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, November 25, 2008


Genre: Financial How To
Rating: Good
ISBN: 9781419656712, $13.99, 150 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

"The men and women of the U.S. military are positioned to meet a variety of challenges in the world. Oftentimes the soldier serves without much thought to the long-term possibilities. The grass always seems greener when trucking through 100-plus degree weather or subfreezing cold. This book is written for those who question the sacrifices we make and come to the conclusion that the military is not a road to wealth and relaxation when looking to plan for retirement. You could not be more wrong.

"There is an ever-increasing awareness of the struggles service members face in these challenging times, and many benefit packages offered to soldiers are being enhanced. The opportunity for growth in the military is greater than ever, offering motivated individuals the potential to achieve that comfortable retirement that eludes so many at the end of their career.

"$1.1 Million in 10 Years provides that insight and illuminates the path for growth, reassuring service members that their sacrifices are already being rewarded–and proving that $1.1 million in 10 years is an attainable goal for their military career."

This is not your typical ‘how-to-make-a-million’ self-help book. It has a particular focus and was written while the global economy began to spin out of control. Hopefully, when the dust settles, the strategies propounded herein will still have value. Some issues addressed will never lose their value: budgets, self-discipline, and personal responsibility for your finances.

It is clearly evident that Erik Bernard is a disciplined, educated writer, and this book is well written and well edited. Author Bernard has walked the walk and wants to share his experience and encouragement with other families in the military. Good luck!

Kaye Trout - November 25, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008


BeWrite Books
Genre: Fiction/Mystery
Rating: Good
ISBN: 1905202105, 1905202369, 1905202539,
Cost: $12.50, $12.50, $13.99. Pages: 184, 196 & 174

All three short, fictional mystery novels are included in this review. Capable of Murder introduces us to our protagonist, Belinda Lawrence. Australian-born Belinda inherits her murdered, great-aunt’s ancient cottage on the outskirts of Bath, England. Would someone commit murder over a garden?

The Embroidered Corpse–quoting from the back cover: "Two startling murders that replicate the death of a mediaeval English king and the discovery of a mysterious ancient tapestry lead Belinda Lawrence and her associate Hazel Whitby into a vortex of suspense involving a bizarre religious cult, an enigmatic academic, a group of monks devoted to aggression and clues to a thrilling conspiracy nearly a thousand years old.

Bloody Ham is the most contemporary of the three, and I quote: " Excitement and tension begin on the first day of filming a Restoration drama on location at the historic Jacobean mansion, Ham House in Surrey when one of the leading players collapses and dies. With the death ruled non-accidental the director, the producer and two members of the cast are all suspects."

I have included all three novels in this review because they are similar in many aspects. The stories are all a little bizarre, definitely English, and the murders quite gruesome. The author’s writing style is consistently entertaining, and Brian Kavanagh is a consummate writer. If you enjoy English-style mysteries, you may want to give him a read.

Kaye Trout - November 13, 2008

ROCKET MAN by William Elliott Hazelgrove

Pantonne Press, Inc.
Chicago, IL
Genre: Fiction/Contemporary Satire
ISBN: 9780615213071, $19.95, 374 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

"Dale Hammer is trying to find his part of the American Dream. But he just can’t keep up. In a story of hilarious consequences, we find Dale in one week accused of cutting down the sign to his subdivision, plagued with a father who has come to live over his garage, and on the hook for being the Rocket Man of his son’s Scout troop. While the price of the American Dream has become nothing short of being rich and famous, Dale heads for the catastrophe of Rocket Day with one mission–to give his son a sense of independence, and in the process, find himself."

Let me say right off...William Hazelgrove is a consummate, educated writer; however, I did not care for the narrating protagonist, Dale Hammer, whose nine-year-old son rightly classified him as a "doofus"–my thoughts precisely. To qualify for the "doofus" title, Dale demonstrated throughout his self-centeredness, selfishness, ignorance, and attitudes of disdain for order and other people. That the Rocket Day event should redeem him in the eyes of his son and wife Wendy–an intelligent attorney–is unbelievable.

Wendy says, "You are bad at logistics, work, organization, and you whine and are like a child, and you can be the biggest jerk I have ever known. But I never married you for those things."...

"Why did you marry me?"..."

"So I would never be bored."...

Well, I guess wife Wendy wasn’t so intelligent after all if fear of boredom was her reason for marrying this doofus, and if the heart of this novel was all about ‘independence’, I think it missed the mark.

Kaye Trout - November 14, 2008

Sunday, November 09, 2008


Outskirts Press, Inc.
Parker, CO
ISBN: 1598009087, $11.95, 28 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

"Fluff the Bunny goes on an adventure in search of chocolate chip cookies and milk for a snack. He asks various animals such as Millie the Mouse and Otis the Owl to help him in his pursuit of chocolate chip cookies and milk. He meets a little boy named Christopher during his adventure who becomes his good friend, and who also helps him in his search of chocolate chip cookies and milk."

The Adventures of Fluff the Bunny is a very simple and easy story. The colorful illustrations and fun names will appeal to first-time readers. The water color illustrations and bright colors certainly make this book special, and as no other illustrator was given credit, I assume Bernadine Motto is the artist. Nice job!

It may be a little pricey for its size...but then again, what isn’t pricey these days?

Kaye Trout - November 9, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Inkwater Press, Portland, Oregon
Genre: Fiction/Historical
Rating: Very Good
ISBN: 101592993451, $16.95, 228 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

"For 18-year old Ben O’Neill, being cool is hard to do. Especially during the summer of 1970.

"His mother has volunteered the family to help build, as a reporter has dubbed it, ‘the last bomb shelter of the cold war.’ Gripped with a prepare-for-the-worst mentality, Joan O’Neill is a natural for this project. And during the summer of 1970, her internal alarms of impending danger are ringing. Her oldest son is fighting in Vietnam, her oldest daughter is off waging the sexual revolution, and a third is living with her communist boyfriend. Feeling helpless toward the three oldest, Joan O’Neill undertakes the bomb shelter project, hoping that involving her remaining children in a project of protection will somehow shield them from all the dangers that seem so imminent.

"But in a small town far away from any militarily strategic target, the bomb shelter becomes an object of derision, and Ben’s hopes for a summer of romance quickly fade. This is, until Brad Richardson, the blind owner of the local movie theater, joins the bomb shelter crew. It is through Brad that Ben meets Suzanne–a girl whose beauty is matched only by her refusal to be embarrassed about working on the bomb shelter. The romance between Ben and Suzanne progresses amidst the increasingly stormy events of a town suddenly caught up in a cascade of unintended consequences.

"When their bus breaks down, a group of college students on their way to a political demonstration decide to stay and protest the bomb shelter. This siege of outside agitators turns the town into a cultural and political battleground, with the bomb shelter at ground zero. And despite all Joan O’Neill’s good intentions, disaster ensues."

Patrick Garry’s novel has captured a bit of time, the 1970s–the cold war, Vietnam, protests, sexual revolution, small town mores, young innocense, and adult promiscuity. A Bomb Shelter Romance is a simple, delightful story about a family and the unique characters who come together to finish this controversial project. The novel is well written, well edited, and Garry is an educated, consummate writer.

Delightful...truly delightful!!...and highly recommended. Kaye Trout 11/4/2008