Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for June 2024

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 June 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, sword and sorcery, paranormal mysteries, fantasy mysteries, fantasy romance, science fantasy, space opera, military science fiction,  horror thrillers, vampires, clairvoyants, space marines, space mages, crime-busting witches, grim reapers, 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:

Steamed Punks by Jerry BoydSteamed Punks by Jerry Boyd

A truly strange derelict leads the crew to a planet that doesn’t quite make sense. Figuring it out takes time, and hard work. Fixing it takes even more. Come see how BSR deals with their latest adventure.

A truly strange derelict leads the crew to a planet that doesn’t quite make sense. Figuring it out takes time, and hard work. Fixing it takes even more. Come see how BSR deals with their latest adventure.

 

Commandant by Jonathan P. BrazeeCommandant by Jonathan P. Brazee:

Major General Lysander has spent 38 years of his life dedicated to the Corps and sworn to perform the duties assigned to him by the Federation.

In the process, he has become the most decorated Marine in its history.

During his career, he has been given missions that he privately questions, but as the ancient Tennyson quote goes, “Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die.”

He has sworn an oath to obey, and he always upholds that oath to the best of his abilities.

Sworn oath or not, Ryck is faced with a situation that so horrifies him that he cannot accept it.

Can he just stand by and let it proceed, or will he become an oathbreaker and put not only his life, but more importantly, that of his family, his fellow Marines and sailors, and the citizens of the Federation in peril?

Latency by Chris CoppelLatency by Chris Coppel:

Up until now, the only monsters the LAPD had ever seen were of the human variety…

When two down-on-their-luck detectives are forced to work together on a series of cold cases, they slowly begin to uncover a common thread that may hold the key to solving some of their town’s grizzliest unsolved murders.

Little do they know that the same key will unlock secrets from a different dimension; one filled with monstrous creatures that should never be disturbed…

To Walk on Wolrds by Matthew JohnTo Walk on Worlds by Matthew John:

From the Burning Isle to the hellish depths of Zanzara, beyond the demon-haunted planets circling the Black Rim, only Maxus the Meddler may walk on worlds…and woe to any other who tries.

Kings and generals are but pawns for the immortal sorcerer, as are the vengeful creatures from the stars. The machinations of Maxus require many cogs, and only one among them has ever risen beyond his station.

Lachmannon the Kael, a man born from the stony bones of the earth, becomes the meddler’s most useful asset. But the Kaelish mercenary’s head is as hard as his fists. When Maxus’ monomaniacal goal–to master the sorceries of every world and every age–becomes clear to him, will he remain an expendable tool?

Not bloody likely.

John’s tales of swords, sorcery, and subversion have previously appeared in the pages of Weirdbook, Whetstone, and Tales From the Magician’s Skull. To Walk on Worlds collects nearly a decade’s worth of sardonic dark fantasy, as well as a fistful of new stories printed here for the first time.

Skullduggery by Helen HarperSkullduggery by Helen Harper:

Okay. I’ll admit I’ve got problems. But surrender is word wholly absent from my vocabulary.

My grasp on magic is shaky at best and my dependence on spider’s silk is a battle I’m still fighting. But while my heritage and my health might be problematic, I’m certainly not going to roll over and give up.

Not me. Not ever.

With Hugo Pemberville and his skilled band of Prime treasure hunters by my side, I’m drawn into a quest for a mythical golden skull. This artefact might just be the breakthrough needed to shed light on the enduring mystery of Lady Rose’s disappearance – but the search for it will force me down a twisty path filled with unexpected revelations.

The echoes of the past have never felt quite so close to home.

The Vampire and the Case of the Cursed Canine by Heather G. Harris and Jilleen DolbeareThe Vampire and the Case of the Cursed Canine by Heather G. Harris and Jilleen Dolbeare

Spells, hexes and curses.

Curses are falling on this town like rain in London. Just when I think I’ve found a link between the hexed victims, someone else shows up who’s been jinxed. It feels like the devil is playing darts with my paranormal town and if the dart hits you, you get whammied with a curse.

To be honest, I haven’t a clue how to find the perpetrator. My sole lead is pointing at the travelling black market that has just arrived in Portlock. That would be all fine and dandy —ifI could find it. Weirdly, no one is willing to direct the cops to a highly illegal market. I’m obviously persona non grata – though being a slightly-less-than-undead vampire, I’m kind of used to that.

On top of everything, my overbearing British mother has come to visit. Stuck in my shoebox of a house together, we might actually have to deal with some of our issues. Thank goodness I have Connor Mackenzie, vampire leader and sexy lumberjack, to run to when the going gets tough.

I’m juggling things—badly—when I discover my dog is cursed. What am I willing to do to save my hound? Anything and everything.

The world can burn for all I care, as long as I can save my pup…

Foreseen in Murder by Edale LaneForeseen in Murder by Edale Lane:

Jenna solves real crimes; Rhiannon has prophesied one. Can Jenna thwart a murder that hasn’t happened yet?
Book 9 in the popular Lessons in Murder series, by award-winning, best-selling author Edale Lane.

Blissful about her upcoming marriage to Jenna, Dr. Randi McLeod accepts her friend’s invitation to visit a spiritualist for a fun reading. Skeptical at first, Randi reconsiders when her practitioner Rhiannon becomes terrified, envisioning her own murder during their session.

Jenna Ferrari, Randi’s fiancée, is buried in multiple investigations while squeezing in wedding planning. Add helping her little sister, and the practical detective has no time for a quack psychic who foresees her own death.

But when a malicious perpetrator tries to kill Rhiannon for real, Jenna and her team roll into action. Can they catch the shadowy would-be killer before it’s too late, or is the clairvoyant destined to die?

The Grim Reaper Gaffe by Amanda M. LeeThe Grim Reaper Gaffe by Amanda M. Lee

It all comes down to this.

Charlie Rhodes has come a long way.

She started out as a young woman trying to find a reason for her magic, going as far as to hide in the one place they were looking for her.

Now the final battle is here.

Charlie is in Detroit, surrounded by new faces, and looking for the final piece of the puzzle. Between the reapers, zombies, mages, brujas, loas, and gods, she has her hands full. Death is barreling toward her and taking no prisoners.

Sybil wants to kill her to prolong her life. Charlie just wants to be free to live hers.

This war has always been written in the stars. Now it’s finally here. Who will win?

Chilled to the Bone by Amanda M. LeeChilled to the Bone by Amanda M. Lee

Stormy Morgan is flying high. She’s engaged. She’s used to her new routine. She’s even learning about being a witch. All of that changes when a local podcaster’s house goes up in flames and a body is found inside.

Carl Winslow was not a nice man. He spent his time stalking local family vloggers so he could cast aspersions on their life choices. One family in particular draws his ire, and he fights with them the night of the fire. Are they to blame for the podcaster’s death, though?

Stormy and her fiancé Hunter Ryan are on the case, and the further they dig into Carl Winslow’s life, the more they realize that nothing in Shadow Hills is as it seems.

Stormy was already working against forces she didn’t see coming. There’s a conspiracy of people who were apparently waiting for her to manifest her powers working against her, though. They have plans for her. They also had plans for Carl.

As evidence begins mounting, it points to one particular person. Only Stormy is convinced it has to be someone else. She’s determined to get to the source of the death and destruction wreaking havoc on her once quiet small town.

She has to survive to find her answers, though, and that’s not a given.

It’s a race against the clock. Either Stormy finds what she’s looking for and stops Shadow Hills’ most recent threat, or everybody suffers in the wake of yet another bout of magical mayhem.

Who will survive? You’re about to find out.

Point of Hopes by Melissa Scott and Lisa A. BarnettPoint of Hopes by Melissa Scott and Lisa A. Barnett:

The city of Astreiant is full of magic, danger and bureaucracy, and never moreso than when something or someone is making guild apprentices disappear without a trace. Philip Eslingen has just been discharged from his mercenary company and as a Leaguer and a stranger, makes an ideal suspect. Fortunately for him, Pointsman Nicolas Rathe from the Point of Hopes station doesn’t agree, but he knows the only way to prove that is to find the missing children and the real culprits. Together they must follow a twisted trail of deceit and magic in a city on the brink of exploding into violence. If they can’t learn to work together, the results could be catastrophic, even fatal. And if they can’t trust each other, the price could be higher than either of them realize.

Ambassador for Mars by Glynn StewartAmbassador for Mars by Glynn Stewart:

A dark shadow awakens on the edge of known space.
Long lost and long forgotten, an alien foe rises,
One that would power its return by enslaving humanity!

During her pursuit of the human traitors known as Nemesis, Mage-Captain Roslyn Chambers ventured deep into alien stars. She destroyed her enemy at the final moment, but saw firsthand the might of the alien empire Nemesis called the Reejit.

The lost world Chimera has hidden between human and alien space for generations. Roslyn must protect the planet from this waking threat, but both the human and alien colonists see her as a harbinger of nightmare. Roslyn may have the full faith of the Mage-Queen of Mars, but political interference quickly undercuts Roslyn’s diplomatic power and the chain of command. She is replaced as Ambassador by Connor O’Hannagain, a man loyal to the Protectorate, but not its Queen or credos.

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Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for June 2024


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 May 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, small town mysteries, historical mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, fantasy mysteries, paranormal mysteries, urban fantasy mysteries, crime thrillers, psychological thrillers, adventure thrillers, horror thrillers, noir, police officers, FBI agents, private investigators, amateur sleuths, vigilantes, serial killers, country house murders, missing children, biker gangs, grim reapers, vampires, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, murder and mayhem in London, Lois Angeles, Detroit, Florida the Cotswolds 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:

A Matter of Dead Ends by Isabella BassettA Matter of Dead Ends by Isabella Bassett:

The gentle waft of sewers emanating from Uncle Albert is not the only thing troubling Lady Caroline. From lost rivers and secret tunnels to Elizabethan lore, what unsavory matter has Uncle Albert walked into? Join Lady Caroline and Uncle Albert on a Voyage of Discovery through the secrets of London.

London, 1926

The members of the Royal Society for Natural History Appreciation have always felt they were built for greater things. Now, as they take a wrong turn, they stumble upon a secret of mythical proportions. To discover the truth, they need to go on a modern-day Voyage of Discovery and descend into London’s underworld of lost rivers, Tube tunnels, and secret passageways.

But as a thick fog settles over London, and as the Royal Society digs deeper into London’s secrets, what they uncover could have disastrous consequences for Lady Caroline’s family, and even the Government.

Latency by Chris CoppelLatency by Chris Coppel:

Up until now, the only monsters the LAPD had ever seen were of the human variety…

When two down-on-their-luck detectives are forced to work together on a series of cold cases, they slowly begin to uncover a common thread that may hold the key to solving some of their town’s grizzliest unsolved murders.

Little do they know that the same key will unlock secrets from a different dimension; one filled with monstrous creatures that should never be disturbed…

Murder by Rote by Rachel FordMurder by Rote by Rachel Ford:

Aunt Anne’s house parties are to die for. Sometimes, literally.

When heiress Meredith Thatch accepted an invitation to a house party on her aunt’s country estate, she expected an exciting weekend for herself and partner Alec.

The worst storm in decades wasn’t in the cards, though. Neither was murder. Then a guest winds up dead in suspicious circumstances – and the only road in the area washes out.

Trapped in the manor, with every guest a possible suspect – and everyone harboring secrets – Meredith and Alec race to find the murderer.

Before their own secret comes out – or the killer strikes again.

Summer in the Falls by Elle GraySummer in the Falls by Elle Gray:

While the town prepares for the annual local festival, Spenser helps with the festivities while chatting with the residents. Unfortunately the pleasantry is interrupted when Spenser runs into Rafe Johnson, the man beginning his campaign to unseat her as sheriff.

The standoff between them is tense with Spenser deciding to walk away. Fortunately, when she arrived home to Ryker, she was able to drop down her guard, as he works on his fields, planting an apple orchard for his new apple cider business.

The semi-peace is short-lived when the lead singer of a local band drops dead on stage. Initially, it seems to be an open and shut case of overdose. But when the toxicology reports find poison in the victim, no one, not even Spenser, would have ever expected the troves of victims, or the illicit and depraved turn the case would take.

It seems life at Sweetwater Falls has a way of keeping everyone on their toes. Sex, drugs, murder, and rock & tumble. It’s just another gorgeous day here in the Falls.

The Vampire and the Case of the Cursed Canine by Heather G. Harris and Jilleen DolbeareThe Vampire and the Case of the Cursed Canine by Heather G. Harris and Jilleen Dolbeare

Spells, hexes and curses.

Curses are falling on this town like rain in London. Just when I think I’ve found a link between the hexed victims, someone else shows up who’s been jinxed. It feels like the devil is playing darts with my paranormal town and if the dart hits you, you get whammied with a curse.

To be honest, I haven’t a clue how to find the perpetrator. My sole lead is pointing at the travelling black market that has just arrived in Portlock. That would be all fine and dandy —ifI could find it. Weirdly, no one is willing to direct the cops to a highly illegal market. I’m obviously persona non grata – though being a slightly-less-than-undead vampire, I’m kind of used to that.

On top of everything, my overbearing British mother has come to visit. Stuck in my shoebox of a house together, we might actually have to deal with some of our issues. Thank goodness I have Connor Mackenzie, vampire leader and sexy lumberjack, to run to when the going gets tough.

I’m juggling things—badly—when I discover my dog is cursed. What am I willing to do to save my hound? Anything and everything.

The world can burn for all I care, as long as I can save my pup…

Foreseen in Murder by Edale LaneForeseen in Murder by Edale Lane:

Jenna solves real crimes; Rhiannon has prophesied one. Can Jenna thwart a murder that hasn’t happened yet?
Book 9 in the popular Lessons in Murder series, by award-winning, best-selling author Edale Lane.

Blissful about her upcoming marriage to Jenna, Dr. Randi McLeod accepts her friend’s invitation to visit a spiritualist for a fun reading. Skeptical at first, Randi reconsiders when her practitioner Rhiannon becomes terrified, envisioning her own murder during their session.

Jenna Ferrari, Randi’s fiancée, is buried in multiple investigations while squeezing in wedding planning. Add helping her little sister, and the practical detective has no time for a quack psychic who foresees her own death.

But when a malicious perpetrator tries to kill Rhiannon for real, Jenna and her team roll into action. Can they catch the shadowy would-be killer before it’s too late, or is the clairvoyant destined to die?

The Grim Reaper Gaffe by Amanda M. LeeThe Grim Reaper Gaffe by Amanda M. Lee

It all comes down to this.

Charlie Rhodes has come a long way.

She started out as a young woman trying to find a reason for her magic, going as far as to hide in the one place they were looking for her.

Now the final battle is here.

Charlie is in Detroit, surrounded by new faces, and looking for the final piece of the puzzle. Between the reapers, zombies, mages, brujas, loas, and gods, she has her hands full. Death is barreling toward her and taking no prisoners.

Sybil wants to kill her to prolong her life. Charlie just wants to be free to live hers.

This war has always been written in the stars. Now it’s finally here. Who will win?

Chilled to the Bone by Amanda M. LeeChilled to the Bone by Amanda M. Lee

Stormy Morgan is flying high. She’s engaged. She’s used to her new routine. She’s even learning about being a witch. All of that changes when a local podcaster’s house goes up in flames and a body is found inside.

Carl Winslow was not a nice man. He spent his time stalking local family vloggers so he could cast aspersions on their life choices. One family in particular draws his ire, and he fights with them the night of the fire. Are they to blame for the podcaster’s death, though?

Stormy and her fiancé Hunter Ryan are on the case, and the further they dig into Carl Winslow’s life, the more they realize that nothing in Shadow Hills is as it seems.

Stormy was already working against forces she didn’t see coming. There’s a conspiracy of people who were apparently waiting for her to manifest her powers working against her, though. They have plans for her. They also had plans for Carl.

As evidence begins mounting, it points to one particular person. Only Stormy is convinced it has to be someone else. She’s determined to get to the source of the death and destruction wreaking havoc on her once quiet small town.

She has to survive to find her answers, though, and that’s not a given.

It’s a race against the clock. Either Stormy finds what she’s looking for and stops Shadow Hills’ most recent threat, or everybody suffers in the wake of yet another bout of magical mayhem.

Who will survive? You’re about to find out.

A Mystery at Moor House by Kelly MasonA Mystery at Moor House by Kelly Mason:

Marooned after a garden party turns sinister, Lady Ellen finds herself in the midst of an unsettling mystery.

An unexpected summer storm leaves occupants and visitors, including Ellen, Lottie and Captain Hamilton, contained within Moor House and grounds after it is cut off from the outside world. When a priceless Egyptian artefact is stolen, the thief leaves the man guarding it brutally maimed. Tasked by the artefact’s secretive owner to recover the relic, Lady Ellen must sift through a web of secrets and motives. As she delves into the lives of both the family and staff at Moor House, the question arises: Who is truly capable of such a betrayal?

With her companions Lottie, Captain Hamilton and her faithful dog Prince by her side, will she be able to locate the treasure and discover the thief before they escape? Or will the artefact be lost forever?

The Woman in the Attic by A.J. RiversThe Woman in the Attic by A.J. Rivers:

When life keeps throwing you grenades, you don’t stop running.

From having a criminal mastermind as a father, to losing his mother when he was young, PI Dean Steele has had to overcome many tragedies in life. After leaving the military, he was determined to continue living a life of service. Since then, he has solved many brutal and shocking cases as a private investigator.

Called in to investigate a strange case with missing EMTs dispatched to 871 Ridge Port, he never expected to find the many gruesome twists in the case. What happened to the EMTs or the people who lived in 871?

Nothing is adding up and every new clue only leads to more deaths. Now, the question on everyone’s mind is what happened to the woman in the attic?

The Girl in the Dark by A.J. RiversThe Girl in the Dark by A.J. Rivers:

The life of a teenage girl is a roller coaster of emotions.
Did Luisa Sinclair really run away from home?

With a troubled home life, many in town speculated that Luisa Sinclair ran away. It’s been years since her sudden disappearance and all hopes of finding her are gone. Until a fisherman pulled up an ominous drum barrel. It contained human remains and the DNA comes up as a match for Luisa.

While FBI agent Emma Griffin attempts to track down the culprit responsible, she stumbles upon a trail of missing young girls in that area. Cases that may be linked to Luisa’s disappearance and murder. There’s a cunning and wicked predator on the loose. It’s only a matter of time before the killer takes another life.

Trust the wrong person and it might cost you your life…

Death at Chelsea by Anna Sayburn LaneDeath At Chelsea by Anna Sayburn Lane:

The prettiest flowers can be deadly…

Detective duo Mrs Jameson and Marjorie Swallow are called to investigate when a renowned garden designer suspects that someone is sabotaging her priceless Himalayan Sapphire Lilies, ahead of the 1923 Chelsea Flower Show.

But soon it’s not just the flowers that are dying. Rival gardeners, intrepid plant hunters and even King George V himself are caught up in a poisonous bouquet with its roots deep in the mountains of Tibet.

The third in the Marjorie Swallow 1920s murder mystery series requires all her wit, charm and pluck to solve.

Point of Hopes by Melissa Scott and Lisa A. BarnettPoint of Hopes by Melissa Scott and Lisa A. Barnett:

The city of Astreiant is full of magic, danger and bureaucracy, and never moreso than when something or someone is making guild apprentices disappear without a trace. Philip Eslingen has just been discharged from his mercenary company and as a Leaguer and a stranger, makes an ideal suspect. Fortunately for him, Pointsman Nicolas Rathe from the Point of Hopes station doesn’t agree, but he knows the only way to prove that is to find the missing children and the real culprits. Together they must follow a twisted trail of deceit and magic in a city on the brink of exploding into violence. If they can’t learn to work together, the results could be catastrophic, even fatal. And if they can’t trust each other, the price could be higher than either of them realize.

Bad Blood by Wayne StinnettBad Blood by Wayne Stinnett:

It’s been three months since Jesse McDermitt had any time off to go back home to Florida. When two surprise openings on the leave roster open up, he and his friend Rusty Thurman jump on it, and head back to the Keys for some scuba diving.

The husband of a local reporter’s friend has nearly been killed. Not once, but four times in less than a month. The reporter is Jesse’s new girlfriend and they become curious. How does a man survive four attempts on his life?

Meanwhile, the man Jesse helped put away is doing time in Florida State Prison, hundreds of miles to the north. But Bear Bering isn’t completely cutoff. His cousin, Chuck, is still working the tourist crowds in Key West and has learned that Jesse and Rusty are back in town.

Suddenly, Jesse and his friends are in danger, and once again they are forced to leave. A biker gang, under Chuck Bering’s direction, comes after Jesse and his friends. The leader, a mountain of a man named Sideshift, served time with Bear and both he and Chuck want to see Jesse and anyone around him crushed.

Jesse and friends sail to Key West to find out who the bungling would-be murderer is, and everything comes to a head on Mallory Square, when the bikers, the murderer, and Bear’s family all come at Jesse as one.

The End of Justice by Mary StoneThe End of Justice by Mary Stone:

Justice reigns, no matter the cost.

Justice Hall’s carefully constructed life as Elmaeder County Sheriff’s Office’s own caped crusader is spiraling out of control. His girlfriend is pregnant with his baby, Justin Black’s insane fan club of serial killer wannabes are threatening to come for him, and the bodies of the criminals he’s killed in the name of justice are piling up on his ranch.

Worst of all? He suspects his boss—the county sheriff—is onto him.

If he can’t restore her faith in him, he’s going to lose everything. His job, his freedom, and the life he so desperately wants with the woman he loves.

Redemption comes in the form of the decaying corpse of a missing young man who was garroted with fishing line, his body tossed near a creek in the middle of nowhere. If Justice can find the killer and play this one by the books instead of taking matters into his own hands, he just might get away with murder.

But can a vigilante killer who’s developed a taste for blood change his ways? And when his darkest secrets are uncovered, how will justice/Justice be served?

Fade to Black by Robert WhiteFade to Black by Robert White:

Fade to Black ‘s stories present characters you might see on any street in any town anywhere. Or maybe you wondered about the guy at the end of the bar brooding over his drink. What’s he thinking about? Or the woman who cut her eyes away from you as you passed her on the street. What’s on her mind? And then you went about your day not giving another thought to that stranger. Here’s your opportunity to see what lurks beneath the surface, and it’s not pretty–malignant intentions, murderous plans, festering hatreds, and dark secrets never meant to come to light. Have fun exploring the depths of human behavior; you won’t be disappointed.

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Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for May 2024

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, paranormal mysteries, fantasy romance, science fantasy, space opera, military science fiction,  religious science fiction, technothrillers, vampires, ghosts, shapeshifters, cryptids, immortals, space marines, space dragons,  starships for rent, crime-busting witches 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:

Shadows of Winter by Lindsay BurokerShadows of Winter by Lindsay Buroker:

Kaylina wants to prove herself to her family by opening a successful meadery, but on her first day in the capital, she runs headlong into the powerful royal ranger, Lord Vlerion. He’s aloof, sexy, dangerous, and… he accuses her of being a spy.

To remove suspicion from her name, Kaylina must work with him to stop the real danger to the crown.

But she soon learns that Vlerion suffers from a curse. When he experiences strong emotions, he turns into a deadly beast who can’t tell friend from foe.

Irking him would be a bad idea. Developing feelings for him would be even worse. Unfortunately, as Kaylina spends more time with Vlerion, she struggles with both.

If she can’t keep from rousing the beast, she won’t clear her name, fulfill her dream, or even survive the week.

The Immortal by Joshua T. CalvertThe Immortal by Joshua T. Calvert:

They called it the Immortality Code…

…and one Swiss firm just cracked it.

Is it real or a fraud?

FBI geneticist Mason Brown and Danish Interpol agent Jonna Nielsen have just 72-hours to find the missing man they call The Immortal. He’s on the run across Europe and his genetic material may be the most valuable commodity in human history.

There’s just one problem.

Someone else wants him, too.

As the time to find him dwindles, Mason and Jonna seem to be one step behind a wealthy man who will stop at nothing. If the tech billionaire finds him first, it could change the economic playing field for the entire world.

Who is the Immortal? And could he be a contemporary witness of Christ as some sources believe?

You’ll love this science thriller because the pacing is perfect and the twists will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Starship for Rent 3 by M.R. ForbesStarship For Rent 3 by M.R. Forbes:

Better the devil you know?

Intercepted by the Warden after a narrow escape, Noah, Ben, and the rest of Head Case’s crew are forced into their most impossible task yet:

Kill the only man to ever slip the Warden’s all-seeing gaze—the leader of a vast criminal syndicate who may be the only true threat to the mad god’s grip on the galaxy. But getting close to him won’t be easy, and even if they do…

They might wish they never had.

Don't Be Afraid of the Spark by Lily Harper HartDon’t Be Afraid of the Spark by Lily Harper Hart:

What happens when Michigan’s most famous ghost hunter can’t see a ghost but her daughter can? Harper Harlow-Monroe is about to find out. When her daughter Poe starts talking about a new ghostly friend nobody else can see, one who brags about hiding from Harper, Whisper Cove’s favorite paranormal investigator is on the case.

Unfortunately, the new ghost comes along with a fresh body…and nobody can figure out why—or how—a woman who died years before is going after people in the present.

Poe is confused. She likes her new friend and doesn’t want to listen to her mother. There’s just one little problem. The dead woman is holding a grudge against Poe’s grandmother, and she’s ready to add another name to her body count. Now things are getting personal.

Harper has friends and they want to help but this is the sort of war that only Harper can fight.

Poe’s life is on the line, and there’s nothing Harper won’t do to protect her…including sacrificing herself.

Strap in, because it’s about to get wild in Whisper Cove.

The past is threatening to ruin the future, and Harper and company will do whatever it takes to make sure that doesn’t happen. They just have to survive to win the day.

The Vampire and the Case of the Baleful Banshee by Heather G. HarrisThe Vampire and the Case of the Baleful Banshee by Heather G. Harris and Jilleen Dolbeare

I thought I was finally getting the hang of being a paranormal policewoman, but when one of the gemstones powering the barrier around the town is stolen, I’m as terrified as the average Joe. Of course, there’s nothing average about the Joes in this town. It’s chock full of mythical creatures, and some of them think the barrier is a waste of time.

Well, I’ve seen the cryptid monster beyond and I know we’re doomed if the magical palisade ever fails. Calling what would follow a massacre would be a gross understatement. The race is on. I need to find the gemstone before the weakened barrier fails forever and the fiend devours us all. No pressure then.

It’s a simple theft… how hard can it be to solve? Answer: Very hard. Especially when theft turns into murder.

There’s also the little outstanding matter of my date with the vampire leader, Connor, not to mention that my best friend seems to be falling apart at the seams. And if all of that isn’t enough to be cracking on with, I have a visitor due imminently. My mother.

I’d rather face the monster.

A Grimm Decision by Jeffery H. HaskellA Grimm Decision by Jeffery H. Haskell:

It’s not the war he wanted.

Commander Jacob T. Grimm is eager to get back in the war, but when an ambassador to a nothing planet called Cordoba pulls strings, Interceptor is the convenient puppet.

Assigned to escort the ambassador, a company of Marines, and participate in wargames with Cordoba, Jacob fears the only action will be against boredom.

He couldn’t be more wrong.

A coup is brewing on Cordoba and Interceptor and the Marines of Bravo Two-Five are caught right in the middle.

Betrayed on every side, Jacob has to come up with his most daring plan yet, if he’s going to save his crew and his ship.

What Jacob doesn’t know, though, is an old enemy is in league with the coup. An enemy that wants Commander Jacob T. Grimm’s head.

Trapped between a rebellion and invaders, Jacob can’t see a way out. There may be no victory he can achieve. Attack or defend someone will die—and only Jacob can decide who.

Hurled Headlong Flaming by Matt HolderHurled Headling Flaming or The Bishop’s Tale by Matt Holder

Hurled Headlong Flaming: The Bishop’s Tale is a dark fantasy novella by Matt Holder that follows a priest on a perilous quest to a hellish underworld to retrieve an ancient manuscript he believes can help prevent the apocalypse. Drawing from influences like Dante, Milton, and Robert E. Howard, and Lovecraftian dream-quest literature, this bizarre tale sees the Bishop descend through a hidden city, forced to engage in infernal dialogues and navigate labyrinthine streets while pursued by demonic creatures. Grappling with questions of faith, truth, and the brutality of the Crusades, the Bishop’s harrowing journey examines the violence that often accompanies meaning-making in a world that resists interpretation. This first entry in the Keen Blades series from Spiral Tower Press aims to expand the boundaries of what sword and sorcery can be.

All Quiet on the Witchy Front by Amanda M. LeeAll Quiet On the Witchy Front by Amanda M. Lee

Christmas is in the past and the new year is shining bright for Bay Winchester…right up until a local inn catches fire and she realizes that something more than snow is afoot in Hemlock Cove.

Bay and her husband Landon Michaels don’t hesitate before charging into the fire—there are children at risk after all—but when the fire seems to have a mind of its own…literally…things take a shift for the worse.

It seems there’s a firebug on the loose in northern Lower Michigan. What does he or she want, though? As Bay starts digging, clues lead her back to a real estate agent she crossed paths with weeks before. He wants the property that burned, but has he somehow come into contact with the sort of magic that can make his dreams come true? Or is it something else entirely?

On top of that, two of the victims who were saved from the fire refuse to wake up. They’re in magically induced comas, and the doctors can’t figure out why. All that’s certain is their lives are in danger, and Bay is the only one who can save them.

Bay isn’t about to let an enemy take her down, but when Aunt Tillie starts acting squirrelly—even more squirrelly than normal—she becomes suspicious of the woman who always seems to have her pulse on everything paranormal.

What is Aunt Tillie hiding?

Fire is raging across Bay’s world and she only has one chance to put it out. Will she manage to rise to the occasion, or is the Winchester world about to burn?

Bloodstained Skies by Dagmar RokitaBloodstained Skies: Apex Predator by Dagmar Rokita

Cerridwen’s crash landing leads her into the depths of an uncharted jungle. Every rustle of the leaves or smudged trope on the ground brings her closer to the terrifying realization that she is being hunted.

The rebellion finds themselves stranded on an unforgiving planet after a devastating defeat at Narjahanam fortress. As supplies shrink and tensions rise between Antares, his friend and the ruthless Rakshasas, every conflict may turn out to be fatal.

Forced into a perilous situation, Devi must renew a relationship with an old ally. When the visit turns into imprisonment, she is thrust into a deadly game where only the winner can escape with their life.

Meanwhile, the Unions don’t slow down, even after the attack on their base. In the moments between working on their secret project, Azhi and Seth learn about their astounding origins.

Dragon Knights by James David VictorDragon Knights by James David Victor:

One mortal enemy has been turned into a trusted ally. Now all that needs to be done is to stop a superior alien force determined to wipe humanity from the galaxy.

Keel has turned a mortal enemy into a trusted friend, and rides on the back of a deadly dragon. As the war with the Jaali heats up, his small band of Dragon Knights might be the only thing standing in their way. Can a small team of previously mortal enemies turn the tide of the war and save humanity?

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Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for May 2024


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, small town mysteries, historical mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, 1950s mysteries, paranormal mysteries, crime thrillers, psychological thrillers, medical thrillers, action thrillers, technothrillers, romantic suspense, police officers, FBI agents, private investigators, amateur sleuths, assassins, terrorists, kidnappings, wrongful convictions, deadly family reunions, deadly Olympics, vampires, immortals, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-busting housekeepers, murder and mayhem in San Francisco, Louisiana, Michigan, Amsterdam, Iran 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:

The Happy Housekeeper's Guide to Crime by Blythe BakerThe Happy Housekeeper’s Guide To Crime by Blythe Baker:

A sudden death at the local hardware store plunges Barbara into another murder investigation. While examining her list of suspects, she makes the acquaintance of a handsome handyman and also realizes she is being spied on by a mysterious woman.

Will the murder investigation and a budding romance leave Barbara blind to the reemergence of a danger from her past?

 

The Immortal by Joshua T. CalvertThe Immortal by Joshua T. Calvert:

They called it the Immortality Code…

…and one Swiss firm just cracked it.

Is it real or a fraud?

FBI geneticist Mason Brown and Danish Interpol agent Jonna Nielsen have just 72-hours to find the missing man they call The Immortal. He’s on the run across Europe and his genetic material may be the most valuable commodity in human history.

There’s just one problem.

Someone else wants him, too.

As the time to find him dwindles, Mason and Jonna seem to be one step behind a wealthy man who will stop at nothing. If the tech billionaire finds him first, it could change the economic playing field for the entire world.

Who is the Immortal? And could he be a contemporary witness of Christ as some sources believe?

You’ll love this science thriller because the pacing is perfect and the twists will keep you on the edge of your seat.

baskets and beignets by Jana DeLeonBaskets and Beignets by Jana DeLeon:

Worth dyeing for.

Ten years ago, Ryan Comeaux was convicted of killing his girlfriend and was sentenced to life in prison. Now a witness has come forward who claims she was with Ryan the entire night and it’s not possible that he was the killer. But the local police assume she’s mistaken and aren’t interested in reopening what they view as an open-and-shut case.

The witness, Kelsey Spalding, has her own reasons for wanting Ryan’s conviction overturned and hires Swamp Team 3 to prove him innocent. Fortune has solved cold cases before, but never one with so little evidence and so many suspects with not only strong motive but opportunity. Can she solve a decade-old murder, or will the real killer strike again to cover his tracks?

Whispers at the Reunion by Elle and K.S. GreyWhispers at the Reunion by Elle and K.S. Grey:

A family reunion is the perfect time for food, alcohol, and gossiping about loved ones.
In this case some rumors can lead to murder…

It’s been weeks since a shocking event sent the Federal Agency into panic.
FBI agent Olivia and Brock are left broken, fighting to overcome the grief.
Amidst the agency’s chaos, they find a welcoming distraction in the form of a family reunion.

It’s at a secluded lake house where Olivia would visit as a child with her family.
The area is quiet, and the town locals are as friendly as they come.
Her cousin Jean is hopeful that the weekend will bring some cheer that the couple desperately needs.

It’s all laughter and joy the first night as the family enjoy dinner and catch up with one another.
But when arguments ensue between family members.
Olivia is soon reminded of why she prefers to avoid family events.

The next morning, renewed with a spirit of optimism, Olivia takes Brock hiking on her favorite trail.
In the forest, she stumbles upon one of her worst nightmares.
Her family member’s dead body.

Double lives, lies, gossip, and secrets that kill.
There are many questions to the mystery but the one question on everyone’s mind is…
Have you heard the rumors?

Silenced in the Falls by Elle GraySilenced in the Falls by Elle Gray

To be young, wild, and carefree.
The true essence of Taft High’s Spring dance.
But there’s a price for the naivety of youth.
A high price that could cost your blood, soul, and your silence.

Sweetwater Falls is a charming town with all sorts of characters.
From chaperoning the school dance with Ryker to putting drunk drivers behind bars.
It seems former FBI Agent Spenser Song has finally gotten the hang of her Sheriff duties.

The next morning, hunters stumble upon the body of the town’s star baseball player.
A bright-eyed senior at Taft High, now bruised, beaten, and left for dead by the culprits.
With the unconscious teen now fighting for his life in the hospital.
Spenser searches the muddied crime scene for clues and interviews those close to the boy.
As the investigative trail hits a dead end, another teen boy is found in a similar manner.
Indicating that a serial predator is on the loose.

Secret, lies, shame, and deceit.
The truth will set you free. Your silence will buy your bondage.
Will you take the guilt to your grave?

Don't Be Afraid of the Spark by Lily Harper HartDon’t Be Afraid of the Spark by Lily Harper Hart:

What happens when Michigan’s most famous ghost hunter can’t see a ghost but her daughter can? Harper Harlow-Monroe is about to find out. When her daughter Poe starts talking about a new ghostly friend nobody else can see, one who brags about hiding from Harper, Whisper Cove’s favorite paranormal investigator is on the case.

Unfortunately, the new ghost comes along with a fresh body…and nobody can figure out why—or how—a woman who died years before is going after people in the present.

Poe is confused. She likes her new friend and doesn’t want to listen to her mother. There’s just one little problem. The dead woman is holding a grudge against Poe’s grandmother, and she’s ready to add another name to her body count. Now things are getting personal.

Harper has friends and they want to help but this is the sort of war that only Harper can fight.

Poe’s life is on the line, and there’s nothing Harper won’t do to protect her…including sacrificing herself.

Strap in, because it’s about to get wild in Whisper Cove.

The past is threatening to ruin the future, and Harper and company will do whatever it takes to make sure that doesn’t happen. They just have to survive to win the day.

The Vampire and the Case of the Baleful Banshee by Heather G. HarrisThe Vampire and the Case of the Baleful Banshee by Heather G. Harris and Jilleen Dolbeare

I thought I was finally getting the hang of being a paranormal policewoman, but when one of the gemstones powering the barrier around the town is stolen, I’m as terrified as the average Joe. Of course, there’s nothing average about the Joes in this town. It’s chock full of mythical creatures, and some of them think the barrier is a waste of time.

Well, I’ve seen the cryptid monster beyond and I know we’re doomed if the magical palisade ever fails. Calling what would follow a massacre would be a gross understatement. The race is on. I need to find the gemstone before the weakened barrier fails forever and the fiend devours us all. No pressure then.

It’s a simple theft… how hard can it be to solve? Answer: Very hard. Especially when theft turns into murder.

There’s also the little outstanding matter of my date with the vampire leader, Connor, not to mention that my best friend seems to be falling apart at the seams. And if all of that isn’t enough to be cracking on with, I have a visitor due imminently. My mother.

I’d rather face the monster.

Unleashed by Ethan JonesUnleashed by Ethan Jones:

When anger’s unleashed…

Assassin Tom Maverick thought he had left his troubled past behind. But a threat against his young son drags Tom back into the life he’d been trying to escape. He is forced to accept a contract, the assassination of a high-ranking Chinese politician hiding deep inside Iran.

As Tom gets closer to his target, he realizes the assignment is not what it seems. Those he trusts have been paid to betray him. And those he loves die. Just when he thinks it can’t get worse, it does…

But if they think they can corner him, they’re wrong.

With his anger unleashed, how will Tom execute the contract, get out of Iran alive, and save his son?

Find out in book two of Tom Maverick’s adrenaline-drenched series.

All Quiet on the Wotchy Front by Amanda M. LeeAll Quiet On the Witchy Front by Amanda M. Lee

Christmas is in the past and the new year is shining bright for Bay Winchester…right up until a local inn catches fire and she realizes that something more than snow is afoot in Hemlock Cove.

Bay and her husband Landon Michaels don’t hesitate before charging into the fire—there are children at risk after all—but when the fire seems to have a mind of its own…literally…things take a shift for the worse.

It seems there’s a firebug on the loose in northern Lower Michigan. What does he or she want, though? As Bay starts digging, clues lead her back to a real estate agent she crossed paths with weeks before. He wants the property that burned, but has he somehow come into contact with the sort of magic that can make his dreams come true? Or is it something else entirely?

On top of that, two of the victims who were saved from the fire refuse to wake up. They’re in magically induced comas, and the doctors can’t figure out why. All that’s certain is their lives are in danger, and Bay is the only one who can save them.

Bay isn’t about to let an enemy take her down, but when Aunt Tillie starts acting squirrelly—even more squirrelly than normal—she becomes suspicious of the woman who always seems to have her pulse on everything paranormal.

What is Aunt Tillie hiding?

Fire is raging across Bay’s world and she only has one chance to put it out. Will she manage to rise to the occasion, or is the Winchester world about to burn?

Death by Midnight by A.J. RiversDeath by Midnight by A.J. Rivers:

It’s a time for celebration.
Unfortunately in Twilight Cove, the festivity is masking something ominous…

PI Dean Steele has had to solve many strange mysteries throughout his career.
This time he is called to the small seaside town to unmask the truth behind a chilling murder.
Who would kill a man and tie him up to a parade float?

While following clues in this case, Dean stumbles upon an intricate web of secrets.
Skeletons that seemed to have shaped Twilight Cove for many generations.

Across town at the palatial home of Joseph Palmer, a Gatsby-like figure.
The most incredible party in town is being held.
The guest list is long, the house is packed, and the night is filled with food, laughter, music, and drinks.
Everyone is having a wonderful time… except for the host.
What could be tormenting him?

There’s a time for celebration and a time for death.

Rest in Peacee by Willow RoseRest in Peace by Willow Rose:

Sarah Chapman is angry at her husband. She’s also drunk… very drunk as she drives down their street, ready to face him.

When a neighbor hears the commotion and rushes to help, he finds her inside, gun still in her hand, and her husband, Steven, dead in the bed.

Sarah is arrested and taken away but claims to be innocent.

The only one who believes her is FBI profiler, Eva Rae Thomas.

She knows Sarah personally, and as she looks at the evidence in the case, she is convinced that Sarah is telling the truth, even though she was highly intoxicated when the event occurred.

But the detective on the case is determined to have her convicted for the murder.

As more bodies turn up, only Eva Rae Thomas sees the connections and soon starts a race against time to prove Sarah is innocent and to catch the real murderer before it’s too late and her own family is targeted.

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

The Race for Gold is Murder

The 1928 Amsterdam Olympics set the stage for Ginger’s latest adventure. Excited yet conflicted, Ginger faces a historic moment: women’s debut in the games amid a British boycott. The plot thickens when an English sprinter is found dead. Was it a protest against the boycott, or is something darker at play?

Ginger and Basil race to assist Dutch police, unraveling a mystery where the stakes are life or death, and the finish line means survival.

Burner by Mike TriggBurner by Mike Trigg:

What if your social media addiction jeopardized the person you love?

Inspired by the explosive events of our polarized political climate, Burner is an all-too plausible contemporary thriller that examines the social and personal consequences of the lost sense of identity, trust, and truth itself that characterizes our technology-obsessed culture.

Shane Stoller has just been arrested for domestic terrorism, accused of being the mastermind behind the online profile Burner_911—the anonymous leader of a massive populist movement. Chloe Corbin has just been abducted by Burner_911’s followers in a lawless uprising on the streets of San Francisco, targeted as the socialite daughter of a tech billionaire. What nobody knows is that Shane and Chloe are secretly in love despite coming from opposite worlds. Plagued with regret but unable to communicate with his followers from prison, Shane tries desperately to find a way to save Chloe from the forces he has unleashed. From her own captivity, Chloe becomes more sympathetic to Burner_911’s cause—and transitions from victim to conspirator in an effort to free herself and exonerate Shane.

Part tragic love story, part mind-bending psychological thriller, Burner dives headfirst into the modern zeitgeist of politically motivated disinformation, toxic internet subcultures, and our continuing need for belonging, purpose, and love in an age of distorted online personas.

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Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for April 2024

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, paranormal mysteries, science fiction mysteries, science fiction romance, space opera, military science fiction, dystopian fiction, post-apocalyptic fiction, technothrillers, horror, cyborgs, space marines, alien invasions, crime-busting witches, fugitive heroes, deadly muses, the devil and his daughter 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:

Muse by L.C.W. AllinghamMuse by L-C.W. Allingham:

Inspiration is a living thing and it is hungry…

Terra Desmarais’s success as the next big artist in NYC is absolutely inevitable. Her patrons, the associates, Mr. Black, Mr. Silver, and Mr. Green, can practically taste the raw talent dripping from the enigmatic trailer park prodigy’s dollar store paints.

Up and coming pastel artist Cedric Fleck is a lucky discovery of the associates. Rescued from oblivion by Mr Green, put up in a studio by Mr. Silver and paraded around on the arm of Mr. Black should be the dream. But within the steady stream of great press and even better parties, Cedric can’t shake the sense that something is very wrong. He wants to hate Terra for her overnight success, but he’s taken by her earnest love of art.

As the artists around them crash and burn, and Cedric struggles to break free from the toxic seduction of Mr. Black, Terra is only concerned with her strange and compelling paintings. She seems to want nothing of the fame, the money, the sex or the drugs. As greed exposes the true colors of the associates, and Terra is too lost in her art to notice the danger, Cedric discovers that inspiration is a living thing, and it is hungry.

Colonel by Jonathan P- BrazeeColonel by Jonathan P. Brazee:

Ryck has proven himself as a warrior and a hero, but in times of peace, that can lead to trouble. Ryck’s temper gets the best of him, and because of that, and with a heavy heart, he resigns his commission.

As an old enemy comes a-calling, a new threat surfaces, and Ryck’s services are once again needed.

If he fails, all of humanity could be at risk.

Given a second chance to be the man that Humanity needs, Ryck answers the call, determined to make good. This new threat, however, might just be his most insurmountable yet.

The Devil's Daughter by Rachel FordThe Devil’s Daughter by Rachel Ford:

Antonia guards the devil. Caelia is his daughter.

Mayor Crassus is the most corrupt man in Black Port. He’s never met a con he didn’t like, or grift he rejected. He’s mercenary, cold-blooded, and ruthless in turns.

In order to better feather his own nest, he’s promised his daughter’s hand to one of the king’s most ruthless inquisitors. Caelia, in whose veins flows the blood of a powerful matriarchal line of witches, knows it would be a fate worse than a death sentence.

Whatever it takes, she must escape.

She turns to Knight Protector Antonia Brocklehurst, her father’s bodyguard – a woman with plenty of secrets of her own.
But Antonia’s mission could save the lives of hundreds. Can she abandon it to save one woman – even if she has loved her for years?

Fiendish Delights by Helen HarperFiendish Delights by Helen Harper:

Yeah, I’m a treasure hunter. No, I’m not rich. Or busy. Or successful.

Not yet.

I’m doing my very best at making a living in my newfound career. I’ve got magic, a pair of brownie sidekicks and enough ambition to fill every chilly corner of Edinburgh castle.

What I don’t have is any actual treasure to hunt.

However, when a young girl asks me for help, I end up embroiled in a deeply dangerous search for an ancient magical artefact. Unfortunately, I’m not the only one who wants to find it. Between fire-breathing dragons, vicious vampires and lethally powerful fiends, I’ve got my work cut out for me if I’m going to locate the treasure first.

At least this time I’ve got help. Hugo Pemberville might be as provocative as ever but he has also attached himself to my side. Sure, I’ve got a few teeny tiny problems of my own to deal with – but I’ve got everything under control.

Sort of.

Hexcess Baggage by Amanda M. LeeHexcess Baggage by Lily Harper Hart:

The French Quarter is quiet for a change. Christmas is just around the corner, and the off-season is allowing for some rest and relaxation for the local business owners. Ofelia Archer is basking in it…until her mother’s walking group stumbles upon a body in Jackson Square.

The White Walkers—a group Ofelia and her fiancé Zach Sully are constantly mocking—have been getting bolder and bolder in the Quarter. Their aim is to stop the crime and clean things up…even if that means pointing the finger at a homeless man Ofelia is convinced is innocent.

As things come to a head between Ofelia and her mother, a group of shadow assassins takes shape and begins a cleanse in the Quarter. They’re acting as vigilantes, but who is controlling them?

All eyes turn to the White Walkers.

Ofelia has always made it a point to let her mother live her own life. That’s no longer an option. It’s time to infiltrate the group and find out exactly what’s going on.

Ofelia isn’t going to like what she finds.

Ofelia has always taken it upon herself to care for the homeless population in New Orleans. With the White Walkers working against her efforts, the battle is afoot.

Ofelia won’t let those who need help go without it.

Marie Charlies won’t back down.

It’s mother against daughter and the fate of the French Quarter is in the balance.

Who will win?

Undead Urges by Amanda M. LeeUndead Urges by Amanda M. Lee:

Luna Thorn is a witch about town. She likes to fancy herself a loner, but the truth is, she has the weight of the world resting on her shoulders.

Gorgons are infiltrating Detroit, and they’ve set their sights on Luna. They want her. The question is: why? Luna is determined to find out. It won’t be easy.

When zombies attack the Cathedral, the building Luna and the people she cares for call home, Luna is determined to snuff out the culprit. Unfortunately for her, the only lead she has is a witch who isn’t in the mood to offer up help.

When the most powerful mage in the Midwest pops up for a visit, Luna is glad for the help. The responsibility is becoming overwhelming, though, and she’s afraid she might crack under the pressure.

As a traveler, Luna can wander through time. If only she could control her powers. It’s not as easy as she hoped, however. Instead, she keeps overshooting her mark, and the resulting chaos is not what she bargained for.

Luna wants to save the world. More than that, she wants to keep the people she loves most safe. An ancient order of monsters wants to stop her in her tracks.

It’s a fight to the finish, and when Luna delves into the history of the world she resides, she finds that some things should be left in the past. Will she have that option, though?

Luna won’t give up. Neither will the friends she’s surrounded herself with. That just might be their downfall, though.

Will she survive to find out the truth of her past? Or will she die never knowing what she was truly meant to be?

Honor of Cyborgs by Scott MoonHonor of Cyborgs by Scott Moon:

Follow commands or save his renegade family… He must choose.

No one defies the Protectorate.

They’ve got relentless cyborg assassins who never quit and never fail to take out their targets.

Until one defies them by becoming a parent.

Camden 1192, and ninety-nine other killers, are assigned to locate and capture the traitor. Orders specify taking the child alive, if possible. Only, theres one problem. The traitor happens to be Camden’s sister, and the child, his nephew.

At the end of the day, everyone knows the Protectorate’s Cyborgs are only good at one thing—ending the lives of anyone daring to disobey. But it’s family… Blood versus duty.

Can one man win the most unwinnable scenario in the galaxy?

Exoputians by A.J. Pagan Jr.Exoputians by A.J. Pagan IV:

As the Second American Civil War wanes, Mary the Exoputian awaits her chance to contact the Folbulae—a highly advanced species of extraterrestrial, only to be hunted down by the dictator of the Sovereign States of America, Vladimir Booth.

With rising tides and thawing tundra, the Exoputians—a new species of human genetically created to live in Space and communicate with the Folbulae, land in the Republic of Texas following a missile strike on their space station. Mary and the other Exoputians learn of the lies their progenitor taught them, training the space-bred crew to use their novel communication to cure the planet they’d never set foot on. As Mary and the others road trip through racially segregated America, they encounter multiple attempts on their lives to follow through with their once-mission of saving the planet from the climate crisis.

Discover with Mary what’s worth saving on a planet prepared to destroy her entire species.

Content Warning: This novel is about the Second American Civil War, a race war. As such, it contains references to racism, police brutality, war, profanity, hate speech, violence, violence against minorities, racial slurs, sexual violence, drug use

Wartorn Stars by Glynn StewartWartorn Stars by Glynn Stewart:

A mysterious enemy threatens the innocent.
A tide of silence and death sweeps the stars.
A single fleet, far from home, stands for freedom.

Under threat by a strange enemy, the alien Londu have called on old debts, leading Rear Admiral Henry Wong to bring his new Expeditionary Fleet hundreds of light-years from home to aid them.

A hard-fought victory gives his partner, Ambassador Sylvia Todorovich, time to negotiate a new alliance with their old friends. The same victory should give him answers about the strange Enigma alien attacking the Londu—but all they find are lies and more questions.

The questions give them one possible source of answers: another old ally, wrapped in mysteries of their own. An old ally no one has heard from since the Enigmas started attacking…

Fugitive Heroes by James David VictorFugitive Heroes by James David Victor:

When you’re being chased by the good guys and the bad guys, the only thing to do is prove you are the real hero.

Melias and crew have have the devices needed to fight the Lightbringers, but they’re also on the run from the military that they are ultimately serving. Can they stay ahead of the authorities and fight the Prime Ones at the same time? If they can’t prove themselves to be fugitive heroes, all of humanity may be doomed.

 

Arttificial Wisdom by Thomas R. WeaverArtificial Wisdom by Thomas R. Weaver:

Salvation has a price.

An enthralling murder mystery with a vividly realised future world that forces readers to grapple with hard-hitting questions regarding our relationship with Artificial Intelligence and the price we would be willing to pay, as a species, to be saved from crises of our own making. This jaw-dropping techno-thriller is perfect for fans of Blake Crouch, Neal Stephenson, Philip K Dick, Kim Stanley Robinson and RR Haywood.

It’s 2050, a decade after a heatwave that killed four hundred million across the Persian Gulf, including journalist Marcus Tully’s wife. Now he must uncover the truth: was the disaster natural? Or is the weather now a weapon of genocide?

A whistleblower pulls Tully into a murder investigation at the centre of an election battle for a global dictator, with a mandate to prevent a climate apocalypse. A former US President campaigns against the first AI politician of the position, but someone is trying to sway the outcome.

As the murder of a crucial witness derails the investigation, Tully must find the truth, convince the world to face it and make hard choices about the future of the species. But will humanity ultimately choose salvation over freedom, whatever the cost?

The States by Nora WoodseyThe States by Norah Woodsey:

A dream experiment holds unforeseen consequences for a woman who relinquished love and belonging 8 years earlier. Can her dreams convince her to pursue happiness, or will they pull her away from reality?

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Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for April 2024


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, historical mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, 1930s mysteries, 1950s mysteries, paranormal mysteries, science fiction mysteries, crime thrillers, legal thrillers, action thrillers, technothrillers, police officers, FBI agents, private investigators, amateur sleuths, lawyers, assassins, mass shootings, cold cases, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-busting grannies, crime-busting housekeepers, murder and mayhem in London, San Francisco, Hollywood, Detroit, New Orleans, Atlanta, Venice, Kenya 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:

The Happy Housekeeper's Guide to Disaster by Blythe BakerThe Happy Housekeeper’s Guide To Disaster by Blythe Baker:

Something strange is going on next door. Suspicious that an elderly neighbor may be in danger, Barbara and her friend Vicky investigate mysterious activities down the street.

Barbara also has worries further from home, as a certain attractive but crooked restaurant owner has discovered the part she played in his downfall. Can Barbara uncover the truth next door without being blind to a more shadowy danger across town?

A Death in Venice by Verity BrightA Death in Venice by Verity Bright:

Stunning views across the Grand Canal and a hotel suite fit for royalty… Lady Eleanor Swift is having a jolly good time on her Italian vacation, until a gondola ride is cut murderously short!

1924. Lady Eleanor Swift has been on a grand tour around Italy for a month with her butler Clifford. Finally arriving in Venice, she’s thrilled to be attending the famous carnival: all that’s needed is the perfect bejewelled costume for her faithful bulldog, Gladstone. But on her first gondola ride to take in the sights, a passenger collapses into the canal with a knife sticking out of his back.

Eleanor saw an argument break out between the gondolier and the victim, Councillor Benetto Vendelini, and it turns out they’re rivals from the city’s two great families. Vendelini’s murder is sure to reignite their centuries-long feud. While attending a glitzy ball that night, Eleanor learns of a plot to steal a precious family heirloom from the Vendelini household. Is the stolen item the key to solving this baffling murder?

Josephine West and the City Corpse by Beth Byers and Ann WarrenJosephine West and the City Corpse by Beth Byers and Ann Warren:

July 1922

Josephine and her friends have gone to San Francisco. Compared to Carmel, it could be New York City.

They fill their days with shopping and eating and their evenings with the theater and parties. San Francisco feels like the glamorous home where they can be true to themselves. That is until they stumble across Chessie’s rogue husband.

He’s wants to torment her and take everything she has. She wants to divorce him and free herself. Someone else plans to get their revenge—and they succeed.

Now it’s up to Josephine and Mrs. Sloan to clear Chessie’s name, before she’s taken in for a crime she wanted to commit.

The Cat and the Cadaver by Lisette ClarkThe Cat and the Cadaver by Colette Clark:

Only the cheetah knows who the killer is…and she isn’t talking!

Hollywood 1936
It seems like just another day of putting out fires when one of Olympus Studios’ actresses goes missing. Maisie Hart is due to make an appearance on the balcony of her home for a public appearance, but seems to have vanished. Lisette Darling is put into service to find her.

What results is a madcap adventure that uncovers a puzzling crime scene, a mystery that may be worth a million dollars, two dead bodies…and a cheetah!

Oddly enough, the only innocent party appears to be the cat.

Murder by the Sea by Danielle CollinsMurder by the Sea by Danielle Collins:

Returning home after several years is stressful enough. The last thing you need is a dead body and a murder accusation.

Skye Williams left Kenya to go to school and start a new life in America. When she decides to return to her childhood home, she dreams of finding the peaceful, relaxing life that alluded her in the New York. Unfortunately, when her neighbor is killed and she becomes the prime suspect, Skye must use all of the street smarts and problem solving skills she learned in America to keep herself out of jail. Can she catch a killer and save herself and her dreams of a peaceful life in her old childhood home?

Murder by the Sea is the first story in the Skye Williams Kenyan Cozy Mystery series. If you like fast-paced mysteries with interesting characters, exotic settings, and unexpected twists, you’re going to love Skye Williams.

A Motive to Kill by Elle GrayA Motive To Kill by Elle Gray:

“Urgent Code 10. Gunshots heard inside Honeybee Lounge on McComb Street. Backup needed.”

There’s been a mass shooting with over 23 casualties in Atlanta.

FBI agent Blake Wilder and her team are called by D.C. Headquarters to spearhead the case.

Upon their arrival to the crime scene, they are greeted with hostility by the field officers present.

Unfazed by the tension, Blake begins to sort through the identities of many victims, most of them high profiled lawyers.

While attempting to identify a motive, the team sorts through the deceased lawyers’ case files.

Soon after, Blake realizes that the footage and evidence regarding this case has gone missing.

And this case now leads to a dead end.

All is seemingly hopeless until a crucial lead points to one undeniable truth.

Hexcess Baggage by Amanda M. LeeHexcess Baggage by Lily Harper Hart:

The French Quarter is quiet for a change. Christmas is just around the corner, and the off-season is allowing for some rest and relaxation for the local business owners. Ofelia Archer is basking in it…until her mother’s walking group stumbles upon a body in Jackson Square.

The White Walkers—a group Ofelia and her fiancé Zach Sully are constantly mocking—have been getting bolder and bolder in the Quarter. Their aim is to stop the crime and clean things up…even if that means pointing the finger at a homeless man Ofelia is convinced is innocent.

As things come to a head between Ofelia and her mother, a group of shadow assassins takes shape and begins a cleanse in the Quarter. They’re acting as vigilantes, but who is controlling them?

All eyes turn to the White Walkers.

Ofelia has always made it a point to let her mother live her own life. That’s no longer an option. It’s time to infiltrate the group and find out exactly what’s going on.

Ofelia isn’t going to like what she finds.

Ofelia has always taken it upon herself to care for the homeless population in New Orleans. With the White Walkers working against her efforts, the battle is afoot.

Ofelia won’t let those who need help go without it.

Marie Charlies won’t back down.

It’s mother against daughter and the fate of the French Quarter is in the balance.

Who will win?

Game Shows Can Be Fatal by Jinty JamesGame Shows Can Be Fatal by Jinty James:

Can Martha win a TV game show and catch a killer?

Senior Martha is going to appear on a TV game show! She flies to LA, along with her fluffy white Coton de Tulear dog Teddy, and their roomie Pru, who works as an assistant librarian in the small town of Gold Leaf Valley.

Martha holds her own at first when she competes, but when one of her fellow contestants is murdered, she declares that as president of the senior sleuthing club, she needs to investigate!

Since the other members of the club are Teddy and Pru, they help Martha “sleuth”.

Is the killer one of the game show crew members, a fellow contestant, or someone from the audience?

When the showrunner breaks his arm in a friendly football game, Martha thinks it’s suspicious.

But when they finally face the killer, has their time run out? Or will they stay alive for their next senior sleuthing club mystery?

Unleashed by Ethan JonesUnleashed by Ethan Jones:

When anger’s unleashed…

Assassin Tom Maverick thought he had left his troubled past behind. But a threat against his young son drags Tom back into the life he’d been trying to escape. He is forced to accept a contract, the assassination of a high-ranking Chinese politician hiding deep inside Iran.

As Tom gets closer to his target, he realizes the assignment is not what it seems. Those he trusts have been paid to betray him. And those he loves die. Just when he thinks it can’t get worse, it does…

But if they think they can corner him, they’re wrong.

With his anger unleashed, how will Tom execute the contract, get out of Iran alive, and save his son?
Find out in book two of Tom Maverick’s adrenaline-drenched series.

Undead Urges by Amanda M. LeeUndead Urges by Amanda M. Lee:

Luna Thorn is a witch about town. She likes to fancy herself a loner, but the truth is, she has the weight of the world resting on her shoulders.

Gorgons are infiltrating Detroit, and they’ve set their sights on Luna. They want her. The question is: why? Luna is determined to find out. It won’t be easy.

When zombies attack the Cathedral, the building Luna and the people she cares for call home, Luna is determined to snuff out the culprit. Unfortunately for her, the only lead she has is a witch who isn’t in the mood to offer up help.

When the most powerful mage in the Midwest pops up for a visit, Luna is glad for the help. The responsibility is becoming overwhelming, though, and she’s afraid she might crack under the pressure.

As a traveler, Luna can wander through time. If only she could control her powers. It’s not as easy as she hoped, however. Instead, she keeps overshooting her mark, and the resulting chaos is not what she bargained for.

Luna wants to save the world. More than that, she wants to keep the people she loves most safe. An ancient order of monsters wants to stop her in her tracks.

It’s a fight to the finish, and when Luna delves into the history of the world she resides, she finds that some things should be left in the past. Will she have that option, though?

Luna won’t give up. Neither will the friends she’s surrounded herself with. That just might be their downfall, though.

Will she survive to find out the truth of her past? Or will she die never knowing what she was truly meant to be?

The Baker Street Murders by Emily OrganThe Baker Street Murders by Emily Organ:

When Augusta Peel finds a mysterious letter in a book she’s repairing, her enquiries take her to Baker Street. But events turn sinister when she learns the address is linked to a missing person.

Enlisting the help of Philip Fisher and his detective agency, Augusta attempts to solve a crime which has been hidden for ten years. Can the pair possibly match the skills of Baker Street’s most famous resident, Sherlock Holmes?

It’s not long before the body count rises. And when someone discovers her true identity, Augusta’s own secrets threaten to catch up with her.

The Last Promise by A.J. RiversThe Last Promise by A.J. Rivers:

We are the promises we make, the vows we keep, and the oaths we dare not break.

When PI Dean Steele received a call from his high school sweetheart Brielle, he never imagined it would lead him to the discovery of her lifeless body. His hunt for her killer takes him on the road to the biggest mystery of his life.

Could Brielle have been hiding his child?

What secrets was she hiding from Dean and even her own family?

While searching for the killer of the woman he once loved, he uncovered more secrets that will change everything he thought he knew.

This is the promise that defines us. The last promise we could ever make.

The Girl Who Remembers by A.J. RiversThe Girl Who Remembers by A.J. Rivers:

There are memories that we try our hardest to forget.

Reminders of what was taken from us…

For FBI Agent Emma Griffin pain and brokenness was all she knew.

At eleven, she found her mother murdered. The love she most cherished was gone in an instant. Even after catching the culprit, the pang in her heart never left her.

Now with her husband and newfound family, it seems like the painful chapters are finally closed.

When bodies are found seemingly mimicking Emma’s old cases, it seems like an enemy from agent Griffin’s past is zeroing in on those close to her.

When a floodgate of memories resurfaces, birthing a desire in Emma to destroy those who dare threaten the people she loves, she starts to remember pain points that her mind attempted to erase.

There’s time for justice, then there’s time for retribution.

To crush the things that stomps on the innocent and robs us of our joy.

Revenge isn’t sweet, it’s judgement.

Last Dance by Sheldon SiegelLast Dance by Sheldon Siegel:

Amid the pulsating beats of an upscale strip club in San Francisco’s historic North Beach, a chilling crime unfolds. Ex-cop César Ochoa stands accused of brutally stabbing the club’s star dancer, Chloe Carson. The evidence is damning, but César maintains his innocence.

In a desperate bid for justice, César turns to Public Defenders Mike Daley and Rosie Fernandez. As they delve into the shadows of the club, they unearth a web of sex, drugs, infidelity, and hidden pasts involving the city’s elite. With time ticking away, the legal duo races against the establishment to unravel the truth in this lightning-paced thriller.

In the 16th gripping installment of Sheldon Siegel’s bestselling series, LAST DANCE, readers are plunged into a world where loyalties crumble and the line between guilt and innocence blurs. For Mike and Rosie, this could be their most challenging case yet, where one misstep could be their last.

Arttificial Wisdom by Thomas R. WeaverArtificial Wisdom by Thomas R. Weaver:

Salvation has a price.

An enthralling murder mystery with a vividly realised future world that forces readers to grapple with hard-hitting questions regarding our relationship with Artificial Intelligence and the price we would be willing to pay, as a species, to be saved from crises of our own making. This jaw-dropping techno-thriller is perfect for fans of Blake Crouch, Neal Stephenson, Philip K Dick, Kim Stanley Robinson and RR Haywood.

It’s 2050, a decade after a heatwave that killed four hundred million across the Persian Gulf, including journalist Marcus Tully’s wife. Now he must uncover the truth: was the disaster natural? Or is the weather now a weapon of genocide?

A whistleblower pulls Tully into a murder investigation at the centre of an election battle for a global dictator, with a mandate to prevent a climate apocalypse. A former US President campaigns against the first AI politician of the position, but someone is trying to sway the outcome.

As the murder of a crucial witness derails the investigation, Tully must find the truth, convince the world to face it and make hard choices about the future of the species. But will humanity ultimately choose salvation over freedom, whatever the cost?

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Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for March 2024

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, science fantasy, paranormal mysteries, paranormal thrillers, space opera, military science fiction, dystopian fiction, alternate history, weird western, horror, elves, dragons, alien invasions, starships for rent, space marines, science fiction by women, Norse gods, ancient evils, crime-busting witches 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:

Different Kinds of Defiance by Renan BernardoDifferent Kinds of Defiance by Renan Bernardo:

Defiance has many faces, and in DIFFERENT KINDS OF DEFIANCE, they are as varied as they are gripping. In a world teetering on the brink of moral ambiguity, each story is a testament to the spirit that resists, rebuilds, and redeems.

From the sunbaked docks of a Rio de Janeiro, change yet still familiar, to the oil-streaked shores of Barra Nova, Renan Bernardo weaves takes if characters caught in the throes of life’s tempests. Meet Hamilton, whose pursuit of a stolen yacht morphs into a crusade for healthcare for the forgotten, his acts a mosaic of bravery and necessity. Walk with Vitória as she battles the relentless tide of pollution with a fleet of smart-bots at her side, her resolve as persistent as the oil that stains her beach. And stand by Jota, who faces the storms of parenting in the shadow of a past that is never quite done with him or his defiant bloodline.

DIFFERENT KINDS OF DEFIANCE is a collection for the rebels at heart—for those who find courage where hope seems lost and for whom every act of resistance is an act of sheer will.

Can one steal for the greater good? Can technology heal a land left for dead? Can a single act of love withstand a legacy of struggle? Dive into these stories of resilience and witness the many forms defiance can take when faced with the precipice of change.

Federation Marine: Lieutenant Colonel by Jonathan P. BrazeeFederation Marine: Lieutenant Colonel by Jonathan P. Brazee:

As a lieutenant colonel, Ryck is given command of the Second Battalion.

With the Marine Corps anxious to certify the resurfaced concept of integrated operations units, the battalion is thrown right into the fire.

With his new command, Ryck has the opportunity to prove his ability to be a true combat leader and not just as a warrior. But with that opportunity come the risk that he cannot handle the manager aspect of command: the logistics, training, maintenance, admin, and support aspects that allow every unit to maximize its combat potential.

A proven fighting Marine, Ryck still has to master every requirement of command—the tactical and the support—if he is going to keep his career alive in the Corps.

Tested by Temptation by Lindsay BurokerTested by Temptation by Lindsay Buroker:

In the final installment of the Tracking Trouble series, Arwen must confront her dark-elven kin once and for all while helping Azerdash win a war against all of dragon kind.

Ambitious tasks under any circumstances. But, to make matters worse, Gemlytha, the powerful woman Azerdash has admitted having feelings for, isn’t as dead as everyone believed.

When he comes face to face with her again, will he choose Arwen? Or Gemlytha?

Starship for rent 2 by M.R. ForbesStarship for Rent 2 by M.R. Forbes:

Starship rental gone wrong. Very wrong.

Trapped on the other side of the galaxy, Ben, Noah, and their companions are dragged into the midst of war by the mysterious Warden. Relentlessly hunted, they must choose the best of bad options and learn the ultimate lesson to prevail.

If they ever want to go home, they have no choice but to fight…and kill.

 

Shadows of the Past by Eric GoebelbeckerShadows of the Past by Eric Goebelbecker:

It’s 1915, twenty years after the Martian invasion chronicled in the War of the Worlds failed. The aliens left behind advanced technology and weapons, and now humanity is on the brink of a catastrophic war. Caught in the middle of the chaos are two unlikely heroes: Emil Zimmerman, a young German soldier, and James Brogan, an introverted radio engineer.

Emil dreamed of escaping his small village and making his way to the big city, but finds himself in the trenches fighting for an army that indiscriminately wields deadly Martian weapons. Meanwhile, James just wants to be left alone, but is pulled into a web of conspiracy when he’s called upon to repair crucial radios on Long Island.

As the world hurtles towards the brink of destruction, Emil and James find themselves on a collision course with fate, each struggling to survive and make sense of a new reality.

Shadows of the Past is a science fiction, alternate history, survival adventure. Do you love War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells? Then the thrilling journey of The Great War of the Worlds, where humanity grapples with the legacy of Martian technology is the ride you’re looking for.

The Way Back Home by Elle GrayThe Way Back Home by Elle Gray:

The end is here, and judgement has come.

FBI agent Cora Pratt came to Storyville searching for the crazed Postcard Killer.

A killer that has taunted her all over the USA.

When she arrived in this quiet town, nothing could have prepared her for the supernatural mysteries that would unfold.

Orphaned as a young child, Cora did not know about her family’s background. Let alone her shocking connection to this strange place.

Until now, the truth of her unusual past has been kept secret to almost everyone.

But as the end draws near, it’s now time for Cora to learn of her special purpose.

It’s a tale as old as time. The battle of good versus evil.

Salvation or eternal condemnation.

The world as we know it will never be the same.

Cold as a witch's tequila sunrise by Lily Harper HartCold as a Witch’s Tequila Sunrise by Lily Harper Hart

The big day has arrived. Hali Waverly is finally getting the surgery she so desperately needs. Her boyfriend Gray Hunter is determined to be by her side for it. She thinks she’s ready for it. Is she, though?

The surgery itself goes off without a hitch. Hali’s recovery is another story. Ceding control of her beloved tiki bar to her brother and her boyfriend’s brother only amps up her anxiety. Things get worse when a storm hits, and it’s of the magical variety instead of the natural. When a body is found in the aftermath, things are bad.

Things get worse when the body is identified as belonging to a local pack member, and the last person seen with the woman is Gray’s mother. Helene, of course, denies being up to anything nefarious. Unfortunately for her, Hali is in on her big secret, and it’s time to share it.

Hali thought the hardest thing in the world would be the surgery. She was wrong. Now she has to tell the man she loves about his mother’s betrayal and keep him from cutting his parents out of his life forever because of it.

It’s not just the pack closing in, though. The dark merrow are also making their move. Hali’s small sliver of beach is about to become very crowded.

Even though this is the exact worst time for a war, Hali finds herself embroiled in one. One side will fall forever. Hali wants to be on the winning team because if she’s not, they’ll all die.

The big battle is here.

Chilled to the Crone by Amanda M. LeeChilled to the Crone by Amanda M. Lee:

Winter has descended on Hawthorne Hollow like a chilly blanket, and all Scout Randall wants to do with her days is snuggle in bed with her gas station chicken and wait for spring to arrive.

Nothing in her life ever goes the way she planned, however.

There are gods afoot, as if Scout didn’t have enough to deal with. The Nordic goddess Skadi is in town, and she has something specific on her mind.
With the new lamia apex down for the count—whether she’ll survive her ultimate transition, nobody can say—Scout thinks she has some breathing room to get to know the family that’s only recently come to town. Instead, she’s got a god to deal with, and Skadi means business.

Scout’s magic is ever-evolving but is she strong enough to face a god?

When another god arrives hellbent on fighting it out with the first god, Scout thinks things can’t get worse. She’s wrong. Things can always get worse.

A god fight is not what Scout was anticipating it. It’s upon her, though. Worse, it seems one of the gods might be partnering with the lamia apex with domination on their minds. What does that mean? An end for them all.

Scout has been reticent about facing her new reality. She’s out of time, though. She either has to agree to take on the mantle of the pixie apex, or Hawthorne Hollow—and ultimately the world—will fall into ruin.

It’s time for a war. Is Scout ready?

Rediscovery Volume 3Rediscovery Science Fiction by Women Volume 3 (1964 – 1968), edited by Gideon Marcus:

Surfing the New Wave

In the ’60s, the New Wave swept over science fiction. Women rode that wave and pushed beyond, into new waters.

These stories are darker, exploring psychological horrors in ways that their older sisters didn’t dare to. They’re innovative, playing with form and structure. They’re challenging, forcing us to confront the demons not just outside us, but within us.

Come Rediscover nineteen of the era’s best works—and dive into a whole new frontier.

Includes 19 stellar pieces of fiction, with Afterwords by luminaries from Seanan McGuire to Marie Vibbert, as well as by relatives of the authors!

Terror at Tierra de Cobre by Michael MerriamTerror at Tierra de Cobre by Michael Merriam

An ancient evil has awakened…

Strong women, ancient magic and the walking dead make for a heady mix. In Michael Merriam’s tale, seven women are called to protect a small mining town in the New Mexico Territory, Tierra De Cobre, against an evil that has killed or stolen the town’s men and is twisting the souls of the townswomen. The Sihuanaba is part siren, part shapeshifter, possessed of the body of a beautiful woman, her face a horse’s skull with flaming eyes. Once she is freed from her copper prison in the mine, she feeds off the miners to regain her strength, then consumes or twists all the men who come to rescue them. Maria Garcia, recently widowed and quietly fierce, has the answer: hire women to fight the monster. And they do. Taking the classic Western “The Magnificent Seven” as a jumping off point, the town’s defenders are assembled, all women from wildly different backgrounds, united by one mission: to defend the town and defeat the Sihuanaba. All the odds are against them, the price of failure is death or worse and all they have is each other.

The Exodus Gambit by Glynn StewartThe Exodus Gambit by Glynn Stewart

Her family, gone, destroyed from within
Her kingdom, doomed, tainted by blood
Unless a scion rises to become something… more

In a single ruthless blow, Commander Lorraine Adamant’s favorite uncle murders everyone ahead of him in the succession for the Star Kingdom of Adamant. Only luck and the paranoia of her bodyguard, Vigo Jarret, saves Lorraine’s life.

On the run in a single starship Lorraine should never have commanded, with a crew she can not trust, she swiftly learns her uncle’s hounds are hot on her heels. She must gather every skill, every trick, she has ever learned if she is to survive—and pray the uncle who taught her those tricks is a step behind.

Because one thing is certain: Lorraine Adamant will save her Kingdom—or die.

Star Dragons by James David VictorStar Dragons by James David Victor:

What happens when your worst enemy suddenly becomes your best friend?

A Science Fiction adventure with aliens, an all-powerful galactic empire, and space dragons from #1 Bestselling author James David Victor.

Keel Hennity was killed by a dragon. His entire existence as a reincarnated fighting machine has focused on keeping those Star Dragons under control. Now that he’s been mysteriously bonded to one of the deadly creatures, he’s supposed to turn the creature into his best friend and most powerful ally. What could possibly go wrong?

Star Dragons is the third book in the Star Dragon series. If you like incredible stories that are part space opera, part military sci-fi adventure, and full of non-stop action, be sure to check out the Star Dragon series today. Oh, and don’t forget about the space dragons.

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Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for March 2024


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, culinary mysteries, historical mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, 1950s mysteries, paranormal mysteries, parnormal thrillers, crime thrillers, legal thrillers, action thrillers, adventure thrillers, police officers, FBI agents, amateur sleuths, lawyers, assassins, serial killers, sinister campgrounds, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-bustong realtors, crime-busting housekeepers, murder and mayhem in London, Florida, Michigan, South America 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:

The Happy Housekeeper's Guide to Danger by Blythe BakerThe Happy Housekeeper’s Guide To Danger by Blythe Baker:

A violent assault on a door-to-door salesman leaves the man’s life hanging in the balance as Barbara, Craig, and Deputy Elwood search for answers. Was it the victim’s estranged wife? A business competitor? A dissatisfied customer?

Meanwhile, Barbara has a chance at a new romance, but she has barely begun to pursue it when yet another mystery rises up. Can Barbara solve two different crimes before either of the perpetrators catches up to her?

School Days Intrigue by Beth ByersSchool Days Intrigue by Beth Byers:

Denny has accepted that the investigatory life is not for him. He’s not very good at it, and every time he goes it alone, he ends up bruised from his head to his toes. Or thereabouts.

Still, when an old chum from back when he was in short pants needs him, what can he do but help? It seems everything is askew, his life is about to be ruined, and he can’t go to Victor and Vi for help. Denny tries pushing his friend off on Smith, but old Snakey won’t be pushed.

With a desire for armor, a certainty that things are about to go awry, and a willingness to flee like a rabbit, Denny tries to help. No one, least of all him, will be surprised if things only get worse.

A Secret To Die For by Beth Byers and Ann WarrenA Secret To Die For by Beth Byers and Ann Warren:

In this final short mystery, Sam and Mia have returned home after their last caper and delved back into their lives. Everything is the same busy usual until Sam’s boss calls her for help.

He’s got a secret, one worth killing over. And, he’s very afraid that death is, in fact, at the door. Calling in Griffin and Jonah for help, it’s time to solve this mystery before all is lost.

 

No Way Out by Stacy ClaflinNo Way Out by Stacy Claflin:

When an escaped killer stumbles upon a secluded campground, the perfect hideaway becomes a sinister hunting ground…

True-crime podcasters Ariana and Damon Jones seek respite from their rough year with a camping trip in the wilderness. But the solace they hoped would bring peace soon twists into a sinister stage for a deadly game of terror.

A shadowy figure infiltrates the campsite, masquerading as just another camper. The group shrinks as people vanish or show up dead. Cut off from civilization, Ariana and Damon realize they’re trapped with a monster, their every move watched by a predator hidden in plain sight.

With suspicion corroding and trust a mere illusion, their professional skills may be their only chance to unmask the predator. But as the body count rises, they must tread carefully, for one wrong decision could mean the difference between life and death. Can Ariana and Damon survive the untamed darkness…or will they become the killer’s final trophies?

The Way Back Home by Elle GrayThe Way Back Home by Elle Gray:

The end is here, and judgement has come.

FBI agent Cora Pratt came to Storyville searching for the crazed Postcard Killer.

A killer that has taunted her all over the USA.

When she arrived in this quiet town, nothing could have prepared her for the supernatural mysteries that would unfold.

Orphaned as a young child, Cora did not know about her family’s background. Let alone her shocking connection to this strange place.

Until now, the truth of her unusual past has been kept secret to almost everyone.

But as the end draws near, it’s now time for Cora to learn of her special purpose.

It’s a tale as old as time. The battle of good versus evil.

Salvation or eternal condemnation.

The world as we know it will never be the same.

Cold as a witch's tequila sunrise by Lily Harper HartCold as a Witch’s Tequila Sunrise by Lily Harper Hart

The big day has arrived. Hali Waverly is finally getting the surgery she so desperately needs. Her boyfriend Gray Hunter is determined to be by her side for it. She thinks she’s ready for it. Is she, though?

The surgery itself goes off without a hitch. Hali’s recovery is another story. Ceding control of her beloved tiki bar to her brother and her boyfriend’s brother only amps up her anxiety. Things get worse when a storm hits, and it’s of the magical variety instead of the natural. When a body is found in the aftermath, things are bad.

Things get worse when the body is identified as belonging to a local pack member, and the last person seen with the woman is Gray’s mother. Helene, of course, denies being up to anything nefarious. Unfortunately for her, Hali is in on her big secret, and it’s time to share it.

Hali thought the hardest thing in the world would be the surgery. She was wrong. Now she has to tell the man she loves about his mother’s betrayal and keep him from cutting his parents out of his life forever because of it.

It’s not just the pack closing in, though. The dark merrow are also making their move. Hali’s small sliver of beach is about to become very crowded.

Even though this is the exact worst time for a war, Hali finds herself embroiled in one. One side will fall forever. Hali wants to be on the winning team because if she’s not, they’ll all die.

The big battle is here.

Capped by Closing Costs by CeeCee JamesCapped by Closing Costs by CeeCee James:

In a small town known for its picturesque landscapes and quaint charm, Stella O’Neil eagerly arranges a showing for Dude Ranch. The property, nestled amidst rolling hills and vibrant green pastures, has attracted potential buyers from far and wide.

As the day of the showing arrives, a select group of interested buyers and enthusiasts gather at the horse farm. Little did anyone know that this showing would soon turn into a chilling mystery.

 

The Client List by Robin JamesThe Client List by Robin James

After a chance encounter at the funeral of an old mentor, small-town lawyer Cass Leary finds herself at the center of a murder trial no one believes she can win.

Cass is stunned when a man she hasn’t seen or spoken to in twenty years wills his law practice to her. His client list contains a single name. Farrah Sibley. Accused of murdering her boss, Farrah has femme fatale written all over her. Beautiful. Smart. Cunning. But is she capable of such a cold-blooded killing?

Shot once through the heart, the victim, prominent lawyer Terrence Dowd only had one enemy. His mistress, Farrah is on record threatening Dowd’s life and had the motive and opportunity to turn their relationship into a fatal attraction. She was also the last one to see Dowd alive. Two things drive Cass to take the case despite the skepticism of her team. There’s no physical evidence tying Farrah to the crime and someone Cass revered believed in her innocence until the day he died. Cass takes a leap of faith and mounts a defense.

Firestorm by Ethan JonesFirestorm by Ethan Jones:

A killer with no conscience…

Assassin Tom Maverick is an old-school tough guy. He’ll kill anyone, for any reason, no questions asked. His life has been one terrible mistake after another, but that has only hardened him more.

After being falsely accused of executing an innocent family, Tom is on the run. And now no questions mean no answers as to why he’s been framed.

When he scarcely escapes a car bombing in South America, Tom realizes his enemies have found him. What’s worse, the hitmen have also found his son… a continent away.

Ready to fight, he discovers a conspiracy spanning the globe. But can Tom determine who’s hunting him, foil their plan, and keep his son out of the firestorm?

Chilled to the Crone by Amanda M. LeeChilled to the Crone by Amanda M. Lee:

Winter has descended on Hawthorne Hollow like a chilly blanket, and all Scout Randall wants to do with her days is snuggle in bed with her gas station chicken and wait for spring to arrive.

Nothing in her life ever goes the way she planned, however.

There are gods afoot, as if Scout didn’t have enough to deal with. The Nordic goddess Skadi is in town, and she has something specific on her mind.

With the new lamia apex down for the count—whether she’ll survive her ultimate transition, nobody can say—Scout thinks she has some breathing room to get to know the family that’s only recently come to town. Instead, she’s got a god to deal with, and Skadi means business.

Scout’s magic is ever-evolving but is she strong enough to face a god?

When another god arrives hellbent on fighting it out with the first god, Scout thinks things can’t get worse. She’s wrong. Things can always get worse.

A god fight is not what Scout was anticipating it. It’s upon her, though. Worse, it seems one of the gods might be partnering with the lamia apex with domination on their minds. What does that mean? An end for them all.

Scout has been reticent about facing her new reality. She’s out of time, though. She either has to agree to take on the mantle of the pixie apex, or Hawthorne Hollow—and ultimately the world—will fall into ruin.

It’s time for a war. Is Scout ready?

Then She's Gone by Willow Rose Then She’s Gone by Willow Rose:

A discovery of bones on a windswept beach, the disappearance of a young woman, and a detective whose secrets are about to come out…

Summoned to a crime scene swarming with people, Detective Billie Ann Wilde is devastated to find a woman’s broken bones abandoned in a suitcase on the sand of a popular Florida beach. And Billie’s blood runs cold when she reads the name “Danni” handwritten on the luggage tag in black ink: the name of Billie’s own best friend.

Rushing over to Danni’s home, Billie is relieved to find her alive, preparing dinner for her two young daughters. So whose bones are in the suitcase? And why was Danni’s name at the scene?

For years, Billie has worried that the dark secrets in her past might put her loved ones in danger, and soon her connection to the case is confirmed. Another set of bones is found at a busy local mall. With shaking hands Billie reaches out to read the luggage tag where another name is written in black ink: but this time, it’s Billie’s own name. And now, Danni has gone missing…

Can Billie face up to the past and unravel her connection to this twisted killer? Or, with two young women already gone, is it too late for Billie to save Danni’s life?

Swift and Silent by Wayne StinnettSwift and Silent by Wayne Stinnett:

Things in the Middle Florida Keys aren’t as idyllic as they seem. If one looks closely, there’s a layer of dirt just below the surface. The butt-ugly kind of dirt that’s hard to get off.

Things move slowly in the Keys—locals call it island time—but there are some for whom it seems that time is at a standstill; whose clocks revolve only around the tides, fish migrations, and the rising and setting of the sun and moon.

Jesse McDermitt remembers the Keys the way he’d first found them as a young man. He’s lived on his little island in the Content Keys for a long time and he’s learned to adapt to some of the change. But not all of it has been positive, and it seems the dirt has a way of finding Jesse, sticking to his feet like Everglades mud.

Is it finally time to go away? To completely disappear? He has the means and there are places in the world where the dirt hasn’t settled. Places he’d like to show his wife and family.

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Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for February 2024

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 January books I missed the last time around snuck in as well. The books are arranged in alphabetical order by author. So far, most links only go to Amazon.com, though I may add other retailers for future editions.

Once again, we have new releases covering the whole broad spectrum of speculative fiction. This month, we have epic fantasy, urban fantasy, historical fantasy, paranormal romance, paranormal mysteries, space opera, military science fiction, dystopian fiction, horror, vampires, dragons, wizards, time travel, starships for rent, space marines, crime-busting witches, crime-busting ghosts 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:

Jonathan P. Brazee "Major"Major by Jonathan P. Brazee:

A Marine major is one of the orphan ranks, too senior to command a line company, but too junior to command a battalion.

Newly promoted to major, Ryck reports for duty as the assistant naval attaché to the Confederation of Free States, the same government whose troops he’d recently fought in the Telchines. Ryck wasn’t happy about the assignment, but he buckled down for a long and boring tour of duty.

But action seems to follow Ryck, and this is no exception.

From the diplomatic post on New Mumbai to leading one of the newly formed Raider special ops companies, Ryck continues his eventful career as a United Federation Marine.

Pursued by Dragons by Lindsay BurokerPursued by Peril by Lindsay Buroker:

The dragons of the Cosmic Realms aren’t pleased now that Azerdash has recovered a legendary galaxy blade. It makes him more of a threat in his quest to oust their kind from power. To stop him, the dragons have sent one of their own after him, a deadly assassin who likes a challenge…

Arwen wants to help Azerdash, but she has her own problems. She must track down the missing vampire alchemist, Zoltan. It’s her fault that he was kidnapped, and she can’t leave him in the hands of dark elves.

But when the dragon assassin comes after her, because of her relationship with Azerdash, Arwen must worry about far more than kidnappers.

Starship for Rent by M.R. ForbesStarship For Rent by M.R. Forbes:

When Noah sees an advertisement offering him a chance to rent a starship, he’s convinced it has to be a trick.

Already mired in the worst day of his life, he’s willing to do anything to escape, including a field trip to the middle of nowhere to follow the lead. Except there is no trick. The starship is real. And Noah’s life will never be the same.

All he has to do is sign the contract.

Joined by his wisecracking friend, a woman he met online, and the ship’s curious crew, Noah’s about to discover that the universe is more dangerous, bizarre, and magical than he ever imagined.

From tragedy to triumph. His true destiny awaits.

Ghosts of Past and Present by Rachel FordGhosts of Past and Present by Rachel Ford:

When Tennessee Evans inherited a fortune, the last thing she expected was to find her absentee family on her doorstep. But that’s exactly what happened.

Quite literally, in fact. First her dad and his new wife, then her mom and her new husband. Awkward doesn’t quite cover it.
Then her stepmom is kidnapped, and the ghosts start showing up.

Which would be bad enough on its own. But Tennessee is already juggling a complicated romance, her plans to restore the town’s downtown area, and a home renovation project.

She needs to figure out what’s going on stat. Fortunately for her, the dead are on the case, and they have a few ideas…

Another Time, edited by Jean-Paul GarnierAnother Time: An Anthology of Time Travel Stories 1942-1960, edited by Jean-Paul Garnier:

The nature of time has forever perplexed humankind. Add the many ripe paradoxes of time travel and the situation gets complicated. While science has shown us that time travel is technically possible, at least on paper, we still know little about what time actually is, or our place within it. Science fiction has long explored this theme and it has become one of the cornerstones of the genre. In this collection of stories, we find visions of what time travel could be, what could go wrong, and dive headlong into the paradoxical nature of what it might entail. Tales ranging from 1942 to 1960 bring us into these mysterious worlds and provide a window into what the writers of this era grappled with when exploring time and the possibilities of traveling within the fourth dimension. Readers will also delight in traversing another time in literature, with stories that first appeared in Worlds of IF, Astonishing Stories, Galaxy Magazine, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Startling Stories, and Imagination Stories of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

With stories by:

C. Shook
Darius John Granger
Evelyn E. Smith
Sylvia Jacobs
Rog Phillips
Miriam Allen deFord
Anthony Boucher
Henry Kuttner
Alfred Bester

and an introduction by Dr. Phoenix Alexander

Witch Mirror by A.L. HawkeWitch Mirror by A.L. Hawke:

Reflections of a wicked witch.

Bryce and I are trying to revive Alondra’s old metaphysical history class. We’re in college again, this time teaching. But It’s stressful under our former teacher’s shadow. Not only that, there’s a new demon-witch messing with my love life. So I’m going through that again. Well, at least this time I have Alondra’s magic to protect me.

Actually, not only do I have her magic, her spirit is inside me, possessing me. But don’t worry, Alondra’s ghost is a positive force here to help Hawthorne. I mean…are you good, Alondra?

A witch council is gathering at my house to reflect on ways to save us. They’re convinced Alondra is evil, but Alondra and I are unsure they know what they’re doing. Well, if I can’t hold things together—inside and outside of myself—I fear my plans of finishing graduate school at Hawthorne U. and starting a family are going to shatter.

Witchy Woman Blues by Lily Harper HartWitchy Woman Blues by Lily Harper Hart:

The final battle is here.

Hannah Hickok had high hopes for her wedding and honeymoon, but everything changes when a local politician stops by to casually drop some disturbing news. It seems Casper Creek is going to be seized by eminent domain…and there’s nothing she can do about it.

Cooper Wyatt knows that the land can’t just be taken from Hannah willy-nilly, but stopping what’s about to happen is going to take more than the sheriff on their side. They’re also going to need some magical help.

That means it’s time for Hannah’s ultimate decision on the nexus magic. She knows she can’t risk anybody getting their hands on it, especially local witch Astra Bishop, who wants to use it for evil. That means there’s no choice but to absorb it now. Is she ready, though?

Hannah wants her happily ever after. She has to take out Astra—and those she has working for her—to make it to the other side. It’s a tall order, but she’s determined to make it happen.

Casper Creek is a place of magic and love. Hannah is willing to fight to the death to keep it that way.

Will she get her wish, or will she lose everything? You’re about to find out. The end is here.

The Future Lies by John Be LaneThe Future Lies by John Be Lane:

What would youdoif you found out one day that the Artificial Intelligence that ran everything was lazy, dishonest, and not quite as bright as it seemed? That there might be a way to outwit the Network, in spite of its oppression, and maybe to find love, and something like a future, in the ruins of a desolate world? If you didn’t die trying, that is?

 

 

freaky wedding by Amanda M. LeeFreaky Wedding by Amanda M. Lee:

Wedding bells are about to ring for Poet Parker and Kade Denton. They just have to knock a few things off their list in Galveston, including getting a license, and then they will be ready to pledge themselves to one another forever.

There’s just one little problem.

On their first night, right across the water, they watch the local vampires do a ritual on the beach. They don’t sweat it too much until the police show up the next morning to ask them about the body that was found in the exact same location.

It seems the vampires are up to something, and they’re not the only ones. Trouble is back and the quiet week of rest and relaxation Poet was hoping for is about to go up in smoke.

As Poet and her motley crew of paranormals dig deeper into the Galveston lore, they find more interesting tidbits than they can shake a loa at. Something magical—something dark and dangerous—has been controlling the island for a very long time. That’s why no other paranormals can get a foothold in the area. It’s also why the vampires seem to be serving a new master. Unfortunately for Mystic Caravan, that creature is now focused on them.

Poet wants her big day. She wants a honeymoon to enjoy. It seems death is on the wedding reception menu, though, and it’s going to take everybody working together to make sure Poet and Kade get their happily ever after.

Lamias, dwarves, pixies, shifters, and loas are about to unite in a big fight. Who will win, though?

The Battle of Erathal by Joseph P. MacolinoThe Battle For Erathal by Joseph P. Macolino:

He just wanted to enjoy this time of peace. But when a familiar evil is unleashed upon the forest of Erathal, will anyone be safe?

Enjoying the time without strife, Irontail works to spread peace and unity throughout the forest of Erathal. Organizing the first ever Festival of Gratitude, he finally feels he is fulfilling his calling as the leader of his centaur village. But his plans are once again hijacked when a familiar villain escapes from imprisonment.

The felite warrior, Tel’ Shira, joins Irontail and the other heroes of Erathal as they plan their counter-offensive. But even her gift of foresight is not enough to prepare her for the upcoming battle against this malevolent foe.

With the future of Erathal on the line, will anyone survive to tell the tale?

The Battle for Erathal is the thrilling conclusion to the Evorath epic fantasy series.

Your Evil Is My Good by Robert MammoneYour Evil Is My Good by Robert Mammone:

Thirteen tales to unsettle and terrify. The beginning of a zombie apocalypse; what really happened to Amelia Earhart; ancient sorcery from the howling wastes of Pakistan; terror in the subways; messages from beyond the black rim of the galaxy. All these and more in Robert Mammone’s debut collection, Your Evil is My Good.

 

 

 

Arsalan the Magnificent by J.E. TolbertArsalan the Magnificent by J.E. Tolbert:

Arsalan the Magnificent is a lighthearted but poignant novel of historical fantasy fiction. In Europe and the Ottoman Empire of the early 19th century, a profession of wizards known as magical architects have achieved wealth and fame as builders of fantastical structures. Facing disgrace after his newest and greatest work collapses, Arsalan Ozdikmen, a renowned Ottoman magical architect in the prime of his career, is exiled to the Balkans. There, he undergoes a journey of reckoning and recovery, and finally redemption, when he is called to the aid of a young Bavarian princess.

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Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for February 2024


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 January books I missed the last time around snuck in as well. The books are arranged in alphabetical order by author. So far, most links only go to Amazon.com, though I may add other retailers for future editions.

Our new releases cover the broad spectrum of crime fiction. We have cozy mysteries, historical mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, WWII mysteries, 1950s mysteries, paranormal mysteries, crime thrillers, psychological thrillers, police officers, FBI agents, amateur sleuths, prisoners, missing persons, serial killers, murderous twins, murdered brides, deadly weddings, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-busting housekeepers, crime-busting ghosts, murder and mayhem in London, California, Lousiana, Florida, Texas 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:

The Happy Housekeeper's Guide to Theft by Blythe BakerThe Happy Housekeeper’s Guide To Theft by Blythe Baker:

Barbara Hollis has barely settled into the sleepy little town where her brother is sheriff, when a shocking crime rocks the community. Thanks to a peculiar new friend she has made and an unexpected prize she has won at a plasticware party, Barbara finds herself dragged into a dangerous mystery.

Can she uncover the identity of a murderer and track down a jewelry store thief, while navigating a confusing acquaintance with a handsome restaurant owner who is just a little too charming for anyone’s good?

Murder Overdue by Beth ByersMurder Overdue by Beth Byers:

Vi feels like she’s been pregnant for about 1,000 years. She’s decided it’s time to make a major change in her life. No more murders. No more mayhem. No more madness.

Except, then she meets a man and a woman, and if there was ever a pair of people who needed to be murdered it was them. Vi says so. Maybe more than once. Maybe to those who took note. Maybe, even, to a suspicious degree. So when one of them is killed, all eyes turn to the heavily pregnant Vi.

This time, Vi isn’t just investigating to right a wrong. She’s not fighting for justice. She’s saving her baby from being born in a jail cell and herself from being hanged before her child is walking. She takes up her swollen ankles, gathers round her wild friends, and the whole gang is going to find the killer, trap the killer, and then welcome a baby who really should have come already.

Josephine West and the Bookish Corpse by Beth Byers and Ann WarrenJosephine West and the Bookish Corpse by Beth Byers and Ann Warren:

March 1922

If Josephine Marie West knows about anything, she knows about grief. Which is probably why she bonded so quickly with her friend, Chessie. Josephine hadn’t had a best friend as an adult before, and she’s ready to be the best best friend the world has ever seen. So when Chessie calls for help, Josephine drops everything.

It’s time to uncover yet another murderer.

Swamp Spies by Jana DeLeonSwamp Spies by Jana DeLeon:

Things have reached a critical point in the Middle East. Carter agreed to serve as a consultant for his old Force Recon unit but for reasons unknown to his friends and family, jumped from the command center and into the field. Now he’s MIA, and Fortune is the only one who can put together a rescue mission that has any chance of being successful. But will her skills and connections be enough?

Most Sinful residents are unaware of Carter’s crisis and are going about their daily lives as they always have, including local prankster Gage Babin. Except this time, Gage’s attempt to elicit laughs leaves him on a slab in the medical examiner’s office. Everyone knows how unhealthy he was, but Fortune thinks there’s more to his death than a poorly timed prank that caused his bad heart to give out.

Unfortunately, what she knows and what she can prove are two different things. And unless she can find the evidence to support her theory, someone will get away with murder.

Deadly Plot by Jan EdwardsDeadly Plot by Jan Edwards:

When the body of Nario Costa is dug up in Wyncombe’s Victory Gardens, Bunch Courtney’s investigations unearth far more than an escaped POW!

What at first appears to be a cold case takes a darker turn as she uncovers links far beyond her Sussex home — and the body count begins to rise!”

 

 

Ghosts of Past and Present by Rachel FordGhosts of Past and Present by Rachel Ford:

When Tennessee Evans inherited a fortune, the last thing she expected was to find her absentee family on her doorstep. But that’s exactly what happened.

Quite literally, in fact. First her dad and his new wife, then her mom and her new husband. Awkward doesn’t quite cover it.

Then her stepmom is kidnapped, and the ghosts start showing up.

Which would be bad enough on its own. But Tennessee is already juggling a complicated romance, her plans to restore the town’s downtown area, and a home renovation project.

She needs to figure out what’s going on stat. Fortunately for her, the dead are on the case, and they have a few ideas…

The Inmate's Secret by Elle GrayThe Inmate’s Secret by Elle Gray:

It should be the season of joy, but one inmate has a secret he’s taking to the grave…

FBI agent Blake Wilder is basking in the holiday spirit, when she receives a phone call from an old high school friend regarding a murder case.

She reluctantly agrees to visit him in prison. There he begs her to investigate his case to prove his innocence. He is currently serving a life sentence for a murder he claims he did not commit.

While glossing over his case, Blake notices that there are potential discrepancies in the original investigation.

It seems her friend, the inmate, has been keeping secrets from her.

And as Blake dives deeper into the case, she finds a trail of illicit affairs, abuse, incompetence, and a shocking twist that no one saw coming.

Lust, pride, envy, deception, and murder. Some have secrets they’d kill for.

This inmate has a secret worth taking to the grave.

Witchy Woman Blues by Lily Harper HartWitchy Woman Blues by Lily Harper Hart:

The final battle is here.

Hannah Hickok had high hopes for her wedding and honeymoon, but everything changes when a local politician stops by to casually drop some disturbing news. It seems Casper Creek is going to be seized by eminent domain…and there’s nothing she can do about it.

Cooper Wyatt knows that the land can’t just be taken from Hannah willy-nilly, but stopping what’s about to happen is going to take more than the sheriff on their side. They’re also going to need some magical help.

That means it’s time for Hannah’s ultimate decision on the nexus magic. She knows she can’t risk anybody getting their hands on it, especially local witch Astra Bishop, who wants to use it for evil. That means there’s no choice but to absorb it now. Is she ready, though?

Hannah wants her happily ever after. She has to take out Astra—and those she has working for her—to make it to the other side. It’s a tall order, but she’s determined to make it happen.

Casper Creek is a place of magic and love. Hannah is willing to fight to the death to keep it that way.

Will she get her wish, or will she lose everything? You’re about to find out. The end is here.

freaky wedding by Amanda M. LeeFreaky Wedding by Amanda M. Lee:

Wedding bells are about to ring for Poet Parker and Kade Denton. They just have to knock a few things off their list in Galveston, including getting a license, and then they will be ready to pledge themselves to one another forever.

There’s just one little problem.

On their first night, right across the water, they watch the local vampires do a ritual on the beach. They don’t sweat it too much until the police show up the next morning to ask them about the body that was found in the exact same location.

It seems the vampires are up to something, and they’re not the only ones. Trouble is back and the quiet week of rest and relaxation Poet was hoping for is about to go up in smoke.

As Poet and her motley crew of paranormals dig deeper into the Galveston lore, they find more interesting tidbits than they can shake a loa at. Something magical—something dark and dangerous—has been controlling the island for a very long time. That’s why no other paranormals can get a foothold in the area. It’s also why the vampires seem to be serving a new master. Unfortunately for Mystic Caravan, that creature is now focused on them.

Poet wants her big day. She wants a honeymoon to enjoy. It seems death is on the wedding reception menu, though, and it’s going to take everybody working together to make sure Poet and Kade get their happily ever after.

Lamias, dwarves, pixies, shifters, and loas are about to unite in a big fight. Who will win, though?

The Girl and the Bride by A.J. RiversThe Girl and the Bride by A.J. Rivers:

Here comes the bride, all dressed in…

When the body of a “bride,” clutching a bloody invitation is found in a shallow grave with flower petals scattered around, FBI agent Emma Griffin is called to the scene.

Initial reports about the victim’s disappearance were conflicting.

Some believed she had simply gotten cold feet, just a “runaway bride”.

While her family feared something far more sinister occurred.

When another “bride” is found in a similar fashion, it seems as though a serial killer is sending a message.

While the case takes on many bloody twists and turns, unraveling the final moments of these soon-to-be brides and deciphering the killer’s cryptic messages is only just the beginning.

With Bellamy’s wedding date quickly approaching, Emma juggles her duties to Bellamy and solving this mysterious case.

But there’s a strange darkness looming over Bellamy’s big day.

And Emma’s fears are confirmed when Bellamy is nowhere to be found…

It’s the event most women have been waiting all their lives to celebrate.

As the saying goes,“Be careful what you wish for”.

Don't Let Her Go by Willow RoseDon’t Let Her Go by Willow Rose:

A missing five-year-old girl is the key to unlocking a detective’s terrifying past…

When Detective Billie Ann Wilde receives a desperate call that five-year-old Emma Wilson is missing, she rushes to the family home. But inside the picture-perfect house surrounded by Florida marshlands, she finds no children’s clothes or toys, no photos of the innocent child Emma’s mother Marissa describes. Billie suspects Marissa Wilson is hiding from someone.

It’s a race against the clock to find Emma. But Marissa refuses to tell Billie anything about her past, and before long, she also disappears…

And then Billie realizes who Marissa is.

She’s the ten-year-old girl Billie failed to find in her first ever case fourteen years ago. The leads went cold because Billie made a fatal mistake.

As more bodies turn up in the same marshlands, Billie must revisit her past and face up to her demons to find Marissa and her child. But she is unknowingly putting herself in the path of a terrifying serial killer…

Hide and Be by Gary L. StuartHide and Be by Gary L. Stuart:

You look exactly like your twin brother. Exactly. You think like him, for him, with him, cannot live without him. Cannot. Don’t want to. Don’t want to. Other kids play Hide & Seek. But you and he play Hide & Be. Your parents died when you were two. The foster parents were sometimes nice and sometimes awful. They could never tell you apart because one of you would hide; the other would just be. Be bad. Be blamed. Be good. Get the Jesus Strap. Get the ice cream cone. There were always eyes on you, then him. Wondering which one you were. There were always voices in your head, his. They can’t judge you because you could always be him, or you. You did not need friends because you are his and he is yours. You learn you don’t need anyone else; they can’t see you, just him. Or are they looking at him, not you? If one of you dies, the other will be. You.

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