New Steampunk Story Available: Tea and Treachery

And now it’s time for a commercial break, because I have another new release to announce today.

Today’s new release is another story to come out of the 2017 July short story challenge, where the idea was to write a short story per day in July 2017. The inspiration in this case was one of Chuck Wendig‘s flash fiction writing prompts. The prompt in this case was a list of several five word titles. One of the titles, “Time for Tea and Treachery”, jumped out at me. And since I was doing the July short story anyway, I decided to borrow the title, though I lobbed the first two words off.

The associations “Tea and Treachery” evoked were of civility with dark undercurrents, of two people sharing a civilised cup of tea in a situation where nothing is quite as it seems. It also has a certain Victorian feel about it. The Victorian era suggests Steampunk. And since I’ve always loved Steampunk, even if I don’t write it all that often, I thought, “Okay, I’ll write a Steampunk story about two people having a cup of tea in a situation where nothing is quite as it seems.”

So I got two characters, Lady Violetta Chesterfield and Count Danilo Danilovich Ostrowsky, together in a room over a cup of tea to see what happened. And what happened was that the two quickly engaged in a high stakes game of cat and mouse.

I initially intended Violetta only as a one-off character, but I quickly became fond of her. And I’d certainly love to see more of Captain Nicholas Blackstone and his airship, the Renegade. After all, who doesn’t love airship pirates? What is more, I’m pretty sure Ostrowsky will want revenge eventually.

So what was intended as a one-off adventure might well have series potential (yeah, because I need another series).

But for now, get yourself a nice cup of tea and some biscuits (Violetta recommends shortbread fingers, ginger nuts or spiced tea biscuits – just don’t let her make the tea) and enjoy…

Tea and Treachery
Tea and Treachery by Cora BuhlertLady Violetta Chesterfield travels to the Kingdom of Dragomir on a mission. For her fiancé, Nicholas Blackstone, Captain of the airship Renegade, has been captured and sentenced to death as a pirate and spy.

Violetta is determined to save her beloved from the gallows. Therefore, she arranges a meeting with Count Ostrowsky, prime minister of Dragomir, to beg for her fiancé’s life. The Count agrees to meet with Violetta, even though he has no intention of letting Blackstone walk free. However, he has no idea to what lengths Violetta is willing to go to save the man she loves…

 

More information.
Length: 4650 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, Playster, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, e-Sentral, 24symbols and XinXii.

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A Look Back On 1001 German Books Sold

Today, I cross the threshold of thousand German language books sold. Okay, it’s actually 1001, because sales tend to come in clumps and don’t care about round numbers or metrics.

I currently have 13 German language books available with more on the way. For comparison, when I crossed the thousand books sold threshold for all books, English anhd German, together, I had 67 titles available. The German language market is smaller and unlike Amazon.com, less flooded with content, including outright scam books clickfarmed to the top of the charts. The Amazon.de site includes little to no sponsored “pay to play” ads and their algorithms seem to be different as well, so they drop-off after 30, 60 and 90 days is not quite so strong. Der Lohn des Henkers, for example, just crossed the 60 days after publication mark and is still in the top 20 for its subgenre at Amazon Germany. What is more, the German market has a few advertising sites, but no Book Bub or similar advertising newsletters. In short, the playing field is smaller and much more level, therefore it’s easier for a book to gain visibility and the attendant sales.

As with previous milestones, let’s take a look at the retailer breakdown: Continue reading

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Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for October 2017

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 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 epic fantasy, Arthurian fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, science fiction romance, post-apocalyptic romance, science fantasy, space opera, military science fiction, hard science fiction, Steampunk, dystopian fiction, horror, werewolves, psychics, zombies, space pirates, hostile planets, underwater cities, intergalactic mages, galactic renegades, treasure-hunting alchemists, haunted amusement parks, grim reapers, King Arthur in the past and the future 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:

Apollo Burn by Ken BritzApollo Burn by Ken Britz:

King Arthur lives. Now, he’s up against a threat that can destroy what he’s built. But he must trust her, so she can kill him.

Brilliant scientist and Binary A.I. CEO Anora Myrrdin has lost her only brother. She’s out for revenge and everyone is going to pay–including Arthur, her brother’s final experiment and killer.

Arthur’s Avallach Team is fractured and half are dead or missing, yet Arthur drives toward his vision of the future. The Paladins grow in power, ability and doubt.

Sergeant Percival ‘Percy’ Jones is Arthur’s most loyal Paladin, but months after the destruction of Tintagel and the death of Indiana, he questions Arthur’s leadership and the uneasy partnership with the shadowy group known as the Sisterhood. Percy has a future of his own in mind, and he turns to the most unlikely of mentors – Anora.

Owen LaFayette in every way is Arthur’s equal and now he has Arthur’s technology and powers. The Chevaliers are growing fast in numbers. Yet Owen doesn’t have all that Arthur has–Caliburn and his charisma. Owen wants what Arthur has and he’s going to do whatever he must to be Arthur. Anora may be the link that takes it all away.

What will Anora be–the Betrayer or the Savior of Avallach?

Read where Fall to Earth left off–a blend of science fiction, thrill, and mythology–Arthur himself heralds fundamental changes in humanity for generations to come.

Red Sky in the Morning by Elana BrooksRed Sky in the Morning by Elana Brooks:

Psychics battle aliens for the future of Earth—and love will determine the victor.

Adrian Marshall is a recruiter for the Covenant of the Rainbow, a millennia-old secret society dedicated to defending Earth against hostile aliens. He runs covert screening sessions, seeking people with psychic abilities. They’ll be trained to use their gifts of telepathy, telekinesis, and astral projection to repel the coming invasion. Though his own gifts are modest, he’s deeply committed to the Covenant’s cause and determined to contribute to the best of his ability.

Life has taught Beverly Jones not to believe in anything she can’t see, or to depend on anyone besides herself. When a simple exercise class takes a bizarre turn and the handsome instructor tells her she’s the most powerful psychic he’s ever discovered, she knows it’s only a dream. Why should she heed his warnings when the danger isn’t real? But when she recklessly courts death, the dream becomes a nightmare. To save her life and Earth’s best hope of salvation, Adrian links their souls in a bond breakable only by death.

Trapped in a union neither of them wanted, Adrain and Beverly cautiously get acquainted. Despite their profound differences, growing attraction draws them together. If they can learn to love and trust each other, the soul bond can make both of them far more powerful than either alone. If not, it might kill them.

As the alien ship approaches, Adrian and Beverly struggle to overcome the fears and prejudices that keep them apart. Only by uniting hearts and bodies as well as souls can they hope to survive and save Earth from destruction.

Red Sky in the Morning is the first book in THE COVENANT OF THE RAINBOW, a seven-book series featuring a diverse array of protagonists. It contains adult content and is intended for readers 18 and older.

Tea and Treachery by Cora BuhlertTea and Treachery by Cora Buhlert

How far would you go to save the one you love?

Lady Violetta Chesterfield travels to the Kingdom of Dragomir on a mission. For her fiancé, Nicholas Blackstone, Captain of the airship Renegade, has been captured and sentenced to death as a pirate and spy.

Violetta is determined to save her beloved from the gallows. Therefore, she arranges a meeting with Count Ostrowsky, prime minister of Dragomir, to beg for her fiancé’s life. The Count agrees to meet with Violetta, even though he has no intention of letting Blackstone walk free. However, he has no idea to what lengths Violetta is willing to go to save the man she loves…

This is a short Steampunk adventure of 4650 words or approx. 16 print pages

Renegade Atlas by J.N. ChaneyRenegade Atlas by J.N. Chaney

The search for Earth has begun.

After barely escaping the Union’s grasp, The Renegade Star is off to parts unknown. Every member of its crew is a wanted fugitive. None of them can ever return home.

But all is not lost.

Thanks to Lex, a strange girl with a remarkable gift, the path to Earth has been revealed. According to ancient myth, Earth holds valuable treasures, lost technology, and endless secrets, ripe for the taking. Jace and his new friends have a chance to discover it all, but only if they can keep Lex out of the Union’s control.

Doing so won’t be easy.

With enemies on all sides, the deck is stacked against them, but nothing in this universe comes easy when you’re a Renegade.

Experience the beginning of a sprawling galactic tale in this second entry to The Renegade Star series. If you’re a fan of Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, or Leviathan Wakes, you’ll love this epic, space opera thriller.

Warning: This book contains action, cussing, thieving, a flagrant disregard for the law, hard candy, a bobblehead, an albino, a lack of manners, murder, lasers, a nun, and general badassery. Read at your own risk.

Dex by Stacy ClaflinDex by Stacy Claflin:

A world of mindless zombies. A lone traveler kills to stay alive. To survive a new threat, his only choices are trust or death…

Dex fears humans more than the hordes of wandering undead. After 11 years in survival mode, he’s learned how to fight the wandering killers. But humans are unpredictable, and in the chaotic ruins of civilization, one unplanned move can get you killed.

After an attack by the zombified version of a beloved family member, Dex resolves to travel back to his hometown. As he searches for surviving friends and family, he encounters a new breed of wanderer… less grotesque, but just as hungry for flesh.

To combat the new enemy, Dex must re-learn how to trust his fellow travelers. If he fails, he has no chance of reaching his hometown alive.

Dex is a post-apocalyptic zombie adventure with both thrills and heart. If you like tales of undead survival, compelling characters, and new twists on classic horror, then you’ll love USA Today bestselling author Stacy Claflin’s edge-of-your-seat thriller.

The Corsair's Captive by Ruby DixonThe Corsair’s Captive by Ruby Dixon:

A pirate doesn’t ask for permission – he takes.

When I see the delicate human female collared and enslaved by the smuggler I’m about to swindle, I do what any male would do.

I take her from him. It’s what I do best, after all.

Now Fran’s mine, and I’m never giving her up. On board my spaceship, she’ll be safe. She’ll wear my clothes, eat my food, and sleep in my bed. I’ll keep her safe from a galaxy that wishes her harm. But my sweet Fran wants nothing more than to return to Earth. How can I take her home when she holds my heart in her dainty, five-fingered hands?

This story stands completely alone and is only marginally connected to the Ice Planet Barbarians series and Prison Planet Barbarian. You do not need to read those books in order to follow this one.

Tales From The Lake, edited by Ben EadsTales From The Lake, Vol. 4, edited by Ben Eads:

The Legend Continues…

Twenty-four heart-rending tales with elements of terror, mystery, and a nightmarish darkness that knows no end.

Welcome to my lake. Welcome to where dreams and hope are illusions…and pain is God.

This anthology begins with Joe R. Lansdale’s The Folding Man, one of his darkest stories ever written.
Kealan Patrick Burke’s Go Warily After Dark pulls us into a desolated world, and reminds us of the price of survival: a guilt that seeps into the marrow.
Damien Angelica Walter’s Everything Hurts, Until it Doesn’t places us in the middle of a family whose secrets and traditions are thicker than blood.
Jennifer Loring’s When the Dead Come Home explores a loss so dark, that even the stars are sucked into its melancholic vacuum.

In the spirit of popular Dark Fiction and Horror anthologies such as Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories and Behold: Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders, and the best of Stephen King’s short fiction, comes Crystal Lake Publishing’s Tales from The Lake anthologies.

Seers Stone by Holly EvansSeers Stone by Holly Evans:

My name’s Kaitlyn Felis, and I’m a treasure-hunting alchemist.

I was given the opportunity of a lifetime to work for a mysterious elf called Fein Thyrin. Not only did he give me my dream alchemy lab, one that came with a beautiful part-nymph assistant (she’ll be the end of me, in the best possible way) he’s also hired me as his personal treasure-hunter. To say I was excited is a drastic understatement.

First on my treasure-hunting list? The Seers Stone – it’s a thing of legends, and I’m going to be the first hunter to get my hands on it.

The Hidden Alchemy series is set in the same magic-packed world as the popular Ink Born series.

Magic Compass by Jaymin EveMagical Compass by Jaymin Eve

Tyson Compass, as one of the famed Compass quads, is not a wizard used to living with regrets. Except for one: Grace Carter.

Grace is a healer witch he rejected many years ago. After completely disappearing from his life, she has returned, and turned his world upside down. The attraction between them flares strongly, but she has not forgotten or forgiven his callous rebuff when they were teens.

Tyson does everything he can to prove he will never hurt her again, and just when he thinks there might be a chance for them, she has to leave again. She makes him promise not to follow her – a promise he honors for as long as he can. But after almost two months with no word, he’s done waiting. He’s going to find his girl.

With a little help from his brothers, he tracks her down, only to find Grace betrayed by her family … tortured … hurt. His rage knows no bounds. He will do everything he can to bring her family to justice, to find out why they turned on her.

By unlocking these secrets, though, he will discover that Grace is so much more than just a healer witch. She holds a secret that could save the world of Faerie. Or destroy it.

** Magical Compass is a spinoff set within the Supernatural Prison World. It’s full length at 90,000 words, and is standalone with HEA. You do not need to read the Supernatural Prison trilogy first, but it will help your understanding of this world if you do.

The Sorcerer by Ann FisherThe Sorcerer by Ann Fisher:

He’s an imperial sorcerer.

Janek Lanari has devoted his life to the service of the Ghadrian Empire. When a plot to murder the imperial family is uncovered, Janek is charged with protecting the crown prince while the emperor hunts down the traitors inside the palace. Janek hides the boy on wild and remote Erys, determined to see to it that both prince and empire survive the attempted coup.

She’s a rebel spy.

Lorel’s brother is rotting away in a Ghadrian dungeon on Erys, and she’ll do whatever it takes to get him out—join the rebellion, enter the Keep as a spy, even sleep with the enemy if necessary. Whatever the cost, she’ll set her brother free, and then she’ll watch the empire burn.

The Summoner and the Seer by C. GoldThe Summoner and the Seer by C. Gold:

He murdered her family, she sentenced him to eternal torture. Now they have to work together to save the world from the coming darkness.

Radcliff was widely known as the most ruthless wizard of all time. Nicknamed Destroyer, his brutal actions forced even the most recalcitrant kingdoms to surrender. When the west defied him, he immolated their entire city and thousands died. But this action was the last straw for many. Betrayed by his lover, stripped of power and memory by his mentor, he was locked up and tortured for one thousand years.

Amira’s seer talent has always been unpredictable but accurate. So when it shows her the wizard responsible for slaughtering her friends and family is the key to saving the world, she has no choice but to rescue him. But Radcliff is no longer who he was and certainly not what she expected. It isn’t long before she regrets her part in his sentencing.

Radcliff doesn’t know he’s the most reviled person in history. In fact, he doesn’t know anything because when he wakes up each morning, he forgets his past. A journal lets him relearn basic spells, but it can’t help him build a relationship, and he’d really like one with his beautiful traveling companion.

Together, they must evade their enemies and restore Radcliff’s memory before the world is consumed in darkness. But bringing back the Destroyer may not be wise. It may also break Amira’s heart.

Heir of Tanaris by Kyra HallandHeir of Tanaris by Kyra Halland:

As a young boy, Davian was sold into slavery at Source Makarsk, a corrupted magical wellspring. Over the years, he has risen in the ranks of the slaves; still, he knows he will never be anything but a slave until an elderly wizard, a prisoner at Makarsk, tells him he can be something more and gives him an astonishing gift. Desperate to find the destiny the wizard promised him, Davian risks his life to escape from Makarsk.

Isamina, a talented young healer at Sharan, a Source of healing magic, loves caring for patients and has a special gift for soothing their fears and pain. But her parents, the Master and Matron of the Source, and her betrothed, her former teacher, doubt her abilities and have their own plans for the path her life should follow. And the kind of healing Isamina most wants to do, mending broken minds and spirits, is strictly forbidden at Source Sharan.

When a badly-injured runaway slave is brought to Sharan, Isamina is captivated by the man she senses deep inside and risks everything to try to heal his tormented spirit, damaged by the evil Source that still holds him prisoner. And Davian, hunted by Makarsk’s fearsome Guardian, must find a way to defeat the powerful magic that binds him to Source Makarsk so that he can become the great man he longs to be and win the love he yearns for, the love of his healing angel, Isamina.

Romantic high fantasy for adults. Contains violence, mild to moderate sensual content, and disturbing themes.

Stranded Justice by Stephen L. HawkStranded Justice by Steven L. Hawk:

Captain Eli Justice is a Shiale Ranger. His training, instincts, and experience set him apart from other soldiers, and enable him to succeed where most fail.

When his ship gets shot down during a scouting mission, Eli finds himself stranded on a dangerous, untamed world. Reports of the planet being uninhabited were wrong, and the need to alert the alliance of the hostile presence is critical.

To alert the alliance, though, the ranger first has to survive the planet. Welcome to the jungle.

 

Brimstone Blues by James A. HunterBrimstone Blues by James A. Hunter:

A Demon King. An Infernal city. The whole world hangs in the balance.

Yancy Lazarus—mage, bluesman, and demon-souled—is having the worst hangover of his life.

He just woke up in a dingy hotel in literal Hell with one eye missing, an arm covered in swirling golden tattoos, and no recollection of the past six months.

All he wants is to figure out how he ended up in the Great Below and whether there’s a way home. But getting out of Hell is no easy feat. Yancy is the most wanted man in the Infernal city of Pandæmonium, and he’s being hunted by demonic cutthroats for a series of high-profile murders he can’t remember committing.

Now, Lazarus will have to rely on the help of a shapeshifting stranger with a dark past to battle his way past a legion of freakish Hellions and the murderous Derby-Girl Nation to reclaim a weapon capable of killing even immortals. And to escape Hell? Well, he’ll need to pull off the greatest coup the Abyss has seen since the Morning Star took on Heaven. If he fails, not only will the King of Pandæmonium roast his soul for eternity, but his friends will be left to the mercies of the Savage Prophet and the Morrigan, goddess of death.

Dark Ride by P.G. KasselDark Ride by P.G. Kassel:

Some criminals have all the luck, but Marty’s is about to run out…

Marty Wedlow needs one last score before he can skip town. It’s only a matter of time before two thugs he swindled point a finger… and their guns in his direction. But even when Marty is brought to the police station for his latest crime, he’s not worried. Marty is incredibly lucky.

After dodging the long arm of the law yet again, Marty looks for another illicit payday at a local amusement park. What he finds instead is a mysterious stranger who prophesies that his lucky days are running out. He ignores the warnings as he pursues a vicious conquest. But good fortune is a wheel, and Marty is about to find out what happens when it spins in the other direction.

Dark Ride is a supernatural thriller in the vein of The Twilight Zone. If you like eerie amusement parks, pulse-pounding page-turners, and a touch of the paranormal, then you’ll love P.G. Kassel’s electrifying story.

Melokai by Rosalyn KellyMelokai by Rosalyn Kelly

She thinks it’s the end, but it’s just the beginning.

“Trouble will come from the east. A wolf will claim the throne.”

Legendary warrior Ramya has successfully reigned over Peqkya as Melokai for twelve years. Prosperous, peaceful, and happy, her people love her… or so she thinks.

But Ramya’s time is up. Bracing herself for the gruesome sentence imposed on all Melokais who have served their purpose, she hears instead a shocking prophecy.

Is the sudden appearance of a mysterious cave creature from the east the trouble the prophecy speaks of? Or is the threat something darker, more evil? And what of the wolves… does the ferocious war with their kind mark the end for Peqkya?

Before Ramya can answer, she and her fearless warriors must first crush a catastrophic rebellion that threatens to destroy her and devastate her beloved nation.

Spectre of War by Kin S. LawSpectre of War by Kin S. Law:

A third Victoria has ascended the throne of a steam-driven country where enormous clockwork giants walk the streets and airships carry news of the Ottoman threat in the East.

In the wake of a calamity that engulfed all of Europe, Inspector Vanessa Hargreaves of Scotland Yard is given the dubious task of policing steamcraft crime. Along with flamboyant detective Arturo C. Adler, she stumbles upon a conspiracy to use a horrific plague in an effort to prevent war.

But even as dastardly forces converge upon her, our high-heeled detective struggles with her devotion to Queen and Country, and the shadows under the Union Flag grow ever deeper.

Can she put a stop to this new disaster before her country is devoured by a Spectre of War?

SPECTRE OF WAR is at once detective story, political intrigue and giant robot fantasy in a fabulous, international, and multicultural steampunk riot!

Grim Rising by Amanda M. LeeGrim Rising by Amanda M. Lee:

Aisling Grimlock should be happy.
She’s living with and engaged to the man of her dreams, her mother isn’t eating people … at least out in the open, her best friend is distracted by wedding details … mostly, and there are zombies running around Detroit.
Yeah, it’s that last one that’s driving her crazy … especially because no one in her family believes her when she spouts the tall tale.
Aisling Grimlock is a reaper in trouble. She’s got big decisions in front of her and nonstop trouble chasing behind. The dead appear to be rising … and they’ve got their eyes (and teeth, for that matter) trained on Aisling and her family.
Even though the rest of the family thinks she’s exaggerating – or even lying because she’s looking for attention – they’re determined to help before Aisling goes over the edge. It seems there might be a little something going on, and Aisling might have been right all along.
You know what that means, right? Yes, she’s doing her “I’m right” dance … and then ducking for cover.
It’s going to take every Grimlock to fight this enemy, and even then, Aisling will be isolated in the end. The question is: Can she win the day or is she destined to join the creatures stalking her?

Wanted by the Werewolf Prince by Kara LockharteWanted by the Werewolf Prince by Kara Lockharte:

The toughest pilot in the universe…and the werewolf prince who will claim her.

She’s bold, fearless and disobedient–which always gets her in trouble.
He’s controlling, demanding, and superior–which always gets him what he wants.

Captain Skye Daring is a space fighter pilot without equal. Rescuing a foreign werewolf prince and his sister from behind enemy lines should be a breeze.

Prince Ral doesn’t take orders from impudent humans. He’s determined to save not only his sister and but his people they left behind. The only thing in his way is a sexy pilot too stubborn to acknowledge his authority.

Stuck in a crippled ship and hunted by tiger shifters, Skye and Ral must stop fighting each other and battle the enemy — together. Will the prince and pilot drop their guards long enough to conquer their dislike…and desire?

READER NOTE: This story features sizzling hot emotions (and physical actions) with an awesome HEA. Only for readers who like their sexy times action to be explicit! Please also note that in this book the laws of quantum astro-physics have been modified for your story-telling pleasure (as in the use of faster than light travel via portals made by ancient space leviathans).

Sanctuary by Phil MaxeySanctuary by Phil Maxey:

Katrina Ambrose was used to being on the fringe of society, but as she neared her twenty-first birthday on the twenty-first of December, a fateful visit to her mysterious grandfather changed her life forever.

 

 

 

 

Kill For You by Michele MillsKill For You by Michele Mills:

A virus swept the globe killing almost all of humanity and crushing civilization to the ground, leaving Trevor Mason in the enviable position of being able to strut out of his wide-open death row cell, a free man. Now he’s trying to find redemption by helping to rebuild a ruined and empty world.

Rebel Case was a box office phenomenon, but after the apocalypse she’s just a survivor like anyone else. When passion explodes between her and a tattooed, sexy-as-hell bad boy who says he wants forever, will Rebel risk her future, her safety, on a man with an inexcusable past?

But can an ex con really leave his past behind, when it refuses to stay gone?

And how far will Trevor go to keep his woman safe?

Warning: This book contains spanking and voyeurism. Love, in a hopeless place and laughter despite the pain. And as usual, more bad language and violence than are strictly necessary.

Ygerna by Ruth NestvoldYgerna by Ruth Nestvold

When young Ygerna first meets Uthyr, Pendragon of Britain, she is dazzled by the handsome and famous warrior. But when Uthyr interprets admiration as consent and takes her by force, Ygerna’s hero worship turns to hatred.

And she will do anything to get revenge on the man who got her with child and ruined her life.

 

 

Rebellious by Chrissy PeeblesRebellious by Chrissy Peebles:

Sky was raised in an underwater city after a meterorite stuck Earth and the air was deemed unbreathable.

Sky doesn’t accept her fate and bucks the system every chance she gets. She feels as though her government is lying to her and doesn’t trust her leaders. With a serial killer on the loose and a stalker she can’t shake, Sky wants nothing more than to see the surface, soak in the sun, breathe in fresh air, and get the hell out of that glass city.

But with people dying all around her, can she get to the surface before it’s too late?

Voices by Dean RencraftLegends of Elera: Voices by Dean Rencraft

“Whether you choose magic or madness, you can’t save the world from itself.”
Auntie Mitra

The Ancients have turned their backs on a corrupt and unjust society, leaving chaos, death and ruin in their wake. A new magic, one born of nature to balance the chaos, rises to replace the old, while the old will stop at nothing in its dark pursuit of power without cost.

Raised deep in the Farwood in a caring, yet enigmatic home, Liah is outcast in her own village after being rejected by the legendary bards. Tired of bullies and baseless accusations, she is ultimately accepted as a ranger’s apprentice and travels with her family through the Farwood to the Hall of the Ancients, where she begins her training and searches for answers to the mysterious rejection that damned her in the eyes of her realm and its gods.

Here, at the academy’s Hall, she struggles to find her way in the great city of Geth’ana before the combination of secrets, magic and the chaos swirling around her can destroy everyone, and everything, she holds dear.

Magic in my Bones by Kellie SheridanMagic in my Bones by Kellie Sheridan

My name is Melanie Sinclair, and as far as anyone knows, I’ve been dead since the day I was born.

It’s been over two decades since I was smuggled into Galway to be raised where the magical community would never find me. Two decades of hiding. Two decades of pretending to be less than I am, blending in with the lesser magicks—those whose abilities are of little interest to those in power.

With the threat of exposure is growing every day, humanity is getting closer and closer to learning about a world they may not be ready to handle. The supernatural world must band together if they stand any chance of survival.
Now, Galway has been chosen to host a summit between the four major factions, the same people my family died to protect me from. Because, of course it has.

So much for the luck of the Irish.

Interstellar Mage by Glynn StewartInterstellar Mage by Glynn Stewart

Mars destroyed his ship — but gave him a new one.
Mars drafted his Mage — for the good of humanity!
He should have known that wouldn’t be the end of it…

Captain David Rice has a new ship, a new crew, and a new set of Jump Mages to carry him between the stars. All he wants is to haul cargo, make money and keep his head down.

His past, however, is not so willing to let him go. An old enemy is reaching out from beyond the grave to destroy any chance of peace or life for Captain Rice—and old friends are only making things more complicated!

All he wants is to be a businessman, but as the death toll mounts he must decide what is more important: his quiet life or the peace humanity has enjoyed for centuries…

Hostile Planet by Jeff TanyardHostile Planet by Jeff Tanyard

Sergeant Jerry Harper left the military nine years ago. He’s just a landscaper now, not a soldier. He spends his days mowing lawns and his nights playing gigs with his band. It’s a nice, steady life, and that’s the way he likes it.

That steady life is interrupted when a colonel from military intelligence shows up. Jerry’s old war buddy, Brandon Woods, has gone missing, and the colonel is assembling a motley group of rescuers. He wants Jerry to join the team.

Jerry owes Brandon his life, so he agrees to help. He travels to another planet and soon finds himself mired in interstellar politics. There’s something psychological going on, too, a legacy of his last battle nine years ago. Finding Brandon is challenging enough by itself, but now those secrets from the past threaten to drive Jerry insane. He hopes he can grab his friend and get out without attracting too much attention, and he certainly doesn’t want to risk starting another war. But he’s on a hostile planet now, and it won’t give Brandon up without a fight.

Kymiera by Steve TurnbullKYMIERA by Steve Turnbull:

They stopped the monsters, but at what cost? Who’s going to stop them?

Chloe Dark lives in a world decimated by a pandemic that turned humans into genetic freaks, and she fears it will happen to her. When her best friend goes missing, Britain’s tyrannical Purity ruling class keeps Chloe from discovering the truth. To find her friend, she has no choice but to take the road more dangerous…

As Chloe realizes she has more in common with the freaks than she’d care to admit, the search to save her friend transforms into a fight for her life. Now she must risk everything to determine if the real monster is the one within.

KYMIERA is an action-packed dystopian biopunk page-turner. If you like gritty sci-fi settings, strong-willed heroines, and coming-of-age tales, then you’ll love Steve Turnbull’s binge-worthy thrill-ride.

Hibernian Charm by Dean F. WilsonHibernian Charm by Dean F. Wilson:

A tense urban fantasy mystery with charm!

Melanie Rosen hasn’t settled for much, but her travels have brought her to Dublin, Ireland, where she works for the Occult Investigations Unit, exploring the strange and unknown.

Her fiery disposition and tendency to probe where she’s not wanted keep her in the office with the paperwork, or chasing cases that don’t seem to have an answer.

Then she gets a new case, where a killer slowly paralyses his victims, and leaves a calling card behind: a charm. Her Romani-Irish roots might come in useful, but the more she probes this case, the more she doesn’t like the answer. All the clues keep pointing back to her.

This is a standalone tale in the Hibernian Hollows universe.

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Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for October 2017

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 speculative 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, paranormal mysteries, police procedurals, psychological thrillers, crime thrillers, private eyes, lost girls, dead bodies, creepy stalkers, grim reapers, seaside hotels, haunted amusement parks 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 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:

Class Conspiracy by Ace BeckettClass Conspiracy: A Hank Lancaster Mystery by Ace Beckett

Private Detective Hank Lancaster thinks his new client, local high school history teacher Stephen Bates is intelligent, rational and friendly, but also a conspiracy theorist. Bates believes three members of his high school graduating class have been murdered within the last two months. However, police in three states have ruled the cause of the deaths of the three graduates were accidents or suicide. Lancaster warns his client an additional investigation is probably a waste of time and money. But Bates is not deterred.

Then Lancaster detects disturbing hints of possible homicide in each death. He begins to think his client is correct. These were three carefully planned murders and possibly more to come.

But besides the fact they were in the same high school senior class, Lancaster knows of no link between the three graduates who have died. And no motive for their deaths.

As he digs even deeper into the past, he finds a blood-stained trail and a secret hidden for decades. Lancaster believes at the center of the tangled, confusing web of lies being spun are three of the oldest motives for murder in history – power, money and a dash of revenge.

Little Girl Lost by Alexandria ClarkeLittle Girl Lost by Alexandria Clarke:

When the seventeen-year-old star of the high school softball team vanishes from a small town, the victim’s estranged older sister, Bridget Dubois, returns home in order to find her. The only problem is that Bridget has a reputation, and the locals aren’t pleased by her reappearance. Without anyone to help her, Bridget must find a way to reconnect with her younger sister before time runs out.

 

 

 

Fireworks in Paradise by Kathi DaleyFireworks in Paradise by Kathi Daley

While on vacation in South Carolina, Tj Jensen receives a call that her father has been left in a coma after a devastating car crash. Back home in Paradise Lake, Tj learns the accident that killed family friend Judge Harper and left her father clinging to life wasn’t an accident at all—someone cut their brake lines. To make matters worse, her friend and police contact, Deputy Roy Fisher, is working with a new partner who has no intention of letting Tj anywhere near the case. Facing an investigation more explosive than the annual fireworks show, Tj enlists the help of her best friends to unravel the mystery, all the while navigating a new romance and the thought her father may never wake up.

 

Fatal Vacancy by CeeCee JamesFatal Vacancy by CeeCee James:

Maisie Swenson was thrilled to host the premiere party for the hottest new movie release in Hollywood at the five-star Oceanside Hotel, but she had no idea how difficult Hollywood types could be. Dramatic and demanding, she could handle but… murder? She needs to charge more for these events.

Everyone assumed it was an accident when the stunt went wrong, until they saw the body wasn’t the stuntman. Now everyone is a suspect – the stuntman who despised the victim, ex-lovers, actors–the list goes on and on.

None of this is Maisie’s business until her friend Kristi Bentley, the police officer in charge of security that night, gets suspended for not providing adequate protection. As the circumstantial evidence grows against Kristi, Maisie can’t help getting involved to clear her best friend.

The more she digs, the more dirt she finds. Did anyone NOT want this person dead?

Dark Ride by P.G. KasselDark Ride by P.G. Kassel:

Some criminals have all the luck, but Marty’s is about to run out…

Marty Wedlow needs one last score before he can skip town. It’s only a matter of time before two thugs he swindled point a finger… and their guns in his direction. But even when Marty is brought to the police station for his latest crime, he’s not worried. Marty is incredibly lucky.

After dodging the long arm of the law yet again, Marty looks for another illicit payday at a local amusement park. What he finds instead is a mysterious stranger who prophesies that his lucky days are running out. He ignores the warnings as he pursues a vicious conquest. But good fortune is a wheel, and Marty is about to find out what happens when it spins in the other direction.

Dark Ride is a supernatural thriller in the vein of The Twilight Zone. If you like eerie amusement parks, pulse-pounding page-turners, and a touch of the paranormal, then you’ll love P.G. Kassel’s electrifying story.

Grim Rising by Amanda M. LeeGrim Rising by Amanda M. Lee:

Aisling Grimlock should be happy.
She’s living with and engaged to the man of her dreams, her mother isn’t eating people … at least out in the open, her best friend is distracted by wedding details … mostly, and there are zombies running around Detroit.
Yeah, it’s that last one that’s driving her crazy … especially because no one in her family believes her when she spouts the tall tale.
Aisling Grimlock is a reaper in trouble. She’s got big decisions in front of her and nonstop trouble chasing behind. The dead appear to be rising … and they’ve got their eyes (and teeth, for that matter) trained on Aisling and her family.
Even though the rest of the family thinks she’s exaggerating – or even lying because she’s looking for attention – they’re determined to help before Aisling goes over the edge. It seems there might be a little something going on, and Aisling might have been right all along.
You know what that means, right? Yes, she’s doing her “I’m right” dance … and then ducking for cover.
It’s going to take every Grimlock to fight this enemy, and even then, Aisling will be isolated in the end. The question is: Can she win the day or is she destined to join the creatures stalking her?

Last Chance for MurderLast Chance for Murder by Estelle Richards:

One last chance to get things right.

Too old for Hollywood at age 29, Lisa Chance leaves her failed acting career and a cheating boyfriend in LA and goes home to Moss Creek, Arizona.

The Folly, a stately 1870s mansion in the middle of her hometown, has always drawn Lisa like a magnet. She thought she was done with that place, but now she has the chance to turn it into the coffee shop of her dreams.

But when a dead body turns up on the property, she’s the prime suspect in the murder. Can Lisa figure out whodunit, or will she lose her last chance at happiness?

Last Chance for Murder is the first book in a new cozy mystery series.

Fortune's Wheel by J.A. WhitingFortune’s Wheel by J.A. Whiting:

While working at the chocolate shop and clearing tables, Claire Rollins notices a story in a newspaper left behind by a customer about the cold case murder of a young graduate student. Odd details about the case draw Claire’s interest and when her boyfriend, a Boston detective, asks her to read over the old case notes, Claire knows she will be pulled into the decades old mystery. With the help of her “intuition” and with her friend, Nicole, by her side, will Claire find answers before the killer strikes again?

This is book 4 in the Claire Rollins mystery series. This story has mild paranormal elements.

 

Hibernian Charm by Dean F. WilsonHibernian Charm by Dean F. Wilson:

A tense urban fantasy mystery with charm!

Melanie Rosen hasn’t settled for much, but her travels have brought her to Dublin, Ireland, where she works for the Occult Investigations Unit, exploring the strange and unknown.

Her fiery disposition and tendency to probe where she’s not wanted keep her in the office with the paperwork, or chasing cases that don’t seem to have an answer.

Then she gets a new case, where a killer slowly paralyses his victims, and leaves a calling card behind: a charm. Her Romani-Irish roots might come in useful, but the more she probes this case, the more she doesn’t like the answer. All the clues keep pointing back to her.

This is a standalone tale in the Hibernian Hollows universe.

The Evil One by Cyrus WintersThe Evil One by Cyrus Winters:

Life is perfect. Officer Justin Hodge and his fiance Kellie have just moved into their new apartment and are looking forward to the rest of their sweet lives together. Unbeknownst to them, someone has been stalking the happy copule for an extended period of time – someone violent and jealous who wants to destroy them.

An email is forwarded to Justin’s online account, detailing as such. It’s from a person – a man or woman – who knows them. It’s from someone chilling and deranged. Someone completely, totally EVIL…

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Among the Stars – Big Science Fiction Romance Cross Promo

Of all the various speculative hybrid genres, I have always had a soft spot for science fiction romance. After all, what’s not to love? Ideally, you get all sorts of science fiction goodness – space battles, aliens, genetic engineering, larger than life characters – combined with the emotional punch of romance fiction, an emotional punch that “pure” science fiction is all too often lacking.

Now Rinelle Grey, author of science fiction and fantasy romance, has organised a huge sale of science fiction romance. The sale runs from October 19 to October 21st. More than fifty books are available, most for either 99 cents or free. You can find a full list of participating books here.

And if you’ve ever wanted to try out my own stab at the science fiction romance genre, the In Love and War series, two books are included in the sale.

So what are you waiting for? Get yourself some science fiction books with all the emotional punch of romance fiction!

Among the Star science fiction romance cross promo

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Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for September 2017

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 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 epic fantasy, historical fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, gothic romance, science fiction romance, space opera, military science fiction, hard science fiction, Cyberpunk, dystopian fiction, time travel, horror, fae killers, light elves, cyborgs, blood-sucking debt collectors, interplanetary wineyards, space mages, intergalactic mercenaries, genetically engineered space marines, alien killer viruses, space prisons, prime valkyries, space engineers, star dogs 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:

Unblinking by Kira CarterUnblinking by Kira Carter:

Everyone is watching.

Minka Stanis just wants to be left alone–impossible since the Eyes record and broadcast every moment of her day. Then a humiliating incident in the high school cafeteria makes her the laughingstock of her tower city, and life behind the glass walls becomes unbearable. When the intriguing new boy at school tells her about a place away from the gaze of the cameras, Minka plots her escape from the towers. But the Shuttered Lands are across the desert, and going there will mean leaving everything she’s ever known behind.

Fresh out of tower training, Zedd Fincher is settling into his dream job. When he gets assigned to edit Minka Stanis’s Stream footage, he spins her every misstep into a string of hit clips. As Minka’s fame grows, so do Zedd’s feelings for her. But a crisis at home brings the darker side of his work into focus. And Zedd soon learns editing other people’s lives has consequences.

As Minka is thrust unwillingly into the spotlight and Zedd’s life begins to unravel, only one thing is certain:

The Eyes are always watching.

Water Into Wine by Joyce ChngWater into Wine by Joyce Chng:

When war comes to your planet, everything changes.. perhaps even the meaning of family and identity.

Xin inherits a vineyard on a distant planet, and moves there to build a life… but an interstellar war intervenes. Will Xin’s dreams of a new life get caught in the crossfire? Xin’s understanding of family and sense of self must evolve to cope with the changes brought by life on a new planet and a war that threatens everything.

 

 

The Defender of Rebel Falls by Eric ChristensenThe Defender of Rebel Falls by Eric Christensen:

The pen may be mightier than the sword, but William Whitehall knows which one feels better in his hand. As a librarian—a reluctant one—his reports catch the eyes of a powerful nobleman, who selects William for an important mission. As he faces danger after danger, he soon realizes that having the right weapon is one thing, but having the wits to use it is quite another. Because when he faces his ultimate challenge, it’s more than just his own life at stake.

 

 

Winter Rose by Ginny ClydeWinter Rose by Ginny Clyde:

The Gerrickson House is waking up from its days of mourning. Lenara Gerrickson’s fifteenth name day is fast approaching and her old childhood friend, Lady Vivienne Schmidtson arrives to help her get ready for the occasion. To her horror, Lenara has forgotten her manners and etiquettes, indulging in pastimes like riding and archery.

Lenara is skeptical of finding love during the ball on her fifteenth name day, but she catches the gaze of a dark, handsome man who sweeps her off her feet into a whirlwind romance. Her happily ever after seems so close, but clouds of doubt and warnings hang heavy in the horizon.

Follow Lenara’s journey into womanhood as she faces the harshness of reality and discover the chain of events that changed her destiny forever.
Enjoy this prequel novella to the captivating and thrilling Gothic fantasy, The Rose Chronicles. It can be enjoyed as a standalone or be read in between any of the books.

Rika Outcast by M.D. CooperRika Outcast by M.D. Cooper:

In the Age of the Orion War…

Rika is mech-meat, a cyborg killing machine, created by the Genevian military and cast aside when the war was lost.

Now she slings cargo on Dekar Station, falling deeper in debt as she struggles to make enough money to keep her cybernetic body functioning. The local gangs would love to have her join their ranks, and the takings would pay her bills, but the only thing Rika hates more than what she’s become, is killing for others.

But morals don’t buy repairs and she’s at the point of utter desperation when her loan holder cashes in her debt and sells her to the highest bidder.

When Rika wakes, she’s in a warehouse on a planet she’s never heard of, and a trio of mercenaries are reassembling her body. Their mission is to kill the world’s president, and her mods and abilities are just what they need to get the job done.

Whether she likes it or not, Rika is in the business of killing once more as she joins the ranks of the Marauders.

O Negative by Paul CurtinO Negative by Paul Curtin:

In Cole’s world, a critical shortage has made blood expensive.

Now the ticket to a hefty cash loan is running through anyone’s veins—as long as a person’s willing to put up their blood as collateral. And if the debt defaults, Cole is the man who collects. He kidnaps debtors for his boss to drain—over long, excruciating months—until death. It’s a job he doesn’t mind until his boss asks him to pick up a guy with the rare and valuable blood type, O negative.

Except the guy doesn’t have O negative—his ten-year-old daughter, Sam, does.

Knowing the horrors waiting for her if he hands her over to his boss, Cole takes Sam and goes on the run. With corrupt cops on his boss’s payroll patrolling the streets, a psychotic colleague hunting him, and a savvy detective on his trail, Cole knows this will end one of two ways: he escapes the city or Sam dies a slow, painful death.

Either way, blood will be spilled.

Prime Valkyrie by Michael Scott EarlePrime Valkyrie by Michael Scott Earle:

Adam has one mission: Hunt down the Magate Order and recover his kidnapped crew before they are lost forever.

Unfortunately, his life has been bound to the Prime Valkyrie, and if Adam doesn’t submit to her powerful father, he’ll be executed.

But the genetically engineered Marine submits to no man, and the king of the Vaish Overlord Clan is about to find out what happens when you try and kill a tiger.

Or keep him from his women.

 

Memento Mori by W.R. GingellMemento Mori by W.R. Gingell:

Even time travellers can run out of time.

Marx and Kez have been skipping through the known Twelve Worlds, keeping one step ahead of certain capture by the seat of their trousers, and the vastness of time and space is feeling a tad too small.

Kez has always been a bit crazy, but now it’s Marx who is getting mad. Someone is trying to kill them, and that’s the sort of thing he takes personally.

To add to their difficulties, there are Fixed Points in time that are beginning to look a little less…fixed.

Between Time Corp, WAOF, Uncle Cheng, and the Lolly Men, it’s beginning to look like there’s nowhere safe in the known Twelve Worlds for Kez and Marx.

Here be monsters…

Soul Marked by C. GockelSoul Marked by C. Gockel:

Magic is real, but Tara’s life isn’t a fairy tale.

From humble beginnings, Tara’s managed to work her way into a great job researching Dark Energy, aka “magic,” in Chicago. She has a beautiful house she renovated with her own hands, and a loving extended family, but she hasn’t found her soulmate … Not that she believes in soulmates.

Lionel is a Light Elf. Despite being of dubious heritage and being born a peasant, he’s risen in the ranks to serve the Elf Queen. Like all true elves, Lionel has a soulmark to identify his soulmate … He just hasn’t found her yet.

When Lionel’s and Tara’s lives collide and Dark Elves strike, they’re forced to work together or perish. Friendship and more grows between them, but dangers loom … Tara is more important than she knows, and Lionel is more important than he wants to admit. Both of them have choices to make.

Will Lionel choose a “perfect” love over Tara? How much is Tara willing to give up for a happily ever after?

They might find that in an uncertain world, the love you struggle for is the only certain thing.

Black Dawn by K. GormanBlack Dawn by K. Gorman:

Humanity is under attack and she is the only one who can stop it.

For Karin Makos, the chance to pilot a small-time scrounging vessel to remote corners of space is the dream. After years on the run with her sister and enduring the constant paranoia of living planet-side, going off-radar gives her exactly what she wants: freedom.

After what seems like a routine mission, that dream is shattered.

A system-wide attack decimates humanity and leaves the survivors scraping for clues. And Karin might know where to look.

But digging into her past comes with a whole new set of secrets and consequences, none of which she wants to face. Plagued by strange dreams of her sister and a sense of growing danger, Karin and the crew of the Nemina must race desperately across space to find their loved ones—and answers.

Synthesis by Kyle HarrisSynthesis by Kyle Harris:

Sometimes violence is the answer.

Trident was mankind’s greatest discovery. A blue-and-green planet teeming with ocean life and breathable air, it was the solution to all of our problems. A new world and a clean slate–we wouldn’t make the same mistake twice.

Don’t believe the lies.

Separated from her family, Synthia Garland is just trying to survive in the slums of Crystal City, Trident’s single metropolis home to beggars and throat-cutting gangs. Until the wrong detour results in a knife to her throat and final thoughts–before a hooded figure saves her life. With street-smart skills and a knack for getting out of trouble, Chaz is everything Synthia isn’t, and the two quickly become friends. But Chaz’s penchant for thievery takes a terrible turn when Synthia is nearly killed.

With her body mutilated and now reliant on cybernetic parts, Synthia wakes up to find herself in the care of the mega corporation she was trying to steal from–including its cold, secretive CEO. And there’s more news: her sister is on the verge of death from a flesh-eating virus. And time is running out.

Synthia must embark on a mission to return her sister to the only doctor who can save her life. With the misfit Chaz riding shotgun, she’ll face bloodthirsty pirates, malicious gangs, and a corrupt capitalistic society where pro-human activists and robotics companies are on the brink of all-out war.

Luckily, she’s been programmed to kick ass.

Mass Hysteria by Michael Patrick HicksMass Hysteria by Michael Patrick Hicks:

It came from space…

Something virulent. Something evil. Something new. And it is infecting the town of Falls Breath.

Carried to Earth in a freak meteor shower, an alien virus has infected the animals. Pets and wildlife have turned rabid, attacking without warning. Dogs and cats terrorize their owners, while deer and wolves from the neighboring woods hunt in packs, stalking and killing their human prey without mercy.

As the town comes under siege, Lauren searches for her boyfriend, while her policeman father fights to restore some semblance of order against a threat unlike anything he has seen before. The Natural Order has been upended completely, and nowhere is safe.

…and it is spreading.

Soon, the city will find itself in the grips of mass hysteria.

To survive, humanity will have to fight tooth and nail.

Observation by Patty JansenObservation by Patty Jansen:

Space biologists Jonathan Bartell and Gaby Larsen arrive at Johnson Base at the Moon’s south pole for a project with Professor Isaacs that is so secret, he cannot share the details with them. However, the professor does not show up to meet them.

Vijay Singh borrowed money from a local council man who uses the debt to make continued threats to Vijay. In his despair to pay it back, Vijay gets involved with one of the most lucrative crime schemes in the solar system.

However, the capsule he retrieves from a crater near Johnson Base contains more than smuggled rare elements. But no one is going to talk about it for fear of getting on the wrong side of the crime lords. Even if keeping the secret will endanger the entire base.

This will appeal to readers of realistic adventure science fiction, like Robert Sawyer and Stephen Baxter. The books in this series can be read in any order.

The Dauntless by Alex KingsThe Dauntless by Alex Kings:

An alien fugitive carrying a secret. A mob of relentless assassins sent to stop her. A million-year-old ship from a dead civilisation.

Captain James Hanson of the Solar Alliance Vessel Dauntless knows he has to help. But soon he finds the conspiracy goes deeper than he ever imagined. Hunted down by his own government, he scrapes together a ragtag team and goes hunting for the truth.

He’s hounded on every side – from the authorities, from alien warriors, from mysterious, faceless soldiers. From the criminal backwaters of the galaxy to idyllic colonies hiding dark pasts, he uncovers a threat to the entire galaxy. A damaged, renegade ship and its unlikely crew of fugitives, mercenaries, and principled officers is all that stands between mankind and its destruction.

Zakota by Ruby LionsdrakeZakota by Ruby Lionsdrake:

Katie Saunders isn’t used to sitting on her butt, but she’s been stuck doing exactly that as the Star Guardians fly all over the galaxy, trying to get her and the other kidnapped women back home. Now it looks like they have to engage in a battle against evil aliens before making the final flight to Earth. Since they’ve captured an extra ship and are short on pilots, Katie wants to help.

She flew jets during her time in the Navy, and she’s been training on the spaceship’s flight simulator, so she knows she can be useful. Because the captain won’t listen to her, she turns her focus onto the ship’s helm officer, Zakota. He’s an odd man who apparently believes he’s a shaman, but maybe she can convince him she can fly.

Wheeling and dealing with Zakota reveals a couple of unexpected things. First off, he’s super hot under that uniform, and second, he’s not quite as kooky as she thought. As a fellow pilot, he gets her, far better than she expected anyone out here would, and he’s quick to see her worth in the cockpit.

The problem? There’s not time for them to get to know each other better or much of anything else. They’re headed into a battle against a superior foe with superior numbers, and the odds are against them making it out alive.

The Gemini Hustle by Kathleen McClure and L. Gene BrownThe Gemini Hustle: Two Guys Walk Into a Bar by Kathleen McClure and L. Gene Brown:

Two guys walk into a bar…

Everyone knows the joke, but no one is laughing when Zodiac operative Ray Slater’s manhunt collides with fellow agent Harry Finn’s covert op.

Outnumbered and outgunned, the pair form an uneasy partnership, one that takes them from the depths of Ócala’s understreets to the pinnacle of its pleasure palaces, and straight into the heart of an interstellar crime syndicate.

Here, Ray and Harry become entangled with two of the syndicate’s key players, women gifted with psionic abilities—and burdened by secrets—who will change both men’s lives, forever.

Assuming, that is, they can survive the night.

Ember of War by Stephan MorseEmber of War by Stephan Morse:

Warning: Contains Crude Language, Alien Blasting, and Sex.

Lee’s too wild for the military, but too good at his job to get rid of. The government’s solution is to banish him to the outer planets until he’s deemed civilized. His latest attempt at rehabilitation has him signed on with an outpost colony.

He hates ranching. He hates taking orders from his boss. But he likes shooting aliens. Luckily, the planet he’s on is about to face a full blown infestation.

 

Tiff in Time by Jaxon ReedTiff in Time by Jaxon Reed:

In the beginning, God created people, angels, and fae. Creatures existing between the spiritual realm and the physical, fae scattered among parallel worlds spreading magic and chaos.

The Walker hunts fae, killing them, bringing them to justice. On occasion, he recruits followers. He found Tiff, an orphan, and raised her to be one of his best hunters. A skilled killer, she jumps into any timeline on any alternate, and seeks her prey.

A powerful artifact and a mysterious fae crop up in the Roaring Twenties, in Chicago. Tiff is on her way. But this time, after centuries of being hunted, the fae have other plans…

Into the Void by Kellie SheridanInto the Void by Kellie Sheridan:

Her legacy was built on lies, but uncovering the truth will put everyone she cares about in danger.

Evie was never interested in being part of SolTek Industries, content to enjoy the perks of her family’s legacy without any of the responsibility. But when her brother, a party boy with no tech skills whatsoever, starts claiming he’s about to reveal the next big thing, an invention of his own design, Evie can no longer deny that something is wrong.

Everyone in Evie’s family has been lying to her, and she intends to find out why. With a pocket full of credits and a set of coordinates she lifted from her brother, Evie sets off in hopes of finding what her family is trying to keep hidden. When those coordinates turn out to lead to deep space, though, she knows she can’t get there alone.

She’s going to need a ship.

Oliver Briggs is high on ambition but short on credits. Having spent his entire life’s savings to hire his dream crew, he risks losing them all if they don’t start bringing in some real money–fast. When the daughter of a tech magnate shows up looking for an inexplicable ride to the outer reaches of the system, offering a payday too lucrative to resist, he can’t help but accept.

But taking her offer may mean losing his crew after all.

The secrets uncovered by the crew of the Lexiconis could change the future course humanity’s future. The only question is if they’ll survive long enough to do anything about it.

Provoked by Izzy ShowsProvoked by Izzy Shows:

You thought you’d uncovered the secrets of the universe. But you never found me.

The humans crossed the stars, traveling farther than any before, all to terraform a planet long thought dead. They destroyed their world, and now they need mine.

They found me buried in the core of my planet, but when they set me free they also unleashed a dark force more powerful than any before—my twin. Possessed by the god of death, no guns can hope to battle his magic.

I couldn’t stop him from destroying my world before, but I’ll die before I let him take another people from me.

Many things have changed since I ruled. But death…death never changes.

Terra and Imperium by Glynn StewartTerra and Imperium by Glynn Stewart:

Secrets both ancient and new.
Powers great and greater—
With Terra caught in the middle

Humanity’s first colony is a project neither the Duchy of Terra nor the A!Tol Imperium can allow to fail. The planet Hope in the Alpha Centauri system has been lavished with resources and attention—but when an unknown alien force attacks the system, all of that is in danger.

An ancient alien artifact is the apparent target of the attack, an artifact older than known galactic civilization. Suddenly, the backwater colony of a second-rate power is the gathering point for a confrontation of the galaxy’s greatest powers.

Duchess Annette Bond might be pregnant. She might be five light years away. She might have another galactic power on her doorstep demanding she surrender their rebels who’ve settled on Earth.

But she speaks for both Terra and the Imperium—and the galaxy will listen.

Perfect Strangers by Jan StryvantPerfect Strangers by Jan Stryvant:

During his junior year in college, Sean finds himself suddenly dropped into the middle of a world that he didn’t even know existed. A secret world of magic and magic users, lycanthropes, goblins, and all the other things that go bump in the night. To make matters even more difficult, the very same magic users who had Sean’s father killed now believe that Sean will somehow inherit his father’s work when he turns twenty-one, which is just a few days away.

Needless to say most of the magic users’ councils seem to be in two camps: The first camp wants him dead. The second camp wants him captured and then will probably kill him after they’ve learned all of his secrets. The only solution Sean sees to any of this is to finish his father’s work, the very thing that got his father killed. But in order to do that, Sean must first find out just what his father was working on! He’s also going to need to learn magic himself, find a safe place to stay, raise some money, and gain a lot of allies.

Fortunately for Sean he’s got two good women at his side: Roxy, a cheetah lycanthrope with a lot of experience in fighting; and Jolene, a tantric witch with more than a few connections in the supernatural black market.

Clouds of Venus by Jeff TanyardClouds of Venus by Jeff Tanyard:

Dale Kinmont is a college student in post-catastrophe America. He’s lucky; he lives in one of the walled cities for the nation’s elite, and life is pleasant. He expects to graduate and find employment in his uncle’s company.

Everything changes when he’s framed for murder. He’s tried, convicted, and sentenced to hard labor in the prison colony on Mercury.

He ends up in Hesperus instead, a flying city that soars eternally through the acidic skies of Venus. His goal now is to find a way to clear his name and return to Earth before Hesperus erupts in civil war. He also must battle the harsh realities of the planet itself. Because if the Hesperans don’t kill him, Venus probably will.

City of Magic by Patricia ThomasCity of Magic by Patricia Thomas:

Where do your favorite characters go after their stories are over?

The last thing Kadie remembers is getting dumped by the man she thought was the love of her life. Then, without warning, she finds herself somewhere impossible, surrounded by everything from magical kingdoms to futuristic cities and quiet suburban towns.

Her life before was merely fiction; this is where her story really begins.

The After is a world beyond imagining, existing for unfulfilled book characters who have reached the end of their stories. But not everyone in the After is happy with the status quo.

When Kadie arrives, her situation escalates from strange to deadly. Those in power are willing to play dirty in order to keep their secrets hidden. This time around, Kadie will have the chance to write her own future. But happily ever after isn’t going to come without a fight.

Mimic and the Space EngineerMimic and the Space Engineer by James David Victor:

An aspiring space engineer, a shape-shifting alien, and the race to save an unknown alien race.

A new story from #1 Best Selling author James David Victor

Higgens has the best job in the galaxy. Except for the fact that he’s technically a janitor on a galactic mining vessel. When he discovers an unknown alien species, his world gets turned upside down. He will have to find unlikely allies if he is going to save his new friend and start the journey home.

Mimic and the Space Engineer is the first book in the Space Shifter Chronicles. If you like fast paced space adventures with engaging, and quirky, characters, you will love Higgens, Mimic, and their adventures in space.

Star Dog Liberation by Lucas C. WheelerStar Dog Liberation by Lucas C. Wheeler:

Star Dog and Clancy have spent months hiding in an abandoned apartment, and tensions and paranoia are beginning to rise. A threat still looms on the horizon, and it’s searching for Star Dog. She’s about to find him.

There’s a new German shepherd on the streets of Prism City, and the news can’t stop covering all her criminal endeavors – except they identified the culprit as Star Dog.

Whatever vendetta she feels compelled to settle against Star Dog, when she targets someone close to home, Star Dog feels he has to act. He vows to bring an end to the Star Dog technology, once and for all. No matter what it takes, or what it costs.

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Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for September 2017

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 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.

Our new releases cover the broad spectrum of crime fiction. We have cozy mysteries, small town mysteries, historical mysteries, police procedurals, psychological thrillers, crime thrillers, dystopian thrillers, pulp thrillers, men’s adventure thrillers, kidnappings, heists, the mob, intrepid reporters, murderous milk thieves, blood-sucking debt collectors, adventures in Thailand and Alaska, murder in the Pacific Northwest, bodies in the backyard 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 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 Milk Truck Gang by Cora BuhlertThe Milk Truck Gang by Cora Buhlert:

Upstate New York, 1937: When the delivery vans of the Daisy Chain Dairy Company are targeted and robbed by a criminal gang and a driver is shot, Richard Blakemore a.k.a. the masked crimefighter known only as the Silencer decides to get involved.

So he stakes out the dairy company in the early hours of the morning to apprehend the criminals, only to find himself embroiled in a lethal fight on the bed of a speeding milk truck…

This is a short story of 3700 words or approx. 15 print pages in the Silencer series, but may be read as a standalone.

O Negative by Paul CurtinO Negative by Paul Curtin:

In Cole’s world, a critical shortage has made blood expensive.

Now the ticket to a hefty cash loan is running through anyone’s veins—as long as a person’s willing to put up their blood as collateral. And if the debt defaults, Cole is the man who collects. He kidnaps debtors for his boss to drain—over long, excruciating months—until death. It’s a job he doesn’t mind until his boss asks him to pick up a guy with the rare and valuable blood type, O negative.

Except the guy doesn’t have O negative—his ten-year-old daughter, Sam, does.

Knowing the horrors waiting for her if he hands her over to his boss, Cole takes Sam and goes on the run. With corrupt cops on his boss’s payroll patrolling the streets, a psychotic colleague hunting him, and a savvy detective on his trail, Cole knows this will end one of two ways: he escapes the city or Sam dies a slow, painful death.

Either way, blood will be spilled.

The Fourth Friend by Joy EllisThe Fourth Friend by Joy Ellis:

FOUR LOST FRIENDS. FOUR TASKS TO COMPLETE. ONE BIG MYSTERY LEFT.

Police detective Carter McLean is the only survivor of a plane crash that kills his four best friends. He returns to work but he is left full of guilt and terrible flashbacks. So for each of his four friends he decides to complete something that they left unfinished.

Eighteen months before the crash, Suzanne Holland disappeared, leaving a room with traces of blood, but no other leads. Suzanne was the wife of one of Carter’s four best friends.

Adding to the pressure, the boss’s daughter has a stalker. Due to the sensitivity of the Holland case, Carter is put on this investigation.

DS Marie Evans is the only person Carter can confide in. But even she begins to doubt whether he can really cope and whether he is actually losing his mind.

DI Jackman and DS Evans of the Fenland police face a battle to untangle three mysteries, and can they really believe their friend and colleague Carter?

Secrets of Wildflower Island by Michelle FilesSecrets of Wildflower Island by Michelle Files:

Wildflower Island is an idyllic place, where crime just doesn’t happen.
When 4 teenage girls discover a body, badly beaten, a nice day at the beach goes horribly wrong. As they embark on a quest to solve the murder, they find themselves as the main suspects. The girls quickly turn on each other as they are blackmailed by an unknown person and harassed by residents of the small island they live on. Who killed the boy? Will the girls be next? This mesmerizing mystery, suspense novel will have you guessing until the end. Get your copy today!

Murder in Seattle by Dianne HarmanMurder in Seattle by Dianne Harman:

What would you do if your sister’s husband of twelve hours, Clark, was considered a suspect by the police in connection with his rich Uncle Vinny’s murder? And the rich uncle just happened to be a member of the Mob?

DeeDee has no choice but to enlist the help of her boyfriend Jake, a private investigator, as well as Al, Uncle Vinny’s scary bodyguard, to help her find the murderer and clear Clark’s name.

It could have been a number of people, but which one? Was it Uncle Vinny’s cousin or his wife? Uncle Vinny had a lot of money, and although he hadn’t come by it legally, the color was still green. Or the rogue cop whose father had ended the prostitution rings in Seattle, but was certain Uncle Vinny was the person who had resurrected them. Or perhaps Clark’s business colleague who was jealous of Clark’s recent promotion? Maybe it was the wedding planner who resented everything Uncle Vinny was giving the newlyweds, particularly the house on Queen Anne Hill. Or even Clark himself? After all, Uncle Vinny gave a toast at the wedding declaring him to be the sole heir of his substantial fortune.

Unwritten and Underwater by Amanda M. LeeUnwritten and Underwater by Amanda M. Lee:

Avery Shaw is living the dream … kind of.
She’s officially moved to her dream house and her boyfriend Eliot Kane is making her host a housewarming party to show off the new digs to her family. All is going well – other than the endless arguments over food and hiding from Avery’s family, of course – until one of Avery’s enemies comes calling.
Avery’s former boyfriend Jake Farrell broke up with Cara Carpenter weeks before but she’s still stalking him … and Avery in the process. When Cara turns up dead at a high-profile event, not only is Jake a suspect, but Avery and Eliot are, too.
The Michigan State Police wrestle the investigation from Jake, promptly turning Avery from the hunter to the hunted. The state police investigator assigned to the case is all up in Avery’s business – and Avery is cracking under the pressure even as she insists on covering the case, much to almost everybody’s chagrin.
From the stress associated with the new house, Grandpa’s constant naked visits to the pool, and Eliot’s insistence that Avery own up to something illegal, things are starting to get tense.
Avery is on her heels for a bit before starting to put the pieces together. When the truth comes out, though, the answers are welcome but the danger is not.
Can Avery survive to irritate everyone another day? Or will Michigan’s favorite reporter finally succumb to a mouth she can’t quite seem to control?

Mr. Miracle by Carey LewisMr. Miracle by Carey Lewis:

Hugh Gallant has survived being hit by lightning, throwing himself off a skyscraper, and a divorce from a redheaded woman. He has also won the lottery three times and moved to Thailand, leaving his former life behind. He is known as Mr. Miracle.

Dutch used to be Hugh’s best friend. Together, they concocted a scheme that resulted in a man plummeting thirty-eight floors to his death. Dutch must bring Hugh home or have the murder put squarely on him. But he’s not the only one searching for a Miracle.

The ex-wife has teamed up with a former rapper and a furnace repairman who moonlight as criminals to swindle Hugh. They continually raise the stakes when each plan fails, going from extortion, abduction, to even murder, until they can find some way to make Hugh give up his millions. They learn miracles are hard to come by.

Dutch realizes ‘The Land of Smiles’ isn’t just sandy beaches and bikini clad women, and moonlighting criminals can prove more deadly than full time ones. He needs to decide if he will risk his life to protect Mr. Miracle, bring him to justice, or make a play for the money himself.

The Body in the Backyard by Hollis ShilohThe Body in the Backyard by Hollis Shiloh:

Clarence Collin is pushing up daisies—in Abe’s bed of zinnias!

When the caustic critic of a TV gardening show winds up murdered in Abe’s well-groomed backyard, both Abe and his hunky-but-irritating neighbor Gregory might be on the suspect list.

Abe starts amateur sleuthing in self-defense…and to spend time with Gregory. When the two green thumbs look into their neighborhood’s dirty little secrets, who knows what they’ll dig up?

A cozy gay mystery
51,000 words

From the Ocean to the Stream by J.D. WestonFrom the Ocean to the Stream by J.D. Weston

What would you do…
How far would you go…
TO STAY ALIVE?
In this gritty psychological thriller novel, discover one man’s fight against the power of nature, and the greed of man.

‘From the Ocean to the Stream’ is a gritty thriller and suspense story that tells of one man’s account
and his battles with the greed of man, and the savage brutality of the wilderness. It can be read
as a standalone book, or as part of a survival fiction series, as the sequel to ‘Where the Mountains Kiss the Sun’.

For one so young, Jim has had more than his share of traumatic experiences. Now, he shares a simpler life with his Ma and Pa, where the mountains kiss the sun; away from the city and away from people, although at night he’s still haunted by dreams of what he’s seen and what he’s done.

Life is simple but good, until one day someone new comes into their lives to change them forever. Will he be able to extinguish his dreams, or will his new reality become more fearful than the visions of his past? Find out in the historical adventure ‘From the Ocean to the Stream’.
This is a gritty psychological thriller you can really get your TEETH into!

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A New Adventure of the Silencer: The Milk Truck Gang

As mentioned in my last post, there will be a couple of new release announcements in the near future, as I work through the backlog of stories I wrote during the 2017 July short story challenge.

The first story from the 2017 July short story challenge to see the light is The Milk Truck Gang, the latest adventure of the Silencer. For those of you that aren’t familiar with the series, The Silencer follows the adventures of Richard Blakemore, hardworking pulp writer by day and the masked crimefighter known only as the Silencer by night, and is my homage to the hero pulps of the 1930s such as the Shadow, the Spider, Doc Savage and others.

The Silencer stories are fairly research intensive because of the 1930s setting and also because New York City, where most of the stories take place, has changed a lot in the past eighty years. Luckily, New York City’s past is extensively documented, though tracing what the city looked like in the mid 1930s, what long gone buildings were in which location and what shops, restaurant, hotels, theatres, etc… were called (cause they change names and tennants often) can still be a pain. On the plus side, researching locations for a Silencer story often yields plenty of interesting facts that provide ideas for more stories. Coincidentally, I recently came across this fabulous site, which is a basically a Google Streetview into the past and links historical photos to particular locations. Invaluable, particularly when dealing with an area that had changed drastically in the past eighty years.

Because the Silencer stories require so much research, they don’t really lend themselves to a project like the July short story challenge, where speed is of essence and there usually isn’t a lot of time for research. I did write a Silencer story during last year’s July short story challenge, but Fact or Fiction is a housebound story that takes place entirely in Richard’s study and therefore required a lot less research than the average Silencer story. Though even Fact or Fiction required some research, e.g. was white out fluid available in the 1930s (no, invented in the 1950s) and if not, what did people use instead?

While doing the 2017 July short story challenge, I chanced to listen to a report on the radio about a wave of thefts, where cargo – mostly electronics – was stolen directly from the backs of trucks. The report was about a new alarm system that would alert the driver, but what piqued my interest was the crime itself. “That would make a great Silencer story”, I thought to myself.

The July short story challenge requires coming up with a whole lot of ideas in a very compressed time period and so it didn’t take long before I thought, “Hey, that idea for a Silencer story about a wave of thefts from truck beds was pretty good. Maybe I should write that one.”

The next question was what should the thieves steal? It needed to be something that was shipped in sufficient quantities and on a predictable schedule, that was easy to sell and difficult to trace. And so I settled on milk. Milk was ideal for the purpose of my story, because a city the size of New York consumes a lot of it, it is delivered on a predictable schedule and by trucks following predictable routes in the very early morning, it is easy to sell and almost impossible to trace, particularly with 1930s technology.

This led to the question, where precisely did the milk consumed by New Yorkers in the early 20th century come from? Researching this led me to the swill milk scandal of the mid 19th century, which in turn made its way into the story, for the gang not just steals milk and attacks truck drivers, it also adulterates the milk and so poisons young children, which gives the story an extra sense of urgency.

There were a couple of other questions to research, such as what route would the milk trucks take to get the milk from Westchester County to New York City and did those streets already exist in the 1930s (thanksfully yes – what is now Broadway was first mentioned in 1642 and is likely much older)? The reminder that Broadway extends quite a bit beyond the city limits of New York into Westchester County brought to mind the George M. Cohan song “Forty-five minutes from Broadway”, which not only made it’s way into the story, but also stuck in my head for several days.

After the Christmas extravaganza that is St. Nicholas of Hell’s Kitchen, The Milk Truck Gang is a more low-key Silencer adventure that basically centres on a single fight scene. The investigation take place largely off-stage and of the Silencer’s usual supporting cast, only Constance and Edgar, the kitten, as well as Baby Kenny (introduced in St. Nicholas of Hell’s Kitchen) appear. I’m somewhat troubled by the fact that this is the third Silencer story in a row, where Constance doesn’t get a very much to do aside from making coffee and breakfast and patching up Richard after his adventures (the fifth story in the row, actually, since Constance doesn’t appear at all in The Great Fraud and Mean Streets and Dead Alleys). Okay, so she does get a bit more to do in St. Nicholas of Hell’s Kitchen, but it’s not nearly close to the level of Constance’s involvement in Countdown to Death or The Spiked Death. However, in the hopefully not all too distant future, there will be a Silencer story where Constance goes on an undercover mission of her own.

But for now, here is the Silencer’s latest case, as he battles…

The Milk Truck Gang
The Milk Truck Gang by Cora BuhlertUpstate New York, 1937: When the delivery vans of the Daisy Chain Dairy Company are targeted and robbed by a criminal gang and a driver is shot, Richard Blakemore a.k.a. the masked crimefighter known only as the Silencer decides to get involved.

So he stakes out the dairy company in the early hours of the morning to apprehend the criminals, only to find himself embroiled in a lethal fight on the bed of a speeding milk truck…

 

 

More information.
Length: 3700 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, Playster, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, e-Sentral, 24symbols and XinXii.

And if you want to read the entire Silencer series, there is a bundle of all nine stories to date available at a steeply reduced price at DriveThruFiction.

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A New Cover and a New German Short Story Available – Ein neues Cover und eine neue Kurzgeschichte auf Deutsch erhältlich: Der Lohn des Henkers

There will be a few new release announcements in the next days and weeks, since I’m currently editing my way through the backlog of stories I wrote during the 2017 July short story challenge.

However, today’s double announcement has nothing to do with that. For starters, my science fiction short story Whaler has a new cover. Now Whaler is one of those stories I refer to as a never-seller. It was my lowest selling book for a long time and though it isn’t my lowest selling title any more (currently, that’s Parlour Game, but since that’s a fairly new release, that will probably change), it’s still a story that sells very little.

Because Whaler doesn’t sell and isn’t part of any series, I was reluctant to invest any more time and money in it. However, I recently had to update the file because of an issue with epubcheck, that had gone unnoticed for six years. And while I was updating the file, I also noticed that the cover was getting really long in the tooth. It wasn’t bad for its time, but that time was six years ago. Whaler is one oldest covers I have that has never been updated (Outlaw Love and Rites of Passage are even older, but those are still pretty good) and it was really in dire need of an update.

So behold the beautiful new cover for Whaler (and maybe buy the story, while you’re at it):

Whaler by Cora Buhlert

The second announcement is for a new German language short story. During the long hot days of summer, when I don’t feel creative enough to work on new stories, I occasionally translate some of my existing stories into German. My historical romances have always done well in Germany, so I decided to tackle Hangman’s Wages for my next translation project.

***

Die zweite Ankündigung für heute (die erste war für ein neues Cover einer Science Fiction Kurzgeschichte, die es bis jetzt leider nur auf Englisch gibt) betrifft eine neue Kurzgeschichte auf Deutsch. Während der langen heißen Sommertage fühle ich mich manchmal nicht kreativ genug, um etwas Neues zu schreiben. Also nutze ich die Zeit, um einige meiner älteren Geschichten ins Deutsche zu übersetzen. Meine historischen Liebesgeschichten haben sich auf Deutsch immer gut verkauft, also habe ich mich der Kurzgeschichte Hangman’s Wages angenommen, die es jetzt auch auf Deutsch gibt:

Der Lohn des Henkers
Der Lohn des Henkers von Cora BuhlertWährend der öffentlichen Hinrichtung eines berüchtigten Banditen wird die junge Anna beim Taschendiebstahl erwischt und an Ort und Stelle zum Tode verurteilt. Der gnadenlose Graf Dietmar von Finsterwalde weist seinen Henker Ulrich an, die Diebin unverzüglich aufzuhängen.

Ulrich hat Mitleid mit Anna, aber Befehl ist Befehl. Also führt er das verängstigte Mädchen zum Galgenbaum vor den Toren der Stadt hinaus. Ulrich ist entschlossen, dafür zu sorgen, dass sie so wenig wie möglich leidet. Aber als er Anna die Schlinge um den Hals legt, wird Ulrich sich bewusst, dass diese junge Diebin sein Herz rührt wie keine andere Frau zuvor.

Aber wie kann er Anna retten, wenn Graf Dietmar schon ihren Tod befohlen hat?

Mehr Informationen.
Länge: 3800 Worte
Preis: 0,99 EUR, USD oder GBP
Erhältlich bei Amazon Deutschland, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Niederlande, Amazon Frankreich, Amazon Italien, Amazon Spanien, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australien, Amazon Brasilien, Amazon Mexico, Amazon Japan, Amazon Indien, Kobo, Apple iTunes, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, BOL, Osiander, Mayersche, buecher.de, buch.de, eBook.de, Barnes & Noble, Scribd, 24symbols, Playster, txtr, Inktera, Smashwords, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, Flipkart, e-Sentral und XinXii.

Dieses Buch gibt es auch auf English.

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Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for August 2017

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 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 epic fantasy, historical fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal mystery, paranormal romance, gothic romance, science fiction romance, space opera, military science fiction, young adult science fiction, Steampunk, Cyberpunk, superheroes, ghosts, haunted valentines, alien invasions, FBI dark fae, magical circusses, galactic outlaws, space pirates, girl scientists 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:

Rotten Magic by Jeffrey BardwellRotten Magic by Jeffrey Barwell:

Devin will do anything to win. Even resort to magic.

Devin competes to become the best artificer in the mage phobic Iron Empire. Who needs magic when you can master the art of machinery? The other apprentices envy his genius and skills . . . especially Benson. Every apprentice hones their craft building and fighting in crude prototypes of powered armor. Some add frills, others barbs or horns. When Devin transforms himself into a mechanical dragon to slaughter the competition, Benson steps into the role of dragon slayer.

But Devin harbors a secret as he claws his way to the top of the Artificer’s Guild: he’s a mage. These new abilities are thrilling and frightening, and the voices more so. How long can Devin be content wearing a steel dragon mask when the seductive promise of true arcane power whispers in his ear?

Experience the novella prequel to the Artifice Mage Saga: a fantasy steampunk brawl of metal vs. magic where sorcery is bloody, science is greasy, and nobody’s hands are clean.

Resistance by Max CarverResistance by Max Carver:

DISCOVERY…INVASION…WAR…

On a rocky, desolate planet, a small band of gold prospectors find themselves making a discovery they never expected–valuable and powerful relics of the galaxy’s deep past.

They also discover a hostile alien species: gigantic, hideous, ruthless monsters who wipe out all humans on sight.

Humanity’s first contact with intelligent aliens becomes a war for survival. The invasion has begun…but the beginning of the invasion is also the beginning of the resistance.

Renegade Star by J.N. ChaneyRenegade Star by J.N. Chaney:

Jace Hughes is a Renegade.

That means taking almost any job that comes his way, no matter the situation. So long as he can keep his ship floating, he’s free to live the life he wants.

But that all changes when he meets Abigail Pryar, a nun looking for safe passage out of the system.

Too bad there’s something off about the cargo she’s carrying.

Jace knows he shouldn’t ask too many questions, but when strange sounds start coming from inside the large, metal box, he can’t help but check it out.

Big mistake.

To make matters worse, he’s being pursued by unknown ships–people who want that cargo. Does Jace give up the goods and hand over the nun…or does he risk it all for an even bigger payout?

The Contending by Cynthia Joyce ClayThe Contending by Cynthia Joyce Clay:

“If I survive this, I must make amends to Princess Royal Tristabe-airta. If don’t, when I become her liege, she be too powerful of an enemy.”

Royal swords possess the unhuman strength and temperament of their ancestors, dragons. Burta, a young royal sword, resents that she must always defer to Tristabé-airta, Princess Royal of Allsongs, a poet. But Burta is so skilled in arms she expects to win the Allsongs’ Contending and that will make her Tristabé-airta’s liege. The problem is, though, she is trapped between the monster that hunts her and the deadly drop down the cliff to the turbulent sea. In Book Two of the Saga of the Dragon Born, all the poets of Allsongs, including Tristabé-airta, must unite their power to rescue Burta. Once rescued, will she unwisely keep a secret close to her heart that will be a rending betrayal to Allsongs’ best hope and defense, Tristabé-airta?

The Dance on the Moons of Serenity by M.D. CooperThe Dance on the Moons of Serenity by M.D. Cooper:

Everyone deserves a day off, right?

That’s just what Jessica and Cheeky are enjoying when a pair of old “friends” show up and force them to smuggle weapons into the Serenity System.

On their own with just a small interstellar pinnace at their disposal, Jessica and Cheeky aren’t going to let someone else force them to smuggle weapons (especially when there’s no profit in it for them) and they take control of their ship and escape.

Unfortunately, they still end up in the Serenity system…with the weapons. Now they must unravel a tangled web of deception in a highly stratified aristocratic society to learn the intended recipient of the weapons.

Attending a series of gala events, Jessica will have to use a particular set of skills she’s acquired over the years (as a TBI Agent, seriously, people) to start a war between two aristocratic families.

What could go wrong?

Agent of Darkness by C.N. Crawford and Alex RiversAgent of Darkness by C.N. Crawford and Alex Rivers:

There’s a dark power growing within me. And I’m not sure I can control it.

The fae king wants me dead. His assassins tracked me down and nearly killed me— now they’re the ones lying lifeless in a pool of blood. But the price I’ve paid is too high. They hurt someone I love, and I burn for revenge.

I’m done watching from the sidelines. Following the seductive fae Roan, I join the rebels but find myself surrounded by suspicion at every turn. But with the strange new magic in my blood, no one trusts me anymore.

It’s the magic of fear, of terror, of nightmares. The king’s minions have given me another name: Mistress of Dread. My power is unstable and deadly, and to get my vengeance, I must learn to control it. Yet with fury boiling in my blood and desire for Roan kindling my heart, it seems like an impossible task.

FBI Agent, Pixie, Terror Leech, Mistress of Dread. Will I become a King Killer as well?

Brave New Girls, edited by Paige Daniels and Mary FanBrave New Girls: Stories of Girls Who Science and Scheme, edited by Paige Daniels and Mary Fan:

Dive into a universe of sci-fi wonders.

This collection of sci-fi shorts features a variety of brainy young heroines—girls who engineer, tinker, experiment, and more. Voyage to far-off galaxies with girls who use their science savvy to fix rovers, rescue friends, and protect alien critters. Visit steampunk realms where young ladies put their skills to the test building mechanical wonders and solving mysteries. Trek across sci-fi landscapes with girls who save androids and repair robots. Journey to post-apocalyptic futures where heroines use their tech know-how to bring down overlords and spread the most dangerous thing of all… knowledge. And drop in on a few near-future heroines who use their smarts to take down supervillains and bring a little more understanding into the world.

Proceeds from sales of this anthology will be donated to a scholarship fund through the Society of Women Engineers. Let’s show today’s girls that they, too, can be tomorrow’s inventors, programmers, scientists, and more.

STORIES BY:
T. Eric Bakutis, Elisha Betts, Steph Bennion, Bryna Butler, Margaret Curelas, Paige Daniels, Kay Dominguez, Brandon Draga, George Ebey, Mary Fan, A.A. Jankiewicz, Evangeline Jennings, Jamie Krakover, Jeanne Kramer-Smyth, Stephen Landry, Karissa Laurel, Michelle Leonard, Meg Merriet, Jelani-Akin Parham, Josh Pritchett, Holly Schofield, and Lisa Toohey.

Harkworth Hall by L.S. JohnsonHarkworth Hall by L.S. Johnson:

Caroline Daniels must marry, and marry well. But in her remote corner of England eligible suitors are few and far between, and none hold a candle to her closest friend, Diana Fitzroy.

When Sir Edward Masterson arrives, he seems the answer to Caroline’s financial worries, though she instinctively dislikes the reticent, older merchant. Soon Sir Edward has set his sights on acquiring both Caroline and the decaying Harkworth Hall.

Caroline’s future seems secure, save that Sir Edward’s enigmatic secretary hints at a dark secret, and Sir Edward shows an unusual interest in the nearby bay. To discover Sir Edward’s true purpose, Caroline will have to face the horror beneath Harkworth Hall—and the woman who will change her life.

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

Look out Sin City, here comes the Mystic Caravan Circus.
The city that never sleeps has something lurking in the darkness and Poet Parker can’t decide if it’s friend or foe. The rich history of the area comes into play when research uncovers a mine disaster more than a hundred years in the past … and a tragic outcome that still haunts the locale to this day.
Between dust storms bringing forth a creature with glowing red eyes, screams in the desert and Poet’s increasing conviction that they’re not alone, the team has their hands full. That’s on top of the fact that Max decides now is the time to make his move and get to know his son – who also happens to be Poet’s boyfriend – in a new light and the unwelcome realization that Luke has seemingly become obsessed with gambling.
Poet’s attention is split in numerous directions, although Luke’s quagmire is closest to her heart. She wants to help her best friend, even as he spirals out of control. He’s not the same best friend she’s spent the past few years loving, but she’s determined to get him back … even if it means facing off with some of Las Vegas’ most perilous residents.
The mystical world of the circus is due to collide with the dangerous underbelly of the gambling world and the two sides might not be as far apart as they initially assume.
When the dust storm settles – and the final battle is upon them – more than one person will be in danger … and Poet will have to make a hard choice to protect those she loves while sacrificing someone else to the unending darkness.
It’s the ultimate game, but money isn’t the only thing at risk.

The Fiasco in News by Stephan MorseThe Fiasco in News by Stephan Morse:

When you’ve seen as many catastrophes as I have, “disaster” becomes a relative term. But when disaster hits, feel free to do what I do—hang your head while waiting for the tight-wearing crowd to arrive. That only works if your super power is the same one I have though. I’m an immortal walking magnet for superpowered problems.

This new guy, Ted—a fake part-time villain who’s in it for the ratings and excitement—wants me to be a field correspondent for his news blog, and his offer sounds good. If I can’t beat ’em, expose ’em. The problem is he has no idea what my daily life is like.

No one really does—but they’ll learn.

The Black by Neil MossparkThe Black with Neil Mosspark

Five years ago, when the anomaly arrived, it wiped out eight thousand square kilometers of Toronto Ontario, taking with it over seven million souls. It remains now as a looming impervious black dome.

Dave Thompson, a hard rock miner, was hired as the lead engineer on tunnel 18. The job is simple: Get the crews to dig fast, and dig deep, avoid the lethal energy discharges and try not to die in a tunnel collapse.

Recently the energy releases are happening more and more frequently, the miners are refusing to dig, and the government is becoming desperate. Making things worse, there’s something they’re not telling him.

With time running out, he suspects that if he can’t get the scientists inside, there’s little hope for humanity’s survival.

Heart of Vengeance by Glynn Stewart and Terry MixonHeart of Vengeance by Glenn Stewart and Terry Mixon:

A pirate attack with only one survivor
A conspiracy woven across the planets
A vengeance that will not be denied

When pirates seize the inter-planetary freighter owned by Brad Mantruso’s family, he is dumped into space. Saved from death by a passing Fleet ship, he is left with nothing but his skills, a gun, and a burning desire for vengeance.

Acquiring a ship, he reinvents himself as the mercenary Captain Brad Madrid. Before he can pursue his enemies, however, he finds himself dragged into an unexpected conflict when his ship’s history draws new enemies to him.

Beset by pirates, slavers, and a woman who might be his savior—but definitely is a spy—it will take all of his skill, cunning, and new friends to claim his revenge!

Privateer by J.A. SutherlandPrivateer by J.A. Sutherland:

Even with no war on, there are always battles to fight.

A cease-fire in the war with Hanover leaves Lieutenant Alexis Carew on half-pay, in-atmosphere, and with her ship laid up in ordinary until called upon once more for the “needs of the Service.” She was, at least, lucky enough to be in her home star system when here last ship, HMS Nightingale, paid off, unlike much of her former crew.

She’s left to help manage her family lands, though still with no certainty she’ll be allowed to inherit them. It would be a tranquil, peaceful life, if not for the influx of asteroid miners seeking their fortunes, the uncertainties of her inheritance, and the nagging certainty that her current life is not what she really wants.

She’d give anything to command a ship again.

As We Rise: Rogue by Donielle TynerAs We Rise: Rogue by Donielle Tyner:

It’s been 48 days since Jo Cygni’s father died, leaving her the CS Kismet and its crew of space-born misfits. Despite a lifetime of preparation, Jo never thought she would captain her own ship before her 21st birthday.

Broke and determined to prove she is worthy of command, Jo pushes aside her political concerns and accepts a commission from the Galactic Consulate.

The job? Launch a load of sealed crates into a nearby star.

The catch? Don’t open the containers.

 

The Haunted Valentine by J.A. WhitingThe Haunted Valentine by J.A. Whiting:

Lin and her cousin, Viv, stop into a gift shop in Nantucket town and while browsing, Lin sees an antique Sailor’s Valentine.

The valentine, made of tiny beautiful shells, pulls at Lin and she decides to buy it and bring it home.

At times, the object feels hot to the touch and sometimes the shells illuminate and dim in a sequenced pattern. Once in a while, the valentine makes appearances outside the house in places Lin happens to be. A ghost pays a visit, but Lin has no idea what he wants from her or what his link might be to the sailor’s valentine. With the help of her boyfriend and her cousin, Lin works to solve the mystery of the haunted valentine.

This is book 7 in the Lin Coffin Mystery series from USA TODAY Bestselling Author J A Whiting. Although the main mystery is solved in each story, the books should be read in order for the most enjoyment as story threads run from book to book. This story has ghosts and some mild paranormal elements.

Restless Spectres by A. WoodleyRestless Spectres by A. Woodley:

Clara was comfortable around ghosts, she’d been aware of them for as long as she could remember and for the most part, she liked having them around.
She had been thinking of leaving Dan for a while and the ideal opportunity presented itself by way of an inheritance from an aunt that she had no previous knowledge of.

Leaving her job, Dan, and her old life behind, Clara heads for her new home and her new life but she soon finds out that she’s forced to share her home with an unseen, evil presence that clearly doesn’t want her there.

Needing to confront the vicious malevolent spirit or leave her precious new home, Clara tries to carve out a new life, while attempting to rid her castle of the evil presence that threatens to destroy her planned livelihood or her life.

Dead Weapons by Simon Paul WoodwardDead Weapons by Simon Paul Woodward:

Ciaran Richards’ father was a soldier. A hero. But now he’s dead. Or is he?

Ciaran has lost his way. He’s forgotten the boy he was and the man he wanted to become. Worst of all, he’s betrayed his only true friend, Isobel, leading her to a tragic accident.

His estranged brother, Patrick, forces him to carry out one last job for his crew: collecting a stolen gun and delivering it to the gangster Eliza Frost. In return, Patrick reveals a startling secret: somebody faked their father’s death.

When the gun malfunctions, fastening itself to Ciaran’s hand, he’s framed for the murder of two policemen and forced to go on the run. He searches for a way to remove the weapon and find his father, but the police, Eliza Frost and a black ops team of frighteningly modified soldiers are all hunting him and Isobel may be the only person who can help.

Dead Weapons is a young adult, urban fantasy; a story of father figures fair and foul, broken friendships and the fleeting possibility of redemption.

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