Indie authors are the biggest secret in literature. If you haven’t stasrted reading this group of authors, you are missing out. Here are three more that I loved:
- Snow White and the Civil War–Part 2–clever take on this popular fairy tale in the best of the fractured fairy tale tradition
- Myth and Magic–can myth, magic and paranormal reignite a love Caith once thought was dead?
- Villa del Sol--how to recover from the death of a spouse
by Cathleen Townsend
In this second of the Snow White and the Civil War duology–read my review of Book One here–readers get to know Janet (aka Gwen)’s love interest, Jack Grady. He was significant in Book 1 (maybe the Prince Charming of Snow White fame) but abandoned Janet in favor of his father’s money. I finished Book 1 thinking of him as a rogue and admittedly changed my mind as I followed him through his journey of redemption. His heart knows pretty quickly he has made a mistake. Still, he can’t return to Janet until he has enough money to finance their life together and has become a man worthy of someone as wonderful as she. How he accomplishes these two difficult tasks is clever, involved, and admirable. I’ll give you one clue to what that involves: The cliffhanger that ended Book One doesn’t resolve quickly in Book Two but it doesn’t matter. This book stands on its own as a delightful satisfying read.
OK, I’ll give one more clue. Like a the best fairy tales, this one too has a happy ending.
For more of Townsend’s books I’ve reviewed, check these out:
by Mae Clair
In Mae Clair’s Myth and Magic, PI Caithelden “Caith” Lairen has been hired to unravel odd, maybe paranormal, events that take place at his family’s retreat, Stone Willow Lodge, in the woods of northwestern Pennsylvania. The retreat was known as the Warren Barrister House, where Mr. Barrister brutally murdered his wife and children on a winter night in 1873. Now, in present day, dead animals are found on guests’ beds. Ghostly apparitions appear in hallways and walk the grounds. Though Caith is estranged from his family, hasn’t had any contact for a handful of years, he’s still the best choice because he knows the most about the building’s background. The retreat is run by Veronica Kent, a high school friend who he once hoped would become much more until events conspired against them. Caith didn’t want to take the job but is persuaded to do so primarily by his son who would like to get to know his relatives. Caith decided he could be an adult, treat this simply as a job, but the deeper he digs into the mysterious happenings and his family’s power over the small town that is home to the retreat, he realizes there is a lot more going on than he originally thought. For one, Veronica is dating Caith’s brother Merlin who has never recovered from feeling intimidated by Caith.
If you like paranormal mystery with a generous helping of romance, you’re going to love this book. With an average Amazon rating of 4.5, a lot of people agree with me.
by Martha Reynolds
In Martha Reynolds, Villa del Sol (2017), Jennifer Logan is hit with that worst of all possible catastrophes: Her husband, Rhode Island’s beloved senior Senator, dies of an unexpected illness leaving her to figure out how her life will continue without him. When the book starts, we don’t know why she is so alone in her anguish that she must leave the United States for an extended stay in a Swiss villa. We do know she’s a private person, not terribly warm, and seemingly so wrapped up in her own misery that she doesn’t think about those around her. Maybe I’d be that way too. As we follow her journey to healing, we learn there was a huge age difference between the Senator and she, that their marriage wasn’t perfect, that his family isn’t close to her, and that she has few of her own friends. As she settles into her new temporary home, we see her grief is complex, that working through it will take more than time or distance. And, there’s more but I’ll keep those secrets from you, for when you read the book.
I am not drawn to Jennifer early in the book. I feel her pain but don’t necessarily want to help. She’s just too cold. Since this is a character-driven story, that is by design and it will change as the story progresses. By the time I turned the last page, I’d grown to appreciate Jennifer. That speaks volumes for the writer’s skill with weaving this tale and allowing her character to grow. Highly recommended for those who like character-driven stories and novels of redemption and growth.
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as 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.