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 whirlwind romance full of witty repartee as two passionate characters fight their magnetism, only to succumb to their attraction. J Rose Black writes LOSING MY BREATH with such finesse, deftly addressing PTSD in a mentally wounded warrior and an emotionally wounded “princess,” as they conquer their past and cultivate their love together. A steamy romance that grips the reader from the first chapter until the very last page.

MISPLACED CHILDHOOD is an achingly earnest text penned by Joan Ulsher where the author recounts her journey of enduring horrible abuse at the hands of her parents to turning these tragic experiences into child advocacy. She goes ahead to brilliantly share how finding her voice and healing her soul empowered her to fight for the most vulnerable citizens in America. Ulsher provides readers with an insider’s glimpse on this hidden world, its complexities and triumphs, leaving an after-effect on anyone who puts their hands on this book. Both heartbreaking and heartwarming, it is an essential read from an author with a story to tell.

FEISTY RIGHTY: A Cancer Survivor’s Journey is a comprehensive and no-holds-barred memoir written by award-winning author, Jennifer D. James. Based on her seven handwritten journals, James recounts her long and difficult journey from her diagnosis of breast cancer and its aftermath, including surviving the life-altering condition. Paired with pragmatic tips, the text is full of hope, enlightenment, and inspiration and a constant reminder that we all carry within ourselves a fighting spirit, no matter what life throws at us.

PROTECTING MAMA by Léonie Rosenstiel is an eye-opening memoir detailing the author’s battle against the guardianship system for the care of her elderly mother. The author comprehensively documents every step in her journey, from details in the legal cases to meetings with lawyers to her reckonings with the massive and unyielding system in formal court. Furthermore, the book is emotionally poignant, detailing the author’s courage and evolving relationship with her mom. Readers interested in the oft-subverted realities of guardianship will learn much from this book and become more informed about possible difficulties in elderly care.

THE HERMIT skillfully navigates the high-stakes world of investment banking, offering a gripping exploration of existential struggles within the seemingly glamorous realm of finance. Katerina Grishakova’s debut novel presents a compelling narrative, skillfully unraveling the complexities of a successful bond trader, Andy Sylvain. With a sharp eye for the poignant conflict between the allure of a rational, technocratic world and the deeper longing for serenity, Grishakova delivers a thought-provoking tale that transcends the surface of Wall Street glamour, making it a must-read for those seeking a nuanced understanding of the human condition in the financial realm.

Vividly imagined and viscerally told, Aina Hunter’s CHARLOTTE AND THE CHICKENMAN goes straight for the reader’s jugular and never lets up. Queerness, blackness, and privilege do not intersect so much as collide, in sharp-toothed moments of both wry humor and bitter verisimilitude. This vision, and this voice – peppered with both Haitian Creole and French – cannot be ignored.

INTO THE HEART OF THE INFINITE by Maetreyii Nolan is a spiritual memoir focusing on the author’s journey into the mystical and transcendental world. The novel details the author’s childhood experiences such as divine visitations and adult forays into psychedelic methods and navigating college life. The author offers practical guidelines for those looking to immerse themselves in spirituality, while authentically portraying her negative and positive experiences in her spiritual transformation. Those interested in improving in the spiritual realm of life will benefit from this book.

Is it political unrest or wealth inequality when the evil and the benevolent blur lines?  Mike Trigg’s cunningly crafted, bias-bending thriller, BURNER, challenges the definition of extremism when it’s defined by preconceived opinions and leaves readers to decide which side–if either–is truly evil.

Wonderful characters and a unique storyline give THE EXTRAORDINARY IMAGINATION OF JENNY FIGMENT (by Jennifer Hayes) its sweet and charming attraction for younger and older kids alike. This “chapter book” contains a glossary to help kids discover new words from the text, and the lifelike illustrations help bring the story along. With easy-to-read chapters, each just a few pages long, “JENNY” is a nice addition to story time.

Written by Sheryl Bass and illustrated by Remesh Ram, BABY DRAGON’S BIG SNEEZE is an inspiring book based on the themes of empathy and mutual understanding. By witnessing Mirabelle’s bravery and seeing the generosity of the townspeople, readers learn that people can overcome any misunderstandings when they show kindness and cooperation to one another. The book is sure to resonate with readers of all ages based on its positive message.

Hank Quense’s CREATING YOUR FIRST NOVEL is an essential reference for budding writers that meticulously details the phases required for a successful writing career. Quense, a prolific author of over thirty novels, goes beyond story design to demonstrate how prospective authors can create marketing plans for their books that will allow them to pursue the more business-oriented end of the profession. Given that it captures the elements necessary to produce successful books in the twenty-first century, this is an integral companion that all genre writers should acquire.

SOULSCAPES by Lee Woodman lyrically weaves together nature, mythology, mysticism, and human relationships and will transports readers across time and space, leaving them with a feeling of peace and tranquility and a desire for more.

Through a combination of mini memoir, well-researched statistics on sex trafficking, and information on therapy through natural aids like psilocybin, meditation and spiritual pursuits, the author Sarah Lauren presents her chosen methods for healing the inner child damaged by sexual abuse in her fascinating and courageous book, ALCHEMIZING EXPLOITATION.

QUIET DESPERATION by Rodney Nelsestuen offers a deeply introspective exploration of its protagonist, Winston Williamson, showcasing the complexity of human frailty and moral ambiguity. Despite the novella’s somewhat leisurely pace in parts, Nelsestuen’s skillful character development and poignant portrayal of inner turmoil make it a compelling literary work that draws readers into Williamson’s world. Readers will find themselves empathizing with his flawed yet captivating journey of self-discovery.

Logan D. Irons’s novel OATHS OF BLOOD is a story about bravery and devotion. It is a masterly representation of the terrible attack at Jerusalem, which imparts to readers a sense of religious fervor possessed by crusaders, the tactics used by their commanders, as well as issues concerning their living conditions. The book excels in detailing the intricate dynamics within the crusading army, highlighting the personal ambitions, alliances, and heavy toll of the campaign. Through vivid descriptions and well-crafted characters, Irons’s offers a nuanced exploration of the medieval mindset, the concept of honor, and the cost of conquest, making it a compelling read for those fascinated by history and the human condition amidst the crucible of war.

Richard I Levine’s TO CATCH THE SETTING SUN is a suspense-packed thriller where a serial killer stalks the young women of Oahu. Hank Benjamin is a down-and-out detective who has a personal connection to the case and knows the killer will strike again. The vigorous plotline doesn’t lose any steam as Hank partners with a female detective to halt a sadistic killer before he claims another victim in this absorbing crime novel.

In the enchanting narrative of THE STRANGE TWINS OF BEN MORE by Anthony Spaeth, readers are transported to the mystical Hebrides. Gad and his faithful pony, Lull, embark on a perilous journey, where they encounter a host of mythical creatures, from menacing monsters to the enigmatic enchanter Hoon. Infused with vivid imagery and thrilling adventures, this captivating tale seamlessly weaves elements of mythology with adventure, promising a delightful reading experience for both younger audiences and adults seeking an engaging and intriguing story.

K.T. Conte’s AWOKE (The Unseen War Book 1) is a promising beginning to a unique paranormal romance series—one that blends Biblical imagery, epic combat, and surprising eleventh-hour twists.