Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lydia’s Charm
Wanda E. Brunstetter
Barbour Publishing, Inc
P.o. Box 719
Uhrichsville, OH 44683
376 Pages
$9.96 at Amazon

I have always enjoyed reading books by this author. What has made this one so different is the subject matter. This is the first of any Christian fiction books that I know of, that has mentioned “little people.”

Lydia’s husband dies in an accident and then she loses her job. She returns to Charm, OH to help her mom take care of her grandfather and to find some type of work to support herself and her young son.

Lydia is able to find a job fairly fast, but she also learns her mother has not changed her attitude toward Lydia. Nor is she the grandmother Lydia had hoped for.

Then she finds two good men who are interested in her. One man who really only wants a mom for his four sons. His heart still belongs to his late wife. What he really needs is someone to help as a wife would. The other man, who Lydia is most attracted to, is afraid of Lydia’s rejection because of his family who are all little people, except him. Plus, the fear that if they did get married, they may have a child that is a little person and how Lydia may react if that happened.

It is also in Charm, OH that Lydia will feel more pain than she has ever felt before. Will Lydia be able to find happiness again? You will just have to read this book for yourself and see.

Sandra Heptinstall
Rated G

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Danger Diva, by Stan Stamper

This book has cross generational appeal that comes along very seldom. It has intriguing twist and turns and you can never anticipate what will happen next. There is not a boring moment in this book.

The characters are well thought out and interesting. All that this reviewer can say is “grab some popcorn and a coke before you start reading this book. If you are like me then you won’t just be reading but seeing a movie in action."

Mr. Stamper is one heck of a story teller. This is one of the best reads of 2010.

What a way to end the year.

Five star rating.

Sandra Heptinstall
Rated PG, for violence and some sexual content.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Grace, by Shelly Shepard Gray

I found this book to be moving, tender and a well crafted story. When two strangers meet at an Inn, just days before Christmas, each have a story of great sadness.

A young Amish woman who is pregnant and has no husband, and a young Amish man who looks haunted and lost. Neither one is prepared to share their thoughts with others. Both are looking for peace and rest that they can’t find at home.

The Inn is ran by a Amish family that had planed to close and have a family gathering with no guest. But then they find a reservation that had got mixed up in the mail. And when the young woman shows up and passes out and falls in the snow they know things will not be what they had planned. Yet they could not see the many blessings that they were to encounter.

It is by the healing power of God, that the strangers wind up sharing their story's with each other, and then the family at the Inn. There they will find peace and love by doing so. This book is truly a MUST read at Christmas even if it is to remind us what the season is for.

This book is a great reminder that we should all take the time to really listen to what God has to say to us.

Sandra Heptinstall

Rated G with love from God

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Port in the Storm

A Port in the Storm
Author Judy Genandt
Five Star Publishing/Cengage
295 Kennedy Memorial Drive,
Waterville Me 04901
410 pages

In 1885, Margaret Ward, a socialite finds herself involved in a scandal in Boston's society. Even though it is not her fault, her father sends her to Wyoming to live with his friend and family on their working cattle ranch. She is also assigned to work as the village schoolmarm.

From the first day when she falls down a flight of stairs, to the time she falls in a yard that is nothing but mud, it is obvious that Margaret is not the most graceful woman. If it is not one thing for her then it is another. Yet it is always Tee, the ranch foreman who always finds her in one predicament or another.

It is up to Margaret to find the best road she should travel. To fit into a live style that is so different than she has ever known. To find out what true love is all about.

I love the characters in this book. I find the story to be refreshing and different than your normal genre of this type. This book is 410 pages, but it holds your attention from page one. I was tempted to read the last few pages of this book after I had read the second chapter. I wanted to see ahead of time how it would end.

But I am so glad that I did not. The biggest surprise is in the ending. In this book you will find laughter, sadness, suspense, love, a very determined young schoolmare, and best of all a happy ending. One filled with love that flows in many directions.

I have laughed so much reading this book, and at times felt great sadness also. This book is a great read that I have enjoyed so much.

Sandra Heptinstall

Rated G

(do not post until March)

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Purpose of Christmas

What a wonderful book about the real meaning of Christmas. What I loved is it can bring people closer to God. Also a great tool to use if you care about someone, and they have not been saved or know Jesus.

I have found great joy in this book. Plus, I was reminded of somethings I have forgotten to do on a daily bases. That is to pray for the people I love so that all can be saved, and pray for others so that they can know our Savior.

When you open this book say a prayer for the gift that God gave us. That Jesus loved us so much that He died for us so that we could have eternal life with Him. If you have a friend or loved one that does not know Jesus Christ, then take this book to them so they can learn that Jesus is the reason for the season. Also that they are never alone when they have Christ in their hearts. What a blessing this book has been to me.

It is a fast read yet powerful book.

Rated G

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Engaging Father Christmas

I was really surprised that I love this book even more than the first book of the series. At the end of “Finding Father Christmas,” Miranda and Ivan had just meant. In the second book, we find that they have been going back and forth from England and the USA to see each other.

It is not long before they fall in love with each other. There are even hints of a marriage proposal for her and Ivan.

As Miranda prepares to fly to see Ivan and her new family for Christmas, she has hopes that things will change and she can develop a real relationship between her, her half brother, and his mom.

Yet right from the start things seem to go wrong. As Ivan picks her up from the station he received a phone call and his dad has had a heart attack and is in the hospital.

This book will take you on a ride from highs to lows.
But by the end of all really good love stories, love prevails. Plus, Miranda’s relationship with her half brothers mother begins to change when God shows her the way.
Excellent read.
Rating G

After Life Agreements: A Gift From Beyone

Sunday morning, October 1st, 2000, Chris Mulligan received a call that every parent fears. Her son Zac had been in an accident and she needed to get to the hospital as soon as she could. When Chris and her husband Jim reached the hospital, they were told that Zac was on life support and would not make it. The injuries to his skull were so sever he had no chance at all.

After they called family to come to the hospital they took Zach off of life support. He fought for forty-six minutes but in the end he lost his fight to live.
This book had me crying along with Chris. Even though she believes in reincarnation, her grief process of trying to let go of Zac in this life was profound to say the least. She managed to make it through each day at work. Yet when she left to go home her grief over took her. She could barley function at all.

The author leads us through her grieving process, and tries hard to help others who have lost someone. It was through her belief process that she was able to connect with her son Zac. With Zac’s help she is able to share with others that our bodies may died, but not our souls.

Even though my beliefs are different, through research, I have found that there are millions of people who believe in reincarnation. That each of us has the option of choosing what we want to learn in each life time. Zac told his mom she needed to write about what all she had been through to help others and herself to get on with life.

This book I think, can help others who have lost a love one. It is filled with raw emotions and offers hope to others. It is well written and kept my attention span throughout the book.

This book is rated G

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Christmas at Harrington's

I was drawn to this book by its cover. It shows a woman looking into a store window at a Christmas tree and toys. It is snowing and the woman has a smile on her face. Yet when I began to read the book I found this was not your normal Christmas fare.

Lena has just been released from prison where she had been incarcerated for eight years. She had gone from an over bearing father who Lena learned at an early age to do whatever he wanted, and to not question anything or else she was spanked with a wooden spoon. Into a marriage with a man who turns out to be just like her father. Only Lena’s husband posed as a minister and it was because of him that she was convicted of a crime she did not commit.

While on a bus ride to what would become her new home, Lena is befriended by an elderly lady who believes that Lena is a good person, no matter what has happened in her past.

Can Lena really begin again? Or will her past catch up to her? There is only one way to know and that is to buy this book.

Rated G

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Finding Father Christmas

This is a beautifully written book. Miranda’s mother died when she was young and she has no relatives that she knows of, except a father that her mother never told her about. Whenever she questioned her about her dad, her mom always found a way to distract her attention.

Finding her father has turned into a quest for the truth. Armed with only three clues a birth certificate, a theatrical playbill and a wallet size picture of a man with a little boy. She discovers that on the back of the picture a town is listed where the photographer’s studio is, in England.

On an impulse she takes a flight to see what information she can find out about the picture, and the people in it. But what she didn't bargain for is more than she could have ever imagined.

Rated G

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I was not prepared to like this book. I thought to myself, “Oh, great, another self help book.” Yet the more I read the book I came to realize it really can help people. This book begins with the author at the lowest point of his life. He searched for various ways to help himself, but could not pull himself out of the emotion wreck he was in. He even thought of suicide.

Then one day he started to think like an engineer. He came up with a plan to use his knowledge of engineering and spirituality to use. It was not an easy process but after much work he had found answers to help himself.

This book is filled with tools to help people no matter what their problems may be. Tools to help us all lived a better life. I really like the exercises that can be found at the end of the book. The author has told us about starting your day exercises, during the day exercises, and then nightly review exercises.

I especially liked page 230 and the attitude adjustment cards. You will just have to read this book to understand what they are. But they can be used to help everyone.

Excellent Read
Rated G

Monday, September 20, 2010

Spoken from the Heart

This book is so moving in many ways. I have laughed and cried while reading it. Laura Bush has gone from the small oil town of Midland, TX, to the Governor’s Mansion in TX, to the “White House,” as our First Lady. I want to emphasize Lady as she is gracious, charming, elegant, smart and beautiful. She did not use her book as a platform to knock all of those who have said such terrible things about President Bush or herself.

I had no idea how much was expected from a First Lady until I read this book. Nor did I realize how little private time they have for their family and friends. Laura Bush has worked hard to make people aware of the basic needs that everyone should have around the world. Women’s rights in Afghanistan, to literacy, both here and abroad. These are just a few of the many things she has done. To list them all would take up several pages. But she points them out in her book in hopes that others will still get on board and help.

Laura has really opened up and shared a large part of her personal life with us in this book. While there were others who wanted her to be something different than what she was; Laura Bush stayed true to who she is. She is still the girl next door and a loyal friend.

I feel honored to have had her as our First Lady, and all that she has done. Laura Bush has “true grit” and it doesn’t come any better than that.

Rated G

Friday, September 3, 2010

Oregon Trail

Oregon Trail
Rick Steber
Bonanza Publishing
Box 204
Pineville, OR 97754
ISBN: 0-945134-01-0
$1.99 at B&N
58 pages

This book is an excellent book for teachers to use as a tool, for teaching young minds about our country and its beginnings. The “Oregon Trail,” tells how hard it was for early pioneers to travel to the N.W. Each little story is only a page long, which will hold the attention of younger school age children.

Even adults can enjoy some of these stories. I found it funny that ox's went crazy when they smelled or saw buffalos.

Sandra Heptinstall

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Dying Times: Nadene's Story

This book is a genuine masterpiece of this type of genre. Actually, it could fit into a number of different categories and styles of writing. I read a couple of chapters and then put the book down. I kept thinking about the story and decided to just read a little more. Well, I wound up reading the whole book. I found out that once you start reading this book you can not stop.

It starts in the year 2013 where we find the eastern portion of the United States is being attacked. Missiles carrying biological agents are falling and killing thousands of people. But then a strange thing happens. Some of the dead come back to life and begin to attack and kill people who were not effected by the bombs.

I found this story to be interesting,and it may hold a whisper of what may happen if some things do not change in our world. Everyone will have their own perceptions of the story and characters. I firmly believe that this book will be enjoyed by all who read it.

I loved the way the characters were developed and how they teamed up to go west, away from the horrific things that were happening to save their own lives.

This book was so good I found it hard to believe it was from a first time author. Do yourself a favor and buy the book. You won't be disappointed.

Rated PG 13 for violence
(post in Nov.)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Sister's Hope

A Sister’s Hope
Wanda E Brunstetter
Barbour Publishing, Inc
P.O. Box 719, Uhrichsville, OH 44683
297 pages

This is the last book of the “Sister’s of Holmes County” series. It is just as compeling as the first two books were. The attacks on the Hostettler family never seem to stop. The family never knows when the attacker will strike again. Roman's wife can no longer live in fear of what may happen. She withdrawls to some where in her mind where she finds peace. So it is decided the best thing for her is to be taken to another relative until the mystery can be solved.

Martha is the youngest of Roman and Judith Hostettler daughter's. She has feelings for a young man named Luke. Luke has feeling for her. The problem is Roman fired Luke for being late to often, and for wanting to try new things. Roman is suspicious that Luke may be the person who is doing the terrible things that are happening to his family.

Luke and Martha join forces to figure out who is responsible for all the attacks on the Hostettler family. Not only for Martha's family's sake. But also so Luke can clear his name and be allowed to court Martha.

The end of this book is as visceral as riding on a roller coaster.

Rated G

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Sister’s Test
Wanda E Brunstetter
Barbour Publishing, Inc
P.O. Box 719, Uhrichsville, Ohio 44683
287 Pages

In the second book of “Sister’s of Holmes County,” we find the Hostettler family continues to be under attack. “A Sister’s Test,” is filled with suspense, mystery, murder and a surprise visit from Roman’s sister Rosemary, who left home thirty years ago and was never heard from again.

Could the attacker be someone from Grace’s past? Or the young Amish man who worked for Roman, and was fired. Why isn’t the Sheriff doing more to find the person who is responsible for the acts of violence?

This book is intriguing from the start of the book until the end. If you like this genre you will love this book.

This book is rated G

Sandra Heptinstall

(Post in August)

Monday, July 19, 2010

I Am Hutterite

I Am Hutterite
The fascinating true story of a young woman’s journey to reclaim her heritage.
Mary-Ann Kirby
Thomas Nelson, Inc
P.O. Box 141000 Nashville, TN 37214
19.99- publisher
13.99 – Amazon.com
272 pages

This book took me by complete surprise. I had never even heard of the word Hutterite, let alone know that it was a religious sect. Or that there were colony’s of Hutterite’s.

Once I began to read this book I could not wait until the next page.
The author gives us a history lesson as well as the understanding of what life was like, living in a Hutterite Colony. While it was a very structured environment, it was also one filled with love.

Mary-Ann's father had butted heads with the senior minister more than once. One time he asked to borrow a vehicle so that they could get to the hospital and sign the papers needed for their son to have emergency surgery. They were denied and by the time they did get to the hospital it was to late to save their son's life.

It was with much sadness that her father decided to leave the colony and moved into the English world. Yet he felt it was best for his family. Life was totally different for her family on the outside. They had many obstacles that they had never had before. Where once they never had to worry about where food,clothing or a place to live now they did.

The change from Hutterite schools to English schools was hard for Mary-Ann and her siblings. English kids made fun of the way they dressed and even what they brought to eat for lunch. That left them with a longing to return to the colony.

I have really enjoyed this book. I have learned about a way of life that I never knew existed. Some lessons that I think we could all benefit from today. And a wish that the author will someday continue on with her life story.

Sandra Heptinstall

Monday, July 5, 2010

“Every Natural Fact”
Five Seasons of Open Air-Parenting
Amy Lou Jenkins
Holy Cow Press PO. Box 3170 Mount Royal Station, Duluth, Minnesota 55803
181 pages

It is said we are all products of our environment. Amy Lou Jenkins wanted more for her son DJ than playing video games, watching TV, being on the computer or talking on the phone. She wanted to create a stronger bond with him, and to help him to learn some of life's lessons he would be facing someday. That was the beginning of their nature walks together, across Wisconsin.

With each new trip or adventure DJ was learning to love the magic of nature. Watching a bird that had been on the endangered list, or learning about plants and seeing trees as they changed was something DJ came to love. The history of an area or the folklore fascinated him.

When Amy would talk about her family or different experience’s, she was teaching him the importance of not only family but of man and nature to connect. That it is our responsibility to take care of our planet. To ensure it is just as beautiful for the next generation to come.

They also enjoyed the fun they had just being together. Laughing and learning new things on each trip they took. To me, what I enjoyed so much was the descriptive way the author talked. I was able to learn also. This book is a great read for anyone.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Sister’s Secret
Wanda E. Brunstetter
Barbour Publishing, INC
P.O. Box 719 Uhrichsville, OH 44683
299 pages

Grace Hosteller was a young Amish woman who returned home after being gone for two years during her Rumschpringe. She soon settles down to the conventional Amish life. She is baptized into the Amish church and marries a kind and gentle young man in her community.

One thing Grace does not want her husband or parents to know, is the many secrets she has kept about the two years she lived in the English world. But then one day her past caught up with her and her world would never be the same.

This is the first book of, “Sisters of Holmes County.” I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Rated G

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Diamonds of Death

John Luck, M.D.

Five Star Publishing, Inc

POB 6698 Chandler, AZ 85246

Five Star Publications.com

(408) 940-8182


318 pages

Dr. Tom Slocum was a whiz kid at County’s West Side Hospital in Chicago. His surgical skills made him well known. He was also called an arrogant S.O.B., when it came to yelling at nurses and berating young interns.

He enlisted in the military and was sent to Korea. While he was there it would change Dr. Slocum’s life forever. He was assigned to a field hospital where conditions were horrific. The floors were nothing more than dirt and covered with blood. No time to change gowns or gloves before another patient was put on the surgical table. One day he operated on a friend of his who died because of a mistake he made. He lost all confidence and did not know if he had the nerve to operate again. His days and nights were filled with flash backs of what happened during the war.

He returned to County Hospital with much trepidation. His first surgery was on a man who was shot in the stomach. Unbeknown to Dr. Slocum the man was a part of the Chicago Mob. What would happen next is for you to discover as you read this book.

I was surprised by how much I liked this book. It was not until the second chapter that I became really interested. This book took me for a wild ride that I never expected. It is a book that I would recommend to any friend. I would give it PG rating of 13 or older.

Five star rating.

Sandra Heptinstall

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Never Far From Home

Never Far From Home (The Miller Series #2)

Mary Ellis

Harvest House Publishers

990 Owen Loop North

Eugene, OR 97402


(541) 343-0123

298 pages

$10.07 at B&N

Emma Miller is a young Amish girl who has finished school. While she still has her chores to do, she also has her own wool business. Emma works hard as she knows her mom needs to have surgery. The Amish community relies on a central fund that they all donate money to in case someone needs medical help.

On a buggy ride to town to sell her wool along with her Aunt Hannah, Emma meets a young English sheep farmer named James. As they talk they find themselves attracted to each other.

After seeing him only twice, on her 16th birthday she announces to her family she wants to take her full Rumspringe. It is not long before they fall in love. Emma loves being Amish and never wants to be anything else. James has two years of college to attend. James promises that somehow he will make it work for them.

But can young love endure all the challenges? Can James really find a way for them to marry someday? I would recommend this book to all who love reading about the Amish. Also for new readers who might decide to read a book of this genre, to see why so many of us love books about the Amish. There is so much more I would like to say about the story but then I would spoil it for others.

This book is rated G

The Secret of Lies

The Secret of Lies
Barbara Forte Abate
Dog Ear Publishing
4010 W 86th Street, Ste H
Indianapolis, IN 46268
(866)823-9613 or (317) 228-3656
296 Pages
Retail Price $17.95

I have never read a book as intense as this book is. It is brilliantly written, and at times my husband swears I was saying, “No, you jerk, or don’t you dare.” That is how powerful this story line is. Eleanor twelve and her sister Stevie ten, leave their hometown of Callicoon, Pennsylvania to spend their vacation with their Aunt Smyrna and Uncle Cal at their summer home on Long Island, where the days are filled with swimming in the Atlantic Ocean and the sisters unending pursuit of an intriguing and mysterious boy.

That is until the summer of 1957…Eleanor is now seventeen and Stevie fifteen. What happened that summer is something that has to be kept a secret, or so Aunt Smyrna tells Stevie. Stevie is trapped in a vortex and it is not only destroying her teenage years but carries over into her adult life.

How many lives are altered by one moment in time, one decision made in that moment? How many moments does it take too completely and irreversibly alter one’s life?

To tell you more will ruin what makes this book so great. It is a must buy for your own personal library. In our economy today buying a book can be a luxury. I would buy this book.

I would rate this book G.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Carrie's Journey

Carrie’s Journey
Bette Jennings
Misty Peak Publishing..PO BOX AL, Filer, Idaho 83328
(208) 326-5845
291 pages

This book is a reviewer’s dream. It provides an escape from the mundane of everyday life. It has everything a good book needs. It has love, drama, a taste of mystery, adventure and a happy ending. We started at "Carrie’s Farm" which was the first book and now we are into the final book "Carrie’s Journey."

Carrie’s Journey, finds that Carrie’s beloved husband has died. Carrie has to create a new life in order for her to survive. Carrie begins to think she is going crazy when she hears a voice talking to her, and she answers. The voice stays with her giving her advice on things until she does not need it any longer.

I loved every page of this book. If you like a good romance with a little of something else added to it, then I highly recommend this book.When a book brings good tears to my eyes, then it is a great book in my opinion. Need I say more?

This book is rated G

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wake UP! ("You're probably never going to look like that; How to be happier, healthier and impercectly fit.)

At last we learn the truth of losing weight and keeping it off. I hate to say this but I have tried some of the weight equipment that says, "buy me and I will make you look thinner and younger, in just weeks." They did not work for me, no matter how hard I tried.

The author tells us of her life and the battles she has gone through to try and lose weight. What it was like in school being the fat kid that others made fun of. The many diets she has tried,the failures and the success of finally getting something that for her worked.

Diet alone will not work. You have to get off your uff and exercise. Michelle also tells us of many well known people who have had surgery to help them lose weight. Also the dangers of the television show,“The Biggest Loser,” and how most of the contestants have gained the weight back. Michelle tells all who will read this book about how to deal with the starvation your body will feel.

I can honestly say that I have never been more impressed with a weight loss book. Some people write books to make a lot of money. But I feel this author has wrote from her heart and only wants to help.
Rated G

Exellent Book

Thursday, April 29, 2010


What do you get when you take an independent Amish widow named Hannah, and a stubborn Amish widower named Seth? You get a book that is interesting and entertaining. Hannah loves being Amish but sometimes does things that can get her into trouble. At the risk of being shunned, she sells her farm to her brother and moves to another state. There she tries hard to help her sister who is ill and is having trouble taking care of her own family.
If you enjoy reading books about the Amish this one you will love. The author is talented and I love how she leads us to realize it does not matter if you are Amish, or English, we all have problems. We just handle them differently.

This is the first book of "The Miller Series."

Excellent book and easy read.

Rated G

Friday, April 9, 2010

Face the Rain, by Jennifer DeNaughel

“We the jury, find the defendant, guilty on all charges.”
Just one simple word, but it was the word Jenna had been praying to hear. The moment the jury foreman uttered it the air rushed from her lungs and she felt a suffocating pressure lift from her chest leaning forward, she lowered her head and covering her face with her hands, allowed herself to cry for the first time since that night. That night was the night her husband tried to kill her.

As Jenna was leaving the court house her concerns were getting to the "safe house" and getting her daughter Kylie and son Erik. Then heading up to the Oregon coast to the home she grew up in. A home her children could finally feel safe in. She knew she would have to face some things she had left unfinished when she left there many years ago. Things that would change her son's life forever. Plus the one man she had never stopped loving.

The characters are well thought out and the story line compelling. I have read this book twice now and both times it captured my attention and held my interest. It is the type of book you can read over and over.

I would rate this book: PG 13

Sandra Heptinstall

A Feather in the Rain, by Alex Cord

I knew when I read the dedication and saw the sketch of Mr. Cord’s son that this book was going to take me on an emotional ride. This book did not let me down.

From the world of cutting horses, to the deep depression of the main character Jesse, your heart is crying out for him. The loss of his son from a drug over dose, fills him with pain and wondering if he could of done more to help him.
When he finds a chance for hope and love again, will Jesse be able to come to terms with his past? Will he have the strength to try again? Or will his past always sabotage any type of relationship?

This book should be made into a movie. It is that good.
Because of some of the sexual content between the main characters this should be rated R

Monday, March 22, 2010

(The Journey of an Ordinary Man)

As you read this book you will find that Mr. Beach’s life story is anything but ordinary. In fact it has been an extraordinary adventure for eighty plus years. I felt that in each chapter the author was trying to teach us all a lesson.

Vincent was born in a small village called Knollis, in Jamaica. His family was poor but I feel he learned a lot of life’s lessons that helped him as he grew. His mom was abusive, but always told him “Don’t throw away you stick, till you cross the river.” I found that bit of advice to be profound. His father was a quiet man that did not talk a lot but loved his kids. His family life was not one that was filled with affection. Yet as a child he longed for it.

His thirst for knowledge would take him far in life; as well as his love for music. As in some non-fiction books there can be many lessons that we can take to our hearts and use it. This book is no exception.
Rated G

In my humble opinion this book is a must read. On a sad note I have found out that Vincent Collin Beach has passed away. But his life story is still alive and is still available for all to read and learn about this amazing man.
Rated G

Saturday, March 13, 2010

"A Journey to Die For"

In the opening pages, Carrie and Henry King are about to take the historic train ride from Springdale to Van Buren, Arkansas. Carrie is left alone (to her disgust) with a nosey busybody who rudely comments on how old she thinks Carrie looks, by saying Carrie and Henry look old enough to be retired. Carrie tells her no, she and Henry are not retired but are in fact private detectives.

“My how very unique. I guess you chase after people who owe money, spy on husbands, stuff like that. I know if Claude ever did-“ “No, Carrie interrupted, we chase after murderers.” Then she walked away, hoping Henry would never find out what she’d just said. Little did Carrie know how soon her words would come back to haunt her.

This is the first book I have read by author Radine Trees Nehring but it won’t be the last. I have to warn everyone who may buy this book; do not decide to read just a few chapters before going to bed. You will find you can’t stop. Your mind will not shut down as it will be filled with questions.

Who would have ever guessed the importance a handful of buttons would make in solving a murder investigation? I love the many twist and turns this book has. Just when you think you have the mystery solved, along comes something new and you are lost again. Dang, I hate it when that happens. But that is what makes a book good. This book is really good.

Plus, at the end of the book you will find some recipes mentioned in the book.

Excellent read for all.
Rated G

Monday, March 8, 2010

Little Skiff Copes With Valley Fever

I adored this second book about Skiff the Shetland sheepdog. Once again Skiff is telling his story which is a delight to my youngest grandson. Skiff and his owners are now living in Phoenix, Arizona. Skiff is having a lot of fun in his new home. He loves to dig and run in the sun. One morning Skiff woke up and did not feel well. He had never been sick but knew that something was wrong. His owners took him to a vet and that is when they found out Skiff has Valley Fever.
This little book is educational as you get to see real X-rays, listen as a veterinarian explains all about what Valley Fever is and how long it can last. You will find a glossary of words at the end of the book. That will help little minds to understand words they may not know.

Excellent Read

Rated G

Saturday, March 6, 2010

"Little Skiff’s Moving Adventures”

This is a cute little book about a puppy who is a Shetland sheepdog. Shelties were trained generations ago to help humans round up their flocks of sheep. Skiff's grandparents used to work as herding dogs in the Shetland Islands, a cool, rainy and windy archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean. When they retired, they moved to Alaska, and the Shelties of Skiff's canine family have enjoyed cold snowy winters ever since.
Skiffs owners nicknamed him Little Sheltie or Skiff. Skiff loves everything about living in Alaska. He loves the cold weather, snow and being with his friends. Then one day he is told they are moving to Arizona. Skiff is very sad as he does not want to leave his friends and begins to cry. His owners talk to him about the move and that helped him a lot. Skiff will soon learn to love his new home.

This book was a delight and I loved it that the story was told by Skiff. I also loved the illustrations. When you read this book you will see different facial expressions on Skiff’s face. So look closely and you will see for yourself.
This is a great book for families who are planning to move. It will help younger children to accept and even look forward to the move when they read this book. The illustrations and story line are great and will hold the attention of smaller children. I think they will find they like Skiff as much as I do.
Rated G

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Southern Roots" by Jimmy Blackmon

I absolutely loved this book. The writing is so descriptive that you feel as if you have stepped into a Norman Rockwell picture. The author gives us a glimpse into his family and his ancestors that came before him. Each generation passed along stories from long ago and then added more of their own.

Jimmy’s Pa was the story teller for his family. Jimmy could sit for hours and listen to his family’s history. Many nights would find him down in the basement where his Pa slept, sitting by the fire, and listening to all the old story’s his Pa had to tell.

Growing up in the South was heaven for Jimmy. His mom and dad were not rich people but always managed to provide for their needs. As a child he learned to hunt, fish, gig for frogs and how to have fun in ways that city kids would never know.

When he was given two hound dogs he couldn’t image that life could get any better. To this reviewer Jimmy Blackmon is the epitome of a true Southern boy. I have never read a book where the author has loved where he grew up and the people in his life more than Jimmy Blackmon. It is with the author’s words that I end this.

“Roots are the place where something begins, where it springs into being. Roots anchor things. They provide strength and nourishment. My roots are my ancestors. Each generation influenced the next. I am a reflection of those who came before me. My roots anchor me. Mine are Southern.”
Rated G

Monday, February 1, 2010

White Christmas Pie

What makes this work of fiction different than other books written about the Amish, is that the central character is a male. Will Henderson is abandoned by his Pop at the age of six. He is raised by an Amish couple he learns to love.

Will embraces the Amish life and becomes a member of the community. He is engaged to a special young woman named Karen Yoder. One day he read a newspaper article about a child who was abandoned, and it brought back all the deep seeded anger and bitterness he feels towards his Pop.

Will meeting his Pop again after so long, be a new beginning, or the end of a chapter in his life?

This book is rated G

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Sound of Sleigh Bells

I love reading books about the Amish and Mennonite people, and the life they live. Once again New York Times best selling author Cindy Woodsmall, has written a captivating story about a young Amish woman named Beth, who can’t move forward because she is trapped in her past.

She blames herself for the death of her abusive fiance'. She is afraid to tell anyone about her relationship with him as she fears the rejection that may come. Beth has decided she will never marry. That it is better to live alone for the rest of her life.

Then she meets a young Amish wood carver named Jonah and life begins to change. Can he break through the barriers she has built? Will she be brave enough to take another chance on love?

This book will keep you guessing and is interesting from the first page to the last. Make sure you have the time to read the whole book, as you won't be able to put it down until you are finished. Then you will wish the story never ends.

This is a must have for all readers.
Rated G

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Paper Bag Christmas
Author: Kevin Alan Milne

As a book reviewer I am very seldom at a loss for words. I bought this book because I love Christmas and after reading a review, I decided to buy it and give myself a present . I am having a hard time finding the words to do justice to this book. It is a beautiful story of two brothers named Aaron and Molar who discover, “The best gift they never wanted for Christmas.” This book has made me smile and then cry at times. I can’t recommend this book enough. All that I can say is buy this book as you will not be disappointed. I wish all parents today would do what the parents in this book have done. Teach their children it is better to give then receive. Then their children will say, "The best gift I never wanted for Christmas." I would like to say to the author, "What a wonderful gift you have for writing"

This book is rated G

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Jack & Walter, The films of Lemmon & Matthau."

As a “Baby Boomer,” I have grown up loving Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau movies. While they each had many good solo movies, together they were a team, a match made in heaven. This book not only talks about each actor, but also tells us about each movie they made together, and the relationship they had with each other.

They were good friends from their first movie. In time they grew to love each other and enjoyed working together. They were so in-tuned to each other that at times the directors just let them run with or without the script.I have really enjoyed seeing the pictures in this book and the dialogue that goes with it. I have laughed and felt the sadness also.

A high point is the fact that their movie’s transcends all ages. My children who are now grown and have children of their own, still want to see the movies I have of Jack and Walter when they come to visit.I feel director John Davis summed it up best-“I will tell you why these guys were so perfect…they’re Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. Their chemistry is so great that it doesn’t matter what they’re playing. It could be brain surgeons or Yiddish surfboard salesmen. It’s the simple fact that they are Jack and Walter, and nobody can do it like they can.” Or as Jack Lemmon would always say before a scene, “its magic time.”

If it had not been for the outstanding work by the author Ben Costello; most of us would never of had a chance to know the real Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. I can only imagine the many hours of research and interviews he did to create this fascinating book. For those of you who will buy this book, I leave you with these words--from the first page to the last "Its magic time."

I give this book an G rating.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Mr. Twiddles was an ornery, and sometimes grumpy cat. He enjoyed sitting in his favorite chair, a dark blue overstuffed rocking chair. He would jump up and could watch everything going on outside. He especially liked the feel of the sun coming through the windows as he took his naps.

His world was perfect until he met Clara the cleaning woman. What happens when he meets Clara will turn his world upside down.

This book is really cute and the illustrations and storyline will hold the attention of a younger children. I would recommend this book for kids from three to seven years old.

This book is G rated

Billy The Kid and the Lincoln County War

Jan 9, 2010

This is the second installment of Gayle Martin’s “Luke and Jenny Adventure.” I was surprised that this book was just as good as the first book, “Gunfight at the OK Corral.”

Once again Luke and his sister Jenny are transported back to the Wild West by a ghost named Paul. Paul said “every story has a beginning, and the Lincoln County story begins here. This is Fort Stanton. It is where the army sent me. I’m a Buffalo Soldier and part of the 9th Cavalry.”

The story is about Billy the Kid and his impact on our history. Little was known about him until he was fourteen when his mom died. He was born Henry Antrim but changed his first name to his step fathers name of William. No one knows why he changed his last name to Bonney. Billy’s wish was to perform on the stage. But as history teaches us, that did not come to be.

Once again Ms. Martin teaches us all a lot of life lessons. Some that I am sorry to say are fading away. Loyalty and people thinking about others before they think about themselves is one example.
G Rated

I really hope that Ms. Martin continues on with the Luke and Jenny series. They are entertaining and full of little known facts about the Wild West and its colorful characters. I honestly can’t say this book is good for any certain age as I found this book to be a good read for all.

This book is G rated