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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.

Tuesday 3 August 2021

DarkSider News for August 2021!


Hugs to everyone who is or has been in lockdown in Australia or anywhere you are in the world. Hopefully our news will be a bright part of your day.


The Ruby Awards by Romance Writers of Australia have DarkSiders as finalists! 

Romantic Suspense
The Investigator (Book 1, Norcross Security) by Anna Hackett
The Troubleshooter (Book 2, Norcross Securityby Anna Hackett

Speculative Fiction
Unseen (Book 3, The Fallen Guardians) by Cassie Laelyn

Also won Second place in the National Excellence in Story Telling (NEST) contest - Oklahoma Romance Writers!!

Purr-fect Pitch by Carolyn Wren

Purr-fect Pitch is also a finalist in the Stiletto Awards (Contemporary Romance Writers, RWAmerica) and in Novella section of the Koru Awards (Romance Writers of New Zealand)

The Prism Awards by the FFP chapter of the Romance Writers of America also has DarkSiders as finalists! 

Salvation (Book 1, Small Town Packs) by Cassie Laelyn  
The Daughter’s Duty by Claire Leggett 


Sci-Fi & Futuristic 
Lust by Lana Pecherczyk 


Welcome to our latest DarkSiders!

Melody Beckett
Melody has been a voracious reader of anything with a happy ending since she was old enough to pick up a book. As a teenager, she pulled all-nighters reading under the covers with a torch. Not much has changed many years later, now that she own an e-reader!
A writer for much of her life, she now marries a love of science fiction and romance into her own stories, and hopes you enjoy reading them as much as she enjoys writing them for you.

Melody lives in Queensland, Australia with her own personal hero, a cockatiel who is learning to sing the Star Trek Voyager theme, and a rescued greyhound.

Melanie Pickering
Melanie Pickering is an Australian author of genre-blending young adult novels that deal with love, loss, beauty and madness.

She has always had a vivid imagination and has been penning stories for as long as she can remember. Never satisfied when her favourite books were over, she continued the stories herself (often in cramped and messy handwriting) on the inside of the front and back covers.

Lewis Carroll’s timeless classic, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, fed her early hunger for twisted reality stories, and she has been obsessed ever since. 

She lives with her husband, two teenagers - plus their rescue pets - in beautiful sunny Brisbane, which is in stark contrast to the dark worlds that inhabit her stories. She loves dressing up, and thinks Halloween is terribly underrated.

HM Hodgson
Brisbane author, HM Hodgson has always loved stories. Creating her own is the natural evolution of a passion for reading, a love for what makes people tick, and the fantastic places that can be imagined. 

Today, she writes about romance (steamy scenes a must!) and magic. Magic that moves worlds and takes her to another place.

When not writing or reading or reluctantly cleaning up after her children, she loves looking after her veggie patch and little flock of chickens. 


Shades of Magic by LJ Swallow (Book 3, The Demon's Fae) was released 10 July.

A demon unleashes. The dark fae return. And a hellhound is missing.

Releasing demons from boxes doesn't endear me to the Four Horsemen, but I have a bigger problem than War's wrath. Dex either took himself on a long walk or somebody abducted him. Kudos to anybody who could wrangle him into submission.

My dealings with the fae grow more complicated, and the Collector introduces me to Rian, the fae capable of defeating the demons and restoring the court. Now all Rian needs to do is depose the queen and deal with the uprising. Simple.

My sex life grows more interesting by the day, which is at least a distraction from the death sentence hanging over me.

I finally discover why the demon prince is tracking me down and how I'm connected to these sought-after boxes. But if I have to face any more surprise revelations, I'll convince myself I'm in one of Morgan's parallel worlds. There's not enough whiskey in the world to deal with all this.

Can Rian restore the fae court before the dark fae tear the race apart again?

And can somebody please pay me for all the work I've done?

Buy links:

Blood Kissed by LJ Swallow and Jordan Crow (Book 3, Chosen Vampire Slayer) was released 29 July.

Torn by loyalty and the fiery desires of a conflicted heart, Veronica finds herself at a crossroads. What will she do if burning love turns into cold regret?

This is your kind of book if you love kick-ass heroines with sass to match, scorching hot monsters who take what they want, and is perfect for devourers of enemies to lovers books. Expect steam, action, and a supernatural world filled with vampires, demons, shifters, angels... and unhinged alphas who will do anything to protect their woman. Lovers of Anita Blake and True Blood, this is your next addiction.

Buy links

Wild Girl 
by Mila Young 
and C.R Jane (Book 3, Kingdom of Wolves) was released 15 July. 

My fated mate who rejected me has returned.

I should have known Alistair would find me.

But the dark secrets of my new home have been distracting me from the danger I’ll always be in as long as he is alive.

A serial killer. My lovers’ psycho ex. Not to mention my strange new powers;

It’s been a lot for a girl to handle.

Two Alphas have also claimed me as their own. Now that I’ve been taken, they’ll stop at nothing to get me back. But we should have remembered that there were scarier things in the shadows than my ex.

I need to be more wolf than woman now, because to survive, I’m going to have to embrace the wild in me.

Buy links:

Curse of the Fae by Mila Young (The Complete Winter's Thorn Collection) was released on 22 June.

"Under her angry gaze, I want us alone so I can force her onto her knees. To remind her of her place by my side."

A 900 pages enemies to lovers fae romance fantasy series. 4 books with a strong heroine and three fae princes who will do anything to protect their fated mate. Lose yourself in this steamy paranormal romance with high action, suspense, forbidden attraction, and burning love scenes that will have you craving more.

I left my foster home and all the baggage of my old life behind for a new start at university, hoping that things would finally change for the better.
That the terrifying nightmares, disturbing visions, and strange voices would stop. That I'd get to be normal.
But it wasn't meant to be.
Three of the most dangerously stunning fae warriors suddenly crash into my life and change my fate forever. According to them, I’m their savior.
These smoldering princes insist I belong with them, to them, in the Wandering Realm, a place where love is lost, where war brews like poison, and where the once-powerful royals are hunted and slaughtered by the thousands.
This is the world they want me to save. But among these monsters, there can be no salvation.
Even the three fae princes sworn to protect me are keeping dangerous secrets. Ones that if I don’t unravel soon just might be the death of me…

Curse of the Fae is a complete series and includes 4 full length books that features a strong heroine and three princes on the verge of loosing their kingdom.
To Catch A Fae
To Seduce A Fae
To Tame A Fae
To Claim A Fae

Buy links

Sin Demons Part 1 by Mila Young and Harper A. Brooks (Books 1-3, Sin Demons) was released 20 July.

Just before my eighteenth birthday, my soul was traded to three sin demons as payment for my foster-father’s gambling debts. Little did I know that being with them would unleash my own desires and Hell on Earth. Literally. But these tempting devils aren’t the only ones with ungodly powers because I’m no angel myself.

But my dark secret can end up destroying us all.

Sin Demons is a fiery paranormal romance series full of dominating hellions, gritty humor, underworld mystery, and a lost heroine embracing her faults to find her true power.

Part 1 includes books 1-3 in the series:
Playing with Hellfire
Hell in a Handbasket
All Shot to Hell

Buy links

The Last Keeper by HM Hodgson (Book 1, The Immortal Keepers) was released 27 June.

Deadly secrets. Sacred vows. Duty over desire.

India Jones is a city-witch with a problem - her witchcraft is turning dangerously unstable. And worse, the only people who can help are the family she hasn't seen in forever, on their isolated farm in Victoria, Australia.

But the farm and dark forest surrounding it hold dangerous secrets: an unearthly magic that beckons her into the forest, the truth behind her parents’ death, and a riveting stranger all too at home on her family’s property.

Ruthless and deadly, Thrane is the last Keeper. Eons ago, the Old Gods created the World Tree to connect the three Worlds. From its roots to its branches, it connects the Underworld, Mortalworld and Higherworld. But a secret war rages as those who would enslave the Mortalworld seek to destroy the Tree. Only the Immortal Keepers stand in their way.

Now, duty and explosive desire compel Thrane to keep close to India. For though she doesn’t know it, the stubborn witch is the gravest danger the World Tree, and his heart, have ever encountered.

To save the Mortalworld – and herself – India must face the most dangerous secret of all. Hers.

Buy links

Non Spec-Fic

Stealing from Mr. Rich by Anna Hackett (Book 1, Billionaire Heists) was released 25 May.

To save my brother, all I have to do is steal from a billionaire.

My brother is in trouble. Again. But this time he’s in debt to some really bad people, and I’ll do anything to save him. Even be blackmailed into cracking an unbreakable safe belonging to the most gorgeous man in New York. And one of the richest.

Steal from Zane Roth—King of Wall Street and one of the famous billionaire bachelors of New York—sure thing, piece of cake.

You see, some people can play the piano, but I can play safes. My father is a thief, safecracker extraordinaire, and a criminal. He also taught me everything he knows. I’ve spent my entire life trying not to be him. I own my own business, pay my taxes, and I don’t break the law. Ever.

Now I have to smash every one of my rules, break into a billionaire’s penthouse, and steal a million-dollar necklace.

What I never expected was to find myself face to face with Zane. Tall, dark, handsome, and oh-so-rich Zane. He’s also smart, and he knows I’m up to something.

And he’s vowed to find out.

Blackmailing Mr. Bossman by Anna Hackett (Book 2, Billionaire Heists) was released 22 June.

To save my best friend’s husband, all I have to do is blackmail a billionaire. 

My friend’s husband was abducted by a gang of white-collar criminals. These guys are bad, and they want her to spy on her boss—a man who owns half of New York. She’s falling apart and she needs my help. 

My name’s Aspen. I’m a private investigator, and I’m usually doing surveillance on cheating spouses or insurance scammers, but now I’m going undercover. 

I’m trading my jeans for skirts, and playing assistant at Kensington Group so I can get up close and personal with Liam Kensington—the owner of a multibillion-dollar construction and property empire. 

Not to mention a tall, lean, golden-haired god with a sexy British accent. 

The white-collar thieves have Liam in their sights and in return for my friend’s husband, they want me to blackmail a billionaire. Aw, hell.  

But I didn’t count on how Liam would make me feel, or my crazy need to keep him safe, or our incendiary attraction. 

Now I have to save a man’s life, catch some bad guys, and stop myself from falling in love with a billionaire who’s way out of my league.

Buy links

Hacking Mr. CEO by Anna Hackett (Book 3, Billionaire Heists) was released 27 July.

To save the only mother I’ve ever known, all I have to do is hack a tech billionaire. 

My foster mother is sick. The woman who gave me a home, love, a life. I’ll do anything to find the money for her surgery, including using my skills as a hacker. 

My name’s Remi, also known as Rogue Angel, and usually I work for a security company testing clients’ systems. But now a shadowy bad guy has tracked me down and given me an ultimatum. 

I have to hack Rivera Tech—the biggest technology company in the world, owned by billionaire CEO, Maverick Rivera. If I do, I get paid and I can help my foster mother. If I don’t, my family is in danger. 

Hacking Rivera is no walk in the park, and soon I find myself in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse with big, grumpy, and way-too-sexy Maverick. What I never, ever expected was for him to make me feel safe, or to threaten my closely-guarded heart, or to ignite every single part of me.  

I can’t drag him into my mess. 

But Maverick has other ideas, and he isn’t a man who takes no for an answer.

An Ear to the Ground by D.D. Line (Book 2, Trinket Bay) was released 30 July.

When murder and love collide, does duty trump one’s heart?

Lilah Michaels remembers little of her mother’s suicide following a violent assault during a
robbery at their home over twenty years ago. But it’s the only home she’s ever known. Now
they’re in danger of losing the family property, and she’s pinned her hopes on hosting weddings
at the winery to appease the bank and buy them some time. Until a shocking discovery changes

Sergeant Finn Kelly desperately needs a break after a tough assignment. All he wants is to catch
up with his friends in Trinket Bay as they prepare for their wedding. At Hidden Gem Winery, he
finds a yearned-for sense of peace. Then he meets the charming woman who’s hosting the
nuptials, and his thoughts turn toward romance.

Finn puts those amorous notions on hold when he and his service dog find human remains on
the property. Painful memories and an unsolved mystery come to light. It’s clear someone wants
to keep the past a secret, and they’ll do anything to make sure the truth stays buried.

Is Lilah as innocent as she seems? Or is she part of the conspiracy? And will Finn lose more than
his heart in his quest to discover the truth?

An Ear to the Ground is a contemporary romantic suspense novel set in the fictional town of
Trinket Bay in South Western Australia.

Buy links

D.D. Line is in the Sweet Delights Anthology produced by Gumnut press. It was released 7 July.

Sweet Delights offers the reader fourteen amazing romance stories full of love, blossoming romance, yummy treats, and the odd challenge or two. You'll find stories about weddings, café's, cooking classes, bake sales, family reunions and lost loves reunited. Lose yourself in the many stories and fall in love with the characters, their lives, their loves and of course, their sweet delights.

 Passionberry Dreams by D.D. Line - A young constable with an overwhelming urge to serve and protect. A pâtissier with attitude. Can a thief bring two hearts together? Or steal away their dreams?

Buy links

Cross My Heart by D.K. Hood (Book 12, Detectives Kane and Alton) was 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?

Buy links

Trapped in Retribution Bay 
by Claire Boston 
(Book 2, Aussie Heroes: Retribution Bay) was released 19 July.

He’s struggling to keep afloat. She’d rather be in the city. When they work together to save his land, will it bring them happily ever after? 

The North Australian outback. Darcy Stokes shoulders a mountain of guilt. With his family’s 150-year-old sheep station on the verge of bankruptcy due to a bad investment, the single dad’s stress is running at an all-time high. And his only glimmer of hope is a pretty, big-city lawyer who’s offered to take a look at the contract he bungled.

Faith Arnold is suffering from small-town claustrophobia. After helping her mother rehab from a stroke, she’s desperate to return to her corporate legal career. But she can’t help but think the handsome cowboy she agreed to aid might make for a compelling reason to stay. 

As Darcy finds himself falling for the sexy attorney, he fears a sinister consortium will stop at nothing to force him to sell. And as Faith is pulled in deeper to the troubled rancher’s woes, she may find her heart isn’t the only part of her in danger… 

Will Darcy and Faith grab love’s reins and outrun a terrible threat? 

Trapped in Retribution Bay is the gorgeous second book in the Aussie Heroes: Retribution Bay romantic suspense series. If you like rugged men, intelligent heroines, and the wide Australian expanse, then you’ll adore Claire Boston’s captivating tale.

Theresa Fuller is in the Secrets of the Soho Club box set released 15 July.

Ten tempting Regency romance novellas to tickle your tastebuds, ranging from sweet to spicy.

The Soho Club in Soho Square, London, is a private place where folk can truly be who they are, without the strictures and expectations of Regency society. For some, it’s a place to do business. For others, it’s a place to relax. Membership rules include a commitment to discretion. As long as everyone is an adult about things and nobody gets hurt, members can indulge to their hearts’ content.

Theresa Fuller, A Headhunter in London
A curious journalist is on to the story of a lifetime. But is this scoop worth putting her life - and her heart - on the line?

Buy links


Drunk on Love by Mila Young (Gods of Thunder MC - multi authors) is expected for release 12 August. 

First my husband reveals himself as a werewolf by taking a bite out of me. If that’s not enough, I find out he's been cheating on me. Goodbye, love. Hello, divorce papers!

I go into hiding while I wait to see whether I’ll turn furry on the next full moon, not to mention dealing with new powers that decided to show up, plus it’s my 40th birthday. But this town I’m in is where a gorgeous man finds me, the most egotistical man in existence. He says he’s a God—Dionysus in retirement—that there’s something about me, and that he will not give up until he has me.

Yeah, I am so not in the mood. Who cares if he’s the God of pleasure and indulgence? This heart is staying closed for the foreseeable future…

But then again, I never saw this one coming, and especially not the grapevine grip he’d take on my heart.

Pre-Order links:

When Hell Freezes Over by Mila Young and Harper A. Brooks (Book 5, Sin Demons) is expected for release 19 August.

There are enemies everywhere… But none as deadly as the one lurking inside me.

Vampire gangs, Lucifer rising, hellhounds on the loose, and an unruly shadow creature hell-bent on taking control… And no, that’s not the beginning of a bad joke. It’s a nightmare.

And it’s my life.

To get to Hell and stop the coming war, we need to find the last three relics and open the gates. But the greatest threat isn’t Lucifer. It’s the creature who shares my soul.

Hell will freeze over before my demons let me go, but with Sayah’s powers and influence growing, I’m not sure anyone can stop my greatest fear from coming true.
I’m losing myself to the darkness.

And scariest of all… I like it.

Pre-Order links:

Fighting For Her Warrior
 by Melody Beckett (Book 1, Taurean Warriors) is expected for release 7 December.

A woman on a mission to save humanity.

A scarred alien warrior who will decide Earth’s fate.

Captain Laila Storey thinks she’s seen it all—until first contact with an insect-like alien race, the Xakul, destroys a Martian colony. The Xakul’s next target? Earth.

Humanity’s only hope is the Taureans, and Laila’s mission is to convince them to save humanity. She certainly doesn’t have time for the passionate attraction she feels to one brooding Taurean warrior.

Commander Zac Qu’Rell’s last battle almost killed him. He doesn’t want the responsibility of command again, let alone to decide the fate of an entire race.

Yet when Zac meets Laila, he feels whole once more.

With the clock ticking, can Laila and Zac beat the odds to save Earth?

Or will it be destroyed, along with any chance for them to find love?

Pre-Order links

Reclaim by Cassie Laelyn (Book 2, Small Town Packs) is expected for release on 12 October.

Cedar Valley Bears.

Murder. Redemption. A love worth dying for.

When Kali Preston discovers her brother’s death wasn’t an accident, she resorts to desperate measures for help. Mainly, Brax Archer. The infuriatingly sexy, tattooed alpha of Cedar Valley bears. He’s also the guy who tore out her heart and smashed it to pieces. But with a blood-thirsty killer targeting her family, evading Brax’s sinful grin isn’t her only danger.

Now, she must summon the strength to protect their pack before the hunter strikes again.

But what if those she loves are her biggest threat?

Fall in love with small towns, swoony shifters, and unbreakable bonds, in these interconnected full-length novellas. Don’t worry, these bad boys are long and packed with romancey goodness and a swoony HEA, so you won’t be left disappointed. Each story is a standalone paranormal romance with a guaranteed HEA.

HM Hodgson and Melanie Pickering are in the upcoming anthology, Mermaid Kisses expected to be released 12 August.

Mermaid Kisses is an anthology of forbidden love, secret worlds, dangerous liaisons and the complicated simplicity of romance.

SIREN CALL by Jacqueline Hayley
She's everything he hunts. And everything he desires. How can she trust him, when the lure of her siren call will devastate them both?

A CURSE OF MOON & SEA by H.M. Hodgson
Once upon a time, a Merprince was cursed. Can he blackmail his way out of this fairytale nightmare?

ADRIFT by Melanie Pickering
The sea hath no fury like a mermaid scorned. What happens when a former merman falls for the human he was supposed to drown?

THE CROSSING by Jennifer Westgarth
She was born to protect the ocean. His heart lies with the land. When all you love is on the line, which world do you choose to defend?

Pre-Order links

Non spec-fic

Escape to Retribution Bay by Claire Boston (Book 3, Aussie Heroes: Retribution Bay) is expected to be released 4 October.

She witnessed a murder and the killer knows it. He needs to get home in time for his brother’s wedding, or the ceremony will be ruined. A chance encounter could be the solution they both need.

An airport strike strands Ed Stokes twelve hundred kilometres from home with the rings for his brother’s wedding. He snags the last available hire car, but it’s a twenty-year-old bomb that might not make the distance.

Tess Lim is on the run, but her one hope of escape is thwarted when all flights out of the city are cancelled. With no hire cars available, she’s desperate enough to accept a lift from an attractive stranger. Tess doesn’t care where he’s going, as long as it’s far away from the city.

As Ed breaks through Tess’s wariness, he discovers a woman who longs for adventure. But they get more adventure than either of them bargained for when the murderer catches up with them.

Can they divert the killer’s attention and escape in time?

Escape to Retribution Bay is the third adventure-filled book in the Aussie Heroes: Retribution Bay romantic suspense series. If you like unlikely heroes, desperate heroines and road trip romances, then you’ll love Claire Boston’s thrilling story.

Lose Your Breath by D.K. Hood (Prequel, Detectives Kane and Alton) is expected to be released 7 September.

David Kane’s completely gripping origin story. Find out how he went from Black Ops to Black Rock Falls in this short 150-page read you won’t be able to put down.

She pulls the door of her office closed and hurries over to her beaten-up old Toyota parked in a deserted alley. Slipping into the driver’s seat, she checks the rear-view mirror, and her heart stops. Staring back at her are the dark eyes of a stranger. She opens her mouth to scream, but it’s already too late…

When secretary Annie Parkes is snatched from the street outside of her workplace, David Kane is tasked with finding her. Strong, highly skilled, and secretive, he’s a loner and an outsider; the only man the mil
itary trust to find Annie before her kidnappers make good on their promise to kill her.

But as Kane pulls Annie from a derelict building, gunshots ringing through the deserted streets around them, he realizes rescuing her is just the beginning. He needs to keep her close to find out who is behind her capture, and to keep her safe.

Hiding out in a remote part of town, Kane feels the walls he put up around himself many years ago begin to slip in front of Annie. Could she be more than just a job? With an old enemy hot on his tail, showing any weakness could be fatal—but when Annie is dragged back into danger once again, could he already be too late?

Buy links


Nothing to Hide by Claire Boston (Book 3, Blackbridge) is free for a limited time only at Kobo. 

She’s outgoing. He’s socially awkward. Can a motorbike-riding nurse and a shy nature lover catch an environmental crook while love blooms?

Fleur Lockhart is still haunted by a tragic accident. As the local motocross president, it broke her heart when a life-altering wreck occurred on her watch. So after a handsome park ranger asks for her help to save endangered orchids on the track’s grounds, she’s eager for a shot at redemption—and maybe even romance.

Will Travers feels more at home in a field of flowers than in the presence of beautiful women. And though the reserved man is thrilled to have an ally on his quest to preserve the rare flora, the alluring biker is giving him a serious case of butterflies. But he’s soon dealing with something much darker than being tongue-tied when they discover a nearby toxic chemical dump.

As Fleur searches for the culprit, a dubious run of “accidents” makes her worry that she’s the true target. And as Will fumbles his way through their relationship, he finds himself tangled in a web of small-town grudges with deadly consequences.

Can Will and Fleur expose a dangerous criminal racket and take their romance across the finish line?

Nothing to Hide is the thrilling third standalone novel in The Blackbridge Series of romantic suspense. If you like engaging characters, heartwarming communities, and page-turning tension, then you’ll adore Claire Boston’s riveting story.

Buy link


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