Cover Reveal: All in Good Time

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All in Good Time – With three rambunctious, young children, Melanie Lombardi can’t see beyond the day-to-day struggle to maintain her home and her sanity since her husband’s sudden death. A second chance at romance isn’t on her radar.

Brian Perella is done with dating, resigned to being the fun uncle and never the dad. Until he meets Melanie and her brood of lively kids on the sidelines of a Little League game.

But when Brian uncovers a co-worker’s secret, it re-ignites a temptation that Melanie can’t know about. It’s his secret to keep until an unexpected diagnosis brings everything to the surface, jeopardizing his future with Melanie and her children, who, when threatened by an unknown stalker, may need him now more than ever.


BOOK RELEASE DATE: October 22, 2019, feast of Pope St. John Paul II.


Let me begin by saying that I can’t stop looking at this gorgeous cover! The colors, fonts and image have me transfixed! It works well with the story too. I was able to read an Advanced Readers Copy of this inspirational Christian romance, and I’ll share my review in the days ahead.


Get to know inspirational romance writer Carolyn Astfalk HERE.


Carolyn Astalk is my favorite author of Christian romance because of the way her characters feel so real–they’ve got appeal and flaws that readers can relate to–but also because her stories open up true love in a unique way. I’ll share more about that in my review but for now, please check out her other books too:

Rightfully Ours – 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?

Ornamental Graces – After his duplicitous girlfriend left, Dan Malone spent six months in a tailspin of despair and destruction: emotional, physical, and spiritual. Just when his life seems to be back on track, he meets Emily Kowalski, younger sister of his new best friend. Emily’s the kind of girl he’d always dreamed of–sweet, smart, and sincere. But he’s made a mess of his life and ruined his chances for earning the love and trust of a woman like her.  Could Dan be the man Emily’s been waiting for? How could he be when every time they get close he pulls away? And will he ever be free from his shady past and the ex-girlfriend who refuses to stay there? An inspirational Christmas romance that spans every season.

Stay With Me – With her sister Abby’s encouragement, Rebecca has moved out of their overbearing father’s home. When a chance encounter with Chris ends with an invitation, Rebecca says yes. The authentic way Chris lives his life attracts Rebecca and garners her affection. Chris loves Rebecca and her innocence, but he’s confounded by the emotional scars she bears from her parents and an attempted assault. Her father’s disdain for Chris’s faith and career only make matters worse. With the counsel of their friend Father John, can Rebecca and Chris overcome every obstacle and bridge the deepening gulf between them and her dad? Or will a crucial lapse in judgment and its repercussion end their relationship?


Carolyn also has a short story in each of the Catholic Teen Books anthologies, including the new release Gifts: Visible & Invisible.

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Faith-filled YA Fiction – Freeing Tanner Rose

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For Gabriel, Tanner Rose is just a superficial starlet, addicted to Hollywood. For Tanner, Gabriel is just a boring, kung fu-loving, Christian boy, who’s living a lackluster life in the middle of no-where. So, what happens when she’s forced to live in his world? It doesn’t take long before Tanner Rose craves a taste of her old life, even if it means upsetting a few people along the way. She thrives in the spotlight, after all! Will Gabriel’s faith encourage Tanner to change her partying ways or will her wild undertakings and addicting vices tempt him to do things he’d never, ever considered before?

Excerpt:

Back at the house, Tanner allowed Miss Ruth to lead the way up the path to the door. She glanced at Gabriel, who followed quietly.

“Seriously?” A sneer hung on her lips and she narrowed her eyes. He didn’t say anything.
“Seriously, you don’t do anything?”

He sighed and looked at her as he continued to walk.

His mother disappeared into the house.

“What do you want?” he asked.

“Are you guys, like, afraid to have fun or something? I mean, you don’t even have internet.” She gestured with her hands as she spoke. “You couldn’t even pretend to have a life. That’s how bad it is.” She shook her head. “I’m seriously going to die of boredom here.”

Gabriel stopped.

She stopped also and faced him.

“You are seriously one of the rudest people I’ve ever met.”

“I call it honest,” she said, her voice icing up.

“Of course, you would. Just so you know, my mother is the nicest person you will ever meet, so keep your honesty to yourself.” He was about to walk away, but then he stopped and looked at her again. “Unlike you, we don’t need to be constantly entertained for fear of facing reality.”

“Well, you should.” She pushed her face toward him. “Because your reality stinks.” She sniffed, lifted her chin, and walked past him, up the path, and into the house.

Website: https://tmgaouette.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TMGaouette
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TMGaouette
Instagram: @t.m.gaouette

Bio:

T.M GAOUETTE is the author of the Faith & Kung Fu series for young adults, as well as The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch and For Eden’s Sake. She also contributed to the last Catholic Teen Books anthology, Secrets: Visible & Invisible with her short story “Sister Francesca.” A member of The Catholic Writers Guild and CatholicTeenBooks.com, her novels have received the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval or are in the process. Born in Africa, raised in London, England, Gaouette now lives on a small farm in New England with her husband, where she homeschools her four children, raises goats, and writes fiction for teens and young adults. A former contributor for Project Inspired, Gaouette’s desire is to instill the love of God into the hearts of her readers.

Buy Link:

amzn.com/dp/1494305062

Tweet:

Two worlds collide when a superficial starlet, addicted to Hollywood, and a boring, kung fu-loving, Christian boy cross paths! amzn.com/dp/1494305062

New Release: For Eden’s Sake

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Genre: contemporary Christian fiction

Audience: older teens and adults

Barely out of college, Isaac trades the quiet of his family ranch for the excitement of the big city with his dream job at an up-and-coming advertising agency. Until his perfect new world is shattered by bad choices, a pretty girl, a moment’s temptation—and a late night walk that quickly spirals out of control. Reeling with the horror of a mistake that can’t be undone, Isaac struggles to get his soul in order. Can he forgive himself? Can he make things right with God? What about Rebecca?With both their lives desperately upended, and life-changing consequences no matter what they choose, Isaac must finally overcome the pain from his past and find the strength from God to do the right thing . . . and somehow convince Rebecca to do the same.

“You formed my inmost being; You knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise You, so wonderfully You made me; wonderful are Your works! my very self You knew; my bones were not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, fashioned as in the depths of the earth.” (PSALMS 139:13-15)“It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”

Mother Teresa of Calcutta

I love that I was able to read an advanced copy of this book. Here’s my Review:

Isaac made a mistake. A big one. And now he must face the consequences. This story does not make light of the effects of our choices, whether physical or spiritual. It goes deep into the emotional turmoil and suffering that follows bad choices, things that much of today’s young adult fiction downplays or ignores. Even though Isaac made a big mistake, I found him to be a strong character and a good role model as he strives to repair the damage and move forward on the right path. This is an excellent, pro-life story about getting up after you’ve fallen. It brings to light the themes that love is more than a feeling—it’s a sacrifice—and human life is valuable, and both are worth fighting for. The importance of faith-filled upbringing really comes through too. I highly recommend this for older teens and adults, and even for teens and adults to read and discuss. The subject matter is very relevant to our culture and must be addressed.


Visit Steven R. McEvoy’s BOOK REVIEWS & MORE for another review.

Click HERE to get your copy of this must-read book!


T.M. Gaouette is a wife, home-school mom, freelance writer, ghostwriter, blogger and fiction novelist. She was born in Africa, brought up in London, and is now living in New England, where she raises goats with her husband and four children. A former contributor for Project Inspired, Gaouette is dedicated to glorifying God through her stories for children and young adults. She believes that life is too short to waste on the superficial and that adversity should be used to make one stronger. More importantly, Gaouette feels that the Lord has given us all special gifts and opportunities to make a positive difference.
T.M. Gaouette  is the author of The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch, The Faith & Kung Fu Series: Freeing Tanner RoseSaving Faith, and Guarding Aaron, and a contributor in the CatholicTeenBooks anthology, Secrets: Visible & Invisible. She is currently working on completing her fourth novel, the third book in her Faith and Kung Fu Series.

Connect with T.M. Gaouette:

​​Website: https://tmgaouette.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TMGaouette

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037114.T_M_Gaouette

Instagram: @t.m.gaouette

The Mystic That Inspired Tortured Soul

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Ever since I was a young woman, I’ve been interested in learning all I could about the Four Last Things: death, judgment, heaven, and hell. This led to me reading about purgatory. Which led to me reading about apparitions of souls in purgatory to the living. Which led to me caring deeply for the suffering souls. Which led to me praying for them.

I remember the suffering souls at Mass and, in addition to other favorite prayers, I often say the St. Gertrude prayer:

Eternal Father, I offer Thee 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, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.

Prayer given by Our Lord to St. Gertrude

For the past few years, I’ve felt inspired to write a story that will draw attention to the teaching on purgatory and to the need of the suffering souls for our prayers. Tortured Soul is that story.


This supernatural thriller is set in contemporary times and upstate New York even though it was inspired by modern-may mystic Eugenie von der Leyen, who lived from 1867-1929 in Germany.

Today I’d like to tell you a bit about the visionary. You can watch the video below or skip down to the modified transcript.

This story is unlike anything I’ve ever written. Most of my books are geared toward Catholic teens but this story was written for adults.

Eugenie was a princess who lived in a castle in Waal, Bavaria, Germany.

She was a well-educated and well-loved woman who seemed to know everyone in town, including a shepherd who died several years previously.

Eugenie was very devout but she was not a saint. Many saints have received visitors from the suffering souls and seen visions of purgatory–St. Padre Pio, St Gertrude the Great, St. John Vianney, St. Faustina–but I wanted to use Eugenie’s experiences because of the message it sends: praying for the holy souls in purgatory is not just the work of the saints but is something we are all called to do.

Another reason I decided to use Eugenie’s experiences for my story was because once she began receiving these unusual visits, her confessor ordered to write them down in a diary. After her death, this diary was given to Bishop Eugenio Pacelli, who later became Pope Pius XII. In this diary, she recounts her experiences in great detail, telling what the souls looked like, what they said and did, and also how they made her feel. Sometimes she felt great pity and compassion but other times terrified, depending upon the level of purgatory the soul came from.

In one experience, she describes the soul who appeared to her as looking like a tree. While this soul terrified her, she prayed for him–showing just how courageous this woman was. She prayed for him at Mass, offering her Holy Communion, and with other prayers. She also sprinkled holy water on him and in a few days, he started to appear more like a person. After more prayer, she could tell that this was a man and not a woman. A few more days of prayer and she thought she recognized him–it was the shepherd who had died several years previously, a man she had pitied and prayed for during his life. However, he did not respond to his name. He could not speak until she offered more prayers on his behalf. Then he could tell his story.

I combined two of the souls that appeared to this mystic for the sake of the plot. One of these souls had a dark connection with the actual mystic, which I can’t share without spoiling the story. But Tortured Soul is very much a story of mercy.

The protagonist in Tortured Soul, Jeannie Lyons (her name is a modified version of the mystic’s name), is called to a great act of mercy. The soul in this story also makes known the profound mercy of God at work in his salvation. Purgatory itself is the mercy of God.

This teaching and other teachings on purgatory come to light in this story. For example:

  • the suffering souls benefit greatly from our prayers and sacrifices
  • the state of one’s soul at death determines the level of purgatory a soul goes to/through
  • the souls in purgatory experience the greatest pain–unlike anything we experience in the world–but they also experience the greatest joy–again, unlike anything we experience in the world
  • their suffering is a great longing for God
  • souls wouldn’t have it any other way; they want to have that purity needed to be in the presence of our All Holy God

“Nothing impure can enter heaven”

Revelation 21:72

I am honored to have the endorsement of Susan Tassone (the Purgatory Lady) for this book.

Visit my website to learn more: http://www.theresalinden.com

Tortured Soul is available on Amazon and through any bookseller. Support your local Catholic bookstore by requesting this book through them.

I Am God’s Storyteller

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I Am God’s Storyteller invites children to use their gifts to shine God’s light and share the Gospel. Offering children examples of noted storytellers in Bible history (Sarah, Moses, Deborah, Esther, David, Isaiah, Mary, John the Baptist, and the Evangelists and early Church), this colorful and engaging picture book also looks at how Jesus used storytelling to teach and share his message of faith, hope and love. I Am God’s Storyteller concludes by asking children to be “God’s storytellers,” and helps them to understand that our world needs them now more than ever to shine God’s light.

Includes information for parents, teachers and caregivers, with suggestions and guidelines for building a love for storytelling in the hearts of children. With encouragement and empowerment, young storytellers are sent on a mission to engage the world around them with joy and creativity.


My Review:

I Am God’s Storyteller – the theme of this story really spoke to me, and not just because I am an author. Our Lord calls each of us to witness to Him and to the ongoing story of His love for us. With colorful illustrations on every page and clever insights, this book goes through salvation history with God’s story and His storytellers. And it challenges readers to see that they are part of this amazing story and they are God’s storytellers too!

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Am-Gods-Storyteller-Lisa-Hendey/dp/1640601627

Author Website: https://lisahendey.com

It was a pleasure to meet the author at this year’s Catholic Marketing Network in Lancaster, PA. She signed my copy of the book to my parish with a personal note. Lisa visits schools and parishes, but is also available for virtual visits.

If you’ve read this book, share your thoughts in the comments!

NEW RELEASE: The Power of Forgiveness

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The Power of Forgiveness
by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Published by Our Sunday Visitor

ISBN-13 978-1-68192-466-3

Retail Price $4.95

Amazon link: https://amzn.to/2YQq17k

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

How many times have we uttered those words in The Lord’s Prayer? How many times do we stop to consider what we are saying? We are asking God to extend mercy and forgiveness to us in the same manner as we treat those who have hurt us in some way. Do we really mean that?

It is hard to ask for forgiveness from God. It is difficult to admit that we have done wrong, that we have failed in our relationships with God and with others. This is one reason why people don’t take more advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is very humbling to have to say our failings out loud to another person. The bigger the failing, the more humbling it is.

In The Power of Forgiveness, you will come to understand more fully that God’s mercy is always there. Through true stories of the lives of saints and examples from the Bible along with a short prayer and reflection questions, this devotional helps us focus on the challenge and power of offering forgiveness.

The Power of Forgiveness is a useful reflection in preparing for the Sacrament of Reconciliation or for every day prayer.

Part of the Companion in Faith series.

About the Author

Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur is a lifelong Roman Catholic with a B.A. in Art and History and a Masters in Applied Theology. A homeschooling mother of three, she has been working as a Catholic writer and editor for the past fifteen years. She blogs at spiritualwomanthoughts.blogspot.com and is editor of TodaysCatholicHomeschooling.com

contact: pfmacarthur@comcast.net


Sample Reflection

They Know Not What They Do

And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ – Luke 23: 34

Jesus forgave not only those who personally ordered and carried out his torture and crucifixion, but all those who contributed by standing in the crowd shouting, “Crucify him.” When we repeat those words on Palm Sunday and Good Friday, we are forced to think about our role in crucifying Jesus.

When I sin, my thought process doesn’t usually go that far. I’m not consciously trying to hurt Jesus. Instead, I’m thinking about what seems good for me in that moment. The devil is skilled at making what is evil seem attractive. My human nature is weak. The guilt comes later, after I’ve given in to temptation.

The same holds true when people sin against us. Very rarely is someone intentionally trying to ruin our lives or inflict long-lasting emotional pain. Instead they give in to their human weakness. They are tired, frustrated, or angry about the pain in their own lives and take out their rage on us…The sins are real; the pain is real; but they know not what they do.

Prayer

Dear Jesus, help me to forgive as you forgive those who hurt you.

Reflection

Looking over your life, can you recall the times that you unintentionally deeply hurt someone else due to your human weakness?

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: