Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.


June 22, 2023
By PW Staff

This month, we’re celebrating mysteries, thrillers, and true crime. Want to see your book featured? Check out the Indie Spotlight calendar at

Afterstrike (An Unforgettable Thriller)        

L.J. Sellers     


Author Statement: "What if, without warning, you had to run for your life and leave everything behind? Remi Bartell faces that terrifying moment and takes only the dog who saved her. But as she settles into a new place, lightning strikes! Remi loses her memory and struggles to figure out who she is, why her life is so secretive, and who she can trust. Then she makes a small mistake—that costs her everything. The crime family patriarch she's hiding from kidnaps her and plunges her into a revenge nightmare. The trauma triggers buried memories from her old life that will either save her or destroy her. The plot is based on real news events. First, I read an article about a crime family patriarch who had committed insurance fraud. The details about how he staged phony car accidents with family members who got sucked into his schemes were fascinating. Then I read a feature story about a lightning strike survivor, and soon after, met a man who’d suffered a high-voltage electrical shock. I couldn’t stop thinking about all those people —and I knew I had to tell their stories.”      


Barnaby Shea 

J.E. Delehanty

ASIN ‎ B09CRN5VF5   

Author Statement: “Meet Barnaby Shea, an ex-priest now married who loves classical music, who never uses contractions, and who is facing accusations of child abuse--accusations that first surfaced in the 1950s when a young boy was found hanging from a tree in the cemetery of a small farming town. The rumors and accusations of abuse that fed the small community blamed their young parish priest for the boy’s suicide. Some 30 years later the accusations return in the form of a class action suit against the Archdiocese and a threatened civil allegation against that same man.           

In 2016 I published my first novel, ’Tis More Than Luck. One character in particular intrigued me enough that I always hoped I might find a way to develop him further. When the fledgling idea for a second novel began nagging at me I knew I wanted a different kind of mystery and a theme that was both important and current. The mystery became the death of a young boy found hanging in a country cemetery and the main character, a former priest, desperate to clear his name.”                                          


Cardinal Virtues (War of the Submarine)     

R.G. Roberts  

ASIN ‏B09Q1VDL4M            

Author Statement: "It’s 2037. Underwater exploitation changes the world. Every nation wants territory, and no one wants war. Then someone sinks a civilian submarine, and failing to save that same sub destroys Alex’s career. Exile to Armistice Station beaches him...until a hostile takeover lands him in the crosshairs between two enemies. Now, armed with nothing but creativity and coffee creamer fireballs, Alex must team up with the admiral who hates him most to escape the jaws of a closing enemy trap set by the canny French commander who ruined his career. Can Alex outsmart her this time, or will he end up as the first POW in the next world war? Cardinal Virtues was born while I was a student at the Naval War College. A friend and I started spitballing how World War III might start, and I put down the challenge of how it might start without China. Where would it focus? Who might ally with who? We looked at military-industrial complex alliances/sales and current events, spinning possibilities into the future and looking underseas.”     


Deep Fake Double Down

Debbie Burke 

ASIN B0BZQRHXTT           

Author Statement: "Video captures a daring prison break by a young Native American inmate and a biracial female guard who's his lover. The videos go viral on social media and every cop in Montana is hunting them down. The guard begs for help from investigator Tawny Lindholm and her high-powered attorney husband Tillman Rosenbaum. The woman swears the escape never happened, denies the romance, and claims the inmate was murdered. Then she disappears, fleeing a brutal killer who wants to silence her and the cops who are ready to shoot first and ask questions later. To help the woman, Tawny and Tillman plunge into a sinister alternate reality where videos are illusions, but death is all too real. Will they lose their lives finding the truth? After researching deep fakes, I wondered what could happen if this technology were used against an ordinary person? What if an innocent woman is tried and convicted on social media based on ‘evidence’ that looks convincing but is false? My imagination took off and this timely, psychological thriller was born.”                                          


East of Evil    

Joni M. Fisher            

ISBN 978-0-9972575-8-8     

Author Statement: “Orphaned at 14, Nefi Jenkins lost everything. At 21, studying for a career in law enforcement, she inherits a fortune and discovers someone will kill for it.  After a mission trip in Ecuador, I saw a stark contrast between the values and behavior of children raised in the rainforest and children raised in the U.S. How would a child raised without the influences of television and social media adjust to life in the U.S.? What attitude and skills would such a child use to handle dangerous situations?"           


Face Value: A Wright and Tran Novel         

Ian Andrew                

ISBN 978-0-9924641-2-7     

Author Statement: “Kara Wright is a former Royal Air Force intelligence analyst. Her best mate, Tien Tran, is a veteran of the British army's Intelligence Corps. Both served in Afghanistan and both were lucky to make it home. Now, based in a run-down office in Kentish Town, London, they try to keep their heads above water as private investigators. When two grown-up children claim their elderly parents have been kidnapped, Kara and Tien are skeptical, but they need the money and anyway, Kara could really do with keeping her mind off the man she murdered. The series of novels was inspired by the many amazing colleagues I had worked with during my time in military intelligence. I had read many books featuring intel characters, but I wanted my books to be grounded in realism, yet with enough of a fictional element to blur the lines. As for the specific idea for Face Value, it came from watching a news report about a ‘Mr. Big’ behind a crime syndicate being arrested. I thought that it takes a lot of Mr. and Ms. ‘Smalls’ (the little people to do little things wrong to enable a Mr. Big). I wanted to look at some of them.”       


Far Out

Khaled Talib  


Author Statement:Far Out is an unconventional tale that centers around screenwriter Blake Deco, whose life is turned upside down when his Hollywood movie star wife, Goldie Saint Helen, wakes up from a coma with a false identity. She believes she is a hippie detective living in the 1960s, tasked with finding a missing teenager. Her reaction to anachronisms, such as current songs on the radio and modern cell phones, is erratic, and her lawyers see her condition as an opportunity to take advantage of her. The plot takes a dangerous turn when the missing girl materializes, and a malicious scheme unfolds around the delusional detective. The story was inspired by the dangers of conservatorship and the real-life experiences of Britney Spears. To comply with legal requirements, I used the real names of Hollywood movie stars in the story and created scenes around them.”   


Fatal Rounds  

Carrie Rubin  

ISBN 978-1-958160-01-5      

Author Statement: “When Liza Larkin, a medical school graduate with schizoid personality disorder who doesn’t always make the best choices, suspects an esteemed trauma surgeon of stalking her family, she impulsively changes her training program of choice to his hospital. She wants to be near him. She wants to know what he’s up to. She wants to protect her family. I wanted to create a protagonist for whom interacting with the world is a constant struggle, one that impacts her judgment and makes her an unreliable narrator.”     


Innocence on Trial                 

Stephen Roth 


Author Statement: "An intense courtroom drama plays out when young Tommy Henderson takes the stand to provide crucial testimony in his teacher’s sexual assault trial. Nothing could adequately prepare the boy for Lester Mobey’s meticulous cross-examination. The wily and experienced defense attorney left no stone unturned and committed everything to win his last trial. The consequences of the jury’s verdict have deadly implications for Tommy and this teacher. The lessons learned from that courtroom experience prove invaluable when Tom Henderson, now an adult and lawyer himself, desperately tries to save his son’s life. The only question is: how far is he willing to go? Innocence on Trial is a hybrid of true crime and courtroom/mystery fiction.  The true crime element originates from actual events revolving around my elementary school teacher and his cabin.  The fictional part was inspired by my work as a lawyer.”


The Mentor    

Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli                    


Author Statement: "DCI Eric Shaw and a woman nicknamed Mina. The former is the chief investigator of a forensic team at Scotland Yard, but also so obsessed by his job that sometimes he tampers with the evidence to make sure the culprits go to prison. The latter is a serial killer. The problem is, she’s very close to him. During the investigation on the death of some known offenders, Eric starts suspecting that Mina is the person he's looking for, but doesn’t want that to be true. I’m a fan of the CSI franchise, precisely because the investigation in those series was based on scientific elements. The idea for The Mentor comes from the desire to write a crime thriller whose protagonists are forensic investigators, but who are a little more ‘flawed’ than those of the various CSI series, where there is a clear separation between the good and the bad guy, between good and evil. I prefer stories in which the border between the two things is not clear, and they tend to get confused depending on the point of view from which they are observed.”


Murder in the Marshes

Carter Fielding

ASIN ‏ B0C2JDFK9M                                   

Author Statement: "Sisters Finley and Whitt are meeting up in Charleston for Whit’s wedding and have booked one of the stately mansions off Colonial Lake as their Airbnb home away from home. As if managing Mama’s need to feed and tamping down Whitt’s pre-wedding jitters aren’t enough, Finley has to help her sister remember where she has seen the man that turns up dead in the master bedroom of the house they are renting. Carter Fielding is the pen name we co-writing sisters use for our cozy mysteries. Keeping our identities secret because of our positions as a dean of a small university in Africa and as a senior international development banker in Asia, we have adopted a persona in Carter that matches our personalities and yet protects our identities.” 


Pedaling West

E.A. Coe


Author Statement: “When Carrie loses her job and boyfriend during the opening weeks of the pandemic, she’s determined to reset her life in a positive direction. The answer? A solo, two-month, cross-country bicycle trip from Virginia Beach to Mendocino, California. Yet dangers lurk that she’d never anticipated. During Carrie’s idyllic journey across the continent, her greatest danger comes not from her encounters with angry animals, road hazards, or the elements. Something much worse stalks her—something much too human. After moving the timeline for my last two novels back to avoid addressing the issues all of us faced during Covid, I finally decided to address the pandemic head-on with a Covid-era novel.”                                           


Rebels in Pisa

Ken Tentarelli

ASIN B0BSP216DY                         

Author Statement: "Renaissance Italy 1465: After six decades of domination by Florence, agitators in Pisa are impatient to regain the freedom of their past when Pisa was an independent state. Rumors of insurrection in Pisa spur Florentine authorities to send young lawyer Nico Argenti and his team to investigate and stop the agitators. In Pisa, the team confronts more than they expected: smuggling, abduction, and murder. During my extensive travels in Italy studying the language and culture, I became fascinated with the country's history - who wouldn't?  Rebels in Pisa is the latest novel in the Nico Argenti series set during the Renaissance. It is my attempt to bring the excitement of that era to readers.”   


The Rio Affair: A Thriller

Micah Barnett            

ASIN B0BT2CT986                                      

Author Statement: “Special Agent Miles Ronan has a secret: his father is on the FBI's Most Wanted List. It's been 30 years since Miles has heard from his father; but when he's called to Brazil to identify his dead body, he's sucked into a twisted mystery that forces him to unravel his father's fugitive past... and become a fugitive himself. This novel was inspired by travels to Brazil to visit my wife's family. During one of these trips a sensational murder dominated the news. An American executive and his wife had been hacked to death while sleeping in their bed. The couple lived in a secured condominium and the police found no sign of forced entry or a clear motive. Was it an assassination? Corporate espionage? Corruption? My conspiracy-minded Brazilian friends offered up dozens of imaginative theories.” 


Set in Stone

J.A. Dayton    

ISBN 978-1-63988-804-7                  

Author Statement: “Mysterious and deadly stone towers in a vividly realized small town threaten the town's historical identity and future. Inspiration for my thriller comes from hiking past abandoned stone structures in the woods of New England. A villain sets down stone towers at dangerous times and places, causing instantaneous deaths. Thrills come from police attempts to stop a series of terrifying incidents without apparent motive and without criminal evidence.”


Silence Says the Most: An Olivia Penn Mystery      

Kathleen Bailey

ASIN B0BGFRZDGK                       

Author Statement: "Olivia’s hometown is gearing up for its annual Halloween festival, and pumpkins, corn mazes, and autumn vibes are everywhere. All is cozy in the crisp fall air as excitement builds for the costume parade on Friday. A casual Monday lakeside picnic lunch with her forever friend, though, sets off a chain of events that catches Olivia in the wrong place at the wrong time. When a body is discovered amid an algae bloom under mysterious circumstances, everyone points fingers, but one among them is not telling the truth. The only apparent witness to the crime is a child who doesn’t speak. Motives abound, suspects are plenty, and it’s up to Olivia to discover why the child has implicated her as the key to solving the murder. The idea for the mystery came partially from my experience working with children on the autism spectrum as a pediatric physical therapist.”                    


Stranger on the Shore

William J. Borak

ISBN: 978-1-63988-817-7                 

Author Statement: “Chris, grieving the loss of his fiancé Theresa, meets the enigmatic Arielle on the beach and agrees to meet her at a party. However, when he arrives at the party, he finds no sign of Arielle, but instead meets Marisa, a waitress who bears an uncanny resemblance to Theresa and even possesses her complete memory. Chris is stunned by the coincidence and wonders if everything is part of some greater plan orchestrated by Arielle. I enjoy writing short stories, so the book started out in my mind as a short story. The trigger for me was hearing the instrumental song by Acker Bilk from the 1960s, ‘Stranger on the Shore,’ which is a haunting yet beautiful song that was a hit at that time. It renders thoughts of a beautiful woman strolling along an idyllic shoreline that would lead to some kind of romantic interlude. However, as I started writing about a potential small romantic storyline, I thought it would be more fun and challenging to write a mystery."                                            


The Sungei Road Gang          

Frederick Lim                        

ISBN 978-1-5437-6633-2     

Author Statement: "A stolen clutch bag triggers a chain of events that winds its way towards Sungei Road. A $100,000 reward for a missing girl sets off a separate chain of events that also converges upon Sungei Road. And at Singapore’s renowned ‘Thieves’ Market in Sungei Road the two chains are entangled in a chance meeting that brings together a teenage street gang and a private detective. They are forced into a hasty, uneasy alliance to take on an international criminal syndicate. But are wits and street skills enough to prevail over the power and ruthlessness of organized crime?

 The idea that led to the story came about from my many visits to the flea market of Sungei Road. Once, while having tea in a coffee shop, I watched from afar a bunch of teenagers who looked like they could be up to no good. They way they kept looking at people in the flea market take out money from their wallets to pay seemed to suggest they could be pickpockets. That became the inspiration for the main characters of the street gang in my novel.”


Termination of Benefits

Jane Sloven    

ISBN  978-1-63381-130-0                                                     

Author Statement: "Sarah Green, a criminal lawyer who thought she buried her past when she fled Boston for the relative safety of Maine and her new career as a psychotherapist, is skilled at helping her counseling clients untangle their emotional dilemmas, but doesn’t do so well with her own. She’s got big ones—ghostly visits from a murdered friend and frightening flashbacks. I wanted to explore the deep and powerful bonds of women’s friendships, the challenges of marriage, and the thrill of romance. Additionally, because I was a clinical social worker with a psychotherapy practice, I wanted to illuminate the life of psychotherapists, including the ethical obligations, how the experience of trauma is so often woven into all our lives, and how counselors can help clients (and themselves) lessen the consequences of trauma. Counselors depend on learned skills and intuition. I wanted to create a protagonist who struggled with an unwelcome family legacy of clairvoyance. Finally, when I began writing this mystery, managed care companies were creating obstacles for counselors in treating our clients, I wanted to take out my frustrations by murdering someone associated with managed care!”                             


Trey: The Heartbreak Hotel #2 Josh Conley Jr.


Author Statement: "Julius, obsessed with revenge for the setup of his cousin Jackson, attempts to kill the person he holds as responsible, Jade. When ambushed in a parking garage, Jade unveils a truth that saves her life, for the moment. Overwhelmed with emotion, Julius reveals a truth of his own, that someone close to Jade may be responsible for the murder of their father, Trey. As they search for answers into Trey’s murder, they stumble upon a homeless person who reveals more than what they expected about their father. As both Julius and Jade come to understand more about their father’s life, they soon realize that all that’s being told isn’t as it seems. Now faced with a life-or-death decision, a horrible secret is unraveled. Can Julius handle this truth? Can he forgive those who betrayed his family? Or will revenge overtake him to initiate a bloodbath? Some of the origins of my story are very loosely based around my young adult life while growing up in Paterson, New Jersey, depicted through the main character, Trey and a few others.”