In our quest to find wonderful material in the vast pool of self-published books, BlueInk Review has uncovered several titles we feel merit your attention. The following books have all received starred reviews rom our critics, meaning they are of exceptional quality and particularly worthy of your attention.
FICTION – PARANORMAL
Manito, by Kate Kilmer-Jackson: In this engrossing debut, the vengeful spirit of a Native American woman who was raped and mortally injured by two savage white men as she prepared to give birth plagues an Illinois mansion over the course of three centuries. As various pregnant women who occupy the home suffer miscarriages and other violent reactions to the house’s atmosphere, the gripping tale builds to a bravura finale. A natural storyteller, the author offers well-drawn characters and a leisurely narrative punctuated with bursts of scary mayhem. Author residence: Carrollton, Illinois. Read review.
Twin Flames, by Tanja Kobasic: In a genre where true originality is increasingly hard to find, Kobasic delivers a singularly unique paranormal fantasy. This second in Kobasic’s Untapped series continues the mesmerizing story of conjoined twins Scarlett and Jade Jennings, who are fused at the pelvis and have become pop culture celebrities. In this story, Scarlett is involved in a passionate relationship with world-class illusionist Sebastian Cole. As Sebastian battles the influence of a Luciferian cult, the twins find themselves battling each other. Powered by unforgettable characters and a multi-tapestried storyline, this is irresistible grand-scale storytelling with an intimate feel. Author residence: Ontario, Canada. Read review.
FICTION – EROTICA
Wantin, by Truth Devour: An exceptional work of erotic fiction, this novel follows Talia Jacobs, the only child of globe-hopping parents who are tragically killed when she is six years old. Years later, she learns that she has inherited millions of dollars in assets, and sets out for exotic locales and into the arms of adoring men who open her eyes to the risks and rewards of intimacy. Equal parts Kerouac travelogue and carnal chronicle a la Anais Nin, the novel will appeal to fans of erotic fiction, but the raw authenticity and emotional depth of Talia’s journey offers enjoyment for romance and mainstream fiction readers as well. Author residence: Melbourne, Australia. Read review.
FICTION – MYSTERY
Batavia Shores, by Ken Stewart: A sequel to Stewart’s Devlin Pool set in Australia, this novel again features detectives Barney Merrick and Zep Marcon. In this story, they investigate what seems to be a simple carjacking — only to find that the car has ties to drug runners, gun smugglers and international terrorists. A subplot involving two Aboriginals in a feud that requires balancing tribal and mainstream laws and customs adds to the intrigue. With its gritty violence and breakneck pacing, this is a sure hit for mystery fans. Author residence: Perth, Australia. Read review.
FICTION – CHRISTIAN
Jesus: The God App, by Peter D. Snow: Snow delivers a tale of Jesus’ life, ministry, and resurrection accessible to modern-day believers. Written from the perspective of the Disciple John, his story follows Jesus from the time he is first declared to be the Messiah to his followers’ reactions on seeing him after he is resurrected. Snow’s Jesus speaks in modern vernacular, using words such as “lighten up” and “clean up your act” that lend a welcome fresh perspective to a familiar story. Anyone open to a contemporary account of Jesus’ life will appreciate this thoughtfully considered and well-written tale. Author residence: Seattle, Washington. Read review.
FICTION – YOUNG ADULT/ADULT
Waldo Emerson, My Grandfather, and Me, by Eugene H. Perticone: In this gentle, carefully written novel, a wise grandfather introduces a forest-roaming, apple pie-eating 12-year-old boy to the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson, awakening in him the spirit of inquiry and the beginnings of his own quest for transcendence. The entire book gives off an ethereal glow akin to Emerson’s famous “gleam of light,” resulting in an eloquent valentine to the Concord Sage. Author residence: Oswego, New York. Read review.
NONFICTION – SELF-HELP
The Garden of Life, by Todd Michael Putnam: This inspirational self-help book presents a series of short fables involving two gardeners referred to as the Old Man and Young Gardener. As the positive Young Gardener interacts with the jaded and pessimistic Old Man, readers learn how to find satisfaction through personal responsibility, positive choices and showing compassion for others while respecting their own needs. Teens and adults alike will find the stories engaging and the truths memorable — and possibly even life changing. Author residence: Lehigh Acres, Florida. Read review.
A New Look at Caregiving: Two Halves of a Whole, by Linda Edgar, R.N., PhD: Slim in length, but impressively deep and useful, this lovely little gem provides support and inspiration for caregivers, offering strategies for problem solving along with affirmations from the likes of Langston Hughes, William Shakespeare and others. Readers will find gentle reassurance without the usual claptrap of earnest selflessness or smarmy sentimentality. The writing is fresh, and the advice feels like something an overwhelmed caregiver might turn to again and again. Author residence: Vineland, Ontario. Read review.
NONFICTION – HEALTH
Breathing Poison, by Anthony Rebuck: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a severe lung condition, is rising at an alarming rate worldwide. This concise and informative book, written by a doctor who has practiced respiratory medicine at the University of Toronto and the Toronto Lung Clinic, explains the causes and which populations are most affected and expounds on the need to educate the public and take steps to rein it in. This short, outstanding book serves as a critical wake-up call regarding the perilous rise of airborne poisons and the need to take action quickly to save lives. Author residence: Australia. 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 self-published book reviews. 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.