Charlotte’s Honor Cover Reveal

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Coming in November!  Charlotte’s Honor: Great War Great Love #2

Synopsis: After her brother is killed in action during the Great War, 21-year-old Charlotte Zielinski enlists as a medical volunteer. She eventually begins working in the death ward of the field hospital near Soissons, France, holding dying men’s hands and singing them into eternity.

Dr. Paul Kilgallen is a Canadian surgeon working at the field hospital. During a siege by the enemy, everyone evacuates except for Paul and Charlotte, who volunteer to remain in the basement of the chateau to care for the critically ill soldiers.

During those three days, Charlotte sees a side of Paul that very few have seen and finds herself falling in love with him. Just 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 Charlotte seems to be losing hope, the war is coming to a close, and two astonishing events will change her life forever.

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Humanae Vitae: 50 Years Later #HV50 #TOBtalk

HV50 Man CannotMy latest article for Catholic Mom:

In July of 1968,  I was a carefree nine-year-old enjoying summer vacation, still playing with dolls and pretending that I was the mother of ten children. I don’t remember watching news or hearing anyone talk about Humanae Vitae.

But I do recall my parents and their friends that summer having these sorts of conversations: “What does the pope expect we should do? Have 15 kids? Or not have sex? No way. We’re using birth control.” I didn’t think much about it except that in my naïve mindset, I didn’t know what sex or birth control were, but I remember thinking, shouldn’t moms and dads want to have lots of children?

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Me at the age of nine, summer of ’68.

In 1968 and with many of the faithful expecting and hoping that the Church would “change” its teaching on artificial contraception, Blessed Pope Paul VI issued his encyclical, Humanae Vitae (On Human Life) which confirmed and proclaimed the 2000-year consistent teaching of the Church that artificial methods of contraception were immoral.

Within two days, dissident theologians led by Father Charles Curran issued this statement: “Spouses may responsibly decide according to their conscience that artificial contraception in some circumstances is permissible and indeed necessary to preserve and foster the value and sacredness of marriage,” thereby, leaving it up to individual Catholic couples’ “conscience” to decide. The problem was there was no indication from dissidents as to how couples should form their consciences (nor, in my opinion, did the dissidents care). Two months after HV, the “Winnipeg Statement” was issued by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops stating that “those who cannot accept the teaching should not be considered shut off from the Catholic Church, and that individuals can in good conscience use contraception as long as they have made an honest attempt to accept the difficult directives of the encyclical.”

While many of the faithful were only focusing on their own personal situations, Pope Paul VI was warning the faithful that going against natural law and the 2000-year teaching of the Church would bring a “general lowering of moral standards.” (HV 17) Welcome to the world in which we live.

Fifty years later, I’m more mature. I understand that there are many good and serious reasons to postpone or prevent pregnancy. In fact, I’ve lived through serious situations that necessitated avoiding pregnancy. But I also believe that there are so many good reasons NOT to dissent from Church teaching on this issue.

Blessed Pope Paul VI affirmed the Church’s teachings but he also gave an alternative and moral option: Natural Family Planning, which in the ’60s was becoming more and more effective.

Blessed Pope Paul VI said (HV 17) that we needed to “consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law.”

I remember as a teenager in the late ’70s when I heard of a young man and woman moving in together. I wasn’t surprised. I wasn’t shocked. In fact, in the ten years or so since I had heard the conversations between my parents and their friends, three things had become normalized: cohabitation, premarital sex, and contraception. In my formative years, I was taught by society that if everyone agrees something is okay, then it’s okay. Thus, I regarded a man and woman moving in together as simply an option rather than a moral choice.

Blessed Pope Paul VI went on to include another, very important, consequence for accepting contraception.

One “effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.” (HV 17)

Well, we need only look to the recent scandals that have come to light in Hollywood and in other areas where men in power have been preying on young women. Why do large numbers of Christians and Catholics believe it’s completely acceptable to read the Fifty Shades books and to see the movies (and many defending their actions)? It is precisely because women themselves don’t reverence their own bodies. If they are contracepting (statistically, most Christians and Catholics use contraception openly), if they aren’t reverencing their own bodies, why should they expect their spouses to do so?

The sad effect in all of this is that the widespread dissent to Humanae Vitae and our society’s rejection of objective truth sent me in the wrong direction to the point that, when I began dating my husband in 1979, I was pro-choice, pro-premarital sex, and pro-contraception. I thank God every day that he gently led me back to the faith of my youth and to the truths of these beautiful teachings on sex and marriage.

Blessed Pope Paul VI was, indeed, a prophet. One need only look at the state of our world 50 years later to see that there is a general lowering of morals. Paul VI knew that the “Birth control commission” set up by his predecessor, Saint John XXIII, recommended that the Church “change” her stance on artificial contraception. However, guided by the Holy Spirit, he wrote Humanae Vitae. He probably suspected that his encyclical reiterating and confirming the Church’s 2000-year teaching on natural law would not be met with cheers and applause. We do need incentives to keep the moral law; otherwise, there are consequences.

I, for one, am grateful that Blessed Pope Paul VI embraced his mission to confirm and spread the truth. Now, we can clearly see his prophecies have come true — the morals of our world have changed greatly since 1968.

I’m 50 years older, but 50 years wiser. And very thankful to the Church for reaffirming the truth amidst pressures.


Copyright 2018 Ellen Gable Hrkach

 

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Secrets: Visible and Invisible VBT

SecretsI’m happy to be taking part in the Virtual Blog Tour of the new anthology, Secrets: Visible & Invisible, by Corinna Turner, Cynthia T. Toney, Theresa Linden, Susan Peek, T.M. Gaouette, Carolyn Astfalk, and Leslea Wahl

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.

My review: I totally enjoyed this short story anthology which includes a little bit of something for every teen reader!  Highly recommend!

“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)
Amazon: Link here.
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40499391-secrets
Website: http://www.catholicteenbooks.com
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/02vh6Yr9198
Rafflecopter Tour-wide Giveaway (Enter to win a free copy!)

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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 in16th-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 McEvoy                         Book Reviews and More

July 5              Leslea Wahl                             Leslea Wahl

July 6              Barb Szyszkiewicz                  Franciscan Mom

July 7              Shower of Roses                     Shower of Roses

July 8              Carolyn Astfalk                      My Scribbler’s Heart

July 9              Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur    Spiritual Woman

July 9              Sarah Damm                           Sarah Damm

July 10            Corinna Turner                      Unseen Books

July 11            Christina Weigand                 Palace of Twelve Pillars

July 11            Virginia Lieto                          Virginia Lieto

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

July 17            CatholicMom                           CatholicMom

July 18            Catholic Teen Books              Catholic Teen Books
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 http://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, http://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 http://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 http://www.SusanPeekAuthor.com.
T. M. GAOUETTE is the author of the Faith & Kung Fu series for young adults, as well as The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch. A member of the Catholic Writers Guild, her novels Freeing Tanner Rose and 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 http://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 http://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 http://www.LesleaWahl.com.

The Big Three #TOB #HV50CCL

My husband and I had the absolute pleasure of being able to reconnect and take a photo with three of the most influential speakers/authors of the Theology of the Body, all in the same room, at the recent Humanae Vitae 50 CCL Convention in Sharonville, Ohio: L to R: Dr. Janet Smith, Damon Owens and Christopher West!

The Big Three TOB

Summer Reads from FQP

Let’s talk summer! There’s nothing I like better than to sit under a tree on a warm summer’s day and read a story that will sweep me away. Full Quiver Publishing books make ideal summer/beach reads!!  (In no particular order!)

1.  Julia’s Gifts: Great War Great Love #1

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 her 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.  Available here on Kindle or print. Book 2 in the Great War Great Love series, Charlotte’s Honor, will be released in November.

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2. The Lion’s Heart
2016 CALA-award winner, The Lion’s Heart by Dena Hunt, is currently available on Kindle and in softcover. This beautiful book encompasses the Catholic Church’s teachings on this topic. Of The Lion’s Heart, Joseph Pearce, well-known Catholic author, says, “Dena Hunt is a consummate storyteller who does not shirk or shy away from the difficult questions about life and love that her story raises. The Lion’s Heart contains not only the loves of lovers, spouses, parents, and children but also the demons and dragons that selfishness unleashes. The Lion’s Heart is not for the faint-hearted, nor is it for the hard-hearted. It pulsates with a passion that will bring true hearts to their knees.”
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3. In Name Only (O’Donovan Family)
In Name Only is the first in the O’Donovan Family series (although both this and its sequel can be read independently of the other). It has been downloaded over 160,000 times on Kindle and won the Gold medal in Religious Fiction at the 2010 IPPY Awards. Check out the profile page on Amazon.In name only much smaller

4. A Subtle Grace (O’Donovan Family)
A Subtle Grace is available both on Kindle and in paperback. In her review, Trisha Niermeyer Potter, blogger at Prints of Grace, says this:
“This is one of my favorite contemporary works of Catholic fiction. The storytelling is masterful, the characters fascinating, and the writing is of high literary quality.  A Subtle Grace has all of the elements that good Catholic fiction should.”A Subtle Grace front cover Nov2013

5. Stealing Jenny
This is my biggest seller and most popular book as evidenced by the over 600 reviews on Amazon (and the six months it spent as a #1 bestseller on Kindle with over 280,000 downloads). It’s a quick and easy read. Check out the Amazon profile page here. Stealing Jenny

6. Don’t You Forget About Me by Erin McCole Cupp
Funny, quirky and great writing! Also referred to as a Theology of the Body mystery! Check out the Amazon page here.

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7. Angela’s Song by AnnMarie Creedon
A beautiful Theology of the Body romance with over 250 reviews on Amazon! AS Front Cover Final9-19

8. A World Such as Heaven Intended and A Life Such as Heaven Intended
A World Such as Heaven Intended by Amanda Lauer is an ideal beach read! It is available on Kindle and in print.

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9. Emily’s Hope
My first book is based on the true stories of myself and my great-grandmother. Check out the website here to read an excerpt and reviews.Emily's Hope

10. Discovery by Karina Fabian

Do you like science fiction?  Then you’ll love Discovery by Karina Fabian!

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11. Stay With Me and Rightfully Ours by Carolyn Astfalk

Stay With Me is a contemporary romance and Rightfully Ours is a teen contemporary romance/mystery

Stay with Me front cover Rightfully Ours

 

12. The Lady Doc Murders

Dying for Revenge and Dying for Compassion

DYING FOR REVENGE is a story of love, obsession and forgiveness, seen through the eyes of a passionate, beautiful woman trying to live her life — imperfectly but vibrantly — even if she won’t survive.

DYING FOR COMPASSION deals with the topic of euthanasia.

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Open Book – July 2018

Open Book

I’m joining with Carolyn Astfalk and Catholic Mom for An Open Book.

Happy Fourth of July!

Here’s what I’ve been reading (or listening to) during the past month!

Secrets

Secrets Visible and Invisible by Catholic Teen Authors

Synopsis: Seven Stories. One Theme.
♦ 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

My review: I thoroughly enjoyed this anthology with a story for every kind of reader.  The seven stories are entertaining and relevant for today’s teens.  Highly recommend!

Playing by heart

Playing by Heart by Carmela Martino

Amazon Synopsis:   Emilia Salvini dreams of marrying a man who loves music as much as she does. But in 18th-century Milan, being the “second sister” means she’ll likely be sent to a convent instead. Emilia’s only hope is to prove her musical talents crucial to her father’s quest for nobility. First, though, she must win over her music tutor, who disdains her simply for being a girl. But before she can carry out her plan, a tragedy sends the family into mourning. In her sorrow, Emilia composes a heartrending sonata that causes the maestro to finally recognize her talent. He begins teaching her music theory alongside Antonio Bellini, the arrogant great-nephew of a wealthy marquis. Emilia’s feelings toward her rival gradually change as she strives to outdo him. But just when her dreams seem within reach, Emilia learns that her success could destroy not only her future but her sister’s very life.

My review: Beautifully written, wonderful story.  Highly recommend!

Somewhere in Time

Somewhere in Time (formerly Bid Time Return) by Richard Matheson

Amazon Synopsis: Matheson’s classic novel tells the moving, romantic story of a modern man whose love for a woman he has never met draws him back in time to a luxury hotel in San Diego in 1896, where he finds his soul mate in the form of a celebrated actress of the previous century. Somewhere in Time won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, and the 1979 movie version, starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, remains a cult classic whose fans continue to hold yearly conventions to this day.

My review: Before the movie came the book.  I absolutely love Somewhere in Time (it’s one of my favorite all time movies!). I remember back in the early 80’s watching the movie, then wanting to read the book.  The book has a different setting but it also has so much that the movie doesn’t. Rich imagery, beautiful writing. I like to read this every few years.  Highly recommend!

The Chamber

The Chamber by John Grisham (Audiobook)

Amazon Synopsis: Twenty-six-year-old Adam Hall stands on the brink of a brilliant legal career. Now he is risking it all for a death-row killer and an impossible case.

Maximum Security Unit, Mississippi State Prison:  Sam Cayhall is a former Klansman and unrepentant racist now facing the death penalty for a fatal bombing in 1967. He has run out of chances — except for one: the young, liberal Chicago lawyer who just happens to be his grandson. While the executioners prepare the gas chamber, while the protesters gather and the TV cameras wait, Adam has only days, hours, minutes to save his client. For between the two men is a chasm of shame, family lies, and secrets — including the one secret that could save Sam Cayhall’s life…or cost Adam his.

My review:  Coming

FQP News!

New Logo smallMore FQP projects are on the horizon!

Final Julia's Gifts Front rev

Julia’s Gifts is being narrated as an audio-book and should be completed by the end of summer.

Julia’s Gifts is also being translated into Italian and should be available in paperback and ebook by the middle of July.

Stealing Jenny

Stealing Jenny is being translated into Spanish and will be available via paperback and ebook by the end of the summer.  (It’s already available in English and Portuguese. Special thanks to the remarkable and easy-to-work-with translator,  Ramon Vitor da Costa)

Stealing Jenny is also being translated into Italian and will be available via paperback and ebook by the end of the summer.