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 April 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, dark fantasy, religious fantasy, paranormal mystery, paranormal romance, science fiction romance, space opera, military science fiction, near future science fiction, science fiction mystery, science fantasy, post-apocalyptic fiction, dystopian fiction, horror, Steampunk, fairy tales, YA science fiction, YA fantasy, several LGBT books, witches, werewolves, shifters, superheroes, valkyries, aliens, androids, mercenaries, bounty hunters, space mages, fae and those who hunt them, space cops, lovers on the run, time travel, cartoon characters coming to life, monsters, shaman, djinn, the devil himself 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:
Unlit by Keri Arthur:
Winterborne has long been a city divided between those who have magic, and those who do not. Between those who are free, and those who are not…
Though classified as having no magic, Neve March can hear the whispers of the wind and sometimes even control her. But it’s a secret she must hold close if she wishes to continue as Nightwatch—the soldiers who guard Winterborne against those who roam the wastelands and feast on human flesh.
But when Neve investigates a faint SOS signal, she not only unearths a woman close to death, but a plot involving an ancient enemy long thought dead.
In an effort to expose those behind the plot, Neve goes undercover amongst Winterborne’s elite—a dangerous step that could expose her secret and rip away all that she holds dear.
But the trail of treachery leads her from Winterborne’s golden halls to the heart of the enemy’s hive, and it will shake her belief of not only who she is, but what she is…
Rose Gold by David Barker
Rose Gold is the thrilling sequel to the bestselling Blue Gold.
In the aftermath of a world war for water, geopolitical tensions remain high and terrorism is a daily fact of life in the 2030s. But a mining base on the moon offers a rare example of international co-operation and a possible solution to the world’s energy problems. Yet not everyone on Earth is keen for this endeavour to succeed…
Sim Atkins and his wife are desperate to start a family. But a shocking message from the moon base tells Sim that he is already a father and that his son’s life is in danger. The mining station is full of suspects and, worse, the woman who fathered his child. Can Sim rescue his son and save his marriage?
Gopal and Rabten – the Gurkha and monk who helped Sim on his last assignment – are on the trail of terrorists and a giant airship. What the agents discover in the cargo hold makes Sim’s mission even more vital. When they get trapped, Freda Brightwell – Sim’s old partner in Overseas Division – is called out of retirement for one more mission.
Once again, corporate greed threatens the lives of millions. Overseas Division s finest are back at the sharp end. And this time, the stakes are far more personal.
Manus Dei: Harbinger by Edund A.M. Batara
The former Light-Bringer’s time to rule is coming. And there’s nothing humanity can do about it. Yet the Devil is prophesied to lose everything in the end. Destiny or not, the fallen Archangel has other plans.
Thus the tumultuous last stages of a conflict as old as time. Fought in this world. With the weapons and science of humanity.
But though the time of the Apocalypse is nearing, Heaven waits. And in preparation for the final conflict, the minions of Hell have started infesting the world. Corrupting humanity and stealing the heavenly spark that connects mortals to God. Unless stopped, when the end comes, most of the divine power that exists in every person will belong to the Adversary. The Serpent has no plans of losing again. With enough heavenly power, he believes that even a divine prophecy can be broken.
Against the forces of Hell, it falls to the shoulders of a few good men and women at the side of diminished angels to delay Armageddon. A retrograde action against the forces of darkness.
One of them is Keith A. North, SEAL E-6, left for dead in the sandbox. Recruited by the secretive Khamsa, an organization almost as old as recorded history, he learns how to fight against nightmares made real. Limited by rules as ancient as the struggle against Hell.
Hunter and Hunted by Cora Buhlert:
Once, Anjali Patel and Mikhail Grikov were soldiers on opposing sides of an intergalactic war. They met, fell in love and decided to go on the run together.
Now Anjali and Mikhail are trying to eke out a living on the independent worlds of the galactic rim, while attempting to stay under the radar of those pursuing them.
On their way back from a mission, Anjali and Mikhail are ambushed by a squad of bounty hunters. Wounded and hunted through a frozen landscape, they find shelter in a mountain lodge.
But their pursuers are still out there, tracking them. And with Anjali too injured to fight, Mikhail must face down seven bounty hunters on his own…
This is a novella of 21000 words or approx. 75 print pages in the “In Love and War” series, but may be read as a standalone.
Blasters of Forever by Cora Buhlert:
1985: Screenwriter Simon St. John makes his living writing toy tie-in cartoons and dreams of finally getting his screenplay “People on a Bridge” produced.
But one night, when Simon has just come up with his latest creation, a group of time travelling cops known as the Blasters of Forever, a portal opens inside his living room. Out of the portal hop none others than the Blasters of Forever or at any rate, people who look very much like them.
The Blasters explain that they are from the future, where Simon is considered not just one of the greatest creative minds of the twentieth century, but also the inspiration for the time travel program that eventually led to the formation of the Blasters of Forever.
However, not just the Blasters of Forever are real. The villainous Doctor Chronos, sworn enemy of the Blasters of Forever, is real as well. And so is his cadre of time travelling assassins.
This is a short story of 5500 words or approximately 20 print pages.
Medusa’s Touch by Emily L. Byrne:
Medusa Pilot Captain TiCara X273, ex-street kid and former bondslave, thought she wanted nothing more than to be captain of her own starship. Or, at least, that was all that she thought she wanted until Sherin Khan came back into her life. A bar singer turned corporate rep, Sherin is now working for Ser Trin Vahn, one of TiCara’s best clients and head of Vahn Corp.
Once they are thrown together on TiCara’s ship, TiCara and Sherin can no longer deny their simmering attraction to each other. A simple mission to transport the ailing Vahn to the legendary asteroid, Electra 12, for medical treatments turns dark and dangerous as betrayal leads to betrayal. TiCara’s greatest enemy is pursuing them, there’s a traitor on her crew and Sherin has a secret that can tear them apart. Can they learn to trust each other before it’s too late?
Renegade Valkyrie by Stacy Claflin:
She’s an angel of death, but her life is in danger.
Soleil is a Valkyrie, cursed to obey the laws of Valhalla—laws she’s been skirting for centuries. But when she uses her sword to protect a friend rather than to eliminate her assigned target, she crosses that fine line. Now her species is coming for her. Compounding problems, she’s also in the crosshairs of a powerful, vindictive witch who wants retribution for the murder of her sister.
It’s the worst possible time for her emotions to surface, so of course they do. While dealing with danger, she struggles with moving past the death of her fiancé and budding feelings for her best friend, Titan. Soleil already stays away from her former pack to protect them, now she feels she should leave Titan too, to keep him safe. But she can’t bear to do it.
Now she’s put him in danger, as well as some of her old allies and new friends. It would be in everyone’s best interest if she ran. But she can’t. She won’t. And her fate comes down to an epic battle between supernatural forces—a battle she’s ill-equipped to win.
Desert Sands and Silence by Kate Coe:
Moel is a runner, a desert inhabitant who makes her living carrying messages across the sun-baked plains, content in her silence. But when a group of engineers from Meton are caught in a rockslide, politics abruptly brings Moel into the world again, and she meets others who have been pulled back to their pasts by Ziricon’s desire to gain the power of spark without the costs.
Atomic Underworld by Jack Conner:
Washed-up professional gambler Tavlin Metzler is done working with the shadowy criminal network that lurks beneath the city streets, but when a brutal and mysterious set of murders occurs in the very bedroom of his old mob boss, Tavlin gets drawn back into the mix. In the world of the Atomic Sea, mutants thrive–fish-people, lobster-people, turtle-people–the list goes on. But in the country of Ghenisa, many of them are disenfranchised and relegated to life in the vast, alien sewers beneath the capital city of Hissig.
There the outcast Tavlin is taken by Boss Vassas’s goons and given an edict by the Boss himself: find out who (or what) committed the crimes . . . or else. In no time, Tavlin is hip-deep in danger, dodging spies, cultists, mobsters, monsters and more sewer mutants than he can shake a foul-smelling stick at. But things get really complicated when his old flame Sophia shows up.
Atomic Underworld is a gripping steampunkish fantasy adventure by USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Jack Conner. If you like action-packed storytelling, Lovecraftian horrors, and unique twists and turns you won’t see coming, then you’ll love Jack Conner’s incredible mix of fantasy, adventure, and mystery.
Ruthless Magic by Megan Crewe:
In the contest to keep their magic, the only options may be die… or kill.
Each year, the North American Confederation of Mages assesses every sixteen-year-old novice. Some will be chosen. The rest must undergo a procedure to destroy their magical ability unless they prove themselves in the mysterious and brutal Mages’ Exam.
Disadvantaged by her parents’ low standing, Rocío Lopez has dedicated herself to expanding her considerable talent to earn a place in the Confederation. Their rejection leaves her reeling—and determined to fight to keep her magic.
Long ashamed of his mediocre abilities, Finn Lockwood knows the Confederation accepted him only because of his prominent family. Declaring for the Exam instead means a chance to confirm his true worth.
Thrown into the testing with little preparation, Rocío and Finn find themselves becoming unlikely allies—and possibly more. But the Exam holds secrets more horrifying than either could have imagined. What are the examiners really testing them for? And as the trials become increasingly vicious, how much are they willing to sacrifice to win?
Cruelty Unmasked by Ellen Crosháin:
Henry used to be a god. Now, he’s just the gardener.
Nearly twenty-five years have passed since the ancient Faroust fell in love with Eliza MacTir. Stripped of his powers and forced to work for the family he used to rule, he can’t avoid the woman who ruined him. But when a chance encounter brings him into contact with Eliza’s daughter Áine, a twenty-one year old student looking for a chance to explore herself, he sees a chance to exact revenge. The affair is sweet and Henry knows that when he finally reveals it to Eliza, it will be even sweeter.
But Henry and Áine aren’t the only ones keeping secrets. Áine’s brother Caolán, sixteen and rebellious, has his share of demons and not all is well with Eliza and Cornelius. The veneer of the perfect family has cracks and once the truths start to spill, everything Eliza fought for will start to unravel.
Secrets cannot be buried forever and the Veil won’t stay shut. Darker forces are watching and waiting…
Power by Karen Diem:
After successfully rescuing her brother from a serial killer and stopping a plot to use a magic butter knife to massacre thousands, Zita Garcia is ready for a return to her regular life: illegally climbing skyscrapers, hiding her superpowers, and grudgingly earning a paycheck to cover all those bills piling up.
Unfortunately, her least favorite supervillains are rampaging around in a bloody crime spree, outmaneuvering and outgunning the authorities. Enlisting her friends to help, even the one sulking in his dad’s basement, she’s got to stop the bad guys and their latest evil plan before anyone else dies. Even if Zita isn’t sure what they’re doing, other than it involves Brazil.
And maybe dinosaurs.
Power is the third in the Arca superhero urban fantasy series and includes immoderate language, lame sexual innuendo, and comic book violence.
House of Sighs by Aaron Dries:
This award-winning, psychological experience is back in print, and includes the exclusive sequel The Sound of his Bones Breaking, a novella that will leave you leave you truly shaken.
Board for free. But the cost might be your life.
In House of Sighs, Local bus driver, Liz Frost, pulls the gun from her mouth and decides to live with her loneliness for one more day. She dresses, combs her hair, and goes to work. Nine souls board her route that fateful morning in rural Australia, nine souls who Liz drags back to her home against their will. She wants to build a new family from these passengers, men and women who are willing to kill to avoid becoming her kin. The bus leaves a trail of carnage in its wake as it rockets towards a house that has held its secrets for far too long, a place where crows now gather, ready to feed on whatever is left behind.
Includes the sequel novella The Sound of his Bones Breaking:
Trauma has teeth. Big ones. And it’s always hungry for seconds.
Aiden and Danny down their beers in the open bar overlooking the road, legs brushing together, about as far as they let their public displays of affection go in that part of Australia. The warm breeze and pounding music—their last happy memory. Everything changes when the taxi pulls up and its drunken driver stumbles out, starting a street brawl that leaves Danny broken and bleeding on the ground. In an attempt to give his lover the space he needs to heal, Aiden accepts an employment opportunity in Thailand, and the two men set off overseas, their fates sealed air-tight within the confines of the airplane. But in the claustrophobic hush of their tiny Bangkok apartment, and while Aiden goes off to work, instead of mending, Danny’s old scars begin to sing.
The lonely walks. The woman cooking bones in a vat of broth, whispering at him to eat the parts that hurt. The flies nobody but Danny can hear.
A burning desire to trace his heritage of hurt back to ground zero, and there, find someone to blame.
The Sound of his Bones Breaking is the dread-infused sequel to House of Sighs.
Today’s Spacemage by Timothy Ellis:
Thorn is back! The guilty will be punished.
The war they dismissed as nonsense, is now raging.
Jen needs Thorn. The military want Thorn.
Thorn is older and wiser, and he doesn’t care what anyone wants.
He has a better hold on his growing power, or so he thinks.
The war calls, but there is unfinished business to attend to on the way.
Unanswered questions lead in strange directions, and a war for no reason, is only part of the mystery.
But through everything, Thorn carries two themes. The guilty will be punished, and there will be peace!
Yesterday was just the start.
Now he’s Today’s Spacemage.
Chaos Conspiracy by Holly Evans:
Wren Kincaid, blood witch.
It’s a shame I can’t put that on my résumé. Mercenaries with magic or supernal blood have a much easier time landing jobs. Unfortunately, if anyone finds out about my blood magic, I’ll be executed in twelve hours or less. Blood witches were eradicated a century before I was born, deemed too dangerous, or so everyone thought.
My life wasn’t too bad. I had to wrangle more drunk pixies than I’d have liked, and it was far from luxurious. I struggled to pay my rent, but I wasn’t complaining. Not too loudly, anyway.
Cue the Council and Dante Caspari. The Council are the people who will execute me if they find out what I am. Dante Caspari is the sexy-as-sin guy they hired me to work with so I can find out what happened to the missing supernals in Bucharest.
It sounds great working with a sexy guy, right? The problem is, his father’s a demon prince and his mother’s one of the most powerful witches in the Americas. If anyone is going to trip me up and hand me over to the Council, it’s him. So, I have to find the missing supernals, save the day, and try not to get killed doing it. Funny, those drunk pixies I was complaining about don’t seem so bad now.
Set in the same world as the popular Forged in Blood series
Echoes of the Past: Fight the Good Fight by Daniel Gibbs:
A republic under attack. A reluctant soldier. An all-out fight for the galaxy’s soul.
David Cohen prays he’ll live to see the other side of his first deployment. His people thought they had left war behind when they fled Earth centuries ago. Time, though, has not dulled the hatred and intolerance of their erstwhile oppressors. To defend his homeland’s freedom, David abandons his dream of becoming a rabbi for the battlefield… and discovers a side of himself he is not sure he can live with.
David’s focus is clear when the bullets are flying. In the long hours after, he must reckon with the toll that blood and blame bring upon his mind. Can he square the tenets of his faith against his responsibility to crew and country? Nothing has prepared him to make decisions that could cause ruin or an end to generations of conflict… except for trust in God, himself, and those who serve under him.
If David Cohen survives it all, who will he be?
Echoes of the Past: Fight the Good Fight is the first book in a military sci-fi trilogy that takes an unflinching look at sacrifice, duty, and the scars left on the minds of those who serve. The trials and tactics of a starship commander are only part of the story… because every soldier faces battles within.
Cinnamon Blade: Knife in Shining Armor by Shira Glassman:
Every time Cinnamon Blade, crime fighter making up for a bad past, rescues the sweet and nerdy Soledad Castillo from bad guys, the two women’s chemistry grows stronger. Now that she’s finally asked Soledad out, sparks fly — but is a normal date even possible in a city threatened by aliens and vampires on a regular basis?
Spicy f/f romance starring a bi Jewish superheroine
Daughter of Discord by J.J. Green:
A galactic empire in turmoil…
Rival clans fighting for supremacy…
Dark secrets bursting into the light…
Time’s running out for Carina Lin. She’s given up her merc life in the hope of finding others like her—space mages. But it’s a dicey endeavor. She can’t stay in one place too long because if her powers are revealed, she faces nasty consequences.
A clue has led her to a small town on the home planet of one of the most powerful clans in the galaxy. After searching fruitlessly for information about her long-lost kindred, Carina decides it’s time to move on. Fate has other ideas.
A chance meeting signals the beginning of a friendship and a dangerous encounter with the clan’s military. Before she knows it, Carina is sucked back into space warfare. What she doesn’t know is, she’s on the edge of uncovering a secret that will change everything forever.
Carina’s the meat in the sandwich between warring clans. If she plays her cards right, she can save those dear to her. If she loses, death will seem inviting.
Daughter of Discord is book one in the dark, exciting space fantasy, Star Mage Saga.
Manu by Anna Hackett:
As the battle against the invading aliens intensifies, a group of bad boy bikers and mercenaries will stand and fight for humanity’s survival…
When former berserker Manu Rahia lost his leg on a mission, he was forced to leave his squad. He knows his new role as head of the Enclave’s firing range and armory is important, but hates that he isn’t still out there fighting face to face against the aliens and protecting his brothers’ backs. But then one woman catches his eye. A no-nonsense woman dedicated to her job as head of security. A woman who seems cool on the surface, but who Manu is convinced is hiding more under her business-like exterior.
Captain Kate Scott dedicated her life to her career in the Army. Now she works hard taking care of security for the Enclave and its residents. She learned a long time ago that she isn’t a passionate woman, and that she’s better off sticking to her work. But seeing one big, bronze-skinned, muscled man at the range every day has her hormones going into overdrive. She’s never felt like this and she’s determined to get herself under control.
But when the aliens launch a viscous new attack, right on the Enclave’s doorstep, Kate and Manu must join forces to stop the raptors before more people get hurt. Kate will fight fiercely to protect her team and the base, as well as her heart. But Manu Rahia is a man who knows what he wants, will walk through fire to get it, and what he wants is Kate.
Note to readers: This sci fi romance contains a lot of action (dangerous missions and deadly aliens), tough warriors (the badass berserkers of Squad Three) and a steamy romance (lots of sexy times between a sexy former berserker and the head of Enclave security). So if you like it fast, and gritty, and sexy, this is for you!
Alpha Minor by Simon Haynes:
The Peace Force has a new recruit, and she’s driving everyone crazy.
From disobeying orders to handling unauthorised cases, nothing is off-limits. Worse, Harriet Walsh is forced to team up with the newbie, because the recruit’s shady past has just caught up with her.
Meanwhile, a dignitary wants to complain about rogue officers working out of the station. She insists on meeting the station’s commanding officer … and they don’t have one.
All up, it’s another typical day in the Peace Force!
Alpha Minor is set in the distant future, where humanity has colonised the galaxy. It’s good clean fun, written with wry humor, and while it has science fictional elements they’re incidental to the story. This is the second novel in the series, with a third, Sierra Bravo, due for release around July/August 2018.
Doom Wielder by Isaac Hooke:
The day of reckoning has come.
Tane just wanted to be left alone. He wanted to live in peace on a remote planet somewhere on the outskirts of the galaxy.
But his enemies wouldn’t stop bothering him.
Now he’s kicking ass and taking names, hell-bent on completing a destiny he never asked for, and he doesn’t care who stands in his way.
He has his sights set on the dwellers next. He will conquer them at any price, even if it means giving up everything he ever stood for.
If he survives, he’ll face his biggest challenge yet. He will either save the universe, or destroy it.
At this point, the latter seems the most probable.
The Empire of Ruin by Robert I. Katz:
Two thousand years ago, Michael Glover was a soldier. He still is.
In command of one of the most advanced ships ever built, posing as an itinerant merchant captain, Michael Glover has wandered from world to world, building his unorthodox crew and trying without success to avoid trouble.
He found a refuge for the citizens of Chronos, who fled a pocket Universe about to implode, and he helped Douglas Oliver, the Secretary General of Illyria, uncover the deadly plans of a rogue military commander allied with the slaver network, and now Michael Glover has accepted a commission to spy for naval intelligence.
The slaver network is expanding. The worlds and habitats of the Second Empire have come under attack from unknown adversaries. The enemy hits and runs and vanishes, slowly sapping the Empire’s strength.
The outlines of an Empire wide conspiracy can dimly be seen and so far, all attempts to identify the enemy have failed.
The Empire has almost unimaginable power, but power is worthless with no one to fight.
Michael Glover has been given a mission but he will carry out his mission in any way that he sees fit, because Michael Glover has secrets of his own.
What is a soldier to do when faced with overwhelming odds? Whatever is necessary…
Starfall by Jessie Kwak:
He swore to protect his goddaughter. But now the price may be too high.
Starla Dusai is fifteen, deaf — and being held as an enemy combatant by the Indiran Alliance. Willem Jaantzen is a notorious crime lord about to end a fearsome vendetta — and most probably his life. When he learns his goddaughter has been captured by the Alliance, he understands he’s her only hope. But saving a girl he barely knows means letting his wife’s murderer walk free. Will Jaantzen be able to put aside his anger before Starla’s time runs out?
STARFALL is the first book in Jessie Kwak’s Durga System series, a fast-paced series of gangster sci-fi stories set in a far-future world where humans may have left their home planet to populate the stars, but they haven’t managed to leave behind their vices. And that’s very good for business.
You’ll find captivating characters and heart-pounding adventures, all with Kwak’s customary sprinkling of wry humor.
Buy this book and immerse yourself in the gloriously seedy underbelly of the Durga System today.
A Breath of Witchy Air by Amanda M. Lee:
Hemlock Cove is mired in a cold snap, which means the town is calm and quiet. That all changes in an instant when a beer truck tips over on the highway and half the town shows up to get drunk.
Bay Winchester is about to be the sole owner of the town newspaper so she heads out to take photos … and accidentally stumbles over several bodies. It seems there’s a serial killer on the loose, although no one can figure out if the dump site was convenient or if the killer is local.
Some hard digging leads Bay to a local college, where the only thing that stands out is a cell phone game that seems to be taking over the populace. Bay can’t shake the feeling that there’s something off about the game, but that pales in comparison to the dead girls and the motive behind multiple killings.
Things spiral out of control when the game developers pick Hemlock Cove for a big event, which means the town is suddenly flooded with gamers … including Aunt Tillie, who decides that winning really is the most important thing.
Things are about to get wicked for the Winchesters. There’s a killer in their midst and Bay appears to be displaying a new power that no one saw coming.
It’s only a matter of time until two powerful forces collide. Who comes out standing is anybody’s guess but Bay’s new power will be on full display … and may be the ultimate factor in her survival.
Androids: Escape from Mars by F. Lee:
Android AIs battle government mercenaries across the freezing sands of Mars
Sam was happy as a shuttle engineer for Marsport. Until he died. Brought back to life by the AI that shares his android body, Sam struggles with his new reality. Coming to grips with the loss of feelings and emotions, he is determined to find a way to keep his memories alive.
His determination is tested when the government decides to terminate the android program. Terminate, as in wiping his memory as well as the other androids. Death, again, was not an option for Sam. His plan to escape the secret laboratory seems perfect.
The plan falls apart when the government discovers their absence and sends in an elite hit squad. Racing for their lives across the deadly sands of Mars, the androids learn that another group is hunting them as well. While the constant threat of death escalates, and with no help in sight, it’s up to Sam to find a way to save himself and his android friends.
The Dark Corner: Featuring the Makarios Cadre by Easton Livingston:
Some people just want to see the world burn, and some people were born to stop them.
• An unwanted guest and the man who has to face him alone in his own home.
• A family vacation that turns into an unexpected horror.
• A special delivery of a wondrous object and it’s terrible power.
• A family’s first home and the darkness that threatens to consume them.
Four stories. Four events that seem unconnected. Yet, under the surface, a monofilament of reality connects each of them, multiplying its tendrils until the web is complete and final curtain is pulled back. In the midst of it are three enigmatic heroes and a dedicated detective, drawn into the battle to save the soul of a city.
The Dark Corner is a supernatural thriller and dark fantasy miniseries of the same name by Easton Livingston. A collection of short stories, novelettes, and novellas, there are five stories in all, each connected to the other in slight ways with that connection becoming more pronounced in successive stories. In essence, it is a novel of stories, each story an episode in the lurking tale rumbling underneath the surface.
The Glory by J.R. Mabry:
Berkeley is a smoldering ruin.
Bloodthirsty demons prowl the streets.
A revenge-crazed magician ascends into heaven, vowing to bring it down in flames.
When Brian discovers Terry has cheated on him he is utterly devastated, and flees to San Francisco to sort through the rubble of his life…
When magicians open the gates of hell, the Blackfriars scramble to stop them from turning the East Bay into a nightmarish wasteland of torture and mayhem…
While everyone is looking the other way, a lone magician ascends through the planes of heaven with one mission in mind: kill God and bring the Kingdom of Heaven down in flames…
Wounded, bickering, and utterly incapable of handling the situation, the Blackfriars call on Brian to put things right. But if he’s not capable of even holding onto a boyfriend, how can he possibly muster the confidence needed to save heaven and earth?
The Glory is the third book in the Berkeley Blackfriars series, but it is a standalone adventure and can be enjoyed all on its own. If you love supernatural suspense laced with humor and danger, you’ll love J.R. Mabry’s Berkeley Blackfriars’ books. Fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Preacher, The Dresden Files, and the Mercy Thompson series will thrill to this new paranormal fantasy adventure.
Breakdown by Bruno Miller:
Do you have what it takes to survive?
Ben Davis was prepared for disaster. He just didn’t know it would come so soon.
He and his teenage son, Joel, are miles deep in the backcountry of the San Juan Mountains when high-altitude nuclear electromagnetic detonations light up the pre-dawn sky. Ben, Joel, and their dog, Gunner, must make their way home – or to whatever’s left of it – on foot.
Without the ability to communicate with his ex-wife in Maryland, Ben has no idea if Joel’s brother and sister are okay. The two decide they have no options but to head East. Before their journey begins, they venture into town to check Ben’s outdoor store for supplies and discover one of Joel’s classmates, Allie, alone and in desperate need of help.
When Ben realizes Allie’s flight attendant mother is most likely dead and her father lives in Pittsburgh, he knows he has to take her with them. Ben must use the skills he learned as an Army Ranger many years ago to survive the post-apocalyptic world they now live in.
Can he keep himself and two teenagers safe as they navigate the dark and dangerous road ahead?
All I Ever Wanted by David Neth:
Three wishes, a lifetime’s worth of regrets.
Leo’s had some bad luck in his life. After his father walked out on him and his mom, they’ve been struggling to make end’s meet, not to mention any hope of saving for college.
But after finding the perfect replacement for a lost family heirloom for his Mother’s Day gift, Leo discovers it’s actually a magic genie lamp.
Presented with three wishes that could give him everything he’s ever wanted, Leo soon realizes that genies have justly earned their reputation for twisting wishes to other ends. What he thought he wanted isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. And now that he’s already used all his wishes, there’s no turning back.
Ghost of a Chance by Jaxon Reed:
It’s hard to make a living during the war as a woman. Especially as a detective in New York City, where the nights are late and the thugs are tough. But Nancy Chance, Private Investigator, doesn’t give a rip about that. She’ll work twice as hard as any man for her clients, and do a better job than most. When she investigates a murder in a case called the Manhattan Project, somebody visits her office and puts a bullet in her head. But they don’t know that Nancy is back. For centuries she’s been fighting fae and becoming one of the Walker’s best killers. Now she returns to her own timeline to set things straight. If she can steer clear of Rick, her old flame who is destined to marry someone else, and find Felix, the handsome fae who killed her, she might be able to prevent her world from sliding into chaos. At least she can’t die this time. Unfortunately, everybody else can…
The Oaken Throne by Sara C. Roethle:
A new era has dawned. The forces of humanity are crippled by the ever pressing threat of the Faie. War continues to tear apart the countryside, robbing those who remain of their last shreds of hope.
While peace is only a distant dream for some, there exist the brave few who will stand and fight for what they believe in. Magic does not always mean death, and death does not always mean the end. Will love and loyalty prevail, or will those who strive for power and darkness put an end to innocence once and for all?
The Ceph Sector by Jenny Schwartz:
The legendary Ceph have been in stasis for forty two millennia. In a century, they’ll wake. History remembers them as an unstoppable force, employing a mysterious power to decimate sentient life on the planets they attacked.
Jaya’s first mission as a new Shaman Justice is to lead an expedition into the perilous Ceph Sector. If she can learn how to contain or fight the sha-energy-using Ceph, Galaxy Proper might let them live. If not, destroying the Ceph’s home world, with all of them on it, will prevent the Ceph from ever waking.
Jaya will do anything to avoid the annihilation of an entire sentient species. But she has no idea what her compassionate instincts will cost her. She has a century in which to save the Ceph—unless they wake early.
“The Ceph Sector” is a compelling science fiction novel featuring aliens, alien politics, and secrets that will destabilize the galaxy.
A Quiet Man by Hollis Shiloh:
Tomas Quiróz is a quiet guy. He’s content with his books and his job as a cop, and working with his wolf shifter friend, Riley. But lately, Tomas is lonely — and he starts feeling strangely drawn to a cute guy. Between discovering new things about himself and trying to navigate a possible relationship, Tomas has to deal with Riley’s jealous husband, the new guy at the precinct who wants to be friends (or more than friends?), and finding the best way to be himself.
60,700 words – very low heat
A Shifters and Partners story
Takes place after “LOYAL” and contains characters from that story
Opportunity by Alasdair Shaw:
Security Lieutenant Dave is looking forward to some simple cases and patching things up with his wife. His handling of a terrorist attack has gained him acclaim and some new friends in high places, but he is still closely involved with Arancha Station’s mob boss.
When the space station manager is killed in a new and worrying way, Dave realises that he’s got possibly the biggest case of his career. Unfortunately, as soon as his new boss arrives with reinforcements, he is relegated to monitoring data and assigned a rookie partner to babysit.
Dave needs to find something that will crack the case open before the killer can strike again.
Emergence by Marita Smith:
The fight for order has only just begun… Fletcher, Ariana and Eli are walkers: carriers of a rare gene that enables them to communicate with animals and bridge our world and the spirit world. It is up to them to avert a catastrophic solar storm that threatens to release a dangerous dark spirit. Yet they’re hunted by a powerful genetics organisation, the MRI, which will stop at nothing to control their powers.
Reeling from loss and betrayal, scientist Robyn Greene must protect the walkers at all costs. Can she figure out the MRI’s plans and help the walkers bring Earth back into balance before it’s too late?
Hunter’s Oath by Glynn Stewart:
From one Court, two are born…
as a new Lord is crowned in glory
But a murderer risks all their secrets…
bringing shadows could burn everything down
Jason Kilkenny is a quarter-human Vassal of the Queen of the Fae and the neutral arbiter of supernatural affairs around the Fae Court in the Canadian city of Calgary. He has spent half a year building relationships with the existing power structure—but all of that is thrown into chaos when the Fae leadership dictates that Calgary’s Court split into Seelie and Unseelie factions. Backed by the highest authority, the new Lord Andrell is there to build an Unseelie Court from nothing, and he will brook no interference, no challenges.
Meanwhile, a rogue Fae launches a vicious slaughter at Calgary’s largest public event, and Jason is dragged into an investigation and pursuit of a monster far more powerful than he is. The rogue’s Unseelie heritage brings him into conflict with Lord Andrell, and the city’s peace is threatened.
One wrong step could unleash civil war between the new Courts and Jason’s own secrets could lead to lighting the embers of a civil war amongst all Fae—embers that have slumbered since before his birth.
If only he knew what those secrets were…
Beneath the Earth by H.S. Stone:
Laura and her classmates have been looking forward to their senior camping trip for weeks. Three days on an island paradise, away from school and their parents. What more could they ask for?
The camping trip starts out well enough. The island is scenic and just the kind of escape to nature that Laura had hoped for. However, cracks soon begin to appear in her plans. Her boyfriend ditches her to hang out with his friends. She has to share a room with one of the teachers. But those are the least of her worries.
A student disappears, and no one can find him. Soon, Laura and the other students realize that the camping trip is anything but a dream vacation. There’s something else on the island. Something large and frightening. Something that lurks unseen beneath the earth. Something that welcomes the presence of the students because they will satisfy its appetite.