New Release: Julia’s Gifts

A brand new Catholic historical romance novel for teens and adults!

Julia’s Gifts by Catholic author Ellen Gable is the first book in her new inspirational religious fiction series Great War Great Love.

From Philadelphia to war-torn France, follow Julia as she transitions from unworldly young woman to compassionate volunteer…

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”? 

Julia’s Gifts makes a perfect Christmas gift and is available in both paperback and Kindle ebook.

Read the first few chapters for free right here!

What Catholic authors are saying about Julia’s Gifts:

“A strong and tender Catholic historical novel about growing in maturity and fortitude while discovering the power of hope, self-sacrifice, and prayer. I read Julia’s Gifts within two days, but this touching story of faith and devotion is sure to leave a lasting impression!”
–Therese Heckenkamp, award-winning author of Frozen Footprints and After the Thaw

“There is so much to treasure in this beautifully-written book: miracles of faith, the power of prayer, the strength of true love, and the grace in using one’s God-given gifts to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles make this an outstanding and unforgettable book.”
–Jean M. Heimann, author of Fatima: The Apparition That Changed the World

“Julia’s Gifts is a sweet and touching love story laced with beautiful messages. Following Julia as she works overseas as a volunteer medical aid opened my eyes to the hardships of war and especially the great trials and sacrifices of the nurses and volunteers.”
–Theresa Linden, author of award-winning Catholic teen fiction

An Interview with Ellen Gable:

The sonnets/poems in this story are beautifully written.  Tell us a bit about them.

Well, I’m not a poet, but my husband has written songs and poems. So I asked him if he would be willing to write sonnets for my book. I explained in detail what I needed the sonnet to express and he took it from there. The sonnets are a beautiful addition to this novel, especially because my husband wrote them.

Can you tell us about the next two books of the series?

Yes. Charlotte’s Honor is Book #2 and takes place at approximately the same time as Julia’s Gifts, but focuses on a different female protagonist, Charlotte, who finds her purpose in life when she begins working in the death ward and holding men’s hands as they die. She is attracted to Canadian Dr. Paul Kilgallen. During an advance by the enemy, everyone at the field hospital evacuates, except for Charlotte and Dr. K. They remain hidden in the basement of the chateau to take care of the terminally ill men and those soldiers who can’t be moved. Charlotte becomes convinced that Paul is her own “beloved.” But when she loses contact with Paul, she fears not only for his safety, but begins to doubt his love for her. Charlotte’s Honor will be released in late 2018.

Ella’s Promise is Book #3 in the series. It is about the daughter of German immigrants, Ella, an American nurse who (because of the time period) was discouraged from continuing on in her studies to be a doctor. She works as a nurse for three years in Philadelphia but reads medical books every opportunity she gets. During the Great War, she travels to Le Treport, France to work at the American-run hospital. She meets her own beloved in the last place she would expect to meet him. Ella’s Promise will be released in mid-2019.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

My favorite Catholic author is Dena Hunt (author of Treason and The Lion’s Heart), but I also enjoy reading Willa Cather’s books (Death Comes For the Archbishop).  Dena’s books are incredibly well-written and moving. Cather’s books are well-written and rich in meaning.

And while this may seem biased, I enjoy reading books by all the Full Quiver Authors. I also enjoy the books of the authors who are fellow members of the Catholic Writers Guild.

One of my favorite secular authors is Nelson DeMille (author of the John Corey series).  I also enjoy reading Kathleen Morgan’s Christian historical novels.

Ellen Gable is an award-winning author, Marketing Director for Live the Fast, self-publishing book coach, speaker, publisher, NFP teacher, book reviewer and instructor in the Theology of the Body for Teens. However, the roles she loves the most are being wife to her husband and mother to their five sons, ages 18-30. Originally from New Jersey, Ellen lives with her husband of 35 years, James Hrkach, in Pakenham, Ontario Canada.

Follow the Julia’s Gifts Virtual Book Tour here.

New Release: The King’s Prey

A brand new Catholic historical adventure novel for teens and young adults!

The King’s Prey: Saint Dymphna of Ireland by Catholic author Susan Peek is the latest release in her God’s Forgotten Friends series, and it’s a riveting read!

Will Dymphna escape her deranged father and his sinful desires?

An insane king. His fleeing daughter. Estranged brothers, with a scarred past, risking everything to save her from a fate worse than death. Toss in a holy priest and a lovable wolfhound, and get ready for a wild race across Ireland. 

Saint Dymphna is the patron saint of emotional disorders, depression, mental illness, nervous turmoil, and a host of other problems. Surely this little-known Irish princess is a saint for our times. But she doesn’t need to remain little-known. For the first time ever, the story of her life comes alive in this exciting new release for teens. Grab your copy today!

Recommended for ages 16 and up.

New Release: Rightfully Ours

A brand new Catholic romance for teens and young adults!

Rightfully Ours by Catholic author Carolyn Astfalk is a coming-of-age story of first love, buried treasure, and discovering some things are worth the wait.

A new home. A new friend. A mystery and adventure with serious consequences… 

As teens Paul and Rachel work side by side to uncover what could be lost treasure, will they acquire the strength of character and virtue to take only what rightfully belongs to them–or are they in way over their heads, with more than a few lost artifacts at stake?.

Rightfully Ours is available as a Kindle ebook and will soon be released in paperback as well.

Read the first few chapters for free right here.

Cast Your Vote for Book of the Year

Voting for the 2017 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award is now open, and several Catholic novels are in the running, including Frozen Footprints, Seventy Times Seven, After the Thaw, and An Unexpected Role.

By casting your vote today, you give these Catholic books a chance at reaching a greater readership among all Christians.

Voting is easy, and takes less than a minute.

You can access the ballot here:

Spread the word by sharing this post with family and friends. Let’s make a Catholic novel a winner!

Voting will remain open through March 31, 2017. Winners of the award will be announced by May 1, 2017.

Author Interview with Therese Heckenkamp

Today Catholic author Carolyn Astfalk interviews fellow author Therese Heckenkamp about her three Catholic suspense novels and the writing process.

“As a Christian writer, I keep in mind there was a Good Friday with intense pain and suffering before the glory of Easter Sunday.”

“A great thing about tapping the spiritual aspects is that it offers an additional layer of story opportunities that secular fiction misses.”

Read the full interview here on Carolyn’s blog My Scribbler’s Heart: Interview with Romantic Suspense Author Therese Heckenkamp

While browsing Carolyn’s author website Relevant Fiction for Body & Soul, also be sure to check out her Catholic inspirational romance novels Stay with Me and Ornamental Graces.

New Catholic Fiction for Christmas!

These four brand-new Catholic fiction books feature Christmas themes and would make perfect gifts to give during the holy season. For men, women, teens, and children, there’s a book for everyone on your list! Simply click on a book’s image and you will be taken to the Amazon product page for more details.

Historical Adventure . . .

From Afar by Roger Thomas

Journey with the Magi as they search for a King they do not understand, and seek answers to questions lying in the deepest parts of their souls–providing they survive the dangers of the journey.
187 pages
$3.99 Kindle ebook
$14.95 paperback


A Heartwarming Romance . . .

Ornamental Graces by Carolyn Astfalk

Emily’s the kind of girl Dan’s always dreamed of–sweet, smart, and sincere. But he’s made a mess of his life and ruined his chances for earning the love and trust of a woman like her. Will he ever be free from his shady past and the ex-girlfriend who refuses to stay there?
358 pages
$3.99 Kindle ebook
$15.99 paperback


An Inspirational Journey . . .

Agnes’ Gift by Kristelle Angelli

On Christmas Eve, an angel appears to take Jenna on an extraordinary journey through the mysteries of the Rosary, and she must decide if there is more to the Faith of her childhood than she previously thought.
256 pages
$2.99 Kindle ebook
$9.99 paperback


A Children’s Story . . .
The Forgotten Christmas Saint: Saint Anastasia
(God’s Forgotten Friends for Children, Volume 3)
by Susan Peek

Of all the saints in Heaven, Saint Anastasia is the only one whose feast day falls on Christmas itself! Join her and her best friend, Saint Theodota, as they bravely prove their love for God and neighbor, even unto the sacrifice of their own lives.
Ages 3-10
40 pages
$12.95 paperback

Book Review: Animals of God, Volume Two

Since we enjoyed the first book so much, my kids and I
couldn’t wait to dive into this second volume of Animals of God by Susan Peek. Sure enough, this book was as delightful and entertaining as the first!

This volume contains two well-developed stories. In the first, two captive, ravenous lions anticipate their next meal—a human sentenced to die in the Colosseum—but when the lions race to attack the beautiful young Thecla, something amazing happens!

In the second story, Chester the gosling longs to be just like his older brother Cuthbert, so he joins him on a daring cornfield raid. When a horrible fate befalls his brother, Chester believes all hope is lost—until he witnesses a miracle and learns the true meaning of the word “saint.”

Animals of God teaches valuable lessons of courage, faith, love, mercy, and more. These lively and memorable tales are never dry or preachy. They contain just the right touch of fascinating “scariness” for children while providing excitement, humor, and happy endings. And the illustrations are gorgeous.

Each story is told from the animal’s point of view and is divided into five chapters. My plan was to read one chapter to my kids each night before bed, but I kept on reading because we just had to know what happened next! And when the book ends, the fun continues with bonus coloring pages.

When I asked my 7-year-old which book he liked best, he said, “I like them both best!” Indeed, both volumes of Animals of God are top-notch children’s books that deserve a place in every Catholic family. They’re sure to be well-read and well-loved.

Animals of God, Volume Two is available in paperback.

New Release: Someday

From the author of the stunning I Am Margaret series comes a powerful new release:

Someday by Carnegie Medal Award nominated author Corinna Turner is a powerful novel based on a horrifying real event: the kidnapping of 272 Nigerian schoolgirls on April 14th, 2014.

“If you want to die, sit down here. We will kill you. If you don’t want to die, you will enter the truck.” 

Ruth and Gemma have a Physics exam in the morning.
Becky and Alleluia are revising for their A Levels.
So it’s an absolute nightmare to be woken by the fire alarm in dead of the night.
But for them, and for 272 other girls from Chisbrook Hall girls boarding school, the real nightmare is just beginning.
Because ‘al-Qabda’ are taking them all away.
Whether they want to go or not.

Someday is available in paperback and as a Kindle ebook.

Read the first few chapters for free right here.

Book Review: Falling as She Sings

Falling as She Sings by C.J. Sursum is a perfect book
for any lover of dystopian fiction. The premise of this book pulls readers in with a strong grip. Sursum’s novel is set in a future where women are the authoritative sex, living together in a private enclave; meanwhile, men are forced to fend for themselves outside enclave walls in the wild. Women are taught to view the male species as ferocious, immoral “brutes” who serve no purpose–aside from breeding. Life in the enclave is a sort of Utopian commune where life is simplistic and tranquil–for most, anyway.

For Menna, Domnina, and Odilia, the peaceful life of communal living slowly loses its appeal as the three women strike up unlikely and forbidden friendships with different “brutes” they have chance encounters with. Unanticipated attraction to the opposite sex, along with temptation to know more about the outside world, calls to these women in different ways. Readers experience the women’s struggles from three different points of view in the story. Is pure curiosity or loneliness enough to make you question your past and everything you’ve ever known? More importantly, is it enough to make you leave a safe haven that has always been your only home?

Sursum experiments with a variety of ideas about the sexes–mainly how men and women function with and without each other. While there are no obvious “Catholic” themes in this novel, the author hints that men and women, together in a partnership (marriage), are capable of bringing out each other’s strengths and virtues. The bottom line of the novel sings out clearly that neither sex wins when one has dominion over the other.

Falling as She Sings is available as a Kindle ebook.

Reviewed by Monica Eckert

Monica Eckert lives in New Berlin, Wisconsin and is a Catholic wife and mother. She loves to read and finds that she enjoys just about any genre, but Catholic fiction is among her favorite. When she’s not chasing after her two energetic little boys, she keeps busy by running the Elizabeth Ministry at her church and by working at a local family restaurant on the weekends.

New Release: After the Thaw

A breathtaking Catholic romantic suspense novel!
After the Thaw Catholic romance Catholic suspense

After the Thaw by Therese Heckenkamp

Some wounds heal. Others leave scars.
Four years ago, Charlene Perigard survived a brutal kidnapping. Now sinister threats, a midnight attack, and a deathbed promise drive her to the little town of Creekside, where she encounters a man from her past whom she has long struggled to forget. Charlene’s wounded heart must choose between her fiancé and the man whose past is more scarred than her own. But in choosing, she may just lose everything.

After the Thaw is the long-awaited sequel to Frozen Footprints, but can be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel.

Available for $3.99 as a Kindle ebook and for $13.99 in paperback.

Read the first few chapters for free, right here.