stories in and

Party of Fools

Party of Fools by Cedar McCloud

Kraken Collective

Ale’s Well That Ends Well… Resistance members Reed Thorley and Gladys the Destroyer can’t believe their luck when the Immortal Emperor herself wanders into their favorite bar, unguarded and playacting an ordinary citizen. This is their chance to give the rebellion the upper hand against the Empire—after a few pints, of course. The middle-aged halfling musician and his elderly barbarian partner are seasoned enough to know that when Emperor Vallora invites them to join her worldwide food tour, their best bet is to say “Yes, chef!” and wait for an opportunity to strike. But hot as a greased griddle behind them comes Captain Andromeda Stagge, Vallora’s personal bodyguard, intent on returning the Emperor to the palace. She’s only doing her job. She isn’t pissed off at being left behind. It’s not as if the Emperor is her only real friend, given the difficulty of fitting in when you’re a 200-year-old autistic elf from a lower-class socioeconomic background. It isn’t that at all! Vallora’s worldwide food tour hinges on her ability to escape the capital city with Reed and Gladys without being caught. The Emperor isn’t supposed to be sampling local cheeses in the company of commoners. Though why the most powerful person in the Endless Empire needs to be under lock and key in Zenith Palace is anyone’s guess… Join the party on this brand new adventure comedy as the chase ensues. Make sure you have some good food on hand, because you’re bound to get hungry along the way.


Flooded Secrets

Flooded Secrets by Claudie Arseneault

Kraken Collective

Fate and friendship brought Horace, Rumi, and Aliyah together in Rumi’s Wandering Wagon of Wonderful Wares, a sentient self-propelling wagon. They seek the forest haunting Aliyah’s dream, hoping for answers about their past and their unique abilities—but for that, they need to traverse a world haunted by Fragments, dangerous shards that can possess travellers. With the Fragments in the wilderness, banditry was the last danger Horace had expected on the road—but not even that could stop Keza Nesmit. Swift and deadly with a staff, Keza drops on the Wagon crew, claiming most of their provisions before vanishing back into the Tesrima Ridge. As if to compound their bad luck, the tunnel that serves as the only pass through the mountain is flooded and impassable. Keza reappears, and she’s willing to show them the source of the flooding, a waterway blocked by Fragments, in the hopes that they can unblock it—and just like with the stolen food, she won’t answer any questions about her motives, no matter how friendly. Abrasive, confident, and eager to bicker, Keza makes for a thorny companion, but they’ll need to work together to free the pass and continue their travel. As they unravel the Fragments’ blockage, so, too, do they chip away at Keza’s walls. But the cost of breaking both is far higher than anticipated, and Horace is about to learn that some secrets are better left untouched.


Sidetracked

Sidetracked by S. K. Kelley

SPFBO10

Jayde Palmer considers herself a typical college student, but life is messy. The day before her 19th birthday, a chance meeting with a beautiful young man named Ice Monroe disrupts Jayde's plans for a quiet, relaxing summer. She assumes he's too good to be true—until he calls. Jayde takes the bait, and things go well at first, but the relationship takes a bizarre turn when Ice drops a bombshell secret:
He is a magical human-feline shapeshifter, known as an immortal. As Jayde comes to terms with the existence of immortals and struggles to work out Ice's true intentions in dating her, a series of unexpected and uncomfortable encounters with a figure from his past leave Jayde increasingly unsure who she can trust or what she should do next. Even so, it's clear that something is wrong, and she may have no choice but to act on instinct. --- Sidetracked is part one of a four-part series about dark secrets, difficult decisions, strange dreams, a secret government program, and mental illness. With cats and a little bit of magic!


Cursed Cocktails

Cursed Cocktails by S.L. Rowland

SPFBO10

When life gives you lemons, squeeze them into a stiff drink and stir. After twenty years defending the frozen north against some of the most dangerous threats in the nine kingdoms, Rhoren “Bloodbane” has finally earned his retirement. While the blood mage's service to the realm may have ended, burning veins and aching joints remain, and Rhoren soon learns that a warmer climate offers relief from his chronic pain. And a chance at a fresh start. In the warm and relaxing atmosphere of Eastborne, the umbral elf finds a new purpose and a sense of belonging. He may have left the frozen north behind, but he brings with him the skills and strength gained from a lifetime of defending the realm. Along with his most prized possession—a book of drink recipes inherited from his father. Spilled cocktails may not carry the same weight as spilled blood, but opening a tavern brings a unique brand of challenges. With the right friends and a little bit of luck, he might just have a recipe for success.

Welcome to the enchanting world of Tales of Aedrea, where small-scale stories, low-stakes adventure, and cozy fantasy come to life within an epic, high-fantasy realm.


Tea and Empathy

Tea and Empathy by Shanna Swendson

SPFBO10

Welcome to Rydding, the hidden village you might stumble across if you need a home and a fresh start. For Elwyn Howell, the village is a lifesaver when she finds it just as she’s run out of strength and hope while running for her life. The abandoned healer’s cottage welcomes her, even though she’s given up on that calling. She opens a tea shop instead, using her knowledge of herbs and her empathic gift that allows her to select the perfect tea for each customer. Soon, she’s feeling at home in the village community. She’s afraid it’s too good to last, a fear that’s confirmed when she finds a wounded man unconscious in her garden. Was he sent by the people who are hunting her? Not even he knows, since he has no memory of who he is or how he got there. As she nurses him back to health, they develop a close bond, but the specter of both their pasts—the one she’s fleeing and the one he doesn’t remember—gets in the way. He doesn’t know what life he may have left behind, and she lives in constant fear that her old life will catch up with her and she’ll end up convicted of a murder she’s not entirely sure she didn’t commit. They can’t hide forever, not even in Rydding, and if they want to have a future, they’ll have to confront their pasts. A new cozy cottagecore romantic fantasy from the author of Enchanted, Inc.


Courier Quest

Courier Quest by Flossindune

SPFBO10

You have been summoned here for one reason. Trevor, you need a break. Trevor Anderson is just another normal, overworked retail worker. All he wants is his promised promotion, a chance to use some of his vacation days without feeling guilty about it, and time for his hobbies. While waiting patiently for his life to improve, a workplace accident changes everything for Trevor, including the world he resides in. After he bungles his way through a summoner’s questionnaire and gains the Power of an extradimensional inventory, he lands in the peaceful town of Tosa. In a world where he can finally relax, he finds himself both unable and unwilling to sit still long enough to do it. With everything he needs to take destiny into his own hands - a clean slate, a supernatural ability, and good friends - Trevor will use his Power to live life the way he chooses to.


Guarding Gus

Guarding Gus by Karryn Nagel

SPFBO10

What would you do if you found a rare magical animal? Nico, who has just begun passing as a transgender man, relishes the quiet life working as a bonsai bodyguard. But during a chance encounter one night amidst the aftermath of a territory dispute, he meets Brant, an excitable, good-natured cookie bodyguard, and the two strike an instant friendship. They form an irresistible bond with Gustopher, a baby gargoyle in need, setting off on a thrilling 3-day adventure to rescue the little creature and reunite it with its rightful owner. As they set out on their mission, the mismatched duo encounter predicaments unusual to new foster parents. Unscrupulous enemies lurk in the shadows, eager to exploit Gustopher on the black market. In order to ensure Gus's safety, Nico and Brant must quickly learn how to nurture (what do gargoyles eat, anyway?) and safeguard their newfound charge. Fortunately, their journey leads them to encounter Remi the vampire, an eccentric cheese guard from Wisconsin, and Jasper, a seasoned traveler, who faithfully accompanies the renowned Manley Cup, the cherished trophy of a championship hockey team. Together, this peculiar quartet must combine their unique talents navigating both gargoyle-raising and crime-boss hunting. As they traverse the mountain metropolis of Multnomah, their hidden secrets gradually come to light, forging unbreakable bonds and solidifying their motley chosen family. And in the midst of it all, Gustopher surprises them with delightful…qualities, adding an extra dose of astonishment everywhere they go.


A Conduit of Light

A Conduit of Light by Chelsey Ann Tompkins

SPFBO10

He has the cure. She is the payment. Forced from her home to train as a conduit in Felgren Forest, Ash'Arah is faced with accepting her new life or boldly denying any evidence that her magic is exponentially powerful. But when a closely guarded secret is revealed, she cannot deny her role as the forest's savior any longer, nor her newly ignited passion for the charming Baron Revich. Karus is a woman who wanders the forest with her faerie friend until the day she discovers a stone embedded in a dead tree. While she holds it, painful memories begin to return. Through these glimpses of her past, she will no longer wonder at who she is, who she loves, and who she is destined to become. This is a multiple POV romantic fantasy with enchanting magic and very little violence. It has dark, yet cozy vibes and the many twists and turns will keep you guessing to the end.


Father of Constructs

Father of Constructs by Aaron Renfroe

SPFBO10

#1 Best Seller and #1 New Release - LitRPG with heart! Lorith's magic is fading. Centuries ago, heroic adventurers stopped the World Boss’ cycle of rebirth by reducing the creature to one hit point and sealing it away so no one would ever find it. But, by ending one calamity, they halted the natural flow of magic within the world and brought about the Havoc Plague. With all civilization now on the brink of collapse, humanity's only hope is to find and kill the World Boss in order to restart the monster's rebirth cycle and bring back magic. When the Plagued janitor Harvey stumbles into a mysterious wreckage and accidentally kills the missing World Boss, he gains a million experience points, making him the target of almost all the would-be adventurers of the world. Burdened with ancient knowledge, and hunted by countless rivals, he must join with unlikely allies to do the unthinkable: find the reincarnated World Boss and defeat it again, before it can ravage the world anew. Father of Constructs is an optimistic LitRPG novel with a dash of Slice of Life.


Sing to Me of Rain

Sing to Me of Rain by E.B. Dawson

An innocent naiad. A wounded boy. An adventure that will change their lives forever. Plip is a naiad of the Great Waterfall, destined to one day sing the songs that send rain out into the world. Akino isn’t destined for anything but trouble. His father long gone, his mother working on a plantation far away, he doesn’t really belong in the village below the Waterfall. And the villagers don’t let him forget it. When Akino convinces Plip to travel down the mountain with him, for his own selfish purposes, he launches them into a world more dangerous than either of them could imagine. A world where people are not always what they seem and the rain does not fall evenly across the land.


Tales of Mundane Magic: Volume One

Tales of Mundane Magic: Volume One by Shaina Krevat

Nothing too strange ever happens to Gertie and Bridget Mallon. The sisters don’t have magical adventures fighting off dark lords or saving the world. Gertie spends her time learning the skill of enchantment, and Bridget has the ability to see things no one else can see with her left eye, which was bewitched in an accident many years ago. Sure, they attend Flories Boarding School, where Gertie takes a potions class and Bridget plays basketball, and the occasional magical anomaly takes place, but who doesn’t deal with the occasional poltergeist or curse? Life is relatively calm for the Mallon sisters, but things might not be quite as mundane as they appear.


Calligraphy Guild

Calligraphy Guild by R.M. Archer

Dragon ink gives calligraphers the power to set history in stone—or to change it. Lai Duyên’s dreams are realized when she’s admitted into the ranks of the calligraphers, authors considered trustworthy enough to defend time from those who would change it. She’s thrilled at the opportunity to record her country’s history, and to work with the other calligraphers in her village. But when Duyên’s guild is set upon by ancient dragons demanding a time-changer be destroyed, her world is flipped upside down. Her guildmates turn on each other, suspicion coloring their every move. To make matters worse, she’s begun hearing the dragons in her head and finds them impossible to block out: a condition that rendered her grandmother insane. With the calligraphy guild in turmoil and Duyên’s ever-present fear of madness clouding her vision, will the group be able to discover which of their guildmates has altered time before the dragons pass judgment on them all?


Awakenings

Awakenings by Claudie Arseneault

Kraken Collective

Innkeep, hunter, blacksmith, nurse—Horace has apprenticed for every clan in the domed city of Trenaze, and they've all rejected em. Too hare-brained. Too talkative. Too slow. Ever the optimist, e has joined Trenaze's guards to be mentored. Horace has high hopes to earn eir place during eir trial at the Great Market. That is, until the glowing shards haunting the world break through the city's protective dome, fused together in a single, monstrous amalgam of Fragments. Armed with a sword, a shield, and far too little training, Horace doubts eir ability to defend the market-goers. But eir last stand is interrupted by a mysterious elven figure who can dissipate the Fragments with a single, strange sentence: your story is my story. From the moment it is uttered, Horace knows the sentences holds true for em, too—and when the elf collapses in the middle of the market, e carries them to safety, to recover away from the panicked crowd and inevitable questions from eir fellow guards. It could cost em eir apprenticeship—eir last chance to find eir place in eir home city—but Horace cannot resist the pull of this mystery elf and the call of a new friend. Aliyah has but one desire: to leave Trenaze's safe boundaries and find the forest that haunts their dreams. After an afternoon of board games in their quiet, sharp-witted company, Horace is ready to follow, confronting Fragments and other dangers of the road to understand what happened that day, hear Aliyah's laugh again and finally feel like e belongs.


Prince of Shadows

Prince of Shadows by Camilla Vavruch

An avian tournament. A chaotic prince. An unwanted engagement. Assassins out for blood. Crown Prince Orson of Mannerobes is a turbulent young man, desperately trying to live up to his father’s impossible expectations. Engaged to Lady Liadan, a woman he does not love, and longing for freedom, Orson’s life takes a darker turn when the Avian Tournament, where birds and their handlers challenge each other in a variety of contests, begins. When Orson’s friend and fellow noble, Overster Tristan Arrington, is poisoned as they greet guests, they discover a sinister assassination plot. As the tournament progresses, Orson’s relationship with Lady Liadan’s deteriorates, while a new and intriguing bond forms with Sir Rorik Ironhold of Chim, a gemstone connoisseur whose true intentions are unclear. As if juggling the tournament, an unraveling betrothal, and his father’s ire isn’t enough, it does not take long before a second assassination attempt makes everyone question who the real target is. “Prince of Shadows” is a thrilling tale of passion, complex conflict, and the fierce pursuit of one’s true self, set against a backdrop of a vivid fantasy world. The book is the third book in the series Stories of Gereon and contains HBTQ relationships and neurodiversity.


A Wolf in Space

A Wolf in Space by Alex Valdiers

Gunslinger. Skyhorse rider. Lone Wolf. Malvius is a veteran gunslinger in Larragon, a six-planet solar system with two rivers: two train lines linking each planet together. The two rivers are a beehive for opportunistic merchants and feisty gunslingers. All you need to survive in Larragon is a skyhorse to roam the open space and a gunblaster to protect your hide and earn your keep. Wild moons and saloons are aplenty, and money is easily made and lost, but life for Malvius isn’t about money; it is about helping who needs helping, shooting who needs shooting. Along comes the Raoke Gang: shattered, their leader wounded, half of the gang incarcerated. Malvius feels compelled to help. Little does he know that simply relaying a message from their leader to the survivors of the Raoke Gang will send him on a wild course of events that will see him facing off a space wizard, assisting a space train heist, and becoming Larragon’s most wanted man.


Akasha (Cats of Catarau Book 2)

Akasha (Cats of Catarau Book 2) by Sandra Cox

Akasha is a pretty little calico who, along with two of her kittens, has drowned and passed on to Catarau. Now she must journey back to earth to save the kitten left behind.


Adventures of a Vegan Vamp

Adventures of a Vegan Vamp by Cate Lawley

Waking up thin is one thing. But waking up gaunt, hangry,and undead makes for a very bad day. Mallory's killer better hide, because she's just discovered blood, meat, and dairy don't agree with her, and a future with no cheese is grim indeed. She's out to find her killer...and maybe a vegan cheese that doesn't melt her nose hairs.


Tides of Change (Charley Deacon Book 2)

Tides of Change (Charley Deacon Book 2) by Andi R. Christopher

Chipped Cup

Four months after she first arrived, the tiny settlement of Inver Aora is becoming home to Charley Deacon. Living in a studio high on the cliff, she's learning sea magic - and getting a handle on her own brain. For the first time in her life, she feels like she has a change of belonging. Even far from the city, though, things are never quiet. Charley's faced with a haunted artefact, a missing child, and a family that's not entirely human - and their safety depends on her magic, and her pushing through her barriers. And then there's True, mysterious and almost enchanting. Is Charley wasting her time on someone who is just being kind to her, or could there be more of a future for the two of them after all?


Tides of Magic (Charley Deacon Book 1)

Tides of Magic (Charley Deacon Book 1) by Andi R. Christopher

Chipped Cup

Meet Charley Deacon. She's failing out of uni, being near the sea makes her inexplicably ill, and now her sister has gone missing in suspicious circumstances. Her only hope of finding her may lie with an impossibly old woman who lives – you've guessed it – by the sea. Welcome to Inver Aora, a tiny settlement on the coast of New Zealand's South Island. It has a holiday park, a woman who may or may not be a witch, and not a lot else. Most people can't find their way here, but the locals find it hard to leave. If there's anything weird going on, they're not in the habit of talking about it. Charley might be the least likely person to show up in Inver Aora, but it also might just be the place she discovers new powers, her own purpose, and some people that make her want to stick around.


By Her Grace: A Dell Chronicles Novella

By Her Grace: A Dell Chronicles Novella by HL Bernabe

If you liked Legends and Lattes, you'll love this novella. Halfling chef Paisley Dell lives in Aspenwood, a small town at the meeting of two major trade roads. The Dells own the Rosebud Inn and are pillars of the halfling community. Paisley is happy, but… something is missing. She feels unfulfilled and restless. On her Becoming Day, she meets a mysterious young human, pregnant and on the run, and through her Paisley glimpses a world she desperately wishes she could know. A world of spice, elves, and exotic, faraway places. With every recipe Prilani teaches her, Paisley’s desire to save her new friend from her pursuer grows, too. Protecting Prilani means facing an evil she has never known. Is the risk worth it?


Isaree of the Wild Isles

Isaree of the Wild Isles by Noor Al-Shanti

SPFBO10

Sandwiched between the mighty High Kingdoms and the great Land of Sunsets, the Upland villages did not have much claim to greatness or power. Many of these villages did not even have names. When an army of Sorcerers from the High Kingdoms was mobilized to invade the Land of Sunsets it was these small villages, stuck in the middle, that bore the brunt of that army’s march. In one of these villages Isaree has just discovered her own magical power, but even dreaming of what this could mean for her is made impossible by the presence of the sorcerous armies. When they hear that the Sorcerers have begun to forcibly take anyone with power, the village elders decide that those most likely to be taken must flee. In the blink of an eye, Isaree finds herself at the head of a group of runaways, responsible for leading them to safety, with nothing to rely on except her knowledge of the nearby woods and caves and the food that their families have lovingly packed for them. Isaree and her friends must stick together and survive in a world much bigger than any of them could have imagined. A world full of wars and empires, sorcery and power, and – tucked away in forgotten corners – impossible creatures of legend. In this vast, frightening world, Isaree must learn not just how to survive, but who she wants to be.


Bedsocks and Broomsticks

Bedsocks and Broomsticks by G Clatworthy

Village Fetes can be murder. When Fi's electrical powers cause her to be fired from her job, the last thing she wants to do is help the Witches', Wizards' and Warlocks' Institute host the annual Halloween Fete. But when a judge collides with her, she's thrown into a murder investigation...as the prime suspect. Can she clear her name and catch the real killer? Jam and Jerusalem meets Midsomer Murders meets magic. If you like cozy British settings, sarcasm and witches, you'll enjoy this series. Reviews: If Jessica Fletcher was a 20 something IT worker and a witch, you'd get this fun book. A Cozy Mystery wrapped inside urban fantasy, it's a quick, fun read. Wayne Turmel - author of Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk I ADORED this book. It's like Midsomer Murders meets Helen Harper. Huge amounts of fun. C.N. Rowan - urban fantasy author This book had me hooked from the first page — there are so few fantasy stories about IT people, and the moment I saw the PIC-NIC, I knew I would like this book. Amena Jameli - fantasy author Written in UK English.


Boy of Shadows

Boy of Shadows by Camilla Vavruch

A scarred boy. A power struggle. A unique bird. And painful longing for love. Tristan’s father has abused him since he was a small child, leaving his body scarred and in constant pain. But no matter much Father tries, torture doesn’t keep Tristan from falling in love with simple field worker Will. Falling in love? Easy. But showing Will his flaws? No. Damaged in both body and mind, he sends Will away, unwilling to let him see more weakness. Alone and filled with self-hatred, Tristan must face the ambitious Overster Garrensor and his disdainful son—but all he wants is Will.


Stone of Shadows

Stone of Shadows by Camilla Vavruch

In the slums of Gereon, sixteen-year-old Will struggles to survive and keep food on the table for his siblings. Working each day in the fields, he endures regular torment from privileged bully Tristan Arrington. But when a dragon snatches Will, he discovers a stone that grants him the power of invisibility. Returning to the city, Will uses his new ability and stumbles across a much darker truth about Tristan and his powerful father. Suddenly, the world is no longer black and white. There are people who are much more dangerous than Will ever thought. As a tentative friendship forms amidst a web of secrets, one boy’s life hangs in the balance—and just how much of himself is Will willing to risk?


Blood's Power: Broken

Blood's Power: Broken by Midnight Rose

A man who is caught in a downward spiral of corruption, and is raised out of it into a hero, who dies to save a people who shall never know of his sacrifice. The stranger’s green eyes opened again. Jewel ventured to speak, realizing that the spell on him, which was already wearing off, if not almost worn off, allowed him that leisure. “Why did you do this?” he said in a deep voice, letting the stranger hold his eye contact. “I do not think you would understand,” the stranger said softly. He let his eyes fall closed again. “What?” Jewel said, his voice still deep. “You think you are a strong enough mage to fight me? Your spell is nothing, I have lost no strength, and you have lost much.” A sorrowful smile graced the stranger’s parched lips; Jewel had not till now noticed that the man’s lips were stained purple from tiny cracks of dried blood. “I have not only fought you, I have defeated you,” the other mage said, in a grave voice, lifting his chin in weak defiance. “Defeated me?” Jewel asked in mockery, his brows rising. “What spell have you put on me that I am defeated?” A story of blood magic, both of deep evil and abomination, and of heroic sacrifice and selfless love. When Jewel is at last broken beyond all hope, when his power is ripped so fully from his hands, that he fears he has lost not only his power, but himself, he discovers at last that he can still be the Jewel he was before he was broken, before corruption stole his life away. For not until he is broken can he be Unbroken.


Mandrake Manor

Mandrake Manor by JP Rindfleisch IX

Inherited magic. A secret neighborhood. And... a formidable Homeowner's Association? When Mathias Mandrake becomes the unexpected heir of Mandrake Manor, he and his friends are thrust into a world of witchery and mystery. Juggling romance, nosy neighbors, and looming fines, they must decide: is the magic worth the mayhem?


How to Fix a Flubbed Summon

How to Fix a Flubbed Summon by L. N. Clarke

Making friends as an adult can be difficult. Summoning one can be a disaster. When apothecary Growina Crowe receives a witch’s grimoire as collateral, she attempts to summon an otherworldly companion. In the process, she forgets a boiling teapot, topples candles, and sets her herb garden ablaze. The next morning, a magic-eating monster besets her town, prompting a bounty hunt. Growina fears she may be responsible, but there are only two ways to find out for sure: wait for bounty hunters to catch her, or join one of the adventuring parties. Unfortunately, she lacks the social skills to make friends, or she would never have tried to summon one. Several cities away, actor Florian Honeybeard—unrecognizable without his feminine makeup—is mistaken for a soothsayer and accidentally kidnapped. To survive, he must improvise the role and assist a team of mercenaries. Their mission: collect the bounty on the magic-eating monster and apprehend the person responsible.


Beneath the Gods' Tree

Beneath the Gods' Tree by S. Kaeth

Amanah knows all-too-well the dangers of catching the attention of the upper class of Arruk. Using her position as a guard to steal secrets of healing and help other lower class people means she works hard to remain unnoticed. Fellow guard Taunos is boisterous, laughing, larger than life–and always around. He attracts attention as easily as breathing, which makes being associated with him dangerous. Better to stay far away, regardless of her attraction to him and his easy calm. But when Amanah inadvertently insults a magistrate, she must flee the city to avoid his vengeance. She takes a last-minute job escorting a pair of noblemen to another town–a job Taunos is also hired for. Along the way, she’s forced to reveal her stolen healing skills to keep the small group alive, and finds more support from Taunos than she ever would have dreamed. His confident charm becomes hard to ignore as he sees her as no one else has, even when she’s doing her best to be invisible. But opening herself to romance might be as dangerous as the wildlife and bandits they face in the wilderness, and pursuing her dreams of becoming a healer could attract the ire of those in power. This book has: so much banter; strong sibling relationship; strong friendships; friends-to-lovers (low steam); gay side characters; main character anxiety rep; diverse cast with immersive worldbuilding; action and adventure, wilderness survival style; low fantasy (none of the main group displays clear magic on page); single PoV, third person past tense


Phantom and Rook

Phantom and Rook by Aelina Isaacs

Arlo Rook has decided it’s time to move out of Garren Castle, home for orphans of all races, magical or not, at 100 years old. It’s not the first time he’s left home, but after a setback that landed the Hedge Witch in the hospital a year ago, he ended up right back at square one. But now he’s ready to strike out on his own, despite his friend’s worries that he’s not ready for the ‘real world.’ Then, he crashes into a mess of copper curls and bright eyes, sending apothecary goods and his life into a chaotic mess. Thatch is a mysterious and incredibly wealthy benefactor of Levena, only spoken of but never seen. He requests a night of Arlo’s company and a tour of the city, which Arlo immediately declines. But that’s not the last time they see each other, and it certainly wasn’t the first. Arlo doesn’t remember him, no one remembers Thatch after he visits, but Thatch never forgot the Witch with a familiar soulmark on his face. Thatch Phantom is an immortal, the last of his kind and perpetually bored. When he’s not closing inter-dimensional rifts and corralling demons, he’s visiting his favorite city of all, Levena. Centuries ago, when life was particularly dull, he set up a scavenger hunt for a starving village, providing them with a year’s worth of supplies. He anonymously returned year after year, upping the ante and providing less practical things, as the village had become a city and was wealthy beyond belief. Festivals were thrown in his honor, and have continued every year since. Hundreds of years later, The Game is still put on by the fabled ‘Scarlet Illusionist’, but no one has figured out who blesses them with the puzzles. Once again, Thatch is listless and has decided to throw a wild card into this year’s Game. Whoever discovers him will win one wish of their choice, no restrictions. Aside from the obvious, such as no falling in love, murder or resurrection. What he didn’t anticipate was crashing into the one person whose soul mark flares like a beacon when Thatch is around, teasing the immortal with the one thing he wants most. Someone to call home. What follows is a wild chain of events filled with magical coffee shops, villains with vendettas against cheese makers, moving tattoos, grand puzzles, and second chances at love, and life.


Bound

Bound by Rowena Aiello

They’re supposed to be together. The magic says they should be. So why is she trying so hard to get away from him? Every single one of us is fated to be with someone else. That’s how the magic works in Atlantis. It chooses your soul mate at birth. And while I want Matt to be mine, he’s fated to Sarah—to her dismay. One one’s ever tried to break their mating bond…until now. And it’s not that easy. In fact, I think it’s making him sick. But can I convince him to let Sarah go before her attempts to break away ruin him forever?


The Unwanted Prophet

The Unwanted Prophet by Carolina Cruz

Quincy Sauer is in jail. As far as she’s concerned, that's where she belongs - until a god of death decides otherwise. He’s got a plan to undermine his own priests and Quincy is his pawn of choice. Going from criminal to prophet would be a difficult transition under even the best circumstances, but Quincy’s luck is about to turn from bad to worse as corrupt priests, cults, and threats unknown stand between her and the answer to her greatest questions: Has the god of life and death made a terrible mistake? And if he has, who is going to pay the price for it? The Unwanted Prophet is the debut novel of Carolina Cruz. If you enjoy low-magic fantasy, character-driven stories, and diverse fictional worlds, the Unwanted Prophet has something for you to enjoy!


Ghost Town

Ghost Town by Maria Schneider

SFINCS

Sometimes even in the middle of nowhere, trouble finds you. When you're a librarian working the night shift, it's even more likely, but Ava has a few tricks up her sleeve for dealing with the shifters, visitors and creatures who roam in the dark. If she's very lucky, the new stranger in town will prove to be a boon rather than a hindrance. A cozy, romantic fantasy.

If you enjoyed Ghost Town, check out Witch Way and Null Witch.

Ghost Town was originally released at my blog one chapter at a time. Check the blog for new stories or follow me here on Amazon for the latest updates!


In the Care of Magic: a queer cozy monster erotica

In the Care of Magic: a queer cozy monster erotica by Robin Jo Margaret

Jillian Docherty is the only witch in a town of humans, who regularly take advantage of her magic services. Overworked and underappreciated, she escapes her town for a much-needed holiday in her childhood home: a lovely cottage situated deep into the woods. When she comes across a very unexpected and interesting book promising her company and pleasure, Jillian realizes she may have finally found the relaxation she desperately craved. But she never expected to make friends with a sex demon…


Wolves of Duty

Wolves of Duty by Charlotte Murphy

ASPEN ANAI is the Female, one of three laecan children born under unique circumstances, known as the Triquetra. Destined to usher in a new generation of Alpha wolves, Aspen has always known her purpose and is content being the gilded vessel for the two males who must compete for her, in physical challenges known as the Mating Games. When fellow Triquetrian, Caius Caldoun threatens their traditions and social standing by refusing to compete in the games against current Alpha heir Sabre Riadnak; Aspen starts questioning her destiny and the motives of those she thought she could trust. Thrust into political upheaval and social discord, Aspen is forced to choose between the duty she has always known and the happiness, freedom and love, she has only begun to taste.


The Stones Stay Silent

The Stones Stay Silent by Danny Ride

When a deadly plague sweeps the land, the priests of the Parents accuse those deemed to have incurred the gods' wrath. Leiander, unmarried and with interests unbecoming to the woman people consider him to be, flees for his life. With the Night Demon Kevv'ach by his side and his deepest wish undiminished, he journeys to the Great Lith, said to still channel the magic of the Parents. He will beseech the gods to remake his body in the image of the Father, so the world sees him as his true self: Leiander.


Among the Glimmering Flowers

Among the Glimmering Flowers by S.L. Dove Cooper

Felicity feels stifled by her parents' protective nature. She's the crown princess, yet she's not even allowed to care for her own pony. Her life consists of nothing but rules and permissions. All she wants is a little more freedom. Horse-friend is happy to have a roof over his head, a job that he likes and food in his stomach every day. He never expected to run into the crown princess as she tries to sneak out of the castle. Or to get caught up in her clumsy attempts at having an adventure. It isn't long before trouble, rather than adventure, finds both of them, setting them on a course that will change their lives -- and the fate of the kingdom -- forever. Among the Glimmering Flowers is the story of how two lovers first became friends and the first book in a series exploring a demisexual/allosexual romantic relationship. Readers looking for a low-conflict, cosy story should enjoy this novel.


Moon-Bright Tides

Moon-Bright Tides by RoAnna Sylver

Kraken Collective

The night sky is very dark without a moon, and there hasn't been one for decades. Without one to govern the oceans, it falls to Riven, reluctant sea-witch, to sail out alone every night across the midnight ocean to cast a spell to call in the tides. She hates it. Hates the moonless dark, hates the endless deep, and hates the fact that without a witch to sing in the tides, sea and land alike would fall to ruin. Riven faces her worst fear every night for years - until she meets a mermaid. Her new friend is lost, starving, and just as lonely as she is. And now that they've found one another, neither of their nights on the midnight sea will be the same.


Dear Bartleby

Dear Bartleby by Sarah Wallace

Dear Bartleby, Tutting-on-Cress is so small as to be idyllic. Hate it already. Sent down from Oxford for playing one prank too many, Sebastian Hartford is well aware that he’s a disappointment to his family. Ordered to stay with — and learn from — two of his more respectable older siblings, Seb is prepared to be miserable in the country. Saddled with extracurricular schooling to keep him out of trouble, Seb can only let his mischievous mind run loose on the pages of his journal, “Bartleby.” But when he is offered a job as a spellcaster’s assistant to the enigmatic Lord Finlington, Seb’s creative flair finds a place to flourish. Soon, he is at the center of a search for a new Royal Spellcaster to the Crown — and falling in love with one of the contenders. But right as a future with a man who loves him starts to unfold, Seb’s past mistakes threaten to bar him from securing happiness. And jumping through social hoops may prove his growth to everyone — except himself.


The Education of Pip

The Education of Pip by Sarah Wallace

He had never experienced possibilities — and it was a whole new feeling to have them. Pip Standish is in Newgate Prison, a predictable career finale for a London thief. So he is surprised when Lord Finlington, the dashing viscount he attempted to steal from months before, offers to get him out — on the condition that Pip agrees to leave town and start a new career in the country. Soon, Pip finds himself moving to the idyllic Tutting-on-Cress and a life he never thought possible. As he settles in with his new friends, he discovers a well-rounded education not only involves reading and magic, but how to be happy, how to trust others with your heart, and how to let go of pain. But when an attempt to settle an old debt reopens a dangerous wound, Pip will need to apply all of his hard-earned lessons to stop the past swallowing him — and his future — whole. This new adult fantasy is the third book in the Meddle & Mend series. It is a continuation of Pip's story from One Good Turn.


One Good Turn

One Good Turn by Sarah Wallace

A reformed thief, a magical viscount, And one good deed that will change a life forever. In the underbelly of London, Nell Birks longs to escape the world of poverty and crime. When she rescues a wealthy gentleman from a gang of thieves, Nell is tasked with robbing the powerful spellcaster Viscount Finlington — as recompense for stealing a mark from a notorious crime lord. Confident that learning magic will improve her chances of a better life, Nell leaps at the opportunity to learn magic from the viscount. Soon, she finds herself immersed in a glittering social sphere, full of magic, luxury, and exciting possibilities. Dazzled by her new world, Nell quickly learns that with bigger dreams come bigger disappointments. And when her new friends decide to leave London behind, finding her place becomes more urgent than ever. When disaster strikes, everything Nell thought she knew about her old life is shaken to its core. But if magic is not her key to a better life, she’s more lost than when she began. This new adult fantasy is the second book in the Meddle & Mend series. It takes place shortly after Letters to Half Moon Street but can be read as a standalone.


Letters to Half Moon Street

Letters to Half Moon Street by Sarah Wallace

I must have been drunker than I realized because all I remember is how well he tied his cravat and how perfectly his coat fit him… London, 1815: where magic can be purchased at convenience, and the fashionable and wealthy descend for the start of the social Season. But 25-year-old Gavin Hartford finds the city intimidating when he arrives, alone, to his family’s townhouse. The only company he seeks is in his beloved books and weekly letters to his sister, Gerry. Then dashing man-about-town Charles Kentworthy gallantly rescues Gavin from a foolish drunken mishap and turns his life upside-down. With Mr. Kentworthy, Gavin finds himself discussing poetry and magic, confessing his fears about marriage, expanding his social circle to shocking proportions — and far outside his comfort zone. When family responsibility comes knocking, Gavin’s future looms over him, filled with uncertainty. As he grapples with growing feelings for his new friend, Gavin will need to be honest with Mr. Kentworthy — but he’ll need the courage to be honest with himself first. This epistolary Regency romance is the first in a historical fantasy series, Meddle & Mend.


Riverwitch

Riverwitch by Rem Wigmore

Chipped Cup

Self-taught witch Ashley Robinson considers it her duty to protect her hometown Hamilton. She spends her time doing community work and picking up litter by the Waikato River. But something is badly wrong with the river, a sickness deeper than mere pollution can explain. Magic must be the cause, but is it a curse or something else entirely? Ash has to get to the bottom of it, armed with nothing more than the support of her best friend Mikaere and a pocketful of crystals. Then there’s Bryony Manu, the town’s only other witch. A charismatic practitioner of dark magic, Bryony is infuriating … and captivating. Ash needs their help to track down the source of the spell draining life from the river. Can she balance her work with her attraction to Bryony, and master her magic along the way?


Fella Ever After

Fella Ever After by S.O. Callahan

With the wedding event of the year safely behind him, Peter is left to figure out how to navigate life without his best friend at his side. Then, a letter arrives with a special request. Peter leaps at the unique opportunity. It’s the perfect excuse to spend more time with Breck, who has been busy preparing for his own life-changing ceremony. The pair set off on a journey meant to bring them closer together, but after a few mishaps along the way, it ends with them farther apart than either of them could’ve imagined. Peter is forced to question his future with the enchanting lad he’s fallen for. Can the two of them work through their challenges, or is this a fairy tale that was never meant to be told? Fella Ever After is the sequel to Fella Enchanted. It cannot be read as a standalone.


Fella Enchanted

Fella Enchanted by S.O. Callahan

Fairy tales are for children. That’s what Peter had decided, especially after a devastating illness swept through his village, thrusting him into the harsh, very unmagical reality of adulthood. Following a difficult recovery, and an even more arduous struggle with finding his footing in life after losing some of the people he cared about most, Peter’s world is upended again with the arrival of a stranger who takes a special interest in his story. Quirky and confident, Breck quickly pulls Peter out of the sheltered and safe, albeit monotonous, existence that he’s finally settled into. He discovers that letting go doesn’t mean forgetting the past, it means gaining a future. But what if that future also holds a bit of magic, too?


Once Upon a Wave of Witches

Once Upon a Wave of Witches by Eli Belt and Helen Whistberry

Amelia Arrowheart is a homebody. Beatrice Buttons most decidedly is not. When these two ladies of a certain age meet and become fast friends, neither expects the extraordinary challenges they will face together and apart. Welcome to Lichen, a place like no other, where fungi are revered, cloud creatures crowd the skies, and sea witches wield their power for the good of all. Two mischievous little boys, a space pirate, and a monster that reaches out from the depths of the ocean will change their lives forever. Join Beatrice and Amelia on the adventure of a lifetime as they take to the skies and plunge into the depths of the sea to save a friend and break a curse! A unique and uplifting fantasy tale celebrating friendship, loyalty, and love. Includes 33 original illustrations!


The Tail of Nightshade

The Tail of Nightshade by Helen Whistberry

“A mouse scrabbled along under crisp, fallen leaves, whiskers twitching. Death, disguised as an owl, kept watch high above, unblinking eyes orbed bright in the moonlight...” Thus begins an adventure unlike any other for Nightshade, a young mouse who never expected to venture very far from their cozy burrow. Over the course of a few eventful days, they will meet strangers both weird and magnificent, including an impetuous bear and a lovely wyrm, a flitter-flutter and a whirligig, a wizard of modest talents and a legendarily monstrous cat, and a most wondrous being of light. Together they will navigate a noble quest, face unimaginable dangers, and experience astonishing events. Through it all, they will cling to the one thing they most believe: there is no obstacle that cannot be overcome if all remain true. Please be warned, especially for younger readers, that there are brief moments of violence, instances of death and other kinds of mayhem you might expect in a fantasy story. But also be reassured that it is a tale full of hope, love, and the beauty of loyalty, friendship, and doing the right thing no matter the cost. Includes 31 original illustrations by the author.


The Three Faces of Dissatisfaction

The Three Faces of Dissatisfaction by M.C. Burnell

He thought this mission was a joke at his expense, and now he’s got the fate of the region in his hands. Liath-Tamren is the largest urban center in a land around an inner sea that was all once claimed by an empire. The Cities reflect the diversity and trade that flow across the Halu, enriched by numerous immigrant enclaves and temples to foreign gods. Not all of its citizens find that pleasing, and there’s no people more misunderstood than the Malisaat, with their secretive faith, their envy-inspiring wealth, and their freaky black-eyed sorcerers, who scare them too. As one of said freaky sorcerers, otherwise known as the Azkhan Soubir, Japhet’s used to being in on the secrets. But when the head of his cabal sends him to the Cities, his orders are basically: go there for reasons. Not the usual mission. And why here? Liath-Tamren is a tame, bourgeois place (which he hates). There’s crime, but it’s ordinary shit. The Cities’ problems are the sort one expects in an urban center run by a string of incompetent do-nothing kings who still consider their subjects foreigners a thousand years after conquering them. Sorcerers are tax-paying citizens organized into guilds who sell their services to shopkeepers. So color him confused by what he finds when he arrives. It doesn’t help that his fellow Azkhan Soubir are acting hinky. Japhet’s cabal works alone and keeps their mysteries close, but the people he used to trust he doesn’t anymore. He’s going to have to rely on the help of normal folks accustomed to having normal, boring, workaday problems, who don’t yet know they have something to contribute. Top of the agenda: figure out why the Cities are being targeted by a comical profusion of metaphysical players who never took an interest heretofore. An urban center so real it must be. A labyrinthine plot centuries in the making. Laugh-out-loud dark comedy. Fall in love with Liath-Tamren! (Just don’t call it ‘a city.’ Really.)


Tyranny of the Fey

Tyranny of the Fey by Terry Bartley

A famed Elven researcher is worried about her home. When she discovers a new realm with massive magic potential, she believes she has found the answer. Will the Seasonal Fey Courts allow her to continue her research without interference, or do they have more nefarious plans? An Elven princess runs away from her arranged marriage to a parallel world. Will she be able to find the adventure she seeks? While she is in search of battles with dragons and quests to obtain sacred artifacts, she finds that what she was looking for may have been a true connection with someone that understands her. Two childhood friends, an orc and a goblin, have long dreamed of adventure. When a magic school dropout stumbles into their lives, they jump at the chance to realize their ambitions. This found family realizes the world of Galevyn is a much bigger place than the jungle they grew up in.


A Hired Blade

A Hired Blade by JC Rycroft

SFINCS

A sellsword's bargain. A burgeoning desire. A future balanced on the point of a blade Sellsword Des is travelling alone in a dry and dusty southern land, after a spectacular bust up with her best friend. She's running low on coin, so when former client Karina offers her a job leading her caravan's security through brigand country, it feels like a gift. Des has done the route before, but she isn't sure about leading solo. She recommends Karina hire Cap, a rugged old mercenary, to head up the crew. Maybe she'll even learn a thing or two about how to lead, in between the delightful distraction of Karina's flirtations and keeping the marauders at bay. As they head off on their long trip across Rescalin, though, the wheels start to come off Des's plan. The crew is drinking too much, even on duty, and Cap is dismissive of the dangers she identifies. Des worries she's made the wrong call by putting Cap as the lead, and Karina is in her ear, wanting her to take over. As brigands close in, will Des back the merc she put in charge? Or will she take over - and risk the caravan's safety resting on her blade alone?


The Naughty or Nice Clause

The Naughty or Nice Clause by Kate Callaghan

Being Naughty Has Never Been So Nice! When Lyla's father retired as CEO of the toy company which has been in their family for generations, she was meant to receive his shares. Instead, she discovers the company is bankrupt and her father has given her shares to Mason Klaus, an investor known in the corporate world for his cold and callous nature. Much to Lyla's frustration, her only option is to run the company with him, despite their evident loathing for one another. When Mason cancels the annual Christmas party, Lyla throws it anyway - only for the event of the season to result in a terrible fire. With the offices and Lyla's credibility ruined, Mason offers her a deal: he'll forget her part in the disaster, but she must join his family for the twelve days of their Christmas holidays. Taken to a fantastical winter wonderland, Lyla hopes that she might discover some of the secrets Mr Klaus is hiding, and maybe even a way to get her company back. However, when Mason introduces her to the secret village as his fiancée, she is horrified to realise she has no choice but to go along with the pretence - because the cost of bringing an outsider to their magical land is far too high. Can Lyla resist the devilishly handsome Mr Klaus and the enchanting village to win back her company, or will she give into temptation? Readers who fell in love with Yule: 'Definitely a must-read for anyone who likes Christmas books with a beautiful touch of fantasy.' ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 'Magical. Felt like stepping into a snow globe Christmas village.' ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 'I'm a sucker for cheesy hallmark Christmas movies, so if you're like me you'll love this book!' ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 'Adventure, romance, a bit of spice, and a sprinkle of gold dust to put you in the holiday spirit!' ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 'Workplace rivals featuring Santa's hot son and forced proximity in the North Pole? Count me in.' ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Tropes & Themes: Low-Fantasy Romance Workplace, Enemies to Lovers Fake Engagement Forced Proximity Cosy, Christmas feels


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