Sheila's Books Read

Sheila's bookshelf: read

What Would the Founding Fathers Think: A Young American's guide to understanding the mess our country is in and how we get out
Isabelle Webb: Legend of the Jewel
Captive Heart
Cobble Cavern
Caller ID
Summer of Secrets
On Little Wings
We Lived in Heaven: Spiritual Accounts of Souls Coming to Earth
Christ's gifts to women
A Woman's power: threads that bind us to god
Scary School
Hope's journey
Targets in Ties
Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island
With a Name like Love
Sean Griswold's head

Sheila's favorite books »

2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
Sheila has read 9 books toward her goal of 80 books.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Christmas Countdown Blitz & Giveaway 2019: Day 7-A Christmas Story of Light By Ora Smith

God’s light shines in all of His creations, from the Star of Bethlehem, to the angel proclaiming Christ’s birth, to the Son of God Himself—the light of the world.

Through this light, He illuminates darkness, gives us guidance, and shows us how to love one another.

Experience the rich artwork and inspirational messages of A Christmas Story of Light this holiday season and let God’s light bring you the brightness of hope.

As a mother, genealogist, artist, and faithful follower of Jesus Christ, Ora blends her understanding and unique skills to create faith-inspired stories that she hopes will give others an added testimony of God’s goodness.

Q&A With the Author:

What inspired this Christmas/Winter book?
I wanted to write a Christmas story for my grandchildren, to let them know my beliefs and also my hope that they will always be kind to those they meet. I’ve always been fascinated with the scriptures in the Bible that tell about the light of Christ being both physical and spiritual, so I decided to tell the traditional Christmas story of Christ’s birth by explaining it all in the aspect of “light” since Christ is the Light of the World. If this light is truly understood, then we realize we are sharing His light by loving others.

Do you have other Holiday books? If so, what Holiday? If not, what other books do you write?
I don’t have any other holiday’s books, but working on an Easter idea for another children’s picture book. My grandson has asked me to write another, and I asked him what he would like it to be about. He’s thinking.  So, there’s that. His mother feels there aren’t enough children’s books for young boys that aren’t related to action heroes or toys. We are putting our heads together to see what we can come up with.
I also write historical novels about my ancestors’ stories. I’m just finishing the third and hope to get it published in 2020.

What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it?
Getting a historical novel published. The one I’m about done with needs to go through the process of beta readers, editing, and revisions, but it’s a great book about John Lothropp, a man who lived in 17th Century England at a time when churchgoers were fined, imprisoned, or tortured if they didn’t attend the Church of England. He fought against the system and was imprisoned. It’s also a love story and his wife is a point of view character in the book. Lothropp came to America soon after the Pilgrims and five US presidents descend from him, plus Princess Diana, and a bunch of other famous people. He’s like a founding father most people have never heard of. Writing the story has been a joy and also one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I know it will be worth it in the end!

Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing?
I’m an artist, but when I write, it’s hard to find the time to paint. I work mostly with oils, and have a goal to learn watercolor for my next children’s book. I’m a genealogist and love all things that have to do with finding out more about my ancestors. I have a blog, Writing About Ancestors. I love to spend time with my grandchildren, but they live in different states than I, so I travel a lot, which is also a love—travel. I went to England in March to research my Lothropp book, and hope to go back soon. The UK and Ireland are my favorite places. Although any city with good art museums and galleries is where I want to be. I’ve traveled to 48 of our 50 states and have Alaska and Maine on my bucket list. I took a 10-day art workshop in Ireland, and it was the best way to see the country because we went to the most picturesque places to paint, even the Aran Islands.

Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in real life?
Yes, everything I’ve written, both children’s book and novels are based on true stories. I try my hardest to get every ounce of truth I know about my characters and the times he/she lived, and use that in the story. I wrote a Civil War drama about my third great-grandparents in North Carolina that is almost all real, other than the thoughts and conversations of the characters. It’s been harder to find information about 17th Century England, but everything I know for fact is in the story.

Tell us one Christmas or Winter tradition that you love to do every year, and why it is so special to you.
For about thirty years, my husband, children and I have Christmas caroled at retirement homes every Christmas Eve. It’s harder now that most of the children live in different places, but they come for Christmas often. We have always done it with friends, too, so their voices can be joined with ours. It’s amazing and sad how many of the elderly are left alone at Christmas time.
Merry Christmas everyone! If you want to feel the Light of Christ, try reading my book A Christmas Story of Light. I wrote it for ages 5-8, but many adults have told me they love it too.

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page Part 1 
  Official Event page Part 2 

Monday, December 9, 2019

Christmas Countdown Blitz & Giveaway 2019: Day 6-The Miracle of Joie By Betsy Love

Betsy Love has loved to write from the moment she could hold a pen and has been creating stories ever since she was in elementary school. Her high school creative writing teacher told her that one day she would be published.

When not sitting at her computer pouring her heart and soul into her novels, she loves going to her mountain property for inspiration and to escape the desert heat. She loves spending time with her family. At last count she has 20 grandchildren, has given up on gardening. If she had a horse, she might give up writing.

~ Facebook ~ Amazon ~

Joie, an over-confident rookie elf, is on her first assignment. 

Its one week before Christmas, and she must find a mother for eight-year-old Emily. Not an easy task, since Emilys grieving father, Matt, is not ready for marriage. Hes still bitter about the accident that killed his wife and handicapped his daughter. 

When events turn Joie into a human, she loses her magic and must use her ingenuity to heal the broken family. How could falling love be the answer?

~ Universal Amazon Link  

Q&A With the Author:

What inspired this Christmas/Winter book?
I've been wanting to write a Christmas story for a long time, but just haven't had any ideas. Then one day I was thinking about the movie Elf and suddenly a whole story formed in my head. 
Do you have other Holiday books? If so, what are they are for which Holidays? If not, what other books do you write?
I'm working on a paranormal winter story. I'm not sure I'm going to call it a Christmas story because it's a little more on the dark side than I normally write. I'm also writing a series that will take place around different holidays. The first one (still in the writing phase) is called "Ginger in Grayscale." The theme is "What if you woke up tomorrow with only what you thanked God for today." This one takes place around Thanksgiving. My other books (all clean) are spread across a couple of genres. I write mail order brides of the future. The series is called "StarBride Chronicles." My favorite novel "The Penny Project, my anti-bullying book written from the viewpoint of the bully, is inspired by a true story.

What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it?
To actually make a living as a writer. To achieve this dream I am working on my marketing skills and to date, I'm terrible at it. But that is about to change!

Tell us about things you enjoy what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing? 
I love to crochet and am always on the lookout for a fun pattern. Yesterday it was a unicorn hoodie/scarf. My granddaughter is all about the unicorns.

Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in real life? 
Yes and no. But I won't tell you which loved ones I've modeled some of my characters after. I get some of my best ideas by listening to people talk about themselves. My favorite t-shirts reads "I'm a writer. Anything you say or do maybe be written into a story."

Tell us one Christmas or Winter tradition that you love to do every year, and why it is so special. 
When the kids were little, we loved to open one gift at a time and ooo and ahhh over each item. That allowed the receiver to properly thank the giver. We loved going to the Mesa temple to see the Christmas lights and then having wassail afterward. We would then read the story of The Three Trees and talk about how Christ is the center of Christmas. 
Now that the children are grown and are scattered across the US, instead of sending Christmas gifts, we like to send ourselves. We rotate visiting our children and grandchildren.

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page Part 1 
  Official Event page Part 2 

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Corporate Christmas.By Bernadette Marie : Official Book Tour Spotlight and Giveaway

Chloe Richardson had just landed the biggest client of her career. A promotion was in her future, or so she thought until the handsome Jason Mitchell walked into her office with his gorgeous smile and searing blue eyesand took her job.

Losing her job so close to Christmas, Chloes only choice was to go back home to Aubrey Heights, where the Christmas spirit is celebrated in a tourist loving, wonderland. Perhaps she can pull herself together before the new yearbefore her new career search.

However, Jason follows her to Aubrey Heightswith a mission of his own. First he stole her jobnow he wants to steal her heart.

Is the spirit of Christmas alive enough in her to let that happen?

Amazon ~ iTunes ~
Barnes and Noble ~
Kobo ~ Google Play ~

Bestselling Author Bernadette Marie is known for building families readers want to be part of. Her series The Keller Family has graced bestseller charts since its release in 2011. Since then she has authored and published over thirty-five books. The married mother of five sons promises romances with a Happily Ever After alwaysand says she can write it because she lives it.

When not immersed in the writing/publishing world, Bernadette Marie and her husband are shuffling their five hockey playing boys around town to practices and games as well as running their family business. She is a lover of a good stout craft beer and might be slightly addicted to chocolate.

Facebook ~ Website ~
Twitter ~
YouTube ~ Pinterest ~

Snippet #2
Jason was sure that he'd bleed out before they could take him back and stitch up his head. A nurse had given him a gauze pad to replace the tissue that had dried to his skin.
Chloe sat next to him frantically filling out his medical record in her beautiful penmanship.
He gave it to her and watched as she made perfect fours.
"Phone number?"
She wrote it down.
"I'm a Pisces. My favorite color is red. I like my pizza with just sausage, and I'm sensitive to gluten, but I can't keep away from it."
She stopped writing and looked up at him. "I don't think I need all that. But thanks," she snapped, but it only made it funnier to him.
"I just thought it was a good time to get to know each other. My turn, why don't you answer those questions for me?" He tried to smile, but each time he did it hurt his head.
"Everything you need to know about me is in my employee file. You can ask H.R. if you need to see it since you're my boss."
She directed her attention right back to the form, but he got the message loud and clear. She wasn't happy about his new position.
Top Ten List
Top 10 Favorite Holiday Traditions by Bernadette Marie

10. Shopping for fun gifts, on Amazon of course.
9. Seeing Disneyland dressed up for the holidays (if I can.)
8. The Kids’ time off.
7. School productions. The high school has a 3-hour concert (4 presentations of this concert) which include all choirs, ensembles, and instrumental music as well. It’s fascinating.
6. That cup of coffee on Christmas morning.
5. Watching my family open their gifts.
4. Our new tradition of playing silly games on Christmas morning since my kids are older.
3. Holiday decorations and music in the stores.
2. I love to look at Christmas lights.
1. My 8 Christmas trees! I love to set up Christmas trees, and each of them has a theme.

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

Hosted by Loving The Book:

The Librarian Picks Her Poison By Amber Gilchrist: Book Blitz and Giveaway

Amber Gilchrist lives in New Mexico with her husband and six children. She writes YA , Romantic Comedies, and series mysteries. She calls her lifetime of jumping from one job to another 'experience' for her books and not an inability to settle down. Amber loves mysteries and a good, happy romance. She also loves to laugh. Sometimes she likes all of them together.

A fan of quirky movies and indie books, Amber likes to be with her family, is socially inept, and fears strangers and small yippy dogs. She alternates between writing and being a mom. She tries to do both at the same time but her kids don't appreciate being served lunch and told, "This is the hot dog of your discontent." So mostly she writes when everyone else is in bed.

Facebook ~ Goodreads ~
Amazon ~

Audrey Scott might be a childrens librarian, but that isnt all she can do. When her best friend, Gretchen Holden, stands accused of a murder, Audrey cant handle doing nothing more than bailing Gretchen out of jail. She has to figure out who really killed Gretchens step-father, a universally hated federal judge.

With a not small list of potential people the judge has wronged, Audrey and her friends have a rough ride ahead of them trying to decide who had a motive, means, and opportunity to put the judge in an early grave. With the help of Derek Hennessy, erstwhile enemy turned very good friend, and her normal crew of cohorts, Audrey wont stop until the threat no longer looms.


A fragile Gretchen wasnt something I felt good about seeing.  I didnt want to smother her with my attention, but she was still shaking, her legs wobbly and she was pale, with dark circles under her eyes.  I had no idea how long it had been since shed slept.  Or even eaten.  Her blood sugar was likely rock bottom.  I bit my lip, debating if I could push her into letting me at least hold her arm and guide her to the car.  I met Kyles eyes, and I knew he was aware of how scared I was she wouldnt even make it to the car.  He nodded very slightly.
Without asking, he put his arm around her shoulder and directed her towards the door.  It was a sign of how exhausted she was that she let him.  In fact, she huddled into his side, looking ridiculously small, even though in reality she and Kyle both were tall.  She was 510which I knew for sure, and Kyle was over six feet.  I usually hated them both for it.  But right now, she looked tiny and frail.  Kyle was the most solid guy I knew.  If someone was looking for safety, clinging to Kyle was a very good choice.  I hoped his solid presence was returning at least some sense of security to her. 

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

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The Fifth Favorite By Gale Sears: Book Review

Product Details

  • Title: The Fifth Favorite
  • Author: Gale Sears
  • Genre: Middle Grade/Coming of Age
  • Paperback: 207 pages
  • Publisher: Crosslink Publishing (November 29, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1633571858
  • ***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own***

Book Summary
Eleven-year-old Allie Whitman is dealing with stress about her sixth-grade science project, embarrassment about her chicken costume for Halloween, and fear of the Mad Woman of Tahoe Meadow. Added to this, she feels that she is her mother's fifth favorite in their family of six. She tries hard to up her status, but competing with her dad, a charming older brother, a brainy older sister, and a younger sister with autism; Allie laments that she may be stuck forever as low man on the totem pole.

The stakes escalate for Allie when her brother Paul, blackmails her into keeping a dark secret in exchange for his silence about one of her foolhardy decisions. When Paul's secret turns dangerous, Allie must decide between her mother's approval or saving her brother's life.

The Fifth Favorite is a clever story filled with lovable characters, a bit of mystery, and plenty of hope.

My Review 
I read this book the week of Thanksgiving. It was the perfect book to read during the holidays. 

Main character Allie is a sixth-grader in a family full of outgoing and complicated family members. She often feels she's sitting in the background when compared to her older brother and sister who are smart and popular and her younger sister who is autistic. Awkward is the perfect word to describe her and the reason I know this is because this novel mirrors my life so much! I was a very awkward 11-year-old with an outgoing older brother and sister and a younger brother with a disability. The characters are written so well and are brought to life in a colorful and relatable way. I remember feeling the way that Allie felt wondering where she fits in her family and what her part was in how it functioned. 

This Middle-Grade fiction book is a beautiful coming of age story where readers see the incredible growth Allie makes as she learns about true friendship, accepting others who are different, helping those in need, and loving others unconditionally. This novel made me laugh out loud at moments and cry in others. The book is set in an earlier era that makes the nostalgia come alive. This book will be enjoyed by teens and adults. The Fifth Favorite will make a wonderful Christmas present for all of your favorite reader friends and family.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Master of the Phantom Isle (Dragonwatch #3) by Brandon Mull-Blog Tour Review{This is a Gift Alert Novel!}

Book Details
Publication Date: 10/1/19
ISBN: 9781629726045
Retail Price: $18.99
Page Count: 496
Juvenile Fiction / Fantasy & Magic
Ages 10 And Up, Grades 5 And Up
Cover Illustration by Brandon Dorman
Book Design: © Shadow Mountain
Art Direction: Richard Erickson
Design: Sheryl Dickert Smith
Author Photo: Busath Photography

***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own***

Book Summary 

Cursed by the Key of Forgetting, Seth has lost all memory of his past—his relationships, his
experiences, and who he really is. For now, he will align with his new mentor, Ronodin, the dark unicorn, who takes him to the Phantom Isle, the secret gateway to the Under Realm. Though Seth is not formally a prisoner, Ronodin wants to use him and his shadow charmer powers for his own dark ends.

Kendra is frantic to find her missing brother, but the quest will take her and her companions, including Warren, Tanu, and Vanessa, far from Wyrmroost to Crescent Lagoon—a recently fallen dragon sanctuary made up of many islands and underwater domains. Its caretaker has regained a foothold on one of the islands. If Kendra and her friends can save that sanctuary, they might uncover the answers they need to rescue Seth.

With each sanctuary the dragons overthrow, Celebrant, the Dragon King, comes closer to the dawn of a new Age of Dragons. With the forces of darkness on the march, can Kendra and her allies gather enough power to win the epic dragon war?

Book Trailers for Master of the Phantom Isle (Dragonwatch #3)

My Review
I fell in love with the original Fablehaven series when I read the first installment way back in 2009. It was different and had great characters that kids and adults loved. Now, we have the third book in the Dragonwatch series called, Master of the Phantom Isle: A Fablehaven Adventure. It picks up immediately where the second book ended. The Dragons are loose and trying to take over, Seth has been kidnapped by the dark unicorn Ronodin and has lost his memory, and Kendra is the last caretaker of Wyrmroost with its gates soon to fall to the dragons.

This series was originally meant for middle-grade readers. Middle grade is fiction aimed at children aged roughly between the ages of eight and twelve. I am nowhere near that age but I have loved it as much as this age group. Any fantasy lover will enjoy reading this whole series. As I always say though, readers will enjoy this new book more if they have read all of the previous books. Many of the characters in this novel have been in the previous books, though I also love all of the new characters introduced in Master of the Phantom Isle. 
Be prepared for exciting scenes full of non-stop action fighting off a giant octopus, dealing with the living dead in the Underworld, merfolk, more fairies, and of course many more dragons. The character development for main characters Seth and Kendra was there as well. It was very hard watching Seth do the things that he does in this book because of his memory loss. Both sibling's powers increase in this novel too. It was great to have some of my favorites from previous novels like Calvin the tiny hero and Tanu the Potion Master playing bigger roles. Overall this book is a huge hit and a fantastic addition to the Dragonwatch series and the overall Fablehaven family of books. 

Purchase your copy of  Master of the Phantom Isle (Dragonwatch #3) HERE

Meet Author Brandon Mull

 Brandon Mull is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Fablehaven, Beyonders, and Five Kingdoms series. A kinetic thinker, Brandon enjoys bouncy balls, squeezable stress toys, and popping bubble wrap. 

He lives in Utah in a happy little valley near the mouth
of a canyon with his four children and a dog named Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Brandon loves meeting his readers and hearing about their experiences with his books.

Learn more about Brandon HERE:
Follow the author on Instagram @writerbrandon and Facebook @authorbrandonmull