CWG Book Blast: Finding Patience by Virginia Lieto

Standard

It is wonderful to stumble upon books for children that have fun stories and promote virtue. I am happy to share this wonderful book written by fellow Catholic Writers Guild author Virginia Lieto!

FHC-2017-Cover-copy-233x300Book Summary:

Eight-year-old, Faith Livingstone, just moved to town and is about to enter a new school. She wants to make new friends fast; to feel like she belongs in her new surroundings. It can’t happen fast enough for Faith! Watch how God shows her the way to new friends and new virtue!

 


Excerpt:

After school, Faith ran up to her room.

Mama rushed up the stairs and knocked on the door. “Honey, what’s wrong?”

Faith sobbed, “Nobody likes me!”

“No, no,” replied Mama. “They just don’t know you yet.”

“I want to go home,” cried Faith, “to be with my friends!”

Mama took Faith in her arms and said, “Faith, this is our home.  Daddy’s job is here and we all need to be together as a family.”


My  Review:

I enjoyed this thoughtful story by Virginia Lieto. I would’ve loved to read it to my kids when they were younger. Children will love the colorful illustrations, the characters, and a story they can relate to. I think this would be a great book especially for children who are transitioning to a new school or have moved. My father was in the Coast Guard and we moved often. Finding a friend in school was always so important but didn’t happen overnight. The message of practicing patience is so important for children at this age and this story presents it beautifully!


Get the book here: https://amzn.to/2rAhzup

Tell your friends about the book too! Tweet:

Looking for a way to teach your child patience, without coming across as “preachy?” Let Finding Patience show you the way. https://amzn.to/2rAhzup


Author Biography:

Virginia Lieto is an adjunct professor of Theology at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, where she also obtained her Master of Arts Degree in Pastoral Theology. In addition to teaching, and speaking publicly on the Catholic faith, she is the author of the children’s book “Adventures of Faith, Hope and Charity – Finding Patience,” a Catholic Writer’s Guild Seal of Approval recipient. She contributes to Catechist Magazine, Catholicmom.com, and Saint Joseph’s College of Maine’s Theology Blog. In addition, Virginia freelances for such internet companies as Biblezon, providing Catholic content for children. She also maintains her own blog, at virginialieto.com, focused on virtue and morality.

Website: http://virginialieto.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorvirginialieto/

Twitter: @virginialieto

Advertisements

Love Hurts: A Book Review of Resistance: Fighting the Devil Within by Michael Voris

Standard

young-woman-2622725_1920She laughs as she runs with her diamond-shaped kite. Her long auburn tresses fly across her face and bounce down her back as she peers at the sky. She is beautiful, maddeningly beautiful. So carefree. So competent. So real.

He runs along after her, watching her, loving her.

With one hand held aloft, holding the kite string, she runs. Faster and faster, she sprints over the rocky terrain. Her kite spins and rolls in the air. She can’t get the height she wants. But then, she’s made the kite herself and it has no tail, nothing to make it stable.

He doesn’t dare correct her. It would dampen her delight, her pride of accomplishment. Maybe hurt her feelings. She hates when he criticizes her. And he can’t bear her rejection, her anger.

Catching a wind current, the kite shoots up. “Oh, look! There it goes!” She runs faster, her eyes on the kite and not on the ground.

A cliff lay ahead, hidden from view. Should he tell her? Though she didn’t look inclined to slow down, she likely knew. If he brought it up, it would spoil her fun. She would think he doubted her. He couldn’t bear to hurt her feelings, to risk making her mad at him.

Look how she smiles. How she laughs. How she runs like there is no cliff. In a few short steps she’ll reach it. Should he say something?

Five, four, three…

Two…

One…


Love Hurts: A Book Review of Resistance: Fighting the Devil Within by Michael Voris

The short story is preposterous, of course. No one would let another, much less one they love, race off a cliff to avoid hurting his or her feelings. Or would they?

resistanceMichael Voris’s Resistance: Fighting the Devil Within drove home to me the fact that true love does not remain silent in the face of danger, especially the danger that matters most: spiritual danger.

Michael shares a lot of tough stuff in this book, including the influence of Liberation Theology, Sexual Liberation, Homoheresy, and the media on many in high places in the Church, and the dismal statistics that show the decline of authentic faith in the Western world.

These are hard topics to read about, write about, research, and discuss. In reading this book and from following Michael over the years, I’ve come to realize: Michael Voris loves Holy Mother Church. If he didn’t, he would not expose himself to the anger, hostility, misunderstanding, and rejection of so many brothers and sisters in Christ. But he knows, as any good parent, friend, or spouse knows, that sometimes love hurts.

Real love desires the good of the other and not just the affection of the beloved.

Through his ministry, a labor of true love, Michael seeks to warn the wayward and motivate the faithful. Resistance: Fighting the Devil Within gives a clear warning about the fate of the Catholic Church in the West and in the world. This book reveals the evil that has been attacking the Church in modern times. Michael calls on faithful Catholics to “adopt an attitude of resistance to the corruption of the faith.”

While I’ve heard and read about the disturbing modern-day attacks against the Catholic Church from without and within, Resistance shows the cause and effect, which explains how we got where we are today. Because these things are so ugly, diabolical even, it is hard to look at them. And a part of me would rather not know. But not knowing doesn’t make the problem go away. As with any successful marriage, company, or organization, productive and sometimes painful self-evaluation is necessary. It is not enough to just recognize the bad fruit, we must also look at the tree and all the way down to the roots.

Resistance does not stop there. This book makes clear that to effect change, we need to begin with ourselves. And so Part II of this book provides concrete steps for self-evaluation and spiritual growth through an examination of the Beatitudes. I know that I will read Part II many times, especially the mediation on Peter. Peter’s story is told in the meditation of “Blessed are those who Mourn.”

“There is no man in Scripture who so impulsively and radically loved Our Lord as did Peter. And then in one horrible succession of events, he cursed and threw it all away. All that was left now was a lone, direct look from Jesus penetrating Peter’s spirit to its core…” ~Resistance: Fighting the Devil Within

We’ve all been there. At least I have. We’ve denied Our Lord. We’ve failed the test. We’ve chosen the easy way and not the right way. But Peter repented, and Our Lord forgave him. Then Peter got back up and lived his life boldly, fearlessly, selflessly in love with Christ and His Church. He loved to the point of death, also on a cross but upside down because he felt “unworthy to die in the same fashion as Our Lord.”

We need to get up too and live in this love. I love the Catholic Church. It is the church that Jesus built. Thus, it provides all that one needs to know God and to grow in holiness. It is the Bride of Christ.

For my love to be real, it needs to be selfless and purified. I need to look at the ways in which I seek to compromise with the truth or fail to follow the teachings of the Church, the ways in which I’ve shied away from correcting another or speaking the truth to avoid hurting feelings or coming across as being judgmental. Does this sound hard? Impossible?

As so many saints have proven over the years, unflinching faithfulness is possible.

And isn’t that what we all want? Faithfulness. You want it from your spouse, your children, your family, and friends. God wants it too. He wants me to be faithful because He wants me to open my heart to His transformational love. And whether we like it or not, sometimes love isn’t that heart-tingling feeling that has you walking on clouds. Sometimes the beloved has to say, “No, that’s not good for you.” “You’re on the wrong path.” “This is going to be hard.”

Because—let’s face it—when love is real, sometimes love hurts.

When writing my dystopian trilogy, which is a supposition of our world if we don’t change course, I struggled with the final book. I couldn’t fathom an ending because, at times, it seems evil has won and falsehood is so enmeshed in our culture that it would be impossible for a new, holy culture to emerge. Like in the Battle at Minas Tirith in the Lord of the Rings, the odds are ridiculously overwhelming. Evil stretches out aminis tiriths far as the eye can see. The good are few and most are ill-prepared. Evil goes on the offense while the good tuck themselves away and struggle at defense. Walls that have stood forever crumble, lives are lost, and the enemy has just unveiled Grond.

You know what I’m talking about, right? That one-hundred-foot long battering ram shaped like a ravening wolf with fire burning in its jaws.

But I am a Christian. And I’ve read the last page of the book. (Not referring to the Lord of the Rings, though of course I’ve read that.) I’m referring to the Holy Scriptures. We win. Jesus Christ has already claimed the victory. And in Him, we win too. Love win—true love, that is.

So I realized how the third book in my dystopian trilogy needed to go. The answer is with you and me. It is in pursuing holiness right here and right now. It is loving despite the cost. It is that sacrificial love that makes me willing to lose a friend today because I am unwilling to lose that friend for all eternity. Not on my watch.

Resistance: Fighting the Devil Within gives a clear idea of what the spiritual battle looks like for the Church in our times. It is a clarion call to all the faithful to get our boots on the ground.

Whether you are Catholic or not, I recommend that you read this book. It will offend you and startle you and maybe even open your eyes to the attacks that have been going on for years against the Catholic Church. And hopefully, this book will shake you to the core and motivate you to get on your feet and enter the fray. Fight for true love! Fight for Christ!

Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden!
Fell deeds awake: fire and slaughter!
Spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered,
a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!

Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!

~Theoden’s rallying cry in The Lord of the Rings

 

New Adult Mystery Romance: Giveaway

Standard

3D-Book-Template

My new adult Christian mystery romance ANYONE BUT HIM came out this month. And you have two chances to win a free copy!

  1. Stop by Sarah Damm’s blog for her book review and a giveaway!
  2. Stop by CatholicMom.com to check out an excerpt and the book trailer and then enter a second giveaway!

Click here to check out the entire Virtual Book Tour. You’ll find more reviews of Anyone But Him, a cooking video and printable recipe taken from a scene in the story, and an author interview!

If you know someone who might enjoy this book, please spread the word!

Anyone But Him is brimming with delicious romance, keep-you-guessing mystery, and a dose of humor. Wonderfully written with well-developed characters, and a solid plot.” ~An Open Book Family

Book Blast: Rightfully Ours by Carolyn Astfalk

Standard

rightfully oursRightfully Ours: This young adult romance by inspirational fiction author Carolyn Astfalk bears a Nihil Obstat and is a CWG Seal of Approval winner!

A coming-of-age story of first love, buried treasure, and discovering some things are worth the wait.

Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Paul Porter’s relocation to Pennsylvania is a temporary move during his dad’s deployment. Or so he and his brother think, until devastating news lands on their doorstep.

Paul’s new home with the Muellers provides solace, especially in the form of Rachel, his friend and confidante. Their abiding friendship deepens as they work side by side to uncover what could be lost treasure.

Will they acquire the strength of character and virtue to take only what rightfully belongs to them or are they in way over their heads, with more than a few lost artifacts at stake?

Excerpt:

An unexpected detour left them lost in the dark. Paul had been certain they were heading the right way, but the two-lane country roads they had traveled the last half hour had few markers, and his older brother questioned whether they had missed a junction sign. Paul’s grip tightened on the clumsily-folded map as he peered out the window. Maybe Sean should drag his knuckles out of the Stone Age and get a GPS.

 Paul had been anxious about this move more than the others, even though it would only be temporary. The claw-like limbs of the barren trees whizzing by his window made the whole ordeal seem even more foreboding. He’d never been through North Central Pennsylvania, but in the daylight, the mountains would probably be beautiful, if a little desolate.

It’s only for a few months. By spring, Dad would be home, and things would go back to normal. Normal for them anyway. Besides, maybe he’d like it here.

Website:  http://www.carolynastfalk.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CarolynMAstfalk

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/CMAstfalk

Instagram:  https://instagram.com/cmastfalk/

My Review:

Well-written and enjoyable, this story takes an honest look at the physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects of teens in a serious relationship. As Paul’s and Rachel’s feelings for each other grow, they confront new emotions and urges that they don’t always know how to deal with. Like every child raised Christian, they know what they are “supposed” to do but in some moments, they don’t understand “why.” Sometimes they are confused and make poor choices, but through all the temptations, challenges, and even failures, they both develop an understanding of the value of chastity. By the end of the story, they have a clear, solid, and mature grasp of its worth.

Rightfully Ours provides a thoughtful analysis of intimacy from a teen’s point of view, making it a great book especially for teens who struggle with sexual temptation and for parents who want a deeper consideration of the trials teens in love face. (check out my full review on Goodreads!)

 


Author Bio:   carolynCarolyn Astfalk resides with her husband and four children in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where it smells like either chocolate or manure, depending on wind direction. She is the author of the inspirational

 

romances Stay With Me and Ornamental Graces and the coming-of-age story Rightfully Ours. Carolyn is a member of the Catholic Writers Guild and Pennwriters and a CatholicMom.com contributor. Formerly, she served as the communications direct of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, the public affair agency of Pennsylvania’s Catholic bishops. True to her Pittsburgh roots, she still says “pop” instead of “soda,” although her beverage of choice is tea.

Buy Link: http://a.co/9BT0frl

Tweet:

A coming-of-age story of friendship, love & doing the right thing – even when it’s tough. Rightfully Ours @cmastfalk #YA #CatholicTeenBooks

Virtual Book Tour ~ Christian Mystery ANYONE BUT HIM

Standard

Blog Tour for Anyone But Him

ABHpromo1

Thank you to all the bloggers who are taking part in this Virtual Book Tour! And thank you to everyone who visits the blog stops!

First stop, April 5th: Steven R. McEvoy’s blog Book Reviews and More
Steven R. McEvoy is a prolific reader and reviewer. Last year he read 380 books! He also creates “Top Ten” lists and posts author interviews with 20 Questions. Click here for my interview on his site. He also plans to share an early review of Anyone But Him.

Second stop, April 6th – Larry Peterson’s blog Cradling Catholic   
Larry Peterson is the author of The Demons of Abadon, a supernatural thriller pitting Good against Evil, and several other books. His blog made the list of the Top 100 Catholic Blogs!

Third stop, April 9th – Carolyn Astfalk’s blog My Scribblers Heart
Carolyn Astfalk is the author of three inspirational Christian romances, including her debut young adult romance, Rightfully Ours. She is also a prolific reader, reviewer, and blogger. You can learn more about the books she’s read from her monthly An Open Book blog post. For the blog tour, she will be posting a recipe from a meal prepared in Anyone But Him!

Fourth stop, April 10th – Ellen Gable Hrkach’s blog Plot Line and Sinker
Ellen Hrkach is the author of several bestsellers, including the award-winner In Name Only. She is also the founder of Full Quiver Publishing, a publisher that seeks to make fiction available that celebrates the Catholic Church’s teachings on sexuality and marriage.

Fifth stop, April 16th – Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur’s blog Spiritual Woman   
Patrice MacArthur is a homeschooling mom, writer, editor, artist, and the author of The Catholic Baby Name Book and Letters from Mary to a Young Mother.

Sixth stop, April 18th – Ellen Gable Hrkach’s blog Plot Line and Sinker
Ellen will be posting her review of Anyone But Him one day, and she will post an author interview on the other! Please stop by her blog both days to check them both out!

Seventh stop, April 19th – A. K. Frailey’s blog The Writings of A. K. FraileyA. K. Frailey is a novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter. She has nine published books and several articles in national magazines. She recently released the second book in her science fiction series, Newearth: Justine Awakens. If you are a science fiction fan, please check that out on her blog too!

Eighth stop, April 23rd – Sarah Damm’s blog      
Sarah Damm’s faith shines through on every page of her blog. She writes at CatholicMom.com and WINE: Women in the New Evangelization. She is also one of the contributors of The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion: A Book of Daily Reflections.


Ninth stop, also on April 23rd – CatholicMom.com  

Created in 2000, this website is all about Faith, Family, and Fun from a Catholic perspective. It is a rich resource for all Catholics seeking spiritual enrichment for their families. I am happy that this will be one of the blog stops for Anyone But Him! They will be hosting a giveaway of the book!

Last stop on the blog tour, April 27th – Barb Szyszkiewicz’s blog Franciscan Mom  
Barb Szyszkiewicz is another prolific reader and reviewer. She is also an editor at CatholicMom.com and a contributing writer for Today’s Catholic Teacher.

Please come along on the virtual blog tour!

Countdown to release ANYONE BUT HIM, New Adult Christian Mystery

Standard

In two days, my debut Christian mystery romance comes out! So today I am sharing the “Press Release.”


 

Press Release: Award-Winning Novelist Pens Pro-Life Mystery Romance

Redemptive Message Converts Hearts and Minds

Pro-life mystery romance, ANYONE BUT HIM by Theresa Linden, is slated for release this April 5, 2018. Theresa writes Catholic fiction in a variety of genres, including dystopian, supernatural, and contemporary. She has eight published young adult and new adult novels. Two of her short stories appear in Image and Likeness: Literary Reflections on the Theology of the Body. Her books won awards from the Catholic Press Association two years in a row. Theresa’s passion is to create stories that weave together the natural and supernatural, bringing spiritual realities to her readers’ imaginations and showing the power of faith and grace.

Her emotionally-charged mystery romance, ANYONE BUT HIM, follows a young woman suffering from amnesia. She finds herself clear across the country from her childhood home and married to a man who pushed her best friend in high school to have an abortion. Unable to remember the past three years, she struggles to solve the mysteries of her amnesia and her marriage to this man who had never shared her values. Suspicious circumstances surrounding her husband tempt her to leave and start life over, but they also challenge her Christian faith and convictions about marriage. The arrival of her first love, her husband’s younger brother, intent on helping her regain her memory, offers a glimmer of hope. Together they uncover secrets involving her coworkers and the local abortion clinic, but nothing to explain why she married this man. Who changed – him or her?

Early Review:

“I sped through chapters trying to guess who could be trusted, who had changed, and how an investigation into an abortion clinic’s deceptive practices could be the key to Caitlyn regaining her memory.”  ~Carolyn Astfalk, author of contemporary inspirational romances, including Stay With Me and Ornamental Graces

 

ANYONE BUT HIM by Theresa Linden

6 x 9 300 pages ISBN-13: 978-0-9976747-4-3 LCCN:  2017918741

$13.99 in USA Publication Date: April 5, 2018

Hardback Paperback eBook

Christian Mystery Romance

 

Stay tuned for the “Virtual Book Tour” blog stops & dates! The book tour will include early reviews, a recipe from the story, book trailer, author interview, and a giveaway!

 

 

Those Difficult Cases in the Pro-Life Debate

Standard

I attended the Bringing America Back to Life Convention in Independence, Ohio, for the second year in a row. Both times I’ve been amazed, stunned, shocked, grieved, and motivated by the talks, and I’ve come to realize that the pro-life issue is much bigger than I ever imagined. We have not faced an issue as widespread and devastating as this at any time in recorded human history.

And, as Obianuju Ekeocha, founder and president of Culture of Life Africa, said last year, “One day history will judge our generation.”

The life issue affects women, men, children, the old, and the unborn, doctors, nurses, health care facilities, science, marriages, relationships, families, societies, countries, and all of humanity. The damage runs deep. Perhaps because our culture has lost the sense of the sacred, it struggles to recognize the sanctity of human life.

But this is our culture and our generation. This is our battle. Please watch the short video I created, inspired by this amazing conference.

Some people are against abortion except for that 1 exception: cases of rape. I am pro-life without exception. And one of the speakers who touched me the most was Jennifer Christie, a blogger and pro-life speaker for Save the 1.  Save the 1 protects, supports, and empowers women who become pregnant by rape and their children conceived in rape. Save the 1 speakers represent the so-called “hard cases” in the abortion debate. Tired of people using their cases to keep abortion legal, these women speak up for the babies of the 1 exception.

They want to “…end the discrimination of the ‘least of these’ and to go into the world to change hearts and minds by putting faces to the issue…” ~from http://www.savethe1.com/

At this conference, Jennifer shared her story. She was brutally raped while on a business trip. The emotional damage took its toll and her body had only begun to heal when she discovered she was pregnant.

As I listened to Jennifer’s story, I confess that I fought back tears. I cried for what she went through. No woman should ever have to experience that. But I cried even more because of her love. And because of her husband’s love. While many urged her to abort, she and her husband welcomed this new life, this precious baby that came on the wake of a horrible nightmare.

Jenn and baby

“This child had nothing to do with the attack on my body or the scars on my soul. He had everything to do with my healing – giving me a reason to hope. I did not save my son. He saved me.” ~Jennifer

I encourage you to read her story at Save the 1.

Jennifer now speaks out for the unborn whose lives are threatened in those difficult situations where many want to make an exception. She recognizes that God can use the nightmare she’s endured to save babies and women. And so she blogs and she gives talks.

Sometime during the conference, I spoke with Jennifer. And I found myself on the verge of crying again. This time because I recognized a powerful, transformational love in her. Honestly, this woman radiates love, faith, and courage. And Jennifer not only blogs and gives talks, but she reaches out to women who have been hurt through rape, women whose lives have been turned upside down through this violent act. She reaches out to them even when they direct their anger at her because she chose life. And her love touches their hearts too, allowing them to finally heal.

Women who have been through violence do not need abortion. Aborting a child conceived in rape does nothing to diminish the memory of that violent event. It does not allow a woman to “get on with her life.” It causes great damage to the woman who has been hurt enough already.

“My son is a reminder every day that as women we can rise above our circumstances. My son is a reminder that love is always stronger than hate. And that who we are as human beings is not determined by how we were conceived.” ~Jennifer

For the love of women, for the love of the unborn, we must end abortion now. No exceptions.

Friends of mine who have learned about Jennifer have been “binge reading” her blog posts. Here is one you simply must read: When People Said We Shouldn’t Have You, We Loved You Louder

I will end with something else that Jennifer shared this with us during the conference. As she spoke these words, I couldn’t stop crying–but neither could anyone else in the room.

Jennifer was once told, “But if it’s RAPE…think about it from the woman’s point of view!”

“Okay. Yes, let’s think about it from the woman’s point of view.

The day after she is raped, she’s shocked to find out the sun still rises because everything in her world has changed. She feels different. Wrong. Inexplicably ashamed.

She’s certain that strangers can look at her and know that she is damaged. She walks around thinking “I am a woman who has been raped,” and knows her life has now been split in half.

Before she became a statistic. After. In the silence, she hears things he said to her. Things she knows she’ll never repeat. When she closes her eyes, she sees him looming over her. She can’t eat…the taste of her own blood lingers on her tongue…the dank earthiness of the ground as he held her head down.

She speaks with other survivors, with friends, with her lover who is trying desperately to comfort her, but she is terribly, terribly alone.

When a faint second line blossoms on the pregnancy test, for a moment, she feels as though the wind is knocked out of her. Instinctively, her hands drift to her flat belly as she tries to slow her breath. She knows what she should feel. Resentment. Anger, maybe.

But…somehow, for the first time since crossing over into the ‘after’ she doesn’t feel adrift. For the first time since crossing over into the after, she has a reason to go on.

She feels a ferocious need to safeguard this delicate new life. She might not have been able to protect herself, but she can protect her baby. Her baby. Deep breath. It’s okay, she whispers to nobody and everybody. I’m going to take care of you.

But they take care of each other. And in little arms, and big eyes, and the purest of all love, she begins to heal.” ~Jennifer Christie

Perhaps it is even more powerful listening to Jennifer speak these words: Is abortion in a case of rape “compassion” to the woman?

Follow Jennifer and other 100% pro-life bloggers and speakers at https://savethe1.blogspot.com

Learn about Unbroken, a support and advocacy group for those impacted by pregnancy from rape.