May’s Top Reviews of Self-published Books from BlueInk Review

In Book Review by Guest Contributor

Our monthly selection of reviews from BlueInk Review, a service which reviews self-published books, stars an “uncommonly brave” novel about Alzheimer’s Disease.

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.”

STARRED FICTION

An Absent MindAn Absent Mind, by Eric Rill: This uncommonly brave book is based on Rill’s father’s eight-year struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. Using five narrators in short, alternating chapters, the novel tells the story of protagonist Saul Reimer’s descent into Alzheimer’s and how it impacts his devastated wife, self-absorbed son, devoted daughter and an Alzheimer’s expert. Rill’s grief-stricken love for his father, who died in 1998, invests every page with true feeling. Read review.

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

FICTION

Casting Lots, by William D. McEachern: A swords-and-sandals epic with a spiritual twist, this novel takes place in 54 AD when Lucinius, a Roman slave, is ordered by his master to find the Roman centurion Cornelius, who was present at Christ’s crucifixion and come back with the story of the “wonder worker.” Cornelius tells him many stories, but not the one Lucinius most wants to hear — until the centurion ultimately relents. Fans of ancient historical fiction will find the book intriguing, and the message of faith at its heart is a pleasing bonus. Read review.

Tomorrow Comes: An Emma Story, by Donna Mebane: Based on the true story of the untimely death of the author’s daughter, who at age 19 went to sleep one night and never woke up, this compellingly written novel explores a family undertaking the long road up from unimaginable grief to a place of some peace, while also describing Emma’s life in “AFTER,” the word the author uses for heaven. Tears are inevitable for any reader, but comfort and encouragement, too, may be found here for those who share a similar loss. Read review.

CHILDREN/YOUNG ADULT

Ethics of the Undead, by Loren Schechter: This book offers a new twist on the typical vampire novel setting: a charter school for Libertarian vampires. When four teens receive scholarships to a school in rural Idaho, they have no idea it’s a scheme to fulfill a diversity requirement of the school – and then possibly to provide a snack for either students or faculty.  Delivering equal parts gore and humor, this splendid novel delivers a wild ride that’s a page turner and a pleasure. Read review.

The Math Problem, by Susan Troutt: The author of Jake the Detective and four other books demonstrates her writing savvy and knowledge of kids in the classroom with this chapter book also featuring Jake. This time, Jake is surprised to receive a failing grade in math. As he interacts with a teen tutor and sometimes lands in fixes (for example, in his enthusiasm for finding items to illustrate the number three, he gives his teacher a bouquet of three-leafed poison ivy), Troutt delivers insight into math concepts and a romp-of-a-read that’s an excellent selection for middle readers and is recommended for use by elementary school math teachers. Read review.

NONFICTION

The Messenger, by Claude L. Chafin: Combining family lore and American legend in a work of history that reads like a novel, the author has produced a crisply written new take on the infamous blood feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys. The author’s grandfather, Andrew Chafin, was recruited at age 9 to be a messenger boy for his notorious uncle, Will Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield, the family patriarch. Andrew grew up hard amid his violent kinfolks’ taste for danger, betrayal and murder. His story provides a freshly compelling narrative that reads like primo movie material. Read review.

Mr. Parkinson’s & Me, by Simon Corpus Crispy, M.D.:  The author details his perilous life’s journey after being diagnosed in 1995 with tremor-dominant idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease, interweaving the story with details of the harrowing night he rode out the massive 2013 rainstorm and flood in his hometown of San Antonio. The storm serves as an analogy to the tumultuous trauma of his personal woes. Moving, unsettling and insightful, this book is worthy of a wide audience. Read review. 

American Business and Investment Visas, by J. Le Vaughn and Dr. H.C. La Vaughn: With a bewildering array of regulations and visa types, the prospect of making an investment inside the United States can be intimidating for foreign citizens. The authors simplify the process by laying out the necessary information in clear, easy-to-understand passages in this indispensable guide for any foreigner interested in doing business in America. Read review.

The Magnificent Truths of Our Existence, by Daniel P. Parmeggiani: Interweaving the tale of his difficult childhood and path to self-discovery and happiness with advice to others on how to find the same, Parmeggiani helps readers understand the power of motivation and self-sacrifice to prompt meaningful change. Including useful exercises, this book raises awareness of the power of forgiveness and helps people make peace with the past, present and future. 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. 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.