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My Top 5 Indie Books (Five Fall Favorites)

Happy Wednesday, and welcome to the third day of the Five Fall Favorites blog party!

You can find all of the information about the Five Fall Favorites blog party by seeing my first post from Monday, or by going to the lovely host (Kate Willis Hoppman)’s site, but for a quick recap, each day this week, a group of bloggers is each sharing their five favorite books in a particular genre – the goal being for us all to find some great new reads!

There is also a grand giveaway at the end of all this, with some of the prizes featured below in the images below. You can enter that giveaway by just following this link.

Part of the epic grand prize!

And to add to the excitement, every day there’s also a Kindle deal going on, where you can snag the featured ebook free on Amazon. These are great stories written by many of the authors participating in this blog party, and I encourage you to check them out!

Today’s featured deal is Plan to Fail by Perry Kirkpatrick (click this link or the image below to find it)!

Today’s topic?

My Top 5 Indie Books

If you’re following along with the rest of the bloggers participating in this challenge, you’ve probably noticed some of them sharing their top five favorite mystery reads today. However, though I love when mystery elements are included in books, I don’t read many straight-up mystery stories. So instead, I’ve swapped it with indie books!

Indie books are books that are ‘independently published’. In other words, not traditionally, through a publishing company. These are books that the authors have put the work in to publish themselves, through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and similar stores. I’m an indie author myself, and indie books have a special place in my heart.

There are so many indie books that I want to get to and haven’t yet, (mostly because I have a hard time actually buying new books, haha) but here are five of my favorites so far!

Go Teen Writers: Write Your Novel

Author/s: Stephanie Morrill, Jill Williamson, & Shannon Dittemore

Genre: Non-Fiction

Target Audience: Teen writers

What Stuck Out To Me: Every writer should have this book, and I really believe that. There’s such a wealth of writing information inside – from coming up with a story idea to outlining to the writing process to critique groups to publishing advice (indie or traditional), and so much more. I found so many helpful tips!

For new writers, this book has all the information needed to walk you through writing a novel for the first time in a comprehensive but in-depth way. The authors alternated sharing their advice and experiences, and have such a friendly tone in their writing, I felt like I was chatting with good friends while I read. Even as someone who wouldn’t consider myself a new writer (with several novels behind me), I found great reminders that I needed as I’m working through my current novels. I think everyone can benefit from this!

Tricky Content: If you’ve been writing for years and years, parts of this book may seem too basic, though I think there are still good reminders. Also, spoilers from story examples used.

I’d Recommend It To: Writers aged young teen and up that are passionate about writing novels.

Here’s the link to add it on Goodreads!

Go Teen Writers: Edit Your Novel

Author/s: Stephanie Morrill & Jill Williamson

Genre: Non-fiction

Target Audience: Teen writers

What Stuck Out To Me: Looks familiar, doesn’t it? This one is another super valuable book for writers! Just like the first one, this contains a wide variety of insights on everything from macro-editing, to micro-editing, procrastination, self-doubt, preparing a manuscript, more publishing advice, genre, building a career, and helpful lists and resources at the end.

Also like their first book, Stephanie and Jill go back and forth sharing their experiences and best tips, and I really appreciated the down-to-earth way they presented their wisdom and were honest about the mistakes they made. As I’ve been working on editing a lot recently, the methods and reminders they gave were super helpful. I know I’ll be coming back to this book every time I edit, and I wish I’d have discovered it earlier in my journey!

Tricky Content: A few more possible spoilers, and if you’ve been writing for years, you may find some of the material more basic, though I suspect not all of it.

I’d Recommend It To: Writers aged young teen and up that are passionate about editing novels – or just have to do it anyway and need some help (like me).

Here’s the link to add it on Goodreads!

Blank Mastermind

Author: Rosey Mucklestone

Genre: Dystopian/Superhero

Target Audience: Young Adult (YA)

What Stuck Out To Me: I read this entire book for the first time in one sitting, staying up far too late to do it. I couldn’t put it down! First of all, the genre – a mix of superhero, contemporary, and dystopian – was descriptive and fascinating, and amnesia tropes are some of my favorite, so the premise intrigued me from the start.

This book is well-written and brilliant in my opinion. The characters are vibrant and memorable, the story a good balance of action, mystery, and reflection, the humor witty and nearly constant, thanks to the snarky protagonist, and the weaving of faith and deep themes powerfully done. It’s definitely one of my favorites, and I keep coming back to it. I try not to think about that one plot twist that I should have seen coming, but didn’t . . . .

Tricky Content: Some violence, intense situations, mild language, occasional grammatical errors, and a brief, subtle allusion to self-harm.

I’d Recommend It To: Teens and up that enjoy stories about superheroes, meaningful themes, amnesiacs, unique characters, and/or ice cream.

Here’s the link to add it on Goodreads!

A Wilted Willow

Author: Julia Witmer

Genre: Fantasy

Target Audience: Young Adult (YA)

What Stuck Out To Me: I was blessed to read an ARC of this book back before it was published (and shared a review/author interview on my blog here), and I really enjoyed it!

First, it’s a portal fantasy, and the settings, world-building, and magic were very interesting and described well.

Mostly, I loved the characters. From the spunky protagonist, to the faithful companion and his furry friend, to the cunning villain, I felt they were all relatable and unique, and I liked watching them all grow and change on their journeys. The plot was interesting and moved along well, and the story is filled with strong themes that may be too obvious for some, but are still very good reminders. My only complaint is that I wish there was more of the story!

Tricky Content: a magic system involving shields and portals, some violence, and a couple of mild swears or usages of the Lord’s name.

I’d Recommend It To: Tweens and up that enjoy intriguing portal fantasy books with an adventurous plot.

Here’s the link to add it on Goodreads!

Daughter of Kings

Author: Isabella Auer

Genre: Fantasy

Target Audience: Young Adult (YA)

What Stuck Out To Me: This book was written by a dear friend of mine who passed away in 2020. She published this book to fulfill a dream, and I have continued to enjoy it since.

She was a huge fan of Tolkien, and this book shows it. It spans years, with a large cast of fascinating characters, compelling action, relatable lessons, and so much depth.

Seriously, the depth of this book amazes me. Though the cover may not portray how expansive the fantasy realm and story is, I compare it to the Lord of the Rings. The cast of characters is vast, relatable, and fascinating, the world is well-explored and conveyed through creative descriptions, and the writing style is flowing and beautiful, with subtle wit throughout. Most of all, the themes explored are powerful, and I was very touched by it.

Tricky Content: Some intense battle scenes, loss and grief, and occasional grammatical errors.

I’d Recommend It To: Middle grade readers and up that enjoy poetic fantasy reads with large casts and an expansive world.

Here’s the link to add it on Goodreads!

We’ve reached the end of day three of the Five Fall Favorites blog party! What are some of your favorite indie reads? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? If so, what did you think? I’d love to hear from you!

Again, check out Kate’s host post here, for a full list of other bloggers participating and so that you can find even more book recommendations! Don’t forget to join the giveaway here, and pick up the daily Kindle deal (Plain to Fail by Perry Kirkpatrick), here!

See you tomorrow for some more bookish fun!

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