Monday, November 3, 2008

When the Soul Mends

"When the Soul Mends" by Cindy Woodsmall

"When The Soul Mends" is the last book in the "Sisters Of The Quilt"
series. I honestly can not tell you which of the three books I have
enjoyed the most. Cindy Woodsmall writes in a way that touches your
heart and holds your attention from the first chapter to the last in
the series. The characters seem so real that you begin to feel the
pain, lost, healing, hope and love through out the three books.

What I have enjoyed the most is the author has come full circle
with the series. You are not left wondering what could of been? Or what
happens to the characters? She rounds it out nicely.

Thank you Cindy for giving us "The Sisters of the Quilt" series.
Your books have been a present to those of us who enjoy reading
Christian fiction. Also reading about the Amish, Mennonite and Old
Order Amish families.

by Sandy Heptinstall

It's All About Him

It's All About Him by Denise Jackson and Ellen Vaughn

Denise Jackson had everything a woman could dream of, or so she thought. She had a beautiful home, jewelry, cars, and money. Her husband was a very succesful country music star Allen Jackson. But along the way she lost her sense of self. Her favorite color became her husbands. What ever he liked she liked. She tried so hard to please her husband; just as she had her father growing up. One day her world fell apart when her husband walked out of their home. He told her he had, had an affair and needed room to think. She went through a lot of internal searching trying to find out who she was. What had gone wrong. Yet as Denise discovered it may of been the best day of her life. It was then she came to realize what was most important in her life that she had lost along the way. That was her relationship with God.

It took months of studing along with a prayer group of wonderful people that she not only found herself but her way back to God. It was not an easy process for her. She still had a lot of anger towards her husband that had to be worked out. But she knew that all things are possible if you have God in your heart and life. It is not easy to put your whole life out there for people to read. Denise did so in hopes that all who read her book can learn as she did. This book is about forgiving, hope and finding your way home again to God. I found it to be inspiring and would recommend it to ever one.

Sandy Heptinstall

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Jamie and the Magic Digger: Journey to Senlinola

Jamie and the Magic Digger: Journey to Senlinola by Merri Halma

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Monkey King: A Superhero Tale of China, Retold from The Journey to the West (Ancient Fantasy)

The Monkey King by Aaron Shepard

This is a story about a monkey who was born from a magic boulder, that was bathed in the energies of Earth and Heaven, quickened by the light of the Sun and Moon. He became known as the Monkey King when he wandered into the midst of other monkey's and found them a safe home in a cave behind a waterfall. The other monkey's made him their King, which is the highest honor they could bestow on him.

It was on the Monkey King's four hundred birthday that he sat complaining that he had reached the heights of greatness. "What is left to hope and strive for he asked?" The Monkey King was told that above them are Gods, who dwell in Heaven and Earth. Then there are Immortals, who have gained great powers and live forever. And finally there are Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, who have conquered illusion and escaped rebirth.

That information was enough for the Monkey King to set off on his own course of action. To become not just a God or Immortal, but to become a Buddhas. He wanted it all. Nothing would stop him until he could attained what he wanted.

Even though the Monkey King studied hard he would always manage to get himself into trouble time and time again. At the end of this book we find the Monkey King pinned between stone walls. His head and arms are out, but the rest of his body was hopelessly trapped.

What kind of trouble did the Monkey King get into to find himself trapped? Was it his faith to be pinned between the stone walls forever? I can only say you must read this book for yourself to find the answers.

The monkey, is the most popular figure in all Chinese literature, loved for centuries by both young and old. Even in todays world Monkey is still cherished in the Chinese culture.

What a wonderful way to expose and broaden the minds of our young people and adults. To be transported to another place and time. To experience stories that have lasted for centuries.

Sandra Heptinstall

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Magic Flyswatter: A Superhero Tale of Africa, Retold from the Mwindo Epic

The Magic Flyswatter by Aaron Shepard

I really enjoyed this book. I really, really liked this book. It is always interesting to read stories that kids from another part of the world grew up hearing about. Every culture has their own brand of folklore that has been passed down through the generations.

This one is so different from any I have ever read. It is about "A Superhero Tale of Africa". The main character is Mwindo. As he lays in his mothers stomach waiting to be born; he decides he does not want to come out as other babies do. So he climbs out of his mothers navel. He jumped down ran around the room. In his hand was a conga flyswatter, with a handle of wood and a swatter of buffalo tail.

He Sings:
I am Mwindo, the one born walking,
the one born talking.
My father She-Mwindo does not want me.
My father the chief wants to kill me. But what can he do against me?

There is so much I would like to say about this book. But I do not want to spoil it for anyone. I can say in the end you will find something that all children around the world want and need. This book will not disappoint you. It is a must read.

Thanks again Mr. Shepard for giving us another great book.

Sandy Heptinstall

Thursday, May 29, 2008



This is the true and horrific story of Donna Bowman and how she survived sexual abuse by her father for years. She also endured many years of physical abuse by her ex-husband and then the loss of a cherished child. Any one of these events would be enough to destroy a person in many ways.

Donna carried a lot of emotional baggage for years. She thought at first it was her fault that her father raped her again and again. Then every time her husband would beat her she felt again it must be her fault. She felt worthless and ugly both inside and out. She was saved when she was married, and at times when she went to church she knew her husband would beat her when she came home. Donna could not understand why this was all happening to her.

It was not until she let go of the past, and allowed God to heal all of her past hurts, that she was able to walk with Him. She knew that God was always by her side and was never going to leave her. Donna had a few terrible marriages, but God led her to a wonderful man whom she married and they are still together after a lot of years.

God never promised any of us that life would be easy. But He does tell us that He will never give us more than we can handle. Donna is a perfect example of that. No matter what life had in store for her she made it through each and every storm. Donna had God with her and He saved her time and time again.

This is not just a book about sexual child abuse or battered wife's book. It is a book full of praise and the Glory of God. It is about how Donna came to know that God must be first in all of our lives no matter what.

I have also enjoyed the latter part of this book with the many stories of the power of God's love for us, as well as His healing and ministry. No matter what we may be going through we are never alone if God is in your life. All we have to do is take His hand, and really take the time to listen to what God is telling us, and then follow where ever He leads you.

This story is one of triumph by the Grace of God.

Sandra Heptinstall
whispering Winds Book Reviews

Monday, May 26, 2008

Second Chance: How Adoption Saved a Boy with Autism & His Shelter Dog

Second Chance by Sandra J. Gerencher

This book is an absolutely beautiful story. If it does not touch a place in your heart after reading it, then you have no heart.

It is so much more than just a story of adoption. It is a story of a new beginning for what I call "throw away animals and people".

The animals that no one wants because they are not pretty or meet a certain criteria. And the children who are not perfect and have special needs. There are hundreds of special children and animals out there waiting for someone to love them and give them a home. They deserve a second chance at life.

In this book Chance, a dog, is doing the talking which my grandson's thought was neat. They found the book to be funny and they loved it. As an adult I agree with them, but I see so much more to this story.

What an excellent read for everyone. I encourage people from all walks of life to buy this book. Not only will your children or grandchildren enjoy this book but so will you.

Brandon, Johnny and Sandra Heptinstall

Monday, May 12, 2008


Skeeter: A Cat Tale
Anne Watson
Shepard Publications
P.O. Box 280
Friday Harbor,
WA, 98250
ISBN# 978-0938497516
Price: $10.00

I am not a cat person unless you count Garfield. He may just be a cartoon figure but to me "Garfield" is the coolest cat ever; or so I thought until I read a little book called "Skeeter A Cat Tale". Skeeter has an attitude with a capital A. The poor misguided owner Lynne thinks she has the upper hand, but when you read this book you will discover that Skeeter is the one running the show.

I loved it when the Lynne tries to put a harness and leash on Skeeter. Since Lynne only had knowledge about dogs, I can understand why she might think what works for one, works for the other.

The book is mostly about Skeeter, but also includes some of the adventures of Lynne. For example, one day Lynne is walking the shores of San Pedro, CA when she found an elongated flexible cone or seedpod. Since her sister was taking a basketry course, Lynne decided her sister might like to use some of the seapods. So Lynne looking up, saw that more of these littered the slope dropping from a tree at the edge of a cliff. Now climbing the cliff was easy, even gathering cones as she went; but when Lynne reached the top and turned around, she realized something. She was trapped. There was a chain link fence running along the top as far as she could see. So, she abandoned her pride and skated down on her rear, blistering it in the fast descent, and rubbing a noticeably-positioned hole in her clothing. It was one of those moments that ever one has encountered in their lives. It was a "Dear God, it's Lynne here and please don't let anyone see me making a fool of myself". Thank goodness no one saw her as she stalked away with what little dignity she had left and the shreds of her jeans.

This is a fast read and reached me on a day when I really needed a good laugh. If you have had a bad day you need to buy this book and keep it on hand. Believe me, laughter is the best medicine.

Whispering Winds Book Reviews

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Songs of Power: A Finnish Tale of Magic, Retold from the Kalevala

The Songs of Power by Aaron Shepard

The collection of "The Ancient Fantasy" series will take both adults and children into a world of folklore of long ago. In another time and country. My grandson's and myself have been reading this series and we have all enjoyed what we have read so far. We just finished reading "The Songs of Power". The front and back cover are enchanting. Brandon and Johnny love them. In their words again: "they are awesome." I am always delighted when we finish a book and they look again at the covers and they recognize some of the characters.

As a mom it was important to teach my children to enjoy reading. As a grandma I truly love to teach my grandchildren to enjoy literature. I highly recommend the whole series to parents, grandparents, any child or adult.

We had just finished reading, "The Song of Power" when Brandon said; "Grandma my teacher says poems are just songs." So we read this book in different ways many times. We each read it to our own beats. We even tried to sing it. We each chose a song we knew and changed out the words to fit the book. I am so glad there was no one around to hear us. It is something only a grandparent could love.

I am so proud when I see the light of understanding in their eyes shine. Or when they have read a part without mistakes. What a blessing for me.

Mr Shepard you are helping children to develop their own imaginations. These books have taken my grandson's away from their video and dvd games they keep here, and that is quite an accomplishment. Especially in the world we live in now.

When I first told them I had some books coming that I thought they would enjoy, it was a mistake on my part. Every day until the books arrived I was asked if I had checked my po box that day. When the books finally arrived I waited and let them open the box. We looked at the books and then at each other and knew these books would be different than any we had read before.

Thank you once again, and as my grandson's say; "this is another five star book." They think your books get better and better as they read each one. I say their minds have opened up more and more.

Sandra Heptinstall
Brandon Heptinstall
Johnnie Heptinstall

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


When The Heart Cries by Cindy Woodsmall
This is a book of love and tragedy. Hannah is raised in the Old Order Amish community of Lancaster County. She is a lovely young woman but she has a secret. She has been in love with Paul Waddle for three years who is a conservative Minnonite.

Paul would return each summer during his university break to help his grandmother and work her fields. He also returned to see Hannah. Paul was just as much in love with Hannah as she was with him.

The last summer they shared Paul and Hannah talked about their love for one another. Paul has a plan to gain permission from Hannah's dad for her to marry him. He would work for her father until he could see how much he loved Hannah and that he would be good for her. Everything seemed magical for Hannah as she said good bye to Paul that faithful summer. As Hannah was walking back home a car stopped along the road, but Hannah did not think anything of it until a man came towards her who attacked and raped her.

Walking home in shock and pain her mother saw Hannah with her torn and bloody clothes and started running to Hannah, screaming for Hannah's dad. The rest of this story takes many different twists. It is not long before Hannah learns she is pregnant. Her sister who had always been jealous of Hannah began to tell lies about her. Hannah's family had no choice but to turned against her because of events that had taken place.

She had to leave the only home she had ever had in order for her family to be able to keep their name in good standing in their community. She had to find a place to go; in a world she has no knowledge about.

This book will bring tears to you eyes and touch your heart. You will not be able to put it down. I highly recommed this book. I can't wait to buy the second of the series "Sisters Of The Quilt".

Excellent subject matter and writing.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Mountain of Marvels

The Mountain of Marvels: A Celtic Tale of Magic

The cover of this book is awesome. I had some trouble pronoucing the names of the people in this book even though the book showed us how to do it. I have to tell you this book is super cool. I liked it when Rhiannon was riding her horse and King Pwyll saw her and rode to meet her. Her horse just walked along slowly. No matter how fast Pwyll pushed his horse to ride faster he could not catch her. She was riding slow but kept getting further ahead of him.

I love the whole medieval period and the spells that were cast in this story. I am going to give this book a five star rating. I like reading story's from other countries. We do not have story's like this here in the U.S.A.

I just turned eleven today. I think this book would be good for kids eleven and up. I am on honor roll all the time so this story was not really hard for me to read and understand.

It might be harder for younger kids to understand. Thank you for writing this book and showing kids a different kind of story and time frame from another country.

Brandon Heptinstall 11
My grandma (Sandra Heptinstall) for helping me to type this. Don't ask my grandma her age. She will only tell you that she is older than dirt.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Call Me Sonya Grey by Sonya Tupone Lloyd

I found it hard to review this book. To say Sonya did not have a normal adolescence is an understatement. While it can be a hard time for anyone; because of things she could of never imagined it was especially hard for her.
At times I could see a glimpse of an old soul in a young girls body. She went through major depression, and I felt at times that she wished the earth would open up and swallow her. It was hard for her to come to terms with all she had been through.

Yet-- she does find help and hope.

I enjoyed "Dawn Praise" on page 61.

A golden hue rose from the blue mountain The first light that brightened the gray black sky A single ray shone over the fountain Changing the water into diff"rent dye The red and gold water reached for a cloud Forming an arch across the early dawn Painting the blue mountain a colored shroud As the doe wandered the field with her fawn The forest awakens from the long summer As the risen sun burns the haze away In the distance you hear the boy drummer Making haste to begin the bright new day

Look to the heavens and rejoice to see God's great gift of nature to you and me

This is a book described as poems---but I think Sonya should continue on and write a complete book of her life. Complete the catharsis once and for all.

Sandy Heptinstall

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Breathtaking Bowhunts by Mike Lamade

Mike Lamade has hunted the continents from North America to Africa. One thing I was impressed by is he tells everyone from beginners to long time hunters to be responsible hunters. He says more than once; "Do Not Shoot." Unless the animal is presenting the proper shot angle for placement in the vital chest area behind the shoulder---do not shoot.
Sometimes people can be so caught up in the hunt that they shoot not taking the time to wait for the proper shot. Then the animal will wonder off and if not found can die a slow death.. Mike has hunted just about every type of game that is allowed. He even went along with a friend who was hunting gators with a bow. While Mike did not hunt he was still taken on a wild ride.
This book teaches you not only about the responsibilty of bowhunting but the history as well. Angus Brown is a professional bow hunter and outfitter in Africa. He was instrumental in getting bow hunting legalized in this country.
I come from a family of hunters. They only hunt for the meat. My husband Larry hunts with either a bow or rifle. When I showed him the photos of Mikes trophy room his eyes opened wide and he said; "I want to read this book when you are finished." This is a great book for all outdoor enthusiast.

Sandy Heptinstall
Whispering Winds Book Reviews

Sunday, March 9, 2008

But Then Again I Could Be Wrong: The Book of Rants

But Then Again I Could Be Wrong: The Book of Rants by Jim Rising
Funny and to the point.
"Head on -- apply directly to your forehead"--this is one of the of most annoying commercials of all time, but the again, I might be wrong. Or then again I could be wrong. Why the author ended almost every little rant or fraustration with those words is just as annoying as the commercial. As I read this book I started to skip the last sentence.
The cover of this book leads a persons curiosity to open the book and start reading. This book had me laughing out loud in parts. Then when the author wrote about the obituary of the baby girl and the priest it truely touches your heart. Also in parts it is almost poetic when he describes the sounds of the wind blowing. Or how he loves to watch storms. The love he feels for NE Pennsylvania and the way he describes it; I know it is one place I would love to visit.
I am sure his long suffering wife (of whom he never mentions her name) will agree with me when I say "Jim, get off of your lawn mower before you kill yourself!" Swallow your pride and let your wife call her brother. This poor man is definately not Mr. Fix It. Oh, sorry the politically correct word would be he is "Honey-Doo" challenged.
In honesty he does put into words what so many of us have felt at one time or another. Well except the shower thing. I do have an answer for Jim when he speaks about deers crossing the road. My oldest son Troy swears that car dealers spray cars and trucks with deer scent. That is why so many deer committe suicide on our roads each year. So everyone be warned, wash all those cars and trucks at least three times before you venture into deer country.
I found this book to be an amusing read. Not bad for a first time author. I hope you can raise the monies needed for your library. I hope to visit there someday.

Sandra Heptinstall
Whispering Winds Book Reviews

Friday, March 7, 2008


A Kinder Bright
Jerry Fagnani
Tribute Books
P.O. Box 95
Archbald, PA 18403
ISBN# 978-0976507253
Price: $12.95

It is but a small book only 47 pages long. What effect could 47 pages have on someone? What could be taught or learned you may ask?

I have discovered the love of poetry in just 47 pages. In the first section of "A Kinder Bright," I felt sorrow and regret; that time is passing as we grow older and we have not finished all the things we wanted to do in our lifetime.

The second part of this book, I felt the gentle joy of freedom from the eyes of a child. I followed the author and walked along the trails and lake with him. I have discovered the beauty of Lackawanna, Pennsylvania.

In the final phase called "The Elaine Collection," I discovered the power of words. I have cried for Jerry as he mourns the loss of his precious Elaine. I believe in another time they will meet and become one again and that Elaine will be waiting with open arms.

Just 47 pages of a little book that has filled my heart and mind. I do not have to think and wonder what the author was trying to say. To all who may read this you will be transported to a new level in your life. To me on a scale of 1 to 5 this little book would be 5 plus.

I have never cared for poetry until I read "A Kinder Bright." As the author has said: "We often choose to remember our brightest memories. But certain brightness can be harsh. For me I prefer a kinder bright."

There are not enough words to describe what I have felt reading this book. So, I will just say thank you Jerry Fagnani.

Whispering Winds Book Reviews

Friday, February 29, 2008


Pacific Avenue by Anne Watson

I found this book to be captivating. Pacific Avenue is so raw in its emotions, it was as if the author was writing her own story. I had to keep reminding myself this was a piece of fiction. It is not a predictable story in any way. Each new page captures you and leads you to the next.
This book has some scarred figures and will take you on an emotional ride. Richard, the young African American college student, just back from Viet Nam. He is estranged from his family, and his nights are filled with the horrors he experienced during the war while he sleeps. Even during the day he is haunted.
Kathy is a young white college student whom her mother never liked. Kathy could never measure up to her mother's standards. She was taught that it did not matter what the color of a person's skin was. She begins a relationship with Richard and invites him to dinner at her parents' house. Her mother did not seem pleased, but her father accepted him. To her mother racism becomes prevalent.
They continue to date and eventually become lovers. Kathy invites Richard to share in her family's Thanksgiving dinner. Everything is going fine until Richard hears a loud crash from the window shutters. He automatically dives under the dinner table, the food that was there falls to the floor as well as plates. Her mother is appalled by his behavior. While Richard is cleaning the food off of his clothes, it is her sister's fiance Sam that comes to Richards defense, and tries to make family members understand Richard's behavior.
This book shows us the dynamics of a generation that is just beginning to step out of the mold that has plagued both blacks and whites in this nation. It is a story of the love that two people share. One black and one white.
Kathy and Richard quit school, and leave Baton Rouge for New Orleans. They are hoping that there they will be accepted as a couple. For a short period life was great. They had the freedom they had sought. They made new friends and found jobs. Life was hard, but they were making it together. Yet it was also the beginning of Richard's descent. It becomes hard for him to tell reality from his days in Viet Nam. Eventually, they part, but not for the reasons anyone who is reading this may think. It is where they find true tragedy.
Kathy jumps on the first bus leaving. She is running away from her past, and the events that have destroyed her world. She arrives in San Pedro, California not knowing what she will do. She is a young woman who is mourning her loss. Her pain will not go away, and she does not know how to pick up the pieces and begin a new life. How she does it is her story, the story of Pacific Avenue.
The author has sought to entertain you and to keep your attention focused on the book. She has done so until the very last page.
Five stars Anne; as this book is an excellent read for all.
Sandra Heptinstall
Whispering Winds Book Reviews

Friday, February 15, 2008


This is more than just a collection of pretty pictures. It shows the pride and diversity of the city. Ms. Amori really gives us a history lesson of the past and future of Scranton.

There is an old saying and it is; " One picture is worth a thousand words." That is so true in this book. When I look at "Lest We Forget" memorial, I remember the thousands of people who died because of one man's madness who was called Hitler. The monuments of our military reminds me of all the sacrifices people have given for our country.

I want to jump into the book and see the St. Patrick's Day Parade, and be a part of all the fun people seem to be having. I want to sit in the tree house, take a ride on the train or trolley. Then go and have fun at the water slides.

Every picture in this book has a story to tell. Whether it be the monument of a coal miner or the beautiful mountains and lakes. The love of baseball with Roger Clemens, or the stately buildings of the Universitys and homes.

Thank you Ms. Amori for taking us all to visit---Scranton The Electric City.

Camille Claudel

Camille Claudel, A Novel By Alma H. Bond

For the sake of space I have deleted my review on this site. The book is excellent and you can find my review, as well as others on Amazon,Barnes & Noble, or Powell's.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Carrie's Farm

Carrie's Farm by Bette Jennings
I really have enjoyed this book. One of the things I liked about this book is it flows from one page to the next and holds your attention.The book completes itself in that you are not left wondering what happened to all the characters. The characters in this book are engrossing, fun and loveable. If anyone out there has had a special grandparent like Bepo in this story, then your heart will be filled with all the lovely memories once again.

If you love a good romance then you will enjoy the twist and turns of this romantic novel. Ms. Jennings leads you through sadness and joy in this book. You just can't help falling in love with most of the characters in this book. From the some what crazy neighbor to Carrie's Grandfather.

For readers who just want to take a day and relax then this is the book for you to buy. You will be transported to Carrie's Farm but be careful as you may find you don't want this book to end. I hope Bette Jennings will continue to write and take us back to Carrie's Farm. For a first time author I say five stars Ms. Jennings. Please do not stop writing for you have a God given talent.
Thank you for this story and all the wonderful people you have created.

Sandy Heptinstall

Wrong Side of the River

Wrong Side of the River, by Cliff Johnson
As you read this book you will begin to feel the pain and sorrow the author went through growing up in a dysfunctional family. You are drawn into his story from the first chapter and will not be able to stop reading until the end. The courage of a young boy to say "no more" is inspiring to all who have read this book. If you grew up and had a normal childhood, then read this and feel the pain that so many other children have felt who were not as lucky as you. If you grew up in a dysfunctional family this book will inspire you to obtain a better life. You will learn to never give up. It will show you that things can be better for you no matter what has happened in your past. The author is reaching out his hand to all and saying miracles do happen. It is your choice which path to take. You can stay the victim or grow and strive for better things. Mr. Johnson will show you it is possible. He chose victory over defeat and so can you. This is a great read for anyone who enjoys a good book.
Sandy Heptinstall