I can’t wait to share these Indie books with you. I just know you’ll love them as much as I did:
- Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries–normal people surviving life’s challenges with a positive attitude and a will to overcome
- Marlie–can an isolated island community salve Marlie’s failed love?
- Guns of Pardition–a paranormal western like none other
by Sally Cronin
Sally Cronin’s Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet (2020) delivers exactly what the title promises–a lovely collection of real-life stories about ordinary people. They are heart warming and satisfying, showing the kind side of people despite dreary events or circumstances. There are no dark endings or dystopian themes–both I stay away from when reading because I get all the depressing circumstances in the world around me. I don’t need to read it in my fiction!
They are organized into categories–Technology, Connections, Winning Streak, Animal Magic, and Falling in and out of love. There’s one about an abused wide who’s finally had enough, another about the wife who loses a child and has the courage to try again. In one, a lonely woman finds family after her DNA reveals secrets. There’s Random Acts of Kindness, The Charity Shop, The Night Shift, and about a dozen more. All are a handful of pages that leave you feeling better than when you started. Sally’s voice is kind, empathetic, and respectful of the varied circumstances that surround people, and without fail, brings their dreams and passions to life. In fiction, there are writers and storytellers. One writes an interesting story and the other makes you feel they’re talking to you, like you can’t leave because you’ll miss something. I’ve read a lot of Sally’s books and I can tell you, she is the latter.
If you in love stories of normal people surviving life’s challenges with a positive attitude and a will to overcome, you’ll love this book.
by Anneli Purchase
Who hasn’t wished to restart their life with a fresh slate? In Anneli Purchase’s romantic drama, Marlie (Aquiline 2017), Marlie Mitchell does just that, in the village of Skidegate in the northernmost of the Queen Charlotte Islands. Marlie takes a teaching job at the elementary school in the town of Masset, a place where the people and culture are about as different from what she’s accustomed to as possible.
“Some things about this small place annoyed her and the lack of a proper bank was one of them, but it was another one of those situations she had no choice about if she was going to live here.”
That suits her fine. She has had a string of bad luck mostly she attributes to her own bad choices. Here, in this secluded island community, she hopes to leave all of that behind her. It starts out wrong when she has a flat before she even arrives at the trailer that is to be her new home. The spare tire is buried beneath everything she owns in her trunk and it’s about to rain. A hunk of a fisherman–Brent–stops to help her and I get a bit of an insight into her own responsibility for her past problems when she calls him a killer after seeing the dead deer in the back of his truck. In fact, I didn’t like her much–saw her as inflexible, unaccepting of other life styles, judgmental about anything not like her norm, wanting to view her new world through the lens of the life she fled rather than a new opportunity.
“She remembered Bob’s stained T-shirt the day he let her into the trailer.”
But then, I got to know her. As usual, nothing is as it seems. Throughout the story, Marlie faces problems with strength, a desire to make things better, and a refusal to jump to conclusions.
As we travel with Marlie in this story, we see ourselves in her. Could we start over in a world so different from our norm? Could we put the bad decisions of the past behind us, in favor of the right ones for the future? Highly recommended for those who enjoy romantic stories with happy endings.
by Jessica Bakkers
In Jessica Bakkers’ Guns of Perdition, Book 1 in The Armageddon Showdown (2020), female bounty hunter Grace Dyer and her oversized dire wolf (not really a dire wolf but with those characteristics) Kava are tracking a ruthless killer who murdered Grace’s parents when she was only eleven. Now, she’s grown up, trained herself to be one of the best bounty hunters of demons and monsters in the Old West, and she wants revenge. She funds her search for this personal demon by capturing the worst of the magical monsters, those that often look benign but are as bad as they come. In one small town, hunting a fanged demon that looks like a beautiful saloon girl, Grace gets unexpected help from a seventeen-year-old bar cleaner, Jessie. He saves her life and she allows him to tag along as she pursues her trade despite that he is not brave, not gun-savvy, and doesn’t even own a hat to keep the sun off. Why? He confesses he has nowhere else to go. Grace, Kava, and Jessie become a fighting unit, each with their own strengths but all with one goal: justice for the murders of Grace’s parents.
Though at its most basic, Guns of Pardition is a paranormal story, it includes plenty of popular western elements–guns, bounty hunters, saloons, whores, owlhoots, and the natural justice that tamed the West. Grace is strong, clever, and tenacious. She doesn’t back off and has a few tricks up her sleeve that few bounty hunters or lawbreakers can match. Recommended for those who love wolf stories, Westerns, and original paranormal.
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, the Man vs. Nature saga, and the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Summer 2021.