Chastain Book Reviews

Updated
05-19-10



Pierre ChastainA lot of Chastains write books. Here are book reviews on some of what they have written. If you wish to submit a book review, we will be pleased to post it here under your by-line. You may use the Submit Content form.

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Brandi Chastain
Clay Chastain
James Garvin Chastain
Jane Chastain
Jim Chastain


Karyl Lynn Chastain Beal
Madye Lee Chastain
Sandra Chastain
Stephen King
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Brandi Chastain, It's Not About the Bra

A review by Tim Chastain

Brandi's BookIf it's not about the bra, then what is it about? This book is not a biography, though it contains numerous biographical details. It is not about the U.S. Women's National Team, although Brandi talks about many of her teammates and some of their more important games. This book is about soccer. Brandi shares the many principles of excellence and professionalism she has learned about the sport, as a guide for younger players, their parents, and their coaches. She also addresses issues in soccer today--particularly in youth soccer.

To build her case for better youth soccer, Brandi develops a number of recurring themes like individual development, sportsmanship, commitment, and team building. An interesting bonus are the short feature articles by guest writers. Family members Jerry Smith, Cameron Smith, Chad Chastain; Women's National Team members Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilly, Brianna Scurry; and others from Brandi's world of soccer weigh in at appropriate times to help illustrate and support a point Brandi wishes to make.

Inside are eight pages of color photos. They do not include shots of Brandi's black sports bra celebration, but there is a photo of her exercising in a white sports bra for the curious.

Sportsmanship

Sportsmanship is a foundational theme that runs throughout the book. Two experiences helped shape Brandi's strong convictions on the importance of sportsmanship. The first was when she was clotheslined by an opponent in high school. She could have been seriously hurt. It made an impression on her, but not as much as the second example in which she herself deliberately chased down an opponent and cleated her viciously. Remorse from her action helped make sportsmanship a main theme in her life from that time forward.

The issues of sportsmanship and fair play permeate her book. She defines sportsmanship as "honoring both the rules and the spirit of competition by respecting your opponent and appreciating the integrity of the team." To be clear, she explains that there are many tricks and psychological things one can do within the unwritten rules to help your team win. She calls this gamesmanship, and says that gamesmanship is not incompatible with sportsmanship. Gamesmanship is different from playing dirty.

Youth Sports

Brandi decries the pressure and violence that characterize youth sports today. She believes youth sports should be fun and should develop character, sports skills, and relationships. Her catalyst for writing this book was an article she read from the June 7, 2004 of U.S. News and World Report on the terrible, destructive ways parents treat their own children in regard to sports. Brandi believes that taking youth sports too seriously has all but spoiled the game--pushy parents, and sometimes the children themselves, have created an environment of violence and stunted ethics.

She provides a proper philosophy and guidelines to improve youth sports. Brandi tells parents to yell encouragement to their kids from the stands, but to not yell at them. She tells coaches how to build character and lasting success, rather than shortchanging the development of strong kids by exploiting their natural advantage for short-term wins. She also advises against pushing kids to older teams instead of allowing them to develop at their own level, and advocates spending more time in practice and reducing the number of games played.

Her personal experience as a child in sports serves as a resource, but so does her experience as a parent of a child in sports. She tries to be a model sports parent as much as a model sports player.

Biographical Moments

Brandi uses her own experience as well as others to make her points, but not all of her personal examples are positive ones. We get glimpses of a Brandi Chastain not yet developed into the profession she is today. In addition to her dirty foul against an opponent (mentioned above), she shares that when she transferred to Santa Clara, her attitude was so bad she was dropped from the team. Fortunately, she had a tremendous (and permanent) attitude breakthrough and was accepted back on the team. That lesson has served her well throughout her career.

The picture we get as Brandi mentions her freshman year at Berkeley is that of a typical freshman familiar to any college. When she is asked by the advisor what she wants to study, he has to tell her, "Don't look at your mom!" Having gotten into the prestigious University of California at Berkeley, Brandi was put on academic probation. Her grades were improving in her second term, but she was distracted from her studies by her soccer and particularly a serious injury she sustained, so she was dismissed from the school. In many ways, Brandi was a normal freshman on her own for the first time, trying to balance school with the rest of her life. Of course, she bounced back and did much better at her second school.

We also gain insights into Brandi's relationship with her family. The thing that they all have in common is soccer, so Brandi is able to apply illustrations from her family life to soccer issues.

Role Models

Throughout the book, Brandi points out one person after another who helped her to develop this or that skill or attitude. It is obvious that Brandi has a host of role models. As a result, she has become a strong role model for others, especially younger girls. It is at this point that some criticize Brandi for her very public sports bra celebration after the winning penalty kick in 1999, but Brandi is uncowed by such criticism. The image she represents for women is one of confidence and self-acceptance.

George Best, of the San Jose Earthquakes was her childhood hero. Among those who helped Brandi in the turning points of her career are her parents, Lark and Roger Chastain, and her Santa Clara coach, Jerry Smith, who was the one to confront her and guide her through both her opponent-cleating incident and her bad attitude. He later became her husband. Other guides and mentors are childhood soccer camp counselor Tim Schultz of the San Jose Earthquakes, who taught her how to lose gracefully, her grandfather who taught her that to assist a goal is better than to make a goal, and various other players, coaches, and teammates.

Style

It's Not About the Bra is certainly no ponderous textbook on the sport of soccer. The style is conversational--even chatty. Its informality extends to the organization as well. In fact, the book is a bit too loosely structured for me. Also, I did not find the chapter and section headings to be useful much of the time, though I particularly enjoyed some of the clever ones such as You Kick Like a Girl! (If You're Lucky) and If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother. However, despite these stylistic shortcomings, Brandi gets her message across loud and clear!

Recommendations

Who should read this book? If you are a parent of a child involved in any sport, I recommend this book. Brandi has the right perspective on what youth sports is all about, and I believe she points to the proper balance between playing hard and serious, and going overboard. If you coach youth sports, you may enjoy this book as a welcome corrective or as a support for an approach you already pursue. Brandi Chastain fans will like this book. It is not a biography, but it has Brandi tidbits generously strewn throughout. However, if you are seeking information on the great games of the Women's National Team, you may be disappointed. There are references, but no sustained description, analysis, or insight. This is a good soccer inspirational volume, but only a so-so general inspirational book.

Memorable Quotes

Other Reviews of It's Not About the Bra


Sarah Lomas
Gary Singh
Matt Calkins


Bryce Eddings
Hilary Williamson
Amazon (multiple reviews)

See Brandi's Page
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Clay Chastain, Tilting at Windmills

A review by Tim Chastain

Tilting at WindmillsIn 1998, Clay Chastain released his book, Tilting at Windmills. He seems to have had three reasons for writing it. First, he recounts his battles with the Kansas City establishment beginning in 1991. Secondly, he offers a considerable amount of personal introspection, perhaps to explain his flaws of personality and behavior. The third issue has to do with the way he had last left Kansas City (under extreme embarrassment), and Clay wants to know if the people will welcome him back.

On Easter Sunday, 1991 a guest editorial by Clay Chastain appeared in the Kansas City Star. It was about Union Station, and it began an obsession that continues to this day. This obsession may have been produced in part by the death of Clay's father in February, 1990. His father had been very controlling, but his loss left Clay with personal uncertainties. Instead of his father, Union Station and light rail became the center of Clay's life.

Clay recounts the details and battles of his first three petitions, all of which qualified for the ballot, but were blocked by the City Council. In talking about his foes, it is apparent that he disrespects anyone who opposes him. He is extremely insulting and antagonistic. Though one can sympathize with Clay's objectives, it is difficult to imagine that Kansas City has so many demons, fools, and villains in every area of leadership; and they were all lined up against Clay's righteous crusade. Simply, Clay is just not a team player. He alienates the very people who could help integrate him into the discussions. He acknowledges his arrogance and ego, but never gives an opponent a good word.

The previously mentioned embarrassing episode was in conjunction with the initiative that Clay finally succeeded in placing on the ballot for 1997. The initiative was on the ballot, and all was well and good, until The Kansas City Star released an interesting story on the front page of its August 10 Sunday Metro news section.

A SOCIAL SIDE TO PETITIONS
Clay Chastain uses information to seek women companions

The article was not entirely unsubstantiated. Clay was single as he collected signatures for his petition in 1997, and some of the ladies began to flirt back and forth with him. To identify certain women, he sometimes made notes with their names: tall blond, blond bomb, cute, short cute, beautiful hair, NY girl, redhead cute, pretty chunkie blond, new to K.C. yes, left-handed cute, cute with freckles. When Clay submitted his petition lists to the authorities in order to qualify for the ballot, these personal notes were right on the signature sheets. Clay admitted to calling three of the women from his petition contacts, but stories painted Clay as an opportunist and a mad womanizer. Clay's ballot measure failed 67% TO 33%. In January, 1998 Clay went into seclusion and later wrote the book, in the last paragraph of which he says:

This book is my final weapon to roll onto the Union Station battlefield. How it is received by the public will tell me where I stand and my future in Kansas City. And if I am forgiven and awarded another chance to return by the people of Kansas City I will come back less someone seeking success and personal gain, and more someone seeking to be of even greater service to the public.

See Clay's Page
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James Garvin Chastain, A Brief History of the Huguenots and Three Family Trees

A review by Tim Chastain

When he was 80 years old, living in the home of his son, Judson, James Garvin Chastain wrote a seminal genealogical work, A Brief History of the Huguenots and Three Family Trees: Chastain, Lockridge, and Stockton, (1932). His research is a rich resource for subsequent genealogists. He was one of the pioneer Chastain genealogists. To our knowledge only Benjamin Kincaid did Chastain research prior to James Garvin.

In the first part of the book, James Garvin deals extensively with the history of the Huguenots. In the second part, he provides history and genealogy on three family trees. James begins with Pierre, who was part of the Huguenot settlement at Manakintown, Virginia. This is James' paternal lineage. Lockridge is his mother's lineage, and Stockton is his maternal grandmother's lineage. We are concerned only with the Chastain line.

The plan of the descendants chart is not comprehensive. Rather, James begins with Pierre, the Immigrant and follows it down his own lineage through Jean (as he supposed), Rev. John, Edward, Rainey, and Edward Jordan. However, he brings some collateral lines down to current time. Along the way, he focuses on significant Chastains closely related to this direct line, such as Peter, Jr.; Peter, son of Rene; Rev. Rene; and Elijah Webb Chastain. James Garvin's father was first cousin to Elijah Webb and his brothers and knew them personally.

Much of his contribution is bringing certain Chastain lines down to his time. James uses some published material, some of the information is his personal knowledge, but much more results from his correspondence with Chastains all over the United States.

The genealogy begins with the spurious list of Chastains that goes back to 1084 AD, which James received from Benjamin Kincaid. He cannot be faulted in accepting this list. Though we now know it is not genuine, it was published by genealogists up to Avilla Farnsworth-Milligan in 1981, who reproduced the list from James Garvin's book.

As a pioneer genealogist, James made other errors, as might be expected for one who is exploring a new field.

In two other items of interest:

Estienne Chastain came to America on the same ship as Pierre. Genealogist Avilla Farnsworth-Milligan states that Estienne had daughters only, and therefore did not pass on the Chastain name. James Garvin on the other hand says, "Sons were evidently born to Dr. Stephen Chastain and wife later, since his Chastain descendants now reside in the State of Missouri, and trace their ancestral line easily back to Dr. Stephen Chastain of Manakintowne, Va." We would certainly like to know more about these Missouri Chastains.

Rev. John Chastain is listed as a son of Jean Chastain, rather than of his brother, Peter Chastain, Jr., as is indicated in Pierre Chastain and His Descendants. There have been differing opinions regarding this over the years, as there is no direct evidence establishing who was the father of Rev. John. The consensus now seems to be that circumstantial evidence strongly favors Peter as John's father.

See James Garvin's Page
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Jane Chastain, I'd Speak Out on the Issues If I Only Knew What to Say

A review by Tim Chastain

I'd Speak Out on the Issues If I Only Knew What to SayJane's book, I'd Speak Out on the Issues, is essentially a guidebook for becoming politically active. Jane recounts how she became involved. As a sports reporter, she was immersed in her career. Though she was extremely knowledgeable about sports, she was not very well informed in other areas--such as politics. Jane mentions that when the National Women's Convention met in a highly publicized convention in 1977, she was frustrated because she did not feel that the convention represented her as a woman. But it was five years later, when she was approached by activist Beverly LaHaye, that she began to be involved.

I'd Speak Out on the Issues seems to have three overlapping audiences. Christians, political conservatives, and women, so I suppose the target audience is politically conservative Christian women, although the book is not strictly limited to them. The names with whom she associates clearly indicate a conservative Christian audience: Beverly LaHaye, Phyllis Schlafly, James Dobson, James Kennedy; and her use of biblical passages for support reinforce it. In fact the book is published by Gospel Light, a conservative Christian publisher. When Jane discusses proper dress and body language in her section on interviewing, her specific tips are predominately for women.

This book is pre-eminently practical. No prior preparation for political action is assumed. It is written for the person who does not know even the basics of our political system, so everything is explained, but in a very readable fashion. Though the book is almost 300 pages long, it is an easy read, and Jane covers all the basics. Then she adds additional resources to the back of the book, making it a one-volume handbook for the conservative political activist. However, her general guidelines will be helpful to the beginning activist of any political persuasion.

After some general introduction, Jane proceeds to discuss five specific political issues. Since the book was published in 1987, not all the issues are as relevant today as they were at that time. She begins each chapter clarifying the issue and follows with a number of questions with appropriate answers. It is in fact a preparation for being interviewed on the issue. The five issues selected are:

In the following chapters, Jane provides practical guidance on putting one's political activism in motion effectively. She covers how to deal with the following initiatives:

All in all, it is a well written and easy to use guide. Of course, the political content will be better received by conservatives than those with other political perspectives.

However, there is one aspect of the book that I find disturbing, or at least inadequate. Jane uses biblical passages freely in support of her ideas, which is fine, but her use of the Bible is primarily through proof-texting. Although at one point she emphasizes the importance of context in the use of the Bible, she tends to ignore context completely in her own use. For example, on pages 30-31 she brings together a number of passages with no attempt to clarify their contexts or to explain how the passages relate to her topic. Passages are cited from Luke, Matthew, 2 Timothy, Habakkuk, 2 Chronicles, Psalms, and Romans. It is as though each short passage is a complete thought with an equal application to her argument. A similar example is found on pages 142-143.

See Jane's Page
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Jim Chastain, I Survived Cancer, but Never Won the Tour de France

A review by Tim Chastain


Once there was a boy
And a ball and a net and a team
He served and did not know the outcome
~By Jim Chastain

I Survived Cancer but Never Won the Tour de FranceChastain Central first became aware of Jim through a December 2006 Norman Transcript news article regarding the publication of his book of cancer memoirs. As I begin this review, let me say that I too am a cancer survivor. Like Jim's, my cancer is somewhat rare (Multiple Myeloma), and I travel two hours each way to Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, a center specializing in my type of cancer. In this regard, I am more fortunate than Jim, who had to drive seven hours one way to his facility in Houston.

This book is a mixture of humor and serious reflection on the solemn subject of cancer. It made me laugh in many places, and it also made me cry, especially in the story about Anna. Each topical chapter is followed by original poetry by Jim himself. Though our cancers are different, many of the experiences Jim relates remind me of my own journey with cancer so far. I say 'so far', because even though I am in remission, and therefore a cancer survivor, some cancers have a nasty way of returning. This is why Jim says his book title is somewhat misleading, but he felt no one would be interested in a book called I May Soon Die of Cancer, and the Tour de France Isn't on my Radar Screen.

In my journey with cancer, I have read many informational books about the mysterious disease called Multiple Myeloma, which I had never heard of before I was diagnosed in September 2006. But I had not read any books by cancer survivors until Jim Chastain's book. This insightful book was definitely worth reading, even though I read it, not because it dealt with cancer, but because it was written by a Chastain (I read a lot of Chastain books).

I Survived Cancer but Never Won the Tour de France is filled with humor. Jim knows how to see humor in difficult situations and also how to deliver the stories. Some of the stories that stand out most for me are the volleyball game (related to the poem quoted above), the manage a trios, and the MRI. Perhaps you will choose different ones. But Jim also discusses significant issues that relate to cancer patients and their families, such as spiritual growth, despair and depression, cancer statistics, bringing important things of life into sharper focus, and dealing with well-meaning, but overzealous, friends who promote nutritional remedies or faith healing over medical treatment.

I Survived Cancer but Never Won the Tour de France is 175 pages of thought-provoking inspiration. I recommend it without reservation to anyone dealing with cancer in themselves or someone important to them. Some may be put off by Jim's light-hearted approach at times, but I believe that if we can laugh at cancer, it cannot defeat our spirit. Jim's book points the way. It is available from Jim's website (under STORE), Amazon.com, and many local stores. For numerous short reviews, see Jim's website under BUZZ.

See Jim's Page
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Karyl Chastain, Our Family History: Chastain-Harrell

Description by Tim Chastain

Our Family HistoryIn 1979, Karyl released a significant genealogical work, Our Family History: Chastain-Harrell, which explores the ancestors and descendants of her grandparents, Luther Cleveland and Mary Effie Harrell. It is a large sized red, hardback of 211 pages and includes 1300 names. The book is now out of print, but is posted on the internet with updates.

The book is divided into three sections: The story of Luther Cleveland and Mary Effie Harrell Chastain, descendants of Luther Cleveland Chastain and related lines, and Harrell Family information. It contains excellent data and fills a gap in information on the important Thomas County, Georgia Chastain group, but it suffers from lack of a name index, so it is not easily searchable. However, the on-line edition has a nice search engine. At the time of publication, Karyl was uncertain of the precise lineage from 1. Pierre to 5. Solomon, but that is now known.

See Karyl's Page
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Madye Lee Chastain, various titles

Comments by various fans

Chastain Central is delighted to receive the warm stories from our readers about growing up with Madye Lee's books. Do you have a Madye Lee story? If so, we would really like to hear it!

Finding Madye Lee Chastain books: Madye Lee's books are long out of print, but are available as used books. The best sources for us have been eBay and Amazon.com. Sometimes we have gotten books in very good condition for less than one would think (sometimes, even twenty dollars or less). In eBay you may sign up for notification whenever a copy is available using keywords susan rain madye. Use the same keywords to search Amazon.com. On Amazon, you will likely receive several listings showing how many copies are available and the lowest used price for that listing.

Susan and the Rain

Susan and the RainFrom Madye Lee Chastain fan, Katie Nainiger of Madison, Ohio on August 13, 2007.

I have Susan in the Rain it was my moms when she was little, then mine (my grandma would read it all the time), then my 9 year old son, and now my little boy (17 months) has to read her every time he goes to bed and he kisses her goodnight. He loves to look at the horse in the barn, the waterfall, apple and Susan's boots! It has been a special book to all of us. I tried looking for another copy since Susan is beginning to look well loved and my little guy is starting to want Susan to go night night with him, his kitty and his blankies :) As I search the web I see that Susan in the Rain has held her value as it is reflected in the price and the availability. I hope to find a copy soon to keep as a back up and future special times. Thank you to Madye Lee Chastain for creating a special memory that has been passed down through the years. [We responded with some leads on a few available copies at reasonable costs, and she tried to secure a copy. We are unsure if she was able to get it].

Susan and the RainFrom Madye Lee Chastain fan, Margaret Duke of Balwyn, Australia on November 2, 2007,

I have spent hours on the internet trying to find information for my Mother, who used to read Susan And The Rain to me when I was a child - I was delighted when I found this website, especially when I found the picture of Madye Lee - There are many of us trying to get our hands on a copy of this story. My family have been scouring second hand bookshops for years trying to find this story - I would be grateful for any help you can give me. [We responded with some leads on a few available copies at reasonable costs. A few days later, we received the following] My Mum is living with us, she’s nearly eighty and she suffers with Parkinson’s disease. Susan and the Rain is actually for her and I had seriously stepped up my search after she moved in with my husband and me in September. She was thrilled to bits when I told her that I’d found a copy and that my friend Naomi had actually managed to buy it for us. I’ll be sure to let you know when it arrives. Feel free to use any of my emails in your web-site, I’d be honoured – it’s as close to being “published” as I am ever likely to get! Once again my heartfelt thanks, Best wishes, Margaret.

From Madye Lee Chastain fan, Kim of Seattle on January 23, 2008,

My mom is 88 and has some dementia; she recently started reciting "Susan Amantha Cottonwood...." over and over. She can't remember all of it. Do you know where I can get a reasonably priced copy? I think she would be utterly delighted. Blessings. Kim [Susan Amantha Cottonwood is the main character of Madye Lee Chastain's book "Susan and the Rain". We replied that only used copies are available and sometimes sell for a considerable amount. However, the book can often be found in reasonable condition for $20 or less. We suggested a few sources.]

From Madye Lee Chastain fan, Gail Tibbo of Vancouver, Canada on October 3, 2008,

Interesting site. We're Huguenot descendants, too. My sisters and I loved "Susan and the Rain" - every time it rained, we would recite "And complain, and complain, and complain...". We all know the story by heart, we read it so many times.

From Madye Lee Chastain fan, Susan Amantha Linkie of Rockville, Maryland on February 15, 2009,

As you can see from name, Susan and the Rain was my mother's favorite childhood story. I would love to get my hands on another copy. The one I have is too tattered and fragile to give to my own toddler daughter. I wish it were in print again so that she could have her own copy.

From Madye Lee Chastain fan, Sandra Roufogalis of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on April 16, 2009,

My favorite book as a child was Susan and the Rain. I loved Susan Amantha Cottonwood. Since it came out in 1947 that must have been the year my mother bought it for me as a two year old. I wish I still had the book.

From Madye Lee Chastain fan, Luann on July 1, 2009,

I have been looking for a copy of Susan and the Rain by Madye Lee Christian to give to my sister as a gift. My mother read that book to her over and over when she was a child to help her get over her fear of the rain.

Other Titles

Emmy Keeps a PromiseFrom Madye Lee Chastain fan, Linda Blessing of Cincinnati on February 20, 2008,

When I was a young girl, I borrowed Emmy Keeps a Promise from the library. It was my favorite book and I remember telling my friends I read it 17 times. Madye Lee Chastain's description of mid-1800's New York was just what was needed to get me interested in reading. I credit her with my lifelong love of reading. I didn't know Emmy was part of a series of books about New York until I was an adult. I found those books plus Emmy on eBay, thankfully. I took care of my mother until her death in 2006. When her sight failed, I read Emmy to her out loud. We laughed together over the clams, chopping onions and all the wonderful adventures. These wonderful books need to be reprinted. I credit Madye Lee Chastain with my lifelong love of reading. Summer at Hasty CoveI wish I'd had the chance to thank her so I'm thanking her family instead.

From Madye Lee Chastain fan, Kara Jeffas of Boston on August 31, 2008,

Fan of Summer at Hasty Cove. Used to take this book out on loan from my school library almost every week. Eventually told by the librarians that I would be restricted from borrowing it because they wanted me to read other books. A few years ago, I did a search and was thrilled to find a used copy on Amazon. Since being reunited with the book, I have re-read "Hasty Cove" several times. A very warm memory.

See Madye Lee's Page
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Sandra Chastain, various titles

Reviews by Harriet Klausner (used with permission)

Blessing of Mossy CreekBlessings of Mossy Creek, June, 2004 (with others). It is a blessing to live in Mossy Creek located hours North of Atlanta, where everyone who lives there wants to stay there. Neighbors help friends and arguments are usually settled amicably. Outsiders who move there are warmly welcomed as long as they treat others, as they want to be treated. When the bride has no flowers for her wedding day, the groom tries to find them but it is the people of Mossy Creek who work together to fill up the church with roses and one woman donates her prize winning rose instead of entering them in the local competition. The owner of a ballet school and the owner of the funeral home are feuding and disturbing the newly bereaved. Tango lessons temporarily solve the problem and friendship finds a solution.

Even the children in Mossy Creek are kind hearted. John Wesley has been saving up all summer to buy his mother a birthday present but when a homeless hungry family of migrant workers passes through town, he gives them his money for gasoline and food. On an amusing note, the town bands together to save a tree from being torn down while Amos the chief of police tries to get Ida the mayor to admit she has feelings for him.

There are many more blessings in Katie Bell's column in the Mossy Creek Gazette; they are all tender, worn-hearted and uplifting as the ones in this review. Mossy Creek combines the atmosphere of an Anne River Seddons' novel with the magic of a Barbara Samuels' character study. The latest trip is worth the journey. ~Harriet Klausner

KaseyBelle

KaseyBelle: The Tiniest Fairy in the Kingdom, April, 2004. As the tiniest fairy in the land, KaseyBelle is very sad, as she is unable to do some the glorious things that the taller fairies do. Even with what she can accomplish, she must work twice as hard as others must because her wings required more rotation and ripples to achieve the goal.

The Fairy Queen saw her littlest subject crying so she went to learn why. KaseyBelle said she wept because she was so much smaller than the others are. The wise Queen told her that she was special and persuaded the frightened wee fairy to ride Rhett the dragonfly, something no one else could do. The other fairies are jealous, but would not be if they knew that Ivan the mean giant captured KaseyBelle and Rhett. KaseyBelle knows it is up to her to rescue them and teach Ivan to be nice so the courageous "Tiniest Fairy in the Kingdom" confronts the meanest biggest dude of them all.

This is an adorable early elementary-preschool fairy tale starring a delightful individual that makes believers out of us ancient cynics. Besides the fabulous illustrations that enhance the entire tale, the story line is fun to follow and contains a strong message that everyone is special. Sandra Chastain displays her talent with this fine tale that the young ones will cherish. ~Harriet Klausner

Look, But Don't Touch

Look, But Don't Touch, January 2, 2004. Photographer Cat McCade's fifteen minutes of fame came from her shots of men posing in underwear for an ad campaign. Though she enjoys the male physique, at least those of her models, she is more skittish than a fraidy cat when it comes to personal relationships. She never allows anyone to get close to her heart. That changes when she meets the Texas Ranger.

Jesse Dane is the classic Ranger, a lawman preferring to live alone. However, since he shared that one evening with Cat, his bed seems empty. Desperate to forget that incredible evening of sex in heaven, he dives deep into his work. He is assigned to guard a photographer working for influential businessman Sterling Szachon. However, this is one body he wants to do more than just guard, as his assignment is to protect Cat.

Only the great Sandra Chastain can use the coincidence of a second encounter due to the convergence of their respective jobs and turn it into a first rate contemporary romance. Ms. Chastain succeeds because the audience quickly likes and cares about the lead couple, hoping they can make it as much out of bed as they do in. Perhaps not quite classic Chastain, LOOK, BUT DON'T TOUCH remains a fabulously written terrific tale that thoroughly entertains the reader. ~Harriet Klausner

See Sandra's Page
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Stephen King, Misery

Comment by Tim Chastain

Misery-The Book

There are many Fictional Chastains, but none so well known as Stephen King's Misery Chastain. However, Misery is not so much a character in a book as she is a character in a book-within-a-book. Misery-The Movie

The real book is "Misery," published by King in 1987. A film version followed in 1990, which won Kathy Bates an Academy Award. It is about an author named Paul Sheldon (James Caan in the movie). Injured in a serious car accident away from civilization, he is rescued by Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates). She turns out to be his "number one fan." One of his continuing characters is Annie's favorite person of all time-Misery Chastain, but in his last book, Sheldon has killed off Misery.

Annie demands that Sheldon bring Misery back. She is insistent. Her persuasion turns to terror. You will have to read the rest for yourself, but King's fictional Misery Chastain is perhaps the second most recognized Chastain in America (after Brandi), and she is only a secondary character in a book.

Chastain used to be an uncommon name in literature. In fact, it was almost completely absent prior to 1987; there were only few exceptions, such as Mignon G. Eberhart's Marcy Chastain in the Bayou Road (1979). That changed dramatically in recent years, perhaps due to Stephen King’s Misery Chastain, who appeared in 1987, and to Brandi Chastain, who made the name more familiar in 1999.

See Chastains in Fiction
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