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Indie Advent Day 24: Legends and Lattes By Travis Baldree


Yes, yes, I know. Travis Baldree hit the Cozy Fantasy gold mine and gleaned a major publishing contract for Legends and Lattes this summer. However, when I read this book on a train to Arizona in early June, it was still an independently published book, so I’m counting it. Besides, if this isn’t proof how high a quality indie authors produce and HOW MUCH PEOPLE ARE MISSING OUT IF THEY DON’T READ INDIE, there really is no other way to convince anyone indie authors ARE REAL AUTHORS and capable of magic. So it’s a fitting end to my Advent series.

Viv is an Orc. She has decided to retire from life as a mercenary sword-for-hire and open a shop with the profits from her career: something her new neighbors are slightly alarmed about, but accepting. Viv plans to bring something new and exotic to the sleepy little town…a coffee shop. To ensure her future, Viv plants under the floor a magical stone acquired in her adventuring days, one that’s said to bring unqualified success to the one who possesses it.

It seems to be working, because Viv’s new business associates are perfect. Cal is a genius when it comes to renovating the ramshackle stable Viv wants to convert. Tandri, a succubus, shows up to answer the help-wanted ad for a barista, and Thimble, the shy rattkin baker, creates mouth-watering pastries the entire village lines up to buy.

Viv has her hands full running the coffee shop of her dreams, trying to ignore the huge crush she has on her beautiful barista, and building her new life. But Viv’s success draws the eye of greedy extortionists looking for payouts, and she’s forced to rely on her old skills more than she likes. Someone seems to know where her uncanny luck is coming from, and they’ll do whatever it takes to acquire the Scalvert’s Stone for themselves.

This beautiful book is so freaking sweet and wholesome, the epitome of feel-good fantasy without being saccharine. I completely loved it and hope Baldree’s book inspires a cozy-fantasy movement, because I would read the hell out of those books. As it is, I’m waiting for the next book about Viv as patiently as I can.

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