At the beginning of this year, I made a goal to read more books from indie authors like me! (Indie authors are published either independently or through smaller privately owned presses.). The more I read, the more I was pleasantly surprised by all the amazing books I would have never heard of otherwise. So, as we close out this year, I wanted to compile a list of my Top 10 New-to-Me authors that I read this year. Some of these authors are new to the writing scene, while others have been around for awhile. Most are fantasy authors, but there are a few other genres mixed in as well!
Without further ado, here’s the list:
Sharon Hinck – The Sword of Lyric series
She’s always longed to make a difference, but will she have the courage for this role? In this award-winning, genre-blending series, a modern-day mom is swept into a fantastical adventure and spiritual journey in a dangerous world waiting for a promised Restorer.
Click to read a full review of Book One
Selena Gonzalez – A Thieving Curse
She must marry a prince for the good of her kingdom…but the man cursed with dragon features who saved her life is the wrong prince.
Raelyn would love a simple life getting up to mischief with her brother and being valued for herself, not her title, but she’s a princess with the weight of a peace treaty on her shoulders.
When Raelyn gets separated from her family on the way to her arranged marriage to the crown prince of the neighboring kingdom, she is saved by a beast…
But now he won’t let her leave.
Not only does the monster claim to be Alexander, the rightful crown prince living in hiding, but he refuses to escort her back to her family. Trapped in dangerous mountains with an infuriating, fire-breathing dragon-man, Raelyn fears for the future of her kingdom and the safety of her family.
The kindness of the cursed prince’s human friends surprises her. When Alexander reveals the shocking truth of his curse, she begins to see past the monstrous exterior to the prince’s human heart. But will Raelyn have the courage to admit her growing love for a cursed man? And will her family manage to salvage the treaty when they think her dead?
H.L. Burke – Spellsmith & Carver series
From Book 1: Book One in the Spellsmith & Carver Trilogy
An estranged son. An adopted heir. A magical attack that forces them to work together.
The disappearance of Auric Spellsmith’s mother has strained his relationship with his father to the breaking point. Now, after five years away at the Magicians’ Academy, Auric returns home, determined to prove himself to his father and claim his birthright.
Apprentice Jericho Carver has held Spellsmith Manor together in Auric’s absence. Now his master’s son is back, and if he can’t get rid of Auric, Jericho will forfeit his career and lose all hope of wooing the master’s enchanting daughter.
Neither man intends to back down.
But then Master Spellsmith vanishes into the mysterious Fey Lands. With Fey magic threatening the mortal realm, Auric and Jericho must work together to save the man they both see as father.
Click to read a full review of Book One
Emily Deady – Fairy Tale Royals series
From Book 1:
Once she was a noblewoman.
Now she is a palace servant.
Ashlin never pictured herself scrubbing floors. But with the family savings depleted and her stepmother crippled by grief, Ashlin selflessly takes a job at the royal palace. She can pursue her dreams of becoming a seamstress someday in the future.
However, as she forms an unlikely friendship with the prince, she learns that the future may not be so certain. Wielders of a powerful magic threaten their small coastal kingdom and Prince Onric does not believe that their defenses will hold.
As Ashlin navigates growing feelings for the charming prince, she realizes that her unique skills could help save the kingdom. But can she trust the charming prince or he is merely exploiting her selfless nature?
Shard of Glass is a fantasy retelling of Cinderella. Discover a world where heroines can be both powerful and worthy of protection. If you love sweet romance, a little bit of magic, and heart-melting conversations, then this story was written for you.
Click to read a full review of Book Three
Emma St. Clair – Royally Rearranged
There WILL be a royal wedding. The only question–who will be my groom?
An arranged marriage isn’t the worst fate for a princess like me. Especially because I’ve been in love with my intended groom since we were children.
But when my prince shows up with an American girlfriend instead of an engagement ring, all arrangements are off.
The clock is nearing midnight–I won’t turn into a pumpkin, but if I’m not wed by summer’s end, I’ll forfeit my kingdom.
Just your typical royal dilemma.
Out of sheer desperation, I make a deal with a devilish duke. Rafe de Silva is the prince’s rival and has a plan so ridiculous it just might work.
One moment, Rafe seems to relish making the prince jealous.
And the next… he’s making me question everything with his words, his touch, and his ability to melt my Ice Princess persona.
I’m not always given the luxury of choice, but now I have a huge one to make. I only hope I don’t lose my crown, my heart, or myself in the process…
Royally Rearranged is a sizzling, swoony, closed-door romantic comedy.
Jennifer Kropf – The Winter Souls series
From Book 1: “Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good fright…”
The Quarrel of Sword and Bone was a death sentence for anyone who stepped into the arena with the deranged Queen, whose soul had crisped to frost in an age long since past.
Sixteen-year-old Helen Bell understood tragedy better than most kids growing up-she knew what it was like to wear clothes from donation bins and be mocked by the beautiful girls in school. She thought these brutal experiences made her ready for anything. But she wasn’t ready for this. After an eccentric girl opens Helen’s eyes to let her see the realm of Winter–a world with intersects tucked carefully into the cracks of our own, where monarchs have risen and fallen, it’s forbidden to mention the name of The Dead King of Winter, and the currency is gold rings–Helen comes to realize the downtown confrontation was more significant than what the eccentric girl let on. When Helen receives a summons from the Crimson Court to enter into The Quarrel of Sword and Bone; a traditional duel performed before one thousand witnesses that leaves only one survivor, she’s forced to finally pay attention to the boy who’s been following her around with a warning on his tongue.
With an underlying Christian message of hope, The Winter Souls Series blends action and Christmas tradition, bringing the old forgotten tales of the season to life with new and grittier versions of famous characters out of old holiday legends, such as St. Nicholas, The Snow Queen, and The Nutcracker.
A Soul as Cold as Frost is Jennifer Kropf’s debut novel, ideal for fans of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms by Meredith Rusu and Ashleigh Powell.
Click to read a full review of Book One
Tabitha Caplinger – The Wolf Queen
Ylva was raised by wolves. That is the story the villagers tell of their Wolf Queen. The truth is far more miraculous. Her Gift, bestowed by the Light, enables her to see deep inside the hearts of men. Prince Rohan considers the Light mere superstition and only believes in what he can see with his own eyes. But a great evil is infecting the Four Realms. The battle between the Light and the Darkness is no longer bound to human hearts, and words Ylva and Rohan thought were just legend are being whispered again. The dragon is rising.
Lucy Tempest – Fairytales of Folkshore series
From Book 1: The Selection meets Aladdin
ONE MONTH. ONE PRINCE. FIFTY CONTESTANTS. AN IMPOSSIBLE HEIST.
You have been summoned to Sunstone Palace to compete in our search for the future Queen of Cahraman.
After years on the run, Adelaide thinks her lonely and dangerous life as a thief is finally over. But her world is upended when a witch steals her away to a faraway kingdom, to perform an impossible heist. If Adelaide fails, her newfound family would be sacrificed to a beast.
To complete her mission, she’s forced to assume the role of a noblewoman and enter a royal competition. The prize is the hand of the elusive Crown Prince. Elimination means certain death.
As the witch’s literal deadline approaches, Adelaide has one last gamble to save the day, and to escape to a new life with Cyrus, the handsome and mysterious fellow thief who stole her heart.
But everything falls apart when the prince finally reveals himself…
Click here for a full review of Book Two
Saga Hillbom – A Generation of Poppies
The First World War casts its shadow over seventeen-year-old Rosalie Wilkes’ idyllic life. Unwilling to sit idle, Rosalie lies about her age and signs up as a voluntary Red Cross nurse. Stationed at a hospital in Rouen, France, she has to face the consequences of modern warfare. Meanwhile, her fiancé and her brother are risking their lives on the ground and in the air. Charles D’Aboville is forced to abandon his studies in Paris and become a junior officer. As such, he must lead men into battle and watch death reap more than its due. When Charles is wounded in an explosion, he is sent to Rouen to recover. There, a secret relationship begins to form. The war threatens to tear Charles’ and Rosalie’s lives to shreds. But might it instead make freedom possible?
A Generation of Poppies is the story of two young people navigating through horror, longing, and doubt. It is also a story of persistent hope. Saga Hillbom is the author of four historical novels. Her other works include Today Dauphine Tomorrow Nothing (2019), City of Bronze, City of Silver (2020), and Princess of Thorns (2021).
C.E. Stone – Starganauts
The end of Earth was their beginning.
Kaity Anderson was a new bride on her wedding day. Samantha Harris was an engineer who had given up all to follow God. Kaity’s reception is ruined when an alien gunship incinerates the surface of Earth. Rescued from the apocalypse by a strange prophetess, Kaity, her husband, and five others are drawn across the galaxy. While the prophetess promises God has a plan, Kaity grows increasingly desperate as their chances of survival—and water supply—dwindle.
Samantha didn’t ask to be God’s prophetess. Yet once she answers the call, the Spirit leads her to an inhospitable world with Kaity and several of Earth’s survivors. Hounded by the master of the gunship, the Earthlings search for water as their alien pursuers and dehydration close in. Only God’s promise of a future in a distant city gives Samantha any hope of survival. But could the answer to all their problems lie in eight, mysterious orbs? The discovery of these crystals will change their lives—and the destiny of galaxies—forever.
Thus begins Starganauts, a clean, compelling Christian space opera adventure by C.E. Stone. Fans of Star Wars and Star Trek will enjoy this series that explores how God’s plan prevails, even against impossible odds.