So what is “Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month”? It’s a round-up of speculative fiction by indie authors (plus one small press book) newly published this month, though some January books I missed the last time around snuck in as well. The books are arranged in alphabetical order by author. So far, all the links only go to Amazon.com, though I may add other retailer for future editions.
Again, we have a broad spectrum of books, ranging from epic fantasy via paranormal romance and urban fantasy all the way to space opera and hard science fiction. There are books for all age ranges, from YA to some very dark and adult works. I know all of the authors at least vaguely and have read other works by several of them. However, I haven’t read the books themselves, so Caveat emptor.
And now on to the books:
Ascension by Stacy Claflin
Two hot guys want to marry Alexis. One is Alrekur, a three thousand year old vampire who has waited his entire life for her. The other is the love she has waited for, Cliff.
The prophecies say she’ll choose the ancient vampire, and they are never wrong, but Alexis is determined to find a loophole. When she is forced to spend time with Alrekur and begins to see his charm, she is torn. Her heart still belongs to Cliff, but would it be so awful if the prophecies were fulfilled?
Death Defying by Nina Croft
Captain Tannis of the starship El Cazador is part snake, part human, and—according to some—all bitch. She is one job away from her lifelong goal—to achieve the immortality she craves. The assignment: protecting the most powerful man in the Universe.
After five hundred years, Callum Meridian, founding member of the Collective, is bored out of his mind. Until he realizes he’s physically changing—into what, he isn’t sure. Callum is determined to discover the truth, but his own people will stop at nothing to prevent it from coming out.
With a coup brewing and the crew of El Cazador close to tossing him off the ship, Callum turns to Tannis. Sparks fly as they work together to make it out alive. But can Callum really trust the one woman hell bent on using him? Defying death has never been more dangerous, more sexy, or more fun.
Come Back by Cian Garrett
Come Back is a single-author speculative fiction short story collection.
* A long-haul trucker has to deal with a small town sheriff’s sudden interest and attention. Come Back is a 2700-word speculative fiction short story with a dash of hillbilly horror and language.
* A poor teenager finally convinces his mom to buy him the latest in HUD contacts. Contacts is a 3300-word speculative fiction short story with a dash of high school and language.
* A weary traveler just wants a good night’s rest but instead faces the garage band from hell. Garage Band is a 2000-word speculative fiction short story with a dash of cosmic horror and language.
* Two jaded detectives have to investigate a murder but the body has gone missing. Body Men is a 4400-word speculative fiction short story with a dash of comic mystery and language.
Lump of Flesh by Cian Garrett
Lump of Flesh is a single-author speculative fiction short story collection.
* A college student tries to convince her classmates that the cysts behind their ears serve a sinister purpose. Lump of Flesh is a 3900-word speculative fiction short story with a bit of blood and language.
* Two good old boys decide to make a little extra money robbing graves. Resurrectionists is a 4600-word speculative fiction short story with a bit of black humor and language.
* A man too lazy to exercise is “motivated” by his talking shoes. Running Shoes is a 3300-word speculative fiction short story with a bit of humor and language.
NightmarZ: Squid Row by Irma Geddon
You could say Gabrielle has had a hard time the past few days: she’s been committed to a psychiatric hospital, beaten, abused, but mostly she’s been thrown around and hurt by her own nightmares.
Thanks to Parfait, a handsome young lawyer who has taken her under his wing, Gabrielle is now free to learn more about her curse, and her ability to fight her nightmares has increased dramatically.
But when Parfait, who has already risked his life to rescue her, takes the blame for her injuries, what heart-wrenching decision will she have to take?
NIGHTMARZ: SQUID ROW is episode 3 of the Z Series, and is about 11,000 words long (around 44 pages).
For new readers, the first episode is NIGHTMARZ: ASYLUM, part 2 is NIGHTMARZ: PARFAIT, both of which are free right now. Please make sure you read them in order.
The whole series is intended for an adult audience. It contains foul language, disturbing scenes of sex or violence, and may trigger panic attacks.
Dark Expanse by Theresa Kay
In a world of military space stations, planetary jumps and alien offensives, Eva Braebel’s life has never been easy. She’s small. She’s female. And she earned the ire of a powerful General at a young age. With hard work and the support of her friends, she achieves more than she ever dreamed possible: A position as flight squadron leader and the man that she loves by her side.
Eva just got everything she’s ever wanted, but how long can she keep it?
This is a short story of approximately 10,500 words. Contains some foul language, mild violence and non-explicit sex scenes.
A Changeling’s Tale by Morgan Kegan
Being the new girl in high school is hard enough. What if you had to hide being a faerie, too?
I’m Siobhan Miller. I’m the new sophomore in my Tennessee hill-country high school—and a faerie changeling. The normal changes a girl goes through on her way to becoming a woman are awkward enough. Try adding developing golden eyes, pointed ears, and feet like a wolf’s paws to that. Yeah, pretty awkward. I blame my Irish ancestors. The faerie ones.
After centuries, the veil separating our world from Faerie is thinning again, and magic is returning. Having magical powers is pretty cool, particularly when they let me hide my differences behind illusion and have an actual life.
My best friend and heart sister, Katie, helps to keep my secret. I need her help, what with dealing with first love, a jealous rival, and the mean senior girls clique at school.
And if that’s not enough to worry about, creatures are crossing over from Faerie, and I’m not talking cute, harmless Tinker Bell here. I have to stop them, and fast, before they reveal my secret to the world.
A Changeling’s Tale is a Young Adult Urban Fantasy. It contains a moderate amount of the realistic language teens hear in high school, even though we might wish they didn’t.
Echoes by Therin Knite
District of Columbia
United Republic of Earth
Twenty-three-year-old Adem Adamend has it rough. His name is ludicrous. His friends are few. And the only thing his “kid genius” status has gotten him at the Interdistrict Bureau of Intelligence is a boatload of extra work with no credit in sight.
Then hotshot lawyer Victor Manson is burned to death in his own back yard, and Adem finds himself using his unique skills to piece together the strangest crime he’s ever seen. Strange because the only possible suspect Adem can pin the murder on…is a mythical beast. A dragon.
Before Adem can unravel the mystery of Manson’s death, the Bureau loses jurisdiction to the secretive EDPA, an organization that investigates weird and deadly events. But Adem isn’t one for giving up, so he takes it upon himself to delve deeper into EDPA’s machinations, into the series of unfortunate events that led to Manson’s demise.
And what he finds may change the way he views the world — and himself — forever.
What do you do when a killer can hide behind his dreams?
What do you do when a murder weapon ceases to exist?
And how do you stop a villain who can conjure up nightmares and burn you from the Earth in the blink of an eye?
Adem Adamend is about to find out.
Oranje by Jack Lusted
The fate of billions will rest in the hands of a few.
In the region of September, the planet Oranje has been devastated, its population wiped out in a merciless attack.
The rest of September is distracted by the imminent war between the Arausio Republic and the Union of Nine, blind to everything else. Only the Curators, reclusive protectors of the Net that connects all of humanity, know the truth. Oranje is just the prelude to a full-scale invasion.
There is only one option: they must send out the Three to warn September, if people will listen. Few trust the Curators, but there are some, tired of the wars between the Union and the Republic, who can help stop this threat.
If the Three fail, all planets will suffer the same fate as Oranje. The future of September is in their hands.
Flameseeker by R.M. Prioleau
At the aurorium of the Firelord, Ignis, Kaijin Sora finally feels a sense of belonging for the first time in many years. But when a conspiracy befalls the clergy, Kaijin is once again tasked with making things right.
His journey will take him throughout his homeland of Aransiya, across the sea, and into the harsh desertlands of Ankhram, where he must find and stop the traitor.
Faced with choices, darkness, and even death, Kaijin assumes the role of his master’s chosen and realizes that the fire that burns in his heart will become the true purveyor of justice.
Flameseeker is the conclusion of an epic fantasy adventure of thrills, mystery, and love.
Drawing Down the Shades by Juli D. Revezzo
Business can be hell…
Life is good at Starfort Collectibles until the owners, Caitlin and Trevor Fulmer, acquire a beautiful statuette with a murky past. Shortly thereafter, mysterious hauntings wreak havoc on the couple when a ghost in the attic threatens retribution. Caitlin presses her coven for help before the ghost succeeds in meting out deadly punishment—on Trevor.
Against the Rising Force by Endi Webb
40 years ago, the Corsican Empire invaded Earth, just in time for Emperor Justinian’s Golden Jubilee.
Now, in 2675, the Resistance rises again, but the enemy strikes first, taking fighter pilot Lieutenant Jacob Mercer by surprise. As he flies out to meet the enemy, he learns of the existence of a secret that could change the course of the war.
A secret that might mean a quick end to the fighting, or a quick death for them all.
Darkness Defied by Endi Webb
The Terran uprising against the Corsican Empire has gone far better than expected. But now, as the Resistance turns its sights on Mars, Lieutenant Jacob Mercer discovers a deadly battlestation in orbit around the red planet, preventing any approach by the Resistance cruisers. Jake and his fellow fighter pilots will have to assault the Imperial Strike force alone, without cruiser support, while under constant heavy fire from the gargantuan station.
Against the Rising Force and Darkness Defied are the first two parts in short story trilogy Prelude to Resistance, which paves the way for The Pax Humana Saga, a ten part series of novels set for release in March 2014.