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.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge April 2011

I have signed up to participate in the A-Z Blogging Challenge. There are almost 1000 people that have signed up. I was #936 and I bet there will be many more. This is a great time to find new fellow bloggers and follow some new blogs. If you are visiting here for the first time, leave a comment so I can get to know you. Every Day (Except on Sundays) all of us will be blogging about a topic that starts with that day's letter. This should be a great writing exercise for me. If you are brave, sign up and participate.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My review of "Alma The Younger" by Heather B. Moore

My rating: 4 1/2 of 5 stars

Alma the Younger is another powerful book about Book Of Mormon Prophets and their people. The writing is so good that I just marvel at Heather's storytelling skills. There are times, I forget about the main story to re-read a line or two again. I want to study Heather's writing skills before jumping back into the story. There is a good reason that Heather is an award winning author. She knows how to write and does it very well. I also enjoy taking classes from her at writing conferences.

The story of Alma the Younger, was brought to life for me in ways I have never imagined before. The enormity of his evil doing and rebelliousness shook me. I also felt the same way when the Angel of the Lord struck him dumb. This has always been one of my favorite stories in the Book of Mormon. I also loved getting to know the other characters better such as Ammon and Aaron. I still am amazed at the strength of Alma the Elder and King Mosiah. I applaud Heather, for once again, presenting a Book of Mormon story that is scripturally sound and retains the true spirit found in the original story.

I highly recommend this 4 1/2 star book to all LDS readers, and those of other faiths who enjoy a great story of love and redemption. I also recommend that you read Abinadi and Alma by the same author. They come first chronologically, and will help many things make more sense in your reading of Alma the Younger.

Please go to Heather's website to learn more about her, her books and her writing advice.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"What Do You Think About...Wednesday" Writing Mysteries with Stephanie Black

Today's guest for "What Do You Think About...Wednesday" is author Stephanie Black. She is a two time Whitney Award winner for her mysteries Fool Me Twice and Methods of Madness. She is also the author of The Believer and Cold As Ice.; which is a finalist in the mystery category for the The Whitney Award this year.

"What do you think about writing mysteries? What is the easiest/hardest part about writing mystery/suspense?”

I think writing mystery/suspense is a lot of fun
—and a lot of work. It’s exciting when a new story starts to take shape,
and exciting to see it get better and better as it goes through new drafts. I’ve always enjoyed reading a suspenseful story that gets me to the point where I don’t want to put it down—must find out what happens!—and if I can create that experience for a reader, that’s very satisfying.

What’s the easiest part? Um . . . not sure about that. Formatting the document is pretty easy . . . I know how to do double spacing and page numbers . . .

The hardest part? I think every mystery author would have a different answer for this. For me, the hardest part is coming up with the story idea in the first place. That takes a lot of brainstorming. I type ideas into a brainstorming file until I finally begin to find and mold a story. After I brainstorm up the initial ideas, sketch out some characters, and make a rough outline, I’m ready to begin the first draft—but that first draft will involve a ton of brainstorming along the way as the story develops. When I get stuck or don’t know what scene to write next, brainstorming is a good way for me to get the story moving again.

Thank you Stephanie for being my guest today and giving such award winning answers.
You can visit Stephanie at her website to learn more about her and her books.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hazzardous Universe by Julie Wright and Kevin Wasden: Win a Copy!

A guy who works in his grandfather's magic shop expects weird things to happen. But Hap Hazzard has never had a day like this. First, a freaky old man in a cape who calls himself "Torval" visits the shop and somehow makes a trash can explode. Then Torval delivers an ominous message to Hap's grandfather, upsetting the old man so badly that he yells at Hap for the first time ever. Next, this girl Tara shows up to apply for a job, and for reasons Hap can't understand, his cool magic tricks send her away in tears. But that's nothing compared to what happens next. Under orders to apologize to Tara, Hap searches for the girl. But he can barely say he's sorry before three spaceships appear, the biggest of the three looking like a burnt slice of pizza.

The weirdness only ramps up as Hap and Tara soon find themselves aboard the pizza-shaped ship piloted by a pair of aliens. Even though they were accidentally abducted, the two humans are now forced to join an out-of-this-world mission that includes razor-toothed multilingual beetles, a psychic queen bee, manic ape frogs, a coveted crystal, and a hundred other bizarre things that just might make sense-if Hap could only remember and understand Torval's cryptic message. Join Hap and Tara as they begin a fantastic journey into the far reaches of the universe

I have been anxiously awaiting the debut of Hazzardous Universe it is the first of a four-book series that is fun and exciting for young readers. Paired with excellent illustrations, the book invites readers on an imaginative journey to discover the truth about aliens. I will be posting a review of the book and an interview with Julie Wright in a few weeks. I think that this book will be a wonderful read for kids (and adults) of all ages.

If you would like to win a free copy of this book, you need to head on over to Julie's website and see what you need to do.

This is from Julie's site with information about the launch party this Wednesday night:

The launch party for Hazzard Universe Book has finally been set in stone! It will be held at: Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Murray UT. On the corner of 5300 S and State St on Wednesday, March 9th from 6-8 pm. Kevin Wasden and I would be thrilled to have you join us to celebrate the beginnings of this series with us. We’ll have light refreshments, some door prizes, and be signing books!

Deseret News also featured this book in today's paper. Go and read what they had to say.

I hope that you will be able to attend the launch party. I know that I am planning on going.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Blog Tour Review of Journey of Honor: A Love Story by Jaclyn M. Hawkes

Disowned, she came to America anyway. Attacked and left pregnant by a vicious mob, she still pressed on. Finally, in spite of being accused of theft by the vilest of her attackers, Giselle tries to remain as upbeat and uncomplaining as a prairie wildflower as she travels on to Zion.Thoroughly disillusioned with the ugliness and cruelty of slavery in the South, Trace Grayson leaves his young medical career to go west, hoping to leave bigotry and hatred behind. He begins taking goods by teamster train to sell in the territories. However, this fourth time across, in July of 1848, he's stuck in St. Joseph, Missouri, waiting for enough wagons to join the train so that they can leave.Knowing that if they don't start west soon, they'll be caught by snow in the mountains, Trace is thrilled when the final wagon signs on. Then, when the beautiful, young Dutch girl traveling with the last wagon is falsely accused of stealing and is detained, the whole trip is jeopardized. Thrown together by circumstance, Trace and Giselle team up to begin to figure out just how to make this epic journey across a continent a success.With a deep sense of honor and an equally strong sense of humor, together they learn to deal with everything except the one trial that neither of them can overcome.

This book is not your typical pioneer story. Even though this is a story based on pioneers heading to Zion and crossing the plains, the book deals more with the characters and their own personal struggles. There are many other facets included in this novel, along with a love story a little bit juicier than those published by the big LDS publishers. Though nothing is vulgar, there is more kissing and snuggling/spooning that a married couple share. There are also some scenes with violent situations.

With the struggles associated with pioneers and their journeys across the plains, there are deaths and struggles portrayed. Along with this, there are many uplifting spiritual experiences that the characters have along the way. LDS principles are discussed and those not familiar with them may be a little lost. I still recommend this book. I truly loved the two main characters Giselle, a member of the LDS church and Trace a non-member. Though they both are proud and don't always discuss their feelings with each other, they do share a strong love. Both of them are very likable and this story mainly focuses on them and getting to know each other. I also loved Trace's adopted brother Mose and Giselle's Grandparents Josiah and Petja. There is a very humorous ongoing sub-story about a Native American brave who "wants" Giselle. I don't want to tell you more for fear of ruining the plot here.

For those wanting a true historical novel of pioneer journeys may not like this book as much. I classify this book as a romance novel with an LDS historical background. So, you romance lovers will find a great read in Journey of Honor.

I was given a review copy of this book by the publisher. In no way did this influence the review that was given.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Blog Tour Review of Dearly Departed by Tristi Pinkston; Also an Interview with Tristi

From funeral crashers to wheelchair races, to hiding in closets and hogtying the bad guys. These are just some of the very funny things that happen in Dearly Departed. The reader picks up this ne

Tristi Pinkston is at her best, as she let's her natural humor pour out in the pages of Dearly Departed. Everyone who picks up this book will have a blast reading it. I do recommend that you read the first book in the series entitled Secret Sisters. This book could stand alone on it's own
fabulous feet, but you learn so much more about each character if you read book number one.

I had some extra things I wanted to know about this book and future books in the series. So I bring to you my interview with author Tristi Pinkston.

1. Was it hard coming up with ideas for Dearly Departed? Or did you have this book
planned out when you wrote Secret Sisters?

I didn't have it planned out to start. I knew I wanted to keep writing about these little ladies, but I didn't have any of the plots planned out. They just came to me one at a time as I went along.

2. Do you have a fun time writing about Ida Mae and her adventures?

Oh, man, I've had the time of my life. These characters have brightened up my life in ways I can't even begin to explain.

3. Will we see a lot more romance in the next book in the series? Will Ida Mae's friendship with George turn into a romance?

Well, I don't want to give away too much, but I will say that certain seeds have been planted and we will see them start to sprout in the next book.

4. Will Arlette and Tansy take bigger roles in the plot next time? Will we see more
of Hattie?

Arlette and Tansy will always play strong supporting characters, but we won't see Hattie again until a brief appearance until book #5.

5. Have your plans changed for how many books you are going to write in the
Secret Sisters series?

Not at this point. I had originally envisioned five, and that seems to be where we landed. Of course, if sales were to do outrageously well on books 1-5, maybe we'd change it up a little. :) I am currently writing a spin-off series, though.

Thank Tristi!!

Guess What? You can win a copy of Dearly Departed from the publisher, Walnut Springs Press. You only have until March 6th to enter if you haven't done so already. Read all of the information down below.

Ida Mae Babbitt rides again!
Ida Mae Babbitt may be a reformed woman, but trouble
just can't stay away.
Follow the blog tour for
Dearly Departed by Tristi Pinkston and learn
about Ida Mae's latest adventure.

We will be giving away THREE copies of Dearly Departed . One
GRAND PRIZE winner will win this fun

scrapbooking pack.

It's easy to enter.

1. Visit the fabulous reviews and leave a comment letting us know why you're excited to read
Dearly Departed. Remember to include your email address.

2. For an additional entry become a follower of
Walnut Springs Pressblog, Tristi's blog, or any of the fabulous reviews blog. Leave a comment letting us know who's blog you now follow.

3. If you tweet about the blog tour, or post about it on your blog or facebook, leave the link in the comments section and you'll receive an additional entry for each post.

Good Luck! Entries close at midnight (MST) on March 6th.

February 16th
Starcrossed Book Reviews (Nichole Giles)

Febraury 17

(Karlene Browning)

February 18
Heather Justesen

February 21
Elizabeth Mueller

February 22
LDS Women's Book Review (Shanda Cottam)

February 23
Rachelle Writes (Rachelle Christensen)

Sometimes Hard But Oh So Worth It (Kimberly Coates)

February 24
Fire and Ice (Heather Gardner)

February 28
Cheryl's Book Nook (Cheryl Koch)

March 1
JDP News (Joyce DiPastena)

March 2
LDS Forever Friends (Teri Rodeman)

March 3
Why Not? Because I Said So (Sheila Staley)

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. In no way did this influence the review given.

What Do You Think About...Wednesday With Melissa Cunningham

Today's "What Do You Think About...Wednesday" question is being answered by one of my favorite friends, Author Melissa Cunningham. She is answering the question, What do you think about moods and how they affect your writing?

My dear friend, Sheila, called me today and asked for an emergency 'step-in' for her blog. I was happy to help, especially after she gave me the topic. “Can you write about your opinions on 'mood?”
Well, I'm female, so I more than qualify to have opinions and moods!

I'm mainly supposed to focus on how my moods affect my writing. I figure I'm like most other people, since we are all part of the human race, so hopefully what I say will ring true for you to some degree.

First of all, I have huge mood swings. I don't know if it's because I'm female (which would be what my husband would say) or because I have a personality disorder (which he might say also), but depending on how I feel, my writings soars or sinks.

I find it very difficult to be creative when I'm under stress about things unrelated to writing. If one of my kids is struggling, if I haven't planned my Sunday school lesson, or if I haven't worked out, I can't write, or at least write well. I try, but my brain won't focus. My mind wanders and find I'm getting more done of facebook than my current manuscript.

The remedy is this . . . . Get done what you need done before you sit down at the computer. Work out. We should all be doing that anyway considering how much our tushes are in the computer chair. I find that it clears my head better than anything.

There are times when I like to listen to music as I write. Mostly new age or classical. I've tried to write to rock and roll, but let's face it. I end up singing the words, then typing them down and we all know that none of my characters are going to say, “So, so what! I am a rock star!” Okay, well maybe they would, but you get what I'm saying.

So get your snacks ready, shut your door, and let the juices flow. If you're not mentally there—prepared and psyched, your work will show it. We all have moods. Make sure you're in the right one to write.

You can visit Melissa at her blog here. Thanks for being my guest today!!

Short Bio: I'm a mom with five kids. My husband and I own a plumbing business. I started writing about three and a half years ago, and haven't looked back since. I love it! It fulfills me. I wish I
would have started sooner, but better late than never. I'm in a fabulous critique group which I credit most of my success. A good critique group is priceless. Hopefully I can sell my books before I die. I'd like to enjoy the fame before I'm six feet under.