authors / book reviews

Book Reviews from Three Indie Authors

I’ve been reading a lot of Indie writers lately. Many I found in the blogosphere, have enjoyed our back-and-forth conversations, and now call efriends.  I’m going to spend a few weeks reviewing my favorites, three at a time. I’ll kick it off with a varied collection from bloggers I’ve been following for several years.

  • What Happens in Office Stays in Office is a light-hearted peek into the white-collar life of a manager in India.
  • Not By Design is a fascinating story about a woman who’s life is turned upside down just as she thinks she’s settling into adulthood.
  • Bequia Mysteries is a three-book series set on the Caribbean island of Bequia, chronicling the escapades of a man who decides to lose his past in this remote corner of the planet

What happens in office, stays in officeWhat Happens in Office Stays in Office: An Insider’s Account of What Really Happens at the Workplace

by Ankur Mithal

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As the subtitle says, this is an insider’s account of what goes on behind closed doors in a cutthroat corporate office. Told with a humorous style (much like the author’s blog–he’s always ready to laugh at himself)–you will come away feeling better equipped to not just survive in Big Business, but thrive.

I have a long and varied background in the business world. I wish I had read this book twenty years ago as a much-needed way to provide perspective on that world and keep me from taking events too seriously.

Not By Design: A Getting to Mr. Right SeriesNot By Design: A Getting to Mr. Right Series 

by Carol Balawyder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Third in Carol’s Getting to Mr. Right series, this follows the adventures of Felicity Starr as she continues her struggle to find contentment in a tumultuous world. Thirty-five and living in Rome, Felicity is caught up in a flurry of wedding plans to a man she subconsciously (and sometimes more) is unsure of when calamity strikes. Her father’s sudden death and her struggles with a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis prove too much for her fiancee and he leaves her. Daunted but unbroken, Felicity finds strength in these unexpected changes and prepares to embrace a world of new truths.

This is a story so many young women will relate to. Told with the honesty we’ve become used to from Carol Balawyder, she gives us a template for surviving this type of life-changing events. If your life is in turmoil, or if it’s taken directions you didn’t expect, this is the book you should read.

Dead Reckoning (Bequia Mysteries #1)Dead Reckoning 

by Michael W. Smart

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Bequia Mysteries series revolves around a mysterious man with a hidden background, a brilliant police detective, and a yacht anchored at the exotic Caribbean Island of Bequia (close to the setting of the hit TV show, Death in Paradise). Each book is told from a different character’s point of view, allowing us as the reader to get to know the main actors intimately and carry that knowledge into the other books. I’ve never seen this before in a series (usually, the main character is the consistent main point of view in a series) and I found it refreshing, bringing me closer to the action and emotions of all characters.

OK, my words are not nearly as exciting as the trailer Michael put together for this series. In 90 seconds, you’ll want to rush out to purchase the entire set. If you don’t have a trailer for your novels, this will change your mind.

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy and To Hunt a Sub, her debut fiction. She is the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her nonfiction books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

40 thoughts on “Book Reviews from Three Indie Authors

  1. Pingback: Book Review: The Bone Readers | WordDreams...

  2. Thank you, Jacqui, for including me here and for your support of Indie writers, We all need someone cheering for us.
    Funny, I had the same idea as to post reviews of the Indie books I read this summer as well. .
    I’ve just been having a hard time getting back to blogging after my long holiday. But I’ll get there. Your post has given me a boost!
    The other two books you posted seem really interesting and fun. I’m looking forward to reading about your other reviews. 🙂
    Very grateful xxx Carol

    Liked by 2 people

    • I must confess, I got the idea from Medeia Sharif. She does quicky reviews almost-weekly on her blog. I think they’re a good break from the more in-depth ones I do for NetGalley and Amazon Vine. And it gives me a chance to shout-out my favorite Indies.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve discovered a lot of great indie writers! I’m reading a great book called “To Hunt a Sub” now! It’ll be on my Best Books of September. I haven’t even posted Best Books of August because of my blog tour, so that will be Monday and yours will be at the end of the month. That’s the thing I love most about blogging–I get introduced to such amazing books!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Stephanie. I’ll be looking for that post–probably RT it!

      The first time I bought an Indie book, I was reticent. Now, I know I’m often in for a treat. So many great authors who just didn’t query the right agent.


    • Believe me–most of these (with the exception of Michael’s) sat in my TBR pile for a while as I wended my way through those ahead of it. I went on a trip and that’s when I got lots of this reading done–in airports, on planes. That sort of free time.


    • I used to think my reading pace was the one I had in college, for college textbooks. That’s just not true. Those I read slowly. Fiction I read much more quickly so I cover lots more ground. These all were great finds for me.


  4. Three terrific reviews, Jacqui! I’ve still got Carol’s book to read and really looking forward to that.
    Smart’s book is definitely intriguing and the video trailer is super; full of tension and drama. Not ‘Death in Paradise’ – an English genteel TV detective show set on a Caribbean island.

    Liked by 2 people

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