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 »

2024 Goodreads Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge
Sheila has read 4 books toward her goal of 100 books.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Review of "Poison Study" by Maria V. Synder

I finished Poison Study last night. It ended with a bang! I am so glad that I stuck with this book. It turned out to be a great story. In fact, I might have given this book 5 stars, if it would have had a faster start for me. I had a hard time getting into the book. A little over a 1/3 of the way through, it took off. The story starts slow, but builds up momentum like a steam train. You can guess some things in the plot, but I was happy there were some surprises at the end.

I also learned to like and respect Yelena more, the tragic heroine, as the storyline progressed. It's like people say, you shouldn't judge others from first impressions. As I learned more about Yelena, and what she had been through up to this point in her young life, I liked her more. Snyder does a great job of developing her main character into someone very likable. This is good because she was too cold and gruff for me at first. I had no reason to care about her at the beginning. That changed as the reasons for her rough demeanor and outlook were explained.

I also truly enjoyed the supporting characters in this story. They helped flesh out the storyline and added color to the novel. Some of the characters I enjoyed are the soldiers, Janco and Ari, the chief of security, Valek, the seamstress Dilana and even the mysterious and moody baker/chef Rand.

This book, though marketed as YA Fantasy, does contain some adult themes and scenes. So if you are worried at all about an early teen or tween reading this book, read it first. All in all, it was a great read and I have already started reading the second book in the series called, "Magic Study".

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Review of "PickUp Games" by Marcia Mickelson

After reading "PickUp Games" I was happily surprised. It was very different than my initial impressions. The title does not go with the book, it is so much deeper than what is suggested. Here is a quick description of the book found on Goodreads:

When Mick Webber gets a new job hosting a college basketball show, he is less than thrilled to learn he will be co-hosting with Cara Jones, a pretty brunette trying to get over her failed engagement. From the start it is clear the two will not be playing nice, and work soon turns into a battlefield. But as the season progresses and the two are forced to work together more closely, they begin to see that first impressions can often be deceiving. In this riveting story about the game of love, you'll find yourself holding your breath to see what the scoreboard says when the clock runs out.

I loved the way Marcia wrote the romance between Mick and Cara. It progressed at a real life pace, which was very refreshing for a novel. So many times, writers portray two people, that hate each other, falling in love quickly. You will not find that here. Mick and Cara adjust to each others personalities and grow to care about each other once they let go of their past. Everyone carries baggage in their lives, as did the main characters. As they learn to let go of their past disappointments and fears, the romance begins to blossom.

Marcia wrote a book that young and old will enjoy. Let me also point out two things:

#1 I stayed up to read the last several chapters even though I was dead tired. Very good indication of a good book.

#2 I had a smile on my face when I finished the book. The ending was very satisfying and I was happy to have stayed up late reading it.

If you are looking for a romance with a little competition, heartache, forgiveness and new beginnings, "PickUp Games"is the book for you. If you have never read a book by Marcia you will be happy to have found a great new author.

On her website this is what it said about Marcia:

"Marcia was born in Guatemala and moved to the U.S. when she was an infant. She and her family moved around a bit while in elementary school and lived in Louisiana, Texas, and New Jersey. She started writing her first novel during her senior year of high school.

She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in American Studies. She met her husband, Nolan, at BYU and they were married in 1994. Marcia did almost no writing (other than the requisite college assignments) in college or during the first several years of marriage. After she graduated, they moved to Ogden, Utah where her husband finished up his degree at Weber State University.

During that time, Marcia worked in Salt Lake running a foster care program for a non-profit organization, Centro de la Familia de Utah. Although it was heart-wrenching at times, it was a rewarding experience in. After Nolan graduated, Marcia talked him into moving back to New Jersey. He’s always been a Yankees fan, so that sweetened the deal a bit. They had two sons while in New Jersey.

When they moved to San Antonio, Marcia stopped working and that made it possible for her to start writing again. For two years straight, she wrote almost every night and finished several novels. She also had another son along the way.

After having three novels rejected by a few publishers, Marcia finally received a contract with Cedar Fort. Star Shining Brightly was the first novel to be published. The second novel, Reasonable Doubt, was released in December 2007. The third novel, Pick Up Games, will be published in May 2009. Marcia also has another novel in the revision stages and half a dozen story ideas swirling around in her head."

You can find more information about Marcia and her books at her website

or at her blog

Please also check out my other blog post at LDS Women's Book Review blogspot, on Father's Day and gift suggestions at

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Winner of Annette Lyon's book is....

Thank you everyone who entered the drawing. I was so pleased at the response I received. It is great to have new followers join me here at my blog. I hope that you will continue sharing with your friends and family about me here at "Why Not Because I Said So".

Now to the winner..... Congratulations Connie Hall !!!

I will let Annette Lyon know that you are the winner so she can sign your book before it is sent to you. Please send me an e-mail at with your address. Your copy of
"There, Their, They're: A No-Tears Guide to Grammar From the Word Nerd"will be on it's way soon. Hopefully I will be having another give away soon. If there is any author out there, that would like their book featured in a giveaway here at my blog, please let me know. I would be happy to promote your book here at my site.

One last thing I wanted to share with you today. I have noticed several books that kids at my school are reading and enjoying. The one that has been read the most recently in my class is the
"Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series. The boys in my 2nd grade classroom can not get enough of these books. They are choosing to read these books together when they get free time. They can play learning games, do art etc. They are choosing to spend their time sharing their favorite parts of these books with their friends.

Here is a wonderful review I found by Kim Dare, for The School Library Journal:

From School Library Journal Grade 5–8—Greg Heffley has actually been on the scene for more than two years. Created by an online game developer, he has starred in a Web book of the same name on since May 2004. This print version is just as engaging. Kinney does a masterful job of making the mundane life of boys on the brink of adolescence hilarious. Greg is a conflicted soul: he wants to do the right thing, but the constant quest for status and girls seems to undermine his every effort. His attempts to prove his worthiness in the popularity race (he estimates he's currently ranked 52nd or 53rd) are constantly foiled by well-meaning parents, a younger and older brother, and nerdy friends. While Greg is not the most principled protagonist, it is his very obliviousness to his faults that makes him such an appealing hero. Kinney's background as a cartoonist is apparent in this hybrid book that falls somewhere between traditional prose and graphic novel. It offers some of the same adventures as the Web book, but there are enough new subplots to entertain Funbrain followers. This version is more pared down, and the pace moves quickly. The first of three installments, it is an excellent choice for reluctant readers, but more experienced readers will also find much to enjoy and relate to in one seventh grader's view of the everyday trials and tribulations of middle school.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

I know it says it is recommended for 5th-8th graders, but I have several advanced readers that love this series. If you have a boy who likes to read, check these out at the library or purchase at local book stores or I think that even girls would enjoy these books, I just have not seen any in my class reading them yet. Let me know if you have a girl who has read and enjoyed them.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Last day to enter drawing and a movie review

A reminder to those who have not entered the drawing yet, today is the last day to do so. If you didn't take advantage of the four ways to enter the drawing to win Annette Lyon's new book, "There, Their, They're: A No-Tears Guide to Grammar From the Word Nerd" you can still do that today.
So, here are the rules of how to enter to win this book....

1-Link my blog to yours. If you already have done that, guess what? You already have one entry in the drawing. Just let me know so I can go to your blog to check it out.

2-Sign up to become a follower of my blog. If you already are a follower, that is an automatic entry for you.

3-Tell others about this contest on your blog, Twitter or facebook. Then send me the link.

4.Comment here at my blog why you think you really need this book.

The winner will be announced some time on Monday. Good luck everyone!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Blog Tour Post for "Agent In Old Lace"

I have mentioned before how much I love being asked to be part of a blog tour for a new book. This time author, Tristi Pinkston, asked me to join the blog tour for her new book, "Agent in Old Lace". Not only was it exciting because I would get to read a great book, but I would also get to associate with Tristi.

Let me tell you a little about "Agent in Old Lace":[agentmedium.JPG]

Shannon Tanner s perfect life is turned on end when she discovers her boyfriend, Mark, is not what he seems. Fearing for her safety, she enlists the FBI, who puts its best man on the job Rick Holden, who dons a dress and goes undercover as Shannon s roommate. For a while it seems that life is safe again, until Mark kidnaps Shannon s best friend. Shannon realizes the only way to save her friend and herself is to send Rick, her only protection, away. Agent in Old Lace is a thrilling combination of action, suspense, and romance that will keep you turning the pages until the end.

I thought the blurb from the book described the plot line perfectly. I have to add it is true that you do keep turning the pages quickly and can't stop. This book is so well written. You get so involved, you forget you are reading a story. The characters are also very believable. So many times, authors make their characters so perfect that the normal reader can not relate to them. Not the case here and you even care very deeply about them. That is always the clincher for me when an author truly makes me care about their characters. This holds true whether I am reading a romance, mystery or fantasy book.

Now on to my interview with Tristi Pinkston.

1.Why do you write?

Writing fills a need for me that I can't seem to fill any other way. I
need time to just be myself and to recharge, and that's what writing does
for me. It reboots my brain and gives me strength for all my other
challenges. Plus, it keeps the voices in my head from getting too loud.

2.How long have you wanted to be a writer?

I don't remember a time in my whole life when I didn't want to be a writer.
I did go through that ballerina phase all little girls seem to go through,
but deep down, it was writing that really did it for me.

3.When do you find the time to write?

Time isn't found - it's carved out, usually with fingernails and teeth. I
write a little bit here and there throughout the day, but I do the bulk of
my writing between 9 and 12 at night, sometimes later, depending on how
long it takes to get the children to bed. I'm sleep-deprived almost all
the time, but you've gotta make room for the things that are important to
you, and for me, it's not a sacrifice when I'm doing something I love to

4.Tell us how you came up with the idea to write "Agent in Old Lace"?

This book went through so many metamorphoses, it doesn't look anything like
how it started out. I got the idea from watching a news story about some
hikers who were lost on a mountain and how they used landmarks to find
their way back down. Then I got to thinking, what if you were on a
mountain in an unfamiliar place? How would you use landmarks if you didn't
know what the landmarks were? It just sort of went from there, but after
so much rewriting, those original elements got buried along the way. The
rest just sort of ... came.

5.How was your experience different writing a mystery?
Do you have plans
to write more mysteries?
You did a wonderful job!

It was very different to write a mystery. There was so little research
involved compared to my historical novels. I did talk to a nurse for
medical information and so forth, but most of my time was spent writing and
revising, rather than researching. It allowed me to explore different
facets of myself and to concentrate a little more on the craft of writing.

I do plan to write more mysteries - in fact, I have a new mystery series
starting this fall, and I'm really excited about it. It's called "Secret
Sisters," and I think you're really going to love it.

6.I really liked your main character Shannon Tanner.
She was gutsy, but
also had a vulnerable side.
I could relate to this character quite a bit.

Is she a lot like you?

Shannon is very different from me. She's a lot stronger, emotionally, than
I am. She's single, a returned missionary, knowledgeable about math and
money, a career woman, she's skinny. I've been married since I was
nineteen, I have four children, never served a mission (although I'm
currently filling a part-time service mission for the Church) I'm clueless
when it comes to math - and as far as the skinny goes, we'll just say, I'm
not. But there are a lot of traits Shannon has that I would like to
develop within myself. I think the main thing Shannon and I do have in
common are frequent headaches, but mine are diet-related. Shannon doesn't
know what causes hers.

7.There is a lot of humor in "Agent in Old Lace".
I know that you are a
very humorous person.
Was this an easy aspect to write in the story?
had many funny things happen to agent Rick Holden.

The humor is by far my favorite part of the story and the easiest to write.
Once I opened up those floodgates, it just came pouring out.

8.The thing I liked most about your new novel,
is that the storyline was
very unpredictable.
You had your readers guessing throughout most of the

How did you master this technique so well?

I've read a lot of mysteries. In fact, cozy mysteries are one of my
favorite things to read. They're always full of red herrings, the truth is
always hidden away behind logical explanations, and just when you think
you've solved the crime, something pops up to stop you. I just
incorporated those principles into writing the book. It was a lot of fun.

Some of my readers have said they figured it out toward the beginning, but
that's okay. This isn't a traditional mystery where the author has failed
if the reader guesses too soon - this is a character-based story where you
go along with the characters for the ride and watch them figure it out for

9.Are you planning on writing a sequel to "Agent in Old Lace"?
I think
most people would love to see more of Shannon and Rick.

I have a plot idea kicking around in my head, but I'm not sure if I am or
am not going to use it for Rick and Shannon. I had planned to make "Agent
in Old Lace" a stand-alone and to give this plot to different characters.
I think the jury is out on that one.

10.What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Sit down and write instead of just talking about doing it, banish those
little negative voices in the back of your head, learn from criticism but
don't internalize it, and don't give up.

11.Are you excited about being in charge of next year's
LDS Storymakers
Could you share with us anything different or
unique that you
are planning for the conference?

I am very excited. When we first started the conference in 2004, I was in
charge then as well, and it's amazing to me to think of the growth we've
experienced since then. Every year is bigger, better, more exciting, more
informative, and I look forward to the conferences like nothing else all
year long. We have seen a lot of our participants go on to be published,
and it's so cool to cheer them on.

As far as different and unique, the very nature of our conference is
different from all others out there. We focus on interpersonal
relationships and a genuine desire to see our participants succeed. We
don't have an attitude of competition - we want everyone to achieve their
goals and we're willing to help them in any way we can.

This next year, we will be offering even more classes, some for the very
beginning beginners and some for the way more advanced. We've got some
really great guest speakers coming in (I'm not spilling any beans yet, just
in case we have to adjust things) but I can tell you that the conference
is on April 23rd and 24th at the Provo Marriott. Registration will be live
at by December 1st, and you will want to
register a room at that time if you want one. We must get our reservations
in early because it's also BYU graduation. Instructions for all that will
be on the Storymaker site.

12.One last there a dream book that
you hope to write some
day or have you already written it?

I've already written the book I think I was made an author to write. It's
called "Season of Sacrifice" and it's the true story of my
great-great-grandfather who engineered the passage through the Hole in the
in southern Utah. If I never wrote another thing, I feel I would have
fulfilled my role with that book.

However, I am still writing and still loving it. I have so many ideas for
books, there's no way I'll ever have time to write all of them. But I'm
good with that.

Thank you Tristi for letting me be part of your blog tour.
I really loved
reading "Agent in Old Lace".
I think that you are a fantastic writer!!

Aw, thank you! I appreciate that a lot. Thank you for hosting me!


That is about it! Please let me know if you have read "Agent in Old Lace" an what you thought about it!

I also want to remind everyone about the contest going on right now at my blog. You can win a copy of Annette Lyon's new book and the details are listed down below on the previous blog entry. The contest ends on Sunday, June 14th, 2009. Thank you to all who have already entered the drawing and signed up to follow my blog.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Win a copy of Annette Lyon's new book: There, Their, They're: A No-Tears Guide to Grammar From the Word Nerd

Author Annette Lyon has generously donated a copy of her new book, There, Their, They're: A No-Tears Guide to Grammar From the Word Nerd. This is a great book for anyone to own whether you are a writer or a parent helping your child with their homework. I have been using it a lot ever since my pre-ordered copy came in the mail.

Annette, is known in the LDS Writer's circle as the Queen of Grammar. She has often helped her fellow writers in the editing process. Author Tristi Pinkston had something funny to say about this:

" I shall remember the countless grammar questions she has answered for me over the years.

I actually think I'm the inspiration behind her new book, "There, Their, They're: A No-Tears Guide to Grammar from the Word Nerd." She didn't say as much in the introduction - in fact, I think she said she wrote the book in response to popular demand on her blog - but I'm sure that was just her polite way of saying, "Tristi, stop e-mailing me already."

course I highly doubt Annette was bothered by Tristi's questions. I do feel that Annette has given the world a nice present with her book. So that is why I am very happy to be giving someone a chance to win her new book. Here is a good explanation of the book:

"Finally: a book with clear and easy explanations of your most common grammar, usage, and punctuation questions. There, Their, They're: A No-Tears Guide to Grammar from the Word Nerd cuts the convoluted terminology and explains things in a way anyone can understand. The Word Nerd-as the author is affectionately called because of her "Word Nerd Wednesday" blog series-is known for her ability to help even the most frustrated writer get it."

So, here are the rules of how to enter to win this book....

1-Link my blog to yours. If you already have done that, guess what? You already have one entry in the drawing. Just let me know so I can go to your blog to check it out.

2-Sign up to become a follower of my blog. If you already are a follower, that is an automatic entry for you.

3-Tell others about this contest on your blog, Twitter or facebook. Then send me the link.

4.Comment here at my blog why you think you really need this book.

OK, there are four ways to get your name into the drawing, so get busy. You have until Sunday, June 14, 2009 10:00 p.m. to enter the contest.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Coming Soon: a contest to win a newly released book!

I am so excited to be having my first drawing on my blog. Details will be coming soon for your chance to win a book by a great author. This is a recent release that will be wanted by most writers, professional and those not so professional. Check back here soon so you can see what you can win and what you will need to do to win!

I also wanted to tell you about a wonderful article, in this past Sunday's Deseret News, in the Life Etc. arts section.(May 31, 2009) The article features Jessica Day George, Shannon Hale and Mette Ivie Harrison. The article states,"Three local authors are gaining far-reaching reputations with their fantasy novels" This is a great article with some super interviews. Of course I was thrilled to see one of my favorite authors Jessica day George there (BTW fabulous picture of you Jessica!!)

Jessica in the article, said about writing for Young Adults,"You have to have a lot more action and a tighter story line." But she also likes weaving in "moral issues. The heroes are always honest, courageous, good to their friends. There are amazing moral lessons, but you learn them in a good way."

Shannon Hale said something that I totally agree with, "Fantasy has always been popular, "she says,"I do think we are in a golden age of children's literature. Some of the most talented writers around are writing it...So much of fantasy is about adventure, about confronting the unknown, about learning what is possible and conquering fears and hoping for a positive, happy ending."

Another quote, by Mettie Ivie Harrison, speaks to my heart and how I feel about reading, "Whatever else series like Harry Potter and Twilight have done, "she says,"they started the tradition of adults and children reading the same books and talking about them, We've been missing that in families."

I know I have mentioned before, but I grew up in a family where my Mom would read to all of us at night. We would be gathered somewhere around the living room, before bedtime, while my Mom would be reading classics to us. Did this bring us closer to our Mom? Yes, we grew to love the intimate setting our mother created, along with establishing the love of reading in all of us. I have been so proud to continue this tradition with my own children. What did we do for fun on Saturday afternoon? I took them to the book launch for Jessica Day George's new book, "Dragon Spear". Did they have a good time? I believe they did and there isn't a better place I would rather hang out in than a book store.

To read more of the article in the Deseret News go to:

I also want to thank Carma Wadley, of the Deseret News, for her outstanding interviews and article. E-mail Carma to let her know what you thought and if you want to read more interviews with the superb local authors living in Utah.

I also want to give credit to Stuart Johnson, Deseret News photographer, for taking such a fantastic picture of Jessica!