Friday, November 30, 2018

Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for November 2018

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 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, historical fantasy, YA fantasy, paranormal mystery, space opera, military science fiction, dystopian fiction, horror, biopunk, weird western, time travel, vampires, witches, demons, ghosts, superheroes, robots, renegades, gunslingers, space marines, space rangers, space pirates, alien invasions, space prisons, supernatural prisons, shadow ships, cybernetic dogs, crime-fighting witches, crime-fighting vampire madams, crime-fighting cockroaches (yes, really) 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:

Nightfall by Jay AllanNightfall by Jay Allan:

Night is falling.

The unstoppable Hegemony invasion has reached the very heart of the Confederation. Battle after desperate battle has been fought, and each time, the Confeds have been pushed back, columns of battered and blasted ship retreating from system to system. Now, they prepare to grimly defend the capital world of Megara, the very center of the Confederation.

Tyler Barron prepares for what could be his final battle, a final desperate defense, one last chance to stem the tide of Hegemony conquest and subjugation. The fleet is ready, its exhausted crews prepared to fight with all the strength that remains to them. Still, the enemy is overpoweringly strong, and the odds of victory are slipping quickly away.

But, there is still hope. From unexpected allies. From the grit and determination of the defending fleets and their spacers. And, from a plan so daring it borders on the impossible…a wild and desperate gamble to stem the tide of conquest and halt the enemy.

It is night, and everywhere there is darkness, but the Confederation is not beaten yet. Barron and his comrades will stand, and they will struggle to somehow endure the darkness and fight through to the dawn.

The Colliding Worlds Trilogy by Rachel AukesThe Colliding Worlds Trilogy by Rachel Aukes:

First contact may be our last.

Beyond our world lies the unknown, countless planets with endless possibilities. On a dark world far from our home, an epic war started a chain reaction, sending two alien races on a collision course with Earth. Secret battles wage on our soil, brewing a cataclysmic war that could change the face of humanity forever. If we can't prevent an alien armageddon, we'll find ourselves fighting against forces with technology thousands of years more advanced than ours. The war is on, and time is running out. . .

Sienna Wolfe's life changes when a strange craft crashes near her cabin, and she finds herself in the middle of a bitter battle between two warring alien races, the likes of which could wipe out mankind. As she races to align her new allies with the U.S. military, she may soon learn that her new friends may not be as noble as they seem. Can Sienna prevent an interstellar war from claiming Earth, or will she become the harbinger of an alien apocalypse?

As Sephian forces peck at the Draeken defenses, we soon learn that things are never as simple as right and wrong. Draeken Commander Roden Zyll has spilled plenty of blood in his time, and he cares little for humans. But when he realizes his leader’s plan could lead to his people’s extinction, he plans a coup. Only one problem: he has to work with the Sephians to succeed. If he fails, every Earth nation will be yanked into a war that no one has a chance of winning.

When a deadly virus is released across the planet, all aliens are quickly blamed. When a mass execution is planned, Captain Jax Jerrick becomes a traitor to the military in order to save the Sephians and the Draeken. After bloody battle, he escapes and joins the resistance committed to holding off the world's military forces while searching for an antivirus. With enemies coming at them from everywhere, can the resistance stop the war before humanity becomes extinct?

Infernal Fire by Joseph J. BaileyInfernal Fire by Joseph J. Bailey:

No one should ever come between a man's family and his guns.
Not if they want to live.
Not even a demon.
Or a demonic horde.

Especially when those guns belong to a spellslinger.

The demons who killed his father had a death wish, for Koren D'uene is a ja'lel, a gun knight, and his is the job of granting wishes.

His guns spoke, and demons fell.

Infernal Fire is a weird western, a Wild West-inspired fantasy adventure novel of roughly 50,000 words.

Kaleen Rae and Other Weird Tales by David BrianKaleen Rae and Other Weird Tales by David Brian:

Take a walk into darkness with nine tales of the weird and macabre...

Just how far would you go to win someone's heart? Would you gamble with your soul?

Jonathon is a good man, but he struggles with body issues and bad skin. When he meets the beautiful Belinda he realizes he would do anything to be with her. With no other options, he turns to the mysterious Kaleen Rae in the solitary Gothic house on the far side of the meadows.

In the Welsh countryside, a werewolf is spurred into action by an alluring scent. But is it ever wise to hunt in daylight?

For Pvt. Eddie Coates, surviving Afghanistan is looking increasingly unlikely. The few remaining members of his unit are pinned down under heavy fire. All seems lost, and then they hear wings beating in the darkness…

A troubled youth plots his revenge. But what price would you pay for retribution?

Hellish demons, haunted houses, shape-shifting monsters, and genetic mutations, make up this unsettling collection, which also includes the original short story version of The Strange Case at Misty Ridge.

Tales From The Lake, Vol. 5, edited by Kenneth W. CainTales From The Lake Vol. 5: The Horror Anthology, edited by Kenneth W. Cain:

The Legend Continues…

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 the Tales from The Lake anthologies.

This 5th volume includes:
  • “Always After Three” by Gemma Files - A young couple discovers that in a downtown condo you almost never know who your neighbours are, or what they might be doing.
  • “In the Family” by Lucy A. Snyder - A former child actress reveals dark family secrets to her long-lost niece.
  • “Voices Like Barbed Wire” by Tim Waggoner - Sometimes forgetting is more painful than remembering.
  • “The Flutter of Silent Wings” by Gene O’Neill - A heartbreaking tribute to a Shirley Jackson classic.
  • “Guardian” by Paul Michael Anderson - Even creatures beyond time and space need friendship.
  • “Farewell Valencia” by Craig Wallwork - When you’ve got no reason to live, there’s a hotel that can give you every reason to die. So book in, unpack, and prepare to be checked out, forever.
  • “A Dream Most Ancient and Alone” by Allison Pang - A lake mermaid with a penchant for eating children forms a tenuous friendship with an abused girl trying to escape her past.
  • “The Monster Told Me To” by Stephanie M. Wytovich - In order for Bria to deal with her past, she must confront the ghosts of her present.
  • “Dead Bodies Don’t Scream” by Michelle Ann King - If the universe won’t give her a miracle, Allie will make one for herself. But dark magic has a price.
  • “The Boy” by Cory Cone - Grief-stricken from the loss of her husband, a young woman fears she may lose her son as well, if she hasn’t already.
  • “Starve a Fever” by Jonah Buck - Fleeing down a bayou highway with a sick criminal in the backseat, a getaway driver must sate his passenger’s horrifying needs while evading the police.
  • “Umbilicus” by Lucy Taylor - A father becomes involved in a scheme to rescue a friend’s lost son—with terrifying results.
  • “Nonpareil” by Laura Blackwell - Maisie’s wedding cake business needs every client it can get—but between the groom’s unpleasant family and the mysterious bride’s strange requests, Maisie has a tough job baking a cake that will please everyone.
  • “The Weeds and the Wildness Yet” by Robert Stahl - Reeling over the death of his wife, Charlie stumbles across a mysterious object—the legendary monkey’s paw. Despite the terrible events that befall that fictional family, he can’t help but give it a try.
  • “The Color of Loss and Love” by Jason Sizemore - A couple set out to rescue an unfamiliar couple, only to face an airborne disease.
  • “A Bathtub at the End of the World” by Lane Waldman - A little girl plays with her toys in a locked bathroom. Everything is fine, except for the zombies outside.
  • “Twelve by Noon” by Joanna Parypinski - A farmer goes about his routine tending to the scarecrows that preside over his field, when three college students show up and cause a strange disturbance.
  • “Hollow Skulls” by Samuel Marzioli - When Orson’s son is born, the memory of a tragedy creeps back into his life, threatening his very sanity.
  • And much more.
Edited by Kenneth W. Cain and represented by Crystal Lake Publishing – Tales from The Darkest Depths.
Renegade Children by J.N. ChaneyRenegade Children by J.N. Chaney:

People are dying.

Shortly after Captain Jace Hughes and his team recover hundreds of surviving Eternal refugees, disaster strikes. A recently unearthed fauna dome, one of many biological arks on Earth, is destroyed and several people are killed.

All proof points to the Eternals.

Meanwhile, shortly after the slip tunnel at the center of the planet is shut down for good, a strange distress signal is detected. It appears to be coming from somewhere on the planet, but the exact coordinates are unknown.

Two investigations are launched. One for the saboteur; the other for the source of the signal. With rising tensions between the colonists and the Eternals, Jace must do everything he can to prevent a bloody confrontation.

Mr. Smith and the Roach by J.J. DiBenedettoMr. Smith and the Roach by J.J. DiBenedetto:

John Smith has a problem. He’s a retired cop whose pension just got wiped out, and he doesn’t know why or how. Now he needs to find a roommate to help pay the bills.

Sam has a problem. He’s a six-foot-tall talking cockroach and he doesn’t know who created him, or why, or how. Now he needs a place to live.

Thrown together as roommates and amateur detectives, Mr. Smith and the Roach realize their problems might be related.

But those problems are far more complicated than they imagined, and before all is said and done, they’ll run afoul of a Russian gangster, an imprisoned Mafia don, a crooked Wall Street banker, a mad scientist and, maybe worst of all, Mr. Smith’s baby sister.

Can they get to the bottom of an unbelievable plot before someone exterminates the Roach – and Mr. Smith – for good?

Out for Blood by Zen DiPietroOut for Blood by Zen DiPietro:

The members of Avian Unit have experienced love, loss, and things they can't even tell each other about.

Their new assignment is to take out a cell of identity brokers who leave a trail of bodies in their wake. They'll come face to face with the darkest aspects of becoming members of Blackout.

Avian Unit will find out what they're really made of as they finally become what they were always meant to be.

Mercury by Emerald DodgeMercury by Emerald Dodge:

Brother against brother. Superhero against superhero. His wife has been kidnapped, and now he must decide how far down the road of vengeance he can go.

Benjamin, codename Mercury, is a member of an elite superhero team. Jillian, his wife, has been kidnapped by his soulless brother, Beau. With her life hanging in the balance, now it’s fight or die. Beau believes Jillian knows the whereabouts of JM-104, a compound that renders superpowers worthless, and to weaken his enemies he’s determined to make her talk by any means necessary. Benjamin must risk his life to save her, and then he must destroy what’s left of the JM-104.

But it won’t be so easy. When Benjamin’s team heads after the JM-104 with a ticking clock hanging over their heads, a team of superheroes who specialize in killing other superheroes will be right there waiting for them, just as brother goes against brother with Jillian caught in the middle. In the face of overwhelming odds, will they save Jillian and destroy the biggest threat to their existence? Or will the long arm of hate reach into Benjamin’s heart and destroy everything he holds dear?

Fans of Jessica Jones and Arrow will love Emerald Dodge’s Mercury, a fast-paced thrill ride across the world of superheroes and supervillains.

Pick up your copy today and enjoy the shocking finale of the Battlecry series!

The Strange by Masha du ToitThe Strange by Masha du Toit:

Constable Elke Veraart and her cyber-dog Meisje are peace keepers, patrolling the Babylon Eye. It’s a good job, but there must be more to life than chasing smugglers and settling domestic disputes.

Then three children ask Elke to find their mother, who’s been missing for more than a year. The search attracts the wrong kind of attention. Elke and her young friends are in desperate danger.

Unable to resist the powers that have been unleashed against her, Elke is swept out of the Babylon Eye and into another world. While she struggles to regain her freedom, the children are unprotected. They must face, all alone, a new danger that stalks the corridors of the Babylon Eye.

"The Strange" is the third and final book in the Linked Worlds series.

Deliverance by M.R. ForbesDeliverance by M.R. Forbes:

The war is over. Earth is lost. Running is the only option.

It may already be too late.

Caleb is a former Marine Raider and commander of the Vultures, an elite search and rescue team that's spent the last two years pulling high-value targets out of alien-ravaged cities and shipping them off-world.

Now he's on the last starship out, under orders to join forty-thousand survivors on their journey to a new home. It's not the mission he wants, but it's a mission he's doing his best to accomplish. When Caleb meets the colony's head sheriff, she represents an opportunity for a fresh start and a chance to leave his old life behind for good...

Only the mission will be harder to complete than either of them realize.

And the colonists will need the old Caleb more than he ever imagined...

Max Damage by Simon HaynesMax Damage by Simon Haynes:

Hal Spacejock and Clunk return in an all-new novel!

Hal and Clunk answer a distress call, and they discover a fellow pilot stranded deep inside an asteroid field. Clunk is busy at the controls, dodging incoming rocks, so Hal dons a spacesuit, takes the jetbike and sets off on a heroic rescue mission.

If he'd only known the trouble he was getting himself into, he wouldn't have bothered...
Max Damage is the ninth book in the Hal Spacejock series.

All Hal Spacejock novels are stand-alones, not sequels. You'll get the most out of them if you read them in order, but it's not required.

Beatrice Beecham's Ship of Shadows by Dave JefferyBeatrice Beecham's Ship of Shadows by Dave Jeffery:

Beatrice is back to face her greatest threat since. . .well, the last time!

In Cooper’s Cove a hapless team of archaeologists unleash the vengeful spirit of a 16th Century witch on the sleepy seaside town of Dorsal Finn. Hexes and curses fly as Beatrice and her friends must find out what links the appearance of this incredible foe and The Spirit of the Ocean, a super-yacht hosting the biggest celebrity charity event the town has ever seen.

As the population of Dorsal Finn succumbs to witchcraft, so Beatrice must gate-crash the party with her motley-crew of friends and allies in the hope of stopping the witch's sinister plan, and save everyone from endless oblivion. . . Again.

This novel is great for those who like their supernatural adventures laced with humour, sinister action and mystery. Fans of Stranger Things, The Goonies, The Librarians, The Monster Squad, Ghostbusters, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Nancy Drew will delight in the antics and adventures of Beatrice and her off-the-wall friends.

Murder. Mystery. Monsters. Welcome to the world of Beatrice Beecham!

Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.

Zena: Soldier by Edward LakeZena: Soldier by Edward Lake:

A war without end. The woman who began a revolution.

All Zena wants is a life beyond her home planet, the North Star. A life full of adventure and danger. The life of a soldier.

When her brother is drafted into the Holy Army, Zena impersonates him to save his life. But women are forbidden from fighting in the army, and she will be killed if she's caught. Her love affair with the High Priest's daughter only makes matters worse.

Witch Interrupted by Amanda M. LeeWitch Interrupted by Amanda M. Lee:

Things have been quiet in Hemlock Cove. That means the Winchesters are due to find trouble.

This time, the trouble comes in the form of a dead radio doctor who calls himself Dr. Lovelorn and fixes relationships in distress. Unfortunately for the Winchesters, if he can’t help his normal patients, he’s going to help them … whether they want it or not.

Love seems to be the topic of discussion, because in addition to searching for a murderer, Bay Winchester has her hands full dealing with another surprise. It seems Chief Terry, her favorite father figure, is dating … and he’s not opening his heart to her mother as she expected.

Bay is trying to be mature, but she always thought Terry would officially become part of her family once the barriers were lifted. To make matters worse, Terry’s new girlfriend wants to be friends … something Bay can’t quite wrap her head around.

Thankfully for Bay, she has a murder to focus on. Since Dr. Lovelorn had his fair share of enemies – and a rather unattractive habit of getting too involved with his patients – there are numerous suspects to focus on.

Her expanding magic is also an issue, because she can’t quite get a handle on the ghosts that keep popping up … mostly because they’re mouthy and prone to fighting her efforts.

Basically, it’s going to be a busy week … if everyone survives to see the end of another convoluted case, that is.
It’s all witches on deck for this one, and things are about to get weirder than normal.

Golden Crown by M. LynnGolden Crown by M. Lynn:

No longer only a warrior. Not just a queen.

Persinette Basile has a new purpose. The chains she’s carried since the curse began are gone, replaced by a crown. But freedom can’t exist while enemies surround Bela on all sides.

La Dame lurks on the border in Dracon, waiting for her revenge.

In Gaule, magic folk are hunted and punished for their Belaen heritage.

A journey into Gaule brings her face to face with the one person who can destroy her with one simple act: dying.

No longer tied to Alex by magic, his death should mean nothing to her.

As she learns more about who she truly is and the legacy of her family, she’s forced to answer three questions.

Can she save the king of Gaule?
Can he be trusted if she does?
And what will it mean for her people if she finds herself unable to let go of him again?

A rebellion. A dying king. And a magical war that could end everything.

Victoria Marmot and the Shadow of Death by Virginia McClainVictoria Marmot and the Shadow of Death by Virginia McClain:

Vic is about to die. At best, she’ll die when the Ministry of Magical Entities finally puts on their sham of a trial and convicts her of a crime she only sort-of committed… but most likely she’ll die in the next flash flood here in this hellhole they’re using as a prison, or maybe whenever that shrieking-squirrel-demon-thing comes back.

Then again, maybe she’ll live just long enough to find out what MOME is really up to, and die along with everyone else if she fails to stop them.

The Passing of Pascal by Annette MoncheriThe Passing of Pascal by Annette Moncheri:

Running a high-class brothel in 1920s Paris would be challenging enough even if Madame weren't also a vampire. But to make matters far worse, a young man has the audacity to try to kill Melodie - one of the brothel's ladies - and then fall over dead.

At first the police rule the death an accident, but then they find poison in the body. And Madame also finds a note that implicates a jealous wife in the attack on Melodie - but then who poisoned the attacker? It's all very confusing... And worse yet, is Melodie still in danger?

Of course, Madame is determined to find out what has happened in her maison and set it straight - without revealing her powers or upsetting the very attractive Monsieur Inspector Thibauld Baudet who is appointed to the case.

This is the first story in Madame's Murder Mysteries, a historical cozy series with a sense of humor, a taste of the paranormal, and a touch of romance. Perfect for fans of Posie Parker, Ginger Gold, or Lady Katherine.

Tainted by Vanessa NelsonTainted by Vanessa Nelson:

Peace at breaking point. A dark and ambitious conspiracy. A lethal adversary.

Woken from sleep by intruders, Arrow is shocked to realise that humans have managed to break through her wards. This was no simple break-in. It quickly becomes clear this was just part of a series, and the Erith's ancient enemies may be involved.

Worse than that, the peace treaty that holds shape-changers, humans and Erith from all-out war is on the brink of collapse.

Arrow is once more in the middle of a deadly power struggle.

The Kind by Jule OwenThe Kind by Jule Owen:

Outcast, liberator of the non-people, a mystery to herself.

In a world so desperate that people trade their children for food, a girl, cast out from her city for an unknown crime becomes an unlikely hero.

It is 2472. The British Isles have been transformed by climate change into a desert archipelago. The wealthy and privileged have retreated to high-tech walled cities. Those beyond the walls are known as the Non-Grata. They live a precarious, hand-to-mouth existence, surviving on the “charity” of the cities. In return, these non-people must pay a Quota, a tax paid in human life. Specifically, they give the rich something their money cannot buy: children.

Isobel Twelvetrees has been put outside the walls of her city and left to die in the lethal heat for a crime she cannot remember committing. She was saved by someone or something, but when she wakes, the only companion she has is a dog with odd coloured eyes. When she learns the terrible truth about the plight of the Non Grata, she turns into a new kind of warrior. As she crosses continents with the threadbare armies of the Non Grata, in a deadly race against time to destroy the Quota and right historic wrongs, she starts to uncover the truth about herself and what she left behind.

The Other Side of the Door by Rhonda ParrishThe Other Side of the Door by Rhonda Parrish:

A collection of ghost stories that will touch you, thrill you and send chills down your spine.
Fifty Measly Bucks (To Save a Witch) by Juli D. RevezzoFifty Measly Bucks (To Save a Witch) by Juli D. Revezzo:

Denver's one goal in life is to become a fashion designer. Unfortunately, she needs rent money. Why not volunteer for an outlandish time travel experiment? It could be fun and spark new fashion ideas.

But the experiment takes her places she never expected, cutting her off from her dreams and dropping her into the world of a woman accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch trials. No promised stipend is worth a death sentence and bargaining for her life.

Darkness Beyond by Glynn StewartDarkness Beyond by Glynn Stewart

A newly-founded human colony world burned from orbit
A warship squadron of the galaxy's oldest race ambushed and destroyed
An ancient enemy reborn in the darkness beyond the known stars

The A!Tol Imperium and their new human subjects have had fifteen years of relative peace. New colonies have been founded, new worlds explored, new ships built. Formal and informal alliances have been built with the ancient powers of the Core, leaving humanity and the Imperium seemingly on the brink of a new dawn.

The devastation of one of the newly-founded human colonies sends ripples of shock through the Imperium, and a battle fleet under Fleet Lord Harriet Tanaka is dispatched to the edge of the Imperium to find the culprits and bring them to justice.

Meanwhile, the destruction of a Mesharom Frontier Fleet squadron calls the Duchy of Terra's newest warship, Bellerophon, into action and combat with a strange new power that bears all the signs of the Imperium's age-old enemy, the Kanzi.

Aboard Bellerophon is Annette Bond's stepdaughter, Morgan Casimir. The recently promoted junior officer will be thrust into the crucible of war and challenged to rise to her mother's example in the face of this both new and ancient enemy...

Alysha by Stephen J. SweeneyAlysha by Stephen J. Sweeney:

When her village is attacked and her friends and family are taken away to be sold as slaves, Alysha Tanner sets out on a quest across the world to track them down and return them home. Along the way, she is aided by the most unlikely of allies - the world's last remaining dragon. But as Alysha searches for her family, others are hunting for both her and her companion, and Alysha will soon find herself swept up into a decades-old conflict, one that could decide the fate of the world itself ...

The Cerulean Mines by Vincent TrigiliThe Cerulean Mines by Vincent Trigili:

There is a region of space that is so hostile to life and magic that anyone sent there dies from exposure alone and yet it holds a valuable resource that must be mined by hand. Cory was sent to these mines to die, and yet he must survive in order to rescue his best friend's widow. He just has to live long enough to make it happen...

The Cerulean Mines is a Lost Tales of Power novella.

Parallax by James David VictorParallax by James David Victor:

In the deep black of space, there are no rules. Only pirates. And Rangers.

Captain Drummond Bayne is a Navy Ranger tasked with bringing order to the lawless reaches of space. When a simple mission turns deadly, Bayne and his crew must embrace a rogue mentality if they want to make it out alive. Can they escape the pirates with their lives and their convictions?

Parallax is the first 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.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Fifty Measly Bucks (To Save a Witch) by Juli D. Revezzo

Release date: November 29, 2018
Subgenre: Time travel 

About Fifty Measly Bucks (To Save a Witch):


 Denver's one goal in life is to become a fashion designer. Unfortunately, she needs rent money. Why not volunteer for an outlandish time travel experiment? It could be fun and spark new fashion ideas.

But the experiment takes her places she never expected, cutting her off from her dreams and dropping her into the world of a woman accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch trials. No promised stipend is worth a death sentence and bargaining for her life.




“We’d like to continue with that portion of the experiment, if you can, Dr. Hall said. Can you handle a few more minutes, Denver?”
“I…” Her voice shook. She cleared her throat, and tried again. “Yeah. I think so.”
“Can you tell me what you saw?”
Denver took another breath, trying to calm down. “I’m not sure. It was confusing.”
“That’s all right. Take your time.”
“I was in a crowd.”
“A crowd, good. What era?”
Eyes narrowed on the middle distance, she considered the question. “I don’t know. Early.”
“How early? Like … a movie from the 1940’s, or—”
“Maybe more like Little House on the Prairie.”
Dr. Hall muttered, “No that can’t be right. She must mean earlier nineteenth century. The wrong era entirely.”
“Perhaps she misunderstood?” Dr. Greeves asked.
“It’s fine. That was a test, anyway.” Dr. Hall turned his attention back to Denver. “We’ll try again, if you’re still willing?”
Denver nodded. “Sure. You’ve got me curious now.”
“Good.” He patted her arm and laid her back into the machine’s bed. He slid her inside the machine. Denver soon was staring again at her reflection in the overhead mirror.
Footsteps pattered across the floor as they made their way to the door again. Before the door closed, Denver thought she heard Dr. Greeves say, “We should’ve stuck to the history buffs.”
A moment later, she heard a hiss of static, and Dr. Hall’s voice sounded, even more grating through the intercom. “Please don’t move, Denver. It upsets the gauges.”
“It’s all right.”
“Um, sorry to interrupt. I forgot to ask: What time is it?”
“Ten after ten. We’ve little time left, you’ll find, but much to do. Please bear with us. This will be over soon.”
“Okay.” Denver counted to ten, trying to calm down.
Thunk! The machine grumbled to life and she counted. Again, the light in the machine dimmed, dimmed, faded away with each obnoxious thump.
Above, the sky opened out, blue as her second favorite shade of nail polish. Wispy thin clouds floated above. No noises of the city, no car horns, or people shouting, met her ears. No scent of pollution hung in the air.
Still, the air smelled foul, rank with human sweat and filth. With a second sniff, Denver realized yes, the air held an undertone of iron-rich blood. But no exhaust, or carbon.
Nor did the air carry even a hint of the antiseptic she’d smelled on the researchers and the interior of the hard plastic and magnetized cocoon in which they’d placed her.
Stop gaping, she told herself and studied the area in which she stood:  some sort of yard. To either side, trees encircled the space. Men and women squished together, forming a wide circle around the yard. The men wore drab black jackets and pants. The women accompanying them were clad in faded gray skirts, with white, yet dingy aprons tied to their waists. White caps covered hair, pulled up in buns, she supposed. The women screamed, “Justice! Mercy!”
“Die! Die.”
Someone was going to die here, Denver guessed, but who? Was the person guilty of some crime? Judging by the calls of the crowd, their opinion of the person seemed mixed. How horrid that an innocent person should go to … whatever was to happen here. It didn’t seem fair, so she lent her voice to the throng. “Mercy!” | UK | CA | AU | DE | FR | NL | IT | ES | BR | MX | IN | JP


About Juli D. Revezzo:

Juli D. Revezzo writes fantasy and romantic stories filled in with elements garnered from a lifetime love affair with magic, myth, witches, wizards, and fated lovers and legend. She is the author of The Antique Magic series and the Paranormal Romance Celtic Stewards Chronicles series, steampunk historical romances VESTA'S CLOCKWORK COMPANIONS, WATCHMAKER'S HEART, and short stories published in ETERNAL HAUNTED SUMMER, LUNA STATION QUARTERLY, among others. She is also a member of the Independent Author Network and the Magic Appreciation Tour.

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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Cheap Quickies: Short Story Collection 99 Cent/99 Pence Sale

Are you looking for a quick read to relieve the holiday stress?


Look no further, for the Cheap Quickies sale offers dozens of short story collections with hundreds of stories in multiple genres.


 Find your next favourite read today!

 Black Friday through Cyber Monday

November 22 - 26

at Thrills and Mystery.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Speculative Fiction Links of the Week for November 23, 2018

It's time for the weekly round-up of interesting links about speculative fiction from around the web, this week with tributes to Stan Lee and William Goldman, the new series of Doctor Who, the new She-Ra and the Princess of Power, Outlander, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 as well as the usual mix of awards news, writing advice, interviews, reviews, con reports, crowdfunding campaigns, science articles, free online fiction and much more. 

Speculative fiction in general:

Film and TV:

Tributes to Stan Lee:

Tributes to William Goldman:

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Kaleen Rae and Other Weird Tales by David Brian

Release date: November 20, 2018
Subgenre: Horror collection

About Kaleen Rae and Other Weird Tales


Take a walk into darkness with nine tales of the weird and macabre...

Just how far would you go to win someone's heart? Would you gamble with your soul?

Jonathon is a good man, but he struggles with body issues and bad skin. When he meets the beautiful Belinda he realizes he would do anything to be with her. With no other options, he turns to the mysterious Kaleen Rae in the solitary Gothic house on the far side of the meadows.

In the Welsh countryside, a werewolf is spurred into action by an alluring scent. But is it ever wise to hunt in daylight?

For Pvt. Eddie Coates, surviving Afghanistan is looking increasingly unlikely. The few remaining members of his unit are pinned down under heavy fire. All seems lost, and then they hear wings beating in the darkness…

A troubled youth plots his revenge. But what price would you pay for retribution?

Hellish demons, haunted houses, shape-shifting monsters, and genetic mutations, make up this unsettling collection, which also includes the original short story version of The Strange Case at Misty Ridge.



They had walked halfway across the valley before finally deciding to set themselves down among a clearing in the long grass, where they drank lemonade, and enjoyed the selection of freshly sliced fruits and sandwiches Belinda had packed for the expedition.
   It had been Belinda’s intention for them to venture right up to the front gates of the property. Thankfully, at least as far as Jonathon was concerned, they never made it. He hadn’t wanted to get anywhere near the place. This was the reason he had been so reluctant to enter the meadows.
   Belinda and Jonathon were sitting on the ground nibbling sandwiches when Harry, who was prone and resting on his elbows, suddenly sprang to his knees. Reaching for the binoculars, he began scanning the distant house.
   “Hey, I think that’s her!”
   “Let me see, let me see,” Belinda pleaded.
   They took it in turns to look through the binoculars at the hooded figure stepping out across the front courtyard of the property. Though even using the naked eye, it was impossible not to be troubled by the weird events which followed. They all agreed that the form moving slowly across the courtyard, before coming to a stop amid an unmanaged area which should have been the property’s front lawn, was definitely female; being both slight of nature and graceful in movement.
   She stood deathly still for what seemed an age, although, realistically, it was only a matter of minutes. Belinda, who had commandeered the spy glasses, noted that the woman’s mouth appeared to be moving in a manner suggestive of a chant or mantra. As they continued to watch, birds began gathering around the property; all were of a certain ilk; ravens, magpies, jackdaws and crows. This swathe of aerial cousins amassed on every aspect of the building and surrounding trees and outhouses. Every fence, gate, wall and statue occupied by feathered visitors. The roofs on both the main house and its outbuildings were lost beneath a moving, squawking, blanket of dark birds.
   Harry commented that there must have been hundreds of the creatures blanketing the property.
   In truth, there were thousands.
   And then, as rapidly as it had begun, it ended. The woman suddenly raised her arms above her head, rotating her wrists as she did so, and the birds began to take flight. They flew a tight circular formation, directly above the busy arms of the woman beneath them. A narrow vortex of living creatures formed, giving the impression of a huge black funnel emanating out from the daunting figure below. Until, for no obvious reason, the birds began to break rank and fly away. When the skies were finally still, the hooded woman walked slowly back across the courtyard. She turned just once to cast her eyes over the landscape, before disappearing inside the house.
   Harry beamed. “Holy shit, that was weird!”


About David Brian:

David Brian is an internationally published author of several novels, novellas, and short story collections. He writes Mystery/Suspense/Horror and Dark Fantasy. His novels include the Amazon bestseller The Strange Case at Misty Ridge. He is inspired by authors such as Richard Matheson, Clive Barker, James Herbert, Daphne Du Maurier, Lisa Tuttle and Stephen King. A father of four, he lives in Northamptonshire, England, with his partner Karen and a Staffordshire terrier named Ralph. Now that the children have reached adulthood, he gets to spend more time relaxing down by the ocean. When he is not writing or reading, you’ll often find him down on the beach, watching seals playing in the shallows along the North Sea coast.

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