In support of Indie authors … or what I read this summer

Writing proved elusive for me most of this summer, but I used that time to read. I’m an Indie author, so I believe I should support other Indie authors. I read books by five of them:  Judy Croome, Davin Malasarn, Cathryn Grant, Natasha Alexander, and Christa Polkinhorn.

You may have heard a lot about how much junk there is at the online bookstores since self-publishing has become relatively easy and inexpensive. Well, I didn’t read any junk. They were all different genres, and ranged from fun to serious, but they were all worthwhile reads. I’ll share my reviews.

Dancing in the Shadows of Love is the kind of book that makes me wish I knew how to write a better review. I’m simply overwhelmed. Judy Croome has written a book that’s gorgeous, brilliant, heart-breaking, uplifting, empowering … and more!

Although the story takes place in a purposely undefined place and time, the characters are painfully real. The story follows three women, each with a damaged soul, as they yearn to be loved, but first they need to define love and, in order to do that, they must learn to forgive. The mysterious Enoch is their guide for this spiritual journey.

Judy Croome’s writing is impeccable and her insight into the soul of man astounding. I believe this book came straight from her heart—and that heart is a large and beautiful one.

If I could, I’d give this book six stars. I’m definitely looking forward to her next one.(Amazon; [ebook and print] Barnes & Noble; Smashwords)

The Wild Grass and Other Stories — One of the strengths of Davin Malasarn’s writing is his ability to make his characters, no matter the age, sex, nationality, or status, real and familiar to the reader. I was continually surprised to feel I’d lived a story, though he wrote of an experience foreign to me.

It’s no surprise that several in this collection of stories, written in beautiful, clean prose, have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and won or placed in competitions. The only negative for me is that I reached the last story too soon.  (Amazon [ebook and print]; Barnes & Noble; Smashwords)

In Fatal Cut, Cathryn Grant has given her protagonist Madison Keith a delightful voice. Madison is smart, witty, and more than a little curious—perfect for a church receptionist. She’s also tattooed, pierced, and unusually perceptive. In this first of a series, Grant introduces us to Madison’s particular brand of detection and mystery solving. Fatal Cut is a page-turning tale that will satisfy, but leave you hungry for the next one.  (Amazon; Barnes & Noble; Smashwords)

An Uncommon Family — In Christa Polkinhorn’s debut novel Love of a Stonemason, she introduced us to the adult Karla Bocelli and in this prequel she takes us back to Karla’s childhood. We learn more of what life was like for the child artist Karla as she dealt with the death of her mother and a long-distance father, but the heart of the book is a love story, complicated by secrets.

This time around it’s Karla’s aunt Anna, hardened toward love by a devastating secret in her past, who must decide whether to let artist and teacher Jonas into her heart. When Jonas, who has lost his beloved wife to cancer, discloses a secret to Anna, he only confirms her distrust of men. But the determined Karla won’t give up. She uses all her youthful ingenuity in trying to form those she loves into An Uncommon Family.

In this well-told story, the author takes us on tour from Switzerland to New York City to Mexico and back again, allowing us to experience these locales through the eyes and hearts of her characters. An Uncommon Family is another pleasurable read from the talented Christa Polkinhorn.  (Amazon [ebook and print]; Barnes & Noble; Smashwords)

Just Desserts: Greed. Lust. Death. Tiramisu. — Does Natasha Alexander know how to create interesting characters, or what? This hilarious and outrageous romp features bombs, boobs, books, and a beach! What more could you ask for? Scrumptious food? Oh, yes it has that too—but watch out, it could be deadly.  (Amazon; Barnes & Noble; Smashwords)

16 thoughts on “In support of Indie authors … or what I read this summer

  1. Linda, thanks for your kind words. When I read your Brevity of Roses, it was so good I wished I knew how to write a better book!!! :) I’ve read Wild Grass by Davin Malarsan and endorse your comments. The other stories shall be added to my TBR pile!

    The beauty of Indie Publishing is how it frees up the creativity in stories – every voice and every story is so different!

    Judy, South Africa

    • Thank you, Judy. I think you’re right about the creativity. I’ll always wonder what changes a Big Six editor might have advised for Brevity, but I also wonder if those changes would have improved it or just made it conform to the mode du jour.

  2. I’m so proud to have my book on your favorite indie list! Thanks again for your wonderful review. I don’t have to tell you how much I enjoyed Brevity! I read quite a few independently published books since I joined the ranks of the indies. I have to say that all in all I am very pleased with what I read. Some works are still a little “rough around the edges” so to speak, but the passion and the new ideas and new ways of writing are exciting and more than make up for some of the “imperfections.” Many of those stories would never have been published otherwise and that would be a real pity!
    Christa

    • I can’t say I haven’t sampled a few indie books that I passed on, Christa, but there are so many good writers out there who just aren’t writing what’s “fashionable”, so they aren’t being picked up by agents and Big Six publishers. Indeed, it IS a pity, if they don’t get a chance to put their work out there to the readers.

  3. Linda, thank you so much for your kind words AND for including me in this stellar line-up of Indie authors! I agree, I’ve read several Indie authors’ works this summer – including Brevity and Fatal Cut – and have found them to be richly satisfying. Judy’s, Davin’s and Christa’s books are all on my TBR list now and I look forward to enjoying them as well.

    I think we are fortunate to find ourselves as writers and readers at a point where we are able to make our works available relatively easily to a wide audience. And I appreciate the willingness of Indie authors to mentor, encourage and cheer each other. You, for example, were VERY helpful to me when I plowed into publishing Just Desserts. Thanks again!

    • You’re welcome, Natasha. I try to be supportive whenever I can. We’re all in the same boat. Of course, if any of you should “jump ship” and become the next NYTimes bestselling star, I hope you’ll remember little ol’ me when I hit you up for a cover blurb. :-)

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