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.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Healing Hazel: A Victorian Romance {The Blue Orchid Society #3} by Jennifer Moore-Blog Tour Review and Giveaway


Product Details

      Title: Healing Hazel: A Victorian Romance 
     Author: Jennifer Moore
     Series: The Blue Orchid Society #3
     Genre: Victorian Romance {
  •  Publisher ‏ : ‎ Covenant Communications (September 8, 2022)
  •  Language ‏ : ‎ English
  •  ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1524422185
  • ***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary NetGalley e-copy from the publisher.  All opinions are my own***

Book Synopsis
Hazel Thornton has one great ambition: to help the sick and wounded as a nurse. But that dream can never become a reality. After a devastating childhood trauma, she has spent her life battling fits of panic that make it impossible to finish her studies. Everything changes, however, when a trip to Spain takes a perilous turn that derails her plans to visit her father for Christmas and immediately plunges her into the dangers of a brutal war.

With single-minded focus, she springs into action to help her fellow travelers. To ensure their continued care, she begins work at a Spanish hospital alongside Dr. Jim Jackson, a man whose only emotion seems to be wariness of his new assistant. Armed with gifts of support from each of her dearest friends, a group that dubs themselves the Blue Orchid Society, Hazel embarks on a journey of hope and healing to battle the demons of her past with the help of the doctor who has captured her heart.

My Review
The Blue Orchid Society has truly been a wonderful series so far and Healing Hazel has added so sweetly to it. This circle of friends are beautiful, talented, and caring women. 

I was pleased that this third book was about Hazel. She is a quiet, sweet, and unassuming young lady whose dream was to become a nurse. Hazel had panic attacks that thwarted her from finishing her nursing studies. Her trip to Spain to visit her father brings many changes to her life.

It was very interesting to have most of the story take place in Spain in 1873 during the Spanish Civil War. A train accident brings Hazel to a Red Cross Hospital where she has the chance to practice the skills of nursing. One thing stands in her way, American doctor Jim Jackson. He does not come off as the kindest nor friendliest person. He also is hesitant to allow Hazel to help in the hospital. I became frustrated at times with the Dr. being so harsh but soon Hazel gets the chance to prove herself to him and she gains his respect. 

This book has war action but nothing explicit. A sweet romance is developed slowly between Jim and Hazel and another couple surprisingly. The author studied her history well of the Spanish Civil War and the medical procedures of the time. Also, character development is such a strong part of every story that Moore has written. Even though this book does well as a stand-alone, you must read the first two books to get the full charm of the Blue Orchid Society and the close-knit women who are fiercely loyal and supportive of each other.

*****Meet Author Jennifer Moore*****
Jennifer Moore is a passionate reader and writer of all things romance due to the need to balance the rest of her world that includes a perpetually traveling husband and four active sons, who create heaps of laundry that are anything but romantic. She suffers from an acute addiction to 18th and 19th century military history and literature. 

Jennifer has a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Utah and is a Guitar Hero champion. She lives in northern Utah with her family, but most of the time wishes she was on board a frigate during the Age of Sail.

To learn more about Jennifer go to her website HERE:

Books in the Blue Orchid Society Series

~*~*~*~*~*Purchase Your Copy of~*~*~*~*~* 
Healing Hazel HERE:

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Monday, September 26, 2022

Delicious Gatherings: Recipes to Celebrate Together By Tara Teaspoon-Cookbook Book Review


Delicious Gatherings: Recipes to Celebrate Together

by Tara Teaspoon

Publication Date: 9/6/22


ISBN: 9781639930456

Retail Price: $34.99

Page Count: 272


Cover photos: © Ty Mecham Photography

Book design: © Shadow Mountain

Art Direction: Richard Erickson

Design: Heather G. Ward

Book Summary

“I am so passionate about the power of food and cooking, and how it can bring people together, allow us to explore our creativity, and nourish our bodies and souls.”—Tara Bench (aka Tara Teaspoon)

Here is your invitation to step into the kitchen and create a meal worth remembering! Tara Teaspoon helps you impress guests and gather friends around your table with recipes for elevated everyday meals and special holidays, plus helpful tips and how-tos. This cookbook aims to bring joy, flair, and amazing taste to all your get-togethers.

From Sunday suppers and weeknight family meals to elaborate buffets for bigger crowds and holiday celebrations, Tara’s recipes include delicious showstoppers and unique takes on comforting classics. You can gather together around savory recipes, including Spicy Maple Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Pepitas or the Ultimate Chili con Queso. Then bring on dessert with Chocolate Peanut Butter Puddle Cookies or Maple Hazelnut Pie.

Tara brings her comforting-but-elevated approach to recipes that cover “Main Events,” “Serious Sides,” “Breakfast and Brunch,” and “Baking and Sweets.” The book opens with “Gather-Around Dinners,” which takes the stress out of meal planning with full-course menus for memorable gatherings.

My Review  

*****Meet Author Tara Teaspoon*****

Tara Bench has been in the food publishing industry for more than twenty years and is also the author of Live Life Deliciously: Recipes for Busy Weekdays and Leisurely Weekends. As a recipe developer and professional food stylist, she creates food content for brands, books, television, and advertising, as well as shares her expertise on her blog, was the food and entertaining director of Ladies’ Home Journal magazine and a food editor at Martha Stewart Living, Kids, and Weddings magazines. She frequently shares her expertise on TV, and has appeared on the Martha Stewart show, The Today Show, and the Food Network as a contestant and show judge. Tara encourages confidence in the kitchen with her attainable recipes for entertaining and everyday meals.

~*~*~*~*Purchase Your Copy of ~*~*~*~*
Delicious Gatherings


Sunday, September 25, 2022

The Connecting Door: Saddles & Scoundrels Novella By Josi S. Kilpack- Book Review


Product Details

    Title: The Connecting Door (Saddles & Scoundrels Novella)
    Author: Josi S. Kilpack
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0B8QB7GDD
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Carpe Vitam Press (September 15, 2022)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ September 15, 2022
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 955 KB
  • ***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own***

Book Summary
Norman has spent years building an enviable stable that is known and respected throughout England. In fact, everything in his life is exactly how he would like it to be ... except for his marriage. Twenty-nine years, five children, and demanding responsibilities have led Norman and Martha to live separate lives.
When Norman realizes how little time they have together, he tries to change things only to find that the desire for closeness is not enough to make lasting change. Through the course of his attempts, he realizes how little he has invested in the relationship that matters most and how much he has to give if he can make the time to show his interest.

My Review
The Connecting Door is the story of a mature couple married for 29 years. Their busy lives had led to them living separate lives under the same roof. I loved this novella that showed Norman realizing what had happened to him and Martha. He wakes up and tries to find ways to win her back. This realistic look at married life is a refreshing change from Newlyweds so in love. It truly shows how you have to make your partner your biggest priority. 

There was ready humor along the way as many of Norman's attempts at reconciliation were blocked. He was dumbfounded at his bad luck. The last chapter of the book was the sweetest, as Martha revealed something to Norman that would have helped their marriage stay strong through the years. This is an enjoyable, quick read. 

*****Meet Author Josi S. Kilpack*****

Josi S. Kilpack has written more than thirty novels, a cookbook, and several novellas. She is a four-time Whitney award winner, including Best Novel in 2015 and 2019, and has been a Utah Best of State winner for Fiction. Josi loves to bake, sleep, eat, read, travel, and watch TV--none of which she gets to do as much as she would like. She writes contemporary fiction under the pen name Jessica Pack.

Josi has four children and lives in Northern Utah. For more information about Josi, you can visit her website at or her blog at

~*~*~*~*Purchase Your Copy of~*~*~*~*
The Connecting Door

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Wandfasted (The Black Witch Chronicles Prequel) by Laurie Forest-YA Fantasy Book Review


Product Details

  • Title: Wandfasted-A Novella Prequel
  • Author: Laurie Forest
  • Series: The Black Witch Chronicles
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01N00Y9X9
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harlequin Teen (July 1, 2017)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ July 1, 2017
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 3601 KB
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 291 pages

Book Summary

Magic, romance and adventure collide in Wandfasted, the irresistible ebook prequel to The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

When they painted Heretics on our barn and set fire to it, I thought that was the worst it could get.

Until they sent the dragons.

But they didn't count on us having dragons of our own. And they certainly didn't count on Her. Our Great Mage. The Bringer of Fire. The Storm of Death. The Crow Sorceress. Our Deliverance.

The Black Witch.

My Review
This "novella" (250 pages long like a regular novel) was a great look at the history of the Gardnerian people. I enjoyed seeing how Elloren's parents became wandfasted. I also was able to see where her bravery and determination come from, her mother Tessla. The backstory of both Vale, Tessla, and her Grandmother, The First Black Witch, added so much to the overall feel of the series. I've already read the first two books and the prequel filled in many holes and answered questions I had about Elloren's family. I love this world and the magic system. It mirrors so much of what is happening in our world as it displays prejudice, unjust class distinctions, and cultures trying to blend but doing a poor job of it but also many trying to be loving and inclusive. Overall, this prequel is a love story and eye-opening to readers about the hows and whys of the happenings in the first book. 

*****Meet Author Laurie Forest*****
Laurie Forest is a New York Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling Author who lives deep in the backwoods of Vermont where she sits in front of a wood stove drinking strong tea and dreaming up tales full of dryads, dragons, and wands. She is the author of THE BLACK WITCH (Book 1.0, The Black Witch Chronicles), THE IRON FLOWER (Book 2.0), WANDFASTED (Book 0.5 - a full-length novel prequel), and LIGHT MAGE (Book 1.5 - a full-length novel prequel) - both WANDFASTED & LIGHT MAGE are available in the print compilation - THE REBEL MAGES (her favorite book in the series), THE SHADOW WAND (Book 3.0 - a Publisher's Weekly Bestseller) and The Demon Tide (Book 4.0 - a USA Today Bestseller). Visit her realm at for links to Twitter/Facebook/etc. (where she posts most updates). The last book in the series, THE BATTLE FOR ERTHIA (tentative title of Book 0.5) is planned for 2023. 

Purchase Wandfasted HERE

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Secrets of the Looking Glass: The Lost Wonderland Diaries #2 BY J. Scott Savage-Middle Grade Fantasy Book Review


Product Details

   Title: Secrets of the Looking Glass
    Author: J. Scott Savage
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Shadow Mountain (September 13, 2022)
  • Series: The Lost Wonderland Diaries #2 
  • Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1639930442
  • ***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own***

Book Summery
After returning from Wonderland, Celia and Tyrus journey to the Looking-Glass World to reclaim their mirror images and stop a war between two powerful queens.

When the Bandersnatch steals one of Lewis Carroll’s lost diaries, Celia and Tyrus try to get it back, only to tumble through a magic mirror into the Looking-Glass World, a place where everything―themselves included―is divided in two. Celia’s logic and Tyrus’s imagination now belong to their mirror images, Lia and Ty.

Left without their greatest problem-solving skills, Celia and Tyrus must rely on each other as they play a massive game of chess to try to catch their mirror images. Along the way, they engage in a rhyming battle with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, seek advice from Humpty and Dumpty, and learn how to believe in the impossible from the White Queen, who remembers the future as if it were the past.

As the final battle draws near, Celia and Tyrus form an uneasy alliance with Lia and Ty to find the legendary vorpal sword―the only weapon powerful enough to stop the war. If they fail, not only will two kingdoms be destroyed, but Celia and Tyrus might never regain their stolen talents and could be trapped in the Looking-Glass World forever.

Watch The Book Trailor for 

Secrets of the Looking Glass

My Review

What a fun adventure being back in the world of Wonderland. This time Celia and Tyrus set off for the Looking Glass World to retrieve one of Lewis Carroll's lost diaries that the Bandersnatch stole. They're also searching for their mirror images that have gone off to fight in the Red Queen's army. How fun that this book is so much like the original second Alice in Wonderland book, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There.

The poem, The Jabberwocky, has a huge role in this second book. I've always loved the poem because my dad loved it since he'd memorized it in elementary school. They follow the clues in the poem throughout the whole novel. I have to admit that I was thinking pretty hard at times to figure things out. I'm sure kids would figure it out sooner! Ha Ha! 

Also, Hatta, Humpty-Dumpty and Tweedle Dee, and Tweedle Dum add to the humor in the novel. One of my favorite parts was when Tyrus and Celia had a Rhyming Battle with the Tweedle Twins. I read that part out loud to my family. I also had to read all of the jokes that twins Humpty and Dumpty told. This actually caused my family to stop what we were doing and start telling jokes to each other. 

Overall, I loved the messages that Celia and Tyrus learned in the Looking Glass World. Even though they lost most of the "battles" of wit and humor, they realized it wasn't about winning, but instead it was all about learning. They learned to be the very best they can be. They also needed to love all parts of themselves and improve on all of their talents. Secrets of the Looking Glass, book #2 in The Lost Wonderland Diaries was a hit for me. I'm truly hoping that there is more to come. This book is a must Read-Aloud for families and in classrooms. You do not have to be a Middle-Grade reader to enjoy it. 

*****Meet Author J. Scott Savage*****

J Scott Savage is the author of 19 novels including the Mysteries of Cove series, the Farworld series, the Case File 13 series, and the Lost Wonderland Diaries. His books have received various recognitions including Junior Library Selection, Starred reviews from PW and Kirkus, Amazon Book of the Month, Barnes and Noble Select book, and several state award nominations.

He has visited over 2500 schools, dozens of writers conferences, and taught many writing classes. He has four children and seven grandchildren. He lives with his wife Jennifer in a windy valley of the Rocky Mountains.

He loves hearing from his readers at

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

Secrets of the Looking Glass




Purchase the First Book in the

Series: The Lost Wonderland Diaries

for $1.99 on Kindle!!

       Listen to the Author Talk about What

Happens in the First Book:

Sunday, September 18, 2022

The Iron Flower ( The Black Witch Chronicles (#2) By Laurie Forest-YA Fantasy Book Review


Product Details

    Title: The Iron Flower 
    Author: Laurie Forest
    Genre: YA Fantasy
    Series:  The Black Witch Chronicles (#2
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Inkyard Press; First Time Trade edition (September 3, 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 672 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 133599582X
  • Listened to it on Audible.

  • Book Synopsis:
  • Elloren Gardner and her friends were only seeking to right a few wrongs, but their actions have propelled them straight into the ranks of the realm-wide Resistance against Gardnerian encroachment. As the Resistance struggles against the harsh rulings of High Priest Marcus Vogel and the Mage Council, Elloren begins to realize that none of the people she cares about will be safe if Gardneria seizes control of the Western Realm.

    With tensions heating up in Verpacia, more and more Gardnerian soldiers continue to descend upon the university…led by none other than Lukas Grey, now commander of the newly rebuilt Fourth Division base. Though Elloren tries to keep him at arm’s length, Lukas is determined to wandfast to her, convinced that she has inherited her grandmother’s magic—the prophesied power of the Black Witch. As his very nearness seems to awaken a destructive power inside her, Elloren finds it more and more difficult to believe that she’s truly powerless, as her uncle always claimed.

    Caught between her growing feelings for the rebellious Yvan Guriel and the seductive power offered by Lukas Grey, Elloren must find a way to stay true to what she knows is right and protect everyone she loves…even if that means protecting them from herself.

My Review
The Black Witch Chronicles is quickly becoming one of my favorite series. I really liked the first book and this second book did not disappoint. It had everything and more than I hoped would happen in this novel. 

Elloren is more confident and bold in this book. I truly wanted to see this. She also has her eyes open in many ways to the true world she grew up in. I also really loved how her relationships became deeper with many of the characters from the first book. All of the characters grow and develop and of course, readers become even more invested in them. 

I have to applaud the world-building that was concise and compelling. The more I learned about the various people and their magic and powers, the more I wanted to read. 

I also liked everything that was happening between Elloren and Yvan Guriel. The last several chapters of the book were full of surprising twists that really turned this novel and the series on its head. One thing I guessed correctly and the second threw me for a loop. 

I've already started listening to the next book. If you've been waiting like me to start this series, wait no longer. I was impressed with this second book and also love the narrator of the Audible book Julia Whelan. She does such an amazing job with all of the characters and delightfully brings this story to life for listeners and readers. 

*****Meet Author Laurie Forest*****
Laurie Forest lives deep in the backwoods of Vermont, where she sits in front of a wood stove drinking strong tea and dreaming up tales full of dryads, dragons, and wands. She is the author of The Black Witch Chronicles, including The Black Witch, The Iron Flower, The Shadow Wand, and the prequel e-novellas Wandfasted and Light Mage, which are also available in print as The Rebel Mages anthology. 
Enter her realm online at

All Books in the Series

The Rebel Mages by Laurie Forest
The Black Witch by Laurie ForestThe Iron Flower by Laurie ForestThe Shadow Want by Laurie ForestThe Demon Tide by Laurie Forest The Black Witch series Book 0.5Book 1Book 2Book 3Book 4

~*~*~*~*~*Purchase Your Copy HERE:~*~*~*~*~*