The RONE Award is a prestigious honor awarded to exceptional independent and small-press authors. For readers and writers of independent and small-press romance novels, it ranks up there with the RWA’s RITA Award. The term “RONE” means “Reward of Novel Excellence.” It requires first a high review by the professional reviewers at InD’Tale, after which it is voted upon by the reading public, and then finally judged by industry professionals. The specifics of the rules and judging can be found HERE. It’s a highly respected earned award, and those that are nominated certainly deserve consideration for their success.
Right now, the process of public voting is underway. Next week, among other categories, the highest-reviewed works from 2013 in the Fantasy/Sci Fi will be up for voting. In preparation for submitting votes (anyone can vote that becomes a free subscriber at InD’Tale), below is a list, blurb and cover image of the eligible novels in the category.
DEMATHIA RISING by S B KNIGHT
ebook, 180 pages
Published March 13th 2013 by MuseItUp Publishing
Mason Rune had a good life—wealthy parents, a college education, and a loving family. All was going well until tragedy struck. In the span of a month, he had suffered the death of his two uncles, his grandfather, and his father. Lost and confused, Mason finds solace in his father’s study. In this sanctuary, his life spirals out of control as he discovers his father’s diary stashed away. What he once believed to be true proves to be false. Trust is lost, and everything is in doubt.
This is only the beginning of Mason’s troubles as the Aesir, a secret society, lurks in the shadows waiting for the perfect time to strike. They have but one mission, to release Demathia, a demon of unimaginable power. Once released, Demathia will destroy all who oppose it, enslave humanity, and remake the earth into a realm or pain and anguish. Only one person stands between Demathia, the Aesir, and world domination…Mason Rune.
Mason must discover the truth and accept who he is in order to battle the Aesir and defeat Demathia.
THE IRON LOCKET by SAMANTHA WARREN
Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 18th 2013 by Createspace (first published April 16th 2013)
Aiofe Callaghan comes from a long line of faery hunters. Hired by one of the faery queens, they protect the human world from chaos and destruction. But when Aiofe stumbles through an open door into the land of Faery, she discovers the job isn’t as simple as it seems, nor is she.
Arthur Pendragon spent centuries in blissful nothingness, until the day the four queens banded together to raise him from the dead. Along with his twelve most talented knights, he leads the warring armies of Faery against the greatest enemy they have ever known: one of their own.
Can they overcome their differences to confront the greatest challenges either of them have ever faced?
BLOOD ALERT by ARLENE WEBB
ebook, 347 pages
Published April 1st 2013
Born with a strange addiction, Cham needs a pint or two of blood on a regular basis to stay alive, healthy and solid. To make a miserable life worse, most everyone around him, except for his sister Kylee, overlook him as if he’s not clearly there. If not for the rage and questions pushing at him, he’d wonder if he really exists.
Cham’s mother died giving birth to him, leaving him and four-year-old Kylee in the hands of an angry, uncaring father. From the moment his infant fingers clutched hers, Kylee has been determined to protect him from the visible and invisible monsters.
After fleeing an abusive home, their lives revolve around stealing what Cham needs to survive. When he confides detail about a man from their past no one but he could see, Kylee refuses to leave him or let him fade into insanity. All is fine in their little world, until the cops arrest her for theft, and hallucinations do much worse than torment his memory.
They become so violently real, Cham wishes it was as simple as throwing himself in a padded cell.
Blood Alert is a science fiction adventure novel for adult audience. Contains violence and some profanity. The timeline follows after Incoming Alert.
No vampires, weres, zombies, fey, or previously known supernaturals were used or otherwise harmed in the making of this novel.
DAUGHTERS OF SURALIA by CHRISTIE MEIERZ
Kindle Edition, 318 pages
Published April 22nd 2013
The second Tale of Tolari Space by the award-winning author of The Marann.
For Marianne Woolsey, linguist and tutor, being empathically bonded to the leader of the Tolari turns out to be a bed of roses – complete with thorns. Especially thorns.
With diplomatic relations severed and humans kicked out of Tolari space, the Earth Fleet ship Alexander is gone … for now … but Earth Central Command hasn’t given up trying to get Marianne back. As she struggles with surprises, nightmares, and a bond-partner who can’t be tamed, she just wants to figure out where she fits in a society that isn’t quite human.
Laura Howard, the Admiral’s widow, only desires to be left in peace to gather the fragments of a shattered heart, but Central Command has plans for her, too.
Meanwhile, the Sural’s apothecary is a serene and gifted healer who knows what – and who – she wants. Circumstances have conspired to deny her the man she’s always loved, but in the pursuit of his heart, she finds an unexpected ally.
Daughters of Suralia is a non-erotic scifi romance.
TROLL-Y YOURS bv SHERI FREDRICKS
Kindle Edition, 308 pages
Published May 17th 2013 by Amazon Digital Services
SHE TAKES A CHANCE.
Determined to forge a better life, Ella launches her new business with high hopes—until a sexy Centaur bumps into her and throws her life off course forever. Voted “Most Eligible Bachelor in Boronda”, Aleksander shakes up her world and tilts her in more ways than one.
HE’S IN DANGEROUS TERRITORY.
Years of warfare and countless bedroom encounters have stolen Kempor Aleksander’s luster for life. He never expects to rediscover his zeal in the small, redheaded form of Ella the Troll, who fires his blood hotter than the deepest caverns in the forest.
But as trouble lingers in their midst—and edges ever closer—Alek and Ella spiral into troubled terrain. Turning to each other, the pair face down dangers that run impenetrably deep in their mythological world. But will the two lovers discover a passion that runs even deeper?
THE WIZARD OF OZ: A STEAMPUNK ADVENTURE by S D STUART
Kindle Edition, ARC Edition
Published January 8th 2013 by Ramblin’ Prose Publishing (first published January 5th 2013)
There is no yellow brick road here. No emerald city. No lollipop guild. This is the Australis Penal Colony, a continent sized prison referred to the world over as the Outcast Zone. Built to contain the world’s most dangerous criminals, OZ ended up the dumping ground for everything polite society deemed undesirable.
From inside this place a garbled message proves Dorothy’s father is still alive, trapped in a prison with only one way in and no way out. Into this place 17-year-old Dorothy must go if she wants to find her father and keep the promise she made to her dying mother.
However, OZ is tougher, darker and more intense than anything she has experienced before. If she has any hope of surviving long enough to find her father, she will need her mother’s guts, her father’s brains and the help of those discarded and forgotten.
Everyone she meets tells her the same thing. The only person who can help her is the one prisoner who deserves to be in a place like this and refers to himself by the name, Wizard.
The Wizard always asks for something in exchange for his help. Can Dorothy afford the terrible price he will demand?
DANCE WITH THE ENEMY LINDA BOULANGER
Published June 2013
The time has come for Elenya to meet the man she’s belonged to since she was three, the man whose blood flows through her veins. In the midst of the maidens, the King’s warriors are released; each forced to find the woman chosen for him through her scent, resulting in a half-mad frenzy that heightens already aroused animalistic needs. Elenya is terrified, especially when she realizes what the warrior searching for her does not – that she’s been marked with the blood of her family’s enemy.
As the leader of the King’s elite forces makes his way toward her, she ignores the pull of the marking and darts out into the night … into his territory. She has to get to the Masters so they can right this wrong. A mistake must have been made. Surely fate would not force her to dance for a lifetime in the arms of her enemy. And if it did, would his blood flowing through her veins be enough to unite their hearts?
MAVEN (THE ENDURE SERIES #1) by S A HUCHTON
Paperback, 284 pages
Published May 29th 2013 by Createspace
How far would you go for love?
Since losing her parents at 14, young prodigy Dr. Lydia Ashley has focused on one thing: an appointment on the Deep Water Research Command Endure. Now 21, she’s about to realize that dream, but nothing is how she imagined it would be. Her transitional sponsor forgets her, her new lab is in complete chaos, and, as if that weren’t enough, she’s about to discover something so horrific it could potentially destroy all life on the planet.
Daniel Brewer, a noted playboy and genius in his own right, may be exactly what she needs… Or he may make everything worse.
Has she finally found a puzzle she can’t solve?
WINTER QUEEN by AMBER ARGYLE
Hardcover, 254 pages
Published June 19th 2013 by Starling Publishing (first published March 18th 2013)
~Becoming a winter queen will make Ilyenna as cold and cruel and deadly as winter itself, but it might be the only way to save her people from a war they have no hope of winning.~
Mortally wounded during a raid, seventeen-year-old Ilyenna is healed by winter fairies who present her with a seductive offer: become one of them and share their power over winter. But that power comes with a price. If she accepts, she will become a force of nature, lose her humanity, and abandon her family.
Unwilling to pay such a high price, Ilyenna is enslaved by one of the invaders, Darrien. While in captivity, she learns the attack wasn’t just a simple raid but part of a larger plot to overthrow her entire nation.
With the enemy stealing over the mountains and Darrien coming to take her to his bed, Ilyenna must decide whether to resurrect the power the fairies left behind. Doing so will allow her to defeat Darrien and the other invaders, but if she embraces winter, she will lose herself to that destroying power—forever.
WICKED GAME, RETURN OF THE EFFRA by LINDSAY J PARSONS
Hardcover, 404 pages
Published September 19th 2013 by Afs Publishing
From the inside of the open locket a pair of blue eyes gazed out from the face of a young girl. She had an amused expression and long wavy brown hair. A fierce ache clawed at Damian’s chest as he looked upon this face, the face of Samantha White. He tore his eyes away and gently snapped the locket shut, closing his fingers around it and pressing his fist against his heart. “Please come back to me Sam,” the words formed silently on his lips. “I cannot exist without you” She had everything anyone could ever want, a home, a future, a large loving family and Damian. But Sam walked away and now she can’t go back… Wicked Game is the second instalment in Lindsey J Parsons’ Return of The Effra trilogy. A paranormal/fantasy romance aimed at the young adult market.
THE SHOEMAKER by KATHRYN COTTAM
Published (first published September 14th 2013)
Lowly shoemaker Edward Cordwainer is desperate for a better life, and so he enters an arranged marriage with Anastasia, a wealthy merchant’s daughter with scars of her own. But when the wedding doesn’t lead to luxury and love, Edward succumbs to an erotic encounter with a mysterious woman, resulting in a magical bargain to become the most famous man in all the kingdom.
As the magic takes root, Edward becomes wealthy and well-known, not to mention the latest plaything of the Princess Ambrosia, who gets anything—and anyone—she desires.
But magic is a tricky lover. As Edward’s star rises, darkness envelops Houndstooth when the women of the town start to disappear.
As events unfold, Edward’s one simple wish threatens to destroy his world…
Blending romance, horror, and gothic suspense, The Shoemaker is a fairy tale retelling about love, honour and the darkest desires of the human soul.
For mature readers.
THE DARK HUNTSMAN JESSICA ASPEN
Paperback, 326 pages
Published October 2013 by Abracadabra Publishing
An evil queen, a dangerous man, and a witch, tangled together in a tale of Snow White…
Desperate to save the last of her family from the murderous Faery Queen, Trina Mac Elvy weaves a spell of entrapment. But instead of a common soldier, the queen has released the Dark Huntsman, a full blooded fae with lethal powers.
Caged for treason, Logan Ni Brennan, is ready to do anything to win free of the manipulative queen, even if it includes running a last errand for her…murdering a witch. The sight of Trina, ready to fight despite the odds, gives him another option: use the witch as a chess piece, put the queen’s son on the throne, and bring down the queen forever.
As the queen slides into insanity and her closest advisor makes plans to succeed to the throne, Logan secrets Trina away in the enchanted forest and makes a decisive move in his dangerous game of manipulation. But the gaming tables of fate turn on him, and when Trina’s life is threatened he discovers he risks more than his freedom…he risks his heart.
Dare to enter Jessica Aspen’s world of steamy, fantasy romance for adults in her new twisted fairy tale trilogy: Tales of the Black Court…
EARTH’S REQUIEM by ANN GIMPEL
ebook, Kobo, iBooks, Sony, AllRomance
Published October 4th 2013 by Smashwords
Resilient, kickass, and determined, Aislinn’s walled herself off from anything that might make her feel again. Until a wolf picks her for a bond mate and a Celtic god rises out of legend to claim her for his own.
Aislinn Lenear lost her anthropologist father high in the Bolivian Andes. Her mother, crazy with grief that muted her magic, was marched into a radioactive vortex by alien creatures and killed. Three years later, stripped of every illusion that ever comforted her, twenty-two year old Aislinn is one resilient, kickass woman with a take no prisoners attitude. In a world turned upside down, where virtually nothing familiar is left, she’s conscripted to fight the dark gods responsible for her father’s death. Battling the dark on her own terms, Aislinn walls herself off from anything that might make her feel again.
Fionn MacCumhaill, Celtic god of wisdom, protection, and divination has been laying low since the dark gods stormed Earth. He and his fellow Celts decided to wait them out. After all, three years is nothing compared to their long lives. On a clear winter day, Aislinn walks into his life and suddenly all bets are off. Awed by her courage, he stakes his claim to her and to an Earth he’s willing to fight for.
Aislinn’s not so easily convinced. Fionn’s one gorgeous man, but she has a world to save. Emotional entanglements will only get in her way. Letting a wolf into her life was hard. Letting love in may well prove impossible.
ELANESSE by JULIE D’ARCY
Kindle Edition, 205 pages
Published September 19th 2013 by Secret Cravings Publishing
A world is ravaged by a war of demons and sorcery that no human can combat. Rastehm is on the verge of destruction.
Elanessë, daughter of Mikkasah, born to the magic.
Mikkasah, King of Rastehm is forced to send his only living child into the unknown future of the 20th century Australia, where she grows and moves to London with her adopted parents. She has no knowledge of her origins nor that she holds the key to the safety or destruction of both her new world and her old, until one night, she is stalked by a lion and a griffin, and cast into an adventure that will change her life
A dark knight becomes her savior.
Faren Malaan, Knight of Paladia, is sent forward in time to track and retrieve the Crystal Pyramid. The king’s astronomers have learned that the pyramid, which shifts through the portals of time, is cracked. And, if not restored, the sorcerer, Isanti’s demons will escape.
Through sheer luck, Istani was not imprisoned by the Goddess, when she created the Crystal Pyramid to banish him and his demon minions. Istani travels through time, taking over the bodies of innocents and casting them aside when he has done with them. But this time he is trapped in the sickly weak body of Peter Waymer. His only escape from the cancer eating away at him is to find the Pyramid, release his demons and have them in turn heal him. With one thought in mind after his release from the body, to wreak destruction upon mankind.
Romance, lust, and Adventure!
The fate of two worlds rests in the hands of a banished Princess of Rastehm and a Knight of Paladia who combats his own personal demons. They must join forces with three friends to restore the Crystal Pyramid to Deharna, and battle the tormented mind of Iraj who will stop at nothing to gain his prize.
THE ZOASTRA AFFAIR by VICTORIA PINDER
Kindle Edition, First Edition, 283 pages
Published December 23rd 2013 by Soul Mate Publishing
A hundred years from now, Earth has trading partners with alien beings, mostly humanoid. However, going into space has brought forth an unknown enemy who attacks Earth at will.
The Zoastra are part of the Earthseekers, an organization originally designed to go into space. Its new mission is to find Earth’s enemies.
Ariel, stuck on a Victorian planet, steals Grace’s body in order to get off the planet. Now Grace must get her body back before Ariel bonds with Grace’s husband, Peter. Then there is Cross, the man on a mission to find those who killed his family. Ariel is attracted to Cross, but she’s stolen someone’s life. What can she do?
THE SOCERY CODE by DIMA ZALES
Paperback, 350 pages
Published December 16th 2013 by Mozaika Publications (first published December 13th 2013)
From the internationally bestselling authors who brought you the Krinar Chronicles comes a captivating tale of intrigue, love, and danger in a world where sorcery is entwined with science . . .
Once a respected member of the Sorcerer Council and now an outcast, Blaise has spent the last year of his life working on a special magical object. The goal is to allow anyone to do magic, not just the sorcerer elite. The outcome of his quest is unlike anything he could’ve ever imagined – because, instead of an object, he creates Her.
She is Gala, and she is anything but inanimate. Born in the Spell Realm, she is beautiful and highly intelligent – and nobody knows what she’s capable of. She will do anything to experience the world . . . even leave the man she is beginning to fall for.
Augusta, a powerful sorceress and Blaise’s former fiancée, sees Blaise’s deed as the ultimate hubris and Gala as an abomination that must be destroyed. In her quest to save the human race, Augusta will forge new alliances, becoming tangled in a web of intrigue that stretches further than any of them suspect. She may even have to turn to her new lover Barson, a ruthless warrior who might have an agenda of his own . . .