Monday, November 5, 2012

5 Self-Published Books I Love

"It was a simple plan. She would help him pass algebra. He would help her win the student election. What could go wrong?Take one geeky sixteen-year-old girl deathly afraid of speaking to any crowd larger than one, but who desperately needs something on her application other than perfect grades to get her into Stanford. Add in a star basketball player who's Mr. Popular to everyone else, but who's hiding more than a few startling secrets. Throw in a crisis of identity, a scheming girlfriend, and troubled family lives. Oh, and make sure everything that can go wrong does. Then count the votes.The result is PRESIDENT JOCK, VICE PRESIDENT GEEK, the story of two mixed up teenagers struggling to find themselves and the craziest student election ever to hit the halls of Rexton High."

~ Synopsis from president-jock-vice-president-geek.

I didn't write that. From the synopsis, you might just think this sweet little book could be the next Disney Channel movie. But what the synopsis doesn't tell you, is how heartbreaking this novel is.  Scott William Carter takes this simple paint-by-numbers plot, and flips it upside down. This book surprised me, over and over, and then when I read it the second time, it truly broke my heart.  I don't want to give any spoilers away, but I'll add this. Read this book for the voice, and the characters.  Not for young teenagers.

"There’s nothing wrong with a touch of madness. – Cheshire Cat
Someday Hatta will save the kingdom. In his mind, at least. But his talents of uncharacteristic kindness and a passion for colors hardly qualify him for such a destiny. In a kingdom that doesn’t need saving, a young man ignorant of social norms is the unlikeliest of heroes.
Along the way, the Cheshire Cat, Queen of Hearts, White Queen, and other familiar characters emerge to fill their eminent roles as well. 
Witness literature’s most lovable lunatic’s tangled ascent into madness."

~Synopsis from

Hatter is a study in opposites.  Hatta  is a scared, colorful, young hatter, who is slowly succumbing to mercury poisoning as he runs away from his past, and falls in love with the Queen of Hearts. Chism, a brave, colorblind, young soldier, is chasing his past, as he fights against becoming the puppet of the Queen of Hearts.  Hatter is a companion novel to Jabberwocky, which I confess I haven't read yet. It's well written, and very entertaining. Highly recommended.

"This Omnibus Edition collects the five Wool books into a single volume. It is for those who arrived late to the party and who wish to save a dollar or two while picking up the same stories in a single package.
The first Wool story was released as a standalone short in July of 2011. Due to reviewer demand, the rest of the story was released over the next six months. My thanks go out to those reviewers who clamored for more. Without you, none of this would exist. Your demand created this as much as I did.
This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside."

~ synopsis from

This story is simply self publishing done right.  But more importantly, is Sci fi done done right.  The story is like a grown up version of City of Ember ( which I adored) except that going outside means dying.  It's this post apocalyptic story where hope is like a disease. Wool is brilliant,  beautiful,  dark, and twisty.  Stop what you are doing, ( unless it's Nanowrimo. Keep going ladies, keep going!), and download or read it. Here's a link to order the createspace version, wool-omnibus.

"You would think Petronella’s sixteenth birthday would be cause for celebration. After all, fashionable friends are arriving at her country estate near London, teas are being served, and her coming out party promises to be a resplendent affair. Everything is falling nicely into place, until, suddenly—it isn’t. For Petronella discovers that her guardian, Uncle Augustus T. Percival, has developed a most unVictorian compulsion: He must eat bugs. Worse still, because he is her guardian, Uncle Augustus is to attend her soiree and his current state will most definitely be an embarrassment.During the festivities, when Petronella would much rather be sharing pleasantries with handsome Lord James Sinclair (swoon), important guests are disappearing, kidnapping notes are appearing, many of the clues are insects, and Uncle Augustus is surreptitiously devouring evidence. It’s more than one sixteen-year-old girl should have to deal with. But, truth be told, there is far more yet to come . . . "

~ Synopsis from

Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone is a weird, sweet, little book. I really enjoyed it, from the title to the first line, to the Jane Austen feel/references. The prose is a little thick, and a bit too sweet, kind of like maple syrup. I don't think this book is for everyone, but I dug it. Then again, I have a sweet tooth problem. 

"What would you do if you were born to be a predator? Would you fight your natural instincts or give in to your nature? 
Eden is a soul eater closing in on her awakening. Her family has convinced her that soon she will have to take a life in order to save her own. It’s a decision Eden doesn’t want to deal with even as her hunger for souls grows stronger every day.
To complicate her impossible position, new guy in school Noah Valois’ determination to befriend her puts Eden in touch with a humanity she’s never known. Addicted to his company, his friendship and affection, she becomes more and more terrified that giving into her hunger will mean losing him forever…
… But when she discovers that Noah is not what he seems, his betrayal forces her to face two choices. One will offer her revenge and the destruction of a boy she loved. The other may offer her a life of eternal redemption…"

~Synopsis from

Eden is both the hero of this story, and the monster. She'a a soul eater, and once she awakens, she has to eat a soul in order to survive. Noah, the super hot boy she's falling in love with, is a Warrior of Ankh, soldiers who are trained from birth to destroy soul eaters. Problem is, falling in love with Noah is what's making her awaken. 

Yummy, right? Conflict!

It's a great book, although Samantha Young has a smirking problem. 

Blurg. But it's self published, so what are you going to do?


I chose these first five books for specific Prosers. Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone is for Melanie, (Jane Austen-ish good clean fun).  Wool is for Sabrina, ( Dark, twisty, and wonderful).  Hatter I chose for Susan, (Read it, you'll get why).  Blood Will Tell I chose for Trisha, Sarah, and MaryAnn (and anyone else who loves a good paranormal romance), and VP Jock P Geek, I chose for... well for me. It's my favorite book that I've read all year.

Happy November everybody,


  1. LOL, you pegged me. Blood will Tell sounds awesome. Definitely the one I'm most interested in, but all of them sound interesting.

    Great post! :)

  2. I definitely want to read them all! Great post Sheena!

  3. Yup, you pegged me too. I may not be quite as into sci-fi as fantasy, but I love anything dark and twisty. Alas, on a quick review it seems I won't be able to read Wool unless I get a kindle or an IPhone, but I'll keep looking.

    All of them sound really interesting though!

    1. You should be able to download a kindle reader app to a computer, and I'm pretty sure it's free.

  4. A book about someone eating bugs for me? You totally pegged me...or I need something to read on the airplane. One of the two. :)


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