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.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


2021 Pine Lake Rd, Lincoln, NE
Genre: Fiction/Mystery & Detective
Rating: Exceptional
ISBN: 0595410715, $17.95, 271 pp.

This novel is classic mystery genre, and Paul Hall does an uniquely artistic job of spinning this macabre tale of greed, ambition and murder. Quoting from the opening line from the back cover:

"Places the Dead Call Home begins on a summer night in 1958, as bullets tear through the body of a young man on a lonely Oklahoma highway. Nineteen years later, a soldier lies in the pool of his own blood on an army base in Virginia. Death has made room at home for both of them. Death can always find room for more."

Paul Hall is a colorful, intriguing writer, along the lines of Robert Ludlum, and here’s a sample to pique your interest:

"The man in the uniform was startled to feel himself rolling over the balcony railing and suddenly weightless. At the jarring impact, nausea rose in his throat, and, though there was little pain, he knew instantly that he was paralyzed. Vomit was pouring through his raw throat; the acid tang of asphalt was in his nostrils; his face stung with embedded pebbles, and he was trapped in his own body. He knew with certainty that he was dying, that life was draining from him. This, he thought, is the strangest sensation.

"His eyes would not move, but he could still see–could see with remarkable clarity. There was the road leading up to the intersection, the glowing red taillights of the moving cars, the traffic signal switching from red to green, and a half dozen vehicles beginning to move, now rolling slowly through the intersection. His mind was clear, and he wondered whether, if one of those drivers glanced in his direction, he might see him lying there at the base of the building. But it was dark, and these people had other things to do and places to be. After all, whoever got into his car thinking he’d see a man lying in the street, bleeding to death?"

Places the Dead Call Home is an iUniverse Editor’s Choice, with which I agree. Other novels by Paul L. Hall include the award-winning Our Father and The Big Island. Also, I’m delighted to find more and more accomplished writers are turning to POD publishers to have greater control over the entire publishing process, and iUniverse is one of the best.

Reviewed by Kaye Trout - April 26, 2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

THE COVERUP by William Daniel

BookSurge, LLC
Genre: Fiction/Mystery
Rating: Very Good
ISBN: 18663086235, $17.99, 415 pp.

The Coverup is a fictional mystery, suspense novel about multiple coverups starting with the 1947 mysterious crash near Roswell, New Mexico. Quoting from the back cover:

"Richard Cooper is an inherited millionaire and anthropologist. He has an encounter with the legendary El Chupacabra on a dig down in Mexico. Spending his inherited millions, he chases the creature across the south. John Barton, a former FBI agent who becomes a sheriff of a small town in south Texas, must solve the murder of Josh Hernandez, a local citizen. El Chupacabra visits Josh the night he dies. Sheriff Barton must prove that FBI director Jack Riley has killed Josh to cover up the visit. Bob Glass, a Cherokee Indian who owns an Indian resort in California, joins in on the chase. Together they uncover the real reason for the 1947 coverup."

If you have an interest in the Roswell story, you’ll probably enjoy this one, too. As far as William Daniel’s style and quality of writing, I’d say it’s straight forward and readable. I did at times feel, however, that I was reading a scriptwriter’s version of the story per the considerable detail to action and movements, plus some of the dialogue just didn’t ring true.

William Daniel and his wife live in Wake Village, Texas, where he works at an Army depot for the government. The Coverup is Mr. Daniel’s debut novel, and I wish him much success.

Review by Kaye Trout - April 24, 2007

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


2021 Pine Lake Rd, Lincoln, NE
Genre: General Fiction
Rating: Good
ISBN: 0595427251, $19.95, 331 pp.

This novel is about one year in the lives of fourteen Payson High School teachers, their relationships and daily struggles. Rather than Payson High, the school could have been called Payton Place High as Joseph Wellman’s stories tend to include all types of sexual activity. In The Private Lives of Teachers he jumps right to it starting on page 2, and I quote:

"He’s staring now at Teri’s chest. Her sweat-soaked T-shirt is making her breasts visible through the flimsy cloth. ‘Look I said I’m sorry. I thought Tom was in here and he’s hard of hearing. And I assumed...’ His voice trails off, as he’s mesmerized by her nipples standing out like two dark beacons on the field of white as the T-shirt clings to her sweat drenched skin."

And from there the sexual sparing begins: Teri Jacobs is candid, direct and outspoken as she ‘comes on’ to Jack Schroeder, a married man who hasn’t had sex in a year. An interesting beginning.

Among Wellman’s characters there is usually one woman who has prostituted herself at sometime in her life, then changed her ways. There is also a woman who had sexual relations with a younger man.

Joseph A. Wellman is a retired psychology/sociology teacher and a good writer, not an exceptional writer, just a good writer. If you like stories with lots of sexual content, you will probably enjoy Wellman’s novels.

Reviewed by Kaye Trout - April 17, 2007

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Authors OnLine Ltd
19 The Cinques, Bedfordshire, England
Genre: Memoir in novel form
Rating: Very Good
ISBN: 0755202627, $13.95, 156 pp.

During his teenage years Bill Mallory had a terrifying, violent experience which left deep, residual mental scars causing him to be excessively timid and afraid of confrontations. After a conversation with his boyhood Sunday school teacher, Mr. Graham, Bill made a decision to confront his fears and worked with dedication to strengthen his body and his mind. The results of his efforts changed him to the extent that he would then live the life he wanted.

Besides being a highly inspirational story, Dormant Courage is full of marvelous adventures which make this novel quite enjoyable. Barrie David has done a good job as a writer, and I would like to quote a excerpt to provide you with a sample of his writing, from page 141:

"As the aircraft engines drone their ceaseless lullaby high above the English Channel, everyone around me is switched off to the welcome oblivion of slumber. It really has been an intensely demanding two weeks.

"Sleep evades me as the events of the last five years randomly trawl through my mind and bring the laughter, the tears and the moments of nailbiting fear. Reflecting on the events that led to them, I conclude, with profound belief that anyone can do virtually anything if they draw on the infinite potential of their human spirit. Suddenly, as the warm grin of Mr. Graham looms into my thoughts, as if I have picked up a book I simply can’t wait to read, I settle back to a banquet of thoughts about him. With graphic ease I again watch him dismantle my ingrained self doubt before handing me two five pound notes and sending me off to discover the meaning of determination. I grin very broadly at the next scene showing a tiny figure in a vast green landscape of pouring rain. Amazingly, it all seems like yesterday. Only now do I remember my emphatic promise to go back and see him and as I do so I feel the mammoth elation of having come full circle. He said this moment would come and here it is. I am ready to go back."

If you have ever had any fears about relating with people or confrontations, this little story can’t help but be a wonderful inspiration . . . to us all. Dormant Courage is Barrie’s first published book and is based on actual events in his life. I wish him much success. Good show!

Reviewed by Kaye Trout - April 12, 2007

Sunday, April 08, 2007

SCALES by Anthony G. Williams

Authors Online Ltd
19 The Cinques, Bedfordshire, England
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: Very Good
ISBN: 075520266X, $14.95, 228 pp.

Scales is a fascinating story about a man, Cade, who survives a mysterious explosion with massive burns and heals into a reptilian mutant with unique mental abilities, superhuman strength, and healing powers. It’s a story about aliens, parallel universes, terrorists, love and contemporary problems of planet Earth.

It’s a fast-paced read by a knowledgeable writer, and I enjoyed Williams’s style of writing. If you like science fiction which deals with contemporary problems, you may also enjoy this book.

Anthony Williams is a military technology historian and the author of Rapid Fire, Flying Guns, The Foresight War, and co-author of Assault Rifle.

Reviewed by Kaye Trout - April 7, 2007

Saturday, April 07, 2007

WHEN AN ANGEL FALLS by Stephanie L. Jarrett

2021 Pine Lake Rd, Lincoln, NE
Genre: Spiritual Fiction
Rating: Very Good
ISBN: 0595428703, $19.95, 325 pp.

Are you interested in angels, spirits, energy forces and wars between good and evil? If so, you might consider this novel. The protagonist, Laura is a fallen angel struggling in a warn-torn world as she seeks forgiveness. She encounters friends who help, others who shun her, and some who just want to destroy her. Are you interested in forgiving and seeking forgiveness? . . . then here’s a book for you.

As to whether you’ll enjoy Stephanie’s writing style, allow me to share an excerpt with you from page 318:

"A soul only had a fraction of a moment to experience Infinity. Primal matter hung indifferently within a state of suspended animation, yet it took only the tiniest increment of time for it to realize that it had been violated. The matter and energy that Laura shed after she penetrated Infinity sowed the seeds of order from which, all forces in the active Universe rose. The seemingly insignificant amount of energy that she carried with her was enough to awaken the possibilities of the unresponsive matter. It took little more than an instant for the infinitesimal primal strands to form a ray, and then a triangle. When the strongest, most basic structure of matter was in place, it heralded the birth of an electron. The chain reaction that followed the breach of Infinity was swift and explosive."

Stephanie Jarrett is a good writer with an captivating style. Her novel is well-written and well-edited. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Reviewed by Kaye Trout - April 6, 2007

Friday, April 06, 2007

THE OTHER SIDE OF YORE by Joseph Lyon Layden

Illustrations by Kenny Savage
Booklocker.com, Inc.
Genre: Children’s Fantasy
Rating: Very Good
ISBN: 9781601451224, $14.95, 156 pp.

I don’t get many children’s fantasy books to review, and I am not by any means an authority on this genre; however, I did read the book and can recommend it as enjoyable family reading material.

The Other Side of Yore is an enchanting adventure story about Frawg’s journey with his friends into Mudgunkland to save the world of Terramore from destruction by Cobraxas, king snake. All the flowers are dying, poisoned by the green smoke from the dark swamps, and the good King’s daughter, Princess Lilypad, has fallen into a deep sleep.

Included in this story are thirteen artfully illustrated drawings by Kenny Savage, plus poems, riddles and songs to delight children of all ages.

It is a delightful story–well-edited and designed–which I’m sure children will enjoy. Joseph Layden has been writing professionally for over ten years as a freelance journalist. The Other Side of Yore is his debut children’s fantasy novel,
and I wish he and Kenny much success in their creative efforts.

Reviewed by Kaye Trout - April 5, 2007