New Shattered Empire novella available: Conspirators

Not only did we cross the threshold of 2000 lifetime booksales two days ago, no, I also have a new release out, namely a prequel novella to my Shattered Empire space opera series.

The prequel is set approximately six years before Mercy Mission and chronicles how and why Ethan’s father Lord Jonathan Summerton ended up collaborating with the Rebellion, a decision which will eventually cost him as well as almost his entire family their lives.

Coincidentally, after writing the prequel, I suddenly felt a lot worse about killing off the rest of the Summerton family, because they had suddenly become a lot more real to me, even though we only meet Ethan’s father and mother on the page in Conspirators.

In addition to Lord Jonathan Summerton, we also meet Rebel leader Arthur Madden as well as his impressive second-in-command Alanna Greyskull again. The character of Alanna was something of an afterthought who initially only came about, because I figured that even in the liberal atmosphere of the Rebel headquarters on Pyrs, people couldn’t just walk into the office of the Rebel leader. There had to be some kind of gatekeeper and that’s where Alanna Greyskull came in (in a deleted scene from Seedlings). Alanna eventually showed up on the published page near the end of Debts to Pay to give Carlotta a hard time. Alanna Greyskull has a much bigger role in Conspirators and we also learn a lot more about her, including how she came to join the Rebellion in the first place. I’ve become very fond of Alanna by now, since she’s a great character to write. And by the way, Alanna and Arthur Madden have really never been a couple, though they bicker like one, because Alanna doesn’t swing that way.

The space marine guy on the cover is a bit of false advertising BTW, for even though there is an action scene in the middle involving a firefight and a narrow escape from Imperial security forces (who are kind of space marine like), most of the story actually features people eating, talking and getting to know each other. However, stock art options for space opera not actually set on spaceships are rather limited. And since Conspirators features three main characters over forty, forget about finding any kind of reasonably representative images at the usual stock sites. So it came down to either a futuristic cityscape or a space marine dude. And since I already did the first for Partners in Crime, I decided to go with the second for Conspirators.

So move along, cause this book does not actually contain any Nutty Nuggets. However, if you want something a bit different from your SF…

Conspirators
Conspirators by Cora BuhlertLord Jonathan Summerton, husband, father, lord of Caswallon and current head of one of the oldest families in the Empire. For too many years, he turned a blind eye to the abuses perpetrated by the Emperor and his followers. But now that his homeworld is under threat, he is no longer willing to stay silent.

Arthur Madden, miner’s son from Askvig IV turned Rebel leader turned most wanted man in the universe. He has dedicated his life to fighting the Empire and putting an end to injustice and inequality. However, in order to achieve that goal, he needs allies, including some who seem to represent everything he fights against.

Alanna Greyskull, former commander in the Imperial Navy. Court-martialled for refusing to scorch a planet full of unarmed civilians, she escaped the firing squad and wound up joining the Great Galactic Rebellion, because there was nowhere else she could go. Ever since then she has been trying to bring some semblance of organisation to the chaotic rabble that makes up the Rebellion, while plotting to make the Empire pay for what was done to her.

When these three meet in a nameless restaurant on the planet Wei Xiu II, lives are changed and history is made and the universe will never be the same…

This is a prequel novella of 24000 words or approximately 82 pages in the Shattered Empire universe, but may be read as a standalone.

More information.
Length: 24000 words
List price: 2.99 USD, EUR or 1.99 GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, Scribd, Smashwords, Inktera, txtr, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, OmniLit/AllRomance e-books, Casa del Libro, Flipkart, e-Sentral, 24symbols and XinXii.

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The Big 2000

Last night, Pegasus Pulp crossed the 2000 lifetime sales threshold. I know that’s not much compared to some indies who sell ten thousands, hundred thousands or even millions of books, but it’s still a reason to celebrate for me.

It also shows that Pegasus Pulp‘s sales are growing slowly but steadily, as our line expands. We celebrated our 1000th sale in January 2015, i.e. it took one and a half years for the second thousand sales. Meanwhile, the first thousand took three and a half years.

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

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Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for May 2016

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

So what is “Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month”? It’s a round-up of speculative fiction by indie authors newly published this month, though some 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. We have a whole lot of space opera and military science fiction this month as well as hard science fiction, paranormal romance, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, Asian inspired fantasy, young adult fantasy, horror, fairytales, werewolves, dragons, ghosts, fae, fairytale curses, dark gnomes, iceslingers, squid creatures, tentacled horrors from the deep, alien invasions, superheroes, space marines, galactic conspiracies, troubled space captains 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:

Kraken Island by Eric S. BrownKraken Island by Eric S. Brown:

Colonel Brannon Jackson’s Reapers are the toughest, deadliest, black ops squad that America has at her disposal. When the mission can’t afford to fail, the Reapers are the ones on the sharp end. A group of doomsday cultists determined to bring about the end of humanity is the Reapers’ latest target but this time even the Reapers may not be able to save the world as a prehistoric monster rises to claim the Earth’s seas as its own.

 

 

Conspirators by Cora BuhlertConspirators by Cora Buhlert:

Lord Jonathan Summerton, husband, father, lord of Caswallon and current head of one of the oldest families in the Empire. For too many years, he turned a blind eye to the abuses perpetrated by the Emperor and his followers. But now that his homeworld is under threat, he is no longer willing to stay silent.

Arthur Madden, miner’s son from Askvig IV turned Rebel leader turned most wanted man in the universe. He has dedicated his life to fighting the Empire and putting an end to injustice and inequality. However, in order to achieve that goal, he needs allies, including some who seem to represent everything he fights against.

Alanna Greyskull, former commander in the Imperial Navy. Court-martialled for refusing to scorch a planet full of unarmed civilians, she escaped the firing squad and wound up joining the Great Galactic Rebellion, because there was nowhere else she could go. Ever since then she has been trying to bring some semblance of organisation to the chaotic rabble that makes up the Rebellion, while plotting to make the Empire pay for what was done to her.

When these three meet in a nameless restaurant on the planet Wei Xiu II, lives are changed and history is made and the universe will never be the same…

This is a prequel novella of 24000 words or approximately 82 pages in the Shattered Empire universe, but may be read as a standalone.

Star Nomad by Lindsay BurokerStar Nomad by Lindsay Buroker

The Alliance has toppled the tyrannical empire. It should be a time for celebration, but not for fighter pilot Captain Alisa Marchenko. After barely surviving a crash in the final battle for freedom, she’s stranded on a dustball of a planet, billions of miles from her young daughter. She has no money or resources, and there are no transports heading to Perun, her former home and the last imperial stronghold.

But she has a plan.

Steal a dilapidated and malfunctioning freighter from a junkyard full of lawless savages. Slightly suicidal, but she believes she can do it. Her plan, however, does not account for the elite cyborg soldier squatting in the freighter, intending to use it for his own purposes. As an imperial soldier, he has no love for Alliance pilots. In fact, he’s quite fond of killing them.

Alisa has more problems than she can count, but she can’t let cyborgs, savages, or ancient malfunctioning ships stand in her way. If she does, she’ll never see her daughter again.

Guilty by Association by E.A. CopenGuilty by Association by E.A. Copen:

Everything’s bigger in Texas… Including the monsters.

When a young werewolf is murdered on the Paint Rock Supernatural Reservation, the local cops think it’s a drug deal gone bad. BSI agent Judah Black knows better. An occult expert, she knows magick is at work from the beginning. Using only her wits, knowledge of the supernatural and her limited magickal abilities, she must untangle a web of cover-ups and lies before the killer finds his next victim.

 

The First New Martians by Eric W. DeakinThe First New Martians by Eric W. Deakin:

A Novel by Eric W. Deakin about how Humankind began the ascent to the stars via inner space and those who made it possible. How an old soldier, his dog and a young Aboriginal girl, with help from the Axis Engineers, changed the history of humankind forever. How more money than the collective wealth of the entire world was spent on this mission.

 

 

The Fairytale Curse by Marina FinlaysonThe Fairytale Curse by Marina Finlayson:

Most people only wake up with hangovers after parties. Seventeen-year-old Violet wakes up with frogs falling out of her mouth whenever she speaks, and her twin sister CJ’s dripping diamonds with every word. As if starting at a new high school wasn’t hellish enough, they’ve been hit with a curse straight out of a fairy tale, with not a handsome prince in sight.

Apparently Mum and Dad don’t work for the military after all, but for a secret organisation dedicated to keeping the magical denizens of the world safely locked away. These are not the harmless fairies of children’s tales, but powerful beings with a score to settle for their long years of imprisonment. Now the barriers are failing, and if Vi can’t find answers fast the world will be overrun with vengeful fairies. And then there’ll be no happily ever after for anyone.

Video Game Recruiting by Tom GermannVideo Game Recruiting by Tom Germann:

Science Fiction and the Scientists lied…..

There was no golden age of discovery. No FTL or Galactic Federations. At first contact we found out how wrong we had been about the future.

Then a failed alien invasion had crushed our reborn hope.

Tim grew up a normal kid. He went to school and spent time with friends. After all ‘work hard, play hard’ is the way people live now.

All Tim had ever wanted was a nice entry level management position somewhere. Preferably in The Glentol Corporation. He didn’t know that he would become involved in something much bigger.

There have never been many successful candidates for Marine training. The requirements are high and only a few successfully complete training every year. Humanity needs every Marine it has and more.

Tim will be put into a situation where he will discover the sabotage in the recruiting program. Will he be able to expose the cause and fix it? Or will he fail and watch as the experimental video game recruiting process is shut down?

Without the Marines how will humanity survive when the aliens come back?

The First Chill of Autumn by W.R. GingellThe First Chill of Autumn by W.R. Gingell:

Llassar is an occupied country– but nobody seems to know it.

Fae began to filter slowly into the land shortly after the birth of the crown princess, Dion ferch Alawn, supposedly fleeing a dark threat in Faery known as the Guardians. But that was fifteen years ago, and now there isn’t a town in Llassar that isn’t populated by or under the control of the fae.

Smaller, weaker, and less talented at magic, Llassarians are quickly finding out that there’s no fighting the invasion that crept in so quietly and politely. Even the castle isn’t free of fae: those closest to the king and queen are faery advisors.

When Dion ferch Alawn returns from a carefully sanitised tour of Outer Llassar, the most exciting thing she expects from the near future is the present her twin sister Aerwn promised for their seventeenth birthday.

Then her carriage breaks down, and Dion gets a taste of what the real Llassar has become: desperate, enslaved, and ripe for rebellion. Getting home safely is just the first problem she faces: the real struggle begins when Dion returns to the castle. Her new knowledge is inconvenient and unwelcome– to declare it, treason.

Carl Sagan's Hunt for Intelligent Life in the Universe by C. GockelCarl Sagan’s Hunt for Intelligent Life in the Universe by C. Gockel:

Sometimes intelligent life is right in front of your whiskers.

Hsissh is a member of The One. There are some newcomers to The One’s homeplanet. They call themselves “humans,” and they are, frankly, mentally deficient–they can’t warp the quantum world with their minds. However, Hsissh is becoming attached to one of them, a Miss Noa Sato.

When The One decide they will wipe out the humans and Noa’s life is on the line, Hsissh is forced to take sides … he might find intelligent life where The One least expect it.

Blackwater Val by William GormanBlackwater Val by William Gorman:

Something isn’t quite right in the Val.

Richard Franklin has left his Midwestern roots behind to live on the coast of Maine with his family. But in the autumn of the year 2000, he must return to his Illinois birthplace on a sorrowful journey. His wife Michelle has been killed in New England by a hit-and-run driver who is never found, so back home he comes with her cremated remains, to fulfill a final wish and on her birthday scatter her ashes in the park along the river in Blackwater Valley—simply Blackwater Val to locals—the small town where they both grew up and fell in love.

With him he brings his six-year-old daughter Katie who still grieves for her lost mother: Katie, who can sometimes guess who’s going to be on the phone before it rings. Who can stop all the clocks in the house, and break up clouds in the sky with her mind, and heal sicknesses, and who sometimes sees things that aren’t there . . . people who are no longer alive. All gifts she inherited from her mother.

Only something isn’t quite right in the Val.

Sinkholes are opening up, revealing the plague pits the sleepy hamlet was built over in the 1830s, when malaria and cholera outbreaks ran riot. Mysterious bird and fish die-offs begin to occur, and Katie can see ghosts of the dead gathering all around. But what she can’t see is the charred, centuries-old malevolence which has been waiting for her, and wants her for its very own. Or the pale Sallow Man who haunts the town’s nighttime streets . . . or the river witch—another Blackwater Val, of sorts—each of whom will be drawn one by one into the nightmarish bloodletting about to take place.

Iceslinger by John HegenbergerIceslinger by John Hegenberger:

A deadly showdown on frozen Ganymede . . . an experiment in time travel that has unexpected results . . . the dead being brought back to life—to sell insurance . . . a legendary villain seeking to summon a strange visitor from another planet . . .

These are only some of the ventures into the fantastic and bizarre to be found in ICESLINGER, the latest collection from acclaimed author John Hegenberger. These classic tales of science fiction and fantasy are filled with action, big ideas, humor, and drama. Step into the many worlds of John Hegenberger and prepare to be entertained!

Weller Franks by R.D. HendersonWeller Franks by R.D. Henderson:

From the author of the Nambroc Sequence, here is Weller Franks, the second novella in the Water Falcon Trilogy, his next fantasy series.

Weller Franks, a dark gnome, owes a great deal of money to a halfling crime lord named Tom Bolden who operates in the Fairy Realm.
Franks desires nothing more than getting out from underneath the thumb of Bolden, disposing of the Franks persona, and return to his old life as a smuggler on the high seas in the Earth Realm.

While Weller dreams of his old life, the gnome works as a portal operator for Portal Travel, Inc. which is a company that takes passengers and cargo from one realm to another. Traveling by portal is the only mode of travel between the realms, and Portal Travel, Inc. is the only company that provides this service.

Sometimes, Tom or one of his underlings would order Weller to smuggle, narcotics, illicit magic items, and unregistered weapons in his portal which is a crime.

Weller is not so much bothered by committing crimes when his smuggling contraband in his portal. The gnome, however, is very hot and bothered that he is not getting a larger percentage from each illicit transaction. The problem also for the gnome was the more revenue he generated for Tom did not necessarily mean the amount of money he owed the halfling is getting less.

After doing some good work for Tom, but still owing money to the halfling, Weller is told that he would be returning to the high seas and would be able to get rid of the Weller Franks persona. The gnome should be estatic and happy that his dreams become a reality, but he is not. Why is that?

Ambassador by Patty JansenAmbassador: Blue Diamond Sky by Patty Jansen:

As Cory takes a well-earned rest and finally submits to proper weapons training, he and a couple of people from his household go on a hunting trip in the marshland between Barresh and the turquoise sea. A bad storm has come through recently and on a deserted beach, Cory finds something Earthly that doesn’t belong there: a message in a bottle, a piece of paper with HELP scratched on it with a sharp object. In Isla.

Cory has a list of all humans in Barresh: it’s very short and no one is missing. A few days later, he receives a curious message through official channels, from a woman on Earth whose rich businessman husband went on a trip of a lifetime “in a place where you can surf with plesiosaurs in turquoise waves”.
Cory knows the guy advertising the trip. He’s a shady character. He also knows where the “plesiosaurs” are. They’re not particularly friendly. Not to mention that the area is on the land of a viciously territorial Pengali tribe.

As it turns out, those are the least of his worries.

A child of the Pink Moon by Floyd LooneyA Child of the Pink Moon by Floyd Looney:

Nel is an ordinary seventeen year old, worried about her super-powers, scared that she could be drafted and the possibility of a deadly showdown with her stalker.

Nel has been in institutions most of her life, since her family gave her up when she exhibited signs of having super powers. Now there are super-powered teenagers around the world being drafted by governments for combat. While the world rushes into super-powered warfare, Nel must deal with a super-powered stalker who wants to kill her.

 

The Green Dragon by Salvador MercerThe Green Dragon by Salvador Mercer:

A thousand years ago, on the world of Claire-Agon, a war raged between men and dragons.

In Vulcrest, nearly a century before the Great Dragon War, a boy’s life was changed forever. Sheltered by a Druid of the Arnen, Elly Brown was raised in the druidic order destined to confront his childhood terror and become one of the most feared defenders in all of Agon, Elister the Druid.

Near the heart of Vulcrest’s Greenfeld Forest, the heir to the throne, Helvie, and her Paladin protector, Fist of Astor, Lucina, investigate a strange series of murders while the sinister Kesh ally with Vulcrest’s ancient enemy, the realm of Ekos in an attempt to dominate the frontier realm, laying siege to its capital, Vulkor.

Facing the destruction of her realm, Helvie must unite with an unlikely group of companions to free her homeland, but a deadly, ancient, woodland nemesis has other plans.

Helvie soon discovers that, in the world of Claire-Agon, when dealing with a Green Dragon, sometimes rules were meant to be broken.

Six Celestial Swords by T.A. MilesSix Celestial Swords by T.A. Miles:

Inspired by the rising chaos in Sheng Fan, Xu Liang, mystic and officer of the Imperial Court, leaves his homeland for the barbarian outer lands in search of four magical blades to unite with two sacred weapons already in the possession of the Empire. His plan is to bring all of the blades together and return them to Sheng Fan’s Empress as a symbol of unity that will bolster the people’s faith in the Imperial family and assist against the surge of dark forces.

 

 

The Lost Pilot by T.S. PaulThe Lost Pilot by T.S. Paul:

Before Athena Lee and the worlds that she knew there was an embattled Earth.

Earth was in turmoil before the first colony ship was launched. The Cyber Wars raged across the planet as country battled country. The war was fought until only the Major Powers were victorious. In the aftermath, the United Nations came into it’s own. Warriors, trained and bred to be the best the world had ever seen emerged from the shadows, bringing order and control out of the chaos of the Cyber Wars. Sam was one such warrior. Born and bred to serve he followed his orders and became one of the best pilots in the service. The future of man lay in the stars. Colonization was a good way to rid society of the undesirables of Earth. He volunteered to start a new colony and spread Earth’s power.

This is the Prequel for the Athena Lee Chronicles.

Sins of the Father by K.L. PhelpsSins of the Father by K.L. Phelps:

Kat Parker was looking forward to a nice normal night out with her boyfriend—though nothing is truly normal when you can see and talk with the dead. However, when Damian arrives with news that his estranged father has been killed, date night quickly turns into a trip to Vegas, the supernatural capital of the world. Whoever said romance was dead?

As a former detective for the Vegas Police Department, Damian is well aware of his father’s shady business dealings, but he’s still surprised when he’s confronted by an unstable squid-faced creature demanding he deliver on his father’s final deal.

With time running short and the creature’s patience running even shorter, Kat must help to figure out who killed Damian’s father and how to deliver on his final debt. Otherwise, Kat may have more to worry about than playing middleman to a postmortem family reconciliation or figuring out if her pet turtle has a gambling problem.

Falling Dusk by Jennifer R. PoveyFalling Dusk by Jennifer R. Povey:

Anna McKenzie just wants her life back. She wants the brutal murder of her brother never to have happened. She certainly doesn’t want magic, power, and to deal with a certain vigilante named Victor Prince…

…but once the world of magic has claimed her, there is no escape.

 

 

Eons Semester by Jim RudnickEons Semester by Jim Rudnick

Jilted by his Royal fiancee, captain Tanner Scott is assigned to Eons and the newly constructed RIM Naval Academy buildings and the duty is anything but a reward. His days are full of squabbling University professors and construction types all nitpicking for changes to plans and additions and extra and the boredom of detail is a horrible side-effect.

As he learns, there is more to looking after a successful construction project than being at the top of the heap and the machinations of the Issians who run Eons and it’s mind-readers comes to him for help. He knows that the Baroness is somehow also involved but the openness of the Master Adept and her Inner Circle that controls Eons is what is so surprising to him.

As the Naval Academy is finally ready to open and the heads of state of many of the RIM Confederacy planets arrive, the protesters against the Issians make their play to publicly humiliate the Inner Circle and their own plans to strengthen their ranks via the death of twins and Tanner must find a way to quell the uprising…

Fatal Blade by Eric ThomsonFatal Blade by Eric Thomson:

Someone was setting fire to the Commonwealth Rim, nurturing a storm to drag humanity through the horrors of colonial warfare and thereby hasten the rise of Empire. Their plan had just one fatal flaw: it didn’t count on an ex-Marine pathfinder with a grudge, a dagger and a deadly partner. Zack Decker had seen enough of war to know this one had to be stopped before it turned into an all-out bloodbath, even if that meant ignoring orders and risking his mission as well as his life. After all, he was still one of the Few…

 

Hunted by Magic by Jasmine WaltHunted by Magic by Jasmine Walt:

With the sudden disappearance of Iannis, the Chief Mage, Solantha has erupted into pandemonium. Citizens are rioting in the streets, the Mages Guild is on a misguided warpath, and shifters and humans are fleeing the city in droves. Ridden with guilt, Sunaya defies the Mages Guild and goes off in search of Iannis, trekking into dangerous, uncivilized territory to try and make things right. But Sunaya’s relationship with Iannis isn’t the only thing at stake — if she doesn’t find him soon, the Resistance might just succeed in plunging the Northia Federation into a devastating and bloody civil war.

Buried Desire by A.E. WaspBuried Desire by A.E. Wasp:

The vengeful ghost of a murdered girl stalks the innocent. A forbidden passion ignites in the dark. Secrets of the past that doom the present rise with the dead at Eden Lake.

For Nikolai and Alexei, their jobs at Camp Nevele were supposed to be a break from real life, a last deep breath of freedom before returning to their family and the traditional marriages arranged for them. But the peace of the summer is shattered when the ghost of a brutally murdered girl begins to kill.

Even within his Romany family, Alexei has always been different. Gifted with the sight, he’s lived his life knowing something dark hunts them. A being from the otherworld unwilling to stop until it gets what it wants…and what it wants is Nikolai.

As the boys struggle to put the spirit to rest before it kills again, they find it harder and harder to deny the passion burning between them.

Despite the deep taboos of their upbringing, desire ignites between the young men and they are left with a devastating choice between holding on to each other and losing everything they’ve ever known. But the very love that binds them together may separate them forever and the choice may not be theirs to make.

Fans of the supernatural and passionate stories of first love will fall in love with the fantasy romance of Nikolai and Alexei and their desperate struggle to stay together.

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Cora guest-blogs elsewhere

First of all, I have a guest post in the “Nobody Knew She Was There” series about female SFF writers over on Sarah Ash’s blog today. I talk about the challenges of being a woman from a non-anglophone country who writes SFF, so head over there and check out it.

And also read some of the other great posts in the series by writers such as Kari Sperring, Juliet E. McKenna, Stephanie Burgis, Jessica Rydill, Freda Warrington, Jenny Barber, Jan Edwards and others, while you’re at it.

What is more, over at my personal blog, I also have a post about dialogue as characterisation as well as a lot of blather about the latest SFF awards controversies.

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New Story Available: The Death of the American Dream

I have a new release to announce. It’s called The Death of the American Dream and it’s basically Mad Men meets the apocalypse, complete with giant mutant crabs and other monsters.

This is another story that was inspired by a piece of SFF artwork, in this case a painting called “Fatigue” by artist John Brosio. Brosio also has another painting called “Fatigue”, which came up during an image search and promptly influenced the story as well. In general, I like using images – often SFF art – for inspiration and have a whole folder full of intriguing images for that purpose. Occasionally, when I’m blocked and looking for inspiration I go through that folder, pick an image and start writing about it.

And since I was watching the final season of Mad Men, while I was writing The Death of the American Dream, the show combined itself with the nascent story.

You can find the result below. I hope you like it.

The Death of the American Dream by Cora BuhlertThey came out of nowhere to attack America’s towns and suburbs: Giant mutant crabs and other creatures, grown to enormous size due to nuclear radiation and bent on destroying the American way of life. But while many fall to the monster attacks, an advertising executive finds the unexpected strength to survive and fight back for the sake of his family…

This is a short story of 5300 words or approximately 20 print pages.

 

 

More information.
Length: 5300 words
List price: 0.99 USD, EUR or GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, Scribd, Smashwords, Inktera, txtr, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, OmniLit/AllRomance e-books, Casa del Libro, Flipkart, e-Sentral, 24symbols and XinXii.

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Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for April 2016

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

So what is “Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month”? It’s a round-up of speculative fiction by indie authors newly published this month, though some 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. We have retro science fiction, space opera, paranormal romance, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, horror, post-apocalyptic fiction, weird western, vampires, werewolves, wizards, demons, witches, time travel, zombies, alien invasions, flying saucers, god killers, superheroes, exiled princes, Wild West mages 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:

Realm of Mirrors by Sonya BatemanRealm of Mirrors by Sonya Bateman:
“The dead must answer to you, and no one else. Remember that, Gideon.”

He may be the DeathSpeaker, but Gideon Black has no idea what he’s doing. The job didn’t come with an instruction manual. That’s why his half-brother Taeral plans to bring him across the Veil to the Fae realm of Arcadia, to consult with an ancient Fae who knew the previous DeathSpeaker personally.

Those plans are violently interrupted when the royal Unseelie Guard invade their home, dragging Taeral and their father, Daoin, to Arcadia ahead of schedule. And Gideon will do anything to get them back.

But the concrete jungles of Manhattan are nothing compared to the threats waiting in Arcadia. Facing deadly wildlife, even deadlier enemies, and magic he never imagined possible, Gideon must learn quickly to wield his power as both a Fae and the DeathSpeaker — before the vengeful Unseelie Queen can exact a cost higher than death from his family, and everyone he holds dear.

Double Feature by Cora BuhlertDouble Feature by Cora Buhlert:

1956: Judy is the designated town slut of Stillwater Creek. After getting thrown out of a sock hop at the local high school, Judy winds up going to the movies with bad boy Hank instead, where a science fiction double feature is playing. However, before the first reel of the second movie is through, the night is interrupted by a very real invasion of flying saucers from outer space…

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

 

The Young Vampire's Survival Guide by Lucy EldritchThe Young Vampire’s Survival Guide by Lucy Eldritch:

It started with his death.

Student Robert James never asked to be bitten. He didn’t want to be the leader of a new breed of vampires. Thing is: he wasn’t offered a choice.

Survival and destiny combine when Robert finds himself under threat from a mysterious cult known as the Dawn Warriors. Within months, many of those he cares about are dead and he vows to fight back without mercy. Robert unearths terrible truths and confronts eternal evils that threaten to break him. He may not succeed in defeating the Dawn Warriors, but he has no choice but to try.

‘The Young Vampire’s Survival Guide’ is the first book in the ‘New Breed Vampires’ book series. Described as “Anne Rice meets Kelley Armstrong”, it is set in London and Manchester and written in British English. It’s gruesome, compelling, horrifying and uplifting vampire fiction.

In the Dark by Kera EmoryIn the Dark: A Novella of the Undying by Kera Emory:

Chase Covington and Anne Sheffield are on the run, but Chase isn’t sure where they’re going.

She’s a centuries-old vampire, and he’s been a werewolf hybrid for about three weeks. They’ve left a trail of bodies and a shattered supernatural treaty in their wake, and they’re having major communication problems.

And when the full moon rises, things are going to get a whole lot worse.

From the author of YOUR NAME, IN FIRE, this stand-alone novella pays homage to classic Urban Fantasy traditions.

Assassin's Charge by Claire FrankAssassin’s Charge by Claire Frank:

A cold-hearted assassin. A boy with a price on his head.

Rhisia Sen is one of the Empire’s highest paid assassins. Living a life of luxury, she chooses her contracts carefully, working to amass enough wealth so she can leave her bloody trade. She is offered a new contract on the outskirts of civilization, and almost refuses—until she sees the purse. It could be the last job she ever has to take.

But when she reaches the destination, she discovers her mark is a child.

The contract, and her reputation, demand she kill the boy—if she can banish his innocent face from her mind. But another assassin has been sent to kill her, and a notorious bounty hunter is on her trail. She doesn’t know why the boy is a target, or why her former employer wants her dead. Saving the child could be her only chance at survival.

Assassin’s Charge is a stand-alone novel, set in the same world as the Echoes of Imara series. It can be enjoyed with or without having read the other books in the series.

For the Wildings by Kyra HallandFor the Wildings by Kyra Halland:

In the conclusion of Daughter of the Wildings, Silas and Lainie recover from their ordeal in Granadaia, while knowing that an evil is at work that threatens the freedom of the Wildings and that this peaceful interval is no more than a brief illusion. Then the unthinkable happens, the battle begins, and Lainie, the daughter of the Wildings, and Silas, the man she has claimed for herself and for the land, have to draw on all their power and strength – and on the life of the land itself – to protect their beloved Wildings and the people who make it their home.

 

Coronation by Kevin HardmanCoronation by Kevin Hardman:

As the grandson of the alien princess Indigo, Jim (aka Kid Sensation) has always known that, technically, he’s royalty. That said, he’d be the first to admit that he’s never lived any kind of regal lifestyle – no titles, no castles, no crown jewels… However, the arrival of a courier from his grandmother’s homeworld changes all of that in an instant.

By royal edict, Jim is summoned “home” to the distant planet Caeles in order to claim an alien inheritance. Unfortunately, this is no warm and cuddly family reunion. Caeles is a hotbed of political intrigue, and Jim’s arrival has widespread ramifications. Not only are several factions attempting to utilize his very existence as leverage to advance their own agendas, but Jim himself is required to submit to an archaic trial known as a prexetus. Moreover, while some are content with simply trying to use him, it quickly becomes apparent that at least one shadowy individual just wants Jim out of the way – quickly, completely, and permanently.

Light years from Earth, with little family and fewer friends, Jim faces the daunting task of finding an enemy whose ultimate purpose is unknown and whose methods are extreme. Complicating matters even further is the fact that Jim’s much-heralded super powers are glitching, making him incredibly vulnerable for perhaps the first time in his life.

Let Go by Michael Patrick HicksLet Go by Michael Patrick Hicks:

Widowed and with retirement drawing near, Everett Hart believes he has already lost everything – until the dead begin to rise.

Trapped in a cheap restaurant with a small band of other elderly survivors, Everett is forced to decide if he’ll fight for whatever scraps of a future remain, or if he will simply… let go.

LET GO is a short story of approximately 10,000 words.

 

Barrow Fiend by Amy Hopkins Barrow Fiend by Amy Hopkins:

When Emma is approached by DCI Greyson to assist with a case, her first instinct is to say no. Still shaken by the attack on her life six months earlier, and balancing her friendships with a budding relationship, she’d prefer to stay clear of the danger.
However, circumstances force her hand and she throws herself into the investigation. She soon realises that her target isn’t a mysterious creature, but a dangerous man without the slightest care for human life…

Can Emma survive the biggest risk she’s ever faced, or will she have to sacrifice too much?

This Would Be Paradise by N.D. IversonThis Would Be Paradise, Book 2 by N.D. Iverson:

Community connotes safety and togetherness–or does it?

Bailey and Chloe head back on the road, where they come across strange markings belonging to a group intent on bloodshed and abduction. With this heinous enemy lurking in the shadows, they seek help in new and old friends along the way.

When they arrive at Hargrove, nothing is what it seems inside the makeshift, post-apocalyptic community. People are turning up dead, and for once, zombies aren’t the ones to blame. Fingers are pointed, everyone is a suspect, and no one is safe outside or inside these walls.

Page count: ~282 pages

Borrowed Tides by Paul LevinsonBorrowed Tides by Paul Levinson:

The first starship to Alpha Centauri in 2029 uses a new technology which can move it through deep space at almost half the speed of light. But it requires an enormous amount of fuel, and can only carry enough for a one-way trip. A philosopher of science and his childhood friend, an anthropologist with a specialty in Native American culture, have a daringly bizarre plan, and talk the government into putting them in charge of the Light Through starship voyage.

 

 

The Men Who Killed God by J. Alex McCarthyThe Men Who Killed God by J. Alex McCarthy:

This is it.
They have finally done it.
They have finally killed a god.

In August’s world, everything was created by a single, secular god. HE—the creator of everything. However, HE left the world to be ruled with a subtle, iron fist by less powerful gods.

It had been two years since August stepped foot into his hometown, Sotira. It had also been that long since he’d last visited his father, seen his crooked smile, and felt those familial ties.

He wished he didn’t have to return. However, at the request of his girlfriend and his family, he was heading back home. To a place where the foundations themselves were built with false truths, hidden behind the ‘utopia’ the gods supposedly created. He knew fear lay under all that outward, deceitful happiness—a terror that Sotira would be next to come under the wrath of the gods.

When August arrived home, he wasn’t prepared for what he found. His best friend had been hanged and turned into a monument in the middle of town by the order of his father and the gods. The world he thought he knew had been turned upside down. To turn it right again, August would do anything… even start down the path that would allow him to gain the power to kill God.

Doctor Wolf by Jenny SchwartzDoctor Wolf by Jenny Schwartz:

A werewolf in London romance.

Liz Jekyll might be the most wanted werewolf in London—wanted for dating, that is—but she doesn’t take it as a compliment. In fact, it’s a wretched nuisance because Liz has a vital secret to hide. What she needs is a disinterested werewolf who could pretend to be her boyfriend.

Carson Erving would be very interested in Liz if it weren’t for Gentiana Aeternae. The botanist werewolf from Alabama has found the legendary Elixir Gentian, and ruthless people will do anything, kill anyone, to get their hands on a plant that can grant an extra hundred years of life.

As danger explodes around them, two very independent werewolves will have to do the unthinkable and rely on one another. But when Liz’s secret is revealed, who will die?

Demon Magic & Mayhem by Stella WilkinsonDemon Magic & Mayhem by Stella Wilkinson:

You know that feeling when you think life is pretty darn perfect, and then a werewolf savages your best friend and a ridiculously sexy demon drags your boyfriend off to hell with her? No? Just me then…

Young witch Emily Rand is back doing what she does best – blundering her way through paranormal mishaps with limited magic and mixed luck. But with her crow on her shoulder, and a ghost by her side, Emily’s not about to let some demonic vixen kidnap and keep the hot werewolf that holds her heart.

This book also includes a bonus short story : All Hallows Eve

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New Science Fiction Releases: Lovers’ Lane and Double Feature

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

More information.
Length: 6200 words
List price: 0.99 USD, EUR or GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, Scribd, Smashwords, Inktera, txtr, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, Libiro, DriveThruFiction, OmniLit/AllRomance e-books, Casa del Libro, Flipkart, e-Sentral, 24symbols and XinXii.

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

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

 

 

More information.
Length: 8500 words.
List price: 2.99 USD, EUR or GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, Scribd, Smashwords, Inktera, txtr, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, Libiro, DriveThruFiction, OmniLit/AllRomance e-books, Casa del Libro, Flipkart, e-Sentral, 24symbols and XinXii.

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Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for March 2016

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

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

Once again, we have new releases covering the whole broad spectrum of speculative fiction. We have space opera, military science fiction, science fiction romance, paranormal romance, fantasy romance, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, horror, post-apocalyptic fiction, vampires, wizards, demons, alien invasions, flying saucers, telepathic space pirates, monstruous conspiracies, dead druids, magical wars, royal bodyguards, gods in the modern world and much more.

Don’t forget that Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month is also crossposted to the Speculative Fiction Showcase, a group blog run by Jessica Rydill and myself, which features new release spotlights, guest posts, interviews and link round-ups regarding all things speculative fiction several times per week.

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

And now on to the books without further ado:

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

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

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

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

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

Lovers' Lane by Cora BuhlertLovers’ Lane by Cora Buhlert

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shadow Play by Domino FinnShadow Play by Domino Finn:

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

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

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

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

Is resurrection overrated or what?

Destroyer by Chris FoxDestroyer by Chris Fox:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pirate Bound by Carysa LockePirate Bound by Carysa Locke:

A desperate gamble…

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

A race on the verge of extinction…

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

A dangerous secret that could destroy everything…

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

Dead Druid by Salvador MercerDead Druid by Salvador Mercer:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That Which Dwells BeneathThat Which Dwells Beneath by Andrew Nicolle:

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

Freemont is a beacon for the survivors of the War.

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

And now Lane’s here.

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

Sam is too.

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

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

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

SURE by Hollis ShilohSURE by Hollis Shiloh:

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

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

66,000 words

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

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

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

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

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Murder in the Family is still a bestseller in Australia

 

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

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

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

 

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Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for February 2016

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

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

Once again, we have new releases covering the whole broad spectrum of speculative fiction. We have space opera, military science fiction, science fiction romance, paranormal romance, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, historical fantasy, horror, steampunk, alternate history, post-apocalyptic fiction, lots of young adult SFF, witches, demons, zombies, intergalactic conspiracies, alien invaders, were-foxes, magical swords, beleaguered queens, alternate history PIs, Valentine’s Day in space, Victorians in space, increasingly transparent girls, bioengineered jellyfish terrorists and much more.

Don’t forget that Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month is also crossposted to the Speculative Fiction Showcase, a group blog run by Jessica Rydill and myself, which features new release spotlights, guest posts, interviews and link round-ups regarding all things speculative fiction several times per week.

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

And now on to the books without further ado:

Emerald Emergent by James AaronEmerald Emergent by James Aaron

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

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

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

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

Welcome to Elegaia, where the past can kill you.

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

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

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

Station 332 by Darcy CoatesStation 332 by Darcy Coates

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Memory Thief by Sarina DorieThe Memory Thief by Sarina Dorie

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

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

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

One Sunny Night by Charon DunnOne Sunny Night by Charon Dunn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Life is more than just breathing.

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

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

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

Starfall by John HegenbergerStarfall by John Hegenberger

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

An Alternate History Mystery

Dream Stalker by Amy HopkinsDream Stalker by Amy Hopkins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One brave woman’s struggle against magical forces.

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

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

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

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

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

The Full Moon by David NethThe Full Moon by David Neth

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Desert Planet by Jim RudnickDesert Planet by Jim Rudnick

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

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

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

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

Wind Chill by Patrick RutiglianoWind Chill by Patrick Rutigliano

What if you were held captive by your own family?

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

And he doesn’t intend to face them alone.

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

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

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

Foxed by Hollis ShilohFoxed by Hollis Shiloh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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