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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.


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?


Rememory: A Science Fiction Novelette

Rememory: A Science Fiction Novelette by Frasier Armitage

In the future, memory is currency. Felix is broke, on the run, with nothing in his head but a combination of numbers. Someone robbed him of his mind. Now it's time he took it back.


Evonne and Vrawg: Bounty Hunters

Evonne and Vrawg: Bounty Hunters by Jeremy Hayes

Evonne and Vrawg are perhaps the most famous bounty hunters to walk the great western nation of Tauros. Their reputation for catching the nation’s most wanted is unparalleled. But what brought a Taurosian woman, and former pirate, to partner with a giant half-ogre from the Grey Ash Mountains? They both share troubled pasts and each was forced to flee their home. Wild adventures awaited them as they attempted to find a place to fit in. In their darkest hours, they found each other and formed an unbreakable bond. Not everyone, however, see them as heroes. There are those who wish the bounty hunters ill and would stop at nothing to see them buried.


The Oracle Stone

The Oracle Stone by Talli L. Morgan

SOME LEGENDS NEVER DIE. Jekku Aj’ere can see everything from the start of time to the end, and it’s an agonizing curse. His only chance to bargain for freedom is to find the Oracle Stone, a magic artifact that was split into four pieces and hidden centuries ago. Lilya Noor wants to forget her past and be immortal, so she agrees to a blood oath that will grant her eternal life if she delivers the Oracle Stone to her Master of Magic. Failure is not an option, but what if the stone offers a better deal than simple immortality? Vaeltaja Ievisin has one chance for redemption: the Second Savior. Presenting the Savior and the lost Oracle Stone to his gods will end his banishment, but the Savior isn’t at all what Taja expected, and neither is the stone. And how much is forgiveness worth, anyway, when the gods are never satisfied? There are higher powers at play, and Jekku, Lilya, and Taja must pull themselves together or risk losing their magic and their lives to the vengeful spirits trapped in the stone. But it’s hard to prevent a magical catastrophe when you can’t trust anyone, including yourself, and certainly not the gods.


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.


Empire's Bard

Empire's Bard by Marian L Thorpe

Omnibus edition of Oraiáphon and Empire's Reckoning Courage comes in many forms. The northern invaders are defeated, but the price is high. The Eastern Empire, gone from these lands for generations, now rules. For Sorley, the young lord of Gundarstorp, the war and the treaty he signed have stripped him of both his lands and the chance to be a scáeli, a bard. Now it threatens to take Cillian, the man he loves. Reluctantly accepting a diplomatic role, desperate to stay at Cillian’s side, Sorley is torn between promises: to his country’s leader; to his oath as an envoy; to his closest friend. Taking refuge in his music and the arms of another man, he finds a fragile peace – only to have it shattered by secrets revealed. But there is more than one side to a story, more than one song to be sung – if Sorley is brave enough to listen to his heart.


Ascendant (Songs of Chaos #1)

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

SPFBO7

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


The Choice of Weapons

The Choice of Weapons by Alex Valdiers

SFINCS

Ren is an officer on the rise, going from planetary conquest to conquest, until he crosses path with a senior female officer from his native Japan. His meeting with Izuna ends in a bloody duel — the first of many. As the war against other species progresses, Ren’s obsession for Izuna grows and his discontentment for army life along with it. When Izuna gets isolated on an icy hell, Ren volunteers to rescue her for what may be his ultimate mission. The Raoke Gang series is prime entertainment with heart and brains, humor and sex (occasionally, when the story commands it), and, most of all, incredible characters running wild in the most exciting of settings: the Far West in space!


Hotel Fen

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.


Dreamer

Dreamer by Amy Campbell

Their dream of freedom will turn into a nightmare unless these outlaws can stack the deck in their favor. Safely back in his chosen home, Breaker mage Blaise should only have to worry about his bakery and his complicated relationship with Jefferson. But the lies that shaped his life continue to haunt him, and he sets out to reconcile with his mother—only to discover that a band of magical desperadoes has taken her. With old friends at his side, Blaise sets off across the frontier, chasing down leads and unaware that his new foes hope to snare the Breaker, too. Meanwhile, Jefferson balances guiding his fledgling homeland to nationhood while concealing magic he’s not supposed to possess. The demands of his ambassadorship send him to a faraway country where he’s embroiled in a web of intrigue between a shadowy cabal planning to use him and malicious politicians who want to see him—and the new nation—fall. As Blaise closes in and Jefferson navigates the dangerous political waters, they realize their circumstances are once again linked. Will their combined magic be the ace in the hole that wins it all, or will they fold in the final showdown?


Thief of Souls

Thief of Souls by Emma L. Adams

I'm Liv Cartwright, mage, thief, and unapologetic nerd. Magically talented people like me have two choices: use our powers at the beck and call of the Order of the Elements or be exiled to the realm of monsters. Sounds like an easy choice, right? Not so much. Since my mentor dabbled in forbidden spirit magic and left me to take the fall, I have to pay off his debts without using my magic. I'd rather spend my free time gaming than retrieving valuable objects for the Order, but my latest retrieval job goes from mundane to deadly when I end up on the wrong side of the terrifying King of the Dead. Turns out he doesn’t like thieves, and he likes the Order even less. To make things worse, I run into my ex-boyfriend, a fire mage who's carrying as many secrets as I am, and find my simple thieving job has landed me in the middle of a conspiracy. A second elemental war is brewing, and the key to stopping it lies in my long-buried memories of my mentor's lessons. The catch? If the Order finds out, they'll show me no mercy this time -- and everyone knows there's a good reason spirit magic was banned. People who use it tend to end up dead.


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.


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


Blood For Coins

Blood For Coins by Cam Wolfe

There is a popular expression among the sellswords of Koragrave. "Follow the coin." For the right price, Enzo & Rascal will handle any problem you have. Putting down monsters, transporting dangerous cargo, acquiring valuables, they do it all. The only problem...? One of them is locked away in the world's most notorious prison. It's time for a jailbreak.


The Trials of Ashmount

The Trials of Ashmount by John Palladino

SPFBO8

Cedain is destined to collapse. Across a world rife with blood, betrayal, and brutality, five people wade through unexpected tragedies. An egotistical student, a fleeing refugee, a nomadic warrior, a fallen noble, and a criminal in hiding navigate the sinister dealings of politicians, two sudden wars, and nefarious lies that surface at Ashmount—a university dedicated to teaching the five branches of magic. Survival means adapting or dying. Fans of Joe Abercrombie and hard magic systems will enjoy navigating a morally gray cast of characters in a world on the brink of collapse.


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


Scorned

Scorned by Joseph S Samaniego

Rowena was bred for war! Her stepmother, Queen Sirie, taught her everything that she knew about the deadly arts. Sirie wanted a weapon to ensure her own son's place upon the throne, and Rowena was that weapon.… for a time. A war hero, mercenary captain, mother, loving sister, and daughter. In her heart Rowena bled for her family. But was it ever enough? Her existence was an insult that would threaten the kingdom's roots, and future.


My Hand and My Heart

My Hand and My Heart by Isabel Huntoon

WriteHive Book Club

Magic hasn't been used in Haven-the last human settlement in a flooded world-for hundreds of years. Except, that is, for the magical relic that powers the settlement. Nime and her younger sister, Navi, stumble upon a terrible secret one night: the relic is leaking deadly energy that could kill everyone in Haven in a matter of weeks. There's seemingly no way to fix it-not with all knowledge of magic lost at the bottom of the Endless Sea. But Nime is protective and reckless, and she refuses to give up. She throws herself into the search for a solution, setting her hopes on a dismantled machine that could lead to a place far away from danger. Navi, meanwhile, retreats into daydreams, where she is someone brave enough to save her home. Filled with priestesses and magic, vivid dreams blend confusingly with her waking life, until she wonders if there's something she, and only she, can do to protect the people she loves. But Nime and Navi have more than just time working against them, and both sisters may have to give more of themselves than they can afford if they want to save Haven.


Knight of Flames (Inheritance, 2)

Knight of Flames (Inheritance, 2) by AK Faulkner

SFFOasis

Some men are forged in fire. Others are consumed by it. Quentin d’Arcy survived a showdown with a god. Now, he must face something far more terrifying—his feelings. Falling in love was never part of his plan, and the secret he’s kept from Laurence may burn them both. Kane Wilson is building a better world, leaving a trail of bodies as he goes. To him, no price is too high to create a future where psychics are out, proud, with no need to fear those who hate them. Through fate or fortune, Quentin is the psychic community’s last defense against Kane’s murderous plans and monstrous power. Where others have no choice but to obey Kane’s every word, only Quentin can shrug off Kane's compulsion. Quentin alone can walk into the fire, but not even Laurence's prophetic gifts can say whether he will emerge unburned.


The Gatekeeper's Staff

The Gatekeeper's Staff by Antoine Bandele

SPFBO7 Indie Recs Indie

TJ Young has been surrounded by magic his entire life, yet he has never tapped into it… until now. Fourteen-year-old TJ grew up normal in a secret community of gifted diviners in the heart of modern-day Los Angeles. His powerful sister was ordained to lead his people into a new age of prosperity, but her mysterious death in Nigeria threatens to destroy the very foundations of TJ’s world. Desperate to pick up where his sister left off and uncover the secrets behind her questionable death, TJ commits himself to unlocking the magical heritage that has always eluded him. So he enrolls in Camp Olosa—a remedial magic school for the divinely less-than-gifted in the humid swamps of New Orleans. But little does he know, TJ is destined to cross paths with powerful spirits of old thought lost to time: the Orishas. Delve into this young adult fantasy based on the mythology of the West African gods, where TJ will encounter unlikely allies, tough-as-gatorhide instructors, and the ancient secrets of the Orishas.


See These Bones: A Post-Apocalyptic Superhero Novel

See These Bones: A Post-Apocalyptic Superhero Novel by Chris Tullbane

Some superheroes want to save the world. Damian is just hoping to save himself. In the post-Break world of superpowers, necromancy is the one gift nobody wants. Everyone knows what happens to Crows; they go mad and they go bad. That's the story of infamous mass murderers like Crimson Death, Gravedigger, and Sally Cemetery. It's also the story of David Jameson, an otherwise unremarkable man who came home one day and killed his wife, orphaning their five-year-old son, Damian. Thirteen years later, Damian has inherited more than just grey eyes and a beak of a nose from his father. He too is a Crow, doomed to become a killer unless he can find a way to avoid the violent madness endemic to his powers. When a Finder offers enrollment at Los Angeles' Academy of Superheroes, he jumps at the chance, believing training could be the key to changing his fate. His classmates despise him, the majority of his teachers want him expelled, and his mom's ghost hasn't said a word since reappearing when he was nine, but Damian isn't the kind to give up. He's going to take control of his destiny or die in the process. It's that or end up like his father.


Family Binds (The Journey Missions Book 2)

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

Teacup Dragon Coop

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


Jack of Thorns (Inheritance, 1)

Jack of Thorns (Inheritance, 1) by AK Faulkner

SFFOasis SPFBO8

You’d think seeing the future would make life easy, but Laurence Riley knows better. No matter how hard he tries to master the chaos, everything slips out of control. His violent ex-boyfriend, his supernatural talents, his drug addiction—seeing what’s coming doesn’t help with any of them. He needs help and he knows it. Help that only a god can provide. The answer to his prayers is Jack, who offers aid with reining in his powers and mastering his life. In exchange, all Jack asks is regular offerings of sexual energy from Laurence's conquests. A month ago, that would have been just fine with Laurence. If not for Quentin, it still would be. Devastatingly handsome, incredibly desirable, and so far out of Laurence’s league it’s not even funny, Quentin is the flame to Laurence’s moth. Laurence doesn’t want anyone else, he can’t think of anyone else, and neither Quentin’s frustratingly chaste behavior nor his uncontrollable telekinesis are enough to put him off. Not even if his focus on Quentin means breaking his bargain with Jack and facing the consequences of disappointing a god. Laurence doesn’t need to see the future to know that’s a bad idea, but he has no clue how dangerous Jack really is…


A Case of Madness

A Case of Madness by Yvonne Knop

Andrew Thomas just got sacked. He's permanently drunk. He's got cancer. Is inescapably gay. Was hit by a bus. And he's fallen in love with a stranger whose life he saved. As a newly-unemployed Sherlock Holmes scholar, Andrew knows only Holmes can help him untangle the madness his life has become, but Holmes isn't real. Except he absolutely appeared in Andrew's house, told him he's in love with a man he just met…and then in a fit of pique Andrew sent him away. Sure Holmes is probably a hallucination or a specter or a ghost, but now Andrew desperately needs his help. So to find the answer to his case and the man of his dreams, Andrew takes to chasing a fictional character through London with his very own Watson.


Birth of the Storm

Birth of the Storm by Valerie Storm

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


Palon, a Windward novella

Palon, a Windward novella by S. Kaeth

It’s not easy growing up part of a famous family. Twelve-year old Palon’s magic isn’t strong compared to the rest of her family’s, she has no special talents, and she’s constantly falling short of the mark. Desperate to stand out, she leaves home and bonds a dragon, Windward. But life among dragons and other dragonbonded is not easy. Palon’s refusal to admit to mistakes makes it hard for her to fit in. She’s so worried about proving herself, she pushes people away. When Palon sees an intruder in the nest, no one believes her. Despite her insistence, they explain away her concerns, and soon everyone’s too distracted with a spreading illness to listen. Frustrated, Palon defies her mentor’s instructions and convinces Windward to help her investigate. In order to heal the nest, Palon will have to trust that her newfound family will accept her despite her imperfections. And it begins with immersing herself in the wisdom of the dragon she bonded.


Neglected Merge

Neglected Merge by Eve Koguce

SPFBO7

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


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.


Remote Angel Volume 1

Remote Angel Volume 1 by Yennie Fer and Banunu

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


A Tricker-Treater Christmas

A Tricker-Treater Christmas by Briana Morgan

Get ready to experience a monster’s high-stakes game. When one man’s wish goes horribly wrong, he must make an impossible choice. Faced with his own demons, and at the Tricker-Treater’s mercy, how far will Luke go to keep his daughter from leaving? For fans of The Tricker-Treater and Other Stories comes a fresh, festive tale of a desperate father and his struggle to preserve his family—fitting for the holiday season


Children

Children by Bjorn Larssen

SPFBO7

Gods make lousy parents. All Magni wants is peace and quiet, but when your father is the God of thunder, you don’t get to live the life you want. When Thor destroys all his son knows and loves, Magni vows to bring prosperity and end the violence… forever. But can you escape cruelty in a universe built on it, or the shadow of your father when everyone calls you by his name? Maya, her rage more powerful than she knows, wants freedom to pursue her own destiny. Neither torture nor blackmail can make her obedient or pretty enough for Freya, her foster-mother and Goddess of love. Fighting for independence and revenge, can a mere human win a game where Gods dictate the rules? 2020 Stabby Nominee –Best Self-Published/Independent Novel The book includes strong language, depictions of sexual, physical, and emotional violence. For full list of triggers, which may contain spoilers, see: https://www.bjornlarssen.com/children-tw


Through Shadows

Through Shadows by P.S. Livingstone, A.M. Justice, Alex McGilvery, J.E. Hannaford, Laura Shank, Liam Hogan, Anela Deen

A collection of award-winning speculative short fiction! QuaranCon's top entries from both the 2020 and 2021 short fiction contests, these six stories all deal with themes of isolation and innovation, and are sure to keep you entertained in bite sized moments of adventure.


Elemental: Shadows of Otherside Book 1

Elemental: Shadows of Otherside Book 1 by Whitney Hill

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


Lesser Known Monsters

Lesser Known Monsters by Rory Michaelson

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


Isoldesse

Isoldesse by Kimberly Gruenbacher

SPSFC

Friendships are tested, new alliances are made, and the truth of one woman's actions from over a millennia ago are revealed. Kenna and Meegan are college students dealing with upcoming finals, needy parents, boy drama, and what to do with their lives after they graduate in a few weeks. What they weren't expecting was for Kenna to receive a powerful stone necklace that ultimately changes their plans for a relaxing summer. Strange things begin to happen to Kenna, like being the only one who can see and talk to the mysterious old woman with a golden aura. Or how in her dreams, a man with vibrant orange eyes keeps appearing who may or may not be real. Though, not all of Kenna's mysterious encounters are pleasant as she's haunted by massive beings carrying long swords and wearing armor covered in black scales. Besides solving the mystery of where the stone necklace came from, Kenna, Meegan, and their friends are taken to another world for a routine evolutionary assessment. The assessment gets sabotaged and causes more chaos for Kenna and her friends, especially for Meegan who is forced to open up and reveal her true identity and the magic she hides. There's one name that Kenna, Meegan, the Sendarians, and the monsters who've been hunting Meegan and her family for over a century all have in common-Isoldesse.


The Push

The Push by T. C. Parker

A 20 year old crime. A 40 year old mystery. And a deadly threat in the here and now. El Gardener thinks she’s finished with the con - that she can walk away from the life of crime she’s lived since childhood. But when a murderous attacker emerges out of nowhere and the people closest to her are threatened, she’s left with no choice but to take on one final, very dangerous job - and get her whole crew back together to defend her family. With the terrible legacy of the last job they worked together still haunting them, they’ll travel halfway across the world to trap their mark, from the moors of North Yorkshire to the San Francisco Peninsula - confronting long-buried secrets, an unspeakable crime and an old enemy intent on taking his revenge on the women who’ve wronged him. For El and her team, the clock is ticking - and the sins of the past are about to come calling.


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.


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.


Duckett & Dyer: Dicks For Hire

Duckett & Dyer: Dicks For Hire by G.M. Nair

SFFOasis SPSFC

Michael Duckett is fed up with his life. His job is a drag, and his roommate and best friend of fifteen years, Stephanie Dyer, is only making him more anxious with her lazy irresponsibility. Things continue to escalate when they face the threat of imminent eviction from their palatial 5th floor walk-up and find that someone has been plastering ads all over the city for their Detective Agency. The only problem is: He and Stephanie don’t have one of those. Despite their baffling levels of incompetence, Stephanie eagerly pursues this crazy scheme and drags Michael, kicking and screaming, into the fray only to find that they are way out of their depth. They stumble upon a web of missing people that are curiously linked to a sexually audacious theoretical physicist and his experiments with the fabric of space-time. And unless Michael and Stephanie can put their personal issues aside and fix the multi-verse, the concept of existence itself may, ironically, no longer exist.


The Phoenix and the Sword (The Crane Moon Cycle Book 1)

The Phoenix and the Sword (The Crane Moon Cycle Book 1) by J.C Snow

SPFBO9

For spiritual beings living in the mortal realm, time is a construct. Love never dies, some pasts can’t be forgotten, and history can repeat itself… for better or worse. Aili is planning to embark on her journey to the front lines, thinking she has already saved herself from the childhood she needed to escape. Suddenly a strange woman named Tairei binds her with blood and fire in an unexpected attempt to save her from a death she never imagined. When Tairei disappears, Aili must desperately seek her across the boundaries of worlds. Aside from her newfound power to command fire and survive death, Aili can’t shake the feeling that there’s something familiar about their stolen moments together. One thousand years before, two boys fell in love as they learned to cultivate spiritual power under the guidance of the Crane Moon sect. And now that she remembers her past life, Aili's current life can never be the same. Inspired by Chinese danmei and cultivation novels, the Crane Moon Cycle is perfect for anyone looking to immerse themselves in deep worldbuilding, spiritual quests, and queer love stories that withstand the test of time Click “Add to Cart” today for an unforgettable queer romance about healing trauma, growing from the past, and the opportunity for a second chance at love!


The Wildflowers at the Edge of the World

The Wildflowers at the Edge of the World by Shaylin Gandhi

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


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.


Emma and the Prince of Shadows (World of Light Book 2)

Emma and the Prince of Shadows (World of Light Book 2) by Jon Herrera

WriteHive Book Club

A dangerous journey across a dark, desolate landscape. Having passed through a portal to the World of Light, eleven-year-old Emma Wilkins and her brother, Will, find themselves in a place called Perdition by some, a dead land shrouded in darkness where ash falls from the sky. But a guide awaits them: the mysterious Prince of Shadows. Together, they must make the long, dangerous journey through Perdition and pass through the Teeth of the World in order to survive. But time is running out. A fallen god has awakened. Its Shade, unstoppable and unrelenting, is in pursuit of Emma and her power. At the same time, another race is taking place: The moment drew near when it would all begin again. The turning point in the hunt eternal. Laelaps had run forever. She would run forever more unless the legend was true. The man who could break eternity. The Prince of Shadows. The hound looked up. She yearned for the moon and the stars. Raising her head, she howled into the roiling black sky. Her prey, Cadmes, the fleeing fox, ever out of reach, turned his head and glanced back at her, acknowledging her longing. The chase continued. Who is the Prince of Shadows?


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.


Poison from a Scorpion's Sting

Poison from a Scorpion's Sting by R. Ramey Guerrero

The Nez’kali has failed. Slate’s actions are to blame. Without Adahai to advocate for fire’s return, no one protested in the streets. There is only one day before the Age of Fire, and the Nez’kali is near death and under the scrutiny of the Council of Elders. Can Slate convince Wasii Pon Ruwa that Nokhum is not a danger to the people? “We run. We hide. We lie.”


ILLBORN

ILLBORN by Daniel T. Jackson

SPFBO7

BOOK ONE OF THE ILLBORN SAGA Long ago, The Lord Aiduel emerged from the deserts of the Holy Land, possessed with divine powers. He used these to forcibly unite the peoples of Angall, before His ascension to heaven. Over eight hundred years later, in a medieval world which is threatened by war and religious persecution, four young men and women begin to develop supernatural abilities. These forbidden and secret powers will shatter the lives that they have known, and will force each of them to confront the mystery of the ethereal Gate which haunts their dreams. What does the dream mean, and how is it connected to their burgeoning abilities? As they experience conflict, love, lust and betrayal, in lands which are being overtaken by war, they must try to stay ahead of and to survive the sinister forces which are now pursuing them. For they are being hunted… Illborn is Daniel T. Jackson’s powerful and gritty debut novel, and is the thrilling opening chapter in the epic fantasy story of The Illborn Saga.


The Monsters We Feed

The Monsters We Feed by Thomas Howard Riley

SPFBO9

The morning before he found the dead body, Jathan Algevin thought he had his whole life just the way he wanted it. He knows his city inside and out, and doesn't bother carrying a sword, trusting his wits and his fists well enough to get by, hustling extra coin by ratting out loathsome magi to the law for execution. He and his sister, Lyra, have watched out for each other ever since the day they were orphaned by a bloodthirsty rogue sorcerer, and now they finally have steady work, good friends, and the freedom to spend every night laughing at the bottom of a bottle. But nothing lasts forever.When he stumbles across a brutal murder, Jathan discovers a strange crystal lens that opens his eyes to an invisible world of magick and terror lurking just beneath the surface of his own, making him question everything he thought he knew. But will gazing into this new arcane realm lead Jathan to save lives, or help destroy them?With dangerous people hunting for the lens, monstrous lies unraveling his life, and a hidden underworld calling to him, it is only a matter of time before his whole world comes crashing down. Will he find the answers he is looking for, or will he only find a monster needing to be fed?Rated-R Dark Fantasy Noir in a city of hope, lust, and brutality, where swords are banned, and magick is just as likely to get you killed as it is to save your life.There are always things about ourselves that we don't want to see.There are always things we can't stop doing no matter how hard we try.We all lie. We all have secrets.We are all feeding monsters.


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

Let Loose the Fallen: Book Two of Children of the Nexus by S. Kaeth

Teacup Dragon Coop SFFOasis

The priestess searches for her faith. The fire-wielder wrestles with her past. The psion dreams of peace. And the hero is torn between his heart and his duty. While grief scatters the four protectors to the winds, outside forces write history according to their own whims. The fate of the Rinaryns lies twined with that of the boy, Eian, caught in a tug of war the heroes are unaware of. But the evidence lies waiting for Taunos and the others to see, if only they can move past their betrayal.


Odder Still

Odder Still by D.N. Bryn

SPFBO9 Kraken Collective

Rubem of No-Man’s Land was content keeping to his wine, his pets, and his extensive collection of fishnets. But since a sentient, fuel-producing parasite bonded to his brainstem, every morally-depraved scientist and hardcore rebel for a hundred miles wants to ruthlessly dissect him. The parasite itself is no better, influencing his emotions and sassing him with his own memories as it slowly takes over his body. The only person offering Rubem help is Tavish K. Findlay, a dashing and manipulative philanthropist whose mother’s fuel company monopolizes their corrupt underwater city with an iron claw. She desperately wants to tear Rubem apart for the parasite before those who oppose her can do the same. Her son is irresistibly charismatic though, and after a lifetime of being kicked out and disavowed, Rubem is desperate to believe in the friendship Tavish offers. With revolutionary plots and political schemes tangling his every choice, Rubem must soon decide whether or not to trust Tavish in his fight against the parasite’s growing control.


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