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.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Dark C.A.R.M.A. Giveaway! This is HUGE!!!

Dark C.A.R.M.A. Tour


Here is all of the information that you need to find out how to enter to win some fabulous prizes. You must not miss out on this. Also, make sure that you become a follower of their blog. There are some great authors with some wonderful books that I need to read soon. It is so exciting!! Go Here!

FINALLY!! Christine's AWESOME Giveaway!

That's right. The best is always saved for last. 
Just don't tell the other Dark C.A.R.M.A. girls I said that. ;-)

So let's get to it, already.

Here's what I'm giving away.


A Hand BOUND Journal!
Isn't it beautiful?
This was made by Paulette Inman at 700 Blank Pages.

And you'll also get a signed copy of my debut novel, BOUND.

And I'll throw in some SWAG!


We're all about rewarding our loyal followers, but we need more of you.
We are currently at 179 followers.
When we get to 200, I'll give this prize package away.

Firelight, by Sophie Jordan (hardcover)
Darkspell, by Elizabeth Mueller (ebook)
(includes a fun phone chat with author)
Indelible, by Lani Woodland (signed hardcover)
BOUND, by moi (ebook)
with SWAG


Now it's time to get out the BAD BOYS!
Spread the word, this one's gonna knock your socks off.
Tweet, Facebook & BLOG about us, because if we can get to
by the end of this drawing, I'm giving these HOT HUNKS away!

Destined, by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast (hardcover)

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans

Touch, by Jus Accardo (hardcover)


BOUND, by moi (ebook)

So, that's it folks. Spread the world. The more followers we get, the more prize packages get unlocked to be given away. 

There you have it!! Head on over to join the fun and enter to win.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Review of Double Deceit by Stephanie Humphreys

Back Cover Blurb
As a young widow, all Elaina Bryant wants is a fresh start. Determined to put ten painful years behind her, she returns to her hometown and moves in with her sister, Natalie.

Elaina soon accepts a job working at a small bookstore owned by the handsome Ryan Hill and his mother. Despite her reluctance to become romantically involved with anyone, she is drawn to Ryan and finds herself falling in love.

But someone isn’t happy with Elaina’s new life and is watching her every move. Her tormentor seems determined to destroy her sanity and her future, but Elaina can’t convince anyone the threat is real. Natalie is preoccupied with her own blossoming romance, and Ryan and Elaina’s friend Peter seem to believe the threat has been manufactured in her own mind—a result of her guilt and grief.

Now Elaina’s plans for a new start are crashing down around her. She knows she will have to find the answers on her own before she can ever overcome the past and enjoy love and happiness again. But how can she protect those she loves when she doesn’t know whom to trust?

Three words are found in big letters on the back of the book, "Someone is Watching..." Right off, those words tend to creep me out. As you keep reading the story, you realize that Elaina is in trouble, and someone is not only watching her, but trying to drive her crazy. As the tormentor continues to break into her home, steal things and harasses her on the phone, the more anxious you become as a reader. People are not believing Elaina and think that she might be losing her sanity. As I read, I could even see how her sister, her boyfriend and best friend got the impression that she was in need of a good psychiatrist. 

Not to contribute to the bad impression of Elaina, let me say, she had a lot to be stressed over. Her abusive husband and 18 month old daughter had been killed in a car accident. Her whole world had been taken away from her, the good and the bad. 

One of the things I really liked about this book was the constant angst that was there. There is the feeling that something is off, but you and Elaina just can't figure it out. Stephanie wrote this part of the novel so well, that you find you are as uptight as the main character. Elaina is also the most well developed character in the novel. Elaina's love interest, Ryan, is not as developed, but you learned enough about him to make him interesting,without taking away from Elaina's story. Also, I think Stephanie kept him somewhat a mystery to make him more mysterious and a possible suspect. 

The Romance and the kisses are a nice addition to Double Deceit. None of it is over the top and still allows the suspense to take the front seat. The main characters in the story are LDS, but this is not a doctrinal book at all, but focuses more about values and trusting in God again. Even though many of the chapters are centered around everyday events like going to work, this book is well paced and it was a fast read. I felt like there was always momentum with the storyline. As far as who the stalker is? Stephanie will place several people in line, but there is one person who will stand out more than the rest. When I did figure out in chapter 36, who Elaina's tormentor was, I shouted, yes shouted, that I couldn't believe it! It is kind of shocking when the truth comes out!

You will love Double Deceit, if you enjoy reading an angst filled mystery, thrown in with a crazy stalker and topped off with a handsome boss,who is also a good kisser. Well done Stephanie!  I hope that you will write more mystery/suspense books. 

This book gets 4 1/2 stars from me!

You can purchase Double Deceit here at Deseret Book or at

Learn more about Stephanie Humphreys and her books here at her website and visit her blog here. 

***I received a review copy of Double Deceit from Walnut Springs Press. In no way did this influence the review that was given. ***

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Review of "Obsession" by Traci Hunter Abramson

From the Back Cover:

Pop singer Kendra Blake grew up in the spotlight as the daughter of a prominent actor. Now famous in her own right, she’s had enough with bodyguards shadowing her every move. So when a bomb goes off backstage at one of her concerts, she gives in to her urge to flee. In search of the privacy she’s lacked her whole life, Kendra escapes to a remote cabin in Arizona. Little does she know, FBI agent Charlie Whitmore has been assigned to keep her safe and is staying right across the street.

Stranded in severe weather, the two develop a friendship that hovers on the verge of romance—with Charlie frantically trying to keep his personal and work life separate and Kendra enjoying a new-found freedom from her glamorous world. But when law officials discover that there may be a link between a notorious serial killer and Kendra, she has far greater concerns than her independence.

Obsession is another great novel written by Traci Hunter Abramson. This book is more mystery, than action. It also is a novel about relationships and learning to love and trust again.

Some of the things I liked the most in this novel were the main characters Kendra, the pop singer being stalked and Charlie, the FBI agent assigned to protect her.  Both characters have baggage in their past that threatens a possible romance between them. Traci always does a great job with character development. She writes characters that the reader learns to care about quickly. Kendra, even though she is famous, is sweet and vulnerable. Charlie, though deeply hurt in the past from a failed engagement, is caring and willing to open his heart.  Watching Kendra and Charlie interact is not only fun, but you will be cheering them on to connect.

Traci sets up many possible people as the stalker and possible serial killer. Either I am getting better at figuring who the bad guy is, or this one was easier to solve. But I knew over half way in who Kendra’s stalker was. Fellow reviewer, Mindy, told me she had also figured out the stalker early on. The main mystery for me was how he would attack and if Charlie would be able to protect Kendra. There is great action at the end that resolves the novel nicely.

I recommend Obsession to readers that love a novel filled with a blooming romance, mysterious stalkers, FBI agents and finding God again in your life. Nice job to Traci on another well written novel that her fans will not want to miss reading.

***For those of you that are already big fans of Traci, you will be excited to hear this news from her blog...

"I always love getting good news and a couple of weeks ago my editor gave me the news I was waiting for, the news I was hoping for. The manuscript I had submitted has been accepted. Royal Secrets, a spin-off of Royal Target, is expected to come out in February, 2012. Yeah!

I know a lot of people wanted me to write a true sequel to Royal Target, and I did try. But then there were these two other characters, Prince Stefano and Alora DeSanto. 
They're very interesting characters, both in the way they developed as well as the way they hijacked the story. I had planned on them being minor characters, maybe part of a fun subplot. They had other ideas. So needless to say, this story isn't quite what I had planned, which only proves that I shouldn't try to plan what I'm writing. It never turns out the way I expect anyway."

To read more about Traci and her books, go to her website here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Book Adventure: A Reading Site for Kids

I am always on the lookout for fun sites for kids. Book Adventure is one that I think most parents will like, as will their kids. 

Here is the blurb on the website:

"Book Adventure is a fun, free way to motivate your child to read! Kids in grades K-8 can find a book, take quizzes on what they've read, and earn prizes for their reading success. Start your reading adventure"

One of the features I really like on this site is that kids can make their own book lists. I love and love keeping track of my books. Here is what it says the kids can do...

Create and save your own Booklists!

Login to your account and select "My Booklists" where you can create new booklists. You can create a one for Mysteries or Animals or titles by your favorite author or any combination you desire. Once a booklist is created, you can add more books, delete books or delete the booklist completely.

Another fun feature is that your child can take quizzes on books they have read.

"Take a quiz on any of the nearly 8,000 books on Book Adventure to earn points toward the prizes you can find in the Prize Library! Search by title, author last name, or ISBN to find quizzes for the books you’ve read. The quizzes for kindergarten – grade 2 books will have five (5) questions; grade 3 and up books will have ten (10) questions."

There are three different ways that you can join the site:
-As a child
-As an Educator
-As a Parent

I joined as a teacher and I have been impressed with the resources available to me. I can create quizzes and booklists just for my class to log in and do.

One last thing I wanted to share with you is a booklist I found on the site. This list is a "Back to School" list for each grade.

Back to School Booklist

Check out these school-themed books as you head back to school this year!
Grade 1 Alphabet City by Stephen T. Johnson
Berenstain Bears Go to School
by Jan and Stan Berenstain
Welcome Back to School!
Grade 2 How Much Is a Million by David M. Schwartz and Stephen Kellogg
Math Curse
by Lane Smith and Jon Scieszka
Grade 3 Back to School with Betsy by Carolyn Haywood
A Day in the Life of a Teacher
by Mary Bowman-Kruhm
Grade 4 Fourth Grade Wizards by Barthe Declements
Sideways Stories From Wayside School
by Louis Sachar
Grade 5 School Spirit by Johanna Hurwitz and Karen M. Dugan
The Snake Scientist
by Sy Montgomery
Grade 6 50 American Heroes Every Kid Should Meet by Dennis Denenberg and Lorraine Roscoe
Middle School Blues
by Lou Kassem
Grade 7 The Day They Came to Arrest the Book by Nat Hentoff
Friday Night Lights
by H.G. Bissinger

This site is sponsored by  Sylvan Learning Center. In no way am I associated with the company or trying to sell their products. I just really like what I saw on this website.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Authorpalooza Time!!! Today at Barnes and Noble!

I am excited to be going to Authorpalooza today. It is always fun to go and support all of my author friends and meet new authors. If you have not been to an Authorpalooza event yet, today is your chance. Here are the important details from Barnes and Noble. Hope to see you there!

Author Event
It's time for our fall Authorpalooza. Don't miss the chance to meet your favorite local authors and see their newest works. We have several new authors attending as well, so you might just find some new favorites.
Saturday October 22, 2011 1:00-4:00 PM

University Crossings Plaza
330 East 1300 South, Orem, UT 84058, 801-229-1611

Special Instructions
Authors attending include: Jessica Day George, G.G. Vandagriff, Frank Cole, Wendy Paul, Kim Justesen, Kristen Chandler, Laura Powell, Nancy Miles, Debbie Hulet, Marry Muller, Nichole Giles, Russell Estlack, Taylor Hartley, Marilyn Brown, Paul Talbot, Carla Kelly, Tristi Pinkston and many more!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Review of The Outer Edge of Heaven: A Love Story by Jaclyn M. Hawkes

Filled with colorful characters of all shapes, sizes and species, including an orphaned baby pig, most of the Langston family put the fun in dysfunctional, give or take a couple of black sheep. There's one in every family, isn't there? Add to that glorious scenery, a horse of her own, and one extremely attractive cousin rancher, Luke Langston, and it makes for a summer Charlie will never forget. Which might not be a good thing. She has the time of her life, but her heart may never recover

The cover of The Outer Edge of Heaven draws you into the book before you even read the first page. There is something so intriguing about the cowboy on the horse, with the beautiful sunset in the background. Having been in Montana several times before, the title of the book is fitting. On the back it says:

"Montana truly is heavenly. Especially those handsome cowboys" 

I happen to agree with this statement and it is especially true of main character, Luke Langston. He is a true blue cowboy, stoic, tough, silent and polite. Luke was my favorite character in this modern-day, clean, LDS, romance. When Charlene, or Charlie as she is known throughout the whole story, first sees Luke, she is smitten. Charlie along with her best friend Fo (Forest) are in Montana working at Fo's cousin's ranch. Charlie is hiding away from her rich, powerful, parents who want to choose her occupation and her husband. There at the ranch she is hired to help take care of Luke's half siblings who are in dire need of a "real" mother. Luke's father, Richard,  is married to his third wife who is unfaithful to him.

At the ranch Charlie has many adventures with the darling children Jamie, Evie, and Elsa. Charlie gives the children stability and love. I loved how realistically Jaclyn wrote the children. They are very endearing, even when they make huge messes, like the waffle incident in the kitchen. Charlie teaches the children how to plant a garden, take care of piglets and takes them to swimming class and dance class. Though there are many fun and humorous things that happen in this story, there are also deep subjects too. There is an attempted assault, that is stopped quickly, an alcoholic wife, a fourteen year old experimenting with marijuana (this situation is handled very well and teaches the teenager a good lesson) and break-ins from bad guys.   

Fo and Charlie's friendship is such a wonderful part of this story. They are so loyal and supportive of one another. Every women needs a male friend as great as Fo. The romantic tension between Charlie and Luke is a big part of the storyline and is there for most of the story. I was so anxious to have the tension end sooner, rather than later, but that would have taken away from the excitement in the story. Let's just say you will like the ending of the story. 

This book is a fast read and one that you really don't want to put down. You will fall in love with the characters and not want the story to end. I enjoy Jaclyn's writing and have read and reviewed her first book, Journey of Honor: A Love Story, and hope to read even more books from her. 

You can purchase The Outer Edge of Heaven here at

About the Author
Jaclyn M. Hawkes grew up in Utah with 6 sisters, 4 brothers and any number of pets. (It was never boring!) She got a bachelor’s degree, had a career and traveled extensively before settling down to her life’s work of being the mother of four magnificent and sometimes challenging children. She loves shellfish, the out of doors, the youth and hearing her children laugh. She and her fine husband, their family, and their sometimes very large pets, now live in a mountain valley in northern Utah, where it smells like heaven and kids still move sprinkler pipe.

***I received my review copy of The Outer Edge of Heaven from the Author and participating in Tristi Pinkston's Book Tour. In no way did this influence the review that was given.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Review of Ribbon of Darkness by Julie Coulter Bellon

A split-second decision could change the world’s darkest hour to one of triumph--but who is willing to pay the price? Kennedy Campbell has been running away for a long time--using her position as an international journalist to escape the ghosts of her family's past. She finds some solace working in an Afghan refugee camp, until the Taliban attacks them and Kennedy is forced to flee. She is pulled into a terrorist's realm of darkness as she fights to save those around her, but will it come at the expense of her own life? Ethan Barak leads a double life, helping MI-6 bring down arms dealers all over the world until his father is murdered by an old associate. Ethan makes his next mission a personal vendetta by tracking down the killer to Indonesia. While there, he finds himself in a position to either avenge his father or stop a terrorist attack on the Malacca Strait that will jeopardize innocent lives across the world. Can he look past his father's murder to save others? The line between justice and mercy is blurred with each passing second, and international intrigue becomes intensely personal as the age-old struggle for redemption is brought close to home.

 Reading Ribbon of Darkness is  like being on a wild ride at an amusement park. You know the feeling, you head up the loop and race down, losing your breath, where you then go around a curve, finally breathing, only to head up again, left without air. This is how I felt as I read Julie Coulter Bellon's new book. You are taken on this wild ride along with the main characters Kennedy Campbell and Ethan Barak. Neither one of them get much of a chance to breathe as they are thrown in from one bad situation to another. 

You also hear of people "sitting on the edge of their seat", well  guess what, this is exactly what you will be doing as you read Ribbon of Darkness. This book is written like a fast paced action movie. Julie is such a fantastic writer that you can clearly see each scene in your mind. I know my colleague,Shanda from LDSWBR, felt the same way when she read the book. To add to this, the whole time frame of the book takes place over forty-eight hours! As I ended the book, and was finally able to take a deep breath, I was amazed at everything that had happened to Ethan and Kennedy. Between the two characters they experience: kidnappings, near drownings, beatings, being shot at and almost being blown up. Phew!

Now to the romance, I loved how Ethan and Kennedy reacted to each other. The romance is believable, even though they became close in only forty-eight hours. Ethan and Kennedy end up forming a bond. This comes about from supporting each others through many close calls. Kennedy is a very strong, independent woman, but she also has a very feminine side. She is so likable I was cheering for her every hard step of the way. Both Kennedy and Ethan are carrying heavy personal burdens, where you can feel their deep pain. Truly Julie's characterization of this couple make you want to read more about them. 

I recommend Ribbon of Darkness to those who love a super packed action book, mixed in with romance, and a book full of hope and renewal.

I had the honor of interviewing Julie. I hope that you will enjoy reading her answers. She has some fun surprises for her fans.Thank you Julie for letting me interview you.

1. Where did your inspiration for Ribbon of Darkness come from?

I was reading a newspaper report on the Malacca Strait and how important it is to world commerce. The U.S. had offered to help Malaysia and Indonesia protect it, but had been turned down. Of course that got the wheels in my head turning, and when I found out about the Dewi Madrim incident, where it was hijacked by al-Qaeda and yet, no one was hurt, they just asked the crew to teach them how to steer the ship, my story was born. For me, it's all about asking, what if? What if terrorists really did detonate a dirty bomb in the Strait to interrupt world commerce? How would that affect us? Who would try to stop them? And since I had loved Ethan so much from Dangerous Connections, I knew he was the perfect main character to carry the story. I love a tortured hero, don't you? :)

 2. All of the story takes place over 48 hours. Did you originally plan to write the book this way?

It was originally planned that way. I loved the show 24 and I knew that Ethan was a cross between Jack Bauer and James Bond, so the short time frame seemed to fit.

3. Will we see more of Ethan and Kennedy in another book? I would love to see them in more adventures together.

I do have a sequel to Ethan and Kennedy that I'm currently writing. I really did love them as characters and I know they have at least one more adventure that has to be written!

4. Ribbon of Darkness is a very intense book. Were you even surprised by some of the intensity of the scenes you wrote?

Yes, I was surprised by some of the intensity of it, but I loved it at the same time. It just really fit the tone of the story and I was so happy with that.

5. What are you working on now? Would you mind sharing it with us?

I'm currently working on both Ethan and Kennedy's next adventure and a completely new romantic suspense book with characters that I hope everyone will love. I've never worked on two books at the same time before so that's been an interesting experience!

6. Is there a genre you would like to write that you haven't tried before?

Hmmm...I write romantic suspense because that's what I love to read, but someday I might try my hand at historical. I find history fascinating, but I've only dabbled in writing it. Someday!

7. What is your best advice, for aspiring writers, who may be discouraged/overwhelmed by the writing process?

Take it one day at a time. Even if you only write one page a day that's a novel and a half a year. Go easy on yourself. I've often said the only difference between a published author and an unpublished author is that one gave up. Don't give up!

You can visit Julie at her website here, or her blog here.

Ribbon of Darkness can be purchased at, Barnes and Noble, and Deseret Book.

***I was given a review copy of Ribbon of Darkness, in no way did this influence the review that was given. ***

Monday, October 17, 2011

Diner's Drive-Ins and Dives: What I Watch When I'm Not Reading

When I am not reading, I like to turn on the TV and head on over to the Food Network Channel. There I find one of my favorite shows: Diners, Drive-ins and Dives hosted by Guy Fieri. Not only is the show yummy to watch, but I love Guy's humor. 

About the Show

Diners, Drive-ins and Dives are popular again thanks to faithful baby boomers, a slew of younger fans and a whole new generation of owners. Join Guy Fieri as he visits classic "greasy spoon" spots, from a roadside shack in Tarpley, Texas to a Las Vegas sports bar with stellar stromboli.

I love to see all of the interesting places out there serving yummy and unique food. He has also visited Utah several times. My only problem now, is that I have started changing my eating habits so all I can do is drool. This still doesn't take the enjoyment away from me while watching Guy talk to the various cooks/chefs, and watch him eat the great food. You can also go to the Food Network Channel and find many of the recipes shown on the show. Also, if you have never seen this show, you can watch several videos of DDD...triple "D" as Guys calls his show. 

I also found a blog that highlights Triple D. They lists everything there such as the places Guy has visited and also list all of the recipes.

If you go to Guy's website there is a lot of info about this fun loving man, who was once the winner of, "The Next Food Network Star". I remember liking him the moment I saw him. When he won the contest, I knew that nothing would stop him. You really must go read his Bio because he is an amazing man!

Now, you don't think I would blog here without telling you about Guy's books did you? He has three books and several DVD's from all of his past shows.

An All-American Road Trip...with Recipes! This book follows Guy's hot-rod trips around the country, mapping out the best places and turning local favorites into national wonders.

DINERS, DRIVE-INS, AND DIVES: An All-American Road Trip ...with Recipes by Guy Fieri, Ann Volkwein 
Guy is at it again highlighting America's finest and funkiest joints. Guy showcases the amazing personalities, the fascinating stories, and most important, the outrageously good food provided by these American treasures. Filled with delicious recipes, photos, and charming memorabilia, and featuring Guy's hilarious voice and rampant enthusiasm for these hidden culinary gems, Diners, Drive-ins & Dives: Another Drop-Top Culinary Cruise is essential for his countless fans and for lovers of the American food scene. 

Guy is "Cookin'it, Livin' it & Lovin' it" with this hardback cookbook. You'll get more than 150 Off the Hook recipes.

All of Guy's books can be purchased at his website and I would also check them out at 

Last of all, here is one of Guy's recipes found on his website. Enjoy!

(Print this recipe)

Courtesy Guy Fieri

2 Vidalia Onions, sliced in 1/4” rings, about 4 cups
2 large shallots, sliced into 1/8” rings, about 1/2cup
3 cloves of garlic, minced, about 1 1/2 Tablespoons
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 Tablespoon butter
2 cups sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
1 teaspoon salt
In a large sauté pan, over med high heat, heat oil and butter. Add in onions and sauté stirring occasionally for approximately 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and caramelized. Add in shallots and sauté for 13 minutes more until onions and shallots are dark brown add in garlic and sauté for two minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 5-6 minutes, then chop into 1/4” pieces. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, celery salt, Worcestershire, salt and pepper, fold in onion mixture. Chill in refrigerator at least one hour prior to serving or overnight.
Yield: 3 1/2 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Inactive prep time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Ease of Preparation: Easy

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Variant by Robison Wells: My Exciting Read For This Week

I have been waiting to read Variant by Robison Wells. I read an earlier version a few years ago. I know that Rob said that some things had been changed, so I can't wait to see what is different. Here is what Variant is about. 

"Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.

He was wrong.

Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults.

Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.

Where breaking the rules equals death.

But when Benson stumbles upon the school’s real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape—his only real hope for survival—may be impossible."

I can assure you that you will be hearing a lot about this book in the future if you haven't already.

I will be doing a full review soon. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Review of Conversations with a Moonflower by Christine T. Hall

Conversations with a Moonflower is a short book with a huge impact. I read this book over General Conference weekend and it fit right in with my mood. I always seem to be more receptive to words of inspiration this time of year. I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but I was pleasantly surprised and more.

Here is a short blurb from the website Conversations with a Moonflower.

What on earth had just happened to me? It was a plant, for heaven's sake! And with the exception of the bright yellow blooms, it looked more like a weed than anything you would purposely put in a garden. But this mysterious plant had captivated me, and I couldn't wait to tell the others what I had seen.

Chris's life is anything but peaceful when she returns to Carraugus County to clean out her deceased grandmother's home. But her life changes forever when an Amish woman invites her to watch a moonflower open. Chris never would have believed that a simple plant could lead her on such a remarkable journey -- a journey that would remind her of truths she had long ago forgotten.

This debut by Chris Hall is guaranteed to uplift and inspire long after the story ends.

  Conversations with a Moonflower gave me incentive to stop and reflect on my life. The message that Chris shares in this book is to slow down, ask questions and then listen for answers. In today's world we all are running at such a frantic pace that most of us don't take the time to stop and look around at the things that should be the most important to us.

One of my most favorite chapters in the book is called, A Twenty-eight-bloom Day. The Moonflower in Chris's garden one night produced twenty-eight blossoms. As Chris "chatted" with her Moonflower after it had bloomed, she asked it if it was worn out after it's twenty-eight bloom night. The flower agrees that it is tired and it needs to rest-especially after a big project. The plant then gives very good advice:

"You can't keep up a twenty-eight-bloom pace for too long or you will wither."

Chris went on to explain how she likes to do several big projects at the same time. She likes having twenty-eight bloom days. I love the answer that the Moonflower gives to Chris:

"There's nothing wrong with twenty-eight-bloom long as you are sure that you have days with only a few blossoms-or even no blossoms-from time to time."

We need to learn to pay attention to our own bodies and minds and we will know when we need to take it easy. This was such an important message for me. I always try to do so much. I work full-time as a teacher, I have two children I am parenting as a single mom, I want to keep up with my reading and blogging and make sure to spend time taking care of my self by exercising every day. There are days that I feel so tired I can't even move. This made me realize that I need to prioritize what needs to be done each day.

Conversations with a Moonflower is filled with solid advice to make our lives better. For such a small book, with only 120 pages, it is huge with heart and soul. I was left with such joy and hope about my life and about incorporating some important changes in my life. I recommend Conversations with a Moonflower to anyone that has a beating heart; in other words, this book is for everyone. I can assure you that you can't but help be changed, in some way, after reading this book.

You can purchase Conversations with a Moonflower at, Barnes and Noble, and Cedar Fort. You can receive free Moonflower seeds at Conversations with a

Meet the Author 

Chris Hall's creativity and energy were evident in her earliest childhood. Her grade school teachers often commented, "She has tremendous energy, if we could just get it channeled." Her parents instilled in her a belief that good can come from almost every experience, and that belief, along with an ability to see humor in much of everyday life, proved invaluable as she and her husband raised their eight children.

Chris has been a presenter for many years for FranklinCovey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effec