stories in and

To Be Fair

To Be Fair by Julieta Moss

In the autumn of 1997, Bogdan is a teenage Yugoslavian refugee who fled his country at just eleven to claim asylum in Italy. He does not know the fate of his family, so he mainly relies on his old school friend Alessia, whose father employs him during the summer, and her boyfriend Guido, who is also his social worker. A regular at the Caffe Fratelli where Bogdan works, James has lived in Italy for a couple of years escaping family problems after dropping out of university. He works as a cruise crew member, spending his time in between contracts sofa surfing at Guido's, who grew up in James' native Bristol. After breaking up with his lover, James goes on a path of self-destruction neglecting his health. Bogdan tries to help him, and they begin an on-off relationship with disastrous consequences. Unable to let go despite knowing that James doesn't take him seriously, Bogdan decides to travel to England with James to help him save the family business when his father becomes sick. But when the authorities come to deport Bogdan for overstaying his visitor visa, will James rise to the challenge of saving the boy who risked everything to be with him?


The Reason Jude Exists

The Reason Jude Exists by A Morgan

‘Amy and my love story began when my first love story ended. What you’re about to read won’t be pretty, but it is an epic tale of love, personal growth, and the things in life that both get in the way and open the door to the best relationships of our lives.’ -Jude Kendrick ~ When Jude became a widower and a single dad aged just thirty-six his life went into a tailspin. Now he tells his unique and heart-wrenching story of how he navigated the complexities of falling in love again, overshadowed by grief and reluctant fatherhood. Falling in love in your late thirties presents many challenges, not least because very few people get to this age without excess relationship baggage. Jude has more than his fair share with his dead wife and overflowing black book. Amy on the other hand, hasn't had children yet, and with the clock ticking, Jude is far from the right man for her to get involved with despite his overwhelming belief that he is. Their story takes place in middle-class England where success is measured by impressive careers, beautiful homes, and fancy cars; yet everyone is failing miserably where it truly at being happy. With his heart on his sleeve and his ego in check, Jude takes a chance at happiness with Amy in the face of the external forces threatening to keep their love tantalisingly out of reach.


Smoke and Steel

Smoke and Steel by Dax Murray

Kraken Collective

At the Crossroads of Tomorrow Being the youngest of the Sua royals never stopped Saritrah from scheming to take the throne. But violent insurrectionists shattered those plans when they stormed the palace and decimated her family. In the years since, she has amassed an army and will return to claim her crown. However, Ashur, her one remaining sibling, has done the same, and she must act soon if she’s to secure her prize before he snatches it from her claws. After Ashur razes the Temple of Yshuld, the surviving Seers promise her the power to ensure victory. But it will mean abandoning her legion to venture into the endless desert and locate a lost city. Soon, however, she suspects that none of the women are who they claim to be, even to each other. One woman cryptically alludes to a paradisical past; another awakens in the night plagued by dreams of a frightening future; the last woman never speaks. But the more she questions her new companions’ motives, the more she must question her own. Is the vision of calamity an omen of what will happen if she fails? Or a promise of what will come if she succeeds?


Burrows of Blood and Shadow

Burrows of Blood and Shadow by Rebekah L Webb

The dreamers dream all the time, free to go anywhere, to be anything, to see worlds outside themselves, inside themselves and beyond themselves. The Dream Surfer has no past or memory and can only experience life through the dreams and memories of others. He is stuck in a world of doors and windows leading to quiet lives, where pain and tragedy flow like the inevitable path of gentle streams. There is one spot he refuses to go, a dank corner where burrows dive down to dark and brutal depths. He yearns to break free of his cage and create an existence of his own. But nothing he's done so far has brought him closer to freedom. Maybe the key to escape lies where he has so far feared to tread. The Dream Surfer takes the plunge into the depths of the burrows, where he will travel the turbulent current of pain and cruelty intersecting through various narratives. Will this give him the freedom he craves? Or is it just a way to add more chains? Thirty-seven tales weave together to shape multiple plots, some which dig into literal flesh, while others rip at the flesh of the mind. Neither guilty or innocent, young or old, are safe in this twisting path of mental and physical horrors


Glitterland

Glitterland by Alexis Hall

Once the golden boy of the English literary scene, now a clinically depressed writer of pulp crime fiction, Ash Winters has given up on hope, happiness, and—most of all—himself. He lives his life between the cycles of his illness, haunted by the ghosts of other people’s expectations. Then a chance encounter throws him into the path of Essex-born Darian Taylor. By his own admission, Darian isn’t the crispest lettuce in the fridge, but he makes Ash laugh, reminding him of what it’s like to step beyond the boundaries of anxiety. But Ash has been living in his own shadow for so long that he can’t see past the glitter to the light. Can a man who doesn’t trust himself ever trust in happiness? And how can a man who doesn’t believe in happiness ever fight for his own?


Zoo

Zoo by A.C. Cross

Welcome to the Zoo! Inside, you won't find tigers or lions but Anxieties galore. You'll crawl through the Depression Caves and gallivant through the Regret Gardens. You'll see wondrous creatures that will tug at the very heart of you. And at the very end, amidst it all, we offer you one more surprise. Join us for a tour today!


Toxic Effects

Toxic Effects by Joel Shulkin, MD

Don't forget to be afraid. Neuropsychiatrist Cristina Silva cannot escape her past. The voice in her head of her former identity won’t let her. Cristina also can’t quite manage to force herself to forget the ex-boyfriend she dumped: handsome police detective Gary Wilson. Soon after beginning her new job at the Longwood Memory Center, Cristina receives a startling phone call from her contact at the FBI: an assassin is crisscrossing the country, killing anyone connected to the now-defunct pharmaceutical company ReMind—people like Cristina. The shadowy criminal enterprise Zero Dark is back. Indeed, an assassin is tracking Cristina, a literal femme fatale known as Dama Branca. Like Cristina, DB’s memory was robbed by Zero Dark. Transfixed by the brilliant doctor, DB’s unsure what’s preventing her from killing Cristina. DB has memory glitches and longs to interpret them. Whether or not these have to do with Cristina, she doesn’t know, but she senses their fates are entwined—with any luck, not fatally. Danger lurks in the shadows. Cristina’s spurned lover, Wilson, is investigating the suspicious deaths of local teens, convinced they’re not accidents. Before their bewildering ends, all the victims exhibit bizarre behavior, and there are now terrified whispers among their friends of a hooded boogeyman called Sack Man. One exceptional young man, Reggie Horne, is clearly in the middle of this bedlam. Wilson vows to prevent Sack Man from claiming Reggie as his next casualty. And when Cristina’s in danger, Wilson is never far away. Just as it becomes apparent their two stories are entangled, the peril shoots sky-high. With at least one killer in their wake, they must quickly determine what’s real and what’s not. Unlocking Cristina’s memories could save many lives—her own included.


Under Far Galaxian Skies

Under Far Galaxian Skies by Natalie Kelda

Balfour has committed the ultimate crime: the murder of his sister’s boyfriend. It doesn’t matter that it was accidental. Sentenced to working as ship labourer, Balfour is convinced he deserves it when he's captured by pirates and forced to a distant galaxy. He barely escapes enslavement, fleeing into a city more deadly than anything he’s ever known. Venomous reptiles hunt him. Iron-fisted tarilla chiefs are on the brink of war. Balfour must adapt quickly or prepare for a slow, torturous death in the hands of people more bloodthirsty than the Star-Eaters of old. But the biggest threat is his lingering self-loathing. If he can't fight through it, nothing else will matter — because he won’t live long enough to see it.


Kill All The Dogs

Kill All The Dogs by Rick Berry

Are we defined by the things that happen to us, or the things we make happen to others? Ten-year-old Nathan Hyde is playing in a tree house, when he witnesses a vicious attack on his best friend’s younger sisters. Life is never the same again. Many years later, Nathan finds himself in the lower reaches of a government department, when an opportunity to confront his demons and enact revenge presents itself. A mystery illness is taking hold in the population, at the very moment a scheming, attention-seeking politician becomes Nathan’s new boss. It can’t happen, can it? In the farcical world of politics, anything is possible. Nathan Hyde is going to kill all the dogs. Part psychological drama, part political satire, Kill All The Dogs is the story of how of a personal trauma becomes twisted into a national tragedy.


An Arrow Against the Wind: An Epic fantasy novel (The Bow of Hart Saga Book 2)

An Arrow Against the Wind: An Epic fantasy novel (The Bow of Hart Saga Book 2) by P.H. Solomon

Haunted by his past. Hunted in the present. Tossed like an arrow in the wind. Athson discovered the unexpected during the search for The Bow of Hart. Yet the prophesied weapon remains hidden. Mysteries discovered during the quest draw him deeper into the peril. The flames of vengeance surge in his thoughts with new revelations. Can he escape the traps of his enemies? The dragon's reach endangers even Athson's companions in unexpected ways. His enemy wants the bow, but his mentor claims it must be used according to prophesy. With each turn of the search for the bow, long-hidden secrets surface and Athson must find the bow or risk losing those dear to him. When the dragon gains leverage over him, Athson is torn between destiny and desire. But Athson seeks his own path. Will he falter like an arrow against the wind?


A Not So Bollywood Meet Cute

A Not So Bollywood Meet Cute by Miya Malai

No, I didn’t meet him by my bangles getting caught in his sleeve. Or by grabbing his hand from a running train. No, instead he met me with a Darcy-like disdain you won’t ever see in a Bollywood movie. Bollywood movies and smutty romance novels are every Desi girl's guilty pleasure. And I had the crazy idea to combine the two... −Miya Malai


Quarantine Thirteen

Quarantine Thirteen by Natalie Kelda

Since her fight against the last Star-Eater, Tara Polendi's energy-vision has become unreliable — a truth she is too humiliated to share. When Tara unwittingly directs Lucia into the heart of a portal storm, the ship and her crew portal back to the last place they want to go: Outer Universe. Now, they can’t take off from their crash-site, and Tara's unstable vision becomes the least of her worries. There is someone – or something – else on the island. And if Tara doesn’t get control quickly, it might cost the lives of everyone she holds dear. Quarantine Thirteen can be read as a standalone or in connection with the River in the Galaxy Duology.


Outer Universe

Outer Universe by Natalie Kelda

With immense losses, Merlon and his crew have escaped the cannibals of Ivory, but now they are stuck in the wrong universe with no idea which way home lies. There is no time for grieving when it's discovered Lucia's rough flight through the enormous asteroid field has resulted in most of their precious water storage spilling. It's evident Merlon isn't done fighting against his former addiction, but in Outer Universe he finds help from unexpected corners and makes surprising discoveries. Struggling to find a way back to Inner Universe before more of his crew are added to the death toll, new information about Lady Galantria's heritage reveal a threat that hadn't even entered Merlon's worst nightmares. Will he succeed in returning to Amule, or will they be stuck in Outer Universe forever? Outer Universe is the continuation and conclusion of Merlon's story in the Inner Universe series.


In the Spirit of Christmas

In the Spirit of Christmas by William Beck

All the warmth and cheer of Christmas can't thaw a frozen heart. To some, Christmas is a time of family and love. Moments to cherish and joy to share. But not for Ebenezer Scrooge. After the tragic loss of his wife Marley, Christmas has become a beacon to grief, and a life long since lost. This Christmas Eve, his wife will return. But, will Ebenezer have the strength to confront a painful past in order to save a once-promising future?


Ascent of a Vengeful Woman

Ascent of a Vengeful Woman by Ashon Ruffins

In the aftermath of Goliath’s murder spree in New Orleans, Nola Maor has committed herself to becoming a more skilled hunter in order to cope with the bloodshed in her city. Confronted with tragedy in her life, but unwilling to process her own trauma and grief, she leaves her career as a New Orleans police detective behind, and suffers in solitude. Nola’s lethal reputation has grown among the most savage and depraved for her unwavering resolve to eliminate the nightmarish creatures that stalk and feed on humans. Dozens of missing people, along with an unnatural and grotesque murder, prompt Nola to travel to the small town of Dalyville, hundreds of miles away. A disturbing occurrence will push her skills as a private investigator, a hunter, and her humanity to their limits. The town’s history of wickedness is catching up with its residents as an evil force that simmers beneath the surface boils over with blood-thirsty intent. The past never dies. It festers. It cultivates in pain, waiting to rear its ugly head and inflict suffering, terror, and vengeance, bringing everyone around it to their knees. Will Nola be able to identify the vicious beast’s origins and understand its motives before it destroys the town of Dalyville? Or will the entity eviscerate everything in its path and consume both the town and, eventually, Nola Maor?


Night Shifts Black

Night Shifts Black by Aly Stiles

His name is Luke. But nobody knows that. He was an iconic musician before he gave up music. But nobody knows that either. They also don’t know he’s twenty-seven, that he used to have an infectious laugh, and that he’s way too young to be widowed. They certainly don’t know the rest of his tragic story. All they know is that he comes into their café at the same time every morning and stares at the same chair at the same table. They know he’s strange. They know he interrupts their breakfast with a cold blast of air as he hovers in the doorway, mustering the courage to confront a piece of furniture. No one asks why. No one cares. He’s fine with that. He’s done with life. This isn’t even his story. It’s actually Callie’s, the young writer who sat in his chair one day.


Angels: The LGBTQ+ YA story you've been waiting for: friendship, identity, attraction, disasters ... and finding your wings

Angels: The LGBTQ+ YA story you've been waiting for: friendship, identity, attraction, disasters ... and finding your wings by Rachel Churcher

Angels is the LGBTQ+ YA story you’ve been waiting for: friendship, identity, attraction, disasters … and finding your wings. Angels have lived among us for as long as we can remember. They don’t have powers, but they do have wings. They’ve always hidden their wings, and who they are – until Kane. Melodie Abbott remembers the day she saw Kane’s taboo-shattering billboard. A beautiful model showing his wings on Oxford Street, on a photo as tall as a building. When sixteen-year-old Mel finally meets her idol, disaster strikes. Can she find a way to free herself from his shadow, and what will her future hold? ‘Angels’ is a coming-of-age story, a university heartbreak novel with a twist, a celebration of friendship and desire, and an exploration of attraction, identity and self-expression. It takes courage to find your wings …


The Coven of Ruin

The Coven of Ruin by T. K. Tucker

The merciless God of War, a healer witch, and that meddlesome thing known as Fate. Trista was a healer. But that was before. Before she was dragged to Olympus for a crime she didn’t commit. Before she almost died. And before she made a life debt to the god who saved her. The very god who killed the Mothers and damned all of witchkind centuries before—Ares, the God of War. The Witchbane. Now she can’t stand the sight of blood, and her simple, duty-filled life is upended. When she receives an invite to the capital of Witch Country to attend the social season, though, she is hopeful the time away will help her heal. What she doesn’t expect to find there is something much more sinister than political games and poorly disguised attempts at matchmaking. Between masquerades and tournaments, Trista is pulled farther into the dark and bloody history between witches and gods. And amidst it all is Ares. Since Trista is the only witch in existence who knows who he is, Ares keeps her close. So close that the lines between enemies and allies begin to blur and she doesn’t know who or what to trust. But before she can figure that out, an ill-fated choice and an ancient prophecy may lead them both down a path they can’t survive. The Coven of Ruin series is a Greco-Roman myth-inspired, slow burn, adult romantic fantasy set in a different world.


Ember and Eclipse

Ember and Eclipse by T. K. Tucker

There’s a bounty on her head. After committing a brutal crime against Romul’s prince, Rel fled the mortal-dominated north to Witch Country. She wasn’t welcomed in the covens, though, so she found a sanctuary in an empty swamp instead. And that’s where she’s been hiding ever since. Until the Wolf of Romul, the deadliest witch hunter, somehow finds her after two years. Even as she fights with knives and teeth to get away, the witch hunter continues to hunt her and ruins any of her escape plans. As they journey further from her swamp, they’re forced into situations that reveal more of their truths, and it soon becomes apparent both are more than what they seem. Lines are blurred, morals questioned, and touches stolen until the hunter becomes just as trapped in his snare as she is. And neither of them may survive it. Ember and Eclipse is a steamy, enemies to lovers, witch X witch hunter, adult fantasy romance. As a Coven of Ruin series standalone, it can be read before or after book 1, The Coven of Ruin.


Descent to the Roses of a Family: A Poet's Journey Into Antiracism and Personal Social Healing

Descent to the Roses of a Family: A Poet's Journey Into Antiracism and Personal Social Healing by Judy Grahn

For those courageous enough to explore how family dynamics create and imprint the structures of white supremacy in each of us, Judy Grahn, an iconic voice of the GLBTQ and Women's movements, has used her masterful poem, "Descent to the Roses of a Family," to expose and closely examine her own family's roses (and thorns) of toxic racism and white supremacy. Grahn uses rich back-stories and mythology to guide us in the process of understanding and healing the split psyche that white supremacy causes and requires. "Descent to the Roses of a Family" is especially valuable for getting past endless intellectualizing about one of our most serious and tenacious social problems. Grahn demands more of us; she insists that we understand emotionally and poetically, as well as intellectually, the heart of white supremacy in the family and its consequences when taken unexamined into the larger world. She leads us out of the fog of denial. Recommended for teachers of antiracism, using literature, sociology, and mythology; also for group discussions and individuals wanting to heal themselves and future generations by finding a better way.


Boy of Shadows

Boy of Shadows by Camilla Vavruch

A scarred boy. A power struggle. A unique bird. And painful longing for love. Tristan’s father has abused him since he was a small child, leaving his body scarred and in constant pain. But no matter much Father tries, torture doesn’t keep Tristan from falling in love with simple field worker Will. Falling in love? Easy. But showing Will his flaws? No. Damaged in both body and mind, he sends Will away, unwilling to let him see more weakness. Alone and filled with self-hatred, Tristan must face the ambitious Overster Garrensor and his disdainful son—but all he wants is Will.


In the Ring

In the Ring by Sierra Isley

Rose Berman is losing her mind. At least, that's what everyone at school seems to think. Plagued by panic attacks that started after her mother's suicide, Rose is the target of frequent teasing and rumors. The only people who understand her are her quirky therapist and her ex-girlfriend, now bestie, Gemma. But when the star quarterback takes "teasing" too far, the school's tattooed, cigarette-smoking time bomb ― Elliott King ― steps in and punches him in the face. Rose's therapist recommends she try out a sport to manage her anxiety. She can't help but think of Elliott―maybe if she could punch like him, she'd feel safer and stronger. She sticks out like a sore thumb at the boxing gym, but she soon finds power in the sport and a reprieve from her panic attacks. As their worlds intertwine, Rose and Elliott are forced to face their most daunting opponent outside the Ring: their growing feelings for each other. But Midtown Ring isn't just a gym. As Rose falls deeper into the world of boxing, she learns Midtown is a front for a late-night, underground fight club where Elliott King is the headliner. Surrounded by violence and destruction, Rose's anxiety begins to spiral. She starts hallucinating, just like her mother did before her death, leaving her to wonder if everyone at school might be right. If her newfound physical strength can't keep her grounded in reality, she may be doomed to walk the same path as her mom.


Reckless Truth

Reckless Truth by Raven Elliot O'Connor

When they were children, their brother was stolen and their mother killed. Elyan and Lydia Moore have dedicated their lives to finding out what really happened that night, and where their brother was taken - but the truth will throw them into chaos they could never predict. Combining science fantasy with interpersonal drama, Reckless Truth is a story of finding love and overcoming fear; about testing our deepest personal perceptions and learning to live and love beyond what is expected of us. It is about grief and trauma, and the different ways those things are processed and overcome -- and the scars they leave with us forever.


Stars Still Fall

Stars Still Fall by Jules Kelley

1995. A young woman. Her boyfriend's ex-girlfriend. The small Alabama town neither of them can escape. And a ghost. Lilly Ann Guthrie is living with a man she isn't married to; she can't hold down a job, and she can't sit in a moving vehicle without having a panic attack. It isn't the life she once imagined for herself, but she can't complain. She has a roof over her head and food on her table, and she doesn't owe either of those things to her only living relative, an aunt whose disdain almost makes her wish she'd died in the same car wreck that claimed her brother and parents. So it could be worse. But in late summer, life decides it has other ideas. Her boyfriend's infamous ex, Jolene, comes back to town and turns everything on its ear, including Lilly's ability to be satisfied by her current circumstances, and strange things start happening around her house. Voices in empty rooms, fleeting glimpses of someone in her peripheral vision. Is she on the verge of losing everything, including her mind, or is she standing on the precipice of having even her most secret wishes granted?


It Will Hurt

It Will Hurt by Anya K. Jordan

In a realistic portrayal of mental illness and sexual repression, not every romance can have a happy ending. Two steps forward, one step back, as they say. But we can laugh and cry together on the way. We don't have to be alone. Nico still has to learn that. It Will Hurt is a contemporary queer story about a young man with bipolar disorder discovering his bisexuality in the underground death metal scene of a university town in 2010s Germany.


Nocturnal Liberation (Nocturnal, #4)

Nocturnal Liberation (Nocturnal, #4) by Villimey Mist

Leia Walker has returned to Amsterdam to keep a promise: she wants to save the captured humans in the blood farm underneath Amsterdam’s Royal Palace. After fighting ferals in Atlanta and defeating Adam six months ago, Leia infiltrates the farm along with her personal Sangue Lucy and a group of vampires from Amsterdam’s fallen faction. It’s her chance to prove to herself that she’s fine without her guardian’s protection. But sleeping humans are not the only presence in the underground tunnels: ghouls and feral vampires prowl the area. They’re different. They’re cunning. And they’re hungry. It’s fight or die for Leia and her crew as they battle against a new breed of subterranean feral vampires. To make matters worse, Leia discovers horrifying experiments meant to elevate vampires and bring humanity to its knees. Can Leia keep her friend and the imprisoned humans safe, or will the farm become her eternal tomb?


Nocturnal Salvation (Nocturnal, #3)

Nocturnal Salvation (Nocturnal, #3) by Villimey Mist

Leia Walker has become the monster she feared. Turned into a vampire against her will, she struggles to adjust while protecting her younger brother. Across the world, humans and vampires are becoming bloodthirsty—feral beasts spawned by Adam Levant, a dangerous, sun-immune vampire. The people of Europe don't know their fate hinges on a young woman and her group of vampires and vampire hunters. Time is ticking, and Leia must find a cure for Adam's deadly blood. Her search leads to a reluctant alliance between her vampire guardians and the Owls, the hunters. Together, they venture to Atlanta to find a toxicologist from Adam's past. Caught between chasing a cure and holding on to her sanity, can Leia find a way to control her Hunger and stop Adam for good... or will she doom her fellow vampires and the rest of the world?


Nocturnal Farm (Nocturnal, #2)

Nocturnal Farm (Nocturnal, #2) by Villimey Mist

Leia Walker has been training to protect her family from vampires ever since her best friend died six months ago. That humans are disappearing all over Europe is a distant worry— Until her little brother goes to Amsterdam, meets a Sangue—a vampire familiar—and disappears. Leia knows she can’t save him alone. To bring him home, she must take up arms with the Owls, a group of vampire hunters, without her vampire protectors or the Owls becoming aware of each other. Under Amsterdam’s streets, she discovers dark secrets, a vampire who is immune to sunlight, and a threat that turns humankind and vampires alike into feral killers. Can Leia hold on to her belief that everybody can be saved while she fights to bring her brother home— Or will she end up as a human blood bag on the farms?


The Way We Wind

The Way We Wind by Halli Starling

Twins Bren and Clark have been holding each other up since their mother passed away. It hasn’t been easy. But Bren is running the family greenhouse and Clark has a good job at the local library. Life is quiet, just as Bren likes it. But Clark feels like he’s stagnating. Bren isn’t looking for love when a greenhouse customer dumps water all over her. But Elodie’s cute and bouncy and, it turns out, a folklorist at the local college and has a special interest in plants and their stories. It seems like a perfect match. Clark might have a tiny crush on a patron at the library, but he’s never going to say anything. But when Jasper, that very patron, asks for Clark’s assistance on a research project, Clark can’t say no. To Jasper or the project; Jasper’s researching local “ghost trails”. And Clark is a bit of a believer. But trauma and grief are slippery things, and getting through it isn’t simple or easy. Maybe love needs to find a way to help them both heal.


Beneath the Gods' Tree

Beneath the Gods' Tree by S. Kaeth

Amanah knows all-too-well the dangers of catching the attention of the upper class of Arruk. Using her position as a guard to steal secrets of healing and help other lower class people means she works hard to remain unnoticed. Fellow guard Taunos is boisterous, laughing, larger than life–and always around. He attracts attention as easily as breathing, which makes being associated with him dangerous. Better to stay far away, regardless of her attraction to him and his easy calm. But when Amanah inadvertently insults a magistrate, she must flee the city to avoid his vengeance. She takes a last-minute job escorting a pair of noblemen to another town–a job Taunos is also hired for. Along the way, she’s forced to reveal her stolen healing skills to keep the small group alive, and finds more support from Taunos than she ever would have dreamed. His confident charm becomes hard to ignore as he sees her as no one else has, even when she’s doing her best to be invisible. But opening herself to romance might be as dangerous as the wildlife and bandits they face in the wilderness, and pursuing her dreams of becoming a healer could attract the ire of those in power. This book has: so much banter; strong sibling relationship; strong friendships; friends-to-lovers (low steam); gay side characters; main character anxiety rep; diverse cast with immersive worldbuilding; action and adventure, wilderness survival style; low fantasy (none of the main group displays clear magic on page); single PoV, third person past tense


Phantom and Rook

Phantom and Rook by Aelina Isaacs

Arlo Rook has decided it’s time to move out of Garren Castle, home for orphans of all races, magical or not, at 100 years old. It’s not the first time he’s left home, but after a setback that landed the Hedge Witch in the hospital a year ago, he ended up right back at square one. But now he’s ready to strike out on his own, despite his friend’s worries that he’s not ready for the ‘real world.’ Then, he crashes into a mess of copper curls and bright eyes, sending apothecary goods and his life into a chaotic mess. Thatch is a mysterious and incredibly wealthy benefactor of Levena, only spoken of but never seen. He requests a night of Arlo’s company and a tour of the city, which Arlo immediately declines. But that’s not the last time they see each other, and it certainly wasn’t the first. Arlo doesn’t remember him, no one remembers Thatch after he visits, but Thatch never forgot the Witch with a familiar soulmark on his face. Thatch Phantom is an immortal, the last of his kind and perpetually bored. When he’s not closing inter-dimensional rifts and corralling demons, he’s visiting his favorite city of all, Levena. Centuries ago, when life was particularly dull, he set up a scavenger hunt for a starving village, providing them with a year’s worth of supplies. He anonymously returned year after year, upping the ante and providing less practical things, as the village had become a city and was wealthy beyond belief. Festivals were thrown in his honor, and have continued every year since. Hundreds of years later, The Game is still put on by the fabled ‘Scarlet Illusionist’, but no one has figured out who blesses them with the puzzles. Once again, Thatch is listless and has decided to throw a wild card into this year’s Game. Whoever discovers him will win one wish of their choice, no restrictions. Aside from the obvious, such as no falling in love, murder or resurrection. What he didn’t anticipate was crashing into the one person whose soul mark flares like a beacon when Thatch is around, teasing the immortal with the one thing he wants most. Someone to call home. What follows is a wild chain of events filled with magical coffee shops, villains with vendettas against cheese makers, moving tattoos, grand puzzles, and second chances at love, and life.


The Day We Ate Grandad

The Day We Ate Grandad by C. M. Rosens

Three possible futures. Two versions of the apocalypse. One chance to save the world. Wes Porter, a severely depressed insanity-inducing playboy, is detoxing from hallucinogens that have unlocked his ability to see versions of potential futures - and he's just foreseen two ways the world could end. Normally, Wes would leave the hero bullshit to somebody else, but he can't abdicate responsibility this time... not when both those apocalypses might be his fault. With some prompting from a mythological bard-prophet who may or may not be real, and a lot of assistance from his monster-eating baby sister who desperately wants to move out of his apartment, and their soothsayer cousin who has his own demons to fight, Wes attempts to save [his] world... but have his poor decisions doomed them all? THE DAY WE ATE GRANDAD is the third book in the Pagham-on-Sea series. It is a dysfunctional family cosmic horror novel for fans of WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, THE MAGNUS ARCHIVES, and THE CALL OF CTHULHU, with themes of bereavement and grief, generational trauma, and a dash of Roman/Welsh mythology.


By the Blood of Rowans

By the Blood of Rowans by Xan van Rooyen

The Sheehy witches are the most feared and detested family on the island of Inisliath, and none more so than Rowan. As a deathwalker, Rowan ferries island souls to the Otherworld, experiencing their deaths and carrying their memories like ghosts within him. It's a fated role he accepts even as it inexorably destroys him. When the magic on the island starts to seep away from the other founding families, everyone blames the Sheehys—especially when islanders start dying. Ash is sick of their father's fists and constantly having to apologize for who they are. Life on Inisliath might be the fresh start Ash and their mum need, and meeting soft-spoken, curly-haired Rowan feels like the ray of sunshine Ash has desperately needed—but everything goes sideways when Ash's mum becomes lead detective on a series of ritualistic murders allegedly tied to island magic, and Ash's family history. The islanders are convinced Rowan is guilty, but Ash refuses to believe it. When Ash does some investigating of their own, they discover Rowan is far more likely to be the next victim. With time running out to save Rowan, Ash will have to choose between a life free of their father or the boy they’re starting to love. Meanwhile Rowan will have to decide just how much he's willing to sacrifice to save his family from the darkness about to be unleashed on the island.


Life After

Life After by genalea barker

Someone once asked August Haiz if twins realize one of them is an accident. Deep down, August knows if anyone was an accident, it wasn’t Benny—it was her. Granted, August doesn’t mind dancing in the background, letting Benny be the star musician and center of attention. In fact, she prefers it that way. Abandoned by their mother as children, the twins have spent a decade dodging the unpredictable nature of their alcoholic father in an attempt to stay off his radar. With graduation in sight and their freedom on the horizon, August and Benny look forward to fleeing their hometown together and starting fresh at college. But a tragic accident turns August’s world upside down, swallowing her hopes of a brighter future. Guilt-ridden and struggling to cope with her new normal, August shuts out the people who love her most, and nearly ruins her most important friendship. If August wants a chance at adjusting to life after tragedy, she’ll have to process her pain, let go of the past, and leave the darkness behind.


The Unwanted Prophet

The Unwanted Prophet by Carolina Cruz

Quincy Sauer is in jail. As far as she’s concerned, that's where she belongs - until a god of death decides otherwise. He’s got a plan to undermine his own priests and Quincy is his pawn of choice. Going from criminal to prophet would be a difficult transition under even the best circumstances, but Quincy’s luck is about to turn from bad to worse as corrupt priests, cults, and threats unknown stand between her and the answer to her greatest questions: Has the god of life and death made a terrible mistake? And if he has, who is going to pay the price for it? The Unwanted Prophet is the debut novel of Carolina Cruz. If you enjoy low-magic fantasy, character-driven stories, and diverse fictional worlds, the Unwanted Prophet has something for you to enjoy!


Dog Won't Hunt

Dog Won't Hunt by XM Moon

Milo Nelson has learned plenty of things from necessity: how to tie a tie, how to change a tire, how to shave his face. He’s also learned that the truth may hurt, but the fantasy of a life he can’t have hurts even more, so when Richard Remington Abernathy III waltzes back into his life two years after the end of their definitely-not-a-relationship and says he’s changed, that dog won’t hunt. Remi’s drug of choice is denial, and he’s always been one hell of an addict. The only things he’s ever committed to are the expectations of his good Christian family, and Milo knows those don’t include a trans librarian even in the role of friend or roommate. Despite everything, a part of Milo wants to believe that Remi is capable of change; he’s just not sure that the time it takes to find out is worth the risk of being hurt again.


Horrific Tales for a Horrific Year

Horrific Tales for a Horrific Year by Jack T Canis

Horrific Tales for a Horrific Year: A short story collection – ten dark tales by Jack T Canis. A collection of gruesome & deeply disturbing short stories about obsession, lust, sociopathy, murder & the darkness that lies in our souls.


Ordinary World

Ordinary World by Jack T Canis

'Life often boils down to simple questions with complex answers. Olivia Buchanan's question was simple, if twofold: 'Was sixteen year old Olivia Buchanan truly the culmination of a secret 30 year genome project, by a clandestine research organisation, to create the ultimate human in order to save humanity from itself? Or: Has she merely inherited her mother's delusional schizophrenia, spiralling her into a nightmarish hell created by a diseased and fractured mind?' Simple.


Tears in the Water

Tears in the Water by Margherita Scialla

A character-driven, slice-of-life contemporary story of love and self-discovery. At White Ravens University, where athletes train to become professional sportspeople, Alex is on the swimming team with her best friend, Xiuying. Having grown up mostly alone, parents absent and brother often busy with his own life, Alex tends not to meet new people unless she and Xiuying are together. After an embarrassing encounter with a boy from the volleyball team Alex soon discovers that the world isn’t so big after all and the universe has a funny way of setting people up, especially when and with whom they’re least expecting. Despite her reserved character, Alex becomes part of a newly formed friend group consisting of four amazing people with different identities and personalities. As she tries to overcome her anxiety and negative past events, Alex finds herself both struggling with romantic feelings for a new acquaintance and a full blown gender crisis.


The Eos Key

The Eos Key by D.M. Lewry

Magic will bring them together. Will destiny tear them apart? After a failed attempt to end her life, Alia Carter leaves her childhood home to become a waitress in the state's most prominent hotel. Traumatized after her mother’s death, she silently grapples with her pain until she saves the life of a mysterious man who reveals to her a world of true magic, and terrifying wonder. Eric Wynter is a vampire Ward sworn to protect the creatures of the city. After centuries of heartache and loneliness, he is finally ready to end his existence. When fate brings them together, Alia is irresistibly drawn into Eric’s world, where witches and vampires are more than childish bedtime stories. Together, they discover she too has an incredible power running through her veins. A power so rare, every creature in the city will kill to get their share of it... Will Alia allow Eric into her life, and into her heart? Will Eric be able to defy destiny and keep those he loves safe? The Eos Key is a dark and magical story that will keep you spellbound long after the last page.


Godspeed, Lovers

Godspeed, Lovers by TQ Sims

Lovable loner Casey Isaac thinks love isn't for him. Not since extraordinary events left him with supernormal powers and a great deal of trauma. But when Oscar Kenzari looks at him, he can't help but change his mind. As Divinators, Casey and Oscar have used their psychic powers to defend humanity from sentient, extradimensional storms for one hundred years. But a storm more powerful than any before is brewing. MaalenKun, prince of the maelstrom, conqueror of countless realities, plans to turn the tables by infecting Casey's mind. Maalen Kun is not the only threat. Casey and Oscar must determine who they can trust: the eccentric trillionaire keeping them in the dark, the independent contractors with secrets of their own, or a seemingly helpful extradimensional being shrouded in mystery. As Casey works to defeat threats around and within himself, he must open to love for his chosen family, for Oscar, and for himself to unlock a transformative power capable of banishing MaalenKun. And Oscar must make a difficult choice that could cost him the future he dreams of. Can Casey and Oscar's love break the storm?


A Case of Madness

A Case of Madness by Yvonne Knop

Andrew Thomas just got sacked. He's permanently drunk. He's got cancer. Is inescapably gay. Was hit by a bus. And he's fallen in love with a stranger whose life he saved. As a newly-unemployed Sherlock Holmes scholar, Andrew knows only Holmes can help him untangle the madness his life has become, but Holmes isn't real. Except he absolutely appeared in Andrew's house, told him he's in love with a man he just met…and then in a fit of pique Andrew sent him away. Sure Holmes is probably a hallucination or a specter or a ghost, but now Andrew desperately needs his help. So to find the answer to his case and the man of his dreams, Andrew takes to chasing a fictional character through London with his very own Watson.


Mad World: Lost Souls

Mad World: Lost Souls by Brandon T Bernard

In Wonderland, there is little difference between stories, histories, legends, and lies. Cheshire, a rogue branded Queen Slayer, uses the madness to his advantage. While on the run, he searches for answers to a mystery only he remembers. In a world of deceit, the most dangerous man is he who seeks the truth. Jonathan, a gentleman of the highest caliber, along with March, a legendary swordswoman, live together in solitude to escape the madness. Together, their days are filled with swords, pleasures, and teas, only missing Cheshire. They want nothing more than to remain lost, and will go to any lengths necessary to make sure of it. But their lives and all of Wonderland are thrown into chaos by the unexpected appearance of Mary Anne, a young woman from another world. Her presence may herald the end of Wonderland as they know it. They must risk everything to preserve all they hold dear before their worlds come crashing down like a house of cards. But it may already be too late.


Cover Story

Cover Story by Valerie Gomez

Two queer thirtysomethings—a buttoned-up art director and a comedian—learn first impressions aren’t forever in Valerie Gomez’s sparkling contemporary romance debut perfect for fans of Alexis Hall and Casey McQuiston. “Don’t panic, just breathe,” Dax Ximénez tells himself after every gig. About to become a household name with the premiere of his own TV show, he should be flying high, and he is…on the surface. But all of the pressure and attention make him want to retreat into the safe cocoon of his warm family home in Queens. The last thing he needs is a prickly art director judging him at his first magazine cover shoot—no matter how handsome he is. The shoot is a huge opportunity for AJ Bond to prove himself worthy of a promotion at The Modern Gentleman, but Dax showing up late is not a good look. The vibe is off, and AJ’s original vision is going down in flames—until Dax lets his natural charisma and gorgeous smile shine. After the shoot wraps, AJ knows they’re both on the verge of something big, not just professionally. Neither AJ nor Dax can stop thinking about the other, hoping their magic wasn’t confined to the studio. As the magazine and show launches approach, they’ll rely on each other for support through the highs and lows of success, fame, anxiety…and maybe even love.


Fallen Divinity

Fallen Divinity by Bri Mooney

Can you outrun fate? Prepare to be immersed once again in the enthralling world of paranormal romance and dark fantasy in "Fallen Divinity," the electrifying sequel to the Descent into Hell Series. As Aradia's journey continues, she finds herself standing at the precipice of an inescapable fate, with the weight of her past and the future of her loved ones resting upon her shoulders. In the wake of her reclaimed memories, Aradia cherishes the love she has found, a kingdom she is willing to sacrifice everything for, and the unwavering support of her loyal friends. But in the depths of Hell, a stirring darkness threatens to unravel the delicate balance she has fought so hard to achieve. As she delves deeper into the enigmatic missing pieces of her memory, Aradia uncovers secrets that could shatter everything she holds dear. Each dangerous question she dares to ask carries the potential for devastating answers, not only endangering her own life but also the lives of those she cherishes most. In "Fallen Divinity," the consequences of Aradia's ignorance loom ominously, with the power to inflict unimaginable pain upon herself and all those she loves. Can she defy the forces that conspire against her, or will the price of her ignorance be too high to bear? Immerse yourself in this spellbinding tale of love, sacrifice, and the relentless pursuit of truth. "Fallen Divinity" will captivate fans of paranormal romance and dark fantasy as it plunges them into a world where the line between destiny and devastation blurs, and the choices made shape the very fabric of existence.


Scorched Feathers

Scorched Feathers by Bri Mooney

One hell of a bargain. One hell of a fight. Aradia finds herself ensnared in a web of celestial intrigue when she is abducted by a group of self-proclaimed guardians—the enigmatic angels. Among them is her forbidden love, Asmodeus, a captivating demon determined to rescue her from their clutches. As Aradia and Asmodeus manage a daring escape, she awakens to a daunting reality: her memories have been ruthlessly erased by the guardians. In a race against time, Aradia grapples with her fragmented past, relentlessly pursuing the truth while clinging to the flickering memories she shares with Asmodeus. In a high-stakes battle against fate itself, Aradia must navigate the treacherous path between love and damnation. Will her relentless efforts defy destiny and avert a nightmarish judgment day? Indulge in the intoxicating blend of dark fantasy and gothic romance that will set your heart ablaze. "Scorched Feathers" is the captivating first installment in the Descent into Hell Series, promising an adrenaline-fueled journey that explores the depths of passion, survival, and the harrowing price of temptation.


Swallow the Moon

Swallow the Moon by Bri Mooney

In a dystopian world ruled by oppression and despair, two individuals find themselves caught in a treacherous web of power and forbidden love. Garrus is determined to salvage the remnants of his shattered world. As the last hope for a dwindling rebellion, he walks a precarious path, his every move shadowed by the ruthless Vampire King and his merciless regime. But when fate intertwined his destiny with that of Sigríð, the infamous killer fueled by a burning vendetta, everything changed. Sigríð, a legendary and deadly Vampire, has long harbored a deep-seated hatred for the Vampire King and his reign of terror. Her heart beats with a single purpose—to avenge the losses she has suffered. When a risky encounter at a livestock auction throws her and Garrus together, their agendas collide with electrifying force. Though their initial encounter is marked by enmity and mistrust, an undeniable connection flickers between them. As they reluctantly embark on a perilous journey, each driven by their own motives, Garrus and Sigríð must navigate a treacherous landscape of danger and deception. Their lives intertwine in unexpected ways, testing the limits of their loyalties and beliefs. Bound by circumstance, they find solace and strength in each other, gradually unraveling the layers of their hardened exteriors to reveal vulnerability and passion. In the face of an oppressive regime, their forbidden love becomes a beacon of hope and defiance, challenging the very foundations of their shattered world. In this dystopian tale of dual perspectives, enemies become unlikely allies, and the line between love and hate blurs amidst the chaos of revolution. ••• STM is the first in a trilogy with dual POV featuring a paranormal tale of vampires and shifters in a dystopian setting. Some tropes are enemies to lovers, forced proximity, one bed, forbidden love, and why choose FFM.


Mistletoe & Mishigas

Mistletoe & Mishigas by M.A. Wardell

Beauty and the Bear: Can these opposites fake their way into something real? Sheldon Soleskin should be having a horrible day. Even though he’s been unexpectedly transferred to a new school right before the holidays, has only one day to set up his new classroom, and just discovered his twin sister's been hiding an invitation to his ex-boyfriend’s Christmas Eve wedding, he’s still ready to take on the world with a smile on his face and a skip in his step. Theo Berenson just wants to be left alone to his custodial duties. But when the chipper new first-grade teacher needs help moving furniture the Sunday after Thanksgiving, he's forced to do something he detests. Help. To make matters worse, Theo's overbearing parents are coming for Hanukah in a few weeks, and he's told them he has a boyfriend. Except he doesn't. Because who would want to date an oaf like Theo? Working together, these opposites discover they might be able to help each other out. Agreeing to be each other’s dates, they become friends as they practice for their upcoming events. But when all the rehearsing starts feeling a little too real, and both men's pasts come roaring back to haunt them, will they be able to pull off the ultimate holiday masquerade?


The Guardians' Daughter

The Guardians' Daughter by A.M. McPherson

She wanted to forget her past. Love will force her to remember. Ember Vulterra’s parents were Guardians—people who used their abilities to protect the city of Stalwarth no matter the cost. But when they pay the ultimate price to stop a villain attack, Ember loses her faith in the city’s heroes, swearing to never follow in her parents’ footsteps. Aiden Stiles was accepted into the University of Stalwarth, ready to start his training to become a Guardian. Yet, a dark secret resurfaces when he meets Ember, linking him to her parents. Will Aiden risk everything and tell Ember what he knows? Or will he try to help her uncover what really happened to her parents, while hiding his secret? As the two grow closer, hearts are bound to be broken, no matter the choice he makes. A.M. McPherson breaks onto the literary scene with a coming-of-age story full of romance, mental health themes, and mystery. Fans of My Hero Academia and Young Justice will enjoy this fresh take on a superhero world that mirrors our own.


The Fine Line Between Us

The Fine Line Between Us by Ruth Miranda

Jayal Hasen has never had a one night stand, or taken someone home for sex - he's just not that kind of man. Not with his past. But when his best friend introduces him to internationally acclaimed model Lu HaoRan, the attraction is immediate. The chemistry between them is such that, contrary to his character and all the fears he still can't shake, the two end up in bed. And though it was supposed to be just a one-night-stand, Jayal finds himself entertaining unexpected thoughts of something else... Lu HaoRan isn't looking for a relationship - he doesn't believe that's in the stars for him. Not with his life. But after spending the night with Jayal Hasen, he can think of nothing else, the memory of what took place becoming the buyoy he turns to when under stress. After weeks of trying to fight his growing obsession with a man he hardly knows and has never seen again, he's ready to throw caution to the wind and do all he can to meet Jayal again. Still, a fine line stands between them, one that's made of everything they hide from one another, secrets that threaten to break them apart, even before they come together. With neither finding the courage to cross that line, they risk losing each other without ever meeting again. Who will take the first step?


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