Saturday Spotlight

Saturday Spotlight #7 [showcasing small press and self published books]

Finding lesser known indie books is a pain in the butt. Luckily for you, I did the work for you! I’ve vetted the first few pages of all of these recent finds, checking that the book is engaging and well written from the start, and to save you more time I’m adding the Amazon UK/US and Goodreads links too.

Shine Until Tomorrow by Carla Malden

Social misfit Mari Caldwell desperately wants to get on with her life. If only she could get there faster specifically to Yale – and leave behind all the things that make her anxious: driving a car, crossing bridges, her peers, her parents’ divorce. Mari only feels at ease behind the lens of her vintage Leica. Her camera keeps the world – and the people in it – at a safe distance.

When Mari comes across an old scrapbook of her mother’s, she discovers her white collar parents were once blue denim hippies. She ends up fighting with her mother and storming out. She pedals her bicycle into a downpour, swerves to avoid an oncoming jeep, and flies smack into a tree. Mari climbs into an abandoned VW van bearing the ghost of a psychedelic paint job, and passes out.

The next morning, Mari wakes up to the sound of music. A young couple wander through the glen like hippie gypsies, playing recorder and tambourine. Mari accepts their offer of a ride into San Francisco. But something is wrong; Mari can’t quite figure out what. The skyline, her father’s address, the music on the radio. Everything is slightly off. Except Jimmy, the driver of the van. There’s something about him that calms her inner chatter. Only after she says good-bye to the merry band and runs headlong into a war protest does Mari being to realize: it is June, 1967.

In the epicenter of the Summer of Love, Mari makes friends with the would-be rock band, meets the grandfather she never knew, and falls in love. In spite of herself, Mari discovers that love changes everything. It even changes her.

A fun and touching novel about the people who raise us, the times that define us, and the stumbling blocks on our way to being a grown-up, Shine Until Tomorrow tells the story of a girl obsessed with the future who must visit the past to learn to live in the present.

~ Add To Goodreads ~
~ Amazon UK / US

The Spirit Hollows by P.R. Brewer

Quinn dreams of leaving his dreary job at his mother’s funeral home for a life of adventure. His half-sister Zora plans to prove what a brilliant scientist she is – and settle a secret grudge. Together, they set out to fight the spirits that have roamed the Hollows ever since the Great Wakening.

As Zora and Quinn hunt by night in the graveyards and forests of what was once Old Appalachia, they clash with one another and compete against a mysterious rival. But when a shadowy cult and an ancient, otherworldly enemy start trying to murder them, the young spirit-hunters must scramble to uncover the hidden past of the Hollows and dig up long-buried family skeletons.

If Zora and Quinn fail, they’ll find worse things waiting for them in the dark.

~ Add To Goodreads ~
~ Amazon UK / US ~

Axtara: Banking and Finance by Max Florschutz

From the mind behind Shadow of an Empire and Colony comes a new YA Fantasy adventure full of friendship, discovery, and finance!

Meet Axtara, a young dragon just leaving the nest in pursuit of her lifelong dream: To own and operate her own bank. Her destination? The edge of known civilization: Elnacier. The coastal kingdom is small, but brimming with natural resources and poised for an economic boom if the right conditions can be met.

If. Change is never easy, and Axtara is going to have her claws full founding Elnacier’s first bank as she runs up against skeptical townsfolk, stubborn ministers, suspicious business owners, and tradition itself.

Especially as she’s also about to be Elnacier’s first dragon…

~ Add To Goodreads ~
~ Amazon UK / US ~

Curse Painter by Jordan Rivet
(Art Mages of Lure #1)

Art is magic. Art is a curse.

Briar can curse with the flick of a paintbrush. Her paintings maim, bewitch, and – most effectively of all – destroy. But Briar doesn’t want to hurt people anymore. She has fled her family’s deadly curse business to start a new life peddling nonlethal jinxes and petty revenge.

Briar’s destructive powers catch the eye of a charismatic young outlaw called Archer, who hires her to help him save a kidnapped friend from a ruthless baron. Briar thinks this is her chance to make amends for her crimes, but the family business won’t let her go so easily.

When her violent past jeopardizes Archer’s rescue mission, Briar must confront the dark arts she left behind – and decide what she’s willing to destroy in order to be good.

~ Add To Goodreads ~
~ Amazon UK / US ~

Chasing Cinderella by Steph Zhou

Cindy Glass never thought her life would turn into Cinderella, but when her father dies, she can’t help but wish for a prince to save her from life with her stepmother. More specifically: Sterling Prince, her ex-boyfriend turned rising music superstar.

Her plan is to crash Sterling’s glitzy party at the Midnight Ball, the iconic desert music festival, and get her prince back. But without a car she’s stuck – until help arrives in the form of a unlikely band of aspiring musicians chasing their big break at the same festival: There’s Ella, the slightly unhinged leader who seems to hate Cindy on sight; Max, as easygoing as Ella is wound tight; and Sun, the quiet Asian boy Cindy can’t quite figure out.

Reluctantly, Cindy agrees to sing for the band in exchange for a ride. But what starts as a straightforward journey into the desert soon turns into an unplanned road trip full of detours and surprises – and along the way, Cindy gets more than she bargained for as she learns that what she thought she wanted, isn’t what she needed…

And that sometimes, love can be found in the most unexpected of places.

~ Add To Goodreads ~
~ Amazon UK / US ~

D.D.’s Magic Shop by C.K. James

After almost losing a finger, sixteen-year-old entrepreneur Dolores Dell decides poisons aren’t worth the hassle. Restoration potions are much safer, more boring, and worse margins – also way harder to sell.

In the small town of Hamin, Dolores dreams of trading her street cart for a magic shop in the capital. Dreams are cheap, potion ingredients not so much. After an act of kindness, Dolores befriends Kel, a water spirit who provides her with mystic water for her recipe. Mystic water far greater than possible to purchase.

When Dolores unveils her new, improved potions, she scores a trial contract with the Adventurers Guild. Soon rumors race across the kingdom about a new player in the potion trade. As orders bring her closer to the capital, the titans of the magic industry are already plotting her fall. Unknown to her rivals, Dolores possesses her own tricks of the trade. An inventory of rare products gained from partnerships with creatures of legend. Now looking to shake up the magic industry, Dolores will stop at nothing to open her own shop.

~ Add To Goodreads ~
~ Amazon UK / US ~

Did any of these books find their way onto your shelves or baskets? Let me know in the comments!

6 thoughts on “Saturday Spotlight #7 [showcasing small press and self published books]

  1. Axtara: Banking and Finance by Max Florschutz is on my TBR right now! I love how you are showcasing small authors and publishes. I think that so many books can get swept under the bus, so it’s great that you are shining light on them. Fabulous job!

    Liked by 1 person

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