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Lightblade

Lightblade by Zamil Akhtar

SPFBO8 SPSFC 2022

In three days, Jyosh will slay the God Emperor, or die trying. But first he must train his lightblade skills. While asleep. Each hour of sleep equals a day in a lucid dream, plenty of time to master the essential lightblade techniques and hopefully get skilled enough to defeat the monster who enslaved him and beheaded his parents and sister. When Jyosh awakens to learn that the God Emperor has surrendered to an even crueler foe, a mysterious lightblade master who can summon divine dragons to burn whole cities, he’ll face a trial by fire against forces far more frightening than he could ever dream. That is, if he’s not still in one.


Cursed Song

Cursed Song by Samantha Krose

Bound by Song. Cursed by Fate Ruyne, Leader of the Dusksinger bards, travels with his band from town to town, thrilling crowds with inspiring music born from an ancient magic. He leads a charmed life with his brother, and two life-long best friends. Disaster strikes when Ruyne ignores a cryptic message from a loved one. The band’s idyllic peace is shattered by a monster from the past, and the horrifying truth behind their magic is revealed, leaving their lives in tatters and the hearts of the four men forever scarred. Scattered and broken, can they harmonize their Song in time to prevent a tragedy of apocalyptic proportions?


A Canticle for the Fallen

A Canticle for the Fallen by Steven Raaymakers

How far would you go to change the past? After four years in exile, Raziel is forced to return to his homeland, Renas. Meeting a companion who shares his abilities, he sets off to find the rumoured ‘Lady in White’, an enigmatic woman who promises an end to the persecution of their kind. Raziel is soon faced with a terrible choice over life and death. He bears serious wounds, and the path ahead grows ever more violent. Wracked with indecision, and with his soul in turmoil, he sets off on a bloody mission. Will his pain lead him to the light, or will the shadows claim his scarred soul? Set in a grim world of emotion-based magic and twisted fates, this is the second book in the Aria of Steel trilogy.


Aestus: Book 2: The Colony

Aestus: Book 2: The Colony by S. Z. Attwell

An underground city. A deadly project. And an Intelligence agent who can help Jossey take down the City...if she can trust him again.Jossey grew up believing the Onlar, creatures of the aboveground, were monsters. But when they kidnapped her, she found out terrible secrets about her city and her family. Her choice to help the Onlar against the City almost cost her her life. And the Intelligence agent she'd thought was her friend was the one tasked with carrying out her execution.But he didn't quite succeed.Now Jossey, barely alive, has been sent to the Onlar by a mysterious figure from the City. And time is of the essence - her solar network project could mean disaster not only for the Onlar, but for thousands of citizens as well. She can’t do much from the Onlar camp, but Gavin, Jossey’s Patrol leader and longtime friend, isn’t convinced she’s dead. And Patrol has started to learn the truth.As tentative alliances form, Jossey begins to think this might be easier than she’d thought. But a terrible miscalculation has been made, one that may cost her and her friends both the City and their lives. Can she see it before it’s too late?Aestus is an adult dystopian science-fiction series set centuries after climate change has ravaged much of Earth. An epic story of vengeance, power, shifting loyalties, and survival that looks at just how far people will go to protect what they love, brought to you by science writer S.Z. Attwell, Aestus paints a picture of a world in which far too little has changed.


Shadows of Ivory

Shadows of Ivory by T L Greylock and Bryce O'Connor

SPFBO7 SPFBO Finalist

I burned cities and drowned mountains. I pulled stars from the night sky and scorched the world with their flames. I am the Fisher King, and the grave does not bind me. An academic with a taste for adventure, Eska de Caraval has means and influence, wit and charm... and a knack for acquiring artifacts that may not be hers to claim. But when Eska comes into possession of a strange disc of rune-carved bronze, she finds herself abruptly hunted by all manner of adversaries: an assassin in the shadows, a monster in the deep, a bitter rival burning with vengeance. From sword and fang and flame Eska must defend herself, struggling all the while to unravel the mysteries of a dangerous artifact. An artifact so powerful, a dead tyrant will rise again to wield it.


Errant

Errant by Montrez

16 year old Savannah becomes New York's most wanted while struggling to reclaim her life after the devastating loss of her father. As things continue going downhill Savannah witnesses an impossible phenomenon that triggers the emergence of a wild and powerful gift. While being hunted she finds refuge in a group of ragtag misfits. A Supernatural war is coming and Savannah will need to adapt to her new world or die trying.


The Fall

The Fall by Ryan Cahill

The Order have watched over the continent of Epheria for thousands of years. But there are those who believe The Order has had its day. That it is corrupt, indulgent, and deceitful – that it is ready to fall. The City of Ilnaen is on fire. Dragons fill the skies. Traitors fill the streets. The Fall is a prequel novella that takes place four hundred years before the events in Of Blood and Fire – book one in The Bound and The Broken series


The Legend of Black Jack

The Legend of Black Jack by A. R. Witham

SFFOasis SPFBO9

Thrilling fantasy adventure debut from Emmy-winner A. R. Witham. Jack Swift can tell you every element on the periodic table, recite Treasure Island verbatim, and would remember in perfect detail every word you’d ever say to him. He has been alone for a long time, so he has buried himself in books, using them to plan his escape. But no textbook could ever prepare him for the land of Keymark. At 3:33 a.m. on his fourteenth birthday, Jack is kidnapped by a hideous monster to another sphere of existence. Now there are two moons in the sky, and he is surrounded by grotesque creatures and magical warriors training for battle. They want the impossible: Jack must use his abilities to save a life or be trapped in this bizarre world with no chance of rescue. Jack doesn’t have secret magic, a great destiny, or any experience. So why do they all expect him to become a legend?


The Wolf in Me: Survive

The Wolf in Me: Survive by Alex Smith

The 23rd century is nearing its end. Having been treated as subhuman (and worse) for over 300 years, the Wolves - a race of wolf-human hybrids - have reached their breaking point. With a clear threat of war rising daily, the US Military devises a plan to destroy the beasts they helped create. However, utilizing their intelligence and raw bestial instincts, the Wolves hatch a plan of their own: plunge the entire world into a war to end all wars! In the aftermath of a deadly airship crash, Percy - a six-year-old human boy - finds himself behind enemy lines; in the claws of the creatures he's been taught to fear his entire life. Xander - a twenty-eight-year-old elite black ops Wolf, finds himself with a very difficult choice to make; kill the innocent child he has found, or be ostracized by his own kind and protect the boy? What is a small, frail, boy to do when surrounded by beasts fighting to end his very existence? Survive!


Stone & Sky

Stone & Sky by Z.S. Diamanti

SPFBO10

First book in the award-winning classic style epic fantasy adventure series. Come fly away on griffin-back! Fly off to the world of Finlestia in this epic fantasy story for readers looking for adventure, magic, and just plain fun; a tale where friendships must overcome insurmountable odds and remind readers to never lose hope. From across the sea, a shadow rises. A lone survivor may be the kingdom’s only hope against annihilation. Orin is a sworn protector. As a stalwart member of the Griffin Guard, he’s proud to protect the kingdom against a dreaded nation of orcs. But when the fires of war burn bright from the north, his entire squadron falls to deadly wyvern riders, leaving the devastated Orin bloody and alone. With his squad dead, Orin has his mind set on saving others from the same fate. Teaming up with a local huntsman’s family, Orin and his new friends must push themselves past their limits to face mysterious dangers and ancient magics. Shocked to discover the orcs’ secret weapon, the lone guardian’s last chance to save his home could require the ultimate sacrifice. Buy Stone & Sky to join the battle today!


Memories of Blood and Shadow

Memories of Blood and Shadow by Aaron S. Jones

SPFBO8

Guilt cuts deeper than the deadliest of blades. Tavar Farwan lives alone past the Undying Sands. During a violent storm, he is attacked by two young warriors claiming a need for vengeance for pain from ages past. Tavar defends himself, killing one of the intruders and leaving the other to bleed on the floor. Weary and filled with regret, Tavar offers to tell the young man his story: a story of how, in a world of Naviqings, Leviathans, and Shadow Warriors; a poor, nomadic orphan rose to inspire a kingdom, and kill a God.


How to Bite Your Neighbor and Win a Wager

How to Bite Your Neighbor and Win a Wager by D.N. Bryn

"I WANT YOU TO BITE ME." Vincent Barnes has suffered four years as a vampire, and they’ve been the most miserable years of his pathetic life. Too poor for black market blood, he feeds from sleeping humans to survive. He tries to never intrude on the same prey twice, but after a single delicious taste of a long-lost childhood neighbor, he can’t help returning for seconds. Wesley Garcia has been waking up with fang marks. Lucky for him, he needs a vampire—to use as bait. He’s certain Vitalis-Barron Pharmaceutical killed his mother, but to gain access to their covert research labs, he has to bring them a bloodsucker for their experiments. Step one, a dramatic offer: Stay, and you can bite me. Vincent leaps at the chance to gobble Wesley up. Wes’s plan is perfect. He’ll befriend the vampire, then trick him into coming to the lab. No fighting, no fuss. But Vincent is more than Wesley has bargained for: sweet and shy, with intoxicating fangs that awaken new desires in Wes. As the two bond, Vincent believes he might have finally found someone worth putting his trust in... and Wes fears neither of them will survive the betrayal he has planned. How to Bite Your Neighbor and Win and Wager is a slow-burn paranormal mm romance full of laughter, angst, and thirsty pining. It is perfect for fans of fangs and scientific interpretations of vampirism, with a medium spice level that heats up further in the free bonus content. Content includes bite kink, bleeding (non-kinky), medical experimentation (not experienced by the point of view characters), one particular lesbian BFF who should be reported to HR, and the use of “bodice-ripping” as a verb.


A Darkness At The Door

A Darkness At The Door by Intisar Khanani

I've been cursed, betrayed, and sold into slavery – but the truth I carry can't be allowed to die. Only Rae knows the extent of the corruption at the heart of the kingdom of Menaiya, from the noble lord who betrayed her, to the Circle of Mages whose wards protect the slavers from discovery. Injured and imprisoned on a slave ship, Rae's options are quickly running out. When a desperate escape attempt goes terribly wrong, she finds herself indebted to a terrifying Fae sorceress. Now Rae will not rest until she has rescued her fellow prisoners and freed her land from the darkness that has taken hold. To succeed, she'll need every ally she can find—including Bren, the thief who may have stolen her heart. But Bren is hiding his own bloody secrets, and the curses that encircle Rae have sunk their claws into her mind. With her debts coming due and time running short, all the truths in the world may not be enough to save her kingdom, or herself. What critics are saying: "Full of action, magic, and intrigue." - Foreword Reviews, starred review "A fairy tale that goes beyond happily-ever-after, exploring the will and vigilance needed to achieve justice and equity." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review Named one of Kirkus Reviews' Best Young Adult Books of the Year, 2022 Snap up the thrilling sequel to THE THEFT OF SUNLIGHT now!


Under the Lesser Moon

Under the Lesser Moon by Shelly Campbell

Indie Recs Indie SPFBO9

“Dragons once led our people across the wastelands, away from storms, and toward hunting grounds.” That’s what the elders say, but Akrist has squinted at empty skies his whole life. The dragons have abandoned them, and it’s Akrist’s fault. He’s cursed. Like every other firstborn son, he has inherited the sins of his ancestors. In his camp, he’s the only eldest boy left. Something happened to the others. Something terrible. When Akrist befriends Tanar, an eldest boy from another tribe, he discovers the awful truth: they’re being raised as sacrifices to appease the Goddess and win back her dragons. The ritual happens when the dual moons eclipse. Escape is the only option, but Akrist was never taught to hunt or survive the wastelands alone. Time is running out, and he has to do something before the moons touch.


A Canticle of War

A Canticle of War by Steven Raaymakers

When the world is threatened with total destruction, can warchildren unite to save it? A grim story of trauma and power with a Sanderson-esque magic system. In this epic conclusion, all bets are off as Raziel and his rag-tag crew must finally come together against the rising dark power. If death doesn’t find them first. The city of Archehan lies in ruins, banshees circle the crumbling towers. Famine and violence spread across the fallen kingdom. An empire marches its armies to war. Ancient magics are stirring, woken by Raziel’s choices. With the fate of the world in their hands, will Raziel and his companions find the way forward through the darkness, or will they be the architects of their own doom? The ‘Aria of Steel Trilogy’ is a heavy-metal power ballad of clashing blades, blood-soaked betrayal, and sweet revenge. Join the fight today!


The Last Lunar Witch

The Last Lunar Witch by S.F. Henne

Gryphons And Grimoires

I only wanted to control my magic, but a single potion catapulted my life into chaos… I’m Nyssa Thornheart, a witch with broken magic. I escaped to the big city to pursue my passion for alchemy and hide from my coven until I fix my powers. If my unstable gifts are exposed, they will be stripped away. To live without magic, that’s a fate worse than death. So I drank a long-forgotten potion in a desperate bid to harness my volatile powers. But when I’m cornered by thugs, I unleash a rare and dangerous magic, tearing the veil between our world and a demonic realm. My new powers are growing stronger and resisting every attempt to subdue them. Now I’m a hunted witch, pursued by both demonic creatures and the authorities determined to protect the realm from the threat I pose. Can I master my magic or will I have to sacrifice my powers before the city falls to demons? For fans of Heather G. Harris and Lindsay Buroker, The Last Lunar Witch is the first book in the fast-paced Lunar Order Chronicles. An urban fantasy series filled with strong women, found family, inner growth, and cozy vibes mixed with heart-pounding action. Dive into S.F. Henne’s gripping adventure now!


The Queen Protocol

The Queen Protocol by Gregory Benson

They thought they were finally safe… How did they end up on Nathasia, a planet of horrors? A place haunted by the souls of billions murdered in war, its seas poisoned by toxins explicitly engineered to kill and mutate, infested with Thraxon breeding pits, and quarantined by the Marck fleet. Kerriah and her companions awaken with holes in their memories, and the young Tolagon is missing. However, there is a twist of fortune. The yellow orb, lost for decades and protected by the terrors of this world, is finally within their grasp. Now, the calculating Marck Queen, hidden away in an impenetrable fortress, unfolds her diabolical plot. Her order is clear: destroy all life within the Oro system. Crushing pressure, frozen death, and the sacrifice of heroes is the only path to defeat her. As she breaks from her protocol, the queen's protocol, the system falls into darkness. With the return of the Thraxons, bitter alliances have formed, and fate has opened its dark eyes. Learn more about the different species and locations in this story!


The Last Prince

The Last Prince by E. G. Radcliff

SFFOasis

In a hellish city, the fate of a young boy rests on the very thing he fears most… Robbed of his childhood by tragedy and betrayal and forced onto the streets, only fury makes young Ninian feel whole - and in a world of gangs and fae, Ninian is more than willing to fight for his life. But it doesn’t take much to topple a life which is already balanced on the edge of a knife. And by the time a desperate Ninian realizes he’s crossed the wrong person, it is much, much too late. In his frantic struggle to right his collapsing world, Ninian’s furious, bloody efforts are dredging up history he’d rather forget - the past is tired of being held at bay, and even fighting cannot protect Ninian from himself. So when he meets a crimson-eyed stranger, a boy so broken he refuses even to speak, Ninian does not believe he has the capacity to care. He is wrong. And that will change everything… (This title is a full length prequel to The Hidden King)


Between Starfalls

Between Starfalls by S. Kaeth

SPFBO6 WriteHive Book Club Teacup Dragon Coop SFFOasis

Never leave the path.  It’s sacred law, punishable by exile. When her son goes missing in the perilous mountains, Kaemada defies the law to search for him. She enlists the help of her hero brother, a priestess berserker, and a fire-wielding friend. But the law exists for a reason. When the search party is captured by the mythical Kamalti, they learn that Kaemada’s son was sent to an ancient prison city. As they battle for freedom, they discover a horrible truth that will change the future of both races forever. With their world in upheaval, Kaemada must find a way to peace if she's to save her son—but tensions between the two races are leading to war.


Norse Mythology for Bostonians: A Transcription of the Impudent Edda

Norse Mythology for Bostonians: A Transcription of the Impudent Edda by Rowdy Geirsson

Norse Mythology for Bostonians is a humorous retelling of the trials and tribulations of Odin, Thor, and the other Norse gods. Regarded as an authentic, new "Edda" (as the original Icelandic source material is called), the main narrative is told in the charmingly quaint dialect of a foul-mouthed Bostonian. New mythological episodes, such as Thor's attempt to renew his driver's license and Odin's mysterious journey to Boston Common, supplement the more traditional stories such as Odin's acquisition of the mead of poetry and the theft of Idunn's apples of youth. Substantial historical background information about the myths is provided in the introductory material, as well as in the footnotes that occur throughout the volume. Based on the long-running McSweeney's Internet Tendency column Norse History for Bostonians, Norse Mythology for Bostonians, introduces readers to a fresh, new perspective on both familiar and previously unknown narratives of Norse mythology.


Sairō's Claw

Sairō's Claw by Virginia McClain

SPFBO7 SFFOasis

An action-adventure fantasy romp featuring sword lesbians, sea battles, and a grumpy wolf spirit. Torako has done many things to protect the valley that she calls home, but she’s never looted a corpse before. So when the katana she steals off the still-cooling body of a bandit turns out to be possessed by a grumpy wolf kami, she can only assume it’s because she’s somehow angered the spirits. An impression that’s only reinforced when she returns home to find her wife abducted and her daughter in hiding. But angry spirits or no, Torako isn't about to let bandits run off with the love of her life, even if it means taking their 3 year old on a rescue mission. In all Kaiyo's years as Captain of the Wind Serpent she has never once questioned her admiral’s orders. So when she receives the command to abduct a civilian scribe with the help of fifteen felons, she registers her objections, but does as she is bid. Yet, as the mission unfolds, Kaiyo finds herself questioning everything from her loyalties to her convictions. As Torako and Kaiyo’s fates cross like dueling blades, their persistence is matched only by their fury, until they uncover a series of truths they may never be ready to accept.


Bring Her Home

Bring Her Home by R.N. Barbosa

Forbidden love… If Susana’s sister knew she was dating, she’d sequester her ass to the tallest tower so fast her head would spin. Her boyfriend is everything Cassandra hates, an Outcast and a biker, and it’s only a matter of time before their clandestine rendezvous blows up in her face. A missing sister… Fighting professionally might be Cassandra Dayan's livelihood, but it's her sister that's her life. When she comes home to a wrecked house and a missing sister, her desperate search upsets the brutally maintained balance of the North Californian coast. At any cost… Going against the Order is a death sentence, but doing nothing is not an option. Cassandra will find her sister even if it means endangering the lives of everyone who crosses her path or joins her cause. She doesn’t care who gets hurt or what promises get broken. All that matters is bringing her sister home.


The Gatherings

The Gatherings by Jeremy Ray

The Gatherings were supposed to bring world peace. What they brought was the apocalypse. Celebrities, politicians, and other prominent figures put together The Gatherings, an event to be held worldwide promoting global peace. When a friend invites Emily to one of the gatherings in a secluded apple orchard, she obliges. Sure, she is an introverted writer, but the world is so fractured that The Gatherings are something even she can get behind. Everything is great until the dancing begins. Then it happens... In most apocalyptic tales, the end comes by way of viral plague, world war, or robot invasion. Never in a million years could Emily imagine it would be this way. Will Emily survive to see what happens after the end of the world?


Goodbye to the Sun

Goodbye to the Sun by Jonathan Nevair

SPSFC 2022

A daring rebel pilot. A lost soul pursued by an infamous bounty hunter. One impossible moral choice... On a lone wind-shaped planet, the Motes are on the brink. Razor, a bold and fearless pilot, leads a last-ditch gambit to save her people. The plan - abduct visiting Ambassador Keen Draden and use him as a bargaining chip to restore their independence in the Sagittarius Arm. But when the operation unravels, Razor is forced to renegotiate terms with the arrogant diplomat. GOODBYE TO THE SUN: a nonstop thrill ride across an unstable galaxy, combining moral struggle with character-driven adventure.


Last Stand of the Stone Fist

Last Stand of the Stone Fist by MIchael R. Miller

A troubled past. War in the present. A dark future. Brode grew up a bastard in Athra, looked down upon as a child of chaos. Sent away to the dragon riders as a squire, Brode counted it his luckiest day when Silas Brightbark of Coedhen vouched for him to join their ranks. Now a Champion in the Order he faces the largest incursion the world has ever seen. Sent on a far flung mission to the Disputed Lands, Brode and Silas discover a remote town not on any map. It's a town of outcasts, of broken people, of folk that order has forgotten. As a scourge swarm gathers nearby, Brode and Silas face the toughest fight and decision of their lives.


Waiting for the Flood

Waiting for the Flood by Alexis Hall

Twelve years ago, Edwin Tully came to Oxford and fell in love with a boy named Marius. He was brilliant, an artist. It was going to be forever. Ten years later, it ended. Now Edwin lives alone in the house they used to share. He tends to damaged books and faded memories, trying to build a future from the fragments of the past. Then the weather turns, and the river spills into Edwin’s quiet world, bringing with it Adam Dacre from the Environment Agency. An unlikely knight, this stranger with roughened hands and worn wellingtons offers Edwin the hope of something he thought he would never have again. As the two men grow closer in their struggle against the rising waters, Edwin learns he can’t protect himself from everything—and sometimes he doesn't need to try. Because love doesn’t only leave scars; oftentimes, it heals them too.


Beneath Black Sails

Beneath Black Sails by Clare Sager

SPFBO6

Pirate versus pirate hunter. To lose is death, but winning just might be worse. With weather magic on her side, Lady Vice is the bane of the high seas, but she isn’t captain of her own ship. Yet. If she can persuade her captain to give her a command, she’ll be in charge of her own fate at last. To pay off his family’s debts, Knigh Blackwood hunts pirates for the Royal Navy. And he’s damn good at it. When the bounty on Lady Vice grows, he’s determined to make her face justice, even if that means using unorthodox methods. Forced to work together, neither can deny their mutual attraction. As they face battles at sea and schemes amongst their crew, they discover hints about a long-lost treasure that could be the answer to both their problems. But treasure isn’t the only thing buried. Secrets best-forgotten lie in wait that could blast them apart. And the closer Vice and Knigh grow, the greater the threat – to her freedom and to his family. Because for one to succeed, the other must fail. If you love cunning heroes, feisty heroines, and enemies to lovers romance, you’ll love this new adult fantasy series that’s perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas and Miranda Honfleur. Buy Beneath Black Sails today to escape on rum-drenched adventures in a world where flags can lie, X marks the spot, and loyalties shift more than sand.


Legacy (Scion Book 1)

Legacy (Scion Book 1) by Jay Reace

Years after fleeing their homeland, Xolani and Raine have finally been able to find peace. However, that peace is shattered when receiving a royal command to return and answer for what they've done for so long age. Do they take their children and flee or do anwser the call and fight?


Those Once Forgotten

Those Once Forgotten by N. C. Scrimgeour

They were a memory once forgotten. For millennia, they waited. Now, they are coming. The galaxy has been plunged into chaos, left reeling from the trap Alvera Renata triggered around the ancient alien waystations. As the leaders of the allied systems desperately try to prepare for what might be coming, Ridley and Kojan go on the hunt in search of answers. But the one person who might hold the key—the rogue starship captain who started it all—is missing in action, and her old friends aren’t the only ones looking for her… Meanwhile, tensions between the Coalition and the Idran-Var are at breaking point in the aftermath of a brutal attack. The only hope for peace may lie in a fragile alliance between Rivus and Niole, old enemies thrown unwillingly onto the same side. But even if they can bury their past, what will it take to overcome the centuries of bloodshed dividing their people? As the mysterious signal coming from the waystations counts down, only one thing is for certain: something is coming, and if the fractured factions of the galaxy can’t find a way to stand against it together, it may be the end for them all.


Down Below Beyond

Down Below Beyond by T. A. Bruno

SPSFC 2023

Lodespace is a collection of worlds dominated by the Fessenog Fleet trade empire. Thanks to the Voyalten portals, alien civilizations from all over the universe can gather for glorious trade. For the wealthy, there has never been a more lucrative circle. But the Fleet is hiding something from its investors. A secret that, if exposed, could bring the empire to its knees. Levort Aatra is a prospector on the planet Tayoxe. While scavenging the wastes of the abandoned world, he discovers a mysterious starship and stakes his claim on it. Little does he know, he just made himself the most wanted man in Lodespace. DOWN BELOW BEYOND is a stand-alone sci-fi fantasy adventure filled with aliens, planets, and portals set in a universe crafted by T. A. Bruno, author of the award-winning Song of Kamaria trilogy.


Legacy of the Brightwash

Legacy of the Brightwash by Krystle Matar

SPFBO7 Indie Recs Indie SPFBO Finalist

Follow the law and you’ll stay safe. But what if the law is wrong? Tashué’s faith in the law is beginning to crack. Three years ago, he stood by when the Authority condemned Jason to the brutality of the Rift for non-compliance. When Tashué’s son refused to register as tainted, the laws had to be upheld. He’d never doubted his job as a Regulation Officer before, but three years of watching your son wither away can break down even the strongest convictions. Then a dead girl washed up on the bank of the Brightwash, tattooed and mutilated. Where had she come from? Who would tattoo a child? Was it the same person who killed her? Why was he the only one who cared? Will Tashué be able to stand against everything he thought he believed in to get the answers he’s looking for?


Pallas Lost

Pallas Lost by Jake Morrison

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

When Ensign Vasyli Nikonov’s ship happened upon a drifting derelict, he had no idea how drastically his life was about to change. Not only had the crew been killed in an impossible manner, the Captain of the ship left a reference to the child’s tale of the lost colony of Pallas. Elsewhere in the Fifteen Systems, scholar Eliot Charter gamely starts his own fool’s quest to prove that Pallas is real. Armed with nothing but naivety and knowledge, he hires mercenary Captain Skadi Ulfsdöttir to help him on his journey. Things quickly spiral out of hand, leaving them all wondering if Pallas was truly Lost...


A King's Radiance

A King's Radiance by L. R. Schulz

SPFBO8

Three siblings… a rebel, a prince, a prisoner The sun’s light shines bright over the land of Zapour, and only a select few can harness its power. But all power comes with a cost, and the world is not kind to those who refuse to pay it. Raiz Glaive, a strong shine wielder, was born into royalty, though even royals have to answer to someone. When the King-Radiant sends one of his precious underlings to the Kingdom of Trost, Raiz quickly learns who holds the true power in the realm. After his sister is taken prisoner simply for having the violet eyes of a mystic, Raiz swears vengeance. But when an unwilling father stands in his way, Raiz promises to take revenge into his own hands. Dazen Glaive remains heir to the throne of Trost, and a sworn defender of the King-Radiant, but he has not forgotten what happened to his sister, and will not forgive their cruelty. Forced to be the centrepiece of her “master’s” twisted human art gallery, Isha remains a prisoner. Though she has not lost hope. Finding friends among fellow captives, she begins to formulate a plan for escape. Though what she discovers has a much more sinister bearing on the fate of all of Zapour.


A Canticle of Two Souls

A Canticle of Two Souls by Steven Raaymakers

A magic sword forged of a demon. A broken boy seeking revenge. A grim coming-of-age tale with a Sanderson-esque magic system. Raziel watched the Rhotian Empire slaughter his family. When a sentient sword promises him the head of the emperor, Raziel carves a bloody path in an epic journey across a land filled with banshees and mercenaries in pursuit of his revenge. But forced to travel with a strange young woman with a dark past, will Raziel even reach his destination? Alicia has plans of her own. Gifted with a terrible magic that can bend others to her will, she also has revenge on her mind and Raziel in her sights. Can two enemies put aside their differences to seek a higher goal, or will mistrust and inner-demons condemn their fates? Magic is a dangerous thing. So is hope. The ‘Aria of Steel Trilogy’ is a heavy-metal power ballad of clashing blades, blood-soaked betrayal, and sweet revenge. Will you walk away or join the fight?


Cleansing Rain

Cleansing Rain by Holly Ash

SPSFC 2022

Earth is dying and the only way to save it is to eliminate its biggest threat. All Zoe Antos wanted was to make it home from work in time for date night with her fiancé Cole Wilborn, something her research had been preventing a lot recently. After managing to get out the door on time, all hope of making it home is lost when she is kidnapped by a man trying to steal files from her lab. Zoe is thrown into a world of conspiracy theories as her kidnappers reveal that they are trying to stop The Arrow Equilibrium, a powerful eco-terrorism group Zoe has never heard of, from going through with their plan to restore balance to the environment. It doesn’t sound too bad until she realizes the only way to have a shot at doing that would be to eliminate the human factor from the scales. Zoe almost starts to believe them, until it’s revealed that her kidnappers believe the Wilborn family is the behind The Arrows, something she knows can’t be true. Once rescued, Zoe starts to notice irregularities with her future father-in-law that makes her question if her kidnappers might have been right. Zoe must decide who to trust, her fiancé’s family or her kidnappers. Her life, and the fate of humanity, could depend on her making the right choice.


The Beast Hunters

The Beast Hunters by Christer Lende

When a monster brutally kills her parents, Ara is saved by two beast hunters. Becoming their apprentice, she discovers serums, secret bestiary knowledge, and remarkable abilities-all to save unsuspecting souls from the same fate her parents suffered. But, terrifying creatures lurk everywhere and Ara must master the art of beast hunting quickly if she is to uncover the elusive creature plaguing the village of Cornstead. An epic monster-slaying story starring an orphaned girl turned beast hunting apprentice named Ara. This is the ultimate in escape fiction.


The Thread That Binds

The Thread That Binds by Cedar McCloud

The books are restless. At the Eternal Library, books are more than the paper, ink, and thread they're made from--they're full of spirits. Only a handful of people will ever be invited to the Bindery to learn the craft of Illumination: the magical creation of intricate illustrated manuscripts, bound with a secret that will make them last forever. Tabby is a dreamwalker, a witch who escapes into the stories of sleep to avoid a birth family that's never loved em enough. Amane is a cartomancer, a medium who speaks for the Unseen, but doesn’t know how to speak her own needs. Rhiannon is a psychic, an archivist who can See into the past, but only has eyes on the future. Their stories intertwine as they discover the secrets of Illumination, the Library's archives, and those of their mentors--the three of whom are competing to be the next Head Librarian, the Speaker for all the books. How do you know who's truly worth being part of your family? Sometimes we must forge connections in order to heal; other times, those bonds must be broken.


Legends of Andolin: Rising Tides

Legends of Andolin: Rising Tides by A.M. Portman

THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES With the Heart of the World safe at the Capital, Lady Adella Grimless and her friends turn their attention to the looming war with Sornia. Pressed by the increasing threat in the Campos, Adella, Kol and Armand each part ways to face dangers from both land and sea on their own. OVER DANGEROUS LANDS Kol embarks on a perilous mission across the frontier, and learns the truth about his tragic past. Meanwhile, Armand heads to Raymouth to deliver a message, but soon finds himself on a reaver ship heading for troubled waters. AND TREACHEROUS SEAS As the Sornian army closes in on Elldon, Adella travels to Pentz to seek assistance, but things don’t go as planned. When she faces death in the watery depths, one thing becomes clear: The legends of Andolin are real… And disaster is coming.


The Chaos Circus

The Chaos Circus by Renee Dugan

SPFBO6

All Tessa LaRoche wants is to be the most ordinary person on Barrow Island. After a stint in a mental asylum, she's had quite enough of being anything else, thank you very much. But when a commission at her new reporting job forces her into the path of a not-quite-human murder suspect, Tessa finds that the unordinary is not through with her yet. Spirited away by a devilishly charming Nicolai to the Mirror Lands-- a parallel reality manipulated by the immortal Deathless-- Tessa loses one of the most precious tethers to her sanity. In order to reclaim it, she must risk entering The Chaos Circus: a citywide fair where mortals trade years for prizes in vicious attractions from which the Deathless draw their power. But there's a catch: if Tessa can't defeat the Deathless at their own freakish carnival games, she will lose her mind...and Nicolai will lose his life. Forced to rely on one another despite the secrets that come between them, Tessa and Nicolai embark on a dangerous adventure through the deceptively beautiful life of the Circus, where little is as it seems--even the games, their pasts, and the strange whirlwind of memories that Tessa can no longer recall.


Eldritch Sparks: Shadows of Otherside Book 2

Eldritch Sparks: Shadows of Otherside Book 2 by Whitney Hill

The deal that secured Arden Finch a measure of freedom came with strings, and now everybody wants to pull them. Arden has carved out a place for herself in Otherside—at a price. Pressure mounts as she juggles her day job as a private investigator with her new obligations, fraying relationships, and growing elemental powers. If that wasn't enough, a lich has appeared in the Triangle, sowing violence and raising zombies. Everyone wants Arden to get rid of it⁠, including the gods. But the lich offers something Arden has always wanted: enough power to stand alone. All she has to do is put herself first for once...and betray everyone she cares about. Urban fantasy and paranormal fans of Kim Harrison, Faith Hunter, Seanan McGuire, and the early Anita Blake series will find a kick-ass heroine in Arden. Praise for Eldritch Sparks: Shadows of Otherside Book 2 "A compelling book of Otherside that goes from strength to strength." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


A Circle of Stars

A Circle of Stars by Craig Montgomery

SPFBO10

Sometimes you have to leave home to find it… All Casper Bell has ever wanted is to belong. But now, abandoned by his friends and family after being outed, he has nothing left to lose when the people of Novilem abduct him. Except Earth. Teleported to a world where stars grant humans magic, Casper discovers he has the rare ability to draw power from all twelve astrological signs — a gift that makes him a political pawn for the Estellar Council. But Novilem’s inhabitants seem as hard and cold as the stone their city is carved from, and Casper’s new role leaves him more isolated than ever. Until he meets the grandson of the council’s most powerful woman. Helix is kind, playful, and heartbreakingly handsome, yet it’s how Helix makes him feel that gives Casper hope. As rebellion brinks in the city, even the Council starts to fracture, reaching for extreme measures that could cost Casper not only his newfound abilities, but the first place he has ever wanted to call home. Together with Helix, he must uncover the secrets of his full potential — because the survival of Novilem hinges on Casper’s powers, whether he’s using them or not. Set inside a hidden lunar city, where astrology is magic and your birth sign defines your social status, A Circle of Stars is a queer young adult fantasy filled with political intrigue and romance.


A Prophecy Unsung

A Prophecy Unsung by Adam R. Bishop

William and Baldric were successful in trekking across the uncharted lands of the elves. After reaching the Viridian Veil and warning Lord Thinduill of Dadro’s deceit, they thought their journey had come to a close. But in truth, it had only just begun—and the more they descend into the battle for Cellagor’s fate, the more they’ll learn about their own mysterious pasts. Preceding their arrival to the Veil, Avolin’s visions revealed that William and Baldric were tied to the Book of No Quarter. Upon learning this, Lord Thinduill insisted they accompany him to the elven capital of Leof Ealdwin. Meanwhile, Rhan is no more, and its ashen remains mark the beginning of a new age. Arnion’s sacrifice may have altered the fate of Cellagor, but his father’s resolve continues to be tested. In the north, houses have reunited once again, and the Braxi army slowly encroaches on the Unspoken Border. Talfryn remains the last standing house to refuse Dadro’s rule—but they must rekindle old alliances if they mean to survive further bloodshed. Word of Dadro’s victory over the elves continues to spread across the realm. Thousands have sworn their fealty to him, and whispers of a promising union linger on the horizon. But war does not come without its price. Dadro’s brother has yet to recover from the Battle of Rhan, and the pyromancer Aleister’s treachery remains unseen. With his ambitions still unknown, neither side is safe during this ushering in of a new age.


We Men of Ash and Shadows

We Men of Ash and Shadows by HL Tinsley

SPFBO7 SPFBO Finalist

‘We Men of Ash and Shadow’ is the first book in the Vanguard Series and follows the journey of protagonist, John Vanguard, through the dark and corrupt city of D’Orsee. A Grimdark gas lamp novel, ‘We Men of Ash and Shadow’ explores themes of redemption, loyalty, and betrayal against the backdrop of a world where survival often means compromising your values. Amidst the gas lamp shadows former soldier-turned-mercenary John Vanguard hunts criminals at the behest of his corrupt employer, Captain Felix Sanquain. Shamed by his deserter past and seeking to make amends for his many misdeeds, a chance encounter with Tarryn Leersac – a skilled young would-be-assassin fallen from the graces of high society – leads Vanguard to become an unlikely mentor. Charged with hunting down the killer of two guards left washed up on the banks of the canal, the further Vanguard delves into the underbelly of the city the more he finds himself entangled in a web of secrets and lies. A prominent aristocrat is missing. Crime lords, con men and harlots run amok and the city teeters on the brink of another revolution. With his already precarious reputation hanging by a thread, Vanguard must piece together how and why the last war came to pass, find a way to earn redemption for his mistakes and come to terms with the past in a city where few survive, and even fewer can be trusted.


No Heart for a Thief

No Heart for a Thief by James Lloyd Dulin

SPFBO9

We are the stories we tell ourselves...even the lies. The Thief, a great spirit, and her descendants have abused their ability to steal magic for centuries. When Kaylo starts to hear the song of other people’s magic, he must learn to hide from his people as well as the invaders. A gift or a curse, Kaylo may be able to save his people from the Gousht Empire that claimed their land with this stolen magic.

 Eighteen years later, Kaylo still prays to the spirits, but not out of loyalty or love. He knows better than to rely on those selfish bastards for anything. While hiding in the forest from his foolish acts of rebellion, he encounters a girl, Tayen, being pursued by two soldiers of the empire. Against his better judgment, he risks facing the consequences of his past to intervene.

 When Tayen attempts to run off seeking vengeance for her family, he offers to train her to wield her magic and a blade. If he can’t convince her to relinquish her need for vengeance and stave off the demons of his past, he’s going to get them both killed.


Reign & Ruin

Reign & Ruin by J. D. Evans

SPFBO7 SPFBO Finalist SPFBO Winner

“All magic is beautiful...and terrible. Do you not see the beauty in yours, or the terror in mine? You can stop a heart, and I can stop your breath.” She is heir to a Sultanate that once ruled the world. He is an unwanted prince with the power to destroy. She is order and intellect, a woman fit to rule in a man's place. He is chaos and violence and will stop at nothing to protect his people. His magic answers hers with shadow for light. They need each other, but the cost of balance may be too high a price. Magic is dying and the only way to save it is to enlist mages who wield the forbidden power of death, mages cast out centuries ago in a brutal and bloody war. Now, a new war is coming. Science and machines to replace magic and old religion. They must find a way to save their people from annihilation and balance the sacred Wheel—but first, they will have to balance their own forbidden passion. His peace for her tempest, his restlessness for her calm… Night and day, dusk and dawn, the end, and the beginning.


Obsidian: Awakening

Obsidian: Awakening by Sienna Frost

An epic tale of humanity that survives its ugliest and most admirable moments, one that will change your perception on love, life, and what it means to be human forever. When Hasheem, a legendary male-escort-turned-assassin finally escapes the city that enslaved him as a child, he finds himself trapped in the centuries-long war between his nomadic race of desert warriors and an empire that seeks to rule them. There, a new set of shackles awaits him in the form of a fifteen-year-old girl and her oracle brother whose agenda plunges him into the blood sport of power and politics. As warfare exacts its price and the line between good and evil gets put to the test, the men and women from both sides are forced to fight a common enemy that remains the greatest threat to mankind: humanity and all its flaws.


The Worthy

The Worthy by Anna K Moss

Blood is thicker than water. Tell that to Prince Barsten, betrayed and abandoned on foreign soil. His sister is intent on claiming the throne and he’s intent on stealing it back. One of them might succeed, if it weren’t for a sacred creature infecting people with its emotions. Rage, fear, paranoia, despair. As their country collapses, the royal siblings must stay true to themselves or find out just how thick their blood really is. Moss’s compelling debut novel dives into a desperate kingdom, full of intrigue, treachery and sapphic-longing. Fast-paced and awash with sinful characters and fetid settings, The Worthy is a must-read for all lovers of dark fantasy. Content warning: This novel contains scenes of violence, assault and occasional dialogue of a homophobic and racist nature. The opinions of the awful characters herein are not the authors own.


Gates of Mars: Book 1 of the Halo Trilogy

Gates of Mars: Book 1 of the Halo Trilogy by Kathleen McFall

SPSFC

What happens after the plutocrats colonize Mars? An interplanetary mystery and a searing critique of the billionaire quest for Mars. Funny, irreverent, a bit hopeful. Plus, giraffes.   IN THE AGE OF SURVEILLANCE, HOW CAN A PERSON GO MISSING?  The year is 2187. Crucial Larsen, a veteran of the brutal Consolidation Wars, is working as a labor cop on Earth. The planet is a toxic dump and billions of people are miserable, but so what? It's none of his business. He's finally living a good life, or good enough. But then Essential, his beloved kid sister, disappears on Mars.  When Halo--the all-powerful artificial-intelligence overseeing Earth and Mars on behalf of the ruling Five Families--can't (or won't) locate his sister, Crucial races up-universe to find her. In the Choke, the frigid, airless expanse outside the luxury domes, Crucial uncovers a deadly secret from Essential's past that threatens to shatter his apathetic existence...and both planets. Blending science-fiction with the classic, hard-boiled detective story, Gates of Mars is a page-turning, futuristic thrill-ride featuring a gritty, irreverent anti-hero--Crucial Larsen.  The first book of the Halo Trilogy, Gates of Mars is the eighth novel by award-winning authors Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall.


Bonds of Chaos

Bonds of Chaos by Zack Argyle

Bonds of Chaos is the final installment of the Threadlight trilogy, which begins with the multi-award-winning Voice of War. TO BREAK THE BONDS, THERE WILL BE SACRIFICES When all was lost, the Heralds returned, and the world embraced them as gods and saviors. But there are some who know the truth: the Heralds are not what they seem. Now, in a desperate attempt to stop them, Chrys and the others travel to Cynosure with hopes of enlisting the only Amber threadweaver with the power to help. Chrys, Laurel, Alverax, and those they love. Together, they will stop the gods...or they will die trying.


The Summoner's Cry

The Summoner's Cry by Ana C. Reis

SFINCS

A powerless Summoner. A cursed Witch Lord. A clash of demons and magic. After a failed coup against Witch Queen Lilith, rogue witches Lau and Adam have no choice but to flee and hide. Crushed and surrounded by enemies, the pair arrives at Latis, a peculiar island brimming with strange tales of the supernatural, where they hope to find Adam's long-lost grimoire -- their only shield against Lilith's wrath. Rendered powerless after sealing a dragon Spirit in Adam's flesh to save his life, Lau struggles with loneliness and resentment. Helpless and doomed to live forever in a child's body, Adam seeks to make peace with a spell he has no strength nor skill to undo. Once allies in an ancient war, Lau and Adam start drifting apart. But when a dangerous visitor sets foot on Latis and the grimoire is nowhere to be found, the two estranged Witches must work together if they want to save themselves and the lives of the townsfolk they've come to love. Inspired by the show 'Supernatural' and 'Howl's Moving Castle', The Summoner's Cry is a nerve-racking dark fantasy tale rooted in modern times with razor-sharp dialogues, vibrant descriptions, and dark cottagecore aesthetics. The perfect read for fans of the reluctant hero, found-family, and enemies-to-allies-to-lovers tropes.


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