My TOP 5 Indie Picks for 2012

Hey Scriblers, PJ Sharon here and as promised, this week I’m spreading some Indie love. As an independently published author, I’ve had the good fortune of meeting bunches of other Indies like me. Since I write YA (young adult) fiction, I read mostly in that genre, but there are plenty of excellent self-published authors of all kinds out there.  Here are my top five indie books I’ve read this year.
In the #5 slot, FREAKS OF GREENFIELD HIGH, by Maree Anderson.
Loved this story about Jay, a teenaged cyborg trying to fit in and fade into the background at a new high school. As she fends off the popular kids, deals with her new found “feelings” about Tyler, a boy who is as much an outcast as she is, and tries to stay hidden from the agency set out to find and destroy her, she discovers that being human is much more complicated than she imagined. This wonderful indie story got “discovered” on Wattpad, and is now being optioned for television in Canada! Go Maree! 

#4 on my list was RILEY’S POND by Harley Brooks
A sweet and steamy teen romance, this one kept me up all night. The main character, Riley Martin is the middle boy between two brothers—an older one who is the classic rebel, and a younger brother who is nearly perfect. But finding his own way gets complicated when he stumbles upon Taylor Wilson, a beautiful teenage girl who has a heap of her own trouble, and has found her way to Riley’s pond. Harley Brooks captures the angst of the teen boy in a voice that is real and engaging as he struggles with first love, and trying to be the son his parents expect him to be.
The #3 spot goes to RUNNING, by Patrice Fitzgerald
Not a YA! This fast paced political thriller had it all. I loved the main character, Catherine Young, the Vice president and newly-selected Democratic nominee, who gets a chance to prove herself when the President is hospitalized and she has to take over. But just as the White House is within reach, Catherine’s romantic entanglement from decades ago comes to light and someone is blackmailing the Vice President. Excellent debut novel and very well written.
My #2 pick is OFF LEASH, by Renee Pace.
OFF LEASH is the first book in the Nitty Gritty series by Pace, another Canadian author who proves herself a top notch Indie as she delves into the teen psyche without holding back. This story grabbed me by the throat and didn’t let go. An emotional read about a boy living in poverty with a drug addicted mother and a younger sister who is dying of cancer. When Jay is forced to get a job to help support his family, he takes up dog walking. Ollie, the pit bull, is a fabulous character and Pace does an amazing job telling the story from both Jay’s POV and Ollie’s. In an incredibly effective chapter by chapter POV switch, Ollie and Jay’s first person accounts are powerful and prove once again, that taking a risk on the page is as rewarding as taking a risk in life. I look forward to reading OFF LIMITS and OFF STROKE by this author.
AND MY #1 FAVORITE INDIE BOOK OF 2012 is PRIDE’S RUN, by Cat Kalen.
This YA paranormal is as different a werewolf story as one could get. Pride is held in captivity by an evil master—a man who trains the wolves to hunt and kill humans. To control them he starves them and threatens their loved ones. Pride submits to his demands to protect the others, until her master goes too far and expects her to breed with a wolf she despises. Her only option is escape. While out in the wild, trying to figure out how to free the others, she meets Logan, a young alpha with secrets and a mission of his own. I won’t tell you anymore, but this first book in the Wolf’s Pride series left me waiting impatiently for the next one, PRIDE UNLEASHED, coming soon.
Don’t feel bad if you are an Indie author and you didn’t make my short list. It probably just means I haven’t gotten to yours yet. So many great Indie books, so little time. I’m currently reading a traditionally published book by my friend, debut author Huntley Fitzpatrick, called MY LIFE NEXT DOOR. Congratulations Huntley. Another wonderfully written story!
 
Notice all these fabulous covers!
And speaking of covers, WANING MOON, Book One of The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael trilogy, will be exclusively revealed right here next week!
Have you read any outstanding Indie published books lately?
 
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12 thoughts on “My TOP 5 Indie Picks for 2012”

  1. Hi PJ, great blog with enticing reads. Thanks. I am busy reading Katy Lee’s “Real Virtue” and Judith Ivory “Beast.” I must learn to read faster, so I can enjoy these reads you recommend. There is not enough time. And when do you have time to write?

    1. Writing comes first. I’ve really been militant lately about protecting a few hours a day of writing time. If I get to read for a half hour at night when I get into bed, I’m lucky. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Gail.

  2. OMG PJ I had no idea my book Off Leash would be on this list. I’m so thrilled. I was actually looking for your own – my fav is Cat Kalen’s Pride’s Run and yours, Heaven is for Heroes (your book made me cry) – so love that.

  3. Hi PJ — What a thrill to see that my thriller is one of your top five indie picks… and #3, no less! I didn’t even know you had read RUNNING.

    Thank you so much for the recognition, and for the encouragement. I’m working on the sequel to RUNNING right now (I won’t give away who wins the White House, but it will be clear in the second book), while also starting the first book in a new cozy mystery series. Fun to change it up and have two going at the same time!

    You have really made my day. My month!

  4. Gosh, thank you so much for including Freaks of Greenfield High in your list, PJ. I’m humbled to be included along with such gems as Off Leash and Pride’s Run, which I loved to bits! Will have to check out the other recommendations, too. Thank you!

    1. i thought so too, Natalie. The second cover, for Pride Unleashed is even more awesome. I love what the cover artist did with the model photos. Truly stunning!

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