We’re so proud to share the following CamCat Books’ titles that are 2021 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards Winners.
The awards recognize the best books published in 2021 from small, independent, and university presses, including university and author publishers.
For this year’s competition, over 2,700 entries were submitted in 55 categories, with Foreword’s editors choosing approximately 10 finalists per genre. Those finalists were then delivered to individual librarians and booksellers tasked with picking the Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Honorable Mention winners.
The complete list of winners can be found at:
“This annual exercise in Indie excellence continues to surprise us both qualitatively and quantitatively—which makes the judging process for our editors that much more difficult because there are so many books deserving recognition,” says Matt Sutherland, Foreword‘s Executive Editor. “You can be certain that this year’s lineup of medal winners will thrill all readers.”
“The resilience and adaptability of independent publishing continue to inspire us in our mission here at Foreword,” says Danielle Ballantyne, Managing Editor of Foreword Reviews. “We are so grateful to the librarians and booksellers who volunteer their time to judge the INDIES entries so that we can give this special recognition to the independent authors and publishers going above and beyond.”
2021 Gold Winner for Romance:
Books that follow the development of a romantic relationship including any and all genders and relationships. Romance novels have elements of fantasy, love, naïveté, extravagance, adventure.
“[Emel is] a headstrong heroine whose struggle to come into her own will resonate with readers.” —Publishers Weekly
“This riveting debut novel will leave readers eagerly awaiting Thornton’s future works.” —Booklist
2021 Finalist for Romance:
“With a satisfying bite, this steampunk venture includes an insightful twist on the British Empire, making frequent nods to Queen Victoria's bloodthirstiness and the era's inequitable treatment of women. Best of all, Constance stays center stage: a feisty, lovable heroine who is capable of rescuing herself, thank you very much.” —Foreword Reviews
“I loved The Brass Queen: hilarious, with a very tongue-in-cheek dry wit and delightful imagery. One of those books that you don't want to put down because they're just so much fun.” —Genevieve Cogman, author of the Invisible Library series
Books focused on solving an unexplained crime, especially a murder, theft, kidnapping. The protagonist often faces inexplicable threats and unknown forces and antagonists.
“Readers will have fun spotting the real-life inspirations for the characters, and the authentically described fight scenes will please martial arts enthusiasts.” —Publishers Weekly
“J. A. Crawford's debut is a pitch-perfect combination of action, mystery, and humor.” —Anthony Award-winning author Gigi Pandian
“Witty banter and whiz-bang plotting distinguish J. A. Crawford’s rollicking debut . . . Expertly choreographed fight sequences and spectacular set pieces amplify the story’s inherently cinematic feel, and the gratifying close will leave readers clamoring for a sequel.” —Mystery Scene Magazine, a 2021 Editor's Pick
2021 Finalist for Fantasy:
Books that are removed from reality and contain fantastic elements. Often based in nonexistent worlds or alternative versions of historical or modern places and also may include interaction between human and nonhuman characters such as elves, trolls, or aliens.
“. . . an unforgettable fantasy novel about love, freedom, and the discovery of self-worth.” —Foreword Reviews, Starred Review
“The heat and romance of the desert, the push and the pull of Emel’s desperation,and the magic and humanity of a caustic jinni make Daughter of the Salt King an irresistible ride. It hits every note.” —Amy Harmon, New York Times bestselling author