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Truth and Other Lies by Lyra Wolf

SPFBO7

Nothing is trickier than the truth. All Loki the trickster god of Asgard wants is a quiet, peaceful life where he’s free to needle Balder, occasionally stir up the inter-realm porridge pot, and get Thor to dress in women’s garments (for all the best reasons). Getting beset by sudden, painful, and terribly inconvenient visions of blood, ash, and death are definitely not on his to-do list. But, because of some small, ridiculous remnant of caring that refuses to be extinguished, Loki feels he must save Asgard...and that means warning Odin, his least favorite god (next to Thor). But getting the gods to believe the boy who cried Fenrir is harder than it looks, and time is running out, not just for Asgard, but also for a mortal woman named Sigyn who may just hold the key to Loki’s future. Loki is about to find out the hard way that the only thing crueler than truth are the lies behind it all. "Truth and Other Lies" is the first book in a new series inspired by Norse mythology, and has snarky anti-heroes, lovers-to-enemies, and strong female characters.


The Soul's Aspect by Mark Holloway

SPFBO8

A healer forced to become a killer for an empire that would grind his country to dust. Kehlem, the sickly son of a widowed physician, has devoted his life to learning his father’s craft. Wanting to finally step out of his father’s shadow, he embarks on a project of his own, seeking out the help of Themia, the town's newly arrived Alchemist and a rare wielder of magic. But Themia has secrets of her own, secrets carried from the heart of the empire itself, secrets that would steal Kehlem away from his home and into the empire’s Academy for magic users. The Isale Academy beckons, but can Kehlem survive the academy and its brutal regime? And if so, what would he have to become?


The Scarecrow Hunters: Glint & Shade Book One by Eric Shane Love

A new dark fantasy series from Eric Shane Love. An epic quest, strange creatures, and an ancient wood full of sinister mysteries. Join Eliot on his mission to find and destroy the scarecrow. In the valley of Gal-Braith, a tradition has existed for as long as anyone can remember. It is the tradition of the kohlas: a journey all boys begin on their seventh birthday. A quest to find and destroy the scarecrow. Born from an agreement between the people of the valley generations back and the low energy of the Dark Wood, no one remembers how the kohlas began and few question if it should continue. Aided only by a strange group of woodsmen, Eliot begins his kohlas like all the others. But a seed planted deep inside him by his estranged mother makes his journey different from the rest. For readers of the Dark Tower Series, dark fantasy, and gothic horror fiction, this is a satisfying fever dream of twisted characters set in a macabre forest in the land of Glint & Shade.


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.


Eleventh Cycle by Kian N. Ardalan

SPFBO9

GRIMDARK MAGAZINE: "Eleventh Cycle checks all the boxes of a grimdark masterpiece. It is a stunning achievement, establishing Kian N. Ardalan as one of the most exciting new voices in speculative fiction." 
It has been a thousand years since the last Seed abandoned their duty. The mists are closing in. Finally, the Morning Bell tolls. A new Seed is born, but is it too late? The rot eats away at mortals. The Witnesses pray so that they may not turn into one of the forgotten. And the constricting mists infect the lands with fear. But there is more to this tale than just the Elders and their Seeds. Four mortals will have a part to play in Minethria’s fate. A farmer girl with only love in her eyes. A warrior born to the life of a refugee. A highborn stuck between the realm of gods and men. And a woman running into front lines and away from home. Will the cycle finally be completed? Or will the mist swallow all? A seed is born and the evil is slain, so doth another cycle commence. Yet the last Seed born hath turned traitor, and the mists which had been pushed back, returneth.


Wings So Soft by Dani Finn

Can love bloom in war’s darkest hour? Mara and her owl work surveillance to keep Kuppham safe, but the news on the Stream is grim. The humans are coming, and she and her owl will soon be in the line of fire. Her once-vibrant city is a ghost town, with little to distract her as she waits for the skin-covered hordes to overrun the Maer capital. Until one day, this timid little artificer wanders into the aerie, asking to watch her owl land over and over. Uffrin makes owls powered by clockwork and magic to guard the great automatons on the northern front. He visits the aerie to study the owls’ flight mechanics, but it’s the owl handler who captures his attention. So gentle, so in control, with quick eyes that seem to stay with his all the time. Amid the looming clouds of war, hearts intertwine and feathers fly, but duty soon flings these two lovebirds apart. If the war goes as badly as everyone seems to fear, how will they ever find each other again? Love might be the only thing that saves them. Fly away from your troubles with this standalone fantasy romance, part of the Time Before trio. It’s steamy, with over 150 kisses, and includes a picnic in the park, a date in a basement speakeasy, and a secret mountain lake far from the ravages of war.


Where Shadows Lie by Allegra Pescatore

SPFBO6

The Chosen One Is Dead. Magic Is Going Haywire. Time Is Running Out. When the King of Lirin murders Elenor's brother during a failed coup attempt, she must choose between turning a blind eye to her people's suffering or joining the rebellion and helping bring down the tyrant king. There's only one problem--the king is her father. Helped along the way by a grouchy old doctor, a boisterous group of nobles, and a well-meaning assassin, Elenor is forced to dance between duty and defiance as she tries to save her kingdom. Meanwhile, from the rainy streets of Lirin to the scorching dunes of the Mondaer Desert, the ripples of her actions have inadvertently broken a chain of events five centuries in the making. Ancient forces move in the shadows, calling in debts and striking deals. A monster with a thousand faces fingers his knife, ready to kill, and a pair of fugitives run for their lives. Where Shadows Lie is a non-stop, epic fantasy ride featuring an lgbtq+ and disabled protagonist and filled with court intrigue, sizzling romance, adorable baby dragons, and the battle between oppression and freedom. Dive in and get swept away!


Chaos Rising by Lyra Wolf

Let’s start Ragnarok, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. Nothing pisses off a trickster god more than being imprisoned for five hundred years and not being able to annoy Thor. There are other reasons, secrets, and promises behind Loki’s rage, but that’s for Loki to know and the gods to find out—preferably painfully. When the chance to start Ragnarok presents itself, Loki feels the apocalypse is as good a way as any to burn Asgard to the ground. And, it is, until the gods reveal their own teensy, tiny little surprise for Loki. Suddenly, Loki has every reason in the worlds to stop them from ending. But this is Ragnarok, and one does not simply stop the apocalypse. Chaos is all well and good, so long as Loki is in charge of it. Except chaos isn’t about to start taking orders from anyone, not even the god of pot-stirring himself, and it has a universe to destroy... "Chaos Rising" is the second book in "The Nine Worlds Rising" inspired by Norse mythology, and has vengeful gods, thrill-a-minute adventure, and unshakeable women leads.


A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden

SPSFC

A thousand years in the future, the last of humanity live inside the walls of the totalitarian Kingdom of Cutta. The rich live in Anais, the capital city of Cutta, sheltered from the famine and disease which ravage the rest of the Kingdom. Yet riches and power only go so far, and even Anaitians can be executed. It is only by the will of the King that Nate Anteros, son of the King’s favourite, is spared from the gallows after openly dissenting. But when he’s released from prison, Nate disappears. A stark contrast, Catherine Taenia has spent her entire life comfortable and content. The daughter of the King’s Hangman and in love with Thom, Nate’s younger brother, her life has always been easy, ordered and comfortable. That is, where it doesn’t concern Nate. His actions sullied not only his future, but theirs. And unlike Thom, Catherine has never forgiven him. Two years pass without a word, and then one night Nate returns. But things with Nate are never simple, and when one wrong move turns their lives upside down, the only thing left to do is run where the King’s guards cannot find them – the Outlands. Those wild, untamed lands which stretch around the great walls of the Kingdom, filled with mutants and rabids.


Helpless: A Short Story Collection by Tiffany Christina Lewis

WriteHive Book Club

A Short Story Collection Women are powerful and can be rational thinkers under pressure. They can also be devious and vengeful. A woman is not just a ball of emotion. Women can fight, they can protect, and they can win. These eight stories of women kicking ass, standing tall, and refusing to be victims are Tiffany’s opposition to the tropes of true crime. With stories from five genres including Paranormal, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Romance, and Crime Fiction, you are sure to find a story you love. Content warnings: https://tiffanychristinalewis.com/2021/02/25/helpless-warnings/


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?


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.


Birth of the Storm by Valerie Storm

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


A Threat of Shadows (The Keeper Chronicles Book 1) by JA Andrews

#SPBFO Semifinalist Alaric betrayed everything he believed to save Evangeline — and failed. His last chance to save the woman he loves lies in an ancient Wellstone, a repository of power, buried and lost long ago. Luck—or something more troubling—leads him to a small group searching for the same stone. A disgruntled dwarf, a bumbling wizard, and an elf with an unsettling amount of power. If he can gain their trust, they might help him find the cure. But the Wellstone holds more than he knows, and a terrible evil he’d thought defeated is stirring again, searching for the stone. Can the companions survive a traitor, a dragon, and their own pasts to reach the stone before time runs out?


The Glowing by Tom Rimer

Nice guys often finish last, but sometimes last is all that's left. Majestic Mount Greylock always cloaked the small berkshire town of Adams in its shadow...until now. Until the skies illuminated. Until the Glowing began. When Kamryn Coe, her disheveled teacher, and a group of geeks that'd put a comic convention to shame witness the destruction of their hometown, they must combat a land teeming with drooling alien hordes, while Kam faces the truth of her own birth and its connection to the catastrophe unfolding around her. Time travel, extraterrestrials, humanity's end. TIME TO SAVE THE WORLD.


Sovereigns by C. E. Page

The barrier has been torn asunder. Now they must find the seat of the Sovereigns’ power before the mortal realm and the Between collide, altering the fabric of the know realms forever. Under the Usurper’s influence, Leon has left nothing but destruction and undead in his wake. A chilling reminder of the future the world will face if Nea and Garret cannot find the Thrones of Eternity before the Usurper does. Hunting for clues to the thrones’ whereabouts, Nea races to the enchanted isle of Quel’sapar. But with the death ward now linking her keen to Garret’s, the itchy stirrings of his corruption could prove a fatal distraction. The hunt leads them deep into the mountains of the Spine where they will finally face down the Usurper and learn that to liberate the Sovereigns, one of them will have to sacrifice everything.


Hotel Fen by Meri Benson, Marie Sinadjan

The Shining meets Norse mythology in this tale of star-crossed romances, ancient prophecies, and revenge. Are you ready for the vacation of a lifetime? Victor has always had a passion for Norse history and mythology, but after hitting a dead end with his book on valkyries, not even that passion is enough to move him forward. Just when he's ready to abandon the project, he receives an email: he's won a free trip to Hotel Fen, a remote vintage resort in the Scandinavian Mountains. Silje has always felt that her life was fairly unremarkable. She cares deeply about people and that has led her to find her purpose at a nursing home in Oslo. When a resident dies and leaves her an all-expense paid vacation package to Hotel Fen, however, she takes the opportunity to experience something different. It all starts innocently enough, with a little meet-cute in the hotel elevator that takes forever to arrive on their floor. But the longer Victor and Silje remain together, the more dangerous the hotel becomes, and the more they question where reality ends and the impossible begins.


Fate's Long Shadow by Marcela Carbo

SPFBO8

Her power was born of a giant's rage. One wrong word could seal her fate. Jassae is destined to wield the dark sorcery of the Mornae. First, she must master her own goddess gift: the power of peace and harmony.   Enslaved by brutal giants as a child, she finds herself at the center of their political struggle to determine their next chief.   Ancient grudges fester. War is inevitable. Jassae's survival depends on developing her power to manipulate their rage and put her own master on the chieftain's throne. Can she endure their savagery long enough to fulfill her own destiny as a Mornae priestess? A dark coming-of-age story for readers of character-driven stories in a high fantasy setting. This book is a standalone but also part of a larger story world.


A Pale Box on the Distant Shore by P.J. Nwosu

A silent killer stalks the slum towers of Death City. In the shadow of a drowned death god, a young soldier risks his life to solve a violent crime. To catch a killer, Soldier Honnan Skyin carves a bloody trail over the behemoth bones of a dead giant and through the deepest forest of a frozen island. But some secrets should stay buried. Welcome to Death City. The Red Kingdom is a new series of dark mysteries in fantasy worlds that delve into a land of vicious crimes, strange lore and Purge House zealots.


Roots and Steel by Casey White

SPFBO9

Where monsters go, hunters follow. Hunters of the guild wait all year for the Festival of Knives, when they put their skills to the test and claim new ranks with every fiend they slay. Trapped helping the family business instead of pursuing his own career, Trellin has never been allowed to participate. But when he risks expulsion to sneak out and claim a kill beyond his rank, his hunt is spotted by a senior guildmember. Rather than turn him in, she offers him a chance for freedom: Join her, and sail to the distant isle of Deldynne to compete in the bloody race for the rank of Guildmaster. If they can kill the monster that calls Deldynne home before the other teams do, he'll soar to new heights as apprentice to the leader of the Hunter’s Guild. But not everyone wants his new mentor to be Guildmaster - and if they fail, neither will leave that island alive.


The Glowing: 2 by Tom Rimer

The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout... Six months have passed since the Bokai swarmed the Earth. Kamryn Coe, Quinn Flowers, and their friends are just trying to make it through. When Lucy has a dream that an old friend might still be alive, Kam runs head long into danger on a rescue mission. ...down came the rain and washed the spider out... With the group divided and dangers lurking around every corner, do they have any hope of surviving? Will Kam discover her truth? Or will she meet a sticky end? BEWARE THE SPIDER


A Feeling Like Home by Haleigh Wenger

Sword and Silk Books WriteHive Book Club Indie Recs Indie

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


Lipstick Covered Magnet by Amber Herbert

She’s running from her past. He’s hoping to become her present. Skylar has avoided the past for three years. She can’t be plagued by guilt and regret if she never has time to process what happened. When a song triggers the memories she’s tried so hard to bury, she knows she can’t run anymore. Despite her ex being gone, he’s hiding in the quiet and stillness. There’s no escape. Connor has always been passionate. If he’s into you, he will follow you to the ends of the earth. Sure, his fixation once ended in a restraining order, but that was just one girl. When he meets Skylar, he feels that same itch. Despite her attempts to brush him off, he increases his efforts—even if that means tracking her movements and stalking her online. He knows he’ll win her over if he’s persistent. As Skylar does her best to heal, Connor sinks further into obsession. Lipstick Covered Magnet is a genre-bending debut that weaves the intricacies of healing with delusion and suspense. For fans of You and I May Destroy You *Content warning: contains sexual assault, mentions of suicide, and stalking.


Elevated Inferno by Carlotta Ardell

Monet Parker wasn't a sucker for a man in uniform. Even if he was a firefighter with dimples deep enough to swim in and ebony skin painted by the gods. She was just trying to get her dream internship and prepare herself for a career in social robotics. She had no idea how her life would change with the simple push of a button. When the elevator taking her to her interview at Real World Robotics stops, Monet isn't sure if she will live, let alone make her interview. She's rescued by Rhys Banks: the gorgeous hunk of a fireman. As much as their magnetism is palpable, Monet is trying to ignore her feelings. Focusing on her career and navigating her chaotic family drama is more than enough excitement for her. Still, it's hard to ignore #FiremanBae when her sister is hosting an Instagram Live video of the rescue and getting the whole internet buzzing. What happens when the internet becomes a third wheel in Monet's love life? What happens when past hurts, career goals, and family baggage are in conflict with their desires? Will these distractions win out and quash the elevated inferno? Can Monet have it all, including love?


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