Long-Listed for the 2022 Shelf Unbound Competition for Best Independently Published Book

Introducing… 2022 Long List

Introducing our long-listed titles of the 2022 Shelf Unbound Competition for Best Independently Published Book.

1. Black, White, and Gray All Over

From shootouts and robberies to riding in cars with pimps and prostitutes, Frederick Reynolds’ early manhood experiences in Detroit, Michigan in the 1960s foretold a future on the wrong side of the prison bars. Frederick grew up a creative and sensitive child but found himself lured down the same path as many Black youth in that era. No one would have guessed he would have a future as a cop in one of the most dangerous cities in America in the 1980s—Compton, California. From recruit to detective, Frederick experienced a successful career marked by commendations and awards. The traumatic and highly demanding nature of the work, however, took its toll on both his family and personal life—something Frederick was able to conquer but only after years of distress and regret.

About the Author

Frederick Reynolds

Frederick Douglass Reynolds is a retired Black LA County Sheriff’s homicide sergeant. He was born in Rocky Mount, Virginia, and grew up in Detroit, Michigan where he became a petty criminal and was involved in gangs. He joined the US Marine Corps in 1979 to escape the life of crime that he seemed destined for. After a brief stint in Okinawa, Japan, he finished out his military career in southern California and ultimately became a police officer with the Compton police department. He worked there from 1985 until 2000 and then transferred to the sheriff’s department where he worked an additional seventeen years, retiring in 2017 with over seventy-five commendations including two city of Compton Employee of the Year Awards, and two California Officer of the Year awards.

2. Cold As Hell

In the West, there are worse things to fear than bandits and outlaws. Demons. Monsters. Witches. James Crowley’s sacred duty as a Black Badge is to hunt them down and send them packing, banish them from the mortal realm for good.

He didn’t choose this life. No. He didn’t choose life at all. Shot dead in a gunfight many years ago, now he’s stuck in purgatory, serving the whims of the White Throne to avoid falling to Hell. Not quite undead, though not alive either, the best he can hope for is to work off his penance and fade away.

This time, the White Throne has sent him to investigate a strange bank robbery in Lonely Hill. An outlaw with the ability to conjure ice has frozen and shattered open the bank vault and is now on a spree, robbing the region for all it’s worth.

Rhett C. Bruno

About the Authors

Rhett C. Bruno

Rhett C. Bruno is the USA Today and Washington Post bestselling and Nebula Award-nominated author of the Circuit Saga, the Children of Titan series, the Buried Goddess Saga, Vicarious, and The Roach, among other works.

Jaime Castle

& Jaime Castle

Jaime Castle is the Washington Post and #1 Audible bestselling author of The Luna Missile Crisis, the Buried Goddess Saga–which includes the IPPY Award-winning Web of Eyes–and more. Hailing from the great nation of Texas, he lives with his wife and two children and enjoys anything creative.

3. Emotional Magnetism

Emotional Magnetism is the self-help book for people who want to improve their communication and connection in their relationships. Have you ever felt unheard or misunderstood? Maybe your partner just doesn’t seem to get why some things are important to you. Or perhaps your boss is seemingly oblivious to half the things you’ve pointed out in the past week. You’re not alone. In this life-changing book, communications expert Sandy Gerber reveals how, by understanding the Four Emotional Magnets that motivate people to listen and act, she transformed her relationships-and how you can do the same.

About the Author

Sandy Gerber

Sandy Gerber is a multiple award-winning author, communications and marketing strategist, and TEDx speaker. As CEO of NEXT Marketing Agency, she set a new standard for innovative communications, growing the company from her bedroom into one of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies in British Columbia. Her debut book, Emotional Magnetism has received twelve 2022 book awards. Sandy has enlightened thousands from the speaker stage and has coached hundreds of people in effective communication.

4. Haelend’s Ballad

A young man signs his own death warrant when he joins an already failing militia. A teenage girl is haunted by her childhood abuse and begins to crave the very things she hates. A childless mother finds herself on the run as a convicted murderer. Yet they are all unaware that their own fates are tied to a young orphan who has drowned and come back to life in a foreign land where he will be the death of everyone he meets.

Haelend’s Ballad is a grimdark fantasy/steampunk tale about what happens when men and women from two colliding cultures realize they may not be on the right side. Heroes are villains. The persecuted are oppressors. And when rumors begin to spread that the world is dying, the darkness of their own hearts betrays them.

About the Author

Ian V. Conrey

Ian Conrey is both a teacher and student of history and theology, who actively fights against human trafficking and is working toward an M.A. in Religion. In his free time, he enjoys reading biographies and ancient mythology, discovering early American folk songs, and exploring the Cohutta Wilderness. He lives with his wife and three children in the North Georgia mountains.

5. Sunflowers Beneath the Snow

A Ukrainian rebel. Three generations of women bearing the consequences. A journey that changes everything.

When Ivanna opens the door to uniformed officers, her tranquil life is torn to pieces – leaving behind a broken woman who must learn to endure cold, starvation, and the memories of a man who died in the quintessential act of betrayal. Using her thrift, ingenuity, and a bit of luck, she finds a way to survive in Soviet Ukraine, along with her daughter, Yevtsye. But the question remains, will she be strong enough to withstand her daughter’s deceit and the eventual downfall of the nation she has devoted her life to? Or will the memories of her late husband act as a shadow haunting everyone and everything she loves, including Ionna, the granddaughter that never knew him?

About the Author

Teri M. Brown

Born in Athens, Greece as an Air Force brat, Teri M Brown came into this world with an imagination full of stories to tell. She now calls the North Carolina coast home, and the peaceful nature of the sea has been a great source of inspiration for her creativity.

6. The Home for Friendless Children

Abandoned on a remote mountain in eastern Pennsylvania by his
father at age five, and discarded at an orphanage by his mother a few
years later, this is the remarkable true story of one boy’s impenetrable
resilience and courageous hope; holding onto his dreams in the face
of heartbreaking loss, loneliness and betrayal.

Little Robbie Olsen, his two brothers, sister, and mother would be saved from starving to death by the kindness of the Mennonite family who farmed the hills far below. Forced to leave their mountaintop home, they would walk fifteen miles into town, carrying what little they had in paper bags, finding lodging in a two-room apartment above Arlene and Ray’s Bar.

About the Author

C.L. Olsen

C.L. Olsen is a writer and designer. After listening to her husband Rob’s incredible life story through the years, she decided to put pen to paper. Cynthia Lee, Rob, and their rescue dog LuLu live in a little white cottage on Lake Erie in Michigan.

7. There She Lies

We all have secrets—little white lies we tell ourselves. Everyone has them, but no matter how hard we try to keep them hidden, even our deepest secrets can come up to the surface.

When the Millers move across the province to pursue William’s lifelong dream of becoming a helicopter pilot, Quinn, a new mother, feels isolated from everything she’s ever known, only, Quinn has been there before. Struggling with severe postpartum depression, Quinn turns to her elderly neighbour for help, but how much does she really know about Mrs. Westover? Only what she chooses to reveal. Mrs. Westover never lies, in fact, she despises liars. What will she do when she finds out Quinn’s been dishonest with her?

About the Author

Michelle Young

Michelle Young is the author of The Sleep Clinic, There She Lies, Your Move, Salt & Light, and Without Fear. She received an Honors BA major in psychology, minor in communications from the University of Ottawa. Young lives in Ottawa, Canada with her family

8. Touch

After her mother’s sudden death, artistically gifted Megan lost her will to draw as she watched her family crumble. When her father unexpectedly moves what’s left of them halfway across the country to mend, Megan must try, yet again, to rise from the ashes and create a new existence for herself. She’s intrigued when she sees Shawn-a secluded classmate who sparks unexpected drawing inspiration.

Shawn is protecting a terrible secret and teeters on the edge of letting go. With each layer Megan strips from him, she gets hints about how broken he is. If Shawn is brave enough to open up, Megan might be his undoing-which could save his life. But when Megan learns his darkest secret, will she be able to convince him life is still worth living?

About the Author

Rebecca Miller

Rebecca Miller is a multi-award-winning author of contemporary fiction with a purpose. She is a uniquely passionate person who lives to write compelling stories with urgent messages. Her characters are imperfect, relatable individuals who (usually) grow from their experiences—albeit sometimes slowly—however big or small their challenges may be. Her goal is to write believable characters with engaging journeys that each of her readers can gain something from.

9. Wullie The Mahaar Gome

Finnley McDougall’s boring schoolboy life in Seattle gets turned upside down when Great Uncle Hugh gives him a most unusual gift – a scruffy, rude, bad-tempered Scottish rock creature called Wullie who brings danger and disaster with him wherever he goes.From French snobs in fancy hotels, rusting barges on the Seattle waterfront, abandoned coalmines and flooded quarries in the Scottish hillsides filled with bullies, gangsters, slobbering dogs and weird food Finn is drawn into an evil plot that threatens to destroy everything he loves… including Edinburgh Castle. The only person who thinks that Finn is smart enough or brave enough to survive all this is his best friend and next door neighbor, Hadley Kobayashi, a girl who is wiser and tougher than Finn.

About the Author

David Kennedy McCulloch

David Kennedy McCulloch is the author of the Wullie-the Mahaar-Gome fantasy fiction series. These are scruffy, rude, bad-tempered mystery adventures for the young at heart. They are strongly based in Scottish folklore but will take you into places all of the world and into your imagination.

10. Hot Air

A sequel to the award-winning novel Arnold Falls, Hot Air features the characters of the small, upstate New York town during the summer following the events of book one. The “incredibly funny” (Kirkus) antics continue as Arnold Falls has several identity crises all at once. Our narrator, Jeebie, has a life-changing moment with a cow, there’s trouble brewing at the hospital, and Arnold Falls may change its name to Emollimax, for a payout. This is a character comedy about life in a small, extremely quirky town, for fans of Armistead Maupin and P. G. Wodehouse.

About the Author

Charlie Suisman

Charlie Suisman launched Manhattan User’s Guide in 1992, creating the first city newsletter. He has written several guide books to New York, including Manhattan User’s Guide, published by Hyperion, Shop Talk, The New York Times Guide to Hotels in New York City, The New York Holiday Guide, and contributed to City Secrets: New York and Design New York. He has contributed to The New York Times, Food & Wine, InStyle, Budget Travel, getTRIO, Diversion, Sidewalk, and New York Today. He has a Tibetan Terrier named Nipsey. Arnold Falls is his first novel.

2021 indie best award winners

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Article originally Published in the December / January 2023 Issue: 2022 Indie Best Award Winners.

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