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, January 26, 2011

"What Do You Think About...Wednesday" With Tamara Hart Heiner

Today's "What Do You Think About...Wednesday" guest is author Tamara Hart Heiner. She is the author of the newly published book, "Perilous". She was the perfect person to answer today's questions and she did a very honest and thorough job.

What do you think about the challenges as a first time author and promoting your new book?

The biggest challenge for me was financial. I have lots of grand marketing plans, but they are pricey, and there’s no guarantee that I’ll get my money back. So I’ve had to think simpler, try and do as much free marketing as possible. I’ve still invested so much into this book, but I try to look at it as a privilege to have been published, even if I don’t ever break even. The other hard thing is that no matter how hard I try, I can’t make myself a household name. 99% of Americans have never heard of me. First time authors, and especially small press authors, rely on word of mouth. So if you like a book, talk about i!

What advice would you give other authors with books coming out soon?

Take advantage of the free promotional activities! Goodreads has lots of free stuff to help authors promote their books. Find high traffic blogs and ask to do a guest post. I’ve done this a lot and people are very willing. Look at books similar to yours on Amazon, find the reviewers that liked it, and ask them to read and review your book. Ebooks are great for things like that. Don’t plan grand, expensive events (like at book signings) because other people aren’t going to follow through, and you’ll have wasted money (been there ). And probably most importantly—don’t read the reviews. At least nothing below 4 stars. You’ll just end up telling yourself over and over again that opinions are subjective. And you’ll sit there and wonder what happened to your confidence. You must believe your book is good to promote it, so keep your spirits high!

Bio: Tamara Hart Heiner lives in Arkansas with her husband and three kids. Her Young Adult thriller, Perilous, was just released in November, 2011. Since she wrote the first draft to this book when she was 13, she spends a lot of time mentoring youth, encouraging them to follow their dreams.

Find her at her blog, Chasing Dreams (

You can purchase "Perilous" at"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesdays Teaching Moment: "Did You Ruin Your Child's Eating Habits?" By Charles Stuart Platkin, the Diet Detective

Today's teaching Moment:

One website I like to frequent is "Diet" where Charles Stuart Platkin teaches...

Think Before You Eat. I liked what he had to say about who is responsible for our children's bad/good eating habits. Hopefully you will gain some insight into this problem and ultimately be the best teacher and influence in your children's lives.

Did You Ruin Your Child’s Eating Habits?

"Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health analyzed studies published since 1980 that looked at children’s and parents’ dietary intake. What they found is that parents don't have as much influence as previously thought. Researchers believe that children's eating habits are influenced by many factors, including schools, local food"Diet Detec environment, government guidelines that regulate school meals "and the broader food environment that is influenced by food production, distribution and advertising.” This doesn't mean parents are off the hook — just that they’re not completely responsible. Parents should still set a good example and eat healthfully (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low–carb and low–fat) in front of their kids — it matters."

About Charles Stuart Platkin:

Charles Stuart Platkin, the Diet Detective, has made it his life's mission to help people lose weight and get healthy by encouraging them to think before they eat.
Charles Stuart Platkin, PhD, MPH, is one of the country's leading nutrition and public health advocates; his syndicated health, nutrition, and fitness column appears in more than 100 daily newspapers nationally, including the Honolulu Advertiser, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, and The State. Platkin is the host of WE tv's series, I Want To Save Your Life. He is also the founder and editor of the health and fitness network, (part of the Everyday Health Network), which offers nutrition, food, and fitness information along with a weight-loss program that provides customizable meal plans and fitness regimens that put his wellness principles into action. He is a health expert and blogger on and

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"What Do You Think About...Wednesday" With Christine Bryant

Today's "What Do you think about...Wednesday" question was given to writer Christine Bryant. She so graciously accepted the invitation and gave an outstanding answer.

"What do you think about the struggles of the submission process? How do you mentally get yourself through it?"

In a word—FRUSTRATING! It’s not that I mind the whole process. I actually enjoy researching each agent, learning more about them and what they are looking for. It’s not even the fact that each agent has their own submission guidelines. Doing the homework and knowing exactly what an agent or publisher is looking for is all part of the writing process. I get that. The frustrating part is trying to condense a 103,000 word novel into two paragraphs and make it ROCK the agent’s world. It doesn’t matter if you’ve written something that has the potential to be the next number one New York Times’ best seller. If you can’t write a query, your book won’t even be read by the agent. And if you can’t get a request for a partial or a full read on your manuscript, you won’t get published.

So, what’s an aspiring author to do? I think the key is to just keep plugging along. If the query doesn’t work after 10-15 agents have rejected it, rewrite it and send it out to a few more. If that doesn’t work, keep trying—over and over and over and OVER. Never give up! Not EVER! The secret to your success might be in the hands of the very NEXT agent.
To answer the second part of your question—how I deal with it mentally—well, some days it’s as easy as . . . CHOCOLATE! Other days may take a little more ego stroking by my fellow writing buddies. And, as always, a good old fashioned Pity Party never hurts. But even that can only last a short while, because getting back to the passion of writing is always the best medicine for a pile of rejection letters.
Thanks for having me Sheila. This has been fun.

Christine Bryant has always been a writer. Even before she could compose a single word with a pen, she scribbled her version of cursive along the open page, just to see what it looked like. She spent her teenage years swiping her father's old black Royal typewriter so her muse could breathe life into what her vivid imagination had created.
She's spent the last twenty-three years married to the man of her dreams and raising their two sons. After helping run the family restaurant for most of their marriage, Christine has finally broken away to pursue her dream of being an author.
When she's not with her family or tickling the computer keys, she loves camping, reading, scrapbooking, listening to all kinds of music, and making new friends.
Christine is currently living in the middle of sage brush and lava rock with a spectacular view of the Snake River Canyon in South Central Idaho.

If you would like to contact Christine or visit her at her blogs here is her information.

Christine (C.K.) Bryant

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesdays Teaching Moment:The Consequences of Life

Today's teaching moment comes from a book I am reading called, "How To Get Kids to Clean Their Rooms and Other Impossible Tasks: Ways to Help a Child be More Responsible" By The Parenting Resource Group with Dr. Henry Isaksen.

I wanted to share with you from the chapter which speaks of "The Consequences of Life". How do we teach our children or grandchildren about this very important concept? Here is the information I read in the book that is very good and practical.

"Many parents just love to step in and help their children work things out. And they like to impose punishments from outside situations. The parent may think if they don't get involved, how in the world will their child ever learn? There is a better way. Let the situation itself determine the consequences of the child's act. The approach : The use of natural and logical consequences.

Natural consequences: Where the child has to experience the consequences that will naturally flow from his act if no one else interferes. If he throws his food on the floor, he doesn't have any food anymore and goes hungry. The same with the child that doesn't want to eat breakfast before school; he goes hungry.

Logical Consequences: Where the parent intervenes to impose consequences that are logically connected to the child's behavior. These are generally used when there are no natural consequences; the child hits his little brother and the natural consequences is that the child get sent to his room. Where the natural consequence is harmful to the child , such as a child running in front of a car and gets hit; the parent rescues the child and imposes the logical consequences that the child doesn't get to play outside anymore.

The more a child experiences the results of his own actions, the more likely he/she will learn to be responsible for their actions. The parent who consistently creates artificial consequences (like spanking or yelling) will end up with a child (and later an adult) who is irresponsible. The child will see no connection between his behavior and the results of his behavior.

In the same way, the parent who consistently shelters his child from the results of his actions
is creating a person who doesn't recognize a responsibility for those actions. The child never learns that some acts can be harmful both to others and to himself."

Let me know what you think about todays teaching moment.

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Review of "Who's At The Door? A Memoir of Me and the Missionaries" By Dan Harrington

Experience the gospel in a new perspective while witnessing Dan Harrington's spiritual journey. Not just another tale of conversion, Dan reverently reveals the Mormon religion through a non-member's eyes as he reflects upon his experiences with missionaries and Church members, forges new friendships, and finds an unexpected common ground of faith. Find out who's at the door and see what can happen when you open it.

I really wasn't sure what to expect when I read this book. Would this book be the typical conversion story that so many others have already written? I have to tell you, that no, this is not your typical conversion story. In fact, this is not a conversion story at all. This instead is a story of gaining knowledge of other religions, acceptance of differences in thought and beliefs and friendships made from people from varied upbringings.

This book is very well written. Dan is a professional freelance writer and it shows. You are captured on the first page and drawn into the story immediately. I never had the opportunity to serve a mission, so this book was so fascinating for me. I was able to see what it is like to actually go out and find people to share the gospel with. The reader is also able to experience
the role of the investigator, who invites the missionaries in for the very first time.

Dan is very honest about his experiences with the missionaries and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints. I love to read memoirs and gain knowledge from others and what they experience. Dan went in full steam to learn about the missionaries and what they do. I thought it was wonderful that he went out tracting ( when missionaries go knocking from door to door to meet people) with the Elders. That really was one of my favorite chapters.

In chapter eight Dan tells of his interview with the captain of the local chapter of the Salvation Army. Most people just see them as the bell ringers at Christmas time with the red kettles. Dan pointed out,that most people don't realize that the Salvation Army is not just a charity, but it is also a church. He says how in the interview Captain Downs kept getting phone calls. They were from the police and the homeless shelter. A family had just lost their home in a fire and the shelter was full. Captain Downs explains how they would put the family in a motel for the night. I have to say that this impressed me so much!

One thing that Dan says at the end of the book is very profound:

"This tale is meant to be a human interest story. Battles over doctrine can be found everywhere, but a church is always more that its ideas or its ideals. It's also the people. "

This book IS about people: Dan, the missionaries, LDS members, and people of other faiths. I learned so much from this book and I know that you will too. It is funny at times and serious in other moments. It will make you think of life, religion and how accepting you are of others. It will also bring forward the fact, of how much your life will be enriched, when you open your door and your heart to others different from you and your faith. Thank you Dan, for presenting an avenue of awareness,that so many of us need in our lives.

You can buy Dan's book here at, Cedar Fort, and at Borders.
If you would like to read the first 15 pages of "Who's at the Door?" go here. Let me warn you though, once you start reading this book, you will want to finish it.

When Dan Harrington was 8 years old, he tried to interview a talking Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at Santa's Village in New Hampshire. With captivating questions such as "Exactly what Reindeer games do you play?" and "What's Santa's favorite cookie?" he drove a teenage employee crazy enough to say that Rudolph was sleepy and had to go to bed.

Harrington became a professional freelance writer many years later in 2007. His work has appeared in publications such as Village Soup, The Kennebec Journal, Inside Pro Wrestling/The Wrestler, Portland Magazine, and LDS Church News. He has written about everything from missionaries to extreme sports to law enforcement. He lives in central Maine.

Please go visit Dan at his blog and become a follower. He has some great posts there. You can also follow him on facebook.

I want to thank Cedar Fort for the review copy of this wonderful book. In no way did this influence the review given to the book. It is all Dan's fault for writing such a fantastic book.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bro. Jo's Guide to Relationships for Single Young Adults and Casual Dating for Teens

Walnut Springs Press has two books that anyone who is dating, and between the ages of 16- 30, will enjoy these books. After reading the book specifically for LDS Young Single Adults, I wished that I had read this book 18 years ago. I know that I will be reading up on it again if/when I start dating again. (Not that I am still a "Young" Single Adult, but there are still some great dating ideas for older people.

Speaking of dating, Bro. Jo also has a book for teenagers and how to casual date. This book is for the 16-19 crowd. Everyone with a teenager NEEDS this book! I know that my own children will be reading these books a lot! I have "talked" to Bro. Jo and he said he is working on a book about why 11-15 year olds should not date. I can't wait until that book is published.

So go ahead and check out these two great books by Bro. Jo.

Bro. Jo takes the guesswork out of relationships!

Most of us want to get sealed for time and all eternity someday, somehow, to someone. You may not be anywhere near ready, you may think you're ready but you're
not, you may be close, or you may have already arrived and are wondering, "Well, now what?" Wherever you're at, this book is here to help!

Finally, a gospel-centered book that's as frank as it is funny, from Dave Johnston, the writer of It's the fastest-growing advice blog for LDS teens and young single adults.

Here's what readers say about Bro Jo's advice:

"It just seems like Bro Jo knows stuff"

"Where was this guy when I was younger?"

"Hilarious! It would be even funnier if it weren't so gosh darn true."

"I really like your advice site and that you are brutally honest, down-to-earth, realistic, but spiritual too."

"What you just did ... hit me like a rock in the face. Thank you."

"I love what you do!"

Bro. Jo helps make dating fun!

So how do you "casual group date," and what you the guidelines you show follow? With "Bro Jo's Dating Rules for Teens (and their parents)," and with tip on planning fun and appropriate dates, you're all set!

Bro Jo gives helpful advice about lots of things, including:

How to get the attention of that guy or girl

Asking someone on a date

Getting someone to ask you on a date

Why the guy should plan, pick up, and pay

Kissing, hugging, and holding hands

Why we casual group date in the first place

You'll also find affordable date ideas, advice on how to keep the conversation going, and much more!

Brother Dave Johnston has been married since 1991; he and "Sister Jo" have seven children (four boys, a girl, a boy, and a girl). A Business Owner, Author, Speaker, and Teacher, Bro Jo has taught Youth Sunday School, Seminary and Institute for nearly two decades (which is impressive, 'cause he's not THAT old!) "Dear Bro Jo" now has over 10,000 readers from around the world!

You can reach Bro. Jo at his blog and check out the great things he has there. This is one website that you do want your teenager to go to.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What Do You Think About...Wednesday With Tristi Pinkston

Today's guest on "What Do You Think About...Wednesday" is author and editor Tristi Pinkston. Tristi Pinkston is the author of five published novels: "Nothing to Regret," "Strength to Endure," "Season of Sacrifice," "Agent in Old Lace" and "Secret Sisters."
When she's not writing, editing, or homeschooling her children, she enjoys reading, watching good movies, and taking really long naps.

"What do you think about finding/making the time to write?"

I have always believed that time is not found - it's made. Our lives are so busy that if we don't grab time by the horns and wrestle it to the ground, we never will be able to accomplish those "additional" goals we set for ourselves. Between laundry and carpool and paying bills and making dinner and going to work, every single second is taken up.

But when you know what you want, you find the energy to push a few things to the side and wedge in your writing time. Even if it's just ten minutes a day, you can squeeze it in there. The more you do that, the more you'll discover a spare five minutes here and another fifteen there that you didn't realize you had. It's a matter of staying focused on your goal, keeping your eyes on the prize, and having the courage to say "no" to the nonessential to make room for the things you most want in your life.

Thanks so much Tristi! I know I needed to read your advice and I am sure that others will feel the same way.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Guest Blogger: "Freak The Mighty" by Rodman Philbrick

(Re-read blog when finished with book)

This year I am going to be having guest bloggers. The first one blogging, is someone that I have been promising this opportunity to for a long time. My 12 year old daughter will be my guest today. She has inherited my disease and is also a voracious reader. Sometimes, I wonder what I have created, when I want her to be doing homework and she is upstairs reading instead. It is so hard to be angry with her about reading, while I am standing there with a book in my hand. You can see how this is a good and a bad thing.

Today, she will be blogging about a book that she read in her 7Th
grade Language Arts class. I will turn this over to her now.

Hi! I'm Elise! The book I'll be reviewing today is called Freak the Mighty. In this book is a wonderful story full of imagination and real world scenarios. (Pardon my large vocabulary.)
The first character we meet is Max. Max is about my age, but not nearly as bright. He is the voice of the book .(The one telling the story for those who don't know.) Max makes friends with a kid named Freak. But he first thought that Freak wanted to kill him.

"... Anyhow before I can say a word he pulls the trigger on that crutch and makes a weapon noise, and he goes,"Then die, earthling, die!" I motor out of there without saying a word. Because I'm pretty sure he really means it. The way he points that crutch is only part of it. You have to see the look in his eye. Man, that little dude really hates me. He wants me to die!"
If you were, or are in a Learning Disabilities class, then you know
how it was to be Max. However, if you were, or are intelligent
beyond your years, you are more like Freak.
Either way, I know you will love this book.

And that's the truth, the whole truth.

The unvanquished truth.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 100+ Reading Challenge

It is that time of the year again when we make new goals for ourselves. One goal I am setting for myself is the 100+ Reading Challenge for 2011. I ended last years challenge with 101 books read for the year. I think I will set my goal for next year to read...125 books!!! I know, sounds very crazy doesn't it? I completed my goal for 2010 on December 28th. Even if I don't complete the challenge, it will be fun participating. I also want to spend more time writing this year, so something will have to give. I will be posting, here at my blog, the books that I read. You can check back here to see how I am doing.

1. Sweet Misfortune: A Novel By Kevin Alan Milne
2. The Road Show By Braden Bell
3. Finding Mercie By Blaine Yorgason
4. The Rogue Shop By Michael Knudsen
5. Promise Me By Richard Paul Evans