stories in and

Kill All The Dogs

Kill All The Dogs by Rick Berry

Are we defined by the things that happen to us, or the things we make happen to others? Ten-year-old Nathan Hyde is playing in a tree house, when he witnesses a vicious attack on his best friend’s younger sisters. Life is never the same again. Many years later, Nathan finds himself in the lower reaches of a government department, when an opportunity to confront his demons and enact revenge presents itself. A mystery illness is taking hold in the population, at the very moment a scheming, attention-seeking politician becomes Nathan’s new boss. It can’t happen, can it? In the farcical world of politics, anything is possible. Nathan Hyde is going to kill all the dogs. Part psychological drama, part political satire, Kill All The Dogs is the story of how of a personal trauma becomes twisted into a national tragedy.


Bookstories

Bookstories by Sarah Tollok

“Every book lover says it at one time or another, don’t they? That they want to read ‘all the books’?” In 1960, junior editor Dottie Barber is up to her elbows in the slush pile of a New York publishing house. All of Dottie’s friends and colleagues know her to be a book lover through and through, but what they don’t know is that she has a special intuitive ability to understand pieces of a writer’s life just by reading their words. Only one writer has ever baffled Dottie’s empathic understanding: the mysterious author of brilliant stories submitted to the publishing house with no endings and no name. Every day, Dottie looks for a new envelope from the author, but each submission only adds to her bittersweet frustration. Nearly sixty years later, the mystery remains unsolved. Dottie’s career in publishing has amassed her a wealth of bookish friends, part ownership in a bookstore, and an enormous private library full of treasures and secrets, yet she still yearns to uncover the identity of the unknown author. She’s well into retirement when she meets Jim, a young playwright living in the basement apartment of her building. Despite being at opposite ends of their respective stories, the two become fast friends. Together, they search for the perfect reader—one who can help them finally decipher the author’s identity. A braided narrative of interconnected lives and stories, Bookstories is an ode to the authors, editors, publishers, librarians, booksellers, and countless others who make up the ecosystem of books. After all, it takes a world of people to bring about a world of books.


Empire's Passing

Empire's Passing by Marian L Thorpe

Gwenna, Principe of Emparias, is witnessing an empire’s fall. She must not only predict the future, but create one – without the advice and support of her father. Her partner Lynthe is challenging her leadership; her mother and Sorley are struggling to find their own futures without the man they both loved. Can she shape the world envisioned by Cillian, the world they have all worked towards for the last thirty years? Lena, newly bereft, can find no peace in the walls of a fort or the duties of a general. In a divisive decision, she chooses to travel east, to find her son, to judge the progress of the war for herself, and to search for both memories and a future. Where is home for the falcon, when there is no falconer to hold out his arm?


The Chronicles of the Virago: Book I The Novus

The Chronicles of the Virago: Book I The Novus by Michael- Korry BIALYS

Makenna Grace Gold is just your average 12-year-old girl. That is, until she is told that she must protect her newborn brother and sister to safeguard the future of the world. Armed with a mysterious weapon, three Fairy mentors, and a wisecracking earthworm named Fluffy, Makenna must battle the forces of evil and became a defender for hope. Can Makenna truly be ‘The Virago’?


VooDoo Bully

VooDoo Bully by E.R. Yatscoff

E. McCormick, teacher-'fast paced, unpredictable & surprising!’ Diminutive HS student Evens knows who poisoned his dog. Will bullying the high school bully wield some revenge. Crazy? Risky? Totally. Perhaps a touch bit of voodoo will help things along.


In the Spirit of Christmas

In the Spirit of Christmas by William Beck

All the warmth and cheer of Christmas can't thaw a frozen heart. To some, Christmas is a time of family and love. Moments to cherish and joy to share. But not for Ebenezer Scrooge. After the tragic loss of his wife Marley, Christmas has become a beacon to grief, and a life long since lost. This Christmas Eve, his wife will return. But, will Ebenezer have the strength to confront a painful past in order to save a once-promising future?


Isaree of the Wild Isles

Isaree of the Wild Isles by Noor Al-Shanti

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.


Becoming Catherine Bennet

Becoming Catherine Bennet by Joseph P. Garland

On June 20, 1815, rumours of Wellington's victory in what history would come to call the Battle of Waterloo reach London. Among the townspeople celebrating first the rumour and then the confirmation of victory are Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy (and their son, Fitzy) and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bingley, who live a few blocks apart in Mayfair. The news became bleak for the families, however, when they soon received a dispatch that Captain George Wickham had been valiantly killed in battle. His pregnant widow, Lydia, and sister-in-law, Kitty (or Catherine), will come to London to be with their families, joined by their parents who come down from Longbourn. (The remaining sister, Mary, will remain in northern England near the Scottish border with her husband, a vicar.) Thus begins Becoming Catherine Bennet. Soon, though, we will discover two great secrets. One, concerning Darcy and his money, is soon known throughout London and Derbyshire and wherever a member of London society resides. The other, concerning our heroine, Catherine, will only be revealed to a handful, those who need to know all or part of the truth. Elizabeth, of course (though not as yet Jane). And the three who were freed by the death in 1813 of Lady Catherine de Bourgh: Charlotte Collins, William Collins, and Anne de Bourgh.


I Am Alex Locus

I Am Alex Locus by Joseph P. Garland

Twenty-three-year-old Alex Locus stumbles into the world of her late mother, Emily. With each revelation, she learns things she could not have imagined, and struggles to find the truth about her family. Emily had a long-term date with a friend on Friday afternoons. On one of those Fridays, August 8, 2008, though, she suffered a stroke that she did not survive. Nine years later, Alex is passing time at a New York bookshop, enjoying an author read from her collection of stories. Her life changes forever when learns of the existence of the "Emily Locus Award." She introduces herself: "I am Alex Locus." This begins a quest by Alex and her best friend Kate to learn the truth about her mother, starting with their reading the unpublished stories that for years sat in the attic of Alex's one-time suburban home. A quest that will reveal secrets, good and bad, about the family members she knew and some she only came to meet in her search.


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.


GENMOS: Conclusions

GENMOS: Conclusions by Stephen Coghlan

BOOK 3 in the Genetically Modified Species, GENMOS Beaten, but not broken. Divided, but not conquered. With the steps of the process now in their enemies’ possession, the children and allies of The Genmos Project hurry to foil their foes’ plans on multiple fronts – from fighting them in the highest reaches of government, to freeing their trapped allies, to stopping the General in a face-to-face and all-out war – despite their numbers being thinned from the trials they have faced along the way. As their inevitable showdowns conclude, lives will be lost, dynamics forever changed, and the secrets of the origin of The Genmos Project will be revealed.


GENMOS: Crossroads

GENMOS: Crossroads by Stephen Coghlan

BOOK 2 in the Genetically Modified Species, GENMOS Having found each other, the GENMOS now face a greater danger than just the agency, division within their ranks. As cliques develop Devlin, lead scientist and father figure, struggles to keep the more ambitious of his children from becoming casualties. To make matters worse, a partially formed new GENMOS is discovered. Whether the former enemy will survive to become their ally or their downfall now rests on Devlin's shoulders...and his willingness to play God once more.


Route

Route by Janyce Denise Glasper

Set in fictional Dandelion, Ohio and split in six parts of the heart, Route is an evocative coming of age story centering the complex dialogue between a frequent passenger and an attached bus driver. Josephine Benson, a shy, inexperienced artist and avid reader raised to believe that men are big bad wolves, realizes that even the most devout soul needs human connection. Wes Jenkins, a pragmatic former Marine, provides stimulating pleasures in their journeys and learns other perspectives through visitors who seek him for therapeutic purposes. With vulnerable moments of warmth, humor, sensuality, maturity, and joy, two guarded secret keepers transition from bus to bus, from past to present, discovering the spectrums of goodness together.


It Will Hurt

It Will Hurt by Anya K. Jordan

In a realistic portrayal of mental illness and sexual repression, not every romance can have a happy ending. Two steps forward, one step back, as they say. But we can laugh and cry together on the way. We don't have to be alone. Nico still has to learn that. It Will Hurt is a contemporary queer story about a young man with bipolar disorder discovering his bisexuality in the underground death metal scene of a university town in 2010s Germany.


The Harvest

The Harvest by Diego Rauda

After a nightmare about a disembodied, skinless head calling him from under the bed, Daniel woke with a jolt but managed to fall asleep again with little effort. He was used to these hellish visions—while asleep. Now the visions have started to cross over to his waking life, and it's game over. As he tries to bury the feeling that he's being stalked by an unseen force, one of his closest friends takes their own life in front of Daniel, but only after blaming him and “the dragon he carries.” While he races to elucidate a mystery that recedes before him, the people closest to Daniel continue to die in perverse circumstances. Against his better judgment, Daniel follows the thread that connects these deaths to discover the truth.


Iago’s Penumbra: A Metaphysical Novel

Iago’s Penumbra: A Metaphysical Novel by Rose Guildenstern

Everybody loves a good ghost story, yet poor dead Vee feels anything but “good” being stuck upstage in the heavens of her own afterlife. She can peek in on Val, who’s “downstage” with the living but haunted by ghosts. Then there’s Julie, stubbornly stage left but longing to be downstage with Val. And finally, poor Peter remains solitary in his stage-rightness with the sneaking suspicion he might be dead wrong. Trapped at center stage lurks the demon Iago, willing to bridge heaven and hell to exit this cursed performance once and for all. Just as Good Omens revamped the book of Revelation and His Dark Materials reimagined Milton’s Paradise Lost, Iago’s Penumbra is a modern love story about the darkness that redeems us, rooted in the works of William Shakespeare—with a little philosophy, physics, and cosmic horror thrown in, just for fun.


Dog Won't Hunt

Dog Won't Hunt by XM Moon

Milo Nelson has learned plenty of things from necessity: how to tie a tie, how to change a tire, how to shave his face. He’s also learned that the truth may hurt, but the fantasy of a life he can’t have hurts even more, so when Richard Remington Abernathy III waltzes back into his life two years after the end of their definitely-not-a-relationship and says he’s changed, that dog won’t hunt. Remi’s drug of choice is denial, and he’s always been one hell of an addict. The only things he’s ever committed to are the expectations of his good Christian family, and Milo knows those don’t include a trans librarian even in the role of friend or roommate. Despite everything, a part of Milo wants to believe that Remi is capable of change; he’s just not sure that the time it takes to find out is worth the risk of being hurt again.


A Christmas Truce

A Christmas Truce by Emma Bennet

A BRAND-NEW, UTTERLY ADDICTIVE FEEL-GOOD FESTIVE GRUMPY/SUNSHINE ROMANCE FOR CHRISTMAS 2023. Photographer Libby just got fired. Again. Then she gets home early to find her boyfriend in bed with another woman. And just like that, her dreams of a Christmas Day proposal are shattered. Libby lands a new job as a personal assistant to enigmatic businessman Seth Coleman. He’s terse and demanding — it’s no wonder Libby keeps messing up. Then one day an adorable Golden Retriever puppy is delivered to the house. As Libby helps Seth train Barney, she realizes that there’s a surprisingly sweet side to this CEO . . . But everything goes wrong when Libby finds out that Seth’s company just bought the community centre where they’ve been training Barney. It’s not only puppy classes, it’s a lifeline for the whole village. Libby is devastated when Seth says it’s ‘just business’. So she packs her bags. Until disaster strikes and Libby is forced to spend her favourite time of the year with a man who doesn’t even own tinsel. It’s up to Libby to bring some much-needed Christmas spirit. Starting with a truce, since they’re going to be stuck together whether they like it or not. But Libby might just find magic under the mistletoe after all if she can encourage Seth to open his heart to Christmas . . . This heartwarming Christmas romance is perfect for fans of Jessica Redland, Jenny Colgan, Holly Martin, Teresa F. Morgan, Helen Rolfe and Julie Shackman. READERS ARE FALLING IN LOVE WITH EMMA BENNET’S UPLIFTING, FEEL-GOOD CHRISTMAS ROMANCE: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘This is the perfect feel-good read. A lovely love story. I loved the cute puppy Barney.’ Rosamond ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘A really cute Christmas-themed novel. I loved the storyline and how a cute dog tied in as well. This would make a great movie as well! Perfect feel-good holiday novel. Highly recommend.’ A reader in the UK ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘This was such a beautiful and enjoyable read. I loved this book and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys this genre.’ Sophie L. ALSO BY EMMA BENNET HER PERFECT HERO THE GREEN HILLS OF HOME THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY? STARSTRUCK FALLING IN LOVE AT NIGHTINGALE FARM


Points of Villainy/Points of Virtue

Points of Villainy/Points of Virtue by P. A. Hayden/L. A. Cunningham

For weeks there have been encounters: people experiencing things they can't explain, horrors coming out of the shadows, people's worst fears come to life.  Appearances have been increasing dramatically, until one day there is a surge. An army of terror appears and attacks Central London in what will forever be known as The Event. One Event. Two Anthologies. 16 people. 16 stories of terror.


TREBLE: THE RHYTHM WITHIN

TREBLE: THE RHYTHM WITHIN by Dre "DaBrute" Daniels

A mysterious virus has taken Washington D.C by storm! The city is in a panic and has gone crazy. A high school student named Zamir Green has been exposed to the virus and his body begins to mutate. It seems like music is triggering something deep down within him! What in the world is going on!? This series is an action drama/musical. Throughout the series our main character will discover that he has gained the ability to gain a different super power based on the genre he listens to. The powers are based on the emotional/stereotypical response that people in our world have toward particular genres of music. A mysterious virus has taken Washington D.C by storm! The city is in a panic and has gone crazy. A high school student named Zamir Green has been exposed to the virus and his body begins to mutate. It seems like music is triggering something deep down within him! What in the world is going on!? This series is an action drama/musical. Throughout the series our main character will discover that he has gained the ability to gain a different super power based on the genre he listens to. The powers are based on the emotional/stereotypical response that people in our world have toward particular genres of music.


When Things Happen Together

When Things Happen Together by Jordan Clayden-Lewis

Two travelers on the ultimate Australian road trip. Two numbers that will change their lives forever. Thomas is in need of a change. Being an aspiring artist from London, he hopes a working holiday in sunny Australia will be the muse he’s been waiting for. But it isn’t Australia’s vast landscapes that are his source of inspiration… After a string of unromantic dates, Thomas meets Bruce, a handsome Irish traveler with alluring almond eyes. The more time the pair spend together, however, the more they start seeing the numbers 1122 everywhere. Are the numbers just a coincidence, or is something greater at play? Is Bruce really who he says he is, or is there more to him than he’s letting on? A story about seizing the moment, finding a sense of home, and embracing love when it comes knocking.


The Joy of Fishes

The Joy of Fishes by E. H. Lupton

Mara Daniels is a physicist doing cutting-edge research into the nature of reality at the University of Chicago. She’s an astronomer. She’s an amateur student of Chinese philosophy. And she’s still recovering from last summer’s car crash that killed Benjamin Zhu, her fiancé. It’s a slow process; she can walk without a cane now, but she still suffers from migraines, nightmares, and seeing Zhu’s ghost everywhere she goes. The novella The Joy of Fishes follows Mara through the day these threads ― and Mara ― begin to unravel. E.H. Lupton’s magical realism take on the romantic ghost story is filled with wonder at the miracle of times, space, and ghosts. The Joy of Fishes tears down the veil as it explores what it means to live on after great loss and to fall in love with life once again.


Good With His Hands

Good With His Hands by Brandie Nikole

When the words Quick Fix doesn't only pertain to your household needs... Call Kurbe to get the job done right. Kurbe is a handyman with a niche for pleasing his customers with the best kind of customer service


The Final Say

The Final Say by Brandie Nikole

They said all I’ll ever be is damaged goods.I don’t deserve the joys of life, ’cause I don’t care about the lives of others.Too bad their words don’t hold any merit when it comes to my life.I’m the boss.The only captain of this yacht.I’m the only one with the final say.Accompany Jerome on his journey as he walks his truth and follows his own rules. Nobody better get in his way, or they’ll find just what they’re looking for.Jerome: The Final Say


Fighting For Her Heart

Fighting For Her Heart by Brandie Nikole

I love my life like it is. Full of amazing adventures and without a monogamous relationship.I've had my heart broken more than once and that's enough for me to know I don't want to do that again.I don't want a man coming all up in my mix trying to make me commit.After all, I'm Shavonne Jordan, a rebel, also known as a LimitlessSpirit! But then he comes along fighting me at every turn, invading places I never invited him to.Leaving his imprint every step of the way trying to win my heart with his suspenders and floggers, ropes, and suits.Making me see life in a way I never imagined I would or could. Will I let him in or will he eventually get fed up with the fight? Follow us on this adventure of love's tug-o-war.Fighting For Her Heart by ella Shavonne's Story


Leza of the Alpha Line

Leza of the Alpha Line by Rachael Balke

For supernatural beings, the island was supposed to be their sanctuary from violent humans. But a violence has found them nonetheless. Leza won't sit idly by while her home is threatened. What lengths would you go to protect your home? Fighting for her family brings her to her destiny.


Dancing in the Trap

Dancing in the Trap by James Whelpley

The stationary was tinted pink, pulpy like craft paper and smelled better than anything had a right to. It was blackmail penned in letters so long and smooth they could have hailed a cab. Since leaving the merchant marines, Mickey Fairfax has eked out a living renting dinghies to scuttle around Boston Harbor. When a wealthy man asks him to go to Paris to make a simple hand-off, it sounds like a free vacation. But, when Mickey discovers he's given the money to the wrong woman, he'll tangle with pugilistic gangsters, hophead hotel boys, sultry stage performers, and the French police to figure out who she is. In the tradition of Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald, comes a hard-boiled hero plunged into in a strange land, trying to do the right thing, even if it's for the wrong reason


Scribbles and Scrawls: A Short Story Collection

Scribbles and Scrawls: A Short Story Collection by Bethany Votaw

Bethany Votaw gives you sixteen short stories featuring the darkness and the monsters surrounding us. Experience the uncomfortable realities lurking beneath the surface. Meet a devil at a coffee shop, discover what the Night Man is really after, and stumble upon strange creatures and events lurking just beneath the surface. If you like supernatural horror, psychological thrills, and mind-bending twists, then you’ll love this debut short story collection by Bethany Votaw. Unlock Scribbles and Scrawls and begin the journey into madness.


The Crescent Moon

The Crescent Moon by E J Doble

The first novella in a new philosophical fiction trilogy by indie author E J Doble In the city of Arbash, nestled on the outskirts of a vast desert, the young girl My'ala walks out among the vineyards overlooking a delicate blue sea. Reaching a gnarled tree atop a small hill, she stumbles upon an old man, nestled among its roots - his name is Artemis the Hermit, and he longs to answer the simple question. What is the meaning of life? As the years pass, and the realities of a difficult life struggling to get by weigh heavy upon her, My'ala finds herself returning to the Hermit by the tree to seek counsel, and to find purpose in a world where she feels so lost. But when an enemy appears from the sea, and her family are torn apart by the spectre of war, it is in the Hermit's teachings that My'ala will find her answers - and how the meaning of life may just save her city from a swift and certain end...


Welcome to Dorley Hall: The Sisters of Dorley Book One

Welcome to Dorley Hall: The Sisters of Dorley Book One by Alyson Greaves

Mark Vogel is like the older brother Stefan Riley never had, until one day he disappears, and Stefan has to adapt to life without him. But, one year later, when he runs into a girl who looks near-identical to Mark, Stefan becomes obsessed. He discovers that other boys have disappeared, too, dozens over the years, most of them students of the Royal College of Saint Almsworth, many of them troubled or unruly before their disappearance. What is happening to these boys? Who are the handful of women on campus who bear a striking resemblance to some of those who went missing? And what is the connection to the mysterious Dorley Hall? Stefan works hard to get into the Royal College for one reason and one reason only: to find out exactly what happened to the women who live at Dorley Hall, and to get it to happen to him, too. A closeted trans girl attempts to infiltrate a secret underground forced feminisation programme.


Jenni’s Boy

Jenni’s Boy by Lewis J. Lewin

Jenni’s Boy follows Luke as he grows up, struggling to tell the woman that he has loved since high school how he truly feels. As he fails to communicate with her, other problems take ahold of him in life, and she drifts away, but she is ever present in his mind. His old friends fade away, and even his family members start to go their own paths. He realizes just how important communication is in relationships.


Be

Be by Ellie Lieberman

The consequences of freedom, the sacrifices for what is loved, and the battle for the future... All in the shadow of a castle that looms large over all who preside within the kingdom.


Unburnt

Unburnt by A.M. Weald

A different kind of superhero story... After emerging unscathed from the house fire that killed his father, Ed Stoneman had recurring dreams about rescuing himself as a boy, sitting amongst the flames, unburnt. The dream stopped once he became a firefighter, later earning the nickname of "Dodge" by surviving a lethal flashover fire. Dodge embraced his supernatural imperviousness to the heat of fire by going in when no one should, breaking the rules of rescue because he had to, because he could. With the Wyoming steppe becoming increasingly arid and fires igniting every few days, his 'talent' is needed now more than ever. On his 50th birthday, Dodge dreams of the boy not on fire for the first time in over 30 years. Chalking it up to stress, he thinks nothing of it. With retirement from active fire duty in his near future, he's depressed and aimless. Other than firefighting, what purpose does he have? Twice divorced and childless, believing himself to be infertile in exchange for his superpower of unknown origin, he has no one to confide in but his cat, and he daydreams of walking into a wildfire just to see if he'd finally burn. But when he answers an emergency call about a local house fire, renewed purpose greets him in the flames, making him question everything he once believed.


The Necessity of Rain

The Necessity of Rain by Sarah Chorn

It begins with a butterfly in chains. Since the dawn of time, life has been comfortable and predictable. The gods have wrested pockets of Creation from Chaos, formed civilizations, and built entire realities. Now, the nature of Creation is changing and the Divine are losing their divinity. Rosemary, daughter of the God of Creation, can no longer deny this when a strange delegation from Dawnland braves the paths through Chaos and survives. Come to negotiate trade and protection agreements with the Divine of Meadowsweet, it is the butterfly woman who so captivates Rosemary. The weight of her sorrow, the heaviness of her secrets. For the soul is a battleground. Clouds are massing along the horizon, and Rosemary... She must survive the storm.


Scars of Fire

Scars of Fire by Raina Nightingale

BEFORE SHE CAN FACE THE NIGHTMARE AND SURVIVE, CAMILLA MUST FACE HER OWN FLAWS. Camilla’s goals are simple. Get her brother safe. Rescue her Mom. Destroy the Wizard-King. Even though everyone thinks the last two are impossible, she and Radiance know they can do it. She has already used the power of the Heartfire to do the impossible: free a dragon from undead slavery to the Nightmare. But doing so has changed her, in ways visible and invisible, and some of those changes terrify her. What does it mean to be herself when she is part of the Heartfire? So when Nelexi, a dragon god whose power comes from the Heartfire, appears in her life, all Camilla wants is to get away from her. But her desperate flight from the things she can’t face yet places her brother in danger and brings about an unexpected tragedy, forcing her to confront the ways in which she has violated her own values – or succumb to the Nightmare. Her own guilt could destroy her.


Query

Query by Zilla Novikov

City planner by day, tired climate activist by day off, aspiring writer Zilla Novikov’s query letters quickly devolve into a darkly funny exploration of her own psyche. As the rejections pile up, her novel blurbs and biographies grow increasingly unhinged, while Zilla discovers that the road to bestseller-dom is paved with neoliberal hellscapes.


Inheritances of Hunger

Inheritances of Hunger by Stella Lei

Over the course of five stories of unsettling, surreal intensity, Lei (who was a teen writer when this collection appeared) paints a harrowing portrait of girlhood and mother-daughter bonds.


Sleight

Sleight by Kirsten Kaschock

Sisters Lark and Clef have spent their lives honing their bodies for sleight, an interdisciplinary art form that combines elements of dance, architecture, acrobatics, and spoken word. After being estranged for several years, the sisters are reunited by a deceptive and ambitious sleight troupe director named West who needs the sisters' opposing approaches to the form—Lark is tormented and fragile, but a prodigy; Clef is driven to excel, but lacks the spark of artistic genius. When a disturbing mass murder makes national headlines, West seizes on the event as inspiration for his new performance, one that threatens to destroy the very artists performing it. In language that is at once unsettling and hypnotic, Sleight explores ideas of performance, gender, and family to ask, what is the role of art in the face of unthinkable tragedy?


Wreck's Wake

Wreck's Wake by Jof Croxford

Half a world away, beside the newly discovered continent of Southland, dwell the Sentinels, an archipelago of overgrown tropical islands brimming with gold. Amongst their rocky slopes fly the sails of traders, pirates and sealords all, none more feared than those stained threatening black. When Southland convict Wesley King and his family are finally pardoned after three hard years of toil, they delve into the islands’ embrace searching for a fabled treasure long lost. But the quest quickly transforms into a desperate struggle for survival when the Kings become ensnared in the region’s delicate web of piracy and treachery, where blood is repaid with blood, and a mysterious ship has resurfaced four years after it was wrecked.


Backmask

Backmask by O F Cieri

BACKMASK is written in the style of 60s horror pulp. Inspired by pop music history, BACKMASK is the fake history of a conspiracy theory surrounding the Satanic agenda to control children's minds. Nicholas Hush, 1960s record producer, has a vision for the future of pop music. After a series of prophetic dreams he wants to combine occult imagery with upcoming trends to create a new, groundbreaking look. His secretary, Valerie Chill, is tasked with finding consultants and funding while he crafts the perfect album. Quickly their project becomes entangled in other, larger machinations, and two teenage pop acts become responsible for international intrigue, brainwashing, and an occult massacre. Taking inspiration from the lives of Joe Meek, Phil Spector, and Timothy Leary, BACKMASK is a speculative look at how hidden messages got into pop music.


Lockdown Laureate

Lockdown Laureate by O F Cieri

A 22 tale collection, with 22 illustrations by Soren Häxan. Dark, introspective, grimy, urban, strange. “Like a puddle of blood in a back alley of New York City that whispers to you of what could have been via a static-slathered Bluetooth connection…”


Melancholic Parables

Melancholic Parables by Dale Stromberg

Bellatrix Sakakino has lived many lives. She dampens electricity. She longs for a fruit that went extinct before she was born. She’s radioactive. She’s not above committing a massacre for the sake of a perfect omelet. She crashes through timelines and circumstances, recurring in these flash stories as a tricksterish film director, a pink hedgehog, a simulation of herself, or a child who can only speak in dial-up modem shrieks. Are we the same person we were last year? Or last week? Or last story? Whimsical and dolorous, ironic and absurd, this slippery assortment of stories dances around these questions with ambiguous aplomb.


The Acorn Stories

The Acorn Stories by Duane Simolke

Visit the West Texas town of Acorn! Enjoy the German festival, a high school football game, homemade apple pie from the Turner Street Café, and the cool shade of a hundred-year-old oak tree. Meet dedicated teachers, unusual artists, shrewd business owners, closeted gays, and concerned neighbors. See how lives become intertwined in moments of humor or tragedy. Just be careful, because in Acorn, the sky is always falling! From romantic comedy to razor-sharp satire to moments of quiet reflection, Duane Simolke’s award-winning tales transform a fictional West Texas town into a tapestry of human experiences. “A lush tangle of small-town life branches out in this engrossing collection of short stories.” –Kirkus Reviews “The ability to depict such a wide cross section of humanity, including details of each character’s breadth of knowledge and experience, takes a talented, insightful author, and Duane Simolke is such a writer.” –E. Conley, Betty’s Books


The Outing

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


Sweet Baby Mine

Sweet Baby Mine by Maria Daversa

Set in Paris, Sweet Baby Mine is about the secrets, lies, and mental illnesses that take a toll on two people who once thought they’d found their true love. The tale is brutal, oftentimes heartbreaking, but always hopeful. The message? On the road to self-discovery, you’ll learn that no matter what anyone says, no matter what flawed message you believed about yourself growing up, you are a good person and deserve love.


Death's Pale Flag

Death's Pale Flag by Gary Simonds

Brain surgeon and unlikely war hero, Ryan Brenan, has it all. A booming practice, a beautiful home in an idyllic setting, and a happy loving family. Then, the apparitions begin. Subtle at first, but soon there’s no doubt about it, he’s seeing ghosts, spirits, the undead. Of course, he could just be going nuts, cracking under the pressure of his constant exposure to death, mayhem, and tragedy. But, he believes he has proof that the ghosts are very real, and that they are specifically haunting him. We join Ryan as he tends to the sick and injured in his hospitals’ trauma bays, intensive care units, and operating rooms, all the while seeking to understand why he has become a target of the dead. Will he break down? Will he lose all that is precious to him? Will he be drawn to the other side of the great divide? This riveting psychological thriller uniquely blends a detailed peek behind the curtains of modern day neurosurgery with a fantastical journey into the paranormal. Written by a highly experienced neurosurgeon who takes the reader on an immersive journey into the behind the scenes world of the operating room where few people have ever been.


Becoming Bill

Becoming Bill by Molly Garcia

Big Bill has featured in the first two Adam & Sarah books as a homeless man who helps the police when their case involves those who are rough sleeping and vulnerable. We learned more about Bill’s background in “Bedding Down,” where he’s left waiting on a placement in temporary accommodation. Bill has decided it’s time to accept a place in sheltered housing after being reunited with his daughter and having health problems. This is Bill’s story. From a successful job as an agent to rough sleeping, his addiction to alcohol and losing his wife and daughter, his job, and his home. This book will detail his journey as Bill is about to settle down and start a new chapter in his life.


Motherhood and Other Magical Realms

Motherhood and Other Magical Realms by Raima Larter

Motherhood can be magical, or it can be trouble. Children, if they come along, can grow up, or not, or even go to the moon. The world is not always what it seems, and salvation can happen in unexpected places—like a copy shop. And sometimes, although not always, there’s a ghost in the cellar.


Unanimity

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.


I Am My Beloveds

I Am My Beloveds by Jon Papernick

Ben Seidel wasn't sure how serious they were when he and his wife, Shira, discussed having an open marriage. But when Shira announces that she is going on a date with Liz, any ambiguity evaporates. Suddenly, every day is new terrain for Ben, navigating between keeping things together with Shira and exploring new partners. And when one of those new partners begins to matter to him more than he ever anticipated, he discovers that the complexities of this new life are only just beginning. Bracingly honest, refreshingly sexy, and deeply empathetic, I Am My Beloveds is the work of a superior storyteller, making real a lifestyle that might be as close as your own bedroom door.


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