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, April 30, 2018

Miss Wilton’s Waltz by Josi S. Kilpack-Review

Title:Miss Wilton's Waltz
Author: Josi S. Kilpack 
Genres: Regency/Historical Romance 
Format: Paperback • Pages: 352 
Published: May 1, 2018 
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
ISBN: 978-1-62972-413-3
FTC, FYI: I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Book Synopsis:
A follow-up to Josi S. Kilpack’s bestselling Proper Romance title The Vicar’s Daughter.
Lenora Wilton has spent her life hiding behind the keys of her beloved pianoforte and the vibrancy of her younger sister, Cassie. But Lenora is ready for a change and travels to Bath to live with her Aunt Gwen and teach music at an all-girls’ boarding school. She is different in Bath—more comfortable with herself—and enjoys the freedom and independence of her new life there.
When Lenora meets Aiden Asher, she finds herself attracted to him, but her unexpected feelings become more complicated when she learns that Catherine—Lenora’s newest and most troublesome student in the school—is Mr. Asher’s niece. Catherine is a difficult student, and Lenora works hard to make progress with the girl.
When the chemistry between Lenora and Aiden increases, they share a passionate kiss by the River Avon, and Lenora feels it is the beginning of a new forever—until she learns that Aiden has withheld an important detail about his life that changes everything.
Lenora closes her heart to him, and Aiden, caught between his obligation and his heart, must do what he can to make amends. And Lenora, after years of hiding from everyone and everything, faces a decision only she can make.
My Review
It was easy to fall into the pages of Miss Wilton's Waltz . I liked Lenora, even though she was very sad about her past and her current life situation. I could relate to her broken heart and moving forward in her life as best as she could. Things start shifting as soon as her new student, Catherine, makes her life unbearable at school. To make matters worse, the man that she encountered late at night as Lenora took her midnight stroll, is none other than Catherine's Uncle, Aiden Asher. As a fellow teacher, I could relate to a troubled student like Catherine who only wants to create mischief in class. This brought out many emotions in me. But I also knew how Lenora felt in trying her hardest to find ways to help this child too.

I quite liked Aiden from the start. He was thrown into raising his niece who'd never truly felt love because of her harsh upbringing. Aiden flounders a lot but his intentions are good. There are many problems as Aiden and Lenora start having feelings for one another. Lenora's Aunt Gwen is another very likable character who adds much grace and depth to the story and helping out often to solve problems for all involved. It was great to read a romance that felt real and where the characters had many struggles along the way. I rarely like a romance where the characters fall in love quickly. There is a lot of character growth for not only Lenora, but for Aiden and Catherine too. This all leads to a very satisfying end. 
Excerpt from Miss Wilton's Waltz
Once the footman had left, Lenora spoke again. “Who put you up to it—my mother?” 

Aunt Gwen shifted, looking everywhere but at her niece. “My father?” “Victoria,” 

Aunt Gwen finally said, placing the blame squarely on the most meddling of Lenora’s older sisters. “She wrote to me and asked that I please help you find a husband, that your parents and sisters are distressed. I thought I would create this one event so I could tell her I’d done as she asked.”

 “Because I can never be happy without a husband?” Aunt Gwen looked at the floor. Contrition did not suit her. Lenora sighed and sat down next to Aunt Gwen on the plum-colored settee. “I am not angry with you.” 

Aunt Gwen met her eye, repentant and oddly insecure. “Are you sure?” “I could never be angry with you after all you’ve done for me, but . . . do not do this.” She held her aunt’s gaze to be sure that she was understood. Lenora’s stomach tightened at giving her aunt an order, but she had spent the last two years teaching obstinate fifteen-year-old girls to play Für Elise. She could stand up to her aunt. “If I have to look out for prospects when I stay with you, I’ll stay at the school on the weekends. I cannot make room for considering marriage again. I wasted twenty-three years of my life on that plan. Let me have the freedom to pursue my own course. Please.” Lenora was impressed with how steady her voice was and how practiced the words felt despite never having articulated them before. 

“Very well, but living alone becomes lonely over time. I have friends and I enjoy my independence, but the evenings are long, and I have no children to comfort me as I grow older. I wonder if I was too determined in not attempting to find love when I had the chance.” 

“I will remember that you told me as much,” Lenora said obediently, but her decision had been made two years ago. “Good night.”

Meet Author: Josi S Kilpack
Josi S. Kilpack has written twenty-five novels, a cookbook, and several novellas. She is a four-time Whitney award winner, including Best Novel 2015 for "Lord Fenton's Folly, and has been a Best of State winner for Fiction. Josi loves to bake, sleep, eat, read, travel, and watch TV--none of which she gets to do as much as she would like. She hates to talk on the phone, learn how to do new things, and sweep--all of which she gets to do a lot :-) 

Josi and her husband, Lee, have four children and live in Northern Utah. For more information about Josi you can visit her website at or her blog at .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Purchase Miss Wilton's Waltz Here:

Available From These Resellers:


 Proper Romances by Josi S. Kilpack
A Heart Revealed, Lord Fenton’s Folly, Forever and Forever A Lady’s Favor (eBook only), The Lady of the Lakes, The Vicar’s Daughter, All That Makes Life Bright. 

Other Titles by Josi S. Kilpack
The Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series: Lemon Tart, English Trifle, Devil’s Food Cake, Key Lime Pie, Blackberry Crumble, Pumpkin Roll, Banana Split, Tres Leches Cupcakes, Baked Alaska, Rocky Road, Fortune Cookie, Wedding Cake, Sadie’s Little Black Recipe Book

A Pirate at Pembroke By Danielle Throne-Blast, Excerpt, and $50 Giveaway

  A Pirate at Pembroke by Danielle Thorne 
  Keeping company with a reputed pirate is one thing, but falling in love with him could ruin the eccentric Crestwood family for good... Sophie Crestwood is never going to catch a husband, and she isn’t even sure she wants one. Her father is a gossip, her mother has her nose in a book, and little Jack has shamefully been dismissed from boarding school. Worst of all, a pirate moves next door into Pembroke Hall. When Sophie's sent to a matchmaking party at a neighboring estate, the pirate from Pembroke arrives and distracts everyone from the summer festivities. Unguarded, her feelings about the mysterious Captain Murdock bloom into a trusted friendship that Sophie fears may come to mean more than anyone could ever suspect.

There have been only a handful of times when a book truly blows me away. This is one of those times. It's full of emotions from laughter to tears and all in between. There are heroes and villains. There's mystery, humor, danger, and romance all contained within its pages. As I read, I became fully engaged with the characters. ~D. Pearson 

 This sweet romance will give you all the feels and keep you turning pages. Romance, mystery and a little humor made this an engaging and satisfying read. ~F. Brown  

She imagined the dark silhouette would take the shape of a specter, perhaps with a sickle in its grip; instead, the man appeared to be a gentleman, although not an altogether cheerful looking one. Other than his hat, he was rather too brown and rumpled. The horse snorted and turned its head to look. The rider studied her, too. Sophie pushed off the wall and stepped forward. ''You are from Leatherbury?'' he assumed in a flat tone. ''Miss Crestwood of Leatherbury,'' she informed him, trying to maintain her poise. Her attempt was foiled by an examining gaze with eyes so pale she could not tell their color. She couldn't look at him without glancing away and back again. ''Then, Miss Crestwood of Leatherbury, I recommend you and your family reacquaint yourselves with the boundaries of your estate.'' Her mouth dropped open at the ill-mannered admonition. Sophie stared up at the horseman from beneath the brim of her bonnet, aware she was mussed and the hem of her skirt damp with morning dew. One of her ribbons, frayed at the end, fluttered up in her face, but she did not shoo it away. ''I am looking for my brother,'' she said, trying to gather up enough dismay to feel slighted. ''I assure you I am within the boundaries of my home.'' The man gazed off into the distance behind her. ''I beg your pardon,'' he said with a slight apologetic cough, ''but your boundaries are the low-lying stream several yards beyond the grove, to where I suspect I've just chased your brother from my orchard.'' "Please accept my apologies then.'' Sophie kept her tone stiff. She whirled away toward the stile to escape his censure, wondering why she did not debate with him that the wall had been the boundary for ages. Everyone knew it, even the cows. She was a Crestwood from Leatherbury, and she knew it. Who was he to tell her differently? She pivoted back on her heel. ''And you are?'' She inclined her head and raised her chin, just like Lady Mary did when she questioned some poor, culpable soul. The man shifted in his saddle like he might slide off the horse, and the animal whinnied and stamped its feet. ''Captain Edward Murdock of St. Kitts, and still you are trespassing on my property.''

Author Danielle Thorne
Danielle Thorne is the author of a dozen books, including five-star classic romance and adventure in several genres. A graduate of BYU-Idaho, she has edited for both Solstice and Desert Breeze Publishing and participated in writing organizations and contests over the years picking up awards and recognition for her work. When not researching or writing fiction, Danielle freelances as a historical non-fiction author for young adults from her home in Atlanta, Georgia. She loves to hear from romance readers through her website and appreciates feedback and reviews. Her next adventure, The Story of Queen Victoria 200 Years After Her Birth, is coming 2018 with Atlantic Publishing.
  $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway Ends 5/17/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. The giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Confessions of a Private Eye: My Thirty Years Investigating Cheaters, Frauds, Missing Persons and Crooks by Scott Fulmer

Product Details

  • Title: Confessions of a Private Eye: My Thirty Years Investigating Cheaters, Frauds, Missing Persons and Crooks 
  • Author:Scott Fulmer
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Genre: Non-Fiction
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (February 18, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1979693129
  • FTC, FYI: I received a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review

Book Synopsis
Discover what it's really like to be a Private Investigator from one of the top Private Eyes in the country. 

Confessions of a Private Eye offers an accurate behind-the-scenes look at the real-life cases of celebrated Private Investigator and Super Sleuth, Scott B. Fulmer. In a thrilling private eye career spanning almost three decades, he has seen it all. Join Fulmer as he describes in breathtaking detail his investigations and daring challenges involving kidnapped children, missing diamonds and insurance scams. Discover how he busted a fake chiropractic clinic, recovered thousands of dollars of purloined tortillas and proved an injured stripper was not so injured after all. In the private eye world truth really is stranger than fiction. 

At the age of eight, Fulmer discovered the mysteries of Sherlock Holmes in his elementary school library and his career choice was set. His investigations have taken him from Texas to Utah and California to Washington, DC. From the streets of San Francisco to a secret cave in rural Pennsylvania where he began working for the U.S. government. Fulmer has unraveled intrigues, busted employee theft and even worked with F.B.I. His true-life cases have run the gamut from workers comp fraud and murder, to recovering runaways, human smuggling and cheating spouses. From placing hidden GPS trackers on vehicles, proving trademark infringement and even investigating members of the George Bush administration. 

Confessions of a Private Eye is Fulmer's spell-binding account, and your backstage pass to learning how real private investigators go about solving cases and catching the bad guys. Of course, all the names, locations and other identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of the innocent (and the guilty). 

Learn how Fulmer got his start in the private investigator business and the mistakes he made a long the way. His narrative is insightful and often poignant. Not every investigation has a happy ending. But through it all you'll learn about Fulmer's unique investigatory methods and his state-of-the-art equipment. Confessions of a Private Eye is a humorous, thorough and perceptive depiction of the mysterious private investigation world by one of the country's top private eyes.

My Review
When I first read about this book it sounded interesting, but at the same time I wondered how entertaining of a read it would be. Let me say, this book is a great read! The author, Scott Fulmer, has lived such an interesting life. It's truly amazing how many varied experiences he's had in life. I think this fact alone is what has made him so successful in his chosen profession as a private investigator. 

He grew up in a large family, joined the army and served in the Gulf War, worked for the US Government, worked with the FBI, and also investigated people that worked for George Bush Sr. in his presidential library. Each part of his life he details people he worked with, cases he worked, and things he learned along the way. The writing and storytelling is done so well as to fully engage the reader in each story until the case is or isn't solved. The reality of this profession is told so people understand being a PI is not like what you see on T.V. I read this book in a few days, and yes, it's one of those books you can't put down. This book was such a nice change of pace for me in that I mostly read romances and middle grade fantasy. I highly recommend you read this fascinating book that is full of intrigue, and which will immerse you into a world you've may not wandered into before.

Purchase a Copy Here:

About the Author

Friday, April 27, 2018

A House Divided: A Novel By Diane Stringham Tolley-Blog Tour Review

Product Details

  • Title: A House Divided: A Novel
  • Author: Diane Stringham Tolley
  • Paperback: 249 pages
  • Publisher: Bonneville Books (November 14, 2017)
  • Genre: LDS Historical Fiction/Book of Mormon/Religious
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1462120865
  • FTC, FYI: I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review

Book Synopsis
Hannah thought reaching the promised land would mean an end to her problems, but it was only the beginning. With her loved ones divided and her people in danger, Hannah's faith is now faltering more with each passing day. Can she find the courage to stand by her convictions? Or will the conflicts from their past lead the Nephite people into a war against their own family?

My Review
The second book in this series picks up where the first one left off. I loved the first book where we got to know Hannah and her struggle being the wife of Lemuel. In this book we see the continual rise of conflict between the Nephites and the Lamanites. I love seeing the Book of Mormon come to life in novels such as this. There is much to be learned from Hannah's example of having hope, faith, and relying on the hand of the Lord to guide your life. She suffered a lot physically and mentally during her marriage to Lemuel.

 This story is so beautifully written, along with many scriptures laced throughout it's pages. I would suggest to readers, even those familiar with the stories from the Book of Mormon, to read the first book in the series, Daughter of Ishmael: Promised Land, Broken Hearts, before starting A House Divided. Even though it could be read as a stand alone, reading the first book gives you greater insight into what kind of woman Hannah is and how she could endure so many hardships so well. There is some violence and mildly graphic content from war battles and animal attacks. This book is appropriate for adults and older teens.  

The men moved close and carefully picked up the young man, who, such a
short time before, had been full of life and promise.
It was a saddened group who began to make their way back to the village.
Nephi had risen to his feet and was staring off into the trees.
Hannah paused beside him. "Is that all there is to this life, Brother Nephi?
Pain and suffering?"
He looked at her. "There is pain, yes, Sister Hannah. And suffering to be sure.
It is sad that we need the opposition to remind us of our duty. To turn our
hearts to our God." He sighed. "But much of our suffering is brought on by the
choices of men. The evil choices of men.

About the Author
Diane Stringam Tolley was born and raised on the great Alberta prairies. Daughter of a ranching family of writers, she inherited her love of writing at a very early age, penning her earliest published works in Mrs. Hainsworth’s grade six class. Trained in journalism, she has written countless articles, short stories, plays, and songs. She is the published author of thirteen novels and e-books. Her thirteenth, Daughter of Ishmael, was released early in 2017.
Author Residence: Alberta, Canada


Tripwire: A Saint Squad Novel By Traci Hunter Abramson-Blog Tour Review and Giveaway


Product Details:
  • Title: Tripwire: A Saint Squad Novel
  • Series:Saint Squad Series
  • Author: Traci Hunter Abramson
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (April 1, 2018)
  • Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Romance
  • ISBN-10: 1524405353
  • FTC,FYI: I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Synopsis: 
Jane Napierski is back at work at the job she loves—being a personal assistant to her friend Sienna Blake, a rising star actress. The duo is on location in Virginia Beach to film Sienna’s new TV series, along with costar Reed Forrester—the man with whom the world thinks Sienna is in love. Wrong.

Sienna’s heart actually belongs to her fiancé, Craig, a Navy Seal with the Saint Squad. Craig must fly under the radar if he is to keep Sienna safe from his world of terrorists and toxic bombs. And Reed has no problem pretending to date his old friend Sienna simply because it means he can spend time learning more about Jane. Making a TV series is grueling work but not nearly as difficult as the treacherous adventure that is about to begin with a simple photo taken in the wrong place at the wrong time—an image worth killing for.
When Craig returns to the United States to spend time with Sienna, he’s not expecting to spend that time protecting her and Jane. Frightening incidents targeting the two women rapidly escalate, and as Craig and his Saint Squad investigate a tangled conspiracy, they find themselves tracking, here at home, the terrorists they have searched for across the globe. But can they shut the terrorists down in time to save Jane, Reed, and Sienna?

My Review
It was wonderful to be able to read another book from one of my favorite series: The Saint Squad. These books are about a group of LDS Navy Seals and the adventures they encounter on the job and the women in their lives. 

Tripwire is a little different from some of the other Saint Squad books. This novel doesn't fully center on just a Saint Squad member, this time Craig, but on his soon to be wife actress Sienna, and her friends Jane and Reed. Many of the squad do appear in this book, but a lot of focus is on Jane and Reed getting together. All of the action centers around some terrorists that ended up in a photo of Jane and Sienna at the airport. From there, the two women are targeted and it's up to the Saint Squad to protect them and save their lives many times. There's always good character interaction with witty dialogue in a Traci Hunter Abramson book. The romance is good and realistic. The action is anything from car chases, to shootouts, and chemical bombs. This book kept me up late at night because it has the "Just One More Chapter" syndrome woven into it's pages. Honestly, it was SO hard to put it down because I just had to see what would happen next.

This book is for people that like a combination of romance, action, and suspense. I know it's best to read the other nine books in the series first, but you could easily pick this up not having read the others. I can promise you though, if you do, you'll be racing off to read the other books in the Saint Squad series. All of the covers are down below. 

Purchase Tripwire Here:

Meet Author Traci Hunter Abramson
Traci Hunter Abramson was born in Arizona, where she lived until moving to Venezuela for a study-abroad program. After graduating from Brigham Young University, she worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for several years, eventually resigning in order to raise her family. She credits the CIA with giving her a wealth of ideas for suspense novels as well as the skills needed to survive her children's teenage years. She has gone on to write a number of bestselling suspense novels that have consistently been nominated as Whitney Award finalists. She considers shoes an optional accessory which became evident when she won her first three Whitney Awards in 2013 (Code Word), 2014 (Deep Cover), and 2016 (Failsafe.) She currently lives in Virginia with her family where she enjoys sports, travel, writing, and coaching high school swimming.    

Other Books in the Saint Squad Series

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Love in Bloom: Spotlight & Giveaway,Speak Now: or Forever Hold Your Peace by Becky Monson

  Speak Now: or Forever Hold Your Peace by Becky Monson 
Speak Now is the latest hit from the author of the hit Spinster Series, Becky Monson. In this Readers’ Favorite Book Award Winner (Bronze Medal) novel, Bridgette Reynolds needs to stop a wedding, but can she do it? If there’s one thing that Bridgette Reynolds has learned recently, it’s that the perfect shoes, the perfect hair, and the perfect dress do not make for the perfect proposal. In fact, sometimes they make for the not-so-perfect breakup. Now, Bridgette must do everything in her power to win Adam back. She knows they are meant to be. And nothing will stand in her way—not her friends, not her grandmother, not even the fact that Adam is now engaged to Serene after a whirlwind romance. Focused on her plan to win Adam back, Bridgette isn’t expecting Ian—her college best friend, her love, her big regret—to come back into her life. They sink back into their comfortable friendship as if no time has passed at all, making Bridgette start to question her feelings for Adam. But Ian has a few secrets of his own . . . secrets that could shatter their friendship once and for all. Bridgette has to make some major decisions—should she speak now? Or forever hold her peace? After some channel surfing, and a vain attempt to catch up with The Young and the Restless (I couldn’t watch the Ian and Heather and Jessica drama—a bit too close to home), I decide to drag myself upstairs to Margie’s place where Gram and the girls are playing bridge. I need something to get my mind off everything. I doubt it will work, but it’s worth a try. “Is Gram here?” I ask Margie when she answers the door. “Sure is,” she says, opening the door wide. She ushers me in with a sweep of her hand. I walk into Margie’s apartment, which is set up a lot like Gram’s. And just as old-fashioned as well. But, like Gram’s place, it has a homey feel to it. I will say that there are doilies. Lots of doilies. “Look who’s here, ladies,” Margie says as we walk into the living room. Gram and two other ladies, Evelyn and Barbara, all turn to see who it is. Once they see me they all start talking in unison. Saying hello and asking me question after question. I try to field each query, but they keep talking over each other. “Well, Bridgette, what brings you here?” Gram asks, after the chatter has settled. She looks slightly concerned. She wasn’t expecting me. Likewise, I was not expecting to come up here, but here I am. “I thought I would come and see what you ladies are doing.” I knew they were playing cards, so that was kind of a dumb comment. “And also to check up on Gram,” I say, pointing to the wine glass sitting to her left. That was not something I was expecting to find, but I’m glad I did. She looks down at the glass and then back up at me, a sheepish just-been-caught look on her face. “Oh, that’s mine,” Evelyn declares, and I roll my eyes. Evelyn isn’t even sitting next to Gram. “Gram, you’ve got to be kidding. Does she drink every time she’s playing cards with you?” I ask, looking around the room. “Not all the time,” Barbara pipes in. “Just . . . most of the time.”

"Speak Now grabbed me from the beginning! This is the perfect escape/beach read - light and fun, amusing with some tearful moments." -Reviewing in Chaos

 "By the end of the book I felt like Bridgette was a real life friend of mine and I was actually sad when the book ended." -Divine Books Blog 

"Can I give this book a 10? It was so fantastic!" -Taking Time for Mommy Author Becky Monson
 By day, Becky Monson is a mother to three young children, and a wife. By night, she escapes with reading books and writing. An award-winning* author, Becky uses humor and true-life experiences to bring her characters to life. She loves all things chick-lit (movies, books, etc.), and wishes she had a British accent. She has recently given up Diet Coke for the fiftieth time and is hopeful this time will last… but it probably won’t.  

Giveaway Details Ends 5/16/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway