Reviewed by Marissa Thompson, LDSFiles.com Staff Writer

Salt Lake Temple Oil Painting by Art-LDS.com.

Art-LDS.com is a website that sells original, handmade oil paintings of every LDS temple in the United States. That, in itself, is not all that unique, as there are many websites out there that do the same. But what does make Art-LDS.com stand out is their uniquely low prices. For approximately $150 (free shipping included) you will receive a 20 x 24-inch painting of your favorite LDS temple. This is about half the price of similar paintings found on other websites.

While I can’t speak to the quality and beauty of each individual painting from Art-LDS.com, I can readily recommend the painting of the Salt Lake Temple, which is the one I have in my home. The artist of this temple has taken the time to account for every beautiful detail that makes up the unique, hand-crafted look originally given to the Salt Lake Temple by the early pioneers. To me, the colors depicted in the temple’s setting represent early fall—colors that would complement almost any home d├ęcor.



I would highly recommend spending the extra money to upgrade the painting's size, which would give you an impressive 36 x 24-inch version like mine. I am very pleased with the overall feel and look of my Salt Lake Temple painting from Art-LDS.com, and I know it will be a beautiful focal point in my home for years to come.

Reviewed by Dayna Davis, LDSFiles.com Staff Writer

The Shopping Cart Man by Douglas V. Nufer. Published by Peepsock Press.

This is a fascinating story about a family that encounters a homeless man on their family trip across the country for Christmas and they offer him a ride.

I really don't want to say anything more to summarize this book, because I just don't want to give anything away. I think everyone should read it for themselves. This book made me think. I love books that make me think! I have seen two down-on-their-luck people begging at freeway exits since I have finished this book, and I have ceased my thinking that they are con artists, looking for an easy handout. I have had to totally reevaluate my thinking on being a Good Samaritan based on what I have read and now I have a few more ideas of things that I can do for others. This book is a little slow at the beginning, but once you are hooked, (around chapter 2 or 3) then away you go! I do have to say, that you couldn't possibly predict the end! It will take you completely by surprise. I hope you enjoy it too.

Return of the Outlaw

Thursday, August 19, 2010
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Reviewed by Teri Graff, LDSFiles.com Staff Writer
Return of the Outlaw by Craig Curtis. Published by Granite Publishing and Distribution.

Jeff Havens returns home from the Civil War, nurturing wounds from the war as well as wondering why he had not heard from the woman he loves – they were so close and yet – she had stopped writing. When he did see her, she was so distant. Rather than force his feelings upon her, he walks away. Little did either of them know that her mother had absconded with their letters to each other so each felt hurt. Jeff leaves to return 7 years after learning of his grandfather’s death, only to find his ranch had been stolen from him, his lifelong friend Amado in hiding and his own life in danger. He also learned that Anne, the woman he loved, had married the evil man who had stolen his ranch. Tom Stewart brands him an outlaw, kills his friend Amado and proceeds to take land from all those he could. With the sheriff and Mayor in his pocket he is able to get away with everything until Jeff finds a way to rid the country of this evil man and his cohorts, at the same time saving Anne and her baby daughter. In the end the hero gets the girl and all is well.

I really enjoyed the suspense built up layer by layer as character after character is influenced by Tom Stewart. Our Hero, Jeff, though exhausted and at the end of his rope many times throughout the book, is able to effectively and honorably eliminate the evil and often cruel efforts of Tom Stewart. The rugged countryside and difficulties encountered by ranchers of that era are effectively described so the reader can imagine both the surroundings and lifestyle of the people involved in this riveting tale.

The Samaritan Bueno

Thursday, August 19, 2010
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Reviewed by Teri Graff, LDSFiles.com Staff Writer
The Samaritan Bueno by Jack Weyland. Published by Granite Publishing and Distribution.

This is a wonderful tale of a young man who struggles with his conscious, his beliefs as opposed to what his parents would expect him to do. It is not a typical tale of wonderful young man doing everything his parents have taught. Rather, it is about a youth who follows his heart and chooses to help a family in need, in spite of what he knows his parents would want, but most importantly he feels his grandfather would be disappointed. I found his dilemma not only heartwarming but very applicable to conditions in this country where we have so many wonderful people coming into the country illegally. Not all are wonderful but the majority of these people are struggling to provide a better future for their families. They struggle with language, new customs, and extreme prejudice, often from people one would one would least expect it.

Dan and his friends mistakenly deliver a Christmas box to the wrong address only to become involved in the lives of a young mother and her children. They pool their resources to help her with rent and food, then Dan also withdraws his college money to help her obtain a false SS card, causing him unexpected problems with a government worker, possibly derailing a college education, going on a mission, perhaps even losing the girl of his dreams. Fortunately, in the end all turns out well but this story really makes one question how we view and interact with other cultures, legal or not. They are still children of our Heavenly Father.

Jayhawk

Thursday, August 19, 2010
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Reviewed by Teri Graff, LDSFiles.com Staff Writer
Jayhawk by Dorothy Keddington. Published by Granite Publishing and Distribution.

Dorothy Keddington has an amazing ability to bring the wonders of the Wyoming natural surroundings and creatures to life in a way one can almost see the colors and experience the smells of the areas where this story is centered. I love the way she instills all the wonders of this area without detracting from the story itself. She is able to express the wonder one must feel upon experiencing these wondrous scenes. She is able to weave a story of family discordance, family loyalty, family deception – add a friend who is unfamiliar with the location as well as the strains within the family, then weave into the story a member of the family who is unwelcome by most of the family but very attracted to and by this friend who is visiting.

Enter Angela Stewart, a city girl, who arrives a day early only to find a town shut down for the night and on the misconception the ranch was just a short distance from the town starts walking with her suitcases. Enter Jay Bradford barreling down toward her startling her in a pickup, then rescues her and takes her to the Triple J ranch. On the way they are shot at and he finds himself confiding in her a strange and dangerous story. The novel develops the characters of the family and the suspense and danger surrounding Jay and his family with such agility one is caught up in the story and hangs on every twist and turn. There is heartache and danger as we find a member of the family who is the perpetrator of a shocking death and deception regarding another member of the family. Add the romance that develops between Jay and Angela and you have a delightful story. I have now read it twice in a row and enjoyed it even more the 2nd time.

Imprints

Thursday, August 19, 2010
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Reviewed by Teri Graff, LDSFiles.com Staff Writer
Imprints by Rachel Ann Nunes. Published by Shadow Mountain.

Rachel Nunes is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. I found this particular plot interesting with the idea of objects holding impressions which could be accessed by those with a special “gift”, sometimes frightening, sometimes comforting, sometimes mysterious with more questions than one would want to consider. Autumm was raised by parents from the hippie era. She loves antiques and has quite an odd collection in both her apartment and her antique store where she shares a building with an old friend, Jake, who purchased her parents herb store. Some belongings held strong comfortable impressions while others were often dark and foreboding. With her gift, it is hoped she can help locate some missing women. Her friend, Jake, follows her into what at first seems like a utopia, then is revealed to be a commune full of dark and dangerous secrets. Jake is determined to protect her and helps her in her quest. The founders of the commune entrusted too much power to a supposed follower of their movement who had very dangerous ulterior motives to wrest power from them and in the end, one of them paid for that trust with his life. The plot moves quickly from one question to unexpected answers and easily captures the readers imagination with a plot full of deception and betrayal while keeping one in continual suspense.

Devil's Food Cake

Thursday, August 19, 2010
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Reviewed by Teri Graff, LDSFiles.com Staff Writer
Devil's Food Cake by Josi S. Kilpack. Published by Deseret Book.

Devil’s Food Cake is full of twists and turns, a mystery full of delightful recipes with the possibility of romance not quite realized but titillating at the same time. The plot is surprising at every turn and quite delightful with an endearing character who seems to get herself into unexpected and at times dangerous situations due to her curiosity as well as righteous indignation at not being taken serious by local authorities or her “boyfriend” who had for the first time labeled himself as that to her. Both had lost their first companions - Sadie was ready to move on, her “boyfriend” detective Pete Cunningham, was more cautious, possibly reluctant, to admit his feelings and adding to her frustration.

The book is unique in the various recipes tied into the plot, some of which I have actually tried successfully, which added to my enjoyment of the story, being a confirmed chocoholic myself. I found the story as well as the characters well developed and an easy read.

Reviewed by Matt Molen, LDSFiles.com Staff Writer My LDS Stake - iPhone App by Truestar Apps.

This is a first here at LDSFiles.com - a review of an iPhone app. But I just love this one and figured you need to know about it too!

My LDS Stake is an iPhone and iPod touch app for the LDS community, makes the dream of having the name, phone number, address, and email, not to mention the church calling of every person in your stake available—all in your pocket. Now add ward and stake calendars to the mix. Oh, and the lesson schedule for Priesthood and Relief Society as well—for the entire year.

The My LDS Stake website details not only features of the app, but provides a side-by-side comparison with similar but less advanced products. My LDS Stake is currently available on the Apple iPhone and iPod touch, and will be released for Blackberry devices in April.

We’re all familiar with the Apple TV ads that say "there's an app for that." The same is now true for the LDS community. My LDS Stake is an elegant and thoughtfully designed app that is easy and intuitive to use. Although it's only been available since last December, thousands around the world have already discovered that My LDS Stake has become an indispensable part of their everyday Latter-day Saint lifestyle.

My LDS Stake , which sells on the iTunes app store for $7.99, is rich in features and allows you to personalize the member data on your device by including pictures of members, as well as editable names, numbers and email, features that other apps don't allow. You can set a passcode for an extra measure of security, and you can even have your device "phone home" if you need support.

My LDS Stake conforms to Church guidelines for how member data is handled, something that cannot be said for similar products, so you can feel confident that your account and user data are being used appropriately.


Truestar Apps is also the maker of the YouLearn series of educational apps, including U.S. State Flags, and Flags of Europe. Their top-notch support is available at support@truestarapps.com.

One Last Chance

Thursday, January 21, 2010
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Reviewed by Teri Graff, LDSFiles.com Staff Writer

One Last Chance by Jerry Borrowman. Published by Covenant Communication, Inc.

This book was intriguing with the backdrop of what are now antique automobiles. Top it all off with the warmth of a “one last chance” for a boy, not bad at heart but with challenges that could have defeated him, leaving him without much chance for a rewarding future. However, after difficult circumstances resolved with good intentions, then true warmth and affection of an elderly widow and her mechanic/chauffeur/trusted friend, Ray, the boy blossoms into a young man with much potential. Even with negative attitudes from many people, judgemental comments and accusations, there were others who tried to encourage the boy and truly gave him encouragement. That part of the story was very heartwarming. The story itself encourages the reader to remember that there are caring individuals who are willing to take a chance and help those held down by circumstances beyond their control to achieve their potential. I like to think we all have chances throughout life to encourage those around us.

Though never personally interested in cars in any way except to use as transportation, I found myself drawn into the excitement of an automobile race, truly enjoying the descriptions of the cars, as well as learning a little history about them.

Dead Wrong

Thursday, January 21, 2010
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Reviewed by Teri Graff, LDSFiles.com Staff Writer

Dead Wrong by Clair M. Poulson. Published by Covenant Communications, Inc.

Imagine following your heart and accepting the gospel, only to have your family turn against you. The author weaves the delightful character of a young and beautiful cowgirl into a nonstop tale of intrigue and danger as she races against time to stay two steps ahead of her former employer, Jace Landry, who stalks her with the aid of a ruthless private investigator with no scruples. Add in a step-brother full of jealousy over the inheritance her deceased father left her, with the stepfather who had wasted her mother’s assets, and you have more challenges to keep the reader on edge. As a teenager I read every book I could find involving horses and so it was easy to fall in love with this girl and her horse. The challenges she faced to protect her horse while trying to avoid Jace and her brother were a big deal. Add in the father of a fellow competitor who will stop at nothing to push his own daughter to win over the heroine, Kaitlyn. She is lucky and finds a true friend in a lady trucker, Celia, who helps her in spite of the danger to herself. Intrigue and romance follow her as she flees until she finally comes under the protection of a stranger who is able to win her trust, gratitude and finally her heart.