Two New “In Love and War” Stories Available: “Neutral Ground” and “Ballroom Blitz”

I have another new release announcement to make. This one is for the two latest stories in my In Love and War space opera romance series.

Now I don’t always write in chronological order and I’m in good company there, since Lois McMaster Bujold and Fritz Leiber didn’t do it either and they’re both highly acclaimed multiple award-winning authors. And so, both new stories slot into an earlier place in the In Love and War chronology. Besides, the In Love and War stories largely stand alone anyway, though you’ll get more out of the series, if you read them all.

The first of the two new stories is another one to come out of the 2020 July Short Story Challenge, where the aim was to write a short story per day during the month of July. It’s something of a side story, set just before Collision Course and featuring Mikhail’s former commander, Colonel Brian Mayhew of the Republican Special Commando Forces.

It’s been established throughout the series that Mayhew has contacts in the Imperial military. In this story, we finally get to meet one of those contacts, General Roderick Crawford, who’s basically Mayhew’s Imperial counterpart or rather the counterpart of Mayhew’s boss General Honold. Even though they’re theoretically sworn enemies, Mayhew and Crawford get along really well with each other. Unlike Mikhail and Anjali, they don’t draw any conclusions from this at all.

In this story, Mayhew and Crawford meet over tea, coffee and pastries to discuss the very embarrassing matter of Mikhail and Anjali running away together. And yes, there are recipes in the Author’s Note.

So accompany Brian Mayhew and General Roderick Crawford, as they meet on…

Neutral Ground
Neutral Ground by Cora BuhlertTwo old soldiers share a coffee and fight for their lives

The Republic of United Planets and the Empire of Worlds have been at war for eighty-eight years now. But nonetheless, Colonel Brian Mayhew, deputy commander of the Republican Special Commando Forces, meets with his Imperial counterpart General Roderick Crawford to discuss an incident that’s a problem for both of them. For two of their elite soldiers fell in love and ran away with each other, an embarrassment to the Republic and the Empire both.

However, this secret meeting is not as secret as the two men think. And so Mayhew and Crawford are soon fighting for their lives side by side…

This is a novelette of 9500 words or approximately 32 print pages in the In Love and War series by Hugo finalist Cora Buhlert, but may be read as a standalone.

More information.
Length: 9500 words
List price: 0.99 USD, EUR or GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, Vivlio, 24symbols and XinXii.

The second new In Love and War story originally came about, when I was putting together my annual round-up of Valentine’s Day themed science fiction, fantasy and horror stories and thought, ‘You know, you ought to write another Valentine’s Day story, because holiday stories usually do well.”

So I wrecked my head trying to come up with an idea and finally thought, “Why don’t I write a Valentine’s Day story for the In Love and War series?” After all, it’s space opera romance set in a universe where everybody is descended from people who originally came from Earth, so it makes sense for there to be a Valentine’s Day in that universe. And so the idea was born to send Anjali and Mikhail on a romantic date that’s rudely interrupted by people with blasters.

Unfortunately, it was maybe two weeks before Valentine’s Day 2020, when I had the the idea to write a Valentine’s Day themed adventure in the In Love and War series. Besides, what had been supposed to be a short story turned into a fully fledged novella instead, so the story was not finished in time for Valentine’s Day. And then the pandemic happened and I found myself rather unexpectedly nominated for a Hugo Award and so the story ended up on the backburner for a while, until I picked it up again in the fall of 2020. However, I didn’t want to hold a finished story back until next February either, so instead of being released in time for Valentine’s Day, the story now comes out closer to Christmas.

Anjali and Mikhail celebrate their first anniversary in The Taste of Home. The Valentine’s Day story happens at an earlier point in their relationship, so I rearranged the series order yet again and slotted it inbetween Bullet Holes and Dead World.

Romance, action, crime, food, gratuitous destruction of property – this story has it all. So follow Mikhail and Anjali, as they get caught up in a…

Ballroom Blitz
Ballroom Blitz by Cora BuhlertAnjali and Mikhail go on a Valentine’s Day date. Trouble ensues.

Once, Anjali Patel and Mikhail Grikov were soldiers on opposing sides of an intergalactic war. They met, fell in love and decided to go on the run together.

Now Anjali and Mikhail are trying to eke out a living on the independent worlds of the galactic rim, while attempting to stay under the radar of those pursuing them.

It’s Valentine’s Day and so Mikhail and Anjali enjoy a well-deserved romantic dinner. But their date is rudely interrupted, when they find themselves caught in the crossfire of a turf war between two rival gangsters.

This is a Valentine’s Day novella of 23200 words or approximately 78 print pages in the “In Love and War” series by Hugo finalist Cora Buhlert, but may be read as a standalone.

More information.
Length: 23200 words.
List price: 2.99 USD, EUR or 1.99 GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, Vivlio, 24symbols and XinXii.

The title Ballroom Blitz is a reference to the eponymous 1973 song by the British glam rock band The Sweet by the way. I chanced to hear it on the radio one day, while writing the story, and thought, “This is the perfect title for the up to then untitled story.”.

This covers for both stories are by the hyper-talented Tithi Luadthong. In the case of Ballroom Blitz, the cover actually came before the story, because I liked that image so much that I modelled the club where Anjali and Mikhail go for a night of romance and dancing after the image. And yes, that giant chandelier plays an important role in the story.

If you want to give the In Love and War series a try before buying, Double-Cross, another adventure of Anjali and Mikhail, is this month’s free story, which you can read right here on this blog.

And if you want to read the entire series of sixteen stories, the cheapest way to do so is via this handy series bundle, which is available exclusively at DriveThruFiction.

There’ll be at least one more new release announcement for 2020, maybe two, closer to the holidays. But for now, stay safe and healthy and have a happy Thanksgiving and/or First Advent, if you’re celebrating.

Send to Kindle
Posted in Announcements, Books | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for October 2020

Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month
It’s that time of the month again, time for “Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month”.

So what is “Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month”? It’s a round-up of speculative fiction by indie and small press authors (as well as the occasional Big 5 book) newly published this month, though some September books I missed the last time around snuck in as well. The books are arranged in alphabetical order by author. So far, most links only go to Amazon.com, though I may add other retailers for future editions.

Once again, we have new releases covering the whole broad spectrum of speculative fiction. This month, we have urban fantasy, epic fantasy, historical fantasy, dark fantasy, young adult fantasy, paranormal mysteries, paranormal romance, science fiction romance, space opera, military science fiction, young adult science fiction, post-apocalyptic fiction, dystopian fiction, biopunk, agripunk, time travel, weird western, historical horror, gothic horror, humorous horror, vampires, demons, dragons, dinosaurs, ghosts, zombies, gods, androids, alien invasions, interstellar wars, space marines, superheroes, renegades, crime-busting witches, crime-busting psychics and much more.

Don’t forget that Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month is also crossposted to the Speculative Fiction Showcase, a group blog run by Jessica Rydill and myself, which features new release spotlights, guest posts, interviews and link round-ups regarding all things speculative fiction several times per week.

As always, I know the authors at least vaguely, but I haven’t read all of the books, so Caveat emptor.

And now on to the books without further ado:

Gunmetal Gods by Zamil AkhtarGunmetal Gods by Zamil Akhtar:

They took his daughter, so Micah comes to take their kingdom. Fifty thousand gun-toting paladins march behind him, all baptized in angel blood, thirsty to burn unbelievers.

Only the janissaries can stand against them. Their living legend, Kevah, once beheaded a magus amid a hail of ice daggers. But ever since his wife disappeared, he spends his days in a haze of hashish and poetry.

To save the kingdom, Kevah must conquer his grief and become the legend he once was. But Micah writes his own legend in blood, and his righteous conquest will stop at nothing.

When the gods choose sides, a legend will be etched upon the stars.

Azalea Avenue by Cora BuhlertAzalea Avenue by Cora Buhlert:

1956: On the surface, Rosemary Wilson is a happily married wife and mother, enjoying a perfect life in the quiet suburb of Shady Groves. But the house on Azalea Avenue harbours a dark secret, for Rosemary’s husband Don is an abusive drunk, who vents his frustrations on Rosemary and their three children.

After nine years of abuse, Rosemary finally decides to leave Don. But her plans of escape are interrupted, first by Don coming home early from a weekend hunting trip and then by the appearance of a flying saucer from outer space in the sky above Shady Groves…

This is a novelette of 10400 words or approx. 38 pages in the The Day the Saucers Came… series, but may be read as a standalone.

Content warning for domestic violence.

Appletree Court by Cora BuhlertAppletree Court by Cora Buhlert:

1956: Bernie Stetson is a burglar, robbing suburban homes while their owners are not at home.

Bernie’s latest raid takes him to the subdivision of Shady Groves. But things quickly go wrong. First, the house Bernie is robbing turns out to be not as deserted as he thought. And then, a flying saucer from outer space appears in the sky above Shady Groves…

This is a short story of 3600 words or approx. 14 print pages in the The Day the Saucers Came… series, but may be read as a standalone.

Willowbrook Farm by Cora BuhlertWillowbrook Farm by Cora Buhlert:

1956: The elderly farmer couple Bob and Mary Graham are crushed by debt and about to lose the family farm to a greedy developer.

But on the day they are supposed to be evicted, a flying saucer from outer space appears in the sky above Willowbrook Farm…

This is a short story of 2700 words or approx. 10 print pages in the The Day the Saucers Came… series, but may be read as a standalone.

The Ghosts of Doodenbos by Cora BuhlertThe Ghosts of Doodenbos by Cora Buhlert:

The Netherlands in the year of the Lord 1571: The young widow Ann lives alone with her little son Florentijn in a house at the edge of the woods.

From childhood on, Ann has been told to never ever go alone into the woods. But when her little son runs away, Ann has no choice. She must venture into the forest to save Florentijn from the creatures that live in the woods surrounding the village of Doodenbos.

This is a historical horror short story of 3000 words or approx. 12 pages.

Puncture Wounds by Cora BuhlertPuncture Wounds by Cora Buhlert:

Every morning, Brett finds blood on his sheets and mysterious puncture wounds on his body. But as he tries to trap the “night pricker”, as he calls his unseen assailant, he’s in for a surprise…

The house at Green Corner has been standing there for fifty years now, surrounded by a tall fence and even taller hedges. And at dawn, bats flutter around the overgrown garden. No one has ever seen the owner of the house, let alone spoken to them. But early one morning, paper girl Maddie decides to venture beyond the tall hedges on a dare and finds something very unexpected…

Two modern vampire tales by Hugo finalist Cora Buhlert of 5000 words or approx. 18 print pages altogether.

Demon Summoning for Beginners by Cora BuhlertDemon Summoning for Beginners by Cora Buhlert:

When observing a magical ritual in the woods, make sure to take precautions…

If you try to summon a demon to grant you your heart’s fondest desire, you’d better get your Latin right…

When studying ancient grimoires, it’s never a good idea to actually read the contents out loud or you might just cause the end of the world…

Following your grandma’s heirloom recipe might just conjure up something other than marinara sauce…

Four short humorous horror tales of rituals gone very wrong by Hugo finalist Cora Buhlert of 5800 words or approx. 20 print pages altogether.

Rhonda Wray, Raptor Wrangler by Charon Dunn and Sally SmithRhonda Wray, Raptor Wrangler by Charon Dunn and Sally Smith:

Rhonda Wray: Raptor Wrangler is about a teenage girl who was innocently trying to listen to some live music … her favorite boy band happened to be playing a festival on a dinosaur planet … when bad things suddenly happened. Now she and her trusty robot are all alone in the wilderness, picking up survival skills and looking for her favorite singer, Sebastian Rose, just in case he needs to be rescued.

There’s hard science, explosions, plenty of dinosaurs (with feathers), diversity, no sex (although there are a few references to it), less violence than many dinosaur stories, cliffhangers galore, and a little bogus science just to honor the fine tradition of speculative fiction (what if raptors had syrinxes and could sing like birds?).

Blood Succession by Rachel FordBlood Succession by Rachel Ford:

A new queen. An ancient feud. A succession bought in blood.

The world changed in the blink of an eye. Once an estranged cousin to the king, Aria is now heir apparent to the South. With her nation still in the midst of an unjust war, torn by Byzantine politics and rampant treachery, the inheritance seems a curse. Not least of all because peacemaking between the distant branches of the royal family means marriage: her marriage.

Among the sycophants and assassins, politicians and spies, Aria knows who to trust: no one. She doesn’t trust her intended, Augustus. She doesn’t trust his smart talking half-sister, Terese. But when the young woman saves her life, the queen’s guard begins to slip.

Which is a problem. Because if she crosses the rest of the royal family, it won’t just be a war with the North she’ll have to contend with; it’ll be civil war.

Dryker's Stand by Chris FoxDryker’s Stand by Chris Fox:

Humanity’s First Interstellar War

Earth has had a year to recover from their first clash with the savage Tigris. A year they have put to incredible use. Over thirty vessels have been outfitted with the new Helios Drives, which allow them to enter our sun and emerge elsewhere in the galaxy, as the cats did when they attacked us.

For the first time we can take the fight to them.

Commander Dryker, now of the U.F.C, serves as first officer aboard the very first vessel to be retrofitted, the UFC Johnston. His mission…explore the six target worlds where they believe ancient Primo tech can be recovered. Without it mankind is doomed to a protracted war of attrition with a superior foe.

Meanwhile, Pride Leonis has never been in so precarious a position. Mighty Fizgig must aid the man she most hates in his rise to power, or risk her people’s ultimate destruction. Doing so will cost her everything, but make her a legend in the eyes of her people.

Unbeknownst to either the insidious Void Wraith are quietly returning, and preparing the next Eradication.

The Bison Agenda by Aaron FraleThe Bison Agenda by Aaron Frale:

Clara has it all, a swanky new job, a hot robot babe, and even a time machine. Paradise all comes crashing down when she realizes her ticket to the future was stolen.

She wakes up in a world that has been reshaped by the whim of a time traveler with a strange obsession with bison and chicken wings. Now she has to fix the timeline, or everyone she knows and loves will be wiped from existence.

There’s also a lot of flightless birds.

Find out how it all fits together in The Bison Agenda, the not anticipated sequel of Time Burrito.

Admiral Wolf by C. GockelAdmiral Wolf by C. Gockel:

To protect the human race, 6T9 evolved with the flip of a switch and a few lines of code.

But he’s made himself a killer as well as a protector. The programming that may save humanity has driven him from Volka, the woman he loves. In the heart of the Dark’s first strike against the Republic, 6T9 must discover what he has become, who he wants to be, and who he wants to be with.

Slowly and almost unnoticed, Volka has been evolving, too. Heartbroken by 6T9’s departure, she is torn between love and duty. Accepting the latter, she takes a mission that will lead her to the edge of the universe. There, she will be tested, and her evolution will pass a point where there will be no turning back.

An android who has become more than a sex ‘bot, a mutant who has developed startling abilities, 6T9 and Volka have become more than human. The changes they’ve endured may save the galaxy, but have driven them further apart.

Will they find a way forward together, or will the bond between them wind up another casualty of the Dark?

The Judgment of Valene by Darby HarnThe Judgment of Valene by Darby Harn:

Wealth. Privilege. Superpowers. Valene has it all… except any mercy from the person trying to kill her.

For the first time in her life, Valene Blackwood has peace. She’s been aboard her own private space station for a year, removed from the sonic duress of the world that she suffers due to her superhuman ability to hear everything, everywhere. When her father dies, she must return and take over the family business – selling superhuman protection for profit.

With her father gone, challengers emerge for control of Great Power. Valene is young, unproven, and wanting only to go back to her sanctuary in the sky. She struggles to stay focused, knowing the future of the company is at stake. The future of the Empowered. Before she has a chance to get her feet on the ground, someone tries to kill her.

Advanced technology nearly rips Valene right out of her own skin. Technology only one person in the world could have invented: the woman she left behind by going up to the space station. Kit Baldwin. But Kit is a hero. Is someone setting her up? Is someone trying to ruin them both?

Valene sets out to find the truth, and for the first time in her life, she has to listen. She has to stay in the world. She has to be the hero she never wanted to be.

If she can survive.

Vengenace of the Black Rose by A.W. HartVengeance of the Black Rose by A.W. Hart:

LINA MUST AGAIN PUT ON HER MASK AND ASSUME HER IDENTITY AS THE BLACK ROSE.

The Black Rose discovers that a small mission on the border of Texas and Mexico has been raided by someone locals call “The Beast.”

Many are dead but most of the women and children are missing. The trail of the kidnappers leads the Black Rose into Mexico, into a hidden valley where “The Beast” is raising an army to restore the Aztec Empire. “The Beast,” known by his followers as “El Tigre,” is human but something of a physical mutant whose face resembles that of a Jaguar.

The Black Rose will face an army with only a good sword arm and a fast gun between her and death for them all on a bloody altar.

Dances With Witches by Lily Harper HartDances With Witches by Lily Harper Hart:

Hannah Hickok is struggling. After the death of one of her workers, a woman who had been making life difficult, Hannah finds she is awash in a myriad of feelings she can’t quite put a name to. Things don’t get better when, following a romantic dinner with her boyfriend Cooper Wyatt, magic and mechanics collide in a multi-vehicle accident that looks to have been caused by a dark shadow. One of the survivors, a young teenager, could be shuffled into the system if someone doesn’t step up.

Sheriff Boone is the one who swoops in and brings the girl home, but all is not well. It seems something dark is chasing the girl, and it’s not of the human variety.

Hannah doesn’t know much – her knowledge as a witch is still growing – but she’s certain she needs to help the girl. It won’t be as easy as she hopes, though, because dark clouds are brewing and more than one storm is about to descend.

Hannah couldn’t save her employee and she’s haunted. She vows this girl will be different, even if she has to sacrifice herself to keep her safe.

Casper Creek has a long and storied past and old players are about to become new threats. Saddle up, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Hyperia Jones and the Olive Branch Caper by David M. KellyHyperia Jones and the Olive Branch Caper by David M. Kelly:

The Hype is real!

Hyperia Jones is at the top of her game, and she knows it. By day, a glamorous pro-rasseler who dominates the TwistCube world of FIRE–the Federation of Interstellar Rassling Entertainment. By night, the daring, resourceful, and entirely unscrupulous Tekuani, master thief.

But when the law catches up with her unexpectedly, she’s forced to accept a dangerous mission working for the very people who’ve been trying to catch her for years, and steal evidence against a powerful drug smuggling operation that reaches deep into the elite levels of Seventeen Realms society.

Now it’s a battle on all fronts. Hyperia must put everything on the line and decide what means the most to her: the lives of her fellow rasslers or her freedom.

The Plot Against Heaven by Mark KirkbrideThe Plot Against Heaven by Mark Kirkbride:

Hell-bent on confronting God after the death of wife Kate, Paul gate-crashes Heaven. With immigration problems and a wall, Heaven turns out to be nowhere near as welcoming as expected. Both Heaven and Hell are modern and militarized, and the cold war that exists between them is about to heat up, with him in the middle of it. Caught on the wrong side of Heaven, Paul faces an impossible choice if he’s to have any hope of seeing his wife again.

Death doesn’t stand a chance against love.

 

Medici of Ackbarr by Erme LanderMedici of Ackbarr by Erme Lander:

“The men go mad eventually – unable to separate themselves from the cats they control. The women? They fare little better…”

The words from Lin’s journal haunt Mika as she gains her Medici qualifications. Left homeless by his death, she tries to escape her grief by burying herself in her work, only to discover both old and new enemies waiting in the wings.

The events in this book take place about five years after those in “Blood Lore”, Book Two of The Medici Chronicles.

A Dark Infection by Erme LanderA Dark Infection by Erme Lander:

A voice in the dark, “You have taken my Consort. You’ll give her up and take me instead, Kalmár.”

It has been ten years since Tina was kidnapped by Kalmár and she has settled into the twilight world of vampires and their pets. However circumstances and her own body are changing faster than she realises, leaving her vulnerable to those who would take advantage.

A different reality intrudes as she stumbles across her daughter, now a young woman, forcing her to make hard choices between the two worlds, both inimical to each other. To survive she must gamble with those most precious to her, while fighting to keep her both her sanity and humanity intact.

Caffeinated Calamity by Amanda M. LeeCaffeinated Calamity by Amanda M. Lee:

The only witch in the world? It might feel like it to Stormy Morgan but she knows better.

Twenty minutes away, in a town called Hemlock Cove, witches have taken over. Sure, the bulk of the town is made up of frauds looking to shore up their tourism industry, but there are real witches, too. There’s a family, last name of Winchester, and they’re notorious. Stormy wants to meet them but she has a myriad of problems darkening her doorstep.

The first is Hunter Ryan, her childhood love who is back in her life and ready to take the next step, which is formal dating … just as soon as he’s given proper respect to his previous relationship. While Stormy is waiting for that to happen, she runs to the aid of customer at the family diner when the older woman collapses as she’s leaving after breakfast. Before Stormy can offer even a dollop of help, though, the woman is dead and there are more questions than answers.

When the cause of death is determined to be poison, Stormy and Hunter have to follow a tangled trail of clues … and it leads them straight to the senior center. It seems the victim was a regular visitor there, and one of the better euchre players at the lauded weekly tournaments. Is that a motive for murder, though?

Stormy has her hands full with out-of-control euchre madness, magic she is trying to control, and hormones that are threatening to run rampant. When she finally makes it to Hemlock Cove, her nerves threaten to get the best of her.

She needs help. This is a world she doesn’t understand. The truth has to come out, but is she ready? It might not matter because a murderer has marked Stormy for death. It’s up to her and her motley crew of friends and family to save the day … if they can all come together as a team.

That will be easier said than done.

Of Fury and Fangs by Kyoko M.Of Fury and Fangs by Kyoko M.:

Someone wants Dr. Rhett “Jack” Jackson dead.

After surviving a vicious attack from a dragon in his own home, Jack and Dr. Kamala Anjali investigate who sent the dragon to kill him. Unfortunately, their list of enemies is long. Plenty of people have an axe to grind with the two scientists responsible for the rebirth of the previously extinct dragons that are now flourishing on every continent of the planet. Jack and Kamala rejoin with their team at the Knight Division to hunt down the culprit and put an end to their revenge scheme once and for all.

But will it cost them everything?

Of Fury and Fangs is the fourth novel in the Amazon and USA Today bestselling Of Cinder and Bone series, following Of Cinder and Bone, Of Blood and Ashes, and Of Dawn and Embers.

Refuge by Jessica MartingRefuge by Jessica Marting:

Brother Rordan came to at a monks’ temple with no memory of who he was or where he’d been, and he’s content to leave his forgotten life in the past. All that matters is his future as a monk in service to the all-knowing stars.

Dasha Caron crash-landing at his temple changes everything for him: she makes him question his beliefs and monk’s lifestyle. She also brings the devastating news that he’s really a cyborg, and he has a price on his head.

 

Demon Prints by Nazri NoorDemon Prints by Nazri Noor:

What if the chosen one was kind of a dirtbag?

Quilliam J. Abernathy is the Chosen of Asmodeus, destined to become demonkind’s greatest weapon against heaven and humanity. Honing his arcane gifts in both modern California and the depths of hell, Quill is a prideful, powerful sorcerer, his magic surging with every tome he adds to his arcane collection.

But a botched mission incurs Asmodeus’s wrath, and Quill is stripped of his sorcery, protections, even his beloved books. Oh, and a duo of deadly angels wants him dead, too. Quill must decide. Either obey Asmodeus, reclaim his magic, and embody the apocalypse… or rebel against hell.

Spoiler alert: We’re doomed either way.

Demon Prints is the first adventure in the Infernal Inheritance urban fantasy series, set in the same universe as Darkling Mage and Sins of the Father. Witness Quilliam’s unholy ascent in an intense supernatural suspense series filled with demons, devilry, and danger.

Darkspace Renegade by G.J. OgdenDarkspace Renegade by G.J. Ogden:

The interstellar bridges provide a lifeline for billions.
To save humanity the Darkspace Renegades must tear them all down.

Unjustly kicked out of the Consortium Security Force, Hallam Knight has been reduced to working as a gunner, defending the precious Randenite fuel tankers from notorious extremists, the Darkspace Renegades.

Hell-bent on ending bridge travel for good, the Darkspace Renegades threaten to tear down the interstellar travel network that supports billions of lives, across a dozen worlds.

The Darkspace Renegades are outlaws and radicals. Or so Hallam thought.

When a violent encounter with infamous mercenary group, the Blackfire Squadron, almost costs him his life, Hallam Knight finds himself at the mercy of the Darkspace Renegades and their mysterious and enigmatic leader.

Hallam Knight discovers that everything he thought he knew was a lie. Far from being the enemy, the Darkspace Renegades are humanity’s only hope – they just don’t know it yet.

The Consortium taught Hallam that no good deed goes unpunished. They’re about to find out that karma’s a bitch.

The Acheron by Rick PartlowThe Acheron by Rick Partlow:

Sandi and Ash never set out to be heroes.

She joined the Fleet to please her mother, the Admiral.
He signed up to escape the grinding poverty of the Housing Blocks.

And the unlikely friends envisioned boring, peacetime careers as shuttle pilots. The Tahni Imperium had other ideas…

Caught in the desperate fury of the Battle for Mars, the two young pilots wind up the last defense against an alien armada, but their war is just beginning. Recruited to fly the Fleet’s newest weapon in this new war, they take the fight deep into the heart of the Imperium and battle not just against the enemy but against incompetent leadership and ineffectual tactics.

Can the unconventional strategies of a pair of hotshot young pilots change the course of the war? And when the time comes that a choice has to be made between duty to command and loyalty to a friend, which of the two will be willing to make one last flight alone…

Ghost Dance by Christine PopeGhost Dance by Christine Pope:

An angel has returned to Paris. But is it the Angel of Music…or Death?

Two years have passed since Christine fled the opera house, put the memories and the horror behind her. And yet, in her dreams, she still hears his voice, feels his moth-light touch on her throat.

The rumors involving the legendary Opera Ghost are merely newspaper sensationalism. The Opera Ghost is dead. His tragic life, his epic opera, his obsession with her voice…ended. But with a slow, heart-pounding dread, Christine lets a lie slip from her lips, and heads for Paris. Alone. Because she has to know if Erik is dead. Or if he’s alive…and wreaking his vengeance.

Inheritance by Joyce Reynolds-WardInheritance by Joyce Reynolds-Ward:

YOU CAN’T ESCAPE THE INHERITANCE OF THE PAST…OR CAN YOU?

Rancher Ruby Barkley and her ex-husband Gabe Ramirez are competing head-to-head for the AgInnovator game show’s new one-shot award, the Ag Superhero. The winner walks away with $3.75 million per year for five years, with no accountability or need to re-earn the Superhero, unlike the Innovator’s other awards.

But issues beyond those raised by their long-ago acrimonious divorce face Ruby and Gabe. Fence cutting. Rogue biobots destructively ranging beyond programmed parameters. Physical attacks. And the realization that they may need to reunite to save their son Brandon from indentured servitude.

Then the secret shadow of Gabe’s hidden inheritance reveals itself. Will he step up to the Martiniere Legacy—and what role will Ruby accept in any future they may share?

The Legacy of Tomorrow by Audrey SharpeThe Legacy of Tomorrow by Audrey Sharpe:

Her strength is her greatest weakness.

Protecting others has always been Aurora Hawke’s defining characteristic — until a fierce battle with her mortal enemy creates devastating results, proving she’s more weapon than human.

Haunted by apocalyptic visions of her future and pursued by the ghosts of her past, she makes the only logical decision.

Run.

Abandoning her ship and crew goes against everything she holds dear, but it’s the only way to safeguard those she loves from the greatest threat of all — herself.

Shadows of the Fall by Glynn StewartShadows of the Fall by Glynn Stewart:

Fifty thousand years ago, the Precursors broke the universe.
Now great powers and small alike fight over their wreckage.
But in the midst of the chaos, there is a question no one asks…
Why?

Morgan Casimir, commander of the A!Tol Imperial cruiser Defiant, has seen the works of the Precursor aliens known as the Alava. She has seen their accidents threaten worlds and consume entire star fleets.

Charged by her Empress to prevent a conspiracy of profiteers from finding and using a lost fleet of Alava warships, she knows unimaginable catastrophe looms if she fails. With her lover, xenoarcheologist Dr. Rin Dunst, at her side, she is sent to a hot zone on the edge of war to once again achieve the impossible.

But as they search along a border flaring in violence, Morgan discovers that if the worst comes to pass, her orders are to destroy the ships rather than allow them to be taken…and she realizes that there just might be a reason seemingly godlike aliens lost an entire fleet.

Triton: The Descendants War by John WalkerTriton: The Descendants War by John Walker:

Commander Titus Barnes struggles to save his ship.

War brews on the horizon and the crew of the TCN Triton get caught in the middle. When they answer a distress call from one of their colonies on the edge of their space, they end up outmatched and outgunned by an unknown force. This conflict may well push humanity into a new age…or spell the beginning of the end for their race.

Meanwhile, two archaeologists work to uncover evidence of alien life on a far off planet. As they make what might be the biggest discovery of the human race, their activities trigger an alert, drawing dangerous forces to investigate. Cut off from any quick help and on their own, they must use every trick at their disposal to stay alive.

Into the White by Daniel WillcocksInto the White by Daniel Willcocks:

If the storm must taketh, it must surely giveth, too?

Their numbers are dwindling, the storm shows no sign of relenting. Yet, at the edge of the Drumtrie Forest, a strange phenomenon is occurring: dozens of the pale white beasts standing guard.

Over what?

Cody is gone; missing in the white. Tori has reunited with her sister, but it wasn’t the celebration she planned. Karl is lost to the wants and desires of the Masked Ones.

And, from out of the storm, comes a stranger who may hold all the answers to unravelling the mystery once and for all…

If the wendigos will let her.

Geek Fire by Mel WoodburnGeek Fire by Mel Woodburn:

Honors student, Emma Edgin, never thought she’d be a superhero, but she never thought she’d fail a class or be diagnosed autistic either.

After a strange craft flies over the West Coast, Emma sneezes a fireball and starts flying.

Emma doesn’t want to be a hero. She’s got to focus on passing English and keeping the new Super Commission agent from noticing her.
Too bad so many people need saving.

Geek Fire is the first novel in the Dragon Girl Series. If you like nerdy heroes and conspiracies, then you’ll love this series!

Web of Nightmares by P.D. WorkmanWeb of Nightmares by P.D. Workman:

Psychic Reg Rawlins is hoping to get her life back to normal, or some semblance of it. With the gems she was given by the fairies for saving Calliopia’s life, she doesn’t need to worry about money. Maybe never again. She can just relax, get the sleep she needs, and not have to worry about hustling a living.

Life is better with money. Maybe she’ll even take up a hobby. Travel. Visit Erin.

But the rest of the world seems to have other ideas. Reg senses that all is not well in Black Sands. She is plagued by nightmares and visions, but her ability to consciously access her powers is limited.

A fun, full-length paranormal cozy mystery with a captivating cat, drop-dead gorgeous warlock, and magical races as you’ve never read them before.

Send to Kindle
Posted in Books, Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for October 2020


Welcome to the latest edition of “Indie Crime Fiction of the Month”.

So what is “Indie Crime Fiction of the Month”? It’s a round-up of crime fiction by indie authors newly published this month, though some September books I missed the last time around snuck in as well. The books are arranged in alphabetical order by author. So far, most links only go to Amazon.com, though I may add other retailers for future editions.

Our new releases cover the broad spectrum of crime fiction. We have cozy mysteries, small town mysteries, historical mysteries, Victorian mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, paranormal mysteries, police procedurals, crime thrillers, adventure thrillers, action thrillers, psychological thrillers, domestic thrillers, western thrillers, military thrillers, police officers, amateur sleuths, private investigators, ex-Navy SEALs, organised crime, kidnapping, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-busting realtors, crime-busting psychics, environmental disasters and much more.

Don’t forget that Indie Crime Fiction of the Month is also crossposted to the Indie Crime Scene, a group blog which features new release spotlights, guest posts, interviews and link round-ups regarding all things crime fiction several times per week.

As always, I know the authors at least vaguely, but I haven’t read all of the books, so Caveat emptor.

And now on to the books without further ado:

A Thread of Madness by Blythe BakerA Thread of Madness by Blythe Baker:

A sudden death uncovers a string of secrets in a small village…

When seamstresses Iris and Lily Dickinson are accidental witnesses to a murder, the spinster sisters resolve to keep themselves – and their pristine reputations – a discreet distance away from the sordid business. But the unexpected discovery that the killer might be in their very midst soon changes everything, sparking an urgent desperation to ferret out his identity.

While assisting the local constable in his investigation, Iris stumbles across a family mystery of her own, a buried secret that calls into question everything she thinks she knows about her sister. With Iris’s once-blind faith in Lily shaken, can the sisters unite long enough to escape the schemes of a dangerous lunatic?

Betrayed Heroes by Gregg BellBetrayed Heroes by Gregg Bell:

The US president’s seven-year-old nephew has been kidnapped. The nation is horrified, but the crime turns out to be just the break that disgraced former Navy SEALs Shelby Ryder and Earl Bernstein need. If they’re able to rescue the boy, who’s being held somewhere in the Florida Everglades, the president assures them he’ll restore their SEAL trident pins.

But something’s not right.

Support people don’t show. Others won’t reveal their names. Many seem more mercenary than military. Shelby and Earl are suspicious, but they’re desperate to be SEALs again, and there’s a boy out there in need of rescue. And so, into the depths of the humid, alligator-infested Everglades they venture, to start a mission they were never intended to survive.

The Wicked Fringe of Mystery by Beth ByersThe Wicked Fringe of Mystery by Beth Byers:

November 1925

Severine DuNoir has discovered who has been hunting her. Now she needs to discover why. As the foes circle each other, their friends and family get drawn into the conflict.

Just who can Severine trust? How can she stop him? And what will happen to those she loves if she fails? She’s all too afraid the answer is one she won’t be able to live with.

 

Bye Bye Bobby by Mike FaricyCorridor Man: Bye Bye Bobby by Mike Faricy:

Things are about to change…

– Bobby Custer is looking to take the organization in a new direction.
– He just has to get everyone on board.
– No better way to do it than with rewards!

– Of course there are some loose ends…
– People who don’t want to change!
– People who secretly question Bobby’s decisions!

It’s an exhausting time! BYE BYE BOBBY!

Deadly Pursuit by Elle GrayDeadly Pursuit by Elle Gray:

Tick. Tock… The clock is ticking.
Time is running out for Paxton Arrington.
The choice he must make could be the difference between life and death.

Paxton Arrington had an upbringing of wealth and privilege. Rather than live the life of a corporate CEO, Paxton chose to become one of Seattle’s finest. He’s a man with a rigid and unyielding personality and a belief of always doing the right thing.

When he stumbles onto corruption in his own precinct, Paxton finds himself in a precarious position with no simple way out of it.

Going head to head with Detective Sergeant Radley and his highly decorated Strike Team is career suicide. More than that, he fears that taking them on could have a ripple effect of unintended consequences.

Drawn into a web of deceit and danger.

Paxton enlists his good friend, FBI Special Agent Blake Wilder to help him get the evidence he needs to bring the Strike Team down once and for all.

With forces aligning against him, Paxton must make a decision that could cost him everything.

One that will forever change his life.

Dances With Witches by Lily Harper HartDances With Witches by Lily Harper Hart:

Hannah Hickok is struggling. After the death of one of her workers, a woman who had been making life difficult, Hannah finds she is awash in a myriad of feelings she can’t quite put a name to. Things don’t get better when, following a romantic dinner with her boyfriend Cooper Wyatt, magic and mechanics collide in a multi-vehicle accident that looks to have been caused by a dark shadow. One of the survivors, a young teenager, could be shuffled into the system if someone doesn’t step up.

Sheriff Boone is the one who swoops in and brings the girl home, but all is not well. It seems something dark is chasing the girl, and it’s not of the human variety.

Hannah doesn’t know much – her knowledge as a witch is still growing – but she’s certain she needs to help the girl. It won’t be as easy as she hopes, though, because dark clouds are brewing and more than one storm is about to descend.

Hannah couldn’t save her employee and she’s haunted. She vows this girl will be different, even if she has to sacrifice herself to keep her safe.

Casper Creek has a long and storied past and old players are about to become new threats. Saddle up, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

The Last Resort by CeeCee JamesThe Last Resort by CeeCee James:

The mother that Stella O’Neil thought she’d lost forever is getting out of jail. Today.

Stella doesn’t know if she’s excited or terrified but one thing is for sure, everything in life feels like it’s finally settling down.

But as always in Stella’s world, nothing comes easily. When she arrives at the prison to take her mom home, she’s greeted with stunning news.
Her mother isn’t there.

Someone else picked her up.

As Stella pieces together the clues, she is more afraid than she’s ever been. She’s determined to unravel the mystery and connect the dots in order to finally connect with the mother she’s never known.

Rattlesnake Rodeo by Nick KolakowskiRattlesnake Rodeo by Nick Kolakowski:

The fiery sequel to Boise Longpig Hunting Club is here…

Three nights ago, Jake Halligan and his ultra-lethal sister Frankie were kidnapped by a sadistic billionaire with a vendetta against their family. That billionaire offered them a terrible deal: Spend the next 24 hours in the backwoods of Idaho, hunted by rich men with the latest in lethal weaponry. If Jake and Frankie survived, they’d go free; otherwise, nobody would ever find their bodies.

Jake and Frankie managed to escape that terrible game, but their problems are just beginning. They’re broke, on the run, and hunted by every cop between Oregon and Montana. If they’re going to make it through, they may need to strike a devil’s bargain—and carry out a seemingly impossible crime.

Rattlesnake Rodeo is a neo-Western noir filled with incredible twists. If you want true justice against the greedy and powerful, sometimes you have no choice but to rely on the worst people…

Caffeinated Calamity by Amanda M. LeeCaffeinated Calamity by Amanda M. Lee:

The only witch in the world? It might feel like it to Stormy Morgan but she knows better.

Twenty minutes away, in a town called Hemlock Cove, witches have taken over. Sure, the bulk of the town is made up of frauds looking to shore up their tourism industry, but there are real witches, too. There’s a family, last name of Winchester, and they’re notorious. Stormy wants to meet them but she has a myriad of problems darkening her doorstep.

The first is Hunter Ryan, her childhood love who is back in her life and ready to take the next step, which is formal dating … just as soon as he’s given proper respect to his previous relationship. While Stormy is waiting for that to happen, she runs to the aid of customer at the family diner when the older woman collapses as she’s leaving after breakfast. Before Stormy can offer even a dollop of help, though, the woman is dead and there are more questions than answers.

When the cause of death is determined to be poison, Stormy and Hunter have to follow a tangled trail of clues … and it leads them straight to the senior center. It seems the victim was a regular visitor there, and one of the better euchre players at the lauded weekly tournaments. Is that a motive for murder, though?

Stormy has her hands full with out-of-control euchre madness, magic she is trying to control, and hormones that are threatening to run rampant. When she finally makes it to Hemlock Cove, her nerves threaten to get the best of her.

She needs help. This is a world she doesn’t understand. The truth has to come out, but is she ready? It might not matter because a murderer has marked Stormy for death. It’s up to her and her motley crew of friends and family to save the day … if they can all come together as a team.

That will be easier said than done.

Sorry Can't Save You by Willow RoseSorry Can’t Save You by Willow Rose:

What if you thought your husband was a murderer?

The man you loved, the man who gave you two beautiful children and a perfect life.

What if no one believed you?

Laurie Davis is the mother of two children, struggling to keep her family together since her husband, Ryan, went to war and came back changed. His PTSD is evident.

He wakes up at night, screaming in fear; he can’t stand loud noises or anyone sneaking upon him.

He even gets aggressive toward Laurie and the children. It has gotten so bad that he can no longer stay under the same roof as his family.

When a woman from his squadron is found murdered, Laurie discovers something that makes her suspect Ryan, her own husband.

But what do you do when no one believes a decorated war hero could also be a murderer?

What if you don’t want to believe it yourself?

As more people from the squadron turn up dead, by apparent suicides, Laurie digs deeper into the case.

She is risking her own life by putting it all on the line in a race against time to avoid becoming the killer’s next victim.

Bird in Hand by Nikki SternBird in Hand by Nikki Stern:

In the sequel to the award-winning THE WEDDING CRASHER, Sam Tate faces off against a vengeful killer, a mistrustful boss, a shadowy nemesis, and a 300-year-old pirate.

When Arley Fitchett’s body washes up onto Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Lieutenant Sam Tate, just two months into her new job, is charged with finding out who murdered the popular guide and treasure hunter. Fitchett, she discovers, was hunting a rare carving he believed had been stolen by Chesapeake Bay pirates in 1718 and hidden nearby. No one knows if the story is true, but several locals seem to share Fitchett’s interest in the wooden bird with the sapphire eye. Any one of them could be the next victim. One of them is definitely the killer.

Rising Warrior by Wayne StinnettRising Warrior by Wayne Stinnett:

After returning home to the Florida Keys, Jesse moves on to Fort Myers, his hometown on the Southwest Florida coast. There is much work to be done and Jesse is no stranger to hard work.

On a kayaking adventure with friends, Jesse’s daughter finds and rescues a baby manatee suffering from respiratory problems. The red tide has returned and fish are dying by the thousands, along with dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, and sea birds.

The algal bloom is a naturally occurring phenomenon, but this time it’s much worse. Theories abound; it’s something left over from the previous spring’s coronavirus outbreak, it’s caused by pollution, someone is intentionally creating a super-algae.

But there’s something far more sinister going on among the Ten Thousand Islands, and it’s up to Jesse to find out where the bodies are buried.

Fair Cronies and Felonies by Anne R. TanFair Cronies and Felonies by Anne R. Tan:

A new director. Budget cuts. And a fire. The senior center will never be the same again.

As the new director for the senior center, Raina Sun thought organizing a few events for the geriatric crowd would be fairly easy. Until the center’s biggest donor dies in a fire, and her grandma’s arch nemesis becomes the prime suspect. As the body count piles up, Raina is drawn into another murder investigation. Can she solve the case, or will her grandma’s arch nemesis spend the rest of her golden years in prison?

Don’t miss out on the fun. Grab your copy now.

Web of Nightmares by P.D. WorkmanWeb of Nightmares by P.D. Workman:

Psychic Reg Rawlins is hoping to get her life back to normal, or some semblance of it. With the gems she was given by the fairies for saving Calliopia’s life, she doesn’t need to worry about money. Maybe never again. She can just relax, get the sleep she needs, and not have to worry about hustling a living.

Life is better with money. Maybe she’ll even take up a hobby. Travel. Visit Erin.

But the rest of the world seems to have other ideas. Reg senses that all is not well in Black Sands. She is plagued by nightmares and visions, but her ability to consciously access her powers is limited.

A fun, full-length paranormal cozy mystery with a captivating cat, drop-dead gorgeous warlock, and magical races as you’ve never read them before.

Send to Kindle
Posted in Books, Indie Crime Fiction of the Month | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Trio of Spooky New Releases and Why I Cannot Write Straight Horror

I mentioned that there would be one more new release announcement for October and here it is. It’s somewhat incomplete, because the links to Barnes & Noble are missing, since the bookseller recently suffered a cyberattack and still hasn’t managed to get their system back online two weeks later.

But first of all, I also wanted to let you know that I have two new articles up at Galactic Journey. The first one is about East and West German comics of the 1950s and 1960s. The second article is about the biggest West German movie of 1965, Winnetou III, which ends with everybody’s favourite heroic Apache chief expiring tragically in the arms of his best friend and blood brother Old Shatterhand.

In other news, I am also doing episode by episode reviews of season 3 of Star Trek Discovery at my personal blog. I will probably also do season 2 of The Mandalorian, when it starts this Friday, which should keep me busy for a while.

But now on to the new releases. October is the spooky month, so I have three spooky new e-books to share. None of them are straight horror, because it turns out that I cannot write straight horror. Cause whenever I try to write horror, it either comes out as a parody of horror tropes or a story about trying to figure out what the spooky creature wants and how to deal with it without violence.

I’m not entirely sure why that is, especially since I grew up during the 1970s and 1980s, i.e. the heyday of the horror genre. However, I haven’t been scared by a horror movie since I was about eighteen and watched the original Nightmare on Elm Street on TV, while home alone. And even before that I haven’t been scared by horror movies all that often, if only because horror movies that were actually accessible – on TV and not in the cinema with an 18 certificate or banned altogether – were few and far between. In the three channel TV landscape of West Germany in the 1980s, horror films occasionally showed up on late night TV, but those were mostly older black and white films that relied on atmosphere more than gore. There were also the Dr. Mabuse and Edgar Wallace movies, which – though not straight horror – definitely have horror elements, but also mainly rely on atmosphere.

Meanwhile, the horror movies of the 1970s and 1980s were not at all easy to watch, if you were a teenager in Germany, because Germans are more sensitive to violence than Americans or Italians, whence those movies mostly hailed, and so any horror movie to reach our shores was either cut to ribbons or had an eighteen certificate slapped on it or both. The original Evil Dead was unavailable in Germany until a few years ago, because it was apparently too horrible for us to watch. If you had a VCR and knew someone who could rent 18+ movies, you could watch horror films, but otherwise you were out of luck. There was a moral panic about horror movie inciting teenagers to… well, I’m not entirely sure what horror movies were supposed to do to teenagers, but it was bad. One movie which came in for particular scrutiny was a 1980 Troma movie called Mother’s Day, which archieved near legendary status as a movie everybody had heard of, but almost no one had seen. And those who claimed to have seen it usually hadn’t seen it either, they simply made something up based what they’d heard. The trailer for Mother’s Day is here BTW, if you want to see what the fuss was all about.

As a result, I didn’t get to see most horror movies at the age when they would have scared me. And by the time, I finally got to see the films – once private TV had come to Germany – I was usually underwhelmed because what my mind had conjured up was usually scarier than the reality. Not to mention that a lot of horror movie tropes are rather silly, especially since most of those movies were made for a very different cultural context. People in Germany simply weren’t particularly bothered about teenagers having – gasp – sex, while camping in the woods, and certainly didn’t think this was a crime worth killing people for.

However, I also had issues even with those horror movies – usually more traditional vampire, ghost and monster fare – that I actually was able watch. For quite often, I found myself sympathising with the supernatural creature. One movie I remember infuriating me was House of Dark Shadows, a 1970 spin-off of the US horror soap opera Dark Shadows. In the movie, a young woman gets bitten and turned by Barnabas Collins. She is buried and returns as a vampire, bites someone and then several members of her own family hold her down, while someone stakes her. This scene absolutely infuriated me, because the young woman had been these people’s daughter, girlfriend, sister and yet they murdered her in cold blood. And besides, it wasn’t her fault that she was a vampire and that she was hungry. Surely it would be possible for her to live on blood donations.

Other films elicited similar reactions. “Okay, so the house is haunted, but why not try to coexist with the ghosts? After all, it’s their home, too.” – “Okay, so someone is possessed by a demon, but where exactly is the problem? Why not share the body with the demon and come to an agreement?” That’s also why I immediately took to urban fantasy, when I became popular, because here finally were stories which asked the same questions I had asked myself for years at that point.

As a result, whenever I try to write horror, it usually comes out either as parody or a story where the protagonists try to figure out what the monsters want and how to deal with them without violence. All of the stories I am going to announce today fall into one of those categories. Coincidentally, all of them were July challenge stories, too.

The first new story is of the latter type, where the characters try to figure out what the spooky creatures want. It is a historical fantasy tale set in the Netherlands during the the Eighty-Years-War, during which the Netherlands attempted and eventually succeeded in getting rid of the Spanish occupation. A large part of the issue was that the Netherlands were largely Protestant and found themselves faced with the Spanish Inquisition (which they no more expected than anybody else).

Now my Dad worked in the Netherlands, when I was a teenager, and I usually spent my holidays there and got in contact with the local pop culture. And the Eighty-Years War still looms large in Dutch memory and popular culture just as the Thirty-Years-War a little later looms in the German memory. So I learned about the Eighty-Years War by cultural osmosis from comic books and a book on the history of Rotterdam that someone had given my Dad and that I read when I ran out of reading material.

The actual inspiration for the story was a piece of fantasy art, namely this one by Michael MacRae. It’s an evocative piece that somehow made me think of the Netherlands in the 16th century. The story grew from there.

The problem when writing historical fiction (or historical fantasy) set during less explored periods is how much information the reader needs to tell them when and where the story is set. The first draft contained references to the Lowlands, William of Orange, the Spanish oppressors and people executed for heresy, which seemed completely sufficient to me to let the reader know when and where the story is set. However, the Eighty-Years War is not all that well known to people outside the Netherlands, so I also explicitly mentioned the year and the place where the story is set.

So follow Ann and her little son Florentijn as they confront…

The Ghosts of Doodenbos
The Ghosts of Doodenbos by Cora BuhlertThe Netherlands in the year of the Lord 1571: The young widow Ann lives alone with her little son Florentijn in a house at the edge of the woods.

From childhood on, Ann has been told to never ever go alone into the woods. But when her little son runs away, Ann has no choice. She must venture into the forest to save Florentijn from the creatures that live in the woods surrounding the village of Doodenbos.

This is a historical horror short story of 3000 words or approx. 12 pages.

 

More information.
Length: 3000 words
List price: 0.99 USD, EUR or GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, Vivlio, 24symbols and XinXii.

While going through my backlog of unpublished stories, most of them July short story challenge stories, I realised that I had written no less than four stories featuring demon summoning rituals gone terribly wrong and thought, “Well, that’s enough for a collection then.” And this is how Demon Summoning for Beginners was born.

During the July short story challenge, I often use fantasy art as writing prompts and so two of the stories were inspired by pieces of fantasy art, namely this one by Nele Diehl and this one by David Velasquez.

Another story was inspired by watching an episode of Supernatural and getting annoyed at the badly mangled Latin used during a magical ritual. So I thought, “Well, if I’m annoyed, how annoyed will a demon be. And how will mangled Latin or mangled Hebrew affect a ritual?” The story grew from there.

The final story was inspired by noticing that the instruction for magical potions and spells and recipes for food often look remarkably similar, only that there are stranger ingredients in the former. So I thought, “What if a recipe accidentally conjures up a demon?”

These stories all fall into the parody category. Though the characters also try to figure out how to deal with a demon that none of them actually expected to show up.

So get ready for a lesson in…

Demon Summoning for Beginners
Demon Summoning for Beginners by Cora BuhlertWhen observing a magical ritual in the woods, make sure to take precautions…

If you try to summon a demon to grant you your heart’s fondest desire, you’d better get your Latin right…

When studying ancient grimoires, it’s never a good idea to actually read the contents out loud or you might just cause the end of the world…

Following your grandma’s heirloom recipe might just conjure up something other than marinara sauce…

Four short humorous horror tales of rituals gone very wrong by Hugo finalist Cora Buhlert of 5800 words or approx. 20 print pages altogether.

More information.
Length: 5800 words
List price: 0.99 USD, EUR or GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, Vivlio, 24symbols and XinXii.

The final new release for this month is a collection of two short vampire stories. Both of them fall under the banner of “How can you deal with a vampire without staking them?”

Both stories were July challenge stories, but one of the stories was actually written on the day of the 2020 Hugo ceremony and indeed I wrote part of the story during the neverending Hugo ceremony from hell.

The story in question, “The House at Green Corner”, is also inspired by a real house with an overgrown garden in my neighbourhood, which looks exactly as it is described in the story.

In summer, I like taking walks in the early morning just before the sun comes up to avoid the heat of the day. And during one of those walks I noticed that there were a lot of bats fluttering around the house and its garden. Like the protagonist, I assumed that the bats probably lived in the overgrown garden. And then I thought, “Maybe the bats don’t just live in the garden, maybe they are the owners of the house and they’re all vampires.” The story grew from there.

So get ready to meet some vampires and make sure to avoid the…

Puncture Wounds
Puncture Wounds by Cora BuhlertEvery morning, Brett finds blood on his sheets and mysterious puncture wounds on his body. But as he tries to trap the “night pricker”, as he calls his unseen assailant, he’s in for a surprise…

The house at Green Corner has been standing there for fifty years now, surrounded by a tall fence and even taller hedges. And at dawn, bats flutter around the overgrown garden. No one has ever seen the owner of the house, let alone spoken to them. But early one morning, paper girl Maddie decides to venture beyond the tall hedges on a dare and finds something very unexpected…

Two modern vampire tales by Hugo finalist Cora Buhlert of 5000 words or approx. 18 print pages altogether.

More information.
Length: 5000 words
List price: 0.99 USD, EUR or GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, Vivlio, 24symbols and XinXii.

If you want to read all of my attempts at horror fiction, the cheapest way to do so is via The Spooky Bundle, which is available exclusively at DriveThruFiction.

Send to Kindle
Posted in Announcements, Books, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Podcast and Three New Stories of The Day the Saucers Came…

Well, I told you that there would be more new release announcements in the near future and here is the next one.

But first of all, I also have another announcement to make for the audio fiction fans among you. Because the latest episode of the Simultaneous Times podcast includes my story “Patient X-5” as well as “Trial in Majority” by Andy Dibble. Simultaneous Times is a fiction podcast produced by Space Cowboy Books, a science fiction bookstore in Joshua Tree, California.

“Patient X-5” is another story to result from the July Short Story Challenge and the first of my stories ever to make it to audio. The story is narrated by Jean-Paul Garnier and Zara Kand with music by Phog Masheen. It’s a great production that really brings the story to life. I particularly like the sound effects for the movements and voice of Patient X-5, “Whirr” to their friends.

You can listen to the episode on podomatic or Apple iTunes or the various other apps where podcasts may be found.

You can also listen right here:

In other news, I also have a triple new release announcement for the next three stories in my The Day the Saucers Came… series.For those of you who don’t know, the premise of the series is that there was a B-movie style alien invasion on June 9, 1956, a.k.a. “The Day the Saucers Came…”. The stories are eye witness accounts by survivors of that invasion and – it is implied – members of the resistance. In most of the stories, an alien invasion is not the worst or most notable thing that happened to the respective narrator on that day.

There are six The Day the Saucers Came… stories altogether. Acacia Crescent is the story of ten-year-old Kenny for whom June 9th, 1956, already was the worst day of his life before the saucers showed up. Lovers’ Lane is the story of sixteen-year-old Betty who first loses her virginity to the boy she believes loves her and then her boyfriend to the flying saucers. Double Feature is the story of seventeen-year-old Judy, who is in the cinema watching a science fiction double feature, when what happens on screen suddenly becomes reality.

The first of three new tales is the story of Rosemary Wilson, a housewife and mother of three who finally decides to leave her abusive husband, when the flying saucers show up.

Azalea Avenue
Azalea Avenue by Cora Buhlert1956: On the surface, Rosemary Wilson is a happily married wife and mother, enjoying a perfect life in the quiet suburb of Shady Groves. But the house on Azalea Avenue harbours a dark secret, for Rosemary’s husband Don is an abusive drunk, who vents his frustrations on Rosemary and their three children.

After nine years of abuse, Rosemary finally decides to leave Don. But her plans of escape are interrupted, first by Don coming home early from a weekend hunting trip and then by the appearance of a flying saucer from outer space in the sky above Shady Groves…

This is a novelette of 10400 words or approx. 38 pages in the The Day the Saucers Came… series, but may be read as a standalone.

Content warning for domestic violence.

More information.
Length: 10400 words
List price: 2.99 USD, EUR or 1.99 GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, Vivlio, 24symbols and XinXii.

The next of the new tales is the story of Bernie Stetson, a burglar who experiences a double surprise. First, the house he’s robbing turns out to be not as deserted as he thought. And then a flying saucer shows up as well.

Bernie’s story was a July Short Story Challenge story BTW, inspired by this piece of art by Simon Stålenhag.

Appletree Court
Appletree Court by Cora Buhlert1956: Bernie Stetson is a burglar, robbing suburban homes while their owners are not at home.

Bernie’s latest raid takes him to the subdivision of Shady Groves. But things quickly go wrong. First, the house Bernie is robbing turns out to be not as deserted as he thought. And then, a flying saucer from outer space appears in the sky above Shady Groves…

This is a short story of 3600 words or approx. 14 print pages in the The Day the Saucers Came… series, but may be read as a standalone.

 

More information.
Length: 3600 words
List price: 0.99 USD, EUR or GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, Vivlio, 24symbols and XinXii.

The last of the three new The Day the Saucers Came… stories is another July Challenge story. The idea behind this story was “The couple from the painting American Gothic meet aliens.”

Willowbrook Farm
Willowbrook Farm by Cora Buhlert1956: The elderly farmer couple Bob and Mary Graham are crushed by debt and about to lose the family farm to a greedy developer.

But on the day they are supposed to be evicted, a flying saucer from outer space appears in the sky above Willowbrook Farm…

This is a short story of 2700 words or approx. 10 print pages in the The Day the Saucers Came… series, but may be read as a standalone.

 

More information.
Length: 2700 words
List price: 0.99 USD, EUR or GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, Vivlio, 24symbols and XinXii.

All The Day the Saucers Came… stories can be read as standalones, but the characters appear in each others’ stories. Acacia Crescent, Azalea Avenue and Appletree Court all happen in the same place, the evocatively named suburb Shady Groves. Lovers’ Lane and Double Feature not only happen in the same small town, the two narrators are also classmates. And in the end, all the characters from the different stories meet up at the same diner.

If you want to read the entire The Day the Saucers Came… series, the cheapest way to do so is via this handy bundle at DriveThruFiction. And in case you noticed that there are some character apearing in the diner scene at the end whose stories have not yet been told, keep watching the skies this space.

Send to Kindle
Posted in Announcements, Books | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A new Sword and Sorcery Story, a new Helen Shepherd Mystery and the Pegasus Pulp Sampler

I’ve been busy lately, editing and proofreading stories, designing covers, formatting e-books and generally working through the backlog of unpublished stories resulting from the July Short Story Challenge(s). So there will be more new release announcements in the near future.

To begin with, I want to announce the first two stories from the 2020 July Short Story Challenge to be published. These are also the two longest stories to come out of the 2020 July Short Story Challenge, since both have crossed the novelette mark.

The first of these two stories is a sword and sorcery tale, though it’s not a Thurvok story, because it just didn’t fit into the Thurvok series. Because the story requires the protagonist to be a king. And Thurvok is happy being a wandering adventurer and has zero interest in being a king and Meldom, much as I like him, should never be put in charge of anything. So I came up with a new character called Kurval, a barbarian from beyond the sea who became King of Azakoria and has problems getting the people to accept him.

But King’s Justice also wouldn’t have fit tonally into the Thurvok series, because the Thurvok stories sit on the lighter end of the sword and sorcery spectrum, in spite of plenty of monsters, skeletons and resurrected corpses, and are closer to Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and Gray Mouser (though there are plenty of dark Leiber stories as well) than to Conan and Jirel of Joiry. “King’s Justice” is more Robert E. Howard, particularly the Kull stories and The Hour of the Dragon/Conan the Conqueror. Though the ending is happier than what Howard or Moore would have written.

Initially, King’s Justice was supposed to be a standalone, but since I like Kurval and I can tell stories with him that I cannot tell with Thurvok and his friends, you’ll see him again eventually. I’m publishing the Kurval stories under the Richard Blakemore byline, because Richard already has an established name as a sword and sorcery writer.

So follow Kurval, as he prepared to mete out…

King’s Justice
King's Justice by Richard Blakemore and Cora BuhlertIn the year of the forked serpent, Kurval came from beyond the sea, slew King Orkol and became King of Azakoria.

But Kurval’s reign is not an easy one. The people of Azakoria despise him as an uncouth barbarian, the nobles plot against him and assassination attempts are a frequent occurrence.

One day, a hooded assassin tries to stab Kurval during an audience. Kurval is shocked, when the assassin is revealed to be a young woman, Nelaira, daughter of a minor noble. But why would a girl of nineteen throw away her life on a futile assassination attempt?

As Kurval investigates Nelaira’s motives, he finds that he does not want to hang her. But he is king now and a king has to do his duty. Or does he?

This is a romantic novelette of 9000 words or approx. 30 print pages in the Kurval sword and sorcery series, but may be read as a standalone. Includes an introduction and afterword.

More information.
Length: 9000 words.
List price: 0.99 USD, EUR or GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, Vivlio, 24symbols and XinXii.

***

The second new story I have to announce is the latest Helen Shepherd Mystery. Even though A Grave Case is already the fourteenth Helen Shepherd Mystery I have written, it is the first to be written during the July Short Story Challenge.

The inspiration for this story was a news report about thefts and robberies on cemeteries. It’s not even the first crime story I have written that is set on a cemetery and features someone robbing elderly widows. Loot is another, though it’s much more lighthearted. Though the robber gets his comeuppance in both cases.

So follow Detective Inspector Helen Shepherd and her team, as they solve…

A Grave Case
A Grave Case by Cora BuhlertWhen the elderly widow Maureen Pettigrew is found bludgeoned to death on the grave of her late husband, the case seems clear. Maureen is the latest victim of the cemetery mugger who has been terrorising Kensal Green cemetery for several weeks now.

However, the only suspect – a young man in jeans and a battered leather jacket – is a phantom no one except the cemetery caretaker has ever seen.

Can Detective Inspector Helen Shepherd and her team find the young man in the leather jacket? And does he even exist?

This is a novelette of 7700 words or approx. 26 print pages in the Helen Shepherd Mysteries series, but may be read as a standalone.

More information.
Length: 7700 words
List price: 0.99 USD, EUR or GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, Vivlio, 24symbols and XinXii.

***

The final release I have to announce is not so new anymore. It’s The Pegasus Pulp Sampler, a collection which offers stories, usually the first one, from all my series. I initially intended for the sampler to be a Worldcon exclusive, but since it was doing well, I left it up. However, since the Sampler was only supposed to be available for a limited time, I never announced it here and then just forgot.

Still, if you want to try my various series (all of them), this is the cheapest and easiest way to do it.

The Pegasus Pulp Sampler
The Pegasus Pulp Sampler by Cora BuhlertGet an overview of the works of Hugo finalist Cora Buhlert and her one-woman small press Pegasus Pulp Publishing.

Space opera, military science fiction, alien invasions, hostile planets, sword and sorcery, pulp thrillers, men’s adventure, murder mysteries, cozy fantasy, historical romance – we have all that and more.

Meet Anjali and Mikhail, soldiers on opposite sides of an intergalactic war, who fall in love across enemy lines. Follow along with the rebellion against the Fifth Human Empire. Explore what happened on June 9th, 1956, the day the saucers came. Follow the people on the planet Iago Prime as they try to maintain old world traditions in their new home. Watch Alfred and Bertha, an ordinary married couple, as they live their marvellous twenty-first century life. Follow Detective Inspector Helen Shepherd of the London Metropolitan Police and her team, as they solve crimes. Watch Two-Fisted Todd Donavan, international troubleshooter, as he travels the world in the 1960s to solve other people’s problems. Meet Richard Blakemore, hardworking pulp author by day and the masked crimefighter known only as the Silencer by night, as he fights crime and corruption in Depression era New York City. Follow Thurvok the sellsword and his friends, as they seek treasures, fight monsters and help those in need. Visit Hallowind Cove, the permanently fog-shrouded seaside town, where strange things keep happening.

Enjoy twelve novellas, novelettes and short stories in five genres.

Contains the following stories:

  • Evacuation Order
  • Baptism of Fire
  • Mercy Mission
  • Acacia Crescent
  • Valentine’s Day on Iago Prime
  • The Four and a Half Minute Boiled Egg
  • The Cork and the Bottle
  • The Crawling Death
  • Countdown to Death
  • The Valley of the Man Vultures
  • The Revenant of Wrecker’s Dock
  • The Kiss of the Executioner’s Blade

List price: 2.99 USD, EUR or GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, Vivlio, 24symbols and XinXii.

***

As I said above, there are more new release coming. Next up, are not one, not two, but three new stories in the The Day the Saucers Came… series.

Also upcoming are new stories in the In Love and War series, more Thurvok stories and some spooky short fiction.

Send to Kindle
Posted in Announcements, Books | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for September 2020

Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month
It’s that time of the month again, time for “Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month”.

So what is “Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month”? It’s a round-up of speculative fiction by indie and small press authors (as well as the occasional Big 5 book) newly published this month, though some August books I missed the last time around snuck in as well. The books are arranged in alphabetical order by author. So far, most links only go to Amazon.com, though I may add other retailers for future editions.

Once again, we have new releases covering the whole broad spectrum of speculative fiction. This month, we have urban fantasy, epic fantasy, Asian fantasy, fairytales, sword and sorcery, paranormal mysteries, paranormal romance, fantasy romance, science fiction romance, science fantasy, space opera, military science fiction, young adult science fiction, young adult fantasy, weird western, horror, non-fiction, literary criticism, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, sirens, monsters, necromancers, barbarian kings, star kingdoms, space mages, space marines, space pirates, xenoarchaeologists, haunted drive-ins, crime-busting witches and much more.

Don’t forget that Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month is also crossposted to the Speculative Fiction Showcase, a group blog run by Jessica Rydill and myself, which features new release spotlights, guest posts, interviews and link round-ups regarding all things speculative fiction several times per week.

As always, I know the authors at least vaguely, but I haven’t read all of the books, so Caveat emptor.

And now on to the books without further ado:

The Jonbar Point by Brian AldissThe Jonbar Point: Essays from SF Horizons by Brian Aldiss:

The Jonbar Point collects, for the first time, two major essays on science fiction which Brian Aldiss published in the two issues of his and Harry Harrison’s critical journal SF Horizons. Christopher Priest contributes a new introduction.

“Judgement at Jonbar” (1964) is a lengthy analysis on several levels of Jack Williamson’s pulp-era classic The Legion of Time, which gave SF the term “jonbar point” – where alternative timelines diverge. This essay is described in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction as “one of the most penetrating studies yet written about a pulp-sf novel”.

“British Science Fiction Now: Studies of Three Writers” (1965) examines the work of the contemporary authors Lan Wright, Donald Malcolm and J.G. Ballard – treating the first two somewhat cruelly (though very entertainingly) and the third with measured admiration. This, based on his early work to 1965, was the first substantial critical study of the later very famous J.G. Ballard.

Brian Aldiss himself, one of the most distinguished SF authors of the twentieth century, should need no introduction. The Jonbar Point: Essays from SF Horizons is published by permission of The Estate of Brian Aldiss.

King's Justice by Richard Blakemore and Cora BuhlertKing’s Justice by Richard Blakemore and Cora Buhlert:

In the year of the forked serpent, Kurval came from beyond the sea, slew King Orkol and became King of Azakoria.

But Kurval’s reign is not an easy one. The people of Azakoria despise him as an uncouth barbarian, the nobles plot against him and assassination attempts are a frequent occurrence.

One day, a hooded assassin tries to stab Kurval during an audience. Kurval is shocked, when the assassin is revealed to be a young woman, Nelaira, daughter of a minor noble. But why would a girl of nineteen throw away her life on a futile assassination attempt?

As Kurval investigates Nelaira’s motives, he finds that he does not want to hang her. But he is king now and a king has to do his duty. Or does he?

This is a romantic novelette of 9000 words or approx. 30 print pages in the Kurval sword and sorcery series, but may be read as a standalone. Includes an introduction and afterword.

Fortune's Fool by Jeff BoydFortune’s Fool by Jeff Boyd:

He digs through the past to unearth his future. But will rocketing into the expanse blast him into deadly trouble?

Xenoarchaeologist Mark Fortune just needs one big find to be set for life. Roaming the post-apocalyptic galaxy in search of riches, the pragmatic loner believes he’s finally made the breakthrough of his career when he activates an ancient portal. But when he’s catapulted onto an unknown planet, he’s followed by a revenge-driven skybiker out for his blood.

For the sake of survival, Mark and the motorhead form an uneasy alliance until they can escape the strange and unforgiving world. But the only path back home pits them against a ruthless warlord in a flying space fortress armed with pre-holocaust tech and a horde of killer robots…

Can Mark tear down a dictator before his newest discovery is otherworldly death?

Fortune’s Fool is the first book in the edgy Fortune Chronicles science fiction adventure series. If you like throwback futurism, gritty action, and expansive worlds, then you’ll love Jeff Boyd’s interstellar doorway.

Layers of Force by Lindsay BurokerLayers of Force by Lindsay Buroker:

The exciting conclusion to the Star Kingdom series!

Even though Professor Casmir Dabrowski has been fighting for months to help the kingdom and humanity as a whole, few people in positions of power have appreciated his unorthodox methods. Now he’s a captive of the king and being taken back to his home world without his friends or the crushers he relies upon to protect him. The king believes Casmir is responsible for the prince’s death and plans to have him publicly executed.

But bigger troubles are brewing for the Star Kingdom, and Casmir may once again be needed to find a creative solution to save his people—and reshape the entire future of the Twelve Systems.

First, he’s got to escape and survive. No easy feat for a man stripped of his allies and marked as a rebel and a traitor.

Order now to find out what happens in this final installment of the series.

Acceptable Losses by Rachel FordAcceptable Losses by Rachel Ford:

Victory is reserved for those who are willing to pay its price.

The Union is engaged in a bitter war on multiple fronts. Old enmities are resurfacing daily, threatening further cracks in the already fragile planetary alliance. But there are some who are willing to pay the price, whatever it is, to keep the Union intact.

When the Black Flag is ambushed en route to a rendezvous, privateers Katherine Ellis and Captain Magdalene Landon find themselves fighting a losing battle against a superior force. And when they need them most, the Union is nowhere to be found.

But there’s more afoot than overtaxed lines and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. To the admiralty, a handful of privateers is a small price to pay for victory.

As Katherine and Magdalene discover that their plight might not be a product of happenstance after all, they determine to live long enough to get answers. Because losing the Black Flag might be acceptable to the brass, but they’re not willing to die as pawns.

Sanctuary by Chris FoxSanctuary by Chris Fox:

Join Us, or Die and Join Anyway

I hate necromancers. They’re sneaky, and underhanded, and…damned effective. My father’s ghost is going to be reshaped into an assassin sent to kill my mother unless I dance for Necrotis, an unliving goddess and ruler of the Maker’s Wrath.

A storm rages across the void, with winds upwards of two thousand kilometers a second in some places, the Catalyst known as Sanctuary. The Unseen Fleets lurk somewhere within, and emerge to harvest miners working the asteroids and moons flung out of the storm. Necrotis wants me to fly inside, find a city that predates the Great Cycle, and find a way inside when no one ever has before.

No pressure, right?

If I didn’t need enough incentive here’s some more. My mother promised the Confederate Pantheon that I’d fly into the storm to find answers while they marshal their forces for war. No one asked me, or my crew. I wish I could give them the middle finger, and take the Remora and run, but if I do?

Well… I have a feeling the whole galaxy is going to burn. I need to save my father. I need to find out what’s hiding in that storm, and then turn it on the people trying to use me. I’ll get answers all right, but not the ones they want.

Dryker's Folly by Chris FoxDryker’s Folly by Chris Fox:

Before the Void Wraith. Before the Eradication.

Captain Dryker is a washed up vet mining on the fringes of the Kupier belt. He loads rocks into the Folly’s railgun, and fires them back to his corporate overlords on Earth. Boring, just the way he likes it. Until one day it isn’t.

An alien signal bursts from Pluto, which as it turns out is neither a planet, nor a planetoid body. It is an ancient defense satellite that has activated because it detected the return of the Vuka Spectra. The Void Wraith.

Dryker is the closest ship on the scene, but not the only one vying for the prize. Hostile aliens have somehow emerged from our sun using something called a Helios Gate. The savage Tigris have come not just for the satellite, but to conquer Earth.

Dryker’s only hope is finding something, anything, within the installation to counter the alien’s superior technology and save mankind.

The prequel to the Void Wraith Saga. Learn how it all began…

Reach of the Colossus by Nicole GrotepasReach of the Colossus by Nicole Grotepas:

If the old power was bad, this new one? Absolute evil.

Holly Drake and her crew can hardly guess what the new shadow forces will do. Trying to stay a step ahead of them hardly seems like the answer. But what choice do they have? Bargaining for information from the corrupt underworld, facing down new foes, and pulling side-heists to fund their larger goals is chaotic at best. But, well, it’s the least they can do.

 

Legend of the Black Rose by A.W. HartLegend of the Black Rose by A.W. Hart:

A GRITTY, VIOLENT ADVENTURE FOLLOWING ONE WOMAN’S SEARCH FOR VENGEANCE.

Catalina Cristiana Rivera’s aristocratic life is shattered by a heinous raid on her father’s prominent West Texas rancho.

But at the convent in Santo Tomas redemption and the violent secrets of her past confront Lina with an even more dire challenge. A challenge that gives rise to the legend…and dark vengeance of the Black Rose.

With her razor-sharp urumi whip-sword and the help of a deputy U.S. Marshal, Lina’s alter ego carves a new legacy in the annals of Western adventure.

With high adventure, fast action, and an underlying sense of comradery and duty, The Black Rose joins a pantheon of masked heroes blazing her way across the early 20th century desert landscape.

Ghostly Camping by Lily Harper HartGhostly Camping by Lily Harper Hart:

Harper Harlow’s romantic life is perfect, her wedding is in the works, and now she’s decided to enhance her business standing by attending a haunted campground opening. If she enjoys herself, publicly endorses it and the owner, then she’ll open up a brave new world.

Unfortunately for Harper, old ghosts die hard and a fresh murder taints what is supposed to be a quiet weekend.

Harper’s happy foursome – her fiancé Jared Monroe, her best friend Zander Pritchett, and his fiancé Shawn Donovan are all along for the ride – turns into a nightmare when the group must pretend to solve a fake murder while actively hunting clues regarding a real murder. On top of that, Harper and Zander don’t have as much fun “roughing it” as they thought they would … well, despite the s’mores.

Four urbanites go into the woods. Will any of them come out alive? It’s going to take everyone working together to solve an old mystery and ease the fresh hell that has emerged.

Get ready for adventure, because it’s going to be one heckuva trip, and there’s a big wedding right around the corner for those who survive.

Interrupting Starlight by Kyndra HatchInterrupting Starlight by Kyndra Hatch:

The human composed a song in his heart, a pull he couldn’t ignore, a draw that demanded further exploration—

When he answered a distress call, L’Den hadn’t expected to find one of the Invaders waiting for him. The tug he feels on his soul is even more surprising, drawing him closer to the woman, in spite of her humanity. Both his second-in-command and A’rch, his companion mogha, seem fine with leaving her behind and letting the desert deal with the problem, but he’s not so sure.

Tessa has spent the last two years hoping for a way off the harsh desert planet where her research vessel crashed, watching her friends die one-by-one, and befriending a strange creature of the sand. But when a rescue ship does arrive, she realizes she might have been better off lost. The Korthans, savage aliens bent on the destruction of humankind, aren’t happy to find her. And yet, despite her fear, she can’t deny the pull she feels towards one of them.

Korthans only have one chance to find a true mate, but chasing after the human could risk the safety of the colony he’s sworn to protect. Even though the call of a mating bond demands a higher loyalty, L’Den never expected to have to choose.

Windstorm by A.L. HawkeWindstorm by A.L. Hawke:

Believe in witches, for sometimes you need magic to ward off the evil in darkness.

It was my junior year at Hawthorne University when Mira dealt me a reversed Lovers card. That meant trouble in paradise. I thought nothing of it until Alondra introduced me to a new witch from outside our coven—Enora. Enora’s precisely the sort of witch you’d call wicked. Even worse, she used to be in love with my boyfriend.

I just wanted a normal year. But as our leader fought illness, I fought with my friends trying to hold the Hawthorne coven together. I felt abandoned. And my loneliness dropped me into trances where I wandered the dark forest alone. These altered states were created by my magic, but I learned that they were spurred on by something far more sinister.

Where did this evil come from? The wicked witch? The old devil? I had to find out because it threatened the people I love.

Burning Roses by S.L. HuangBurning Roses by S.L. Huang:

Rosa, also known as Red Riding Hood, is done with wolves and woods.

Hou Yi the Archer is tired, and knows she’s past her prime.

They would both rather just be retired, but that’s not what the world has ready for them.

When deadly sunbirds begin to ravage the countryside, threatening everything they’ve both grown to love, the two must join forces. Now blessed and burdened with the hindsight of middle age, they begin a quest that’s a reckoning of sacrifices made and mistakes mourned, of choices and family and the quest for immortality.

Guardians of the Sky Realms by Gerry HuntmanGuardian of the Sky Realms by Gerry Huntman:

Maree Webster?an “almost-emo” from the western suburbs of Sydney?hates school, has few friends, and is obsessed with angels and fallen angel stories. Life is boring until she decides to steal a famous painting from a small art gallery that has been haunting her dreams: swirling reds, greys and oranges of barely discernible winged figures. There, she meets a stranger who claims to know her and stumbles into a world where cities float in the sky, and daemons roam the barren, magma-spewing crags of the land far below. And all is not well?Maree is turning into something she loves but at the same time, fears. Most fearful of all is the prospect of losing her identity?what makes her Maree, and more importantly, what makes her human. Guardian of the Sky Realms takes the reader on a journey through exotic fantasy lands, as well as across the globe, from Sydney to Paris, from the Himalayas to Manhattan. At its heart, it is a novel about transformation.

Assassins of Brush and Blade by J.C. KangAssassins of Brush and Blade by J.C. Kang:

When a shipment of magic Dragon Art commissioned by the Emperor goes missing, it’s up to the Black Lotus Clan to track it down and punish the thieves.

Assassins of Brush and Blade originally appeared in the Complete Tales of the Floating World. It can be read as a prequel to Thorn of the Night Blossoms.

 

 

Dark World: Oblivion by A.R. KingstonDark World: Oblivion by A.R. Kingston

You can run, but you can never escape from who you are.

Alex thought moving to East Ashland was going to give them a clean start, be a palace where they can be accepted for who they are, but she was wrong. Upon moving back to his sleepy hometown of Fall Harbor, Jay’s past catches up to him, and he becomes the gossip of the entire town. At the same time, unexplainable headaches begin to plague Alex and she exhibits powers far beyond those of a pure-blood mage in their world. And, if things were not bad enough, an extremist group lurks in the dim alleyways at night, waiting for their chance to strike. With everything accumulating into a perfect storm, can Jay and Alex survive, or will there be no place left for them to run?

The Cipher by Kathe KojaThe Cipher by Kathe Koja:

Winner of the Bram Stoker Award and Locus Awards, finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award, and named one of io9.com’s “Top 10 Debut Science Fiction Novels That Took the World By Storm.” With a new afterword by Maryse Meijer, author of Heartbreaker and Rag. “Black. Pure black and the sense of pulsation, especially when you look at it too closely, the sense of something not living but alive.” When a strange hole materializes in a storage room, would-be poet Nicholas and his feral lover Nakota allow their curiosity to lead them into the depths of terror. “Wouldn’t it be wild to go down there?” says Nakota. Nicholas says, “We’re not.” But no one is in control, and their experiments lead to obsession, violence, and a very final transformation for everyone who gets too close to the Funhole.

Midnight Horror Show by Ben LathropMidnight Horror Show by Ben Lathrop:

It’s end of October 1985 and the crumbling river town of Dubois, Iowa is shocked by the gruesome murder of one of the pillars of the community. Detective David Carlson has no motive, no evidence, and only one lead: the macabre local legend of “Boris Orlof,” a late night horror movie host who burned to death during a stage performance at the drive-in on Halloween night twenty years ago and the teenage loner obsessed with keeping his memory alive.

The body count is rising and the darkness that hangs over the town grows by the hour. Time is running out as Carlson desperately chases shadows into a nightmare world of living horrors.

On Halloween the drive-in re-opens at midnight for a show no one will ever forget.

Proudly brought to you by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from The Darkest Depths.

Cut to the Crone by Amanda M. LeeCut to the Crone by Amanda M. Lee:

Scout Randall needs answers on a past she can’t remember … and when an associate introduces her to an individual who claims to have known her family way back when, she believes those answers might finally be accessible. That falls by the wayside, though, when a tanned vampire lands in her backyard in the middle of the night … and he has a magical teenager in tow.

Sami Winters is all mouth and determination … and she’s looking for her parents. Scout wants to help, but handling a teenager like Sami isn’t as easy as it looks on the surface. By the time her wayward parents catch up with her – including a mother who is rumored to be the most powerful mage in the world – Scout finds herself knee-deep in a new adventure.

It seems female shifters in the area are going missing and rogue vampires from areas unknown are on the prowl. Sami Winters is a hybrid, part-wolf and part-mage, and she’s a coveted ally in what’s being described as a coming war. Scout has no choice but to join with the newcomers to figure out what’s going on.

Vampires and werewolves working together is unheard of, right? Maybe not. If the signs are right, it seems a new enemy is brewing, and Scout is going to need help taking down an entire army of paranormal foes.

At the end of the day, she just wants to know who she is and where she came from. The answers might be closer than she ever imagined.

Salvation by Caryn LixSalvation by Caryn Lix:

When Kenzie and her friends find themselves trapped on a strange planet, they must risk everything to save themselves and Earth in this thrilling final book in the addictive Sanctuary trilogy!

Fall down seven times, get up eight.

These are the words Kenzie has always lived by. The problem is, she’s fallen down too many times to count.

Kenzie and her friends have already escaped two vicious alien attacks—not to mention the corporate bounty hunters sent to capture them. They’re haunted by the friends they’ve lost and the hard choices they’ve had to make in this war they never asked for.

And now, thanks to superpowers she received from the very aliens she’s fighting, Kenzie has stranded everyone on a strange planet with no way off. She just wanted a safe place from the monstrous creatures terrorizing her world, but this new planet has dangers of its own, and Kenzie will have to uncover its secrets if she has any hope of ever making it home again.

Sacrifice is nothing new for Kenzie. She’ll do anything—anything—to destroy the aliens that killed both of her parents. But how can Kenzie save Earth if she can’t even save the people she loves?

My Song's Curse by Poppy MinnixMy Song’s Curse by Poppy Minnix:

Ultimate control has its downside, especially when it comes to romance. But will it be enough to keep them together?

As a siren Lula Aglaope can bend anyone to her will with the smallest whisper, but she’d give up her power for one meaningful, honest conversation.

She wants a normal life, like the open, true connections the humans seem to pull off with such little effort.

When she meets Alexiares, God of Warding off Wars, all thoughts of normalcy fly out the window. The beautiful demigod cannot be controlled! He’s frustrating, irresistible…and utterly off-limits.

Alex has watched Olympus slowly fall apart. The old gods continue their archaic control of the Universe, denying the progress of humans and other deities. But Alex has plans to repair the damage, and Lula is a major player.

She just doesn’t know it yet.

Falling for her is the worst idea. And just when things move in the right direction, danger arises that no one expects, plunging the sirens into the deadly Olympian spotlight.

With Lula’s sisters missing, and a pile of broken laws surrounding them, will Alex and Lula change the Universe for the better or destroy it?

Rip Tide by Michael NewtonRip Tide by Michael Newton:

GIDEON THORN IS BACK IN ANOTHER DARK AND MYSTERIOUS HARROWING ADVENTURE!

An unidentified monster wrecks a paddle steam on the Mississippi River, killing all but one crewman. Newspaper reports of the incident and others draw Thorn to Natchez to confront the beast. Gideon Thorn investigates while negotiating the pitfalls of race and politics in post-Reconstruction-era Mississippi.

Thorn seeks to verify, identify and eliminate the aquatic predator, while thinking about Dinah Pilcher’s recovery. Meanwhile, Natchez natives struggle within the Mississippi’s rigid white supremacist “closed society,” ex-slaves are seeking equality, while racist whites refuse to acknowledge losing the Civil War.

Ghost Nemesis by Andy PeloquinGhost Nemesis by Andy Peloquin:

Never go scope-to-scope with a Silverguard sniper.

Nolan’s enemies had learned that lesson the hard way, and he had the kill count to prove it.

But when his old Warbeast Teammates drag him into a surgical strike on a former soldier-turned-gunrunner, he’ll find the true limits of his skills tested when facing off against a sharpshooter a match for his cunning, ruthlessness, and elite martial training.

Life and death hangs in a split-second decision, the tiniest twitch of a trigger finger.

If Nolan fails to be faster, better, and smarter, he might find himself locked in a battle he won’t walk away from.

I Want the Stars by Tom PurdomI Want the Stars by Tom Purdom:

THEY WANTED THE STARS…

Eight hundred years from now, Earth is a paradise. Humanity has faced its greatest challenges…and won. Every wish is fulfilled. Every need is met. But is that enough? Jenorden wants more, wandering the galaxy with his friends as he seeks the answer. He knows his life is missing something. But what? And when aliens from another galaxy appear, offering to answer any question and reveal any secret, are their motives sinister…or sincere?

On the Loop by J.D. RobinsonOn the Loop by J.D. Robinson:

How can 30 crew members just vanish into thin air?

One last month in paradise before an 8,000-year journey. That’s what the Company had promised before whisking Alina Andra and her entire crew of 500 to tropical Tilulipu, where it had built a luxurious resort just for the occasion.

Only the rooms of the entire executive team now stand empty, and Alina’s crewmates turn to her to make sense of their predicament. So why have a handful of her more dubious colleagues decided that the mass disappearance is part of an outlandish plot? And why have they named Alina as a co-conspirator?

Now thrust into a less glamorous spotlight, Alina heads a search for the truth. But while the answer she discovers may explain the missing crew members, it may also put Earth’s first crewed extrasolar mission in jeopardy.

Slow Pint Glass by Bob ShawSlow Pint Glass by Bob Shaw:

Slow Pint Glass is a huge collection of Bob Shaw’s other fan and fan-adjacent writing not already included in The Enchanted Duplicator (1954 with Walt Willis; much reprinted; TAFF ebook May 2015), The Serious Scientific Talks (TAFF ebook November 2019) and The Full Glass Bushel (TAFF ebook June 2020).

Cover art by Jim Barker, a July 2020 reworking of his memorial piece for Bob Shaw first published in Tyne Capsule (March 2015; TAFF ebook September 2019).

The collection, compiled by Rob Jackson and David Langford, contains 167,000 words of fine fanwriting – more than The Serious Scientific Talks and The Full Glass Bushel put together – ranging from the early 1950s to the 1990s. First published as an Ansible Editions ebook for the TAFF site on 30 August 2020.

Colony X by William TurnageColony X by William Turnage:

The ambush came out of nowhere.
Our fleet was decimated.
We were flung deep into uncharted space on the far side of the nebula.
Then the signal came—a mysterious distress call from an unknown planet.

I’m Space Marine Corporal Jeremiah Helgerson and my job is simple. Find the source of the distress call and save whoever is still alive. Get in, get out. Easy work for a space marine. But no matter how well trained you are, missions never go as planned, and this one was a disaster from the start.

Now we’re stranded, and they’re hunting us.
Those nightmares.
Ferocious, unstoppable.
And so very hungry.

Send to Kindle
Posted in Books, Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for September 2020


Welcome to the latest edition of “Indie Crime Fiction of the Month”.

So what is “Indie Crime Fiction of the Month”? It’s a round-up of crime fiction by indie authors newly published this month, though some August books I missed the last time around snuck in as well. The books are arranged in alphabetical order by author. So far, most links only go to Amazon.com, though I may add other retailers for future editions.

Our new releases cover the broad spectrum of crime fiction. We have cozy mysteries, small town mysteries, animal mysteries, historical mysteries, Regency mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, 1930s mysteries, hardboiled mysteries, humorous mysteries, paranormal mysteries, science fiction mysteries, police procedurals, crime thrillers, spy thrillers, action thrillers, police officers, amateur sleuths, private investigators, spies, journalists, sports agents, archaeologists, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-busting bakers, crime-busting cats, crime-busting ghosts, vampires, werewolves, Bigfoot, murdered Santas and much more.

Don’t forget that Indie Crime Fiction of the Month is also crossposted to the Indie Crime Scene, a group blog which features new release spotlights, guest posts, interviews and link round-ups regarding all things crime fiction several times per week.

As always, I know the authors at least vaguely, but I haven’t read all of the books, so Caveat emptor.

And now on to the books without further ado:

The Cat's Sure in the Rye by B.K. BaxterThe Cat’s Sure in the Rye by B.K. Baxter:

Bodies are piling up, and I’m in charge of figuring out why.

I can’t help it! There are innocent people being accused.

And don’t get me started on the heat and humidity in Beulah.

The thick cloud of death is only surpassed by the constant hot flashes induced by the weather.

I could keep going. I should actually.

After almost being killed by a history-obsessed realtor that wanted my inherited house for herself, I’m ready to get out of Dodge.

Unfortunately, this new situation is a bit more personal in nature.

A guy that disappeared a decade ago was discovered dead in this new case. Where has he been for the last ten years?

And one of my friends just happens to have the murder weapon. You can’t make these things up. Not even in the pages of a good mystery novel.

Speaking of books, my new book club is at the center of my thoughts as the judgmental kitty and I traverse this new mystery.

The members of the club are fan-girling over the town’s new resident, but the man is up to no good! I can feel it.

With all this craziness, it isn’t easy being a sleuth right now, but Chonks will help me navigate the twists and turns of this gritty mystery, as long as we’re home in time for his dinner.

That is a must.

Old Sins Never Die by Daniella BernettOld Sins Never Die by Daniela Bernett:

While in the Lake District, journalist Emmeline Kirby and jewel thief/insurance investigator Gregory Longdon overhear a man attempting to hire international assassin Hugh Carstairs, a MI5 agent who went rogue. They race back to London to warn Philip Acheson of the Foreign Office and Superintendent Oliver Burnell. But it’s a devil of problem to prevent a vicious killing, if the target is a mystery.

More trouble brews as Emmeline pursues a story about shipping magnate Noel Rallis, who is on trial for murder. Rallis is desperate to keep the negative publicity from exposing his illicit schemes, especially something sinister called Poseidon. Lord Desmond Starrett, whose dark past made him easy prey for blackmail, is getting cold feet about their dubious partnership. Hovering in the shadows of this ugly secret world is a Russian mole buried inside MI5. Scorned prima ballerina Anastasia Tarasova makes the fatal mistake of threatening to reveal all she knows. The hunt for the answers takes Emmeline and Gregory up to Scotland, where they learn that the truth has lethal consequences.

A Grave Case by Cora BuhlertA Grave Case by Cora Buhlert:

When the elderly widow Maureen Pettigrew is found bludgeoned to death on the grave of her late husband, the case seems clear. Maureen is the latest victim of the cemetery mugger who has been terrorising Kensal Green cemetery for several weeks now.

However, the only suspect – a young man in jeans and a battered leather jacket – is a phantom no one except the cemetery caretaker has ever seen.

Can Detective Inspector Helen Shepherd and her team find the young man in the leather jacket? And does he even exist?

This is a novelette of 7700 words or approx. 26 print pages in the Helen Shepherd Mysteries series, but may be read as a standalone.

A Lonely Little Death by Beth ByersA Lonely Little Death by Beth Byers:

Georgette Dorothy Aaron is a busy woman. She’s gone from being a lonely old maid to the matriarch of an growing family. Her writing career has expanded and for some reason the women in her life turn to her for advice. She’s not sure she’s qualified to help, but she does what she can.

Only a series of letters reveal that she’s become important to someone else. Someone she doesn’t know. And they’re asking for help–before it’s too late.

Now, she’s racing to piece together clues and find her pen pal before it’s too late.

A Masked Murderer by Beth ByersA Masked Murderer by Beth Byers

All Hallows 1926

Violet and Jack have been invited to a masquerade by someone who doesn’t name himself and gives no details other than all the guests are coming under the same circumstances.

They know something is afoot, so they aren’t even surprised when there’s been a murder. What surprises them is the invitation to all those in attendance to solve the crime.

 

On Borrowed Time by Adam CroftOn Borrowed Time by Adam Croft:

Each morning, the first train of the day leaves Oakham station and thunders through a tunnel under the village of Manton. But today the driver sees something that changes his life: A dead body hangs in the tunnel’s exit.

DI Caroline Hills knows this isn’t a suicide. It’s murder. And when a second apparent suicide appears in Rutland, Caroline uncovers a shocking link: the victims knew each other.

As Rutland Police fight to catch the killer, a group of friends is left with an even more shocking realisation. One of them is the murderer. And one of them will be the next to die.

The $3 Million Turnover by Richard CurtisThe $3 Million Turnover by Richard Curtis:

In the cutthroat, glamorous world of professional sports, one man works behind the scenes to fix his superstar clients’ biggest problems: agent Dave Bolt.

Officially, Dave Bolt is a sports agent, representing professional athletes in basketball, football, baseball, hockey—you name it. Unofficially, he is a kind of undercover operator, a troubleshooter for a number of pro sports organizations.

Bolt’s walk on the dark side starts with one phone call concerning the hottest basketball prospect in the country. It ends with a hairline fracture of his cheekbone, temporary blindness, a scrotum full of someone’s knee, and the loss of the most promising marital prospect since his divorce. Oh, and a commission of staggering proportions.

God Save the Spy by John EllsworthGod Save the Spy by John Ellsworth:

The story of a spy escaping from the Soviet Union in 1962. It continues even today.

Moscow learns KGB officer Nikolai Semenov is spying for the British in London. He is kidnapped and flown to Moscow, where a bullet awaits unless the British can get him out. Moscow is notoriously difficult to exfiltrate: the airport is crawling with KGB, no waterways to speak of, shipping and rails hopelessly monitored by KGB, leaving automobiles the only way out. Only MI6’s secret Operation TINKER might save him. Nikolai grabs his daughter and runs into the night, fiercely determined to make the rendezvous.

It is the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis and President Kennedy desperately needs the war plans that only Nikolai has seen. He awaits Nikolai’s call, which will come once he reaches freedom. It is October 22, 1962, the day the Russian and US navies will collide at Cuba’s outer waters. Can Nikolai escape with his daughter and the intel Kennedy must have?

The Mystery of the Missing Heiress by Riana EverlyThe Mystery of the Missing Heiress by Riana Everly:

It is the summer of 1811 and Fitzwilliam Darcy is consumed with worry. His sister and her new companion were expected at Pemberley three weeks ago, but they seem to have vanished into the air. Is Georgiana safe? Is she even still alive? And is Mrs. Younge a victim in some nefarious plan or is she behind the disappearance?

Darcy’s friend Ecclesford tells him of a smart young investigator who might be able to help… and at the same time he might help Ecclesford with a romantic problem of his own.

In this prequel variation to Pride and Prejudice, private investigator Alexander Lyons makes his debut and sets his remarkable intellect to work to help Ecclesford win his bride and to solve the mystery of the missing heiress!

This is a novella of about 19000 words.

Dream House by Mike FaricyDream House by Mike Faricy:

P.I. Dev Haskell is minding his own business, looking out the window, when a pink Mercedes convertible pulls to the curb. His old flame, Barbie Dahl, a surgically enhanced Barbie Doll look alike, gets out of the car. Barbie Dahl, the same woman who dumped Dev on a trip to Las Vegas. Now, she’s back in town and needs Dev’s help. Apparently her extensive Barbie collection is missing, along with Arnold Wazinski, AKA Ken Carson, Barbie Doll’s significant other…

Fortunately, Dev comes up with a plan. But then Barbie gets involved and decides ‘Ken’ is going to pay, BIG TIME!

Another hilariously delightful Dev Haskell tale.

Sit back, enjoy, and realize things in life could be worse… A lot worse!

Ghostly Camping by Lily Harper HartGhostly Camping by Lily Harper Hart:

Harper Harlow’s romantic life is perfect, her wedding is in the works, and now she’s decided to enhance her business standing by attending a haunted campground opening. If she enjoys herself, publicly endorses it and the owner, then she’ll open up a brave new world.

Unfortunately for Harper, old ghosts die hard and a fresh murder taints what is supposed to be a quiet weekend.

Harper’s happy foursome – her fiancé Jared Monroe, her best friend Zander Pritchett, and his fiancé Shawn Donovan are all along for the ride – turns into a nightmare when the group must pretend to solve a fake murder while actively hunting clues regarding a real murder. On top of that, Harper and Zander don’t have as much fun “roughing it” as they thought they would … well, despite the s’mores.

Four urbanites go into the woods. Will any of them come out alive? It’s going to take everyone working together to solve an old mystery and ease the fresh hell that has emerged.

Get ready for adventure, because it’s going to be one heckuva trip, and there’s a big wedding right around the corner for those who survive.

Foreign Interference by Ethan JonesForeign Interference by Ethan Jones:

Played like a pawn…

Fresh off an operation that sent shockwaves across Europe, CIS covert operative Carrie O’Connor is dispatched down under. Her assignment is to identify the meddling of a foreign power in Australia’s internal affairs that could wreak havoc on their democracy.

Working with untested partners with dubious motives, Carrie discovers the extent of the political interference reaches higher than anyone had expected. With her efforts thwarted at every step by shadowy figures, she’s uncertain who she can trust and has to question even her closest allies.

Tested as never before, Carrie must infiltrate the powerful network pulling the strings. She’s taken on the CIA, terrorists, and her own past, but she has never come across something as powerful as this… What will she need to do to stop this deadly interference from spreading beyond the continent and across the globe?

Cut to the Crone by Amanda M. LeeCut to the Crone by Amanda M. Lee:

Scout Randall needs answers on a past she can’t remember … and when an associate introduces her to an individual who claims to have known her family way back when, she believes those answers might finally be accessible. That falls by the wayside, though, when a tanned vampire lands in her backyard in the middle of the night … and he has a magical teenager in tow.

Sami Winters is all mouth and determination … and she’s looking for her parents. Scout wants to help, but handling a teenager like Sami isn’t as easy as it looks on the surface. By the time her wayward parents catch up with her – including a mother who is rumored to be the most powerful mage in the world – Scout finds herself knee-deep in a new adventure.

It seems female shifters in the area are going missing and rogue vampires from areas unknown are on the prowl. Sami Winters is a hybrid, part-wolf and part-mage, and she’s a coveted ally in what’s being described as a coming war. Scout has no choice but to join with the newcomers to figure out what’s going on.

Vampires and werewolves working together is unheard of, right? Maybe not. If the signs are right, it seems a new enemy is brewing, and Scout is going to need help taking down an entire army of paranormal foes.

At the end of the day, she just wants to know who she is and where she came from. The answers might be closer than she ever imagined.

Mayhem and Mistletoe by Amanda M. LeeMayhem and Mistletoe by Amanda M. Lee:

Avery Shaw has the world at her fingertips … and a pile of dead Santas near the railroad tracks. Interestingly, she’s more focused on the Santas than her personal life, but only because she’s been warned that a proposal is imminent from her live-in love Eliot Kane and she needs to look somewhere else – anywhere else will do – rather than accept what he’s trying to offer.

Avery never pictured herself married but it appears it might be happening … no matter how she tries to dodge and weave. The Santas make an enticing distraction, so Avery throws herself in with gusto.

Tracking the Santas isn’t easy because Macomb County Sheriff Jake Farrell doesn’t want the names released. He lets one slip, though, and that leads Avery on an adventure … all the way down to a halfway house in Detroit.

It’s a big world and some crimes are worse than others. The only common thread Avery can find when chasing this story is a drug ring, and when she pulls that particular thread, everything comes toppling down.

The drug world is dark and seamy and Avery is going to need her guile and wits to survive this one. Even if she comes out on the other side – and that’s a big if – then there’s a proposal waiting.

It’s finally time for Avery Shaw to grow up … at least a little bit. Come along for the ride, because the big moment is finally here. There might even be a murder to solve along the way.

The Last Review by Lucas PogrzebnyThe Last Review by Lucas Pogrzebny

TRUTH BECAME FICTION.
FICTION BECAME… DEATH.

Back in his native Buenos Aires, Polo Levington, a.k.a. “Levin”, a young freelance writer with a hidden phobia and an addiction to coffee, is tasked by an old employer with one last job—writing an article about The Last Farewell, a movie about to wrap shooting. The assignment is simple: he has to go to the studio and write about what he sees. Sounds easy enough, so he reluctantly agrees…

But what starts with typical behind-the-scenes drama—with two aging stars returning to the spotlight after a fatal tragedy decades prior—quickly spirals out of control when an actor is stabbed while the camera rolls…

Soon, between the props, make-up, and deceptions, death follows—and with it, a chilling descent into madness and an unsolved murder of a famous actress many years ago. Under the masks that the cast and crew all seem to wear, something dark lurks, bending the worlds of fiction and reality before Levin’s very eyes.

A crafty killer, capable of masking murder as fiction; a mysterious honey-eyed actress eager to solve the riddle as bodies pile up; a world-weary homicide detective, one case away from promotion.

And among them all is Polo Levington, seeking the truth—even if it brings him dangerously close to the trauma that has marked him for life.

All the while, Levin must ask himself: Is it ever too late to face your fears?

On the Loop by J.D. RobinsonOn the Loop by J.D. Robinson:

How can 30 crew members just vanish into thin air?

One last month in paradise before an 8,000-year journey. That’s what the Company had promised before whisking Alina Andra and her entire crew of 500 to tropical Tilulipu, where it had built a luxurious resort just for the occasion.

Only the rooms of the entire executive team now stand empty, and Alina’s crewmates turn to her to make sense of their predicament. So why have a handful of her more dubious colleagues decided that the mass disappearance is part of an outlandish plot? And why have they named Alina as a co-conspirator?

Now thrust into a less glamorous spotlight, Alina heads a search for the truth. But while the answer she discovers may explain the missing crew members, it may also put Earth’s first crewed extrasolar mission in jeopardy.

Black Frost by Willow RoseBlack Frost by Willow Rose:

Emma Frost is tied up in a murder mystery that seems out of this world.

When a young girl disappears one night from the park, then turns up again the next morning in a different place on the island, people start to talk about her.

Was she drunk and just doesn’t remember what happened?

Did she go home with a guy and won’t admit it?

What happened to her, and why is she insisting that she doesn’t know?

Emma Frost is fighting for Victor’s best friend, Skye.

Emma is trying to get her back from the people who took her in the night, but having no luck when a guy falls into her arms in the street and dies a few minutes later.

The autopsy shows he has frozen to death, but it doesn’t seem possible. When a young boy from Victor’s school turns up frozen as well, and things start to get cold around her own house, Emma begins to fear for her loved ones’ lives.

Once again, Willow Rose has written a story so compelling that it leaves the reader in almost unbearable suspense until the surprise ending is revealed.

Puff Love by John SladekPuff Love by John Sladek:

Puff Love is John Sladek’s final novel, completed just before his early death in 2000. A mystery story with the traditional elements of a discovered corpse, a crowd of suspects and a reluctant sleuth with an unusual sidekick, Puff Love has all the qualities associated with John Sladek’s best work: a gentle parodic wit, inventive ideas and a wholly original way of looking at modern life.

 

 

Murder at Tregowyn Manor by G.G. VandagriffMurder at Tregowyn Manor by G.G. Vandagriff:

Winter of 1935 finds Oxford archaeologist, Sonny Nichols, under arrest for the theft of a priceless Roman relic from a dig in Cornwall. Catherine Tregowyn and her sleuthing partners Harry and Dot go to his aid. Almost immediately an anonymous telegram threatens Catherine’s life. Dot’s cousin has involved himself in something deadly.

Undeterred, they motor down to the dig in Cornwall which is on Catherine’s estranged father’s estate. Shortly after their arrival, someone viciously attacks Catherine, nearly killing her. The next morning, one of the archaeologists is missing, and more artifacts have been stolen. The attacker is clearly desperate. Is this only simple greed or are there other factors at work here?

When murder intervenes, Catherine, Harry, and Dot must dig deeper. Is the murderer the charismatic student who has forsaken his aristocratic birthright? Or the misanthropic and penniless professor who seeks to advance his career? Could it be the charming and glib young Irish peer who loves Greek dancing or the ruthless student who needs to reverse his family’s fortunes?

When the truth finally comes out it is on a scale none of them could possibly have imagined…

Folk Tales and Fudge Brownies by A.R. WintersFolk Tales and Fudge Brownies by A.R. Winters:

When popular Bigfoot skeptic Kevin McNight is murdered, Jean Williams refuses to believe Detective Wheeler’s explanation that the killer was just a bear – she believes there was a human involved, and she’s determined to find justice for Kevin.

With the local Bigfoot festival just days away, there many who stand to benefit from Kevin’s death – from the well-known Sasquatch believer Roy Turner, to the event organizers who profit from the festival each year, to the Bigfoot “researchers” who despised Kevin.

In between working at her aunt’s bakery café, Jean finds time to slip into the woods and the festival campground in her quest to uncover the truth. But will her hunt lead her straight into a bear’s den – or worse, into the hands of a killer?

Send to Kindle
Posted in Books, Indie Crime Fiction of the Month | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for August 2020

Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month
It’s that time of the month again, time for “Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month”.

So what is “Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month”? It’s a round-up of speculative fiction by indie authors newly published this month, though some July books I missed the last time around snuck in as well. The books are arranged in alphabetical order by author. So far, most links only go to Amazon.com, though I may add other retailers for future editions.

Once again, we have new releases covering the whole broad spectrum of speculative fiction. This month, we have urban fantasy, epic fantasy, science fantasy, paranormal mysteries, paranormal romance, space opera, military science fiction, post-apocalyptic fiction, dystopian noir, horror, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, zombies, ghouls, dragons, demon hunters, space mages, cyborgs, space marines, intergalactic outlaws, haunted asylums, haunted space stations, crime-busting witches and much more.

Don’t forget that Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month is also crossposted to the Speculative Fiction Showcase, a group blog run by Jessica Rydill and myself, which features new release spotlights, guest posts, interviews and link round-ups regarding all things speculative fiction several times per week.

As always, I know the authors at least vaguely, but I haven’t read all of the books, so Caveat emptor.

And now on to the books without further ado:

Belle Vue by C.S. AlleyneBelle Vue by C.S. Alleyne:

Jealousy. Betrayal. Murder. And a hunger for vengeance that spans the centuries…

History student Alex Palmer is thrilled when his girlfriend, Claire Ryan, buys an apartment in Belle Vue Manor, formerly a Victorian lunatic asylum.

But as Alex begins to discover the dark truth about the asylum’s past, he, Claire, and their friend Marianne find themselves on a nightmarish journey. Each will face the deadly consequences of the evil that began with the construction of the first Belle Vue Manor by an aristocratic French émigré in 1789, as well as the cruelty and satanic practices that continued when it became an asylum for the insane.

As the two strands–past and present–unfold, Alex uncovers a supernatural mystery where revenge is paramount and innocence irrelevant–without being aware of the price he, and those around him, will pay.

Indomitable by Jonathan P. BrazeeIndomitable by Jonathan P. Brazee:

Beth “Fire Ant” Dalisay is the Navy’s top ace.

But the alien Crystals really don’t care. They intend on wiping out humanity no matter who stands in their way.

Pulled from her Wasp fighter, the Navy assigns Beth as a scout pilot with a mission to find the Crystal’s home world. But in an underpowered Mosquito scout and no weapons with which to defend herself, if she finds their home system, can she possibly survive long enough to report back to Navy HQ?

In a final clash between humanity and the Crystals, can one pilot make a difference? Can humanity survive?

Legacy of Vale by Rhett C. BrunoLegacy of Vale by Rhett C. Bruno:

War threatens to destroy the Circuit once more…

After arriving on Ceres Prime, ADIM, is hesitant to help the Ceresians. Their hatred for his creator will never wane, and he starts to understand the danger all of Cassius’ many rivals pose. How can he keep him safe?

When Sage Volus finds herself a captive of Cassius Vale, she begins to struggle with her role in the coming war, and what exactly it means to be an executor. The removal of her cybernetic implant reveals emotions she thought she’d buried too deep to be found. She must make a decision on who she truly wants to serve.

After breaking free of the solar-ark Amerigo and certain death, Talon Rayne finds himself in unusual company. His quests to hold his daughter again will bring him to places he never thought he’d go?into the very arms of his people’s most hated foe.

As the battle grows ever closer, threatening the all-out war that could annihilate millions, these four must determine what part they intend to play, who they will align themselves with, and what it means to be human in a solar system where that means less and less.

Storm Forged by Lindsay BurokerStorm Forged by Lindsay Buroker:

Moving into a rundown Victorian house with a vampire living in the basement isn’t as bad as I thought, but things go from weird to weirder when a badly injured gnome collapses in my back yard.

The surprising part? It’s my friend Nin’s long-lost grandfather.

Since he’s unconscious, we can’t figure out who’s chasing him, or where he’s been all these years, but if we can’t help him, he’ll die.

To make matters worse, there’s a new dragon in town. A female dragon. Everyone knows females are more dangerous than the males, and this one takes an instant dislike to me. It seems that she wants to date my mate, Zav, and has his mother’s approval.

If I can’t avoid her wrath and find a way to cure the gnome, Nin’s going to lose her grandfather, and I’m going to end up deader than the vampire in the basement.

The Renegade by J.N. ChaneyThe Renegade by J.N. Chaney:

Jace Hughes is a Renegade.

That means taking jobs and not asking questions, whether that involves smuggling, transporting runaways, or performing other, far less wholesome work. Whatever the situation, Jace is willing to do what it takes to achieve his dream and live the life he’s always wanted.

That is, until he comes face to face with an item of unprecedented value—something that could give him everything he needs to pay off his debt and be free.

The only problem is that selling it would also shift the balance of power between the two largest empires in the galaxy.
And spark another intergalactic war.

Unfortunately for Jace, he won’t have long to decide. Renegades, assassins, and government cronies are after the item, too, and unlike Jace, they won’t hesitate to kill.

Marauder's Compass by M.D. CooperMarauder’s Compass by M.D. Cooper:

Jax and the crew of the Lightning Runner have narrowly escaped Sinclair and her DSA fleet, but their troubles are far from over.

The flight from Iydra Station has depleted their antimatter reserves. Without resupply, they’ll have limited options should they run into trouble again—which they fully intend to do. With numerous parties hunting for their ship, Jax must choose their haven carefully.

Penny knows of a secret city within a dwarf planet where they take refuge. However, it doesn’t take long to discover that their enemies have yet again increased in number. With several of the crew captured and the ship trapped, their options are few and drastic.

The mission to infiltrate the Paragonian outpost is in dire jeopardy and Jax must consider making the ultimate sacrifice in order to achieve victory.

And if he fails, all Aquilia will be swept up in war.

The Invisible by Seb DoubinskyThe Invisible by Seb Doubinsky:

It’s election time in New Babylon, and President Maggie Delgado is running for re-election but is threatened by the charismatic populist Ted Rust. Newly appointed City Commissioner Georg Ratner is given the priority task to fight the recent invasion of Synth in the streets of the capital, a powerful hallucinogen drug with a mysterious origin. When his old colleague asks him for help on another case and gets murdered, things become more and more complicated, and his official neutrality becomes a burden in the political intrigue he his gradually sucked into. Supported by Laura, his trustful life partner and the Egyptian goddess Nut, Ratner decides to fight for what he believes in, no matter the cost.

High Protector by Rachel FordHigh Protector by Rachel Ford:

Kaladorn. Slave born.

Rohana knew her destiny. She’d been born to serve her king, to live and die at his command. She hadn’t questioned when he ordered his armies into the frozen North, to fight a queen who threatened the South.

Except, Queen Ilaria has never been a threat to their nation. On a frozen field of battle, Rohana learns the truth. And she has one moment to make a decision.

One moment, for a slave to rewrite the fate of two empires.

This novel features characters from the first two novels, and introduces new characters. It is a stand-alone novel.

Blood Ties by K. GormanBlood Ties by K. Gorman:

Together again, and ready to bring the system to its knees.

Karin Makos has spent the last two months running from one thing or another—but all that’s about to change. Her sister’s back, and Nomiki’s ready to grab their problems by the horns, throw them on their backs, and rip into them with her modified carbon steel blades.

With the backing of the Fallon Empire and a promising new lead, the two are determined to reach down into the mystery of their past and pull out its secrets, once and for all.

But they aren’t the only ones on the move. And looking may uncover more than even they could have bargained for.

The Eurynome Code space Opera series continued with this unforgettable third installment. Grab your copy today!

Curse a Brew Streak by Lily Harper HartCurse a Brew Streak by Lily Harper Hart:

Ofelia Archer is living the dream … or as close as seemingly possible.

She owns her own business, her father seems to be on an even keel, and her new relationship with Detective Zacharias Sully is cruising right along. Everything changes in an instant, though, when screams from the street lead to zombies running amok through the French Quarter.

Ofelia is a tough witch who takes no guff but even she is at a loss. Who is creating the zombies? Where are they coming from? They’re not rising from the dead as much as being bumped off and used as an invading army.

Sully wants to take control of the investigation but the higher-ups in the New Orleans Police Department assign the case to a new detective, much to his chagrin. That detective is keen to find answers. Unfortunately, he’s looking hard at Ofelia to find them.

Sully and Ofelia are going to have to work together to find answers. Their adventure will lead them from the French Quarter to the Garden District and beyond. Even then, when things start coalescing, gnashing teeth won’t be the worst of their problems.

Months ago they were two factions working on their own. Now they’re together, and stronger for it.

Not all the magic in the Big Easy is good. Some is evil … and the two sides are about to collide.

Permutation by Patty JansenPermutation by Patty Jansen:

En route to a job in the asteroid belt, the transport ship that Jonathan and Gaby are travelling on is required to give assistance to a space station in trouble.

Astoria Station stopped responding to everything except automated messages. Jonathan and Gaby, familiar with disease and habitat collapse, offer to help.

But not even they are prepared for what they find, or the efforts by some to sweep it under the carpet.

 

Magitak by B.R. KingsolverMagitek by B.R. Kingsolver:

Hunter James was my grandfather.

He wanted to end the cycle of war, but instead he broke the world. Demons, vampires, and monsters poured through the Rift into our dimension. The Magi emerged from humanity’s shadows and fought the Rifters, eventually forging an uneasy peace.

For most humans, demons, and Fae, magik and technology are totally incompatible. But some mages are able to manipulate mechanical and electrical devices. They are called magiteks.

My name is Danica James. I’m a magitek and a cop with the Arcane Division. My job is to protect humanity from the monsters. Sometimes the monsters are human.

Freaky Seas by Amanda M. LeeFreaky Seas by Amanda M. Lee:

Mystic Caravan Circus is heading to Charleston and – per usual – trouble is not far behind.

For Poet Parker, who is grappling with saying goodbye to her assistant, she’s looking forward to quiet nights on the beach and quality time with her boyfriend. All that changes when the sea starts giving up its dead … and they appear to be hungry.

Under normal circumstances, zombies wouldn’t be a big deal. They’re slow, lumbering, and easy to dispatch. This infestation is different … and they appear to be controlled by a strange creature long since thought extinct.

Gorgons were believed to be things of myth and legend but one is haunting the beaches of Charleston … in close proximity to the circus and a writer’s retreat. In fact, the nutty individuals spouting fantastical stories and trying to one-up one another in the bluff house overlooking the circus grounds are all suspects because one of them is controlling the gorgon. Finding the individual responsible for causing endless upheaval and death is no easy task, though.

Poet is a fighter but this battle is all-encompassing.

Not every monster is obvious. Sometimes they hide behind human faces.

This time Poet is going to have to wade through layers of darkness to find the light. Surviving to see the final sunrise will take them all working together … and even then they might not be strong enough to claim victory.

Darkness is coming. Will anyone survive to see the dawn?

Sanctum by Hannah McBrideSanctum by Hannah McBride:

A survivor on the run

After refusing the laws of her sadistic pack, Skye Markham barely escapes with her life, seeking sanctuary with the feared Blackwater pack. Hunted by her former Alpha and his soldiers, she’s determined to create a life even though she knows they will come for her.

An alpha with a pack to protect

As the next alpha in line, Remy Holt has spent years guarding the Blackwater pack and his family from those who seek to seize control and destroy them. The last thing he needs or wants is Skye Markham and the dangers she brings with her adding to the stress on his pack, but his wolf has a different opinion. He wants her, and after one moment that shouldn’t have been possible, he knows he’ll never be able to let her go.

A bond unlike any other

Skye thought she was finally safe, but as her bond with Remy strengthens, the shifter world starts to break apart at the seams. Missing shifters, a dying population, and pack wars are all causing their sanctuary to crumble around them, and Skye is trapped in the middle of it all. Someone is out to destroy the pack and if they succeed, there will bring down everything Remy has sought to protect and for Skye… maybe there is no such thing as a sanctuary.

Ghouls and Alchemy by Amy B. NixonGhouls and Alchemy by Amy B. Nixon:

My name is Nathan Holloway. I was a US Marine before they transformed me into an Amethyst Hunter.

They are Nexus, a covert organization specializing in extracting dead soldiers from the battlefield, reviving them through alchemy and using them for wet work.

Hunting witches and sorcerers, vampires, fae, shapeshifters and magical lawbreakers? That’s the easy part. But being immortal? Well, that’s a different question.

For me, immortality comes with a hefty price tag.

My Materia Prima – the quintessence of every living organism – is growing feeble. Nexus’ remedies have turned me into an addicted junkie. My sardonic cynicisms are rewarding me with more enemies than allies. And the mysterious Alchemist, who gave me a second chance at life, has condemned my soul to the fiery pits of hell.

Things can’t get worse, can they? They can, and they just did.

One of our agents has gone rogue and stolen a supersonic combat aircraft. The country’s under a ghoul invasion. The ghoul-breeding Sa’alin queens are nowhere to be found. And in the midst of it all, we discovered something cunning, vile and even more lethal than the ghouls. Something we thought was erased from existence centuries ago – a necromancer.

Join Nathan as his journey weaves him into a web of ancient alchemy, high-tech science fiction and mythological fantasy.

Reckless Pursuit by Safari SpellReckless Pursuit by Safari Spell:

A dragon is no match for love…

As the handsome and charismatic son of a powerful fallen angel, dragon shifter Spencer Kaden has spent centuries seeking pleasure and little else.

So when his father sends him to the backwoods city of Cypress, Georgia, as a sentry for the Grigori, he plans to do what he always does until it’s time to leave – divide, conquer, repeat. But that was before falling in love with his beautiful yet troubled coworker, Talor Gardin.

Grief-stricken from debilitating loss, Talor suffers from panic attacks and deepening depression. She’s in no place to be pursued. But when she begins to spiral, Spencer finds himself torn between who he is and who he wants to be.

Desperate to save her, he must decide if he will risk everything he holds dear by daring to ask a favor of the siren, the powerful and dangerous sworn enemy of the Grigori…or if the price of love is too great a cost.

The Service of Mars by Glynn StewartThe Service of Mars by Glynn Stewart:

Secrets have been unleashed
Worlds have fallen
A Mage-King has died
But the war rages on!

Secrets and warships combined to turn the tide of the Siege of Legatus, delivering the capital of the Republic of Faith and Reason into the hands of their enemies. With Damien Montgomery called away to lead the entire Protectorate of Mars, fighting the war falls to Mage-Admiral Jane Alexander and Mage-Lieutenant Roslyn Chambers.

As the Martian Second Fleet moves against the remaining Republic worlds, Captain Kelly LaMonte’s covert stealth ship sweeps the worlds away from the conflict, searching for the Republic’s government-in-hiding and a chance to end the bloody conflict.

But this war began in the shadows, and the secrets hidden in those shadows threaten to turn the tide of the war once more—and bring it to the heart of the Protectorate!

Cursed Wolf by Brogan ThomasCursed Wolf by Brogan Thomas:

For a shifter…

…being stuck in wolf form is torture.

The moment I shifted; my life changed.

After witnessing a traumatic event at a young age, nine-year-old Forrest shifted into her wolf form – and was unable to shift back. Years later and suffering at the hands of her malicious step-brothers, she stubbornly clings to the hope that she’ll turn back into the girl she once was.

But when her magic returns at the moment she needs it most, Forrest is thrust back into the world of humans. There’s only one problem. Her pack is out to kill her.

Struggling to learn how to walk and talk again, Forrest finds herself on the run from the cold-blooded shifter council. But hidden deep within her human form lies a secret – a powerful magic that has the potential to set her free.

If only she can stay alive long enough to master it…

Invasion by James David VictorInvasion by James David Victor:

Undercover behind enemy lines and there’s only one person he can trust. Maybe.

The Skarak have invaded with a force certain to overwhelm all of humanities defenses. To make matters worse, Boyd’s cover in the Faction is on the verge of being blown. Even if he can escape, his chances of survival are thin. Can he trust an enemy who just might turn out to be more of a friend than he ever thought possible? Or will it even matter as the Skarak look to destroy both the Union and the Faction?

Invasion is the third book in the Blue Star Marines series which follows a young man who will have to push his hatreds aside and come to the aid of all humanity.

Download Invasion and see if humanity can overcome itself and survive in the vast darkness of space!

Send to Kindle
Posted in Books, Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for August 2020


Welcome to the latest edition of “Indie Crime Fiction of the Month”.

So what is “Indie Crime Fiction of the Month”? It’s a round-up of crime fiction by indie authors newly published this month, though some July books I missed the last time around snuck in as well. The books are arranged in alphabetical order by author. So far, most links only go to Amazon.com, though I may add other retailers for future editions.

Our new releases cover the broad spectrum of crime fiction. We have cozy mysteries, small town mysteries, culinary mysteries, historical mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, WWII mysteries, 1950s mysteries, paranormal mysteries, dystopian noir, police procedurals, crime thrillers, legal thrillers, romantic suspense, police officers, amateur sleuths, private investigators, FBI agents, prosecutors, kidnappers, assassins, amnesiacs, serial killers, perfect murders, arson, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-busting bakers, zombies and much more.

Don’t forget that Indie Crime Fiction of the Month is also crossposted to the Indie Crime Scene, a group blog which features new release spotlights, guest posts, interviews and link round-ups regarding all things crime fiction several times per week.

As always, I know the authors at least vaguely, but I haven’t read all of the books, so Caveat emptor.

And now on to the books without further ado:

A Cozy Little Murder by Beth ByersA Cozy Little Murder by Beth Byers:

September 1926.

Vi and Jack have settled into London for the fall, and they want nothing more than an excess of cocoa, coffee, good books, and time with friends.

They should, however, know better. Jack is brought into consult on a case in coziest of houses. Only all is not what it seems and no one is surprised when they find yet another body.

 

Never Surrender by Stacy ClaflinNever Surrender by Stacy Claflin:

Alex Mercer thought his worst days were behind him.

Instead, his life is falling apart from the seams. Again. While his marriage is on the brink of divorce, his daughter is once more the target of a potential abductor. Alex will do whatever it takes to keep her safe while working to get to the bottom of the infamous kidnapping ring once and for all.

He believes one of his superiors in the police department to be involved with the criminal mastermind, and he will do anything to prove it. But if his suspicions prove wrong, it will end his career. Alex must weed out friend from foe before his daughter disappears.

His focus is being pulled in so many directions, something is bound to fall through the cracks—and soon. If he can’t keep both his family and job intact, he will lose everything. And this time, there will be no salvaging any of it.

Pancakes and Parrots by Leena CloverPancakes and Parrots by Leena Clover:

Reunions Can Be Murder

The town of Pelican Cove is abuzz with gossip. The infamous class of 1988 is back home for their 30th reunion. It’s a time to indulge in nostalgia and take a trip down memory lane.

Everyone is eagerly awaiting the big event, the grand unveiling of the time capsule. But the gala dinner takes a morbid turn when a man is shot dead.

Petitioned by the grieving widow, local cafe owner Jenny King takes on the belligerent reunion delegates. As long buried secrets begin to surface, Jenny’s sleuthing abilities will be tested.

Meanwhile, the town folk are busy raising funds to help a terminally ill child.

Can Jenny battle a personal crisis, help a devastated mother and navigate petty high school rivalries while she hunts for the true killer?

If you like cozy mysteries with strong heroines, unexpected twists, yummy food and friendships that last a lifetime, you will love Pancakes and Parrots.

Run For Your Life by M.A. ComleyRun For Your Life by M.A. Comley:

Time doesn’t heal all wounds.

Five years ago they committed the most despicable crime imaginable.

They thought they were safe…but someone knows.

Has the hunter become the hunted?

DI Sara Ramsey and her team are tasked with solving one of their most complex cases to date – an elusive killer intent on committing the perfect murder.

What Lies Beneath by Adam CroftWhat Lies Beneath by Adam Croft:

A peaceful Sunday morning in Rutland is shattered when a dead body is discovered on the rocks at Normanton Church.

The victim has been laid out in a crucifixion pose, facing the altar. DI Caroline Hills is certain there’s a religious connection — one which threatens the tranquility of life in the area.

The killer has gone to extraordinary lengths to make the symbolism clear. And the deaths will continue until Caroline and DS Dexter Antoine uncover the truth behind the dark secret — and what lies beneath.

Gators and Garters by Jana DeleonGators and Garters by Jana Deleon:

‘Til death do us part?

Ida Belle, Fortune, and Gertie are gearing up for the big day—Ida Belle’s wedding to Walter—but when the caterer goes missing just a week before the big day, it puts a huge black mark on the joyous celebration. Molly Broussard is no stranger to being in the limelight, so when the former cage fighter turned in her boxing gloves for pots and pans, everyone who knew her was surprised…until they ate her food.

From all appearances, Molly took her boat out that day and simply never returned. An extensive search of the bayous finally produces the boat, but there is no sign of Molly. With no evidence of foul play, Sinful residents are ready to conclude that this is simply another tragic and all-too-common accident.

Nickel Bordelon spent half of his time in trouble and the other half paying for it. But one thing he knows for certain—Molly was murdered. When he asks Fortune to take the case, she isn’t sure there’s anything to find, but his emotional plea has her agreeing to look into it. As Swamp Team 3 begin their investigation, they find more layers to Molly’s disappearance than in Ida Belle’s wedding cake.

The Invisible by Seb DoubinskyThe Invisible by Seb Doubinsky:

It’s election time in New Babylon, and President Maggie Delgado is running for re-election but is threatened by the charismatic populist Ted Rust. Newly appointed City Commissioner Georg Ratner is given the priority task to fight the recent invasion of Synth in the streets of the capital, a powerful hallucinogen drug with a mysterious origin. When his old colleague asks him for help on another case and gets murdered, things become more and more complicated, and his official neutrality becomes a burden in the political intrigue he his gradually sucked into. Supported by Laura, his trustful life partner and the Egyptian goddess Nut, Ratner decides to fight for what he believes in, no matter the cost.

Listed Dead by Jan EdwardsListed Dead by Jan Edwards:

November 1940. The Battle of Britain has only just ended and the horror of the Blitz is reaching its height.

Two deaths in rapid succession on the Sussex Downs brings Bunch Courtney and Chief Inspector Wright together once more. What could possibly link a fatal auto accident with the corpse in a derelict shepherd’s hut? The only clue the pair have is a handwritten list of the members of a supper club that meets at London’s Café de Paris. Two of those on that list are now dead and the race is on to solve the mystery before any more end up on the mortuary slab.

Unraveled by Jordan EverettUnraveled by Jordan Everett:

Wanted: Effective killer. No experience necessary.

Kaden Rivera expected another dull shift at the restaurant. Instead, the 23-year-old left wearing her own blood.

An armed robber had attacked. She surprised everyone, including herself, by knocking him out. An impressed businessman offers a gig as an assassin, training included. The side job was supposed to be simple.

And it was, until her colleagues start dying. The boss is useless, and police aren’t an option. Her only help is her best friend and a new AI mouse that he dubbed her “assistant.” While still completing assignments, she plummets deeper into the criminal underworld—without her consent.

Her only choice is to claw her way out.

Curse a Brew Streak by Lily Harper HartCurse a Brew Streak by Lily Harper Hart:

Ofelia Archer is living the dream … or as close as seemingly possible.

She owns her own business, her father seems to be on an even keel, and her new relationship with Detective Zacharias Sully is cruising right along. Everything changes in an instant, though, when screams from the street lead to zombies running amok through the French Quarter.

Ofelia is a tough witch who takes no guff but even she is at a loss. Who is creating the zombies? Where are they coming from? They’re not rising from the dead as much as being bumped off and used as an invading army.

Sully wants to take control of the investigation but the higher-ups in the New Orleans Police Department assign the case to a new detective, much to his chagrin. That detective is keen to find answers. Unfortunately, he’s looking hard at Ofelia to find them.

Sully and Ofelia are going to have to work together to find answers. Their adventure will lead them from the French Quarter to the Garden District and beyond. Even then, when things start coalescing, gnashing teeth won’t be the worst of their problems.

Months ago they were two factions working on their own. Now they’re together, and stronger for it.

Not all the magic in the Big Easy is good. Some is evil … and the two sides are about to collide.

Price of Justice by Robin JamesPrice of Justice by Robin James:

Vicious felons are going free. Can one determined attorney stop them from slaughtering more innocents?

Sharp small-town prosecutor Mara Brent has a heart as big as it is tough. Smack in the middle of a scandal surrounding her corrupt ex-boss, she works relentlessly to put things back in order. But when past gross negligence threatens to free convicted criminals, Mara fears her tight-knit community will be plagued by sadistic serial killers.

Preparing for the legal fight of her career, Mara battles to keep a violent pair of brothers locked up. But when the bloodthirsty duo is suddenly released on bail, she finds herself in a race against time to stop their inevitable killing spree.

Will Mara put the brutal murderers back behind bars before she has innocent blood on her hands?

The Veil of Vengeance by Nora KaneThe Veil of Vengeance by Nora Kane:

The body of the curator of the museum is found in the museum. The only thing missing is a portrait, seemingly of barely any value. The most intriguing thing was the way the body was arranged, with nails shaped in crescent-shaped and a circle of salt around the body. Was it something to do with the occult?

But the big question was why would someone steal the almost worthless portrait when the museum was filled with priceless relics and artifacts.

But the big question was why would someone steal the almost worthless portrait when the museum was filled with priceless relics and artifacts.

Follow Salem Montgomery as she treads the dangerous paths in the sleepy town of Wolverine harbor to track the killer down.

Freaky Seas by Amanda M. LeeFreaky Seas by Amanda M. Lee:

Mystic Caravan Circus is heading to Charleston and – per usual – trouble is not far behind.

For Poet Parker, who is grappling with saying goodbye to her assistant, she’s looking forward to quiet nights on the beach and quality time with her boyfriend. All that changes when the sea starts giving up its dead … and they appear to be hungry.

Under normal circumstances, zombies wouldn’t be a big deal. They’re slow, lumbering, and easy to dispatch. This infestation is different … and they appear to be controlled by a strange creature long since thought extinct.

Gorgons were believed to be things of myth and legend but one is haunting the beaches of Charleston … in close proximity to the circus and a writer’s retreat. In fact, the nutty individuals spouting fantastical stories and trying to one-up one another in the bluff house overlooking the circus grounds are all suspects because one of them is controlling the gorgon. Finding the individual responsible for causing endless upheaval and death is no easy task, though.

Poet is a fighter but this battle is all-encompassing.

Not every monster is obvious. Sometimes they hide behind human faces.

This time Poet is going to have to wade through layers of darkness to find the light. Surviving to see the final sunrise will take them all working together … and even then they might not be strong enough to claim victory.

Darkness is coming. Will anyone survive to see the dawn?

It's Not Over by Willow RoseIt’s Not Over by Willow Rose:

Peter and Mary Marshall went on a vacation with their son and daughter but returned without their children. They went missing from their hotel room one night while the couple was downstairs in the restaurant for dinner.

They never saw them again.

Ten years later, the Marshalls have put the murder of their children behind them, moved to a different state, and had another child, a son.

When he disappears during a vacation trip to Florida, the parents are suddenly in the limelight again. Public opinion seems to be that this can be no coincidence. These things don’t happen twice to the same people, do they?

Former FBI-profiler, Eva Rae Thomas is doing well in her life, and things are calm until an FBI agent suddenly shows up, asking for her help with the case of the missing child.

The kidnapper seems to have a message for Eva Rae since she was the one who supposedly solved the case ten years ago.

As she digs into the disappearance of the boy, racing to save the child’s life, she realizes this psychopathic killer lurking in the shadows has unfinished business, and he’s not stopping till his debt is paid in full.

See How They Run by Julian ScottSee How They Run by Julian Scott:

A dead body in an alley. A hotel with a dark secret.

Olivia and Nate are back in Chicago for an FBI training. It’s supposed to be a relaxing trip away from the kids, but it isn’t long before they are pulled in to help investigate a recent murder. They quickly learn that the young woman found in the alley may not just be an innocent victim.

 

 

Murder at Brighton Beach by Lee StraussMurder at Brighton Beach by Lee Strauss:

Murder’s a Beach!

A family holiday turns deadly at Brighton Beach. When Ginger and Basil and their family check into the Brighton Beach Boutique Hotel on a lovely warm day in June of 1926, a shocking discovery upsets their plans to relax in the sun and surf. There’s a murderer amongst the holidayers: Is it the starlet? The earl? The disgruntled businessman?

In this Agatha Christie-style addition to the Ginger Gold Mystery series, not only will Ginger not finish her book, she and Basil might not get out of the hotel alive.

Murder on Location by Lee and Norm StraussMurder on Location by Lee and Norm Strauss:

Murder’s a wrap!

Private Investigator Rosa Reed has finally accepted that her girlhood romance with Detective Miguel Belmonte has no hope of being rekindled, but when his actress girlfriend gets embroiled in a murder on her movie set, it’s more than a movie schedule that’s upsetting. Can Rosa put aside matters of the heart long enough to help Miguel solve the case?

 

Burning Girl by Robb T. WhiteBurning Girl by Robb T. White:

Detective Riisa Jones is a new detective with her first case as lead investigator for the Gallion, Rhode Island P.D. It’s a bad one: the body of a young woman has been set ablaze in a dumpster behind a local tavern, well known to the cops. Some of her colleagues, including her own partner “Kaz,” a veteran cop nearing retirement, wouldn’t mind seeing her fail. Riisa’s first obstacle is identifying the body. Before long, she’s neck-deep in a case that twists out of her reach every time she follows a lead. Those dead ends are piling up and so is the pressure to solve this horrific case. Riisa finds herself digging past the lies of respectable people to uncover some dirty secrets, and she had better hurry because there are killers behind those liars who are watching and paying attention to her.

A Drowning in DulwichA Drowning in Dulwich by Lynda Wilcox:

London 1924.

Private enquiry agent Lady Eleanor Bakewell looks forward to a relaxing few days at the Cuthbert Health and Beauty Clinic, where Irene, the owner, claims to have rediscovered the beauty secrets of Ancient Egypt.

But, when Irene is drowned in the clinic’s exotic Egyptian pool the pampering has to stop.

Convinced her death is murder, and that everyone in the house has a motive, Eleanor must uncover more than just beauty secrets if she is to bring a killer to justice.

Unshakeable Faith by Lisa WorrallUnshakeable Faith by Lisa Worrall:

“I have no idea who I am.”

Brody Tyler is the owner of a successful bar in San Antonio. Life is good. All that’s missing is someone to share it with. When a desperate stranger walks into the bar with no memory of who he is, Brody knows he must help him. Offering him a job and a place to say seems the right thing to do. Falling in love with him is easy.

Nash, a name he picked himself, is lost when he walks into Brody’s bar. He’d spent the last three months in hospital and had been left with no memory and nowhere to go. Brody’s offer of a job and a place to stay is insane – but Nash instinctively knows he can trust him. Falling in love with his white knight, however, is unexpected.

When tragedy strikes, their perfect world comes crashing down around them. In a twist of fate and mistaken identity, Brody finds himself Nash’s protector once more and he will do anything to keep him safe.

Send to Kindle
Posted in Books, Indie Crime Fiction of the Month | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment