Sheila's Books Read

Sheila's bookshelf: read

What Would the Founding Fathers Think: A Young American's guide to understanding the mess our country is in and how we get out
Isabelle Webb: Legend of the Jewel
Captive Heart
Cobble Cavern
Caller ID
Summer of Secrets
On Little Wings
We Lived in Heaven: Spiritual Accounts of Souls Coming to Earth
Christ's gifts to women
A Woman's power: threads that bind us to god
Scary School
Hope's journey
Targets in Ties
Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island
With a Name like Love
Sean Griswold's head

Sheila's favorite books »

2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Sheila has read 0 books toward her goal of 60 books.

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Last Summer By Brandy Bruce: Guest Post by the author, Excerpt, and Giveaway

The Last Summer Tour

About the Book

The Last Summer
Genre:  Contemporary, Inspirational, Romance
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Publication date: June 2017
A group of seven friends navigate relationships and personal growth during a season of change.

About the Author

Bruceauthorphoto (1)
Brandy Bruce is a mom, a wife, a book editor, an author, and someone who really loves dessert. She’s the author of the award-winning novel The Last SummerLooks Like Love, and The Romano Family Collection. Brandy, her husband, and their children make their home in Colorado.

Author Interview via SLB

1. What does your writing process look like?
I write as the story comes to me. I don’t usually create outlines; sometimes I’ll list out things that I know need to happen in the story (or to help me keep track of my timeline). Usually, I write the story in order, but often one or two scenes will come to me out of order and I’ll jot those down to add in later.
2. If you could travel anywhere in the world for book research (no cost to you), where would you go and why?
England! I’ve been once before and loved it so much. Also, I love writing about travel. My novel Looks Like Love involves a trip to Europe, and I hope to eventually write another book that includes travel.
3. What does “a day in the life of Brandy Bruce” look like?
My children trickling into my bed, one by one—usually by 7:30 a.m. Then everyone starts begging for breakfast, and my husband and I have to get up. It’s summer now, so our days are pretty low-key. My husband heads to his office, and the kids and I do whatever we’ve got planned for the day. (This usually involves playing in the backyard and eating ice pops.) Lots of snacks and sunblock happen—then finally Jeff comes home. We eat dinner early at our house, usually by five o’clock. Then Jeff and I switch off, and I work on whatever freelance edits or writing projects I have going on before we tag-team bedtime for the kiddos.
4. If you were to go to lunch with one of the characters from The Last Summer, who would it be and why?
I’d choose Sara. She’s my favorite out of the gang, and I think we’d get along well. Also, we both really like California Pizza Kitchen. That’s where we’d go.
5. What inspired you to write The Last Summer?
I was in college when the story came to me. It’s a time when friendship is paramount, and that’s why it’s a huge theme in the book. All seven of the main characters came to me almost at once.
6. What did you as a writer take away from writing The Last Summer?
That friendships change as we grow older and enter different seasons of life. And that when it comes to real-life love stories, no one is perfect. That’s where grace comes in.
7. What is your current WIP?  What can you share about this project with us?We’re going through the proofs for the follow-up book to The Last Summer. (Squeals with happiness!) I’m so excited about this next novel. It’s slated to release early February 2019 and I’ve poured my heart and soul into it.

Guest Post: Everybody Loves Jason

I’ve had people ask about the inspiration behind the characters in The Last Summer and while I love talking about the group of friends, truth be told, they came to me so long ago that it’s hard to remember the original inspiration! Almost all seven friends came to me at once. The book was always meant to be a story about friendship. Every member of the group is essential. But over time, as I reworked and rewrote the story, the characters became more developed, and I can definitely see some glimpses of who and what inspired the people they became.
I’ve said before that the image of Sara in my mind looks a lot like my sister, who happens to be named Sara! 😊 My sister is elegant and introspective and great at design. I think I put some of my own characteristics into her as well (mainly my love for Diet Dr Pepper and tacos). So, in some ways, Sara’s character is a bit of a blend of me and my sister. Jason is another one who is clearly defined for me. I have a cousin named Jason, who happens to have tattoos and dark hair and he’s Hispanic (so am I!) and he’s funny and delightful.
I’ll be honest, I’m pretty sure Luke was heavily influenced by an early Brad Pitt (think Legends of the FallA River Runs Through It, and Oceans 11). Not a bad place to start, if you ask me! As time went on, Luke started to look a lot like Chris Hemsworth to me (aka Thor). Everett’s character, while not really a member of the group, also came to me almost from the beginning and was essential, of course. As I worked through his character, in my mind he started to look a lot like Henry Cavill (also known as Superman).
To me, all the characters bring to the table something that adds to who they are as a group. The insecurity and yet elegance of Sara; the sweetness and levelheadedness of Addison; the Southern sarcasm and loyalty of Lily; the swagger and flirtatiousness of Jason; the easygoing, along-for-the-ride person who is Sam; and the calm, dedicated, a-bit-hard-to-read (intriguing) Luke. Then you add in the charm and boyishness of Everett, and you’ve got a story.
One thing I found to be unexpected and great was that as we were going through the editing process, I had two lovely girls as my editors. When I’d read their comments, I kept seeing “Team Jason!” or “Team Everett here!” or “Team Luke!”, which I thought was hilarious. I loved how invested they were. I honestly think I saw “Team Jason!” the most. And when feedback started rolling in from other authors who read the book for endorsements, I started hearing again how much people enjoyed Jason. He seemed to be a favorite among the group. He’s a favorite of mine too.
I mainly just love the idea of a group of friends who love each other like family. That sense of community—that you always have people who will show up for you. In The Last Summer, that perfect circle of friendship gets a bit fractured, and I think that’s a mirror of real life too. Friendships change over time and as people move into different seasons of life. I think lots of people have certain groups of people during specific times in life. You’ve got your college friends, then young marrieds or maybe work colleagues, then often, you find yourself looking for fellow moms and dads to be friends with. Church groups, neighbors, friends at work—it helps to have community to lean on and help each other. But people change, sometimes they move away, and sometimes friends just drift apart. All of that is normal and part of life. Sometimes this can hurt more than others, and I explore a little of that in The Last Summer. The beauty of friendship and the push and pull of life changing.
One thing I think a lot of readers don’t know about is the Pinterest board I created for the book. I love Pinterest boards for writers. It’s a great place to gather photos that help you visualize your characters or settings. My Pinterest board is where I gathered photos of actors who look like my characters, quotes, images of lake houses that are what I envision for the book, and pictures from the book launch gathering. So hop over and take a look and get to know these characters even better! (The specific Pinterest board is called ‘book launch for The Last Summer.)
The follow-up novel releases in early February next year, so now is the perfect time to read The Last Summer!




They all exchanged looks around the table. I felt like they were having this private conversation and hoped the conclusion would be that they wanted me. Because there was something special about the people at this table. The way they kidded and joked and touched each other and moved like one breathing organism. The way they did seem like a family. Six people connected to each other. I wanted to be the seventh.
“I have a feeling, Sara Witherspoon,” Addison said, tilting her head to the side and studying me as though she could see all the way to my heart, “you belong too.”
I don’t know how she knew, but she did. Like I said, Addison is the leader. She’s the glue. Once she said those words, all tension melted away, and I was included. If Addison said I belonged, I did. She reminded me of Melanie Wilkes in Gone with the Wind. If Mrs. Wilkes was the cool-headed voice of reason that could settle the chaos around her, Addison was that same strong, trusted constant amid these six friends. Her word was law. And from that day forward, the six people around that table at Isabella’s became like six extensions of myself.
We were a circle. Within a month, Jason asked me to go out to dinner with him. Luke hadn’t shown any romantic interest in me, and there was Jason, with that thick, dark hair and playful personality and handful of tattoos on his olive skin—how could I say no? We started dating. A year after that, we
broke up. As much as I truly liked Jason and couldn’t help feeling attracted to him, I hadn’t fallen in love. I couldn’t picture us married and having babies. We were better as friends. I know Jason didn’t agree, but he and I both refused to let our break up damage the circle. Eventually, things between us returned to normal.
During my dating-Jason phase, Sam and Lily got married, which didn’t really change anything since they were already such a unit. I realized early on that Luke and Debra were never an item. I’d mistaken Debra’s warm and friendly demeanor and Luke’s tendency to be protective and kind as the traits
of a dating couple, but those endearing qualities of both of them extended to all of us. My crush on Luke diminished as Jason and I dated and then shifted to ‘just friends.’
Sort of.
And somewhere along the way, painfully, Luke and I became best friends.

TLS summer pack giveaway
Enter the giveaway HERE.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway package includes the following: summer swag (beach towel, flip flops, sunglasses, bookmark, and candy) & winner’s choice of a print or e-copy of the book.
Giveaway open to US residents only and ends 11:59pm MT on July 21st.
Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Tour Schedule

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Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz & Giveaway: Day 11-Beyond By Catina Haverlock and Angela Larkin

Catina worked her way through college as a TV reporter and a dating game show host. She's a sucker for Young Adult romance stories (both real and make-believe). She has a panache for match-making and loves that many of her "set-ups" have resulted in marriages. 

After spending most of her adult life in Las Vegas, Catina traded in tumbleweeds for earthquakes and now lives with her husband and four children near San Diego, California. If she's not home, chances are you can find her at the beach, Disneyland or In-N-Out Burger.

Angela Larkin writes clean teen romance and is a big fan of kissing (in life and in books). She's been a gold miner, a pool cleaner, a mannequin dresser, and a teacher. She's lived a true romance: meeting her husband in a case of mistaken identity. They recently moved with their four children from the sparkling city of Las Vegas to the shade of the North Carolina Pines. Chances are, she's reading past bedtime.

"Dangerous. Wrong.
She could be so close to finding out who I really am, and I don't want to think about how badly that could damage her. If I have any conscience, I'll turn and run. But I can't let her go."

Presley Hale has no idea the guy she just told off in the school parking lot died in a drowning accident four months ago. Why would she? It's not like she knows she can see the dead. Stunned by Presley's sixth sense, Landon Blackwood rethinks his planned departure and begins tracking her to find answers to their mysterious connection.

When their complicated relationship turns dangerous, they learn that tampering with the boundaries of death comes with consequences. Can Landon save Presley from the insidious spirits who have marked her for death, or was their love doomed from the beginning?

The next book in this Series is available this September!

Top Ten List:

Top 10 Fun Facts/Favorite Things

1. Worked as a dating gameshow host to pay the bills in college
2. My maiden name is Cecchini (pronoucned Check-eenie) and I grew up on Chickadee Street. So, Catina Cecchini on Chickadee Street. Try saying that 10 times!
3. I was secretly in love with my husband for an entire college semester before he even knew I was alive.
4. I grew up in Beyond's setting. If I could live anywhere in the world, it would be the Lake Tahoe area.
5. I love helping other families who, like me, have a child with autism. I'm currently working on developing new services for people with autism in Southern CA.
6. I love Thai Food
7. Just tried Sushi for the first time a week ago and after all these years of avoidance, discovered I love it too!
8. Seriously nearly lost consciousness when I learned BEYOND was #1  in four Amazon categories shortly after its release
9. Wore sequins for the first time to the Whitney gala this May where Beyond was a finalist in two categories
10. Actually, I wore sequins in High School too as a member of the dance team! :)

10 Fun Facts about Angela Larkin (the girl in the white top)

1. I've worked five summers in a gold mine.
2. I used to dress mannequins at GAP.
3. I learned how to drive stick in an alfalfa field.
4. I have a favorite direction: west.
5. After my first kiss in fifth grade, I went straight home and tried to draw a representation in my journal of how it felt.
6. I used to choreograph roller skating routines in my garage to the soundtrack of The Little Mermaid. I took it VERY seriously.
7. I have no idea how much ice cream it would take to make me feel gross. I've never reached that point as hard as I've tried.
8. I met my husband in a true case of mistaken identity.
9. I want to learn Hula and perform it somewhere.
10. Weiner dogs are cuter than all the dogs. And I want one. 

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event Page 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Matchmaker’s Match by Brittany Larsen:Blog Tour Review & $25 Gift Card and Free Book Giveaway

                                                               Title: The Matchmaker's Match
Author: Brittany Larsen
Publisher: Covenant Communications Inc.
Published: July 2018
ISBN: 1524406767 
FTC, FYI: I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Book Description: The Matchmaker’s Match
Eliza Woodhouse has everything a girl could want: a delightful little beachside flower shop, a loving family, and the best friend a girl could ask for. And while she suffers a chronic lack of romance in her own life, the bohemian beauty is a self-proclaimed matchmaker extraordinaire, as evidenced by her recent successes. Having found a fiancé for her sister and a boyfriend for her best friend, she is now taking her lovelorn new employee under her wing. Yes, life is working out quite nicely for Eliza. Until Parker Knightley walks back into her life. After three years in Hong Kong, Parker is in town for his brother’s upcoming wedding to Eliza’s sister. They’ve all known each other their whole lives, and Eliza will never be anything but Little Liza Belle to her handsome childhood tormenter. So the fact that their siblings are getting married simply puts Parker one step closer to becoming the big brother he and Eliza have always joked about him being. But the more time they spend together, the more confused Eliza’s feelings become. Because she has come to the shocking realization that the role of brother is the last role she wants Parker to play in her life . . .
My Review

The Matchmaker's Match is a novel loosely based on the book Emma by Jane Austen. This is a contemporary romance with a cast of very interesting characters. The most interesting thing is that the main characters Liza and Parker are some of the most flawed in the book. In the long run they also are the ones that have the most to learn. 

Eliza and Parker grew up together in a sister-brother relationship. They tease, mock, fight, and have fun together. It's not until they are both grown up and thrown back together that other feelings start to develop or they are being recognized. I just wish they'd realized this way sooner in the novel. I almost felt cheated that it took so long and we don't see this part until the last few chapters. I wanted more of them being lovers not bickering friends.

Eliza is rich, beautiful, and everything has always gone her way. Some people think she is a snob and self centered. I don't agree 100% with this assessment. I think her heart was usually in the right place, but she didn't know how to carry out her good intentions so as not to offend others or cause problems. Parker seems like the perfect man, but I was really annoyed how he always was cutting Eliza down. If he'd only set her down earlier and had a non-judgmental heart to heart a lot of the problems they had would have been avoided. Granted there wouldn't have been much in the story, but I felt so many times he felt superior to Eliza and made her feel bad. Yes, Eliza with her matchmaking skills and wanting to "help" everyone sometimes just made things worse. 

Other characters I really loved in the story are Eliza's sweet father. Eliza's dad is not well and she's stayed at home to take care of him. He gives her a lot of love and stability though and that's why I liked him. I also liked her best friend Taylor who is a true friend. I felt bad many times for many of the characters who wanted to just be loved but they'd fallen in love with the wrong person. It's called life and this novel is very realistic. 

This novel is for those who like flawed characters who struggle, but in the long run find the right answers and the right person. Just know, the romance for our main character doesn't come easy throughout the book and you won't be seeing instant romance. The book is good for older teens and adults.

Purchase The Matchmaker's Match Here

About the Author 

Brittany Larsen may be an Idaho girl living in California, but at heart she is English. She loves all things Jane Austen and counts the time she and her husband viewed the couch where Emily Bronte died as one of their most romantic moments ever. Sadly, he has no recollection of it. When not reading nineteenth century English literature or writing her own romances, Brittany loves spending time with her three incredible daughters, Emma, Tess, and Jane, and her amazingly supportive husband, Shawn.

Other Books by Brittany Larsen:
Blog Tour Schedule
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Cover Reveal for the NIGHT AT THE OPERA by Stacy Henrie

NIGHT AT THE OPERA by Stacy Henrie

Release date Oct 16th.

Here it is.............

Goodreads Summary:

From USA Today bestselling author Stacy Henrie, comes NIGHT AT THE OPERA, an American Heiress Novel.

NIGHT AT THE OPERA - Book 1 (1908)

When American heiress Gwen Barton aids an injured gentleman in an opera box in London, she shares a kiss with the stranger that changes her life. More determined than ever to be herself, in spite of the limp she’s sustained since childhood, she will marry for love and not a title. She also resolves to learn the identity of the man she helped—and kissed. Surely he can’t be the irritating Avery Winfield, though. But as circumstances continue to throw Gwen and Avery together, she begins to wonder if there is more to this man than she first thought. 

While most of London only knows him as the nephew of a duke, Avery Winfield is actually working for the Secret Service Bureau to ferret out German spies from among the ton. It’s a profession that gives him purpose and a reason to remain a bachelor. But the more he interacts with Gwen Barton, an heiress from America, the more he begins to question his plans and neglected faith. Then he learns Gwen is the young lady from the opera box who helped him. Now his most important mission may have nothing to do with saving Britain from danger and everything to do with risking his heart for the woman he met that night at the opera.

More American Heiress books:
Beneath an Italian Sky (April 2019)
Among Sand and Sunshine (October 2019) 

Pre-order link: 

Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz & Giveaway: Day 10-Relics of the Divine: The Celestial Flame By Stephen R. Watts

Stephen R. Watts was born and raised at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains in Northern Utah, where he developed a love for stories at a very young age. Having spent his adolescence creating alternate worlds where he could escape the hardships of mental illness, Stephen wanted nothing more than to grow up and write his own epic tales capable of entertaining readers in ways that reminds them of their untold worth. Stephen’s debut novel was a fourteen-year labor of love, and when he isn’t studying story craft he can be found traveling the world or spending quality time with his family in Salt Lake City.

When sixteen-year-old Harius is chosen to guard a mystic key and sword, he’s sure there’s been some mistake. Protecting the divine relics requires the celestial flame, a power that only mystic warriors can wield. And while Harius is training to become such a warrior, he’s lacked the faith needed to access the flame ever since his mother’s tragic death.

Despite his doubts, Harius accepts the calling at a time when evil forces threaten to destabilize his world. As the son of his nation’s most controversial leader, Harius soon becomes a delegate to a foreign land filled with technological marvels capable of saving his ancient race of winged men. Acquiring the necessary tech won’t be easy, though, as the king of this land won’t share it unless Harius uses the celestial flame to rescue the royal family from a foe out to conquer the realm.

With so much resting on his fragile faith, Harius fears he will ultimately fail. Yet, amid all the danger he will learn that the relics he guards hold the secret to not only restoring his faith, but to revealing his untold destiny.

Top Ten List:

Ten Fun Facts

1)     Stephen defied many peoples’ expectations when he overcame severe mental health challenges.
2)     In 2002, Stephen lived less than ten miles from Salt Lake City where the Winter Olympic Games were being held that year.
3)     Stephen is the only one of five brothers to have become an Eagle Scout.
4)     Stephen was selected by his senior-class president to give a speech at his high school graduation.
5)     While attending college, Stephen was invited to give a presentation at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research in 2012.
6)     Stephen finished graduate school with a perfect grade point average.
7)     Stephen shares a birthday with two friends from high school, as well as with a certain young prince in England.
8)     Hot Yoga is Stephen’s favorite form of Exercise.
9)     Stephen won’t eat any food he knows contains mushrooms.

10)                        Stephen is saving his first kiss for the woman he hopes to one day marry.

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event Page 

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