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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.

Thursday 17 June 2021

Magic Thursday: Girls Can Save the World! with Theresa Fuller

 Besides the local legends and myths from Southeast Asia that I had breathed in as a child, I also grew up loving Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty. I longed to be a princess with a golden crown and raven black hair. And I imagined myself pining away in a lonely tower, waiting for Prince Charming. Then authors like Edith Nesbit came along…

And suddenly, I discovered that perhaps it would be far more interesting to wield a sword than to be rescued.

I grew up. Married my Prince Charming. Had kids.

And suddenly, because I was so far away from the land where I was born, I had a desire to share my childhood tales with my children.

Boys don’t generally care for romance.

So instead, I wrote about the other stories: the legends, and the myths I grew up loving. I published my folktales – THE GIRL WHO BECAME A GODDESS – in 2019. Then decided I would write a second – THE GIRL SUDAN PAINTED LIKE A GOLD RING (coming soon).

This time, however, I was determined to include a fairy tale romance. But as I researched fairy tale after fairy tale, I discovered to my annoyance that the folktales from Southeast Asia tended to take a certain form.

The hero goes on a quest. Finds a beautiful girl (thankfully, not necessarily a princess). They get married. The End.

What on earth did the girls who were not beautiful do?

And what did the girls who found their Happily Ever After do, besides just being beautiful?

I suddenly realised I was searching for a role model.

As an ex-teacher, I especially wanted an example from a fairy tale, because stories are often the method by which young children learn about the world. 

Unexpectedly, I came across the head-hunters.

Turtle Beach, Malaysia. Source: Deposit Photos

The Sea Dyaks were head-hunters from Sarawak, Malaysia. If the Sea Dyak men were having a council and a Sea Dyak woman had something important to say, she was not afraid to speak out.

And the men all listened.


When did something like that ever happen in Snow White? Or Sleeping Beauty?

Like these princesses, every Sea Dyak girl expected to be married, only they viewed marriage as a merger between equals. Not a rescue mission.

If a man was not prepared to work for a Sea Dyak woman, then what was the point of being married?

In most parts of the world, when a woman married a man, she was raised to his level. Not so with the Sea Dyaks. While their men went to war, which often meant accumulating heads and is certainly not something that I would advocate anybody do, their women had their version of war – weaving. A woman weaver at the top of her game, bestowed her honour upon her husband. And so, it worked both ways.

Source: Deposit Photos

In my upcoming book – THE GIRL SUDAN PAINTED LIKE A GOLD RING – I tell the story of some of these women, who not only found love, but did it their way! But this is not the reason for this article.

I wrote this article because I believe that it's time.

Girls can save the world!

Theresa Fuller
was born in Singapore to Peranakan parents. She was encouraged in her writing by her teacher, Chia Hearn Chek, a well-known local author. Educated in Singapore and Australia, she worked as an analyst/programmer and later as a high school teacher. Her first short story THE CRICKET SON was published in VOICES OF THE PAST, An Anthology of Stories Passed Down In Australian Families.

Her breakthrough novel is the Steampunk YA THE GHOST ENGINE, published in March 2018. It won a mentorship at the Australasian Horror Writers’ Association. THE GHOST ENGINE combines her love of technology with her enthusiasm for Victorian England. 

Theresa currently resides with her family in Sydney, Australia.

You can find Theresa at her website: theresafuller.com.

Tuesday 8 June 2021

DarkSider News for June 2021!


A wholla news going on...


Leisl Leighton and D.K Hood are listed in the Davitt Awards longlist! see the full list here.

Blazing Fear by Leisl Leighton (Book2, CoalCliff Stud

Her Broken Wings by D.K. Hood (Book 8, Detectives Kane and Alton

Buy links

Her Shallow Grave by D.K. Hood (Book 9, Detectives Kane and Alton

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Promises in the Dark by D.K. Hood (Book 10, Detectives Kane and Alton

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The Mind Eaters by Lilliana Rose (Book 4, Lost Souls Academy) was released 6 May.

Secrets are being kept between the students at the Lost Souls Academy, causing conflicts between them. When they face a physical threat from the Mind Eaters, will individuals come together to help each other? Or will the deeper truth stop them and cause them to lose what has become their home?

What will Abaddon have in mind for Zarya this time? Will she have the know-how to stop him once and for all? Can so many lost souls manage to come together and help each other against this evil?

Soul Surrender by Daniel de Lorne (Book 3, Immortals of the Apocalypse) was released 11 May. 

Humanity’s last chance for survival. His last hope for redemption. Can this immortal overcome the violent wrongs of his past to gift the world a better future?

For five hundred years, Emrys Stone believed that his hunger for human souls kills everyone he touches. But when he leads a group of exiles to safety, he discovers another being like himself living in harmony with humans—despite the threat they know he poses.

The exiles finally have a second chance at what passes for a future in their post-apocalyptic world. But Emrys shares a history with the resident soul-eater that puts everything and everyone in danger. If he can atone for his past, he’ll unlock more than one secret to survival. But will jealousy, prejudice, and revenge destroy any chance of a happy ending?

Soul Surrender is the final compelling novel in the Immortals of the Apocalypse gay paranormal sci-fi trilogy. If you like nuclear blasts from the past and closed hearts torn open, you’ll love Daniel de Lorne’s climactic conclusion.

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To Hell and Back by Mila Young and Haper A. Brooks (Book 4, Sin Demons) was released 27 May.

They were trying to get back to Hell... But Hell showed up at our door.

None of us expected a visit from the devil himself, but after Lucifer comes a-knocking, we know things are about to heat up fast.

According to the demons, the only way to protect me is to bind us all together. Forever. Something I’m not sure I’m even willing to do. But with Greed’s ring still on my finger and Lucifer’s sights set on making me his next play thing, what other choice do I have?

When I’m dragged to Hell against my will, I’m determined to find a way topside again. But the darkness within me is enjoying this deadly vacation a little too much, and my powers only seem to grow the longer I stay.

My demons will risk it all to save me from eternal damnation.

But after going to Hell and back, will I still be the same in the end?

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The Soldier's Familiar by TJ Nichols was released on 28 May. 

Stealing the wrong wallet, puts Bailey’s heart in the witch’s grasp.

Sergeant Kassidy Robinson craves a final night of fun before deploying. But one kiss changes his fate. The man in his arms is his familiar. The snow leopard shifter then steals his wallet and vanishes. Kass ships out, but he can’t escape the longing for the light-fingered thief.

Bailey Fisher is terrified of the power Kass holds over him. When the connection doesn’t fade, Bailey realizes he’s already in Kass’s thrall and he’s forced to confront old fears and ancient prejudices or risk being under the soldier’s spell forever.

For readers who like military heroes, opposites attract and fated mates.

Previously published in the Warlords, Witches and Wolves: A Fantasy Realms Anthology

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Dark Vengeance by Shelley Russell Nolan (Book 2, The Last Ward) was released 20 April.

Victory comes at a cost.

In the aftermath of the battle to free Brimfield from the control of a madman, Jackson Kyle, Captain of the Ward, is focused on protecting the humans under his charge. But not all his enemies have been vanquished.

Forced to flee, Jackson and his wardens seek a safe place to create more of the cure for the freak virus. But not everyone wants to see an end to all freaks. As hidden agendas surface, Jackson is ripped from those he trusts, putting the future of humankind at stake.

With his allies scattered, and his own kind turning against him, it will take everything Jackson has to win this fight. But if he loses his life … the cure dies with him.

Book 1, Dark Justice is currently on sale (see below)

by Cassie Laelyn (Book 1, Small Town Packs) was released 8 June.

Wolves of Woodland Falls

Two destinies. One curse. A secret to die for…

Return to Woodland Falls, pack up the past, and get the hell out of there. After fifteen years, it should be easy, right? Sure, until Mia Jones stumbles into the town’s sexy bartender, Noah Cole. His wolfish grin and impossibly bright blue eyes trigger a forgotten memory, throwing her plans into a spin. But when she discovers Noah’s secret, their reunion goes from destined to deadly. 

Now, she must choose between her heart and preventing an ancient curse that threatens the entire shifter community. 

But what if those she loves are the biggest threat?

Currently at discounted price of .99c US.

Blackbird Rising by Keri Arthur  (Book 1, The Witch King's Crown) is now in audio format.

A modern fantasy novel inspired by the King Arthur legend…

For hundreds of years, the Witch King’s sword has been buried in stone awaiting the next hand to draw it.

Many have tried. None have succeeded.

Gwen is the last in a long line of De Montfort witches whose duty it is to protect the sword of all power. But when she returns to King Island to perform the blessing, a mysterious pulse of blue light tells her that someone has attempted to draw the sword. Before she can investigate any further, demons attack. She only survives with the help of a mysterious stranger who disappears as quickly as he appears. 

Gwen and her grandmother, Moscelyne, soon discover that minor gateways into Darkside—the traditional home of both demons and dark elves—are being forced open by magic.  Even worse, someone is now sending demons after the Witch King’s heirs.

As vital artifacts are stolen by Darkside and the deaths draw altogether too close to home, Gwen and Mo—with the help of old gods and an ancient order of knights once thought dead—scramble to unravel the clues and stop the murderous would-be king from claiming the crown.

If they fail and the wrong hand draws the sword of power, he can unlock the main gateway into Darkside and unleash utter hell onto an unsuspecting and unprepared England….

Shadowland Sector Two by Mila Young  (Book 2, Shadowlands Sector) is now in audio format.

It’s only a matter of time before I destroy them all...A raging, bloodthirsty wolf isn’t the only deadly thing inside me. So, I have to do what I’ve always done best. Run.

Leaving my alphas and the first taste of love I’ve ever known is the only answer now.

And even when Fate steps in and puts us all back together, including a sexy new alpha with troubles of his own, I can’t stay. Even though it’s killing me to go.

The pain of being away from them will literally kill me, but no matter what happens to me, I can’t let them pay for my weakness.

I can’t save myself, but I can save them. I can save them from seeing what I will become...But my dominant alphas are better hunters than I am prey, and they’re determined to keep me...whatever the cost.

Siren Redeemed by Mila Young and C.R. Jane (Book 4, Thief of Hearts) was released 3 June. 

One man broke me. One led me to sin. And one killed me to save me.

I grew up under the iron fist of a vampire. And when I betrayed him, I ended up in Nightmare Penitentiary.

Multiple attacks, my death, and four psycho men later…I’m done being everyone's target.

I have to escape the monsters who surround me within these walls. So a deal has been struck, and failure to fulfill my part of the bargain is not an option. 

With my fae prince, incubus, hellhound, and serial killer, I’m set to unleash hell on all of who’ve done me wrong.

I’ve had enough of the cages that surround me. 

Sometimes all you need is a second chance to make things right. But in my case, I was given four…

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The Cursed Spirit by Lilliana Rose (Book 5, Lost Souls Academy) is expected to be released on 10 June.

The Lost Souls Academy has become Zarya’s home and a place where she is safe with her new friends. The Guild is threatening her new sanctuary as they want control of the library to access the deep, dark knowledge that has been hidden away. 

Can the students work together to keep the library for themselves? Or will their own interests in using the knowledge to change them get in the way? 

Abaddon has made it clear he is coming to the Academy for Zarya. So defenses are put in place, but will they be enough to stop this powerful ghost? Zarya is becoming a strong ghost hunter, but will it be enough to defeat Abaddon as he closes in on her?

It's at the low price of 99c for pre-ordering!

Crown of Shadows by Keri Arthur (Book 1, Relic Hunter) is expected to be released 22 February 2022. 

The relics of the Old Gods are dangerous... as the world is about to discover.

Pre-Order links

Non spec-fic

Cross My Heart by D.K. Hood (Book 12, Detectives Kane and Alton) is expected to be released 7 July.

She wakes to the sound of footsteps outside her secluded home. Moving toward the window, she scans the dark woods around her and freezes. A tall figure in a long dark coat holds a crossbow pointed right at her. She blinks as lightning cracks overhead. But when she opens her eyes, the figure has vanished…

When the body of a man is found in the dense forest surrounding Black Rock Falls, Sheriff Jenna Alton immediately sees disturbing similarities with a past case—the same murder weapon, the remote beauty spot, and the way the victim is perched against a tree with no sign of a struggle. But the killer in that case was jailed for life.

Jenna suspects a copycat killer and her fears are confirmed when, during the town’s Halloween festival, the bodies of two tourists are found further down the remote trail. They too had been hunted down and murdered in another picturesque spot and all Jenna can hope is that the man behind bars can help her catch the twisted monster behind these new deaths.

As she comes face to face with the vicious murderer who has haunted her dreams for years, she is sure he knows more than he’s telling her. Looking deep into Jenna’s eyes, as if they’re two old friends catching up, he promises to take his final revenge on her for locking him up. But before she can learn more, he is dragged away by prison guards.

When a sudden emergency call takes Jenna and her deputy David Kane deep into the woods, Jenna senses something is very wrong about the situation. As a strange calmness falls over the forest, a familiar face emerges from the shadows. Will this killer be the one who finally takes down Sheriff Alton, and can they make it out of the forest alive?

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Non spec-fic

Resisting the Firefighter by Christina Phillips, Cathleen Ross, and Mel Teshco is expected to be released 1 July


To Seduce a Fae by Mila Young (Book 1, Winter's Thorn) is now on the KISS app.

KISS is a new and exciting way to experience Romance stories of all genres. Enjoy serialized quality content from NYT and USA Today bestselling authors, available right from your phone.  KISS has hundreds of titles and authors to choose from, including new and exclusive content from some of your favorite voices!

Check out in your favourite App store. 


Dark Justice by Shelley Russell Nolan (Book 1, The Last Ward) is available for .99c US for a limited time!

The Dream Talkers by Lilliana Rose (Book 2, Lost Souls Academy) is available for .99c US for a limited time.

Zarya dreams are bordering on nightmares, haunting her during the day as she tries to settle into the academy. It’s like there are entities trying to talk to her while she sleeps, but the message is getting muddled. 

Are they being helpful or not?

Could it be ghosts that talk in dreams, and are they connected to Abaddon?

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Be Mine Forever by D.K. Hood (Book 11, Detectives Kane and Alton) is available for .99c US for a limited time.

Gray clouds gather overhead as she runs along the dark road. Not a soul is out in the storm, or so she thinks. As the vehicle pulls up alongside her, she sees a familiar face behind the wheel and thinks she's safe. Little does she know, she has just put herself in unthinkable danger...

When local cheerleader, Laurie Turner, goes missing after practice and her bright red pick-up truck is found abandoned by the side of a quiet road, Sheriff Jenna Alton fears the worst.
Visiting Laurie's family house, Jenna senses that the teenager's home life isn't as perfect as her father would have people believe. Quick to temper and full of hatred towards Laurie's mother, Dr Turner doesn't seem to know the first thing about his own daughter, let alone how long she's been missing for.

With the clock ticking, the whole town takes to the streets to find the missing girl and, after a frantic search, a terrible discovery is made at the bottom of an old mine shaft on the outskirts of town. Laurie's pale body is totally still and Jenna is sure somebody in the local community is her killer.

When another cheerleader goes missing, Jenna thinks that someone close to the school is picking the teenagers off one by one. As she talks to the other students, it becomes clear that there are plenty of people who'd like to silence the girls forever.

Then her own deputy David Kane comes face to face with the murderer, and Jenna has to race to save him. Can she do so before it's too late? Or will another young life be taken?

Buy links


The Curious Case of Nimue Fairchild by Daniel de Lorne (Prequel, Immortals of the Apocalypse) is now free if you sign up to Daniel's newsletter.  

Arcane Awakenings 1 & 2 by Shelley Russell Nolan (Book 1 & 2, Arcane Awakenings) is now free if you sign up to Shelley's newsletter.


Keri Arthur has updated the look of her website.

Mila Young is now on Tik Tok


Australian Romance Readers Association - Book Signing Event: A Romantic Rendezvous

DarkSiders that are attending: Cassie Laelyn, Cathleen Ross, and Keri Arthur.

VIP Tickets now on sale. 

Claire Boston is going to appear at the Rockingham Writer's Convention, 10 July 2021.


Congratulations to our DarkSiders.

Thanks for joining us. Until next time...

check out all our books on our dsdu-books shelf:
DarkSide DownUnder's book lists (dsdu-books shelf)