THOUGHTS ON THIS ‘N THAT celebrates INDIES FIRST in August, featuring some of the hottest books being published this month!


The best part? Just click on to this INDIES FIRST site and you can locate the nearest independent bookstore near you!

indies first


Henry Holt, Pub. Date August 1st

HAPPINESS: A Memoir (HenryHolt) by Heather Harpham, follows a one-of-a-kind family through twists of fate that require nearly unimaginable choices. It’s a moving portrait of parenthood and partnership.

The grace and humor that ripple through Harpham’s writing transform the unwanted heartbreak and parental fears into a clear-eyed, warm-hearted view of the world. Profoundly moving and subtly written, HAPPINESS radiates in a new romantic love; gratitude for a beautiful, inscrutable world; deep, abiding friendship; the passion a parent has for a child; and the many unlikely ways to build a family. Ultimately it’s a story about love and happiness, in their many crooked configurations.


Heather Harpham has written six solo plays, including Happiness and BURNING which toured nationally. Her fiction, essays and reviews have appeared in MORE Magazine and Water~Stone Review. Harpham is the recipient of the Brenda Ueland Prose Prize, a Marin Arts Council Independent Artist Grant and a grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and SUNY Purchase and lives along the Hudson River with her family. HAPPINESS : A memoir is her first book.




Viking, Pub. Date August 1st

Betrayed by her family after taking the fall for a friend, seventeen year-old, Lee Cuddy finds herself on the run in Augustus Rose’s novel, READY MADE THIEF (Viking).

Aided by Tomi, a young hacker and artist with whom she has struck a wary alliance, Lee escapes into the unmapped corners of the city—empty aquariums, deserted motels, patrolled museums, and even the homes of vacationing families. But the deeper she goes underground, the more tightly she finds herself bound in the strange web she’s trying to avoid. Desperate and out of options, Lee steps from the shadows to face who is after her—and why.


Augustus Rose grew up in Bolinas, California, and later moved to San Francisco. For many years he kept himself afloat through a series of bookstore jobs, where he found and collected books on cults, subcultures, urban exploration, speculative science, metaphysics, alchemy, conspiracy theories, subversive or underground art movements, and, of course, Marcel Duchamp. All stuff that later became both the center and the background noise of his debut novel The Readymade Thief. His screenplay Far From Cool was a finalist for the 2015 Academy Nicholl Fellowship. He lives in Chicago with his wife, the novelist Nami Mun, and their son. He teaches fiction writing at the University of Chicago.




Atlantic Monthly Press, Pub. Date August 1st

Lizzie Borden took an ax
And gave her mother forty whacks
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.

Or did she? In Sarah Schmidt’s debut novel, SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE (AtlanticMonthlyPress), Lizzie Borden is recast into one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time. On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell–of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; and two spinster sisters desperate for their independence. It’s an intimate story of a volatile household and a family devoid of love.


Sarah Schmidt is a Melbourne based writer who happens to work at a public library.
SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE is her first novel.



almost sister

William Morrow, Pub. Date August 3rd

In Josilyn Jackson’s new novel, THE ALMOST SISTERS (WilliamMorrow), superheroes have always been Leia Birch Briggs’ weakness. One tequila-soaked night at a comics convention, the usually level-headed graphic novelist is swept off her bar stool by a handsome and anonymous Batman. An unplanned pregnancy, her stepsister’s imploding marriage and some big secrets kept by her beloved ninety-year old grandmother, Birdie, threatens the family’s freedom, future, and the world she thinks she knows.



New York Times Bestselling novelist, Joshilyn Jackson is the author of seven novels and a novella: The Opposite of Everyone, Someone Else’s Love Story, gods in Alabama, Between, Georgia, The Girl Who Stopped Swimming, Backseat Saints, A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty, and the novella My Own Miraculous. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages, won SIBA’s novel of the year, three times been a #1 Book Sense Pick, twice won Georgia Author of the Year, and three times been shortlisted for the Townsend prize.





St. Martin’s Press, Pub. Date August 8th

In Wendy Walker’s novel, EMMA IN THE NIGHT (St. MartinsPress), the Tanner sisters disappeared three years ago: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family, Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent had complete power. And one sister’s return, might just be the beginning of the crime. Twisted and disturbing, readers don’t know who to believe in the thriller.


Wendy Walker is an attorney and former investment banker. Her first thriller, All Is Not Forgotten, has become an international bestseller with movie rights sold to Reese Witherspoon and Warner Brothers. The paperback will be out on July 18, 2017. EMMA IN THE NIGHT is her second thriller. Wendy lives in Connecticut where she is busy raising her three sons and writing her next novel.





Simon & Schuster, Pub. Date August 22nd

When a beloved high school girl, named Lucinda Hayes is found murdered in Danya Kukafka debut novel, GIRL IN SNOW, (Simon&Schuster) no one in her sleepy Colorado suburb is untouched. Not the boy who loved her too much; not the girl who wanted her perfect life; not the officer assigned to investigate her murder. In the aftermath of the tragedy, these three characters–Cameron, Jade, and Russ–must each confront their darkest secrets in an effort to find solace, the truth, or both.



Danya Kukafka is a graduate of New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She works as an assistant editor at Riverhead Books.

GIRL IN SNOW is her first novel.






SOURCEBOOKS, Pub. Date August 22nd

IF THE CREEK DON’T RISE (SourceBooks) by Leah Weiss introduces a new voice to homegrown grit and honest Southern women’s fiction.

Sadie Blue has been a wife for fifteen days. That’s long enough to know she should have never hitched herself to Roy Tupkin, even with the baby. Sadie’s desperate to make her own mark on the world, but in remote Appalachia, a ticket out-of-town is hard to come by, and hope often gets stomped out.  When a stranger sweeps into Baines Creek and knocks things off kilter, Sadie finds herself with an unexpected lifeline – if she can just figure out how to use it.



Leah Weiss is a Southern writer born in North Carolina and raised in the foothills of Virginia. IF THE CREEK DON’T RISE is her debut novel. She retired in 2015 from a 24-year career as Executive Assistant to the Headmaster at Virginia Episcopal School. Leah enjoys speaking with book clubs.




We have copies of all seven novels to giveaway. Just tell us the name of your favorite Independent Bookstore, it’s location and why you like going there.


just click on to:

indies first

We’ll announce winners at the end of the month.

Thanks to http://www.IndieBound.org, Amazon and the above-mentioned publishers for providing summaries.



  1. What an amazing collection of books! My favorite Indie bookstore is Windchimes in Millville NJ. I lived in Millville for a long time and when this store first opened, I would be in there for hours, browsing. They have a small coffee bar, a used book section, will order anything you ask of them, and even have local music on weekend evenings. They also host a few author signings. Since living in Ohio, I have not found one in my area and at this point, I cannot get out and about.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can not believe there is a book about Lizzy Borden coming out and I had no idea. I love the story of Lizzy Borden and really enjoy when they come out with movies, shows and now books based on it. My favorite indie bookstore is Afterwords Books in Edwardsville, IL


  2. Thank you for this great giveaway! MY favorite independents bookstore is Short Stories in Madison NJ. The town it’s in is lovely, the shop itself is charming, and they have a lot of programs and events to involve the community.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Amazing giveaway!! My favorite indie bookstore is Mostly Books in Tucson, AZ. I’ve been going there for several years now. They have a great collection of new and used books. The staff is wonderful and they’ll order a book I want if they don’t have it in their shelves. It’s relatively close to where I live. It takes A LOT of will power not to stop there every time I drive by!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks for the chance to win! I love Little Professor Book Center in Homewood, AL. It is family-owned and I can always count on seeing someone I know there.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ooh…Girl in Snow! I’ve got my eye on that one. My favorite indie bookstore is the fabulous Vromans in Pasadena, CA. They host the best author events every night and have so many other cute things they sell in addition to books.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I don’t have a good indie store where I live. The closest participating indie store is Face in a Book in
    El Dorado Hills. It’s a little far to go for a book, but I could go there when I’m in the area.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I don’t have an indie store in my town. The closest one is The Cozy Corner in Whitesburg, Kentucky. I will definitely check it out the next time I am around that area. All of these books look amazing! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I love Books and Books in several different Miami area locations, including Westhampton Beach, Lon Island, The Caymen Islands and MIA airport. The publication party for my novel, “Viewer Discretion Advised,” was held at the Bal Harbour location and we had an absolute blast and it was packed! The Books and Books staff are all very knowledgeable and pleasant. In addition to having my publication party at the Bal Harbour location, I went to the MIA airport several times, where I stood outside promoting my books to tourists rushing through the airport. That was humbling and a great time, too. FYI: Books and Books is the main sponsor of the Miami Book Fair, which is the largest in the country and celebrating over 30-years in existence. Personally I’d add it’s a MUST ATTEND for any book lover and author touring.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My favorite Independent Book Store is Main Street Books in Davidson, NC. The fabulous Diane Chamberlain will be signing her newest book there in October!
      All of the new books sound fantastic!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Love this! BooksOrBooks is my favorite indie bookstore here in Las Vegas. They support local indie authors, too, by carrying their books and offering their store for signings and readings. I just hope they stick around, as I know the market is tough. mbradeen@yahoo.com

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Shopping there is a highlight of our yearly beach trips. They have great children’s programs and book signings. We just returned from vacation there and laughed that we shopped and purchased from Browseabout each day we were there. You can find something new every time you walk in.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. When I go to Chicago, I like the legendary bookstore Quimby’s, which has all sorts of fascinating “zines” by various artists. Definitely a destination bookstore!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love Books of Wonder in NYC because they have so many great events and signed books! The store is lovely and the staff is so helpful. I don’t live in NYC anymore but luckily they ship!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Must say that this is an amazing giveaway! I’ve had my eye on Emma in the Night for a while now… Girl in Snow, Almost Sisters – Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, awesomeness all around, Cindy! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What a lovely collection of books! We are lucky to have Alabama Booksmith not too far away in Birmingham, AL, and there’s a great used book store here in Madison, AL, that carries new books too. I love shopping local and I love books so indie bookstores are right up my alley!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. My favorite independent bookstore is Pelican Book Store-Sunset Beach, NC. This Indie has been in business over twenty years. They always satisfy my need for good books. Their shelves are stocked with new and used books in a variety of genres. The owner and the manager are friendly locals who know their books and authors and serve up southern hospitality every day. It’s my favorite place to go. I always leave with a smile on my face.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. My favorite Indie bookstore is The Book Tavern in Augusta, GA. I don’t get to visit as often as I would like! One day I want to go to The FoxTale Book Shoppe outside of Atlanta.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. What a great selection of books. A lot of good reading! The bookstore I go to the most is Half Priced Books in Schaumburg IL. I like just being able to browse the shelves and different genre. I always spend too much time and money when I go there.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Quail Ridge Books is in Raleigh, NC about 12 miles from my home. One of the main reasons I go to Quail Ridge is to hear the many authors that come there to speak and sign books. That’s so much fun! I’ve read Almost Sisters and I absolutely loved it!! But that is the only one of these books I’ve read so far. Great selection of authors and books.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. My favorite book store is PeregrineBook Co in Prescott Az. I love the history if the town of Prescott and how it’s reflected in their store. Thank you for this opportunity. The books look great!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. It’s a bit of a drive, but my favorite is Page and Palette in Fairhope, Alabama. It has a coffee shop on one end, a bar with a TV on the other end, and frequent book signing events. I’ve been told that Fannie Flagg stops in from time to time but I’ve never seen her there.


  21. The Whistlestop Bookshop in Carlisle, Pa. There is just something about an Indy bookstore that can’t compare to a Barnes and Noble!


  22. My new favorite indie bookstore will be
    Interabang opening soon in Dallas, Texas.
    I love indie bookstores, and all the ones around have closed.😔
    I will be at the grand opening September 11th. Ann Patchett eill be the guest of honor….pretty excited!


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