Subject: Best indie books for this week

Here is this week's selection of recommended books from small and independent publishers.
LibraryBub Books October 26
Black Inked Pearl: a girl's quest
by Ruth Finnegan

An epic romance about Kate, a naive Irish girl, and her mysterious lover, whom she rejects in panic and then spends her life seeking. After the opening rejection, Kate recalls her Irish upbringing, her convent education, and her coolly-controlled professional success, before her tsunami-like realisation beside an African river of the emotions she had concealed from herself — that she passionately and consumingly loved the man she had rejected.

Searching for him, she visits the kingdom of beasts, a London restaurant, an old people's home, back to the misty Donegal sea, the heavenly archives, Eden, and hell, where at agonising cost she saves her dying love. They walk together toward heaven, but at the gates he walks past, leaving her behind in the dust. The gates close behind him. He in turn searches for her and at last finds her in the dust, but to his fury (and renewed hurt) he is not ecstatically recognised and thanked. And the gates are still shut.

Guided by a little beetle on a secret backway to heaven, Kate repeatedly saves her still scornful love, but at the very last, despite Kate's fatal inability with numbers and through an ultimate sacrifice, he saves her from the precipice and they reach heaven. In her search for her love, she eventually finds herself – the unexpected pearl.

The novel, born in dreams, is interlaced with an ambiguity between this world and another, and increasingly becomes more poetic, riddling and dreamlike as the story unfolds. The epilogue alludes to the key themes of the novel – the eternity of love and the ambiguity between dream and reality.

Blurring the lines between poetry and prose, dreams and reality, Kate's tale recalls the archetypal search for love, as the pursuit permeates every thought of Kate's. Engaging readers with humor and insight, this unique tale is told through lyrical verse: "I said it was friendship / but you wanted love / I said that I'd thought of you / when you wanted--above." Kate's romantic quest calls to mind Paradise Lost and Greek mythology as it weaves together biblical allusions, fantasy, and details of the modern day. — Kirkus 

Honors: Literary Titan Silver Award 2017; Finalist, National Indie Excellence Awards, 2017; seen on NBC and Fox

Category: Fantasy

ISBN: 978-1942146179

Available at Amazon here »
by Jennifer Ball

Here is a story about Christian morals and values meeting head on with today's progressive society. Joshua, a senior in high school, frequents parties, engages in premarital sex, and surrounds himself with pseudo-friends. Abigail lives in another town. She is a freshman in high school, keeps her circle of friends pure and is open about her greatest relationship — Jesus. Joshua and Abigail are both born-again believers but each has a different understanding of loyalty to Christ.

Although Abigail has been deeply hurt and betrayed by a family member, she still seeks to hold the hand of Jesus when walking on her journey so she may be pleasing to God. Joshua, however, holds the hand of the devil, yet accepts Christ in order to escape the penalty of his sins. God has a plan for Joshua as he nears adulthood but he can't hear God while frolicking with the world. God knows why Joshua chose this lifestyle, and knows there is only one man who can change that journey — his dad. God also knows there is only one way his dad will give him the message Joshua needs to hear. Abigail gets thrown into Joshua's life when she is given a very important task. These two Christian teens, living in different towns, leading different lives, will have their worlds collide in a dramatic way — and Joshua’s life will never be the same again.

In this multifaceted novel for young adults, Jennifer Ball takes you on a journey of teenagers growing up in a society of broken families, broken faith in God and broken promises. Underpinning the whole story is a strong belief that if God is for you, who can be against you?

Here is a beautiful story, told in lucid and powerful prose, a story that is very relevant to today's rapidly changing world. — Readers' Favorite

Honors: Bronze Medal, Religious Fiction, 2016 eLit Book Awards; Finalist, Religious Fiction, 2016 Best Book Awards; seen on NBC and Fox

Category: Young Adult

ISBN: 978-1937660796

Life and Death: making sense of it
by Francis O'Neill

Read this book:
• If you are looking for a deeper purpose to your life, or...
• If you need to know how come you are more than your physical body, or…
• If you wonder about death, and if it's going to be the end to your existence.

This book will challenge you to look at your life and death from a spiritual perspective.

It explores life, and the nature of soul, through a range of topics including the paranormal, near-death experience, past lives, human evolution, karma, reincarnation, and ‘the other side’.

It raises demanding questions and offers answers to why we are here, and where we are heading.

Be warned: it does not pull its punches so don't read it unless you are ready to get serious about the matter.

This book has the potential to change the world view of its readers. —   PublishNation UK

Honors: seen on NBC and Fox

Category: Religion & Spirituality

ISBN: 978-0993462610

Rise and Decline: where we are and what we can do about it
by Bruce D. Thatcher

Rise and Decline explores the histories of great nations to learn what drives this cycle. Ancient Athens, the Roman Republic, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Third French Republic completed their life cycles and faded into history long ago. The United Kingdom and the United States are still thriving ... but in decline.

This book shows that citizen acceptance and support of specific principles is basic to the founding of every nation and propels its ascendance. Dishonoring and disdaining those principles leads inexorably to national decline and, ultimately, extinction.

America’s raison d’être is liberty, articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. These values are being usurped by our governments and eschewed or disdained by citizens. Unless this erosion is halted or reversed, the end of the United States will arrive sooner, rather than later.

Reaffirmation and commitment to our raison d’être can become a renaissance in America, but not spontaneously. Prolonging the essence and values of the United States will take thoughtful actions over many years or generations, not one-time fixes and not simple projects. But if not soon begun and continued to reasonable completion, the decline of the United States of America will continue apace, regardless of any short-term corrective actions.

Here is a book that succinctly and brilliantly showcases lessons from history and offers a path that America must walk to retain her place in the world’s political arena. — Readers' Favorite

Honors: seen on NBC and Fox

Category: History


Snowman Paul at the Concert Hall
by Yossi Lapid

Snowman Paul practices round the clock for his grand musical debut and no one gets any sleep. Dan is ready to stop him! But what if Snowman Paul has real musical talent?

Written in rhyme, the Snowman Paul series is suitable for early readers and bedtime stories. Whimsical and humorous, the stories touch upon serious themes such as friendship, peer pressure, perseverance, family relations and values. Vivid and expressive illustrations complement the narrative and bring the stories alive.

Children will fall in love with Snowman Paul! He is energetic and playful, he has big dreams and he is not afraid to be different.

Pick up your copy and join Snowman Paul and Dan in this exciting winter adventure!

Yossi Lapid’s… picture books… are delightful little fantasy stories told in rhyming verse. The illustrations are spectacular and certainly help carry along each story.Readers' Favorite

Honors: Moonbeam Award; IndieBRAG Medallion; seen on NBC and Fox

Category: Children's

In case you missed the books featured in the last newsletter, here they are again:
The Geometry of Love
by Jessica Levine

Are security and passion mutually exclusive? Is betrayal ever justified? Can one be fully creative — in art or life — without the inspiration of erotic love? These are the questions asked in The Geometry of Love, a novel set in New York in the 1980s, then Northern California 20 years later. Julia, a poet with writer’s block, attempts to choose between Ben, a professor at Princeton whom she sees as good husband material, and Michael, an emotionally vulnerable composer who is her muse but also a destabilizing influence.

Reasoning that Michael is too wounded to make a commitment, Julia turns her triangular situation into a square by setting him up with a cousin. In the process she discovers, as Pascal once said, that the heart has its reasons that reason does not know. This deeply psychological tale explores the assumptions and fantasies that determine romantic choices as the narrative takes us from one decision in the 1980s to an opportunity to reverse it in the 21st century.

Honors: Top 10 Women's Fiction, Booklist, 2015; seen on NBC and Fox

Category: Literature & Fiction

ISBN: 978-1938314629

Frances Donaldson: A Woman's War: 
letters to a soldier in the Second World War
by Rose Deakin

My mother, Frances Donaldson, wrote several best-selling biographies, King Edward VIII and P.G. Wodehouse being two of her famous subjects, and I felt it was time for a biography of her. A Woman’s War is that.

Daughter of English playwright Frederick Lonsdale, she moved in 1930s society until she met my father, a committed socialist with ideals. It intrigued me to try to find out, reading her letters, how she became a serious war-worker and farmer, fighting to produce food for the nation while surviving the catastrophe of war and, with 2,000 miles between them, trying to realize a decent life for when my father returned.

With her soldier husband far away and two young children to care for, she bought a farm in Warwickshire and determined to live off it, although she had no money for stock and machinery.

She learned to farm, battling with the antagonism of the men she was trying to manage. She triumphed and became a farming ‘name’.

Although the book covers only the war years in depth, her full character and potential are revealed in the struggle. Brief sketches of their lives before and after the war set the scene. A moving must-read of feminism two generations before its time.

Honors: seen on NBC and Fox

Category: Biography

Chronicles of Drenyon: The Golden Sword
by N.L.J.

In the land of Drenyon... There is a maiden who is so desperately lonely that she befriends a frightful-looking tree that lives outside her village. Her name is Anya. Her tree is enchanted, and every day she listens to its strange and troubling fables, unaware that they are prophecies in disguise. One day, she returns home from visiting the tree and the first of the fables comes to life, causing her entire village to burn to the ground. 

Now it's up to Anya to use the other fables to save the rest of her kingdom from the same destruction. And according to these fables, there is only one weapon that has the power to save her people: The Golden Sword.

The Golden Sword is a wonderful read for preteen girls and boys alike, with plenty of action, adventure, and other worldly events to keep them enthralled from the very beginning. — Readers' Favorite

Honors: seen on NBC and Fox

Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy

ISBN: 978-1943164813
Snowman Paul Saves Kate's Birthday (Book Three of the Snowman Paul series)
by Yossi Lapid

Dan gets into big trouble when he 'accidentally' eats his sister's birthday cake. But having a good friend like Snowman Paul for support sure helps! Can Snowman Paul help Dan save Kate's special day?

Written in rhyme, this book is perfect for beginner readers and bedtime stories. Filled with humor and heart, the story touches upon serious themes such as friendship, family relationships and ethical values. 

Charming illustrations complement the narrative and bring the story alive.

Children will fall in love with Snowman Paul! He is energetic and playful, he has big dreams and he is not afraid to be different.

Grab your copy and join Snowman Paul and Dan in this amazing birthday celebration adventure!

Yossi Lapid’s… picture books… are delightful little fantasy stories told in rhyming verse. The illustrations are spectacular and certainly help carry along each story. — Readers' Favorite 

Honors:  Moonbeam Award; Indie BRAG Medallion; seen on NBC and Fox

Category: Children's

ISBN: 978-0997389944
Rabbits and Rats, Birds and Seeds, Cactus and Trees: plants and animals at work in El Pinacate, Sonoran Desert, Mexico
by Paul Dayton

This book tells the fascinating story of life in the desert as seen through the eyes of Renaldo, a tortoise, who has observed the weather, plants and animals in the highly diverse Sonoran Desert for many years.

Photos, drawings and Renaldo’s clear explanations help readers of all ages and backgrounds understand and enjoy what they see in the desert.

• Why is that packrat nest surrounded by a mess of sharp-spined cactus ‘buds’?
• Why is this saguaro cactus standing all alone, while that one over there seems to be ‘embraced’ by a tree?
• Why do some ocotillo plants have a few long stems reaching straight up, while other ocotillos are ‘bushy’ with many short stems?
• What killed the cactuses whose woody ‘skeletons’ we see stretched out on the ground?
• Why are grasses and small flowering plants dotted over the landscape in patches, as if they were planted in small gardens? And what does that have to do with jackrabbit boxing matches?

Find the fascinating answers to these and other questions in this book. Spanish-language edition also available (Liebres y Ratas, Aves y Semillas, Cactos y Árboles).

Honors: Amazon Category #1 New Release, Outdoors and Nature; seen on NBC and Fox

Category: Science

ISBN: 978-0997003215

We trust that your readers will enjoy our hand-picked selection.

Warm regards,

Alinka Rutkowska
CEO, LibraryBub