Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for May 2022

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

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

Once again, we have new releases covering the whole broad spectrum of speculative fiction. This month, we have urban fantasy, epic fantasy, dark fantasy, sword and sorcery, fantasy romance,  paranormal romance, paranormal mystery, science fiction romance, space opera, military science fiction, near future science fiction, dystopian fiction, Cyberpunk, Steampunk, horror, magical realism, LitRPG, wizards, dragons, immortals, assassins, exorcists, first contact, alien abductions, super soldiers, space marines, stargates, crime-busting witches, crime-busting ghosts, pirates of the sea, the air and space 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:

Wizard's Tower by Gregory AllantherWizard’s Tower by Gregory Allanther:

The humans call me Nemon Fargus. They call me wizard, and [Elementalist] and [Enchanter]. They call me teacher. They call me adventurer.

But I don’t care. Not anymore.

For more than 150 years I’ve served the Kingdom of Sena. Through four Kings and a Queen. Two wars and a rebellion. I’ve founded and taught at a magic school. I’ve fought against beast waves and dungeon breaks.

But now? Now, the one close friend I had left has passed. So, I’m done with their politics and their economics. The short and busy lives of humans are more burden than benefit on the weary soul of this half-elf.

Now, I’m looking for a refuge, a place that can well and truly be my own. Away from the growing cities and the bustling markets, away from the pointless wars, away from the eager students and the arrogant adventurers.

I’m seeking the peaceful life of a wizard in his tower, studying magic to advance my spellcraft…We’ll see if that happens.

Experience the start of a LitRPG Series from Gregory Allanther, the bestselling author of An Old Man’s Journey. With millions of views previously on Royal Road, this hit web serial is new and improved on Kindle & Audible.

Adrift in Starlight by Mindi BriarAdrift in Starlight by Mindi Briar:

When set adrift in the universe, some things are worth holding onto.

Titan Valentino has been offered a job they can’t refuse.

Tai, a gender-neutral courtesan, receives a scandalous proposition: seduce an actor’s virgin fiancée. The money is enough to pay off Tai’s crushing medical debt, a tantalizing prospect.

Too bad Aisha Malik isn’t the easy target they expect.

A standoffish historian who hates to be touched, she’s laser-focused on her career, and completely unaware that her marriage has been arranged behind her back. This could be the one instance where Tai’s charm and charisma fail them.

Then an accidental heist throws them together as partners in crime.

Fleeing from the Authorities, they’re dragged into one adventure after another: alien planets, pirate duels, and narrow escapes from the law. As Tai and Aisha open up to each other, deeper feelings kindle between them. But that reward money still hangs over Tai’s head. Telling Aisha the truth could ruin everything…

Their freedom, their career, and their blossoming love all hang in the balance. To save one might mean sacrificing the rest.

Sky on Fire by Lindsay BurokerSky on Fire by Lindsay Buroker:

The dragons of eld, once benevolent allies to mankind, have been infested by a magical parasite that makes them cruel and aggressive. They’ve flown through the ancient portal to invade Torvil and plan to kill or enslave all of humanity.

If Jak and his allies can’t figure out how to destroy the parasite, a parasite the powerful dragons themselves were helpless to thwart, everyone they care about—everyone in the world—will be doomed.

 

Panacea Genesis by L. Ana EllisPanecea Genesis by L. Ana Ellis:

Mariela Stafford’s life just hit rock bottom. Her boss, the CEO of Panacea Corp, created a digital clone of himself, demoted Mariela, gave the clone her job, and told Mariela to train it. Now the clone wants her to help it kill the CEO.

In 2115, embedded chips, virtual reality, and the threat of extreme weather have led to a market for businesses that keep a person’s body alive in a habitation pod while the person lives entirely in the metaverse. But not everyone embraces technological advances– a group of people have adopted the tech of 2005 while isolating themselves from the temptation of advanced technology. Panacea Corp – the world’s most powerful corporation – connects both worlds through providing the metaverse, the pod warehouses, and the land to the technology resisters.

Mariela Stafford, a vice president for Panacea Corp, is demoted after her new boss assigns his digital clone to take over her job. Assisted by Amoco, an eccentric polymath who also works for the corporation, she schemes a way to get rid of the clone. To delete it, they’ll need to recruit a team to access an eighty-year-old server farm in a remote location—which would be a lot easier to do if the records on the location of the server farm hadn’t been lost.

This ‘earth’ opera—a tale with all the drama, expansiveness, and varied cast of a space opera, but set on earth—will appeal to anyone who’s ever felt out-of-control of the technology in their lives.

Inquisitor's Bane by Rachel FordInquisitor’s Bane by Rachel Ford:

The Inquisitor is dead. But Black Port’s problems are only just beginning.

Knight Protector Portia Daysen returns to the South, she’s a new woman, with new secrets. She means to continue the work of Black Wyvern, the secret order intent on rescuing elves and dragons from captivity and death.

Meanwhile, Captain Valia Iceborn struggles with her growing feelings for Portia – and how they may be impacting her judgement. Should she stay in Black Port, and risk detection? Or should she go to ground now, before the king’s men – and a new inquisitor – show up?

When the pair learn of the kidnapping of a rare black wyvern hatchling, a hatchling who can communicate with mortals and immortals alike, they realize his rescue must be priority number one.

But if there’s one thing the nations of North and South can agree upon, it’s the danger to their own power that such a wyvern poses. To rescue the missing hatchling, the two women will need to contend with more than inquisitors.

They’ll need to outwit and outrun the forces of two nations, hellbent on stopping them by any means necessary.

Ghostly Shadows by Lily Harper HartGhostly Shadows by Lily Harper Hart:

Harper Harlow has it all, including a new business, a husband she adores, and a best friend she’s determined not to murder even though he’s determined to be the groomzilla to end all groomzillas. Life is good … until it’s not.

Everything is thrown into doubt when her former boyfriend, a grifter on trial for murder, escapes from the county courthouse and starts terrorizing Whisper Cove.

Her husband Jared Monroe is on edge. Quinn Jackson has proven himself to be a threat more than once, and it’s clear Quinn is gunning for Harper because he blames her for being caught in the first place. That means Zander and Shawn – who are in the midst of preparing for their wedding – have to move in so everybody is safe.

It’s a full house and the stakes are high. A dead courthouse guard is their only guide, and he’s not enough.

Harper is determined to get her happily ever after, as well as Zander’s too. That means they have to grapple with Quinn before the big day arrives.

Murder is on the menu and Quinn has nothing to lose. It’s a race to the finish – and down the aisle – and winner takes all.

Strap in. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Alondra by A.L. HawkeAlondra by A.L. Hawke:

I fell in love with a goth, but she’s a witch.

Starting school at Hawthorne University was not going well, until I met my classmate Alondra. Allie was different. She was goth. But she was also mysterious, confident and fun. I was into that. My name’s Liam. My friends call me Lee.

Things got weird after I accompanied her to her haunts. Poltergeists and demons attacked little girls. I watched Alondra help exorcise these ghosts, but some of their evil stuck to me.

Well, being attracted to a witch was one thing; dating one was quite another. It seemed the closer I got to Allie, the more her witchcraft endangered my friends. And my soul. You decide. I chronicled everything here in her book.

Alondra is a prequel to the internationally bestselling Hawthorne University Witch series. The novel takes place twenty years before Broomstick.

Content warning: Alondra is a new adult college paranormal romance containing profanity, sexual scenes, adult situations, and, of course, witchcraft.

Ambassador: The Unfolding Army by Patty JansenAmbassador: The Unfolding Army by Patty Jansen:

For three months, Cory and his team have hung with Asto’s military in orbit, watching as drone armies attacked Earth.

They could have helped more had Nations of Earth communicated with the fleet or if they could only find out where these drones come from, who controls them and from where. The enemy is smart, enmeshed with sections of Earth’s population and Asto’s military severely hamstrung by Nations of Earth playing chicken.

Three months ago, the president contacted Cory asking for help. The connection was interrupted and never re-established.

It’s as if they don’t want help.

Cory’s got gamra breathing down his neck with the requirement that Nations of Earth officially approves the presence of Asto’s military in orbit.

Something has to give.

He and his team return to a battle-scarred Earth on a hare-brained mission to talk to Nations of Earth, to check on the president, to get him to sign for approval. Getting there is hard. The state of the Nations of Earth assembly is deeply troubling. But getting out, that’s where it gets truly interesting.

The Obanaax by Kirk A. JohnsonThe Obanaax and Other Tales of Heroes and Horrors by Kirk A. Johnson:

“The Obanaax” is a collection of two novelettes and two short stories that take the reader on a journey to the world of Aaduna on the great northern continent of Mbor. This novel’s imaginative sword and sorcery world, influenced by several West African languages, sets this book apart from other stories explored in this genre. These narrative elements, naming conventions, and heart-pounding prose makes “The Obanaax” an adventure that will ignite a passion for exploring this undreamed-of new world far beyond the last page has turned. These tales from far afield will introduce to you the adventurous daring-do of those unaccustomed to the monstrous chaos of the unnatural and, at times, its alien desires. An epic for those willing to brave far and away from the world we know.

Dark Factory by Kathe KojaDark Factory by Kathe Koja:

Welcome to Dark Factory! You may experience strobe effects, Y reality, DJ beats, love, sex, betrayal, triple shot espresso, broken bones, broken dreams, ecstasy, self-knowledge, and the void.Dark Factory is a dance club: three floors of DJs, drinks, and customizable reality, everything you see and hear and feel. Ari Regon is the club’s wild card floor manager, Max Caspar is a stubborn DIY artist, both chasing a vision of true reality. And rogue journalist Marfa Carpenter is there to write it all down. Then a rooftop rave sets in motion a fathomless energy that may drive Ari and Max to the edge of the ultimate experience.Dark Factory is Kathe Koja’s wholly original new novel from Meerkat Press, that combines her award-winning writing and her skill directing immersive events, to create a story that unfolds on the page, online, and in the reader’s creative mind. www.Darkfactory.club

Sun & Dreams by J. Steven LampertiSun & Dream by J. Steven Lamperti:

Anise has power in her dreams – too much power.

When your dreams can change the world, you need to learn to control them.

Anise’s uncle Sebastian takes her to the Academy, the school where the wizards of Liamec learn to use their powers.

But the people in Anise’s small village are not the only ones who notice the young girl’s abilities. Who is the Watcher, the malevolent presence Anise feels in her dreams, and why is Helios, the sun-god, protecting her?

While Anise studies the ways of the wizards, a dark secret that hangs over the founding of the Academy threatens to unravel reality and destroy the land of Liamec.

Death's Touch by Erme LanderDeath’s Touch by Erme Lander:

Centuries ago Tomas made a promise and has kept it out of cowardice. He has lived under the radar for all this time, hiding from the authorities where he can. Recipient of a terrible gift, his belief that he is the only one like himself is about to be exploded. The gods’ favoured are corrupt, power hungry and know how to find him.

 

 

 

Friday the Witchteenth by Amanda M. LeeFriday the Witchteenth by Amanda M. Lee:

Bay Winchester is newly married and happy. Things have been quiet since she returned from her honeymoon, which means trouble is just around the corner. When it comes, it takes the form of a despondent man on a bridge. Despite her best efforts, Bay and the hostage negotiator can’t save him, and death is swift.

That should’ve been the end of it, but a weird symbol on the dead man’s hand piques Bay’s interest, and when the negotiator turns up sick with the same symptoms, she knows that they have a problem on their hands.

Suicide as a contagion? It’s not the fight Bay was expecting, and it’s definitely not the one she was looking for. Still, it’s the problem that keeps on giving … especially when it spreads to Mrs. Little.

In her heart, Bay knows that she shouldn’t care about the woman who has hurt her family at every turn. Ignoring the problem isn’t an option though. If she stands back and does nothing in an attempt to end the chain, she’ll never be able to live with herself. If she gets too close, she could get infected herself.

Bay has never doubted her magic, but the current fight is out of her wheelhouse. Magic is at the core of what’s happening, but their enemy is invisible.

The Winchester witches have never met an enemy they can’t fight … until now. Will they be able to pull together and save Hemlock Cove? Or is the town doomed to fall to a curse without a name and an evil without a soul?

Strap in, because the answer is more than anybody is expecting, and if everybody is to survive, the fight will have to move to an entirely new level.

The game is on. In this one, the winner will take all.

Fire by L.C. MawsonFire by L.C. Mawson:

It only takes one night for the world to turn on its head…

Finishing my second degree was supposed to be a quiet time of wrapping up my academic work and maybe making a friend or two before everyone left town. That was before the monsters started attacking.

I’ve always ignored the strange occurrences that tend to happen around me, but now these creatures are hunting me, everything I touch is erupting into flame, and all I’ve got to help is a guy I barely know, his reclusive sister, an invitation to train with a secretive magical faction, and a strange necklace that apparently belongs to the magical world’s most wanted…

I’m not used to trusting anyone, but as monsters close in, I don’t think I have a choice.

Iron Paws and the Tinker's Forced Marriage by Juli D. RevezzoIron Paws and the Tinker’s Forged Marriage by Juli D. Revezzo:

A year ago, Vesta Bartlett received a rather unusual assignment.

Now, as if perfecting her clockwork puppies for Queen Victoria weren’t enough, a surprise invitation to present them to the Texas Republic president makes Vesta question a number of things, including will the president accept the clockwork from a woman? Unsure, she agrees to allow Henry to go along, as her spokesman and husband, regardless of how her father may feel about a fake marriage.

But they have bigger problems than her father’s anger when an anti-alchemist group takes issue with her clockwork creations and decide they need to stop Vesta’s work. By any means, no matter how violent.

Speed of Dark by Patricia RickettsSpeed of Dark by Patricia Ricketts:

Mary Em Phillips has decided to end it all after losing her beloved Mamie, who raised her; her husband, Jack, who has left her for another woman; and her only son, Petey, who has died as a result of a freak bacterial infection. But when Mosely Albright, a black man from Chicago’s South Side, comes to her back door one morning needing a drink of water and seeking directions back to the train, her plans are derailed . . . to the chagrin of Mishigami (so named by the Ojibwe, also known as Lake Michigan), who has been trying to lure Mary Em into his icy depths in the hopes that she will save him.

Mary Em wants nothing more than to end her anguish. Mosely is searching for the love he’s been missing most of his life. And Mishigami—who fears he is dying from rampant pollution and overfishing—seeks a champion.

A story of friendship, survival, connection and the unquestioning power of nature told through three distinct voices, Speed of Dark affirms a love of humanity that transcends all else, including race and background.

The Exorcist's House by Nick RobertsThe Exorcist’s House by Nick Roberts:

This psychological thriller follows a family to their Appalachian farmhouse, where they encounter an unimaginable horror.

In the summer of 1994, psychologist Daniel Hill buys a rustic farmhouse nestled in the rolling hills of West Virginia.

Along with his wife and teenage daughter, the family uproots their lives in Ohio and moves south. They are initially seduced by the natural beauty of the country setting. That soon changes when they discover a hidden room in the basement with a well, boarded shut and adorned with crucifixes.

Local legends about the previous owner being an exorcist come to light, but by then, all Hell has broken loose.

This 1990s horror novel is perfect for fans of family thriller books, stories of demonic possession, exorcism fiction, the occult, or thrillers like The Exorcist, A Head Full of Ghosts, and The Amityville Horror.

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

Huntress by Glynn StewartHuntress by Glynn Stewart:

A peaceful world in the crosshairs
A rising threat armed by an old foe
A call to arms she can’t ignore…

Admiral Kira Demirci lost the coin toss with her second-in-command and was supposed to be taking a holiday. That meant waiting in the Redward System while Memorial Force’s new carrier Huntress was commissioned and turned over to the mercenary space fleet.

But when a stranger arrives looking to hire Memorial Force to protect her homeworld, Kira finds money, boredom and altruism combining to bring her into action. The majority of her fleet is elsewhere, but she has two heavy warships, including Huntress. More than enough to protect the pacifist system of Samuels from their neighbors.

Those neighbors were armed by Kira’s old foes in the Brisingr System, and she smells the hand of the Equilibrium Institute behind the scheme. A chance to protect the innocent and frustrate two old foes at once is hard to turn down—and even if things go wrong, the rest of her fleet is on their way.

She’s planned for everything. Hasn’t she?

City in the Sky by Glynn StewartCity in the Sky by Glynn Stewart:

“Killing a man isn’t an easy thing to live with, no matter the cause.”

Erik Tarverro is a skilled blacksmith, a better swordsman—and hated for his mixed aeradi parentage. Denied mastery of his craft in the human city he grew up in, he accepts a risky contract from a dangerous stranger.

With new enemies at his heels, he leaps at the chance to join his father’s people in the sky city of Newport. Despite his human blood, he finds his place among the aeradi: heir to an ancient noble family.

His duty leads him to sailing the skies and learning what it means to lead soldiers. But Erik’s enemies will have blood, and the peace between his people and the Draconan dragon riders is like a powder keg. All it would take is one spark—and dragons will fly on his newfound city in the sky.

Reclamation Mind Jack by E.L. StrifeReclamation Mind Jack by E.L. Strife:

Marci, a super soldier and escapee of the Astral’s bio-enhancement military program Zedger, has found a new purpose in rescuing others like her. But she can’t do it alone, and not without parts. Marci must travel to the last standing city of Tellurians in the irradiated expanse of Zion. There, in EsoTerra, she must fight for her right to trade with others for what she requires.

She tries to hide her identity, mask her skills, play down her expertise, but too many have heard rumors of her. Marci can’t hide from the truth forever.

Soon, she finds herself helping other soldiers dumped from Zedger. Recent “disposals” have lost their minds to the Genesis program Astrals use to control their creations. Marci must deep dive the soldiers’ cerebral enhancements to figure out why and salvage everyone she can.

What she discovers when searching Genesis streams alerts Astrals to her position. Lead rain soon falls from the sky in the form of BloodTitans.

Can Marci save the soldiers and her people? Or is this the Tellurians’ last stand?

With Slight Tremors by Ed TejaWith Slight Tremors by Ed Teja:

It’s time to take a break from the world you think you know and to step through into another one. These five stories offer a guided tour of new possibilities and different places. They rely on magic, science, and sleight of hand, and will betray your trust at every opportunity. But just because they are fantastic, doesn’t mean they aren’t real (somewhere).

You can stay tucked away on a safe perch and let this book unveil the genre-bending consequences of rather minor changes to a world that might be the one you live in, or might not; you can follow the way events unravel when cause and effect aren’t quite so boringly predictable.

Stories of ideas are, however, always dangerous. Consider yourself warned.

Martian Jump Gate by James David VictorMartian Jump Gate by James David Victor:

Humanity has opened a door that allows for instantaneous travel through the stars. What they find on the other side might mean the end of all mankind.

The invention of jump-gates has allowed instantaneous travel throughout the solar system, and beyond. Captain Shoji Mora will lead the first expedition through the jump-gate to Mars in a gigantic space robot known as Tin Man. Their mission soon turns from mining and exploration to defending humanity from an alien invasion. Can the giant space robot defend mankind from certain destruction at the hands of a superior alien armada?

Mars Jump Gate is the first book in the Tin Man Space Opera Adventure. If you like fast-paced sci-fi adventures, make Tin Man your next epic space adventure.

The Orion Abduction by Dylan WhiteThe Orion Abduction by Dylan White:

He’s either the key to our evolution or our destruction. And they’re coming for him.

For most of his fifteen years, Joshua Fox believed he was being abducted by aliens.

Just searching for normalcy in his small Kansas town, he discovers he’s unwittingly been involved in something much bigger and everything he thought he knew is now in question.

All Josh really knows is he must find out the truth before it’s too late—not just to save himself and his friends, but the entire world.

Grayshade by Gregory A. WilsonGrayshade by Gregory A. Wilson:

For ten years, the assassin Grayshade has eliminated threats to the Order of Argoth, the Just God. Within the towering walls of Cohrelle, all bow to the Order’s authority, even while the city officials publicly distance themselves from its actions.

As the supreme executor of the Order’s edicts, Grayshade dispatches his targets with protocol and precision. But when an assignment breaks these rules, he does the most dangerous thing an Acolyte of Argoth can do: he asks why. Now a target of the Order he so long served without question, he must use all of his skills not only to kill . . . but to stay alive.

Grayshade is a novel of violent faith and shifting loyalties, a story about whether we can rise above our pasts to craft new futures.

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Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for May 2022


Welcome to the latest edition of “Indie Crime Fiction of the Month”.

So what is “Indie Crime Fiction of the Month”? It’s a round-up of crime 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.

Our new releases cover the broad spectrum of crime fiction. We have cozy mysteries, animal mysteries, historical mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, paranormal mysteries, crime thrillers, psychological thrillers, action thrillers, adventure thrillers, horror thrillers, police procedurals, detective novels, police officers, ex-cops, private investigators, amateur sleuths, thieves, con artists, serial killers, organised crime, drug dealing, human trafficking, heists, sleazy megachurch ministers, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-busting ghosts, crime-busting dogs, deadly writer retreats, murder and mayhem in London, Rutland, the Pacific Northwest, Florida, Texas, Kansas, Calgary and much more.

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

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

And now on to the books without further ado:

Murder Over the Cold Grave by Blythe BakerMurder Over the Cold Grave by Blythe Baker:

When a serial killer draws Lillian Crawford into a deadly game, she and Eugene Osbourn must team up one final time to thwart their mysterious foe. But will they stop the murderer’s twisted game in time to prevent one more death?

 

 

 

Iconoclast by Laurie BuchananIconoclast by Laurie Buchanan:

Burdened by the pressing weight of survivor’s guilt, Sean McPherson, an ex-cop, is desperate for redemption. At Pines & Quill, a writer’s retreat in the Pacific Northwest, he and his fiancée, Emma Benton, are planning their lives together. He wants to go back into law enforcement. She plans to walk again.

Georgio “The Bull” Gambino, head of a Seattle-based crime family, has a long reach. Like cockroaches, his minions infiltrate even the most inaccessible of places to do his bidding. With Seattle to the south, the Canadian border a stone’s throw to the north, and Bellingham Bay—a gateway to the Pacific Ocean—immediately to the west, Bellingham is the ideal location for the Gambino crime family to traffic drugs, weapons, and humans. But McPherson’s in Gambino’s way, which means he must be eliminated.

The writers in residence at Pines & Quill include an Afghanistan War veteran, a professional photographer, a civil rights attorney, and a gourmet chef. But McPherson suspects that there’s more going on than the joy of creating plot twists. Is one of them conspiring murder outside the pages of their manuscript?

Murder with Daffodils by Beth ByersMurder With Daffodils by Beth Byers:

Vi and friends have traveled to a nearby village to see the flowers. These aren’t just any spring bulbs. They are fields of flowers planted as a living love poem. People who know of their existence travel from miles around to witness the beauty.

If only they could be surprised when they discover a mystery along with the blossoms. Vi and friends are also not surprised when, once again, they can’t leave things alone. This time they’re intrigued by the very person the flowers were planted for, and the one who planted them.

As the case progresses, they wonder if it’s a romance or a horror story. Violet uncovers clues and chases down secrets, delving into the darkness amidst the beauty. Only as they draw closer to the killer, they discover that maybe they don’t want to know what happened after all.

The Megachurch Heist by L.W. CadleThe Megachurch Heist by L.W. Cadle:

1.4 million in stolen cash. It should be a simple heist to steal from a thief. What could go wrong?

Darla Doyle could have retired with the money she made from her last heist. But her partner in crime, Flynn, comes to her with an offer she can’t refuse.

Andrew Curtis, a sleazy megachurch minister, has stolen 1.4 million in donations and hid the cash, and Flynn knows exactly where. Darla has a personal grudge to settle with religious scammers, so she signs on.

But when they get to the Kansas church, posing as a preaching couple wanting business advice, Darla finds it nearly impossible to keep up the persona they’ve created for her. She’s no actress, she’s a getaway driver! And worse, the megachurch’s head of security, Silas Flecke, is far sharper an operator than she expected to encounter.

Flecke is a pro at securing the church against crime. Darla and Flynn are pros at stealing. Who will come out on top when they break into the church at night to retrieve the stolen cash?

Watch Your Back by Stacy ClaflinWatch Your Back by Stacy Claflin:

Even perfect neighborhoods have deadly secrets.

Ariana and Damon moved to the gated neighborhood of Rosy Hills to leave behind their traumatic pasts. Now they have their dream jobs and are part of a tight group of friends. All of that crumbles when their neighbor Rita disappears without a trace.

Now it looks like one of their own could be a killer. Ariana and Damon must figure out who it is, or they risk never finding Rita alive. If they don’t reach her in time, they could all end up dead…

Kiss of Death by Adam CroftKiss of Death by Adam Croft:

An elderly woman collapses and dies during a Sunday morning church service in Oakham. But things aren’t quite as innocent as they seem.

Within hours, there’s a second unexplained death in Rutland. Then a third. But the victims appear to be completely unconnected.

With the body count rising by the day, DI Caroline Hills and DS Dexter Antoine need to uncover the link before more innocent people die.

Only one thing is certain: a killer walks the streets of Rutland. But no-one knows who the next victim will be, when they will be killed — or why.

The Bus to Beulah by E.C. HanesThe Bus to Beulah by E.C. Hanes:

On her way to a new job in America, Maria Puente accidentally discovers a human trafficking ring. Fearing exposure, the American company that manages the operation—with the help of their Mexican partners—kidnaps Maria.

Maria’s disappearance triggers a desperate search, by her family and local law enforcement, to find her before the kidnappers can permanently dispose of her. As the investigation unfolds, long-time Hogg County high sheriff Will Moser confronts Albert Waters, a powerful businessman who Will suspects knows about Maria’s disappearance—but Albert and his Mexican cartel partners prove to be brick walls.

At the urging of his wife, Lana, Will calls on Elijah Kahn, a man he got to know while serving in Vietnam who now runs one of the largest international security firms in the world. The idea of working with men who are rightly known as mercenaries troubles Will, but he knows he’ll never find Maria without Elijah’s help—and when Lana reminds Will of the debt they owe to Tomas Delgado, Maria’s uncle, his hesitation evaporates.

Organized in an hour-by-hour structure, The Bus to Beulah is a taut thriller that culminates in a massive, heatrt-pounding chase to save Maria—before she disappears forever.

Ghostly Shadows by Lily Harper HartGhostly Shadows by Lily Harper Hart:

Harper Harlow has it all, including a new business, a husband she adores, and a best friend she’s determined not to murder even though he’s determined to be the groomzilla to end all groomzillas. Life is good … until it’s not.

Everything is thrown into doubt when her former boyfriend, a grifter on trial for murder, escapes from the county courthouse and starts terrorizing Whisper Cove.

Her husband Jared Monroe is on edge. Quinn Jackson has proven himself to be a threat more than once, and it’s clear Quinn is gunning for Harper because he blames her for being caught in the first place. That means Zander and Shawn – who are in the midst of preparing for their wedding – have to move in so everybody is safe.

It’s a full house and the stakes are high. A dead courthouse guard is their only guide, and he’s not enough.

Harper is determined to get her happily ever after, as well as Zander’s too. That means they have to grapple with Quinn before the big day arrives.

Murder is on the menu and Quinn has nothing to lose. It’s a race to the finish – and down the aisle – and winner takes all.

Strap in. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Deceived by Mary KeliikoaDeceived by Mary Keliikoa:

PI Kelly Pruett finally feels like she’s coming into her own. With her personal life well on track, a gig uncovering what drove a client’s granddaughter underground could be good for business. But after her undercover operation at the homeless shelter reveals rampant drug dealing, she’s suddenly kicked off the case… just as another girl goes missing.

Vowing to expose the truth even if it means pro-bono work, Kelly is taken aback when her half-sister helps her hunt down answers in a tent city brimming with distrust. When her investigation doesn’t move quickly enough to save a second woman from a vicious murder, Kelly doubles her efforts unwilling to accept defeat.

Friday the Witchteenth by Amanda M. LeeFriday the Witchteenth by Amanda M. Lee:

Bay Winchester is newly married and happy. Things have been quiet since she returned from her honeymoon, which means trouble is just around the corner. When it comes, it takes the form of a despondent man on a bridge. Despite her best efforts, Bay and the hostage negotiator can’t save him, and death is swift.

That should’ve been the end of it, but a weird symbol on the dead man’s hand piques Bay’s interest, and when the negotiator turns up sick with the same symptoms, she knows that they have a problem on their hands.

Suicide as a contagion? It’s not the fight Bay was expecting, and it’s definitely not the one she was looking for. Still, it’s the problem that keeps on giving … especially when it spreads to Mrs. Little.

In her heart, Bay knows that she shouldn’t care about the woman who has hurt her family at every turn. Ignoring the problem isn’t an option though. If she stands back and does nothing in an attempt to end the chain, she’ll never be able to live with herself. If she gets too close, she could get infected herself.

Bay has never doubted her magic, but the current fight is out of her wheelhouse. Magic is at the core of what’s happening, but their enemy is invisible.

The Winchester witches have never met an enemy they can’t fight … until now. Will they be able to pull together and save Hemlock Cove? Or is the town doomed to fall to a curse without a name and an evil without a soul?

Strap in, because the answer is more than anybody is expecting, and if everybody is to survive, the fight will have to move to an entirely new level.

The game is on. In this one, the winner will take all.

Scavenger Hunt by Duane LindsayScavenger Hunt by Duane Lindsay:

It looked like taking candy from a baby. Until it didn’t…

For a con artist like Dani Silver, the mark’s low-hanging fruit—a recently signed basketball prodigy suddenly worth millions—and too young and naïve to know who to trust. Only one problem–so many people are already trying to scam him there’s literally no way to get to him.

Except, that is, to make a deal with the devil— aka Greville Norquist, a fixer with a reputation as the prince of darkness. The deal: Greville will arrange an intro and in return, Dani must provide him with four seemingly worthless items scammed or stolen from people Greville specifies—one of them being a snuffbox.

It’s a perfect set-up for author Lindsay to work his comic magic, deftly twisting one plot around the other like a couple of puppies in a box. But there are two obstacles— first, the snuffbox owner turns out to be nearly as hard to find as the mark.

And second, the mark turns out to be a sweet kid with an even sweeter fiancée— Leticia’s so lovely Dani’s ally, Foster Stevens the gay apy, more or less falls for her. In fact, pretty soon the whole gang balks at scamming these two. And Dani herself has taken a vow never to cheat a good guy.

So how are they supposed to turn a profit on this one?

As it turns out, it’s the least of their worries—Greville’s declared war on them.

Dog's Honest Truth by Neil S. PlakcyDog’s Honest Truth by Neil S. Plakcy:

Steve and Rochester seek the truth about a neighbor’s murder

There’s a new dog in town – a golden retriever named Luke, in training to be a seeing-eye dog. He and Rochester immediately bond, but there’s something odd about Luke’s human, Ben Ji. How can someone so young afford an expensive townhouse on Sarajevo Way? When Ben is shot, Steve begins to discover the lies he has been telling.

Steve’s also forced to tell the truth about his past, when he deals with a student plagiarist at Eastern College, a professor locked in the stone age, a climate activist with dangerous habits, an angry bartender—and a rifle-wielding assassin.

Will he and Rochester be able to dig up the clues to all these mysteries? Or will a deadly killer go unpunished?

The Exorcist's House by Nick RobertsThe Exorcist’s House by Nick Roberts:

This psychological thriller follows a family to their Appalachian farmhouse, where they encounter an unimaginable horror.

In the summer of 1994, psychologist Daniel Hill buys a rustic farmhouse nestled in the rolling hills of West Virginia.

Along with his wife and teenage daughter, the family uproots their lives in Ohio and moves south. They are initially seduced by the natural beauty of the country setting. That soon changes when they discover a hidden room in the basement with a well, boarded shut and adorned with crucifixes.

Local legends about the previous owner being an exorcist come to light, but by then, all Hell has broken loose.

This 1990s horror novel is perfect for fans of family thriller books, stories of demonic possession, exorcism fiction, the occult, or thrillers like The Exorcist, A Head Full of Ghosts, and The Amityville Horror.

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

Elusive Charity by Wayne StinnettElusive Charity by Wayne Stinnett:

Since the recent death of a wealthy but perverted businessman, Charity Styles has been hiding in plain sight, as if challenging anyone to come after her.

She’s on her own once more, living day to day on her beloved Wind Dancer, anchored near a quaint little Gulf Coast town in the Florida Panhandle. But when the son of a fishing client ends up dead, the father’s employer hires Charity to find the person responsible.

Intrigue mounts faster than the list of suspects and Charity finds new purpose and direction, and possibly a guide. But will her new outlook make her fall prey to the local crime boss? Very few know of her abilities and many have come up short in trying to take her. Will this be Charity’s final downfall from grace?

Murder at the Circus by Lee StraussMurder at the Circus by Lee Strauss:

Murder’s a spectacle!

When Ginger Reed ~ aka Lady Gold ~ and Basil Reed’s son Scout runs away to join the circus, it’s not all fun and games. As a disgruntled teen unhappy at boarding school, Scout intends to work with his cousin Marvin, newly (and dishonourably) discharged from the navy. An animal lover at heart, Scout is tickled to assist the animal trainer and develops a particular bond with the matriarchal elephant, Tulip.

The big top event pleases the crowds, but when a performer dies under suspicious circumstances, Scout and Tulip find themselves in real, three ring trouble!

Pineapple Podcast by Amy VansantPineapple Podcast by Amy Vansant:

Pineapple Podcast is packed full of Pineapple Port surprises!

Charlotte hunts a killer with a curious cookie-cutter calling card who seems to be out to impress the local true-crime podcaster. The work keeps her from concentrating on the fact her boyfriend has been acting strange…it seems Declan is ready to make a few major life decisions.

Meanwhile, Mariska and Darla take over a local restaurant while the owner’s out of town, and can’t help but add a few things to the menu… bad idea, since the owner belongs to a true crime club that roots for the killers…

Mix in an earbud-wearing puppy, a starry-eyed deputy, and white-knuckle action and you’ll find yourself wanting to move to Pineapple Port…again!

Immersed in the View by P.D. WorkmanImmersed in the View by P.D. Workman:

A Wake Up Call

Detective “Parks” Pat is back. Now an established and accepted member of the homicide squad, she unexpectedly brings a new case to the table when she stumbles across a body as Canada Day dawns. While it was initially assumed to be an accidental drowning, the autopsy results say otherwise.

Margie is soon off and running, but the lack of witnesses has her going in circles. Meanwhile, the brass wants the investigation put to bed before the city is flooded with Calgary Stampede tourists and dignitaries.

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Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for April 2022

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

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

Once again, we have new releases covering the whole broad spectrum of speculative fiction. This month, we have urban fantasy, epic fantasy, historical fantasy, fantasy romance, sword and sorcery, fairy tale retellings, paranormal mystery, science fiction thrillers, space opera, military science fiction, dystopian fiction, Norse mythology, Greek mythology, werewolves, dragons, valkyries, beasts, giddesses, grim reapers, spirit seekers, aliens, space marines, outlaw hackers, revenge of nature, crime-busting witches, crime-busting skeletons 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:

What Lies Behind by Jonathan P. BrazeeWhat Lies Behind by Jonathan P. Brazee and J.N. Chaney:

A new alien threat arises. A Galactic War unlike any before it.

A powerful enemy threatens not only humanity, but humankind’s former enemy, the Centaurs. A warrior race, the Naxli, consider themselves the rightful rulers of the galaxy, and all other life should be either enslaved or destroyed. Still, the Naxli are honor bound, only willing to face those who present a worthy challenge. They recognize strength and nothing else, so it is with strength that humanity must fight back.

Faced with an implacable enemy, distrust within his own government, and a deep-seated fear within the populace of augmented soldiers, Rev and his fellow hyper-augments must carefully balance a tightrope if they are going to save humanity against this enemy.

Now is not the time for second guesses, political hyperbole, or weakness. Humanity must stand and fight together or risk losing all that they’ve gained.

Charmed and Dangerous by Lindsay BurokerCharmed and Dangerous by Lindsay Buroker:

After battling witches, werewolves, and a crazy one-eyed rougarou with a vendetta, starting a business making magical charms should be easy.

At least, that’s what Morgen Keller thought.

But now she’s leased a haunted building, her cousin is dating the town’s scheming mayor, and Amar—AKA the handsome werewolf she’s been dating—is embroiled in what could be the final showdown between two rival werewolf packs.

If his pack doesn’t come out on top, she could lose her lover, her business partner, and the only guy willing to catch mice for her snooty owl familiar.

Why did Morgen ever think life in the small town of Bellrock would be simple?

Frolic on the Amaranthyn by Chase A. FolmarFrolic on the Amaranthyn by Chase A. Folmar:

Through lands awash in dark secrets and half-forgotten truths, the duo Uralant and Emrasarie wield swordsmanship and seduction alike in the pursuit of fortune and precious coin.

But when a failed ploy for riches leads them to a city seduced beneath the thrall of ancient and malevolent sorcery, they unwillingly become entwined in the schemes of a nightmarish zealot and his own search for guarded treasures.

…and the deeper they continue to delve, the more the two come to realize they are little more than pawns against powers far greater than anything they could have ever imagined.

Head Case by M.R. ForbesHead Case by M.R. Forbes:

Ben never thought owning a starship would be easy. He didn’t expect it to be quite like this.

It was one thing to take a job as a smuggler to pay for basic necessities like maintenance, fuel, and food. Another to have one of the most powerful nobles in the galaxy gunning for him at every turn. But when Keep turns up unexpectedly with a new offer that’s even wilder than the last, will it put him on the path toward his true destiny?

Or is it just another con?

Skull and Crossbones by Rachel FordSkull and Crossbones by Rachel Ford:

I’m a magic-wielding Freak. My partner Flinty Jack is a sentient skeleton. But for all that, we’re not fireproof.

When a vengeful serial killer nearly roasts us in our beds, the FBI whisks me, my fiancée, and my partner into protective custody in a remote safehouse on a quiet Maine island.

But we’re about to find that we stepped out of the frying pan into the fire. There’re more skeletons in the closets of this picturesque town than one of Flinty Jack’s family reunions.

Between hostile locals, mysterious visitors from the past, and something fishy happening on the coast, a serial killer is looking tame.

Gods of the Sands by Chris FoxGods of the Sands by Chris Fox:

Condemned to Die Upon the Sands

I have been sentenced to death for the crime of being born. Of winning the Hasran’s war for them. But my death has purchased the freedom of my people, and so I go to it gladly, ready for whatever final torture they might have in mind.

The Imperator has decreed that I will be sacrificed in the Great Games, a sacred ritual that will magically empower the Gateway Arena. It requires five god-souled, the reincarnations of gods, divine shards that can be fed to the Arena, and used to increase its size.

It means my life has narrowed to one purpose. Live. Each day I train, and each week I fight. Harder, and harder challenges until I die. For there is no escape, no reprieve. Once the ritual begins it can only end with my death.

Heaven and Spell by Lily Harper HartHeaven and Spell by Lily Harper Hart:

Ofelia Archer isn’t a fan of change, even when it benefits her. That’s why moving in with her boyfriend Zach Sully – even though it’s temporary – has her constantly pacing. She’s convinced it’s because the space doesn’t feel like her own, but it turns out to be more than that.

When leaving for work one day, Ofelia stumbles across a body hanging from the church belfry across the road. When she and Sully start asking questions, they find the church used to operate under a different name … and a tragic fire sixty years before has left a tainted memory.

Ofelia is haunted – and not just by the ghostly nuns flitting through the church’s windows – but also by a mystery that should’ve been solved decades before. The harder she digs, the more horror she finds.

It seems New Orleans has a demon on the loose, and the creature could be hiding behind any face. Ofelia is determined to take out the demon and free the neighborhood from torment, but when Sully becomes the demon’s next target, her efforts are for naught.

Ofelia is loyal to a fault and willing to die for those she loves. She just might have to if she expects to keep Sully safe.

New Orleans is home to ghosts and goblins on every corner. This monster, however, might be more than the city’s favorite witch can overcome.

Coral Red by A.L. HawkeCoral Red by A.L. Hawke:

The immortal shall die by the will of Persephone.

Greek triremes approach the shores of Cassandra’s kingdom, home of the Amazon nymphs, threatening a sea battle. At a young age, Cassandra is forced to defend Azure Blue. If she cannot stave off invasion, Zeus will finally have victory over the nymphs.

Meanwhile the young Greek hero Theseus Aegeus tries to lay claim to Athens. His father, the sea god Poseidon, orders him to complete a series of tasks. While completing one, Theseus meets Cassandra in Atlantis. He is struck by the queen’s strength, beauty, and righteousness. Unlike his people, he does not wish her or her subjects harm. But can the couple do anything to avert a war that’s been building for centuries?

No matter what the outcome, Mount Olympus will have to contend with Cora, the goddess Persephone. No one can douse the fire stewing in the depths of her heart. But if Cora wars, she risks hurting the land and people she loves amidst her deluge of fury.

Coral Red is book III, the final book in The Azure Series trilogy.

Cascade by Joshua JamesCascade by Joshua James:

OPERATION CASCADE IS UNDERWAY.

The changes on Enceladus are causing ripples throughout the solar system — and beyond. But the Artifact isn’t done yet.

The end is only the beginning…

Cascade, the second book in the Saturn’s Legacy series, is a sci-fi thriller full of mystery, intrigue, and epic action from the depths of the ocean to the edge of outer space.

The Language of Roses by Heather Rose JonesThe Language of Roses by Heather Rose Jones:

A Beauty. A Beast. A Curse. This is not the story you know.

Join author Heather Rose Jones on a new and magical journey into the heart of a familiar fairytale. Meet Alys, eldest daughter of a merchant, a merchant who foolishly plucks a rose from a briar as he flees from the home of a terrifying fay Beast and his seemingly icy sister. Now Alys must pay the price to save his life and allow the Beast, the once handsome Philippe, to pay court to her.

But Alys has never fallen in love with anyone; how can she love a Beast? The fairy Peronelle, waiting in the woods to see the culmination of her curse, is sure that she will fail. Yet, if she does, Philippe’s sister Grace and her beloved Eglantine, trapped in an enchanted briar in the garden, will pay a terrible price. Unless Alys can find another way…

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

The revenant war is officially here.

Armed with a list of reapers who have turned to the dark side, the Grimlocks are at a crossroads. Izzy Sage knows that they’ve barely scratched the surface on the evil that’s pervading their world but she’s unsure where to look. Then the problem comes looking for them.

When checking in at the yacht club on Belle Isle, a dead man attacks … and he doesn’t go down easily. It turns out, not only are the dead jumping back into their bodies, but several reapers have gone missing.

With the Michigan territory thrown into turmoil, the Grimlocks know they need help. The revenants aren’t capable of causing this sort of chaos, which means someone else is providing the magic. Who, though?

Help shows up in the form of Zoe Lake-Winters, and she’s not alone. The enigmatic god Cernunnos is with her, although as usual, he’s stingy with the information. As the dead accumulate in the city, they start to move on the forces of good. It’s going to take everybody working together – including a few new friends – to overcome an undead army.

It seems another figure has been pulling the strings from the beginning, and when the identity of the puppet master is outed, it will change everything.

Here it comes. The answers you’ve been waiting for are finally here.

Grease the Wheel by Amanda M. LeeGrease the Wheel by Amanda M. Lee:

Stormy Morgan is a witch with too much attitude, an old love fueling new fires in her soul, and a talking cat who keeps threatening to give her an ulcer. She’s got a full plate. Things get even busier in her life when a body drops outside her boyfriend Hunter Ryan’s house … and the death looks like more than a standard murder.

Even though her magic is growing at an exponential rate, Stormy is still a novice when it comes to wielding her new power. She’s determined to find answers, prove herself invaluable to Hunter in the process, but each lead brings more questions … and all of them are of the mind-blowing variety.

The victim, a man who wove a tapestry of lies across multiple towns, doesn’t stir Stormy’s sympathy. The puzzle of his life is too much for her to ignore though. On top of that, her new roommate has turned into a big problem, and she has no idea how to fix it.

Stormy moved home to make her life better, and she’s succeeding at every turn. That doesn’t mean she’s safe.

At her core, she’s a fighter … and she’s going to need all her strength for what’s to come. The victim’s vices were of the human variety, but what killed him was something so much more dangerous. It’s up to Stormy to save the day. Again.

If she can, that is.

Silver Dust by G.K. LundSilver Dust by G.K. Lund:

What would make you betray your family of deadly assassins?

A lethal abomination is roaming the streets of Agartha—a forbidden werewolf and vampire hybrid.

Nadia Navarra, half-werewolf and a young member of the Queen’s Wraiths, knows this monster all too well. Lying low, she has tried to sever every connection to this beast.

When the creature reappears, crazed and tormented from his transformation into a monster, Nadia’s loyalties to the Wraiths are tested. Especially when someone closer to her than either her connection to the past or the Wraiths needs her help.

Facing an impossible choice, Nadia is desperate to do the right thing for those who need her the most. But that means embarking on a life where she must continually balance lies…

Silver Dust is a dark urban fantasy novelette of 20K words. It is also a starting point to the Queen’s Wraith series, but can be read as a standalone story.

Of Claws and Inferno by Kyoko M.Of Claws and Inferno by Kyoko M.

In a modern day world teeming with marauding dragons, there is only one solution: The Wild Hunt.

Dr. Rhett “Jack” Jackson and Dr. Kamala Anjali have worked for the Knight Division capturing wild dragons for years, but now the government has decided to hold a tournament called The Wild Hunt. Jack, Kamala, and their teammates Calloway, Libby, Agent Shannon, and Yousef, must capture five of the deadliest dragons alive before the opposing team or they lose their jobs at the Knight Division. Jack and Kamala are also chasing after Kazuma Okegawa, the yakuza lieutenant who has been trying to kill them. Okegawa is planning a hostile takeover of the worldwide illegal dragon trade and if he succeeds, everyone will be in grave danger. Between the Wild Hunt and Okegawa’s plot to destroy everything in his path, Jack and Kamala have to rely on each other to stay alive in the middle of an inferno.

Of Claws and Inferno is the fifth book in the Of Cinder and Bone science fiction/contemporary fantasy series. It follows Of Cinder and Bone, Of Blood and Ashes, Of Dawn and Embers, and Of Fury and Fangs.

Before Times by Kim McDougallBefore Times by Kim McDougall:

Before Times, 3 Valkyrie Bestiary Prequels:

The Last Door to Underhill: In the last hours of the Flood Wars, a fae princess makes the ultimate sacrifice to save the human world.

The Girl Who Cried Banshee: Kyra Greene is a pest controller, not an exterminator. She has to be clear about that when the pests can be anything from pixies to dragons. But when her fledgling business teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, Kyra takes on a job that blurs those lines.

Three Half Goats Gruff: Kyra Greene, pest controller of fantastic beasts, takes on a rock troll and meets the man who will haunt her dreams for the next three-hundred and twenty-one nights. Come sing around the campfire with satyrs and discover how Kyra found one little lost cephalopod.

Before Times tells the tales of Kyra Green, pest-controller of extraordinary beasts and Leighna Icewolf, Queen of the Fae—two warriors learning to navigate new roads in a world where magic is the only rule of law. Each story takes place 1 to 50 years before the events of Dragons Don’t Eat Meat, Book 1 of the Valkyrie Bestiary Series.

Burnout by Sean Platt and Johnny B. TruantBurnout by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant:

Cutter Dunn was born a ghost. Unchipped and unregistered, he exists as a nonperson, living off-the-grid, unrecognized by the facial recognition software built into every smart glass device that provides everyone with everything they want and need. According to the official system, he doesn’t even exist.

He has the skills and out-of-the-box perspective to design the nuts-and-bolts mechanism for the next generation of driverless shipping vehicles. He’s also the kind of person that a massively wealthy and corrupt corporation can exploit and make disappear without a trace. For good measure, they also erased his home settlement of Amenity, bulldozing the dwellings, scattering the residents. And that was their big mistake.

Because Cutter knows they can’t track what they can’t trace. And they won’t know what he’s planning until it hits them.

Natural Selection by Janna RuthNatural Selection by Janna Ruth:

Nature has declared war on us, and we’re here to answer that call.

Wulf might be the greatest spirit seeker the agency that leads the war against nature has to offer. A new mission calls him and other elite spirit seekers to Italy where they face off against an active volcano. Two thousand years ago, Vesuvius obliterated the city of Pompeii. Now the fire spirit has set his eyes on Naples.

Leading the spirit seekers into the volcano, Wulf begins to realise that his biggest challenge might not be the spirits but keeping this group of big egos in check. Tensions rise as the heat is turned up and one false move could spell out their death.

Join the Spirit Seekers in this prequel to meet the greatest of them all in action!

Outlaw Rising by Kate Sheeran SwedOutlaw Rising by Kate Sheeran Swed:

Secretly, Sloane Tarnish has always admired her outlaw of an uncle, and his tales of not-so-legal adventures across the galaxy–but she never thought she’d be asked to help with one of his heists.

When Uncle Vin shows up on her med school campus with a plan to steal a chip full of Fleet intelligence–and the baffling idea to have her play a key role in the scheme–Sloane’s got her doubts. Uncle Vin doesn’t seem to realize that her top skills involve the kind of shots you drink, not the ones you fire.

But Vin’s convinced the Fleet’s got plans to install empirical rule across the free galaxy, and that this data could stop them before they can begin. When a bunch of rogue delivery drones start taking shots at her–and not the liquid kind–she has to figure he’s onto something.

To prove it, all she needs to do is steal the data key from the middle of a Fleet ball… and right out from under the Commander’s nose.

Too bad she’s got absolutely no idea what she’s doing…

Outlaw Rising is the prequel novella to the Parse Galaxy space opera adventure series.

Star Breaker by James David VictorStar Breaker by James David Victor:

Humanity’s only chance of survival might be to embrace those that have been long considered outcasts.

Holly Cropper and her team have been separated. When her mission to unite humanity is interrupted by a full-scale invasion, she must do the unthinkable. She must embrace her roots and work with the people she has spent a lifetime trying to avoid. Can Holly and the Breaker group she so desperately tried to leave in her past help defeat the Thaal invasion?

Star Breaker is the seventh book in the Star Breaker series. If you like fast-paced space adventures with interesting characters who battle aliens, evil corporations, and space pirates, Holly Cropper and her team of Marines are ready to share their epic adventure with you.

Download Star Breaker and continue this epic space adventure today!

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Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for April 2022


Welcome to the latest edition of “Indie Crime Fiction of the Month”.

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

Our new releases cover the broad spectrum of crime fiction. We have cozy mysteries, hardboiled mysteries, humorous mysteries, historical mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, Regency mysteries, paranormal mysteries, crime thrillers, psychological thrillers, action thrillers, adventure thrillers, pulp thrillers, spy thrillers, police procedurals, police officers, private investigators, amateur sleuths, FBI agents, spies, assassins, terrorists, missing families, missing jade masks, organised crime, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-busting realtors, death by wind turbine, murder and mayhem in London, Louisiana, Florida, Tennessee, Colorado, Upstate New York, the Cayman Islands, Rome, Saudi Arabia, Tadjikistan and much more.

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

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

And now on to the books without further ado:

Murder Beside the Swift Waters by Blythe BakerMurder Beside the Swift Waters by Blythe Baker:

When Lillian Crawford is persuaded to investigate a mysterious death for a family friend, she thinks the case will be solved quickly. But as one surprise after another is unraveled, Lillian finds herself without the help of Felix just when she needs her brother most.

Can Lillian discover the victim’s secrets before it’s too late…and can she do it alone?

 

 

An Inescapable Conclusion by Blythe BakerAn Inescapable Conclusion by Blythe Baker:

Despite all the dark happenings she has experienced at Pemberton Heights, Jane cannot refuse a summons to rush back to the bedside of her dying uncle. As it becomes clear there is a shadow hovering over the manor, Jane is drawn one final time into a web of lies and danger…

 

 

 

All the Devils Are Here by Beth ByersAll the Devils Are Here by Beth Byers:

Smith has been asked to help with a case that no one wants to work. A girl’s gone missing and the most likely suspect is one of the Scotland Yard men.

He’s not a man to give a pass to police officers, but this will open himself, his wife, and his friends up to potential danger depending on who’s involved. Now the question is, what will it take for him to find the girl. How far will he go to catch the killer before Scotland Yard finds proof of the many, many laws he has broken? Or maybe Scotland Yard will turn on Smith and the tenuous peace between them will be broken. It’s a race of skill and trust as Smith tries to keep his family safe and Beatrice tries to keep Smith alive.

The Cartographers Guild and the Search for the Jade Mask by Aaron CumminsThe Cartographers Guild and the Search for the Jade Mask by Aaron Cummins:

A roller coaster ride of action and adventure in the grand pulp tradition

Kidnapped friends. A raging revolution. Dangerous mountains. And, at the end of the trail, a lost city that holds a secret worth killing for.

Ace Barrett is a daredevil pilot with iron fists and a wooden head. There’s no danger he won’t face for his friends.
Verity Hester is a research assistant with unusual skills and a secret past. She can pick locks and pockets with equal dexterity. Just don’t ask her where she picked those skills up.

Explorers have called the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan “the roof of the world” for centuries. Snow-capped peaks tower over deep, dark valleys. Visitors to the Pamirs face extreme weather, dangerous slopes, and deadly creatures.

The year is 1922. When two members of a mapping expedition are kidnapped by raiders, the members of the Cartographers Guild will stop at nothing to get them back. The explorers follow the trail into the uncharted mountains and face doom at every turn, while their missing companions are forced to brave ancient dangers to locate a legendary treasure. If bandits or traps don’t kill them, the mountains will. Their crusade leads to an impossible lost city—one no archaeologist would believe—and the home of the fabled jade mask.

Will the explorers save their friends, or will they die while searching for the jade mask?

Flame and Fortune by Jana DeLeonFlame and Fortune by Jana DeLeon:

No smoke without a fire.

It’s New Year’s in Sinful, and the competition for the New Year’s Queen is heating up as the warring churches go head-to-head. Fortune Redding is not the sequined dress kind of woman, but reluctantly agrees to partake in the debacle so that Ida Belle and Gertie can best their nemesis, Celia, who’s put up former Sinful mean girl RJ Rogers.

RJ and her friend Brock Benoit left plenty of devastation in their wake when they fled Sinful after high school. So when they return and Brock is found dead, there’s no shortage of suspects. Fortune, Ida Belle, and Gertie know all too well what it’s like to live under suspicion of a crime with no resolution. When good people become the targets of gossip, they know they have to rush to unravel the tangled lives of RJ and Brock and expose a killer before the wrong person’s reputation is ruined. Or worse—they’re arrested for a crime they didn’t commit.

Surprise, Surprise! by Mark FaricySurprise, Surprise! by Mike Faricy:

Surprise, Surprise!

Private Investigator Dev Haskell watches a gorgeous woman strut across the street and head into his building. A moment later she knocks on his office door. Beautiful, sexy, Phoenix Starr hires Dev to investigate her husband, Sterling Kozlow. She thinks he might be having an affair. After following Kozlow for days Dev waits for him to meet a woman in a bar. Unfortunately, he never shows, at least until Dev finds him… Meanwhile Crime Lord Tubby Gustafson has an unwanted visitor…his sister. Tubby makes it clear Dev Haskell will be dealing with this problem. Dev deals with the problem, just not the way Tubby may have considered. Another delightfully entertaining Dev Haskell tale.

Skull and Crossbones by Rachel FordSkull and Crossbones by Rachel Ford:

I’m a magic-wielding Freak. My partner Flinty Jack is a sentient skeleton. But for all that, we’re not fireproof.

When a vengeful serial killer nearly roasts us in our beds, the FBI whisks me, my fiancée, and my partner into protective custody in a remote safehouse on a quiet Maine island.

But we’re about to find that we stepped out of the frying pan into the fire. There’re more skeletons in the closets of this picturesque town than one of Flinty Jack’s family reunions.

Between hostile locals, mysterious visitors from the past, and something fishy happening on the coast, a serial killer is looking tame.

The House on the Hill by Elle GrayThe House on the Hill by Elle Gray:

When a family of 4 goes missing seemingly in the dead of night, Blake Wilder and her team are called to find the young family and determine the reason for their sudden disappearance.

Change is the only constant in life. It’s a lesson FBI Agent Blake Wilder is having to learn all over again. Summoned to DC by a Bureau legend, Blake is excited, imagining big things on the horizon for her team. That excitement though, is quickly dashed as her entire world is instead, turned upside down and she’s left to pick up all the pieces.

A reorganization within the Bureau has stripped Blake of her command and the unit she’d given her blood, sweat, and tears to build, turned over to somebody else. In this new role though, she is given a case that takes her team to Colorado to investigate a missing persons case.
There she finds that nothing is as it seems. Blake is having to adjust to this new world and her new team members as she finds herself caught up in a web of international intrigue, espionage, and cold-blooded murder.

New enemies rise, and old adversaries come to the forefront as Blake and her team race to find a man and his family being hunted by a ruthless organization. The sands of the world are shifting beneath her feet. Nobody and nothing is what she believes and Blake doesn’t know who to trust.

With the lives of the young family on the line, Blake juggles the danger that surrounds her, the changes that she faces, and the perplexing mysteries regarding what happened that night at The House on the Hill.

Heaven and Spell by Lily Harper HartHeaven and Spell by Lily Harper Hart:

Ofelia Archer isn’t a fan of change, even when it benefits her. That’s why moving in with her boyfriend Zach Sully – even though it’s temporary – has her constantly pacing. She’s convinced it’s because the space doesn’t feel like her own, but it turns out to be more than that.

When leaving for work one day, Ofelia stumbles across a body hanging from the church belfry across the road. When she and Sully start asking questions, they find the church used to operate under a different name … and a tragic fire sixty years before has left a tainted memory.

Ofelia is haunted – and not just by the ghostly nuns flitting through the church’s windows – but also by a mystery that should’ve been solved decades before. The harder she digs, the more horror she finds.

It seems New Orleans has a demon on the loose, and the creature could be hiding behind any face. Ofelia is determined to take out the demon and free the neighborhood from torment, but when Sully becomes the demon’s next target, her efforts are for naught.

Ofelia is loyal to a fault and willing to die for those she loves. She just might have to if she expects to keep Sully safe.

New Orleans is home to ghosts and goblins on every corner. This monster, however, might be more than the city’s favorite witch can overcome.

Stolen Summer by Nicholas HarveyStolen Summer by Nicholas Harvey:

A new crime. An old secret. A familiar demon.

When the Cayman Islands police investigate a burglary, Constable Nora Sommer recognises the victim from a past she’s desperate to forget.

As thefts continue, consuming the department’s focus and resources, Nora can’t shake her new found knowledge – a guilty man living a happy life… behind a lie.

A missing girl adds further strain, and with little evidence in either case, Nora develops an improbable theory she’s determined to prove.

How far will Nora go to right the wrong one man will do anything to hide?

Final Walk Through by CeeCee JamesFinal Walk Through by CeeCee James:

Stella O’Neil tried to get along with her rival, she really did. But when her rival is found murdered, she wasn’t as shocked as she might have been. Angela had been making enemies all her life; people either loved or hated her.

Everyone knew that Angela had been trying to ruin Stella’s business ever since she helped a client, so Stella is shocked to find she’s the prime suspect.

She has motive, access to the property where Angela was killed and no alibi… if she doesn’t find the murderer, she might pay for a crime she didn’t commit.

Perfect Extraction by Ethan JonesPerfect Extraction by Ethan Jones:

How do you say goodbye?

After an agonizing, unsuccessful search for his missing family, Jack Storm finally makes a breakthrough. But how much can he trust the one offering him this supposed sliver of hope? His source has already betrayed him before; could she be doing it again?

Before getting the intel, Jack is tasked with executing the most daring extraction of his entire career, right under his agency’s nose. A former Saudi spy chief is seeking political asylum in Canada, but the Saudi royal family has branded him a traitor and wants him dead.

With more questions than answers, will Jack risk it all on this daredevil operation and be able to pull off … the Perfect Extraction?

Lose yourself in Jack’s most personal and brilliant mission ever with a spectacularly satisfying twist.

Vatican Conspiracy by Ethan JonesVatican Conspiracy by Ethan Jones:

What if your closest friend was going to kill you?

CIS elite operative Carrie O’Connor dives headfirst into the underground to uncover Italian mafia ties to a recent Islamic terrorist bombing of a passenger airplane from Rome. But when her asset within the mob is exposed, she realizes that nothing is as it seems and things are far worse than she could have ever imagined.

As she digs deeper, Carrie discovers a potential connection between the mafia and one of the highest religious figures in Italy. Working around dangerous loyalties, she must unmask the real conspirator to avoid a devastating clash between two worldwide religions.

How will Carrie discover the most sinister conspiracy to ever threaten The Vatican?

Grease the Wheel by Amanda M. LeeGrease the Wheel by Amanda M. Lee:

Stormy Morgan is a witch with too much attitude, an old love fueling new fires in her soul, and a talking cat who keeps threatening to give her an ulcer. She’s got a full plate. Things get even busier in her life when a body drops outside her boyfriend Hunter Ryan’s house … and the death looks like more than a standard murder.

Even though her magic is growing at an exponential rate, Stormy is still a novice when it comes to wielding her new power. She’s determined to find answers, prove herself invaluable to Hunter in the process, but each lead brings more questions … and all of them are of the mind-blowing variety.

The victim, a man who wove a tapestry of lies across multiple towns, doesn’t stir Stormy’s sympathy. The puzzle of his life is too much for her to ignore though. On top of that, her new roommate has turned into a big problem, and she has no idea how to fix it.

Stormy moved home to make her life better, and she’s succeeding at every turn. That doesn’t mean she’s safe.

At her core, she’s a fighter … and she’s going to need all her strength for what’s to come. The victim’s vices were of the human variety, but what killed him was something so much more dangerous. It’s up to Stormy to save the day. Again.

If she can, that is.

Burnout by Sean Platt and Johnny B. TruantBurnout by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant:

Cutter Dunn was born a ghost. Unchipped and unregistered, he exists as a nonperson, living off-the-grid, unrecognized by the facial recognition software built into every smart glass device that provides everyone with everything they want and need. According to the official system, he doesn’t even exist.

He has the skills and out-of-the-box perspective to design the nuts-and-bolts mechanism for the next generation of driverless shipping vehicles. He’s also the kind of person that a massively wealthy and corrupt corporation can exploit and make disappear without a trace. For good measure, they also erased his home settlement of Amenity, bulldozing the dwellings, scattering the residents. And that was their big mistake.

Because Cutter knows they can’t track what they can’t trace. And they won’t know what he’s planning until it hits them.

Killer Smile by Mary StoneKiller Smile by Mary Stone:

If looks can kill, a smile can be deadly.

Special Agent Stella Knox became an FBI agent to find the dirty cops responsible for her father’s murder and make them pay. But fresh out of Quantico, her first case has her seeking justice for a different victim—three of them, in fact.

The bodies of three teenage boys have turned up in a sleepy town outside of Nashville, TN. There’re no fingerprints, no DNA, and very little to connect the murders, except for a smiley face drawn in blood near two of the bodies. But why only two? The case makes zero sense, and the questions outnumber the answers.

Are the crimes related? Could it be the work of one calculating serial killer, or are they looking for three separate assailants?

One thing Stella knows for sure: someone is threatening the teenagers of small-town Cherry Farms, and they aren’t finished. As she and the team race against the clock to stop the nightmare that has descended upon this rural community, Stella has one more question…who will be next?

Dead Wind by Tessa WegertDead Wind by Tessa Wegert:

Senior Investigator Shana Merchant must dredge up dark secrets and old grudges if she’s to solve the murder of a prominent local citizen in the Thousand Islands community she now calls home.

The body is discovered on Wolfe Island, under the shadow of an enormous wind turbine. Senior Investigator Shana Merchant, arriving on the scene with fellow investigator Tim Wellington, can’t shake the feeling that she knows the victim – and the subsequent identification sends shockwaves through their community in the Thousand Islands of Upstate New York.

Politics, power, passion . . . there are dark undercurrents in Shana’s new home, and finding the killer means dredging up her new friends and neighbors’ old grudges and long-kept secrets.

That is, if the killer is from the community at all. For Shana’s keeping a terrible secret of her own: eighteen months ago she escaped from serial killer Blake Bram’s clutches. But has he followed her . . . to kill again?

The Shana Merchant novels are a brilliant blend of chilling psychological thriller and gripping police procedural, set in an atmospheric island community with a small-town vibe.

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Cora is a Three-Time Hugo Finalist!

Hugo Award Logo

As you probably know, the finalists for the 2022 Hugo Awards have just been announced. And I promise you that the detailed analysis of the finalists, which I know you’re all waiting for, is coming over on my personal blog as soon as I can get it done. And the ballot is truly excellent this year, with several firsts, including the first ever black African-born finalist and the youngest ever Hugo finalist.

But for now, I want to focus on just one category, namely the 2022 Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer. Cause if you take a look at that category, you will find – among the most excellent company of Paul Weimer, Jason Sanford, Chris M. Barkley, Alex Brown and Bitter Karella – my name. Yes, I’m a Hugo finalist for Best Fan Writer again!

I’ve known about this for about three weeks now (for those who don’t know, the Hugo administrators contact you beforehand to ask if you want to accept the nomination). Indeed, I got the mail from Chicon 8 a day after I posted my Open Letter to the 2022 Hugo Finalists on this blog.

It’s a great honour to be a Hugo finalist for the third time and I want to thank everybody who nominated me.

Hugo pins on jacket

Now there are three Hugo pins.

Because the covid pandemic is still ongoing, I’m not sure if I can attend Chicon 8 this year. I certainly hope that I can attend, but I’m not holding my breath. So I may I lose out yet again on my chance to attend the Hugo ceremony in person as well as the reception beforehand and the party afterwards again. That said, I got the full Hugo finalist experience in Dublin in 2019 as the designated accepter for Galactic Journey.

I also have a request. Like all Hugo finalists, I will be asked to put together a selection of writings for the Hugo voters packet. And that’s why I need your help. Which 2020 articles, essays or reviews of mine should go into the Hugo Voters packet? There is a full list here, so let me know in the comments which ones you think should go into the packet.

How can you vote for the 2022 Hugos? I guess pretty much everybody here knows how it works, but for those who don’t, it’s quite simple. If you buy a supporting membership for Chicon 8, the 2022 Worldcon, you can vote for the Hugo Awards as well as vote to select the location of the 2024 Worldcon. You also receive all of the convention publications and get access to the Hugo Voters’ packet, which contains most of the nominated works either in part or as a whole. If you buy a virtual membership, you can also attend the virtual panels and other events online. If you want to attend in person, you’ll need an attending membership. You can buy memberships here.

As I said above, the detailed analysis of the 2022 Hugo ballot is coming soon. But for now, I just want to say thank you for nominating me.

DisCon III Hugo swag

This is last year’s Hugo finalist packet, including the pin and certificate, from DisCon III, which came in the mail two days ago.

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Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for March 2022

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

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

Once again, we have new releases covering the whole broad spectrum of speculative fiction. This month, we have urban fantasy, epic fantasy, historical fantasy, fantasy romance, paranormal romance, paranormal mystery, science fantasy, space opera, military science fiction, science fiction anthologies, science fiction romance, dystopian romance, dystopian fiction, historical horror, vampires, werewolves, elves, mages, superheroes, arranged marriages, alien artefacts, space marines, space pirates, kidnapped princesses, crime-busting witches, crime-busting skeletons, resurrected giants 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:

Reistance by Jay AspenResistance by Jay Aspen:

Would you risk everything for freedom?

Resource wars have wrecked most things from refineries to satellites. Danger stalks an uneasy peace.

It was the day Jac discovered how precarious her life had become.

Her love of nature and steadfast loyalty to her remote forest community no longer weaves the illusion of safety she has believed for so long. Driving damaged roads to a city she hasn’t seen for six years, Jac uncovers disturbing truths about the ruthless Avarit imperium controlling their lives.

And then… she has never met anyone like Raine, the mysterious and charismatic leader of the outlawed forest rangers. She offers her medic skills to the Resistance, caught between the Avarit military and the terrorist F2 gangs inflicting havoc on the city and Outlander families.

Maybe she will discover why her father was killed…

But would you risk everything for freedom?

Resistance is the first book in the Phoenix Enigma series, the dystopian romance epic from Jay Aspen.

Mage of Fools by Eugen BaconMage of Fools by Eugen Bacon:

In the dystopian world of Mafinga, Jasmin must contend with a dictator’s sorcerer to cleanse the socialist state of its deadly pollution.Mafinga’s malevolent king dislikes books and, together with his sorcerer Atari, has collapsed the environment to almost uninhabitable. The sun has killed all the able men, including Jasmin’s husband Godi. But Jasmin has Godi’s secret story machine that tells of a better world, far different from the wastelands of Mafinga. Jasmin’s crime for possessing the machine and its forbidden literature filled with subversive text is punishable by death. Fate grants a cruel reprieve in the service of a childless queen who claims Jasmin’s children as her own. Jasmin is powerless—until she discovers secrets behind the king and his sorcerer.

Causes of Death by K.T. BeltCauses of Death by K.T. Belt:

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

The members of Space Force Fleet Command are renowned for their battle-hardened professionalism…except for one ship—the men and women who crew the ISS Griffin. Yet these misfits, screw-ups, and mutineers are Carmen Grey’s only hope at locating and destroying an alien research base concealed aboard a freighter deep behind enemy lines.

The Clairvoyant can fly and read minds, but even she can’t imagine the harrowing secrets contained aboard the freighter, which may be the key to stopping a menace poised to sweep across the entire galaxy. She has only a number of days to find the alien ship before it is lost forever.

When the situation grows desperate and when surrounded by enemies, sometimes the most dangerous adversary is the friend watching your back. The clock’s ticking.

The Tea Shop Witch by Thora BluestoneThe Tea Shop Witch by Thora Bluestone:

A disappearing body.
Hidden magical talents.
An adorable mind-reading dog.
And small-town secrets . . .

Addie James’s life imploded when she discovered her fiancé cheating and got downsized from her biotech job. So she left Silicon Valley for the haven of her Aunt Kate’s tea and apothecary shop in the peaceful mountain town of Stargaze. There, she plans to take a deep breath and figure out what’s next.

But when Addie reaches Stargaze, there’s no trace of her aunt. Until one night, Aunt Kate’s lifeless body shows up and then disappears from the locked shop.

And that’s when things really start to get strange.

As Addie sets out to find the murderer, she begins to realize her own hidden magical talent is the key to discovering what really happened to her aunt . . . who might not be quite so dead after all.

The problem is, logical Addie isn’t sure she can accept the magical parts of herself that science can’t explain. Will she learn to embrace this new life that’s full of supernatural surprises and solve her aunt’s case?

Hometown Magic by Amy BoylesHometown Magic by Amy Boyles:

There is a killer on the loose in Peachwood, and that person is targeting witches. Worse, there’s no rhyme or reason to the murders. Clementine and Rufus are at a loss as to how to find the killer.

They need help, and a lot of it. So the entire witch and wizard community of Peachwood bands together to help. Only, those folks tend to whine a lot and they’re not sure if Rufus can be trusted. With time running out, and more attacks occurring, Clem and Rufus are forced to rely on witches who can’t be trusted for help.

Will they solve the mystery? Or will Clem and Rufus be the next victims?

The Elf Tangent by Lindsay BurokerThe Elf Tangent by Lindsay Buroker:

As a princess in the impoverished kingdom of Delantria, it’s Aldari’s job to look pretty, speak little, and marry a prince.

Studying mathematics and writing papers on economic theory in an effort to fix her people’s financial woes? Her father has forbidden it. With war on the horizon, they must focus on the immediate threat.

Reluctantly, Aldari agrees to marry a prince in a neighboring kingdom to secure an alliance her people desperately need. All is going to plan until the handsome elven mercenary captain hired to guard her marriage caravan turns into her kidnapper. His people are in trouble, and he believes she has the knowledge to help.

But with an invasion force approaching Delantria, Aldari’s own people need her. She must do everything in her power to escape the elves and make it to her wedding in time.

Never mind that her kidnapper is witty, clever, and offers her a challenge that intrigues her mind even as his easy smile intrigues her heart…

Aldari can’t let herself develop feelings for him. To fall in love and walk away from her wedding would mean the end of her kingdom and everyone she cares about.

Throw Me a Bone by Rachel FordThrow Me a Bone by Rachel Ford:

I’m a magic-wielding Freak. My partner is a sentient skeleton. My fiancée is a broke lawyer. We’re Flint & Co Paranormal Investigations. And we’re going to change the world.

Being a Freak cost me my job with the police department, but that’s okay. My magic isn’t a curse, and I’m done running from it.

Which is good, because with my fiancée too busy saving the world one pro bono lawsuit at a time to take a case that actually pays and my partner losing his shirt on a Crypt Coin investment scam, it’s going to take some supernatural help just to keep the lights on.

Never mind track down the Southside Stalker, the notorious serial killer terrorizing New Boston and baffling law enforcement. Or the Pestilence, the mysterious vigilante targeting the undead. (Come on, universe! Throw a girl a bone, why don’t you?)

But, whatever: I’m ready. I can shoot fire from my freaking fingertips. I’ve got this.

I hope.

A Boy's Hammer by Alex GrassA Boy’s Hammer by Alex Grass:

20 years ago, Alan and his mother disappeared in a plane crash off the coast of Helsinki.

20 years later, a giant man with his whole body covered in tattoos appears amidst the rubble of an explosion at a Philadelphia oil refinery. He says that he’s Alan come back from the dead. Alan’s genius billionaire Aunt Mimi agrees.

And the first thing the reappeared giant has to do? Return to Helsinki, Finland.

All the while, strange happenings are underway in Philly:

A resurrected serial killer. Hidden (oc)cult conspiracies. Bizarre murders that defy the laws of space and time. Aunt Mimi in a miraculous trance state that grants her unseen visions of prophecy, and telekinetic powers.

The only person capable of unraveling this mystery? Detective Jefferson O’Brady, a dissolute alcoholic with a photographic memory…and absolutely no friends on the force.

Something’s going down in the City of Brotherly Love.

Tall Tales and Witchy Fails by Lily Harper HartTall Tales and Witchy Fails by Lily Harper Hart:

Splat.

That’s the sound Hali Waverly made when she hit the pavement after a drunken billionaire ran her over with his golf cart.

Cha-ching.

That’s the sound her bank account made when his handlers got him under control and swooped in to buy Hali off. The offer? Ownership of a tiki bar on the property of a busy resort and lodging in one of the villas on St. Pete Beach.

Now Hali is officially successful. That doesn’t mean her life is a beach of roses.

When private investigator Grayson “Gray” Hunter shows up asking questions about a missing woman, Hali is evasive. It’s not because she doesn’t want to help as much as she’s already running her own investigation with the help of her best friend, another witch, and a group of sirens who control the beach.

Gray and Hali lock horns as they continuously cross paths with one another, to the point where they agree to join forces … but only temporarily.

Evil is stalking the resort. Young women are going missing at every turn. It’s going to take a mixture of magic and might to save the day … and even that might not be enough.

St. Petersburg has a new crime-fighting team. Are they strong enough to survive the rising tide and take down a monster?

You’re about to find out.

Artifact by Joshua JamesArtifact by Joshua James:

FOR MILLIONS OF YEARS, SATURN HID AN ALIEN SECRET.
IN 2065, HUMANITY WILL FIND IT.

Lowell Carpenter is a disgraced Marine assigned to a remote US research station on Saturn’s moon Enceladus, where scientists have made an extraordinary discovery in the ocean below.

A special forces team, led by Lowell’s murderous former commanding officer, shows up to investigate. Almost immediately, everything begins to unravel.

Something beneath the surface has been activated.

Soon every space force on Earth — American, Chinese, Russian, and more — is converging on the tiny moon, ready to start a war.

But when a young archeologist with a knack for dead languages makes an amazing discovery of his own, Lowell realizes the stakes are higher than anyone could’ve imagined.

He soon has no choice but to disobey orders and fight soldiers he helped train as he races to stop an unimaginable chain reaction that threatens the entire solar system.

The countdown has begun…

Fang Deep in the Blues by Gaja K. RosFang Deep in the Blues by Gaja J. Kos:

Ever had a fucked up wolf prowling beneath your skin?

I don’t know what peace is anymore. The quiet that comes after a brutal, bloody fight, though…

I’ll take that.

The pain helps drown out the loss, even if it doesn’t last long enough.

Or gives me what I need most.

When a Leshy ambushes me one night with an offer to come work for the Interspecies Crimes and Relations Agency, I want to laugh in his face. What good could a packless, beaten-down werewolf be?

I’m good in a ring with next to zero rules, but, fuck, I’m not agent material. I’m not even functional.

Just my godsdamned luck that it looks like I’m about to be out of options.

With his magic infestation acting up, tapping into Agency’s resources might be the only way to save my brother.

And I want to. More than fucking anything.

I’m just not sure if I can save myself.

Phantom in the Pines of R.K. LatchPhantom in the Pines by R.K. Latch:

In 1933, Mississippi was in the throes of both the Great Depression and Prohibition. Dirt poor living was the way of life for most.

Some folks were forced to turn to any means possible to put food on the table. In Winchester County, the Lawtons turned to brewing moonshine to make ends meet. Though dangerous and illegal, their operation ran smoothly until John Kirkwood, a highly ambitious federal revenue agent, came to town.

Thanks to a dirty deal with a man with deep pockets, Kirkwood sees ridding Winchester County of its moonshiners as his way to fortune. Enlisting the aid of the corrupt local sheriff and a squad of bandits and goons, they launch a brutal rampage against local ‘shiners, piling up bodies along the way.

Henry Lawton works for his father in the family moonshining business. Henry also happens to be one of the best bootleggers around runs the dark country lanes delivering his daddy’s corn whiskey. At 19, he’s tough as nails and knows the backroads like the back of his hand.

Henry is also in love with a young woman. Iris is a beautiful, intelligent, artistic young woman that has captured Henry’s heart. Unfortunately, Iris is the granddaughter of Pearl Broussard, the woman the locals call the Witch of Winchester, which is a whole heap of trouble in itself. To make matters even worse, Henry is white. Iris is black. In 1930s Mississippi, such relationships are recipes for certain disaster.

When Kirkwood and his band of bandits strike close to home, seemingly wiping out the Lawtons in one horrendous night, it seems like all hope is lost. Pearl Broussard uses ancient magic known as the Arts Dark to summon a magical force known as the Spirit of the Trees with only one thing on its mind: vengeance.

The best weapon against the evil of man is the supernatural.

When the Spirit of the Trees walks free, evil runs in fear.

Sticks and Crones by Amanda M. LeeSticks and Crones by Amanda M. Lee:

When Scout Randall’s past came into focus, she thought the hard part was behind her. She was wrong.

Now, not only is she dealing with a day-walking vampire who has all the strengths and none of the weaknesses associated with his kind, but there’s also a new bloodsucker in town … and this one is out for revenge.

When she killed the last master, Scout assumed that was it. She didn’t count on him having a brother. That brother is intent on making her pay, and he’s not shy about dropping bodies in an attempt to rattle her along the way.

Scout has a sister she can’t trust, a former partner she’s trying to bring back to the world of the living, and a crew that’s often steeped in drama. When you add the Winchesters from Hemlock Cove into the mix, she has her hands full. A new vampire gang is the last thing she needs, especially when people start falling under glamours and making targets of themselves.

Scout has magic and might on her side but the fight she’s facing could force her to make a choice she never thought she would have to make.

Darkness is taking over Hawthorne Hollow. Vampires are gathering evil forces to take over the town.

The fight is on.

Rediscovery Volume 2, edited by Gideon MarcusRediscovery: Science Fiction by Women Vol. 2 (1953 – 1957), edited by Gideon Marcus:

Women write science fiction. They always have.

Rediscovery: Science Fiction by Women (1953-1957) offers, quite simply, some of the best science fiction ever written: 20 amazing pieces, most of which haven’t been reprinted for decades…but should have been. Whether you are a long-time fan or new to the genre, you are in for a treat.

Dig in. Enjoy these newly-rediscovered delicacies a few at a time…or binge them all at once!

“Kudos to the editing team for going beyond the usual selections for the classic authors featured herein. Most of these stories were entirely new to me. An exemplary assortment of SF from half a century ago, this anthology should appeal to people familiar with the period and people unfamiliar with it wishing to gain familiarity.”
~James Davis Nicoll on Rediscovery: Science Fiction by Women (1958-1963)

The Assassins of Consequence by Marshall Ryan MarescaThe Assassins of Consequence by Marshall Ryan Maresca:

The autumn semester at the University of Maradaine is underway, and Veranix Calbert is doing his best to balance the new responsibilities of being a fourth-year magic student under the militant Altarn Initiatives, while still acting as The Thorn, the street vigilante deep in a personal war against the drug kingpin Willem Fenmere. With the help of his friends Kaiana, Delmin, and Mila, he’s been able to strike real blows against Fenmere’s empire.

But Veranix’s fight has earned him more enemies than just Fenmere, including the mad alchemist Cuse Jensett, the imposters Erno Don and Enzin Hence, and the Deadly Birds Magpie and Jackdaw. These five killers join forces to escape Quarrygate Prison and offer an alliance to Fenmere, bringing with them the perfect leverage to seal the deal: the Thorn’s identity.

Once Fenmere knows who Veranix is, he doesn’t just want to kill him, but to utterly shatter him. Calling on everyone in Maradaine holding a grudge against the Thorn, he unleashes a brutal hunt against Veranix. With old and new enemies all looking to claim the bounty on his head, stripped of the security of his secret identity, Veranix faces the most brutal fight of his all too-short life.

Shamrocked by Dakota RebelShamrocked by Dakota Rebel:

I didn’t even want to come back here. I was perfectly happy living a perfectly non-magical life out in the real world. And yet, here I am. Back in Fayshore, surrounded by every painful memory I’ve spent the last six years trying to escape.

To add insult to injury, I think I might have just bumped into my soul mate.

I’d sworn that if and when I ever did settle down with someone, it would be a man who was normal. A man who wouldn’t make me feel inferior the way my family had all my life.

Except Lachlan doesn’t make me feel inferior. In fact, his completely chaotic nature actually makes me feel seen in a way that I’ve never experienced before. In a way that’s making me question absolutely everything about myself and my outlook on life.

Is he magically delicious enough for me to change my tune?

Fireball Teen by Rose RoachFireball Teen by Rose Roach:

14 year old Levi lives on Florida’s space coast. When he was only 3, his father, a lead scientist in the space program, died in a lab accident.

The details of his mysterious death were covered up immediately…

Levi always felt different from others, and his obsessive thoughts complicate his life. But he’s smart, compassionate, and has normal teenage interests, like playing video games with his best friend.

One day, Levi buys an ancient, sacred book. Its words glow before his eyes and foretell events. Levi’s skin takes on the same glow; muscles he’s never had emerge.

He hides all this at first… but when the mysterious power overtakes him, the scrawny 14-year- old boy becomes a superhero takes down a gunman and a robber.

Under the scrutiny of the FBI and scientists his father knew, Levi is detained as a potential national security threat and isolated from his mother!

Can Levi figure out his powers?

Can he ever escape?

Hag of the Hills by J.T.T. RyderHag of the Hills by J.T.T. Ryder:

“Nothing is unconquerable; even our gods can die.”

Brennus is destined from birth to become a warrior, despite his farmer’s life. But when the Hillmen kill his family and annihilate his clan, he now has the opportunity to avenge those who he loved.

Brennus must survive endless hordes of invading Hillmen and magic-wielding sidhe, aided by only a band of shifty mercenaries, and an ancient bronze sword.

Failure means his family and clan go unavenged. Victory will bring glory to Brennus and his ancestors.

Hag of the Hills is a heroic fantasy novel set in 200 B.C. on the Isle of Skye, steeped in Celtic mythology and culture.

Lured by the Lion by Aurora SpringerLured by the Lion by Aurora Springer:

Space opera and second chance romance with a moody hero and pirates.

After the death of her ailing father, Jocelyn Navarre Yazzie is free to roam the galaxy in the Star Condor, the spacecraft she inherited from her deceased husband. She embarks on a trip to deliver her father’s bequest to her aunt on a rural planet outside the civilized sectors. A chance encounter with the crippled Leonardo Horlis changes her future. Leo Horlis suffers from a debilitating malady and expects to live for less than a year. Josie is strongly attracted to him, yet she cannot hope to compete with his beautiful dead wife, whose portrait dominates his house and his memories. Sympathizing with his grief and illness, Josie offers to transport him in Star Condor to the top medical center of the ultracivilized inner planets. Their attraction intensifies in the cramped quarters of her ship. But, Leo has a dangerous secret that threatens to terminate their voyage and their lives. Can Josie and Leo escape the perils and vanquish the ghosts of their past to find happiness together?

Beyond the Eyes of Mars by Glynn StewartBeyond the Eyes of Mars by Glynn Stewart:

Beyond the borders of the Protectorate
Beyond the eyes of the Royal Martian Navy
Beyond the reach of the Mage-Queen
Innocents cry out for help—and Mars will answer!

When the Royal Martian Navy moved against reports of piracy in the Fringe Systems, the last thing Mage-Commander Roslyn Chambers expected was to find was a malignant remnant of the defeated Republic of Faith and Reason.

Now the Royal Martian Navy knows their enemy and their Mage-Queen has charged them to bring the First Legion, conquerors of the hidden colonies beyond the Fringe, to justice. The Legion knows the RMN’s tricks, though, and has cleverly concealed their tracks.

As Chambers and the spy Kelly Lamonte sweep distant stars for the trail of their enemies, the fleets of Mars gather behind them—but the fate of millions may lie in the hands of a woman none of them have ever met.

A woman the Republic already killed.

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Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for March 2022


Welcome to the latest edition of “Indie Crime Fiction of the Month”.

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

Our new releases cover the broad spectrum of crime fiction. We have cozy mysteries, historical mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, Regency mysteries, paranormal mysteries, crime thrillers, psychological thrillers, legal thrillers, adventure thrillers, financial thrillers, financial thrillers, historical thrillers, romantic suspense, police officers, private investigators, amateur sleuths, FBI agents, lawyers, hookers, serial killers, con artists, missing children, terrorism, organised crime, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-busting reporters, crime-busting morticians, murder and mayhem in London, Chicago, Florida, Ohio, Montana, the Caribbean and much more.

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

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

And now on to the books without further ado:

Murder Among the Silent Dead by Blythe BakerMurder Among the Silent Dead by Blythe Baker:

While visiting a London cemetery, Lillian Crawford and her twin brother Felix are witnesses to a violent crime. When Felix is mistakenly arrested as the culprit, it’s up to Lillian, with some assistance from the handsome Eugene Osbourn, to uncover the truth.

But will Lillian find the answers she needs in time to clear her brother’s name?

 

 

An Infamous End by Blythe BakerAn Infamous End by Blythe Baker:

After the terrible revelations of the past several weeks, Jane realizes she can no longer stay with her Pemberton relations. Fleeing to the countryside, she becomes a temporary guest in the home of her sister and brother-in-law.

But danger finds Jane once more, when she becomes entangled in the investigation of a local murder. And worse, the shadows of Pemberton Heights continue to beckon, threatening to draw her back once more…

 

The Tea Shop Witch by Thora BluestoneThe Tea Shop Witch by Thora Bluestone:

A disappearing body.
Hidden magical talents.
An adorable mind-reading dog.
And small-town secrets . . .

Addie James’s life imploded when she discovered her fiancé cheating and got downsized from her biotech job. So she left Silicon Valley for the haven of her Aunt Kate’s tea and apothecary shop in the peaceful mountain town of Stargaze. There, she plans to take a deep breath and figure out what’s next.

But when Addie reaches Stargaze, there’s no trace of her aunt. Until one night, Aunt Kate’s lifeless body shows up and then disappears from the locked shop.

And that’s when things really start to get strange.

As Addie sets out to find the murderer, she begins to realize her own hidden magical talent is the key to discovering what really happened to her aunt . . . who might not be quite so dead after all.

The problem is, logical Addie isn’t sure she can accept the magical parts of herself that science can’t explain. Will she learn to embrace this new life that’s full of supernatural surprises and solve her aunt’s case?

Hometown Magic by Amy BoylesHometown Magic by Amy Boyles:

There is a killer on the loose in Peachwood, and that person is targeting witches. Worse, there’s no rhyme or reason to the murders. Clementine and Rufus are at a loss as to how to find the killer.

They need help, and a lot of it. So the entire witch and wizard community of Peachwood bands together to help. Only, those folks tend to whine a lot and they’re not sure if Rufus can be trusted. With time running out, and more attacks occurring, Clem and Rufus are forced to rely on witches who can’t be trusted for help.

Will they solve the mystery? Or will Clem and Rufus be the next victims?

God's Ponzi by Robert BuschelGod’s Ponzi by Robert Buschel:

Gregory Portent demands revenge. Revenge is best served cold and when the prey begs to be the target. With his skills and charisma he lures them in easy—using an investment bank to launch a Ponzi scheme. Gregory Portent has one advantage—artificial intelligence. At a critical point, he loses his way. A ‘black swan’ event follows and the Ponzi scheme borders on the brink of collapse. It’s not about revenge anymore; it’s about survival. Greedy lawyers, the FBI, and international syndicates pursue him. Greg must go on the run. Everyone he cares about is now in danger. He must win. The strange thing? You’ll be rooting for him the whole time. Will he win big and get his vengeance? Robert Buschel proves beyond a reasonable doubt, he is a rising storyteller. Pick up God’s Ponzi and unlock the secret behind the world’s most diabolical Ponzi scheme.

A Romantic Little Murder by Beth ByersA Romantic Little Murder by Beth Byers:

Jack and Vi have been on edge. Maybe Vi has been snippy and distracted. Maybe Jack has been sharp and irritable. Maybe they panic when they realize they’re unhappy with each other.

On an evening of romance, they dance, they kiss, they connect, and then they find a body. Of course, they aren’t surprised. Only this time, they realize they know the victim.

Once again, they delve into an investigation. They work together to find a killer, and if they repair what’s been going amiss between them at the same time, they’re all right with that too.

Fortuitious Justice by Dennis Carstens Fortuitious Justice by Dennis Carstens:

WHEN THEY THROW THE BOOK
AT YOU, WHO YOU GONNA CALL?

ANSWER: You’d better call top Minneapolis criminal defense attorney Marc Kadella.

Fixer Burt Chayson had well and truly fixed it this time. About to be charged in a vote-buying scandal, he was overheard declaring that if he went down, he’d take some people with him. Within hours he’s dead, and, at first glance, it looks like a suicide—until incriminating fingerprints are found.

The suspect—and Marc’s client—is realtor Hope Slade, one of a group of law-breaking former Vikings cheerleaders, now known as the Suburban Housewife Hooker Ring. Hope’s had a little bad luck lately—her husband threw her out, her children no longer trust her, and she’s already facing a plethora of other criminal charges. All she needs is a murder rap.

But not only are her fingerprints on the murder weapon but the victim, a client of several of the Housewife Hookers, was last seen with her.

Relying on the SODDI (Some Other Dude Did It) defense that’s worked so well for him before, Marc knows he’ll have no trouble coming up with other suspects. But even if Hope’s not convicted of the murder, she faces RICO, prostitution, and money laundering charges.

And it’s not just Hope. The Grand Jury’s thrown the book at the entire hooker gang, apparently in an attempt to squeeze them for information on much bigger fish – a major local drug wholesaler. The major local drug wholesaler. And danger shadows them since some of those people the fixer had planned on taking down with him want to make sure the hookers don’t spill Burt’s pillow talk.

Bridge to Trouble by Elisabeth Grace FoleyBridge to Trouble by Elisabeth Grace Foley:

Jeanette Pierpont is out of patience.

On the run from hurt and humiliation, she’s fled back to her home in the Montana mountains in search of solitude. But to her unpleasant surprise, she discovers she’s not alone there. In fact, there are altogether too many strangers lurking in the woods and around the abandoned mining town nearby—some decidedly suspicious, others merely infuriating.

Before long it becomes clear that the mountain has become the setting for a daring crime—and Jeanette finds herself dragged into a race against time to foil it before it’s too late.

A novella that blends the classic romantic-suspense style of Mary Stewart with the rugged setting of the American West.

Love, Lies and Suicide by Elle and K.S. GrayLove, Lies and Suicide by Elle and K.S. Gray:

“You can’t always get what you want.”
“But, if you try, you might find…”

You’ll get exactly what’s coming for you.

FBI agent Olivia Knight has seen the realities of what happens when nightmares come to life.

When she’s called to investigate a case of an apparent murder-suicide in an affluent community.

She finds herself buried by the unexplainable questions that arise regarding the couple’s seemingly perfect life.

When a deep dive into the life of the philanthropic couple leads to a revelation to a potential double life.

Olivia finds herself wondering if their hidden life finally caught up to them…

They say the purest form of good in this world is love.
But what happens if the love you feel is all a lie?
What happens when the thing you love the most turns into a monster that breaks you?

With her own romantic life in shambles, Olivia begins to wonder what price one’s willing is to pay for love?
And what is the truth behind this case of love, lies, and suicide?

Tall Tales and Witchy Fails by Lily Harper HartTall Tales and Witchy Fails by Lily Harper Hart:

Splat.

That’s the sound Hali Waverly made when she hit the pavement after a drunken billionaire ran her over with his golf cart.

Cha-ching.

That’s the sound her bank account made when his handlers got him under control and swooped in to buy Hali off. The offer? Ownership of a tiki bar on the property of a busy resort and lodging in one of the villas on St. Pete Beach.

Now Hali is officially successful. That doesn’t mean her life is a beach of roses.

When private investigator Grayson “Gray” Hunter shows up asking questions about a missing woman, Hali is evasive. It’s not because she doesn’t want to help as much as she’s already running her own investigation with the help of her best friend, another witch, and a group of sirens who control the beach.

Gray and Hali lock horns as they continuously cross paths with one another, to the point where they agree to join forces … but only temporarily.

Evil is stalking the resort. Young women are going missing at every turn. It’s going to take a mixture of magic and might to save the day … and even that might not be enough.

St. Petersburg has a new crime-fighting team. Are they strong enough to survive the rising tide and take down a monster?

You’re about to find out.

Path of Justice by Robin JamesPath of Justice by Robin James:

To everyone else, Denny Sizemore is the handsome face on a highway billboard. A man to be trusted. Respected. Re-elected.

To college student Neveah Ward, he is her monster.

When Neveah accuses the former mayor of a brutal rape, it’s easier for everyone not to believe her. Mayor Sizemore has lived his life in the public eye. He’s a family man. A rising star in Ohio politics. She’s a nobody with questionable motives and a shady past.

Except DNA doesn’t lie and Neveah never wavers from her story.

Lucky for her, Prosecutor Mara Brent never backs down from a worthy fight.

The case will pit Mara against some of the biggest power players in the state. They soon learn Mara can’t be bought. But she has plenty at risk in her personal life as she gears up for a nasty custody battle against her formidable ex-husband.

Mara’s willing to put her career on the line to champion Neveah. But when the rape trial takes a shocking turn, the fallout could cost Mara what she cherishes most of all. Her son. This time, the path to justice could reveal a dark family secret those close to her would do anything to protect.

Sticks and Crones by Amanda M. LeeSticks and Crones by Amanda M. Lee:

When Scout Randall’s past came into focus, she thought the hard part was behind her. She was wrong.

Now, not only is she dealing with a day-walking vampire who has all the strengths and none of the weaknesses associated with his kind, but there’s also a new bloodsucker in town … and this one is out for revenge.

When she killed the last master, Scout assumed that was it. She didn’t count on him having a brother. That brother is intent on making her pay, and he’s not shy about dropping bodies in an attempt to rattle her along the way.

Scout has a sister she can’t trust, a former partner she’s trying to bring back to the world of the living, and a crew that’s often steeped in drama. When you add the Winchesters from Hemlock Cove into the mix, she has her hands full. A new vampire gang is the last thing she needs, especially when people start falling under glamours and making targets of themselves.

Scout has magic and might on her side but the fight she’s facing could force her to make a choice she never thought she would have to make.

Darkness is taking over Hawthorne Hollow. Vampires are gathering evil forces to take over the town.

The fight is on.

Fake News and Office Blues by Amanda M. LeeFake News & Office Blues by Amanda M. Lee:

Taking down a killing team means Avery Shaw is getting a lot of attention. It’s almost too much attention. That’s why she’s ready for a new story, and when one falls in her lap, she’s more than ready to flip the script.

When leaving the courthouse, she witnesses two men in a car trying to abduct a local woman. She intervenes, but when the dust settles, the woman is nowhere to be found and people are telling her that she’s reading too much into the situation.

She knows better. Unfortunately, nobody will listen.

Her boss is trying to force her to cover pageant stories. Her husband is trying to placate her. And the sheriff? He’s convinced she’s losing her mind.

Avery doesn’t play around, however, and she keeps digging … despite the numerous distractions she’s got going. What she finds is a huge operation, and when it’s time to take it down, she’s the one in danger of not only losing her life but also her freedom.

Avery Shaw is a force to be reckoned with. She’s about to prove it … again.

Patient Vengenace by A.L. MastersPatient Vengeance by A.L. Masters:

The 2012 London Olympic Games are coming up and the country is in a state of excitement. The mood in the country is positive and hard times are forgotten, if just for a short time. But a young woman is reported missing. And then a dismembered woman’s body is discovered at an ancient historical site. Or is it? Another young woman is reported missing. Another body is found floating in the Thames. Or is it? Spence Hargreaves and his team find themselves hurled into an investigation that stretches from the Wiltshire countryside to London to East Anglia to Australia. What brings things together? Is the past the past and the present the present? Or can past and present never be separated? Is vengeance ever just? Is it true that we reap what we sow? As the reader ponders such issues, Spence and his team struggle to understand the reason why? And then how to unravel the threads.

Don't Get Close by Matt MiksaDon’t Get Close by Matt Miksa:

An infamous reincarnation cult resurfaces in the wake of a deadly bombing, and it’s up to an FBI novice to learn its true aim—and uncover its dark past before it consumes her.

Special Agent Vera Taggart walked away from a promising career as an artist to join the FBI, and she impresses her new colleagues with her eerie ability to divine conclusions from the grisliest crime scenes. Taggart’s first assignment is a decades-old cold case centered on a cult of suicide bombers known as the Sons of Elijah who believe they’ve been reborn hundreds of times, going back centuries. It seems like a low-risk assignment until a bomb tears apart a crowded Chicago restaurant. The Sons of Elijah have returned—and now it’s up to Taggart to stop their modern-day reign of terror.

Taggart’s investigation begins with Dr. Seth Jacobson, a renowned psychiatrist who claims to help people remember past lives through hypnotherapy. Jacobson had treated two of the Sons of Elijah’s founders before they’d gone on to commit a series of horrific murders. Desperate to understand how these ordinary patients could have taken such a violent path, Taggart agrees to undergo similar treatment with Jacobson.

Through her hypnosis sessions, Taggart comes to suspect the Sons of Elijah are targeting a high-tech government laboratory that could expose the group’s greatest secret with a controversial experiment. To save millions of innocent lives, Tag must come to grips with the shocking truth about the cult and her own puzzling role in its timeless mission. The fate of humanity rests on her ability to determine which threats are real and which exist only in her mind—and to decide whose side she’s really fighting for.

Bad Blood Sisters by Saralyn RichardBad Blood Sisters by Saralyn Richard:

Quinn McFarland has grown up around dead bodies…

Quinn’s always joked about death, but this summer, death stops being funny. For one thing, her brother finally undergoes transplant surgery. For another, Quinn’s estranged BFF—her “blood sister”—is brought into the family mortuary, bludgeoned to death.

Quinn is haunted by the past, her friendship gone awry, and the blood oath she’s sworn to keep secret. The police consider her a person of interest, and someone threatens her not to talk. Quinn is the only one who knows enough to bring the killer to justice, but what she’s buried puts her in extreme danger.

Little Did She Know by Willow RoseLittle Did She Know by Willow Rose:

It was supposed to be the happiest day of her life when her kidnapped daughter returned, but it wasn’t.

Fourteen years ago, Clarissa Smalls was born, and a few hours later, she was taken from the hospital. Kidnapped. Her mother searched desperately for her for years, but she never found her.

Until now.

When Clarissa Smalls is suddenly found in the swamps of central Florida, badly bruised and confused, it causes much joy and celebration in her family, especially with her mother, who has waited fourteen years to see her baby girl again. Little did she know that this day would end up being the worst in her life. Because Clarissa doesn’t want to know about her mother, she refuses to talk to anyone and won’t tell the police what happened to her.

When another baby girl is kidnapped from the same hospital, in the same manner, the police believe it’s the same kidnapper that took Clarissa. Suddenly, time is of the essence to make her answer the many questions that are piling up.

Where was she for fourteen years?

Who took her?

Why won’t she tell them who her kidnapper is?

The FBI brings in former profiler Eva Rae Thomas to help them in this peculiar case. Eva Rae Thomas knows the girl’s mother very well and is willing to go to great lengths to help her out, even though the two of them share an unpleasant history. In addition, Eva Rae’s sister recently came back into her life after being kidnapped thirty-five years ago, so the FBI hopes that she can contribute with a deeper understanding of the situation and maybe get through to Clarissa.

Little could she have known that soon she would wish that she never got involved in this, as the case becomes very personal for her.

Murder at the Savoy by Lee StraussMurder at the Savoy by Lee Strauss:

Mrs. Ginger Reed, known also as Lady Gold, settles into homelife with her husband Chief Inspector Basil Reed, son Scout and newborn daughter Rosa, but when an opportunity to join a dinner party at the renowned Savoy Hotel is offered, she’s eager to engage in a carefree night with friends. Some of the guests are troubled when their party’s number lands at unlucky thirteen, as death is sure to come to the first person who leaves the table.

Thankfully, the Savoy has an answer to this superstitious dilemma. A small statue of a black cat fondly known as Kaspar is given the empty seat, rounding the number to fourteen.

Unfortunately, in this instance Kaspar didn’t fulfill his duties and a murder is committed. The case is tricky and complicated by a recent escape of a prisoner who has a bone to pick with Basil. Are the two seemingly unrelated incidents connected?

Ginger and Basil work together to solve one while avoiding the other, and what can they do about the black cat who crossed their path?

Confusion People by Ed TejaConfusion People by Ted Teja:

Framed for a bewildering array of crimes, Martin is on the run. The government thinks Hodges is either dead or gone rogue. That makes it hard to save the world from his ex-wife who is doing her best to take over various arms and drug deals, and whatever else the cartels are doing. With both Interpol and the bad guys after them, time is not their friend.

 

 

The Girl Who Killed You by Amy VansantThe Girl Who Killed You by Amy Vansant:

When Mick and his retired military gun-for-hire “fixer” service is hired by a United States Senator to find his missing son, he enlists the help of his daughter, Siofra “Shee” McQueen. An experienced tracker, Shee quickly tracks the boy to a Bahamian island playground catering to the young and wealthy. The job seems like such a breeze, she hires her daughter, Charlotte, to infiltrate the age-restricted compound. They’ve just been reunited after a lifetime apart, and the mission offers them serious quality mother-daughter time.

Is the mother-of-the-year award in the mail yet?

Before Shee can kick back with a Bahama Mama, the senator’s son’s girlfriend turns up dead. The boy is the primary suspect. Could be he’s not the underachieving goofball he seemed to be…and her daughter is on the island with him.

Shee needs to extract Charlotte, but communication has been cut, and the sinister underbelly of the resort is beginning to show.

Shee will need to tap into her father’s collection of ex-military misfits, including a retired FBI agent, a newly-hired thief hiding a secret, and Charlotte’s father—the wounded SEAL whose heart Shee once trampled—if she’s going to save their daughter.

The island has other ideas.

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Luck and Magic 2022 – A Round-Up of Indie St. Patrick’s Day Speculative Fiction

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

These St. Patrick’s Day stories cover the broad spectrum of speculative fiction. We have urban fantasy, paranormal romance, paranormal mystery, children’s fantasy, portal fantasy, witches, werewolves, fairies, leprechauns, lion shifters, reindeer shifters, undead demon hunters, superheroes, magic coins, mail order brides, Lady Luck and much more. But one thing unites all of those very different books. They’re all set on or around St. Patrick’s Day.

As always with my round-up posts, this round-up of the best indie holiday 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:

Feeling Lucky by Kathy BrysonFeeling Lucky by Kathy Bryson:

“Most most people who spend time at a job develop ideas of how they can improve a product or business. They just don’t always get a chance to share. And that’s not counting the thousands of unpublished artists, writers, and musicians out there…”

What would you do if you suddenly got 5 million dollars to spend on your dreams? What it if was a leprechaun’s money?

Megan O’Malley was mortified when she got drunk and pinched the bandleader’s ass at a cousin’s wedding. But she was astonished when he turned out to be a leprechaun! Seems they’re not the little, green men of fairytales after all. They just say that because they like a good joke and what better way to hide the gold? Oh, that bit’s true – as is the part about not sharing!

An award-winning fantasy of money and magic and making the most of your dreams!

Leprechaun Luck by Addison CreekLeprechaun Luck by Addison Creek:

It’s St. Patrick’s Day and Lemmi, Charlie, and Liam are determined to have some fun before going to watch the guys play baseball.

What happens next is unexpected, to say the least, but Lemmi and Charlie are determined not to miss the baseball game. Now if only the leprechaun would tell them where Liam is . . .

This is a short story coming in at about 12,000 words.

 

Luck of the MacKays by Kate DanleyLuck of the MacKays by Kate Danley:

Will the luck of the Irish be with Maggie and Killian as a leprechaun runs loose in Los Angeles? And do his riddles speak of a greater power threatening to ruin St. Patrick’s Day? No use crying over spilled green beer. Maggie and Killian are here to save the day!

Maggie MacKay Holiday Specials are fun, urban fantasy novellas that stand alone and can be read no matter where you are in the Maggie MacKay Magical Tracker series.

 

Into the Rainbow by Jessica L. ElliottInto the Rainbow by Jessica L. Elliott:

Twins Dierdre and Treasa have gone to Kansas City on their first spring break without parents along with their tagalong sister Darcie. Other than constant rain, everything is going smoothly until a birthday prank gone wrong sends them into the Emerald Glade where leprechauns reign and magic is real. In order to get home, the girls must find out why they were summoned so they can return through the rainbow.

 

 

Away With the Fairies by S.K. GregoryAway with the Fairies by S.K. Gregory:

Seven years ago, Declan disappeared while out in the woods. A year later, he returned home, with no memory of where he was or what happened to him.

Now Declan works as a barista, trying to get on with his life and forget what happened, but that isn’t easy when he keeps seeing things that aren’t there. Shadows from the corner of his eye, strange lights around people. It gets worse when a new girl starts working at the coffee shop. There is something about her, something different.

With her help, Declan starts to uncover the truth of what happened to him, how the Fae took notice and pulled them into their realm. Now they want him back.

A Luck O’ The Irish Tale. Can be read as a standalone.

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

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

 

 

 

The Man from UNDEAD by Darren HumphriesThe Man from U.N.D.E.A.D.’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade by Darren Humphries:

The United Nations Department for the Enforcement and Apprehension of Demons is the first, last and only line of defence against the supernatural threats trying to break into a world where magic and technology are uneasy bedfellows.

A death brings Agent Ward, the Man From U.N.D.E.A.D., to Ireland and to a secret location where there are dangers without and secrets within.

Can Ward work out the latter before a veritable parade of demonic beings launch a full-scale attack?

The Man From U.N.D.E.A.D.’s St Patrick’s Day Parade is a short story featuring Agent Ward from the Man From U.N.D.E.A.D. series of novels.

Lucky Lion by Lola KiddLucky Lion by Lola Kidd:

Lion shifter Aaron wants to settle down and find his mate. After one of his friends finds his mate online, Aaron decides to give LK Brides a try. He’s surprised to get matched the very day he signs up.

Curvy beauty Emma has been waiting to get matched by LK Brides for months. When it finally happens, she can’t believe the how strong her feelings are for her match after only one meeting.

As their relationships moves forward quickly, Emma begins to doubt how much she can trust Aaron. Will the lion shifter luck out and find love this St. Patrick’s Day? Find out in the second Holiday Mail-Order Mates story.

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

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

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

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

The Reindeer's St. Patrick's Surprise by Elizabeth Ann PriceThe Reindeer’s St. Patrick’s Surprise by Elizabeth Ann Price:

Harlan Connors is a reindeer shifter who isn’t ready to settle down. After a disastrous attempted mating, all he wants is to have fun. Mating and marriage are the furthest things from his mind.

Temp is a woman who knows what she wants – a baby. Convinced that Mr. Right is never going to show up, she decides to start a family on her own.

However, a chance meeting and a wild St. Patrick’s Day later, the two of them find themselves married and both unable and unwilling to stay away from one another. But can they weather their own insecurities and Harlan’s ex-fiancée to find their happy ever after?

Shamrocked by Dakota RebelShamrocked by Dakota Rebel:

I didn’t even want to come back here. I was perfectly happy living a perfectly non-magical life out in the real world. And yet, here I am. Back in Fayshore, surrounded by every painful memory I’ve spent the last six years trying to escape.

To add insult to injury, I think I might have just bumped into my soul mate.

I’d sworn that if and when I ever did settle down with someone, it would be a man who was normal. A man who wouldn’t make me feel inferior the way my family had all my life.

Except Lachlan doesn’t make me feel inferior. In fact, his completely chaotic nature actually makes me feel seen in a way that I’ve never experienced before. In a way that’s making me question absolutely everything about myself and my outlook on life.

Is he magically delicious enough for me to change my tune?

St. Patrick's Alternatives by Lesley L. SmithSt. Patrick’s Alternatives by Lesley L. Smith:

Physicist Chloe Phillipson uses her anti-gravity power to help save St. Patrick’s Day.

 

 

 

 

 

To Catch a Leprechaun by Emily Martha SorensenTo Catch a Leprechaun by Emily Martha Sorensen:

It’s really tough to catch a leprechaun. Especially when sisters get in the way.

 

 

 

 

 

Lady Luck by A.C. WildsLady Luck by A.C. Wilds:

The Greek Goddess of Luck can be found hiding in the most unlikely of places. In an effort to hide from her father, Luck, or so she likes to be called, spends her time tending bar at Lady luck, her own establishment in mid-town Manhattan.St. Patrick’s Day is the busiest day of the year – the annual drinking contest brings hundreds of people to fight the reigning champion, Sosha, for the title.On her way to work, Luck meets two cops at a police checkpoint. She quickly finds herself wondering what it would be like to not be so alone anymore.After their shift, Sullivan, Santina, and Mackenzie hear the call of Lady Luck, and find the sexy temptress behind the bar.Unable to resist her, the pack soon discovers their need to claim her as their own. Now tied to a pack of wolf shifters, the Goddess of Luck has no idea what plans they have unwittingly put into motion.

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Luck and Crime 2022 – A Round-Up of Indie St. Patrick’s Day Crime Fiction

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

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

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

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

And now on to the books without further ado:

Death by Leprechaun by Jennifer S. AldersonDeath by Leprechaun by Jennifer S. Alderson:

When an old friend is arrested in Dublin, tour guide Lana Hansen will need the luck of the Irish to clear him of the crime.

Lana is thrilled her friend Jeremy and his wife are on her tour to Ireland. The couple are having the time of their lives exploring the country’s rich literary and cultural history, until they run into Guy Smith, a reporter Jeremy recently exposed as a fraud.

A tussle turns into a fight and leaves each man vowing to destroy the other. Yet cross words and dirty looks tell Lana that Jeremy is not the only client on her tour who has a grudge against the reporter.

When Guy is murdered at the same pub Lana’s group is present at, Jeremy is the police’s number one suspect. But did he really murder the reporter? Or was it one of her other guests?

Lana keeps their tour going and her ears open for any clues that might help free her friend. Can she discover the true killer’s identity before their trip to the Emerald Isle draws to a close?

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

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

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

The St. Patrick's Day Murders by M.W. BurdetteThe St. Patrick’s Day Murders by M.W. Burdette:

The St. Patrick Day Murders is fourth novel in The Bremen and Whitacre Murder Mystery Series. This mystery features Daphne Whitacre, detective and wife of John Bremen, the former FBI Director in Dallas, Texas, before he and Daphne moved back to his hometown of Ashburn, Alabama. Daphne and John’s detective agency was having success and their recent ability to solve the death of the famous racecar driver at the Talladega Super Racetrack was reported in newspapers all over the Southeast and especially in the State of Alabama. John and Daphne had just taken on a new employee to partner up with Klahan Chu, John’s best friend and fellow investigator, and they decided to celebrate as a team in Birmingham on March 17th at the annual St. Patty’s Day Parade that marched down 20th Street South to the Little Five Points area of the city. It would be a parade that they would never forget.

St. Patrick's Day 1945 by Frank W. ButterfieldSt. Patrick’s Day 1945 by Frank W. Butterfield:

Saturday, March 17, 1945

Nick Williams is in the U.S. Navy and working as a hospital corpsman. He was recently transferred to the Navy’s Base Hospital 13 at Milne Bay, New Guinea, right on the edge of the jungle and pretty much in the middle of nowhere.

He’s about to head over to Port Moresby for 24 hours of leave with his buddy, Hospital Apprentice First Class Reynolds, so they can fool around in private and in their own room at the Moresby Hotel.

Nick is hoping they keep the place over there nice and clean and free of the snakes and bugs he runs into in his quarters at the base.

Friday, March 16, 1945

Carter Jones is working as a fireman at Station 3 on Polk Street in San Francisco. He’s living on Turk Street in the apartment he and Henry shared before Henry, his first lover, joined the Army and shipped out to Europe.

He’s having a hard time figuring out what to do with himself on a Friday before he begins his next shift. He starts the day by watching Meet Me in St. Louis for the third time at the Castro Theatre over in Eureka Valley.

Then he runs into a new acquaintance he’d rather not see again.

Can the day get any worse?

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

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

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

Leprechaun Luck by Addison CreekLeprechaun Luck by Addison Creek:

It’s St. Patrick’s Day and Lemmi, Charlie, and Liam are determined to have some fun before going to watch the guys play baseball.

What happens next is unexpected, to say the least, but Lemmi and Charlie are determined not to miss the baseball game. Now if only the leprechaun would tell them where Liam is . . .

This is a short story coming in at about 12,000 words.

 

Lucky Charmed by Kerry L. CurtisLucky Charmed by Kerry L. Curtis:

Kate is trying to find out who is trying to kill Rhys, while she’s looking for the stolen Cartier necklace and searching for an Irishman’s pot of gold. She gets help from Cap much to Rhys dismay.

 

 

 

 

Dublin Debacle by Kerry L. CurtisDublin Debacle by Kerry L. Curtis:

Kate is after Vince the Fence again after he slipped through her fingers last year she’s on her way to Ireland where she gets some unexpected help, she is trying to solve a twenty year old mystery and figure out what her brother is doing hint he’s in trouble and needs her help.

See what Kate is up to in this quirky romantic comedy cozy mystery

 

 

Shamrock Shenangigans by Kathi DaleyShamrock Shenangigans by Kathi Daley:

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

 

The Saint Paddy's Promise by Kathi DaleyThe Saint Paddy’s Promise by Kathi Daley:

If you love small towns, endearing relationships, food, animals, and a touch of murder, you will love this cozy mystery series.

Sixty years ago a man made a promise to the woman he loved to meet her on Saint Patrick’s Day. They were to meet in the park on the bench where they liked to sit and watch the world go by. The couple were deeply in love and planned to marry but he never showed up at the rendezvous point. Every Saint Patrick’s Day since then the woman has made a pilgrimage to the bench to wait for her one true love. Tess and Tilly see the woman sitting with her granddaughter on the bench and decide to stop and chat. During their conversation the granddaughter tells Tess the story of her grandmother and the man who professed his love and promised to return but never did. Tess is drawn in by her story and agrees to try to find the answers, the elderly woman has sought all her life. She enlists the help of Tony as well as the woman’s granddaughter.

Meanwhile, Bree is knee deep in wedding planning, there is a new murder in town, and Tony gets a lead on Tess’s father,

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

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

 

 

 

 

Shammed by Bernadette FranklinShammed by Bernadette Franklin:

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

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

She’s never been so wrong in her life.

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Indulge yourself in a sweet slice of murder!

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

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

Lucky Strike by Madison JohnsLucky Strike by Madison Johns:

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

Lucky You by Mark ParkerLucky You by Mark Parker:

SOME KILLERS ARE BORN, SOME ARE CREATED…

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

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

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

 

 

 

Death and a Peppermint Patty by Kathleen SuzetteDeath and a Peppermint Patty by Kathleen Suzette:

St. Patrick’s Day means mint chocolate chip fudge, peppermint patties, four-leaf clover bonbons, and all things green. I’ve always loved celebrating the holiday, but this year, the leprechaun’s luck ran out when he was found dead behind the new Irish pub in town.

When the new Irish pub opens, Mia and Ethan decide to try it out, but the blood-curdling scream that interrupts their evening sends them on another murder case.

Mia and her sister Christy are determined to help Ethan out with the investigation, in spite of his protests. Can they find the killer before they strike again, or will St. Patrick’s Day be ruined?

Halloween is celebrated all year long in Pumpkin Hollow. There are no paranormal elements, just good clean fun! And a murder, of course.

The Clover Pin by Olive ThomasThe Clover Pin by Olive Thomas:

Holmes and Watson are drawn into a case which deals not only with a murder in their own time, but which dredges through the circumstances of one committed some six years earlier.

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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Masks and Magic 2022 – A Round-up of Indie Mardi Gras Speculative Fiction

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

These Mardi Gras stories cover the broad spectrum of speculative fiction. We have a lot of urban fantasy, horror and paranormal mysteries, but also historical fantasy, dark fantasy, religious fantasy, fairy tales, post-apocalyptic fiction, science fiction, time travel, angels, demons, Lucifer himself, dragons, ghosts, ghost whisperers, vampires, werewolves, witches, monsters, zombies, voodoo, ancient legends, family curses, cursed doubloons, human sacrifices, voodoo gods, kidnapped nuns, evil twin sisters, space cruises, precognition and much more. But one thing unites all of those very different books. They’re all set on or around Mardi Gras.

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

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

And now on to the books without further ado:

Southern Monsters by Cora BuhlertSouthern Monsters by Cora Buhlert

Three tales of monsters and terror in the Louisiana bayous.

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

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

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

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

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

Mardi Gras, Mayhem, and Murder…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Trapt by Rene FolsomTrapt by Rene Folsom:

Mardi Gras is coming, and no one is more excited than Jolie—The Big Easy’s resident good witch. Amidst the festivities, darkness creeps under the blissful veil of love she is entangled with. Her twin sister, the evil witch Melanie, is out to destroy Jolie before her powers can usurp her own, willing to stop at nothing to do so. Jolie, aided by Asher and his seven-man wolf pack, are set to keep New Orleans safe from Melanie’s sorcery, or die trying.

Enjoy the story of Jolie and Asher, a modern-day retelling of the classic tale Snow White.

Death Dealer by Graylin FoxDeath Dealer by Graylin Fox:

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

Things were so much quieter on vacation.

Damn, I’m glad to be back at work.

Dead Velvet Cheesecake by A. GardnerDead Velvet Cheesecake by A. Gardner:

A hotel billionaire is dead, and Ember Greene is the prime suspect.

Misty Key’s annual Mardi Gras celebrations are approaching, and the Lunar Bakery is busier than ever cranking out beignets and King cakes. Ember is tasked with juggling her responsibilities at the family bakery with her newfound psychic duties which includes pet sitting a witch’s familiar named Whiskers.

But beads and baked goods fly when a body is found at the Crystal Grande Hotel, and a slice of the bakery’s red velvet cheesecake is to blame.

With an influx of tourists and religious protestors crowding the streets, Ember struggles to find the killer and clear her family name. After a parade float explodes, she discovers that the murderer has some unfinished business. Enlisting the help of her bloodhound Yogi, a pessimistic medium, and a troubled pet psychic leads her to one conclusion.

She’s been framed for murder.

Can Ember figure out who framed her before her family’s legacy is destroyed?

Mardi Gras Zombies by Bart GnarlyMardi Gras Zombies by Bart Gnarly:

Seven college friends who attend the University of Connecticut (UCONN) together take a road trip down to New Orleans, Louisiana in order to have a good time during the Mardi Gras celebration. Mark, Nikki, Laura, Destiny, JT, Abe, and Steve are staying in a luxury hotel right on Bourbon St to party their brains out and to get away from the cold weather for a few days of fun and debauchery. Their only goals for this escapade are sex and drinking lots of alcohol, while listening to Rock and Roll, Blues, and Jazz at various bars. Partying in the French Quarter as a group will just be a bonus. The guys and especially Mark want to see as many boobs as possible. Unfortunately for them a zombie apocalypse happens during the midst of the Fat Tuesday celebrations. An amazing and relaxing adventure turns into a desperate fight for their survival. Which of them will live to go home again?

The Hexorcist by Lily Harper HartThe Hexorcist by Lily Harper Hart

Ofelia Archer has a full life … which only gets fuller when a dead body lands in her backyard.

As owner of New Orleans’ premier supernatural speakeasy, Ofelia is always in the thick of things when the witch hits the fan. That’s no exception now … even when the local police start breathing down her neck.

Zach Sully has a colorful background. As a panther shifter, he keeps his true origins secret while walking the colorful streets of the French Quarter keeping law and order. A tourist murder draws him into new and uncharted territory, and a feisty witch is at the center of it.

Sully and Ofelia circle one another … warily … as they both try to solve a mystery that revolves around an outsider who somehow had ties to their little corner of the world. Eventually, they’re going to have to join forces … and it’s not exactly a comfortable meeting of the minds.

Chemistry is one thing. Trust is another. Ofelia and Sully will be forced to get over their inner misgivings and unite if they want to solve the crime … and stay alive in the process.

Welcome to a magical world, where the characters are colorful, the magic is fantastical, and the drinks are poured strong.

It’s Bourbon Street, baby, and you’ll never be the same again.

Creole Moon: Book of Roots by S.T. HolmesCreole Moon: Book of Roots by S.T. Holmes:

Mardi Gras in New Orleans is the perfect locale for a treasure hunt. When it coincides in the year of the Luperci festival, the magic world is turned upside down, and the feast of forgiveness turns into a fight of wickedness. This Mardi Gras festival is like non ever seen before or will ever see in the future.

Experience sibling rivalry at its finest as two sisters square off against each other for control of the book of roots. Unite with our hero, George Genois, as he is drawn deeper into the realm of magic and the forces of good and evil. If he thought his adventures with Mamuska and Ophelia were harsh before, then he is in for an even wilder time with these sisters. Each sister wants him as an ally, but George is interested in righting a wrong done only to him. Does George get his revenge?

A Rose at Midnight by Sylvie KurtzA Rose at Midnight by Sylvie Kurtz:

He abandoned her to save her life. Now he must convince her he still loves her before the stroke of midnight on Mardi Gras . . . or condemn her to her death.

Nine years ago, Christiane Lawrence fell hard for a mysterious young music student. Even after he left her without a goodbye, the memory of Daniel Moreau haunts Christi every day when she looks at their daughter’s face.

Whenever Christi asked about her mother’s family, she was warned to stay away from the birthplace her mother fled. Now, grieving her parents’ death in a car accident, an invitation from Gabriel Langelier, a cousin she’d never met arrives, promising answers. This is her chance to give her daughter a taste of the family roots she never had.

What Christiane doesn’t know is that her mother’s warning sprang from real fear. Gabriel is obsessed with the legend of Rose Latulippe. He’s sure only someone from Christiane’s bloodline can fulfill his quest for eternal life. He must have her heart at midnight on Mardi Gras.

To save the woman he loved, Daniel made a bargain with the devil and abandoned her without explanation. And now she’s back in the middle of danger, bringing their daughter with her.

To have a second chance and earn Christiane’s forgiveness, Daniel has to convince Christi he still loves her before the stroke of midnight on Mardi Gras . . . or send her to her death.

Voodoo Dreams by Alana LorensVoodoo Dreams by Alana Lorens:

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

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

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

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

He found them!

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

It’s time to find his youngest daughter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Poison and Wine by C.H. Valentino and Eldon HughesPoison and Wine by C.H. Valentino and Eldon Hughes:

Welcome to the Crescent City

Danni Toussaint has a nail in her chest as a mark of her debt to The Baron Samedi – a debt she can only repay with the souls he forces her to steal.

Michael Belew is desperate. Someone is kidnapping nuns in the Ninth Ward where he was raised an orphan, and he suspects a powerful enemy armed with voodoo magic.

When Michael asks for Danni’s help to find the kidnapper – or killer – they become pawns in a vicious game between The Baron Samedi and his brother, Lacroix.

The prize? Control of the most powerful source of magic in New Orleans.

Now, to protect the people of his city and save Danni from Samedi, Michael may have to sacrifice his soul.

Mardi Gras by Diane WordsworthMardi Gras by Diane Wordsworth:

As usual, brother and sister team Toni & Bart are off into history to solve a mystery. However, this time there’s something wrong. This time, they land in the wrong place at the wrong time. This doesn’t stop them from enjoying Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but they do have to work out how to get back.

 

 

 

Razor Valentine by Roland YeomansRazor Valentine by Roland Yeomans:

MARDI GRAS … MAGIC … MURDER

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

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

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

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

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

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