COUNT  TO  TEN  by Sheila Mary Taylor (aka Sheila Belshaw)

The true story of a teenager whose dream to be a pilot

is shattered when he is diagnosed with a virulent bone cancer –

and only a fifteen percent chance of survival.

This book, since its publication in December 2011 as both a paperback and an e-book, has been in and out of the Amazon Kindle top one hundred best-seller rankings in its category. Readers in all walks of life, not just sufferers of cancer, have been enthralled by the story. Here are just a few quotes from the many 5-star reviews on and

This book is a journey into courage in all its guises; it is written with love and understanding yet it’s not a plea for pity. It is at times terribly sad, yet written in such a way that the reader’s spirit is uplifted.” Suzanna Burke, author of “Empty Chairs”

Sheila Mary Taylor tells the story beautifully. It has in-built drama, of course (‘Will he, won’t he?’), but it is powerfully and emotionally written without being cloying or self-pitying. This is a book anyone can, and should, read”. Tim Roux

That Sheila Mary Taylor is a hell of a writer I already knew from reading her thriller ‘Pinpoint’. But tackling a private drama of this magnitude is something completely different from roaming the realms of the imagination. And then turning that most difficult phase in your family’s life – a medical story- into a page-turner shows the true fortitude of this author.

Heroes trust in love, cling to their dreams, persevere and believe others will come to their aid with much needed expertise. Heroes don’t complain, don’t blame, don’t get stuck in negativity. So this is a positive book, and it brings a hopeful message. Even on the darkest episodes Taylor has shone her loving light. I have cried mostly for the power of that love, which lacks in many places on this earth while it is so normal and needed.

A story can be so gripping that it glues you to the page but this is only possible when the quality of the writing is superb. Also is this respect ‘Count To Ten’ is a polished gem.”

Hannah Audrey Warren – Zeeland, the Netherlands

When I first read Bob Ruark’s “Uhuru” back in the 1960’s, I was struck by the way the author was able so skilfully to use words to convey his deep love of Africa. I don’t know whether Sheila Mary Taylor has ever been influenced by Ruark’s writing, but I found the same quality in this book. Sheila’s passion for that vast and mysterious continent shines through in her words, as does her utterly unqualified love of her youngest son, Andrew.

Although it begins and ends in Africa, “Count To Ten” is not about Sheila’s beloved land. It narrates the struggles of Andrew, whose athletic young body was ravaged by cancer when he was still in his teens. It’s a medical drama, to be sure, but unlike most stories of that genre it’s not written in soap opera fashion; there are no grand, sweeping scenes in this book. Instead, it tells Andrew’s harrowing story factually and precisely, warts and all – the tantrums and the tears, as well as the triumphs – and it makes riveting reading as a result.” Brendan Gisby, Edinburgh, Scotland.

I found “Count to Ten” a riveting and emotional read. From the beginning, Sheila Mary Taylor paints a deliciously vivid and colourful picture of life in Africa, and her travels to London and Menorca. These exotic descriptions give a real sense of an idyllic and carefree life, amplifying with stark contrast her powerful and heart-rending account of the development of Andrew’s illness.

There were times when I held my breath, filled with compassion for this mother and her son, anticipating each stage of his gruelling battle against the most dreaded of diseases. Despite its subject, which one would normally expect to be maudlin and depressing, this is an uplifting story that is told with a simple honesty that’s quite breathtaking.”

Mrs GJ Metcalfe, Wales, UK

The amazing thing about this book is that it is not sentimental or sad. Instead, it is inspiring, vividly written, and is just as much a page turner as Sheila Mary Taylor’s very successful thriller “Pinpoint”. The terrifying Prologue sets the tone for the rest. The reader is gripped, mesmerized, and hooked. It’s impossible to stop reading.
The characters and settings contribute their own special magic to the story. The triumphs and the despair which race hand in hand through the pages leave us as breathless as any thriller. Time and again Ms Taylor takes us to the brink and then pulls us back. This is a book you mustn’t miss

G. McCullough, N. Ireland

See more about Sheila at

If you have a Kindle or an i-Pad or any other e-reader, or just your PC, you can also buy the e-books on line here:

Count to Ten –     –  £0.77      –  $1.22

(Count to Ten is the rewritten and updated second edition of “Fly With a Miracle”, originally published in 2000)

Pinpoint – a psychological legal/crime thriller –                –  £0.77                  –  $1.22

You can read more about Sheila Mary Taylor’s writing life at: