This Week’s Read: Renee: All Hail the Queen


Molested by her step-father and verbally abused by her mother, Renee channeled her pain into passion and became the most ruthless queen-pin New York has ever seen. Haunted by her past and unable to let go of what was, she struggles to achieve inner peace while wreaking mayhem on the streets of New York.

Renee is queen of the city and runs it with an iron fist, but everything changes when people from her past resurface to seek revenge. They will stop at nothing until she’s dead. Will Renee find happiness and let go of her demons? Or will she allow her past to finish what it started?


Renee: All Hail the Queen is available at:


Barnes and Noble

Create Space

About the Author:

Born and raised in New York City Brandie Davis graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English from York College and is the founder of My Urban Books blog and Facebook book club. From home she continues to pen drama filled novels while developing her urban fiction blog, which is geared towards shining light on not only veteran authors, but also the up and coming.

We are OPEN FOR BUSINESS! (Almost!)


The ladies of Indie Books R Us are gearing up for our 2014 season. Along with the planned changes to our website, we’ve got a few changes to our policy, with the hopes that year three will be the best year EVER, for us and for you guys, the readers and authors who are awesome enough to let us review your work.

There’s one big change that we’re excited about:

MORE FEATURES. We’ve noticed that you guys are fans of the guest posts we’ve had up, so we’re opening up Fridays for that reason. Interviews are tough, and while we love doing them, we want to have more spots for author guest posts, announcements, and anything else that comes our way. If the authors whose books we review want to submit a guest post, they’re more than welcome.

AUTHORS, there are also some policy changes to consider if you’re planning to submit to us for 2014.

In addition to the normal things we ask for—blurb, buy links, author bio, author photo, cover photo—we’re also asking for ALL social media links (Twitter, Facebook, blog, etc) so we can link you to the review and a 3k excerpt pasted into the body of the email. All in the submission email. I know it sounds like a lot, but we want to feature the best indie books we can. Any review request we receive that is missing these elements will be automatically rejected. *If you don’t have an author photo, please let us know in the email.* Since we receive such a volume of emails throughout the year, we have to honor the policy of following our stricter guidelines for our sanity as well as yours.

We’re looking extremely forward to 2014 and reading some awesome indie books!


Guest Interview: Taylor M. Lunsford

Taylor-8 - Version 2Greetings Indie Readers! It’s another T.G.I. Friday post. Hard to believe how time flies. Today I have the lovely author and editor Taylor M. Lunsford. She works with in the small press publishing industry, which is just one of the many publishing routes author’s can launch themselves in. Without further ado, I’ll launch in the questions that Taylor was so gracious in answering.

1.) Why did you choose small press versus self-publishing or traditional publishing routes? 

I went with small press for a couple different reasons. The first is that I wasn’t having a lot of success going the traditional route. Agents are taking on fewer and fewer new writers these days, and there are a lot of romance writers out there. Amanda Green, my editor, encouraged me to try writing a romantic suspense for Naked Reader Press, so I thought “what the heck” and gave it a shot. Small press gives you a lot more control over your work as far as content, timeline, etc. goes, while still having the safety net of an editor and someone making the covers and access to the different storefronts. It’s also hugely helpful when you’re mildly technologically challenged to have someone to do the formatting and coding for e-books. NRP is very writer focused and knowing the editors was also a big selling point. For my first book, it felt like the best of both worlds.

2.) Tell readers a little bit about your latest release. Is this the genre you love to write? 

The Love in Unknown series is small town romance with a strong vein of suspense. I’ve always loved small town romances, but I hadn’t tried adding in suspense before. Book one, Need You Now, is about the ridiculously sexy mayor, Caine Maddox, and his college sweetheart (and best friend’s little sister), Melody Carr. I love stories where the hero and heroine have a past together, and they have to figure out how to work around it. For those of you who know your Jane Austen, Persuasion (aka my favorite book) had a strong influence on the story.

3.) What other genres draw your interest and why?

I love all aspects of romance. I think I’ve read something in every subgenre and written something in a lot of them (historical, paranormal, fantasy). I’m really into biographies right now. I can’t read non-romance books (don’t know why, it’s a mental block), so I’ll listen to biographies when I’m driving to and from work. My favorite is probably ‘Tis Herself, Maureen O’Hara’s autobiography.

4.) You’re also listed as an Assistant Editor for Naked Reader Press, was this planned or something happened upon? 

Well, as I said, I know the folks who run NRP, so as the only strictly romance writer currently on their roster (Ellie Ferguson is another, but she writes more suspense/paranormal than just romance and Sarah Hoyt writes in pretty much every genre), I was invited to join the team.

5.) As an editor what are you looking for in a book? Do you try to implement the same things in your own books? 

I look for the same thing in a book that I want to write and read. I want strong, interesting characters that are maybe a little bit quirky. I like stories with a bit of a twist or interest that I wouldn’t expect. But mostly I just want to read well-written stuff from intelligent, kick-ass writers.

6.) Finally, what can we expect next? 

Well, with any luck, the short story in the Love in Unknown series, We Own The Night, will be out within the next few weeks. It sets up the romance for book three between Caine’s brother Gage and fashion designer Tessa Styles, and gets the hero for book two—Mel’s brother Micah—Ready to Love Again.

Get a copy of Taylor’s latest book at:




Connect with Taylor on her Website or at TwitterPinterest, or Amazon

Finally, thanks Taylor for submitting to an interview. Loved having you here and I encourage readers to ask your small press questions about the experience etc.

Guest post: Huw Thomas

A couple of weeks ago, Huw emailed us about a promotion he was running to benefit ShelterBox, an international relief organisation that provides emergency help to families who have lost their home as a result of disasters. Half of the royalties from his book The Vault will benefit this worthy cause. Check Huw’s blog for more information. 


Vault Kindle Comp CoverWriting a novel can be (relatively) easy. You start with something to catch the reader’s attention, move on to develop the story and let it all build to the climax. Simple, yes?

I’ve managed this approach with several of my books. Problem is, though, my novels generally develop a life of their own and the little critters don’t always do what I tell them.

I do plan to some degree – principally to ensure continuity – but I’m much more of an intuitive writer. I generally know where I want to go but I work from a road atlas, not a detailed map with every contour and feature carefully plotted.

With my mystery thriller The Vault, I think I must have hit roadworks. Either that or I’d got the pages of the road atlas jumbled up.

Shortly after starting my journey, I found myself with a book that involved four separate – seemingly unconnected – sets of route instructions (storylines). And while these four trips overlapped, they weren’t even taking place at the same time.

It’s not that I set out to make life difficult for myself, or my readers. It’s just where the story took me!

Anyway – leaving the road trip metaphor for the moment – whether it’s just because of the complex plot I don’t know but The Vault was probably the book over which I’ve moaned, cursed and despaired the most.

It began with an idea for a scenario describing a night-time kidnapping. This evolved into a longer story about an armed raid on the home of a reclusive billionaire – coupled with a parallel tale involving schoolboys playing in an overgrown wood. (There is a connection, honest.)

I think I got about a third of the way into the book – and had an ending in mind – when I ground to a halt. Something wasn’t working. There was no flow, no ease to the story. It just didn’t feel right.

I shelved the project for a while. Several months later, I went away for a weekend course on screenwriting and, afterwards, decided to try turning what I’d written for The Vault into a film script.

It was a move that transformed the process. I began to think of my story in much more visual terms. What would viewers (readers) see? What did the image convey? How did it relate to the story? What was its purpose?

Thinking in terms of a script also focussed me on the dialogue, something that previously wasn’t one of my strong points.

The Vault never made it into a becoming a full-length screenplay but taking a different approach to the story cleared my mental blockage.

I went back to the novel and wrote the rest of it with real purpose. It was complex but not impossible. I kept thinking in visual terms, imagining the story as if it were scenes from a film or TV show.

I also tried to keep my focus on the purpose of each scene. What was it there for? Was it a complete digression (always tempting) or did it add to the overall story?

I wouldn’t say it made me a completely ruthless editor. I’m not one of those authors who delete every line unless it moves the story on. Personally, I don’t mind the odd moment of humour, romance, background etc.

As a writer you’ve just need to keep a tight grip on the purple prose and make sure any flights of fancy words are little flashes – short enough for those who don’t like that kind of thing to skip over but entertaining for those that do.

With The Vault, I think the end result was a good book. It’s not perfect but it’s a complex, multi-layered mystery that mixes action and suspense and – I hope – brings in some characters that readers will find very real and believable.

I’m not sure I’d chose to write such an involved novel a second time… but there again, I’m only the guide on the tour bus, I don’t plan the itinerary.


The Vault is available at Amazon.


Find Huw at:

Facebook: Huw Thomas Author’s Page

Author Interview: Kimberly Gould

kimmydon2T.G.I.F everyone! It’s definitely time for a weekend, let me tell you. For your reading pleasure before you jaunt off to relax with a book, tailgate at the games, or dive into another writer’s retreat here’s my interview with the wonderful Kimberly Gould. She graciously agreed to respond to my questions about her book Cargon, Honour & Privilege. I hope questions peak your interest in a book that I really enjoyed.
1.)  What was your inspiration for Eve? The Elite? 
 Eve leap full-formed out of my imagination. She was a heroine in a dream of mine that met a much worse end. She was smarter than was good for her. The elite arose from the same dream, where the men would toy with Eve, making her play over and over until she eventually lost. They were even colder and crueler. I’m happy to have made some of them more likable.
2.) I found the Elite society more complex and emotionless then the Servant Society. Why do the Elite distance themselves so much from emotion? 
The pieces are there, though it isn’t obvious, that Fontive is suffering from population decline. The Fall included fallout and their genetics still haven’t completely recovered. The open relationships among the elite improve the chances for children but they raise them distantly. The servants, on the other hand, raise their children inclusively, building stronger family structures. The real reason the elite are emotionless is because they are the descendants of scholars. When the Fall happened, everyone turned to the smartest, most capable people to see them through. Over time, those people were held separate as leaders.
3.) How old is Adam? He appears in his early twenties, but I couldn’t tell from Eve’s description. 
 Adam is in his mid-twenties. I don’t state his age in order to avoid criticism that he is ‘too old’ for Eve. By leaving it nebulous, the reader can place him anywhere from 20 to 30 as they feel most comfortable.
4.) Are you for Louis or Adam? Do you truly believe Eve will come to a resolution? 
 I’m not against Adam or Louis. I do redeem Louis in Duty & Sacrifice, so I am also rooting for his happiness, but it is definitely over-shadowed by the love between Eve and Adam. There is a place for Louis, but it isn’t equal to Adam in Eve’s heart.
5.) Book 2 is already available, but when can readers expect book 3? And do you plan to write more books in this fantasy world you’ve created? 
Ah, book 3. I have several thousand words written, but have had a lot of trouble lately getting into the right mindset to continue. I don’t have a current expected date. I do plan to make the third book the last for Eve. I’m contemplating a prequel focusing on Bianca and her sister Victoria, but don’t have even so much as an outline for that. It isn’t out of the question to write something further into the future, looking at the ramifications of Eve and her actions (they’re going to be wide-spread!), but that is even less concrete than the prequel novel. Crossing my fingers, if things turn around this winter, I might have the third book ready for 2014.
Purchase a copy of Cargon, Honour & Privilege at:


Barnes & Noble


Print Version

Author Bio:

Although Kimberly Donn Gould normally hates being called Kimmy, her mother called her Kimmydonn and that was alright. Now she has Lilah, or Delilah, or Delilah Dell if she’s misbehaving and Dad, Allen, catches her. Continuing in her day job as an Environmental Consultant, Kim is also a writer in the time she finds on the sides.

Review: Cargon, Honour & Privilege

Genre: YA Dystopian/Fantasy

Rating: YAY!

This book surprised me, in an awesome way, it kept me reading. The first page wasn’t really a grabber, but I allowed myself to reach for the end of Chapter 1 (like a sample). Gould drew me and kept dragging until the pages flew. I say pages flew because I finished this in less than 24 hours, when an Indies Book does that I stand up and take notice. Now to the content.

The players: Eve and Adam (ironic, I think not). There’s an underlying theme Gould is building, and she does it in a way that you may or may not notice right off the bat. The book spends most of the time in Eve’s POV, she’s a teenager from the servant class. Expressing an aptitude for knowledge and learning, the leader of her nation, The High One, provides her with an opportunity to learn more about the country, the practices of the Elite, and a chance to become more than just a Server. Adam is The Second, in line to rule once The High One passes. He encounters Eve and becomes enamored by her intelligence, her beauty, and desire to exceed her original stations.

I like both main characters. They’re not perfect, but intent on becoming valuable in their own way. Both Eve and Adam grow a bunch during this story, but Gould leaves room for plenty more to come. I found myself rooting for them and their goals, and easily dedicated to their welfare. Both are likable without being a couple of ‘Mary Sue’s’.

What plays out is a great start to a much larger story, but you get a little romance, budding friendships, technological advancement, philosophical discussions, and a great way of learning about an entire world without being info dumped on. Gould does an amazing job of weaving the knowledge about her fantasy world through Eve’s growth and experiences. Cargon is essentially a game that’s used by members of the Elite (upper class) to determine things like marriage, land, status, jobs, etc. How Eve uses Cargon to her advantage? You have to read the book.

What I also liked: Character growth, development of the plot into several sustainable arcs, a strong female character who still has some flaws and weakness, and a nice romance triangle that keeps you guessing.

What I didn’t like: No resolutions. This book is really part 1 of a bigger story, and that sucks. Also, you’ll finish with lots of questions, a few more than what you started with. A man named Louis, who plays the role of villain well. Yet, at the end of the book he showed a different side of him leaving me to wonder.

This is definitely worth a read if you like fantasy and enjoy visiting new worlds or just enjoy a good story of a girl experiencing a Cinderella fairy tale and determined to exceed all expectations.

Purchase a copy of Cargon: Honor and Privilege at:


Barnes & Noble


Print Version

This Week’s Read: Cargon, Honor & Privilege

Lives are won, lost and traded on the three-tiered Cargon boards.Cargon, Honor & Privilege

Eve, a serving-girl, has watched the elite from the outside, seen the dramatic shifts based on the results of the Game. With a growing need to reach beyond her station, she can no longer accept her position on the edges.
Wagering her own life, she wins and emerges in a strange new world. New rules and old acquaintances tangle to make Eve’s life less comfortable than her position would suggest.

One pawn moved, but an entire world shaken – Eve will change the world.

You can purchase Cargon, Honor & Privilege at:


Barnes & Noble


Print Version

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