Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Don't Cry Wolf by Clair M. Poulson

This book captured me in the first chapter and kept me turning pages the entire time. It called me away from other activities because I had to know what was going to happen next.

The back cover gives a hint of what is to come when it tells everyone that Deputy Prescott gets a call directing him to an accident. As he approaches the twisted, mangled remains of the vehicle, he doubts there could be any survivors in that wreckage. Somebody's life would be ruined tonight, he just never thought it would be his.

Overwhelmed by the memory of losing part of his family, he decides to take the sheriff's offer to become a detective instead of continuing to patrol.

A year later, wolves are starting to drift from neighboring Yellowstone Park to Montana ranches and are preying on calves, and a group of activists is passionate about saving the wolves from getting shot by ranchers. Their passion turns to violence with the murder of a rancher who shoots a wolf in order to protect his livestock. It is up to Deputy Prescott to find out exactly who is behind the escalating violence.

The book is filled with suspense, and romance. It's a book that I'm glad I read.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Carole Sing-Along

Last night my friend Janis invited me to attend a sing-along at the Engergy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake with her and her husband. Although the program says it was the 27th annual performance, I had never heard about it before this invite.

The Larry H. Miller Family do this every year. There is an orchestra led by Robert C. Bowden that plays Christmas music while the audience participates singing to words that are posted above. Besides the singing this year they featured Alex Boye'. That man has a wonderful powerful voice.

This is something I am going to put on my calendar for all future years. It was a short program lasting just over one hour but certainly put me into the Christmas Spirit. We sang all the versus to all the popular Christmas songs - some versus I had never heard before.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that Santa Claus was there for all the children to see as well as the Jazz bear, and Big Budah from Fox 13.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Assassination of Governor Boggs, a Historical Novel by Rod Miller

This story takes place as detective Pogue, of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency steps into a hair-raising mystery and tracks down Governor Boggs’s enemies and friends to determine who really shot the past governor. He begins the story by telling us that Lilburn Boggs was never the same after getting shot in the head. News of the assassination spread quickly, but the news was premature because he lasted the night and nearly eighteen more years.

Rod Miller has written many essays, magazine articles, book reviews, and anthologized short stories, and poems. I can tell he did his research while writing this book and he didn’t leave any trail unturned. I learned more in this one book than I have heard in many years. Several years ago I read the biography of Porter Rockwell, by Richard Lloyd Dewey. From reading both books I have drawn my own conclusion and that is that Mr. Rockwell became the scapegoat of every mysterious incident that happened during his lifetime.

I love the personal part of the story with detective Progue buying small horses on his travels through the west for his young daughter’s collection. He was a likeable guy, not in a hurry, but thorough in his questioning. He also didn’t seem to be influenced by other’s opinions.

I enjoyed the descriptions of the rhythmic clack and hum of wheels on the rails and the abandoned town of Nauvoo. Because of the many images Rod painted it put me right into the story. He also has the ability to help me see the individuals in the story as he talks about the tousled hair, and a gaunt whiskered face. The trip into the Salt Lake valley seemed real as he was jostled over the mountains and plains, lurched up an incline, chocked by Red Desert dust, and the bone-jarring ride down Echo Canyon. I appreciate the fact that Miller found documents that I had never read before, such as the extermination order given by Governor Boggs.

Brigham Young states that in his his opinion Rockwell's innocence is "a certainty- if only, for no other reason, that Boggs survived. Had Port fired the shot, that would not have been the case."

I always love books that include in the back discussion questions. I know that this helps book clubs in their debates about the book. I can tell that Rod really thought through these questions. He doesn’t give us the answer but instead gives us something to think about. I particularly love the last question Do you think Porter Rockwell did it?

I am sure that anyone interested in history during this time period would love this book. I did.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Nourish & Strengthen by Maria Hoagland

After Chloe Taylor is called as the Primary president, she discovers that managing the highs and lows of the chronic illness of diabetes may be easier than the ups and downs associated with family, friends, and church callings.

The next time Chloe went walking with her friends instead of running ahead as usual she chose to walk with them. Instead of dwelling on her own problems, she listened to what her friends were saying about their own trials as well as what they were saying to lift one another. Before then, Chloe had failed to recognize the issues that her friends were facing. She was ashamed when she realized how selfish and judgmental she had been over the past year. Chloe realized that she was only thinking of herself and how much she had to get done.

It was enjoyable to realize that other people have as much difficulty as I did in trying to run a ward church organization. It must be a common thing to have people not show up to teach, or to fall short on some of the assignments given to them. That can certainly be a difficult position to be in when you are a president.

This is definitely a good book for anyone that is struggling with diabetes. For those of us that don’t have that problem it seemed a little too much of the book was focused on that one issue. Maria, however, is a great writer. The story line was good and most of the time it kept my attention. Every reader takes something different away from each book they read. I think the lesson I most enjoyed in this book is that the outer appearances are far less important than inner peace and spiritual strength.

There were a couple of things I was glad Maria included in her book. One thing that is excellent for book clubs is the Discussion Questions. The other thing is the Glossary of LDS Terms. Both of these are helpful to those reading the book.

I am sure that many of you would love this book, so I am going to give you all a chance to own and read one of your own. I am going to hold a contest. I have not done this for a long time, but am hoping that this will get me back to writing on my blog regularly. To win this great book all you have to do is become my friend on my blog or post a comment saying you are already my friend. Next you need to become a friend to Maria Hoagland on her blog. If you do both of these things it will give you two chances to win the book. You just need to leave me a comment telling me what you have done. I guess we need to have a deadline. Since my birthday is part way through the month, December 15, I will have that be the deadline for the book give away. GOOD LUCK! I am sure you’ll love the book.

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Createspace for paperback:
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Amazon for Kindle and paperback: