America. Land of the free–the ruggedly, independent, “don’t tread on me” free.
Our heritage includes innovation, expansion, settlement, and just a little more of that independent spirit. We didn’t like taxation without representation, so we broke free of those chains. A couple of centuries later, some Americans didn’t like where the educational system was going, so a new form of education (which is really a revival of an old form) emerged.
Fast forward a decade or so and something else happened. Music artists didn’t like being controlled by record labels. So, with the age of digital electronics, they were able to break free–independently produce their own music.
The American spirit soared.
Then a decade or so after that, something else changed. Authors got tired of feeling blocked by “gatekeepers” who decided should or shouldn’t be allowed into that exclusive club known as “publishing.”
Vanity presses have been around for ages, but with the rise of eBooks, these pioneers said, “No. We can do this like the music industry did.”
And so it happened. Dozens then hundreds–thousands of indie authors exploded on the scene, providing readers with a true myriad of literary options. Good, bad, delightful, and ugly. It’s all out there.
I polled friends and members of Christian Indie Author groups on Facebook and pulled out twenty-one, red, white, and blue covers to celebrate Independence Day.
Because while today we collectively celebrate our country’s independence from British rule, individuals celebrate independence from political oppression, religious persecution, economic failure, and… a few of us, “how it’s always been done.”
Indie authors are a new kind of pioneer.
We brave criticism, prejudice, competitive resistance, and our own personal demons that tell us we’re just not “good enough.”
Well, today I’m celebrating that we ARE.
Today, I’m Celebrating these 21 Indie Books for Independence Day
Book: The Promise(Yesterday – Christian Romantic Suspense, Time Travel Romance Book 6)
Author: Amanda Tru
Synopsis: The secrets to changing Hannah’s past, lie in her future.
The terror of being captured by her enemy throws Hannah into the distant future. But it is a future that holds secrets.
As the closely guarded secrets unravel, so does the mystery of Hannah’s life. Now her entire existence hinges on her actions.
With time on her own life running out, Hannah is driven by an obsession to travel back in time to save her husband and family, righting the wrongs from her mistakes. But in order to so do, she must control her time traveling and then somehow save a dead man.
‘The Promise’ is book 6 in the ‘Yesterday’ series. While each book tells its distinct part in the story, readers should start with book 1, ‘Yesterday,’ in order to fully appreciate Hannah’s journey.
Why I chose it: Well, Amanda is a creative writer, so I knew it would likely be interesting, but I mostly chose it because that model is Madeline from the Meddlin’ Madeline Series. I’d actually considered making a book about her great, granddaughter and using that for the cover.
Book: Charity’s Cross
Author: MaryLu Tyndall
Synopsis: Suspected of killing her husband, Charity Westcott flees on the first ship out of Portsmouth, England heading for the colonies. Loathing all men after her abusive marriage, she hopes to reunite with her family in Charles Towne, but the ship’s destination is Nassau. When she spots her husband’s brother, who is intent on seeing her hang, boarding her ship, she jumps overboard.
Elias Dutton, missionary and son of the famous pirate, Rowan Dutton, must get to Barbados as soon as possible. His sister is in danger, and his parents have charged him with her safety. He cannot let them down—again. But after rescuing a madcap woman from the bay, he now finds himself tricked into masquerading as her husband so they both can procure passage to Barbados.
Pirates, storms, shipwreck and betrayal threaten to delay the couple in their journey even as sparks fly between them. With her brother-in-law in fast pursuit, the last thing Charity wants is help from a man, especially a religious one, but she has no choice.
Why I chose it: It came highly recommended by a friend.
Book: Slave Again
Author: Alanna Terry
Synopsis: She traded in her prison uniform for shackles of a different kind.
After escaping a North Korean prison camp, Mee-Kyong is hustled over the border and sold into the Chinese underworld. She vows to survive, but sheer determination and willpower won’t save her this time.
Is she fated to remain a slave forever?
A breathtaking and unforgettable novel from Alana Terry, who has won awards from Women of Faith, Readers’ Faith, The Book Club Network, and many others.
Why I chose it: Because I just finished Breath of Heaven and knew this would likely be equally gripping.
Book: An Unnatural Beanstalk
Author: Brittany Fichter
Synopsis: Some fairies ruin everything.
Eva never doubted her place in her happy little world. Born second to a former woodcutters-turned-wealthy merchants’ family, all she ever wanted was to care for her siblings and to play the harp. Unfortunately, when her fairy godfather’s gift-giving goes awry, Eva receives an unusual talent that gets her abducted and betrothed to a loathsome duke with giant plans for the kingdom.
Jack never ventured far from his mother’s farm. But when Eva’s fairy godfather, in an attempt to fix his goddaughter’s plight, forces Jack to take some magic beans and responsibility for saving Eva, Jack finds himself in as much danger as the girl he came to save.
In this retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk, follow Jack and Eva as they attempt to outsmart the duke, save the kingdom, and just possibly find their own happily ever after as well.
An Unnatural Beanstalk is a romantic fairy tale novella. It can be read on its own but is more fun when read as a part of the Entwined Tales, a series of interconnected fairy tales by six different authors. Each story follows the adventures of one of seven children from the same family as they seek out their own happily ever afters in spite of their reluctant fairy-godfather.
Why I chose it: It was recommended by a friend who did warn that while it is a clean read, it is not overtly Christian. I still think the cover is stunning, and so I went for it. I love the premise of these children and fairy tales!
Author: Christy Barritt
Synopsis: I’m not really a private detective. I just play one on TV.
Joey Darling, better known to the world as Raven Remington, detective extraordinaire, is trying to separate herself from her invincible alter ego. She played the spunky character for five years on the hit TV show Relentless, which catapulted her to fame and into the role of Hollywood’s sweetheart.
When her marriage falls apart, her finances dwindle to nothing, and her father disappears, Joey finds herself on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, trying to piece her life back together away from the limelight. A woman finds Raven—er, Joey—and insists on hiring her fictional counterpart to find a missing boyfriend.
When someone begins staging crime scenes to match an episode of Relentless, Joey has no choice but to get involved.
Joey’s bumbling sleuthing abilities have her butting heads with Detective Jackson Sullivan and kindling sparks with thrill-seeking neighbor Zane Oakley.
Get Ready To Fumble your way through this enchanting new series.
Why I chose it: Um, detectives? Bad ones? Christy Barritt? It’s kind of a no-brainer!
Book: Starlight, Star Bright
Author: JoAnn Durgin
Synopsis: Dante Moretti, Texas-born goalie of an Italian World Cup champion team, expects Starlight, Iowa will be only a blip on the radar of his life. Grabbing a quick meal at Barney’s Diner during the holidays, Dante meets two women who capture his heart in very different ways. Then his rental car won’t start and leaves him stranded.
Does the Lord have a plan for bringing him—and keeping him—in Starlight?
Amanda Marston is excited to be home for her brother’s wedding. When she drops in for a cup of coffee at Barney’s, she’s charmed by the mysterious, Italian-spouting cowboy.
Before she can blink, the handsome stranger is helping with projects all over town and working his way into her heart.
Does God have a plan for Dante in her beloved little Starlight or will he take her heart with him when he returns to Italy?
Why I chose it: Well, a few reasons. One, it’s 2.50. An inexpensive risk. It has 4.8 out of 5 stars with 72 reviews. That’s pretty impressive. And, an Italian Cowboy? C’mon… You gotta try that, right?
Book: Discovering Hope
Author: Chautona Havig (that’d be me!)
Synopsis: The song says that when two people from two different worlds come together, those worlds collide. Hope Senior is determined to blend them instead—if she possibly can. She’s already lost two of the people closest to her. If her friend never embraces faith in Jesus, she isn’t sure she can bear it.
For Jay Brown, meeting Hope opened up a world he’d never thought he’d want to enter. Then again, taking things on faith has never been one of his strengths.
As their fledgling friendship grows into a richer, deeper one, Hope and Jay find themselves exploring more than the differences in Indian and American cultures. It becomes a journey of faith… for both of them.
Discovering Hope—find out what Brigadoon, saris, epic laser tag games, and Jesus have in common.
He’s learning what it means to fall in love with Jesus.
She’s falling in love with a man she thinks is off-limits, and it’s breaking her heart.
Why I chose it: Well, aside from it being FREE starting Friday? Well, maybe because I just reread it and forgot how much I love it. Or maybe it’s that it got a new synopsis? Or maybe because it was the first RED book I thought of. Or all of the above. Probably that one.
Book: Hand Me Down Princess
Author: Carol Moncado
Synopsis: Prince Malachi Van Renssalaer of Mevendia is getting married. The problem? He’s never even met his bride. His father arranged everything, right down to the marriage contract. Malachi swears to himself that he will be nothing like his father in the ways that count – including his fidelity to his wife.
Jessabelle Keller would happily spend her entire life in obscurity, but her father once saved the life of a future king. Before he dies, her father is committed to seeing that king make good on his promise to have one of his sons marry her so she would be taken care of for life.
[After their honeymoon] secrets have a funny way of coming out and this one could rip the faith of the country and its leaders to shreds. Malachi is determined to protect Jessabelle no matter what it takes, but will it ever be enough for her to not feel like a Hand-Me-Down Princess?
(Previously labeled book 1 in The Brides of Belles Montagnes series)
Why I chose it: Well, it’s white, it’s pretty, and the synopsis made me smile (though I edited it to keep this from being crazy long).
Book: A Moment Like This (Part of a series, but I’m lost as to what part, exactly)
Author: Staci Stallings
Synopsis: Wedding bells are pealing for Caleb James and Rachel Taylor in Ridgemount, North Carolina.
Surrounded by their friends and family, the mad dash to the altar on New Year’s Eve is in full swing. With a house to remodel, a wedding to plan, and new opportunities and challenges around every corner, Caleb and Rachel, along with their friends, have no time to waste.
Hang on for a wild ride as everyone comes together once again in a tale of what it means to be friends and family over the holidays and beyond…
Why I chose it: It’s pretty…
Book: A Midwinter’s Wedding
Author: Melanie Cellier
Synopsis: Princess Cordelia is used to being overshadowed by her many brothers and sisters. So when she’s offered the chance to attend her brother’s wedding in a faraway kingdom, she leaps at it. In Northhelm, she’ll finally have the chance to stand out. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll even find romance.
But not everything in the Northhelmian court is as it appears.
With her brother distracted by the wedding, only Ferdinand, the ugliest man at court, will listen to Cordelia’s concerns. An observant princess and a strangely amphibious soldier may be the only thing standing between all Four Kingdoms and disaster.
Cordelia will have to overcome prejudice, deceit, and danger if she wants to save the day and find romance at A Midwinter’s Wedding.
A Midwinter’s Wedding is a novella of approximately 35,000 words.
If you enjoy clean romance, adventure and intrigue, then try the books in The Four Kingdoms series now! Each of these young adult fairy tale retellings can be read as a standalone story, however, for greatest enjoyment, they should be read in order.
Why I chose it: Again, it was recommended to me by someone from my launch team, and I thought it was a super-fun idea. Note: it’s clean, but not overtly Christian
Book: Carol and the Belles
Author: Chautona Havig
Synopsis: Their childhood letters formed the friendship of a lifetime.
As part of an international school pen pal program, Carol and Michal began writing monthly letters twenty years ago. So, when Carol’s artisan guild decides to send an emissary to the United States to investigate a new gift store and potentially negotiate contracts for importing Romanian handcrafts to several major American cities, Carol applies.
Finally, the chance to meet Michal after all these years!
But Carol’s arrival in Rockland is fraught with surprises, misunderstandings, and a string of both awkward and delightful dates. Michal and the “belles” do everything possible to make the visit memorable and special, but when Carol decides to apply for a work visa, things get really interesting.
As a self-professed “world’s most non-spontaneous person,” Michal discovers that following your heart and the Lord’s leading just might also lead you into unexpected places and spontaneous decisions.
Why I chose it: Well, one of my launch team members suggested it, so I thought, “Okay! I was just reading about him in Hearthland, soooooooo why not?
Book: Thee Will I Honor
Author: JoAnn Durgin
Synopsis: After serving two tours of duty in Afghanistan, First Lieutenant Matthew Henry Martin, returns to Meadowvale, his beloved hometown nestled in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
Wounded in a roadside IED attack that killed two of his comrades, Matt’s devastating leg injury ended his military aspirations. At 25, he’s earned his degree but unemployed and facing a move back into his childhood home. Surely God has a higher purpose and plan for his future?
Lesley Ann Randall is a woman on a deeply personal mission. A small Virginia town is the last place her older sister, First Lieutenant Faith Randall, was spotted. Could a sleek red Mercedes hold the clue to her whereabouts? When Lesley speeds into Meadowvale, she immediately captures the attention of the sheriff, the pastor, and a handsome war veteran with secrets of his own.
When these two join forces, will they discover something greater than they could ever have imagined?
Why I chose it: I kind of liked the white and blue both. I thought it would be a good transition into…
Book: Derailed in Chancey
Author: Kay Dew Shostak
Synopsis: Carolina’s in-law’s marriage didn’t survive the holidays visiting in her and Jackson’s new home in Chancey, Georgia. Now both families have left, but she’s not sure how much longer she’ll still be in the small town.
She knew moving teenagers from the Atlanta suburbs to a small Georgia mountain town last year was a horrible idea. She knew opening a B&B for railfans was an even worse plan.
What she didn’t know, was that her marriage might not survive what was beginning to feel like an honest to goodness train wreck.
Oncoming headlights aren’t only aimed at her family, the town of Chancey is being set up for a collision that could change everything. And as that unfolds, Carolina’s husband Jackson is smack dab in the middle of it all, his hand on the throttle, going full steam ahead.
Why I chose it: Honestly? Besides the fact that it sounds good, I liked that if I ran out of white or blue options, this would work for either. *blush*
Book: Cold Feet, Hot Summer
Author: Emma St. Clair
Synopsis: What happens when you pair a case of cold feet with an old flame?
Natalie is just weeks away from her summer wedding to her longtime love Seth, so she should be overjoyed. Instead, the stress of planning the perfect day has her feeling more anxiety than anticipation. She and Seth can’t find a place to live (without his parents helping foot the bill) and Natalie and her mom have different tastes.
She’s just ready for the whole thing to be over.
When Natalie’s brother Jimmy has a freak accident, it means a drastic cut in the wedding budget and leaving her job to stay home with him. It also brings her ex Jeremy right back into the middle of her life. The feelings she thought were gone are anything but, and Natalie finds herself wondering if she has a simple case of cold feet or if she’s about to choose the wrong man.
Will she walk down the aisle or become a runaway bride? Find out in this standalone sweet romance!
Why I chose it: Frankly, I just liked that it had SUMMER in the title. And it sounds cute. And there are good reviews.
Book: Who Are These People
Author: Deb Gorman
Synopsis: Have you ever wondered who those people are? You know who I’m talking about–those people mentioned in just a few words, or maybe a paragraph or two in God’s Word; those people who appear and disappear in just a moment, with no past and no future, some with no names. You’ve read the verses about them, sliding over them quickly without knowing why they’re there.
God included them in His Word for a reason; the reason is you and me. What can we learn from these obscure people? What spiritual lessons can we extract? What is the connection between these shadowy characters and us?
If you’re curious, good!
You’ll want to read Who Are These People, Book 1, a devotional book plunging us into the imaginative stories of twelve briefly mentioned Biblical players, with applications for seekers and believers in the twenty-first century. Strap yourself in for a fascinating journey into obscurity and the triumph of God’s grace.
Why I chose it: I liked the idea of remembering that indie authors aren’t JUST into fiction. And yet, this author did both–a devotional with a fictional twist. Much like Kathy Ide’s series.
Book: An Imperfect Promise (reviewed by me HERE)
Author: Kari Trumbo
Synopsis: Some promises aren’t meant to last a lifetime.
Gini would do just about anything to take care of the eleven orphans in her custody. She’s vowed to never marry, but that oath is pushed to the limits when John moves in next door.
The new Nebraska rancher is a tad abrasive but willing to step in when the entire town has given up on her little orphanage. She’s prayed for help for so long, but are God’s plans even bigger than she can conceive?
Why I chose it: Because I loved the cover when it came out, it’s blue, and well, I did review it… really liked that book! 😀
Author: Christine Dillon
Synopsis: People let us down, but what if God disappoints us too?
Physiotherapist Esther Macdonald is living the Australian dream, and it doesn’t surprise her.
After all, her father has always said, “Follow Jesus and be blessed.” But at twenty-eight, her world shatters. Everyone assures her God will come through for her, but what happens when he doesn’t? Has she offended God? Is her faith too small? So many conflicting explanations.
Will finding the truth cost her the people closest to her heart?
Why I chose it: Did you READ that synopsis? Did you SEE that cover? Um… why is this a question?
Synopsis: 7 Contemporary Christian Romances.
Second chances at love and the excitement of new romance brought to you from USA Today and bestselling authors. Waiting for you inside…
Sun Kisses – Jackie Castle
A love for history drew Karen and Kelvin together. Just when they’re willing to give their hearts to each other, will their own histories threaten to tear them apart?
All in Good Time – Diana Lesire Brandmeyer
She’s clinging to the past. He’s looking for a future. Can they find happiness together in the present?
The Inn at Cherry Blossom Lane – Jennifer Vander Klipp
Can the summer magic of Lake Michigan bring first loves Claire and Alex back together? Or will the secret they discover inside the old farmhouse jeopardize everything they love?
Since You Went Away – Cindy Flores Martinez
Recently widowed Violet and Tom are struggling with the tragic loss of their long-time spouses. The last thing they want is to fall in love again, but when their paths keep crossing, will their feelings for each other ruin their friendship?
Getting to Yes – Allie Pleiter
Suzann’s been waiting-and waiting-and waiting-for Adam to pop the question. She’s more than ready, he’s trying to get ready, so why would God throw obstacle after obstacle into the mix?
Beauty Within – Rachel Skatvold
A young widow with two children searches for a fresh start in her hometown, and a cop runs from dark shadows in his past. Together, will this unlikely pair be able to heal after tragedy and discover the Beauty Within God’s plan?
The Way To A Man’s Heart – Suzanne D. Williams
Liberty Unick has turned her weight problem into a successful hometown bakery. But when her friendship with wealthy businessman, Eric Spader, blossoms, will her lingering insecurities threaten their chance at romance?
Fall in love again with some of your favorite stories and discover new ones. Be Still, My Heart is ready to take you on a romantic and heartwarming journey. Buy this Christian romance collection today!
Why I chose it: Who doesn’t love a good collection? And I’m just sure that this is a fabulous one. I mean, second chances? I’m all about those.
Author: Staci Stallings
Synopsis: represents the collision of two college students, both with dreams and goals, both with real-to-life issues that are complicating everything. Like many new adults, Heather wants to manage life on her own terms, but paying for everything has become impossible.
Anthony, on the other hand, seems to have it made, but in this contemporary romance, not everything is as it seems. The meeting of these two souls challenges both of them to let go of pride, prejudices, and pre-conceived notions about life and each other. Watching the coming of age journey is fascinating.
Why I chose it: The cover! I mean, THAT COVER, right??? *insert swoon here* Okay, and I’ve been wanting to try Staci Stallings for ages. This might be that book.
Author: Lou Aronica
Synopsis: Chris Astor is a man in his early forties who is going through the toughest stretch of his life. Becky is Chris’s fourteen-year-old daughter, a girl who overcame enormous challenges to become a vibrant, vital young woman – and now faces her greatest obstacle yet.
Miea is the young queen of a fantasy land that Becky and Chris created when Becky was little, a fantasy land that has developed a life of its own and now finds itself in terrible, maybe fatal trouble.
Together, Chris, Becky, and Miea need to uncover a secret.
The secret to why their worlds have joined at this moment. The secret to their purpose. The secret to the future. It is a secret that, when discovered, will redefine imagination for all of them.
BLUE is a novel of trial and hope, invention and rediscovery. It might very well take you someplace you never knew existed.
Why I chose it: A friend recommended it, and well, if she says it’s good, then it is. That said, this is not overtly Christian fiction, despite there an allegorical element for the astute reader. 🙂 Oh, and because the title was delightfully “on the nose.” Hee hee.
Book: Plain Everyday Heroes
Author: Laura V. Hilton, Rachel L. Good, Thomas Nye
They come in all shapes, sizes, and temperaments. Sometimes they’re larger-than-life wonders who do grandiose things, but more often than not, they’re ordinary people who do something that feels extraordinary
to the person they help. They’re just “Everyday Heroes.”
Playing with Fire by Laura V. Hilton
After a devastating fire, Noah Behr’s faith is buried in rubble, but
time spent searching for God and the love of Arie Zimmerman might just bring the healing his heart and soul needs.
An Unlikely Hero by Rachel J. Good
When a stranger arrives and arouses Benuel Miller’s suspicions, the blind shopkeeper doesn’t let his guard down for a minute… until Mari enters the picture. Something sinister simmers under the surface, and Benuel risks his life and hope of love to discover the truth about the stranger.
Racing the Slow Girls by Thomas Nye
Daniel Shetler just wanted fun with his friends, but when Edna Miller and her friends get in the way, a not-so-friendly rivalry begins. Things change when Edna’s little sister goes missing, he finds himself drawn to her and her family.
Why I chose it: This one might seem like a strange choice since it’s published by a small publisher, but you know what? The same snobbery that looks down on those who choose not to go the conventional publishing route can often look down on authors who don’t care to “do it all by myself.”
Celebrate Lit Publishing is an “indie publisher,” and I’m proud to share their work with you (and not just because I made the cover. 😉 )
Of course, I’m curious.
What books would you have put on the list? Do you have a favorite indie author’s book that is red, white, or blue? Have you read any of these? Which would you read first? Talk me down, people. I am so tempted to go buy all the books. AAAK!