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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Thursday, June 4, 2020

When Valleys Bloom Again By Pat Jeanne Davis- Book Blast and Guest Post





About the Book


As war approaches in 1939, Abby Stapleton’s safety is under threat. Her father, a British diplomat, insists she go back to America until the danger passes. Abby vows to return to her home in London—but where is home? With her family facing mortal danger so far away and feeling herself isolated, she finds it hard to pray or read the Bible. Did she leave God behind in war-torn London too? Abby becomes friendly with Jim, a gardener on her uncle’s estate.

Jim can’t get Abby out of his mind. Did she have a sweetheart in England? Was it foolish to think she’d consider him? He curses his poverty and the disgrace of his father’s desertion and drunkenness haunts him. Can he learn to believe in love for a lifetime and to hope for a happy marriage?

Abby couldn’t know the war would last a long time, nor that she would fall in love with Jim—soon to be drafted by the US Army—or that she’d have to confront Henri, a rejected suitor, determined by his lies to ruin her reputation and destroy her faith in God’s providence. Will she discover the true meaning of home and find happiness with Jim?






About the Author




PAT JEANNE DAVIS has a keen interest in the 20th Century United States and British history, particularly the period of World War II. Her longtime interest in that era goes back to the real-life stories she heard about family members who served during the war. When Valleys Bloom Again is a debut inspirational romance set in WWII. She enjoys flower gardening, genealogy research, and traveling with her British-born husband. She writes from her home n Philadelphia, Pa. Pat has published essays, short stories, and articles online and in print. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

Guest Post

Writing a historical novel requires extensive research. At times I went to distant and unfamiliar places in order to immerse myself in the era and the setting of my story’s world. On repeated trips to England with my British born husband, I combined visiting family there with more research for my novel in progress. I visited living museums throughout England where people went about their tasks in clothing that would’ve been worn during the 1940s. The guides were always helpful and eager to share what they’d learned. I entered an actual air-raid shelter, spent hours in a war museum, toured an aerodrome, and the Churchill War Rooms in London. I also interviewed veterans of WWII in both the UK and US.

The opening for my WWII inspirational romance, When Valleys Bloom Again, was conceived after reading a biography on the life of Kathleen Kennedy, daughter of Joseph P. Kennedy, the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom. He and his family were living in London when Britain declared war. Kathleen Kennedy’s story intrigued me. She was forced by her father to return to the US for her safety. Kathleen had made many friends while living in London and was determined to return someday. She eventually did go back, served in the British Red Cross, and married William Cavendish who was in line to become the next Duke of Devonshire. Sadly, he died in battle a few months after their marriage.

             

I based my protagonist, Abby Stapleton, loosely on Kathleen Kennedy’s situation at the outbreak of war in 1939. Abby is the American-born daughter of a British diplomat. Her father sends her back to the US to escape the impending war. She too vows to return to London.



Fortunately for me I enjoyed doing the research for When Valleys Bloom Again and became especially excited whenever I uncover an extra special tidbit of information.



On one of my return trips to Chatsworth House, the home of the present Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, I learned from a tour guide there that in 1963 President John Kennedy had visited his sister Kathleen’s grave while on his way home from a trip to Ireland, only six months before his assassination. He and his sister had been very close throughout her life. I found the grave of Kathleen Kennedy in St. Peter’s Churchyard, not far from Chatsworth House. She too had died tragically shortly after peace was declared. Standing before Kathleen’s grave, I could only imagine the sorrow President Kennedy felt.



On another research trip in the north of England, I went into the largest purpose-built civilian air raid shelter in England extended to accommodate 6,500 people during the Second World War. The Stockport Air Raid Shelter is a network of underground tunnels, a mile long, carved out of the sandstone hills on which the city stands that provided not only protection but a way of life for families. This underground world still intact today as it was during the war years gave me an opportunity to learn about the raw realities of life during the Blitz. I came away with a deep appreciation for those who struggled to survive with only the basic amenities in such depressing and stressful surroundings and admiration for my husband’s family who lived through those long years of war.


Giveaway

One winner will receive a print copy of When Valleys Bloom Again.

Giveaway ends on June 9 at 11:59pm Mountain Time.


Enter the giveaway HERE:
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Great Summer Reads 2020 & Giveaway: Day 4-The Milkman's Son By Randy Lindsay



RANDY LINDSAY is a native of Arizona. He lives in Mesa with his wife, five of his nine children, a dog, a cat, and a hyperactive imagination. His wife calls him the “Story Man” because he sees everything as material for a story. He has three books traditionally published and four indie-published titles.
As a family historian, Randy has 14 years of genealogy experience. He has researched over 5,000 names in his own family tree and helped over a dozen other people in their ancestral quests. He has a passion for family history and a newfound appreciation for the frequency in which family relations can turn out to be different than what everyone believes to be true.

 ~ Website ~
   


"Raised in a family he bore little resemblance to, Randy was jokingly referred to as ""the milkman's son."" This warm and candid memoir chronicles the unraveling of a family secret, which begins with Randy's dad having dreams about deceased relatives urging him to complete their family tree. Randy agrees to help with the genealogy, but after his searching leads to a dead end, he takes a commercially available DNA test. The results reveal a possible genetic match to a sister, which begins a familial quest that forever changes the author's life.

Featuring a cast of vivid characters, richly drawn from two distinct families, The Milkman's Son, reveals on man's family tree, pulling back layers of new information as he gets closer to the truth--a biological father, siblings, and family members he never knew existed.
This is a story of accepting, forgiving, reuniting, and, most importantly, it's about the bonds that connect us and the unconditional love that makes us feel like we belong. "

~ Universal Amazon Link
     




Snippet:

A “What does this mean?” option on the information box opens another chart. I study the chart to understand what 1,700 centiMorgans means for Tammy and me. The amount is lower than the DNA shared between parent and child, and it’s lower than the amount shared between full siblings. But the amount lands right in the middle of how much DNA I might share with a grandparent, an aunt or uncle, or . . . a half-sibling.
A half-sibling.
Based on the information from Tammy’s family tree, I run the numbers and figure out her brother is close to my age. Maybe even younger. This rules out the possibility of him being my grandfather. It also makes it unlikely for him to be my uncle. That leaves only one possibility.
My dad doesn’t have a long-lost, secret brother. I do.




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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Royal Decoy: (Fate of Eyrinthia Book 1) By Heather Frost-Blog Tour Review



Product Details

  • Title: Royal Decoy: (Fate of Eyrinthia Book 1)
  • Author: Heather Frost
  • Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
  • File Size: 2200 KB
  • Publication Date: June 18, 2020
  • Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
  • Language: English
***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own***

 
ROYAL DECOY: Summary

A SERVANT blackmailed into becoming a princess’s decoy.

A BODYGUARD determined to keep her alive.



A PRINCE forced to execute his father’s brutal laws.

A PRISONER used to keep him compliant.



A WORLD on the brink of war.



In one horrible night, Clare goes from kitchen maid to royal decoy. She has three months to become the princess's perfect double so she can ensure her betrothal to an enemy prince. Desperate to survive, Clare throws herself into self-defense training, taught by her distractingly attractive bodyguard. The danger increases when a ruthless assassin begins stalking her, intent on ending the tenuous peace.



Across the northern mountains, Prince Grayson is his father’s ultimate weapon. He carries out the king’s harsh orders because the one person he cares about is his father’s prisoner. Grayson's silent obedience is tested when his father plans to exploit the marriage alliance between two of their greatest enemies. If Grayson submits, the blood of thousands will spill. If he resists, the girl who means everything to him will die.



The fate of Eyrinthia hangs in the balance. Some want peace. Some want war. All will be thrown into chaos.

My Review
Royal Decoy is a YA Fantasy that has a wonderful story. The novel has two separate storylines going on but it is so easy to follow. I love a novel that goes along at a fast pace with a lot of mystery, action, and great characters. Clare is a poor peasant that goes from a kitchen worker to living in the palace. She is likable and easy to cheer for as her life is always in danger as the decoy for the princess of her country. In the second storyline and another country,  we meet Grayson a son of the King. Believe it or not, this is another wonderful character that I grew to like immediately, even though he is feared by his people as a vicious killer. He is known as the Black Hand. Grayson has a great love that he needs to protect and can only do this by his obedience to his father.  There is more violence in his chapters, but it fits the story and circumstances.

This book grabbed me from the first chapter and is easily read. It really is hard to put down. I didn't figure out the person behind the threats until later than I usually do. This first book does a lot of building up of the world and its characters and I can't wait to read more about them in the next book. The romance is beautifully built at a slow pace but it is sweet. I have to say I think Clare and Bennick are so good together, but I also have a soft spot for Venn. 

If you are looking for a good read with royalty, mystery, intrigue, spies, war, and romance, this book has it all. Heather Frost certainly delivers a great read with Royal Decoy.

 
Royal Decoy Purchase Links

Kindle:

 Meet Author: Heather Frost

Heather Frost writes mostly YA fiction and has a soft spot for tortured characters, breath-stealing romance, and happy endings. She is the author of the Seers trilogy and the Fate of Eyrinithia series. She has a BS in Creative Writing and a minor in Folklore, which means she got to read fairy tales and ghost stories and call it homework. When she’s not writing, Heather likes to read, travel, and hold Lord of the Rings movie marathons. She owns two typewriters, sings in the car, and dreams of living in a castle someday. She currently lives in a beautiful valley surrounded by towering mountains in Utah. To learn more about Heather and her books, visit her website: www.HeatherFrost.com

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Great Summer Reads 2020 & Giveaway: Day 3-The Shadow of Atlantis By Wendy Leighton-Porter



A graduate of Exeter University in the early 1980s, I spent 20 years as a teacher of French, Latin and Classical studies, before a change of career led me to writing children's fiction. Currently residing in Abu Dhabi, I live with my husband and our beautiful Tonkinese cat.

The Shadow of Atlantis is the first in a series of time-travel adventures, featuring 3 children and a rather special cat called Max. I'm now working on the 17th book, The Shadow of the Great Fire. The series also includes several novellas that feature Max the talking Tonkinese cat undertaking solo adventures. As I take my young readers on a magical mystery tour through the past, I'm hoping that my love of history, myth and legend will rub off on them too. 


Ten-year-old twins Jemima and Joe Lancelot have no idea why their parents have disappeared, but a mysterious old book belonging to their father holds the answer … and so begins a quest to uncover the truth. 

Together with Max their Tonkinese cat, and Charlie from next door, the children embark on an epic adventure, travelling back in time to the lost city of Atlantis, unaware of the dangers that await them. 

Can they save the people of Atlantis from the disaster which is about to destroy their land forever? And will they find their way back to the safety of their own time before it's too late?

The Shadows from the Past time-travel adventures for Middle Grade readers take place over the course of the school summer holidays. The Shadow of Atlantis is the first book in the series and this is where it all begins. As the mystery unfolds, my young heroes embark on a magical journey into the past and a quest to unlock the secrets of an old book that is a gateway into the pages of history. 


Snippet:

‘And we mustn’t forget to take Max with us,’ said Jemima. ‘We’d have ended up stuck in Atlantis without his help, you know.’
Joe nodded. ‘Don’t worry. Wherever we go, Max goes too. He’s one of us now – we’re a team.’
Max, who’d been dozing on the bed, raised his head and gave them all a solemn look as Joe said this. ‘I should think so, too. It was jolly lucky that I was there to keep an eye on you and get you out of trouble. I can’t imagine how much of a mess you would have ended up in otherwise. And now you’re planning on doing it all over again?’ Rolling his eyes, he gave a theatrical sigh. ‘Ah, such a responsibility.’ 





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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Great Summer Reads 2020 & Giveaway: Day 2-Sacred Scarab By Fiona Ingram





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.






In this exciting Middle Grade adventure set in Egypt, a 5000-year-old mystery comes to life. A scruffy peddler gives Adam and Justin Sinclair an old Egyptian scarab on their very first day in Egypt. Only when the evil Dr. Faisal Khalid shows a particular interest in the cousins and their scarab, do the boys realise they are in terrible danger. Dr. Khalid wants the relic at all costs. Justin and Adam embark upon the adventure of a lifetime, taking them down the Nile and across the harsh desert in their search for the legendary tomb of the Scarab King, an ancient Egyptian ruler. They are plunged into a whirlpool of hazardous and mysterious events when Dr. Khalid kidnaps them. They learn more about the ancient Seven Stones of Power and the mysterious Shemsu-Hor. They must translate the hieroglyphic clues on the underside of the scarab, as well as rescue the missing archaeologist James Kinnaird, and their friend, the Egyptologist Ebrahim Faza, before time runs out!




Snippet:

The animal leaped forward. Adam looked back at the horizon and gasped. An enormous wall of whirling, yellow dust was bearing down on them at frightening speed. It was gaining on them so rapidly that it seemed to be just an arm’s length away. Adam and Justin leaned over their saddles and clung to their camels’ necks. The usually indolent beasts galloped along like racehorses, with their necks outstretched and their ears flattened back. It was as if they understood the terrible danger just behind them.

“It’s a sandstorm!” Adam yelled.

The howling wind whipped his words away and Justin just shook his head to show he couldn’t hear. Ahead of them, the men were looking back, beckoning and yelling, but the shriek of the sandstorm drowned out their voices. The camels threw their long legs forward as they strained to run faster. Sand swirled in eddies around their thudding feet. Already the stinging gusts of grit-laden air were whipping the four figures. The sand scoured their skin as the wind battered their fragile bodies. In seconds, their eyes began burning and their mouths filled with choking dust. The four frightened beasts thundered crazily across the dunes, their riders clinging like limpets to their backs. One of the men pointed to the left, toward a small rocky plateau and, as the camels veered instinctively in that direction, Adam saw a narrow ravine plunging downward. The wind shrieked as if in anger that its intended victims might escape. The sandstorm closed over them with a wailing ferocity. The brigadier’s rambling tales of his desert experiences hadn’t prepared Adam for the real thing. The first impact hit with a gigantic force and thundered against their makeshift shelter. With banshee howls, the great gusts of stinging sand blasted against the camels’ tough hide. However, apart from a few bad-tempered moans, the camels simply pushed their heads down to escape the worst of the sandstorm’s wrath.





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Monday, June 1, 2020

Great Summer Reads 2020 & Giveaway: Day 1-Guinevere: The Legend By Cheryl Carpinello




I’m a retired high school English teacher. A devourer of books growing up, my profession introduced me to writings and authors from times long past. Through my studies and teaching, I fell in love with the Ancient and Medieval Worlds. Now, I hope to inspire young readers and those Young-at-Heart to read more through my Tales and Legends for Reluctant Readers set in these worlds—Ancient Egypt, Medieval Wales, and coming soon, a hair-raising adventure through ancient worlds in search of 5 rare Phoenix Feathers.

All of my books come with Free study guides and/or extensive Back-of-the-Book materials.

My husband and I love to travel. In 2008, we spent three weeks in Egypt traveling by local train from one end of the country to the other; in 2014, we spent three weeks in the UK driving over 1700 miles through England, Wales, and Scotland; and in 2016, we spent a week in Iceland. We’ve also traveled to Mexico, Jamaica, and Aruba. Our next big adventure will be to Greece and Italy.

When I’m not writing or traveling, our 4 grandkids keep us busy.


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Their friendship put him in harm's way. Will it be enough to save him? 

Across the dark water to the land of ancient Gaul, renegades take Cedwyn and the littl'uns farther from home and rescue.

Led by her heart rather than her head and without any thought for her safety, fifteen-year-old Guinevere sets out alone to save Cedwyn. And if she fails…?

Eleven-year-old Cedwyn's trust in Guinevere is absolute. But will his sacrifice to save her and protect the littl'uns end with the loss of his own life? 






Universal Amazon Link ~ 
    
Click on the covers below to find these books on your local Amazon page
                                        


Snippet:

Courage is not a fleeting thing. It sucks what is deep inside you out, and feeds on fear.
It wasn’t until he came to the last turn in the cave that he heard the voices at the entrance. He tried to remember if he’d covered their footprints. He couldn’t. By the time he’d gotten here, the pain in his side was unbearable. He inched closer, straining to hear the words.
“…must be…”
“I know…this far.”
It sounded like Baard and Ulf, but he wasn’t sure. Whoever it was stood at the entrance. It sounded like they were trying to figure out if they’d come this way or another.
“There’s no one…”
“What about…blood…?”
“We must of…the…”
Cedwyn froze against the rocks. He knew it was them now. Somewhere they’d found the blood trail. Bloody hell. He never looked for that. He hadn’t even realized he was bleeding until he was nearly here.
Sweat broke out on his forehead. He wiped it off. His breathing came more rapid now. His chest hurt. If those two found them now, when they were so close to getting away…Squeezing his eyes shut, he concentrated on what he should do now. He had to know what was happening outside the cave.
A flutter of wings and the sound of hands slapping clothing accompanied the curses of the two.
“What the…?”
“It’s just bats, Ulf. Don’t go crazy. We’ve just startled them.”
“I hate bats. Nasty good for nothin’ creatures.”
“Let’s go back a ways. See if we missed something.”
“Right, those kids wouldn’t stay here. Those bats would’uv scared ‘em right out of their wits,” Ulf said.
“Sure, Ulf. Like they did you.” Baard’s chuckle sounded faint.
Cedwyn waited a moment and crept up to the corner. Holding his breath, he moved forward until he could peek around the edge. He saw…no one.




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