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
Promises
Protected,
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
Blue
Targets in Ties
Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island
Venom
With a Name like Love
Sean Griswold's head


Sheila's favorite books »

2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
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Friday, October 19, 2018

Christmas By Accident By Camron Wright-Blog Tour Review


Product Details
  • Title: Christmas By Accident
  • Camron Wright 
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Shadow Mountain (September 25, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781629724768
  • I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review 
Book Summary
Carter is an insurance adjuster whose longing for creative expression spills over sometimes into his accident reports. Abby works for her adoptive father, Uncle Mannie, in the family bookstore, the ReadMore Café. Carter barely tolerates Christmas; Abby loves it. She can't wait past October to build her favorite display, the annual Christmas book tree stack, which Carter despises.

When an automobile accident throws Carter and Abby together, Uncle Mannie, who is harboring secrets of his own, sees a chance for lasting happiness for his little girl. But there are so many hurdles, and not much time left. Will this Christmas deliver the miracle everyone is hoping for? Where love and Christmas are concerned, there are no accidents.
 
My Review
Christmas By Accident was a such a cute Christmas book. This was a very quick read. As many Christmas stories that have already been written, there is a good message for the main characters and the reader to learn. Carter is a quirky character at first, but he truly made me laugh. The other main character, Abby, is a very serious person, but she has good reason being this way. My very favorite character is Abby's Uncle Mannie who has raised her since her parents died when she was only three years old.
  
Carter dislikes Christmas because of past experiences in his life. Abby is the biggest fan of Christmas. These two opposite people's lives intersect and not only does romance blossom, but also mayhem. 
 
Even with familiar Christmas tropes spread throughout the novel, they are lovely and hit the mark exactly like the Christmas books I love to read. There are tragedies, heartaches, surprises, and miracles. So, this wonderful Christmas book will make you laugh, cry, and fall in love with everything Christmas again.
 
Meet Author: Camron Wright
 
Camron Wright was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a master's degree in Writing and Public Relations from Westminster College. He has owned several successful retail stores in addition to working with his wife in the fashion industry, designing for the McCall Pattern Company in New York.

Camron began writing to get out of attending MBA school at the time, and it proved the better decision. His first book, Letters for Emily, was a Readers Choice Award winner, as well as a selection of the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild. Letters for Emily has been published in North America, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Korea, the Netherlands, and China.

The Rent Collector, his second book, won Best Novel of the Year from the Whitney Awards and was a nominee for the prestigious International DUBLIN Literary Award.

The Orphan Keeper, his third book, won 2016 Book of the Year, Gold accolades in Multicultural Fiction from Foreword Reviews, and was winner of Best General Fiction from the Whitney Awards.

His fourth book, The Other Side of the Bridge, was released in March of 2018.

Camron lives with his wife, Alicyn, just south of Salt Lake City at the base of the Wasatch Mountains. He is the proud father of four children, all girls but three.
 
Purchase Christmas By Accident 

Monster Mash Countdown Blitz & Giveaway 2018: Day 5-Featuring Author Ann Swann: Stevie-girl and the Phantom Student






Ann Swann was born in the small West Texas town of Lamesa. She grew up much like Stevie-girl in The Phantoms series, though she never got up the nerve to enter the haunted house. 

Ann has done everything from answering 911 Emergency calls to teaching elementary school. She lives in Texas with her husband, Dude, a rescue cat named Oscar, and a part-time box turtle named Piggy. 

When she’s not writing, Ann is reading. Her to-be-read list has grown so large it has taken on a life of its own. She calls it Herman.



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Stevie asks Jase to help her find out why the ghost of a girl keeps appearing in her mirror. They think it has something to do with the new student at their school, a boy who has Tourette syndrome. Both the boy and the phantom seem to need some kind of help. All is revealed when the new kid falls prey to the school bullies. 

Will Stevie and Jase be too late, or will a tragic moment in their school's history be repeated on Halloween night?












Snippet:

Prologue:

                  To us, 1970 was a time of beginnings, but to the country, it was a time of endings. National Guardsmen ended the lives of four students at Kent State College.  A hundred thousand marched on Washington to end the war in Vietnam, and in England, Paul McCartney announced the end of The Beatles.  It was also the year Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin both ended their lives through drug overdoses.  It felt as if the whole world was in turmoil.
           Our homeroom teacher said not to let the weight of the world stop us from being open to new experiences.  In fact she said it was more important than ever that we should be open-minded.  I wondered if she’d gone radical on us.  For a moment, I thought she might pick up a sign and start chanting.
            Come to find out, she was simply prepping us for a new addition to our eighth grade class at Crossroads Junior High.  His name was Derol Pavey and he had something called Tourette syndrome.  
           




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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Monster Mash Countdown Blitz & Giveaway 2018: Day 4-Featuring Author Elsa Winckler Where the River Bends





I have been reading love stories for as long as I can remember and when I ‘met’ the classic authors like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James The Brontë sisters, etc. during my Honours studies, I was hooked for life.

I married my college boyfriend and soul mate and after 43 years, 3 interesting and wonderful children and 3 beautiful grandchildren, he still makes me weak in the knees. We are fortunate to live in the picturesque little seaside village of Betty's Bay, South Africa with the ocean a block away and a beautiful mountain right behind us. And although life so far has not always been an easy ride, it has always been an exiting and interesting one!

I like the heroines in my stories to be beautiful, feisty, independent and headstrong.  And the heroes must be strong but possess a generous amount of sensitivity. They are of course, also gorgeous!  My stories typically incorporate the family background of the characters to better understand where they come from and who they are when we meet them in the story.




"Kalinda Evans works for the Anglo-Boer war foundation in Canada. She's sent to South Africa to make sure everyone who lost their lives in the war will be remembered. On her drive to the guest farm in Kimberley, South Africa, Kalinda picks up a female hitchhiker and is startled when just moments later, the woman vanishes. Kalinda would be convinced she was dreaming…except there’s still a white lace handkerchief on the passenger seat.

Extreme sports enthusiast and computer game designer Zack Carter is always after the next big challenge. He’s far too busy for romance and adheres to a three-date rule, until he meets his parents’ latest guest. When she relays the story of her mysterious experience, Zack’s family shares the local ghost story. Kalinda and Zack work together to solve the puzzle of the ghost and how it all ties in with the war and the work Kalinda is doing.

As their attraction grows, Zack realizes he no longer feels the need to prove anything to himself. He only needs to prove to Kalinda that he’s more than a good time."





Snippet:

Before Kalinda could take another breath, the passenger door opened and the woman got into the car. With her, a nearly overwhelming scent of citrus filled the small space around them.
Too stunned to say anything, Kalinda stared at the woman. Her passenger turned towards her. It looked as if she'd been crying. Her eyes were red and her hand opened and clutched around a white, lace handkerchief.
"Are you perhaps going to Paardeberg?" As she spoke, it became even colder in the car.
Kalinda tried to talk, but her mouth was so dry, it was difficult to form any words. Something very odd was going on, but she was so stunned, it was impossible to decide what exactly was bothering her.
She swallowed and tried again. "Yes, I am. But who are you?"
"We should go; I have to find him," the woman said and looked in front of her.
Kalinda's brain was struggling to make sense of what was happening but she started the car. Her heart was racing. Who was this woman?
She turned to look at her passenger again. Shock made her gasp out loud. Her hands slipped from the steering wheel. Cold fingers touched her spine. She blinked, looked again. There was nobody else in the car. Only… She lost her breath. On the car seat next to her lay a white, lace handkerchief.





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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Out of the Best Books: Eternal Truths from Classic Literature by S. Michael Wilcox-Blog Tour Review

Product Details

  • Title: Out of the Best Books: Eternal Truths from Classic Literature
  • Author: S. Michael Wilcox
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (October 1, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1524407852
  • I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
 Book Summary
From Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables to Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, the characters of classic literature have stood the test of time. There are countless reasons to pick up a good book—but is it possible to find eternal truths in secular works? In Out of the Best Books, Latter-day Saint scholar S. Michael Wilcox demonstrates that when it comes to learning gospel principles, truth can shine forth in all good works—and literary classics are a prime example.
With underlying lessons on life, faith, and eternal characteristics, secular works can inspire as surely as religious volumes. It is through the experiences of characters like Atticus Finch, Elinor Dashwood, and Ebenezer Scrooge that their authors' inspired words have the power to create life-changing lessons for readers. Learn to find inspiration, wisdom, and spiritual knowledge in the age-old classics. God is in every good thing—you just have to look.

My Review
I truly enjoyed reading Out of the Best Books: Eternal Truths from Classic Literature. I have read many of the books Author S. Michael Wilcox talks about in his new book. Even though I've read these books before, my mind has been enlightened by looking at it's characters and words in a different way. 

Some of the themes high-lighted were:(Quoting from the book)
  •  Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol-"That happiness lies in what we bring to life, not in what life brings to us. Also, if we would change the world, we must begin with ourselves."
  •  Harper Lee: To Kill A Mockingbird-"Atticus raises his children on the foundation of trying to walk in other people's shoes and see things from their prospective... That is what it means to love your neighbor as yourself."
  • Victor Hugo: Les Miserables-"The novel follows Valjean's never-ceasing attempts to live a redeemed life...One of the great truths Jean Valjean offers us is the sometimes unsettling reality that the battles of life are never over...Jean Valjean's last word's to Cosette,'Love each other dearly always. There is scarcely anything else in the world but that: to love one another'.
I wish I could put in this review all of the things I underlined and that touched my heart. I especially loved the chapter where the author talked about how many stories in Children's Literature for years have been teaching children about gospel truths, beliefs, values, and doctrine. My favorite example he gave was from C.S. Lewis's, The Chronicles of Narnia and the wonderful character Aslan, the great Lion, the Christ-like character who said, "That by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there."

I know that this is a book that I will go back and read again. There is so much to learn and be gained by reading, Out of the Best Books:Eternal Truths from Classic Literature.

Meet Author: S. Michael Wilcox


S. Michael Wilcox recently retired as an instructor at the institute of religion adjacent to the University of Utah. A frequent speaker at Brigham Young University Education Week, Michael also conducts tours of the Holy Land, Church history sites, Europe, China, Antarctica, and Central and South America. He received a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Brigham Young University, a master’s in media from the University of Arizona, and his PhD from the University of Colorado in educational philosophy. He is the author of many books and talks, including Face to Face: Seeking a Personal Relationship with God; Finding Hope, and his most recent work Twice Blessed. Michael lives in Draper, Utah, and he and his late wife, Laurie, are the parents of five children.

 Purchase the Book Here: https://amzn.to/2NK9kor

 

Monster Mash Countdown Blitz & Giveaway 2018: Day 3-Featuring Author Fiona Ingram: The Search for the Stone of Excalibur





I am a children’s author, but up until a few years ago, I was a journalist and editor. Something rather unexpected sparked my new career as an author—a family trip to Egypt with my mother and two young nephews. We had a great time and I thought I’d write them a short story as a different kind of souvenir…. Well, one book and a planned book series later, I had changed careers. I have now published Book 3 (The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper) in my MG adventure series Chronicles of the Stone, with many awards for the first book, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, and a few for Book 2, The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, and one already for Book 3! I also teach online novel writing for aspiring authors and I find that very satisfying. Relaxation time finds me enjoying something creative or artistic, music, books, theatre or ballet. I love doing research for my book series. I love animals and have written two animal rescue stories. I have two adorable (naughty) little dogs called Chloe and Pumpkin, and a beautiful black cat called Bertie.





A modern day adventure as our protagonists search for Excalibur and the treasures it holds! This is a must-read for Middle Graders keen on action, adventure, and Arthurian stories! 

Continuing the adventure that began in Egypt a few months prior in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, cousins Adam and Justin Sinclair are hot on the trail of the second Stone of Power, one of seven ancient stones lost centuries ago. This stone might be embedded in the hilt of a newly discovered sword that archeologists believe belonged to King Arthur: Excalibur. 

However, their long-standing enemy, Dr. Khalid, is following them as they travel to Scotland to investigate an old castle. Little do they know there is another deadly force, the Eaters of Poison, who have their own mission to complete. Time is running out as the confluence of the planets draws closer. 

Can Justin and Adam find the second Stone of Power and survive? And why did Aunt Isabel send a girl with them? Join Justin and Adam as they search not only for the second Stone of Power, but also for the Scroll of the Ancients, a mysterious document that holds important clues to the Seven Stones of Power. 

As their adventure unfolds, they learn many things and face dangers that make even their perils in Egypt look tame. And how annoying for them that their tag-along companion, Kim, seems to have such good ideas when they are stumped. 

Book extras include some historical background on King Arthur, the Dark Ages, warfare and weaponry during Arthur's time, and details on Excalibur. A fascinating peek into the life and times of the real King Arthur, perfect for young time travelers and budding archaeologists. For coloring-in enthusiasts, ten original black and white illustrations including 2 maps make for more enjoyment!





Snippet:

Then came a laugh; a low, hollow sound, like the faint clang of a church bell. Adam peered around the doorjamb a few inches more, just in time to glimpse a pallid face so skeletally thin that it seemed fleshless, like skin stretched over bare bone. It was a man. He didn’t seem human; he seemed more like a creature from some frightening old fairytale. A lean, white hand saluted Humphrey, showing long, bony fingers with blackened nails. Under the shadow of the hood, a pair of dark eyes flamed briefly with a demonic light. Then the heavy eyelids closed for a few seconds. When they opened again, the man glanced in Adam’s direction. Adam ducked behind the doorjamb, feeling strangely breathless, as if that fleeting look had sucked the air from his lungs. The shop bell tinkled as the cloaked man swished out into the street. Adam ran to the shop’s front door with Kim and Justin. Ink and Amelia followed close behind. They looked outside. There was no cloaked man in sight. Just a few casually dressed tourists strolling along and chatting to one another.
“Where’d he go?” Justin said. The man seemed to have disappeared into thin air.





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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Night at the Opera (An American Heiress) (Volume 1) By Stacy Henrie-Blog Tour Review & Giveaway


Product Details

  • Series: An American Heiress
  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Mirror Press (October 16, 2018)
  • Genre: Historical Romance/Mystery
  • ISBN-10: 1947152394
  • I received a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review 
 Book Summary


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


NIGHT AT THE OPERA - An American Heiress 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.

My Review
I just finished reading Night at the Opera. This historical romance is a great combination of romance and mystery. Gwen Barton, an American heiress travels to England to "find" a rich aristocrat with a title. (At least that's what her mother wants for her.) Gwen feels marriage didn't come her way in America because of her disability, a leg injury from her childhood that has left her with a noticeable limp. While there in London, she helps a gravely injured man in a private booth at the opera. Her heart is stolen by this mystery man and it's her goal to find out who he is after the powerful kiss they shared.

This mystery man happens to be Avery Winfield, a British spy and nephew of a duke. He's avoided marrying and staying single, but things all change once he meets Gwen. The two main characters are both so likable. In many novels you don't like one or the other, but I loved both Gwen and Avery. They had wonderful qualities, but both had reasons not to believe in themselves which kept them apart for awhile. Gwen is so kind, loving, and brave. Avery is stalwart, brave, and kind. They are very much alike and of course their fears and pride get in their way. 

This book is mainly a romance with a mystery about who the German spy is that Avery is hunting. The book takes place in the early 1900's, right before World War 1. I felt enough was done when it came to the spying aspect. I feel like this story was more a romance than a spy novel, so I was satisfied with the balance between the two aspects. I especially loved Gwen and her noble work at her cousin's orphanage. 

If you like a historical romance with intrigue, angst, and a slow burn romance, you will love reading, Night at the Opera.


 Meet Author: Stacy Henrie

 A USA TODAY bestselling author, Stacy Henrie graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in public relations. Not long after, she switched from writing press releases and newsletters to writing inspirational historical romances. Born and raised in the West, where she currently resides with her family, she enjoys reading, road trips, interior decorating, chocolate, and most of all, laughing with her husband and kids. Her books include HOPE AT DAWN, a 2015 RITA Award finalist for excellence in romance. 

You can learn more about Stacy and her books by visiting her at....



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Monster Mash Countdown Blitz & Giveaway 2018:Day 2- Featuring Author Emily-Jane Hills Orford: Mrs. Murray's Ghost




Mary’s family has moved into a huge Victorian mansion. She loves her gigantic new house, especially her room. But then she begins to meet the house’s other residents. 

Mrs. Murray was murdered in Mary’s new house. At first she tries to scare the new residents away, but there seems to be a force connecting the ghost to Mary. 

Even the stranded Brownies, the little people who live between the walls, feel that connection. When Mary becomes deathly ill, the Brownies and the ghost team up to try to rescue her, only to encounter a witch and her evil minions. Time is running out. They must rescue Mary from a fever-induced dream world before she is trapped there forever.











Emily-Jane Hills Orford is an award-winning author of several books, including Gerlinda (CFA 2016) which received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, To Be a Duke (CFA 2014) which was named Finalist and Silver Medalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. She writes about the extra-ordinary in life and her books, short stories, and articles are receiving considerable attention. For more information on the author, check out her website at: http://emilyjanebooks.ca


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Snippet:

“Brùnaidh an Easain! It’s time you started living up to your name,” Peallaidh exclaimed.
“What?” Brùnaidh moaned. “You mean waterfall? And where am I to be finding a waterfall in this cursed place?”
“Sure and weren’t you just bursting water pipes this winter past?” Peallaidh chortled.
“That would make a bonny waterfall.”
“Aye, and a wet basement besides, with gads of giant folks traipsing through our domain to try and fix and clean the mess,” Brùnaidh pointed out. “Now why would I be wanting to do that? Besides,” he paced the small space between the wall and the outer brickwork, his feet barely touching the floor as he walked. “I think this family may be our key. The little lass needs watching.”
“The one they call Mary?” Peallaidh queried. “I can’t see how she can help. She’s but a hen, and a wee one at that.”
“But a whole lot bigger than you and I put together,” Brùnaidh noted. “After all, we’re Brownies and, magic or not, there’s only so much we can do.”





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