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 »

2020 Goodreads Reading Challenge

2020 Reading Challenge

2020 Reading Challenge
Sheila has read 5 books toward her goal of 70 books.
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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Mary and Martha: A Novel By H.B. Moore -Book Review


 

Product Details

  • Title: Mary and Martha: A Novel
  • Author: H.B. Moore
  • Publisher : Covenant Communications, Inc. (November 2, 2020)
  • Genre: Christian/Historical Fiction 
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 208 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1524414425

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

 

Book Summary

For prosperous landowner Lazarus, hard work and extensive travel are a means to comfortably support his family, including his two sisters, Mary and Martha. Following a journey to sell his wares, Lazarus stumbles upon an opportunity to assist a stranger in need, delaying his return home. Through Lazarus's selfless act of service, he, Mary, and Martha find themselves standing witness to miracles they never dreamed possible in the presence of a man who will forever change them and those they love—a man called Jesus of Nazareth.

Experience as never before the accounts of those who knew Christ, not only as the Savior of the World but also as a friend.

 

My Review 

Mary and Martha is a beautiful Biblical retelling of two sisters and their brother Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead. This novel lets readers experience what it would have been like to be a friend of Jesus. The siblings each have chapters devoted to their point of view. The author does a wonderful job writing her Biblical stories with authentic descriptions for the people of that time. Things that were told so well were the relationships between the siblings, their individual trials, and awakenings to Jesus and his teachings  The readers are shown many of the miracles that Jesus performed during his short ministry. Of course, the one that had me in tears was Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Reading of the feelings the sisters possibly went through brought even more meaning to this great miracle.

H.B. Moore is a great researcher that writes believable stories mixing facts and some fiction. Any reader that loves a good story, especially one based on Bible stories, will adore the story of Mary and Martha.

Meet Author H.B. Moore



Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author of more than seventy publications. She writes historical novels and thrillers under pen name H.B. Moore. She writes women's fiction, romance and inspirational non-fiction under Heather B. Moore. This can all be confusing, so her kids just call her Mom. Heather attended Cairo American College in Egypt, the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University in Utah. Heather is represented by Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret.

Please join Heather's email list at: HBMoore.com/contact
Blog: MyWritersLair.blogspot.com
Website: HBMoore.com
Twitter: @heatherbmoore
Instagram: @authorhbmoore
Facebook: Fans of H.B. Moore

Literary awards: 2019 Maggie Award Winner, 6-time Best of State Recipient for Best in Literary Arts, 4-time Whitney Award Winner, and 2-time Golden Quill Award Winner 

**Purchase Mary and Martha: A Novel**

Paperback $15.99

Kindle $ 5.99 

 https://amzn.to/2Y6f0kv 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Georgana's Secret (Proper Romance) by Arlem Hawks: Book Review

 


Product Details

  • Title: Georgana's Secret (Proper Romance)
  •  Author: Arlem Hawks:
  • Publisher : Shadow Mountain (January 12, 2021)
  • Genre: Regency Romance 
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 320 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 162972792X
  •  ***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own***                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

 Book Summary  

1811, HMS Deborah

A Regency romance on the high seas.

As a young girl, Georgana Woodall dreamed of beautiful dresses, fancy balls, and falling in love. However, when her mother dies, she cannot face a future under the guardianship of her abusive grandmother and instead chooses to join her father on his ship disguised as his cabin boy, “George.”

Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His Majesty’s Royal Navy claiming his full attention. Determined to prove himself to his new captain, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When he sees the captain’s cabin boy being harassed by the crew, he immediately puts a stop to it and takes the “boy” under his wing. After discovering a number of clues, Dominic deduces that George is really a woman. Knowing that revealing the cabin boy’s secret would put her in serious danger from the rowdy crew, Dominic keeps silent and hides his growing affection for her.

Georgana is quickly losing her heart to Dominic’s compassion and care but is convinced nothing can come of her affection. She cannot continue to live her life on the sea, and having already missed too many seasons in London, her chances of being welcomed back into polite society and finding a suitable husband have slipped away.

Georgana’s Secret is about two hearts yearning to find a safe harbor, and possibly, a lasting love.
 

My Review   

I love when I read a new Proper Romance novel. This Proper Romance was a huge treat in that it was so different from other Regency Romances. Georgana's Secret has some heartbreaking aspects in that the main character Georgana had a trauma filled childhood. Her father was always away at sea, her mother died when she was young, and her Grandmother was abusive to her. Her father finally finds out about the abuse when he comes home to see the evidence and steals her away to his ship. She becomes his "cabin boy" and starts a new life on the sea.

The other main character is Lieutenant Dominic Peyton whom I loved from the start. He is kind and loving to his mother, so I knew I was going to love Dominic. It was no surprise that when he came on board and found the timid cabin boy "George" that he took him under his wing. It is beautiful how Georgana and Dominic became close as friends that leads to a great love. This story is sweet but it also has its share of bad guys that cause problems for Georgana, Dominic, and her father, the Captain. Jarvis is about as bad as they come. He makes your blood boil many times during the novel.

This novel is a journey of a sweet girl, who had to grow up too soon, and desperately wanted her dreams to come true. It's nice to see her change as she learns to trust and believe in others. I enjoyed this book a lot and know that other Regency lovers will want to read this book. If you like to read about adventures on the high sea, pirates, war, mutiny, and falling in love, Georgana's Secret will be a great read for you.

 

Purchase Georgana's Secret HERE: https://amzn.to/39XvdxV

 

Meet Author Arlem Hawks 

ARLEM HAWKS began making up stories before she could write. Living all over the western United States and traveling around the world gave her a love of cultures and people and the stories they have to tell. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications, with an emphasis in print journalism, and she lives in Arizona with her husband and three children.


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


Advanced Praise:


“Fans of sweet love stories as well as readers who fondly remember those marvelous old traditional Signet Regencies will quickly succumb to the siren song of Hawk’s expertly crafted novel, which delivers the perfect blend of Jane Austen-smart romance and Patrick O’Brian flavored seafaring adventure. Teen romance readers will cheer on the plucky heroine as she finds the courage to forge her own path in life and love.”

-Booklist, starred review


“Hawks crafts a spellbinding tale featuring rich characters and raw emotions set against the atmospheric backdrop of sea life in all its danger and beauty. Georgana is a tough protagonist holding her own in a world dominated by men, while Peyton’s charm and sensitivity marks him as a true gentleman. A hidden identity, flirtation, and treachery make for a rousing tale to captivate lovers of historical romances.”

-Publishers Weekly




Saturday, January 16, 2021

His Accidental Bride: A Western Historical Romance By Carolyn Twede Frank-Blog Tour Review and Giveaway



 

Product Details

  • Title: His Accidental Bride: A Western Historical Romance
  • Author: Carolyn Twede Frank
  • Publisher : Covenant Communications, Inc. (January 1, 2021)
  • Genre: Historical Romance
  • Paperback : 264 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 152441350X
  • ***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own***  

  Book Summary

 Dorothy Bednar is living a life she despises. Forced to work as a double-dealing saloon girl, Dorothy has finally had enough. The next train out of town is her ticket to freedom, and Dorothy jumps aboard without a thought for where she's going—until she meets a kind woman aboard the train. Her fellow passenger was originally traveling to Colorado to marry a man she'd never met, but her cold feet offer Dorothy the perfect opportunity to set up roots somewhere new. Dorothy soon finds herself posing as the mail-order bride—after all, marrying a stranger can't be worse than what she left behind.

Young Colorado lawyer Ronald Smith is astonished when he spies the lovely woman who comes to greet him—the woman who is to be his wife. Dorothy is beyond Ronald's wildest dreams, a kindhearted partner eager to be a homemaker and mother. To Dorothy, Ronald is the most gentlemanly man she's ever met—a man who makes her feel safe and cherished. What begins as a deception soon deepens into true love, but too soon, Dorothy's secret past threatens the beautiful life she's built—a life that feels truer than anything she's ever known.

My Review

 It was so nice to read a book with a simple, cute story line and such sympathetic characters. You definitely cheer for this very odd couple of Dorothy Bednar and Ronald Smith. A train, a chance meeting, a letter, and a little bit of deception leads to a budding romance. I loved coming back to the town of Craig, Colorado with so many of the same characters we've already met in previous books as "Heart of the West," "Saving Susannah Jones," and "Under the Stars." It's always like going back home when you return to a series with previously beloved characters. I especially loved how fourteen-year-old Logan was a main character in this story. His cheery and bold nature kept Ronald on his toes.
 

It was nice this time to finally have the awkward, and stiff lawyer Ronald Smith find love; even if it was through a Mail-Order Bride. Once he meets Dorothy, he starts changing and loosening up his ridged ways. Poor Dorothy has been taken advantage of by her evil brother in his schemes to cheat men out of their money in card games. After many years she escapes him but is still plagued by the years of abuse. In many ways, Ronald changes Dorothy too by showing her that she is of great worth. Together, they make a great team, even though there are many trials along the way. Especially when Ronald finds out the truth about his dearest Dorothy.

This lovely, Western Historical Romance is an easy read that will sweep you away to the old West. The innocence of the two characters and their acceptance of each other makes this an engaging read. It's a clean historical romance that teens and adults will love. This book can be read alone but it will mean so much more if you've read the previous three books first.

 

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 one her website, www.carolyntwedefrank.com

 

 

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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Keeping Christmas (Midwestern Hearts Book 1) By Rebecca Blevins-Christmas Contemporary Romance Review


Product Details

  • Title: Keeping Christmas  (Midwestern Hearts Book 1)
  • Author: Rebecca Blevins
  • Series: Midwestern Hearts
  • ASIN : B08R682K85
  • Publisher : Aspen Grove Press; 3rd edition (December 21, 2020)
  • Publication date : December 21, 2020
  • Language: : English
  • File size : 2711 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Print length : 269 pages
  • ***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own***  

 Book Summary

Keeping Christmas has been expanded into a full-length novel since its initial release as a short romance in 2015.

Racing to beat a snowstorm to get home for a Christmas full of beloved Norwegian traditions, Paige Sorensen is pulled over by the county sheriff in the small town of Higgins. The town’s annual Christmas dinner is in danger of being canceled, so the judge sentences Paige to community service, putting her experience as a caterer to good use. She's forced to work with Wes Atwood—a good-looking deputy who'd rather skip the holiday season entirely. He makes sure the less fortunate have a merry Christmas, but the secrets behind his eyes are reflected in his guarded heart.

Paige fears being stuck in Higgins will ruin her family holiday. But as she works to save the town's Christmas dinner and begins uncovering secrets about their handsome deputy, she might just learn what the true magic of Christmas—and love—really is. 


Keeping Christmas was inspired by the song "Good King Wenceslas."

 

My Review

One of my favorite things to do during Christmas break is to read: Surprise! This is the first romance I've read by author Rebecca Blevins. It was sweet and the characters were so likable I could not put this book down. One aspect that I liked about this novel was that there was no instant love. In fact, there was kind of the opposite. Things unfolded naturally though as Paige and Wes interacted working together on the small town of Higgin's annual Christmas dinner. 

It's so nice to read a clean romance with a simple storyline, a little bit of angst, no bad language, and many instances where you laugh and sigh as two people fall in love. I also enjoyed reading about the Norwegian Christmas traditions that Paige's family honored and celebrated. 

If you are looking for a quick, clean romance with a wonderful Christmas feel, you will love reading Keeping Christmas. I can't wait to read book two in the Midwestern Hearts series.  

Purchase Keeping Christmas HERE for $3.99 on Kindle: 

https://amzn.to/3mGbqap  

 

Meet Author Rebecca Blevins



Rebecca Blevins is from the Midwest, land of tornadoes and cows—hopefully not mixed together. She began reading before she can remember, so books have always been part of her life. She has fond memories of borrowing more than thirty titles from the library at a time, and her mother stated: "Rebecca sat down to read and didn't stop until she was done with the whole bag." As an adult, Rebecca discovered a fondness for telling stories. Now she writes books for children and adults. Keeping Christmas is her first published romance, with more to come. Visit her online at www.rebeccablevins.net or on Facebook.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

The Christmas Apron By Michelle Pace Castor & Ilustrated By Dan Burr-Picture Book Review and Last Minute Gift Idea!

 


 

Product Details

  • Title:  The Christmas Apron
  • Author & Illustrator:  Rachelle Pace Castor and Dan Burr
  • Publisher : Covenant Communications, Inc. (November 1, 2020)
  • Genre: Christmas Picture Book
  • Language: : English
  • Hardcover : 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1524411574
  • ***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own***

 

Book Summary

The children in Millie's family can't wait for Grandma to arrive with her special Christmas apron. According to tradition, each grandchild will write down the gift he or she wants most in the world and then slip that wish into the apron's pocket. Then, on Christmas morning,those wished-for gifts will be magically waiting under the tree. But eleven-year-old Millie overhears her parents: the family can't afford gifts for all the little ones. She pictures the disappointment on her siblings faces nothing to open on Christmas morning.

 
Is Millie willing to sacrifice her own whole-soul wish so someone else's can come true? Full of tender emotion and delightful surprise, this story reminds us of the miracles that unfold when we think of others before ourselves.

 

My Review

The Christmas Apron is a very heartfelt story that takes place during the World War II era. Money is short-handed but Christmas wishes are still alive and well. Millie is the oldest child in the family and she realizes the truth of the situation. She overhears her parents talking and knows that sacrifices will need to be made this Christmas. This story does bring out the tears and relays the true meaning of Christmas and that miracles can still happen. The gorgeous illustrations add so much to the beauty of this story. The Christmas Apron is a lovely book to share with your family this Christmas season.



Purchase Your Own Copy at These Locations:

-Amazon: https://amzn.to/3mEdPCq

-Deseret Book: https://deseretbook.com/p/christmas-apron?variant_id=179509-hardcover

 

 

Friday, December 18, 2020

Christmas Countdown Blitz & Giveaway 2020: Day 10-Her Secret Agent Fake Fiance (A Christmas Romance) By Kimberley Montpetit



When she was in Paris, Kimberley Montpetit spent all of her souvenir money at the La Patisserie shops with their gorgeous and delicious pastries. 

She grew up in the fabulous city of San Francisco, hides a stash of anything chocolate and caramel when she can get away with it, and now lives in a small town along the banks of the Rio Grande with her engineer husband and three sons. 







Can two clashing agents survive gunshots, murderous millionaires, and dangerous covert snooping? Most importantly, will their own hearts betray them in the end?

Our Heroine: Erin Steele, FBI Agent. Alias: Cassandra Fairfax, oil heiress.

Her Partner: Braden Moretti, CIA Special Ops. Alias: Marcus Romero, Erin’s drop-dead gorgeous date with a talent for driving her crazy.

Where: A fancy Christmas party at the mansion of the wealthiest man in San Francisco.

Undercover Assignment: Fake FabergĂ© jewels selling for ten million bucks. A sting operation to take down the bad guys, of course . . . it’s all in a night’s work. 

Biggest Blunder: An encounter under the mistletoe that goes horribly wrong . . . or perfectly right?

◆ Fall in love with Romantic Suspense that includes intrigue and danger - all wrapped up in a red Christmas bow!

◆ Included in this romance: Agent Erin Steele's special Christmas morning recipe and pictures of a stunning Faberge jewel!

◆ Visit the author at www.KimberleyMontpetit.com for a free gift.  

  
  


Top Ten List:


1. I adore chocolate frosted cinnamon roll donuts

2. Snuggling with my kiddos and a stack of books

3. My Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) blanket that my daughter made me for Christmas

4. I love to belly dancing—and even performed a couple of times! It’s great exercise and so beautiful and earthy.

5. I’m a purple girl! And I’m lucky because my birth stone is amethyst

6. The black & white original TV show, I Love Lucy still makes me laugh—even though I only ever saw it in re-runs, of course!  

7. Since I was five-years-old, my grandpa would give me a heart-shaped box of chocolates on my birthday—which is also Valentine’s Day. When I got married, my husband got instructions from my family to continue the tradition, including baking me a heart-shaped cake with the cake pans my mother gifted to him.

8. Two days after my 11th birthday, I fell off a broken clothes hamper, gashed up my leg, and was rushed to the hospital to get 60 stitches.

9. I rode a camel in the ancient world wonder of Petra, Jordan.

10. I have a wall carving in my house of King Tut and his Queen Ankhesenamen that’s a replica of his actual Pharaoh’s Throne found in his tomb.



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The Duke Meets His Match: A Regency Romance by Karen Tuft-Book Review and Giveaway


 

Product Details

Title: The Duke Meets His Match: A Regency Romance

Author: Karen Tuft

Publisher : Covenant Communications, Inc. (December 1, 2020)
Language: English
Paperback : 208 pages
ISBN-10 : 1524414557

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

 

Book Summary

At thirty years of age, Susan Jennings has long been considered a spinster. Exceptionally intelligent, she has little tolerance for London and the dreaded Season—if that’s how one is expected to find love, it’s not for her. But when an invitation arrives that cannot be ignored, Susan leaves her comfortable life in the country and enters the fashion and frivolity she most despises. She quickly discovers, however, that there is more to loathe in London—and his name is George Kendall.

George, Duke of Aylesham, has learned to keep his distance from cloying females chasing the title of duchess. Susan Jennings, however, proves an entirely different challenge—a woman who has pushed him to the limit of his patience with their every encounter. But their simmering hostility is disrupted by a thoughtless slip-up: to avoid a marriage of political strategy, George claims he is already betrothed. And when pressed for the name of the lucky woman, only one name comes to mind: Susan’s. Their forced betrothal proves advantageous, but when their verbal sparring must change in order to be convincing, the line between fact and fiction becomes blurred by something neither expected: love.
 
My Review
Oh, this book was a fun surprise! Susan Jennings, a spinster, and George, Duke of Aylesham, are two people that you'd never think would end up together. They both are older and set in their ways. Their instant dislike for one another alerts you to the mayhem that is ahead for the main characters. Honestly, I couldn't stop laughing at the banter between these two. As I could relate so much to Susan and her bookish, intellectual ways she became a favorite right from the start. My favorite thing in this novel is how the two former enemies become allies and go up against a Prince wanting to control the Duke's future and financial situation. There were several moments where I actually cheered when Susan stood up to the tyrant. I absolutely loved it!

There is so much to love about this book that doesn't follow the same storyline found in most Regency Romances. Karen has a way of making her novels, the characters, and plotlines so unique. For this reason, I'm always so excited to read another novel from this very talented writer. This book will make a great gift for any reader that loves a clean, Regency Romance. 

Purchase The Duke Meets His Match HERE: https://amzn.to/3pdTRAb
 
 
Meet Author Karen Tuft



  Karen Tuft was born with a healthy dose of curiosity about pretty much everything, so as a child she taught herself to read and play the piano. She studied composition at BYU and graduated from the University of Utah in music theory, where she was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Kappa Lambda honor societies.

In addition to being an author, Karen is a wife, mother, pianist, composer, and arranger. She has spent countless hours backstage and in orchestra pits for theater productions along the Wasatch Front. Among her varied interests, she likes to figure out what makes people tick, wander through museums, and travel whether it's by car, plane, or paperback. 
 
Learn more about Karen and her books HERE: 
 
 
Enter the Giveaway Down Below:

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The author  has supplied a chart outlining how the characters in all of her Regency novels fit together. I found this very helpful and I think you'll find it helpful too.


Thursday, December 17, 2020

Christmas Countdown Blitz & Giveaway 2020: Day 9-The Unknown Elf By Karlie Lucas





Karlie Lucas is a school crossing guard by day and a writer/artist by night. 

A graduate of Southern Utah University, Karlie received a B.A. in Creative Writing, with a minor in art. She is a member of Sigma Tau Delta, The International English Honor Society, SCBWI, as well as ANWA, the American Night Writers Association.
Karlie is interested in all things magical and mysterious, especially elves and dragons. She is an avid fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling.

When not writing, Karlie can often be found drawing, baking, watching her favorite old school shows, or just spending time with her family.

She currently resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband and a cat named Kally. 


Facebook ~ Website ~
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ 




Marie never expected to wake up in North Pole City, let alone being made Santa’s Emergency Replacement. It was a job she never wanted but couldn’t turn down, thanks to Clarence, Santa’s right hand man. 

Now, Marie has to work with Clarence, who believes she is some kind of criminal who will cause the destruction of everything he holds dear. Trying to prove that he’s wrong, Marie keeps making mistakes that push them even further apart. It doesn’t help that she has a past she’d rather keep hidden. However, trying to keep her past where it should belong isn’t easy.

Just when Marie starts to feel like things are coming together, a madman with a bone to pick, and Christmas to ruin, threatens the whole of the North Pole Organization. Marie must rely on Clarence and her new friends to help her face her past before Christmas is gone forever.  But does she have the courage to truly be herself when it could mean losing everything?

  
  


Top Ten List:

1 - I own a ginger tabby named Kally. She's seven years old.
2 - I currently have nine published books, with three more in the works.
3 - I may have been born in Utah but I claim Texas as my home.
4 - My favorite Disney character is Stitch, from Lilo and Stitch. Baymax is a close second/occasional tie.
5 - My favorite movie is Big Hero Six.
6 - The one book I can go back and read over and over again like it was the first time is Pride and Prejudice.
7 - My favorite ice cream flavor is anything cheesecake, though Blue Bell's Decadent Fudge Brown is starting to edge in on the title.
8 - I am turning my YA trilogy into an audio drama.
9 - I originally wrote The Unknown Elf  while in middle school, but edited it and expanded it into its current form a little over half a decade ago.
10 - My first published work was a poem in an anthology.



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