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Dio in the Dark

Dio in the Dark by Rizwan Asad

WriteHive Book Club

"Be young tonight, if you must. For tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow you will grow old, and the night will no longer be your lover." The powers of the pantheon have faded. The gods live amongst the mortals, grasping for what little of their divinity remains. When Zeus - King of the Gods - goes missing in modern-day Toronto, it is up to his estranged son, Dio, to find him. And with rumors of The Darkness coming, Dio will have to race to find his father, and uncover the truth before it's too late!


Three Grams of Elsewhere

Three Grams of Elsewhere by Andy Giesler

SPSFC 2023

Fifty years ago, a new civil war fractured the United States into a mosaic of polarized nations. Ever since, Harmony “Bibi” Cain has isolated himself: from society, from technology, from family. A powerful empath weary from the constant intrusion of others’ emotions, he’s finally cloistered in his rural Wisconsin retirement community. He hopes to find, if not peace, then at least a little quiet. But when four impossible-seeming killings shake North America, Bibi is drawn into an investigation he wants nothing to do with. The victims were killed by motes—unstoppable drones only an empath can control—and decades ago, Bibi was an unwitting subject in the wartime program that created them: the program that weaponized empathy. With his few remaining friends at risk, and tensions between countries of the former United States reawakening, everything may depend on Bibi's lifelong struggle with his own extraordinary ability.


An Echo of the Fae

An Echo of the Fae by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt

Echo enjoys the peace and solitude of the Faeorn forest, regardless of how strange spending time in the "haunted" wood seems to others. But on the cusp of her thirteenth birthday, the discovery of a family secret reveals why Echo has never been drawn to the sea like her mother. This discovery shakes the foundations of her world and sends Echo on a quest, not merely into the forest, but into the heart of the fae-lands themselves, to rescue the sister she didn't know existed. Elves, dragons, and fairy courts will put Echo's wit and resolve to the test. But with time running out for her sister, will Echo even be able to save herself? A fairytale adventure perfect for fans of The Secret of Roan Innish and The Girl Who Drank the Moon.


Kizuna: Or How To Lose a Spaceship and Still Go Places

Kizuna: Or How To Lose a Spaceship and Still Go Places by Jamie Watt

SPSFC 2023

Enoch is a down-on-his-luck salvage pilot who is trapped in his job, wants to go home but has nothing to go home to, and no way of affording it anyway since his best friend left him for a masseuse job on Mars. Since he'll be spending all his time in the lonely depths of space, he picks up a cheap interface for his AI so he has to someone to talk to, and on their voyage, they are kidnapped by pirates, meet a famous engineer lost in time, chase a mysterious (possibly alien) ship, and end up in the crosshairs of Earth’s monolithic, bureaucratic, and almost sociopathically uncaring System Navy.


The 13th Zodiac

The 13th Zodiac by L. Krauch

SPFBO8

The 13th Zodiac is a High Fantasy, slow-burn romance with a hint of Anime. Originally, L. Krauch wrote it as a comic book in High school. Now, 20 years, and three kids later, she sat down and wrote a novel. So, grab some tea, slice up an apple, and enjoy this mulit-PoV journey 20 years in the making. Running from his past finally catches up to Jase Raion, an ex-member of the Ashen Guard and the Crown Prince of Chall. After settling on the island of Aria, he receives an unexpected contract: The lost princess of Aria was discovered living in the port town of Brighton, on the outskirts of the island Kingdom. A trip to the markets in Brighton ends abruptly as Liya Fairaway stumbles into Jase. She vanishes in the busy marketplace when Jase realizes who she is, the lost princess of Aria and the bearer of the 13th Zodiac: Eternity. And his target. Something ancient pulls them together, a bond that neither can deny. Reluctantly at first, Jase joins Liya and the other Zodiac to end the threat of Soren Raion, the King of Chall. Time is not on their side, and Fate has other plans. Content warning Dear readers, the content within this novel will include detailed descriptions of violence (including guns, axes, and even some by hand), death, and mental illness (there is a character who has an unhealthy infatuation with another), as well as attempted sexual assault, use of alcohol, and foul language which might be harmful to some readers.


Rememory: A Science Fiction Novelette

Rememory: A Science Fiction Novelette by Frasier Armitage

In the future, memory is currency. Felix is broke, on the run, with nothing in his head but a combination of numbers. Someone robbed him of his mind. Now it's time he took it back.


Vile & Blessed

Vile & Blessed by A. H. Serrano

A Cursed Existence. A Hidden Land. An Insidious Spirit. There has never been an Anmerilian born without ability. Never, until River Kennry. River has no place in a world where worth is measured by the power of one’s ability. He is an anomaly and an outcast, afflicted by an ailment no one can see or explain. Caught in the unrelenting hold of his government, he falls further into the pit of hopelessness as he wrestles with the mysteries of his past.After a fated meeting with a cryptic stranger, River realizes the only way to uncover his past is to return to the Institute—the very place that scarred and violated him. And if he goes back, it could mean forfeiting his life.But could everyone be wrong about him? Though he remains untouched by power, there is something inside him. Something alive and entangled with secrets that could upset the balance of everything his generation has ever known to be true.Welcome to a world where the secrets are as big as continents, the monsters hide in plain sight, and there is always something sinister at play. Vile & Blessed, the first book in The Vile & Blessed trilogy, is perfect for readers who love their dark fantasy with a touch of horror, plenty of mystery, and realistically imperfect characters they can grow with.


My Hand and My Heart

My Hand and My Heart by Isabel Huntoon

WriteHive Book Club

Magic hasn't been used in Haven-the last human settlement in a flooded world-for hundreds of years. Except, that is, for the magical relic that powers the settlement. Nime and her younger sister, Navi, stumble upon a terrible secret one night: the relic is leaking deadly energy that could kill everyone in Haven in a matter of weeks. There's seemingly no way to fix it-not with all knowledge of magic lost at the bottom of the Endless Sea. But Nime is protective and reckless, and she refuses to give up. She throws herself into the search for a solution, setting her hopes on a dismantled machine that could lead to a place far away from danger. Navi, meanwhile, retreats into daydreams, where she is someone brave enough to save her home. Filled with priestesses and magic, vivid dreams blend confusingly with her waking life, until she wonders if there's something she, and only she, can do to protect the people she loves. But Nime and Navi have more than just time working against them, and both sisters may have to give more of themselves than they can afford if they want to save Haven.


Two Thousand Years (The Empire Saga)

Two Thousand Years (The Empire Saga) by M. Dalto

Two thousand years ago, the Prophecy of Fire and Light foretold the coming of the Queen Empress who would lead the Empire into a time of peace and tranquility. But instead of the coming of a prosperous world, a forbidden love for the Empress waged a war that ravaged the land, creating a chasm between the factions, raising the death toll of innocent lives until the final, bloody battle. Centuries later, Alexandra, a twenty-two-year-old barista living in Boston, is taken to an unfamiliar realm of mystery and magic where her life is threatened by Reylor, its banished Lord Steward. She crosses paths with Treyan, the arrogant and seductive Crown Prince of the Empire, and together they discover how their lives, and their love, are so intricately intertwined by a Prophecy set in motion so many years ago. Alex, now the predestined Queen Empress Alexstrayna, whose arrival was foretold by the Annals of the Empire, controls the fate of her new home as war rages between the Crown Prince and Lord Steward. Either choice could tear her world apart as she attempts to keep the Empire’s torrid history from repeating itself. In a realm where betrayal and revenge will be as crucial to her survival as love and honor, Alex must discover whether it is her choice - or her fate - that determines how she survives the Empire’s rising conflicts.


The Killer and The Dead

The Killer and The Dead by Roderick T. Macdonald

SPFBO8

“My name is Stahl. I kill people. I’m not proud of it, but I’m not ashamed, either.” Strapped in a chair, compelled to tell his tale to unknown tormentors, Stahl recounts his life in the Mire, a filth-choked slum shivering in the shadow of an ancient necropolis where the dead hunger for living flesh. He tells how secrets led to blackmail and death, how vengeance led to guilt and paranoia, and how an unholy bargain taught him that it is your enemies, not your friends, who define your life. But in a slum where everyone lies, what kind of truth can be expected from a killer?


A Gathering of Chaos

A Gathering of Chaos by Cameron Hopkin

SPFBO8

The world of Asunder is dying. Its gods are long fled, and they took all the world's metal with them... but it all happened so long ago that not even legends remain. In the now, a country girl sails into port, the only survivor of a plague ship, and a scheming priestess takes charge of her. Far to the south, an aging warrior monk forcibly recruits one of the Beast Riders to be his tracker. A remarkable vision of a demon lord binds them all together, and they scramble to find a bit of Chaos, the raw energy of their world, to protect humanity against this new threat. It's too bad they're only going to make things worse.


Awakening: The Commune’s Curse Book 1

Awakening: The Commune’s Curse Book 1 by Lucy A. McLaren

The Kingdom of Septima is ruled in all but name by the Commune, a ruthless cult that seeks control of an ancient power that has taken root in unsuspecting children in Septima. To maintain their hold on the kingdom, the Commune will stop at nothing to capture children who show signs of this power, to be weaponised or eliminated. 18-year-old Evelyn Folksman is in hiding. Taken in by a tavern-owner, she is haunted by the horrific events that drove her from her home years before. Evelyn is forced to face her past when two wayward children, Raif and Rose Huntsman, arrive at the tavern, pursued by Commune soldiers. The children fall under Evelyn’s reluctant care as the trio narrowly escape a raid. Relentlessly hunted by Commander Jonah Sulemon and Commune agent Lord Eirik Torrant, Evelyn and Raif cannot fathom why they pose such a threat to the Commune, until six-year-old Rose unwittingly reveals a terrible secret: she possesses powers more fearsome than any the Commune has unearthed in decades. There are only two options: to be captured and imprisoned, or to run for the rest of their lives.


Legacy of Flame

Legacy of Flame by Rebecca Bapaye

SPFBO7 Indie Recs Indie

A winter queen and prince of flame, bound together by fate. Following a deadly attack on a druid grove, Queen Elia Kolenikova of the Ice Realm is the first and only monarch to take a stand against the fire priest order, a reclusive band of sorcerers with unlimited power. Determined to find a way to protect druids from further violence, Elia turns to the annals of history, tracing her knowledge of fire priests back to a time when a previous Ice Queen was intimately tied to the rise of the order. There’s just one problem: what Elia reads in those accounts may not be true. To unravel the mystery, Elia needs more than an ally—she needs a fire priest. An immortal Ice Realm prince who’s been missing from the history books for centuries. Syllian, like his father before him, sacrificed his mortal body to be born again in flames. Two thousand years later, he’s hunted at every turn by fire priests seeking revenge for his betrayal of the order. The threat means little until a rumor reaches him: Queen Elia Kolenikova is asking questions. About fire priests, about druids, and most dangerously of all, about the truth. Emerging from the shadows could cost Syllian his life. But if he doesn’t, the lies and propaganda of the fire priest order will cost Elia hers first.


The Elements of Time: The Winds of Change

The Elements of Time: The Winds of Change by Sam Paisley

SPFBO10

Destiny, personal responsibility, what the future holds – common concerns for anyone graduating high school. But usually not because of a cosmic war between timeless beings where you’re the central player. (Download the first seven chapters for free at www.elementsoftime.ca) As the end of school quickly approaches, and Cooper Bailey watches his perfect world slip away, his only concern is savouring every last minute of his high school career. For his best friend, Reid Patterson, graduation is a doorway to the future, where his discipline and focus will finally allow him to meet his true potential. When a mysterious mirror-masked man begs for their help to stop a dangerous heretic, Cooper and Reid find themselves thrust into unknown worlds, wrestling with a destiny as old as time itself. As the truths about their roles in the universe unfold, and enemies disguise themselves as allies, their only hope is to trust each other - and learn fast! Far from home and in mortal peril, Cooper and Reid attempt to hone their newfound abilities and come to grips with their purpose for being. Inspired by classic and modern science fiction and fantasy, and drawing upon timeless themes of destiny and personal responsibility, The Elements of Time is a series written for anyone who loves an escape into a rich and deep world. With references to Star Wars (the Original Trilogy), Avatar: The Last Bender, Stargate SG-1, Supernatural, and much more, The Elements of Time: The Winds of Change is fun action-adventure, with it’s own unique magic system, and themes that touch what it means to grow up and take on the challenges of life The Elements of Time - Book 1: The Winds of Change For more story information, behind the scenes details, and additional content visit www.elementsoftime.ca


Tales of Lunis Aquaria

Tales of Lunis Aquaria by Tessa Hastjarjanto

SFFOasis

Lose yourself in the wondrous world of Lunis Aquaria. Explore daunting deserts, treacherous mountains and the deep blue of the Morcain sea. If you enjoy the fairy tales of old you will enjoy this collection of nine short adventure stories. • Coming of beasts: A mysterious Lady uses her powers to cultivate the land. When five otherworldly visitors arrive, she gives them a set of powers to aid them on their quest. • The sacred maiden: When a young girl's house is raided, she escapes. One thief chases her into the night. Both of them find something they never thought they would. • Moon Flower: To win the heart of a girl, a young man sets out to find the most beautiful flower there ever was. He faces the dangers of the mountains, looking for a flower that might not even exist. • Thomas and the wolf: A wolf finds a little boy watching a blazing fire in which his family is trapped. The wolf takes the boy to meet the only one he trusts. • The witch of Monterra Mountain: The blacksmith's apprentice falls for a woman who's accused of witchcraft. • Shepherd's Stick: A scholar ventures into the desert to experience the ghost stories the elders tell to scare the children. He finds much more than just a ghost. • Archipelago of Wonder: A fisherman survives a storm and ends up on a tropical island. As he looks for resources to repair his ship, he receives help from an unexpected source. • Decapod's Ire: An archer joins a seafaring crew to hunt the creature that destroyed a handful of fishing boats. • Lovers through time: A time traveller finds the love of his life in the past and must find a way for them to be together.


Wilders

Wilders by Cass Kim

The forest behind Renna's home is dark and dense. It holds more secrets than she knows. Having grown up in the half-pocalypse, a world balancing against the tide of a blood-borne virus, Renna knows the rules by heart: 1) Stay inside between dusk and dawn. 2) Close and lock the copper and silver screens. 3) Report anyone suspected of infection immediately. Now, at seventeen, Renna will have to survive against the rules. - An unprecedented attack. - A strange boy with copper eyes. Can Renna survive the darkness to save the people she loves? A unique series where the apocalypse halts and meets dystopian fiction. Balancing the depth of character found in young adult literature, and just enough science fiction to make it all plausible, Wilders will take you on an emotional adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Fans of The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Girl in The Box, or anything by Holly Black, Brandon Sanderson, Scott Sigler, or Sarah J Maas will devour Wilders.


The Naughty Corner

The Naughty Corner by Mark Towse

Are you ready to get put into the Naughty Corner? Three uniquely fresh novellas in one collection, including Towse's wildest old-people horror yet, 'The Generation Games.' Also includes, ‘The Naughty Corner’ and ‘My Name is Brian.’ The Generation Games. The population crisis is out of control. Earth’s resources are close to depletion. A mandate has been put into effect condemning people to death when they hit the age of seventy. Only A lucky few will have the opportunity to compete for a passport to the latter years. It’s about to get savage. My Name Is Brian. Brian's an odd one, always with his head in the books or packet of chips. He doesn't mix well with the other kids but doesn't seem to care. Or is he just a ticking time bomb ready to explode? Coming of age horror on steroids. The Naughty Corner A new start in a gorgeous location. The house of their dreams. But behind the gates of this well-do-do community, our family is about to uncover rules and secrets that will turn their lives upside down. And trust me, you don't want to be in the naughty corner. "Towse is a master of narrative juggling. He makes his readers squirm and laugh in equal measure. His work should be treasured." - E.C. Hanson, author of WICKED BLOOD


Meraki: A Syren Story

Meraki: A Syren Story by Naomi Kelly

Her song is a gift bestowed by the gods; so why does it feel like a curse? Seventeen-year-old Wren thinks she has just swum away from the greatest threat in the sea. That's until she finds herself being hauled upon a warlord's boat. With her life at the mercy of a young, temperamental King, Wren must decide who is her ultimate enemy. Can Fate be altered? What do gods have planned? Syrens are bound to tell the truth, but that doesn’t mean their lives cannot be riddled with lies.


Dragon's Reach: An epic fantasy adventure (The Keeper Origins Book 1)

Dragon's Reach: An epic fantasy adventure (The Keeper Origins Book 1) by JA Andrews

SPFBO6

The truth is neither plain, nor simple. Sable, a reluctant thief from the slums, can feel truth when people speak. For years she’s been using that skill to try to break free from the vicious gang boss she's indebted to. Escape comes in the form of an odd set of companions: -a dwarf running from the past, -an actor with a magical, glowing tree -a too-helpful kobold, -a playwright with a knack for getting stories out of people, and -a man and woman with suspicious, magical powers. But Sable’s freedom is short lived. On the edges of civilization, they discover hidden, terrifying lies in the offers of peace from the brutal Kalesh Empire. Now, she must return to the city she fled, and along with her companions, attempt an impossible task—convince everyone, including the powerful Dragon Prioress, of the truth. Except the Kalesh web of lies has ensnared everyone. With her land, her people, and everything she loves hanging in the balance, Sable is the only one standing between freedom, and certain death.


Where Blood Runs Gold

Where Blood Runs Gold by A.C. Cross

SFFOasis SPFBO8

Sheriff Errol Thorpe’s life is chaotic, brutal, and above all, solitary. After an unimaginable loss years ago, all he feels is the compulsion to seek vengeance. But when a vulnerable family arrives in town, facing an ugly future, he is pulled headfirst into a web of violence, secrets, and things he never imagined. In search of truth and answers, Thorpe finds himself battling deadly flesh-eating Dust, acidic golden blood, and the political designs of powerful people – all the while learning how to be a person again. When Dust rises in San Dios, people hide indoors. When Sheriff Thorpe arrives, people run.


Mazarin Blues

Mazarin Blues by Al Hess

Indie Recs Indie SPSFC Kraken Collective

Introvert Reed Rothwell is part of a subculture of art deco era enthusiasts, pushing back against bland mainstream society and its mandated technology. Stuck with an AI assistant in his head is bad enough, but when he's inflicted with a forced upgrade to a new beta version, named Mazarin, the navigator starts to take on feelings and opinions of his own. ​ When rumors spread of beta navs turning on their pilots, Reed is determined not to become a victim. Mazarin hasn’t become violent yet—the AI is sympathetic and understanding—but with beta participants coerced into slitting their own throats, it’s only a matter of time before Reed is next. The AI megacorporation already has an unhealthy interest in Reed, and all the beta testers who have sought help for their navigators have disappeared. The swingin' cats of the deco scene have the means to illegally terminate Reed's AI. But Mazarin has never tried to harm Reed—he loves Reed. Grappling with ridding himself of intrusive technology, the morality of hurting his self-aware AI, and avoiding the attention of a company that wants to sweep Reed’s existence under the rug might be too much for one hep cat to handle.


The Choice of Weapons

The Choice of Weapons by Alex Valdiers

SFINCS

Ren is an officer on the rise, going from planetary conquest to conquest, until he crosses path with a senior female officer from his native Japan. His meeting with Izuna ends in a bloody duel — the first of many. As the war against other species progresses, Ren’s obsession for Izuna grows and his discontentment for army life along with it. When Izuna gets isolated on an icy hell, Ren volunteers to rescue her for what may be his ultimate mission. The Raoke Gang series is prime entertainment with heart and brains, humor and sex (occasionally, when the story commands it), and, most of all, incredible characters running wild in the most exciting of settings: the Far West in space!


Empire of Ash and Blood

Empire of Ash and Blood by Matthew Thompson

Matias De Laurentiis, Ablaze champion 2019, learns his loved ones perished at the hands of the Cult of Ra, a renegade faction out to eradicate bloodmans. But before seeking those responsible, he must escape the Ablaze Haven—the first to do so. Meanwhile, Luna Adjani’s entrapment of human dominance pushes her tolerance to new limits. With inner strength, aided by her faith, she embarks on her purpose. But to see it, first she must survive the tournament of Ablaze—claimed the greatest show on earth. Their lives are destined for change in the Pretorius Empire of 2043, Egypt. They are not alone; a Bloodman Rights inspector breaks protocol to aid the insurgent uprising; and an empress consort, after over twenty years in her role, debates whether to risk abandoning the emperor and his empire.


Genefire

Genefire by JAMES FLANAGAN

SPSFC 2023

***** WINNER of Firebird Book Awards 2023 - in 3 Categories (New Author, Genetics, Time Travel)***** near-future SciFi novel crossing space and time. In a future where genetic engineering is becoming the norm, even the simplest mistakes could be devastating.Sometimes it feels as though the world will end if you don’t finish your PhD. For Larry Milton, it’s true.Larry has discovered a dire warning from the future about Earth’s destruction — written in the DNA of a young girl. With the destruction of the planet at stake, and no one believing him, he goes to extraordinary lengths to help the messenger from the future save the world… and try to finish his PhD at the same time.


Warlocks of the Sigil

Warlocks of the Sigil by Peri Akman

When Quinn was told he was deemed fit to learn magic as an apprentice, he didn’t know what to expect. He certainly didn’t expect to be plunged into a world of politics, demons, monsters, petty drama and angry primordial deities, all while being guided by an off kilter, rant-happy warlock, who has more secrets than Quinn has problems. Nothing he can’t handle, right?


Meshkwadoon

Meshkwadoon by Alex Tilley

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


Shadow of a Dead God (Mennik Thorn #1)

Shadow of a Dead God (Mennik Thorn #1) by Patrick Samphire

SPFBO6 SPFBO Finalist

A dead god. A brutal murder. A second-rate mage. It was only supposed to be one little job – a simple curse-breaking for Mennik Thorn to pay back a favor to his oldest friend. But then it all blew up in his face. Now he's been framed for a murder he didn't commit. So how is a second-rate mage, broke, traumatized, and with a habit of annoying the wrong people supposed to prove his innocence when everyone believes he's guilty? Mennik has no choice if he wants to get out of this: he is going to have to throw himself into the corrupt world of the city’s high mages, a world he fled years ago. Faced by supernatural beasts, the mage-killing Ash Guard, and a ruthless, unknown adversary, it’s going to take every trick Mennik can summon just to keep him and his friend alive. But a new, dark power is rising in Agatos, and all that stands in its way is one damaged mage…


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