Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for Feburary 2015

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

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

Once again, we have new releases covering the whole broad spectrum of speculative fiction. We have hard science fiction, military science fiction, space opera, science fiction romance, paranormal romance, dystopian fiction, post-apocalyptic fiction, horror, weird western, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, young adult fantasy, werewolves, vampires, witches, dragons, ghosts, djinns, magic schools, pirate airships, monkey queens, demon hunters, repentant assassins, erupting super-volcanoes 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:

Exit Ruinland by C.J. AndersonExit Ruinland by C.J. Anderson

2131: PREPARE FOR WAR
Beautiful and impoverished, Lauren Vasquez joined the United States military in her youth. She never expected to witness the destruction of Earth. In the year 2131, nuclear and chemical war fueled by religion obliterates all of civilization. Trapped in underground bunkers Lauren and other survivors face homicidal artificial intelligence and fabricated metal assassins who police their new dystopian reality. An unplanned pregnancy by a sociopath further complicates her situation and Lauren will do whatever it takes to protect her unborn child. She holds on to the dream that her baby will not be formed with the emptiness of the father. Explore a possible future of human and synthetic beings as Vasquez enters, survives, and fights to find an exit from the ruined land. You will question the origin of life and embrace the dreams of androids. This is a powerful story about the mystery of love, the finality of death, and the struggle to find hope in a devastated world. Exit Ruinland contains the first four books in the Ruinland series.

Fairies and Felicitations by Eleanor BeresfordFairies and Felicitations by Eleanor Beresford

Anne has always thought of herself as middling. Middling looks, middling position in the form, middling magical Gift and just a middling curve to the tip of her ears.

Her best friend, Lady Emmeline Eversleigh, commonly known as Kitty, is not middling anything. And when Kitty drags Anne into playing a Saint Valentine’s Day prank of truly wicked–and magical–proportions on one of the prefects, Anne finds herself in more than a middling muddle of trouble.

A stand alone novelette of 10,000 words in the Sorcery and Scholars series.

The In-Betweener by Ann ChristyThe In-Betweener by Ann Christy

Two years ago a new medical nanite advance divided humanity into three types: humans, deaders and the frightening in-betweeners that crave human flesh. Emily’s world has grown quiet and ordered, her day bounded by mornings killing deaders at her fence and nights huddled alone in a warehouse office. She’s begun to believe life will always be this way, alone with the dead or fighting in-betweeners for her life. But even that life is better than the alternative.

Everything changes when one of the deaders at the gate isn’t a deader at all. He’s an in-betweener different from any Emily has seen before…and he has a message.

The In-Betweener is book one of the Between Life and Death series. Book two, Forever Between, will release in March 2015. Book three, Between Life and Death, is scheduled for release in May 2015.

The Between Life and Death series is suitable for ages 16 and up, with occasional violence and mild language.

ShiftofTimeBIGShift of Time by Audrey Claire

Rue Darrow is a newly made vampire, and she’s alone in New Orleans, no boyfriend, no son, and no friends. All she sees is an eternity spent working at menial jobs just to pay the bills, hunting where it’s safe, and holding onto the her flagging human emotions.

Then Rue saves the life of a man in a dark alley. What she didn’t realize was the man was Fae, and the attackers were demons. The grateful Fae wants to hire Rue to get back a treasure that was stolen from him, but he won’t tell her what it is. Rue, who has never been in a fight in her life–before the alley scuffle–is thrust into a new, darker world where there are not only Fae but werewolves, demons, unidentified creatures, and even her old “buddy” Death.

Rue’s not sure if she should take on the job, but well, it beats shift work.

Star Splinter by J.G. CresseyStar Splinter by J.G. Cressey

Lieutenant Callum Harper hadn’t intended on punching his commanding officer quite so hard. But maybe it wasn’t such a bad turn of events. Court-martialed and dumped on a reject raft bound for Earth, Cal feels optimistic about a life where getting blown up, shot, or even eaten is altogether less of a concern. And, more importantly, a life where the only person he’s responsible for is himself.

Unfortunately, fate doesn’t favour the mundane. Crash-landing on a lethal planet, and with technology failing all around him, Cal must take his fellow passengers under his wing in order to survive and unravel the reasons behind their situation.

But the cause is far worse than any of them could have imagined, for theirs is a small part of a much larger crisis. Colonized space is under attack. Humanity is on the verge of chaos. And those who enjoy such anarchy are already beginning to thrive.

Yet Cal and his new companions will discover that mankind isn’t the true threat” – not by a long shot.

Under the Stars of Faerie by Robert DahlenUnder the Stars of Faerie by Robert Dahlen

“You were right about her. She is a hero.”

When a love-crazed gremlin kidnaps pixie waitress Mandy, Michiko Koyama, a.k.a. the Monkey Queen, and her partner in adventure Beth McGill journey to Faerie to rescue their friend. Circumstances force them to ally with the crew of a pirate airship, led by the mysterious Captain Ash. Dangers await them in the sky, on the ground and in their hearts.

And an old enemy waits for them, his trap set and ready to be sprung…and it could mean the end of the Monkey Queen.

This is book 3 of the Monkey Queen series.

81kMye+KhQL._SL1500_The Family Business by Marina Finlayson

Renardo and his brothers are up to their eyeballs in debt, with one last chance to save their merchant business (and their gonads) from the moneylender. The great city of Tebos is holding its Festival of Song in three days’ time, and they have a wagonload of songbirds to sell.

There’s just one large, man-eating problem: the bored sphinx who guards the city’s gates, and her deadly riddle game. Renardo doesn’t even want to be a merchant, but somehow it falls to him to outwit the sphinx. No pressure. All he has to do is come up with an unanswerable riddle.

A short story (4,000 words) for lovers of humorous fantasy.

The Gate by Charlotte GreyThe Gate by Charlotte Grey

When Shannon wakes up in the middle of a forest, confused and disoriented from her sudden and unexpected death, she follows a path that leads to a small, dilapidated town full of silent spirits who repeat the same tasks over and over again, completely unaware of their surroundings. And the worst part? She might be trapped there forever.

She’s alone and terrified until she runs into Ben, a charming but cautious man from Victorian England who’s been trapped in the town since his death in 1894. He tells her she’s the only person who’s spoken to him since he arrived. With his experience and her creativity, will they be able to find a way out of the town and into a better afterlife?

“The Gate” is the beginning of an emotional and haunting story that depicts a budding romance between two people who never met in life, and can only be united in death.

This is Part 1 of a series of novelettes, and is approximately 9,000 words.

Bad Hunting by Kyra HallandBad Hunting by Kyra Halland

Cowboys and gunslingers meet wizards in this high fantasy series inspired by the American Wild West. Silas Vendine is a mage and bounty hunter, on the hunt for renegade mages. He’s also a freedom fighter, sworn to protect the non-magical people of the Wildings from ambitious mages both lawless and lawful. In his line of work, Silas knows to expect the unexpected, but he never expected to end up with a partner like Lainie Banfrey, a young woman born in the Wildings who is both drawn to and terrified of her own developing magical powers.

Silas and Lainie have defeated the dangerous rogue mage who brought Lainie’s hometown to the brink of open warfare. But the town of Bitterbush Springs isn’t big enough for two wizards, or even one, so they’ve hit the trail. Then Silas gets word that another mage hunter down in the dry and desolate Bads is onto something big and needs backup. He and Lainie head into the badlands only to find one mage hunter dead and another one missing… And Silas could be next.

This is book 2 of Daughter of the Wildings, following Beneath the Canyons.

Hondus Pointe by R.D. HendersonHondus Pointe by R.D. Henderson

The first book in a fantasy novella series takes place in the Nether Realm featuring a cadre of rogue black elven intelligence operatives believing black elves should return to the surface to rule the Earth Realm like they did nearly two thousand years ago.

Author’s Note: The word count is 30,043.

 

 

91f-Bes8nlL._SL1500_Rynlee’s Song by Eliza Marie Jones

Rynlee Nalis is a demon hunter. She is a Purator, belonging to an organization who slay demons to serve their King. Even though she’s a candidate to succeed the High Purator, eighteen-year-old Rynlee doesn’t want the responsibility.

Her entire world is turned upside down when Jeynen shows up at the temple that is her school and home. She thought he died five years ago.

And he has no idea who she is.

When an assassin comes for Jeynen and he manages to flee for his life, Rynlee rushes after him. As she tries to discover the truth about him, she stumbles onto an ancient prophecy and challenges those who want to destroy the balance of magic.

Birthright by Tammi LabrecqueBirthright by Tammi Labrecque

At the request of an agent of the Crown, Tyrnill helps investigate a series of unexplained deaths.

This is a novella length sequel to SongHealer.

 

 

 

 

 

Carus & Mitch by Tim MajorCarus & Mitch by Tim Major

Carus is only fifteen but since their mum disappeared, looking after her little sister Mitch is her job. There’s nobody else. Not in their house and not outside, either. There’s something out there, scratching and scraping at the windows.

The barricades will hold.

They have to.

 

 

Chosen by Christine PopeChosen by Christine Pope

It began as a fever of unknown origin that its victims dubbed “the Heat,” but as it burned through most of the world’s population, it became known simply as “the Dying.” And for those left behind, the struggle has just begun….

In the aftermath of the Dying, survivor Jessica Monroe is protected and guided by the gentle voice of an invisible being she thinks of as her guardian angel. When she reaches the sanctuary he’s provided for her, however, she realizes that her unseen companion is no angel at all. The destruction of humanity was only the first step in a much larger plan, and now Jessica must struggle to discover her own role in a frightening new world where everything has changed.

Crone by Jennifer R. PoveyCrone by Jennifer R. Povey

Bruton is a community struggling to survive – and to retain some of the values of the old world. Led by tough former lawyer Helen Locke, it’s a small town where people struggle to remain civilized, to keep their technology and to survive. Until Tom Milkins shows up – and Locke knows he’s trouble right away. When a young scout is brutally murdered, it’s clear that Bruton – and Locke – might have more than they bargained for. Can they keep the light of civilization in a world full of wild children and dangerous, patriarchal men?

This is part 2 of the Silent Years series and the sequel to Mother.

Fire from the Ashes by B.E. PriestFire from the Ashes by B.E. Priest

A DRAGON IS BORN
“Come, Little Dragon. The sun rises, and so must you.”

The Scion King sits Riverdale’s throne.
Rebels mass near the Western Sea.
Having lost everything,
Asher flees to the edge of the broken realm,
where he must find redemption
or die alone.

Book 5 in the Southwind Knights series.

Entropy's End by Chris ReherEntropy’s End by Chris Reher

Ships are disappearing in subspace. Traders, rebels, pirates, and even military vessels are losing their way in the Big Nothing that makes space travel possible. Deep-cover agent Sethran Kada joins the investigation after his own navigator, Ciela, barely escapes the void with her mind intact. It soon becomes clear that this subspace trap is more than some natural phenomenon,

Seth’s search for answers leads him to a brutal penal colony on the brink of revolt, and uncovers a plot to destroy an entire planet. When evidence points to the return of the dangerous subspace entities known as Dyads, Air Command mobilizes to annihilate the threat at any cost.

Seth and Ciela pursue a Dyad who has infiltrated a key research complex where they discover that the inexorable subspace peril will not just threaten a single planet. It will mean the end of interstellar travel and destroy their Commonwealth civilization.

This is book 3 in the Targon Tales – Sethran series.

Suckers by Z. RiderSuckers by Z. Rider

“What we have here is a very high-quality junkie novel that happens to be about a unique case of vampirism.” —Evan Clark, author of Movers

WHEN WORN-OUT MUSICIAN DAN FERRY decides to take a shortcut back to the band’s hotel, he picks the wrong dark alley to go down. Within days of being attacked by a bat-like creature, he becomes consumed with the need to drink human blood. Terrified of what will happen if he doesn’t get his fix–and terrified of what he’ll do to get it–he turns to his best friend and bandmate, Ray Ford, for help. But what the two don’t know as they try to keep Dan’s situation quiet is that the parasite driving Dan’s addiction has the potential to wipe out humankind.

Poignant and terrifying, heartfelt and ingenious, Suckers is a story of sacrifice and friendship in the face of an alien contagion that threatens to destroy humanity.

Finding Faded Light by Jarrett RuschFinding Faded Light by Jarrett Rush

The government has collapsed, RomaCorp is rising in its place, and Weber Rexall threw the first punch in a fight with Roma that he and his friends weren’t ready to finish. With Roma looking for him, he’s fled New Eden for the Outer West, hoping to give his friends time to prepare for an inevitable second round. He just never expected that to take two years.

Scratching out a new life far from home, Rexall thought he had longer to stay out of Roma’s reach. But with a hefty reward on his head, desperate thugs are eager to turn him in, and a relentless Roma security agent he knows all too well has come to bring him back.

Rexall could run again, but RomaCorp won’t stop unless he can finish the fight he started. Yet to do that, he needs more help and resources than the Outer West can offer–and if he fails a second time, there won’t be a third.

This is book 2 of the New Eden Series/Rexall Cycle, following Chasing Filthy Lucre.

My Partner and Me by Hollis ShilohMy Partner and Me by Hollis Shiloh

Being mates makes everything perfect—doesn’t it?

Sean is happy with his mate, Tom. As far as he’s concerned, life is golden. Except for when it isn’t. Their work is dangerous. While Sean’s recovering from his most recent injury, he hears a little girl in his head, calling for help. And his wolf side is acting up: too sensitive, too vulnerable. He needs Tom more than ever, especially when it means facing his family and old wounds. Even if things are never truly right for his wolf side, at least he has a mate who will never leave him…right?

Takes place after My Partner the Wolf

89,000 words. Some angst. Some wolf stuff. Lots of love. Happy ending. (I promise!)

Sexiness level: Medium-ish

Mutineer by J.A. SutherlandMutineer by J.A. Sutherland

Just as Midshipman Alexis Carew thinks she’s found a place in the Royal Navy, she’s transferred aboard H.M.S. Hermione. Her captain is a Tartar, free with the cat o’ nine tails and who thinks girls have no place aboard ship. The other midshipmen in the berth are no better. The only advice she’s offered is to keep her head down and mouth shut – things Alexis is rarely able to do.

This is the sequel to Into the Dark.

 

Outland by Dennis TaylorOutland by Dennis Taylor

When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, it’s up to six university students and their experimental physics project to prevent the end of civilization.

When an experiment to study quantum uncertainty goes spectacularly wrong, physics student Richard and his friends find that they have accidentally created an inter-dimensional portal. They connect to an alternate Earth with identical geology, but where humans never evolved. They go panning for gold and become millionaires overnight, while fantasizing about Nobel Prizes and patents.

Then the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts on Earth in an explosion large enough to destroy civilization and kill half the planet. Richard and his friends have less than an afternoon to get as many people as possible across to Outland before Nebraska is covered in a lethal cloud of ash.

Now Richard finds himself in charge of a disorganized and frightened band of reluctant pioneers, on a world with none of the modern infrastructure that people have come to depend on. Richard has been a loner all his life, and has always wanted to be part of something bigger– but this is far more than he bargained for. If he doesn’t get this right, it’s not just the lives of the people in his care that could be lost– it may very well be the end of human civilization.

Epiphany - The Golding by Sonya Deanna TerryEpiphany – The Golding by Sonya Deanna Terry

A MYSTICAL FOREST
AN ANCIENT PROPHECY
A LOVE THAT SPANS LIFETIMES

First in the two-volume Epiphany series, The Golding is a captivating story-within-a-story that alternates between the work of an 18th-century author and the present-day lives of those who study his book.

Rosetta Melki, part-time tarot reader, struggling sole parent and full-time idealist, begins a reading group to examine a fantasy novel, and discovers the book to be anything but fiction.

The book, written in the 1770s by Edward Lillibridge, is a hidden history that reveals the true beginnings of the global monetary system. Lillibridge’s tale surrounds ancients from a gold-obsessed empire and the sprites they oppress: intuitive clan dwellers whose currency of choice is kindness.

Whether discontent in rich and poor alike will ever make way for the Currency of Kindness, whether anyone can believe enough in humanity’s true ancient history to activate the dawn of a benevolent new era, remains to be seen, but the time-crossing sprites of Lillibridge’s descriptions have set their sights on Rosetta. Their attempts at providing a companion to assist in the quest they have planned for her leads to a clumsy introduction to Matthew Weissler, a feet-on-the-ground finance executive who is disturbed to find he’s being followed by an elf.

It would seem Matthew and Rosetta have nothing in common, and yet the sprites believe if the two work together, a renaissance known as The Silvering will occur. But someone from the empire of the past is intent on preserving Earth’s pattern of pain, and is determined to prevent the sprites from succeeding.

Bone Dry by Cady VanceBone Dry by Cady Vance

Sixteen-year-old Holly Bennett is a comic book nerd, a con artist, and a shaman. Ever since her mom’s mind got stuck halfway between the spirit world and ours, Holly’s been forced to act as the breadwinner of the family. She uses her burgeoning shaman powers to set up fake hauntings and “banish” the so-called ghosts from her wealthy classmates’ bedrooms. For a fee, of course.

But when actual spirits start manifesting, Holly discovers that other shamans have come to town, summoning life-sucking spirits for their own ends. And as her mom’s mind slips further away, Holly has to fight to save her, and the rest of the town, before they get sucked into Lower World permanently.

Sacrificed by Emily WibberleySacrificed by Emily Wibberley

Fifteen-year-old Clio should have never been the Oracle of Sheehan. That power is passed from mother to eldest daughter, and Clio is the youngest of four sisters. But when her entire family is murdered by Mannix, the king’s adviser, Clio is left all alone and heir to a power she never wanted and doesn’t understand.

Hunted by Mannix, Clio seeks refuge in a foreign city where oracles are absolutely forbidden. If she’s found out, she will be sacrificed atop its great pyramid.

Clio has no choice but to win the trust of Riece, an enemy warrior. Despite the growing feelings between them, Clio knows that if he finds out who she really is, he won’t hesitate to kill her.

Clio tries to hide her budding powers, longing to be a normal girl who can fall in love, but the visions she has of Mannix bringing a barbarian army into Sheehan torture her conscience. She alone has the strength and foresight to stop him, but only if she can embrace her destiny and sacrifice everything.

Solstice Magic & Mayhem by Stella WilkinsonSolstice Magic & Mayhem by Stella Wilkinson

It’s the Summer Solstice and it’s a full moon too. Natural Witch Emily Rand has been doing her best to keep her distance from gorgeous Werewolf Aaron Fletcher, but fate has other plans. Fletch’s new pack Alpha has heard of Emily’s powers and is coming for her. He wants to bond his wolf to her witch and make himself the most powerful Werewolf in Britain. Can Emily and Fletch combine forces to outsmart the Alpha before the Solstice magic takes away their choice? Emily has never had great control over her powers and being forced into a battle to stop the Alpha can only result in complete mayhem.

A humorous paranormal romance. Book Three in the Magic & Mayhem series.

Winemaker of the North by J.T. WilliamsWinemaker of the North by J.T. Williams

Sviska is an assassin questioning the sanctity of his lifetime of bloodshed in service to an ancient sect. Perceiving their acts have become random and senseless, he refuses to murder a young child. He wishes to leave his life with the Order, but they have another assignment for him and if he refuses this too, he will be killed.
Sent to an isolated mountain city called Elinathrond, Sviska finds a place where a plague is rampant; a wine used to prevent the ailment has run out. Sviska’s task is to ferment a medicinal wine for the people and it is here he discovers that magic, an extinct force in his lands, is very much alive. But why the Order would send him here to procure this life saving elixir for those they wish dead, confuses him.
In this last refuge for magical peoples, a weakening spell exposes more of them to the sickness with every moment. Rumors are spreading that the city is no longer safe, and a malicious evil is growing beneath the streets. If he fails to procure the wine, Elinathrond faces desolation, but the death of the last winemaker was no accident, and Sviska may be next.

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Seraglio is a bestseller in Italy

Seraglio is one of our perennially most popular titles. It frequently hangs out on a sub-subgenre bestseller list at Amazon.com and has now also hit two top 100 lists at Amazon Italy.

Okay, so I have no idea why Seraglio is classified as a “biography, memoir or diary” in Italy, since it is neither. But then, most of the books in the “biography, memoir or diary” category at Amazon Italy are actually novels. I took a casual look and spotted Joyo Moyes, Stephen King (and not On Writing either), Ian McEwan, Gone Girl and The Little Prince there.

However, being a top 3 bestseller in the action and adventure category is certainly encouraging. Number 1 in that category is Jeffrey Archer’s A Prisoner of Birth, by the way, number 2 is Need to Know, a comedy thriller by fellow indie author Christine Merrill.

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New Shattered Empire novella available: Partners in Crime

It’s been a while (December in fact) since our last new release announcement, but I’ll make up for that with three new release coming up in February.

Let’s start with a new entry in my Shattered Empire space opera series: Partners in Crime features Holly di Marco and Lord Ethan Summerton, who have been the focus of three of the four Shattered Empire stories to date, going on a mission for the Rebellion, a mission that involves robbing a bank. Yup, it’s a science fiction heist story.

Partners in Crime is something of a departure from the other stories in the Shattered Empire series, since it is the first story in the series to feature a male point-of-view character. So if you’ve been wondering just how Ethan is adjusting to his new circumstances or simply wanted to take a peek into his head, here’s your chance. And if you enjoy the Shattered Empire series mainly for its variety of female characters, have no fear. Partners in Crime still contains plenty of Holly and Carlotta as well as new Rebel character Isabelle Kwan and passes the Bechdel test, too.

Oh yes, and if you’ve been wondering about which order my various series go in, I now have a “Series in order” subpage to help you.

Partners in Crime
Partners in Crime by Cora BuhlertThe Premier Imperial Bank of Houshou is the financial institute of choice for the rich and the crooked of the Fifth Human Empire. The bank boosts a two thousand year history of excellent but discreet service and its vaults and computers are thought to be impenetrable.

However, the Premier Imperial Bank of Houshou has not counted on Ethan Summerton and Holly di Marco, ex-aristocrat and ex-mercenary respectively, finding a way to breach its impenetrable security system and redirect the ill-gotten gains stored at the bank to the coffers of the Galactic Rebellion.

On the other hand, Holly and Ethan, whose murdered family was among the select clientele of the bank, have not counted on the Premier Imperial Bank of Houshou‘s rather eccentric idea of good customer service.

For more information, visit the Partners in Crime page.

Buy it for the low price of 3.99 USD, EUR or 2.99 GBP
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, Oyster, Smashwords, Inktera, txtr, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Der Club, Libiro, Nook UK, DriveThruFiction, OmniLit/AllRomance e-books, Casa del Libro, Flipkart, e-Sentral, You Heart Books and XinXii.

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Seedlings hits a bestseller list

On the eve of the release of Partners in Crime, the next novella in the Shattered Empire series (quite literally – I’m only waiting for the book to go live at some of the slower vendors), Seedlings, a previous volume in the series, has hit a subcategory bestseller list at Amazon.com.

 

 

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A holiday bestseller in February

The lesbian holiday romance Christmas Eve at the Purple Owl Café has not yet been our for two months and is already one of our bestselling titles overall.

And in spite of the holiday theme, the story continues to sell, even as Christmas retreats into a faint memory and people are preparing to celebrate Carnival, Mardi Gras, Valentines Day or the Lunar New Year according to tradition and temperament.

Case in point: Christmas Eve at the Purple Owl Café is currently a top 20 bestseller in lesbian fiction at Amazon Australia:

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New Twitter promo images

Inspired by Elizabeth Ann West, I decided to make some Twitter ad banners for my books, starting with the Shattered Empire and the Silencer series.

Here are the images for the Shattered Empire series. The background is a spacy stock image. And in case you’re wondering about that last title, yes, it’s coming soon.

Twitter ad Mercy Mission

Twitter ad Seedlings

Twitter ad History Lesson

Twitter ad: Debts to Pay

Twitter ad Partners in Crime

Here are the Twitter ads for the Silencer series in a somewhat gritty retro style. The background is a public domain vintage postcard of New York City run through a few Photoshop filters:

Twitter ad: Countdown to Death

Twitter ad: Flying bombs

Twitter ad: The Spiked Death

Twitter ad: Elevator of Doom

Twitter ad: The Great Fraud

Twitter ad: Mean Streets and Dead Alleys

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Amazon versus Thalia revisited or Why brick and mortar bookstores are losing customers?

Two year ago on this blog, I compared the quality of service and particularly delivery speed of Amazon and Thalia.de, the online store of Germany’s biggest bookstore chain. Back then, Amazon won that comparison hands down and indeed I only order English language print books from Thalia.de, when I have a discount coupon and the books is a fairly common title from a big publisher.

Nonetheless, I still visit Thalia‘s brick and mortar bookstores, whenever I find myself in the vicinity of one. And if a book catches my eye in the English language section, I usually buy it. Because I like bookstores and I like the browsing experience. Besides, I want brick and mortar bookstores to survive. And so the Thalia chain got quite a bit of my money over the years.

However, after my experience at the Thalia bookstore on Obernstraße in Bremen today, I won’t be shopping there again. Instead, I’ll order online and not at Thalia.de. Continue reading

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Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for January 2015

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

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

January 2015 actually marks the one year anniversary of “Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month”, because we started out in January 2014 with 12 newly released SFF titles. One year on, we have 35 new release, covering the whole broad spectrum of speculative fiction. We have hard science fiction, military science fiction, space opera, science fiction romance, paranormal romance, Steampunk, dystopian fiction, post-apocalyptic fiction, weird western, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, Arthurian fantasy, Asian based fantasy, young adult fantasy, SFnal fairytales, tiem travel, werewolves, vampires, superheroes, magic schools, sirens, super-mathematicians, rogue AIs, warlock hunters and much more. Once again, we also have a broad spectrum of authors hailing from countries as diverse as the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore and Kuwait.

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:

Valen: Warlock Hunter by J.R. ArmstrongValen: Warlock Hunter by J.R. Armstrong

Assan, the greatest city in the known world.

Recently the Mage Wars have been tearing the city apart, but for warlock hunter Aias Valen, the underworld battles that rage through the streets mean coin in her purse, and an opportunity to settle old scores.

As the crime lords pay handsomely for her services, the mages find themselves face to face with their greatest fear – an anti-thaumaturge, a being whose very presence means a quick death to any magic. But Aias’s old enmities continue to push her further into danger. And when someone pushes back, she will find there are greater dangers in Assan than the crime lords.

Restoration by K.S. AugustinRestoration by K.S. Augustin

In politics, is there a place for love?

Van Motaff, renowned philosopher and Rahfonist, is looking ahead to Retirement, but the planetary government has other plans. Something unprecedented has happened—a young, male Rahfoni has been raised by aliens for the past thirty years—and Van has been chosen to restore him to Rahfon society.

Even though the eyes of two worlds are on her, Van thinks the job will be straightforward enough. But when her charge, Eton Abless, is injured, an irate governor interferes, demanding that the young man be neutralised as a potential political threat. Van resists and finds herself falling into a forbidden romance with her student…a romance that may mean the end of her reputation and career, and his permanent exile. As her options narrow, Van is forced to face the conclusion that the only way to save Eton may be to lose him completely.

Pegasi and Prefects by Eleanor BeresfordPegasi and Prefects by Eleanor Beresford

Charley’s final year at Fernleigh Manor is complicated by a runaway pegasus, unwanted Games Captainship, a dangerous new rival and, most of all, falling head over heels in love with another girl. What is a reluctant Senior Prefect to do?

A magical YA school story with a sapphic twist, the first in the Scholars and Sorcery series.

Scholars and Sorcery is a series of young adult fantasy novels set in an alternate version of 1950s England in which elves invaded in the far past, leaving magic and mythical creatures such as fairies and dragons behind them. It features lesbian heroines and a sweet dollop of romance.

Medicine for Ghosts by Adam BishopMedicine for Ghosts by Adam Bishop

It isn’t unusual for an investigative reporter like Jarvis to hear rumours, but a rumour about prisoners who aren’t supposed to exist? Well, that’s another matter entirely. A mysterious, unsigned letter brings Jarvis to the military border town of Daruma with a promise that the story waiting for him there will be a blockbuster. For a young reporter trying to make a name for himself, the appeal is too great to resist. But what Jarvis discovers in Daruma will force him to weigh his duty as a reporter against his obligations as a citizen. What can he, a solitary reporter, do to make his country a better place to live?

Medicine For Ghosts is a short story prequel to the full-length novel The Disillusioners.

Otherworlders by Angela CavanaughOtherworlders by Angela Cavanaugh

When a virus threatens humanity with extinction, the desperate and dwindling number of uninfected seek refuge in a parallel universe. The technology is untested. The other universe is unprepared and one thing is made violently clear: they are not wanted.

As a weaponized, fatal virus mutates and threatens to kill all life forms on Earth, Special Agent Williams and the government conspires to send the healthy away. After space travel and going underground are ruled impossible, all that remains is the theoretical technology of an autistic savant: escaping to a parallel universe. But when they travel to the other dimension, their arrival is met with suspicion and hatred. To evade persecution, experimentation, and to save their lives, the Otherworlders must find a way to escape, survive, and outwit Agent Williams’s murderous double.

Xiao Xiao by Joyce ChngXiao Xiao and the Dragon Pearl by Joyce Chng

Enter the world of Xiao Xiao, daughter of an imperial courtesan, and a fantastical historical Qing China, with dragons and magic and traditions. What happens when her mother adopts a baby girl found in a rice field? What does – can – the green pearl do?

 

 

 

Sacrifice by Stacy ClaflinSacrifice by Stacy Claflin

It’s a new generation of royal vampires.

Alexis’ daughter Eylin is nearly grown, in the beginning of her transformation. Born with the mark of the dragon and placed under a spell as in infant, the young princess finds herself in the middle of an age-old battle between mortal enemies.

Eylin starts to fall for the son of their enemy: the one who kidnapped Eylin years earlier. Pulled between the ties of family and romance, she must decide between two different worlds. Depending on the decision she makes, someone will end up sacrificing their life.

This is book 6 of The Transformed series.

Bitten by A.J. ColbyBitten by A.J. Colby

Being a lone wolf could be Riley’s greatest strength, or her greatest weakness…

After surviving her psychotic ex-boyfriend’s quest for revenge, Riley Cray was ready to settle back into her quiet life and fade into obscurity. The Shepherd of the City, Alexei Cordova, however, has other plans for the lone werewolf. Someone is murdering supernaturals under the master vampire’s protection, and he wants Riley to figure out why.

Relying on the help of her friends and her paltry knowledge of the supernatural world, can Riley discover who the murderer is before Denver is consumed by a war between vampires and werewolves?

Watch out. This bitch bites!

This is the sequel to Hunted.

Vanguard No. 1 by Percival ConstantineVanguard No.1: Come the Exemplar by Percival Constantine

Witness the birth of heroes!

The world has changed. A mysterious event altered the genetic structure of humanity, granting a small percentage of the population superhuman powers. The government has secretly formed a superhero team to deal with threats from potential supervillains. Paragon—telekinetic powerhouse; Zenith—hyper-intelligent AI; Shift—shape-changing teenager; Wraith—teleporting shadow warrior; Sharkskin—human/shark hybrid. Led by the armored Gunsmith, they are Vanguard!

Callum King’s life has fallen apart. He lost his job, his wife left him, and he was about to end it all—when he discovered he possessed the powers of a superman. Now calling himself the Exemplar, he’s declared himself the world’s first superhero, out to prove those who doubted him wrong. But his arrogance far supersedes his good intentions! Can Vanguard overcome their internal strife in order to face their first threat?

From Percival Constantine comes an all-new team of superheroes in the vein of the X-Men and the Avengers!

Teeth by Chele CookeTeeth: The First Bite by Chele Cooke

Medical intern Thomas awakes in a blood-drenched basement and the realisation that his life must change forever. After all, how can he practise medicine when the smell of blood turns him into a vicious killer?

Spencer thinks being a vampire is better than any teen movie made it out to be. Now he must train Thomas and make his mentor proud.

One mistake risks more than either are willing to lose, and a single broken law could turn them from predators to prey.

Providence Unveiled by Selina FenechProvidence Unveiled by Selina Fenech

Just when she is finding herself, Memory is about to lose everything. Home, friendship, family, goals, love… Memory will break all the rules to try and save what is important to her, but her actions are being manipulated by a dark force toward a dark end. Worlds will be broken, love will be stolen, and sacrifices will be made.

In this final novel of the Memory’s Wake trilogy, following Memory’s Wake and Hope’s Reign, the truth will be unveiled.

 

Starship Eternal by M.R. ForbesStarship Eternal by M.R. Forbes

A lost starship…
A dire warning from futures past…
A desperate search for salvation…

Captain Mitchell “Ares” Williams is a Space Marine and the hero of the Battle for Liberty, whose Shot Heard ‘Round the Universe saved the planet from a nearly unstoppable war machine. He’s handsome, charismatic, and the perfect poster boy to help the military drive enlistment. Pulled from the war and thrown into the spotlight, he’s as efficient at charming the media and bedding beautiful celebrities as he was at shooting down enemy starfighters.

After an assassination attempt leaves Mitchell critically wounded, he begins to suffer from strange hallucinations that carry a chilling and oddly familiar warning:

They are coming. Find the Goliath or humankind will be destroyed.

Convinced that the visions are a side-effect of his injuries, he tries to ignore them, only to learn that he may not be as crazy as he thinks. The enemy is real and closer than he imagined, and they’ll do whatever it takes to prevent him from rediscovering the centuries lost starship.

Narrowly escaping capture, out of time and out of air, Mitchell lands at the mercy of the Riggers – a ragtag crew of former commandos who patrol the lawless outer reaches of the galaxy. Guided by a captain with a reputation for cold-blooded murder, they’re dangerous, immoral, and possibly insane.

They may also be humanity’s last hope for survival in a war that has raged beyond eternity.

Bloodrush by Ben GalleyBloodrush by Ben Galley

“Magick ain’t pretty, it ain’t stars and sparkles. Magick is dirty. It’s rough. Raw. It’s blood and guts and vomit. You hear me?”

When Prime Lord Hark is found in a pool of his own blood on the steps of his halls, Tonmerion Hark finds his world not only turned upside down, but inside out. His father’s last will and testament forces him west across the Iron Ocean, to the very brink of the Endless Land and all civilisation. They call it Wyoming.

This is a story of murder and family.

In the dusty frontier town of Fell Falls, there is no silverware, no servants, no plush velvet nor towering spires. Only dust, danger, and the railway. Tonmerion has only one friend to help him escape the torturous heat and unravel his father’s murder. A faerie named Rhin. A twelve-inch tall outcast of his own kind.

This is a story of blood and magick.

But there are darker things at work in Fell Falls, and not just the railwraiths or the savages. Secrets lurk in Tonmerion’s bloodline. Secrets that will redefine this young Hark.

This is a story of the edge of the world.

Noir by Jacqueline GarlickNoir: A Steampunk Fantasy by Jacqueline Garlick

With Urlick (Babbit) imprisoned, awaiting execution for the alleged murder of Professor Smrt, Eyelet (Elsworth) must find her way back through the criminal infested woods, among the blood-thirsty Infirmed, to the forbidden city of Brethren, in time to free him from his fate.

With the help of Crazy Legs, Eyelet overthrows a travelling freak show train on its way into Brethren, planning to use the train to distract the city long enough to free Urlick. Just as they think their luck is about to hold, Eyelet is lured astray by an image from her past. Entering an abandoned factory at the city’s edge, she unearths a series of ungodly secrets, and soon finds herself imprisoned.

With Urlick locked away in the Stone Jug and Eyelet on her way to MadHouse Brink, will C.L. be able to spring both loose in time to save the day? Or will he too, fall prey to the torturous mind of Brethren’s newest Ruler—who is, in fact, a self-appointed heir to the throne.

It appears there is an heir that’s been overlooked. An heir the new ruler is determined to keep secret.

Noir is book 2 of the Illumination Paradox series and sequel to Lumiere.

Electric Blue Butterflies by Irma GeddonElectric Blue Butterflies by Irma Geddon

He’s been in love with her since they were children. She thinks she’s getting married to a complete stranger.

When the wedding night ends in tragedy, the only thing two lovers need is to trust that LOVE KNOWS NO LIMIT—not even death.

—–

Constance has always known her parents would choose a husband for her when she would be old enough to get married—this is part of a long tradition in her family, one she has decided not to fight despite her powerful need for freedom.

When she meets William, her future husband, just one day before the wedding, she falls for him on the spot. He is strikingly handsome, he’s a succesful business man, but most of all, he is completely under her spell and looks at her like she’s hung the moon.

William is killed in a horrible animal attack during the wedding party, before he can be alone and confide in Constance. Trying to cope with the sudden death of her husband, Constance will unearth all of William’s secrets. But, as it turns out, William isn’t gone for good.

Time is running out for William and Constance’s love story—will she find a way to get back the husband she didn’t know she wanted so much?

Division by Lee S. HawkeDivision: A Collection of Science Fiction Fairytales by Lee S. Hawke

From LEE S. HAWKE, author of “The Changeling and the Sun” (published by Ideomancer Speculative Fiction Magazine) comes DIVISION: A COLLECTION OF SCIENCE FICTION FAIRYTALES.

Featuring 7 original, fairytale-inspired science fiction short stories, this collection explores the division between mind, body, technology and humanity.

Includes:

A chronically ill civilian discovers that his immune system may be the key to human survival

A schoolgirl tries to escape her demons through levels of virtual reality

A data analyst falls in love with a software coder during a forced government assignment

A young boy is confronted with a horrifying truth about his constructed world

A jaded medical technician rediscovers the meaning of beauty

A girl scrambles to escape a horrifying alien invasion in a futuristic dystopia, and

A spaceship engineer struggles with the death of her only daughter.

Half Life by S.L. HuangHalf Life by S.L. Huang

Cas Russell is back — and so is her deadly supermath.

Cas may be an antisocial mercenary who uses her instant calculating skills to mow down enemies, but she’s trying hard to build up a handful of morals. So when she’s hired by an anguished father to rescue his kid from an evil tech conglomerate, it seems like the perfect job to use for ethics practice.

Then she finds her client’s daughter… who is a robot.

The researchers who own the ’bot will stop at nothing to get it back, but the kid’s just real enough for Cas to want to protect her — even though she knows she’s risking everything for a collection of metal and wires. But when the case blows up in her face, it plunges Cas into the crossfire of a massive, decades-long corporate espionage war.

Cas knows logically that she isn’t saving a child. She’s stealing a piece of technology, one expensive and high-stakes enough that spiriting it away is going to get innocent people killed. But she has a distraught father on one hand and a robot programmed to act like a distraught daughter on the other, and she’s never been able to sit by when a kid is in trouble — even a fake one.

Screw morals and ethics. All Cas wants to do is save one little girl.

This is the sequel to Zero Sum Game.

Ambassador 3: Changing Fate by Patty JansenAmbassador 3: Changing Fate by Patty Jansen

Fifty thousand years ago, a meteorite hit the planet Asto, giving its Aghyrian inhabitants mere days of notice. Three ships escaped the Armageddon. Two went to the neighbouring planet. The third, a massive generation ship, refused to take on refugees, and then vanished without a trace.

It’s coming back.

Its initial burst of communication caused the outage of the Exchange, the FTL network for transport and communication, but since then the ship has been silent. It jumps about at random, using wormholes it generates with a drive the likes of which no one has seen before.

Meanwhile at the gamra assembly, people jostle to be in the best positions when it inevitably turns up in inhabited space. What the ship wants or whether there is anyone on board no one knows, but diplomat Cory Wilson knows one thing: when it turns up, he must avoid a conflict at all cost.

If only gamra presented a united viewpoint. If only Asto’s army wasn’t keen to get involved. If only the Aghyrians at gamra didn’t do what they do best: manipulate and play games with everyone. While the ship approaches, the delegates bicker, and the time for negotiating is fast running out.

This is book 3 of the Ambassador series, following Seeing Red and Raising Hell.

Mission: Attack on Europa by V.A. JeffreyMission: Attack on Europa by V.A. Jeffrey

The affair on Langrenus now settled, Bob plans to return home. But an urgent cry for help from an old friend interrupts his homecoming. The Big Boss sends him a fleet of newly built fighter ships, seemingly just in time for this new and unexpected mission. Bob brings along a new ally, enlisting him in his growing little band of U-net agents. The new guy is James Jenkins, a.k.a Diamond Dog, a young, hot-shot pilot with smuggling connections and as soon as they set foot on Mars trouble blows up in their faces.

A new city is being built and there will be a final gathering of the Allied Martian Powers. They’ve been planning their long-awaited and perilous mission – to destroy the loyalist alien military base on Europa. Bob and Diamond bring along much needed help to the cause, more than willing to rally to the side of the Alliance of Martian Powers but Bob finds that things are changing faster than he can keep up with and his experience in Langrenus haunts him in more ways than one. On Mars, alliances between humans and aliens are complex, tenuous things and Bob finds that even relationships with one’s allies can be uneasy.

This is book 3 of the Mission series, following Flight to Mars and Lights of Langrenus.

Solace by Therin KniteSolace by Therin Knite

Corina Marion’s father is dead.

Off to a never-ending war as a Red Cross doctor before Corina was even born, Luther Marion has been a constant but increasingly distant presence in his daughter’s life for sixteen years. Damaged pictures. Short letters. And three brief phone calls received before Corina was old enough to walk.

But now, Luther Marion has returned home at last—as a body in a box to be buried. Corina’s mother is devastated. Her small, backwoods town mourns the loss of its local hero.

And Corina…isn’t sure how she feels about the death of a father she never really met.

But when a mysterious old man confronts Corina at her father’s funeral, she finds herself drawn to his impossible offer: a chance to know the now late Luther Marion. And in a moment of uncertainty, Corina makes a choice with consequences she can barely fathom. A choice that sends her to the last place she ever expected to go.

Her father’s hometown. Six hundred miles south.

And twenty-five years in the past.

Knight of the White Hart by Kathryn MarloweKnight of the White Hart by Kathryn Marlowe

Guigemar is a Breton knight who fights alongside King Arthur. His excels in all the courtly arts, save one: he has always scorned love.

Returning home, the knight goes hunting with a friend and shoots a white deer. The arrow bounces back to wound him, too. The doe curses him: the wound will never heal until he meets a woman who will love him truly and suffer for that love like no one ever has ever suffered before.

Mad with pain, he stumbles to the shore where a stunning ship sails him away, despite lacking a crew. He tosses and turns in fevered dreams until he awakes to find the most beautiful woman he has ever seen peering in at him.

And there his real troubles begin.

The Middle Ages: when ‘romance’ meant adventure!

Segue by John MarshSegue by John Marsh

A thousand years after travelling into space, humans have spread across the Milky Way. Ancient platforms maintain stable wormholes, allowing rapid travel between planets tens of thousands of light-years apart. In a union of systems spanning thousands of habitable worlds, huge interstellar companies operate to exploit resources in remote corners of the galaxy.

Segue is a planet on the outer borders of human controlled space, with vast tropical continents covered in steaming jungle, far away from the laws of civilization. Company agent Ves arrives on Segue with a mission to find a missing company manager, and discover how a valuable export is being contaminated. A dangerous boat journey takes her into the dark interior to find answers.

White Seed by Kenneth MarshallWhite Seed by Kenneth Marshall

The White Seed Brings Life to Worlds

Three thousand years ago, the seeds arrived from Earth on hundreds of worlds. The developed ones formed the Network, connected only by radio and laser. Since the time of the seeds, nothing but information has traveled between the stars. Now a starship, The Child of Ambition, is changing that. Her first mission: to explore the dark worlds, the ones that failed.

Kali Hakoian, pilot-astronaut and war hero, thought landing on the super-Earth of Keto would be routine. The emptiest seed world—its global ocean matted with algae and crawling with hurricanes—hides the oldest human ruins. Her crew of scientists: a dreamer, a believer, and a retired assassin. Their hypothesis—self-termination of the seed base.

But when an act of sabotage strands her in the path of a superstorm, she’s forced to escape with the man she trusts the least. They may never find out what happened to the settlers—unless it happens to them. Can she trust her crew enough to find a way out of the darkness?

A Time of Shadows by Monique MartinA Time of Shadows by Monique Martin

It’s been a few months since Simon and Elizabeth returned from their adventure in 1888 London. Jack is back with them and all is as it should be, until a knock on the door changes that. A visitor from the future turns their world upside-down.

Unable to return her to her time, they go to the Council for help, only to discover there are bigger problems afoot. All of the watches have been shut down until a dangerous and secret weapon–a watch that can change any point in time–can be found. Too powerful for anyone to possess, it was hidden. But now the secret’s out, and the mysterious Shadow Council will do anything to get their hands on it.

Simon, Elizabeth and Jack race to find it before the Shadow Council does or it will be the end of…everything.

This is book 8 in the Out of Time series.

Emissary by Melissa McShaneEmissary by Melissa McShane

When unquiet ghosts walk the earth, the servants of Atenas, God of Death, guide them to their final rest in His domain. For six years, Zerafine, priestess of Atenas, and her companion Gerrard have walked the known world, bringing peace to the dead and fair judgment to the living. Hated and feared as a death-bringer by many, Zerafine has never regretted her decision to serve Atenas and never doubted her ability to carry out His will.

Until now.

An unexpected assignment from the Archpriest of Atenas sends Zerafine and Gerrard to Portena, the oldest city in the world, in pursuit of a kind of ghost no one has ever seen before: spirits that vanish before they can be sent to Atenas’s court, appearing and reappearing at random. As emissary of Atenas, Zerafine’s task is to discover the true nature of these ghosts and find a way to bring them peace. But Zerafine’s assignment puts her at odds not only with the rulers of Portena, but with the high priest of another God, and she soon realizes that all is not as it seems in the great city. If Zerafine fails to learn the truth and put these ghosts to rest, it could mean disaster not only for Portena, but for the world.

Siren by Jennifer MelzerSiren by Jennifer Melzer

Siren Talbot’s life is plagued with storms. Her mother’s insanity was the first, though not the last. Called to the ocean, not even the shores of Edisto Island can calm the tempest inside her.

Though she’s settled into a life with Patrick, his promises of a happily ever after can’t still the foul weather of her past or the brewing squall on the horizon. She’s haunted by the disappearance of her first love, Carver, and the lack of answers.

A single clue unlocks mysteries she can’t explain. A murder cements the impossible as possible. The more magic she uncovers, the darker her suspicions become and the more the hurricane inside her starts to rage.

Patrick isn’t the Prince Charming he claims to be.

And he knows exactly what happened to Carver.

The Enchanted Rose by Nadia NaderThe Enchanted Rose by Nadia Nader

When Vivian’s mother dies in a tragic accident, Vivian’s world is turned upside down. Her life, as she knows it, is over. A new life, full of her mother’s secrets, begins…

Sent away by her father to live with two eccentric aunts on the mysterious Tremaine Estate, Vivian comes to learn that a powerful curse lurks over her family – one that only she may have the power to break. With each day she spends in Misty Hills, Vivian uncovers more unsettling discoveries about the town, her reclusive family, and herself.

Can Vivian let go of every truth she’s ever believed and discover who she really is, before the dark secrets hidden within the supernatural town threaten to consume her and those she loves?

Hoarder in the Down DeepHoarder in the Down Deep by Marilyn Peake

It’s against the law to have children without winning the lottery. Implanted with a birth control device as required by law, Evangeline Hubbard, a dirt farmer in the down deep, discovers that implants sometimes fail. But in a world strictly controlled by the authorities, one pays a terrible price for tampering with the established order. Consumed by fear and madness after things go horribly wrong, Evangeline hoards in order to hang onto things. She adds them to the nest she’s building in the down deep.

HOARDER IN THE DOWN DEEP is a novella based on the best-selling WOOL series by Hugh Howey, and was written with his permission. It’s set in the time when Sheriff Holston and his wife Allison had won the lottery, giving them one year to conceive a child. Investigating the case of Evangeline Hubbard, Sheriff Holston and Mayor Jahns are unprepared for what they find. HOARDER IN THE DOWN DEEP explores how psychological issues and emotional pain can lead to hoarding. It also explores the mental strain placed on women who have lost control over their own reproductive processes.

Song of Blood and Stone by L. PenelopeSong of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope

Between love and duty lies destiny

Orphaned and alone, Jasminda is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where she is feared for both the shade of her skin and her magical abilities. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive – an injured spy who steals her heart.

Jack’s mission behind enemy lines nearly cost him his life but he is saved by the healing power of a mysterious young woman. Together they embark on a perilous journey straight into the heart of a centuries-old conflict.

Thrust into a hostile society, Jasminda and Jack must rely on one another even as secrets jeopardize their bond. As an ancient evil gains power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation.

The fates of two nations hang in the balance as Jasminda and Jack must choose between love and duty to fulfill their destinies and end the war.

This adult fantasy romance is recommended for readers 17 and older.

The Future Collection by Beth RevisThe Future Collection by Beth Revis

This collection of short stories by New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis features science fiction tales about the future.

DOCTOR-PATIENT CONFIDENTIALITY: A young woman wakes up in a cryomed ward of a hospital. As she recalls what led to her confinement, she starts to realize just what the consequences of her actions were, and how much time has passed since she was injured.

THE MOST PRECIOUS MEMORY: In a world where memories can be bought and sold as highly addictive drugs, one transaction takes an unusual turn. *Note*: this story was previously published in the Soothe The Savage Beast anthology.

THE GIRL AND THE MACHINE: A man has limited abilities to travel through time, but a cute girl pops up in his life, informing him that her time machine can open the door to far greater powers. But there’s something ominous about it… *Note*: This story is available as an individual short in Amazon.

LAG: A reporter had been chasing down a lead…but after a malfunction in the teleporter she used, she’s forgotten what the lead was. Now she’s searching for clues in her own life to discover what it was she’s missing.

THE TURING TEST: A college student participates in a turing test to see if she can distinguish which of the two subjects is human and which is an android. *Note:* A version of this story is a part of the Special Edition of THE BODY ELECTRIC novel and was previously published in Lightspeed Magazine.

AS THEY SLIP AWAY: A group of artists on a generation space ship that reviles art is given a unique assignment, one that draws one young lady far too close to a possessive man protected by the ship’s government. *Note:* This short story is available free online and is linked to the ACROSS THE UNIVERSE world.

RIGA, AI by Tobias RooteRIGA, AI by Tobias Roote

Her decisions are final, her justice swift, her tolerance of those who would risk the fragile peace is zero.

RIGA,AI is a new kind of heroine set in a future where AIs and humans live alongside each other in a fragile peace. RIGA is a non-human but there is much about her that is unknown, even to her. Her unique composition means RIGA is often ‘the hunted’ in an increasingly dangerous universe where humans, transhumans and artificial intelligence all struggle to survive together.

RIGA’s unique skills make her extremely valuable to the Emporium’s secret service, the ESSG. Trained in the roles of Diplomat, Assassin and Spy, means she has to rely on her unique abilities to keep her alive and one step ahead of her enemies. But, the enemy has plans and RIGA is in their way.

The Fire Mages by Pauline M. RossThe Fire Mages by Pauline M. Ross

Kyra has always been drawn to the magic of spellpages. She is determined to leave her small village far behind and become a scribe, wielding the power of magic through her pen. Halfway through her training, she has a mage as patron and her ambitions are within her grasp. But a simple favour for her sister goes disastrously awry, destroying Kyra’s dreams in an instant.

Devastated, she accepts an offer from a stranger to help her find out what went wrong. The young man sees growing power within Kyra, potentially stronger than spellpages or any living mage. The answers to unlocking that power may lie within the glowing walls of the Imperial City, but its magic is strong and the unwary vanish without trace on its streets. Thirsty for knowledge and desperate to avoid another accident, she feels compelled to risk it.

While she focuses on controlling her abilities, a storm of greed and ambition boils up around her. Kyra is a pawn in the struggle for dominance between unscrupulous factions vying for rule of her country. Trusting the wrong side could get her killed–or worse, the potent magic she barely understands could be put to unthinkable evil.

The Icarus Plot by Jenny SchwartzThe Icarus Plot by Jenny Schwartz

Ivana March runs a very special toy shop in the heart of Victorian London. The last person she expects to see enter it is an earl. Not that she has time to entertain him. Someone is stealing children, and the street kids whisper tales of a “Metal Man”. Ivana must find the monster, rescue the children, and if the earl really wants to help, he can come with her. Only, no one warned her she’d have to venture to places better left unexplored. A good thing, then, that the new Earl of Somer is a noted explorer. When the two of them join forces, what could possibly go wrong?

A short Steampunk novella

The Null by Vincent TrigiliThe Null by Vincent Trigili

He had left that life behind, sworn he would never return to it. He had a new life—a wife, a daughter. He was happy. But in a wretched twist of events, he finds himself forced to reclaim what he once was in order to save those who are most precious to him. Or else…

The Null is a short superhero thriller that would cover approximately 20-25 pages in a traditional paperback.

 

 

Monsters of Elsewhere by Matthew WaldramMonsters of Elsewhere by Matthew Waldram

There is a land – let’s call it Elsewhere – that is in no small amount of trouble. Giant wolves are tearing villages apart, a monster king is bringing his army across the sea to capture the legendary Hall of Glass, and the High Lord has completely disappeared.

Henry Whistler was eight when he got lost at a bus station in Hounslow. There his adventure began. For that was when he met the exiled invisible man, the monster swordsman, and the girl with the bright red hair.

Now a grown-up, Henry’s childhood adventure is a faded memory… until his fiancée vanishes. Until he is drawn into another world. Until he is pursued by a blind assassin – with only a monster and a dead man for company – across a land that is in no small amount of trouble.

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The Big 1000

Early this morning, Pegasus Pulp e-books crossed the 1000 paid sales mark.

Hereby it is notable that it took almost two and a half years to reach the 500 books sold milestone, but only one year and two month to sell another 500 books to reach the 1000 lifetime sales mark. I did notice that my sales have been accelerating over the past year, but seeing the discrepancy in the time required to sell 500 books confirms this.

As with previous milestones, let’s take a look at the sales breakdown according to retailer:

Amazon.com: 42.1%
Amazon UK: 14.7%
Amazon DE: 14.4%
Kobo: 5.5%
B&N: 5.2%
DriveThruFiction: 2.9%
Apple: 2.5%
Scribd: 2.4%
OmniLit/AllRomance: 2.3%
Smashwords: 1.4%
Amazon CA: 1.2%
XinXii: 1.0%
Amazon AU: 0.9%
Weltbild: 0.6%
Casa del Libro: 0.6%
Libiro: 0.4%
Amazon IT: 0.4%
Amazon FR: 0.3%
Page Foundry/Inktera: 0.2%
Feedbooks: 0.2%
Amazon ES: 0.2%
Amazon IN: 0.2%
Amazon BR: 0.2%
Der Club: 0.1%
Buecher.de: 0.1%

These figures confirm a trend I’ve been noticing for a while now, namely that as Pegasus Pulp continues to expand into new markets, the market share of the various Amazons is declining, while the market share of other outlets is growing.

Of the lesser Amazons, UK and DE continue to go head to head. Kobo continues to be my biggest non-Amazon sales channel, followed by B&N (which was slow to take off, but once it did it just kept slugging along) and DriveThruFiction. Apple, which is the No. 2 outlet for many, still isn’t particularly big for me, while OmniLit/ARe continues to chug along. The big surprises for me are Scribd and Smashwords, where my books have been available for less than a year (note that neither channel even shows up in the three-year-anniversary post from last July) and which are going surprisingly well. Scribd has even bypassed ARe by now and is scratching at Apple’s position. XinXii’s market share has dropped to 1%, but then again this is a trend I’ve been noticing for a while (and my XinXii market share was always something of an outlier).

The tiny outlets with under 1% market share include various of the lesser Amazons, the Tolino alliance which makes up 0.8% altogether (much lower than it should be, given their stated share of the German market, but then Tolino is not an indie friendly environment), Spanish retailer Casa del Libro with a surprising 0.6% market share, Libiro, Page Foundry/Inktera and Feedbooks. Coincidentally, the combined market share of the under 1% retailers is 3.3%, putting them ahead of such luminaries as DriveThruFiction, Apple and Scribd. Indeed, the performance of the small retailers confirms the German saying “Kleinvieh macht auch Mist” (Small animals still produce manure).

Now let’s take a look at the sales ranking of our 67 books:

1. Seraglio
2. Under the Knout
3. Outlaw Love
4. Kiss of the Executioner’s Blade
5. Unter der Knute
6. Hostage to Passion and Der Kuss der Richtschwertes (tie)
7. Christmas at the Purple Owl Café
8. Gesetzlose Liebe
9. Mercy Mission
10. The Hybrids and Rites of Passage (tie)
11. Murder in the Family and The Spiked Death (tie)
12. Flying Bombs
13. Christmas Gifts, Countdown to Death, The Butcher of Spain and The Iron Border (tie)
14. Seedlings and The Other Side of the Curtain (tie)
15. The Cork and the Bottle and Kurierdienst (tie)
16. Flights of Madness, Hanging Day, A Bullet for Father Christmas, Overdose, Pissed and Honigtopf (tie)
17. Heartache, The Hidden Castle, New York City’s Finest, The Great Fraud and Familienkutsche (tie)
18. Debts to Pay, History Lesson and Mean Streets and Dead Alleys (tie)
19. He never brings me flowers…, Insomnia, Payback Time and Die Liebe in den Zeiten des Frischkornmüslis (tie)
20. Family Car, He has come back to me, Letters from the Dark Side, Old Mommark’s Tale, Thirty Years to Life, Last Minute Geschenke and Reiche Beute (tie)
21. Acacia Crescent, Cartoony Justice, Elevator of Doom, Muse and Crisis, Love in the Times of the Macrobiotic Müsli, Courier Duty and The Apocalypse Protocol (tie)
22. Dream Job, Honeypot, Open Season, Paris Green, The Dark Lily and Auf der anderen Seite des Vorhangs (tie)
23. Bank Job, Boardwalk Baby, Demolition, Loot, Seeing Red and Whaler (tie)

Once again, the trends I’ve noticed before continue and indeed the top spots have hardly changed and all go to historical romances/historical adventure fiction that have been out for quite a long time now. These books no longer sell as well as they did, but they continue to be good for a handful of sales every month, which makes for some nice numbers. Once again The Butcher of Spain, which has been out for more than three years now, is the big outlier, the story that just doesn’t sell very well, even though it’s actually my favourite among the historicals. Hanging Day is the lowest ranked historical, but then it has been out for less than a year and there are signs that it is settling into a similar sales pattern as the others.

The big surprise here is Christmas Eve at the Purple Owl Café, which already sits at No. 7 in the all-time sales chart, even though it is our newest title and has been out for less than a month now. I put this down to the double sales whammy of holiday story (my three holiday stories sit at No. 7, 13 and 16 respectively) and lesbian fiction (my three lesbian stories sit at No. 3, 7 and 16). Coincidentally, one of those lesbian stories, Pissed, outsells the collection Flights of Madness in which it is included. Interestingly, all of my top 8 titles are standalones, countering the traditional indie wisdom that series are the way to go.

Regarding my series, Mercy Mission, the first story in the Shattered Empire series, continues to do well and currently sits at No. 9 with additional installments of the series at 14 and 18. Interestingly, Shattered Empire is also the only series which people seem to read in the intended order, judging by the sales ranks.

The Silencer series still has solidly middling sales ranks with book 3 (The Spiked Death) selling the most and book 4 (Elevator of Doom) selling the least. I was never all that happy with the cover for Elevator of Doom, though I doubt that’s the reason. I still love the Silencer series, but I guess retro-style pulp thrillers just don’t sell all that well and what fanbase this genre has probably not yet transitioned to e-books.

My newest series, the Helen Shepherd Mysteries, does quite well, considering the first book been out for only 6 months. The time around, the first book The Cork and the Bottle actually sells best, followed by books No. 2 and 5. Meanwhile, book No. 3 (Bank Job) is the lowest selling of the series. Again, I have no idea why so many people seem to prefer to read the series out of order, even though there isn’t a whole lot of internal continuity and the stories largely stand alone.

My two forays into the world of post-apocalyptic fiction, The Hybrids and The Iron Border, continue to do well. Murder in the Family, my collection of short crime fiction, has gotten something of a boost, likely due to the relative success of the Helen Shepherd Mysteries.

The low sellers are also the same as always, crime shorts that can also be found in Murder in the Family and quirky, hard to classify stories such as Cartoony Justice, The Apocalypse Protocol, Letters from the Dark Side and Love in the Times of the Macrobiotic Müsli.

My 1960s spy adventure The Dark Lily still barely sells for reasons I simply cannot fathom, especially since the sequel The Other Side of the Curtain (though not in German, even though the story is actually set in Germany) sells okay. Though I’m probably not going to continue the series anytime soon, unless I’m ambushed by a storyline.

And absolutely no one likes Whaler. Come to think of it, I don’t particularly like it myself, though the story does exactly what I wanted it to do.

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Indie Publisher Mega Bundle

Here at Pegasus Pulp Publishing, we are big fans of DriveThruFiction and particularly of their bundling option. We already offer several series and theme e-book bundles at DriveThruFiction and also participate in multi-author/publisher bundles, if the opportunity arises.

And so Mercy Mission, the first novella in our Shattered Empire series, is now available at a drastically reduced price in the Indie Publisher Mega Bundle, together with fiction by Nicholas Andrews, T.M. Bilderback, Max Booth III, Percival Constantine, Robert Dahlen, Julie Ann Dawson, Sarah Ettrich, Edward M. Grant, Tess Mackenzie, Scott Marlowe, Landon Porter, Joe Vasicek and Misti Wolanski.

The bundle covers a broad spectrum from space opera via dystopian and post-apocalyptic science fiction via steampunk via horror via urban fantasy via epic fantasy all the way to time travel romance. The bundle has a retail value of almost 60 USD, but is available at DriveThruFiction for only 21.99 USD.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your bundle now!

Indie Publisher Mega Bundle

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