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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Valentine Countdown Blitz & Giveaway 14- Days of Clean Romance: Day 2 The Heart of the Hunter By Natalie-Nicole Bates

-->Natalie-Nicole Bates is a book reviewer and author.
Her passions in life include books and hockey along with Victorian photography, Frozen Charlotte dolls, and antique poison bottles.
She currently resides in the UK where she is working on her next book and adding to her collection of 19th century post-mortem photos.

Connect with the Author here: 

After a devastating accident, Barret Atkins has accepted a quiet, solitary existence. His life is turned upside down, when he finds the badly injured Kansas Smith, left for dead in a case of mistaken identity. As Kansas begins to recover, Barret must face some deep scars of his own. When the couple begin to fall for each other, their lives spin into a revival of past hurts, jealousies, and betrayals, causing Barret to put a halt to their budding relationship.

Barret’s hesitation causes his best friend-turned vicious rival, Duncan Craig, to pursue a friendship with Kansas. Where will this leave Barret? Can they all hold on long enough to escape Kansas’s attacker, and will they ever conquer their own inner demons intent on keeping them apart.

~ Amazon ~  Amazon UK

Q & A with the Author:

1.       Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing?
I enjoy collecting Victorian era photographs, as well as Frozen Charlotte dolls. I take a real sense of pride and satisfaction being able to restore things to their original beauty.
2.       When did you first realize you were an author?
I think it would have to be when I held my first paperback book in my own hands.
3.       Have you done anything writing-related, but besides actually writing your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?
This past autumn I won second prize in a horror story opening contest. It was nice to get acknowledgment of my writing outside my usual genres.
4.       What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?
Probably finding the time to actually sit down and put my words into the computer. I have books plotted in my mind to last me well beyond my lifetime. I have had to set times for writing and stick to them.

5.       What is the “message” of your writing? (For example, is your purpose to encourage old-fashioned values, encourage romance, or do you have different purposes in different books?)
I don’t think I have a particular message in my books, but I do use characters who are normal people in extraordinary circumstances that they work to overcome. I don’t sugarcoat reality.
6.       What are your thoughts/feelings on ebook vs. print book?
Two different entities. I love that ebooks are instant. You go to a website, order, and receive. You can read right away. With paperbacks, there is a certain sense of satisfaction to be able to hold the book in your hands.

7.       How many books do you have out?  Are you planning a specific number altogether, either in this series or separately?
I believe it is around 20, from short stories to full-length books.

8.       Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in real life?
All of my characters are in a little way a part of me. I also remember what people tell me over the years, and often something that struck me will end up in my book.
9.       What are your future projects?
I have a contemporary story for an upcoming anthology later this year, as well as the third book in my RISE series, called Embree’s Rise.

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 30, 2017

Valentine Countdown Blitz & Giveaway- 14 Days of Clean Romance: Day 1 Swan and Shadow by Kaki Olsen

;Kathryn Olsen (aka Kaki) has been to 17 countries on five continents. 
After an illustrious upbringing in Massachusetts, she studied English at Brigham Young University. As a result, she's been known to find theological flaws in zombie lore and Peruvian sacrifice metaphors in Superman movies. 

When not working a desk job or overanalyzing media, she enjoys writing about anything from possessed iPhones to dragon-smuggling androids and has been called upon to lecture on writing by various organizations. 

Her debut novel, Swan and Shadow, was published in March, 2016.

Connect with the Author here: 
 ~ Website ~ Twitter ~

"Aislin is cursed. A regular college student at night and a swan during the day, Aislin can only break the curse by finding her true love. But when her beloved discovers the truth, will his fear override their love? This modern adaptation of Swan Lake will help you discover what love really means."

~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK

 Author Interview:

1.     Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing?  I play piano very enthusiastically.  I had to give it up when I was 13 to focus on violin, but found a teacher when I was older.  Now I’m working on Chopin, Beethoven, Bach and, because I’m a geek, music from The Desolation of Smaug.  I also travel as much as my paycheck allows and am getting ready to hike in Austria.

2.     When did you first realize you were an author?  The first time I realized I wanted to write professionally was when, as a library page, I started fantasizing about someone checking out or shelving my books at a library.  The first time I realized people would take me seriously was when I wrote a spoof of a Star Wars satire fan film and the man who came up with the original found it and sent it to the cast and crew of the project before asking me to help with associated projects.  That was when I had strangers recognize me at sight and a random indie director hugged me after saying he loved my stories.  Until my book launch on March 11 of last year, I thought it was all a fluke, though.

3.     Have you done anything writing-related, but besides actually writing your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?  I started out as an essayist for a site called iEmily.  They had people who wrote personal nonfiction and I got good responses on such topics as overcoming self-injury and being a religious minority in Boston.  My first “break” was when my college writing professor sent my essay on being promoted to concertmistress in 7th grade to a feminist magazine and they sent me an offer to publish it.

4.     What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?  When I get an idea for a major plot point, it takes an act of God to get me to change it.  Swan and Shadow had a different ending that made my beta reader cry and utterly annoyed my acquisitions editor.  I explained the reason for the ending, sent her the synopsis of the sequel and came very close to telling her too much information about how much this ending fixed my anger towards my crazy ex.  She still wanted the ending to be more empowering for women in a specific way and I compromised by meeting her at a completely different ending that neither of us had originally intended.

5.     What is the “message” of your writing? (For example, is your purpose to encourage old-fashioned values, encourage romance, or do you have different purposes in different books?)  My first Aussie fan pegged it.  “It’s all about owning your own fate.”  I had been a violinist for ten years when my mother finally told me that I have a motor disorder that is supposed to prevent me from having enough coordination to play a musical instrument.  I call it the greatest favor she’s ever done for me because by that point, I played two instruments, was in three orchestras and had toured internationally with my lack of coordination.  All of my books are about people redefining the parameters of their hardship.

6.     What are your thoughts/feelings on ebook vs. print book?  I love that both are available.  For example, my old college roommate sent me a picture of the library book by Kaki Olsen that she’d just entered into her system.  On the other hand, every time I do a signing, I have a few people who want to think it over before buying.  They’ll take a bookmark and a few days later, they’ll have impulsively bought it to read on their Kindle.  I don’t care how you read.  I just want the world to read until they go half-blind.  This is also why I have a site specifically for my book recommendations coming out soon.

7.     How many books do you have out?  Are you planning a specific number altogether, either in this series or separately?  I have two so far.  Swan and Shadow is my only published novel, but I was in an anthology on the writing process.  Swan and Shadow has a sequel planned and partially written, but no more.  Other series have up to ten books plotted out.  I even have a plot bunny for a mystery series based on lines from “I Am The Very Model of a Modern Major General” that could go on for the number of attributes in that song.

8.     Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in real life?  Almost all of my characters have real-life inspirations.  Ethan is based on a boy I had a crush on in 10th grade, for example.  Maeve is my older sister.  Aislin is a manifestation of my ambivert tendencies.  But you’ll find Armenian and Greek characters based on people I befriended in high school.  In a book that I’m currently editing, my roommate griped that eight of my characters were all sassy Bostonians, which worked for one character, but wasn’t appropriate to a high fantasy.  You can find experiences drawn from my own life throughout everything, though I occasionally have weird references.  For example, there’s a character in an upcoming short story named Laura who has bionic eyes, which is a reference to Jonathan Coulton’s “The Future Soon.”  Or I did genealogy work for the Byrne family in Swan and Shadow and put in some of the actual family lore from what I found.

9.     What are your future projects?  I am currently editing an anti-fairy-tale in which fairies talked a prince into breaking a marriage contract, which led to the largest-scale war in centuries.  Now that prince abdicated, his younger brother died in battle and the new king is to be the brother who thought he’d live his life out as a scholar or diplomat.  I’m also editing a book that covers a magical civil war in modern Philadelphia.  My upcoming short story with Laura of the bionic eyes is actually the tale of a time-traveling android smuggling the last dragon egg off earth and to a new world.  I’m currently writing a book about a girl who stumbles into a mystical world and, rather than finding wondrous kingdoms and creatures, she’s imprisoned as a spy for six months.  And I’m also writing a book in which a girl, orphaned at 8, grows up to fight the war against the people who killed her parents, while secretly, her parents actually are running the revolution that she plans on annihilating.  And while I have many plots running around in my head, one day a week, I put aside my writing and editing and do research for a 1920’s murder mystery that takes place on the trains of rural England.  I’m having fantastic fun with all of them.

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Book Blitz and Giveaway for 101 Ways to Stay off the IRS Radar by Abby Eisenkraft

Abby Eisenkraft is the CEO of Choice Tax Solutions Inc.   She is a federally licensed Enrolled Agent (EA), an Accredited Tax Advisor (ATA), Accredited Tax Preparer (ATP) and a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC).

Abby started her career in tax as a preparer, and quickly gained a reputation for successfully dealing with difficult tax problems, including those previously unsolvable by other tax professionals.  She currently specializes in tax controversy cases such as federal and state tax audits, non-filer cases, residency audits, international matters, etc.

Abby is passionate about defending taxpayer’s rights before the IRS and State Taxing Authorities.  She is a speaker on various tax and financial topics, a consultant (specializing in the self-employed), and is often quoted in the press as a tax and financial expert.

Connect with the Author here: 

Abby Eisenkraft is one of America’s leading experts on IRS problems - and how to prevent them. Informative, slightly irreverent, and definitely not your typical IRS guide, this tax pro shares her experiences in the tax trenches, defending her clients against the IRS. Learn from the mistakes of others, and save time, money and grief.


1) Favorite dog – Pit bull. Good hearted, with a tough reputation. 

2) First thing I’d do on a trip to Italy – visit the Gucci factory! Then off to the beach……. 

3) Was a shoe model for Steve Madden before he went to jail for securities fraud. 

4) When people ask me the title of my book and I tell them it’s “101 Ways to Stay Off the IRS Radar”, some ask me what it’s about. That really scares me. 

5) Favorite saying – “Telepathy is not on my resume.” 

6) Met Eric Clapton while walking down the street in Manhattan. What are the chances?!?! 

7) I think Weird Al is hilarious. Word Crimes is GENIUS! 

8) I want a military hum vee. Never again will worry about a parking lot dent! 

9) Love the retro TV channels. It’s amazing how every show had an episode that features the main character with an IRS problem! 

10) I really DO love helping people learn about taxes and getting them out of trouble with the IRS! 

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Daughter of Ishmael: Promised Land, Broken Heart By Diane Stringham Tolley-Blog Tour Review

Product Details

  •  Title: Daughter of Ishmael: Promised Land, Broken Heart
  •  Author: Diane Stringham Tolley
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc. (January 10, 2017)
  • Genre: Religious/ Historical Fiction
  • ISBN-10: 1462119662
  • FTC, FYI: I received a review paperback copy in exchange for an honest review.

 Book Details:
Growing up around prophets and prophecies, Hannah and her sisters are excited to be betrothed to sons of Lehi and to journey to the promised land.
In one statement, Father Lehi and Ishmael had stripped away her gentle, girlish dreams and replaced them with stark reality.  
She was marrying a stranger.

When Hannah learns she will be given in marriage to a son of Lehi, she dreams of raising children in the paths of righteousness with a worthy priesthood holder. Instead, she is met with unimaginable hardship: an arduous journey, a cowardly husband, and possible infertility. Hannah had promised herself long ago that she would follow the Lord and His prophet, but when she thinks her journey is over, she is faced with an impossible choice between faith and family.
 Should she follow Nephi again, or stay with her husband, Lemuel, and her son in sin and misery? This compelling novel tells the familiar scripture story from an illuminating new perspective.

My Review:

 This historical fiction book is based on people from The Book of Mormon, a book that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) believe to be scripture. Many of the characters in this story, mainly the women, are not discussed as much in the actual Book of Mormon. This is what I enjoyed greatly in Daughter of Ishmael in that we got to know the strong women behind the men.

The story is told through many years, from the time main character Hannah is a young girl until she is a grown woman. All along you can see that Hannah is a very loyal, brave, and dedicated daughter, sister, wife, and servant of the Lord. The author writes about all of Ishmael's family and how they eventually leave Jerusalem with Father Lehi's family.

This story flows so well from chapter to chapter as it engages the reader into the heart of both families. I had a hard time putting the book down. It is over 300 pages, but I never felt like the story was bogged down with details as the pacing of the book was perfect. The character's relationships with each other take center stage in this novel, as family members decide whether or not Father Lehi and Nephi are Prophets of God. I aways love to see scenes from The Book of Mormon brought to life in a novel where you can see how people are thinking and feeling about what is happening.

The overall message I was left with, is how truly the choices we make not only affect our lives, but also those of our children. I also was greatly touched by how as we keep the commandments of God our lives will be blessed. This beautiful perspective of familiar Book of Mormon stories will be faith promoting to those that read the book. Anyone, LDS or not, could enjoy reading this compelling novel of a strong woman being tested by the trials of life.

You can find a copy of Daughter of Ishmael online or at your local LDS Bookstore.

Meet Author Diane Stringham Tolley:
Trained in journalism and raised by a family of storytellers, Diane Stringam Tolley has spent her life writing. From her first published work, The Scary House, penned in Mrs. Hainsworth's grade six class, to her tenth novel due to be released by Cedar Fort early in 2017, Tolley has dipped into every genre from sci-fi/fantasy to spiritual. Her Christmas book, Carving Angels, has been featured on the "best of" holiday lists for Edmonton Public Libraries since its first release in 2011. And her follow-up novel, Kris Kringle's Magic (2012) is currently a standard for discussions on prejudice and bullying throughout the Black-Gold region. Drawing on her upbringing on one of the last of the great old ranches of Southern Alberta, Tolley's stories are filled with unforgettable characters, warm, family connections, and the strength of faith and love.

Learn more about Diane at these sites:

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Cover Reveal for Sarah M. Eden's Newest Novella: My Dearest Love

From the USA Today Bestselling author, Sarah M. Eden,
 of the Longing for Home series, 
a new romance set in the beloved world of Hope Springs: MY DEAREST LOVE, coming July 2017!

Here is the cover for
the new book...
Goodreads Blurb:

From the USA Today Bestselling author of the Longing for Home series, MY DEAREST LOVE is a new romance novella set in the beloved world of Hope Springs.

Alone in the world and far from home, Biddy holds out little hope of lasting happiness. Ian, loving her silently from afar, dreams of one day capturing her heart.

Add to your Goodreads list today:

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Condemn Me Not: Accused of Witchcraft by Heather B. Moore-Review

Condemn Me Not: Accused of Witchcraft
by Heather B. Moore 

Release date: Mar 14, 2017
 Amazon pre-order link:

FTC, FYI: I received a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Description:
“This woman was one of the most impudent, scurrilous, wicked creatures of this world; and she did now throughout her whole trial discover herself to be such a one. Yet when she was asked what she had to say for herself, her chief plea was that she had led a most virtuous and holy life.” —Reverend Cotton Mather, 1692

USA Today Bestselling author Heather B. Moore brings the life of her 10th great-grandmother to center stage. Susannah North Martin, accused of witchcraft in 1692, joins five women in the Salem Jail, all sentenced to death for their crimes. Amidst tragedy, Susannah finds hope and compassion as she remembers a well-loved life, and readers discover that love reaches far beyond the grave as Susannah faces the magistrates in Salem

My Review:
I've always been interested in the Salem Witch Trials that took place in the late 1600's in Salem, Massachusetts. I've been looking forward to reading this story that I knew Author Heather B. Moore was writing about her 10th Great-Grandmother, Susannah North Martin. I knew that she'd been doing intensive research in order to write this story. I was amazed at how she brought this story to life from an event in history to the story of a woman who lived, loved, laughed and cried. 

This book is not a cheery book, but full of true angst. You feel a deep depression and lost hope from the women and men that were jailed and accused of witchcraft. The whole book isn't totally sunk in darkness though as you read about when she first met her husband and fell in love. Susannah's story is masterfully told from different viewpoints during her life. One is when she's in jail awaiting her trial and then the story shifts to her looking back at happier times in her life. This was a wonderful way to show just how horrid the townspeople and court were to the accused, as the writing and feel of the story goes from sadness to happiness. I'll say it again, this was a brilliant way to write this story. 

I really loved these quotes from the story that came from Susannah. I feel it shows how the Salem Witch Trials and the hangings of innocent people were allowed to happen.

"They do not have the courage to speak the truth, but rather they'd join in with the other accusers so that they themselves, might be seen as innocent."

"Fear drives men and women to do mad things"

Condemn Me Not is a great addition to other fiction and non-fiction books about the Salem Witch trials. If you don't like reading non-fiction books, this novel will accurately show you the details from that time in Salem, while also weaving a powerful story that will leave you in tears and your heart aching for those who lost their lives to circumstances that were out of their hands.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Book Blitz and Giveaway for: The Missing Heir of Mandralay By Braden Bell

Brandon Gray is the pen name of Braden Bell (Brandon writes YA fiction; Braden writes for middle grades). Braden holds a Ph.D. from New York University. He and his family live on a quiet, wooded lot in Tennessee, where he teaches middle school theatre and music. An experienced performer, Braden enjoys reading, gardening, and long summer afternoons writing in his hammock. His most notable skill is being able to eat a full rack of BBQ ribs with one hand on long drives.

Connect with the Author here: 
Facebook ~ Website ~ 
 ~ Amazon ~ Twitter~Goodreads ~

A heartless monster; an innocent girl. He holds her life in his paws, but she holds his soul in her hands.

Twelve-year old Tallie knows she shouldn’t break Mother Kyraisa’s rule and summon the lights again. But she does it anyway. When Mother Kyraisa catches Tallie, the ancient nun evacuates the orphanage, ordering it burned immediately. She then crams Tallie into a lead-lined coffin and flees into the desert, whipping the horse the whole way.

With no memories, no heart, or even a name, X is a monster. Fiercest of the Bestials, his predator’s instincts are controlled only by powerful spells binding his life to the Regent’s will. When a flash of apostate magic betrays the hiding place of the late Queen’s daughter, the Regent dispatches X to kill the child—her niece and the long-hidden heir to the throne.

Following the child’s magic, X tracks Tallie to her hiding place. He prepares to kill her, until Tallie surprises him with a sincere request for help.

Tallie’s innocence and trust awaken a small spark of humanity inside X, and he tries to help her. But he remains a monster, bound by instinct and unbreakable oaths. Helping Tallie triggers a ferocious battle, as X fights his primal nature for her life—and his only hope of redemption.

Meanwhile, Tallie grapples with the tragedy of her past and her identity as crown princess. As royal heir, Tallie finds access to immense power—enough to destroy her enemies, but possibly her own soul as well, turning her into a monster far worse than X.

Fantasy Casting:
 As Tallie, the main character, I am going to go with the girl who modeled for the cover. she's actually a former student of mine, and the only one I can see playing the role. However, since she's a minor,I'd rather not release her name!

As mother Kyraisa, the warrior nun with a hidden past, there is only one choice: the British actress Helen Mirren.

As the evil regent, Scarlett Johansson.
And as X, the mysterious Bestial, part monster, part man,Gerald Butler.

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page