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 »

2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
Sheila has read 9 books toward her goal of 80 books.
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Sunday, July 21, 2019

A Song for the Stars (Proper Romance Historical) By Ilima Todd-Blog Tour Review


Product Details


  • A Song for the Stars by Ilima Todd
  • Series: Proper Romance
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Genres: Clean Romance, Historical, Light Romance, proper romance
  • Publisher: Shadow Mountain (April 2, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1629725285
  • ***"I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own."

Book Summary
Inspired by a true story  
 Hawaiian Islands, 1779   

As the second daughter of a royal chief, Maile will be permitted to marry for love. Her fiancé is the best navigator in Hawaiʻi, and he taught her everything he knows—how to feel the ocean, observe the winds, read the stars, and how to love.   But when sailors from a strange place called England arrive on her island, a misunderstanding ends in battle, and Maile is suddenly widowed before she is wed.Finding herself in the middle of the battle and fearing for her life, Maile takes John Harbottle, the wounded man who killed her fiancé, prisoner, and though originally intending to let him die, she reluctantly heals him. And in the process, she discovers the man she thought was her enemy might be her ally instead.   

John has been Captain James Cook’s translator for three voyages across the Pacific. He is kind and clearly fascinated with her homeland and her people—and Maile herself. But guilt continues to drive a wedge between them: John’s guilt over the death he caused, and Maile’s guilt over the truth about what triggered the deadly battle—a secret she’s kept hidden from everyone on the island.   When Maile is tasked with teaching John how to navigate using the stars so he can sail back to England, they must also navigate the challenges of being from very different cultures. In doing so, they might also find the peace that comes when two hearts become one.

My Review
A Song for the Stars was such a wonderful mix of romance and historical fiction genres. They have always been some of my favorite genres to read. This "Proper Romance" is very different from the others in this series and it was as refreshing as a dip in the ocean waters. I'm blessed to have visited the Big Island of Hawaii. I was immediately transported back there through the beautiful words written by this author.  

The novel is especially unique as it is based on a true story of Ilima Todd's Fourth Great-Grandparents  John Harbottle and Papapaunauapu (or Maile for short). They formed one of the oldest hapa-haole (half-white, half-Hawaiian) families in the islands. You can tell the author put her whole heart and soul into the writing of this story based on her ancestors. 

The story is told from the perspective of both Maile and journal entries from John. What a wonderful way to show the growth of their relationship from enemies to lovers! I truly loved both characters as they journeyed through the struggles of differences in cultures and their own obligations to their people and themselves.

This is such a lovely story that not only has a charming romance but also incredible details about the culture of the Hawaiian people. I loved this book and recommend it to teens and adults. 

Meet Author Ilima Todd: 

Ilima Todd was born and raised on the north shore of Oahu and dives for octopus with her dad every time she visits otherwise she’s diving into books in the Rocky Mountains where she lives with her husband and four children. She graduated from BYU with a degree in physics and eats copious amounts of raw fish and avocados without regret. But mostly she loves being a wife and mama and wouldn’t trade that job for anything in the world.

Learn more about Ilima Todd and her books HERE: https://ilimatodd.com/

Purchase A Song for the Stars HERE: https://amzn.to/2XWH8Zx

Friday, July 12, 2019

The Redgrave Murders: A Romantic Suspense Novel By A.L. Sowards-Blog Tour Review & Giveaway

Product Details

  • Title: The Redgrave Murders
  • Author: A.L. Sowards
  • Genre: Romance/Suspense
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (July 1, 2019)
  • ISBN-10: 1524409456
***"I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own."***


Book Summary
When her father is murdered, Evie must prove her boyfriend innocent and find the real criminal before he kills again.

Loss is inevitable, as Evie Hampton knows all too well. But despite losing her mother to cancer and her older brother to a war, she knows she's one of the lucky ones. After all, she still has her father, a distinguished professor of medieval history. And she has Gary Redhawk, the man she loves despite the emotional scars he carries from the Second World War--and despite her father's opposition to their relationship.

When Evie's car suddenly careens off the road, she chalks it up to poor maintenance or sheer bad luck making another appearance in her life. Little does she know a host of hardships is just beginning--the car was her father's, and the brake lines were deliberately cut. Someone wants them dead--but why? All fingers point to Gary, a man with a troubled past and no solid alibi, but Evie is unwilling to believe he's involved. Determined to uncover the truth, she begins to piece together a startling picture of deception and vice. But as she closes in on the truth, it is clear that someone is determined to silence her--and the next attempt on her life may be a deadly success.


My Review
I've read many books by this author. Most of the other books were about characters in the middle of a war. The battle scenes were some of the best I'd ever read. I loved how this new book dealt with the after-effects of WWII. 

The Redgrave Murders, of course, is full of suspense right from the start. This novel was one that I sat down to read and only put it down to eat. This is what I love about Summer reading. One of the most engaging aspects of this novel are the letters at the beginning of each chapter that main character Evie and her brother Clive wrote to each other during the war. It filled in important character development on Evie's part and also showed family dynamics that play out within the novel.

One of the main characters, Evie's boyfriend Gary Redhawk, was a minor character in a previous novel the author wrote. I remembered the scene from the other book that he described in this novel. Gary is a Seneca Native American. He was my favorite character in this book. I feel his character was written realistically showing the plight of Native Americans at this time in history. This novel also does a great job of showing how the horrors of war caused PTSD in so many of the returning soldiers. He and Evie are good together and the romance part is secondary to the murder mystery that keeps you as a reader on your toes. There are so many suspects that stand out as you read each chapter. I quite enjoyed figuring out who ultimately was the person behind all of the terrible crimes.

This book is not a fast-paced book but keeps you enthralled none the less. The Redgrave Murders was a winner for me. 

There are a few scenes of violence with this being a murder mystery, a little kissing, and a lot of breathtaking action scenes. This book would be appropriate for older teens, and adults.


Meet Author: A.L. Sowards:
 "Books have always been an important part of my life. I remember writing self-illustrated storybooks at my grandparent’s house when I was in elementary school (none of those made it to publication for many good reasons) and attending my first writer’s conference when I was in third grade.


  As a reader, I enjoy a variety of books. As a writer, I create historical novels with a wholesome mix of action, adventure, and romance. My novels include a Whitney Award winner and several Whitney finalists.

I grew up in Washington State, then came to Utah to attend BYU. I’m still in Utah, where I live with my husband, three children, and an ever-growing library. I'm usually reading a couple books at once and working on multiple writing projects too. Other than that, my life is pretty ordinary. I'm grateful for that. I'll let the characters in my books have all the adventures."


Learn more about A.L. Sowards and her books at her website HERE: https://alsowards.com/

Purchase a copy of The Redgrave Murders HERE:  https://amzn.to/2XGaAOp



 What the Author Had to Say...

“‘The Redgrave Murders’ is a historical mystery set in a small town shortly after World War II,” Sowards said. “It’s a whodunit with strong romantic elements and multiple ties to the recent war. It’s set in 1948 and follows Evie Hampton. When her father is murdered and her boyfriend blamed for it, Evie sets out to prove her boyfriend innocent and find the real criminal before he kills again.”

One of the characters in “The Redgrave Murders” was in one of Sowards’ previous books. 

“When I started the concept for ‘The Redgrave Murders,’ I knew I wanted the boyfriend, Gary Redhawk, to have a POW experience in his backstory,” said Sowards. “He was a minor character in a previous novel, so I already knew a little about him. But the more I researched likely education for a Native American in the 1930s, the more I realized that being a POW would be only a small slice of the trauma in Gary Redhawk’s backstory. I love it when my research turns up elements that add so much to a story.”

Enter the Giveaway to win a copy of 
The Redgrave Murders 

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Friday, July 5, 2019

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty-Book Review(Audio CD)


Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit, I watched the TV series of Big Little Lies before I read/listened to the audio version. I really liked both. There were many differences of course with the book moving at a much slower pace. In many ways, I liked this. This is definitely a book that women will enjoy more, considering all of the main characters are Kindergarten moms This novel is a combination of chic-lit, mystery, and drama. The narrator did a fantastic job bringing to life each character in a wonderful way. Having already seen the series on HBO first, I feel that each part was cast superbly. Even knowing the outcome of the whole murder mystery, it was still so much fun to listen to how Moriarty played out this twisting tale of who died and who did it. This story truly shows how looks can be so deceiving and how perfect people aren't always living perfect lives. There is much humor in this novel mixed in with hard topics of abuse, rape, and bullying. This book won't be for everyone, especially if you don't like topics likes those I just mentioned and the "F" word is used quite liberally throughout the book. Big Little Lies was a good read for me but beware of my previous trigger warnings. If you like a novel that reminds you of an episode of Desperate Housewives, then this novel would be a great one for you.

View all my reviews

Friday, June 28, 2019

Great Summer Reads 2019 : Countdown Blitz & Giveaway Day 20:Featuring Author Zina Abbott-Diantha






My name is Robyn Echols. Zina Abbott is the pen I use for my historical novels. I’m a member of Women Writing the West and Western Writers of America. I currently live with my husband in California’s central valley near the “Gateway to Yosemite.”

I love to read, quilt, work with digital images on my photo editing program, and work on my own family history.

I am a blogger. In addition to my own blog, I blog for several group blogs including the Sweet Americana Sweethearts blog, which I started and administer.





The daughter of a Georgia plantation owner, Diantha Ames was raised and educated to be a lady. Surviving the Civil War as a child, her family, in a desperate, but ultimately unsuccessful bid to save the property of both her father and her uncle, arranges a marriage between her and her first cousin. Although not a love match, she and Eugene were amiable. As information about her husband comes to light after his death in the Gold King Mine disaster that took so many lives in Wildcat Ridge, she is left with her husband’s hotel and postmaster position to fill—and a lot of questions.

With Diantha’s former laundress gone, she hires Hilaina Dowd, whose family hails from the mountains of Appalachia. Hilaina loyally stays with her mother who wishes to live out her life in Wildcat Ridge and be buried next to her husband who died in the mine disaster.

Henry “Hank” Cauley is branded a failure after refusing to be part of his father’s Salt Lake City brick-making business and then losing his stationary and book store business. To bury him far away, his brother and conniving sister-on-law use their political influence with the territorial Congressional representative to award him the postmaster position in Wildcat Ridge. He arrives in town to take over the position starting the first of September only to discover the postmistress, Diantha, knows nothing about the change, and is not relieved she no longer is obligated to fill this position originally awarded to her deceased husband. Finding himself surrounded by those loyal to the soft-spoken, Southern lady, is he destined to also be a failure in Wildcat Ridge?

Buckley “Buck” Kramer, wrangler on the Grassy Fork Ranch in Colorado, has not been totally satisfied with his lot ever since the trip he took to Wildcat Ridge earlier in the summer with his boss and best friend now he sees the happiness of family life the two men enjoy after they brought back wives. When two trail-worn young brothers stumble onto the ranch looking for a meal and permanent jobs, but are told with winter coming on there is only room for one, Buck insists on leaving in order to keep the brothers together. Is Buck really dissatisfied with his job on the ranch, or is this an excuse to return to Wildcat Ridge and the woman he has not been able to get out of his mind?
  
Diantha, Book 14, is a stand-alone novel. However, you might enjoy it best by reading all the books in the series, The Widows of Wildcat Ridge. Also, my other book in the series, Nissa, Book 3, was written to be a duet with Diantha—a series within a series. You might also enjoy reading Nissa if you have not already done so.



  
~ Universal Amazon Link
  


Top Ten List:

10 Fun Facts About Myself

1.  I’m not a fun person—I tend to be serious.
2.  I’ll go to an organizational meeting with a speaker or class before I’ll go to a social party.
3.  I’m analytical and sometimes suffer from “analysis paralysis.”
4.  I like to quilt rather than sew garments because l like doing the math to create new block designs.
5.  The other fun part of quilting for me is to put together colors and fabric patterns I don’t think will look good together – but in the end, they do!
6.  I like photography, but I’m not a professional. Thank goodness for digital cameras and photo-editing programs.
7.  I love to create digital memes, banners and blog post headers.
8.  I belong to my county genealogical society.
9.  My idea of camping is staying in a fifth wheel or a trailer—with internet access.

10.  I’d rather be reading.





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





Thursday, June 27, 2019

Great Summer Reads 2019 : Countdown Blitz & Giveaway Day 19:Featuring Author Britney M Mills- The Australian Billionaire






Britney Mills was born in Utah but parts of her heart lie in Boston, Washington D.C. and Germany. Her love of writing began with the third grade book her teacher assigned her to write and she spent hours hidden behind her mother's couch writing pages and pages about knights and castles. Now she writes about romance. Go figure.

When she's not mothering her 4 small children, writing or reading, she's probably out playing a sport, going on a hike, or binge watching a murder mystery series. The way to her heart is through homemade chocolate chip cookies and five minutes peace.







A self-made billionaire, his real estate agent and three weeks to find the right property.
Jackson Walker hasn't had the best family life. Growing up in the foster system in Australia, it wasn’t until he met his college football coach that he understood what a normal family looked like. When he gets the call that Coach has passed away, he returns to California for the funeral and to find a place to honor the man. 

Hailey Montgomery threw herself into real estate soon after breaking up with her boyfriend nearly five years ago. She’s been working to build a name for herself and when the chance to make partner at her firm becomes available, she jumps at the chance. But the only way to achieve that distinction is to find a commercial property for the guy she’s nicknamed ‘Golden Boy’ from all the stories her father told about him. 

As spending time together brings them closer, the trust between them is called into question. Can they work through what’s happened in their individual pasts to create a relationship that will last?


  
~ Universal Amazon Link
   


Q&A With the Author:

1.  What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Read, play outside with my kids, travel.

2. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I like to write with music that has singing, but I have to edit with classical music

3. Do you have any suggestions to help budding authors become better writers? If so, what are they?
Read, A LOT. Read craft books, read in your genre, join a writing Facebook group and learn from them.

4. Where do you get information and ideas for your books?
Ideas come in everyday life. I'll have an idea pop up for a story and then I do some research. For the International Billionaire Club series, I've used Youtube a lot to learn about the different countries.

5. What do you think makes a good story?
One that makes it hard to put down.

6. Tell us about your favorite summer vacation? Or what do you like to do in the summer?
It's been a few years since we've been able to go camping but those are some fun times. S'mores, tin foil dinners, hiking. Those are my favorites in the summer!





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





Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Great Summer Reads 2019 : Countdown Blitz & Giveaway Day 18:Featuring Author TJ Amberson-THE KINGDOM OF NERETH,




TJ Amberson hails from the Pacific Northwest. With a love of writing in several genres, TJ strives to provide well-written, age-appropriate, & original novels for tweens, teens, and new adults.














  
~ Facebook ~ Website ~
  





Dark times are upon the land of Nereth. Centuries have passed since the rightful heir to the throne was banished. The people are losing hope in ancient legend, which foretells of one who will rise up, overthrow the evil king and queen, and restore peace. Like all others in Nereth, Edlyn has suffered greatly. Orphaned as a child, Edlyn grew up as the serf of a drunken lord. Now a spirited seventeen-year-old, Edlyn works to buy her freedom while fighting off the unwanted advances of Sheriff Hurst. One morning, Edlyn discovers a young man hiding in the stable. He is fleeing from Sheriff Hurst and inflicted with a sword wound that will surely be fatal without her help. In a split-second decision, Edlyn conceals the young man from Sheriff Hurst and begins nursing him back to health. As the young man's strength returns, Edlyn learns that his name is Maddock, and she is stunned to find that he has come from the mysterious land to the north. Maddock soon comes to Edlyn's aid, rescuing her from Sheriff Hurst. Suddenly declared outlaws, both Edlyn and Maddock must escape for their lives to enchanted Ravenshire Forest and then the desolate mountains beyond. As their adventure unfolds, Edlyn and Maddock discover that their meeting may have been more than chance, for their lives prove bound by a fate that neither of them could possibly have imagined.



  
~ Universal Amazon Link
  



Q&A With the Author:

Question 1) What do you like to do when you're not writing? When I'm not writing, I enjoy working in my garden, bike riding, taking walks on a sunny day, star gazing with my telescope, and traveling whenever I can.

Question 2) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? I would say an interesting writing quirk of mine is that I'm much more productive at certain times of the day, particularly right after waking up or in the late evening.

Question 3) Do you have any suggestions to help budding authors become better writers? If so, what are they? For budding writers, my advice on how to improve is to simply keep writing! Just like any skill or talent, you get better the more that you do it!

Question 4) Where do you get information and ideas for your books? I glean information or ideas for my books from just about anywhere - including random ideas popping into my head, online research, dreams, my educational background, witnessing something humorous or inspiring - ideas come from all around!

Question 5) What do you think makes a good story? I don't know if there's a way to articulate perfectly what makes a good story, but I would include on the list: characters that we can care about, a story that intrigues us, storytelling that makes us feel emotion, and a conclusion that satisfies.


Question 6) Tell us about your favorite summer vacation? Or what do you like to do in the summer? Summertime is all about being outside and enjoying sunshine! That can be anything from big to small, including a boat ride, traveling, or a peaceful evening enjoying dinner out on the patio.





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





Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Great Summer Reads 2019 : Countdown Blitz & Giveaway Day 17:Featuring Author Sonya Ray-The Three Crowns Series (Seven Books and Free Novella)/Kindle Edition






I grew up in Southeast Missouri; home of the Throwed Rolls, high cotton, and the St. Louis Cardinals. I have a little family consisting of son, daughter, son-in-law and a little Pi. Other than my children (and grandchild), my passion is writing. My current project is The Three Crowns Series. Sweet Tea is the first book in this seven-novel series which published October 15, 2013.

Besides reading and writing, I enjoy singing. I love music period. Music is in our family. Whether it be the bluegrass from the Ozarks that my Grandpa Sutton use to play on his banjo or fiddle, or the smooth, family harmony in which I am fortunate enough to sing with my Dad and Brother. But you can give me some kickin' AC/DC too! I like it all!

I work full-time as an Administrative Assistant. Every free moment is dedicated to my family and my current project, The Three Crowns, a seven-novel paranormal romance series.




It all starts with a Queen and a Plan.

The Three Crowns is a New Adult/Paranormal Romance series. There are seven books to complete the series, with a novella. This series has your modern day vampires dealing with the Old World Laws creating a struggle for ultimate power in the Night World.



THE THREE CROWNS SERIES SYNOPSIS

The Three Crowns series is about a normal girl whose life is more than what she will allow herself to imagine. It is the journey of her accepting that everything is not black and white, and our logic of what we understand does not mean something does exist. Throughout the story she is protected, loved, groomed and pushed to her limits to prepare her for what lies ahead of her. She is tested in all areas of her humanity which will someday bring her to know the person she is destined to be. The human nature of love is a tangled web of emotions for she feels the love of two men who are continually being taken away from her for the sake of their positions in the future as well.




Top Ten List:


1) I'm a MiMi!
2) I'm a cancer survivor
3) I LOVE all kinds of music
4) I sing with my brother and dad every Sunday
5) I'm writing a story in my head all the time
6) My celebrity crush would be Dwayne Johnson
7) I think maybe Arya Stark and Gendry will take the Iron Throne  
8) My favorite classic book - Pride and Prejudice
9) I love the beach
10) I'm a flip flop/barefoot kinda girl





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