Top Ten Self-Published Books 2015

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We've seen some great self-published books this year and had great fun choosing our top ten books. Here they are, in alphabetical order by author.

Blood Brothers... Thai Style by Matt Carrell

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Chatri Aromanadee and Daeng Khasajamsarun are friends, but in a rather unequal way. Daeng very much has the upper hand despite the fact that Chatri is a policeman: Daeng is manipulative and it's difficult to be polite enough to say that he 'sails close to the wind'. The man is a criminal, but he turned a problem of his own (and of his own making) into a hold over Chatri, which still holds firm even when Chatri becomes the chief of police in Baan Chailai, with its lively bar scene, on the Gulf of Thailand. Their sons have a similar relationship: Daeng's son Tong is brutal in his relationships with women and Chatri's son Sunan has the misfortune to work in the hotel complex owned by Daeng. Full review...

Out of Bounds by Bruce Hugman

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Author Bruce Hugman has been a school teacher, probation officer, smallholder, university lecturer, PR Professional, is an international communications consultant and teacher in healthcare and patient safety. Having nursed two partners through the final stages of AIDS, and survived the 2004 Asian Tsunami. A varied and interesting life then – and it is the first thirty years of it that Hugman chooses to concentrate on here. Full review...

Secrets of the Pomegranate by Barbara Lamplugh

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Home in Bristol, Alice gets the news from her sister's partner, Paco. Her sister, Deborah Hardy, was on board one of the trains bombed at Madrid's Atocha station on 11 March. No one can yet confirm whether she is alive or dead. Deb had moved to Granada nearly 20 years ago, after her divorce from Mark's father, and was starting to make a name for herself as a scholar of women in Andalusia's history. Alice and her nine-year-old son Timmy fly to Spain to find that Deb is alive, but in a coma in hospital. Over the weeks she keeps vigil for Deb, Alice lives in her sister's home in Granada and reads her diaries, which proves to be a way of feeling closer to her and learning more about her than she ever knew. Meanwhile, Mark and Paco keep their distance, working through their complicated grief in their own ways. Full review...

Fusion: Volume 4 (Tesla Evolution) by Mark Lingane

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Alone again now that Melanie has been killed, Sebastian makes it to North America. Far from it being the land of promise it used to be, the country is now an apocalyptic ruin, full of people scavenging for their survival and the Infected forging a path of worse-than-death and destruction. Sebastian needs to focus on his ultimate challenge as foreseen in a rather scary way but there's a small matter distracting him: who's firing rockets at him? Full review...

Sucker by Mark Lingane

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Private Investigator Van H Avram is living in odd times. At least that's what he decides on the day he has to step over a dead body to get from his office to the street and not just any body: it's that of a skinny blond thing – the first of many. However life goes on and bills have to be paid so when a woman called Mina walks into Van's office and asks him to find Hugo Jorgen he doesn't refuse. Perhaps if at that point he'd realised where the search would lead, the brutally bloodied body count he would uncover and the link to a recurring childhood nightmare that materialises, then he may have refused. Too late now though… Full review...

A Lover's Pinch by Jean Ravencourt

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Hettie (Henriette to be formal) has grown up in straitened times. Her mother was a former mistress of Charles IX but now Henri IV is on the throne. A different king means different favourites and Hettie’s family have to live on the memory and favours of others. However Hettie has attracted the attention of Henri which is enough to give her mother ideas. She’s not the only one though: King’s mistress Gabrielle d’Estrees also has plans for the teenage girl. Hettie is definitely embarking on an adventure but the twists it takes are unforeseen by anyone and dangerous to all. Full review...

Holy Island: A DCI Ryan Mystery by L J Ross

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DCI Ryan has decided the Holy Island of Lindisfarne in Northumberland is the ideal place for him to wait out his three months' sabbatical from the police. Sea air, peace and quiet... The sort of peace and quiet that evaporates when Lucy, a young islander, is found murdered, her body curiously arranged at the Priory ruins. Ryan volunteers to lead the investigation, enlisting the assistance of Dr Anna Taylor, expert on ancient religious practices. She'll be helpful but something gradually dawns on Ryan that isn't going to help at all: the murderer must be an island resident. Not something that will endear Ryan to the locals! Full review...

The Art of Possible by Kate Tojeiro

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As I recently wrote on Bookbag, I started reading management manuals and self-improvement books at a time when my life was not going so great. Since then, it seems that they have continued to drop into my life just as I need them. I'm sure there's something to the science of "serendipity", which basically means we notice stuff more when it's what we need. Full review...

Cheeky Charlie by Mat Waugh

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My book is about all the naughty things that my brother Charlie has done. Some of it is funny, some of it is a bit sad, and lots of it is disgusting, because that's what Charlie can be. It might even make you be sick, so get ready.

You know what? That's about the size of it. After Harry has introduced herself - she's almost seven years old, she doesn't like her freckles, she's used to people thinking that someone called Harry ought to be a boy, and she has a younger brother, who is three and called Charlie. This is Harry's book about Charlie. Charlie is a cheeky chappie. He never shuts up. He likes to push his luck. And, having pushed his luck once, he likes to push it again. And again. And again. This is much to Harry's exasperation, as she explains by dint of a book full of anecdotes... Full review...

Braver Than Britain, Occasionally by Spadge Whittaker

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Before I begin, I just want to say that this book has the best cover quote ever, ever, ever.

I'm mostly just glad you stopped writing vampire porn.

I live in hope that I have the opportunity to say that to someone one day. Really, I do.

Anyway. Braver Than Britain - in which Spadge researches Britain's top ten fears and faces them all over the course of a year. We're quite a fearful society, you know. And the things we fear most are, in order: heights (acrophobia), snakes (ophidiophobia), public speaking (glossophobia), spiders (arachnophobia), small spaces (claustrophobia), mice (musophobia), needles (trypanophobia), flying (pteromerhanophobia), crowds (agoraphobia) and clowns (coulrophobia). Full review...

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