Monday, December 28, 2009

SHOAH Journey from the ashes

This book should be read by all. The events of the Holocaust must never be forgotten. The words in this book will pierce your heart and soul. It is the true story of Cantor Leo Fettman.

The first half of this book the author shares with us about his family and their devotion to the Jewish faith. How tradition was taught to not only Leo but his brothers and sister. They led a happy life in Nyiradony, Hungary, until the invasions of the Nazis in 1944. Jewish people were rounded up and taken away to be placed in death camps. Both his family and all the Jewish people in his community of Nyiradony, Hungary.

He had no way of knowing what they would have to endure during the Holocaust. The atrocities that thousands of Jews faced at the death camps. People walking around but no life in their eyes. The attempted genocide of the Jewish race. With each word my heart was crying out why did this happen? I don't understand why the world was not up in arms and helping the Jewish people. I don't think I will ever fine a clear and concise answer.

The second, and last part of this book, the author shares with us his journey to Canada and then America. Cantor Fettman taught at Jewish schools trying to rekindle the laws and original teachings of the Jewish faith. Cantor Fettman also talks about how some claim the Holocaust never happened. His main mission is to never let the world forget what happened during the Holocaust. I finish this review with tears running down my face. No matter what your religion or race, we must keep the memories of the Holocaust alive; so that it does not happen again. This book is both heart wrenching and an excellent read.

Rated G

The Student From Zombie Island

This book is absolutely adorable. The illustrations are wonderful and really make the story come to life for readers. The story is so funny my grandson could not stop laughing.

The story teaches kids what can happen when rumors start. It's hard enough being a new kid at school, but even harder when kids have preconceived ideas of who you are. I would recommend this book to not only kids and adults but it would be great in the classroom for story time.

It is hard to believe the author is so young himself. Michael, you have really hit the head on the nail in this book. Excellent job and I am sure you will one day be a bestselling author.

Sandra Heptinstall Whispering Winds Book Reviews

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral: Luke and Jenny Visit Tombstone

"Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" By Gayle Martin, would make a great gift, or add it to your own collection of books. Ms.Martin goes into great detail to ensure that she has all the facts right in this book. It's appeal is to all ages.

The book begins with Luke and Jenny, a brother and sister who are on vacation with their mom and headed to their grandparents' house in Dallas,Texas. Along the way, their mom decides to stop and have lunch in Tombstone, Arizona.

While they are there, Luke and Jenny meet a ghost named The Swamper. He takes them on a trip back in time to the days leading up to the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral. They see Wyatt Earp and his brothers, Doc Holiday, and the Clantons. The Swamper teaches them many different lessons as they travel through time. They even get to witness the actual gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

This book is interesting and unique and would make a great addition to school library's across out country. It is a book to be shared by all. Kids that read this book won't even recognize that they are being taught morals and life lessons through Luke and Jenny's travels. It makes learning fun. I have really enjoyed this book, and even though it is a work of fiction, it is backed by historical facts. You can buy this book at "Five Star Publishing" or on Amazon.

Whispering Winds Book Review

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Shack, by William P. Young

Windblown Media
4680 Calle Norte,
Newbury Park,
CA 91320
Price $8.99 on Amazon
264 pages

I loved this book for what it attempts to do, which I feel is to bring people closer to God. To teach us how to handle certain things that may be wrong in our lives, or things that have been bad in our past.

What people fail to realize is that this is a work of fiction. It is not factual in comparison to the Bible. We don't have just one universal God for all religions. The Bible teaches us that we are to go to church and worship together, to help each other. That no man will see the face of God. Man is made in God's image and not that God is made in man's image. You will find these things are changed in this book.

The book teaches us about forgiveness; but the Bible does not say we have to forgive in order that God can reach out and save people who have done terrible things to others. The author tells us that we must forgive those who have kidnapped, raped and killed an innocent child, like the one that is mentioned in this book. That by forgiving that person for what he has have done is the only way that God can enter his life and then he can be saved. We are to love the sinner but hate the sin.

This book is accurate in that we have no idea of the pain God feels when we turn from Him; when we fail to accept Him, into our lives. The Shack, does not explain a lot of what is in the Bible. Instead the books reads like we are free spirits to do as we see fit.

I loved this book because it is a start for people who are just begining to be curious about God. It is also a book to help other Christians, who have found their spiritual life not what it used to be.

I loved this book because of the love in it. The way it has made me feel. My eyes have been opened on some issues that I had never thought of before. You must be wondering how I can love something and find fault at the same time? All that I can say is, God loves me and I am full of faults. It is not my intent to hurt anyone or take away the joy they may find in this book. I have felt the joy but I also know the truths that are left out.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dave Pratt, Behind the Mic: 30 Years in Radio

This is the true life story of Dave Pratt, a top notched radio personality in Arizona. Dave shares with each reader how much hard work it took him to reach his dreams.

Dave formed his own band called, "Dave Pratt and the Sex Machine Band," to help his career. His band turned out to be so popular it was in demand for all types of venues and parties. Since Dave tells us he could not sing very well, you can't help but think what in the world went on?

The measure of a person is their word. You will find that Dave always keeps his word. As you are reading Dave gives you a test. One in which this reviewer could not resist.

So, kick back in your chair and read Dave's story of one wild and crazy guy....Oh wait, that was "Steve Martin." So I will say one wild and very smart business man.

I would rate this book PG16

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Potluck Survival Guide

Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Genre: Care & Feeding of the Athletic Supporter
Author: Cherie Kimmons

"Where was this book when my kids were all at home? I have learned so much and have had a ball trying some of the recipes. When my kids were home the most asked question was, what's for dinner? My reply was always food. Then it would be what type of food, and I would say the kind you eat.

I can relate to the author as our four kids were into all types of sports or clubs in school. To be honest our favorite quick meals were either pizza or hamburgers. We never in those days thought about nutrition, carbohydrates or calories.

I thought the introduction was funny. Recruiting the Best, was really helpful for those of us who live in small towns or cities. Wrapping the Goal Post was an inspiration. Not to mention food that kids would like from the ages of five to ten years old. Cherie teaches us to make it simple. Then from the ages of twelve to thirteen, a lot of kids can go through a vegetarian phase. That was really a surprise to me.

Honestly, the book is good for people of any age. I had never heard of tomato tart, avocado salsa or on the hamburger bar which has feta cheese sauce.

I loved the dessert part of this book also. I have been trying for thirty years to make Bread Pudding that my husband would like. I could never make it like his mom did. But after reading the recipe I realized the problem was that I would always use fresh bread. That is a no,no. So when he gets home from his trip I will make the recipe in this book.

I recommend this book to the novice cook as well as those of us who are seasoned cooks."

I would rate this book as G rated
Sandra Heptinstall

Arizona Literary Magazine Winning Contest Entries

Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Genre: Arizona Authors Association
Author: Cherie Kimmons


"It's easy to see why these stories and poems are winners. I know from reading ALM that I would hate to be a judge! The stories are excellent and you are taken on a ride of highs and lows. Some of the stories and poems will make you laugh and some will make you sad, but they are all excellent reads. I am really impressed and hope that some of the stories will someday be turned into books.

Sandra Heptinstall
Whispering Winds Book Reviews

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Elder Care Read: life scenes 1

By Laura Bramly

This is a beautiful story of a young woman trying to find a way to connect and communicate with her mother Betty, who had vascular dementia. The author Laura spent many hours of reading to her mom and showing her pictures. Trying to surpass the private world her mom lived in.

Then one day she was reading a coffee table book full of pictures. Laura was making up stories to go along with the photos. After Laura had finished the book her mom said; “Again.” I can only imagine how beautiful it must have sounded to Laura.

Laura began doing extensive research to help other people. The result was a book called Elder Care Read, with photos and text, with the added benefit of discussion questions. This book can be used to encourage people with moderate to advanced dementia to read, converse and learn.

We live in a culture where being older is not respected. In almost all other cultures older people are respected and people look to them for answers. Is there some way to help people see older people in a different light? I don’t have the answer, but I do know that Laura is trying to reach out and help all that she can.

It is up to all the caring people who I know are out there, to take the time and help an older person. Go to a local Nursing Home and volunteer to help.
Take this book with you and find a person who needs you. It may take a long time but you may also hear the beautiful word, “Again.”

Every Nursing home needs to have this book. To those of you trying on your own to help a loved one, buy this book as you won’t be disappointed.

Whispering Winds Book Reviews
Sandra Heptinstall

Monday, May 25, 2009



I thought this book was so sweet. The author shows great talent, and has the ability to hold the attention of young readers. The story is about love, faith, the importance of family and the fact that God is always with us no matter what.

As the story ends you have a daily devotional for children with the help of an adult to read. In this reviewers opinion is the best I have read in a very long time. Each devotional relates back to the book and reinforces the lessons that they have learned.

The fun part is that you can create your own music to the songs. That way each reader will always have their own personal song. Now how fun is that? This book will have little minds thinking of all types of music they may know.

Because the words in this book are so important to kids, this reviewer will give my highest rating of five stars.

Sandy Heptinstall
Whispering Winds Book Reviews

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Manning Up in Alaska

Manning Up in Alaska, an Astounding Tale of Overcoming Cancer, Sailing 2600 Miles to Alaska and Finding New Direction by Dick Drechsler

On February 18, 2005, Dick Drechsler went to the doctor as he was not feeling well and thought he had a sinus infection. He was not prepared for what the doctor had to say. He was told he had stage three neck and throat cancer. That he had four to six months left to live. His cancer appeared to be advanced and there was no hope.

Little did the doctors know of the tenacity of Mr.Drechsler. He went through extensive surgery that lasted nine hours. When he awoke he was given a glimmer of good news. Yes, the cancer was massive, it had involved forty of forty-eight lymph nodes in his neck, his left tonsil, and much of his neck and throat tissue, but the surgeon thought he'd gotten it all. He was told the cancer probably started in his left tonsil.

I am not going to dwell on all of the medical issues he faced, because the author does not want that. So you will just have to read it yourself in his book. All that I can say is he has "True Grit."

He calls himself just an average guy, yet nothing could be further from the truth. Average is not a word that comes to mind in his story. While this is an inspirational book to people who had or have cancer, it is so much more. It is a book of hope and one man who refused to let the fears of cancer coming back stop him from doing what he had always dreamed of.

I could not help but laugh out loud in parts. Dick decided he wanted to try and catch crab on his way to Alaska. So they stopped and bought a crab pot for $200, and a shrimp pot for $120, and then another $200 for other stuff that was need. He kept trying and trying and then one day it finally happened. He caught his first crab and the joy in finally catching one was priceless to him. His wife Sharon took a picture of Dick holding up his catch. And to think it only cost him $520. I laugh when ever I think of it.

Once when they were off their sailboat and walking around they forgot to bring their bear repellent with them. While they were enjoying the outdoors they happened upon a bear and it is something you cannot miss in this story. Nor the joke about the Irishman. Honest you have to buy this book to read about the poop juice, he was told to use when he was trying to catch a fish. Yes it literally was poop juice. I have to stop and add a warning about something to women who have had children and are over 55. At times I laughed so hard it was a race for the bathroom. Luckily for me I kept my dignity.

This book grabs your attention and while I have mentioned some of the funny things in this book, I know that cancer is not a funny thing. Dick is setting up a charitable foundation helping other cancer suffers. Both Dick and his wife Sharon now live on their boat full time.

As I read about all the places they have sailed too, this reviewer was caught up and was sailing with them. Excellent read for anyone. You can read about Dick's foundation at

Sandra Heptinstall
Whispering Winds Book Reviews

Monday, April 13, 2009

For The Record: A Personal Facts & Document Organizer

For The Record: A Personal Facts & Document Organizer by Ricki Pagano

I have to admit I am not the most organized person in the world. I have papers in a small safe, in my sideboard, in plaatic containers and recently I had company coming so papers were stuffed in a bag and put under my bed.

This book is a must have for every one. You can organize every thing and have it all in one book. Why someone has not thought of this is a mystery to me.

It will help you and your family if something should happen to you or a loved one. Here are some of the things the book covers.

1. Personal and Family Information
2. Medical Issues
3. Insurance
4. Legal Information / Document Locator
5. Employment
6. Income / Expenses
7. Financial Assets / Liabilities
8. Retirement Accounts
9. Final Arrangements
10. Important Telephone Numbers
11. Personal Property Inventory

The Appendix covers so much more that you will just have to buy this book to see. I think at one point in our lives we have thought of getting our stuff together but could not find the time. I can honestly say that I have never thought of some of the things the author has mentioned. It was a learning experience for me, and I will use this book.

I can't stress enough how important it is to buy this book. You won't be disappointment if you do.

Ricki Pagano, I will start tomorrow to fill in the pages. I can't thank you enough.

Sandra Heptinstall
Whispering Winds Book Reviews

Home After Dark: One Man's Memories

Home After Dark: One Man's Memories by Darryl E. Robidoux

I have had four men read different part's of this book and they really enjoyed it. I personally found some of his transgressions with women to be cold and harsh. But then this is his life story. So it is only fair to the author that I give his book a four star rating. It is well written and honest.

From a child born into poverty to a man who could grace the halls of any mansion or board rooms, this is the true story of Darryl E. Robidoux. At a young age, Darryl knew farming was not the life for him. Farming was back breaking work from dawn to dusk. He wanted more from life than that. Darryl never experienced parental hugs and had never heard his parents say that they loved him. That would affect his relationships as an adult.

At every stage of his life, the author's goal was to learn as much as he could absorb and to better himself. Despite dropping out of high school at the age of 16, he made it into college and first majored in Engineering, then later experience more premier education. He negotiated his career into the field of computer science at a time when computer systems were literally contained in buildings as large as a warehouse.

No matter who he worked for, he gave his all to them. He would be assigned to a project that might take days or weeks to complete. But, with Darryl's work ethics, he would always finish before his allotted time period. It became a challenge to him to be done faster and be better at what he did than anyone else.

One thing the author hopes people will understand about his book is that with enough self motivation and perseverance you can become who ever you want to be. No individual is shackled to their beginnings. It is your individual choices that go into making your dreams come true or not.

Daryyl E. Robidoux met the goals he set for himself and retired at the age of forty while his career took him through the early stages of computer development.

Now days we only have to push a button on our computers and a whole world opens up to us, and we should always remember that the author was a part of the reason that we can.

He states unequivocally that he is a biological product of his parents, that can never be changed, but he likes the person that he is.

Thank you Mr. Robidoux for being part of a new industry that would later change our world in so many ways.

Sandra Heptinstall

Whispering Winds Book Reviews

Friday, March 13, 2009

Alfie's Bark Mitzvah

Can I become Jewish?
What an absolute joy it has been reading this book-the words, music and illustrations are truly a gift to all who read it! it doesn't matter what your faith is, because this book's message, is one we should all practice.

I believe that when I receive a children's book, it is always interesting to have a child's perception of the book. My eight-year-old grandson Johnny and I read this book together. Then I put the CD that comes with the book in my computer and turned the volume up high. As we listen to it I glance over my shoulder I saw Johnny dancing in a way that only he could appreciated. It was a "don't laugh" grandma moment.

Then he picked up the book and asked me if we could hear it again. He began to try and sing words that he has never heard before. After he was done he asked me why we weren't Jewish? I tried to explain to him why we are Christians and not Jewish. I thought I was doing a pretty good job explaining things to him until he asked me, "Grandma, you said Christians and Jewish people believe in the same God, right? I said, "Yes we both believe in the God of Abraham. But we each worship in a different way."

Johnny was quite for awhile and then said, "I like what the Jewish children get to do and I want to become Jewish. How do I do it?" All I could say was, "You'll have to ask your parents about that."

As our daughter-in-law came to pick up Johnny he was jumping up and down and talking so fast his words were mixed up. He finally calmed down and told his mom that he wanted to become Jewish. My daughter-in-law looked at me and said "Sandy?" I just held up this precious book and said, "New book and Johnny loves everything in it."

This book should not only be in Jewish families, but also in the homes of people of other faith. The lessons are loud and clear. The greatest thing is love.

Sandra Heptinstall
Whispering Winds Book Reviews

Friday, March 6, 2009

"Sixty-Minute Shakespeare" "Romeo and Juliet" ""Hamlet"

Sixty-Minute Shakespeare: "Romeo and Juliet" "Hamlet"

I received two books called "Sixty-Minute Shakespeare." The first book was "Romeo and Juliet." The second was "Hamlet." I slowly sank into my chair and had flash backs of being in school and trying so hard to understand the many twist, turns and language of Shakespeare.

As I began to read "Romeo and Juliet," much to my surprise I actually understood what was being said. The author added footnotes and did some editing that made it easy to read. Then I read "Hamlet" and again understood what was being said. I began to glimpse the wonder that is hidden within the words.

For the first time in my life I truly understood what Shakespeare had wrote. I loved both plays and was somewhat shocked that I did. I finally realized why he was considered brilliant, and so well known around the world.

I really think these books, which are a part of a six book series, should be read by young people first, before they enter into the world of Shakespeare. The author has done a fantastic job of editing the books to shorter versions, than the original works. Even though the books are smaller, they in no way, take away from the story line of the larger books.

All I can say is thank you Cass Foster. A window that I had closed, is now opened. All because Cass Foster created "Sixty Minute Shakespeare.

Five star rating for both books.

Sandra Heptinstall
Whispering Winds Book Reviews.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Red in the Flower Bed: An Illustrated Children's Story about Interracial Adoption by Andrea Nepa

What an adorable book on interracial adoption. The only problem I had was, if it had not been for the cover, I would not of known it was a book about interracial adoption. We follow a poppy seed along it's journey until it finds a place to land. It is cared for and flourishes in a garden filled with many beautiful flowers. It grows into a beautiful red poppy. The red poppy completes the color that is needed to create a perfect rainbow of colors.
While this book is about adoption, it also applies to life in general. We all want to belong and to be loved by others. Especially children who have no family, or the ones who are of a different race. Color is what you see, and often times a childs heart and soul is never seen. There are times no one looks into a childs eyes to see what lays there. The fear and the longing to belong. I applaud all of you out there who see a child for what they are and not for the color of their skin.

Whispering Winds Book Reviews

The Legend of Lightning Larry by Aaron Shepard and Illustrator Toni Goffe

This book is set in he Old West where bad guys could be found on every street. In every nook and cranny you could find a rotten, no good outlaw. They feared nothing at all. After all they were dirty and mean. As mean as mean can get. That is until Lightining Larry rode into the town of Brimstone.

As he got off of his horse and entered the Cottonmouth Saloon, he had a smile as big as Texas on his face. As he walked to the bar and ordered a large cold mug of Lemonade everyone turned to see who it could be.

Now I know what you must be thinking--how in the world would any one fear a cowboy who drank lemonade? I had the same feelings myself when I started to read this book.

But then Mr. Shepard did what he does best--created a character that all children would love. A character that would teach us all a lesson.

Another big five from this reviewer-- who bought this book for her grand kids. That's right I bought this book. Now that should give you some idea how good this book is. As a reviewer we are use to getting books for free. When I saw this I had to buy it.

Whispering Winds Book Reviews

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguires by Molly Roe

This is an amazing book that is part of our country's rich history. While reading this book I learned things, I had never known before.

While the book is a work of fiction, it is backed by historical fact. That is what makes "Call Me Kate" so fascinating.

I can honesty say, and suggest, that this book should be in all schools in the USA. It is a story of Irish immigrants and the struggles they faced in North Eastern Pennsylvania. Jobs were hard to come by during the 1860s. Coal Mining was about the ony way to support your family. But that came at a high price. The rich mine owners did not worry about the safety of the miners, they were just a throw away commodity.

The main character Katie McCafferty, is out to save her Irish friends and family from what would be a major battle that would cost many men there lives. You will grow to love her braveness, strength, and just plain old grit. Here are a few questions to ask yourslf to see if this book is for you.

1. Have you ever hear of the "Know Nothing Party?"
2. Have you ever wondered where the "rich man's war, poor man's fight was first heard in the states?
3. Do you know what or who the "Molly Mcguires" were? Or the " Ancient Hibernians?"

I wish I could tell you more, but I don't want to spoil the book for others. For all who enjoy reading the history of this country then this is a book you must own.

The author is a knowlegable, and gifted writer. She makes the words she writes come alive. You are taken back in time with her and given a history lesson you never knew before.

I have enjoyed this book so much, that I am going to buy a copy for my sister Paula. You know a book is good when some one has read the book, and then buy's a copy for others.

Excellent book Molly Roe.

Whispering Winds Book Reviews

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Heal and Forgive II: The Journey from Abuse and Estrangement to Reconciliation

When ever I am asked to read a book, that has to do with some type of abuse of a child or adult, I can't help but cry. This book is no exception. What is different in this book from all the others? The author leads you along with her on her journey to healing.

I honestly do read every word of a book that has been sumitted to me. Here are a few things Nancy Richards has written, that I feel are profound in the nature of this book. Words that will help others to heal.
"There is a need to speak the truth-to honor our pain and our losses so we don't remain "stuck;" it is important to move on with our lives. Our injuries must be brought into the light--acknowledged, examined and understood if we have any hope of healing, breaking old patterns and moving on to the life we deserve."

I am so proud of Nancy Richards for putting her story of physical and mental abuse out there so that others can learn to heal. It must be hard to visit old memories once again. Perhaps feeling the pain she has before, and to do so, so other people will see there is life out there.
Ms. Richards wrote; "I cannot change other people; they walk their own path, and they live by what they perceive to be the truth. Only by changing my perception and awareness can I change my circumstance."

At the end of the book the author has you ask yourself questions, so that you will know if you are ready to forgive and reconcile with others that have hurt you or if you are not ready.

Excellent book that this reviewer would recommend to all without question, "Heal & Forgive" deserves my five star rating.

Whispering Winds Book Reviews