Julia’s Gifts A Finalist in the IAN Book Awards!

Finalist 2019 IAN image

My book, Julia’s Gifts: Great War Great Love #1, has been recently named a Finalist in the 2019 IAN Book Awards in both the Religious Fiction category and the Romance category!  A list of other winners can be found here at this link.

Julia’s Gifts is available in French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese and will soon be available on Audible.

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All in Good Time by Carolyn Astfalk Cover Reveal

All in Good Time

Coming Soon! With three rambunctious, young children, Melanie Lombardi can’t see beyond the day-to-day struggle to maintain her home and her sanity since her husband’s sudden death. A second chance at romance isn’t on her radar.
Brian Perella is done with dating, resigned to being the fun uncle and never the dad. Until he meets Melanie and her brood of lively kids on the sidelines of a Little League game.
But when Brian uncovers a co-worker’s secret, it re-ignites a temptation that Melanie can’t know about. It’s his secret to keep until an unexpected diagnosis brings everything to the surface, jeopardizing his future with Melanie and her children, who, when threatened by an unknown stalker, may need him now more than ever.

Open Book – October 2019

I’m joining with Carolyn Astfalk and Catholic Mom for “An Open Book.”  Here’s what I’ve been reading over the past month (and will be reading this month).

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Ella’s Promise (Great War-Great Love #3)

I’ve been editing, re-reading and re-editing for the past month.  The third in the Great War Great Love trilogy will be published on November 1, 2019!

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

shubert-and-sophie

Shubert and Sophie 

by Dr. Becky Bailey (illustrated by James Hrkach)

Synopsis: The beloved Shubert and Sophie books build character through conflict for both children and adults. An endearing lightning bug named Shubert, his little sister Sophie, and their friends at Bug Valley School demonstrate using the Seven Skills of Conscious Discipline to solve problems. Shubert’s parents and teacher model Conscious Discipline for adults.

My review: It’s hard to be unbiased since my husband illustrated all these books.  We just gave a full set to our grandson (and signed by his grandfather, the illustrator!), so we read through them again.  When James first began illustrating Shubert, our youngest son was in the womb! It’s hard to believe there are now so many of them and that we have a grandson to give them to! Highly recommend!

WithoutTrace

Without a Trace by Sylvia Wrigley

Amazon Synopsis: True Stories of Aircraft and Passengers Who Disappeared Into Thin Air.    For many, aviation still brings with it an air of mystery, a century-long magic trick. Though most of us will board an aircraft at some point in our lives, we know little about how they work and the procedures surrounding their operation. It is that mystery that makes these losses, such as the vanishing of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, so terrifying.
Without a Trace explores the most interesting of these disappearances: mysteries that have baffled investigators for years. Occasionally tragic, frequently amusing, Without a Trace is unerringly accurate and informative.
The two Without a Trace volumes span 150 years and explore mysteries from around the world. This is volume one, beginning just before the golden age of aviation with a manned balloon swept over the English Channel, and ending with a top-secret spy plane disappearing at the height of the cold war. Each case is laid out in rich detail and presented chronologically, highlighting the historical context, official accident reports and contemporary news surrounding each mystery.
Where did they go?

Sylvia Wrigley introduces the crews, innocent bystanders and rescuers in this collection of true stories. Documenting the popular theories from each case, she uses her knowledge and experience as a pilot and an aviation journalist to demystify aviation jargon and narrow down each disappearance to the most likely explanations.
This collection takes a hard look at the human failings of great aviators, explorers and celebrities who have pushed the limits of flight and ended up at the heart of a mystery. The stories encompass airships, military jets and commercial airlines – all of which have vanished without a trace.

My review: I’m currently reading this.  It’s interesting (and I love a good missing persons/airplane story), but the author’s writing is a bit stilted.  Otherwise, it’s an interesting book. Review to come.

The Time in Between

The Time in Between by William Judd

Back cover synopsis: Fred Nash, an adolescent in the 1960’s, emerging from a repressive home life and seeking to recover from the loss of a first love, finds himself depressed and adrift.  Will he find a true path for himself, or will he succumb to chaos and despair in the midst of a decade of significant cultural change?

My review: This is a moving coming-of-age story about a young man in the sixties. I enjoyed all the different references to music, TV and movies because I was a young child of the sixties.  You can purchase the book here at this link.

The Time in Between by William Judd

The Time in Between

New Book by William Judd: The Time In Between

Synopsis:  Fred Nash, an adolescent in the 1960’s, emerging from a repressive home life and seeking to recover from the loss of a first love, finds himself depressed and adrift.  Will he find a true path for himself, or will he succumb to chaos and despair in the midst of a decade of significant cultural change?

Reviews:

“This is a remarkable book by a first-time author.  It is a coming-of-age story with all the trials and tribulations that that entails.  But it is an evocative remembrance of the sixties.  Bill Judd captures the tone and feel of the time:  the expressions, the tastes, the opinions, the small town parochialism of middle America, as well as the worries and joys unique to teenagers in that time and place.”

Leslie Graitcer, former Executive Director, Bell South Foundation

“Bill Judd’s The Time in Between is a gripping coming of age story interweaving the turbulence of adolescence  with the social upheaval of the 1960’s.  Judd’s personalized approach to the narrative also touches religious and family themes in a thought-provoking page turner, immersing the reader in the travails and travels of the main character, Fred Nash.”

Tom Bartlett, editor, author of Songs from the Lifeboat

author photo

About the Author

William Judd has lived in Concord, NH, for 32 years.  There he and his wife have raised five children.  He is a retired high school English teacher and hospital nurse.  This is his first novel.

An Open Book #openbook Sept 2019

An Open Book 800W

Today I am joining with Carolyn Astfalk and CatholicMom.com for An Open Book.  Here is what I’ve been reading and planning to read!

 

Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Amazon Synopsis: Anna Karenina ( is a novel by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, published in serial installments from 1873 to 1877 in the periodical The Russian Messenger. Tolstoy clashed with editor Mikhail Katkov over political issues that arose in the final installment (Tolstoy’s negative views of Russian volunteers going to fight in Serbia); therefore, the novel’s first complete appearance was in book form in 1878. Widely regarded as a pinnacle in realist fiction, Tolstoy considered Anna Karenina his first true novel, after he came to consider War and Peace to be more than a novel. Fyodor Dostoyevsky declared it “flawless as a work of art.” His opinion was shared by Vladimir Nabokov, who especially admired “the flawless magic of Tolstoy’s style,” and by William Faulkner, who described the novel as “the best ever written.” The novel remains popular, as demonstrated by a 2007 Time poll of 125 contemporary authors in which Anna Karenina was voted the “greatest book ever written.”

My review: I just started reading this and I may be doing so for the next few months.  Review to come.

Forgiveness

The Power of Forgiveness by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Amazon Synopsis: “The only way to peace is forgiveness.” -Pope Saint John Paul II

As Catholics, we know that God s forgiveness plants peace in our hearts. We also know that there s grace that flows from the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Even so, we often struggle to forgive those who have hurt us, so we don t experience the peace that forgiveness can bring.

The Power of Forgiveness includes reflections on the topic of forgiveness, inspirational stories of saints, simple prayers, and questions to help you meditate and pray. By opening ourselves to forgiving others, we participate in God’s mercy and begin the process of healing.   Part of the Companion in Faith series.

My review: Forgiving those who hurt us is not easy.  But when Jesus taught us the words to the Lord’s prayer, He said, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”  Jesus didn’t include any exceptions.  Therefore, we are called to forgive others, no matter how much or how deeply they hurt us.

The Power of Forgiveness is a terrific booklet with reflections on forgiveness, inspirational stories of saints, prayers, and questions that help the reader to pray and meditate on forgiveness and opening our hearts to God’s mercy. It is only through opening our hearts to God’s mercy that we ourselves can begin to heal.

Highly recommend.  5/5 stars.

The Father's Son web image

The Father’s Son by Jim Sano (now available from FQP)

Amazon Synopsis: Despite a traumatic and difficult childhood, 39-year-old Boston sales executive, David Kelly, seems to have it all. While building a life of achievement, material success, and professional respect, an unexpected friendship with Tom Fitzpatrick starts him on an emotional and courageous journey that allows him to confront the truth of his past and the impact it has had on the relationships in his life. The Father’s Son is a highly engaging and masterfully written story that will make you think about faith, family, friendship, forgiveness, redemption, love, and truth, and may prove to profoundly impact how you look at life itself.

My review:  My review will be rather biased since I am publishing this book. But David Kelly’s story is a compelling one.  Highly recommend.

Eden's Sake

For Eden’s Sake by T.M. Gaouette

Goodreads Synopsis: Barely out of college, Isaac trades the quiet of his family ranch for the excitement of the big city with his dream job at an up-and-coming advertising agency. Until his perfect new world is shattered by bad choices, a pretty girl, a moment’s temptation—and a late night walk that quickly spirals out of control. Reeling with the horror of a mistake that can’t be undone, Isaac struggles to get his soul in order. Can he forgive himself? Can he make things right with God? What about Rebecca?

With both their lives desperately upended, and life-changing consequences no matter what they choose, Isaac must face his painful past, finding strength from God to do the right thing . . . and somehow convince Rebecca to do the same.

My review: What starts out as a careless night of drinking turns into a life-and-death situation. Isaac can’t undo his carelessness but he can do all in his power to prevent a young woman from making another mistake.  For Eden’s Sake is a well-written and compelling story about the consequences of sin and the grace of redemption. Thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend! 4.5 out of 5 stars.

 

The Father’s Son by Jim Sano #nowavailable

The Father's Son web image

The Father’s Son by Jim Sano is now available on Kindle and in Print.

Amazon Synopsis:  Despite a traumatic and difficult childhood, 39-year-old Boston sales executive, David Kelly, seems to have it all. While building a life of achievement, material success, and professional respect, an unexpected friendship with Tom Fitzpatrick starts him on an emotional and courageous journey that allows him to confront the truth of his past and the impact it has had on the relationships in his life. The Father’s Son is a highly engaging and masterfully written story that will make you think about faith, family, friendship, forgiveness, redemption, love, and truth, and may prove to profoundly impact how you look at life itself.

Reviews:

More and more baptized Catholics are walking away from the Church. Many have simply never been evangelized. Many have simply never been given a proper opportunity to encounter Jesus. Many have simply been hurt in their lives, some even by the Church. If we are serious about evangelizing them we will need to fully embrace Pope Saint John Paul II’s call for a new evangelization: “new in ardor, methods, and expressions.” The Father’s Son is a beautiful example of answering that call. For those of you who are striving to evangelize baptized Catholics – especially men – I would recommend getting this book into their hands. It is a story that will resonate with those who are dealing with wounds in their lives and might be what they need to set them on the path towards happiness, which ultimately will lead them into a relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church.   Michael M. Lavigne -Assistant Cabinet Secretary for Evangelization and Discipleship, Secretariat for Evangelization and Discipleship, Archdiocese of Boston

 I admit that I am a bit of a sucker for an engaging conversion story, but Jim Sano provided not only a book that I had to exercise great discipline to put down, but into the story of this young executive’s journey of faith he weaved a clear, relevant and attractive description of the Catholic Faith and its power to transform.  Today it seems all too easy to drift away from the Faith that had perhaps once been ours, and then to suffer the consequences of that neglect.  Here is a book that leaves its reader not only longing for more of the story, but wondering if the same hope and healing might be possible for them too.  Read this book, and get it into the hands of somebody you know who might need to remember what it means to be a son or daughter of a good father.   Ron Bolster -Assistant Professor of Theology, Director of Catechetics at Franciscan University

 Jim Sano’s The Father’s Son weaves a wonderful story around childhood misconceptions that lead to misshaped adult values, and how providence can lead people into our lives to set things straight. In this case, God leads sales executive David Kelly to Tom Fitzpatrick, who becomes both a friend and spiritual mentor, which in turn takes David on a journey that unravels the truth of his past and restores the faith he had abandoned. Definitely a book you’ll want to share with anyone who needs gentle nudging toward putting faith in God.   Michelle Buckman, author of CALA winner Rachel’s Contrition

 Questions galore filled my head as I kept reading with anticipation each chapter of The Father’s Son. Because David seems so together in most areas of his life, it kept gnawing at me. Why can he not commit? Why is there a chill running through the family’s relationships? It did not seem to fit. Tom is the catalyst who brings out David’s best, and worst, too! This novel “makes you laugh, makes you cry, and keeps you waiting.” Now, that’s a good book.   Florence Henderson

To get your copy, click here.

#FREE on #Kindle Emily’s Hope #NFPWeek

My first book, Emily’s Hope, is free on Kindle until Friday!

Emily's Hope

 

Amazon Synopsis: Emily’s Hope is the gripping story of one young woman’s physical, emotional, spiritual journey from high school to adulthood. Interspersed throughout the story are flashbacks to Emily’s great-grandmother’s troubled life, with a climax culminating in the surprising revelation that Emily and her great-grandmother are connected more deeply than by ancestral ties alone.  Based on a true story.

Reviews:

“I would encourage everyone to read this book, certainly young women.” David Beresford, Catholic Insight Magazine

“While this book is definitely about Natural Family Planning, it is also about the love of husbands and wives, the love of parents for their children and the agonizing moral choices we sometimes face. It is also about real people…and about being witnesses to a culture of life in a world overshadowed by the culture of death.” Kristie Wellman, One More Soul Magazine

“There is so much to love about Emily’s Hope: the innocence of young love, the beautiful, miraculous, healing power of love and the beauty of sacrificial married love and its life-giving splendor. This story is not a fantasy, but is a tender and sensitive portrayal of what makes love real and lasting.” Jean M. Heimann, blogger, Catholic Fire and author

To download Emily’s Hope for FREE on Kindle, click here: