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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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.

Inspiring Our Children to Greater Faith with Knights

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photographer/artist: Eric Keeghan

Isn’t this St. George plaque beautiful?

Tomorrow you will have a chance to win it as part of the Grand Prize for the Belt of Truth Scavenger Hunt. But for now…I get to have it on my wall for a few days!!!

The stunning image is secured to an 11” x 14” wood plaque. Eric Keeghan is the photographer/artist and you can see more of his work and find one-of-a-kind pieces on Etsy: TheTravelingCamera and CatholicLittleFlower.


Pictures of Saint George often show him with a dragon.

And, indeed, one can find many stories about George fighting dragons. In one story, a dragon made its nest at the spring that provided water for a little town of mostly pagan citizens.

In order to lure the dragon away from the spring, the townspeople offered it a sheep every day. When the sheep ran out, the thirsty townsfolk decided that a maiden would be just as effective as a sheep!

They chose the victim by drawing straws, and one day the princess’ straw was drawn. Well, the king was not too happy about this and he begged for her to be spared. The thirsty townspeople said, “No!” and offered her to the dragon.

Fortunately for her, George showed up and faced the dragon. After protecting himself with the Sign of the Cross, he slayed the dragon. Amazed at his courage and victory, the entire town abandoned paganism and embraced Christianity.


A biography of Saint George will show that he died in year 303 A.D. He served in Diocletian’s army until Diocletian ordered the soldiers to arrest Christians and sacrifice to the Roman gods. As a Christian, George refused. Diocletian offered George land, money, and slaves if only he would sacrifice to the gods. But George, steadfast in his faith, refused. Diocletian then ordered his torture and execution.

Saint George’s faith and courage are inspiring! Stories about Christian Knighthood–with knights, castles, dragons and armor–are perfect for symbolizing the spiritual battle we face! What better way to inspire our children to arm themselves with virtue?

Saint Paul saw this too and wrote the following:

“Therefore, put on the armor of God,
that you may be able to resist on the evil day and,
having done everything, to hold your ground.
So stand fast with your loins girded in truth,
clothed with righteousness as a breastplate,
and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace.
In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield,
to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
And take the helmet of salvation and the
sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

~ Ephesians 6:13-17

Those verses inspired my new Armor of God series. There will be six books in the series, one for each part of the armor: Belt of Truth, Boots of Peace, Breastplate of Righteousness, Shield of Faith, Helmet of Salvation and Sword of the Spirit.

These books follow George Pennington and friends as they attend Knight School for Boys and Girls, where the children work to earn each piece of armor. The story themes and “Brother Coll’s Catechism Lessons,” weaved into each story, are geared toward children preparing for First Confession and First Holy Communion.

The BELT OF TRUTH comes out tomorrow, April 23, on the Feast of Saint George! In this story, nine-year-old George Pennington bravely faces the fearsome head knight at the annual “tryouts,” hoping to be among the few accepted to Knight School for Boys and Girls. Otherwise, he’ll have to sit next to his father for years . . . sitting, writing, and yawning as he learns his father’s trade. But George does not want to be a scribe. He wants to be a knight!

When George tries to sneak out and visit his friend, he accidentally burns his mother’s cherished tapestry and costly repairs threaten his ability to remain at Knight School. A lie seems like the best solution. As lying becomes easier for George, he discovers that students need to earn the first piece of armor: The Belt of Truth. 

With tryouts, treks through the woods, a one-armed knight, the Code of Chivalry, and rumors of dragons, I hope that the six-book ARMOR OF GOD series will captivate young readers. Written with children ages 7-9 in mind, these roughly 14,000-word stories appeal to the universal and timeless quest for virtue and inner strength.


Tomorrow, April 23, you are invited to take part in the Armor of God: Belt of Truth Scavenger Hunt. As you visit the stops along the way, you will get to know 7 authors of Catholic children’s books and you will have opportunities to win many prizes. Once you’ve collected all the CLUES, you can enter for the grand prize which includes the beautiful St. George plaque featured in the beginning of this post, 8 Catholic children’s books, one St. George rosary, and a St. George necklace! Please share this event with your friends.


I am the author of nine published Catholic novels and three short stories in two anthologies. Two books in my Catholic teen fiction series have won awards from the Catholic Press Association.

I love our Catholic faith, especially the unique aspects of it: the saints, the Eucharist, even Confession! Growing up in a military family and moving every few years, left me with the impression that life is an adventure. I rarely get to travel anymore, but I love to write, so the adventures continue through my stories.

My faith inspires the belief that there is no greater adventure than the realities we can’t see, the spiritual side of life. I hope the richness, depth, and mystery of our Catholic faith will spark my readers’ imaginations through my stories and make them more aware of these invisible realities and of the power of faith and grace.

I hold a Catechetical Diploma from Catholic Distance University and am a member of the Catholic Writers Guild. My books are featured on CatholicTeenBooks.com, Catholic Reads, and Virtue Works Media. The first in my Catholic teen fiction series is available on FORMED.


To find exciting books in a variety of genres for the Catholic teen in your life, visit CatholicTeenBooks.com

Rebecca & Heart – A Story of of a Young Girl Struggling with Autism.

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Rebecca and Heart. is a Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval recipient! Before autism had a name or a diagnosis, it existed; children were referred to as “odd.”

Rebecca & Heart

Summary:

In this YA, pre WWII novel, set in London and narrated by an amusing fly-on-the-wall, orphan Rebecca is considered “odd.” It takes a stray mutt she calls Heart to show her adoptive family how to enter into Rebecca’s silent world.


My review:

This children’s story really touched my heart, and I would love for everyone to read it. Rebecca, the main character, has autism. We also have a son with autism, and he is such a treasure to us. While most children with autism struggle with social interactions and are overwhelmed with sensory input of one kind or another, every child is unique. Some have special abilities like Rebecca, but most don’t. Still, every child, no matter their gifts or challenges, brings something wonderful to the people around them, if people know how to look for it and appreciate it.

When this story begins, Rebecca lives at a girls’ home. The other children, and even some of the caretakers, are unkind to her or just don’t know how to treat her because she is “odd.” One day, Rebecca meets a dog, who is also a loner, and the two soon develop a special relationship.

Told from a fly’s perspective, this story has humor but also insight and depth. Rebecca moves from the girls’ home to an adoptive family. As her parents and the others in their home try to understand Rebecca’s unique way of relating to others and the world around her, every one of them grows in compassion and sensitivity, not only toward Rebecca but toward each other. It is a great story for children and adults alike to help develop empathy for people who experience the world differently. This story would be perfect for schools and families. I highly recommend it.

Theresa Linden, author of the West Brothers series

Excerpt:

I take a short nap on the wall in the warm sunshine, oversleep, and nearly miss the afternoon tea.

This is the first time Rebecca has ever been invited to the tea. The head mistress sits her down at a far tea table, apart from all the other tables. She sits alone.

“Be quiet,” Mistress tells her, and hurries off.

I watch her stare at the rug and lose herself in the design of concentric circles. She sways almost imperceptibly, but to Rebecca her movements are the same as the circles. Around and around she sways fitting into the circles just fine. She begins to count the circles.

Just then a lady wearing white gloves and a large hat sits down at the table where Rebecca is sitting intently studying the carpet. The woman seems captivated by the quiet girl, sitting alone, swaying in circles. She spots me on the wall and gives me a look of disdain. I get that a lot.


Website: http://booksbydeanna.com/index.html
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Deanna-K-Klingel-Author
Twitter: @deannakklingel


Author Biography:

Deanna K. Klingel is the author of  books for young and young-at-heart readers. She attends conferences and book festivals, speaks at schools, museums, historical events, and libraries, and inspires readers and writers of all ages.

Deanna was born and raised in Michigan and married her high school sweetheart while they were students at Michigan State University. They’ve lived many places including Sandy Springs, Georgia for 20 years with their 7 children before retiring to the mountains of western North Carolina. They have recently relocated to Edenton, NC, where they are restoring a 1790 home in the Historical District.

In her miniblog Mondays and Thursdays she shares her experiences on the road selling books, the people she meets, the places she goes, and what she’s learned while selling books. Occasionally she shares more personal anecdotes.

Deanna says, “We hear so much these days about unkindness, bullying, particularly against vulnerable children. It’s my hope that young people will love Rebecca, and as they understand her and her situation, they will become more empathetic, and show kindness and respect to those who are ‘odd,’ or different from themselves.”


Buy Link:

https://www.amzn.com/B078TQML5Y


Connect with the author:

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

 

New Historical Romance: Charlotte’s Honor

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I am honored to be part of the Virtual Book Tour for Ellen Gable’s new historical romance. In this blog post you will find the book description, early reviews, an excerpt from the story, and an author interview!

Charlotte’s Honor (Great War Great Love #2) by Ellen Gable

Charlotte's Honour Front Cover sm After receiving news that her brother – and only relative – has been 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.

You can learn more about the book here.

Get a copy of the book here:  Amazon Kindle

Print:  Coming Soon

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


Advanced Reviews:

Charlotte Zielinski, to whom we were first introduced in Julia’s Gifts, is a strongly positive role model for our daughters. She endures trials throughout this story that most of us cannot imagine facing today, yet the genuine manner in which the characters react and respond rings true for all time. I would add Charlotte’s Honor to the must-read list for any historical fiction, mother-daughter generational, or virtue-based book club. Of course, Gable’s tales are perfectly delectable as a personal poolside treat as well!”   ~ Jean Egolf, author, the Molly McBride series

“Charlotte’s Honor includes a little bit of everything: WWI history, sweet romance, and a little mystery/suspense. This page-turning love story (it’s a fast read!) is built on a foundation of faith and above all, the dignity of human life. Charlotte devotes herself to the care of dying soldiers. It is through this calling that Charlotte meets and falls in love with Paul, a skilled surgeon who has closed his heart to the possibility of romance. Expect a little humor amidst the backdrop of wartime brutality and a couple of surprises along the way. Charlotte’s Honor is not only a pleasant romantic escape but edifying as well.” ~ Carolyn Astfalk, author, Ornamental Graces

“Set toward the end of the Great War, Charlotte’s Honor allows readers to glimpse ugliness and death, blossoming relationships, and the most challenging experiences a person could face, juxtaposing the brutality of war with the beauty of sacrificial love.” ~ Theresa Linden, award-winning author of Catholic Fiction


EXCERPT

May 1918

Vauxbuin Field Hospital

Near Soissons, France

The air was thick with the mineral stench of blood. Inside the canvas tent that served as Barrack Number 48, Charlotte searched for a place in the unconscious soldier’s body to insert the hypodermic.  The poor gentleman had burns and wounds everywhere, but she managed to find a one-inch diameter spot on his thigh in which to plunge the needle.  The man didn’t flinch, and Charlotte suspected that his injuries were too grave for him to survive.  She recited a silent prayer for this man’s soul, then moved onto the next soldier.

The large canvas tents that were part of the field hospital covered the lawn in front of the chateau. Most volunteers referred to it as a chateau because it looked the part with its high ceilings, plentiful rooms and marble floors. However, it wasn’t a castle. It was a 19th century country manor.

A tendril of dark brown hair slipped from her headscarf, and she tucked it back in. Charlotte Patricia Zielinski didn’t care much whether her unruly hair was tame, but she did care about keeping healthy. She wasn’t a large girl, nor was she small.  However, roughhousing with her brother Ian for so many years made her strong.

After preparing another soldier for the operating theater, she took a short break and sat on a bench near the tent.

She glanced up at the dark sky, enjoying the quiet. After the sunrise, she’d hear the distant booming that came with being ten miles from the front.

After her bout with influenza last month, she’d felt fatigued for weeks.  In the past few days, she had enough energy to move a mountain.

Sister Betty, the medical volunteers’ middle-aged supervisor, called to her from the barrack beside her, Number 49.  She was a big-boned woman who seemed taller because she always stood so straight.  Charlotte wasn’t sure whether it was because she was British or because she was a big woman, but she also had a booming personality and a loud voice.

Charlotte stood up to speak with Sister.

“How many more men have to be prepared for the O.R., Miss Zielinski?”

“Four, Sister.”

“Maybe you’d be of more use in this barrack.” She pointed toward Number 49.

“Certainly.”  She turned to alert her co-worker in 48, when Sister yelled, “Wait.”

Charlotte stopped. “Yes?”

“Perhaps you’d better stay where you are. If there are only four left to prepare, finish that duty, then report to this barrack.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

It took a bit of getting used to, but here in Europe, nurses were referred to as sisters.  And all sisters – and most medical volunteers – wore headscarves that looked like habits.

She approached a soldier on a cot, noticing the maple leaf on his collar. Canadians tended to be an agreeable bunch.  He pursed his lips as she stripped his clothes, wincing as bits of skin came off with his pants.  The poor fellow tensed, but Charlotte could only offer, “I’m so sorry.  I am doing my best not to hurt you.”

The dark-haired man attempted a smile. 

An ear-piercing explosion caused the world around Charlotte to vanish, and she reflexively collapsed on the cot, falling across the soldier lying in front of her. Ears ringing, she remained still for what seemed like an hour but was likely a few minutes. Blinking, she opened her eyes and stared at the metal side of the cot in front of her and felt the soldier moving underneath her.

As she lifted herself up, not one but three large drops of blood splattered the white sheet below her. Her head seared in a flash of pain. 

When the Canadian soldier took hold of her hand, he said something she couldn’t hear. 

His warbling soon became words. “Are you all right, Miss?”

Her mouth was open, but she couldn’t speak.  Nodding, she raised her hand to her headscarf.  When she pulled her hand to her face, it was covered in blood.  Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

“Are…you all right, sir?”  Charlotte asked the man.

“Yes, no worse than I was.  Thanks to you, Miss.  You shielded my body with yours.” He paused. “You have a bad shrapnel wound on your head.”

“Y…yes.”  Charlotte winced but forced a smile. She turned and picked up a bandage from the side of the overturned cart. She pressed it to her head.

By this time, the entire ward was awake and bustling with moaning soldiers. 

Standing up, her surroundings seemed to shift and sway, so she reached for the soldier’s hand. “I’m so sorry.”

“Think nothing of it.  I’m happy to reciprocate.”

Glancing just above the soldier’s head, she spotted five or six holes the size of watermelons blown through the side of the barrack’s canvas wall and hundreds dotting the rest of the walls. Following the holes from the side wall to the ceiling, she stared upwards at the roof of the tent, now shredded in many places.

A few soldiers near the wall had sustained minor injuries, but no one appeared to be mortally wounded.

Panicked and fearing the worst, Charlotte rushed outside, the bandage still to her head. As she turned toward the adjacent barrack, she stopped and gasped. The influenza ward was no longer there.  Body parts, blood, torn-apart furniture, and bits and pieces of the barrack were all that remained.  The realization that she had escaped death made her knees buckle.

She blessed herself and lowered her head. “Requiescants in pace.”  Her hearing had not yet fully returned, but she could hear someone call her name. 


Author Biography:  Ellen Gable is an award-winning author of nine books, editor, self-publishing book coach, speaker, publisher, NFP teacher, book reviewer and instructor in the Theology of the Body for Teens. Her books have been downloaded nearly 700,000 times on Kindle and some of her books have been translated into Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, and French. The mother of five adult sons, Ellen (originally from New Jersey) now lives with her husband of 36 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

Google+


Author Interview: 

What was the inspiration for Charlotte’s Honor?

Since one of the themes of Charlotte’s Honor is preparing and being with soldiers who are close to death, the inspiration came from being with two close people in my life in the hours before their deaths. These experiences served as inspiration for Charlotte’s Honor.

Eleven years ago, when my mother was close to death, my sister called me in Canada and urged me to come right away (to New Jersey, my home state), that Mom didn’t have much time left.  I arrived before she passed, but by the time I got there, she was unconscious.  My sister and I prayed the Litany of the Saints (which she requested) as well as the Divine Mercy Chaplet. In the middle of the night, I got up to sit with her. I held her hand and prayed for her, talked to her and told her she was loved, and that it was okay to go.  When she did pass away, I was grateful and honored that I was present at the moment of her passing. And an interesting experience happened. My stepdad, siblings, and I were all sitting by my mom’s bedside and all of a sudden, I felt like my mom was on the ceiling staring down.  I lifted my head to look up, but at that point, my brother patted my arm and said, “Hey, El, I have this strange feeling that Mom is on the ceiling looking down at us.”  I believe that we were given a great grace at that moment.

Last year, my mother-in-law passed away. She had both dementia and cancer.  She was surrounded by those she loved and, although unconscious, we prayed the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet and other prayers for her in the last few days of her life.  It was a good death, a holy death. It’s the kind of death I hope to have: others praying the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet for me as I’m close to death.

Why World War 1?

I’ve always been interested in history and I knew very little about this war.  I decided to focus the bulk of my research on the last year of the War (after the United States entered).  Because I am American, and my husband is Canadian, the female protagonists in this series are American and the male protagonists are Canadian. So for Charlotte’s Honor, Charlotte is American, and Paul is Canadian.

Why is the name of the series Great War Great Love?

I owe my gratitude to the son of a friend of mine, Ian, for coming up with the title. The reason for the title is that World War 1 was called the “Great War” by the Allies before the USA entered the war, and is still often called the “Great War,” by the British, Canadians and Australians. And Great Love because there are many examples of how couples met and fell in love during times of war.

Can you tell us about the first book in the series and next book of the series, Ella’s Promise?

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.

Ella’s Promise (Book #3 Great War Great Love) The daughter of German immigrants, Ella is an American nurse who, because of the time period, was discouraged from continuing her studies to become a doctor.  During the Great War, she travels to Le Treport, France, to work at the American-run hospital. She meets her own “Great Love” in the last place she would expect to meet him.  Ella’s Promise will be released in mid-2019.

This is very different from some of your other books in that it is a very clean romance and can be read by young teens to elderly women to middle-aged men.  Was that a conscious choice?

Yes, it is very different and no, it wasn’t a conscious choice at first.  When I came up with the story and as I was gradually developing the characters and plotlines, it made the most sense to keep this a “sweet” and “clean” love story that anyone can enjoy.  It is, however, a war novel, so there are descriptions of war injuries.

Are you working on any other writing projects?

I’m in the process of writing Ella’s Promise, which is book 3 in the Great War Great Love series.

I’m outlining another novel, tentatively entitled Where Angels Pass, based on my father’s life and experience as a clerical abuse survivor. Since he never saw justice in his lifetime, I’d like to create a story where there is justice for him, even if fictional.

I’m also working on a non-fiction project that will offer guidance in coping with loss (I’m still in the outline stages of that project). 

Who are some of your favorite authors?

My favorite Catholic author is Dena Hunt (author of Treason and The Lion’s Heart), but I also enjoy reading Willa Cather’s books (Death Comes For the Archbishop, One of Ours).  Dena’s books are incredibly well-written and moving.  Cather’s books are well-written and rich in imagery and meaning.

And while this may seem biased, I enjoy reading books by all the Full Quiver Authors.  I also enjoy the books of the authors who are fellow members of the Catholic Writers Guild

One of my favorite secular authors is Nelson DeMille (author of the John Corey series).   I also enjoy reading Kathleen Morgan’s Christian historical novels.

 

Virtual Book Tour Stops/Links

October 22      Plot Line and Sinker

October 23       A.K. Frailey

October 24      Book Reviews and More,   Patrice MacArthur

October 25      Amanda Lauer

October 26     Franciscan Mom

October 29     Carolyn Astfalk

October 30     Catholic Mom

November 1    Plot Line and Sinker

November 2    Michael Seagriff

November 5   Virginia Lieto

November 6  Leslea Wahl

November 7   Theresa Linden

November 8   Sarah Reinhard

November 9   Erin McCole Cupp

November 11  Plot Line and Sinker  Remembrance Day/ Veterans Day post

November 12  Mary Lou Rosien

November 13  Therese Heckenkamp

November 14  E.M. Vidal

November 15 Leticia Velasquez

 

Secrets 99-cent Back-to-School eBook Sale

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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

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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)

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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