So what is “Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month”? It’s a round-up of speculative fiction by indie authors newly published this month, though some August books I missed the last time around snuck in as well. The books are arranged in alphabetical order by author. So far, most links only go to Amazon.com, though I may add other retailers for future editions.
Once again, we have new releases covering the whole broad spectrum of speculative fiction. This month, we have epic fantasy, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, cozy fantasy, historical fantasy, paranormal mystery, paranormal romance, fantasy romance, science fiction romance, science fiction thrillers, space opera (cozy and not), military science fiction, near future science fiction, science fantasy, Cyberpunk, Steampunk, horror, time travel, witches, wizards, werewolves, vampires, demons, changelings, assassins, space mages, space marines, space princesses, space rogues, haunted shops, magical circusses, wayward saints, lost girls 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:
Andalusia is no ordinary pirate – she’s a runaway princess.
She ran to save her people from her betrothed. He intends to use her to start a galactic war, unless she can stay out of his clutches.
When she runs into one of her old guards, she’s pulled back into the life she disavowed.
She can no longer afford to run. It is time to rise up and do what she should have done from the start – go to war.
A Princess Lost is the first instalment of the Rising Princess series. An action-packed galactic adventure, pick it up today.
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 as mercenaries on Metra Litko, an independent world on the galactic rim, while attempting to stay under the radar of those pursuing them.
Anjali and Mikhail are working a routine bodyguard job. But things quickly go awry, when an assassin bypasses all security measures to shoot the wrong target… or does he?
Anjali and Mikhail set off in pursuit, only to find themselves confronted with a figure from Mikhail’s past who could threaten their newfound freedom.
This is a novelette of 8000 words or approximately 27 print pages in the In Love and War series, but may be read as a standalone.
Crown Agent Jev Dharrow’s good dwarf friend Cutter is missing, as is the city’s master gem cutter. Jev doesn’t know who would want them, but he’s determined to find out.
He hopes his fellow agent, Zenia, can help him locate the missing dwarves. Even though she rejected his offer of a romantic relationship because of their status differences, they have become good friends, and she has years of experience finding criminals.
But this kidnapping is anything but simple. Jev and Zenia find themselves entangled in a snarled plot that threatens the entire kingdom while making them realize their true feelings for each other. If they can’t rescue the dwarves, deter an invasion, and stop an explosive plot to destroy half the city, they may lose everything they love. Including each other.
A witch using demon magic? It’s more likely than you think.
My name’s Dani Warren and I’m a witch with demon magic. It’s kind of a long story but if anyone finds out, I’ll be executed on the spot.
I’ve been keeping my head down working as a PI, doing the dirty jobs no one else wants. But then, to solve a murder, I’m forced to work with Conor Ramsey, a sexy demon hunter who’s with the Council. He may be pretty to look at, but he won’t hesitate to cut me down if he learns my secret.
Soon groups of demon-powered mages start attacking us. On one hand, we’re on the right track. On the other, I can’t use my magic to fight back if I don’t want to get caught.
I’m stuck between a smoking hot demon hunter and a pack of dangerous mages. Today really isn’t my day.
Demon Fire is book one of The Brimstone Magic Series. It’s action-packed, suspenseful urban fantasy with elements of humor and romance. Book 2, Demon Shadow, will be out soon.
Thomas, Mia and Ethan have finally discovered the long-lost rebellion airship Clara – only to learn that it cannot grant them their freedom, since none know how to fly the mighty ship.
A desperate search for a pilot follows but disaster strikes when Thomas falls into the clutches of their old tormentor, Lady Elisabeth; master of the Sand-Hog and lieutenant to the King. Yet Elisabeth has her own plans for Thomas and they do not involve simply handing him over to her liege.
Mia and Ethan find themselves torn between chasing Thomas and following clues to the Clara’s pilot but hounding Mia every step of the way is her own doubts and fears, her confusion over her feelings for Ethan and worse, dark dreams that hide an even greater threat than King Williams could ever pose.
A steampunk adventure set in a slowly dying land where magic clashes with steam and alchemy.
A girls’ night out means three things to me: drinking whiskey with my best friend, trying not to kill anyone, and keeping my magic hidden. A fae gladiator like me isn’t supposed to exist anymore.
But my Friday night takes a bad turn when a lethally gorgeous fae–Ruadan–tries to assassinate me. He’s known as the Wraith, and he’s taken a vow of silence until he’s slaughtered the outlaws on his kill list. Outlaws like me.
Ruadan lets me live on one condition: I have to earn my place at the Institute of the Shadow Fae. As a powerful fighter, I can take the competition.
But things fall apart when I’m given an impossible choice: betray my mentor Ruadan, or my best friend dies. Now, I face a quandary my gladiatorial past did not prepare me for.
This book is from the Demons of Fire and Night world.
Captain Annabel Skyblade commands the Peregrine, the most feared pirate airship to sail the skies of Aldarre, plundering the rich and powerful. The rulers of the great sky realms have had enough of her, and Victorie Brassfeld, Cerindel’s top Navy intelligence agent, has a plan to capture the pirate, using a lure too strong to resist—a valuable, beautiful sapphire amulet.
But the amulet hides a great secret, and when it is stolen by sinister forces, Annabel and Victorie must join together to retrieve it. And as they face danger and adventure, they also have to face their feelings for each other, feelings they have never had before, when they discover…
Hearts can be stolen too.
Cut off from her team, Fallon will learn some hard lessons about what it means to be a clandestine operative. She and Minho have been tasked with setting up the security system on a brand-new PAC installation called Asimov Station. It’s a lot of work to get done in a short time, and that’s only their cover assignment. Behind the scenes, they’ll be investigating the station’s captain. Either they’ll get to clear his name, or they’ll get to bring him down. Why PAC command has separated her from her team, she doesn’t know. She also doesn’t know where they are or when she will be reunited with them. All she can do is complete the job ahead of her as well and as quickly as possible, so they can once again be a team.
London’s youngest vampire. England’s newest sorcerer. And Ellis’ life is in their hands…
Han Xie had a fatal heart condition, and only the intervention of his best friend Ellis O’Neill could save him. Now Han is an unsanctioned vampire in a city happy to kill him for it, and the one man who could protect him seems to be falling apart piece by piece.
Jay Newfield became a sorcerer too late to cure his husband’s heart problem, and now that Ellis is dying it might be too late for Jay to save him, too. His only hope is the son of the last remaining sorcerer in England, the Duke of Oxford.
While Jay races to keep Ellis from turning to ash, Han discovers that his workplace is on another vampire’s territory. Caught up in more than one race against time, Han and Jay need to master their powers fast, before the Council discover – and execute – them both…
For about five seconds there, my life was perfect. The fae king finally allowed me back into the magical Realms of Faerie, and his arrogant knight, the Hawk, was actually thawing towards me.
I should have known it wouldn’t last. When I get back to my childhood home in Autumn, my mother’s gone, our house abandoned. Not exactly the homecoming of my dreams.
Then an injured stranger turns up in the mortal world, claiming to be my mother, but she dies before I can question her. If I want answers, I’ll have to find her killer. And guess what? The killer is looking for me, too—but not for a friendly chat.
Everyone is keeping secrets, and I can’t even be sure who I am anymore—or how dangerous the truth will be when I finally uncover it. Just as well the Hawk has elected himself my protector. Keeping me alive will be a full-time job.
Five years have passed since Darcy Eberhardt left Raub for dead on Ulream.
Darcy and her ragtag multispecies crew have used those years well, searching for her lost love, Adam, throughout the disreputable fringes of galactic society—though the odds are stacked against them. Along the way, they liberate the vulnerable and accumulate allies, some of them dubious. Meanwhile, Darcy continues to master her newfound powers in secret.
A cryptic message raises a ghost from the past to haunt her, forcing her to a crossroads that could lead to a reunion with Adam, or keep him forever beyond her reach.
Inauguration Day on Nexus Prime. As Senator Neela Kane becomes the Speaker of the Commonwealth, unseen forces are at work: some seek to control the new Speaker, others would see her term end before it has even begun, and some…
Some just want to watch the world burn.
Yet in times of crisis, help can come from the most unexpected places, and in the galactic capitol, the smallest action can have consequences that no-one could possibly predict.
Bodyguard and politician, urchin and delinquent. Policeman and power broker, assassin and AI. Eight lives, one chain.
Action and reaction.
Cause and effect.
Life and death.
Chauncy and Tre were childhood friends. Tre, who works for a pharmaceutical company, is in town on business. Chauncy hadn’t seen Tre since college and decides they should catch up. After picking Tre up from the airport, they are ambushed and kidnapped. Held hostage in an old abandoned house. With hopes of escape, Tre and Chauncy use an experimental drug from Tre’s company that gives them extraordinary physical abilities.
This will be the first book in the Hypo Series. Hypo: Exordium. It is a Serial Short. There are 3 parts of an ongoing story. The second part will be released within 2 weeks of the first, and the final part soon after!
Three new worlds. Three exciting adventures.
Three first-in-series Urban Fantasy books from author BR Kingsolver. Explore three unusual imaginative worlds. Travel with a sexy telepath in a world that could be ours, a mutant thief and assassin two hundred years in the future, and an Elven witch stranded on Earth.
The Succubus Gift (Telepathic Clans #1)
Chameleon Assassin (Award winning first book in the Chameleon Assassin series)
Gods and Demons (Dark Streets #1)
The Succubus Gift – The Goddess blesses Her people with 25 Telepathic Gifts. In addition to Telepathy, the Gifts include command over Air and Fire, Telekinesis and Teleportation. Brenna’s life isn’t the same after she discovers her unusual and mysterious heritage. In addition to being a telepath, Brenna learns she has the Succubus Gift.
Chameleon Assassin – Libby is a mutant, one of the top burglars and assassins in the world. For a price, she caters to executives’ secret desires. Eliminate your corporate rival? Deliver a priceless art masterpiece or necklace? Hack into another corporation’s network? Libby’s your girl. Voted Best Contemporary/Urban Fantasy of 2017 by eFestival of Words
Gods and Demons – Life’s tough as an Elf girl stranded in Earth’s realm. When a jaguar shifter drops in out of nowhere and asks me for help in tracking down an ancient blood-magic statuette, I say no thank you. I learned a long time ago the key to survival is keeping a low profile. But it’s hard to ignore an artifact of the gods powerful enough to blow holes in reality.
A jarring homecoming.
An uncertain fate.
To save everyone, one witch must perform the juggling act of a lifetime
When Charlotte returns home with Gunther, Devana, and Ethel Elkins in tow, she doesn’t think her life can get any more complicated. But when one of her parents’ Animal Shelter volunteers turns up dead, her control begins to slip as her old human life and her new paranormal life collide.
While racing to come up with a plan to defeat the Witches’ Council, Charlotte must defend her family against an intrusive police investigation that risks exposing their true nature to the human world—an act which will condemn them all.
Go for the Juggler is the fourth book in the hypnotizing Magical Midway paranormal cozy mystery series. If you like eccentric characters, show-stopping magic, and twisty mysteries, then you’ll love Leanne Leeds’ crowd-pleasing whodunit.
No good deed goes unpunished.
The historian Kel Cam enjoyed a pleasant life in Azera, the colorful capital of the Azere Empire. In the dark days, he taught classes at the University. In the bright days, he traveled the wide steppes to visit Blue Order communities, seeking clues about the mysterious, long dead civilization of the Elders in their libraries of ancient texts. However, when his best friend, Lefe Sol, the son of the ruler of Azere, discovers that his father has arranged his marriage to Ren Loh, the fourth daughter of the Empress of Jasmyne, Kel offers to stand by and help Lefe deal with his unexpected, and unwanted, bride-to-be. Kel soon finds himself caught up in the intrigues of empires which not only upset his well ordered life – they lay it to ruin.
“Beneath the Lanterns” is an old fashioned novel of adventure and travel set in an imaginary land – a land of colorful cities, sweeping steppes, and lush valleys littered with the ruins of a lost advanced civilization. It is a world of sixteen days of day light under the Yellow Lantern and sixteen days of night lit by the Blue Lantern. And across this wide and wild world under the Yellow and Blue Lanterns, Kel Cam finds that he must flee for his freedom, if not his life.
“Kevin Lucia is this generation’s answer to Charles L. Grant.” – Brian Keene
The things we want are so very rarely the things we need.
Clifton Heights, a modest Adirondack town, offers many unique attractions. Arcane Delights sells both paperbacks and hard-to-find limited editions. The Skylark Diner serves the best home-cooked meals around, with friendly service and a smile. Every August, Mr. Jingo’s County Fair visits, to the delight of children and adults. In essence, Clifton Heights is the quintessential small American town. Everyone knows everyone else, and everyone is treated like family. It is quiet, simple, and peaceful.
But shadows linger here. Flitting in dark corners, from the corner of the eye. If you walk down Main Street after dark, the slight scrape of shoes on asphalt whispers you’re not alone, but when you look over your shoulder, no one is there. The moon shines high and bright in the night sky, but instead of throwing light, it only seems to make the shadows lengthen.
Children disappear. Teens run away. Hunters get lost in the woods with frightening regularity. Husbands go mad, and wives vanish in the dead of night. And still, when the sun rises in the morning, you are greeted by townspeople with warm waves and friendly smiles, and the shivers pass as everything seems fresh and new…
Until night falls once more.
Handy’s Pawn and Thrift sits several blocks down from Arcane Delights. Like any thrift store, its wares range from the mundane to the bizarre. By daylight, it seems just another slice of small town Americana. But in its window hangs a sign which reads: We Have Things You Need. And when a lonely traveling salesman comes looking for something he desperately wants, after normal visiting hours, after night has fallen, he will face a harsh truth among the shelves of Handy’s Pawn and Thrift: the things we want are rarely the things we need.
Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.
“Tell me who you ride beside, and I’ll tell you who you are.”
Once dubbed “The Deadliest Man Alive,” Jarrod Torrealday is now Lord Protector of Falconsrealm and a knight officer in the Order of the Stallion. He awakens one glorious fall morning to find his castle under siege and his alliances shattered as a new threat rises in the west: a revolution driven by a sorceress trained to kill and led by an unstoppable swordsman from the world he left behind.
Worse yet, the weapons Jarrod brought with him from Earth are rocking the country on its heels and threatening everything he came to save.
At a candlelit crossroads of dark sorcery and espionage, Jarrod must choose between embracing forbidden ancient magic for the good of the realm . . . or gambling the future of the kingdom in a showdown between profane wizardry and modern steel.
Phyllis Wong, that brilliant young magician and clever sleuth, is faced with a quest which began in the time of her great-grandfather, Wallace Wong, Conjuror of Wonder! He wanted to track down one of history’s greatest magicians … but does the person even exist? To find the answer, Phyllis will have to Transit across thousands of miles and hundreds of years.
While she follows the trail of the master prestidigitator, a sinister figure haunts her every step. What is the Great Whimpering, and who is the dastardly man intent on bringing it about? Can Phyllis find one of the most mysterious figures from history? Can she complete her mission in time to prevent the greatest calamity ever to befall mankind?
Another astonishing mystery starring Phyllis Wong, from the ever-scrawling pen nib of Geoffrey McSkimming.
The third Phyllis Wong: Time Detective Mystery.
The galaxy’s worst bounty hunter just might be its most relentless hero.
Esper may dress the part. She has her own ship. She even carries a blaster—not that she ever uses it.
But she violates the cardinal rule of the galaxy’s most cold-blooded profession: get paid.
At least she’s not alone. Her partner Kubu is an alien who gets mistaken for a dog.
One is a wizard on the run from her past. The other is a lovable eating machine. Between them, they haven’t got a ruthless bone in their bodies.
But when a client hires them, they’ll do whatever it takes to bring a target home safely.
This time, it’s a teenage kidnapping victim, and Esper and Kubu will crisscross the galaxy to track her down and make sure she’s safe.
Wayward Saint is the first mission of Black Ocean: Mercy for Hire. It follows the exploits of a pair of do-gooder bounty hunters who care more about saving the day than getting a payday. Mercy for Hire builds on the rich Black Ocean universe and introduces a colorful cast for new and returning readers alike. Fans of vigilante justice and heroes who exemplify the word will love this series.
Grab your copy and support the cause of justice.
A mind-bending series that questions the nature of reality and the depths of human compassion.
Ridley Pierce is as surprised as anyone when a polymorphic phishing virus becomes sentient. As a plague ravages the world, he desperately tries to communicate with the entity. Upon making contact, he compels the intelligence to create technologies unlike any that have ever existed, pushing the world into a sinister new age. As people rot in immersive virtual reality and dark-matter scans reveal the secrets of the brain, Ridley begins to question whether the entity wishes to help, or to destroy, mankind.
This box-set includes the novels “Emergent,” “Exogenetic,” “Entanglement,” and “Entropy.”
Port Lewis, a coastal town perched on the Washington cliffs, is home to Crescent Cafe, a slew of micro-breweries, a downtown packed with antique boutiques, and violent, ancient storms. Thunder shakes rooftops and lightning cuts through dark skies, but Liam Montgomery has never been afraid.
One night, Liam hears the scream of a kelpie, a Water horse whose cry foretells the beginning of a prophecy. Kelpies have not set foot on shore for decades, but as Liam digs into his magic and his family’s history, he uncovers a mysterious secret that could ripple into the lives of everyone around him.
Liam’s tea-leaves spells out murder. The life of someone he loves is on the line. An unwelcome kelpie speaks in riddles. The Queen of Water demands a sacrifice.
The Montgomery name is soaked in blood and secrets. Liam’s fate is sealed, but he’ll do whatever it takes to change it–even if it risks his circle, his magic, and his life.
Fin McCrae is a finder, someone who can locate lost things with only the power of his mind. When he was a little boy, he swore to never use his talent. Now fifteen, Fin is about to break his word. Because three girls have been taken. Because the police are looking in the wrong place. And because he might be the only one who can find them before they’re lost forever. But getting to the girls is only half the problem. Saving them from the monster who took them might be impossible. And if Fin’s not careful, this might be the last promise he ever breaks.
LOST GIRLS was previously published in horror anthology DESCENT INTO DARKNESS as “Through A Dark Wood”. It is a novelette of 17,000 words.
When a meteor strike unleashes an alien intelligence bent on taking over the human race, only a ragtag band of Marines can stop them. The only problem is, they’re in prison for a crime they didn’t commit. For the next 98 years.
And their prison is two and a half billion kilometers from Earth on a good day.
Oh, and their fellow inmates want them dead…
Hey, nobody ever said saving the world would be easy.
The tale of a widow’s harrowing journey through grief and peril into the cold remnants of a dead world.
Damon Sharpe had in part found victory, he believed, in his battle to unearth a truth obscured by time. By autumn, he was dead, leaving to his wife Anne a house of unfulfilled wishes, remnants, and the key to the enigma of his obsession, the Mourner’s Cradle.
A journey through grief and peril delivers Anne Sharpe from her home in St. Charles to the faraway skeletons of a long-dead civilization where she will find the desperate answers she seeks…or die trying.
This horror novel is perfect for fans of…
The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz
The Fisherman by John Langan
The Grieving Stones by Gary McMahon
Daphne du Maurier
Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.
Hope Blackwell, the world’s second-worst psychic, is tired of dealing with both the living and the dead. Between wrangling the ghosts of the Founding Fathers, medical school, and dodging the paparazzi, she’s got her own problems (and that last attempt on her life left her more shaken than she’ll admit!). So she packs up her friends and heads to Las Vegas for some high-octane escapism.
Their vacation is cut short when paranormal investigators show up with a story about ghost ships in the nearby Sonoran Desert. A desert is a strange place to search for pirates, but Hope knows all too well that the dead are everywhere. She tags along to make sure nobody will run into trouble if they find a homicidal ghost or two.
Hope wasn’t expecting the long-dead Spanish nun, or her pack of vengeful chupacabras. And they are just the beginning—this desert is full of ancient secrets, and psychics must beware.
An enemy hidden in the shadows
A crack in the armor of secrecy
One chance to find an answer
Captain David Rice and the crew of Red Falcon have spent two years infiltrating the arms smuggling underworld of the Protectorate of the Mage-King of Mars. When the co-opted rebellion on Ardennes reveals a supply chain of weapons intended to fight Mars, this makes them the perfect team to investigate.
His new mission brings him across old friends and old enemies alike, but as his suspects start turning up dead, David realizes he isn’t the only one following the loose ends.
As shadowy enemies move to position themselves for civil war, Red Falcon’s crew must chase an ever-shrinking set of clues. If they succeed, they might just buy the Protectorate peace for their lifetime.
But if they fail…
The fate of the world lies in the hands of an inexperienced dryad and a war-weary human.
Kiri’s first assignment nearly gets her captured by a group of centaurs. A mishap placing her 600 years of training to become a Warden at risk. The Elder Dryads grant her a second chance to prove her abilities during a more dangerous task. She needs to discover the cause of a series of unauthorized portal openings and bring those responsible to trial. A fresh trail leads her to a planet long since abandoned by the dryads and a conflict tearing the world to pieces.
Johann lost his fiancee to a businessman while he fought to serve his country and watch longtime friends die in the trenches. His luck goes from bad to worse when a new enemy appear on the battlefield. Johann is caught by the group of nymphs hellbent on wiping mankind off the face of the planet. Of all the people, he happens to get rescued by a dryad that hates his guts.
Wardens are impartial but Kiri can’t help the feelings welling up inside. A part of her wants to leave Johann to die in the forest. Not only is he loud and shows a complete lack of respect for the environment, a complete no go by her books, but he’s also dangerously attractive for a human. Kiri’s heard plenty of stories about falling in love with mortals to know she shouldn’t, but teaming up with him to save mankind makes her question how tough her resolve really is.
To stay together, they’ll have to escape prison, outsmart wizards, and solve the mystery of a magical sanctuary town.
Skyla Chekal is in trouble. She’s a prisoner in an illegal underground auction house that sells magical creatures. If they learn she’s a dire wolf with free magic, they’ll hold a special high-roller sale just for her. She needs to keep her head down and escape, but she can’t because she smells someone who stirs her in the way only a true mate can. She can’t leave without him.
Siberian tiger shifter Nic Paletin can’t believe he’s found himself in a cage in an auction house run by wizards. As long as he continues to play dumb, he should be able to get out soon. But the intriguing smell of a woman who calls to his tiger has him tied up more than the shackles on his ankles.
As turned on as Skyla is by Nic’s intoxicating presence, she knows they first have to survive long enough to get free. Unfortunately, threats continue to escalate. In their escape, Skyla is sent somewhere else, and Nic has no idea where or what trouble she might be in. He must find her before the wizards do, plus figure out how to work together if they’re going to crack the secrets of a mysterious new-old town.
And they better hurry, because the greedy wizards not only know where they are, they’re after the fabled treasures of this vulnerable sanctuary town.
Continue the enthralling paranormal romance with Heart of a Dire Wolf, the third book in USA TODAY bestselling author Carol Van Natta’s fun, action-filled, steamy-hot Ice Age Shifters™ series.
A dangerous warrior, living in hiding, wants nothing more than to be left alone, and occasionally extract a small portion of revenge on the royal family who betrayed him. But when assassins try to kill a young girl he intervenes. Now this betrayed warrior must forget his own vengeance and save a kingdom, a kingdom he once almost destroyed.
Wil Calder was an astronaut testing Earth’s first Faster Than Light engine in an experimental space pod when he ended up stranded on the opposite side of the solar system. Even if NASA could come to get him, they didn’t know where to look.
But that was years ago.
Now, Wil is a lonely intergalactic outlaw and smuggler, looking for a crew, because space is lonely and boring. He’s got a ship, now he needs some friends or at least people to work with, maybe boss around a little.
What he isn’t looking for, is a plot that would destabilize the entire Galactic Commonwealth. A scheme he and his new crew aren’t remotely qualified to stop, but who looks at qualifications these days? They can’t just turn their backs on the galaxy, can they?
Between epic space battles, a quest for redemption and a daring heist, the crew uncovers a dangerous secret.