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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Catholic Teen Fiction receives the Catholic Writers Guild “Seal of Approval”

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I want readers and bookstore owners to be assured of the quality and content of all my books, so I submit them to the Catholic Writers Guild for review. I am excited to announce that the final book in the Chasing Liberty trilogy has received the Seal of Approval!

Fight for Liberty by Theresa Linden

Final book in the Chasing Liberty dystopian trilogy

Liberty has gained a deeper understanding of true freedom, but having it for herself is not enough.

Prompted by the inner voice that has guided her for years, Liberty is compelled to bring the freedom she possesses to others in Aldonia. While unsure of how to carry out this mission, she is willing to risk all to accomplish it. Threats from outside the Boundary Fence and threats closer to home cause chaos and confusion that have everyone unsure of what direction to take. Troubled by Liberty’s risky choices, Dedrick wishes he could convince her to leave for the colonies. But Liberty has chosen Aldonia over him. When faith, family, and freedom have been squashed, what can one person or even a group do to reclaim the culture?

Fight for Liberty and the entire Chasing Liberty trilogy has great themes that are so relevant to today. I would love to see this trilogy to reach more people.

Be sure to visit the Book Clubs page on my author website for the free digital discussion/study guide. Consider adding this book to your 11th- and 12th-grader’s curriculum.


Two other CatholicTeenBooks.com books have received the Seal of Approval too! I’ve read them both and highly recommend them:

The Siege of Reginald Hill by Corinna Turner

A spinoff from the I Am Margaret series

SAFETY IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF DANGER, BUT THE PRESENCE OF GOD.

Fr Kyle Verrall is living a quiet life as a parish priest in Africa when he’s snatched from his church one night by armed assailants. He’s in big trouble—his sister’s worst enemy is hell-bent on taking revenge on the famous Margaret Verrall by killing her brother, just as slowly and horribly as he can. What could possibly save him? The humble young priest is defenceless—or so Reginald Hill believes. But Kyle has a powerful weapon Hill knows nothing about. And he’s not afraid to use it.

Is Reginald Hill really the hunter? Or is he the hunted?


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)


Visit www.CatholicTeenBooks.com for more exciting titles!

Faith Through Fiction Vlog

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Introducing the new Faith Through Fiction vlog series from Catholic Teen Books

God knows the challenges we face.

Depression ~ loneliness ~ peer pressure ~ disorders ~ temptation ~ bullying ~ hurt ~ shyness ~ loss ~ disabilities ~ the struggle to forgive . . .

God has an answer for all our problems, healing for all our wounds, and a path that will bring far greater joy than the path the world presents to us. How can we find this path, this healing, these answers?

Don’t underestimate the power of a story.

Catholic Teen Books presents a fun new video blog that is perfect for teens, high school teachers,  homeschoolers, and parents.

Through this series Catholic Teen Books strives to fulfill its mission of counteracting the anti-God culture that permeates society today and leaves young adults with few wholesome literature choices. In every episode, you will discover solid books that bring faith-filled solutions to issues teens face.

You can learn more about the series and the hosts of the show, T.M. Gaouette and Leslea Wahl, on www.CatholicTeenBooks.com.

Check out the series trailer here and the first episode below:

The first episode addresses the theme of bullying, which too many teens face every  day. How can we help our teens to consider all sides of this issue, gain a faith-filled perspective, and courageously make the right choices that can help both the bully and the victims?

This new vlog series is just one of the ways Catholic Teen Books seeks to support parents and teachers in encouraging young people to dive into stories that can change lives and develop faith and character. Want to make sure you catch every episode of this new vlog series? Sign up for Catholic Teen Books newsletter.

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

Blog Tour: The Siege of Reginald Hill

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As one who enjoys dystopian fiction and faith-filled stories, I am so happy to announce this next book Corinna Turner’s I Am Margaret series!


The Siege of Reginald Hill Final Front

An odd surge filled my heart as I looked at him, sitting there in that chair: so old; so evil; so broken; so… alone. A warmth. A caring. A… love. I loved him. Just another poor sinner who need my care…

SAFETY IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF DANGER, BUT THE PRESENCE OF GOD.

Fr Kyle Verrall is living a quiet life as a parish priest in Africa when he’s snatched from his church one night by armed assailants. He’s in big trouble—his sister’s worst enemy is hell-bent on taking revenge on the famous Margaret Verrall by killing her brother, just as slowly and horribly as he can.
What could possibly save him? The humble young priest is defenceless—or so Reginald Hill believes.
But Kyle has a powerful weapon Hill knows nothing about. And he’s not afraid to use it. Is Reginald Hill really the hunter? Or is he the hunted?


I’ve read every book in this series, and I’ve always liked the character Kyle Verrall (Margaret’s brother) and hoped to get to know more about him. This story fulfills that wish. Readers get to go deep into his head and see what makes him tick, and what we find there is beautiful.

The Siege of Reginald Hill is a powerful story of sacrificial love—the kind very few are ever called to. Kyle is faced with unbearable pain and suffering, but he handles it in an amazing, almost unfathomable way. This story made me think about the true meaning of love . . . of God, of neighbor, and even of enemy. And it also made me think of God’s love for each one of us, and the way He tirelessly pursues us, no matter how far we’ve fallen from the straight and narrow path.

I love the intensity of Corinna Turner’s characters, the story world, and the profound moral messages each of her stories contain. Turner writes in such a way that readers feel what the characters feel, whether they are over-worked and tired—like Kyle at the beginning of the story—or whether they are going through an intense trial or an amazing victory.

Having recently gone through robotic surgery myself, I was able to identify with so much of what Kyle goes through in this story. The surgery was a horrible experience, the pain at times unbearable, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything—this is hard to explain but Turner’s story does shed some light on it. And this story brought back reminders of the intensity, pain, and joy of those days.

If you’ve enjoyed the I Am Margaret series, you will love this story.


ISBNs and Buy links:

Paperback ISBNs:                                          ePub ISBNs:
UK: 978-1-910806-78-4                                 UK: 978-1-910806-79-1
US: 978-1-910806-80-7                                  US: 978-1-910806-81-4

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2Bi7Rmg

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2BKiTRH

Barnes & Noble UK Edition

Barnes & Noble US Edition




VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR ~ BLOG STOPS

Dec 1 – Stop 1 – Corinna Turner – Author of the I Am Margaret series including new release The Siege of Reginald Hillwww.IAmMargaret.com

Dec 2 – SUNDAY

Dec 3 – Stop 2 – Steven R. McEvoy – Blogger and Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer Steven R. McEvoy on “Book Reviews & More” – www.bookreviewsandmore.ca

Dec 4 – Stop 3 – Erin McCole Cupp – Blogger, Contributor to Catholic Mom and Author (Jane E. Friendless Orphan series, etc.) – http://catholicmom.com/

Dec 5 – Stop 4 – Regina Doman – Award-winning Catholic teen fiction Author (The Fairy Tale novels, The Angel in the Waters, etc.) – http://reginadoman.blogspot.com/

Dec 6 – Stop 5 – Theresa Linden – Award-winning Catholic teen fiction Author (Liberty series, West Brothers series, etc.)

Dec 7 – Stop 6 – Sarah de Nordwall – The Catholic Bard! – http://sarahdenordwall.blogspot.com/

Dec 8 – Stop 7 – T.M. Gaouette – Writer, Blogger, and Author of Catholic Fiction (Faith and Kung Fu series) – https://tmgaouette.com/

Dec 9 – SUNDAY

Dec 10 – Stop 8 – Carolyn Astfalk – Author of coming-of-age romance Rightfully Ours, etc. – www.carolynastfalk.com/

Dec 11 – Stop 9 – Leslea Wahl – Award-winning Catholic teen fiction Author (The Perfect Blindside, An Unexpected Role, etc.) – http://lesleawahl.com/

Dec 12 – Stop 10 – Elizabeth Amy Hajek – Blogger and Author of The Mermaid and the Unicornhttps://elenatintil.blogspot.com

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

 

Book Tour: Roland West, Outcast

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First, I want to say HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I am counting my blessings and so thankful for my faith, my family, my freedom, and my followers! Among many other things. May God bless you and your families.

Second, I want to invite you to check out the blog stops for the Virtual Book Tour for Roland West, Outcast! You still have time to enter for 3 chances to win (I’ll be giving away 2 books and 1 Amazon gift card)!

  • Enter the 1st giveaway on the first stop
  • Enter the 2nd giveaway by participating/commenting on the other posts (see below for details).
  • Enter the 3rd giveaway (for the Amazon gift card) by sharing my blog tour posts. This is my way of saying thank you to everyone who helps me promote my new release! I’ve been keeping a list of everyone who has shared them so far. If you share my promotional posts or tell a friend about this book, please let me know either in the comments or send me an email: theresalinden@oh.rr.com

RWOutcast front cover

BLOG TOUR FOR ROLAND WEST, OUTCAST

Saturday, November 17 – our first blog stop will be Tumblar House Catholic Bookstore’s blog “The Lounge.” Check out the Author Interview and look for the 1st GIVEAWAY!  You’ll be able to enter all week long! A winner will be chosen on the last day of the Blog Tour. While you are there, check out the other great books and content on Tumblar House’s website!

Saturday, November 17 – visit Today’s Catholic Teacher Magazine for my article “Why We Need Catholic Fiction.”  Share the link to my article in Catholic Teacher anywhere to enter the second GIVEAWAY. Simply message me or email me the link.

Sunday, November 18 – blogger Barb Grady Szyszkiewicz  shares her review of Roland West, Outcast on “Franciscan Mom” 

Monday, November 19 – stop by Unseen Books, home of the books by Corinna Turner, fantasy and dystopian author.

Monday, November 19 – stop by Plot Line &  Sinker for a review of Roland West, Outcast by Ellen Gable, author, editor, speaker, and publisher.

Monday, November 19 – blogger Steven R. McEvoy on “Book Reviews & More” Read his review and my article “Embarrassing Moments.” Share your own embarrassing moment in the comments to enter the second GIVEAWAY!

Tuesday, November 20 – award-winning Catholic teen fiction author Leslea Wahl shares her review of Roland West, Outcast on her “Monthly Book Review” blog. Play the “Saint Game” for several chances to enter the second GIVEAWAY!

Wednesday, November 21 – visit blogger Christina Weigand on “Faith, Inspiration, and a Cup of Tea” to read her review and to see the entire Prologue to the Roland West, Outcast! Copy any line of the prologue into the comments to enter the second GIVEAWAY!

Thursday, November 22 – Carolyn Astfalk, author of coming-of-age romance Rightfully Ours, has posted the book trailer and her review of Roland West, Outcast on her “My Scribbler’s Heart Blog.” In the comments, share which West Brother books you have read, if any, to enter the second GIVEAWAY!  (It’s okay if you are new to the series. Just say so and you are still entered to win)

Friday, November 23 – T.M. Gaouette, Writer, Blogger, and Author of Catholic Fiction, shares her review and points you to a Mad Lib game! Play the game and answer this question in the comments to be entered into the second GIVEAWAY: Did you ever give a speech in high school? How did it go?

***BONUS STOP***

Saturday, November 24 – blogger Steven R. McEvoy on “Book Reviews & More” shares his interview of the characters: Roland, Keefe, and Jarret West, and Peter Brandt! Check out the character interviews today!


You can check out the review trailer here: https://youtu.be/wDuY3b0cMSY

Need to catch up on the West Brothers series?  Get books 3 & 4 for 99 cents!catholicreads ad

 

Sweet Romances for Sweetest Day

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Sweetest Day ~ Saturday, October 20th

Are you ready?

I just discovered that Sweetest Day is mostly celebrated in the Midwest. Well, that makes sense, because I also discovered that it started in Cleveland, Ohio!

In 1921, Herbert Birch Kingston, an employee at a candy company, wanted to make the less fortunate happy, so he passed out candy to the homeless and orphans around Cleveland.

A year later, it became an official holiday!

So Sweetest Day is not just for couples. You can do something sweet for anyone! And while candy is nice, I think books are better!

This Sweetest Day, I would like to recommend a few sweet inspirational romances that will deepen your understanding of and longing for true love.

I’ve also interviewed the author, Carolyn Astfalk, so you can see what makes her books unique.


41MmpqQbnbLWith 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?

Click here for reviews.  Click on the book covers to reach the Amazon links.


OG-Front-Cover-FINALAfter 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.

Check out the book trailer here.


rightfully oursSixteen-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? Themes include premarital chastity and overcoming temptation.

This young adult Christian fiction is always listed high on Amazon’s “Values & Virtues” category.

Read an excerpt from Chapter 1.


Author Interview: Carolyn Astfalk

I’ve read all three of your published books. I found them all to be well-written and enjoyable with characters that remained with me even to this day. Stay With Meand Ornamental Graces are both adult romance and Rightfully Ours is young adult. Why do you write romance?

I didn’t set out to write romances. In fact, before I wrote the first draft of Rightfully Ours, which was my first attempt at fiction writing, I read very few romances. Somehow, as words spilled onto the page, what I imagined as a teen adventure morphed into a romance. And that’s what I’ve been writing ever since.

I’ve come to love clean, inspirational, and Christian romances. And I continue to read and write them because that spark of romance is not only fun, but provides opportunities for reflecting on the role of romantic love, which gives us a glimpse of the loving fervor with which God pursues each of us and helps us love as He loves.

Romance stories revolve around a central love story that ends in an optimistic ending. Christian romances are typically sweet (no explicit content) and they contain an element of faith woven into the plot. What makes your romance stories different from other Christian romance stories?

What sets my romances apart from other Christian romances is my Catholic worldview. Only a small minority of Christian romances include Catholic characters and themes.

I read heavily in the non-Catholic Christian genres and enjoy those novels very much. But there’s something to be said for seeing your own experience reflected in novels from time-to-time. So, when my characters pray, they’re more likely to bring out the rosary beads. If they’re practicing their faith, they’re at Mass on Sunday. They have the benefit of the sacraments and the grace that they offer. They’re more likely to be open to large families.

And, less significant, but contrary to what some Christian booksellers and publishers would condone, my characters enjoy a good beer, a glass of wine, or use a rare, well-placed mild curse word.

I also treat sexuality in a frank but non-explicit manner. I don’t gloss over the temptations we all face in remaining chaste, no matter our state in life. I try to communicate the joys and challenges of married sexuality lived in accordance with God’s plan.

I understand that themes in your stories reflect ideas found in Pope Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. What is TOB and how do these ideas influence your writing?

When my husband and I were newlyweds, Pope St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body was becoming more widely known thanks to people like Christopher West, Janet Smith, and George Weigel. Simply put, the Theology of the Body, presented in a series of Wednesday audiences between 1979 and 1984, is a reflection on the body’s capacity for making visible an invisible reality manifested in our creation as male and female. It is an integrated look at the human person, made to love and be loved.

At the time, we volunteered for Catholic Engaged Encounter in our diocese and saw first-hand the extra challenges faced by couples who rejected the Church’s teaching on sexuality. As a consequence, I really delved into that aspect of theology and developed an affinity for it and a real love for Pope St. John Paul II.

While I never set out to write about the Theology of the Body, that holistic view of the meaning of our bodies always seems to find its way into my stories because it is integral to the intimacy between men and women and ultimately discovering our happily ever after.

How can a romance novel combat the false notions about love and sex that permeate our culture?

There’s a real dichotomy between the way love is often portrayed in modern media, often self-serving and fickle, and the kind of self-donative love we’re called to live.

The kind of romances I write are sometimes witty and flirty—at least I hope so! But, they also delve deeper. While the rush of attraction has an important role to play, I force my characters to move beyond those feelings to deal with what sustains love over the long term. So, that means they’ll wrangle with temptation, sin, forgiveness, mercy, and self-sacrifice.

Ultimately, that kind of love, self-sacrificial love, is more satisfying and fulfilling.