Friday, December 28, 2012

Trading Christmas

Trading Christmas

Debbie Macomber

Mira Book, 225 Duncan Mill Road, Don Mills, Ontario M3B 3K9, Canada



362 pages

Sandra Heptinstall


When I first received this book, I thought it was going to be like the movie, “The Holiday”. Much to my delight the only thing that was the same is that two people trade homes for the holiday. This book is a warm, feel good read. It has the happy ending that one comes to expect from this author.

Then I discovered the author had put another book at the end of the first story. I have to tell you that if a book built around Christmas does not make me cry, then it is not good. Both of the stories did, and I was ready and had a box of Kleenex next to me.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Christmas Note

The Christmas Note

Donna VanLiere

St Martins, Press……..175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 100l0



208 pages

Rated G

Sandra Heptinstall


This story is different than any other Christmas book I have read. While this story brings all the warmth and joy that comes with Christmas; it is also filled with one surprise after another. Mystery abounds in this book.

I love the way the author ties up the ending except for one thing, and I can’t even tell you what it is without spoiling the book for you. I can only tell you to read the book for yourself.

I enjoyed this book and hope you will also.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Promise of an Angel

The Promise of an Angel

Ruth Reid

Thomas P.O. Box 141000 Nashville, TN 37214


$15.99 294 pages

Sandra Heptinstall

“I have to first say, I am sorry for not finishing up the books I have to do. I just needed what I call Soul Food! I have to say, I have gone through breast cancer and had a mastectomy. But I still have worked hard to catch up on books. It was not easy and if I have disappointed any authors, then please except my apologies. There were days when I just could not read.

My world was turned upside down, and I needed this book. My heart needed this book as well as my soul. I needed to read about the glory of God and how miracles still happen. I hope people will understand why I had to stop, and read this book?

Judith Fisher was a young Amish woman who loved children and was always telling them stories. Her main goal in life was to fall in love, get married and have a lot of children of her own, that would be raised in the Amish community.

Judith’s father would not let her court anyone until she was nineteen. Judith was thinking that any day now Levi Plank would be asking her father if he could court her. Levi and Judith had talked about it many times before.

One day people were over to help with a new roof. When prayers were being said Judith noticed her younger sister Martha and Levi were flirting with each other. Then she saw her brother on the roof and yelled for him to get down. It startled Samuel and he fell off of the roof.

Judith took off running and rounded the corner to find him on the ground and an Englisch man was beside Samuel. “As the stranger stood up he told Judith, have faith as Samuels’s steps are ordered by God.” She could only stare at the man his eyes flickered with a bright, wavering light. As her older brother David found them she looked up and the stranger was gone. She took off running to find the man and could not find him. It did not take her long to realize the man was an Angel. No one believed her and told her not to talk about things like that. Yet each time she saw him she would tell people what he had to say. Only one person believed her, and honestly I cried at the end.

Rated G

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ramblin Rose' The Porcelain Mines in Russia

This book is really good for kids ten years and up. I have a question before I write my review. What age are we suppose too be to stop enjoying a book that was written for kids? I am 61 and have really enjoyed this book. I could see me in the book when I was younger. The way I think, I should say.

Little did twelve year old Rose know what she was soon to be involved in, when she broke one of her mom’s porcelain plates’. Her world would be turned upside down. She would find herself involved with spies, security and danger.

Rose’s grandfather died. but left her with words that really helped her when she was kidnapped. “There was some truth in every story. It’s up to you to find it and get a hold of it.” I love what he said to her.

Honestly you can buy the book for your child or grandchild, and then read it when they are in school or asleep. You will find your truth and how it worked out for yourself. My husband said I was like Rose in that my mind is talking in right field, and then change to left field and he was stuck in the middle and did not know what to say.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Lodestone Book Four "Seeds Across The Sky."

Lodestone Book Four “Seeds Across The Sky”

Mark Whiteway

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

P.O. Box 81207, Seattle, WA 98108

Web Site:


Price: $3.99

Lodestone Book 4

I was amazed that the author was able to take us to a new dimension in the fourth installment of the series. One filled with so many twist that anyone who has read the first three books of this series will be surprised.

The book can also stand alone, but I recommend that people go back and read the other books first. In the weak economy we are facing here in the USA, buying books can be a luxury. I would say if you like science fiction, you have come to the right place.

I have been surprised by what happens in this book, but never disappointed. A tremendously likable book. The way this book ended I can see where there needs to be at least another book in the series.

I would buy this book, as well as the other three. In fact this would make a great movie or television series.

Reviewed by Sandra Heptinstall

Rated G

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mystery at the Lake House #1 MONSTERS BELOW

Mystery at the Lake House #1 MONSTERS BELOW

Laura S. and William L.B Wharton Broad Creek Press
P.O. Box 43 Mt. Airy, NC 27030

$11.88 paper back and $1.99 wireless 124 Pages

This book was a delight to read. Even as an adult, I loved the mystery and characters of this book. What a joy that you can read a book to your kids, or grand-kids, and not have to worry about the language. Nor the plot being way beyond the age group this book is. Jock Avery is staying the summer with his grandparents at their Lake House. Yet this year will be different; as there are new kids next door for him to meet. Together they are a team and out to solve a mystery. Jock hears strange sounds at night that he can’t identify nor could his new friends. The ending is a hoot, and I can’t say enough about how much I think kids from 6 to 12 will love this book also. This book brings in fresh air I think for the genre needs.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Loggers by Rick Steber vol 7

What always amazes me is that each book Mr. Steber writes is about something that I had never really thought of before. Each page is a different story filled with so much knowledge. People could say how can you learn so much in just one page? My response is to buy the book for yourself and you will see. This is a book written primarily for school age children but believe me adults can learn also. It is fascinating to me. No matter what your age you will enjoy this book. The title of this book will tell you what the subject matter is. I did not think I would enjoy reading about loggers, nor the importance of what they did for us.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Jungle Jeopardy

Jungle Jeopardy Mary Montague Sikes Oak Tree Press 140 E. Palmer St. Taylorville, IL 62568 978-61009-024-7 $11.01 Sandra Heptinstall Reviewer When I first started reading this book I thought I must be missing something. Then I looked at the back of this book and realized it was part of a series.But, with small parts of the history that the author gives, I was able to understand what was going on in the story. This book is filled with adventure, suspense, love and mystery. You will walk along with Dana, Clifton, Tyler and Mick, as they make their way through a wild jungle trying to find a lost cave that is filled with all types of treasures that Dana’s grandfather hid there. They are confronted with drug dealers, and a black jaguar which Dana called Billy, that follows them and has saved them more than once. I have really enjoyed this book, and know that if you like suspense, adventure, mystery and a romance that came alive again you will enjoy this book. It has something for everyone. Rated G

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Coming Out Can be Murder

“I have no idea of why I said I would review this book. The genre is something I would normally never choose. It is so far out of my comfort zone. That being said, I have to tell you that the author is really good. I felt I would just read a few chapters and then return the book saying I can’t read this. It goes against all of my beliefs.

My problem was the characters seem to draw me into the story. I loved Bobbi and hated what all she went through. I thought I was so smart that I had everything already worked out. I was really surprised when I found out I was wrong.

This book is not for everyone. It has to do with transgender people, lesbians and gays. Plus, some things I had no knowledge of. It was a learning experience for me. Would I like to read this genre again? I don’t think so but not for the reasons most may think.

The writing was interesting and revealing. I am sorry for anyone who is treated like trash. There is an old saying and it is, “God Don’t Make No Junk.”

There are a lot of people and kids out there that could be helped by this book. Some that may be thinking about suicide. While this book is a very good mystery, it could be saving someone’s life. “

Rated PG 18

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Grandma's Stories Tales of the Wild West

A friend of mine sent me quite a few books from Mr. Steber. He uses them when he teaches school. I have found no matter what your age is each book is interesting. While the stories are only a page long the history that you learn is priceless.

Kids find it hard to realize that people could do without so much. I know that my own grandson’s ask me why I always say ice box instead of refrigerator. Well that is because that is what we had.

The reason I say this book is good for everyone is because I think we all take things for granted. So sit back with your child or grand-children and take them back through the history of the beginning of our country. How people made it without all the things we enjoy and use today.
Rated G

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Alexander and Tristan, you are so blessed to have a dad who loves you so much that he wrote a book just for you. I am glad your dad is sharing this story with the public also.

I have enjoyed this work of fantasy. One of the things that have made this book so special to me is the sense of family. How much they loved each other and would die if they had too, to protect each other.

From the beginning to the end this book holds your attention. I can see a parent reading this book out loud to their kids. Texting or playing games will stop as they listen to the words of this story.

This book is filled with adventure and suspense. You will find golden dragons fighting to survive in a world filled with humans. Humans who want to kill them for what they have. While there is violence in this book it is nothing to what most games portray.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hold until further notice

Lodestone Book 4

"I was amazed that the author was able to take us to a new dimension in the fourth installment of the series. One filled with so many twists that anyone who has read the first three books of this series will be surprised.

"The book can also stand alone, but I recommend that people go back and read the other books first. In the weak economy we are facing here in the USA, buying books can be a luxury. I would say if you like science fiction, you have come to the right place.

"I have been surprised by what happens in this book, but never disappointed. A tremendously likable book. The way this book ended I can see where there needs to be at least another book in the series.

" I would buy this book, as well as the other three. In fact this would make a great movie or television series."

Rated G

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mystery at the Phoenix Festival
Jack and Nicole Spanton and Laura S. Wharton
Broad Creek Press
P.O. Box 43 Mt. Airy, NC 27030
138 pages
Sandra Heptinstall

This book has no age limit on it. Two of my grandson’s Zach and Elijah Hopkins as well as myself all really enjoyed this book. This maybe a small book but it tells a big and warm hearted story. Cari and Bruce Rivers had saved enough money that they were able to travel the country in a RV, along with their two children Zach and Nicole and their two service dogs Zena and Dolly. It is Bruce and Cari’s hope that their children will learn to grow spiritually, and to share love with others.

The River’s family desire is to bring joy, hope and laughter to very sick children. Their dogs were trained to behave and do tricks to entertain kids. Their first stop was in Phoenix, AZ at a Cancer Treatment Center for kids.

Right from the start Zach and Nicole made many new friends at the center. While there Nicole finds a friend whose family owns a dog shelter. Because of the cost to get help for their daughter they were in danger of having to close the shelter. People who usually donated to cover the cost could not do it anymore because of the economy. But Nicole was already thinking of ways to raise the money to keep it going.

Then one early morning at the campsite the whole family’s faith is tested.
I did not want this story to end. It is hard to find books that encourage children to believe in God and to live for Him. This book did so but in an interesting way to keep kids attention.

Rated G

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Rainbow for Christmas
Mary Montague Sikes
Oak Tree Press, 1400 East Palmer St.
Taylorville, IL 62568
117 pages
Sandra Heptinstall

Since this book only has 117 pages it is more like a novella. The story is set in 1869. There you find Meg Smith and her niece Eliza, in a wagon train headed toward Denver, Colo. Meg was going to Denver as her dad had arrange for her to marry a man she had never met. Basically her dad sold her for money so that the farm they live on could be saved.

The outcome of the story you pick up within a few pages, but you keep reading the book anyway, because we all need to get away from our normal lives and so we pick up a book. Then we are transported by the author to someplace else.

The history in this book is right on the mark. Meg’s mom had made her a blue dress to be married in. This was normal as only rich people could afford a white wedding gown. It just happens my own mom, was also married in a blue dress in 1949. It was her going to church dress.

I don’t think the younger generation knows about marriages being arranged in our country. Nor do I think they know how hard it was for a lot of people as our country was forming.

I wish I could give this book a five star rating, but I can’t. The book needs more substance in my opinion. Yet since it is a novella I can give it a four star.

Rated G

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Scandalous! 50 Shocking Events You Should Know About (so you can impress your friends)

Hallie Fryd

Zest Books

35 Stillman Street, Suite 121, San Francisco, CA 94107



208 pages

Sandra Heptinstall


This was a fun read and I learned things I had no knowledge of. What really blew me away is people who were related by blood and got married. To me that is beyond my comprehension.

The only one I knew before this book was Jerry Lee Lewis who married his thirteen year old cousin. Now I have learned that Franklin D. Roosevelt married his cousin Eleanor. She did not even have to change her last name.

Rudy Giuliani and Regina Peruggi got married and thought they were third cousins so that was not bad. But after 14 years they discovered they were second cousins and had their marriage annulled soon after that.

I have always heard about Jim Thorpe the Olympian winner, but what I did not know is he was stripped of his medals over something that today would not happen. He was guilty of telling the truth when others lied. To learn more you have to read this book.

Oh my stars, talk about a shocker. You have to read the story on page 14. If you need to drop a few pounds then read on. For me I don't think I could ever eat this food again. The story would flash in my mind. Even though it was 1904 we still hear today about people getting sick from foods.

There are more interesting things to read in this book, and I think people will enjoy reading about them.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Quaker State Affair

Right from the start of this book your brain goes into overdrive and pulls you in. For me it was like reading the newspaper or watching the news. It is totally feasible that everything in this book could actually happen. It is so realistic it is almost scary.

This book is not easy reading at first. In fact for the first fifty-four pages I had to write notes on who is who and what they do. You really have to exercise you’re brain and I found that to be refreshing. In our world today what happens to our economy does have an effect on other countries. I worked for an oil company for five years and know the importance of oil around the world.

This book is filled with action, suspense and mystery. The book is well thought out and the character development is brilliant. I would tell my friends they need to read this book. It totally blew me away in parts.
This book is excellent and never boring.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Fearful Addict: 30 Degrees Below

Fearful Addict: 30 Degrees Below
David Mitchell and Michael O’Toole
107 Coachway GD S.W Calgary, Alberta, Canada
(403) 244-1858
165 pages
Reviewed by:
Sandra Heptinstall and Troy Halliwell

This book gives a very interesting look at one person’s fight to get rid of the addiction to nicotine and the way the author and mind fought was an interesting visit to the deeper levels of ones’ mind and the war of self- doubt and self- depravation. His mental stresses’ as he relapsed, and his fears would be one any smoker would recognize.

I have read a lot of articles and heard the dangers of smoking for years. I think the author approach is something anyone wanting to quit should read this first. He tells his story and it gives hope to people who have failed at quitting before.
If you have tired quitting using the patches, pills and gum and not made it then please read this book first. You really have to get your mind set for the battle to come.

This book is worth the time to read.

Rated G

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Field of Dead Horses

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 ranch that his father had started. His dad Paul Chapel was well known in the horse 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 sad, and at times makes you want to cry. A man who was filled with so much grief, that he never realized his wife's last gift to him. Elliott and his ranch manager Booley were out mending fences when they came upon a woman who was bloody and beaten, laying face up in the shadow waters of Penny Creek. Elliott told Booley to 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. During the time period of this book a black man was not considered as equal to a white man. They were treated as slaves and not to be trusted. But Booley was different as he was wise and well read. To the Chapel's, Booley was family. They made him their ranch manager and he had his own home. Both things were rare in that time period for a black man. This book defies the normal conventions of its time. Society would not accept a romance, which you will find when you read this book also. Rated PG

Fearful Addict: 3

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Fair to Die For

A Fair to Die For Radine Trees Nehring Oak Tree Press 140 E Palmer Street,Taylorville, IL 62568 978-1-61009-122-0 $14.95 238 pages Sandra S Heptinstall Reviewer I have had the pleasure of reading one of the books in this series before, and I truly enjoyed it so much. Once again the author gives us vivid details sure to stimulate your senses. Her description of places in Arkansas is right on the mark. One afternoon Carrie was singing and dancing to Neil Diamond’s song’s as she was about to start cooking dinner. Her husband Henry was at a meeting, and called to say he would be later than he thought. Then a short time later she receives a call from a woman name Edie, claiming to be her cousin. Carrie was told she had a cousin, but her cousin died when she was young. Carrie could not figure out if the women really was her cousin, why did it take so long for her to contact her? What did she want or need. Or perhaps she really did just want to meet her. As Carrie was thinking things over there was a knock at her front door. She looked out the window and saw a man she did not know standing on her porch. There was also a man sitting in a car. She opened the door just a crack and asked what he wanted. The man open his wallet and she saw a badge, but before she could read it he placed it back in his suit. He said he was with the F.B.I and wanted to ask her some questions. This is just the beginning of a really good mystery.I could not figure the book out until the last chapter. The author has once again proved to be a master story teller. Rated G

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Campfire Stories

In this book you will find single page stories that will stay with you a long time. I have enjoyed them. The history of our country’s beginning is fascinating to me. A lot of families living in the “Old West,” could not afford to buy books. But by sharing stories people were informed of things going on in our country and around the world. Anyone new coming into any town was met with much anticipation.

This book is one that young children and adults can enjoy. I don’t think I could eat skunk meat as is in one story. “Away Prospecting” gave me the shivers when I read about how they found out where their potatoes were going.

Rated G

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Lodestone Book Two: The World of Ice and Stars

I was introduced to the “Lodestone,” series by receiving book three first. Then I read the first one and it tells the readers how the characters came to be. So I had the beginning and the possible ending. It was when I read the second book it really all came together for me.

I have been told that writing a review should be like talking to a friend. This science fiction series has really been interesting to read. The characters seem to jump out at you. The plot is well constructed and you find yourself waiting to see how it plays out. You won’t want to put the book down until you are finished. I know a lot of people say that. But it is really true.

One thing that I have said before is that, each book has your imagination working to visualize each character. Plus you will travel to worlds that you could never imagine. Just thinking of the colors that the author has described was for me almost poetic. I wonder if Mr. Whiteway writes poetry.

While I have shared my perception of this book, you have to remember that there is adventure, fighting and the will to live. The characters are strong and fighting to save their world as they know it.

Thank you Mr. Whiteway, for another fascinating book! I hope there will be more to come in this series.
Rated G

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Leaving Lukens

I have read Ms Wharton first book, “The Pirate’s Bastard.” I did enjoy it a lot. Yet as I began to read this book, I found she was not just a onetime author. In fact I enjoyed this book even more than the first.

I loved the characters in this book and the way, Ms. Wharton has created them. The flow of the story is excellent and l did not find even one page or paragraph that was boring. You are captured from the start.

The book starts on May 2000 at a reunion and then goes back to WWII. There we find adventure, love and intrigue. The ending blew me away. I had to read it twice and then it hit me. (It was a slap me silly moment for me.) Just one sentence told me what I longed to hear. I did not want this story to end. Nor do I think you will either, and that is why I am giving this book a five star rating.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Circle of Sorcerers

From the very start of this book we are transported to a land far, far away called the Bloodmyr Isles. A place filled with Knights, Sorcerers, magic, intrigue and war. This book is so different than you usually find in this genre of epic fantasy.

It starts with a sixteen year old young man named Laedron Telpists, who is enjoying his last summer at home before he has to decide what school he will go to, to begin sorcery training. He is already a gifted mage and while he is leaning towards one school, his mom wants him to go to another.

Then one night by a knock on the door, his life is changed forever. I love the characters in this book and the storyline is exciting and interesting. I am glad this is the first of a series as it has me hooked already. It is the kind of book that you don’t want to read the last page as you know the book will be over.

Rated G

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lodestone Book one: The Sea of Storms

I have often wondered where ideas for books come from when an author begins to pen their book. Does it start from just one word? Or is it an idea that has been floating around in their mind for a long time, or just a few days.

As each chapter ends I can’t help but think, is this author a scientist? On the back of the book you will read the author built his story around the concept of negative matter-an extension of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. Of course we all know what that is?

Honestly, this is a good book! The story plays out so that even people like me can understand what is going on. The characters are fascinating and your imagination gets booted into high gear.

I think both adults and teenagers will enjoy this book.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Tree of Bells

I have always enjoyed books set in a different time period. I love reading about how things were before I was born. The language that was used is fascinating to me.

This book is interesting and is set in the year 1922. We read about a young girl named Clare, who lives in a boarding house, with her mother and grandmother who own it. Clare is trying to figure out what she wants in life. In her heart she knows she secretly loves one of the tenants of the boarding house. She has no desire to go to college, even though she knows it is what her mother and grandmother expect. This book is not just a love story, we also learn about how child labor laws were ignored in some states.

For me personally that is a major reason that kept me reading. The characters were trying to keep their boarding house going and also help children. The story exposes the truths about how some children during that time period were treated. Children who are beaten by a parent or a boss, because they are not working as hard as they think they should. Children forced to work with little food to eat and barely clothe.

While I did enjoy this book the ending was terrible. I mean you are reading along and then just blank.