January’s Starred BlueInk Reviews of Self-published Books

In Book Review by Guest Contributor

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.”


Carnival Queen by Roland P. Jospeh:  Featuring an intriguing love story that spans generations, this novel centers on Annabelle Castello, a girl born to a poor, working class family in a small village who dreams of a bigger life with the handsome man who works for her father. Her father, who has other plans for his daughter, sends her away to the big city, and as the story unfolds, Annabelle learns family secrets and the author takes readers on a journey through the lush Caribbean landscape that provides the novel’s setting. Read review.

daynight by Megan Thomason: This gripping young adult dystopian novel features 17-year-old “Recruit” Kira, who is brought to another planet where nothing is as it seems. While confronting strange rules, Kira finds herself attracted to good-looking Recruit Blake, even as she can’t forget Ethan, a boy from her past. With a love-triangle reminiscent of the romantic conflict in The Hunger Games, daynight will leave readers eager for sequels. Read review.

The Gearing Incident by W.D. Laremore: In this spirited alternative history novel, an American destroyer, the USS Gearing, disappears during the height of the Cold War and reappears in a drastically altered Reagan-era version of history. Laremore manages to nimbly mix Da Vinci Code–style conspiracy, Cold War espionage trickery and bombastic sequences of international warfare to deliver a thriller that performs as well or better than the potboilers it aspires to mimic. Read review.

The Killvein White by Ralph Reynolds: In this snowbound thriller that calls to mind Matthew Reilly’s Ice Station or Greg Rucka’s Whiteout, an avalanche comes crashing down a mountain at Utah’s world-famous Lucite Ski Resort, killing a petroleum engineer’s wife and son – and bringing suspicions that the engineer brought the avalanche down on purpose to thwart a thug and his gang. Reynolds, who also earned a Starred Review for his novel The Bishop and Butch Cassidy crafts graphic scenes of nature’s ferocity and a cast of very believable and human characters. Read review.

Stained-Glass Curtain by Frank Wardlaw Wright: In this gripping Southern novel, a man sets out on the Appalachian Trail following the death of his beloved wife of 34 years. As he meets fellow travelers along the way, he grapples with issues of faith and fate. The author provides a jolt of Deliverance–style violence in the woods that electrifies his narrative. Read review.


Good Times in the Hospital: A Medical Memoir by James G. McCully, M.D.: After 40 years in health care (with training at the Duke University School of Medicine and the Mayo Clinic), Dr. McCully presents his marvelous recollections of and reflections on his career. A skilled writer and storyteller, he offers anecdotes about former patients that are, by turns, jaw-dropping and entertaining, as well as his observations on health care in general. Read review.

I Was Trained to be a Spy: Book II by Helias Doundoulakis: At age 18, when the Germans invaded Greece, the author became a spy for the U.S and its allies. In this superb memoir, he shares his journey from innocent teen to skilled secret agent, offering a richly told story, packed with detail, color and hair-raising moments. Read review.

Why You Didn’t Get the Job: Ten Steps for Success in Business, A Woman’s Guide to Navigating Her Way to the Top by Diane Cashin: President and CEO of an executive coaching firm, Cashin offers strategies for women to achieve their career goals and transform themselves along the way. Her slim book offers readers a customizable plan framed in the author’s candid, straight-on talk about a subject that is often dominated by corporate speak and clichés. Read review.


Septimus Spider and the Fairy Dress and Septimus Spider and the Missing Magic Wand by Vic Woolley:  These two stories, labeled “fairy tales for children,” recount the adventures of Septimus Spider and his fairy friend, Sparkle. In the first adventure, Septimus spins a dress for Sparkle to wear at an upcoming ball; in the second, the spider and Sparkle subdue hobgoblins who are wreaking havoc on a village. Woolley’s enthusiastic, evocative style and superb pacing create a wholesome and old-fashioned set of stories that would be a lovely addition to any child’s library. Read review.


Storm Farmer: Collected Poems by Tracey Gass Ranze: In this diverse collection, Ranze offers pieces ranging from a sweet memoir poem about her third-grade teacher to a scathing prose protest of White House war policy. Using keen observation, sharp imagery, careful construction and deliberate word choice, Ranze crafts work that should delight any poetry lover. 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.

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About the Author

Guest Contributor

Guest contributors to Publishing Perspectives have diverse backgrounds in publishing, media and technology. They live across the globe and bring unique, first-hand experience to their writing.