• S.M. Ryan

INDIE Reads I Enjoyed This Year

A quick list of book recommendations by independent authors that helped me get out of my reading slump, and are perfect to cozy up with this Fall season.

No, the year is not over yet but it has been one year since I hit publish on the very first blog post ever so I thought, what a better way to celebrate its return than with another reading wrap-up of some of the books I've enjoyed since starting this here blog.

Okay first, I confess: I fell into a major reading slump for a while there. Though, I think if you're an avid reader, it's just a thing that happens sometimes. Almost like you've burned yourself out of being able to hold any more stories in your head. It's normal and it's fine.

It's the finding the book to pull you out of the reading slump part that's a little harder to navigate.

For me, that's usually in the form of starting and stopping a lot of reads. Not because they aren't good, or that I don't want to read them. My mind simply refuses to settle into the story forcing the book to take its place on the To Be Finished shelf that I should probably get working on.

Now, let's be clear, the dry spells didn't stop me from searching for a book to get me back in the groove. A few downloads and book buys later, I got books to sink my teeth into that I think are worth adding to your reading list this Fall season and especially if you're working your way out of a reading slump.

I, for one, am very much looking forward to warm socks, cozy sweaters, and that new book smell.



Like My Mother Before Me by Naley Gonzalez

Like My Mother Before Me follows Alize as she tries to figure out who she is in the midst of some pretty big life events going on -- like being able to see ghosts, for one.

Between balancing school, sports, her love life, being there for those she loves most, and not losing her entire mind, Alize has a lot to figure out and not a lot of time to do it.

Not everything dead and roaming wants to...well, stay dead and roaming.

CONTENT WARNING: This book contains light violence, attempted rape, physical abuse, mentions of child abuse, adult language, reference to suicide, gaslighting, and recreational use of drugs/alcohol.

Where you can find the author, Naley Gonzalez -- Instagram | Youtube | Website


Hiss, Rattle, and Bite by Azaaa Davis

Hiss, Rattle, and Bite is a vampire urban fantasy page-turning novelette, perfect for an afternoon read.

The story follows Marigold, a woman who wants more out of life than what she's been dealt. Debt, a family that doesn't speak to her, the guilt she may never shake, and a distracting boyfriend.

Did I mention her employer is a vampire?

Hiss, Rattle, and Bite reminds you that it's not always in your favor to be the messenger.

Jilted by Azaaa Davis

Another read I enjoyed from the same author is Jilted Never Marry a Shifter Book 1 - a suspenseful paranormal novella with the beautiful Theresa at its center.

A woman just trying to enjoy being a fiance and then a newlywed when her life is turned upside down.

Forced to face that she may not have known that man she loves so deeply, she's pulled into an unfamiliar world, and likely the only one that can save her new husband's life.

Where you can find the author, Azaaa Davis -- Instagram | Website | Twitter


Ex Libris a short story collection by Marisa Mohi

Ex Libris is a short story collection following characters getting pulled into the kinds of things that only happen in storybooks.

Things going bump in the night, random books a little too intriguing, furniture that redefines functionality, the library of dreams..and maybe nightmares, and more.

Ex Libris explores the many things that can happen when readers, and writers, fall just a little bit too deep between the pages.

Where you can find the author, Marisa Mohi -- Instagram | Youtube | Website | Twitter


Surrender: an erotic short by Rilzy Adams

Surrender is an erotic short fulfilling a promise made between friends over a decade ago.

Yara and Lennox missed their chance once, and neither of them really wanted that to happen again.

When Lennox emails her a reminder of their promise and a plane ticket, Yara has to decide if she wants to answer the burning question of 'what if?' and spend two nights tucked away with Lennox fulfilling and reliving an old promise.

CONTENT WARNING: Explicit sex scenes and adult language.

Where you can find the author, Rilzy Adams -- Twitter | Website


The Darkness Within book 1 in the Sanguines series: Awakening by H. M. Reilly

The Darkness Within follows Charlotte Ryan as her world changes, starting with a bad break-up and moving back home with her cat, Jake.

It also follows Logan, a witch hunter returning home to avenge a loss that weighs on him every day.

Charlotte has a secret, and her family calls her "little devil spawn" behind her back which only gives her more questions that need answering.

With the supernatural world unfolding under her feet, and more and more hunters taking notice of her, Logan may not be enough to keep her safe.

Where you can find the author, H. M. Reilly -- Instagram | Facebook


Here Comes the Sun by Bella Jay

Here Comes the Sun is a contemporary romance following Shelby Kingston, a woman who runs from love even when she wants to run toward it.

When her best friend, and the man she loves, suggest they spend time together exploring their relationship beyond their friendship, she's afraid it'll ruin everything.

Jamar Holloway, the man in question who knows her better than anyone else, isn't one to take no for an answer. He's determined to bring the sun into Shelby's life, even if he has to play it by her rules.

CONTENT WARNING: Explicit sex scenes and adult language.

Where you can find the author, Bella Jay -- Instagram | Twitter | Website


The Remnants Love Left Behind: A Ganton Hills Romance Novel by Aubree Pynn

The Remnants Love Left Behind reminds you there is no one course, and life can change at any moment, no matter your plans or intentions which is what Jamis and Kamya had to learn after entering each other's world.

Learning to heal themselves and accept that destiny and their life plans may not always line up. They're faced with a choice: will they fight or give in?

CONTENT WARNING: Explicit sex scenes and adult language.

Where you can find the author, Aubree Pynn -- Instagram | Twitter | Website


I'm so glad I got to indulge in these reads this year. There's something about coming out of a reading dry spell and diving into a pool of refreshing reads that just jump starts my cold reading heart. If you've read any of these, let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Who knows, maybe I'll finally start working my way down my TBR list. In the meantime, if you happen to have any indie reads you love, or are looking forward to reading over the season, please leave me a comment below, my TBR needs the comfort.


Disclaimer: some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means I get a little kickback if you purchase through the link, no extra cost to you.

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