Treasures: Visible & Invisible

Introducing

Treasures: Visible & Invisible

by

Theresa Linden, Susan Peek, Antony Kolenc, Amanda Lauer Carolyn Astfalk, Leslea Wahl, T.M. Gaouette, and Corinna Turner.

 – A brand new Saint Patrick Anthology –

From the early days of the Church, objects touched to holy men and women have been linked to the miraculous, such as described in Acts: “when face cloths or aprons that touched his skin were applied to the sick, their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.” Acts 19:12

Catholic Teen Books have just released their latest anthology, nicely in time for Saint Patrick’s day next Wednesday. Celebrate this year with an anthology of gripping stories honouring the saint!

Check out the mini-blurbs below:

  • A teen boy sets out to save a friend from pagan druids, but maybe he’s the one who needs saving.
  • Between a baffling scripture verse and a visit from Heaven, a young monk is in for the surprise of his life.
  • A young girl seeks a mysterious treasure that holds the key to granting a nun’s dying wish.
  • Honora is desperate—then a peculiar clover and a mysterious young man change everything.
  • William’s weekend job is a little gift from heaven, but now his family needs a real miracle.
  • When threatened by mobsters, Grace receives help from a surprising source.
  • Alone and afraid, a young girl finds friendship in a stranger. But could this boy be trouble?
  • Kyle was determined to save the precious relic – but now his whole family is in danger. (This is my contribution – it’s a brand new I Am Margaret prequel story.)

You can buy the book from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0997971878/
or anywhere that sells books.

Find the anthology at Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57053306-treasures
(Why not leave a review and let other readers know what you thought?

Or check it out at: www.catholicteenbooks.com

 

CHALLENGE:

Can you watch the foot-tapping Book Trailer all the way through without dancing around the room?

 

You can even win the anthology in a giveaway.
Don’t miss it! See below!

Click HERE for the Giveaway! 
(Sorry, US Winners Only!)

 

See what the Advance Reviewers thought:

 

In a world where today’s young adults are constantly surrounded by media that is trying desperately to tear them down, it is a blessing to have books like this that reaffirms our Catholic faith.  Not only does each author give us a great story to read, they also challenge us to think about things like: the hardships of people in our ancient church, putting Grandma first on our social calendars, praying to God when in the midst of fear and suffering, staying strong in our faith while looking death in the face, listening to unlikely friends who lead us on the path to Christ, and ultimately realizing there is sacredness in the relics of our church.  You only find stories that build our faith like this in very special books.  The “building-up”of today’s youth is at the very heart and soul of what the authors are trying to do here, and they have done an amazing job.
Beth Ruggiero
Lit by the Tree, Literature reviews from the Catholic side.
Litbythetree.com



I invite teens, and readers of all ages, to stand on the craggy wind-swept cliff of your imagination, and experience the collection of stories called, Treasures: Visible and Invisible, created by the talented team of authors from Catholic Teen Books. With a shamrock as our touchstone, this book takes us on a journey through an expanse of time from ancient to modern. Be inspired by the holy greatness of heroism rooted in the spiritual treasures of the Emerald Isle.
Cathy Gilmore,
Creator and advocator of stories that inspire heroic virtue. VirtueHeroes.com



We thoroughly enjoyed this cleverly written book about the intercession of St. Patrick throughout the ages. The combination of dynamic characters and intriguing stories kept us hooked from start to finish. A valuable addition to your St. Patrick’s Day bookshelf!
Jennifer & Kate Waldyke,
Co-hosts of Catholic Mom and Daughter



This is the third collection from the authors of Catholic Teen Books. It was an inspiring read. Some stories are of miracles and others about change. Two contributors from the previous collection did not contribute and two new ones have joined the fray. In this collection are 8 stories from the 14 authors who currently compose the collective. My first thought was wow! What an amazing collection of stories around Saint Patrick! I am aware that not everyone likes short stories, but I love them, and this collection is amazing! Short stories are a different art form than novels, and not all novelists have mastered the craft. For a short story to be good, the writing needs to be tighter, cleaner, and crisper. And each of the 8 in this collection is extremely well written…
(Full review on BookReviewsAndMore.ca)
Steven R. McEvoy, BookReviewsAndMore.ca


What a gift to Catholic teens and their families! Each piece in this collection of stories revolving around St Patrick is a beautiful portrayal of the faith. These are wholesome, engaging, and inspiring tales from a variety of genres that will both entertain and spiritually nourish every reader who picks up this book.  
Katie Fitzgerald, ReadAtHomeMom.com

 

For more posts about the anthology, here is the Blog Tour Schedule:

March 5           Bonnie Way                            The Koala Mom                     

March 6           Leslea Wahl                            Ministry Thru Mystery

March 7           Carolyn Astfalk                      My Scribbler’s Heart

March 8           Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur    Spiritual Woman

March 9           Erin Broestl                             Eight Hobbits

March 10         Corinna Turner                        UnSeen Books Blog

March 11         Amanda Lauer                                    AmandaLauer.com

March 12         Sarah Damm                           SarahDamm.com

March 13         Barb Szyszkiewicz                  FranciscanMom                      

March 14         Theresa Linden                       Things Visible & Invisible

March 15         Steven R. McEvoy                  Book Reviews and More

March 16         Lisa Hendey                            LisaHendey.com

March 17         Catholic Teen Books               Catholic Teen Books

 

And you can read all the Author Bios below:

THERESA LINDEN is the author of award-winning Catholic fiction, including the West Brothers contemporary series and the Chasing Liberty dystopian trilogy. One of her great joys is to bring elements of faith to life through a story. She has more than a dozen published books, three of which won awards from the Catholic Press Association. Her short stories appear in several anthologies, including Secrets: Visible & Invisible, and Gifts: Visible & Invisible. Her articles and interviews can be found on various radio shows and in magazines, including EWTN’s The Good Fight, The National Catholic Register, Catholic Digest, Today’s Catholic Teacher, and Catholic Mom. Her books are featured online on Catholic Teen Books, Catholic Reads, FORMED, and Virtue Works Media. A wife, homeschooling mom, and Secular Franciscan, she resides in northeast Ohio with her husband and children. You can learn more about her at www.TheresaLinden.com.

 

SUSAN PEEK is a wife, mother, grandmother, Third Order Franciscan, and bestselling Catholic novelist. Her passion is writing stories of little-known saints and heroes. All her young adult novels have been awarded the coveted Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval and are implemented into Catholic school curricula not only across the nation, but in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand as well. Saint Magnus the Last Viking and The King’s Prey: Saint Dymphna of Ireland were both Amazon #1 Sellers among Catholic books. The King’s Prey was also voted one of Catholic Reads TOP 10 BEST CATHOLIC BOOKS OF 2017 and was a Finalist for the 2018 Catholic Arts and Letters Award. Crusader King was featured as one of the 50 Most Popular Catholic Homeschooling Books in 2013. Susan lives in northeastern Kansas, where she can usually be found with her nose in a book, researching obscure saints to write about. Visit her at www.SusanPeekAuthor.com.

 

ANTONY BARONE KOLENC is the author of The Harwood Mysteries, an exciting historical-fiction series for youth published by Loyola Press. He is a long-time member of the Catholic Writers Guild, and his novels all have the Catholic Writers Guild’s Seal of Approval. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps after 21 years of military service. A law professor who’s had his works published in numerous journals and magazines, Kolenc now speaks at legal, writing, and home-education events. He and his wife, Alisa, are the parents of five children, and have been blessed with three wonderful grandchildren. To learn more about The Harwood Mysteries and its author, visit www.antonykolenc.com.

 

AMANDA LAUER loves writing books—particularly Young Adult Historic Fiction—that portray the Church in a positive light and depict God’s children endeavoring to become the best version of themselves every day. A journalist and proofreader by trade, Amanda embarked on her novelist career with the award-winning and best-selling Heaven Intended Civil War series. A World Such as Heaven Intended earned the 2016 YA CALA award. Currently Amanda has several more books in the process of being published.

 

In addition to writing novels, Amanda works in the film industry writing and copy-editing screenplays. She was awarded Best Writer 2020 (Red Letter Awards) for her work as a co-writer on the movie The Islands. To learn more about Amanda, who’s lucky and blessed to be living in a world such as heaven intended, visit her web site: www.AmandaLauer.com.

 

CAROLYN ASTFALK writes from the sweetest place on Earth, Hershey, Pennsylvania, where she lives with her husband and four children. In addition to her contemporary Catholic romances (sometimes referred to as Theology of the Body fiction), including the young adult coming-of-age story Rightfully Ours, she is a Catholicmom.com contributor. She is a member of the Catholic Writers Guild and Pennwriters. When she is not washing dishes, doing laundry, or reading, you can find her blogging about books, faith, and family life at www.CarolynAstfalk.com.

LESLEA WAHL is the author of the award-winning Catholic teen mysteries The Perfect Blindside, An Unexpected Role, Where You Lead, and eXtreme Blindside. The characters in this short story, Luke, Celia, Austin, and Grandma Grace, appear in her newest adventurous novel, A Summer to Treasure. Leslea’s journey to become an author came through a search for value-based fiction for her own children. She now not only writes for teens but also has become a reviewer of Catholic teen fiction to help other families discover faith-based books. Leslea lives in beautiful Colorado with her husband and children. The furry, four-legged members of her family often make cameo appearances in her novels. Leslea has always loved mysteries and hopes to encourage teens to grow in their faith through these fun adventures. For more information about her faith-filled Young Adult mysteries, please visit www.LesleaWahl.com.

 

  1. M. GAOUETTE is the author of the Faith & Kung Fu series for young adults, as well as The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch and For Eden’s Sake. She also contributed to the last two Catholic Teen Books anthologies, Secrets: Visible & Invisible with her short story “Sister Francesca” and Gifts: Visible & Invisible with “Just Jesus.” Her novels have received the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval (except new releases for which the seal may be in process). Born in Africa, raised in London, England, Gaouette now lives on a small farm in New England with her husband, where she homeschools their four children, raises goats, and writes fiction for teens and young adults. A former contributor for Project Inspired, Gaouette’s desire is to instill the love of God into the hearts of her readers. You can find out more at www.TMGaouette.com.

CORINNA TURNER is the author of the I Am Margaret and unSPARKed series for young adults, as well as stand-alone works such as Elfling and Mandy Lamb and the Full Moon (for teens) and Someday (for older teens and adults). She has just released The Boy Who Knew (Carlo Acutis) the first book in her new Friends in High Places series about friendship with the saints. All of her novels have received the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval (except new releases for which the seal may be in process). Liberation (‘I Am Margaret’ Book 3) was nominated for the Carnegie Medal Award 2016 and Elfling won first prize for “Teen and Young Adult Fiction” in the Catholic Press Association 2019 Book Awards. Several of her other books have been placed in the CPA Awards and the Catholic Arts and Letters Award.

Corinna Turner is a Lay Dominican with an MA in English from Oxford University, and lives in the UK. She has been writing since she was fourteen and likes strong protagonists with plenty of integrity. She used to have a Giant African Land Snail called Peter with a 6½” long shell—which is legal in the UK!—but now makes do with a cactus and a campervan. You can find out more at www.IAmMargaret.com.

 

New titles Out Today!

I’m super-excited about the first one! Have you heard of Carlo Acutis? He’s being beatified next Saturday, 10th October. He died in 2006 at age 15 from acute leukaemia, and is considered the likely future patron saint of the internet!
My novella THE BOY WHO KNEW tells his story from the point of view of a 2020 teen who has just been diagnosed with leukaemia too. It’s the first in a planned series of quick-reads about saints (Friends in High Places), told from the POV of fictional teen protagonists.
 
Here’s the blurb:
DEAD? DEFINE DEAD.
 
“You have leukemia.”

“That’s what the doctor said. Mum and Dad are stressing out so bad, and taking it out on each other. I feel so helpless. Maybe that’s why I turned to Fr. Thomas. But he just gave me a Carlo Acutis prayer card, like some holy dead boy is going to be any use.
“Then again, what have I got to lose?”


Daniel’s just received the worst news a teen can get. The adults in his life are crumbling under the shock. In desperation, he turns to his parish priest for help and is introduced to a boy his age, Carlo Acutis—who just happens to be dead.
Daniel’s convinced the priest is wasting his time. But as he struggles to come to terms with his uncertain future an unlikely friendship develops between him and the holy dead boy—who may not be quite so dead after all.

The Boy Who Knew is the first title in Carnegie Medal nominee Corinna Turner’s new ‘Friends in High Places’ series. If you’ve always been interested in the saints but find dry biographies boring and hard to get through, this fast-paced story is for you.

Paperbacks and Kindle eBooks available from:

Amazon.com HERE.
Amazon.co.uk HERE.
 
Paperbacks and ePubs also available from Barnes & Noble and anywhere that sells books!
 
– + –

The second book out today is the little MANDY LAMB novella, THE WOLF, THE LAMB, AND THE AIR BALLOON. I have no plans to write an extended Mandy Lamb series at the moment, and was actually trying to write a short story. But it turned out short novella length instead! Enjoy!
 
 
Burb:
Against his better judgement, James agrees to attend the school fête disguised as Mandy’s friend’s dog. But problems soon arise that have nothing to do with the full moon. Will Mandy and James survive their day out?

This quick-read is a sequel to the novel Mandy Lamb and the Full Moon, a page-turning rural fantasy about friendship, trust, and courage—and not letting what you are define what you do. Those looking for a unique, challenging read will love these “animal yarns with a Christian twist.”
 

Paperbacks and Kindle eBooks available from:

Amazon.com HERE.
Amazon.co.uk HERE.
 
Paperbacks and ePubs also available from Barnes & Noble and anywhere that sells books!

THREE LAST THINGS Out Now!

– THREE LAST THINGS –

or

The Hounding of Carl Jarrold, Soulless Assassin

OUT NOW!

“Love doesn’t exist. And Fr. Jacob is right about one thing. Without it, life is utterly meaningless.”

NO LOVE. NO NOTHING.

Carl Jarrold, a convicted assassin, believes that all human relationships turn on what one human being wants from another: that there is no such thing as love and thus no meaning to life. Prison chaplain Fr. Jacob, the closest thing he has to a friend, has struggled for three long years to convince Carl how wrong he is—to no avail. But the day of execution has finally arrived, and nothing goes quite as Carl expects. Soon it’s shaping up to be the strangest day he has ever had. But will it prove the worst day of his life…or the best?

This tense, “psychologically-compelling,” spiritual thriller is a standalone novella from the Carnegie Medal Nominated author of the award-winning I AM MARGARET series. Described as “beautiful,” “fantastically good,” and “one of the most moving stories I have ever read,” this is a race against time for the highest possible stakes.

Buy the book today to join Carl’s attempt to beat the clock.

Includes a free sample of the novella Brothers

This book has received the SOA from the Catholic Writers Guild.

Click HERE to buy from Amazon (Kindle & Paperback)
Click HERE for a choice of other formats & stores (ePub, Barnes & Noble, etc.)

Don’t miss this article about ‘Three Last Things’ in The Catholic Herald, from the pen of journalist Victoria Seed.

“The question Three Last Things sets before us is not if the death penalty is just, but what it costs in terms of our souls. If Carl dies unrepentant he will be damned. There is no sentimental universalism in this story: Fr Jacob is frightened for Carl because he knows Hell is real. The challenge of this story is to share Fr Jacob’s horror at the thought of any soul, even that of a murderer, going to Hell.

Sorry about the paywall. I think if you sign up for the free account at the moment you’ll be offered a half-price subscription which is worth it in my opinion. 

Beautiful! Corinna Turner is one dang good writer!

REGINA DOMAN, author of The Angel in the Waters and the award-winning Fairytale Novels series.

Fantastically good! It made me cry real tears, circumventing all my defenses. I have never read a more psychologically-compelling account of conversion anywhere. It makes very complex and sophisticated truths about grace, sin, freedom, mercy, justice, atonement, redemption, repentance, and salvation crystal clear and compelling, without being cloying or “nice,” or contrived.

DR. VICTORIA SEED, Theologian and Speaker

WOW! I was soooo on the edge of my seat! Tense, and suspenseful, and touching, it had me alternating between laughing out loud and cringing and cheering and wanting to cry. I totally loved it!

SUSAN PEEK, author of the God’s Forgotten Friends series

WOW, fantastic! Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop.

ANDREA JO RODGERS, author of At Heaven’s Edge and On Heaven’s Doorstep

One of the most moving stories I’ve ever read.

PENNY CAIRD

An Interview with Bonnie Way

Today I’m interviewing Canadian author Bonnie Way. Bonnie is a stay-at-home mom with five children aged 12 to 2. She’s a homeschool graduate who is now homeschooling her oldest four children. After growing up Lutheran, Bonnie converted to the Catholic Church in university and now loves learning more about the saints and the teachings of the Church. She and her husband have been married for 13 years and currently make their home in Vancouver, BC. When Bonnie is not writing, she can be found reading a book, biking or hiking with her family, or baking something in the kitchen.

 

As well as books, she also writes a blog called The Koala Mom which aims to cultivate family togetherness for modern moms. She shares stories of daily motherhood, homeschooling, family travel, and family entertainment to encourage moms to keep their kids as close as koalas. She has a B.A. in English (2006) and a B.A. in Writing (2014) as well as over a dozen years of blogging experience.

 

-What inspired you to become an author?

I’ve wanted to write books since I was a kid. As a teen, I spent my spare time writing fantasy novels. Then I got busy as a mom and didn’t have as much time to write. The actual impetus for becoming a published author this year was a need I saw.

Along with some homeschool friends, I was teaching my kids about our Canadian history from a Catholic viewpoint. We were basically coming up with our own curriculum, modelled on an American history curriculum we’d used and love for several years. I went looking for resources for kids about the Canadian saints and found… not much. There are a few books about St. Kateri Tekakwitha (a very popular saint) and St. Andre Bessette (a more recent saint), and other than that, not much.

So I started writing and created the resource that I wanted for my kids. North American Martyrs Kids Activity Book was finished in October 2019 (for their feast day!) and teaches kids 7- 12 about eight Jesuit missionaries to New France in the 1600s. In January, I started my second book, Canadian Saints Kids Activity Book, about the other 6 Canadian saints (including St. Kateri and St. Andre). I just finished writing it on St. Kateri’s feast day and it will be available at the end of this month.

 

 -What is your favorite genre and why?

Right now, my favourite genre is nonfiction. I’m really enjoying writing saint stories for kids. As a homeschool mom, my writing time happens while my kids are either busy doing their school or playing happily. I can write nonfiction while listening with one ear to their play, and drop what I’m doing to go help them if necessary. Someday, I’d love to get back to my fantasy novels, but they require a much greater degree of concentration to get into the story and characters, so it won’t happen while I’ve got my kids running around the house.

 

-How do you develop characters?

For my nonfiction books, I spend a lot of time researching. I did a history minor during my first university degree and I still love doing the research. I start by pulling all the books on the topic out of our library, and usually end up buying a few books when I can’t find what I want at the library.

Then I dig around online for as much as I can find out there. I’ve found some surprising things online, actually. Quite a few of the Jesuit Relations (like a newspaper or journal that the Jesuits sent home from the missionaries) are available online now.

As I read, I think about the saint I’m writing about and start taking notes to create their bio and an image of what they would be like.

 

-Which character from one of your books means the most to you and why?

My favourite saint so far is probably St. Noel Chabanel in North American Martyrs Kids Activity Book. He’s one of the lesser-known martyrs. I wrote his bio and then took a break from writing during a personal crisis. My husband was offered a job on the other side of the country, which would have let us move into my dream home.

Then he was offered a different job here, which he decided to take, and all my dreams crashed. After spending a month dealing with the death of that dream, I returned to edit my book and suddenly what I’d written about St. Noel was like a flashing billboard at me.

St. Noel, like the other Jesuit missionaries, felt called to come to New France and overcame various obstacles (including family members who didn’t want him to leave France) to get here. And once here, he hated it. Actually, he more than hated it – he loathed it here.

He couldn’t stand the habits of the Huron people whom he was supposed to be teaching. The food disgusted him and he was terrified of being captured and tortured by the Iroquois like so many other Catholics (both priests and converts) had been. He couldn’t even learn the language (despite his giftedness as a speaker and poet in French).

He fell into this huge depression, wondering if he’d somehow missed his calling. Maybe he should just give up and go back to France. Maybe he’d misheard God somehow. Then he had this turnaround point. He made a vow that no matter what, he’d stay in New France as a missionary. He’d be a “bloodless martyr” to his own nature.

After making that vow, his circumstances didn’t change, but he lost his fear of the Iroquois and even overcame his depression. He wasn’t captured and tortured, as the other martyrs were. We actually don’t really know what happened to him; he disappeared while traveling from one mission to another, so he may have been killed by an angry Iroquois or he may have just gotten lost and starved.

Anyway, his story spoke to me in the midst of my own personal crisis. That was over a year ago now and in many ways I still feel trapped as I did then. I try to remind myself that, for now, this is where God wants us to be, and to look on the positive things that we have here, and to be a “bloodless martyr” to my own wishes as St. Noel was.

 

-What age group are your books best suited for?

I’m a homeschool mom with kids ages 12 to 2, so that’s kind of the age range for my books. (Okay, the 2-year-old isn’t as interested.) I appreciate materials that I can use with all my kids and find that they respond best when they are all learning together.

Most of the activities are geared to kids who can read and write (so ages 7+) but my 4-year-old really likes the colouring pages and mazes. I hope the books can be a fun family activity for other Catholic families, whether or not they are homeschoolers.

 

-Do you have a specific routine/habits for writing?

I usually start the kids on their schoolwork after we finish breakfast. Then I made myself a coffee and sit down at the computer to look at my email, blogging commitments, and what’s up next for my book project.

Usually I can work in ten or fifteen minutes spurts, in between getting them snacks, answering homeschooling questions, reminding them to do school, getting the two-year-old off the table, etc. In the afternoon, I might have more writing time as they finish school and move onto reading, playing outside, or other activities. Sometimes I can fit in several hours of work on a Saturday.

 

-What can we expect from you in 2020/2021?

Canadian Saints Kids Activity Book will be available in early May on Amazon. I’m planning to start another kids book that will be available at the end of the year and just need to decide which idea to tackle next – I have several ideas for kids saint activity books! You can follow me on Instagram at @kidssaintbook to see saint quotes and inspiration and news about future books.

 

Bonnie Way – Book List

North American Martyrs Kids Activity Book (2019)

Canadian Martyrs Kids Activity Book (coming May 2020)

Love Rebel: Reclaiming Motherhood (an anthology to inspire moms) – More info at: https://thekoalamom.com/love-rebel-reclaiming-motherhood/

Beginner’s Guide to Growing Baby: Tips to Help You Through all Four Trimesters (with Anna Eastland, coming summer 2020) – More info at: https://thekoalamom.com/beginners-guide-growing-baby/

 

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Tortured Soul’ by Theresa Linden

I really enjoyed this. I was rather unmoved by the descriptions and slow to pick it up because I have little interest in ghost stories, but having read most of the author’s other books (and really liked them) I wanted to give this a try. I’m glad I did! I think it works as a conventional ghost story (if that’s your thing) but it also works as a spiritual thriller (much more my thing!) and there’s even a low key but very satisfying romantic plotline.

A highlight was the dinner party gone wrong which was equal parts painful and hilarious. I eventually began to get a little impatient with the creeping around, terrified what she was about to see, but as I said, horror’s not my thing. Loads of creeping around or not, I wouldn’t have missed this book. I found it hard to put it down, and also learned a lot from it.

***Mild SPOILER***
I also got frustrated with the main character that even after purgatory had been suggested, she didn’t start any sort of intensive prayer for the ghost. But thinking about it, I was just as ignorant until I went to dinner at a friend’s house a few years ago and heard about an apparition that had happened there, and the priest present made a good case for it being a soul in purgatory seeking prayers. Until then I would have been just as clueless as the main character. So this is a great book for anyone who doesn’t know much about purgatory or ‘real’ ghosts—i.e. an actual human soul manifesting rather than demonic activity. It would also be a good read for more mature teens.

A little non-fiction book called ‘Daily Pilgrimage to Purgatory’ might interest those who enjoy this book and want to pray for the holy souls.

Get it HERE.

[The author is a fellow member of Catholic Teen Books but I got the book myself and my opinions are my own.]

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Ornamental Graces’ – Carolyn Astfalk

I don’t read a huge amount of romance and I enjoyed this way more than I was expecting to. In fact, I was blown away by how good it was. Dan and Emily have a long and difficult road to happiness and I kept looking at the progress bar and going, ‘what the? I’m only 20% through. What the? I’m only 50% through! How much more are they going to have to go through before they’re together!’ BUT I wasn’t looking at the progress bar in an ‘I’m bored, hurry up’ sense, just a wondering, in-sympathy-with-the-characters sense.

I think I’m used to short formulaic romances where the requisite few road bumps are hit, overcome, and everything wrapped up all in a concise bundle. I really, really liked the fact that this novel walked the long road with the couple, that it wasn’t clean and quick, but messy and realistic and difficult, but they persevered and they made it (hardly a spoiler, I think, for a romance!). I imagine some readers might get bored and call it slow, but I was engrossed, and it made the pay-off way more satisfying. This had very much the deep, satisfying feel of ‘Intermission’ by Serena Chase and I’d be hard put to say which I enjoyed more.

For Christians who read widely in secular fiction, this will be a warm, refreshing, inspiring read. Christians who’ve been on a diet of more exclusively Christian fare may find the outlook of the main characters a mite sensual for their taste. They’re well written, and realistically portrayed, and they’re trying so hard, which is inspiring, but they don’t, shall we say, always engage in thoughts and behaviour best calculated to help them with their goal of waiting for marriage. I’d be reluctant to give this to a sheltered teen reader, for example, but that’s hardly the target audience.

I should note that the cover and blurb present this as a ‘Christmas’ novel, but that’s unnecessarily limiting. It’s an excellent all year round romance, so dive in at any time!

Get it HERE.

[I’m acquainted with the author through an author group, but have freely chosen to review this book. Opinions are my own.]

BOOK REVIEW: ‘A Subtle Grace’ by Ellen Gable

Late nineteenth-century teenager Kathleen O’Donovan cannot wait to marry. She’s already 19, and dreads being an old maid! Although her parents urge patience, she rushes headlong into courtship with the first man to take a fancy to her, whilst newcomer to the town, young doctor Luke, shyly admires her from afar. Meanwhile, her brother Will feels a different calling stirring in his heart. But unknown to him, secrets lie hidden in his past. Will they steal his dream away from him?

I thoroughly enjoyed this period romance drama, often having trouble putting it down. I love the way we get to know all the main characters so thoroughly, and the gentle, slow-building romance between Kathleen and her true love. The book also makes it clear that any form of sexual assault can have devastating consequences for a woman’s confidence.

One character’s plotline has a very unexpected twist/revelation near the end, which makes the—in other ways predictable (though nonetheless satisfying)—showdown all the more poignant and gripping.

 

Get it HERE.

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Guarding Aaron’ – T.M. Gaouette

I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of this book and thrilled that the series continues in such a gripping way. It seemed like this book was all about change–or the threat of change. Gabriel and Tanner are desperate to find out exactly what change God wants for them, Faith wants one change in her life and dreads another, whilst Aaron really NEEDS a change.

The characters react to the actual and threatened changes in different ways, some very active, like Aaron, some more passive, some in really unhelpful ways. As in her previous books, Gaouette presents a lot of very realistic characters, warts and mistakes and all. But Gaouette also ramps up the action in this book in a big way.

There are some good twists in this story, one of them left me gaping like a fish, I so did not see it coming! If you haven’t read the first two books you should probably start with those, but don’t miss this one. Gripping, faith-filled fiction.

 

Get it HERE.

[I received a preview copy of this book from the author, with whom I am acquainted through several author groups. Opinions are my own.]

THE SIEGE OF REGINALD HILL is out TODAY!

 

THE SIEGE OF REGINALD HILL is out TODAY…

…And it’s a no. 1 new release on Amazon in Teen & Young Adult Christian Science Fiction!

 

I’m not sure if any of my books have achieved a little orange banner before, but this is the first time I’ve actually noticed, so forgive me for sharing the screenshot like a proud parent!

 

In this blog post:

  1. Info about the new book!

  2. Info about the Launch Blog Tour!

  3. Info about how to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

 

1. The Book!

An odd surge filled my heart as I looked at him, sitting there in that chair: so old; so evil; so broken; so… alone. A warmth. A caring. A… love. I loved him. Just another poor sinner who need my care…

SAFETY IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF DANGER, BUT THE PRESENCE OF GOD.

Fr Kyle Verrall is living a quiet life as a parish priest in Africa when he’s snatched from his church one night by armed assailants. He’s in big trouble—his sister’s worst enemy is hell-bent on taking revenge on the famous Margaret Verrall by killing her brother, just as slowly and horribly as he can.

What could possibly save him? The humble young priest is defenceless—or so Reginald Hill believes.

But Kyle has a powerful weapon Hill knows nothing about. And he’s not afraid to use it.

Is Reginald Hill really the hunter?

Or is he the hunted?

 

Background

BROTHERS came out of nowhere about this time last year, and once it was published someone emailed me and wanted to know when another book about Kyle would come out. I emailed her back very confidently saying that BROTHERS was a one-off and I’d no plans to write any more about him.

The Holy Spirit clearly heard me! The following morning I was unable to get on with anything because the plot of THE SIEGE OF REGINALD HILL was so busy unwinding in my head! Phew, it was a tense morning!

I immediately knew I had to write the story and set to work, in-between publishing a couple of fun books I’d written some years earlier (ELFLING and MANDY LAMB AND THE FULL MOON). I thought I was writing a long novella, but when I’d finished it in July I discovered that it was in fact a short novel!

I hope you love it as much as I do. It has a special place in my heart!

 

Here are some buy links:

Amazon UK edition
Amazon US edition

Please note: This book is more suitable for older teens because of intense scenes. Anyone who was okay with I AM MARGARET should be okay with THE SIEGE OF REGINALD HILL, but as always, parents, if in doubt, please read it yourself first!

What do the reviewers think?

The Siege of Reginald Hill is a powerful story of sacrificial love—the kind very few are ever called to. Kyle is faced with unbearable pain and suffering, but he handles it in an amazing, almost unfathomable way. … If you’ve enjoyed the I Am Margaret series, you will love this story.
THERESA LINDEN, author of award-winning Battle for His Soul

There are a few stories that I’ll never forget even though it’s been years since I read them. Henry James’ The Beast in the Jungle and C. S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce, and now Corinna Turner’s The Siege of Reginald Hill. An extremely powerful example of what it really means to love our enemies, this novel provokes a whirlwind of emotions.
T. M. GAOUETTE, author of the Faith and Kung Fu series

What an eloquent priestly figure is given us in The Siege of Reginald Hill! No time is wasted by the young priest on his awesome journey to reach the lost sheep. Fr Kyle’s example reminds the reader that our sufferings lead to victory when united with the sacrifice of Christ.
FR. ARMAND DE MALLERAY, FSSP, author of Ego Eimi – It is I: Falling in Eucharistic Love

The Siege of Reginald Hill is another suspenseful and moving work by Corinna Turner. Fans of I Am Margaret will love the continuation of the story!
REGINA DOMAN, author of The Angel in the Waters and the award-winning Fairytale Novels series.

2. The Launch Blog Tour!

Check out all 10 fantastic stops over the next 12 days!

Dec 1 – Stop 1 – Corinna Turner – Author of the I Am Margaret series including new release The Siege of Reginald Hillwww.IAmMargaret.com

Dec 2 – SUNDAY – Relax and crack open your copy of THE SIEGE OF REGINALD HILL when you get back from church!

Dec 3 – Stop 2 – Steven R. McEvoy – Blogger and Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer Steven R. McEvoy on “Book Reviews & More” – www.bookreviewsandmore.ca

Dec 4 – Stop 3 – Erin McCole Cupp – Blogger, Contributor to Catholic Mom and Author (Jane E. Friendless Orphan series, etc.) – http://catholicmom.com/

Dec 5 – Stop 4 – Regina Doman – Award-winning Catholic teen fiction Author (The Fairy Tale novels, The Angel in the Waters, etc.) – http://reginadoman.blogspot.com/

Dec 6 – Stop 5 – Theresa Linden – Award-winning Catholic teen fiction Author (Liberty series, West Brothers series, etc.) – https://catholicbooksblog.wordpress.com/

Dec 7 – Stop 6 – Sarah de Nordwall – The Catholic Bard! – http://sarahdenordwall.blogspot.com/

Dec 8 – Stop 7 – T.M. Gaouette – Writer, Blogger, and Author of Catholic Fiction (Faith and Kung Fu series) – https://tmgaouette.com/

Dec 9 – SUNDAY – Relax and crack open your copy of THE SIEGE OF REGINALD HILL when you get back from church!

Dec 10 – Stop 8 – Carolyn Astfalk – Author of coming-of-age romance Rightfully Ours, etc. – www.carolynastfalk.com/

Dec 11 – Stop 9 – Leslea Wahl – Award-winning Catholic teen fiction Author (The Perfect Blindside, An Unexpected Role, etc.) – http://lesleawahl.com/

Dec 12 – Stop 10 – Elizabeth Amy Hajek – Blogger and Author of The Mermaid and the Unicornhttps://elenatintil.blogspot.com

 

3. That $10 Amazon Gift Card!

 

I need your help from December 1st-12th!

Yes, you can help!

😀

Will you help me spread the word?
Please tell your family, friends, youth group, and church community about the new book.

As a thank you, I’m offering the chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

It’s easy to enter! Just share my promotional images on Facebook and Twitter—or email them to your friends, whatever you like! Send me an email or Facebook message to tell me what and how many times you shared about the book. You’ll get one entry for every share!

The winner will be drawn on the last day of the Blog Tour!
Thanks so much for your help!

 

I hope you enjoy THE SIEGE OF REGINALD HILL.

 

Don’t miss Stop 2 on the Launch Tour on Dec 3Steven R. McEvoy – Blogger and Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer Steven R. McEvoy on “Book Reviews & More” – www.bookreviewsandmore.ca

OUTCAST Blog Tour – Stop 4!

So I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the release of Theresa Linden’s new novel OUTCAST!

 

He’s searching for the truth but is he ready to proclaim it? 

For shy Roland West, speech class is synonymous with humiliation. The last thing he wants is more attention from the gossips and troublemakers of River Run High School. But when an outcast’s house is viciously vandalized, Roland needs to find the perpetrators—before they strike again. Yet nothing is as straightforward as it seems. Suspected by the police and ridiculed for his beliefs, Roland draws closer to the sinister truth. When the perpetrators threaten a good friend, can Roland overcome his fear of speaking out and expose them?

 

I’m not going to do a full review here because I haven’t read the final published novel yet. However, I was honoured to read an earlier draft and I will say that considering how good that was, with the final improvements having been made, it must now be a VERY powerful, gripping read that challenges us to think about when we should stay silent–and when we cannot, however much we may want to. The novel takes an honest look at prejudice, hate, political correctness, and bigotry, especially when it comes to Same-Sex attraction, but handles the topic sensitively.

I was SO delighted when Theresa Linden told me that she was working on this novel, because there is such a need for it in the sphere of teen fiction.

And now it’s OUT and available to BUY! (And in time for Christmas!)

Get it HERE.

 

[Theresa Linden and I are both members of Catholic Teen Books. Opinions my own!]