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, August 29, 2021

The Merchant and the Rogue: (The Dread Penny Society #3) Proper Romance By Sarah M. Eden-Book Review, Book Trailer and Author Interview


Product Details

  • Title:The Merchant and the Rogue:
  • Author: Sarah M. Eden
  • Series: The Dread Penny Society #3
  • Genre: Victorian Historical Romance 
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1629728519

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

Book Summary

London, 1865

Vera Sorokina loves reading the Penny Dreadfuls and immersing herself in tales of adventure, mystery, and romance. Her own days are filled with the often mundane work of running the book and print shop she owns with her father. The shop offers her the freedom and income to employ and protect the poverty-stricken Londoners she's come to care about, and it gives her father something to do other than long for their hometown of St. Petersburg. She is grateful for the stability in their lives, but she often feels lonely.

Brogan Donnelly was born and raised in Ireland, but has lived in London for several years, where he's built a career as a Penny Dreadful writer. He has dedicated himself to the plight of the poor with the help of his sister. His membership in the secretive Dread Penny Society allows him to feel he isn't entirely wasting his life, yet he feels dissatisfied. With no one to share his life with but his sister, he fears London will never truly feel like home.

Brogan and Vera's paths cross, and the attraction is both immediate and ill-advised. Vera knows from past experience that writers are never to be trusted, and Brogan has reason to suspect not everything at her print shop is aboveboard. When the growing criminal enterprise run by the elusive and violent Mastiff begins targeting their area of London, Brogan and Vera must work together to protect the community they've both grown to love. But that means they'll need to learn to trust each other with dangerous secrets that have followed both of them from their home countries.

Book Trailer for The Merchant and the Rogue

My Review

I loved this book! I could end my review right there and that should say enough but I won't. This is the third book in The Dread Penny Society Series and now it's my favorite. I love the main characters, Irish-born Brogan Donnelly, his sister Moirin, and Russian-born Vera Sorokina. They all have had difficult lives with mysterious pasts. By this time in the series, readers know who the "bad" guys are and they are still up to no good. Brogan, a Dread Penny Writer of "The Dead Zoo", is called to go undercover at Vera's father's print shop. Once there he can't help but get involved in Vera's life, the community being extorted by a mystery enterprise, and the urchin children working in Vera's shop.

I loved how three mysteries were going on in this book. You had the extortion ring in Vera's community, and the two Penny Dreadfuls, The Dead Zoo, and The Merchant and the Rogue that held my interest throughout. I really liked the inclusion of both of the outside stories in this novel. They are also included in the first two books but are different stories. It was fun trying to figure out everything and I read this book pretty fast. 

Sarah Eden has fun with this Victorian-era novel based on Middle and Lower class people of this era. I feel it's refreshing to have a break from the upper class of that time period. Brogan and Vera have a slow build romance that has many ups and downs. They do have a very saucy banter that gives needed humor and gaiety to this novel amongst its serious parts. It was of course nice to have all of the characters we met in the first two books show up as well. The saga of the evil Mastiff is heating up and the DPS is gearing up to try and take him down in the next book.

If you love Eden's books, then you'll love this third Dread Penny Society installment, The Merchant and the Rogue. You are always going to have a well-crafted novel to read when Sarah M. Eden is the author. 

Meet Author Sarah M. Eden

Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today best-selling author of witty and charming historical romances, including 2019’s Foreword Reviews INDIE Awards Gold Winner for Romance, The Lady and the Highwayman, and 2020 Holt Medallion finalist, Healing Hearts. She is a two-time “Best of State” Gold Medal winner for fiction and a three-time Whitney Award winner. Combining her obsession with history and her affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting deep characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. She holds a bachelor’s degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library. 

Sarah is represented by Pam Pho at D4EO Literary Agency.​

****​Author Interview with Sarah M. Eden****

Awards & Recognitions

  • Seeking Persephone, 2008 Whitney Award finalist, Romance

  • Courting Miss Lancaster, 2010 Whitney Award finalist, Romance

  • Longing for Home, 2013 Foreword Reviews IndieFab “Book of the Year” Gold Medalist, Romance

  • Longing for Home, 2013 AML winner “Novel of the Year”

  • Longing for Home, 2013 Whitney Award finalist, Romance

  • Longing for Home: Hope Springs, 2014 Whitney Award winner, "Best Novel of the Year,"

  • Longing for Home: Hope Springs, 2014 Whitney Award winner, "Best Romance,"

  • Longing for Home: Hope Springs, 2014 Foreword Reviews INDIE Award finalist

  • The Sheriffs of Savage Wells, 2016 Foreword Reviews INDIE Award finalist

  • The Sheriffs of Savage Wells, 2016 Whitney Award finalist

  • Sarah M. Eden 2017 Best of State, Gold Medal winner, Fiction.

  • Love Remains, 2017 Whitney Award winner, “Best Romance”

  • Sarah M. Eden 2018 Best of State, Gold Medal winner, Short Story.

  • Ashes on the Moor, 2018 Foreword Reviews INDIE Award, Silver Medalist, Romance

  • The Heart of a Vicar, 2019 Foreword Reviews INDIE Award finalist

  • The Lady and the Highwayman, 2019 Foreword Reviews INDIE Award, Gold Medalist, Romance

  • Healing Hearts, 2019 Holt Medallion finalist

  • Forget Me Not, 2020 Whitney Award finalist

  • Forget Me Not, 2020 Foreword Reviews INDIE Award finalist

  • The Gentleman and the Thief, Foreword Reviews INDIE Award finalist

Purchase The Merchant and the Rogue 


Other Books in The Dread Penny Society Series

Book 1

Book 2

Friday, August 27, 2021

An Engagement of Sorts-A Regency Romance by Alene Wecker: Blog Tour Review and Giveaway

Product Details

  • An Engagement of Sorts
  • Alene Wecker
  • Genre: Regency Romance
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B093S2LBMM
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Covenant Communications (August 9, 2021)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ August 9, 2021
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1554 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled

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

Book Summary

Much to her mother’s dismay, spirited Anne Fletcher spent her youth seeking her father’s approval by hunting and riding. More comfortable in breeches than ball gowns, Anne sees the freedoms she once enjoyed slowly taken from her in the name of fashioning her into an eligible young lady. When her parents try to force her into marriage, Anne makes a desperate attempt to salvage her last vestige of independence. If she is to marry, she will do so on her own terms. 

Anne strikes a deal: if she cannot secure a man for herself, she will agree to marry the husband her parents approved. She soon finds herself in the last place she would ever choose—that stifling parade of etiquette, the London Season. Anne’s plan is in motion. Now all she needs is a man willing to masquerade as her fiancé.

Book Trailer for An Engagement of Sorts

My Review
An Engagement of Sorts is a great debut from a new author. This Regency Romance has a spirited heroine who is not shy to speak her mind. Anne Fletcher has wit and liveliness that is challenged and matched by the good-looking and humorous Thomas Paling. Together they work to right some wrongs committed by irritating and villainous characters, including Anne's mother. I think I despised her the most out of all of the flawed characters.

Anne at times seems a bit immature but I think she did that to protect herself against her mother's scheming. Thomas seemed a bit too giddy but I loved the way his story and heart were shown to the readers as the story progressed. The most uncomfortable male character (who will remain unnamed) is shady and does questionable things behind closed doors. Thank goodness he gets what he deserves in the end. The best part of this novel is the unending and entertaining banter between Anne and Thomas. The author truly hit a home run when it came to this captivating couple.

Meet Author Alene Wecker

Debut novelist Alene Wecker stumbled into the profession while trying to entertain herself during a banal bout of bedrest. But the characters in her head wouldn’t leave her alone until she gave them space on the page. She hopes you will be as entertained by her character’s antics as she was.

As a mother, voice teacher, and opera singer, she must have a penchant for fun but poorly-paid professions. She likes to pretend that her experience and master’s degree in vocal performance come in handy as she describes debutantes who, like herself, speak several languages and are frequently forced to display their mediocre skills at the pianoforte.

Learn more about Alene HERE:

 Newsletter | Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Bookbub | Youtube

Purchase Your Own Copy of 
An Engagement of Sorts HERE:

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An Engagement of Sorts

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Friday, August 20, 2021

Song of Salzburg (Romance on the Orient Express #4) by Jen Geigle Johnson-Blog Tour Review, Exclusive Author Interview, and Book Giveaway


Product Details

  • Title: Song of Salzburg
  • Author: Jen Geigle Johnson
  • Series: Romance on the Orient Express #4
  • Pages: 208
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08XB9QW9W
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Covenant Communications 
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ August 2, 2021

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

Book Summary
Publisher's Weekly says, "The romance is chaste, slow-building, and sweet, and Johnson makes both characters’ love of music palpable. This is a treat."

When talented violinist Freya Winter is chosen to take part in a musical celebration alongside some of the best instrumentalists in the world, she is thrilled. Performing in front of royalty is a breathtaking opportunity, but her true motivation for traveling to Salzburg is to fulfill an unlikely dream: to meet and train under the renowned Salzburg Maestro, a master musician shrouded in mystery.

Freya travels aboard the Orient Express to practice with the newly formed orchestra in Salzburg, and nothing can distract her—not her mother’s illness, nor her father’s domineering ways; however, when a handsome passenger becomes a regular fixture on her journeys, Freya feels her focus blurring. Conversation with Erich is easy, and their shared love of music draws them undeniably closer. But even as they open their hearts to each other, the harsh realities of her family life intrude on the future she’s envisioned, and Freya feels her dreams slipping through her fingers, threatening to rob her of everything she cherishes most.

Trailer for Song of Salzburg

My Review
Wow! What an excellent ending to the Romance on the Orient Express Series. With me also being a musician, this story Song of Salzburg spoke straight to my heart. Jen Geigle Johnson has written such a likable and well rounded main character in violinist, Freya Winter. You could feel the love and fire within Freya for her music that she plays. In fact, it felt as if I could hear all of the music playing in my head as I read the words. 

Even though the huge surprise at the end is figured out very early, I loved the journey getting to the end of the book. It was beautiful, mysterious, heartfelt, and so satisfying to "Be There" as Freya and Erich grew to know and care about each other. The words written in this story are like strands of musical notes themselves, when Erich says to Freya, "Playing with you, hearing your music, watching your heart shine out your eyes. I know all I could ever need to know to convince me I want you always in my life." now that is truly sigh worthy. 

Everything in this story I loved from the rich and detailed descriptions of Salzburg and it's mountains, to the beautiful streets of Paris. The cast of characters are also so wonderfully written, even down to Freya's stubborn parents, her loving Grandmother, her best friend Gertie, and her musical rival, Eliza.

Any of the books in the Romance on the Orient Express series can be read in any order, I suggest highly that you read them in the order of release. There is something about Song of Salzburg that wraps up all of the other stories completely even though they were all written by other authors. You also get a more detailed feel for travel on The Orient Express in this last book. Song of Salzburg was a book that I didn't want to end. This is a novel that I will read again just to feel those soaring feelings of great appreciation and love for music and the musicians portrayed. Bravo to this author for writing such a romantic and heartfelt story.

**Exclusive Author Interview **

 I was so excited when Author Jen Geigle Johnson said she'd do a short interview with me. I had so many questions after reading this wonderful book, Song of Salzburg. I narrowed down my questions to only five. I hope you enjoy reading learning more about this fantastic author! 

1. Do you play a musical instrument? 
Yes! I play the piano well enough to mess around and have fun. Not well enough that anyone would want to sing along except me. hahah. I also used to play the violin. 

I knew you had to have played the violin before. I could tell from your writing that you understand how to bring out the emotion in Freya's and Erich's playing.

2. Do you have a favorite series that you love to read that 
you did not write?

I love to read Fantasy with my kiddos. We are all excited about Dragon Watch at the moment because Brandon Mull's next book is coming in October. I love to read Rebecca Connolly and Heather Moore's series. I enjoy Sally Britton as well as Martha Keyes. 

3.Is there a dream book you want to write someday? What genre?

 Hmmm. I really need to have one of these. I LOVE historical fiction. So. I would like to write a thick tome of awesome historical fiction. Romance included but lots more besides. I love ancient history. I also love Czech history. 

I would read any historical fiction book that you wrote. You do such a great job with the history you've used in your current books. 

4.Have you ever been to Paris? If you have, what did you love about it?

 I haven't been to Paris. But what I love about what I've HEARD about Paris is the Louvre. And the bakeries. 


5.What is your next book coming out and when?

 I have a book coming out in October. A Christmas Regency called, "A Sleigh Ride Kiss." I'm super excited about it.

I can't wait to read your new book! Thanks so much

for taking the time to talk to me and my followers today.


Meet Author Jen Geigle Johnson

An award winning author, including the GOLD in Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards and LDSPMA Praiseworthy's top award for Romance, Jen Geigle Johnson has more stories circulating in her brain than can possibly be told. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager. HIstory is her main jam. Her literary heroes include the greats: Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. But she has modern sensibilities as well. Six children and an inspiring husband keep her going and make certain she doesn't stay glued to a keyboard or lost in obscure fascinating details of old castles. She once greeted an ancient turtle under the water by grabbing her fin. She waterskis like a boss and hits the powder, falling down steep moguls with grace. During a study break date in college, she sat on top of a jeep's roll bars up in the mountains and fell in love with the man who would become her everything.

Now, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure.

Learn more about Jen and her books HERE:


*****Enter the Giveaway*****
WIN a PAPERBACK copy of Song of Salzburg by Jen Geigle Johnson (US addresses only)

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Thursday, August 19, 2021

The Light Through The Pouring Rain by James Ruvalcaba-A Bookstagram Blitz and Giveaway

The Light Through the Pouring Rain tour banner

This is my stop during the bookstagram blitz for The Light Through the Pouring Rain by James Ruvalcaba. This memoir is a true story about a young couple’s battle with cancer.

This bookstagram blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours and runs from 16 till 22 August. See the tour schedule down below.

Don't miss the tour wide giveaway! 5 winners will a $10 Amazon gift card. You can enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post.

The Light Through the Pouring Rain
The Light Through the Pouring Rain
By James Ruvalcaba
Genre: Non-fiction Memoir

My story is about my Fiancee Anabel and I as we experienced the trials and tribulations of a Cancer treatment. We both were in our twenties when this diagnosis halted our lives plans. With no clear road map on how to navigate through our new normal, we proceeded into uncharted territory, hand-in-hand, with the love of our families and our faith in God to guide us.

- Goodreads
- Bookbub
- Amazon

You can watch the book trailer here on Youtube

author picture James Ruvalcaba
About the Author:
Hello, I'm James Ruvalcaba. I am the Author of ‚The Light Through the Pouring Rain.
I am a family man and hold them near and dear to me. I am a down to Earth person that loves creating conversations. I believe the more we communicate the more we see the beauty of God's previous workings. In pursuit of my God given mission I began writing because of a promise I made to my Fiance on her last day. I wanted to honor my fiance's legacy and to be a testimony of God's goodness. I continue to tell stories and hope to achieve telling stories that uplift others, give some perspective on life and to walk away with a sense of inspiration. If they can take lessons and perspectives given in my words to their own lives then I feel I accomplished what I set out to do.

Author links:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Amazon
- Instagram

*****Enter the Giveaway*****
There is a tour wide giveaway for the bookstagram blitz for The Light Through the Pouring Rain. Five winners will each win a $10 Amazon gift card.

You can enter the giveaway here.

Or use the rafflecopter below:
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Tour Schedule
16 August
– A Hippie’s Bookshelf, Instagram ahippiesbookshelf, Twitter & Facebook

17 August
– Divine Perspective, Instagram atwctours, Twitter & Facebook
– Jerry’s Circumlocution    

18 August
– Instagram 4realreviews4u
– Pick a good book & Instagram @pickagoodbook    

19 August
– Instagram @c.c.c.villacorta
– Instagram @jypsylynn
– Why Not? Because I Said So!, Instagram @ssdawn2002 & Twitter

20 August
– #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog, Instagram @bookreviewvirginialee, Twitter & Facebook
– Currant7 Recommends, Instagram @Currant7_Recommends, Twitter & Facebook

21 August
– A Hippie’s Bookshelf, Instagram ahippiesbookshelf, Twitter & Facebook
– Jazzy Book Reviews, Instagram jazzybookreviews, Twitter & Facebook

22 August
– Readingthroughthelookinglass & Instagram Readingthroughthelookinglass
– The Elysian Geek & Instagram

Lola's Blog Tours graphic

Friday, August 6, 2021

Cover Reveal for Fire and Ash: A Fate of Eyrinthia Novella by Heather Frost


The cover reveal for Fire & Ash is here and I'm SO excited to share it with you! 
A fifteen-year-old Desfan can get into a lot of trouble... 


First the flames . . .

When Desfan Cassian, the future ruler of Mortise, skips his fifteenth birthday celebration so he can gamble in the slums, he knows his father won't be pleased. Then again, the serjan hasn’t been happy with him in years. And while Desfan anticipates a reprimand for his latest transgression, he doesn’t expect to be thrown out of the palace and exiled onto a patrol ship for the next year.

Then from the ashes . . .

Furious to be trapped on the same sea that stole his family four years ago, Desfan is fully prepared to hate his new life. After all, the Phoenix is run by a strict captain, and Desfan's annoying new bodyguard, Karim, is his constant shadow. But when Desfan learns that a group of dangerous pirates may have been behind the deaths of his mother and sisters, he's suddenly committed to hunting down the truth—no matter the risk.

He will rise.

***Fire & Ash is a novella set in the world of the Royal Decoy series. While it is a prequel story, it is best enjoyed after reading Royal Spy.***

Book releases October 28, 2021

It will be available in Kindle and Paperback!

  Available for Kindle Pre-order Now: