Thursday, December 12, 2013

I Double Dare You! by Dana Lehman

Once again we are in Walnut Grove where animals can talk to each other. The story is lovely and charming. The illustrations bring the characters to life.

In this book the author is trying to teach children about making wise decisions.

I love the fact that the author is talking too children and not down to them. The questions at the end of the book are good for reinforcement. Words from the author are also.

Rated G

Adventure at Walnut Grove A lesson about Teasing

What a beautiful story and Illustrations. This little book is worth every dime it cost. It teaches kids about being teased, and how much it hurts. To me, it is for children who are three to seven years old.
It took me a few seconds before I noticed the book had won, “Mom’s Choice Awards Honoring Excellence.” I wish every child had this book as then we might not have so many bullies. Instead we might have kids who like each other for what they are, and not for what they look like.
I really, really love this story.
Rated G

Sunday, December 1, 2013

CASSIE SCOT: Paranormal Detective

Cassandra Morgan Ursula Margaret Scot is born into a world where she is not sure she really fits. Her parents are powerful sorcerers, and yet Cassie does not seem to have any powers. Her siblings all have some types of magic and that leaves Cassie feeling like she does not belong in their world. But where does she belong?

From the first page I was hooked on this book. It is a mystery filled with sorcerers, vampires, romance, the paranormal and murder. This genre’ has a little bit of something for every reader. There is never a dull moment in this story.

I hated it when the story came to the end. I really hope the author continues on with this story. I was left wanting more.

An easy five stars from me.
Rated PG for violence
Lodestone Book Five; The Conquered Shore

I really loved this book and its characters. I must admit after reading the first four books in the Lodestone series, I wondered if the author could make the fifth book better than the others. I was really surprised to read it and find the fifth book was just as interesting if not better than the first four books.
Something strange happened to me while reading this book that has never happened to me before. I connected with a character and I knew what she would say and her actions in the book. I have never had that happen before, and I have read hundreds of books in my life.
I am always mesmerized when I read one of the author’s books. While he gives us a glimpse of characters, it is up to our own imagination to try and create what each one looks like. I have always enjoyed that in each of the author’s stories.
This book left me wanting to read more. I felt the same way with the first four books. I sincerely hope the author takes us on another journey soon. Excellent book and series.
Sandra Heptinstall

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Clock of Life
Author: Nancy Klann-Moren

This book is not one you can just read once and then forget. The message of this book will stay with you forever. The story takes place in the South and at a time when people are fighting for Civil Rights.

The main character is Jason Lee who on his first day of school becomes friends with a colored boy named Sampson. Jason Lee was always being called names and hit because of it. But that would not stop him from being best friends and blood brothers with Sampson.

Jason was at an age where he wanted to know about his dad. He was only told his dad died in Viet Nam and was a hero. His mom and uncle would not talk about him. Whenever he asked about his dad his mother said, “too hush up as it would upset his uncle who was hurt bad in the conflict.”

Jason did find out that his dad was a Civil Rights Activist and had been beat because of it more than once.

I know I am skipping major parts of this story, but to do it real justice it would take me hundreds of words to describe it. I will tell you that the ending will blow you away. I will tell you that I am going to buy some copies myself to give as Christmas presents.

Rated PG for violence and language.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Jetpack Jenny

I liked the cover of this book. It is colorful and invites people to turn the page. The main character is Jenny. From the beginning of summer she volunteered to be an assistant to Mr. Suchare who is a family friend. Jenny’s father was always talking about how brilliant Mr. Suchare was. So Jenny would go to his house and help him in any way he might need. There was really not a lot to do so Jenny started working on a jetpack that was to be her science project. She hated flying because of the long lines of people trying to get their tickets and checking in their bags. By time they got on board the plane Jenny was always tired.
Jenny had borrowed a lot of books from the library and was working on a jetpack that would help her so she could fly by herself and avoid airports. Then one day Mr. Suchare had her sit down and told her she was “The Chosen One.” He told her that she was the only person who could save the world from an alien attack.
This is the type of book where a parent could read a chapter each night to their kids. The chapters are not long so the book could hold the attention of younger children. I think the best age group would be 6 to 9 year olds.
Rated G and 3 stars
The Reality of the Virtual and Presage
by Betsy Cheung

The language in this book is not one that is spoken every day. If in your daily life words such as quasi monopolistic or megalomaniacal idea or even quantum physics are used then you would be fine. But for me I had to look up the meaning of each word.
In the first part of the book page 28 is followed by page 60 and then to 45. My feeble mind was having enough problems without the pages to be out of order.
Yet when the book changed to “Presage,” it all began to come together for me. I have so much respect for the author and her abilities. If you read the other reviews of this book or the jacket you will know more about this book than I could write in two hundred words or less.
One of the many things that I did find interesting is that God and science were mentioned together. One character wanted to reach to heaven and know about God. Now that is something I do know about.
This book is high impact and fast. Once I looked up words I had never heard of in my life I did found this book to be interesting.
Rated PG for violence

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Marilyn Monroe, On the Couch, Inside the mind and life of Marilyn Monroe.

By Alma H. Bond, Ph.D.

One of the things I liked about this book is the fact that, Dr. Bond did a lot of research and has made each conversation believable. This book may be fiction but by all accounts the things Marilyn could have said; I can resonate with Dr. Bond getting them right. This story is Marilyn talking to her shrink and what was said.

The books starts with a little girl named Norma Jeane Mortenson. Her mother suffered from mental illness and was in and out of mental hospitals all of Norma Jeane’s life. The child was left with friends sometimes and then orphanages at other times. Norma Jeane was a very sensitive little girl. The sexual things that happened to her stayed with her, her whole life. She felt like she was never good enough never smart enough and love never lasted. Her own father she had never met and she had a tendency to become attracted to older men. I was surprised that she had a death wish. Life did not really matter to her. She expressed her feelings in poems she wrote. Or took poems of other author’s and she would change some of the words to fit her life. People can say a lot of bad things about her, but everything she did related back to her childhood and what happened. She wanted to become a very good actress and a mom. She got her first wish but was never able to have a child of her own. She was the sexiest, most beautiful woman of her time but plaque by the way her life lead her. I was born in 1951, and remember my dad and mom talking about the way she died. They think that President JFK and his brother Bobby were responsible for her death. I don’t have an answer for that, but do know she finally got her wish. She went to sleep and never woke up again. To me she was a delicate butterfly who finally got to spread her wings and fly. Excellent book!
Five Stars
PG 16

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Keeper Of The Diary Judith Diana Winston Chewut Press 3435 Ocean Park Boulevard suite 107-37 Santa Monica, CA 90405 www.The Keeper Of The Diary 978-0-9643282-11 $21.84 485 pages Sandra Heptinstall Reviewer I have never read a book like this one before. It is called Visionary Fiction. In fact I did not even know there was this type of genre. What I do know is that the author is brilliant. The story begins with a young woman who lives in San Francisco and has a promising business as a fashion photographer. Yet she has a strong desire to move to L.A. Her friends think she is crazy to go to a place she hates and live there. Yet it is like a strong current is running through telling her she must move. While she is there she works where ever she can get a job. She is broke most of the time and can’t even come up with the money she owes her roommate for her half of the apt and bills. Then one day she gets a call from an old friend who says he found a job for her. It was to be a photographer to tourist heading to Egypt on vacation. It is only for two weeks and the job pays will pay $2,000 dollars and also pay for meals and hotels on the trip. Cassie decided to take the job as she needed the money. One day she discovers a diary in her camera case. As she goes to pick it up she is shocked and her fingers burnt. As she begins to read it she is pulled into what is written. I was pulled into this story also. This story is mysterious, mystical, full of surprises and life changing for Cassie. For me I had to read some parts twice to understand where the story was taking me. This is not a fast read nor is it a lite one. For me the story did not sit well because of my beliefs. But I have to be honest and will give this book five stars.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Christmas for Katie

I love reading books about Christmas and the Amish religion also. This little book did not let me down. It is the story of Katie who is six and a half years old and Amish. Katie has a mission to get the plastic nativity scene in front of the library fixed up by Christmas Eve. Miss Donovan the librarian does not show much interest in doing so. Katie told her mom that “Miss Donovan seems sad because she does not have a love life.” Katie’s poor mom told her not to be butting into someone’s personal life and that she has a head of grey hair all because of Katie. Then one night Miss Donovan was getting ready to close the library for the night, when the new deputy Conner Fields comes in and asked if he had time to check out some books. While he was there they both heard a noise from outside and an old woman was on the ground saying someone attacked her. From here on the book is pretty predictable. I do want to say “Mom and dad if you are looking down then I’ m so sorry for the way I acted as a child.” Katie and I have a lot in common. Rated G

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Road to Grace

There are so many things I have enjoyed in this book. One is the beginning of each chapter it will say Alan Christoffersens Diary. An example of what I mean is on chapter 13 and it reads as the following. “Whether cautionary or exemplary, there has not yet been a life lived that we cannot learn from. It is up to us to decide which ours will be.” Alan is walking from Seattle, WA to Key West, Florida. Along the way he meets many people each with their own story. I will share with you two people he has meant. One is a polish man who has an unimaginable story of being in a concentration camp and losing his whole family. I have to be honest and say his story made me cry. Then we have the one about the differences in being a tramp or a hobo. Hobo’s, do a lot of panhandling and begging for money. Tramps don’t beg unless they have too. Tramps work and travel from job to job. They don’t have a home or car so they hitch hike. To me what I found to be really profound is the author telling us what the Grace of God really is. How he found it and how we can also. Rated G

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Kim Vogel Sawyer
Barbour Publishing, Inc.
P.O. Box 719
Uhrichsville, Ohio 44683
348 Pages
After doing so many reviews for people, there comes a point where I need to read a book that gives me “SOUL”, food. This book did not let me down. It is a fast read about a young Mennonite girl named Marie who falls in love with young man who is a truck driver. She runs away with him and together they are happy. But after two years of marriage and one baby her husband dies.
She returns to her parent’s house and she is meant by her father who tells her to leave. That she is dead to him. She could never be a part of the community again. She is devastated and leaves with her young daughter.
Only one relative keeps in contact with her and it is her single aunt Lisbeth. Marie named her daughter after her, but calls her Beth. Then one day Marie’s ex-beau Henry Braun showed up at her home bearing bad and good news. Her aunt has died, and left her home and a small cafĂ© to her daughter Beth. There is but one catch and that is she has to move back to Sommerfeld, Kansas for three months.
What happens next is really life changing.
Rated G

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Rendezvous to Die For

Betty McMahon

Self-published with the tools and support of the people at



267 pages

Sandra Heptinstall


This book has more twist and turns than apples falling off a tree at harvest time. I had to stop and write down who and what each character played out in the story. I enjoyed the heroin Cassidy and how she tried to handle whatever was thrown her way.

I love the descriptions of the weekend reenactment in the fictional town. The author hits the mark on that. I have been to one myself and could not do a better job than the author has. Plus the way she describes everything around her is interesting. Even though the ending of this book will surprise you, in my own opinion this is not a five star book.

I could not just sit and enjoy reading. I would have to look at my list to see who was who. Or add to my list. If I could go 3.75 I would, but since I can’t then I will bump this book to a four stars. I can see how Cassidy could solve even more mysteries from this book.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Disillusioned

D.J. Williams

West Bow Press ……A Division of Thomas

1663 Liberty Drive

Bloomington, IN 47403 1-(866) 928-1204


$24.95 paperback

375 pages

Sandra Heptinstall


The back of this book will tell you a lot about the story that lies within. But you could never imagine what will happen. While it is a work of fiction there is so much truth in it. It is a book that will haunt me the rest of my life.

This is one of the best books I have read in this genre. The way it is thought out and crafted is brilliant. Right from the start you realize it will not be a book you will want to set aside and do other things. For me it was read as much as I can. I even cried at parts of the story.

The atrocities you will read about are happening in different countries every day. My heart breaks whenever I read about children and adults being tortured.

The author gives us a great story that is filled with realism. Thank you D.J. Williams for working so hard and opening our minds to things we know happens, but do not think about enough.

At the end of this book you will see some of the organizations fighting against slavery and child trafficking. Please everyone take a look for yourselves. Buy the book!
Rated PG

Monday, April 29, 2013


I found this so interesting on many levels. The main character is Lorrie and her uncle they were headed out west on a wagon train. Lorrie had many aunts and uncles who wanted her to stay with them as she had inherited a lot of money when her parents died. She had only one uncle who loved her for herself, and did not need her money. So they decided to go out West where they would never find her.

Along the way to the Oregon Trail her uncle was murdered and she was all alone. She had two wagons and many animals. The Wagon Master informed her that she would have to leave the wagon train and she should be able to find someone to buy her wagon and stock. Then she could head back East to where she had family members to take care of her.

Well Lorrie had other plans. She gathered up some other people and they decided to stop where they were and build their own town. It was Lorrie who found people to come to where they were and start a new beginning.

One thing I found really profound was that I did not know the real women of the West that made a name for themselves. One was Pearl Hart. She was not a Christian woman but when she was arrested, I found her words at her hearing very profound. “I shall not consent to be tried under a law in which my sex had no voice in making. “ She was release from jail.

There were many women who helped shape our country and I am ashamed I never took the time to read about them. I found this book to be a good read for anyone.

Rated G

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sea of Crises

It was once said, "In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you get through, but how many can get through you."

This book blew me away. I have never read anything close to this that had me guessing as much as this book did.

Commander Bob Cartwright was an astronaut and had been on a space mission. As the capsule was returning to earth the heat shield had failed and the three bodies inside were burnt beyond recognition.

Years later one of Cartwright son's discovered information and called his two brothers to meet him. He found evidence that it might not be their father who was in the capsule. But if that was true, then what had happened to their dad?

I really liked this book and the development of each character. The author really spent a lot of time in taking totaly different personalities and making them work as one unit.

Excellent Read and worth five stars.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Little Amish Matchmaker

Linda Byler
Good Books (Good Enterprises, LTD)
3513 Old Philadelphia Pike
Intercourse, PA 17534-7007
187 Pages
Sandra Heptinstall

What a fun and delight it was reading this book. It was not your normal fictional book about the Amish. We find a younger brother named Isaac, who decides to get his older brother Simon to go out with his new school teacher. Simon tells him she was out of his league. No one as beautiful as her would go out with someone like him.
That just added fuel to the fire. Isaac tried in every way possible to get Simon to ask her out.  But all to no avail. Then in school the girl who sat across from Isaac would lift her desk top up and put her head in her desk and was always be blowing her noise. Isaac thought he would go crazy as he knew she did it just to irritate him most of the time. No one made the kinds of sounds like she did when she blew her noise.    
Then there was another girl who Isaac liked a lot who had problems with talking. She stuttered when she talked. Isaac tried in every way to help her but nothing helped. Poor Isaac did not know what to do. He had given up on his brother asking his teacher out. In fact he gave up on girls also.
This is just to give you a sample of what is in store for you when you read this book. I will be reading it more than just once. I have laughed and smiled a lot while reading this book.
Rated G

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Winds of Redemption

Harvey Goodman

Jupiter Sky Publishing, LLC

2689 County Road 318

Suite 100

Westcliffe, Colo. 81252



337 pages

Sandra Heptinstall, Reviewer

I really liked the cover of this book. It brought back memories of my family sitting in front of the TV watching a good western. We also had a big bowl of Jiffy Popcorn to munch on and soda to drink. Soda came in glass bottles then.

This book is well written and the characters are engaging. This was my first time reading a western since I was about 11 years old. This book really delivers to all that like Western books.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

In a Van by the River and Other Adventures of a Bor Again Aspie

In A Van by the River and Other Adventures of a Born Again Aspie

Dana Longpre’

Publisher: PCG Legacy

ISBN: 978-1-936417-69-8


191 pages

Sandra Heptinstall

Dana Longpre’ grew up knowing she was “different”, but could not figure out what it was. Her home life was terrible and Dana and her sister were taken away from her mom and dad. Then it was a life from one foster home to another. She had been moved eleven different times in three and a half years that included two hospitals and a group home.

Then she heard about Jesus and His saving Grace. She learned it was so much better to live the way He wanted. To give Him all the love that she had, knowing He loved her deeper in ways we can’t even begin to imagine. God gave her courage to keep going.

Dana married a special man named Joe. Joe helped her with her unknown problems. He could help her to calm down when something threw her day off. She had a list that involved times for everything. If things on the list were not met she would begin to have a melt-down.

Then they had a beautiful baby boy they named him Nathan. It is because of Nathan that they learned why Dana was different, and discover Nathan had the same thing. It is called Asperger’s Syndrome.

This book is special to me as I have a grandson who is nine-teen and also has Asperger’s. I believe that God sends us special angels who can help so many people. To me, Dana is one of those sent from above. If she had not gone through so much we might of never known about it. You are my angel Dana.

I also like the songs that you have written. My love and prayers go out to you. Thank you for sharing with us.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Asleep Without Dreaming

Barbara Forte Abate

Publisher: Halcyon Moon Books Publisher address: Amazon

ISBN: 978-061568549 (Trade Paper) BOO98SZUEG (eBook)

Price $12.99 (Trade paper) $3.99 (eBook)

Where authors get their ideas for writing a book has always amazed me. Do they come from the author’s soul? Or just kind of floats around until the author begins to put thoughts to paper? Ms. Abate is one of the best in character development and story line. I wonder at times if there is an older spirit that is trying to cleanse itself of old hurts and feelings in a young woman’s mind.

Willa is a young teenager who has parents who are terrible self- centered people. They don’t care about her. Willa calls them Martin and Stella. One day Martin hits it big at the race tracks and Stella was over joyed. But that night he runs off and leaves them with only a thousand dollars. Not long after that Stella wakes Willa and tells her they are leaving so get packed but do not turn on the lights. They put their bags in their car and then roll the car it until no one could hear the engine started. Willa asked Stella where they are going and Stella said to California. That there were all types of chances of making their life better there.

The broken down car takes them only so far and then it just dies. A man in a truck stops and gives them a lift to Omega Pearl Bodie who owns, “The Moonglow”, and rents out cottages she has. The man said he would have someone take a look at her car, and let her know the condition. When Stella got the news that the car could not be fixed she stayed in their cottage and was always planning a way to leave. She did get a job cleaning rooms, but it was mainly Willa who did the majority of the work at Moonglow.

Omega was the town’s gossip. She told them they had an escape prisoner who ran around setting fires to thing and they should be careful until he is caught. One day Willa saw a teenage boy working at the moonglow also. His name was Jesse Truman and he did odd jobs for Omega. As time goes on Jesse and Willa begin to talk. Eventually they fall in love. It is the first time anyone has loved Willa and she loves Jesse. It is also the last time Willa will ever love anyone.

This book shows the darker side of life. It will not make you smile or feel like laughing. You will read things that could happen in real life. We don’t live in the perfect world. Everyone who reads this book will come to their own conclusion as to why this book ended the way it did. To me the ending is sad, but it is the only way this story could end. Rated PG

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Raising Wild Ginger

Sometimes I don’t think authors realize how profound their story can be to readers. This is a book of fiction, but also one that can make you cry. I had the pleasure of reading the first book of this series and really enjoyed it. This is an extension of two men from the first book.

Edward and Sam are two gay men who love each other with all of their hearts. Yet Sam feels there is one thing missing in their relationship that would cement them as a family. That is to adopt a child.

Edward was against it at first. It would change their world as they knew it. A child needed a lot of attention and Edward was not sure if he had it in him to give to a child. It was not about the cost of raising a child as Edward was a multi-millionaire. Sam was a professor and made good money himself.

So what was the biggest problem Edward faced? It was the fact that they were both damaged men. While the world was changing and more accepting of gay people…some family members were not. Edward at one time had been an alcoholic and drug user. He still went to meetings even thought it had been years since he used or drank. He still had his sponsor to turn to in case he felt like he may slip.

One night Sam asked Edward again about having a baby. Then out of the blue Edward surprised them both by saying yes. What happens is the baby came, but she is twelve years old and has been through hell numerous times. Her name is Ginger.

This book has the potential of reaching some readers who think gay people are scum bags. Of understanding also that there are kids who go through what Ginger has. I had to take a deep breath and dry my eyes at times.

Three damage souls who become a loving family. The perfect ending, it does not get any better than that.

Rated PG