“ANIMALS OF GOD” by Susan Peek
Beautifully Illustrated by Martina Parnelli,
With Bonus Coloring Book in the Back!
Richard takes Kate to their senior prom and dates her after graduation. He intends to marry her after he completes his studies at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. Richard is Methodist; Kate is Catholic.
While he is away at art school, Kate falls in love with Mike Flannigan, a Catholic, and marries him. Richard is brokenhearted. Shortly after he receives this news, he marries on the rebound.
Forty years pass. Richard is given the opportunity to enter Kate’s life again, and he takes it, hoping the two of them can finally be together. This time his rival is not another man but the doctrine of the Catholic Church.
Will Richard and Kate ever find happiness as man and wife?
About the author:
Barbara L. Monahan, author of The Rosary, at the age of forty-nine, entered college as a night student and earned a Bachelor of Arts. At the age of sixty-five, while employed as administrator and teacher at a Catholic elementary school, she completed a Master of Science in Education. At the age of seventy-three, she wrote for a weekly newspaper for six years. She has been published in Woman’s Day, Catholic Digest and numerous Catholic publications. Currently, she works for an international firm as a merchandiser. The Rosary is her first novel, published two days before her 80th birthday.
While I don’t typically read vampire stories, knowing that
Zaplendam is a skilled writer, I was eager to read Order of the Blood: The Unofficial Chronicles of John Grissom. I anticipated an engaging story, and I wasn’t disappointed!
Zaplendam did a wonderful job of seizing my interest from the start, weaving an intriguing and clever tale endowed with original characters that I became highly invested in. The plot is strong and layered with twists and rich character development. The dialogue is crisp, witty, and entertaining.
John Grissom, a young man of Regency England, is striving to discover a cure for vampirism. The stakes are high, as he himself has been inflicted. Yet oddly, he isn’t like other vampires endowed with super strength, speed, and night vision. He can even withstand sunlight. But as a Catholic vampire with a conscience, he’s in an extremely complex situation; and his humanism and sense of right and wrong war with his vampirism. Plagued by a repulsive thirst for blood, he must be constantly alert lest he succumb to temptation. And temptations abound.
Miss Henrietta Isherwood, his lovely new lab assistant, is no shrinking violet (even with a father who’s been turned to a vampire). Every bit the lady, she’s intelligent and intrepid without being overbearing. John’s and Henrietta’s interactions lend humor, depth, and spark to the story. An underlying attraction flits between them, yet a strong sense of propriety, professionalism–and, of course, vampirism–challenges their relationship.
Meanwhile, a top vampire, the evil Mr. Waite, is heading a terrible conspiracy that threatens the entire country. While John may seem an unlikely choice to take Waite down, he rises to the task and pairs up with a formidable vampire hunter.
Even though Order of the Blood holds plenty of danger and suspense, the story never became too dark for my enjoyment. My favorite scene is a chilling one in which circumstances confine John and Henrietta together as an unspeakable, horrible decision overshadows them. Their vulnerability and concern for one another is particularly moving under the pressure of their shocking circumstances.
Zaplendam did a remarkable job of writing this entire novel from John’s viewpoint. The setting and details struck me as historically authentic and well-researched. Above all, I admire the way the author used a vampire story (without being repulsive) to tell an exciting tale with real substance, one that makes readers ponder moral truths and, in particular, to consider what really makes a monster.
While this book is not overtly Catholic, the main character is Catholic, the author is Catholic, and the novel is completely compatible with the sensibilities of a Catholic reader.
You’ll be delighted, as I was, to learn that Order of the Blood is the first of a planned series by Zaplendam, because by the book’s end, you won’t want to say goodbye to John or Henrietta. For anyone who is considering picking up a vampire story, this one–graced with depth and morality–is the perfect one to choose!
On the anniversary of the plane crash that took the life of her beloved grandmother and threw her own mother into a deep depression, 16-year-old Katelyn Marie Roberts discovers a single bead from her grandmother’s rosary-a rosary lost in the crash. A chance encounter with a stranger, who tells Katelyn that a similar bead saved her friend’s life, launches Katelyn and her family on a quest to find the other missing beads. Their mysterious journey, filled with glimmers of hope, mystical encounters and unexplained graces takes them further into the unknown. Katelyn turns to the Rosary for answers and soon finds that family, prayer and the help of others may be the key to restoring what was lost.
Available in paperback, this inspiring faith-filled novel is perfect for teens and young adults!
This gripping YA historical novel tells the story of a remarkable teen through the eyes of his servant, Poidevin, who came to faith because of the example of his godly young master. Immersed in the historical background of tenth century Bohemia, this true tale of Good King Wenceslas pulls the reader into the struggles and danger of the Dark Ages.
From the author:
“At 14, he led an army to victory. By 18, he’d taken back the throne from his pagan mother. In his brief four year reign, Václav I of Bohemia (whom we know as ‘Good King Wenceslas’ of the Christmas carol) made such an impact on the Czech people through his life of faith that he is the patron saint of the Czech Republic.”
Available in paperback.
View the book trailer on this page.
Released just in time for Christmas!
Lady Merewyn and Prince Alexander face daunting circumstances. Werewolf hordes, slaughtering royalty and peasants, rampage King William’s empire. But even if she and Prince Alexander escape, Lady Merewyn fears he will discover her secret.
From the author: “This novel has romance, action and adventure, and Catholic elements, such as characters who pray, read the Bible, receive sacraments, and witness to the Faith.”
Put Castle Wolves on your Christmas list today!
Erin’s Ring by Laura H. Pearl is an unforgettably heartfelt and soul-stirring story of faith and love. It hooked me in the first chapter when 13-year-old Molly, new to the town of Dover, discovers an old Claddagh ring in the dirt around St. Mary’s Church. How did the ring get there? Whose ring is it?
Together with her new friend Theresa, who is struggling with a deep sorrow, Molly searches for answers by delving into the history of the town and the Irish immigrants, particularly the mill girls who worked long, hard hours for money to send home to their loved ones.
19-year-old Ann’s story begins in 1827, with her boarding a ship bound for America, with hopes of joining the mill girls. Resourceful and determined, she works hard, sends money and letters home, and clings to her Catholic faith. Meanwhile, a budding romance fills her with hopes and dreams for the future. The multilayered story is rich with Catholic traditions and Irish heritage.
Erin’s Ring is a splendid tale, with meaningful yet entertaining content, easily enjoyed by adults and teens alike. The pull to keep reading was irresistible; I was continually trying to squeeze reading time into my busy day. The plot always entices and is driven by the characters, their lives, loves, and sufferings. The young women of the past and present struggle with hardships as their lives are shaped by faith in God.
I’m thoroughly impressed with Pearl’s ability to create this beautiful tapestry of love, hope, and courage. She has such a talent for writing wholesome yet real stories. I’m also very in awe of the fact that she wrote Erin’s Ring in a matter of months. That can only be done with extreme dedication and a true passion for the story. Like Pearl’s debut novel (Finding Grace), Erin’s Ring is another keeper for my bookshelf to pass on to my daughters!
Erin’s Ring is available in paperback.
Just in time for Christmas, the latest novel by Catholic author Laura H. Pearl is now available! Perfect for readers 13 and up.
What story might this ring tell, if only it could talk?
When thirteen-year-old Molly McCormick, who has recently moved from the Midwest to Dover, New Hampshire, finds an old Irish Claddagh ring poking up out of the dirt in a garden outside her local parish church, she is immediately intrigued. The ring’s inscription, “To Erin–Love, Michael”, fills her head with romantic possibilities. She teams up with her new friend, Theresa Grant, to uncover the story behind the lost ring. With the help of the head librarian at the public library, the two girls become immersed in the rich history of the Irish immigrants who came to Dover in droves during the 19th century, to escape famine and poverty in their homeland and make better lives for their children and grandchildren.
Molly and Theresa learn about the courage, tenacity, and deep faith that were the hallmarks of the Irish immigrants–people with names like Ann and Seamus, Cara and Finn, and of course, Erin and Michael. The young girls eagerly delve into old records tucked away in the dark corners of the library and learn how instrumental Dover’s Irish-Catholics were in getting the first Catholic church built in their New England town.
Molly and Theresa set out to discover the origins of the mysterious ring, but they unearth a story that is far stranger and infinitely more touching than anything they could have ever imagined.
Erin’s Ring is available in paperback.
In these three stories, a young adult, a tween boy, and a Catholic priest all struggle to deal with adverse circumstances and find hope unexpectedly.
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Wow! Let me begin by putting to rest any notion that this,
being a historical novel, is bogged down with details and facts. The balance and delivery of fact and fiction is flawless. Saint Magnus The Last Viking brings Saint Magnus to life while delivering action-packed excitement and suspense galore!
From the beginning, I couldn’t put this book down. A ruler’s deathbed decree sets in motion a dire future for the heirs to the throne of the Orkney Islands. When Saint Magnus, a prince, clashes with his ruthless cousin Hakon, Hakon is banished. Brooding and bitter, Hakon plots revenge.
Magnus faces hardships that would drive a lesser man to despair. But the battles of good and evil ultimately chisel Magnus into a saint.
Full of twists and turns, Saint Magnus The Last Viking is sure to be read with bated breath. Teen boys will devour the action, adventure, and bravery. I’m sure many, many young women will enjoy this thrilling story as well. Adults, you too!
Note that there is violence and some blood, but a story like this could not be done justice without it. Violence is not used simply for shock value; it brings home the reality of what Magnus suffered and how his sainthood was truly merited.
At it’s core, Saint Magnus The Last Viking is a most intense story of moral courage and forgiveness against all odds.
Those who’ve never heard of this saint before will never forget him after reading this book. It’s an absolute must-read!
Saint Magnus The Last Viking is available in paperback.