Our monthly round-ups of new speculative fiction and new crime fiction releases by indie authors are a perennially popular feature. Therefore, we now offer you a round-up of our favourite Easter speculative fiction by indie and small press authors.
These Easter stories cover the broad spectrum of speculative fiction. We have paranormal romance, paranormal mystery, children’s fantasy, science fiction, horror, dragons, werewolves, were-reindeer, Easter elves, magical geese, crime-busting mediums, fluffy killer bunnies from outer space and much more. But one thing unites all of those very different books. They’re all set on or around Easter.
As always with my round-up posts, this round-up of the best indie holiday speculative fiction is also crossposted to the Speculative Fiction Showcase, a group blog which features new release spotlights, guest posts, interviews and link round-ups regarding all things speculative fiction several times per week.
As always, I know the authors at least vaguely, but I haven’t read all of the books, so Caveat emptor.
And now on to the books without further ado:
Operation Rubber Ducky by Cora Buhlert:
Three short tales of anthropomorphic terror, featuring Trojan toys, axe-wielding ducks and fluffy killer rabbits from outer space.
When the world is besieged by Kaiju, the only weapon that can stop them turns out to be a rubber ducky with a deadly secret…
His name is whispered in terror: Mock Duck, the mad axe-man of Chinatown, deadly enforcer for the triads. No one has ever seen his face and lived to tell the tale. Which is probably for the better, because Mock Duck’s nickname is more accurate than anybody could have guessed…
It’s the latest psychiatric epidemic to sweep the nation: Angoraphobia, a pathological fear of fluffy angora sweaters. Those who suffer from the disorder claim that fluffy killer rabbits from outer space are trying to conquer the Earth and exterminate humanity. Are they merely deluded or could they perchance be right?
Three bizarro short stories of 7000 words or approximately 24 pages altogether.
Legend of the Easter Dragon by Kelsey Hodge:
Secrets and ancient prophecies are all make-believe, right?
I’m nobody special, just your average person looking forward to the one day a year I get to spend with my best friend. Suddenly, when fairytales and prophecies storm into my life, everything changes… quite literally.
Some secrets are necessary when the truth is unbelievable.
Alwyn’s always been special to me, but there are things I keep hidden from him. Revelations that are too unbelievable for the human world. When my best friend is suddenly thrust into my world, the truth must be told, and our friendship and future change in ways I never expected—but always secretly hoped for.
Collected Easter Horror Shorts, edited by Kevin J. Kennedy:
From the darkest recesses of some of the horror world’s most chilling minds, Kevin J. Kennedy brings back together some of the authors that brought you Collected Christmas Horror Shorts, alongside several new authors, from upcoming indie stars to Amazon top sellers.
Whether you like Easter or not, you’ll certainly have a different view of it after you read the stories contained within these pages.
Grab an Easter egg, dim the lights, get cosy and get ready for some chilling tales by some of the horror world’s finest.
C.S.Anderson – He Has Risen
Christopher Motz – Magic Awaits
Veronica Smith? – It’s Not All About Bunnies and Chocolates
Peter Oliver Wonder? – Easter Gunny
Mark Cassell? – The Rebirth
Andrew Lennon? – Trying To Write A Horror Story
Mark Lukens? – Mia’s Easter Basket
Lex Jones? – SonnesHill
JC Michael? – Lord of The Dance
Steven Stacy – Echoes of The Bunny-Man
Weston Kincade? & David Chrisley – An Easter Prayer
Christina Bergling? – Hatch
James Matthew Byers? – Killer Jelly Beans from Outer Space (poem)
Jeff Menapace? – Paying It Forward
Jeff Strand? – Rotten Eggs
Lisa Vasquez? – Bunny and Clyde
Mark Fleming? – Sulphur
Suzanne Fox – Last Supper
Briana Robertson? – Baby Blues
Latashia Figueroa – Easter Eggs
Amy Cross – Lamb to Slaughter
Kevin J. Kennedy – A Town Called Easter
Georgie’s Eggcellent Adventure by Sam E. Kraemer:
What’s an elf gotta do to get respect?
When I’m called to Administration, I’m skeptical that the summons is related to any appreciation the Claus’ feel about how hard I work in the Porcelain Department as a detail painter. I believe it’s somehow in retaliation for my misunderstood relationship with Jingle Bell. Much to my surprise—and concern—I’m given a new assignment to become the Ambassador to the Mystical Convention… I’m being sent to the South Pacific to assist the Easter Bunny.
What awaits me isn’t clear, but I’m determined to shine at my task and show all the nay-sayers that Georgie Peppermint is destined for greatness.
Spring. A symbol of rebirth with blooming flowers, trees, and the arrival of babies in every species. It was always my favorite time of the year, but this year it’s bittersweet. I have a lovely life that’s idyllic to everyone who sees it, but all I see when I look around is loss.
For years, I’ve provided the eggs for Peter Cotton, a local import/exporter on Rapa Nui—Easter Island to outsiders—who holds a worldwide food drive every Spring to celebrate the rebirth on the planet. Sadly, I lost my partner last year, and unless I can find some help, I won’t be able to produce nearly enough eggs to help feed the masses.
Enter the oddly beautiful man wearing tourist clothes and a strange little straw hat. He’s nice and hard-working, a friend of Mr. Cotton’s, and has been sent to the island to assist me. I’m not sure how he can help, but with the sweetly cynical man around, I’m a lot less lonely.
People say there’s magic on Easter Island, thanks to the gods and goddesses who watch over its inhabitants, but never did I believe I’d come face-to-face with the manifestation of the mystical forces. And it all starts with the arrival of Georgie Pepper.
This work of fiction is approximately 32,000 words in length and doesn’t end in a cliffhanger. It is part of the Easter series, “Elves After Dawn.”
The Elf’s Easter Wolf by Beau LeFebvre
What’s a wolf to do when he’s the spare and not the heir to the Alpha of the pack?
Markos was looking forward to Easter, and now it’s been ruined by his father’s announcement that he is to be mated to an omega from another pack.
Not gonna happen.
Leaving his pack behind, Markos becomes lost and, guided only by his wolf’s instincts, finds himself in a valley filled with the colors of spring, the smells of chocolate, and a meadow full of numerous fluffy puffballs… Bunnies?
What was Fate thinking?
Estienne never expected his mate to show up out of nowhere, or to be a wolf, for that matter. And right before Easter of all times.
Maybe ignoring the big bad wolf would be the best idea for now…
But the Easter Bunny has other ideas, and Estienne’s own bunny isn’t so averse to the idea of Markos as a mate. Throw in the arrival of an entire wolf pack, and Easter preparations are tossed completely off the rails.
The Elf’s Easter Wolf is a Paranormal MM romance of around 30,000 words featuring a workaholic elf bunny shifter and his surprise Easter wolf shifter mate.
My Clearwater Elf by Morgan Mason:
After a split with his business associate, Matthew moves in with his dad, determined to help him restore his old farmhouse. His world is turned upside down when a small stranger with pointy ears trespasses on their land and steals off with an injured rabbit they’d rescued. Together with his dad, Matthew goes for a hike into the forest near their property in search of the mysterious but gorgeous bunny thief.
Calaet is a conscientious, hard-working elf, who’s committed to helping his colony make every Easter into a success. The newly appointed hare in charge threatens to topple all of his hard work when he fails to show up in time to oversee the preparations for Easter. Cal sets out in search of the missing delegate and stumbles upon the most stunning brute he’s ever laid eyes on. When the same man turns up ill outside their protected grove, Cal feels compelled to help him. Even if that means bringing humans into their colony for the first time … ever.
With their mutual attraction growing, what begins as an offer that can’t be refused turns into an unexpected bond. Can Matt and Cal make what they’ve discovered last, or will their unorthodox mating be too much to handle?
The Reindeer’s Easter Family by Elizabeth Ann Price:
Tank, the largest and possibly most patient reindeer shifter in his herd, finds himself with a new task – guarding the charity center where a fellow reindeer’s mate works. Not a problem… that is, until two unspeakably adorable twins clamp themselves on his legs and their sister lets slip that she knows he happens to be a reindeer shifter.
Worried about their shifter secret leaking, Tank investigates and when he sees their mother in danger, well, what else is a reindeer to do but save the day?
But can Tank save Marion and her unbelievably cute offspring before a wolf shifter takes them away from him forever?
Elfing Up Easter by Sophie E. Russell
Arlo and Mr. Santa are enjoying their new life together, but when the actual Santa Claus asks them to help find the missing Easter Bunny, their relationship is put to the test. Arctic Elf twins, Finn and Torr, lead them on a wild duck(?) chase through the Appalachian Mountains while they try to get their new toy business off the ground and locate the missing rabbit(?) before the land dies, taking the magic of Easter with it.
The Goose That Laid Golden Easter Eggs by Emily Martha Sorensen
The family has a magical new goose. One that quacks and moos and lays magical eggs. So what happens when Junior feeds it his sister’s watch?
A Medium’s Easter Epiphany by Chariss K. Walker:
A boyfriend changes everything!
In book five of the Becky Tibbs cozy, ghost mystery series, Becky must learn how to juggle her personal and business life now that she has a real boyfriend! This is a first for Becky and her new schedule sometimes feels overwhelming.
At Becky’s encouragement, Bobby and Barbara have finally decided to accept their special ability too. At least, they are open to using their gift if the opportunity presents itself.
Barbara actually manages to help someone new with their ghost problem and the meeting turns into something more. Unlike Marty, Barb’s ex-boyfriend, this new person, Christopher, accepts Barbara and her capabilities exactly as she is. In fact, he is impressed.
Jealousy rears its ugly head!
Marty finally goes off the deep end and Becky must help Patty come to terms with his rage.
Becky’s epiphany, or sudden realization, is a concept that would be beneficial to everyone.
Blueberry Bunny Boy by Leona Windwalker:
Mallow is a walking disaster when it comes to all things Easter, and for an elf in Bunnyville, that’s the worst thing possible!
I’ve tried every Easter production station possible. I sneezed the chickens bald, and there’s no way they are letting me anywhere near the ducks or bunnies now. Basket weaving? The less said about my attempts there, the better. Preparing the real eggs? I set the water to boil them on literal fire, and when they moved me to egg painting, I broke out in hives. I swelled up so big, they had to bring me down from where I floated up to the ceiling. If we’d been outside, I’d have drifted off like some errant cloud! Candy testing is out as I hate sweets, so it all tastes disgusting to me.
I’m such a disaster as an Easter Elf that Peter Cottontail himself had a meeting with Kris Kringle to figure out where in Kringle Enterprises they could safely put me. That’s how I found myself assigned to the human world, working for the Feed and Seed department. Arranging and collecting deliveries of fresh greens and stuff for the bunnies and chicks should be fine, right? I knew I’d struck gold when on my very first day, I found it- a place called Rabbit Food. And the human working there? Oh wow…I think he might just be my mate!