New Science Fiction Releases: Lovers’ Lane and Double Feature

I have two new stories to announce today, two stories that are in many ways two sides of the same coin.

Let’s have a bit of background: In November 2013, I published a short story called Acacia Crescent, in which a young boy is saved from a mafia hitman by an unexpected alien invasion (Are there ever expected alien invasions?). Acacia Crescent was supposed to be the first story of The Day the Saucers Came…, a series of first person eye-witness accounts of a B-movie type alien invasion in a alternate 1956. Alas, I never wrote the other stories, so Acacia Crescent remained a standalone. Until now…

For today I present you not one but two new stories of The Day the Saucers Came… Both stories offer not just a glimpse into 1950s small town teenager life, just before it is interrupted by death ray shooting flying saucers, they are also companion pieces, featuring two very different female first person narrators whose stories just happen to overlap.

By the way, if you want to read all three stories of The Day the Saucers Came… together, you can also purchase them for a reduced price as a handy series bundle at DriveThruFiction.

Lovers’ Lane
Lovers_Lane1956. After a sock hop at the local high school gym, teenagers Betty and Cody drive out to Lovers’ Lane together. Betty knows only too well that good girls don’t go to Lovers’ Lane with boys. But Cody is her one true love and besides, he swore that he’d love her forever or may he be struck down where he stands. But then, an alien invasion shows Betty just what Cody’s word is truly worth…

 

 

 

More information.
Length: 6200 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 iTunes, Scribd, Smashwords, Inktera, txtr, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, Libiro, DriveThruFiction, OmniLit/AllRomance e-books, Casa del Libro, Flipkart, e-Sentral, 24symbols and XinXii.

Double Feature
Double Feature by Cora Buhlert1956: Judy is the designated town slut of Stillwater Creek. After getting thrown out of a sock hop at the local high school, Judy winds up going to the movies with bad boy Hank instead, where a science fiction double feature is playing. However, before the first reel of the second movie is through, the night is interrupted by a very real invasion of flying saucers from outer space…

This is a novelette of 8500 words or approx. 30 print pages.

 

 

More information.
Length: 8500 words.
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 iTunes, Scribd, Smashwords, Inktera, txtr, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, Libiro, DriveThruFiction, OmniLit/AllRomance e-books, Casa del Libro, Flipkart, e-Sentral, 24symbols and XinXii.

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Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for March 2016

Indie Speculative Fiction of the MonthIt’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 February 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. We have space opera, military science fiction, science fiction romance, paranormal romance, fantasy romance, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, horror, post-apocalyptic fiction, vampires, wizards, demons, alien invasions, flying saucers, telepathic space pirates, monstruous conspiracies, dead druids, magical wars, royal bodyguards, gods in the modern world 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:

Ishtar's Blade by Lisa BlackwoodIshtar’s Blade by Lisa Blackwood:

Warrior.
King’s confidant.
Avenging blade of the Goddess Ishtar.

Iltani asked to be none of these things. Yet fate does not ask permission when she weaves souls upon destiny’s loom.

On the day of Iltani’s birth, an assassin tried and nearly succeeded in ending the line of the gryphon kings. Out of that bloodshed, an unbreakable bond was forged between child-king and goddess-chosen infant, and from that pivotal moment forward, Iltani was never farther from King Ditanu than his shadow. Not until her training to become Ishtar’s Blade required her to leave.

After four brutal years of training, Iltani now returns to court as Ishtar’s Blade and takes up her role of king’s shadow—a dangerous position in a court where the threat of another assassination is but a blade’s width away. But for the chance to stand at the side of her beloved king, she will endure the dangers of court intrigues, assassins, and political maneuverings.

Lovers' Lane by Cora BuhlertLovers’ Lane by Cora Buhlert

1956. After a sock hop at the local high school gym, teenagers Betty and Cody drive out to Lovers’ Lane together. Betty knows only too well that good girls don’t go to Lovers’ Lane with boys. But Cody is her one true love and besides, he swore that he’d love her forever or may he be struck down where he stands. But then, an alien invasion shows Betty just what Cody’s word is truly worth…

This is a story of “The Day the Saucers Came…”, a loosely connected series of eyewitness accounts of a B-movie type alien invasion in 1956.

Caugzht in the Dream by Eva ChaseCaught in the Dream by Eva Chase:

Mateo Jimenez is haunted by the death of his first girlfriend, and his fear of repeating past mistakes has cost him personal relationships and now his job. While his colleagues protect L.A. from the demonic Glowers, he’s been demoted to office work.

So when a Glower approaches him to negotiate a ceasefire, Mateo agrees to listen, planning to gather information on the demons that will prove his worth. He isn’t prepared to be so tempted by Kess, who uses her supernatural talents to bring his most buried desires to life. As he struggles to keep the upper hand, he discovers he can provoke human emotions in the demon, but the more warmth and kindness Kess offers, the more confused his own feelings become. No longer sure what’s an act and what’s real, Mateo sees a chance to stop the Glowers for good. But first he must decide whether trusting Kess is the key to succeeding or the greatest betrayal he could ever commit.

The third book in The Glower Chronicles, a steamy New Adult paranormal series.

Your Name, In Fire by Kera EmoryYour Name, In Fire by Kera Emory:

Connor Black doesn’t believe in the supernatural, and that’s about to bite him in the ass.

Connor’s life gets interesting when a new writer joins his video game studio. Sparks fly; Wendy is pretty, intelligent, and definitely into Connor—but careful never to reveal much about herself.

And before long, Connor has his own secrets to worry about: a tattooed stranger attacks and nearly kills him, giving no explanation. Angry but mystified, Connor doesn’t tell anyone what happened, and tries to put the attack behind him—and he tries to convince himself that the weird little things he’s starting to notice about Wendy aren’t really that weird. Stressed and sleep-deprived, with the looming deadline of a multi-million-dollar video game launch weeks away, Connor just doesn’t have time to deal with ‘weird’.

But when the evidence trail of an horrific crime begins to lead back to Connor himself, Connor must seek out answers to the questions he’s been avoiding, even if it means risking his own life and sanity—and the lives of those around him.

Shadow Play by Domino FinnShadow Play by Domino Finn:

I’m Cisco Suarez, and a week ago I was dead.

Cursed into serving a clandestine shadow group, I have a lot of blood on my hands. Good thing I also have a juvenile problem with authority. I’m not taking orders anymore, and the first thing on my bucket list is bringing them down.

If I’m good at anything, it’s looking in dark places. But I’ve got shadows of my own. Horrific deeds coming back to haunt me, and not the metaphorical kind of haunting, either. I’m talking ghosts, mages, and that thing with the glowing red eyes.

Just goes to show you, it really is true what they say. What goes around comes around. I only hope to give more than I get.

Is resurrection overrated or what?

Destroyer by Chris FoxDestroyer by Chris Fox:

Mankind’s outer colonies are disappearing. Without warning. Without a trace. Fleet command chalks the attacks up to pirates, but Captain Dryker of the UFC Johnston isn’t buying it.

Defying command, he leads his misfit crew into hostile territory in search of answers. They encounter the mythical Void Wraith, an unstoppable legend whispered by the first race. After 26,000 years the Void Wraith have returned to begin the next Eradication. Their technology is superior, their motives unclear.

Humanity cannot stop them. Not without help. Captain Dryker’s only hope is to forge an alliance with mankind’s greatest enemy, the savage Tigris.

One maverick captain, an unlikely crew, and an aging vessel are all that stand between humanity and the Eradication.

The Wizard's War by Angela HolderThe Wizard’s War by Angela Holder:

For the first time in its history, Tevenar is at war. The Matriarch of Ramunna, furious with the wizards she believes betrayed her, has sent the Armada to conquer and destroy. Armed with a secret weapon that makes them the unchallenged terror of the seas, the ships of the Armada descend on vulnerable Tevenar.

Elkan and Josiah, along with the rest of the Wizard’s Guild, scramble to rally the people of Tevenar to defend their home. The Mother’s power gives them a chance to stand against their foes, but alone it’s not enough. To defeat the Ramunnans, they must find a way to duplicate their enemies’ weapons. Josiah believes they can, because they’ve encountered a similar explosive before. But only one person in Tevenar knows how to make and use the deadly blasting powder—Meira, the woman Elkan once loved and rejected.

Pirate Bound by Carysa LockePirate Bound by Carysa Locke:

A desperate gamble…

Sanah would do anything to protect her little sister, even if it means taking refuge with ruthless pirates. But the psychically Talented pirates terrorizing Commonwealth space are not quite the monsters she has been led to believe. When Sanah’s empathic gift shows her the truth behind the stories, she is no longer certain who the villains are in her world.

A race on the verge of extinction…

Dem’s only goal is to protect his people, especially since a deadly bio-weapon decimated their population. Only a handful of women survived, and every day is a fight to rebuild. With Sanah’s empathy and her sister’s rare ability to heal, they could be the salvation Dem and his people have been looking for.

A dangerous secret that could destroy everything…

But how can Sanah trust Dem with her life? Especially when he’d kill her if he knew the truth.

Dead Druid by Salvador MercerDead Druid by Salvador Mercer:

A thousand years ago, on the world of Claire-Agon, a war raged between men and dragons, destroying both the creatures and the land’s many civilizations.

Targon Terrel accepts his fate as a Ranger, a servant of the Mother and Defender of the Arnen. Having protected his fellow countrymen, he continues his battle against the sinister Kesh wizards, but he does not fight alone. Aided by unlikely allies, he presses his attacks to liberate Ulatha and its people.

The Kesh continue to dominate the realms of Agon, enslaving those of neighboring realms and seeking to obtain the one artifact that will ensure their perpetual domination of Agon forever.

Meanwhile, ancient evils stir from their long slumbers, moving to ensnare all within their reach as Dor Akun, Father Death approaches.

Evil prepares to cover the land and only one thing stands in its way, a simple Ulathan family that goes by the name of Terrel.

Ghost of the Navigator by Tommy MuncieGhost of the Navigator by Tommy Muncie:

Three years on from the birthday party that left him crippled for life, Shadow is well on the way to wrecking what’s left of himself. When stealing morphine from a hospital almost lands him in prison, his family give him one more chance to clean up, and he takes it. By his 21st birthday, he’s six months sober and settling for a simple and honest life. Then an unexpected visitor turns up at Shadow’s home, with a new idea about how to get his body restored.

Everything comes at a price though, and the elusive Blake Stanford’s price is going to be more than Shadow wants to pay. Despite his loyalty to both Shadow’s family and the Talent Council, Blake has dangerous ideas. The kind that can either make history or get people put in prisons that don’t officially exist. If they live long enough to reach them.

The Serious Crimes Office are hot on the tail of Blake and his new protegé, and Shadow has made enemies out of people high up in the world’s most powerful organisation: The Seekers’ Council, known for making unpredictable people disappear without trace. A nosy journalist won’t stay out of Shadow’s personal life, and a crime boss who wants Shadow for her own plans will stop at nothing to own his allegiance. Is anyone truly his ally? The good doctor Kit Calloway still is, but keeping Shadow alive might just cost him more than his career this time.

Especially if the world’s most powerful Seekers discover Shadow’s true identity. Or the three tubes of Liquid Talent he once buried deep in a forest, and promised never to dig up unless lives depended on the secrets inside them…

That Which Dwells BeneathThat Which Dwells Beneath by Andrew Nicolle:

Detective Elliot Winter believes an innocent man may hang, framed for murders he didn’t commit. He’s convinced the condemned knows too much, and even if the man escapes the hangman’s noose, powerful people want him dead.

On the grounds of the abbey at the edge of town, the catacombs conceal terrible secrets. There are whispers of murder, ritual sacrifice, and worse. Winter cannot abide a world where such crimes are allowed to go unpunished.

In a race against time, Detective Winter risks his life and sanity to unravel a conspiracy concealing something far more sinister than even he can imagine.

Engineering Murder by T.S. PaulEngineering Murder by T.S. Paul:

Ensign Athena Lee has finally been rescued. The galaxy has changed over the last fifteen years. She finds herself arrested, her rights taken away, and tortured. Political corruption has taken over. Now someone is out to kill her. With assassins and bounty hunters at every corner what is an Engineer to do? Use the right tool for the right job and Fix it!

 

 

 

Freemont by P.J. PostFreemont by P.J. Post:

This romance brought to you by the end of the world…

Freemont’s River Walk is romantic, exciting and has the best cafes and restaurants in the county. And the residents intend to keep it that way. They opened up the armory, fueled the World War II trucks and even got the ancient generators working. They turned on the lights.

To improve the security of the townspeople, they put up a fence, manned by the good soldiers from Crayton Industries, selflessly protecting the refugees, and the nurses and doctors that care for them in their selectively policed triage units.

Freemont is a beacon for the survivors of the War.

Come to Freemont: you’ll be fed, you’ll be warm, you’ll be safe…

And now Lane’s here.

And somewhere among all of those River Walk cafes and restaurants, the pretty church steeples and the good intentions, the snow covered maple trees and the street lights along Main, among the Cart People and the Button Eye plague…

Sam is too.

The Girl Who Twisted Fate's ArmThe Girl Who Twisted Fate’s Arm by George Saoulidis:

The gods are back in town. Skyscrapers pop out of nowhere all around Athens. Corporations rename themselves as Greek gods. It all started with the Greek crisis of 2009 and it will forever change the world as we know it. Some say that CEO’s have gone mad. Others, that they know damn well what they are doing. That there is something solid amongst the myth. In the day of inter-connectivity and social media admiration, can the myths come back to life?

When the daughter of Greece’s premier singer fails to sing as expected, she finds out about a biker group of women. But will she manage to find the elusive Orosa, the bikers’ motovlogger, when all she has to go on are random street-sightings of criminal behaviour, when her family is opposed to her following this path and when her dad’s employer wants to keep her as she was for marketing purposes?

SURE by Hollis ShilohSURE by Hollis Shiloh:

Pete has a pretty good life these days: a job he likes, friends, and a boyfriend who accepts him as he is. But despite all this, life isn’t without its challenges — and dangers.

a Men of the ESRB novel
takes place after “KEEP” and contains the same characters
gay paranormal fiction

66,000 words

The Extra Sensory Regulatory Bureau rates talented individuals like empaths and clairvoyants. They have special gifts — and often some extra burdens that go along with them. The ESRB takes care of its own, but these guys still have a lot to figure out about life — and love. Stay tuned for more tales from the men of the ESRB.

Bound by Magic by Jasmine WaltBound by Magic by Jasmine Walt:

With the silver murders solved and her training as a mage underway, Sunaya figured her life would get easier. But between the Chief Mage’s packed schedule and the grunt work demanded of her as an apprentice mage, magic lessons are few and far between. Worse, her apprenticeship leaves little time for her job as an Enforcer, and without bounties Sunaya’s money pouch is drying up — fast.

Even so, when Shiftertown Inspector Boon Lakin asks for Sunaya’s help digging deeper into the murder of a fellow Enforcer, Sunaya has no trouble making room in her life to help him. The trail leads them to a series of crimes victimizing shifters for the entertainment of vicious humans. Sunaya and her friends race to identify the perpetrators and free the survivors, and the stakes are heightened when she discovers one of the victims has a connection to her. But if Sunaya is not careful, she may end up a very dead shifter herself…

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Murder in the Family is still a bestseller in Australia

 

My crime fiction collection Murder in the Family continues to sell in Australia and I still have no idea why. I haven’t run any recent promotions for the book, it hasn’t received any glowing reviews lately and it has never sold all that well in the first place.

And yet Murder in the Family is now No. 2 in the mystery and crime anthology subcategory at Amazon Australia. Very mysterious.

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,199 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

 

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Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for February 2016

Indie Speculative Fiction of the MonthIt’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 January 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. We have space opera, military science fiction, science fiction romance, paranormal romance, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, historical fantasy, horror, steampunk, alternate history, post-apocalyptic fiction, lots of young adult SFF, witches, demons, zombies, intergalactic conspiracies, alien invaders, were-foxes, magical swords, beleaguered queens, alternate history PIs, Valentine’s Day in space, Victorians in space, increasingly transparent girls, bioengineered jellyfish terrorists 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:

Emerald Emergent by James AaronEmerald Emergent by James Aaron

Emmie’s mother never lets her forget that an obsession with ancient magic killed her father and left Emmie horribly scarred.

When her best friend Bryte offers Emmie a chance to explore an ancient city, Emmie is torn between her father’s sense of adventure and her mother’s common sense. She also can’t deny her fascination with bookish Bryte.

Following her heart, Emmie will face her fears and discover secrets bound to change her life forever. . . once she chooses to stand up and fight.

Book 1 in the Adventures of Emerald of Elegaia, a thrilling new science fantasy series offering a world of action and romance to explore and love.

Welcome to Elegaia, where the past can kill you.

Valentine's Day on Iago Prime by Cora BuhlertValentine’s Day on Iago Prime by Cora Buhlert

Kai and Maisie are about the celebrate their first Valentine’s Day on the planet Iago Prime. However, the holiday traditions they established back on Earth such as celebrating Valentine’s Day with a picnic on the beach are impossible to maintain in the hostile environment of their new home. But in spite of the many limitations imposed by living on Iago Prime, Kai pulls out all the stops to give Maisie an unforgettable Valentine’s Day.

This is a science fictional Valentine’s Day story of 2200 words or approx. 10 print pages.

Station 332 by Darcy CoatesStation 332 by Darcy Coates

For Charles, responding to Station 332’s emergency help request starts out no different than any other mission. She’s been paired with a near-retirement medic, Robin, and a lax mechanic, Jay. Their job is simple: check the station, kill any threats, provide assistance if needed, then return to Central.

But this is unlike any assistance request Charles has been on before.

Someone or something has destroyed the station, smashing the control panel and upending equipment. They find two bodies–murdered–in the bedroom, and the third staff member is missing.

Robin labels it a murder-suicide, but Charles has doubts.

Something is killing Central’s best fighters, leaving humanity defenceless. It’s spreading quickly. And the danger lives closer to home than anyone ever expected…

Station 332 is a short story in the five-part Cymic Parasite Breach series. Each story can be read independently.

The Memory Thief by Sarina DorieThe Memory Thief by Sarina Dorie

What would the Victorian era look like if they had “rediscovered” space flight? Would the British really be interested in colonizing the continent of America if they could colonize an entire planet?

Imagine a Neo-Victorian alternate history romance set on a shogun-like planet. Felicity is a young lady betrothed to a British noble of rank and fortune who will someday inherit a space station. Her life should be happy and perfect. Alas, she fears she will never achieve happiness—or wholeness—until her memories have been returned by the man who stole them.

In pursuit of her past, Felicity returns to an alien planet where she once encountered descendants of Japanese colonists from Earth who had settled millennia before. After a seven year absence, she finds the world much changed. The climate and geography have been altered, the planet has been colonized by her own Victorian culture, destroyed by unethical surveyors, and she is told the man she believes may have stolen her memories—a man she once loved and trusted—is dead. Her only hope for finding answers about her mysterious past is performing the Jomon courtship ritual of memory exchange. The idea of trusting another man enough to perform the ritual after what she has been through is too much and she doesn’t know if she can go through with it. Worse yet, she finds herself falling in love with the alien planet’s leader, even though she is already engaged. Only when she learns to let go of her fears can she learn the secrets that may aid in the freedom of the Jomon people—and herself.

One Sunny Night by Charon DunnOne Sunny Night by Charon Dunn

On March 20, 3748, terrorist clones in submarines made of bioengineered jellyfish attacked the stadium where fifteen-year-old Sonny Knight was watching the
clashball championship game, kidnapping his family and his two best friends.

But the day wasn’t a total loss. Sonny got to meet one of his favorite sports heroes, he got a new dog, and he ran into an extremely tattooed man who has a really fast ship. Which might have been fast enough to get Sonny safely home in a couple of days if they hadn’t run into the tsunamis, and the pliosaurs, and the cattle stampede, and more clones, and all those other complications.

Complications fly fast and furious in this fast-paced adventure story set in a far future in which the climate has changed significantly, making travel difficult.

The Strength to Serve by Claire FrankThe Strength to Serve by Claire Frank

Home after their long absence, Daro and Cecily want nothing more than to pick up the pieces of their life and return to normalcy. But outside events intrude and the memories of what they lived through aren’t so easy to leave behind.

Pathius languishes, an unchained prisoner in a foreign land, doubtful of his place in the world. In Imara, he is offered a chance for a new life, if he can release the ghosts of his past and accept the man he has become.

As an invading army threatens their homeland, Daro, Cecily, and Pathius are drawn back into the political turmoil of Halthas. An assassin wreaks havoc in the city, a dangerous artifact is stolen, a force bent on conquest marches toward their border, and they all must take up arms to defeat an enemy their kingdom is not prepared to face.

Lay Me Down by Tamara Hart HeinerLay Me Down by Tamara Hart Heiner

Life is more than just breathing.

Kylee Mansfield knows what it is to be alone. Her dad left when she was seven, and her mother remarried an abusive alcoholic. Kylee finds ways to escape reality, usually by substituting one pain for another.

Things take a deadly turn when a jagged cut shows up on her arm, and she doesn’t know where it came from. She enlists her neighbor, Price Hudson, to help her uncover the truth. But Price shows her much more than just her past—he shows her what it is to be alive.

A heartbreakingly beautiful teen/young adult paranormal romance that will chill you to the core.

Starfall by John HegenbergerStarfall by John Hegenberger

After rescuing Annette Funicello’s stand-in from the amorous clutches of Guy Williams, Stan Wade, young, LA-based PI, gets a new, but secret, assignment from his number-one client, Walt Disney. The elder cartoonist and filmmaker wants Stan to investigate a death at Edwards Air Force Base. The victim, who drowned while testing an outer-space uniform, was the eighth astronaut candidate for America’s new space agency, NASA. Working out of his cramped office in the back of the Brown Derby restaurant where he’s employed as a part-time “bouncer,” Stan uncovers much more than a suspicious death…putting his own life—and the lives of those closest to him—in danger.

An Alternate History Mystery

Dream Stalker by Amy HopkinsDream Stalker by Amy Hopkins

All Emma wanted was to sell her enchanted teas in peace; instead, she’s caught up in the chase for a killer who’s stalking the streets of London. He’s targeting half-bloods, people with limited magical ability. People just like Emma.

The police are baffled by the long string of deaths, but they’re not willing to put in the legwork to make an arrest. After all, magic users can take care of themselves, right? Except, those with real power don’t give a damn about half-bloods. So, when Emma wakes from a strange dream that nearly gets her killed in the waking world, she knows she has to deal with it herself.

With only her boggart shop-assistant and the two strange men who have offered to help, can she thwart the killer and make the city safe again?

Stop the Sirens by E.E. IsherwoodStop the Sirens by E.E. Isherwood

When the sirens end, “post-apocalypse” begins.

Exhausted after two weeks of rolling chaos since the sirens, Liam and his family prepare for their biggest challenge yet.

Fifteen-year-old Liam Peters starts his day in a muddy creek. The Air Force tried to wipe his subdivision off the map, but luck and fast feet helped him find refuge from the big bombs. When he looks up, he sees his whole life has been swept away by fire. And Grandma? He’d been successful getting her out of the city, and across suburbia, but she was snatched from him minutes prior to the attack. She’d gotten a one-way ticket to a brutal government facility set up to research the cure.

As a studious reader of zombie literature, Liam knows the dangers of being without shelter or direction during the zombie plague. He’d already been attacked by angry looters, malicious refugees, and hordes of zombies. His house had been riddled by a chain gun–twice–before the final bombs fell. He tried to look ahead, but saw little hope. He was bolstered by Victoria, but without Grandma by his side he felt defeated.

And yet, hope was out there. People were coming together to survive and help each other. One such group was at the Beaumont Boy Scout Reservation. It was an enclave of peace within the swirl of zombies and death engulfing all of metropolitan St. Louis. There Liam and his family might find a base from which to search for Grandma Marty.

As book 3 concludes, Liam will learn the origin of the plague, the fate of Grandma, and whether a couple of teenagers have anything to look forward to in a world filled with zombies

The Necromancer's Daughter by Patty JansenThe Necromancer’s Daughter by Patty Jansen

One brave woman’s struggle against magical forces.

Queen Johanna’s position in Saardam is fragile. The Barons and Kings of the countries in the hinterland are not happy that she helped the royal family to survive and is now about to ensure the next generation. They vow to teach this little upstart country a lesson for once and for all.
Of course it is not so much about petty rivalry, but about access to the sea port that connects the hinterland with the lucrative ocean trade.
Johanna knows that if it came to a fight Saardam could never survive, so she has invited all the heads of state and other important people for talks to invest in the city’s shattered infrastructure for the benefit of all.
As a congregation of royal families gathers such as the lowlands have never seen, the magicians travelling with the esteemed guests prepare the final and most insidious attempt to get control of the upstart little country and its usurper, commoner queen: through her baby daughter.

Mission: Blackguard Conspiracy by V.A, JeffreyMission: Blackguard Conspiracy by V.A. Jeffrey

The Dark Energy Project, started by a group of far-thinking engineers, scientists and programmers many years ago has come roaring back like a storm!

Meant to catapult human exploration and civilization out to the farthest reaches of space, it centered around the groundbreaking information on how to build working stargates. Except, the information was stolen and its founders and all other humans attached to the project killed by alien loyalists. Thereafter, it was renamed The Blackguard Project, the linchpin of the entire drama between humans, alien rebels and the alien loyalists. It’s a shortcut for the aliens in the approaching Black Fleet who abandoned their dying planet and are heading to the solar system to invade Earth and wipe out humanity.

Bob receives a copy of the Blackguard files by The Boss with a new mission: stop the inaugural activation of the new stargate at the annual Sci-Tech Convention. To most people, this is a momentous year in the history of science and space exploration. However, Bob and his U-net band know that this gate is a Trojan Horse! It must be stopped and the aliens behind this sinister plan exposed, no matter the cost.

The Full Moon by David NethThe Full Moon by David Neth

Kathy and her sister, Samantha, have always been a team. Throughout their time as witches, they’ve taken out more than their share of bad guys. But after Kathy meets Will, who she learns is a demonic Dark Knight, her loyalties begin to change.

Meanwhile, Samantha doesn’t trust Will or his intentions. Still, Kathy can’t help but feel tempted by the dark side as she falls deeper in love with Will. Crossing over would give Kathy the freedom to do whatever she wanted with her magic. No rules. No limitations. It would also mean breaking the bond she has always shared with her sister, who has made it clear that she wants nothing to do with the dark side.

When Will proposes they take over the underworld, Kathy loves the idea of having power. But it also leaves her with a choice that will change her life: abandon her family and the life she has always known, or give up the love of her life forever.

The Forgotten Engineer by T.S. PaulThe Forgotten Engineer by T.S. Paul

Ensign Athena Lee was on her first engineering assignment. She was helping to build a secret space station. There was a war on and this new station was vital. When the engineering fleet was attacked and destroyed she was left lost and alone. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. She was going to have to Engineer her way home.

 

 

 

Desert Planet by Jim RudnickDesert Planet by Jim Rudnick

“After 55 years of waiting for an answer to the invite to join the RIM Confederacy, the planet Enki has responded with an alternate idea—that the RIM Confederacy join them instead. Captain Tanner Scott is sent on the Diplomatic mission to get the Enkians to reconsider.

What he and the Atlas crew do is to help the new Ambassador to find a way to both diplomatic as well as the Enki into the RIM Confederacy without exposing to them the secret of why that is so important. If the Enkians can be persuaded, the RIM could gain access to the newly discovered metal ores that appear to make a ship invulnerable.

But all of the RIM wants to shortcut the process so the Atlas needs to quarantine the planet as well as maintain full diplomacy with the Enkians. When the Caliphate gets involved and back room deals are made it all comes to a head at the Atlas Adept Officers trial for Terrorism.

Captain Scott will try to defend his officer by acting as his defense counsel—a job that is made even more difficult as the Enkian society and justice system are both hard to learn and hard to navigate within the law…”

Wind Chill by Patrick RutiglianoWind Chill by Patrick Rutigliano

What if you were held captive by your own family?

Emma Rawlins has spent the last year a prisoner. The months following her mother’s death dragged her father into a paranoid spiral of conspiracy theories and doomsday premonitions. Obsessing him, controlling him, they now whisper the end days are finally at hand.

And he doesn’t intend to face them alone.

Emma finds herself drugged and dragged to a secluded cabin, the last refuge from a society supposedly due to collapse. Their cabin a snowbound fortress, her every move controlled, but even that isn’t enough to weather the end of the world.

Everything she knows is out of reach, lost beyond a haze of white. There is no choice but to play her father’s game while she plans her escape.

But there is a force far colder than the freezing drifts. Ancient, ravenous, it knows no mercy. And it’s already had a taste…

Foxed by Hollis ShilohFoxed by Hollis Shiloh

Wallace Avery, bookworm extraordinaire, is not out at work in either sense, as a gay man or as a fox shifter. He likes his privacy, and he’s quite content in records management, thank you: filing papers and spending his off hours quietly.

When the opportunity he never wanted is thrust into his lap, he has to decide what to do about it. Police work and a pay raise, and probably stress up to his eyeballs, or trying to stay in his old life and pretending he’s not capable of so much more?

Whatever he chooses, he definitely doesn’t want to fall for someone from his workplace. Especially not that cop . . .

Spirit of the Sword by Frances SmithSpirit of the Sword: Faith and Virtue by Frances Smith

Michael has survived his battle with the Voice of Corona, and is determined to walk the path of service to the immortal Empress Aegea. But opposing him is none other than his own beloved brother, Felix, who was thought dead but is the chief servant to Michael’s enemy, Quirian.

Meanwhile, the quarrels between the Empire’s feuding factions continue as Miranda finds herself increasingly entangled in the treacherous currents of Imperial politics. As plots multiply, Miranda finds herself increasingly unsure of her loyalties to anyone but her lover Octavia and her dear friend, Empress Portia. But as the Empire hurtles towards civil war the day approaches when she will have to choose a side once and for all.

The roads of Michael, Felix and Miranda entwine in Eternal Pantheia, the Empire’s capital, where betrayals and revelations try their resolve. As the city burns around them the three divided siblings must reunite and put their faith in one another, for only together can they save the Empire, or let the fires of its hubris consume the nation.

The Increasingly Transparent Girl by Matthew StottThe Increasingly Transparent Girl by Matthew Stott

Things live between awake and asleep. In the moment after your eyes grow too heavy to stay open, but before the dreams take you.

One day, Melody May begins to disappear from view. Her hands, her knees, her face, her everything. A monster’s enchantment has ensnared her, and now Melody must travel across a strange and dangerous land between awake and asleep to reclaim herself; otherwise, in 48 short hours, she will never have existed at all…

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Murder in the Family is a Bestseller in Australia

Murder in the Family, my collection of short crime fiction, has never been my strongest seller, though it has sold decently since it was released in the summer of 2012.

In the past few days, however, the sales for Murder in the Family have really taken off in Australia. I have no idea why, since I’m not running any promos for the collection at the moment, neither in Australia nor elsewhere. And the collection never sold all that well in Australia before.

However, the mysterious Australian sales surge has also landed Murder in the Family in the top three of a subcategory bestseller list at Amazon Australia, ahead of Agatha Christie, Ian Rankin and G.C. Chesterton. See for yourselves:

 

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New Release: Valentine’s Day on Iago Prime

One of the 31 stories I wrote during the July short story challenge last year was a science fiction short called “Valentine’s Day on Iago Prime”. It was a story about a young couple celebrating their first Valentine’s Day on a newly settled planet and was inspired by a piece of SF art showing two spacesuited figures standing hand in hand on an alien beach.

Until now, “Valentine’s Day on Iago Prime” remained unpublished and uncollected, because it didn’t really fit in with any of the other stories I wrote during that challenge.

However, with Valentine’s Day approaching, I dug up the story again and expanded it somewhat (the original was very short) so it could stand alone as a science fiction holiday story. Because on of the strengths of indie publishing is that it allows us to put out stories to coincide with holidays, etc… without months of preparation.

I had planned to announce the story on Valentine’s Day, but unfortunately two major vendors decided to take their time in putting the story online – apparently, there was a public holiday in the US and another in Canada just that very weekend.

And so here it is, Valentine’s Day on Iago Prime – a bit late, but still a nice story about a couple trying to hold on to their personal traditions in a radically different environment. Oh yeah, and it has Welsh people. In space.

By the way, Valentine’s Day on Iago Prime is also today’s featured new release at the Speculative Fiction Showcase, the indie speculative fiction blog I run together with Jessica Rydill. We featzre new indie speculative fiction releases, author interviews, guest posts, link round-ups and much more several times per week, so check it out.

And now get ready to celebrate…

Valentine’s Day on Iago Prime
Valentine's Day on Iago PrimeKai and Maisie are about the celebrate their first Valentine’s Day on the planet Iago Prime. However, the holiday traditions they established back on Earth such as celebrating Valentine’s Day with a picnic on the beach are impossible to maintain in the hostile environment of their new home. But in spite of the many limitations imposed by living on Iago Prime, Kai pulls out all the stops to give Maisie an unforgettable Valentine’s Day.

This is a science fictional Valentine’s Day story of 2200 words or approx. 10 print pages.

 

More information.
Length: 2200 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 iTunes, Scribd, Smashwords, Inktera, txtr, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, Libiro, Nook UK, DriveThruFiction, OmniLit/AllRomance e-books, Casa del Libro, Flipkart, e-Sentral, 24symbols and XinXii.

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New release: Our Lady of the Burning Heart

I have a new release to announce for today. Though it’s not quite that new anymore, I just forgot to announce it and only remembered, because I have another new release to announce in the next few days.

It’s a bumper edition of two crime shorts which deal with issues of faith, fate and coincidence. “Our Lady of the Burning Heart” is another of the stories to come out of the July short story challenge, while “Lucky Harry” is the English language version of “Harry im Glück”, my contribution to the German indie anthology Kurz Geschichten für Zwischendurch.

Our Lady of the Burning Heart
Our Lady of the Burning Heart by Cora BuhlertTwo stories of crime, chance and coincidence

Our Lady of the Burning Heart

Liam is a small time criminal in a world of trouble. Cause he owes twenty thousand dollars to local gangster Dan “the Man” O’Brien and if Liam doesn’t pay back him within twenty-four hours, he’s in for a whole world of pain.

Liam does not have twenty thousand dollars. All he has are four dollars and forty-seven cents and a plan. For there is a horse running tonight, a horse sure to win him the missing twenty thousand dollars and more. If Liam only had enough money to bet on it.

So when Liam passes the church of Our Lady of the Burning Heart and finds the door open late at night, he does what a good Catholic boy like him should never even consider. He ventures into the church, intending to rob the collection box.

But a statue of the Virgin Mary with an eerily glowing heart, a forgetful priest and a lost bus ticket conspire to rescue Liam from Dan “the Man” and return him to the path of righteousness…

Bonus story: Lucky Harry

In former East Germany, Dennis has robbed a bank and has found the perfect hiding place for the loot, an old soap factory deserted since the unification. But his plan is thwarted by homeless Harry, a bottle of Soviet era vodka and Lenin’s birthday…

More information.
List price: 0.99 USD, EUR or GBP
Length: 4900 words
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 iTunes, Scribd, Smashwords, Inktera, txtr, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, Libiro, Nook UK, DriveThruFiction, OmniLit/AllRomance e-books, Casa del Libro, Flipkart, e-Sentral, 24symbols and XinXii.

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Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for January 2016

Indie Speculative Fiction of the MonthIt’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 December 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. We have space opera, military science fiction, science fiction romance, paranormal romance, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, post-apocalyptic science fiction, dystopian fiction, young adult fiction, short fiction anthologies, shapeshifters, demons, time travel, questing knights, captive princes, wish granting djinni, drug-smuggling gnomes, hospital ships, were-squirrels, adventures on Mars, the battle of the sexes 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:

Zero Hour by Eamon AmbroseZero Hour Part 3: Revelations by Eamon Ambrose:

The acclaimed post-apocalyptic saga continues as our two heroes continue their journey, but it soon becomes clear that the odds are against them. Will they reach the Facility and find the answers they need?

 

 

 

 

51mCiUJuXcL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_Caught in the Rush by Eva Chase:

Fiona Wilde has always lived up to her last name, but a night in the emergency room was more than she bargained for. Now six months clean and sober, she’s thrown herself back into the only job she feels qualified for—guarding the emerging stars of L.A. from the demonic Glowers—while getting the rush she craves from casual encounters, always leaving before anyone can leave her. When her teen TV star client’s hot older brother Will arrives home for spring break, she sees the perfect opportunity for a fling with a built-in end date.

Then the Glowers launch an unexpected attack, leaving Fiona scrambling to keep her client safe even as Will steals past the walls around her heart. With the demons closing in and the starlet rebelling, the stability Fiona has clung to is slipping away. Her growing connection with Will might be the thing that saves her—or the thing that tears her apart.

The second book in The Glower Chronicles, a steamy New Adult paranormal series.

Each book in The Glower Chronicles contains a stand-alone romance, but it is recommended that you read them in order to best appreciate the ongoing subplots.

Singularity by Taitrina FalconSingularity by Taitrina Falcon:

The Temporal Response Unit (TRU) has one purpose: find time travelers and stop them in their tracks. It’s not because there is a timeline to protect, for the future is unwritten. The time travelers can’t change their past, but their actions impact our future in ways we can only guess.

TRU Agent Lucas Weiss is on his first case, charged with finding the time traveler and stopping him. Within an hour of the time traveler’s arrival, the town has its first murder of the year. On the eve of announcing a new cancer miracle drug, the victim is none other than prominent Leomins BioTech cancer researcher Dr. Lowe.

Finding the time traveler and learning his motives will require more ingenuity and know-how than Weiss may be prepared for, especially when the clues lead him to an even more elaborate scheme with far more operatives at play. As the TRU team searches, a showdown begins with potentially devastating consequences.

The Nexus has been formed.

Wit Fallo by R.D. HendersonWit Fallo by R.D. Henderson:

Wit Fallo, a white gnome, is a shiftless and lazy boat captain who loves money, but hates working.

The boat captain thinks he is presented with an opportunity of a life time to live the free and easy life when a drug kingpin hires him to be part of his narcotics trafficking operation. All Wit has to do is a four or five drug smuggling runs a week between three islands in the Brown Triangle on the Earth Realm, and in no time he would have more than enough money to do whatever he wanted without any worries or consequences.

Unfortunately, things do not work out as well as Wit hoped when three of the drug kingpin’s more senior people are killed in his office and he is the only survivor.

Instead of seeking revenge, the drug kingpin decides to retire and sells his narcotics trafficking network to Tom Bolden, a halfling, and crime lord based in the Fairy Realm.

Wit realizes with the retirement of the drug kingpin that the possibility of the free and easy life will not become a reality, and he will remain a boat captain in the Brown Triangle.

Tom Bolden, however, has other plans for the white gnome. Tom paid a lot of money to acquire the narcotics trafficking network, and someone has to pay him back. Wit is the person who has to pay Tom back because of what happened in his office.

Wit has no choice but to agree to become a messenger and enforcer for Tom as a way to pay him back.

The problem is Wit is ill-equipped and does not have the necessary skills and talent to be of any use for Tom.

The even bigger problem for Wit is despises living in the Fairy Realm because everything is based on magic. He hates magic. Pixies, brownies, fairies, and other types of fairy folk because they are made of magic and use magic. He hates pixies, brownies, fairies, and the rest of the fairy folk because of their connection to magic. Wit, unfortunately, has to work these fairy folk because they are trusted members of Tom Bolden’s organization.

The biggest problem for Wit, even with how he hates living in the Fairy Realm, is he still has to pay the money he owes Tom Bolden.

Nuts About You by Kate LowellNuts About You by Kate Lowell:

Nathan’s been crushing on one of his regular Bulk Mart customers for a while now. In squirrel form, he sits on Vince’s bird feeders, munching on seeds and enjoying the eye candy. Until the day Vince notices him raiding the feeder…

 

 

 

Three Wishes by Lisa ManifoldThree Wishes by Lisa Manifold:

Who wouldn’t want a do-over?

That is the question that twenty-six year old Tibby Holloway is asking herself. After a long night of eating too much ice cream and going over all her missed chances, she’s surprised by a visitor. A free-lancing djinn who makes her the offer of a lifetime. He’ll give her three chances, three wishes, to go back and change her life. She can change her career, find the man she loves.That could be a problem as there’s at least two in the “man she loves” category.

There’s also a catch. A Really Big Catch.

She can’t stay in any of these new lives her wishes create. Once she’s gone back three times, the djinn will decide where she ends up. He’s firm on this – she’ll have no say in the matter. After deciding which points in her life she wants to do over, she must then decide if it’s worth risking all she may achieve. Because to find out what might have been, she has to give up all control over what will be. Would it be better to not even know?

It will all come down to her
Three Wishes

Valley of the Shadow by Christina OchsValley of the Shadow by Christina Ochs:

A captive prince. A desperate princess. An alliance that will shake the foundations of an empire.

In the wake of battle, Kendryk finds himself the prisoner of Empress Teodora. As war ravages Terragand, Kendryk’s guilt is matched only by his fear that he will never see his family again. Gwynneth, in possession of a valuable captive but sworn to keep him close, faces Teodora’s wrath as she waits in anguish for relief.

But when Gwynneth’s rescue comes, the empire will never be the same again.

A tide of religious upheaval sweeps across the land, bearing men and women toward their fates. The delicate joy shared by Janna and Braeden will be shattered; the king of a neighboring kingdom will walk the edge of madness; and an oath of vengeance will bind three unlikely allies together in a desperate attempt to curb Teodora’s ambitions once and for all.

The Desolate Empire, Christina Ochs’ epic fantasy series, continues in Book 2:Valley of the Shadow.

Of One Skein by P.J. PostOf One Skein, Part 2 by P.J. Post:

This romance brought to you by the end of the world…

The Del Ray Motor Inn isn’t real.

Zombies, they aren’t real either.

But Jem and Pixie, they’re real, and so is their pain.

Last night he was torn between saving the lost children, and selfishness, ignoring everything and racing back to Emily, to Sam, but none of that matters now.

He’s infected and isn’t ever going to see his friends again, his reason, his love.

But now, in his last days, Fate has given him one final chance at redemption; to get Jem and Pixie somewhere safe before the fever comes, before the black-eyed sickness comes – before he comes for them.

Author’s Note: Feral is an ongoing serialized story.

The End of the TrailThe End of the Trail by Louis Rakovich:

A barren land of salt and snow; a castle where underground paths twist and turn in endless circles and a reclusive king has not shown his face in years; a forest where few things are what they seem. An unnamed hero must navigate through these places as he takes on the task of tracking down a supposed witch, in a story that blends dream and reality, rumor and truth, danger and hope.

 

 

Love Hurts anthologyLove Hurts: A Speculative Fiction Anthology edited by Tricia Reeks:

Twenty-six brilliant speculative fiction stories about love, and the pain that so often accompanies it. Enjoy a cornucopia of imaginative tales, wondrous settings, and unforgettable characters—such as the disillusioned time traveler who visits ancient Japan to experience a “Moment of Zen,” the young woman from planet Kiruna who can only communicate in song when the moonlet Saarakka is up, and the sorcerer who loses their happiness in a bet with a demon.

Rich and wonderfully diverse, this collection spans many speculative fiction genres: from SciFi to Dystopian, from Fantasy to Magical Realism, from Steampunk to Superhero, from Horror to Weird. Sometimes funny, occasionally happy, frequently gut-wrenching—these stories will take your heart on a wild emotional ride.

Stories by Jeff VanderMeer, Hugh Howey, Karin Tidbeck, Charlie Jane Anders, Holly Phillips, Aliette de Bodard, A. Merc Rustad, Steve Simpson, Mel Paisley, J. D. Brink, Matt Leivers, Michael Milne, Michal Wojcik, Carla Dash, Terry Durbin, Michelle Ann King, Kyle Richardson, Leah Brown, G. Scott Huggins, Dan Micklethwaite, Victoria Zelvin, Shannon Phillips, Keith Frady, Jody Sollazzo, David Stevens, and Morgen Knight.

Hospital Ship by Jim RudnickHospital Ship by Jim Rudnick:

“After exploding with rage and injuring some Caliphate marines, Tanner is sent to the Barony Hospital ship on a ninety day observation to see if he’s really sane. At the same time, he is challenged by his doctors and psychiatrist to see if he can defeat his alcohol addiction and to combat his PTSD too.

Also on the ship is the Barony Secure labs where the research teams are trying to find the Ikarian virus vaccine to give longevity to the RIM—and the Baroness is interested in their success.

While the Caliphate continues to try to find a way to steal the vaccine, they end up using a vacjumper—someone who can go right out into outer space with no suit and attempt to break into the lab that way.

Called on to forget about his illness, Tanner must rise to heed the call to defeat the vacjumper and to do that he must jump out into space on his own. Death, virus vaccines and love all play a part for him and his quest…”

51qPsFaOCxL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_The Last Giant by Frances Smith:

Corona is besieged. Princess Ameliora can see her enemies gather beyond the walls. It has been many years since Ameliora abandoned the Captain-Generalcy of the Corona Firstborn, years since she donned her armour or took up her sword. Now, with all the warriors dead and the city gripped by terror, the aged warrior must take up arms and armour one last time, and usher an age of heroes to its close.

A story of 10,000 words.

 

Fusion by Phil SternFusion by Phil Stern:

With Aydia lurching ever closer to a general war, old loyalties are being stretched to the breaking point, even while radical new allegiances are taking shape.

Now on the run together, Rayson and Saira desperately strive to form a coalition opposing the dark forces sweeping their planet. Forced to work directly with both the Kax and the Alliance governments, the two former lovers must also finally acknowledge the scandal of their high-profile past.

Meanwhile, the details of that history continue to assert themselves. Fifteen years before, the Save Saira movement nearly destroyed the young Srendian. How can Saira possibly hold everyone at bay, even as the most damning fallout from her innocent college liaison remains secret?

Fusion is the second book in The Aydian Series, with the story picking up right where it left off at the end of Aydia.

Gen by H.S. St. OursGen by H.S. St. Ours:

Gen was angry and she knew it. Angry about her overprotective parents, angry about the way she was teased about her height, and angry about the dirt and grime that infested every corner of Mars. But soon, she’d be on rotations. Too few went Outside on purpose anymore, just to shiver against the icy cold or feel the pressure in the slowly thickening air. But an ancient prophecy of destruction came to her in haunting visions, and now it’s up to Gen to warn them all – and maybe even save worlds.

 

Falling As She SingsFalling As She Sings by C.J. Sursum:

In the not-so-distant future, the rise of terrorism leads to a new and chilling subjugation of women. But as civilization breaks down, one wealthy woman builds a massive, walled-in enclave, and outfits it with the technology to be completely self-sustaining.

Her sole stipulation: only women are allowed in. Within the enclave walls, these women—Vestals—lead lives of culture and ease, free of the burden of husbands and children. Outside the walls, men have devolved into feral, violent Brutes roaming the surrounding wilderness. The Vestals need them for one purpose only—to reproduce themselves.

But Menna, a beautiful Vestal scientist in charge of breeding, makes a disastrous mistake while extracting one captured Brute’s seed. Disturbing interactions with him shatter her preconceptions of Brutes, and her image of herself. Ultimately, she is forced to choose between her comfortable, sterile existence and a harsh, brutish unknown.

Powerful and profound, Falling as She Sings is at once science fiction adventure, spiritual thriller, and visionary love story. It’s a searching, funny commentary on the eternal, yet ever fresh and compelling forces driving relationships between the sexes.

Burned by Magic by Jasmine WaltBurned by Magic by Jasmine Walt:

In the city of Solantha, mages rule absolute, with shifters considered second-class citizens and humans something in between. No one outside the mage families are allowed to have magic, and anyone born with it must agree to have it stripped from them to avoid execution.

Sunaya Baine, a shifter-mage hybrid, has managed to keep her unruly magic under wraps for the last twenty-four years. But while chasing down a shifter-hunting serial killer, she loses control of her magic in front of witnesses, drawing the attention of the dangerous and enigmatic Chief Mage.

Locked up in the Chief Mage’s castle and reduced to little more than a lab rat, Sunaya resists his attempts to analyze and control her at every turn. But she soon realizes that to regain her freedom and catch the killer, she must overcome her hatred of mages and win the most powerful mage in the city to her side.

Reckoining in the Void by J.T. WilliamsReckoning in the Void by J.T. Williams:

The world falls towards darkness.

Magic is awakening in the north and the Grand Protectorate retreats after its bloody defeat at Srun. Sviska stands with the Island Nation against the evils of The Order and the Itsu Priest as the allies of magic make plans for their push against the capital city of their enemy. But all is not as it seems.

The Itsu Priest is tightening his grip on the legions of the north changing them from men to unholy beasts. The Saints of Wura must move quickly to save Garoa’s daughter from his evil clutches but some fear she could already be dead. Furthermore, hundreds have been kidnapped as sacrifices for a dark ritual and the time for the incantation draws near.

Sviska is moving closer to unlocking the powers of his Dwemhar ancestry but as the blood curse ensnares his mind, he can only pray he is powerful enough to resist the will of The Order.

He made a stand against a dark evil in the icy mountains of Elinathrond but now his life, and that of those he has grown to call friends, may be forfeit.

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Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for December 2015

Indie Speculative Fiction of the MonthIt’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 November 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. We have space opera, military science fiction, paranormal romance, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, weird westerns, Steampunk, cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic science fiction, fairy tales, werewolves, dragons, aliens, empaths, ice maidens, doomed knights, demon hunters, transgender time travellers, black magic outlaws, monkey queens, spaceships next door, Wild West mummies, South East Asian steampunk 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:

Second Skyn by Damien BoyesSecond Skyn by Damien Boyes:

If it weren’t for his Digital Life Assurance, Toronto Police Detective Finsbury Gage would be dead—smeared across the highway by a crazed man in a stolen urban assault vehicle. Finsbury hung together long enough for the recovery team to arrive. His wife wasn’t so lucky.

Now, six months later, his mind restored to a prosthetic brain, wrapped in a healthy new body, and technically immortal, Finsbury is back to a life that no longer exists. He’s all alone, his home a shrine to everything he lost. He’s been reassigned, knocked from Homicide to busting bit-heads and chasing after lost minutes of the idle rich. And his thoughts connect directly to the internet.

The only thing keeping Finsbury from blowing his plastic brains out is the memory of his wife’s death. It’s 2.57 seconds long and plays on repeat, every time he closes his eyes. But from within this loop of pain and grief he discovers a reason to go on—the haunting glimpse of the wild-eyed man responsible for his wife’s death.

Finsbury’s gonna find this guy, no matter what he has to do.

But Finsbury isn’t the only one on the hunt. Something is coming for him. Something like the world has never seen. Something that will force Finsbury Gage to abandon everything he believes—everything he is—to survive.

Kiss of Ice by Cora BuhlertKiss of Ice by Cora Buhlert:

The Winter Knight is sent out to execute the Ice Maiden who has already killed countless men. So far, none of those sent to bring the Maiden to justice have ever returned. But the Knight is confident that he will succeed where they failed, for he is protected by powerful magic.

When the Winter Knight finally reaches the castle of the Ice Maiden, she is strangely calm in the face of death and does not even try to resist. But has the Winter Knight truly succeeded where so many before him have failed or does the Ice Maiden still have a trick or two up her sleeve?

This is a dark and wintery fairytale of 4700 words or approximately 16 print pages altogether.

Redblade by Robert DahlenRedblade by Robert Dahlen:

“I want to be a hero. Like the Monkey Queen.”

Michiko Koyama, the hero known as the Monkey Queen, and her partner in adventure Beth McGill are happily adjusting to finally being more than friends. But Beth has made a new friend, student and fellow geek girl Abigail Main-Drake, and Michiko is trying very hard not to be jealous.

Meanwhile, a rise in assaults by ogres is putting Emigre communities in danger. A hero has risen to help defend them, the swashbuckling sorceress who calls herself Redblade. Michiko is thrilled to have a new ally, but Beth is feeling left out, unneeded.

But what Michiko and Beth don’t know is that Abby is Redblade. And that secret, and the magic sword Abby carries, could spell doom for the Monkey Queen.

Join the adventure with Michiko and Beth in this fifth book in the Monkey Queen series, written with new readers in mind! Fantasy with heroines, humor and heart!

The Spaceship Next Door by Gene DoucetteThe Spaceship Next Door by Gene Doucette:

The world changed on a Tuesday.

When a spaceship landed in an open field in the quiet mill town of Sorrow Falls, Massachusetts, everyone realized humankind was not alone in the universe. With that realization, everyone freaked out for a little while.

Or, almost everyone. The residents of Sorrow Falls took the news pretty well. This could have been due to a certain local quality of unflappability, or it could have been that in three years, the ship did exactly nothing other than sit quietly in that field, and nobody understood the full extent of this nothing the ship was doing better than the people who lived right next door.

Sixteen-year old Annie Collins is one of the ship’s closest neighbors. Once upon a time she took every last theory about the ship seriously, whether it was advanced by an adult ,or by a peer. Surely one of the theories would be proven true eventually—if not several of them—the very minute the ship decided to do something. Annie is starting to think this will never happen.

One late August morning, a little over three years since the ship landed, Edgar Somerville arrived in town. Ed’s a government operative posing as a journalist, which is obvious to Annie—and pretty much everyone else he meets—almost immediately. He has a lot of questions that need answers, because he thinks everyone is wrong: the ship is doing something, and he needs Annie’s help to figure out what that is.

Annie is a good choice for tour guide. She already knows everyone in town and when Ed’s theory is proven correct—something is apocalyptically wrong in Sorrow Falls—she’s a pretty good person to have around.

As a matter of fact, Annie Collins might be the most important person on the planet. She just doesn’t know it.

Twiceborn Endgame by Marina FinlaysonTwiceborn Endgame by Marina Finlayson:

Half human, half dragon, all vengeance.

No one said being half dragon would be easy, but Kate O’Connor’s life has gone completely off the rails. She thought she’d won the succession war between the daughters of the dragon queen, until a shocking betrayal changed everything.

Now seven new sisters have joined the fray, a sinister government taskforce is gunning for her, and the Japanese queen has hit town, bent on snatching the throne for herself. Worst of all, her beloved son has been abducted.

The shifter world has never seen a proving like this one, but then, there’s never been a dragon quite like Kate before. She’ll need her human ingenuity as well as her dragon magic to save her son and everyone she holds dear. The final moves in the deadly endgame take her from goblin caves to Japanese palaces as she races against the clock to snatch victory from the dragon jaws of defeat.

Twiceborn Endgame is the third book in the urban fantasy trilogy The Proving.

Dead Man by Domino FinnDead Man by Domino Finn:

I’m Cisco Suarez: necromancer, shadow charmer, black magic outlaw. Sounds kinda cool, doesn’t it? It was, right until I woke up half dead in a dumpster.

Did I say half dead? Because I meant 100% dead. Full on. I don’t do things halfway.

So here I am, alive for some reason, just another sunny day in Miami. It’s a perfect paradise, except I’m into something bad. Wanted by police, drenched in the stink of dark magic, nether creatures coming out of the woodwork, and don’t get me started on the Haitian voodoo gang. Trust me, it’s all fun and games until there’s a zombie pit bull on your tail.

I’m Cisco Suarez: necromancer, shadow charmer, black magic outlaw, and totally screwed.

The Bizarre Half Life of John Fortune by James GideonThe Bizarre Half-Life of John Fortune by James Gideon:

John Fortune is a street kid made good. Thanks to a genius for maths and physics, he carves out a successful career in interstellar engineering. But there’s something not quite right about John. Something not quite human. His one true friend, Frank Patterson, is sure he knows the secret. Frank can’t afford to be wrong. Mankind’s survival depends on it.

This 10,000 word short SF story/novella is perfect for fans of Ray Bradbury and Mike Resnick.

 

Omega Baggage by Eileen GlassOmega Baggage by Eileen Glass:

Liam doesn’t have a plan, but he’s got the basics covered. As far as food, shelter, and clothing are concerned, he does right by his omega. But still the smaller wolf flinches from him, never speaks. And every mild suggestion is obeyed to the letter. Something’s not right, he knows that, but maybe it’s for the best.

Skye wouldn’t stay if he learned the truth.

Baggage is a novella of about 26,000 words.

 

The Sea is OursThe Sea is Ours: Tales from Steampunk South East Asia, edited by Jaymee Goh and Joyce Chng:

Steampunk takes on Southeast Asia in this anthology

The stories in this collection merge technological wonder with the everyday. Children upgrade their fighting spiders with armor, and toymakers create punchcard-driven marionettes. Large fish lumber across the skies, while boat people find a new home on the edge of a different dimension. Technology and tradition meld as the people adapt to the changing forces of their world. The Sea Is Ours is an exciting new anthology that features stories infused with the spirits of Southeast Asia’s diverse peoples, legends, and geography.

Mission Improbable by J.J. GreenMission Improbable by J.J. Green:

In the deepest reaches of the galaxy there are places and beings that aren’t impossible, just very, very improbable.

Carrie Hatchett is a low-achieving daydreamer, and the last person on Earth who should be resolving disputes for the Transgalactic Council. After providing a good home for her butt-ugly dog and psychotic cat, her biggest challenge in life is to avoid being fired, again.

But a strange green mist sucks her beneath her kitchen sink, and an unusual clerical error leads to an offer she foolishly doesn’t refuse.

In settling a conflict between the mechanical placktoids and the mysterious oootoon, Carrie reveals a threat to the entire galaxy.

Mission Improbable is Book One in the light-hearted, fast-paced Carrie Hatchett Space Adventures series.

Flowers in a Dumpster by Max Allan GunnellsFlowers in a Dumpster by Max Allan Gunnells:

Seventeen Tales to Frighten and Enlighten

The world is full of beauty and mystery. In these 17 tales, Gunnells will take you on a journey through landscapes of light and darkness, rapture and agony, hope and fear.

A post-apocalyptic landscape where it is safer to forget who you once were… An unusual support group comprised of cities dying of a common illness… A porn star that has opened himself up to demonic forces… Two men battling each other to the death who discover they have much in common… A woman whose masochistic tendencies may be her boyfriend’s ruin… A writer whose new friendship proves a danger to his marriage and his sanity.

Let Gunnells guide you through these landscapes where magnificence and decay co-exist side by side.

The Fredorian Destiny by Adair HartThe Fredorian Destiny by Adair Hart:

The timeline is wrong. This is discovered when Dr. Albert Snowden and his niece, Emily, travel with Evaran to a galactic cultural exhibition event on Kreagus, the capital home world of the Kreagan Star Empire and galactic superpower near Earth. The Fredorians should be presenting an ancient artifact, known as the Arkaron, to the Kreagan emperor. The problem is they aren’t. Evaran has decided to step in and help the Fredorians achieve their destiny while stabilizing the timeline.

They must find the three lost Arkaron crystals in order to assemble the Arkaron. To make matters worse, Seeros, a powerful industrialist, has a bounty on their heads, causing bounty hunters to harass them each step of the way.

As if that weren’t enough, an unknown faction is hiring freelance mercenaries to hunt them down as well. Evaran is joined by others, and together, they will have to navigate these perils to assemble the Arkaron and achieve the Fredorian destiny.

Choosing You by Jaylee JamesChoosing You by Jaylee James:

Collin is in high school when he is visited by a time traveler – a woman who claims to be his wife in a hypothetical future… only the timeline has been disrupted, and the two will never meet unless he makes four key choices in his life that will guide them together again.

“Choosing You” is a short story in a conversational, first-person voice, about what happens when deciding to love someone becomes a literal choice. It’s 7300 words long and features a transgender protagonist.

 

House of the Healer by Jim JohnsonHouse of the Healer by Jim Johnson:

The Scales Are Out of Balance

After surviving a brutal cultist attack on her village, Ruia led the other survivors to the safety of Fort Sekhmet with the help of Tjety, a Ranger of Mayat. With Tjety’s life now hanging in the balance, can Ruia gather enough help and learn to use her newfound hekau magic to heal Tjety before the forces of darkness close in and snuff out all hope?

House of the Healer is the third episode in PISTOLS AND PYRAMIDS, a monthly series best described as an ancient Egyptian-themed weird western with magic. And mummies. Lots of mummies.

The Fourth by Floyd LooneyThe Fourth by Floyd Looney:

Tara is “The Fourth”.

She woke up inside of a cylinder in an underground chamber with no memories. She is told that the world has been devastated by war, disease and mutations. Humankind had evacuated Earth and fled to hundreds of different worlds far away. A quarantine was declared, but this did not prevent pirates and slavers from raiding the villages of the remnant left behind.

Tara feels strangely compelled to “fix” Earth, knowing this could take decades and generations. She is “The Fourth”.

Greyson was born and raised as the only child of a high government official on the world called Roma, which modelled itself after the Roman Empire. The women of Roma are created artificially and have no rights. Thus, Roma is a pariah among civilized worlds.

As a young man Greyson is framed for a crime and his own father exiled him from his home world.

Tara wants to find out what it means to be “The Fourth” and to bring Earth back from the dead. Greyson wants to go home and clear his name. Their paths are destined to cross.

Chaos in the Starless Nights by J. Alex McCarthyChaos in the Starless Nights by J. Alex McCarthy:

Time is relative.

For one person, time flies by at a rapid pace. In a blink, hundreds of years pass. A life begins and ends, a million-year-old traitor returns to the place he once betrayed, an eyeless assassin questions his mission as he takes an innocent life.
In a flicker, an omnipotent leader’s rule crumbles beneath his feet, a treacherous woman revels in her plans as they come together to bring down those around her.
In a single second, four paths cross. As each story ends, the next begins in A Universe Without Stars.

Of One Skein by P.J. PostOf One Skein, Part 1 by P.J. Post:

This romance brought to you by the end of the world…

Emily.

Samantha.

Cam.

Lost children.

Treachery.

Biological weapons.

Hostages.

The Cart People.

and…

A puppy.

Forgiveness has never been so far away.

This is episode 3 of Feral, an ongoing serialized story.

Snowberry Blossom by Missy SheldrakeSnowberry Blossom by Missy Sheldrake:

Follow the knight Azaeli and her best friend Rian the Mage on a quick adventure to seek the Snowberry Blossom, a bloom that holds magic only if picked at midnight on Midwinter’s Eve.

Grab a cup of cider and sit back to read this tale of romance, adventure, and fantasy told Mya, Bard of His Majesty’s Elite of Cerion.

This short story takes place in between Call of Sunteri, book 2 and book 3 of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series, but there are no spoilers and it reads as a stand-alone tale.

KEEP by Hollis ShilohKEEP by Hollis Shiloh:

Pete might always know when people are lying, but that doesn’t make him a good judge of character. Will he ever find a man who wants to keep him?

Pete’s the kind of guy who gets on people’s nerves. He can’t sit still. He talks too much. He doesn’t know when to shut up. And he always knows when people are lying.

While his talent wasn’t strong enough to get an empath rating from the ESRB, he now has a second chance with the new testing system they’re using. If he makes it, he’ll have some well-paying job offers from people who actually appreciate his gifts.

Maybe this time things will work out. Maybe his life will finally take a turn for the better. With some hot guys in it, too.

The Prime Rift by Veronica SicoeThe Prime Rift by Veronica Sicoe:

Taryn has risked everything to free the first human colony from the tyranny of the TMC. With the help of her mind-linked ally, the alien warlord Amharr, she has finally succeeded.

Now Taryn must free the other colonies too, before the Ascendancy’s world-crushing ships reach human space.

But when she needs him most, Taryn must let Amharr go, or their Link will kill him. The others who stood by her side have seemingly turned against her. And the sadistic TMC General Hurst, who craves the power of Taryn’s Link, is now hunting her down.

With time running out, Taryn is about to face her greatest challenge yet, and she must do so alone.

Grand Master's Mate by Aurora SpringerGrand Master’s Mate by Aurora Springer:

Young empath, Violet Hunter, and her crafty Grand Master, Athanor Griffin, tackle the villains threatening civilization.

Their worst enemy, the Red Queen, rampages across the galaxy evading capture, while blocked portals restrict normal commerce among planets. Compounding their problems, half the Grand Masters on the Council fear Violet is the agent of their doom as her father foretold, and vow to eliminate her. To restore peace, Violet and Athanor embark on a hazardous quest for a weapon hidden by the ancient psychic masters on one of four planets. But, the weapon proves elusive, dangers lurk in the ancient sites, and new alliances forged with bizarre entities may not be sufficient to foil their enemies and save the galaxy.

Reminiscent of science fiction stories by Frank Herbert and Andre Norton, this rollercoaster adventure offers weird characters and deadly horrors balanced by lighthearted moments. Grand Master’s Mate is Book 3 of the Grand Master’s Trilogy.

Echoes of a World Gone by Elliott WebberEchoes of a World Gone by Elliott Webber:

After finding a mysterious radio signal, Luke and his sister, Ada, journey through the deadly environment of the post-apocalyptic desert, risking everything for a chance of a better life.

 

 

 

 

Nameless by Mercedes M. YardleyNameless: The Darkness Comes by Mercedes M. Yardley:

Luna Masterton sees demons.

She has been dealing with the demonic all her life, so when her brother gets tangled up with a demon named Sparkles, ‘Luna the Lunatic’ rolls in on her motorcycle to save the day.

Armed with the ability to harm demons, her scathing sarcasm, and a hefty chip on her shoulder, Luna gathers the most unusual of allies, teaming up with a green-eyed heroin addict and a snarky demon ‘of some import.’

After all, outcasts of a feather should stick together…even until the end.

This is volume one in The Bone Angel Trilogy by Mercedes M. Yardley,

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A Number 1 bestseller at Amazon Germany

Heiligabend im Café zum Lila Kakadu, the German edition of Christmas Eve at the Purple Owl Café, is still selling like hotcakes at Amazon DE (as well as a little at Kobo – I won’t know tolino sales figures until next month).

And now the story has even hit No. 1 in the lesbian fiction subcategory at Amazon DE:

Of course, I also took a screen shot of this momentous occasion:

Amazon DE screenshot

This is not the first time I have hit No. 1 on an Amazon subcategory bestseller list BTW. About two years ago, I was No. 1 in English language epic fantasy at Amazon France for about five minutes.

However, unlike my shortlived Amazon France success, Heiligabend im Café zum Lila Kakadu has legs and has been in the top 5 of the lesbian fiction category since it’s release last Friday.

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