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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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Portrait of a Snow Queen By Micah Harris: official Book Tour , Review, and Giveaway




An epic fantasy of forbidden romance that chronicles the coming of age of a princess who is possessed by the Snow Queen and fated to rule her kingdom with a strong hand and icy heart.

As a child, Princess Freyja looked into the Snow Queen’s cursed mirror - and was changed.

Now an aloof and difficult young woman with a wit as sharp as her tongue, the future monarch is in need of a tutor. And Ambrose, a failed poet, is in need of a teaching position. He just never suspected how dangerous the extracurricular activities would be!

Soon, Ambrose finds himself on a grand adventure fighting to save the vexing but alluring princess from the court occult conspiracies that have targeted her. He is opposed not only by sorcerers and the evil Snow Queen, but also the icy royal damsel who holds his heart.

Will Ambrose’s love cause Freyja to thaw…or will she put him in the deep freeze instead?

Sensuous, suspenseful, supernatural and filled with witty banter, this romantic fantasy will both turn up the heat and leave you thoroughly frost smitten!

A 2019 Critters Readers Poll top ten finalist in the category of Science-Fiction and Fantasy.

~ Universal Amazon Link ~ 
The price of this book as been steeply discounted on Amazon for this event! Check it out!   




Micah S. Harris is the Author of the epic fantasy romance Portrait of a Snow Queen, which took third place in the category of science fiction and fantasy in the Critters Readers Poll.  Strong female protagonists and banter are trademarks of his work. Portrait of a Snow Queen is no exception and is recommended for older fans of Frozen and lovers of the witty verbal sparring in The Princess Bride.

He won the 2016 Pulp Ark Award for best novel for Ravenwood, The stepson of Mystery: Return of the Dugpa. He is also the Author - Along with artist Michael Gaydos (Marvel’s Jessica Jones) - of the graphic novel Heaven’s War, a historical fantasy pitting the Oxford Inklings against Aleister Crowley.

His lifelong love of movies also influences his fiction, whether a fairy tale retelling, horror story or paranormal mystery. He taught film on a collegiate level and has chronicled, both in print and via podcast, fascination lost genre gems.




Portrait of a Snow Queen is a full-length adult fantasy. The story is full of rich details that you need to pay attention to. Some things and characters were hard to keep track of, and I found much easier reading when I devoted a longer amount of time to read the novel. Ambrose the poet, was a wonderful character as the teacher of Princess Freyja. He was wise, cunning, and very knowledgable when it came to dealing with people of all stations. Ambrose was the highlight of the book for me. This novel is great storytelling that reminded me of grand storytelling of past ages. This novel is not for casual readers, but for those that want to delve into a complex fantasy that reads as a fairy tale full of complex and mystical beings and some romance. There is some graphic violence, profanity, and some adult situations, so this novel is not for young readers.


Long Excerpt #5:
She took a few steps more, stopped, turned slightly and looked at me sidelong, “Are you…are you…Jack Frost?”

I was about to burst out laughing, but now she was near enough that I saw that longing in her eyes, eyes looking out from across a chasm of loneliness. I sobered up quickly, and determined that she would as well.

“Freyja! Jack Frost? You can’t be serious. You know who I am.”

“I… am not so sure, anymore,” she said, still holding me with her stare. “Are you …a Snow King? My king?”
There was such piteous longing in that look that it made me want to lie to her. 

“Are you…for me?” she asked. Her eyes never leaving mine, she suddenly raised both her gloved hands to her double hooded head, hesitated, then grasped and threw both hoods back, exposing the pile of golden hair and her pale head completely. With a quick in-rush of breath and toss of her fair head, she owned the elements 

Heaven knows she owned me.  

I gnawed my lower lip and forced my feet to stay planted on the ground, knowing all it would take would be one step forward on my part, and she…she would rush to me

All I had to do was tell her what she wanted to hear.

It was though the whole afternoon had been leading to this moment. And I knew she felt it, too…

But, I thought, all that was but romantic whimsy. Fine for a teenage girl, but I, I was twenty-four years old, an adult, and she was…

… so very lovely…

…eighteen in less than a month…

…wanting my hands on her more than anything else in the world…

Oh, yes, I knew what I wanted.

I wanted her mouth as much as she wanted mine, to hold her as much as she wanted to be held. I wanted the feel of the fair, soft skin of that face pressing against my own. 

I had long admired her beauty, but what I was seeing now, in the bracing air blowing off the mountain, her eyes shining and her cheeks crimson from the bite of the cold; her lips flushed, and snowflakes hanging like diamonds in that crown of golden braids…

I had never imagined such fresh, wholesome loveliness could exist in a living woman, and she was ready to hand it all over to me. 

She was so close now…her fragrance that of the forest pines blowing down from the mountain above us; her breath like mint, pure as the scent of the wind coming off the fresh snow. I could already taste it.
Oh, yes, I knew what I wanted….

…I wanted a girl who was my student? My high bred, social superior? ‘Social superior?’ My word! She was almost queen! Nothing lasting could come of this. I knew it well, Johan knew it….

Yet, wasn’t that all the more the reason to seize this moment? To take this little bit of happiness for my own? I had been the truest of friends, everything I was doing would be for her benefit and that of another man who had done nothing! A man who could not possibly love her as much as I did, but who would get everything!

While my reward would be “a new situation” courtesy of Lord Melchior. In reality, a banishment from even the sight of her. I would be a fool to deny myself this chance…






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


Saturday, May 23, 2020

The Secret Sisters Club By Monique Bucheger-Official Audio Book Tour & Giveaway



Twelve-year-old BFF’s Ginnie West and Tillie Taylor, want to be sisters. Ginnie's widowed dad plus Tillie's divorced mom could equal a lifetime of round-the-clock girl talk and slumber parties. Too bad Dad vowed to never marry again. 

Ginnie and Tillie come up with the perfect scheme to change his mind: ‘Operation Secret Sisters’ (aka OSS). After all, if they can’t get Dad to move on, Tillie can’t move in.








When Monique isn’t writing, you can find her playing taxi driver to one or more of her 12 children, plotting her next novel, scrapbooking, or being the “Mamarazzi” at any number of child-oriented events.

Even though she realizes there will never be enough hours in any given day, Monique tries very hard to enjoy the journey that is her life. She shares it with a terrific husband, her dozen children and 3 in-law kids, eleven granddarlings, 5 cats, and many real and imaginary friends.


She is the author of five published books (and several unpublished ones) and is in two anthologies. You can find more about Monique and her works at: www.moniquebucheger.blogspot.com 


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Excerpt # 2) 
An intense scene between Ginnie and Tillie:
“I understand,” Tillie assured her.
She shook her head. “No, you don’t. You have a mom.” Ginnie swallowed a
growing lump in her throat. “I’m never going to be able to just sit down and
talk to her. So this is sorta my way to just chat with her … like you do with your
mom. If you tell my dad or Toran, that will be ruined. Promise me you won’t
tell. If you do, we might not be able to be friends anymore.”
“Ginnie!”
“I mean it, Tillie!” Ginnie jumped to her feet. “You can’t tell.”
Tillie stood and wrapped her arms firmly around Ginnie.

Ginnie stiffened, regretting she’d shared her secret treasure.
“Cross my heart,” Tillie whispered in her ear. “I won’t tell. I promise.”
Wanting to believe her friend, Ginnie nodded. You better not.






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



Solving Sophronia: A Victorian Romance By Jennifer Moore (The Blue Orchid Society #1) -Book Review & Giveaway

Product Details

  • Title: Solving Sophronia: A Victorian Romance 
  • Author:  Jennifer Moore
  •  Series: The Blue Orchid Society #1
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Genre: Victorian Romantic Suspense
  • Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (May 4, 2020)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 152441235X
***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own*** 

Book Summary
Lady Sophronia Bremerton is a far cry from the typical debutante, but she's the toast of London's upper class for one simple reason: she's a society columnist for the London Illustrated News, and the gentry loves seeing their exploits printed in the gossip pages. But Sophie has bigger plans - she aspires to be an investigative reporter. When a stuffy ballroom at yet another Season proves to be nothing more than the usual rumor mill, Sophie seeks respite in the library alongside four other young women who, for their own reasons, are also looking for an escape. As the conversation turns to their secret ambitions, the women form a sisterhood and a bold plan: they will make their dreams a reality, no matter the obstacles. Thus begins the Blue Orchid Society.

Hearing of a murder in a London rookery, Sophie seizes the opportunity to prove her skills. Detective Jonathan Graham doesn't believe a civilian, a noblewoman at that, should be anywhere near a murder investigation, but Sophie insists on helping bring the killer to justice. Her investigative prowess doesn't go unnoticed by the police, especially Jonathan, who can't decide whether this intrepid reporter is a thorn in his side or the woman of his dreams. But as the case grows more complicated and dangerous, their very lives - and their hearts - may be at risk


My Review
Solving Sophronia was the perfect book I needed to read right now. Sophronia, or Sophie a young lady of high society in the early 1870's wants more than to be just a "Lady". She wants to be a serious journalist which just isn't done by a lady of the Gentry. One evening at a high society ball, Sophie and four other young women form the Blue Orchid Society determined to reach beyond the stilted walls of society and race after their dreams. This first book is all about Sophie, and other books will be coming in the future with the other ladies' stories. This time period was when things started changing for women. 


I enjoyed this novel so much. I really liked Sophie and I liked the relationship she formed with Detective Jonathan Graham. They worked very closely together on a murder investigation which kept the novel moving at a great pace. Jonathan is a stalwart character that tries very hard to keep boundaries up between Lady Sophie and himself who grew up in a rookery. This book isn't just about a "romance" but it's also a murder mystery that was so intriguing. I loved the ways the clues were all laid out and how things were pieced together with the work of Sophie, Jonathan, & Detective Lester. Of course, it was exciting to have Sophie's Grandmother Mimi a big part of the story. Mimi's story was told in the novella, Emmeline, that I reviewed recently. Follow this link to read my review.


 As an FYI, Emmeline is free all during the month of May on  Kindle. Grab your copy while you can. https://amzn.to/2Kekqmy

If you are looking for a novel that is fun, different, a clean romance, mystery, and suspense, then you are going to enjoy reading Solving Sophronia. I know I did!


Meet Author Jennifer Moore 
Jennifer Moore lives with one husband and four sons who produce heaps of laundry and laughter. She earned a BA from the University of Utah in Linguistics, which she uses mostly for Jeopardy. A reader of history and romance, she loves traveling, tall ships, scented candles, and watching cake decorating videos. When she's not driving carpool, writing, or helping with homework, she'll usually be found playing tennis. 

Learn more at authorjmoore.com


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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Rakes and Roses: A Mayfield Family Romance Book#3 By Josi S. Kilpack -A Proper Romance Book Review


Product Details

  • Title: Rakes and Roses: A Mayfield Family Romance
  • Author: Josi S. Kilpack
  • Series: Proper Romance Regency (Book 3)
  • Genre: Regency Romance
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Shadow Mountain (May 5, 2020)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1629727350 
  • Book Design: © Shadow Mountain 
  • Cover Art: Lee Avison/Trevillion Images; Abigail Miles/Arcangel 
  • Art Direction: Richard Erickson

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

Book Summary
Lady Sabrina endured an abusive marriage, a miscarriage, and early widowhood to emerge as a smart, successful, confident woman who found a way to make her mark in a man’s world. She has friends and purpose, but cannot hide from the emptiness she feels when the parties are over and the friends have gone home to families she will never have.

Harry Stillman may be charming and handsome, but he’s a gambler and a rake who has made a mockery of his privileges. He turns to the mysterious Lord Damion for financial relief from his debts, but still ends up beaten nearly senseless by thugs and left in an ally.

When Lady Sabrina comes upon Harry after the attack, she remembers the kindness Harry once showed to her six years ago and brings him to her estate to heal. Though their relationship begins on rocky footing, it soon mellows into friendship, then trust. But Lady Sabrina needs to keep Harry at a distance, even if he is becoming the kind of man worthy of her heart. After all, she is keeping a secret that, if exposed, could destroy everything she’s so carefully built.


My Review 
The third book in the Mayfield Family Romance series is very different from the first two. There is a reversal of roles and several twists woven throughout the novel. The main female character in Rakes and Roses has the power usually only associated with males. This was one of those twists that I really liked. It's not often that the female rides in to save the day, but this is exactly what Lady Sabrina does for Harry Stillman. He is the black sheep of his family with his gambling and drinking. He has no desire to marry and just wants to live his carefree life. When life turns upside down, Harry is left with nothing. Here is where Lady Sabrina enters his life and saves him in more than one way.

This novel is one of mystery, forgiveness, redemption, and coming full circle in one's life. The story is slow-moving the first half of the book as readers learn many of the trials haunting both Harry and Sabrina's lives. The story picks up as both the main characters start learning and growing as they mend themselves and grow as friends and more. Rakes and Roses is a great addition to the Mayfield Family Series. I look forward to the next book in the series.

Meet Author Josi S. Kilpack


Josi S. Kilpack is the author of several novels and one cookbook and a participant in several coauthored projects and anthologies. She is a four-time Whitney Award winner —Sheep’s Clothing (2007), Wedding Cake (2014), and Lord Fenton’s Folly (2015) for Best Romance and Best Novel of the Year—and the Utah Best in State winner for fiction in 2012. She is mom to four fantastic children. You can find more information about Josi and her books at josiskilpack.com.

Friday, May 15, 2020

A Proper Charade By Esther Hatch-Blog Tour Review and Giveaway


A Proper Charade

Product details

  • Title: A Proper Charade (Book 2 Proper Series)
  • Author: Esther Hatch
  •  Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (May 1, 2020)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1524412317
  • Genre: Victorian Romance
FTC: ***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary e-copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own*** 


Book Summary:  
 Lady Patience Kendrick was born to a life of privilege, and with the London Season looming, she finds herself facing unprecedented pressure to adhere to the rules of society. Unfortunately, the free-spirited young woman is anything but proper. Patience's elder brother, a former military man bemoans his sister's antics - but when he accuses her of incurable frivolity, it is simply more than she can bear. Determined to prove her brother wrong, Patience undertakes a drastic experiment: she will disguise herself as a maid and demonstrate her ability to work as hard as anyone.

Taken on as household staff by her brother's former general, Patience soon learns that willingness and ability are two very different things. While her plan sounded promising in theory, the reality is that she is out of her depth - and the irresistibly charming son of the house isn't helping matters. Patience soon finds herself embroiled in a charade far more complicated than she imagined. With both her pride and her heart at stake, she is determined to prove her brother wrong - even as her plans spiral delightfully out of control.




My Review


I loved A Proper Charade. Main character Patience, pretty much endears you to her from the first chapter. Her happiness, optimism, and bravery make her hard to forget. The whole premise behind Patience's actions is when she says later, “I suppose you could say I ran away to have an adventure, and my adventure of choice was to serve as a maid in this household.” Patience wants to prove to her older brother that she can do hard things and she sets out to do that. Patience goes to the house of the General her brother served under. This is when such funny things occur. A "Lady" trying to be a maid means hilarious encounters ensue. As you can guess she has no clue and messes up a bit. There in the General's house, she meets his straight-laced, and very serious son, Anthony. I could not stop laughing every time these two characters were in the same room. Let's just say you will find as much humor as I did while reading this book. Anthony and Patience actually work well together amidst all of the confusion and white lies running rampant in the house.

Some of the great supporting characters were household staff members, Mr. Gilbert and Mrs. Bates. I also loved the notorious rake, Lord Bryant. This story is written so well that the storyline flows smoothly and there is never a dull moment. Esther Hatch really knows how to write delightful dialogue that is full of wit and emotion. This is a clean romance, but wow this author knows how to write a steamy kissing scene. 

This is the second book in the series but can be read all on its own. I did also enjoy Book 1, A Proper Scandal. I absolutely recommend you pick up this book and read it this weekend.

Purchase A Proper Charade HERE:

 

Esther HatchMeet Author Esther Hatch: 
 Esther Hatch grew up on a cherry orchard in rural Utah. After high school, she alternated living in Russia to teach children English and attending Brigham Young University to get a degree in archaeology. She began writing when one of her favorite authors invited her to join a critique group. The only catch was she had to be a writer. Not one to be left out of an opportunity to socialize and try something new; she started on her first novel that week. 

 Learn more about Esther and her books HERE! 

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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Not A Fine Gentleman By Donna Hatch-Official Cover Reveal



Donna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.


Facebook ~ Website ~
Amazon ~
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Margaret, the eldest of the misbegotten Amesbury family is accused of murdering her jerk of a husband and then fleeing. Conner Jackson, a Bow Stree Runner, is hunting her down to bring her to justice. Or so he thinks.

This romantic story of loss and betrayal, forgiveness and redemption, and strangers marrying, will leave you laughing, crying, and swooning. Sprinkled liberally with suspense, mystery, and heart-melting kisses, this is not your ordinary historical tale of an arranged marriage nor of redeeming the rakes. Fans of Victorian and Regency Eras as well as those seeking clean and wholesome romance with plenty of chemistry will love this story!


The Rogue Hearts Series:
The Stranger She Married 
The Guise of a Gentleman
A Perfect Secret
The Suspect's Daughter
Not a Fine Gentleman

Praise for Donna Hatch:
“Donna Hatch is one of the masters of clean romance with electric tension and smokin’ hot kisses.” ~ Reading is My Super Power Reviews


“Written with heart and depth, Donna Hatch’s books are absolute must-reads for any fan of swoon-worthy historical romance.”  ~ Sarah M. Eden, USA Today best-selling historical romance author


And now for the Cover
  
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To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 





Saturday, May 9, 2020

The Cookies Are Missing By Karlie Lucas-Official Children's Book Tour, Review, Author Interview, and Giveaway!



An epic hunt ensues at Grandma’s house to discover who took the cookies from the cookie jar! A young children's mystery book with recipe inside.

Includes a guide for both teachers and parents to encourage participation and learning.


Designed for younger audiences but enjoyed by many.












Amazon Link ~
   



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 ~ 
MY REVIEW


This would be a cute book for preschool children. It keeps children wondering who took the cookies. You could have your child or group of kids try and guess by using the clues on each page. The ending is so much fun and I know little ones will see the humor. Both the child and parent or grandparent can enjoy this book together.
Snippet #1



Q&A with the Author
1- If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?
A. More people to read my books, because I think they have a good message a lot of people need in this day and age.
B. A life-time supply of Hershey's Mint chocolate Chip cookie candy bars. They are the best!
C. To actually own a house with enough space for all the kids I hope to have, along with a library/work area for me, a craft room, and a den/man cave for my hubby.

2- Where do you write?
I typically write at my computer, which is currently in what should be the dining room, but is more like my office. If not there, I write in a notebook wherever the mood hits me.

3-How long does it normally take you to write a novel?
It depends on how cooperative my characters are, how many distractions I have going on, and how stressed I am. But I can usually get a rough draft for a novel-length book in about six months, though this is basing off of me having a full time job on top of everything else.

4-What are your inspirations?
My inspirations are probably a combination of authors who have come before me, such as J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling. But I think my recently departed grandfather, on my dad's side, is a great inspiration for reaching for your dreams.

5-What was the hardest part of writing your book, and how did you overcome it?
The hardest part was finding the time to write. I worked full time when writing this so it was hard to balance that with being tired after work and wanting to write.

6-What is your writing drive? The power that keeps you going when your writing gets difficult?
The drive, for me, is that I promised myself I'd do this. That and my husband likes it when I read him my stuff and he's always asking if there's more to read yet, so that helps a lot.




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