Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for June 2019

Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month
It’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 May 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. This month, we have epic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal mystery, science fiction romance, space opera, military science fiction, YA science fiction, science fantasy, dystopian fiction, LitRPG, horror, time travel, first contact, witches, ghosts, mermaids, aliens, space pirates, renegades, stowaways, crime-busting witches, crime-busting ghosts, time-travelling tax collectors, the fae mafia, ancient evils 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:

Hero Code by Lindsay BurokerHero Code by Lindsay Buroker:

Casmir Dabrowski is finally heading back to his home world, determined to gain an audience with the queen and convince her to tell him the secret of his genes. But the terrorists who have been sending robot assassins after him are still there—and still want him dead.

As soon as he lands, the trouble starts. His best friend is whisked off by Royal Intelligence, his new ally walks him into a trap, and he learns the queen isn’t in the city.

But the king is.

Casmir finds himself face to face with the man who has the power to wave a hand and have him and everyone he loves tortured, imprisoned, or even slain. King Jager isn’t pleased with the role Casmir played in keeping Fleet warships from claiming an ancient technology for the Kingdom.

If Casmir can’t convince Jager that he’s worth keeping around, he could lose everything and everyone he cares about.

Renegade Descent by J.N. ChaneyRenegade’s Descent by J.N. Chaney:

The Celestial War has arrived.

Captain Hughes and his team of rebels have created a shaky alliance with the same government that sought to end them, but even that might not be enough.

In order to combat the Celestial threat, Jace will need to convince the Sarkonian Emperor to not only join his cause but lend him the resources he needs to overpower the enemy.

The battle for tomorrow will take more than any single empire can manage.

Each side will have to learn to work together if they ever hope to overcome their shared enemy, but allies are not easily made from enemies, and not everyone will be as eager to stand side-by-side.

With allies like the Union and the Sarkonians, who needs enemies?

Maximum Experience by Misty DaisMaximum Experience by Misty Dais:

A gap year gone wrong,

A spaceship of comatose adults,

A mysterious stowaway on board,

Can the surviving teens work together long enough to survive?

Can a teen from the Sidewalks save them all?

The United Corporations Youth Space Corps Gap Year Program!

For a nothing girl from the Sidewalks a gap year with the United Corporations Youth Space Corps seemed a way to escape her destiny of poverty, or at least delay it. Her plan had been to get some Maximum Experience credentials for her resume and her social media account. Instead of the breezy year of selfies and mundane work experience, she finds herself on a spaceship hijacked by a stowaway and trying to find a cure for the adult crew members that have been stricken by a comatose virus. It could be a good experience for her resume….. but only if she survives

Moonstruck by Dannika DarkMoonstruck by Dannika Dark:

Transporting goods is part of the job, but when Keystone accepts the daunting task of moving precious cargo, the team splits up. Raven has orders to follow, but Christian’s seductive ways draw out her violent soul. Their journey is dangerous, their enemies ruthless, and one misstep could prove fatal.

When one team member mysteriously vanishes, the rest must choose between cutting their losses in the face of chaos or seeing it through to the bitter end. Will Keystone have the fortitude to complete the mission, or will they fall like dominoes?

United they stand, divided they fall.

Heist Online by Victor DeckardHeist Online by Victor Deckard:

Heist Online is an action-packed virtual reality video game about cops and criminals.

If you want to play on the wrong side of the law, you can participate in a variety of heists. You can rob banks, jewelry stores, armored cash vehicles, etc. If you prefer to play as a cop, however, your task is to stop robbers.

Striker plays as a heister. When he and his teammates have been returning from a successful robbery, another team of heisters has attacked them and taken their money away.

Striker then finds out that he and his friends aren’t the only players whom the mysterious gang has robbed. Some of the victims want to get even with them. Still, nobody has achieved any success in tracking them down yet. No one knows who they are, why they rob other heisters, or where to find them.

A few days later, when Striker escapes with stolen money after another successful robbery, he happens to run into the mysterious gang again. They try to rob him, but he manages to repel the attack and ward the players off.

Later on, Striker finds out that the members of the mysterious gang have trashed his home out of revenge. After that, he gets determined to hunt them down. He has a score to settle.

Stephanie's Challenge by M.K. EidemStephanie’s Challenge by M.K. Eidem:

Stephanie Michelakakis worked and sacrificed for her position as a Lieutenant in the Coalition. She was on track to become the first woman ever accepted into a Royal Guard, specifically King Jotham’s Royal Guard. Then a life-altering injury shattered her dreams. Now she must figure out how to move on with her life. Nicholas Deffand was the youngest male ever named as the Captain of King Jotham’s Royal Guard. He served and protected his King to the exclusion of everything else. But now he’s found a woman who not only understood what his job entailed but his dedication to it as well.These two dedicated people never expected to find love. Will they be strong enough to make it work or will their relationship be another sacrifice they must make?

Edge of Magic by Jayne FaithEdge of Magic by Jayne Faith:

A stolen sword, the Fae mafia, and an old crush are about to crash Tara Knightley’s orderly life…

Between paying off a debt to a Fae mob boss, working as a professional thief, and keeping up with her busy three-generation household, Tara Knightley barely has time to eat and sleep. She’s used to the juggling act, but sometimes it feels like she’ll never really have a life of her own. Then she learns of a bounty for a mysterious magical skull. The reward would mean freedom her powerful, manipulative boss.

She must get her hands on that skull.

But just as Tara is ready to go after the prize, her childhood best friend and crush, wolf shifter Judah McMahon, shows up asking for help. It’s been a decade since the falling out that ended their friendship, and Tara knows she shouldn’t get involved. But Judah’s life is threatened, so Tara gives in. The deeper she gets, the more her orderly existence unravels. She’s going to have to choose: her family, Judah, or her freedom.

Absolution by Rachel FordAbsolution by Rachel Ford:

New wars and old conflicts. An empire reborn from blood and ash.

Nikia Idan led an uprising that liberated the Tribari people. Brek Trigan saved his colony from starvation. Captain Drake Elgin protected the citizens of Central from loyalist forces. The worst was supposed to be behind them.

When a loyalist fleet appears in Tribari airspace, the tenuous alliance between military and parliament is strained to the point of breaking. Meanwhile, a rogue governor’s quest for independence will put the empire’s promise of freedom to the test.

The decisions of these few will change the fate of many.

Mob Bosses and Tax Losses by Rachel FordMob Bosses and Tax Losses by Rachel Ford:

A decades old case. A charismatic gumshoe. A sinister don.

Alfred Favero, Senior Analyst with the IRS, shouldn’t have muddled the timeline. But curiosity got the better of him.

There was killing and a cat involved too*, but he’d rather not talk about that. Suffice it to say, a mafia prince is dead, and Alfred is on the run through time with a wrongly accused detective.

To unmask the men framing his new friend, he’ll tangle with New York City’s most sinister criminals. It’ll take all of his knowledge, and investigations across multiple timelines, to get to the bottom of it – before he finds himself sleeping with the fishes.

* No pets are harmed in this book. The cat definitely does not die

Godswar by Chris FoxGodswar by Chris Fox:

Nefarius comes and gods tremble

Nefarius has risen. She is implacable. Unstoppable. God after god is fallen and consumed, and each time the terrible dragon-goddess grows stronger.

Nebiat has stolen the Spellship, depriving Voria of its strength when she needs it most. But Nebiat’s schemes have never been tested by someone like Talifax, and she will finally discover she’s not as clever as she believes.

One possibility of victory remains. Aran, Nara, and Kazon discover their true purpose, left by the elder god Xal when he planned for his own demise. With this contingency they have one chance to oppose Nefarius. One chance to stop the goddess that will devour everything.

If they fail darkness wins, and our universe will be extinguished. Succeeding carries its own price, one Aran must choose for others to live.

The Dirty Coven by Lily Harper HartThe Dirty Coven by Lily Harper Hart:

Hannah Hickok is at a crossroads in her life. She’s single, out of a job, and living in an apartment she absolutely hates in a suburb of Detroit. All that changes when she receives a registered letter and finds out she’s inherited a performance town.Casper Creek is located in Kentucky, on top of a small mountain, and is fashioned after notorious towns from the old west. Workers dress up, man the saloon, and put on a variety of performances several times a day. A city girl, Hannah is out of her element. She’s determined to give it a shot, though.Cooper Wyatt is head of security at Casper Creek and the last thing he wants to do is break in a new owner … especially one who has no idea about the paranormal world she’s about to be immersed in. You see, Casper Creek is home to a variety of individuals, including two covens of witches who enjoy doing battle.Hannah is barely in town when a body drops and a mystery unfolds. The workers at Casper Creek have more on their minds than performances. Unfortunately for them, Hannah is about to find out their big secret. Even worse, she’s about to find out she comes from a long line of witches … and magic is in her genes.Casper Creek is full of colorful people. They’re all going to have to come together if they want to fight pure evil. Will they manage it in time? It’s almost high noon and the magic fight is about to begin.

The Resurrectionists by Michael Patrick HicksThe Resurrectionists by Michael Patrick Hicks:

Having won his emancipation after fighting on the side of the colonies during the American Revolution, Salem Hawley is a free man. Only a handful of years after the end of British rule, Hawley finds himself drawn into a new war unlike anything he has ever seen.

New York City is on the cusp of a new revolution as the science of medicine advances, but procuring bodies for study is still illegal. Bands of resurrectionists are stealing corpses from New York cemeteries, and women of the night are disappearing from the streets, only to meet grisly ends elsewhere.

After a friend’s family is robbed from their graves, Hawley is compelled to fight back against the wave of exhumations plaguing the Black cemetery. Little does he know, the theft of bodies is key to far darker arts being performed by the resurrectionists. If successful, the work of these occultists could spell the end of the fledgling American Experiment… and the world itself.

The Resurrectionists, the first book in the Salem Hawley series, is a novella of historical cosmic horror from the author of Broken Shells and Mass Hysteria.

Transformation Protocol by David M. KellyTransformation Protocol by David M. Kelly:

Change can be deadly!

With his life crumbling around him, Joe Ballen is close to going out in a blaze, fueled by cheap alcohol and self-hatred. But when something “out there” starts destroying spaceships and stations, the only JumpShip available to investigate is the Shokasta—locked away by Joe in an attempt to get justice for his family.

But when an old friend offers him the chance to return to space in the hunt for a missing ship, it proves more complicated than either of them imagined. With all sides of the political spectrum looking to grab a piece of the newly explored star systems, Joe soon realizes that some people will go to any lengths to get what they want, and are willing to sacrifice anyone in the process.

And when Joe’s past catches up with him in a way he couldn’t have seen coming, he must battle enemies new and old as well as his own inner demons.

Bad Vibe by David MayoBad Vibe by David Mayo:

Something unusual and unique occurs in the mid-forties in the U.S and serves as the seed of change that will transpire eighty years later.

Clayton Atwood is an uncommitted academic pinball, bouncing between college curricula that strike his fancy, unconcerned with scholastic advancement or degrees. Orphaned by his parent’s death early on, he lives with his eccentric uncle. Looking forward a carefree trip to Europe, his plans are interrupted by an innocuous note taped to his front door. It changes the course of his future.

In an unassuming building adjacent to Rice University in Houston, Clay learns that all he knew of his past is wrong and that he is now the center of an astounding scientific project that will help all mankind, but place one peaceful alien civilization in jeopardy, and attract genocidal hatred and retribution from another. In the mix is a ruthless assassin looking to wipe Clay off the face of the earth. It all comes to a brutal and violent conclusion at a secret Nevada military base.

Can earth’s cultures withstand the societal impact that free energy would bring?

Can Clay come to grips with his changing self?

Idimmu by David MayoIdimmu: An Ancient Evil by David Mayo:

Since ancient Sumer it has been imprisoned. It was never meant to escape.

Former Vatican archivist Gwendolyn Myers knew of the legend, but she never expected to discover the truth. The elderly scholar’s curiosity proved fateful.
Gwendolyn’s niece, Anjanette, works as a nurse in Houston where she notices strange similarities in horrifically injured ER arrivals. After Anjanette and her boyfriend, Macon move into her aunt’s house, the horrors follow them home and begin spreading throughout the neighborhood and beyond.

Why does Macon suddenly develop an overriding interest in true-mirrors and psychomanteums that he can’t quite explain?

Can the analytical mind of a police detective deal with the paranormal claims of Anjanette’s small group of friends?

Can Anjanette accept the amazing truth of her birthright?

There is something of indescribable evil starving for blood and terror. A seemingly unstoppable evil has been unleashed that a small group, led by Anjanette, must desperately try to confront.

The Vestal's Steward by Alix NicholsThe Vestal’s Steward by Alix Nichols:

He guards her life, but she’d better guard her heart.

War is coming. Insurrection brews. But royal prioress Aynu Eckme keeps out of politics. To her, only the temple counts.

Aynu is relieved with her recent hire of Rhori Tidryn, a former prizefighter. He’s humble, competent, tough. Just the man to ensure her safety in such troubled times!

It matters not that he stirs something peculiar in her. Something improper and beautiful…

An insurgent by night, Rhori loves his new job as Prioress Eckme’s steward. Even the worst part—drinking a foul goo every week to suppress his baser needs.

Rhori would do anything for the prioress.

When he takes the vow of devotion, he’s prepared to serve her for the rest of his life. He’d die for her without blinking an eyelid. It would be easy, given how much he worships her already.

The problem is, he worships her in all the wrong ways.

The Rule of Yonder by M.A. NillesThe Rule of Yonder by M.A. Nilles:

Despite their narrow escape from the Issan, Zaer’s starship, the Da’Nelgur, was severely damaged. Vel and Shen have tried to fix the hyperdrive, and Nya is sound asleep. Their only chance to repair the ship to continue their journey to Ethal is a crime-syndicate-run remote city in interstellar space.

Yonder Station is not a place where anyone with sense wants to stay long, but it has its advantages. A home to salvagers, dealers, hustlers, and assassins, it is also a valuable trading post for the fringe of the galaxy, especially for information. The latest news is the Da’Nelgur’s involvement with the Issan and the mysterious portals.

When Zaer is taken by one of the crimelords seeking what she knows about the portals, it’s up to Nik and Nya to rescue her. But that same crimelord wants them too. To rescue Zaer, they’ll need to avoid being captured while tracking where she might have been taken. What they discover could get them killed, or it could gain them powerful new allies. What could go wrong?

Shadows of the Overlord by Kevin PotterShadow of the Overlord by Kevin Potter:

A heroine no one knows they need. A reluctant warrior with a dark secret. A crumbling kingdom on the brink of war.

Taliesimon has always dreamed of being the first female Dragoon warrior, but the commander and his lackeys will do anything to ensure she fails.

An itinerant sell-sword, William’s life is nothing like he imagined. His two greatest enemies are the bottle, which he takes no pains to avoid, and his past, which he avoids at all costs.

When the king mysteriously disappears, the kingdom teeters on the verge of collapse. If neither he nor his estranged son, the prince, can be found, the kingdom will fall into the hands of a brilliant mastermind working from the shadows.

As an unknown threat rises, a violent raid brings William and Taliesimon together in an uneasy alliance with tremendous potential for disaster.

With enemies on all sides, can they put their differences aside in time to save humanity from a brutal war unlike anything the world has ever seen?

The Undead Uproar by Amanda M. LeeThe Undead Uproar by Amanda M. Lee:

Charlie Rhodes is living the high life … at least for her. She lucked into a new apartment, her boyfriend Jack is attentive and sweet, and she’s about to head to the Big Easy to hunt for zombies.Yes, a multitude of dreams are about to come true.Charlie has never been to New Orleans and she’s in awe of everything she sees. Jack is determined to make sure she has a good time, which means authentic food, music and haunted tours. He’s happy just to be with her as she investigates the city.The one sore spot of the trip is the talk of zombies. Jack doesn’t believe they exist. Charlie and their boss think it’s possible. Oh, yeah, and dead bodies are rising all over town and no one can explain why.Charlie is at a crossroads in her life. She has magic at her disposal and the people in New Orleans might be the only ones with answers as to why she is the way she is. The question is: Who to trust?The closer Charlie and Jack get, the more she realizes she has to tell him the truth. She’s running out of time, though. She needs to protect the people she cares about most and solve an unthinkable crime. She has no idea how to do it.New Orleans is a magical city and Charlie is a magical girl. She can’t hide forever, though. The truth will come out with at least one person … she just has to survive long enough to explain her side of things in the aftermath.That’s not a given in a world where the dead are rising … and trying to kill everybody they come in contact with.

Wicked on the Beach by Lotta SmithWicked on the Beach: June Bride and Mermaid’s Fury by Lotta Smith:

Beach wedding and a murder… Throw in an angry mermaid threatening to destroy the wedding!

There’s trouble in Paradise, and the Rowling family is on the case.

The island wedding of Mandy’s BFF Fiona and famous exorcist Brian Powers becomes the backdrop for a murder investigation when the body of a notorious loan shark is found in the dunes. But how did a man drown so far from the water?

An angry mermaid threatens to wreak havoc if the killer isn’t caught, but with no spirits to question, does Mandy stand a ghost of a chance to solve the case?

Sword of Mars by Glynn StewartSword of Mars by Glynn Stewart:

A defector with a dangerous lead
A chance to speak for the silent
A perilous quest into enemy stars

When the star system of Legatus was preparing to secede from the Protectorate of the Mage-King of Mars, it was the secret agents of the Legatan Military Intelligence Directorate that laid the groundwork and fought the covert war to make it happen.

Now, as the open conflict draws to a bloody stalemate, LMID has been broken. Their leader is dead, murdered by agents of the Republic they helped birth. Their surviving agents have scattered, following a final protocol that orders them to defect to the Protectorate.

An old friend brings all of this to Damien Montgomery, First Hand of the Mage-King, and begs for his help in unravelling the mystery. The only answers lie where the Hands of Mars should never go: on the worlds of the Republic.

Farling's Wall by Chris TurnerFarling’s Wall by Chris Turner:

A band of adventurers flee from Sloe, the fabled Blue City of the south, as lowly outlaws wanted for stealing a glamorous princess. Their fate—a perilous plod through the Brauvn forest to come to the gates of Farling’s Wall and the realm of the Wickles.

Be wary! not scary, and don’t tarry by the gloom of Farling’s Wall…
—Old limerick

In this rich journey of adventure, villainy, and sophisticated language, heroism prevails and spellcraft brings captivity.

Pirate Bayne by James David VictorPirate Bayne by James David Victor:

If you can’t beat them, join them. Then maybe beat them. Or go down in a blaze of glory.

A space opera in the deep black of space from James David Victor

Bayne and the crew of the Deep Blue have found themselves in the hornet’s nest, so to speak. With nowhere else to go, they are forced into a battle that can have no winners. Can they defeat the enemies on all sides or will the captain go down with his ship, or will he even have a ship. Can Bayne save himself and his crew or are they doomed to a fate none of them ever wanted?

Pirate Bayne is the fourth book in the exciting Deep Black space opera. If you like fast-paced space adventure, rogue pirates, and stories more complex than good vs. evil, you are going to love your visit to the Deep Black.

The Unholy Trinity Series by A.E. WilliamsThe Unholy Trinity Series by A.E. Williams:

The Unholy Trinity Collection

Imperius Wrecks – The first in a series of satirical and humorous looks at one possible future! A nightmare or a dream – you get to decide.
In the far distant future, a nun is tasked with ancient rituals descended from one man’s egotistical grasp for power and immortality. Could this really happen?

Second Coming – Jesus bets His half-brother, Lucifer that the bet God made with him regarding Job can be done, again, and better. The implications are breathtaking! Does the Big J wind up the victor? Or, does the Devil get his due?

Anno Domini – Jesus and Lucifer’s betting is getting out of hand! This time, Jesus bets that the souls of the most outstanding humans ever born can redeem Mankind from original Sin. But, there’s a catch! A Virgin Birth is part of the scheme, but maybe Jesus didn’t think everything through?

Filled with religious references, popular concerns of the day, and a cast of totally fictional characters, this satire puts a spin on current events that will have you spitting coffee all over yourself in shock, from laughing or pure unadulterated rage. You’ll be aghast at the content, the implications and the mirror held up to our world.

Come along as A.E. Williams once more pulls no punches as he slams the One Percent, Religion and Political parties of all stripes!

The Unholy Trinity series of short stories will blow your mind as only A.E. Williams can!

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