Book Tour for Award-winner The Other Side of Freedom

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 “The Other Side of Freedom.” is a 2018 Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval recipient! In 1925, the thirteen-year-old son of immigrant farmers witnesses a crime and must choose whether to remain silent as his father asks or defy evil to save his family.

The Other Side of Freedom

Summary:

In a southern farming community in 1925, thirteen-year-old Salvatore and his Italian immigrant father become involved against their will in a crime that results in the murder of an innocent man and family friend. Will Sal keep the secrets about that night as his father asks, or risk everything he and his family cherish in their new homeland, including their lives? Amidst bigotry, bootlegging, police corruption, and gangland threats, Sal must discover whom he can trust in order to protect himself and his family and win back his father’s freedom. Sal’s family, their African-American farmhand, and the girl who is Sal’s best friend find their lives forever changed as dreams are shattered and attitudes challenged in a small community called Freedom.

Excerpt:

The closer Sal got to Freedom, the more the butterflies in his stomach fluttered. For the first time in his life, he had to sneak into town. He didn’t belong anymore, wasn’t welcome, wasn’t even safe. None of his family was. All because of a crime they didn’t commit. 

My Review

As a fan of historical fiction, I thoroughly enjoyed The Other Side of Freedom by Cynthia Toney. This story, set in the 1920s, has so many historical and time-period details, from the 1924 Ford Model T Tudor to the mention of Al Capone and the first black man elected to the US Senate. The tension begins in the first scene when Sal finds well-dressed strangers at the door. And the tension mounts from there with an attempted bank robbery, a death, sneaking and spying, and a lot of tough choices and obstacles for thirteen-year-old Sal. Toney’s attention to descriptive and sensory details makes this story even stronger.

This coming-of-age story about Sal, who belongs to a tight-knit Italian family, helps readers to understand the difficulties of farm life during this time period, the ugliness of segregation, and the courage of the immigrant. It also brings out a strong message of courage and self-sacrifice. I highly recommend this book.

Connect with the author:

Website:http://www.cynthiattoney.com
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/birdfacewendy/
Twitter:https://twitter.com/cynthiattoney
Instagram:https://instagram.com/CynthiaTToney

Author Bio:

Cynthia T. Toney writes for tweens and teens because she wants them to know how wonderful, powerful, and valuable God made them. Her novels include The Other Side of Freedom, which received a 2018 Catholic Press Association CPA Book Award, and the Bird Face series, which begins with 8 Notes to a Nobody. Her books include thought-provoking questions for classrooms and book clubs. She has a passion for rescuing dogs from animal shelters and enjoys studying the complex history of the friendly southern U.S., where she resides with her husband and several canines

Buy Links:
https://.amzn.com/1944120394/

Link on Catholic Teen Books website (has purchase links):

https://www.catholicteenbooks.com/the-other-side-of-freedom

Link on Tumblar House Catholic bookstore:

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New Release: Supernatural Thriller TORTURED SOUL

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release date: May 12, 2019

Have you been participating in the Virtual Book Tour for Tortured Soul? Thank you! This is the last stop and your last day to enter the giveaway.

For many years now, the Holy Souls in purgatory have had a place in my heart. I’ve read many non-fiction essays and books about them, including some by Susan Tassone “The Purgatory Lady”. One of my favorites is a little pink prayer book called The Rosary for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. In addition to helping the poor souls with your prayers, this book is filled with Scripture verses that deepen your understanding of purgatory.

It is an honor to have Susan Tassone’s endorsement for my book:

“Theresa Linden’s Tortured Soul gives an accurate, captivating, and ‘novel’ way for readers to learn about and better understand the Church’s teaching on purgatory. Thank you, Theresa!”

Susan Tassone “The Purgatory Lady”, author of Day By Day with the Holy Souls in Purgatory: 365 Reflections

As I learned about the Poor Souls and prayed for them, I grew in my love for them and the idea of writing a purgatory story began to “haunt” me. I wanted to write a novel that would:

  • give readers a deeper understanding of purgatory and clear up common misconceptions
  • inspire many to trust in the mercy of God (concerning loved ones that have gone before them)
  • inspire many to pray for the Holy Souls (especially those that are most forgotten)

While the souls in purgatory can still pray for us, they can no longer pray for themselves, so it is up to us to pray for them. I hope that my book Tortured Soul gains many prayers for the souls in purgatory.

“Theresa Linden brings devotion to the Holy Souls to a new audience with Tortured Soul. Not everyone will read the historical books or pray with devotional texts, but many will read novels. A wonderful reminder to pray for our beloved dead.”

Fr Edward Looney, author of A Heart Like Mary’s

The main character and this story are loosely based on a German woman named Eugenie von der Leyen (1867-1929) and the apparitions she received. I chose this little-known person, rather than a saint, to emphasize the universal call to assist these souls.

This story takes place in modern times, beginning close to All Souls Day and ending just after Christmas. To write this story, I not only read about apparitions and Church teaching–since Eugenie von der Leyen lived in Germany–I researched German food and Christmas traditions too. I hope these elements, along with the elements of suspense, entertain readers.

“As inspiring as it is chilling, Tortured Soul will not only keep you up all night, heart racing and palms sweating, but will make you pray for the Souls in Purgatory like you never have before!”

Susan Peek, author of The King’s Prey

One of the most powerful prayers we can say on behalf of the Holy Souls is the prayer given to St. Gertrude by Our Lord. According to the saint, this prayer, piously recited, releases a vast number of souls from their suffering in purgatory.

“Eternal Father, I offer You the most precious blood of thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, for those in my own home, and in my family. Amen.”

Prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory by St. Gertrude the Great

I am releasing this book on the anniversary of my father’s death. Please say a prayer for his soul. Thank you!


CLICK HERE TO REACH THE #GIVEAWAY

I just drew the winner of the giveaway (5/20/19):

Congratulations, Melanie H.!


Tortured Soul is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and through Ingram (if you are a bookseller). It is available in paperback and ebook. Consider asking your Catholic bookseller to carry it!

Do you have a book club? Bulk discounts are available.

Email: silverfirepublishing@oh.rr.com for details.

An Open Letter to Bishop Perez

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1st May 2019

Dear Bishop Perez,

Re: Your letter to the faithful dated March 15, 2019.

Peace be with you and may Our Lord fill you with His wisdom, grace, and blessings.

We, the faithful, encourage you to relax your position on the Communion Rite posture policy, first promulgated in 2003, which enforces the policy of standing after receiving Holy Communion. Since the Diocesan Bishop may adapt actions and postures to the customs of the people, we further encourage you to reinstate the policy from the General Instruction to the 3rd edition of the Roman Missal (2002): “…The faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei…” We are aware that the right to kneel has been secured by the Holy See, but we would very much like to have the encouragement and support of our bishop. Let the posture of kneeling bring uniformity.

We believe this posture of reverence best gives glory to God, deepens the faith of the believer, moves the heart of the unbeliever toward the truth of the True Presence, and can foster unity in posture during the Mass. Ironically, some parishes received your letter on the same day we heard this for the Second Reading: “…at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth…” (Philippians 2:10).

To many of us, kneeling resonates in our souls as the proper posture for these parts of the Mass, and we don’t understand the logic behind standing. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope emeritus Benedict XVI), in The Spirit of the Liturgy, laments that “There are groups, of no small influence, who are trying to talk us out of kneeling” (pg 184). He further explains how the Scriptures show the importance of kneeling. In them, we read about the night Jesus gave us the Eucharist and how he entered into His Passion by praying on his knees, giving us an example of the right disposition and posture one should have both in preparing to receive Holy Communion and after reception.

The book of Revelation gives us a peek at the heavenly worship, which faith tells us we participate in through the Mass. In this heavenly worship, the elders fall down before Our Lord whenever glory, honor, and thanks are given. Using this heavenly worship as a model, we see how appropriate the posture of kneeling would be when the priest, in persona Christi, lifts up our Eucharistic Lord and says, “Behold, the Lamb of God.”

We also read how the leper in Mark 1:40 falls to his knees before the Lord, saying, “If you will, you can make me clean.” His prayer is strikingly similar to ours. “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word, and I shall be healed.” Like the leper, we long for Christ to answer our prayer. Like the leper, we trust in His power. The leper, however, did not know the Divine nature of Jesus, like we do. Therefore, we have even more reason to be on our knees for this prayer.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger ends this section on kneeling with this: “It may well be that kneeling is alien to modern culture — insofar as it is a culture, for this culture has turned away from the faith and no longer knows the one before whom kneeling is the right, indeed the intrinsically necessary gesture. The man who learns to believe learns also to kneel, and a faith or a liturgy no longer familiar with kneeling would be sick at the core. Where it has been lost, kneeling must be rediscovered, so that, in our prayer, we remain in fellowship with the apostles and martyrs, in fellowship with the whole cosmos, indeed in union with Jesus Christ Himself.”

Dear Bishop, let us kneel. First, the altar rails were removed and we were told to stand to receive Communion. Next, we were told to receive Holy Communion in the hand. Then we had to stand after the Lamb of God. Now we are told we shouldn’t kneel after we receive Him.

Belief in the True Presence dwindles. Let us kneel. Do not encourage us to stand at these parts of the Mass where our hearts beg us to kneel, but rather let us worship Our Lord, who we truly believe is present in the Eucharist. As it is, very little quiet time is given for the faithful to offer prayers of thanksgiving, praise, and love to the Lord their God who has humbled Himself to become their food. To discourage kneeling after the reception of Holy Communion will reduce the amount of time for such prayer even more.

We are in a spiritual battle that grows more volatile every day. Notre Dame went up in flames. Hundreds of other Catholic Churches have been recently vandalized too, including St. James Catholic Church in Lakewood. The persecution of the Church intensifies–Christians tortured and murdered in record numbers in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The faithful in Sri Lanka can no longer attend Mass. Here in the US, the faithful are labeled “haters” and laws are being created to punish those who stand for Catholic moral teaching. The priest sex-abuse scandals continue to rip apart the Church from within, increasing the already large numbers of Catholics leaving the Church. And studies show that the faith has been watered down so much that over half of the Catholics in the pews no longer believe all the Church’s beautiful, transformational, and saving teachings. Many no longer believe in the True Presence.

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi. As we worship, so we believe. In this dark culture, we need signs, symbols and reverent postures. We need solid and unwavering faith, intense devotion, and courageous witness. Let us kneel before our Eucharistic Lord so that the lukewarm may have their hearts set on fire and the believer may grow in deeper faith, and so that the unbeliever’s heart might be touched, and all the world will know: Jesus Christ is Lord.

Respectfully yours,

The faithful from several parishes in the Cleveland Diocese

Note: this letter has gone out to all priests of the Cleveland Diocese


If you share these sentiments, you are welcome to sign the letter here:
https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/allow-kneeling-during-the-communion-rite

A Catholic Photographer and His Stunning Work

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Monarch Butterfly on Yellow Flower with verse: Philippians 4:13

Some in our culture might see the fruits of creativity as a waste of time. Art, literature, shrines, and beautiful architecture like the Notre Dame Cathedral are things of the past, they might say; today is for technology (cell phones, social media, selfies, etc.).

I strongly disagree and photographer Eric Keeghan’s work proves it!


Saint Therese of Lisieux-Pink Rose Bracelet Set

Creativity is an amazing gift from God, and the fruits of creativity have the power to accomplish unique things. They can remind us of the spiritual realities that we cannot grasp through our five senses. A beautiful story, poem, song, photograph, piece of jewelry, or architecture can give glory to God and be a sign of faith with the potential to open hearts to God’s love. They can remind us that we are the creations of God. We are His handiwork and He has given us gifts and talents so that we can be more like Him.

Some have challenged those who want to help restore the Notre Dame Cathedral to give the money to the poor rather than rebuild. They don’t seem to realize that once the money is gone, the poor would still be with us. But if it’s not rebuilt, we won’t have that beautiful cathedral to give glory to God and to point countless generations to heaven through the art, architecture and spires. It would not be there to remind us that we were made for so much more than this world can offer.

We need to rebuild the Cathedral. We need more Cathedrals, photographs, paintings, poems, and stories created by people with supernatural faith to remind us all of what we struggle to believe. God is real. God is with us. God longs for each of us to be with Him forever in heaven.


Our Lady of Guadalupe Necklace with earrings

In general, I am not a jewelry wearer. I don’t wear make-up unless I feel it’s absolutely necessary. A good friend of mine will tell you that I don’t spend enough time on my hair. I’m not interested in the latest fashions and I hate shopping! But I saw this necklace on a friend of mine, and I fell in love with it!

Once she realized that I loved her necklace, my friend took it off her neck and gave it to me. While my mouth was saying, “Oh, you don’t have to do that,” my fingers were immediately struggling to fasten the clasp around my neck. It is sooo beautiful!

Seeing me struggling, the lady next to me offered to help me put it on. So I let her, but then she said, “Wow, that really is beautiful! Where did you get it?” And so–as much as I wanted it–I found myself taking the necklace back off and giving it to her!

My friend got me another one though, so now we all have one! I wear this necklace as a sign of my faith and I love to wear it everywhere I go. It inspires me, and others notice it all the time. You can get one too. Eric Keeghan’s jewelry and photographs can be found on Etsy. Click HERE.

Since I have come to know him, I would love for more people to get to know this photographer and his work. If you are looking for something special, you can even request a custom order. You can get a one-of-a-kind Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Confirmation or anniversary gift!

Eric Keeghan is a professional photographer with over 30 years of experience. He enjoys traveling and taking pictures at Catholic shrines and churches.

I got my “start” when I was about 4 or 5 years old when my father made me a box camera. Moving from a sheet of film, to a roll of film to digital technology has been a creative and exciting journey. My inspiration comes from my faith, friends and family and my travels. I have had a devotion to Saint Theresa of Lisieux “the little flower” for as long as I can remember and she is the inspiration behind the “CatholicLittleFlower” Etsy website. My long-term goal is to build a small shrine to Saint Theresa.

Eric Keeghan of CatholicLittleFlower and TheTravelingCamera

Finally, I’ll share the amazing plaque that Eric made as part of the Grand Prize for the virtual scavenger hunt that I am putting on for the release of my new children’s book: Belt of Truth (book one in the Catholic children’s Armor of God series). If you are reading this post between April 23-25, 2019, you still have time to play. There are more prizes too and a chance to meet seven other authors of Catholic children’s books. You can learn more about the authors HERE.

Saint George plaque by Eric Keeghan

Thank you, Eric Keeghan, for using your talents for the glory of God! You are an inspiration!

Eric’s work can be found on Etsy at CatholicLittleFlower or The TravelingCamera.

Inspiring Our Children to Greater Faith with Knights

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photographer/artist: Eric Keeghan

Isn’t this St. George plaque beautiful?

Tomorrow you will have a chance to win it as part of the Grand Prize for the Belt of Truth Scavenger Hunt. But for now…I get to have it on my wall for a few days!!!

The stunning image is secured to an 11” x 14” wood plaque. Eric Keeghan is the photographer/artist and you can see more of his work and find one-of-a-kind pieces on Etsy: TheTravelingCamera and CatholicLittleFlower.


Pictures of Saint George often show him with a dragon.

And, indeed, one can find many stories about George fighting dragons. In one story, a dragon made its nest at the spring that provided water for a little town of mostly pagan citizens.

In order to lure the dragon away from the spring, the townspeople offered it a sheep every day. When the sheep ran out, the thirsty townsfolk decided that a maiden would be just as effective as a sheep!

They chose the victim by drawing straws, and one day the princess’ straw was drawn. Well, the king was not too happy about this and he begged for her to be spared. The thirsty townspeople said, “No!” and offered her to the dragon.

Fortunately for her, George showed up and faced the dragon. After protecting himself with the Sign of the Cross, he slayed the dragon. Amazed at his courage and victory, the entire town abandoned paganism and embraced Christianity.


A biography of Saint George will show that he died in year 303 A.D. He served in Diocletian’s army until Diocletian ordered the soldiers to arrest Christians and sacrifice to the Roman gods. As a Christian, George refused. Diocletian offered George land, money, and slaves if only he would sacrifice to the gods. But George, steadfast in his faith, refused. Diocletian then ordered his torture and execution.

Saint George’s faith and courage are inspiring! Stories about Christian Knighthood–with knights, castles, dragons and armor–are perfect for symbolizing the spiritual battle we face! What better way to inspire our children to arm themselves with virtue?

Saint Paul saw this too and wrote the following:

“Therefore, put on the armor of God,
that you may be able to resist on the evil day and,
having done everything, to hold your ground.
So stand fast with your loins girded in truth,
clothed with righteousness as a breastplate,
and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace.
In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield,
to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
And take the helmet of salvation and the
sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

~ Ephesians 6:13-17

Those verses inspired my new Armor of God series. There will be six books in the series, one for each part of the armor: Belt of Truth, Boots of Peace, Breastplate of Righteousness, Shield of Faith, Helmet of Salvation and Sword of the Spirit.

These books follow George Pennington and friends as they attend Knight School for Boys and Girls, where the children work to earn each piece of armor. The story themes and “Brother Coll’s Catechism Lessons,” weaved into each story, are geared toward children preparing for First Confession and First Holy Communion.

The BELT OF TRUTH comes out tomorrow, April 23, on the Feast of Saint George! In this story, nine-year-old George Pennington bravely faces the fearsome head knight at the annual “tryouts,” hoping to be among the few accepted to Knight School for Boys and Girls. Otherwise, he’ll have to sit next to his father for years . . . sitting, writing, and yawning as he learns his father’s trade. But George does not want to be a scribe. He wants to be a knight!

When George tries to sneak out and visit his friend, he accidentally burns his mother’s cherished tapestry and costly repairs threaten his ability to remain at Knight School. A lie seems like the best solution. As lying becomes easier for George, he discovers that students need to earn the first piece of armor: The Belt of Truth. 

With tryouts, treks through the woods, a one-armed knight, the Code of Chivalry, and rumors of dragons, I hope that the six-book ARMOR OF GOD series will captivate young readers. Written with children ages 7-9 in mind, these roughly 14,000-word stories appeal to the universal and timeless quest for virtue and inner strength.


Tomorrow, April 23, you are invited to take part in the Armor of God: Belt of Truth Scavenger Hunt. As you visit the stops along the way, you will get to know 7 authors of Catholic children’s books and you will have opportunities to win many prizes. Once you’ve collected all the CLUES, you can enter for the grand prize which includes the beautiful St. George plaque featured in the beginning of this post, 8 Catholic children’s books, one St. George rosary, and a St. George necklace! Please share this event with your friends.


I am the author of nine published Catholic novels and three short stories in two anthologies. Two books in my Catholic teen fiction series have won awards from the Catholic Press Association.

I love our Catholic faith, especially the unique aspects of it: the saints, the Eucharist, even Confession! Growing up in a military family and moving every few years, left me with the impression that life is an adventure. I rarely get to travel anymore, but I love to write, so the adventures continue through my stories.

My faith inspires the belief that there is no greater adventure than the realities we can’t see, the spiritual side of life. I hope the richness, depth, and mystery of our Catholic faith will spark my readers’ imaginations through my stories and make them more aware of these invisible realities and of the power of faith and grace.

I hold a Catechetical Diploma from Catholic Distance University and am a member of the Catholic Writers Guild. My books are featured on CatholicTeenBooks.com, Catholic Reads, and Virtue Works Media. The first in my Catholic teen fiction series is available on FORMED.


To find exciting books in a variety of genres for the Catholic teen in your life, visit CatholicTeenBooks.com

Rebecca & Heart – A Story of of a Young Girl Struggling with Autism.

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Rebecca and Heart. is a Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval recipient! Before autism had a name or a diagnosis, it existed; children were referred to as “odd.”

Rebecca & Heart

Summary:

In this YA, pre WWII novel, set in London and narrated by an amusing fly-on-the-wall, orphan Rebecca is considered “odd.” It takes a stray mutt she calls Heart to show her adoptive family how to enter into Rebecca’s silent world.


My review:

This children’s story really touched my heart, and I would love for everyone to read it. Rebecca, the main character, has autism. We also have a son with autism, and he is such a treasure to us. While most children with autism struggle with social interactions and are overwhelmed with sensory input of one kind or another, every child is unique. Some have special abilities like Rebecca, but most don’t. Still, every child, no matter their gifts or challenges, brings something wonderful to the people around them, if people know how to look for it and appreciate it.

When this story begins, Rebecca lives at a girls’ home. The other children, and even some of the caretakers, are unkind to her or just don’t know how to treat her because she is “odd.” One day, Rebecca meets a dog, who is also a loner, and the two soon develop a special relationship.

Told from a fly’s perspective, this story has humor but also insight and depth. Rebecca moves from the girls’ home to an adoptive family. As her parents and the others in their home try to understand Rebecca’s unique way of relating to others and the world around her, every one of them grows in compassion and sensitivity, not only toward Rebecca but toward each other. It is a great story for children and adults alike to help develop empathy for people who experience the world differently. This story would be perfect for schools and families. I highly recommend it.

Theresa Linden, author of the West Brothers series

Excerpt:

I take a short nap on the wall in the warm sunshine, oversleep, and nearly miss the afternoon tea.

This is the first time Rebecca has ever been invited to the tea. The head mistress sits her down at a far tea table, apart from all the other tables. She sits alone.

“Be quiet,” Mistress tells her, and hurries off.

I watch her stare at the rug and lose herself in the design of concentric circles. She sways almost imperceptibly, but to Rebecca her movements are the same as the circles. Around and around she sways fitting into the circles just fine. She begins to count the circles.

Just then a lady wearing white gloves and a large hat sits down at the table where Rebecca is sitting intently studying the carpet. The woman seems captivated by the quiet girl, sitting alone, swaying in circles. She spots me on the wall and gives me a look of disdain. I get that a lot.


Website: http://booksbydeanna.com/index.html
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Deanna-K-Klingel-Author
Twitter: @deannakklingel


Author Biography:

Deanna K. Klingel is the author of  books for young and young-at-heart readers. She attends conferences and book festivals, speaks at schools, museums, historical events, and libraries, and inspires readers and writers of all ages.

Deanna was born and raised in Michigan and married her high school sweetheart while they were students at Michigan State University. They’ve lived many places including Sandy Springs, Georgia for 20 years with their 7 children before retiring to the mountains of western North Carolina. They have recently relocated to Edenton, NC, where they are restoring a 1790 home in the Historical District.

In her miniblog Mondays and Thursdays she shares her experiences on the road selling books, the people she meets, the places she goes, and what she’s learned while selling books. Occasionally she shares more personal anecdotes.

Deanna says, “We hear so much these days about unkindness, bullying, particularly against vulnerable children. It’s my hope that young people will love Rebecca, and as they understand her and her situation, they will become more empathetic, and show kindness and respect to those who are ‘odd,’ or different from themselves.”


Buy Link:

https://www.amzn.com/B078TQML5Y


Connect with the author:

7 Must-Know Authors of Catholic Children’s Books

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In one week, BELT OF TRUTH, the first in my Armor of God fantasy-adventure children’s chapter book series comes out! To celebrate, I am hosting a virtual scavenger hunt on the release day (April 23, the Feast of St. George). On this scavenger hunt, players will get to know 7 authors and their Catholic children’s books and more.

Today, I will introduce those authors.


I’ve loved Susan Peek’s books long before I came to know her through the Catholic Writers Guild. My boys love her saint stories for teens. Her stories are unlike any other saint stories. They are fast-paced, engaging, and powerful. Her characters come alive and are easy to identify with. And every story reveals the transformational grace of God in an amazing way. These stories stay with readers long after they’ve finished the books and they inspire holiness.

And isn’t that what we want? We want our children to grow in their relationship with Jesus and to strive to please Him with lives of holiness. The example we give our children is vital. The entertainment we provide our children is important too. Susan Peek’s books for children and her books for teens are sure to entertain while at the same time inspiring readers to come to know, love and serve Our Lord in this world!


Martina Parnelli is multi-talented. She is a poet, author, and illustrator who writes for adults, teens, and children. Her artwork is beautiful and adds a wonderful dimension to her stories. I especially love the way she draws animals: they are so detailed and cute! Please check out her Little Runty series to see what I mean! And it’s interesting to note that the Little Runty series is inspired by The Mystical City of God by Blessed Maria D’Agreda.

As Catholics, we have a great treasure that not only consists in the sacraments (the amazing channels of God’s grace) but it also consists of sacramentals, saints, apparitions, and miracles. These awe-inspiring “extras” were the things that spoke to me as a young person. They not only brought the faith alive for me, they helped me become more aware of the spiritual realities. Let Martina Parnelli’s wonderful stories enrich your faith and the faith of your children.


Karen Kelly Boyce is an author of adult Catholic fiction (including Down Right Good, which won the 2012 Eric Hoffer Award), but I came to learn of her because of her delightful series of children’s books. Her Sisters of the Last Straw is an entertaining series that combines faith, mystery, trials, and humor. The message of perseverance really comes through in these stories because each of the sisters has a bad habit that they struggle to overcome. Your children will be laughing out loud with the books in this series, proving that faith can be fun!

Humor is a fun gift of God and another powerful instrument for the faith. It is tied to joy! G. K. Chesterton said of St. Francis of Assisi, “The sense of humor salts all his escapades.” So I pray, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” Romans 15:13.


In addition to being an author, Virginia Lieto is a speaker and evangelists. She has a Master of Arts Degree in Pastoral Theology from St. Joseph’s College of Main, and she evangelizes through the Catholic arts. Her book, Finding Patience, is something every child—and even us adults—can relate to.

Waiting is never easy. And sometimes the things we are waiting for feel so important that it shakes our peace. The virtue of patience is pivotal in a Christian’s life. When we have patience, we have trust in God’s holy will for our lives. Virginia Lieto’s book will inspire children to prayer and trust, and to wait on the Lord who can do all things and who knows what is best.


I am glad to discover Aleesa McCarthy, of My Little Patron, and another Catholic author and illustrator! I wish that this scavenger hunt had taken place earlier. She has the perfect Easter gifts for your children. As you are buying candy for their Easter baskets, don’t you wish you had something else that would make them just as happy– but not contain sugar? Well, Aleesa McCarthy has what you are looking for: an Easter coloring book! But she also has a Lenten activity book that you can get now for next year.

Her products offer fun ways to deepen your family’s faith, celebrate the saints and the seasons of the Church year, and supplement your preschoolers curriculum: a flash card game book, a saint book that journeys through the alphabet with the saints, saints coloring books (one for boys and one for girls), printables, stickers, and so much more!


I have actually met this talented and amazing author in person! Jean Schoonover-Egolf and I both attended the Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference, making our books available to attendees. At one point, a sister in a purple habit approached Jean Egolf’s table and the two of them stood talking for a moment. Well, I was impressed. This woman loves Jeanie Egolf’s books so much, I thought, that she dressed up like the main character in her Molly McBride and the Purple Habit series!

Well, I was wrong. She was a real Sister! There really is an order of Sisters who wear purple habits! They are called the Children of Mary and they are a new community in the service of the Church “to satiate the thirst of Jesus to be loved in the Most Blessed Sacrament.”

Through entertaining and beautifully illustrated stories, the Molly McBride and the Purple Habit series promotes charity, virtue and even plants the seeds for vocations in little hearts.


Amy Cattapan is not only the author of the fun, faith-filled and engaging children’s book 7 Riddles to Nowhere and one of the authors at www.CatholicTeenBooks.com, she is also the host of BOOK.eD, the new Catholic book review radio program on Shalom World TV!

Her book 7 Riddles to Nowhere won a Catholic Press Association award and is sweeping its way through schools. The main character in this story loves his little Catholic school but the school might have to close—unless he becomes the heir to a large fortune. In order to become the heir, he needs to race to solve the riddles first! Through this story, readers will visit churches and gain insight into several mysteries and symbols of our Catholic faith. This story will also inspire young readers to trust that they can make a difference in the world.


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Looking for books for your Catholic teens? Visit www.CatholicTeenBooks.com

So many books to choose from in so many genres!