Indie Books Challenge: July 2021

indie books challenge

This was supposed to post yesterday, but I get allergy shots every Saturday morning that make me extremely sleepy. So I opted to take a couple of naps and spend the rest of the time fighting to stay awake instead of finishing this up.

For my personal Indie Books Challenge, I’ve decided to try to have at least half of all the books I read in a month be by an indie author or published by an indie publishing house, which I’m broadly defining as not published by one of the Big 5 because doing otherwise would break my already exhausted brain. So, how did I do in June?

I read 9 books and 4 were definitely indie books. I had hoped for a better July in terms of indie reads, but one massive fantasy book took up over a week and nothing quite beats discovering four of the eARCs I have are due to be published on the same day! Who knew August 17th was so popular? All I know is it’ll be my oldest’s second day of Second Grade and I am FREAKING OUT trying to decide whether to put him back in the classroom or not. Anyways. On to the books!

The Indie Books

The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray by O.R. SimmondsThe Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray by O. R. Simmonds was my first indie read of the month, and I’m so glad it was! It turned out to be an incredible time travel read, even though the back and forth in time made me a little dizzy. It has some wonderful characters and a time travel concept that actually makes sense. I couldn’t recommend this more to fans of time travel. It just came out yesterday! Review

The outlands by tyler edwardsThe Outlands by Tyler Edwards is a well-written dystopian science fiction novel that definitely felt more YA than adult to me (it’s not listed as YA), so I struggled a little with it since I don’t like YA. Still, I did enjoy how well-written it was and all the twists and turns Edwards threw in, so I can easily say this was one (of very few) YA book I’ve enjoyed.


My next indie read was…um, it was originally two separate books, but the author has since merged the first two books of his series into one book. I happened to get the entire series before the merge, so I have two separate books but have been asked to lump them together into a single review as they’re now one book. Anyways, the single volume is now The Quest for the Holy Hummus and The Vegan Charade by James Allinson, the first two books in the Chickpea Chronicles. It’s about a vegan dragon who ends up living in People Town. It’s humorous, though sorely lacking on world building and decent female characters. For the purposes of this post, since they’re now considered a single volume, I’m calling it one book.

murder at the town hallI closed out July with one of my favorite cozy mystery series. Murder at the Town Hall by Denise Jaden is the third book in her Mallory Beck Cozy Culinary Caper mystery series. There’s more of a religious undertone to this series than I typically prefer, but I can get over it because it has a grumpy cat whose a better detective than anyone else, delicious food, and a very gently blooming romance. This installment involves the death of a school superintendent at a town hall meeting where everyone was gathered to discuss whether or not to close the library. But of course there’s more to the story than that!

The Books from the Big 5

Such a Quiet Place by Megan MirandaI started off July finishing Such a Quiet Place by Megan Miranda, which was published earlier this month by Simon & Schuster. It wasn’t quite the thriller I was expecting, but it still ended up having some nice twists and turns. Review



battle royal by Lucy ParkerBaking is one of my hobbies and I love cake, so I absolutely adored Battle Royal by Lucy Parker, which will be published by Avon next month (and a huge thanks to Avon for a NetGalley widget AND a finished copy that just arrived a couple of days ago!). Baking rivals, a baking competition, and a royal wedding cake, definitely a must read for those who love reading about dessert. I loved this enemies to lovers story, though I was easily distracted by invading thoughts of cake the entire time I was reading this.

where i left her by amber garzaLast year I fell in love with Amber Garza’s debut thriller, so I jumped at the opportunity to take part in the book blog tour hosted by MIRA, the publisher, for her next novel, Where I Left Her, next month. She’s quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I loved how this was about the relationship between a single mother and her teen daughter and all the secrets they’ve kept that now spill out since the daughter is missing.

legacy of lightLegacy of Light by Matthew Ward is set to be published by Orbit next month and brings the Legacy Trilogy to a close. Each of these books has been seriously hefty with so much going on in the pages, so I wasn’t surprised it took me over a week to finish this one. What did surprise me were the tears. I don’t know if I was just emotional since the past couple of weeks have been tough or if the endings given to some of the characters just broke my heart and made me cry.

ReclaimedReclaimed by Madeline Roux is described as a claustrophobic science fiction novel and is due to be published by Ace next month. It made me think of a less creepy and more present oriented We Have Always Been Here (by Lena Nguyen). But it’s still creepy and definitely claustrophobic with some really wonderful characters.



Thanks for reading!

Head over to the Bookshelf to check out my reviews of books from the Big 5 and self-published, indie, and small press books.

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4 thoughts on “Indie Books Challenge: July 2021

  1. Kat, you are TRULY my book reading hero. I wouldn’t even get through nine fiction books in a whole year these days, let alone one month! I bow to your readerly focus talents! xx 🙂


    1. Haha, I just find it better to be addicted to reading than anything else! I also make too many commitments and guilt is a huge motivator. Or maybe I just crave the knowledge in the pages. Haha, who knows!


    1. Thank you so much for reading! I love doing what I can for indie authors, and often I find their stories to be much more interesting so it’s a ton of fun to do what I can.


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