Blog Tour: Where You Lead

Standard

I am excited to be part of the Virtual Book Tour for Leslea Wahl’s newest Christian young adult mystery, Where You Lead! Please check out my post so you can not only learn about the book but find out about a treasure hunt and discover author Leslea Wahl’s favorite Washington DC sites. Note: these sites are also mentioned in this story!


where you leadTeen Eve Donahue’s lonely existence changes in an instant when visions of a mysterious stranger haunt her. Certain God is calling her for a mission, she bravely says yes and begins her quest to meet this young man. Thousands of miles away, Nick Hammond has been dealing with his own unusual experience, an unwavering certainty to convince his father to run for political office. When these two unlikely teens finally meet, their belief that God has called them to work together sets them on a journey of faith to untangle a web of deception involving international trade agreements, lost confederate gold, and a blossoming romance. As they follow century old clues, they realize God can call us all in big and small ways. We just need to listen.

Available in Kindle and paperback. Buy the book here.


Wahl is one of my favorite authors of young adult fiction. But she is also the favorite of a lot of readers! I want to congratulate her on the Gold Medal The Perfect Blindside recently won from Readers Choice! This book was also the 1st-place winner of the 2016 Catholic Press Association book awards, in the teen fiction category. Another one of her books, An Unexpected Role, was a Gold Medalist in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. Her books have also received the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval. You can check out other awards her books have won here. Or on her website. And if you ask me, Where You Lead is another winner!

My review:

This is an incredibly fun mystery with a great combination of action and adventure and tension that builds throughout the story. The main characters, Nick and Eve, are well-developed and likeable. She’s romantic, talkative, and has a style all her own: Eve doesn’t try to be like everyone else; she’s comfortable just being herself. Nick is level-headed, resourceful, and charming. Plus, he comes from a big and very interesting family.

I enjoyed the attraction and interactions between these characters and following along as they tried to solve this unique mystery. As a history lover, I enjoyed the tidbits about the Civil War and the “virtual tour” of Washington D.C., visiting museums, monuments, cemeteries, and other historical places with the characters.

Several wonderful messages are weaved through this story, too, like trusting in God even when we can’t understand His plan and realizing that the smaller missions from God are just as important as the bigger missions. With her sharp writing style, ability to develop a riveting mystery, and the way she weaves faith into her stories, Leslea Wahl has become one of my favorite authors.

I highly recommend this story for teens and adults. In addition to the bits of history and positive role models, this book is just plain fun!


Leslea Wahl’s 10 Favorite DC Sites

“As a reader, I’ve always enjoyed books where the setting of a story comes alive through the eyes of the characters. I certainly hope I that I was able to accomplish that feat in my new novel, Where You Lead. This adventurous mystery is set in a city that is near and dear to my heart. A place that I lived for four years, right after I was married – Washington DC. I loved every moment of our time there and had so much fun including some of my favorite spots in this story. Here are 10 of my favorite DC sites that are part of this book’s adventure.”  ~Leslea Wahl

1. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

download (1)

2 – Embassy Row

 

3 – Georgetown

Georgetown,_Washington,_D.C._HDR

4 – The Smithsonian

download

5 – The National Cathedral

download (4)

6 – The Tidal Basin and cherry blossoms

images (2)

7 – The Reflecting Pool between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument

images (3)

8 – The C&O Canal

download (2)

9 – Oak Park Cemetery

10- Arlington Cemetery

download (3)


treasure huntClick here for the treasure hunt!


bookLeslea Wahl is a Colorado native who loves to travel with her family. She considers herself blessed to have found a way to intertwine her two passions by creating adventurous stories with positive Christian messages for today’s youth. She hopes to inspire others to find their gifts as well. Her first book, The Perfect Blindside, was awarded a 2016 Illumination Christian Book Award silver medal and was a first place winner at the 2016 Catholic Press Association Book Awards.

Available in Kindle and paperback. Buy Where You Lead here.

Contact Leslea Wahl:​

Advertisements

Secrets 99-cent Back-to-School eBook Sale

Standard

Now’s the time to grab a copy of Secrets:Visible & Invisible for yourself or send one as a gift! (Sale runs through September 16, 2018.)

 

This post originally appeared on author Carolyn Astfalk’s blog, but I wanted to share it with my audience so she gave me permission!

BUY NOW FOR 99 CENTS

Google Books
Kindle
Kobo
Barnes and Noble (Nook)

Grab Secrets: Visible & Invisible for a limited time for only 99 cents on ebook! #CatholicTeenFiction #99cents Click To Tweet

Secrets: Visible & Invisible

by Corinna Turner, Cynthia T. Toney, Theresa Linden, Susan Peek, T.M. Gaouette, Carolyn Astfalk, and Leslea Wahl

A collection of short stories by seven CatholicTeenBooks.com authors. As described by Mark Hart of Life Teen International, who provides the foreword, “Each story reveals something different about the human heart and our constant (though, often veiled) desire for truth and virtue.”

Secret (n.) – something kept hidden from knowledge or view; a mystery.

  • In a dystopian future, an innocent picnic turns deadly!
  • Elijah knows nothing of an elderly stranger’s secret past—until her disappearance changes everything.
  • A mysterious, ever-changing painting alarms a group of teens.
  • A cannonball took Dario’s legs . . . Will he lose his soul too?
  • The arrival of a mysterious girl challenges everything about Jason’s life.
  • An unlicensed driver. His dad’s truck. What could possibly go wrong?
  • An old tale of murder and forbidden love leads to a modern-day treasure hunt.

“For nothing is hid that shall not be made manifest, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light.” (Luke 8:17 RSV-CE)

goodreads badge


Praise for Secrets

“There is a little something for everyone in Secrets, a short-story anthology for Catholic teens. Seven authors cover an array of genres, including dystopian, historical fiction, and romance, while masterfully developing interesting characters and meaningful storylines. Faith is thoughtfully woven into the plots that also creatively incorporate mystery, intrigue, and heart-felt emotion. Fans of these Catholic teen authors will appreciate reading new stories about familiar characters. And first-time readers will be eager to read more in the full-length novels by their new favorite authors.”

Sarah Damm, mom of 6 and writer at sarahdamm.com

“This anthology of short stories for Catholic teenagers is a true literary treasure. It provides genres for every type of reader, each so well written that the reader is invited to fully escape into many different worlds and places. The short stories will take its readers to dystopian Europe, high school hallways, a city block in summer, and a soldier’s medical ward in 16th-century Italy, just to name a few. The characters are diverse, exciting, relatable; their adventures are accessible, mysterious and enthralling. But within these different settings, there is one uniting comfort: God is always there, whether revealed in a desperate prayer to a guardian angel, through pure romantic love, the presence of Christian charity, men and women religious, or within the sacraments. The hope that comes through Catholicism and Jesus prevails in each vignette, and yet there are still heavy doses of drama, suspense and tactful violence. So if your teens seem totally spaced out and properly engrossed, take courage knowing their love of reading and their love of the faith is being fed through these beautiful stories.”

Regina Lordan for Catholic News Service

“This anthology of Catholic fiction for teens will introduce readers to seven diverse authors. Many of these stories, in a variety of genres but linked by a common theme, offer a peek at characters from full-length novels. Readers already acquainted with these authors will enjoy new perspectives on favorite characters. Kudos to CatholicTeenBooks.com and these seven authors for dreaming up this excellent collection.”

Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS, Editor, CatholicMom.com and Managing Editor, Today’s Catholic Teacher magazine

“Featuring seven fabulous stories from top authors in Catholic teen fiction, Secrets is as entertaining as it is relevant and thought-provoking. It’s sure to capture your imagination, move your emotions, and stir your soul. Teens and adults alike are sure to enjoy the variety of tales, which are cleverly united by themes of secrets and faith. Packed with powerful, meaningful, memorable stories, this anthology is so good, you won’t be able to keep Secrets to yourself!”

Therese Heckenkamp, Christian suspense author of bestseller Frozen Footprints

​“Seven Amazing Secrets . . . At a time when so much entertainment and fiction for teens is saturated with envy, lust, pride and other moral toxins, the book Secrets: Visible and Invisible is a powerful, and FUN-to-read, virtue-rich alternative. The talented team of authors behind CatholicTeenBooks.com has created the perfect way for readers to enjoy a taste of fresh new fiction that satisfies a deep hunger in the teen soul. Teens . . . you need to get your Catholic parents, grandparents, or teachers to get this book for you. Really. You’ll be glad you did.”

Cathy Gilmore, Founder/Executive Director of VirtueWorksMedia.com

“I knew I was in for some great reading when I picked up this collection. What I was not prepared for was how exceptional this collection was. . . . Every story was a remarkable story. Some of the stories were so good, I immediately went back and reread just that story. And then when I finished the book, I reread the whole thing again a few days later. I have a great deal of respect for the seven authors who contributed to this series. And even more so after reading their pieces in this collection.”

Steven R. McEvoy, blogger at Book Reviews & More

“Know a teen reader looking for a book filled with the unexpected? Look no further than Secrets: Visible & Invisible an anthology of 7 short stories from CatholicTeenBooks.com. From tales of bicycles to cars and even a saint standing on the threshold of the “dark side”, there’s plenty here for teen readers to sink their teeth into.”

Pete Socks, The Catholic Book Blogger

The Fun of An Audiobook!

Standard

person-3505269_1920

Children love being read to. Do you ever grow out of that? My boys are all teens now, but I loved reading to my kids when they were younger and they loved being read to. My son who has autism wanted specific stories read over and over, so I’ve got many memorized, even to this day.

I also enjoyed being read to as a kid. Actually, I love when my kids read to me now!

There is something about listening to someone read a story that transports you right into the pages. A good storyteller can bring characters to life, deepen emotions, develop tension, and enhance the overall experience.

ACX BattleBecause of this, I decided to have my supernatural Christian fiction Battle For His Soul turned into an audiobook. Not sure what to do, I sought advice from other authors who’ve turned their books into audiobooks. (More on them in a moment.) Then I joined ACX, searched for and found the perfect narrator. (More on him in a moment, too.)

First, let me continue to promote the benefits of audiobooks! Audiobooks allow you to have your hands free so you can drive, work in the yard, do dishes, or even take a walk… all while enjoying your favorite story. They are perfect for that long ride into work or on vacation.

Readers, you can enjoy stories constantly, not just when you are free to hold a book in your hands and turn pages!

When I decided to turn Battle for His Soul into an audio book, I wanted the perfect narrator. I listened to several on ACX and asked a few to audition before finally choosing Keith McCarthy. Something about his voice just felt right. Plus, he is able to do different voices, male and female, and convey various attitudes and dispositions. He also seems to know just when to pause and what words to emphasize to really bring a story to life.

At the completion of the project, I was so excited to hear the final product and so amazed by Keith’s skills that I wanted to tell everyone about him.


Interview ~ Keith McCarthy

How did you get started as a narrator for ACX?

Keithheadshot (002)In addition to acting, I also teach theater and English. A couple of years ago, to help with my students’ comprehension of the books they read, I posted videos of myself reading the books aloud on YouTube. The videos quickly took off and as my subscriber list grew and grew, I wondered if there were a way I could do this professionally.  It turns out, there was.

How many audiobooks have you narrated?

It depends on which books we are counting. I have an ongoing contract with Rosen Publishing, a large publisher of educational materials, to create audio books of their nonfiction books that are used in kindergarten through 2nd grade classrooms. Those are only available to students in schools that have purchased this program, and the books themselves are very short…. 24 to 48 pages, but thus far I’ve done about 35 of those, with more to come. As far as books available on Audible,  I’ve done about 20. And I’ve done about 10 in my YouTube channel.

You have an incredible skill with creating voices. What other forms of acting have you done?

Mainly theater. I’ve acted in a variety of venues across Boston’s North Shore… on average a play or two every year. I also direct my school plays… about 55 of them over the past 20 years.

What are your favorite voices to do? 

I like the villains most… and anyone cocky or arrogant….those are the fun ones. I also enjoy narrating history. My dream job is to narrate a Ken Burns style documentary for PBS.

Which character in Battle for His Soul did you like doing best?

Jesus! A close second was Selena. I hadn’t done a lot of Spanish/Mexican accents in the past, so I practiced quite a bit before I started and I think it came out pretty well.

My note: Keith’s portrayal of Jesus in this story had me spellbound. As I listened to him performing this scene, for a moment, I was no longer the author and I could think of nothing other than the words he spoke. He did an amazing job!

Is there anything else you would like to share? 

I would just add that it was a joy working on this book. After narrating lots of not always terribly interesting, at least to me, informational text on everything from Poker Strategy to the JavaScript programming language (try narrating lines of computer code for two hours and see how sane you feel) it had been my goal to narrate more books for young adults and kids, so it was refreshing to work on such an entertaining and well-crafted book. 

Follow Keith McCarthy on his Youtube channel and check out other books that he’s narrated by clicking here.


And now, a bit about the authors who inspired me to embark upon this journey: Susan Peek and Carolyn Astfalk.

Susan’s passion is writing stories of little-known saints and heroes. She has several books for children and several more for teens, and she has turned two of them (St. Magnus the Last Viking and A Soldier Surrenders) into audiobooks. She is presently working on the audio book for The Kings Prey.

Carolyn writes inspirational Christian romance. She has two adult titles: Ornamental Graces and Stay With Me. And one young adult story: Rightfully Ours. All of her books are available as audiobooks.

Both of these authors are featured on CatholicTeenBooks.com, along with several other amazing authors.

If you are an author and interested in turning your story into an audiobook, check out Carolyn Astfalk’s blog post “Tips for Turning Your Novel into an Audiobook Using ACX.” Carolyn recently presented these tips at a writers’ conference. She has a second article which is just as helpful, once you’ve decided to create an audiobook: “Tips for Marketing Your Audiobook”

If you like audiobooks and are a fan of Catholic teen fiction, here are a few more books you might enjoy:audiobooks.jpg

 

Christian YA fiction #Giveaways!

Standard

Summer is a great time for books and free books are even better! If you enjoy Christian young adult fiction, here are two GIVEAWAYS for you!

THE PERFECT BLINDSIDE – Fresh off a championship medal, Jake Taylor’s parents have dragged him to a middle-of-nowhere town in Colorado, far from where he wants to be. Smart and savvy, Sophie has spent the summer before her junior year of high school avidly following Jake Taylor in every article she can find, but now she sees the “truth” behind the story — he’s really just a jerk. When the only thing they can see is each other’s flaws, how can Jake and Sophie work together to figure out what’s really been happening at the abandoned silver mine? Follow Sophie and Jake into secret tunnels as they unravel the mystery and challenge each other to become who God wants them to be.


AN UNEXPECTED ROLE – The devastation of a ruined summer.The gift of a second chance. Can Josie learn the lessons she needs in order to discover her true self? After a humiliating event and overwhelming peer pressure, 16-year-old Josie flees her home to spend the summer with her Aunt on a South Carolina island. Her fresh start turns into the summer of her dreams as friendships grow, romance blossoms, and a series of thefts surround her with excitement. However, when tragedy strikes someone close to her, Josie realizes there are more important things than her reputation. As she sets out to solve the mystery she has become entangled in, she not only realizes the importance of relying on her faith but along the way also discovers who God wants her to be.


Click here for a chance to win both of Leslea Wahl’s books. Winners will be selected August 7th!


carolyn3

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?

Themes include premarital chastity and overcoming temptation.

“When a young man or woman recognizes that authentic love is a precious treasure, they are also enabled to live their sexuality in accordance with the divine plan, rejecting the false models which are, unfortunately, all too frequently publicized and very widespread.” Letter of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to the Young People of Rome, Sept 8, 1997

Click here for a chance to win an AUDIOBOOK of Rightfully Ours! All you need to do is comment on the blog post here.  The winner will be selected on August 15th!


Happy reading and have a wonderful summer!

New YA Short Story Anthology ~ Secrets: Visible & Invisible

Standard

This collection of short stories for young adults came out on July 4th, the feast day of blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati! It is CatholicTeenBooks.com‘s FIRST anthology of short stories, and I am so excited to have a story in it!

In this blog post, I’ll share a bit about the book–including the book trailer, advanced reviews, author bios, and opportunities to win your very own copy of the book! #GIVEAWAY


Secrets: Visible & Invisible

by Corinna Turner, Cynthia T. Toney, Theresa Linden, Susan Peek, T.M. Gaouette, Carolyn Astfalk, and Leslea Wahl

SecretsSecret (n.) – something kept hidden from knowledge or view; a mystery.

  • In a dystopian future, an innocent picnic turns deadly!
  • Elijah knows nothing of an elderly stranger’s secret past—until her disappearance changes everything.
  • A mysterious, ever-changing painting alarms a group of teens.
  • A cannonball took Dario’s legs . . . Will he lose his soul too?
  • The arrival of a mysterious girl challenges everything about Jason’s life.
  • An unlicensed driver. His dad’s truck. What could possibly go wrong?
  • An old tale of murder and forbidden love leads to a modern-day treasure hunt.

“For nothing is hid that shall not be made manifest, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light.” (Luke 8:17 RSV-CE)

BOOK TRAILER

GIVEAWAYS

Chance #1:  Enter here through Shower of Roses Blog

Chance #2:  Enter here through Catholic Teen Books


text4163

ADVANCE REVIEWS

“There is a little something for everyone in Secrets, a short-story anthology for Catholic teens. Seven authors cover an array of genres, including dystopian, historical fiction, and romance, while masterfully developing interesting characters and meaningful storylines. Faith is thoughtfully woven into the plots that also creatively incorporate mystery, intrigue, and heart-felt emotion. Fans of these Catholic teen authors will appreciate reading new stories about familiar characters. And first-time readers will be eager to read more in the full-length novels by their new favorite authors.”

Sarah Damm, mom of 6 and writer at sarahdamm.com


“This anthology of short stories for Catholic teenagers is a true literary treasure. It provides genres for every type of reader, each so well written that the reader is invited to fully escape into many different worlds and places. The short stories will take its readers to dystopian Europe, high school hallways, a city block in summer, and a soldier’s medical ward in 16th-century Italy, just to name a few. The characters are diverse, exciting, relatable; their adventures are accessible, mysterious and enthralling. But within these different settings, there is one uniting comfort: God is always there, whether revealed in a desperate prayer to a guardian angel, through pure romantic love, the presence of Christian charity, men and women religious, or within the sacraments. The hope that comes through Catholicism and Jesus prevails in each vignette, and yet there is still heavy doses of drama, suspense and tactful violence. So if your teen seems totally spaced out and properly engrossed, take courage knowing their love of reading and their love of the faith is being fed through these beautiful stories.”

Regina Lordan for Catholic News Service


“This anthology of Catholic fiction for teens will introduce readers to seven diverse authors. Many of these stories, in a variety of genres but linked by a common theme, offer a peek at characters from full-length novels. Readers already acquainted with these authors will enjoy new perspectives on favorite characters. Kudos to CatholicTeenBooks.com and these seven authors for dreaming up this excellent collection.”

Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS, Editor, CatholicMom.com and Managing Editor, Today’s Catholic Teacher magazine


“Featuring seven fabulous stories from top authors in Catholic teen fiction, Secrets is as entertaining as it is relevant and thought-provoking. It’s sure to capture your imagination, move your emotions, and stir your soul. Teens and adults alike are sure to enjoy the variety of tales, which are cleverly united by themes of secrets and faith. Packed with powerful, meaningful, memorable stories, this anthology is so good, you won’t be able to keep Secrets to yourself!”

Therese Heckenkamp, Christian suspense author of bestseller Frozen Footprints


“Seven Amazing Secrets . . . At a time when so much entertainment and fiction for teens is saturated with envy, lust, pride and other moral toxins, the book Secrets: Visible and Invisible is a powerful, and FUN-to-read, virtue-rich alternative. The talented team of authors behind CatholicTeenBooks.com have created the perfect way for readers to enjoy a taste of fresh new fiction that satisfies a deep hunger in the teen soul. Teens . . . you need to get your Catholic parents, grandparents, or teachers to get this book for you. Really. You’ll be glad you did.”

Cathy Gilmore, Founder/Executive Director of VirtueWorksMedia.com


“I knew I was in for some great reading when I picked up this collection. What I was not prepared for was how exceptional this collection was. . . . Every story was a remarkable story. Some of the stories were so good, I immediately went back and reread just that story. And then when I finished the book, I reread the whole thing again a few days later. I have a great deal of respect for the seven authors who contributed to this series. And even more so after reading their pieces in this collection.”

Steven R. McEvoy, blogger at Book Reviews & More


“Know a teen reader looking for a book filled with the unexpected? Look no further than Secrets: Visible & Invisible an anthology of 7 short stories from CatholicTeenBooks.com. From tales of bicycles to cars and even a saint standing on the threshold of the “dark side”, there’s plenty here for teen readers to sink their teeth into.”

Pete Socks, The Catholic Book Blogger


BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

July 4:  Steve R. McEvoy, Book Reviews and More

July 5:  Leslea Wahl, Leslea Wahl

July 6:  Barb Szyszkiewicz, FranciscanMom

July 7:  Shower of Roses, Shower of Roses

July 8:  Carolyn Astfalk, My Scribbler’s Heart

July 9:  Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur, Spiritual Woman

              Sarah Damm, Sarah Damm

July 10:  Corinna Turner, Unseen Books

July 11:  Christina Weigand, Palace of Twelve Pillars

July 12:   Theresa Linden, Things Visible & Invisible

July 13:   T.M. Gaouette, T.M. Gaouette

July 14:   Karina Fabian, Fabianspace

July 16:   Therese Heckenkamp, Therese Heckenkemp

July 17:    Ellen Gable Hrkach, Plot Line & Sinker

                  CatholicMom, CatholicMom

July 18:    Virginia Lieto, Virginia Lieto


AUTHOR BIOS

CORINNA TURNER is the author of the I Am Margaret series for young adults, as well as stand-alone works such as Drive! and Elfling (for teens) and Someday (for older teens and adults). All of her novels have received the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval (except new releases for which the Seal may be in process).Liberation (‘I Am Margaret’ Book 3) was nominated for the Carnegie Medal Award 2016 and won 3rd place for ‘Teen and Young Adult Fiction’ in the Catholic Press Association 2016 Book Awards. I Am Margaret was one of two runners-up for the ‘Teenage and Children’s Fiction’ Catholic Arts and Letters Award 2016.

Corinna Turner is a Lay Dominican with an MA in English from Oxford University, and lives in the UK. She has been writing since she was fourteen and likes strong protagonists with plenty of integrity. She used to have a Giant African Land Snail called Peter with a 6½” long shell—which is legal in the UK!—but now makes do with a cactus and a campervan. You can find out more at www.IAmMargaret.com.

CYNTHIA T. TONEY writes for preteens and teens because she wants them to know how wonderful, powerful, and valuable God made them. Her novels employ hope and humor to address some of the serious issues young people encounter.

Cynthia is the author of the Bird Face contemporary series, including 8 Notes to a Nobody, 10 Steps to Girlfriend Status, 6 Dates to Disaster, and soon, 3 Things to Forget. A coming-of-age historical, The Other Side of Freedom, is set in a 1920s farming community. Her novels have appeared on numerous Catholic bloggers’ Top 5, 10, or 20 book lists and favorites lists. They have also been featured in Catholic Teacher magazine.

She is a member of the Catholic Writers Guild and whichever author association or writing guild is available in the state in which she might currently reside, which so far has stretched across the southern U.S. to Texas. She has a passion for rescuing dogs from animal shelters and lives with her husband and several canines. She loves hearing from readers, who can connect with her through her website, www.CynthiaTToney.com.

THERESA LINDEN is the author of the Chasing Liberty dystopian trilogy and the West Brothers series, including Catholic Press Association award-winners Roland West, Loner and Battle for His Soul. She resides in Ohio with her husband and their three teen sons. A Secular Franciscan and a member of the Catholic Writers Guild, her faith inspires the belief that there is no greater adventure than the realities we can’t see, the spiritual side of life. She hopes that her stories will spark her readers’ imaginations and awaken them to the power of faith and grace. Learn more about her and find her social media links at www.TheresaLinden.com.

SUSAN PEEK is the author of the young adult series, God’s Forgotten Friends: Lives of Little-known Saints. All of her novels received the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval and are used in Catholic schools across the English-speaking world. The King’s Prey: Saint Dymphna of Ireland was voted one of the Top 10 Best Catholic Books of 2017 and Crusader King was listed with The 50 Best Catholic Homeschooling Books of 2013. Although Susan’s first love is writing for teens, she’s also authored several children’s books.

Susan is a Third Order Franciscan and mother of eleven children, including two in the Religious life and a son in the U.S. Air Force. She lives in Kansas, where she usually has her nose in a book, finding obscure saints to write about.

You can visit her at www.SusanPeekAuthor.com.

T. M. GAOUETTE is the author of the Faith & Kung Fuseries for young adults, as well as The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch. A member of the Catholic Writers Guild, her novels Freeing Tanner Roseand Saving Faith have received the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval. (Others 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 home-schools her four children and raises goats.

A former contributor on Project Inspired, she now writes fiction for teens and young adults. Her desire is to instill the love of God into the hearts of her readers. You can find out more at www.TMGaouette.com.

CAROLYN ASTFALK writes from The Sweetest Place on Earth, Hershey, Pennsylvania, where she lives with her husband and four children. In addition to her contemporary Catholic romances (sometimes referred to as Theology of the Body fiction), including the young adult coming-of-age story Rightfully Ours, she writes for CatholicMom.com and Today’s Catholic Teacher. When she’s not washing dishes, doing laundry, or reading, you can find her blogging about books, family life, and faith at www.CarolynAstfalk.com.

LESLEA WAHL lives in beautiful Colorado with her husband and children. The furry, four-legged members of her family often make cameo appearances in her novels. Leslea’s writing career began when she was searching for faith-inspired books for her own children and the idea for her first novel popped into her head. That divine inspiration has led to a successful writing ministry that she hopes encourages teens to grow in their faith through fun adventures. For more information about her faith-filled young adult mysteries, visit www.LesleaWahl.com.


SOCIAL MEDIA

Find all of these authors and others at: CatholicTeenBooks.com.

On Facebook, join the Books for Catholic Teens Group. On Instagram, follow Books for Catholic Teens.


GIVEAWAYS

In case you skipped over them, I’m putting them here again:

Chance #1:  Enter here through Shower of Roses Blog

Chance #2:  Enter here through Catholic Teen Books

Release Day for the Liberty Trilogy!

Standard

In two weeks her vocation begins.

She must find a way out.

Liberty 554-062466-84 of Aldonia grew up knowing that one day she, along with every member of society, must contribute to the greater good. She’s been measured, tested, and examined all her life, and now they’ve matched her to a vocation. They want her attributes—intelligence, beauty, health—to pass on to the next generation.

Life begins in the laboratory, making the family obsolete. Using top specimens, scientists create and implant only the best into the fittest women. Every girl in Aldonia wishes she had this vocation because of the alleged bonuses and privileges that come with it. But Liberty does not want to be a Breeder.

As the day draws near, Liberty is attacked. She’s about to lose consciousness when someone rescues her. She wakes in an underground facility, discovering a secret group that watches over Aldonia. Before they return her to society, she witnesses the rescue of a man scheduled for government re-education. They rescued him. They can rescue her.

Set in the not-so-distant future, the Liberty trilogy is a young adult story about a woman who wants to direct her own life, instead of having it controlled by the government. This novel explores the loss the individual faces when government is allowed to grow too big and reach too far. The traditional family is nonexistent. Human life loses value. The earth is elevated above man.

The books are available now as paperback or ebook on Amazon or through your favorite bookseller.

Chasing Liberty

Testing Liberty

Fight for Liberty

Bound to Find Freedom ~FREE short story connected to the trilogy

Congratulations to Michelle! She won a complete set of the Liberty trilogy!


Author Happiness!

Dear readers, you are my inspiration! I didn’t realize how much fun the contest was going to be for me as the author. But I have so enjoyed reading all the comments. I’ll share some of them here:

“I have read this series and I couldn’t put it down! I describe it to my friends as a Catholic version of the “Divergent” series. Dedrick is definitely swoon-worthy! LOVE the new book covers!” ~Cathy

“I love this series! So exciting that they’ll be re-released with such awesome new covers!” ~Susan

“I know my daughter would love this series!” ~Heather

“I love reading your books! I’ve just started Anyone But Him. I have been timid to read the trilogy because I wondered if it would be too depressing but after reading your blog, I’m ready to expand my horizons” ~Andy

“I enjoyed reading this trilogy so much! (I am so glad you decided to write a trilogy and didn’t stop with the first book! I so needed the next two in the series, especially the third!!!) I know I will reread the series again, as I miss reading about characters like Dedrick and Liberty. What better way to reread the trilogy than with the new covers?!” ~Anna

“I love the new covers. I adore a good Catholic dystopian. I want these for myself and look forward to sharing them with my 3 children.” ~Jillian

“This trilogy sounds so good! I am definitely putting it on my to-read list and adding to our homeschool book list for this year for my 9th and 11th graders! We are going to be working on American History and government over the next 12 months so I feel like this could be interesting to add to the topics in our discussions.” ~OurRominCatholicLife

“I love Dystopian fiction. Adding faith into the mix makes it even better.” ~Nicole

“This Tirlogy not only capivated my teen but also me. Your wording in this article is everything I have been trying to exclaim to others about dystopian but fail for lack of words. You have a very eloquent way with them. I long for great dystopian fiction and you hit the nail on the head, evoking emotions and feelings like none other, creating in me a desire to seek out truth and become the person God intends me to be. I pray you will be writing for years to come!” ~Danielle

“I have to admit your 5 points persuaded me to take a look at your books for my daughter.” ~Margaret


book signingAbout the author:

Theresa Linden is the author of award-winning Battle for His Soul and Roland West, Loner (Catholic Press Association Book Awards, 2016 & 2017). Raised in a military family, she developed a strong patriotism and a sense of adventure. Her Catholic faith inspires the belief that there is no greater adventure than the reality we can’t see, the spiritual side of life. She has eight published novels, including a fast-paced dystopian trilogy that tackles tough moral questions of our day, and two short stories in Image and Likeness: Literary Reflections on the Theology of the Body (Full Quiver Publishing). She holds a Catechetical Diploma from Catholic Distance University and is a member of the Catholic Writers Guild and the International Writers Society. A wife, homeschooling mom, and Secular Franciscan, she resides in northeast Ohio with her husband and three teenage boys.

5 Reasons We Need Dystopian Fiction

Standard

Before I begin… While I believe dystopian fiction is important (and thus I wrote the Chasing Liberty trilogy) my trilogy is now unavailable in paperback. If you are dying to own a copy of the trilogy today, there is only one way to get it. You’ll have to contact me! I have two complete sets that I can autograph and send to you. I’ll explain more later about that and a giveaway.

Do you find dystopian fiction to be exciting and adventurous or depressing? Or maybe it’s a bit of both.

I find it invigorating and inspirational to follow a lead character who recognizes something is wrong with the world–with the culture–and who is willing to do something about it despite the personal costs. We do not live in a perfect world and we each have a responsibility to do something about it.

Reason #1: Dystopian fiction can be inspiring. It can motivate a person to take a hard look at the world around them and encourage them to make a difference.

So while my trilogy is currently unavailable (in paperback) I am excited to announce that it will soon be re-released. I’ve revisited the stories and the characters (Dedrick, Liberty, Dr. Supero…) and brought them alive again in my mind. And I can’t wait to share the new covers and some special opportunities.

If you read through to the end of this, I’m also going to ask you to do something. And I’ll tell you about a chance to win the new trilogy.

Before I give reason #2 for why we need dystopian fiction, I’d like to share how this trilogy came about… because I never really planned to write a dystopian.

I was in the middle of writing and rewriting another book when inspiration for the Liberty trilogy struck. It wasn’t a single factor so much as a compilation of things that bothered me. I’d been watching and reading the news…

  • Scientists are experimenting on human embryos (Is nothing sacred? Where do we draw the line?)
  • Special interest groups insist that tiny fish are more important than farming families (Look it up if you don’t believe me!)
  • Other groups radically push the population-control agenda (Who cares that every person on the planet could fit into the state of Texas with over a thousand square feet per person?–Do the math.)
  • We all know that we can be tracked with our phones, and our cars, and through every online search and action. (I’m still shocked every time I see random ads in my FB feed for bizarre things that I research for stories.)
  • And who doesn’t notice and lament the moral decline our culture is experiencing?

I love our country and don’t want to see her fall. But if we lose focus on the things that matter—faith, family, and freedom—we’ll go the way of Rome and every other once-glorious nation.

Reason #2: Dystopian fiction can help us to realize what we have, what is valuable to us, and what we stand to lose.

So love of my fellow man and my country prompted me to throw myself into research, and I discovered actual special-interest groups that are influential in our country and the world. All the warped ideologies in my story come from this research. Yes, there are actual groups that think humans are the scourge of the earth.

The more I learned, the more I realized I needed to write this dystopian story about a possible future for America.

Reason #3: Dystopian fiction can help us to visualize, draw conclusions, and consider where we are headed if we continue down the same path.

I only meant to write one book and return to my other stories. I wanted to end Chasing Liberty by showing a seed of change being planted. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it. What exactly is this freedom we should be fighting for? Can one person possibly make a difference? The other two stories in this trilogy came to life very quickly.

The Liberty trilogy is set in the near future. The technology, science, and ideologies are real. The main character, Liberty, has grown up in a society that has done away with faith, family, and freedom. Needless to say, the average citizen’s concept of right and wrong is sorely lacking.

We see this every day, on the news and in our neighborhoods and schools. The sense of right and wrong has diminished considerably, even compared to ten years ago.

And while this is true, it is also true that God is not dead. God does not sleep or hide. He continues to offer His gifts, His truth, and holiness to those who long for it.

Raised in this godless society that has elevated the earth above man, Liberty had never learned about God and moral truth. Yet she has a moral compass that guides her.

We all have this moral compass, even though we often ignore it. Liberty doesn’t ignore it. Her choices make life harder for her at times, and she definitely stands out among her peers, but she wants to be faithful to the inner voice. And this makes a huge difference in her life.

Reason #4: Dystopian fiction shows that no matter how dark the world around us becomes, we each still have that inner voice and it’s important to follow it–not just important for our own life, but for the world around us.

Teens and adults have responded to the characters in this book and to the themes of the trilogy. It’s been called an action-packed thrill ride, phenomenal, and a must-read.

“Chasing Liberty by Theresa Linden is a futuristic look at what our culture might become if we keep on the same trajectory as we are presently heading. Though I dearly hope we have enough sense and compassion to avoid such a catastrophe, I can connect the dots which drew the picture Linden is pointing to. As in the books, 1984 and Brave New World, where the authors pointed to an extreme version of the worst elements in society, the danger is real, even if only in part. Such authors speak to us through fiction and remind us of an important truth about ourselves.”       ~Ann Frailey, novelist and screenwriter

This trilogy is aimed at young people, new adults, and adults who enjoy a character-driven story and a thought-provoking plot. It is also very relevant to today.

While some books recommended for young adults contain content that you wouldn’t want your teens to read, these do not. I wanted to write something that anyone could enjoy. My mom has even read and loved them! I won’t post her reviews though, because she might be partial. 🙂 But I will share one more review and then I’d like to show you a new book cover!

“I just finished the book, it was excellent. It is a hypothetical of what could happen to this country and the world when government controls you from cradle to grave and how a young woman by the name of Liberty is chasing just that liberty and freedom. It is a must read as this book takes you further in what happens to a society that is government run than the book Agenda 21 by Harriet Parke and Glenn Beck.”   ~Joe Goldner, co-host at The Truth Is Out There-Voice of the People Radio Show!

The trilogy will be re-released with the new covers June 27, 2018. The ebooks are available now but the paperbacks are not. Remember, I have on hand two autographed sets of the trilogy with the original covers, which I will offer at a reduced price. Contact me here.

And now… here is one of the new covers:

Chasing Liberty Front Cover

If you want to see the other two covers, visit my author website. You can probably also find them on Amazon because the ebooks seem to be available now, even though I’ve set the release date as June 27th.

This trilogy starts off pretty gloomy, I admit, but it ends on a note of hope and encouragement. Like Frodo in the Lord of the Rings and Mother Teresa on the streets of Calcutta, one person can truly make a difference in the world.

Reason #5: A good dystopian fiction brings home the message that you are responsible for the culture and you can make a difference in your own unique way.

 

Thank you for reading this through to the end. And now I’ve got a challenge for you.

Can you imagine if every person in the world stepped outside, picked up a piece of garbage, and threw it away? In some neighborhoods you might not have far to walk to find it, but others you would. But with that one effort, imagine how much cleaner our world would be.

But how do you change a dark culture that has allowed science and technology to advance without comparable developments in ethics, that has allowed a government to grow too big and controlling, that has allowed morals to fall so low that faith is no longer welcome in many situations?

 

I challenge you to do something.

  • Pray. It’s easy. You can do it anywhere, anytime, and for any reason. Remember God is always in control and He is waiting for us to turn to Him.
  • Be holy. Make the right choices every day, even if it leads to a few inconveniences. Think of the example you set for others!
  • Speak up. Talk to people about important issues. Even if you don’t agree, respectful dialog can accomplish a lot.
  • Share my trilogy! Don’t you think that’s a great idea? Or at least share this blog post if you think it makes a good point others need to hear.
  • If you’re a parent, educate your children about important issues. Talk about them often.
  • Be a responsible citizen, not just by voting but by staying informed and making your voice heard on important issues. Write editorials and blog posts!
  • Show your faith. Live your faith. Stand up for values.
  • And don’t underestimate the power of fiction. Stories are the basic way we make sense of our world. Unconsciously, our brains organize the information we receive every day in essentially the same form as a story. (I have more to say on this but I’ll share it another time).

And now, I leave you with a quote from Saint Catherine of Siena. This young woman who lived in the Middle Ages influenced popes, cardinals, and princes. She negotiated peace between countries, wrote books on spiritual matters, and was declared a Doctor of the Church.

Saint Catherine of Siena did all this before her death at age thirty-three.

be who God meant

You can contact me or sign up for my author newsletter here.

If you’ve read this trilogy already, please let me know what you think of it! And if you have someone you’d like to share it with, let me know that too. Share it in the comments for your chance to win a complete set of the trilogy with the new covers. #DystopianTrilogy #Giveaway #CommentToWin

Contest details: simply comment on this blog post and you are entered to win. Winner will be selected by Contest Winner Picker on the release date: Wednesday, June 27th. The winner will be announced in my newsletter and on my blog. The three books of the trilogy will be shipped to the winner within a day or two after that!

Please spread the word! Thank you!


Today is the release day and we have a #WINNER: Michelle Crosbie!!!

Congratulation, Michelle! I will get the complete trilogy in the mail to you as soon as possible! You commented that you think the trilogy would be perfect for your son. I hope he enjoys it!