stories in and

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.


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.


The Girl Who Steals Christmas by C.G. Drews

A prequel short story about the De Lainey family from The Boy Who Steals Houses. It's set a week before Moxie meets Sam. Available for free on author's blog. Last year Christmas didn’t happen because their mother had just died... It's a hot miserable December and the De Lainey family are actively ignoring the festive season, but when Moxie finds her little sister's screwed up letter to Santa in the bin, she decides to bully Christmas to life. Includes various sibling dramas, a too-small tent, and confusion between Santa and a potato.


The Outing by Fabian Foley

When nowhere is safe in the world you know, you have to hide... or start making a new one. Robert is eleven when his best friend dies and he learns that if he wants to survive in the world he has to be ‘normal’. He buries his feelings, his awful childhood memories, and his suspicion that he is gay. Even when he falls in love with Johnny, he pretends it isn’t happening, and buries those feelings too, choosing safety in the closet, a career as a lawyer, a wife and kids, and suburban happy ever after… Until Johnny returns needing help, and then disappears, and Robert's façade begins to crack in heartbreaking and dreadful circumstances. Only one other person saw what happened that night, and after being arrested for drunk and disorderly, he disappears. It shares poignant and emotional elements of Douglas Stuart’s Shuggie Bain and Craig Silvey’s trans-coming-of-age novel Honeybee, with the suspense of The Dry by Jane Harper, while drawing on the historical facts leading up to the airing of the dirty linen of the Bjelke-Peterson era with the broadcasting of The Moonlight State-1987 . Trying to keep his secret and himself safe isn’t Robert’s only priority. He wants justice too. But when the police force is corrupt from the top down, justice isn’t merely elusive, it’s an impossibility. Or so it seems when you’re fighting for yourself alone. But other people have been fighting for justice too. If Robert can convince them to help him, together they may set something unstoppable in motion. It will either run down the corrupt police or run over and destroy Robert’s life. Inspired by the true story of a suicide that was reclassified thirty years later as a gay hate-crime murder, The Outing is set in 1980s Queensland, (Australia), where corrupt police and politicians rule together, with an audacious disregard for the law. It shares poignant and emotional elements of Douglas Stuart’s Shuggie Bain and Craig Silvey's trans coming-of-age novel Honeybee, with the suspense of The Dry by Jane Harper, while drawing on the historical facts leading up to the airing of the dirty linen of the Bjelke-Peterson era with the broadcasting of The Moonlight State-1987. Breaking a corrupt system can sometimes break you, and those you love… some, forever


The Kings of Nowhere by C.G. Drews

Avery Lou has given up stealing houses — now he’s meant to build them. Forced to stay with the De Lainey family until Sam’s return from juvie, Avery feels like he’s drowning. He hates that Sam chose the De Laineys instead of running away with him. And he hates working in their construction company while Vin, the thief who hurt Sam, still walks free. Avery wants revenge. Swapping the sharp-edged world of burglary and car theft for the homey chaos of big family life is a wild adjustment, and Avery’s determined to sabotage his time with the De Laineys and get locked up with Sam instead. Avery just has to stay immune to Jeremy’s charming shenanigans. Easy…sort of. But Avery’s war against Vin has brought trouble to the De Lainey door and he can’t survive this fight alone.


The Ascendant: Tales of Pern Coen by Hannah E. Carey

Defeating the Raven Spirit could cost them everything. After fleeing Castle Ciall, Ciara has chosen to remain at the side of the rightful Ri of Blaidd, even though Niall's future is uncertain. The two of them have finally confessed the truth of their feelings, but she still struggles to gain his complete trust, no matter how hard she tries. Niall knows he cannot abandon his people, but he also knows they greatly fear his power. To regain control of the clan, he must reveal his secrets and seek aid from the one man he loathes: his father. Ciara and Niall's journey to thwart the Raven Spirit and Niall's usurping brother, Bleddyn, eventually leads them back to Ciara's homeland. Alliances are made and traitors are revealed, until the fate of the island and Niall's very life fall into Ciara's hands. Will she break under Bleddyn's lies or become the warrior she has always longed to be?


The Betrayer: Tales of Pern Coen by Hannah E. Carey

A broken warrior. An outcast king. And a darkness that threatens to destroy them both. Niall never imagined he would become king, nor did he ever imagine that he would be granted the abilities of a seer. His unnatural power, however, has proven to be no great gift, for it has already cost him the woman he loves and it threatens to cost him his kingship. His people already don't trust him and if they knew of his power, they would view him as nothing more than a monster. Niall's future looks grim, but a twist of fate returns Ciara to his life when he least expects it. He latches onto the hope of a different future, only to discover that things have changed while he has hidden away in his castle. When the man Ciara trusted the most disappeared, she turned to his brother, a man she never saw herself falling for. Bleddyn has shown Ciara that there is more to him than she first thought and she has carved out a life at his side, but things are unsettled on the island of Pern Coen. A dark power is stirring, one that hasn't been seen in decades. One man is at the center of the growing darkness, but is it the man that Ciara, and the people, think? Is Niall innocent or is he hiding more than just his powerful abilities?


Summer's Second by Jeff Billington

Asher Brock’s last summer of youth is far from ideal. His hopes for the future, including an escape from his constricting Ozark Mountains hometown, seem increasingly fragile as he faces hurdles of poverty and abuse, all while coming to terms with being gay. Raised by an alcoholic single mother, he clings to his noted intelligence as an escape to a better life. But it will take more than brains—namely, strength of character and aspiration—for him to navigate the months leading to his senior year of high school. The pregnancy of his recent girlfriend, the heightened aggression of his long-time bully, and the increasing presence of his long-absent father create a season of turmoil, spurring unease and self-doubt. But with support from family and friends, an opportunity for love, and the shedding of generations of secrets, Asher sees beyond preordained fate and starts to realize the opportunities in his grasp.


Smoochy and the Maga by Lea Kinley

Okay, okay. I admit I was bored with the tedium of my centuries of work as a magical Familiar. But did I really deserve to be punished with an assignment on Earth of all places? My employer, The Society for the Conservation of Wholeness, tasked me with locating a fellow Familiar that appeared to be working for a destructive wizard . . . which is a big no-no according to our employment contract. While Earth is generally a non-magical, dull, and undesirable location, I never thought I’d have any trouble at all with the assignment . . . until I realized I knew far less about Earth than I needed to and my enemy, the destructive wizard, knew far more than I did. The stakes were high for me for the first time in tens of thousands of years . . . had I finally met my match? Smoochy and the Maga is a fun, fanciful, and charming middle-grade urban fantasy novel by introductory author, Lea Kinley. The perfect cozy fantasy for tweens, teens, and the young at heart. Recommended for grade five and up or ages 9 and up.


The Children of Chaos (The Cruel Gods #2) by Trudie Skies

WHEN THE SAINTS CALL, THE SINNERS ANSWER. Chaos stalks the steam-powered city of Chime and threatens the existence of the gods and their domains. Kayl swore to protect Chime's mortals from their gods' cruel whims, but when she agrees to represent the mortals of a god long thought dead, Kayl is thrust into a political role that goes against everything she's ever stood for. As the newly appointed ambassador to the god of time, Quen's goal is clear - protect Chime and the domains by any means necessary. But as the gods make their demands, Quen is caught between his loyalties and his conscience. To ensure a future for all mortals, Kayl and Quen must unite the gods against the threat of chaos and decide what they're willing to sacrifice for Chime - before the gods choose for them. For the gods are capricious and have their own divine plans. The Children of Chaos is the second book in The Cruel Gods series—a gaslamp fantasy featuring magical portals, gothic cosmic deities, quaint Britishisms, and steampunk vibes. This is an adult book containing strong language and mature themes that some readers may find disturbing. For a full list of content warnings, visit Trudie Skies's website.


StarRacer by R. L. S. Hoff

Anya just got everything she thought she wanted. So why isn’t she happier? Anya’s made the colony team. She’s going to the planet—and even if it’s with a guy she barely knows, at least he respects her art skills and her ability to grow things. That’s way better than what she expected in her life partner. On the other hand, her schedule is intense, the living conditions are cramped, everybody seems to be in her business, and her dad is still trying to make life difficult for everyone. Plus, she has to start over making friends when that has never been her strong suit.


The Name-Bearer (Flowers of Prophecy #1) by Natalia Hernandez

For her entire life, the Name-Bearer’s sole purpose has been to receive and deliver the names of the future monarchy from the Flowers of Prophecy. But when the child is finally born and the Name-Bearer is sent to the Flowers, they refuse to name him. Instead they deliver a prophecy; another child was born who is more worthy of the Naming, and if they are found and brought before them it will usher in a reign of peace. Having failed in her duties the Name-Bearer is considered a traitor to the crown, and must hide among an elite sect of warrior women where she experiences friendship, found family, and love. Her training as a warrior helps prepare her to embark on her quest to find the Unnamed Prince, clear her name, and bring peace to her realm. A story of magia, warrior women, found family and love - and not accepting who you are told to be, but embracing who you are destined to become.


Coffee, Alcohol, and Heartbreak: A Poetry Collection by Tyler Wittkofsky

Coffee, Alcohol, and Heartbreak is Tyler Wittkofsky's debut poetry collection. Spanning a four year period, Tyler wrote these poems in his darkest of times as an escape from reality. From happiness to darkness, these poems range the emotional spectrum connecting those with their inner self.


The Seeds of Love: Sunflower Kisses Book One by Tyler Wittkofsky

The story readers are calling “hard-hitting and meaningful” and "touching and realistic", The Seeds of Love: Sunflower Kisses Book 1 is the story of two lost souls who find each other at the right time in life. Clay Dabrowski is a recent college graduate who has his life planned out. He knows what he wants to do in life and embarks on those goals with the support of his family and friends. But when he meets the fiery red-haired Bailey Childe, she suddenly shifts all of his priorities. She gives him the strength and courage to do and be more. While he battles his insecurities and mental illness, Clay and Bailey forge a path through life’s ebbs and flows as a new, young couple. Their journey seems to be all but perfect. But is everything as it seems?


(Not) Alone by Tyler Wittkofsky

(Not) Alone is the story of Henry Hovishky, a recent college graduate who is exploring life one step at a time. Already in his young career, he is the winner of multiple awards and recognitions. He is soon to be married to the girl of his dreams. His best friends are more than friends, they're family. His family supports him and raises him up. And yet, he can't help but to feel alone. How can someone who seemingly has everything be so alone? Everything seems to be great in his life on the outside, but this story shows the truth of Henry's life. He struggles with depression, anger issues, severe anxiety, and bipolar disorder. With so many successes in his life, he still fights an uphill battle every day.


We Are the Origin (Wrath of the Gods Book 1) by C.M. Lockhart

She was a shadow. Forced into a life of serving the queendom before she was old enough to deny them, Brandi was a cultivator of death and the queen’s own blade, reserved only for the disloyal and the blasphemous. Crafted by the queendom and forged in blood, she was nothing more than a tool. She was never meant to have an opinion on whose blood she shed — never meant to question whose back she was pressed into or whose throat she was slipped across. She was destruction. But when Freya, the goddess of life and judger of souls, demands that she protect rather than destroy, Brandi has no choice but to obey her new orders. And while abandoning the queendom comes with its own set of problems, being hunted by the people she once called family is the least of her worries when the gods reveal to her an enemy who exists beyond the reach of their power. So, with a helpless princess in tow, she begins her search for a way to fight this impossible enemy and save the realm from destruction. Because she is the wrath of the gods. And it was foolish for anyone to forget that.


Gone Was the Glow by Sienna Eggler

Evangeline Miles never envisioned themselves calling on a private investigator, least of all for their loving partner. But it's been a year since she up and left them, without a word. But not just any PI will do; while at odd ends of the supernatural (Evan, a witch with vampiric tendencies, Eddie a werewolf), Evan requires the expertise of one well versed with creatures of the night. Enter Svenja, the charming wolf shifter that Evan can't seem to resist—in more ways than one.


Spit and Song (Ustlian Tales) by Travis M. Riddle

Kali is a merchant who yearns to leave the harsh deserts of Herrilock and travel across the sea, trading goods and soaking in the sights and cultures. With a new potion on the market undercutting her profits, though, her seabound dreams are put on hold indefinitely. Failed musician Puk hits rock bottom after yet another catastrophic performance. Wandering the city streets in search of any sip of booze or whiff of fire-spit he can get his hands on, he resigns to the fact that he’s stuck in the desert with no way back home to Atlua. Until one day, their paths cross with an illicit job opportunity. With its hefty payday, Kali and Puk could afford to finally escape the desert heat and set sail across the gulf. The black market job would see them travel endless dunes on a road made from a massive dead beast’s ribs and out to a mythical city in the sea, scuffling with monsters and thugs in search of a long-lost book that might be the most dangerous object in the world. How hard could it really be?


Starlight Jewel by E.L. Lyons

Gifts of the Auldtree is a world of mythology, glamor, mud, blood, civilizations in conflict, and hints of distant powers. In the center of this is the mysterious Starlight Jewel of Minalav. Axly, the Starlight Company's premier seductress-thief and assassin, will do whatever it takes to keep her human brother hidden. The secrets of his origin could tear their world apart, and keeping them has driven her to lies and murder. Her people, the sprygan-human hybrids that live under the city of Minalav, aren't keen on allowing their most skilled asset to roam free. A job with a human offers a chance to get her brother out of danger, but it comes at a price. Divided loyalties, duty, romance, and the twisted hands of fate intertwine in this epic fantasy adventure.


Adephon's Rise by B. R. Russell

The Federation of Chinese City-States has known unrivaled peace and prosperity for generations. But as The Automated City of Chengdu goes dark, rumors swirl that the long peace is over. Generals are always fighting the last war, and George Chen’s life is on the line because of it. Leading the tip-of-the-spear to Chengdu, George will need everything he has to survive a battle the world’s never seen before. Nicholas Chen dives into the criminal underworld of Shanghai to decipher a software update that’s bricking everything with a microchip. Money and power beyond his wildest dreams are up for grabs—if he can fix the break and get out. Zhifang Li works four jobs and her Vio Corp position is the worst. Conscripted into the Clover espionage unit, she’s in over her head. With the rumors of implanted people proving all too real, she’s to infiltrate a rival company’s most secure databank, or die trying. Adephon’s Rise is an action-packed techno-thriller on cybernetics, war, and corporate espionage. It’s a cyberpunk Malazan Book of the Fallen. In book two of the Banned Algorithm Library, the Clovers get upgraded, and Weaver’s cousin, Adephon, rears its head—changing the world forever.


Stellar Instinct by Jonathan Nevair

A secret agent. A gaming mastermind. Two players in a dangerous competition blurring the boundaries of entertainment and reality. Mysterious signals pulse from an icy planet in a remote star system. GAM-OPs wants answers. Enter Lilline Renault, secret agent extraordinaire. To ordinary citizens she’s Keely Larkin, an adventure company guide with a flair for the daring and a penchant for writing trite poetry. Lilline’s at the top of the spy game, but publishing her literary work is proving harder than saving the galaxy. When the mission uncovers a dastardly plan threatening billions of lives, Lilline leaps into action. Verses flow as she rockets through space, dons cunning disguises, and infiltrates enemy territory with an arsenal of secret gadgets. But to prevent the whims of a self-obsessed entrepreneur from turning the galaxy into a deadly playground means beating him at his own game. Lilline will need her best weapon to stand a fighting chance: her instinct. STELLAR INSTINCT: A spy-fi thriller set in space.


Under an Azure Sky - Elysia Dayne: Book One by Wil Chan

Elysia Dayne: Hero. Mercenary. Dragon slayer. At least that's how the bards tell it. But that wasn't always the case. There was a time when she thought that dragons were beautiful. When she was a child, she believed that she was friends with a dragon. Except, the dragon knew of no such friendship. Soldiers arrived to slay the creature so that a feudal lord could make his name amongst the Nine Kingdoms. It ended in abject failure. They were left to soak in a bloodbath of their own making. In a rage, the dragon destroyed the place that she called home, and killed the people that she called family, also dismantling a thing called love. Reborn under a mound of ashen corpses, her empty shell vowed vengeance, forging a fiery path of retribution that could not be undone. Not by her own design, she becomes a slayer of dragons. Curiously, dragon slaying isn’t her next job. A princess is being held for ransom at a goblin fort. Wearing the stolen armour of a goblin knight, she attempts to rescue the princess to claim her bounty. Her plans are somewhat botched by the uncooperative royal, and the two of them end up wandering through the wilderness towards civilisation. What they don't realise is they are being tracked by Niemirian raiders who are intent on killing them both. An epic tale interwoven between the tragedies of Elysia's past and the precarious nature of her present, all the time exploring the nature of the human condition.


Angels Before Man by Rafael Nicolás

A queer retelling of Satan's fall that's part cozy coming of age and part fast-paced tragedy, with a little love story in between – In an eternal paradise, the most beautiful angel, Lucifer, struggles with shame, identity, and timidity, with little more than the desire to worship his creator. It isn't until the strongest angel, Michael, comes into his life that Lucifer learns to love himself. Along the way, their friendship begins to bloom into something else. Maybe the first romance in the history of everything. But this God is a jealous one, and maybe paradise is not paradise.


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.


With A Vengeance by Freydís Moon

Kye Lovato left their hometown in search of a better future, but when their estranged mother passes away, they return to their parish to settle her affairs. Even though Kye escaped their traumatic past, being back in swampy Madison, Louisiana only worsens their debilitating depression, increases their dissociative episodes, and intensifies the intrusive voice plaguing their every thought. The moment Kye steps foot into their childhood home, they know something is wrong. That night, they come face to face with the shadowy presence driving them mad: the handsome demon duke, Eli, who offers them an irresistible deal. In exchange for their soul, Eli will give them pain, pleasure, and power. Kye set a path for themself—live fast, die young—and Eli seems like the perfect exit route. With nothing to lose, they agree. But after an impromptu visit from a local ICE agent, Kye forms an unlikely friendship with their mother’s bookkeeper and stumbles into an insidious mystery surrounding their family’s homegrown alebrije business. Met with ghosts, displaced employees, and a garage filled with unfinished artwork, Kye can’t help but wonder. . . What was their mother hiding? And why is a rogue officer interested in Lovato Alebrijes? Kye is possessed, unkempt, and chasing death, but as stubborn as they are, they’re the only person left alive who can resurrect the family business and carry the Lovato legacy, and their only ally is the demon possessing them.


Unanimity by Alexandra Almeida

"Great for fans of Becky Chambers's A Closed and Common Orbit and Daniel Suarez's Daemon." Booklife The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Shadow is a reluctant god with a broken mind and a death wish. He used to be Thomas Astley-Byron, an affluent young screenwriter whose creativity and idealism saved a world from the brink of collapse. Together with Henry Nowak, an AI expert, Tom created heaven on earth by inventing a Jungian simulated reality that helps humans confront their dark sides. The benevolent manipulation platform turned the two unelected leaders into beloved gods, but now everything is failing. The worlds suffer as a sentimental Tom descends into his own personal hell, becoming the embodiment of everything he despises and a shadow of his former self. His journey from an optimistic, joyful Tom to a gloomy Shadow is paved with heartache and sinister interference from emerging technology. Humans and bots fight for his heart, but their aims differ: some want to own it, some to dissect it, and others to end its foolish beat. Estranged from the love of his life—the activist poet Nathan Storm—Tom fails to realize the biggest threat comes from within. None of the sticky stories that steer his life end well. Now, a young goddess—Estelle Ngoie—has been appointed to replace him, and unlike Shadow, Stella takes no prisoners, and her heart bleeds for no one. Who’s pulling on Shadow’s heartstrings? Are their intentions malign or benign? It’s all a matter of perspective, and Shadow has none left. The Series Themes An epic tale spanning across six days—one per book—and forty past decades of life lived across ten worlds and two universes. Weaving sci-fi elements with social commentary and queer romantic suspense, Spiral Worlds explores the nature of consciousness and how it's connected to a not-so-secret ingredient—story. As software consumes the world, intelligence is nothing but the appetizer; the human heart is the main course. There is no black or white in this story about a contrast-making machine.


Find the Jinn (Wilde Contracts #1) by Maz Maddox

Wilde Contract Killing and Fish Training, how can I help you? Murder contract? Piece of cake. Find a jinn? No problem. New necromancy powers while being followed by an unwanted vampire bodyguard? Not so much. Trained to handle even the most fierce undead, Dallas Wilde took out a powerful necromancer without breaking a sweat. Okay, that's a lie - there was tons of sweat, but he was victorious all the same. Unfortunately, killing a necromancer comes with some repercussions. Broody, annoying, vampire repercussions and new abilities to resurrect the dead. Can Dallas navigate his blood-sucking bodyguard, new powers, feelings for his attractive client and still handle his contract in time to pay his very, very late rent - all while trying not to get super murdered in the process?


Flames of Rapture by Riley Kade

Life is full of temptations, but there is none so powerful as that between human and succubus. Sadie Hall has loved her best friend, James Baker, all their lives, though she had no idea how he felt about her until her powers developed and she could suddenly see his every waking fantasy. She’d lived a simple life in a small farm town in which almost everyone was human, but her world was turned upside down when an alluring stranger arrived to tell her she was becoming a succubus, like him. Soon, she would need to feed daily off the sexual pleasure of others, though when her mentor warns her of the addictive nature of human-succubus relationships, Sadie must fight the tempting attraction between her and James. Now Sadie must choose, will she continue to keep James close even as she desperately tries not to feed from him, or will she risk losing the one person she wants the most? Note this is a polyamory, bisexual romance, with the main focus on Sadie and Jimmy’s relationship. Themes include forbidden/unrequited love, friends to lovers, light edge play/denial, and group sex.


FEVER by Shilo Niziolek

A memoir made up of essay fragments, Fever, examines what it is to desire throughout all phases and states of life and being. Niziolek mixes plain language with poetic prose to interrogate trauma from domestic violence and illness, sexuality, and the different ways we can and do love despite these things. All of this comes together to create a keen focus on the many ways one can experience desire and its intersection with love.


I Think of You Often: a small town paranormal romance by Sienna Eggler

A witchy "why choose" nb/nb/f romance. Evan is the reclusive librarian of Honeycutt Academy, and a source of curiosity among students and staff—most notably the bubbly potions teacher. With her by their side, Evan is willing to give love another shot and move on from a devastating breakup. But the discovery of a half-sibling invites trouble into Evan's quiet life, reuniting them with an old flame and stirring up bitter memories of their past. Also includes intimate (and mutual) blood drinking and a patricide subplot.


Fluid Bonding: a sapphic paranormal romance by Sienna Eggler

It’s not that Vi Davis wanted to be alone. It’s just that the outside world doesn’t seem very welcoming for a shy, nonbinary introvert - especially one who can read minds. But when the gorgeous Hester Milojević approaches Vi in a crowded sports bar, it doesn’t take telepathy to figure out that they share a mutual attraction - even if Vi suspects this towering blonde is way out of their league. That suspicion deepens even as the two get to know each other better - especially as Vi struggles to reconcile so many emotionally overwhelming first experiences, along with Hester’s mysterious hot-then-cold behavior, and her claims to be something impossible: a vampire. But even in a world that seems intent on tearing them apart, Vi and Hester can’t help but grow closer to each other - that is until the past and prejudice of their own families threatens to drive a stake through the heart of their relationship once and for all. Fluid Bonding is engaging and emotional paranormal romance between nonbinary and neurodivergent characters - described by one reader as “a sweet, realistic romance between two people figuring their way in life.”


PANE by Bailey Elizabeth

Sam lives by her “try anything once” motto to a fault. On an otherwise normal night out, she takes an experimental drug from a stranger at the bar that lets her see into alternate timelines. When she witnesses her own murder in a parallel world, she realizes that the mysterious series of hit-and-runs plaguing her college town are anything but accidents. Sam and her friends decide to stop the killer once and for all, but time travel has unforeseen costs, and one of them will have to pay.


Epoch of the Promise: Wings of Healing by Raina Nightingale

Six years ago, a desperate mother asked Lynn to take care of her baby. The solitary huntress never expected it to be so long-term, but now her loyalty is to Ameriasel. When Lynn bonds to a dragon, she realizes that she and Ameriasel have to escape from the Servants of the Dragonqueen. But the Servants pursue them relentlessly, believing that Ameriasel is their god’s chosen Priestess. Along with Lauray, a lame woman whose spirit and beliefs rouse confused feelings in Lynn, she and Ameriasel flee into the southern jungles, where only Ameriasel’s awakening gift for speaking to animals keeps them safe. But Ameriasel’s gift does more than keep them safe. When she bonds to a family of the dangerous wusren and helps a lonely moon dragon form a bond with Lauray that could help both of them to heal, Ameriasel attracts the attention of a lost tribe that believes she might be the one to fulfill an ancient prophecy. Epoch of the Promise: Wings of Healing is a cosy comfort read X dealing with trauma fantasy. “Though there is no destiny and there is no fate, sometimes the spirits can give us glimpses of what may come, or even of what will come …”


Epoch of the Promise: Dawn Unseen by Raina Nightingale

All the dragon Camri knows is that life is dying. In a bid for immortality, she sets out on a rampage of torment and conquest. When Cassian and her play-mates explored a cave, they woke a tormented dragon, twisted with unnatural powers. Now Cassian is bonded to Camri as a rider is bonded to a dragon, even while Camri destroys all she knows and loves. There is nothing she can do except try to appease Camri, but sometimes Camri’s atrocities are so horrible they drive Cassian to a defiance she always regrets. Punished by the death and torture of the people and dragons she loves, Cassian wishes to die, but is kept alive by Camri’s magic. When no kingdom or wizard has been able to stand against Camri, can Cassian see the Promise of relief when it stares her in the face? Or will she commit the greatest of her bonded dragon’s atrocities by her own hand? “When twilight gloom has turned to darkest night, watch for your hope, the long-awaited Promise, for it is in the darkest and coldest of night that the Morning Star rises.”


Of Feathers and Thorns by Kit Vincent

After manifesting thorned magic and nearly destroying his hometown, Kieren Belltower is summoned to join the Magic Service-an institution in charge of magical affairs-and start an apprenticeship with a high-ranking magician. But instead of the mage assigned to teach him, Kieren is greeted by his haughty and annoyingly handsome senior apprentice Esten, who clearly has more important things to do than chaperone some newbie. Their teacher has disappeared on a secret assignment, leaving Esten no instructions other than a warning not to trust a soul. But as Kieren's unruly magic proves too dangerous to leave unattended, Esten has no choice but to involve him in the matter. Together they retrace their teacher's last known mission-an investigation into the illegal use of magic and its connection to the devastating phenomenon called the sludge, which has plagued the country for weeks. But as Kieren and Esten grow closer, they uncover a plot that thrusts their lives into danger and threatens to shatter everything they know about magic and the world they were born into. Set in alternative 1900s America, Of Feathers and Thorns is an LGBTQ+ historical fantasy perfect for fans of Carry On and A Marvelous Light.


Echoes of Bellek by Morrigan Gaines

Memory is a gift. It's also a curse. When Cyrus Arbritrem refuses to marry the crown princess of Osmaria, his father disowns him. He is cast out into the world, plagued by loneliness and memories of his troubled childhood. He’s becoming the man he never intended to be, finding solace in drugs and alcohol. His life is spiraling out of control. It's only a matter of time before he gets caught up in another dangerous situation - one that may cost him everything. Tessa, a fiery woman with a passion for flowers, lights the spark of hope for a better future in his heart. She holds tight to her own secrets as she cares for her ailing father. Secrets that may threaten their budding relationship. Cyrus grasps his second chance, determined to move beyond the memories that haunt his nightmares. His chance at happiness is within reach, but a darkness is rising that desires the power Cyrus doesn’t know he possesses. Will he survive to shine brightly, or will the darkness destroy him? This book contains themes and situations some adult readers may find triggering.


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.”


The Jester Prince (The King Jester Trilogy Book 2) by V.M Forrester

With Zirkua Fantastic destroyed, King Jester, the embodiment of discord, is loose once more upon the world. And he's not happy to have been kept in captivity all these years. Only Toby, a fresh, untrained immortal, and the other former members of the traveling circus now stand against him. Now, with Toby's boyfriend, Markley, kidnapped by King Jester, they have no choice but to leave the safety of their camp and venture into the world at large. King Jester grows more powerful with each passing day, and each moment Marley stays in his clutches is another moment closer to absolute destruction. Toby will get Marley back. Even if it means facing King Jester alone.


The Harlequin Circus (The King Jester Trilogy Book 1) by V.M. Forrester

Tobias has never known anything but the silver and crimson silks of Zirkua Fantastic. Raised from birth alongside firebreathers and hawkers and tightrope walkers, now he performs at the myriad stops of the traveling circus. Setting up every evening, and never staying past the sunrise. That is the way of Zirkua Fantastic. When a newcomer arrives to join the circus, the first domino falls. There's always been a subtle undercurrent of magic in the circus, inexplicable coincidences and rituals of protection. But now, the full force of the magic has burst to the surface, and a mysterious, powerful entity has broken free from her prison, intent on burning the circus to the ground. Now the circus hangs in the balance, and if the magical bonds break, the consequences will be devastating.


The Price of Silence: Winterfell Academy Book 1 by Elle Mae

From Elle Mae comes an exciting new bully reverse harem that will feed all your paranormal bisexual fantasies. Join us in this journey into a magical world filled with witches, demons, curses, and lies that will forever change the path of one girls life. I am Rosie Miller and at the age of ten, I was cursed. Because of my parents' debt, I was forced into silence and now every word, every laugh, was a weapon used against me. By nineteen I had come to understand that I would have no choice but to follow in my parents' footsteps. Get a soul-sucking job reserved for low-levels like me, keep my head down, and die alone. That was until I got a letter one day welcoming me to the most prestigious demon academy in the entire country. I knew that when I opened that letter, it was too good to be true. There was no way after thousands of years of separation between high-levels and low-levels that I would ever be given such a golden opportunity. Meeting them only proved my suspicions to be correct. A bloodthirsty gangster. A child of a high-ranking demon official with a penance for blackmail. And last but not least a witch who seems to be called by the power my curse exudes. Becoming tangled with them will probably be the most reckless thing that I have ever done in my life, but will it be worth finally breaking my curse after nine years?


Echo: The Curse of the Blackwood Witches by Yasmine Maher

Master forbidden magic, destroy an immortal enemy, and prevent the apocalypse—all before college finals. Echo Blackwood has no idea she’s a witch, but after supernatural beasts attack her sister’s wedding, she discovers her long-dormant magic, and she’s quickly catapulted into an impossible war. The novice witch is the only one who can stop the immortal Jivar—but her magic hides a sinister secret. The dark arts run through her veins, and using their power could cost her soul. Desperate to control her magic and uncover the truth about herself, Echo and her newfound allies must race against time to defeat Jivar before he unleashes his fury and destroys the world. Can Echo use the powers of evil to save the world? Or will fighting fire with fire only end in her ruin? Imbued with all the thrilling action and marvelous magic, Echo: The Curse Of The Blackwood Witches is a riveting and unforgettable read that will sweep you up and refuse to let you go.


Afterlands: After the Return by Boots

Tensions in the town of Whiptail ratchet up after a hard season of bad weather, famine, and strange bodies washed up on the beach. Hyrhyn, Laria, Juba, and Nix must face these challenges and a new enterprise that tests the bonds of their tenuous friendship. Will they ever find safety and happiness so long as there is a Harrower among them? After the Return, follows on the action from Afterlands: After the Harrowing, and the Betweentimes stories, which are available for free on the official website at lookingland.com/afterlands.


Lacey & Alex: The Dagger of Ill Repute: Urban Fantasy with a Hint of Romance by by V.R. Tapscott

Talking Plants, Explosions, Gunfire, Mayhem,Magic and a Hint of Romance.Lacey & Alex, roommates in San Francisco, are a barista and a cook by day. By night though, Lacey is a part time private investigator and Alex talks to plants. And they talk back. In this book, they get dragged into hunting for a lost dagger. Of course, it winds up being so much more than simply a lost dagger.The pair spend a couple of action-filled weeks travelling from San Francisco to Los Angeles, Barstow to Vegas and all parts between in their hunt for the elusive artifact.They meet up with loose cannon Stevie and step it up a notch with exploding cars and tension of a whole nother kind, as she makes it clear what she thinks of Lacey.Olive from Jane Bond shows up with a little tiny insignificant part (heh) and Jane herself has a cameo.Join Lacey & Alex and Stevie as they have the adventure of a lifetime! Talking plants, explosions, gunfire, mayhem, magic and a little bit of romance all enter the picture before the end, in this slightly humorous, slightly serious, and always fun mystery.


Can't Spell Treason Without Tea: A Cozy Fantasy Steeped with Love (Tomes & Tea Cozy Fantasies Book 1) by Rebecca Thorne

"You like tea. I like books. Care to open a shop and forget the world exists?" All Reyna and Kianthe want is to open a bookshop that serves tea. Worn wooden floors, plants on every table, firelight drifting between the rafters… all complemented by love and good company. Thing is, Reyna works as one of the Queen’s private guards, and Kianthe is the most powerful mage in existence. Leaving their lives isn’t so easy. But after an assassin takes Reyna hostage, she decides she’s thoroughly done risking her life for a self-centered queen. Meanwhile, Kianthe has been waiting for a chance to flee responsibility–all the better that her girlfriend is on board. Together, they settle in Tawney, a town nestled in the icy tundra of dragon country, and open the shop of their dreams. What follows is a cozy tale of mishaps, mysteries, and a murderous queen throwing the realm’s biggest temper tantrum. In a story brimming with hurt/comfort and quiet fireside conversations, these two women will discover just what they mean to each other… and the world.


The Southern Magicks by Ashton K. Rose

A month ago, a demon tore the thin veneer of a normal life I’d crafted apart when it almost killed me. Revealing my husband, Eli, as the prodigal son of a powerful magic family. When I grew up, I walked away from magic. Left my remote hometown and pretended the ghosts Gran taught me to see weren’t there while I went to university to become a librarian. Our one secret tightly held to my heart. Never let them know! Two years later, with no other financial option, I moved back to my small hometown. It was easy to pretend the fuzzy gaps in my memory weren’t there as I got a job under the strict woman who almost killed my childhood love of books. I thought everything was perfect when I married my dream guy. Then the attack happened. The "good" folks at the local magical law enforcement agency knew about me the whole time. They've pressured me to work for them as an exorcist because they’re convinced I was a vigilante who committed multiple murders. My odd, intriguing mentor Cory watches for any misstep as I avoid the seduction attempt he’s been asked to perform. Now they’ve accused my estranged older brother of taking over my “crimes.” I know I was framed, despite the gaps in my memory. The worst part? The only people who seem to believe me are my friend June and my journalist cousin Kat. Eli, filled with spite for the local magical rulers, seems to know something I DON’T and thinks I should play them at their own game and seduce my mentor, so we can interrogate him together…


The Heretic's Guide to Homecoming, Book One: Theory by Sienna Tristen

“Life is transformation. You change or you die.” Ashamed of his past and overwhelmed by his future, Ronoah Genoveffa Elizzi-denna Pilanovani feels too small for his own name. After a graceless exit from his homeland in the Acharrioni desert, his anxiety has sabotaged every attempt at redemption. Asides from a fiery devotion to his godling, the one piece of home he brought with him, he has nothing. That is, until he meets Reilin. Beguiling, bewildering Reilin, who whisks Ronoah up into a cross-continental pilgrimage to the most sacred place on the planet. The people they encounter on the way—children of the sea, a priestess and her band of storytellers, the lonely ghosts of monsters—are grim and whimsical in equal measure. Each has their part to play in rewriting Ronoah’s personal narrative. One part fantasy travelogue, one part emotional underworld journey, The Heretic’s Guide to Homecoming is a sumptuous, slow-burning story about stories and the way they shape our lives.


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.


Aether's Pawn by Gabrielle Harbowy

Indigo Steelquill -- Quills -- left her native realm a thousand years ago and hasn't looked back. A jinn, an inker in the long and magical tradition of her kind, she enjoys the simplicity of life as a tattoo artist in modern-day London. Content to quietly explore the alchemical and magical properties of her ink, she doesn't want anything to do with the local jinn. But her talents make her too useful a tool to be left alone. When a notorious jinn overlord is murdered, all signs point to the leader of a rival faction. But that leader claims innocence, and knows that someone else has access to her signature powers: Quills, the inker who takes blood and magical essence in payment for her magic-enhanced tattoos. So if she didn't do it, then who? Quills' chase for answers leads her across much of England and into the company of an astute human named Amy Jane (whom she's definitely NOT falling for). Meanwhile, the murdered jinn's followers are out for retribution. She only has five days to find the killer and clear her client's name, or she'll be the one set up to take the fall. "A page-turning delight. Sexy and horrifying — sometimes simultaneously — Quills is a deeply satisfying heroine: hyper-competent and whip-smart, and most importantly, allergic to other people's bullshit. This book is goth in the realest sense: it's a hot cocktail of yesterday's mascara, a fresh tattoo, and deep magic." - Tamsyn Muir, bestselling author of Gideon the Ninth "[Harbowy's] ability to create realistic portrayals of otherworldly lives is astounding." - Lambda Literary "Harbowy writes with the precision of an editor, and the sensibility and passion of a writer." - Leah Petersen, author of "The Physics of Falling" series.


Bad End by A M Blaushild

Archangel Michael's death at the hands of Iofiel may have prevented him from forcing the apocalypse, but it's hardly brought peace. The new Archangel Michael is relentless in his quest for revenge, believing Iofiel is still out there- and shirking his duties to prove it. Afraid of his connection to the traitor, Maalik has fled to Hell, also looking for Iofiel- but what he finds instead is an oddly amicable Morningstar with shocking plans that Maalik may be unable to stop. Archie and Salem, abducted and now working as assistants for the devil, struggle to define their place in what is about to unfold. And on Earth, Santiago and Damien have found refuge in a small American town, comfortably leading a coven of witches. But when magic begins to crop up among ordinary humans, their disguises can only last so long. And what ever happened to Iofiel, The Saintkiller, the Second Traitor? The apocalypse may have been averted, but something is clearly going wrong.


Good Angel by A M Blaushild

Iofiel is an ideal candidate to become a guardian angel, and help steer humans away from sin: she's helpful, cheery, and utterly loyal. And, as the 'angel of beauty', it's not like she has anything better to do.Heaven and Hell long ago ran out of space: there are too many humans these days, so both have come to a shaky truce – one university sheltered in the forests of Canada, hidden from humanity, where their young can study. All seems well for Iofiel's first days at university – her Archangel roommate is a bit uptight, and dealing with demons feels weird– but when a picked on demon confesses he's too nervous to pursue his true passion of soul stealing... Iofiel promises she'll major in it with him. So much for being a proper angel. Her helpful impulse has repercussions that shake the school, and may just change the world forever. Or just end it. Because that's a possibility too.


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