I specialize in reviewing Print-On-Demand (POD) published books for my website and Midwest Book Review. Please query for a review by email to hgunther234@hotmail.com.

Monday, January 29, 2007


Booksurge LLC
729-B Investment Drive
Charleston, SC 29418
Genre: Juvenile Adventure
Rating: Good
ISBN: 1419637959, $12.99, 108 pp.

Under the Eagle’s Beak is an excellent juvenile adventure tale about two boys in search of a lost treasure, a missing father, time travel and encounters with pirates. Allow me to quote from the back cover:

"Billy Marshal and his friend Figgy Newton have grown up around treasure-hunters. Every summer, the search for the treasureof Pirate’s Pit begins again in Clark’s Cove. Not wishing to be outdone by tourists, Bill and Figgy are determined to be the first to find the treasure! So far, however, they’ve had no luck finding even one gold piece.

"But Bill and Figgy won’t give up - they’ve caught pirate fever! After discovering a mysterious letter that leads them to a time machine, Bill and Figgy are transported back to the 18th century where they learn the dangerous secrets of the Treasure of Pirate’s Pit! Can Bill and Figgy find the treasure and return to the future - or will they be stuck on a pirate’s ship forever?"

It is a well-written and well-edit story which I can highly recommend to juvenile readers. It is short, fast paced and full of excitement. You won’t be disappointed.

Reviewed by Kaye Trout - January 29, 2007


Wild Alternatives
by Suzanne Seller
LangMarc Publishing
PO Box 90488, Austin, TX
Genre: Inspirational How To
Rating: Good
ISBN: 1880292947, $15.00, 210 pp.

Suzanne Seller is a senior with a purpose . . . to inspire other seniors to continue living and enjoying their lives to the fullest. It is definitely an inspirational book, well organized and well written.

If you’re a senior who feels you need some inspirational guidance, I can highly recommend Wild Alternatives. With all her interests and busy life Suzanne Seller has found the time and discipline to write this inspirational book. I wish her much success and hope she has something to say to inspire you to move in a positive direction. I am a firm believer that age is a state of mind, and Suzanne’s book is here to help you think so too.

Reviewed by Kaye Trout - January 29, 2007


BookSurge, LLC
Genre: Sci Fi/Fantasy Adventure
Rating: Good
ISBN: 1419650661, $15.99, 352 pp.

Allow me to quote from the back cover: "First Moon, the first book in the Goddesses and Warriors series, starts us on a journey to a new genre, a new vision filled with sex and seduction, intrigue, violence and compassion, romance, mystery and adventure as we follow Darkasan, Dieema, and the other Warriors and Goddesses on the exotic planet called Androgynous Prime."

It is indeed difficult to classify a book by one genre when it is filled with all of the above; however, it would be a stretch to classify Warriors and Goddesses as a ‘new genre’. Modern fantasy is inextricably entangled with science fiction as many authors write in both fields or use elements of both in one or the other forms. Science fiction deals with the possible (though not necessarily probable), being based, however tenuously, on scientific (hard or soft) knowledge; fantasy deals with the impossible, being based on magic or the supernatural. What fantasy and science fiction share is a preoccupation with "other" worlds–science fiction with a universe that predictably follows laws of nature; fantasy with a universe boundlessly extended by the author’s imagination.

This is a story about tribes of women and tribes of men . . . fighting each other. It is indeed filled with all kinds of sex, seduction, and violence. If you enjoy reading sci fi/fantasy full of sex, you will most like enjoy this tale. Jerome Byrd is not an exceptional writer, but he is a good writer. I felt the theme was getting somewhat worn about two-thirds through and moved on to the end. Sex and the struggle between men and women is not enough to keep my interest for 339 pages, and keep in mind fantasy is not my favorite read.

Reviewed by Kaye Trout - January 29, 2007

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

MASTER OF GAUL by John Timbers

Bright Pen
Authors On Line Ltd
19 The Cinques, Gamlingay, Sandy
Bedfordshire SG193NU, England
Genre: Historical Military Novel
Rating: Very Good
ISBN: 0755201441, $14.95, 208 pp.

Quoting from the back cover: "This is the second in a series of five books that set out to tell the action-packed story of Julius Caesar’s protracted battles in Gaul - modern France and Belgium - and his struggle to force the Roman Republic to abandon its obsession with ancient and superstitious traditions, a system of government that favoured only its racist, corrupt and all-powerful nobility. Caesar, a man way ahead of his time, was determined to change the Republic into a multi-cultural meritocracy, fit to govern its growing empire for the good of all its disparate peoples. Caesar’s Tribune is a fictional character who is also way ahead of his time but in a very different way . . ."

In May of last year I reviewed the first book in this series, Caesar’s Tribune -please refer to my May 2006 reviews. This series is wonderful, entertaining and educational. If you like learning about history and historical figures in novelized form, you’ll enjoy how the author has taken Caesar’s Commentaries and turned them into richly textured, contemporary, intriguing military novels.

John Timbers is a consummate writer, and you won’t be disappointed in his style or the quality of his writing. The book is well edited and I highly recommend it, particularly to history buffs and readers who enjoy military strategy and intrigue.

Reviewed by Kaye Trout - January 17, 2007

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

THE DARKNESS OF MID DAY by Joseph A. Wellman

2021 Pine Lake Road, Ste 100
Lincoln, NE 68512
Genre: Fiction
Rating: Good
ISBN: 0595419879, $19.95, 327 pp.

If you want to know how three young men get away with rape and murder, read this book. If you want to know how a young girl became a rape victim and was sold into prostitution, read this book. If you want to know how she got out and reaped her revenge, read this book. If you like books all about sex, you’ll probably like this book.

Joseph Wellman is a good writer and the book is well written; however, there are several issues for me: one, it’s hard to believe that a woman could murder so many people, not be caught and go on to live a normal life, and two, although I enjoy books about sex, I felt some of Mr. Wellman’s sexual scenarios were quite perverse, so be prepared.

Mr. Wellman is a retired high school teacher who taught sociology and psychology and currently lives in Elk Grove Village, Chicago.

Reviewed by Kaye Trout - January 16, 2007

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

LILLY'S RANSOM by Ensley Williams

Aventine Press
1023 4th Avenue #204
San Diego, CA 92101
Genre: Fiction/Mystery
Rating: Good
ISBN: 1593303580, $12.95, 168 pp.

Quoting from the back cover: "The year is 1921. The Great War is over, the Jazz Age has begun, and Lilly Harrison’s husband has fled to New Orleans, leaving her to face the dangerous bootleggers and narcotics dealers of Tampa. With the help of her best friend and her courtly and kind father, Lilly begins to rebuild her life, but she has a decision to make–and an enormous price to pay."

Lilly’s Ransom is a good little mystery and well written. It’s believable and carries the reader right along. I can’t say that the writing is anything exceptional, but it does work and that’s what is important.

I certainly can recommend this little novel to mystery readers, particularly those who like stories that take place in different eras.

Reviewed by Kaye Trout - January 10, 2007

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

BEAST by Dave Donch

Llumina Press
7915 W. McNab Rd.
Tamarac, FL 33321
Genre: Fictionalized Memoir
Rating: Very Good
ISBN: 159526616X, $9.95, 112 pp.

Beast is a story based on the real life experiences of a young, autistic boy named Nathaniel. With perseverance and single-mindedness, this nine-year-old boy was able to succeed at what he loved to do . . . play baseball.

The author, Dave Donch, is Nathaniel’s father, but the story is written as seen through the eyes of Nathaniel’s first baseball coach. It is a heart-warming and inspirational story I’m sure you’ll enjoy. The story is well-written and edited and should appeal to many readers.

As I typically like to quote something from the subject book, I have chosen the following:

"Nathaniel’s parents had no idea what the answers to their many questions were. There was no way of knowing what the future would hold. Many of their questions would be answered in the years that followed. The only thing they knew was that they cared deeply for their boy, and they were going to do everything they possibly could to give him the best chance at happiness and a good life.

"The following story is mostly written in first-person point of view, as if told by Nathaniel’s Little League baseball coach; it is based on the memoirs of Nathaniel’s parents and older brother, bearing witness to Nathaniel’s success at playing baseball. It is the author’s wish that this story will instill hope in others who share the same affliction or who are the parents of such a child, helping them to understand that kids like Nathaniel are capable of achieving great things and finding considerable happiness."

Dave Donch currently resides with his wife and four children in Auburn, NY. He loves to work as a volunteer youth baseball coach in his spare time, helping children build good character.

Reviewed by Kaye Trout - December 31, 2006