Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for October 2017

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 September 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, Arthurian fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, science fiction romance, post-apocalyptic romance, science fantasy, space opera, military science fiction, hard science fiction, Steampunk, dystopian fiction, horror, werewolves, psychics, zombies, space pirates, hostile planets, underwater cities, intergalactic mages, galactic renegades, treasure-hunting alchemists, haunted amusement parks, grim reapers, King Arthur in the past and the future and much more.

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:

Apollo Burn by Ken BritzApollo Burn by Ken Britz:

King Arthur lives. Now, he's up against a threat that can destroy what he's built. But he must trust her, so she can kill him.

Brilliant scientist and Binary A.I. CEO Anora Myrrdin has lost her only brother. She's out for revenge and everyone is going to pay--including Arthur, her brother's final experiment and killer.

Arthur's Avallach Team is fractured and half are dead or missing, yet Arthur drives toward his vision of the future. The Paladins grow in power, ability and doubt.

Sergeant Percival 'Percy' Jones is Arthur's most loyal Paladin, but months after the destruction of Tintagel and the death of Indiana, he questions Arthur's leadership and the uneasy partnership with the shadowy group known as the Sisterhood. Percy has a future of his own in mind, and he turns to the most unlikely of mentors - Anora.

Owen LaFayette in every way is Arthur's equal and now he has Arthur's technology and powers. The Chevaliers are growing fast in numbers. Yet Owen doesn't have all that Arthur has--Caliburn and his charisma. Owen wants what Arthur has and he's going to do whatever he must to be Arthur. Anora may be the link that takes it all away.

What will Anora be--the Betrayer or the Savior of Avallach?

Read where Fall to Earth left off--a blend of science fiction, thrill, and mythology--Arthur himself heralds fundamental changes in humanity for generations to come.

Red Sky in the Morning by Elana BrooksRed Sky in the Morning by Elana Brooks:

Psychics battle aliens for the future of Earth—and love will determine the victor.

Adrian Marshall is a recruiter for the Covenant of the Rainbow, a millennia-old secret society dedicated to defending Earth against hostile aliens. He runs covert screening sessions, seeking people with psychic abilities. They’ll be trained to use their gifts of telepathy, telekinesis, and astral projection to repel the coming invasion. Though his own gifts are modest, he’s deeply committed to the Covenant’s cause and determined to contribute to the best of his ability.

Life has taught Beverly Jones not to believe in anything she can’t see, or to depend on anyone besides herself. When a simple exercise class takes a bizarre turn and the handsome instructor tells her she’s the most powerful psychic he’s ever discovered, she knows it’s only a dream. Why should she heed his warnings when the danger isn’t real? But when she recklessly courts death, the dream becomes a nightmare. To save her life and Earth’s best hope of salvation, Adrian links their souls in a bond breakable only by death.

Trapped in a union neither of them wanted, Adrain and Beverly cautiously get acquainted. Despite their profound differences, growing attraction draws them together. If they can learn to love and trust each other, the soul bond can make both of them far more powerful than either alone. If not, it might kill them.

As the alien ship approaches, Adrian and Beverly struggle to overcome the fears and prejudices that keep them apart. Only by uniting hearts and bodies as well as souls can they hope to survive and save Earth from destruction.

Red Sky in the Morning is the first book in THE COVENANT OF THE RAINBOW, a seven-book series featuring a diverse array of protagonists. It contains adult content and is intended for readers 18 and older.

Tea and Treachery by Cora BuhlertTea and Treachery by Cora Buhlert

How far would you go to save the one you love?

Lady Violetta Chesterfield travels to the Kingdom of Dragomir on a mission. For her fiancé, Nicholas Blackstone, Captain of the airship Renegade, has been captured and sentenced to death as a pirate and spy.

Violetta is determined to save her beloved from the gallows. Therefore, she arranges a meeting with Count Ostrowsky, prime minister of Dragomir, to beg for her fiancé's life. The Count agrees to meet with Violetta, even though he has no intention of letting Blackstone walk free. However, he has no idea to what lengths Violetta is willing to go to save the man she loves…

This is a short Steampunk adventure of 4650 words or approx. 16 print pages.

Renegade Atlas by J.N. ChaneyRenegade Atlas by J.N. Chaney

The search for Earth has begun.

After barely escaping the Union's grasp, The Renegade Star is off to parts unknown. Every member of its crew is a wanted fugitive. None of them can ever return home.

But all is not lost.

Thanks to Lex, a strange girl with a remarkable gift, the path to Earth has been revealed. According to ancient myth, Earth holds valuable treasures, lost technology, and endless secrets, ripe for the taking. Jace and his new friends have a chance to discover it all, but only if they can keep Lex out of the Union's control.

Doing so won't be easy.

With enemies on all sides, the deck is stacked against them, but nothing in this universe comes easy when you're a Renegade.

Experience the beginning of a sprawling galactic tale in this second entry to The Renegade Star series. If you're a fan of Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, or Leviathan Wakes, you'll love this epic, space opera thriller.

Warning: This book contains action, cussing, thieving, a flagrant disregard for the law, hard candy, a bobblehead, an albino, a lack of manners, murder, lasers, a nun, and general badassery. Read at your own risk.

Dex by Stacy ClaflinDex by Stacy Claflin:

A world of mindless zombies. A lone traveler kills to stay alive. To survive a new threat, his only choices are trust or death...

Dex fears humans more than the hordes of wandering undead. After 11 years in survival mode, he’s learned how to fight the wandering killers. But humans are unpredictable, and in the chaotic ruins of civilization, one unplanned move can get you killed.

After an attack by the zombified version of a beloved family member, Dex resolves to travel back to his hometown. As he searches for surviving friends and family, he encounters a new breed of wanderer… less grotesque, but just as hungry for flesh.

To combat the new enemy, Dex must re-learn how to trust his fellow travelers. If he fails, he has no chance of reaching his hometown alive.

Dex is a post-apocalyptic zombie adventure with both thrills and heart. If you like tales of undead survival, compelling characters, and new twists on classic horror, then you’ll love USA Today bestselling author Stacy Claflin’s edge-of-your-seat thriller.

The Corsair's Captive by Ruby DixonThe Corsair's Captive by Ruby Dixon:

A pirate doesn’t ask for permission - he takes.

When I see the delicate human female collared and enslaved by the smuggler I’m about to swindle, I do what any male would do.

I take her from him. It’s what I do best, after all.

Now Fran’s mine, and I’m never giving her up. On board my spaceship, she’ll be safe. She’ll wear my clothes, eat my food, and sleep in my bed. I’ll keep her safe from a galaxy that wishes her harm. But my sweet Fran wants nothing more than to return to Earth. How can I take her home when she holds my heart in her dainty, five-fingered hands?

This story stands completely alone and is only marginally connected to the Ice Planet Barbarians series and Prison Planet Barbarian. You do not need to read those books in order to follow this one.

Tales From The Lake, edited by Ben EadsTales From The Lake, Vol. 4, edited by Ben Eads:

The Legend Continues…

Twenty-four heart-rending tales with elements of terror, mystery, and a nightmarish darkness that knows no end.

Welcome to my lake. Welcome to where dreams and hope are illusions…and pain is God.

This anthology begins with Joe R. Lansdale’s The Folding Man, one of his darkest stories ever written.
Kealan Patrick Burke’s Go Warily After Dark pulls us into a desolated world, and reminds us of the price of survival: a guilt that seeps into the marrow.
Damien Angelica Walter’s Everything Hurts, Until it Doesn’t places us in the middle of a family whose secrets and traditions are thicker than blood.
Jennifer Loring’s When the Dead Come Home explores a loss so dark, that even the stars are sucked into its melancholic vacuum.

In the spirit of popular Dark Fiction and Horror anthologies such as Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories and Behold: Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders, and the best of Stephen King’s short fiction, comes Crystal Lake Publishing’s Tales from The Lake anthologies.

Seers Stone by Holly EvansSeers Stone by Holly Evans:

My name’s Kaitlyn Felis, and I’m a treasure-hunting alchemist.

I was given the opportunity of a lifetime to work for a mysterious elf called Fein Thyrin. Not only did he give me my dream alchemy lab, one that came with a beautiful part-nymph assistant (she’ll be the end of me, in the best possible way) he’s also hired me as his personal treasure-hunter. To say I was excited is a drastic understatement.

First on my treasure-hunting list? The Seers Stone – it’s a thing of legends, and I’m going to be the first hunter to get my hands on it.

The Hidden Alchemy series is set in the same magic-packed world as the popular Ink Born series.

Magic Compass by Jaymin EveMagical Compass by Jaymin Eve

Tyson Compass, as one of the famed Compass quads, is not a wizard used to living with regrets. Except for one: Grace Carter.

Grace is a healer witch he rejected many years ago. After completely disappearing from his life, she has returned, and turned his world upside down. The attraction between them flares strongly, but she has not forgotten or forgiven his callous rebuff when they were teens.

Tyson does everything he can to prove he will never hurt her again, and just when he thinks there might be a chance for them, she has to leave again. She makes him promise not to follow her - a promise he honors for as long as he can. But after almost two months with no word, he’s done waiting. He’s going to find his girl.

With a little help from his brothers, he tracks her down, only to find Grace betrayed by her family ... tortured ... hurt. His rage knows no bounds. He will do everything he can to bring her family to justice, to find out why they turned on her.

By unlocking these secrets, though, he will discover that Grace is so much more than just a healer witch. She holds a secret that could save the world of Faerie. Or destroy it.

** Magical Compass is a spinoff set within the Supernatural Prison World. It's full length at 90,000 words, and is standalone with HEA. You do not need to read the Supernatural Prison trilogy first, but it will help your understanding of this world if you do.

The Sorcerer by Ann FisherThe Sorcerer by Ann Fisher:

He’s an imperial sorcerer.

Janek Lanari has devoted his life to the service of the Ghadrian Empire. When a plot to murder the imperial family is uncovered, Janek is charged with protecting the crown prince while the emperor hunts down the traitors inside the palace. Janek hides the boy on wild and remote Erys, determined to see to it that both prince and empire survive the attempted coup.

She’s a rebel spy.

Lorel's brother is rotting away in a Ghadrian dungeon on Erys, and she’ll do whatever it takes to get him out—join the rebellion, enter the Keep as a spy, even sleep with the enemy if necessary. Whatever the cost, she’ll set her brother free, and then she’ll watch the empire burn.

The Summoner and the Seer by C. GoldThe Summoner and the Seer by C. Gold:

He murdered her family, she sentenced him to eternal torture. Now they have to work together to save the world from the coming darkness.

Radcliff was widely known as the most ruthless wizard of all time. Nicknamed Destroyer, his brutal actions forced even the most recalcitrant kingdoms to surrender. When the west defied him, he immolated their entire city and thousands died. But this action was the last straw for many. Betrayed by his lover, stripped of power and memory by his mentor, he was locked up and tortured for one thousand years.

Amira’s seer talent has always been unpredictable but accurate. So when it shows her the wizard responsible for slaughtering her friends and family is the key to saving the world, she has no choice but to rescue him. But Radcliff is no longer who he was and certainly not what she expected. It isn’t long before she regrets her part in his sentencing.

Radcliff doesn’t know he’s the most reviled person in history. In fact, he doesn’t know anything because when he wakes up each morning, he forgets his past. A journal lets him relearn basic spells, but it can’t help him build a relationship, and he’d really like one with his beautiful traveling companion.

Together, they must evade their enemies and restore Radcliff’s memory before the world is consumed in darkness. But bringing back the Destroyer may not be wise. It may also break Amira’s heart.

Heir of Tanaris by Kyra HallandHeir of Tanaris by Kyra Halland:

As a young boy, Davian was sold into slavery at Source Makarsk, a corrupted magical wellspring. Over the years, he has risen in the ranks of the slaves; still, he knows he will never be anything but a slave until an elderly wizard, a prisoner at Makarsk, tells him he can be something more and gives him an astonishing gift. Desperate to find the destiny the wizard promised him, Davian risks his life to escape from Makarsk.

Isamina, a talented young healer at Sharan, a Source of healing magic, loves caring for patients and has a special gift for soothing their fears and pain. But her parents, the Master and Matron of the Source, and her betrothed, her former teacher, doubt her abilities and have their own plans for the path her life should follow. And the kind of healing Isamina most wants to do, mending broken minds and spirits, is strictly forbidden at Source Sharan.

When a badly-injured runaway slave is brought to Sharan, Isamina is captivated by the man she senses deep inside and risks everything to try to heal his tormented spirit, damaged by the evil Source that still holds him prisoner. And Davian, hunted by Makarsk's fearsome Guardian, must find a way to defeat the powerful magic that binds him to Source Makarsk so that he can become the great man he longs to be and win the love he yearns for, the love of his healing angel, Isamina.

Romantic high fantasy for adults. Contains violence, mild to moderate sensual content, and disturbing themes.

Stranded Justice by Stephen L. HawkStranded Justice by Steven L. Hawk:

Captain Eli Justice is a Shiale Ranger. His training, instincts, and experience set him apart from other soldiers, and enable him to succeed where most fail.

When his ship gets shot down during a scouting mission, Eli finds himself stranded on a dangerous, untamed world. Reports of the planet being uninhabited were wrong, and the need to alert the alliance of the hostile presence is critical.

To alert the alliance, though, the ranger first has to survive the planet. Welcome to the jungle.

Brimstone Blues by James A. HunterBrimstone Blues by James A. Hunter:

A Demon King. An Infernal city. The whole world hangs in the balance.

Yancy Lazarus—mage, bluesman, and demon-souled—is having the worst hangover of his life.
He just woke up in a dingy hotel in literal Hell with one eye missing, an arm covered in swirling golden tattoos, and no recollection of the past six months.

All he wants is to figure out how he ended up in the Great Below and whether there’s a way home. But getting out of Hell is no easy feat. Yancy is the most wanted man in the Infernal city of Pandæmonium, and he’s being hunted by demonic cutthroats for a series of high-profile murders he can’t remember committing.

Now, Lazarus will have to rely on the help of a shapeshifting stranger with a dark past to battle his way past a legion of freakish Hellions and the murderous Derby-Girl Nation to reclaim a weapon capable of killing even immortals. And to escape Hell? Well, he’ll need to pull off the greatest coup the Abyss has seen since the Morning Star took on Heaven. If he fails, not only will the King of Pandæmonium roast his soul for eternity, but his friends will be left to the mercies of the Savage Prophet and the Morrigan, goddess of death.

Dark Ride by P.G. KasselDark Ride by P.G. Kassel:

Some criminals have all the luck, but Marty’s is about to run out…

Marty Wedlow needs one last score before he can skip town. It’s only a matter of time before two thugs he swindled point a finger… and their guns in his direction. But even when Marty is brought to the police station for his latest crime, he’s not worried. Marty is incredibly lucky.

After dodging the long arm of the law yet again, Marty looks for another illicit payday at a local amusement park. What he finds instead is a mysterious stranger who prophesies that his lucky days are running out. He ignores the warnings as he pursues a vicious conquest. But good fortune is a wheel, and Marty is about to find out what happens when it spins in the other direction.

Dark Ride is a supernatural thriller in the vein of The Twilight Zone. If you like eerie amusement parks, pulse-pounding page-turners, and a touch of the paranormal, then you’ll love P.G. Kassel’s electrifying story.

Melokai by Rosalyn KellyMelokai by Rosalyn Kelly

She thinks it’s the end, but it’s just the beginning.

“Trouble will come from the east. A wolf will claim the throne.”

Legendary warrior Ramya has successfully reigned over Peqkya as Melokai for twelve years. Prosperous, peaceful, and happy, her people love her... or so she thinks.

But Ramya’s time is up. Bracing herself for the gruesome sentence imposed on all Melokais who have served their purpose, she hears instead a shocking prophecy.

Is the sudden appearance of a mysterious cave creature from the east the trouble the prophecy speaks of? Or is the threat something darker, more evil? And what of the wolves... does the ferocious war with their kind mark the end for Peqkya?

Before Ramya can answer, she and her fearless warriors must first crush a catastrophic rebellion that threatens to destroy her and devastate her beloved nation.

Spectre of War by Kin S. LawSpectre of War by Kin S. Law:

A third Victoria has ascended the throne of a steam-driven country where enormous clockwork giants walk the streets and airships carry news of the Ottoman threat in the East.

In the wake of a calamity that engulfed all of Europe, Inspector Vanessa Hargreaves of Scotland Yard is given the dubious task of policing steamcraft crime. Along with flamboyant detective Arturo C. Adler, she stumbles upon a conspiracy to use a horrific plague in an effort to prevent war.

But even as dastardly forces converge upon her, our high-heeled detective struggles with her devotion to Queen and Country, and the shadows under the Union Flag grow ever deeper.

Can she put a stop to this new disaster before her country is devoured by a Spectre of War?

SPECTRE OF WAR is at once detective story, political intrigue and giant robot fantasy in a fabulous, international, and multicultural steampunk riot!

Grim Rising by Amanda M. LeeGrim Rising by Amanda M. Lee:

Aisling Grimlock should be happy.

She’s living with and engaged to the man of her dreams, her mother isn’t eating people … at least out in the open, her best friend is distracted by wedding details … mostly, and there are zombies running around Detroit.

Yeah, it’s that last one that’s driving her crazy … especially because no one in her family believes her when she spouts the tall tale.

Aisling Grimlock is a reaper in trouble. She’s got big decisions in front of her and nonstop trouble chasing behind. The dead appear to be rising … and they’ve got their eyes (and teeth, for that matter) trained on Aisling and her family.

Even though the rest of the family thinks she’s exaggerating – or even lying because she’s looking for attention – they’re determined to help before Aisling goes over the edge. It seems there might be a little something going on, and Aisling might have been right all along.

You know what that means, right? Yes, she’s doing her “I’m right” dance … and then ducking for cover.

It’s going to take every Grimlock to fight this enemy, and even then, Aisling will be isolated in the end. The question is: Can she win the day or is she destined to join the creatures stalking her?

Wanted by the Werewolf Prince by Kara LockharteWanted by the Werewolf Prince by Kara Lockharte:

The toughest pilot in the universe...and the werewolf prince who will claim her.

She's bold, fearless and disobedient--which always gets her in trouble.

He's controlling, demanding, and superior--which always gets him what he wants.

Captain Skye Daring is a space fighter pilot without equal. Rescuing a foreign werewolf prince and his sister from behind enemy lines should be a breeze.

Prince Ral doesn’t take orders from impudent humans. He’s determined to save not only his sister and but his people they left behind. The only thing in his way is a sexy pilot too stubborn to acknowledge his authority.

Stuck in a crippled ship and hunted by tiger shifters, Skye and Ral must stop fighting each other and battle the enemy -- together. Will the prince and pilot drop their guards long enough to conquer their dislike…and desire?

READER NOTE: This story features sizzling hot emotions (and physical actions) with an awesome HEA. Only for readers who like their sexy times action to be explicit! Please also note that in this book the laws of quantum astro-physics have been modified for your story-telling pleasure (as in the use of faster than light travel via portals made by ancient space leviathans).

Sanctuary by Phil MaxeySanctuary by Phil Maxey:

Katrina Ambrose was used to being on the fringe of society, but as she neared her twenty-first birthday on the twenty-first of December, a fateful visit to her mysterious grandfather changed her life forever.

Kill For You by Michele MillsKill For You by Michele Mills:

A virus swept the globe killing almost all of humanity and crushing civilization to the ground, leaving Trevor Mason in the enviable position of being able to strut out of his wide-open death row cell, a free man. Now he’s trying to find redemption by helping to rebuild a ruined and empty world.

Rebel Case was a box office phenomenon, but after the apocalypse she’s just a survivor like anyone else. When passion explodes between her and a tattooed, sexy-as-hell bad boy who says he wants forever, will Rebel risk her future, her safety, on a man with an inexcusable past?

But can an ex con really leave his past behind, when it refuses to stay gone?

And how far will Trevor go to keep his woman safe?

Warning: This book contains spanking and voyeurism. Love, in a hopeless place and laughter despite the pain. And as usual, more bad language and violence than are strictly necessary.

Ygerna by Ruth NestvoldYgerna by Ruth Nestvold

When young Ygerna first meets Uthyr, Pendragon of Britain, she is dazzled by the handsome and famous warrior. But when Uthyr interprets admiration as consent and takes her by force, Ygerna's hero worship turns to hatred.

And she will do anything to get revenge on the man who got her with child and ruined her life.
Rebellious by Chrissy PeeblesRebellious by Chrissy Peebles:

Sky was raised in an underwater city after a meterorite stuck Earth and the air was deemed unbreathable.

Sky doesn't accept her fate and bucks the system every chance she gets. She feels as though her government is lying to her and doesn't trust her leaders. With a serial killer on the loose and a stalker she can't shake, Sky wants nothing more than to see the surface, soak in the sun, breathe in fresh air, and get the hell out of that glass city.

But with people dying all around her, can she get to the surface before it's too late?

Voices by Dean RencraftLegends of Elera: Voices by Dean Rencraft

"Whether you choose magic or madness, you can't save the world from itself."
Auntie Mitra

The Ancients have turned their backs on a corrupt and unjust society, leaving chaos, death and ruin in their wake. A new magic, one born of nature to balance the chaos, rises to replace the old, while the old will stop at nothing in its dark pursuit of power without cost.

Raised deep in the Farwood in a caring, yet enigmatic home, Liah is outcast in her own village after being rejected by the legendary bards. Tired of bullies and baseless accusations, she is ultimately accepted as a ranger's apprentice and travels with her family through the Farwood to the Hall of the Ancients, where she begins her training and searches for answers to the mysterious rejection that damned her in the eyes of her realm and its gods.

Here, at the academy's Hall, she struggles to find her way in the great city of Geth'ana before the combination of secrets, magic and the chaos swirling around her can destroy everyone, and everything, she holds dear.

Magic in my Bones by Kellie SheridanMagic in my Bones by Kellie Sheridan

My name is Melanie Sinclair, and as far as anyone knows, I've been dead since the day I was born.

It's been over two decades since I was smuggled into Galway to be raised where the magical community would never find me. Two decades of hiding. Two decades of pretending to be less than I am, blending in with the lesser magicks—those whose abilities are of little interest to those in power.

With the threat of exposure is growing every day, humanity is getting closer and closer to learning about a world they may not be ready to handle. The supernatural world must band together if they stand any chance of survival.

Now, Galway has been chosen to host a summit between the four major factions, the same people my family died to protect me from. Because, of course it has.

So much for the luck of the Irish.

Interstellar Mage by Glynn StewartInterstellar Mage by Glynn Stewart

Mars destroyed his ship — but gave him a new one.
Mars drafted his Mage — for the good of humanity!
He should have known that wouldn’t be the end of it…

Captain David Rice has a new ship, a new crew, and a new set of Jump Mages to carry him between the stars. All he wants is to haul cargo, make money and keep his head down.

His past, however, is not so willing to let him go. An old enemy is reaching out from beyond the grave to destroy any chance of peace or life for Captain Rice—and old friends are only making things more complicated!

All he wants is to be a businessman, but as the death toll mounts he must decide what is more important: his quiet life or the peace humanity has enjoyed for centuries…

Hostile Planet by Jeff TanyardHostile Planet by Jeff Tanyard

Sergeant Jerry Harper left the military nine years ago. He's just a landscaper now, not a soldier. He spends his days mowing lawns and his nights playing gigs with his band. It's a nice, steady life, and that's the way he likes it.

That steady life is interrupted when a colonel from military intelligence shows up. Jerry's old war buddy, Brandon Woods, has gone missing, and the colonel is assembling a motley group of rescuers. He wants Jerry to join the team.

Jerry owes Brandon his life, so he agrees to help. He travels to another planet and soon finds himself mired in interstellar politics. There's something psychological going on, too, a legacy of his last battle nine years ago. Finding Brandon is challenging enough by itself, but now those secrets from the past threaten to drive Jerry insane. He hopes he can grab his friend and get out without attracting too much attention, and he certainly doesn't want to risk starting another war. But he's on a hostile planet now, and it won't give Brandon up without a fight.

Kymiera by Steve TurnbullKYMIERA by Steve Turnbull:

They stopped the monsters, but at what cost? Who's going to stop them?

Chloe Dark lives in a world decimated by a pandemic that turned humans into genetic freaks, and she fears it will happen to her. When her best friend goes missing, Britain's tyrannical Purity ruling class keeps Chloe from discovering the truth. To find her friend, she has no choice but to take the road more dangerous...

As Chloe realizes she has more in common with the freaks than she'd care to admit, the search to save her friend transforms into a fight for her life. Now she must risk everything to determine if the real monster is the one within.

KYMIERA is an action-packed dystopian biopunk page-turner. If you like gritty sci-fi settings, strong-willed heroines, and coming-of-age tales, then you'll love Steve Turnbull's binge-worthy thrill-ride.

Hibernian Charm by Dean F. WilsonHibernian Charm by Dean F. Wilson:

A tense urban fantasy mystery with charm!

Melanie Rosen hasn't settled for much, but her travels have brought her to Dublin, Ireland, where she works for the Occult Investigations Unit, exploring the strange and unknown.

Her fiery disposition and tendency to probe where she's not wanted keep her in the office with the paperwork, or chasing cases that don't seem to have an answer.

Then she gets a new case, where a killer slowly paralyses his victims, and leaves a calling card behind: a charm. Her Romani-Irish roots might come in useful, but the more she probes this case, the more she doesn't like the answer. All the clues keep pointing back to her.

This is a standalone tale in the Hibernian Hollows universe.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Tales From The Lake, Volume 4: The Horror Anthology, edited by Ben Eads

Release date: October 27, 2017
Subgenre: Horror anthology

About Tales From The Lake, Vol. 4


The Legend Continues…
Twenty-four heart-rending tales with elements of terror, mystery, and a nightmarish darkness that knows no end.
Welcome to my lake. Welcome to where dreams and hope are illusions…and pain is God.  
  • This anthology begins with Joe R. Lansdale’s The Folding Man, one of his darkest stories ever written.
  • Kealan Patrick Burke’s Go Warily After Dark pulls us into a desolated world, and reminds us of the price of survival: a guilt that seeps into the marrow.
  • Damien Angelica Walter’s Everything Hurts, Until it Doesn’t places us in the middle of a family whose secrets and traditions are thicker than blood.
  • Jennifer Loring’s When the Dead Come Home explores a loss so dark, that even the stars are sucked into its melancholic vacuum.
In the spirit of popular Dark Fiction and Horror anthologies such as Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories and Behold: Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders, and the best of Stephen King’s short fiction, comes Crystal Lake Publishing’s Tales from The Lake anthologies.
This fourth volume of Speculative Fiction contains the following short stories:
  • Jennifer Loring – When the Dead Come Home
  • Joe R. Lansdale – The Folding Man
  • Kealan Patrick Burke – Go Warily After Dark
  • T. E. Grau – To the Hills
  • Damien Angelica Walters – Everything Hurts, Until it Doesn’t
  • Sheldon Higdon – Drowning in Sorrow
  • Max Booth III – Whenever You Exhale, I Inhale
  • Bruce Golden – The Withering
  • JG Faherty – Grave Secrets
  • Hunter Liguore – End of the Hall
  • David Dunwoody – Snowmen
  • Timothy G. Arsenault – Pieces of Me
  • Maria Alexander – Neighborhood Watchers
  • Timothy Johnson – The Story of Jessie and Me
  • Michael Bailey – I will be the Reflection Until the End
  • E.E. King – The Honeymoon’s Over
  • Darren Speegle – Song in a Sundress
  • Cynthia Ward – Weighing In
  • Michael Haynes – Reliving the Past
  • Leigh M. Lane – The Long Haul
  • Mark Cassell – Dust Devils
  • Del Howison – Liminality
  • Gene O’Neill – The Gardener
  • Jeff Cercone – Condo by the Lake
With an introduction by editor Ben Eads. Cover art by Ben Baldwin. Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing – Tales from The Darkest Depths.



To The Hills

T.E. Grau

Daddy woke me up that night, and put his finger to my lips so I wouldn’t scream, just like he said he would. That’s how I knew.
“Is this it?” I whispered.
“Yes it is,” he whispered back. I didn’t need to hear the confirmation, because his face told me everything.
We’d practiced this before, he and I. He and Brother practiced separate. Mommy and he did too, he’d said, but in a different way, because adults needed to worry about different things.
“Dress rehearsal for the end of the world,” he’d called it.
But that night, it was the real thing. Rehearsals were over.
It was the end of the world.
I got up and got dressed, extra quiet, just like he’d shown me, putting on warm clothes even though it was July. My travel pack was ready, stuffed tight with five pairs of underwear and socks, five T-shirts, two pairs of jeans, one wool sweater, a knitted scarf and hat, spare boots a size too big, toothpaste and brush, a bottle of shampoo, hair ties, a compass, a hatchet, pocket knife, and a .22 caliber pistol that I’d shot exactly twelve times, hitting four bottles and a tin can. Firing the gun had scared me. I even cried a little, but Daddy said it was important, to build up muscle memory and lay down a new line of instinct. Probably the most important.
“You need to know how to use this,” he’d said, a frown in his voice. “Against them. You understand?”
“Yes sir,” I’d said, looking down at the pistol, feeling how hot it was after I fired it empty.
“And if they get me, if they get me first, you know what to do, right?”
I didn’t say anything. I knew what to do, which was why I didn’t answer.
I pulled the heavy backpack over both shoulders, shrugged it high and tightened the straps, then headed out into the hallway. Daddy was shutting his bedroom door, fastening it behind him with the extra lock none of the other doors had. He’d gotten dressed faster than I did. He’d obviously been practicing more than me.
I stood before him, not moving, hoping it was all a dream and I was still back in my bed. He gave me one last inspection, rifle in one hand, flashlight in the other, full pack slung over his back. He looked about twelve feet tall. A monster killer.
“Let’s go,” he said.



About Ben Eads:

Ben Eads lives within the semi-tropical suburbs of Central Florida. A true horror writer by heart, he wrote his first story at the tender age of ten. The look on the teacher’s face when she read it was priceless. However, his classmates loved it! Ben has had short stories published in various magazines and anthologies. When he isn’t writing, he dabbles in martial arts, philosophy and specializes in I.T. security. He’s always looking to find new ways to infect reader’s imaginations. Ben blames Arthur Machen, H.P. Lovecraft, Jorge Luis Borges, J.G. Ballard, Philip K. Dick, and Stephen King for his addiction, and his need to push the envelope of fiction. His first book, Cracked Sky, will be published January 2015 by Omnium Gatherum Media. 

Website | Crystal Lake Publishing

Friday, October 27, 2017

Speculative Fiction Links of the Week for October 27, 2017

It's time again for our weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web, this week with Star Trek Discovery, Blade Runner 2049, Thor: Ragnarok, Strange Weather, Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, afrofuturism, lots of horror, tributes to Julian May as well as the usual mix of awards news, writing advice, interviews, reviews, awards news, con reports, crowdfunding campaigns, science articles and free online fiction. 

Speculative fiction in general:

Comments on Star Trek Discovery:

Comments on Blade Runner 2049

Comments on Thor: Ragnarok

Comments on season 2 of Stranger Things

Comments on the season 8 premiere of The Walking Dead


Writing, publishing and promotion:




Con reports:

Science and technology:

Free online fiction:

Odds and ends: