The Indie Books & Authors Newsletter #12
Valentine's Day edition! Celebrating and promoting amazing indie authors.
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After the Music by Elena Goudelias
At twenty-two, Bailey Flynn learned a hard lesson: no good thing is meant to last. If it were, she would be releasing new country music and enjoying her life in the peaceful Pennsylvania countryside. Instead, she is still reeling from a family tragedy that nearly destroyed everything, and she hasn’t been able to pick up her beloved guitar since.
Six years later, twenty-eight-year-old Bailey returns to her rural hometown of Oak Plains. When Bailey sees a familiar face from high school during a visit to the local hardware store, she finds herself revisiting the past in a new light. Dustin Cooper is one of the few people who truly understand what she’s been through, and his unflagging patience and compassion toward her are almost overwhelming. Their instant chemistry and shared history are addictively comforting, and suddenly Bailey finds herself falling for him faster than she ever has before.
When Bailey’s family begs her to return to the stage and sing at the town’s annual summer concert, Bailey realizes her old wounds are far from healed. Facing another major disappointment is almost too much to bear.
Can she find the courage to let hope return to her heart, heal from her tragic past, and fall back in love with country music along the way?
And Maybe They Fall in Love by Emma Hill
All Elle Coker wants is to fade into the background. As a Reader with intrusive thoughts, she's got enough on her mind - and it's hard to blend when you're in everyone's head.
An out-of-state internship offers Elle a chance to escape her small town life and use her Reading as a skill, not a curse. But changing cities doesn't change who you are; the other interns still see Elle as a permanent outsider.
Enter Christopher, the concept artist with his own problems back home. And the smile that quiets the noise in Elle's mind.
Elle and Christopher could fall in love. Maybe. But, as two people still trying to figure out how they fit into the world, would it be worth the risk?
A Perfect Match and Other Regency Romance Stories by G L Robinson
Strong women find the Perfect Match, even if they aren't looking for it!
The first story in this collection features a young woman determined to get the man she wants. But is it A Perfect Match? Then there's a story about a Juliet who meets a man called Romeo. Surely a Perfect Match? A father is so focused on his daughter making a Perfect Match, he doesn't see what's under his nose. Then there is an exchange of correspondence between two enemies - surely they can't be the Perfect Match? A young woman talks herself into a job in a bookshop, never imagining it might lead to a Perfect Match, and finally two characters from G L Robinson's first novel make a reappearance. They are the Perfect Match, but even then there are misunderstandings.
If you've never read this author's delightful stories before, these are a good introduction. The happy endings will make you smile and leave you wanting more!
The Forbidden Love Affair by Aria Emend
Zarayah Mello knows the love she dreams of is doomed from the start…
But the heart wants what the heart wants.
Thirteen-year-old Zarayah Mello knew she loved fellow karate class student Zaire from the moment she laid eyes on him. She also knew that her parents, siblings, and even her beliefs would never accept her love for him. But after she turns fifteen, they cross paths more and more and form a friendship, her improper love for him only grows. Torn apart by life and circumstance, she’s brokenhearted. Until she turns eighteen and he comes back into her life, sweeps her off her feet, and makes secret plans to propose to her on graduation day. But Zarayah doesn’t know that Zaire is hiding a secret from her—the kind of secret that rips solid marriages apart, never mind their budding love. Besides, will anyone forgive her for falling for her older brother’s friend? And will she still love him when she learns the truth he’s been hiding from her?
The Book of Danielle: A Collection of Love Letters and Poems by Felix Alexander
Award-winning author, Felix Alexander returns with his third collection of love letters and poems, and the fourth installment in the Forever Poetic Series. A saga about missed chances, unrequited love, longing and hope, and never leaving anything unsaid.
The book begins with a series of love letters confessing a secret admiration that slowly evolves into unrequited love. Each letter paints love in different colors, Every page is a canvas of Alexander's poetic mastery. Although sprinkled with the occasional verse in the first few letters the book begins to alternate between letters and poetry a third of the way in. Readers are taken on a gondola ride of poetry and prose that reveals the depth of a romantic's affections.
Lovers of literary romance, romantic poetry, and sweet love are sure to be touched profoundly by this collection and inspired to believe in love.
The Game Changer by Finley Chuva
Elena Torres has it all. As a successful soccer star playing for the Denver Defiant, she has money, fame, and, best of all, gets to do her favorite thing for a living. Sure, she’s also a 31-year-old divorcée, has no idea how to go about dating again, and is still deciding how open to be about her recent autism diagnosis. But she’s dealing. Then Harper Wright arrives back in town, and Elena is surprised to discover she has more in common with her best friend’s little sister than she’d ever imagined. As much as she tries, she can’t seem to get those messy red curls and bright smiles out of her mind…
Harper Wright has a Plan with a capital P. Step one, get her new board game café up and running. Step two, stop subsisting entirely on muffins from the vegan bakery next door. Step three, stop thinking about Elena Torres, no matter how amazing her arms look in a tank top. Or that she’s beginning to look at Harper in a way she had only dreamed of back in high school. Starting something with Elena would be a disaster waiting to happen, but it’s getting harder and harder to remember why. After all, they’re grown-ups now. Elena isn’t looking for anything serious, but Harper will just have to be careful not to let her heart get involved…
THE GAME CHANGER is a friends-to-lovers sapphic romance featuring an #ownvoices portrayal of autism and an unapologetically queer supporting cast. It is the first book in the Denver Defiant series.
The Letter by Ruth Saberton, reviewed by Annie at Left on the Shelf
I very much enjoyed this novel and the author has done a brilliant job with the dual time narrative. I am always impressed by authors who are so successful in doing this as seamlessly as Ms. Saberton has. The change of voice between Chloe and Daisy was evident and I was equally engaged with both stories. The main character, Chloe, has recently lost her husband and the beginning of the novel is much about her grief and her need to be somewhere new. Her pain is visceral and very moving to read.
All of the characters are expertly portrayed and I felt completely absorbed in their lives. In fact, her portrayal of the fictional Kit Rivers as a war poet spurred me on to reacquaint myself with the War Poets. The book is set in Cornwall and the descriptions of the area have been beautifully written. I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of weeks in Cornwall a few years ago and it is a gorgeous part of the country and the author has clearly been inspired by the area.
Although this book deals with the issue of grief, it is about so much more. It is also about hope, love and the promise of life ahead.
The Secret of Matterdale Hall by Marianne Ratcliffe, reviewed by Inishowen at Just Book Talk
A gothic historical novel with LGBTQ characters. Cassandra is also mixed race and deaf.
I felt sorry for Susan the moment she stepped foot into Matterdale Hall. It was clear from the outset that the people there were as dreary and cold, as the building. The only consolation was the children who were very endearing, especially Mary. Susan seemed to find plenty to investigate in the beginning. Her impressionable imagination fuelled by her love of gothic novels led to hasty conclusions about Cassandra and the people at Heathersage Manor but fortunately the beginning of a lovely friendship. There are very few likeable characters aside from Cassandra, Susan and the children which lends itself well to establishing a dark, tense atmosphere. Mr Claybourn is a mad scientist and Mrs Claybourn is miserable and nasty. Add in a missing teacher and the lunatics in Dr Claybourn's asylum and you have the recipe for a dark, mysterious story.
I loved how tense and dramatic it developed towards the end. The true secrets and horrors of Matterdale Hall were revealed after a lot of suspense. The narration is told from both Cassandra's and Susan's points of view at this stage and it was easy to feel their helplessness and worry.
The book may be predictable but it's a lovely and gentle read despite its gothic undertones. The romance is low key which allowed more focus on the plot and drama. A difficult book to put down once started.
Someone to Kiss by Jamie Anderson, reviewed by Kerry at Herding Cats
Wow! This book had me completely smitten from very early on.
The writing style is just wonderful and I became totally lost in the plot as I devoured the story. The humour is so relevant and mood lifting but there are some other issues explored throughout and I also found myself with a tear in my eyes or feeling really protective over characters.
Kate is such a lovely character. After a disastrous New Year’s Eve, Kate decided she will have someone to share it with next time and so begins her journey into the world of internet dating and men. I adored her personality. How anxious and reluctant she was at times but then also how impulsive her decisions were. I loved her sarcasm and blurted out comments too.
Along to support on the journey are Kate’s best friend Julie and Julie’s brother Ben. Julie is such a complex character and I liked how her initial portrayal (and Kate’s perception) were not the real Julie. It was such a relevant and real portrayal of a character with those issues and well done – a reminder that not everything is as it seems with people. Ben’s character was so sweet and thoughtful and also highlighted a different mental health issue.
I really enjoyed Someone to Kiss and I cannot wait to read more from this author.