I’m So Excited and I Just Can’t Hide It

The 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards are here!!!

I did a bit better in reading the right books to be able to vote this year – I’ve read 5 of the first round nominees, as opposed to last year’s 2. Plenty more of the nominees are on my To Be Read list, and one I’ve actually already been on the waiting list to receive from the library. I’ll be doing my best to fit in reading other nominees over the next few weeks so that I can be better prepared to vote. (FYI, opening round of voting is Nov. 1-6, semifinal round is Nov. 8-13, and the final round is Nov. 15-27)

In the meantime, I wanted to share this year’s releases by a few of the indie authors I follow. Each of these is the second installment in a series or duology.

The Sleeping Life (Eferum #2) by Andrea K. Host, sequel to Stained Glass Monsters

the-sleeping-life

 

Memories of Ash (The Sunbolt Chronicles #2) by Intisar Khanani, sequel to the novella Sunbolt

memories-of-ash

 

And lastly, Nightingale Girl by M.R. Pritchard, sequel to Sparrow Man

nightingale-girl

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have quite a bit of reading to do before casting my final votes!

 

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Puppies and Good Causes

First order of business –  revision is coming along on The Prophecy, and I’ve been devoting more time to it lately. I have finished with the video games (at least until the next episodes come out in another 6 weeks or so), although I am still dealing with this adorable time-suck:

Someone's got her big girl ears!
Someone’s got her big girl ears!

I’m learning that training a German Shepherd Dog requires a ton of commitment and work, but can be incredibly rewarding.

Secondly, science fiction and fantasy indie author Intisar Khanani is having a really special sale going on right now. Through April 7th you can download her eBook Thorn, a fun fairytale retelling, for $0.99 from amazon. All proceeds from the sale will go to helping a friend of the author’s adopt young brothers with special needs. Check out more at Khanani’s website: http://booksbyintisar.com/thorn-flash-sale/

ThornWhat’s not to love?!

Indie Idols

I’d like to tell you about two indie authors who have consistently blown me away with their work. Not only are their books amazing fun, but their writing shares a few other admirable attributes. Let me explain.

Andrea K. Host (who has come up on this blog previously) and Intisar Khanani both write a lot of fantasy, but each manages to break the mold of what we have come to expect of the worlds inside the pages of today’s usual fantasy fare. The stories both authors write are incredibly engaging. More than that, though, they both bring a lot of originality to their work, finding fresh and new ways to spin the compelling tales they have to tell. Host and Khanani avoid many of the tropes we see in other fantasy books. They are talented writers who tell wonderful stories in an utterly REFRESHING manner!

For instance, who says all fantasy has to be set in a world mirroring Medieval Europe? Why do the creatures and villains of the land all have to be from the same standard set we see elsewhere? Does a young adult have to be an orphan or otherwise severed of all family ties before he or she can have adventures of their own? In these books, you will usually find well-defined female protagonists of various ethnicities, each with their own unique strong sense of agency. (I struggled with how to word that last sentence. Does it sound like a single character varies her ethnicity throughout a book? That’s not what I meant…although, that might be cool to read about, too…)

One of my favorite facets appearing in these books has to do with romance. I admit, I really enjoy a good romance in my books. Much of what floods the indie market these days has the unfortunate tendency to display cases of “instalove.” Two characters falls for each other as soon as they meet, for no good reason the reader can see other than that they are physically attracted to one another. It’s hard to buy it when they are professing their undying love 50 pages in.

Host and Khanani write romances (or, in some cases, just the potential for romance in future installments) that are unique, believable, and totally swoon-worthy. These are more of a slow-burn kind of thing, which ends up making them incredibly hot!

(I just had to rewrite the last few paragraphs, as this diabolical machine of mine ate the original version and refused to spit it back out. I feel like the writing was more eloquent the first time around, but now I am frustrated and grumpy and am going to just focus on wrapping up this post so that I can then go comfort myself with chocolate and coffee.)

Needless to say, I highly recommend reading the works of these two authors. I think you might just love them!

 

Sunbolt

 

 I just finished reading Sunbolt (Book One of the Sunbolt Chronicles) last night. This is actually a novella, and Khanani says there are six planned altogether.  The second installment is slated to come out sometime in 2015. And I NEED IT! Keep an eye out for its release on the author’s website at http://booksbyintisar.com/

Thorn

Thorn was the first book I read by this author. She plans a companion trilogy set in the same world, but featuring a different protagonist – one who is introduced in her short story, The Bone Knife, which is available to download for free through Amazon.com.

touchstone

I know I’ve already sung the praises of Host’s Touchstone Trilogy before, but just know that I still love the heck out of it and think you should read it, too. Like, now. There is also the Gratuitous Epilogue, which I believe is free to download through the author’s website at http://www.andreakhost.com/

Medair

I also just recently read her Medair duology and super duper loved it. A lot. Now I have three more of Host’s novels downloaded, just waiting for me…calling to me…summoning me…

Gotta go! Happy reading!