Bards and Sages Quarterly (January 2023)

Bards and Sages Quarterly (January 2023)

Publisher: Bards and Sages

For over a decade, the Bards and Sages Quarterly has been a showcase for both new and established authors to share their speculative works. The short stories presented in each issue serve as a delightful sampler of the speculative genres. Whether your preference is sword and sorcery, time-travel, space exploration, gothic horror, urban fantasy, or any of the speculative genres, you are sure to find something to love in the pages of this magazine.

A sample of what is in this issue:

The employees of a no-kill animal shelter must content with an influx of magical creatures in The Week of Floofy Hell.

The residents of the former penal colony of Drought find themselves in a fight for survival against raiders from another colony in The Mutineers of Starvation.

A pair of siblings engaged in some time-travel tourism to see the Beatles perform live discover they may have been sold a dangerous deal in The Farther One Travels.

Special notification: Though we avoid publishing stories we deem gratuitous in nature, as a journal of speculative fiction, some stories may content dark subject matter. Some stories may contain strong or offensive language, depictions of violence, and child and animal endangerment.

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Saga of 5 Ages – The 12 Rings of the Emperor: The Champion’s Tale

Saga of 5 Ages – The 12 Rings of the Emperor: The Champion’s Tale

Publisher: Epic Age Media

The Saga of 5 Ages

An epic tale spanning thousands of years, told by those that have lived through them all.

The 12 Rings of the Emperor

What is the meaning behind this enigmatic phrase? Is it a riddle to be solved? Or is there treasure to be found?

The Champion

An Armandian noble with every advantage takes on the task of uniting twelve kings in order to restore the empire of Diathilos. But will his efforts be enough? Or will the curse of Diathilos tear his family and his noble house apart?

Book 3 (Tale 6) of a five-part series

Based on the forthcoming roleplaying game

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Memoirs of a Stranger

Memoirs of a Stranger

Publisher: Untreed Reads Publishing

Asha Shakes is a middle-aged woman with Caribbean heritage who is trying to “cure” herself of her culture. Her heritage and family history make her extraordinarily irrational and paranoid, with a firm belief in witchcraft. When these factors reach critical mass, she is committed to a mental institution, where she believes her race and culture are to blame.

In the mental hospital, she refuses to speak to anyone—with the exception of one doctor: an African American woman she calls Dr. Gayle. When Gayle disappears and Dr. Knightly shows up, Asha is convinced he is an angel sent to help her. She opens up to him and recalls specific childhood memories triggered by everyday occurrences at the hospital.

But when the sessions begin to force her to question the very foundations of her paranoia—and her life as a whole—the truth she uncovers will rock her to the very core of her existence.

Available in EPUB, Kindle and PDF formats.

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Larry’s Familiar Tale: The Crossroads Keeper Series Prequel

Larry’s Familiar Tale: The Crossroads Keeper Series Prequel

Publisher: Barghest Press Publishing

 

Nothing ever happens at O’Malley’s Supernatural Scrapyard amongst the piles of rusting and broken magical machinery. Jesse, a washed-out witch, and her canine Familiar, Larry, aren’t expected to do more than keep an eye on things … until the Mob shows up demanding entry. 

Jesse and Larry race against the clock to find a long-forgotten magical tool that bends time and space. A mobster mage plans to activate it … and export his criminal syndicate to the stars. After all, crime pays, and there’s a whole, big universe to exploit.

If they don’t discover and protect the time bender before it falls into the wrong hands, it won’t be just the scrapyard that is destroyed … but the galaxy.

* This book is the prequel to The Crossroads Keeper series. Greek gods of myth and legend mingle with the supernatural creatures of urban fantasy in this modern tale filled with danger, humor, and even canine super-hero. It contains mature themes and includes swearing and violence. *

 

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Hecate’s Heir: The Crossroads Keeper Series Book One

Hecate’s Heir: The Crossroads Keeper Series Book One

Publisher: Barghest Press Publishing

Alex discovers she’s heir to a goddess’ creation…and the goddess needs her help to save it.

When human body parts begin appearing at the San Antonio Crossroads and the Crossroads Keeper dies while investigating the crime, Alex inherits a legacy in a supernatural world she never knew existed. 

Conor, a Barghest shifter and Crossroads Guardian, is doing his best, but without a Keeper, he is fighting a losing battle to maintain his humanity … and his sanity. 

A fireside chat with the goddess Hecate binds Alex as the new Crossroads Keeper, a role she has no desire to fulfill. Escalating dangers involving nightmares powerful enough to kill and long-dead souls reborn force her to investigate the darkness threatening the Crossroads and her new supernatural family.

Aided by her magical Familiar, Larry, a snarky pink-eared poodle with a chip on his shoulder, Conor, a too-sexy Barghest shifter, and an eager supernatural posse, Alex must bring the battle to the Underworld … or risk divine chaos conquering all the realms.

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Persephone’s Problem: The Crossroads Keeper Series Book Two

Persephone’s Problem: The Crossroads Keeper Series Book Two

Publisher: Barghest Press Publishing

A wayward goddess with a problem lover, a treacherous Fae prince, and a looming war between the gods nixes Alex’s wish for a quiet life … and propels her supernatural posse into a battle for the Fae throne that threatens to bring destruction to all the realms.

After helping the goddess Hecate defeat a divine insurrection, Alex plans to spend time with her heart-family and relax … until the goddess Persephone turns up on her doorstep begging for help to stave off a war.

Persephone knew her affair with the heir to the Fae throne wasn’t smart, but she’s a sucker for a handsome face and polite manners. Every time the Fae prince kisses her hand and calls her a goddess, she melts in all the right places. Now the prince is planning a rebellion and expects Persephone to use her divine power to help him win the throne.

Word of the prince’s treachery, and Persephone’s involvement, has reached Danu, goddess of the Fae, and she isn’t happy. A Fae war would decimate her people and spill through the Crossroads into the realms beyond.

As the gods take sides in the divine dispute, Alex needs all her new-found powers to referee the brewing battle between the gods, or risk losing her Crossroads … and her new-found heart-family.

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