Goodreads book giveaway for Winds of Skilak

Goodreads book giveaway for Winds of Skilak

Hurry for your chance to win a copy of my book Winds of Skilak. Goodreads is running a contest and they will have a drawing on March 3rd to pick a winner! Just click on their link and it will take you to my Goodreads book page where you can then enter! Good luck!!

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5 thoughts on “Goodreads book giveaway for Winds of Skilak

  1. Joyce Becotte

    Dear Bonnie,. We’re loving your book Winds of Skilak…reading every night to get us through the ‘cabin fever’ nights of this bitter cold spell here in central New York…Your life stories have given us lots to talk about. My husband is thinking & wonders if Sam tried ‘this/that’ or why they do or don’t. He talks as if you’re still living there on the island….then this a.m. I decided to check online & found that you’re now in W.Va…..more questions & conversation for us now….what prompted you to try another area; we’re thinking the harshness of life on the island-when we realized you’re both getting up in years too.
    We live somewhat ‘different’ than others in our area, wood heat (Pete’s still able to cut from our land), growing & canning our own food, caring for cattle. However, our lives have the easy convenient bathroom/shower/electric, sort of cheating I guess you could say. I just wanted to tell you I’ve been putting the word out to those I know will enjoy reading of your lifestyle & know a wee bit of the grit it took for you to really live as you did & are doing today. Thank you so much for sharing. Joyce, Central Square, N.Y.

  2. Hello Joyce,
    I am so happy to hear that you are enjoying the book! I hate to give any ‘spoilers’ but you wondered why we moved off the island. First of all, we ended up living on the island for nine years. My husband built many cabins there. In 1989 we had a commercial fishing boat built and were preparing to transistion from Caribou Island to LaTouche Island, which is located in the beautiful Prince William Sound. We were planning to live on LaTouche and commercial fish. However, the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in the Prince William Sound put a screeching halt to those plans. We did commercial fish for a few years in other areas in Alaska, but remained living on Caribou Island. When my 13 year old niece came to live with us in 1990 we made the decision to move to the mainland, as we felt the island too isolated for a young 13 year old girl. We lived in Alaska for 15 years and eventually moved back to Sam’s old home place in West Virginia. We still live a self-sufficient lifestyle. Joyce, it sounds like we live very similar lives. We raise goats; Sam still gets out there on our land and cuts trees with a chainsaw, we still heat with wood and/or coal, he continues to hunt and I can our meat. Sam plants huge gardens with open-pollinated seeds and I can the produce! We embrace the back to basic lifestyle and always will.
    Thank you for your kind words and I hope to continue our correspondence!

    • Joyce Becotte

      Hi Bonnie,….Golly, what a nice surprise to get your note ! ,…& good of you to tell us/ satisfy our curiosity as to your leaving that special island wilderness. You & Sam have sure squeezed in those dreams/thoughts, plus ! , the self sufficient ways , then commerical fishing too ! You two haven’t wasted any of your years I’d say !Yes, for sure we have similar lifestyles. But I know for sure you & Sam could teach us more than a thing or two. Even though we’ve always gardened & had cattle here, we were late in learning the real importance of producing & processing our own food. (When we were working we’d buy some processed food too.). I had always canned what we grew, but also, gave lots of it to family & friends to use when it was ‘fresh’. These past years I’ve canned, froze & stored(squash & pumpkins) more for our own use. We had found that those we’d given produce to didn’t realize the value of good organic food so it get would not used/ go to waste….UNTIL ORGANIC was advertised & a big money maker as is. NOW friends & more of family are catching on.. of course,we’ve never used chemical fertilizer or pesticides here.Talk of food from stores in our area– just for an example–non-organic red peppers $3.99 lb. here, green peppers, $2.99 lb..ORGANIC from our big chain Wegman stores is more $$…beef is up to $8.99 lb for various steak cuts… ( we’re so thankful for our own meat)… we just sent 8 cattle off, we’re down to 3 steers. Do you have a large herd of goats ? When I have a reason to go to Syracuse(22 mi.south), I go to a damaged freight store, big savings there for odds’nends. Gas here is about $3.56 gal.for the cheapest.Over the past 12 years we have come to know some Amish folks who we enjoy sharing ideas/basic ways. Pete has helped them by supplying hay when they’ve had bad years. Actually the lands were depleted when they purchased & hasn’t caught up with itself yet. There has been a community of young people purchasing these abandoned farms for reasonable prices as compared with real estate in Ohio their home of origin. Anyway, always something to share/ideas in common with farming/foods,etc., or just us explaining -simple to us- rules/ laws/ ways for them to maneuver in these ‘modern’ days. Before I close, I thought you might be interested to know I discovered your book when I was checking to see how Cora Holmes(Unalaska,Ak.) was doing lately. Your book came up as a little side advertisement on her site… happy I clicked on that to see what Winds of Skilak was about. I came to know of Cora through my cousin who worked with her in Boise Hospital when they were in their 30’s & are still friends. Over the past year Cora put a book together as a memoir to the pioneer women before herself on the Aleutians; its recently gone to press.So I expect I’ll be finishing your book tonight…any suggestions for another interesting & exciting one ?…….Oh, have you heard of /read Lost in the Taiga by Vasily Peskov ? another ‘life’ in the wilderness of Russia….if you haven’t heard of this, I know you’ll enjoy it as Sam will too.Our big library in Syracuse only had one copy; on line they want buckoo dollars.Anyway, I’ll stop for now…& any time you can, I’d be most happy to ‘talk’ with you. We both keep busy so don’t worry I won’t ever bother you with nonsense email.Stay warm, we’ve some weeks yet to go before spring.Joyce Date: Mon, 17 Feb 2014 20:52:29 +0000 To:

      • Hello Joyce,
        It’s so good to hear from you again. I have sent you a reply to your email. Look for it, it’s from email: and subject title: From Bonnie Ward Winds of Skilak. Hope to hear back from you!


  3. Judy Johnson

    My friend Joyce told me about your book and I just finished reading it. I couldn’t put it down and read it in two settings.To be young again and have the courage you and Sam had to live that kind of life. I’m sure your faith in God was a very important factor in your being able to live this kind of life. Anyway I’m in awe of you and Sam. You did a wonderful job of telling your story and I will look forward to your next book. I live out in the country and have a small garden and enjoy trying to grow my own food . I can some too and think I would have enjoyed living the life you lived in Alaska and are now living in West Virginia. I have visited Alaska and it is beyond beautiful! Take care and I wish only good things for you and your family. Judy, Constantia,NY

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