Category Archives: Reviews

Book of the Week: The Trumpets of Jericho (J. Michael Dolan)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

The Trumpets of Jericho: A Novel

“If any four things could be said to characterize not only my outlook on life but my writing, they’d be my hatred of hypocrisy, meanness for meanness’ sake, blind obedience to authority, and cowardice in the face of injustice. I like to think of my novel, The Trumpets of Jericho, as a story so larger than life, so human, that once read it will become a permanent part of you. I live by myself just east of Austin, Texas, a magnet of a city for the freethinking young, or in my case, the young at heart.”

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Book of the Week: Starswept (Mary Fan)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:


Starswept (Mary Fan)

Although partially nodding to Brave New World, Logan’s Run and The Hunger Games trilogy, the science-fiction dystopian YA novel Starswept is its own blazingly unique creation. Prolific author Mary Fan (12 books published to date) spins a riveting tale against a backdrop of intergalactic human trafficking, brainwashing, corporate greed, freedom fighters, and the backstabbing culture of an exclusive performing arts academy.

In the year 2268, everything has been working well with the trade deal that Earth and humanoid alien planet Adrye established in 2157. Adrye shares its technology with Earth; Earth reciprocates by offering up its best/brightest young performing artists.

Read the full review here.


About the Author

Mary Fan is a sci-fi/fantasy writer hailing from Jersey City, NJ. She is the author of the Jane Colt sci-fi series.In addition, she is the co-editor (along with fellow sci-fi author Paige Daniels) of Brave New Girls young adult sci-fi anthologies, which feature tales about girls in STEM. Revenues from sales are donated to the Society of Women Engineers scholarship fund.  Mary graduated Magna cum Laude from Princeton University in 2010 with a Bachelor of the Arts in Music, specializing in composition. Although she is currently focusing on writing, music is still her first love, and so in her spare time she composes songs and soundtracks.


BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Book of the Week: The Moonshine Wars (Daniel Micko)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

The Moonshine Wars: Or My Life In Kincaid, Georgia, by Terry Lee Kincaid III

Daniel Micko is biracial male born in St. Louis, Missouri, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Georgia State University with a bachelors of arts degree, majoring in film and minoring in English. After that, he graduated from the Academy of Art in San Francisco, California, with a master of fine arts in filmmaking. He resides in the Bay Area, working on projects and writing in his spare time.

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Chapters – Interactive Stories, an innovative new app that introduces gamified fiction

Mobile gaming has exploded in recent years, climbing from $17.5 billion in revenue in 2013 to $36.9 billion in 2016. This represents almost 40 percent of the gaming industry’s entire market and reveals that games designed specifically for smart phones and tablets are rapidly outperforming PC and console games.

A Novel Concept

Entering this infinitely expanding galaxy of mobile gaming apps is one that involves a novel concept: gamified fiction. Chapters – Interactive Stories—created by San Francisco-based Crazy Maple Studios, an iOS/Adroid app developer owned by ChineseAll USA Corporation and known for their game Tap Knights – Idle RPG—is “transform[ing] fiction stories into sustainable mobile games.” Launched in September 2017, Chapters was downloaded 250,000 times worldwide within the first month, and double that amount is projected to occur by mid-2018 as its catalog of game-adapted literature grows. Because the app is exclusively in English, 50 percent of the initial quarter-million downloads have been USA-based, while the remainder have been divided between the UK, India, Australia, Canada, and Brazil.

Available in GooglePlay and iStore, Chapters can be download for free. Once open, the homepage offers an array of genre fiction, with romance, horror, fantasy, and young adult selections principal among them. Supplementary chapters to existing titles become available each week. Currently, the app’s catalog of works includes titles by popular self-published authors, like Yuriko Hime, Gabriela Cabezut, and Jerilee Kaye, each of whom already has a significant following online and has previously released novels in either Kindle format or via the online storytelling community Wattpad. In the Chapters app, new gamified stories from other authors are now in production, a process that takes approximately three months, and these will be added throughout the end of the year. The application’s developers are also looking to significantly expand the scope of their catalog to include not only genre fiction, but literary fiction as well.

Continue reading Chapters – Interactive Stories, an innovative new app that introduces gamified fiction

Book of the Week: The Adventures of Willy Nilly and Thumper (Jim Henry)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

The Adventures of Willy Nilly and Thumper: Charlie the Cross-Eyed Crocodile

Well known as a successful businessman, Jim Henry has a creative imagination and a love of family that is greater than any business he’s ever built. Willy Nilly stories were passed down from Jim’s father, who told them to Jim when he was a child. Jim continued the tradition by telling bedtime stories (a different one each night) about Willy Nilly, first to his three children and then to his eleven grandchildren. One night, as Jim was making up a new story, he created the character of Thumper. With this single creative burst, the dynamic combination of Willy Nilly & Thumper was born!

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Book of the Week: One More Last Dance (Jerry Antil)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

One More Last Dance

Jerome Mark Antil was born in Cortland, New York in 1941. The seventh child of a seventh son of a seventh son, Michael Charles Antil Sr., and Mary Rowe Holman Antil. His career has been “writing” and “marketing” in the business world. He wrote marketing plans, sales and training movies and commercials. He has lectured at Cornell University; The Johnson School; St. Edwards University; and Southern Methodist University. Jerome was inspired to begin the career he always wanted, at the behest of his daughter, Worley Antil Coco and has spent twelve years researching for several books he is now working on.  His favorite authors are John Steinbeck; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; and Mark Twain.

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Book of the Week: The Surrender Prayer (Kristian Lynch, LCSW)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

The Surrender Prayer: Where We End and God Begins

As seen on a Sussex Directories Inc site

A native of Harlem, New York, Kristian Lynch spent the first years of his career as an attorney. His desire to live a fulfilling life led him to quit the legal profession and attend the Rutgers University School of Social Work where he received his Master’s degree. With a focus on individual and group therapy, he has worked in both Christian and secular non-profit agencies in New Jersey. He works with adolescents, adults and families, and has developed a unique approach to helping his clients discover how to identify, face and heal their wounds by relying upon the transformative power of God’s love and acceptance. Kristian is a graduate of Brown University, Fordham University School of Law and Rutgers University School of Social Work.

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Book of the Week: Orphan in America (Nanette L. Avery)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

Orphan in America

Nanette L. Avery is a writer, educator, and meticulous researcher. In preparation for Orphan in America, Avery spent several years traveling across the country and immersing herself in the history and lifestyle of 19th century America. Nanette lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and orange cat, Frieda.
BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Book of the Week: Henry and the Hidden Treasure (B.C.R. Fegan)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

Henry and the Hidden Treasure

BCR Fegan is an award-winning author who has written a number of fairy tales and fantasies for children and young adults. Raised on a small hobby farm, only minutes from some of Australia’s greatest beaches, Fegan grew up inspired by the power of nature’s ambience. From the intensity of the frequent summer storms, to the overwhelming serenity of a lonely beach in the early hours of the morning. His ravenous appetite for both reading and writing soon saw him drawing on the transformational influence of this world around him to craft short stories, poems and picture books.

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Book of the Week: An Avid’s Guide to Sixties Songwriters (Peter Dunbavan)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

An Avid’s Guide to Sixties Songwriters

Peter Dunbavan was born in Preston, England, in 1951.  His diverse employment history has included working as a labourer, finance director, industrial chemist, meter reader, charity director, wallpaper warehouseman, college lecturer, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation employee. During his somewhat haphazard working life, his love of music has been a constant. He has been involved in playing live music since the age of 15. He has also been a spectacularly unsuccessful songwriter, having written over a hundred songs and still waiting for his first hit.

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Book of the Week: Peanut of Blind Faith Farm (Jim Thompson)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

Peanut of Blind Faith Farm

Jim Thompson and his wife Laura live on a hobby farm in Jefferson County, Wisconsin. An Air Force veteran, Jim returned to Wisconsin in 1983, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a degree in Zoology. He spent the next 20 years with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, mostly as a Lake Michigan Fisheries Technician. Semi-retiring in 2007, he took up hobby farming. Not long after, he and Laura acquired five Shetland sheep as an experiment, to help keep the farm’s vegetation under control. The flock of five soon turned to 15, including a tiny blind lamb named Peanut, who inspired Jim and Laura to name their property Blind Faith Farm.

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Introducing The Short Story Project: A whole new way to discover, curate and appreciate short stories

Literary short stories rarely, if ever, get a chance to make an impression on their own terms, as they are usually buried in print anthologies that get lost quickly in an ever-expanding universe of published content. When short stories are given a new life in digital format—not only by extracting existing texts and migrating them online but also by translating them into several languages and adding original audio elements to each—as is the case with The Short Story Project—their impact is undeniable.

Professional reviewer Michael Rogers here sheds light on this mighty new entrant into the digital publishing and library market. NSR is pleased to publish this review and we look forward to following TSSP’s progress and development in the months and years to come.—Ed.


Stories that cross the line

Launched in 2015, The Short Story Project (TSSP) hosts a wide selection of short fiction from noted international authors. The acclaimed site—nominated for the London Book Fair’s Literary Translation Initiative Award in 2016, among others—also co-exists as an app of the same name for Androids and iOS devices. It was founded upon the belief that “reading is an experience that can make a difference. An experience that enables reflection on the human condition, inspires empathy and encourages examination; that reading is more than a pastime; it is an activity that can serve as a bridge between people and cultures, a sounding board for voices and ideas.” This belief is evident in many details, including TSSP’s tagline (Stories that Cross the Line).

TSSP endeavors to promote that philosophy through the “lively, stimulating presence of short fiction in contemporary culture,” enabling the “voices of writers from across the world be heard and resonate.” It is the creation of Iftach Alony, an Israeli-born business man with a history of successful entrepreneurial ventures. Alony is the author of two novels (2009’s Thief of Dreams, and 2012’s best-selling Spare Parts), the short story collections, Garuda’s Gaze and Plagues (of Egypt) Now (2015 and 2017, respectively), as well as the poetry collections, Let the Thorns Die (2013) and Gravity (2014). He also is the founder and coeditor of Block Magazine, a producer of several travel-films, and has served as a judge for short story competitions and other literary endeavors. Continue reading Introducing The Short Story Project: A whole new way to discover, curate and appreciate short stories

Book of the Week: Survivor – The Benny Turner Story (Benny Turner with Bill Dahl)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

SURVIVOR – The Benny Turner Story

A veteran musician of more than fifty years, Benny Turner has played everywhere from the Chitlin’ Circuit, to Europe, Japan, Australia, and all points in between.  Content to be a sideman in support of the many giants he has worked with, in 2010 the time came for Benny to take his rightful place in the spotlight on center stage, to the delight of blues fans worldwide. In recent years, Benny returned to the studio to produce and record three albums, showcasing his strong and soulful vocals, his signature bass style and his creative songwriting and arrangement skills.

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Book of the Week: Androgen Deficiency in the Adult Male (Prof. Malcolm Carruthers)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

Androgen Deficiency in the Adult Male: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment, 2nd Edition

Founder and chief medical consultant to the Centre for Men’s Health with clinics in London, Manchester, and Edinburgh, Prof. Malcolm Carruthers is a highly respected men’s health specialist and world authority on testosterone deficiency. He is adjunct professor at the Alzheimer’s and Aging Department in Edith Cowan University, Western Australia. Having spent over thirty years in diagnosing and treating androgen deficiency, he has extensive knowledge of the practical clinical measures needed for its treatment as well as the background theoretical information on which that is based.  Alongside over 120 refereed papers in medical journals and editorials in the American Heart Journal and the Lancet, he is the author of nine other books.

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Book of the Week: City of Ghosts (J.H. Moncrieff)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

City of Ghosts

J.H. Moncrieff’s work has been described by reviewers as early Gillian Flynn with a little Ray Bradbury and Stephen King thrown in for good measure. She won Harlequin’s search for “the next Gillian Flynn” in 2016. When not writing, she loves exploring the world’s most haunted places, advocating for animal rights, and summoning her inner ninja in muay thai class. Continue reading Book of the Week: City of Ghosts (J.H. Moncrieff)

Book of the Week: Terminal Rage (A.M. Khalifa)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

Terminal Rage

A.M. Khalifa is a critically acclaimed author based between Rome and Los Angeles. He writes up-market political thrillers and literary fiction focusing on niche international stories that breach cultural taboos and provoke dialogue on sensitive issues. Having lived, worked or studied in over 15 countries, Khalifa is fluent in four languages.

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Book of the Week: World of Dawn: Arise (Shawn Gale)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInkReview, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

World of Dawn: Arise

Shawn Gale writes on Canada’s West Coast. He is a graduate of the Fraser Valley Writers School, where he earned a Master’s diploma. He graduated from Humber Colleges School for Writers with a Letter of Distinction. He has a Bachelor of Art’s degree in Creative Writing from Bircham International University. He was a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Creative Writing department from 2014-2017, where he earned two certificates. His stories have been published in anthologies and periodicals in the US and Canada. 

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Book of the week: Reflections on Mortality (Robert B. Brooks & B. Glenn Wilkerson)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

Reflections on Mortality: Insights into Meaningful Living

Robert B. Brooks, PhD, is the former director of the Department of Psychology at McLean Hospital and is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School (part-time). He has lectured nationally and internationally and written extensively about different psychological themes, especially resilience across the lifespan. B.

Glenn Wilkerson, DMin, is recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities in elevating social/emotional health and creating positive self-concepts in children. He is the author of the nationally acclaimed ARK (Adults Relating to Kids) Program, incorporating best practices in parenting and teaching.

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Book of the week: Swarm (Guy Garcia)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

Swarm

Guy Garcia is a journalist, novelist and multimedia entrepreneur who specialzes in multiculturalconsumerism and socio-economic trends.  His work has been featured in Time, the New York Times, LA Times, Fortune, and Rolling Stone.  He is from Los Angeles, California.

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Book of the Week: The Last Train to Tokyo (Michael Pronko)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

The Last Train: A Tokyo Mystery

Michael Pronko I lives with his wife in Tokyo and works as a professor of American Literature at Meiji Gakuin University. He has published three award-winning collections of essays and is a regular contributor of  columns for The Japan Times, Newsweek Japan, Jazznin, ST Shukan, Jazz Colo[u]rs, and Artscape Japan.

About BlueInk 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. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.