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.

Saturday, May 31, 2008


Booksurge Publishing
Genre: Juvenile/Educational
ISBN: 9780978944513, $11.99, 32 pp.

Quoting from the foreword:

"Sooner or later every child realizes the importance of money and asks, ‘Can I have some money?’ Max Gets it! is the narrative of wonderfully curious 10-year old Maximillion, who desperately wants the latest video game. His parent let him earn an allowance by doing extra chores, with the understanding that he can buy the game with it. They empower him with the financial freedom and responsibility of making his own choices. Financially, Max gets it!..."

This little story with its delightful illustrations by Bill Graf is designed to entertain while educating a very young child in how to develop good money habits. It is well designed, edited and colorful. It may, however, be too simplistic for a 10-year old capable of playing video games and overpriced for its size and message.

Kaye Trout - June 1, 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008

BROKEN BULBS by Eddie Wright

‘86 Newman
New Jersey, USA
Genre: Fictional Novella
Rating: Unique
ISBN: None, $9.00, 144 pp.

Quoting from the book:

"Frank Fisher is nothing. He wants to be something. When a mysterious young woman named Bonnie offers assistance by injecting seeds of inspiration directly into his brain, Frank finds himself involved in a twisting mystery full of addiction, desperation and self-discovery. Broken Bulbs, a novella by Eddie Wright, tells the story of the lengths one young man will go in the pursuit of ‘somethingness.’"

This is not a cheerful or inspirational story and reads like it was written my a drug addict from an addict’s perspective...sad but interesting...possibly inspiring to other addicts. For its brevity, it is strangely complex and fascinating. The real inspiration here is the gifted writer, Eddie Wright, and his unique style of writing.

Here’s a random sample passage; you decide.

"But the throbbing was deafening, the pain was sharp and the blood flowed. So I stuffed my mouth with toilet paper, gauze, old t-shirts, anything that could sop the mess. But nothing could stop the throb. It was like the beat of a dance song that you can’t stand at the wedding reception of two people that you hate, and it was the soundtrack to my life.

"It was so loud that I barely heard the pounding on the front door.

"When I opened, the mailman glared at me with eyes so angry that they made my feet sweat. He held a giant pile of mail like an oversized stuffed animal that he won at the boardwalk.

"I had just stuffed my mouth with fresh toilet paper and it was already saturated with blood. The look on his face told me that he found this disconcerting."

And in conclusion: "you. are. not. nothing." - bonnie

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of Broken Bulbs, in paperback or as a download, go to www.stores.lulu.com/eddiewright.

Kaye Trout - May 22, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A FLOWER GROWS IN STONE: The Diary of a Life in Progress by Anisah Hassan

Llumina Press
Genre: Memoir/Personal Development
Rating: Good
ISBN: 9781595269546, $14.95, 188 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

"A Flower Grows in Stone is Anisah Hassan’s personal testament to the suffering and plight of people living with Stiff-Person/Moersch Woltman Syndrome. The ravages of the condition must be brought into the public view, given the misconceptions and lack of knowledge surround the disorder.

"The author offers her first-hand account in the form of a narrative, with personal impressions, anecdotes, experiences, and reflections. In trying to demystify SPS, the author endeavors to provide inspiration and hope. The human experience is a universal, not a singular phenomenon, from which no individual is immune. Therefore, Anisah also reaches out to victims of Multiple Sclerosis, cancer, accidents, and anyone enduring isolation occasioned by illness. This introspective journey is a tool to give a voice to those suffering from SPS and other neurologic conditions."

Anisah’s life-in-progress story, indeed, reads like a diary. Occasionally her writing drifts from her purported purpose of informing readers about her rare neurological condition toward just being a personal memoir with family photos. Her writing style is sweet, flowery, educated, and somewhat affected. She most certainly has an upbeat spirit and desire to inspire. Did she accomplish what she set out to do?...yes, to some degree; however, I felt she lost her focus somewhere along the way.

Kaye Trout - May 21, 2008

Friday, May 16, 2008


The Complete SEO Copywriting Guide for Search Engine Rankings and Sales Conversion
Encore Publishing
Fallbrook, CA
Genre: Business/How To
Rating: Good
ISBN: 9780979762901, $19.95, 270 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

"Grow your online presence, acquire new customers and sell more products and services–for a fraction of what you currently spend on advertising and web development fees! Leverage the combined power of search engine optimized (SEO) site, landing page, blog, article, email, newsletter, PPC ad and press release copywriting to give your business an edge vs. competitors. Gain valuable insight into the future of online content and information on how to write copy for videos, pod casts and social media sites so you can position your business to take full advantage!"

If you’re a copywriter, or aspiring writer of any kind, and have an interest in the online website market, this may be just the book for you. Beyond all the promotional, financial-reward hype, Content Rich may provide you with some useful tips and guidance. Jon Wuebben is an enthusiastic writer and covers his subject in great detail, plus providing lots of encouragement that his book will show you how to: "Generate $50-$100K or more in additional revenue this year by assembling a comprehensive plan to grow your online content and by writing better converting copy!"

Please...forgive my cynical outlook but with such a book as this, it is my belief that it is the author, Jon Wuebben, who will be reaping the "additional revenue"... when you purchase his book. Life is about choice, this ones yours, and so it goes.

Kaye Trout - May 16, 2008


Llumina Press
Genre: Career Memoir/Travel Log
Rating: Good
ISBN: 9781595269188, $22.95, 560 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

"Andre Schwarz is a hotel manager of an international five-star hotel. He began his career in a small luxury hotel in Germany, a career that would eventually lead him from Europe to Asia and to the Middle East. In this book, he recounts some of the most memorable experiences of his career. We follow Andre from his humble beginnings as a waiter in a small luxury hotel to his first managerial position in a five-star hotel in London. He describes in explicit detail many exciting experiences that in a five-star hotel are nothing more than everyday occurrences.

"Some of his anecdotes are funny and others are shocking, but they all have one thing in common: they are true. While the stories, experiences, and anecdotes are true, the names of hotels, people, and places have been changed to protect the innocent."

As you can see by the number of pages, this is quite a lengthy memoir, and through it all, Rene Egle manages to hold your interest while relating his very unique career and travel adventures. Considering Rene knew very little English when he started work at the London hotel, he has come along way in his mastery of the English language.

If you enjoy career memoirs and travel logs, you will most likely enjoy Rene Egle’s Hotel - Untold Stories.

Kaye Trout - May 16, 2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

U-1706 by Rene D. Egle

Llumina Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Historical Fiction
Rating: Very Good
ISBN: 9781595266989, $23.95, 465 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

"November 1944: Germany is losing World War II. In a last, desperate attempt to turn the tide, German High Command sends a U-boat loaded with the latest in weapons technology and uranium to meet with the Japanese in the Philippine Sea. U-1706 also carries highly sensitive documents.

"November 2004: High in the mountains of the Black Forest at the Freiberg Institute, two young scientists make a revolutionary breakthrough during a routine experiment. Instead of a test cube, they transport an entire submarine from the past to the future.

"Stranded in the 21st century, U-1706 with all its crew is soon sighted in Southeast Asia, drawing the attention of American Intelligence. The two German scientists must race U.S. operatives to find the boat and make contact, to prevent the worst."

If you like Sci-Fi and suspenseful submarine stories, you will most certainly enjoy this novel. Rene Egle is a consummate writer who uses his smooth flowing, delightful style to weave this multi-faceted adventure to a satisfactory conclusion. U-1706 is well written and well edited and considering the depth, complexity and intrigue, it is definitely worth the price.

Kaye Trout - May 14, 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008


Llumina Press
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Rating: Average
ISBN: 9781595269683, $8.95, 64 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

"Stinky Gallagher, the school bully, destroyed Buzz’s tree fort last year. With summer break upon him, Buzz is determined to outsmart Stinky. Buzz comes up with the perfect plan–an invisible fort. Can Buzz convince his best friends, Stuart and JJ, that it can and will work, or do they think Buzz is just plain crazy?"

This is a short story about a young boy, his family, friends, school and the local bullies. Buzz uses his imagination to fool the bullies, and therein lies the message...I think. Included in this book are five illustrations by Leasa Nanney and Steven Simpson.

I do not receive many juvenile fiction books to review and am not an expert in this field. I cannot say that I was impressed by the writing style or illustrations, but the story is well written and well edited. However, I do not think this little book is worth spending $8.95.

Kaye Trout - May 12, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

MRS. LIEUTENANT - A Sharon Gold Novel by Phyllis Zembler Miller

BookSurge Publishing
Genre: Historical fiction
Rating: Very Good
ISBN: 9781419686290, $17.99, 494 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

"In the spring of 1970 - right after the Kent State National Guard shootings and President Nixon’s two-month incursion into Cambodia - four newly married young women come together at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, when their husbands go on active duty as officers in the U.S. Army.

"Different as these four women are, they have one thing in common: Their overwhelming fear that, right after these nine weeks of training, their husbands could be shipped out to Vietnam - and they could become war widows.

"Sharon is a Northern Jewish anti-war protester who fell in love with an ROTC cadet; Kim is a Southern Baptist whose husband is intensely jealous; Donna is a Puerto Rican who grew up in an enlisted man’s family; and Wendy is a Southern black who parents have sheltered her from the brutal reality of racism in America."

My impression, as I read, was that these four women had more than the fear of becoming war widows in common...they were just plain fearful. After marrying their husbands, they each had made a decision to leave the safety and security of their home to become an officer’s wife. They were moving into unknown territory.

Mrs. Lieutenant is written in the third person plus dialogue; each chapter opens with an historical fact ("President Nixon announces he is sending U.S. troops into Cambodia...April 30, 1970) and a guideline for Mrs. Lieutenant ("If the wife is well informed as to what is expected of her, the probability is greater that the officer will have an easier and more successful career.") One aspect of Miller’s writing style has a "Dick and Jane" feel about it, i.e. Kim places, Jim leaned, Roberts swats, Kim pulls, Sharon sighs. Otherwise, it reads smoothly, once you’re familiar with who’s who. It is well written and well edited, and I believe will appeal primarily to women interested in other women’s historical experiences and to readers in general interested in the Vietnam period.

Kaye Trout - May 10, 2008

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Wings ePress Books
Richmond, KY 40475
Genre: Fiction Fantasy
Rating: Very Good
ISBN: 1597057487, $17.95, 280 pp.

How best to describe Mythradies Boutique?...a contemporary conceptualization of Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince seasoned by Sinbad the Sailor...
adventure, romance, and truth all woven together with bright threads of humor.

Our protagonist, Griffin Grimesly, in search of himself, shares his "offbeat and colorful observations of his quirky world and the odd characters he meets." And like the Little Prince, there is truth and lessons to be learned.

James Scott DeLane is a unique, talented writer with an exceptional imagination and colorful writing style. He’ll keep you guessing, entertained, and delighted until the very end. My one constructive criticism is: have this novel professionally edited as there are more than a few errors.

James Scott DeLane’s writing, despite the errors, is a breath of fresh air, a sparkle...ambrosia for the tired mind.

Kaye Trout - May 6, 2008