*Christmas music plays in the background* No, really. I have Christmas music on as I write this, because obviously!

It’s the holiday season, and that means gifts for friends and loved ones…and maybe a few for yourself. You did all that shopping and decorating and brainstorming gift ideas, after all; you deserve it. 😉 Perhaps you’re looking for gift ideas for yourself to tell your family. Or maybe you’ll end up with a gift card in your stocking and will hoard these ideas for after Christmas so you can immerse yourself in a read over the weird Twilight Zone that is the space between Christmas and New Year’s. (Bookmark this page to make it easy to find again!)

Whatever your reason for looking, thanks for stopping by! I hope you’ll enjoy checking out these 25 hand-picked indie published and small indie press published books and series.

First, a few notes..

I (Selina R. Gonzalez) write romantic fantasy and that’s mostly what I read, because it’s what I love, so this list is majorly skewed toward fantasy and romance, but there are a few non-fantasy and/or non-romance books. I also read mostly clean books, so none of these have a content level higher than a high PG-13 rating. These are all books I’ve read or are on my TBR.

And, finally, the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make any purchases. (However, this post is not affiliated with or sponsored by any of the authors, except myself, although several of them are friends/acquaintances.)

Now, choose your own adventure by clicking on the image/category that applies to you or the person you are gift-hunting for, or just keep scrolling or click here to jump to the list of recommended indie books (alphabetical by title)!

NOTE: You will likely get the best experience on a desktop rather than your mobile device.

Shopping for someone who is…

Author or Writer
Cat Lover
Celtic Admirer
Christian Fantasy Devotee
Christian Non-Fic Reader
Craving Vampires
Dangerous Cinnamon Roll Admirer
Dog Lover
Enamored with Elves
Enchanted by the Sea
Enemies to Lovers Addict
Fairy Tale Dreamer
Loves Big Epic Books
Medieval Enthusiast
Musically Inclined
Regency Fanatic
Robin Hood Fan
Short Read Preferred
Slow Burn Captivated
Superhero Aficionado
Time Travel Romance Reader
Urban Monster Hunter
YA Epic Fantasy Lover

Selina’s Indie Book Holiday Gift Guide 2021

The Cursed Queen cover

The Cursed Queen

Author: Colleen Forbes

Genre: YA Fairy Tale Retelling, Fantasy

This book is: For dog lovers, cute, feel-good, unique, surprising

Get it: ebook https://amzn.to/30Qy6A1 Paperback https://amzn.to/30Rvx0k Hardcover https://amzn.to/3nH2NAl (paid links)

Queen Ravenna of Lyra doesn’t believe in true love. After suffering from a broken heart, she curses herself to protect her heart and her country from undeserving suitors. While she waits for someone to break the curse, she is content to honor her parents’ legacy by creating an alliance with all of the countries in the known world hoping that this will help improve her peoples’ future by giving access to the best scholars outside of Lyra.

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However, because the future of the monarchy is uncertain, there are undertones of civil unrest. Someone is trying to kill off members of the court who have a strong bid for the throne. If Ravenna were to die before she could produce an heir, civil war would be imminent.

Second Prince Liam of Wilderose never wanted to be a king. He is happy to support his older sister’s queenship as he tries to discover the leaders of a band of raiders threatening her rule, the same raiders who killed Queen Ravenna’s parents. When his sister asks him to represent Wilderose at the Alliance Treaty held in Lyra, he accepts. While there, he comes into contact with one of the most powerful beings in the realm, the fairy godmother of Lyra. She tells Liam that if he were to break the curse over Ravenna, her powers would benefit his sister’s queendom as well. All he has to do is win Ravenna’s heart while slowly losing his humanity and turning into a dog.

The Cursed Queen is inspired by Beauty and the Beast.

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Dawnsong cover


Author: Bryn Shutt

Genre: Adventure Fantasy

This book is: Novella, intriguing, character-focused

Get it: ebook https://amzn.to/3DL9ruL (paid link)

Light creates shadows, better to die in the dark.

Once, Lilias Khove was someone else, a dancer revered and applauded. Now, she guards a city.

Once, Prevecost was something other, a city strong and renowned throughout the world. Now plague stalks her streets and steals her citizens.

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But the city has secrets and so does the dancer.

In a time as dark and silent as the death it fears, these secrets will save or they will damn.

Dawnsong is a standalone novelette perfect for fans of Michael J. Sullivan & Hafsah Faizal and contains four original character illustrations by acclaimed artist Irina Plachkova

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Dear Hero

Author: Hope Bolinger & Alyssa Roat

Genre: Superhero fantasy

This series is: Enemies to lovers, unique format, quirky, humorous, emotional, reminiscent of Megamind or The Incredibles for teens & adults, or reminiscent of Doctor Horrible’s Sing-a-long-Blog sans musical

Get it: ebook https://amzn.to/3l01SsZ Paperback https://amzn.to/3cEbSn1 (paid links)

Cortex and V need a new nemesis. 
Up-and-coming teen superhero Cortex is on top of the world–at least, until his villain dumps him. If he’s going to save his reputation, he needs a new antagonist, and fast.

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So the two turn to Meta-Match, a nemesis pairing site for heroes and villains, where they match right away. But not everything in the superhero world is as it seems. Who are the real heroes and villains? And just how fine of a line is there between love and hate? When darkness from the past threatens them both, Cortex and V may need to work together to make it out alive.

Meanwhile, the villainous Vortex has once again gotten a little overeager and taken out a hero prematurely. Will any young hero be able to keep up with her? Maybe she should work on finding a steady relationship with an enemy she won’t kill in the first round.

Told entirely through texts, transcriptions, and direct messages, this darkly humorous chat fiction novel goes behind the scenes of the superworld.

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Oath of the Outcast cover

Dragon Keep Chronicles (2 books)

Author: C.M Banschbach

Genre: High fantasy

This series is: Celtic-inspired, intense, action-packed, character-driven

Get book one, Oath of the Outcast: ebook https://amzn.to/3CDnwZT Paperback https://amzn.to/3DJvYZ4 Hardcover https://amzn.to/3FKo16F (paid links)

A lost brother.
An unwilling outlaw.
A rising enemy.
An unusual alliance.

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Years ago, Rhys MacDuffy was brutally cut off from his clan, stripped of his name and inheritance, and banished to the remote Dragon Keep. Perched high above the Shang Pass in the land of Alsaya, he assumed the mantle of the Mountain Baron, serving out his sentence as the overseer of the worst outlaws and outcasts.

But one day he receives a desperate message from the clan who disowned him: MacDuffy’s Seer–his beloved brother–has been taken by their enemies.

With his band of Mountain Brigands and an unwelcome sidekick, Rhys leaves his mountain stronghold to find and rescue his brother. The tide of war is rising amongst the Clans of Alsaya, fueled by the magic-wielding sect of Druids who seek to unleash a dark force the world has long forgotten.

Can the bond of blood run deeper than banishment?

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Fierce Heart Cover

Elven Alliance series (5th book Dec 10, 2021)

Author: Tara Grayce

Genre: Romantic fantasy, high fantasy

This series is: For elf lovers, cute, emotional, romantic, political (as in, secondary-world machinations), entertaining

Get book one, Fierce Heart: ebook https://amzn.to/3oTQn7C Paperback https://amzn.to/3cC3Mv5 Hardcover https://amzn.to/30NGPmi Audiobook https://amzn.to/3CJHB0T (paid links)

Essie would do anything for her kingdom…even marry an elf prince she just met that morning.

The human kingdom of Escarland and the elven kingdom of Tarenhiel have existed in an uneasy peace after their last wars ended with both kings dead. As tensions rise once again, desperate diplomacy might be the only way to avert war. If only negotiations between elves and humans were that simple.

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When a diplomatic meeting goes horribly wrong, Essie, a human princess, finds herself married to the elf prince and warrior Laesornysh. Fitting in to the serene, quiet elf culture might be a little difficult for this talkative princess, but she’s determined to make it work.

With impending war and tenuous alliances, it will be up to Essie to unite her two peoples. And maybe get her hands on elven conditioner while she’s at it.

For fans of K.M. Shea and Kenley Davidson comes a romantic fantasy tale of elves, romance, and epic magic.

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The Firebrand Chronicles (trilogy)

Genre: Young Adult Portal Christian Fantasy

This book is: ADHD rep, unique, fun, fantastical

Get ebook boxed set: https://amzn.to/3xhLjxA
Get book one, Spark:
ebook https://amzn.to/3l4fEL8 Paperback https://amzn.to/30QdJ5B (paid links)

Brenna James wants three things for her sixteenth birthday: to find her history notes before the test, to have her mother return from her business trip, and to stop creating fire with her bare hands.

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Yeah, that’s so not happening. Unfortunately.

When Brenna learns her mother is missing in an alternate reality called Linneah, she travels through a portal to find her. Against her will. Who knew portals even existed? But Brenna’s arrival in Linneah begins the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy, including a royal murder and the theft of Linneah’s most powerful relic: the Sacred Veil.

Hold up. Can everything just slow down for a sec?

Unwilling yet left with no other choice, Brenna and her new friend Baldwin (Um, hello, Hottie!) pursue the thief into the dangerous woods of Silvastamen and beyond. Exactly what Brenna wanted to do for her sixteenth birthday. Exactly. When they spy an army marching toward Linneah, Brenna is horrified. Can she find the veil, save her mother, and warn Linneah in time?

And more importantly, why on earth doesn’t this alternity have Belgian waffles?

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The Herbwitch's Apprentice cover

The Herbwitch’s Apprentice

Author: Ireen Chau

Genre: Middle Grade/YA low fantasy

This book is: Regency-esque, fun, whimsical, feel-good, magical

Get it: ebook https://amzn.to/3r709pL Paperback https://amzn.to/3DLWxwF (paid links)

Strange things are happening in the palace. Pigeons flock the chandeliers. Mice lurk behind bookshelves. Swans turn belligerent. And in the midst of it all, the queen falls ill.

In the kingdom of Olderea, dabbling in witchcraft is a sure way to the guillotine.

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When sixteen-year-old debutante Amarante Flora finds out she’s half witch, all she wants is to get rid of her magic. After all, zapping Prince Ash in the midst of high society’s Season certainly won’t help her troublemaking reputation. But the more her powers grow, the more she realizes magic—and the witches who possess it—are not as dangerous as she was led to believe. When the queen falls mysteriously ill, Amarante knows there are far more dangers lurking in the palace than in Witch Village.

Among potion-brewing and glittering receptions, Amarante joins Prince Ash in an investigation before innocent witches are condemned. However, uncovering the culprit’s schemes could mean exposing her magic. And exposing her magic would mean her very life—and the contempt of the prince she is trying to help.

This Regency-inspired fantasy is perfect for fans of Jessica Day George and Melanie Cellier!

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The Faceless Mage cover

Legends of Abreia (3rd book – Dec 14, 2021)

Author: Kenley Davidson

Genre: Romantic fantasy/high fantasy

This series is: Slow-burn, romantic, political (as in, secondary-world machinations), twisty/surprising, great worldbuilding, magical

Get book one, The Faceless Mage: ebook https://amzn.to/3l0zmHs Paperback https://amzn.to/3r1WiKk (paid links)

He’ll protect her with his last breath…
Until she becomes his next target.

Leisa’s ambitions used to be simple. Guard the princess. Hide her magic. Wait for her family to return.

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But all of that changes when her king demands that she use her unique abilities to spy on the rival kingdom of Garimore.

Alone, far from home, and living a lie that grows more perilous by the day, Leisa’s task is complicated by her most dangerous enemy yet—the masked assassin known only as the Raven.

Everyone in the Five Thrones knows to fear him, but the Raven is not what Leisa expected. As silent as he is lethal, he provokes her curiosity as much as her fear, and hides secrets she’s determined to learn.

When her already precarious mission takes a deadly turn, Leisa must evade the Raven himself if she is to succeed. It’s never been done before, but Leisa is nothing if not stubborn. And if she doesn’t become the first to escape his blade, her entire kingdom will pay the price—in blood.

If you love adventure, mystery, and slow-burn enemies-to-lovers romance, discover the Legends of Abreia, a new romantic fantasy series for fans of Sylvia Mercedes, Miranda Honfleur and Shari L. Tapscott!

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A Little Beside You cover

A Little Beside You

Author: Jenni Sauer

Genre: Romantic comedy/fairy tale retelling in space

This book is: Happily-ever-after, comedic, emotional, cute, has a dangerous cinnamon roll

Get it: ebook https://amzn.to/3r09AHj Paperback https://amzn.to/3r1L9ZW (paid links)

“You make me feel safe, Bender Cole, when you absolutely shouldn’t.”

Thanks to her father’s legacy—and her rose tattoo that symbolizes it—Cori Kasmer has never had to fear the gangs that run rampant in the city, even years after her father’s death. And she’s always stayed away from that life, until Bender Cole passes out on her doorstep.

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Between making her laugh in a way she forgot how and the banter he shares with her sister when he comes for waffles each morning, Cori lets herself get caught up in the normalcy he brings back into her life. She shouldn’t feel safe with him, shouldn’t want him to kiss her, and yet…

Bender only got mixed up with the gangs to keep a roof over his family’s head. But now he’s in too deep. As an enforcer for the Bears, he’s got blood on his hands and he knows as long as he continues as he is, those hands don’t also get to hold a girl like Cori. And no one leaves the Bears. Not alive, anyway.

A Snow White Rose Red Retelling set in the Evraft Galaxy.

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The Maiden Ship trilogy (book 3 in 2022)

Author: Micheline Ryckman

ON SALE! Get the ebooks for $.99 until Jan. 1, 2022!

Genre: Young Adult high/epic fantasy

This book is: For lovers of the ocean, imaginative, big cast of characters, set at sea, magical

Get it: ebook https://amzn.to/3FCOyTd Paperback https://amzn.to/3FCOxyD (paid links)

There’s a time to hide, a time to run, and a time to fight.

Dain Alloway was only nine years old when he began a new life with his father, sailing aboard The Maiden. Eight years later, the aristocratic city-boy turned merchant-sailor feels like he lives with one foot on land, and one foot in the sea. Life floats smoothly by until the night he wakes to find a mysterious woman in his cabin.

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The events that unfold after her appearance transform Dain’s world. Now, hunted by empty-faced demons, he finds himself thrown into a dangerous web of intrigue and magic. As the crisis grows, the young sailor discovers powerful gifts buried deep within, talents that might shift the tide of a centuries-old war. Whether or not he’s ready, Dain will have to risk it all for the salvation and freedom of those he loves.

Micheline Ryckman’s debut YA fantasy novel is the first book in an upcoming series. If you enjoy epic sea faring adventures full of fantastical magic and intrigue then this is the right book for you.

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The Mercenary and the Mage (5 books)

Author: Selina R. Gonzalez

Genre: Romantic fantasy/sword & sorcery

This series is: Medieval-inspired, romantic, intense, action-packed, character-driven, a little dark but hopeful

Get the ebook set: ebook https://amzn.to/3HKJDBG
Get book one, Prince of Shadow and Ash: ebook https://amzn.to/3oSNHHh Paperback https://amzn.to/3r0J00B (paid links)

She could be his light…if his darkness doesn’t destroy them both.
Find magic, romance, found family, dastardly villains, medieval tournaments, humor, dire situations, and hope in The Mercenary and the Mage: The Complete Series!

This ebook boxed set contains The Mercenary and the Mage duology, two companion novellas, and a short story.

Former mercenary with a heart of gold Lord Regulus and feisty mage-in-hiding Lady Adelaide struggle to make a relationship work despite societal disapproval and a sorcerer bent on destruction and conquest—even if he has to go through Regulus and Adelaide to achieve his goals.

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Learn more about Regulus’ suave and loyal best friend, Dresden Jakobs, in his prequel and companion novellas, and enjoy a cozy winter holiday story from the perspective of Regulus’ earnest squire, Harold. All books also available separately.

Prince of Shadow and Ash (The Mercenary and the Mage book 1):
Bastard and former mercenary Lord Regulus Hargreaves’ resolve is crumbling. He’s desperate to pay off his debt to the sorcerer who enslaved him, but after two years, he fears he’ll never be free of the cursed mark that won’t even let him die. Then Lady Adelaide sees past his scar and shadowed past, and Regulus’ dying hope rekindles.

But will loving Adelaide while serving the Prince of Shadow and Ash put her in danger?

Adelaide Belanger yearns to use the magical energy within her, but revealing her power could get her killed–like every other mage in the kingdom. When she meets kind and rugged Regulus, she wonders if she has finally found someone to trust with her secret—and her heart. Regulus and Adelaide struggle to protect their romance and keep their secrets from predatory nobles and the devious sorcerer.

By the time their secrets are revealed, it may be too late for them both…and possibly for the entire kingdom.

(Warning for possible triggers: Series is equivalent to mid to upper PG-13-level; contains violence, torture, depression, reference to SH and a su*c*de attempt, & SA in book two.)

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The Music Maker series (3 books, incomplete)

Author: A.K.R. Scott

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

This series is: Music-powered magic, imaginative, complex, entertaining, inspiring

Get book one, Inharmonic: ebook https://amzn.to/3HVmU5Y Paperback https://amzn.to/2ZeAX4V Large print paperback https://amzn.to/3HHqLDs (paid links)

A twist of fate stole her home. Magic could help reclaim her voice… or cost her everything.

Nadja has no choice but to leave the only home she’s ever known. She flees her small village when a brutally violent deed upends her betrothal ceremony. Hunted by her former love, Nadja begs refuge at a Music Conservatory she once thought only existed in stories. Inside its ancient walls, the magic of a long-dead race lives on… in the rhythm of musical instruments.

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As she guards her true identity, Nadja must master the flute, make friends, and stave off the romantic advances of a rugged classmate. With each new lesson, Nadja feels a secret growing within her that not even she understands. One wrong note could forfeit the very fabric of magic… and her only hope of survival. Inharmonic is the spellbinding first book in The Music Maker series of fantasy novels.

If you like tenacious heroines, ancient mysteries, and new twists on fantasy magic, then you’ll love A.K.R. Scott’s lyrical tale.

Buy Inharmonic today to start a refreshing fantasy series that hits all the right notes.

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The Obsidian Throne (first in planned duology)

Author: Rowan Wright

Genre: Young Adult Urban fantasy

This book is: A monster-hunting competition, humorous, romantic, twisty, page-turner, imaginative, cliffhanger

Get it: ebook https://amzn.to/3FIT7vp Paperback https://amzn.to/3oQJ7cC (paid links)

As the daughter of the Lord of the Underworld, Ember Ashworth knows she will never have a normal life. While other kids her age are preparing for college and going on dates, Ember constantly struggles to keep her regular life on the Surface separate from her role as a princess in the Underworld.

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These two lives merge when her father unexpectedly announces that he is stepping down from the Obsidian Throne and that his daughters will have to compete for the right to reign in his stead. Ember would be more than happy to let her twin sister have the throne—if not for the fact that her sister wants her dead. Once the competition for the throne begins, Ember quickly realizes she’s in over her head. The first two Tasks go horribly awry, and Ember suspects foul play. How else could she accidentally bind herself to a charismatic djinn in the first Task and nearly have her face eaten by a psychotic werewolf in the second?

In the midst of the competition, a sickness begins infecting Underworlders that turns even the most docile creatures into murderous monsters. Ember realizes that not only must she defeat her sister, she must also discover what—or who—is infecting the Underworlders before her family’s secret is exposed to the world on the Surface.

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Pirate’s Treasure

Author: Austin Ryan

Genre: Time Travel Romance

This book is: Emotional, romantic, feel-good, cute, pirates

Get it: ebook https://amzn.to/3FGnRNk Paperback https://amzn.to/3kZXL04 (paid links)

Falling in love with heroes emerging from books was supposed to be the safe choice.

The Coast of New England, 1725:

Captain Charles Seewell and his crew of pirates have just battled a storm on the open ocean.

New England, 2019:

Librarian Treasure Hayden has just escaped to the basement floor to avoid an emotional battle with her ex.

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They are 304 years apart, until a magical leather-bound book transports the sea captain from his ship to the library basement.

Can Charles find the lost magical book and return to his crew?

Can Tress help him without risking the heart she’s painstakingly protected for years?

And what happens when they find the mysterious book and are both thrown back into the past?

Can they overcome their fears and choose love, or will the book that brought them together tear them apart—this time forever?

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The Shard of Elan series (4th & final book – Dec 25, 2021)

Author: Laura VanArendonk Baugh

Genre: Epic & Military Fantasy

This series is: Thick, intense, character-driven, epic, great worldbuilding, complex, twisty, political (as in, secondary-world machinations)

Get book one, Shard & Shield:
ebook https://amzn.to/3nMLwG2 Paperback https://amzn.to/3qYSn10 Hardcover https://amzn.to/3DR7CN2 Audiobook https://amzn.to/30Uhzul (paid links)

He can save her life—if he sacrifices those he swore to protect.

When the artifact intended to end an interdimensional war is damaged, a mage is trapped on the other side of the rift with her servant—and only bastard soldier Shianan knows the cheery young boy with her is really one of the monstrous enemy, disguised as a human. Ariana is one of Shianan’s few friends, but rescue requires treason and betraying his people to attack.

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State mage Ariana struggles as a prisoner of war in a world of deadly magic and unfamiliar customs. Her only ally is her former servant, once again a renowned warrior caught up in political machinations. To survive, he’ll have to renew the fight against Ariana’s world.

As their people’s wasted armies brace for fresh battle, bastard, mage, and monster must set aside prejudices and rivalries to find an end to centuries of conflict, before they die as traitors.

Reviews say:

“Shard & Shield is one of the most character-driven fantasy novels I’ve ever read, and I mean that in the best way.”

“…a gripping fantasy tale and characters that I’ve come to care for who face complex situations that don’t have easy answers. A great read!”

This new epic fantasy series by an award-winning author is recommended for fans of Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, and Brent Weeks.

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Steel and Fire series (5 books)

Author: Jordan Rivet

Genre: Young Adult Epic Fantasy

This series is: Sweeping in scope, great worldbuilding, complex, action-filled, romantic

Get book one, Duel of Fire:
ebook https://amzn.to/3CCEdVz Paperback https://amzn.to/3FHTjuy Hardcover https://amzn.to/2Ze6rZ3 Audiobook https://amzn.to/3FE6BZk (paid links)

A champion sword fighter. A handsome prince. A kingdom in peril.

Dara Ruminor is a competitive duelist in Vertigon, where athletes live like kings as long as the crowds love them. She’s good with a sword but can’t figure out how to charm the spectators like a true champion.

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When Dara is asked to train with Prince Siv, the heir to the throne, she faces her most difficult opponent yet. Handsome, charismatic, and utterly infuriating, he refuses to take the sport—or her—seriously.

But someone wants Prince Siv dead, and Dara might be the only one who can protect him. With assassins lurking in the shadows and tensions brewing between the kingdom’s magic wielders, Dara and Siv need each other’s help with more than just dueling. Skill with a blade might not be enough to save them.

Throne of Glass meets A Knight’s Tale in this swashbuckling epic fantasy full of sword fights, assassins, magic, and betrayal.

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The Steel City Genie series (book 3 Nov 29, 2021)

Author: Janeen Ipolitto

Genre: Urban fantasy/a little PNR

This series is: Unique, imaginative, fun, surprising, magical, sexy (but not explicit, clean-ish)

Get book one, If Wishes Were Curses:
ebook https://amzn.to/2Zd8Djo Paperback https://amzn.to/30Lb1yi Audiobook https://amzn.to/3DNNqM0 (paid links)

FREE PREQUEL NOVELLA: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08B9YZJSP

So I accidentally killed a shifter. On purpose.

With genie powers I shouldn’t be able to use, thanks to my curse-mark.

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In my defense, the damn grizzly was threatening civilians and might have been a vampire as well. Pittsburgh is safer without him. Only the Fae court doesn’t believe my story, and the shifters are out for blood.

Now I’ve lost my job as a romantic investigator, and I’m on death row. My only hope is an oddly outgoing vegetarian vampire lawyer who seems strangely familiar. Too familiar. Almost like we’ve met before, and this whole thing was a set-up to take us both down.

Wishing won’t get us out of this mess. But my forbidden wish magic just might.

Buy now and enjoy a snarky urban fantasy that’s Angel meets I Dream of Jeannie and features a blue-collar genie in over her head, a romantic subplot (nothing graphic), and gleeful send ups of many romantic fantasy tropes, plus a fantastic otter-shifter.

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The Successful Author Mindset

Author: Joanna Penn

Genre: Non-fiction for authors

This book is: Helpful, inspiring, encouraging, interesting

Get it: ebook https://amzn.to/3HKOFhy Paperback https://amzn.to/3oTXbCc Audiobook https://amzn.to/3cE9xbL (paid links) Or digital editions direct from the author: https://payhip.com/thecreativepenn

Being a writer is not just about typing. It’s also about surviving the roller-coaster of the creative journey.

Self-doubt, fear of failure, the need for validation, perfectionism, writer’s block, comparisonitis, overwhelm, and much more. When you’re going through these things, it can feel like you’re alone. But actually, they are part of the creative process, and every author goes through them too.

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This book collects the mindset issues that writers experience, that I have been through myself over the last decade, and that perhaps you will experience at different times on the creative journey.

Each small chapter tackles a possible issue and then offers an antidote, so that you can dip in and out over time. It includes excerpts from my own personal journals as well as quotes from well-known writers. I hope it helps you on the road to becoming a successful author. The book includes three parts broken down into even more specific issues:

Part 1: Mindset Aspects of Creativity and Writing
Part 2: Mindset Aspects After Publishing
Part 3: Tips for Success on the Author Journey

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The Supervillain Rehabilitation series (5 books)

Author: H.L. Burke

Genre: Superhero fantasy

This series is: Quirky, fun, has romance, entertaining

Get book one, Reformed:
ebook https://amzn.to/32rtZec Paperback https://amzn.to/3CGiuMj Audiobook https://amzn.to/3cFIE7u (paid links)

FREE PREQUEL NOVELLA HERE: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088LTTTP6

See also: Supervillain Romance Project series (2 books): What happens when an undercover villain and a hero fall for each other? Check it out here: https://amzn.to/30L99Wi And the Supervillain Rescue Project series (2 books): A related Young Adult series about super-powered teens. Check it out here: https://amzn.to/3cC4QiG (paid links)

Once a villain, always a villain?

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Optimistic and idealistic superhero Prism is determined to redeem her father’s legacy by rebooting his supervillain rehabilitation program. To do so, she sets her sights on Fade, the relapsed supervillain who was the reason the government canceled the original program in the first place. However, when she petitions for Fade to be released into her custody, she finds out things might not be as simple as she thought.

Convicted of an unforgivable crime, Fade received a choice: surrender to trial and possible execution or endure a memory erasure so he could start fresh. Now with no recollection of his time before incarceration, Fade doubts he has the ability to be anything but the villain the public believes him to be.

A series of attacks by a mysterious power-swapping villain points back to Fade’s past and the crime that cost him his freedom and memory. With her father’s legacy and her own reputation on the line, even Prism has to wonder: can a villain truly be reformed?

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Tales of Nottingham trilogy

Author: Savanna Roberts

Genre: Fairy tale retelling, Dystopian fantasy

This series is: Blends fairy tales and legends, character-focused, intense

Get book one, Thief: ebook https://amzn.to/3cFBKPy Paperback https://amzn.to/3cCYejY (paid links)

The outlaw Robin Hood wreaks havoc on the industrial city of Nottingham, but he doesn’t just steal riches.

Bit by bit he takes away the Sheriff’s power and control, and none of the Sheriff’s advisors can stop the thief. As the daughter of a nobleman and one of the Sheriff’s colleagues, Marion has always known her place – be a great hostess, but let the men do the work. Until a chance encounter with Robin Hood makes the Sheriff realize the outlaw has a weakness for damsels in distress.

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After a threat made against her Father’s life, Marion is forced to play a part in the Sheriff’s scheme to go undercover, find Robin Hood, and get rid of him. But the thief and his companions are not what she expects, and she begins to doubt her mission.

In the first story in the Tales of Nottingham, Marion finds herself trapped between duty and love, where one false move could end her Father’s life or destroy the people she cares about most.

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A Thieving Curse

Author: Selina R. Gonzalez

Genre: Fairy tale retelling, high fantasy

This book is: Romantic, humorous, political (as in, secondary-world machinations), happily-ever-after, uplifting

Get it: ebook https://amzn.to/3CDA0Rf Paperback https://amzn.to/3CM22Kq Hardcover https://amzn.to/3CGjDU7 (paid links)

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.

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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.

And yet…

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?

Curl up today with this Beauty and the Beast retelling with surprising twists!

This standalone is the first in an upcoming series of connected fairy tale retellings with fade-to-black, clean-ish romance.

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To Slay a Curse

Author: Rae Graham

Genre: Young Adult Christian Fantasy

This book is: Unique, symbolic, uplifting

Get it: ebook https://amzn.to/30P6VoO Paperback https://amzn.to/3xdnpTS (paid links)

A parasitic monster. A timid young woman. A deadly inner world.

Giselle is cursed. A monster lives within her, preying upon her mind. She sees no hope for her future when thoughts disappear as they form, and every small pleasure is met with a fit of pain. Then her closest friend offers her a single, harrowing chance at freedom. Terrified that failure is inevitable, but desperate for the life stolen from her, she sets out to slay her curse armed with a magical talisman.

Now, the girl who can’t do anything right must defeat the beast within before her dreamsnare fills, or risk dying trapped in her own mind.

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Trusting God When You’re Struggling

Author: C.E. White

Genre: Christian Non-Fiction

Get it: ebook https://amzn.to/3cCfXYP Paperback https://amzn.to/30Jhhqh Hardcover https://amzn.to/3DL2tGa Audiobook https://amzn.to/3r1bTKn (paid links)

This book is: Challenging, encouraging, thought-provoking

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

The world is full of things that undermine our faith. Too often, we push and scramble through life, allowing our feelings to control our decisions, attempting to accomplish things in our own strength, and trusting in worldly wisdom rather than God. This leaves us frazzled, overwhelmed, and grumbling through every difficulty like the Israelites did in the desert.

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But we don’t have to live that way! The peace God promises is real and available to every believer.

This book tackles many of the obstacles we let come between us and God—things like fear, failure, insufficiency, and expectations. The biblical examples and truths explored will bolster your faith, calm your spirit, renew your strength, and shift your focus from the earthly to the eternal, freeing you to embrace God’s rest in all circumstances.

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The Windward King

Author: K.T. Ivanrest

Genre: High Fantasy

Get it: ebook https://amzn.to/3kZD6ct Paperback https://amzn.to/3CGvX6Y (paid links)

This book is: For cat lovers, unique, original, whimsical, uplifting/feel-good

He can change how he looks—but not who he is.

All his life, Shara has struggled to keep up with the rest of his shapeshifter clan. A poor shifter with little talent and even less confidence, he excels only at inadequacy.

When his determination to prove himself results in the brutal injury of a clanmate, Shara flees his home in shame. Taking refuge in the human capital city, he resolves to become as inconsequential as possible—until the prince regent is abducted days before his coronation and Shara is forced to take his place.

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Thrust into a world of controlling advisors, scheming pirates, and calculating dignitaries, Shara fumbles through his royal duties. His next mistake could spell disaster for the entire kingdom, but he may also be the only person capable of seeing beyond old prejudices to the truth of the prince’s disappearance.

But if he’s going to stop a war, find the prince, and return to his life of invisibility, he’ll have to rely on the one person he knows for sure he can’t trust—himself.

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Yesterday or Long Ago

Author: Jenni Sauer

Genre: Romantic comedy/fairy tale retelling in space

Get it: ebook https://amzn.to/32k4wTL Paperback https://amzn.to/3l1kQ2m (paid links)

This book is: Fun, cute, whimsical, twisty, happily-ever-after

“They’d write about her in books she’d never be allowed to read.”

Rinity Garrick isn’t allowed in the Liosi Royal Library, but that hasn’t stopped her from sneaking in every chance she gets. It’s there she meets Tov, the Librarian whose brown eyes are easier to get lost in than the stories she loves.

Things get complicated, however, when Rinity discovers the Librarian is actually the Crown Prince. And his friend, Royal Advisor Gibbs, never seems to be far from the Prince— and seems to have taken an interest in Rinity’s best friend.

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Amya Cole knows better than to set her sights too high— a merchant’s son is all she needs to be provided for and still be useful. But the Royal Advisor quickly becomes an unexpected development in those plans.

When a mysterious man offers Rinity the opportunity to become the girl the Prince thinks she is, she must decide how far she’s willing to go for the answers she wants. Will the girls find their happy ending or bring Liosa down with them as they try to find it?

It’s Aladdin meets Pride and Prejudice in this romantic comedy about finding the love you deserve in the most unexpected places.

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Thanks for stopping by! I hope something caught your eye, and I wish you a wonderful holiday season!

Selina R. Gonzalez

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Selina R. Gonzalez

Selina R. Gonzalez is an author of medieval-inspired fantasy. Her romantic fantasy duology, The Mercenary and the Mage series, is available now.


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