The stories are free online to download in epub, mobi or pdf format; you can purchase the paperback here and the stories are also being released in podcast!
Indie books are often where I look for most of my books. Not just because I write indie books myself and want to support fellow writers, but because I find so much diversity and so many hidden gems. So, without further ado, some indie books I’ve added to my list that I can’t wait to sink my teeth into:
Eat the Rich by Andrew Rivas | Jinnik: The Asset by Gideon D. Asche | Goblinprince by Abbigayle Grace | Lord of the Clouds by G.S. Lewis | Annabel Pickering and the Sky Pirates: The Fantastical Contraption by Bretigne Shaffer | Kartega by A.N. Sage
Anyone read any of these? I’d love to know what you thought!
A Small Revolution in Germany by Philip Hensher, narrated by Neville Watchurst [review cross-posted to Goodreads]
Sometimes, as humans, we decide without consultation what would be best for people.
It made for a nice listen and the narrator was quite good. Spike was interesting character and his relationship with Joaquin is explored well. The political conversations and musings are thought-provoking, and Hensher certainly knows how to write witty dialogue. I’m just not sure what my thoughts are on this one. Overall, though, the prose was good, and it made for a nice addition to lgbt+ historical fiction.
Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #304 [review cross-posted to Goodreads]
She offered me a handful of bees and told me what to do, word for word.
Listened to ‘The Honey of the World and the Queen of Crows’ by Dimitra Nikolaidou. Amazing title, just sayin’. Well written short story and the audiobook is worth a listen! Available here.
The Curse of the Black Cat by Lou Wilham [review cross-posted to Goodreads, Reedsy]
This is an inherently sweet spin on the classic fairy tale. Prince Alrik of Edan is set to marry Princess Amriah, whom he doesn’t, and can’t, love. Cos, you know, he fancies the pants off Filip, his valet. He tries to play along and give Amriah a chance, but he can’t. He feels nothing for her. Filled with fear of his secret being discovered, Alrik seeks out the witch Gwydion, for help: he wants to be ‘cured’. 😦 It’s a very sad moment, but rather than take advantage of him, Gwydion tells him there’s nothing wrong with him: I’m afraid there is no cure for such a thing, dear prince. We love who we love, and that is the end of that. No magic can change it, not even mine. Nor would I want it to. I really liked her! She’s such a kind person.
Unfortunately, Alrik doesn’t take this well and Gwydion turns him into a cat. And she can’t change him back cos magic doesn’t work like that. A cat you are now, and a cat you shall stay until you can learn to love yourself. It’s an interesting twist to say the least. In addition to being a cat, he’s now immortal. With no way back to his life as a prince, Alrik watches the world pass him by while trapped as a cat. He travels around, seeking out witches, but to no avail.
One day, centuries later, Alrik finds himself in New York, at a Japanese restaurant. He starts to fall in love with both the food and the chef, Yuuki. Very soon, Yuuki begins taking care of Alrik, and dubs the cat ‘Prince’. ADORBS.
What follows is a very sweet, fluffy *pun totally intended * romance. If you’re a fan of adorable fantasy tales, this one is totally for you (⌒▽⌒)
I read quite a few books this month and I’m trying to be better about writing up reviews! (These are cross-posted to Goodreads.) 😉
1. The Monsters We Deserve (Fantasy, Gothic) —
I AM SHOOK.
About two pages into this book, I came across a quote that I wanted to leave in my review and put a post-it on the page; about five pages later, I put another post-it. This kept happening and now my book is full of bright orange post-it notes of wonderful quotes and I want to use them all. But alas, I’d probably end up quoting the whole bloody book.
But this is definitely one of my favourites:
Yet every writer worth a good-god damn knows this too, for it is graven into each of us: no one cares for beauty. Not in fiction. Not on its own, not pure, untroubled beauty; not in fiction. It’s what we crave in the real world, of course; beauty, and you know I mean that in its broadest sense: the sense of kindness and wisdom and peace and joy: all the things in the world that are beautiful, and all the things we crave in real life, but which are not sufficient to count, on their own, for anything in the world of stories.
There are so many fantastic questions and curiosities in this book. It’s also eerie and Gothic and beautiful. It’s got ATMOSPHERE. And the author’s unending quarrel with himself over hating Frankenstein is in equal parts funny, interesting and thought-provoking.
Almost everyone has an inborn need to create; in most people this is thwarted and forgotten, and the drive is pushed into other actives that are less threatening, less difficult, and less rewarding. In some people, the need to create is transmuted into the need to destroy.
I actually had no idea what this book was going to be about and I feel like that almost made it better. I didn’t see any of the twists and was just along for the ride and totally loved it. There are so many gorgeous paragraphs and I read the whole thing in an afternoon. It full on distracted me from my Buffy rewatch, so you know it’s gotta be good.
I 100% recommend this to everyone.
2. Little Mouse’s Sweet Treat (Children’s Books) —
The drawings in this are utterly adorable and the rhymes are cute. I did notice that the font on a few pages was hard to read in places due to the colour, but that’s only a minor thing. Definitely recommend it for kids. 🙂
3. 1984 (Dystopian, Science Fiction, Classics) —
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.
1984, along with V for Vendetta, Children of Men, Brave New World and Harrison Bergeron (and many others), is amongst my favourite dystopian tales. If you haven’t read it yet, get cracking!
4. Starting New (LGBT, Romance) —
Everyone is born into something, and from the moment of birth our paths are somewhat influenced by who and what is around us.
This book was a total random read and I ended up enjoying it more than I anticipated!
5. Happy for You (LGBT, Romance) —
He was like family and she asked him to leave.
I really liked the previous book, Made for You, but this one didn’t work quite as well for me. The romance was good (and the author’s writing is always wonderful!) but the background plot was a bit confusing and I was just left wanting more. The main guy was definitely the best.
6. Last Bus to Everland (Fantasy, LGBT) —
There’s bravery in surviving this world when your mind can only focus on the bad in it.
This was a lot more … real than I expected. Like, I felt quite melancholy whilst reading it. Overall I did really like it, but I was holding out for a different ending. 😦
7. The Time Machine (Science Fiction, Classics) —
From the edge of the sea came a ripple and whisper. Beyond these lifeless sounds the world was silent. Silent? It would be hard to convey the stillness of it.
At last! I’ve been meaning to read an HG Wells book for ages. Glad I started with this one. The ending was fantastic.
8. Thoughts from the Borderline (Poetry and Prose) —
Ask me of life, and I’ll struggle
to pen a sentence.
Ask me of death,
And I’ll spit the alphabet without intention.
This collection of mixed poetry and prose was wonderful and reminded me why I fell in love with writing and poems to being with. Honestly, this book left me desperate to read poetry for hours, which says a lot. (I’m picky with my poetry.) King’s words are raw and real, and flow together so well. There’s also a great visual layout to the poems that changes up the rhythm of how you read it, which was a really cool effect. I don’t want to give too much away, because I think the poems unfold beautifully without spoilers, but I thoroughly recommend it.
9. Notes on Nationalism (Essays, Politics, Classics) —
The point is that as soon as fear, hatred, jealousy and power worship are involved, the sense of reality becomes unhinged. And, as I have pointed out already, the sense of right and wrong becomes unhinged also.
I can’t believe I haven’t read this before now, but I’m so glad I found it in the bookshop the other day. Written in 1945, many of the quotes and observations about nationalism and hatred continue – depressingly – to be applicable to today. I thoroughly recommend this to everyone, not just those interested in politics and history.
10. The Other Boy (Children’s Books, LGBT) —
‘And the reality is that life sucks?’
‘Not always.’ She sat back down and crossed her legs. ‘You got to take the bad with the good, you know? It’s all about figuring out what your choices are, and trying to make the right ones. The ones that don’t hurt people.’
I devoured this book in one sitting. The main character, Shane, is so lovable and relatable. We share a love of Firefly and I loved the references!
And I ADORED Josh, the best friend, Alejandra, the new friend, and Shane’s mum. She was wonderful and such a shining star throughout the novel. The comics between the chapters were an adorable addition, too! Loved them! I’d totally read Shane’s comic.
I recommend this for anyone looking for an uplifting read. Great representation and message. ❤