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.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

PUPPIES FROM HEAVEN by Susan Luginbuhl

Llumina Press
Coral Springs, FL
Genre: Memoir
Rating: Very Good
ISBN: 9781595268174, $12.95, 190 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

"A heartwarming collection of true stories detailing the joys and trials that take place in the life of a full-time dog breeder. Full of feeling and emotion, the stories are as much about the people who purchase the dogs as the dogs themselves, showing rare insight into the magical bond between dogs and their owners."

Susan Luginbuhl breeds Labrador Retrievers, and if you love animals–dogs in particular--you’ll certainly enjoy Puppies from Heaven. Susan’s an educated, sensitive writer; the book is well-edited, and her collection is as delightful as a James Herriot classic. You won’t be disappointed.

Kaye Trout - February 19, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008


Libros International
Genre: Fiction/Literature
Rating: Good
ISBN: 1905988192, $15.99, 282 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

"Glancing quickly over the bar, he saw the bartender lying face down in a pool of blood, senselessly gunned down simply because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"New York City in the prohibition era, and Bill Sutton’s wife thinks he earns an honest crust as a rent collector. Instead, he leads an extraordinary double-life as ‘Willie the Actor’, a notorious bank robber.

"Based on a true story, the novel’s protagonist is a gentle gunman who never once fires a shot. But it was believed he was jinxed and almost everyone he works with comes to a violent end."

Willie the Actor was a fun, easy read, and David Barry, actor turned author, writes with a captivating style. The novel is well-written and well-edited. If you enjoy stories about the prohibition era, burglaries and bank robberies, you’ll most likely enjoy this book.

Kaye Trout - February 15, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


BookSurge Publishing
Genre: Historical
Rating: Excellent
ISBN: 9781419680960, $39.99 (Amazon-$26.39) 702 pp.

First, let me say...the writing of this book was a monumental undertaking and particularly well done considering its size and content. The book is 10"x7", 1 ½" thick, and weighs over 3 pounds–not light-weight bedtime reading for us gals, and that’s the paperback edition. However, don’t let its size intimidate you. This is a very personal, well-organized, thorough accounting of this lengthy battle.

Quoting from the back cover:

"Morning of the Rising Sun: The Heroic Story of the Struggle for Guadalcanal by author and historian Kenneth I. Friedman, Ph.D., provides a thorough and thought-provoking examination of this pivotal struggle fought between the US and the Japanese Empire during the early days of the Second World War. Like other earlier battles such as Verdun in World War I and Stalingrad in World War II, both sides sent every gun, airplane, and man they could spare to Guadalcanal to decide who would win. When the Americans evicted the last Japanese solider from Guadalcanal in February 1943, the Japanese strategy shifted from the offensive to the defensive, and they began to lose territory. The Americans were now on the offensive and would not stop until they sailed into Tokyo Bay to accept Japan’s surrender aboard the USS Missouri. Dr. Friedman is also the author of Afternoon of the Rising Sun: The Battle of Leyte Gulf."

If you’re a history buff or have a special interest in WWII, I’m certain you will find this book worth your money and time. I particularly enjoyed the personal memoirs from that time period, the attack on Pearl Harbor and this lengthy struggle.

Kaye Trout - February 12, 2008

Monday, February 04, 2008

VANISHING ACT by Todd McCormick

Llumina Press
7915 W. McNab Rd., Tamarac, FL
Genre: Fictional Mystery
Rating: Good
ISBN: 9781595269096, $14.95, 264 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

"Billionaire James Preston has skipped bail and vanished into thin air. Seen getting on a non-stop flight from New York to Napa, and not getting off, only days before his first scheduled court appearance, he has completely disappeared. Co-founder of the world’s largest software company, Preston looted the company pension fund and ran, a crime that could bankrupt the company and send shock waves through the world if he is not captured.

"Bounty hunter Nick O’Shea specializes in catching rich-and-famous fugitives. But Preston is his most elusive and cunning prey yet. And with only a handful of people aware of Preston’s disappearance, Nick must work almost alone.

"From a remote resort town in Mexico, to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and across the open Atlantic, Nick chases Preston while trying to stay in one piece. Then Sandy, the woman in Nick’s life, gets ensnared in the case and placed in great jeopardy. Out in the open Atlantic, dodging a huge Category Five hurricane, the two chase the crafty and dangerous billionaire who might yet destroy them. A riveting tale of mystery and suspense."

Well, I don’t know that I’d call it ‘riveting suspense’, but the sea tales are excellent, particularly if you’ve ever been to sea in a storm. It’s very clear that Todd McCormick knows his boats and something of the sea. Vanishing Act is a good classic mystery novel, with some light sexual romance added for fun. The story is well-written and well-edited, with the exception of a few minor errors. If you’re a mystery buff, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the chase.

Kaye Trout - February 4, 2008