6 Indie Books to Fall For

Fall is the perfect time to curl up with a good book and a cup of hot cider or a Kindle and a coffee. Whatever your preference, below find six indie titles to help ward off the chill.

For those of you who can’t wait for Halloween, here’s a dark and disturbing story about zombies and their…lawyers? No, really, it works.

ATTICUS FOR THE UNDEAD by John Abramowitz

Twelve years before this book opens, an event called the “Unveiling” gave rise to the actual existence of witches, mages, werewolves, vampires and zombies in the world. They are called “arcane” by those who consider them real people with rights, and “supernaturals” by those who would like to see them destroyed. Hunter Gamble is an attorney dedicated to representing the arcanes, inspired all his life by the example of Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird.

Atticus for the Undead is an intriguing book, both politically relevant and well-written. The reader should be aware that it isn’t quite as safely predictable as they may think, and should be prepared to have the emotional wind knocked out of them.

Find the full review here.

With the leaves falling from the trees and the summer’s heat fading, fall is the perfect time for nostalgia and remembrance. Here’s a lovely bit of historical fiction in which a grandfather’s memories help his grandson find his place in his family and his world.

COYOTE WINDS by Helen Sedwick

In 1930 Vona, Colorado, thirteen-year-old Myles Vincent rescues a coyote pup and brings him home to the farm where he has been living for the past year. The family moved to Vona from Missouri, to farm land claimed by Myles’ grandfather back in 1890.

Moving on to Evanston, Illinois, in 2002, where Andy Vincent-McKay has to give up his bedroom when his grandfather, Myles, moves in with them. When Andy comes home one afternoon to a strangely quiet house, he finds that his grandfather is gone.

The two stories are told well, with just a handful of places where description and story telling slip into lecturing about history. A well-told tale of a family’s trials, tribulations, and redemption, spanning three generations, ideal for young teens interested in history.

Find the full review here.

If you’re looking to get away from the drudgery of routine after summer’s vacations and beach trips, here’s an epic fantasy set in a dramatic and well-designed new world.

VALKWITCH  by Michael L. Watson

Our story begins around the typical campfire of fantasy novels everywhere, with most of the party asleep (or nearly so) except for the bard and the heroine, who are discussing the epic he is writing about her. They are obviously on a grand and final quest, that will either end in heroic death or heroic victory, and she wants to know what he has written about her past. So he begins reading, and we hear the story of Tyrissa, the carpenter’s daughter from a northern village who wanted to be a forest ranger.

This is a full, brilliant, beautifully-portrayed world, with histories, cultures, real people and fascinating little details. We have big cities full of commerce, politics, and self-importance, small villages with dark histories, even magnificent, magical, and tragically-fallen empires, all with their own background stories, which are deftly revealed, bit by bit, without ever letting the book get bogged down in explication. The characters operate within worldviews shaped by their past and by the values of the cultures and communities in which they were raised, and even the use of magic has rules, logic, and consequences to it.

Tyrissa is a talented young girl longing for adventure, who makes it to the big city and a lifetime quest – but she is nonetheless a substantial personality, with real human feelings and a solid sense of self. This is obviously the start of a series, and honestly, I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel.

Find the full review here.

If fall leaves you longing for a little spice in your pumpkin pie, here’s a sensual take on fairy tales that might fit the bill.

SPOON AND THE MOON by Wickedly Sisters (aka Marie Davis and Margaret Hultz)

Spoon and the Moon leaves behind the realm of children’s nursery rhyme becoming a seductive and fanciful tale about protagonists longing for fulfillment and satisfaction in their lives.

The characters of this story are varied but all equally smart-mouthed, bold and full of lust and/or life. Elsa the cow has inherited a grand mansion and spends her time gardening and pining for the moon. Lil, the handy-woman who has moved in next door, longs for a lover. Luckily for her, “spoons are nurturers” and her spoon is no different as it is always “ helping to easing heartbreak with a pint of ice cream.”

The story is free flowing, meandering between the lives of the characters until they become interwoven into the lives of Elsa and Lil in their exploration of friendship and desires to fill their {ahem} voids. Gorgeous and creative interactive images with drop down boxes and videos are complemented by quixotic musical accompaniments from the cat playing the fiddle to haunting ballads and sound bytes from the Apollo takeoff that keeps the reader fully engaged and captivated.

Find the full review here.

If autumn draws you into the kitchen for some hearty warm nourishment, here’s a concise and straightforward look at one of the world’s great cuisines to inspire you.

VIVA LA CUCINA ITALIANA  by Joe Famularo

Viva la Cucina Italiana is a no frills, personal journey through Italian cookery, beginning with the author’s fond memories of Italy and its food. Says Joe Famularo, “Going to Italy always reminds me of how we should be eating (and living) in the U.S.”

Naturally, tackling the cuisine of any country can be intimidating, particularly when the country is as notorious for fine dining as Italy. What the book manages to provide, though, is a stable starting point for the would-be chef. Full of recipes that rarely go beyond a few pages, each dish is accompanied by a short paragraph of explanation, such as with Risotto alla Milanese. “Americans love risotto, but many of them fear cooking it. There is no mystery to cooking this if one follows the cardinal rule that the liquid should be added to the pan in small amounts and the rice should absorb it before adding more liquid.” Sparse at under 400 pages, the work is by no means exhaustive though it never lacks for want of food that sounds enticing.

Find the full review here.

And if your idea of fall has a more intellectual, wordy bent to it, or if you’re just trying to find a way to smile in a world plagued by corruption and financial crisis, here’s a humorous look at the origin of some of our most useful and colorful phrases related to fraud and deceit.

THEY COOKED THE BOOKS by Patrick M. Edwards

When thinking about white-collar crime, the first perpetrators that might come to mind are Wall Street, corporations and high-profile snakes like Bernie Madoff. Yet in They Cooked the Books, author Patrick M. Edwards has taken an entirely different approach.

They Cooked the Books is written in fifteen parts, with each section casting a metaphorical and honest light on the origins, original meanings and present day usage of sayings related to financial doings (legal and otherwise). Turns out financial folly and deception is not something that the 20th or 21st century can take sole credit for when considering phrases such as, “A wolf in sheep’s clothing”, in which the Bible quotes Jesus as making reference to “…false prophets…in sheep’s clothing.”

They Cooked the Books is an insightful and entertaining education into the seeds of corruption and its everlasting sad, but accurate legacy.

Find the full review here.

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