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.

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

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Smarter Than a Monster: A Survival Guide by Brandon Mull-Children's Picture Book Review

Smarter Than a Monster: A Survival Guide by Brandon Mull
Genre: Children's Picture Book
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Summary
What a great book for kids. I read this book to my class of 2nd graders. They not only loved the story but were enamored with the illustrations! (illustrations by Mike Walton) Brandon Mull, known for the wonderful Fabelehaven middle-grade series has once again written a brilliant children's book that speaks their language. So many kids are afraid of monsters and this book in a cute way tells how to repel those monsters. Some of the things were so smart like staying in your own bed because that's where monsters will leave you alone and brushing your teeth before bed because foul breath is a perfume to monsters. I also loved how it said for kids to repel monsters is to keep their rooms clean because monsters love to hide in messy rooms. Where was this book when my kids were little? This short book turned into a 15-minute conversation as my 2nd graders had a lot to say about repelling monsters. I hope that Brandon Mull will write more books about repelling monsters, dragons, trolls, etc. I know it was a hit with my 7-8-year-old students. 

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

 Purchase your copy HERE:

View all my reviews

To Die, To Sleep by Stephanie Black: Blog Tour Review and Giveaway

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (November 1, 2019)
  • Genre: Mystery/Suspense
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1524409138
  • ***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own*** 

Book Summary
After surviving a difficult year, Natalie Marsh is heading for Ellsberg Keep, an exclusive mountain resort that promises to provide the tranquility she desperately needs. She's eager to relax and to reconnect with her estranged cousin Lily, who works as the Keep's nurse—a reunion that begins abruptly when an accident on the winding mountain roads lands Natalie in the infirmary in the care of her cousin. They have little time to bond over childhood memories, however. Everything is thrown into chaos when the owner of the Keep is rushed to the medical wing, wildly delusional and raving about a murder plot.

Despite Lily's care, the owner dies. Is his death simply an accident, or are his frenzied suspicions true? Determined to help Lily cope with the loss of her patient—and the accusations that she's to blame for his death—Natalie searches for answers and is swept into a mystery that grows more puzzling as frightening hallucinations torment the dead man's son. When a staff member who asks too many questions disappears, it is clear that this idyllic resort harbors someone with deadly intent—and Natalie may not survive to uncover the truth.

My Review
 If I was less eloquent, I would review this book by saying, "WOW"! Since I try harder when reviewing a book I'll still say, "WOW" but tell you why. This novel is a non-stop thrill ride that keeps you wondering who did it and then suddenly you change your mind. I laughed as I suspected more and more characters until almost everyone in the book was a suspect. Black also has a way of adding more and more to the mystery with new baffling deaths and disappearances.
This is a game of CLUE that you won't win because the large cast of characters are all very shady. I loved this aspect! Of course, the main characters Natalie and her boyfriend Gideon are the only ones I left off of the list. It truly is almost to the end before things start to become clear and you find out who is behind all of the chaos.

This book is a must-read for all murder/mystery suspense readers. If you are already a huge fan of Stephanie Black I know that you will love this book. If this is the first of her books you'll get to read, I know you'll become a fan for life. This wonderful novel earns 5 Stars from me.

Purchase your own copy HERE:
Amazon Kindle / Amazon paperback / Deseret Book / Seagull Book

Meet Author Stephanie Black 

I’ve enjoyed making up stories since I was a child, when my sisters and I would play long Barbie games full of intrigue and danger, or write and direct plays for ourselves and our younger siblings. I took a creative writing class in high school, but my stories stunk, since I hadn’t yet figured out that a story needs a plot. An encouraging comment from the teacher got me rolling in the right direction (thank you, Mrs. Owen!) and my final story for that class eventually developed--after many years, much studying of fictional technique, and countless hours of writing and rewriting--into my first published novel: The Believer, a dystopian thriller, was published in 2005 by Covenant Communications.

Four of my contemporary mysteries are Whitney Award winners for Best Mystery/Suspense, and my second dystopian novel was a Whitney Award Finalist for Best Speculative Novel. My novella “An Eye for an Eye” was part of the RONE Award-winning anthology Timeless Romance: Autumn Suspense collection.

My husband Brian and I have five children, two children-in-law (with one more on deck), and a rather majestic cat. I love spending time with my family, enjoy homemade pizza and anything chocolate, and have recently developed a fondness for LEGO projects. I play the violin in a community symphony (but never practice enough), and always have unmatched socks, post-laundry. At the center of everything that matters most is my love for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Friday, November 15, 2019

Gratitude Giveaway Blog Hop: November 15th-30th

Welcome to my favorite blog hop of the year: 
The Gratitude Giveaway Hop
This is where I get to thank all of my loyal blog followers for coming to the blog to participate and read my reviews.

This month is a good month to look at all of the things we've been blessed with in our lives. It's always good to develop a spirit of gratitude. 

To show my gratitude for all of you, one lucky winner will receive a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card.
It's very easy to enter the giveaway. 
All you need to do are these three things:
  • You must be a follower of my blog: Why Not? Because I Said So!
  • Like my Facebook page and then come and join my

    Why Not? Because I Said So Book Discussion Group on Facebook.

    If you like to discuss books, authors, movies made from books, or anything having to do with reading, come join my new book discussion group. Many people ask me about book recommendations and why not have many people here recommending their favorites? Come join today!
  • FREE Entry for just dropping by today! 

Make sure to sign up on the Rafflecopter
form. Then make sure to go and visit all
of the other stops on the hop.

Have a wonderful month and Thanksgiving day! 
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Sunday, November 10, 2019

Glass Slippers, Ever After, And Me: A Proper Romance by Julie Wright -Book Review

Product Details

  • Title:   Glass Slippers, Ever After, And Me
  • Author:  Julie Wright
  • Series: Proper Romance
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Shadow Mountain (October 21, 2019)
  • Genre: Fiction / Romance / Contemporary
  • ISBN-10: 1629726079
  •  ***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own***

Book Summary Can the fairy tale bring Charlotte the happiness she’s looking for or was he always there to begin with?
A modern reimagined Cinderella story.
When aspiring author Charlotte Kingsley finally gets published, she thinks all her dreams have come true. But the trouble begins when her publicity firm reinvents her quirky online presence into a perfectly curated dream life. Gone are the days of sweatpant posts and ice cream binges with her best friend, Anders, replaced instead with beautiful clothes, orchestrated selfies, and no boyfriend. Only, that carefully curated fairy tale life is ruining her self-esteem and making her feel like a fraud.
When a bestselling author takes Charlotte under her wing—almost like a fairy godmother—she helps Charlotte see the beautiful person she already is and the worth of being authentic. But is it too late to save her relationship with Anders? The clock is quickly ticking towards midnight, and Charlotte must decide between her fairy tale life and the man she loves before he’s gone forever.

Purchase Your Copy of  Glass Slippers, Ever After, And Me:

IndieBound * Amazon * B&N

My Review

Every aspiring writer dreams of getting that big break and making it big in the literary world. The main character Charlotte Kingsley, writes re-imagined fairy tales and she has this exact dream and it comes true. With the "dream come true" also comes many unseen problems that she'd never thought of. Her life changes in an instant and Charlotte's not sure how to handle it all. Charlotte's world-changing book is not fiction but one of handling life in a "Non" Cinderella way. That's where the humor is in this book, in that Charlotte's life is far different from the fiction Cinderella. Between her publisher, agent, and publicist, Charlotte's boyfriend Anders doesn't even recognize her anymore. The angst is high as the couple try to come to grips with all of the changes and whether or not their relationship can be saved. With a slow start to the novel, things pick up in the middle and finally comes to a sweet and satisfying end that truly does make you believe in fairytale endings.

Meet Author: Julie Wright
Julie Wright started her first book when she was fifteen. She’s written over a dozen books since then, is a Whitney Award winner, and feels she’s finally getting the hang of this writing gig. She enjoys speaking to writing groups, youth groups, and schools. She loves reading, eating writing, hiking, playing on the beach with her kids, and snuggling with her husband to watch movies. Julie’s favorite thing to do is watch her husband make dinner. She hates mayonnaise but has a healthy respect for ice cream.

Learn More About Julie HERE:

Blog * Twitter * Amazon

Saturday, November 9, 2019

The Traveler and the Heavy Burden by Deborah Rowley and Sarah Newell-Book Review

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (September 1, 2019)
  • Genre: Spiritual/Uplifting/Motivational
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1524411582
  • ***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own***

Book Summary
Others would have given up long ago with burdens such as yours, but you are here. If only you could see the distance you have traveled. Know this: your journey was not without purpose. You shall see. 

The road is immense, stretching as far as the eye can see. Among the countless individuals making their way ahead, a lone woman slowly presses forward, carrying a load far too heavy to bear. With no one with whom to share her burden, she yearns to reach the end of her painful journey. Just when she is ready to give up, the miracles begin.

An act of kindness. A word of encouragement. A reminder of her worth. Buoyed by the assistance of compassionate strangers along the path, the woman finds the strength to continue her journey until she finds the One who can offer her greater peace and acceptance than she has ever dreamed possible.
For those seeking respite from the pains and heartache of life, this profound tale of one broken traveler's journey is a powerful reminder of the love of the King of Kings, who is waiting with open arms to offer strength, love, and relief.

My Review
This beautiful parable, though short, has a huge impact on readers. Within its pages is a story of a woman carrying around many of life's burdens. All that she wants to do is come to the end of her journey. As we have all felt in our lives at one time or another, this woman is ready to give up when small miracles begin to happen. People along her journey start removing a small burden for her, one by one, and her pack becomes lighter. The kindness shown to her, along with encouraging words, leads her towards the King who will lift the final burden. I love how this story shows even with life's struggles, depression, guilt, and sorrow, the Savior is there to help us through our journey. I also love how people along the way helped the woman as people in our own lives help us too. This beautiful little book will make the perfect gift for friends and family who need a reminder about their worth and the love that can be found through our Savior's love.

Meet Author Deborah Rowley

Deborah Pace Rowley is the author of The Miracle of the Wooden Shoes and other picture books. She and her husband, Lin, are the parents of five children and live in American Fork, Utah. The children still talk about their favorite Easter walk around a cabin in Prescott, Arizona, several years ago.
Meet Illustrator Sarah Newell

“Storytelling has always featured in the forefront of my life. Through the art of visual storytelling, I have found that we can reach into the very souls of our viewers, encouraging them to become the best they can be, whether that be exhibiting hope when all is lost, or showing courage when we feel too small.”   — Sarah Dawn Newell

Sarah lives in Utah and shares her life with her wonderful husband and their dog Marvel. 

Here are some of her amazing illustrations from the book.

Purchase: The Traveler and the Heavy Burden

Friday, November 8, 2019

The Heart of the Rebellion: A Medieval Romance by Sian Ann Bessey-Blog Tour Review and Giveaway

Product Details

  • Title: The Heart of the Rebellion: A Medieval Romance
  • Author:  Sian Ann Bessey
  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (November 1, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1524409731
  • ***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own***
Book Summary
September 1400

King Richard II of England is dead. And after three years in His Majesty's service, Rhys ap Tudor and his brother Gwilym are finally free to return to their ancestral home in North Wales. Their long-anticipated homecoming is overshadowed, however, by the harsh changes they encounter in their once peaceful land. The new king, Henry IV, rules with an iron fist, and the country is ripe for rebellion. Instantly thrust into the forefront of the conflict, the proud Tudor brothers enter the fight for their freedom.
Lady Catrin Buckley is alert to the unrest swirling around her. As the daughter of an English father and a Welsh mother, she knows too well the trouble her lineage poses. Her own battle, however, is one of the heart: she is to be married to a man she neither knows nor loves. Then an unexpected encounter with the enigmatic Rhys ap Tudor changes everything. Soon, Catrin finds herself swept into a rebellion that could not only change history but also rewrite her own future.

My Review 
 From the time I was eight and I started reading all of the Little House on the Prarie books, historical fiction became one of my favorite genres to read. The Heart of the Rebellion is an alluring journey back through history visiting the beautiful country of Wales in the year 1400. Medieval history is such a fascinating period and author Sian Ann Bessey brings it to life for readers during the Welsh Rebellion called The Glyndŵr Rising. This last "War of Independence" was an uprising of the Welsh between 1400 and 1415, led by Owain Glyndŵr, against the Kingdom of England. It wraps history with fiction, and you have a fascinating story that pulls you in with a romance that's realistic and sweet. 

{I started reading this book right before Parent-Teacher Conferences. I had my book sitting there and while I waited for parents to arrive, I read this story which kept pulling me to its pages. Someone took a picture of me with my nose, once again, stuck in a book.}

I loved the main romantic pairing of Rhys ap Tudor and
Lady Catrin Buckley. Both of these characters are very likable, good people and the story is told from both of their POVs. They have great chemistry and I loved how they are drawn together. It's easy to care about them as they battle against King Henry and injustice. There wasn't one moment where I wasn't fully engaged in this novel. This well-written story will delight readers of clean romance and history.

Meet Author: Sian Ann Bessey

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Friday, November 1, 2019

Autumn/Halloween Countdown Blitz & GiveAway Day 11: Married at Midnight By Arabella Sheraton

Arabella Sheraton grew up on a diet of Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and many other writers of that period. From Jane Austen to Georgette Heyer, Arabella has found both enjoyment and inspiration in sparkling, witty Regency novels. She also loves history and generally finds the past more fascinating than the future. Arabella wrote her first Regency romance to entertain her aged mom who loved the genre. Arabella is honoured to share the adventures of her heroes and heroines with readers.

A sparkling traditional Regency romance to enchant fans.

When the young and handsome Earl of Pennington discovers the inheritance from his great-uncle depends on him marrying at midnight on the eve of his thirtieth birthday, he is irate. Marriage is not part of his plan to save his impoverished estates. He crosses paths unexpectedly with the beautiful Roxanne Chesney, who is fleeing from her abusive husband. 

He offers her a contract: marriage for six months to help him fulfil the conditions of his great-uncle’s will, enabling him secure his inheritance. In return he will pay her a small fortune. 

Can Roxanne resist this offer? What about the revolting Edgar Doyle who forced her into a loveless marriage that has not been consummated? Roxanne has escaped Edgar’s clutches, but she wonders how long she will manage to evade him. The earl’s contract has no strings attached. The offer is irresistible except for the fact that Roxanne is already married!

Q & A With the Author:

1.     When did you write your first novel?
My mom asked me to write her a Regency romance story because she was tired of the ones she’d read before. I had already written a children’s novel, so I felt quite confident and I love the Regency era. Coming from a background in publishing, it feels as if I have been writing forever.

2.     What drove you to write / why did you become an author?
I always wrote for fun, then I drifted into editing and publishing, and then suddenly I was writing books. Once you have started, it’s impossible to stop.

3.     How do you create your characters?
Interestingly, all I do is think of a catchy title and the rest all sort of happens by itself, as if the characters are waiting in the wings and just need me to create the title to bring them to life.

4.     What is one thing you love about Fall / Autumn?
The weather is so lovely and cool, not the heat of summer or the biting cold of winter. Fall is just in between and very comfortable. Plus, the leaves are changing colour and I love that.

5.     Who is the person or group of people that most support you in your writing?
My mother was my biggest supporter and fan. Without her I would never have been able to write full time and without her encouragement, I might have given up. Sadly, she has passed on, but I think of her every day and her encouragement is evergreen in my mind.

6.     What is your favorite Halloween Memory?
Telling my three younger brothers and their friend spooky stories about a haunted house and a gang of intrepid youngsters who fight off vampires, werewolves, skeletons and the like to survive!

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