Book Release: Catholic Teen Fiction


Friendships in Fiction

I’ve been thinking and blogging about friendships lately. Since this is the release date for Life-Changing Love, I’ll write about the friendships in this story.

Fourteen-year-old Caitlyn Summer has two close friends: Peter and Zoe.

Friendships come in all shapes and sizes.

Friendships that are more like family: Caitlyn and Peter have practically grown up together because their parents had been friends since before they were born. So they think of each other more like brother and sister than like actual friends. Peter pokes fun at Caitlyn’s appearance, comparing her to Raggedy Ann or a long-haired red cat, and Caitlyn has no problem making a pig out of herself in front of him. They spend a lot of time arguing, teasing and rolling their eyes at each other, but when the need arises, they are both willing to be there for the other.

“Thy friendship oft has made my heart to ache: do be my enemy for friendship’s sake.” ~William Blake, English poet

Best Friends Forever: Zoe and Caitlyn are BFFs since grade school. One of five children in her family, Caitlyn is a bit clumsy and she’s shy around boys. Plus she lives in a house so small she has to fight for a turn in the bathroom. Zoe, however, is an only child. And she’s one of the most popular girls in school. She’s always had a boyfriend and she lives in a big, newer house, with her own bathroom. Their differences don’t stand in the way of their friendship. They walk to each other’s house almost every day. They know each other inside and out, and they share all their secrets with each other. At least they used to. Until Zoe had something to hide.

“Cherish your friend, keep faith in him.” ~Sirach 27:17

Friendship with family members: Sometimes the ones closest to us hurt us the most. It’s hard to relate to them and, try though we may, they just don’t seem interested in friendship. Poor Roland who felt friendless in the first story in this series (Roland West, Loner) is determined to develop a friendship with his older brother Jarret, who has always been more like an enemy.

“What are brothers for if not to share troubles?” ~Proverbs 17:17

Friendship with Yourself: Jarret’s twin brother Keefe is working on a friendship of his own, if you can call it that. He’s lost himself over the years, or maybe he’s never really known himself. So, while on assignment in Italy, he’s working on finding out who he is. I’m sure he’s not the only person who has let the failures of the past and other concerns in life stand in the way of loving yourself.

“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.” ~St. Francis de Sales

Every friendship is unique. I enjoy creating unique friendships in each of my stories. Some friends share similar pasts and experiences. Others have many things in common now. Some share a similar sense of humor or outlook on life. I suppose all friends care about each other and enjoy each other’s company. I believe that a solid friendship needs to be built on trust and honesty and the ability to be oneself. But we all make mistakes, so a true friend is one who remains your friend even when you mess up.

What characteristics do you think make for a good friendship? I would love to read your thoughts on friendship in the comments!

And here’s a bit more about my new Catholic teen fiction which comes out today:

Life-Changing Love: a novel about dating, courtship, family, and faith

Life-Changing Love3D.jpgCaitlyn Summer, soon to be fifteen, must practice old-fashioned courtship with high parental involvement, but she has a terrible crush on shy Roland West and she has competition from a girl with no restrictions. As Caitlyn struggles to remain faithful to God, her parents, and herself, her best friend gets pregnant and might get an abortion. When Caitlyn discovers her mother’s past mistakes, she begins to resent all the guidelines her parents expect her to follow.

The characters in Life-Changing Love face the questions: Who am I? Where am I headed? How am I going to get there?

Order Life-Changing Love here.

Watch the book trailers here!


“The way Linden weaves her characters and various intricate plots together is at once delightful, edifying, heartwarming, and, believe it or not . . . even hilarious at times.” ~Susan Peek, author of the best-seller Saint Magnus, the Last Viking and other saint stories

“With its strong pro-life message, Life-Changing Love will open the doorways to many great conversations about what love and life are all about.” ~ A.J. Cattapan, author of the award-winning book Angelhood

Life-Changing Love is a poignant tale about the beauty of life and the importance of being yourself. It is well-written and compelling, inspiring me to finish it within a few days. . . . threads are tied together seamlessly, as they form a love letter of life that God has given us.” ~ Gina Marinello-Sweeney, author of The Veritas Chronicles

“You’ll love Roland West, Caitlyn, and the cast of Life-Changing Love as they experience the heartache, trials, and pitfalls of courtship and dating.” ~ Cynthia T. Toney, author of 10 Steps to Girlfriend Status


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