I thought I'd take a minute to blog about what I call indie books - that is books published through small publishing houses or that get very little publicity because they're not mainstream enough. Most of these books can't even be found in your local bookstore. Unless you're Amazon surfing, you may never even know they exist. So, I'm going to throw them out there for your consideration....
Bite Me by Parker Blue and Try Me by Parker Blue
These books are about a girl, Valentine (goes by Val), just about to celebrate her 18th birthday. Val has a secret - she's part demon, succubus. In order to control her inner demon, who she calls Lola, she's taken to hunting vampires. The story starts with Val discovering her little sister has hidden away in her car on a hunt. When they get home, all hell breaks loose and Val's mom - who has major issues with Val - not only throws her out of the house, but fires her from the family bookstore. Val must then find a way to survive. Enter a cop working for a special division that deals with supernatural creatures, an incubus who runs a secret organization, a vampire trying to bring his people into mainstream society, and someone who wants to stop that. I liked these books & I hope the author writes more. Definitely worth reading.
Dead, Undead and Somewhere In Between by J.A. Saare
This was a great read. Rhiannon is a bartender. She's also a necromancer, but untrained. Disco is a vampire who needs her help. Someone is killing vampires and he needs her to speak to their ghosts if they exist. Rhiannon reluctantly agrees to help. The problem is, once its out that she's a necromancer and a powerful one, other vampires want to own her. She's forced to let Disco claim her. Through it all, her opinion of vampires (she doesn't really like them) changes and she falls in love with Disco. This has a MAJOR cliffhanger at the end and I'm praying that the author doesn't just let it end like that. I would definitely read more.
La Vida Vampire by Nancy Haddock and Last Vampire Standing by Nancy Haddock
These are the story of Francesca, a vampire who was turned and then locked in a hidden space in a basement by her sire because she wouldn't obey him. She was unearthed during a renovation. She now works for a tour group in New Orleans. Vampires are out in these books, and have limited rights. She's being hounded by an 'anti vampire' group. There's a hot cop boyfriend and a mystery mixed into the story of her learning to adapt to the world as it is. A surprisingly good read. Definitely worth picking up.
Shadowfae by Erica Hayes and Shadowglass by Erica Hayes
Okay, I will warn you that these books are loaded with sex. This is usually a turn-off for me, but these are so well done that I LOVED them. The first book is the story of a succubus and an incubus who fall in love and all the struggles they go through to be able to be together. The second book is about a water sprite, her friends, her enemies and a magical device that makes them act on their impulses with disastrous results. The stories are rich and the words tumble over each other to weave an amazingly emotional ride. You won't be able to put them down.
They Call Me Death by Missy Jane
I've talked about this book before. It takes place after shifters have come out and the US is now divided with shifters to the north and humans to the south. The lead character, Alexia, lost both her husband and her son during the 'coming out'. She hates shifters. Enter Andor, an eagle shifter, who is searching for his daughter. Everything Alexia believes gets turned upside down as she gets to know him. This book is fast paced and a really good read. I'm anxiously waiting for the sequel.
Demon Can't Help It by Kathy Love and What a Demon Wants by Kathy Love
I read these books out of order, and I'm in the middle of the first. They're short, sexy romances with characters that aren't perfect. And I like that.
The Calling by David Mack
This was a really solid story about a man named Tom who hears people's prayers and is compelled to help them. He has no idea there are others like him until he responds to a young girl's plea. Its a great good vs. evil tale.
Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill, Friday Night Bites by Chloe Neill, Twice Bitten by Chloe Neill
This is an awesome new series. The third book is being released in less than a month & I can't wait for it!! Merit is a college student who is attacked by a rogue vampire one night on campus. Thankfully Ethan, head vampire of Cadogan House, comes across her and is able to turn her. Well - she's not so thrilled about it. She's irreverent and completely clueless to vampire rules. But it turns out she's a bad-ass vampire. I love this because the good guys aren't all good and the bad guys aren't all bad. Well written and just downright enjoyable.
Don't Kill the Messenger by Eileen Rendahl
When Melina was four, she drowned in the family pool. Now she's a messenger - able to see supernatural beings & basically at their beck and call. She's attracted to an ER doctor who's a vampire and has a hot cop boyfriend. She lives with a foot in each world but doesn't feel like she belongs in either. She's snarky, ascerbic, and just plain entertaining.
That Which Bites by Celis T. Rono
This is the story of Julia Po, survivor of a plague that wiped out most humans and the vampire uprising that followed. She was eight at the time and has grown up on her own with little social interaction. She's physically scarred, emotionally and socially stunted as an adult. She's also a kick-ass vampire killer. Its not a happy story, but its one worth reading.
The Demon's Librarian by Lilith Saintcrow
This is a tough one to find in a bookstore, tho her other books are well stocked. Its a shame, because this is an incredible story. Francesca (Chess) is a librarian. She discovers that demons exist, finds some old sorcery books and decides to take them on to protect her friends. Enter Ryan - a drakul - and all hell breaks loose. I loved LOVED this book.
A Kiss Before the Apocalypse by Thomas Sniegoski, Dancing on the Head of a Pin by Thomas Sniegoski and Where Angels Fear to Tread by Thomas Sniegoski
These books revolve around Remy Chandler, a fallen angel who has just lost his wife. He's put in a situation where he has to deal with other fallen who aren't so noble as he is in order to save the world. Remy struggles with his angel self (Remiel) who is an angel of war and would like nothing better to permanently shed the human mantle Remy has assumed. I love the whole idea of fallen angels, and I loved these books. Definitely worth reading.
Wraith by Phaedra Weldon, Spectre by Phaedra Weldon, Phantasm by Phaedra Weldon and Revenant by Phaedra Weldon (also Grimoire - an online story)
This is a great series about a woman, Zoe, who can travel through the astral planes. There are a lot of secrets as to what Zoe actually is revealed as the story progresses. She has to deal with emotional issues as much as bad guys. Again, the bad guys aren't always bad and the good guys aren't always good, making things much more interesting.
And Falling, Fly by Skyler White
This is the story of Dominic and Olivia. Dominic is a neuroscientist who believes he's insane because he remembers past lives. Olivia is a vampire who is tired of living. This has a major Clive Barker feel. I honestly couldn't put it down - it was so fascinating.
The Book of Illumination by Mary Ann Winkowski and Maureen Foley
Anza is a single mom still in love with her ex (who is remarried). She's a bookbinder by trade but because she sees ghosts, she also works to helps them pass over. She's hired to help two monks who are guarding an ancient illuminated manuscript, but its stolen before she can look at it. Its a great story.
I'm sure there are tons of books out there that would fall on this list. I have five currently ordered thru Amazon that I'm going to add to my TBR pile (which is at roughly 120 books - yikes). And there are a few in that TBR pile pleading to be read, too. Seriously, think about picking these up. You will enjoy them.