Jolabokaflod is an annual holiday in Iceland where people give each other books as presents. It began during World War II when when paper was the only resource that wasn't rationed.
The name translates to "Christmas Book Flood" (that's my kind of flood) and starts on Christmas Eve.
We put out a call for indie and self-published books on social media and got a bunch of great suggestions (including a couple of our own). If you celebrate Jolabokflod or are looking to celebrate it for the first time this year, take a look at the list below. Who knows? You might find a book that's perfect for you or for one of your loved ones.
Simone LaFray and the Chocolatiers' Ball by S.P. O'Farrell (@SPOFarrell3)
Simone leads a double life.
As a covert agent, she walks in the footprints of her spy mother, darting between the shadows. If she’s not sleuthing, she’s icing eclairs and dusting pastries in her father’s patisserie. When a notorious thief returns to Paris, the patisserie is threatened, and Simone questions everything. She and her father must participate in the exclusive Chocolatiers’ Ball to redeem themselves and catch the thief. Simone’s concealed life is crumbling, the shop hangs in the balance . . . and now she needs a ball gown!
Life in a French patisserie may not be as sweet as she thought.
The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray: A thrilling new time travel adventure by O.R. Simmonds (@o_simmonds)
William Wells, a gifted but risk-averse US college dropout living an unadventurous life in London, stumbles upon a mysterious Timepiece with the ability to alter time. When the Timepiece’s previous owner is brutally murdered by unknown assailants, Will flees, only to see the love of his life, Abigayle, vanish before his eyes when she comes into contact with this remarkable watch.
He soon finds himself alone in an unfamiliar city, wanted for a murder he didn’t commit and the prime suspect in a woman’s disappearance. Whether he knows it or not, Will does have one advantage; control over the most powerful force in the universe; time. The only problem is that he has no idea how to wield it. Those that do, members of a secretive and long-forgotten organisation, are also on his trail and there are no lines they won't cross to recover The Timepiece.
LINEAR by Bailey Gee @BaileyGeePoetry
LINEAR is a poetic story of recovery. It's triumphant, it's raw, it's real. LINEAR shows both the bad days and good days in the mind of someone with mental illness. It is poetically and painfully beautiful, because after all, healing isn't linear.
Accusing Mr. Darcy: A Pride & Prejudice Variation by Kelly Miller @Kellyrei007
Could Fitzwilliam Darcy harbour a shocking, sinister secret?
Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet count themselves among the many guests of the Kendall family, whose estate lies amidst the picturesque hills, gorges, and rocky slopes of the Peak District in Derbyshire. Elizabeth’s cousin Rose Kendall believes her dashing brother-in-law, Captain James Kendall, is Elizabeth’s ideal match. Rose’s husband, Nicholas, hopes his good friend Darcy—a rich, proud, and taciturn gentleman with a spotless reputation—will fancy one of the other eligible lady guests.
News of a brutal killing at a neighbouring estate sends a wave of shock through the genial group of friends and family. When one of the Kendalls’ guests is attacked, all of the gentlemen become suspects, but the former Bow Street runner tasked with investigating the crime finds the evidence against Mr. Darcy particularly compelling.
In this romantic mystery, the beloved couple from Jane Austen’s "Pride & Prejudice" cross paths with a ruthless killer. When faced with dire warnings against Mr. Darcy, will Elizabeth heed them or follow the dictates of her heart?
Mr. Darcy: Cogs Maketh the Man by Joan Wendland
Who hasn't read Pride and Prejudice and said to themselves - that was a great read, but it would be even better with air ships and clockwork servants! So buckle up for this steampunk reimagining of the Jane Austen classic as told from Mr. Darcy's perspective.
CC Law, 36, single, and on the edge of bankruptcy joined the secret society for a steady paycheck. She never counted on mystery, romance, or a chance to change the world one improbable increment at a time. Join CC as she attempts to decipher just who runs Backstage, and what is the source of their seemingly limitless power.
Glimpses of Hues by Subha Murugan
A walk in the road of poetry, A glance into the depth of nature, A touch on the colors of life, Connection of all three; Living in the form of Haiku, Taking first breath in your hands.
Stay by Ash Knight @forgottenastro2
A quiet coffee shop gives two men who have lost too much a chance at love.
Joe Calloway has been on the run since he was sixteen, homeless and alone. He never lets anyone close. Between his traumatic past and his autism, he isn’t used to people taking the time to understand him. Even so, when a stranger offers him a way to build a better life for himself, Joe finds the strength to go for it.
Madden Fields is fully devoted to his older sister, her autistic son, and his job as a nurse, but when he meets Joe, his carefully ordered life begins to pick up speed.
As their connection deepens, Madden realizes he’s going to have to hold on tight if he wants to be an anchor strong enough for Joe to stay.
“Stay” is a 88,000 words gay hurt/comfort romance novel.
Sensitivity Warning: There are some scenes where violence is depicted or remembered, some adult language, and consensual male/male sex scenes.
Sky Watcher: A Shadow in Time (The Sky Watcher Book) by Heather Lynn
Charlotte Harper’s life isn’t going as she expected. She had to change her course of studies, her ex-boyfriend has hooked up with her best friend, and she misses her mother desperately since her passing. Searching for meaning and direction, she pours herself into her family history, researching her roots.
When she learns of a possible ancestor named Elizabeth from the early nineteenth century, who was hung for the crime of witchcraft, she is determined to try to save her fate. Charlotte explores the strength of her Wiccan beliefs and the powers within her stones, preparing a spell to transport herself back in time nearly two centuries.
She arrives at a small, sleepy town on the shore of Owasco Lake, New York. Intending to stay just long enough to save her ancestor, she creates a cover story and attempts to fit in, but after waiting for weeks with no word of Elizabeth, she immerses herself in the community. She works in the General Store to earn her keep and uses her knowledge of herbs and medicine to help those in need. She soon forms strong bonds with those around her, finding herself drawn into the simple and fulfilling life of a bygone era, and even falls in love—more deeply than she ever thought possible.
As the deadline of the execution nears, visions of the future begin to plague her and those around her. Can she truly save Elizabeth and undo what happened almost two centuries ago? With two lives on the line, she knows she must face the consequences of meddling with time, even if it costs her everything.
Sky Watcher: Déjà-Vu by Heather Lynn
Charlotte Harper’s best friend Jessica is shocked to receive a letter detailing Charlotte’s journey back in time to save her possible ancestor Elizabeth. The letter, written in 1819, speaks of the consequences of Charlotte’s actions and asks for Jessica’s help.
Charlotte’s adventure begins with a Wiccan ritual and spell that takes her back to 1818. After arriving at a small town on the shore of Owasco Lake, New York, she settles in, finding work at the general store to earn her keep. While awaiting Elizabeth’s arrival, she forms strong bonds with those around her, finding herself part of a tight-knit circle of friends and deeply in love.
Charlotte knows that walking through one door often closes many others, so when she dreams of warnings from the future she left behind, she wants to understand. Is Jessica reaching out to her? What is she trying to tell her? Knowing that one single choice can change who is your friend, your lover, who lives and who dies, Charlotte must choose her path wisely so as not to make the same mistakes.
Trusting the Currents by Lynnda Pollio
Author Lynnda Pollio's life changes abruptly when she begins hearing the mystical, elderly voice of Addie Mae Aubrey, a Southern, African American woman from the 1930s rural South. Narrated by Addie Mae Aubrey, Trusting the Currents is a story of self-discovery and the uneasy search for one's place in life.
Beginning at age eleven with the arrival of beautiful, mysterious cousin Jenny and her shadowy stepfather, Uncle Joe, Trusting the Currents explores Addie Mae's reluctant awakening. As Jenny introduces Addie Mae to the natural world, a caring teacher guides Addie Mae with the power of reading.
Romantic love enters her life for the first time with Rawley, and we learn how Addie Mae's emerging sense of self compels her to a life-altering decision, even as fear and evil shakes their lives. There are three levels to the unique novel: Addie Mae's powerful story, universal life messages woven throughout the book, and high energetic frequencies embedded her wisdom.
Addie Mae reveals how life blossoms when we have the courage to not only accept but also learn from our mistakes and sorrows. Her story may belong to one woman, but the lessons it teaches belong to everyone willing to open their hearts and listen to the truth within their souls. Trusting the Currents is a powerful book for anyone going through change and struggle in their lives.
The Vampire Society: Christopher and Gaspar, Book One by Vicky Calzo
Chosen to be a vampire from before he was born, Christopher is destined to become involved in a deadly struggle between the followers of the vampire god Zenith and Radu's rebels.
Christopher was an average high school graduate until one moonlit evening, unexpected neighbors move in next door. Among them is a dashing vampire named Gaspar. Was it love at first sight, destiny, or both that brought them together? And so begins the impassioned friendship between Christopher and his enchanting new companion. As the two grow closer, Christopher's father becomes more hateful and unruly toward Gaspar and his stepfathers.
As Christopher prepares to transition into a vampire, there is more than a father's disapproval to overcome. Evil lurks among the shadows, desperate to destroy the relationship between Christopher and Gaspar. Will their love be strong enough to keep them together, or will the pressures force them to go their separate ways? Can mere mortals survive in the vampires' world?
by The Hive Publishers
Love is known to pull your heartstrings like a puppeteer. And The Hive, along with twenty brilliant writers, takes up the role to bring you this concoction of love stories.
So join us as we read the unwritten story of a moonlight affair. The girl in the forest, whose chance encounter with whispering hues of a technicolor love, brought her out of the cage.
Take me to your heart, Padmini says, her perfume reminding him of the daffodils of the Yorkshire moors, of forsaken flowers and forbidden frontiers. They walk hand in hand into the sunset, hoping to learn love in 30 days; him, thinking of balconies, booze, and breeze shooting with her, while she dances in the rain and whispers, love me in your dreams.
He wonders if that's an illusion called Love. Is love virtually even possible?
But she refuses and screams, "Silly! It's crazy, stupid love."
And they dance until they heave and declare, "Hey! You cannot just end love."
by The Hive Publishers
After the success of their first horror offering - Route 13 - The Highway to Hell, The Hive Publishers present to you, another bloodcurdling, spine-chilling, and eye-popping horror anthology that comprises stories that are about the Paranormal to Occult, Haunted Houses, Historical and Psychological Horror, Weird West and Splatterpunk. Apart from the Desi dose of horror, expect to be awed by the stories from international authors.
The journey through Trail Xiii will take you through thirteen bone-chilling stories strewn along with the putrefying dead bodies.
Beware, TRAIL XIII is not for the fainthearted. Tread carefully, for this is the path to perdition. Hush!
by Srivalli Rekha
Broken dreams and haunting nightmares,
Ant’s that like to rant and chipmunks that love to laze,
Ghosts from the past and voices from a forgotten abyss,
Books that feel and plants that converse,
A handful of smiles, a bunch of laughs, and a dash of shivers,
Pebbles in the Grass a varied collection of micro-fiction from the past, present, and the future
There is a story for every reader.
by Rosie Hewlett
You know her name, you know her story. Just not the right one.
Within the depths of the Underworld the formidable snake-haired Gorgon has finally had enough. Tired of being eternally and unjustly brandished a villain, Medusa has found the courage to face her tragic past and speak out. Determined to expose the centuries of lies surrounding her name, Medusa gives unparalleled insight into her cursed life, from her earliest memories and abandonment at birth, right through to her tragic and untimely death at the hands of the hero Perseus. Through telling her story, Medusa finally reveals the lost truth behind antiquity’s most infamous monster.
MEDUSA breathes new life into an ancient story and echoes the battle that women throughout millennia have continued to wage – the opportunity to simply be heard.
Presented by The Writer's Workout
The Writer's Games is an annual writing competition with a global reach. With six surprise challenges over consecutive weeks, registered participants create amazing new worlds in just 72 hours. The top five winning entries in each challenge appear in this anthology, the tenth compilation of pieces from this competition. The 27 stories featured here show a range of genres from new and experienced writers around the world.
Presented by The Writer's Workout
WayWords is a quarterly literary journal featuring a central theme and a small tribute section. This journal showcases writers from around the world.