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Hey you guys! We are so stoked to be done with phase 1! We get to sit back, relax, and watch the finalists roll in 🙂

We had four semi finalists this year, but only one can go forward. And so, with this announcement we are also cutting the last three books left to go before our finalist is announced.

Being Cut Today:

Souls’ Abyss by SC Gowland

I really enjoyed my time with this one, it had a bunch of my personal likes: an older MC, imaginative and other worldly setting, lots of magic etc. However, one of the judges DNFd due to errors. I read a corrected copy on Amazon, which is the second time this has happened to an entry I put through round 1 cuts. So, because we can not accept a corrected file per the rules of the contest, we say goodbye to Souls’ Abyss. It’s worth a read and I personally recommend it.

Eye of Obscurance by Jeffrey L Kohanek

All of us enjoyed our time with this one, it reads like a fantasy action movie and was as fun as that sounds. We all gave this book a score in the 7’s but unfortunately, there was another book that had a higher collective score. I recommend this book for people who enjoy lots of magic, classic wizarding, and fast paced action.

A King’s Bargain by J.D.L. Rosell

This is what Kristen describes as a bread and butter fantasy. It’s a coming of age classic style fantasy that’s a fun easy read. I think many of us are looking for escapism, and many of us enjoy a lighter form of escapism over dark and grim during times like these. If you want a master – apprentice relationship, magic, and a quick read this one is for you!



A hearty and warm congratulations to our finalist! This was so very different from anything else we had in our grouping this year. It has beautiful passages, the second half of the book is essentially a mind fuck and I do enjoy me a good mind fuck. There is a drawback, our score would have been a half point higher had there been a better copy editing pass. Our collective score is a 7.83 which we are rounding to an 8/10 for SPFBO. We felt that the book has such solid bones that we want to send it forward despite a handful of errors we found. For the readers of SPFBO – the author sent this book out for edits and has uploaded a clean version to amazon.

We wish the best of luck to those still in the race – we look so looking forward to phase 2!!!!!