Catholic Public Speaker and Inspirational Author: Embracing the virtues to live a happier life!

Spokes, by Deanna Klingel – Book Review

Spokes Spokes, by Deanna Klingel, a fast paced, easy to read novel, sends Kelsey Merritt and Brendon Cohen on an adventure to solve a mystery. Kelsey, a home-schooled teen, is a triathlon athlete. While cycling one afternoon with her mom, in preparation for an upcoming triathlon event, tragedy strikes. This tragedy sends Kelsey on a mission; to determine who is responsible for a hit and run accident. In her pursuit, she teams up with fellow triathlon athlete and home-school student, Brendon Cohen.

Together, these two teens, take us on a wild ride through the hills of North Carolina. We come Continue reading

Molly McBride Series by Jeanie Egolf – Book Reviews

Molly McBride Series Molly McBride and the Purple Habit, by Jean Schoonover-Egolf is the first in a series of charming books about a five-year-old girl, named Molly McBride. Molly loves imitating the Children of Mary Sisters, by wearing their purple habit, specially crafted, for her, by her mom. She loves it so much, that she wants to wear it to her big sister’s First Communion! Why can’t she, when the Children of Mary Sisters will be there, and they will be wearing their purple habits. Oh, can you imagine the havoc that would ensue in dealing with that on such a busy Continue reading

Dying for Compassion, by Barbara Golder – Book Review

Dying for Compassion Dying for Compassion, by Barbara Golder is sure to be a hit! As with Golder’s first book, Dying for Revenge, familiar characters return for more mysteries to solve. Once again, we meet our Lady Doc, Jane Wallace, the lead character. She is a strong, feminine role model carrying the titles of forensic pathologist, medical examiner, AND lawyer – quite an accomplished woman!  In Dying for Compassion, Jane is faced with several deaths occurring in her town; unexplained poisonings and a possible case of euthanasia. As the intentions behind these deaths stump Jane, Continue reading

Saint Magnus: The Last Viking, by Susan Peek – Book Review

Saint Magnus I must admit that I had never heard of Saint Magnus, until I read Saint Magnus: The Last Viking, by Susan Peek. With this action-packed novel, set around 1,000 A.D., we find a dual hierarchy established on the deathbed of the monarch Thorfinn. Rather than leaving his throne to his eldest son, he creates a dual hierarchy, where both of his sons, Erland and Paal, are to rule over the Orkney homeland together. Tensions rise as the brother’s descendants seethe in animosity for each other. Hakon, the son of Paal is a troublemaker; whereas Aerling, the son of Erland, Continue reading

Chasing Liberty, by Theresa Linden – Finding Authentic Freedom

Chasing Liberty - authentic freedom Chasing Liberty, by Theresa Linden, is the first in a dystopian trilogy of books centered around a young woman. Liberty resides in futuristic Aldonia; a city where authentic freedom, familial love and objective truth have been squashed by government forces aimed at controlling the population. Without the freedom to grow up in a family with a mother and father, Liberty tries to make her own way in a society that allows little choice.

As Liberty approaches adulthood, she is told by the government what her vocation will be: that of breeder. Apparently, she has exquisite genes and intelligence; so Continue reading

Love Letters from God, by Glenys Nellist – Book Review

Love Letters from God Love Letters from God, Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart, by Glenys Nellist is endearing, wonderful, chocked filled with virtue, and beautifully illustrated. Nellist shares with us fourteen stories from the Bible, centered on heroic females, highlighting their good traits. She takes us from the Old Testament, through to the New Testament; giving us a different story about each protagonist, salient Bible quotes, and most importantly, personalized letters from God, addressed to your child (with lift the flap notes).

Love Letters from God Make for Sweet Dreams!

Each of the fourteen tales make for excellent bedtime stories to read Continue reading

My Brother’s Keeper, by Bill Kassel – Book Review

My Brother's KeeperIn My Brother’s Keeper, by Bill Kassel, we read a great piece of Catholic fiction. Now, right off the bat, let me explain the definition of the genre, “Catholic Fiction,” using Kassel’s own words to describe his effort:

This book is a work of speculative fiction, based on incidents in the New Testament, reimagined and elaborated on extensively. I have not attempted to create a ‘fifth Gospel.’ Rather, I’ve tried to fill in some gaps between facts given in Scripture with inventive suppositions about how things might have been (p. 574).

This imaginative effort, coupled with an excellent understanding Continue reading

True Radiance, by Lisa Mladinich – Book Review

True Radiance: Finding Grace in the Second Half of Life, by Lisa Mladinich, was an enjoyable read! I approached 60 this year. So, I thought this book might offer me some insight in how I might grow old gracefully. As I opened the book and began to read, I quickly learned that Mladinich had other designs. She wants us to know that regardless of our age,

The second half of life is a time of building on the past, growing in virtue, and deepening our connection with God, the source and summit of all beauty. Our beauty is not Continue reading