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.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Why I loved, "Blink of an Eye" by Gregg Luke

Childhood was a happy, carefree time for Joseph Ramirez. At least that's how he remembered. it. But after a near-fatal traffic accident leaves him with a crushed skull, he's not so sure. Along with physical pain, Joseph now suffers recurring nightmares. And each night the heart-wrenching dreams grow increasingly vivid and graphic, to the point that he often cries out in anguish and remorse, revealing horrifying secrets kept hidden for twenty years. To complicate matters, a ruthless lawyer is challenging Joseph's innocence in the traffic accident. When defense attorney Michelle Haas comes to his aid, they discover they knew each other as children, and soon another forgotten experience comes into play, one that goes deeper than simple friendship. Together they struggle to answer Joseph's unanswerable questions. Are Joseph's night terrors actually repressed memories? Can his psychiatrist unravel the mystery behind his nightmares, including his hospital roommate's claim that Joseph has confessed to murder? As the clock ticks down, Joseph realizes there is only one way to uncover the truth about his family and himself, reliving a past he has unknowingly worked all his life to forget.

I love all of Gregg Luke's books. The thing I like the most, is that they all
are very different. Blink of an Eye starts off with a bang! The first page
has one of the most wonderful hooks that I have ever read! The first line says,
"It happened in a blink of an eye". From there you find out how the main character, Joseph Ramirez, is in an almost fatal car wreck. Gregg is so wonderful at "showing" what happens, that you can almost feel the pain Joseph is going through right after the wreck. He has mastered the art of showing not telling. Something that I have been working really hard on

This book has so much in it; a mystery, a little romance, and a psychological thriller. Gregg writes Joseph as an empathetic character. Joseph has experienced such disturbing things in his childhood. His mind had blocked out these experiences until he had the brain injury. Though you do read of physical abuse, it is not as graphic as it could have been. This book is so realistic from the medical language to the situation of abuse in Joseph's background. Of course, anyone who has read Gregg Luke's books before, knows that Gregg has an extensive medical background with him being a Pharmacist. He is one of the best writers when it comes to writing about medical/drug related etc. situations.

Gregg brings out each characters personality in a big way. As a reader, you dislike his hospital roommate (I did from the start), you really like his attorney Michelle, you are angry at his drunken father who is the abuser and you shake your head at Joseph's mother for letting the abuse happen right in front of her. Though in her defense, she was being abused herself and was scared to stand up to her husband. This was a very emotional read.

Lastly, the highest compliment that I can give this book is, I call Blink of an Eye a "Pick up this book and you can't put it down until you are finished" novel. I predict that this book will be in the final five for a Whitney Award. In fact, this novel is a winner already from the amazing cover down to the last page. I loved it and am giving it 5 stars!

Here are some interesting things that Gregg Luke said about Blink of an Eye. (I found this on his website)


Writing Blink Of An Eye proved to be very enlightening. It turns out the science behind repressed memories, false memories, and hypnotic regression is not exact, which was good for me because it allowed greater artistic license. But I tried to stay as medically accurate as possible. Many people have asked the delicate question if this story is semi-autobiographical. The answer is no. The character of Joseph and what he experienced as a child is taken from psychology journals, text books, and interviews. Unfortunately, his experiences do represent real occurrences. The horrors some kids have to endure is disheartening. I tried to express that in my narrative, which proved to be more difficult than I expected. Blink ended up being a very emotional ride.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My review of, "No Such Thing As Dragons" By Philip Reeve

No Such Thing As DragonsNo Such Thing As Dragons by Philip Reeve

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was really excited to read, "No Such Thing As Dragons" by Philip Reeve. It was an OK book for me. It is only 186 pages long and I felt that if it had been longer, the author could have made the story bigger and more interesting. The thing I loved most about this book is the cover. It is bright and cries out saying "Read Me".

Here is a short blurb about the story:

A dragon story with a brilliant twist from multi-award-winning writer, PHILIP REEVE. Ansel's new master slays dragons for a living. He says he's hunted the monstrous worms all over Christendom and has the scars to prove it. But is Brock just a clever trickster in shining armour? Ansel is sure there are no such things as dragons. So what is the man-eating creature that makes its lair in the crags of Dragon Mountain? Ansel and Brock must climb the ice face to discover the terrifying truth.

Let me say though, I think this book is a great book for ages 9-12 who want to read a dragon story. The plot is not complicated and pretty straight forward. There are a few scenes that could be considered scary to some kids. The Dragon makes a fine meal of a horse and it is described in some detail.

I really liked the main character, the boy Ansel. He has so many good qualities,he is honest, brave and loyal; you can't help but like him. Now the "Dragon-slayer" that Ansel is sold to, Brock, is somewhat of a boorish braggart. I am sure that Reeve wanted people to dislike him a little, so he was written that way.

If you love books about Dragons, you will want to read this one. If you don't, you need to stick with my favorite Dragon books, The Dragon Slippers series by Jessica Day George.

View all my reviews

Monday, November 8, 2010

Meet Author Lori Nawyn

Today I want to tell you about a new book that is out called, "My Gift to You". Lori Nawyn is the author of this new book.

From the back of the book:

Trish Ingram works hard to maintain the perfect suburban household—or, at least, the appearance of one. By managing her outer world with lavish attention and rigid control, she’s able to ignore and conceal the darkness of her inner world, which is plagued by traumatic childhood memories of loss. Her terminally ill sister-in-law, Jamie, sees through the fa├žade and reaches out in love to Trish, inspiring her to seek a more meaningful life and a more authentic self. But the childhood scars run deep, and despite Trish’s best efforts, she’s unable to be the wife and mother her family needs.

Devastated by the departure of her husband and daughter, Trish faces the challenge and opportunity of a lifetime. She desires to move forward in faith, but this desire alone cannot mend her family's shattered trust. The hollow realm of denial and fear has been her safe haven. To confront pain and transcend the shadows of her past will require a level of courage she’s not sure she possesses. This gripping story of familial love and conflict tenderly reminds us that forgiveness—of self, and others—is both a difficult choice and a precious gift.

Why Lori wrote the book:

“My Gift to You” is about forgiving ourselves, despite what we perceive as our shortcomings.

When we judge ourselves as less than acceptable for any reason, small mistakes can cripple us with discouragement. It becomes easy to lose sight of our potential, as well as precious opportunities for growth.

I was an only child with ample time to ponder the intricacies of human behavior. At a young age, I became fascinated by the fact that while several people in my life were happy, upbeat, and in possession of inner peace in most if not all circumstances, some seemed inherently unhappy no matter what happened—good or bad. Money and possessions didn’t seem to have a bearing, and I wondered what did.

Though I’d been baptized when I was eight, my family didn’t attend church. If I wanted to go, I had to attend on my own. It took me a while to grasp gospel concepts, and I found that most of the time I was among those who were unhappy. About twenty years ago I decided to stop asking Why me? and instead start asking What if?

One by one, I replaced negative emotions with those of a positive nature. Instead of wondering why I couldn't make everyone around me happy—and becoming despondent because nothing I did seemed to change them or their opinions—I started asking things like, "What if happiness really is a choice? What if it can be my choice, no matter what anyone else thinks or feels?"

Instead of commiserating over why my extended family couldn't accept me for who I was and what I believed in, I asked myself, "What if I could choose my own thoughts and emotions based on what I know in my heart is right and true?" In short, "What if I accept myself for who I am?"

And, "What if I forgive—knowing that forgiveness doesn't mean acceptance?"
When I began writing “My Gift to You,” I decided I wanted my main character, Trish, to discover something important about herself: I wanted her to discover her own inner strengths and worth—much like I had when I began to unravel my own life.

Some of the things she hopes the book will lead the reader to consider:

What does charity mean? Why is it important we extend it to ourselves?

What can happen when we base our worth on what the world values? On what should we base our worth?

Why are women so hard on themselves? What defines true success?

What can result when we judge ourselves to be less than others? Why is important we have a clear sense of self and purpose?

Are cruelty and shallowness signs of strength, or weakness? Why can cruelty be the result of fear?

Here is where you get to "Meet Lori"

Lori Nawyn's award-winning writing has appeared in regional and national publications including Outside Bozeman, Segullah, Deseret News, CraziBeautiful Women, and Latter-Day Woman. She is also a columnist for her local paper and a former member of Utah Press Women. One of her short stories was published in the anthology Stolen Christmas. Her first novel, My Gift to You, was released in October 2010.

Lori is currently writing her next novel, Day, about a mother’s relationship with her son. She works as a freelance artist and is the illustrator of the award-winning children's picture book What Are You Thinking? which was released in July 2010 by Thoughts Alive Publishing. She and her fireman husband live in northern Utah where they enjoy spending time with their four children and two granddaughters, plus an assortment of dogs, rabbits, and chickens.

You can visit Lori on her website:
Or on one of her blogs:

I hope that you will check out Lori's new book. I can't wait to read it myself.

Monday, November 1, 2010

My Review of, "The Stories from the Life of Porter Rockwell" by John W. Rockwell and Jerry Borrowman

This weekend I read, "Stories from the Life of Porter Rockwell" by John W. Rockwell and Jerry Borrowman. I have never read a book about Porter Rockwell before and I have always wanted to. This book is a great one for those, like me, who want an easy, quick-read about Porter Rockwell.

I have read that some people who have reviewed this book did not like it. They said that this was not a very good biography of Porter Rockwell's life. I do not think that the authors would ever claim that this book is a true and full biography. It says right in the title, "Stories from the Life of Porter Rockwell". I felt it gave a wonderful insight to Porter and his relationship with the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Porter met Joseph Smith when he was six years old and Joseph was fourteen. They became instant friends and remained close until the Prophet Joseph Smith's death. Most people have only heard about him and the role he played as Joseph's bodyguard. He also sacrificed much for the church with his time and talents.

Porter was thrown into jail at Independence, Missouri and was there for nine months. The story goes that they thought they could bring Joseph Smith out of hiding to come and rescue Porter. Joseph never came, but the miracle behind his release is one that you must read. I also liked the chapter when he tried to make a jailbreak.

According to the author,when Porter came back to Nauvoo, the Prophet Joseph gave him a blessing. He placed his hands on Porter's shoulders and promised him in absolute and unmistakable language, that as "long as he was true and faithful to his covenants, to the church, and to his God, that no bullet or blade would ever harm him." As a token of his acceptance of this promise, he was never to cut his hair again. The author goes on to say that, this was a sacred and solemn pledge and one that would change Porter's life forever. It would give him the confidence to face the many life-threatening situations that would present themselves to Porter and the Saints.

I loved this book and I bought it for my dad for Father's Day. The amazing thing is that my dad, a non-reader, read this book really fast and wants to read it again.

I recommend this book to those who want an easy, quick read and for those who want to learn more about Porter Rockwell. I can assure you that you will be amazed by the man who was not only a loyal friend to the Prophet Joseph Smith, but also a true and faithful Latter Day Saint.