To celebrate the tenth running of the SPFBO, in which my own The Glorious and Epic Tale of Lady Isovar is entered, I’ve decided to try to read the first bits of each of the 300 entries and celebrate them in a silly way. Using the samples provided by Amazon (or any reasonable substitute I can find) I’m going to pick (based solely on my stupid opinions) the best name and the best word I find in the first chapter, and I will compose a dreadful, inexpert haiku about what I read. I’ll update this page with these entries as I go, putting the new entries at the top.

I randomized the order of the books, and I’ll be following that order to #300 or as long as my stamina holds out. There is no guarantee I will finish this work, because I am fickle and shifty.

#190: Smoker on the Porch

by Dom Watson

Best Name: William Biggot

Best Word: House of Sweet Things

Sudden death haunts town.

Kids know the answer: Sweet House.

Barely there, but foul.


#189: Tabby Swain

by Sithia Queen

Best Name: Tabby

Best Word: gibbous

Animal-tinged kids

talk love, have class, try to pass.

Strange normalcy here.


#188: Jem, a Girl of London

by Delaney Green

Best Name: Siobhan Calloway

Best Word: Lamesley

Brit girl sees spirits.

Mine tragedy, vividly

described. Sorrow reigns.


#187: A Contract in Sol Forne

by √Član March√© & Christopher Warman

Best Name: Hovardom

Best Word: djinn, neighborliness

Thought zygote? OK.

Vaelin visits crappy town

Elven relics wait


#186: Seeds of the Fallen

by Miriam Yvette

Best Name: Skiar

Best Word: celestial

Snowy wagon ride

Coarse philosophy ensues

Sharing gets them dumped


#185: The Fate of

by J.E. Lynn

Best Name: Lucere

Best Word: millefoile

Plague ward meet cute? Sure!

Church medics face dire disease.

Conspiracy? Cool!


#184: Princess of the Broken

by Jasmine K Swinburne

Best Name: Elisaria

Best Word: Fee (rainbow bird)

Fertility crone

gives baby, asks a high price

New Rapunzel tale


#183: A Rose Among Thorns

by Ash Fitzsimmons

Best Name: Yven ti’Ansha

Best Word: kraken

Rose Thorn’s a great name

Nursery (plants, not babies)

Home of mysteries


#182: A Vermilion Curse

by DC Guevara

Best Name: Chthassyl

Best Word: priority

Town falls; demon steals

Seeking books and dark knowledge

Finds wanted woman


#181: The Thief’s Keeper

by Kyrie Wang

Best Name: Mablethorpe, Aliwyn

Best Word: Barton-Upon-Humber

Musician thrall flees

Sheep and girl provide cover

She’s a mystery


#180: Rites of Passage

by M. D. Presley

Best Name: Raziel

Best Word: Midianites

Man flees cult, old life

FBI knows him. What’s up?

Shootout, chaos, bounce.


#179: The Awakening

by Mitchell Hill

Best Name: Broax

Best Word: simpletons

Girl visits, has tales

Town under seige, man chooses

baby over death


#178: Dawn of the Black Sun

by Timo Burnham

Best Name: Engi

Best Word: Barrenlanders

Exile withers, drained

Fights, wins, seizes magic sword.

Feels like kung-fu flick


#177: The Door to Trilesk

by Shannon Holly

Best Name: Miswala

Best Word: cellos

Kate risks visit to

enchanted house, fearing sale

Where has the aunt gone?


#176: Wolf of Withervale

by Joaquín Baldwin

Best Name: Lorr Tuam

Best Word: thwump

Whoa! Great maps. Fox flees.

Boy brawls. Quirky teacher helps.

Walkabout ensues.


#175: They Left Magic in Their Wake

by Marilyn Peake

Best Name: Zander

Best Word: ablutions

Tragic wasteland birth

Sterile harsh future – two friends

may yet survive it


#174: Smile and be a Villain

by Yves Donlon

Best Name: Melancthanon

Best Word: Collegienstraße

Such fun! Hamlet gets

real-world home. Vivid history,

Bard’s drama. Bravo!


#173: Tomb of Heart and Shadow

by Cara N. Delaney

Best Name: Yanren

Best Word: coldfire

Clock flies past lady

studying what, I wonder?

Genteel mages chat.


#172: The Saga of Bjorn Unfrid

by John L. Simons Jr.

Best Name: Jarlandi

Best Word: Ojibwe

Nordic Canada?

Cool alt-history. Bjorn battles

college, not draugr.


#171: The Wind Walker

by Simon Shugar

Best Name: Turbuskan

Best Word: aether

Bacchus meets Chandler

(not Bing). Cap’n thinks, could this BE

any more shady?


#170: Tears of an Indifferent God

by Isom Ashe

Best Name: Gordoneus

Best Word: Proedroi

Damedes, cynic,

helps mediocre hero

Oh crap! Beasts attack!


#169: The Autumn Apprentice

by Alexandra Runes

Best Name: Rigobert (but every name is cool – strong medieval Europe feel)

Best Word: Wodish

Girl struggles post curse

Disability makes her

intriguing MC


#168: Of Shadows and Death

by Sharlene Healy

Best Name: Rapunzel

Best Word: hair

Rapunzel’s sad plight

but it’s vampires, not princes

who want to embrace


#167: Blood Lust

by Devin Thorpe

Best Name: Sephora

Best Word: eggrew

A sylvan dream fades

Zealots have lycan captive

Monsters hold monsters


#166: The Lost Noble

by R. Litfin

Best Name: Adella Everheart

Best Word: jacquard

Rage mage tortures man

He has jealousy issues

Now girl does school prep


#165: Rise of the Forgehearts

by Emily Huffman

Best Name: R-0

Best Word: technomancers

Mechanical guard

has free will dawn. Is starfall

kind of ransomware?


#164: Strangers in Our Heads

by Bri Eberhart

Best Name: Gemma

Best Word: thrums

Foster kid empath

Typical teen, but magic

Fight triggers blast! Oooh.


#163: Wings so Soft

by Dani Finn

Best Name: Uffrin

Best Word: automatons

Clockwork owls? Baller!

Engineer lost in work, love

Beware human threat


#162: Secrets of the Sorcerers

by Joan Marie Verba

Best Name: High Sorceror Thorne

Best Word: unguents

Human roast? Escape.

Beaucoup hazing; this school sucks

but she beats meanies.


#161: The Torn Veil

by Timothy J R Rains

Best Name: Castle Klomm

Best Word: ravenous

A plea deal offered

Tense battlefield; death looms large

Broke king taunts foe knight


#160: A Song to Wake a Thousand Sorrows

by Michelle Manus

Best Name: Clare Brighton

Best Word: Faelhorn

Tortured swamp husk roams

Foulness defeated, she lives

Will it re-emerge?


#159: Tall & Dark

by Suzannah Rowntree

Best Name: Fraulein Gwendoline Chant

Best Word: Backpfeifengesicht!

Huckster governess

holds fake séance; gets real ghost

Yeah, that’s the spirit!


#158: Thornbane the Lost

by Paul Sating

Best Name: Fa Tonn Ul

Best Word: corpsmaster

Ash Sisters throw curse

Young widow gets gross black hand

How screwed is she now?


#157: Evil’s Unlikely Assassin

by Jenn Windrow

Best Name: Alexis Black

Best Word: grease-coated

She’s a vampire who

takes out other draculae

The stakes are quite high


#156: The Shepherds of the Sunstone

by Nicolin Odel

Best Name: Saudett

Best Word: Skrull’s ass, tyt√§rellini

Bad dream all too real

Throuple next? Lady guard preps.

Street fight yields problems


#155: Visions of Snapdragon

by Jana Sun

Best Name: Puddin (a cat)

Best Word: blossom

Drunken scrying calls

Visitors come, Green and Black

Friends or enemies?


#154: Born of Scourge

by S. Jean

Best Name: Celena of Norian

Best Word: She, Born of Starlight

Star fall prophecy

The world shrouded in darkness

Wrong girl caught it – oops!


#153: The Vermilion Ribbon

by Hayley Price

Best Name: Corelle

Best Word: mundanities

Sapphic love nightmares

Dressmaker rails at sexists

Her dream love appears?


#152: A Circle of Stars

by Craig Montgomery

Best Name: Casper Bell

Best Word: quivering

Abusive father,

homophobes at home. Money

cannot fill that hole.


#151: Imago: A Dystopian Gothic

by M Zakharuk

Best Name: Ada CńÉlinescu

Best Word: anaemic, spasmodically, ululation

Creepy train boxes

Scrabbling tortured souls, and then

Ada’s loveless sex


#150: The Lost Redeemer

by David Musk

Best Name: Lyraina Trelian

Best Word: Ethermancy

Woman seeks banned book

Odd stranger, then to tavern

Templars ride ill wind


#149: Landbringer

by Karen Lucia

Best Name: Devton, God of the Deviants and Vagabonds

Best Word: tarry lungs

Dirigible heist

above toxic steampunk world

Kinda loving this


#148: Death and the Taxman

by David Hankins

Best Name: Frank Totmann

Best Word: corporeal

Death finds auditor

Roles swapped like Freaky Friday

But so much weirder


#147: The Hybrid

by E.K. Frances

Best Name: Sebastian Parker

Best Word: guttural

Troubled teen takes test

Dad says Necro or nothing

Awful parenting


#146: Gabriel’s Journey

by Thomas J. Prestopnik

Best Name: Livingston

Best Word: billowing

Violent storm strikes

Beasts emerge – I think they’re cats

’cause the cast’s all mice


#145: Dango

by Jack Long

Best Name: The Ting Ting

Best Word: bull yeti

Hunter watches fight

Witch has penis necklace? Huh.

Will he be unchained?


#144: The Grand Game

by Tom Elliot

Best Name: Stayne

Best Word: Adjudicator

7K reviews!

Mike falls through void, enters game

Dungeon crawl awaits


#143: Red Flags

by Michael Procopio

Best Name: Mateo √Ālvarez-Moreno

Best Word: decapitate

Demon hunter Fed

Joins reality TV

Kill hellspawn, find love


#142: Dreams of a Dragon Girl

by Bonnie Jacoby

Best Name: Zanthor

Best Word: plague-riddled

Awkward teen called up

Must teach. Why is it so hot?

Psychic dragon swims.


#141: Glory to the Waxing Sun

by Cooper Ward

Best Name: Granya

Best Word: houndsman

Creepy opening –

Soul bottle, ghostly houndsman

Neat. No clue what’s up.


#140: Tea and Empathy

by Shanna Swendson

Best Name: Elwyn Howell

Best Word: spindly

Lady seeks death spot

Fascinating character

Magic trap house? Stuck.


#140: Tea and Empathy

by Shanna Swendson

Best Name: Elwyn Howell

Best Word: spindly

Lady seeks death spot

Fascinating character

Magic trap house? Stuck.


#139: The Young Necromancer’s Guide to Ghosts

by Vanessa Ricci-Thode

Best Name: Lusi

Best Word: Uncle

Necrokid’s life’s tough.

Ghosts are everywhere she looks

YA vibes galore


#138: Dread Child

by J. L. Doty

Best Name: Claudius ahm Modain

Best Word: dreadmark (this is a very cool concept)

20K dead? Yikes.

Who counts them? Why in stacks? Hmm.

Regret makes dark path.


#137: Silverskin

by Caitee Cooper

Best Name: Kukahi

Best Word: sea-brine

Evil halts; man dies

Ellie’s Alaskan return!

Fam’s fun, but Bad waits.


#136: Thorns

by Walt S. Williams

Best Name: Finn Silvers

Best Word: bumpkin

Man arrives on train

Demon resides in skull? Whoa.

Customs not impressed


#135: Wolves Running

by Deborah Jarvis

Best Name: Sasha Wellington

Best Word: feral

Shifters live hidden

Chatty start, then friend turns wolf

Things getting hairy


#134: Hear My Call

by Yvette Bostic

Best Name: Slim

Best Word: old-as-dirt

Werewolf mechanic

can’t fix life’s wreckage. Magic

parents leave problems.


#133: Cursed King

by Danielle Paquette-Harvey

Best Name: Euronymos

Best Word: prey

Blood and kisses? Eww.

Old vampire, young girl. Age gap!

May/Dec? More May/Dead.


#132: The Children of Never

by Christian Warren Freed

Best Name: Grey Wanderer

Best Word: whistling

Spectral dude raids graves

Zombies: cheaper than peasants,

And they complain less


#131: Dragon Princess

by Jason P. Crawford

Best Name: Aetheria

Best Word: odious

Blind princess bristles

Wants role to have more meaning

Blade lessons beckon


#130: A Night of the Burntmen

by Emmanuel Akeyo

Best Name: Meka

Best Word: rokba

Soldier rides wolf beast

awaits another man, late

Something wicked comes


#129: Checkmate

by K.D. Tabith

Best Name: Evland Childes

Best Word: Cessecounthe

Chess-like games collide

Tourney feeds press, politics

Prompt sex scene sets tone


#128: Lizardskin and Sharpened Steel

by Damien Larkin

Best Name: Dead Mudders

Best Word: barrel-horn

It’s got dinosaurs!

Continent’s an enigma

Mother’s oppressive


#127: The Black Crown

by John A. Douglas

Best Name: Seranna Queen of Namaria

Best Word: ramshackle

Why’s the guy so green?

Oh, he’s an orc. They lost, bad.

Elves are kinda dicks.


#126: The House of Starling

by Ciara Hartford

Best Name: Bleck Larin

Best Word: honeyed

Insides melting? Eww.

Baby elf has destiny

Rae hunts everything


#125: Stakes and Bones

by Julia Vee

Best Name: Laila the Enchantress

Best Word: akkoro

Would-be Slayer deals

to get her jacket warded

Which witch’s witchraft works?


#124: Dimensional Traveler

by John Champaign

Best Name: Giordano

Best Word: pantomiming

Bitter student joins

deckbuilding LitRPG

Jumanji with cards


#123: Bone Traders

by Rachel Ford

Best Name: Nj√°l

Best Word: armoire

Failed apprentice mage

Seeks redemption with giant

Don’t torch your mentor


#122: Sailing to Redoubt

by C. Litka

Best Name: Island Crown

Best Word: spindrift

Vivid storm at sea

Nautical tale feels quite real

Author knows sailing


#121: Beyond the Burning Sea

by T.B. Schmid & R.Wade Hodges

Best Name: Mhorokai

Best Word: ketch

Perilous voyage

Nautical drama is neat

Lore comes at you fast


#120: The Eightfold Lairs of Xillenthia

by Melinda O’Donnell

Best Name: Sirrea

Best Word: megalith, nidhogg

Windswept tower holds

mysterious prisoner

Climbing lady helps


#119: Temper the Dark

by L Ryan Storms

Best Name: Alaris Kahlanik

Best Word: Throlani

Servant gets busted

Abused; crimes were to survive

Throlanis suck hard


#118: Crimson Spellscape

by Jina S. Bazzar

Best Name: Federal Arcane Bureau of Investigations

Best Word: cheese-laden

Past hurts for Innah

Her boss brings tidings of old

partner’s mysteries


#117: Merewif: the Mermaid Witch

by Amanda Adam

Best Name: Madge Farriter

Best Word: Pacific

Midnight swim calms Madge

Absent friends pose mystery

Merfolk not yet here


#116: A Bastard’s Birthright

by JE Payne

Best Name: Emrinthian Empire

Best Word: outmanouevering

Wearing other skin

Changeling dupes king, but not long

Should do more homework


#115: The Song of Thyssia

by S.J. Stiles

Best Name: Trejen

Best Word: cerulean

Husband barbecued

Past holds jealousy and rage

Queen dreads the future


#114: The Heir

by Claudia Klein

Best Name: Erlingue

Best Word: Arbinadian

Scout watches, antsy.

Desperate ride ends in puncture.

Needed faster horse.


#113: Isaree of the Wild Isles

by Noor Al-Shanti

Best Name: Chaarumathi

Best Word: lopsided

Haunted lad arrives

warning of bleak abductions

Isaree resists


#112: Trial of the Berserker

by Noel Traver

Best Name: Weihlaris

Best Word: Fursja

This guy is a bear.

Preparing by forging stuff.

Fight will be grizzly.


#111: The Highwayman Kennedy Thornwick

by Lisa Kuznak

Best Name: Muggy Sorleen

Best Word: half-cannibalized

Vulgar jailer spars

Magic prison holds questions

And foul-mouthed inmates


#110: Demon’s Vow

by R.W. Hert

Best Name: Amodinajai

Best Word: maviel

Ninja dude fights wolves

Rabies shot indicated

Teens come at bad time


#109: Fortitude’s Prize

by Ceril N Domace

Best Name: Vulturnus

Best Word: privateer

Flying islands? Score.

Complex gentleman remains

pitiful seaman.


#108: Stone & Sky

by Z.S. Diamanti

Best Name: Chartok Tundra

Best Word: mimicked

Axe in side equals

very bad day. But foes turn

paramedics. Cool.


#107: The Light Must Hold

by Kriss Gallom

Best Name: Lulit

Best Word: crimson

Monk has boils (bad case)

the kind that people speak of

In hushed tones after.


#106: My Boss is the Devil

by Ben Schenkman

Best Name: Declan

Best Word: haiku (!)

Homage to coffee

Homage to New Haven, too

Barista feels blah


#105: Way of the Wizard

by Michael Michel

Best Name: Seething Sea

Best Word: topknot

Stormlords are asshats

El’s life sucks so hard. Help, help!

He’s being repressed.


#104: The Stranger of Ul Darak

by S. C. Eston

Best Name: Shinanis

Best Word: Crusaders

Is grandad barmy

or about to reach his goal?

Foggy march will tell.


#103: Stone-Cold Alibi

by W. B. Biggs

Best Name: Detective Seraph

Best Word: crumpled marionette, swamp’s embrace – lots of great language here

Crime scene in NOLA

Wait, the victim’s Matt LeBlanc?

Someone killed Joey!


#102: Changeling

by Arista Holmes

Best Name: Arbaon

Best Word: nocturnal

Lizzy seeks mother

but Fey Court won’t allow it

Friend means not alone


#101: Iridesce

by Cordia Pearson

Best Name: Daharsha

Best Word: seraphim

That cover’s baller

Horse race for warrior trainees

Dad is wicked pissed


#100: Embargo on Hope

by Justin Doyle

Best Name: Windoon’s Star

Best Word: violenccccce

Orphans scrounge for food

Get that hope out of here now

Battle, heist, duel, death


#99: Fruits of the Gods

by William C. Tracy

Best Name: Aricaba-Ata

Best Word: grim fertilizer

Treasure lies buried

In baby’s grave. Slave master

shouldn’t get to know.


#98: The Cursed Soul

by K.C. Smith

Best Name: Floating Temple of Gorria

Best Word: dragon-flower

Ten years with no land?

Wicked long time aboard ship

Homesick pirate mourns


#97: Elemental

by Tam Chronin

Best Name: Lesser Stonegore

Best Word: tasiado

Child learns from master.

Elementals, like Nietzche,

want gods to be dead.


#96: By a Silver Thread

by Rachel Aaron

Best Name: Victor Conrath

Best Word: waterfall

Monster asylum?

Silver threads for magic folks

The poor girl suffers


#95: Copper Cold Steel

by Sori Aryl

Best Name: Winterstride

Best Word: justacorps

Lots of weird eye hues.

Transmasc MC? Not sure yet.

Outfences bullies!


#94: A Witch’s Guide to Business

by Alex Evans

Best Name: Onezimus

Best Word: velocipedes

Consultants offer

Supernatural advice

Vampire visitor


#93: Fogbound

by N.J. Alexander

Best Name: Zercien Volnaire, also Skjóturi

Best Word: Telurdia

Sneaky pair betrays

With WonderTwins lich handhake

Jump to restless class


#92: Counsel of the Wicked

by Elizabeth Schechter

Best Name: Balthazar

Best Word: spike-horned

Oaf ruins man’s deer hunt

But then hot MM romance

Matthias would leave


#91: Tower of Dogs

by H. H. Miller

Best Name: The Orphan

Best Word: Onyx

Buddies seek conquest

of a crumbling old ruin.

Their lives await change.


#90: A Strange Bunch

by Nikola Stefan

Best Name: Vidra

Best Word: zduhańá

Doula witch fights gosts

The Three come; shadow’s orphaned

Pair sprints to the flames


#89: The Serpent’s Quest

by Nerine Dorman & Toby Bennett

Best Name: Ib-Tuka

Best Word: convenient amnesia

Woeful general

rots, desolate. Bucket wisp

taunts yet saves? We’ll see.


#88: The Gatekeeper of Pericael

by Hayley Reese Chow

Best Name: Mimoosh

Best Word: prentiya par

Shaman tutor grouches

in portal world far from Earth

Late exit? Scary!


#87: Severed Legacy

by E.M. Zolotor

Best Name: Naith, the Mitad’s Pursuer

Best Word: tangerine

Banger cover, dude.

Dad trades self for sleepy kids.

Infinite Storm calls.


#86: Haelend’s Ballad

by Ian V. Conrey

Best Name: Lombard Greystrom

Best Word: Silent Hither, Ulnleif, Gunborg, Finnvard, Fleta – lots of great ones

Bar convo reveals

distant quest. POV switch!

Now other side gabs.


#85: Kindred of the Sea

by Raina Nightingale

Best Name: Corostomir

Best Word: Elethrians

Bros ponder wisdom

of death elf woods invasion.

Trepidation. Spells?


#84: Facing Shadows

by Anna J Worthy

Best Name: the insidious Duke Lethos of Eldaria

Best Word: paradisiacal

Runaway bride – neat!

Then tulerpetons attack.

Whoa, demon pygmys?


#83: Record of The Paladins: Book Of Oliver

by BP McCoppin

Best Name: Gerin Donnelly

Best Word: parishoners

Gun-toting pastor!

Ghoul has died, ghoul is risen;

Ghoul will die again.


#82: The Outer Darkness

by M. V. Prindle

Best Name: Merrick Thyr

Best Word: Reshik Ignoth

At world’s edge, a sad

guardian hews to duty.

Flat earther fanfic?


#81: Speak The Ocean

by Rebecca Enzor

Best Name: Sergio de la Cruz

Best Word: euthanasia

Blackfish but mermen

They’re all named for elements

Their reaction suits


#80: The Blood of Houses

by J.A. Garza

Best Name: Wootz

Best Word: Attican

City stands vacant

Where’d the bad guys go off to?

Warhammer vibes here.


#79: Poisoned Empire

by Elyse Thomson

Best Name: Eudocia

Best Word: child-devouring

Mom saves baby, then

she’s attacked by beast. Yow! Twist!

Dinner toxin fun?


#78: Hidden Worlds

by Kit Campbell

Best Name: Margery

Best Word: Spork

Calculus! My heart

smiles. Teens are mean. What is a

Spork Room? Mystery.


#77: Throne in the Dark

by A. K. Caggiano

Best Name: Scorlisha Baneblade of the Mounted Beasts, Plague Bringer Norasthmus, Everild the Necromancer, Damien Maleficus Bloodthorne, Zagadoth the Tempestuous – so many great ones

Best Word: inkarnaught

Blood rite yields power

Talisman of bleak control

This is quite funny


#76: Child of Vanris

by Nikki McCormack

Best Name: Delaphine

Best Word: anso

Apprentice aids a

cantankerous magician

Also blood donor


#75: Millennium of the Ocean Serpent

by Seth Hobbs

Best Name: Kalligus Kezz’arg

Best Word: Sendovians

That’s a long-ass time

to have an ocean serpent

Jonah is reborn


#74: Bloodwoven

by G.J. Terral

Best Name: Drekinsburg

Best Word: One-whispered

Obstetric journey

Someone cast Lamaze, will you?

He’s in a Bind now


#73: The Unspoken Truths of Casemiro

by Christopher Clouser

Best Name: Casemiro

Best Word: Fierce Siren

Wizard want-ad calls

A bleak return to past woe

Sample leaves plot dim


#72: Metamancer

by William I. Zard

Best Name: Sal Lehan

Best Word: hillock

Much-described lady

ditches baby with nobles

No tracking number


#71: Oak King Holly King

by Sebastian Nothwell

Best Name: Queen of the Court of the Silver Wheel

Best Word: mercurial

Dramatic battle

Gory spectacle excites

Butcher’s a grim name


#70: The Hunter

by K. Aagard

Best Name: Greer

Best Word: di’horvith

Direwolf comforts him

Vengeful hunter ails in woods

Purpose spent – what next?


#69: My Name Is Not Alice

by Angelika Rust

Best Name: Mr. Durkins

Best Word: windowless

Mean girls and drama

familiar – but then we

find some Wonderland


#68: The Humane Society for Creatures & Cryptids

by Stephanie Gillis

Best Name: Melpomene

Best Word: teraglossa

Dude plays mazerunner

then teen brews potions, longs to

flee her monstrous fate


#67: Unmagical

by Jenn Lessmann

Best Name: Cate-the-Cursed

Best Word: Quad espresso brevé extra-hot caramel macchiato

Brother torments his

barista sister. Magic

swirls about them both.


#66: However Many Must Die

by Phil Williams

Best Name: Wild Wish

Best Word: Hzinktos

Blood scout commandos

All women, badass as hell

Breakneck bloody war


#65: Dual Fires

by J.L. Anderson

Best Name: Lazarus Lightbreather

Best Word: darkbreather, airbreather

Mean kid takedown with

light spells. Flash forward to war!

So many breathers.


#64: Father of Constructs

by Aaron Renfroe

Best Name: Librium Esoterica

Best Word: World Boss

Prologue ’til respawn

Minmaxers take on World Boss

Janitor. Hero?


#63: Miss Bennet’s Dragon

by M. Verant

Best Name: Jane

Best Word: firedrake

Austen plus dragons

Smaug and Sensibility?

Visions disquiet


#62: Breaker of Fates

by Vaela Denarr & Micah Iannandrea

Best Name: Ziira

Best Word: disharmony

Caravan heist start!

Kidnaps non-binary kid

Unbroken will rage


#61: The Songs That Beckon

by M.A. Brown

Best Name: Drowned Marshes

Best Word: Reliquary

Studious maiden

Mom: Go dance! But Dad gets her.

Holy cow! Tragic.


#60: The First Scars

by Ivor K. Hill

Best Name: Unification

Best Word: ransacked

Village aflame, sacked

by cult. Freakin’ druids, man.

Worked for Conan, though.


#59: Molten Flux

by Jonathan Weiss

Best Name: Ryza

Best Word: smelter

Mad Max with zombies!

Captured dude is screwed. Next is

unlife? Sample ends.


#58: Legacy’s Price

by T. L. Rolston

Best Name: Dworran

Best Word: Blood Moon (great name for a fantasy bar)

Nightmares portend doom

Royal intrigue, secrets kept

Time to hit the bar


#57: Burden to Bear

by Gregory Amato

Best Name: The Queen of Stinktown

Best Word: Mossneck

Skald tells tales while witch

works wiles. Viking non-toxic

masculinity?


#56: Gates of Hope

by J E Hannaford

Best Name: Ameryth Dar Sea

Best Word: caldera

Emotion dragons!

Mysterious challenges!

Roll out the barrel!


#55: Whisper for Eternity

by Melissa Stone

Best Name: Szinre

Best Word: tihigne

Divine seizure means

gods in your DMs. Hey, a

talking skull? Neato.


#54: Surviving Westcliff

by Thomas Perkins

Best Name: Marissa Dunley

Best Word: wordsmithery

Seeks noblewoman

for questionable ship deal.

This guy exudes sleaze.


#53: Oathbreakers Anonymous

by Scott Warren

Best Name: Crooked Spine Bastard Vomiting (it’s a place)

Best Word: fateweaving

Dire hedgehogs are cute

Badass half-orc faces beast god.

More than he can chew.


#52: The Fealty of Monsters

by Ladz

Best Name: Jackiewicz

Best Word: autocar

City of learning

still needs mechanics. Geez!

What TF ate him?


#51: Black and Deep Desires

by Claire Trella Hill

Best Name: Etienne

Best Word: mémère

Loner vampire nerd.

Victorian gals talk love.

Dad’s mean. Who’s Addie?


#50: Ritual Income

by B.L. Brown

Best Name: Pinkerton’s

Best Word: Bitch Queen

Egotist peaces out

Milla’s not down for retail

Cold hands hint at strength


#49: Sigils & Sushi

by Nia Quinn

Best Name: The Harmonic Council

Best Word: svartalf

Sassy witch returns

rental cars and swipes contents.

Fiends and snark galore.


#48: The Glorious and Epic Tale of Lady Isovar

by Dave Dobson

Best Name: Lady Isovar

Best Word: miscreant

Haiku about my

own book reeks of puffery.

I hope you read it.


#47: The Plagued Elf

by Armanis Ar-feinial

Best Name: Cadrasar

Best Word: umbrellaed

Elf hunts in forest.

No dice. Finds frapped goblin bits.

Something weird’s afoot.


#46: Dark Empathy

by Katy Morgan

Best Name: Bastian Lucas

Best Word: interrogation

Empathic justice

has thorny legal issues

Psychics get raw deal


#45: Wings and Wounds

by Dr. S.K. Burkman

Best Name: Humphreys Peak

Best Word: Screeeee

A vet has visions.

Brain damage or enchantment?

Herpetology!


#44: Flight of an Orphan Thief

by S. M. Radjy

Best Name: Thapis

Best Word: norangees

Plans for burglary

overheard. Worms? A life of

freedom’s poverty.


#43: Dragon Thief

by Blake & Raven Penn

Best Name: Solrac, Duke of Glacia

Best Word: astromancer, bloodhusky, lavvu, mythraven (tons of great stuff here)

Mages await signs

from Miss Cleo psychic dude

Then urchins fight cops


#42: Where Fate Whispers

by E. G. Tudor

Best Name: Meuric

Best Word: Nosian

Fated Pairs joined with

magical ceremony

but then Kai swipes left.


#41: The High Seer

by Alex Bree

Best Name: Aurienne Azarrah

Best Word: Darkling

Prophecy dwells in

a macabre Spencer’s Gifts.

This drips with portent.


#40: River of Crows

by N.P. Thompson

Best Name: Eldrin Duclanach

Best Word: crrraw

Bloody opening. Two worlds here,

and that means portal’s coming

Corvid pandemic?


Special SPFNO Guest Book: The Banished Secret

by Niranjan

Best Name: Bhaskara

Best Word: angavastra

Trial by combat! Cool!

Wait, I’m a prince? Whoa. Time shift!

Present juxtaposed.


#39: The Ballad of Sprikit The Bard (And Company)

by Sean O’Boyle

Best Name: Pavlo, Taker of Credit

Best Word: spluttery

Bean Bro gets beat down

Wish he got more tenderized

I am with the Brutes.


#38: Messengers of Ilbeor

by T.J. Klapprodt

Best Name: Beianarian

Best Word: preternaturally

Starts off with hate sex.

Oh, that’s her thing, I get it.

Hero’s journey launched.


#37: The Desert Heiress

by Shoshana Rain

Best Name: Filip Cervenska

Best Word: flower-stuffed

Attending meetings

zonked on speed. Complex intrigue,

everyone sweating.


#36: The Will of the World

by M.J. Lindemann

Best Name: Sharon Adegast

Best Word: amalgamation

Even fantasy

capitalists suck. We can’t

afford zombie bill.


#35: A Heart of Bones

by Lily C. Strauss

Best Name: Dick Zuraw

Best Word: riparian

A ghost in the rain

Ghosts everywhere actually

Oh crap! An arrest!


#34: Spark of the Divine

by Louise Holland

Best Name: Kivery Czai

Best Word: meaninglessness

Assassination

then a fort heist. Shifters, guns.

Connected? We’ll see.


#33: Susan, You’re The Chosen One

by Lauretta Hignett

Best Name: Bart Montgomery-Lichtenstein

Best Word: inscrutable

Career woman faces

nasty colleagues. She should mind

the elves on the roof.


#32: Fragments of Skyonae

by Raleigh Markovski Falcone

Best Name: Raleigh Markovski Falone (I know, that’s the author, but still, awesome name)

Best Word: RATATATATATATATA

Anime given

textual life. So much weird.

Just needs laser shrimp.


#31: The Handwarmers of Immortality

by Karen McCompostine

Best Name: So many! Geronimo McCorgus, Clan McGargle, Glen Dondododondon

Best Word: unemancipate

Anachronism

adds to the fun. Delightful.

She’s pure dead brilliant.


#30: Lady of Dragons

by Shelby Elizabeth

Best Name: Finlay McDonough

Best Word: sinuous

Besties long for flight

Teen crushes among the potions

Something will go wrong


#29: Season of Kings

by A.J. Rettger

Best Name: Halfdan the Jackal (soon subdivided further)

Best Word: innards

Do not read before

eating. Grimm and unflinching.

Full throated gore fest.


#28: Knights of the Alliance

by Stefanie Chu

Best Name: Valiant Tiger

Best Word: Althaean

Berserker versus

twelfth-level fire mage lady.

Fight! Oops, she’s smitten.


#27: The Last Lunar Witch

by S.F. Henne

Best Name: Arkirith

Best Word: trepidation

Uncontrolled witch does

Mission Impossible heist

Ssshh! Library time.


#26: Dark City Rising

by CL Jarvis

Best Name: Francis Leechman

Best Word: genial cadaver

Steeped with small details.

Medical fantasy? Neat.

Such strong sense of place.


#25: Path of the Guardian

by Paolo Danese

Best Name: Feridun

Best Word: liquor-smelling

High body count here

No idea what’s up yet

Jailbreak is cool though


#24: Them Old Bones

by Astor Y Teller

Best Name: Crazyjones

Best Word: saggy-roofed

Present tense – urgent.

Is she both naked AND dead?

Corpse scholar seeks bone.


#23: Flight of the Scions

by D. Moonfire

Best Name: Bartim Lurkuklan

Best Word: Jinto Panzir

We are in for some

academy fantasy

Racist mailman sucks


#22: Woodspell

by C. R. Collins

Best Name: Maldhonia

Best Word: sedgewellow

Wrecked things – a glider

and a life. Lots of flashbacks.

Don’t chase the woods babe!


#21: Guarding Gus

by Karryn Nagel

Best Name: Viscidius Rubra

Best Word: Iowa

Two dudes find baby

gargoyle to raise. Is this a

book or a sitcom?


#20: Magic on the Cards

by Marina Finlayson

Best Name: Sunday Armitage

Best Word: un-extraordinaire

Spells summoned by cards

Monsters both help and eat us

Don’t forget teen angst


#19: Embers of Dusk

by D.G. Roberts

Best Name: Markallanoth, Oderious (tie)

Best Word: luminsyl

Clumsy girl preps for

rite of passage. Something bad

is coming, I bet


#18: The Best of Us Is the Last of Us

by Anthony Halligan

Best Name: Child

Best Word: panoply

A baffling dragon’s

psychedelic waiting room

Were those shrooms I ate?


#17: After Silence

by Natalie Northwood

Best Name: Cerys Odessa

Best Word: ever-tilting

Hey! Falling sky dude!

Arrives undocumented

Dwelling here it seems


#16: Dawn of the Darkest Day

by K.C. Woodruff

Best Name: Vayne Savant

Best Word: indigo

Genocide, terror

That Savant guy is a dick

He needs to die soon


#15: To Dance With Dragons

by Jaq D Hawkins

Best Name: Alinea

Best Word: demoniac

A runaway bride

Plus Cat-5 magic river

As good as divorced


#14: The Faithful Dark

by Cate Baumer

Best Name: Elmere

Best Word: rheumy

She’s losing patients

Evil stirs beneath it all

That cover rocks hard


#13: Callus & Crow

by DB Rook

Best Name: Callus

Best Word: mendin’

Eww, there’s a crow dude

sick and sleeping in my bed.

He really smells fowl.


#12: Soulstealer

by El McInerney

Best Name: Old Tsu

Best Word: Ilk

Rite of passage starts

A literal wild goose chase

Cheaters never win


#11: Moonshadow’s Guardian

by Dianna Gunn

Best Name: Magdalene

Best Word: nonmagicals

A bucolic ride

Shows parents can’t be trusted

Worst birthday ever


#10: Good Bad Witch

by Isa Medina

Best Name: Hazel Oakes

Best Word: affirmation

A shop for witches! Neat.

Oh crap, now there’s a body.

Or not? Yelp will choose.


#9: Beyond Misty Mountain

by Stephen Howard

Best Name: Broth Zolust

Best Word: Totulgny

To start: Theology

No, not those Misty Mountains

Replete with sly wit


#8: The Crippled King

by A. Trae McMaken

Best Name: Grashal-Indal

Best Word: uglan

Rustic prospecting

Interrupted by tree, bear,

crone. What’s mine is yours?


#7: A Cursed Son

by Day Leitao

Best Name: Sayanne

Best Word: drusils

Longing and intrigue

And hurt. But tangy too

Is stuff rated R.


#6: Lurid Lantern

by Victoria Clapton

Best Name: Kurai

Best Word: Refulgent

Her loyal service

is what makes a Subaru

as the king demands


#5: Into FaerLand

by A.J. Ponder

Best Name: Brocéliande

Best Word: Dornröschenschloss

A pair of heroes

seek training but only find

dire geology


#4: The Sunset Sovereign: A Dragon’s Memoir

by Laura Huie and C.D. Houck

Best Name: Vakfored

Best Word: terra sigillata

This hero bought tons

from some magical Costco

Dragon’s unimpressed


#3: The Tenfold Tenants

by E.V. Belknap

Best Name: Corvinian Hark

Best Word: Shenanigans

Dark stranger visits

Circle of life spins fast

Tantalizing start


#2: Oublié

by Susana Imagin√°rio

Best Name: Jolyan

Best Word: Promethean

Does living inside

a sentient moon make one

a parasite? Hmm.


#1: Tobias

by Denis James

Best Name: Foxton Gray

Best Word: valedictorian

Metal detectors

don’t help when mages attack

Leave no child behind