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 »

2022 Goodreads Reading Challenge

2022 Reading Challenge

2022 Reading Challenge
Sheila has read 6 books toward her goal of 90 books.
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Sunday, May 15, 2022

The Legend of The Dream Giants By Dustin Hansen-Middle Grade Fantasy Book Review

 


Product Details

The Legend of the Dream Giants by Dustin Hansen Publication 

Date: 3/8/22 Hardcover 

Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy

ISBN: 9781629729862 

Retail Price: $18.99 

Page Count: 240 Middle-Grade Fantasy 

Book design and cover illustrations: Dustin Hansen 


***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own***




Book Summary

An orphaned giant named Berg is hoping to find just one person he can call friend. For many years, Berg has lived alone; the only reminders of his family are his mother’s satchel and his recurring dreams of a white bear who shares a magical sand from a fallen star. Sometimes, when Berg feels lonely, he will risk entering a village to trade a smooth river rock or a feather for food. He’s really searching for kindness and companionship; but with every attempt he makes, people chase him away, thinking he is Ünhold—a giant and a monster.


In his travels, Berg comes upon a city made of iron, where he meets a little girl, Anya. To his amazement and delight, Anya knows about the magical dream sand, too, and says she wants to be his friend. The mayor also befriends Berg and enlists him to guard the city from the dangerous Ünhold. But Anya suspects the mayor has other plans for the young giant. Fearing the city isn’t safe, she warns Berg to flee. Confused and torn between his two friends, the young giant has to figure out where he can place his trust. This tender and unique story-within-a-story is a riveting tale of loss, longing, adventure, being yourself, and finding the true meaning of friendship. 


My Review

The Legend of the Dream Giants has a main character that I wanted to reach out to hug and keep him safe. Berg is a young, orphaned giant who is looking for a friend and wants to be loved and accepted. Sadly, he is shunned and is run off wherever he goes, even though he always leaves shiny colored rocks in exchange for food. This beautifully written story also has wonderful graphic-novel style illustrations that show Berg's nightly dreams and thoughts and feelings. The illustrations in this novel were one of my favorite things as they told Berg's life story using the forms of bears and wolves.

This novel explores many things such as grief, friendship, acceptance, trust, bullying, hate, and love. It shows Berg's quest to find at least one friend. In his innocence, he doesn't recognize real kindness versus someone taking advantage of him. This all broke my heart to see Berg so sad and suffering. The shining moments in the book came from the human girl, Anya, who truly was his friend. Also, the old giant named Unhold, proved to be something other than what the stories told about him. There were many surprises with this side character that unfolded throughout the book.

This book is touted to be a Middle-Grade novel but I suggest this book would be better for kids older than twelve because of the subject matters of death, grief, and violence against Berg. The Legend of The Dream Giants will make great conversation between parents and children as the book is read together as a family.

****3.5-4 Stars****
***Meet Author & Illustrator Dustin Hansen***
DUSTIN HANSEN, an international award-winning video game developer, has been creating story and art for the children’s entertainment world for decades. He has also worked in theme parks, and as the Innovation Director for Hasbro, Inc. He is the author of the Microsaurs series, a graphic novel, My Video Game Ate My Homework, and a nonfiction bestseller, Game On! Video Game History from Pont and Pac-Man to Mario, Minecraft and More. As a dyslexic writer, Dustin’s drive to combine visuals with the written word has been a thread throughout his career.


For author interview requests, please contact Callie Hansen at chansen@shadowmountain.com


Purchase The Legend of the Dream Giants


Praise for The Legend of the Dream Giants

"Berg come(s) to terms with the coexistence of humankind’s darkness and sweetness and the age-old truth that things are not always what they seem. Hansen has created a compelling world that gives the feel of an old-fashioned fairy tale coupled with beautiful, black-and-white illustrations that contain echoes of the art nouveau era. These depictions of bears and wolves tell the story of Berg’s dreams, representing the quiet power of giants and the vicious persistence of humans. This artwork is stunning and heavy with emotion. Berg’s friendship with Anya is heartwarming and heartbreaking, as is his relationship to Ünhold. Hansen’s lilting writing has the feel of an epic poem, a tale of growing wise and of learning how to both hold on and let go. A moving and evocative must-read." —Kirkus, starred review


"A young giant finds both friendship and duplicity in The Legend of the Dream Giants, a beautifully illustrated novel by Dustin Hansen. Whimsical and poetic, the book’s descriptions of natural settings evince grace and originality. Its metaphors and similes are drawn from Berg’s experiences growing up in the wild. Berg’s dreams involve a mother bear and her cub, along with other animals. The dreams are depicted in wonderful, wordless grayscale drawings; they serve as a compelling, independent story within the story, and their relevance to Berg becomes clear as the book progresses. Berg himself is a sympathetic, misunderstood underdog who, despite his size, is very much an innocent. Elegant throughout, The Legend of the Dream Giants is a touching, memorable tale about trust, betrayal, and love." —Foreword Reviews, starred review



Saturday, May 14, 2022

Trusting True North By Gina Linko-Middle grade Book Review





Book Details 

Title: Trusting True North by 

Author: Gina Linko Publication 

Genre: Middle-Grade Fiction

Date: 4/5/22 Hardcover 

ISBN: 9781629729916 

Retail Price: $16.99 

Page Count: 176 

Juvenile Fiction Cover illustration: Kevin Keele Book design: © Shadow Mountain 

Art Direction: Richard Erickson Design: Sheryl Dickert Smith

***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own***


Book Summary

True North Vincent is struggling after spending months in lockdown because of a virus. With her mom stuck across the border in Canada and her dad working long hours as a nurse at the hospital, True feels responsible for making sure her family stays safe, especially her grandma and her younger brother, Georgie, whose asthma makes him more vulnerable to the virus. She also wishes her older sister, Rose, would be friends with her again instead of texting on her phone. 


True finds escape and comfort in working on her maps, a skill she learned from her mother. To keep Georgie entertained, True creates an elaborate treasure map for him to follow that spans the forest beyond her backyard. While exploring, they find a litter of newborn kittens in an old barn. The smallest kitten looks sickly and has been abandoned by the mama cat. True names her Teacup; she knows exactly how it feels to not have a mom around when you need her the most. 


True also meets Kyler, who wants to care for the kittens, and True realizes he might not be the bully everyone thinks he is. But when both Teacup and Kyler get sick, True is afraid she won’t be able to help everyone all by herself. 


Running out of her own fixes and remedies, True reaches out and realizes that her family does care about her and wants to offer support and guidance to help her find her way through the unexpected challenges the virus and life bring.





My Review

This middle-grade realistic fiction is set during the recent pandemic. The "virus" as it is called in the novel is never referred to by its real name, Covid-19. The main character, True North Vincent is having a hard time during the lockdown because of the isolation and all of the distancing rules and being away from friends. Her mom is stuck in Canada, her dad works at the hospital, and True is in charge of taking care of her little brother because her Grandmother is in ill health. To make matters worse, her beloved older sister is pushing her away, they're all stuck doing virtual school, and True seems to keep getting in trouble for not following her Grandma's rule.   


There is a lot in this novel that middle-grade readers will like. They will be able to relate to True and how she is feeling. True discovers many things about herself and others. Her love of making maps goes along with her quest to find treasures in others too. Trusting True North is a great book for this age group and an adult should be there to discuss things from the book if needed. These are real-life events and issues and this book can bring out some great talking points wrapped up in a sweet story of discovery.




***Meet Author Gina Linko***

GINA LINKO has a master’s degree from DePaul University in creative writing, as well as several published books for young adults and children. She lives in a south suburb of Chicago with her husband, three teenage children, and two spoiled cats. By day, she edits college textbooks. At night, she writes to figure things out. She questions what is possible, what is real, and what it is that truly matters. 


For author interview requests, please contact Callie Hansen at chansen@shadowmountain.com 


Previous Publications: 

Flower Moon 

Nothing Else is Love



Purchase Trusting True North

HERE: https://amzn.to/3K8x4zN





Praise for Trusting True North

“A heartfelt and touching middle-grade book, where map-making serves as a wonderful metaphor for navigating relationships with family, friends, and community during the traumatizing start of the pandemic. Readers will love True and her X-marks-the-spot heart!” 

—Lee Edward Födi, author of Spell Sweeper


“A gentle narrative centered around a lockdown similar to that of spring 2020, although the nature of this pandemic is simply called the 'virus.' True must make some very mature decisions and pay dearly for her wrong choices. This is a sincere and accurate portrayal of a potent time in the world, accurately reflecting the fear and insecurity the world felt before the discovery of the vaccinations. The story moves along at a tender pace and draws readers in with True's fears and strength as she navigates such vulnerability. An interesting, map-driven account of a fifth grader's struggles to protect her family during lockdown.”

 —School Library Journal

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Sprout:Book 3 The Mission (Tree Boy #3) By-Carolyn Twede Frank - Middle Grade Fantasy Book Review


 

Product Details

  • Title:Sprout: Book 3 The Mission
  • Author: Carolyn Twede Frank
  • Series: Tree Boy
  • Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Independently published (March 21, 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 325 pages
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8426421271
  • ***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own***


Book Summary
With a seemingly impossible mission to accomplish, Sprout pushes thoughts of superpowers and saving the world to the back of his mind to enjoy a family trip to Georgia. There he meets the cousin his siblings both dread spending the holidays with Aspen.

On the surface, Aspen comes across as a spoiled rich girl, but Sprout sees more. She is hurting inside and needs love. Of course, he will give it to her. It is what he likes to do. If only he could just love and help people, rather than figure out how to use his superpowers to help the world.

When Sprout and his siblings discover their uncle’s business is involved in mysterious dealings, they delve into a new case for their superhero and detective organization, S.H.A.D.O.
Is Aspen’s dad a bad guy that needs to be taken down by Sprout’s superpowers? Or should he concentrate on accomplishing his impossible mission instead? Will Sprout be able to accomplish both before it’s too late, and people get hurt?

My Review
Sprout: Book Three- The Mission, was a great ending to this trilogy. (I highly suggest you read books 1 & 2 before reading this last book). It has been so much fun to see Sprout's journey as he's tried to figure out what his mission on Earth was. He was supposed to save and change mankind for the better. Sprout being a young boy, struggles a lot in seeking out who he is and why he was sent from another planet to help. 

I love how Sprout is so kind and loving to others. He is still supported by his "siblings" Pete and Cassie who are determined to do what they can to help him. In the three books in the Tree Boy series, all three kids have become braver and more empathetic. I love this story in that it's showing kids they also can do brave things. In addition, there is the important message that love and kindness can change people's lives for the better. It's good for young people to realize that there is a superhero inside all of us.

This middle-grade fantasy will be wonderful for ages 8-14 especially. It's good clean fun, with character lessons intertwined into a story with action, suspense, and delightful characters. 


***Meet Author Carolyn Twede Frank***
Carolyn lives out west in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains with her husband and her plants, her five children having fled the nest. When she’s not writing, she loves to read, garden, sew, renovate houses, and play with her grandkids.

In 1994, she incorporated her basement sewing business, eventually moving it into a warehouse, hiring more people, and developing her unique line of puppets and educational curriculum into a full-fledged, international business. She sold the main arm of her business in 2009, retaining a small portion to bring in income while she pursued her writing career. In 2018 she sold the remainder of her business and now writes full-time. She has been writing seriously since 2006.

Learn more about Carolyn and her books HERE: 



Purchase a Copy of Sprout: Book 3 The Mission
HERE:

Buy it now for
99 cents on Kindle or
$8.99 in paperback. 

Read my reviews for 
Book 1-The Seed HERE:

Book 2-The Guardian
HERE:

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Cerebral Palsy A Story: Finding the Calm After the Storm By Ilana Estelle-Book Blitz

Cerebral Palsy: A Story tour banner

This is my post during the book blitz for Cerebral Palsy: A Story by Ilana Estelle. Cerebral Palsy: A Story is part memoir, part motivational guide about Ilana’s journey from an angry and confused child to a courageous woman who uses her experiences and lessons to create inspiring messages about mental and physical health, positivity, resilience, and change.

This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 1 till 5 May. See the tour schedule here.

Cerebral Palsy: A Story
Cerebral Palsy: A Story
By Ilana Estelle
Genre: Non-fiction/ memoir/ motivational/ self-help


Blurb:
Living with cerebral palsy is enormously difficult. But what if you never knew you had it? This is the incredible story of Ilana Stankler.

Born the second of premature twins, from a young age Ilana knew she was different, but for all the wrong reasons. A child of the 60s, Ilana experienced first-hand the way that disability was so often brushed under the carpet and not spoken about. Her constant physical and mental struggles made her feel isolated, alone, frustrated, and misunderstood… it took 46 years for her to find out why.

Part memoir, part motivational guide, Cerebral Palsy: A Story is Ilana’s open and honest journey from an angry, confused child, knowing something was wrong, but not knowing what, to the ‘real’ her – a courageous woman using her experiences and lessons to create inspiring messages about mental and physical health, positivity, resilience and change.


Links:
- Goodreads
- Amazon
- B&N
- Kobo


Ilana Estelle
About the Author:
Ilana was born with a disability she didn’t know she had until the age of 46, when something her mum said caused her to look further into her disability and sight of her medical notes revealed that she had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 2.

That discovery turned out to be a unique and life-changing experience that has forced Ilana to stand back and look at her life’s experiences differently. On receipt of her diagnosis, Ilana set up her website, The CP Diary and uses her experiences to explore her emotional and physical health, with an inspiring message advocating positivity, resilience and change.

Ilana likes to spend her days writing and blogging about anything that contributes to her health and wellbeing. She is an animal advocate and is passionate about environmental issues. When she is not writing or tending to her blog, Ilana enjoys days out exploring the Yorkshire countryside.

Ilana lives with her husband and their much-loved cat, in Yorkshire. Her grown up son and daughter both live in London.

Author links:
- Website
- Tumblr
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Instagram

Cerebral Palsy: A Story tour banner


Lola's Blog Tours graphic

Horses, Hounds & Happily Ever After: 20 Original Historical Romance Novellas From Best-Selling Authors.Meet the Women Behind this Project in an Exclusive Interview! Learn About All Seated in a Barn!

Happy Release Day!! 


 

Product Details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09CX2C1C7
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Carpe Vitam Press (May 3, 2022)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ May 3, 2022
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 3068 KB
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 1642 pages


Book Summary

Escape with over 20 Historical Romance stories

✔ Horses, animals, and love, oh my!

✔ Happily ever afters

This sweet historical romance collection contains over 20 original historical romance novellas from best-selling authors.
All proceeds benefit animal rescue All Seated In A Barn. Don’t miss this limited edition box set, featuring some of your favorite authors.

A few of the stories included...

The Wolf of Heathrow Manor Clarissa Kae
When wolves threaten her home, Lady Josephine rides through Lord Fennyson’s woods, a man as wild as the wolves.



Della and Archie's SecondChance Jo Perry
One awful mistake separated Della and Archie. Can they return to love or be doomed to always wonder, what if?


The Connecting Door Josi S. Kilpack
Norman has spent years devoted to his reputation at the expense of his marriage. Can he change his course before it’s too late?


Pride and Pedigree Jennifer Moore
When Alastair Rutherford III’s prized dam fraternizes with a mongrel, he meets Nora. Perhaps pedigree is not as important as love.


Wuthering Hounds Nancy Campbell Allen
Clementine and Mr. Baskerville are stranded in the moors, finding love amidst a most unexpected circumstance.



Connall's Return Martha Keyes
Connall is tasked with protecting Anabelle’s cattle, but it’s her heart she’s most worried about.


Yours Sincerely, Rose Jess Heileman
Rose is determined to marry her friend, Colin. He is resolved to see her marry someone who can give her the life he can’t.



A Midnight Ride Jen Geigle Johnson
Ella hides in her own home from a prince who wants to marry her.



A Midsummer Day's Scheme Rebecca Connolly
While visiting Sir Bramwell's estate, Hattie hatches a plan to get everything she wants and more.



Maria's Perfect Gentleman Penny Fairbanks
The last thing Maria expects is to be rescued by a charming dog—and an even more charming gentleman.


Waiting for Willard Chalon Linton
Charlene begs Willard for help selecting a spouse, only to learn the man beside her is her ideal match.


Floods and Foes Julie Daines
When Beatrice’s dog pulls a man from the flood, she is shocked to find it’s the man who betrayed her.


A Heart's Quest Julia Ridgmont
Can Camilla, a mail-order bride, help an anguished father and his little girl overcome a tragedy and catch a killer?


Sir Jack and Lady Jill Anneka R. Walker
When Sir Jack loses his memory, can Lady Jillian convince him to love her before it returns?


The Duchess Contract Samantha Hastings
Lady Selina marries for convenience. As she gets to know Theophilus, she wants a new bargain…for love.


Falling for Felicity Tiffany Odekirk
Felicity is determined to free the fox. Her older brother's best friend joins the hunt, jeopardizing everything.



The Stable Master's Son Julie Wright
Clara must distract Holden from hindering her sister’s engagement. She doesn’t count on falling in love.


Miss Bird’s Desperado Brittany Larsen
A disfigured recluse finds love when his guard dog becomes smitten by an adventurous pastor's daughter.


Love Among the Brambles Rosalyn Eves
When a prickly widower takes on a practical governess, neither expects to bond over kittens.


All of Beauty Kaylee Baldwin
When Rosalie falls for Theo Bradshaw, she doesn't realize he's the detective investigating her brother.


Walking Lady Guinevere Mindy Burbidge Strunk
Mariah hates dogs. But could a simple walk in the park change everything?


May the Best Earl Win Gemma Stuart
His manor house, a noble title—to love Bethany, Lord William Cottrell has to choose or lose it all.


Purchase this Collection for ONLY 99 cents

through Saturday May 7, 2022

The Price goes up after that date.


Amazon:

https://amzn.to/3LFobiY


Barnes and Noble

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/horses-hounds-happily-ever-after-clarissa-kae/1140033403?ean=2940165600609


Universal (non amazon) book link


I first heard about this book last fall. I was so excited to have one book with 20 novellas in it AND they were from some of my favorite authors. I wondered, how did this whole project begin? Why was all of the money from the sales being donated to an organization called, All Seated in a Barn? So I went straight to the source: Jolene Perry and Clarissa Wilstead. They were willing to let me interview them before the release of the book. 


*****Exclusive Interview with***** 

Jolene Perry and Clarissa Wilstead

Jolene

Clarissa

Jolene Perry and Clarissa Wilstead, I want to thank you for letting me interview you both today for my blog, Why Not? Because I Said So! 

I’m so excited about this collection of novellas called, Horses, Hounds & Happily Ever: Twenty Historical Romance novels in one collection. First, there are 20 amazing authors who wrote short stories for this project. Second, I LOVE that you are donating every penny to All Seated in a Barn which rescues horses and donkeys. I’m a huge animal advocate, so this made me thrilled to see all of you care so much about doing this project.

WE ARE SO EXCITED!!


First off, what can you tell people about All Seated in a Barn? When did you both decide to put together this undertaking of writing a book to help this particular organization?

Jolene: Clarissa has volunteered HOURS and HOURS of her life to All Seated in a Barn, whose stables are near her home in California. She’s also taken on countless rescue animals herself. Both Clarissa and I wanted to write something FUN with a few author friends, and neither of us remembers who talked about the proceeds going to ASIAB first, but once the idea was planted, we HAD to do it. I had the chance to go out and visit one of their barns on a trip to California and as someone who has spent their life around horses, I was SO impressed with the love and care given to the animals they rescue.



The lineup of authors for this book is rock star status! I truly was impressed with the authors who wrote stories for Horses and Hounds. How did you decide who to include as writers for this collection?

Jolene: Clarissa put up a call in a Facebook writing group we belong to, and the spots filled up in less than an hour. It was awesome to watch happen. We glanced away for a few minutes and ended up with more authors than what we could use! (Stay tuned for a new historical romance series Saddles and Scoundrels………) I'm excited about this!!😃😃

 


How long did it take to put this collection together? I know it’s hard work getting a book out to the public.

Clarissa: About 6 months, so not too bad! We wanted to make sure the authors had a lot of freedom in the type of romance and time period so the readers could have a fun and diverse experience. Since All Seated In a Barn will continue to sell the paperbacks at their family-friendly facility, all the romances are sweet/clean romances. 


I know Jolene has a passion for horses. When did this love for horses start?

Clarissa, do you have a passion for them too? My passion is bears but I love all animals.

Jolene: I have ridden and showed horses since I was about 7 years old.

Clarissa: I love the big horses – draft horses – and have owned MANY of them throughout my life.

Jolene: Both of us have done a lot of jumping horses but only Clarissa is brave enough to do vaulting (look it up, you won’t be sorry)


 What has been the hardest part about pulling this book together and the best part?

Clarissa: The hardest part is simply the logistics and due dates. We’ve read work from every author in the anthology, so we knew we’d get quality stories. The best part will be handing money over to Tahlia, the woman behind All Seated in a Barn. We can’t wait for that part.




What are your hopes for Horses, Hounds & Happily Ever after it’s released to the world?

Jolene: As a reader, one of my favorite things about reading an anthology is a short introduction to a new author I may love. So, I hope that readers find new authors and we’re excited to help support a cause we both love so much.


What is your next writing endeavor for both of you?

*Jolene – I’m working on a few women’s fiction projects for my agent, and my next historical romance is…(you’re now my official announcement place) The Regency Horsewomen of Devon! A series with three sisters. The first is Emmaline’s Arranged Match and I’m having SO MUCH FUN WITH IT. These sisters are…headstrong ;)

 

*Clarissa – I’m working on setting up Saddles and Scoundrels – we’ll have shorter and full-length romances from many authors and many time periods. I literally cannot wait to see what some of these writers come up with.


Is there a way for the public to give more help to All Seated in a Barn besides buying Horses and Hounds? How can this non-profit be reached?

www.allseatedinabarn.com – They do SO many awesome things, including equine therapy (free for veterans) and housing zebras (people can pay to hunt zebras WITHIN THE US). They even have a $1/month subscription, which is awesome for them because it’s money they can count on each month.


How can my readers reach out to you if they want to know more about you and your books?

*Jolene: www.JoWritesBooks.com and on Instagram @JRV_Perry

 

*Clarissa: www.clarissakae.com and on Instagram @clarissa_kae

 

Thank you so much! It was great getting to know you better. I’m so happy to support you and all of the authors who contributed to this collection. I hope many copies are sold.

US TOO!!!


****Watch the Video of ****

All Seated in a Barn



Read Founder Tahlia Fischer's Story: Why & How Tahlia Fischer of All Seated In A Barn Is Helping To Change Our World. 

https://medium.com/authority-magazine/social-impact-heroes-why-how-tahlia-fischer-of-all-seated-in-a-barn-is-helping-to-change-our-413c165046c2