A boy in ancient Israel, a girl in modern-day America, a young man in the far future; a dozen teenagers in different settings. What do they all have in common? Each of these otherwise unrelated young people is presented with a choice, the same choice that every teen must make at some point in their lives: God or self. Sacrifice or selfishness. (of which I am a member) is excited to announce its newest anthology: Ashes: Visible and Invisible. This short story collection, which comes out on January 31, will both entertain young readers and invite them into a deeper understanding of Lent and their faith.

Some characters in this anthology risk being eaten by dinosaurs, others must simply rise to a new level of maturity in their everyday life, while some must choose a higher level of generosity. The stakes my vary but each character learns a valuable lesson about sacrifice as they grow in their faith.

Why Lent?

Lent is an amazing liturgical season that is often misunderstood. Too often it’s just “the time where you give up chocolate” whereas it can be so much more. It’s a beautiful and liturgically rich season of walking with Christ, even as he approaches Calvary. We wanted to explore some of the variety this season offers and make it more attractive and understandable to teens. My contribution is a brand new unSPARKed short story called ‘A Very Jurassic Lent.’

A taste of what’s inside:

  • When Liz’s faith journey hits a roadblock, will an unexpected detour and chance encounter set her back on track?
  • A teen’s future was all set—before his tragic loss. But his friend’s secret past just might save it.
  • Justin’s religion is outlawed. When an unbeliever asks him about the meaning of life, what can he say?
  • Could God be asking Paul to sacrifice a piece of himself for Lent—literally?
  • A modern American teen discovers what faith, life and love are like in seventeenth-century Scotland.
  • Asher’s desire to prepare for the Messiah intensifies after he’s robbed by bandits. But would fighting alongside the Zealots be the best way?
  • When a risky Ash Wednesday mission to sterilize T. rex eggs goes wrong, fasting is the least of Joshua, Darryl, and Harry’s worries.
  • A medieval girl stranded on a forsaken path confronts threats from without and turmoil from within.
  • Struggling with loss, hunger, and temptation, Ethan finds himself walking in the steps of Jesus

What other people are saying about it:

The Catholic Teen Book authors have done it again! We loved this book from page one; it’s a great way to dig deeper into Lent with your teens. The book has a story for everyone, and they all share the faith in different but wonderful ways. Highly recommend!
Jennifer & Kate Waldyke,
Co-hosts of Catholic Mom and Daughter

‘Ashes’, the latest compilation of stories from provides teen readers with plenty to think about. This compilation focuses on the theme of Lent, Easter, and our own mortality. In each of these stories, there is an encounter with death. Sometimes a death is pending or has just occurred or is threatening nearby. But the experienced and very talented authors at have not presented a depressing, frightening or dark anthology here. Instead, I was surprised to find that each story is uplifting, hopeful and very inspiring.
What binds these stories is that each young person must make a leap of Faith, take a step into a fuller, more mature understanding of their Catholic Faith. Characters are called to forgive, to resist temptation, to be courageous, to be steadfast and responsible. All of them come to understand on a deeper level the sacrificial nature of Love. I highly recommend this collection of stories from the authors at
Melinda Harrington
Catholic Children’s Stories

This is the fourth anthology from the authors at the Catholic Teen Books collective. Each has been a great read. This Lenten volume is also, to be honest, my favourite of the four now. Each story was remarkable. Many of the contributors to this collection, in their own way, imitate Christ and are master storytellers in our own generation. I have a great deal of respect for the ten authors who contributed to this series. And a couple of them are among my all-time favourite authors. And I read a couple hundred books a year. This anthology is Amazing!
Steven R. McEvoy,


Click here to enter a giveaway for this book and some other cool lent-themed items. 

Click here to order the book

2022 Releases!

2022 was a busy year for the unSPARKed series, with a total of 5 titles released!

What is the unSPARKed series?
In a Jurassic future, humans no longer have dominion over the earth. Most people live in cities, behind high electric fences, but some choose the freedom of life unSPARKed, close to nature. If you like Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, and Mad Max, you’ll love this pulse-pounding, futuristic, dino-dystopian series with a western twist. Since 2017, award-winning author Corinna Turner has been writing the unSPARKed series. Check it out today!

1.Please Don’t Feed the Dinosaurs


It takes more than a T. rex scratching its back on his Habitat Vehicle to alarm young hunter Joshua—he’s used to living close to nature. But a routine visit to the zoo to deliver a new velociraptor turns deadly when he comes face-to-face with an eleven-foot allosaur called Gold. He knew her when she was a tiny chick—is he a friend from the past—or dinner?

Meanwhile, Darryl and her brother, Harry, are taken completely by surprise when their father remarries. Their new step-mom is a glamorous fashion designer who’s never been outside the city’s electric fences. How will she cope with a life of dinosaur farming? All Darryl can do is try to get her new stepmom safely to the farm. But once you’re unSPARKed, things don’t always go to plan…

From the Carnegie Medal Nominated author of the I AM MARGARET books, adventure lovers will love this fast-paced, fantastically fun series, which has been compared to Jurassic Park and Mad Max.

PLEASE NOTE: Please Don’t Feed the Dinosaurs knits together the original unSPARKed book 1, DRIVE!, with the short story ‘A Dino Whisperer at the Zoo,’ along with a small amount of original material.

Choice of formats and stores HERE.


6. A Right Rex Rodeo


Desperate for some clue about their father’s fate, Darryl and Harry risk attending the Midwinter Hunter Fair with Josh. But after the rodeo, bonfires, and storytelling are over, a dangerous expedition in search of answers may be their only hope. Even though it means venturing into enemy territory—alone.
Should they risk all on one last attempt—or admit defeat and flee?

Choice of formats and stores HERE.



After breaking into Jason’s illegal rex farm to hunt for their kidnapped dad, farm-teens Darryl and Harry, along with young hunter Joshua, have taken extreme measures to escape capture by Jason. But with Darryl now lost in the dark mountains and Josh badly injured, their troubles are far from over. Yet the greatest threat to their survival may be the fears they carry within.

Choice of formats and stores HERE.


8. A Different Kind of Camouflage

Farm kids Darryl and Harry have experienced the freedom—and dangers—of life as hunters for almost a year while traveling with Josh.
But the authorities have finally caught up with them. Taken to the city against their will, they must both swap wildlife and open skies for concrete and fumes.
In the face of inflexible bureaucrats and ever-watchful social workers, can they remain faithful to their identity and hold onto their hope that one day they will live free again—and be reunited with those they love?

Choice of formats and stores HERE.


9. Different Kind of Freedom


Young hunter Joshua suffers from severe city-phobia, but now he’s trapped in-city, sentenced to hard prison time for helping Darryl and Harry evade the city authorities for so long. Even if he can survive the threat from inside his own mind, can he navigate the dangers of prison life?
Thrown in with a tough pack of fellow hunters, tensions run high and personalities clash. Will fragile alliances bloom into true friendships or will anger and hatred spiral into violence?
Can the Raptor Whisperer survive being caged with the most dangerous creatures of all—his fellow men?

Choice of formats and stores HERE.