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I love fantasy novels with a desert setting. There is an added edge of danger and a certain mysteriousness air created by the endless dunes or craggy mesas. These eight novels deliver epic stories and adventures.

Now in no particular order:

Sand And Storm by Stella Dorthwany

Drama, intrigue, and the end of the world. This book kept me sitting on the edge of my seat while providing a dash of romance and humor to the whole thing. I loved the rich scenery, the tension between the characters and the trials they went through to save the world. There were several clean romances in this novel and I loved each one of them. I can’t wait to pick up the next one in the series!

The sequel: Blood Traitors by Stella Dorthwany

The plot in this was twisty, and I didn’t see the ending coming at all! I loved Cora and Damorin in this novel. I think Fayn takes more after her father than she realizes.

See Also: The Wrong Proposal and The Wrong Betrothal humorous short stories

The Desert Wall by Raf Morgan

First, the cover is absolutely gorgeous and was the first thing that caught my eye. I love stories set near deserts and this delivers in spades. The magic system felt fresh and interesting. I loved how the main character had to build bridges between all the characters and considering her upbringing the occasional piece of wisdom from the young girl made sense. I love each of the characters fiercely and would adopt all of them in a heartbeat! I had a moment (you’ll know when), where I thought, well, crap, now I have to adopt this grown man too. They tug on my heartstrings. I loved the strong female friendships formed in this book; it is rare that I read about women forming such close friendships and bonds in a way that it is realistic. I really enjoyed the three vicious girls in this book. This didn’t feel like a YA or MG book to me, just a fantasy book with protagonists who were younger and that is refreshing. Highly recommend!

Windwalker: Forbidden Flight by H.G. Chambers

I love the rich world building, the sand, the characters, the birds! The author has created a tangible fantasy world with filled with a vibrate culture who have their own unique mythology. I know strong female character can sound like a buzz word, but I really felt like this story portrayed a very real person who was strong in spirit and in action while staying true to her femininity.

The sequel: Windwalker: Relic Of The Dead by H.G. Chambers

This is a sequel to the amazing first Windwalker book, and it certainly delivered. This is one of those authors where you don’t worry if the sequel is going to be good, you just worry about whether everyone will make it out with all of their limbs intact! Relic Of the Dead took the universe in a completely different direction than I expected, but it was refreshing! Plunging deep into their mythology and religion, Kiva leaves behind the troubles of her everyday life and trades them for the fate of the world once again. I think Lim might be my new favorite character, but Samal was great too! Kiva experienced a lifetime of character development in this adventure and I can only imagine what the next adventure holds in store for her!

See Also: Windwalker: Order of the Red Sons and Windwalker: Bonds Of The Forsaken

Seas Of Crimson Silk by Emma Hamm

*slow clap* This book is so good! The settings are lush and vibrant. The characters are human; they make mistakes; they have triumphs, and losses. They don’t always say or do the right thing, but in their hearts they mean well. Sigard is an epically amazing character, strong, compassionate, stubborn and with a huge heart. Nadir grew on me, but I have a feeling he is letting all his power go to his head at the end. I want to pick up the sequel soon!

See also: Dawn of Cobalt Shadows

The City Of Masks by Ashley Capes

This is the first book to stab me in the back so hard I almost threw my kindle across the room with how absolutely devastating the plot twist was. I personally felt the betrayal. Don’t get me wrong, Ashley Capes is an amazing author! This book has so many layers, the world building is richer than most fantasy novels I read, and there are many threads unsolved while still leaving a satisfying ending. Weird and scary monsters, multiple conspiracies and so many lies, I almost didn’t think Sofia was going to make it! I love Notch, Flir, Seto, Luik, and Sofia. I don’t know if I could pick a favorite. Recommend for fantasy lovers! I just got the second book and I am looking forward to diving in!

See also: The rest of the series!

Free Trader Of Warren’s Deep by Craig Martelle

I thought they would set this on a space station based on the cover. I have been trying to read exclusively fantasy this year, but the cover convinced me to dip into science fiction. Imagine my delight when I found a sci-fi fantasy story in the same vein as Dragon Riders Of Pern! The story follows Braden and his mindlinked Hillcat as they traverse dangerous terrain filled with mutant creatures to find Old Tech that he can trade for untold riches. Along the way, Braden picks up new companions like a Hawkoid and a female warrior much more knowledgeable about ancient tech than he is. The cooperation between the different creatures and their mission makes for an entertaining read. I love the back story of this world and how it is revealed piece by piece through the eyes of someone who does not understand the ancient tech. I am looking forward to exploring more of this world in the sequels!

Recommendations? Leave a comment below!

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The Luck Child by is an upcoming indie fantasy novel that will be released on June 10th. I was lucky (hehe) enough to get an Advanced Reader Copy and ohmygosh, I think you are all going to LOVE it. It's got plenty of humor, a dash of romance, and loads of adventure!

Cabernet would give almost anything to be remembered--except his freedom.

Cursed to be eternally forgotten, Cabernet grew up walking a dangerous, lonely line between the world of mankind and the world of fairy. Now known only by a faceless reputation as a rogue and fairy aficionado, he wanders ceaselessly with the cat Maugrim as company.

Then the king dares order him to eliminate a magical foe in northern waters, and threatens to attack fairy lands if Cabernet refuses. As an increased annoyance, he is saddled with a stiff naval officer, the king’s elderly personal advisor, and the advisor’s nurse, a charming young woman named Rosemary who can inexplicably remember him.

Cabernet wants to complete this mission quickly without actually facing the enemy, a dangerous enchantress who nearly killed him before. But sea perils and fearsome monsters blindside his every trick and turn. Moreover, he is somehow growing fiercely attached to the human tag-a-longs.

As the enchantress’s deadly net tightens around them, Cabernet must face the terrors of his past in order to save his new-found family--and future.

Enjoy this standalone YA fantasy that combines dark whimsy with fairy tale magic, plus a side of Oliver Twist and an enchanting romantic subplot.

Get your own copy here:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple | Autographed paperback pre-order

Author Bio

Rebekah Shafer is a thirty-something-year-old living in Georgia, USA, who got tired of spending an awful lot of time and energy trying to Be an Adult the Right Way.

Now she writes stories in a small house painted green on the inside, with plenty of jazz vinyl albums, a problematic front lawn, and two grey cats who look just enough alike to confuse house guests.

Find Her Online

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

The Luck Child is published by Uncommon Universes Press. They are a traditional publishing house creating books that celebrate wonder, adventure, and sacrifice. Formed out of friendship, UUP believes stories can provide thrilling, soulful escapism while also shining light into struggles and difficulties. A UUP book takes you on a fresh, authentic journey while challenging you to reclaim your hope, no matter what. Be uncommon!

Indie Reads

"It is said that Darkness is empty and whatever vanishes into its depths is lost forever. I know this better than anyone. For I have suffered here in the shadows, and there are none who might find me."

Seventy years. Seventy years the elven prince has been lost to the darkness, assumed dead by his people and endlessly broken for a book that connects to the hidden realm of his ancestors, a land untouched by evil.

And now a light in the shadows. A chance for freedom. But those willing to help him come from the unlikeliest of worlds.

The orphan girl, yearning for a loving family, and the boy who won't leave her side. A healer maiden given an unexpected chance for a life beyond narrowed expectations. A grieving creature flown far from home.

They all search for something and now their fates are tied to his. If their quest for life can pull him from the dark mire in which his soul drowns, then perhaps he can be saved.

Or else he will drag them all down to a fate worse than death.

The beginning of an epic saga, MOONSCRIPT is a journey of innocence, despair, and redemption.

Seven illustrations by the author exclusively included in the paperback edition!

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Goodreads

Check out the awesome character art for Tryss by the author!

“I am not a monster. And I’m tired of being treated like one.”

Although a chema, a race known to live in the cold North and possess equally cold hearts, Tryss has known the jungle all her life. Her tribe left the chema culture behind and have started a new way of life. Tryss takes care of twelve younger siblings and many other children of the village, valued for her level head and patience. She also is tutored under the head healer of their tribe.
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

From the beginning, H. S. J. Williams has loved stories and all the forms they take. Whether with word, art, or costume, she has always been fascinated with the magic of imagination. She lives in a real fantastical kingdom, the beautiful Pacific Northwest, with her very own array of animal friends and royally loving family. Williams taught Fantasy Illustration at MSOA. She may also be a part-time elf.

You can check out and follow William's art page over here: https://hsjwilliams.wordpress.com/

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BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

May 7th

H.S.J. Williams—Tour Launch

May 8th

Light and Shadow—Book Spotlight

E. E. Rawls—Book Spotlight

May 9th

Tracey Dyck

Elizabeth’s Universe—Book Review

Grace M. Morris—Book Spotlight

May 10th

Allison’s Well—Book Spotlight

Amelia Nicole—Book Spotlight

May 11th

Ester S. (Instagram)—Book Spotlight

Imperial Scribis—Book Review

May 12th

Liv K. Fisher

The Labyrinth—Book Review

May 13th

Dreams & Dragons—Book Spotlight

Bookish Musings—Book Review

May 14th

Unicorn Quester—Author Interview

Embers Reviews—Book Review

May 15th

Unicorn Quester— “3 Reasons Why” Video Review

Writing in Rivendell—Book Spotlight

Sarah, Plain & Average—Book Review

May 16th

Jane Maree—Book Review

May 17th

Jemma the Dragon Slayer (Tumblr)—Book Spotlight

The Bookish Raven—Book Review

May 18th

Words of Hannah Kay—Book Review

Purely by Faith Reviews—Book Review

May 19th

Functionally Fictional—Book Spotlight

Jenelle Schmidt—Book Spotlight

May 20th

Beka Gremikova—Book Spotlight

Seven Billion Smiles—Book Review

May 21st

Today by Bryn—Tour Conclusion & Art Gallery

Indie Reads

History is quite a fascinating thing. We know the stories that have been told to us since
we were children, but there are secrets…Magical secrets that are desperate to be revealed.

Pompeii was a tragedy the world will never forget, but what really caused the volcanic
eruption that ended it all?

Why was the great sword Excalibur really destroyed?

The rolling hills of Victorian England seem peaceful enough, but what secrets really lurk
there?

And would it surprise you that there are darker secrets in Ancient Rome than people ever dreamed? If the Great Fog of London isn’t what it seems?

You think you know Harry Houdini, but do you know the man behind all the tricks?

And what if Roanaoke runs deeper than you could ever imagine?

Could Ireland’s potato famine really be caused by a mage gone mad?

What if a ghost ship off the coast of England was more than a phantom?

Want to find out the secrets behind each of these stories? Read nine exciting tales where
history and magic collide from authors Michaela Baker, James Quinlan Meservy, Ariel
Paiement, Joshua Reid, Alicia Scarborough, Maria Vermisoglou, Joanna White, Kandi
Wyatt, and Sara Zagorski.


Pre-order now!


Price: $3.99 and all proceeds go to Feed My Starving Children
Release Date: July 28, 2020

KANDI J. WYATT, AUTHOR OF THE APPRENTICE OF AMADAN DUBH
Even as a young girl, Kandi J Wyatt, had a knack for words. She loved to read them, even if it was on a shampoo bottle! By high school Kandi had learned to put words together on paper to create stories for those she loved. Nowadays, she writes for her kids, whether that's her own five or the hundreds of students she's been lucky to teach. When Kandi's not spinning words to create stories, she's using them to teach students about Spanish, life, and leadership.

Tell me a bit about the fundraiser and why it matters to you.
The idea behind the anthology was to raise money for a charity. As a group we decided
on Feed My Starving Children . The organization provides food for children in impoverished areas by providing them with a “manna pack”. These packs are put together by individuals and then sent out to the children. I voted for this organization, because they believe in more than feeding the body. They also focus on the spiritual aspect of the children and families. This made me feel comfortable giving to them.

If you could travel in time, would you go to the past or the future? Where would you go and why?
Hm, good question. I’d love to visit the medieval times, but then again, I know it wasn’t
the best. Seeing Jesus would be amazing! Maybe travel to a Bible story and witness it
first hand. That would be really fun, but I bet my expectations would be blown out of the
water—maybe even in a bad way. Often my idea of what something was like isn’t
anything near what it was like.

Tell me a bit about your story in the anthology and your inspiration.
I wrote The Apprentice of Amadan Dubh. When asked to join the anthology, I wondered
what timeframe to use. As I debated, I was sucked back into the black hole of my family
tree. My great-aunt wrote out a book about my dad’s family, and I’ve gained her
fascination with discovering our ancestors and their possible stories. There’s one in
particular that I can’t find information on. My aunt says that Patrick Maher settled in
Westerlo, NY, after journeying here from Ireland. We don’t know when he came over,
only that he died in 1863 and had his first son in 1825 while in Westerlo.
So, I thought, why not write my own history of Patrick. I threw in magic and some family
health issues and wrote the tale of a young boy who loves the flow of magic under his
toes. When the mage takes him as an apprentice, he’s on cloud nine, but when the mage presents a dark magic, Paddy will have to determine if it’s worth losing everything dear to him.

I chose 1820, Knockarley as the setting because I found a census that has a Patrick Maher living there along with a younger Patrick Maher. The townspeople are from that census document. It was fun to explore and dream of what it would have been like to be Paddy. When we created the cover image for my story, I used my son, who loves his Irish
heritage, as Paddy.

Indie Reads

I just finished reading Reformed: Supervillain Rehabilitation Project, the latest novel by H.L. Burke. If you have been looking for a romantic superhero novel with high stakes, this is the novel for you! Prism has a heart of gold and believes she can make the world a better place. Fade doesn't believe there is good in everyone, because he once was a supervillain. Aiden, Prism's brother, tends to agree with him as someone with the ability to touch others minds. I think Tanvi was my favorite character, right next to Keeper. I'd read a novel from Keeper's perspective.

Blurb:

Once a villain, always a villain?

Optimistic and idealistic superhero Prism is determined to redeem her father’s legacy by rebooting his supervillain rehabilitation program. To do so, she sets her sights on Fade, the relapsed supervillain who was the reason the government canceled the original program in the first place. However, when she petitions for Fade to be released into her custody, she finds out things might not be as simple as she thought.

Convicted of an unforgivable crime, Fade received a choice: surrender to trial and possible execution or endure a memory erasure so he could start fresh. Now with no recollection of his time before incarceration, Fade doubts he has the ability to be anything but the villain the public believes him to be.

A series of attacks by a mysterious power-swapping villain points back to Fade’s past and the crime that cost him his freedom and memory. With her father's legacy and her own reputation on the line, even Prism has to wonder: can a villain truly be reformed?

Get your own copy on Amazon.

Indie Reads

It was snowing where I'm at last week! I don't mean frozen rain. No, I mean an inch of thick flakes coming down in a flurry. And don't even get me started on the wind chill! So here is to hoping April will be more like Spring some time soon with these 5 indie fantasy romance Spring reads.

1. Cinderella and The Colonel by K.M. Shea

This is the best fairytale romance I've ever read and a clever retelling of Cinderella too. I loved watching the relationship between the two leads grow into something special. I loved how Cinderella's kindness is what saved them in the end in a realistic and heartwarming way.

2. Selkie's Song by Kimberly A Rogers


This is an epic sized novel with all of the goods, romance, mystrey, betrayal, friendship, the works! Kimberly manages to tell a wonderful fairytale that hints at the original tale while making it entirely unique! An enchanting tale of Naia the smallest and bravest selkie in all the seas.

3. Red Rope Of Fate by K.M. Shea


Finally a bonded elf romance that gets it right! K.M. Shea has a knack for writing sweet romance with a juicy plot and this novel is no different! I loved the clash of the two cultures and the twisty plot. Delightful read!

Confession time: This list almost was a K.M. Shea list because all of her novels are so good! Royal Magic is a great sequel that I almost liked better than the orginal!

4. Fierce Heart by Tara Grayce

I had a hardcore book hangover after finishing this book. It has all the tropes I love in new and unique ways. I loved the way the Essie and Ferrendell went from strangers to friends to lovers. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

5. Sand and Storm by Stella Dorthawany


Drama, intrigue, and the end of the world. This book kept me sitting on the edge of my seat while providing a dash of romance and humor to the whole thing. I loved the rich scenery, the tension between the characters and the trials they went through to save the world.

Do you have an suggestions for indie fantasy romance this Spring?

Indiecember Indie Book Reviews!

During these uncertain times, nothing brightens my day more than receiving some delightful book mail!

As if life isn't already complicated when you have to sneak out a magical side door and enter a different century just to get to school each morning.

And now Silent has to figure out what happened to her beloved Aunt Generous, the woman who raised her--which would be complicated enough even if CIA agents in black SUVs weren't chasing her--but they definitely are!

I love the mix of genres and the unquie names. Get your own copy here.

Check back here for my review soon!

Create Feedback

From the author of Fairest Son (review here!) comes the beginning of an epic saga, MOONSCRIPT! I've been following along on H.S.J. Williams' social media as this novel is written and I already know I am going to love these characters! Here is the description:

"It is said that Darkness is empty and whatever vanishes into its depths is lost forever. I know this better than anyone. For I have suffered here in the shadows, and there are none who might find me."

Seventy years. Seventy years the elven prince has been lost to the darkness, assumed dead by his people and endlessly broken for a book that connects to the hidden realm of his ancestors, a land untouched by evil.

And now a light in the shadows. A chance for freedom. But those willing to help him come from the unlikeliest of worlds.

The orphan girl, yearning for a loving family, and the boy who won't leave her side. A healer maiden given an unexpected chance for a life beyond narrowed expectations. A grieving creature flown far from home.

They all search for something and now their fates are tied to his. If their quest for life can pull him from the dark mire in which his soul drowns, then perhaps he can be saved.

Or else he will drag them all down to a fate worse than death.

The beginning of an epic saga, MOONSCRIPT is a journey of innocence, despair, and redemption.

RELEASING MAY 7th, 2020

PRE-ORDER LINKS

Ebook: https://www.amazon.com/Moonscript-Kings-Aselvia-Book-1-ebook/dp/B0831SDYMJ

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Moonscript-Kings-Aselvia-H-Williams/dp/1732430624

Author Website: https://www.hsjwilliams.com/

Goodreads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18131512.H_S_J_Williams

Cover Artist: @morgana0anagrom https://www.instagram.com/morgana0anagrom

Without further ado, here is the cover reveal!

Indie Reads

When do you read the most books during the year? I think this year I read more books in the Summer, mostly in thanks to the Indie Fantasy Addicts Summer Reading Challenge!

I love reading competitions and the best part was sharing what we read all summer long. I learned about so many great books!

If you want to check out part 1 with my top ten indie reads of the first half of 2019, click here.

Without further ado, here are my top five indie reads of Fall 2019!

5. Tuning The Symphony by William C. Tracy

This series is a wonderful blend of science fiction and fantasy! I love the form of magic being centered around music and it is written in such an engaging way. The romance between Ralin and Origon is sweet and adorable. The mystery kept me on my toes the entire time!

4. Sand And Storm by Stella Dorthaway

I am obsessed with novels featuring sand powers. Sand and Storm has drama, intrigue, and the end of the world all wrapped up in a nice, little sand powers bow. I loved the rich scenery, the tension between the characters and the trials they went through to save the world. There were several clean romances in this novel and I loved each one of them. I can't wait to pick up the next one in the series!

3. The Princess Companion by Melanie Cellier

This isn't just one of the best fairytale retellings I've every read, it also manages to be a really great book too! My favorite fairytale is Princess and The Pea so I was excited to pick this one up. It has a beautiful romance that starts with a friendship and becomes true love. The court intrigue elements were by far my favorite parts and the ending had me on the edge of my seat! I also could relate to the main character with her role of Princess Companion not being too far removed from being an older sister. ;)

2. Seas Of Crimson Silk by Emma Hamm

You know how I said I am obsessed with sand powers? Well, I also love dragons and deserts. The settings are lush and vibrant. The characters are human, they make mistakes, they have triumphs, and losses. They don't always say or do the right thing, but in their hearts they mean well. Sigard is an epically amazing character, strong, compassionate, stubborn and with a huge heart. Nadir grew on me, but I have a feeling he is letting all his power go to his head at the end. I want to pick up the sequel soon!

1. Renegade Skyfarer by R. J. Metcalf

Few books truly capture my imagination and leave me daydreaming about the book and the characters in between reading sessions. I wanted to live in this world, have lunch with the crew and even fight dragons. This book follows amnesiac Ben as he learns about the world of Terrene, fights dragons, regains his memories, helps save the world and learns secrets kept for almost a decade. It also follows Jade, a mechanic and daughter of the airship captain as she tries to find her place in the world. I just love the characters, the beautiful, beautiful world, the sweet, forbidden romance, the thrilling plot, and the dramatic twists and turns. Steampunk airships and dragons (invisible dinosaur-like dragons!!) are right up my alley and this book delivers in spades. I got the next book the moment I finished this novel. WOW!

Honorable Mention:

Favored by B. Griffin

I received this book as a part of a indie author promotion, but now I can't find the indie author OR places to buy this book! *gasp* If anyone know what happened, I would love to know because this book is in a league of its own! Not only does it establish two vibrant cultures with their own connected mythologies, but it has complex characters who don't always make the right choice. This ramps up and doesn't finish until it leaves you breathless at the end. I will be waiting eagerly for the sequel! 

Cover Reveal: Encircled

If you follow me on GoodReads, you may be familiar with these books. I've been waiting for the chance to sit down and write a full review of these books. If you are looking for the perfect Summer Indie Reads, this list is for you!

A few of these are sequels to books I read in 2018, so you want to read about them, click here.

#10 Free Trader Of Warren's Deep by Craig Martelle

(free on Kindle Unlimited!)

Starting at #10, we have Free Trader Of Warren's Deep. I thought they would set this on a space station based on the cover. I have been trying to read exclusively fantasy this year, but the cover convinced me to dip into science fiction. Imagine my delight when I found a sci-fi fantasy story in the same vein as Dragon Riders Of Pern! The story follows Braden and his mindlinked Hillcat as they traverse dangerous terrain filled with mutant creatures to find Old Tech that he can trade for untold riches. Along the way, Braden picks up new companions like a Hawkoid and a female warrior much more knowledgeable about ancient tech than he is. The cooperation between the different creatures and their mission makes for an entertaining read. I love the back story of this world and how it is revealed piece by piece through the eyes of someone who does not understand the ancient tech. I am looking forward to exploring more of this world in the sequels!

#9 Halayda by Sarah Delena White

You could call 2019 the years I read books because their covers are so pretty. I mean just look at that cover (why yes, I am judging a book by its cover)! Halayda is a thoroughly enjoyable fantasy romance with an action-packed adventure! It has a bit of a Hades and Persephone vibe to the romance which I love. It starts off right in the middle of things and reveals bits of information one piece at a time. I am impressed by Sarah's ability to create such an in-depth and complex world, and yet only reveal it piece by piece, without info dumps! There is so much to explore in her version of the faerie realm AND the human realm. I could easily see multiple spin offs about each of the minor characters. I can't wait to read the next book in the series. I think my favorite characters are a tie between Zad and Diza and they are just (ha!) the secondary characters! I wouldn't mind a prequel about how they met! 

#8 The Dark Realm by Anthea Sharp

This LitRPG is a reimagining of Celtic ballads with nail-biting moments in virtual reality and reality alike! The story introduces us to rich girl Jennet Carter, the daughter of an immersive game developer and Tam Linn, the best virtual reality gamer in town with secrets he doesn't want anyone to know. Jannet never could have suspected that the harmless virtual reality game Feyland is actually a portal to the Faerie Realm and her battle against the Dark Queen could have some serious side effects. She will have to rely on Tam Linn to save her soul and the world or die trying.

I thought I was like 10 pages from the end when something happened that I didn't expect. I turned off the kindle and announced to everyone that I was not okay with what just happened. They asked, "Oh, it isn't a good book?" I replied, "No, it is a fantastic book, that's the problem!"

This book really drops you right in the middle of the action. I would encourage people to read the prequel first because it flows nicely with no spoilers.

#7 Pippa Of Lauramore by Shari Tapscott

(free on Kindle Unlimited!)

Pippa of Lauramore is a delightful fantasy romance novel I highly recommend this to anyone who likes romance with great character arcs and twists you may not see coming. I thoroughly enjoyed the growth of the main character Princess Pippa. She started out as judging everyone, feeling like she was always being treated unfairly, and trying to meddle. She realized she had treated OTHERS unfairly, learned that first impressions aren't always what they seem, and sometimes you should leave well enough alone.

I loved each of the knights, but Irving made me laugh out loud many times and Dristen made me aww, so if it were up to me I'd pick either one of them. Archer was brilliant and honorable. Rigel was great and though I had him figured out after a few scenes, but it didn't make it any less sweet when his pure and honorable intentions were revealed. Lionel is delightfully despicable. I can see myself rereading this book many times.

#6 Breakwater by Catherine Jones Payne

(free on Kindle Unlimited!)

I'm not a huge mermaid fan, but this book may have changed that! I didn't realize that political Intrigue and mermaids would make a such great combination! I love the growth from all the characters and the plot! When Jade finds her fiance over the body of a dead naiad, her decisions are all that it takes to plunge the underwater city into chaos, revealing the prejudice simmering just below the surface. I was so ready for the next book the moment I finished the last word of this one. Thank goodness they had a bonus chapter from the next book at the end!

#5 City Of Masks by Ashley Capes

(free on Kindle Unlimited!)

This is the first book to stab me in the back so hard I almost threw my kindle across the room with how absolutely devastating the plot twist was. I personally felt the betrayal. Don't get me wrong, Ashley Capes is an amazing author! This book has so many layers, the world building is richer than most fantasy novels I read, and there are many threads unsolved while still leaving a satisfying ending. Weird and scary monsters, multiple conspiracies and so many lies, I almost didn't think Sofia was going to make it! I love Notch, Flir, Seto, Luik, and Sofia. I don't know if I could pick a favorite. Recommend for fantasy lovers! I just got the second book and I am looking forward to diving in!

#4 Windwalker: Relic Of The Dead by H. G. Chambers

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

This is a sequel to the amazing first Windwalker book, and it certainly delivered. This is one of those authors where you don't worry if the sequel is going to be good, you just worry about whether everyone will make it out with all of their limbs intact! Relic Of the Dead took the universe in a completely different direction than I expected, but it was refreshing! Plunging deep into their mythology and religion, Kiva leaves behind the troubles of her everyday life and trades them for the fate of the world once again. I think Lim might be my new favorite character, but Samal was great too! Kiva experienced a lifetime of character development in this adventure and I can only imagine what the next adventure holds in store for her!

#3 Nyssa Glass and The House Of Mirrors by H. L. Burke

I will admit I have been on a bit of an H. L. Burke kick lately, so I forced myself to only choose two to put on this list. I can't believe I haven't read this series before! It is right up my alley! Reformed cat burglar and mechanic Nyssa Glass is drawn into a mystery surrounding the disappearance of a reclusive inventor. What she finds is far beyond anything she could have imagined. I loved Hart! There were nail biting moments and a few mechanical monsters I'm glad aren't real! This steampunk world is more futuristic than others with videophones and other tech which would be spoilers. It feels like H.L. Burke imagined what today would be like with steampunk tech. 

#2 The Desert Wall by Raf Morgan

This is the best book I've read in a long time. First, the cover is absolutely gorgeous and was the first thing that caught my eye. I love stories set near deserts and this delivers in spades. The magic system felt fresh and interesting. I loved how the main character had to build bridges between all the characters and considering her upbringing the occasional piece of wisdom from the young girl made sense. I love each of the characters fiercely and would adopt all of them in a heartbeat! I had a moment (you'll know when), where I thought, well, crap, now I have to adopt this grown man too. They tug on my heartstrings. I loved the strong female friendships formed in this book; it is rare that I read about women forming such close friendships and bonds in a way that it is realistic. I really enjoyed the three vicious girls in this book. This didn't feel like a NA, YA or MG book to me, just a fantasy book with protagonists who were younger and that is refreshing. Highly recommend!

#1 Spice Bringer by H. L. Burke

Wow, that was an adventure and a half! This book gets the unique distinction as being the second book that has made me cry, and I cried actual tears three times while reading it. The intense journey had me mentally leaning forward hoping to propel the characters forward just a little faster. The unique worldbuilding (especially the religions), the fact that the characters grew through adversity, and the bittersweet end makes this a new favorite of mine.

If you enjoyed this post, please let me know in the comments below! What is your favorite indie read in 2019 so far?

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