The best weird & wonderful, character-driven, indie, sci-fi/fantasy novels

Why am I passionate about this?

As a kindergarten teacher and a mother of three boys, I live at the intersection of weird and wonderful, so I expect nothing less from my library. Indie authors offer unique points of view, aren’t afraid to break the rules, and are motivated by their passion for the craft of writing. I'm drawn to those writers who let the voices in their heads lead the way, creating characters you become invested in from page one. I love writing around my characters, because once I have them developed, the books tend to write themselves. Some of my best storylines are ones where my characters took over and led me in weird and wonderful directions.


I wrote...

Hitchhiker

By Audra Middleton,

Book cover of Hitchhiker

What is my book about?

Supernatural abilities haunt her. Brainiac students taunt her. The FBI "Freak Squad" wants her. Will she abandon her extra sensory talents in favor of freedom, or will she hone them to help catch crooks?

Former army brat, Ainsley Benton, may have finally found her place in this world, and it’s among the freaks. This small-town art teacher has the ability to see, hear, and feel what other people are experiencing, and now the FBI’s freak squad wants to use her “human bug” abilities to catch bad guys. Despite her fear of commitment, failure, and responsibility, Ainsley temporarily agrees to join this team of misfits and ends up risking her life to investigate a conspiracy that may only be one of her schizophrenic coworker’s paranoid delusions.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Other F Word

Audra Middleton Why did I love this book?

The Other F Word is a fun fantasy featuring freaky fairies. Stec’s characters are what draw me to her work. Sassy, strong women always lead the way in her stories. Reading about these fairy teens brought me back to high school: cliques, drugs, crushes, being embarrassed by my parents. I particularly enjoyed Stec’s clever fairy-sized world where dragonflies are the main mode of transportation, kids get high on honey, and Disney references are used as curse words. It’s a fun read with fabulously flawed characters and a fascinating twist. 

By Susan Stec,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Other F Word as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Wandermere is anything but your typical fairy forest kingdom. You won't find any dainty, innocent, classical fairies sitting on toadstools petting baby bunnies. Instead, you'll stumble upon mouthy teen fairies wearing designer knockoffs and texting on their smart phones. It wasn't always like this, and the adults claim the reasons behind the change is to help them better deal with trips to the human world, but Dekram begins having doubts about what is real and who has been lying.


Book cover of An Alien's Guide to World Domination

Audra Middleton Why did I love this book?

This book is unlike anything I have ever read before. I love that it is quirky and bizarre, yet meaningful and relatable at the same time. Elizabeth Fountain puts a piece of her soul into her characters, which is what makes this story memorable. Having grown up with schnauzers as pets, I especially love that she gives a schnauzer some of the best lines in the book. Talking dogs, vivid characters, aliens that resemble snot, and a world in peril – what more could you ask for?

By Elizabeth Fountain,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Alien's Guide to World Domination as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Louise Armstrong Holliday is the last person on Earth you’d expect to save the human race. But when she uncovers proof that her boss is an alien the color of lime jelly gone horribly wrong, and is at the center of a plot to destroy humanity, Louie decides to do exactly that. She begins a journey from her company’s suburban Seattle office park to the old cities and castles of Eastern Europe. Along the way, Louie is attacked by flying books, overly-sensitive bat-crow monsters, and her own self-doubts. She must learn the truth about her closest friend, stand up to…


Book cover of The Apocalypse Gene

Audra Middleton Why did I love this book?

I’ll be honest with you, this one is a brain-bender, and I love that about it. I may not have been able to wrap my brain around all of the unique twists and turns in this story, but the characters are so well-developed, the description is so vivid, and the action scenes are so well-crafted, it really didn’t matter. Set in the middle of a dystopian cancer plague, the eerie biblical and sci-fi elements make this one a real page-turner.

By Suki Michelle, Carlyle Clark,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Apocalypse Gene as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Global pandemic is raging. Olivya Wright-Ono's once loving home has been converted to a hospice for the dying.  Her ability to see auras forces her to witness, with agonizing detail, the vibrant colors of life consumed by malignancy.  The beautiful and troubled, Mikah, is an elite Empath in the ancient Kindred clan, led by the brooding, ever-morphing, monster named Prime. Mikah has learned a terrible truth . . . the plague is linked to Kindred origins.  When Olivya sees evidence of disease creeping into her mother's aura, she has no one to turn to but Mikah. Can he unearth the…


Book cover of Sugar Man's Daughter

Audra Middleton Why did I love this book?

Sugar Man’s Daughter follows Nicola’s journey as she tries to escape her demons by returning to her childhood roots. It’s mysterious and dark; the characters are vivid and perfectly flawed; it sucks you in and keeps you turning the page. Sugar Man’s Daughter is an introspective piece that examines the dysfunction created in the wake of illegal drugs and corruption.

By Lucy Crowe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sugar Man's Daughter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Dear Daddy: It’s been a year tomorrow. A whole long and sorrowful year gone by, and I still looked for you to be at the kitchen stove tonight, a cigarette propped between your lips, and a scowl set in deep around your eyebrows . . . “ The alleged suicide of heroin king Jimmy “Sugar” Thomas has a lot of the locals in the backwater town of Mount Bloom asking questions. And the fall-out from his death has his only daughter delving – albeit unwillingly – into the spirit world and running from some harsh allegations made by her current…


Book cover of Earth Cell: The UX-Blood Trilogy Book I

Audra Middleton Why did I love this book?

It is always impressive when an author can create a unique imaginary world, yet still focus on the characters. Maels is an alien, completely different from us in his appearance and experiences, yet I felt like I was in his shoes, engrossed in his story. A young Warden, Maels’s duty is to defend, which leads to many graphic action scenes and his alien abilities adding an interesting element. Complex and well-written, Earth Cell is an intriguing mix of fantasy and sci-fi.

By Charles Brass,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Earth Cell as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For centuries, the league of Cells and the Witches Guild have worked together to maintain order and stability across the overweb's countless worlds. Young Maels Raptori stands to fulfill his dream of serving as warden, until a powerful intruder nearly seizes control of Earth Cell, and Maels is tested beyond anything he has experienced.


You might also like...

The Nameless Throne

By Lisa Cassidy,

Book cover of The Nameless Throne

Lisa Cassidy Author Of The Nameless Throne

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Book nerd Fantasy lover Coffee snob

Lisa's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

An ambitious orphan. A ruthless warlord. An impossible destiny.

Arya Nameless is a lowly Raider posted to an isolated fort in the most dangerous place in Dunidaen. She has few prospects, and as much as she loves her fellow soldiers, she burns for more—more control, more autonomy, more power.

When her bravery during an unexpected attack leads to an offer to join the household of one of Dunidaen’s warlords, Arya finds a home and family she never expected. Yet her quicksilver temper and fierce pride put her place there at constant risk.

And as her warlord embroils them all in a dangerous political game to rule Dunidaen, over the border to the west, the Nightstalker lurks. A king who wields powerful magic, the Nightstalker’s fate is inextricably entwined with Arya’s. His relentless pursuit will force Arya into a choice she doesn’t want to make, between loyalty and love, and taking hold of the destiny she was born to fulfill.

Which will she choose?

The Nameless Throne

By Lisa Cassidy,

What is this book about?

An ambitious orphan. A ruthless warlord. An impossible destiny.

Arya Nameless is a lowly Raider posted to an isolated fort in the most dangerous place in Dunidaen. She has few prospects, and as much as she loves her fellow soldiers, she burns for more—more control, more autonomy, more power.

When her bravery during an unexpected attack leads to an offer to join the household of one of Dunidaen’s warlords, Arya finds a home and family she never expected. Yet her quicksilver temper and fierce pride put her place there at constant risk.

And as her warlord embroils them all in…


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