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Welcome to the Dark Side!

We are writers mainly from Australia and New Zealand who write speculative fiction with romantic elements. Be it fantasy, paranormal, dark urban fantasy, futuristic and everything in between.

Sunday 24 December 2017

Happy Holidays from the DarkSiders!

Thanks for joining us in 2017! 

We're looking forward to bring you more DarkSider News, 
Magic Thursday, and Darklight On posts in 2018! 

Saturday 23 December 2017

Darklight On ... Rachel Nightingale

Today's Darklight is on Special Guest ... Rachel Nightingale,

Welcome, Rachel

How did you come to write speculative fiction? What attracted you to the genre?

That’s a really tough one – I can’t remember a time when I didn’t read speculative fiction in one form or another. I was an obsessive reader as a child and I loved ghost stories, time slip books, anything based on a myth, anything that stretched my imagination really. I have been accused numerous times in my life of being too imaginative, but as a writer I think that’s a wonderful thing to be! I suppose I want to believe that there is more than what is in front of us, some mystery to life, and speculative fiction explores this in so many ways.

Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between?

I’d say 80% plotter, 20% pantser. Although the pantsing (is that a thing?!) is usually coming from deep in my sub-conscious I suspect. Writing a trilogy, I need to have a clear sense of direction because I have to make story arcs pay off over three books. So that requires careful planning. And although my characters are real people, they are also shadows of the Commedia dell’Arte characters that they perform onstage, so how their stories play out in ‘real life’ in the book are echoes of what usually happens for those characters in the Commedia performances. That means I know where their stories are leading as well. Of course, one of your characters is always going to surprise you – they have minds of their own. And occasionally, usually in the shower, I have an insight into something that’s going to happen that I haven’t planned – but that’s when I figure my sub-conscious has been chewing it over and come up with an answer without me.

Do you have a favourite of your characters?

I have to admit I love Luka. He’s barely in Harlequin’s Riddle, the first book, but he becomes prominent in the second book. He plays Pierrot onstage and, like Pierrot, his guiding motivation is always devotion. People might describe him as ‘sweet’, but there’s a lot more to him than that. There is a depth and intelligence to him that means he can see the right thing to do. And he’s a wonderful singer! I collected Pierrot dolls and other items as a child, so I guess I’m bringing that obsession to life.

What are you currently working on?

I’m writing book three of The Tales of Tarya, which starts with Harlequin’s Riddle. The hardest part of that is that I want to talk about what’s happening in the story, but I can’t tell anyone because ‘spoilers’. My poor husband will never be able to enjoy the twists and turns of the books, the surprises that lie in wait, because he is my sounding board to make sure everything makes sense. The third book brings in some incredible places I have been to and heard about in Thailand and India as settings for crucial scenes. It allows me to travel without leaving home.

What is your favourite part of the process of writing?

Letting my imagination roam. I have to keep a notepad by my bed because I tend to wake up in the morning and go ‘oh, I know why she’s doing that’ or ‘right, that’s that missing link I’ve been trying to puzzle out’. The mechanics of sitting at my desk and getting words on the page are crucial, but the story is really being written in those in between spaces where I’m not focusing on anything and my brain just goes whizzing around all by itself. Creativity needs room to play.

What can we expect from Rachel Nightingale in the future?

The second book in The Tales of Tarya will be coming out in mid-2018. This is all ‘in process’ at the moment – I’m waiting on feedback from beta-readers and on cover artwork from the amazing Nadia Turner (www.waywardharper.com) who did my beautiful Harlequin cover. And I’m nearly halfway through writing the final book. After that I plan to write a prequel which will be very much its own story, but will also explain the origins of what happens in The Tales of Tarya. I can’t say anything about that because it’s all slowly revealed throughout the trilogy. After that I have plans to take the concept of Tarya – that creativity opens a portal to another realm – to a completely different era in history.

Who are your favourite authors?

How long can this blog post be? I have so many! I always list Ray Bradbury, for his skill with words. For brilliant storytelling and ideas I love Ursula Le Guin, Diana Wynne Jones, Susan Cooper, Alan Garner… In terms of current writers Sarah Pinsborough, Erin Morgenstern, the Illuminae books – there are so many wonderful stories out there.

What are you currently reading?

I’m reading Geisha of Gion, by Mineko Iwasaki. This time last year my family and I went to Japan, and my favourite part of the trip was visiting the Geisha district, Gion, in Kyoto. It fascinates me that young women in Japan can still choose this as a profession, leaving high school to begin their training. The geisha life is full of such symbolism and richness of culture – I find it intriguing. At the same time I’m working my way through a list of books by other Odyssey authors, because since being published by them I’ve realised they publish high quality speculative fiction – so I’m halfway through Sanguine by Carolyn Denman and I’m about to start The Cabin Sessions by Isobel Blackthorn. 

Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or TV series?

I’m a huge Buffy fan but anything intelligent with a good through-story really appeals. My family and I tend to binge watch spec fiction. We’re re-watching Warehouse 13 at the moment and recently finished Person of Interest, which I thought was an outstanding exploration of Artificial Intelligence. Many of the shows I enjoy are grandchildren of Buffy in that they come from the same writing team. 

Do you have advice for emerging writers?

Write a lot. Read a lot. And put aside your screens (phone, laptop etc.) regularly to give your imagination some space to roam.


Thanks, Rachel


The Gazini Players are proud to present

For your Edification and Enjoyment

Tales of great Joy, and of great Woe

Ten years ago, Mina’s beloved older brother disappeared with a troupe of Travelling Players, and was never heard from again. On the eve of Mina’s own departure with a troupe, her father tells her she has a special gift for Storytelling, a gift he silenced years before because he was afraid of her ability to call visions into being with her stories.

Mina soon discovers that the Travelling Players draw their powers from a mysterious place called Tarya, where dreams are transformed into reality. While trying to solve the mystery of her brother’s disappearance, she discovers a dark cost to the Players’ onstage antics. Torn between saving her brother or exposing the truth about the Players, could her gifts as a storyteller offer a way to solve Harlequin’s riddle?

Harlequin’s Riddle is the first book in a Young Adult fantasy trilogy about the gift of creativity and where it can take you.

About the Author

Rachel Nightingale is a writer, playwright, educator and actor. With a passion for story telling and the theatre, it was natural that her first fantasy series would centre on both.

Links:  Amazon / Odyssey Books / Website

Tuesday 19 December 2017

DarkSider News for December: Part 2

Welcome to the latest DarkSider News!

Time for some holiday cheer!


The Trading Game: Zach by Ellie Moonwater is Book 2 in The Mentraden Training Centre series. It was released by C.M. Publishing on the 15th December.

Zach has been searching for a Dom to partner for a very long time, a partner he can give control to, knowing they can be trusted to be in charge. Agathia looks like she can more than fill the role, right up until Zach discovers she’s not alone, and he has two partners to deal with, instead of one…and then the shape-shifting shen take the ship, and things get complicated.

The Trading Game is an erotic science fiction adventure story, containing elements of romance, light bondage, slave-capture fantasy, multiple partners, mfm partnering, bondage, and explicit, kinky and consensual sex, as well as gun fights, fist fights, and underhanded dealings.

Available from:  Smashwords | Amazon US | Amazon Aus

Dahlia by Mel Teshco is Book 4 in the Dragons of Riddich series. It was published on 13th December.

The dragons will search the universe for their one true mate... 

Dahlia Mannett was a princess on her planet, Riddich. Now all she wants on Earth is to be normal and not hunted by the evil Tantonics, who prey on her people for their power. But somehow she ends up in a bikini and on the catwalk for famous designer, Lincoln Hillier. Turns out he’s also the one man to bring out her inner dragon—a miracle considering no Riddich male achieved that same result.

But even if Lincoln is Dahlia’s one true mate, how can she expect him to give up everything and everyone he’s ever known for an alien woman … a woman who jeopardizes his life just for being with her. Because the Tantonics will destroy anyone who gets in the way of their goal to drain the Riddichians of their power.

Lincoln thought he’d had everything, until he saw Dahlia. Now she’s all he wants, and he’s happy to give up his worldly possessions to stay with her. An existence without her in it wouldn't be living, and he’s willing to risk it all to prove it. She’s his life mate … and she’s all he wants.

Available from Amazon US | Amazon Aus | Kobo 

Non Paranormal titles

A Very Aussie Christmas is an anthology by the Breathless In the Bush, including our own Enisa Haines.  It was published 12th November.

Restore your faith in the power of the human spirit with warm-hearted romances from Breathless in the Bush writing group. Celebrate the joy and occasional heartache of the festive season, where love shines through against the odds.

Available from: Amazon US | Amazon Aus

War Games by Jess Anastasi is Book 4 in Valiant Knox series. It was released by Entangled Publishing on the 3rd December.

When one of her pilots is shot down behind enemy lines, Lieutenant Theresa Brenner will stop at nothing to save her before she’s captured and tortured, even if it means being part of the dirtside team led by Colonel Cameron McAllister. Bren might respect the way the colonel commands his men, but she’ll never trust Cam—no matter how charming he is—because he was responsible for her brother’s death.

Colonel Cameron McAllister has a covert mission behind enemy lines to team with the Ilari rebels and overthrow the bloodthirsty dictator who’s torn their planet apart. The last thing he needs is to get sidetracked searching for a downed pilot, especially since it means having Lieutenant Theresa Brenner tag along. Not only doesn’t the frosty pilot have the ground game to keep up with his seasoned group, she’s a potential distraction with all those gorgeous blond curls of hers—and she might be just like her brother, whose foolhardiness got his men killed.

Buy links available from Jess' website.

Details of book 3 is in the Previous 2017 section.

No Place Like You by Emma Douglas is Book 3 in the Cloud Bay series. It was published on 5th December by St Martin's Press.

Home--in the island village of Cloud Bay--is where the heart is. . .

Leah Santelli always knew that Zach Harper, son of a rock legend and her best friend's brother, was painfully out of reach. Then, on the night of her eighteenth birthday, Leah shocked herself by asking for--and receiving--the gift she wanted: one night of passion with Zach before he left town to pursue his rock star dreams. Now, years later, Zach is back in Cloud Bay to record his first solo album. His return could also be Leah's big chance to step up her own music career. But getting the producing credit she needs means spending long hours with Zach in the recording studio...and falling back into the habit of longing for him, for better or worse.

Zach used to believe that a man must put his past behind him. But coming back home for Cloud Bay's famed music festival has allowed him to finally make amends with his family and, much to his surprise, reunite with Leah. He might have left her once but now it seems he can't stay away. Trouble is, even though the heat between them burns hotter than ever, Leah has old wounds in need of healing before she can give Zach a real chance. Can he find a way to convince her that they can make more than just great music together--and that she's the one that he wants for all time?

Buy links are available on Emma's website. 


Secret Confessions: Down and Dusty is the complete collection of short stories including one by our own Mel Teshco and Rhyll Biest. It will be published by Escape Publishing on January 12th 2018.

Welcome to the heart — and heat — of Australia…

They say that no one has secrets in a small town — these women prove them wrong.
Eight stories from some of Australia’s hottest writers in Australia’s hottest genre. From the bar stools of the local pub to the wide open plains of the biggest stations in the world, these tales travel the dusty roads to the heart of Australia and the women who understand how to work hard — and play even harder.

In the latest in the wildly successful Secret Confessions series from Escape Publishing, the women of Down & Dusty invite you into their lives — and their bedrooms.

Casey: Rachael Johns
Lucky: Cate Ellink
Kelly: Fiona Lowe
Brooke: Eden Summers
Clarissa: Mel Teshco
Skye: Rhyll Biest
Maree: Elizabeth Dunk
Frankie: Jackie Ashenden

Pre-order from: Amazon US | Amazon Aus | B&N | iBooks

His Outback Nanny by Annie Seaton is book 3 in the Prickle Creek series. It's due for release by Entangled Publishing on 15th January.

Jemima Smythe is over the world of fashion. But when her dream of teaching falls through, Jemmy is determined to show her hometown she’s ready to put down roots. Three beautiful and boisterous kids in need of a nanny offer her an opportunity to prove just that. But their smoking-hot dad, Ned, offers her another—become his wife, as a matter of convenience only.

Ned McCormack is at his wits’ end. A single father to three kids, he quit the city and moved home to the Australian Outback in order to spend more quality time with his family. Unfortunately, the farm needs a lot of work. Just when he’s ready to give up, help comes unexpectedly in the form of a supermodel mistaken as his wife-to-be.

Not a bad arrangement, if only they can stick to the rules of their strictly-business marriage—no kissing and absolutely no falling in love allowed.

Pre-order from Amazon US | Amazon Aus 


In Full Flight by Carlie Simonsen is book 3 in the Wings series. Details of release coming soon.

Jack’s dad has a secret—a sad secret. He has never told Jack how he lost his wings. One day he does, and Jack’s world changes. At the same time, someone from his parents’ past comes into their present, and they must work out how to stop things from the past happening all over again.

A Planet's Ransom by Carlie Simonsen is book 2 in the Space Adventure series. Details of release coming soon.

Made hostages for a world whose international leaders didn’t know how to behave, we ended up on a new world, one we have to make our own, where every step of civilisation has to be earned, all over again. It’s meant to be a world to hide the secret of our survival—but not all the aliens believe we have a right to survive. Torn between two rival factions of an alien race, we have to save our keepers, defeat our hunters, and get a message to the stars.

And that’s just if we want to live.

Welcome to the Fruit Platter by Ellie Moonwater is book 2 in the Downtown Weres and Wizards series. It will be released by C.M. Publishing in January 2018. 

Swept into a whirlwind courtship with two werewolves, Louise has just one problem—the secret she is keeping from the pack. When her mates discover what she’s been holding back, will they stand by her? And what of the pack? Louise must choose: trust in them, or run? Either way, a sanctuary seems a lifetime away.

WARNING: Welcome to the Fruit Platter contains explicit, consensual and kinky sex, some spanking, two very lust-driven werewolves, multiple scenes of menage, mfm, and some wizards on the prowl.

The Queen's Game by C.M. Simpson is a short story set in the Pixie Dust and Trollhunter world, and explores the darker side of the Trollhunter tales. t It will be released by C.M. Publishing in January 2018. 

Never get involved with the Otherworld Fey. Take my word for it. I saved the Queen of Summer, and was betrothed to a lord of Winter by way of thanks—and then the human underworld got involved. So what do I do, when every choice is bad? What would youchoose: death by troll, or the mercy of an elf?

366 Days of Flash Fiction by C.M. Simpson is a flash fiction anthology. It will be released by C.M. Publishing in December 2017. 

Inside these covers is a short story for every day of the leap year, some of which tell of the fantastic, others which take us to the stars and a myriad of other world, and still others that horrify with creeping tales of the undead. Every story is an exploration of something that might have been and never was, or something that might yet be. Take a break from the world that is, and explore other possibilities.


Beauty and the Geek by Christina Phillips has been sold to Candace Havens at Entangled Embrace for a publication in 2018. 

It is a New Adult romance series, in which a studious nineteen-year-old agrees to a fake date with her secret crush, who also happens to be her boss, but things get complicated when their kiss goes viral.


Diffraction by Jess Anastasi is Book 3 in Atrophy series. It was released by Entangled Publishing (Select Otherworld) on the 2nd January.

After his unusual reaction to a weapon, Commando Varean Donnelly is accused of being a shape-shifting alien and imprisoned onboard the Imojenna. Sure, he has abilities he keeps hidden from everyone--including the gorgeous doc examining him--because the government makes sure people as different as him disappear. For good.

Imojenna doctor Kira Sasaki knows there's something different about the handsome commando the captain's thrown in their brig. She doesn't think he's Reidar, although he might have been a victim of their cruel experiments. But when Kira learns the stubborn commando's racial make-up, she finds herself torn between defending him to Captain Rian Sherron and his crew or urging Varean to escape while he still can.

Buy links available from Jess' website.

Freeman's Choice by C.M. Simpson was released by C.M. Publishing on 11th August. 

When Lorellan Cartwright finds buying back the woman he loves an impossible task, he promptly steals her away, but escaping from the criminally minded third duke of Aristoc and reaching a place of safety are two very different things. And stealing from the duke embroils Lorellan and Megan in the politics of crime lords, long forgotten races of fantasy, aliens and interstellar law enforcement. Can they escape the tangled webs woven by others and find refuge? Or will they join the ranks of those who tried before and failed?

Non Paranormal title

Shelter by Rhyll Biest.  It was published by Escape Publishing on 15th February.

Raw and risky, a new rural romance that explores the dark side of small towns, and the people who put everything on the line to protect them...

Kat Daily is excited to trade her Sydney airport quarantine uniform for an RSPCA inspector’s uniform and a job in the rural town of Walgarra. A fresh start in a new place, where she can make a real difference in the lives of the animals that she loves.

But Walgarra doesn’t offer a peaceful, bucolic existence. Like many small towns, the distance from urban settings — and urban law enforcement — has allowed a criminal element to set in. Kat may only be looking after animals, but that doesn’t mean she will be immune to people with sinister agendas.

The previous RSCPCA inspector was murdered, and Officer Luka Belovuk is determined to keep the new inspector from the same fate. He may have very broad shoulders, but carrying the safety of the law-abiding community just trying to live their lives has weighed him down, and one more death might be more than he can take.

Not all small towns are quaint and quiet, but they all have one thing in common: a community of people willing to protect their population with everything they have. 

Buy links available from Escape Publishing

Cover Fire by Jess Anastasi is Book 3 in Valiant Knox series. It was released by Entangled Publishing on the 19th June.

He will protect her with his life... but who will protect his heart?

If the assignment is crazy, dangerous, or a little of both, Sub-Lieutenant Sebastian Rayne can’t help but take on the challenge. So when Command Intelligence tags him to fly one of their agents behind enemy lines, it seems like just another routine death-defying mission. Crash landing on the planet was a piece of cake, but the gorgeous agent he delivered safely to her meeting is now believed dead and he must return to retrieve her body.

After Agent Jenna Maxwell realizes her own people attempted to have her killed, she enlists the hot stick jockey’s help. His new mission? Sneak her back onto his ship to ferret out who wanted to get rid of her and why. But she fears her growing feelings for Seb have blinded her to his reckless insistence on helping her stay alive, and his rash behavior will cause them both to lose their lives.

Buy links available from Jess' website. 


Updated pages since the last DarkSider News: Enisa Haines, Denise Rossetti,  and Rhyll Biest.

Congratulations to all our DarkSiders!

Thanks for joining in our news. We'll see you next time...

Thursday 14 December 2017

DarkSiders Share Their Holiday Traditions

What are your Holiday traditions? Do you have big family gatherings or smaller more intimate celebrations? Do you like a traditional roast with plum pudding for dessert, or a BBQ on the beach? In honour of the Holiday season, a group of DarkSiders share their Holiday traditions.

Kylie Griffin

Both my sister and I are well and truly grown-up (we’re in our 40’s now), and every year we struggled to buy gifts for our family members. About a decade ago our family all decided that we’d have a present-less Christmas, we all agreed we didn’t need to give for the sake of giving, and the money we’d usually spend on presents would be donated to a charity of our choice. Our goal became more family orientated, and focussed on having a great lunch and relaxing together.
I pick a different charity each year to donate to eg. the Salvoes, the Smith Family, the Kmart Christmas Tree, Christmas Boxes for kids overseas. This year I put a box together for a couple of our military service men and women serving overseas.
As for our family Christmas lunch, I’ll probably bring along a Christmas ham or a few kilos of prawns (as we divvy up who brings what for the meal to split the expense).
This present-less Christmas is a “new” family tradition but one we all love now, and it’s wonderful to focus on the time spent with family rather than the worry of what to get others and the hype surrounding the commercialism of gift-giving.


Kylie Griffin’s addiction to all things paranormal/fantasy & futuristic started at an early age when she used to imagine the jacaranda tree in her front yard was a spaceship or castle tower used to defend the world from hordes of invading enemies. Writing stories seemed a natural extension to her childhood adventures.

Available now 
Book Depository

Eleni Konstantine

Growing up, we hosted most Christmases at our house for the full on Greek Christmas experience. 

What did that entail? In one word, food!

And not just any food, more years than not, it was a lamb slowly sizzling away on the spit (vegetarians, turn away now). I have a memory of my Pappou (granddad) turning the early spits by hand (of course it was exciting when it became motorised). Everyone gathered around to choose what they like to eat right off the spit. You definitely have to be careful not to burn yourself (thank goodness for the invention of tongs) but it has a whole different taste to when the meat gets cold on the plate. 

Pappou is no longer with us so now spits are done by my brother. His lamb spit roasts are the best with the right amount of seasoning and it’s always succulent. Of course a Greek gathering has plenty of other food and dessert - from pastitio or moussaka to Greek village salad to kaitaifi but the Christmases with a lamb spit was always the best.

Unfortunately it’s been a number of years since we have hosted Christmas, but good food is always guaranteed in a Greek household at Christmas. 

Another thing that I always found fascinating is that in Greece, there really isn’t a Father Christmas. They have combined him with Agios Vasilios (Saint Basil) who comes not on Christmas day but on January the 1st. Since we grew up in Australia, we had the best of both worlds. Father Christmas came along on December 25th and Agios Vasilios came on January 1st. 

Hronia Polla (Happy Holidays!)


Eleni Konstantine is a Fantasy and Paranormal fiction writer, with a number of shorts published. Her stories range from flash fiction to novels. You can read a selection of her work here

Kim Cleary

For many years my family (myself and 2 sisters plus kids) all spent Christmas Day with our in-laws, then we got together at an elderly Aunt’s house on Boxing Day. My uncle made his famous whiskey soaked Christmas cake and my aunt always made a huge trifle.
Unfortunately, elderly relatives pass away, and when my aunt and uncle passed the Boxing Day tradition fell away. However, we are now all older and live far apart. But we congregate at my sister’s house on Christmas or boxing day … and the trifle making tradition has passed to me! 
My aunt’s were so alcoholic they sometimes made us giddy ... Every so often I make a trifle in her honour :D


Kim Cleary is the award-winning author of Path Unchosen, the first title in the Daughter of Ravenswood series, which earned a bronze IPPY award in 2015.

Path Unchosen is available now

Juanita Kees

Because our family traditions are more ho-hum than ho-ho, I’d like to share a magical Christmas with you.
Way back in 2008, we were lucky enough to spend the Christmas holidays in the USA and Canada. Having grown up with warm weather in December, I’d always dreamed of having a white Christmas. They looked so wonderful on Christmas cards and in the movies. On our way to a family reunion in Toronto, we spent a week at Disneyland, Anaheim. The magic started from the moment we walked through the door. Real jingle bells, carollers in the halls, fairy lights and holly everywhere, sleigh rides, fur coats, roasted chestnuts and a Christmas tree three-storeys high. For the first time ever, it felt like a real Christmas. It was okay to feel like a child again. As we travelled across the USA into Canada, it became even more magical with our first sighting of snow which resulted in snowball fights and snow angels. Everywhere we went, the houses were lit up with decorations and cheer. There we were experiencing the real thing, and it looked exactly the way it does in the movies. Hot chocolate and marshmallows do taste better from Tim Hortons, especially in the middle of a whiteout.
            Like most magical experiences though, holidays soon come to an end. As much as I enjoyed my white Christmas, I did love coming home to my favourite Bucko and Champs Christmas carol, Aussie Jingle Bells: 
Jingle bells, Jingle bells
Christmas time is beaut
Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden ute

Read the rest here.


Juanita Kees was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and now proudly Australian, Juanita is a freelance editor and proofreader. She escapes the real world by reading and writing romantic fiction. 

Finding Paradise is available now

Kathrine Leannan

Santa’s Bells

            From the time my first born was old enough to recognise Santa, we filled the house with books and stories of Christmas and all of the wonder that comes with the Season of Giving.
            One day while shopping I happened upon a wind chime that made the exact sound as Santa’s bells. It was Christmas Eve and it was around 7.30pm. My husband slipped away to the side of the house and rang the wind chime. My son jumped up from his chair, shouting “Santa’s Bells! Santa’s Bells! Santa is coming!” He ran into his bedroom, so excited. I read a Christmas story to him and kissed him goodnight. Sleepily, he smiled, “Santa is coming, Mom. I heard his bells.”
            We did the same with our next child, a beautiful daughter and this year, the bells will come out again as our grandson is three years old and he loves the sound of Santa’s bells.


Kathrine Leannan writes fantasy/historical, paranormal adventure with romantic elements. A love of the Scots and their history is a common thread in her works of fantasy.

To Baile Do Cailleach: A Home for Witches (The Sydney Witches Series Book 1) is available now

Barnes & Noble

Wishing Everyone a Joyous Holiday Season.


Tuesday 5 December 2017

DarkSider News for December

Welcome to the latest DarkSider News!

Get ready to fill those Christmas stockings with some great stories....


TJ Nichols

TJ Nichols is an avid runner and martial arts enthusiast who first started writing as child. Many years later while working as a civil designer, TJ decided to pick up a pen and start writing again. Having grown up reading thrillers and fantasy novels, it’s no surprise that mixing danger and magic comes so easily, writing urban fantasy allows TJ to bring magic to the every day. TJ enjoys writing novellas and novels and has a series, Studies in Demonology, coming out with DSP Publications.
With two cats acting as supervisors, TJ has gone from designing roads to building worlds and wouldn’t have it any other way. After traveling all over the world and Australia, TJ now lives in Perth, Western Australia.


Poison Marked by TJ Nichols is part of the 2017 Advent Calendar Daily - Stocking Stuffers Series released by Dreamspinner Press 1st December.

Kill his lover or disobey his king and instigate civil war?

As the feared court poison master, Nikko is sworn to do as his king bids. As the lover of the king’s nephew, Lord Rodas, Nikko must hide his affection or risk being labeled a traitor and punished. A former thief who clawed his way into the palace from the filthy streets, Nikko longs to be deserving of Rodas’s love.

A respected war hero, Rodas is in a delicate political situation. He is not the kingdom’s natural heir, though many support his claim over the wastrel, Prince Fortin. The last thing Rodas wants is war. His highest ambition is for Nikko to openly wear the jewels he’s bestowed on him as a public declaration of their love.

Neither man is prepared for the king to order Nikko to poison Rodas during the solstice feast or for the deadly intrigue they’re plunged into, which exposes their affair and rocks the foundations of the kingdom.

The Black Tide by Keri Arthur is Book 3 (and final book) in The Outcast Series. It was released 5th December.


Though Winter Halo–the pharmaceutical company behind the evil experimentation on both children and adults–has been destroyed, the danger is far from over. Not only do seven children remain unaccounted for, but some of the vampires are now able to walk in light.

The key to stopping the unthinkable lies in finding Ciara Dream, the last member of the trio behind the plot to give full light immunity to both the vampires and the Others. But Ciara, like Tiger herself, is a shapeshifter, able to take on any human form she desires.

To find her, Tiger will need to use every skill in her formidable arsenal, and even that might not be enough to save the city and the people she has started to care about.

Because the vampires are coming, and this time, the lights won’t stop them.

Keri has made available a second teaser of the first three chapters (opens pdf).

Buy links available from Keri's website. 

Rogue by Anna Hackett is Book 8 in the Galactic Gladiators series. It was indie published on 26th November.

Abducted by alien slavers and taken to a lawless desert world, the last thing she expects is to be claimed by a handsome alien rogue. Rogue contains two action-packed novellas in the Galactic Gladiators series.

Information Rogue: arrogant information merchant Zhim doesn’t know what hits him when he collides with feisty human hacker Ryan.
Rescued by the humans and gladiators from the House of Galen, Ryan Nagano is working hard to piece her life back together. Her priorities are conquering her anxiety, recovering from her captivity, and using her exceptional computer skills to help the House of Galen decrypt alien data that could reveal the location of other abducted humans. That’s all she’s focused on. But when she needs help, she finds herself having to work with arrogant genius Zhim…and discovers that the two of them redefine the word explosive.
Zhim thrives on the need to uncover information and ensure his wealthy, carefully constructed life is exactly as he wants it. Then one infuriating menace of a woman blasts into his life. Ryan matches him skill for skill, drives him crazy, and worms her way under his skin. But forced to take her deep into Kor Magma’s shadowy hacker underworld, Zhim soon learns exactly what he’s willing to risk to keep Ryan safe.

Desert Rogue: prickly, independent human Neve doesn’t want or need any help…but a certain cocky desert rogue isn’t taking no for an answer.
Neve Haynes survived her abduction through grit and determination. She’s always made her own way through life, depends on no one, and is determined to achieve her own personal mission. So as she sneaks out of the House of Galen, the last thing she needs is help in the form of a tawny-haired, lean-hipped caravan master with more confidence and swagger than any man she’s met before.
Corsair is a man of the desert and leader of the Corsair Caravan. He listens to his gut and something about Neve draws him in. He can’t let her go off and get herself killed, but she’s the most skittish, strongest woman he’s ever met. As they trek deep into the desert on a dangerous mission to find a map to an infamous desert arena, they will fight side by side and be forced to depend only on each other to survive. And in Carthago’s desert sands, they will uncover a desire that burns hotter than the desert sun.

Read a sample (opens pdf).

Available from Amazon US | Amazon Aus

Anna Hackett has re-released three books to become the Warriors of the Wind series. Book 3 was released on 20th November. 

The Warriors of the Wind are the only thing protecting humans from a centuries-old evil, but with their potential mates, the Aurae, long gone, these alpha warriors are in danger of becoming the very evil they hunt.

Note: Re-release. Fury and Darkness contains two short, sexy novellas. These are re-released stories originally published as Defying by the North Wind and Claiming the East Wind. They have been updated and have new scenes and/or extended scenes added.

Fury: his new personal assistant is hiding more than just dangerous curves under her suit.

Billionaire Luca Venti is CEO of Venti Enterprises and the Warrior of the volatile North Wind. He is used to giving orders and being in charge, and as he hunts a deadly Tempest Wind in the heart of Venice, he refuses to ask for help. But the vice of rage beats within him, and when he discovers his new personal assistant is really a spy, his fury demands to be unleashed.

Rayne Santini was sent to monitor Luca, not to get involved with him and his explosive temper. But as she watches him fight the evil he’s hunting and struggle against his vice, she refuses to stand by and do nothing. But convincing the stubborn Luca to accept her help is the biggest challenge she’s ever faced. Drawn together, their white-hot desire threatens to burn brighter than Luca’s fury…and as his control crumbles, the only thing standing between him and destruction is Rayne.

Darkness: a man on the verge of succumbing to the evil he fights.

Skye Santini has lived her life in the shadows and hiding from the horrors of her past. Tired of always being afraid, she vows that now is her chance to make a difference. She will be the sacrifice to appease Soren Venti, the Warrior of the East Wind, who has succumbed to his vice of greed. The fate of the world rests on her slim shoulders.

Locked away in his villa on Lake Como, Soren has no memory of his identity. He is driven only by the whispers of greed to take, own, and possess…but then one small woman enters his domain. Mesmerized by Skye’s quiet beauty and hidden strength, Soren finds something he wants more than everything else. But a dangerous enemy is bearing down on them. The final Tempest Wind wants Soren to join him and rule the world…and he knows that Skye is the only thing standing in his way.

Available from Amazon US | Amazon Aus

Serpents' Souls & Dragon Hearts by C.M. Simpson is a science fiction short story. It was released by C.M. Publishing on 1st December. It is set on the world of the lizardine, some time after the events in The Reptiles' Blade. 

Mankind has legends of intelligent serpents, dragons and vampires in almost every culture, and now mankind is out amongst the stars. When an emergent psi of lizardine-human descent dreams of a many-legged threat and serpents walking the skies, mankind might just have a chance to discover those legends made real.

Non Paranormal title

Take a Chance by Claire Boston is Book 5 in the Flanagan Sisters series and a novelette. It was published by Bantilly Publishing on 1st December. 

Max’s perfect Christmas plan turns into a nightmare when his boyfriend dumps him. Devastated, he seizes the chance to make a colleague’s Christmas wish come true by giving him the opportunity to experience his first white Christmas.  
Liam has been crushing on Max since he started work a month ago. Now he’s been given the perfect opportunity to spend a week with the man of his dreams. There’s only one problem – he hasn’t told his new workmates he’s gay.

This might be a Christmas to remember, or one to forget – if Liam is brave enough to take a chance.

Buy links are available from Claire's website.


The Dating Phase by Claire Boston is slated to be published in January 2018. 


Donna Maree Hanson is part of a collection of 22 fantasy and science fiction books slated to be published in May 2018. 

A collection of 22 Fantasy and Science Fiction full novels from an international cast of bestselling authors. This action-packed boxset features strong-willed individuals in unusual and exciting settings. Encounter queens, witches, wizards, werewolves, shifters, angels, dragons, or shadowy nemeses. Stories are character driven and set in worlds with low or no technology. You will follow their journeys to discover magical worlds, encounter dystopian lands, space stations, and galaxies they never dreamed of before their adventures. Join us On the Horizon for these deadly and dangerous quests filled with thrilling action and adventure! 

Special pre-order price available from On The Horizon website.


Warlock in Training by TJ Nichols is Book 1 of the Studies in Demonology series. It was released by DSP Publications on 14th Feburary.

Angus Donohue doesn’t want to be a warlock. He believes draining demons for magic is evil, but it’s a dangerous opinion to have—his father is a powerful and well-connected warlock, and Angus is expected to follow the family tradition.

His only way out is to fail the demon summoning class. Failure means expulsion from the Warlock College. Despite Angus’s best efforts to fumble the summoning, it works. Although not the way anyone expects.

Angus’s demon, Saka, is a powerful mage with his own need for a warlock.

Saka wants to use Angus in a ritual to rebalance the magic that is being stripped from Demonside by warlocks. If Angus survives his demon’s desires and the perils of Demonside, he’ll have to face the Warlock College and their demands.

Angus must choose: obey the College and forget about Demonside or trust Saka and try to fix the damage before it’s too late. Whatever he does, he is in the middle of a war he isn’t qualified to fight.

Available from: Amazon US | Amazon Aus |  B&N | iBooks |  Kobo |  Dreamspinner Press

Olivier by TJ Nichols is Book 7 of the Order of the Black Knights series written by various authors. It was released by Dreamspinner Press on 31st July.

Olivier Merlo works for a dangerous man. He does what he’s told without asking questions because he needs to protect his sister and niece. When someone gives his boss trouble, Olivier does what he does best. It’s a routine hit—until the victim’s brother starts poking around.

Cody Anders left his family behind a decade ago—along with their wealth and influence—to live on his own terms. Still, he knows his twin didn’t die of a drug overdose, and he’ll do anything to find the truth. What he uncovers is a conspiracy that will topple his family and leave him staring down the barrel of a gun.

Olivier must decide if he’s going to obey orders or free himself from the curse that has guided his hand for centuries. Cody, who challenges Olivier’s notion that no one can love him, holds the key to breaking his chains. But when the truth finally comes out, it might be more than Cody can accept.

Available from: Dreamspinner Press |  Kobo |  iBooks |  Amazon US | Amazon AusB&N

As mentioned above,  Anna Hackett has re-released three books to become the Warriors of the Wind series. Book 3 was released in November and the previous two books were released on 31st July. 

Tempest is Book 1.

Note: Re-release. Tempest contains one short, sexy novella. It is a re-released story originally published as Wind Kissed, Fire Bound. The story has been completely overhauled and characters changed. It has new scenes and/or extended scenes added.

One of five brothers granted the power of the wind, Lorenzo Venti is Keeper of the Winds. A loner at heart, he's fine that his duty to keep the evil Tempest Winds trapped on their island prison, keeps him isolated and alone. After seeing his father murdered by the Winds, he's made an oath to keep them locked away. Besides, he prefers his work with his horses to annoying people anyway. But his powerful foes are rising, and when one infuriating, tempting woman arrives on his island, she threatens everything...

Bright, vivacious horse trainer Riley Donovan is drawn to big, brooding loner Lorenzo, and she's planning to chase down the stubborn man once and for all. She knows he has demons, and it makes her own powers stir--powers she vowed never to use again when her mother was killed. But as their scorching attraction explodes, they find themselves in the center of a dangerous tempest...and now the fates of both their world and their hearts hang in the balance.

Available from: Amazon US | Amazon Aus

Storm & Seduction is Book 2

Note: Re-release. Storm and Seduction contains two short, sexy novellas. These are re-released stories originally published as Taken by the South Wind and Tempting the West Wind. They have been updated and have new scenes and/or extended scenes added.

Storm: the last thing he expects on his hunt is an alluring assassin out to kill him.

Shipping magnate Dante Venti is also the Warrior of the South Wind. With the terrifying Tempest Winds loose, it is his duty to scour the streets of Rome on the hunt for one of the dangerous winds, who is infecting the city with the vice of pride. Dante feels pride dragging him down, and now that the Aurae are all dead, be must fight on alone...until he finds himself attacked by a deadly assassin who tries to slit his throat.

Samia Hassan is the brotherhood's best assassin, or at least she was. Now she's on a mission to prove herself and end her lethal target. But Dante Venti is not what she expected, and as she finds herself drawn to him, she senses something is not right with her mission. Dante is not the evil being she was told he was, and instead she sees a sexy, handsome man fighting to protect the world. As Dante and Samia circle each other, a storm is growing...and Samia may be the only thing that can help Dante survive it.

Seduction: trapped, naked, and chained with a beautiful woman who can never be his.

Antonio Venti, Warrior of the West Wind, wakes up in chains, the prisoner of the deadly nemesis he hunts. An evil Tempest Wind is spreading the vice of lust across the city of Florence, and he has vowed to break Antonio. With no Aurae mate to soothe the vices, Antonio feels his body heating with desire, and he fights his reaction with every fiber of his being. But all that changes when his cunning prey locks him up naked with his ultimate temptation--the one woman he craves above all else.

Sophia Crane has given up on rich, cheating men. She's come to Italy to heal her broken heart, focus on her art restoration, and discover the truth about the legends of the Warriors of the Wind. But when she wakes up naked and locked in a room with her sexy boss--a man she's been avoiding--she knows something is desperately wrong. As Sophia and Antonio fight their scorching desire, she learns the terrible truth about the Tempest Winds and Antonio's struggle to fight back. Sophia watches him being dragged down by lust, and she realizes that she may either be Antonio's salvation...or his greatest downfall.

Available from: Amazon US | Amazon Aus

Opi Battles the Space Pirates by Donna Maree Hanson is Book 3 of the Love and Space Pirates series. It was released in March.

Ms Opeia Gayens, head of AllEarth Corp, has a problem-her company is rotten with Space Pirates. She wants to get rid of them once and for all. An unexpected invitation to dinner challenges her plans to be the bait that will draw the nasty pirates out. It's been forever since she's been on a date-just been Opi. Somehow, Owain McDevitt, mild-mannered, potato farmer from the planet Islay 2 is drawn into the intrigue. Yet, no one is who they seem, least of all Owain McDevitt. Betrayal after betrayal threatens Opi's existence and she must discover who the traitor really is before she can find her true path to happiness.

Available from Amazon US | Amazon Aus 

Memory's Return by C.M. Simpson is an urban fantasy short story in the Pixie Dust world. It was released in March by C.M. Publishing.

I don’t remember how I got in the alley, at least, not when I first wake up—and I don’t remember the names of these friendly faces making sure I’m okay, but it’s coming back. I just wish it would come back faster, because one of these faces is all kinds of wrong underneath the friendly veneer, with an agenda all their own, and they don’t mind putting my team in danger. If I don’t remember the whos and whats and whys real soon, one, or all, of us is going to end up dead, and who’s going to save the pixies then?

Non Paranormal title

Diamond Sky by Annie Seaton is Book 3 of the Porter Sisters series. It was released by Pan MacMillan Australia on 26th June.

The Kimberley can be a haven for those who can stand the heat, but its isolated beauty can also be deadly, if you're not paying attention...

The remote Matsu diamond mine in the Kimberley is the perfect place for engineer Dru Porter to hide. Her insignificance in that vast and rugged landscape helps her feel invisible. And safe. Surely the terror she left behind in Dubai will never find her here.

Security specialist Connor Kirk knows from experience that beautiful women are capable of treachery. When he arrives at Matsu to investigate a diamond theft, he immediately suspects the reclusive but obviously capable Dru Porter. He knows she's hiding something.

As Connor's investigation deepens and Dru's past catches up with her, their instant, mutual dislike threatens to blind them to the true danger lurking in the mine, one which could leave them both at the mercy of the desert...

Buy links on Annie's website.


Annie Seaton is part of blog hop for the 12 Days of Down Under Christmas. Visit her blog for details.


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