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Ebook Details
  • 11/2022
  • 978-0-473-64450-5 B0B74QKTPG
  • 330 pages
  • $3.99
Paperback Details
  • 11/2022
  • 978-0-473-64449-9
  • 330 pages
  • $21.99
Mel Harding-Shaw
City of Souls: Soul Court Ascension Book One
A bounty hunter desperate to pass as human is forced into faking a relationship with the winged necromancer she despises to fight a dark threat tearing at the fabric of their reality. City of Souls is a steamy enemies to lovers, fake relationship, Paranormal Romance with a side of Urban Fantasy.
AJ Lancaster - Author of the Stariel series

"If you at all enjoy urban fantasy romance in the vein of Kate Daniels or Nalini Singh, this is the book for you. Featuring all the greatest tropes: enemies-to-lovers! fake dating! magical bonds! wings! mysterious pasts! Fast-paced with intricate worldbuilding and characters you can't help but root for. This magic-melded version of Wellington, New Zealand, is vibrant and cleverly done. I enjoyed every second of this."

SFF Romance Books

"Do you like enemies-to-lovers, fake dating, sexy winged people, and sexual tension like a raging conflagration? Then City of Souls by Mel Harding-Shaw will sweep you away."

The Biblioholic

"Fantastical imaginings, an evil slowly encroaching its way across the planet, and a burgeoning love make for one heck of a story!"

City of Souls a Finalist for Best Novel in the 2023 Sir Julius Vogel Awards

Finalists for the 2023 Sir Julius Vogel Awards have been announced by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand (SFFANZ).

Best Novel

  • City of Souls, Mel Harding-Shaw (Coruscate)
  • A Rake of His Own, A.J. Lancaster (Camberion)
  • Chevalier & Gawayn: The Ballad of the Dreamer, Phillip Mann (Quentin Wilson)
  • Ithaca Bound, Kirsten McKenzie (Squabbling Sparrows)
  • Brightest Star, Andy Southall (Amapur)
  • Tarquin the Honest: The Hand of Glodd, Gareth Ward (Bateman)

Best Youth Novel

  • The Rarkyn’s Familiar, Nikky Lee (Parliament House)
  • The Carbonite’s Daughter, Deryn Pittar (IFWG Publishing Australia)
  • The 716, S.J. Pratt (self-published)
  • Onesies and Ouijaboards, Jamie Sands (Grey Kelpie)
  • Earth’s Embrace, Lani Wendt Young (Nafanua)

Best Novella

  • Data and Divination, Andi C. Buchanan (Sleepy Squid)
  • Weddings and Witchcraft, Andi C. Buchanan (Sleepy Squid)
  • How to Get a Girlfriend (When You’re a Terrifying Monster), Marie Cardno (Paper Road)
  • Curses and Cousins, Helen Vivienne Fletcher (HVF)
  • Murmurs of Magic, K.M Jackways (Old Souls)
  • “Goldie”, Sean Monaghan (Asimov’s 1-2/22)
  • Three Past Desolation Cut, Grant Stone (Lost Colony)

Best Novelette

  • “The Library”, Helen Vivienne Fletcher (The Art of Being Human)
  • “How to Marry a Winged King”, A.J. Lancaster (Once Upon a Forbidden Desire)
  • “Provided With Eyes, Thou Departed”, Anthony Lapwood (Home Theatre)
  • “The Ether of 1939”, Anthony Lapwood (Home Theatre)
  • “The Source of Lightning” Anthony Lapwood (Home Theatre)

Best Short Story

  • “If We Do Not Fly at Sunset”, Andi C. Buchanan (Lightspeed 6/22)
  • “Anamnesis”, Jack Remiel Cottrell (New Zealand Listener 1/22)
  • “My Nascent Garden”, Melanie Harding-Shaw (Analog 7-8/22)
  • “Born from the Drowning Forest”, James Rowland (Strange Horizons 10/17/22)
  • “One Last Job”, Jamie Sands (Grey Kelpie)
  • “From Here”, Grant Stone (Kaleidoscope Spring ’22)

Best Collected Work

  • The Devil Took Her: Tales of Terror, Michael Botur (The Sager Group)
  • Year’s Best Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction & Fantasy Volume 4, Emily Brill-Holland (Paper Road)
  • Home Theatre, Anthony Lapwood (Te Herenga Waka University)
  • Tales from the Tavern, Jamie Sands (Grey Kelpi)
  • Reflections, Tabatha Wood (self-published)

Best Professional Artwork

  • “Mona (Dislyte)”, Deanna Gunn
  • Cover of Year’s Best Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction and Fantasy Vol 4, Rebecca Hawkes
  • Cover of Xenocultivars: Stories of Queer Growth, Laya Rose
  • Cover of Last Fallen Moon, Vivienne To
  • “Miriel and Galadriel”, Xephia

Best Professional Production/Publication

  • The Black Archive #61 – Paradise Towers, John Toon

New Talent

  • Oliver Dace
  • Nikky Lee
  • S.J. Pratt
  • Tehnuka

Best Fan Production/Publication

  • Phoenixine

Best Fan Writing

  • “Review of Violet Black”, Dylan Howell (My Opinion on Books)
  • “Two Computers Discuss Human Happiness”, Ashley Langlocke (self-published)
  • “Pass the Rules”, Jo Toon (Phoenixine)
  • “Conservation, Red in Tooth and Claw”, Rem Wigmore (Climate Fiction Writers League)
  • “No Horror Without the Body: How Body Horror Helped Me Embrace Being Nonbinary”, Tabatha Wood (

Best Fan Artwork

  • “A Little Bit of Rain”, Ashley Langlocke
  • “Jinx”, Leadambeck
  • “Gentle Dove”, Saefin

Services to Fandom

  • Matthew Pavletich

For more information, see the SFFANZ website.

City of Souls Wins Agent's Choice in RWNZ Great Beginnings Contest

On 6 August 2022, Mel Harding-Shaw's City of Souls: Soul Court Ascension Book One was awarded First Place, Agent's Choice in the Romance Writers of New Zealand Great Beginnings Contest, as judged by Alex Adsett of Alex Adsett Literary Agency.

Ebook Details
  • 11/2022
  • 978-0-473-64450-5 B0B74QKTPG
  • 330 pages
  • $3.99
Paperback Details
  • 11/2022
  • 978-0-473-64449-9
  • 330 pages
  • $21.99