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A Sea of Pearls & Leaves by Rosalyn Briar

Indie Recs Indie

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


The Children of Gods and Fighting Men by Shauna Lawless

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


The Demons We See by Krista D. Ball

SPFBO7

Society was rocked when the Cathedral appointed Allegra, Contessa of Marsina, to negotiate the delicate peace talks between the rebelling mage slaves and the various states. Not only was she a highborn mage, she was a nonbeliever and a vocal objector against the supposed demonic origins of witchcraft. Demons weren’t real, she’d argued, and therefore the subjection of mages was unlawful. That was all before the first assassination attempt. That was before Allegra heard the demonic shrieks. All before everything changed. Now Allegra and her personal guards race to stabilize the peace before the entire known world explodes into war with not just itself, but with the abyss from beyond. So much for demons not being real.


A Threat of Shadows (The Keeper Chronicles Book 1) by JA Andrews

#SPBFO Semifinalist Alaric betrayed everything he believed to save Evangeline — and failed. His last chance to save the woman he loves lies in an ancient Wellstone, a repository of power, buried and lost long ago. Luck—or something more troubling—leads him to a small group searching for the same stone. A disgruntled dwarf, a bumbling wizard, and an elf with an unsettling amount of power. If he can gain their trust, they might help him find the cure. But the Wellstone holds more than he knows, and a terrible evil he’d thought defeated is stirring again, searching for the stone. Can the companions survive a traitor, a dragon, and their own pasts to reach the stone before time runs out?


The Soul's Aspect by Mark Holloway

SPFBO8

A healer forced to become a killer for an empire that would grind his country to dust. Kehlem, the sickly son of a widowed physician, has devoted his life to learning his father’s craft. Wanting to finally step out of his father’s shadow, he embarks on a project of his own, seeking out the help of Themia, the town's newly arrived Alchemist and a rare wielder of magic. But Themia has secrets of her own, secrets carried from the heart of the empire itself, secrets that would steal Kehlem away from his home and into the empire’s Academy for magic users. The Isale Academy beckons, but can Kehlem survive the academy and its brutal regime? And if so, what would he have to become?


Tears of Dust (The Venatrix Chronicles Book 5) by Sylvia Mercedes

After two days in isolation, Ayleth still doesn’t know why Fendrel placed her under house arrest. Powerful drugs suppress Laranta deep inside her, leaving her alone with too many unanswered questions. What has become of kidnapped Lady Cerine? Why has Prince Gerard not stepped in to help? What is Fendrel’s ultimate agenda? And, most urgently, where is Terryn? Has Fendrel arrested him as well for the curse he carries? The curse that nearly made him kill Gerard . . . . When a Phasmatrix arrives at the castle with a host of shade hunters, Ayleth fears they have come to test Terryn and, if he cannot be cured, to execute him. But the Phasmatrix has a different objective in view, and Terryn’s life might not be the one most imperiled. Betrayal surrounds Ayleth on all sides, and fiery doom awaits her at dawn. Will she find an unexpected ally amid the coming storm? Or will she face the truth of her past—and its future consequences—alone? Return to the dark and deadly intrigues of The Venatrix Chronicles, where witches wage war against holy orders, friends and enemies are equally treacherous, and secrets long thought dead struggle into light. If you enjoy kick-butt heroines, conflicted heroes, and slow-burn romance ready to ignite, then you will love Ayleth and Terryn’s latest adventure!


The Look of a King by Tom Dumbrell

SPFBO7

Two young men. One with a dark past, the other with a bright future. Cyrus is a storyteller frustrated by the mundane trappings of village life, while Prince Augustus struggles to meet high expectations after an upbringing of royal privilege in the bustling capital. As both try to forge their own paths, a royal assassination unexpectedly closes the gap between them. The nation of Easthaven is thrown into war with their oppressive neighbours, and so begins a conflict from which neither can walk away. Will a young prince finally measure up to his destiny? Will a storyteller create a legend of his own? Cyrus and Augustus's lives may seem worlds apart, but perhaps they aren't so different after all...


Queen of Poison (The Venatrix Chronicles Book 6) by Sylvia Mercedes

Betrayal surrounds her. Doom beckons her. Yet she will hunt one last time. Captured, heartbroken, shackled in torturous iron mittens that keep her shade deeply suppressed, Ayleth knows Fendrel keeps her alive for one purpose: She is his only remaining weapon against the resurrected Dread Odile. Once her task is complete, she will be executed. It’s as simple as that. But Ayleth isn’t about to give in that easily. Meanwhile, Gerard is held prisoner in his own castle by his uncle's orders--Fendrel must keep his nephew alive in order to force the ancient prophecy into completion. However, Gerard sees a different path before him, and he is resolved to follow it to the end. As the forces of the Witch Queen wreak havoc across the land, can Ayleth and Gerard come to terms with the truth of their pasts . . . and face their destinies with courage? Don’t miss the penultimate adventure in the breathtaking Venatrix Chronicles!


Where Shadows Lie by Allegra Pescatore

SPFBO6

The Chosen One Is Dead. Magic Is Going Haywire. Time Is Running Out. When the King of Lirin murders Elenor's brother during a failed coup attempt, she must choose between turning a blind eye to her people's suffering or joining the rebellion and helping bring down the tyrant king. There's only one problem--the king is her father. Helped along the way by a grouchy old doctor, a boisterous group of nobles, and a well-meaning assassin, Elenor is forced to dance between duty and defiance as she tries to save her kingdom. Meanwhile, from the rainy streets of Lirin to the scorching dunes of the Mondaer Desert, the ripples of her actions have inadvertently broken a chain of events five centuries in the making. Ancient forces move in the shadows, calling in debts and striking deals. A monster with a thousand faces fingers his knife, ready to kill, and a pair of fugitives run for their lives. Where Shadows Lie is a non-stop, epic fantasy ride featuring an lgbtq+ and disabled protagonist and filled with court intrigue, sizzling romance, adorable baby dragons, and the battle between oppression and freedom. Dive in and get swept away!


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

SPFBO6 Indie Recs Indie SFFOasis

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


Red Darkling by L. A. Guettler

SPSFC 2023

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


A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden

SPSFC

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


The Legend of Black Jack by A. R. Witham

SFFOasis SPFBO9

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


The Reluctant Mage by Journey Windrow

FAERIES, TROLLS, AND VAMPIRES—IS IT THE END OF THE MUNDANE REALM? I lost The Great War of the Elflands and everyone I loved. Then the Guild of Light Mages appointed me, Miranda Hunter, as Mage-in-Charge of Boston. Harpies and hornpipes! MUNDANES BREACHED THE VEIL TO THE REALMS OF MAGIC. How? Got me. I'm no quantum mechanic. Predatory preternaturals are pouring in like some joker put up a sign that says THIS WAY TO MUNDANIA . THERE ARE TROLLS IN TUNNELS. Can’t mundanes identify troll stench? Nope. They don’t believe in myth and magic. BABIES ARE MISSING. Changeling fae kids turn up, leaving mundane parents looking for their missing children. The mystery is how to get them back. A VANISHED GIRL Add one transportation spell to faery and it’s a magical abduction. WITH PRETERNATURAL PREDATORS STALKING ME WITH INTENT TO KILL, HOW DO I SAVE EVERYONE ELSE? There's only me, my hellhound, and my sidekick, Nigel-the-Absent, to protect the mundane world. I need sleep and calories to fuel my magic. WHAT COULD GO WRONG? With my sort-of-dead husband winding through my mind like a ghost, I’m drowning in self-doubt. I SHOULD PACK SOME SNACKS!


Paths of Malice (The Venatrix Chronicles Book 3) by Sylvia Mercedes

Poisoned. Trapped. At the mercy of a ghost . . . She can handle this. A month into her competition with Venator Terryn, Ayleth seems no closer to winning the Golden Prince’s trust. Why else would he call Terryn to serve at the castle on some secret mission, leaving Ayleth to manage the borough on her own? No matter. She’ll prove her worth to the prince come what may. Plenty of mysteries plague the land under her protection . . . including the mystery of Terryn himself and the strange, dangerous talisman he’s been keeping hidden in his room. Her search for answers soon finds Ayleth on the trail of her deadliest foe yet. A ghost from the prince’s past has returned to haunt the present, possessed of a powerful phantom shade capable of walking the dark paths of the Haunts. Ayleth is totally outmatched and unprepared to face such an enemy alone. But when has she ever backed down from a fight? Welcome back to a world where enemies and friends can be difficult to distinguish, where angels are deadly and demons desirable, and shadows of the past loom dark across the future. If you like your heroines brave, your heroes tormented, and your action non-stop, try The Venatrix Chronicles today!


Neglected Merge by Eve Koguce

SPFBO7

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


Legacy (Scion Book 1) by Jay Reace

Years after fleeing their homeland, Xolani and Raine have finally been able to find peace. However, that peace is shattered when receiving a royal command to return and answer for what they've done for so long age. Do they take their children and flee or do anwser the call and fight?


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.


Let Loose the Fallen: Book Two of Children of the Nexus by S. Kaeth

Teacup Dragon Coop SFFOasis

The priestess searches for her faith. The fire-wielder wrestles with her past. The psion dreams of peace. And the hero is torn between his heart and his duty. While grief scatters the four protectors to the winds, outside forces write history according to their own whims. The fate of the Rinaryns lies twined with that of the boy, Eian, caught in a tug of war the heroes are unaware of. But the evidence lies waiting for Taunos and the others to see, if only they can move past their betrayal.


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.


The Wild Court by E. G. Radcliff

SFFOasis

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


A Canticle of Two Souls by Steven Raaymakers

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


The 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.


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.


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