stories in and

Backmask by O F Cieri

BACKMASK is written in the style of 60s horror pulp. Inspired by pop music history, BACKMASK is the fake history of a conspiracy theory surrounding the Satanic agenda to control children's minds. Nicholas Hush, 1960s record producer, has a vision for the future of pop music. After a series of prophetic dreams he wants to combine occult imagery with upcoming trends to create a new, groundbreaking look. His secretary, Valerie Chill, is tasked with finding consultants and funding while he crafts the perfect album. Quickly their project becomes entangled in other, larger machinations, and two teenage pop acts become responsible for international intrigue, brainwashing, and an occult massacre. Taking inspiration from the lives of Joe Meek, Phil Spector, and Timothy Leary, BACKMASK is a speculative look at how hidden messages got into pop music.


Lockdown Laureate by O F Cieri

A 22 tale collection, with 22 illustrations by Soren Häxan. Dark, introspective, grimy, urban, strange. “Like a puddle of blood in a back alley of New York City that whispers to you of what could have been via a static-slathered Bluetooth connection…”


Lord of Thundertown by O F Cieri

In the movies, Thundertown was depicted like a real town, with boundaries, Folk-run businesses, and a government. In real life, Thundertown was a block here or there, three businesses on the same side of the street, an unconnected sewer main, or a single abandoned building. When an epidemic of missing person cases is on the rise, the police refuse to act. Instead, Alex Delatorre goes to Thundertown for answers and finds clues leading to a new Lord trying to unite the population. No one has seen the Lord, and the closer Alex gets to him, the farther Alex gets from his path home.


ManuScrita: Poems on Life, Love, & the Nature of Reality by Michael Teichberg

Embark on a transformative journey of introspection and wonder with "ManuScrita," a captivating award-winning poetry collection two decades in the making. Inspired by undergraduate studies in philosophy, comparative religion, Judaic studies, astronomy, and metaphysics, as well as encounters with eclectic music, movies, and conversations with strangers and friends, this collection offers a lifelong odyssey for reflection. Featuring poems composed during the Poet-in-Decadence Writer's Residence for O, Miami Poetry Month in 2016, alongside experimental formats, short free-form essays, and stream-of-consciousness exercises, "ManuScrita" offers an immersive experience that invites readers to delve into the depths of their own consciousness. Prepare to be transported, challenged, and moved by this debut publication, which celebrates life, love, and the nature of reality through a mystic's lens.


Last Train Home by Sienna Eggler

Meike’s cozy train ride left them stranded in Glasend, a world where magic and man-eating plants are the norm. With their knowledge of botany and healing herbs, Meike aspires to become a reputable herbalist and mage. They make many friends along the way, including a quick-witted swordswoman, an axe wielding corgi, and other quirky characters. Later seasons explore magic and proper questing, and introduce monster taming. Updates weekly, on Thursdays!


Early Adopter by Sienna Eggler

"But what if she doesn't want to be found?" Aided by their cybernetic eyes, private investigator Ryn Casler makes a living busting cheating spouses. While they’ll occasionally dabble in fraud and other typical cases, they don’t deal with the missing. Until the persistent Shae Winters, a police detective, approaches them about the disappearance of a young Black woman. Friction flies between detective and PI, as Shae insists on tagging along during the investigation. But as their search deepens and spills into the world of fantastical body mods, it becomes clear there’s more to this case than meets the eye.


Never Too Much by Sienna Eggler

Romance was never a priority in Cyrille's life; her work on the local nature reserve came first. And compounded by her upbringing in a small town, finding a girlfriend seemed out of reach. "If it happens, it happens." But now that she's in her late 30's, Cyrille realizes it's better now than never. And a lot has changed over the last twenty years, leading to a steadily progressive attitude in town. A not yet out Cyrille braves a speed dating event, where she meets three potential partners: a childhood friend, a fellow park ranger, and a self-proclaimed "Goblin of the Forest." A hopeful Cyrille has one person in mind, but life is full of surprises. Never Too Much is a sapphic romance about an asexual lesbian navigating the dating scene, happy ending included.


Andy and the Extroverts by Jessica K. Foster

Seventeen-year-old bookish Andy has no friends. When her over-involved mother has the audacity to ship her off to summer leadership camp, she's thrust into an introvert's nightmare. Everyone is a Communicator with a capital C, icebreaker activities are scheduled into every waking moment, and horror of all horrors: there's no coffee. Even the girls who take her under their wing are the kind of self-assured people Andy could never dream of becoming. Then she meets Lucas‐‐hot, attentive, and everything Andy reads about in her books. Though the girls in her cottage try to warn her about him, she's swept into the first romance of her life. But when she discovers her friends may be right, she'll have to find her inner confidence to save her summer and become the leader she was always meant to be.


Queen of the Dawn by S.M. Gaither

"The light cannot always overcome the dark. But it can rise to meet it.” Against all odds, Casia Greythorne has survived battles with gods and monsters alike, and the most powerful crown in the Kethran Empire is now securely in her grasp. Yet a seemingly impossible task still looms: finding a way to rid her world of its darkest god so she actually has a future to rule over. The path to sealing that god away has been revealed, but to follow it will mean venturing into a deadly and strange new realm, facing old fears and enemies, and deciphering ancient magic that raises more questions than answers. Meanwhile, chaos continues to spread throughout the empires. Armies rise and fall. The bonds between allies begin to fray—and hope along with it. And with every bloody battle, the final cost of saving their world becomes clearer. Dawn is coming, but will Casia and her friends survive to see the new day?


Paper Daffodils: A Dawn & Rosie Adventure by Titania Tempest

Is it ever too late for a love story? Dawn Clermont certainly doesn’t think so. Rosie Bishop absolutely disagrees. The last place divorcee Rosie wants to be is on a Seniors Retreat in the Lake District. She’s determined not to have a good time, but an unexpected reunion with an old friend thwarts her plans. Her armour of bitterness proves no match for the spirited widow Dawn; dragged through a whirlwind of adventures and betrayed by her own sense of humour, Rosie soon realises she hasn’t got a hope of staying sullen. As Rosie clings to the remnants of her sarcasm, something about Dawn draws her closer than ever before. Soon, their bond threatens to run deeper, but is the possibility of budding romance worth risking their rekindled friendship?


Cabin Girl by E.G. Bella

Eight years ago, young Éirinn O’Connell’s papa disappeared at sea. Many sleepless nights later, in the rolling hills of 1600’s Ireland, Éirinn has given up on his return – while her mama continues to watch the horizon, her grasp of reality slipping. Desperate to provide for her and her sister, Éirinn learns all she can of medicine and spends her days struggling to assist villagers who shun her for her crooked back. Then in one brutal night, Barbary pirates raid her village, and Éirinn is dragged from her family and the only home she’s ever known. Set on a course to Morocco, and amidst a crew as turbulent as the ocean around her, Éirinn is forced to tend to the sick quartermaster. In addition, she must serve as cabin girl to the infamous Captain Gills, a hard-hearted man bent on thwarting her every attempt to return home…to the family she prays still lives. As Éirinn searches for a way home, she soon finds that all is not what it seems aboard The Lonely Eye. Unrest brews and mutiny whispers. Allies appear in unexpected places. A cunning enemy plots. Who can she trust? Will her God carry her through the storms? And how can she survive the Captain’s constant torment? The answers are unlike anything she expects.


Everything Is Wonderful Now by Shane Blackheart

When Dark is good and Light is evil... Ten-year-old Sera is isolated and depressed; bullied at school and at home by her father. Her mind gives her no respite, suffering from a panic disorder and a second voice in her head that forces violent, intrusive thoughts. She meets the fallen angel Byleth one night while wanting to end her life. He isn't a fan of kids and intends to leave immediately, but Sera's aura catches his eye. It's dark, and it isn't from her trauma that pulls at his heartstrings. It's also attracted a corrupt angel who wants to rid the world of another Hellspawn child. Sera has a lot on her plate, but as she ages and transitions to Sean, a disabled trans man with C-PTSD, he not only meets more spirit guides from Hell, he realizes that his biggest threat has always been the 'other' that dwells in his own head.


I Am Changing Careers: Questions to Guide a Job Seeker by Anita Job

"I Am Changing Careers" is a series of questions and answers based on the author's own job hunting experience that will encourage and motivate you on your own journey of what works to get hired. Topics include choosing your career, getting hired, how to take care of your health, and what to do once you have the job. The roadmap at the end of the book provides a 2-week daily checklist of how to implement the contents of the book and find meaningful employment as quickly as possible.


Tamika Wood's Birthday Party by Le Kendall

Follow the stories of Alan Sebastian Parker and his family as they navigate life, love, family and parenting, queerness and neurodivergence.


Merchants of Light and Bone by Erika McCorkle

Sorrow in paradise. A parent’s worst nightmare. When grief drives one to revenge. Living in a tropical paradise with his spouses and kids, Amiere is a merchant of light, a sculptor who carves glowing crystals into spectacular and powerful, demon-killing works of art. When the ground opens up near his idyllic village to reveal a massive supply of crystals, the whole nation of Aloutia celebrates. The merchants are guaranteed money for decades and officials predict Aloutia will be safe from demonkind for generations. But Amiere isn’t rejoicing—when the ground split apart, his seven-year-old daughter fell to her death. Amiere’s grief turns to rage when an old enemy returns to the village with a young daughter displaying signs of starvation and abuse. Having witnessed his own daughter’s death, Amiere cannot bear the thought of watching another child die, especially when he can prevent it. Unable to ask police for help due to the village’s reputation of hostility toward authority figures, Amiere takes matters into his own hands, even at the risk of being exiled and separated from his family forever.


Of Mycelium and Men by William C. Tracy

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

The generational fleet planned to make landfall after eighty years, but eleven planets and four centuries later, they still had not found a home. Finally, they landed on Lida, but something already lives there, and it's big. Agetha and her husband have spent their whole lives in the fleet’s zero-G. Now all is turmoil as the fleet lands, discovering they are surrounded by a single fungal biomass spanning the entire planet. To build a new home, the fleet must confront a dangerous organism, and Agetha must decide if she can raise a family in this inhospitable landscape. Jane Brighton holds tenuous command over the colony and its administrators. She and the other gene-modded leaders emerged from their four-hundred-year suspended animation to find a crew much different to the one that departed Old Earth. Jane must direct the colony’s fragile growth, and defend it against being overrun by the fast-growing biomass. But there is something none of the colonists know. The massive organism that spans the planet is not simply a fungal mass, nor even a chimerical combination of species that once roamed the planet. The biomass has desires and goals, and one is to know these strange beings carving out a home in its midst.


Redshift by R.M. Olson

SPSFC 2022

It appears out of nowhere—one moment the sky is empty, the next, there’s a rent in the fabric of space itself. And nothing in the system will ever be the same. In the far reaches of the Rim Mountains, itinerant field-scientist Aran Romeu is searching desperately for the cure to an incurable disease—one that’s slowly killing his best friend. He’s sworn to do whatever it takes to find it. But when the portal opens, and something comes through, he realizes that ‘whatever it takes’ will involve travelling into the uncharted space beyond the portal. And he’s not the only one after the cure, and willing to do whatever it takes to get to it first … In the weighty halls of government, Chief Justice Alba Espina is preparing a political gamble that could change the shape of the system itself. The appearance of the portal shatters her carefully-laid plans and hands her political rival a weapon he could use destroy her—unless she can delay him with the promise of a diplomatic mission through the portal. But the stakes of the mission are higher than just her personal ambition. If her diplomatic mission doesn’t succeed, it might just spell the end of humanity itself. In a remote spaceport, Savina Moya, the system's most talented assassin-for-hire, is on the run again after her latest murder. But when a deadly government agent is sent after her, with instructions to bring her back dead or alive, the diplomatic mission heading into the portal may hold the key to Savina’s survival—if she’s brave enough, or desperate enough, to take it. No one knows what’s beyond the portal. And as the three of them are drawn inexorably together in uncharted space, with no idea who is an ally and who is an enemy—it’s an open question if any of them will live long enough to find out.


Star Marque Rising by Shami Stovall

SPSFC 2022

The future is governed through a genetic hierarchy—superhumans at the top, humans and defects at the bottom. Welcome to an all-new military science fiction novel from critically-acclaimed author Shami Stovall. Clevon Demarco, a genetically modified human, has a cocksure attitude and the combat skills to back it up. With his unparalleled skills, he makes his living as a ruthless gunrunner on a shady space station near the edges of the quadrant. Stronger, faster, and wittier than most sad sacks, no one even comes close to Demarco’s abilities—until he crosses paths with the captain of the notorious Star Marque, Endellion Voight. Captain Voight arrests Demarco and offers him a choice: go to a prison planet for his crimes, or join her starship, the Star Marque, working as mercenaries for the superhumans. But she didn't pick him at random. She has a plan to become a planet governor; a title no human has held since the superhumans won the war. It doesn’t matter the cost—assassinations, extortion, blackmail—she’s determined to claw her way to the top. All Captain Voight needs is Demarco’s help to carry out her machinations, and she’ll give him everything he’s ever wanted in return. A fast-paced space opera for those who enjoy Old Man’s War by John Scalzi, Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds, or anything by Robert A. Heinlein.


The Left Hand of Dog by Si Clarke

SPSFC 2022

Escaping intergalactic kidnappers has never been quite so ridiculous. When Lem and her faithful dog, Spock, retreat from the city for a few days of hiking in Algonquin Park, the last thing they expect is to be kidnapped by aliens. No, scratch that. The last thing they expect is to be kidnapped by a bunch of strangely adorable intergalactic bounty hunters aboard a ship called the Teapot. After Lem falls in with an unlikely group of allies – including a talking horse, a sarcastic robot, an overly anxious giant parrot, and a cloud of sentient glitter gas – the gang must devise a cunning plan to escape their captors and make it back home safely. But things won’t be as easy as they first seem. Lost in deep space and running out of fuel, this chaotic crew are faced with the daunting task of navigating an alien planet, breaking into a space station, and discovering the real reason they’re all there… Packed with preposterous scenarios, quirky characters, and oodles of humour, The Left Hand of Dog tackles complex subjects such as gender, the need to belong, and the importance of honest communication. Perfect for fans of Charlie Jane Anders’ Victories Greater than Death and The Long Way to a Small by Becky Chambers – especially ones who enjoy endless references to Red Dwarf, Star Trek, and Doctor Who. This book will show you that the universe is a very strange place indeed.


Aztra's Mirror by Charles Freedom Long

SPSFC 2022

Beneath the surface of Trychnos and its twin, Saecula, lie a galaxy’s wealth of gemstones. The Trux have despoiled their world through mindless quarrying. The Saec rejected wealth and all modernity. They detest each other. To the point where their saints have abandoned them. With Trychnos on the verge of ecological collapse, the Trux plan to invade Saecula and repeat the mining calamity. Centuries of hate cannot simply be erased. But deep within the bowels of Trychnos, lies a magical mirror, made of one perfect diamond by the god Aztra herself. Whoever gazes into Aztra’s Mirror—if they survive the mirror’s gazing back into them—will have power beyond their wildest dreams. Power to bring about whatever change they desire. If they do not survive, they will pay a price beyond imagination. Neither Zakan nor his twin Javek ever wanted more than to live as simple acolytes in their pastoral village. But the God Aztra herself calls Zakan to the challenge of the Mirror. Despite Zakan’s recurring dream that he will die in this quest, driven by Aztra’s calling, aided by saints, sinners, sorcerers, and the dead of both planets, Zakan sets out to find Aztra’s Mirror and use its power to save both worlds. If he fails, both the simplistic Saec and avaricious Trux will die, and their planets with them. The mirror has its price. And it will be paid.


Dangerous Thoughts by James L. Steele

SPSFC 2022

Their planet was ripped apart from under their feet. When Deka and Kylac wake up, they discover Archeons are dead, and the portals have closed without warning, leaving hundreds of planets without links to other worlds. Rel’s destruction touched every planet in the contacted universe. Without the portals, entire civilizations hang in the balance, and Deka and Kylac are the only two who can make spacetime spheres. The raptor and the fox travel from world to world, repairing the damage the disaster caused, preventing civilization from collapsing. Floating islands drifting through the toxic atmosphere of a gas giant—offworlders are stranded there, just barely clinging to life. A planet of raised platforms made of growing rock that elevate the people above the flammable algae on the surface—everything is falling apart, and where are the people? A world of giant insects—researchers have gone missing, and they have been injected with mind-altering venom. A planet of salamanders and birdlike reptiles who relied on portals for food—facing starvation, the reptiles revert to hunting the salamanders. What could have destroyed an entire planet? What could have reached across the light years to kill so many Archeons at the same time? Did anyone else survive?


Before the Shattered Gates of Heaven (Shattered Gates Volume 1) by Bryan S. Glosemeyer

SPSFC 2022

FIGHT FOR YOUR PLACE IN THE STARS in an epic adventure of interstellar war, visionary transformation, and cosmic mysteries! Growing up the lowest of the low in a cruel, alien underworld, Sabira dreams of something more. More than being forever unseen, toiling in tunnels and mines, and never seeing the sky. She dreams of a life of adventure among the stars. She has only one way to make her dreams come true:
Victory in the deadly fighting pits of the Divine Masters. When a failed battle brings certain death and defeat, a chance encounter saves Sabira’s life, but challenges everything she holds sacred. Confronted by shamanic visions and unimaginable revelations, Sabira must choose between faith and loyalty or mystery and liberation. The lives of everyone she loves, and of worlds across the galaxy, weigh in the balance… Bryan S. Glosemeyer’s novel delivers a fast-paced, thrilling sci-fi adventure set in the distant future, filled with vivid worlds, compelling characters, and gritty action.


The Shepherds of the Sunstone: Book One - Sunstone Saga (The Sunstone Saga) by Nicolin Odel

A murdered father. Awakened magic. Nightmares of drowning in the dark abyss. Something hunts in the deep of the night through the endless sea of sand. Adventurous, captivating, and complex, The Shepherds of the Sunstone plunges into the world of fantasy with a blood-curdling scream. Hata thought she was ordinary until she discovered her power to bend the earth to her will. Simon had a dream of drowning, and then his nightmare became a reality. He was kidnapped by a savage tribe and enslaved in the desert. His wife, Saudett, is a soldier who would stop at nothing to rescue him. She joins forces with a band of warriors and Hata, the mysterious girl with earth-shattering magic. But they were not the only ones who wanted Hata’s gift. A powerful order of mages is hunting her down, and they will stop at nothing to capture her. And as they journey across the desert of the Burning Sea, they face a malevolent force threatening to destroy them all. Can they survive the perils and save Simon from his fate? Find out in this epic fantasy adventure, where magic, grit and courage collide. Fans of Patrick Rothfuss, Andrzej Sapkowski, Sarah J. Maas, and Robin Hobb will find this first installment in the Sunstone Saga an intense, tactile, dark, and action-packed journey.


The Recovering Materialist by Tuomas Mäkinen

“How much are you willing to sacrifice for your dreams?” At 25, Tuomas comes up with his answer: everything. Stuffing his life into a single orange suitcase, he moves across the globe to a Hindu monastery deep in the redwood forests of Northern California. He expects to finally find the tranquility, truth, and harmony he has always yearned for, but instead comes face-to-face with his darkest shadows. As it turns out, ashrams are a lot less “Kumbaya” and a lot more like rehab centers. The greatest battle of Tuomas’ life begins, and there’s no knowing whether he will land on his feet or his ass. “The Recovering Materialist” offers a candid, raw, and at times sidesplitting portrait of the hardships and victories of a life dedicated to spiritual enlightenment. In lean and inventive prose, Mäkinen takes the reader on a rollercoaster from his alienated years of hardcore punk and societal underperformance, through his relationship dysfunctions and family drama, to crying alone in a dark yurt and barely averting a fist fight with a fellow monastic, all the way to tentative contentment through building a temple. There is no middle ground in this memoir. The story is in constant movement between the depths of darkest despair and the heights of spiritual ecstasy. Get ready!


The Configuration of a Soul by Irina Diamond

In a world where knowledge is considered power, Scholar Eris has witnessed firsthand why secrets are the difference between life and death, and why trust and attachment are dangerous. However, that doctrine was challenged almost a decade ago when she met the altruistic and pragmatic siblings Aaron and Natlee in the slums. Now, when Aaron is murdered at gunpoint protecting an innocent Supine, she may just be willing to defy everything she's ever known, and death itself, to bring him back. The only problem is, just who can she trust?


When The Stars Alight by Camilla Andrew

A maiden of the stars. A monster from the shadows. A collision that rewrites their worlds. Princess Laila Rose is a fallen star in human form. A beloved guardian to humanity. Yet in spite of these fantastical origins, she has never much believed in prophecies. That’s why when a demon of apocalyptic legend is presented to her in a block of ice, she feels fascination rather than fright. Curiosity kindles into mutual desire once he breaks free of his captivity. Far from the rampaging beast of mass destruction everyone expects—he is monstrously handsome, deviously articulate and alluringly mysterious, a prince among his kind. Eager to discover his origins, Laila travels from her idyllic seaside realm into a land of unspeakable horrors, relying on her wits to survive her journey. She arrives aiming to establish peaceful contact with the aid of the besotted prince. However, it becomes clear that the heartless demon king does not desire peace at all, only war and conquest. When diplomacy fails, Laila turns to the king’s suave and manipulative bastard son in the hopes that she can inspire both him and his trueborn brother to go against their father. But soon it is her heart she must keep from being torn between their centuries-old dangerous rivalry. This gothic fantasy set in a vibrant gaslamp world is a must-read for fans of Catherynne Valente and Angela Carter. It’s written in lush, lyrical prose full of intricate worldbuilding, courtly intrigue, and magic that seeps through the pages. Beneath its light, romantic and whimsical veneer, you can expect darkness, brutality and passion.


Pink Apocalypse by Carpenter Gibson

SPSFC 2022

Forget diamonds, in the Post Apocalypse, Bullets are a girl’s best friend! Pink is a mysterious woman who walked out of the wastes. She is an up and coming member of the Patrol. They are the sheriffs of the wild wastes, taking on zombies, mutants, bandits and robots left over in the ruins. Pink is now freshly promoted and set out on a seemly mundane mission with three other wasteland warrior women at her side. However, she is haunted by a failed expedition to find her mentor in more ways than one. Pink must now lead this team of bad ass bullet babes into the wastes for answers. The End of the World was just the beginning of Action and Adventure!" The world ended in the weird future of an alternate earth. Zombies stalk the wasteland! Mutants lurk in the ruins! Forgotten robotic soldiers still patrol the devastation. Raiders and rival tribes war over scraps. But there is hope. Braves souls still seek the tame the wasteland and ensure humanity's survival. Intrepid settlers and traders struggle to make a slightly better future. In such strange times tales of adventure abound. Pink's story is but one. Come see the wild west of the post apocalypse with us!


The Audacity by Carmen Loup

SPSFC 2022

A wild ride stuffed to the cut-lines with humor, heart, and space shenanigans. May’s humdrum life gets flung into hyperdrive when she’s abducted, but not all aliens are out to probe her. She’s inadvertently rescued by Xan who’s been orbiting Earth in a day-glo orange rocket ship, watching re-runs of “I Love Lucy”. Seizing the opportunity for a better life, May learns how to race the Audacity and pilots her way into interstellar infamy. Finally, she has a job she likes and a friend to share her winnings with—until the Goddess of Chaos screws the whole thing up, and Xan’s unmentionable past makes a booty call. If Douglas Adams got punted into a sticky orange pool of feminism and made sweet love to Futurama, you’d have something approximating The Audacity. Fans of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy will appreciate the style, fans of Futurama will love the blend of laugh out loud humor and feels, fans of Steven Universe will enjoy that Space is Very Gay. If you’re tired of the same old cynical, militaristic sci-fi and crave characters who genuinely care about each other and an image of life in the Universe that isn’t all gloom and doom, you’re going to have a good time in the Audacity.


Woodpusher by Tim Baughman Jr.

Erika Edens finally had everything she wanted. The girl. The quiet life. The stable job. But even the best situations can be turned upside down by powers well beyond our control. Now Erika finds herself in another universe full of gods, guardians, and advanced technologies. Along with her girlfriend and four other humans, they must undertake a plan to save Earth from a rogue deity. But for all the skills and talents this team has, one critical component is out of place. Will Erika be able to overcome her lack of skills - and her demons - to learn what she needs to save the world? Or will she trip herself up along the way?


The Fall That Saved Us by Tamara Jerée

Nephilim—humans with direct lines to the angels—are natural demon hunters. All nephilim, it seems, except Cassiel. The weakest among a family touched by archangels, she’s abandoned her angelic inheritance for a mundane life as a bookseller. But even in the noise of the city, she remains burdened by the strict tenets of her old life. And recently, something far more sinister haunts her. Avitue is a succubus out for revenge—though she has little say in the matter. As part of the greater demons’ plan to ruin Cassiel’s family for slaying a duke of Hell, Avitue’s been sent to claim a particular nephilim soul, one she’s told will pose little challenge. It should be an easy seduction. Quick, fatal. But Avitue is surprised to find her own pain reflected in Cassiel, a nephilim deemed fallen by her own family’s standards. By choosing trust, they reveal the lies that bind them, but as unwilling participants in an eternal war, trusting each other is the most dangerous thing they can do.


Of books and Paper Dragons by Vaela Denarr & Micah Iannandrea

(Free on our newsletter) How to run a successful bookshop: Change careers at thirty-eight, suffer from anxiety, make friends with the local artists, and don’t get eaten by the draconic overlord. In the Lightless Sea, the Black Sands Desert that can only be traversed beneath the stars, scavenging the wrecks of ancient starships is the most prestigious and exciting profession available. And for Voa, who has spent the last twenty years amassing knowledge for the hoard of a great and terrible dragon ruling over their city, it is now a thing of the past. Scavenging has lost its luster, and a new life, the calm and comfortable existence of a bookseller, calls to them. But a lifetime of delving into the bowels of metal behemoths has left Voa ill-prepared for the social anxiety and laws found in a dragon’s city. Jet, a local artist in a similar position of changing careers, takes pity on Voa. What begins as an act of kindness quickly becomes a personal battle as she and Voa grow closer. Voa has the resources, and Jet has the people skills. All they need now is to convince Keeper Yirrin, Lord of the Archives, to support their budding passion project But the somewhat enigmatic and introverted dragon may just have their own designs for the little bookshop, and for the orc running it… Of Books and Paper Dragons is a cozy, low-stakes fantasy about ordinary people leading ordinary lives, selling books, doing their taxes, and battling social anxiety in the quiet safety of their book collections.


She Who Earned her Wings (Stars, Hearts and Dreams book 1) by Vaela Denarr & Micah Iannandrea

"One does not learn to fly without taking a leap. And one has to fall to be caught." Nomi is a young druid finally taking the chance to spread her wings and leave her home. To see the world and discover its magic, beauty… and maybe love. Calia is a dragon on the hunt for angels, trying to square an old debt. That, and to get Laura, her desired bondmate, to finally return to her side, where she belongs. Nomi immediately catches the eye of the powerful dragons. Calia entices her with honeyed words and a skillful tongue. On the other hand, Laura, much smaller but equally intimidating, takes it upon herself to protect her. Despite the warnings, Nomi can’t help being drawn to Calia's charm, her power, her fangs… and the hidden gentleness in her eyes. She promises danger where Laura promises safety, and Nomi is torn between the two. Luckily there is a convenient cult out for the dragons’ heads, providing Nomi with ample distraction and at least one dragon egg to steal, hatch, and raise by herself. Perfectly normal things for a young transgender druid to get involved in! In the clutches of dragons, battling dark forces from beyond the stars, Nomi faces the questions of who she is and who she wants to be. Whether she deserves the love offered to her, and what it truly takes to earn her wings...


She Who Brought the Storm (Stars, Hearts and Dreams book 0.5) by Vaela Denarr & Micah Iannandrea

“What kind of raging asshole is setting loose hydras in my territory?” Some monsters come with fangs, forked tongues and sharp scales. Some come with smiles, soft eyes and honeyed words. Laura, a totally normal sized dragon, rules the peaceful Ashwood alongside her beloved twin sister (who can shut up about Laura's height!). However, when tales of monsters and treachery reach their secluded lair, Laura feels her control over her territory and the safety of her subjects slipping. And that is something she cannot allow. Aiding her on her hunts is Rhi, a young, cheerful ranger who hides a dark secret just beneath their skin. They’re looking for their own vengeance, and definitely not for ill-fated romances with hot, confident dragons! They’re happy to assist Laura, especially if it gets them closer to their quarry. (And definitely not because she’s pretty!) But monsters aren’t so easily slain, and the two of them end up fighting an uphill battle. To complicate matters, Calia, once Laura’s friend, returns, invading her territory, her head, and her heart. With enemies lurking in the shadows, Laura has no time to start new relationships or rekindle old ones. But that doesn’t stop Calia, Bringer of Storms and toughest dragon around. She wants Laura, and no monsters will stand in her way, no matter what skin they wear. If they try… well, then she might just devour them all. Will Laura be able to hold her own against the dangers surrounding her? Whom can she trust to guard her heart? And will they all weather the storm together, or be destroyed by it? CONTENT NOTES: If you are ace or have issues with blood and violence, please make sure to consult the warnings after the author's note (available in the preview). The spicy aspects of the book remain largely isolated, marked (by chapter and page number), and can be skipped without missing out on too much of the characters' interactions. Though for one of them their feelings and they way she acts on them is part of her specific human/dragon experience, and we cannot promise to keep her thoughts entirely devoid of attraction in a book about attraction. Either way we have taken care to make the spice, while on-page, not gratuitously graphic. We have preferences too. Hunting, blood, and some gore are more or less unavoidable in a book about monster hunting, and directly play into the narrative that drives the plot along. Please review the provided notes and proceed at your own discretion.


The Gift of Blood (Crimson Tears book 1) by Vaela Denarr & Micah Iannandrea

“Shit, people keep killing me off. It’s like some bad TV show.” A lesbian vampire on a revenge quest, distracted by a slow burn romance. One person’s gift is another’s curse. And sometimes the dark hides very real monsters. This is certainly the case for Ryann Ly, professional kickboxer, MMA athlete, and freshly Turned vampire. When the people who abducted, faked her death, and cursed her to burn in the sun attempt to enlist her into their ranks, Ryann decides she has absolutely no time for any of their nonsense. Even if she has to kill them to get some peace and quiet. It’s only fair. They killed her first. She just wants to get her life in order and navigate this strange new reality she finds herself trapped in. But vampire turf wars, monsters in the dark, and people hunting Ryann for mysterious reasons make that very difficult. Luckily, she’s not alone. Helping her along is a soft werewolf dad, a polyamorous couple of badasses, a vampire with PTSD and a dry sense of humour, a childhood friend, and Rachel, a human girl that Ryann thinks is very cute. Will Ryann defeat the darkness that haunts her, and the things within? Will she be able to avenge the injustice done to her, or will she become another monster, destined to be slain? Will she find out why people keep declaring her dead? And will she ever figure out why her found family keeps calling her and Rachel girlfriends? Only time will tell.


Worthy of the Raven: Stalked by Darkness (The Raven's Chosen One #1) by Y L Zamora

The Raven chose you; a Skin demon told little Lara -a secret she's kept for almost ten years. She still can't understand the ominous message when her sick, insane father viciously attacks her mother in front of her and the Raven -always by her side when calamity strikes. Lara must seek shelter with her friends, the Condé brothers, who disguise her as their younger sibling and smuggle her into war to protect her, but the darkest, most dangerous magic quickly catches up to her when she meets the Skin once more. ​Nicola, the heir of Condé, became head of the family when his father, the greatest Longbraid warrior, lost his leg in battle and his will to live with it. Nic, an aloof intellectual who didn't inherit the Condé talents for combat, can't fill his father's shoes or his younger brother's -already General at twenty-one- and struggles in a war he doesn't believe in, training the woman his brother has always loved while coping with his own tumultuous feelings for her. ​Alessandro is a farmer boy turned reluctant Leader. His love for Lara isn't enough to prevent her brutal attacker the night before his army must go to war in a quest to steal the Magic only the ruthless Skin possess. He must keep his men alive against the most lethal predators in the Ucrian Peninsula and confront the Lords in a constant battle of political wits to keep his grip over the army while hiding Lara in plain sight as he deals with his own soul-crushing guilt.


Brandon Goes to Hong Kong by Eugenia Chu

While on a trip to Hong Kong, Brandon thinks he sees a great red dragon - but is it real or imaginary? Join Brandon as he tours the city and learns about dragons in this multicultural, multigenerational chapter book which includes some Mandarin Chinese (Simplified) with Pinyin pronunciation throughout, adding educational elements of the Chinese language and culture. Is Brandon the only one who sees the dragon? Can legendary or mythical creatures ever be real? What do you believe?


Pawn's Gambit by Rob J. Hayes

SPFBO9

Yuu wants nothing more than to forget the mistakes of her past. The Gods have other plans. Once a renowned strategist and general, five years ago Yuu made a mistake that cost her everything. Now she is on the run, royal bounty hunters snapping at her heels. But what if there was a way to get back what she lost, a way to bring back a murdered prince? Every century, the gods hold a contest to choose who will rule from the Heavenly Jade Throne. Each god chooses a mortal champion, and the fate of all existence hangs in the balance. On a battlefield full of heroes, warriors, assassins, and thieves can Yuu survive long enough to learn the rules of the game, let alone master it? Pawn's Gambit is a stand alone story set in the award-winning Mortal Techniques universe. It's a wuxia adventure filled with heroes, gods, spirits, and magic.


Bioshifter by Natalie Maher

SPFBO9

Hannah has a routine. Wake up, take a shower, go to school, go to work, come home, and pass out. It's a perfectly normal routine for a perfectly normal girl who does not have to remember how her limbs work every morning because of haunting nightmares of being a very different creature in a very different world. But that's all she thinks they are—nightmares—until one night they're all too lucid, and her body on Earth starts to change. Slowly, Hannah's humanity starts to slip away... but surely she can continue just sticking to routine, right? It'll be fine. It has to be. A mix of urban and traditional fantasy, Bioshifter is a story in two worlds, with magic leaking in from one to the other. It's a story about love, self-acceptance, neurodivergency, and a whole lot of trauma. Strap in and enjoy!


The Nightingale Prince by Zack Bel

SPFBO9

The crown of a Fae Prince is a dangerous thing Toby’s boyfriend just kicked him to the curb, so when he inherits a decrepit mansion in the remote Aussie bush, he jumps at the chance for a break. He finds a charming little town full of big personalities, and a handsome, mysterious gardener. But Toby will soon discover that everything he thought he knew is a lie. He’s not even human. The Fae are real, and he’s one of them. The ancient nature Fae Amaethon has buried the pain of losing his lover a century ago. These days, he finds plants easier to talk to than people, but Toby pulls him out of his shell so easily. When the same evil that took his lover returns, he'll fight to protect Toby and the chance to love again. An ancient magic is reawakening, and Toby is the heir. To make matters worse, Fae hunters want him dead, and they’ll destroy this quiet town to stop the Nightingale Prince from rising. Amaethon and Toby will have to fight together to survive, and failure means the end of all Fae kind. The Nightingale Prince is a paranormal MM romance with a touch of the gothic. Book 1 of The Songbird Princes, each book follows a different main couple with a HEA, but the series must be read in order. May contain: Lots of chocolate chip cookies, a crumbling mansion with a library to put Belle to shame, an eccentric old lady who might’ve given King Arthur his sword, a magical housekeeper, and a badass witch librarian. It contains explicit content. Check the copyright page for content warnings.


A Single Spark by Mandy Burkhead

SPFBO9

After her father is murdered by witch hunters, nineteen-year-old Mackenna loses control of her fire magic, burning down part of her village and killing two soldiers. Exiled and wanted for murder, she flees her village, pursued by witch hunters. She is rescued by a Wanderer named Foulan and his pet wolf, Myst. The Wanderers are refugees without a permanent home, roaming between the small countries of the Realms of Etylania. The rising tensions between Etylania and Srahinza—the lands they once called home—mean that they are unwelcome and unwanted by many. Seeing a kindred spirit in Mackenna, they invite her to travel with them. Despite his clan welcoming her, Foulan doesn’t trust the girl he rescued. His suspicions are confirmed when bounty hunters come for her. After escaping together, he finds himself roped into assisting her as she seeks out the elusive Fae, who may have a cure for her fiery curse. However, Mackenna and Foulan are stalked by the nonbinary, shapeshifting bounty hunter Kazumi. Looking to prove their worth, Kazumi believes that capturing Mackenna will finally help them make a name for themselves. While Mackenna and Foulan are reluctant traveling companions at first, over time they begin to open up to each other and fall in love. What they hoped would be a short journey takes them across a colorful continent to the arctic sea, searching for an entrance to the hidden world of Faerie. Meanwhile, each trial Kazumi faces in their attempt to capture Mackenna just makes them more determined and obsessed. This young adult/new adult fantasy novel is perfect for fans of Tamora Pierce, Dawn Cook, Kristen Cashore, and Holly Black. Themes: LGBTQ+ characters, immigration and refugees, religious and racial conflict, mental health


The Path to Vihaan by Daniel J. Lyons

SPFBO9

Magic reigns in the world of Feracio, providing everything that science offers ours, and more: Growing up in the village of Hinter, Aadima Rumetre never quite fit in. Despite being born in a female body, he always knew he was a boy-not something the conservative village could accept and certainly not something that his parents would. After the most tragic day in his young life, he finds himself bonded to an ancient magical weapon-a soul Hilt-yet another strike against him in his community's eyes. Certainly not suitable for a proper elf! When he makes his way into the larger world, he discovers that it doesn't approve of him either. Elves don't belong in proper human society! Then, when he comes face-to-face with a demon-his world's greatest threat-everything changes forever!


To Steal the Sun by S. M. Carter

SPFBO9

Kahli is a scarred assassin whose life is devoted to her holy order. But when her latest mission goes awry, she's forced onto a crew set to attempt an elaborate heist. Among the team is Raik, the most cunning smuggler on this side of the desert. A young rogue, Kirin, with wit sharper than his arrows ought to be. And an enchanting thief named Amara, whose raven-hair conceals even darker secrets. It won't be easy. They’re opposed by the curved blades of the magic-deranged, watched by a paranoid king, and hunted by gaunt beasts that click in the cold desert night... All the while discovering that trusting each other might be the most dangerous mission of all. To Steal The Sun is a tale of unlikely heroes thrust together in a new refreshing fantasy. One cast in vibrant silks, fragrant spice, and the relentless glare of a radiant sun. -- The first book in a new series featuring heart-pounding twists, unique magic, and bloodthirsty intrigue. Perfect for fans of Six of Crows and Mistborn.


The Undead Sorceress by JF Garrard

SPFBO9

Ever since Tamara became a vampire, things have gone downhill. Her grandmother runs off with her daughter’s soul and her husband thinks she is going crazy. Caught in the middle of a war between vampires, sorceresses and warlocks, she discovers an alternative history to the world she thought she knew.Meanwhile, strange jiangshi corpse zombies and other supernatural creatures start attacking civilians across the globe. Magic appears to be making a comeback, threatening the modern civilization which the vampires have built throughout the ages. The timeless battle between good & evil seems to be beginning once again.As Tamara gathers her courage to hunt down her grandmother, she isn’t sure if she can sacrifice one family member over another. Is it so wrong for grandmother to want to live forever?


The Third Crossing by Karim Soliman

SPFBO9

A prequel novel to the SPFBO Semi-finalist Army of the Cursed The drums of war are beating in Koya. By the Light’s will, the Red Cloaks shall cross the sea under His holy banner, the ancient homeland will be restored, the slaughtered ancestors will be avenged, and the damned occupants will all perish. By the Light’s will, the Third Crossing shall happen. Akira will be one of the heroes of the upcoming holy war; that’s the seer’s promise to his mother. He will outshine his fellow mages, don the red cloak, and join the Light’s own soldiers. He will bring victory to his people and honor to his family, clearing its name from his father’s shame. Or that’s what Akira thinks. Because seers can be devious sometimes. From the rural side of Koya enters Natsu as she assumes her late husband’s place and takes the smuggling underworld by storm. Her shocking rise provokes not only the Koyan navy, but also her rivals, and a fierce war ensues on land and sea. A war she can only win if she shakes hands with the smugglers' deadliest enemies; the Red Cloaks themselves. For honor and coin, Akira and Natsu will forge a shaky alliance, both knowing that one of them will eventually have to betray the other. Trust could be a grave mistake in these dark times of war. If you wish to be the last one standing, you must be ready to be the first to stab in the back.


The Bachelor's Valet by Arden Powell

SPFBO9

Alphonse Hollyhock is blessed with wealth, class, and more beauty than brains. Though he hasn't got a lick of wit or magic to his name, he's perfectly content living life as an airheaded bachelor with his valet—the clever, unflappable Jacobi—by his side to ensure everything runs smoothly. All he lacks, according to his mother, is a wife. Despite Alphonse's protests, he's to marry Aaliyah Kaddour: a bright, headstrong young woman who would probably be charming company if she didn't threaten everything about Alphonse's way of life. Marrying means giving up his fashionable flat, his fast car, and, worst of all, it means losing Jacobi. Perhaps most distressingly, this talk of marriage is bringing all sorts of confusing feelings to the forefront. Because rather than falling for the beautiful girl being pushed into his arms, Alphonse seems to be falling for his valet. Except a man can't fall in love with another man. Can he? Meanwhile, Aaliyah has plans of her own. She's as devious as she is pretty, but if Alphonse wants to get through this marriage business in one piece, he'll have to trust her. Her and Jacobi, and, most dangerously, his own feelings. The Bachelor's Valet is a novel in the Flos Magicae series, a collection of queer romances set in an alternate 1920s universe with magic. All the stories are standalones and can be read in any order.


Kill Your Darlings by L.E. Harper

SPFBO9

"INKHEART meets INCEPTION in this allegorical masterpiece." Fantasy author Kyla knows dreams don't come true. Isolated and grappling with debilitating depression, she copes by writing about the realm of Solera. Fearless heroes, feisty shapeshifters, and mighty dragons come alive on her pages. She adores her characters, but she doesn't believe in happy endings. And if she can't have one, why should they? Kyla's on the verge of giving up on everything when she wakes one morning, magically trapped in her fictional world. Now she's with her most cherished characters: the friends she's always yearned for, the family she's never known. There's even someone who might be Prince Charming (if Kyla could get her act together and manage some honest communication). She'd surrender to the halcyon fantasy, except she knows a nightmarish ending awaits. Solera is at war, and its defenders are losing against the insidious villain spawned in the depths of Kyla's mind. He feeds on the energy of dreams, seeks the destruction of all who oppose him-and Kyla's become his number one target. Kyla must trade her pen for a sword and fight to change her story's ending, but this isn't a fantasy anymore. No happily-ever-after is guaranteed. And mental illness has robbed her of everything she needs to succeed: love, fighting spirit, hope. If Kyla can't overcome the darkness inside her, she'll die with her darlings. CONTENT WARNINGS: Depictions of mental illness including depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and self-harm.


Khirion by Maxime Jaz

SPFBO9

For the skin of humans might hide monsters. For black feathers might hide a heart as big as the sun. Once upon a time, far beyond the round forest and glass mountain, there was a black castle. Long forgotten, but forever waiting. Waiting for its king to return. Darven, bound to a human king by a curse, heads a Black Army of fifty raven men. Kort, his lover, and his captain, is his mate and forever companion. Izolda, the human king’s wife, fears her husband and is desperate for love. Dangers lurk as creatures, thirsty for blood, fight to end human tyranny over the land. Trapped by the curse, Darven has no choice but to spy for his king, and fight by his side when his enemies attack. But not all is what it seems—soon, a discovery about his past and his heritage will flip Darven’s world upside down. And the love he and Kort share has to be deep enough to give space for another to join them, and strong enough to survive the grief which comes from new knowledge of a brutal past. A talking sword, a sentient forest, a necromancer, and an old spell book all play their parts as the drama unfolds. Maybe a new life can be born out of hate. Maybe three hearts can beat as one.


Siren's End (#3 Siren Series) by Jessica Cage

Love triangles, a murderous father, and a fight to save the world. It's been months since Syrinada finished the Naiad's Walk, the series of tests that each Siren must face to receive their Siren's Stone. In this stone is the key that unlocks the power that rightfully belongs to her kind. With one task completed and full access to her powers, Syrinada is faced with a new problem. Alderic, the father she once thought had died, wishes to use her as a weapon, a tool to bring about the damnation of the world. She refuses to help him, but Alderic isn't one to simply accept no for an answer. Syrinada can no longer run from her problems. Alderic is powerful and growing stronger each day, but her fight isn't just with her estranged father. The witches of New Orleans, have discovered the true reaches of Syrinada's power and they've decided to stand against her. With fire coming at her from all sides, Syrinada has no choice; she must stand and fight, or die alongside everyone she loves. Siren's End is the third installment of the Siren Series, a Paranormal Fantasy series written by USA Today Best-Selling Author, Jessica Cage. Find if Syrinada has what it takes to defeat dear old dad, download your copy today!


Siren's Test (#2 Siren Series) by Jessica Cage

The sins of those before us often lay the building blocks for the hurdles that appear in front of us. Syrinada learns this lesson firsthand as she faces the Naiad's Walk. This series of tests will determine if she is worthy of getting the powers that at a time, a siren was born with. Thanks to the actions of the women before her, this trial is put in place as a punishment by the witch covens. Should she fail, she will never gain full access to the magic that lay dormant within. Syrinada needs her power if she is going to stay alive but she doesn't want to leave Malachi, her brooding protector, behind. He has just suffered a great loss, and she feels guilty. If she goes, she leaves Malachi to mourn alone, if she doesn't, they may both lose a lot more when the covens find them. What Syrinada doesn't realize is that by crossing the portal into the Naiad's Walk, she may ultimately crush the very person she is trying to save. Will Syrinada be able to prove herself and gain her powers? Will Malachi survive without her? Siren's Test is the second installment of the Siren Series, a Paranormal Fantasy series written by USA Today Best-Selling Author, Jessica Cage. Find out what Syrinada chooses, grab your copy today!


Tales of Novia, Volume 1, Book 1 by Jessica Cage

When vampires play with their food, new creatures are born. Remy's hope to rid her territory of a vampire invasion backfires when she gets captured outside of the vampire's new home. Though she hoped to escape, Xavier, the head of the den, had other thoughts. Tempted by the sweet delicacy that was fairy blood, he kept her. What started as an innocent effort to preserve the fairies' way of life ended in death. Remy's misguided efforts would set off a chain of events that would change the face of Novia forever. Inspired by creators found on TikTok, Tales of Novia is a new project written by USA Today Bestselling Author, Jessica Cage! Grab your copy today and dive into this collection of interconnected stories that will take you on an exciting new adventure!


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