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Mark’s Merry Mayhem

Mark’s Merry Mayhem by Mark Tufo

Most of you know I'm not known for my short stories; apparently I'm much too long-winded. But on occasion there are some things I just need to pull from my head and put out there. I hope you enjoy this small glimpse into the things that keep me up at night.


A Gathering of Chaos

A Gathering of Chaos by Cameron Hopkin

SPFBO8

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


A Song for the Road

A Song for the Road by Catherine Labadie

An outcast in her tight-knit community, Larkspur endures her poor health with help neither from her family nor her fickle sweetheart. At a yearly moon festival she beseeches the spirits for better luck...but they lead her to a foundling elf child she did not want and a quest she did not ask for. Yet she and the mute spryte form a bond over their shared struggles. When danger arrives at their cottage, Larkspur sets out with the girl she's named Gentian from the country of her homefolk into the land of songs and tales itself. Through leagues of treacherous border woods lies miraculous Beledan, where dwarven chieftains quarrel amongst themselves and, far to the north, the mysterious elves marshal for war.


The World-Maker Parable

The World-Maker Parable by Luke Tarzian

SFINCS

Guilt will always call you back... Rhona is a faithful servant of the country Jémoon and a woman in love. Everything changes when her beloved sets the ravenous Vulture goddess loose upon the land. Forced to execute the woman she loves for committing treason, Rhona discovers a profound correlation between morality and truth. A connection that might save her people or annihilate them all. You are a lie... Varésh Lúm-talé is many things, most of all a genocidal liar. A falsity searching for the Phoenix goddess whom he believes can help him rectify his atrocities. Such an undertaking is an arduous one for a man with missing memories and a conscience set on rending him from inside out. A man whose journey leads to Hang-Dead Forest and a meeting with a Vulture goddess who is not entirely as she seems.


Red Right Hand: A Post-Apocalyptic Superhero Novel

Red Right Hand: A Post-Apocalyptic Superhero Novel by Chris Tullbane

"If life’s taught me anything, it’s that you scrap and claw for every moment you can get. And if you’re a Crow like me, you don’t let a little thing like dying get in your way." Following the events of See These Bones, Damian is back at the Academy of Heroes as the Free States' most unlikely potential Cape. He has a new name, a new reputation, and a whole host of new questions about his own past. If he's going to find answers to those questions, let alone survive another year at the Academy, he'll need to learn a skill the orphanage never taught him: teamwork. Nothing's ever easy, is it?


Meraki: A Syren Story

Meraki: A Syren Story by Naomi Kelly

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


KJK Presents: Vampires

KJK Presents: Vampires by Kevin J. Kennedy, Graham Masterton, Greg F. Gifune, Lee Mountford, Nick Roberts, Richard Chizmar, Michael Bray, Simon Clark

A collection of vampire tales from some of horrors best. You will find no friendly vampires between these pages. In these stories, vampires are once again a source of evil, coming from the darkness. If you like your vampire stories with bite, this is for you


Into The Dark

Into The Dark by Robert Hookey

Watchmen meets The Good Place in this (relatively) original, (kind of) groundbreaking, and reasonably-priced novel of good, evil, and everything in-between, overloaded with enough pop culture references to make your grandmother's head explode. In an all-too-familiar world controlled by ancient beings known as The Dark, heroes of every origin must assemble (yeah, I said it, sue me) to pull humanity back from the edge of annihilation – if they don’t kill each other first. They may not be the Avengers, the Suicide Squad, hell, they may not even be the Great Lakes Avengers… but they’ve been brought together by a hero in a Green Hornet mask and leather jacket to match named Nemesis to face every form of evil imaginable. From seemingly-invincible masked killers who stalk teen camp counselors to clones of Nazi super soldiers to monsters of the human variety, Nemesis and his team of unlikely heroes will traverse the globe to dismantle The Dark’s vast power structure once and for all. If you took The Umbrella Academy, The Boys and The Cabin In The Woods and gave them a hearty stir you’d get Into The Dark: Book One of the Infinite Crossover Crisis, a clever, electrifying, genre-busting adventure that pits the most unconventional superheroes in the Multiverse against the embodiment of mankind's capacity for evil itself.


What Remains

What Remains by Various

Victory at all costs. Even at the price of our own life, the desire to survive transcends all rational thought. What Remains brings together fifteen tales of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. From sacrificing loved ones or oneself, to doing what it takes to keep them alive, these stories shake the soul, rip out its insecurities and flay them on the page. Careful who you trust. Some quandaries have no right answer when we cannot save what we love most—or when isolation, desperation, and betrayal leave you no choice. Take the journey with us to see What Remains when civility, decency, and sanity have all but fled. Edited by Dakota Rayne & San G Crow Contributing Authors: David-Christopher Harris, Andy Dibble, DL Shirey, Damir Salkovic, LT Ward, Maxwell I Gold, R.A. Busby, Thomas Canfield, Ben Armstrong, Lawrence West, Nicholas Barner, Sharon Frame Gay, Valerie Hunter, Dan Eveloff, Timothy Johnson


Tall Tales: Volume One

Tall Tales: Volume One by Tim McLaughlin

Father Benedict de Monte has been assigned to gather information on a small cult in America. He quickly learns, however, that the scope of the cult has been greatly underestimated. John Matteson's vacation to Chicago takes a turn when he meets Jackie Veracruz and a ghost woman who has been waiting for him. Will they be able to help her find peace before she endangers everyone they know?


The Devil Wears Tartan

The Devil Wears Tartan by Katia Rose

Some couples are a match made in heaven. Moira and Kenzie are convinced the only place they’re a match is in hell. Raised as the shining prodigies of warring highland dance schools, the two grew up with blaring bagpipes as the backing track for a feud that took them all the way to the world championships. Moira could never keep Kenzie’s icy glares from getting under her skin, and Kenzie could never hold back an eye-roll as she watched the crowds fawn over her rival’s happy-go-lucky charm. Starting college has forced both women to hang up their kilts, but when their local highland dance association announces a scholarship for a life-changing amount of money, they find themselves back onstage for one last season. The stakes are higher than ever, but between shooting daggers at each other’s backs and insults at each other’s faces, their eyes start lingering, their hearts start pounding, and the sparks begin to build into a fire neither of them can control. Hell could freeze before either woman would admit their attraction, but that won’t stop them from using it to play dirty—and getting caught in the crossfire of their feelings along the way. After all, sometimes the devil wears tartan. The Devil Wears Tartan is a New Adult, F/F dramedy from Katia Rose featuring more bagpipes than anyone asked for and two fiercely competitive heroines caught in a sizzling shift from enemies to lovers


Bound by Legend

Bound by Legend by A.D. Trosper

At nineteen Morgan has already faced more loss than she can handle and has more experience living on the street than she wants. Unable to do anything other than keep on the move in order to hide from the demons that hunt her, she guards her heart and emotions carefully. But when the demons start talking to her and calling her by a name from another life, things spiral beyond her control. Lucian, an ancient dark angel who has seen his fair share of lives, is happy being a free agent until he’s assigned to Morgan. Determined to do everything on her own, she’s unlike any channel he’s ever met. As the danger mounts and a demon prepares to open a gateway to the underworld, Morgan must find a way to overcome her past in order stop him. Offered what her heart desperately wants, and holding a key that will close the gate but open another, Morgan struggles find the strength to make the right choice. *Though this is book two of the series, it can be read as a stand alone*


Deeper, Darker, Older

Deeper, Darker, Older by P. J. Richards

Ancient yew trees - living links between the past and present - embody a magical discipline that offers a way to reach beyond the mundane world. An occult group has rediscovered this knowledge, and uses it to experience a reality where legends live, magic is currency and willpower is a weapon. They find themselves drawn into a hunt for the last magical artifacts left in Britain - but the land is an entity with its own deadly agenda, and is harnessing these individuals for its own ends.


Merry Fuckin’ Christmas: And Other Yuletide Shit

Merry Fuckin’ Christmas: And Other Yuletide Shit by Kevin J. Kennedy

Kevin J. Kennedy has brought the horror world three bestselling Christmas horror anthologies. Now, for the first time ever he collects his own tales of Christmas madness between these pages. You will find a mix of extreme, comedy, gross and bizarro Christmas horror, and there is even a few drabbles thrown in. WARNING: This book isn't for everyone. If you are easily offended, it's not going to be for you. “As gritty as Irvine Welsh and as horrific as anything King has put out. Christmas has never been so dark. This is a collection horror fans do not want to miss.” Lee Mountford, Author of The Demonic. "Kennedy is one of the modern greats of seasonal horror. Sit by the fireplace, pour yourself a drink and get this read." Lex H. Jones, author of The Old One and The Sea. “Superb! Stylistic! Downright terrifying! Kennedy does not pull any punches.” Christopher Motz, author of Pine Lakes, and Tenants. "Freaky, disturbing, unpleasant... These stories could ruin your Christmas!" Mark Cassell, author of The Shadow Fabric. “Everything Kennedy touches turns to gold. And for good reason. A gruesome, rock 'n' roll, festive feast.” Kyle M. Scott, author of The Club.


Exile

Exile by AJ Calvin

Andrew grew up in the royal palace of Novania, the eldest son of the queen. He went on to achieve fame and glory as a renowned soldier, and was eventually named commander of the king’s army. The kingdom believed he would be named heir to the throne, but he has long known he is ineligible. The king is not his father. The truth of Andrew’s lineage is only partially known to the king; the identity of his father is a mystery that even Andrew is unaware of. He knows only that his father was a dragon-mage, and the dragons have fled to another world. Andrew is a skin-changer, but the laws of Novania forbid his very existence. If the king were to learn the truth of what he is, he would face execution. The laws are equally hostile to humans born with the Mark of the Magi and the ability to wield magic. Andrew’s younger half-brother, Alexander, bears the Mark. The pair keep one another’s secrets into adulthood…Until the king dies unexpectedly and Colin ascends the throne. When Alexander’s Mark is revealed for all to see, Andrew is faced with a choice: To watch his brother be killed, or reveal his true nature in an effort to save him from the headsman’s axe.


Dust and Deliverance

Dust and Deliverance by Benjamin DeHaan

Paulo, a father, high school counselor and recent widower, searches for his lost daughter Adriana who has become bound to the cocaine drug cartel. Adriana, daughter of Paulo, runs away from higher education and seeks fortunes and a life of paradise. Sam, gaming addict and divorced Denver Police officer, blames his failed marriage on his wife’s misunderstanding. Harold, protector of Adriana and ex-opera singer of Mexico City, yearns for nothing more than to get his singing voice back. San Isabel National Park, Colorado, a place where four broken people collide and are set free. This is a story of the heart’s deliverance.


Tales of Lunis Aquaria

Tales of Lunis Aquaria by Tessa Hastjarjanto

SFFOasis

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


Sour Candy

Sour Candy by Kealan Patrick Burke

At first glance, Phil Pendleton and his son Adam are just an ordinary father and son, no different from any other. They take walks in the park together, visit county fairs, museums, and zoos, and eat together overlooking the lake. Some might say the father is a little too accommodating given the lack of discipline when the child loses his temper in public. Some might say he spoils his son by allowing him to eat candy whenever he wants and set his own bedtimes. Some might say that such leniency is starting to take its toll on the father, given how his health has declined. What no one knows is that Phil is a prisoner, and that up until a few weeks ago and a chance encounter at a grocery store, he had never seen the child before in his life. A new novella from the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of THE TURTLE BOY and KIN


The Call for Finis: Pride

The Call for Finis: Pride by A.J. Torres

Seven sins. Seven hosts. One city purged. After everything you’ve learned, can you still stand with your faith, or finally rise up against it? Salvia VerdaderaFe has signed a pact with Ultor, a demon of Infernos, to enact the end of all and purge the world of sin. Ultor and six others were granted permission to enter the middle world of Eldara, bound to mortals by the Seraphim of Hevellum. Upon his arrival a messenger of Hevellum should have been waiting to assign him his task, unfortunately the messenger did not appear and thus his mission is a mystery. Along their journey through the country of Marlela, they are set upon by a group of Templar Equitums, bearers of virtue and enforcers of the Cirine faith. From their encounter their destination is revealed. Their journey to Lumen Magnum begins.


Christmas Creepers: A Flash Fiction Horror Story Collection

Christmas Creepers: A Flash Fiction Horror Story Collection by Justin Schenker

Christmas is a time of joy and celebration, but not for the people in these stories. In these first-person narratives, each account walks you through a terrifying experience during the Holiday season. A porch pirate’s latest haul leads to a life-changing transformation. A woman’s life takes a dark turn when her Secret Santa gift backfires during the office Holiday party. A grocery clerk awakens a disturbing figure on Christmas Eve. A family has a frightful encounter with a snowman. In these stories and more, it is time for you to sit back, bundle up, and take a sip from your cup of fear.


Hills of Heather and Bone

Hills of Heather and Bone by K.E. Andrews

SPFBO9 SPFBO Finalist

The bones of the dead hold stories. On the fringes of Errigal, Morana longs to exchange a life of hiding for a peaceful one with her husband, Percy. While Percy's bloodgift lets him grow plants and heal broken bodies, Morana's a boneweaver, despised and feared because she can hear bones and raise the dead. Morana doesn't want to be seen as a villain from the old stories and instead spends her time gardening, writing the stories of the dead, and fending off a spiteful chicken. Morana and Percy's lives are shattered when a group of Failinis tasked with capturing boneweavers and rogue bloodgifted find them. On the run and battling the elements, ancient creatures, and the loss of all they called home, Morana and Percy search for any sanctuary left in Errigal. Morana must choose between the call in her blood or the family she holds so close to her heart if she and Percy are to survive. Please be aware that this book contains some scenes of violence, death, depression, mentions of miscarriage, birthing scenes, suicidal thoughts, suicide, and cannibalism.


Vile & Blessed

Vile & Blessed by A. H. Serrano

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


Empress and Soldier

Empress and Soldier by Marian L Thorpe

A boy of the night-time streets. A girl of libraries and learning. Druisius, the son of a merchant, is sixteen when his father’s cruel order drives him from home and into the danger and intrigue of the military. Eudekia, a scholar’s daughter, educated and dutiful, is not meant to be a prince’s bride. In an empire at war, and in a city beset by famine and unrest, she must prove herself worthy of its throne. A decade after a first, brief meeting, their lives intersect again. When a delegation arrives from the lost West, Druisius is assigned to guard them. In the span of a few weeks, a young captain will capture the hearts of both Empress and soldier in very different ways, offering a future neither could have foreseen. A stand-alone novel that can also serve as a second entry point into the Empire series. No previous knowledge of my fictional world is needed.


Thicker Than Blood (The Journey Missions Book 3)

Thicker Than Blood (The Journey Missions Book 3) by Holly Ash

Teacup Dragon Coop

Lieutenant Commander Crystal Wolf's hatred of politics has never been a secret through her spotless military career. So why is she being sent to Earth to speak at a military hearing on behalf of The Lands and Waters of Neophia Organization? When Crystal's team is tasked with convincing the US military to continue the officer exchange program that first brought Lieutenant Desiree Flint and Ensign Justin Anderson to Neophia to serve on Journey’s first tour, the stakes are already high: if they fail their mission, Flint and Anderson won’t be able to return for the second tour. And to make matters worse, they arrive on Earth to find relations between the two planets are far worse than anyone let on. Things escalate when a terrorist group attacks a string of hospitals, demanding the US government acknowledge Neophia’s superiority. Divided from their team in the wake of a retaliatory order that detains anyone with Neophian blood, Flint and Anderson, the only two pure humans, must find a way to complete their mission--and get the rest of their team home in one piece.


Two Thousand Years (The Empire Saga)

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

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


Bared Magic

Bared Magic by Sara R. Cleveland

A Goldilocks-inspired fantasy romance with just a hint of spice. The girl with the golden hair... Siphons are rare creatures, supposedly born of the union of human and fae blood. How she got her ability doesn’t much matter to Wynne; all she knows is it’s a death sentence or worse if the wrong people find out about her gift. It’s too bad she was never very good at minding her own business. ... and the bear who stole her heart An old curse grows stronger, leaving Callum Bertram sleepless and desperate. He thinks he’s found a temporary solution until a pretty young woman accidentally uses up his sleeping charm. Now, this werebear suddenly finds himself craving something more than a good night’s sleep.


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.


Genefire

Genefire by JAMES FLANAGAN

SPSFC 2023

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


Brightling

Brightling by C.E. Page

The hunt for a cure led them right into the heart of the Between, but what price will they have to pay to secure it? Caught in a deadly trap made of their own memories, Nea and Garret must find their way out before it’s too late. But as they delve deeper into dangerous intrigues that cross realms, they are confronted with knowledge that changes everything. Can they overcome this new threat? Or will they lose themselves in the unfathomable wilds of the Between? Back in their home realm, Margot is desperate for a distraction from Nea and Garret’s prolonged absence. With mounting rumours of restless dead and a tangled web of secrets left behind by Nea, she goes on a quest for an explanation that will lead her all the way to the City of Stars. There awaits a revelation that could plunge the known realms into chaos. As they all close in on the answers they seek, will they persevere or be swept away by powers beyond any of their control?


The Garden of the Golden Children

The Garden of the Golden Children by Ashley Hutchison

We all live somewhere. The children of Somewhere attend a prestigious Academy with a spectacular garden that celebrates its finest pupils. The history of the Academy is rich as chocolate, but things are not as they seem. Experimental and emotional, Ashley Hutchison delivers a somber, enchanting, and dark journey in this must-read literary fantasy.


The Sword in the Street

The Sword in the Street by C.M. Caplan

SPFBO7

Trial by battle is a holy rite on Hillside. Hired blades bleed their foes in savage duels, settling everything from petty grievances to the corporate laws that keep their citizens in line. Embroiled in these cutthroat political games is John Chronicle, an impoverished swordsman with no better prospects, seeking the duel that will free him from the Dregs. Meanwhile, John’s boyfriend Edwin, an autistic university student, befriends a fellow scholar who claims to study the arcane art of thaumaturgy. When she offers to teach Edwin this subtle magic, he hopes that he can use it to bolster John’s skill with a blade. But thaumaturgy is a dangerous magic, and the forces that drive it have other plans. The couple soon find themselves entangled in the web of intrigue surrounding the swordsmen and their sponsors, and they’re forced to question how bloody they’re willing to get to escape poverty — and they don’t come away with the same answer.


Evening of the Mutated Undead

Evening of the Mutated Undead by E. Reyes

First, it was the UFO sightings. Then the monsoon began. And then residents of a shady neighborhood got what they never expected… Mutated zombies. Evening of the Mutated Undead is a heart-pounding survival horror novella centered around Jeff, a small-time drug dealer in Arizona. Chaos ensues on a seemingly ordinary evening as a horrifying zombie outbreak strikes during a relentless monsoon. To Jeff's horror, these undead creatures don't just eat their victims but mutate their bodies, leading to a gruesome blend of unworldly mutation and decomposition


Three Grams of Elsewhere

Three Grams of Elsewhere by Andy Giesler

SPSFC 2023

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


Rose's Gold

Rose's Gold by WB Welch

After waking up in a tower with no memory of events past her adolescence, Rose must examine every nook and cranny of her prison in the sky to solve the mystery of who brought her here and how she might escape. She soon realizes the contents of the room--clothing that fits perfectly, a hairbrush that rests naturally in her hand--are her own belongings, and as she starts to piece together her past, she discovers that an even greater mystery resides in her own identity. There’s a wedding band here, and a golden locket containing a photo of a family she’s convinced are her husband and children. But things aren’t always as they seem, and sometimes desire can send you plummeting mercilessly into the depths. Inspired by Rapunzel, Rose's Gold is a dark fantasy tale about hope, perseverance, and the preservation of love.


Stud Like Her

Stud Like Her by Fiona Zedde

Chance has been in love only once, but it wasn’t with the girlfriend she stayed with for far too long. The same girlfriend who dropped Chance when she became too inconvenient. Or maybe just boring. To bury her disappointment, Chance tries to return to the woman she loved back when she was too afraid to be herself. A stud attracted to other studs. Instead of her old love, though, Chance finds Garett: a new and persistent admirer with the kind of swagger that leaves Chance weak in the knees. Garett is hot and very popular with her half a million followers on social media. She’s also a lot younger than Chance is used to. Not to mention there’s something familiar about her, something dangerous, that Chance can’t quite put her finger on.


The Reach Between Worlds

The Reach Between Worlds by Cameron Hayden

Posing as a sorcerer was never a smart idea. Now, it may cost Taro his life. Sixteen-year-old Taro lost his right leg years ago, but with a family to support, he doesn't let it slow him down. For years he's worked for a notorious crime lord named Victor Mathan; Mathan deals in stolen magical artifacts, and trusts Taro to finish his work with as few questions as possible. When an absurdly well-paying job comes up, Taro is quick to volunteer. Mathan wants him to break a powerful sorceress out of her magical prison, but her cell is under the control of an ancient military order called the Magisterium. To get to her, Taro must pose as a Magisterium recruit. The courses are grueling, the tests drive students mad, and the magic they teach can be as deadly to the caster as it is to the target.


Out on a Limb

Out on a Limb by Luis Paredes

"How many perverts d'ya think sucked on those toes before the police rolled in?" With that question, Out On a Limb kicks off an irreverent, foul-mouthed, and horrific urban fantasy noir series following the exploits of private occult investigators Rebecca Suarez and Peyton Marx. In this fast-paced novella that readers can devour in an afternoon, Rebecca and Peyton are stumped by their strangest case yet—a tree growing human legs. The dangling gams become the least of their concerns when nearby trees start consuming more than just carbon dioxide. Now the investigators must use their powers and the NYPD's magical tech to find the mage responsible for this heinous crime and stop a bloody disaster from creeping across the Empire State.


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