Indie Books We Love

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

Public Opinion

Public Opinion

Author: Nathan Pettijohn Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/07/2022

A morally graphite fixer working under the identity of Melvin, Herb works to make Hollywood’s rich and famous problems go away using his own blend of hacking, extortion and character assassination. In ‘Public Opinion’ by Nathan Pettijohn, we see Melvin drawn further and further into the controversies surrounding a remake of Maquis de Sade’s ‘Justine’. And there’s no scandal too big or too small for Melvin to work on, for the right price. Melvin’s character is very open throughout, about what he’s doing and how he’s doing it, it reminded me of the arrogant hedonism I recall from Jordan Belfort as portrayed in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ - even the moments when Melvin is on the back foot are almost glossed over in arrogance, with him always looking for a spin on the situation. Despite the cast of characters being mainly unlikeable, I was still compelled to turn the page, curious to see what on earth could happen next, and whether Melvin would be able to weasel himself and others out of it. Will his work finally come back to bite him in the end? ‘Public Opinion’ is a thriller set in the darker side of LA and the film industry. Touching on plenty of topical issues, just not from the perspective that you’d expect. This book is cleverly written though I would say not for those easily morally outraged. The plot will leave you thinking both about the ability of those with power and influence to slide out of consequence, and how easily influenced the media, and we who consume it, can be.  Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Disarrhoea

Disarrhoea

Author: Kevin Vodden Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/06/2022

'Disarrhoea' is a compelling set of unique short stories, ranging from sci-fi, to horror, to downright weird – all done in the best possible way of course! The stories are all vastly different from one another and yet keep the reader hooked on what bizarre goings on will befall the next set of characters… and no two stories are alike. The writing style used is very clever and enhances the chilling effect of each tale too, in particular that of 'Fearground'. This story is told purely through the "funfair masters" conversations with the participants, and although there is no detailed description of the scenery, Kevin Vodden does a fantastic job of giving enough description through a one-sided conversation to understand and picture all the spooky events taking place. Quite frankly I have never read a piece so uniquely written and so well executed, it is a sheer stroke of genius! The most striking stories for myself are of course 'Fearground' and 'Terror Pericolosa' as these stories were expressed so well and had strong tension throughout for the reader. 'Terror Pericolosa' was skilfully thought out and produced the perfect blend of sci-fi and emotion, whilst following the nerve-racking story of a research colonist team on a hostile planet. All of these stories are so original and keep you wondering and guessing what happened next, giving the reader a perfect cliff hanger and wanting more!! In conclusion these short stories are simply brilliant, and I would recommend them to any lover of horror, sci-fi or all things a bit weird! I genuinely can not pick fault with any of the tales as I think they are all so encaptivating and told superbly. Kevin Vodden has done a masterful job of encompassing the strange and wonderful.  Hermione White, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Rode

Rode

Author: J. Adams Format: Ebook Release Date: 01/06/2022

‘Rode’ by J. Adams is a heartfelt and emotional story of how one man’s life got very off track, and the depths he would need to come back from. I really liked the description of this book as a ‘second coming of age novel’ because it does have that kind of feel. A restless young Jack needs to escape his life in New Mexico, so heads down to San Francisco. The reader gets the impression early on that Jack is quite rudderless, constantly searching for something else that’s missing in his life, with references to an open relationship with his girlfriend Skelly. After he arrives in California, Jack experiences a sexual awakening and avoids work in his former role as a firefighter for jobs in the club scene. Along the way he meets others who are battling their own demons, however the focus throughout the book is on Jack’s path. I found ‘Rode’ to be an emotional story about love loss and finding meaning in life. We watch as Jack struggles against his internalised homophobia against the backdrop of a HIV and AIDS crisis which was still at its peak, and slowly figures out who he wants to be. This well-written story is poignant but also a rollercoaster ride, with moments of calm and peace, highs and lows. It’s a book I would recommend. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
The Key

The Key

Author: Theia Joy Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/05/2022

The world shouldn’t just be black and white, this book helps you find the perfect balance of greys. ‘The Key’ by Theia Joy is a self development book that works on helping you unlock your higher self by finding a balance. Taking ideas from physics, astrology, and spirituality, the author helps you to find a balance in life, between ‘yin’ and ‘yang’, the separateness and the oneness in order to unlock your highest self, and highest path in life. The author deals with a lot of abstract concepts, some of which appear to be conflicting. However, she manages to put these concepts and ideas into laymans terms and analogies that most should be able to understand. Throughout the book the author explains that there is a fine balance to be found between the scientific, tangible and physical outlook and the spiritual, emotional outlook that leads towards practices such as astrology and meditation. The analogy paper analogy really helped me to understand this concept as she was explaining the differences between quantum physics and general relativity. This is a book that is to the point, as it says early on there is no “filler and fluff” but that’s not to say that the time hasn’t been taken to fully explain ideas throughout. This is an open, welcoming book that doesn’t decry any ways of being, but seeks to encourage you to expand your horizons and take on different perspectives with an open mind to the betterment of your life overall. There’s lists of affirmations and exercises throughout, as well as diagrams and tables to help you work your way through each section, as well as a frequently asked question and answer section at the back. This is a book that I can see myself going back to when I have an opportunity, and working through each section taking notes.  Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Emotional Magnetism: How to Communicate to Ignite Connection in Your Relationships

Emotional Magnetism: How to Communicate to Ignite Connection in Your Relationships

Author: Sandy Gerber Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/05/2022

I absolutely loved this book by Sandy Gerber. I've read a few books about effective communication, and attended a few courses through the workplace, as this is something I am really interested in - the different ways we communicate, and how we can understand this to improve our relationships in all areas of our lives. It isn't just about the workplace! Sandy Gerber has a clear voice, and was able to articulate the different ways we communicate in simple, easy to understand language, with relatable examples to help our understanding. I found doing the quiz at the back really fun, and helped me to learn even more about my communication style and blocks. I honestly think everyone would benefit from reading this book, and have already recommended it to a few of my friends. Lucy Caruana, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Play For Time

Play For Time

Author: Jan Turk Petrie Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/05/2022

Tom and Beth’s time-slip romance faces more obstacles in this fast-paced sequel. Following on from the events in ‘Running Behind Time’ which saw 2020 Tom meet and fall in love with 1980s Beth, ‘Play For Time’ by Jan Turk Petrie takes the couple's lives into upheaval and uncertainty once more as the couple try to raise their very special child. With a helpful reminder of the story up to this point we are delivered straight into the middle of Beth and Tom’s lives once more as they try to raise their especially clever young son in obscurity, away from the curiosity of their neighbours and the every scrutinising gaze of the Guardians. On top of the time-slip themes we see a young family experiencing relatable challenges, from worrying about their child’s wellbeing and adjusting to life as new parents to trying to maintain their relationship with establishing their own home and working. With familiar names and faces returning to the plotline and as many questions raised as there are answers found, this is an interesting, detailed and well-written addition to the series. It would be interesting to see how life continues to pan out for the Brookes family.  Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
When Her Hand Moves

When Her Hand Moves

Author: Omar Imady Format: Ebook Release Date: 26/04/2022

‘When Her Hand Moves’ by Omal Imady is a collection of three novellas, or ‘Movements’, as they are named in the book. We read the story of a Nurse, left a house by a deceased relative and haunted by vivid dreams of witch hunts and what happened to a neighbour who had disappeared without a trace. We then meet Jude, a man who has his own visions and finds himself caught up in a complex university investigation and between three enigmatic women. Finally, we follow Fatima and Idris as they hunt for a lost manuscript, to discover its meaning and the far-reaching implications. My favourite movement was The Rage of Fatima, I liked the eager search for the ancient relic and I found Fatima an entertaining character. Each of the three movements were well-written, the main characters each had a distinct voice and experience and each story was very well contained. The description of each novella as a movement, much like the musical form, suggests each of these narratives are self-contained and could be read as a standalone but are threaded together by similar themes. I found that there was an equal emphasis on sensuality and spirituality in all three of these stories which I think worked well, making the storylines more vivid, immersive and rounded. An entertaining literary historical fiction that can be enjoyed as a whole or in stages.  Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Toast Short Speeches, Big Impact

Toast Short Speeches, Big Impact

Author: Eddie Rice Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/04/2022

Whether you like it or not, there will be a time where you will be needed to give a toast or a speech. It could be at a retirement party, a birthday party or a wedding. ‘Toast Short Speeches, Big Impact’ by Eddie Rice holds your hand through the whole process in order to make writing and rehearsing your speech as painless as possible. Using his experience in helping his clients prepare speeches, Rice uses questions, prompts and example toasts to introduce different ways of structuring a speech, explaining why they are effective while always giving space for the prospective speech writer to apply the concepts to their own purposes. Whether it’s the first time you’ve had to make a toast or the hundreth, this book is filled with tips to help you make a concise and enjoyable toast that gets points across. I liked that this book really breaks down the process of making a toast to the most basic parts, from each part of planning and writing your speech to more focused advice for a variety of different occasions. I feel that this book goes the extra mile by including a range of examples of speeches towards the end, with time taken to look at why each one works plus a breakdown of structure and further prompts that can be applied to a variety of subjects. This is a really helpful guide that will help you go prepare for your next public speaking moment with confidence.  Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Diary of a Heretic

Diary of a Heretic

Author: Ross Stein Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/04/2022

Luxury and debauchery leads to a frantic quest to save a soul in this historical fantasy. The opening to ‘Diary of a Heretic’ by Ross Stein immediately made me inquisitive. The strange and stealth-like actions of the characters and the impression of urgency, the appearance of a figure in a mirror raises questions as we are sent back in time to discover how Al Valentine ended up standing in front of that mirror in Damascus. When Etienne appears in a stupor at the door of Al Valentine’s shop the cogs are set in motion for Al to discover a diary detailing Etienne’s past and setting him on the path to help Etienne reclaim his soul from a demon. The plot, explained simply like that may sound far-fetched, but there’s plenty of nuance and body throughout the narrative so that the fantasy elements blend in seamlessly. As a reader I saw the tortured shell Etienne has become while hearing about the exploits, loves and losses to get him there. I grew to admire the courage of the character that, despite his struggles, faced the challenge to take back the soul he sold. As pieces of the puzzle and the path to achieving such a feat are unravelled, I marvelled at the events of that first chance encounter which brought Etienne to Al, the best placed person to help him. Perhaps it was divine intervention? ‘Diary of a Heretic’ is a richly detailed story. I felt as though I walked the streets of Paris with them, and gazed upon the same pieces of art. This is a story of love and redemption and I think it would appeal to other historical fantasy fans. 

Indie Books We Love
Infernal Relations

Infernal Relations

Author: P.S. Rover Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/04/2022

‘Infernal Relations’ is a traditional comedy, based around the Lockwood Institute which is a finishing school with a cast of vibrant characters. It took me a moment to get to grips with the writing style, but as I read I uncovered the humour as the characters confused their Shakespearean plays and eponymous lead characters, (on and off stage).  As with the tale of Shakespeare’s Danish prince, I found Infernal Relations to be a play-within-a-play of sorts. While the Lockwood Institute’s performance forms the background tapestry of the narrative, the characters and action throughout form their own play, equally dramatic, and filled with miscommunication, confusion and calamity, reminding me of The Play That Goes Wrong in parts. I enjoyed reading this story and I also think that this would make a great piece of drama too.  I found Monty’s eccentricities and propensity to amateur apothecary amusing, and the unwitting subject of most of the events throughout the story, Spencer, an endearing character. I’m unsure of when this book is set, but I would liken it in setting and tone to something like ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’. Although this is a short book, I found it to be quite dense and I would recommend that this is a book to ponder and work through slowly to ensure you don't miss any nuance or detail that could derail your understanding or lead you to miss out on the humour of the story. Amusing and light in tone throughout, I think that ‘Infernal Relations’ is an intricate and well written book that is filled with the atmosphere of the theatre, and a great story for those missing going to plays at the moment. I enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to other literary fiction fans.  Charlotte Walker, A LoveRedaing Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
A Man of Understanding

A Man of Understanding

Author: Diana Janney Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/04/2022

Loss and grief across the generations is the focus of ‘A Man of Understanding’ by Diana Janney. When Rufus (renamed Blue) loses his parents he travels to Mallorca to stay with a grandparent he’s never met before, his Granga Horatio. A challenging new relationship begins and the pair slowly bond, learn about each other and figure out how to communicate through their love of poetry, art and culture.  This is a well-written and flowing story and the poetry included is elegant - simple yet beautiful. The narrative drew me in and as I read I was urging both Blue and Horatio to just talk to one another and be honest, settling back slightly when the breakthrough moments happened and they gradually overcame their communication struggles. Blue’s friend John Thompson brings an interesting new dynamic. I think I liked his character the most as I found his clear minded straight-forwardness was sometimes a refreshing palate cleanser in between Blue and Horatio’s more vague and metaphorical style. This is a story of bereavement and a story of healing. ‘A Man of Understanding’ follows a road with several bumps, twists and turns but is ultimately a heart-warming tale. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
True Crime Stories You Won't Believe

True Crime Stories You Won't Believe

Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/04/2022

A collection that will grip fans of true crime. Forensic psychologist Romeo Vitelli has put together the first in a series of collections of true crime stories. Focusing on crimes from around the world that are shocking, sensational ‘True Crime Stories You Won't Believe’ delivers exactly what it says on the tin. In just over 100 pages this collection includes the overview of 32 different cases, from a 14-year-old who faced the electric chair to the mafia boss that fooled psychologists, successfully pleading insanity for 30 years. This is a great collection for any true crime fan. Focusing on cases that may have faded into obscurity or had the facts more generally misremembered, the author manages to give an insightful overview for each case with plenty of options for further reading for those keen to learn more. I like how the author also manages to reflect on the impact on some of these cases, from the serious commentary of the impact of lynch mentality in1940s America to the blockbusters and bestsellers inspired , and sometimes written, by these cases and the people involved. With a clean structure and a well-informed and enlightening writing style, ‘True Crime Stories You Won't Believe’ would be an informative read for fans of true crime podcasts and blogs, with the promise of more crimes to be discussed in future series.  Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love