book reviews

Great #IndieAuthors

NetGalley continues to deliver great reading material. Here are a few more I received from them that I loved:

  1. Things Old and Forgotten–quick stories that mix magic, supernatural, and reality
  2. The Princess of Las Pulgas–a privileged family loses everything and must make their lives work in a world they’d never imagined would be theirs
–a note about my reviews: I only review books I enjoyed. I need to be inspired to write. That’s why so many of my reviews are 4/5 or 5/5. You’ll know the 5/5 instantly by the big yellow stars.

Things Old and Forgotten

by Mae Clair

Mae Clair’s latest book, Things Old and Forgotten (2021) features a collection of unusual stories that mix folklore and legend, magic and reality, into enticing alternative realities you will not be able to quit:

A man keeping King Arthur’s dream of Camelot alive.
A Robin Hood battling in a drastically different Sherwood.
A young man facing eternity in the desert.
A genteel southern lady besting a powerful order of genies.
A woman meeting her father decades after his death.

They are often dark, somewhat dystopian, many times hopeful but not always. The words are lush and perfect for her message with just the right amount of detail to be addictively engaging.

What really brings these stories to life is Mae Clair’s distinctive voice. I have reviewed several of her books–Myth and Magic,  In Search of McDoogal, and Cusp of Night (click for detail). Her stories are about people I can relate to with plot twists I didn’t expect. I wanted to share my favorite from Things Old and Forgotten but found it impossible to pick. Each I thought a favorite was soon overtaken by the next until I realized there was no second place in the entire group. The most haunting was certainly Kin-Slayer–so much hope with such an unexpected ending.

Things Old and Forgotten has a 4.9/5 ranking on Amazon. You can purchase it or read it for free as a Kindle Unlimited member. Highly recommended for those who enjoy a supernatural tale with unexpected twists.

The Princess of Las Pulgas

by C. Lee McKenzie

In C. Lee McKenzie’s The Princess of Las Pulgas, (2013), High School junior Carlie’s father dies leaving his upper class family to face a future without his income, where their abundant lifestyle must dramatically change. When the reality of their circumstances can no longer be ignored, Mom makes the tough decisions to move to her two teenage children to a different high school in a cheaper area, take away their cell phones and the bills associated with them, sell all but one of the family cars, and much more as she tries to feed her family on what is now their much-reduced income. Carlie’s entire life has been one of comfort with no thought to how that was paid for. That is now gone. How she makes her severely altered circumstances work is the moral core of this story. Their journey is clever, realistic, instructional, and worth the read.

This is the theme of all of McKenzie’s young adult books–putting teenage protagonists into impossible circumstances that can’t be survived, and then McKenzie shows me how they make it work. In Not Guilty (click for my review), it was juvenile prison. In Double Negative, it was a toxic family life. Both buried the teenage characters in events that seemed intent on destroying them but instead made them stronger.

With an overall Amazon rating of 4.4 stars, you won’t go wrong with this story.

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, Natural Selection, Winter 2022.

58 thoughts on “Great #IndieAuthors

  1. I’ve got Mae’s book in my Kindle. Had hoped to read it around Halloween, but “life” got in the way. Thanksgiving sounds like great time to relax with that book. The YA book sounds very very good. Are my 13-year-old granddaughter and almost-13 year old grandson old enough for this book? THANKS for the great reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know I have Mae’s book on my Kindle. I keep falling further and further behind. I’ll get on a reading streak and then buy more titles than I just read. Oh well, if that’s my biggest problem in life…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful reviews, Jacqui. I loved Mae’s collection of stories and Lee McKenzie’s book sounds like a winner as well. Congrats to both and a big thank you for sharing, Jacqui.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Fantastic reviews, Jacqui. I completely agree with you about Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Clair! Great stories! And Lee McKenzie’s book sounds like a great read with lots of moral lessons for teens. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: Great #IndieAuthors — – uwerolandgross

  6. Hi Jacqui – Mae’s book sounds a delightful read – which would open doors of thought for me in this country( the UK); while Lee certainly weaves excellent tales in difficult scenarios for teens or young adults to unravel and overcome. Thanks for the recommendations – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 3 people

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