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, December 28, 2022

20-40-60-Minute Dinners: Meals to Match the Time You Have by Kate Otterstrom-Cookbook Book Review


Product Details

     Title: 20-40-60-Minute Dinners: Meals to Match the Time You Have
    Author: Kate Otterstrom
    Genre: Cookbook
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Shadow Mountain (April 4, 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 176 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1639931090
  • ****I received a complimentary ebook from publishers, publicists, book tours, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.****

Book Summary
Whether you only have twenty minutes or an hour—or something in between—you can deliver a delicious entrĂ©e and side dish to the table with these quick, easy, and crowd-pleasing recipes. Organized by “available time” rather than by “kind of dish,” this unique cookbook is designed to help the time-conscious cook with dinner planning.
Enjoy “Mac and Cheese with Candied Sausage and Green Peas” from the “20-Minutes or Less” section. You can create a hearty “Vegetable Stew with Blue Corn Chips and Poached Egg” in forty minutes. If you have sixty minutes in the morning to prep, you can make “Sweet and Spicy Turkey Taco Salad” in a slow cooker. And if you’ve got more time, plan ahead by making easy-to-freeze dinners on the weekend for a quick bake-and-serve weeknight meal.
As a busy mother of four, Kate Otterstrom also makes dinnertime fun with recipes you might not expect could work for dinner—including “Toothpick Appetizers for Dinner” and breakfast favorites like “Slow-Cooker Cheese, Sausage, and Mushroom Strata.”
With the ingredients paired side-by-side with the instructions, it is easy to learn a new recipe or pick up where you left off after an interruption. Since Kate is gluten-intolerant herself, each recipe also includes instructions on how to adapt it for a gluten-free option, along with a dedicated space for you to jot down notes for additional variations.
In today’s busy world, time is precious, and this cookbook can help you get dinner on the table with however much time you have.

My Review
20-40-60-Minute Dinners: Meals to Match the Time You Have is a good mix of any kind of recipe you may be looking for. The recipes range from very, very easy to somewhat harder. The best thing is that those who don't have a lot of time to fix a good meal after work will find recipes and ideas in this book. 

My thought as I perused the pages of this cookbook, is this would make the perfect gift for kids going to college or moving out on their own. This would also make a great wedding present for newlyweds. There is an array of categories in which you can find something that everyone will like. 
  • College-Style Dinners
  • Quick-Prep Dinners
  • Slow-Cooker Dinners
  • Frozen Dinners
  • Time-Consuming Dinners
  • Breakfast
  • Baking and Candy
I really liked the author's stories as she told of why she baked or cooked certain things for her family. It was fun to have a story with the recipes. It felt like reading a novel and not just a cookbook. I also liked how Prep Time, Cook Time, and Servings are also included with each recipe. There are also beautiful photos to go with the recipes. Also included are special instructions and guidelines for those with Gluten Free needs. My favorite recipe I enjoyed in the book was the Asian-Style Chicken Salad Bar with the Tortilla Soup coming in a close second. My favorite activity the author talked about is how to engage in "Table Talk" with your family and keep everyone at the table to eat and talk. 

If you are looking for a gourmet cookbook you won't find it here. If you are looking for some quick and easy recipes and meal-planning ideas, 20-40-60-Minute Dinners is the cookbook for you. 

-Thanks NetGalley and Shadow Mountain for the review ecopy. 

****Meet Author Kate Otterstrom****
Kate Otterstrom earned her undergraduate degree in zoology before working for two years as a researcher. She returned to graduate school and obtained her law degree from Seattle University. She is married and the mother of four children. She lives in Spokane, Washington.

~*~*~*~*Pre-Order HERE~*~*~*~*

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

The Best Mistake (Dream's Edge #2.5) by Traci Hunter Abramson-Novella Book Review


Product Details

  • Title: The Best Mistake
  • Author: Traci Hunter Abramson
  • Series: Dream's Edge #2.5
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09XQQK1VC
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Covenant Communications (December 1, 2022)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ December 1, 2022
  • Genre: Contemporary Sports Romance
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 2294 KB
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 145 pages
  • ****I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, book tours, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.****

Book Summary
Following a knee injury during the final Stanley Cup game, professional hockey player Miles Donnelly finds himself sidelined in the hospital with his career hanging in the balance. His only hope is to work with a doctor to rehab and rebuild the strength in his knee. The catch: he has to remain in New York City for the next two months rather than return home to Montreal.

After her father is incapacitated by a heart attack, Manhattan socialite Linda Bancroft trades house parties in the Hamptons for taking over management of the family’s real estate empire. But her first day on the job, she faces imminent disaster after an unscrupulous employee is fired. She needs a new apartment manager, and fast. The unlikely solution to her problem comes in the form of an injured—and dangerously handsome—hockey player looking for a place to stay. Thrown together by chance, Miles and Linda quickly realize there is something deeper between them than just friendship. But when outside pressures begin to strain their relationship, they must confront an impossible question: Can two people from entirely different worlds truly build a future together?

My Review
The Dream's Edge series has really become one of my favorites. Between the novellas and the full-length novels, I can't get enough of these characters and how they are all connected. The Best Mistake once again takes readers into the past, the 1950s, to tell the story of beloved characters Miles and Linda. Up to this point, we've seen them as wonderful family friends to main character Amaliyah from An Unlikely Pair(Book #1), Dreams of Gold(Book #2), and the upcoming Worlds Collide (Book #3).

I loved seeing how Miles and Linda met and fell in love. It is one of those magical love stories where people from two different worlds fight all odds to be together. Miles is an injured professional hockey player who meets high-society Linda, the daughter of a real estate mogul. Once they meet in the hospital their instance attraction can't be denied. This novella wrapped up a full-length novel plotline with many elements of romance and suspense. Corporate espionage keeps things interesting and full of intrigue. I absolutely loved the way that Miles seemed to always be there to defend and support Linda. 

Anyone that has been loving this series must read The Best Mistake. If you haven't read any of the books yet, this book would be a great place to start and then jump into the others. Traci Hunter Abramson has another winner in this sports romance series. 

****Meet Author Traci Hunter Abramson****

Traci Hunter Abramson was born in Arizona, where she lived until moving to Venezuela for a study-abroad program. After graduating from Brigham Young University, she worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for several years, eventually resigning in order to raise her family. She credits the CIA with giving her a wealth of ideas for suspense novels as well as the skills needed to survive her children's teenage years. She has gone on to write a number of bestselling suspense novels that have consistently been nominated as Whitney Award finalists. She considers shoes an optional accessory which became evident when she won her first three Whitney Awards in 2013 (Code Word), 2014 (Deep Cover), and 2016 (Failsafe.) Safe House won Whitney Awards for both the mystery/suspense category as well as 2017 Adult Novel of the Year. She added two additional awards in 2019 (Mistaken Reality - best mystery/suspense and Sanctuary - Adult Novel of the Year.) She currently lives in Virginia with her family where she enjoys sports, travel, writing, and coaching high school swimming. 

 Follow Traci on BookBub at and on Facebook at   

~*~*~*~*Purchase The Best Mistake~*~*~*~*


Friday, December 16, 2022

Revenge Never Rests: A Secrets Never Die Sequel by Laurie Lewis-Mystery Suspense Book Review

Product Details

     Title: Revenge Never Rests
     Author: Laurie Lewis
     Series: A Secrets Never Die Sequel (Book 2 
     Genre: Mystery/Suspense
  •  Publisher ‏ : ‎ Covenant Communications (November 30, 2022)
  •  Language ‏ : ‎ English
  •  ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1524422460
  • ****I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, book tours, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.****

Book Summary

Tallie Brown has spent a lifetime hiding from the ghosts of someone else’s past. Raised by a paranoid woman on the run, Tallie learned from an early age how to disappear. Now she must employ her unique set of skills to track down hundreds who have simply vanished, so when an Amber Alert wakes her in the night, she is the first to respond to the call. But tracking the missing girl comes with unexpected consequences, leading her down a deadly path paved with lies and personal loss that ends in a single devastating truth: General Cai Kaswell, the father she just discovered and the world’s best hope for peace, is among the vanished.

As she struggles to find General Kaswell, Tallie is drawn into a conspiracy that links her past to the string of unsolved disappearances. Her search for answers sends her around the globe, but when it nearly takes the lives of her trusted friends and leaves her alone, she is assigned to a charming operative she doesn’t fully trust. Forced to watch her own back as she searches for General Kaswell and the others, not only does she discover she is the unwitting catalyst for the disappearance of the missing people but she and her father are also lured into a plot that threatens the Constitution and the balance of world power.

My Review
Revenge Never Rests is book two and the sequel to Secrets Never Die. This second book starts right after where book one ended. Do yourself a favor and read book one before diving into book two. 

Speaking of diving into something, Author Laurie Lewis does exactly that. This novel starts with an Amber Alert waking her in the middle of the night. With Tallie's background, she races off to help look for the missing girl. This incident is the beginning of more adventures filled with conspiracy and lies. Tallie has always lived that way not fully trusting anyone around her. My heart aches for Tallie as she has already had so much taken from her and now her birth father is missing. Tallie is such a brave and resilient character. I like her even more in this second book.

This mystery-suspense novel has a little bit of romance but is loaded with action. Plan plenty of time to read this one. Once you are pulled into the kidnappings, conspiracies, and untrustworthy people, Revenge Never Rests will need to be read until the exciting conclusion. 

****Meet Author Laurie Lewis****

Laurie (L.C.) Lewis will always be a Marylander at heart—a weather-whining lover of crabs, American history, and the sea. She admits to being craft-challenged, and particularly lethal with a glue gun, It’s documented that she’s craft-challenged and particularly lethal with a glue gun, which is why she set her creative juices on writing which was less likely to burn her fingers. She's also a devotee of sappy movies, fried chicken, and twinkle lights.

She’s a RONE Award Winner (The Dragons of Alsace Farm) and was twice named a New Apple Literary Award winner in 2017 (The Dragons of Alsace Farm), and in 2018, winning Best New Fiction (Love on a Limb.) She is also a BRAGG Medallion honoree, and she was twice named a Whitney Awards and USA Best Books Awards finalist.

Laurie will release her thirteenth novel, a contemporary Christmas romance in October 2021. "Cross-Country Christmas," was inspired by a drive she took through the often barren miles of Utah in a Tesla. Mysteries, romance, and humor abound in this fun Hallmark-like tale of two lonely rebounders who end up stranded together under some curious circumstances. Visit Laurie's author page for release news.

Laurie’s last release, "Secrets Never Die," (2019), was her first venture into romantic suspense. She's penned a sequel which she hopes to release in 2022.

Her women's fiction/romance novels include (Love on a Line," (2019), "Awakening Avery," (2018), "Sweetwater," (2018), "Love on a Limb," (2017), "The Dragons of Alsace Farm" (2016), and "Unspoken" (2004), written as Laurie Lewis.

Using the pen name L.C. Lewis, she wrote the five volumes of her award-winning FREE MEN and DREAMERS historical fiction series, set against the backdrop of the War of 1812: "Dark Sky at Dawn" (2007), "Twilight’s Last Gleaming "(2008), "Dawn’s Early Light" (2009), "Oh, Say Can You See?" (2010), and "In God is Our Trust" (2011).

Her release 
"The Letter Carrier," is a WWII novel based on the experiences of a French survivor of the occupation of France. This has been a success.

Laurie loves to hear from readers, and she invites you to join her VIP Readers’ Club or contact her at any of these locations.

VIP Readers’ Club

~*~*~*~*Purchase Your Copy of~*~*~*~*
Revenge Never Rests HERE:

Enter the Giveaway To
Win a Copy of Revenge Never
Rests by Laurie Lewis
(US Addresses ONLY)

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Secret Santa Claus Club: A Tool to Help Parents Unwrap the Secret of Santa by Jeff Janke -Book Review for Parents of Young Children

Product Details

    Title: Secret Santa Claus Club: A Tool to Help Parents Unwrap the Secret of          Santa
    Author: Jeff Janke
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Three Feral Cats (November 17, 2022)
  • Genre: Christmas Book for Parents (not for young kids)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 38 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1737992906
  • ****I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, book tours, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.****


Book Summary

Why do we spend so much time and effort creating a fairytale world for our children, just to take it away from them? Author Jeff Janke faced that dilemma three years ago when his daughter started questioning her belief in Santa Claus. Like most parents, he had two problems to solve--how to gently teach his child the true meaning of Christmas, and how to prevent her from spoiling the fairytale for other children. Out of this problem, Secret Santa Claus Club was born.

Secret Santa Claus Club is a beautifully illustrated story about a little girl thinking back on the magic of each Christmas. She remembers meeting Santa at the mall and seeing her first bike under the tree on Christmas morning. As time goes on, she starts to wonder if it's all real. When she decides she's ready to know the truth--her parents help guide her to the true meaning of the holiday.

Secret Santa Claus Club was written to be a tool for parents during these challenging moments. Combined with love, patience, and compassion, SSCC will help transition the reader from believing to becoming. At the end of the story, your child will be invited to join Secret Santa Claus Club. They'll understand the importance of keeping the secret, creating the magic for believers, and helping other members of the club.

My Review

After reading Secret Santa Claus Club: A Tool to Help Parents Unwrap the Secret of Santa, I wished I'd had this book when my kids were young. They're both in their 20's now but this book would have come in handy. If you purchase this book, make sure you keep it far away from your little ones that still believe in Santa. You don't want to spoil the magic too soon.

I remember how hard it was to decide how to exactly tell my own children about the "secret" concerning Santa. Personally, I wanted to keep the magic alive as long as possible. This short book has the perfect story following one little girl and her many Christmas days growing up year after year. It eventually gets to the time when she's 11 or 12. Her parents then tell her about the Secret Santa Claus Club which they eventually ask the older child to join.

The pictures in this book are so beautiful and the story is short but sweet. I know that this book will become a classic to help parents as they "Unwrap" the secrets of Santa with older children. 

****Meet Author Jeff Janke****

I kind of fell into this world of children’s books. I don’t consider myself an author, I’m simply a dad, and just like all parents, I’m eager to be the absolute best. I want to provide the happiest childhood possible, filled with magic and wonder, but I’m faced with decisions that challenge me constantly.

A few years ago, River’s mom called me in a slight panic. River was hearing from other kids that Santa wasn’t real. This presented an instant problem--one I had feared for years. Luckily, River still wanted to believe, so that bought us 12 months to come up with a solution. Out of necessity, I wrote a special book for River. And thanks to encouragement from other parents, I’ve started the author journey and am fumbling my way through publishing Secret Santa Claus Club myself.

Being a single father, I look for every opportunity to spend with my little girl. Together we enjoy playing all sorts of sports and making healthy, homemade treats in the kitchen. A few years ago River started playing in a roller hockey league, and I get to be one of her coaches!

I try to continually follow my dreams and passions—and there’s a lot of them. By day I’m a manager at a mortgage company, at night I’m spending as much time as I can with River, and on the weekends I’m traveling all over the western states as a wedding photographer. In my free time (if there is any) I enjoy playing drums, tossing a football, riding jet skis and writing scripts for fun--I even made a movie!

I’m constantly working on self-improvement, staying healthy and being positive. I do my best to be a strong and consistent role model for other people, especially my River!

~*~*~*~*Purchase a Copy of ~*~*~*~*

Secret Santa Claus Club


Friday, December 9, 2022

Meriden Park: A Regency Romance By Julie Daines-Book Review and Excerpt

Meriden Park JustRead Blog + Review Tour 

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Meriden Park by Julie Daines, 

hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

Meriden Park
Book Details
: Meriden Park 
Author: Julie Daines 
Publisher: Covenant Communications 
Release Date: December 5, 2022 
Genre: Clean & Wholesome Romance/Historical/Regency/Suspense

****I received a complimentary ebook from publishers, publicists, book tours, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.****


Book Summary

Following her childhood rescue from the gutters of Calcutta, Mary Grace’s life has been an astonishing rags-to-riches tale. The Wellings raised the half-Indian orphan with all the love and care the childless couple possessed, allowing her to grow into a beautiful and refined woman. But upon Mr. Welling’s death, it is time for Mrs. Welling to take Mary home to England―home to Meriden Park.

Despite her genial nature, Mary is received with suspicion by the villagers. For his part, however, Mr. Robert Markham is intrigued by the curious new beauty in town. Determined to make her acquaintance, he offers Mary a bargain she can’t refuse: a hot cross bun for a kiss. That seemingly innocent exchange is the first of many encounters between Robert and Mary, whose friendship blossoms into love during long walks in the privacy of Sherwood Forest. But the shadows of the forest hide a sinister secret, one Mary fears Robert might be a part of. As the mystery of the recent string of murders creeps closer and closer, Robert and Mary are drawn into a dangerous game, and unless she can unearth the truth, the couple risks losing one another forever.

Go Here to view the Book Trailer
It is Amazing!!!

My Review

I always love a story with a Robin Hood twist. This was a slow-burn romance between Mary and Robert but it seemed to fit these two wonderful characters. They both have a lot to learn about themselves. I loved both of their personalities, Robert's humor, and Mary's enduring nature. There were many secrets that the two kept from each other that stopped them from becoming closer at first. Mary seemed to be hiding from others because of her status in society: half-Indian & half-English. Class prejudice is clearly shown in this book which was prevalent during this time period of 1812 England. This aspect of the novel was very well-written.


Robert who is a second son has many health problems but believes in justice for all. I was quite worried for him a lot during the novel. His positive and cheerful attitude though not only wins over the characters in the novel but also readers. He wants to avenge the death of his friend and uses the story of Robin Hood as his guiding force of motivation. Robert is also so kind and caring towards Mary and other people. You can’t help but really love him.

This clean historical, Regency Romance has a bit of a mystery and adventure too. The dialogue is lively, there are characters to love and hate, and a plot that swiftly moves the story along. Overall this was a fun read that I recommend to other lovers of engaging romantic suspense novels.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

****Meet Author Julie Daines****

Julie Daines

Julie Daines is an award-winning and best-selling author. She was born in Concord, Massachusetts, and was raised in Utah. She spent eighteen months living in London, where she studied and fell in love with English literature, sticky toffee pudding, and the mysterious guy who ran the kebab store around the corner.

She loves reading, writing, and watching movies—anything that transports her to another world. She picks Captain Wentworth over Mr. Darcy, firmly believes in second breakfast, and never leaves home without her vervain.

Connect with Julie by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


(1) winner will receive a signed copy of book, $25 Amazon gift card, bookmark, stickers, and button.

Meriden Park JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight December 5, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on December 12, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


~*~*~*~*Read an Excerpt from Meriden Park~*~*~*~*

Mary lowered her eyes as she walked along the great hall filled with portraits of stern-looking men all frowning down upon her. Angrezi sahib—English gentlemen. She need not see their scowls to know she did not belong here. That she was an impostor was written clearly upon her face, upon the color of her skin.

Had they known the truth about her beginnings, they would understand that the source of her shame had nothing whatsoever to do with her skin. But still, they looked down on her, these Angrezi sahib, along with everyone else, not caring one whit about the person behind. This was why she’d lowered her eyes. It was easier to keep her head down and avoid the whole mess.

She was tired of it all. So very tired. Why should their opinions matter to her? They were not so high and mighty now. Their glorious lives reduced to nothing but brush strokes on canvas nailed to ancient walls. She paused at the top of the stairs and glanced back. None of the portraits had ceased their glowering looks. She lifted her eyes and gave each of those stodgy men her most defiant glare before turning to descend the grand stairs.

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Monday, December 5, 2022

More Inspirational Stories for Young Women: Over 50 True Stories Compiled by Alison Palmer-Book Review

Product Details

  • Title: More Inspirational Stories for Young Women: Over 50 True Stories 
  • Author: Alison Palmer
  • Genre: LDS-Inspired Stories
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BMNPGT21
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Walnut Springs Press (November 15, 2022)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ November 15, 2022
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 2071 KB
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 155 pages
  • ***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own and a positive review is not required.***

Book Summary 
Stories to Uplift and Inspire Latter-day Saint Young Women

Immerse yourself in over 50 true stories by Latter‑day Saint women from around the world and from every walk of life. With each story, your understanding and testimony of the gospel will be strengthened as you read of sisters who share your struggles and concerns. Each message will encourage you and help you see your limitless potential as a daughter of God. Some of the stories include:
  • Don’t Give Up
  • Find a Different Way
  • Your Joy Is Coming
  • I Look for Butterflies
  • Soul in the Making
  • Kiss the Frog
  • I Am Healing
  • I Didn’t See Any Ogres
  • My Biggest Bully
  • Because He Loves Us
As you engage with those stories and others, you will feel the assurance that you are loved and that you are never, ever alone.

My Review
This new book for Young Women was filled with some great stories. I also loved what a great variety of people and experiences are to be found in this book. I know that this book was written for Young Women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints but I felt like the messages easily can also transfer to young men and adults of any Christian faith. 

The number one reason I love books like this is that they can reach young people who may need guidance. There are times when youth won't reach out to their parents but a book like this gives advice and direction that is valuable and helpful. I loved the stories and felt lifted up reading the true stories found in these inspiring stories. I recommend this book for parents to give to their teens this Christmas. 

*****Meet Author Alison Palmer*****
Alison Palmer is a life-long member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who has served the young women of the Church in multiple callings. She still counts many of those girls among her friends and role models. Alison holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She works as a caregiver, entrepreneur, and medical and technical writer. She is the author of more than a dozen books, including Family Night Lessons to Prepare Your Child for Baptism, Home Evenings for Empty Nesters, and A Companion to the Children’s Songbook: A Resource for Parents and Leaders.

~*~*~*~*Purchase a Copy of~*~*~*~*
More Inspirational Stories for Young Women