Assessed for Awesome Indies Book Awards
Award: Awesome Indies: APPROVED
Author: Rob Kaufman
Ten-year-old, Danny Madsen, has been missing for four days when Jesse Carlton begins his own search for his godson on a frigid, snowy night. Driving along a deserted rural road, Jesse hits a stretch of black ice at the same time Danny appears from the thicket. Unable to control the car, Jesse slams into the boy and watches helplessly as Danny’s body flies back into the dark brush. When Jesse regains consciousness, he has no recollection of how he and his car wound up in a ditch. However, there’s a witness: Charles Hastings, the sociopathic kidnapper who chased Danny through the brush and into the path of Jesse’s car. Hastings takes this chance to set up Jesse so he’ll take the fall for both Danny’s fate. And so the mind games begin—an onslaught of psychological manipulation that devastates Jesse, his wife, Danny’s parents and the cops’ investigation. Inexplicably, the torment continues even after the primary suspect is killed and the rollercoaster of emotions and confusion seems never-ending, until the final and devastating truth is revealed.
Author: T. 'Gus' Gustafson
Even in 2030, young people who dream of becoming doctors want to help people in need. Hal believes that health care is about caring, and patients want their doctor to be knowledgeable, trustworthy and compassionate. However, medical training seems designed to whittle away at his convictions and reshape him to fit its own purposes. College, medical school and residency spend eleven years molding him into a cog that fits in the healthcare machine. Contending with A.I. Assistants, cybernetic implants and robots, Hal’s journey is an emotional roller coaster. His wife Sarah does everything humanly possible to save his last spark of passion and hope; she even follows him to Africa in search of his dreams. Can she rescue his humanity? A few years ago, this story would have been pure science fiction. But medical technology is advancing at breakneck speed; the doctor you visit tomorrow could be a RoboDoc.
Author: Lucienne Boyce
Series: Dan Foster Mysteries
Publisher: SilverWood Books
During a routine patrol, police arrest two men in possession of human body parts intended for sale to the dissecting rooms of a London teaching hospital. Bow Street Runner and amateur pugilist Dan Foster makes the grisly discovery that they are the remains of fellow officer George Kean. The arrested men are charged with Kean’s murder, but Dan is not convinced that they are the killers. In pursuit of the real murderer, he investigates the unhallowed activities of the resurrection men – bodysnatchers. The bodysnatching racket soon leads Dan to something bigger and much more dangerous. In a treacherous underworld of vicious pugilists, ruthless murderers, British spymasters and French agents, Dan must tread carefully…or meet the same terrible fate as Kean. 'The Butcher’s Block' is the second Dan Foster Mystery. 'Bloodie Bones', the first in the series, was joint winner of the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016.
Award: Awesome Indies: APPROVED
Author: Barb Etteridge
Series: Vampire Murders
Publisher: Velvetfish Publications
Absinthe and drugs at a vampire wake. Tensions are running high at the Winslow house party, and as the past is dragged out into the night, accusations begin to draw venom. The vampire marshals are already in town. Drawn by the scent of suspicious deaths and asking uncomfortable questions. Which means Eloise Winslow has to walk a dangerous line. One where she works to act like everything is normal while she covers up the brutal murder she has just committed.
Award: Awesome Indies: APPROVED
Category: Children's Books
Author: C.S. O’Kelly
Publisher: MonkeyBear Publishing
Gracie & MonkeyBear is told through the actions and conversations between a brilliant young girl and her partner in adventure, the most celebrated canine inventor the world has ever seen MonkeyBear! The pace is that of children, hopping and bouncing from one creative thought to the next, one adventure to another. This is not a traditional children's book, it is a storyworld meant to be read and experienced together, parent and child, veteran bookworms with new readers. At its core, The Adventures of Gracie & MonkeyBear embodies the concepts of relentless curiosity, untethered imagination, power of diverse friendships and experiences (like the world around us), heroic acts of kindness based on strength of character and most of all, the belief that all living things are connected and should be treated with love, compassion, and respect.
Category: Contemporary Fiction
Author: Lynn Almengor
A group of geeky 20-somethings in Scranton, PA, struggle to form post-college identities without alienating each other in the process. When happy-go-lucky Wade is dumped by his longtime girlfriend, he’s left to wonder whether she might have a point about his lack of ambition. Needing a distraction from the heartbreak, he begins programming a video game, which soon becomes a passion project as he strives to prove he can follow through on his own. Meanwhile, his brother Ian barely has time for games now that he’s overloaded at work and struggling to connect with pregnant wife Kat, who’s starting to doubt whether she wants a baby at all. In fact, without the shared experience of college, their entire friend group is splintering. Needing his friends more than ever, Wade becomes obsessed with turning back the hands of time. But with everyone’s hopes and expectations so tangled up, it might take an outsider—someone like painfully shy librarian Eleanor—to provide some much-needed perspective. That is, if she could get out of her head long enough to risk making a connection.
Author: Gwen Dandridge
Series: The Stone Lions
Publisher: Hickory Tree Publishing
It is the 14th century and Grenada is again under threat thrusting thirteen year old Sultana Ara and her cousin Layla again into danger. As Ara and Layla sail down the Grenadian coast to raise tribute for the Castilians, a magical and mischievous Jinn appears to cause trouble. And worse, a young, arrogant Venetian boy, Tomas, is aboard their ship. The Jinn issues a mathematic challenge to the young people; the stakes are high and none can afford to lose. Ara and her friends must use all their skill to protect themselves and Grenada, but will it be enough to defeat a Jinn? And what happens to the Jinn if he loses?
Author: Jamie Le Fay
Thirty-four-year-old Morgan is a dreamer, change maker and art lover. She is a feisty, slightly preachy, romantic feminist full of contradictions and insecurities. Morgan uncovers a world where women have the power, and where magic is no longer just a figment of her wild imagination. Sounds like a dream, but it may, in fact, turn into a nightmare. The world of the Ahe'ey challenges and subverts her views about gender, genes, and nature versus nurture. The strong and uninvited chemistry between her and the dashing Gabriel makes matters even more complicated. His stunning looks keep short-circuiting her rational mind.
Author: J.T. Bishop
Series: The Fletcher Family Saga
She'll risk her life to break his curse but revealing the truth could be far more dangerous. In high school, a friend’s mother blames Grayson Steele for the tragic death of her daughter. Now, years later, Grayson is wealthy and successful, but on the brink of suicide. Because the women he loves are dying. And he can’t stop it. Knowing about Grayson’s circumstances, Gillian Fletcher derives a plan. Catch the killer who’s making Grayson Steele’s life a living hell. But there’s only one way to do it. She has to be the bait. As Grayson and Gillian’s plan takes shape, they must not only expose a killer, but also their feelings for each other. The further they go, the more secrets they will reveal. Secrets that will illuminate not just a murderer, but shocking truths that neither may be prepared to face. Truths that will change their future forever.