Self-Published Authors Appreciation Week: 21 Favorite Indie Reads of 2021

This week we’re celebrating all of the amazing self-published authors out there. A bunch of bloggers got together to show our love for indie authors and books. So fun! And there are so many authors that deserve recognition. Special thanks to Jodie at Witty and Sarcastic Book Club for organizing this event.

I’ve been very fortunate to have read some great books by self-published authors this year and thought it would be fun to share 21 of my favorites from 2021. Let’s check them out!


1. After Darkness II by J.F. Johns

Title: After Darkness II

Author: J.F. Johns

Series: After Darkness – Book 2

Publication Date: Jan. 9, 2021

Synopsis: Year 2160

RULE #.1 Humans AND Cyborgs are prohibited from communicating in any shape or form with each other.

RULE #.2 Curfew is from 12 p.m until 7.30 a.m
Applicable to ALL citizens, humans AND cyborgs.

RULE #.3 All propaganda against the government, written or verbal is a crime.

RULE #.4 All the above laws if broken are punishable by death.

WELCOME TO THE NATION

Are you ready?

LINKS:     Goodreads    |       Amazon   | My Review


2. The Code of Us by Liv Evans

Page Length: 174

Publication Date: July 11, 2021

Synopsis: “Some things are worth breaking for…”

When Mia and Arden Drew are in a horrific car accident, the dreams they shared for their future balance on a precipice. As a talented neuropsychologist working for one of the world’s foremost experimental human research facilities, Mia uses the resources at her fingertips to save her husband’s life.

Mia’s grief-fuelled decision catapults her into the depths of a messy court case where her actions are subjected to intense public scrutiny. Her intentions, relationships, and career are put to the ultimate test as the people around her question how far she should have gone to save her husband, and whether he is still the man she fell in love with. Now, she must face the truth of what she’s done and try to piece together the shards of her shattered dreams, or risk losing her husband once and for all.

LINKS:     Goodreads   | Amazon | My Review


3. Coming Home by Carmen Cook

Series: Sapphire Creek #2

Publication Date: May 31, 2021

Synopsis: Shattered by a tragic accident that took the lives of her closest friends and bandmates, Erin Chase needs a place to grieve while she decides what to do next. But privacy is hard to come by when you’ve grown up in the public eye and are considered America’s Sweetheart. Sapphire Creek, Montana always allows her a certain amount of anonymity, so it’s the natural place to lay low while reconnecting with her grandfather and friends, giving her time to sort through her feelings without the pressures of her chosen career.

With his military service completed, Zach Ward returns to Sapphire Creek, ready to settle into simple small-town life. He’s adopted a rescue mutt that isn’t all that bright, started a business, and is working to reconnect with his community. But simple is tossed out the window when he finds himself on the front page of a tabloid, looking very cozy with a certain superstar.

Erin might be used to being the center of attention, but Zach works best in the shadows. When a criminal element invades Sapphire Creek and threatens her life, it’s up to Zach to keep her safe until she returns to her regular life. Unless he can convince her to stay.

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon   | My Review


4. The Court of Secrets by Rebecca L. Garcia

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Series: The Fate of Crowns #3

Publication Date: June 8, 2021

Synopsis: Darkness can only survive in the hearts of the wicked.

I was brought back from the edge of death by Morgana so I could reign. But whilst there, something had latched onto me, and it had no plans on leaving. With each passing day, I feel my heart growing darker and it becoming stronger. Struggling to suppress the beast within, I lose myself in the scandals and politics of my kingdom. Caught between the high priest-Vahaga-and the lords of the land, being in power has never seemed more difficult.

The threats of war with Berovia looming on the horizon means I need to remain strong for my people. My coronation nears, but with the mystery surrounding my father’s death coming under scrutiny, being back at court has never been so dangerous. Especially for a queen.

The Court of Secrets is Book 3 in The Fate of Crowns Series.

LINKS:  Goodreads    |   Amazon   | My Review


5. Elle’s A to Z of Love by Claire Huston

Page Length: 231

Publication Date: July 6, 2021

Synopsis: Haileybrook, a beautiful village in the peaceful Cotswolds countryside, is most people’s idea of heaven on earth.

Born and raised in this small slice of paradise, Elle Bea can’t wait to leave.

It should be easy, but every time she packs her bags for exotic adventures, old loves and loyalties pull her back.

Will Elle be forced to forget her dreams of far-flung places and epic romance, or can she grab one last chance to have it all?

An uplifting, romantic story about friends, family and the relationships that make a place a home.

LINKS: Goodreads    |      Amazon    | My Review


6. Faye and the World’s End by Nicole Bailey

Series: Faye and the Ether #3

Publication Date: April 27, 2021

Synopsis: There is no escape from the storm that’s coming.

After last summer’s battle, Faye resents the reverence shown to her and wishes to blend in. Yet, to the Ether, she’s a beacon of hope.

As the heavy clouds of war roll in, that hope is needed more than ever.

When Typhon’s forces unexpectedly wipe out an entire race, the stakes rise higher than ever before. It falls to Daron and Faye to form necessary alliances and prevent their world from being crushed under the lashing fury of mayhem.

The drums of war have sounded. Death will show no mercy as it claims the fallen. To save the Ether, a sacrifice must be made. Can Faye protect all she holds dear? Or will she pay the ultimate price for leading her world into a battle it can’t win?

The adventure continues in Faye and the World’s End, the highly anticipated third installment of the Faye and the Ether Series. Author Nicole Bailey blends fairy tale magic with jaw-dropping young-adult fantasy in this masterpiece sure to leave readers gasping for more!

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon   | My Review


7. The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey

Series: Sovereign #1

Page Length: 303

Publication Date: June 25, 2018

Synopsis: In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well.

Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside.

But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained.

Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight.

One way or another, the walls of the Blue are coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.

LINKS:     Goodreads      |     Amazon    |     Book Depository | My Review


8. Her Scottish Scoundrel by Sophie Barnes

Series: Diamonds in the Rough #5

Publication Date: May 25, 2021

Synopsis: Destined for the hangman’s noose, love is a dream he cannot afford to have…

When Blayne MacNeil agrees to be Miss Charlotte Russell’s bodyguard, he doesn’t expect her to expand the job description to fake fiancé. After twenty years in hiding, announcing his engagement to a viscount’s daughter could prove fatal. For if anyone were to recognize him, he’d be charged with murder.

Determined to keep her independence in order to safeguard her writing career, Charlotte must avoid marriage. After all, no respectable gentleman would ever permit his wife to pen outrageous adventure novels. But when her most recent manuscript disappears, the roguish Scotsman posing as her fiancé becomes her closest ally—and the greatest threat to her freedom.

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon   | My Review


9. Improper by Darcy Burke

Title: Improper

Author: Darcy Burke

Series: The Phoenix Club #1

Page Length: 326

Publication Date: May 25, 2021

Publisher: Darcy Burke Publishing

SynopsisSociety’s most exclusive invitation…

Welcome to the Phoenix Club, where London’s most audacious, disreputable, and intriguing ladies and gentlemen find scandal, redemption, and second chances.

Dissolute rogue Tobias Powell, Earl of Overton, has just inherited a sheltered, proper young ward for whom he must find a husband. And that is only the start of his problems. His father’s will demands Tobias marry within the next six weeks, or he’ll lose his mother’s house, a treasure so dear that Tobias can’t consider defeat. Surely he can rehabilitate his scandalous reputation, secure a match for his ward, and find the sophisticated woman of his dreams before it’s too late. Except his ward is a hellion who cannot behave. She can, however, make him laugh.

Provincial Miss Fiona Wingate is eager to swap her boring small town for an exciting London Season. Until she realizes her new guardian, a dashing earl, plans for her to wed with the utmost haste. Fiona has no interest in marriage—she’s only just been liberated from her lifelong isolation! But when she causes a near scandal and Tobias comes to the rescue, an unexpected attraction sparks between them. Except romance between a guardian and his ward would be most improper… 

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon   | My Review


10. In the Jaded Grove by Anela Deen

Series: Kindred Realms #1

Publication Date: April 15, 2021

Synopsis: Simith of Drifthorn is tired of war. After years of conflict between the Thistle court and the troll kingdom, even a pixie knight known for his bloodlust longs for peace. Hoping to secure a ceasefire, Simith arranges a meeting with the troll king—and is ambushed instead. Escape lies in the Jaded Grove, but the trees of the ancient Fae woodland aren’t what they seem, and in place of sanctuary, Simith tumbles through a doorway to another world.

Cutting through her neighbor’s sunflower farm in Skylark, Michigan, Jessa runs into a battle between creatures straight out of a fantasy novel. Only the blood is very real. When a lone fighter falls to his attackers, Jessa intervenes. She’s known too much death to stand idly by, but an act of kindness leads to consequences even a poet like her couldn’t imagine.

With their fates bound by magic, Simith and Jessa must keep the strife of his world from spilling into hers—except the war isn’t what it appears and neither are their enemies. Countless lives depend on whether they can face the truths of their pasts and untangle the web of lies around them. But grief casts long shadows, and even their deepening bond may not be enough to save them from its reach.

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon   | My Review


11. The Killing Plot by Tahnee Perry

Series: The Rising Resolution – Book 1

Page Length: 298

Publication Date: Jan. 2, 2021

Synopsis: A WORLD ON THE BRINK OF EXTINCTION
A GIRL SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS
AN EXPLOSIVE TRUTH

The Killing Plot is a gripping story about the fiercely independent Arela Harkess, a young woman whose relentless quest for answers leads her down a path filled with corruption and treachery.

In the ruins of the world lies Osiris, where the last of humanity survive under a protective dome and political factions struggle for power.

Arela, an orphan since her parent’s mysterious disappearance, is searching for answers. No one in Osiris just vanishes. But with no records of their existence, Arela wonders if something more sinister is at play.

As her search takes her deep within Osiris, she tumbles into a world of greed and manipulation, of political struggle and forbidden love. Her search for the truth is so dangerous, it may get her killed. Or worse.

Arela also finds she must accept who she is and learn to grapple with the strange power she doesn’t yet understand, or she’ll lose everything she’s ever loved, including herself.

Perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent, debut author Tahnee Perry has created a breathtakingly original series filled with romance, suspense and a journey of self-discovery.

LINKS:     Goodreads    |       Amazon    |      Book Depository | My Review


12.  Mazarine by Cece Louise

Series: The Forest Tales #3

Publication Date: June 22, 2021

Synopsis: She’s cursed. He’s dead. How far will they go to change their fates?

Princess Marilee is cursed. A mermaid by day and a human by night, she made a fateful decision that has left her trapped between two worlds.

Disgraced Prince Darius is dead. At least, that’s what he wants everyone to think when he’s thrown overboard from a prison ship.

When Marilee and Darius meet, they reluctantly make a deal—Darius will help Marilee return to her family in exchange for enough money so he can disappear forever.

A doomed girl and a condemned man. Can they find redemption, or will they be lost to an unforgiving sea?

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon   | My Review


13. Mercurial by Naomi Hughes

Page Length: 412

Publication Date: March 16, 2021

SynopsisSnow, blood, and magic: this story is perfect for fans of the Grishaverse and The Winner’s Kiss series.

Everyone in the Alloyed Empire fears the Destroyer. The metal in her blood gives her incendiary powers, and the coldness in her heart makes her the empress’s perfect weapon…until a rebel attack leaves her with no magic and no memories.

Her bodyguard, Tal, has long since regretted his idealistic hope of saving the Destroyer. Now that she’s powerless he can finally end her reign of terror—if he can stop himself from falling for the wicked, funny, utterly unfamiliar girl she’s become.

Nyx was furious when her brother, Tal, abandoned her to protect a tyrant. Now, she hones herself as a rebel assassin until she can kill the Destroyer and rescue Tal. But the closer she gets, the more she realizes the entire empire hinges on the decisions the three of them will make…

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon    | My Review


14. Of Fire and Water by Cameo Renae

Series: Heir of Blood and Fire #2

Publication Date: March 14, 2021

Synopsis: Calla escaped Morbeth only to find herself fighting for her life once more. Incendia seemed the perfect sanctuary of escape. The stories told of the mystical island claim all inhabitants were annihilated. Those tragic tales . . . were lies.

Desperate to keep their truth hidden, the islanders take Calla and her friends prisoner. Despite her dire situation, something about that beautiful—yet deadly—paradise speaks to Calla’s soul, whispering the powerful secrets pulsing through her veins. As Roehl hunts for her, eager to claim his murderous vengeance, Calla searches for answers she believes only Incendia can offer.

Can Calla harness the power surging within her in time to protect herself, and those she loves, from Roehl? Or, no matter where she runs, will the twisted royal continue to chase her to the farthest reaches of any realm?

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon   | My Review


15. Persephone’s Curse by Sandra Bats

Series: Persephone’s Curse #1

Page Length: 491

Publication Date: Aug. 5, 2018

Synopsis: Escaping from the government-run labs had only been the beginning of Elin’s fight for survival. Quickly running out of options she’s wary when good-looking Jayden offers her shelter — and wants nothing in return. In their dystopian world trust and friendship gets you killed.

Jayden doesn’t need another life to be responsible for, another mouth to feed. He already has enough people counting on him, but something about that stubborn redhead intrigues him enough to offer her help.

They need to make a choice: Will they manage to work towards a better future together or will they allow their pasts to drive them apart?

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon   | My Review


16. Seduced by the Dragon Lord by Kiersten Fay

Series: Dragon Lords #2

Publication Date: April 23, 2021

Synopsis: Trapped in an alien spacecraft through no fault of her own, Jessie Knight is jettisoned into space and intercepted by a mysterious group of soldiers who call themselves dragon shifters. Thrust into a world of myth, legend, and danger, she discovers she may not be entirely human as she begins to develop latent powers that both captivate and mystify her. Placed under the protection of a gorgeous dragon shifter named Orik, she quickly realizes she must conceal her new abilities or be declared his enemy.


No one knows better than Orik Theroux of the King’s Guard that witches are heartless and ruthless killers who must be stamped out of existence. Orphaned by a group of them at a young age, he has vowed to destroy every last witch who crosses his path…until he begins to fall for an exquisite human female who turns out to be more than she seems. When the palace is besieged by witches, he must decide if he can trust Jessie with his life…and his heart.

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon   | My Review


17. The Seeds of Exile by Jilly Wood

Series: Elan Intrigues

Publication Date: Dec. 14, 2020

Synopsis: Two princes. A desperate duel. A perilous legacy.

How can a man not know his brother? Prince Daire of Caldermor and his heir, Prince Warrick, were raised apart. Daire’s showy. Warrick’s stuffy. All they have in common is a shared secret duty—Daire creates elan, mysterious golden beans that assure their family wealth and power; Warrick bears witness. Then Daire discovers that elan-making ravages his body. Internally he’s hurt beyond remedy, but if he modifies the time-honored elan ritual he can save Warrick from suffering his fate.

Warrick knows transforming elan is a privilege. He doesn’t believe it’s dangerous. To prevent Daire from debasing their treasured heritage he claims the throne and battle is joined. The arena: an elan-making duel. The loser’s forfeit: exile.Daire wants Warrick beside him, not banished, but he’ll need insight and guile to win the duel without losing his brother—or breaking the ancient Legacy that protects Caldermor.

The Seeds of Exile is the second book in the Elan Intrigues historical fantasy series. If you like quick-witted heroes, royal politics, elemental magic, and life-or-death stakes, you’ll love this spirited novella.

LINKS:     Goodreads     |      Amazon     | My Review


18. Taken to Kor by Elizabeth Stephens

Series: Xiveri Mates #5

Publication Date: April 17, 2021

SynopsisDeena
Rhork. He’s a space pirate. The bad kind. But he’s also been my only source of company for the past rotation that I’ve been held captive.

Halfway across the galaxy, I’m happy to have finally escaped and found more humans…well, I was.

But now, I’m not so sure that people are so much better than pirates. And I’m very sure that I’ll need Rhork’s help to get out of this. But Rhork thinks I’m a defective female because of my twisted leg. What if he’s not willing to give it?

Rhork
Communicating with the human female for almost a rotation was, in retrospect, a poor choice. Now, she seems to be the ever-present voice in my head, distracting me, making me want things I shouldn’t.

To make her a pirate.

To show her the universe.

And most of all, to keep her for myself.

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon   | My Review


19. Tempting Auzed by Victoria Aveline

Series: The Clecanian Series #4

Publication Date: July 9, 2021

Synopsis: Alejandra is a survivor. So far, she’s lived through abduction, a near drowning, and being lost in an alien forest. She thought things were finally starting to go her way when the most intense, grumpy, and insanely tempting man she’s ever seen rescues her from a monster. But sadly, that’s just when everything gets even more complicated.

Auzed has his orders. He is to find the missing human and deliver her to Tremanta. Getting caught trespassing in Sauven territory was not part of the plan. Neither was pretending to be the sexy beauty’s fiancé to protect her from forced marriage to a Sauven stranger…but here they are.

Their relationship was supposed to be fake. But it’s not long before they start to wonder if true love and a happily ever after is possible for two star-crossed opposites. And if it is…just how far are they willing to go to claim it?

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon    |   My Review


20. Triad by Brittany Weisrock

Publication Date: April 6, 2021

Publisher: Fyre Syde Publishing 

Synopsis: Athena Whiteridge, born into a powerful prophecy, along with her brothers, Anders and Atlas, form the Triad. Set to rule as Alpha of her pack, this wolf has a secret—Athena possesses abilities to manifest fire, capable of shifting into more than a mere wolf.

On a mission, Athena is rendered dumbstruck by an unsuspecting human, Kalen Ryan. All her strength and skills can’t save her from falling for him. Except—wolves don’t take humans mates. Without understanding their intense connection, the pair leave club Zephyr.

Forced to face a council of leaders and her family, Athena must explain how Kalen is beyond the Barrier and in the Unseen. In attempts to fend off concerns—Athena uncovers her father, Cyrus’s deceit and treachery that runs deep. The trouble is only beginning. . .
Join the Whiteridges, as they navigate betrayal, love, and battle an ancient evil in a race to save humanity and the Unseen.

LINK:     Goodreads      Amazon | My Review


21. Wintersfall by Sarah Westill

Series: Gen-Heirs: The Guardians of Sziveria #1

Page Length: 388

Publication Date: June 3, 2021

Synopsis: A Gen-Heir to her assassin father’s legacy, Katria Nachemir will do almost anything to find the person responsible for murdering her mother and sister. Even become an assassin herself. In exchange for a deeper investigation into their deaths, she agrees to be a member of an Intel Guardian team, despite knowing the path is the last one her father would wish her to take.

Generations of dark family history have left Sean Blackbain, Primary Guardian Wintersfall, with limited choices. Either remain in Sziveria to face the whispers, or become the leader of a team and disappear.
Three years later, a botched assignment sends the team home, and a shocking detail is revealed concerning Sean and Katria’s government contracts. They’re married. With Sean’s tainted past, and Katria’s carefully guarded family secret, neither are prepared for marriage.

Exploring the murders of Katria’s family proves to be dangerous, and Sean realizes he’ll do anything to keep his wife safe. As they work together to discover the intricate lengths an unknown enemy has gone to keep the truth hidden, the passion they denied for so long begins to boil over. The bonds of their relationship are tested as the professional lines engrained between them blur.

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon   | My Review


17 thoughts on “Self-Published Authors Appreciation Week: 21 Favorite Indie Reads of 2021

  1. Love love love everything about this list! I am totally biased here, but it is fantastic seeing books by indie authors being shared and championed in the big wide world of bookish appreciation ❤ Thank you so much for what you are doing for indie authors, and for including The Code of Us on your list. It may be small, but so much of my heart went into that one.

    Liked by 1 person

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