Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.

November 16, 2022
By PW Staff

Five guest judges selected the finalists from as many genres. Stay tuned for the announcement of our winner on December 12, 2022. Congratulations to our finalists!


General Fiction

Boys in Exile by Richard Duggin  

"This book stayed with me for weeks after I read it. It really brought me into the world of pre-teen boys back in 1955, which is remarkable since I'm the furthest thing from a pre-teen white boy (lol). And that climax had me hanging on to every word. My jaw dropped and my heart was in my stomach." - Lyn Liao Butler



Death No Stranger by Regan Barry

"From the taut prelude through each successive chapter, suspenseful prose drives this police procedural thriller. With villains hiding in plain sight, Death No Stranger contains twists and turns that, combined with the edgy pacing and deeply flawed characters, compelled me to turn the pages to know what came next. DI Shauna Holt and DS Will Fiske work past the new professional pairing to quickly find their stride as a team in navigating the homicide investigation. This expertly crafted novel pulled on all my heartstrings." - Maggie Toussaint



Wild at Heart by Stacy Gold

"Wild at Heart is a beautiful, slow-burn love story about where we come from and how we view the world. Jules wants to immerse herself in nature on a weeks-long backpacking trip across Washington State. Evan comes from money and knows there’s more to life, so he’s on the same trail, looking for purpose beyond family expectations. I loved the role reversal of this romance, where Evan has the money to afford all the gear but none of the practical experience, and so Jules is regularly saving him from himself. Their relationship grows from a friendship forged of their different perspectives of nature, to a deeper understanding of who they each are and what they want. This book made me want to strap on a backpack and go have an adventure of my own!"  - Pippa Grant



The Island Mother by Jon Cohn 

"The Island Mother moves at a breakneck pace, but still manages not to cut corners on character development. With thriller elements and no overt villain, The Island Mother is, instead, a creeping horror, highlighting rot under the visible surface--which takes a deft hand when the backdrop is a tropical paradise." - Melissa Marr


YA/Middle Grade

Sleeping Around by Morgan Vega  

"As the mother of a teen adopted from foster care, I'm thrilled to know Coralee and her particular background as a child from the system. Morgan Vega's richly-compelling details about Coralee's experiences in foster care and as an aspiring young musician at University feel authentic and heart-wrenching, particularly when these worlds collide. Sleeping Around is a must-read for anyone who loves a contemporary, relevant novel full of music and compassion." - Melissa Hart