Welcome to the Uncorked April 2020 Reading Challenge with monthly themes. Anyone may join in at any time. Discover book lists and books to read for our upcoming April 2020 book discussion: Indie Novels.
This month also includes a chance to receive a free indie title thanks to our generous community of beloved authors.
With many more people staying home right now, you might have way more time to read or none at all. I’m not going to lie, either; my focus has been complete garbage lately. Binging The Great British Bake Off has been far easier to digest than a book…or the news…
Plus, our libraries in Asheville are currently closed, which means that I can only access ebooks and what I purchase online.
For April 2020, my goal is to support Uncorked Reading Challengers. We have your back for getting indie books straight to your inbox.
I’ve also been waiting MONTHS for April’s 2020 Reading Challenge theme. You know that here at TUL, we love showcasing and working with indie authors and their books.
This month, our theme and book discussion will highlight over 50 indie books–and a chance for you to grab a free copy of your favorite sounding title, gifted by the author.
For Our April 2020 Book Discussion, In This Post Find:
- A quick 2020 Reading Challenge reminder
- Our Mulan March Madness recap
- A brief intro to indie books
- Indie books that TUL’s community of indie authors has offered to donate
- Our book discussion questions for the month
- A sneak peek into April’s theme
Let’s get started!
The Uncorked 2020 Reading Challenge
For those of you who have been with us since Day 1, I am sure you are tired of this section. I’ll keep it short and almost nonexistent from here on out.
How do you participate in this reading challenge? First, know that our complete 2020 Reading Challenge is here.
To participate, you may sign-up for our newsletter, comment on this book discussion post with your updates, share your challenge on social media using the hashtag #uncorkedreading2020 and tag me, or just silently participate. BOOM! DONE!
If you join our newsletter, please don’t forget to check your inbox and CONFIRM your email address immediately after signing up.
400+ people got stuck in purgatory last month. According to spam laws, I have to leave you there.
Travel Around The World With Our Uncorked Reading Challenge
Join our 2021 Uncorked Reading Challenge today with monthly reading themes. Never be late to the party again with unique new book releases. Sign Up Now.
Recap Of Last Month’s Mulan March 2020 Reading Challenge
If you are behind or finishing up with Mulan books, you still have time to comment and check in on March’s book discussion post. Thanks so much to everyone who commented.
If you read a book not on our Mulan retellings book list and would like to add your book with a summary and name credit, please email me at hello [at] theuncorkedlibrarian [dot] com.
You can see which two Mulan retellings I read and my thoughts on March’s Currently Reading post. For me, March was the perfect theme since YA fantasy offered a fabulous and magical escape from the craziness right now.
April 2020’s Reading Challenge Theme: Indie Books
What Are Indie Books?
I am going to keep this explanation short and simple since this post is going to be wildly long with books for you to choose from.
Indie books are self-published titles. Typically, authors work independently from large publishers beginning with conception through the completion of their book. This includes going to print and marketing.
Indie authors chose to self-publish for freedom, global readership, overall more and continued access for their readers, and more control over their book babies.
For our April 2020 book discussion, we are also incorporating indie press titles (just a few). Independent presses or publishers are much smaller, non-mainstream entities that publish books.
P.S. You can find some of my favorite indie books over the last few years here.
How To Grab One Free Indie Book For April’s Reading Challenge
In honor of Indie April, a month to celebrate amazing indie books, TUL has teamed up with indie authors to give you as many choices are possible.
Below, find indie books that authors have generously agreed to donate. Originally, we planned on providing both physical and e-copies. However, I don’t want to encourage anyone going out to the post office or sending germs across the country. Only e-copies are available.
So, how can you get a free title and participate in April 2020’s book discussion?
How To Grab *One* Free Indie Book This April 2020
1. Each author will only donate ONE COPY of their book. This means that you need to be the FIRST to comment below requesting that title. Once a title is requested, no one else may request it (feel free to purchase it, though). One book per reader, too.
*Please check to make sure that no one else has asked for the same book as you before you comment.*
2. After you comment on which book you would like, you must also send me an email noting the title of the book you requested and the best email to receive your E-book. My email address is hello [at] theuncorkedlibrarian [dot] com. From there, I will directly send you the book once I get it from the author. In some circumstances, I *may* need to have the author directly contact you.
3. You are under no obligation to review your book. However, I love my indie authors, and we would all appreciate if you do decide to leave an Amazon and/or Goodreads review. Again, this is not required.
4. If the title you want is taken and if you have a little cash to spare/want to support indie authors during this time, please consider buying their book–many are discounted right now.
Sounds easy, right?! Gosh, I FREAKING hope so because I have NEVER done this before. I doubt this will be flawless, and I see the potential for a few disasters. If I f*ck this up, please don’t troll me.
Please also be patient and understanding if we somehow cannot get you the desired book.
Also, by agreeing to participate and send me your email, remember that I may share it with the author just to get you a copy.
Indie Books Available For Request
So basically, don’t sue me or yell at me, OK?!?
Drum roll, please…Here are the indie books available for request. P.S. Each author wrote up and submitted their book summary for me. I have not read or closely vetted most of the titles below.
Please note each title’s format(s)–a few are missing due to our last-minute switch to ebooks only. If the title just says ‘E-book’ or no format, please let me know in your email the two E-book formats you can read. PDFs are usually a given.
The Tribulations of August Barton by Jennifer LeBlanc
YA Romantic Comedy | Contemporary Romance
“Fans of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl and Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower will devour this in one sitting!”
August Barton could never have mentally prepared himself for his freshman year of college. Not only has his anxiety increased, but his parents are divorcing. His new roommate thinks Augie is the biggest nerd in existence. His grandma, a retired prostitute named Gertie, has taken to running away from her nursing home.
Follow Augie on his journey of self-discovery, family drama, first love, and grandma Gertie approved hijinx. PDF copy. Amazon
Remade by Danielle Novotny
Young Adult | Sci-Fi
For her whole life, Aliya Rathburn thought life only existed on Earth. But after nearly dying in a car crash, Aliya wakes up on Callais – a planet that she never knew existed — with strength and speed beyond her wildest imagination.
Aliya tries to fly under the radar when she’s sent to the Protective Forces, the galaxy’s military. As she struggles to accept herself after these incredible yet unwanted changes, a sinister force emerges to threaten the galaxy’s peace.
When lives are on the line, will Aliya face her inner demons or will the rising darkness win? PDF/ePub copy. Amazon
Call Me Ghost by MJ HAGUE
Trust is broken. Brother versus brother. Revenge or justice.
Two competing methods to resolve the conflict. Invest in the team at your own risk. No guarantees on who survives. Kindle. Amazon
Fish Camp by Kate Banco
YA Contemporary Fiction
Sara, a young 17-year-old is devastated by the news of her family’s car accident. She is forced to move north from Baja, California to Oregon to live with an uncle she’s never met.
Will Sara find a home and possibly the love of her life in Oregon? Read Fish Camp to find out. Amazon
Oath of Gods by J. Webb Garrett
Urban Fantasy | CW: language, violence & suggestive themes
A modern take on Irish mythology, Oath of Gods is the third in The Morrighan’s Song series, following Morgan O’Dwyer, the latest incarnation of The Morrighan.
A meeting with a Slavic god of darkness to whom she owes a favor thrust her into a conflict between various ancient gods, some of whom she has a history with she is unable to recall.
Bound by an oath she is unable to break, Morgan must navigate this struggle whilst preventing it from spilling out onto the streets of her rural Illinois hometown. Kindle. Amazon
Rise of Gaia by Kristin Ward
Beneath rock and soil, trees and oceans, she lies. Under concrete jungles and poisoned rivers, she slumbers.
She is Mother Earth. And mankind has turned its back on its mother. Mobi or ePub. Amazon
Unscrupulous by Morgan Lee Wylie
He’s a gunfighter with a bad reputation. She’s the sheriff’s wife he’s sent to rescue.
Gritty action-adventure meets raw romance in this Old West tale of redemption, second chances, and forbidden love. E-book. Amazon
Bits & Pieces by Dawn Hosmer
Adult Psychological Thriller
Tessa picks up pieces of others through touch. A flash of color is the only way she knows she’s changed.
A red flash indicates pain, a yellow flash is a glimpse of the future. Purple a talent, orange a painful memory. A chance encounter with a killer traps her within the mind of a madman. E-book. Amazon
The End of Echoes by Dawn Hosmer
Ruby Dunkin is in an abusive marriage. She is unable to protect her sons from her husband’s rage.
Chelsea Wyatt is a senior in high school when she goes missing after work one night. No one knows the tragic connection between the two families for over 18 years. E-book. Amazon
The Power of Conviction by Catrin Russell
High Fantasy | Epic Fantasy | Medieval Fantasy |Fantasy Romance
The Power of Conviction is a story of faith and forbidden love and revenge. Nothing is as it seems. The plot takes readers through moral struggles of good and evil, challenges them to really consider what is right and wrong, and gives them a slow-burning love story to defy the odds.
The series centers on the life of Anaya, a young priestess who grew up amongst the most devout followers of the Holy Goddess. She is trained from childhood to become a weapon against Darkness and the demons lurking within the shadows.
As events begin to unfold within this dark world of the Midlands, Anaya is brought down a twisting path of intrigue and violence. She begins to question where her Priesthood is heading.
Entwined by fate with the demon she despises, Anaya ends up on a collision course with evil as ancient prophecies come to life. E-book. Amazon
Empire’s Legacy by Marian L Thorpe
The catboats of Leste bring invaders to the Empire. To counter the threat, women must learn to fight.
A young fisherwoman accepts the challenge, only to be caught up in the intrigues of her Emperor. Lena’s choice takes her from a remote village to far northern lands, from the harsh life of a soldier to the splendor of a legendary city – and back to love – and war. Amazon
The Haunting of Hattie Hastings by Audrey Davis
SOME PEOPLE WON’T LET A LITTLE MATTER LIKE DEATH STAND IN THEIR WAY…
A terrible tragedy leaves Hattie Hastings widowed and heartbroken. But her late husband isn’t about to take his demise lying down.
Torn between delight and frustration, Hattie struggles to convince friends and family of her ghostly predicament.
Packed with humour, teenage angst, dubious dates, and bittersweet romance, prepare to laugh (and cry) at a contemporary romantic comedy described as ‘brilliant’, ‘hilarious’ and ‘a great feel-good read.’ E-book. Amazon
No One’s Bride by Nerys Leigh
YA Christain Historical Romance
Desperate to escape a dangerous situation, Amy answers Adam Emerson’s advertisement for a mail-order bride, not at all intending to marry him.
But when her plan goes awry and she stays in the small town of Green Hill Creek, the young postmaster turns out to be kind and charming and everything she’s never dared to want.
Can Amy allow herself to trust a man again, even when the danger she thought she’d left behind catches up with her? Small town romance meets the Wild West in this heartwarming tale. E-book. Amazon
Scorpio’s Grace by Rosie Wylor-Owen
A druid with coveted powers, Freya Aldana has kept a low profile from the power trafficker who raised her.
Now with a child of her own, Freya is forced to run from her ex-captor once more and discover what he wants with her.
With few allies and little time, Freya turns to her deity, the Goddess Scorpio. With the goddess’ gift in hand, Freya can finally face the man who threatens to steal her freedom. E-Book. Amazon
Adeline’s Aria by Laynie Bynum
Addie is a small-town high school senior with a best friend to take care of and college plans to figure out. Jude is a British rock star turned actor and one-half of Hollywood’s favorite “it” couple alongside his co-star Lana Thatcher.
When the two cross paths at a music festival in Addie’s hometown and begin an undercover whirlwind romance, the press becomes vicious. Jude’s faux fiance flames rumors, and Addie must decide if her “dream come true” is worth the nightmare it is turning into. E-book. Amazon
Murder So Sinful by Eileen Curley Hammond
Merry’s had a tough week. Her daughter went off the rails and her best friend became an annoying matchmaker.
Finding solace in food, wine, and two demanding cats, her comfortable life changes when her best friend’s daughter is suspected of murder. As Merry investigates, she begins to open her heart. E-book. Amazon
The Wonkiest Witch by Jeannie Wycherley
Alfhild Daemonne has inherited an inn. And a dead body.
Intent on starting a new life, she heads deep into the English countryside with hopes of making a success of the once-popular inn. However, discovering the murder throws her a curveball, especially when she suspects dark magick. People of both the mortal and magickal persuasions seem to have it in for her.
Should Alf call time on the venture and head back to London?
Don’t be daft. Alf’s magickal powers may be as wonky as the inn, but she’s dead set on finding the murderer. Once a witch always a witch, and this one is fighting back. E-book. Amazon
Better Left Unsa(id) by James McGee
Visionary Art & Poetry
Better Left Unsa(id) is a visionary and spiritual journey of art and prose. It explores themes of PTSD, the complexities of modern relationships, and finding self-worth and love. Amazon
The River Fairy’s Wish: A Lyrical Fairy Tale by Cyrena Shows
For my homeschooling families right now: Children’s Book | Age 2-7
The River Fairy makes a very important wish on her magical silver crown. What is her heart’s desire?
Find out in this sweet children’s book that features an original song and whimsical artwork. Amazon
Another Dead Intern by Joel Spriggs
Fantasy | Dark Humor
Hemlock Connal can’t keep interns alive. Morgan Burns is trying to break that trend, but finds survival to be an uphill battle.
Faced with mobsters, drug rings, covens, and even fantastical beasts, will Morgan find a paycheck… or a grave?
Another Dead Intern is the first book in a humorous supernatural mystery series. If you like edge-of-your-seat action, witty dialogue, and paranormal investigations, then you’ll love the first installment in Joel Spriggs’s hilarious magical thrill ride. Mobi, PDF, ePub. Amazon
Over a God’s Dead Body by Joel Spriggs
Urban Fantasy | Dark Comedy
Esmy is stuck in a rut and frustrated by a lack of pockets on women’s pants. Meeting Loki ignites her life like a powder-keg. This simple, seemingly innocuous encounter leads her and Jake to discover the college campus’s mysterious depths, involving sasquatches, vampires, and much more.
In a crudely comedic high-stakes game of maneuvering, Loki’s freedom and Esmy’s survival come down to a fight over a God’s dead body.
Over a God’s Dead Body is the first book in a humorous supernatural series. If you like insane action, hilarious dialogue, and gods behaving badly, then you’ll love the first installment in Joel Spriggs’s magical comedy. Mobi, PDF, ePub. Amazon
The Bear Was Not There by Joel Spriggs
Sci-fi | Fantasy | Humor | Kids Lit 8-to-12-years-old
What began as a routine task of finding a treasured stuffed koala for his daughter, quickly turned into an adventure for one father.
Along with a talking pet cat, he must follow the koala’s trail to encounter werewolves, pixies, aliens, and more to achieve his original goal: getting his children to sleep.
If you like wild adventure, poorly drawn post-it notes, sci-fi, and fantasy all blended together, then you’ll love this fantastical journey. Mobi, PDF, ePub. Amazon
Antiquity’s Gate: Three Days Till Dawn by R.F. Hurteau
Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi | New Adult+
Antiquity’s Gate forced two realities to collide—what followed tore one of them apart.
A post-apocalyptic city of domes teeters on the edge of two worlds. A dystopian council of Elves rules over this last refuge of mankind.
The people of this city have never seen a sunrise. If two friends aren’t willing to make the ultimate sacrifice…none of them ever will. E-book. Amazon
In Another Lifetime by Anthony Le Moignan
Tabatha has led a charmed life in Cambridge. Closing in on her 31st birthday, she’s only ever known private schools, a degree, and a mother and father who dote on her. Then there’s Rick – the perfect boyfriend she now lives with – until she comes home unexpectedly…
A life turned on its head in one earth-shattering moment, the imagery imprinted on her mind forever. But how long does forever last?
When she meets young Aussie, Grant, online, it seems there could be a way out, but will the nightmares ever stop? Or have they only just begun?
Even the unconditional love her parents give may not be all it seems. For Tabatha, life is spiraling into oblivion. E-Book. Not yet on Amazon.
TUL reviewed Le Moignan’s other title, A Long Goodbye here.
The Caroline Paintings by Arthur D. Hittner
A Florida retiree, dabbling in the art market, acquires the contents of a storage locker in a foreclosure sale. Included is a cache of unsigned paintings of a beautiful young woman by a supremely talented hand.
Who is she, who’s the artist, and what gave rise to these stunning works? By what tortuous path did they find their way into an abandoned storage unit?
A funny, bittersweet, art-sleuthing novel, The Caroline Paintings is a fifty-year tale of art, love, duplicity, perseverance, and discovery inspired, in part, by the saga of the Helga Pictures by Andrew Wyeth.
Burning the Bacon by L. Austen Johnson
Poetry | 15+
A short poetry collection written in an accessible but metaphorical style that covers topics like chronic illness, love, heartbreak, memory, and growing up.
In Burning the Bacon, L. Austen Johnson navigates through deeply personal terrain, laying waste to it and watching its flowers regrow in the four sections of the collection: “Gravity,” “In Memoriam,” “Entropy,” and “Parthenogenesis.” E-book. Amazon
The Last Day of Captain Lincoln by EXO Books
An old, onetime Captain of the interstellar spaceship USNAS Hope Eternal, Lincoln always knew that this day would come.
For just as birthdays are carefully planned, so are deaths. And although he must reckon with his fate, this is not a somber story. It is a tale of love and sacrifice, told in the context of the most advanced civilization ever to exist—a society that has taken to the stars in an effort to save all that is best in humanity. E-book. Amazon
TUL reviewed EXO Book’s other title, Schmuck the Buck, here.
Tito’s Lost Children. A Tale of the Yugoslav Wars (1-3) by Andrew Anzur Clement
YA Alternative History | Historical Fiction
Yugoslav People’s Army brats Jovana and Hristijan grew up in a secluded border-watch compound, dreaming of grander horizons.
They get their wish in the worst way possible when Predrag, a rogue People’s Army captain, kidnaps Jovana for no apparent reason. Hristijan rescues her, but their ordeals are far from over.
With Predrag hot on their heels, Jovana and Hristijan uncover the shocking secret behind Jovana’s kidnapping: she is the chosen successor to Maršal Josip Broz Tito, the former strongman of Yugoslavia.
With the country about tear itself apart, it is Jovana’s duty to keep order among the Yugoslavia’s quarrelsome nationalities – and stop the Serbs from grabbing power. She is about to make her mark on history. PDF, ePub, Mobi. Amazon
Tito’s Lost Children. The Kosovo War by Andrew Anzur Clement
Alternative History | Historical Fiction | 16+
A hand clamps down on a boy’s shoulder. He looks up from his father’s body. In an instant, his childhood is over. He kicks and screams as he and his little brother are dragged away by the Albanian terrorist who just killed their parents.
Now a child soldier in the Kosovo Liberation Army, twelve-year-old Drago is trapped on the frontlines, forced to follow the orders of a bloodthirsty commander. Caught up in a never-ending cycle of vengeance, Drago fights for the lives of his brother and closest friends.
The decisions he makes with the gun in his hands will determine their fate in the battle for Kosovo. PDF, ePub, Mobi. Amazon
Europe’s Lost Children. Battling Brexit by Andrew Anzur Clement
Alternative History | Satire | 16+
Elena Marković always knew she was different, raised in a secret compound, training in martial arts and world languages. One day she finds out why: she is ordained to be the next leader of Yugoslavia, a country that no longer exists.
Elena’s parents entrust her with a mission to see that all of the former Yugoslav nationalities live together again, this time as members of the European Union. Wide-eyed and eager, Elena sets out for Brussels.
She quickly finds that she is not prepared for life in the EU’s capital, but delaying her mission is not an option. With the help of two orphaned refugee brothers, Elena uncovers a diabolical conspiracy to unleash a wave of terror attacks in Europe in order to convince the United Kingdom to leave the EU.
With no one in the diplomatic community willing to believe them, Elena and her friends must battle corrupt bureaucrats and bloodthirsty extremists to have any chance of keeping the EU from breaking apart. PDF, ePub, Mobi. Amazon
Blood and Sand by Jennifer M. Lane
General Fiction | Contemporary Fiction
Welcome to Ramsbolt, Maine, home to one red light, one market, and one tavern, where Logan Cole intends to ride out the political scandals that sent her father to jail and threw her into a social media storm.
Cancel culture becomes the least of her worries as she lies her way into a bartending job and starves on the tips.
As tragedy strikes and threatens the pub, Logan is the only one who can save it. But that means giving up her anonymity and unmasking herself to the town. Either way, she’ll lose the only place she’s ever called home. Amazon
TUL reviewed Blood and Sand here.
Poke Sallet Queen and the Family Medicine Wheel by Shana Thornton
Literary | Southern Fiction
When Robin Ballard takes a writing course in college, she goes searching for answers about her homeless father and wanders into the secret lives of her relatives as they gradually reveal their personal histories.
Set in Nashville and the surrounding rural towns, Poke Sallet Queen and the Family Medicine Wheel offers a look into the superstitions and changes of a middle Tennessee family from the 1920s to the 21st century.
Based on the annual Poke Sallet Festival with its old magic recipes, secrets, tall tales, some folk tales, and lost diaries, Robin Ballard tells a “true” Tennessee family history. Amazon
You can find TUL’s review of Poke Sallet Queen and the Family Medicine Wheel on our Books Set In Tennessee reading list.
Think I’ll Go Eat a Worm by Amy Wright
Think I’ll Go Eat a Worm is the reckoning of a farmer’s daughter with the looming crisis of the 21st century. How do we stop the mercury from rising, ice caps from melting, pastures from swinging between droughts and floods, and insects from dying in catastrophic droves?
It seems ironic that one solution to the alarming decline in butterflies, bumblebees, and other important pollinators would be to eat bugs. However, research indicates that edible insects can help reduce the pesticides, habitat loss, and climate change that are killing them.
Conscientiousness here, though, is never dull; Wright depicts taste sensations that become available when we open our palates to honeyed crickets, cicada jambalaya, and grasshopper kabobs hot off the grill, their crunchiness a forgotten reminder that humans have long enjoyed such delicacies. Amazon
Grace Among The Leavings by Beverly Fisher
This book is the story of a Civil War soldier’s search for redemption as told by his young daughter, Grace.
Grace lives with her grandparents on a Middle Tennessee farm, waiting for her father to return from a prisoner of war camp and searching for answers in her mother’s disappearance. Amazon
Avis Humphrey by BM Simpson
Avis Humphrey likes his beat-up old pick-up truck, fishing, his best bud, Leo, occasional hook-ups with some of the local women in Watermill, New Hampshire, and PBR.
Life quickly turns into chaos when he hits the Powerball jackpot. The comfortable small-town life he enjoys so much instantly slips away. He finds himself hiding out in the New Hampshire woods from parents who long ago abandoned him, relatives he never knew existed, and the dozens of reporters who are dissecting every tidbit of what they consider to be his pitiful life.
Between friends, family, and strangers banging at his door, Avis struggles to survive winning the nine hundred and sixty-seven million-dollar Powerball jackpot and becoming the richest person in the history of his small town. Now all he has to do is figure out how to get rid of the ticket and the money. Amazon
Island Dogs by BM Simpson
A group of dysfunctional ex-pats along with a few islanders spend their time in a beach bar in Anguilla and try their best to sort out life.
Sometimes it goes better than one might think. Sometimes it goes worse.
But in the end, the Island Dogs, band together and drink too much beer and rum, and watch Wayne “Pellet” Pelletier go from one mishap from the next. A fun beach read. Amazon
The Extended Summer of Anna and Jeremy by Jennifer Ann Shore
YA Realistic Fiction
The Extended Summer of Anna and Jeremy is a short and sugary sweet young adult read.
We follow Anna, who in one summer attempts to 1) cross off a bunch of “never been done before” things on her to-do list, 2) absolutely not fall for her brother’s best friend, and 3) set a personal record for how many boxes of cereal she can eat to quell her neuroticism.
Come fall, Anna can’t help but wonder if extending summer might not be a bad thing after all. E-book. Amazon
You can see TUL’s complete review of The Extended Summer of Anna and Jeremy here.
New Wave by Jennifer Ann Shore
New Wave, the first book in The Islands of Anarchy Series (keep an eye out for book two in 2020!) is a dystopian young adult novel with themes of romance, self-discovery, and F the patriarchy. (That last one is the best one, amirite?)
Mol, a seventeen-year-old take-no-crap type, gets caught trying to pawn her mother’s necklace in exchange for food. As punishment, she is placed in a position of servitude for the suffocating regime overseeing the islands.
She quickly catches the attention of the Commander—and soon finds herself at the forefront of change. E-book. Amazon
You can read TUL’s complete review of New Wave here.
Any Good Thing by Joy E. Rancatore
Jack Calhoun recovers from one tragedy and its consequential addiction enough to glimpse a shimmer of hope for his future—until the day of the second accident. Instead of heading to college with his childhood sweetheart, Rachael, Jack flees the rural southern town that blames him for every bad thing and leaves his loved ones behind.
His journey for purpose, if not peace, brings Jack face-to-face with war in Iraq’s desert, with his past’s nightmares and with a deeper battle on a mountain peak. Along the way, he both finds and loses parts of himself.
Perhaps it was never purpose he required, but the ability to discern selfishness from sacrifice. Will he cast off a lifetime of crippling guilt to rest in redemption, or will peace remain as elusive as any good thing for Jack? E-book. Amazon
You can find TUL’s review of Any Good Thing on our Southern Novels reading list.
This Good Thing by Joy E. Rancatore
Novella | Christian Southern Fiction
Carolina Burns faces words no one wants to hear. She’s dying.
She fights for her final year on earth—until she chooses to simply live. Her husband, Ben, and their eleven-year-old daughter, Rachael, must also accept her diagnosis. Their faith will be tested, and their bravery tried.
Carolina writes letters to Rachael for all the life events she’ll miss and spends every waking moment with her loved ones or in the garden where she coaxes beauty from the Georgia soil. Through it all, the Burns family uncovers how to embrace this good thing—life. Amazon
As Much As I Ever Could by Brandy Woods Snow
YA Contemporary Romance
Seventeen-year-old CJ Ainsworth has been living with the guilt of being the sole survivor of the head-on collision that claimed her mother’s and sister’s lives. All CJ wants to do is isolate herself and make it to the trial at summer’s end, where she’ll testify against the stranger who couldn’t keep his car in its own lane.
She doesn’t expect to fall for a boy, especially not Jett Ramsey, a hotshot racing champion destined for greatness on the NASCAR circuit. While he patiently reintroduces her to driving, they confide in each other, and CJ learns she’s not the only one silently suffering through a loss, but as their connection deepens, Jett’s focus on the track is called into question.
CJ can’t be the cause of another car crash, but her heart is broken either way. Can she learn to put her heart in drive? Or will she throw it in reverse? ePub or Mobi. Amazon
TUL reviewed Brandy Woods Snow’s, Meant To Be Broken here, and is currently reading As Much As I Ever Could.
Owl Eyes: A Fairy Tale by Molly Lazer
YA Fantasy | Fairy Tale
Nora’s world is torn apart when she discovers that the elusive lord who oversees the house where she is a servant is really her father.
As she searches for the truth about her birth parents, she only finds more questions about her history and the magical inheritance she was denied.
Before long, she is faced with a choice between her loving adoptive family and the chance to claim her birthright and change her life forever. PDF, Mobi, ePub. Amazon
Regen by Cassie Greutman
YA Urban Fantasy
A fae girl raised in the human foster care system is blackmailed into helping catch an escaped fae fugitive. Amazon
Shadow Play: Ten Tales from the In-between by Sarina Dahlan
Short Story Collection
A collection of fantastical and interconnected stories written by Asian-American writer, Sarina Dahlan.
At first glance the characters may appear unrelated: A girl living with a silent grandmother in World War II-era Bangkok, a septuagenarian writing his memoir in upstate New York, a kampong witch doctor, the residents of a rundown hotel in the Tenderloin district, lost souls in Central Park. Yet, they are all connected by a karmic web across time.
By turns unexpected, funny, heartbreaking, and horrifying, this debut collection is an excursion into the strange and the magical hidden in the mundane.
A fusion of the realistic and the supernatural that explores the concept of self by those stuck in-between. E-book. Amazon
Breakfast at Cannibal Joe’s by Jay Spencer Green
Dark Comedy | Satire
Joe Chambers is a CIA operative working in Dublin. Assigned to an agency-fronted publishing house, his problems include, but are not limited to, errant MI6 agents, insane profit-making schemes, a Francoist dwarf, and a tapeworm named Steve.
He is an utterly reprehensible character, fond of submerging his head in a sink-full of whiskey and fantasizing about brutally murdering irritating teenagers. He is, in other words, the perfect guide to this bizarre and repulsive journey into Dublin’s gutters. E-book. Amazon
First of Their Kind by C. D. Tavenor
What would you do as the first synthetic intelligence?
Thought impossible, but Dr. Wallace Theren has pushed the boundaries of computational science, creating an artificial mind capable of conscious thought. Naturally, his creation faces a harsh world bent on using it, exploiting it, or destroying it.
If the first synthetic intelligence is to survive its early years, it’ll need friends, but more importantly, it’ll need a family. And together, they’ll need to show their enemies they’re worth saving… or fearing.
Synthetic intelligence. The story is through their eyes. E-book. Amazon
April 2020 Book Discussion Questions
First, don’t forget to claim your book in the comments section below and drop me an email.
Later come back and tell us:
What book did you decide to read for our April 2020 book discussion, and what did you think?
What other indie books have you read and enjoyed? Do you have a favorite indie author?
Do you tend to read more indie authors and publishers or mainstream publishing and why?
Let us know if you learned a little more about the indie world and if this will change any of your future reading selections.
May’s 2020 Reading Theme
Next month, we are reading books set in the 50 States. Unlock the May 2020 book discussion here.