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!

In Paul O. Scott’s vivid, affable and deeply personal biography, TROUBLE AIN’T NOTHING BUT A WORD, the author begins his book by detailing his recovery journey after suffering a life-threatening situation. He further reveals his personal and professional journeys marked by numerous challenges and his journey of redemption after the nearly fatal event. As the title suggests, Scott faces life hurdles and setbacks with great fortitude, a shining example to many that may find themselves in similar situations.

Written and illustrated by Christian and Tony Yoon, A BETTER HOME is a sweet, simple children’s story about animals who, finding their home on Earth polluted, go out to find a better home in space, while the humans left behind realize their mistake and clean up their acts in hopes of luring their friends back. The premise is cute and clever and the art is gentle, with clean lines and soft, rich color, reinforcing the kindly and peaceful message of the book. The ending is hopeful but not resolved, encouraging the idea that further action is needed to clean up our home so that everyone can live here happily.

Meet Dandelion, a Turken chicken born from a duck, that  literally has the run of the house, along, of course, with a passel of dogs, cats, and barnyard critters.  Labeled a kids’ book, Kim Carr’s DANDELION: My House Chicken is a real-life story written and illustrated by the owner of a small Missouri farm. Divided by month (beginning in September when the chick was hatched)–the author weaves in learning and interactivity almost seamlessly. Questions at the end of a page pose time for readers to talk while highlighted sections add information to the conversation.

UNVEILING 11 RELATIONSHIP STYLES: Secrets Nobody Told You by Ahmad Aljazeeri delves into the intricate layers of human connections, offering a profound exploration of various relationship styles rooted in evolution, science, and psychology. The book uncovers insights, evolutionary secrets, and scientific theories, providing readers with a roadmap to understanding and enhancing their relationships. Aljazeeri crafts a compelling narrative that not only educates but also empowers readers to navigate the complexities of modern relationships with wisdom and authenticity.

THE CONTENTMENT DIVIDEND truly stands out as a meditation on understanding and improving the self through rationality. The short and insightful 49 lessons resonate with stoic teachings, prompting readers to explore and appreciate the deeper, more natural aspects of human existence beyond the material world of necessity. Brimming with wisdom and substance, the book clearly emphasizes the importance of self-knowledge and offers relatable and thought-provoking content that is both instructive and enjoyable.

Immersing readers in a captivating urban fantasy world filled with magic, mystery, and adventure, Fred Gracely’s MISFIT’S MAGIC unveils the well-crafted plot, vibrant characters, and themes of friendship and the battle between good and evil that make this a must-read for fans of the genre. Gracely’s storytelling prowess shines through in this enchanting tale that keeps readers engaged with its suspenseful twists and evocative writing style.

FEARLESS: Leadership Lessons at the Crossroads by Steve Johns is a self-help book defining the boundaries and forms of leadership in all spheres of life. The author discusses leadership in a professional setting, explaining how he led his company, OneCause, towards better horizons. Johns includes personal anecdotes to build on the lessons he conveys, guiding readers through the process of decision-making in times of duress. Fans of engaging self-help and business strategy will love this book.

Kimberley Lovato’s PISA LOVES BELLA tells a touching story that underscores the values of kindness and self-acceptance, using the character Bella, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Despite encountering obstacles and enduring hurtful remarks, Bella discovers her inner strength and grasps the significance of self-embrace. The narrative elegantly communicates a message of resilience and the transformative influence of optimism, rendering it an enchanting read suitable for audiences of all ages.

MORAL FIBRE by Helena P. Schrader delves deep into the emotional journey of RAF pilot Kit Moran during WWII, showcasing his growth and resilience amidst wartime challenges. Through intricate character development and historical accuracy, the author skillfully immerses readers in the complexities of Kit’s experiences, his relationships, and the broader historical context of late-war Britain. This absorbing novel not only appeals to WWII enthusiasts but also offers a compelling narrative for those who appreciate well-researched historical fiction.

QUANTUM CONSEQUENCE (Physics, Lust and Greed Series, Book 5) masterfully intertwines the vast complexities of time travel and interdimensional stakes with the tangible, human experiences that characterize its characters. The story combines thrillingly complex physics with relatable daily life dramas and the author’s ability to infuse humor and heart into cosmic bureaucracy and the human connection makes it a a standout addition to the science fiction genre.

Genvieve Morrissey’s fascinating historical novel, MARRIAGE AND HANGING, is an exploration of a marriage and an intriguing mystery. When a pregnant mill girl is found hanged, at first, it’s ruled a suicide. Soon, however, it’s considered murder, and the young, calm parson Josiah Woodley is charged with the crime. His wife Rachel, despondent after the death of their baby and exasperated because Josiah is more interested in Rachel being her best self than being her master, soon realizes that if anyone is going to save him from the noose, it’s up to her. The characters are complex and engaging and the way Morrissey charts Rachel’s growth and confidence as she hunts down clues and learns the dark truths behind the church’s hypocrisies, all make the book (based on a true event) a delightful, unique, and powerful page turner.

BRINGER OF LIGHT by M Thomas Apple is an epic sci-fi narrative that expertly balances fantastical technology and grounded political intrigue. Asteroid Hunters–on a ship called the Artemis–are sent to mine the Centaur asteroid, but what they find below the Centaur’s rocky surface quickly lights a powder keg that will forever change the solar system. Complex, well-written, and intelligent–Dune and Star Trek fans will find something to love within M Thomas Apple’s writing.

When it comes to shopping, it seems we’re all looking for a good bargain before spending our hard-earned cash. But THE BARGAIN SHOPPER by W. C. Latour is not what it may seem to be—not at all.  This a fictional yet-quasi-autobiographical narrative that delves into a humorous, confusing, dual-world path of today and yesterday. Latour gives readers something to think about in this overly-modern world that’s hovering between truth and hallucination.

Delving into the depths of the human experience with a blend of the supernatural and macabre, SARA SARQUE & THE DEMON EXECUTIONER by D C Mallery offers a captivating collection of diverse stories. From haunting mysteries and heart-wrenching tales to humorous adventures, the book caters to a wide range of readers, especially those who enjoy dark fiction and gripping narratives.

Cory Mortensen’s EMBRACING BEWILDERMENT is a nomadic travel guide to European destinations. The book is filled with interesting information about historical sites, the author’s travel memories and incredible photos that together will compel readers to pack their bags and embark on their own journeys.

In her heartwarming book, GETTING ALONG WITH RUSTY: Horses, Healing, and Therapeutic Riding, Lasell Jaretzki Bartlett describes her love and devotion for horses, especially for her friend Rusty, who helped her discover a better version of herself. It has always been Bartlett’s desire for horses to be recognized as unique animals, cherished, and welcomed despite the fact that their behavior might occasionally be frightening. In the book, she discusses how her friendship with Rusty helped her through her difficult and unresolved grief by teaching her to accept dependency and seek assistance to heal.

Engaging readers to care about the effects of climate change via a stimulating fictional story brimming with emotional conflicts, THE WREN’S SONG by David Hudson delivers a setting so alive that readers will feel deep in the redwood forests. The relationships between characters and the deep-seated emotional turmoils add depth to the provocative story.

A medley of friendship and globetrotting love, Francesca Vespa’s SEVEN PERFECT DAYS introduces protagonist Maggie Lomax coping with the aftermath of a profound high school trauma, triggered by the enigmatic disappearance of foreign student Adam Moon. In a voyage of introspection, Maggie encounters both new horizons and distressing echoes of the past. Vespa’s narrative style, with its mixture of dark humor, romance, and soulful self-analysis, emerges as an enchanting odyssey through the maze of human (dis)connection and the alchemy of emotional pliability.