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
Promises
Protected,
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
Blue
Targets in Ties
Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island
Venom
With a Name like Love
Sean Griswold's head


Sheila's favorite books »

2021 Goodreads Reading Challenge

2021 Reading Challenge

2021 Reading Challenge
Sheila has read 6 books toward her goal of 90 books.
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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Keeping Christmas (Midwestern Hearts Book 1) By Rebecca Blevins-Christmas Contemporary Romance Review


Product Details

  • Title: Keeping Christmas  (Midwestern Hearts Book 1)
  • Author: Rebecca Blevins
  • Series: Midwestern Hearts
  • ASIN : B08R682K85
  • Publisher : Aspen Grove Press; 3rd edition (December 21, 2020)
  • Publication date : December 21, 2020
  • Language: : English
  • File size : 2711 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Print length : 269 pages
  • ***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own***  

 Book Summary

Keeping Christmas has been expanded into a full-length novel since its initial release as a short romance in 2015.

Racing to beat a snowstorm to get home for a Christmas full of beloved Norwegian traditions, Paige Sorensen is pulled over by the county sheriff in the small town of Higgins. The town’s annual Christmas dinner is in danger of being canceled, so the judge sentences Paige to community service, putting her experience as a caterer to good use. She's forced to work with Wes Atwood—a good-looking deputy who'd rather skip the holiday season entirely. He makes sure the less fortunate have a merry Christmas, but the secrets behind his eyes are reflected in his guarded heart.

Paige fears being stuck in Higgins will ruin her family holiday. But as she works to save the town's Christmas dinner and begins uncovering secrets about their handsome deputy, she might just learn what the true magic of Christmas—and love—really is. 


Keeping Christmas was inspired by the song "Good King Wenceslas."

 

My Review

One of my favorite things to do during Christmas break is to read: Surprise! This is the first romance I've read by author Rebecca Blevins. It was sweet and the characters were so likable I could not put this book down. One aspect that I liked about this novel was that there was no instant love. In fact, there was kind of the opposite. Things unfolded naturally though as Paige and Wes interacted working together on the small town of Higgin's annual Christmas dinner. 

It's so nice to read a clean romance with a simple storyline, a little bit of angst, no bad language, and many instances where you laugh and sigh as two people fall in love. I also enjoyed reading about the Norwegian Christmas traditions that Paige's family honored and celebrated. 

If you are looking for a quick, clean romance with a wonderful Christmas feel, you will love reading Keeping Christmas. I can't wait to read book two in the Midwestern Hearts series.  

Purchase Keeping Christmas HERE for $3.99 on Kindle: 

https://amzn.to/3mGbqap  

 

Meet Author Rebecca Blevins



Rebecca Blevins is from the Midwest, land of tornadoes and cows—hopefully not mixed together. She began reading before she can remember, so books have always been part of her life. She has fond memories of borrowing more than thirty titles from the library at a time, and her mother stated: "Rebecca sat down to read and didn't stop until she was done with the whole bag." As an adult, Rebecca discovered a fondness for telling stories. Now she writes books for children and adults. Keeping Christmas is her first published romance, with more to come. Visit her online at www.rebeccablevins.net or on Facebook.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

The Christmas Apron By Michelle Pace Castor & Ilustrated By Dan Burr-Picture Book Review and Last Minute Gift Idea!

 


 

Product Details

  • Title:  The Christmas Apron
  • Author & Illustrator:  Rachelle Pace Castor and Dan Burr
  • Publisher : Covenant Communications, Inc. (November 1, 2020)
  • Genre: Christmas Picture Book
  • Language: : English
  • Hardcover : 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1524411574
  • ***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own***

 

Book Summary

The children in Millie's family can't wait for Grandma to arrive with her special Christmas apron. According to tradition, each grandchild will write down the gift he or she wants most in the world and then slip that wish into the apron's pocket. Then, on Christmas morning,those wished-for gifts will be magically waiting under the tree. But eleven-year-old Millie overhears her parents: the family can't afford gifts for all the little ones. She pictures the disappointment on her siblings faces nothing to open on Christmas morning.

 
Is Millie willing to sacrifice her own whole-soul wish so someone else's can come true? Full of tender emotion and delightful surprise, this story reminds us of the miracles that unfold when we think of others before ourselves.

 

My Review

The Christmas Apron is a very heartfelt story that takes place during the World War II era. Money is short-handed but Christmas wishes are still alive and well. Millie is the oldest child in the family and she realizes the truth of the situation. She overhears her parents talking and knows that sacrifices will need to be made this Christmas. This story does bring out the tears and relays the true meaning of Christmas and that miracles can still happen. The gorgeous illustrations add so much to the beauty of this story. The Christmas Apron is a lovely book to share with your family this Christmas season.



Purchase Your Own Copy at These Locations:

-Amazon: https://amzn.to/3mEdPCq

-Deseret Book: https://deseretbook.com/p/christmas-apron?variant_id=179509-hardcover

 

 

Friday, December 18, 2020

Christmas Countdown Blitz & Giveaway 2020: Day 10-Her Secret Agent Fake Fiance (A Christmas Romance) By Kimberley Montpetit



When she was in Paris, Kimberley Montpetit spent all of her souvenir money at the La Patisserie shops with their gorgeous and delicious pastries. 

She grew up in the fabulous city of San Francisco, hides a stash of anything chocolate and caramel when she can get away with it, and now lives in a small town along the banks of the Rio Grande with her engineer husband and three sons. 







Can two clashing agents survive gunshots, murderous millionaires, and dangerous covert snooping? Most importantly, will their own hearts betray them in the end?

Our Heroine: Erin Steele, FBI Agent. Alias: Cassandra Fairfax, oil heiress.

Her Partner: Braden Moretti, CIA Special Ops. Alias: Marcus Romero, Erin’s drop-dead gorgeous date with a talent for driving her crazy.

Where: A fancy Christmas party at the mansion of the wealthiest man in San Francisco.

Undercover Assignment: Fake Fabergé jewels selling for ten million bucks. A sting operation to take down the bad guys, of course . . . it’s all in a night’s work. 

Biggest Blunder: An encounter under the mistletoe that goes horribly wrong . . . or perfectly right?

◆ Fall in love with Romantic Suspense that includes intrigue and danger - all wrapped up in a red Christmas bow!

◆ Included in this romance: Agent Erin Steele's special Christmas morning recipe and pictures of a stunning Faberge jewel!

◆ Visit the author at www.KimberleyMontpetit.com for a free gift.  

  
  


Top Ten List:


1. I adore chocolate frosted cinnamon roll donuts

2. Snuggling with my kiddos and a stack of books

3. My Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) blanket that my daughter made me for Christmas

4. I love to belly dancing—and even performed a couple of times! It’s great exercise and so beautiful and earthy.

5. I’m a purple girl! And I’m lucky because my birth stone is amethyst

6. The black & white original TV show, I Love Lucy still makes me laugh—even though I only ever saw it in re-runs, of course!  

7. Since I was five-years-old, my grandpa would give me a heart-shaped box of chocolates on my birthday—which is also Valentine’s Day. When I got married, my husband got instructions from my family to continue the tradition, including baking me a heart-shaped cake with the cake pans my mother gifted to him.

8. Two days after my 11th birthday, I fell off a broken clothes hamper, gashed up my leg, and was rushed to the hospital to get 60 stitches.

9. I rode a camel in the ancient world wonder of Petra, Jordan.

10. I have a wall carving in my house of King Tut and his Queen Ankhesenamen that’s a replica of his actual Pharaoh’s Throne found in his tomb.



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The Duke Meets His Match: A Regency Romance by Karen Tuft-Book Review and Giveaway


 

Product Details

Title: The Duke Meets His Match: A Regency Romance

Author: Karen Tuft

Publisher : Covenant Communications, Inc. (December 1, 2020)
Language: English
Paperback : 208 pages
ISBN-10 : 1524414557

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

 

Book Summary

At thirty years of age, Susan Jennings has long been considered a spinster. Exceptionally intelligent, she has little tolerance for London and the dreaded Season—if that’s how one is expected to find love, it’s not for her. But when an invitation arrives that cannot be ignored, Susan leaves her comfortable life in the country and enters the fashion and frivolity she most despises. She quickly discovers, however, that there is more to loathe in London—and his name is George Kendall.

George, Duke of Aylesham, has learned to keep his distance from cloying females chasing the title of duchess. Susan Jennings, however, proves an entirely different challenge—a woman who has pushed him to the limit of his patience with their every encounter. But their simmering hostility is disrupted by a thoughtless slip-up: to avoid a marriage of political strategy, George claims he is already betrothed. And when pressed for the name of the lucky woman, only one name comes to mind: Susan’s. Their forced betrothal proves advantageous, but when their verbal sparring must change in order to be convincing, the line between fact and fiction becomes blurred by something neither expected: love.
 
My Review
Oh, this book was a fun surprise! Susan Jennings, a spinster, and George, Duke of Aylesham, are two people that you'd never think would end up together. They both are older and set in their ways. Their instant dislike for one another alerts you to the mayhem that is ahead for the main characters. Honestly, I couldn't stop laughing at the banter between these two. As I could relate so much to Susan and her bookish, intellectual ways she became a favorite right from the start. My favorite thing in this novel is how the two former enemies become allies and go up against a Prince wanting to control the Duke's future and financial situation. There were several moments where I actually cheered when Susan stood up to the tyrant. I absolutely loved it!

There is so much to love about this book that doesn't follow the same storyline found in most Regency Romances. Karen has a way of making her novels, the characters, and plotlines so unique. For this reason, I'm always so excited to read another novel from this very talented writer. This book will make a great gift for any reader that loves a clean, Regency Romance. 

Purchase The Duke Meets His Match HERE: https://amzn.to/3pdTRAb
 
 
Meet Author Karen Tuft



  Karen Tuft was born with a healthy dose of curiosity about pretty much everything, so as a child she taught herself to read and play the piano. She studied composition at BYU and graduated from the University of Utah in music theory, where she was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Kappa Lambda honor societies.

In addition to being an author, Karen is a wife, mother, pianist, composer, and arranger. She has spent countless hours backstage and in orchestra pits for theater productions along the Wasatch Front. Among her varied interests, she likes to figure out what makes people tick, wander through museums, and travel whether it's by car, plane, or paperback. 
 
Learn more about Karen and her books HERE: 
 
 
Enter the Giveaway Down Below:

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The author  has supplied a chart outlining how the characters in all of her Regency novels fit together. I found this very helpful and I think you'll find it helpful too.


Thursday, December 17, 2020

Christmas Countdown Blitz & Giveaway 2020: Day 9-The Unknown Elf By Karlie Lucas





Karlie Lucas is a school crossing guard by day and a writer/artist by night. 

A graduate of Southern Utah University, Karlie received a B.A. in Creative Writing, with a minor in art. She is a member of Sigma Tau Delta, The International English Honor Society, SCBWI, as well as ANWA, the American Night Writers Association.
Karlie is interested in all things magical and mysterious, especially elves and dragons. She is an avid fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling.

When not writing, Karlie can often be found drawing, baking, watching her favorite old school shows, or just spending time with her family.

She currently resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband and a cat named Kally. 


Facebook ~ Website ~
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ 




Marie never expected to wake up in North Pole City, let alone being made Santa’s Emergency Replacement. It was a job she never wanted but couldn’t turn down, thanks to Clarence, Santa’s right hand man. 

Now, Marie has to work with Clarence, who believes she is some kind of criminal who will cause the destruction of everything he holds dear. Trying to prove that he’s wrong, Marie keeps making mistakes that push them even further apart. It doesn’t help that she has a past she’d rather keep hidden. However, trying to keep her past where it should belong isn’t easy.

Just when Marie starts to feel like things are coming together, a madman with a bone to pick, and Christmas to ruin, threatens the whole of the North Pole Organization. Marie must rely on Clarence and her new friends to help her face her past before Christmas is gone forever.  But does she have the courage to truly be herself when it could mean losing everything?

  
  


Top Ten List:

1 - I own a ginger tabby named Kally. She's seven years old.
2 - I currently have nine published books, with three more in the works.
3 - I may have been born in Utah but I claim Texas as my home.
4 - My favorite Disney character is Stitch, from Lilo and Stitch. Baymax is a close second/occasional tie.
5 - My favorite movie is Big Hero Six.
6 - The one book I can go back and read over and over again like it was the first time is Pride and Prejudice.
7 - My favorite ice cream flavor is anything cheesecake, though Blue Bell's Decadent Fudge Brown is starting to edge in on the title.
8 - I am turning my YA trilogy into an audio drama.
9 - I originally wrote The Unknown Elf  while in middle school, but edited it and expanded it into its current form a little over half a decade ago.
10 - My first published work was a poem in an anthology.



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Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Christmas Countdown Blitz & Giveaway 2020: Day 8-Miss Dashwood's Dilemma 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.




In this delightful traditional Regency romance, Miss Diana Dashwood accepts an invitation to Lady Prescott's Christmas party at Camden House, in the countryside. But things do not go quite as she imagined. 

Through an unexpected event, she is forced to spend the night in a woodsman's hut with one of the guests. What a scandal! 

Of course, Sir Gareth Blakely must propose, and he does. Unfortunately, Miss Diana Dashwood has already been engaged to and broken off her engagement from Sir Gareth Blakely after a bitter quarrel. Is it likely she will bow to social pressure and accept his proposal, one made only to save her reputation, and if they marry, does their union stand a chance of survival?And what about the pretty heiress, Miss Jemima Plymstock, whom everyone thinks is the lady Sir Gareth had his eye upon? Headstrong and proud, Miss Diana Dashwood is caught in a dreadful dilemma. A must-read for Regency fans!


~ Amazon  ~ 

  


Top Ten List:

1. Museums and art galleries. Believe it or not, these can be very inspiring.

2. Animals – I share animal rescue stories on Twitter and Facebook and sign every petition that crosses my path. I also contribute monthly to two animal rescue charities.

3. The countryside – I live in the countryside now and it has changed my whole perspective on life. Open skies and green fields make walking with my dog a lovely experience.

4. Books – maybe that should be at the top? I love books of all kinds and very much enjoy non-fiction as well. I have some new empty bookshelves so I am working on filling them.

5. Research for my books. This can be so absorbing I sometimes find a few hours have passed and I have been lost in history and done a lot of research but no writing.

6. Dinner parties – I love having small dinner parties with guests who enjoy good food, good wine, and lots of good conversation.

7. Antiques – I have inherited a lot from my great-grandmother and grandmother so being surrounded by beautiful antique furniture and ornaments is all quite normal for me. I also feel they help me get into the mood for my forays into the past.

8. Movies and TV series – I love BBC classic series such as adaptations of Jane Austen’s works. But I also love mystery/thriller and crime series. Disaster movies are my thing!

9. Tea – I love tea, all kinds of tea. I cannot start the day without my pot of morning tea. I enjoy going to a tea room where you can have a delicious English afternoon tea with scones, small cakes and other yummy treats.

10. Desserts – simply the best part of the meal. My ultimate dessert is Crème Brulee, then Tiramisu, and next is home made ice cream.


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Christmas Countdown Blitz & Giveaway 2020: Day 7-Gift of Restitution By Zina Abbott



My name is Robyn Echols. Zina Abbott is the pen name I use for my American historical romance novels. I’m a member of Women Writing the West and Western Writers of America, and American Night Writers Association. I currently live with my husband in California’s central valley near the “Gateway to Yosemite.”
I love to read, quilt, work with digital images on my photo editing program, and work on my own family history.
I am a blogger. In addition to my own blog, I blog for several group blogs including the Sweet Americana Sweethearts blog, which I started and administer.


~ Facebook ~ Website ~
~ Amazon ~ Blog
Pinterest ~ Goodreads
 ~  Newsletter ~ Booklinker ~



The gift of peace of spirit that comes from restitution.

A year after Luke McDaniels broke away from the control of two eastern Sierra Nevada Mountain outlaws and freed Ling Loi from the Chinese brothel in Lundy, one aspect of their escape still plagues his conscience. Even though he made a point to take only what was owed him, and he left sufficient funds to cover the cost of anything he took from others without the owners’ knowledge or consent, there had been one exception. The second horse he planned to “buy” to assure a successful early winter journey was snatched away before his gaze. Another was left in its place. The ten gold half-eagles he allowed was less than the value of the one available to him. He hated short-changing the owner, but Loi, who took on the name of Joy when they married, had been his first priority.
     
Joy, grateful she has been restored to the way of decency, senses that Luke needs his own restoration. Can she convince him to do what he must to enjoy peace at Christmas? 

  
  


Top Ten List:

Ten Fun Christmas Facts about Zina Abbott

1.  My favorite Christmas carol is O Holy Night.

2.  My favorite Christmas decoration is a nativity scene including angel, shepherd, and three wise men.

3.  In second grade I made a lamb tree ornament out of a paper background, crayon eyes, nose, mouth, and hooves, and small cotton balls glued all over the body. This was before commercial cotton balls were sold. We used bulk cotton and rolled the small balls by hand. The paper and cotton are now yellowed with age, but I still have that ornament.

4.  I prefer green over red.

5.  As a child, each Christmas Eve my brother, sister, and I prepared a Christmas program we performed for our parents. We read the Luke 2 story of the birth of Christ, recited “’Twas the Night before Christmas,” maybe shared some other short poems and stories, and we sang Christmas songs. We used our raised hearth as our stage. After, we had refreshments my mother had prepared, we opened one Christmas gift each which she picked out for us—usually pajamas or slippers.

6.  When I started getting too much “give me, give me—I want” from my teenage children, I switched to blue, gold, and silver and put more focus on the birth of Christ instead of the red and green Santa ho-ho part of the holiday. (Please don’t send me articles about how red, green and other things we associate with Santa Claus, et al, have religious symbolism. I’ve read them.) The one non-nativity decoration my children asked me to bring back was a Christmas tree, which I did.

7.  I learned once my children became teenagers, the best gift in the world for them was gift cards. I took them shopping at the after-Christmas sales. The stuff they bought was always the right style, size, and color because they picked it out.

8.  When I was about two or three, my father, a very talented wood craftsman, built a wooden clothes rack in the shape of a giraffe for me that Christmas. He painted it white with yellow spots, although I recall the body, which was a flat bench/shelf, was brown. The horns were clothes hooks. We called it Jo-Jo Giraffe. It probably was only about four to five feet high, but to me at the time, it was HUGE!

9.  For many years, my favorite Christmas music album was The Messiah by Handel.

10.  Before that, I was rather fond of a Christmas album performed by Elvis Presley.


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