Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Spin the Plate

I enjoyed this book. The author did a good job of not just holding our attention, but also kept us on our toes as the story evolved. Jo was raped when she was five years old and it continued until her teens by her own father. The effect on her is profound to say the least. Even as a adult she still has nightmares.

She works as a tattoo artist but no one knows about her history. Jo does not trust anyone, and lives in a world filled with her animals. She has no desire to make friends or let anyone in her life. Especially men.

That is until one day she meets a man named Francis. No matter how many times she says no to his invitations he keeps asking. She finally says yes and that is when her world will gradually begin to change. Francis and Jo are as different as night and day.

It is what Jo does at night, that makes this book different than any I have read before. This is a fast and easy read. The story is one that will stay with you long after you have finished reading it.

Rated PG

Sunday, December 18, 2011

How To Fight, Lie And, Cry Your Way To Popularity (And a Prom Date): Lousy Life Lessons From 50 Teen Movies

I have enjoyed all the short stories that Zest has put out when I get the chance too. This book is about teen movies from 1955-2010. It starts in my parent’s generation for two movies, and then mine, my kids and my grand kids. That makes four generations. Each movie they show a picture, and then they have a short synopses of the book. Then you will read some crazy, really bad life lessons.

This was so much fun to read. It brought back some fun memories of movies in my time period, and what was going on in my life.

This is a fast, fun, and easy read. If you want to walk down memory lane this is the book for you.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lifting the Wheel of Karma
Paul H. Magid
Point Dume Press
Managlapan, NJ 07726
(732) 673-5330
$10.80 paperback
$9.99 ebook
186 pages
Sandra Heptinstall..reviewer

I found this book to be compassionate and insightful. At times I had to stop and read a paragraph over again, so I could make sure I understood the meaning. As a Christian I found a deeper understanding of ways to accept, forgive and even love each other more.

The characters are well developed and interesting. Joseph is the main character. Every since he was a five year old child he started having violent nightmares and would scream about the demons who would attack him. As he got older the nightmares changed to where he was fighting with warriors.

Joseph's only coping mechanism was martial arts. He was so good no one in his age devision would fight him, as they knew they would lose. They promoted Joseph to fighting with adults when he was fifteen. He had never lost a fight until one night. It is from here you will find the heart of this story.

Joseph feels he can only find the answers he needs by going to the remote Himalayas of India. There he finds an old wise man who helps him to find the answers to all of his questions and to find his Dharma. I did not want the book to end.

This is an excellent read for anyone or any religion. You don't have to agree with all that is wrote but the message of love is something we should all pay more attention too. I cried at the ending. It was hard for me to believe this was a first time author.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Christmas List

How would you like to wake up one morning while staying in a hotel and read your own obituary? That is what happened to James Kier a ruthless business man. He was very rich but got that way by destroying and cheating people out of what they had.

“Wait,” don’t stop reading this! It is not another “Grinch” type of book, nor is it,”A Christmas Carol.” The whole book was inspired by the author’s seventh grade English teacher. She assigned her students to write their own obituary. (One smart teacher if you asked me.)

Now back to the book. James Kier did not change his whole life in a twenty-four hour period. For some reason he found out who the other James Kier was and decided to attend the other mans memorial service.

He had to park his car two blocks away and in the poor part of town. Yet when he went inside he found people who were both rich and poor. There were also a lot of kids there. The place was full to the brim, and all to talk about the bus driver who had the same name. James was in shock when he listened to all the praise the man received. He was loved by many, yet he was financially poor.

Now, I am over two hundred words so have to wrap this up. You will not find the ending you would wish for. In fact several times I had tears running down my face. But the author did leave you with, “a holiday tale to warm your season, your home and your heart. End of quote.”

“I will tell you all Merry Christmas, and I give the author a five star rating.”

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

An Angel for Christmas

The MacDougal family has always spent Christmas in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which has been in Stacy MacDougal’s family for many years. This year will be different as each of the grown children will bring along problems they have no answers for.

Shayne’s a doctor and his wife has filed for divorce. He can’t understand why? Morwenna is troubled that her boyfriend is off to Cancun, with other members of her office instead of with her. Bobby the youngest son has been to one college after another. He is considered a genius and his father has no idea why he does not make up his mind about what he will do in the future. But Bobby has made a decision. He just has to gather up the courage to tell his father.

While the three siblings are out in the garage to bring in presents, Shayne heard what he thought was a groan. Both Bobby and Morwenna, tell him it is probably a tree cracking. But then they all heard it and went to investigate. They find a man unconscious with blood on his head and lying in a pile of snow.

As they get the stranger inside of the house and check him out he begins to wake up. He tells them his name is Gabe Lange and he is with the Virginia State Police. He was after an escaped white collar criminal named Luke DeFeo. That he almost had Luke but he jumped him and knocked him out and took his uniform.

This is all I am sharing with you in this review. I will tell you that this book is filled with mystery, action, family, love and spirituality. Gabe seems to somehow bring out the best in people, and to help them all to understand the events they are going through.

The ending will knock your socks off.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Christmas Note

I have read books by this author before, but this time I was a little disappointed. She left out why we celebrate Christmas. Besides that, the story line was interesting and I even had tears at times.

What I found to be so different was the main character’s husband was injured over in Afghanistan and is in a German hospital where they are doing all they can to help him. He has lost an arm and there could be possible brain injury. He is put into an induced coma for awhile and then they bring him back and he has to learn everything again. For once an author goes into more detail about what is happening today. I applaud the author for that.

You will find mystery, generosity, love and people who did not know they had siblings in this book. All in all this is a feel good book during the Christmas Season.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Christmas House

The illustrations in this book are beautiful. I found something that I am not sure that others have. On some of the pictures they have different names that are not connected to the story.

A good example is on one side of a page it says Mr. Jacobs and you read about him. Then on the next page there is a picture of a man and boy looking for a Christmas tree. At the bottom of the page it reads “Henry and Grandpa~~December 12, 1946.” You will have to look and see how many you may find.

The story is charming. A young couple Kathleen and George and their baby have moved into a new neighborhood a month ago. Their neighbors don’t seem too friendly, but are really good people who have not had time to drop by.

One night George has lit the fireplace for their new baby to enjoy. Kathleen is at the piano and opens a window just a bit to let in a bit of a chill because of the fire. She is playing Christmas carols and has no idea of the effect it is having on their new neighbors. One by one they are enraptured by the memories that come back to them as they listen.

This is a sweet story to read to your children or grand kids. It is worth every dime you spend for it.

Rated G

Christmas Memories at Grace Chapel Inn

What a delightful story about three sisters of whom after their father died, they decided to turn the large family home into a Bed and Breakfast Inn. One Year they closed the Inn down for a week so that family could be together that year. One Christmas Eve after their friends had left the three sisters sat watching the fire in the fireplace and drinking hot cider.

They began to reminisce about their favorite Christmas stories about family and friends. The author is so descriptive that even here in Louisiana I could imagine snowflakes falling and could hear the sisters singing before they went to bed.
The stories are full of joy, laughter and some sadness. Definitely worth reading and it will sure get you ready for the Christmas Season.

Also included are some of the recipes you will find at the end of the story. I can’t wait to try the Scottish Shortbread, White Chocolate Hermits with Eggnog Glaze and Mocha Krinkles.

I found this to be a warm feel good story.
Rated G

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Last Stop Freedom

The author has done a remarkable job taking us back into the pre-Civil War era. It was a time that left a dark spot in the history of our country. While this book is historical fiction, the atrocities it mentions were all too real.

This is the story of a young woman named Julia who keeps house for her preacher father and acts as his assistant. She has no friends and is resigned to a life alone. One day she receives an invitation to spend a couple of weeks with her cousins and uncle at a resort in Saratoga Springs, New York. She accepts even though her father refuses to bless the trip. While there, she meets a man named Nathaniel Hamilton who owns a plantation in the South and represents the southern way of life as superior to all others. In particular, he claims that his slaves are treated as trusted servants and are content in their lives.

They are instantly attracted to one another. Julia accepts his marriage proposal and moves with him to his plantation, where she soon discovers the truth about the horrors of slavery. From there on you will learn about the Underground Railroad and the Abolitionist movement, as well as the manner in which slaves were really treated. I pray we have learned from the past to never judge others. Yet at the same time I pray for forgiveness from others also.

Don’t let the number of pages in this book put you off. While reading it, I often had to stop and do other things. But each time I picked it up again, I found it was just as fascinating as when I started it.
This book gets a five star rating from me.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Helen of Troy

Tess Collins
Helen of Troy
BearCat Press LLC
P.O. Box 642491
San Francisco, CA. 94164
$19.95 hard bound, $11.95 paperback and $2.99 EB
211 pages
Sandra Heptinstall

Tess Collins, has taken the classic Greek legend of “Helen of Troy,” and placed it in modern day, rural America. This book was pure joy to read. It was funny, sad and educational.

Her development of each character was in my opinion brilliant! The author made them come alive. You will love some of them, feel sorry for some, and then you have the characters you just want to punch their lights out.

I really think this would be good for kids in high school who are just beginning to read the classics. They could easily say, “Hey that was Rudy or Garland.”
This is an excellent read for anyone of any age.

Five star review rated G

Do not publish until Jan, 2012

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Already Know I Love You

What an absolutely beautiful book. The illustrations are fabulous and the story is one most of us grand parents have felt. It has brought back so many memories. Each time my husband and I learned we were going to be grandparents again it was magic to us. It did not matter if it was the first or last of our grand kids it was a special occurrence each time for us.

Each night as we said our prayers together, we would ask God to take care of our unborn grandchild. Then as more came it was still the same.

We understand what Billy Crystal, is saying in his book! I cried as I thought back to the moments when we have heard, “Mom and Dad we have something to say. We are going to have a baby.”

Well done Billy, well done!

Posted to Midwest in Oct 2011 Rated G

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tom's Wife

While I had learned a little in school about the depression our country had gone through, and heard stories from relatives. I was not prepared for how bad it really was. Even though this is a work of fiction the facts during the time period are correct.

Because of the cost to feed and have clothes for family members, a lot of girls were wed to men they hardly knew. This is the case with Annie who was married to Tom Huckaby. Her mom did not prepare her for marriage and how it should be. During the first year of marriage her husband Tom had hit her numerous times.

There was never even a soft caress from him. At night it was more like rape than a husband making love to his wife. Tom would come into the bedroom and tell Annie to take off her dress and slip. Then she laid down until he was finished. She fled back home and her mom told her it was to be expected. That a woman had to do everything she could to not make her husband mad. That it happened in all marriages.

Annie had only two years of school. If it had not been for her friend Twila, she would have been totally lost and alone. That is until a peddler stop by to show what he carried in his suitcase for sale. Annie looked at him once and then could not look again. She felt things that a married woman should not feel. Things best left alone. But could Annie keep those feeling in bay or would she eventually give in over time?

One thing that I did learn is that there were different types of being poor during that time. Some could say a pecking order for lack of a better word.

This author makes the words she writes seem as if you are there with her. She takes you back in time with her. This book is not about a happy family like "The Walton’s" television show. In fact it is sad, but a book that I think people should read. Learn what it was really was like for hundreds of people like Annie.
posted to Midwest in Oct 2011
Rated G

Saturday, September 17, 2011

On The Edge of the Forest by M.Desiree

This is the story of Olivia Mayor who was in a car accident along with her parents. While she survived her parents did not. She carries a lot of weight on her young shoulders, as she blames herself for the accident.

Olivia is sent to live with her sister and husband in Pinecrossing, WY. Even though it has been two years since the terrible accident, for Olivia each day it seems to get harder and harder for Olivia to survive. Her nights are filled with nightmares of the accident. She wakes up screaming each night. No matter how much her sister Christine tries to help, she knows her sister maybe slipping away from sanity.

It was on a school bus one day she finally makes a friend. For me it is then that this book starts to get really interesting. I am not going to tell you much more about this book, but Olivia falls in love with a young man who warns her not to go outside at night when there is a full moon. Stay inside because of the wolves!

The first thirty-eight pages were a bit disjointed and she has some editing problems. But the author who is a sophomore in high school wrote this book in one month. There is no doubt in my mind that she is a rising star, and one day will become a best-selling author.

Paranormal Romance...teenagers would like this book!
Review sent in Sept 2011 Rated pg 13

Monday, September 5, 2011

3 Steps To Recovery
Dan Farish
T-87 Publishing
P.O. Box 773
Freeland, WA 98249
$12.99 at Amazon
261 pages
Sandra Heptinstall….reviewer

This book is sad but also powerful. It is the story of Dan Farish, a man who came from a family which proves truth is stranger than fiction. Within all of us, we hold secrets. Dan has taken out all of the skeletons of his past so that we will see what was, and what can be.

Dan was raised in a dysfuctional famil. The memories would last him his whole life. There was no getting away from them except in a bottle of alcohol. He started drinking as a teen and it continued for twenty years. He had to hit bottom before he could begin the healing powers of overcoming his addiction.

After going into an addiction rehab hospital that was based on the basic twelve step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, Dan found out that it was not for him. He was kicked out of the thirty day program after twenty-seven days. It is not that the program was bad, as it has helped thousands of people around the world. Some people just do not fit into certain programs.

Dan used three of the steps . He prayed every hour and every day for God to help him. Dan prayers were answered but it is something you have to read for yourself. Whether it is you or someone you know that has any type of addiction you need to buy this book.

I believe in the author, and what he has said in his book. I only wished his way would of been around before I lost someone I loved.

(posted to midwest in Sept 2011)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Do not post until the end of Oct 26, 2011

I Never Intended To Be Brave
Heather Andersen
Windy City Publisher
1935 S. Grove RD, #349 Palatine, IL 60067
252 pages
Sandra Heptinstall Reviewer

This book is the true story of one remarkable woman named Heather Andersen. I have never known a "title" of a book that fits like this one does. After finishing up her time with The Peace Corp, Ms Andersen finds she does not want to go home yet. She wants to see all of southern Africa. She wants to learn more about the different countrys, cultures and people.

She contacts a well known cycling organization but only had one man who wanted to join her in her three month tour on bicycles. It was not long after meeting Paul that she discovered his agenda was not what they had agreed on. Tensions between them grew so great that they decided to each go their own way.

It was then that the heart of this story begins for me. The tenacity of the author to continue on alone is something that will keep you turning the pages of this book. It was written from the author’s heart and soul. What else can one say!

Five Star from this reviewer
Rated G

Friday, August 19, 2011

Losestone Book Three: The Crucible of Dawn

I never dreamed I would like this type of genre. Yet the more pages I turned, the more I wanted to read this book. I love the way the author has us use our own imagination, as the story goes along. He gives us hints and the rest we have to imagine on our own.

While the story is excellent, it is also fun in many ways. My imagination went wild trying to figure out what each character looked like. Then creating the person or creature to fit the book was a hoot. The story is not funny but my perception of some of the characters is.

I loved the fact that the author did not use any swear words. I have often found they were not needed to tell a good story. Mr. Whiteway has set the standard I believe.

If you have never read a book of Sci-Fi, then may I suggest you start with this one? You won’t be disappointed. I will read anything this author puts out.

Rated G

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Repairing Rainbows by Lynda Fishman

How in the world do you begin to write a book review of a woman, who has been through hell and back so many times. It started when she was thirteen and her mother and two sisters were killed in a plane crash. It was devastating to say the least. She turned to her father during this time, but he could not give her the support she needed to get through the pain. Instead of reaching out to her so together they could heal, he was locked into a world of his own.

She fell asleep each night hearing her father crying. Where once was a home filled with laughter, love and joy, it quickly changed into a world of silence. Lynda could hardly make it each day. During the nights her dreams turned into nightmares.
This is just the start of a book filled with pain, sadness and eventually happiness. But even though you will read about her happiness she is still haunted by her past. The pain will never go away, but she is lucky that her husband understands about pain. He has his own story to tell. We have read part of it in this book, and it leaves me wanting to read more.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that Lynda’s mom taught her that we are to help others as much we can. Both Lynda and her husband continue to do that, even today.
Sandra Heptinstall..posted to Midwest in August

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Laird of Loch Fyne

I absolutely love this book. Maggie Harris is a doctor who went to a Renaissance fair to relax. While there she went into a tent and became intrigued with a brooch. She picked it up and then the shop owner pulled a plaid out and put it around her shoulders and pinned the brooch on it. Maggie slowly begins to feel weird and the next thing she knew she was waking up in a forest,four hundred years in the past.

What happens next is for you to read and enjoy. You will find humor, love, a tad bit of suspense and it is just plain funny in parts. It is an easy read and good when you want to get away from all the hassles in your life.

So get yourself a glass of ice tea and kick back in your recliner, and be prepared to be taken back in time with Maggie. I believe most people would call this a chick book. Well this old mother hen loved every page. I really hope the author continues to write more about these characters. This book gets a high five from me.
posted in August to Midwest

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Waiting for Pops: A Journey From Boy To Man

I read this book with mixed emotions. While it is a work of fiction, it really puts the D in dysfunctional family. I did not like the cursing that is in this book. Yet because of the character development in this story, I can see why it was used.

The story this book tells us is heart breaking. There is no way I could ever read this book right away, again. The way this book ended I would never of, imagined. In fact I was mad. I like happy endings, and this book reminded me that in life, there are not always happy endings.

While this is Mr. Riffice first book, I hope it will not be his last.

Rated pg

Posted in August

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Field of Dead Horses

Field if Dead Horses
Nick Allen Brown
Hardwood Books
3943 N Providence Road Newtown Square, PA 19073
333 Pages

Sometimes you may get a book that starts out slow and then the book gains momentum and your interest as it goes along. Then there can be books that get you from the first page. This book got me from the start.

Elliott Chapel owns a horse farm that his father had started. His dad Paul Chapel was well known in the racing world. He trained thoroughbreds, but after the loss of his wife due to child birth he changed completely. His relationship with his son is something you can find out about when you read this book.

Elliott and his farm manager Booley were out mending fences when they came upon a woman who was bloodied and beaten laying face up in the shadow waters of Penny Creek. Elliott told Booley to would go and call the Sheriff and the doctor to come out to where the woman’s body lay. But Booley told Elliott it would be better if he called the people to come out. You see during the time period of this book a black man who was witty, wise and well- read was unusual. It was especially different for a black man to hold the position he did at the ranch. For a black man to be best friends with a white man was not heard of. If Booley were to call for the Sheriff it might cast Booley in a bad light, and make him the prime suspect just because his skin was a different color.

After Booley explained to Elliot why it would not be a good idea for him to call, Elliot agreed and left. Booley was family to the Chapel's and they did not judge a man by the color of his skin.

If you like a different style of a love story, or love horse as I do, then you will enjoy this book. The ending left me with tears running down my face.

Rated G
Hold until further notice.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Risk It All

Carissa Johnson, graduated top of her class at Harvard. She has a double master’s degree in business finance and international business. She is not only smart but beautiful as well. She was approached by the CIA’s Mideast Bureau Chief, Quincy Carter, to work for them.
Saying no was not an option for her. She came from a family where duty to your country is an honor.

At only 28 she had accomplished what no other CIA agent working in the Middle East had been able to do penetrate the largest Hamas cell on the Arabian Peninsula, so the agency could initiate the important process of “following the money trail” that would take them to the top al Qaida operatives.

When Carissa is called home because of the death of her grandmother Anna, her world will change in ways she never expected.

This book is full of all the things that make a great book suspense, adventure, excitement and love. There is a little bit of something for all readers.
This is an excellent read and I give it five star rating.

Rated PG

Posted to Midwest in July

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Letters to Juniper

I have never had a harder time writing a review than this one. Not because it is bad, but because it is so good. Sarah is twelve when she begins to write letters to her childhood friend Juniper. They were six years old and best friends. They always had fun together. Even though Sarah parents were divorced she had a happy life.
One weekend Sarah and her little brother were visiting their dad, and he told them that their mom had been in a car wreck and died. They moved away so fast that Sarah never got to say good bye to Juniper.

You may begin to think this is just a sweet book about two girls, who begin to write to each other after so many years. Well guess again, as this book will blow you away. There is no way you can imagine how this book will end.
This book is totally different from any book I have read. I finished the last pages of this book and just sat there and said, “WOW.”

Rated G

Sent to Midwest in July

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Freshman Tales of 9th Grade Obesesions, Revelations, and Other Nonesense.

Freshman, Tales of 9th Grade Obsessions, Revelations, and other Nonsense.

Anie is 14 and starting her freshman year of high school. She is filled with all the normal insecurities most girls of her age go through. Before the first day of school her brother warns her that her freshman year of high school will set the stage for the rest of her life.

Then on her first day of high school, a friend of hers that she had gone through every year of school with won’t even let her sit with her at lunch time. Poor Annie is beginning to think her brother might be right after all.

The world she knew is not there anymore. Her friends are not friends, and boys are just well.....boys.

I think young girls and woman will enjoy this book. For those of us who are older we still remember what it was like starting high school. For young women you will find that your first year in high school will pass by very quickly and just think, then you will be a sophomore.

Rated G

(Posted to Midwest in July)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Look Book


I have found a recurrent theme in this book. That is that history repeats itself. Throughout this book we are shown movie stars from the silent screen and how they did their make-up and hair, to the present day stars that have used the same look.

I had no idea that you were suppose to brush your lips with a dry tooth brush to exfoliate your lips. That is just one of the many tips you will learn along the way. I also loved the mini bios’ of each movie star or singer.

This book is a jewel when it comes to beauty. No matter what color of skin you have, you will find information that is just right for you. Take a look at hair styles from long ago, that seem too revolve all over again.
Buy this book, as you won’t be disappointed.

Rated G
(posted to Midwest in July)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Auraria Dead

Maria Sebastian was in an abusive marriage for years. When she finally found a way to leave, she did and never looked back. She ran to a new state and started a career in real estate that she loved. Then after fifteen years her past comes back to haunt her. Maria finds her father has secrets she would have never imagined. Her boyfriend Mason, seems to be hiding things of his own. Her crazy cousin inadvertently gets her in trouble and someone wants her dead.

She comes home one day and someone had broken into her house. They destroyed everything they could. Then someone tries to run her over and last but not least, she is kidnapped. This is just a taste of a book filled with mystery, intrigued, suspense, and romance. A little bit of something for everyone. I liked this book. The flow of the book always held my interest.

A wise man told me that a good book will always leave you wanting more. Well... I wanted more.
Rated PG
posted to Midwest in June.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lodestone Book Three: The Crucible of Dawn

Hold until release

Lodestone Book Three: The Crucible of Dawn

Mark Whiteway

I never dreamed I would like this type of genre. Yet the more pages I turned, the more I wanted to read this book. I love the way the author has us use our own imagination, as the story goes along. We can all read a book and it is easy to figure things out. But you won’t find it in this book.

I loved the fact that the author did not use any swear words. I have often found they were not needed to tell a good story. Mr. Whiteway has set the standard I believe.

While this book is one of Science Fiction, you will find yourself pulled into the story as I have. If you have never read a book of this genre, then may I suggest you start with this one? You won’t be disappointed.

Rated G

Saturday, June 4, 2011

8-Track Flashbacks

This book is really unique and I love it. Each chapter lists the news of that time frame, sports report and what the author is doing. Plus, what I loved most is the number one song at that time. I could argue the number one song with the author, but then you would all know how old I am. This book has the struggles and the joys of growing up in the author’s life.

I laughed so hard when he was twelve and had his first date of sorts. He was meeting a girl at the movie theater and he kept sniffing his pits and wiping his hands dry. Then trying to figure out whether to hold the girl’s hand or put his arm over her shoulder. The reason I found it so funny, is because I remember when I was twelve, and meeting a boy at the theater. I was worried about bad breath and was blowing into my hands and then sniffing to see if my breath was ok. Then I wondered if he was going to hold my hand or put his arm over my shoulders. If not my friends would make fun of me. I would be an outcast at only twelve years old. I only bring this up because I think that was the last year of innocence for our generation.

Tom went through the pain of his father leaving and his mom drinking all the time. She would hit him for no reason, except for the alcohol.

We follow the author all the way through puberty, sports and college. I have laughed and felt sad when he was. Learning lessons the hard way. Our generation was the largest but I think we had the most fun also. I hated it when this book came to an end. I have enjoyed going back in time and reading about Tom’s story. I wish he would write more. I mean after all, he has left us with, “I can’t get no, satisfaction.”
Posted to Midwest in June

Before You Launch Your Business: How to decide if being a entrepreneur is for you.

What I liked so much about this little book is its “Honesty.” The author is so forthcoming in whether you should, or should not start up a business in today’s economy. Some people think because they have the money everything should be okay. But the author shows you it takes more than money to be successful.

She has you take several quizzes to make sure you have the personality for the type of business you want to start. Then tells us it is always good to have the support of family or friends. The author tells you of several web sites you can go to, to find help you may need.

It is so refreshing to read an honest book. It does not tell you how to make a million dollars, but explains to the reader if they have what it takes to make it in business.
Posted to Midwest in June

Monday, May 30, 2011

Faded Lives

What I first loved about this book was the cover. Then when I read the book and discovered the importance of the picture, no other picture could have given the story justice.

Mark Stephens has felt guilty every since he was not able to make it in time to see his grandpa before he died. So when time passed he jumped at the chance to help his grandma when she called. It was one week he would never forget. While he feasted on all the good country food his grandmother made; he also learned about his grandma and the history of her family.

Every day as he helped his grandma get things in order, she would share with him what had gone on in her family growing up. It is those stories that make this book good. It is more than just an interesting read, as you will find you can’t wait until grandma Emily talks again.

It is the ending that I found so beautiful and peaceful. I can’t tell you why, but that is my perception. I found it hard to believe this is a first time author.
Posted to Midwest in June

Monday, May 23, 2011

Post to Midwest in June

Night Corridor

Caroline Hill has spent the last nine years of her life in a mental hospital. When she was a teenager she had a baby, and her daughter was literally taken from her arms and put up for adoption. Caroline was begging for her baby and slowly sank into a world that would take her nine years to climb out of.

As she enters into a new society she begins to wonder if she can make it. But the words of her doctors at the hospital keep coming back to her. To takes things one step at a time. She has a job and her very own room in a boarding house.

What she is about to encounter is something no one could of dreamed of. This book is intricately plotted and will surprise even the most devoted mystery or suspence reader. I challenge any reader to stop on page 190 of this 255 page book, to tell me who is the real serial murderer. The answer will surely blow you away. It did me.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Releasing Gillian’s Wolves (Hold until August to post.)
Tara Woolpy
Bats in the Boathouse Press
PO Box 685
Minocqua, WI 54548
$15.00 paperback and $2.99 ebook
281 pages

When I received this book I was only going to read a few pages to get an idea of what it was about. I had a million things to get done in my house that day. Well one page lead to another and then another, and before I knew it I was hooked and nothing got done.

I really did enjoy this book! There is such a diversity of characters that if one does not get you, another one will. All except Jillian’s husband Jack. He is a Congressman, as well as a liar and a cheat. Jillian has thought for years her husband was cheating on her, and one night she decided enough was enough. She wanted a divorce and to get away.

She thought she would spend the rest of her life alone. At her age love would not be hers again. But as she later finds out love does not have an age limit. Love like wine, can be sweeter with age.

For me, I liked the whole story. The flow of the book I found to be interesting and it held my attention.

I also like the recipes the author has shared with us.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Hambledown Dream
Dean Mayes
ireadiwrite Publishing
Central Avenue,Delta BC V47K 2H1 Canada
+1 604 765 8194
978-1-926760-27-8 ebook 978-1-926760-33-9 print
$3.99 and $15.95
284 pages

As a reviewer, if I say I will review a book then I do so no matter what. I started reading this book and thought to myself what a mistake I have made. The language is vulgar and some sexual escapade's . The main character is a young man named Andy DeVrie who is a drug dealer and courier. One night he over dose’s on drugs. He had flat line in the hospital, and after using the paddles four times the doctors were able to bring him back to life.

Then a strange thing begins to happen. Andy begins to change the way he lives. Even his eye color changes from brown to green. He has these dreams of a woman and the life he had with her. He feels another presence within himself and the woman in his dreams calls him Denny.

He stopped selling and doing drugs. He paid a high price for doing so. He was beat within an inch of his life. The one thing that Andy loved more than anything was playing his guitar. He was a student at a prestigious Conservatory for classical guitar, and if not for one teacher he would have been kicked out.

Andy played technically correct, but it is with the help of Denny he learns to feel the music. To become one with his guitar and let the music take him to different places.

This book is a lovely love story between a man and a woman. But it is also about the magic of music. I can honestly say I felt the music and enjoyed this book. I played violin for years, so it was easy for me to envision what Andy/Denny felt as he played. To lose yourself and everything around you until the music fades away.

Rated PG (sent into Midwest in May)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Risk It All

Title: Risk It All
Author: Stan Stamper
Publisher Address:
Publishers Phone Number:
Publishers Website:
ISBN: 9780982826829
Price: both digital and paperback
Page count: 370

Mr. Stamper is a writer to watch. His second book “Risk It All,” is the type of book you will want to read over and over again.

Carissa Johnson, graduated top of her class at Harvard. She has a double master’s degree in business finance and international business. She is not only smart but beautiful as well. She was approached by the CIA’s Mideast Bureau Chief, Quincy Carter, to work for them. Saying no was not an option for her. She came from a family where duty to your country is an honor.

At only 28 she had accomplished what no other CIA agent working in the Middle East had been able to do--penetrate the largest Hamas cell on the Arabian Peninsula so the agency could initiate the important process of “following the money trail” that would take them to the top al Qaida operatives and possibly to Osama bin Laden himself.

When Carissa is called home because of the death of her grandmother
Anna, her world will change in ways she never expected.
This book is full of all the things that make a great book. It is filled with suspense, adventure, excitement and love. There is a little bit of something for all readers.

This is an excellent read (HOLD UNTIL JULY)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

"Sacred Secrets, A Jacody Ives Mystery"

“Sacred Secrets, A Jacody Ives Mystery”

Linda S. Prather

Create Space

7290 Investment Drive,

North Charleston, SC 29418



Paperback $14.98 -- Digital $.99

384 pages

Sandra S. Heptinstall


This is one of the most fascinating books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. After reading the author’s first book “The Gifts, A Jacody Ives Mystery,” I did not feel like the next book could top it. But what I found was Ms. Prather is one of the most gifted writers of our times.

In the second installment of the “Jacody Ives Mystery,” the author takes us deeper into the depths of Jacody and Gavin. One person, with two different personalities.

I am so glad that the author has included some of the characters from the first book that I liked. The new ones are just as engaging. The elements of the supernatural, add to the suspense of this story.

I would also like to commend Charles W. Prather, Jr. for the poetry he has written in this book. He shows great promise as well.

rated pg for violence POSTED TO MIDWEST IN MAY

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Prisoner and Survivor

Prisoner and Survivor
Brian Kittrell
Late Nite Books P.O. Box 321, Brandon, MS 39042
ISBN: 9780982949580 …350 Pages

Once again the author has managed to capture my attention right from the start. The author’s ability of developing characters that are interesting, and with quick shifts of focus, he is able to move the story along to keep readers eager to turn to the next page.

With each installment of the series we are introduced to a variety of different characters. What I have enjoyed with this book is that the two main characters are so different from the other characters you will find in the first two books of the series.

We are introduced to William who is convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. He is in prison waiting to see if he gets life in prison, or the death penality. He is able to escape when the zombies enter the jail. Then William meets Edgar who had terminal cancer but somehow survived. Together they team up to head west, as William keeps hearing a voice that says go west.

This book is so much more than I can tell you in a review. I can only say buy this book for yourself if you want to know the rest of the story.

Rated PG for violence POSTED TO MIDWEST IN MAY

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Gifts: A Jacody Ives Mystery by Linda S. Prather

The Gifts, A Jacody Ives Mystery
Linda S Prather
Echelon Press Publishing
9735 Country Meadows Lane,
Laurel, MD 20723
288 pages

If you love a good mystery mixed with the supernatural, and suspense, then this is the book for you. It is a thriller that has you thinking one way, and then within the next few pages you are on a journey that will keep you going until the end. It is like being on a roller coaster. You slowly make your way up to the top, all the time watching how high you are going. Then as you reach the top you say to yourself, “What was I thinking?” Yet it is too late to get off. This book is like a roller coaster.

Once you start reading it, there is no turning back. The book will drawl you into the story and the characters. I thought I had it figured out half way through the book, and then sure as shoot I found out I was lost.
This is a great read.

I rate this book PG 13 for language and violence

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Pirate's Bastard

Laura S. Wharton
Second Wind Publishing, LLC
931-B Main Street, Box 145
Kernersville, NC 27284
$11.95 paperback at Amazon
7.95 Kindle
168 pages

Ms. Wharton has impressed me by the amount of time she spent making sure everything was correct for the time period the book takes place in. Everything is right on the mark. This book is Historical Fiction and an excellent read.

Reverend Jonathan Eubanks, opens the church door and finds a small baby someone has left on the steps of the church. He takes the child to the orphanage where he will spend the first nine years of his life. The other children call him the town’s bastard and assault him and call him names daily. The only refuge he has is when he goes to the church, where Reverend Eubanks is.

One day Reverend Eubanks asked Eward if he would like to go with him to his next assigned church in New Brunswick, in the colony of Carolina. It would mean that Edward would not be able to return to Barbados for a long time. Edward jumped at the chance to get away. Where no one knows the story of his father Stede Bonner, who left his plantation, his wife and two sons to become a notorious pirate along with his mistress who was Edward's mother.

In New Brunswick, Edward found that no one knows anything of who he was, or his past life. As he grows older he becomes a ship builder and life is good for him. He falls in love with a woman and the future is promising. That is until a man shows up who knows about his past. Will Edward be able to keep his past a secret or will it come up to haunt him again?
Rated PG for subject matter.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Seeds of Spring: Lessons From the Garden

This book is so much more than just a how to garden book. The author takes us on an adventure in gardening for a season. I found this book to be philosophical, poetic, a test of endurance and informative.

Mr. Bates believes we should all be responsible in taking care of our planet. It is up to us to be as environmentally friendly, as we can be.

I had never thought a garden could be a work of art, until I read this book. The way the author plans his garden you will find different colors at different times of the growing season. The colors, shapes and textures could be compared to a realist painting.

I have to add that this book is also funny. I will never be able to look at a chicken again without remembering the battles Mr. Bates faced in keeping them out of his garden. The immortal cry of “fried chicken, fried chicken,” will always stay in my mind. I have to leave you with this warning, do not read this book and then go to a KFC for a long time. I did and could not stop laughing. I don’t know where it came from but I started saying in a loud voice “fried chicken, fried chicken."My friend is still saying "she can’t take me any where as she never knows what I might say." This is a five star book, and I give it a G rating.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Time of My Life

The Time of My Life
Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi
Atria a book division of Shimon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas,
New York, NY 10020
247 Pages

I adored Patrick Swayze as much as probably millions of other people have. The most sensuous scene I have ever seen was in the movie “Ghost.” When Demi Moore sat at her pottery wheel and he sat behind her, and took her hands as they worked in the clay was pure magic.

What I found amazing in this book was his feelings of inadequacy. That he was never good enough no matter how hard he tried. He was a football player, gymnast, horseman, dancer and actor. Even though he was brilliant at what he did, he felt it was not good enough.

More than once in this book he has said, “It had to be done as a Swayze,” which meant he could never do anything half way. He had to give his all and be the best at what he did.

He is so lucky he had his precious wife Lisa who helped him along his journey in this life, until his life ended. We will all miss him but he comes alive for us whenever we watch one of his movies. Or when you read this book and find the real Patrick Swayze.

Sandra Heptinstall
Whispering Winds Book Reviews
Rated G
Posted in Feb.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Title: The War of the Dead
Author: Brian Kittrell
Publisher: Late Nite Books
Publisher Address: PO Box 321, Brandon, MS 39042
Publisher Phone Number: 601-665-7555
Publisher Website Address: http://www.latenitebooks.com
ISBN: 978-0-9829495-0-4
Price: $10.99
Page Count: 310

Often times we wait for the next book of a series to come out and then are disappointed, as it does not live up to the first book. I can honestly say that I liked this book even more than the first book.

In this second installment we are given the military perspective of what has happened in our country. The whole eastern seaboard has been hit by missiles. Many people have been killed from the attack, but then something strange happens. Some of the dead come back alive and are attacking and trying to kill the people who had made it through the initial attack.

Captain Andy McKenzie is assigned to a military post called “North Star,” which is near Fort Hood, Texas. His job is to keep everything coordinated, and inform Washington of his findings. By satellites he can see how the Marines are doing in the jungles where the attack was launched.

After many attempts at contacting Washington, and reporting his findings, Captain McKenzie learns that Washington, DC has been hit and people are either dead or have become a type of zombie. McKenzie finds his own men and women are leaving their post to move as far West as they can, and taking everything they think they may need too survive on their own.

This book is captivating and will keep you reading. You will find yourself waiting for the next installment. This is not your ordinary zombie type of book. Do not let the word "zombie" turn you away, as this book can encompass a variety of different genres.

For some of us baby boomers this story can hit home. We grew up doing drills each month where we would have to get under our desk and cover our heads. Then, the threat was the U.S.S.R and some people even had underground shelters in case we were attacked.

Again, I have to say that this book also has just a whisper of truth in it that will keep you reading. We now live in a world that is filled with terrorist and extremist. Who can say that the things that are mentioned in this book can not happen in our world today? You need to read this book.

Sandra Heptinstall

Rated PG for violence
posted in Feb.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Cross Gardener
Jason E Wright
Berkley Publishing Group
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014
293 Pages

What a beautifully written book. This story will lead your heart in many different directions. It is a book of love, loss, grief, depression and finding your way back, with the grace of God.

It is thought provoking and the ending is not what you think it will be. I was so surprised that I read it twice.

An excellent read.

Sandra Heptinstall

Rated G