I’m giving away five free audio-books of Stealing Jenny, narrated by Lisa Reichert.
The first five who leave a comment will receive a code for a free audio-book!
I’m giving away five free audio-books of Stealing Jenny, narrated by Lisa Reichert.
The first five who leave a comment will receive a code for a free audio-book!
The Italian Edition of Julia’s Gifts will be available within the next few weeks on ebook and Paperback. Links coming soon. Special thanks to Daniela Mastropasqua (translator) and Adelia Marino (editor) for their thorough and awesome job!!
Julia’s Gifts is also being translated into Portuguese, French and Italian. Those translations should be available before the end of October.
The Spanish edition of Stealing Jenny is available on Kobo and Barnes and Noble Nook and will soon be available on other ebook sites and in Paperback. Special thanks to Saskia Di Stefano who did an awesome job with the translation!
I’m really looking forward to sharing the audiobook of Julia’s Gifts, which is currently in production. I continue to be in awe of all the wonderful narrators/producers on ACX. Special thanks to narrator Kristen S. Osborne. We are hoping this will be available by mid or late September.
The Lion’s Heart by Dena Hunt encompasses the beautiful teachings of the Catholic Church on same sex relationships. It won the 2016 Catholic Arts and Letter Award for Adult Fiction.
Paul Meyer has never let anyone get too close. Until Max. The Lion’s Heart is a heart-rending story about love and sacrifice. The emotional struggle of Paul’s same-sex attraction, the guilt he feels, and his ambivalence toward his Catholic faith all come together in this look inside the heart of a tortured man.
It wasn’t the deception, unpleasant as it was, that troubled him. In fact, he simply couldn’t put his finger on it. All he knew that was truly different with Max was that he loved him. And it was that, that single stark truth, which made everything different. He never loved before… He put the empty wine glass on the balcony floor beside him and tried to find again that mysterious, interior quiet that city noise always brought him. But he felt instead a kind of disquiet that seemed urgent… Love was never wrong. He’d heard that so often from sincere people, good people… ‘Love is never wrong.’ More than a platitude, it became a mantra. No one could argue with it, not without being judgmental or bigoted. Paul himself always believed it, although he never thought much about it before—never had much reason to think about it. But then, he’d never really loved anyone before…
“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.” Joseph Pearce, author of The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde, co-editor of the St. Austin
“It may be fiction but The Lion’s Heart reflects a truth that is as real as the sunrise. The moral conflicts and dilemmas are treated with dignity and there are no easy answers, though, thank God, there are answers. The style, beauty, and flow of Dena’s writing speaks for itself. I could not give this book a higher rating, for it is at the top of the charts. I thank Ms. Hunt for having the courage and the beauty of heart to see, feel, and love as she did – for this book is, above all, a work of love. May it be accepted as such.” A.K. Frailey, author The Deliverance Trilogy
“Dena Hunt conveys some of the very real struggles of those persons who have same-sex attractions (SSA), especially the shame, confusion, and misery that can accompany such feelings. She shows how that suffering can affect family and friends. The path to understanding homosexuality requires abundant patience, prudence, and good will because the topic is not primarily a controversial cultural issue, but rather a complex personal reality. It is one for which there is not one simple or general explanation – or response. This novel gives us a glimpse into the lives and hearts of those touched by SSA who are striving to understand themselves, and so to love genuinely after the example of Jesus Christ and the teachings of His Church.” Rev. Paul Check, Executive Director, Courage
“Whatever side of controversy you call home, this book is a game-changer. With The Lion’s Heart, Dena Hunt gives us a compassionate story courageously told, depicting the truth in all its dimensions. Readers will never be the same, and with The Lion’s Heart, the landscape of faith-based fiction is changed forever.” Erin McCole Cupp, author, Don’t You Forget About Me
“The Lion’s Heart is a rocketing page-turner that had me hooked from beginning to end. The characters’ very genuine experiences with same- sex attraction, and its consequences, led me to a much deeper understanding and empathy for all those who must bear this burden. Above all, this story powerfully brings to life the reality that love often means saying “no” to one’s own desires, and instead choosing what is truly good for the other.” Christopher Blunt, author of Passport
You can purchase The Lion’s Heart on Kindle at this link.
It’s also available in paperback at this link.
I had a wonderful time in Lancaster, Pennsylvania this past week at the Catholic Writers Conference Live and the Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show! Here are just a few of the highlights.
I’m joining with Carolyn Astfalk and Catholic Mom for An Open Book. Here’s what I’ve been reading this past month:
Amazon Synopsis: Few creatures of horror have seized readers’ imaginations and held them for so long as the anguished monster of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The story of Victor Frankenstein’s terrible creation and the havoc it caused has enthralled generations of readers and inspired countless writers of horror and suspense. Considering the novel’s enduring success, it is remarkable that it began merely as a whim of Lord Byron’s. “We will each write a story,” Byron announced to his next-door neighbors, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and her lover Percy Bysshe Shelley. The friends were summering on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland in 1816, Shelley still unknown as a poet and Byron writing the third canto of Childe Harold. When continued rains kept them confined indoors, all agreed to Byron’s proposal. The illustrious poets failed to complete their ghost stories, but Mary Shelley rose supremely to the challenge. With Frankenstein, she succeeded admirably in the task she set for herself: to create a story that, in her own words, “would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature and awaken thrilling horror — one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart.”
My review: This was actually a very entertaining book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had seen several movie versions of this book, but they’re quite different from the original story. Beautifully written and with a interesting premise written more than 200 years ago.
Amazon Synopsis: April 1986 : American F – 111 warplanes bomb the Al Azziyah compound in Libya where President Gadhafi is residing. A 16-year-old youth, Asad – Arabic for ‘lion ‘ – loses his mother, two brothers and two sisters in the raid. Asad sees himself as chosen to avenge not only his family but his nation, his religion and the Great Leader – Gadhafi. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.Twelve years later, Asad arrives in New York City, intent on killing all five surviing pilots across America who participated in the bombing , one by one. John Corey – from the international bestseller PLUM ISLAND – is no longer with the NYPD and is working for the Anti-Terrorist Task Force. He has to stop Asad’s revenge killings. But first he has to find him.A thrillingly entertaining read from a master storyteller.
My review: Most of the beginning chapters take place in and around an airport and an airplane. So when I had read the paperback years ago (yes, when I was at an airport), I found it to be quite compelling. Recently, I downloaded the audio-book so that my husband and I might have a book to listen to on our way to Cincinnati for the Humanae Vitae 50 Conference (#HV50CCL). It’s even better as an audio-book, because I find that when I read a page-turner, I’m almost skimming. When I listen, there’s no skimming and I’m actually hearing the story in a whole new way. I love the John Corey series (although he can be a crass character with his language). Excellent and well-drawn characters.
Amazon synopsis: Through their heartfelt and inspiring book, Passionate Parent Passionate Couple, Ed and Betty Coda provide you with practical wisdom and upbeat, moving insights about how you can: • Create a foundation of love, trust and support that pulls your family together • Rejoice in your children and strengthen your marriage through parenting • Develop clear, honest communication skills that include fun and humor • Cultivate an environment of belonging and generosity within your home.
My review: I met Ed and Betty at the recent #HV50CCL Conference earlier in July. They are a wonderful CCL teaching couple from Hawaii and had sent several boxes of books to the conference (and as I recall, none ended up arriving at the conference! Thankfully, they insured their packages!) We had some lovely chats and agreed to do a book exchange. I haven’t read the entire book, but what I have read is wonderful.
“Celebrate and reverence God’s vision of human sexuality.”
On July 25th, 1968, Blessed Pope Paul VI issued his encyclical, Humanae Vitae (On Human Life) which reaffirmed the 2000-year consistent teaching that artificial contraception is morally wrong. Read my stories about HV here and here.
Why Natural Family Planning Differs from Contraception
Pope John Paul II
(In 1998 Pope John Paul II wrote a letter to Dr. Anna Cappella, director of the Center for
Research and Study on the Natural Regulation of Fertility at Rome’s Catholic University of the Sacred Heart. The occasion was a convention commemorating Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical. Excerpts are reprinted below.)
I hope that everyone will benefit from a closer study of the Church’s teaching on the
truth of the act of love in which spouses become sharers in God’s creative action.
The truth of this act stems from its being an expression of the spouses’ reciprocal
personal giving, a giving that can only be total since the person is one and indivisible. In the act that expresses their love, spouses are called to make a reciprocal gift of themselves to each other in the totality of their person: nothing that is part of their being can be excluded from this gift.
This is the reason for the intrinsic unlawfulness of contraception: it introduces a substantial limitation into this reciprocal giving, breaking that “inseparable connection” between the two meanings of the conjugal act, the unitive and the procreative, which, as Pope Paul VI pointed out, are written by God himself into the nature of the human being (HV, no. 12).
Continuing in this vein, the great pontiff rightly emphasized the “essential difference”
between contraception and the use of natural methods in exercising “responsible procreation.” It is an anthropological difference because in the final analysis it involves two irreconcilable concepts of the person and of human sexuality (cf. Familiaris Consortio, no. 32). It is not uncommon in current thinking for the natural methods of fertility regulation to be separated from their proper ethical dimension and to be considered in their merely functional aspect. It is not surprising then that people no longer perceive the profound difference between these and the artificial methods. As a result, they go so far as to speak of them as if they were another form of contraception. But this is certainly not the way they should be viewed or applied.
On the contrary, it is only in the logic of the reciprocal gift between man and woman that
the natural regulation of fertility can be correctly understood and authentically lived as the proper expression of a real and mutual communion of love and life. It is worth repeating here that “the person can never be considered as a means to an end, above all never a means of ‘pleasure.’ The person is and must be nothing other than the end of every act. Only then does the action correspond to the true dignity of the person.” (cf. Letter to Families, no. 12).
The Church is aware of the various difficulties married couples can encounter,
especially in the present social context, not only in following but also in the very
understanding of the moral norm that concerns them. Like a mother, the Church draws
close to couples in difficulty to help them; but she does so by reminding them that the
way to finding a solution to their problems must come through full respect for the truth of their love. “It is an outstanding manifestation of charity toward souls to omit nothing
from the saving doctrine of Christ,” Paul VI admonished (HV, no. 29).
The Church makes available to spouses the means of grace which Christ offers in
redemption and invites them to have recourse to them with ever renewed confidence. She exhorts them in particular to pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is poured out in their hearts through the efficacy of their distinctive sacrament: this grace is the source of the interior energy they need to fulfill the many duties of their state, starting with that of being consistent with the truth of conjugal love. At the same time, the Church urgently
requests the commitment of scientists, doctors, health-care personnel and pastoral
workers to make available to married couples all those aids which prove an effective
support for helping them fully to live their vocation (cf. HV, no. 23-27).
I’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.
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/02vh6Yr9198
Rafflecopter Tour-wide Giveaway (Enter to win a free copy!)
“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
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.