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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

The Bachelor and the Bride (The Dread Penny Society #4): A Proper Romance by Sarah M. Eden-Book Review, Excerpt, & Appearance Schedule


Product Details

  • Title: The Bachelor and the Bride
  • Author: Sarah M. Eden
  • Series: The Dread Penny Society #4
  • Genre: Victorian Historical Romance, Proper Romance
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Shadow Mountain (September 6, 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1639930485
  • ***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own***

Book Synopsis
”A plethora of secrets and a thrilling mystery makes this fresh take on arranged marriage a treat.” ―Publishers Weekly

”Centers on a heroine’s unrequited love with lots of twists and turns.” ―Library Journal

London, 1866

Dr. Barnabus Milligan has always felt called to help people, whether that means setting a broken bone or rescuing the impoverished women of London from their desperate lives on the streets as part of his work with the Dread Penny Society.

Three years ago, he helped rescue Gemma Kincaid by secretly marrying her to protect her from her family of notorious grave robbers.

But six months after Gemma and Barnabus exchanged vows, she realized her love for her new husband was unrequited. To protect her heart, she left, telling Barnabus to contact her if his feelings for her ever grew beyond a sense of duty.

When Barnabus sends a letter to Gemma inviting her to return home, she hopes to find a true connection between them. But unfortunately, he only wants her help to foil the Kincaids, who have been terrorizing the boroughs of London, eager to gain both money and power.

Heartbroken, Gemma agrees to help, but she warns Barnabus that she will not stay for long, and once she goes, he'll never see her again.

Yet as the couple follows the clues that seem to connect the Kincaids to the Mastiff, the leader of London's criminal network, Gemma and Barnabus realize they might make a better match than either of them suspected. Perhaps the marriage that had once saved Gemma's life might now save Barnabus―and his lonely heart.

But before the once-confirmed bachelor can properly court his secret bride, they'll need to evade the dangerous forces that are drawing ever closer to the hopeful lovers and the entire Dread Penny Society itself.

My Review

I loved reading this fourth book in The Dread Penny Society Series called, The Bachelor and the Bride. Gemma Kinkaid and Dr. Barnabus Milligan were the perfect couple even though they didn't know it. Even though they had been married for three years, theirs had been a marriage of convenience. It's always fun to see how clueless they are to how much they love their significant other until others point it out.


In this book, there is a lot of action that kept the story moving at an accelerated pace. I appreciate that all of the characters we've grown to love and care about in the first three books were also in this novel. Fletcher is still front and center leading the DPS and Brogan and Vera Donnelly are again highly involved in things. Readers can also expect to read two new Penny Dreadfuls that I enjoyed very much.


This series has been a fun one. It's had some of the most unique and colorful characters. I've loved how the series has been built and the plot thickened book after book. Many things culminate in The Bachelor and the Bride. The ending and the BIG reveals were surprising and I honestly didn't see them coming. Maybe others can guess better than me but I enjoyed being shocked at the conclusion. Of course, thankfully there is more to come. I truly didn't want this series to end. As always, I recommend reading this series in the order in which they were written, otherwise, things may be so confusing. So, I say to everyone who reads my reviews, that Sarah M. Eden is one of the finest series writers and you need to dive into The Dread Penny Society books.

*****Meet Author Sarah M. Eden*****

Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today best-selling author of witty and charming historical romances, including 2020’s Foreword Reviews INDIE Awards Gold Winner for Romance, Forget Me Not, 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.​

Sarah’s links

Sarah M. Eden on Facebook:

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

  • The Gentleman and the Thief, 2020 Foreword Reviews INDIE Award finalist

  • Forget Me Not, 2020 Foreword Reviews INDIE Award, Gold Medalist, Romance

~*~*~*~*~*Purchase Your Copy of~*~*~*~*~*

The Bachelor and the Bride




Sarah M. Eden Upcoming Events and Appearances:

Friday, September 2

This Friday! There will be copies of the book available for purchase and I’m doing a Q&A!!!
original post ••• @provolibrary Join USA Today’s best-selling author Sarah M. Eden on September 2nd from 6:00-9:00 PM for the release of THE BACHELOR AND THE BRIDE, her latest tale of romance budding among a thrilling scandal. Free tickets are available now on our website!

6-9 PM MDT

Provo City Library

(Tickets Required)


Saturday, September 3

1-3 PM MDT

Deseret Book – Logan, UT


Monday, September 5

4-6 PM MDT

Deseret Book – Boise, ID


Tuesday, September 6 (Release Day!!!)

5-7 PM MDT

Deseret Book – Idaho Falls, ID


Thursday, September 8

5-7 PM MDT

Deseret Book – St. George, UT


Friday, September 9

6-8 PM MST

Deseret Book – Mesa, AZ


Saturday, September 10

1-3 PM MST

Deseret Book – Phoenix, AZ


~*~*~*~Excerpt From The Bachelor and the Bride~*~*~*~

Chapter 2

For three years, Gemma Milligan had sent a letter every few months to her one-time home in the Finsbury area of London, updating her husband-in-name-only on her whereabouts. He’d sent very few responses, none of which requested her to return. She’d told him before

leaving that he needn’t send for her unless he’d come to feel something more than a vague friendship for her. Absence was meant to make the heart fonder, she’d been told. After three

years, she’d accepted that some people couldn’t be absent enough to make any heart fond of them.

She currently laid her head in Wandsworth, a rough area of London south of Thames. She worked what odd jobs she could find. None of it would make her wealthy, that was for sure and certain. But she weren’t starving, and she’d not needed to crawl back to her horrid father for a roof over her head. She couldn’t have anyway. The man was dead, and good riddance.

Upon returning from a long day selling flowers on street corners, Gemma was met by her landlady, who tossed her a neatly folded letter addressed to Gemma. She recognized the handwriting and nearly dropped at the shock of it.

“Can’t remember you ever getting a letter,” Mrs. Woods said, watching her with all-consuming curiosity. “Hope it ain’t bad news.” On the contrary, the woman seemed to hope it were exactly that.

“Ain’t got the first idea what it is.” Gemma dropped it in her coat pocket. “I’d twig it’s some job coming my way. Been hoping to leave off the flower selling.”

On that Banbury tale, Gemma trudged up the tenement stairs toward the tiny, single-room flat she’d called her own for nearly half a year, which was a fair-sight longer than she usually kept to any one place. Her family’s reputation had, miraculously, not caught up with her here. Yet.

She unlocked her door and stepped into the darkness that awaited her. The hour weren’t overly late, but dusk came early in the winter. She hung her coat on the nail on the wall next to the door. With a flick of a Lucifer match, she lit a stump of a candle. She carried it and her letter to the kerosene lantern on the table and lit it. That was as bright as the space ever grew.

Gemma dropped her weary body onto her only chair. She broke the seal on her bit of mail and unfolded it under the spill of lantern light.


I am in particular need of seeing you. I realize

Wandsworth is not an easy distance from Finsbury,

but I hope you will be able to make the journey

sooner rather than later. I am still at the same house

and can be found there most of the time. If you choose

to come—and I do hope you will—and I am out, the

keys have not been changed. Let yourself in. Make

yourself at home.

Yours, etc.


It was not precisely a declaration of love and devotion, but considering the agreement between them, it was nearly that. She’d waited years to hear anything from him other than “Received your letter. Hope all is well.” He’d written so much more this time. He wished her to come home and not at a shambling pace. It was what she’d waited three years to hear from him. Three long and lonely years.

Make yourself at home.


Pleased as pudding, Gemma packed her few belongings into her well-worn carpetbag. She’d dragged herself so many places she hardly had to think about the ins and outs of it. Perhaps it was telling that she wouldn’t miss this place or the people she’d come to know. If there was one thing Gemma was a dab hand at, it was moving along. Only once had leaving a place broken her heart. But now she was returning to that very place and the man who lived there. A man she adored to the depths of her soul. A man whose heart had grown tender toward her.

At last.

At long last

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Divine Direction: 22 Inspirational Devotionals for Hope, Healing, Breakthrough and Transformation By Benecia Ponder-Book Blitz, Review, and Tour Giveaway

Divine Direction tour banner

This is my stop during the bookstagram blitz for Divine Direction by Benecia Ponder. Divine Direction is a non-fiction inspirational book.

This bookstagram blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. This bookstagram blitz runs from 22 till 28 August. See the tour schedule here.

Don’t miss the tour-wide giveaway! There are three prizes you can win. You can enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post.

Divine Direction book cover
Divine Direction
By Benecia Ponder
Genre: Non-fiction Inspirational
Release Date: 28 February 2022

Divine Direction is a collection of stories of ordinary people who received extraordinary guidance in their lives. Whether it was a career or life change, a relationship in trouble, or a crisis, each of the authors found a way to listen to the Divine and let Him steer them in the right direction at just the right time.

The stories are often raw and vulnerable, reflections on the human experience in all of its messy yet perfectly aligned beauty.

Readers are encouraged to approach this book in whatever way feels right. The stories can be read in order and from beginning to end, or at random. Either way, take time to pause and reflect on the story and its message before moving on to the next chapter.

The authors’ journeys and revelations will help you gain insight into the messages and lessons you’ve received in your own life, providing clarity and inspiration as you endeavor to find our own divine direction!

•• Divine Direction Co-Authors ••
Ardra Caldwell • Breyuna Williams • Cheryl Graham • Cindy Beckles • Crystal Reilley • Jennine Carter • Karen Lynn Robinson • Karen Skinner • Katherine James • Kathy Haynie • Kelly McCausey • Kenya Williams • Lady Rayven Monique • Lesa Dale • Lisa Antley • Maureen Riley • Patricia Ortega • Paula Ames • Stephanie Sherwood • Sue Fattibene • Tracy Mitchell • Treyonda Towns

My Review

The Divine Direction was a nice, short read. It's full of personal stories of people that had gone through hard times and felt the light and love of God or a higher power in their lives. Many of the things people said I could really relate to. Other things were so inspiring to me to look at things differently. 
Here are some excerpts from the book...

“Awareness is very powerful. It restores our power and control over our lives and our futures.
It’s the gift of being conscious -- in the moment -- that we all have a choice about how we want to show up, and what impact we want to have, because we’re always having an impact, whether we know it or not.” -Lady Rayven

“As the poet and mystic Rumi once said, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” When you feel like you are failing miserably, just focus on the next baby step. Know that if you stumble, someone will come along to take over for you or will carry you over the finish line. You will grow stronger with each baby step. Let your higher power carry you. Let the light enter your wounds. Refuse to be shamed by your trauma. Don’t claim the shame. -Karen Robinson

Another nice thing about this book is that each story has a passage of scripture and a prayer that follows. The chapters are short enough to pick one up and read it before you start your busy day. This is a good devotional book for those looking for a spiritual uplift in their lives.

Purchase Links:

About the Author:
Benecia Ponder is a Story Coach and Book Publishing Mentor to Inspirational Authors—purpose driven entrepreneurs who share their God-given gifts and life experiences through powerful stories that make an impact.

Benecia's clients want to tell their story and have a real impact on the world. They want to open doors to connect with people they feel called to serve.

Since 2006, Benecia has been helping entrepreneurs and organizations clarify, hone, and share their messages to inspire change.

With more than 10 years of passionate experience helping storytellers go all the way from outlining to publication, Benecia loves to speak, teach and motivate entrepreneurs.

Want to show your people how to write, publish, and leverage a book that boosts their business with more clients, credibility, and cash flow? Benecia would love to be a part of that.

"I believe we all have a message...a beautiful, transformational message that has the power to create a positive impact in the lives of others.”
-Benecia Ponder

Author links:

There is a tour wide giveaway for the bookstagram blitz for Divine Direction. This giveaway is open international. Here are the prizes you can win:
- A paperback copy of The Overnight Success Journal by Benecia Ponder
- A paperback copy of Detox Your Soul by Benecia Ponder
- A free book strategy call with Benecia Ponder

You can enter the giveaway here.

Or use the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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