SPFBO6 Self-published Fantasy Blog-Off Entries 2020

Entries into Mark Lawrence's Self-published Fantasy Blog-off in 2020 (the 6th year of the contest).

https://mark---lawrence.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-official-self-published-fantasy.html


Ashes by Sharon Gloger Friedman

SPFBO6

A Jewish Family’s Epic of Hope, Tragedy, and Survival Easter Sunday, 1903 ushered in three days of government-sanctioned brutality on the Jews of Kishinev, Russia. In the aftermath of slaughter, rape, and destruction, Meyer and Sadie Raisky escape to New York City with their thirteen-year-old daughter, Miriam. Their home and business gone, reeling from devastating personal tragedy, the Raiskys cling to the promise of a better life in America. But upon arriving in New York City, Miriam and her parents quickly learn that promises are easily broken in the tenements of the Lower East Side. When circumstances force Miriam to abandon the schooling she loves to help support her family, she goes to work at the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, joining other immigrant girls who work long hours for low wages in shocking conditions. Against the backdrop of emerging workers’ rights and women’s rights, Miriam’s social conscience and young womanhood both blossom when she falls in love with a union organizer. Meticulously researched and rich with beautifully drawn characters that bring 20th-century New York City to life, Ashes is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, and a haunting elegy to the young women whose suffering inspired changes to the working conditions in the garment industry.


Of Shadows and Blood (Shadow Elf Chronicles #1) by J.T. Williams

SPFBO6

A half-elf seeks a cure in the mysterious Shadowlands. But followers of The Blood stalk the lands and there are whispers of ancient demons returning... Kealin Half-Elf has only been like this for a few weeks and already he is changing. He feels a hunger he has never felt before. Before this, he had mastered the power of his ancient Dwemhar heritage, destroyed an ascended being, but was mortally injured. Vampirism saved him. But now he must hurry to reverse the effect before he is eternally trapped in a state of maniacal blood lust. But the worst part? The Shadowlands are not a place for a pale elf... and even more so one that has the ancient Dwemhar lineage. Not to mention his traveling companions have their own secrets, especially the mysterious wizard Evurn -a shadow elf returning home after generations in hiding. Kealin knows it unwise to ask him directly. In the darkness of what is to come, Kealin will have few choices if he is to save himself and those he cares about. But the one choice he might need to make will mean losing everything else he fights to hold on to. In the end, should he just embrace the darkness and release his hold on sanity? He might not have a choice.


Nether Light by Shaun Paul Stevens

SPFBO6

Take a journey through a world punished by a dark, imprisoned magic. A world where children are given poison. A world where your talent is decided by the state. A world where reality is breaking down. When refugee Guyen washes up in the land of his enemy, he knows he will fight, but soon finds himself falling down a well of wonder and improbability. Can he survive a system designed to oppress him? Can he tame his anger to unleash his potential? Can he see his enemy for what they truly are? Nether Light is a gritty, heart-wrenching tale of high magic and high stakes, loves lost and friendships gained, set in an oil-lit, 18th century world far, far away. And it's full to the gills with epic fantasy, plotting, scheming, and racy, jaw-dropping, immersive adventure. What more could you ask for? Grab a copy now. For fans of Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Neil Gaiman, Mark Lawrence, V.E. Schwab, Ed McDonald, Brian McClellan. Please note: This book contains mature themes.


The Renegade Within (FireWall #1) by Mark Johnson

SPFBO6

She committed an unspeakable act. Her quest for redemption will pit her against rising evil...Terese dreams of ascending to the highest ranks of the Seekers. But if they discover her role in a forbidden experiment that massacred hundreds, she'll suffer punishment and exile. With the suspicious eyes of her superiors watching closely, she pursues the four survivors before they can spread their infection and implicate Terese in the crime.Torn from her daughter and plagued by guilt, she journeys across desolate lands where the undead run and foul magic hangs heavy in the air. But as she closes in on her prey, Terese discovers something far more sinister at work. And the secrets she unearths throw her devotion to the Order into doubt.Will Terese betray her vows to bring a brutal conspiracy to light before more innocent victims die?The Renegade Within is the first book in the sweeping FireWall epic fantasy series. If you like strong women, immersive worlds, and suspenseful twists and turns, then you'll love Mark Johnson's enthralling adventure.Buy The Renegade Within to start a journey for atonement today!


Relentless by David Folker

SPFBO6

The Junk Knight is a famed relic-hunter. A grim mercenary with a fell reputation. An angry loner prone to fits of rage. The locals stay clear. Unless they need protection. But you don't count on the Junk Knight to bend a sympathetic ear to your plight. You need payment. And relics aren't exactly easy to come by... But when a stranger undertakes an impossible quest to rescue an innocent from a dark fate, Junk Knight is moved. No one knows why. Least of all Junk Knight. What was it that made this stranger's plight so irresistible? Junk Knight will quickly learn that the stranger is not what he seems. That the quest is not what it seems. The darkest adversities of Junk Knight's forgotten past, long since buried, will rise up once again to haunt the troubled mercenary, threatening the success of their venture. Will they prevail?


The Swordsman's Lament (The Royal Champion Book 1) by G.M. White

SPFBO6

When a prince is murdered, a legendary swordsman stands accused. The King wants blood . . . and loyalty counts for nothing. Belasko thought he was beyond intrigues and machinations. But when the grief-stricken King demands vengeance, Belasko discovers he is expendable. His options are clear... find the real killer or satisfy the royal bloodlust. With the forces of the palace mobilised against him he is thrust into the city’s bleak underbelly and must fight to discover the truth. With betrayal around every corner he must form unlikely alliances. Can the veteran warrior survive long enough to protect his friends and prove his innocence? Join Belasko on a fast-paced fantasy adventure as he hunts the real killer, from courtly intrigue to the depths of the city’s criminal underworld, and learns the true meaning of The Swordsman’s Lament.


The Forbidden (The Ancestors Saga, #1) by Lori Holmes

SPFBO6

Alone. Hunted. Vulnerable. As the blood settles into the snow, Rebaa’s life lies in tatters. Her adopted tribe has been slaughtered, leaving her lost and isolated in a freezing and hostile world. Kidnapped from her own forest race years before, Rebaa must now find another people to protect her and quickly. But in daring to fall in love with a man not of her own species, she defied every lore set by the creators of human kind, the Sky Gods. Now damningly burdened with her murdered lover’s offspring, Rebaa knows that if anyone were to discover her baby’s heritage, the only sentence would be death. Driven by the love for her unborn, Rebaa sets out on a perilous journey to find a safe haven for them both. But what haven could possibly exist for one who bears…the Forbidden? The Ancestors Saga Exciting and compelling, the Ancestor's Saga takes readers on an epic journey 40,000 years into our own dark and forgotten past. As the world teeters on the brink of another glacial winter, homo sapiens are not the only human to walk the Earth. When the destiny of the entire human race hangs in the balance, the prize for the survivors will be the Earth itself. The Ancestors Saga is a prehistoric fantasy romance, combining history, mystery and legend to retell a lost chapter in humanity's dark and distant past.


The Void Revealed (Origo Essentia #1) by Stephen J. Ethier

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The first book of the Origo Essentia Series, a Sci-Fi Fantasy adventure with a female protagonist. Sitting atop the Spire, Windhold is governed by the theocratical Brotherhood and the secular leadership of the Sentinel. Below them lies the Void, a barren land filled with the Red Death that arrived with the blistering winds of the Fury. The corruption in Windhold has left everyone at the mercy of a madman. The only hope is Elise, groomed to be the Aspirant and replace the Sentinel for a peaceful new world. But when she ventures into the Void, she discovers that Windhold may not be everything it seems.


Fighter Fred and the Dungeon of Doom by Jason A. Holt

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His world is drawn on graph paper. His friends think they are characters in an old-school tabletop roleplaying game. But for Fighter Fred, it's real life. And he loves it! He always has monsters to fight, treasure to gain, and new friends to share it with. So even though the elf who wants to roleplay is constantly bickering with the thief who just wants treasure, Fred is sure that in the end they will all become best friends. That's ... not exactly how it goes. Will the elf find the sacred amulet? Will the thief get treasure? Will the mage ever get done shopping? Will Fred be able to hold the party together long enough to answer any of these questions? The only way to find out is to enter the Dungeon of Doom and place your trust in Fighter Fred.


Death of the Tree Path by Timothy S. Currey

SPFBO6

Their healer has died. Their forest is dying. They refused to leave … even when soldiers came to take their land. Riekalt has been a grim man since the death of his wife, the village healer. She gave her life to save the village. He can hardly sleep. Is it her he keeps hearing at night? When soldiers come from Gweidor to take their land, the villagers of Wolfshead Hill begin to know the end has come. They claim to come in peace, and offer gold. But they come with a trail of corpses in their wake. There is one desperate hope left to the village. Riekalt’s only son Laester begins to show glimmers of the powers that claimed his wife. If he cannot control or suppress the new magic … it might destroy him. How can Riekalt hope to save his village, if it might mean the life of his son?


Enlightened (Enlightened #1) by Billie Kowalewski

SPFBO6

"Winner 2017 INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD Distinguished Favorites" "Enlightened is exactly the sort of book that remains in your mind long after you've read it, for all the best reasons." authorstalkaboutit.com" "Enlightened is such a fascinating read and is not mindless by any stretch of the imagination." lisaluvstoread.blogspot.com When Veronica lost the love of her life in a horrible accident she wassure he was gone forever, and she would never love again. Then, fiveyears later she meets her own tragic demise leading her back to the manshe loves, but, with an unexpected twist... Imagine waking up to discover that the life you thought was real never was. That your real life is actually lived somewhere else, and the love you thought was lost will go on forever


The Nothing Mage by J.P. Valentine

SPFBO6

Beware, oh friend, the Nothing Mage, The man himself a blight, With magic cursed and spells unseen, That none can stand and fight. Beware, oh King, the Nothing Mage, A force that pierces all, The tolling bell that sings of death, ‘Till lords and empires fall. Beware, oh love, the Nothing Mage, A vengeful man is he, So if you dare to draw his wrath, Then nothing ye shall be. "There’s nothing there." The words may as well have been a death sentence to young Declan. Without mana, there could be no studying at the sky-piercing Pinnacle Towers, there could be no great monster hunts, and there could be no following in his father’s legendary footsteps. He’d be a cripple. But when a terrible accident forces him to flee, Declan learns the true nature of his mana. Just because it doesn’t resonate at any known frequency, doesn’t mean it isn’t magic. Just because he can’t cast the same spells as everyone else doesn’t mean he isn’t a mage. And just because you can’t see something, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.


The Demon in the Metal (The Chemical Empires, #1) by Blake Michael Nelson

SPFBO6

Fifty years ago, the brilliant chemist Guilder Owen unlocked the secrets of the metal aurichalcum...and changed the world forever. The Chemical Revolution led to the invention of rifles, cannons, copperlights, and brassfire bombs; armies were shattered, borders were redrawn, and the king of Eleutrinia, the most powerful nation in the world, was overthrown. In the aftermath of this civil war, Eleutrinia's gloomy capital, Dais Eleutrené, has become a breeding ground for plots and conspiracies. World-weary inspector Drom Overholt, investigating the murder of a wealthy old man, soon finds himself caught up in an especially dangerous one; meanwhile, Guilder's granddaughter Aemilia, eager to become a chemist herself, has just unlocked a secret of her own — one that may have put her life in immediate danger. And far away, at the very edge of the known world, treasure-hunter Luc d'Fensi, hired to guide a group of scholars to a distant, crumbling ruin, begins making his way into the primordial wilderness of the far west. He has no idea what awaits him there: an ancient evil, older than mankind, waiting for an opportunity to arise...and intent on extinguishing the light of the Chemical Revolution forever.


Legacy of Bones (A Tale of Bone and Steel #1) by Kirk Dougal

SPFBO6

An ancient evil is waiting to be reborn... Gera worked hard at his apprenticeship, but now he's done. All he wants to do is go home to see his brother and sister. When he finally reaches their cabin, Dax, his older brother, is there, isolated and drinking as usual, but Keely can't be found. Then the brothers receive the news. In the middle of the day, she was taken. Testers from the Sacara Institute rode off with her. Like a pebble cast into a still lake… …this was the first ripple. What were the magic users at the Institute's plans for her? The road was long. The captors rode hard, and it would be a miracle if the brothers caught them before they reached the Institute. Even if they did, freeing their sister wouldn’t be easy. But as time ticks away to a far greater threat, Gera and Dax must strive to overcome more than just external threats if they want to save Keely. The evil is waiting. Legacy of Bones is the first book in the A Tale of Bone and Steel series, an epic adventure filled with unforgettable characters, gritty action, and the future of the world hanging in the balance. If you like your epic fantasy mixed with a side order of grimdark, then this series is for you.


Atonement (Heaven Sent #1) by J.L. Rothstein

SPFBO6

To Hell, this world is fractured and faithless, perfectly ripe for the picking. Sent by Heaven, Guardians defend against a malevolent onslaught of demonic intrusion. For hundreds of years the nine siblings of the O’Mara family have been engaged in this merciless battle, fighting to protect the souls of all humanity. Heaven and Hell have been waging this infernal war bound only by the rules of a contentious accord. On the anniversary of her husband Gabriel’s disappearance, Genevieve O’Mara’s lingering sorrow manifests into a murderous rage unfurled upon a demon. Vengeance is coming, not just for Genevieve, but for all those she loves.



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