Morgan Stang Wins Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off #9

Slender girl kung fu master wielding the power of the elements of the earth, in a low fighting stance mabu She is overwhelmed by the power from which the stones around fly up erasing into dust. 2d art

Murder at Spindle Manor by Morgan Stang is the champion of Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off #9 sponsored by Mark Lawrence. In 11 months of hard work by ten blogs, 300 books were whittled down to 10 finalists, and then to today’s winner. Click to see the finalists scoreboard.

What is Murder at Spindle Manor about?

For Huntress Isabeau Agarwal, the countryside inn is the last stop in a deadly hunt. Armed with gaslamp and guns, she tracks an insidious beast that wears the skin of its victims, mimicking them perfectly. Ten guests reside within Spindle Manor tonight, and the creature could be any one of them. Confined by a torrential thunderstorm and running out of time, Isabeau has until morning to discover the liar, or none of them—including her—will make it out alive.

But her inhuman quarry isn’t the only threat residing in Spindle Manor….

…Someone has been killed, and a hunt turns into a murder investigation. Now with two mysteries at her feet and more piling up, Isabeau must navigate a night filled with lies and deception. In a world of seances and specters, mesmers and monsters, the unexpected is hiding around every corner, and every move may be her last.

The other SPFBO 9 finalists were:

  • The Fall Is All There Is by C.M. Caplan
  • Cold West by Clayton Snyder
  • The Wickwire Watch by Jacquelyn Hagen
  • Hills of Heather and Bone by K.E. Andrews
  • A Rival Most Vial by R.K. Ashwick
  • Master of the Void by Wend Raven
  • The Last Fang of God by Ryan Kirk
  • The Last Ranger by J.D.L. Rosell
  • Daughter of the Beast by E.C. Greaves

The bloggers scoring entries in SPFBO 9 were:

SPFBO 10 COMPETITION. SPFBO 10 (SPFBOX) will open to entries on Friday, May 10 at 1:00 p.m. GMT. The link will be posted here.

Mark Lawrence says, “Since SPFBO 9 filled its 300 slots in ~40 minutes, a different system will be used this year so that people in some time zones don’t have to get up in the middle of the night. The entry form will stay open for 24 hours. After it’s closed 300, manuscripts will be randomly selected from the pool of those who have signed up….”

The SPFBO 10 contest will start June 1, 2024.