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Not Your Mountain

Not Your Mountain by Greg Yates / AJ Alexanders

He wanted to be an adventurer, but adventure could cost him his home. Matty has spent his whole life working in the mines, it's all he's ever known to do: sing to the stone, extract its riches, and learn its properties. But after an unexpected visit from a dwarven adventurer, his life takes a seismic shift. Dwarves never leave Craig'n Dell and guests never visit, but now Matty wants to change all of that. With his cunning, bravery, and will, Matty sets off with his left foot forward... and stumbles. Join Matty as he embarks on a comedic fantasy adventure meant to captivate and amuse; where monsters, adventure, and unlikely companionship await!


Coldlander

Coldlander by Jacob Tanner

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


The Merry Maids

The Merry Maids by Stefanie Contreras

SPSFC

Alyvia Tippin is done with her training at the Academy, and ready to serve the Order. Her abilities with movement and telekinesis earn her a spot with The Merry Maids, a small black-ops team that works on the Order's behalf to unofficially clean up official messes. As the new Courier for The Merry Maids, Alyvia's training is immediately put to the test when the Order sends them on a mission to collect the disassembled pieces of an artifact called the Starkiller. The pieces are hidden across the galaxy like a deadly scavenger hunt, and the person who hid them wants Alyvia to destroy the Starkiller instead of turning it over to the Order. Luckily, The Merry Maids have her back. She's going to need it.


Pallas Lost

Pallas Lost by Jake Morrison

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

When Ensign Vasyli Nikonov’s ship happened upon a drifting derelict, he had no idea how drastically his life was about to change. Not only had the crew been killed in an impossible manner, the Captain of the ship left a reference to the child’s tale of the lost colony of Pallas. Elsewhere in the Fifteen Systems, scholar Eliot Charter gamely starts his own fool’s quest to prove that Pallas is real. Armed with nothing but naivety and knowledge, he hires mercenary Captain Skadi Ulfsdöttir to help him on his journey. Things quickly spiral out of hand, leaving them all wondering if Pallas was truly Lost...


Built on Ruins

Built on Ruins by Kate S. Toll

Generations after The End, there are two ways of living — Gangs of scavengers roam the Wilds and hunt for relics of lost times, while the re-settlers spend their lives building a new civilization on the ruins of the old. Jan Xiaoli is the leader of Ryningare City — one of the largest and most prosperous settlements this side of the Rift. With the purist movement growing stronger, the scavengers getting more hostile, and the incurable disease spreading, ruling the city feels like sitting on a ticking time bomb. When he meets Shi Saxe, the infamous Vulture, who lives alone in the Wilds, Jan Xiaoli feels as though the storm raging around him is sneaking its way into his heart as well.


Goodbye to the Sun

Goodbye to the Sun by Jonathan Nevair

SPSFC 2022

A daring rebel pilot. A lost soul pursued by an infamous bounty hunter. One impossible moral choice... On a lone wind-shaped planet, the Motes are on the brink. Razor, a bold and fearless pilot, leads a last-ditch gambit to save her people. The plan - abduct visiting Ambassador Keen Draden and use him as a bargaining chip to restore their independence in the Sagittarius Arm. But when the operation unravels, Razor is forced to renegotiate terms with the arrogant diplomat. GOODBYE TO THE SUN: a nonstop thrill ride across an unstable galaxy, combining moral struggle with character-driven adventure.


Eldritch Sparks: Shadows of Otherside Book 2

Eldritch Sparks: Shadows of Otherside Book 2 by Whitney Hill

The deal that secured Arden Finch a measure of freedom came with strings, and now everybody wants to pull them. Arden has carved out a place for herself in Otherside—at a price. Pressure mounts as she juggles her day job as a private investigator with her new obligations, fraying relationships, and growing elemental powers. If that wasn't enough, a lich has appeared in the Triangle, sowing violence and raising zombies. Everyone wants Arden to get rid of it⁠, including the gods. But the lich offers something Arden has always wanted: enough power to stand alone. All she has to do is put herself first for once...and betray everyone she cares about. Urban fantasy and paranormal fans of Kim Harrison, Faith Hunter, Seanan McGuire, and the early Anita Blake series will find a kick-ass heroine in Arden. Praise for Eldritch Sparks: Shadows of Otherside Book 2 "A compelling book of Otherside that goes from strength to strength." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


Starkiller: The Merry Maids Book Three

Starkiller: The Merry Maids Book Three by Stefanie Contreras

Alyvia Tippin is not a fan of big changes, and yet that's all her life has been since leaving the Academy. Now that she's discovered more about her abilities, the Council seems determined to add even bigger changes to her life. Despite The Merry Maids' protests, the Council wants Alyvia to train with the Shadows, to figure out how her Amplifier skills could be useful to their team. At least she can stop worrying about her best friend now that she knows he is one of the Shadows. As The Merry Maids' quest to find the Starkiller pieces nears completion, their course is set to collide again with Maks, and all of the horrors Lyv thought she left behind when she escaped Cayberra. Change is inevitable. Alyvia just hopes her team can survive.


The Order of the Key

The Order of the Key by Justine Manzano

WriteHive Book Club Teacup Dragon Coop

Jacklyn Madison never expected to be attacked by a beast on an evening snack run. Add a rescue mission enacted by a trained regiment of teenaged warriors, and her night officially becomes just like a scene from one of her beloved comic books. Turns out, her parents were once members of the Order of the Key, gifted humans that protect humanity from creatures spilling through inter-dimensional rifts. Unable to control her newfound abilities, Jacklyn and her family rejoin the Order. After an attack on their headquarters leaves Jacklyn questioning their leadership, Kyp—the boy who led her initial rescue—reveals a darker secret. The Order’s leader may be corrupt, and Jacklyn’s questions could put her family in danger. Drawn into the search for proof, Jacklyn must use her guts and magical brawn to protect her family, her friends, and herself from the monsters spilling from rifts, and those hiding within the Order.


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.


METANOIA The Fifth Yanai: Book One

METANOIA The Fifth Yanai: Book One by Juniper Lake Fitzgerald

SPFBO8

The Fifth Yanai is a story of the value of free will, the triumph of love, and the fight to live life on one's own terms. Metanoia is the first installment. In a world ravaged by famine, kindhearted Cultist Ohkai lives in the wilderness serving his Gods, when he is sent from his Sect on a Calling of divine origin. He travels into the heart of a society that opposes the very existence of his kind. But what he expected to be a simple test of his devotion will bring him face to face with his greatest rival - a Temple assassin. When the life of a friend is in danger, Ohkai must risk not only discovery, but his life, to save his friend and fulfill his Calling. Velyr is a ruthless Temple assassin trained for one thing - to fulfill the will of the Gods. Sent to eliminate a target in the township of Obeaon, he encounters an unexpected obstacle in the form of a Cultist who claims to serve his same Gods - blasphemy on the lips of his enemy. When he nearly loses his life only to be saved by the embodiment of what he hates most, Velyr begins to question everything he's been taught to believe. An unlikely connection forms between cultist and assassin, and little do they know their meeting was fated, meant to be something more than they - or even their all-knowing Gods - could have ever foreseen.


Reverend of Silence

Reverend of Silence by Pamela Sparkman

A coming of age story about faith, love, and overcoming society's prejudices during the American Antebellum period. In 1810, Lucy Hallison suffered from a severe illness at the age of three, and later recovered, a deaf-mute. Unable to relate to the world in which she lives, she’s often ignored and sometimes treated with cruelty. Until a boy, Samuel Burke, steps into her life at the tender age of seven, coloring her world and showing her what it means to be seen, to not be invisible, to be understood. The two become inseparable childhood friends, and as they grow and mature, there is the promise and hope of something more that also grows between them. But the hope of something more is put on hold so she can attend The American Asylum at Hartford for the Deaf and Dumb, the first of its kind, requiring her to leave the only home she’s ever known and the only boy she’s ever loved. But while she is away, tragedy strikes, and Samuel is now the one unable to relate to the world in which he lives, unable to find his own voice, and withdrawing from everyone and everything he’s ever known. When Lucy returns home from school, she has one goal in mind—to put color back into his world the way he had once put color into hers. Because Samuel Burke had been her voice when she had needed him most. Now, she is determined to be his. Note: Inspired by real people and true historical accounts.


Reign & Ruin

Reign & Ruin by J. D. Evans

SPFBO7 SPFBO Finalist SPFBO Winner

“All magic is beautiful...and terrible. Do you not see the beauty in yours, or the terror in mine? You can stop a heart, and I can stop your breath.” She is heir to a Sultanate that once ruled the world. He is an unwanted prince with the power to destroy. She is order and intellect, a woman fit to rule in a man's place. He is chaos and violence and will stop at nothing to protect his people. His magic answers hers with shadow for light. They need each other, but the cost of balance may be too high a price. Magic is dying and the only way to save it is to enlist mages who wield the forbidden power of death, mages cast out centuries ago in a brutal and bloody war. Now, a new war is coming. Science and machines to replace magic and old religion. They must find a way to save their people from annihilation and balance the sacred Wheel—but first, they will have to balance their own forbidden passion. His peace for her tempest, his restlessness for her calm… Night and day, dusk and dawn, the end, and the beginning.


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.


Piecefinder: The Merry Maids Book Two

Piecefinder: The Merry Maids Book Two by Stefanie Contreras

Alyvia Tippin is slowly finding her way as the Courier for The Merry Maids but their last mission on Jubilee broke open something in her memories that couldn't stay buried. It's time to tell her team where their Courier came from, and the truth isn't pretty. She isn't the only one with stories to tell. For The Merry Maids, the past can't seem to stay in the past as the team is targeted by people they know. Their deadly scavenger hunt in search of the disassembled Starkiller pieces is being haunted by people The Merry Maids used to trust. When Alyvia left behind the safety of the Academy, she didn't realize how risky it would be to follow her dream of flying among the stars. Now that The Merry Maids are becoming the family she always wanted, there is nothing she wouldn't risk for them. Even if the risk is to herself.


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.


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.


The Legend of Black Jack

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?


Let Loose the Fallen: Book Two of Children of the Nexus

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 Canticle of Two Souls

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?


A Prophecy Unsung

A Prophecy Unsung by Adam R. Bishop

William and Baldric were successful in trekking across the uncharted lands of the elves. After reaching the Viridian Veil and warning Lord Thinduill of Dadro’s deceit, they thought their journey had come to a close. But in truth, it had only just begun—and the more they descend into the battle for Cellagor’s fate, the more they’ll learn about their own mysterious pasts. Preceding their arrival to the Veil, Avolin’s visions revealed that William and Baldric were tied to the Book of No Quarter. Upon learning this, Lord Thinduill insisted they accompany him to the elven capital of Leof Ealdwin. Meanwhile, Rhan is no more, and its ashen remains mark the beginning of a new age. Arnion’s sacrifice may have altered the fate of Cellagor, but his father’s resolve continues to be tested. In the north, houses have reunited once again, and the Braxi army slowly encroaches on the Unspoken Border. Talfryn remains the last standing house to refuse Dadro’s rule—but they must rekindle old alliances if they mean to survive further bloodshed. Word of Dadro’s victory over the elves continues to spread across the realm. Thousands have sworn their fealty to him, and whispers of a promising union linger on the horizon. But war does not come without its price. Dadro’s brother has yet to recover from the Battle of Rhan, and the pyromancer Aleister’s treachery remains unseen. With his ambitions still unknown, neither side is safe during this ushering in of a new age.


Magissa

Magissa by Kassandra Flamouri

For as long as she can remember, Chrysa Markou has longed for Pyrga, her native village in the mountains of Greece. But she never thought she would return like this—an orphan, crushed by grief and wracked with guilt over her parents’ deaths. Even surrounded by family, she feels like a xeni—a foreigner. A stranger All she wants is to belong, but Chrysa instead finds herself beset by vicious gossip, family secrets, and a magical heritage that could derail the future her parents wanted for her. To make matters worse, the one responsible for orphaning Chrysa has returned to unleash a reign of supernatural terror over her new home. With the help of a handsome but moody Seer and a pair of burly guard dogs, Chrysa scrambles to protect her village from an onslaught of dark creatures commanded by her parents’ murderer. As the noose of the killer's malice draws tighter, Chrysa grapples with festering doubts: Is she the victim, the hero...or the true cause of her people's suffering? Triumph over evil seems worth any cost, until it threatens to unravel everything Chrysa believed she was fighting for.


Memories of Blood and Shadow

Memories of Blood and Shadow by Aaron S. Jones

SPFBO8

Guilt cuts deeper than the deadliest of blades. Tavar Farwan lives alone past the Undying Sands. During a violent storm, he is attacked by two young warriors claiming a need for vengeance for pain from ages past. Tavar defends himself, killing one of the intruders and leaving the other to bleed on the floor. Weary and filled with regret, Tavar offers to tell the young man his story: a story of how, in a world of Naviqings, Leviathans, and Shadow Warriors; a poor, nomadic orphan rose to inspire a kingdom, and kill a God.


Aestus: Book 2: The Colony

Aestus: Book 2: The Colony by S. Z. Attwell

An underground city. A deadly project. And an Intelligence agent who can help Jossey take down the City...if she can trust him again.Jossey grew up believing the Onlar, creatures of the aboveground, were monsters. But when they kidnapped her, she found out terrible secrets about her city and her family. Her choice to help the Onlar against the City almost cost her her life. And the Intelligence agent she'd thought was her friend was the one tasked with carrying out her execution.But he didn't quite succeed.Now Jossey, barely alive, has been sent to the Onlar by a mysterious figure from the City. And time is of the essence - her solar network project could mean disaster not only for the Onlar, but for thousands of citizens as well. She can’t do much from the Onlar camp, but Gavin, Jossey’s Patrol leader and longtime friend, isn’t convinced she’s dead. And Patrol has started to learn the truth.As tentative alliances form, Jossey begins to think this might be easier than she’d thought. But a terrible miscalculation has been made, one that may cost her and her friends both the City and their lives. Can she see it before it’s too late?Aestus is an adult dystopian science-fiction series set centuries after climate change has ravaged much of Earth. An epic story of vengeance, power, shifting loyalties, and survival that looks at just how far people will go to protect what they love, brought to you by science writer S.Z. Attwell, Aestus paints a picture of a world in which far too little has changed.


The Last Gifts of the Universe

The Last Gifts of the Universe by Rory August

SFFOasis SPSFC 2022 SPSFC Winner Indie Recs Indie

A dying universe. When the Home worlds finally achieved the technology to venture out into the stars, they found a graveyard of dead civilizations, a sea of lifeless gray planets and their ruins. What befell them is unknown. All Home knows is that they are the last civilization left in the universe, and whatever came for the others will come for them next. A search for answers. Scout is an Archivist tasked with scouring the dead worlds of the cosmos for their last gifts: interesting technology, cultural rituals—anything left behind that might be useful to the Home worlds and their survival. During an excavation on a lifeless planet, Scout unearths something unbelievable: a surviving message from an alien who witnessed the world-ending entity thousands of years ago. A past unraveled. Blyreena was once a friend, a soul mate, and a respected leader of her people, the Stelhari. At the end of her world, she was the last one left. She survived to give one last message, one final hope to the future: instructions on how to save the universe. An adventure at the end of a trillion lifetimes. With the fate of everything at stake, Scout must overcome the dangers of the Stelhari’s ruined civilization while following Blyreena’s leads to collect its artifacts. If Scout can’t deliver these groundbreaking discoveries back to the Archivists, Home might not only be the last civilization to exist, but the last to finally fall.


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.


Effigest

Effigest by Amy Campbell

When the sins of the past demand payment, his magic is the price. ​Blaise Hawthorne never wanted to hurt anyone, and he certainly didn’t want to become a weapon. When using his dangerous magic to free his outlaw friends destroys an enemy fortress, the young mage is imprisoned for his crimes. Abused and at the mercy of his tormenters, Blaise’s only ally is a duplicitous man he’s not sure he can trust. ​After escaping his cruel upbringing, politician Malcolm Wells had everything—or so he thought. He didn’t count on falling for Breaker Blaise Hawthorne. And it’s all his fault that Blaise has been captured as a war criminal. The Breaker is running out of time, and Malcolm’s money, power, and influence have proven useless to win his freedom. ​When a magic-slinging outlaw storms into town, Malcolm seizes the opportunity to form an uneasy alliance. The pair hatch a bold gambit to free Blaise, but their enemy is one step ahead. At the mercy of Malcolm’s dark past, everything they fought for unravels. All the magic in the world may not be enough to save any of them from the nightmare to come.


Kit & Basie

Kit & Basie by Tess Carletta

Immortality is a dangerous affair when it isn’t done right. Basie Yeats knows he’s doing immortality all wrong, spending endless days in the same place, but he doesn’t see a reason to leave the home he loves in Long Lily, Pennsylvania. Once the impossible death of his mother leaves him the only immortal person he knows, Basie decides that the only thing he wants to do is get out of Long Lily and start doing immortality the right way—alone. Kit Elliot has wandered the world looking for the right place to call home, so when a church-turned-cottage suddenly goes up for sale in a quaint Pennsylvania town, it feels like it was meant to be. It takes only a few days at Wellhead Cottage for Kit to decide that the man who sold it to him is frustrating, awkward, and terribly handsome. He offers to help Basie find a new home away from Long Lily—but as days turn to months, Kit finds himself wishing he could make Basie stay.


The Thirteenth Hour

The Thirteenth Hour by Trudie Skies

SPFBO8 SPFBO Finalist

When the saints fail, the sinners step up. Cruel gods rule the steam-powered city of Chime, demanding worship and tribute from their mortal subjects. Kayl lost her faith in them long ago, and now seeks to protect vulnerable and downtrodden mortals from their gods’ whims. But when Kayl discovers powers that she didn’t know she had—and destroys a mortal’s soul by accident—she becomes Chime’s most wanted. Quen’s job was to pursue sinners, until the visions started. Haunted by foreboding images of his beloved city’s destruction, Quen hunts soul-sucking creatures made of aether who prey on its citizens—and Kayl is his number one target. To ensure Chime’s future, Kayl and Quen must discover the truth of Kayl’s divine abilities before the gods take matters into their own hands. For a city that bows to cruel gods, it’ll take godless heathens to save it. The Thirteenth Hour is the first book in The Cruel Gods series—a gaslamp fantasy featuring magical portals, gothic cosmic deities, quaint Britishisms, and steampunk vibes. This is an adult book containing strong language and mature themes that some readers may find disturbing. For a full list of content warnings, visit Trudie Skies's website.


Bad Grains

Bad Grains by Susanne Schmidt

SFINCS

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


Trail Markers

Trail Markers by Cym Aros

Indie Recs Indie

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


The Prince of Starlight

The Prince of Starlight by Lou Wilham

An outbreak of strange curses. A kingdom in chaos. With the kingdom of Lunette's people in peril, their prince has one choice. Aided by his best friend and protector, knight Dame Ignacia, Prince Cricket—young, cheerful, and oft-times ridiculous—set out in search of answers. Swords and opinions clash as Cricket and Ignacia work together to solve the mysteries that surround them. But they must set aside their differences to find the culprit before the perpetrator can launch their next attack on Lunette and plunge the kingdom into darkness. A frolicking LGBTQ+ fantasy novel steeped in action, wit, and all of the corniness. Perfect for fans of Terry Pratchett's Discworld, Neil Gaiman's Stardust, and William Goldman's The Princess Bride.


Ascendant (Songs of Chaos #1)

Ascendant (Songs of Chaos #1) by Michael R. Miller

SPFBO7

The start of a new dragon rider epic combining the best of Eragon and Pern with the hard magic of Brandon Sanderson and Will Wight. Holt Cook was never meant to be a dragon rider. He has always served the Order Hall of the Crag dutifully, keeping their kitchen pots clean. Until he discovers a dark secret: dragons do not tolerate weakness among their kin, killing the young they deem flawed. Moved by pity, Holt defies the Order, rescues a doomed egg and vows to protect the blind dragon within. But the Scourge is rising. Undead hordes roam the land, spreading the blight and leaving destruction in their wake. The dragon riders are being slaughtered and betrayal lurks in the shadows. Holt has one chance to survive. He must cultivate the mysterious power of his dragon's magical core. A unique energy which may tip the balance in the battles to come, and prove to the world that a servant is worthy after all.


Cute Mutants Vol 1: Mutant Pride

Cute Mutants Vol 1: Mutant Pride by SJ Whitby

My name is Dylan Taylor, human incarnation of the burning dumpster gif, and this is my life. I always wanted to be an X-Man. Except people and me never got along, and apparently you need social skills to run a successful team. Cue Emma Hall’s party. One hot make out session with the host herself, and I can talk to objects like my pillow (who’s far too invested in my love life) and my baseball bat (who was a pacifist before I got hold of him). Now there’s a whole group of us with strange abilities, including super hot ice queen Dani Kim who doesn’t approve of how reckless I can be. The bigger problem is a mysterious mutant causing unnatural disasters, and we’re the ones who have to stop him. Except trying to make a difference makes things blow up in my face and the team’s on the verge of falling apart. Can I bring them back together in time to stop the villain from taking revenge? Have I mentioned I’m not a people person? Magneto help us.


The 5-Day Plan

The 5-Day Plan by Ashish Rastogi

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


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…


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.


Lesser Known Monsters

Lesser Known Monsters by Rory Michaelson

Being the chosen one isn’t always a good thing. Oscar Tundale is useless, or at least that's what he's always thought. He and his friends are about to discover that not only are monsters real, but some of them are very interested in Oscar. Now, they must find out what the monsters want, before something terrible happens to London; or worse yet, the world. Lesser Known Monsters is an own voices queer dark fantasy featuring diverse characters on a found family adventure. Perfect for fans of action and paranormal romance seeking LGBTQ+ heroes. This is the first book in the Lesser Known Monsters series.


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…


A Circle of Stars

A Circle of Stars by Craig Montgomery

SPFBO10

Sometimes you have to leave home to find it… All Casper Bell has ever wanted is to belong. But now, abandoned by his friends and family after being outed, he has nothing left to lose when the people of Novilem abduct him. Except Earth. Teleported to a world where stars grant humans magic, Casper discovers he has the rare ability to draw power from all twelve astrological signs — a gift that makes him a political pawn for the Estellar Council. But Novilem’s inhabitants seem as hard and cold as the stone their city is carved from, and Casper’s new role leaves him more isolated than ever. Until he meets the grandson of the council’s most powerful woman. Helix is kind, playful, and heartbreakingly handsome, yet it’s how Helix makes him feel that gives Casper hope. As rebellion brinks in the city, even the Council starts to fracture, reaching for extreme measures that could cost Casper not only his newfound abilities, but the first place he has ever wanted to call home. Together with Helix, he must uncover the secrets of his full potential — because the survival of Novilem hinges on Casper’s powers, whether he’s using them or not. Set inside a hidden lunar city, where astrology is magic and your birth sign defines your social status, A Circle of Stars is a queer young adult fantasy filled with political intrigue and romance.


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?


Journeys: the Archers of Saint Sebastian

Journeys: the Archers of Saint Sebastian by Jeanne Roland

15-year-old Marieke disguises herself as a boy to infiltrate the archers’ guild of Saint Sebastian, where she becomes the squire of the dashing young Journeyman Tristan. Soon she’s vowing to help him win the guild competitions to become the prince’s new Guardsman, without ever letting him find out she’s a girl who loves him. Robin Hood meets Mulan and Princess Bride in this immersive adventure set in 14th century Belgium and packed with romance, wit, and longbow archery.


Perception Check

Perception Check by Astrid Knight

Her favorite tabletop roleplaying game is real, and her kidnapped childhood best friend is trapped in a far off land. Will she be able to save her? Let's roll initiative! Violet Spence wants nothing more than to have a normal life. After witnessing her childhood best friend get abducted by monsters, that’s easier said than done. At twenty-three years old, Violet cannot seem to move past that fateful night ten years ago. Her only solace is Mages of Velmyra, a tabletop roleplaying game filled with goblins, fairies, and all-powerful magicians. But of course, that’s all fantasy. Or, so she thought. As it turns out, the land of Velmyra is very real and the home of the monsters that took her best friend. With the help of her friends (and the creator of the game itself), Violet must navigate the once-fictional creatures and powerful mages of Velmyra to retrieve a set of ancient relics—all in the hopes that the journey will lead her back to her friend. But for Violet, fighting monsters and magic workers doesn’t seem nearly as terrifying as confronting her own demons. And she’ll soon realize fighting the battle within herself can be just as tough as those fought against demigods. Perception Check is the magical first installment of the Mages of Velmyra Saga, great for fans of Dungeons and Dragons, Critical Role, and The Magicians. With endearing and hilarious characters, an exploration of mental health and trauma, LGBTQ+ representation, gut-wrenching twists, and a whirlwind of an ending, you will never want to leave the world of Velmyra.


Family Binds (The Journey Missions Book 2)

Family Binds (The Journey Missions Book 2) by Holly Ash

Teacup Dragon Coop

It should have been a routine rescue mission Lieutenant Commander Crystal Wolf could lead in her sleep: go in, restore life support, and evacuate the colonists of Stapleton Farms if things went south. But when the true identity of Stapleton Farms’ leader is revealed, it changes everything. And for the first time in her career, Crystal is emotionally compromised. With the Commander gone, Lieutenant Desiree Flint must put her own prejudices aside and lead an investigation into the sabotage against Stapleton Farms’ computers; but she soon realizes there’s more at stake here than one colony or Neophia's food supply. War is in the air, even if no one else can see it yet. And Desi can’t stop it on her own. In over her head, Desi only has one person she can turn to for help. But can Crystal set aside the betrayal, pain, and chaos of a compromised past in time to stop Stapleton Farms from being destroyed – and prevent war?


The Wildflowers at the Edge of the World

The Wildflowers at the Edge of the World by Shaylin Gandhi

Yukon Territories, 1898. When circus sharpshooter Sophia Bellerose flees from heartbreak in search of a new life, she doesn’t intend to find work in a Yukon brothel. But she's not the sort of woman to refuse that kind of cash—or the freedom that comes with it. ​ For Sophia, the remote wilds of Canada’s Far North provide the perfect setting to bury old heartbreaks. Up there, memories are short, days are long, and gold dust flows freely for any woman bold enough to make the trip. Even better? She gets to keep her guns. Yet when the warmth of her newfound sisterhood begins to thaw her icy heart, Sophia wonders if she’s stumbled across the perfect life—until she clashes with the local Reverend, whose angel face hides a dangerously devious mind. Not only is he conning the whole town, he’s after both the brothel and her, though she can't tell whether his interest is genuine or just another clever ploy to gain control of her earnings. Determined to preserve her newfound freedom—and ignore the Reverend’s devastating kissing in the process—Sophia unholsters her revolvers and takes aim, ready to do whatever it takes to keep her new life in one piece.


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.


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