Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for June 2021

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 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.

Once again, we have new releases covering the whole broad spectrum of speculative fiction. This month, we have epic fantasy, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, sword and sorcery, paranormal mystery, science fiction romance, space opera, space westerns, military science fiction, horror, time travel, first contact, vampires, wizards, dragons, black knights, barbarian kings, blood cults, aliens, monsters, space cruises, intergalactic smuggler, 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:

The Rogue Wolf by K.T. BeltThe Rogue Wolf by K.T. Belt:

Billions dead, entire worlds under siege, and no end in sight.

The most destructive war in the history of the galaxy has arrived and every able-bodied man and woman is mobilized, save one. Carmen Grey has been released from the facility into an uncertain future. The young Clairvoyant can fly and read minds and has been trained since the age of six to do one thing and one thing only: kill. Yet Carmen struggles with an entirely different battle—how to ring up customers without them running away from her.

As she tries desperately to keep her life from falling apart, everything changes when someone close to her is swept into the conflict. Carmen vowed to never fight again, but she will have to rely on her best skill in a race against time. When everything is on the line, will she be able to stay good?

The Black Knight by Richard Blakemore and Cora BuhlertThe Black Knight by Richard Blakemore and Cora Buhlert:

The Lords of Angilbert have been a thorn in the side of the Kings of Azakoria for decades, refusing to pay taxes or to accept the authority of the throne.

King Kurval of Azakoria inherited the conflict with the Black Knight of Angilbert from his predecessor. Determined to bring the Black Knight to heel once and for all, Kurval besieges Castle Angilbert. But when he finally comes face to face with the mysterious Black Knight, he’s in for a shock.

The law demands that the Black Knight be executed for treason. However, Kurval does not want to sentence the Black Knight to death, especially once he learns that the Lords of Angilbert have a very good reason to hate the Kings of Azakoria.

But is it even possible to find a peaceful solution or can the feud with the Black Knight of Angilbert end only in bloodshed and death?

The new sword and sorcery adventure by two-time Hugo finalist Cora Buhlert and her occasional alter ego, 1930s pulp writer Richard Blakemore. This is a novella of 33400 words or approx. 112 print pages in the Kurval series but may be read as a standalone. Includes an introduction and afterword.

Warning: This is a dark story, which contains scenes of a violent and sexual nature.

The Bridge by J.S. BreukelaarThe Bridge by J.S. Breukelaar:

Meera and her twin sister Kai are among thousands of hybrid women—called Mades—bred by the Father in his Blood Temple cult. Meera is rescued by a mysterious healer and storyteller, Narn, but her sister, Kai, does not survive the Father’s “unmaking.” Years later, when the cult is discovered and abolished, Meera, still racked with guilt and grief, enrolls in college to take advantage of a generous new Redress Program. When Narn’s conjure stories buy Meera a free ride to a notorious horror reading series, she is soon the darling of the lit set, feted by the other students, finally whole, finally free of the idea that she should have died instead of her sister. But college is not all it seems—Narn has lost a sister too, and Meera agrees to try and find her if Narn will keep feeding Meera the stories that are opening her up to memories she’s never acknowledged, secrets she’s never wanted to know, about Narn’s and the Father’s connection to a violent campus stalker.

The Art of the Hunt by Lindsay BurokerArt of the Hunt by Lindsay Buroker:

Our heroes have escaped with the ancient dragon gate, but powerful enemies are right behind them.

If they can’t figure out the magic of the mysterious artifact, and find great allies and resources in another world, their hopes of overthrowing their tyrannical wizard rulers will end as surely as their lives.

 

 

Jury Duty by Peter CawdronJury Duty by Peter Cawdron:

FIRST CONTACT is a series of stand-alone novels that explore the concept of humanity’s first interaction with extraterrestrial life.

The United Nations is thrown into chaos when an alien spacecraft is discovered buried beneath the ice in Antarctica. With no one nation able to lay claim to the craft, a multinational effort is undertaken to salvage the vessel, which is estimated to have crashed several hundred thousand years ago. Rather than leaving key decisions to hostile governments or their armies, a jury is established to represent the average global citizen, being selected from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. Their job is to review findings and guide the process of discovery.

The FIRST CONTACT series is like BLACK MIRROR or THE TWILIGHT ZONE in that it is based on a common theme rather than common characters. This allows the series to be read in any order. Technically, they’re all first as they all deal with how we might respond to contact with an alien intelligence. This series explores the social, political, religious and scientific aspects of First Contact.

A Grimoire for Gamblers by Amanda CreiglowA Grimoire for Gamblers by Amanda Creiglow:

Magic may be secret, but it’ll kill you anyway.

Small town mayor’s assistant Elizabeth has enough on her plate grieving her father’s suicide. She doesn’t need his stash of magical knowledge in the attic. She doesn’t need the hidden supernatural subculture of monsters it pulls her into. And she certainly doesn’t need hints that her father’s madness might have been a smokescreen for something far darker.

But uncovering her father’s secrets could be the only way Elizabeth can stop a string of suspicious suicides… if the local wizard doesn’t rip the memories out of her mind, first.

Wizards, right?

Simultaneous Times Vol. 2 editec by Jean-Paul GarnierSimultaneous Times Vol. 2, edited by Jean-Paul Garnier:

From Space Cowboy Books in Joshua Tree, California. The second volume of the companion book series to the Space Cowboy Books Presents: Simultaneous Times science fiction anthology podcast. In Simultaneous Times Volume Two Space Cowboy Books brings you a collection of science fiction short stories from our local Hi-Desert authors, featuring both stories that have been featured on the podcast, as well as some appearing for the first time. An eclectic mix of approaches to the science fiction genre which range from rebellions against oppressive robots to alien encounters to pure campy fun, with writing styles varying from traditional to experimental. The collection features nine different authors, each paired up with five different illustrators to bring each story to life with original artwork.

Galaxy Cruise: The Maiden Voyage by Marcus Alexander HartGalaxy Cruise: The Maiden Voyage by Marcus Alexander Hart:

Humanity needed a hero. It got a karaoke DJ.

Leo MacGavin is not the brightest specimen of humanity. But when he inadvertently rescues a flirty alien heiress, he’s promoted from second-rate lounge entertainer to captain of the galaxy’s most sophisticated cruise ship.

Before he can flee in terror, a human-hating executive gives Leo an ultimatum—complete the vessel’s maiden voyage or mankind’s last colony will be turned into a sewage dump. To make matters worse, a militant cyborg is undermining his authority, a giant spider is terrifying the passengers, and a sentient plant keeps stealing all the beer.

If Leo ever wants to see his home again, he’ll have to keep the guests happy through seven days of onboard antics and madcap shore excursions. As strange malfunctions tear the ship apart, can he hold his rag-tag crew together, or will he flush the last bastion of humanity down the crapper?

Bloody Magic by N.R. HairstonBloody Magic by N.R. Hairston:

The second I enter the world Pilo, I get a fireball hurled towards my face. My crew and I end up in a fight that has nothing to do with us. Now we’ve offended some very powerful people, and they’re coming for us.

We’re used to fighting, but they made the mistake of going after our loved ones. Now we’re coming for them. No Mercy.

This is a fight to the death. These people mean to kill us and everyone we love. My crew and I can’t let that happen. We’ll fight to our last breath.

They call me the World Breaker. They call my crew the Wrath Bringers. We never back down from a fight, but this time I wonder if any of us will make it out alive.

Bourbon Street Ghosts by Lily Harper HartBourbon Street Ghosts by Lily Harper Hart:

Harper Harlow-Monroe and Zander Pritchett have been excited for their upcoming ghost conference in New Orleans for years, since before they were involved with their significant others. What was once a trip for two has now become a trip for four … but that doesn’t make them any less excited.

Ofelia Archer has just found out that her bar Krewe is about to be inundated with ghost hunters … and she’s beyond excited. She’s looking forward to a good week, which means more money to funnel into her next business venture.

Two worlds collide when Harper and Ofelia meet in Jackson Square, a ghost catching their attention. Before they realize what’s happening, they’re embroiled in a huge mystery … one that involves New Orleans’ colorful past and worry for the future.

Harper and Ofelia have a lot in common and they bond quickly. That adds a colorful edge to their friendship. Add Zander to the mix and the Big Easy is in for big trouble.

Hang on because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Between ghosts, Zander’s attitude, and Ofelia’s mother … it’s going to be a very strange trip. It could also be deadly.

Note: This is a crossover book between Harper Harlow and Ofelia Archer. It’s set after Ghostly Travels and Hex, Drugs & Rock and Roll.

The Asylum Aberration by Amanda M. LeeThe Asylum Aberration by Amanda M. Lee:

Charlie Rhodes has spent her entire life wondering who she is, why she was abandoned as a child, and what’s behind the magical powers she can wield in the blink of an eye.

She’s finally getting her answers.

Now that she’s been reunited with her birth mother and brother, the search is on for her father. He’s supposed to be somewhere in Boston … but where? He’s fallen out of touch and finding him is virtually impossible.

Thankfully for Charlie, the Legacy Foundation’s next assignment is in a suburb of the very city where she lives, which means there’s plenty of time to find her father and solve the mystery of a haunted former hospital that’s apparently eating construction workers on a regular basis.

Heavenstone Asylum was considered the height of sophistication in psychiatric circles back in the day. In the years since the facility closed, the main doctor’s legacy has been tarnished by horror stories of treatments gone wrong and disappearing patients.

The second Charlie walks into the building, she recognizes that the past is hardly buried within the walls. There are tortured souls at every turn, and it’s her job to help them.

Heavenstone’s history makes for interesting reading but the harder Charlie digs, the more horrifying the story. Somehow she needs to uncover the truth … and survive the ghosts long enough to free them.

It’s going to take everything she’s got to see things through until the end.

All Charlie wants are answers. She’s going to get them. Surviving long enough to do anything with them is another story.

It’s about to be the Legacy Foundation’s finest hour … or is it?

Thunder Moon Tussle by Torn MacAlesterThunder Moon Tussle by Torn MacAlester:

Nils Carmike, a fallen from grace astronaut turned smuggler, forges a new life on the lunar frontier. Harassed by the strikingly beautiful and demanding Deputy Miller, he is faced with fines and conflict, resulting in a tumultuous relationship and ultimatum he can’t refuse. Running for their life they struggle against their pasts, hoping to outsmart the common faceless enemy and forced to focus on the only rule that matters: survive!

 

 

Blue Sun Armada by Scott MoonBlue Sun Armada by Scott Moon:

War is coming.
Duke Uron Marlboro led his mighty house to victory in the Zezner war. The last thing he expected was for his allies to turn on him.

With a new civil war brewing, the Duke and his family have one option to survive the king’s wrath—

They must flee.
Will they survive the political games of their past? Can they escape their doomed planet and find a new place to thrive before their once great house is destroyed… forever.

Blue Sun Armada is the first in a new epic space opera set in the far-flung future. Legendary mech battles, intense fleet engagements, and deadly politics all make Blue Sun Armada a magnificent read. Pick your side and buy now to start the fight for survival!

Blood Moon by Nazri NoorBlood Moon by Nazri Noor:

All vampires suck. Sterling just happens to be very good at it.

Vainglorious vampire Sterling is forced to trade his big city hedonism for a trip to a sleepy mountain town, where mangled dead bodies have been discovered. Soon he’s entangled with snooty vampire nobles, territorial werewolves, and a society of law-enforcing sorcerers.

The locals aren’t so bad, like the luscious young lady at the fruit shop, or the hunky electrician whose smile sends out sparks. But they’re distractions from the hunt for the mountain murderer. And then there’s the eerie enigma: why are all these corpses missing their faces?

Catalyst by Amanda Quintenz-FiedlerCatalyst by Amanda Quintenz-Fiedler:

When a serious accident triggers dangerous medical episodes, 25-year-old Taylor must unravel the clues in her past to save her own life.

Taylor’s old life is just a memory. No more dinners with friends, afternoon gardening, or partying with her sister. Seemingly at random, violent episodes catapult her body into shock and her mind into her past. She’s lonely, depressed and confined to a hospital. What’s worse, she’s surrounded by medical professionals who don’t know what’s wrong with her and won’t let her leave.

When a handsome young doctor’s interest ignites Taylor’s desire to live, she and another patient set out to solve the riddle of her mysterious illness themselves. But as the clues mount, Dr. Riaz begins to doubt her sanity. And as the physical toll of her fits escalates, Taylor discovers the only way to solve the riddle is from inside an episode.

Can Taylor discover the key to the illness that plagues her in time to save her life and build a future worth living?

With elements of science fiction, mystery and romance, Catalyst is the fast-paced first installment of Amanda Quintenz-Fiedler’s riveting Möbius Syndrome trilogy.

You See the Monster by Luke SmitherdYou See the Monster by Luke Smitherd:

The sound hits Guy in some low, forgotten part of his psyche – a part of him that understands the truth about shadows. The part of him that knows the deep, dark truth behind fairy stories and myths.

Guy is about to finish writing his breakthrough online article. He overheard the story by chance in a pub and it’s guaranteed to go viral – all he needs to do is persuade the World’s Unluckiest Man to talk to him. His best friend Larry’s quest for killer clickbait material has led him to a recently-appeared shanty town in Glasgow, where he finds some kind of urban voodoo cult. Ex-cop Sam has already come face to face with the terrifying force behind both these phenomena, but he’s been trying to put it out of his mind.

When Larry is killed in inexplicably gruesome circumstances, Guy knows he’s also a target. The evidence of malevolent power is suddenly proliferating – but why now? Together, Sam and Guy enter a shadow world of ancient monsters and modern curses, in a battle to figure out the rules of the game and bring them to the light before it’s far too late.

Drifter's Folly by Glynn StewartDrifter’s Folly by Glynn Stewart:

An enemy on the run to neutral space
An elite squadron beyond the reach of any backup
A secret deal that could doom the whole sector…

When United Planets Alliance Captain Henry Wong and Ambassador Sylvia Todorovich attempted to bring peace to the Ra Sector, they turned to the Drifters for neutral ground. Instead, the nomadic spacers betrayed the summit and attempted to kill everyone there.

With peace forged despite the Drifters’ betrayal, Henry and Sylvia take an elite squadron in pursuit of the Drifter Convoy. Their enemies have friends at every turn, neutral worlds who will give them shelter—and if the UPA breaches that neutrality, everything Henry and Sylvia have worked for could crash down in flames.

If the UPA is to keep the peace in the stars of a fallen empire, their diplomats must be untouchable, their honor unblemished. But as Henry’s superiors prepare for all-out war, his ships fly ever closer to a deadly trap laid by an enemy that knows them all too well…

Find(H)er by Charles WelchhFind(H)er by Charles Welch:

Laurie is a woman with a penchant for displaying impatience and judgement. She does not like to be bothered, particularly when she is in a hurry, which is a most unfortunate thing. One morning on her way to an important appointment, Laurie is confronted by a homeless woman who wants a small amount of money, and respect.

Instead, of respect, Laurie tells the woman that she is a lost soul, feeding off the back of humanity.

What Laurie doesn’t know is that this particular homeless woman is not simply an unfortunate, down on her luck member of society.

She is a powerful, ancient God, as old as time itself. A God who has been escorting mankind to the Land of the Dead for an eternity. Soon, Laurie finds herself lost in this timeless, corrupt land.

Boone is a man who desires nothing more than to be known as ordinary. He does not like attention from others and detests physical touch. Boone lives a life of contentment, until the day that he discovers his new gift. It is a gift that Boone has not sought, and one that he does not want, for he suddenly has acquired the gift to find things that have been lost.

Amid his struggle to comprehend where his gift has come from, and why it has selected him, Boone’s best friend, the only person he trusts, Sly, comes to him with a request.

Sly asks him find Laurie.

The Land of the Dead is a poisoned land. It is a land filled with angry and vengeful Gods who protect the Hall of Truth from those who have not yet been judged for their sinful existences.

Sly will stop at nothing to find his lost love, Laurie.

Can Laurie be saved before she is judged in the Hall of Truth?

Boone and Sly will need to survive the dangers of a lost world to save her.

They will need to overcome a wasted land, and the evil that desires their death, to Find(h)er.

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Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for June 2021


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, historical mysteries, retro mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, 1960s mysteries, paranormal mysteries, crime thrillers, action thrillers, adventure thrillers, spy thrillers, police procedurals, police officers, amateur sleuths, burglars, spies, FBI agents, ex Navy SEALs, drug dealers, cold cases, missing princess, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-busting ghosts, crime-busting cats, murder and mayhem in Washington DC, New Orleans, London, Northern England, the Bahamas, the Caymans, Brazil, Australia and much more.

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

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

And now on to the books without further ado:

Murder at the Fair by Verity BrightMurder at the Fair by Verity Bright:

Summer flowers, warm sunshine, a maypole dance and… is that another murder? A tricky case is afoot for Lady Swift!

Summer, 1921. Lady Eleanor Swift, the best amateur sleuth in the country, is delighted to be in charge of the prize-giving at her village summer fair. But the traditional homemade raft race takes a tragic turn when the local undertaker, Solemn Jon, turns up dead amongst the ducks. Jon was the life of any party and loved by the entire village. Surely this was simply an awful accident?

But when a spiteful obituary is printed in the local paper, Eleanor realises there may be more to Jon’s death than first thought. Despite handsome Detective Seldon giving her strict instructions not to interfere, Eleanor owes it to Jon’s good name to root out the truth. So with her partner in crime, Gladstone the bulldog, Eleanor starts digging for clues…

When another local dies in a riding accident, the police refuse to believe he was murdered. But a second vindictive death notice convinces Eleanor of foul play. Solemn Jon’s assistant, a bullish banker and a majestic marquess make her suspect list, but it isn’t until she finds a dusty old photograph that she knows the true culprit behind both crimes. Then another obituary appears – her own! Can Eleanor nail the killer before she too turns up dead among the ducks?

Murder on a Yacht by Beth ByersMurder on a Yacht by Beth Byers:

August 1926

After a long slog of dark days, Vi and friends buy a yacht and go for some time on the sea. It’s what they need. Their nightmares come to an end along with the gray days too many of them have been fighting. They stop in at Monaco and, to their surprise, find old school friends. A few days of revelry, an evening party, and–of course—a body.

Once again, they’re pulled into another round of questions and investigations. This time, they’re the suspects. Forced into working to solve another murder, will they lose the peace they’ve found? Or will they find a way to navigate the murder and maintain a level of happiness?

Murder in England by Dianne HarmanMurder in England by Dianne Harman:

When an employee of the English pub where you’re staying during your vacation is murdered, and it happens on the first night you’re there, it’s definitely not the way to start a vacation!

A vacation in Northern England with three friends is a dream come true for Kat. Many famous authors lived and worked there, and Kat, who is an author, was looking forward to learning more about them. But the ugly hand of murder upset her plans when Sam, a popular employee at the pub, is murdered on his way home from work.

Kat’s been involved in several successful murder investigations at her home back in Kansas (her husband is the local District Attorney), and she feels she has to help investigate his murder. And even though she’d promised her husband she wouldn’t become involved in any more murder investigations, she can’t turn her back on Sam’s uncle, the owner of the pub, who has no idea what to do. She can see that he desperately needs her help.

Kat can’t get rid of the thought that Bailey, Sam’s Belgian Malinois dog, must have known who the murderer was because he didn’t try to protect Sam from the killer. After all, he’d come to Sam’s rescue before, so why didn’t he protect Sam on the night the murder took place? Had he recognized the murderer? Was it someone Sam knew and was on friendly terms with?

Join Kat and her friends as they explore the Northern England countryside while they help the local authorities solve a murder.

Bourbon Street Ghosts by Lily Harper HartBourbon Street Ghosts by Lily Harper Hart:

Harper Harlow-Monroe and Zander Pritchett have been excited for their upcoming ghost conference in New Orleans for years, since before they were involved with their significant others. What was once a trip for two has now become a trip for four … but that doesn’t make them any less excited.

Ofelia Archer has just found out that her bar Krewe is about to be inundated with ghost hunters … and she’s beyond excited. She’s looking forward to a good week, which means more money to funnel into her next business venture.

Two worlds collide when Harper and Ofelia meet in Jackson Square, a ghost catching their attention. Before they realize what’s happening, they’re embroiled in a huge mystery … one that involves New Orleans’ colorful past and worry for the future.

Harper and Ofelia have a lot in common and they bond quickly. That adds a colorful edge to their friendship. Add Zander to the mix and the Big Easy is in for big trouble.

Hang on because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Between ghosts, Zander’s attitude, and Ofelia’s mother … it’s going to be a very strange trip. It could also be deadly.

Note: This is a crossover book between Harper Harlow and Ofelia Archer. It’s set after Ghostly Travels and Hex, Drugs & Rock and Roll.

Bloody Bay Rum Club by Nicholas HarveyBloody Bay Rum Club by Nicholas Harvey:

An idyllic Caribbean island. An exclusive resort. A deceptive façade.

While on holiday in Little Cayman, dive boat operator AJ Bailey expects a peaceful getaway. Nothing sounds better than uniquely-aged rum, crystal-clear water, and world-class diving.

But, beneath the surface, the Bloody Bay Rum Club is hiding a dangerous secret, and when AJ uncovers the truth, things turn deadly.

Bloody Bay Rum Club keeps you on the edge of your seat in book 10 of this exciting series.

The Cold Light of Death by Scott HunterThe Cold Light of Death by Scott Hunter:

July, 1976 – Thames Valley, UK. Long, scorching days of blue skies, water shortages, and record temperatures. A newly promoted Detective-Sergeant is tasked with investigating the murder of a local shop owner – an investigation that goes tragically wrong…

Fast-forward forty-five years to 2021, when a chance discovery exposes a grim secret that forces a reexamination of the circumstances surrounding the ill-fated murder inquiry.

DCI Brendan Moran is assigned this coldest of cases, and it soon becomes apparent that he is dealing with a cold and calculating criminal mind. Can Moran and his team piece together the events of that long forgotten summer and unmask the killer before history repeats itself?

Catastrophe in the Library by CeeCee JamesCatastrophe in the Library by CeeCee James:

A mysterious mansion, a suspicious death, and a cat too smart for its own good…

Laura Lee and her secret book club, led by Hank the marmalade cat, find themselves in the heart of their deepest mystery yet! Laura Lee’s efforts to bring the beautiful but decrepit old manor back to life uncover even more secrets that the ancient house has been keeping from her.

Hank, hiding from the workmen, gets himself stuck under a broken board. Rescuing him, Laura Lee finds not only a small root cellar, but a nearly intact skeleton holding a sheaf of papers. How long has it been there? Who was it? And why were those papers so important?

It’s not just a lesson in history; someone who’s very much alive is trying to stop them from discovering the secret . It will take the entire book club’s help to discover the truth as every clue they find takes them in a different direction and puts them in unknown danger.

Extracted Asset by Ethan JonesExtracted Asset by Ethan Jones:

The Storm they weren’t expecting…

Elite extractor Jack Storm is pulled into a sinister new operation in hopes that it will lead him to key information as to what happened to his missing family…

Information he would do anything for…

Jack’s operation is to find and retrieve a missing Saudi princess whose secret escape has greatly embarrassed her royal family.

A secret they will do anything to hide…

As Jack is thrust into a world of betrayal and deception, he searches the Caribbean for the princess and soon realizes he’s not the only one. Cold-blooded assassins are closing in. But they have no idea what’s raging towards them. Knowing the retrieval is now a rescue, how can Jack desperate for his own answers, save the princess with no place to run?

The Asylum Aberration by Amanda M. LeeThe Asylum Aberration by Amanda M. Lee:

Charlie Rhodes has spent her entire life wondering who she is, why she was abandoned as a child, and what’s behind the magical powers she can wield in the blink of an eye.

She’s finally getting her answers.

Now that she’s been reunited with her birth mother and brother, the search is on for her father. He’s supposed to be somewhere in Boston … but where? He’s fallen out of touch and finding him is virtually impossible.

Thankfully for Charlie, the Legacy Foundation’s next assignment is in a suburb of the very city where she lives, which means there’s plenty of time to find her father and solve the mystery of a haunted former hospital that’s apparently eating construction workers on a regular basis.

Heavenstone Asylum was considered the height of sophistication in psychiatric circles back in the day. In the years since the facility closed, the main doctor’s legacy has been tarnished by horror stories of treatments gone wrong and disappearing patients.

The second Charlie walks into the building, she recognizes that the past is hardly buried within the walls. There are tortured souls at every turn, and it’s her job to help them.

Heavenstone’s history makes for interesting reading but the harder Charlie digs, the more horrifying the story. Somehow she needs to uncover the truth … and survive the ghosts long enough to free them.

It’s going to take everything she’s got to see things through until the end.

All Charlie wants are answers. She’s going to get them. Surviving long enough to do anything with them is another story.

It’s about to be the Legacy Foundation’s finest hour … or is it?

White Haron by J.J. MarshWhite Heron by J.J. Marsh:

For Ann Sheldon, the past no longer exists. All she wants is a place to run and hide. Where better than a tiny shack between the Brazilian jungle and the Atlantic Ocean to appreciate the natural world and obliterate her memories?

Hermit-style living goes well until a local is murdered in shocking circumstances. Violence has followed her 5,000 miles to a remote fishing village? Against her will, Ann is drawn into a murder investigation, in close proximity to the last thing she needs: a smart cop.

Erasing history is a challenge but unlearning experience is impossible. Ann knows trouble when she sees it. Surfers are dealing drugs and the man in snakeskin boots is their supplier. She tells herself it’s not her problem. But when drug wars come to the beach, it’s everyone’s problem.

She knows it will end in blood and tears.

Must she take flight again?

Such a Good Girl by Willow RoseSuch a Good Girl by Willow Rose:

A girl falls from the penthouse floor of an apartment in Washington, D.C.

Media Mogul Richard Wanton owns the apartment and is seen standing on the balcony when the girl falls.

He is accused of killing her, but the FBI struggles to find enough solid evidence to convict him.

They have a witness, someone who was in the apartment when it happened, but she doesn’t want to talk to them.

She’ll only speak to one person, ex-FBI profiler Eva Rae Thomas. The problem is, Eva Rae Thomas has no interest in talking to her.

As a matter of fact, she’d rather see this woman dead than have to face her.

But Eva Rae Thomas isn’t someone who can leave a case alone, especially not when she starts to ask questions and things aren’t adding up.

As she digs in deeper—with the entire world watching—she soon finds herself in too deep and realizes she can’t trust anyone’s motives.

But by then, it is too late, and the killer is already tracking her down.

Goodbye Port Alma by Anne ShilloloGoodbye Port Alma by Anne Shillolo:

A beautiful teen is killed on a glorious June afternoon, hidden in plain sight, and discovered by an anonymous caller.

Did her secrets die with her? Or are they still alive – with the power to seduce and destroy the lives of a select few?

DC Holly Towns is on the team that has to untangle a far-reaching web of sex, drugs, and money, and solve a crime that threatens to tear the city apart. Are the victim’s two best friends the next targets? With a suspect list of movers and shakers, even with all the hard work in the world, no one has more to lose than Holly herself if the killer strikes again.

As a new Detective Constable, Holly gets a second chance to prove herself in a job where even her friends wonder if she can succeed. She likes police work, but her future is a coin-toss. She’s either on the way out, courtesy of a vindictive former boss, or on the way up, thanks to her intuition and stubborn persistence. And some days are a struggle to tame her own demons and escape her past.

If you like complex characters, twisty plots, and a fast-paced story, the Port Alma Murder Mysteries series is for you.

Murder in Belgravia by Lee StraussMurder in Belgravia by Lee Strauss:

Murder’s a piece of cake!

Wedding bells are ringing in Belgravia, and Ginger couldn’t be happier to attend the nuptials of Felicia Gold and Lord Davenport-Witt. If only she could put her mind at ease about the things she knew about the groom’s past.

When a death occurs at the wedding party, Ginger is placed in a frightfully difficult position. Betray her vow of secrecy to the crown, or let a killer go free.

 

A viable Threat by Ed TejaA Viable Threat by Ed Teja:

They want to kill a Senator

Stopping it calls for running a hair-brained, off-the-books abduction, grabbing a Dutch national from a private island in The Bahamas. It doesn’t help that the senator whose life is in danger is Martin’s ex-wife, Polly. And then there is the minor detail that the intelligence for the mission, the idea of running it, was arranged by a US Navy Admiral who just happens to be Polly’s current husband. The presence of a hard-nosed (and very sexy) DEA agent with her own agenda, one who forced her way into the center of a mission she shouldn’t have even known about… well, it’s complicated.

But hey, it’s all part of a normal day in the life of an ex-SEAL who only wants to be an average freighter captain in the Caribbean — at least Martin would like to think so.

The Girl Who Was Forgotten by Amy VasantThe Girl Who Was Forgotten by Amy Vasant:

Life was supposed to start feeling like a permanent vacation.

After years on the run from a vengeful killer, Shee McQueen is home at her father’s beach hotel. The Loggerhead Inn doubles as a retreat for sunburned tourists and a haven for recovering ex-military — men and women who help right wrongs for people in need of their particular skills.

What could be more relaxing?

Unless…

…Shee’s estranged boyfriend — the only man she’s ever loved — has discovered her darkest secret and the reason she left him so many years ago…
…or her first job for her father has ended in a double homicide…
…or that her very presence is driving the hotel’s regulars to prove their worth by starting dangerous covert missions of their own…

Wait. It couldn’t be a botched kidnapping is started looking more like the work of a deranged serial killer?

Hm.

Maybe hold the tanning lotion.

This might take a minute.

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New Kurval Sword and Sorcery Novella Available: The Black Knight

This June is turning out to be sword and sorcery month for me. Two weeks ago, I had a sword and sorcery story called “The Gate of Mist” come out in Whetstone Magazinea story which got this nice response by my fellow Whetstone contributor J.T. Howard.

And today, I’m pleased to announce that The Black Knight, the next story in my Kurval sword and sorcery series, is now available wherever e-books are sold.

“The Black Knight” is longer than the previous Kurval stories, since it’s a full length novella. It is also darker, which is why it has a content warning.

The Kurval series is strongly influenced by Robert E. Howard, particularly the Kull stories and three King Conan stories (“The Phoenix on the Sword”, “The Scarlet Citadel” and “The Hour of the Dragon”), while my other sword and sorcery series, the Thurvok series, is more influenced by Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and Gray Mouser.

“The Black Knight” brings in yet another influence, namely C.L. Moore’s Jirel of Joiry. I revisited the first two Jirel of Joiry stories, “Black God’s Kiss” and “Black God’s Shadow”, last year, which also gave me some insight into the core themes of that particular branch of sword and sorcery. All of this eventually influenced “The Black Knight”.

Sword and sorcery protagonists are usually loners, but my own characters tend to acquire supporting casts. Thurvok was initially supposed to be a lone adventurer, but by the end of the first story, he picks up Meldom. Sharenna joins the team in the third story, Lysha in the fourth.

Kurval has also acquired a supporting cast of his own by now. There’s the vizier Izgomir, who basically serves as a foil to Kurval. Count Ragur Falgune and his wife Nelaira were originally intended as one-of characters, but they stuck around. We also learn a bit more about Ragur (and more about Kurval and his background, for that matter) in this story. Finally, there is Ungolf, the executioner who takes great pride in his work. Ungolf also appears in King’s Justice, the first Kurval story written, though he doesn’t acquire a name until this story. Finally, Kurval also picks up yet another supporting character in “The Black Knight”, a characters we will certainly see again.

So accompany Kurval, as he faces…

The Black Knight
The Black Knight by Richard Blakemore and Cora BuhlertThe Lords of Angilbert have been a thorn in the side of the Kings of Azakoria for decades, refusing to pay taxes or to accept the authority of the throne.

King Kurval of Azakoria inherited the conflict with the Black Knight of Angilbert from his predecessor. Determined to bring the Black Knight to heel once and for all, Kurval besieges Castle Angilbert. But when he finally comes face to face with the mysterious Black Knight, he’s in for a shock.

The law demands that the Black Knight be executed for treason. However, Kurval does not want to sentence the Black Knight to death, especially once he learns that the Lords of Angilbert have a very good reason to hate the Kings of Azakoria.

But is it even possible to find a peaceful solution or can the feud with the Black Knight of Angilbert end only in bloodshed and death?

The new sword and sorcery adventure by two-time Hugo finalist Cora Buhlert and her occasional alter ego, 1930s pulp writer Richard Blakemore. This is a novella of 33400 words or approx. 112 print pages in the Kurval series but may be read as a standalone. Includes an introduction and afterword.

Warning: This is a dark story, which contains scenes of a violent and sexual nature.

More information.
Length: 33400 words
List price: 2.99 USD, EUR or GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, Vivlio and XinXii.

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Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for May 2021

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 epic fantasy, urban fantasy, historical fantasy, paranormal mystery, paranormal romance, science fiction romance, space opera, military science fiction, science fiction mystery, dystopian fiction, biopunk, agripunk, LitRPG, horror, Greek mythology, aliens, magicians, ghosts, superheroes, mechas, space marines, sea monsters, dragon-slayers, fallen angels, fallen goddesses, crime-busting witches, crime-busting psychics, opera singing vampires 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:

Wunderkind by Z.Z. AdamsWunderkind by Z.Z. Adams:

How do you defeat an enemy you cannot touch? When you’re fighting shadows, it pays to remember what might be lurking behind the curtain.

When the usually sleepy university city of Oxford, England is beset by a series of horrific murders, Elliot Goshawk, a fresh arrival to Oxford and one of the youngest to ever pass admission, must overcome his fear and defeat the murderer. At just fourteen, Elliot may not appear to have the skills for the job, but he has had an unusual childhood. Trained from birth as an assassin, there’s no one better qualified to stop this menace.

With a wayward time traveller, a professor of the arcane, and a city full of intelligence operatives on his tail, can Elliot find a way to take on and defeat the deadly alien shadow? Are MI6 agents really harder than those from the Coldhorn Initiative? Do they do any actual studying in Oxford?

Because Elliot also has another, deeper secret and something he fears above everything else: it might have been his fault that the shadow creature emerged in the first place.

This science-fiction thriller is a dark and humorous tale of wayward superheroes, the evil megacorporation stalking them, and the teamwork it will take to save the world.

Song of Redemption by Jonathan P. Brazee and J.N. ChaneySong of Redemption by Jonathan P. Brazee and J.N. Chaney:

In the midst of humanity’s greatest fight for survival, old rivalries threaten to pull allies apart in a rush for rumored alien tech.

With the newly weaponized Sergeant Reverent Pelletier and his Marine Raiders at the tip of the spear, only they stand a chance at holding the shaky alliance together long enough to meet the enemy.

The Centaurs are on their way to destroy the very birthplace of human civilization: Mother Earth itself.

Humanity’s end may be upon us… but only if Rev and his team fail to do the impossible.

The Invisible Body by Jenny CuttsThe Invisible Body by Jenny Cutts:

A strange ability. A discovered corpse. But will his supernatural sleuthing skills lead him into a killer’s trap?

England, 1990. Reed has travelled his whole life in search of someone who understands him. So he’s thrilled when his journey brings him to free-spirited Zoya, who shares his rare ability to dream-walk. But after his gift leads him to a hidden corpse, he becomes the prime suspect in the murder.

Despite the setback, Reed resolves to use his power to help crack the case.

When the real perpetrator delivers a violent threat, he’s tempted to give up, slip into his camper van and hit the road again. After all, who would miss him?

Will Reed flee the tiny seaside town and abandon his new friends – or will he risk everything to expose the murderer?

The Invisible Body is the first book of The Falling Awake Mysteries, a captivating, character-led series that blends amateur sleuth crime story with an exploration of human connection. If you like compelling characters, seaside settings and a hint of the paranormal, then you’ll love Jenny Cutts’ intriguing novel.

George by Kate DanleyGeorge by Kate Danley:

George is just your normal peasant, with parents who abandoned him to join up with pirates and a terrible family secret he carries around his neck.

But when a wandering knight scoops him up to carry all his heavy stuff, George feels like his dreams are coming true! Except the knight dies. And now George is in trouble. Will donning the knight’s armor and taking his place solve his problems? What about when a dragon shows up and George is expected to fight it? Things are about to get complicated…

Chase away the darkness with George and his friends in this hilarious rollicking riff on George and the Dragon by USA TODAY bestselling author, Kate Danley.

These dragons aren’t going to slay themselves!

Of Men and Monsters by Tom DeadyOf Men and Monsters by Tom Deady:

In June of 1975, Ryan Baxter’s mom moves him and his brother, Matt, to the small seaside town of Bayport, MA to escape their abusive father. For an eleven-year-old, spending lazy days hanging out at the beach and the arcades sounds like a dream.

When he meets Leah and she agrees to be his girlfriend, Ryan is happier than he’s been in his young life. Then the “Sea Monkeys” knock-off he bought from the back of a comic book starts to grow…and grow and grow.

As Ryan and Matt struggle with their new lives and new friends, they begin to receive mysterious phone calls. As the sea monster in their house begins to get out of control, the real monster draws nearer to Bayport in the shape of their father.

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

Chasing Shadows by Morgan De GuerreChasing Shadows by Morgan De Guerre:

A hundred years ago, I hung up my cape.

I was tired of being Destiny’s puppet, serving my purpose through my country’s history, signing my name in blood and death. I had enough of intrigues, mysteries, and betrayals. I sought sanctuary in the Bakirville National Opera, where I found peace, hiding in plain sight.

Killing people onstage after having killed so many in real life keeps my memories alive. I don’t recant my past. I’d like to think I learned from it.

A hundred years was enough for people to forget. They love me now with a different kind of passion than they did centuries ago. I am content to exist here, to bring joy with the same diligence with which I used to bring justice. But I can sense my time of peace is about to end. When two of our singers disappear in the space of a month, I know something is wrong. Someone is hunting my people. Someone is in my house.

Sooner or later, I’ll have to do something about it.

Welcome to Talinia
On this side of the Unbroken Barrier, humans live alongside vampires, werecreatures, wizards and witches, prophets and hellhounds. In our world, souls, youth and power are commodities to be bought and sold.

Magician Rising by Renée des LauriersMagician Rising by Renée des Lauriers:

Dark powers she can’t control. Deadly hunters tracking her down. Can she rip the target off her back before it turns fatal?

Jun Bear has lived with bad luck all her life. And when a professor threatens to give her a failing grade, the college senior sees her hopes for graduating in two months going down another ill-fated drain. But her fortunes plunge further when an unnatural earthquake shakes the campus and unleashes cold-blooded assassins after her head…

Unsure what’s happening, Jun finds herself facing a trained killer intent on exposing the wielder of the dangerous magic. And when she’s provoked into revealing her unexpected new abilities, she’s determined to prove her innocence before she’s permanently eliminated.

Can she win over an ally and survive a bloodthirsty secret society fixated on wiping her out?

Magician Rising is the fast-paced first book in the Divination in Darkness urban fantasy series. If you like plucky heroines, gory humor, and breathtaking action, then you’ll love Renee des Lauriers’ gritty thrill-ride.

Iaxiabor's Revenge by Rachel FordIaxiabor’s Revenge by Rachel Ford:

A fully immersive virtual reality system. A beta testing opportunity that’s the stuff of dreams – or a nightmare that may never end.

Jack Owens is stuck in Marshfield Studio’s newest virtual reality RPG. But the end is finally in sight.
Once he’s done with the filler quests and the boss fight from heck, the game will be over. And he can get back to his real life.

Or can he?

Conjure Web by Yasmine GalenornConjure Web by Yasmine Galenorn:

As January delves into her family history, she discovers dark secrets about her great-grandmother Colleen and those secrets threaten everything she ever thought she knew about her heritage. Now, with her confidence already on shaky ground, January takes on a case with her friend Ari. Hired by a friend to discover whether their child is really their child, January and Ari delve into the Mystic Woods, looking for the answer. Their investigation leads them down the rabbit hole of magical intrigue, unrequited love, and into the world of the Woodlings, where January finds her worldview at risk, as well as her life.

Ghostly Travels by Lily Harper HartGhostly Travels by Lily Harper Hart:

Harper Harlow-Monroe thought getting to her wedding would be the hard part. She was wrong. Getting through her honeymoon is going to be a whole lot worse.

Jared Monroe decided to surprise his new wife with a honeymoon in Salem, Massachusetts. The goal was to have fun, bask in the sun, and eat some good seafood while shutting out the rest of the world. The fact that there’s a ghost hunting conference happening at the same time is just added icing on the cupcake of life.

Then the unthinkable happens and Harper’s best friend Zander Pritchett magically shows up for the conference … and decides to hijack their honeymoon.

Jared might be able to put up with Zander, but when a missing girl and several ghosts rile up the atmosphere, things threaten to spiral out of control.

Harper is who she is. When she finds out several teenagers have gone missing over the course of a month, she can’t stop herself from digging hard. What she finds is a strange nexus of ghosts who don’t act like she expects … and a story that might haunt her for the rest of her life.

Harper is determined to make this a honeymoon to remember despite Zander and the ghosts working against her. She’s going to have to survive for that to happen … and nothing is a given.

Salem is a city with a long history. Hopefully, it won’t be the end for Harper and Jared.

Cora: Rise of the Fallen Goddess by A.L. HawkeCora: Rise of the Fallen Goddess by A.L. Hawke:

Abandoned. Imprisoned. Loved.

Cora is the goddess Persephone, living in Greece in the fourteenth century B.C. In order to shelter her from prophecy, her mother, Demeter, sends her away to Azure Blue. The young girl is raised and protected by the nymph queen, Nephrea, in a dreamlike crystal palace among azure trees and amethyst fields under a green sun. She’s adopted into the Amazon code of honor, bravery, and righteousness. But Cora is not an Amazon nymph. And prophecy holds quite a different fate for her as she grows into adulthood—Hades, Lord of the Underworld.

Upon Persephone’s fall, Demeter rages and threatens to freeze the entire world under ice and snow forever. Nephrea offers a sacrifice to quell her rage, but down in the fiery world below, it might be more than just the goddess who will need saving.

Raven's Haven for Women of Magic by Anna KirtlanRaven’s Haven for Women of Magic by Anna Kirtlan:

Cassandra Frost has zero interest in fortune telling or brewing foul smelling things in cauldrons, and much prefers the company of non-magical folk. She does her best to keep her powers under wraps to protect the secrecy of the Wellington witching community.

Unfortunately that’s easier said than done when your grandmother lives in Raven’s Haven for Women of Magic. Magical fireworks, mobility broom races and irresponsible use of cat litter spells are all part of the game for the witching retirement village residents. But when Cassandra’s forced to cast a spell in the open to save Adrian, a geeky graphic designer with secrets of his own, her two worlds spectacularly collide, and she learns the haven is much more than meets the eye.

Will Cassandra listen to her heart and learn to embrace her powers? Will the non-magical world be put at risk? Find out in this Contemporary Witchy Fiction novella featuring powerful witches, troublesome crones and an unseemly amount of cats.

Prelude to a Witch by Amanda M. LeePrelude to a Witch by Amanda M. Lee:

Bay Winchester has battled ghosts, shades, poltergeists … and sometimes her own family. It’s the latter giving her fits now. Well, and Hemlock Cove’s younger set of course.

Bay thought the worst was behind her when she modified the memories of four tempestuous teenagers bent on stealing magic and wielding it in a tyrannical manner. Unfortunately for her, when one of those teenagers ends up dead behind the inn her father owns, things start to spiral.

The girl’s death is ritual in fashion, bloody runes painted on the trees, and Bay can’t wrap her head around exactly what has happened. Then things get worse when dark figures start appearing in windows, black ghosts threatening Bay and her family at every turn.

Between the horror haunting Hemlock Cove and the annoying presence of Bay’s former boss and his current fiancée, who just so happens to be a distant relative, Bay has her hands full … and that’s before her cousin Clove’s baby starts displaying a rather interesting skillset that is going to force accommodations within the family.

All Bay wants is a little break to plan her wedding and look forward to happily ever after with her fiancé Landon Michaels. What’s she’s going to get is a whole lot of trouble.

Bay’s growing powers are drawing in a new element of evil. It’s going to take everything she has – and a little help from Aunt Tillie – to fight the ultimate battle. Survival isn’t a given but Bay is determined to make it to her big day.

No matter what.

Goodbye to the Sun by Jonathan NevairGoodbye to the Sun by Jonathan Nevair:

A nonstop thrill ride across an unstable galaxy, combining moral struggle with character-driven adventure…

Tucked away in the blue sands of Kol 2, the Motes are on the brink of cultural collapse. Razor, a bold and daring pilot, leads a last-ditch gambit against their local oppressors, the Targitians. The plan – abduct visiting Ambassador Keen Draden and use him as a bargaining chip to restore her people’s independence in the Sagittarius Arm. But when the operation unravels, Razor is forced to renegotiate terms with the arrogant diplomat.

Light years away on Heroon a radical resistance blossoms. The alluring rainforest planet haunts Keen. All his problems started there during the Patent War, but it’s where Razor’s troubles may find a solution. The moral tide ebbs, exposing an impossible choice that links their futures together more tragically than they ever thought possible.

Goodbye to the Sun: a space opera inspired by the Greek tragedy, Antigone.

Broken Angel: The Lost Years of Gabriel Martiniere by Joyce Reynolds-WardBroken Angel: The Lost Years of Gabriel Martiniere by Joyce Reynolds-Ward:

Exiled heir. Rebel. Husband. Father.

In 2029, Gabriel Martiniere testified against the Martiniere Group’s forced imposition of mind control programming on unwilling indentured workers.

For his pains, he was forced into exile for over thirty years. Forced to divorce the love of his life.

But he’s still coming. Still bent on vengeance against the man who forced him into exile, Philip Martiniere.

Gabe will win…or die trying.

Under Black Skies by Clare SagerUnder Black Skies by Clare Sager:

Enemies-to-lovers-to-enemies. Now they’re ‘just friends.’ Sure.

Reunited with her crew, Vice is on the hunt for Drake’s treasure. But there’s a good reason it hasn’t been seen in two hundred years – it’s hidden by fiendish clues and deadly traps. To keep her crew – her family safe, she can’t afford a single misstep. That’s easier said than done with a distraction like Knigh Blackwood around.

Knigh might not sail for the Navy anymore, but he’s found a new place in the world – home with Vice on the Venatrix. Even as he longs for more than ‘just friends’, he battles with demons from his past and one from his present. To save his family, he needs money. Lots of it. A legendary treasure would be the perfect solution.

But traps and troublesome feelings aren’t the only dangers they face. When treachery strikes at the heart of pirate-kind, no one is safe: not their home, not Knigh’s family, not even the Pirate Queen herself.

Witch's Guide to Romantic Comedy by Lotta SmithWitch’s Guide to Romantic Comedy by Lotta Smith:

Sometimes, the most powerful miracle hits you in the middle of a total magical eclipse…

I’m Sophie Rowling. I used to be a world-renowned violinist, until my world was turned upside down. Following a freak accident in Paris, I can’t remember how to play the violin anymore. To make matters worse, I’m supposed to perform for my childhood teacher’s retirement party, which is just weeks away. Usually I would turn to my BFFs, Jackie the ghost and Allegra the violin fairy, for moral support, but I’ve also lost my ability to talk to them.

Then fate steps in, and Dante enters my life. He’s hot, dangerous, and addictive. I can’t spend a moment without thinking of him, and I keep on bumping into him. Honestly, this is so wrong. I should forget about him and focus on my music—in order to keep what’s left of my sanity.

But wait, do I really need sanity? As they say, “Insane is the new cool,” and maybe I need to try being cool.

* * *

Dante had a simple job: fly to Japan, run an errand, and go back to the US for good. He wasn’t expecting Sophie, an innocent girl with an attitude, to literally fall into his arms. Now they are being followed, attacked, and can’t get enough of each other.

As their lives intertwine, the danger and passion grow between them. Will the fates allow them to have a happily ever after? Or will fate continue to put them in harm’s way?

Caged Alien Mate by Ivy SparksCaged Alien Mate by Ivy Sparks:

I’ve been tossed inside a cage with an exiled, tortured alien prince. And our captors expect us to produce an heir.

So here I thought my situation was bad. I’m a navigator in training who crash landed on the galaxy’s most brutal planet, only to be enslaved by reptilians. But after I meet Xavi, I realize I’ve had it easy.

He’s been beaten by our captors for God knows how long, and his massive body has the scars to prove it. He is hardened, vengeful. But when we first lock eyes…

Talk about sparks flying.

He might be an outcast – a figure of contempt and controversy in his world. But in my world? He makes this dungeon bearable.

Galactic Search and Rescue by Carol Van NattaGalactic Search and Rescue by Carol Van Natta:

When an earthquake shakes up a nearby world, can two star-crossed rescuers save an entire community… and each other?

Experienced rescuer Subcaptain Taz Correa hides her wounded heart. A telekinetic tech-whiz recently transferred to the worst Galactic Search and Rescue unit in the galaxy, she’d hoped after her string of epically bad breakups she’d have a fresh start. But when she can’t fight her feelings for her new teammate, she’s terrified her secret affection will show and cost both their careers.

Subcaptain Rylando Dalroinn’s telepathic connection to animals used to be everything. But he has no idea how to admit his growing attraction to Taz, especially as it’s completely against the rules. And when they’re sent as a team of two to help a devastated town, he knows he can’t afford to let his heart’s desire distract him from their dangerous mission.

As Taz works with Rylando and his unusual squad of trained animal helpers to free a desperate group of citizens, she puts her life on the line to protect her partner’s beloved creatures. But when Rylando realizes the people he’s rescuing are more than just innocent victims, he’ll have to throw out the rulebook to save them both.

Can love—and a clever crew of animals—guide the couple out of the rubble and into a future together?

Galactic Search and Rescue is a pulse-pounding story in the Central Galactic Concordance space opera series. If you like lovers in denial, edge-of-your-seat twists and turns, and intriguing psychic powers, then you’ll adore Carol Van Natta’s thrilling tale.

Metal Warrior: Ring of Steel by James David VictorMetal Warrior: Ring of Steel by James David Victor:

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. At last that’s what they want you to believe.

Dane has escaped the clutches of the Exin Queen and her War Master and brought back valuable intel. When they find the wreckage of an Exin warship, they come across a potentially valuable survivor. And a way to possibly win the war. Before they can launch an offensive, the battlefield changes yet again. Will Dane and his fellow mech fighters find themselves surrounded by a ring of steel intent on crushing the life out of all humanity? Or will humanity finally be on the way to winning the war?

Metal Warrior: Ring of Steel is the seventh book in the Mech Fighter series. If you like fast-paced space adventures with engaging characters and exciting battles, you will definitely want to see how the Metal Warriors save mankind, or if they can.

Libra by John WegenerLibra by John Wegener:

I appeal to the President of the Confederation…

When a duke and duchess are murdered on Franconia and a Cetusian is convicted, he appeals to the Confederation as a last resort. Can the true murderer be brought to justice? And what is the motive?

Chooli has just graduated as a police officer and joined the GIA. She is asked to team up with her partner Alex to investigate the crime on the luxurious planet – one that has dark secrets.

Ignoring warnings to stop their investigation, Chooli is kidnapped by the assassin, making the pursuit personal for Alex, as he battles against time to save her.

When Chooli escapes her captors, she finds herself in the middle of a war where she is captured again and stumbles on a monumental conspiracy that she must stop before it is too late.

Can Alex find Chooli in time to save her? Can Chooli prevent a catastrophe? Can they both bring the mastermind behind it all to justice?

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New Collection Available: “Tales of the Silencer: The Complete Series” and some other stuff

Before we get to the new release, I first have some other news to share.

One of the positive side effects of being a Hugo finalist is that you get some media attention. And so both local papers interviewed me about my Hugo nomination. Here is an article by Dierck Wittenberg in the Kreiszeitung.

Alexandra Penth of the other local paper Weser-Kurier also interviewed me about my Hugo nomination as well. You can read the interview here, but unless you’re a Weser-Kurier subscriber it’s behind a paywall. However, you can also access the interview via the Google cache of the article or via this archive.is version of the page.

2021 Hugo Voter Packet by Cora BuhlertIn other news, voting for the 2021 Hugo Awards is now open. The Hugo voter packet is not yet available. However, even if you’re not a member of DisCon III, you can now download my contributions to the Hugo Voter Packet for free in the format of your choice at StoryOrigin.

The beautiful cover is courtesy of the hypertalented Tithi Luadthong. Not only does it strike the balance between retro and modern, there also is a rocket in the image.

If you enjoy fiction podcasts and audio fiction, the Simultaneous Times podcast produced by my friends of Space Cowboy Books, a science fiction bookstore in Joshua Tree, California, recently adapted by story “Little Monsters” as well as “Hidden Underneath” by Toshiya Kamei.

“Little Monsters” story is narrated by Jean-Paul Garnier with wonderfully atmospheric music by RedBlueBlackSilver. I always love hearing audio productions of my stories, because even though I know the story – I wrote it, after all – the interpretation always brings completely new aspects to the tale.

Anyway, give it a listen and also make sure to listen to Toshiya Kamei’s excellent story “Hidden Underneath” as well. You can listen on podomatic.

And now, last but not least, let’s get to the new release, which isn’t actually all that new, since it’s a collection of previously published stories. But if you’ve always wanted to give my Silencer series of retro pulp thrillers a try, but didn’t want to buy the individual stories, you’re in luck, because the entire Silencer series is now available in one handy collection.

Tales of the Silencer: The Complete Series
Tales of the Silencer by Cora BuhlertHardworking pulp writer by day and steel-masked crimefighter by night, the Silencer fights criminal low-lives and larger-than-life master villains in the streets of Depression era New York City. Together with his beautiful fiancée Constance Allen and pickpocket turned butler Neal Cassidy, Richard Blakemore a.k.a. the Silencer keeps the city safe from those criminals the law cannot catch.

This series of high octane adventure stories by two-time Hugo finalist Cora Buhlert is an homage to the heroic pulp crimefighters of the 1930s such as the Shadow, the Spider and Doc Savage as well as the writers who brought them to life.

This complete omnibus edition of 112000 words or approximately 375 print pages collects the entire Silencer series.

Contains the following stories:

  • Countdown to Death
  • Flying Bombs
  • The Spiked Death
  • Elevator of Doom
  • The Great Fraud
  • Mean Streets and Dead Alleys
  • Fact or Fiction
  • St. Nicholas of Hell’s Kitchen
  • The Milk Truck Gang
  • A Valentine for the Silencer
  • The Heavy Hand of the Editor

List price: 4.99 USD, EUR or GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, Vivlio and XinXii.

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Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for May 2021


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,  historical mysteries, Regency mysteries, 1940s mysteries, paranormal mysteries, hardboiled mysteries, science fiction mysteries, crime thrillers, action thrillers, pulp thrillers, legal thrillers, horror thrillers, noir, police officers, amateur sleuths, private investigators, lawyers, assassins, con artists, missing persons, wrongful accusations, kidnappings, cold cases, masked crimefighters, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-busting psychics, deadly divorces, deadly honeymoons, murder and mayhem in New York City, Chicago, Miami, Louisiana, Northhamptonshire, India 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:

Tales of the Silencer: The Complete Series by Cora BuhlertTales of the Silencer: The Complete Series by Cora Buhlert

Hardworking pulp writer by day and steel-masked crimefighter by night, the Silencer fights criminal low-lives and larger-than-life master villains in the streets of Depression era New York City. Together with his beautiful fiancée Constance Allen and pickpocket turned butler Neal Cassidy, Richard Blakemore a.k.a. the Silencer keeps the city safe from those criminals the law cannot catch.

This series of high octane adventure stories by two-time Hugo finalist Cora Buhlert is an homage to the heroic pulp crimefighters of the 1930s such as the Shadow, the Spider and Doc Savage as well as the writers who brought them to life.

This complete omnibus edition of 112000 words or approximately 375 print pages collects the entire Silencer series.

In Cold Blood by Adam CroftIn Cold Blood by Adam Croft:

A body is found under Welland Viaduct on a bitterly cold winter morning. But this will be a murder investigation like no other.

As DI Caroline Hills and DS Dexter Antoine begin to unravel the dark secrets in the victim’s life, they find themselves sucked into a web of lies and betrayal.

Rutland Police need to find the killer before it’s too late. But with Caroline’s health failing and their main witness suspiciously missing, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Dark histories, mysterious gifts and hidden secrets abound. But will they discover the truth before anyone else is killed in cold blood?

The Invisible Body by Jenny CuttsThe Invisible Body by Jenny Cutts:

A strange ability. A discovered corpse. But will his supernatural sleuthing skills lead him into a killer’s trap?

England, 1990. Reed has travelled his whole life in search of someone who understands him. So he’s thrilled when his journey brings him to free-spirited Zoya, who shares his rare ability to dream-walk. But after his gift leads him to a hidden corpse, he becomes the prime suspect in the murder.

Despite the setback, Reed resolves to use his power to help crack the case.

When the real perpetrator delivers a violent threat, he’s tempted to give up, slip into his camper van and hit the road again. After all, who would miss him?

Will Reed flee the tiny seaside town and abandon his new friends – or will he risk everything to expose the murderer?

The Invisible Body is the first book of The Falling Awake Mysteries, a captivating, character-led series that blends amateur sleuth crime story with an exploration of human connection. If you like compelling characters, seaside settings and a hint of the paranormal, then you’ll love Jenny Cutts’ intriguing novel.

Frightfully Fortune by Jana DeLeonFrightfully Fortune by Jana DeLeon:

Rest when you’re dead?

It’s time for the annual Halloween festival in Sinful, and Fortune, Ida Belle, and Gertie can’t wait to suit up and enjoy the food and activities. But when a dead man gallops through the park on a black stallion and slides to a decapitated stop right in front of Swamp Team 3, they know another festival is about to be turned on its head…so to speak.

Gil Forrest never won any popularity contests and his dramatic and somewhat horrifying ride isn’t going to improve his statistics. But since his body was supposed to be tucked away in a funeral home, no one could explain how it ended up on a horse in the middle of the festival. Everything about the set-up is strange and Fortune, Ida Belle, and Gertie suspect there is more to the Headless Horseman ride than just a tasteless prank. And they plan to find out what it is.

Dotty Digs Deep by Diane EzzardDotty Digs Deep by Diane Ezzard:

People are dying at the care home but are the deaths natural or is a serial killer on the loose?

Dotty’s grandma, Grace is persuaded to move into Willowbank Lodge retirement home when her memory and her physical condition worsen.

Then her new friend, Tomas disappears and is found dead.

When other deaths occur, Dotty and her friend Dave, the gay private investigator, wonder if there is something more sinister afoot.

Dotty and Dave dig deep to uncover the truth.
What really happened to Tomas?
Is Willowbank Lodge a dangerous place to live?

Dotty finds out more than she bargains for when she unravels the past lives of the staff and residents.

This is book 7 in the Dotty Drinkwater Mystery series but can be read as a standalone.

Before He Wakes by Max Allan GunnellsBefore He Wakes by Max Allan Gunnells:

Patrick and Clare wake up trapped in a basement, a thin wall separating their cells. Their captor is mysteriously absent, which at first seems like a blessing. As more time passes with no food or water, they begin to realize a clock is ticking for their survival.

Combining their intelligence and determination, the two begin plotting an escape from their shared prison. Overcoming each obstacle only presents another obstacle standing in the way of their freedom. It will take all of their ingenuity and strength to find their way out of this mess.

They know their captor is still out there, and it is only a matter of time before he returns.

Before He Wakes is a fast-paced and tense thriller that ratchets up the suspense and tension before the thrilling conclusion.

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

Ghostly Travels by Lily Harper HartGhostly Travels by Lily Harper Hart:

Harper Harlow-Monroe thought getting to her wedding would be the hard part. She was wrong. Getting through her honeymoon is going to be a whole lot worse.

Jared Monroe decided to surprise his new wife with a honeymoon in Salem, Massachusetts. The goal was to have fun, bask in the sun, and eat some good seafood while shutting out the rest of the world. The fact that there’s a ghost hunting conference happening at the same time is just added icing on the cupcake of life.

Then the unthinkable happens and Harper’s best friend Zander Pritchett magically shows up for the conference … and decides to hijack their honeymoon.

Jared might be able to put up with Zander, but when a missing girl and several ghosts rile up the atmosphere, things threaten to spiral out of control.

Harper is who she is. When she finds out several teenagers have gone missing over the course of a month, she can’t stop herself from digging hard. What she finds is a strange nexus of ghosts who don’t act like she expects … and a story that might haunt her for the rest of her life.

Harper is determined to make this a honeymoon to remember despite Zander and the ghosts working against her. She’s going to have to survive for that to happen … and nothing is a given.

Salem is a city with a long history. Hopefully, it won’t be the end for Harper and Jared.

Mercy Kill by Robin JamesMercy Kill by Robin James:

This time, defense lawyer Cass Leary may be a motive for murder…

Cass is a force in the courtroom. Determined to keep the innocent out of jail, the unyielding defense attorney dominates her opponents to balance the scales of justice. But in a terrible twist of fate, she’s forced to testify against the man she loves when he’s accused of killing his estranged wife.

Vowing to exonerate Detective Wray, Cass despairs at the mounting pile of damning evidence and the prickling fear he may be guilty. And when she learns of a deadly jailhouse plot, she worries her failure to win his freedom will cost him his life.

Will Cass’s investigation result in an acquittal or reveal a terrible truth?

Mercy Kill is the pulse-pounding eighth book in the Cass Leary legal thriller series. If you like bold characters, breakneck drama, and ripping surprises, then you’ll love Robin James’s high-speed nail-biter!

Denied by Mary KeliikoaDenied by Mary Keliikoa:

PI Kelly Pruett’s search to locate a former classmate’s missing father ends in what appears to be a tragic accident. Kelly will play a high risk game of chance with a killer willing to gamble everything to win.

 

 

 

 

Deadly Dance by B.V. LawsonDeadly Dance by B.V. Lawson:

Some secrets refuse to stay buried…

When Scott Drayco’s ex-girlfriend begs him to prove her rich fiance, Harry Dickerman, is innocent of murder, Drayco’s torn; he’s suspicious of Harry’s motives for wanting to marry a much younger woman, but on the other hand, the man seems to be a paragon of virtue. The police think it’s an open-and-shut case — the victim was Harry’s ex-wife, killed in Harry’s home with his own letter opener, and only Harry’s prints were on the murder weapon.

But as Drayco digs deeper, he starts to find cracks in that “open-and-shut” case and investigates whether corporate espionage was involved and how a shady attorney figures into the mix. Most puzzling of all, why was the victim living in an mysterious, out-of-the-way commune for Wall Street refugees? And why does the commune seem to be less about peace, love, and brotherhood and more about drugs, sex, and blackmail?

With help from his former FBI partner, “Sarg” Sargosian, Drayco uncovers a possible Russian connection that may be key to the mystery. But as he plunges deeper into a cesspool where everyone seems to be guilty of secrets and lies, he’s not sure who he can trust … or whether a deadly dance with the devil will be his undoing.

Martinez by Alan LeeMartinez by Alan Lee:

Manny Martinez has a history shrouded in secrets, a wake of destruction he hoped he could leave behind. But when his closest childhood companion locates him in America, that can only mean one thing–Manny didn’t run far enough.

To survive, he must embrace his past and outwit his old ally, now a professional hitman bent on revenge. He’s promised that Manny will only die after he watches his friends perish first. It’s a fight that will spill into the streets and demand an answer–how much does it cost to be a Martinez?

 

Prelude to a Witch by Amanda M. LeePrelude to a Witch by Amanda M. Lee:

Bay Winchester has battled ghosts, shades, poltergeists … and sometimes her own family. It’s the latter giving her fits now. Well, and Hemlock Cove’s younger set of course.

Bay thought the worst was behind her when she modified the memories of four tempestuous teenagers bent on stealing magic and wielding it in a tyrannical manner. Unfortunately for her, when one of those teenagers ends up dead behind the inn her father owns, things start to spiral.

The girl’s death is ritual in fashion, bloody runes painted on the trees, and Bay can’t wrap her head around exactly what has happened. Then things get worse when dark figures start appearing in windows, black ghosts threatening Bay and her family at every turn.

Between the horror haunting Hemlock Cove and the annoying presence of Bay’s former boss and his current fiancée, who just so happens to be a distant relative, Bay has her hands full … and that’s before her cousin Clove’s baby starts displaying a rather interesting skillset that is going to force accommodations within the family.

All Bay wants is a little break to plan her wedding and look forward to happily ever after with her fiancé Landon Michaels. What’s she’s going to get is a whole lot of trouble.

Bay’s growing powers are drawing in a new element of evil. It’s going to take everything she has – and a little help from Aunt Tillie – to fight the ultimate battle. Survival isn’t a given but Bay is determined to make it to her big day.

No matter what.

The Classy Detective Agency by Duane LindsayThe Classy Detective Agency by Duane Lindsay:

Who knew faking class would be so dangerous?

In Duane Lindsay’s latest action-packed noir thriller, private eye Lou Fleener does what he does best: wisecrack, roam his beloved hometown, and get into a hell of a lot of street fights. It’s 1960 in glamorous Chicago, and Lou and his wife Cassidy (turned sardonic, ever-scheming partner in crime), are broke. In need of fast cash, they devise a scheme to advertise themselves as sophisticated private eyes catering to the city’s elite.

But it turns out they aren’t the only ones running a con. Whip-smart as they are, they aren’t prepared for the stealthy criminals hiding among Chicago’s rich and famous.

While hobnobbing at a fancy party, the Classy Detectives catch the eye of a bored socialite who’s cooking up a scheme with a genius art thief. The conspirators are casing a local exhibit that’s chock full of famous, lucrative paintings. But the larcenous pair need a fall guy: they figure that if they put an appropriate suspect in the right place at the right time, they can breezily lift the loot.

So they hire Lou and Cassidy to “guard” the paintings. The Classy Detectives are over the moon: they think they’ve been hired to eat hamburgers and hang out outside the museum.

One dead cop later, they realize they’ve been set up. Quicker than you can say, “Go Cubs!” Cassidy’s arrested. Even worse, the headline LOU FLEENER: COP KILLER is plastered across newspapers and blaring out of radios. Only too obviously, this is the time to concoct Plan B–and thereon hangs a rollicking tale.

A Ghastly Spectre by Lynn MessinaA Ghastly Spectre by Lynn Messina:

Since the new Duchess of Kesgrave cannot be swayed from her unfortunate interest in dead bodies, Lady Abercrombie decides to confront the matter head-on by hosting a murder mystery dinner party. Gathering together several of society’s most influential members, she concocts an amusing puzzle-play, assigns roles, and stands back to allow Bea to impress them all with her ingenuity.

The former spinster will be the height of fashion in no time. Huzzah!

No, she won’t, Bea thinks. Her status has increased with her marriage, yes, but so have the insecurities that bedeviled her first season. Far from charming everyone with her wit, she will appall them with her inability to form coherent or interesting sentences.

’Tis a three-act tragedy in the making.

But then one of the guests is killed in the same manner as her ladyship’s victim and the evening turns genuinely tragic. Horrified, the august company scurry for the exits, and Bea, determined to detain all her lovely suspects, throws herself bodily against the door. Intimidated or not, she will identify the murderer—even if it guarantees her social ruin.

Never Walk Alone by Willow RoseNever Walk Alone by Willow Rose:

The world is on lockdown due to a virus that originated in Miami.

A woman is kidnapped from her apartment, and Detective Harry Hunter is on the case.

At the same time, his sister shows up after they haven’t seen each other in a year.

As it turns out, Harry’s sister knows more about the virus than she lets on. Soon, he wonders if the virus is connected to the missing woman.

As he digs deeper into the strange mystery, he realizes his sister’s life is in great danger, and so is his.

Cold Case in Nuala by Harriet Steel:Cold Case in Nuala by Harriet Steel

It’s January 1940 and the day of Nuala’s famous motor rally. Excitement is at full throttle, but matters take a dark turn when that same evening, human remains are found buried in a lonely corner of a local tea plantation.

Inspector de Silva has a cold case to solve. Add a playboy racing driver, a missing Bugatti and a family scandal hushed up years ago into the mix and he has plenty to think about. You can be sure that whatever happened in the past, now de Silva’s in the driving seat, you’re in for a gripping ride.

Libra by John WegenerLibra by John Wegener:

I appeal to the President of the Confederation…

When a duke and duchess are murdered on Franconia and a Cetusian is convicted, he appeals to the Confederation as a last resort. Can the true murderer be brought to justice? And what is the motive?

Chooli has just graduated as a police officer and joined the GIA. She is asked to team up with her partner Alex to investigate the crime on the luxurious planet – one that has dark secrets.

Ignoring warnings to stop their investigation, Chooli is kidnapped by the assassin, making the pursuit personal for Alex, as he battles against time to save her.

When Chooli escapes her captors, she finds herself in the middle of a war where she is captured again and stumbles on a monumental conspiracy that she must stop before it is too late.

Can Alex find Chooli in time to save her? Can Chooli prevent a catastrophe? Can they both bring the mastermind behind it all to justice?

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Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for April 2021

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 epic fantasy, urban fantasy, sword and sorcery, paranormal mystery, paranormal romance, science fiction romance, space opera, military science fiction, dystopian fiction, Cyberpunk, Steampunk, gothic horror, vampires, werewolves, dragons, demons, aliens, ghosts, superheroes, time travel, global warming, voodoo, space explorers, wizards, cyborg detectives, crime-busting witches, crime-busting psychics, paradox twins 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:

The Red Man and Others by Angeline B. Adams and Remco van StratenThe Red Man and Others by Angeline B. Adams and Remco van Straten:

Teenage con-artist Sebastien and sell-sword Kaila get even with a cult, while Ymke learns what true strength is. As the women find each other, the boy finds sainthood.

Three journeys of self-discovery; three stories of loss, love and adventure:

In a divided city, the small but tough sell-sword Kaila and the teenage con-artist Sebastien don their disguises and play their parts to get their own back on a religious cult.

In the war-torn north of Cruoningha, Ymke and her father live in exile. When her father rescues a giant warrior, Ymke learns that strength is not a matter of muscle alone, and that sometimes the price of hiding is too great.

As Sebastien is elevated to sainthood on the rock of Otasfaust, the Kaila and Ymke find each other, and a new purpose for their talents.

The paperback edition is expanded from the digital edition, and features additional art, flash fic and an interview.

Coyle and Fang: Curse of Shadows by Robert Adauto IIICoyle and Fang: Curse of Shadows by Robert Adauto III:

Sherlyn Coyle is left for dead by her murderous ex-fiance, known around the world as “The Ripper”. Using her brilliant crime-solving skills to become a detective, she plans to bring him to justice. But the year is 1892 in a male-dominated world and the odds are pitted against her.

Fang, a lab-created vampire assassin, has just broken out of her cell and she’s looking for the man who put her there. But the ghost of her dead sister turns her in a different direction, one that requires her to seek help in the form of a brilliant detective.

Together they learn an ancient book, The Curse of Shadows, has been stolen by an evil genius; Moreci, the same man who helped create Fang. Can Coyle and Fang trust each other enough to find and stop Moreci from killing tens of thousands?

Set in an alternative steampunk history, Coyle and Fang: Curse of Shadows is the first installment of a series. Each book is packed with rich characters, intrigue and so much action, you won’t want to put the book down.

Warrior's Reign by Emma AlisynWarrior’s Reign by Emma Alisyn:

Redemption. Assassination. A bond forged under dark fire.

Reign Obe’shan is hot headed. Infuriating. Ambitious—

—unfailingly loyal and willing to maim, kill, or die for duty.

Reign’s boss, Imperial royal warrior Vykhan loves her in secret, concealing his identity. Dark secrets shadow his steps, and despite his vow to protect her from a distance, his past threatens to ensnare them both.

He fears if he unleashes his inner beast it will have no mercy, not even for his fated mate.

But to block an enemy from claiming her—body and life—he has no choice but to let his dark side reign.

Warrior’s Reign is a sci fi alien fantasy romance for readers who love adventure, enemies and friends to lovers, fated mates, royal intrigue and steamy, edgy chemistry. Standalone, Book 6 in the Warrior of Yedahn series.

Tossing Dice by A.E. BransonTossing Dice by A.E. Branson:

Humanity has divided into two factions: the Elite ruling class that demands all persons submit to biotechnical enhancements, and the opponents driven underground because they desire to retain their individuality.

When an Intellectual Militant Prototype, known by the acronym IMP, decides to desert the Elite forces that created him, he gambles there is one logical choice on where to go. As a soldier genetically engineered to be a physically superior man, he isn’t readily received by his former enemies. But there are those willing to wager he can tip the odds in their favor to end a decades-long war.

His new life brings the IMP closer to his own humanity, but he also discovers an incredible secret that could end this conflict. And if the Elite find out about it, mankind may lose its last chance for survival.

Asylum by Lindsay BurokerAsylum by Lindsay Buroker:

A young woman with cybernetic upgrades, Mari Moonrazor has decided to flee the restrictive machine-worshipping cult she was raised in. She longs to know what it’s like to live among normal humans and experience simple biological pleasures like consuming alcohol, kissing a boy, and—most importantly—eating chocolate.

But her mother, the infamous astroshaman leader Kyla Moonrazor, is determined to get her back, even if it means sending a bounty hunter after her.

Mari’s only hope for freedom is to be granted asylum from the leaders of the powerful Star Kingdom. First, she must prove that she has knowledge and resources she can offer them. Second, she has to earn their trust.

This all would have been easier if her people hadn’t bombed their planet…

~

Asylum is a stand-alone novel in the Star Kingdom universe. It introduces new heroes, but old fans will enjoy visits with Casmir, Kim, Qin, Laser, Oku, and other favorites from the original series.

Kingdoms at War by Lindsay BurokerKingdoms at War by Lindsay Buroker:

As a cartography student, Jak has always dreamed of finding the lost dragon gate and exploring and mapping distant worlds.

Developing magical powers and becoming a powerful wizard? Not a chance.

Wizards are cruel and inhumane, warring with each other from their great sky cities and keeping most of humanity enslaved. Jak wants nothing to do with them.

But when he and his archaeologist mother unearth the gate, they attract the attention of the very wizards they sought to avoid. Even more troubling, Jak starts developing magical powers of his own, powers that could rival those of the great rulers.

Fate may have given him the opportunity to change the world.

But the wizard rulers don’t like change, and when they detect threats, they send their elite assassins to eliminate them.

If Jak can’t unlock the power of the gate, and the powers within himself, the world will remain enslaved forever.

The Paradox Twins by Joshua ChaplinskyThe Paradox Twins by Joshua Chaplinsky:

The Paradox Twins is a copyright infringing biographical collage that exists on the Internet, pieced together by an unknown auteur.

Named for the famous thought experiment, it concerns estranged twin brothers who reunite at their father’s funeral to discover they no longer look alike. Haunted by the past (and possibly the future), they move into their father’s house to settle his affairs, only to reignite old rivalries and uncover long-hidden secrets, most of which involve the young woman who lives next door.

An epistolary work comprised of excerpts from various memoirs, novels, screenplay adaptations, and documents of public record, The Paradox Twins is an experimental, sci-fi ghost story about the scariest, most unknowable quantity there is-family.

unravelingtheparadox.com

Still of the Night by Cerise ColeStill of the Night by Cerise Cole:

he seals are cracking. Hell will follow after, and I’m caught in the middle.

Everyone says I’m cursed. My father would’ve used the word evil. That’s his excuse for being so strict, at any rate. Little does he know how right he is. I might look like a good girl on the outside, but deep down I’m really not.

I carry the mark on my hand to prove it.

But being good means not getting in trouble at school or he’ll take it out on me. I am barely allowed to hang out with my friends, and they’re starting to resent it. The safe and stable life I’ve been forced into is falling apart.

Then my stepbrother moves in.

Suddenly, being good doesn’t seem so important. He makes friends with the local bad boys, and being around them feels like exactly where I belong. The problem is that Dad is having none of it. They’re trouble, I’m supposed to be good, and the only one suffering here is me.

I’m going to have to choose what matters most. Is it the years I’ve spent with my best friend? The boyfriend who’s my escape from this insanity? Or maybe it’s the three guys who finally make me feel alive – even with all the secrets they keep.

Secrets that I’m stuck in the middle of.
Secrets that prove I’m so much worse than I thought.
Secrets that are tied directly to the scar on my hand.

Supernova by C. GockelSupernova by C. Gockel:

The final chapter in the Archangel Project Series.

Beyond the borders of known space a Dark Fleet is gathering…

Volka, 6T9, Carl Sagan, and their band of sentient faster-than-light ships are charged with finding the Dark’s forces. But the enemy is closer than they realize, and the Dark’s next strike will be sooner than they think.

When the attack comes our heroes will be forced to evolve once more. Volka has become a true telepath. To fight the Dark, she must become a true leader as well. 6T9 is capable of destruction with a machine’s lack of remorse. He must learn when to stay his hand…not just to save humanity, but to keep the woman he loves.

They must succeed, because the Dark has been evolving too. Carefully. Methodically. And it will stop at nothing short of the extinction of the human race.

Hex, Drugs and Rock and Roll by Lily Harper HartHex, Drugs and Rock and Roll by Lily Harper Hart:

There’s a dark shadow hanging over the French Quarter, and Ofelia Archer is constantly looking over her shoulder because of it, waiting for the enemy to strike. While searching for one enemy, however, she finds another.

On what was supposed to be a relaxing day on the riverwalk, a knife-wielding man tries to take out a street performer and chaos ensues. Ofelia manages to disarm the assailant, but when he’s being loaded into a police cruiser he explodes – literally – releasing a wave of magic that knocks down everybody in Jackson Square.

Upon waking up, Ofelia is convinced it was some sort of surgical attack. When some of the people present at the event start tracking her down with murder on their minds, she becomes more convinced than ever that she was right.

Tourists, police officers, and locals are becoming possessed. The one thing they all seem to have in common is a need to track down Ofelia … and end her.

Zacharias Sully vowed to protect Ofelia no matter what. The odds this time feel longer than ever.

Ofelia and Sully are a team. Working together, they must find a hidden enemy while another stalks their every move. It’s going to take both of them together to come out safely on the other side.

What’s waiting for them there might be even more terrifying.

Legend of the Easter Dragon by Kelsey HodgeLegend of the Easter Dragon by Kelsey Hodge:

Alwyn

Secrets and ancient prophecies are all make-believe, right?

I’m nobody special, just your average person looking forward to the one day a year I get to spend with my best friend. Suddenly, when fairytales and prophecies storm into my life, everything changes… quite literally.

Llewellyn

Some secrets are necessary when the truth is unbelievable.

Alwyn’s always been special to me, but there are things I keep hidden from him. Revelations that are too unbelievable for the human world. When my best friend is suddenly thrust into my world, the truth must be told, and our friendship and future change in ways I never expected—but always secretly hoped for.

The Grissom Contention by Julia HuniThe Grissom Contention by Julia Huni:

Honor and glory await those who graduate from the Explorer Academy. Or so she’s been told…

Fresh from the mission to Earth, Siti Kassis, daughter of the “Hero of Darenti Four,” enrolls in the Colonial Explorer Corps academy–the same academy where her father was the captain of the grav-ball team, and still holds flight records for the extreme piloting competitions. As the daughter of a revered alum, she’s expected to lead the legacy students to victory in every training scenario and game.

But Siti wants to prove her own worth. Shunned by the other legacies when she refuses to play by their unfair rules, she joins a band of misfits for her class’s most arduous trial: Prime Survival Week.

When Siti and her friends discover they’ve been dropped into PSW with no supplies, no rules, and no end, will they figure out how to survive? Or will they devise a plan to win?

Tropical Punch by S.C. JensenTropical Punch by S.C. Jensen:

Strippers, Drugs, and Headless Corpses…

All in a day’s work for Bubbles Marlowe, HoloCity’s only cyborg detective.

What do an anti-tech cult, a deadly new street drug, and the corrupt Chief of Police have in common?

It’s a question Bubbles can’t afford to ask. Last time she got curious it cost her job, a limb, and almost her life.

She vows to stay out of police business. But with a newly minted cybernetic enhancement, a semi-legal P.I. licence, and a knack for asking the wrong kind of questions…

Vows are made to be broken.

But as the body count stacks up, Bubbles realizes she’s made a terrible mistake.

Can she figure out who is behind the murders before she loses her head?

If you love glitter, grit, and hard-boiled badassery, you’ll love this new take on the classic detective novel because it’s got non-stop action, lots of laughs, and a sassy robotic pig.

God King Rising by Jeffrey L. KohanekGod King Rising by Jeffrey L. Kohanek:

Two queens.

One rules by fear, her citizens laboring to fund the lavish lifestyle of the wizard class. The other believes in justice and compassion, earning her the love of her subjects…and the enmity of her wizard peers.

Both will die.

In one wizardom, a secret rebellion brews. A hero to the people rises, fueled by a mysterious sorcerer’s blood magic. But at what cost?

Conspiracies and assassins lurk in every shadow, threatening the throne of another nation. The scheming wizard behind it will stop at nothing to claim the crown. Yet, even he is a pawn.

What force is behind it all? What is their endgame?

Blood Debt by Erme LanderBlood Debt by Erme Lander:

“It’s not a nervous tick Gavin. If this gets out I could kill someone.”

Addicted to the drugs she is taking to suppress her changing abilities, Mika is readying herself to take over the position of Court Medici when she hears her sons have arrived at the border between the two countries and are asking for her. They are strangers, she’s not met them since she gave them up as babies thirteen years ago and they have their own problems. Her only hope – and theirs – lies in the changer community in the mountains.

Mika – nothing more than a fifteen year old girl who has lost her twin brother. The circumstances leading to her arranged marriage and the unwanted discovery that she can change her skin.

The Medici Chronicles follows Mika through nearly twenty years of her life as she disguises herself as a boy to survive, learns to become a Medici and struggles to find where she belongs.

The events in Blood Debt happen about three years after those in Medici of Ackbarr.

A Little Slice of Death by Amanda M. LeeA Little Slice of Death by Amanda M. Lee:

Stormy Morgan thought coming home to Shadow Hills would break her. Instead, she’s found strength, and only part of it is because she’s discovered that she’s a witch. Now, with her great-grandmother coming to town, she’s finally in line for some answers. Now she just has to solve a pesky little murder before she’s free to cast and curse.

Following their first date, a quiet outing for pizza and romance, Stormy and her boyfriend Hunter Ryan discover that the owner Giovanni Rossi was gunned down in his parking lot sometime during the overnight hours. To make matters worse, Stormy believes she dreamed of the murder before finding out about it, which throws everybody for a loop.

Even though Hunter would prefer Stormy focus on her great-grandmother, he’s resigned to the fact that she can’t turn away from the investigation. Together, they start digging … and discover some disturbing clues involving various community members.

Stormy’s magic is evolving, almost on a daily basis, and it’s only outpaced by her curiosity. Once faced with a mystery, she can’t look away, and those who love her most will be dragged along for the ride.

Strap in, because as Stormy learns more about what she can do – with a little help from the Winchesters from Hemlock Cove – she’ll become a force to be reckoned with. She just has to survive long enough to reach her full potential … and that’s easier said than done.

Too Good to Be True by M.T. McGuireToo Good To Be True by M.T. McGuire:

A job that calls for a hero. But they’re busy.

When The Pan of Hamgee encounters some mudlarkers trying to land a box on the banks of the River Dang he is happy to help. Having accepted a share of the contents as a reward he cannot believe his luck. It contains one of the most expensive delicacies available in K’Barth, Goojan spiced sausage. If he can sell it, the sausage might spell the end of his troubles. On the other hand, knowing his luck, it could bring a whole load more.

Written in British English with a dash of light swearing. Suitable for any reader of any age from 10 up – younger readers who have read all the Harry Potter books without any worries will be fine with the Hamgeean Misfit stories.

Imperial Recruit by Terry MixonImperial Recruit by Terry Mixon:

Andrea Tolliver—a genetically designed human from the Singularity—has finally earned a spot in the Imperial Marines. If she makes it through training, she’ll earn citizenship.

If not—well, best not to think about that.

With ruthless enemies willing to do anything to stop her, she’ll need all the help she can get to survive. Even with friends working from the shadows to keep her safe, will that be enough to keep her alive?

The Emissary by G.J. OgdenThe Emissary by G.J. Ogden:

Space is cold. But the heart of an Omega Captain is colder still

The Sa’Nerra were close to defeat, then everything changed. Armed with a unique neural weapon, the merciless alien warriors turned Fleet crew against their own. Entire warships went rogue. Suspicion and fear ran riot. Surrender seemed like the only option.

But Captain Lucas Sterling knows that in the fight against the Sa’Nerra there is only victory or death.

Sterling is an Omega Captain. His rank and his command of the Fleet Marauder Invictus were both won in a depraved and monstrous trial of grit and determination.

Sterling will do anything to ensure the Sa’Nerra do not prevail. Even if that means killing Fleet crew that have been “turned”. Even if that means killing the people he loves.

But the neural control weapon is not the only danger Fleet faces. Deep inside the Void the aliens are building a super-weapon. Sterling and his crew must destroy it at all costs.

Back on Earth, the United Governments are desperate for peace. Then after fifty years without a single word of contact between the two races, the Sa’Nerra finally send an emissary.

But the belligerent alien race sent an emissary of war, not peace.

The fate of humanity now lies in the hands of Captain Sterling and the Omega officers of the Invictus. But victory is only possible if he is willing to do anything it takes to win.

The Report of Mr. Charles Aalmers by Matthew Pungitore The Report of Mr. Charles Aalmers and Other Stories by Matthew Pungitore:

In “The Report of Mr. Charles Aalmers,” Matthew Pungitore crafts a spine-chilling story about a surreal chain of maddening events surrounding a historian and his beloved friend. Encounter a lurid report written in a disturbing manuscript found in a Gothic crypt guarded by strange rumors and an indescribable being. Additionally, this anthology includes many more thrilling yarns most grotesque, most sublime, wonderfully Gothic, charmingly dreamy, and certainly weird: “Black Torque Demon,” “Dubhdris Abbey,” “Fetch of Prismatic Froth,” “Grumocruth,” “Idyll For An Allhallowtide Masque And Romance,” “Jade Gorget Hex,” “O Tumult Unearthly,” “Platinoid Pearl Rapture,” “Ultramundane Numina in the Forbidden Tomb,” and “Zynzblazoth.”

Eyes of Tomorrow by Glynn StewartEyes of Tomorrow by Glynn Stewart:

An ancient power unleashed from its prison.
Fleets summoned by oaths old and new alike.
A rising tide of war that may consume the galaxy!

Captain Morgan Casimir’s mission to stop a war has ended in a nightmare. In the heart of an ignored nebula, trapped behind a ring of newborn stars, she has awoken a creature of another time: the horde of biological starships who call themselves the Infinite.

Fifty thousand years ago, the Infinite drove the galaxy’s Alavan Precursors to a grave mistake that destroyed all that was. Unleashed once more by the very people Morgan Casimir sought to stop, the Infinite now threaten an entirely new era. The only thing standing in their way is a fragile alliance of old enemies, determined to keep them contained in the Astoroko Nebula.

But when that ancient prison fails, the galaxy must stand together—or watch the beginning of a golden age dissolve into apocalypse…

Cursed Demon by Brogan ThomasCursed Demon by Brogan Thomas:

In this world…

…being human is a death sentence.

Surrounded by powerful and dangerous creatures, Emma relies on her demon master for his protection. She has spent her whole life trying to keep out of trouble and stay in his good graces.

But when a freak accident causes her to stumble upon a restricted building, she makes a shocking discovery, a rare female wolf shifter.

Determined to help the wolf shifter escape and find her pack, Emma is forced to flee the demon’s estate…all the while dreading the reaction of her demon master once he finds out. But he’s the least of her problems. She soon finds herself in the crosshairs of a less-than-grateful elite hellhound.

Accused of crimes she didn’t commit and kidnapped by the infuriated hellhound, Emma’s only solace is in the fact that she’s immune to magic. But immunity to magic, as she finds out, can be both a blessing and a curse…

Tempest in the Tea Leaves by Kari Lee TownsendTempest on the Tea Leaves by Kari Lee Townsend:

In the fortune telling business there are a lot of pretenders, but Sunshine Meadows is the real deal—and her predictions can be lethally accurate…

Leaving the Big Apple for the quaint town of Divinity, New York, Sunny is determined to make it on her own as a psychic. With an ancient Victorian house as her place of business, Sunny uses various psychic methods to aid the town’s residents. But when she uses tea leaves to give a reading for a frazzled librarian, what she finds at the bottom of the cup is anything but helpful. Sunny informs the police of her deadly vision, but her warning is too late. And with hard-nosed, ruggedly handsome Detective Mitch Stone denying her abilities and naming her prime suspect, the situation is dire. Now Sunny has to use her visions to clear her name, before the killer can put an end to the psychic’s.

SpiceFire 3: The Temple of Andromeda by B.J. WestSpliceFire 3: The Temple of Andromeda by B.J. West:

Spider King barely knows anything about the mysterious programmer known only as St. Jude,” except that she pays well and keeps her cards well-hidden. That’s understandable considering she’s hiding from Richard Newbridge, a cold-blooded industrialist bent on killing her for stealing priceless secrets.

Once again, she comes to the Gordian Net for help, but this time it’s a job so dangerous that no amount of money seems enough to take it on. She is asking them to break her father, a top-level computer scientist, out of the most secure prison on the planet.

Are Spider, Nishi, and Elegua in over their heads this time?

Carrie Anne's World by Mark WhitewayCarrie Anne’s World by Mark Whiteway:

Mike O’Keefe arrives on the paradise island of Koh Tao only to be caught up in a terrorist attack by a radical environmental group. In a recurring dream, he encounters a mysterious young girl on a beach who cannot remember her past. She writes a message in the sand, 6 = 3, and begs him to help her find the “Saelak”. Dismissing the experience as the product of a fevered imagination, he settles into life on the island. But when the environmental threat ramps up and elements of his dream world begin bleeding into reality, Mike is propelled on a journey across time and space that must end in the destruction or salvation of Humanity.

Bayou Whispers by R.B. WoodBayou Whispers by R.B. Wood:

Bayou Whispers, the latest thriller from horror writer R.B. Wood, is the story of no-nonsense New Orleans native, Jeannine LaRue, the sole survivor of her family after the devastation brought on by Hurricane Katrina. In the aftermath of the storm, she believed she’d been saved, but soon found herself held hostage and sexually exploited, rescued months later by sheriff’s deputy Curtis Jones.

Twelve years after Katrina, Jeannine is a new attorney who returns to New Orleans to save her old friend Curtis Jones—now a local thief and trafficker of stolen goods—after he is arrested for the murder of Jeannine’s captors, whose bodies have recently been found. But Jeannine discovers more than she bargained for when she uncovers a family history of dark voodoo magic and an unholy alliance with an ancient evil Haitian god.

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

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Indie Crime Fiction of the Month for April 2021


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, culinary mysteries, historical mysteries, Jazz Age mysteries, 1950s mysteries, paranormal mysteries, hardboiled mysteries, steampunk mysteries, science fiction mysteries, humorous crime fiction, crime thrillers, adventure thrillers, environmental thrillers, legal thrillers, sea adventures, police officers, amateur sleuths, private investigators, FBI agents, lawyers, gangsters, serial killers, organised crime, missing girls, wrongful accusations, bioterrorism, crime-busting witches, crime-busting socialites, crime-busting maids, crime-busting seamstresses, cyborg detectives, murderous carnivals, deadly divorces, murder and mayhem in London, Venice, Minnesota, California, Louisiana, the Florida Keys, Hawaii 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:

Coyle and Fang: Curse of Shadows by Robert Adauto IIICoyle and Fang: Curse of Shadows by Robert Adauto III:

Sherlyn Coyle is left for dead by her murderous ex-fiance, known around the world as “The Ripper”. Using her brilliant crime-solving skills to become a detective, she plans to bring him to justice. But the year is 1892 in a male-dominated world and the odds are pitted against her.

Fang, a lab-created vampire assassin, has just broken out of her cell and she’s looking for the man who put her there. But the ghost of her dead sister turns her in a different direction, one that requires her to seek help in the form of a brilliant detective.

Together they learn an ancient book, The Curse of Shadows, has been stolen by an evil genius; Moreci, the same man who helped create Fang. Can Coyle and Fang trust each other enough to find and stop Moreci from killing tens of thousands?

Set in an alternative steampunk history, Coyle and Fang: Curse of Shadows is the first installment of a series. Each book is packed with rich characters, intrigue and so much action, you won’t want to put the book down.

An Untidy End by Blythe BakerAn Untidy End by Blythe Baker:

Anna Fairweather stands on the brink of discovering the answers to questions that have haunted her since childhood. Still, danger looms over her…

When Anna, Jerome, and Mrs. Montford journey from London to Venice in search of a missing person, a train conductor turns up dead. Can Anna capture the murderer before they reach their destination?

 

 

A Stab of Dread by Blythe BakerA Stab of Dread by Blythe Baker:

A Christmas eve party with friends ends in an unexpected death, leaving it up to Lily and Iris Dickinson to catch a murderer. But when details of a horrible event from the past come to light, will both sisters be too distracted to see the final answer that has been right in front of them all along?

 

 

 

Waterborne by J. Luke BenneckeWaterborne by J. Luke Bennecke:

A thought-provoking thriller about a very real threat to the essence of life: water. You’ll be forced to consider how you’d react if you were cornered and trapped in a terrifying, life-threatening situation. Jake Bendel and a cunning team of experts create a five-plant desalination system – all powered by environmentally friendly molten salt reactors – providing clean, healthy drinking water to millions of thirsty Californians. But the dark side of humanity sees this as a chance for revenge against the United States. A genius weaponizes the system, threatening to kill more Americans than all of World War II.

The clock is ticking. Can Jake and the FBI stop the terrorists before more innocent people are murdered in the name of the Jihad? WATERBORNE will grab you by the throat and pull you into a vicious struggle that will define the fate of the world for generations to come.

The Inexorable Tide of Mystery by Beth ByersThe Inexorable Tide of Mystery by Beth Byers:

August 1925

London England

Severine DuNoir has escaped the gangsters in America and journeyed with her friends across the sea. Everything is different. Most importantly no one cares who her family is or what they’ve done.

That is, until, a body turns up and the members of Severine’s makeshift family are among the suspects. Now it’s time to discover who killed this person, why, and how they’re going to prove it.

Twisted Justice by Dennis CarstensTwisted Justice by Dennis Carstens:

“I’M BETTER OFF KILLING HER,” HE SAID…

Those offhand words come back to haunt him when his wife’s found stabbed in her lover’s parking garage. It seemed like a harmless enough remark at the time – the joking reaction of a wealthy man to the cost of divorce.

But now he’s the obvious suspect.

And his lawyer, Marc Kadella, has to tell him the other bad news. His wife was running quite the side business as a dominatrix.

The husband thought she was just a lady who lunched, who’d never had a job other than the one she had when he met her – Minnesota Vikings cheerleader – but it seems she and her friends were still a hard-working squad.

The group of eight ex-cheerleaders had moved their gymnastics indoors, building a lucrative prostitution business, and his wife had developed her own specialty—along with a stash of secrets belonging to some of the most influential and powerful men in the state.

The case is a prosecutor’s dream—the defendant’s phone records show he went to a party, then traveled to the scene of the murder, and back to the party. So obviously open-and-shut the police haven’t even bothered to look at other suspects.

That leaves Marc an opening for the daring defense known in the trade as SODDI: Some Other Dude Did It.

Fortune Funhouse by Jana DeLeonFortune Funhouse by Jana DeLeon:

Death is a roller coaster.

The traveling carnival has made its stop in Sinful and everyone is ready for thrilling rides, challenging games, and most importantly, funnel cake. But when a man is murdered in the funhouse and Emmaline LeBlanc is knocked unconscious so the killer can escape, the good times are over. Carter is beside himself wanting to hunt down the man responsible for putting his mother in the hospital, but he can’t investigate when he’s related to one of the victims.

Palmer Reed was well known as a boy by most everyone in Sinful for being a sneak, a liar, and sometimes a thief. As an adult, he continued his reign of underachieving and mostly making people angry wherever he went. Now he’s a state police detective and is assigned to the case, but Fortune knows that to get Carter the answers he needs, Swamp Team 3 has to take on the investigation. As they dig deep into the confusion and lies that surround the murder, they uncover a secret that could devastate Carter and Emmaline, but Fortune is determined to discover the truth…whatever that may be.

Justice in Time by John EllsworthJustice in Time by John Ellsworth:

Assistant District Attorney Lettie Portman charges a U.S. Senator with the murder of his wife. The wife was found dead sitting in her Mercedes with a garden house from the exhaust into her window. Suicide? Maybe, except the detectives learn the wife’s fingerprints are nowhere on the hose. She appears to reach from the grave and point an accusing finger at her husband. And there’s another twist: the Senator’s Million Dollar Lawyer is involved in a deadly conspiracy against Lettie.

Lettie is hard at work on the case when she finds Detective Tony Reedy won’t give up on her. She’s been injured before when she lost her childhood. But she wants to love again and she asks him to wait. He reaches out but will he be able to touch her?

The Big Gamble by Mike FaricyThe Big Gamble by Mike Faricy:

Dev Haskell receives a phone call from an old friend. It’s feared Dev’s old high school flame, Maddie McGuire, has fallen through the ice along the Mississippi River and can’t be found. Dev hasn’t seen her since she married ne’er do well, Colton Ferral. After attending the memorial service and reconnecting with her sisters, he comes away with more questions than answers.

Local crime lord, Tubby Gustafson, has some questions for Dev, too. Amazingly, Colton Ferral’s name comes up. Of course, what better time to offer a spare bedroom on Airbnb, not to mention a surprise guest who arrives on the scene.

Sit back and enjoy another delightful Dev Haskell tale.

A wonderful read to remind you that, actually, your life is pretty good!

As always, Morton, Dev’s Golden Retriever, provides a dose of sanity.

Hex, Drugs and Rock and Roll by Lily Harper HartHex, Drugs and Rock and Roll by Lily Harper Hart:

There’s a dark shadow hanging over the French Quarter, and Ofelia Archer is constantly looking over her shoulder because of it, waiting for the enemy to strike. While searching for one enemy, however, she finds another.

On what was supposed to be a relaxing day on the riverwalk, a knife-wielding man tries to take out a street performer and chaos ensues. Ofelia manages to disarm the assailant, but when he’s being loaded into a police cruiser he explodes – literally – releasing a wave of magic that knocks down everybody in Jackson Square.

Upon waking up, Ofelia is convinced it was some sort of surgical attack. When some of the people present at the event start tracking her down with murder on their minds, she becomes more convinced than ever that she was right.

Tourists, police officers, and locals are becoming possessed. The one thing they all seem to have in common is a need to track down Ofelia … and end her.

Zacharias Sully vowed to protect Ofelia no matter what. The odds this time feel longer than ever.

Ofelia and Sully are a team. Working together, they must find a hidden enemy while another stalks their every move. It’s going to take both of them together to come out safely on the other side.

What’s waiting for them there might be even more terrifying.

Tropical Punch by S.C. JensenTropical Punch by S.C. Jensen:

Strippers, Drugs, and Headless Corpses…

All in a day’s work for Bubbles Marlowe, HoloCity’s only cyborg detective.

What do an anti-tech cult, a deadly new street drug, and the corrupt Chief of Police have in common?

It’s a question Bubbles can’t afford to ask. Last time she got curious it cost her job, a limb, and almost her life.

She vows to stay out of police business. But with a newly minted cybernetic enhancement, a semi-legal P.I. licence, and a knack for asking the wrong kind of questions…

Vows are made to be broken.

But as the body count stacks up, Bubbles realizes she’s made a terrible mistake.

Can she figure out who is behind the murders before she loses her head?

If you love glitter, grit, and hard-boiled badassery, you’ll love this new take on the classic detective novel because it’s got non-stop action, lots of laughs, and a sassy robotic pig.

Sunken Graves by Alan LeeSunken Graves by Alan Lee:

Peter Lynch is a monster. A sociopathic attorney hiding in plain sight behind billboards and a successful career. With the highest connections, he terrorizes the city and buries the evidence, and there’s no way to stop him. Until one discharged Green Beret decides to try…

A novel of crime and suspense, from best-selling author Alan Lee.

 

 

A Little Slice of Death by Amanda M. LeeA Little Slice of Death by Amanda M. Lee:

Stormy Morgan thought coming home to Shadow Hills would break her. Instead, she’s found strength, and only part of it is because she’s discovered that she’s a witch. Now, with her great-grandmother coming to town, she’s finally in line for some answers. Now she just has to solve a pesky little murder before she’s free to cast and curse.

Following their first date, a quiet outing for pizza and romance, Stormy and her boyfriend Hunter Ryan discover that the owner Giovanni Rossi was gunned down in his parking lot sometime during the overnight hours. To make matters worse, Stormy believes she dreamed of the murder before finding out about it, which throws everybody for a loop.

Even though Hunter would prefer Stormy focus on her great-grandmother, he’s resigned to the fact that she can’t turn away from the investigation. Together, they start digging … and discover some disturbing clues involving various community members.

Stormy’s magic is evolving, almost on a daily basis, and it’s only outpaced by her curiosity. Once faced with a mystery, she can’t look away, and those who love her most will be dragged along for the ride.

Strap in, because as Stormy learns more about what she can do – with a little help from the Winchesters from Hemlock Cove – she’ll become a force to be reckoned with. She just has to survive long enough to reach her full potential … and that’s easier said than done.

The Easter Egg Ennui by Katy LeenThe Easter Egg Ennui by Katy Leen:

It’s almost Easter. Time for bunnies, bonnets, and bonbons. Not bedlam. Unless you’re Lora Weaver, that is.

With the scent of spring in the air and the promise of a long weekend looming, Lora is looking forward to a few days relaxing with her beau Adam, taking long walks and short naps snuggled together in the warm glow of Easter chocolate wrappers.

Until Lora spots a bouquet of Easter lilies at the home of bff Camille Caron’s aunt and soon finds herself donning a bunny suit and slinging more than Easter eggs.

Whiskers deep in a mêlée of sparring seniors, Lora must keep herself from falling into a rabbit hole she can’t escape. All while grappling with the clamorous Caron clan, mama-to-be Tina, and Lora’s enigma of a boss, Laurent, who may be hiding more secrets than a Kinder egg.

The Easter Egg Ennui is a holiday novella from the Lora Weaver series.

Shark Cove by Toby NealShark Cove by Toby Neal:

The past never stays buried.

Sixteen years ago, Sergeant Lei Texeira met Harriet Vierra and Malia, the infant she adopted, in a deadly encounter in Mexico. Now a detective with the Maui Police Department, Harry works with Lei, and Malia, a teen sleuth, is determined to find her lost friend Camille.

But Camille is only one of many missing girls.

Young women are vanishing across the islands without a trace. Lei and Harry search for answers with the FBI, as Malia secretly conducts her own dangerous investigation: but for the girls taken by traffickers, time is running out.

Rising Tide by Wayne StinnettRising Tide by Wayne Stinnett:

When a small homemade boat drifts under the Seven Mile Bridge, Jesse McDermitt doesn’t hesitate to jump in and pull the boat ashore on Pigeon Key with an injured boy aboard.

The boy provides more questions than answers. He’s believed to be a Cuban refugee, yet when he regains consciousness, he speaks perfect English, but can’t even remember his name.

Clues point to the boy coming from Fort Myers, Jesse’s hometown. After going to war with drug smugglers there, Jesse has no desire to go back. But something is pulling at his wife’s heart strings.

With only a week before he has to leave for bigger, broader horizons, will Jesse be able to solve the mystery of the “lost boy” in time. Will the clues he finds along the way lead him deeper into the world of gang warfare than he wants to go?

Things are about to get hot in the Florida Keys, and it’s not just the spring weather.

Murder at the Dude Ranch by Lee and Norm StraussMurder at the Dude Ranch by Lee and Norm Strauss:

Murder’s a wild ride!

Rosa Reed takes a much needed break from her thriving private investigative work by joining her cousin Clarence and Aunt Louisa for a weekend getaway at the Black Stallion Dude Ranch near Santa Bonita, California. It’s the beginning of 1957 and Rosa is ready for a fresh start. Newly single, all she needs is time on the trails, and cuddles from her tabby cat, Diego.

The peace and quiet of ranch life is soon disrupted when a horse returns from a trail ride without its rider. When foul play is determined, Rosa finds herself thrust once again into a murder investigation alongside the handsome detective Miguel Belmonte.

Suspicion falls on many of the guests—the failed investment banker, the laundromat owner, the heiress, and to Rosa’s dismay, her own cousin Clarence.

Can Rosa prove her cousin’s innocence before the cows come home?

Tempest in the Tea Leaves by Kari Lee TownsendTempest on the Tea Leaves by Kari Lee Townsend:

In the fortune telling business there are a lot of pretenders, but Sunshine Meadows is the real deal—and her predictions can be lethally accurate…

Leaving the Big Apple for the quaint town of Divinity, New York, Sunny is determined to make it on her own as a psychic. With an ancient Victorian house as her place of business, Sunny uses various psychic methods to aid the town’s residents. But when she uses tea leaves to give a reading for a frazzled librarian, what she finds at the bottom of the cup is anything but helpful. Sunny informs the police of her deadly vision, but her warning is too late. And with hard-nosed, ruggedly handsome Detective Mitch Stone denying her abilities and naming her prime suspect, the situation is dire. Now Sunny has to use her visions to clear her name, before the killer can put an end to the psychic’s.

Bayou Whispers by R.B. WoodBayou Whispers by R.B. Wood:

Bayou Whispers, the latest thriller from horror writer R.B. Wood, is the story of no-nonsense New Orleans native, Jeannine LaRue, the sole survivor of her family after the devastation brought on by Hurricane Katrina. In the aftermath of the storm, she believed she’d been saved, but soon found herself held hostage and sexually exploited, rescued months later by sheriff’s deputy Curtis Jones.

Twelve years after Katrina, Jeannine is a new attorney who returns to New Orleans to save her old friend Curtis Jones—now a local thief and trafficker of stolen goods—after he is arrested for the murder of Jeannine’s captors, whose bodies have recently been found. But Jeannine discovers more than she bargained for when she uncovers a family history of dark voodoo magic and an unholy alliance with an ancient evil Haitian god.

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

Cold as Ice Cream by P.D. WorkmanCold As Ice Cream by P.D. Workman:

How could a few bubbles have gone so wrong?

It’s a CO2 cook-off! Chef Kirschoff and Vic’s friends from the Alaskan cruise are back for a carbonation contest, with Erin and Vic acting as two of the judges. It’s fizzy, it’s fun, what could possibly go wrong?

Apparently, someone did not get the memo. At first, when Beryl Batcombe is found dead in the restaurant’s cold room, everyone assumes it was a terrible accident. But as Erin and Vic are drawn into the mystery, it becomes obvious that this was not an innocent mistake.

***** I love this series! This time Erin and Vic are reunited with friends they made on a recent Alaskan cruise. When Chef Kirschoff asks them to judge a culinary contest, they have no idea it will turn deadly. Many secrets will be unearthed before the killer is found. The plot is as twisty as a country road and the characters are well-developed and believable.

Like baking mysteries? Cats, dogs, and other pets? Award-winning and USA Today Bestselling Author P.D. Workman brings readers back to small town Bald Eagle Falls for another culinary cozy mystery to be solved by gluten-free baker Erin Price and her friends.

Have your gluten-free cake and eat it too. Sink your teeth into this sweet treat now!

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New Science Fiction Story Available: Spelunkers

With all the other announcements of the past two weeks, I have almost forgotten that I have a new release to announce as well.

Spelunkers is another story, which came out of the July Short Story Challenge, where the aim is to write one story per day during the month of July. However, Spelunkers came out of the 2019 July Short Story Challenge. I recently dusted it off, because there was a call for submissions I thought it might fit. Alas, it didn’t fit that particular market due to length. But upon rereading the story, I found that I enjoyed it quite a bit and decided to publish it as a standalone.

As with many July Challenge stories, Spelunkers was inspired by a piece of SFF art, namely this one by Nele Diel. This piece of artwork gave me a situation, namely three explorers in a cave with a mysterious portal to hell knows where.

I started writing and quickly realised that I needed a cave, preferably one that was vast enough that you could imagine it containing a mysterious interdimensional portal. So I thought back at all the caves I visited in my life and quickly hit upon the caves of Han-sur-Lesse in the province Namur in Southern Belgium close to the French border. During the last ice age, the river Lesse burrowed its way through a mountain in the Ardennes, leaving behind an extensive network of caves, vast enough to contain a few surprises, including a previously undiscovered interdimensional portal.

Nowadays, the caves of Han-sur-Lesse are one of Belgium’s most popular tourist attractions. I visited them as a teenager and when I needed a cave for Spelunkers, Han-sur-Lesse was the first that came to mind.

Once I had decided on a cave, the setting also influenced the rest of the story. And so the beer that Evan, Kate and Matt are drinking on the patio of their hotel is implied to be Rochefort 10, brewed at the Trappist abbey in the town of Rochefort near Han-sur-Lesse. Rochefort has a cave of its own, which is actually an offshoot of the better known cave of Han-sur-Lesse, though the town is more famous for its beer than its cave. Rochefort 10 is also a personal favourite of mine.

Another personal favourite of mine that made it into the story is Redu, the “village of books”, where Kate would rather browse the shops than trudge through a cave. Redu is another real place in Southern Belgium. It’s one of the oldest book towns in Europe, operating since 1984. Redu has more than twenty bookshops and only about four hundred inhabitants. Alas, the vast majority of the books sold there are in French, so most of what I bought there were comics.

However, Redu doesn’t have only bookshops, it also has an ESTRACK radio antenna and a space-themed museum/theme park hybrid, which makes it even cooler.

I enjoyed those trips to the Belgian Ardennes as a teenager very much and always wanted to write a story set there. In the end, it took almost thirty years for that story to come together and it also wasn’t the story I initially planned to tell, cause that one was about a siren living in the river Lesse and an immortal crusader still ensconced in his castle. Who knows, maybe I’ll eventually write that story as well.

But for now, follow Kate, Evan and Matt as the venture into the uncharted parts of the caves of Han-sur-Less in…

Spelunkers
Spelunkers by Cora BuhlertDuring a holiday in Belgium, college students Evan and Matt decide to explore an uncharted cave in the Ardennes. Also along for the ride is Evan’s sister Kate, who has been tasked with looking out for her brother since early childhood.

Deep inside the cave, Kate, Evan and Matt stumble upon a portal to another world. But does this portal represent the greatest adventure of their lives or a terrible danger…?

This is a science fiction short story of 3800 words or approximately 15 print pages.

 

More information.
Length: 3800 words
List price: 0.99 USD, EUR or GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, Vivlio and XinXii.

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Clues and Easter Eggs 2021 – A Round-Up of Indie Easter Mysteries and Crime Fiction

Clues and Easter eggs bannerOur monthly round-ups of new speculative fiction and new crime fiction releases by indie authors are a perennially popular feature. Therefore, we now offer you a round-up of our favourite Easter mysteries, crime novels and thrillers by indie and small press authors.

The holiday mysteries cover the broad spectrum of crime fiction. We have cozy mysteries, small town mysteries, culinary mysteries, animal mysteries, paranormal mysteries, historical mysteries, police procedurals, crime thrillers, police officers, amateur sleuths, drug dealers, vanished bodies, stolen Fabergé eggs, missing children, kidnappings, deadly Easter egg hunts, crime-fighting bakers, crime-fighting hairstylists, crime-fighting dogs and much more. But one thing unites all of those very different books. They’re all set on or around Easter.

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

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

And now on to the books without further ado:

The Easter Evader by Mathiya AdamsThe Easter Evader by Mathiya Adams:

MacFarland has been asked to solve a murder–but the body has disappeared!

The Easter Evader, a special holiday novella, just in time for those enjoying the Easter holidays who want something short to read. MacFarland must find out what happened to the body of a deceased teenager. Was it stolen for nefarious purposes, or is something even more sinister going on? Rufus and MacFarland join forces to solve the case of the Easter Evader.

 

The Easter Make Believers by Finn BellThe Easter Make Believers by Finn Bell:

When an innocent family is taken hostage in their home no one is prepared for how fast it all goes terribly wrong.

With the small community of Lawrence still reeling from shock, detectives Nick Cooper and Tobe White stand among the dead bodies knowing it’s not over. Relief that the two young daughters have survived quickly turns to fear for their missing father, somehow impossibly vanishing from a house surrounded by police.

The mystery deepens as Nick and Tobe realize they know every gunman lying dead here – up to last night they were the leaders of the biggest criminal gang in the country. The desperate search and rescue efforts soon collide with their own challenging investigation into a deeper, older tragedy.

Where they begin to learn just how far someone will go for those he truly, dearly hates.

Bloody Easter by Ray BoxallBloody Easter by Ray Boxall:

Crime thriller set in London in the present. Taking place over an eight day period during Easter, what starts as a massive police effort to finally end the criminal career of London’s biggest home-grown drug dealer turns into a nightmare as lives are lost, reputations destroyed, and personal relationships are shattered.

Nineteen years ago, as a teenager, Detective Inspector Ray Chalmers applied to join the Metropolitan Police Force, arguing it needed people like him from the City’s huge social housing estates as they could best relate to the criminals’ outlook and lives. But he told lies on his application form. Now, when agreeing to join the Serious Crime Squad that is after London’s biggest drug dealer, he omits to mention he once lived with the man’s sister-in-law.

In attempting to get his revenge on the man for destroying his teenage years, Ray leaves no stone unturned, using his private knowledge of the man. But no-one is prepared for the murderous response of the dealer’s secret Russian business associates.Then Ray’s secret past returns to haunt him when he meets the nineteen year old girl that he abandoned when she was only five months’ old. She has all the answers to the case, but is also the go-between for the drug dealer and his Russian associates, and has long written off her life as valueless. She also has her own secret agenda and, clashing with Ray, unleashes her resentment on him without caring about the possible consequences to herself. It leaves a guilt-stricken Ray with no choice but to prevent her from self-destruction, and stake everything on bringing the dealer and his associates to justice.

The Fabergé Easter Egg by Sharon E. BuckThe Fabergé Easter Egg by Sharon E. Buck:

Parker Bell is being yanked back to Po’thole once again. This time she’s involved in an international mystery surrounding a Fabergé Easter Egg and a Russian billionaire.

Snowbirds Anne and Chauncey Livingstone aka Tsar Chauncey and Tsarina Anne winter in Po’thole, pronounced Po Ho by the natives and Pot Hole by anyone north of the Georgia state line, from the frigid tundra north (Maine). They have a Fabergé egg. Is it real or is it a fake? What does Russian billionaire Anatoly Petrov have to do with it?

Bestselling author and computer company owner Parker Bell is back in her hometown for international mystery, intrigue, and, of course, Po’thole’s own brand of craziness with the Lady Gatorettes – Misty Dawn, Mary Jane, Rhonda Jean, Flo, and Myrtle Sue – five hormonal caffeine-and-sugar infused women who are die-hard University of Florida football fans.

Why are the Russians so intent on trying to kidnap or kill everyone over the Fabergé Easter egg? Why in Po’thole of all places?

A hilarious romp with crazy characters and believable enough that it might be true. The Fabergé Easter Egg is the 3rd book in the Parker Bell Cozy Mystery series.

Egg Hunt by Cora BuhlertEgg Hunt by Cora Buhlert:

When a priceless Fabergé egg goes missing from a locked room in the London townhouse of Russian oligarch Yevgeny Ivanov, everybody quickly suspects Eva Hart, Ivanov’s cleaning lady and single mother.

But Detective Inspector Helen Shepherd has her doubts about this theory, for Eva Hart has no motive, since the egg is unsellable on the free market. But what does Eva’s little daughter Emily know? And what happened to the egg?

This is a mystery novelette of 7500 words or approx. 25 pages.

Easter, 1929 by Frank W. Butterfield:

Sunday, March 31, 1929

Mrs. Wilson Jones (Louise) of Albany, Georgia, wakes up on yet another Sunday morning to discover her husband didn’t come home after carousing down at Louray’s by the river.

But she doesn’t have time to worry. Easter dinner will be at her sister’s house and Mrs. Jones has biscuits to bake. So, she turns on the radio, begins to sing with The Chambers Family Quintet, broadcasting over WSJ in Atlanta, and gets the buttermilk out of the icebox. There’s work to be done and Mrs. Jones is a good cook, keeps a clean house, and always delivers on her promises.

Welcome to a year of holidays with Nick Williams and Carter Jones!

This is the eight in a series of short stories all centered around specific holidays.

Each story is a vignette that stands on its own and takes place from the 1920s to 2008.

Easter Buried Eggs by Lyndsey ColeEaster Buried Eggs by Lyndsey Cole:

The smell of burnt cake is not a good omen for Annie when she arrives at the Black Cat Cafe. But little does she know that her Aunt Leona’s cooking disaster is only the first of many problems she’ll be served in a big basket of cracked Easter eggs.

Annie quickly learns that being in charge at the Black Cat Café isn’t all chocolate-covered strawberries and carrot cakes. In addition to the variety of tasty pastries she needs to make for Easter, she stumbles on a body and what appears to be a robbery.

With money disappearing from bank accounts, snooping seniors appearing out of the blue, and clues turning up in the most unlikely places, Annie’s problems sizzle more than Leona’s hot cross buns.

Determined to help her new friends, Annie and her therapy dog land in the middle of a murder investigation. Clues pile higher than a basket of Easter eggs, all pointing to one of the seniors. Annie searches for something to keep her friend from landing in a jail cell but instead, Annie ends up right in the killer’s crosshairs.

Easter Hair Hunt by Nancy J. CohenEaster Hair Hunt by Nancy J. Cohen:

Hare today, dead tomorrow… Can a stylish sleuth pull a rabbit out of her hat to solve an Easter murder in this to-dye-for cozy mystery?

When hairstylist Marla Vail attends an Easter egg hunt at historic Tremayne Manor, she’s only there to fix hair for a client, Bonnie “Blinky” Morris. But when she’s asked to comb the grounds for leftover goodies, Marla discovers more than just a few dyed eggs. The dead body in the bunny costume is definitely not having a good hare day. And Blinky seems to have disappeared down a rabbit hole.

When trying to solve a murder, everyone needs a friend who’s all ears. For Marla, that’s her husband, homicide detective Dalton Vail. They make an eggcellent team. Dalton isn’t the kind to leap to conclusions, but with his wife seven months pregnant, and knowing Marla finds crime-solving to be irresistible, he worries about her running off on another hare-raising adventure.

Marla’s peeps are hoping for a happy ending, but she may have found a basketful of trouble this time. Can she crack the case before Blinky becomes the next victim?

Big Bunny Bump Off by Kathi DaleyBig Bunny Bump Off by Kathi Daley:

Spring is in the air and with the warm weather comes an abundance of babies; human and otherwise. Things seem to be right on course until Jack Frost comes to town throwing the entire town of Ashton Falls into chaos. When Zoe sees the Easter Bunny running from a murder scene during a freak snowstorm she must track down the ‘Cartoon Bandits’ in order to catch a killer.

 

 

Easter Escapade by Kathi DaleyEaster Escapade by Kathi Daley:

In the first ever crossover episode, Zak and Zoe join forces with Hawaiian visitors Luke and Lani, to find out who killed a historian visiting Ashton Falls in order to find a treasure map left by his grandfather a hundred years earlier. Meanwhile, Ellie and Levi move in with Zak and Zoe while the boathouse is being renovated and Alex helps Ellie prepare the nursery for baby Eli who is due to be born any day. Throw in some humor and Easter fun and you have a Zak and Zoe crossover mystery.

 

Hippity Hoppity Homicide by Kathi DaleyHippity Hoppity Homicide by Kathi Daley:

It comes down to a few critical seconds as Zoe is forced to either outsmart a genius or watch her husband die.

With Easter only a week away, Zoe is pulled into a dangerous game after Zak is kidnapped, and the person who kidnapped him, challenges Zoe to The Sleuthing Game. Zoe is told that the only way to gain Zak’s freedom is to complete the challenges in the time allotted.

If she fails, Zak will die.

Zoe had promised she would retire from sleuthing now that she had an infant to care for, but the stakes are high, so she leaves the kids with Ellie, while she and Levi set out to beat a madman at their own game.

Lord James Harrington and the Easter Mystery by Lynn FlorkiewiczLord James Harrington and the Easter Mystery by Lynn Florkiewicz:

Meet Lord James Harrington and his delightful wife, Beth; residents of the tiny village of Cavendish, deep in the heart of West Sussex in England. They adore hosting seasonal events, running their country hotel, keeping the local folklore alive and listening to the latest murder mystery on the wireless. But mysteries don’t always remain on the airwaves…

It’s Easter and the Cavendish residents are discussing the traditional festivities along with the proposed Easter egg hunt on the Harrington estate. But when the vicar’s dog digs up a bone, things take a turn for the worse. Retracing the dog’s walk, James uncovers a skeleton buried in the woods. Studying the remains, he identifies a number of expensive items. With the likelihood that the victim could be someone well-to-do, James is concerned that he may know the victim and puts his sleuthing hat on.

With investigations under way and a long list of suspects with motive and opportunity, James is confident that it won’t take long to solve the mysterious death. But a chance conversation turns the whole enquiry on its head. With his good friend, DCI Lane, involved in a current murder enquiry, James takes it upon himself to delve deeper. His questions take him from the quiet village of Cavendish to the beautiful city of Boston where more surprises await. James calls upon many of his contacts to help him track down the murderer. Will he bring the killer to justice or is he on a wild goose chase?

Join James, Beth and the Cavendish regulars as they enjoy the Easter events and embark on another adventure.

Easter Sunday by Thomas HollydayEaster Sunday by Thomas Hollyday:

A father’s love and family anguish. Hank Green’s young son, Bobby, is lost in a cave beneath a water-drenched swamp of the Chesapeake Bay. The wilderness is known for Native American mystery as well as an unsolved World War Two secret. Even worse, a powerful Easter Sunday storm with its flood surge is barreling down. Hank rushes to join the team of experienced local firemen and friends who will try to find and rescue his son before the boy drowns. Yet he feels once again his own numbing personal terror. He is overcome by a lifelong claustrophobic fear of entering closed spaces like caves. It’s a phobia he inherited from his immigrant father, a displaced person from the 1945 European war, and his own Vietnam experience. He knows if the others lose hope and fail, he will go on alone and risk his life to save his child. He must find a way to conquer his weakness but time is running out.

Killer Easter Pie by Carolyn Q. HunterKiller Easter Pie by Carolyn Q. Hunter:

When a jewelry shop in the Old Market is robbed, and an expensive jeweled egg is stolen, it seems someone might be out to ruin Easter.

For pie shop owner Bertha Hannah, however, she has very little time to think about crime as she is preparing for the annual city Easter Egg Hunt at the community gardens. Businesses and churches from all over the city are contributing to the event, and Bert has a new pie recipe planned for the day.

Festivities are brought to a screeching halt, however, when a body is found in the bushes. Is this new death connected to the egg robbery? When the finger of accusation seems to be pointed in the direction of a friend, Bert knows it is up to her to solve this mystery before the Easter Bunny hops away with all the clues.

Easter Eggs and Shotgun Shells by Madison JohnsEaster Eggs and Shotgun Shells by Madison Johns

Being in charge of the annual Easter Egg Hunt is challenging enough for Agnes and Eleanor, but even more so when they assist Bernice in finding rabbits for the event. Unfortunately for the sleuths, instead of bunnies, they stumble across a body.

The sleuths are hunting for the killer now, but soon it appears the killer is hunting for them too. Can Agnes and Eleanor outsmart the killer or will they become the next victims?

 

Bunny Drop by Linda P. KozarBunny Drop by Linda P. Kozar:

To bunnies everywhere! From jackrabbits to cottontails to lovable lop-eared cuties, chinchillas, harlequins, dwarfs, angoras and each and every breed, I dedicate this mystery to the rascally rabbits of the world. Oh, and especially to chocolate Easter bunnies. My favorite kind.

 

 

 

The Easter Egg Ennui by Katy LeenThe Easter Egg Ennui by Katy Leen:

It’s almost Easter. Time for bunnies, bonnets, and bonbons. Not bedlam. Unless you’re Lora Weaver, that is.

With the scent of spring in the air and the promise of a long weekend looming, Lora is looking forward to a few days relaxing with her beau Adam, taking long walks and short naps snuggled together in the warm glow of Easter chocolate wrappers.

Until Lora spots a bouquet of Easter lilies at the home of bff Camille Caron’s aunt and soon finds herself donning a bunny suit and slinging more than Easter eggs.

Whiskers deep in a mêlée of sparring seniors, Lora must keep herself from falling into a rabbit hole she can’t escape. All while grappling with the clamorous Caron clan, mama-to-be Tina, and Lora’s enigma of a boss, Laurent, who may be hiding more secrets than a Kinder egg.

The Easter Egg Ennui is a holiday novella from the Lora Weaver series.

The Easter Sunday Slaughter by Imogen PlimpThe Easter Sunday Slaughter by Imogen Plimp:

APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY FLOWERS
And a bouquet of murderous intrigue…

Amateur sleuth (and ace baker) Claire Andersen is back! Winter melts to spring in scenic Galway, Maryland, uncovering blooming friendships new and old, a shyly budding romance, the rotten stench of organized crime, and family drama more garish than Claire’s emerging blood lilies.

Settling in just fine to her new Appalachian digs (and getting the hang of this whole proprietress of a B&B thing, too!), NYC native Claire Andersen is living a cozy small town fairy tale. There are quirky local characters and adorable little shops, not to mention a kitchen full of mouth-watering baked goodies. She’s a veritable June Cleaver—if Leave It to Beaver were nestled in the mountains and June were a recently retired empty nester, that is.

There’s just one problem. Claire can hardly say “Gee, golly” before her newly-acquainted and much-beloved neighbor winds up murdered in cold blood, right before Galway’s annual Easter parade. Hot off the heels of her last murder, Claire can’t help but get involved (much to the chagrin of the well-meaning albeit bumbling town sheriff). She can hardly help herself, after all. The murder did take place right next door … and the victim’s family is staying in her B&B… Ever the hostess, poking around is the least she could do.

Little does Claire know the victim’s family is just the tip of the iceberg. The rest of the iceberg consists of age-old secrets so duplicitous, they’d make Eddie Haskell run for the hills.

Mix in Claire’s feisty sidekick Evelyn, her ever-lovable bloodhound Rupert, and a mountain of mocha and strawberry buttercream cupcakes—and Claire finds she’s in business. The sleuthing business. Perhaps even the mafia business. But she’d better tread carefully—or she’ll wind up another discarded, frozen body in the aforementioned iceberg (with a spring thaw nowhere in sight).

Chicory is Trickery by Sheri RicheyChicory is Trickery by Sheri Richey:

It’s springtime in Spicetown and Mayor Cora Mae Bingham discovers there may be trouble blooming along with the rhododendrons!

With construction in full throttle in the new subdivisions and the income tax filing deadline looming over her head, Mayor Cora Mae Bingham is revamping the Annual Easter Eggs-Travaganza and trying to figure out who is in the Easter bunny suit this year, when a dead body has to be added to her To-Do list.

 

The Easter Egg Murder by Patricia Smith WoodThe Easter Egg Murder by Patricia Smith Wood:

Harrie McKinsey and her best friend and business partner Ginger Vaughn discover that some secrets are best left buried when retired Senator Philip Lawrence hires their editing firm to assist him with a book about the famous unsolved 1950 murder of a cocktail waitress that led to the end of illegal casinos in New Mexico. When the Albuquerque newspaper announces that Senator Lawrence is writing the book, one person with a connection to the case is murdered and another narrowly escapes death. Despite the best efforts of Ginger’s husband and an FBI agent Harrie finds infuriatingly attractive, the energetic pair cannot resist trying to discover who is so anxious to destroy the book, the senator and his big secret. But will their proficiency and pluck be up to the challenge when they land in a dark house with a cold, calculating killer who has nothing else to lose?

A Medium's Easter Epiphany by Chariss K. WalkerA Medium’s Easter Epiphany by Chariss K. Walker:

A boyfriend changes everything!

In book five of the Becky Tibbs cozy, ghost mystery series, Becky must learn how to juggle her personal and business life now that she has a real boyfriend! This is a first for Becky and her new schedule sometimes feels overwhelming.

At Becky’s encouragement, Bobby and Barbara have finally decided to accept their special ability too. At least, they are open to using their gift if the opportunity presents itself.

Barbara actually manages to help someone new with their ghost problem and the meeting turns into something more. Unlike Marty, Barb’s ex-boyfriend, this new person, Christopher, accepts Barbara and her capabilities exactly as she is. In fact, he is impressed.

Jealousy rears its ugly head!

Marty finally goes off the deep end and Becky must help Patty come to terms with his rage.

Becky’s epiphany, or sudden realization, is a concept that would be beneficial to everyone.

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