WINDS OF SKILAK is the WINNER of the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the memoir (other) category!


I am thrilled to announce that my book WINDS OF SKILAK has been named the WINNER in the MEMOIRS (Other) category of the 2014 NEXT GENERATION INDIE BOOK AWARDS! I’m still pinching myself to make sure it’s real! Many thanks to the folks and judges at the Next Generation Indie Book Awards for all their hard work for making this event possible and for giving my book this great opportunity to now showcase it as an AWARD WINNING TITLE!

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Beautiful Landscape Photo of Skilak Lake by Jeremy Sauskojus

Beautiful Landscape Photo of Skilak Lake by Jeremy Sauskojus

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Bird’s Eye View of Upper End of Skilak Lake

Bird's Eye View of Upper End of Skilak Lake

Upper end of Skilak Lake! You can see the Kenai Mountains that go on and on. At the end of the lake if you look closely you can see the glacier flats. Carved out from the glacier many years ago, it leads to the Skilak glacier about six or seven miles distant. Back in the mid 80’s, we walked right up to the glacier and picked ice off the glacier wall and ate it. Ice as old as the millennium.

Interesting story: We learned just a few years ago, that the glacier has receded and there is now a huge lake in front of the glacier that is approximately a mile wide and one or two miles long (I’ve heard that is just an estimate and it might be smaller) and I was told that it is very deep, approximately 1700 feet. This just amazed me when I found out about this newly formed lake at the base of the glacier. It was the contributing factor that inspired me to put the chapter “Gold Under That There Glacier” back into the book. I had previously cut it to keep my page number down. However, after hearing of this massive (global warming) geological change in just the few short years since we left Alaska, I had to put that chapter back in the book!

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Bird’s Eye View of Skilak Lake

Bird's Eye View of Skilak Lake

Our good friend, Jeff Mahan sent us these photo’s of Skilak Lake. The largest island is Caribou Island, where we lived for nine years. And then the little tiny island is Little Caribou Island and then there is Frying Pan island. The reason Caribou Island is private property, unlike the rest of the lake and surrounding area for miles and miles is because Andy and Jessie Anderson homesteaded Caribou Island back in the early 1900’s! The south shore which is closest to Caribou Island is where Sam did his trapping. The Skilak Loop road that leads to civilization is on the north shore, the farthest from the island.

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Book signing at the Craigsville Public Library on April 11, 2014


I will be at the Craigsville, WV. Public Library on Friday, April 11, 2014 to meet the public and autograph my Alaskan memoir Winds of Skilak. If you’re in the area and looking for a good read, then stop by! I’d love to chat with you!

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We Have a Winner in the Goodreads Book Giveaway!

Congratulations go out to Mick Gillies from Australia! He is the winner of the Goodreads book giveaway. He will receive a copy of my book Winds of Skilak. I want to shout a big thank you to all 696 of the people who entered the contest. I appreciate your interest in Winds of Skilak.

The book is available for purchase at my website: Please don’t forget to enter the promo code: ‘Skilak’ so you can get a 10% discount!



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‘Winds of Skilak’ Reviews…

I want to shout out a sincere heartfelt thank you to my readers and fans who have taken the time to post their wonderful reviews on places like amazon and goodreads. What better way to share my story with the visitors to my blog than to let the reviews talk for themselves.
Here are a few of my reader’s reviews for Winds of Skilak. For more, check out my amazon book page.
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT TRUE STORY, February 17, 2014
Thriller Writer (Pittsburgh, PA, USA) –
The subtitle of WINDS OF SKILAK (“a tale of true grit, true love, and survival in the Alaskan Wilderness”) is a promise on the front book cover of the story to be found within the pages. Many promises fail to deliver; but WINDS OF SKILAK delivers in a big way that is always enjoyable, sometimes funny, and often moving. Sam and Bonnie are a married couple with a dream that many have but few ever act on: to leave city life behind and build a life in the wilderness. The couple are intent on surviving off the land, using only their wits and faith in themselves and the Almighty. Sam is a modern-day Daniel Boone, using outdoorsman skills learned in his boyhood in West Virginia and honed to perfection in adulthood; Bonnie is his faithful companion, jumping into every challenge with gusto and contributing all she can to make their experiment a success. They choose to settle in Alaska on an island with terrible winds, bone chilling cold, and the beautiful but often angry Skilak Lake at their doorstep. They build their own cabin from scratch and (mostly) live off the land. There are real dangers at every turn, like bears and having to make necessary drives to town across a frozen Skilak Lake in a Jeep after the weather has turned warmer. Note to any movie producers reading these words: this nonfiction book reads like an adventure novel that would make a great movie. WINDS OF SKILAK is an interesting, thoroughly enjoyable read that is a testament to the power of intention and faith in oneself and God. i give WINDS OF SKILAK by Bonnie Rose Ward the highest recommendation.


5.0 out of 5 stars True Grit, True Love, and Survival in the Alaskan Wilderness, for sure!, February 2, 2014
Winds of Skilak is an incredible, moving true story of a man and a woman, deeply in love, who decide to live out their dream of living in the Alaskan wilderness. Sam and Bonnie pack up and leave their lives, as they know them, behind. They set their minds on conquering their dream, and they don’t let anything stop them. Their bravery, determination, and desire to adapt and overcome anything Caribou Island and Skilak Lake have to throw at them is as encouraging as it is remarkable. Together and with God, Sam and Bonnie learn and grow as husband and wife and as wilderness people.This is a book I will read again and again. I recommend it to everyone I come in contact with. There is so much to learn in this book, not only about wilderness survival, but about relying on each other and the power of prayer to overcome any obstacle life throws at you. This book serves as a reminder that you CAN accomplish your dreams, as long as you believe it, believe God, and never give up.While reading Winds of Skilak, I laughed and cried with Bonnie. Sometimes, it may have been a mixture of both. Most of the time, I found myself smiling, eager to tell someone what I’d just read about Sam and Bonnie’s life in Alaska. For a moment, when I had about 40 pages to go, I decided that I was going to put the book down for a few days, because I simply did not want it to end. Then, I picked the book back up, thirsty for more of Bonnie’s recounts. Winds of Skilak is truly an amazing book.
A beautiful, inspiring story., January 17, 2014
I cannot say enough about this wonderful book. Bonnie Rose Ward and her husband Sam had an adventure in Alaska that very few will ever be fortunate enough to experience. They also share a love that continues to inspire to this day. I was so involved in the story that I could not put the book down, but I also hated to come to the end of the moving story. It was so refreshing to read a story that shows there can be true love and true teamwork if people are only willing to strive for it. I also enjoyed reading about the wonderful friends they made during their adventure. It was an amazing account of life in another area and the challenges that people face on a daily basis. It was amazing to see how much you can accomplish through hard work and determination. I was inspired in so many ways by their story. I know the book only covers a limited time and I do hope there will be a second book soon!
I LOVE this book !!!!, January 12, 2014
Winds of Skilak by Bonnie Rose Ward is an amazing book of courage, determination, creativity, hard work, resourcefulness and especially love. The love between Bonnie and Sam is enviable. And the courage of these two young people, to go to Alaska and carve out their life in the hardness and coldness on an island in Alaska. If Alaska is not enough of a challenge, this couple chose to build on an island that is known for its harshness. My thoughts were always drawn to Bonnie and how this tiny, sweet, young beauty loved enough and trusted enough to follow her husband, Sam into the wilderness. Honestly, I could not put this book down – it was such a wonderful read, full of surprises and delight. I just can hardly wait for a sequel. Please, Bonnie, I hope you are writing your continued story right now. I will purchase the first copy.
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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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My little min-pin Sulie happy to see me!

My little min-pin Sulie happy to see me!

My little pregnant min-pin, “Sulie,” was happy to see her “mommy” return home from the book signing!

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Valentine’s Day Book Signing at Craigsville Public Library!

Valentine's Day Book Signing at Craigsville Public Library!

Had a great day at my book signing! Met some nice folks who braved the roads and I even sold some books.

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