Two new Thurvok stories available: The Bleak Heath and The Cave of the Dragon

Yes, this is another new release announcement. But first, I also have a promo to announce. Cause Dave of Double-Cross Lit is running another of his two-genre promos. This time around, the theme is “Questions & Answers” and the genres are science fiction and mystery. You can get thirteen e-books, two of them mine, all for 99 cents. For a list of all participating books, visit the Double-Cross Lit website.

And now for the new release announcement. It’s another double announcement for the last two stories in the Thurvok sword and sorcery series to date. Both stories have actually been out since late April, but certain stores were dragging their feet getting the books up, so I’m officially announcing them only now.

The Bleak Heath, the first of the two new (well, sort of) Thurvok stories, starts where the previous story The Forest of the Hanged left off, with Thurvok, Meldom and Sharenna on the run after saving Meldom’s childhood sweetheart Lysha from the gallows. Their flight takes them to the titular Bleak Heath, where they find even more danger. And this time around, Sharenna and Lysha get to rescue Thurvok and Meldom.

The Bleak Heath is the longest Thurvok story to date and the only one which was not written during the 2018 July short story challenge. Instead, The Bleak Heath was inspired by a hiking daytrip to the Lüneburger Heide, a heath landscape that is a popular hiking and holiday destination in North Germany. I usually visit the Lüneburg Heath once a year in late August or September, when the heath is in bloom. You can see some photos of previous visits here, here and here. The Lüneburg Heath can be rather bleak at the best of times, but last year, it was even bleaker than usual due to the extremely hot and dry summer of 2018. It is also a landscape that has inspired many writers and artists, most famously Hermann Löns. I had always planned to write a story set on the Lüneburg Heath one day. And then last year, as I was hiking across the heath, Thurvok and his friends were still very much on my mind – after all, the July short story challenge had ended only a few weeks before. And so I thought, “Why don’t I send Thurvok and his companions trudging across the heath?”

So prepare to follow Thurvok, Meldom, Sharenna and Lysha, as they dare to cross…

The Bleak Heath
The Bleak Heath by Richard Blakemore and Cora BuhlertThurvok the sellsword and his companions Meldom, thief and occasional assassin, and the sorceress Sharenna are fleeing across the Bleak Heath after saving Meldom’s childhood sweetheart Lysha from the gallows. Weary and exhausted, they are relieved to come upon a hut on the heath. But what they find inside that hut may well be more dangerous than the heath itself.

This is a novelette of 10500 words or approx.. 35 print pages in the Thurvok sword and sorcery series, but may be read as a standalone. Includes an introduction and afterword.

 

More information.
Length: 10500 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, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Playster, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, e-Sentral, 24symbols and XinXii.

The second new Thurvok story, The Cave of the Dragon, is the chronologically last (at least for now), but it was actually written before The Bleak Heath, during the 2018 July short story challenge, where the aim was to write a short story per day in July 2018.

Like many other July short story challenge stories, The Cave of the Dragon was inspired by a piece of fantasy art, namely this one. And yes, I know what you’re thinking. “But there is no dragon in the picture.” And indeed there isn’t (which I had completely forgotten about, until I looked up the picture again to make a link). But as I was writing the story, I obviously decided that it worked better with a dragon than with an evil wizard.

The banter at the inn is almost unchanged from the original draft, by the way, which shows that by this point I had gotten to know Thurvok and his friends very well. And yes, in the space of a week or so, the Thurvok stories shifted from a solo adventurer a la Conan via a pair of adventurers a la Fafhrd and Gray Mouser to an ensemble cast. I actually like them better this way, though in retrospect I maybe should have come up with a different series name.

So follow Thurvok, Meldom, Sharenna and Lysha as they venture into…

The Cave of the Dragon
The Cave of the Dragon by Richard Blakemore and Cora BuhlertThurvok, the sellsword, is enjoying a meal with his friends, Meldom, thief, cutpurse and occasional assassin, the sorceress Sharenna and Lysha, Meldom’s sweetheart whom the adventurers saved from the gallows, when a peasant woman asks them for help. Her young daughter Tali has been chosen to be sacrificed to the dragon that terrorises the area.

Thurvok and his friends want to help her and save Tali. But slaying a dragon is difficult, not to mention dangerous.

This is a short story of 4500 words or 18 print pages in the Thurvok sword and sorcery series, but may be read as a standalone. Includes an introduction and afterword.

More information.
Length: 4500 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, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Playster, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, e-Sentral, 24symbols and XinXii.

Will there be more Thurvok stories in the future? I’m pretty sure there will be, because I enjoy those characters and like telling their stories. As for Richard Blakemore, he is a pulp fiction writer and used to writing whatever is in demand. Though for the moment, he’s busy fighting crime and penning new Silencer adventures. He’s also considering moving into science fiction, because it’s getting popular, especially with that new editor over at Astounding Stories, and Richard is always eager to try something new.

As for me, next up is Honourable Enemies, a new In Love and War space opera novel, as well as a new adventure for Two-Fisted Todd Donovan. And then, who knows?

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

Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for April 2019

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

So what is “Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month”? It’s a round-up of speculative fiction by indie authors newly published this month, though some March 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, urban fantasy, historical fantasy, Asian fantasy, sword and sorcery, paranormal romance, paranormal mystery, science fiction romance, space opera, military science fiction, science fantasy, post-apocalyptic fiction, dystopian fiction, steampunk, weird western, LitRPG, magical realism, horror, witches, dragons, superheroes, princesses, androids, airship pirates, space pirates, starships, crime-busting witches, grim reapers, necromancers, shadow hunters, space admirals, outcast marines, post-apocalyptic sheriffs, wild west mages, horde kings and their brides, 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:

Wireless and More Steam-Powered Adventures by Alex AcksWireless and More Steam-Powered Adventures by Alex Acks:

Captain Marta Ramos, the most dangerous pirate in the Duchy of Denver, is back and she and Simms are up to their goggles in trouble. Has General del Toro found a way to use the Infected as an army and can Captain Ramos work with her arch enemy, Colonel Geoffrey Douglas, to stop him? Can Simms join forces with the devious Deliah Nimowitz on a jailbreak, some sewer misadventures AND a high society soiree involving tea, a heist and sausages? And what about the Rail King and his nefarious plans? Can Captain Ramos and her crew stop him before he completes his latest dastardly deed, one that may result in Deliah’s demise? Check out the next installment of the exciting adventures of Captain Ramos and her valiant crew to find out more!

Wireless picks up where Murder on the Titania and Other Steam-Powered Adventures with 3 linked novellas, all set in or near the Duchy of Denver, in an American West that never was.

“Blood in Elk Creek” – When Captain Marta Ramos’s aeroplane is shot down over hostile territory, she has to work with her nemesis, Colonel Geoffrey Douglas, head of the Duke of Denver’s security division, to try and stop General del Toro’s plot to spread the dreaded Infection throughout the Plains tribes, thereby creating a monstrous private army. And the clock is ticking when Marta contracts the Infection too.

“Do Shut Up, Mister Simms” – While Marta is off having adventures, Simms involuntarily signs up for one of his own. He and the crew have to join forces with the lovely Deliah to break a crewmember out of the Duke’s prison. Then it’s off to visit two of Simm’s least favorite things: the city sewers and a high society tea party, whilst serving as Deliah’s escort. Make that three of his least favorite things.

“Wireless” – Marta returns from the Plains a changed woman and Simm’s plan to cure her gets Deliah kidnapped. Now the crew is racing against time to rescue her and stop the Rail King from executing his latest dastardly plan, with some help from some new and unexpected allies.

A Cold Spell by Stacey AlabasterA Cold Spell by Stacey Alabaster:

It’s a cold day in… Well, you know the saying

Ruby Swift is learning to use her paranormal powers and how to solve mysteries as a private investigator. Sometimes together. When a freezing spell goes wrong, she’s suddenly got more to worry about than just a murder investigation.

A Cold Spell is part of the Private Eye Witch Cozy Mystery series. If you like fun paranormal mysteries, you will love Ruby Swift and her magical adventures.

Get A Cold Spell and start solving your next supernatural mystery today!

The Admiral by Odette C. BellThe Admiral by Odette C. Bell:

The battle for the galaxy starts now.

Lara Forest is a simple cadet in the Galactic Coalition Academy – or so she thinks. When she decides to quit, circumstances force her to reconsider. A hand from her future reaches through the past, and it a brings a war.

Soon Lara is thrust head-first into a battle for the Milky Way, not just in this time, but forever. She’s not alone. The meddlesome golden-boy Cadet Nok is with her. She might not appreciate his help now – one day, she will. But that depends on one thing – time. From now on, everything and everyone will depend on it.

The Bleak Heath by Richard Blakemore and Cora BuhlertThe Bleak Heath by Richard Blakemore and Cora Buhlert:

Thurvok the sellsword and his companions Meldom, thief and occasional assassin, and the sorceress Sharenna are fleeing across the Bleak Heath after saving Meldom’s childhood sweetheart Lysha from the gallows. Weary and exhausted, they are relieved to come upon a hut on the heath. But what they find inside that hut may well be more dangerous than the heath itself.

This is a novelette of 10500 words or approx. 35 print pages in the Thurvok sword and sorcery series, but may be read as a standalone. Includes an introduction and afterword.

The Cave of the Dragon by Richard Blakemore and Cora BuhlertThe Cave of the Dragon by Richard Blakemore and Cora Buhlert:

Thurvok, the sellsword, is enjoying a meal with his friends, Meldom, thief, cutpurse and occasional assassin, the sorceress Sharenna and Lysha, Meldom’s sweetheart whom the adventurers saved from the gallows, when a peasant woman asks them for help. Her young daughter Tali has been chosen to be sacrificed to the dragon that terrorises the area.

Thurvok and his friends want to help her and save Tali. But slaying a dragon is difficult, not to mention dangerous.

This is a short story of 4500 words or 18 print pages in the Thurvok sword and sorcery series, but may be read as a standalone. Includes an introduction and afterword.

he North Star by Killian CarterThe North Star by Killian Carter:

An ancient alien race, a sentient monkey, and epic battles.

Jason Grimshaw has one job…

Get the cadets to Colony 115.

Just another day. Just another milk run. Or so he thought.

When scanners pick up an unidentified alien vessel, it’s already too late.

With his ship blown out from under him, and his crew scattered across a war-torn planet, his day just keeps getting better.

The good news is, one of the pilots survived. The bad news is, it’s the biggest pain in his ass, and she’s stranded miles away.

When Clio Evans said she wanted to fly, crash-landing a starship wasn’t what she had in mind.

She may not be the most experienced Fleet pilot, but she sure as hell has a few tricks up her sleeve, and with an army standing between her and the rest of her crew, she’ll have to pull out all the stops, even if it means exposing a secret that’ll see her hanged for treason.

You’ll love this military science fiction adventure with a twist, because who doesn’t love overbearing Commanders, cocky redheads, and aliens with guns?

Battle Royale Online by Victor DeckardBattle Royale Online by Victor Deckard:

It is 2053 and Earth is overpopulated. People desperately struggle for existence. Human life is extremely cheap nowadays.

As a way to deal with the dire effects and problems of the overpopulation, Battle Royale Online has been invented. It is a virtual reality video game where up to one thousand players kill one another off until there is only one survivor in the game. The gaming pods players use to connect to the game are unofficially called players’ coffins. There is a good reason for that: if one gets killed in the game, his or her pod gets deactivated, which results in the player’s death in real life. The sole winner of the game gets a huge amount of prize money.

Jason, a twenty-two-year-old guy, would never have decided to play Battle Royale Online had his mom not gotten in a car crash, which caused a brain tumor. She is in a comatose state and needs immediate surgical intervention. Jason doesn’t have enough money to pay for the surgery. Therefore, he decides to play Battle Royale Online.

Jennifer, his girlfriend, tries to reason with him. She tries to persuade him not to play the game because the odds of being the last player standing in this game are extremely slim. She also warns him that there may be cheaters and hackers in the game. Yet her pleas fall on deaf ears.

Later on, Jason finds out that Jennifer is going to play the game as well. Jason freaks out over her decision because there is no way they both can win the game. Even if they against all the odds defeat the other players, cheaters, and hackers, and make it to the final stage of the game, it won’t let them both leave the game alive. Jason has no idea what Jennifer was thinking when she decided to play the game as well. How the heck are they both going to win the game if there can be only one survivor?

Captive of the Horde King by Zoey DravenCaptive of the Horde King by Zoey Draven:

She made a deal with the Dakkari devil. Now, he owns her.

On the unforgiving planet of Dakkar, I did what all the humans in our village did: kept my head down, worked to provide for my family, and I certainly didn’t break any Dakkari laws to risk inciting the alien race’s merciless wrath.

Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for my brother and one careless mistake brings a horde of the nomadic, barbarian Dakkari straight to our doorstep, led by their powerful horde king—a cold, ruthless, battle-scarred warrior demanding retribution.

In order to save my brother’s life, I do the unthinkable.

I sell myself to the horde king as his war prize. I agree to warm his furs, to travel with his horde across the wild lands of Dakkar, and to never see my family again.

But as I struggle with my new reality, I discover that the surly, mysterious, dominant horde king never intended for me to be his concubine…

He wants me as his queen.

Reaper's Crossroads by Timothy EllisReaper’s Crossroad by Timothy Ellis:

“The only one enjoying himself in there is the grim reaper.”

The Crossroad system is a battleground.

The Keerah only want to conquer. The Ralnor want control. The Trixone want new eating grounds.

All of them want what they think Jon Hunter has.

Jon is fighting a war on seven fronts, while trying to stay out of politics and diplomacy at home.

As the death toll mounts, Jon is confronted with options, all of which carry an unacceptable body count.

And in the midst of it all, old choices suddenly have consequences.

In the middle of everything, lies the Reaper’s Crossroad.

Princess of Wind and Sea by Cassandra FinnertyPrincess of Wind and Sea by Cassandra Finnerty:

In 1773, the prince and princess travel across the globe on a series of secret missions.
Along the way, they run into unexpected dangers.

Aisling’s magical abilities are increasing, but dark forces who seek to destroy her powers are hunting them.

The prince must protect her at all costs, as they fight for survival and abiding love.

If you like fantasy, action-adventure and romance, you’ll love this novel by Cassandra Finnerty.

No Planet for Good Men by M.R. ForbesNo Planet for Good Men by M.R. Forbes:

Earth. After the invasion.

The planet is in ruins. Humankind struggles to survive.

Hayden is a Sheriff in a world without law. A good man in a world gone bad. He knows the fallout of an alien attack when he sees it. He’s never seen anything like this before.

Isaac is a Marine in a world without order. A good man with troubles of his own. His mission was to protect the innocent, including his son. Instead, he’s the only survivor.

Two good men. Two frightening discoveries. Two paths to one inescapable truth:

The invasion may be over, but the real fight is just beginning.

Safe Passage by Rachel FordSafe Passage by Rachel Ford:

Go big or go home. For privateer Captain Magdalene Landon, it’s all about going big. For Kay Ellis, it’s about getting home. Together, they’re about to architect the most daring heist in the galaxy.

Kay knows too much. She knows it’s a matter of time before a Conglomerate hitman finds her. She’s desperate for safe passage back to Union space.

Then Magdalene shows up, promising a way home in exchange for that information. It’s a risky bet, but Kay is out of options. So she strikes a deal: the heist of the century for her freedom.

Kay is playing a dangerous game, and she knows it. She’s made herself Enemy Number One of the Conglomerate. She’s relying on privateers for her safety. It’s a fool’s game. But the worst part is, her fool’s heart is starting to warm to the enigmatic captain. And that’s a risk for which she hadn’t planned.

Nefarious by Chris FoxNefarious by Chris Fox:

Every victory comes with a price

Krox’s assault on Shaya has been foiled, but the cost was bitter. Ternus lies in ruins, its gravity doubled by a god. Shaya is a paradise, but one populated by a mere handful of survivors. Only one power strong enough to oppose Krox remains… The Last Dragonflight.

Aran and his Outriders travel to Virkon to wake Virkonna, praying that she will join the war on their side. But neither Krox nor Nebiat is the true threat. Nefarius’s rebirth has been carefully orchestrated, and is finally at hand.

When the dust settles gods will die. Heroes will be slain. The sector will never be the same.

Origin by Rhett GervaisOrigin by Rhett Gervais:

He was told he would use his powers for truth and justice…

Instead, Bobby has been given an impossible task…Hunt down and execute some of the most powerful superhumans in existence.

When his entire team of heroes goes rogue and begins committing acts of terror, he is ordered to bring his friends to justice.

But every encounter with his former allies bring up questions that can’t be answered, doubts begin to surface, and he is forced to make the terrible choice between duty and friendship.

Demon's Carnival by T. Thornton GrayDemon’s Carnival by T. Thornton Gray:

The promise of fun and thrills arrives with the rides and amusements atop the trucks of the traveling carnival. But beneath the balloons and lights lurks a foreboding monster seeking only to fulfill his darkest desires. The powerful and twisted desires of perverted mind that seeks the young and the pretty to use like play things. To use and destroy. To feed a never-ending desire for an unhinged ecstasy.

Join Bilbo the Clown and the good nun Sister Sledge, as they are again thrust into the icy demonic grip of evil. An evil unlike any they have yet encountered. This time Bilbo has met his match in more ways than you can imagine when he reaches the Demon’s Carnival.

Jess, Redemed by D.M. GuayJess, Redeemed by D.M. Guay:

Jess Flowers is the sole surviving guardian, sworn by oath and fate to protect the residents of the sleepy, isolated town of Salt Creek. But she’s failing. Innocent blood has been shed. Despite Jess’ best efforts, the killing hasn’t stopped. Bodies are piling up, and the other two guardians are dead, murdered by a killer who’s always one step ahead, always just out of reach.

Jess is a theikos, a race of people born with superhuman gifts, a race of people who have hidden safely in Salt Creek and isolated communities just like it for centuries. But the safe days are over, and time is running out.

The fate of the town and the lives of Jess’ friends, her family, and her one true love are on the line as a frightening truth suddenly becomes clear: The killing won’t stop until all the theikos are dead, driven to extinction. Someone has discovered their secret and is hunting them. The killer knows who they are, what they can do, and exactly where to find them.

Book Haven and Other Curiosities by Mark Allan GunnelsBook Haven And Other Curiosities by Mark Allan Gunnells:

An eclectic mix of tales to entertain and engage the imagination!

Come peruse the dusty shelves of BOOK HAVEN. Scan the titles, study the strange trinkets that are lined up on display. Maybe pull aside the cobwebs and run your fingers alone the spines of the books, caress the artifacts. You will find many forgotten treasures and un-mined gems among the debris.

From the author of Flowers in a Dumpster comes a new collection of short stories to terrify you, to move you, to make you think. In the spirit of High Cotton by Joe Lansdale, Trigger Warnings by Neil Gaiman, and Skeleton Crew by Stephen King, this short story collection offers an eclectic mix of Horror, Scifi, Fantasy, and drama.

  • -The title novella features a futuristic landscape where the world’s literature has been lost, and a group of government agents are on the hunt for the mythological Book Haven, a vast secret library.
  • -In “C U Soon,” a girl dies in a car accident while texting with her boyfriend, but after her funeral he continues receiving mysterious messages from her.
  • -In “The Man Who Watched the Ocean,” a man mourning the loss of a past love decides to try and join her.
  • -In “Tanner” a man purchases a used tanning bed in which someone once died and finds that houses aren’t the only places that can be haunted.
  • -In “Human Bones in a China Cabinet,” a young man has an unusual collection hidden away in a china cabinet
  • -In “The Sandbox,” a friendless boy playing in a sandbox encounters a strange yet familiar old man who shapes the course of his life
  • -In “The Farm,” a horror fan visits the location of a cult classic

Some of what you find will be dark and suspenseful, some beautiful and haunting, but all of it is yours for the taking. We’re so glad you found your way here and welcome you inside BOOK HAVEN.

Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.

Mages' Exile by Kyra HallandMages’ Exile by Kyra Halland:

Their children hunted. Their home seized. Their land threatened.

Once, Silas and Lainie Vendine, former bounty hunters turned renegade mages, had a home and ranch of their own and a position of respect in the town of Prairie Wells.

Now, mage-hating foreigners have driven them from their home. But the Chardonikans want more than Silas and Lainie’s ranch. Though they deny that magic exists, the foreigners are after Lainie and the children, Wildings-born of mage blood.

When their retreat from Prairie Wells turns into a flight for their lives, Silas and Lainie seek refuge in the forbidden canyonlands. But it isn’t only their family who are threatened by the ruthless, powerful Chardonikans; all the mages who make the Wildings their home and even the very magic of the Wildings itself are endangered.

With the Chardonikans intent on tearing their family apart, Silas and Lainie must find allies and discover the true nature of their enemies if they are to have any hope of fighting back and protecting the people and magic of the Wildings.

Mages’ Exile is the second book of Defenders of the Wildings, a follow-up series to the western-inspired fantasy series Daughter of the Wildings. It is a self-contained series and can be enjoyed even if you haven’t read Daughter of the Wildings.

Burning Horizon by T.M. JamesBurning Horizon by T.M. James:

Nicole Greene is brought onto Earth’s first interstellar ship – the last place she ever wanted to be.

Completely out of her element, and with more questions than answers, Nicole finds herself surrounded by the best and brightest scientists that ever lived… a crew that soon begins to exhibit increasingly bizarre, frightening behavior. Not knowing who she can trust, Nicole soon discovers a dark secret aboard the ship… a secret that will ultimately leave the fate of mankind in her hands.

But, unfortunately for her – the only way to save mankind is to save herself first.

Shadow Hunter by B.R. KingsolverShadow Hunter by B.R. Kingsolver:

When my magic manifested at puberty, my parents sold me to the Illuminati. The Order of the Illuminati trained me as an assassin, spy, and thief. But when they sent me to steal a magical artifact that reveals Truth in all things, I discovered that I was working for the Dark and not the Light. The Illuminati trained me well, and paid the ultimate price for their deception.

Thousands of miles away, I landed a job in a quirky little bar. But the scattered remnants of the Order still strive for world domination, and no one leaves the Illuminati alive.

Only the Quiet by Amanda M. LeeOnly the Quiet by Amanda M. Lee:

Izzy Sage is settling into her new life despite the pall hanging over her past.

While the memories of the catastrophe that took her parents when she was a child remain elusive, she finds she’s comfortable in her new environment … even though she happens to have taken up the same position her father held when he was killed.

She’s the new death gate operator, which means she’s in control when souls are ferried to the other side. She literally controls death … and it’s not a comfortable spot to be in.

Her only problem is a man … and it’s not something she thought she would be facing because romance was supposed to be off the table.

Braden Grimlock isn’t exactly known for being mature and grounded, but there’s something about Izzy that calls to him. He can’t stay away. The feeling only grows stronger when a group of deaf students tour the aquarium located on top of the death gate … and the teacher drops dead in the middle of a blackout.

Right away, Izzy senses something is wrong … other than the obvious, that is. She simply can’t figure out what sort of opponent she’s facing.

The past is about to meet the present as a long-hidden secret grabs Izzy by the throat and demands answers. There’s a malevolent spirit on the loose and he has designs on escape from Belle Isle. The havoc he could wreak if freed is immeasurable.

It’s up to Izzy and Braden … and the rest of the Grimlocks … to figure out what’s happening and stop a horrifically determined ghost from claiming an innocent life. It’s going to take all of them working together … and if a little romance gums up the works, they’re simply going to have to deal with that, too.

Izzy is a powerful Bruja. Even she might not be strong enough to face the horror of what’s to come, though.

Ramshackled by Erynn LehtonenRamshackled by Erynn Lehtonen:

Some rules should be broken.

The dragons are gone, but their ki remains within the fabric of the world, and only those with the knowledge to access it might use its power. For centuries, the Genshu family has supported the Seiryuu Emperors, Empresses, and Shoguns during periods of war and prosperity. Now they would see their line of warriors and majyu put to an end.

But twin brothers Masanori and Hidekazu Genshu have other plans.

To the eye of the public, they dutifully follow their parents’ demands and don’t learn how to fight. But in the early hours of the morning, far from home, they practice in secret. Until the day Tsukiko City is attacked, a woman is kidnapped, and life returns to normal without a second thought.

The day Masanori and Hidekazu realize they can’t sit on the sidelines any longer.

Masa and Hide’s journey begins in Ramshackled, the first of four novellas prefacing the Wyvern Wars series: an epic fantasy adventure inspired by selections of Japanese mythology and folklore.

Captive Embers by Brian MansurCaptive Embers by Brian Mansur:

The humans wage war across space.

But who is the real enemy?

Mykonian fleet Operative Rafe Hastings has spent several tours around Belia trying to keep weapons traffickers from tearing the local space habitats apart. He’s eager to go home when an informant passes him dire news about an infamous cartel boss named Lilith. Not only has she acquired nuclear weapons, but she has somehow gained permission from the mysterious robotic overlords of inhabited space – the Wardens – to use them.

The battleship Tsunami is dispatched to investigate Rafe’s discovery and veteran operations Officer Sean Merrick soon finds himself caught in a conspiracy involving feuding Wardens. With allies dying all around him, his only hope for survival turns out to be a junior combat nurse named Sarah Riley who has scarcely fired a gun before.

As Rafe, Sean, and Sarah battle Lilith, they’ll be forced to rely on the unexpected to save the people they love. But with the Wardens constantly changing the rules, could it be that no matter who wins the war, everyone loses?

Clarion's Call by Jaxon ReedClarion’s Call by Jaxon Reed:

The SLS Excelsior has a million credit bounty on her, and pirate captain Christopher Raleigh leads his crew to claim the prize. But with the Digital Assassin and the Tetrarch’s daughter onboard, no plans can ever be safe.

When Space Marines recapture Jillian in the midst of battle, Raleigh and his crew have to find a way to get to Clarion and take her back. Or die trying . . .

Don’t miss the second installment of this action-packed space opera adventure! Contains the bonus chapters not available online.

Rise of a Necromancer by Rosie ScottRise of a Necromancer by Rosie Scott:

Many people want Cerin Heliot dead.

While studying to be a mage at a prestigious university, Cerin is seized by an obsession with necromancy. When his secret knowledge of the forbidden magic is discovered, he becomes one of the nation’s most-wanted criminals overnight, sending his life into a tragic downhill spiral.

In this gritty story of survival, Cerin learns the hard way that to make it in a cruel world, he must become its match. Rather than run from the law forever, he builds an undead army to face it and make it fear his name. When all living loved ones are lost, Cerin must rise to be a master of the dead.

Rise of a Necromancer is a standalone character-driven origin story in the Six Elements universe.

That Sort of Partners by Hollis ShilohThat Sort of Partners by Hollis Siloh:

When Jake is assigned to work with the new guy at the precinct—their first robot cop—he’s nervous, to say the least. But his new partner turns out to be a great guy on every level. They work together and learn from each other—and then feelings start to develop.

Jake never thought he’d be the sort to fall for his partner. Or a robot.

 

 

Renegades of the Lost Sea by A.F. StewartRenegades of the Lost Sea by A.F. Stewart:

A god, his mother, and a Nightmare Crow.

Old enemies surface once again and undead pirates roam the seas. The man he killed, Black Axe Morgan, has returned for revenge on Captain Rafe Morrow, while from the shadows the Nightmare Crow reveals his true self. The two form an alliance and bring mayhem to the seas, all to draw out Captain Morrow and his crew.

Yet, this time, Rafe doesn’t face his enemies alone. Death walks the Outer Islands to save her son and the Sovereign of the Gods leads Captain Morrow past all the lies to the truth. The fate of Chaos and Harmony itself hangs in the balance of this fight.

Will centuries of schemes and plans reforge the bond of the realms, or will the Seven Kingdoms and the Outer Islands fall?
Can the God of Souls find his destiny before it is too late?

The endgame of gods begins…

Invasion Proxima by James David VictorInvasion: Proxima by James David Victor:

The most dangerous enemy is the one who knows you inside and out.

A Military Science Fiction adventure from #1 Bestselling author James David Victor

Solomon and the Gold Squad are back on Ganymede recovering from the shock of learning true nature of the war. When they are betrayed by a comrade, they barely escape with their lives. Their only chance is to take the battle directly to the enemy. Can they successfully invade Proxima and save humanity?

Invasion: Proxima is the fifth book in the Outcast Marines series. If you like science fiction with “heroes” who are anything but, the Outcast Marines will suck you into their battle to save humanity, from itself and the rest of the galaxy.

Gillyflower by Diane WaldGillyflower by Diane Wald:

Boston, 1984. Even in a world without cell phones, messages come through loud and clear if one is listening. When thirty-something Nora Forrest travels to Manhattan to see a Broadway play starring her idol, an aging Irish actor named Hugh Sheenan, she doesn’t know whether what happens in the theater that night should be credited to witchcraft, extrasensory perception, synchronicity, or simple accident?and she knows that many people would tell her nothing had happened at all. Told through the voices of four people, Gillyflower is a story about intersections and connections?real, imaginary, seized, and eluded. It’s a book about everyday magic, crystalline memory, and the details that flow through time and space like an electrified mist. It’s a detective story, a love story, and a coming-of-age story?for the never really young and for the almost old.

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

Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for April 2019

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 March 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, WWII mysteries, paranormal mysteries, crime thrillers, psychological thrillers, forensic thrillers, legal thrillers, action thrillers, spy thrillers, police procedurals, romantic suspense, private investigators, amateur sleuths, lawyers, serial killers, missing children, missing detectives, missing agents, amnesiac spies, forensic geologists, crime-busting witches, sinister carnivals, murder on university campuses and aboard cruise ships, in Hawaii, the Grand Canyon, Hollywood, rural Ohio, rual Nebraska and much more.

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

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

And now on to the books without further ado:

A Cold Spell by Stacey AlabasterA Cold Spell by Stacey Alabaster:

It’s a cold day in… Well, you know the saying

Ruby Swift is learning to use her paranormal powers and how to solve mysteries as a private investigator. Sometimes together. When a freezing spell goes wrong, she’s suddenly got more to worry about than just a murder investigation.

A Cold Spell is part of the Private Eye Witch Cozy Mystery series. If you like fun paranormal mysteries, you will love Ruby Swift and her magical adventures.

Get A Cold Spell and start solving your next supernatural mystery today!

Death by Dissertation by Kelly BrackenhoffDeath by Dissertation by Kelly Brackenhoff:

Ambitious Cassandra Sato traded her life in Hawai’i for a dream position as Student Affairs VP at Morton College in tiny Carson, Nebraska. She expected the Midwestern church casseroles, land-locked cornfields, and face-freezing winters would be her biggest challenges, but it’s her job that’s rapidly becoming a nightmare.

A deaf student is dead and the investigation reveals a complicated trail of connections between campus food service, a local farmer’s beef, and the science lab’s cancer research. Together with her few allies, Cassandra must protect the students caught up in the entanglement.

Dealing with homesickness, vandalism, and a stalker, Cassandra is trapped in a public relations disaster that could cost her job, or more. No one said college was easy.

Fortune Furlough by Jana DeLeonFortune Furlough by Jana DeLeon:

It’s not a vacation until there’s a murder.

Fortune, Ida Belle, and Gertie are finally off to Florida on the vacation they’ve always talked about. Days filled with white sand, turquoise water, and fruity drinks are the only thing on the agenda. But when Gertie’s “hot date” turns up dead and she’s the number one suspect, they’re forced to hang up their bathing suits and shift to investigating mode.

They soon discover that Gertie’s beau was up to all kinds of shady behavior, leaving them with a long list of people who are happy he’s dead. But which one resorted to murder?

River Run by Toni DwigginsRiver Run by Toni Dwiggins:

There are plenty of ways to die in the Grand Canyon.

Forensic geologists Cassie Oldfield and Walter Shaws investigate one way: trouble on the canyon’s Colorado River. Stranded raft. Life vests unused. Rafters missing.

The only clue to the fate of the rafters is a bag of pebbles caught by the bow line. Following that clue, the geologists uncover a hellish scheme. Not only are the rafters in peril, but the river itself is under attack.

The race to stop it takes Cassie and Walter deep into the canyon, and onto the mighty river, putting their own survival at stake.

In Her Defence by Jan EdwardsIn Her Defence by Jan Edwards:

Bunch Courtney’s hopes for a quiet market-day lunch with her sister are shattered when a Dutch refugee dies a horribly painful death before their eyes. A few days later Bunch receives a letter from her old friend Cecile saying that her father, Professor Benoir, has been murdered in an eerily similar fashion. Two deaths by poisoning in a single week. Co-incidence? Bunch does not believe that any more than Chief Inspector William Wright.

Set against a backdrop of escalating war and the massed internments of 1940, the pair are drawn together in a race to prevent the murderer from striking again.

Blackbird by A.J. GentileBlackbird by A.J. Gentile:

An actress is murdered at a Hollywood house party and a naive young man stands accused.

In this debut novel, greenhorn attorney Ezekiel Blackbird has something to prove as he struggles to establish his own practice in Los Angeles straight out of law school. Eager but insecure, Zeke would prefer to attract easier, high-paying corporate clients, but he can’t refuse the chance to represent an alleged murderer who desperately needs his help. His love life is in tatters and his physical safety is under threat, but Zeke remains loyal to his client despite the difficult lessons he must learn to become a shrewd criminal attorney.

Perilous Seas by Lily Harper HartPerilous Seas by Lily Harper Hart:

Her father may be back in her life but things are hardly smooth sailing for Rowan Gray.

He faked his death to get away from a group of people investigating psychic abilities – a group he is convinced is still out to get him – and he’s positive the group want his daughter for the same nefarious reasons.

Rowan is simply happy to have him in her life. She gets to spend time with him and her uncle and plot for a future they might never have.

All that’s thrown into turmoil when The Bounding Storm, the cruise ship where Rowan works, stumbles across a family that’s been lost at sea for weeks. Only some of them are on the rescue ship her boyfriend Quinn Davenport brings back, though. The rest are missing and lost.

What happened to the other family members? That’s the question on everybody’s lips as the media descends. The family at the center of the rescue is rich, essentially American royalty … and the horror of what they went through makes for a terrible tale.

The problem is … the story doesn’t hold water.

When a hand belonging to one of the deceased washes up on the beach, miles away from where the family went missing, things start to fall apart … and fast.
It’s up to Rowan and Quinn to discover the truth while working on their own investigation into a group of people that may well mean to do Rowan harm.

It makes for a busy – and dangerous – few days. All they have to do is survive to find the answers they seek.
That’s easier said than done.

The Fat Detective DisappearsThe Fat Detective Disappears by Christian Hayes:

Where on earth is Eugene Blake?

Eugene Blake has gone missing and it’s up to amateur detective Christina Walker to do everything she can to find him.

She uses her sleuthing skills to uncover a cache of notebooks that she is certain will hold the answer to Eugene’s fate.

Meanwhile Eugene is at the centre of his own mystery that he is desperately trying to solve.

The Fat Detective Disappears is the ingenious final puzzle in the Eugene Blake Trilogy by London novelist Christian Hayes.

Read now to discover Eugene’s final mystery

Black Market Body Double by Vicki HinzeBlack-Market Body Double by Vicki Hinze:

IF TROUBLE FINDS YOU, YOU WANT HER ON YOUR SIDE

Captain Amanda West is assigned to the elite S.A.S.S. Unit. All its Secret Assignment Security Specialists are highly trained and well experienced covert operatives. While on a mission, Amanda is buried alive in a tomb by S.A.S.S. nemesis and black-market broker Thomas Kunz who elevates ruthless to new heights. Amanda escapes and is astonished to learn she has been missing not for three days but for three months!

And soon she discovers another who has an unexplained three-month absence. An operative in a highly classified and sensitive position, Captain Mark Cross. Working together, Amanda and Mark must discover what happened to them and why. And they must determine if there are others like them. In their line of work, finding the truth is essential not only for their careers but for the lives of those in the nation they have taken oaths to defend and protect. What Kunz could be up to chills them both. But as bad as that is, it pales to what he is actually doing. Can Amanda and Mark stop Kunz before he attains his goal? Kunz wants nothing more than to destroy the entire nation!

Luke on the Loose by Amanda M. LeeLuke on the Loose by Amanda M. Lee:

Luke Bishop is the center of attention and life of the party at Mystic Caravan Circus. He’s a great guy, who just so happens to be in a bit of a funk. That doesn’t change when the circus hits Ohio, one of their least favorite stops.

Since nothing ever happens in Ohio. The group believes that will hold true during another boring trip. They find out better after the first night, when one of their clowns is killed.

They know right away what they’re looking for: an incubus, a creature that lures women with his song and then kills them in an intimate manner. All the men are on full alert because that means the Mystic Caravan females are in danger.

Luke takes it upon himself to infiltrate an area biker bar where the killer may be hanging out. All he has to do to find the culprit is fit in, not tip his hand, and make sure his partners in crime don’t draw too many sets of eyes in their direction.

It’s a difficult job, but Luke is up to the task … that is if he doesn’t fall victim himself. The circus men are joining together to protect the women for a change, and it’s going to be a dangerous ride.

Camp Pain by Wendy MeadowsCamp Pain by Wendy Meadows:

Patricia may be well-traveled – but this is a mystery with a dangerous destination.

Patricia always viewed the world from the end of her pen. Her feet hop from place to place; her exotic experiences are filling the pages faster than stamps on her passport. Someday, she aspires to land a big-time publishing deal.

At a stopover in Atlanta, she is shocked to discover the body of a local businessman, Peter, dumped in a camp in the outskirts of the city. For the first time, her wings are clipped as the lead detective; Brian Johnston launches an investigation into Peter’s death – firmly suspecting that cause of death was murder.

Patricia and Brian band together in his murder investigation, slowly uncovering leads to a shady underbelly behind Peter’s flashy ‘successful’ exterior, and the illicit dealings he was determined to keep from prying eyes. As the details begin to piece together, someone intends to step in and silence them. By any means necessary.

Wired Truth by Toby NealWired Truth by Toby Neal:

Paradise hides a master thief.

What if diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend?

A heist at a high-end auction house sends tech specialist Sophie on a new case hunting down a thief whose skills match her own. Even as she chases a cache of precious gems, events begun in a distant land threaten the fragile happiness Sophie’s building—and an enigmatic new partner brings challenges close to home, luring Sophie into the world of vigilante justice.

All Things Considered by A.B. PlumAll Things Considered by A.B. Plum:

The police say Ryn Davis is guilty of murder.
Ryn claims she was asleep. Sound asleep. Dead-to-the-world asleep.

An insomniac with a long history of sleepwalking, night terrors, and other sleep disorders, Ryn’s dodging a life-changing decision. Should she leave her iconic rock-star lover? Is his fame and money worth his mood swings? After a particularly explosive argument, she goes to bed. He follows. The argument escalates. Exhausted, she goes to the guest bedroom. She pops a sleeping pill. Technically, a hormone. Not a drug. One melatonin, she rationalizes, determined to think more clearly.

She wakens the next morning, groggy and disoriented. Fragments of a dream fade in and out of memory. Not the argument with Stone … but something more disturbing. When she enters their bedroom, she sees him in bed—a red hibiscus blooming on his chest.

Unable to produce the melatonin bottle, Ryn acts more and more defensive and guilty. The police ridicule her testimony. Definitely bitter, can she prove how an insomniac slept through two bullets?

Honorable Death by Linda S. PratherHonorable Death by Linda S. Prather:

Detective Kacy Lang wasn’t surprised when the body of her twin brother washed up from the icy depths of the Chicago River. She’d known since the day she graduated from the academy that one day he’d wind up on her beat, and she’d have to arrest him… or kill him. She could accept the fact he’d been murdered. What she couldn’t accept was the massive torture he’d endured before his death. Someone would pay for that.

A multilayered, fast-paced archaeological dig of a mystery.

 

A Look Back by Erik RackerA Look Back by Erik Racker:

When Sergeant Brad Braun is called to a scene in a familiar location, what looks like an average murder case quickly turns into something that is far from typical. The dead man is someone from Braun’s past, and the body happens to be located in the exact spot where Braun last saw him.

With no witnesses and almost a total lack of evidence, law enforcement is scrambling for clues. Another dropped-off body quickly follows the first, left in the same spot, and Braun is once again familiar with the deceased.

As the killer claims more victims, Braun begins to connect the dots. Unfortunately, the last dot may connect straight to the sergeant himself.

Don't Lie To Me by Willow RoseDon’t Lie to Me by Willow Rose:

When twelve-year-old Sophie Williams went on a Girl Scout summer camp, she never returned home.

Three months later, her body is found inside her sleeping bag in the most frequented area of Cocoa Beach, and the town is outraged.

The girl isn’t just any child. She’s the town’s most beloved surf idol, and it was believed that she could be the next Kelly Slater.

As another child, the son of a well-known senator is kidnapped, and the parents receive a disturbing video, FBI profiler Eva Rae Thomas — who has just returned to her hometown, divorced and out of a job — plunges into the investigation, breaking her promise to her children not to do police work again.

Local law enforcement, with her old flame Matt Miller in charge, are the ones who ask for her help in a case so unsettling that only she can solve it. But the deeper they dig, the deadlier it becomes for Matt and Eva Rae. Soon, everyone she holds dear is in grave danger as this case hits a little too close to home.

DON’T LIE TO ME is the first book in the Eva Rae Thomas Mystery Series and can be read as a standalone.

Presumption of Guilt by Rachel SinclairPresumption of Guilt by Rachel Sinclair:

A wealthy family with DARK secrets.

A SHOCKING reveal that you guaranteed won’t see coming…

Avery Collins is an attorney with the tender heart of a warrior for the wrongfully accused, for one simple reason. She was once wrongfully accused, and spent 7 years in prison for a murder she didn’t commit.

Now sworn to protect the indigent accused, she’s persuaded to represent Esme Guitierrez, an El Salvadoran refugee who is accused of killing 21-year-old Aria Whitmore. Aria was the daughter of the prominent billionaire hotelier Jacob Whitmore, and was also an aspiring concert pianist and music composer.

As Avery digs further into the case, she realizes that there were some sick games taking place behind the closed doors of the Whitmore mansion, and Avery ends up with more questions than answers.

What happened to Aria’s birth mother?

How did Julian Rodriguez, a young schizophrenic man, come to befriend Aria?

And who is sending threatening emails that are filled with facts that are not widely known to the public?

When Avery finds out the answers to these questions, she’s shocked. But she also realizes that the big reveal opens up more questions than answers, and the case takes an unexpected turn.

As time runs out to find the true culprit, Avery faces the trial of her life. Amidst an intense media glare, death threats, protestors and stalkers breaking into her home, Avery nonetheless gives this case her all.

Because if she doesn’t, her client will end up on death row.

Winter's Origin by Mary StoneWinter’s Origin by Mary Stone:

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And sets you on a path of revenge.

When The Preacher targets her family for his last kill, Winter Black is the only survivor. After recovering from the brain injury she received that brutal night, Winter single-mindedly pursues a career as an FBI agent. Her unexplainable talents, discovered after her coma, might be the key to taking down the notorious serial killer… unless he finds her first.

Welcome to Winter’s Origin, the prequel to the soon to be released Winter Black crime fiction series. If you enjoy gripping crime solving, hair-raising villains, and riveting suspense, then you’ll love Mary Stone’s debut page-turning series.

Storm Front by Jazzmyn StormStorm Front: Memoirs of a Secret Agent by Jazzmyn Storm:

When a spy loses her memory, she doesn’t know who to trust…or what to believe.

I felt myself flying through the air, and I was strangely calm for a moment as the reality of the situation faded away. This wasn’t happening. It couldn’t be happening. I’d wake up any moment and realize it was all a bad dream.

Then, I hit the water.

What happens, when the people you thought you could trust betray you? That’s bad enough in any relationship…but when you’re a spy, it can be deadly.

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

Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for March 2019

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

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

Once again, we have new releases covering the whole broad spectrum of speculative fiction. This month, we have epic fantasy, urban fantasy, historical fantasy, sword and sorcery, paranormal romance, paranormal mystery, space opera, military science fiction, hard science fiction, dark science fiction, dystopian fiction, steampunk, cyberpunk, witches, ghosts, werewolves, dragons, galactic empires, space smugglers, asteroid miners, slaves, dying worlds, dead girls, last minute rescues 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:

Holly Cottage by Shelley AdinaHolly Cottage by Shelley Adina:

Buying a cottage is not as easy as you’d think. Especially if you’re a man with a past … in love with a woman with a future.

Maggie Polgarth astonishes everyone at Carrick House when, in a bid for independence, she buys a plot of land and a cottage near Vauxhall Gardens. From one decision, change ripples outward in the flock. Maggie transfers her scientific studies from Munich to London, leaving Lizzie behind. Two of the street sparrows leave the Malverns’ protection to go with her to her new home. And most significant of all, she meets a man who is not only well educated but also kind and handsome.

But the south bank gangs have not forgotten the Lady of Devices. If they cannot touch her, it’s only a matter of time before they take their revenge on someone closer to hand. Jake Fletcher McTavish will risk his own life before he allows anyone to harm a hair on Maggie’s head. He’s not afraid of the gangs and he’s a dab hand in a fight. But how can he show Maggie that his feelings run deeper than those of a brother? And how can he protect her when she seems to prefer the company of her new suitor—a man who is everything Jake is not?

If you like old-fashioned adventure, brave women, clever children, and strong-willed chickens, you’ll love this short story set in the Magnificent Devices steampunk world. Fangs for the Fantasy says, “The backbone of this great series is and has always been the characters. Their issues, their layers, their complexity, their solid relationships and their loyalties all elevate a good book to a really great one.”

The Forest of the Hanged by Richard Blakemore and Cora BuhlertThe Forest of the Hanged by Richard Blakemore and Cora Buhlert

According to the laws of the Rhadur, whenever one of their own is killed in one of the cities they have conquered, twelve citizens chosen at random must die in turn. Now the Rhadur governor of Greyvault has been murdered and in retaliation, his successor plans to hang twelve innocent maidens.

One of the women to be hanged is Lysha, the childhood sweetheart of Meldom, thief, cutpurse and occasional assassin. When Meldom learns of Lysha’s fate, he immediately sets out to rescue her, accompanied by his friends Thurvok, the sellsword, and the sorceress Sharenna…

This is a short story of 6500 words or 24 print pages in the Thurvok sword and sorcery series, but may be read as a standalone. Includes an introduction and afterword.

Monshine & Murder by Kathleen BrooksMoonshine & Murder by Kathleen Brooks:

Zoey Mathers had everything going for her until one night she lost her biggest client, her job, and her reputation. Leaving her life up to fate, Zoey closed her eyes and pointed. She would serve out her career exile in the small mountain town of Moonshine Hollow where moonshine flowed as freely as a mountain stream.

Giving up the law to become a baker in Moonshine Hollow turned out to be the best thing Zoey had ever done. She was happy and enjoying life in her new small town. But Zoey should have learned the first time . . . one night can change your whole life.

After unknowingly crashing a battle between witches, Zoey accidentally becomes a witch herself. That’s all before Zoey stumbles over a murder victim and the town’s sheriff becomes involved. Now she’s trying to find a murderer, stop two old witches from playing matchmaker, and learning she’s way more than a mere accidental witch.

And that’s all before fate turns up one more sexy hunk of a twist…

Seraphina's Lament by Sarah ChornSeraphina’s Lament by Sarah Chorn:

The world is dying.

The Sunset Lands are broken, torn apart by a war of ideology paid for with the lives of the peasants. Drought holds the east as famine ravages the farmlands. In the west, borders slam shut in the face of waves of refugees, dooming all of those trying to flee to slow starvation, or a future in forced labor camps. There is no salvation.

In the city of Lord’s Reach, Seraphina, a slave with unique talents, sets in motion a series of events that will change everything. In a fight for the soul of the nation, everyone is a player. But something ominous is calling people to Lord’s Reach and the very nature of magic itself is changing. Paths will converge, the battle for the Sunset Lands has shifted, and now humanity itself is at stake.

First, you must break before you can become.

Vultures by Mike CovilleVultures by Mike Coville:

When games of politics put the lives of deep space miner crews in danger, a coalition of captains organizes a resistance.

The crew of the DSM Boone are still reeling from being the target of a saboteur and the loss of a friend, but Captain Greg Daniels pushes them back out for lasso another asteroid. Will this break their spirit and cause a mutiny?

Computer specialist Zayna Watson doesn’t know who she can trust. Her world is being thrown into a roller-coaster ride of adventure, betrayal, and self-discovery. Will she stand with the one man that has given her all her opportunities, or is the evidence against him shown to her by an underground resistance movement convince her to bring down her mentor?

As a conspiracy is uncovered and alliances are being formed, who will be at the top when the dust settles?

Hello Protocol for Dead Girls by Zen DiPietroHello Protocol for Dead Girls by Zen DiPietro:

Jennika died under suspicious circumstances and her memories were uploaded for investigation. Somehow, they didn’t upload her memories alone. They uploaded her consciousness, too.

As she struggles within a perplexing computer network environment to find out how she died, she must also come to grips with the nature of her existence. Her body died, but she sure hasn’t. What does it mean to be alive, then?

She wants to talk to her friends and family, but they might not accept her. Before she can even try to reconnect with them, she has to get the people on the outside to recognize that she’s a real person, trapped inside technology.

She needs to establish a hello protocol–a way of establishing communication.

This story is like nothing you’ve read before. It’s Altered Carbon meets Gone Girl inside a digital environment. It will challenge you, then thrill you, then leave you wanting more. You’ll be on the edge of your seat as you explore this fascinating new technological existence with Jennika.

Wicked Delights by lily Harper HartWicked Delight by Lily Harper Hart:

Ivy Morgan and Jack Harker don’t have many complaints.

Things are good, life is quiet, and the only big thing on their to-do lists is picking a date for their wedding, which is exactly what they’re doing when a local celebutante approaches with an offer for Jack to be on a dating show.

He turns her down flat and goes on his way, but the next morning, she’s found dead and the list of suspects is endless thanks to the production landing smackdab in the middle of Shadow Lake.

Ivy doesn’t like having Hollywood on her doorstep. Jack is even worse, especially when he realizes the producers want Ivy to step in and take the dead heiress’s spot in the limelight. The idea of cameras following Ivy when magical things keep happening around her is enough to paralyze the couple … and then force them to run to avoid the harsh glare of the viewing public.

Jack and Ivy have a lot on their plates. They have to solve a murder, figure out what the witch in the woods is trying to tell them when it comes to the nature of the human soul, and pick a wedding date.

It’s all in a day’s work for Shadow Lake’s favorite couple. If they live to survive the dark force descending on their town, that is. They’ll have to work together to overcome imminent evil … but they’re used to that, of course.

The Ghost Who Says I Do by Bobbi HolmesThe Ghost Who Says I Do by Bobbi Holmes:

A Valentine’s Day Wedding at Marlow House?

Love is in the air—along with secrets—some are deadlier than others.

Will secrets from Clint Marlow’s past come back to haunt Walt and Danielle?

 

 

The Well of Time by Robert I. KatzThe Well of Time by Robert I. Katz:

Michael Glover, a military genius of the First Empire awakened from cold sleep after two thousand years, has spearheaded the Second Empire’s efforts against the Imperium.

But once the Imperium is defeated, it becomes apparent that the war is not over.

Second Empire ships are still being hijacked and Second Empire citizens sold into slavery. Spies and saboteurs continue to bore from within.

The Empire has enemies and those enemies are more powerful than the Second Empire can imagine.

Michael Glover and his crew are determined to discover the source of the conspiracy but before they can do so, a fleet of advanced ships, as large and as dangerous as the ships of the Second Empire, pose a new challenge to the Imperial worlds.

As the Empire teeters on the brink, Michael Glover must search for the final clue at the hidden Well of Time.

Lunar Escape by C.P. MacDonaldLunar Escape by C.P. MacDonald:

A mysterious secret society. A corrupt Governor. Can a simple smuggler stop the destruction of the moon?

Captain Calin Aku smuggles contraband and people from the cesspool of Earth to the Moon cities aboard his ship the Sea Rover. He leads and protects his small crew, pulling off heists and diving into adventures.

With a new client, the crew of the Sea Rover find themselves in a battle against a corrupt Governor and allied with a secret society hidden from humanity for a thousand years. Calin has no choice but to take action and to be more than a rogue outlaw. Can he defeat an all-powerful government to save his crew and the citizens of the Moon?

SYNTH #1, edited by C.M. MullerSYNTH #1: An Anthology of Dark SF, edited by C.M. Muller:

SYNTH is a new anthology series of dark SF published quarterly, with each issue containing eight thought-provoking visions of the future . . . tales of utopia and dystopia, of inner and outer space; tales that are bleak, tales that are bold . . .

ISSUE #1 features the dark visions of Dan Stintzi, Steve Toase, Virginie Sélavy, Charles Wilkinson, Farah Rose Smith, Jeffrey Thomas, Christopher K. Miller, and Joanna Koch. It is edited by CM Muller, creator of the award-winning Nightscript anthology series.

If you are a fan of Black Mirror, Philip K. Dick, J.G. Ballard, Alphaville, and the like, then SYNTH may well be your next literary fix.

Cloaked by Vanessa NelsonCloaked by Vanessa Nelson:

The world itself in peril.

Arrow’s sleep is being disturbed by nightmares that she cannot remember when awake. Her days are spent trying to build her new, simple, life in the human world and helping the shape-changers track down the last conspirators that tried to destroy the Erith.

But the Erith want her help one last time. The Erith heartland needs a new monarch, and the Erith require Arrow’s presence for the selection.

Nothing is that simple, though, and Arrow finds herself dealing with betrayal that could tear the heartland apart. She will need all her skills, and the help of the few people she trusts, to prevent the destruction of the heartland, and the world.

Draft of Dragons by T.S. PaulDraft of Dragons by T.S. Paul:

Suspended for political reasons Agatha and her team have returned to her home to rest and recuperate. But still another war looms on the horizon. The Draconic Empire is making it’s move towards earth. They’ve worked behind the scenes to disrupt any and all that stand before them. But Agatha is still alive and she and the Blackmore Coven are prepared. Whatever comes through the Garden Gate will trigger a war. Is America and Earth ready for it?

 

 

Malarat by Jessica RydillMalarat by Jessica Rydill:

The Duc de Malarat wants to conquer the Kingdom of Lefranu. In his army ride the ruthless and fanatical Domini Canes, warrior monks of the Inquisition who have forged a secret weapon to cripple the power of the shamans.

But when Malarat’s eldest son challenges a stranger to a duel, he sets in motion a terrifying train of events. For the stranger is Malchik Vasilyevich, now a man; and his sister Annat stands with her allies and the Railway People as a fully-trained shaman, prepared to defend the city of Yonar from Malarat’s army.

But Malchik and Annat will face foes much worse than the Duc de Malarat, even as the struggle that began in Lefranu spreads to the spirit world and beyond.

Wolf at the Door by Hollis ShilohWolf at the Door by Hollis Shiloh:

Devin has a lot to prove.

Rickey is just here for the free food.

Devin’s here to get a wolf shifter as a partner. The short, loud redhead intends to be the best cop in his class and doesn’t care if he gets on everyone’s nerves in the process. He loves fancy sports cars and has a competitive nature.

Rickey likes the van life and living by his own terms. But times have been tight for the wolf shifter lately, and signing up for this course seems like an easy way to keep the wolf from the door. All the free food he can eat, if he sits through some classes. What could go wrong?

The two guys have chemistry, despite being so different. They could be friends at least, maybe partners. But there’s an underlying sexual chemistry that’s getting harder and harder to ignore…

Trapped on Vkani by Aurora SpringerTrapped on Vkani by Aurora Springer:

Marooned on a desolate planet, joining forces with the enemy is their only hope.

Maya Pandita spent years preparing for an expedition to the Deadlands. But her dreams of unearthing ancient artifacts are shattered when her shuttle is buried by a violent sandstorm, and her team is abducted by the scaled inhabitants of the planet. Maya and her companions must try to outwit their blue captor and call for help before they die in the toxic atmosphere.

Sa Vittaran has a problem in his claws. Along with treasures from the ruins, he has retrieved three smooth-skinned foreigners. He cannot leave them to die in the desert. Yet the puny creatures have little value as workers, except perhaps for the impudent woman who claims to be their leader. Her knowledge of the ancient script will be an asset if she can survive the long trek to his house.

An attack by marauders forces Maya and the Blue leader into a wary alliance. They must work together to thwart the bandits and reunite their company. Can Maya convince Sa Vittaran to help her team? If she fails, they are doomed to a short unpleasant life on the desolate, war-torn planet.

Shield of Terra by Glynn StewartShield of Terra by Glynn Stewart:

The mother, ruler of an entire world
Sent to the heart of an old enemy to build a new peace
The daughter, officer of a deadly warship
Sent to the darkness to find the new enemy hunting them all

A dozen inhabited worlds of the Kanzi Theocracy and the A!Tol Imperium are ash. Millions of sentients of a dozen species are dead, including humans from the brand-new colonies built under the Imperium’s watch. Despite the losses, the strange Taljzi fanatics have been defeated—but everything suggests that more will be coming.

The Empress of the A!Tol has resolved that the cold war between A!Tol and Kanzi must end. She sends Duchess Annette Bond to the heart of the Kanzi Theocracy to negotiate a new alliance.

Elsewhere, Bond’s stepdaughter Morgan Casimir and the battleship Bellerophon are sent into the darkness beyond known space to see what they can learn about the Taljzi.

As they uncover old secrets of new enemies and new secrets of old enemies the fate of humanity and five dozen other races hangs on the actions of mother and daughter alike!

Smuggler by J.A. SutherlandSmuggler by J.A. Sutherland:

There are ‘nice’ jobs that come my way, and there are profitable jobs that come my way. Now, these things do, on occasion, come along inside each other’s orbits – but it’s more of a cometary sort of thing, if you take my meaning.

Avrel Dansby is troubled.

He knew, going in, that the life of a smuggler would be filled with disreputable sorts – still, he’d like to imagine there are some jobs out there he can stomach without the desire nuke his client from orbit.

Rules of Redemption by T.A. WhiteRules of Redemption by T.A. White:

The war everyone thought was over is just beginning.

Kira Forrest is a survivor. She’s risen above the pain of her beginnings to become a war hero only to leave it all behind in the pursuit of a simple life. Now a salvager, she makes a living sifting through the wreckage of dead alien ships from a war that nearly brought humanity to its knees.

After her ship takes damage, she’s forced to re-route to a space station where her past and present collide with dangerous consequences.

Kira’s existence holds the key to a faltering peace treaty with the Tuann—a technologically advanced alien race who dislikes and distrusts all humans. Winning her freedom should be easy, but a powerful and relentless Tuann warrior stands in her way. Deceiving him seems impossible, especially when he strays dangerously close to secrets she struggles to hide.

Can Kira reconcile the pain of her past with the possibilities of her future? The fate of two races depends on her success.

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

Two New Thurvok Stories and a New Silencer Story

This is a triple new release announcement, partly because I was ill and partly because certain retailers are really dragging their feet in getting the books up. Still, better late than never.

While I was ill, Richard Blakemore has certainly been busy, because we published two more stories in the newly launched Thurvok series as well as a new Silencer adventure.

For those who don’t know or remember, Richard Blakemore is the protagonist of my Silencer series, a pulp fiction writer in 1930s New York who moonlights (quite literally) as the masked crimefighter known only as the Silencer. As for how Richard Blakemore, who’s fictional after all, can write books – well, he can’t. I’m writing them for him.

The full story of how the Thurvok stories came to be may be found here (my version) and here (Richard’s version). The short version is that during the 2018 July short story challenge, I found myself writing several sword and sorcery stories about a wandering sellsword named Thurvok and his growing number of travel companions. Those stories were a lot of fun to write and since I know that Richard Blakemore was an avid reader of Weird Tales and a fan of Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories and C.L. Moore’s Jirel of Joiry, the idea to pass off the Thurvok stories as Richard Blakemore’s lost sword and sorcery series from the 1930s with myself as the editor who rediscovered them was born.

In his first two adventures, Thurvok quickly found a friend and companion in Meldom – thief, cutpurse and occasional assassin. In the two stories that follow, our dynamic duo becomes a quartet, as both Thurvok and Meldom find partners.

Even though the beginnings of the sword and sorcery genre birthed several warrior heroines (Jirel of Joiry, most notably, but also Robert E. Howard’s various heroines such as Red Sonya of Rogatino, Dark Agnes de Chastillon or Bêlit) and one of the originators of the genre was a woman, the genre’s record with regard to women isn’t all that great, particularly in the first forty years or so. Sword and sorcery heroes are loners and wanderers by nature and romantically, they tend to be the “love ’em and leave ’em” type or rather the “rescue ’em, love ’em and leave ’em” type. Sword and sorcery heroes do tend have a romantic streak and occasionally, they fall in love deeply and truly. In those cases, the woman (and it always is a woman for the first few decades – the homoerotic implications of the genre wouldn’t be acknowledged until much, much later) will either die (Fafhrd and Gray Mouser’s first loves, who die tragically on the night the two heroes first meet, and Conan’s Bêlit) or otherwise turn out to be completely unsuitable. My favourite twist on this is, “I love her deeply and truly, but unfortunately she is an evil rat hybrid princess who is the wrong size for me and has also tried to kill me repeatedly and wants to take over the world, too”, which happened to Fritz Leiber‘s Gray Mouser in the latter Lankhmar stories. There are longterm stable romantic relationships in sword and sorcery such as Simon R. Green’s Hawk and Fisher (and even the notoriously unlucky in love Fafhrd and Gray Mouser eventually wind up in stable relationships, though not with the evil rat princess), but that’s not what the genre is normally known for.

One of the main problems of the July short story challenge is coming up with inspiration for 31 different stories in 31 days, so I occasionally use shortcuts like various writing prompts, inspirational images, etc… And during last year’s challenge, one of the things I did was draw a Tarot card and use that as a writing prompt. I drew the Eight of Swords, but rather than use the meaning of the card as a prompt (though that did filter into the story eventually), I instead used the image as a prompt and asked myself: Who is the woman? Why is she tied up? What is happening here?

Once I had those answers, I realised that this looked like another adventure for Thurvok and Meldom, one where they get to rescue a damsel in distress, though this particular damsel proves to be remarkably useful. If you want to know more, read…

The Road of Skeletons
The Road of Skeletons by Richard Blakemore and Cora BuhlertOn their way to the northern city of Khon Orzad, Thurvok, the sellsword, and his friend Meldom, thief, cutpurse and occasional assassin, travel along a road lined with the skeletons of executed heretics.

It’s a grim path that becomes even grimmer when Thurvok and Meldom come upon a blindfolded woman who is still very much alive tied to a stake by the side of the road.

Should they continue their journey or rescue the woman and risk the wrath of the priest kings of Khon Orzad…

This is a short story of 5500 words or 20 print pages in the Thurvok sword and sorcery series, but may be read as a standalone. Includes an introduction and afterword.

More information.
Length: 5500 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, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Inktera, Playster, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, e-Sentral, 24symbols and XinXii.

Since Thurvok had taken a liking to Sharenna, the damsel in question, and she had nowhere else to go anyway, I simply sent her travelling with Thurvok and Meldom, who was still single for the time being. That changed a few days later, when – still during the July short story challenge – I looked through abandoned story starts to see if anything struck a spark. And so I came across a page or so of what was supposed to be a historical adventure romance loosely based on the legend of the burghers of Calais, only that the burghers were young women. I had abandoned the story, because I couldn’t figure out how to make it work, because either I’d have to rely on terrible people suddenly deciding not to be quite so terrible after all (which is what happened with the burghers of Calais according to the legend) or I’d somehow have to make an all-out suicidal assault on a superior force work or I could maybe rescue one young women and hang the rest. None of those options really worked, so I shelved the story. But when I dug it up again, I realised that magic could make the story work – I’d only have to turn it into a fantasy story. And then I thought, “Hey, I have just the right team to solve this problem.”

Of course, Thurvok and his friends needed to reason to intervene and so I upped the stakes by making one of the young women to be hanged Meldom’s childhood sweetheart. The story pretty much wrote itself after that. So if you want to know how I resolved the dilemma of saving the female burghers of Calais – pardon, Greyvault – read…

The Forest of the Hanged
The Forest of the Hanged by Richard Blakemore and Cora BuhlertAccording to the laws of the Rhadur, whenever one of their own is killed in one of the cities they have conquered, twelve citizens chosen at random must die in turn. Now the Rhadur governor of Greyvault has been murdered and in retaliation, his successor plans to hang twelve innocent maidens.

One of the women to be hanged is Lysha, the childhood sweetheart of Meldom, thief, cutpurse and occasional assassin. When Meldom learns of Lysha’s fate, he immediately sets out to rescue her, accompanied by his friends Thurvok, the sellsword, and the sorceress Sharenna…

This is a short story of 6500 words or 24 print pages in the Thurvok sword and sorcery series, but may be read as a standalone. Includes an introduction and afterword.

More information.
Length: 6500 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, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Inktera, Playster, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, e-Sentral, 24symbols and XinXii.

And for the record, I am aware that three of four Thurvok stories so far feature walking undead bodies of some kind. I have no idea how this theme came to be, especially since I don’t particularly care for zombies or other variations of the undead. But then the beauty of the July short story challenge is that sometimes, certain themes just show up out of the blue. And this time around, walking undead corpses betn on revenge was one of them.

But Richard Blakemore hasn’t just been busy writing sword and sorcery stories. He still has a crimefighting career going on as well. And since Richard was very much on my mind due to writing his author bio, setting up a blog and a Twitter account for him and even filling out a Smashwords interview in his persona, it was no big surprise that I also found myself with an idea for a new Silencer story.

And since I was also setting up the round-ups of Valentine’s Day themed speculative fiction and mysteries and crime fiction at the time, I suddenly thought, “You know what would be fun? A Valentine’s Day Silencer story.”

Of course, the problem was that this thought occurred to me literally five days before Valentine’s Day. And so the question was, Would I be able to finish the story in time?

In the end, I made it – though barely – but because of the slowness of certain retailers that shall not be named, I had to delay the official announcement. And then I got sick.

So, somewhat belatedly, see the Silencer save a young man’s marriage proprosal and enjoy a Valentine’s Day dinner with Richard and Constance:

A Valentine for the Silencer
A Valentine for the Silencer by Cora BuhlertValentine’s Day 1938: All Richard Blakemore a.k.a. the masked crimefighter known only as the Silencer wants is to have a romantic dinner with his beautiful fiancée Constance Allen.

But on his way to his date, Richard happens upon a mugging in progress. Can he save the victim and make sure that young Thomas Walden has the chance to propose to his girlfriend? And will he make it to dinner with Constance on time?

This is a short Valentine’s Day story of 5500 words or approx. 20 print pages in the Silencer series, but may be read as a standalone.

More information.
Length: 7200 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, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Inktera, Playster, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, e-Sentral, 24symbols and XinXii.

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

Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for March 2019

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 February books I missed the last time around snuck in as well. The books are arranged in alphabetical order by author. So far, most links only go to Amazon.com, though I may add other retailers for future editions.

Our new releases cover the broad spectrum of crime fiction. We have plenty of cozy mysteries, small town mysteries, culinary mysteries, traditional mysteries, historical mysteries, Victorian mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, paranormal mysteries, crime thrillers, psychological thrillers, science fiction thrillers, police procedurals, romantic suspense, private investigators, amateur sleuths, serial killers, assassins, reporters, gamblers, missing children, crime-busting witches, crime-busting ghosts, crime-busting actresses, crime-busting bakers, crime-busting watchmakers, murderous mommy bloggers, sinister going-ons in suburbia, murder in the Cotswolds, London, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Knoxville, Tennessee, and much more.

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

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

And now on to the books without further ado:

The Cheater's Game by C.J. ArcherThe Cheater’s Game by C.J. Archer:

The arrival of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show in London brings trouble. When the sharpshooter who beats Willie at poker is murdered, Matt and India investigate. Willie is convinced the victim cheated, but no one knows how until India discovers his secret – he was a paper magician.

When their list of suspects grows to include a member of the mysterious magic Collector’s Club, they uncover a spy. But who is he working for? And what does his employer want?

As danger circles, secrets are revealed, and India struggles to keep her own secret hidden from Matt. But when her grandfather introduces her to a man who can change her life, India must decide if she wants her life to change at all.

An Invitation to Murder by A.G. BarnettAn Invitation to Murder by A.G. Barnett:

Mary Blake had it all.

Actress, icon and darling of the nation, she was the queen of TV crime drama.

Then she turned fifty.

When replaced on the show by a younger woman, she thinks her days in the limelight are over when an invitation to a murder mystery party from an old friend throws her back into the public eye. This time as a murder suspect.

After playing a detective for years, Mary must now become one as she tries to prove her innocence with the help of her puppy-like brother and her surprisingly useful friend and assistant, Dot.

Monshine & Murder by Kathleen BrooksMoonshine & Murder by Kathleen Brooks:

Zoey Mathers had everything going for her until one night she lost her biggest client, her job, and her reputation. Leaving her life up to fate, Zoey closed her eyes and pointed. She would serve out her career exile in the small mountain town of Moonshine Hollow where moonshine flowed as freely as a mountain stream.

Giving up the law to become a baker in Moonshine Hollow turned out to be the best thing Zoey had ever done. She was happy and enjoying life in her new small town. But Zoey should have learned the first time . . . one night can change your whole life.

After unknowingly crashing a battle between witches, Zoey accidentally becomes a witch herself. That’s all before Zoey stumbles over a murder victim and the town’s sheriff becomes involved. Now she’s trying to find a murderer, stop two old witches from playing matchmaker, and learning she’s way more than a mere accidental witch.

And that’s all before fate turns up one more sexy hunk of a twist…

Tainted Love by Stacy ClaflinTainted Love by Stacy Claflin:

A mommy blogger gone bad…

Jess McAdams dotes on her four children and gives advice and suggestions to parents all around the world. No one would ever question her love and devotion to her children, let alone suspect her of murdering one.

But Alex Mercer does.

Alex has plenty of experience investigating crimes involving missing kids. So when he senses something is wrong, he trusts his instincts. The only problem is, he’s a newly deputized officer of the law. If he’s wrong about Jess, he’ll destroy his career before it gets off the ground.

He receives a tip that Jess has suddenly stopped posting about one of her children. It’s almost as if he never existed, except her old blog posts show otherwise. The deeper Alex digs, the more twisted and sinister things look. His precinct’s resources would be invaluable to his investigation, but his commanding officer isn’t convinced the case is local and turns him down. And Alex doesn’t have the evidence to sway his captain—yet.

His only chance at finding the proof he needs is by using the resources he’s been denied. But Alex will stop at nothing until he finds the mommy blogger and saves the children he knows are in danger—even at the risk of losing his dream job—because he knows he’s right. And with young lives on the line, there’s a lot more at stake than his career.

The Perfect Neighbourhood by Jo CrowThe Perfect Neighbourhood by Jo Crow:

The perfect neighborhood, the perfect neighbors, the perfect trap…

New mother Holly has always dreamed of raising a family away from the city—and now that dream is a reality as she moves into an idyllic suburb with her husband Mike and their baby daughter Clare. The quiet, peaceful neighborhood couldn’t be more perfect.

But as the family settles into their new home, Holly can’t shrug off the feeling she’s being watched and followed on her morning walks with Clare. At first, she dismisses this as new parent jitters. But soon the unusual—and dangerous—occurrences on Holly’s tree-lined block become impossible to ignore.

As her days and nights grow more isolated and filled with paranoia, Holly struggles to convince her husband that the threat isn’t just in her imagination—and that the secrets lurking in their perfect neighborhood could ruin them all.

The Dragon and the Ghost by Mark DawsonThe Dragon and the Ghost by Mark Dawson:

Beatrix Rose has been betrayed. Her husband has been murdered and her daughter, Isabella, has been abducted.

Those who wronged her will pay, because Beatrix is the most dangerous woman you’ve ever met. She was an assassin for Group Fifteen, the beyond top secret agency that did the dirty work for the British Secret Services.

And you know what they say about payback…

Beatrix finds work in the Hong Kong underworld. But when she has a difference of opinion with her employer, the ruthless Mr. Ying, she finds herself in a fight for justice against a man with no scruples.

Alliances are formed and broken. Friends become enemies. Enemies become friends. And nothing is what it seems.

Can Beatrix save herself and her loved ones in the face of insurmountable odds?

Hello Protocol for Dead Girls by Zen DiPietroHello Protocol for Dead Girls by Zen DiPietro:

Jennika died under suspicious circumstances and her memories were uploaded for investigation. Somehow, they didn’t upload her memories alone. They uploaded her consciousness, too.

As she struggles within a perplexing computer network environment to find out how she died, she must also come to grips with the nature of her existence. Her body died, but she sure hasn’t. What does it mean to be alive, then?

She wants to talk to her friends and family, but they might not accept her. Before she can even try to reconnect with them, she has to get the people on the outside to recognize that she’s a real person, trapped inside technology.

She needs to establish a hello protocol–a way of establishing communication.

This story is like nothing you’ve read before. It’s Altered Carbon meets Gone Girl inside a digital environment. It will challenge you, then thrill you, then leave you wanting more. You’ll be on the edge of your seat as you explore this fascinating new technological existence with Jennika.

Wicked Delights by lily Harper HartWicked Delight by Lily Harper Hart:

Ivy Morgan and Jack Harker don’t have many complaints.

Things are good, life is quiet, and the only big thing on their to-do lists is picking a date for their wedding, which is exactly what they’re doing when a local celebutante approaches with an offer for Jack to be on a dating show.

He turns her down flat and goes on his way, but the next morning, she’s found dead and the list of suspects is endless thanks to the production landing smackdab in the middle of Shadow Lake.

Ivy doesn’t like having Hollywood on her doorstep. Jack is even worse, especially when he realizes the producers want Ivy to step in and take the dead heiress’s spot in the limelight. The idea of cameras following Ivy when magical things keep happening around her is enough to paralyze the couple … and then force them to run to avoid the harsh glare of the viewing public.

Jack and Ivy have a lot on their plates. They have to solve a murder, figure out what the witch in the woods is trying to tell them when it comes to the nature of the human soul, and pick a wedding date.

It’s all in a day’s work for Shadow Lake’s favorite couple. If they live to survive the dark force descending on their town, that is. They’ll have to work together to overcome imminent evil … but they’re used to that, of course.

The Ghost Who Says I Do by Bobbi HolmesThe Ghost Who Says I Do by Bobbi Holmes:

A Valentine’s Day Wedding at Marlow House?

Love is in the air—along with secrets—some are deadlier than others.

Will secrets from Clint Marlow’s past come back to haunt Walt and Danielle?

 

 

Nothing But Her Name by Cynthia E. HurstNothing But Her Name by Cynthia E. Hurst:

Clock repairer Jacob Silver usually prefers to stand on the sidelines of life, but he gets more action than expected when he agrees to replace a missing player at a village fete ‘Aunt Sally’ competition. Play comes to an unexpected end when a body is discovered and the promised prize money is snatched away. Blackmail, bribery and an old secret all play their part as Jacob and his wife Sarah help find out who in their Cotswold town is determined to win at all costs – and what the ultimate prize might be.

‘Nothing but her Name’ is the ninth book in the Silver and Simm Victorian Mysteries series.

The Last Amen by C.C. JamesonThe Last Amen by C.C. Jameson:

When he acts in the name of God, his victims’ faith could be their demise.

When a young woman is found dead on her bed, dressed in an old-fashioned nightgown with her hands clasped in a prayer position, Detective Kate Murphy is called to investigate her murder.

But before Kate and her colleagues can find the killer, another woman is found dead in the same position. Other than having blonde hair and living in Boston, the women have very little in common. But one thing is clear: the serial killer has some twisted religious beliefs.

What is his motive? Who is he? And, most importantly, can Kate stop the murderer before he strikes again?

Last Chance by libby KirschLast Chance by Libby Kirsch

A missing girl, a sleuth in training, and family secrets with deadly consequences.

Janet Black, the feisty bar owner and apprentice PI in Knoxville, Tennessee, is back, and she’s taken a job her mentor told her to run from: finding a missing teenage girl.

But with her computer-expert boyfriend, and an ear fine-tuned for gossip from her years as a bartender, she figures she’s just the right person to make a difference.

As she dives into the case, though, she finds that the mother’s not telling the whole story, setting Janet up for a dangerous discovery. And trouble never comes alone. Her bar is flagged for liquor-code violations, a construction project gets out of hand, and she uncovers weird, possibly criminal, obsessions in her new chef.

Janet refuses to acknowledge she’s out of her depth—and thinks she just needs more time to put the puzzle pieces together and find the girl. But when a dead body surfaces, her world view is shaken. Suddenly, finding the missing girl is more than just an altruistic act. Her very life depends on it. As the sinister plot twists ever closer to her own life, Janet is faced with a dilemma. When it comes to the ones you love, how many chances are too many?

Predator by Linsey LanierPredator by Linsey Lanier:

What’s wrong with Mackenzie?

PI Miranda Steele knows something has been eating away at her teenage daughter for months now. Does Mackenzie know her real father was a psychotic serial killer?

Miranda’s afraid to ask and this time, Parker has no answers.

But when her precious daughter goes missing, Miranda spirals into a tailspin. Now she’s forced to ask the most painful question of all.

Has Mackenzie’s emotional state caused her to fall victim to a sexual predator?

Above the Fold and Below the Belt by Amanda M. LeeAbove the Fold and Below the Belt by Amanda M. Lee:

Avery Shaw has taken on her fair share of jerks.

Often, she’s considered the jerk when she takes them down … a role she gladly relishes.

Now, though, she’s taking on a whole faction of jerks.

It seems a battle of the sexes is brewing in Macomb County. A local shock jock, a man who believes women should be home tending children and keeping the house clean while men bring home the bacon, is on trial for sexually harassing his underlings.

His followers believe he’s innocent. Every female empowerment group in the state – and ultimately the nation – believes he’s guilty. That means it’s a media circus, and there’s nothing Avery likes more than a circus.

She has her hands full with this one, though. She very clearly agrees with one side but there seems to be something wrong with the underlying story. When one of the radio personality’s followers is shot in the middle of a rally, ensuring he’s a martyr for the cause, Avery realizes there’s a path to follow … and it’s long and winding.

Avery knows who she wants to win. She also knows someone isn’t telling the truth. It’s her job to find out which side is lying.

It’s all hands on deck for another zany adventure, and everyone is along for the ride. Who’s left standing at the end is anyone’s guess, but Avery smells blood in the water … and she’s going to find the truth no matter who goes down in the process.

Scholarly Pursuits by M. Louisa LockeScholarly Pursuits by M. Louisa Locke:

“Something is rotten in the state of Berkeley”
–1881 Blue and Gold Yearbook, University of California: Berkeley

In Scholarly Pursuits, the sixth full-length novel in the USA Today best-selling Victorian San Francisco mystery series, Locke explores life on the University of California: Berkeley campus in 1881, where Laura and her friends face the remarkably modern problems of fraternity hazings, fraught romantic relationships, and fractious faculty politics.

While Annie and Nate Dawson and friends and family in the O’Farrell Street boardinghouse await a blessed event, Laura Dawson finds herself investigating why a young Berkeley student dropped out of school in the fall of 1880.

No one, including her friend Seth Timmons, thinks this is a good idea, since she is juggling a full course load with a part-time job, but she can’t let the question of what happened to her friend go unanswered. Not when it means that other young women might be in danger.

Murder on Lot B by London LovettsMurder on Lot B by London Lovett:

Los Angeles, 1923. The land of movie stars and perpetual sunshine has a stylish new force to be reckoned with—Poppy Starfire, Private Investigator.

Poppy recently moved out on her own and is eager for a taste of independence and to prove to her retired Uncle Sherman that she is capable of running the Starfire Detective Agency. Her brother Jasper has also joined the agency. Poppy prides herself on being a skilled investigator but so far the cases have been scarce and to say the least uninspiring. But that all changes when Anna Colton walks through the door. Anna’s brother Roger, a famous stuntman for the local movie studio has died in a well publicized accidental fall. Only Anna’s not convinced it was an accident. It’s up to Poppy and Jasper to peel away the layers and uncover the truth. Who killed Roger ‘Rowdy’ James?

Fear by John W. MeffordFear by John W. Mefford:

His heart beats. Barely.

Each thump pounds his mind deeper into oblivion.

And he wonders — How did I get here?

A father goes missing. Not just any father. But a person once worshipped for his world-class talent.

Enter the most unconventional team around: Willow Ball and Cooper Chain.

As a nurse at the community clinic, Willow has seen the painful effects of heroin addiction. But now she’s compelled to help a grieving wife and mother.

Dodging the mob at every turn, Cooper has a plan to bring them down while getting traction on his upstart career. Is he marching into a trap?

With their relationship bordering the “friends with benefits” stage, Willow and Cooper team up to find the missing person. But it’s not that simple. Nothing with them is ever simple.

The hunt corkscrews into an impossible maze of events — their lives threatened by a swarm of twisted deviants and social misfits.

Emotions run rampant, stoking one savage response after another. A spark ignites the hate, but what is the real fuel for this wave of brutal crimes?

Ultimately, can Willow and Cooper save a family from the torment before it’s too late?

Only if they can overcome their own…fear.

The Girl in Red by John NichollThe Girl in Red by John Nicholl:

She has two choices. Escape or Die…

Kathy thought she’d met her soulmate. But Police Inspector Michael Conner’s behaviour changes on the day of their wedding.

Showing his true colours for the first time, Conner becomes increasingly manipulative, controlling and cruel as the months’ pass.

When Kathy tries to escape, Conner does his best to convince everyone that she is mentally ill. But Anna, Kathy’s identical twin sister, doesn’t believe it.

After a tragic event, Kathy decides enough is enough and elicits Anna’s help to rid herself of Conner for good.

But will Conner simply let Kathy walk away or have the sisters bitten off more than they can chew?

It Ends Here by Willow RoseIt Ends Here by Willow Rose:

Every Parent’s Worst Fear!

She thought it would be okay.

She thought her son would be fine if she left him in the car.

It was after all just for a few minutes while she went to grab something at the store. It was no big deal. But when Mrs. Cunningham came back out from the store, the car was empty, and her 5-year-old boy was gone.

In a town filled with dark secrets, who will you dare to believe?

Reporter Rebekka Franck is traveling to central Florida to interview a famous author when the body of a young boy turns up inside an abandoned house.

The death of the boy leaves the small town of Webster horror-stricken.

Forty years ago, another little boy was found killed in that exact same house.

Now they are all asking themselves: Will it end here?

As Rebekka Franck digs deep into the story, she realizes this town is harboring a lot of secrets that some people will go to extremes to keep hidden.

Poison at the Bake Sale by Hollis ShilohPoison at the Bake Sale by Hollis Shiloh:

Abe has an awful premonition that something will go wrong during a local baking contest. Of course it’s his silly imagination; he’s just jumpy these days, after that murder last year. But when the day of the competition means running into his abusive ex, who later turns up dead, Abe wishes that he’d paid more attention to his anxieties, not less.

Now it’s up to Abe and Gregory to figure out who could have done in the awful man. Because the authorities are looking awfully close to home, and there’s only so much strain that even the best relationship can take.

Murder and Mockery by K.P. StaffordMurder and Mockery by K.P. Stafford:

Once again, Lexi is up to her eyeballs in murder mystery while trying to plan her wedding to Jake.
A descendent of the original town settlers is found murdered in a most heinous manner. Her death starts to uncover secrets from the past, mysteries their ancestors tried to cover up long ago.

Will the people of Cryptic Cove be able to deal with the past and what they discover?

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

Luck and Crime – A Round-Up of Indie St. Patrick’s Day Crime Fiction

Luck and Crime banner
Our monthly round-ups of new speculative fiction and new crime fiction releases by indie authors are a perennially popular feature. Therefore, we now offer you a round-up of our favourite St. Patrick’s Day mysteries by indie and small press authors.

The holiday mysteries cover the broad spectrum of crime fiction. We have plenty of cozy mysteries, culinary mysteries, animal mysteries, paranormal mysteries, police procedurals, crime thrillers, noir thrillers, legal thrillers, amateur sleuths, crime-fighting witches, crime-fighting bakers, crime-fighting ghostwriters, crime-fighting dogs, murders, pranks, missing gold coins, murdered leprechauns and much more. But one thing unites all of those very different books. They’re all set on or around St. Patrick’s Day.

As always with my round-up posts, this round-up of the best indie holiday mysteries is also crossposted to the Indie Crime Scene, a group blog which features new release spotlights, guest posts, interviews and link round-ups regarding all things crime fiction several times per week.

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

And now on to the books without further ado:

Struck by Shillelagh by Amy AlessioStruck by Shillelagh by Amy Alessio:

Struck by Shillelagh: A St. Patrick’s Day novella mystery! When her friend is arrested for attempted murder of the Mayor at the St. Patrick’s Day parade, Alana O’Neill tries to learn who really hit the unpopular politician with the black thorn shillelagh. A new booth owner with a questionable past, a secret author featuring the antiques mall and recipe failures are unable to distract Alana for long on her quest for justice. Vintage recipes include Edible Blarneystones, Refrigerator Cake, Lime Ribbon Delight and more. This story is 11,000 words.

Includes Bonus Story Thankful for Pie: In this Thanksgiving holiday novella, Star tries to learn who is sabotaging her family’s struggling bakery. She also wonders why her new karate instructor drives her so crazy.

Murder on Saint Patrick's Day by P. CreedenMurder on Saint Patrick’s Day by P. Creeden:

It’s St. Patrick’s Day and 20-year-old Emma Wright is working hard at training five-month-old Molly, her foster puppy, to become a therapy dog. But her training coach and neighbor gets an emergency call, cutting the lesson short, and Emma volunteers to pick up her daughter at a St. Patrick’s Day concert in town.

When Emma arrives, the concert has just finished up, and the teenage girls are visiting with the band. Then the lead singer stumbles and falls to the ground, dead. Emma becomes the only level head in the crowd and calls for help. When the Sheriff and Colby arrive, they investigate it as a potential accident. But Emma finds subtle clues that something more sinister is going on. Did the leader of the band die in an accident, or was it murder?

Shamrock Shenangigans by Kathi DaleyShamrock Shenangigans by Kathi Daley:

Zak and Zoe travel to Ireland for their first Valentines Day as husband and wife. They have been invited to attend a murder mystery weekend in a real haunted castle. During their first night at the castle, they find one of the guests dead. Really dead. As they delve into the murder they begin to see that not only are things not as they appear, but several of the other attendees are not who they claim to be. During the course of her investigation Zoe discovers a secret about herself that is more than just a little shocking.

 

Shamrock Snake by Tom Dots DohertyShamrock Snakes by Tom Dots Doherty:

Set in Dublin during a St. Patrick’s Day Festival, Shamrock Snake is an exciting Irish crime thriller that’s told from a male and female perspective as Doyle tires to find out what is behind a series of gruesome murder-suicides.

 

 

 

 

Shammed by Bernadette FranklinShammed by Bernadette Franklin:

At R.K. Legal & Associates, office hours are between ten to six, pranks happen after hours, and evidence of all shenanigans are removed before doors open to clients.

When Alice’s boss, Mr. Kenton, starts a prank war with Lance McCarthy, an up-and-coming attorney from a rival firm, she thinks it’s just business as usual.

She’s never been so wrong in her life.

Chosen to be Mr. Kenton’s accomplice, Alice must face off against Lance in what quickly becomes a winner-takes-all game of hearts.

Paddy Whacked by S. Furlong-BollingerPaddy Whacked by S. Furlong-Bollinger:

Inspector Helmes and his trusty sidekick, Watkins, know they have their work cut out for them in solving the murder of Paddy O’Toole, the Grand Leprechaun. However, nothing can prepare them for the strange lineup of suspects they encounter at the annual Holiday Icon Convention.

 

 

 

St. Patrick's Day by Andrew GonzalezSt. Patrick’s Day by Andrew Gonzalez:

St. Patricks Day is a story about two brothers who had a terrible history in the past and takes place in Celina, Ohio. The older brother Jimmy Marsh tries to kill his younger brother Jacob Marsh out of anger and jealousy when they were kids. At the age of ten the older brother Jimmy Marsh did his part in killing his parents. Because of doing so, Jimmy was abused by his parents and Jacob the younger brother was treated like a prince. Jimmy failed to kill his brother Jacob and was sent to a sanitarium for ten years but then he escaped and went after Jacob again. Through the years Jacob had delusions of seeing his brother, and now that Jimmy is free, he has another chance of going after Jacob and his friends. So now its up to Jacob not only to save himself but also the people he loves.

Sleuthing for the Weekend by Jennifer L. HartSleuthing for the Weekend by Jennifer L. Hart:

It’s St. Patrick’s Day in Beantown, and Mackenzie Elizabeth Taylor needs the Luck of the Irish to solve her latest mystery—namely, who was the mysterious Uncle Al, the man who left her his apartment building as well as his PI business? But that personal investigation has to take a backseat to raising her teenage genius Mac, and dealing with her immature baby-daddy and demanding mother. Not to mention taking on a job that will actually produce some green.

The case is a gnarly dispute by two Irish pub owners who happen to be brothers as well as rivals over a missing inheritance. With the entire city out pub-crawling, Mackenzie goes hunting for a pot of gold…but winds up with a body instead.

With an assist from Mac, Mackenzie must slip into her gumshoes and go toe-to-toe with Detective Hunter Black, her neighbor, protector, and main squeeze, in order to solve her case. this case and claim the reward before someone else. Can the mother daughter team successfully investigate in the middle of a city-wide chaos? Or is their luck about to run out?

End of the Rainbow by Michelle Ann HollsteinEnd of the Rainbow by Michelle Ann Hollstein:

It’s St. Patrick’s Day and Aggie, Betty and Roger are celebrating at an Irish pub in Palm Springs when Betty’s leprechaun-love-interest drops dead. Could it be murder? Join Aggie and friends as they embark on a celebration they won’t soon forget.

 

 

 

Duffel Bags and Drownings by Dorothy HowellDuffel Bags and Drownings by Dorothy Howell:

Fashionista and event planner to the stars Haley Randolph is staging a St. Patrick’s Day bash for one of Hollywood’s biggest couples. When she visits the catering company to check on preparations, it looks like the green ice sculptures will be the hit of the party — until Haley finds a server floating face down in the water tank.

Haley becomes the prime suspect in the murder. With a killer — and a giant leprechaun — on the loose, she must do some fast sleuthing to find the pot of gold at the end of this rainbow. Will she kiss the Blarney Stone — or the hot new detective on the case?

Haley will need the luck of the Irish to find the killer — and the hottest handbag of the season!

Shamrock Pie Murder by Carolyn Q. HunterShamrock Pie Murder by Carolyn Q. Hunter:

Indulge yourself in a sweet slice of murder!

It’s Saint Patrick’s Day in Culver’s Hood and pie shop owner, Bertha Hannah, has been asked to cater the dessert course at a local chiropractic luncheon. Unfortunately, what seems like a fun event is hampered by persistent protestors, professional disagreements, and jealous lovers. The unpleasant situation goes from bad to worse when one of the event’s attendees is murdered, under most unusual circumstances.

Bert has her hands full trying to prove one man’s innocence while hunting down ghosts of the past. Will she be able to “crack” the case, or will she find herself permanently on pins and needles?

Lucky Strike by Madison JohnsLucky Strike by Madison Johns:

When Sheriff Peterson is injured during a high-speed chase — Agnes and Eleanor spring into action.

Agnes Barton and Sheriff Peterson’s working relationship is shoddy at best. He’d rather balk at the idea of Agnes and Eleanor independently investigating his cases. That changes though when he’s injured in a high-speed chase. While the good sheriff is laid up at a secret location for his own safety, the girls are on the case.

It’s hard to investigate the true nature of the sheriff’s accident though when Rodney Scott is murdered at the local bowling alley and all they have to rely on is the Interim Sheriff Karl Roberts. Agnes needs to quell her suspicions about Roberts as the girls launch an investigation that has them at their wits end and it will take more than luck to solve this case.

St. Patrick Day's Secret by Linda KozarSt. Patrick’s Day Secret by Linda P. Kozar:

When seventeen-year-old Sean visits his eccentric Irish grandfather, he discovers a secret that his Gramps is obsessed with—finding the family’s cache of gold coins, stolen, according to his grandfather, by leprechauns. Though Sean doesn’t believe in elves or leprechaun’s he decides to spend his last summer before college with his grandfather, and joins him in his quest to find a purloined pot of gold.

 

 

Four-Leaf Clover by Amanda M. LeeFour-Leaf Clover by Amanda M. Lee:

Clove Winchester is feeling lucky at life, and that’s before a mysterious stranger drops into her magic store and gifts her with a special coin. Suddenly things can’t go wrong for Clove, and she’s the center of attention in the Winchesters’ world – especially because Aunt Tillie wants that coin.

When a near-death experience rocks Clove and her boyfriend Sam, Clove takes a closer look at the coin and realizes there’s a lot she can do with her new luck streak. Unfortunately for Aunt Tillie, Clove is determined to keep the benefits to herself.

When a brazen armed robber hits Hemlock Cove and goes after Bay, all of the Winchester witches band together to solve the crime and save the day. Of course, they may need a little luck to do it.

Lucky You by Mark ParkerLucky You by Mark Parker:

SOME KILLERS ARE BORN, SOME ARE CREATED…

After a night of exuberant sex with a college coed on St. Patrick’s Day, club bouncer Declan McGilvery discovers something quite unsettling about himself. What transpires over the next few weeks for this Irish-born Boston native is nothing short of unthinkable. As circumstances grow beyond Declan’s control, his life heads in a direction he could’ve never possibly imagined. Declan comes to realize in an all-too-real way, that one night stands can hold implications beyond lust and risky behavior. Sometimes they can even lead to death.

Go Bráth ('Til Doomsday) by Christopher RyanGo Bráth (‘Til Doomsday) by Christopher Ryan:

NYPD Detectives Frank Mallory and Alberto “Gunner” Gennaro (from the award-winning debut novel CITY OF WOE and the popular short story collection CITY OF SIN) are just trying to enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day Parade when all Hell breaks loose….

 

 

 

The Luck of the Ghostwriter by Noreen WaldThe Luck of the Ghostwriter by Noreen Wald:

Jake O’Hara and her colleagues are looking forward to a complimentary weekend in Manhattan’s swanky Plaza Hotel, the venue for the Greater New York Crime Writers’ Conference. The conference kicks off on St. Patrick’s Day, making the atmosphere a bit more festive—and chaotic—than usual. But things get way out of hand when senator-turned-writer Charlie Fione and actress-turned-writer Holly Halligan partake of some green beer—that leaves them permanently green around the gills.

Now Jake’s Irish eyes are far from smiling as she delves into a mystery and tries to rewrite a murderer’s plot—as only New York City’s finest ghostwriter can.

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

Masks and Murder – A Round-up of Indie Mardi Gras Mysteries

Masks and Murder banner
Our monthly round-ups of new speculative fiction and new crime fiction releases by indie authors are a perennially popular feature. Therefore, we now offer you a round-up of our favourite Mardi Gras mysteries, crime novels and thrillers by indie and small press authors.

The holiday mysteries cover the broad spectrum of crime fiction. We have cozy mysteries, hardboiled mysteries, small town mysteries, big city mysteries, paranormal mysteries, historical mysteries, crime thrillers, legal thrillers, psychological thrillers, paranormal thrillers, private investigators, amateur sleuths, ghost whisperers, crime-busting nuns, crime-busting beauty queens, lawyers, serial killers, missing children, missing mothers, missing masks, faked suicides, cursed doubloons, poisoned king cakes and much more. But one thing unites all of those very different books. They’re all set on or around Mardi Gras.

As always with my round-up posts, this round-up of the best indie holiday mysteries is also crossposted to the Indie Crime Scene, a group blog which features new release spotlights, guest posts, interviews and link round-ups regarding all things crime fiction several times per week.

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

And now on to the books without further ado:

Krewe of Souls by Elaine CallowayKrewe of Souls by Elaine Calloway:

Mardi Gras, Mayhem, and Murder…

Tristan Pleasance is a ghost whisperer extraordinaire, but talking to his living father is another story. Family conflict prompts Tristan to bolt from his lifelong home in St. Francisville, Louisiana, to make a new life in New Orleans. But six months later, a family tragedy forces him to return home and he is thrust into a murder investigation where his past and future will collide.

Grace Lansing is a New Orleans columnist who yearns to write feature articles rather than puff pieces. To prove herself to her editor, she travels to the quaint town of St. Francisville to research their big Mardi Gras Krewe competition. But what seems an innocent cultural practice quickly turns into a web of intrigue—and getting too close to the handsome Tristan puts her in danger of becoming collateral damage.

Together, Tristan and Grace must find out who is responsible for the murders—before the Krewe of Souls is trapped forever.

The Secret of the Other Mother by Laura CayouetteThe Secret of the Other Mother by Laura Cayouette:

It’s late 2009 and the Saints are undefeated on their way to the Super Bowl. Fresh off the Los Angeles red carpet of the movie she produced and starred in, vivacious Charlotte Reade heads to her family home in New Orleans for the funeral of Sassy, the woman who helped raise her mother.

When Sassy’s “adopted” twin daughters ask brainy and tenacious Charlotte to help them find their birth mother, she heads down a path that starts in a laundromat in the 1950’s and winds through costume experts and a burlesque tour before landing her on the infamous Bourbon Street.

Along the way, Charlotte reconnects to her own family history, uncovering clues to a family secret and the ghost who’s said to protect it. As her funeral trip extends through the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras, Charlotte struggles with her dedication to the career she worked so hard for and the intoxicating draw of the culture, romance and soul of the city she’s always wanted to call home.

Sinister by Jana DeLeonSinister by Jana DeLeon:

Street kids are disappearing, but how do you report that to the police when, from their standpoint, the missing people didn’t exist to begin with? Hustle is certain that something bad has happened to his friend Jinx, and the only person he can turn to for help is private investigator Shaye Archer. Because Hustle helped the young PI while she was investigating her first case, Shaye has already formed an opinion as to his character and believes he’s telling the truth. As she digs deeper into Jinx’s disappearance, she discovers that Hustle’s friend isn’t the only one missing. As a frightening pattern emerges, Shaye wonders if she can find the missing kids…before it’s too late.

Ms. America and the Naughtiness in New Orleans by Diane DempseyMs. America and the Naughtiness in New Orleans by Diane Dempsey:

Who better than Ms. America Happy Pennington to grace Mardi Gras festivities in never-say-die New Orleans? She packs good looks, party moves, and sleuthing smarts—which come in handy when the king for an elite old-line krewe is bumped off during a Carnival parade.

All too soon Happy learns the centuries-old French Quarter is not all jazz, Creole cuisine, and cocktails: evil lurks there, too, even amid the pageantry of the Big Easy’s most gleeful season. Yet no ghost, vampire or even voodoo spirit will keep our scrappy beauty queen from nabbing the killer—not when the stakes are sky-high for someone near and dear to her heart.

Find out why readers call the Beauty Queen Mysteries “super-fun reads” they can’t put down until the last page is turned …

Mardi Gras Murder, edited by Sarah E. GlennMardi Gras Murder, edited by Sarah E. Glenn:

Thirteen tales of crime set during the bacchanalia that is Mardi Gras. Featuring stories from Harriette Sackler, Marian Allen, Debra H. Goldstein and Nathan Pettigrew. The mayhem of Mardi Gras is served with a healthy dose of Cajun dishes and an unhealthy number of deaths. Dig into Bourbon Street Lucifer, Voodoo Honeymoon, a dish of Red Beans and Ricin, and other deadly treats.

 

 

The Mardi Gras Murder by Jackie GriffeyThe Mardi Gras Murder by Jackie Griffey:

Like bananas, Sheriff Cas Larkin’s troubles are ripening in bunches.

A fully dressed woman is found drowned in the lake. He has a citizen no one can find, but hasn’t been reported as missing and all of her known acquaintances are standing in the way of Cas’s investigation. Then Judge Carpenter’s fiancée lands in jail, accused of a bloody murder way down yonder in New Orleans!

Now Cas must pick up the pace and connect the dots… before he goes bananas himself.

Murder at the Mardi Gras by V. HurstMurder at the Mardi Gras by V. Hurst:

The Bryans and the Flannerys from ‘Murder at the JC’ and ‘Murder on the Cruise Ship’ take a vacation in New Orleans during Mardi Gras Season. They are soon recruited by their old friend FBI Special Agent Don Hobbs to search for a serial killer who murders a young woman each Mardi Gras for her kidneys. Clues lead the foursome to the killer and to a huge twist at the end of the story.

 

 

Murder at the Mardi Gras by Linda P. KozarMurder at the Mardi Gras by Linda P. Kozar:

When an esteemed professor of Louisiana history is found face down in a King Cake, young detective Annie Fournier suspects foul play and begins an investigation to find the person responsible. Her partner has little patience for Annie’s inexperience or gender and seems to enjoy mocking her at every opportunity. And to top that off, the crazy melee of Mardi Gras seems to hamper their progress at every turn. Will they weigh in on the identity of the murderer before Fat Tuesday ends, and will Annie prove that she has what it takes to be a detective?

Krewe by Jayson LivingstonKrewe by Jayson Livingston:

My name is Eugene Doyle Babineaux, Krewe to my friends. I’m a private investigator in Sacramento, California. My life is unassuming, and I like it that way. Things changed when I received a call from my brother. My mom was dead–suicide, he says. I didn’t believe it for a minute. So, I returned home to New Iberia, a small town in southern Louisiana, to look into Mom’s death. Once there, I reunited with old friends and foes alike. It seemed there were nefarious forces who did not want me poking around into Mom’s death. Rich people who keep company with bad people and who would stop at nothing to keep their plans hidden. What do Mardi Gras krewes, sugarcane production, and mob enforcers have to do with my mom’s death? I was about to find out, and things would never be the same.

Voodoo Dreams by Alana LorensVoodoo Dreams by Alana Lorens:

When her big trial goes bad, corporate attorney Brianna Ward can’t wait to get out of Pittsburgh. The Big Easy seems like the perfect place to rest, relax, and forget about the legal business. Too bad an obnoxious–but handsome–lawyer from a rival firm is checking into the same bed and breakfast.

Attorney Evan Farrell has Mardi Gras vacation plans too. When he encounters fiery and attractive Brianna, however, he puts the Bourbon Street party on hold. He’d much rather devote himself to her–especially when a mysterious riddle appears in her bag, seeming to threaten danger.

Strangely compelled to follow the riddle’s clues, Brianna is pulled deeper into the twisted schemes of a voodoo priest bent on revenge. To escape his poisonous web, she must work with Evan to solve the curse. But is the growing love they feel for each other real? Or just a voodoo dream?

A Masquerade of Saints by Nicole LoughanA Masquerade of Saints by Nicole Loughan:

In the third installment in the best-selling Saints Mystery Series small town Cajun, Fanchon, finds herself in some hot water, along with a few nasty crayfish. The heat gets turned up when she receives an invitation to join New Orleans high society. She’s ready to party until she receives a puzzling message from her favorite psychic to stay alert and wash her hands all night. When the warning seems all but forgotten the phone rings and Fanchon learns she should have been more careful. This adventure takes Fanchon from the bayou to the top of the floats at Mardi Gras with new characters and old friends to help along the way.

The Gay Mardi Gras Murders by Sylvia MassaraThe Gay Mardi Gras Murders by Sylvia Massara:

Mia Ferrari, smartarse, older chick, super sleuth, is back in her 2nd murder mystery and this time, she is up to her neck in drag queens, a rare diamond with a curse and murder most foul against the backdrop of Sydney’s world famous Gay Mardi Gras.

A female impersonator is found dead in her hotel suite bathtub and a rare diamond worth twenty million dollars is gone. The Gay Mardi Gras is fast approaching and Mia Ferrari, senior duty manager of the exclusive Rourke International Hotel Sydney, has to juggle a bunch of drag queens, a number of fabulously handsome gay men, a transsexual with a dark mystery, a young cop with sex on his mind, a close friend from the UK who is having marital problems and a mounting body count.

As Mia pits her investigative skills against her archenemy, Detective Sergeant Phil Smythe to solve the case, she not only becomes embroiled in the life of the people around her, but it looks like she is the next target for a serial killer with a grudge against gay men.

Mardi Gras Madness by Ken MaskMardi Gras Madness by Ken Mask:

While trying to free a lawyer friend convicted of a crime he didn’t commit, New Orleans private investigator Luke Jacobs is drawn into an international web of real estate fraud, pharmaceutical corporation misdealing and murder. Mardi Gras may have to be put on hold.

 

 

 

Mardi Gras Gris Gris by A.C. MasonMardi Gras Gris Gris by A.C. Mason:

Susan Foret is thrust into a murder scene when one of the town’s wealthiest citizens dies near her as the local Krewe’s parade is ending. A gris-gris bag containing tarot cards and several other fetish items is left dangling from the knife in his chest.

 

 

 

The Krewe by Seth PeveyThe Krewe by Seth Pevey:

Living up to the family name comes with a price.

When Felix is told his big brother committed suicide by throwing himself under a train, his gut screams foul play. But as the Mardi Gras season descends on the Big Easy, no one is interested in the conspiracy theories of a drug-addled rich kid.

Except, perhaps, one Carnival organization in particular…

A krewe that hasn’t been heard from in decades.

Felix will need the help of a police detective long past his prime, the family’s honor-obsessed butler, and a massive pork fortune, all in order to find justice for his big brother.

His name, his family, and his very life may hang in the balance.

Burgundy Doubloons by T.J. Spencer JacquesBurgundy Doubloons by T.J. Spencer Jacques:

You caught a doubloon at a Mardi Gras Parade – that was a bad thing.

Trent McGowan is going home. Home to his ailing mother. Home to the city of his childhood. Home to New Orleans. As Trent deals with the peculiar circumstances surrounding his mother’s illness, his family gets swept up in the excitement of Mardi Gras and all of the festivities of that intoxicating day. The jubilant crowds, breathtaking carnival floats, and oh yes, the throws! His youngest daughter Zoe catches one of those throws, a sparkling red doubloon, and that is where the story ends and begins.
Burgundy Doubloons is more than just a suspense thriller, it is everything that makes New Orleans the party capital of the world: only bloodier and darker.

For those who love a parade, Burgundy Doubloon answers a terrifying question: What if your child simultaneously caught a bead, and a murderous spirit? In this heart-palpating novel, you will meet the entire McGowan family, and the people determined to destroy them.

Finally, a paranormal thriller that takes place in New Orleans – as told by a native son who knows where the bodies are buried.

The Mysterious Masks of Mardi Gras by Connie TrappThe Mysterious Masks of Mardi Gras by Connie Trapp:

A 2.5 million dollar Harlequin Mask has been stolen right under everyone’s noses!
It was never out of sight—how could this have happened? The auction was invitation-only, which means only one thing: the thief is among them.

The New Orleans police are on the case, the room where the auction was being held is in lockdown, and no one can leave—not even the Mayor and his wife. Everyone there is a high roller and everyone there is a suspect.

Yet before the police can even begin their investigation, they already have their sights set on a prime suspect…the insider responsible for the distraction that allowed the thief to steal the mask without anyone even noticing. One Jane Dough, of Little Rock…

How in the world did JD get herself into this mess? Follow along as JD struggles to prove her innocence and uncover the real thief…

Mardi Gras Marathon Murders by Diane M. TwilleyMardi Gras Marathon Murders by Diane L. Twilley:

Mardi Gras has come to Galveston Texas, and with it the excitement of a new event, the first ever Mardi Gras Marathon. Gina Malloy, a young journalist, is very involved in the planning of the event. When she enlists the help of her aunt, Sister Catherine Malloy, she is delighted to discover that Sister Catherine’s friend, Martin Iberson, is the agent of one of the big stars of marathon events, Billy Champion. Gina is eager to meet Martin Iberson and his family, and perhaps get a chance to meet and interview Billy Champion.

All goes well, until evil shows its face, and two of the marathon runners are killed. With the help of their friend, police lieutenant Richard Tierney, the nun and her niece embark on the task of finding out who murdered the runners, and as things progress, they find their lives in danger as well. But from whom? And why?

Things become even more somber as they realize that the culprit could be someone they know. Eventually Sister Catherine deduces that to solve the murders she must understand the character of the killer, and she finally comes up with the shocking solution to the Mardi Gras murders.

The Mardi Gras Two Step by Barry M. VassThe Mardi Gras Two Step by Barry M. Vass:

A series of young girls, strippers, are found mutilated and abandoned in the streets and byways of the French Quarter in early 1972. As more bodies turn up, at first in the Mississippi River, and then across the river in Algiers, the detectives assigned to the case are baffled: what sort of deviant could be responsible for such horrific behavior? And then, as the chaos of Mardi Gras crashes in like a wave around them, they begin to suspect that the killer they’re looking for might not even be human…

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

Masks and Magic – A Round-up of Indie Mardi Speculative Fiction

Masks and Magic banner
Our monthly round-ups of new speculative fiction and new crime fiction releases by indie authors are a perennially popular feature. Therefore, we now offer you a round-up of our favourite Mardi Gras speculative fiction by indie authors.

These Mardi Gras stories cover the broad spectrum of speculative fiction. We have a lot of urban fantasy, horror and paranormal mysteries, but also historical fantasy, dark fantasy, religious fantasy and even science fiction. There are angels, demons, Lucifer himself, dragons, ghosts, ghost whisperers, vampires, monsters, zombies, voodoo, cursed doubloons, human sacrifices, space cruises, precognition and much more. But one thing unites all of those very different books. They’re all set on or around Mardi Gras.

As always with my round-up posts, this round-up of the best indie holiday speculative fiction is also crossposted to the Speculative Fiction Showcase, 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:

Southern Monsters by Cora BuhlertSouthern Monsters by Cora Buhlert

Three tales of monsters and terror in the Louisiana bayous.

When a young bride goes missing on her wedding day in Acadiana, the locals blame the Terror, the legendary monster that stalks the Crimson Bayou.
Remy Theriault does not believe in the Terror and he’s pretty sure the bride has done a runner. But the groom is his cousin and family is family. So Remy goes out to look for the runaway bride, only to find that sometimes, the old legends are true…

When their car crashes into the bayou on a dark Louisiana night, the swamp creature known only as Big Puffball might just be one family’s salvation…

When fishing boats go missing on the Mississippi River Delta, few people link these disappearances to the mysterious light that lit up the Louisiana sky only weeks before. But an astronomer from Tulane University makes the connection and discovers the horror that is the sphere that ate the Mississippi delta.

This is a collection of three short horror stories of 7700 words or approximately 27 print pages altogether.

Krewe of Souls by Elaine CallowayKrewe of Souls by Elaine Calloway:

Mardi Gras, Mayhem, and Murder…

Tristan Pleasance is a ghost whisperer extraordinaire, but talking to his living father is another story. Family conflict prompts Tristan to bolt from his lifelong home in St. Francisville, Louisiana, to make a new life in New Orleans. But six months later, a family tragedy forces him to return home and he is thrust into a murder investigation where his past and future will collide.

Grace Lansing is a New Orleans columnist who yearns to write feature articles rather than puff pieces. To prove herself to her editor, she travels to the quaint town of St. Francisville to research their big Mardi Gras Krewe competition. But what seems an innocent cultural practice quickly turns into a web of intrigue—and getting too close to the handsome Tristan puts her in danger of becoming collateral damage.

Together, Tristan and Grace must find out who is responsible for the murders—before the Krewe of Souls is trapped forever.

Mardi Gras Maiden by Michael Dreysher Sr.Mardi Gras Maiden by Michael Dreysher Sr.

New Orleans 1854: A young woman, driven by curiosity sneaks into a brothel and stumbles into a Mardi Gras masquerade. She discovers that the ball is in reality an erotic ritual paying homage to Lucifer, the Great Prince of Evil and she is the guest of honor. The Archangel Gabriel sends four warriors from a dying world to rescue her but they arrive too late; the cult has slaughtered the girl, offering her as a sacrifice to Lucifer.

Rural Pennsylvania 1954: The same cult takes control of an entire town when their High Priestess seduces the land baron who owns it. They engineer a series of extramarital affairs among the residents which culminates in ritual debauchery. Gabriel has his avengers return to Earth with orders to wipe out the cult but Heaven has a dark side. A rogue spirit with an agenda of its own plans to kill these out-world warriors and the archangel’s champions find themselves defenseless in the center of a titanic struggle between two opposing forces from the Kingdom of Heaven.

Carnival in Sorgenbach by Raymund EichCarnival in Sorgenbach by Raymund Eich:

Hans returned from the Great War, haunted. Not only by the horrors of the trenches, but haunted by visions of a more terrifying war to come. Would the parties and parades of Carnival 1919 offer him love and hope? Or doom him and his country to the devastation he foresaw?

 

 

 

Death Dealer by Graylin FoxDeath Dealer by Graylin Fox:

My name is Cimmerian. I’m a dragon shifter living in New Orleans. Someone is screwing up my pre-Mardi Gras plans by leaving mutilated human bodies all over town. I have to find out whether or not a demon is behind this. If so, are they building a human to animate with demon magic? If not, we have a human serial killer just in time for the town to flood with tourists.

Things were so much quieter on vacation.

Damn, I’m glad to be back at work.

Voodoo Dreams by Alana LorensVoodoo Dreams by Alana Lorens:

When her big trial goes bad, corporate attorney Brianna Ward can’t wait to get out of Pittsburgh. The Big Easy seems like the perfect place to rest, relax, and forget about the legal business. Too bad an obnoxious–but handsome–lawyer from a rival firm is checking into the same bed and breakfast.

Attorney Evan Farrell has Mardi Gras vacation plans too. When he encounters fiery and attractive Brianna, however, he puts the Bourbon Street party on hold. He’d much rather devote himself to her–especially when a mysterious riddle appears in her bag, seeming to threaten danger.

Strangely compelled to follow the riddle’s clues, Brianna is pulled deeper into the twisted schemes of a voodoo priest bent on revenge. To escape his poisonous web, she must work with Evan to solve the curse. But is the growing love they feel for each other real? Or just a voodoo dream?

Battlefield Z: Mardi Gras Zombies by Chris LowryBattlefield Z: Mardi Gras Zombies by Chris Lowry:

He found them!

Two of his three children are alive and now that he’s found them he won’t let them out of his sight.

It’s time to find his youngest daughter.

The last he knew she was heading to a refugee camp with her Mom and step-dad. He’s got a map of the camps back at Fort Jasper waiting.

All he has to do is keep his kids safe as they search for answers and a trip back to Alabama. The safest route floats them down the river. It keeps the Z at bay, but delivers them straight into a fortress that feels like paradise.

He has a choice. Hide behind the walls with two thirds of his heart and let the world burn or take a chance and continue the hunt.

An easy job if it weren’t for all the damn zombies.

The Outer-Universe Cruise Ship Mardi GrasThe Outer-Universe Cruise Ship Mardi Gras by E. Miguel:

Space, there is a lot of it. Like really, a lot. As much space as there is though, it also happens to be very crowded. It is for this exact reason the Outer-Universe Cruise Ship Mardis Gras was created. While other cruises throughout the universe offer excitement and adventure, the Mardis Gras offers the mundane for those vacationers that are allergic to such excitement and adventure. The ship’s only constant inconstant is a Mardis Gras party held every other day.

Unfortunately for two passengers on the ship, this week’s cruise offers more than they signed up for. Escape pods, a slumbering Old God, and a Voodoo priestess robot all happen to show up on the unplanned itinerary this week.

Nocturne by Irene Preston and Liv RancourtNocturne by Irene Preston and Liv Rancourt

It’s Mardi Gras, cher, but this year le bon temps kick off with murder…

For generations, the White Monks have treated the vampire Thaddeus Dupont as a weapon in their battle against demons. However, when a prominent matron drops dead at a party, Thaddeus and his lover Sarasija are asked to find her killer. Their investigation leads them to an old southern family with connections everywhere: Louisiana politics, big business, the Church, and an organization just as secret as the White Monks.

Meanwhile, an esoteric text containing spells for demon-summoning has disappeared, Thaddeus is losing control of le monstre, and Sara is troubled by disturbing dreams. These nightmares could be a side-effect of dating a vampire, or they could be a remnant of his brush with evil. As the nights wear on, Sara fears they are a manifestation of something darker – a secret that could destroy his relationship with Thaddeus.

Krewe of Hecate by Sim ShattuckKrewe of Hecate by Sim Shattuck:

A group of Mardi Gras wizards descend to the Underworld and capture the goddess Hecate so that they can display her during Carnival. But they didn’t understand that having the goddess of the Uncanny upon the face of the Earth would do to three unlucky New Orleans residents.

 

 

 

Burgundy Doubloons by T.J. Spencer JacquesBurgundy Doubloons by T.J. Spencer Jacques:

You caught a doubloon at a Mardi Gras Parade – that was a bad thing.

Trent McGowan is going home. Home to his ailing mother. Home to the city of his childhood. Home to New Orleans. As Trent deals with the peculiar circumstances surrounding his mother’s illness, his family gets swept up in the excitement of Mardi Gras and all of the festivities of that intoxicating day. The jubilant crowds, breathtaking carnival floats, and oh yes, the throws! His youngest daughter Zoe catches one of those throws, a sparkling red doubloon, and that is where the story ends and begins.
Burgundy Doubloons is more than just a suspense thriller, it is everything that makes New Orleans the party capital of the world: only bloodier and darker.

For those who love a parade, Burgundy Doubloon answers a terrifying question: What if your child simultaneously caught a bead, and a murderous spirit? In this heart-palpating novel, you will meet the entire McGowan family, and the people determined to destroy them.

Finally, a paranormal thriller that takes place in New Orleans – as told by a native son who knows where the bodies are buried.

Razor Valentine by Roland YeomansRazor Valentine by Roland Yeomans:

MARDI GRAS … MAGIC … MURDER

In 1947 New Orleans THREE KINGS DAY marks the start of the official Carnival Season. Carnival, coming from the Latin words, carne vale, meaning “farewell to the flesh.”

Nuestra Señora de la Santa Muerte, Our Lady of Holy Death, is stalking the French Quarter streets killing apparently at random. What does the psychotic actress, Irene Dupré, know of this entity and what lies behind the murders? She remains silent, only smiling. Santa Muerte’s strange acolyte lurks in the shadows watching, waiting. Waiting for what?

Frank Capra is filming a historical fantasy in the city with Jimmy Stewart, Cesar Romero, and the enigmatic Irene Dupré. Former O.S.S. operative, now the film’s Prop Master, Lucas, finds himself in the middle of the mystery with more questions than answers.

His lost love back from the dead, Ingrid Durtz, and his best friend, Mitchell Mack, are at a loss on how to stay alive, much less catch a supernatural killer.

Then, there is Lucas’ former O.S.S. team mate, Father Darael, whose gift of a Seraph Blade is literally a two-edged blessing. You see, Darael is a Seraphim Provocateur. And Lucas is unsure whose side he is really on, the Celestial or the Fallen?

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

Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for February 2019

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

So what is “Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month”? It’s a round-up of speculative fiction by indie authors newly published this month, though some 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. This month, we have epic fantasy, urban fantasy, historical fantasy, Asian fantasy, funny fantasy, sword and sorcery, paranormal romance, paranormal mystery, space opera, military science fiction, science fiction romance, dystopian fiction, post-apocalyptic fiction, horror, steampunk, hopepunk (yes, I’m using that term. Get over it), satire, witches, wizards, ghosts, valkyries, goblins, dark lords, assassins, prison breaks, outcast marines, space pirates, superheroes, space battles, undead slaves, the second coming 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:

War Begins by Odette C. BellWar Begins by Odette C. Bell:

Diana had a troubled past. The kind where her family were brutally murdered right in front of her eyes. It’s changed the course of her future – but it will change more. An ancient race left a gift inside her mind, and it is time for it to rise.

Sampson is a psychic soldier – one of the Coalition’s best. When he’s sent to the Academy to spy on students, he has no clue he’ll be drawn toward Diana and into the final fight for the Milky Way.

War Begins is a four-part action adventure space opera sure to please fans of Odette C. Bell’s Axira. This series is complete, and all four books are currently available.

The Valley of the Man Vultures by Richard Blakemore and Cora BuhlertThe Valley of the Man Vultures by Richard Blakemore and Cora Buhlert

On his way to Krysh, a city of fabled riches, the sellsword Thurvok must first pass through the Valley of the Accursed Blood.

Traditionally, those travelling to Krysh make offerings at the temple at the entrance of the valley in exchange for protection on their journey. But Thurvok scoffs at such superstition and decides to continue his journey without any divine protection. His refusal to make an offering infuriates the temple priest Alberon who promptly curses Thurvok.

Thurvok is not much bothered by this – he does not believe in curses. However, the valley holds dangers that don’t particularly care whether Thurvok believes in them or not.

This is a short story of 4400 words or 15 print pages in the Thurvok sword and sorcery series, but may be read as a standalone. Includes an introduction and afterword.

The Tomb of the Undead Slaves by Richard Blakemore and Cora BuhlertThe Tomb of the Undead Slaves by Richard Blakemore and Cora Buhlert

The sellsword Thurvok and his friend and companion Meldom, thief, cutpurse and occasional assassin, venture into the Rusted Desert to seek the tomb of the ancient king Chagurdai and the legendary treasure supposedly hidden there.

But once Thurvok and Meldom venture into the tomb, they find that a treasure is not all that’s buried there.

This is a short story of 4100 words or 13 print pages in the Tales of Thurvok sword and sorcery series, but may be read as a standalone. Includes an introduction and afterword.

The Road of Skeletons by Richard Blakemore and Cora BuhlertThe Road of Skeletons by Richard Blakemore and Cora Buhlert

On their way to the northern city of Khon Orzad, Thurvok, the sellsword, and his friend Meldom, thief, cutpurse and occasional assassin, travel along a road lined with the skeletons of executed heretics.

It’s a grim path that becomes even grimmer when Thurvok and Meldom come upon a blindfolded woman who is still very much alive tied to a stake by the side of the road.

Should they continue their journey or rescue the woman and risk the wrath of the priest kings of Khon Orzad…

This is a short story of 5500 words or 20 print pages in the Thurvok sword and sorcery series, but may be read as a standalone. Includes an introduction and afterword.

Insight by Teyla BrantonInsight by Teyla Branton:

Welcome to the CORE: Commonwealth Objective for Reform and Efficiency

Detective Reese Parker is a survivor. Having left behind a violent past in Welfare Colony 6, she is now a sketch artist and detective with the New York Enforcer Division. Her entire focus is maintaining peace and order among the CORE’s remaining two million residents, to make certain their society never faces another economic and nuclear Breakdown.
She must also keep her secret. Because she never wants to be sent back to Colony 6.

With constant Teev surveillance and rigid control in the CORE’s most heavily populated state, Reese’s job mostly consists of tracing small-time juke pushers or sending rebellious students to reconditioning. She doesn’t have to face demented fringers that encroach upon the Core like her counterparts in Dallastar do, or patrol the northern borders where radiation-crazed animals attack unwary travelers. She’s content with being the most accurate sketch artist in the CORE.
But when one of her sketches puts her up against a human monster bigger than anything else that threatens the CORE, it’s a fight she might not survive.

Collision: Stories by J.S. BreukelaarCollision: Stories by J.S. Breukelaar:

A collection of twelve of J.S. Breukelaar’s darkest, finest stories with four new works, including the uncanny new novella “Ripples on a Blank Shore.” Introduction by award-winning author, Angela Slatter. Relish the gothic strangeness of “Union Falls,” the alien horror of “Rogues Bay 3013,” the heartbreaking dystopia of “Glow,” the weird mythos of “Ava Rune,” and others. This collection from the author of American Monster and the internationally acclaimed and Aurealis Award finalist, Aletheia, announces a new and powerful voice in fantastical fiction.

Assassin's Bond by Lindsay BurokerAssassin’s Bond by Lindsay Buroker:

Yanko and his friends must escape a Turgonian prison and find passage back home before their enemies claim an advantage that could change the world. And not for the good of the Nurian people.

But even more trouble awaits at home. Civil war has broken out, Yanko’s family is in danger, and the man who sent him on his mission has disappeared.

If Yanko can’t find Prince Zirabo, he’ll forever remain a criminal and be hunted down by his own people. Worse, his only chance to survive and redeem his honor may be to rely on the one person who’s been trying to kill him since his adventure began.

Quill Me Now by Jordan Castillo PriceQuill Me Now by Jordan Castillo Price:

What if the words you wrote came true?

Spellcraft isn’t exactly a respectable business, but it does pay the bills. At least, it should. Unfortunately, Dixon Penn failed his Spellcraft initiation. Instead of working in his family’s shop, he’s stuck delivering takeout orders in his uncle’s beat-up Buick.

Winning a Valentine’s Day contest at the largest greeting card company in the tri-state area would be just the thing to get his life back on track—but something at Precious Greetings just doesn’t add up. And despite numerous warnings to quit pestering them about his contest entry, he simply can’t stop himself from coming back again and again.

It doesn’t hurt that the head of security is such a hottie. If Dixon had any common sense, he’d be scared of the big, mysterious, tattooed Russian.

To be fair, no one ever accused him of being too smart….

Unleashed Valkyrie by Stacy ClaflinUnleashed Valkyrie by Stacy Claflin:

When two worlds collide, who will remain standing?

Soleil wants nothing more than to live with her family, free from the rules governing her kind. But with Valhalla on the brink of civil war, even retired valkyries are called back to service. Even though she’s a master at skirting the rules, there’s no avoiding her destiny this time. Especially since she’s accidentally volunteered to lead Valhalla’s opposition on Earth—and with two of her least favorite valkyries, no less.

As though a war with traditional valkyries isn’t enough, there’s been a resurgence of hunters. Even the help of the supernaturals on Earth may not be enough to assure victory. Not when she’s fighting a war on two fronts. There’s one supernatural who might be strong enough to turn the tide, but she’d never ask. She’s also not strong enough to keep him from entering the fray.

The fate of two worlds hang in the balance. Soleil wants nothing more than to flee with her family, but she’s honor-bound to stay and fight. The question is, how will the war end? With her people free? With two worlds destroyed? Or will she even survive to witness the outcome?

Murder in Downfell Manor by E.M. CooperMurder in Downfell Manor by E.M. Cooper:

Eleanor Blakely hails from a long line of talented witches, yet after failing to graduate from the Fanglewick School of Magic her prospects look grim. An apprenticeship at the Wandermere Observatory in the Department of Astronomical Predictions offers her a second chance to gain registration as a magic practitioner, but after falling asleep on the job, missing the planetary alignment in the newly discovered Merlin constellation and mistaking a dragon weyr flying over Wandermere for the Cazilla comet shower, she’s booted out. In the Old World, a magically unlicensed adult witch sits just above humans and troublesome teenage goblins on the scale of social worthiness, well below the most ordinary elves, witches and wizards. Unable to practise magic and in her mid-twenties, Eleanor endures work as a transfer officer, supervising humans on the wards of Silverwing Hospital. Her team transports witches and wizards suffering a fatal affliction, known as magic madness or magdolor, to St Blightus, an asylum in the south. In the midst of a transfer, a murder changes everything, forcing her to flee across dimensions to Earth with an amnesiac wizard. Pursued by ruthless elves, she takes refuge in Downfell Manor, where her grandmother, Lucinda and her strange cat, Bella reside. Murder and mayhem follow Eleanor and Artemis, their paths inevitably crossing those of a non-magical wizard, Detective Finley Quiveridge.

The Dark Lord Bert by Chris FoxThe Dark Lord Bert by Chris Fox:

How does a 1-hit-point goblin become the Dark Lord?

By accident. Bert is a tiny goblin with big dreams. He follows adventurers, and loots the copper they leave behind when they take the real loot. One day, Bert hopes, he’ll have enough copper to buy a warg, and finally promote from a 1-HP critter to a Warg Rider.

Kit is a typical gamer hoping to enjoy a good story, but her friends are more interested in rules, loot and experience. Kit’s friends Crotchshot, Brakestuff, and the White Necromancer rampage their way across the land desperately seeking the Dark Lord trope, which gives the wielder the power to reshape the world.

When Bert accidentally steals the trope, Kit is forced to make a choice. Should she help her friends, or help a new Dark Lord rise to power?

The world will never be the same. Get ready for The Dark Lord Bert.

Emerald Fire by Donna Maree HansonEmerald Fire by Donna Maree Hanson:

A book of manners, magic and mayhem

After Edward and Jemima’s honeymoon is cut short by a severed head landing in their marriage bed, they must away to London to devise a way to defeat the ravenous beast, Geneck and Jemima must be the bait.

Newspaper headlines reveal carnage in London streets and the police and the secret brotherhood of magicians are pounding at the door, demanding answers from Edward.

Joined by Fulton, Edward and Jemima begin to scour the dark places of London: sewers and newly-constructed underground railway tunnels. Their only chance is to find Geneck’s lair and end him in daylight, when he is weak. But the monster’s minions protect him and the road to safety is not clear.

When Jemima is taken, Edward is beside himself. Who has taken her and how is he going to get her back? Deeper into magic he must go, and Milly and Aunt Prudence join in the fight to rid the world of Geneck. But will that be enough?

Replication by Kevin HardmanReplication by Kevin Hardman:

Having saved the distant world of Caeles and its interstellar empire – not to mention the life of its ruler, Queen Dornoccia – Jim (aka Kid Sensation), returns to Earth with two notable prizes. The first is his long-missing grandmother, the alien princess Indigo. The other is Queen Dornoccia’s great-great-granddaughter, Myshtal, who is a princess in her own right and a budding superhero. And thanks to the machinations of the queen, she’s also Jim’s titular fiancée, a fact that puts something of a damper on Jim’s relationship with his girlfriend, Electra. It also doesn’t help that Myshtal is breathtakingly beautiful, personable, and witty – and lives under the same roof as Jim.

As if his life wasn’t complicated enough, Jim suddenly finds his world invaded by a doppelganger – an unknown individual who looks so much like him that he is even able to fool those in Jim’s inner circle. Even more disturbing, he also mimics Jim’s incredible slate of super powers.

Framed for crimes he didn’t commit, Jim is forced to seek out his lookalike in order to prove his innocence. However, as the depth of his double’s malevolent plans are revealed, Jim realizes that there is far more at stake than simply clearing his name. Now Jim faces the formidable task of attempting to stop an adversary who not only looks and thinks as he does, but also seems to match him power for power.

Fahrenheit's Ghost by Trish HeinrichFahrenheit’s Ghost by Trish Heinrich:

A weapon of mass destruction in the whisper of a child

When a savage crime boss attacks her family, Colleen vows to do whatever it takes to protect them. Even if it means stealing a superpowered person from a sadistic millionaire.

A top government agent, Karen has lied and killed in the name of justice. Kidnapping, then, isn’t a stretch. Especially if it’s someone who threatens the country she’s vowed to protect.

But when Colleen and Karen discover that the person they’ve been sent to capture is a child, they find themselves on the run from ruthless men who will stop at nothing to control the horrifying powers within the innocent girl.

Fahrenheit’s Ghost is the first, thrilling book in the new superhero series, The Vigilantes: The Pandora Project. If you like powerful heroes, nonstop action and a touch of romance then you’ll love this superpowered story.

The Ghost Who Says I Do by Bobbi HolmesThe Ghost Who Says I Do by Bobbi Holmes:

A Valentine’s Day Wedding at Marlow House?

Love is in the air—along with secrets—some are deadlier than others.

Will secrets from Clint Marlow’s past come back to haunt Walt and Danielle?

 

 

Ghoul You Be My Valentine? by Olivia JaymesGhoul You Be My Valentine? by Olivia Jaymes:

It’s time for another Ravenmist Whodunnit! A tiny Midwestern town with charming covered bridges, quirky residents, delightful antique shops, and more than their share of haunted activity.

Tedi has another packed inn of people for the Ravenmist Valentine’s Day Ball. The evening was a complete success until she and Jack find a dead body on the back patio with a Cupid’s arrow through his heart. There’s no shortage of suspects for his murder either. Jack will have his hands full paring down the list.

And Tedi? She’s staying out of this. No way is she going to be pulled into it. Not after last time. She has her own investigation. She and her friend Missy are trying to find why the town has suddenly been infused with paranormal energy. Ghosts are literally getting up and dancing around. It’s all going well too. That is until the investigation starts to hit just a little bit too close to home.

Hop into your ghostmobile and take a ride with Tedi as she meets a spirit who doesn’t think he’s dead, two ghosts in love, and a hard partying specter who just might have witnessed the murder. It’s a hauntingly good time in the little town of Ravenmist and you’re invited to the party.

The Spoils of War by Ethan JohnsonThe Spoils of War by Ethan Johnson:

Be careful what you search for…

After a successful tactical strike against The Thirteen, Ana Lode searches the city for her fellow rookie officer Sloan, who languishes in a secret detention facility.

This causes friction between Ana and the mysterious Klark, who insists on her undivided attention in the struggle to free the city from the iron grip of The Thirteen.

When Diane Pembrook leads a strike team to their remote hideout, Ana is forced to choose between her loyalty to Klark and her vow to save Sloan. What — and who — is she willing to sacrifice in the name of justice?

For the Love of Cupidity by Raven KennedyFor the Love of Cupidity by Raven Kennedy:

First comes love, then comes mating, then comes the baby and some cupid training.

Cupidville is overrun with new cupid recruits, and it’s up to me to train them in time for Valentine’s Day. Too bad I have four mates who keep insisting that it’s time for me to take a break.

Juggling my role as the cupid boss, being a mate, and handling motherhood isn’t always easy, but it’s sure as hearts worth it. Let’s just hope I can get these cupid flunkies trained in time.

Author’s Note: This is a Heart Hassle novella just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Love Potion, edited by Graceley Knox and D.D. MiersLove Potion, edited by Graceley Knox and D.D. Miers:

A valentines day charity anthology featuring 8 exclusive stories from your favorite bestselling Paranormal and Fantasy romance authors! All proceeds will be donated to Room to Read!

How to Capture a Demon’s Heart – Graceley Knox & D.D. Miers
A Demon’s Plaything (The Elite Guards) – Amelia Hutchins
Deep Blue Sea – Pippa DaCosta
The Hellhound’s Legion: A Kit Davenport Novella – Tate James
The Heart Cantrip: a Family Spells Novella – C.M. Stunich
Eternal Hearts – A Forsaken Gods Series Novella – G. Bailey & Coralee June
A Damsel and a Demigod (The Guild Codex: Spellbound) – Annette Marie
The Fox and the Wolf – Clara Hartley

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

Mystic Caravan Circus is heading for the Midwest … and their first stop is Michigan. Hemlock Cove to be exact.

Poet Parker is looking forward to what she believes will be a quiet time. Hemlock Cove isn’t big, after all, and Mystic Caravan is essentially serving as the centerpiece for a paranormal festival in a town where everyone pretends to be witches.

There’s just one problem … real witches are afoot, and they’re unbelievably powerful.

When a body drops close to the circus grounds, Poet finds herself facing off with local law enforcement, the town’s only reporter, and an elderly witch who is set in her ways … and knows exactly how she’s going to do things no matter who agrees with her or not.

Yes, Poet is about to interact with the Winchester witches, and who comes out on top is anybody’s guess. The only thing both factions know is that they have to work together to uncover a killer and keep their true natures under wraps. That’s easier said than done, especially when Nellie and Aunt Tillie join forces and decided to take control of the situation.

It’s a battle for supremacy, with Mystic Caravan in one corner and the Wicked Witches of the Midwest in the other. Both sides are going to come out swinging … and cursing.

Place your bets.

Two Witches and a Whiskey by Annette MarieTwo Witches and a Whiskey by Annette Marie:

Three months ago, I landed a job as a bartender. But not at a bar–at a guild. Yeah, the magic kind.

I’m not a badass mage like my three smokin’ hot best friends. I’m not a sorcerer or an alchemist, or even a wussy witch. I’m just a human, slinging drinks like a pro and keeping my non-magical nose out of mythic business. Seriously, I know my limits.

So why am I currently standing in a black-magic ritual circle across from a fae lord?

Somewhere behind me, my three mage friends are battling for their lives. Somewhere near my feet is the rogue witch I just knocked out with a stolen spell. And I have about five seconds to convince this very angry sea god not to shmoosh me like a bug.

I’m pretty sure this wasn’t in the job description.

Rainbow Bouquet, edited by Farah MendlesohnRainbow Bouquet, edited by Farah Mendlesohn:

Authors featured are Harry Robertson, Edward Ahern, Victoria Zammit, Erin Horáková, Cheryl Morgan, Sarah Ash, Kathleen Jowitt, Sean Robinson, Garrick Jones and MJ Logue, and the settings vary from a mediaeval monastery to the ‘final frontier’, give or take the odd supernatural realm along the way. Stories of love in the past, present and future – all as fascinating in their variety as love itself.

 

 

Liars Called by Ty HutchinsonLiars Called by Stephan Morse:

Abandoned by his father, too proud to ask his brother for help, and lured by the promise of money, Lance gets on a bus that mysteriously appears outside his house in the middle of the night.

It brings him and others to a dream-like land where anything can be bought and sold, even magic. When he returns home, he finds his family has changed, the world has moved on, and monsters from faerie tales overrun the town.

Survival is paramount—but everything has a price.

Revenge by Nathan HystadRevenge by Nathan Hystad:

The Rift has opened.

The aliens invaded.

The Eureka is on the other side.

Flint, Wren, and Ace, along with Charles, are now members of the Eureka, a state-of-the-art vessel heading for a world in the far reaches of a new galaxy. Sixty years ago a colony ship was sent there, along with someone close to their benefactor.

But when they arrive, they find getting to the surface isn’t as easy as they thought. With a crash landing, and news that shocks the entire crew, they must collectively find a way to get the Pilgrim off-planet, and into the fight against the Watchers.

One of the crew leaves from orbit, spelling betrayal, and the others know time is against them. They must create a virus and bring it to the enemy’s home world, but not everything is as it seems.

Join our heroes as they fight for the future, knowing an all-out war awaits them back home, on the other side of the Rift.

Ghostly Hunt by K.E. O'ConnorGhostly Hunt by K.E. O’Connor:

Murder by crossbow. A haunted house used for ghost hunting, and an unloved iguana waiting for his soul mate!

When Lorna Shadow takes on a short term job at Applebank Manor, she gets the shock of her life. It turns out she’s in charge of setting up romantic weekends full of ghost hunting!

When a recent murder comes to light and the ghost asks for help, Lorna’s drawn into the mystery, alongside Helen and Flipper.

As the mystery deepens, the house ghosts cause Lorna problems, while Helen has to get to grips with a broken stove and a giant iguana. Then another crossbow murder takes place.

With the police closing in on the wrong suspect, Lorna must move fast. Can she stop the killer before they strike again and save an innocent man? And will Helen help a lonely iguana find his forever home?

There will be ghosts, humor, romance, treats, and a murder (or two) to solve in this new cozy ghost mystery.

Dimension Thieves by Misty ProvencherDimension Thieves by Misty Provencher:

The world is a much smaller place since the President droned the lower classes, making them mindless servants. Free will, granted to the elite, is in jeopardy of extinction.

Force Steele, son of a high-ranking advisor, has dedicated himself to eradicating mass droning, but now that the President destroyed the machine that could reverse the program, there is no way in Force’s world to replace the one-of-a-kind gears.

In this gripping serial, Force partners with a shifty mechanic and a sketchy crew to retrieve the gears. They must travel across lateral dimensions, often stealing the materials they need—even from themselves—to fix their dwindling world.

Digital Assassin by Jaxon ReedDigital Assassin by Jaxon Reed:

New technology allowed humans to reach for the stars. Now technology has led to war.

Opposing AI systems battle in a monumental struggle for control of the galaxy. But one planet remains a refuge of independent thought. Lute is home to pirates, harboring ruthless companies of warships hunting for prey.

The pirates are offered the spoils of war, for a price. Captain Christopher Raleigh leads his crew in an effort to snag a lucrative transport on the opposing side. Along with the ship, he snares the Tetrarch’s daughter and several hundred indentured servants.

But not all are who they seem. As the bodies pile up, Raleigh has to figure out who is telling the truth and decide if the spoils of war are truly worth it.

Power and Majesty by Tansy Rayner RobertsPower and Majesty by Tansy Rayner Roberts:

Aufleur is a city of honey cakes, decadent ritual… and a secret war fought by an army of beautiful monsters. The Creature Court die and bleed to keep the daylight folk safe, but no one even knows they exist.

Who will be the new Power and Majesty of the Creature Court: a man who was broken and exiled from their world, or the woman who knows nothing of their ways? Neither of them wants to rule, but Ashiol is determined to train Velody to take his place, so that he can finally escape his destiny.

 

Drone by Kyle Alexander RominesDrone by Kyle Alexander Romines:

After the emergence of the destructive, godlike Titans, the world is more dangerous than ever.

When drone pilot David Hunter is recruited to join a top-secret military program, he learns the government has captured the Titan Prometheus. Once considered a hero by many, Prometheus is now an empty shell, retrofitted with technology to serve as a new kind of drone–and it’s David’s task to use the Titan’s powers on the government’s behalf.

David has his own reasons to distrust Titans, but when he discovers some vestiges of Prometheus’ consciousness remain, it sets in motion a course of events that will cause him to learn what it means to be a hero.

Love Magic by Jesi Lea RyanLove Magic by Jesi Lea Ryan:

“The day I met Derrick while playing my violin in the park was magical. Unfortunately, magic and love together don’t always mix.”

Oliver met Derrick while busking in the park, and they hit it off from the start. At first, Derrick’s “mysterious magician” vibe was intriguing, but after two botched dates, Oliver was ready to call it quits.

Fearing he lost his chance with Oliver, Derrick makes a last-ditch effort to win Oliver’s heart with a romantic Valentine’s date. But when love and magic collide, things tend to go awry. Will these two guys make it through the date unscathed?

Winterbloom by Jessica RydillWinterbloom by Jessica Rydill:

Sophie Vasilyevich is a teenager growing up in Anglond, the child of exiles. Sometimes grass springs up where she walks, and her future holds an unusual fate: she is going to be kidnapped when she is sixteen, and no one can stop it.

Taken between worlds to the city of Bath in 1920’s England, Sophie meets a young man called James Carnwallis, once a pilot in the Great War. But even as she falls in love, she learns more about the forces at work – and her fate in their plans.

As an alliance of shamans, ghosts and gods assembles in a desperate attempt to recover Sophie and prevent the destruction of their worlds, they find that their only hope may lie in Sophie’s gift, and in the Greenwood: a power older than time itself.

My Wicked Valentine by Lotta SmithMy Wicked Valentine by Lotta Smith:

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner… Love is in the air and so are the ghosts!

When Rick’s old friend, up-and-coming celeb psychic Brian Powers is accused of murdering an esthetician at a luxe gentlemen-only spa, Mandy’s cozy afternoon at home goes from cookie-baking to crime solving.

With baby Sophie and ghost-pal Jackie in tow, Mandy and Rick take to haunting the spa where the facials are fab and the intrigue is high-end.

Every suspect has a secret, but who’s willing to kill to keep theirs under wraps? [Seaweed wraps, that is.] Find out in this dangerously funny installment of the Manhattan Mystery series.

Noble's Honor by Glynn StewartNoble’s Honor by Glynn Stewart:

Vassal of the Queen of the Fae
Noble of the Wild Hunt
Child of the Horned King.
Bait.

Jason Kilkenny has learned his full heritage and the nature of the bloodline that runs in his veins. One quarter mortal, he is also the child of a Power, the Horned King of the Wild Hunt of the Fae.

But his father is dead, murdered in a fae civil war that ended before Jason was born. It ended because of a powerful spell the Horned King cast, trading his life to deny the Masked Lords the weapon they needed to kill the Fae Powers.

Now, Jason gathers allies and resources in his new home of Calgary. The Fae Masked Lords are hunting him, but he has what they want and they have to come to him. The Fae Powers have prepared a trap for their long-hidden enemies, with Jason as both bait and ambush.It’s a clever plan—but no plan survives contact with the enemy!

Ruined Worlds by Jeff TanyardRuined Worlds by Jeff Tanyard:

Jerry Harper is back on Homestead recovering from his ordeal. The galactic political situation is deteriorating, and it looks like war between the Agrarian Commonwealth and the Reliant Mentarchy is inevitable. Jerry’s ordered to report in, and the military puts him back into action. He’s a spaceborne Rifleman once again.

The last hopes for peace are dashed. War is declared! Jerry and his men begin their first war patrol. But the Mentarch hits fast and hard, and its atrocities leave the Commonwealth reeling. Jerry’s electrokinesis is Homestead’s not-so-secret weapon, but he’s still just one man. He can’t be everywhere at once, and the defeats start to mount.

The Commonwealth desperately needs a victory, something to boost morale. Jerry knows his ability is powerful enough to swing a battle. But he still has orders to follow, and his options are limited. If he can’t find a way to help turn the tide soon, it might never happen. Because the Mentarch is relentless, and it’s determined to reduce the Commonwealth to a collection of ruined worlds.

Seeds of Change by Willow ThomsonSeeds of Change by Willow Thomson:

Jey is an introverted, intuitive healer with nothing left to lose. All her healing skill couldn’t save her mother from a virulent manmade virus. The heat index of 2071 Earth has reached crippling levels. Jey is barely coping—until she stumbles upon an opportunity to join the crew of Two by Two, the first colony ship set to launch from the ailing Earth.

The mission—to create an idealistic artisan colony on an unexplored exoplanet—fits right in with Jey’s dreams. Her friendship with a clairvoyant child onboard the ship, her growing empathic abilities, and her bumbling attempts at love bring her hope.

But when a rival corporation sabotages the ship, and their target planet is a blasted wasteland, Jey finds herself at the center of the conflict.

Can she set aside her old self destructive patterns? Can she take a leap into a new way of being—and seeing to save her colony? Join Jey and her shipmates on the journey to Aride to find out.

Seeds of Change is a soft science fiction novel with a splash of metaphysics and magic. It is a coming of age story with big themes, small pleasures, and an ensemble cast of characters living in a world you won’t want to leave.

Outcasts of the Earth by James David VictorOutcasts of the Earth by James David Victor:

Criminals. Murderers. Thieves. That’s what makes the Outcast Marines special. And expendable.

The Outcast Marines are the worst of the worst. If you’re conscripted, you will likely spend the rest of your days going on desperate missions that no one else can, or will, do. That’s an option Solomon, Jezzie, Malady, and the other Outcasts gladly took, though, because the alternative was certain death on a remote prison moon. And that’s a good thing, because sometimes it takes some truly bad guys to save the day.

Outcasts of Earth is the first book in the Outcast Marines series. If you like gritty science fiction with “heroes” who are anything but, the Outcast Marines will suck you into their battle to save humanity, from itself and the rest of the galaxy.

Download Outcasts of Earth and see how the “bad guys” save humanity in the 23rd century!

Sword of the Kaigen by M.L. WangThe Sword of the Kaigen by M.L. Wang

On a mountainside at the edge of the Kaigenese Empire live the most powerful warriors in the world, superhumans capable of raising the sea and wielding blades of ice. For hundreds of years, the fighters of the Kusanagi Peninsula have held the Empire’s enemies at bay, earning their frozen spit of land the name ‘The Sword of Kaigen.’

Born into Kusanagi’s legendary Matsuda family, fourteen-year-old Mamoru has always known his purpose: to master his family’s fighting techniques and defend his homeland. But when an outsider arrives and pulls back the curtain on Kaigen’s alleged age of peace, Mamoru realizes that he might not have much time to become the fighter he was bred to be. Worse, the empire he was bred to defend may stand on a foundation of lies.

Misaki told herself that she left the passions of her youth behind when she married into the Matsuda house. Determined to be a good housewife and mother, she hid away her sword, along with everything from her days as a fighter in a faraway country. But with her growing son asking questions about the outside world, the threat of an impending invasion looming across the sea, and her frigid husband grating on her nerves, Misaki finds the fighter in her clawing its way back to the surface.

When the winds of war reach their peninsula, will the Matsuda family have the strength to defend their empire? Or will they tear each other apart before the true enemies even reach their shores?

Second Coming by A.E. WilliamsSecond Coming by A.E. Williams

What Will Jesus Do?

After being crucified for Mankind’s sins, Jesus Christ and his half-brother, Lucifer, pass the time before His Resurrection playing cards in Hades.

They discuss the Plan of God, which they realize is another scheme intended to push Judgement Day thousands of years into the future.

After a heated exchange, Jesus gambles a billion souls that, by repeating the wager that Lucifer and God undertook regarding Job several thousand years prior, Mankind will prove His argument.

Lucifer agrees, and the next day, Jesus rises.

But, as the years go by, Jesus realizes that Lucifer may have stacked the deck in his favor!

He publishes his parables and morality tales under various pseudonyms.

He uses His knowledge of The List, composed by His Father, to guide His readers to the Truth.

In the current day, He now lives on his yacht, the Virgin Mary, in the Red Sea.

As His wager with Lucifer draws to a close, Signs of the Apocalypse portend that the Time of Revelations is at hand!

What will He do to save the human race from itself?

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