Sheila's Books Read

Sheila's bookshelf: read

The Best Intentions
Scotland's Melody
The Secret Society of Salzburg
Secret of the Sonnets
20-40-60-Minute Dinners: Meals to Match the Time You Have
Through the Wilderness: My Journey of Redemption and Healing in the American Wild
Secret Santa Claus Club: A Tool to Help Parents Unwrap the Secret of Santa
Mr. Pudgins
Revenge Never Rests
The Best Mistake
Meriden Park
More Inspirational Stories for Young Women
The Great Tree: A Christmas Fable
To Capture His Heart
The Call of the Sea
Livvy and the Enchanted Woodland
Come, Gentle Night
The Bad Boy Theory
Guide To Smart Wedding Planning: What You want to know and everything you haven't thought of yet.

Sheila's favorite books »

2023 Goodreads Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge
Sheila has read 3 books toward her goal of 100 books.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Winner's from the Farworld Blog Tour!!

Congrats to Jennifer G. and Claudia M. for being the winners from the Farworld Blog Tour book contest! Both of these ladies entries were drawn out by J. Scott Savage. The drawing was done during the LDS Womens Book Review podcast recording. Our guests,Friday night, were J. Scott Savage, author of Farworld: Waterkeep and James Dashner, author of The 13th Reality:The Journal of Curious Letters. Jennifer G. also won a copy of The 13th Reality. Both of our lucky winners had commented on my blog, at the LDS Womens Book Review website. It pays to enter the book contests and make comments on the site.

I will soon be posting my review of The 13th Reality and my Q & A I did with James Dashner. I have some good things to say about this great book and it's very talented author! Until then...Keep Reading and remember that J. Scott Savage's book Farworld: Waterkeep will be out, for all of the rest of you, in September!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back-To-School Time

It's hard to believe, but it's that time of year again. Those of us with year round school get to experience this before traditional schools do.

My kids start back next week. I have had "Back-to-School" on my mind a lot. Between back to school shopping, haircuts, "normal" bedtimes" being reinstated, I have been trying to prepare for the big day. As always, I search the Internet for new ideas to make this season fun and exciting. I did not have to look far when I headed over to a favorite place I search often, They have some fabulous ideas all at one site to get you and your children ready for the new school year.

The first thing that caught my eye was: "Great Breakfasts and Morning Time Savers". I don't know about your house, but mornings are not the most pleasant time of the day. Biggest problem is Mom is not a morning person...but, despite this I am always looking for ideas to get everyone out the door faster and still in a cheery mood. I liked all of the ideas for healthy, but fast breakfasts, to feed your kids. Mine were actually interested in this recipe (believe it or not, and I have picky eaters)

Banana Dog

You won't find this fruity impostor at a ball game or backyard barbecue, but it sure makes a doggone wholesome "fast food" breakfast.Check out other fun ideas for A Better Breakfast.
Whole-grain hot dog bun
Peanut butter
Wheat germ or sunflower seeds
1. Simply spread a whole-grain hot dog bun with peanut butter, sprinkle with wheat germ or sunflower seeds, and top with a whole, peeled banana and a squiggle of jam.
2.Add a side of milk to round out the meal.
Variation: For a Banana Burrito, substitute a tortilla for the bun.

We will also be trying out many of the other recipes that are there.

Another idea that appealed to my "Let's make this year the best one ever" was the section called, "Morning Rush Hour Time Savers". It had suggestions for

- Keeping organized(the best revenge ever)

-Plan Ahead

-Making it Fun

-Keeping track of Things

-Getting the Kids Involved

-Lunch Inspirations

One idea that I am going to try to Motivate my kids in the morning is this woman's idea:

For my girls, ages 5 and 11, I place a cup with 5 quarters in it, one for each day of the week, along with a list of "to-do" items for getting ready in the morning (brush hair, eat breakfast, brush teeth, take inhaler and vitamins, put snacks in backpack, make sure they have lunch or lunch money, make bed, etc.). If they forget something or I have to tell them twice, then one quarter is taken out of the cup. However much is left on Friday morning is all theirs. Some people see this as bribery; I see it as well worth the $2.50 to avoid morning chaos. This worked well for my family all last year. Submitted by: Michele R

Other categories found on the site include, A+ lunches and Snacks, Back to school crafts, Fun stuff to make and wear, School year guide for parents and many more great things that you need to head over there to read.

Hopefully,this has made you excited about the new school year; knowing that there is somewhere you can go to help you make some great new plans for the new year. I for one, am always open to trying new things if it will make my life run a little smoother.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Organized Parent

Book: The Organized Parent: 365 Simple Solutions to Managing Your Home, Your Time and Your Family's Life

Author: Christina Baglivi Tinglof

Publisher: Contemporary Books (2002)

I have been reading a very good non-fiction (yes I do read non-fiction at times) book called "The Organized Parent". I like this title, "The Organized Parent" versus being a "Disorganized Parent". There are many days when I feel more disorganized than organized. Life seems to take over at times and the whole idea of structure at my house falls apart. So I often pick up books that will change my life and turn me into a brand new, super organized, person. Sometimes they help and other times they fall flat with me.


From household chaos to orderly oasis.

{In this indispensable book, noted parenting author Christina Baglivi Tinglof helps busy parents create an organized and efficient home and schedule. By tackling parent-specific organizational problems, Tinglof shows you how to take control of your daily life so you can actually spend time with your kids—and even have some time left for yourself. From conquering morning chaos and messy closets to meal planning and learning to say "no," The Organized Parent offers effective solutions that fit your schedule and your budget. Start with a Quick Fix—something you can accomplish right away with minimum effort and expense—or take on a Major Tune Up—a project that takes a bit more time or cash but has a long-range payoff. Whichever you choose, you'll discover that you can meet a range of challenges, including:

-Controlling kid clutter

-Organizing school papers and childhood memorabilia

-Staying on top of bills

-Making the most of the space you have

-Planning stress-free parties and vacations

-Scheduling appointments

-Simplifying housecleaning

-Creating task zones in the kitchen, bathroom, garage, and attic

-Choosing the best organizing products

. . . And much more
Style Tips, Time Savers, and a resource section listing websites and catalogs help you get organized. Arranged alphabetically, this easy-to-use book will be a lifesaver for parents who crave order in their hectic lives.}

The best thing about this book is how easy it is to read and use. The actual book is so organized, that you can find help for any problem that may be hindering your life. Let's say your closets are a mess, go to the chapter titled closets, and you can find sub-headings such as Key Organizing tips, Quick Fixes and Major Tune-Ups. Any solution is right at your fingertips, so you do not need to search too hard for what you are looking for.

I borrowed this book from the public library. Would I recommend this book to others? Yes! I will probably even buy a copy of this; that is how useful I found this book. The bigger I seeing a difference around my home because of reading this book? Today I cleaned out my son's closet, bagged up two huge sacks of too small clothes, tossed out another large bag of old and broken hangers. Now all of my son's clothes are organized according to pants, long sleeved shirts, short sleeved shirts, church clothes and nice outfits(shirt and pants/shorts together) that are easily chosen for when school starts in a week. I also cleaned out his dresser, adding to the bags of give aways.

The Organized Parent is well worth your time, and I know how precious every minute is as a parent. I would much rather be doing something fun with my kids, than cleaning up constantly. If a book can help me accomplish this, then it scores high with me.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Interview with author, J. Scott Savage for the Farworld Blog Tour

Interview with author, J. Scott Savage for the Farworld Blog Tour

I had the pleasure of interviewing my friend, author, J. Scott Savage on his new fantasy book, Farworld: Waterkeep. Come read all of the great things I discovered about the new book, his writing and if he were magical, what chore would he do using his powers. Read more.....

Farworld: Waterkeep is a book that has two, unlikely heroes, that come together to save Farworld. Master Therapass, a master wizard, clues our two teens in on, The Dark Circle, who want to take over Farworld and beyond. It is up to Marcus and Kyja to face the evil Summoners, who can command the living and the dead, the Unmakers, invisible creatures that can destroy both body and soul and the Thrathkin S'Bae, who are just downright creepy. You travel along with Marcus and Kyja as they search for the mythical elementals-water, land, air and fire- to convince them to help them open a drift between both of their worlds, Earth and Farworld. To quote the back of the book, "Along the way, Marcus and Kyja will discover the truth about their own heritage, the strength of their friendship, and the depths of their unique powers."

This is the first, out of a 5-book series, where Marcus and Kyja will journey across Farworld and Earth having many adventures along the way.I loved this book, not only for the great story written, but the wonderful messages one can gain from the lessons Marcus and Kyja learn along the way. This is the kind of book that you can read as an adult and really like, or read it along with your kids and discuss. I know that your kids between the ages of 8-15 will really like this a lot, but I also feel that anyone that loves fantasy, of any age, will also love this book.J. Scott has used all of the elements that make a fantasy book readable, enjoyable and last through the years. You have your good guys, your bad guys, ugly and scary creatures and an older Master/Wizard that guides his young tutors along the way. There is a new world filled with creatures, plant life and magical qualities you haven't read about before in other books. This is a book that I will read over and over again; especially before each new book comes out in the series.

**Here is the official interview that took place, for the Farworld Blog Tour.
Many bloggers took J. Scott Savage to virtual exotic locations for the interview, not me; I invited him to the virtual location of my kitchen and family room
S: Sorry that we are not going anywhere exotic, we are just meeting here at my house. Things have been busy here.
JS: That works.S: Excellent! Would you like a cheese sandwich like I fixed for my kids?
JS: With mustard please
S: I have loads of's your lucky day!
JS: Cool!
S: I have to say, I have a younger brother that has been in a wheelchair all of his life. It is good to see a character with an outward, "disability" shown as someone so "able"
JS: I wanted to have real characters with real problems. Lots of people see Marcus's disability. But Kyja's is just as real in her world. The thing I want people to understand is that it's not a gimmick. It's a vital part of the story and will have a bigger role as we go on.
S: I know my brother will appreciate seeing a character like this in a novel. Good job!
JS: Thanks! It was funny, because I was told it would be harder to make this book into a movie. But I don't write movies, I write books. And I think Marcus is such a stud that you aren't constantly thinking, oh he is "disabled". No, he is a tough, gutsy kid, who has real issues like all of us. I hope kids get that.
S: You have a lot of "WOW" quotes in your book. Did you set out to write so many meaningful, teachable lessons when you wrote Waterkeep? I have a whole, letter size page of quotes I wrote down as I was reading the book.
JS: No. I didn't even think about that until the published asked me to do a discussion questions section. If you try to write messages into your story it turns preachy. But, if you just write a good story, the messages bubble up to the top.
S: One that I like says, "Sometimes the things we view as our biggest weaknesses turn out to be our biggest strengths." How is this true in your life?
JS: In my experience the things that have come easily I tend to take for granted. The things that come the hardest, end up being the most valuable and lasting the longest. I ran cross country after my mission. When I started out I came in last place every race and practice. But I never advanced so quickly as when everyone else was stronger and faster. I don't know that Marcus and Kyja believe that yet.
S: Hopefully they will learn this as they go along trying to save Farworld.
JS: If they don't, they will be in for a long slow journey. You can learn it the easy way or the hard way.
S: Oh, look what we are watching on TV? The Jetsons on Cartoon Network. My kids like the Jetsons.
JS: I love the Jetsons. What's the name of George's boss? Mr. Quiggly or something like that?
S: The bosses’ name is 6 year old just told me.
JS: Ahh.. Right, Spacely, I should have remembered that! Tell your 6 year old thanks!
S: I was intrigued with the "Aptura discerna"...the all Seeing Eye, how did you come up with that?
JS: It's funny that you ask about the Aptura discerna. When I first started writing that chapter, I wrote that the only light came from a stained glass window at the top of the room. When I got to the part where Kyja would see Marcus, I closed my eyes and just saw the window climb down off the wall. A lot of my stories come together like that. You start to think, am I writing this or just watching it?
S: That is a great I writing this or just watching it? Wow! You have such an interesting mind!
JS: Strange is more like it.
S: My 6 year old wants to know if you want to play Monster trucks with him?
JS: Oh yeah, I am into trucks. Are these the indestructible Tonka's that are plastic?
S: Nope, they are Hot Wheels. Still pretty cool!Do you realize how hard it has been for me to come up with some new questions that haven't already been asked on the tour?
JS: Ha ha! Yeah. Imagine trying to find different ways of answering how I come up with ideas or character names.
S: Will we see Master Therapass again? Please say yes?
JS: Well, if he is dead it would be nice to have a proper funeral, right?
S: Please yes, a nice funeral..But I don't want him to be dead...I can't take anymore more of that, after Dumbledore died in HP 6 and the slaughter in HP 7. This is the reason I really want Master Therapass to be alive.
JS: Okay, this will probably get me in trouble, but I HATED how JK Rowling did deaths. The only one that I thought was done well was Dobby. She either skimmed over them or made them totally inconsequential. If you are going to kill one of my favorite characters, I want them to go out in a blaze of glory with guns blazing. I guess that gives you a small hint that Master Therapass might not be dead, huh? No going out with a whimper.
S: Yes! I like this! There is still hope. I totally agree with you about how JKR handled the deaths....I asked my 6 year old who was on the front cover of your book (which I think is beautiful!! High five to Brandon Dorman) and he said, "Blue people, like the smurfs"
JS: Little known fact, the artist actually based Cascade's picture on me without a shirt...and if you believe that...
S: Trying to type here … LOL!! Sorry... while wiping the tears off of my face!!!
JS: Okay, it wasn't THAT funny!
S: Going on....Will we ever find out about Marcus and Kyja's parents/families?
JS: We will learn more.
S: That was a short answer.
JS: Good cop out?
S: Yes, that was an excellent cop out.Will our two heroes be "jumping" (is that the word?) anywhere fun in the next book? Maybe you could have them show up somewhere exciting like Disneyland or Lagoon?
JS: Hmm... I hadn’t thought of that. More of book two will take place in Farworld, but earth will play a much bigger role in future books.
S: Think how exciting it would be for the bad guys to be chasing our two young friends all over an amusement park, follow them on the rides etc.?
JS: Not to mention the fact that I could write off my tickets. Good deal.
S: Speaking of bad guys/monsters, have you come up with some more strange and yucky creatures?
JS: Oh yeah! I am so pumped about book two. It reminds me a lot of HP, book 4, which was one of my favorites of the series. Lots of new creatures, cool twists and characters you don’t expect to return.
S: I also loved book 4…You did such an excellent job creating the creatures of Farworld, very impressive!
JS: Thanks. I wanted to combine basic earth creatures, farm animals, etc. with creatures that you’ve never seen or heard of before. I like the classical fantasy elements, but by creating brand new creatures (not unicorns, Cyclopes’, etc.) it puts you in a position where you feel like you are exploring a new world; not just visiting one you already know about. With Waterkeep, I hoped to have the reader feel a little disoriented. The elementals should always come as somewhat of a surprise.
S: I think that you accomplished just that, many surprises that made me want to keep reading and want to read more in the next book.
JS: In the first book I wanted to have engaging characters that you cared about. Enough action to pull even slow readers all the way through; and a sense that there is much more to learn and explore. Everything isn’t explained or wrapped up, but you have enough closure that you don’t feel left totally hanging. Just like the Harry Potter, the world get’s deeper and more interesting as you continue through the series.
S: When people mention your book, what do you hope they say about it? Can you think of some key words?
JS: I’d go for: exciting, scary, surprising and fun, with at least a little intrigue. What are we watching now?
S: I liked the words you chose. We are now watching the Flintstones.
JS: Yabba dabba doo!
S: We are reliving our childhood Jeff.
JS: Too true. Is underdog far behind?
S: I don’t think so! JS: Trivia...What was the name of the bad guy on Underdog? (JS gave me the answer, but if you leave your guess here on the site that will count as one entry into the contest to try and win your own copy of Farworld: Waterkeep)
S: If you could use magic to do any job/chore what would it be? Mine would be cleaning the bathrooms.
JS: weeding
S: Who is the character Olden based on?
JS: Another thing I like to do in my stories is play with role expectations. You have here the wisest, oldest tree; Olden. You expect a big, majestic, male tree. Instead, you get this cranky old woman. I think Olden is the woman who always chased the kids out of her yard with a broom. But, if you were really nice, you could sweet talk her into giving you your ball back.
S: Very good, I imagined the same. So is that Dashner Dude going to be showing up in your next book? I think I remember seeing your name in his latest book?
JS: It’s possible. He is definitely a character in my next Shandra Covington book, along with another author, Rob Wells. Funny cops who get into trouble.
S: I love that! It should be hilarious! Are you and Dashner going to behave when you come to podcast with us in a few weeks? Or are we going to have to separate the two of you?
JS: Very unlikely!!! You haven’t seen us together before.
S: I have too…at the Whitney Awards.
JS: Ahh…good point. Then you have a clue.
S: That’s why I asked the question. J JS: J S: Best part of being a writer is….
JS: The tons of money that just comes down on you like rain.
S: Yes that is in your future
JS: But since that never happens…the best part is when someone comes up to you and says “I love the part in your book when…” and you can totally see in their eyes that you made a connection.
S: Worst part of being a writer…
JS: When you have a great idea in your head, but you just can’t seem to get it onto paper with the same power that you saw it in your mind.
S: I can see how frustrating that would be. Man, I should have had you helping me fold laundry as we sat here. You could still make the jello for dinner tonight before you leave? Or would you like some berry cobbler?
JS: I am a terrible laundry folder, but an excellent dessert chef. I actually was a cook in a French restaurant when I was 16.
S: Serious?
JS: Yep.
S: That is a J. Scott Savage/Jeff Savage/ Mr. Savage fact I have never heard before. What am I supposed to call you these days anyhow?
JS: Hey, I am a font of mystery. You can call me anything, but late for dinner.
S: Thanks for coming and it was great to have you here in my home. I know that you new book will do very well. I stick by the five stars I gave it at
JS: Thank you!!! I’ll take the five stars. Tell your 6 year old that we need to play trucks again real soon.
S: I will do that! The drawing for the book give away will take place on the night of the podcast, August 15th. You will get to draw the winning name.
JS: Nice!
S: Live drawing, while we are recording!
JS: Pressure is on now.
S: Thanks so much! We will see you again on August 15th.
JS: You’re welcome. Thanks for having me and I look forward to seeing you at the podcast.
Contest details: Remember, if you would like to win your own, advanced copy of Farworld: Waterkeep,You need to do either or both of the following things#1 Comment on something discussed during the interview; say the answer to the Underdog trivia question. This will give you one entry in the contest. Another way to enter the contest is to........
#2 Leave some questions for J. Scott Savage or James Dashner (who is coming with Jeff for the August podcast). Jeff has written many LDS fiction books and James has written many YA fiction books
Go check out both of their websites, they are both wonderful authors. Back to #2...we will read your questions, for Jeff and James, during the podcast and each question asked will be another entry in the contest. I will have Jeff pick the winning name during the August podcast.So get busy and enter the contest! You only have until 5:00 p.m MST on August 15th, 2008.PS- If you don't see your Underdog answer in the comments below, it's because we want to see how many of you guess it correctly. Your entry still counts so keep submitting your questions and comments!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My Review of "The Zookeeper's Wife"

Book: The Zookeeper's Wife
Author: Diane Ackerman
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company (2007)

Being a history buff, I thought that I would like this book more than I did. It is an account of a real life couple that survived WWII, while living in Warsaw, Poland.

They ran the zoo in Warsaw before the war started. I found the Zabinskis, Polish Christians, very interesting and courageous people. They secretly harbored many Polish Jews that might have otherwise been carted off to the death camps.

The author, Diane Ackerman, is a good writer, but I felt like she kept steering off track. I read this book mainly to learn about the Zabinski's experiences, not necessarily other aspects of WWII. When I want to read a book just about the war, I will choose one. I found myself wandering through the pages until the story came back to Jan and Antonina. I did enjoy when she described the many people that stayed with the Zabinskis and how they enriched each other's lives through the harsh realities of WWII.

Jan and Antonina were some of the unsung heroes that saved over 300 lives during the Nazi's cruel reign in Europe.

I recommend this book to all who enjoy reading about history, specifically WWII.I also recommend it to those who want to read about two people, who sacrificed much, for people they didn't even know; that aspect alone is worth the read.

Why Not? Because I Said So!

How many times each day does this come out of my mouth? It really is rather silly, "Just because I said so" Logically this doesn't make a lot of sense to my kids, it's just another way I say "NO".

I think in the future I would rather this phrase mean , "Yes, listen to me because I really know what I am talking about" or "Listen to my point of view to see the idea from a new perspective". My hopes for this blog is exactly that, I want to be able to really say something and have people listen because they believe what I have to say or want to broaden their own horizons on a certain issue.

I feel we all have a lot to learn by listening to each other; and not just listening so we can have a turn to talk. How many times have you been "talking" to someone and you know they haven't heard a word you have said. Instead they were formulating a comeback or story to top what you just said. I quickly get frustrated by having these conversations with non-listeners/talkers.
Is this what is wrong with our world as a whole? We have become talkers instead of listeners? I believe that this is a skill we must all develop in order to effectively communicate with others.

So...why not? Drop on by to listen...because I said so!