The aim of the challenge is to read 24 indie fiction works in 2011. Each must be by a different author, and every author’s surname must begin with a different letter, for a total of 24 out of 26 letters of the alphabet. Interested? Sign up here.
The first month of the challenge is over already! What exciting new stories and authors have we uncovered?
A IS FOR…
Allison, Wesley — His Robot Girlfriend
A romantic science fiction tale about a middle-aged widower who orders a female android on an impulse, only to have his life forever changed. Both my review and Cassie’s review agree that the concept is interesting, but the plot lacks substance. You can download it for free on Smashwords.
B IS FOR…
Benefiel, S.W. — Day of Sacrifice From my review: “Day of Sacrifice is a fast-paced romantic fantasy novella which serves mainly as a teaser into the world S.W. Benefiel is developing, a world of supernaturals, powerful families, blood-hungry gods, and an almost barbaric ritual of sacrificing one’s firstborn in order to receive the gods’ favour. Coming of age has never been worse.”
Brighton, Lori — The Mind Readers
Also from my review: “Part murder mystery, part paranormal adventure, The Mind Readers blends romance and intrigue into an escapist novella that will leave you hungry for more.” The story follows telepath Cameron Winters as she struggles to accept her talents and fit in at high school.
Burkinshaw, Robin — Alice and Kev
An experimental form of story-telling through pictures and narrative, based entirely off of the Sims 3. As Cassie so nicely puts in her review, “I’ve never seen anything quite like it, and knowing that it’s finished, I feel a sense of loss.” You can read the story for free online.
D IS FOR…
Davis, Amy Rose — Silver Thaw
Lured by a girl’s singing and driven by an old obsession, one man releases an ancient spirit that threatens to destroy the town and the estate it supports. Says prolific reviewer Cassie: “It’s a delicious fantasy, with a great setting and really vivid characters. I was drawn into the story and powered through it in one day, staying up late to get to the end and see how it all resolved.”
G IS FOR…
Guess, Joshua — Living With the Dead
Netta only has praise for this zombie blog novel, saying: “From the very first entry, I was HOOKED. Once I started, I couldn’t wait to read the next one, and the next one, and so on until it was 2am and I finished the entire thing in one sitting. It. Is. Fab.” What sets the book apart, according to Netta, is that it really digs into the deeper issues of a zombie apocalypse.
L IS FOR…
Larsen, Patti — Curiosities, Inc.
Netta picked a genre she doesn’t usually read (YA paranormal) in an attempt to be even more adventurous. “It was a fun, romping read and I enjoyed it enough to definitely pick up another book by Patti Larsen,” says Netta. “This indie book is a pleasant surprise in the sea of muck out there […] it was well done, and very much worth the modest $1.99 price tag and as good as anything off the shelf in a brick-and-mortar store.”
M IS FOR…
Miranda, MeiLin — Lovers and Beloveds
Jan skipped ahead the alphabet and started out with a great review, saying: “[Miranda] writes very believable young adults, with all their doubts and rashness. Even in this magical setting, with a very different (but boy is it interesting!) belief system, and the Royal upbringing of the characters, Temmin, Sedra and Ellika seem like people you can meet around the corner. And while I didn’t always like what they did, or agreed with their way of thinking, I found myself rooting for them all.”
S IS FOR…
Schreyer, Susan — Death by a Dark Horse
From my review: “The cleverly titled Death By A Dark Horse has all the trappings of an engaging murder mystery: high stakes, an independent heroine, intimidating goons and a clever villain, all set upon a backdrop of horse-riding and dressage.”
Scott, Amber — Irish Moon
From my review: “Irish Moon is a historical paranormal romance set in the wild countryside of Ireland in the 1300s. Under the magical Irish moon, anything can happen — and beware, because not all spirits are friendly.”
Non-reviewed indie titles read this month include:
Batchelder, Dennis — Soul Identity [Read by Paul]
Hogarth, M.C.A — Spots the Space Marine [Read by Cassie]
Lewis, Joseph Robert — Heirs of Mars [Read by Cassie]
The rest of you challenge participants, drop me a line in the comments for what you’ve read and I’ll add it to the list!
If you read 2 books in January, all you need to do to stay on track with the challenge is read 2 more this month. Remember that you don’t need to read in alphabetical order: there’s a long suggested reading list, or you can go off-track and find new authors to read. Be sure to share your finds with us!
Also, in case it wasn’t clear at the start of the challenge, you’re allowed two skips — meaning if you just can’t find an author you’re interested in whose name begins with an X, feel free to pretend X doesn’t exist. But of course anyone who does complete the entire alphabet wins special kudos points.
Since I crossed the first two letters of the alphabet off of my list, I am going to tackle the next two in February: C and D. Do you have any recommendations? And what are you thinking of reading this month?