CWG Book Blast – ALL IN GOOD TIME!

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This month, the Catholic Writers’ Guild is touring Carolyn Astfalk’s book, “All in Good Time. It is a 2020 CWG Seal of Approval recipient! 

Brian’s finally found the woman he’s meant for. So why is everything falling apart? Physical trials, old temptations, and a new menace threaten to keep him and Melanie apart.

AllInGoodTime

Summary:

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.

Excerpt:

He’d finally met the woman who was, quite literally, an answer to years of prayers. Hadn’t God confirmed as much in his heart?

To ask “Why me?” seemed arrogant. Why not him? Brian Perella was no better than anybody else. He didn’t deserve an exemption from suffering.

The question he couldn’t answer, the one that had already begun to fester deep in his soul, echoed in his mind.

Why now?

– Excerpt from All in Good Time

My Review:

The characters in this story feel so real. So three-dimensional. They have strengths and weaknesses, hopes and dreams, and face trials and challenges that many can relate to, especially in our contemporary culture.
Brian Perella loves kids and has wanted to be a husband and father, but he has yet to find “the one” and he’s almost given up. Then one day, it seems God has dropped the woman of his dreams—Melanie Lombardi—into his lap! He’s a solid character and he’s great with kids, but he’s not sure he wants to start dating. I really enjoyed the tension between the two main characters before they decided to see each other. As the story progresses, we find that his past failings affect his ability to develop and maintain a healthy relationship with Melanie. This theme is so well done and helped me really consider the temptations and effects of pornography even after a person has given it up.
Melanie Lombardi is one tough woman. At least on the outside. Her husband recently passed away, leaving her with three young children. My heart really ached for her at times. She is an extremely likeable character, a good mom who tries to be responsible—but one person can’t keep track of everything, and this leads to some chaotic and humorous incidents in the story as she deals with the trials and joys of life with three children. I both admired and, at times, could relate to this character and her challenges.
As the story develops, a mystery (a threat) begins to appear. I admired how the author did this—so subtle and yet relevant, as you discover in the end.
This fictional story is not only enjoyable because of the characters and storyline; it carries relevant themes—tough themes that aren’t often dealt with in fiction but should be. We can read articles and studies about the challenges of single parenthood and of losing a spouse and of the long-term effects of giving into temptation and pornography, but reading a novel that deals with these issues takes it to a deeper level. We get to see the thoughts and experience the feelings these characters have throughout their challenges, failures, and victories.
I highly recommend this story as a great, clean romance novel with three-dimensional characters and important themes.

Links:

Web Site: www.carolynastfalk.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CarolynMAstfalk
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CMAstfalk
Instagram: https://instagram.com/cmastfalk/

Bio:

Carolyn Astfalk is a wife, mother, and author of contemporary Catholic romances Stay With MeCome Back to MeOrnamental GracesRightfully Ours, and All in Good Time. She formerly worked as a communications director and now works just to keep her head above water. Find her books on Amazon and her other words scattered around the blogosphere and social media.

Buy Link:

bit.ly/AllinGoodTimenovel

Sale:

The ebook version will be on sale for 1/2 off (reg. price $4.99) through April 20.

Tweet:

A harried young widow. A reluctant bachelor with a shameful secret. An unseen threat to them all. 1/2 off in ebook! All in Good Time bit.ly/AllinGoodTimenovel #CatholicRomance #Catholicsathome

Virtual Book Tour: Come Back to Me

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Inspirational Christian fiction

Story Summary

Alan Reynolds slid into marriage. When his wife kicks him out, it looks as if he may slide out just as easily. Forced to bunk with his newlywed younger brother and his pregnant wife, Alan gets a firsthand look at a blissfully happy marriage while his wife rebuffs his attempts at a reunion.

Caught in the middle, Alan and his wife’s mutual friend Megan grows increasingly unhappy with her own empty relationships. If that weren’t enough, her newly sober brother has found happiness with Jesus, a goody-goody girlfriend, and a cockeyed cat.

When Alan and Megan hit rock bottom, will there be grace enough in their bankrupt lives to right their relationships and find purpose like their siblings have?


Review:

Unlike some fluffy Christian romances, Carolyn Astfalk’s Come Back to Me addresses the emotional devastation that results from the hookup culture and the damage that immaturity and selfishness brings to marriage. The underlying themes of forgiveness and renewal make this unique story especially powerful.

Come Back to Me is told from alternating viewpoints, the first being from Alan Reynolds, who I cared about from the very first page as he got thrown out of the house in nothing but unlaced sneakers and cargo shorts. Having nowhere to go, he humbles himself and asks his younger brother and his new wife if he can stay with them. The resulting story line gives fans of Stay With Me a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with Chris and Rebecca, while at the same time offering a comparison between the two marriages.

The second viewpoint is Megan Pettrey’s. She’s an attractive and independent woman with a huge hole in her heart that she’s in the habit of trying to fill with brief, empty relationships that have left her hardened and miserable. Her brother’s recovery and new faith really rubs her the wrong way, I believe, because it makes her take a hard look at herself and where her choices have led her. The way this character grows over the story and what she does at the end really moved me.

Astfalk has a unique ability to develop a character’s history, thoughts, and worldview, allowing readers glimpses into lifestyles they’ve never experienced, and allowing readers to develop empathy.

While not your typical romance, this story reminds me that we all share a common hunger to love and be loved, but that real love takes work, respect of self and of the other, and that it’s worth fighting for. This book should be on every Christian romance reader’s “to read” list.

Book trailer:

Buy link Kindle:

Buy link print:

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50547920-come-back-to-me

Author bio:

Carolyn 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 contemporary Catholic romances Stay With MeOrnamental Graces, and All in Good Time, and the coming-of-age story Rightfully Ours. Carolyn is a member of the Catholic Writers Guild, Catholic Teen Books, Pennwriters, and is a CatholicMom.com and Today’s Catholic Teacher contributor. True to her Pittsburgh roots, she still says “pop” instead of “soda,” although her beverage of choice is tea.

Author links:

Website: www.carolynastfalk.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CMAstfalk

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/castfalk/

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/c/CarolynAstfalk

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carolynastfalk

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3428010-carolyn

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

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1FyiK1v

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/carolyn-astfalk

Tour stops:

Mon., Feb. 24 – Sarah Reinhard, Snoring Scholar

Tues., Feb. 25 – Barb Szyszkiewicz, FranciscanMom

Wed., Feb. 26 – Ellen Gable, Plot Line and Sinker

Thurs., Feb. 27 – Patrice MacArthur, Spiritual Woman

Fri., Feb. 28 – Theresa Linden, Things Visible & Invisible

New Contemporary Christian Novel: All in Good Time

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I highly recommend this story as an enjoyable, clean romance novel with three-dimensional characters and important themes.

Theresa Linden
Just came out October 22, on the Feast of Pope St. John Paul II

STORY SUMMARY

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.


MY REVIEW

The characters in this story feel so real. So three-dimensional. They have strengths and weaknesses, hopes and dreams, and face trials and challenges that many can relate to, especially in our contemporary culture.

Brian Perella loves kids and has wanted to be a husband and father, but he has yet to find “the one” and he’s almost given up. Then one day, it seems God has dropped the woman of his dreams—Melanie Lombardi—into his lap! He’s a solid character and he’s great with kids, but he’s not sure he wants to start dating. I really enjoyed the tension between the two main characters before they decided to see each other. As the story progresses, we find that his past failings affect his ability to develop and maintain a healthy relationship with Melanie. This theme is so well done and helped me really consider the temptations and effects of pornography even after a person has given it up.

Melanie Lombardi is one tough woman. At least on the outside. Her husband recently passed away, leaving her with three young children. My heart really ached for her at times. She is an extremely likeable character, a good mom who tries to be responsible—but one person can’t keep track of everything, and this leads to some chaotic and humorous incidents in the story as she deals with the trials and joys of life with three children. I both admired and, at times, could relate to this character and her challenges.

As the story develops, a mystery (a threat) begins to appear. I admired how the author did this—so subtle and yet relevant, as you discover in the end.

This fictional story is not only enjoyable because of the characters and storyline; it carries relevant themes—tough themes that aren’t often dealt with in fiction but should be. We can read articles and studies about the challenges of single parenthood and of losing a spouse and of the long-term effects of giving into temptation and pornography, but reading a novel that deals with these issues takes it to a deeper level. We get to see the thoughts and experience the feelings these characters have throughout their challenges, failures, and victories.


promo images by JustRead

Visit Carolyn Astfalk’s BLOG post to read why she writes romance that tackles tough sexual morality issues that people don’t want to talk about.

In the days since All in Good Time‘s release, a few people have commented about my “bravery” in tackling the pornography issue in this novel.

~ Carolyn Astfalk, Relevant Fiction for Body and Soul

BUY NOW

As an ebook:
Kindle
Nook, Kobo, Apple Books, and more

In paperback:
Amazon

Virtual Book Tour: Ella’s Promise (Great War-Great Love series)

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Ella’s Promise (Great War Great Love #3) by Ellen Gable

Story Summary:  When she joins the war effort during the Great War, American nurse Ella Neumann doesn’t see allies or enemies. The daughter of German immigrants, Ella sees only human beings in need of care. A promise to herself and a promise made to her by an enemy officer become the catalyst for the life she plans to lead after the war. But a handsome Canadian soldier may complicate her plans. In this third installment of the Great War – Great Love series, join Ella in a tale of promises, betrayal and unconditional love.


Visit Full Quiver Publishing to learn more:  https://www.fullquiverpublishing.com/our-publications/great-war-great-love-series-julias-gifts-by-ellen-gable/

Buy Link Kindle:   https://www.amazon.com/Ellas-Promise-Great-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B07Z5G6GT6/

Print:  https://www.amazon.com/Ellas-Promise-Great-War-Love/dp/1987970055/

Goodreads link:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48493901-ella-s-promise

Book 1 of the Great War Great Love Series: Julia’s Gifts: Available on Amazon

Book 2 of the Great War Great Love Series: Charlotte’s Honor: Available on Amazon

Excerpt

Ella’s head snapped up. She turned and saw that the lavatory door was still open.  Where is Major Schmidt?

 She stood up, then took mental attendance of the cots. The occupied cots all seemed occupied, even the major’s cot.  But that couldn’t be.  He couldn’t have finished his business in the lavatory and covered himself up and gone to sleep that quickly.

No, someone had left the barrack.  A feeling of dread came over her, and she raced across the barrack to the back door.  It was unlocked!

Ella pulled the door open and stepped outside into the warm spring evening air. She could just make out the silhouette of a soldier creeping along the side wall of the barrack.

“Excuse me, sir?” she called out loudly in German, her heart pounding.  “Please step into the light.”

The man didn’t move.

“Sir?  Step into the light so I may see who you are.”

Still no movement.

Instead of waiting for him to comply, she straightened, took a breath and walked toward him. It was only then that the man inched forward, a shadow on his face. She couldn’t see him, but she was certain it was Major Schmidt.

“I…uh…was…uh… just stepping out for some… fresh air,” he said in German, waving his hands.

Ella scowled.  I don’t think so.  She continued in German, “I don’t remember you asking for permission to come outside. You asked permission to go to the lavatory.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.”

“Well, I will remain with you while you finish breathing in the fresh air, then I will accompany you back into the barrack. You must understand that I will be reprimanded if I allow a POW soldier to be outside.”  She paused. “Why did you unlock the door?”

The man smiled, but it seemed forced. Then he replied, this time in English, “I don’t remember unlocking it. I suppose I should just go with you back inside. I’ve had enough fresh air for the evening.”

“I should say so.”

This man had no German accent when he spoke English and certainly no English accent when he spoke German.  His smooth voice sounded kind and gentle.  Ah, yes, she remembered him: this was the man with the large birthmark on his shoulder.

***

Now what? He could run, but she would call the nearby guards to apprehend him.  He tried to appear nonchalant, but he balled his fists in frustration.  He’d have to wait until a future date and try again.

Garrett considered reaching for the gun tucked in his waistband.  Collins had given it to him. He could use it to threaten her so he could escape.

The girl folded her arms across her chest, smiled, her foot tapping, waiting for him to comply. She was brave, but he was twice her size and could easily overpower her.  He could knock her unconscious, leave her in the shadows and take off.  She’d be reprimanded for letting him escape.  She—the sweetest and most intelligent girl he’d ever met – would get in trouble because of him.

Strange that he’d never considered the repercussions for the person in charge when he had escaped the other POW camp.  Truthfully, he’d never cared.  Even so, this camp was one with little security.  He should have known that this nurse would be so aware of everything going on around her.

He would have to contact Collins in the morning to inform him that it was not going to be as easy to escape this time. Until then, he would bide his time and do nothing.


Author Biography: 

Ellen Gable is an award-winning author of ten books, editor, self-publishing book coach, speaker, publisher, NFP teacher, book reviewer, transcriptionist, and instructor in the Theology of the Body for Teens. Her books have been collectively downloaded 750,000 times on Kindle. Some of her books have been translated into Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, and French. The mother of five adult sons and grandmother to one cherished grandson, Ellen (originally from New Jersey) now lives with her husband of 37 years, James Hrkach, in Pakenham, Ontario, Canada.


Find Ellen at:

Blog: Plot Line and Sinker

Full Quiver Publishing 

Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Goodreads

Pinterest

Linked In

The Other Books in the Series:

Julia’s Gifts (Book #1 Great War Great Love) As a young girl, Julia began buying gifts for her future spouse, a man whose likeness and personality she has conjured up in her mind, a man she calls her “beloved.” Soon after the United States enters the Great War, Julia impulsively volunteers as a medical aid worker, with no experience or training. Disheartened by the realities of war, will Julia abandon the pursuit of her beloved? Will Julia’s naïve ‘gift scheme’ distract her from recognizing her true “Great Love?” From Philadelphia to war-torn France, follow Julia as she transitions from unworldly young woman to compassionate volunteer.  Julia’s Gifts is now available in Italian and French and will soon be available in Portuguese and Spanish.

Charlotte’s Honor (Book #2 Great War Great Love) After receiving notification that her brother –and only relative – is killed in action during the Great War, 21-year-old Charlotte Zielinski enlists as a medical volunteer. She eventually begins working in the death ward of the field hospital near Soissons, France, holding dying men’s hands and singing them into eternity.
Dr. Paul Kilgallen is a Canadian surgeon working at the field hospital. During a siege by the enemy, everyone evacuates except for Paul and Charlotte, who volunteer to remain in the basement of the chateau to care for the critically ill soldiers. During those three days, Charlotte sees a side of Paul that very few have seen and finds herself falling in love with him. Before Paul leaves for the front, he abruptly tells her that he cannot love her, and it would be best to “forget him.” Just when the war is coming to a close, Charlotte is surprised by two events that are destined to change her life forever.

Translations:

Stealing Jenny is currently available in Portuguese, French, Italian and Spanish.

Julia’s Gifts is available in Portuguese, French, Italian and Spanish.

Charlotte’s Honor is available in Portuguese and Spanish.

In Name Only is available in Portuguese and (soon will be) in Italian.

A Subtle Grace will soon be available in Spanish.

Audible:

Stealing Jenny and Charlotte’s Honor are available on Audible.  Julia’s Gifts will soon be on Audible, and In Name Only will be available on Audible before Christmas.

Virtual Book Tour Stops/Links

November 3  Carolyn Astfalk My Scribbler’s Heart Blog

November 4  Steven McEvoy Book Reviews and More

November 5  Theresa Linden

November 6  Therese Heckenkamp

November 7 Patrice MacArthur

November 8  Amanda Lauer

November 9  Sarah Reinhard

November 10 Jean Egolf

November 11  Lisa Mladinich

November 12 Leslea Wahl

November 13  Trisha Potter

November 14   The Yeoman Farmer, Christopher Blunt

November 15 Michael Seagriff

Advanced Reviews:

As with the other books in the series, Ella’s Promise gives readers a feel for what life was like during WWI—the prejudices, suffering, and the ugliness of war—while also showing the power of love through inspirational and courageous main characters. Throughout this story, Ella finds herself taking risks and making sacrifices to save lives—and also doing things she never imagined herself doing. An enjoyable read that fans of historical fiction are sure to love.

Theresa Linden, author of contemporary romance Anyone But Him

Ella‘s Promise is a story of love tested through war-time confusion and pain, enduring into a new hope for a better future. 

A.K. Frailey, author of historical and science fiction novels

Readers will love this third installment of the Great War Great Love series with espionage, romance, faith and determination all set amidst the backdrop of wartime France.

Carolyn Astfalk, author of Ornamental Graces

New Catholic Children’s Picture Book by Dessi Jackson

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On the road to San Damiano, Grandma Nonna shares with her grandson Antonio a once-upon-a-time story about Saint Clare. Full-color illustrations and a delightful tale capture the beauty and faith of Saint Clare as she pursues her vocation and embraces the joyful and simple Franciscan spirituality. Ever appreciative of the little things, Clare’s happiness blossoms even more with her wonderful discovery of a tiny kitten.


Buy Now


Review

“Which child doesn’t love animal stories? In this magnificently illustrated picture book, bestselling author Dessi Jackson weaves an unforgettable tale of friendship and loyalty between a mischievous kitten and the young Saint Clare of Assisi. With delightful full-color artwork by the talented artist Martina Parnelli on every page, this book is sure to become a favorite in every Catholic household. Franciscan joy radiates from every page!

— Susan Peek, author of Animals of God series

About the Author

Dessi Jackson is the author of five popular picture books about saints, including Roses in the Snow: A Tale of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary and Saint Felix and the Spider, Nikola and the Monk, and The Saint and his Bees. Her faith-filled children’s stories come from the depths of her motherly heart. A writer for Seton Magazine and a Byzantine Catholic, she lives in Croatia, where she is always thinking up new stories that will give glory to God and touch the hearts of little children.

Look up Dessi Jackson’s other books HERE.


About the Illustrator

Author, poet and illustrator Martina Parnelli draws on multicultural and multinational influences in her work. In addition to writing and illustrating her own books—including the Little Runty trilogy—she has illustrated books for popular Catholic children’s author Susan Peek. She currently resides in western Michigan, where she enjoys teaching chickadees to eat from her hand.

Learn more about Martina Parnelli and her books HERE.


About the Publisher

Books that inspire trust in the Divine Refiner, who is at work in each of our lives.

Silver Fire Publishing gets its name from Scriptures. “For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap, he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and sliver” (Malachi 3:3).

This is a beautiful analogy of God’s refining fire in our lives. He is the refiner and His Word is the fire. We are the silver. And the more we immerse ourselves in Him, the purer we become. And even though the purification process might hurt a bit, He is with us through it all. And like the saints, we come to reflect His image.

We publish children’s, teen, and adult faith-filled fiction. It is our hope that the books published by Silver Fire Publishing will inspire greater faith and trust in the Divine Refiner, who is always at work in our lives. 

http://www.SilverFirePublishing.com

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

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: 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.

Day By Day with Saint Faustina: 365 Reflections

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I am so glad to have this book DAY BY DAY WITH SAINT FAUSTINA: 365 REFLECTIONS by Susan Tassone during Lent, but I’ll use it the entire year. From the “Introduction,” this book is both a comprehensive introduction to Saint Faustina’s writing and it is a solid answer for those who want to apply her teachings and examples in daily life.

Saint Faustina will help you:

  • Grow closer to Christ in the Eucharist
  • Develop a stronger, deeper daily prayer life with the help of the angels and saints
  • Get along better with others, including those closest to you
  • Apply Faustina’s “secrets of sanctity”
  • Trust God more
  • Let the realities of heaven, hell and purgatory influence your choices now
  • Love the Blessed Mother even more and let her love draw you closer to her Son
  • Use your suffering to help others, including the souls in purgatory
  • come to better understand the spiritual powerhouse that is the Sacrament of Reconciliation
  • Become a person of mercy by learning from the Saint of Mercy

I can’t say how happy I was to get this book in the mail! With over 400 pages, this book is thick. And the cover is beautiful. Inside there is a quote from Saint Faustina, a reflection, and a prayer for every day. At the end of the book are several appendixes, which include more on the Divine Mercy, important Feast Days, and on indulgences.

I’ve been reading a meditation a day. Some meditations are profound and others a bit humorous, but they always stick with me throughout the day and help me to treasure the often-overlooked gifts of God or give me perspective in my trials.

Here is an example from April 5:
“God’s floodgates have been opened for us.” (Diary, 1159)


Reflection: Hang on to your hat, here comes mercy. If we want it, if we accept it, if we let it wash over us and transform who we are and how we live. Yes, the floodgates are open but, no, it’s our choice. Always, always, always.


Prayer: Divine Mercy, I choose You. Thank You for choosing me. Jesus, I trust in You.

Day by Day with Saint Faustina: 365 Reflections, April 5

My thoughts: this simple reflection made me more aware of the great desire of Our Lord to transform us with His grace. He has so much grace every day for each one of us! So all day long, as I faced challenges and trials and they daily hum drum stuff, I reminded myself that the choice was mine and I repeated the simple prayer from the meditation.

Wow! How easy it is to let God in and walk with us!

Endorsements

“Susan Tassone’s new book is a means to experience God’s overwhelming love for each of us. By spending a little time each day reflecting on a bite-sized morsel of the Diary of St. Faustina—followed by a very succinct and eye-opening reflection, and then a short prayer—God can change our perspective and our lives through His powerful love. Seeing how God worked in the life of St. Faustina helps us see how He wants to work in our own hearts. This treasure of a book is a wonderful way to develop a very doable habit of ongoing formation. I highly recommend it!”

~Fr. Joseph Roesch, M.I.C.
Vicar General, Rome, Italy

Day by Day with St. Faustina gives us a wonderful approach to comprehending the infinite Divine Mercy of God. I’ve long hoped that somebody would be able to open the depths of St. Faustina’s spirituality in a way that would allow people to slowly acquire her ability to trust just as she slowly grew in prayer, in understanding God’s will, and eventually in fully trusting in His love.”

~Fr. Dan Cambra, M.I.C.
Holy Souls Sodality, The National Shrine of The Divine Mercy

“This much-needed introduction to St. Faustina, her spirituality, and God’s never-ending mercy is a wonderful choice for those (including me) who have felt a little intimidated by the depth — and length — of the visionary’s diary. Here, day by day, author Susan Tassone shares the key themes, beauty, and comfort the diary offers all of us. It’s a grace-filled nudge that encourages each of us to read the diary itself.”

~Fr. Edward Looney
Author of A Heart Like Mary’s: 31 Daily Meditations to Help You Live and Love as She Does

Where to get the book:

This book is available through any bookstore. Request it at your local Catholic bookstore. Or order online through Sophia Press, Amazon, or any online bookseller.

To learn about more great books, check out Carolyn Astfalk’s “An Open Book” and CatholicMom.com

New Release: Guarding Aaron by amazing teen fiction author T. M. Gaouette

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Guarding Aaron front cover

Book summary:

Guarding Aaron by T. M. Gaouette (Faith & Kung Fu ~ book 3)

When the struggles of the world and his devotion collide, he must choose between his own desires and the will of God.

The world continues to press in on Gabriel Livingstone’s quiet life when fifteen-year-old Aaron Buckley enters Yeung’s Martial Arts Studio looking to learn kung-fu. Gabriel knows there’s a desperate secret behind the boy’s bruises, and secretly vows to be his guard, with the help of his friend Christian.  But when Tanner Rose pressures him for strength and direction, and Faith’s continued rebellion send him and his friends to the hospital, jeopardizing Tanner’s career, Gabriel is forced to reexamine his decisions. Is he called to the priesthood or is life behind the monastery walls merely an escape?

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:10-11 RSVCE)


My Review:

Author TM Gaouette is really onto something with her Faith & Kung Fu series! A master in the martial arts must be disciplined, possessing inner strength along with physical ability. And isn’t this what we Christians need too? This story shows the need for not only knowing right and wrong but also for the self-control and discipline to pursue it, without acting on impulse.

Gabriel, with his steady faith, always has a Scripture verse at the ready and sound advice for others, but inside he’s not sure what God is calling him to. He meets a new kid, Aaron, whose bruises make Gabriel concerned. When Gabriel discovers that the boy is bullied at school, he secretly becomes the kid’s guardian and guides him not only in kung fu but in important life lessons that will strengthen him spiritually and morally. This thread in the story has a strong message about looking out for others who might be the victim of bullying, getting involved, being a friend, and the right way of standing up to bullies.

Meanwhile, another main character, Faith, finds her affections for Gabriel growing and allows her jealousy of actress and friend Tanner Rose to spiral out of control. She justifies treating Tanner cruelly because Tanner had once treated her badly. And when Faith’s best friend doesn’t share her negative attitude toward Tanner, she pushes her best friend away too. This thread shows well how jealousy has a way of bringing out the worst in us.

This story has some lovely scenes, like one with Gabriel and Tanner praying before the Blessed Sacrament. And it has some tense scenes, too. With kung fu action, high emotions, and themes that we can all relate to, Guarding Aaron is a powerful story that teens are sure to enjoy. I highly recommend it!

Buy the book here:

Kindle and Paperback.

Connect with T. M. Gaouette:

Facebook author page

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TMGaouette

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

Instagram: @t.m.gaouette