Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for April 2022

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

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

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

Don’t forget that Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month is also crossposted to the Speculative Fiction Showcase, a group blog run by Jessica Rydill and myself, which features new release spotlights, guest posts, interviews and link round-ups regarding all things speculative fiction several times per week.

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

And now on to the books without further ado:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At least, that’s what Morgen Keller thought.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or is it just another con?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Condemned to Die Upon the Sands

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The immortal shall die by the will of Persephone.

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

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

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

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

Cascade by Joshua JamesCascade by Joshua James:

OPERATION CASCADE IS UNDERWAY.

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

The end is only the beginning…

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

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

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

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

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

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

The revenant war is officially here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If she can, that is.

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

What would make you betray your family of deadly assassins?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Before Times by Kim McDougallBefore Times by Kim McDougall:

Before Times, 3 Valkyrie Bestiary Prequels:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Natural Selection by Janna RuthNatural Selection by Janna Ruth:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Download Star Breaker and continue this epic space adventure today!

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