Longshadow by Olivia Atwater
Proper Regency ladies are not supposed to become magicians — but Miss Abigail Wilder is far from proper.
The marriageable young ladies of London are dying mysteriously, and Abigail Wilder intends to discover why. Abigail’s father, the Lord Sorcier of England, believes that a dark lord of faerie is involved. But while Abigail is willing to match her magic against Lord Longshadow, neither her father nor high society believes that she is capable of doing so.
Thankfully, Abigail is not the only one investigating the terrible events. Mercy, a street rat and self-taught magician, insists on joining Abigail in unraveling the mystery. Mercy is unpredictable, and her magic is strange and foreboding — but the greatest danger she poses may well be to Abigail’s heart.
A queer romantic faerie tale of defiant hope and love against all odds, set in Olivia Atwater’s enchanting version of Regency England.
The Scratch Daughters by H. A. Clarke
It’s been a wild year for Sideways Pike. After forming a coven with the three most popular girls in school and developing a huge crush on a mysterious stranger named Madeline, Sideways’ Halloween was ruined by finding out that Madeline wasn’t trying to make out with her, but to steal Sideways’ specter, the force that gives witches the ability to cast magic spells. From Madeline’s perspective, it’s not her fault: after a doomed relationship with one of the creepy near-identical Chantry Boys turned into a witch hunt, they took her specter, so, really, she’s only borrowing Sideways’ until she can recover her own and punish the Chantrys. The specter-less Sideways is in a horrid, distracted mood, unable to do magic and with part of her consciousness tied to Madeline’s, on the lam as she uses Sideways’ specter to hunt Chantrys. The other Scapegracers are much jollier, heading into the winter holidays having set up shop as curse crafters for girls in their school who’ve been done wrong by guys. When Sideways — through Madeline — gets a flash of how to track down both her foes at once, she asks the Scapegracers to help entrap them, only to be told her plan is unsafe and unwise. So if she’s going to find Madeline, her only ally is Mr. Scratch, the inky book demon currently inhabiting her as life support until she gets her spectre back. Sideways is used to being an outcast loner, and is desperate to do magic again, so she’s not going to let little barriers like facing an betraying crush and a family of six demented witch hunters practically alone stop her. But she and her trusty stolen bike are in for a bumpy ride…
A Dowry of Blood by S. T. Gibson
This is my last love letter to you, though some would call it a confession…
A deliciously dark retelling of Dracula, A Dowry of Blood is a saga of obsession, desire and the lengths to which we’ll go to protect the ones we love.
Saved from the brink of death by a mysterious stranger, Constanta is transformed from a medieval peasant into a bride fit for an undying king. But when Dracula draws a cunning aristocrat and a starving artist into his web of passion and deceit, Constanta realizes that her beloved is capable of terrible things.
Finding comfort in the arms of her rival consorts, she begins to unravel their husband’s dark secrets. With the lives of everyone she loves on the line, Constanta will have to choose between her own freedom and her love for her husband. But bonds forged by blood can only be broken by death.
The Nightland Express by J. M. Lee
In antebellum America, two teens bury their secrets and join the historic Pony Express, and soon discover the mortal world is not the only one on the brink of war. Young, poor, and orphaned in rural Missouri, Jessamine Murphy frets over her very pregnant sister, not at all sure how to feed their family until the baby is born, let alone after. When Jessamine comes across a recruitment poster reading “Pony Express Special Assignment: St. Joseph, Missouri to California. Two riders wanted. Orphans preferred,” her tomboy heart skips a beat: not only for the ample risk wage, but for the adventure and the chance to track down their wayward father in California. Jessamine cuts her hair, dons a pair of pants, and steps into the world as Jesse. At the Pony Express station, Jesse meets Ben Foley, a quiet but determined boy, so secretive about his origin story there is little doubt it must be turbulent, and they become partners. They are an odd pair — one excitedly navigating the world as a boy for the first time, the other a mixed-race young man trying to defend his freedom — yet their esteem for each other grows as they head west across the United States. As they encounter mysterious portals that carry them miles in an eyeblink and unusual creatures with uncanny glowing eyes, it becomes clear that this is no normal mission. A second, magical realm exists just below the surface of the mortal one, intertwined since the beginning of time — but the divisive violence of colonization and war are tearing the two worlds apart. As Ben and Jesse struggle to find themselves, they discover their unlikely alliance may be the only thing that will save them … and the creatures and environment of two struggling worlds.
It Rides a Pale Horse by Andy Marino
The Larkin siblings are known around the small town of Wofford Falls. Both are artists, but Peter Larkin, Lark to his friends, is the hometown hero. The one who went to the big city and got famous, then came back and settled down. He’s the kind of guy who becomes fast friends with almost anyone. His sister Betsy on the other hand is more… eccentric. She keeps to herself.
When Lark goes to deliver one of his latest pieces to a fabulously rich buyer, it seems like a regular transaction. Even being met at the gate of the sprawling, secluded estate by an intimidating security guard seems normal. Until the guard plays him a live feed: Betsy being abducted in real time.
Lark is informed that she’s safe for now, but her well‑being is entirely in his hands. He’s given a book. Do what the book says, and Betsy will go free.
It seems simple enough. But as Lark begins to read he realizes: the book might be demonic. Its writer may be unhinged. His sister’s captors are almost certainly not what they seem. And his town and those within it are… changing.
And the only way out is through.
The Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka Older
The Mimicking of Known Successes presents a cozy Holmesian murder mystery and sapphic romance, set on Jupiter, by Malka Older — author of the critically-acclaimed Centenal Cycle.
On a remote, gas-wreathed outpost of a human colony on Jupiter, a man goes missing. The enigmatic Investigator Mossa follows his trail to Valdegeld, home to the colony’s erudite university — and Mossa’s former girlfriend, a scholar of Earth’s pre-collapse ecosystems.
Pleiti has dedicated her research and her career to aiding the larger effort towards a possible return to Earth. When Mossa unexpectedly arrives and requests Pleiti’s assistance in her latest investigation, the two of them embark on a twisting path in which the future of life on Earth is at stake — and, perhaps, their futures, together.