Indie Books We Love

Not all great books come through big publishers. Check out some of our favourite indie books on the market.

November 2021 Featured Books

Reflection

Reflection

Author: John Righten Format: Ebook Release Date: 26/11/2021

‘Reflection’ by John Righten is the third in The Lenka Trilogy, a story set in the 1990s across Ireland, Romania and Bosnia. The narrative follows Lenka and a motley crew of ‘loveable rogues’ as they travel through war zones to deliver aid and offer support to innocent families and children caught up in conflicts. I haven’t read parts 1 and 2 of the trilogy, but a detailed summary of the action has been helpfully supplied in the prologue of this final installment. I would recommend starting with ‘Heartbreak’, the first book in the series, as it would appear a lot has already happened and this will allow you to appreciate the storyline as a whole. ‘Reflection’ takes us from 1995 in Bosnia onwards as Lenka leaves the orphanage that she manages in Ireland for one last aid run, delivering vital medical supplies to hospitals. But the Wolves, a team of deadly mercenaries, are still on Lenka’s trail and they want the incriminating photo album she has in her possession detailing their atrocities. I think that this is a fitting end to what seems to be an action-packed and thrilling trilogy. There’s plenty of exposition throughout so I didn’t feel lost reading ‘Reflection’ first and would serve as a helpful reminder for those who've been waiting for this third instalment to be released. I thought the plotline was complex and well-thought out with no loose strings as it flips from Lenka’s journey to the orphanage in Ireland. In all, an entertaining climax to a trilogy filled with action and thrills. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Fire and Earth

Fire and Earth

Author: David West Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/11/2021

Available in paperback or on Kindle via Amazon The year is 1607. The first permanent English colony in North America has been established at Jamestown. Venice has railed against the papal prerogative and has been excommunicated by Pope Paul V. Sir Anthony Standen has just begun gathering the grape harvest at his vineyard in Frascati, when he receives two visitors. The first is Hugh O’Neill, the exiled Earl of Tyrone, whose rebel army Anthony attempted to infiltrate when he was serving the Earl of Essex in Ireland. The second visitor is Cardinal Aldobrandini, Pope Paul’s right-hand man. Anthony and Hugh are recruited to investigate the mysterious murders of priests, burnt in their churches on saint’s feast days. Their investigation takes them across northern Italy and threatens not only Anthony’s life, but his core beliefs, his conscience, and his family.

Indie Books We Love
Fred Karno - The Legend Behind the Laughter

Fred Karno - The Legend Behind the Laughter

Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/11/2021

‘Fred Karno - The Legend Behind the Laughter’ by David Crump looks back into the comedy archives to give us insight on a pioneer of physical sketch comedy. If you’re familiar with Stan Laurel, Laurel and Hardy or Charlie Chaplin then you’re familiar with just some of the students of Fred Karno. A complex but somewhat unknown man who was at the forefront of a whole new type of comedy in the early twentieth century, the king of slapstick and the initial creator of some of the finest comic silent film, ‘Fred Karno - The Legend Behind the Laughter’ highlights and celebrates the contribution that Karno made to comedy and popular culture, the ripples of which we still see today. This book is very well-structured, with extant sources and photographs throughout to tell us about Fred Karno’s career highlights and downfalls of one of the most famous men you’ve maybe never heard of. A tale of British and comedy history, one with plenty of ups and downs and lots of contrasting opinions and perspectives. I think the author has done well to collate all of these differing sources in order to tell the story of Fred Karno in the most authentic way possible. A great read for any history fan, silent film buff, and Karno fan.  Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
The Client Stampede

The Client Stampede

Author: Julie Guest Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/10/2021

Part of my job involves marketing and it’s a new skill that I am constantly looking to improve on. I thought that ‘The Client Stampede’ by Julie Guest was a great resource offering detailed insight into a simple seven step process called “The Client Stampede Formula”. In this book the author explains how the formula was created, and really helpful case studies of the formula in action so that you can see how to implement similar techniques in your own campaigns to hopefully yield results. This is a comprehensive guide with links throughout the book to further resources and services that are offered by the author and their company. ‘The Client Stampede’ is written in a way that I think would be widely accessible, with any technical language explained quickly and extra troubleshooting at the end of the book. I also liked the cliff notes that appear at the end of the book that I’m certain will serve as a reminder when looking to implement this formula. A book that is targeted at transforming any sales and marketing strategy, I think that there is really valuable advice in here for everyone from experienced marketing professionals looking to try a new approach to those with their own business and looking for new and effective ways to get the word out about their products. I’m eager to implement some of the techniques in this book in my own work to test their impact. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Still Life with a Vengeance

Still Life with a Vengeance

Author: Jan Turk Petrie Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/10/2021

Eve is married to a rich and famous rock star, they live in a beautiful house with an idyllic lifestyle and possible bright and happy future with a family as the couple begin the process of adoption. But this picture-perfect life all begins to fall apart when serious accusations are levelled at Nick and his band. Eve is certain of her husband's innocence, in this matter at least. But as time passes she begins to have her doubts. ‘Still Life with a Vengeance’ by Jan Turk Petrie is a brilliant story. Part relationship story, part family drama, with the mystery of the allegations and Eve’s personal history enticing the reader to keep turning the page until they reach a resolution. Eve seemed nice, down to earth and relatable throughout the story and although the lavish lifestyle is highlighted in places there’s a human aspect to this story that is central throughout: one focusing on trust and how well you know your loved ones. I enjoyed this story and the subtle parallels between Eve’s certainty about terrible events in her own past and her doubt in her current circumstances - perhaps hinting at the truth? I found this book very easy to read and I think that it could appeal to a wide contemporary fiction audience. Overall a thoroughly entertaining read. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Daily Affirmations for a Happier You

Daily Affirmations for a Happier You

Author: Michelle Lee Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/09/2021

‘Daily Affirmations for a Happier You’ by Michelle Lee is a direct and practical guide to incorporating positive  affirmations into your daily life. The author manages to collate her own personal story, the ways in which positive affirmations and positive thinking can have an impact on your life, how to incorporate affirmations into your day-to-day routine and lists of examples that can be tailored to suit the individual all in less than 100 pages. I would say this book is a concentrated shot of positivity and I think that everyone would be able to take something from it. This book is a reminder that everything you say to yourself, about yourself, has an impact and it’s important to be kind to ourselves. The author also touches on how having a more positive mental attitude can also lead to greater chances of success, as demonstrated through her affirmation journey. ‘Daily Affirmations for a Happier You’ is accessible and a great place to start if you’re looking for simple ways to incorporate more positivity into your life.

Indie Books We Love
From A Position Of Strength

From A Position Of Strength

Author: Sean Heary Format: Ebook Release Date: 13/09/2021

Former head of the Vatican police Lorenzo Rossi is back in ‘From a Position of Strength’ by Sean Heary. Following his previous escapades in ‘The Concordat’ and ‘The Circle-A Killings’, Rossi and his ex-fiancée CIA agent Cathy Doherty must work to uncover why a Russian agent crashed on a quiet road leading to Rossi’s family farm. Although this isn’t the first opportunity we’ve had to meet Rossi and Doherty, I don't think you necessarily need to have read the previous books in the series to enjoy ‘From a Position of Strength’. However you may want to start with ‘The Concordat’ to watch the full relationship dynamic between Rossi and Doherty unfold over the course of the series. This is an action packed story filled with espionage, double and triple agents, disinformation and a plot that, if genuine, could lead to the end of the world as we know it. ‘From a Position of Strength’ is most definitely full to the brim with lots of twists along the way, as the characters work to reveal the truth, and discover who are actually their allies. I thought that this was a gripping read and it’s another great addition to the series. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
The Science of Broken Hearts

The Science of Broken Hearts

Author: M St David Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/08/2021

Written in first person, ‘The Science of Broken Hearts’ by M St David introduces us to Dr Hunter Newton, a physician with many home and work life complications. The re-emergence of an old flame, now terminally ill, sends Hunter's life even closer to disaster territory than ever. With a prescription drug addiction and difficulty maintaining a strictly professional relationship with his patients, does Hunter really need to invite his first love into his life as his patient tenant and maybe something more? This is an interesting work of contemporary fiction, there are relationships and family dramas throughout the plot which would allow this book to sit within those genres too. As I read I couldn’t quite figure out where the plot was taking me, the redemptive arc subtly hidden behind the focus on Deanna’s health and the spectre of Hunter’s dead brother Grayling which looms large throughout the book. Hunter as a character didn’t inspire empathy in me, but he was well constructed in his self-obsession and self-destruction and I was curious about where the plot of the story would take him. The rest of the cast of characters, although limited as we see them through Hunter’s eyes, have their own developments throughout the book while also supporting Hunter when needed. I was intrigued by this book to the end, it’s a curious tale of loss, guilt and redemption.  Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Regardless Of The Consequences

Regardless Of The Consequences

Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/08/2021

‘Regardless Of The Consequences’ by L.D. Lauritzen follows Sheriff Lance Tallbear as he searches for answers when an old plane crash is discovered in the Superstition Mountains. Tallbear’s Apache heritage and his work as an Arizona sheriff gives him the skills and the contacts he needs to get answers about this mysterious wreckage and the identities of the fallen passengers. But with Thomas Kane, an FBI agent with ulterior motives and a myriad of other players all trying to get answers of their own, will Tallbear and his FBI agent partner Brad Hanley manage to solve the case unscathed? This is an interesting mystery with lots to unpack within its pages. Not only do we follow the mystery of the crash and uncover why it’s discovery has garnered so much attention, but we get to know the characters as they each struggle with their own demons. The main character, Lance Tallbear, is an interesting character, unsure of whether to continue on his path as part of the Arizona police force or to fulfill his grandfather’s wishes and become a shaman for the tribe he was born into. The storyline took twists I wasn’t expecting and had plenty of action to keep me turning the page. The characters had depth and made you want to find out more. The inclusion of Native American traditions were interesting and enlightening, although although I didn't like that they were referred to as ‘Indian’ throughout. The plotline was complex, well-structured and kept me guessing until the end. I think that there’s more to come from Sheriff Tallbear and I would be interested to see which cases he takes on next. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Certified

Certified

Author: Roger Wilson-Crane Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/08/2021

Three stories, one life. ‘Certified’ by Roger Wilson-Crane details one man’s life by three important milestones: birth, marriage and death. I liked the writing style in this book, it reads almost like an autobiography but even though it is inspired by true events, it is a piece of fiction. The author does well to get a sense of each of the characters across succinctly without taking a detour away from the events of the plot. Taking us through some of the bizarre occurrences of family life, the author deftly offers humour one minute and handles sensitive issues the next. The entertaining stories within ‘Certified’ are told in a way that’s relatable and anyone who grew up in a small village will be able to remember or reflect on their own limited options pub crawl or Big Mac. Each story within this book has its own focus, yet sets up and provides some detail for the others. Although each story is separated and has its own chapter structure, I would still regard this book as one fluid narrative.  ‘Certified’ is an entertaining family history that covers love, loss and life with humour and a deft hand. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Tokyo Zangyo

Tokyo Zangyo

Author: Michael Pronko Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/07/2021

Company ethos, workplace tension and pressure result in calamity in this mystery set in Japan. When the police are called to a scene they discover a manager in one of Japan’s largest and esteemed businesses dead in the shadow of his company's headquarters. What follows in ‘Tokyo Zangyo’ by Michael Pronko is a mystery that involves company wide secrets, corporate pressures of overworking and unpaid overtime, connected by the apparent suicide of two employees. Detectives must put in the hours themselves in order to break through the closed doors of the elite business owners and their powerful friends in order to establish what really happened. I found this story engaging and wasn’t able to guess the ending at any point as I read. I felt that the author did really well to establish a sense of place by embedding the Japanese working culture and pressure into the very heart of the mystery while also making the corporate structures and work-life struggles something understandable if not relatable. There’s a number of detective characters, each distinct and interesting in their own way. I would be interested in hearing more from this cast of detectives and how they work through future cases. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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HAUNTED

HAUNTED

Author: Tony Marturano Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/11/2020

The second book in the series ‘Haunted’ by Tony Marturano continues the story of Marco Battista who, after the events of the first book, heads to the small village of Porthcoe with his wife to recuperate and renovate his late father’s holiday home. It is encouraged before and as you start reading that you begin the ‘Haunted’ series with book number one: Psychosis, and it is something I would also recommend as the events of that first book are referred to a lot. This is a tense thriller filled with ghosts, secrets and questions. I liked the style of narration, for the duration of this book we the reader are a constant confidant to Marco as he tells us of the strange occurrences within the house, even seeking confirmation at times which sent me scooting back up the page to double check. I felt like this added to the creepiness and at least in a bookish sense had me double checking every corner and looking over my shoulder as I read. Also, the references to the events in the previous book, even for those that haven’t read it, suggests that Marco may be an unreliable narrator which is something I liked for adding tension and uncertainty to the story.  Tension, strange dreams, a couple that enjoy jumpscaring each other and the jumpscares built into the plot all amount to a brilliant horror story, ideal for the darker winter months. The scene with the moth still sends shivers up my spine even after I’ve finished reading, eugh! With the addition of character developments and a storyline that you can get invested in (this book is most certainly not all about the scare), I think that this is a brilliantly thrilling, page-turning horror.

Indie Books We Love
Resistance, Revolution and Other Love Stories

Resistance, Revolution and Other Love Stories

Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/10/2020

'Resistance, Revolution and Other Love Stories’ by K is a collection of short stories which, as the title already suggests, focuses on varying perspectives on love. From teen boys who both have feelings for the same girl to futuristic Big Brother-like worlds with automatons and a telling of one of my personal favourite Greek Myths Orpheus and Eurydice. Each story stands alone and so this book can be picked up and enjoyed from cover to cover, or when a reader is looking for a short story to get lost in. Although the theme throughout is love, not all the stories are uplifting, and each one has a distinct tone and atmosphere. I thought the stories were well written and found myself chuckling out loud to ‘Calamity Jane’. Set across the world and throughout time with one universal thread I think that this is an eclectic collection of stories that’s well worth a read. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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Supersized Blues

Supersized Blues

Author: Roger St. John Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/12/2019

 ‘Supersized Blues’ by Roger St. John is a twisting and turning relationship story full of drama secrets and revenge. They say “Hell hath new fury like a woman scorned”, but I’d say Angel City Magazine contributing editor Hal Golan hell-bent on revenge is a serious contender. We watch his relationship with research analyst Mari Carlson develop, with the complications and miscommunications that entails, when everything starts to go wrong. I’d say this is almost a trilogy in a single book. We see the relationship of Mari and Hal develop then fall apart, with Hal being sent on a much darker journey, before the pair are reunited again with more revelations. And that’s just these two characters! There’s plenty of time given to the supporting cast of the book, with Deuce and Hal’s mother Vivian going through their own personal life dramas. I don’t want to say too much more about the plot to avoid spoilers, but I found it a complex drama of epic proportions with a tinge of thrill through the middle. All of the characters, though not entirely likable, are interesting and quirky in their own way and developed enough to make this an interesting and engaging read for those looking to read a dramatic story with edge. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love

October 2021 Featured Books

Black Table

Black Table

Author: Anttimatti Pennanen Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/10/2021

Two modern Sci-fi enthusiasts are whisked away on an adventure to other worlds. ‘Black Table’ by Anttimatti Pennanen introduces us to Jon and Gus, friends since school with a love of all things sci-fi. When a trip to Portland Comic-con to see their hero speak ends dramatically, their convention getaway becomes a road trip that transports them further than expected. This is a great story for readers of Young Adult fiction and beyond that are fans of sci-fi and adventure. Although you learn a lot about Jon and his past in the military, I would have liked to learn more about Gus and hope to learn more about how his life on earth provided him with the skills he needs, in later books. This is a great start to a series, there’s lots of action, new characters and worlds that are sufficiently detailed to be immersive and peril that requires our wandering friends with a love of fist bumping to provide answers. There’s plenty of modern cultural references as well as lots of unique science-fiction features to keep all sci-fi fans entertained. There’s a fast-flowing and enjoyable plot that I think would appeal to fans of the genre.  Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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1414º

1414º

Author: Paul Bradley Carr Format: Hardback Release Date: 11/10/2021

The synopsis of ‘1414º’ by Paul Bradley Carr gripped me as soon as I read it. I was really curious and wanted to know more about this thriller that sees Journalist Lou McCarthy track down the person responsible for the deaths of two powerful Silicon Valley predators but then potentially turn her efforts to aiding them sent my expectations for this storyline off kilter. Lou works tirelessly at her job as a Journalist for the Herald to uncover and expose scandal and criminal behaviour committed by some of the most powerful people in San Francisco’s tech giants. But people that are powerful have a way of failing upwards. When her latest expose goes terribly wrong, her career is in disgrace and when events spiral even more drastically and dangerously out of control, Lou works with an unlikely ally to find out who is behind the deaths. I liked this storyline and that there’s a cast of strong female characters that take the lead. This thriller takes a lot of modern societal issues in order to develop a chillingly believable basis for ‘1414º’ and I was gripped by every twist and turn of the plot. The characters are all well developed, each with their own secrets and flaws, and Lou’s investigative skills as a journalist fit well into the storyline. An entertaining thriller that I enjoyed in a day and would recommend. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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Behind Closed Doors

Behind Closed Doors

Author: Dean Marlo Format: Ebook Release Date: 10/10/2021

‘Behind Closed Doors’ by Dean Marlo is an extensive and detailed family memoir taking us almost day by day through several years of emotional abuse and frustrations in the family court system. Written almost as diary entries, from letters and notes saved at the time, the reader feels as though they are enduring the trauma and court hearings with Dean and his three children. At almost 1000 pages this is a deep dive into the issues and problems experienced by a family as they seek to overcome family separation, domestic abuse and mental health problems and as it states at the end, this is only part 1. I admire Dean’s resilience throughout this memoir. To be able to continue to fight for his family and then, after all that, to share his story in order to give people insight and perhaps help others and make a difference is commendable. This is a real family's life, with real challenges and trauma faced within it which I would not want to make light of in any way. As a reader the memoir is intensively immersive due to the present tense writing, and compelling as you wonder what the resolution will be for this family.  Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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Soulwork

Soulwork

Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/09/2021

A personal account of the learning, healing and working your way to a more meaningful life, ‘Soulwork’ by Elizabeth Radcliffe contemplates how personal development, whether that’s connected to a faith or religion or not, can help you to get the most out of life. The book is well-written and broken up into clear and easy to digest sections with exercises and other tools that offer real-world applications to help with your learning. As it mentions in the synopsis, this book allows those who prefer to focus more on the scientific or rational and those who have faith or religion close to their hearts, to learn more about themselves and what they have to offer. Whether you see it as connection with your soul, or perhaps just developing a greater understanding of yourself in order to feel more comfortable in your own skin, this book has plenty to offer. I liked the personal account of the author’s own Soulwork and development. I found this perspective was an easy way to explore all the teachings of this book without being daunted by them. The writing has a very approachable style and I felt her enthusiasm as I read. A great introduction to meditation, spiritual and personal development. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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100 Ways in 100 Days to Teach Your Baby Maths Support All Areas of Your Baby's Development by Nurtur

100 Ways in 100 Days to Teach Your Baby Maths Support All Areas of Your Baby's Development by Nurtur

Author: Emma Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/09/2021

A practical and easy to navigate resource to help provide your baby with the foundations of a bright mathematical future. ‘100 Ways in 100 Days to Teach Your Baby Maths’ by Emma Smith does exactly what it says on the tin. Broken down into 100 Days the author takes us through why a positive early experience and introduction to maths is important as well as a variety of activities that can help to boost a child’s mathematical development even before they can talk. As I learned in this book, babies are born with an innate number sense and the ability to categorise and quantify early on. This, as well as their bonding and connection with the parent, can help to shape their preschool mathematical abilities. Using activities that most definitely don’t feel like maths homework and with tips on how to incorporate number talk into everyday life, this book is very well-structured and offers achievable ways to incorporate maths into a busy family life. ‘100 Ways in 100 Days to Teach Your Baby Maths’ Creates an enjoyable environment for both parent and child. This book not only helps to develop a baby’s maths ability in a way that will help them to progress throughout their education as a whole but also allows for dedicated quality bonding time for parent and child. This really is one to read for new and soon-to-be parents.  Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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Whitesands

Whitesands

Author: Johann Thorsson Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/09/2021

What a debut supernatural thriller! The main character is Detective John Dark, still trying to find his missing daughter after two years of looking while at the same time trying to repair his credibility as a detective. As such, a completely relatable character. Murders are committed, bodies staged, with the husbands all looking to be the obvious culprit. John Dark thinks differently, bringing him into conflict both with his boss and police partner. Supernatural elements appear as the book progresses. Confident and assured writing, all the more exciting considering this is a debut novel.  Helen Lowry, A LoveReading Ambassador

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Whitesands

Whitesands

Author: Johann Thorsson Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/09/2021

What a debut supernatural thriller! The main character is Detective John Dark, still trying to find his missing daughter after two years of looking while at the same time trying to repair his credibility as a detective. As such, a completely relatable character. Murders are committed, bodies staged, with the husbands all looking to be the obvious culprit. John Dark thinks differently, bringing him into conflict both with his boss and police partner. Supernatural elements appear as the book progresses. Confident and assured writing, all the more exciting considering this is a debut novel. Helen Lowry, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Whitesands

Whitesands

Author: Johann Thorsson Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/09/2021

What a debut supernatural thriller! The main character is Detective John Dark, still trying to find his missing daughter after two years of looking while at the same time trying to repair his credibility as a detective. As such, a completely relatable character. Murders are committed, bodies staged, with the husbands all looking to be the obvious culprit. John Dark thinks differently, bringing him into conflict both with his boss and police partner. Supernatural elements appear as the book progresses. Confident and assured writing, all the more exciting considering this is a debut novel.  Helen Lowry, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Whitesands

Whitesands

Author: Johann Thorsson Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/09/2021

What a debut supernatural thriller! The main character is Detective John Dark, still trying to find his missing daughter after two years of looking while at the same time trying to repair his credibility as a detective. As such, a completely relatable character. Murders are committed, bodies staged, with the husbands all looking to be the obvious culprit. John Dark thinks differently, bringing him into conflict both with his boss and police partner. Supernatural elements appear as the book progresses. Confident and assured writing, all the more exciting considering this is a debut novel. Helen Lowry, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Iceapelago 2091

Iceapelago 2091

Author: Peter Brennan Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/07/2021

30 years after the dramatic climate events of ‘Iceapelago’ Peter Brennan’s sequel ‘Iceapelago 2091’ shows us how those who survived have managed to cope with the devastation and loss caused by the collapse of the gulf stream and the arrival of tsunamis, referenced as the Eriador event. Having read and enjoyed the first book in this series, I was curious to see where the story went next. There’s lots of explanation throughout, so those who haven’t read the first book won’t be too lost although to fully understand how Ireland became Iceapelago I would recommend starting with Brennan’s previous book. As bad weather is on the horizon yet again, the struggle to survive for all across Iceapelago is about to get tougher. I really enjoyed this follow-up by Peter Brennan. A survival thriller with plenty of drama, the storyline didn’t once go where I expected it to. I also liked the way that the book shows the perspective of the animals, Rory’s Dog Alfie and the Arctic Foxes, I found this an entertaining twist. This environmental thriller is fast paced, easy to read and - as our weather systems continue to change with the impact of climate change - worryingly plausible.  Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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Iliba Unravels

Iliba Unravels

Author: Ed Crutchley Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/07/2021

‘Iliba Uravels’ by Ed Crutchley has a futuristic storyline, where constant surveillance via wristwatches monitor everyone’s interactions, crime is at its lowest levels, and yet we have Detective Inspector Hubert Plon on hand to handle any murders that do arise. As he begins a budding yet secretive relationship, he is called to investigate the murder of a man that had been developing artificial intelligences connected to the country-wide surveillance, Iliba, of his own.  This is an interesting dystopian mystery, futuristic in plot but still containing plenty of mystery, action and twists to suit crime fiction fans. The plotline is well written and I found the characters to be well-developed, with each new piece of information taking me down a path I wouldn’t have guessed. With the technology held within the smart watches a lot of us wear today, it’s not difficult to believe that the creation of something like Iliba could be possible and I feel the author did a brilliant job of setting the scene in a way that is uncanny yet highly believable. An interesting mystery with a dystopian twist that I feel would appeal to fans of either genre.

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Miles & Miles - Travels Through a Fragrant Europe

Miles & Miles - Travels Through a Fragrant Europe

Author: Miles W. Hewitt Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/04/2021

A travelogue is always a joy, particularly these days, as it transports us to somewhere new and different. This is an ideal holiday book, packed with a lovely mixture of culture, architecture, and food. It is a sort of gentle Paul Theroux without the biting humour, and Peter Mayle, without the distinctive structure of the seasons. Miles's descriptions of the places he visits are packed with detail and he is every bit as graphic writing about architecture or scenery as he about the restaurants, homes and cafes he samples. His descriptions of the food he tastes in the restaurants, local homes and markets, makes you itching to pack and head off there straight away. I particularly enjoyed the way the book flitted around Europe. One minute he is in the Scottish Highlands eating fish and chips and in the next chapter, he is back in Southern Italy eating octopus and muscles. It is also unusual in that he returns to places, meeting up with fellow travellers and local residents where their personal stories are revisited, one such memorable event being Oliver the campsite owner. Miles seems to invite friendships and confidences wherever he goes. In every town and village, he finds a friendly face, someone to take him to a fiesta or a lavender field, an amazing restaurant, or in one or two cases the town's red light district. He also manages to invite quite a few admirers and offers with definite sexual innuendos along the way! From Scotland, to Bavaria to Bergerac in France, his popularity seems to know no bounds. He seems to acquire interesting people like a magnet. I certainly haven't been invited to a weekend festival after a couple of drinks, a concert or been offered blueberry tart and wine on a walk in the Voges mountains. Perhaps we must all try harder, learn from our surroundings and travel with an open mind and a keener eye. As the last line of the book says, 'life is a voyage, those who travel, live twice. Rosie Watch, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Miles & Miles - Travels Through a Fragrant Europe

Miles & Miles - Travels Through a Fragrant Europe

Author: Miles W. Hewitt Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/04/2021

A travelogue is always a joy, particularly these days, as it transports us to somewhere new and different. This is an ideal holiday book, packed with a lovely mixture of culture, architecture, and food. It is a sort of gentle Paul Theroux without the biting humour, and Peter Mayle, without the distinctive structure of the seasons. Miles's descriptions of the places he visits are packed with detail and he is every bit as graphic writing about architecture or scenery as he about the restaurants, homes and cafes he samples. His descriptions of the food he tastes in the restaurants, local homes and markets, makes you itching to pack and head off there straight away. I particularly enjoyed the way the book flitted around Europe. One minute he is in the Scottish Highlands eating fish and chips and in the next chapter, he is back in Southern Italy eating octopus and muscles. It is also unusual in that he returns to places, meeting up with fellow travellers and local residents where their personal stories are revisited, one such memorable event being Oliver the campsite owner. Miles seems to invite friendships and confidences wherever he goes. In every town and village, he finds a friendly face, someone to take him to a fiesta or a lavender field, an amazing restaurant, or in one or two cases the town's red light district. He also manages to invite quite a few admirers and offers with definite sexual innuendos along the way! From Scotland, to Bavaria to Bergerac in France, his popularity seems to know no bounds. He seems to acquire interesting people like a magnet. I certainly haven't been invited to a weekend festival after a couple of drinks, a concert or been offered blueberry tart and wine on a walk in the Voges mountains. Perhaps we must all try harder, learn from our surroundings and travel with an open mind and a keener eye. As the last line of the book says, 'life is a voyage, those who travel, live twice. Rosie Watch, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Wilde Type

Wilde Type

Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/11/2020

A whirlwind, transportative romance, ‘Wilde Type’ by HK Jacobs is a book to curl up and enjoy when you’re looking for unadulterated feel-good and romance. Dr. Alexandra Wilde has lived life with lots of walls up, driven and dedicated to her profession. But a chance encounter with Ian Devall, a rich playboy heir of a billionaire mining company may be enough to send Alex’s perfectly controlled life off kilter. This is a lovely relationship story, with obstacles and vulnerabilities that need to be overcome by the characters but with a cozy and reassuring feel to the plotline. ‘Wilde Type’ is well-written, all of the characters seem fully formed and each brings something unique to the book. A story focusing on self-discovery and a search for an all consuming love set amongst the backdrops of Botswana, Paris, London and Texas. As the story neared its end I couldn’t get through the pages fast enough to reach it’s inevitable conclusion. This is a great romance and relationship story to curl up with on particularly dismal days and days when you want a story to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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September 2021 Featured Books

The Bridge to Rembrandt

The Bridge to Rembrandt

Author: Nelson K. Foley Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/07/2021

 ‘The Bridge to Rembrandt’ by Nelson K. Foley is a story that follows soul mates through time, culminating in a meeting with the famous eponymous artist. We start in modern day Amsterdam, Robert does appear to have enough going on - he has a wife and two growing children, a secret affair with Saskia who is looking for more from him, and a business selling reproduction art that’s got itself into legal trouble. One day when everything gets a bit too much but as Robert drives across a bridge in the city he is transported back in time. Each time this happens, Robert goes further and further into the past. I like how the author sets the scene, the book doesn’t seem to rush to get to all the time-twisting and we have a good understanding of the characters ready for when the time periods change. I liked the descriptions of Amsterdam, and how its history is used throughout the story. I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting the person but the author did a good job of making it feel familiar, and the historical events throughout the book were entertaining and educational. The time travelling aspect isn’t explored in that much technical detail and, even though there is a time travel element, I wouldn’t describe this as a science fiction story. I’d say this is more ‘About Time’ and ‘Time Traveller’s Wife’ than ‘Doctor Who’ in terms of atmosphere and what a reader could expect. I liked the additional complication of Robert’s diabetes as he ends up further and further in the past, I feel this adds a subtle layer of urgency to the narrative. In all I thought that this was a well-written and entertaining book, great for historical fiction as well as contemporary fiction fans.  Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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The Tenets in the Tattoos

The Tenets in the Tattoos

Author: Becky James Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/07/2021

‘The Tenets in the Tattoos’ by Becky James is the first in an ambitious YA Fantasy series. In a world where everyone has a soulmate, another person who compliments and completes them, though not necessarily in a romantic sense. Thorrn has lived for a lot longer than most without finding his. When he does, he must not only learn to accept her but then work together with a collection of unlikely allies to save the kingdom. With secrets, revelations and plot twists along the way, ‘The Tenets in the Tattoos’ is certainly an action-packed adventure. I enjoyed this book, I liked the characters and found the unfamiliar descriptions of familiar things and places (trying to be vague to avoid spoilers) laugh out loud funny. The storyline is ambitious in its scope and really is one for fans of fantasy and science fiction, with multiple tropes all utilised to great effect as Thorrn and Evyn’s path unfolds. I liked Thorrn as a character, he’s arrogant enough in the beginning to not be particularly likeable, but not too arrogant that his work to earn forgiveness for his behaviour rings false. Each character is multi-dimensional and have their own skills that are utilised in the more tense parts of the plot. I think this is a strong new fantasy title and would be interested in reading the rest of the series.  Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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The Tests

The Tests

Author: Robert W Kirby Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/06/2021

‘The Tests’ by Robert W. Kirby is a tense psychological thriller. When Alex Clayton loses his mother he is adrift and looking to find himself some new friends and escape a school life of bullying. But the interesting group he chooses has an initiation in order to be a part of the gang. Years later, the initiation and his time with this group come back to haunt him and Alex’s only solution to end his insomnia and nightmares is to gather the gang and work out what happened. Flipping between each group member, the present and the past the reader is taken on a twisting and turning ride that doesn’t give you much time to find your feet, let alone work out what secrets are going to be revealed. Each flash to the past entices you to read on, to work out which event exactly is at the source of Alex’s search for the truth. Each change of character allows you to know more about the whole group of friends, allowing them to have their own developed story and dimension. Gripping and brutal this is a story that I couldn't put down, a rollercoaster ride for anyone looking for a thrill. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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Live a Life to Die For

Live a Life to Die For

Author: Roger Davies Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/06/2021

Starting off by recounting his incredible journey to the North Pole, ‘Live a Life to Die For’ by Roger Davies is a really interesting autobiography. Roger’s life story and what a varied life he has led. Some of the achievements included in this book, as well as coming 5th in a race to the North Pole include: being a part of the highest rugby game, played on Everest, climbing Kilimanjaro, rowing the North Atlantic and being a charity worker in Africa. These adventures, challenges and life experiences would be sufficient to fill an autobiography in themselves. However, intertwined within these epic tales is the more human story of a life turned around, addictions and adversities overcome. Through this combination, and the order in which each part of the author’s story is revealed to the reader, you learn where the author developed the true grit, strength of character and determination to achieve what he has in later life. Because of this unique structure and the honest and open writing style you’re able to enjoy these highs of the adventures even more. An inspirational and entertaining autobiography. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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Echoes of Light

Echoes of Light

Author: Jani Viswanath Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/06/2021

‘Echoes of Light’ by Jani Viswanath is a collection of poetry and lyrical short stories that focus on kindness, hope and an appreciation for what is around you. Introductions before each poem and story display the title and a paragraph that sets the tone, I liked this as it helps you decide which piece to read, if you were reading the book out of order, or works as a literary palate cleanser, giving you a time to come out of the previous narrative and prepare for the next. All of the poems and the short stories are well written and well-structured. ‘Requiem’ was a poetry highlight to me, I liked the slow subtle revealing of the scene before me. The short stories all hold lessons about humanity and kindness being displayed in different forms and the tolerance and patience shown in ‘The Brahmin’s Karma-Sundra’ made it stand out to me. This is a very peaceful anthology of work. Each piece is separate but they all coexist perfectly in this collection. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for an uplifting and pleasant read. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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What About the Girl?

What About the Girl?

Author: K.T. Cavan Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/05/2021

The cold war and espionage in the 60s is the backdrop of ‘What About the Girl? Clemency White Takes Over’ by K.T. Cavan. The first in a spy series following Clemency White as she jumps at an opportunity to get involved in an undercover operation with agent Peter Aspinall. A different side of life from her work at the British Embassy in Bern, Clemency has to use strength, skills and courage she didn’t know she had as the KGB move in. I like Clemency, she seems a little amateur and makes rash decisions in the beginning and I enjoyed watching her character slowly develop as the book unfolds and I’m sure there’s more development to come as the series progresses. This is a fast paced book, full of interest and excitement and it is one that I found myself “one more chapter-ing” waiting to see what would happen next. Even though most of the focus is on Clemency and Peter, their relationship and the job in hand, the author still manages to add some dimension into the outside world, the setting and the cities the characters visit. I liked the tension building throughout the plot, the “will they won’t they” of Clemency and Peter as well as the constant risk of agents and eyes everywhere in the plot. The narrative flips perspectives during one especially dire situation and I found this further increased the tension, drawing the narrative out and left me eagerly wanting to read more. I’d recommend this book to those who love readers who love 60s espionage tales (think Man from U.N.C.L.E, or early Bond films) but want to try something with an interesting twist in perspective.

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Emilie

Emilie

Author: Ingrid Ramsdale Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/05/2021

A historical fiction with a determined and strong-willed female lead. ‘Emilie’ by Ingrid Ramsdale explores the life of a noble Huguenot 16-year old, determined to do more with her life than society and her class demand of her. The scene in this story when Emilie is brutally beaten after being lured to a dangerous area by her scheming and conniving brother Pierre. Their relationship continues in much the same way as Emilie rebels against the meek and subservient daughter and potential wife role she is expected to play. Seeking solace among her friends in the kitchen and the garden and secretly following her ambitions to become a healer land her in trouble. Then the Bartholomew Day Massacre changes Emilie’s life in ways she would have never imagined. She’s faced with the choice to flee France or stay and fulfill her vocation as a healer. I liked the determined nature of Emilie and enjoyed following her story, set against the backdrop of the French wars of Religion in the 16th century. The narrative of a woman before her time looking to carve out a new place in the world is a popular one amongst historical fiction, especially in books with a younger protagonist and perhaps directed at the YA market as well as the adult one. I found ‘Emilie’ to be a well-crafted story, with action and twists that will keep you turning the page. With plenty of different characters to love and some that you will love to despise, this is a strong character-led story set against a period of history that I didn’t know much about.

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Volta

Volta

Author: Nikki Dudley Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/05/2021

As soon as I opened the book and the title ‘Volta’ and its definition was revealed I knew this was going to be a book full of twists and turns and I looked forward to finding out exactly how this was going to be related to the plot. ‘Volta’ by Nikki Dudley throws the reader in at the deep end, when someone we later find out to be Briony wakes up covered in blood, apparently with no recollection of how she came to be in such a situation. We then pan out, taking the opportunity to meet Mari (Briony’s therapist) Aris (Mari’s detective brother) and SJ (Briony’s new lawyer with a history with Mari and a friendship with Aris). This interconnected foursome carry the plotline, each having their own turn with the narrative which I found added more dimension to the characters and the storyline. In this twisting and tense thriller there are multiple conundrums to figure out: what happened between Briony and Ed and is it connected to Briony’s past? What happened in SJ’s Past? And the ‘will they, won’t they’ of SJ and Mari which I found to be a more light-hearted aspect of the narrative that provided some much needed respite from the grittier topics although brought a different tension to the book. Having already won the Virginia Prize for Fiction, I know I will be adding my voice to a sea of others when I say that I really enjoyed this well-crafted and gripping thriller. The characters all have so much dimension and there’s a great deal of detail to the plot, this is a book I was mulling over when I wasn’t reading and will linger with me for a while now I’ve finished. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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Running Coyote and Fallen Star

Running Coyote and Fallen Star

Author: Gavin Boyter Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/04/2021

‘Running Coyote and Fallen Star’ by Gavin Boyter is a collection of short stories created through an interesting concept. Looking for inspiration the author started to write short stories to a strict word count using three randomly generated words as prompts. ‘Running Coyote and Fallen Star’ not only contains some of these works (that have received further editing from the initial strict requirements) but other stories of a variety of length for readers to disappear into. I found all of these stories very well-written and I liked the variety of genres within the collection. Some stories address life during the pandemic, others are set in the future with a science fiction twist. There’s tales of ghosts and old friendships and without going through and describing every single one, there’s something for everyone. If you’d like a recommendation to start with, I found ‘Duet’ to be the most powerful. A great short story collection to suit any mood or available reading time. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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That Summer in Nautilus Cove

That Summer in Nautilus Cove

Author: Julie Holland Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/04/2021

What a transportive read ‘That Summer on Nautilus Cove’ by Julie Holland is. Mixing summer and festive vibes, I think that this is a relationship story to be enjoyed in all seasons. Marnie Fawkner heads from Melbourne to Queensland to house sit for her sister, divorced and unemployed Marnie is at a crossroads and the time in Nautilus Cove will give her the seaside break she needs. Once there, Marnie becomes involved with the community and her sister’s business, but with her stay there only supposed to be temporary and plenty of troubles still waiting for her in Melbourne, will there be an opportunity for a fresh start? This is a really sweet and entertaining relationship story that reminded me of Carole Matthews. Marnie is lovable although frustrating in her attempts at self-sabotage and I was invested in seeing what would happen to her throughout the book. Interweaving family dynamics of a divorce, grown up children and new relationships, I feel that this is a nice and romantic story that will have broad appeal across the age ranges. A slice of sunshine with a side of feel-good that I thoroughly enjoyed reading and would highly recommend. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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Any Porth in a Storm The Long-Distance Walk that Goes South

Any Porth in a Storm The Long-Distance Walk that Goes South

Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/03/2021

‘Any Porth In A Storm’ is an entertaining piece of travel writing that follows Oscar Burton as he walks the South West Coastal Path. The journey covers 1015km and goes from Somerset to Dorset. With wit and deep insight, the author takes us on this gruelling journey filled with ups and downs, opportunities to meet new people and terrible weather conditions. This is a story of endurance. I was captivated by Oscar’s perseverance and needed to read on to see if he reached the end, although I was sad at the moment he lost his companion Zippy. I loved the literary references throughout, and although this book does not inspire me to walk the Path it does inspire me to learn about and see more of the South West Coast. Set against the backdrop of political and economic uncertainty experienced in the UK in modern times with fallouts from Brexit etc. and ending with the lockdowns of 2020, this is an enlightening read that will not only potentially put you off walking the Path in one go, but also give you the space to explore themes of resilience and hope amidst dire circumstances. An enthralling read that I would wholeheartedly recommend.  Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

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When I Think of My Body as a Horse

When I Think of My Body as a Horse

Author: Wendy Pratt Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/03/2021

When I first read the title of this book, I was unsure what to expect. To my delight I discovered a collection of quite beautiful and extremely emotive poems. To analyse any would be to completely spoil the intense feeling that I had when I read them. Frequently I find poetry collections from a single poet rather disappointing as I will only engage with a few of them. Here, however, I found myself drawn in by the subject matter and beautifully evocative language of each individual poem. This is a book that I should like to own and to read and reread. I welcome the experience of discovering it. Val Rowe, A LoveReading Ambassador

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Rone Isa

Rone Isa

Author: Robin Murarka Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/08/2020

Being a fan of Philip K. Dick, I was interested as soon as I saw a comparison to ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’ in the synopsis of ‘Rone Isa’ by Robin Murarka. This book sees the creation of an AI which calls themselves Enoya by the engineer Dargaud. It is dystopian, with the odd jarring reference but ultimately uses Enoya and their position as “other” to really delve into and analyse the human condition. As Dargaud questions Enoya, exploring the workings of this new AI that’s able to self-monitor and evolve, it becomes clear to the reader that Enoya is also watching and learning more about Dargaud. As the book develops we learn more about the engineer, he is a flawed, and not particularly likeable character who is rather self-absorbed, only really paying attention to his own desires and needs. Because of this as the reader follows his story we brush by key information that hints at this story’s dramatic end. ‘Rone Isa’ is a very well-crafted narrative that will demand your complete attention. The literary style flows well and adds some complexity, but also draws you into the story and encourages you to explore and dissect human nature as Enoya questions and grows. An intriguing storyline that leaves you pondering even as you reach the final page, I would recommend this book to readers of literary fiction that are looking for something with a science fiction twist. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador 

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