August’s Top Reviews of Self-Published Books from BlueInk Review

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 Review, 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.”

FICTION

The SummoningThe Summoning, by Hemenway Stephens: Consisting of two overlapping erotic novellas, The Summoning begins with the story of a wealthy lord’s daughter and her lucrative sexual exploits in 19th century England; the second novella transitions to present-day Ohio and the life of Melissa Marley as she finds the manuscript of the first novella and, through it, discovers her own sexual potential. Stephens manages to combine erotica, fantasy, historical fiction and contemporary romance into something fabulous and fun. The Summoning is explicit, hot, intelligent, and funny. Don’t miss it. Read review.

NONFICTION

Counseling Issues: A Handbook For Counselors and Psychotherapists, by George Seber: This hefty guide to the personality disorders and emotional and relationship issues commonly encountered by counselors and psychotherapists in their practices is amazingly comprehensive, yet easy to navigate. The author groups information by disorder or issue and offers extensive background on each, including relevant socio-cultural factors, helpful talk therapy guidance and more. Professional counselors and psychotherapists, especially those new to the field, should find this book indispensable. Read review.

The following books did not receive Stars but were highly praised by our critics.

FICTION

ArrivalArrival, by A.P. Lynn: Lynn masterfully combines the familiar tropes of the U.F.O genre with the gritty, whodunit pace of TV crime drama. The author tells the story of a small-town detective who finds himself in the midst of a mugging case and a mission with high stakes — namely the survival of an entire race of extraterrestrial beings. The fusion of crime noir and alien conspiracies succeeds thanks to the author’s punchy narrative style, as well as an approach to characterization that never feels labored or too fanciful. Read review.

Bartholomew Stovall: The English Immigrant by William Robert Stovall Sr.: In this enthralling rags-to-riches tale, the author chronicles the life of his ancestor, Bartholomew Stovall, a man born in England in 1665 who transcends the hardships of poverty, being orphaned at 10, braving London’s perilous streets at 18, and four years of indentured servitude in America to start a new life. Stovall’s imaginative, entertaining tale is bound to please a wide audience, especially fans of 16th and 17th century English and American history. Read review.

The Fo’c’sle Door, by Les Cribb: A gripping epic adventure, The Fo’c’sle Door  tells the story of dandy-turned-priest Rodney McDowd and the small town he becomes fond of — so much so that he involves himself in a smuggling ring to protect his parishioners. What follows is a run-in with a violent sea captain and the appearance of a mysterious revenge-seeking Haitian. Cribb’s likable characters, convincing dialogue, historical detail and talented storytelling make this is an entertaining, satisfying novel with an unforeseen dénouement. Read review.

NONFICTION

Broken Glass and Other Stories, by Herbert Spohn: Spohn draws on his experience of becoming an American after leaving Nazi Germany as a boy, his observational skills honed as a mental health professional and his deft hand for writing to deliver this assured, engrossing short story anthology that delves into the meaning of human behavior. While the 12 pieces that comprise Broken Glass and Other Stories can each stand alone, taken together, they make up a particularly satisfying volume. Read review.

Prosperity, Poverty or Extinction?: Humanity’s Choices, by Allen Cookson: This broad survey of the current state of humanity covers everything from economic principles to food production theories, energy options, land use, population issues, global politics and much more. The author assesses the human race’s options for avoiding the dire consequences of its actions and envisions a future that offers reasonable solutions for many of today’s greatest problems. The result is a mind-boggling but intensely thought-provoking look at the next century that will leave readers questioning common assumptions and wondering what life will be like for themselves and their children in the years to come. Read review.

Prayer at Dawn: An Interpretation and Translation in Simple English of Japujee Sahib of Guru Nanak, by Kamaljeet Singh Dogra: A member of the Sikh faith, Singh Dogra translates this set of verses about God written by the founder of the Sikh religion from Punjabi into “simple American English.” The theme of individual responsibility for one’s spiritual virtue runs throughout the book, which is highly accessible and has been assembled with care and commitment.  The book could easily draw in general readers interested in the basic ideas of Sikhism and also how poetry played a role in its ability to reach everyday people. Read review.

The Brotherhood of Battle: The Civil War Soldiers and Families of Newark Valley, NY, by Jerald L. Marsh: Former U.S. Air Force and Vietnam veteran Marsh undertook an exhaustive study of the Civil War soldiers from New York State and the Newark Valley, in particular, in order to honor the sacrifices of these men and their families. This book identifies each soldier by name, age, the battles they participated in, and their ultimate fates. Marsh delivers his information clearly and without embellishment, putting human faces on the terrible toll taken by the Civil War and providing a valuable tool for researchers. Read review.

BlueInk Review 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.