Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for March 2016

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

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

Once again, we have new releases covering the whole broad spectrum of speculative fiction. We have space opera, military science fiction, science fiction romance, paranormal romance, fantasy romance, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, horror, post-apocalyptic fiction, vampires, wizards, demons, alien invasions, flying saucers, telepathic space pirates, monstruous conspiracies, dead druids, magical wars, royal bodyguards, gods in the modern world and much more.

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

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

And now on to the books without further ado:

Ishtar's Blade by Lisa BlackwoodIshtar’s Blade by Lisa Blackwood:

Warrior.
King’s confidant.
Avenging blade of the Goddess Ishtar.

Iltani asked to be none of these things. Yet fate does not ask permission when she weaves souls upon destiny’s loom.

On the day of Iltani’s birth, an assassin tried and nearly succeeded in ending the line of the gryphon kings. Out of that bloodshed, an unbreakable bond was forged between child-king and goddess-chosen infant, and from that pivotal moment forward, Iltani was never farther from King Ditanu than his shadow. Not until her training to become Ishtar’s Blade required her to leave.

After four brutal years of training, Iltani now returns to court as Ishtar’s Blade and takes up her role of king’s shadow—a dangerous position in a court where the threat of another assassination is but a blade’s width away. But for the chance to stand at the side of her beloved king, she will endure the dangers of court intrigues, assassins, and political maneuverings.

Lovers' Lane by Cora BuhlertLovers’ Lane by Cora Buhlert

1956. After a sock hop at the local high school gym, teenagers Betty and Cody drive out to Lovers’ Lane together. Betty knows only too well that good girls don’t go to Lovers’ Lane with boys. But Cody is her one true love and besides, he swore that he’d love her forever or may he be struck down where he stands. But then, an alien invasion shows Betty just what Cody’s word is truly worth…

This is a story of “The Day the Saucers Came…”, a loosely connected series of eyewitness accounts of a B-movie type alien invasion in 1956.

Caugzht in the Dream by Eva ChaseCaught in the Dream by Eva Chase:

Mateo Jimenez is haunted by the death of his first girlfriend, and his fear of repeating past mistakes has cost him personal relationships and now his job. While his colleagues protect L.A. from the demonic Glowers, he’s been demoted to office work.

So when a Glower approaches him to negotiate a ceasefire, Mateo agrees to listen, planning to gather information on the demons that will prove his worth. He isn’t prepared to be so tempted by Kess, who uses her supernatural talents to bring his most buried desires to life. As he struggles to keep the upper hand, he discovers he can provoke human emotions in the demon, but the more warmth and kindness Kess offers, the more confused his own feelings become. No longer sure what’s an act and what’s real, Mateo sees a chance to stop the Glowers for good. But first he must decide whether trusting Kess is the key to succeeding or the greatest betrayal he could ever commit.

The third book in The Glower Chronicles, a steamy New Adult paranormal series.

Your Name, In Fire by Kera EmoryYour Name, In Fire by Kera Emory:

Connor Black doesn’t believe in the supernatural, and that’s about to bite him in the ass.

Connor’s life gets interesting when a new writer joins his video game studio. Sparks fly; Wendy is pretty, intelligent, and definitely into Connor—but careful never to reveal much about herself.

And before long, Connor has his own secrets to worry about: a tattooed stranger attacks and nearly kills him, giving no explanation. Angry but mystified, Connor doesn’t tell anyone what happened, and tries to put the attack behind him—and he tries to convince himself that the weird little things he’s starting to notice about Wendy aren’t really that weird. Stressed and sleep-deprived, with the looming deadline of a multi-million-dollar video game launch weeks away, Connor just doesn’t have time to deal with ‘weird’.

But when the evidence trail of an horrific crime begins to lead back to Connor himself, Connor must seek out answers to the questions he’s been avoiding, even if it means risking his own life and sanity—and the lives of those around him.

Shadow Play by Domino FinnShadow Play by Domino Finn:

I’m Cisco Suarez, and a week ago I was dead.

Cursed into serving a clandestine shadow group, I have a lot of blood on my hands. Good thing I also have a juvenile problem with authority. I’m not taking orders anymore, and the first thing on my bucket list is bringing them down.

If I’m good at anything, it’s looking in dark places. But I’ve got shadows of my own. Horrific deeds coming back to haunt me, and not the metaphorical kind of haunting, either. I’m talking ghosts, mages, and that thing with the glowing red eyes.

Just goes to show you, it really is true what they say. What goes around comes around. I only hope to give more than I get.

Is resurrection overrated or what?

Destroyer by Chris FoxDestroyer by Chris Fox:

Mankind’s outer colonies are disappearing. Without warning. Without a trace. Fleet command chalks the attacks up to pirates, but Captain Dryker of the UFC Johnston isn’t buying it.

Defying command, he leads his misfit crew into hostile territory in search of answers. They encounter the mythical Void Wraith, an unstoppable legend whispered by the first race. After 26,000 years the Void Wraith have returned to begin the next Eradication. Their technology is superior, their motives unclear.

Humanity cannot stop them. Not without help. Captain Dryker’s only hope is to forge an alliance with mankind’s greatest enemy, the savage Tigris.

One maverick captain, an unlikely crew, and an aging vessel are all that stand between humanity and the Eradication.

The Wizard's War by Angela HolderThe Wizard’s War by Angela Holder:

For the first time in its history, Tevenar is at war. The Matriarch of Ramunna, furious with the wizards she believes betrayed her, has sent the Armada to conquer and destroy. Armed with a secret weapon that makes them the unchallenged terror of the seas, the ships of the Armada descend on vulnerable Tevenar.

Elkan and Josiah, along with the rest of the Wizard’s Guild, scramble to rally the people of Tevenar to defend their home. The Mother’s power gives them a chance to stand against their foes, but alone it’s not enough. To defeat the Ramunnans, they must find a way to duplicate their enemies’ weapons. Josiah believes they can, because they’ve encountered a similar explosive before. But only one person in Tevenar knows how to make and use the deadly blasting powder—Meira, the woman Elkan once loved and rejected.

Pirate Bound by Carysa LockePirate Bound by Carysa Locke:

A desperate gamble…

Sanah would do anything to protect her little sister, even if it means taking refuge with ruthless pirates. But the psychically Talented pirates terrorizing Commonwealth space are not quite the monsters she has been led to believe. When Sanah’s empathic gift shows her the truth behind the stories, she is no longer certain who the villains are in her world.

A race on the verge of extinction…

Dem’s only goal is to protect his people, especially since a deadly bio-weapon decimated their population. Only a handful of women survived, and every day is a fight to rebuild. With Sanah’s empathy and her sister’s rare ability to heal, they could be the salvation Dem and his people have been looking for.

A dangerous secret that could destroy everything…

But how can Sanah trust Dem with her life? Especially when he’d kill her if he knew the truth.

Dead Druid by Salvador MercerDead Druid by Salvador Mercer:

A thousand years ago, on the world of Claire-Agon, a war raged between men and dragons, destroying both the creatures and the land’s many civilizations.

Targon Terrel accepts his fate as a Ranger, a servant of the Mother and Defender of the Arnen. Having protected his fellow countrymen, he continues his battle against the sinister Kesh wizards, but he does not fight alone. Aided by unlikely allies, he presses his attacks to liberate Ulatha and its people.

The Kesh continue to dominate the realms of Agon, enslaving those of neighboring realms and seeking to obtain the one artifact that will ensure their perpetual domination of Agon forever.

Meanwhile, ancient evils stir from their long slumbers, moving to ensnare all within their reach as Dor Akun, Father Death approaches.

Evil prepares to cover the land and only one thing stands in its way, a simple Ulathan family that goes by the name of Terrel.

Ghost of the Navigator by Tommy MuncieGhost of the Navigator by Tommy Muncie:

Three years on from the birthday party that left him crippled for life, Shadow is well on the way to wrecking what’s left of himself. When stealing morphine from a hospital almost lands him in prison, his family give him one more chance to clean up, and he takes it. By his 21st birthday, he’s six months sober and settling for a simple and honest life. Then an unexpected visitor turns up at Shadow’s home, with a new idea about how to get his body restored.

Everything comes at a price though, and the elusive Blake Stanford’s price is going to be more than Shadow wants to pay. Despite his loyalty to both Shadow’s family and the Talent Council, Blake has dangerous ideas. The kind that can either make history or get people put in prisons that don’t officially exist. If they live long enough to reach them.

The Serious Crimes Office are hot on the tail of Blake and his new protegé, and Shadow has made enemies out of people high up in the world’s most powerful organisation: The Seekers’ Council, known for making unpredictable people disappear without trace. A nosy journalist won’t stay out of Shadow’s personal life, and a crime boss who wants Shadow for her own plans will stop at nothing to own his allegiance. Is anyone truly his ally? The good doctor Kit Calloway still is, but keeping Shadow alive might just cost him more than his career this time.

Especially if the world’s most powerful Seekers discover Shadow’s true identity. Or the three tubes of Liquid Talent he once buried deep in a forest, and promised never to dig up unless lives depended on the secrets inside them…

That Which Dwells BeneathThat Which Dwells Beneath by Andrew Nicolle:

Detective Elliot Winter believes an innocent man may hang, framed for murders he didn’t commit. He’s convinced the condemned knows too much, and even if the man escapes the hangman’s noose, powerful people want him dead.

On the grounds of the abbey at the edge of town, the catacombs conceal terrible secrets. There are whispers of murder, ritual sacrifice, and worse. Winter cannot abide a world where such crimes are allowed to go unpunished.

In a race against time, Detective Winter risks his life and sanity to unravel a conspiracy concealing something far more sinister than even he can imagine.

Engineering Murder by T.S. PaulEngineering Murder by T.S. Paul:

Ensign Athena Lee has finally been rescued. The galaxy has changed over the last fifteen years. She finds herself arrested, her rights taken away, and tortured. Political corruption has taken over. Now someone is out to kill her. With assassins and bounty hunters at every corner what is an Engineer to do? Use the right tool for the right job and Fix it!

 

 

 

Freemont by P.J. PostFreemont by P.J. Post:

This romance brought to you by the end of the world…

Freemont’s River Walk is romantic, exciting and has the best cafes and restaurants in the county. And the residents intend to keep it that way. They opened up the armory, fueled the World War II trucks and even got the ancient generators working. They turned on the lights.

To improve the security of the townspeople, they put up a fence, manned by the good soldiers from Crayton Industries, selflessly protecting the refugees, and the nurses and doctors that care for them in their selectively policed triage units.

Freemont is a beacon for the survivors of the War.

Come to Freemont: you’ll be fed, you’ll be warm, you’ll be safe…

And now Lane’s here.

And somewhere among all of those River Walk cafes and restaurants, the pretty church steeples and the good intentions, the snow covered maple trees and the street lights along Main, among the Cart People and the Button Eye plague…

Sam is too.

The Girl Who Twisted Fate's ArmThe Girl Who Twisted Fate’s Arm by George Saoulidis:

The gods are back in town. Skyscrapers pop out of nowhere all around Athens. Corporations rename themselves as Greek gods. It all started with the Greek crisis of 2009 and it will forever change the world as we know it. Some say that CEO’s have gone mad. Others, that they know damn well what they are doing. That there is something solid amongst the myth. In the day of inter-connectivity and social media admiration, can the myths come back to life?

When the daughter of Greece’s premier singer fails to sing as expected, she finds out about a biker group of women. But will she manage to find the elusive Orosa, the bikers’ motovlogger, when all she has to go on are random street-sightings of criminal behaviour, when her family is opposed to her following this path and when her dad’s employer wants to keep her as she was for marketing purposes?

SURE by Hollis ShilohSURE by Hollis Shiloh:

Pete has a pretty good life these days: a job he likes, friends, and a boyfriend who accepts him as he is. But despite all this, life isn’t without its challenges — and dangers.

a Men of the ESRB novel
takes place after “KEEP” and contains the same characters
gay paranormal fiction

66,000 words

The Extra Sensory Regulatory Bureau rates talented individuals like empaths and clairvoyants. They have special gifts — and often some extra burdens that go along with them. The ESRB takes care of its own, but these guys still have a lot to figure out about life — and love. Stay tuned for more tales from the men of the ESRB.

Bound by Magic by Jasmine WaltBound by Magic by Jasmine Walt:

With the silver murders solved and her training as a mage underway, Sunaya figured her life would get easier. But between the Chief Mage’s packed schedule and the grunt work demanded of her as an apprentice mage, magic lessons are few and far between. Worse, her apprenticeship leaves little time for her job as an Enforcer, and without bounties Sunaya’s money pouch is drying up — fast.

Even so, when Shiftertown Inspector Boon Lakin asks for Sunaya’s help digging deeper into the murder of a fellow Enforcer, Sunaya has no trouble making room in her life to help him. The trail leads them to a series of crimes victimizing shifters for the entertainment of vicious humans. Sunaya and her friends race to identify the perpetrators and free the survivors, and the stakes are heightened when she discovers one of the victims has a connection to her. But if Sunaya is not careful, she may end up a very dead shifter herself…

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