stories in and

Play it Back by Vanessa Lopez Aziz

27-year-old Carmen Santos thought she had the perfect life until the question “what do you want?” transports her ten years in to the past to relive the worst year of her life. She must navigate her senior year of high school all over again, complete with bad wardrobe, a dysfunctional Filipino family, and a best friend who’s still in the closet. Yet, the knowledge of the future is on her side, right? But her knowledge isn’t guaranteed to help her get the guy, fix her parent’s marriage, or even save someone’s life.


Yours Celestially by Al Hess

After divorce, death, and having his reformatted soul uploaded into a new body, Sasha expected resurrection to be a fresh start. His time spent in digital Limbo with the program’s cheeky AI guardian angel, Metatron, was cathartic, but what good is a second life when he only sees his daughter on the weekends, he has all the same problems he had before he died, and he can’t seem to shake the ache for the married life he lost? If that weren’t frustrating enough, a glitch in the program has given Sasha the ability to sense Metatron even outside of Limbo. And Metatron is in love. The angel’s sickly-sweet yearning for one of the souls still in Limbo has turned Sasha’s stomach into caramelized lead. It’s hard enough to move on without someone else’s feelings making the emptiness in his own life even more acute. He didn’t have playing wingman to an actual winged being on his bingo card, but he’s determined to help Metatron make a move on their crush so he can get love off of his mind. Sasha takes a job with the resurrection company in order to covertly contact Metatron. Except Sasha’s new coworker, Mr. C, keeps showing up at the worst moments. The man is annoying, he’s pushy… and he’s incredibly hot. Sasha can’t decide whether Mr. C wants to blackmail him or be his new BFF, but he seems to know things about Metatron and the resurrection program that Sasha doesn’t. Getting close to him might be the key to solving Sasha’s problem, but if he isn’t careful, he’s going to end up catching feelings of his own.


World Running Down by Al Hess

Valentine Weis is a salvager in the future wastelands of Utah. Wrestling with body dysphoria, he dreams of earning enough money to afford citizenship in Salt Lake City—a utopia where the testosterone and surgery he needs to transition is free, the food is plentiful, and folk are much less likely to be shot full of arrows by salt pirates. But earning that kind of money is a pipe dream, until he meets the exceptionally handsome Osric. Once a powerful AI in Salt Lake City, Osric has been forced into an android body against his will and sent into the wasteland to offer Valentine a job on behalf of his new employer—an escort service seeking to retrieve their stolen androids. The reward is a visa into the city, and a chance at the life Valentine's always dreamed of. Finding the androids means navigating both pirate territory and Val and Osric's growing feelings for each other. And as they attempt to recover the "merchandise", they encounter a problem: the android ladies are becoming self-aware, and have no interest in returning to their old lives. The prize is tempting, but carrying out the job would go against everything Valentine stands for, and would threaten the fragile found family that's kept him alive so far. He'll need to decide whether to risk his own dream in order to give the AI a chance to live theirs.


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!


Imago: A Dystopian Gothic by Matthew Zakharuk

Tresor Institute accepts only the worthy, and Ada Călinescu is anything but. Intractable, mannish, a child of convicted terrorists, she can at best hope to be overlooked. Yet somehow the Institute accepts her application for transfer. Her ticket to the polar town of Heilung, home of the Institute, arrives free of charge. Her only chance to forge a brighter future. Except Heilung welcomes Ada with news of a brutal murder. Militiamen stalk the town, keen to fill their arrest quotas—and Ada knows she could make an easy scapegoat. At every turn the bloody conspiracy follows her, from the halls of Tresor to the arms of a stranger she yearns to make hers. What starts as a dalliance risks putting Ada at odds with the Bureau itself. And then expulsion will be the least of her concerns.


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.


We’re All Monsters Here by Amy Marsden

SFINCS

When Anna is invited to a secluded retreat full of selfish, greedy humans, of course she doesn’t say no. Not only did she manipulate the CEO of the world’s largest oil corporation, Peter Beyer, into organising the four-day getaway in the first place, but no self-respecting vampire would ever turn down such easy prey. Her weekend gets even better when she meets Saira, one of Peter Beyer’s employees, and they begin a whirlwind affair. Blood and beautiful women are Anna’s idea of a great time. She should have known it was too good to be true. Hunters are dangerous, deadly, and dedicated to eradicating vampires. When a group of them turn up at the retreat, Anna must use her centuries of experience to escape their ever-closing net. Will she get out unscathed, or will they finally catch up to her? Will she give into her intense and unexpected feelings for Saira, or will she leave her to burn as she destroys all evidence she was ever there? A fresh twist on urban fantasy, with an added splash of sapphic romance.


Bloemetje by Amanda McNeil

SFINCS

One miniature girl leads her human and fairy people to decolonize Venus in this speculative, queer-inclusive reimagining of Thumbelina. A Dutch company known as The Bedrijf commences colonizing Venus via the construction of a dome filled with plants that convert its natural air into something breathable by humans. Since all workers are granted permission to bear a child, a woman and her spouse join the crew. But the woman soon discovers she is plagued with infertility. When her spouse illegally brings home a tulip from the garden, they discover a miniature baby inside who they name Bloemetje - little bloom. As the baby grows in mere days into a teenager, pushing her boundaries, she illuminates the true horrors of colonization and leads them all on a journey to decolonize. This retelling takes the original Thumbelina’s focus on marriage and flips it on its head, granting the miniature girl a strong voice of her own and questioning her removal from the fairy world. Exploring themes of childlessness, adoption, being childfree by choice, colonization, decolonization, negative impacts of capitalism, and what LGBTQIA+ inclusive societies can look like, this novelette comes in 17 bite-sized episodes perfect for reading in the small snippets of time available to modern individuals and families. Early readers called this “transporting” and “intriguing.” The “journey is beautiful,” and the ending is “deeply satisfying.” “A great escape read that also made me think, and it’s both quick and engrossing.” *A portion of proceeds will be donated to the Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness, a Native American-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit.


The Ballad of Alchemy and Steel by AJ Calvin

SFINCS

In the Murkor culture, it is customary for the individuals bound during the unity ceremony of ujar’havel to compose a book of memories detailing the events that led to their first meeting and subsequent desire to be joined. As a Murkor without a mother to guide him, Sal’zar is afforded unusual freedoms in his path to ujar’havel and the selection of a caste. In their strongly matriarchal society, his father’s voice holds little weight. He must forge his own destiny, though he struggles to find the proper way. Sal’zar knows he is unsuited to the soldier’s caste, but is running out of options. One fateful day, he journeys to the sparring ring to test his mettle, where he meets Jal’den. Jal’den is the same age, but has already proven himself a better fighter than most of the older children. Noting Sal’zar is without a sparring partner, Jal’den offers to pair with him, and so begins a long friendship that may ultimately become something more.


Dark Heart of Ilmoure by Cara N Delaney

SFINCS

Years ago, all she wanted was to leave. Now, a web of secrets might ensnare her forever. When Iris Grey returns to her hometown of Ilmoure years after a bitter parting, she hopes for reconciliation in the face of a tragedy. Instead, she arrives to a town changed for the worse, a cold welcome from people she once loved, and a family that seems to be keeping secrets from her at every turn. When those secrets become too heavy to ignore, Iris starts to dig deeper. What she finds leads her to question her very perception of reality. Faced with old wounds and new revelations, Iris finds herself mired in a plot that threatens to swallow herself, the town, and the people she once loved.


Horrific Tales for a Horrific Year by Jack T Canis

Horrific Tales for a Horrific Year: A short story collection – ten dark tales by Jack T Canis. A collection of gruesome & deeply disturbing short stories about obsession, lust, sociopathy, murder & the darkness that lies in our souls.


Siren's Call by T.J.J. Klamvik

SPSFC 2023

In the Doomsday Cycle there are no heroes. The future could have looked different, but the path has been corrupted and only the inevitable awaits. Something lurks in the darkness of space, and it cares little for humanity’s petty squabbles. The apocalypse is here, but will anyone hear its call? Councilor Justynia Freid – an ambitious politician of Earth’s most prominent colony – never saw it coming. A scheme by her own Chancellor to restart a war that they themselves had a hand in ending? All without her knowledge? Tossed into a harsh world of intrigue and backstabbing, Justynia has to discover what led to the drastic decision that is going to send humanity into chaos. Only with all the answers can she decide whether to listen to her own conscience or follow the path to power. Detective Adelia Duarte does not care for politics – it only ever made her job harder. Tasked with investigating a series of murders that plague Capital City, Adelia has to confront her own past in order to understand the methods and motivations of the serial killer that seems impervious to the security systems that track each citizen down to the centimeter. As the bodies keep piling up, it is difficult to maintain faith. Would someone with a less troubled history be a better fit for the investigation? For now, all the city has is Adelia, and the bodies keep coming. Sergeant Jones is also haunted by his past – decisions taken in a war he never truly understood. His only refuge is more fighting. Recruited to join Special Operations, and reunited with old comrades to escort a scientist to an abandoned colony, he quickly learns all is not what it seems. Surrounded by mystery and an unknown enemy, he needs to warn mankind of what is coming. But will they truly listen? Siren’s Call is the first novel in the Doomsday Cycle. It weaves complex interpersonal journeys with a backdrop of an overarching threat. It is never about the destination – only the journey to get there.


Legends of Galhalla: A Spark in Fate’s Hand by B.C. Licht

SPSFC 2023

A Spark in Fate’s Hand is the first book of three in the Legends of Galhalla series. Emma Stevenson lives in a world she fears will never understand her. So she spends her time in a world that Video games. Her latest escape is the virtual reality MMORPG, Legends of Galhalla, a fantastical world of airships and magic, but Emma doesn’t want to leave. Now thanks to an otherworldly glitch, she doesn’t have to. With millions of players trapped within the virtual confines of Galhalla, Emma is finally free… until she starts crushing on someone desperate to escape. Emma now faces a difficult Help her new friends escape the crumbling reality that is Galhalla or stay hidden away in her new home. Either way, Emma’s fate and the fate of millions rests in her hands.


Mendel's Ladder (The Collected Histories of Neoevolution Earth, #1) by E. S. Fein

SPSFC 2023

In 2099, Earth is unrecognizable. Ravaged by climate change, nuclear devastation, and other cataclysmic events, the planet and its people continue to undergo radical changes in order to survive. Most of humanity has allowed themselves to be transformed into Nomads, bizarre human-plant hybrids who continue their lifecycle as flesh-bearing trees connected to a vast mycelial network that forms Earth’s burgeoning consciousness. Welcome to the thrilling, action-packed, and emotionally compelling world of Mendel's Ladder , the first book in the epic sci-fi series, The Collected Histories of Neoevolution Earth. Battling across the world after the destruction of their home, a pair of cybernetically enhanced warrior women bound by love and loyalty clash with Mutants, Biofreaks, and various other dangers to protect two human-like girls known as the Virus and the Cure. Traveling alongside them is an enigmatic Nomad who has served as the girls’ protector since they were created. Together, they must face the enslaved Hunter and the ruthless Huntress, lethal creations of the old world. The Hunter just wants to save the human woman he loves and lost, while the Huntress desires only to continue the Eternal Hunt and eradicate the final bastions of humanity remaining on Earth. Above this unforgiving landscape, the utopian space station Astrea offers refuge to the select few who escaped Earth's devastation. Here, a tireless worker and son of a notorious revolutionary, discovers the harrowing truths hidden beneath the veneer of Astrea's idyllic existence, exposing a reality more insidious than anyone ever imagined. While these characters' paths intersect in surprising and explosive ways, ancient powers lurk in the shadows, wielding god-like influence and potentially orchestrating the fate of the world itself. With societies and cultures on the brink of collapse, our heroes must form unexpected alliances and confront their deepest fears to protect their fragile world from the encroaching darkness. Mendel's Ladder delivers an adrenaline-fueled journey set on a dystopian future Earth, brimming with high-stakes action, adventure, and mystery. This epic series opener plunges readers into a world filled with diverse cultures, heart-pounding battles, and characters who will captivate your heart and imagination.


Sunset (Pact Arcanum, #1) by Arshad Ahsanuddin

SPSFC 2023

An unlikely savior emerges to prevent the advent of mass destruction and genocide descending on the world… By Day Los Angeles, 2040. When the terrorist known as Medusa threatens to kill millions with a stolen nuclear bomb, Nick Jameson makes a fateful decision. He reveals himself on global television as a Daywalker - a vampire with a soul. To save Los Angeles, Nick exposes not only his own gifts but three separate cultures based on millennia-old magic. By Night The three metahuman races exist in careful balance, working to maintain a fragile peace. Nick and his fellow Daywalkers successfully master their natural bloodlust. The Sentinels, armed with both magic and steel, repress their warlike instincts. And even some Nightwalkers, normally their natural enemies, have deserted the Court of Shadows to join the triple alliance. Nick Jameson is deeply involved with two such Nightwalkers - handsome Lorcan and powerful Rory. Both men love Nick. But neither can protect the new Ambassador to Humanity from the events he has set in motion. By the Sword Jeremy Harkness was lured into Medusa's service under false pretenses. A loner with no one and nothing to cling to, he was willing to die for his cause. But the night Medusa tried to obliterate Los Angeles, Jeremy met Nick Jameson, triggering the onset of his own psychic gifts. For Jeremy is the third race of metahuman, a Sentinel, born to kill the Nightwalkers with no quarter asked or offered. And neither Medusa nor the Court of Shadows will settle for peace when they can make war. Betrayal and treachery lurk around every corner on the road to coexistence, and at every turn, Nick must question who to trust among his metahuman allies, friends, and lovers—before their civilization is plunged into the depths of darkness and bloodshed. With millennia-old magic, emerging romance, and ever-shifting allegiances, this inventive series unveils a scintillating, homoerotic world of Nightwalkers, Daywalkers, Sentinels, and Humans, who battle for world dominance in the not-too-distant future.


In The Slip by F. D. Lee

SPSFC 2023

It takes a certain type of person to save the world, and Kong is not that person. Which is about to become a serious problem... Kong has been working as a Trans-Temporal Copyright Protection officer since he was fifteen years old, jumping through time to arrest people who threaten the status quo. And he's good at his job - the best. He's pretty certain he'll spend the rest of his life working cases until a bullet gets him or the time pressure finally crushes him. Or he might just medicate himself to death; that's always an option. The problem is, Kong doesn't believe in it anymore, whatever 'it' is. See enough of the past and you realise people keep making the same mistakes, again and again. It's not really so surprising he's lost hope. That is, until he meets a handsome stranger who changes the course of his life - and threatens to change the past, the present and the future of the human race. Now Kong must decide if humanity is still worth saving. And he needs to decide quickly because, for once, time is running out...


Space Junk: Freight the Power by Hunter R. Hennigar

SPSFC 2023

These mischievous parcel-pushers are said to be carrying a dangerous yet mysterious package! Its contents are, I quote, “possibly existence ending”. It is the distant future. Earth has been abandoned. Humans are scattered across the known universe. The objectively evil, and super-powerful, Sizka Corporation is in the process of monopolizing every facet of human existence. Enter our heroes! Hero #1: Steven. A young, down-on-his-luck cargo driver, who, after the untimely death of his father, has had the responsibility of a failing shipping business thrust upon him. Hero #2: Veigle. A plucky, rookie-navigator. They abandoned a posh-life managing their parent's Reality Television Conglomerate to pursue the ultra-dangerous job of Star-Steering. This motley-two are given a rare opportunity- "A High-Profile Delivery", but quickly find themselves in-over-their-heads when it is revealed this isn't an ordinary package... Our unlikely heroes fumble their way across a dangerous galaxy, kicking up conflict, and pitting themselves against old rivals, space pirates, and bounty hunters. Heck, they might even end up becoming the poster-peeps of an entire revolution! Will they crush the competition? (Maybe!) Will the baddies break them? (Hopefully not!) Will they accidentally shake up the social order of an entire civilization? (Uhh … what?) Space Junk is a fast-paced, off-beat Sci-Fi comedy that explores identity, self-acceptance, and finding your place (and people!) in this chaotic, confusing universe. A fun, progressive novel for teens & YA! Strong LGBTQ2S+ charachters


A Perfect Heresy by Courtney Maguire

SPSFC 2023

Dystopian science fiction perfect for fans of Ursula LeGuin's Left Hand of Darkness and The Hunger Games. The City was prosperous once, a beautiful utopia made up of perfect people unplagued by disease or infirmity, existing under the benevolent eyes of the Mother. Its high walls guarded it from the ugliness of the world, making it possible for its Citizens to live by the Mother’s will. But then, the Outsiders rebelled. Tired of being oppressed and exploited by the City for their resources, a Resistance rose up against the City’s rule, attacking its soldiers and drawing them into a genocidal war in which there were no winners. Jax, once a City soldier, now a Heretic, is just trying to make xyr way home when xe meets Koi, a sick Outsider in search of xyr last remaining family, a sibling abducted by City soldiers. Jax’s fragile faith will be tested once again as their journey to the City center exposes truths neither of them were prepared for. Can two people from opposite sides of the wall help each other find what they’re looking for? Previously published on Kindle Vella.


Cold Between Stars (The Echo #1) by Belinda Crawford

SPSFC 2023

In the dark, empty space between solar systems, something lies in wait. It’s pretty easy being a ship kid; clean out the cyclers, avoid your sister, don’t get sucked into space. The hardest bit about it is spending a couple of decades in stasis/sleep while your ship travels to the next solar system. Then rinse and repeat all the way back to a home you’ve never seen. Except Kuma just got kicked out of stasis early, like years early. And he’s alone. All. Alone. Except for the fug.


A Melody In The Deep by Cara N. Delaney

Keola is a mermaid – and bound for marriage to a foreign human prince. Unable to face a life cut off from the ocean with a man she despises, she chooses freedom at a terrible cost. Posing as a human wavesinger to remain hidden from her pursuers, she finds work on the ship of the dashing captain Anaar Kahlani. Anaar is searching for a mythical treasure and believes that Keola is the key to finding it. Amidst the hunt for fame and fortune, Anaar begins to fall for the mysterious wavesinger. Confronted with a secret and a dangerous revelation, she must decide what price she is willing to pay for untold riches – and for love. When Keola’s past catches up with her, can they survive the oncoming storm together, or will the trials ahead demand more of them than they are willing to sacrifice?


The Chronicles of John Zebedee by Elizabeth Schechter

Cursed with immortality, John Zebedee has resigned himself to spending the rest of eternity alone. Then he discovers an escaped captive in his barn -- the immortal heir to the Elven throne. Ethriel captures John's heart, and gives him hope for the first time in a very long time. But Ethriel's captors are hunting for him, and the rest of eternity may be closer than it seems.


Ordinary World by Jack T Canis

'Life often boils down to simple questions with complex answers. Olivia Buchanan's question was simple, if twofold: 'Was sixteen year old Olivia Buchanan truly the culmination of a secret 30 year genome project, by a clandestine research organisation, to create the ultimate human in order to save humanity from itself? Or: Has she merely inherited her mother's delusional schizophrenia, spiralling her into a nightmarish hell created by a diseased and fractured mind?' Simple.


In the House of Transcendence by Amanda Ross

Zora is a necromancer. Some say she’s gifted, others say she’s cursed, but her abilities always terrify her. Hoping to start a new life, she flees her childhood home and travels to Savannah, but she soon learns that some things can’t be changed. There, she meets an alluring and powerful witch named Birdie. She offers Zora a proposition: she’ll give Zora a place to stay, a job dancing at a magical burlesque club called Nightingale’s, and help controlling her powers if Zora can solve her lover’s murder. Zora accepts Birdie’s offer and is soon drawn into the magical community of Savannah, where rituals and magical fights are performed in grand old homes, potions can make people float on air, and three magical houses vie for dominance. As she tries to put the pieces together and solve the murder, Zora gets caught in the sight of the very forces responsible for the killing. Can she rise up and learn to control her powers and solve the murder or will her fears cause her to lose it all?


Rootwork by Tracy Cross

Set in a small parish in Louisiana in 1889, Rootwork follows sisters, Betty, Ann and Pee Wee. When school lets out for the summer, the girls head off to stay with their hoodoo-practicing aunt, Theodora, an empowered woman equally feared and revered by the local townspeople. They learn how to make “hot foot powder” and the secrets of a good “black cat bone”. Need to get back at an enemy? A little goofer dust will help that. The girls delight in their new hoodoo adventure, until a tragic event strikes, involving the malicious town sheriff, transforming not only their lives but also the sisters themselves. A story of love, folk magic, redemption and independence, Rootwork explores the strength of family and the darker side of the heart.


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…


SpaceCooler by Mark Fenton

Two cops are sent to man a space station prison for a year. One is going with a vendetta the other is in for the ride of his life.


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.


By Your Side: A Queerplatonic Short Story by Margherita Scialla

Emma's relationship ends abruptly when she comes across her boyfriend cheating on her at a party. Yet another failed relationship brings her repressed platonic feelings for one of her best friends to the surface once more. Emma’s scared to voice her worries and desires, but even if she manages to bring up how she feels, how will Noah react to such a revelation?


Tears in the Water by Margherita Scialla

A character-driven, slice-of-life contemporary story of love and self-discovery. At White Ravens University, where athletes train to become professional sportspeople, Alex is on the swimming team with her best friend, Xiuying. Having grown up mostly alone, parents absent and brother often busy with his own life, Alex tends not to meet new people unless she and Xiuying are together. After an embarrassing encounter with a boy from the volleyball team Alex soon discovers that the world isn’t so big after all and the universe has a funny way of setting people up, especially when and with whom they’re least expecting. Despite her reserved character, Alex becomes part of a newly formed friend group consisting of four amazing people with different identities and personalities. As she tries to overcome her anxiety and negative past events, Alex finds herself both struggling with romantic feelings for a new acquaintance and a full blown gender crisis.


Osrealach by Adrienne Hiatt

Villagers always warned Alex about the enchanted forest; Don't go in alone. Don't get too close- or risk being kidnapped by fairies. But those are just myths, right? Unfortunately, newly knighted Alex learned the hard way that not all myths and legends are simply bedtime stories. Dragged to a hidden kingdom fraught with magical intrigue and danger, Alex is forced to reevaluate everything he believed-including his identity. Despite Alex's discovery, he must choose between exploring his newfound potential or pursuing the rescue of missing people from his hometown. Will he find the vanishing victims in time, or will this unlikely hero lose the only father figure he's ever known? Either way, his life will never be the same, and neither will the world. Once upon a time, because that's how the best stories begin...


Refurbished: The Clover Initiative by Michelle Monárrez

The end of the world came and went. Twenty years later humanity is crafting new and secretive ways to protect itself, but the atmosphere stays clear of threats . . . Eighteen-year-old academy graduate Alyssa is determined to start her military career as a GENE (Genetically Enhanced Entity) on her own terms. But after being transferred from her native London to America, she struggles to control her powers and find her place among a military unit of underdogs and other enhanced soldiers. When a rogue GENE is taken into custody, Alyssa's empathy for him forces her to choose between her carefully mapped out life plan, or a path that would put her in direct conflict with her superiors. With the promise of superpowers and a green card on the table, thirteen-year-old Miguel signs a contract to become a GENE. Enduring the enhancement process is sure to be worth it with his refugee status at stake and dazzling dreams of becoming a superhero in the mix. But when he forms a psychic connection with a mysterious girl who could die without his help, he must decide what he's willing to risk in order to save her. As Alyssa and Miguel embark on parallel journeys, their desire to choose their own individual paths transforms into a fierce battle for the rights of fellow enhanced people. The world might not be ready to find out about GENEs, but it had better brace itself. The protective barrier of secrecy will soon burst, and those called "Refurbished" will make themselves known.


Stars Like Acid by Marissa Lupe

Téa, a Latina soldier in training, is used to standing her ground in a world that seems hellbent on bringing her to her knees. Orphaned at age five and held captive on a military base for most of her life, she barely remembers a time before the government controlled her every move. Now, fifteen years later, the Earth is dying, a resistance is forming, and the corrupt government is hoarding resources and information that could save the world. When Téa is forced to marry the son of a terrifying general, she stumbles across a dark secret that could finally dismantle her power-hungry father-in-law’s regime and offer her a chance at freedom. Humans are evolving in dangerous and powerful ways, and Téa may be the most powerful one of them all. Meanwhile, Annabelle, another of Earth’s many orphans, has lived a mostly charmed life. That is if you don’t count the fact that she’s technically a prisoner. Drifting among the stars on Space Station Luna—the top-secret government lifeboat built to save Earth’s ruling class—Annabelle has everything she needs and the woman she loves by her side. But when Téa ends up at the space station, she unravels a web of deceptions that send both women reeling and make one thing perfectly clear: the secrets that connect Téa and Annabelle may be powerful enough to turn the tides of war, save the planet, and set the people free.


Splinter: A Diverse Sleepy Hollow Retelling by Jasper Hyde

This Is The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow Reborn… In a small town hidden behind the hills of New York, things are far from ordinary. As Sleepy Hollow’s youngest Medical Examiner, the pressure intensifies for Dr. Drusilla Van Tassel when the headless bodies of her sister Katrina’s friends start surfacing. Meanwhile, Drusilla’s ex-lover Ichabod Crane returns to town, dredging up feelings better left buried. Things take a turn for the worst when Drusilla comes face-to-face with the Headless Horseman, who is back to settle old scores – and she and her sister are the perfect targets. Drusilla can repel the horseman with an unknown power, but her sister isn’t so lucky, and she goes missing. However, when Drusilla discovers Ichabod is a monster hunter, she has no other choice but to turn to him for help. Even if that means working with a man she feels an inexplicable attraction to. Will they find Katrina and banish the headless horseman once and for all?


Secrets of the Sorcery War by Elise Carlson

Secrets lie across the seas. Having vanquished the damars, Heir Ruarnon thought they'd secured the safety of Umarinaris' eastern seas. But Nartzeer's murderous creatures are back, their handlers are more worrisome and both bar Ruarnon's path to new allies needed to recover their abducted parents. The handlers are Linh’s chance to confirm that her gateway home (to Australia) —and that sorcerers able (and hopefully willing) to operate it— lie in Umarinaris' dangerous West. In pursuit of allies and answers, Ruarnon and Linh clash with evolving, ever more dangerous damars. They learn magic is still wielded on Umarinaris, that some of the Sorcery War’s deadliest weapons survived and that Nartzeer has his own plans for those weapons. Nartzeer's forces threaten to sink Ruarnon and Linh's ship, and their hopes with it, yet he may not be what he seems...


The Eos Key by D.M. Lewry

Magic will bring them together. Will destiny tear them apart? After a failed attempt to end her life, Alia Carter leaves her childhood home to become a waitress in the state's most prominent hotel. Traumatized after her mother’s death, she silently grapples with her pain until she saves the life of a mysterious man who reveals to her a world of true magic, and terrifying wonder. Eric Wynter is a vampire Ward sworn to protect the creatures of the city. After centuries of heartache and loneliness, he is finally ready to end his existence. When fate brings them together, Alia is irresistibly drawn into Eric’s world, where witches and vampires are more than childish bedtime stories. Together, they discover she too has an incredible power running through her veins. A power so rare, every creature in the city will kill to get their share of it... Will Alia allow Eric into her life, and into her heart? Will Eric be able to defy destiny and keep those he loves safe? The Eos Key is a dark and magical story that will keep you spellbound long after the last page.


Ethereal Malignance by D.P. Vaughan

Step into the shadows with Ethereal Malignance, the debut supernatural thriller from Australian author D.P. Vaughan. Meet John Wedgewood, a misunderstood loner, who’s always been on the fringes of society. His life takes an unexpected turn when his only friend reveals a chilling secret: their city is overrun by ‘ethereal beings’—terrifying entities that possess bodies to blend in unnoticed. Faced with a life-altering choice, John can either continue his life of quiet desperation or risk everything to save a stranger from the clutches of these ethereal beings. His decision propels him into a relentless chase through the city’s hostile streets under the cover of darkness. In a city that transforms into a hunting ground at sundown, John, who has nothing—no car, no resources, no fighting skills—must rely solely on his wits and courage. With the ethereal beings always just a few steps behind. Ethereal Malignance is a gripping tale of resilience, self-discovery, and the power of the human spirit in the face of otherworldly terror. If you’re a fan of gritty, grounded thrillers set in an urban night-time environment, where ordinary people confront extraordinary horrors, this book is for you.


Ailene by Annabel den Dekker

Hayden Navarro has only one concern: protecting the ones he loves. At nineteen, he learns the world is in danger. An anonymous terrorist organization has attacked several countries all across the planet. When his parents suspect there might be a mole in the Council of Ailene, they ask Hayden to go undercover as an intern. Once in Ailene, he quickly becomes overwhelmed by everything and everyone around him. He struggles to keep his best friend, Lowell, safe while fending off the ever-present voices inside his head telling him that one day he’s going to lose everything, and he’ll be them one responsible for it all. He’s close to falling apart altogether when he crosses paths with Alexander Collins, a funny and handsome Council member who makes him feel happy and understood. His days suddenly become a little bit brighter—but nothing in Hayden’s life is ever easy. There’s a strict rule against workplace romances, forcing them to stay just friends, yet as they grow closer, Hayden and Lowell find themselves steadily growing apart. Can Hayden find a way to keep his head above water while hunting down the mole, struggling with his growing feelings for Alexander, fixing his relationship with Lowell, and trying to save everyone he cares about—all at the same time?


Beneath Strange Lights by Vivian Moira Valentine

Amelia Temple always knew she was different. Other. But that never stopped her from wanting more— especially her freedom. The Bureau of Extranormal Investigations, the shadowy government agency that has controlled her since birth, is finally allowing Amelia a pass to explore the small surrounding town where she is housed. It’s 1954, and she quickly makes friends and begins to learn the rules of this strange society. Apparently, race matters. And girls aren’t supposed to date girls. Yet the government looks the other way when it comes to locking kids up from birth and performing experiments on them because they have extra powers—kids like Amelia. Amelia and her new friends soon discover a conspiracy of so-called scientists running a bizarre experiment that threatens to unleash something terrible on her adopted hometown. As they begin to investigate, it becomes clear they must somehow stop the experiment before people die. But to do so, Amelia is forced to rely on what makes her different and decide just how human she wants to be.


Godspeed, Lovers by TQ Sims

Lovable loner Casey Isaac thinks love isn't for him. Not since extraordinary events left him with supernormal powers and a great deal of trauma. But when Oscar Kenzari looks at him, he can't help but change his mind. As Divinators, Casey and Oscar have used their psychic powers to defend humanity from sentient, extradimensional storms for one hundred years. But a storm more powerful than any before is brewing. MaalenKun, prince of the maelstrom, conqueror of countless realities, plans to turn the tables by infecting Casey's mind. Maalen Kun is not the only threat. Casey and Oscar must determine who they can trust: the eccentric trillionaire keeping them in the dark, the independent contractors with secrets of their own, or a seemingly helpful extradimensional being shrouded in mystery. As Casey works to defeat threats around and within himself, he must open to love for his chosen family, for Oscar, and for himself to unlock a transformative power capable of banishing MaalenKun. And Oscar must make a difficult choice that could cost him the future he dreams of. Can Casey and Oscar's love break the storm?


A Case of Madness by Yvonne Knop

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


Mad World: Lost Souls by Brandon T Bernard

In Wonderland, there is little difference between stories, histories, legends, and lies. Cheshire, a rogue branded Queen Slayer, uses the madness to his advantage. While on the run, he searches for answers to a mystery only he remembers. In a world of deceit, the most dangerous man is he who seeks the truth. Jonathan, a gentleman of the highest caliber, along with March, a legendary swordswoman, live together in solitude to escape the madness. Together, their days are filled with swords, pleasures, and teas, only missing Cheshire. They want nothing more than to remain lost, and will go to any lengths necessary to make sure of it. But their lives and all of Wonderland are thrown into chaos by the unexpected appearance of Mary Anne, a young woman from another world. Her presence may herald the end of Wonderland as they know it. They must risk everything to preserve all they hold dear before their worlds come crashing down like a house of cards. But it may already be too late.


Errant by Montrez

16 year old Savannah becomes New York's most wanted while struggling to reclaim her life after the devastating loss of her father. As things continue going downhill Savannah witnesses an impossible phenomenon that triggers the emergence of a wild and powerful gift. While being hunted she finds refuge in a group of ragtag misfits. A Supernatural war is coming and Savannah will need to adapt to her new world or die trying.


Ten Acceptable Acts of Arson and other very short stories by Jack Remiel Cottrell

There are many messages in this book: Never go drinking using your passport for ID. Make sure to apply lidocaine before ripping out your toenails. Magic might be real, but it never fixes the worst of your problems. Try to fall in love with bastards. You or someone you know may be gayer than previously thought. We’re not going to make it to Mars. A locked psychiatric ward needs more books than a single copy of Jane Eyre. Asking time travellers for advice on your exams is considered cheating. It’s not just human houses that become haunted. The key message is this: Life in the early 21st century is often very strange. So are these stories. With a crisp insouciance and gliding charm, Jack Remiel Cottrell’s fiery, fey, finely-tuned fictions leap from sci-fi to fantasy, comedy to horror, literary realism to romance, and to hybrids of all of these. Featuring sport, friendship, love, health, family, climate change, artificial intelligence, desire, magic, Greek gods, ghosts, peanut butter, cyber pranks, racial prejudice, and creepy medical advances, his stories play with the allure of the past, the disturbances of our own times, and the dangerous idealism of our future technologies – each one in fewer than 300 words.


Android Affection - Book 1: Rogue Zero by Beau Van Dalen

Ian's parents were murdered. The culprit isn't human—he's a robot. Androids used to be Ian’s passion. Now, he sees them as mindless killing machines to be feared. After Ian's adoptive family kick him out for being transgender, Ian finds himself homeless without a soul to turn to for help—which is when he meets Gilbert: a mysterious detective who treats Ian to breakfast one fateful day. Gilbert tells Ian about a case close to his heart. He drags Ian into adventures far beyond Ian's wildest dreams. And then, Ian falls in love. But it is wrong. So wrong. Because Gilbert is an android, and Ian swore he'd never trust another machine again.


Sicili and the Penniless Lad by Rachel C. Neale

Ivy Ferthing has been out of society for five years due to famous, engorged rumors that destroyed her reputation. Now, just shy of nineteen, she has promised to play the part of propriety for her mother’s sake, but Ivy is an outlandish force to be reckoned with, and her true nature knows no shame––especially when it comes to an answerless beauty like Sicili Windihill. Sicili Windihill is answerless, and never more than in the presence of Grace , the defiant half-naked painting that haunted her childhood. Now, having returned to the gossiping county of Wiltshire after six years of living in London, she is once again at the mercy of her father’s scheming ways. No sooner is she reunited with Grace and the tumultuous feelings it brings up then she discovers her father is harboring a grand, obnoxious plan––one that involves a devastating ultimatum. They meet at a ball. A tantalizing tryst of wit, courage, fear, and unspoken admiration are quick to follow. Fans of Sarah Waters ( Tipping the Velvet ), Jane Austen, and Julia Quinn ( The Bridgerton Series ) will feast on this lesbian perspective of the ton, the societal expectations of Victorian England, and the deep, obligatory roots of family.


The Echoes of Ashlington by Rowan MacKemsley

Ashlington Manor has a protector. Two hundred years after his death he needs help to find the man he loved. 2015 ‘There has been a Durand in Ashlington for hundreds of years,’ was something Lillian had heard all her life. A life now spent in London with the career, fiancé, and success she had always wanted. When forced to return to her ancestral Cotswold home, a chilling presence with a desperate message leads her to believe she is not the only Durand left walking the halls of Ashlington Manor. 1807 Henry escapes his father’s expectations by taking a commission in the British Army where he meets Robert Westbrook. Standing shoulder to shoulder through the Peninsula War, not only fighting the French but each other’s demons, their bond grows into something deeper. But it is going home to Ashlington that Henry dreads. Home where disaster waits. Lillian enlists the help of childhood friend Nick Hawkins to unravel Henry’s story, discovering much of what they had been told of Lillian’s heroic ancestor was a lie. Can past and present find a way to work together so that they might all settle their grief, find love once lost, and learn what it truly means to be home, or will Ashlington be lost forever?


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.


205Z: Time and Salvation by Jason Michael Primrose

2052 is humanity's last year on Earth. Catastrophic disasters are tearing away at our world's infrastructure. Time is scarce. Freedom is delicate. The privileged few will be saved... The unlucky will be left behind. Allister Adams is a genetically advanced Evolutionary, and besides that, he's like most of the Omega Generation-unlucky, forgotten-waiting aimlessly for the Apocalypse Countdown clock of days, hours, and minutes to finally hit zero. Until the clock strikes Day 215. Allister unknowingly charges into a conflict older than he is-a cold war for salvation between two rival organizations: a government-sanctioned task force of Evolutionaries and a group of radical, stateless Evolutionaries, both in violent pursuit of the one thing that promises humanity's survival. As Allister goes head-to-head with Evolutionaries on both sides, he must unravel the mysteries surrounding their key to survival, and master his power to retrieve it before the destruction they're trying to stop arrives. Our journey begins with... The Arrival...


Honu Book One: Waterborn by Dawyone Combes

When magic enters Koldair Noa's life the world he once knew will never be the same. Someone whom was thought lost forever to the land of Lanrete returns to hunt Koldair and burn down Hawai'i. Koldair must make a choice to be the hero or the villain of his own story.


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.


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