Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for November 2017

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 October 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, though I may add other retailers for future editions.

Once again, we have new releases covering the whole broad spectrum of speculative fiction. This month, we have epic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal mystery, paranormal romance, science fiction romance, space opera, military science fiction, dystopian fiction, Steampunk, alternate history, time travel, horror, witches, warlocks, a whole lot of werewolves, psychics, mindreaders, mermaids, catastrophic chupacabras, magic schools, genderneutral fairytales, void wyrms, alien invasions, clockwork boys, clockwork samurai, possessive tigerlords, zombies, space pirates, guardians, empowered outlaws 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:

Aspiria Rising by Douglas BartonAspiria Rising by Douglas Barton:

Persecuted and Forced to Rebel against the Meritocracy

Like most people on his world, Dominy worships the ground scientists walk on. He can’t wait to work with the brightest minds in the galaxy at Aspiria, the intellectual capital of civilization. Unfortunately, many of them are disappearing.

Desperate to solve the mystery, Dominy recruits a band of fellow academic trainees. Together they set out on a manic journey through deserted basements, forgotten particle accelerators, and jam-packed futuristic stadiums.

When they uncover a shocking conspiracy, Dominy realizes he may hold the key to keeping civilization alive. With time ticking away, he confronts the capital’s leadership only to discover a madman is involved in an unimaginable galactic plot.

Aspiria Rising is a utopian sci-fi thriller for the ages. If you like mystery, heart-pounding suspense, and a touch of quirky romance, then you’ll love Douglas Barton’s debut novel.

Forgotten Relics by Cianien BloodstoneForgotten Relics by Cianien Bloodstone:

Rei had lost it all: her family, a safe home, and, most important, her freedom.

Despite all odds, she managed to escape and make her life among the stars. It’s not easy to be a fugitive of the largest galactic power ever known. Making a living requires being flexible, and not particularly caring for things like laws or rights of property.

Even in her new life the ghosts of Rei’s past refuse to leave her in peace. She’s been changed by her captivity in more ways than one and the mysteries abound. There are untold questions that demand answers, but the only way she can find out the truth is to start back at the beginning

To complicate matters, she is approached to stop her old enemies from retrieving priceless artifacts of untold knowledge. The idea is as murky as they come but they have to take the chance. Even if it might cost her crew dearly.

A Mess of Arms and Legs and Limbs by Cora BuhlertA Mess of Arms and Legs and Limbs by Cora Buhlert:

Humanity thought they were alone in the universe. They were wrong.

When aliens attack Hyams II, a small mining colony on the galactic rim, all that stands between the attackers and the terrified civilian population are a handful of underpaid and underequipped security guards.

However, two of those guards, Cally and Matt, use all their skills and their knowledge of the colony’s layout to fight back and hold the invaders at bay. And in the process, they also manage to uncover the biggest secret of all: Why are the aliens attacking human outposts at all?

This is a short science fiction story of 6500 words or approximately 25 print pages.

Walking on Knives by Maya ChhabraWalking on Knives by Maya Chhabra:

The little mermaid has no idea that as she makes her way on land, she’s being watched over by the sister of the very witch with whom she made her bargain. She has no idea that the witch’s sister is falling in love with her.

When the prince decides to marry another woman, the little mermaid’s secret helper offers her a chance to live. But the price may be too high…

Content warning: Walking on Knives contains some explicit content and opens with a disturbing scene of dubious sexual consent.

The Flying Glass by E.M. CooperThe Flying Glass by E.M. Cooper:

Marnie Speck arrives at her new foster home in Downfell, Northern England with her crusty social worker, Miss Baxter. Marnie guards a rose-covered case with hidden secrets and the only link to her past and future. A telescope, old glass and a strange librarian unleash the potential of a new and extraordinary life far away at the Fanglewick School of Magic in the Old World. But first Marnie must find a way to cross the demonic halo like aspiring young wizards, witches and elves have for centuries.

In a strange but beautiful landscape inhabited by haughty wizards, ratbag witches and ambitious elves, Marnie fights for a place in Fanglewick, where magic begins and ends. The school sits on the repository of magic and flows through Shining Lake and beyond to the multiverse. Over time, Fanglewick has lured heroes, kings, queens and dark beasts. Wizards, goblins and their dragon-riding armies have waged terrible wars to possess and control its treasure. For now there is peace, yet there are rumblings in the Imporium where scheming wizards and elves work in the magical government and a new presence is lurking in the forests and grounds of Fanglewick.

Out of Fire by Jonathan CrockerOut of Fire – Hummingbird, Book 1 by Jonathan Crocker:

At sixteen years old, Deacon Barnes had spent his entire life on the dusty moon of Ophelia, on the outskirts of Republic territory. The son of a farmer, Deacon’s lazy days are spent dreaming of adventure, of escaping his dreary life and visiting distant stars. That dream becomes reality, but hardly in the way he expected. It comes in the dark of night, in the form of fire. Flames bathe his home, his moon attacked by a powerful and mysterious alien race known only as the Ethereals. He’s left for dead, the lone survivor of a brutal massacre.

A chance encounter with the entrancing Diera Hawk, notorious smuggler and captain of the Hummingbird, gives Deacon a second chance at life – and the adventure he’s always dreamed of. But is Deacon cut out for the life of a rogue? And when Diera turns her focus to chasing rumours of the Ethereals across the galaxy – and beyond – can the crew of the Hummingbird stand against the might of the powerful aliens?

The Neptune Contingency by Benjamin DouglasThe Neptune Contingency by Benjamin Douglas:

You can take the man out of the war, but not the war out of the man.
Gavin Dolridge has a problem. And no matter how long he lays low farming potatoes on his family farm hab on Pluto, his knowledge of the Council’s secrets isn’t going away. He’s got a target on his back, and his only choice may be to run or die.

The enemy of my enemy…
Ada Xander is in over her head. After leaving the Colonies to track down her father, she’s fallen in with pirates, a massive organized crime syndicate, and a rogue Colonial battleship whose captain and crew have their own ideas when it comes to diplomatic solutions. But when a massive force of AI-controlled drones begins leaving a trail of death in its wake, all bets are off, and all the chips are on the table.

Can Dolridge stay alive long enough to make amends for his silence? Will Ada survive the battle-torn inner system and come any closer to finding what she seeks?

The Neptune Contingency is the third book in the Starship Fairfax series, and picks up where The Hidden Prophet left off.

Void Wyrm by Chris FoxVoid Wyrm by Chris Fox:

A Suicidal Quest Into the Umbral Depths

Major Voria stands ready to accept the cost for her actions at Marid. Stripped of command and resources, Voria must find a ship and rally a crew. Somewhere within the Umbral Depths lays a hidden world, a world that the dead god Marid intended her to find.

Aran faces a choice. Halt his war mage training, and in the process give up clues to his past, or abandon Voria. Aran sacrifices everything to follow Voria on a suicidal quest into the one place where even gods fear to tread.

On a bleak world in the deepest darkness lays an object of enormous power, one that could turn the tide of the war against Krox. But Voria isn’t the only one seeking the weapon. The great Void Wyrm Khalahk has vowed to hunt Voria, and will see her dead even if it means following her into the Umbral Depths themselves.

All while the dreadlord Nebiat makes herself at home on Shaya, binding the souls of its leaders.

Blade and Rose by Miranda HonfleurBlade and Rose by Miranda Honfleur

A kingdom in turmoil or the love of her life. Which one will she save?

Elemental mage Rielle hasn’t heard from her best friend in far too long. Yet no one at the Tower of Magic seems to care about Olivia’s silence, or the curtain of secrecy surrounding the distant capital. Before Rielle can investigate, she’s assigned a strange new mission: escort a knight named Jon across the kingdom.

When whispers reveal mercenaries have killed the king, taken the capital, and that no one is coming to help, Rielle can’t leave Olivia in peril. But as infamous mages and deadly assassins hunt Jon, she can’t leave him unprotected either–especially as she finds herself falling for his strength, his passion, and his uncompromising goodness. Her past returns to haunt her, a werewolf stalks their steps, and an ancient evil is gathering, yet the restraints forbidding their love strain and snap one by one.

Saving Olivia and the kingdom means defying orders and sacrificing her every ambition, and could mean losing the man who’s become so much more to her than a mission. Which will she choose: her best friend and the kingdom, or the love of her life?

Clockwork Boys by T. KingfisherClockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher:

A paladin, an assassin, a forger, and a scholar ride out of town. It’s not the start of a joke, but rather an espionage mission with deadly serious stakes. T. Kingfisher’s new novel begins the tale of a murderous band of criminals (and a scholar), thrown together in an attempt to unravel the secret of the Clockwork Boys, mechanical soldiers from a neighboring kingdom that promise ruin to the Dowager’s city.

If they succeed, rewards and pardons await, but that requires a long journey through enemy territory, directly into the capital. It also requires them to refrain from killing each other along the way! At turns darkly comic and touching, Clockwork Boys puts together a broken group of people trying to make the most of the rest of their lives as they drive forward on their suicide mission.

A Fire in the Heavens by Mary Robinette KowalA Fire in the Heavens by Mary Robinette Kowal:

On a tidally locked world, Katin is aboard a ship fleeing from religious persecution in her homeland. Her people worship the seven-sisters, a group of dieties that resides in the night sky and are visible as a tight cluster of stars. This exploration ship has sailed farther West than anyone has sailed before. Some think that they will sail off the edge of the world, but she is confident that the ancient stories of a land far to the West are true. She dismisses the tales that accompany the stories of light in the night sky called “the moon” as exaggerated superstition.

Until they sail over the over the curve of the world and sees the moon for the first time.

The Chupacabra Catastrophe by Amanda M. LeeThe Chupacabra Catastrophe by Amanda M. Lee:

Charlie Rhodes has a new life and it’s not exactly what she thought it would be.
She’s psychic, telekinetic and eager to learn from her knowledgeable co-workers at The Legacy Foundation. She’s also nervous, frightened and on edge … mostly because she’s exactly the sort of oddity the group is looking to study and she’s desperate to keep her secret from the very people who are searching for her.
When word comes down that a chupacabra may have been sighted in Texas – perhaps even killing a man in an old abandoned mining town – Charlie is eager to show her worth. She’s part of the first team that descends on Hooper’s Mill, and there’s definitely an air of danger lingering over the town.
Charlie can feel it. She can sense … something. It’s lurking in the town and watching. Unfortunately for Charlie, she can’t get a handle on whether she’s looking for a human or animal. She just knows that it’s dangerous … and it wants to kill anyone who crosses its path.
When one member of the team goes missing, Charlie realizes she’s running out of time to solve a mystery in the present that has ties to the past. All the while she’s trying to ensure her own future as the jaws of death – in the form of a mythical creature – snap at her heels.
It’s all hands on deck for another adventure, and this time the stakes might be so high not everyone survives.

Clockwork Samurai by Jeannie LinClockwork Samurai by Jeannie Lin:

The Gunpowder Chronicles continue as a woman left adrift by a dynasty in decline attempts to reclaim her family’s honor…
Appointed to the Court of Physicians, Jin Soling can see that the newly-crowned Emperor is cracking, relying on opium to drown his troubles. The Qing Empire is failing, and war with the British is imminent, but the man to whom Soling was once engaged has a bold idea to save it.

A leader within the Ministry of Engineering, Chen Chang-wei suggests an alliance with the isolated island empire of Japan, whose scientists claim to have technical advancements that could turn the tide of the war.

Seeking to escape the politics of the imperial court, Soling arranges her own passage on the airship to Japan. But once they land, Chang-wei and Soling become targets of the shogunate’s armored samurai assassins. Caught in an age-old battle between feudal tradition and innovation, and stranded in a land distrustful of foreigners, Soling and Chang-wei must find a way to fight back against the Western invaders—with the survival of both Qing Empire and the island nation of Japan at stake.

Taken by the Tigerlord by Kara LockharteTaken by the Tigerlord by Kara Lockharte:

He loved, lied, then left her.
Now she’s supposed to marry him?!

Newly disowned princess Seria is tired of shifters trying to control her destiny. All Seria wants is to return to the orderly librarian life she had before scheming royals got involved in her future. But when she inadvertently becomes a political pawn trapped in marriage to the handsome oversexed tigershifter who betrayed her, it will take all of her resourcefulness to fight her true desires…

Destiny says she’s his.
And that he will cause her death.

Tigerlord Kai of the House of Stargazer has always known he was destined to die a hero. But when a power play for his position drops his luscious fated mate into his inner sanctum, Kai realizes Seria’s crucial role in his doomed destiny. Saving the universe will require sacrificing not only his life, but also hers. It’s a fate he’ll do anything to change, even if it costs him her love…

You can’t fight fate…unless you’re a Tigerlord…..

A Mind Reader's Christmas by Al MacyA Mind Reader’s Christmas by Al Macy:

Eric Beckman, a mind-reading private investigator, is spending Christmas in snowy Vermont with his wife and daughter. He needs a break from solving cases, but the townspeople convince him to look into the village mystery: Every holiday season, someone switches the baby Jesus with one of the other figures in the town’s Nativity scene.

With the help of his ten-year-old daughter, also a mind reader, he soon learns that some of the residents of the small town are not who–or even what–they seem to be. There’s something supernatural going on in Newburn, Vermont.

His investigation causes an escalation of strange happenings, and soon, swapped manger figures are the least of the town’s worries. If Beckman can’t adjust his view of the world–force himself to believe in things he never thought possible–the Christmas vacation could turn out to be his family’s last.

A Mind Reader’s Christmas may be read as a standalone book or as Book Four in the Eric Beckman series.

Forget the Alamo by Drew McGunnForget the Alamo! by Drew McGunn:

After the explosion, Will didn’t expect to wake up again, especially in the past. Alive is good. Except he finds himself at the Alamo in 1836 in the body of another man doomed to die. If history repeats itself, Santa Anna is coming soon and the Alamo will fall, along with himself and 189 others.

In a race against time itself, Will uses his knowledge of the future to change the past. He will use every means necessary, even if it means abandoning the fort.

He is determined to forget the Alamo!

Magically Bound by Rachel MedhurstMagically Bound by Rachel Medhurst:

Witch, Warlock, Whatever…

My name’s Devon Jinx, and, yes, I’m half warlock, half witch. But I couldn’t care less about which kind of magic is better. All I want to do is keep my head down and get on with my new job as an investigator at the Hunted Witch Agency.

A recent, shall we say, mistake, has put me in place to inherit the leadership of the warlocks. Which means only one thing. I have a choice to make: Leave behind my life of witchery to become a warlock, or lose my warlock magic forever.

Complicating my choice is the fact that someone is trying to destroy the warlock coven. If I don’t stop them, the warlocks will be annihilated. The task seems impossible until Gerard Freshwater, a distractingly handsome witch, explodes into my life. He’s determined to make me see that being a witch isn’t just the best option, but the only option.

Robin and Jamie by Lorri MoultonRobin and Jamie by Lorri Moulton:

Action, adventure, magic and romance. An ancient curse has returned to the lands and Robin and Jamie must help a fractured group of heroes reunite. Only by working together to solve an age-old prophecy, can they stop an evil sorceress and Lord of the North.

I started writing Robin and Jamie as an experiment. What can we do in a book that would not be possible in a TV show or movie? Never tell the reader if the main characters are men or women. I wanted to make the two main characters (and one of the water fairies) known for what they believed in, what class they came from, why they were fighting, how they fought, what their alliances might be…everything except whether they were the guy or the gal. I’ve always loved fairytales (alright, and the dresses) but it seems very impractical to be running around in the forest wearing one. I hope you enjoy the story!

Where Nightmares Come From, edited by Joe Mynhardt and Eugene JohnsonWhere Nightmares Come From: The Art of Storytelling in the Horror Genre, edited by Joe Mynhardt and Eugene Johnson:



Book one in Crystal Lake Publishing’s The Dream Weaver series, Where Nightmares Come From focuses on the art of storytelling in the Horror genre, taking an idea from conception to reality—whether you prefer short stories, novels, films, or comics.

Featuring in-depth articles and interviews by Joe R. Lansdale (Hap & Leonard series), Clive Barker (Books of Blood), John Connolly (Charlie Parker series), Ramsey Campbell, Stephen King (IT), Christopher Golden (Ararat), Charlaine Harris (Midnight, Texas), Jonathan Maberry (Joe Ledger series), Kevin J. Anderson (Tales of Dune), Craig Engler (Z Nation), and many more.

The full non-fiction anthology lineup includes:

Introduction by William F. Nolan
IT’S THE STORY TELLER by Joe R. Lansdale
A-Z OF HORROR of Clive Barker
WHY HORROR? by Mark Alan Miller
PIXELATED SHADOWS by Michael Paul Gonzalez
LIKE CURSES by Ray Garton
BRINGING AN IDEA TO LIFE by Mercedes M. Yardley
THE PROCESS OF A TALE by Ramsey Campbell
WRITING ROUNDTABLE INTERVIEW with Christopher Golden, Kevin J. Anderson, and Silvia Moreno-Garcia
THE REEL CREEPS by Lisa Morton
WHAT SCARES YOU by Marv Wolfman
CREATING MAGIC FROM A BLANK PIECE OF PAPER: Del Howison interviews Tom Holland, Amber Benson, Fred Dekker, and Kevin Tenney
WHAT NOW? by John Palisano

Enslaved by D. Robert PeaseEnslaved by D. Robert Pease:

A mother’s secret. A son’s destiny.
Can humanity be delivered from certain extinction?

Cosette Sinclair, pregnant with an illegal second child, makes a discovery that will change the course of humanity. While on assignment to find a habitable planet for mankind’s first colony, she witnesses a tear in space—a gateway for a devastating alien invasion. Now she’s faced with the heart-wrenching choice between saving her unborn child and saving the world.

Moshie lives in a culture that prizes competition above all else. His mother raises him to dominate every creature he encounters. As Moshie trains for the day when he will rule an ancient alien civilization, a whisper in the young man’s mind calls him to something greater. Can he put aside a lifetime of striving for power and heed the cry to save those he despises the most?

She has one chance to save the human race. He has one chance to save himself. Both learn that trusting their long-hated enemies might be their only chance of survival.

Enslaved is the first book in the “Exodus Chronicles,” a captivating saga of humanity’s final struggle. If you like action-packed adventure, complex characters, and alien worlds, then you’ll love D. Robert Pease’s imaginative interstellar homage to the Book of Exodus.

The Year of the Knife by G.D. PenmanThe Year of the Knife by G.D. Penman:

Agent “Sully” Sullivan is one of the top cops in the Imperial Bureau of Investigation. A veteran witch of the British Empire who isn’t afraid to use her magical skills to crack a case. But Sully might need more than a good education and raw power to stop the string of grisly murders that have been springing up across the American Colonies. Every one of them marked by the same chilling calling card, a warning in the form of a legion of voices screaming out through the killers’ mouths: “It IS tHe YEAr oF the KNife.”

Sully’s investigation will drag her away from the comforts of home in New Amsterdam, the beautiful but useless hyacinth macaw that used to be her boss, and the loving arms of her undead girlfriend, in a thrilling race against time, demonic forces and a shadowy conspiracy that will do anything to keep its hold on power and ensure that Sully takes their secrets to her grave, as soon as possible.

G.D. Penman’s imaginative The Year of the Knife is a fun, fast-paced urban fantasy mystery with an engaging set of characters, most notably Agent Sully of the Imperial Bureau of Investigation.

Evolution's Child by Dean RencraftEvolution’s Child by Dean Rencraft:

The government is playing a dangerous game. Using human and animal genomes to force evolutionary changes, they expand their project into the real world, unleashing a pathogen containing an entirely new set of complications for the world.

Seventeen year old Wren Shaffer is disenchanted with the world’s decreasing values and the utterly fake nature of high society. Having reaped the consequences of speaking out once before, now she hides behind a pretty mask of lies, counting the days until her eighteenth birthday.

Coming back from vacation with her disinterested and self-involved mother, Wren is one of the 1% severely affected by the pathogen. Now, alone and increasingly afraid of the odd new feelings and abilities she can’t ignore, she bonds with two of the lab’s original subjects, who are determined to save her not only from her first evolution, but from her life of fake smiles and pretty pictures as well.

But the scientists are still watching and not all of the subjects are fit for society. It’s a race against time and a fight for survival and if Wren or one of her new soul-mates die, the other two won’t be far behind.

Content Warning: Some explicit language and graphic violence.

Shattered Earth by Jenny SchwartzShattered Earth by Jenny Schwartz:

The scum of the galaxy are using Earth as a nuclear winter death camp. It outrages pirate captain Kohia Jekyll’s sense of justice. No one deserves to die agonizingly of radiation poisoning, especially not on the planet humanity had to evacuate seven generations ago. So Kohia intends to close the prison camp down.

She didn’t count on an infuriating shaman healer hitching a ride aboard her starship.

Nairo Bloodstone isn’t going to Earth to be a hero. He learned the hard way that when you’re a healer, doing your best for people is never enough. One miracle leads them to demand another and another. Heroes die exhausted and alone, and the galaxy continues with billions of people still clamoring for a miracle-worker to save them.

No, Nairo isn’t going to Earth to be a hero. He intends to change what it means to be human.

“Shattered Earth” is a stand-alone novella in the Shamans & Shifters Space Opera series.

The Guardian, edited by Alasdair ShawThe Guardian: Eleven Science Fiction Stories, edited by Alasdair Shaw:

Guardians are defenders, carers and guides. Some look after individual people, others whole planets or universes, but all share a strong belief in their responsibility to protect their charges. The Guardian is an anthology of eleven science fiction short stories by writers from across the globe. It is part of the Newcomer series of scifi anthologies.

The stories are:
Awakening – Alasdair Shaw
The Lattice – Jeff Tanyard
Biting Shadow – C Gold
Gate of Dreams – Rick Partlow
The Following Star – Elizabeth Baxter
The Renewal – Zen DiPietro
Stowaway – Benjamin Douglas
Baptism of Fire – Cora Buhlert
Sleeping Giant – Andrew Vaillencourt
We Have the Stars – JJ Green
Warning Signs – Edward M Grant

Empowered Outlaw by Dale Ivan SmithEmpowered: Outlaw by Dale Ivan Smith:

The world believes only a handful of people can possess superpowers, but what if that is a lie?

Mathilda Brandt is one of the rare few Empowered. She’s just learned her missing sister is also one. Even more shocking, Mat’s sister belongs to a hidden cult that believes anyone can possess a superpower, in defiance of everything known about the Empowered. If the authorities discover the cult’s whereabouts, they will end the cult and imprison anyone who has joined it.

But finding her sister and learning her secrets could destroy their family, and shatter the world forever.

Empowered: Outlaw is the third novel in The Empowered series.

Changeling's Fealty by Glynn StewartChangeling’s Fealty by Glynn Stewart:

A ragged newcomer…
With a secret even he doesn’t know
A backwater city…
With a countdown to an explosion no one is expecting
A secret Covenant…
And a conspiracy to break it to pieces

Jason Kilkenny is a new arrival in the Canadian city of Calgary. Unlike most newcomers, Jason isn’t looking for a job in oil and gas: he’s a half-fae changeling that wants to get away from the politics of the inhuman races.

He soon learns that despite being a supernatural backwater, the city is run by a near-godlike Wizard–and the shadows are full of unseen dangers. Jason’s here to hide, but he finds himself called to service by Calgary’s understaffed Fae Court.

As supernatural politics collide in his new home, Jason’s plan to keep his head down is shattered and he finds himself testing the limits of his meager gifts. He cannot run, he cannot hide…and if he loses, he loses everything.

An Immortal Calling by Ryland ThornAn Immortal Calling by Ryland Thorn

Demon by blood. Hero by choice.

Jackson Kade is an immortal with demon blood in his veins and hate in his heart. Lennox Valdis is wild and fiery, and her demon heritage gives her a talent for magic. Together, they battle to keep the streets of New Sanctum safe from the loathsome Hell creatures that terrorize the city.

Now there is a Hell-beast on the loose that is a greater threat than anything seen in decades. Whether its presence is random or something more sinister, it will take every ounce of strength and courage they have for Jack and Lennox to defeat it. If they fail, it will cost much more than just their lives.

Can they survive its onslaught?

Tides by E.J. WenstromTides by E.J. Wenstrom

Rona didn’t ask to be brought back from the Underworld, and now that she is alive again, she’s angry enough to raise hell.

It’s a good thing too, because hell is coming for her. As the realm braces for another round of wars between the Gods and the demigods, Rona’s fate is entangled with the unlikely heroes responsible for bringing her back to life: a golem marked by the Gods and a man with the touch of destiny upon him.

As this questionable duo heads out to face the unknown and stop the realm from destruction, Rona will be damned if they’re going to stop her from coming with them. Together, they embark on a quest to stop the war before it begins. For if they can’t stop the demigods, the entire middle realm of Terath will be torn apart, and everyone in their way destroyed.

But the fate of the realm isn’t the only thing Rona has to worry about, because the past she killed herself to escape is about to catch up to her again.

The Omarian Gambit by Trevor WyattThe Omarian Gambit by Trevor Wyatt:

The Earth-Sonali War has ended. Billions perished in the flames. But with peace established new enemies come to light ready to plunge the galaxy back into war…

The Terran Union cannot survive another war. Neither can the Sonali. The only path we have left is to lick our wounds. Rebuild. Recharge. We need to find a way forward. A way to avoid armed conflict A way to make sure nothing like that happens again.

Not every race agrees.

Some want war. They goad us into conflict. They seek to pit us against one another. To divide us, so that they may conquer.

It’s been three years since the war. We’ve learned our lessons. A new Galactic Council is forming. An era of cooperation and progress is at hand.

But only if we survive the coming tests. If we do, we’ll be stronger. And if we don’t?

Then this road to galactic peace will lead to interstellar war.

Of Wonder and Fear by Nicole ZoltackOf Wonder and Fear by Nicole Zoltack:

All of the entire land of Wonderland stands before me in a wild display of tradition and loyalty. Everyone is on his or her feet, stomping, cheering, and even jeering.?

The cobblestone pathway separates my people. Down the way sits Avice in an iron-wrought cage covered in flowers.

?The wretched girl in her simple dress and her terrible smile. The wicked girl and her thieving ways. The worthless girl and her betrayal, her devastation, her destruction.?

She will pay for her crimes against Wonderland.?

She will pay for being a horrific foreigner.?

She will pay dearly.?

Welcome to the wondrous land of Wonderland where an evil Alice threatens to destroy the entire realm.

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