In our effort to help facilitate the discovery of 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.”
Destructive Interference by Martin Skogsbeck: In this spectacular debut novel, the lives of two neurosurgeons converge in Cambridge, Mass, where one man is participating in a project dedicated to discerning truth from deception, and the other is haunted by the final words of his girlfriend — and determined to learn if they were true or not. As the story unravels, the threads of these characters’ lives pull into a tight weave that won’t survive a wrenching tear, making for a story that’s not easily forgotten. Read review.
Dirty Secrets by K.C. Albury: This steamy novel involving a black cast of characters tells the story of two families linked by one man: a sexy, self-described “playah” who beds only the hottest women he encounters in his job as a croupier in a Nassau casino. When one conquest tries to trap him into marriage, he escapes to Eleuthera, where a tangle of subplots involving a mother and daughter unravels. With sizzling sex scenes — and depth, to boot — this is one of the best sexy romances you’re likely to find this summer. Read review.
In Everything, Give Thanks: The Power of Gratitude by Bishop Louis Ngomo Okitembo: Gathering information from everyone from Cicero to Oprah, Roman Catholic Bishop Okitembo imparts to readers the benefits of a grateful attitude on the spirit, soul and body. The result is an honest, intellectual consensus about the power of gratitude, delivered without condemnation or judgment and serving up faith and hope like honey on a warm biscuit. Read review.
These books did not receive Starred Reviews but were highly praised:
All That Remains by Melva Haggar Dye: This captivating novel weaves together the story of several characters: Little Alexa, who has vanished from her Texas home without a trace; Alexa’s mother, who is convinced she’s alive even though other girls snatched in the area have been found dead; a barren mother in Colorado who stumbles across a child dropped by the roadside and convinces her husband the girl is a gift from God; and a man haunted by his own demons. As the threads of these stories entwine, the author creates an absorbing mystery abounding with depth and detail. Read review. Read review.
The November Deep by Elizabeth Woodworth: When a controversial study of dark matter released into the universe at the time of the Big Bang is sabotaged, Nell Fitzgerald is called to go undercover and root out the problem. The young widow and conflict resolution consultant who is afflicted with claustrophobia finds herself traveling a mile into the earth to a massive laboratory. Her sleuthing makes for a supremely self-confident fiction debut that just may mark a new genre: the cozy science fiction thriller. Read review.
Breaking Free by Rob Lubitz: The tension in this skillful thriller begins when Ryan Butler, an unhappy corporate attorney in an unhappy marriage, learns that an old friend and baseball teammate is in a coma and this old friend’s gorgeous wife needs his help. As Butler goes off the beaten bath of his routine life, he learns dark secrets and loses track of whom he can trust, including his government, his wife, his friend’s wife and the police. Read review.
NOVELLA/ STORY COLLECTION
Change of…Luck by Ken Saik: Looking to impress his girlfriend on a dinner date, Jerry is caught short when he discovers his wallet is missing. He’s saved by a stranger who gives him a $100 bill on the simple condition that he return it. But how can he comply when the same crumpled bill keeps finding it way back into his wallet, no matter where he spends it? Full of surprising twists, this enjoyable novella is recommended for fans of Ambrose Bierce or O. Henry. Read review.
Anger is OKAY, Violence is NOTby Julie K. Federico; illustrated by Glori Alexander: This thoughtful, much-needed addition to pre-school teachers’ and social workers’ libraries teaches children that anger is normal and examines how to safely express it through art, physical activity and tears, rather than by hitting, biting and other acts of violence. Loving, simple and clear, this little picture book may help educators and caregivers initiate important conversations. Read review.
Green Gravy, Monster Bread and Other Adventuresby Alice Breon: Poignant and humorous, Breon’s stories span 25 years, from her coming of age in Chicago during WWII to life in Japan as a mother of four, married to a career Air Force officer in the ‘50s and ‘60s. After befriending a Japanese dance instructor, Breon became the first foreigner in Japan to ever teach Japanese dance; her story is an endearing treasure of vignettes describing her departure from the stereotypical role of women in her generation. Read review.
The Chenango Kid: A Memoir of the Fifties by Roger K. Miller: In his wide-ranging and thoughtful memoir, Miller reflects on his life through high school graduation in the ‘50s, exploring his idiosyncratic family and remarking on the politics, literature, music and TV of the era, even giving sitcoms such as The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis their due. Read review.
Winds of Destruction by PJH Petter-Bowyer: A former member of the Rhodesian Air Force, the author participated in the fight against those trying to unseat the white government in the ‘60s and ‘70s. This massive and thorough book takes readers through his distinguished career up to the defeat of white rule in 1980, providing an incredibly detailed and fascinating recounting of the country’s struggles during the 13-year bush wars. Read review.
So You Want to be a Leader?: Advice and Counsel to Young Leaders by Col. James H. Benson, Sr. USMC (Ret.): What does it take to be a leader? Are leaders born or made? These and many more questions are raised – and answered – by Col. Benson, who uses quotes and stories from history, philosophy, literature, successful business leaders, and his own thoughtful, illuminating material to address issues such as courage, integrity, attitude, public speaking and more. Coaches, teachers, administrators, employers, pastors and youth activities directors will find this neither pedantic nor preachy, but a real resource. Read review.
Journey Without Map: Words of Hope for Changing Times by Anne Thomas Neil with Karen L. Caldwell and Karen S. Moore: First appointed as a helper to her husband in missionary work (because her church did not allow women in leadership roles), Baptist missionary Anne Thomas Neil later became a pioneer who inspired a new generation of women to the ministry. She helped found Baptist Women in Ministry, The Baptist Theological Seminary of Richmond, the Duke Divinity School and more. This recounting of her life story and compilation of selected writings details her important contribution to American religious history and feminist thought. Read review.
BlueInk Reviews is founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. We offer serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Our reviews are penned by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses.