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Sons of Darkness

Sons of Darkness by Gourav Mohanty

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


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.


Tolagon

Tolagon by Gregory Benson

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


Devil’s Hill: Stories

Devil’s Hill: Stories by E. Reyes

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


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.


Cradle of Sea and Soil

Cradle of Sea and Soil by Bernie Anés Paz

Indie Recs Indie

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


It Haunts the Mind and Other Stories

It Haunts the Mind and Other Stories by Nick Roberts

Nick Roberts delves into the darkest corners of the soul, where horror meets raw emotion. Dive into the chilling depths of the human psyche with Nick Roberts, the acclaimed author behind bestsellers like The Exorcist’s House and Anathema. Presenting a collection of fifteen tales, It Haunts the Mind masterfully weaves horror with raw emotion, leaving an indelible mark on the reader's soul. From the malevolent presence in “Sally Under the Bed” and the eponymous “It Haunts the Mind” to the raw brutality of “The Noose” and “The Bitter End,” Roberts showcases his unparalleled ability to terrify. Yet, it’s not just supernatural dread that lurks in these pages. Stories like “Thanks for Sharing” and “The Weeping Wind” delve into the very real horrors of addiction and grief, while “The Paperboy” and “Voodoo Bay” introduce monsters that defy reality. John Durgin, author of The Cursed Among Us and Inside The Devil’s Nest, praises the collection, stating, “Come for the horror, stay for the heartbreaking emotion that bleeds into every page... It Haunts The Mind is that damn good.” James Aquilone, a Bram Stoker Award-nominated editor and writer, warns of the collection's potency: “Nick Roberts has an uncanny ability to scare the bejesus out of readers... Highly recommended if you don’t want to sleep in the dark again.” Perfect for aficionados of horror short stories, suspenseful tales, and narratives that explore the human condition, It Haunts the Mind is a testament to the power of storytelling, blending supernatural terror with the very real demons that haunt our lives. Whether you're drawn to tales of possession, substance abuse, or coming-of-age horror, this collection promises to both terrify and move you in equal measure. Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.


We Men of Ash and Shadows

We Men of Ash and Shadows by HL Tinsley

SPFBO7 SPFBO Finalist

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


The Ghosts of Thorwald Place

The Ghosts of Thorwald Place by Helen Power

A Mystery Scene Magazine 2021 Editor's Pick Trust No One. Especially Your Neighbors. Rachel Drake is on the run from the man who killed her husband. She never leaves her safe haven in an anonymous doorman building, until one night a phone call sends her running. On her way to the garage, she is murdered in the elevator. But her story doesn’t end there. She finds herself in the afterlife, tethered to her death spot, her reach tied to the adjacent apartments. As she rides the elevator up and down, the lives of the residents intertwine. Every one of them has a dark secret. An aging trophy wife whose husband strays. A surgeon guarding a locked room. A TV medium who may be a fraud. An ordinary man with a mysterious hobby. Compelled to spend eternity observing her neighbors, she realizes that any one of them could be her killer.


Petrified Women

Petrified Women by Jeremy Ray

Some pranks go too far. This one could be deadly. Harley has the perfect boyfriend. Why can’t her best friend see that? He’s nothing like the others, especially the one who still haunts her memories. She’s finally picked a “keeper” with Aiden. Sure, he’s a bit eccentric. His wood carving hobby is a little odd. His need for isolation while he carves his life-size female figurines is strange. And maybe his obsession with pranks, or "scares" on Harley goes a little too far. But what do you expect? Aiden’s an artist. Harley has finally picked the perfect boyfriend. That’s why this year, Harley ignores all her best friend’s warnings. She has the ultimate surprise planned for Aiden’s birthday, one that’s going to help her get even in their battle to out-prank each other. She hides in his apartment, excitedly waiting to pull off the scare of a lifetime… But then he comes home, and Harley witnesses a different side of her boyfriend. The side that exists behind closed doors when he doesn’t know anyone’s watching. Is this just one of his scares? Or is there something more sinister lurking behind his playful nature? Harley’s about to find out.


The Rust Maidens

The Rust Maidens by Gwendolyne Kiste

Something’s happening to the girls on Denton Street. It’s the summer of 1980 in Cleveland, Ohio, and Phoebe Shaw and her best friend Jacqueline have just graduated high school, only to confront an ugly, uncertain future. Across the city, abandoned factories populate the skyline; meanwhile at the shore, one strong spark, and the Cuyahoga River might catch fire. But none of that compares to what’s happening in their own west side neighborhood. The girls Phoebe and Jacqueline have grown up with are changing. It starts with footprints of dark water on the sidewalk. Then, one by one, the girls’ bodies wither away, their fingernails turning to broken glass, and their bones exposed like corroded metal beneath their flesh. As rumors spread about the grotesque transformations, soon everyone from nosy tourists to clinic doctors and government men start arriving on Denton Street, eager to catch sight of “the Rust Maidens” in metamorphosis. But even with all the onlookers, nobody can explain what’s happening or why—except perhaps the Rust Maidens themselves. Whispering in secret, they know more than they’re telling, and Phoebe realizes her former friends are quietly preparing for something that will tear their neighborhood apart. Alternating between past and present, Phoebe struggles to unravel the mystery of the Rust Maidens—and her own unwitting role in the transformations—before she loses everything she’s held dear: her home, her best friend, and even perhaps her own body.


The Century Blade

The Century Blade by Rob J. Hayes

Orochi, the king of the dragons, has ordered his brothers and sisters to destroy humanity. It falls to a young hero to assemble a team and stop the dragons' rampage. It falls to the Century Blade. This is a short story set in the world of the award-winning Mortal Techniques. It is designed to be read as a standalone story, completely independent from the full length novels set in the same world.


The Invisible Tether

The Invisible Tether by JP McDonald

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


Foundations

Foundations by Richard Holliday

HOW DID STREETS IN THE SKY BECOME THE TOWER OF TERROR FEARED FOR DECADES? Foundations is yet another page turner that I simply couldn't put down. It brilliantly explored the origins of the world in which Nightmare Tenant is set, and the author has excelled at giving the reader another wonderful story. Foundations is a thrilling period tale setting up the origin story to the creepy psychological thriller, answering questions and leaving some lingering in the mind! An exciting and engaging precursor. If you enjoyed Nightmare Tenant, Foundations lays the groundwork in another exhilarating adventure! And if you've not yet read Nightmare Tenant, then Foundations is just the start of a thrilling and creepy story in an unusual and effective setting Stephen Norris is a young man in a new job with an almost-famous architect at the turn of the 1970s. Quickly immersed in the murky world of town planning, he finds the transition from drawings and blueprints to brick and mortar is night and day. A discovery of ruins on the site of a state-of-the-art new tower block brings him into conflict with the construction workers, in particular the foreman, Peterson. Lurking inside the ruins is an ancient power are lost spirits. They channel through Norris, imbuing him with power to do the right thing and save their legacy. Within the modern world of the 1970s, complexities of life cloud Norris’ judgment. Those closest to him – friends, family, even the girl he loves – are dragged with him into a whirlpool of mistrust, deceit, danger and lies. All seems lost when the forces of darkness – money and progress – appear to triumph and obliterate the past. Instead, the darkness unleashes the lost spirits who turn vengeful at this defilement of their mortal remains. Norris must battle these forces and save the woman he loves from being a prisoner of Chivron Tower’s new nightmare tenant… Foundations is the precursor to the novella Nightmare Tenantby Richard Holliday. Length: 20,000 words


Pawn's Gambit

Pawn's Gambit by Rob J. Hayes

SPFBO9

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


Stone & Sky

Stone & Sky by Z.S. Diamanti

SPFBO10

First book in the award-winning classic style epic fantasy adventure series. Come fly away on griffin-back! Fly off to the world of Finlestia in this epic fantasy story for readers looking for adventure, magic, and just plain fun; a tale where friendships must overcome insurmountable odds and remind readers to never lose hope. From across the sea, a shadow rises. A lone survivor may be the kingdom’s only hope against annihilation. Orin is a sworn protector. As a stalwart member of the Griffin Guard, he’s proud to protect the kingdom against a dreaded nation of orcs. But when the fires of war burn bright from the north, his entire squadron falls to deadly wyvern riders, leaving the devastated Orin bloody and alone. With his squad dead, Orin has his mind set on saving others from the same fate. Teaming up with a local huntsman’s family, Orin and his new friends must push themselves past their limits to face mysterious dangers and ancient magics. Shocked to discover the orcs’ secret weapon, the lone guardian’s last chance to save his home could require the ultimate sacrifice. Buy Stone & Sky to join the battle today!


3

3 by T.P. Theyson

Valerie Perittos is a best selling author with three problems. Her writers block has lasted for years with nothing able to inspire her and after her neighbor turns up dead, making the police question if she is responsible, she starts to see the number 3 everywhere she looks. As she watches her life descend into a thriller of its own, her unhealthy sleep patterns and past head trauma leave her wondering if the strange things she is experiencing are really happening or if she is hallucinating through her days and nights that have become a blur in her mind. Until the murderer is found, she cannot trust anyone, not even herself. T.P. Theyson delivers a mind bending, fast paced story full of twists and turns. With some obvious and other hidden numerical structures tucked into the text, your mind will reach to its limits to not investigate every line on it's own, making you feel closer to the main character than you thought possible while you read her inner thoughts and feel her fear rising.


Wolf, Willow, Witch

Wolf, Willow, Witch by Freydís Moon

A vicious romance imbued with magic, thievery, and necromancy… When Tehlor Nilsen stumbles upon an abandoned corpse hidden in her friend’s empty house, she can’t ignore the energy lingering around the broken albeit familiar body. Entranced by the promise of ritualistic power, she seizes her chance to secure a vorðr. Miraculously, Hel, the goddess of death, grants Tehlor an audience. But Lincoln Stone has no interest in becoming a magical sentry and raising him from the dead comes with violent consequences. When a mysterious neo-church arrives in Gideon, Tehlor catches wind of a rare relic. Despite Lincoln's troubling enthusiasm for demonology, she strikes a deal with her unruly vorðr, hoping to mend their strained relationship… Work together. Steal the Breath of Judas. Control the dead. As the magically bound pair infiltrate Haven and their heist becomes a hunt, Tehlor isn't sure if she's the predator or prey…


She Is Coming

She Is Coming by Midori Anzai

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


The Crew

The Crew by Sadir S. Samir

SPFBO9

Kings of the Wyld meets Deadpool in this action-packed fantasy adventure set in an Arab-inspired landscape. Varcade fled to the deserts of Harrah to escape his past as an Educator, a member of an order of zealot warrior-monks that aims to shape the world according to their sacred Teachings by force. Varcade makes his living as a reckless sword-for-hire, caring only about himself, until his self-centered lifestyle is turned on its head when he is contracted to recruit a misfit team of unruly assassins and take out the mighty Bone Lord of Akrab. But the Bone Lord is aware of the plot and sends her band of Dusters to stop them; individuals who have gained bizarre and lethal magical powers by snorting the pulverised bones of dead gods. Hunted by Educators and Dusters in a city-state where an escalating conflict between the human and demon population threatens to boil over in a civil war, will Varcade and his ragtag crew save Akrab from the cruel Bone Lord, or will they make things even worse?


Bring Her Home

Bring Her Home by R.N. Barbosa

Forbidden love… If Susana’s sister knew she was dating, she’d sequester her ass to the tallest tower so fast her head would spin. Her boyfriend is everything Cassandra hates, an Outcast and a biker, and it’s only a matter of time before their clandestine rendezvous blows up in her face. A missing sister… Fighting professionally might be Cassandra Dayan's livelihood, but it's her sister that's her life. When she comes home to a wrecked house and a missing sister, her desperate search upsets the brutally maintained balance of the North Californian coast. At any cost… Going against the Order is a death sentence, but doing nothing is not an option. Cassandra will find her sister even if it means endangering the lives of everyone who crosses her path or joins her cause. She doesn’t care who gets hurt or what promises get broken. All that matters is bringing her sister home.


The Pirates of Pepper Pot Point

The Pirates of Pepper Pot Point by Michele Schultz

The Pirates of Pepper Pot Point is the story of a little boy named Peter that has a scary adventure with a pirate who circles the waters of a town called Pepper Pot Point. During this adventure, Peter befriends this pirate and teaches him a valuable lesson, friends are worth more than their weight in gold.


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.


Cruelty: Unmasked

Cruelty: Unmasked by Ellen Crosháin.

Henry used to be a god. Now, he’s just the gardener. Nearly twenty-five years have passed since the ancient Faroust fell in love with Eliza MacTir. Stripped of his powers and forced to work for the family he used to rule, he can’t avoid the woman who ruined him. But when a chance encounter brings him into contact with Eliza’s daughter Áine, a twenty-one year old student looking for a chance to explore herself, he sees a chance to exact revenge. The affair is sweet and Henry knows that when he finally reveals it to Eliza, it will be even sweeter. But Henry and Áine aren’t the only ones keeping secrets. Áine’s brother Caolán, sixteen and rebellious, has his share of demons and not all is well with Eliza and Cornelius. The veneer of the perfect family has cracks and once the truths start to spill, everything Eliza fought for will start to unravel. Secrets cannot be buried forever and the Veil won’t stay shut. Darker forces are watching and waiting…


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.


Down Below Beyond

Down Below Beyond by T. A. Bruno

SPSFC 2023

Lodespace is a collection of worlds dominated by the Fessenog Fleet trade empire. Thanks to the Voyalten portals, alien civilizations from all over the universe can gather for glorious trade. For the wealthy, there has never been a more lucrative circle. But the Fleet is hiding something from its investors. A secret that, if exposed, could bring the empire to its knees. Levort Aatra is a prospector on the planet Tayoxe. While scavenging the wastes of the abandoned world, he discovers a mysterious starship and stakes his claim on it. Little does he know, he just made himself the most wanted man in Lodespace. DOWN BELOW BEYOND is a stand-alone sci-fi fantasy adventure filled with aliens, planets, and portals set in a universe crafted by T. A. Bruno, author of the award-winning Song of Kamaria trilogy.


The Demon's Dagger: A Noir Urban Fantasy Novella (Alexander Southerland, P.I.) P

The Demon's Dagger: A Noir Urban Fantasy Novella (Alexander Southerland, P.I.) P by Douglas Lumsden

SFINCS

Once he checked in, checking out became an obsession! Crawford the were-rat checks into a shady hotel and promptly stumbles over a dead man. A mysterious troll is obsessed with finding the dagger that killed him—a dagger possessed by a demon! The demon denies that he is a demon and is obsessed with regaining his freedom. Meanwhile, the hotel’s night clerk is obsessed with the hooker on the third floor. Crawford is obsessed with what’s in the hooker’s room: a solid gold statuette of a demon-slaying goddess! Crawford has checked in, but, when obsessions collide, does he have any hope of checking out? Content Advisory: This book is intended for a mature audience. It contains misogynistic characters, language, and acts. It also contains graphic violence (including violence against women), smoking, drinking, drug use, graphic sexual acts, and crude language and images.


The Gatherings

The Gatherings by Jeremy Ray

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


Head Like a Hole

Head Like a Hole by Andrew Van Wey

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


The Living Waters

The Living Waters by Dan Fitzgerald

SFFOasis SPFBO9

Wonder swirls beneath murky water. When two painted-faced nobles take a guided raft trip on a muddy river, they expect to rough it for a few weeks before returning to their life of sheltered ease. But when mysterious swirls start appearing in the water, even their seasoned guides get rattled. The mystery of the swirls lures them on to the mythical wetlands known as the Living Waters. They discover a world beyond their imagining, but stranger still are the worlds they find inside their own minds as they are drawn deep into the troubles of this hidden place. The Living Waters is a sword-free fantasy novel featuring an ethereal love story, meditation magic, and an ancient book with cryptic marginalia. It is the first book in the Weirdwater Confluence duology; the second book, The Isle of a Thousand Worlds, comes out January 15 2022.


One Road In

One Road In by Hannah R. Palmer

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


We’re All Monsters Here

We’re All Monsters Here by Amy Marsden

SFINCS

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


The Hunt for Valdune

The Hunt for Valdune by Blake Shimshock and Sherry Shimshock

Senior Agent Derek Fade loved his job chasing down weapons runners and drug traffickers, hunting terrorists, and ruining the fun of major crime lords all across the galaxy. In fact, despite his reputation for being difficult to work with, he was respected among colleagues as one of the most talented agents in the Galactic Intelligence Agency (GIA). Life was pretty good until a powerful gangster, known only as Valdune, brutally murdered his wife. Now, tortured by grief and guilt, Derek Fade struggles between his dedication to the ideals of the GIA and the need for vengeance against the monster who killed Lana. Set in an expansive Fireflyesque galaxy ripe for exploration by those who enjoy science fiction and fantasy, self-proclaimed loner Derek Fade reluctantly lets readers into a dark period of his 007, semi-secret agent life that twists and turns like an Indiana Jones adventure.


Teacher of the Year

Teacher of the Year by M.A. Wardell

Love: Not as easy as ABC. They were supposed to keep things casual. Who’d expect they’d be schooled in love? Those who can, teach. Marvin Block is one of the best kindergarten teachers out there. And despite his anxiety, Marvin’s life is sweet. He knows what he wants. And what he wants is the Teacher of the Year Award. Not just for himself – his school needs him to win. Returning from break, the New Year finds Marvin all set to welcome a new pupil to his class. But when Illona walks in with her cute-as-hell single dad beside her, Marvin’s focus starts to slide. Sure, his students always come first, but he deserves to have a life outside the classroom, too, right? As their friendship starts to deepen, Marvin realizes Olan has the potential to teach him things about love he never thought possible. But with the Teacher of the Year award and his school’s future on the line, now’s not the time for anything complicated. Education has always been Marvin’s world. And he needs to keep a cool head if he wants to win the award and save his school. But will it be worth it if he loses Olan in the process? With Olan’s past and Marvin’s present colliding, their experiment in love hangs in the balance. Marvin knows what he wants out of life. But now he’s forced to consider what he wants out of love. Will Marvin chalk the relationship up to experience? Or can they revise their story into a textbook romance?


No Heart for a Thief

No Heart for a Thief by James Lloyd Dulin

SPFBO9

We are the stories we tell ourselves...even the lies. The Thief, a great spirit, and her descendants have abused their ability to steal magic for centuries. When Kaylo starts to hear the song of other people’s magic, he must learn to hide from his people as well as the invaders. A gift or a curse, Kaylo may be able to save his people from the Gousht Empire that claimed their land with this stolen magic.

 Eighteen years later, Kaylo still prays to the spirits, but not out of loyalty or love. He knows better than to rely on those selfish bastards for anything. While hiding in the forest from his foolish acts of rebellion, he encounters a girl, Tayen, being pursued by two soldiers of the empire. Against his better judgment, he risks facing the consequences of his past to intervene.

 When Tayen attempts to run off seeking vengeance for her family, he offers to train her to wield her magic and a blade. If he can’t convince her to relinquish her need for vengeance and stave off the demons of his past, he’s going to get them both killed.


Disseverment

Disseverment by Z.C. Krol

When Tyler receives a mysterious letter in the mail from a man claiming to be his stepfather, he is suddenly plunged back into the nightmares of his past, and has to make an important decision that will change him forever. Disseverment is a psychological horror story not for the squeamish. Z.C. Krol lives in Ohio with his wife and dogs, and is working on another project. When he's not writing, he's probably watching a bad horror movie or reading something creepy. You can email him at zckrol.writing@gmail.com and he'll absolutely respond to you. You can also find him on this new website called Facebook. Bonus points if you send him horror memes.


In Solitude's Shadow

In Solitude's Shadow by David Green

Named #1 Book of 2021 - Magic Book Corner Review The tides of fate are shifting. The Banished have returned, and they have set their eyes on the walls of Solitude. Zanna Alpenwood, a powerful mage, and two hundred aged and forgotten Sparkers are all that stand between the Banished and the nation of Haltveldt. With time running out and the world at stake, Zanna is forced to reach out to her estranged daughter, Calene, and set her on an impossible quest. Calene quickly learns that enemies make unlikely allies as she teams up with both friend and foe on her journey to save her mother and Haltveldt. Forging their way over land and sea, uncovering dark plots and secret societies, Calene is forced to decide between her masters and her own conscience. Will they arrive in time to save the fortress of Solitude from destruction? Only one thing is certain; Ruin is assured if Solitude falls.


Bringer of the Scourge

Bringer of the Scourge by M. Daniel McDowell

Chipped Cup SPFBO10

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


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.


The Revenge of Thousands

The Revenge of Thousands by Michael Roberti

SFINCS

Before we were TRAITORS… Before there was a GRAVE waiting for us all.. While more than WORMS remained… It started with a war. It began with REVENGE. Praise for the Crown and Tide “The narrative voice really shines here. Every character has a unique voice and interesting perspective…” —Timothy Wolff, author of Platinum Tinted Darkness “…the author makes so many great character observations that I'm reminded of Brent Weeks in the lightbringer series and of Joe Abercrombie in the First Law trilogy.” —Dylan West, the author of Scribes’ Descent “Wow. What a great study in well-laid intrigue. It had all the right pieces, from those who thought themselves clever, to those that were. It was a rolling stone with not a bit of moss growing upon it as it rolled toward its inevitable and well-laid end.” —Andrew D Meredith, author of Needle and Leaf and the Kallattian Saga “Michael is another writer on my list of when their book releases, it goes to the front of my TBR. He’s hooked me, and I can’t wait to see what he has in store!”—David’s Best Reads


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

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

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


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.


The Tickle Monster

The Tickle Monster by David Washburn

There is comfort in the wholesomeness of family. Pure joy to be cherished in the innocence of a child. …But what happens when a looming sense of dread has a death-grip on a child’s mind? Teddy is ‘only a boy’ but there is a rebellious fire in his belly that urges him to forge his own path as a man. With much to learn, his father does his best to teach him about being a man and respecting family traditions while appreciating the mundane. After Teddy’s father tells him not to go into the woods, in what was meant to be a teachable moment, Teddy is soon faced with a choice that sees him in the very place where he shouldn’t be. Teddy encounters something that he cannot make sense of that will haunt him in the coming days. This tale of colonial era horror proves that a child’s imagination isn’t always a safe place.


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?


Never Die (Mortal Techniques #1)

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

SPFBO Finalist

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


The Fear of Moncroix

The Fear of Moncroix by Bryan Asher

SPFBO9

All the Waywards have Fallen… After a mission against the Royal Vampiric Court goes horribly wrong, all of the Waywards are slaughtered. All except one. Davion, the last surviving member, must consume potions to mask himself and hide amongst the very people who killed his brethren. After a decade of living this double-life, Davion has resigned himself to his new purgatory. But all will not remain calm for him or the Court. An unknown swordsman arrives, and after killing several Royal Vampires, rumor spreads that he’s searching for anyone still belonging to The Wayward order. Davion decides he must track down this mysterious swordsman. But will finding him bring freedom or his own demise.


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.


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.


Untouched

Untouched by Jayme Bean

Dr. Julia Morrow and her graduate students, David and Marisol, embark on a research trip to explore a remote section of the Amazon rainforest. When their trails seem to change direction at will and they find themselves lost and without communication, the trio worry they may be in for more than just the latest scientific discovery. Banding together, they’re left deciding which is more important - finding out how to escape the unexpected horrors lurking within the rainforest or getting back home in one piece. The deeper they travel into the jungle, the more they realize that some places are meant to remain untouched.


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.


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