Indie Reads

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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!

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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.





Author Website:

Goodreads Page:

Cover Artist: @morgana0anagrom

Without further ado, here is the cover reveal!

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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! 

Stay tuned for my next blog post, Great Indie Fantasy Books To Read Over Thanksgiving!

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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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Last year, I rated The Wendy as one of my top indie reads! Now comes the sequel, The Navigator! Here is an excerpt from my review of The Wendy: "There is a difference between retelling a story and recapturing the essence which made it wonderful. This novel manages to do both."


In this eagerly awaited second volume of the acclaimed Tales of the Wendy series, Wendy’s troubles are far from over. Hook wants her in irons, the crew wants to throw her overboard, and Pan’s magical compass is the only thing standing in their way. But Pan himself is nowhere to be found.

When a new everlost captain appears on the horizon, it will take everything Wendy has to survive.

And a tiny red dragon will set events in motion that could save or doom them all.

I can't wait to read the continued story of Wendy and Her Boys! I know of a certain purple dragon in the previous book so I wonder if the red dragon will be another familiar face or a unique character.

Without further ado, here is the shiny cover!

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The Heart Of The Curiosity is the latest novel from indie author H.L. Burke. I have been following along with the creation of this novel and I can't wait to read it. The characters are delightful, I detect a hint of romance and a mystery worth solving! Just look at that beautiful cover! The preorder links are below the description! The release date for the book is June 27th.

The secret lies with the Heart.

Born with a magical knack for manipulating emotions, Leodora's only dream is to ensure her talented little sister dances on the biggest, brightest stage in the Republic: The Curiosity, a grand old theater of tradition and innovation. After escaping a cruel carnival, Leo secures her sister a place in the Curiosity’s chorus line, and herself a job as a professional audience member, swaying the crowd's mood with her magic. The girls have a home for the first time in their lives.

Then a tragic accident darkens the theater. A greedy businessman begins blackmailing Leo, and financial woes threaten to close the show forever. The Curiosity's sole hope lies in a mythical power source hidden beneath the maze-like passages and trapdoors of the theater—the Heart. And Leo’s only friend Paxton, nephew of the theater's stagemistress, is the key to finding it.

While Leo and Paxton hunt for the Heart, the blackmailer’s threats loom larger. Mysterious figures, cryptic clues, and deadly traps hinder the search at every turn. If the friends cannot recover the Heart in time, Leo and her sister will be cast out of the only home they’ve ever known, and the final curtain will fall on The Curiosity.

Enter a world reminiscent of The Greatest Showman, with a puzzle worthy of Sherlock Holmes and National Treasure, in this new Steampunk Fantasy from H. L. Burke.

Pre-Order links:


Barnes & Noble



Autographed paperback


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Encircled is an upcoming Anthology by the Ever Afters group set to be released on April 16th! Scroll down to see the beautiful cover!

Experience six of the world's most beloved stories in a whole new light! From historical to futuristic, these retellings will take you to an enchanted forest, a cursed castle, and far beyond. Uncover secrets of a forbidden basement, a hypnotic gift, and a mysterious doll. Fall in love with a lifelong friend or brand-new crush. Venture to unknown lands on a quest to save a prince, a kingdom, or maybe even a planet. With moments of humor, suspense, romance, and adventure, Encircled has something to offer every fan of fairy tales, both classic and reimagined.

This anthology features stories from S.E. Clancy, Jebraun Clifford, J.M. Hackman, E.J. Kitchens, Laurie Lucking, and Tori V. Rainn.

You can preorder this book for $1.99!


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The Electrical Menagerie is a lovely book by indie author Mollie E. Reeder. I've written a full length review here and included this book in my top ten best indie author books I read in 2018. This year the author comissed a new cover by artist Kirk DouPonce from DogEared Designs. I am in love with the new cover for this novel! I think it reflects the magical uplifting story contained within.

For fans of Caraval and The Greatest Showman: a quest for fame and fortune in a stardust-powered empire brings debt, scandal, and danger in spades.

The Electrical Menagerie, one-of-a-kind robotic roadshow, is bankrupt.

Sylvester Carthage, illusionist and engineer, has the eccentric imagination the Menagerie needs to succeed creatively — but none of the people skills. Fast-talking Arbrook Huxley, meanwhile, has all the savvy the Menagerie needs to succeed commercially — but none of the scruples.

To save their show, Carthage & Huxley stake everything in a royal talent competition, vying for the once-in-a-lifetime chance to perform for the Future Celestial Queen. In this stardust-and-spark-powered empire of floating islands and flying trains, the Menagerie's bid at fame and fortune means weathering the glamorous and cutthroat world of critics, high society, and rival magicians — but with real conspiracy lurking beneath tabloid controversy, there's more at stake in this contest than the prize.

Behind the glittery haze of flash paper and mirrors, every competitor has something to hide… and it’s the lies Carthage & Huxley tell each other that may cost them everything.

Tell me what you think about the new cover in the comments below!

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Last year I challenged myself to read more fantasy and more indie authors. It was so much fun that this year I have challenged myself to read only fantasy (for as long as possible) to stay inspired for my novel Rise Of The Shadow Lord. This has been equal parts difficult and easy. Why? Well, I usually read scifi so the temptation to read what I'm comfortable with is high. But it has also been easy because of the weath of delightfully good indie fantasy books.

Last month I read three indie fantasy books, each one just as good as the last.

Pippa of Lauramore by Shari L. Tapscott

Pippa of Lauramore is a delightful fantasy romance novel I am going to be recommending 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 as she went from judging everyone, feeling like she was always being treated unfairly, and trying to meddle to someone who realized she had treated others unfairly, 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 I'd pick either one of them. Archer was brilliant and honorable. Rigel was great and 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 in the future and I added the rest of this series to my TBR list!

Best For: Laughing out loud. Great character development.

A Gift of Poison by

You know that feeling you get when you finish a good book and now don't know what do to with your life? Well, I finished this story in one sitting, not because it is small, but because it is amazingly wonderful! I love each of the complex characters who have their own burdens and their character growth. The mystery!! Briand is such a great scrappy character who is constantly underestimated and misjudged, but learns to earn the trust of those around her. That twist at the end nearly gutted me. I couldn't believe it. I almost wanted to start reading this book again right after I finished it! I was so happy to see this the first in a series. 

Best For: Complex characters. Gut wretching twists.

Such A Secret Place by

Let's be honest here, this cover is gorgeous and totally what made me want this book. I enjoyed reading this book. It is refreshing to have a heroine who starts at zero and has to fight for every ounce of advantage she can. There is a lot of back story here, but it is revealed layer by layer in little bite-size pieces as the plot continues. It might seem like it starts slow, but everything that happens, in the beginning, sets up the rest of the story on solid foundations. There was a point towards the end when I realized there wasn't enough pages to wrap up all of the plot points and I wanted to slow down reading so I could savor the ending. But I also needed to know what happened ASAP.

A fully imagined world with a unique magic system. If you like YA Dystopic Fantasy, you'll enjoy this book. I have the next two books on my TBR list!

Best For: The Cover. <3 Great character growth.

What was your favorite fantasy read in 2019?

#FantasyMonth Blog Tour:

February 1

Jenelle Schmidt - Tour Schedule
Selina J. Eckert - Fantasy Favorites

February 4

Crystal Crawford - World Building
Katy Huth Jones - Book Review

February 5

Deep Magic - Fantasy Favorites
Jenelle Schmidt - A Game of Tag
Laura VanArendonk Baugh - Research and Writing Fantasy
Elizabeth Koetsier

February 6

Nicki Chapelway

February 7

Jenelle Schmidt - Author Spotlight: Terry Brooks

February 8

Kyle Robert Shultz - Non-Human Characters

February 9

Amelia Nichole
Lila Kims

February 11

Katy Huth Jones – Book Review
Crystal Crawford
Savannah Jezowski

February 12

Laurie Lucking
Jenelle Schmidt

February 13

Nicki Chapelway

February 14

Melissa Rose Gardiner
Jenelle Schmidt

February 15

Selina J. Eckert

February 16

Amelia Nichole
Laura Matthias Bendoly

February 18

Katy Huth Jones - Book Review
Crystal Crawford

February 19

Jenelle Schmidt

February 20

Nicki Chapelway
Kendra E. Ardnek

February 21

DJ Edwardson
Jenelle Schmidt
Jackie Castle

February 22

Kyle Robert Shultz

February 23

T.R. Gemmell

February 25

Katy Huth Jones - Book Review
Savannah Jezowski

February 26

Jenelle Schmidt

February 27

Nicki Chapelway

February 28

Nicola Pike
Lauricia Matuska
Jenelle Schmidt

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I was inspired by a fellow writer to post my top indie books that I read in 2018. Here is my top ten indie reads in 2018!

10. Begger Magic by H. L. Burke

This is a lovely story about doing what is right not because you want the praise or the fame, but because it is the right thing to do. This book features a wonderful friendship, a dash of romance, and a gripping mystery. The main character has a good moral compass and that isn't always easy to find in novel nowadays. I also loved the deaf love interest, he is adorable. This book features a unique (to me) magic system that I enjoyed quite I bit.

9. Claus: Legend of the Fat Man (Available for free)

I got this book in an anthology of Twisted Fairytales. I missed the title page so I had no idea what I was reading, nor what I was getting into. If you would have told me this novel was about Santa Claus I might have stayed away. I am glad I didn't know, because this is an awesome family friendly novel with genuinely good worldbuilding. A scifi twist on Santa Claus perfect for the holidays!

8. Cora and The Nurse Dragon by H. L. Burke

(Available for free on Kindle Unlimited)

I love this book. It one of three books in the world that fill me with a warm fuzzy feeling. Delightful from beginning to end! It fulfills every fantasy fans dream of hatching a special dragon.

7. Windswept by Sarah Delena White

(Available for free on Kindle Unlimited)

A lovely short story about empowerment and love. Felt like it could be right there on the shelf with other traditional fairytales. Can't wait to read this authors main series.

6. Ursa Kane by Stacy Bender

Ursa Kane is a great book! The main character is one of the few true modern warrior princesses that I have read in fiction. She's a women and a warrior, and there are no compromises. The plot was gripping and it had a satisfying conclusion. It has helped inspire my own characters. I will be reading this one again!

5. Dragon School Series by Sarah. K. L. Wilson

(Available for free on Kindle Unlimited)

A series of short novella like episodes. Easy to read on the go or during breaks. I haven't finished the series, but I read the first six books in two days. These short novels are about 150 pages long and have a complete plot arch. They also manage to end on a cliffhanger at the same time.

The first book follows the adventure of Amel, a crippled girl who decides to leave her family and become a dragon rider. She feels like a burden to her large family since she cannot help out with the farm chores, and no one will marry her. The Dragon School must accept anyone who wants to join as a dragon rider or as a servant.

When it comes time to choose her dragon, the dragon chooses her instead. Raolcan, the purple dragon, is the highlight of each book. A sassy dragon, who underneath all of his scales, truly cares for Amel.

4. A Keepers Tale: Tomkin and the Dragon by J.A. Andrews

(Available for free on Kindle Unlimited)

This is a great fantasy story for all ages, I can't wait to read this author's series of books! Tomkin is not your usual hero, but I love him for it. It feels more like a real life fairytale with real heroes and real consequences.

As someone who likes fairytale retellings, I noticed what seemed like a few tropes you'll find in those stories, but this book turned them on their head and had them doing cartwheels. ;)

I want to say so much more, but it would be spoilers. I'll be reading this one again. And if you haven't read this one, you should. I also bought the main series by the author which I can't wait to read!

3. 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.

And now my top two favorite indie reads from 2018...

Electrical Menagerie by Mollie E. Reeder

The characters are heartwarming, larger than life and real all at the same time. A futuristic fantasy world of magicians and traveling sideshows, a world where trains run on stardust and travel on invisible rails in the sky. The Electrical Menagerie is a fantastical tale that at the same time has such a realness to it, that you almost feel like you could go there. This book leaves you with a big smile on your face. This novel earned a spot on my favorite novels of all time list.  Read my full review here.

The Wendy

There is a difference between retelling a story and recapturing the essence which made it wonderful. This novel manages to do both. It warmed my heart and made my laugh in every chapter. This novel earned a spot on my favorite novels of all time list. 

I hope you enjoyed my list of my top ten indie reads in 2018! What was your favorite books of this year?