Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tips For Triumphant Living -- Enjoy Life's Gifts

Touching the Clouds, my most recent book, has received some very good reviews. I love good reviews, they make me smile. I received one that is especially meaningful, written by Sarah Varland. She loved the book, but I think the reason her review meant so much to me was because she's an Alaskan. As I read, I felt as if I'd been given a gift.

I encourage everyone to accept gifts that come your way. After all, accepting or declining the ultimate gift of Jesus Christ means the difference between eternity with God or without Him.

The gift of Sarah's review does not contain the same significance, but it made my day. I want to share it with you.

Touching the Clouds by Bonnie Leon
Reviewed by Sarah Varland

"This book is a breathtaking adventure that
will help you escape from everyday life."
Touching the Clouds, the first in Bonnie Leon’s Alaskan
Skies series, captivated my attention from the beginning. It’s
set in the nineteen thirties, and Kate Evans is a pilot,
running from a past that haunts her and a fiancé who wants
her to be a predicable, domestic woman. She flies from her
home in Oregon to Alaska, determined to prove herself and
atone for her past mistakes.

But in this time of economic depression, jobs are scarce—
especially for women who are from “outside” of Alaska, and
especially for pilots. Kate finally convinces someone to give
her a job, but must work the mundane mail runs before
she’s given any passengers. Even though she knows new
pilots to any airfield have to prove they know their stuff, she
also knows that she’s under closer scrutiny than the average
newcomer because she’s a woman. And her rough-aroundthe-
edges male coworkers aren’t going to let her forget it.
While Kate is in Alaska, she meets a variety of interesting
characters out in the bush and small villages, including Paul
Anderson, a handsome man with a dark secret, and with the
help of her new friends, faces head-on the harsh challenges
that life in Alaska presents.

The characters in this book were real, three dimensional
people with struggles, fears, and passions. The dialogue
between them was realistic and each character had a
unique voice that added depth to the story. I enjoyed seeing
them grow and watching as relationships developed
between several different characters.

I’m from Alaska, and reading a book set in Alaska is sort of
like ordering salmon at a restaurant for me. I hesitate to take
the risk, being a snob about all things Alaska, because
either it’s going to be amazing and make me long for the
Land of the Midnight Sun, which is the more desirable, less
likely option, or it’s going to be poorly done. Bonnie Leon’s
story is set in the real Alaska. Her descriptions are perfect—
exactly what readers would see if they really were to fly
above Alaska and study its rugged landscape. I felt like I
was there with Kate and the other characters in this story,
shivering in the brisk Alaskan air and marveling at the
beauty of the Chugach mountains.

This book is a breathtaking adventure that will help you
escape from everyday life into Kate and Paul’s world, a
dangerous, beautiful place known as The Last Frontier.

You can find Sarah Varland at

Grace and peace to you from God.



  1. Sheila, I agree. It was hugely encouraging.

  2. Bonnie--I'm so glad you liked the review. =) I really did love it. Have you been to Alaska? (You must have been, I'm thinking).

  3. Hi Sarah. So good to hear from you. The review was excellent--not just because you said all kinds of nice things about my book (though that helps), but it's well written and I love that you as an Alaskan felt I got it right. That matters so much to me as a writers. It's hard work to bring in the nuances of a place, time and people that are mostly unfamiliar to me. I rely on others who do know to fill me in.

    I've been to Alaska and have lots of family there. I had hoped to make a trip up this last summer but couldn't make it. Hoping maybe this coming summer in time for the State Fair. Just have to go!

    Blessings to you and thanks.