Seal of Excellence Recipients

All the Blue-Eyed Angels

All the Blue-Eyed Angels
Title: All the Blue-Eyed Angels
Author:
Publisher:
Published: November 16, 2013
Author's Twitter: @jenblood
Jonestown. The Solar Temple. Heaven’s Gate. In the summer of 1990, the Payson Church of Tomorrow joins the ranks of those infamous cult suicides when thirty-four members burn to death on a small island off the coast of Maine. At ten years old, Payson member Erin Solomon watches helplessly as the church and its congregation are reduced to ash and embers. More than twenty years later, Erin is an accomplished investigative journalist when she receives word that she has inherited Payson Isle… and all its ghosts. She returns to Maine to learn the truth behind the tragedy that has haunted her since childhood, aided by the rakish mentor who’s stood by her side since she was a teenager, her trusty mutt Einstein, and a mysterious stranger with his own dark past. Soon, Erin is enmeshed in violence, conspiracy, and scandal, as she fights to unearth the secrets of the Payson Church of Tomorrow — secrets someone will kill to keep buried.

Assessed 

The Warden Threat

The Warden Threat
Title: The Warden Threat
Published: March 1, 2012
Prince Donald, the idealistic third son of the king of Westgrove, believes he may be the only one capable of protecting his country from an invasion spearheaded by an ancient, massive, and magical stone warrior known as the Warden of Mystic Defiance. When he recovers a mysterious scroll he believes may allow him to take control of the Warden, he eagerly takes on the task. Donald, unfortunately, is woefully unprepared. His only understanding of such things comes from reading fictional tales of epic adventures and brave heroes. He dreams of being one, but to his dismay, his quest unfolds nothing like he imagined. The books in his library seriously understate the complexities and hardships involved, and the real world can be much more confusing and complicated than those in stories. Sometimes it is not easy to identify the villains, and what things seem may not always be what they are. The real threat to the kingdom may not even be what everyone seems to think it is. Most disturbing of all is the realization that the hero is not necessarily predestined to save the day. Heroes can fail. This lighthearted parody is unique—a soft science fiction counter-fantasy, which pokes a fair amount of good-natured fun at the serious tone and dependence on magic common to many epic fantasy adventure genre novels. With its charming and truly likeable characters, witty, intelligent humor, and prose style blending positive science fiction and epic fantasy elements, The Warden Threat is a delight, perfect for readers of these genres yearning for something fresh and different. This book is also available in the omnibus edition Defying Fate, which includes both The Warden Threat and its sequel, The Warden War. Defying Fate is a Kindle exclusive.

Assessed 

The Commons: Book 1: The Journeyman:

The Commons: Book 1: The Journeyman
Title: The Commons: Book 1: The Journeyman
Series:
Publisher:
Published: June 19, 2014
Author's Twitter: @michaelapeck
 “Paul Reid died in the snow at seventeen. The day of his death, he told a lie–and for the rest of his life, he wondered if that was what killed him.” And so begins the battle for the afterlife, known as The Commons. It’s been taken over by a corporate raider who uses the energy of its souls to maintain his brutal control. The result is an imaginary landscape of a broken America-stuck in time and overrun by the heroes, monsters, dreams, and nightmares of the imprisoned dead. Three people board a bus to nowhere: a New York street kid, an Iraq War veteran, and her five-year-old special-needs son. After a horrific accident, they are the last, best hope for The Commons to free itself. Along for the ride are a shotgun-toting goth girl, a six-foot-six mummy, a mute Shaolin monk with anger-management issues, and the only guide left to lead them. Three Journeys: separate but joined. One mission: to save forever. But first they have to save themselves.

Assessed 

Salvation

Salvation
Title: Salvation
Published: January 18, 2014
Author's Twitter: @harrietsteel1
A story of illicit love, intrigue and adventure set in Shakespeare’s England. ‘The story literally thrives on excitement … I have no hesitation in recommending this book as an exciting romp through the hurly-burly of Elizabethan England.’ Historical Novel Society'

Assessed 

Worlds Within Worlds

Worlds Within Worlds
Imagine living in a multi-layered reality of separate but complimentary worlds—physical, mental, spiritual and technological—when a bully you thought safely tucked away in the cyberworld suddenly appears in your physical world looking suspiciously like your worst nightmare. Can you stuff him back into your computer? And if not, can the Magan Lord’s daughter from the fantasy book you’re editing, your dreams of a rabid beast, your visions of a Tibetan Yogi and your reawakened memories help you maintain your sanity and survive the darkest night of your life? Find out in the double award-winning metaphysical thriller Worlds Within Worlds when all this happens to author, editor and reviewer Prunella Smith. This inspirational, transrealist work—a mix of psychological thriller, fantasy and romance—has been awarded the Awesome Indies Seal of Excellence and a BRAG Medallion of Excellence in Independent Fiction. Worlds Within Worlds has a unique perspective on the nature of creativity. Its touch is light, its humour distinctive but it reaches deep into the nature of human experience.

Assessed 

Eternal Destiny

Eternal Destiny
Ariel and Nick face their deepest fears and their greatest challenge as they search for the Master Demon who holds the key to the future of mankind. Slay him and the world goes free; fail, and it falls irrevocably into violence and chaos. Guided by a wisdom master of a mystical tradition that uses mind power as the basis of powerful magic, the assault party travels from the ancient granite walls of the Hermitage, up the Steps of Death, and through a labyrinth of shifting gorges to the Palace of Skulls. Even if Nick wins his struggle with the scars of his past and defeats the green-eyed head of the Cogin clan, they still must cross the scree slope, where the bones of Ariel’s father lie, to get to the ice caves beneath the summit where the Master Demon awaits. The journey is extraordinary, the enemies are deadly and the ending is mind-blowing.

Assessed 

Click Date Repeat

Click Date Repeat
Title: Click Date Repeat
Published: August 21, 2014
Author's Twitter: @KJFarnham
These days, finding love online is as commonplace as ordering that coveted sweater. But back in 2003, the whole concept of internet dating was still quite new, with a stigma attached to it that meant those who were willing to test the waters faced a fair amount of skepticism from friends and family. Such is the case for Chloe Thompson, a restless 20-something tired of the typical dating scene and curious about what she might find inside her parents’ computer. With two serious but failed relationships behind her, Chloe isn’t even entirely sure what she’s looking for. She just knows that whatever it is, she wants to find it. Based loosely on author K. J. Farnham’s real-life online dating experiences, Chloe’s foray into online dating involves a head-first dive into a world of matches, ice breakers and the occasional offer of dick pics, all while Chloe strives to shake herself of the ex who just refuses to disappear. Will she simultaneously find herself and “the one” online, or will the ever-growing pile of humorous and downright disastrous dates only prove her friends and family right? There’s only one way to find out… Click. Date. Repeat.

Assessed 

Playback Effect

Playback Effect
Title: Playback Effect
Published: December 9, 2014
Author's Twitter: @KarenAWyle
New technology records the highlights of emotional experience for others to share. But the recordings carry hidden information. What will a sociopath do with recordings of the experience of death? “O wad some Power the giftie gie us/To see oursels as ithers see us!” But what if we could see others as they see themselves? New technology records the highlights of emotional experience for others to share. Buy a helmet and you can feel the exhilaration of an Olympic ski jumper, or the heat of a lucid dreamer’s erotic imaginings. Commit a crime, and you may be sentenced to endure the suffering you inflicted on others. But such recordings may carry more information than the public has realized. What will criminals learn about their victims? When a husband is wrongfully convicted of injuring his wife, how will their marriage change? And what uses will a sociopath find for recordings of the experience of death?

Assessed 

Breathing for Two

Breathing for Two
Title: Breathing for Two
Author:
Publisher:
Published: November 30, 2013
Author's Twitter: @wolfpascoe
Ever wonder exactly why anesthesiologists describe their job as hours of boredom, moments of panic? With gentle precision, anesthesiologist Wolf Pascoe teases apart an overlooked world and unveils the eggshell dance that takes place at the head of an operating table. A personal odyssey that goes deep into the heart of anesthesia's most fearsome mystery—breathing—this short book offers a seat on the stage of humanity's original theatre. It will change the way you think about life, and breath.

Assessed