IndieReader Discovery Awards 2024 Entrants

Added as our reviewers read them, find the latest verdicts for the 2024 IndieReader Discovery Award entrants, leading up to the big winner announcement in June!

A thoughtful yet zany rumination on the people that we meet in our lives who are imperative to our stories, James Flanagan’s GENEFIRE is ideal for readers who like their sci-fi with a dash of sociological implications and a bit of romance. Though the science is based in reality, the heart of the novel is the characters connection to each other across space and time.

The first book of Alison Levy’s The Witch’s Odyssey series, MAGIC BY ANY OTHER NAME is both fantastical and truthful. The author has a wonderful capacity for keeping the balance between the paranormal elements of the story and the more realistic elements, grounding them in familiar emotions and challenges. The characters are bright and engaging, the situations powerful, and the story compelling making this a satisfying first book in the planned fantasy series.

LETTING GO OF YOUR EX (CBT Skills to Heal the Pain of a Breakup and Overcome Love Addiction) by Cortney S. Warren, PhD, is a thoroughly researched self-help book. With case studies and exercises, the text is well laid out and written for the layperson as well as the expert, providing understandable and straightforward guidance throughout.


Craig Hallam’s EMI, the tale of two ghosts from a dead world who one day find each other, is a short but powerful piece of post apocalyptic dark fantasy – so dark that it’s like a literary equivalent of a camera obscura or a sensory deprivation tank. Time and space are utterly immaterial in this unsettling world.

UNLEASH (Free Your Mind, Live Fully & Achieve Your Dreams) by Daniele Clarke is a practical guide for coping with anxiety, specifically aimed at 8-12 year olds. Both a journal and a personal ‘workbook’ for the reader and their families, it can used either together or independently. Thoroughly recommended.

HOW TO BE A BETTER MANAGER IN FIVE MINUTES by Dominic McLoughlin is a cohesive guide for both beginner and seasoned managers, explaining the basics of a good manager’s skillset while also expanding on the complicated concepts involved. The author accompanies his advice with anecdotes from practical life, rendering the book helpful in the reader’s day-to-day life. Furthermore, the book highlights trust as the cornerstone of good management; this is the philosophy from which all the book’s chapters branch out. The daily exercises given in the book will prove helpful for all managers.

In a literary romantic debut, E.L. Deards writes a poetically dark tragedy full of love and anguish. WILD WITH ALL REGRETS flits between the early 1900s, as the reader is taken from the trenches of WWI back to childhood, up to teenage years & beyond to adulthood, exquisitely showcasing the pains of character growth. A delightfully haunting tale into the depths of grief and madness.

Teaching children ages 4 to 8 about the world around them is fun when you have the right book. PEBBLES AND THE BIGGEST NUMBER by Joey Benun (illustrated by Laura Watson) connects numbers and pictures to snippets of factual, easy-to-digest information. Charming illustrations with bright colors add to this educational text, as kids absorb mathematics and science in a simple way.

HELP FOR THE HURTING CHILD by Larry Banta is a comprehensive guide for parents looking for a robust, well-rounded book to holistically help in caring for their adopted children. The author deals with complicated, layered and intricate topics chronologically with clear and simple diction, ensuring that readers can understand his messages. Furthermore, chapters in the book include the author’s first-hand accounts of experiences dealing with children and their guardians in various settings. The author also differentiates his book by inculcating complex psychological concepts such as mental illness alongside Christian religious perspectives on child-rearing.

Following an aspiring musician from a broken home, CHASING SEVENS by Liberty Lane evokes a wealth of emotions with its well-developed characters and detailed descriptions of their heartfelt struggles.

Living with chronic pain and illness is a challenge for anyone, especially a young woman whose life is affected every day; with an important story to tell, author Lillian C. Smith shares her LUPUS DIARIES: My Life With Chronic Illness. Readers learn what life is like for those struggling day to day, and how they can help with empathy and compassion. Smith presents her life with truth and positivity, making it an authentic glimpse into physical disabilities.

Raised in an emotionally absent Lutheran household, shy, introverted fourteen-year-old Liz Fink mistakes manipulative grooming for genuine affection when her thirty-two-year-old eighth-grade teacher showers her with attention, leading to a sexual affair. In the years following, Liz repeats a pattern of unsuitable and, often inappropriate relationships, believing herself incapable of forming connections before realizing her behavior results from the trauma she experienced as a teenager. LIGHT IN BANDAGED PLACES is an exceedingly candid, inspiring, and absorbing portrait of Liz Kinchen’s journey of self-discovery, understanding, and acceptance.

Readers looking for a sharp, original, and funny literary narrative need look no further than THE TYRANNY OF DESIRE. Morty Shallman’s clever and incisive novel moves along at a rapid clip, introducing a cast of engaging characters. The book is often laugh-out-loud funny; Shallman turns one remarkably witty phrase after the next with perfect ease. Very much an adult novel for acerbic readers, THE TYRANNY OF DESIRE is memorable and riveting from the first to last pages.

The second book of the fantasy Slickdust Trilogy, Noah Lemelson’s THE LIONESS AND THE RAT QUEEN is part dystopian road trip, part revenge story. The plot is intricate and twisty and the layers of connections and of the consequences of decisions made in the stress of moment, slowly unravel. The worldbuilding is excellent, with visceral, sensory detail. THE LIONESS AND THE RAT QUEEN is a page turner that ends on a cliffhanger, promising a thrilling conclusion in book three.

Roxana Arama’s thriller EXTREME VETTING looks at some of the darkest sides of the broken US immigration system. Full of sure-footed writing and deep compassion with an engaging, determined protagonist, it is a story that is beautiful and brutal.

In Sally Avery Bermanzohn’s, INDIAN ANNIE, the titular character–a Chickasaw woman–tells the story of her people’s culture, history, and survival of war. Annie’s family had refused to leave their ancestral home during the tumultuous years of former president Andrew Jackson’s Indian removal during the 1830s and remained in Freedom Hills located in Northwestern Alabama Mountain ranges, where the survivors worked tirelessly to preserve their culture and native language. A captivating work of historical fiction.

The tale of MAKING FRIENDS WITH MONSTERS by Sandra L. Rostirolla unfolds through the eyes of Sam Nolen, a twelve-year-old with a captivating blend of quirkiness and wit. Set on a drought-stricken rural Australian sheep farm, this powerful book takes readers on a journey of self-discovery, leaving a profound message for both adults and teens grappling with challenging emotions such as anger, envy, and depression.

While there are entire libraries’-worth of books written about starting and growing a business, there are incredibly few that deal with entrepreneurial succession plans. How can a business that is based almost entirely on the management and vision of the entrepreneur who started it succeed after they have stood down?  In his book YOUR MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR EXIT author Wayne M. Zell highlights a number of simple but effective strategies to both inform and prepare the reader to exit from business, whether that entails a hasty exit due to unforeseen circumstances, or handing the business over to a carefully groomed team after years of planning.