Fantasy
The Widow’s Wrinkles

The Widow’s Wrinkles

Author:
Series: The 13th Advocate, Book 3
Genre: Fantasy
Tag: novella

In this stand-alone episode, Karsten and Babette are on the run with magebreakers closing in, but their luck appears to change when they encounter a mysterious crossroads and an unexpected choice: In one direction, the meandering old road. Safe, familiar, and slow. Take it and they'll keep their lead but gain no ground. In the other, the new road. Unproven, unmarked, but with the tantalizing possibility of escape. The only catch? It leads straight into the blighted wasteland known as the Widow's Wrinkles.

Guess which way they go.

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All These Shiny Worlds

All These Shiny Worlds

What do you get when you ask 34 of today's top indie authors to each submit a story and then ask a team of ruthless judges to scour that ore and pick out the gems? You get All These Shiny Worlds: A world of today, divided black from white, good from evil, and held apart by the taste of a cookie. A world of griffons and glimmer bunnies, sassy llamas, and the magic of beer. A world of contemplation and serenity, of service and devotion, ruled by a jewel and guarded by children. Plus 12 more, for a total of 15 sparkling worlds to explore.

From the brutal curators at ImmerseOrDie.com comes this collection of indie short stories, each a distinct jewel forged in the fires of judgement, and each carrying that simple promise: Guaranteed not to suck.

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All These Shiny Worlds II

All These Shiny Worlds II

The 2017 ImmerseOrDie Anthology. Each year we hand-pick 50 of today's top indie authors and ask them to submit a story. Then we ask a team of ruthless judges to scour that ore and pick out the gems. The result is All These Shiny Worlds II:

  • a world of today where cosplay and stagecraft are bright lights hiding dark shadows
  • a world of tomorrow, where kitchen appliances fend for themselves and take solace in each other's arms, refugees from indifferent owners
  • a world of little cogs in big machines, where the humble trash collector is the unsung hero of getting evil done
  • a world of small magics and big hearts, where a little chaos can go a long, long way

From the brutal curators at ImmerseOrDie.com comes another collection of indie short stories, each a distinct jewel forged in the fires of judgment, and all still carrying our one simple promise: Guaranteed not to suck.

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Century of Sand

Century of Sand

An old warrior rescues a young girl from the clutches of an evil wizard and then flees with her into exile. It’s a desperate bid to find something—anything—that can put the world right again, and hopefully, undo whatever darkness has been done to the girl. His daughter.

With a strong blend of eastern and medieval images, this quest feels different from most other fantasies. A dark tale born from the traditions of Aladdin and Alibaba and the 1001 Nights, imagine a world that might have arisen from the Crusades and the Inquisition and then fuel it with dark magic.
— Jefferson

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The Journeyman

The Journeyman

To Paul Reid, life as a homeless teen seems pretty bleak. But it turns out that was nothing compared to being dead. After an untimely accident takes him out of the world, Paul finds himself locked in a battle between the forces of light and dark – a battle that dark appears to be winning. And light seems too apathetic to care.

A horrifying vision of an afterlife consumed by bureaucracy, where a newly dead young man has to go up against the forces of death itself before he can rest in peace.
— Jefferson

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The Vampire of Northanger

The Vampire of Northanger

I confess I haven't read Austen, but this modern re-imagining of her work—by translocating it into a world where vampires are real—makes me want to give her a try. My only fear is that her entirely vampireless exploits won't live up to the dark and nuanced ballet of inter-species manners that Anderson has fashioned from her more pallid offerings.
– Jefferson Smith

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Rust: Season One

Rust: Season One

After being pushed in front of the subway, Kimberly Archer finds herself in an impossible town with a husband she's never seen before and a life she can't remember. The rain never stops, the phones don't work and the doctors think she's delusional. And that's on a good day.

Imagine Stephen King siring a love-beast upon the dead and moldering remains of HP Lovecraft. That's Rust. Right from the opening scene that leaves us questioning just what is real and what is not, Ruz plunges us full-screaming into the chaotic afterlife of one Kimberley Archer, who is either single and dead, or living in hell, unable to escape the devoted husband and child she has no memory of ever having met. This one will creep you out completely.
– Jefferson Smith

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Catskinner’s Book

Catskinner’s Book

My most gripping reads are almost always the ones where the very premise itself grabs my attention in a choke hold, and such is the case here. Long-time loser James Ozwryck finally has a life: a small apartment, a regular job, and a steady income. There's even plenty of time for video games. It might not be much, but it's his. And to keep it, all he has to do is let a demon borrow his body from time to time. You know, to kill people. It's a pretty sweet deal. 
– Jefferson Smith

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Pilgrim of the Storm

Pilgrim of the Storm

Everyone loves an underdog story, but those usually involve human underdogs. This time however, our hero is a lowly insectoid boy named Sidge, born into a race of slaves but valiantly trying to make his way in the world of his human "betters." Instead of being lauded for his efforts to fit in though, his impurity has only made him a target of derision and abuse. Surely that will fade once he proves himself, right? All he has to do is to survive a dangerous cross-country journey at the mercy of the very people who seem to hate him most.
– Jefferson

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The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree

The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree

When a famous writer is murdered, his estranged son Ross returns for the funeral and is quickly plunged into the unfamiliar community of fantasy geeks and role playing nerds. And when he learns that the fantastical world of his father’s fiction actually exists, Ross quickly crosses over to hunt the killer down, but soon realizes that he may have jumped the gun, because now he’s lost in a world of gunslingers and monsters where the rules make no sense.

And he hasn’t read the books.

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The Duchess of the Shallows

The Duchess of the Shallows

After growing up in hiding, a letter with a peculiar talisman changes everything for a young baker’s girl named Duchess, and leads her into a dangerous world of thievery and intrigue where the only thing she has at stake is her place in the world and the truth about that terrible childhood night in which she lost everything.

Duchess of the Shallows is a deceptively simple book, but rich in details. The plot revolves around Duchess, once the youngest child of a wealthy family, but forced to live in secret as the daughter of a baker after the horrifying death of her father and family. The story is driven by a single mission – a heist – in which Duchess, assisted by her street-friend, Lysander, must pull off an impossible robbery in order to gain admission to the secret world of thieves. The plot is simpule, but the world, and the characters inhabiting it, are anything but. Political maneuvering, rival factions, and power-players working in the shadows—all of this serves to create a richly textured world with depth and appeal. I was rooting for Duchess right out of the gates, and didn't come up for air until reaching The End.
— Jefferson

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Strange Places

Strange Places

Author:
Series: Finding Tayna, Book 1
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Tag: novel

After a lifetime of constant warfare with the nuns who run the orphanage, 13-yr-old Tayna learns a shocking truth: her parents are still alive. But the tearful reunion every orphan dreams about seems unlikely, because her mom and dad are in grave peril, trapped in a world of magic. And that means it's now up to her to save them. All she has to do is bust out of nunnish prison, get herself into the other world, and then figure out where they are. Plus it might be useful if she knew their names. But compared to being an orphan? This should be a piece of cake.

Short-listed for a Saskatchewan Book Award in 2012.
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