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Paths of Malice (The Venatrix Chronicles Book 3)

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!


The Daughter of the Ice

The Daughter of the Ice by Luis Falcao de Magalhaes

SPFBO9

After a thousand-year slumber, the goddess of frost awakens to a world that has all but forgotten her. She will rule again... Even if it means covering Elessia in icy death. Eregar, a decorated knight in his twilight years, longs for one final adventure—one last chance to test himself against sword and sorcery. When rumors rise of a powerful sorceress building an army to the east, he jumps at the offer of leading a band of young mercenaries into the heart of the distant Frozen Plains to assess the threat. But as fierce warriors wielding dark magics unleash an undead army upon the last bastion of civilization, the old knight will find that more than his mettle is to be tested... The Daughter of The Ice is the first chapter in a new sword & sorcery series set in the world of Elessia, filled with charismatic characters and intense action. Readers and reviewers alike have said it evokes the best parts of The Witcher, The Dragonbone Chair, and The Wheel of Time.


Queen of Poison (The Venatrix Chronicles Book 6)

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!


Crown of Nightmares (The Venatrix Chronicles Book 7)

Crown of Nightmares (The Venatrix Chronicles Book 7) by Sylvia Mercedes

Who will live? Who will die? Who will be changed . . . forever? Separated from the Evanderians, Ayleth finds herself alone in the malevolent Witchwood. Or perhaps not entirely alone . . . Confronted with the reality of her living grandmother, Ayleth soon learns that the horrors once ascribed to Dread Odile’s name and legend may not be entirely true. But what is the truth? Could the infamous Witch Queen be a freedom fighter providing hope for those oppressed under Saint Evander’s law? Is she the loving family Ayleth thought she’d lost forever? Or is she the greatest threat the world has ever known? While battling to save their loved ones, Ayleth, Terryn, and Gerard must each face the lies that have influenced their lives since childhood. The final battle is upon them, and the decisions they make will shape the course of destiny. Don’t miss the explosive finale of the acclaimed Venatrix Chronicles!


Dance of Souls (The Venatrix Chronicles Book 4)

Dance of Souls (The Venatrix Chronicles Book 4) by Sylvia Mercedes

Venatrix Ayleth made a vow of loyalty to her Holy Order. But is the Order loyal to Ayleth? Still recovering from her deadly encounter with the Phantomwitch, Ayleth finds herself the unwilling guest of the Golden Prince, forced to enjoy his hospitality . . . and the not-so-gentle ministrations of Venator Fendrel du Glaive. There’s something strange about Fendrel. The way he stares at her is unsettling—as though she’s a monster, as though she’s guilty of some great sin. But didn’t she just defeat one of the worst enemies the kingdom has ever known? Hasn’t she proven her worth? And then there’s Terryn, who may be lying to her, who may not be the loyal venator everyone believes him to be. He also looks at her strangely . . . but his gaze makes her heart stop and her pulse race in ways she’s never felt before. As the night of Prince Gerard’s wedding approaches and the kingdom gathers to celebrate new beginnings, dark forces close in on all sides. Certain secrets, long buried deep, are bound to emerge at last. When they do, will Ayleth have the strength to stand and fight?


Visions of Fate (The Venatrix Chronicles Book 2)

Visions of Fate (The Venatrix Chronicles Book 2) by Sylvia Mercedes

Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, this romantic fantasy adventure will leave you hungry for more. The hunt is on. But who is the hunter and who is the hunted? Ayleth and Terryn survived the Witchwood, but they’re no closer to solving the mystery of the dead shade hunter. In their quest for answers, they discover that a witch has escaped through the Great Barrier and is leaving a trail of corpses in her wake. A murderous witch is only one of Ayleth’s problems, however. Terryn, her infuriating and intriguing rival, will give his all to win their competition. And Kephan, their Outpost Master, conceals more than one dangerous secret. Worst of all, while pursuing a lead, Ayleth finds herself on the hunt for a three-year-old girl . . . a girl possessed by a unique and powerful shade. Suddenly, Ayleth must question the teachings of her Holy Order. Is it always right to kill humans possessed by shades? Even a child? Return to the world of The Venatrix Chronicles, where deadly spirits lurk in the shadows, good and evil wage eternal war, and secrets threaten to tear a kingdom apart. If you love kick-butt heroines, slow-burn romance, breathtaking action, and stories that leave you with a book hangover for days after you finish . . . you need to discover this dark and deadly series. Prepare to turn pages late into the night!


Heart, Haunt, Havoc

Heart, Haunt, Havoc by Freydís Moon

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


Neglected Merge

Neglected Merge by Eve Koguce

SPFBO7

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


Three Kings

Three Kings by Freydís Moon

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


The Reanimator's Heart

The Reanimator's Heart by Kara Jorgensen

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


Tears of Dust (The Venatrix Chronicles Book 5)

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 Hidden King (The Coming of Áed #1)

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

SPFBO6 Indie Recs Indie SFFOasis

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


Red Darkling

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?


The Lost War (Eidyn #1)

The Lost War (Eidyn #1) by Justin Lee Anderson

SPFBO6 SPFBO Winner SPFBO Finalist

The war is over, but something is rotten in the state of Eidyn. With a ragged peace in place, demons burn farmlands, violent Reivers roam the wilds and plague has spread beyond the Black Meadows. The country is on its knees. In a society that fears and shuns him, Aranok is the first magically-skilled draoidh to be named King’s Envoy. Now, charged with restoring an exiled foreign queen to her throne, he leads a group of strangers across the ravaged country. But at every step, a new mystery complicates their mission. As bodies drop around them, new threats emerge and lies are revealed, can Aranok bring his companions together and uncover the conspiracy that threatens the kingdom? Strap in for this twisted fantasy road trip from award-winning author Justin Lee Anderson.


Where Shadows Lie

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!


Dawnstar (Starchaser Saga Book 2)

Dawnstar (Starchaser Saga Book 2) by Renee Dugan

A missing friend. A hunt for answers. A path to vengeance. With her Warden stolen, her hopes of an easy alliance thwarted, and her trust in her own kingdom shattered, Princess Cistine Novacek faces her greatest challenge yet: using wit and steel to bring down a wicked Chancellor and prove herself to the cabal's tentative allies in the Courts. As friendships are tested, bonds broken, and love put to the test, the princess must face the growing threats within the Northern Kingdom – and learn to rise a queen. Locked away in a desert prison, Asheila Kovar faces the struggle of her life: surviving the ruthless Blood Hive, returning to her princess, and avenging a betrayal against the heart of her kingdom. But there are more secrets and schemes than just hers lurking in the catacombs…and the struggle between powerful forces above and below the sands will test Ashe’s loyalty in dangerous ways. Ways that may spell death for people the cabal cannot afford to lose.


Savage Seas

Savage Seas by Monica Boothe

An attack by a mythical sea monster leaves a young woman and a brooding pirate stranded on a lonely island and fighting for their survival. Prim, Puritan-raised Eleanor set out on this voyage to reunite with the love of her life. What she got instead was a pirate attack followed by near devouring by an enormous kraken. Now, stranded with Julien, a surly French pirate boy—one of the very ruffians who, just hours before, threatened her life—Eleanor must learn to overcome her prejudices. But Julien has secrets of his own, and Eleanor comes to suspect that it may not be coincidence that led the two of them to this island together. Can Eleanor and Julien work together to not only survive the wilds of the Caribbean but to find their way home? Savage Seas is a 17th century swashbuckling adventure and enemies to lovers romance with just a splash of magic. Perfect for readers who liked Daughter of the Pirate King or Fable. Beneath the Black Flag is a series of interconnected standalone adventure novels that can be read in any order.


The Reanimator's Soul

The Reanimator's Soul by Kara Jorgensen

An autistic necromancer, his undead lover, and the case that could destroy everything. When a necromancer turns up dead, Oliver and Felipe think it will be the perfect, straightforward case for their new partnership. That is, until it leads them to a clinic promising a cure for magic, but they aren’t the only ones investigating the Institute for the Betterment of the Soul. Oliver’s ex, Ansley, is in town, and he’s certain the clinic isn’t the paragon of righteousness it claims to be. Forced to help Ansley infiltrate the institute, Oliver fears he is out of his depth in his work and in love as old wounds and bad habits resurface. But Oliver isn’t the only one struggling. Pulled between his cases, Oliver, and his daughter returning home for the summer, Felipe is drowning. Just when he thinks he finally has everything under control, a new reminder of his untimely demise threatens to throw his life into a tailspin once more. Between festering wounds and secrets, Oliver and Felipe’s lives stand upon a knife’s edge. To face the evil lurking behind the clinic’s genteel smiles, they must stand together or face the destruction of the place they call home.


Remote Angel Volume 1

Remote Angel Volume 1 by Yennie Fer and Banunu

After a freak accident of an attempted assault, Alice Desangi wakes up in a different apocalyptic universe. Gifted with mysterious powers of an earth angel, she dies in unfortunate occurrences. She wakes up to relive that day again in a confused manner. Depending on her choices, they could change history.


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.


A Sea of Cinders

A Sea of Cinders by Adam R. Bishop

SPFBO8

In Cellagor—a land segregated between humans and Elves—fear, manipulation and war are inevitable. Nearly one hundred years have passed since the War of the Fallen, a cataclysmic battle between human and Elf which left both races teetering on the brink of extinction. Now, the Age of Tranquility is finally nearing its end, and the northern King of Havelmir is hungry for power and revenge. The Elven peace of mind remains unchanged—that is, until the Kingdom of Rhan is threatened by unknown forces. Soon it becomes clear that the tranquil Elven existence is once again at risk of crumbling. However, even with the element of surprise, the road to victory is not as smooth as it may seem. Ulterior motives are afoot, ancient magic is resurfacing, and an unlikely friendship between two young men may just pose the biggest threat of them all.


Soulmate, Stage Right

Soulmate, Stage Right by Bixby Jones

Drama teacher Abby Devlin has always dreamed of being a world-famous actress. While stardom has, so far, proven elusive, she has made quite a name for herself at McMillan Playhouse, where she’s just been cast in a self-written production. Her triumph quickly turns to dread, however, when she learns that McMillan has cast a soap star as her new leading man. After a painful divorce, Dean Altman, former soap star and a single dad, readjusted his priorities, moving back home to Galveston, Texas with his young daughter, Preslie. It doesn’t take long for him to feel the itch to dust himself off and step back into the acting world, which brings him to McMillan’s stage…and Abby’s attention. There is a fire between Abby and Dean when they meet in rehearsal, and not the good kind. Sizzling tension leads to drama both on and off-stage, but when they are forced to work together for the sake of the play, they slowly begin to give in to the undeniable chemistry between them. Before they truly have a chance to understand what they might have, however, an opportunity presents itself to Dean—one that could make or break what they have come to find in one another. Soulmate, Stage Right is an enemies-to-lovers, single dad romance, with quick progression and high-stakes emotion. It will appeal to contemporary romance fans, as well as fans of Hallmark movies. It is low on the heat, but high on the sweet, and can best be described as a romantic dramedy.


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. . .


Dragon Mage

Dragon Mage by ML Spencer

SPFBO7

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


The Dryad's Crown

The Dryad's Crown by David Hopkins

SPFBO10

Four titans sleep beneath the earth. Only one fae can keep them from waking. Silbrey is an orphaned wood nymph, taken from her forest home and raised in the corrupt city of Penderyn. The fae child grows up unaware of who she is, what she can do, and the calling of her kind. Under the control of a cruel guildmaster, Silbrey is trained as an assassin. As an adult, she escapes her violent past to start a new life and a family. But a tragic death brings her back to the familiar cobbled streets to seek revenge. This dark path leads Silbrey to uncover an even darker secret: An ancient evil will wake the titans and break the world. Silbrey must travel with her daughter across a war-torn land to defeat that evil. What begins as a fairy tale transforms into a multi-generational epic fantasy about love and loss—and a woman with a strange connection to nature. The Dryad's Crown is an emotional, coming-of-age fantasy debut. The first volume in a gritty saga, set in the immersive world of Efre Ousel. Booklife describes the story as "a fantasy unlike any other."


Black Table

Black Table by Anttimatti Pennanen

SPSFC 2022

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


Consequences: A Wilders Finale

Consequences: A Wilders Finale by Cass Kim

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


Lady Vago's Malediction

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

SPFBO7

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


The Briar Crown

The Briar Crown by Helen Rygh-Pedersen

SPFBO9

They say love conquers all… but can the conquered ever love the conqueror? Twenty-five years ago, there was life. Twenty-five years ago, there was peace when the descendants of the dryads and naiads kept all life in balance. Until one fateful night when the Oderbergs invaded, executed the royal house of Domonov and took Domovnia for their own, ruling with an iron fist and an edict of fear. Roslyn Pleveli, like most of the orphans of that night, wants revenge and an end to the persecution of her kind. Yet, even if the Domovnian’s use of magic was permitted, she wouldn’t be much help, able to command only a few lowly weeds. But everything changes when she saves the life of an injured young man in the forest not knowing it was the prince of the Oderbergs himself. Ordered to see to the rest of his treatment, Roslyn is snatched from her home and all that she loves by his soldiers. Now, in the Oderberg stronghold, she has the chance to change things. With the royal family within her grasp all she has to do to free her people is kill them… but can she do it, or will something more powerful than revenge heal the wounds of the past?


In Sleep You Know, A Story of the Eleriannan

In Sleep You Know, A Story of the Eleriannan by Christiane Knight

SPFBO9

Even the grittiest blue collar city has a spark of magic under the surface; but in Baltimore, graffiti holds secret messages and artists are the spellcasters. Abandoned buildings hide ancient beings, and at the local club, you might find yourself rubbing shoulders with menacing and otherworldly creatures. If you know how to look, of course. Merrick Moore is just a regular guy with dreams of making it big with his garage band, but not much else - until he crashes a party thrown by reclusive eccentrics. He gets more than he bargained for: new powers, a girlfriend who can visit him in his dreams, and a seven year bond with the local Fae court. When the mortal enemies of his new friends show up to his band's first gig, Merrick finds himself trying to prevent the start of a war that will have consequences for everyone, Fae and human alike.


In the Shadow of Love

In the Shadow of Love by J. E. Leak

She was prepared to lose her life. She was not prepared to lose her heart. Reporter Jenny Ryan didn’t believe in love at first sight. Until it happened to her. An encounter with a sultry nightclub singer led to a secret job at the Office of Strategic Services and an unlikely romance with the woman of her dreams. OSS agent Kathryn Hammond knows she doesn’t deserve love or happiness. But having fallen for her former assignment, she’ll do anything to keep her safe—including staying away. When ghosts from her past emerge, and Jenny waltzes into headquarters as a new recruit, all of Kathryn’s fears materialize. With Jenny’s protection out of her hands, and society, the war, and time against them, will their love survive? In the Shadow of Love is the second book in this lesbian historical romance series. If you like secrets, spies, and love against all odds, you'll love this emotionally sweeping love story. Buy In the Shadow of Love and lose yourself in a page-turning night of desire and intrigue today!


Shades and Silver

Shades and Silver by Dax Murray

Kraken Collective

The birthright of every Ástfríður is to know each metal in the earth, command it, and bend it to their desires. To hear metal singing, some of it waiting just beneath the surface, so much of it deeper in the earth. If they wanted, they knew they could pluck that metal from the earth, melt it with a thought, and shape it as they pleased with a breath of air and their will. Each Ástfríður must choose which metal they would wear upon their heads, denoting the path they would walk. They craft beautiful horns to wear on their brow, forged with the metal they wish to identify with. But Britt does not know if they can choose the path they want; if they can overcome a past that has stolen their identity. The day has come for them to choose, and they have no idea if they have any right even to try to. And Astrid has never felt the pull of the metal at all. Wearing a forged circlet and horn, they try to navigate a world that they feel has rejected them, all the while fearing someone will learn their secret. The Veil of the Ástfríður has kept them hidden from the world and safe from intruders. Yet Britt and Astrid feel they are imposters in their own homes. Shades and Silver is a duology of novellas about identity, doubt, and acceptance.


The Skeleton Key

The Skeleton Key by Justine Manzano

Sword and Silk Books Teacup Dragon Coop

Sequel to the award-winning Order of the Key Kyp Franklin can't move on. One year after his mother officially declared war against him, Kyp is still struggling to find his feet as the Order of the Key's new leader. He's far too concerned about tracking her down before she causes even more damage than she already has. In fact, that's all he's been doing. Until one day, after a particularly reckless mission, he returns to find a surprising visitor on his doorstep... Jacklyn Madison can't move on. One year after she left the Order, she has a new team, and a new mission. She's determined to close all the interdimensional rifts between our world and the Dusk, before more people die trying to stop the creatures that pass through them. But a vision she had while on the edge of death leads her to the one place she never intended to return … Forced to work together, Jacklyn, Kyp, and their respective teams uncover Lavinia's next plan: an alarming mix of magic and science the likes of which has never been seen before. Jacklyn and Kyp must learn to work together again and confront the demons of their past if they're going to stop Lavinia and those assisting her before their larger plan is put into action--a plan that could bring the monsters of the Dusk to our world...forever.


The Look of a King

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...


Elemental: Shadows of Otherside Book 1

Elemental: Shadows of Otherside Book 1 by Whitney Hill

Enter an urban fantasy world where elves, vampires, weres, djinn, and fae maintain a precarious balance of power in North Carolina. Welcome to Otherside. Private investigator and sylph Arden Finch is determined to come out of the shadows and practice her forbidden magic. There's just one problem: the elves have a bounty on elementals like her. When an elf hires Arden without realizing what she is, she seizes the chance to gain leverage in the dangerous world of Otherside⁠—even if it means risking exposure. But as the case grows more perilous, Arden draws the attention of the region's deadliest power players. Fans of Kim Harrison, Faith Hunter, and the early Anita Blake series will find a kick-ass heroine in Arden. Content warnings: swearing, light consensual sex, physical violence, death, slurs (not toward any real racial or ethnic group/identity), threat of sexual violence.


Isla's Reach

Isla's Reach by Francisca Liliana

One catastrophe is all it takes. The world of Iona has forgotten the time when dragons ruled the skies and their Viden riders controlled the wind. The Evandis War, started by the long dead Cinaed the Decayed was won, but at the extermination of every dragon and their Viden riders. Evelyn, the last Viden, has been in hiding for her entire life, but no more. Once she bonds with Oretem, the last dragon, her purpose quickly turns from being the shield for those she loves, to the blade that fights to survive. A Reticent assassin haunts her steps, one who has his own demons to battle. They both seek a single person--Meric, a bounty hunter Venandi, who the assassin endeavors to destroy and the Viden hopes to save. These three lives intertwine in ways that leave them questioning everything they've ever known. The roots of Isla's Reach burrow deep to carry the world, and it won't be long until they've broken entirely.


The Wild Court

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.


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™


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...


They Mostly Come Out At Night

They Mostly Come Out At Night by Benedict Patrick

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


Blood of Heirs (The Coraidic Sagas #1)

Blood of Heirs (The Coraidic Sagas #1) by Alicia Wanstall-Burke

SPFBO Finalist

Lidan Tolak is the fiercest of her father’s daughters; more than capable of one day leading her clan. But caught between her warring parents, Lidan’s world begins to unravel when another of her father’s wives falls pregnant. Before she has time to consider the threat of a brother, a bloody swathe is cut through the heart of the clan and Lidan must fight, not only to prove her worth, but simply to survive. Ranoth Olseta wants nothing more than to be a worthy successor to his father’s throne. When his home is threatened by the aggressive Woaden Empire, Ran becomes his city’s saviour, but powers within him are revealed by the enemy and he is condemned to death. Confused and betrayed, Ran is forced to flee his homeland, vowing to reclaim what he has lost, even if it kills him. Facing an unknown future, and battling forces both familiar and foreign, can Lidan and Ran overcome the odds threatening to drag them into inescapable darkness?


The Forgotten Lyric

The Forgotten Lyric by Carolina Cruz

How can an assassin retire and live with everything they’ve done? Some men turn to drink, while others choose to live in denial. Kennet Peders, on the other hand, is just trying to be a better person. Saving a young girl from death by poison seems to be the perfect place to start, yet even as he takes a job that does nothing but good, Kennet can’t fully escape his past… With the supernatural ability to influence other people’s emotions, Asa never felt quite comfortable in the society they were raised in. Luckily, being a bard means they can easily leave that society to find a home somewhere new—and the country of Bladland is very new to them. Here Asa finds themself presented with an opportunity: use their influence to help save a young girl and befriend a mysterious (and handsome) sword-for-hire in the process. It’s an adventure they’d be a fool to pass up on. The Forgotten Lyric is the second book in the Creed of Gethin trilogy.


The Last Sun

The Last Sun by K.D. Edwards

Rune Saint John, last child of the fallen Sun Court, is hired to search for Lady Judgment's missing son, Addam, on New Atlantis, the island city where the Atlanteans moved after ordinary humans destroyed their original home. With his companion and bodyguard, Brand, he questions Addam's relatives and business contacts through the highest ranks of the nobles of New Atlantis. But as they investigate, they uncover more than a missing man: a legendary creature connected to the secret of the massacre of Rune's Court. In looking for Addam, can Rune find the truth behind his family's death and the torments of his past?


Birth of the Storm

Birth of the Storm by Valerie Storm

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


Over the Dragon’s Gate

Over the Dragon’s Gate by Juliana Jones & Riley Sanderson

Treya has everything he needs in his pond: food, shelter, and other fish to swim with. It’s painful to wonder if he had another life once, so he ignores the fragments of disturbing dreams that plague him. But when a boy falls into his pond, Treya discovers he’s more than a fish. He can also become a boy, and now he has a friend: the irrepressible Eli. During secret meetings in the garden surrounding the pond, Treya and Eli forge a bond that even dark magic can’t break. But when Eli starts asking questions about who and what Treya is, the two of them discover that questions are dangerous, answers have a cost, and their fates depend on unraveling the mystery of Treya’s past.


Snow Merry Red

Snow Merry Red by Nadya Frank

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "This book pulled me out of a month-long reading slump!" Facebook reviewer How do you survive the holidays when someone from your family is trying to kill you? Holidays have always been hard on Viola: the scrutiny of her family members, their comments about her parenting, her drinking, her failing career… She expects all this as she arrives to yet another Christmas dinner. What she doesn’t expect is to find herself locked in a basement of the family’s country house in Moscow exurbs without memories of how she ended up here. Clearly, someone from her family attempted to get rid of her. But who? After freeing herself, Viola is committed to find the answer. As the family members arrive into the house for the New Year’s night—Russia’s most important winter holiday—Viola knows she can’t trust anyone. She recruits a con artist Zoya Volkova to help her. Together, they untangle the web of the family’s darkest secrets, malicious lies and heartbreaking betrayals. But as the year changes and Viola’s memory returns, she and Zoya aren’t looking for the truth anymore. Now, they need to survive. This dark page-turner with unpredictable twists is perfect for fans of Laura Lippman, Karin Slaughter, and Lisa Gardner. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Engaging and fast paced” Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "I never saw the twist coming!" Advance reader


When Stars Become Shadows

When Stars Become Shadows by Emmie Hamilton

For the past seven years, Emersyn Jane Merona had been owned by a deadly mob boss and forced to service any lonely soul who found their way to Skarsrowe, a shady port town on the edge of the Baronian Sea. When Syn commits a murder and initiates a daring escape, she finds herself in the arms of her boss’ archrival, the legendary Captain Killian O’Donnell. After seeking refuge on his mysterious ship, Syn soon realizes that she may have traded one form of danger for another. Desperate to regain her freedom, she falls back on all the old tricks she used to survive her indentured servitude. Just when she is ready to give up, a murdered siren changes her fate and the Lord of Lost Souls, Malakai Barron, drags her down into the underworld. Through a deal brokered by someone from her past, Syn now has to try to earn her freedom from not one, but two key players in the dark underworld. Though it seems impossible, opportunity strikes when Malakai’s missing sirens reappear and Syn is given the chance to investigate. Who is taking the sirens? And why does their song haunt her dreams? As Emersyn uncovers the demons of her past, will the monsters of her future be kept at bay, or will she become another lost soul anchored to the bottom of the sea? Please note: This is an adult dark fantasy intended for 18+ only. Please check for content warnings before purchasing.


A Feeling Like Home

A Feeling Like Home by Haleigh Wenger

Sword and Silk Books WriteHive Book Club Indie Recs Indie

Sixteen-year-old Paige Williams can’t stop self-sabotaging. Not when her dad gets sick, not when her relationship implodes, not even when her parents send her to another-freaking-state for the summer to live with her sister. Paige just wants to have fun, spray paint a few walls, and block out everything stressful, including her growing concern that she might be sick as well. To make things worse, her parents threaten her with boarding school in the fall if she can’t prove she’s changed her bad habits. Paige’s parents sign her up for a rebuilding project in Texas where her sister lives. Meanwhile, Paige reluctantly befriends her sister’s straight-laced teenage neighbor, Joey, who is a frequent guest. He’s so different from her, but Paige realizes that may not be a bad thing, especially since being around Joey curbs her urge to vandalize and ignore the rules. He even makes her forget about the debilitating stomach cramps she struggles to hide. Just as Paige begins to feel settled in Texas, her dad’s worsening Crohn’s disease brings her home to Seattle. When her own health fails her, she has the choice of staying at home and receiving care. Or, she could go back to Texas and prove for once and for all that she’s more than her mistakes and more than a disease. Torn between two worlds and two versions of herself, Paige must decide where, and with whom, she truly feels at home.


An Unusual Occupation: Part One of The Journals of Bob Drifter

An Unusual Occupation: Part One of The Journals of Bob Drifter by M.L.S Weech

Bob Drifter is a substitute teacher with a secret. He seems like no more than a polite young man who loves to read and mentor students in his free time. Yet, on the side, Bob takes part in some rather strange extracurricular activities that soon attract the attention of local police. For some reason, people have a way of dying around him. It’s not his fault. Maybe he just hangs around people who are already dying. Maybe he has bad timing. But Bob knows better. The friends he's making are getting closer to learning his secret, but they're not going to like what that secret means. The police are attributing a number of suspicious deaths to him, but they're not going to like the consequences of getting involved. Bob can't do anything but move forward, but he's determined to change the secret world of which he is a part.


A Company of Adventurers

A Company of Adventurers by Rune S. Nielsen

SPFBO8

What happens to legendary adventurers when they retire? Talen is a poor farmhand…but he used to be a famously quick swordsman. Now he has one last job, which could secure his family’s future: he must retrieve a cursed suit of golden armor from a mountain claimed by genocidal orcs. When Talen fails to return from his adventure, a motley crew of rugged ne’er-do-wells must deal with the mysterious person who hired Talen, as well as a family of berserkers. And retrieving the armor will take a grievous toll... Discover the fantasy kingdom of Kjeldale, featuring a world inspired by Norse and Celtic mythology, rich with bittersweet nuances and dry wit. Author Rune S. Nielsen, who previously wrote the acclaimed novel Doomsayer Prince, is back with a fun but layered fantasy novel for every roleplayer who’s wondered what happens after heroes become legends.


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