First up is Holly Chism’s short story collection
As always, click on the cover to go the Amazon page.
Look closer. The things that you’re assuming you’re seeing? May not be what you think. Is that really a mouse, or is it a Brownie? Is that really an owl? Is that polished gemstone a stone…or an egg?
We take so many things for granted. Some of them may be harmless, but many are a lot less so. I wonder how many people ignore red flags every day, because they only see what they expect to see?
This collection takes what’s “normal” and asks “What if it’s something more?”
Alma Boykin’s Daughter of the Pearl
Count Chang wants glory. Leesan dreams of marrying. Neither can foresee the power that awaits them—or the danger.
Cloud-dancers use magic to keep the world in balance. But the Great Northern River ails, and strange, twisted and evil things move across the land. The humans along the river cannot see the danger, but the Great Sky Emperor does. He grows angry. His wrath will remake the world and none of the cloud-dancers want that.
Count Chang hears a rumor of a Chosen One living far to the south, the only human able to heal the river. Instead he finds a corrupted naga and Leesan, the unwanted third daughter. Valueless, cursed, ignorant, Leesan would be better off dead, or so her father’s mother insists. Instead Chang claims her and takes her north, to train the gifts she unknowingly carries.
Chang detests the idea of marrying. Leesan cannot imagine a woman with value of her own. Together they must find the cause of the river’s ailment and heal it. Evil lurks in the land, and it will take all their power, trust, and strength to do their duty and save the world from the Great Sky Emperor’s wrath.
That is, if they can.
73, 000 words.
Next is Cyn Bagley’s novella Diamond Butterfly
It’s in the blood.
Someone is after Nova Tewa’s son and that someone is willing to kill to get the child. Nova is on the run in the middle of the a blizzard in the Sierra Nevada mountains. She will do anything to survive.
A novella in the EJ Hunter world.
And last but not least, Dorothy Grant’s Scaling the Rim
Never underestimate the power of a competent tech.
When Annika Danilova arrived at the edge of the colony’s crater to install a weather station, she knew the mission had been sabotaged from the start. The powers that be sent the wrong people, underequipped, and antagonized their supporting sometimes-allies. The mission was already slated for unmarked graves and an excuse for war…
But they hadn’t counted on Annika allying with the support staff, or the sheer determination of their leader, Captain Restin, to accomplish the mission. Together, they will overcome killing weather above and traitors within to fight for the control of the planet itself!