Here are just a few of the best books I’ve read in 2011 from fellow independent authors. Do yourself a favor – pick up one or two. They’re far less expensive than traditionally published works, very well written, and you can even drop the author a line to say hello. If it appears on this page, I loved it and heartily recommend it.
In the first book of an epic futuristic fantasy trilogy, this is the coming-of-age story of Reza Gard, a young boy of the Human Confederation who is swept up in the century-long war with the alien Kreelan Empire. Nightmarish female warriors with blue skin, fangs, and razor sharp talons, the Kreelans have technology that is millennia beyond that of the Confederation, yet they seek out close combat with sword and claw, fighting and dying to honor their god-like Empress.
Captured and enslaved, Reza must live like his enemies in a grand experiment to see if humans have souls, and if one may be the key to unlocking an ages old curse upon the Kreelan race. Enduring the brutal conditions of Kreelan life, Reza and a young warrior named Esah-Zhurah find themselves bound together by fate and a prophecy foretold millennia before they were born.
At CIA headquarters, a young officer discovers that terrorists may have commandeered their computer systems to launch an unauthorized mission. Elsewhere, conspirators abduct nine people to manipulate the rules of their game. Two disparate ambitions — Clint Masters becomes the reluctant link in the chain of danger.
Ever since Clint’s almost ex-wife dumped him, he bobs along the Massachusetts coast in a sailboat with his black lab for company. He avoids all forms of technology, a counterintuitive effort for the burned-out founder of CatSat Laboratories. Tired of clutching the brass ring, he needed to untether, step off the corporate treadmill, and smell a flower. Fortunately, he met one, a beautiful, unspoiled woman who doesn’t treat him like a commodity. His relationship with Beth offers more promise than his marriage ever did, even if she is on dialysis for her recovering kidneys, until she disappears.
In spite of the evidence, her family refuses to admit she’s in danger. Without routine dialysis, she won’t survive. As Clint realizes that he loves Beth, damn-near ex-wife Paige sashays back into his life with disturbing news.
While the CIA young gun tracks his quarry, Clint enlists the help of two men to find Beth, a blithe Brit named Merlin, and Todd, his playboy partner-in-tech. But Clint must find Beth before her kidneys fail. And before someone unloads a bullet in his head.
A man can run from his past … but not his future.
Symon Bryson lives in self-imposed exile until Monsignor DuBarry goes missing and not even the most adept of the magic practitioners can determine the reason for the abduction. The clues lie buried in the past amidst epic battles and horrific losses but reliving that failed mission uncovers fresh challenges and fearsome threats that reunite his old team.
Symon must deal with his own hidden demons and confront the menace that threatens the delicate balance of power. When the darkest of all evils lures Symon into springing a long-planned trap, an unsuspecting world will confront the unthinkable.
When all that stands between Heaven and Hell is magic, more than faith will be tested.
Game 7: Dead Ball by Allen Schatz
Secrets, lies, and revenge provide the sparks that ignite a fiery collision between past and present…
A puzzle takes shape as baseball’s World Series unfolds, but the pieces don’t fit: a string of missing women, strange threats, gambling problems, kidnappings, and relationships long dormant are all somehow connected, but Marshall Connors–major league umpire–may run out of time before he can solve the mystery.
Marshall’s season has ended and he is looking forward to post-season plans that include time in Florida, first helping his mentor teach an umpire training class, followed by a lot of sun. Those plans are cut short when Marshall is given a surprise assignment to work the World Series as crew chief, but the real reason is not discovered until he is neck-deep in trouble.
The sudden change in plans rekindles a relationship with the O’Hara family–Terry, major league pitcher and Game 1 starter in the Series, Michael, Terry’s father and former major leaguer, and Samantha, Terry’s mother and Michael’s ex-wife–but Marshall quickly realizes some things truly are better left alone.
As the Series plays out, so does the truth behind long-buried O’Hara family secrets and Marshall is caught in a storm that threatens to destroy him and those he loves. With the help of his best friend, Thomas Hillsborough–ex-CIA spy–Marshall fights to solve the puzzle before the Series reaches its climax in GAME 7: DEAD BALL, the ultimate contest of survival.
For fans of Lee Child, Barry Eisler, and Duane Swierczynski …
Holly Lin is living two lives. To her friends and family, she’s a pleasant, hardworking nanny. To her boss and colleagues, she’s one of the best non-sanctioned government assassins in the world.
But when a recent mission goes wrong causing one of her team members to die, she realizes she might no longer be cut out for the work — except the mission, as it turns out, is only half over, and to complete it will take her halfway across the world and bring her face to face with a ghost from her past.
Things are about to get personal. And as Holly Lin’s enemies are about to find out, she is not a nanny they want to piss off.
Chasing Filthy Lucre by Jarrett Rush
Weber Rexall knows that in New Eden cash is king. That’s why, whether it’s throwing fights in a basement fight club or doing security work for a friend, he’ll take whatever job he can.
When one of those security jobs goes violently wrong and a corporate power threatens the status quo, Rexall finds a cause to believe in. It won’t pay him anything, but it might change his life.
“Chasing Filthy Lucre is a fast-paced, engaging look at an all too realistic possible future in which the rule of law has been replaced by the rule of the urban jungle. A little dystopian, a little cyberpunk, a little noir, Chasing Filthy Lucre is entirely thrilling.”
~Book reviewer Elizabeth A. White, at elizabethawhite.com