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, May 30, 2016

Escape by Carolyn Jessop with Laura Palmer-Non-Fiction Book Review

Product Details:

  • Title: Escape
  • Author: Carolyn Jessop with Laura Palmer
  • Paperback: 426 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (December 30, 2008)
  • Genre: non-fiction
  • ISBN-10: 0767927575
  • FTC, FYI: I read a borrowed copy in order to give an honest review. 

Book Details: 
The dramatic first-person account of life inside an ultra-fundamentalist American religious sect, and one woman’s courageous flight to freedom with her eight children.

When she was eighteen years old, Carolyn Jessop was coerced into an arranged marriage with a total stranger: a man thirty-two years her senior. Merril Jessop already had three wives. But arranged plural marriages were an integral part of Carolyn’s heritage: She was born into and raised in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), the radical offshoot of the Mormon Church that had settled in small communities along the Arizona-Utah border. Over the next fifteen years, Carolyn had eight children and withstood her husband’s psychological abuse and the watchful eyes of his other wives who were locked in a constant battle for supremacy.

Carolyn’s every move was dictated by her husband’s whims. He decided where she lived and how her children would be treated. He controlled the money she earned as a school teacher. He chose when they had sex; Carolyn could only refuse—at her peril. For in the FLDS, a wife’s compliance with her husband determined how much status both she and her children held in the family. Carolyn was miserable for years and wanted out, but she knew that if she tried to leave and got caught, her children would be taken away from her. No woman in the country had ever escaped from the FLDS and managed to get her children out, too. But in 2003, Carolyn chose freedom over fear and fled her home with her eight children. She had $20 to her name.

Escape exposes a world tantamount to a prison camp, created by religious fanatics who, in the name of God, deprive their followers the right to make choices, force women to be totally subservient to men, and brainwash children in church-run schools. Against this background, Carolyn Jessop’s flight takes on an extraordinary, inspiring power. Not only did she manage a daring escape from a brutal environment, she became the first woman ever granted full custody of her children in a contested suit involving the FLDS. And in 2006, her reports to the Utah attorney general on church abuses formed a crucial part of the case that led to the arrest of their notorious leader, Warren Jeffs

My Review:
There are times when I'm caught up with books I've promised to review and get to read books that have been sitting there for years. Escape is one of those books I've always wanted to read and finally got the chance to read in April. I picked it up and within 24 hours it was finished. This story is gripping and holds you prisoner because you can't believe what you are truly reading. 

Being from Utah, and a member of the LDS church, I've always known "about" the FLDS church being there and supposedly what goes on in their compounds. Most of us do not truly know what abuses go on within these plural marriages and what happens in the lives of these poor women and children. Escape gives you an insight into the world of this religious sect or cult as some people call it. As an independent woman, so much of what happened made me cringe to read this account of where most freedoms are taken away from the women.

 I could also relate as a mother who would do anything for her children. Carolyn put up with much abuse in order to protect her children and keep them from harm within the family or from them being taken away from her. Be forewarned, this is not light reading, but a story of psychological abuse from her husband, bullying from the other Sister Wives, and a story of one courageous woman who did everything to leave a lifestyle that was damaging to her and her children. 

I would love to meet Carolyn to give her a HUGE hug and tell her "Bravo" for being brave and persistent. It is gratifying to know that in the end she escapes, but even knowing this, you hold your breath until the very end when freedom is finally there for her and the children. After reading Carolyn's story, you will never be able to hear the word FLDS again and not think about this intense and crazy world that amazingly she was able to leave and begin a new life. 

Meet the Author: Carolyn Jessop

 Carolyn Jessop is a former Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints member who wrote Escape, an autobiographical account of her upbringing in the polygamist sect and later flight from that community.

She is the cousin, by marriage, of Flora Jessop, another former FLDS member and advocate for abused children.

Carolyn Jessop now lives in the Salt Lake City area with her children.
As of July 2010, Carolyn is engaged to Brian Moroney, who asked her to be his wife in front of her children who are very excited.

After accepting Brian's proposal Carolyn quoted on her Facebook page "Choice is a beautiful thing!"

Friday, May 27, 2016

My Fair Gentleman by Nancy Campbell Allen-A Proper Romance Review

Product Details:
Title: My Fair Gentleman
Author: Nancy Campbell Allen
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Published: January 5th, 2015
ISBN13: 9781629720951
Paperback: 248 pages
FTC FYI: I received a paperback copy in exchange for an honest review.

 Book Details:
In this Regency twist of My Fair Lady, Jack would rather be at sea than fixing the mistakes of his grandfather, the late Earl of Stansworth. Instead, he finds that inheriting his grandfather’s wealth and title—and securing the welfare of his sister and mother—means joining the ranks of high society and living with the aristocracy. Luckily, Ivy Carlisle, the granddaughter of a dear friend of Jack’s late grandmother, is willing to teach him etiquette and properly introduce him into society. Jack soon learns that his challenge isn’t surviving his new lifestyle but surviving the conspiracies against him—as well as keeping himself from falling madly in love with his new tutor.

My Review:
 One of my favorite movies growing up was My Fair Lady. I loved to see the witty banter, the transformation of the commoner into a member of the aristocracy, and of course seeing the two leads fall in love. My Fair Gentleman takes the idea of My Fair Lady, which came from the play Pygmalion, and twists it around for some Proper Romance Fun. 

We first meet the long time sailor Jack, who is thrust into society to become the heir to his late Grandfather's estate. In order to receive the money and the title he must become a true society gentleman. This is where the clever and very beautiful Ivy Carlise steps forward to tutor Jack in the ways of society. Right off you could see the sparks fly between Jack and Ivy and sometimes it would be in the form of them butting heads. Jack is way too stubborn in his old ways and Ivy doesn't back down in the way that society is run. There were so many humorous scenes in this book as these two very different people began to learn about and from each other. 

Though this is a Proper Romance,there is also the big mystery of who is trying to do Jack in. Then there is Ivy's HUGE secret of her undercover writing career. The novel has a great supporting cast with Ivy's Nana, who is a delight to read as she stands up to the snobbery found in society. I loved every scene she was in. I also enjoyed reading about Jack's mother Mary and his sister Sophia, as they found their feet swimming through the "shark infested waters" of the aristocracy.It was fun to see them gain their confidence in their new life standing with the help of Ivy and her Nana Olivia.

Readers will find so much to love in this novel, from the chapter headings from "Mistress Manners' Tips for Every-day Etiquette" such as, "When making a new acquaintance, always present a pleasant face and a kindly manner", to the repartee and flirting between the main characters, and of course the romance that slowly unfolds much to the dismay, surprise, and chagrin of Jack and Ivy. You will be charmed by this story and be left with wanting more from these characters and this author.

 Meet Nancy Campbell Allen    

 (N.C. Allen) has a degree in elementary education and has been writing for fun since the third grade. Her first book was published in 1999, and she now has eleven books to her credit—four contemporary romance and seven historicals, including the award-winning Civil War series Faith of Our Fathers—and plans to write until the day she dies. She loves to read, travel, and spend time with family and friends. She has completed two half marathons and is trying to talk herself into doing another one. Nancy lives in Ogden, Utah, with her husband and three children, although one recently married, moved out, and brought a son-in-law to the mix. She still maintains that this does not make her old.

Here are the other books in the Proper Romance Series. I have read and reviewed all of them and would recommend each one of these romances to those looking for a sweet and clean romance.
Lord Fenton's Folly A Heart Revealed