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!

Eligible for parole, cop killer David Covington has little choice but to attend the Oregon State Penitentiary psychologist, Owen Garrity, for evaluation. David has no intention of genuinely cooperating with Garrity; what happened in the past must remain hidden, not only for him but for his siblings, Thomas and Anna. But as a connection forms between the two men, David finds himself revealing far more secrets to Garrity than he intended. Driven by the compelling authenticity of David’s voice, THE SISKIYOU SON is a well-written, intense, and powerful novel that captures attention from the beginning. Author G.M. Davis vividly brings to life David’s haunting narrative together with the natural majesty of the Siskiyou Mountains in this multi-layered and deeply intriguing story that remains with the reader long after the final page.

KIDNAPPING STEVE by C. Juliano is a literary gem, seamlessly blending humor, suspense, and unpredictability. With its daring plot centered around an unconventional kidnapping and the dynamic characters, Juliano crafts a one-of-a-kind narrative that keeps readers on the edge. This novel’s uniqueness lies in its ability to surprise, entertain, and leave a lasting impression, making it a standout read.

LEGACY OF THE THIRD WAY by Abdul Q. Kundi weaves a tapestry of ideology and reality, immersing readers in a world of political intrigue and societal transformation. Through the gripping story of Sher Shah, the novel explores themes of power, loyalty, and the enduring human spirit. Kundi’s masterful storytelling and vibrant characters paint a captivating picture, further enhanced by the seamless integration of futuristic elements. This must-read is perfect for those seeking a thrilling blend of speculative fiction and insightful social commentary.

Part life coaching, part self-help, part cookbook, Deborah Johnson’s ON RISING: Recipes and Rituals for Joyful Mornings is full of sunshine, smiles, and good food. The author combines taking time in the morning for daily musings and gratitude practice with luxurious breakfast recipes and talks to the reader as though having an intimate conversation with a friend. There are many full-color photos, and the recipes are clear and easy to follow, with a mix of omnivore, vegetarian, and a scattering of vegan recipes. There’s also a section on basics and on brunch. The Quick & Easy Bakery Bread is quick, easy – and delicious. The Earl Grey Chocolate Chip Scones are another recipe that check the boxes for both easy and delicious. ON RISING is a cookbook/motivational book that might just turn you into a morning person.

THEY TOLD ME TO FORGET by Christopher D. James delves into themes of mystery, virtual reality and psychological depth. Its gripping narrative weaves mysterious plot twists throughout the story, offering readers an immersive experience exploring complex issues surrounding trauma and memory. For those intrigued by how technology intersects with our minds, this book is definitely worth adding to your reading list.

Author S.G. Blaise plummets readers into an exceptionally built story world in book IV of The Last Lumenian Series, MEDDLING MAGES. This sci-fi fantasy adventure will enchant readers as they follow Glenna and Ragnald, a healer and a mage, through a perilous journey in hopes of healing Glenna before it’s too late. Fraught with internal struggles, external dangers, and a forbidden romance, the twist-ending promises even more.

In the intricate world painted by C.K. Madrid in GLOWS, readers are taken on a roller-coaster ride of espionage, romance, and suspense. The story skillfully navigates through a web of intricate plots with a blend of mystery and romance. The  . Madrid’s adept storytelling and rich descriptions–particularly in the wedding scenes–create a vivid and immersive experience. A compelling choice for readers who appreciate a nuanced and engaging narrative in the espionage fiction genre.

LIGHT OF DARKNESS by Ebenezer O. Makinde shines with captivating elements. The unique interview format sparks thought-provoking discussions on deep philosophical questions, while vivid descriptions transport readers to fantastical realms and angelic encounters. The intriguing exploration of timeless inquiries offers a fresh perspective, making it a must-read for those seeking a unique and spiritually stimulating journey.

Beyond being an anthology of verse, Ebenezer O. Makinde’s work is a far-reaching exploration that seeks to answer humanity’s pressing issues inviting readers to probe their lives and make impactful decisions regarding their future. Uplifting and well-imagined, these entries will impact every reader to start a personal journey of transformation.

A gripping narrative that delves into the perilous realm of digital manipulation and psychological warfare, T.O. Paine’s THE DELUSION masterfully conveys the unsettling dilemma of a dedicated university researcher thrust into a web of international intrigue after her mentor disappears. Pendulating between a character study and a complex conspiracy plot, the novel presents a very topical exploration of the dangers of digital technology, the immersion into a world of unchecked artificial intelligence and the vulnerabilities of the human psyche.

Iris Dorbian’s NEXT STOP, BOSTON offers a poignant exploration of the human experience, skillfully balancing emotional depth and authenticity. The novel promises a captivating read for those seeking a narrative that delves into the intricacies of life, love, and personal growth.

TANKS: Evil Lurks on Whidbey Island by Ted Mulcahey is a nail-biting mystery/thriller in which a madman has begun to unleash his rage on the public with a bioweapon causing misery and death. Husband and wife Kevin and Jenne Malley are well acquainted with danger and find themselves caught up in the dramatic circumstances surrounding the attacks. Suspense, humor, and thrills are abundant as the Malleys work with law enforcement in attempting to thwart a remorseless killer before he strikes again.

A wondrous discovery of a lineage of humanity capable of manipulating matter (Painters) in an upended world, Rose Card-Faux’s LESSER DEMONS delivers the journey of Zanny Monroe, the convolutions of her newfound powers and the weight of being a prophesied saviour. In that regard, the novel merges an archetypical teenage chosen-one narrative with a mostly original mythology. Through a nostalgic nod to dystopian fiction and classic young fantasy, Card-Faux conveys a well-rounded tale which thrives on the tension between the protagonist’s fate and the might of The Angel, a capricious cult leader.

In Alexa Tuttle’s OVER THE TOP SECRET BY ALEXA TUTTLE, a young girl is abducted by an overly ambitious doctor who aspires to be the first to download knowledge digitally into a human brain. The young lady is helpless and must wait for outside help as she makes fruitless attempts to understand why she has suddenly become the focus of both government programs and criminal organizations. As she discovers a mysterious ability within herself that could be the key to defeating a ”wannabe python” in the Paris sewers, this tragic yet humorous story will captivate every mystery-loving reader.

In her memoir ON THE OTHER SIDE: MEMORIES OF A PAST LIFE, Adria Sanders describes her strange dream sequences about her past life and how those experiences affected her current existence. Her life with her extraordinary lover, Rico, whose charisma and disposition she found uncommon in nearly every man she met after his death, is vividly remembered. Her narrative offers readers the opportunity to consider their own aspirations and value each moment spent with a loved one. Moreover, this narrative illustrates how dreams can impart wisdom, understanding, and guidance regarding an individual’s identity and areas of interest for further focus in their current lives.

Kenneth Vertrees’ GAZEBO delves into the intertwined lives of Laura, Sandrine, Vincent, and Michael, each contending with their emotional predicaments, unspoken desires, and cravings for a future beyond their reach. A profound exploration of the menace of the past, the nuances of love as a collective experience, and the affectionate experience of a stagnant summer for both young and mature. Redemptive, intoxicating, cathartic.

UNLAWFUL GAMES by Adam Klein tells the story of a prominent attorney who comes across heartbreaking information about a client whom he helps get an acquittal on murder charges. The attorney is determined to prove himself worthy of an appointment to an elevated position in his firm but ends up being the victim of control and deep manipulation by the most unlikely individual in his life. Suspenseful and chock full of intense drama and heated arguments around the court chambers, this is a deeply elucidating story that will prompt readers to deeply scrutinize new associates and partners before any serious interaction.

Lana Taylor Stuart’s delightful cookbook MY SOUTHERN TABLE: Recipes From a Georgia Kitchen grew out of her popular food blog. The book mixes must-have Southern recipes such as Country Ham with Red Eye Gravy, Hoppin’ John, and several versions of grits with retro recipes such as Tomato Aspic and Green Goddess Dressing. With those, she introduces some modern twists on Creole Beef and Okra soup, Oven Fried Shrimp Po’Boy and Banana Fudge Pie. There is an assortment of excellent biscuit recipes, with the Angel Biscuits a standout. The recipes are clearly written in a friendly, conversational tone, and the results consistent. Many recipes contain notes with technique tips. In-depth background is on separate pages from the recipes, allowing the cook to read them at leisure. Anyone who enjoys cooking will adore this book, and anyone who enjoys eating will love the results.