; a woman who seems to have left a mark on his very soul and has not granted him peace to this day. And so Lorian sets out, through the stormy sea to the north, to the frozen continent, to investigate the murder of two young boys who were killed by a form of magic about which the Inquisition knows almost nothing. He does not yet suspect the great forces that will soon confront him, nor how the fate of Askalon and all mortals is about to be decided; for the black sun has awakened.


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!


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.


Never Die (Mortal Techniques #1)

Never Die (Mortal Techniques #1) by Rob J. Hayes

SPFBO Finalist

Samurai, shinigami, vengeful spirits, and an impossible quest. Itami Cho has earned the name Whispering Blade. She is a Shintei warrior, sworn to the path of oaths and honour. But keeping her oaths has always been more difficult than taking them. When Flaming Fist and his bandits attack the city of Kaishi, Itami swears one last oath: she will protect the city and its people at any cost. Ein has spent his life dreaming of being a hero, and now the God of Death has given him a chance. The Reaper has set him an impossible quest: an eight-year-old boy sent to stop an immortal Emperor. Never Die is a stand alone set in the world of Mortal Techniques. It’s a wuxia adventure filled with samurai, shinigami, heroes, and vengeful spirits.


The Worthy

The Worthy by Anna K Moss

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


Tolagon

Tolagon by Gregory Benson

The Oro system, ravaged by generations of war and oppressively ruled by the hammer of a mechanical force created to save them, is at the boiling point between extinction and rebellion. Now a new hero arises twenty years after the fall of the legendary Tolagons. Raised in secrecy among noble equine warriors of Troika, Crix's tranquil life is shattered when a mysterious woman (Kerriah) crashes nearby in a black ship that materializes out of thin air. His journey begins after he gives in to an irresistible urge to locate the ship in the forbidden boglands of Drisal. Little does Crix know that using the hidden power within him—the blue orb of the Tolagons—to aid Kerriah’s rescue will set off a chain of events. The Marcks, a brutal mechanized force, are alerted and hot on their trail. As they struggle to escape the clutches of the relentless Marcks, Crix discovers there’s a hidden menace controlling everything. Their only hope of survival is to find the remaining lost orbs, though he soon realizes it will cost him everything. Joined by Krath, the salty war veteran from the watery moon of Thale, and a budding romance with Kerriah, will he learn to harness his long-suppressed power and become the Tolagon they desperately need, or will the forces of darkness prevail? Discover the gripping tale of hidden powers, treacherous alliances, and a young hero's quest for truth in Gregory Benson's thrilling debut novel, Tolagon. Brace yourself for an unforgettable adventure that will leave you hungry for more. Order your copy now and get ready to be riveted to your seat until the last page! Learn more about the different species and locations in this story!


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!


Blades of the Ice: Age of Rekindling: A Prequel

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

SFINCS

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


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.


The Headsman

The Headsman by Christina Mîrzoi

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


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!


Head Like a Hole

Head Like a Hole by Andrew Van Wey

When you bury your past, make sure that it’s dead. It’s the mid-nineties. Grunge and flannel are fading as the Spice Girls and Hot Topic conquer the malls. Cherry gloss glistens on the lips of the youth. Modems hiss as America comes online. And in a fog-drenched cove at the edge of New England, something terrible awakens when a fisherman reels in a gruesome catch: the remains of a young woman. Remains still pulsing with furious life. For Megan Monroe and her friends, this is how their nightmare begins: a wet whisper over their shoulder, a dark hand reaching out from the edge of their sight, and a name clawing at the back of their minds. A young woman scratched from their memory. To stop this devouring terror, Megan will need to mend broken friendships and reassemble her fractured past, for what stalks them hungers to remake itself in their image… piece by bloody piece. Dig into the haunted past with Head Like a Hole, a novel of malignant secrets, shattered friendships, and twisted bodily horror. ★★★★★ "This is a brilliant read. A wonderful well-written plot and a story line that had me engaged from the start." ★★★★★ "A quick, fun read that will be enjoyed by true crime, horror, and sci-fi fans." ★★★★★ "A beautiful, gritty tale that engages you to piece it all together while being deliciously entertained at the same time."


Cradle of Sea and Soil

Cradle of Sea and Soil by Bernie Anés Paz

Indie Recs Indie

The Primordial Wound has festered with corruption since the birth of the world. The island tribes have warred against its spawn for just as long—and they are losing. Burdened by the same spiritual affliction that drove the first Halfborn insane, Colibrí lives in exile with little more than her warrior oaths and her son. But when Colibrí discovers corrupted land hidden away by sorcery, those same oaths drive her to find answers in an effort to protect the very people who fear her. Narune dreams of earning enough glory to show that he and his mother Colibrí are nothing like the Halfborn that came before them. Becoming a mystic will give him the strength he needs, but first, Narune will need to prove himself worthy in a trial of skill and honor. Together, Colibrí and Narune must learn to become the champions their people need—and face the curse threatening to scour away their spirits with fury.


El Jefe

El Jefe by Tiffany Christina Lewis

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


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.


A Pale Box on the Distant Shore

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

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


Elendil

Elendil by Andrea Rose Washington

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


The 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.


The Invisible Tether

The Invisible Tether by JP McDonald

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


Devil’s Hill: Stories

Devil’s Hill: Stories by E. Reyes

Stephen King has Castle Rock. R. L. Stine has Fear Street. E. Reyes has Devil’s Hill. Welcome to Devil’s Hill, Arizona; a place that runs rampant with the occult, paranormal, and supernatural. As Halloween approaches and a group of teenage witches inadvertently summon an ancient deity into a scarecrow, they set off a chain of events that unleashes true evil upon the town. In these interconnected stories, you’ll encounter ghostly spirits, killers, malevolent deities, and other unexplainable horrors as the town of Devil’s Hill is plunged into darkness. Don’t miss out on the terror that awaits in Devil’s Hill! Praise for Devil’s Hill: “Where do fans of R.L. Stine's Goosebumps go when we grow up? There's plenty of room in Devil's Hill, Arizona...if you dare.”—Julia DeBarrioz, author of Cazadora “Absolutely worth reading.”—Heather Miller, author of One Night Stand at the End of the World “I would FOR SURE recommend this book to horror lovers and horror newbies alike, and I will certainly be looking for more E. Reyes in the future!”—Spooky Octopus Reads


The Gatherings

The Gatherings by Jeremy Ray

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


Bringer of the Scourge

Bringer of the Scourge by M. Daniel McDowell

Chipped Cup SPFBO10

When the end of ages comes for the empire, the princess must rescue herself. Vierrelyne du Talorr, the last living daughter of the tyrant king, waits locked in a tower cell for the prophesied apocalypse only she can prevent. An army of three brittle allegiances, united under a rival prince, aims for the throne and lays siege to the castle in search of the princess and the fabled weaponry of the empire. With the aid of her mentor in music and swords, and a desperate cultist sent to find her before the mercenaries do, Vierrelyne steals that formidable ancient weapon from her family crypt: a holy suit of armor and a diadem infused with the soul of a demon prince--the Bringer of the Scourge. With it, Vierrelyne discovers an unstoppable power, but the demon within is corrosive, hungry, and dangerously persuasive. Vierrelyne is haunted by what it means to tame this power bequeathed to her, and by what means she might conquer it. When that rival prince finds her, it will take all the strength she can muster, for, if the prophecy she dreads is true, the very weapons she wields might destroy everything she holds dear.


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?


She Is Coming

She Is Coming by Midori Anzai

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


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.


Jiao Tu’s Endeavour, Episode 1: The Kidnapped Mousling

Jiao Tu’s Endeavour, Episode 1: The Kidnapped Mousling by Donald Jacob Uitvlugt

On a multigenerational colony ship five hundred years off course, a lagomorph warrior must survive using only his wits and his sword. Jiao Tu has been hired to rescue a young kidnapped mousling. A tip leads him to the Below, home to the engines that keep the world in motion. His mission has hardly begun when an encounter with a monstrous being plunges him into the midst of a struggle not only for control of the Below but for the world itself. Teamed with an untested ratling warrior and the ratling leader of a gang of thugs, Jiao Tu must stop the monster and save the mousling—and the world—before it is too late. Drawing inspiration from sources as diverse as Leigh Brackett’s planetary romances, Gene Wolfe’s Book of the Long Sun, Robert E. Howard’s Solomon Kane stories, Hideyuki Kikuchi’s Vampire Hunter D, Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo, and the wuxia tradition starting with Water Margins and Journey to the West, Uitvlugt has created a world all his own that promises a far-future adventure unlike any other.


Gold, Lock and Key

Gold, Lock and Key by E J Doble

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


Pawn's Gambit

Pawn's Gambit by Rob J. Hayes

SPFBO9

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


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.


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 Queen Protocol

The Queen Protocol by Gregory Benson

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


Arcranium

Arcranium by Mark Towse, Daemon Manx

Four horror authors with four vulnerable egos, square off against one another, in the virtual world, to find out who is the scariest. Welcome to Arcranium™, a powerful technology that fuses with the author's mind to stimulate their best possible creation, immersing other participants in the narrative. It's all in good fun, but with so much pride at stake, things are bound to get a little bumpy once the gloves come off. So, strap your headset on and don't forget the safe word. The future of literature is about to get an upgrade. The future is … Arcranium™


We Men of Ash and Shadows

We Men of Ash and Shadows by HL Tinsley

SPFBO7 SPFBO Finalist

‘We Men of Ash and Shadow’ is the first book in the Vanguard Series and follows the journey of protagonist, John Vanguard, through the dark and corrupt city of D’Orsee. A Grimdark gas lamp novel, ‘We Men of Ash and Shadow’ explores themes of redemption, loyalty, and betrayal against the backdrop of a world where survival often means compromising your values. Amidst the gas lamp shadows former soldier-turned-mercenary John Vanguard hunts criminals at the behest of his corrupt employer, Captain Felix Sanquain. Shamed by his deserter past and seeking to make amends for his many misdeeds, a chance encounter with Tarryn Leersac – a skilled young would-be-assassin fallen from the graces of high society – leads Vanguard to become an unlikely mentor. Charged with hunting down the killer of two guards left washed up on the banks of the canal, the further Vanguard delves into the underbelly of the city the more he finds himself entangled in a web of secrets and lies. A prominent aristocrat is missing. Crime lords, con men and harlots run amok and the city teeters on the brink of another revolution. With his already precarious reputation hanging by a thread, Vanguard must piece together how and why the last war came to pass, find a way to earn redemption for his mistakes and come to terms with the past in a city where few survive, and even fewer can be trusted.


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.


We’re All Monsters Here

We’re All Monsters Here by Amy Marsden

SFINCS

When Anna is invited to a secluded retreat full of selfish, greedy humans, of course she doesn’t say no. Not only did she manipulate the CEO of the world’s largest oil corporation, Peter Beyer, into organising the four-day getaway in the first place, but no self-respecting vampire would ever turn down such easy prey. Her weekend gets even better when she meets Saira, one of Peter Beyer’s employees, and they begin a whirlwind affair. Blood and beautiful women are Anna’s idea of a great time. She should have known it was too good to be true. Hunters are dangerous, deadly, and dedicated to eradicating vampires. When a group of them turn up at the retreat, Anna must use her centuries of experience to escape their ever-closing net. Will she get out unscathed, or will they finally catch up to her? Will she give into her intense and unexpected feelings for Saira, or will she leave her to burn as she destroys all evidence she was ever there? A fresh twist on urban fantasy, with an added splash of sapphic romance.


Sons of Darkness

Sons of Darkness by Gourav Mohanty

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


Of Blood and Fire

Of Blood and Fire by Ryan Cahill

SPFBO7 SFFOasis

Born in fire. Tempered in blood. Epheria is a land divided by war and mistrust. The High Lords of the South squabble and fight, only kept in check by the Dragonguard, traitors of a time long past, who serve the empire of the North. In the remote villages of southern Epheria, still reeling from the tragic loss of his brother, Calen Bryer prepares for The Proving – a test of courage and skill that not all survive. But when three strangers arrive in the village of Milltown, with a secret they are willing to die for, Calen’s world is ripped from under him and he is thrust headfirst into a war that has been raging for centuries. There is no prophecy. His coming was not foretold. He bleeds like any man, and bleed he will.


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.


Christmas in the Empty Cabin

Christmas in the Empty Cabin by E. Reyes

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


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.


Death of a Christmas Tree Salesman

Death of a Christmas Tree Salesman by Patricia Meredith

Sam Shovel only comes to life for twelve days a year at Christmastime, and this year, he's in time to solve a murder mystery at the North Pole. O. Tannenbaum—the world's largest supplier of Christmas trees—has been murdered, and although Nick and Nora Claus are too busy to solve the mystery, Sam has enough time on his branchy hands to take a stab at it. Woven with enough Christmas references to choke a reindeer, find out if he succeeds in Death of a Christmas Tree Salesman. "Patricia Meredith's recipe for a perfect Christmas mystery? Magic with a dash of murder." —Jess Brady, @jess.literarylife, Bookstagram Reviewer “I see Sam Shovel right up there with Frosty and Rudolph—he'll go down in history!” — Kathy Buckmaster "Cookies, candy, presents...and murder! A holiday mystery that will leave you questioning...and craving sweets!" —Niko Sollazzo, @nikosbookreviews, BookTuber


Rise of the Sky Pirate

Rise of the Sky Pirate by S.W. Raine

Before becoming the infamous sky pirate from The Techno Mage, Benedict Keenan was a disorderly drunkard from London Below—and in this spin-off series, his story is finally being told. Straying from his dream of living like the nobles in the Upper Lands for far too long, Benedict takes on an easy mercenary job with a band of rogues to quickly get back on his feet. But when a surgeon from the Upper Lands—the sole survivor of a sky pirate attack aboard an airship returning from an important science convention—is found in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Benedict is suddenly thrust into a dangerous high-stakes race against a poisonous alchemical infusion set to be released into the Great Lakes. What’s worse is that a man from Benedict's past is at the center of it all. Can he stop the sky pirate before the world becomes mind-controlled? Rise of the Sky Pirate is an action-packed steampunk adventure that reaches for the stars while saving the world along the way.


Inked (Gilded Blood)

Inked (Gilded Blood) by Rachel Rener

When Zayn, your smoking hot boss, tells you never to touch the cache of deluxe tattoo ink locked away in his office, you listen to him… until the day you run out of your own ink, your squirming client is on the verge of peeing his pants, and your boss is nowhere to be found. Desperate times call for desperate measures, right? I fully expected Zayn to yell at me when he returned to the shop. What I didn't expect was the fresh cobra tattoo on my client’s butt magically springing to life. Or the interdimensional filing cabinet hiding in the back of Zayn's office. And, oh, did I mention that my gorgeous, magic-ink-hoarding boss is actually an incubus? Now – through (mostly) no fault of my own – we have to venture into a strange and distant land where a never-ending list of lethal flora, fauna, and fae await us. When you add in my Jewish mother’s string of poorly-timed, hysterical phone calls, there is one thing I’m grateful for: There’s no cell service in the fae realm.


The Son of the Prophets

The Son of the Prophets by Bryan Wilson

"Those of white and those of flame will clash, and the universe will begin to shake." Colton's mission is straightforward: go home to Earth, wield the power of the stars for all to see, and seek the prophet his planet was named after. But nothing has come easy since he left his world. Traitors lurk in the shadows, causing chaos across the stars. War has begun, and with newfound responsibilities arising, those around Colton realize they will have to carry some of the burden if there's to be any hope of defeating the Army of Flame. Ace and Morris set out on their own course, hunting a rogue admiral down at Willick's side. Meanwhile, Violet Doku travels with her fellow soldiers of Vintara Company, sailing to the mysterious Forsaken Barrier, where the fight they have trained for lies in wait. Colton knows he will have to be quick with his tasks if he hopes to fulfill the prophecies and save mankind. But when age-old mysteries are answered, and past conflicts reemerge, he starts to question whether he can even save himself.


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.


One Road In

One Road In by Hannah R. Palmer

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


Cthulhu Armageddon

Cthulhu Armageddon by C.T. Phipps

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


A Dagger in the Dark

A Dagger in the Dark by Tom Dumbrell

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


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.


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