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March’s Top Self Publishing Reviews from BlueInk

In our effort to help facilitate the discovery of hot new titles that might interest overseas publishers for rights deals, we offer the occasional selection of “starred” reviews from BlueInk reviews, a service which reviews self-published books. These are all books that BlueInk Review feels “merit your attention,” and “are of exceptional quality and particularly worthy of representation.”

We have no Starred Reviews this month. Although the following books didn’t receive Stars, they were very well reviewed:

FICTION

GENERAL

Found! The Lost Treasure Ship San de Cristo, by Richard J. Johnson. After Brad Mason finds a map and an account of a Spanish galleon shipwrecked off the coast of Florida in an old book at an estate sale, he and three friends begin a quest to find it – and to jolt themselves out of their successful but humdrum middle-aged lives. As the men encounter thoroughly enjoyable dilemmas, readers will be surprised to learn how the treasure they find ultimately affects their lives. (Note: some grammatical and copyediting issues.) Read review.

Shall We Gather at the River, by E. Reid Gilbert: This quiet, captivating novel takes place in 1875 Virginia and revolves around a white boy from a farming family who falls in love with a neighboring black girl from a family of sharecroppers. The author deftly conveys their story of forbidden love while painting “a vivid picture of white-black relations in post-Civil War times.” Read review.

THRILLER/SUSPENSE

Numbers Don’t Lie, by Shelley K. Wall. In this romantic suspense story, undercover FBI agent Trevor Adams is assigned to work on an embezzlement case involving Sophie Henderson. As Trevor gets to know Sophie, he comes to believe that she’s an innocent bystander and finds himself falling for her, to boot. While this may sound like a standard romance plot, our critic notes that the story takes readers “on twists and turns from beginning to end.” (Note: minor copyediting issues.) Read review.

YOUNG ADULT

Operation Tiger, by G.L. Eaves. When Aaron Wesley Haberman’s sixth-grade teacher assigns him to work on a project with his crush, the beautiful Kristin Kramer, he launches “Operation Tiger” to win Kristin’s heart. As he attempts to transform himself into Kristin’s dream date, he learns a simple moral: it’s always best to be yourself. Author Eaves is a former school librarian who knows her audience well and has hit the target with this delightful novel. Read review.

Vimp the Viking’s Epic Voyage, by Peter L. Ward. The first of a trilogy for young adults, this page-turner mixes elements of Norse mythology, adventure, cheeky humor, romance and magic as it follows a young band of Viking tweens trying to escape their culture’s destiny of violence. Accompanied by rich and compelling black-and-white drawings by illustrator Steve Crisp. Read review.

HISTORICAL

Angels at Sunset, by Tom Mach. As Jessica Radford, now 78 years old, relives the painful days of her past while reading her own biography penned by her daughter, the readers learn about her past interactions with pioneering women suffragists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Meanwhile, a man recently released from prison is trailing her with plans to avenge her role in his conviction. “Strong pacing” and “deft storytelling” mark this winning book. Read review.

The End and the Beginning, by Jim Oleson. Set in an early 19th century America populated by runaway slaves, abolitionists, explorers, indentured servants and military men, this poignant, well-researched novel tells the story of a boy who runs away from home, ultimately joining the army to fight against the British and their Indian allies. Combining fictional characters with historical figures, including Indian chief Tecumsah, the author creates an engrossing read.  Read review.

SCIENCE FICTION/HORROR/FANTASY

The Fisherling, by C.A. Meakin. In measured and poetic style, author Meakin tells the tale of a young Sch’nibbit — a race of small creatures with blue skin and bald heads — who sails to uncharted territory, experiencing a series of adventures on sea and land. While the book features parallels to Tolkien’s Hobbits, its colorful characters, imaginative depth, and compelling action create a world all its own. Read review.

The Guardsmen of Rammsihaar, by J. Cameron Millar. This ambitious sequel to Millar’s debut novel, The Van Der Meer Dossier, combines science fiction, suspense and apocalyptic fiction to tell the story of a mastermind who sets off a wave of religious terrorism with a seemingly contradictory aim in mind: global peace and prosperity. But will this supremely intelligent man enlighten humankind or doom it?  Highly recommended for fans of Dan Brown, Raymond Khoury and James Rollins. Read review.

***

NONFICTION

MEMOIR

Walking Made My Path, by Judith Laikin Elkin. A pioneer in the field of Latin American Jewish Studies, author Elkin writes about her work documenting Jewish history in South America and Cuba in this engaging memoir. (Note: minor copyediting issues.)  Read review.

SELF-HELP

The Missing Piece in Leadership: How to Create the Future You Want, by Doug Krug. Business and leadership consultant Krug posits that the “missing piece” in leadership is a mindset that focuses on arriving at solutions, rather than pointing out people’s mistakes. Through anecdotes that show his principles in action, he offers a workable methodology for leaders of all stripes. (Note: some copyediting issues. Also, this is a Colorado author.) Read review.

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. They offer serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Their starred reviews appear on Publishing Perspectives the first week of every month.

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