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.

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!]

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Anyone But Him’ by Theresa Linden

Anyone But HimThe title says it all! Caitlyn Summer has been saving herself for marriage, all through her teens. Then one morning she wakes up in bed with the school’s bad boy, Jarret West. If that’s not awful enough, he claims it’s three whole years later than she thinks it is. She’s not a teenager any more.

Oh, and they’ve been married for a year…

Okay, amnesia plots have been done a lot, but they’re popular for a very good reason! If you’re writing a suspense thriller romance, they really work! I was lucky enough to read this book prior to release, and I’ve just thoroughly enjoyed reading the final published version. It’s incredibly gripping, moving, and challenging.

The faith element gives this a fascinating and delightful dimension entirely missing from most amnesia stories. It’s also where the ‘challenging’ comes in. Caitlyn believes in the sanctity—and permanence—of marriage. But she never imagined a situation like this! Can she hold to her ideals, even now?

Combining suspense thriller and romance with a strong pro-life subplot, this is one not to miss!

 

Get it HERE.

 

[The author is a fellow member of Catholic Teen Books, but my opinions are my own!]