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.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Secrets Never Die-A Novel of Suspense By Laurie Lewis-Blog Tour Review & Giveaway

Product Details

  • Title: Secrets Never Die-A Novel of Suspense
  • Author: Laurie Lewis
  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Covenant Communications Inc. (July 1, 2019)
  • Genre: Mystery Suspense
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1524408417
  • "I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own."

Book Summary
Tallie Brown’s life has never made sense. Raised in isolation by her mother, Julia, Tallie was dragged suddenly and without explanation from one third-world outpost to another until life normalized seven years ago when Julia took a position on a mountaintop in the Pacific northwest. But when Julia unexpectedly dies, Tallie uncovers clues suggesting that Julia had a secret life. 

Journalistic phenom Jackson James is still recovering from the devastating mistake that flatlined his promising career. Now he’s paying the price, working as the editor of a syrupy community rag in a posh D.C. suburb. But when the very man who destroyed him drops a tantalizing lead about a potential D.C. scandal, the reporter sees his chance for redemption and sets off to chase the story. Jackson’s investigation leads him to Cutler’s Ridge, a dying Virginia coal town, and directly into the path of the mysterious and beautiful Tallie. As these two mistrustful loners follow their leads, their stories begin to intertwine until they reach an alarming conclusion – something terrible happened in Cutler’s Ridge. As they doggedly pursue the story, the town’s cold reception spirals into threats and danger, proving that there are those who will stop at nothing to keep the past hidden forever –because secrets never die.

My Review

Wow! I liked this story. This novel is a well-crafted puzzle of clues that you piece together chapter by chapter. I stayed up WAY too late reading it but I could not stop. I truly enjoyed trying to figure out all of the secrets that were hidden in the small town of Cutler's Ridge. 

Tallie Brown was a hard character to get to know at first, but I understood why she acted the way she did considering her upbringing. Soon, you are in her corner hoping she finds all of the answers she's looking for.  Jackson James was a lot easier to understand and relate to and you can't but feel sad for him and his past mistakes. It was interesting to see how their relationship developed. Together they actually made a pretty good team.

Cutler's Ridge had a very unique group of people that lived there. It truly showed what it's like living in a small town, accompanied with all of the gossipings that can take place. It was kind of crazy to see who held the most secrets and why. It also was shocking to see how these characters were linked to Tallie and her deceased mom, Julia. Be prepared for moments of gasping out of loud amongst all of the cover-ups, blackmailing, and deaths that arise. This story is also one of redemption among tragedy and finding yourself and purpose. I hope that there is another book in the works because I'd like to read more about Tallie after this ended.

This is a clean read full of adventure, mystery, and intrigue. This author is a wonderful writer and I've loved all of her books. If you love novels with a lot of twists and turns "Secrets Never Die" is one you have to read.

Meet Author: Laurie Lewis
Laurie (L.C.) Lewis is the author of women’s fiction romance who also writes under the pen name L.C. Lewis – writing the award winning FREE MEN & DREAMERS historical romance series set again the backdrop of the War of 1812. She is a RONE Award Winner for The Dragons of Alsace Farm and was twice named a New Apple Literary Award winner in 2017. In 2018, winning Best New Fiction for Love on a Limb. She is also a BRAGG Medallion honoree, and she was twice named a Whitney Awards and USA Best Books Awards finalist.
Laurie is a Marylander at heart – loves weather-whining lover of crabs, American history & the sea, she admits to being craft-challenged & a devotee of sappy movies. Secrets Never Die is Laurie’s twelfth novel.
Learn more about Laurie and her books at her website:

Purchase a Copy of Secrets Never Die HERE:

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Sunday, July 21, 2019

A Song for the Stars (Proper Romance Historical) By Ilima Todd-Blog Tour Review

Product Details

  • A Song for the Stars by Ilima Todd
  • Series: Proper Romance
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Genres: Clean Romance, Historical, Light Romance, proper romance
  • Publisher: Shadow Mountain (April 2, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1629725285
  • ***"I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own."

Book Summary
Inspired by a true story  
 Hawaiian Islands, 1779   

As the second daughter of a royal chief, Maile will be permitted to marry for love. Her fiancé is the best navigator in Hawaiʻi, and he taught her everything he knows—how to feel the ocean, observe the winds, read the stars, and how to love.   But when sailors from a strange place called England arrive on her island, a misunderstanding ends in battle, and Maile is suddenly widowed before she is wed.Finding herself in the middle of the battle and fearing for her life, Maile takes John Harbottle, the wounded man who killed her fiancé, prisoner, and though originally intending to let him die, she reluctantly heals him. And in the process, she discovers the man she thought was her enemy might be her ally instead.   

John has been Captain James Cook’s translator for three voyages across the Pacific. He is kind and clearly fascinated with her homeland and her people—and Maile herself. But guilt continues to drive a wedge between them: John’s guilt over the death he caused, and Maile’s guilt over the truth about what triggered the deadly battle—a secret she’s kept hidden from everyone on the island.   When Maile is tasked with teaching John how to navigate using the stars so he can sail back to England, they must also navigate the challenges of being from very different cultures. In doing so, they might also find the peace that comes when two hearts become one.

My Review
A Song for the Stars was such a wonderful mix of romance and historical fiction genres. They have always been some of my favorite genres to read. This "Proper Romance" is very different from the others in this series and it was as refreshing as a dip in the ocean waters. I'm blessed to have visited the Big Island of Hawaii. I was immediately transported back there through the beautiful words written by this author.  

The novel is especially unique as it is based on a true story of Ilima Todd's Fourth Great-Grandparents  John Harbottle and Papapaunauapu (or Maile for short). They formed one of the oldest hapa-haole (half-white, half-Hawaiian) families in the islands. You can tell the author put her whole heart and soul into the writing of this story based on her ancestors. 

The story is told from the perspective of both Maile and journal entries from John. What a wonderful way to show the growth of their relationship from enemies to lovers! I truly loved both characters as they journeyed through the struggles of differences in cultures and their own obligations to their people and themselves.

This is such a lovely story that not only has a charming romance but also incredible details about the culture of the Hawaiian people. I loved this book and recommend it to teens and adults. 

Meet Author Ilima Todd: 

Ilima Todd was born and raised on the north shore of Oahu and dives for octopus with her dad every time she visits otherwise she’s diving into books in the Rocky Mountains where she lives with her husband and four children. She graduated from BYU with a degree in physics and eats copious amounts of raw fish and avocados without regret. But mostly she loves being a wife and mama and wouldn’t trade that job for anything in the world.

Learn more about Ilima Todd and her books HERE:

Purchase A Song for the Stars HERE:

Friday, July 12, 2019

The Redgrave Murders: A Romantic Suspense Novel By A.L. Sowards-Blog Tour Review & Giveaway

Product Details

  • Title: The Redgrave Murders
  • Author: A.L. Sowards
  • Genre: Romance/Suspense
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (July 1, 2019)
  • ISBN-10: 1524409456
***"I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own."***

Book Summary
When her father is murdered, Evie must prove her boyfriend innocent and find the real criminal before he kills again.

Loss is inevitable, as Evie Hampton knows all too well. But despite losing her mother to cancer and her older brother to a war, she knows she's one of the lucky ones. After all, she still has her father, a distinguished professor of medieval history. And she has Gary Redhawk, the man she loves despite the emotional scars he carries from the Second World War--and despite her father's opposition to their relationship.

When Evie's car suddenly careens off the road, she chalks it up to poor maintenance or sheer bad luck making another appearance in her life. Little does she know a host of hardships is just beginning--the car was her father's, and the brake lines were deliberately cut. Someone wants them dead--but why? All fingers point to Gary, a man with a troubled past and no solid alibi, but Evie is unwilling to believe he's involved. Determined to uncover the truth, she begins to piece together a startling picture of deception and vice. But as she closes in on the truth, it is clear that someone is determined to silence her--and the next attempt on her life may be a deadly success.

My Review
I've read many books by this author. Most of the other books were about characters in the middle of a war. The battle scenes were some of the best I'd ever read. I loved how this new book dealt with the after-effects of WWII. 

The Redgrave Murders, of course, is full of suspense right from the start. This novel was one that I sat down to read and only put it down to eat. This is what I love about Summer reading. One of the most engaging aspects of this novel are the letters at the beginning of each chapter that main character Evie and her brother Clive wrote to each other during the war. It filled in important character development on Evie's part and also showed family dynamics that play out within the novel.

One of the main characters, Evie's boyfriend Gary Redhawk, was a minor character in a previous novel the author wrote. I remembered the scene from the other book that he described in this novel. Gary is a Seneca Native American. He was my favorite character in this book. I feel his character was written realistically showing the plight of Native Americans at this time in history. This novel also does a great job of showing how the horrors of war caused PTSD in so many of the returning soldiers. He and Evie are good together and the romance part is secondary to the murder mystery that keeps you as a reader on your toes. There are so many suspects that stand out as you read each chapter. I quite enjoyed figuring out who ultimately was the person behind all of the terrible crimes.

This book is not a fast-paced book but keeps you enthralled none the less. The Redgrave Murders was a winner for me. 

There are a few scenes of violence with this being a murder mystery, a little kissing, and a lot of breathtaking action scenes. This book would be appropriate for older teens, and adults.

Meet Author: A.L. Sowards:
 "Books have always been an important part of my life. I remember writing self-illustrated storybooks at my grandparent’s house when I was in elementary school (none of those made it to publication for many good reasons) and attending my first writer’s conference when I was in third grade.

  As a reader, I enjoy a variety of books. As a writer, I create historical novels with a wholesome mix of action, adventure, and romance. My novels include a Whitney Award winner and several Whitney finalists.

I grew up in Washington State, then came to Utah to attend BYU. I’m still in Utah, where I live with my husband, three children, and an ever-growing library. I'm usually reading a couple books at once and working on multiple writing projects too. Other than that, my life is pretty ordinary. I'm grateful for that. I'll let the characters in my books have all the adventures."

Learn more about A.L. Sowards and her books at her website HERE:

Purchase a copy of The Redgrave Murders HERE:

 What the Author Had to Say...

“‘The Redgrave Murders’ is a historical mystery set in a small town shortly after World War II,” Sowards said. “It’s a whodunit with strong romantic elements and multiple ties to the recent war. It’s set in 1948 and follows Evie Hampton. When her father is murdered and her boyfriend blamed for it, Evie sets out to prove her boyfriend innocent and find the real criminal before he kills again.”

One of the characters in “The Redgrave Murders” was in one of Sowards’ previous books. 

“When I started the concept for ‘The Redgrave Murders,’ I knew I wanted the boyfriend, Gary Redhawk, to have a POW experience in his backstory,” said Sowards. “He was a minor character in a previous novel, so I already knew a little about him. But the more I researched likely education for a Native American in the 1930s, the more I realized that being a POW would be only a small slice of the trauma in Gary Redhawk’s backstory. I love it when my research turns up elements that add so much to a story.”

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The Redgrave Murders 

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Friday, July 5, 2019

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty-Book Review(Audio CD)

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit, I watched the TV series of Big Little Lies before I read/listened to the audio version. I really liked both. There were many differences of course with the book moving at a much slower pace. In many ways, I liked this. This is definitely a book that women will enjoy more, considering all of the main characters are Kindergarten moms This novel is a combination of chic-lit, mystery, and drama. The narrator did a fantastic job bringing to life each character in a wonderful way. Having already seen the series on HBO first, I feel that each part was cast superbly. Even knowing the outcome of the whole murder mystery, it was still so much fun to listen to how Moriarty played out this twisting tale of who died and who did it. This story truly shows how looks can be so deceiving and how perfect people aren't always living perfect lives. There is much humor in this novel mixed in with hard topics of abuse, rape, and bullying. This book won't be for everyone, especially if you don't like topics likes those I just mentioned and the "F" word is used quite liberally throughout the book. Big Little Lies was a good read for me but beware of my previous trigger warnings. If you like a novel that reminds you of an episode of Desperate Housewives, then this novel would be a great one for you.

View all my reviews