Book Review: Erin’s Ring

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.

Newly Released: Erin’s Ring

Just in time for Christmas, the latest novel by Catholic author Laura H. Pearl is now available! Perfect for readers 13 and up.

Erin’s Ring by Laura H. Pearl

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.

Book Review: Saint Magnus The Last Viking

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.

Book Review: A Subtle Grace

There is plenty to love about this beautiful novel, including the graceful flow of the story, the genuine characters, the description, the rich historical detail, the joyous moments, and the frightening ones.

A Subtle Grace by Ellen Gable is an inspirational historical romance, and more. It takes you on a genuine journey into the past, into the lives of the endearing O’Donovan Family. While the main story focuses on the oldest daughter, Kathleen, I enjoyed the intertwining, equally interesting, stories of the close-knit Catholic family and how they coped with life’s challenges: losses, tragedy, vocations, and temptations.

At 19 years old and living a privileged life in 1896 Philadelphia, Kathleen longs to be married and to begin a family before she reaches “old maid” status. She becomes fascinated by the attentions of a certain young man, but when her sparkling expectations for the future are savagely crushed, she has to learn to hope and love again. With time and trials, she matures into a selfless, instead of a somewhat self-absorbed, young woman. Even though she cannot fathom God’s plan for her life, she must trust in Him. Meanwhile, a lurking threat follows her like a dark shadow, marring her happiness.

A Subtle Grace is the sequel to the lovely book In Name Only, yet A Subtle Grace can be enjoyed independently. Of course, readers of the first book won’t want to miss this one! We get to see where life has taken Caroline and David and their family, and how the journey of life continues. The story kept me so interested that I hardly realized this was, in fact, a lengthy book.

A Subtle Grace is a novel to stir your heart, your emotions, and your soul. I highly recommend it!

A Subtle Grace is available as a Kindle ebook and will soon be available in paperback as well.

Book Review: Don’t You Forget About Me

Don’t You Forget About Me by Erin McCole Cupp is a rollicking fun
and exciting cozy murder mystery. I found it genuine and fascinating in every way: the characters, the setting, the plot, and the twists.

Mary Catherine Whelihan, a successful author in her thirties, has no desire to return to the town where, as a young girl, she discovered a dead body in the creek. But a nun’s funeral and a strange email from Gene, an old grade school classmate (and her secret crush), lure her back–into a net of danger as she encounters foes from her childhood class, mystery, mayhem, and murder.

When another dead body turns up, Cate finds herself held as a suspect. Will Cate be able to escape the so-called “Curse of ’87” that seems to strike almost everyone from her grade school class? Together, Cate and Gene search for answers, uncovering secrets that could cost them, and their loved ones, their lives.

The author’s strong and clever command of the written language makes this book an entertaining page-turner. Don’t You Forget About Me is well-plotted with never a dull moment. From a narrow escape from a window, to a gunfire-in-the-woods scene, this novel will have you reading with bated breath.

Fans of Christian fiction will particularly enjoy the elements of faith that add to the richness of the story without hampering the plot. Fallen away from the Catholic faith of her childhood, Cate encounters not preaching, but simple, strong faith in action, even in the face of deadly adversity.

The ending of Don’t You Forget About Me is satisfying without being predictable, and an epilogue hints at just enough danger to tantalize a sequel. I recommend this highly-enjoyable, cozy, clean, lively mystery to all readers!

Don’t You Forget About Me is available in paperback and as a Kindle ebook.

Book Review: Roses are Red, Diamonds are Blue

From the clever title and stunning cover, to the well-written story, Roses are Red, Diamonds are Blue by Donna Alice Patton is a mystery suspense novel that delivers what it promises.

The novel has an engaging beginning with plenty of tension. A mere week before Christmas, Laura Barkley receives a desperate call from her husband, Peter, right before he dies tragically in the museum where he works. When the priceless blue Anastasia Diamond is revealed missing, suspicion falls on Peter—and thus Laura—adding to her burden as her life crumbles around her.

Eleven months later, Laura is doing her best to eke out a stable existence for herself and her little twin daughters, when the threats and fear begin anew. Whom should she trust and where should she go? And will she ever be able to decipher Peter’s final clue and find the Anastasia Diamond before it’s too late?

The mystery kept me reading, and the touches of romance added to the enjoyment of the layered story. Characters are rounded and real, and I truly felt for Laura and her girls and all the hardship they’ve endured. This is a novel that grabs at your emotions and a book that any lover of suspense could enjoy.

Many potential readers will also be happy to know that this is a clean read. The Catholic faith elements are minimal, but a very nice touch. Laura progresses from a lapsed Catholic who thinks she must rely on herself for everything, to realizing that, both humanly and spiritually, she can’t (and shouldn’t) always go it alone.

Roses are Red, Diamonds are Blue is set in the late 1970s, a time period that I don’t often come across in a novel, so I found it quite interesting as well as unique. The time period and setting always felt authentic to me, and I particularly enjoyed experiencing the Blizzard of ’78 in the climax.

Thank you, Ms. Patton, for a great story!

Roses are Red, Diamonds are Blue is available as a Kindle ebook.

New Catholic Fiction and Reviewers Welcome

Announcing the launch of two new pages on the website:

Newest Catholic Fiction Releases
Here you will find up-to-date notification of the newest Catholic fiction books. Also, you can let know about any upcoming releases.

Submit Your Review
Interested in writing specifically Catholic fiction book reviews? If so, please submit your reviews here and share them with readers.

So take a look at these two latest pages and help spread the word.
Thank you!

Book Review: Finding Grace

Laura H. Pearl’s first novel, Finding Grace, was a pure delight to read. The story is absorbing on so many levels.

The main character, Grace, is thirteen at the beginning of the book, but her story spans the years of 1972-1980 as she becomes a young woman in a world fraught with challenges. She strives to live as a good Catholic so that she may one day become a saint; but goodness doesn’t come easily, and as she struggles to live her faith, she encounters life in all its many facets of good and evil, joy and disappointments. Add to this the pain of falling deeply in love with a young man who sees her only as a friend, and I had to keep turning pages, staying up late, to find out how everything turns out.

The characters are fully developed, easy to relate to, and real. Grace’s relationships with her parents, her many brothers, and her friends, are genuine. Readers will become invested in Grace’s fate, and yearn for her to win her true love in the end. While this book is a wonderful coming-of-age story for teens, it is also great for adults looking for a romantic story that is deep and meaningful. Not a shallow romance, Finding Grace has all the hallmarks readers could want: romance, conflict, humor, life, love, laughter, and tears.

Parents can feel confident in buying this for their teens. Finding Grace is a moral read, without being bland or boring. The importance of family and faith is highlighted. Yes, there are lessons to be learned, but readers will be highly entertained along the way.

I laughed out loud. I shared in the heartaches as Grace learned who she is, and who she can be, with the grace of God. I really do miss the characters and I’m sad to be done with the novel, even though it has a beautiful ending! This is a book that I will definitely recommend to my own daughter someday.

Finding Grace is available in paperback and as a Kindle ebook.

“Frozen Footprints” Catholic Thriller Just Released

Catholic publisher Tumblar House has just released a new Catholic novel,                 Frozen Footprints by Therese Heckenkamp.

$12.95 Paperback
$4.95 Kindle Ebook

“Thou shalt not be afraid of the terror of the night.”

Eighteen-year-old twins Charlene and Max Perigard have grown up under the wealthy but tyrannical rule of their oil-tycoon grandfather. When Max disappears and a ransom note shows up, Charlene’s world is shattered. Fearing the worst, she determines to find her brother before it’s too late.

Her quest hurls her into a twisted, frigid world of snow and ice that leads to terror in an isolated cabin. Together the twins struggle for survival while enduring fierce trials of mind, body, and spirit. Devoid of all worldly comfort and consolation, will faith and hope be enough to get them through this chilling nightmare?