Small Success Thursday!

FREE for Charlotte Bronte's Birthday! The Memoirs of Jane E, Friendless Orphan #kindle #kobo #nook #ibooks

Don’t forget: The Memoirs of Jane E, Friendless Orphan are FREE through Charlotte Bronte’s 201st Birthday!


We Lent pretty hard around here, so we Easter just as hard.  I’ve had candy and meat every day this week.  We even had Taco Tuesday… for LUNCH! With actual BEEF! #solYUMnity

Meatless Lent and Other Adventures with author Erin McCole Cupp

Of course, people who don’t understand Lent think it’s similar to starting a new year and coming up with resolutions for self-improvement.  Really Lent is a time to try to become more like Christ, who gave up every material comfort (and he could have had ALL THE MATERIAL COMFORTS) so that He could show His beloved how to live with Him forever.  I feel like I’m explaining it badly.

Still, in striving to be  more like Christ, Christ can then make us stronger.  It’s not self-improvement.  It’s self-abasing so that Christ can be the One to lift us up… which is kinda the plan for the end of our days here, if you are in fact a Christian.

This was my Lent in a nutshell.

Discipline Was it difficult? Post -Lent
No Starbucks Not really Only if family is going, but I won’t suggest it or get it on my own anymore.
No seconds at meals Yes Still should keep up this practice
No meat (w/rare exceptions) YES!!!! Add in Wednesday abstinence along with Fridays
No Facebook Not as difficult as I expected it to be Saturdays only (unless a promo is happening)
No coffee No coffee = depression :3 Keep drinking coffee
7 minutes of contemplation after Lauds Somewhat but was able to increase to 10min by Holy Week Creep it up to 15 by September
1 hour of adoration weekly Not as difficult as I expected it to be I want to keep this, but how to do so without PREP (weekly visit to parish campus) built in to schedule?

How’s your Easter going? What gifts has the Risen Lord given you as a result of your Lenten practices?  You might even be able to link up with and share your Small Successes, maybe? Not sure they do those anymore, but it’s still worth celebrating!



Good news! The entire trilogy, The Memoirs of Jane E, Friendless Orphan is FREE (most places) now through April 21, in honor of Charlotte Brontë’s 201st birthday!

In honor of Charlotte Brontë’s 201st Birthday on April 21, 2017, The Memoirs of Jane E, Friendless Orphan books are on SALE! They’re supposed to be FREE everywhere… but we’re having some trouble getting Amazon to price-match.

They ARE free on Nook, iBooks, Scribd, 24Symbols, Kobo, Inktera, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori:

Kindle readers, all three books are $.99 while we wait on a price match from Amazon.  If you get to the Kindle pages for any of the books, click on “Would you like to tell us about a lower price?” Then let them know it’s free at Barnes and Noble.  Meanwhile, sign up for my newsletter, and I’ll send out an update once it’s price matched at free on Kindle.



Start with Unclaimed on Nook, iBooks, Kobo, 24Symbols, and more!

The Memoirs of Jane E, Friendless Orphan

Born not in a past of corsets and bonnets but into a future of cloning and bioterror, could Jane Eyre survive?  This Jane is an “unclaimed embryo,” the living mistake of a reproductive rights center–or so her foster family tells her.  At age ten she is sold into slavery as a data mule, and she must fight for freedom and identity in a world mired between bioscientific progress and the religions that fear it.  Jane grows up and escapes to take a job as a homeschooler, but what can she do when she finds herself falling in love with the first man to treat her with kindness–her employer?  Could a rich man of social regard ever love someone without even a name of her own?  And can Jane’s love for him survive the deepest of betrayals?  This Jane’s story celebrates and reexamines the continued relevance of a literary classic, demonstrating that self-respect and genuine love are worth a fight, regardless of where–or when–we live.

Praise for Jane E

Jane Eyre has long been a favorite of mine, and I enjoyed the first part of this retelling immensely. While appealing to the modern reader’s ear, it remains faithful to the truth of the original, even retaining the charm and tone of Bronte’s voice.” Carolyn Astfalk, Rightfully Ours

“I love the old classics but I also love futuristic stories. “Unclaimed: The Memoirs of Jane E.” combines both elements in a fun-to-read, hard-to-put-down book. With imagination and a great writing style, Erin McCole Cupp has created a powerful futuristic story that is a real thought-provoker. Science fiction readers will love the creative futuristic elements. At times humorous and other times heart-wrenching, this story delves into issues worth considering as society advances.” Theresa Linden, The Liberty Trilogy

“All of the sophistication of the original and an intriguing, futuristic spin that makes the book hard to put down.” Dawn Witzke, Path of Angels

Unclaimed is unique and exemplifies why Charlotte Bronte’s gothic romance transcends the bounds of time and place to form universal truths.” Oliva Folmar Ard, This Dread Road

“A brave and thought-provoking story rich with vivid details and authentic, memorable characters.” Therese HeckenkampAfter the Thaw


Jane Eyre LIVES: The Classic Gothic Heroine Rebooted #sf #cyberpunk THE MEMOIRS OF JANE E, FRIENDLESS ORPHAN are FREE April 17-21 in honor of Charlotte Bronte's 201st birthday!

RIGHTFULLY OURS by Carolyn Astfalk

Today I’m honored and excited to host a post about a new YA romance from Carolyn Astfalk.  Carolyn is one of our Sabbath Rest Book Talkers and a long time wingman of mine at book signings.  I’ve loved her Ornamental Graces and Stay With Me, and I’m already loving this new selection.  Carolyn has a way with romance that I like to call “spicy clean.” It’s not sweet.  It’s not scandalous.  But it sure it spicy.   Without further ado, read on for more about…

Rightfully Ours by Carolyn Astfalk, clean but challenging YA romanceRightfully Ours by Carolyn Astfalk (Full Quiver Publishing 2017)

A coming-of-age story of first love, buried treasure, and discovering some things are worth the wait.

Sixteen-year-old Paul Porter’s relocation to Pennsylvania is a temporary move during his dad’s deployment. Or so he and his brother think, until devastating news lands on their doorstep.

Paul’s new home with the Muellers provides solace, especially in the form of Rachel, his friend and confidante. Their abiding friendship deepens as they 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?

View the trailer for Rightfully Ours

And here’s an excerpt…

An unexpected detour left them lost in the dark. Paul had been certain they were heading the right way, but the two-lane country roads they had traveled the last half hour had few markers, and his older brother questioned whether they had missed a junction sign. Paul’s grip tightened on the clumsily-folded map as he peered out window. Maybe Sean should drag his knuckles out of the Stone Age and get a GPS.

Paul had been anxious about this move more than the others, even though it would only be temporary. The claw-like limbs of the barren trees whizzing by his window made the whole ordeal seem even more foreboding. He’d never been through North Central Pennsylvania, but in the daylight, the mountains would probably be beautiful, if a little desolate.

Its only for a few months. By spring, Dad would be home, and things would go back to normal. Normal for them anyway. Besides, maybe he’d like it here.

“We just passed it,” Sean said over the acid rock music blaring from the speakers. “I thought you were watching for signs. Some navigator you are.” Sean scowled and jerked the wheel to the right, causing the truck to careen onto the berm and Paul to slam into the door.

Paul rubbed his shoulder where it had smacked the door and sat upright. “I’m sorry, okay? I guess my mind wandered.” He’d swear “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” had been playing for the last half hour. He hoped to God at least one other radio station had a signal strong enough to carry over the mountain they’d crossed.

“Yeah, you’ll be sorry when we run out of gas and have to sleep in this truck.” Sean sat hunched over the wheel, his strong arms gripping the ten and two-o’clock positions. His left leg, forever encased in worn denim, bounced erratically in a rhythm out of sync with the booming bass rattling the speakers.

He pulled into a narrow gravel drive and backed the car out onto the main road, completing his three-point turn. The high beams caught a pair of glowing eyes sinking into the underbrush on the opposite side of the road.

“We’ll get there, okay? Maybe if you’d get a GPS or something—”

“You want to pay for it, by all means, do like the commercial says and give a Garmin. Otherwise, maybe you should go back to grade school and learn to read a freakin’ map.”

Paul suddenly felt ten years younger than Sean instead of the four that separated them.

“There it is, on the right.” Paul pointed to a road sign obscured by an overgrown sumac tree.

Sean turned right, and in the space of a mile, the road went from desolate rural to brightly-lit business district.

He swung the truck into the hotel parking lot, rolling over a speed bump with a jolt that made Paul glance out the rear window to see if the pickup had lost any critical parts.

The parking lot islands were filled with mounds of clay and not a living thing grew around the building, which looked as if it had been assembled and dropped into place like a giant LEGO creation.

“Well, if it’s new, at least the mattresses should be good.” Sean killed the engine and shoved his keys in his pocket.

Apparently Sean had chosen to look for the silver lining, like he had when he first told Paul about this move.

“Hey, it’ll be cool.” Sean had waved a couple of employment and tourism brochures at him. “Just us. A new job for me, and when I’m off work, we can hang out. Maybe do some hiking, hunting, backpacking. Maybe meet some new people.”

What he meant, Paul thought, was that he might meet a girl—the girl—something that, despite his good looks, he hadn’t had any luck with at home in Maryland. Paul recognized he didn’t have a choice in the matter and settled for making the best of the situation. Still, he felt uneasy about the whole thing. There was a finality about it. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but he sensed that this move wasn’t going to be what either of them expected.

Get Rightfully Ours on Amazon!

Rightfully Ours on Goodreads 

Extras from the Author

Carolyn Astfalk resides with her husband and four children in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where it smells like either chocolate or manure, depending on wind direction. She is the author of the inspirational romances Stay With Me and Ornamental Graces and the coming-of-age story Rightfully Ours. Carolyn is a member of the Catholic Writers Guild and Pennwriters and a contributor. Formerly, she served as the communications director of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, the public affairs agency of Pennsylvania’s Catholic bishops. True to her Pittsburgh roots, she still says “pop” instead of “soda,” although her beverage of choice is tea. You can find her online at

Find Carolyn on…



Facebook    Twitter

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Rightfully Ours by Carolyn Astfalk, clean but challenging YA romance



Open Book/Sabbath Rest Book Talk (April 2017)

Carolyn Astfalk has a first Wednesday of the month book review linkup!


 Carolyn also joins me and Rebecca Willen every month for Sabbath Rest Book Talk.

Sabbath Rest Book Talk: a monthly live interactive event where we talk about the value of fiction in developing compassion, empathy, and healthy relationships

For April we talked about:

Sabbath Rest Book Talk, April 2, 2017, 7pm Eastern. Our focus will be SELF-SACRIFICE

Adult: The Well by Stephanie Landsem (Living Water Series #1)

YA: I Am Margaret by Corinna Turner (I Am Margaret Series #1)

Children’s/Readaloud: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Want more? You will just have to watch this month’s Sabbath Rest Book Talk.

Remember, all SRBTs here on out, I’ll continue announcing the book selections and focus ahead of time, so you can read along and join the discussion a little more easily and thoughtfully. Voila, for May:

Find out on the May 2017 episode of Sabbath Rest Book Talk: where fiction makes us human! What can fiction teach us about the value of adventure?

 That’s it for April!  While we’re here, gentle reminder: To keep on top of each month’s SRBT selections, do sign up for my monthly newsletter.

What’s your #OpenBook?

Don’t forget to link up YOUR #OpenBook reviews over at Carolyn’s!

Sabbath Rest Book Talk (April 2017): What can fiction teach us about self-sacrifice?


Celebrate Charlotte Bronte's Birthday in comfort and style--with a free tea party!

In honor of the upcoming 201st birthday of Charlotte Brontë, author of the British literary classic Jane Eyre, author Erin McCole Cupp will be sponsoring “free, portable tea parties” at local libraries and other literature-loving establishments.

Charlotte Brontë, the oldest of the three Brontë sisters and one of the earliest successful female novelists, was born on April 21, 1816.  Charlotte Brontë is best remembered for her romantic novel Jane Eyre. Artists throughout the years have paid homage to Jane Eyre through many adaptations, in both books and film, including local author Erin McCole Cupp’s ebook series The Memoirs of Jane E, Friendless Orphan, a science fiction retelling of the story of Jane Eyre.

Atglen Library in Chester County PA prepares to celebrate Charlotte Bronte's 201st birthday with local author Erin McCole Cupp

Author Erin McCole Cupp with Atglen Public Library Staff Robbyn Kehoe and Sherrie Palmer, getting ready to celebrate Charlotte Bronte’s 201st birthday

In honor of Brontë’s 201st birthday, Cupp will be providing free tea bags with small “Brontë Birthday” cards attached.  Fans of Brontë’s work as well as readers who have yet to be introduced to her novels can pick up these “portable tea parties” to enjoy at their convenience.  The Atglen Public Library will have some of the birthday tea packets available, with more locations to come.

Additional information about the Brontë Birthday Tea program, including available locations as they are announced, is available at this website.  If you have a business that  would like to request a free Brontë Birthday Tea Party Pack, contact Erin.

Celebrate Charlotte Bronte's 201st birthday with a FREE Bronte Birthday Tea Party Pack, sponsored by Erin McCole Cupp

Confirmation Day!

Happy Laetarae Sunday!  Bonus: Happy Confirmation Day to a young lady I am sponsoring! I am honored to have gotten to know her over the years, and she is a young woman of courage and compassion: gifts I am confident the Holy Spirit only wants to grow in her, wherever her path may lead.

For her gift, I want to give her some music to listen to while in the car to and from school and the barn where she rides horses and loves on barn kitties.

Connor Flanagan’s Mountains

Audrey Assad’s Fortunate Fall

Matt Maher’s Empty and Beautiful (I’m pretty sure this album has at least one song you’ve sung with your confirmation prep class)

Paul J Kim’s The World Sings EP 

PJ Anderson’s Mercy Mercy

Tori Harris’s Sweet Dolor

Please join me in praying for Rose, this new soldier for Christ!

St. Rose of Lima, pray for us!

Catholic Musical Selections for a newly confirmed soldier of Christ, now called Rose in the Kingdom of Heaven!

Sabbath Rest Books Talk/An Open Book (March 2017)

Carolyn Astfalk has a first Wednesday of the month book review linkup!


 Sabbath Rest Book Talk returns this Sunday, March 5 at 7pm Eastern!

Sabbath Rest Book Talk: a monthly live interactive event where we talk about the value of fiction in developing compassion, empathy, and healthy relationships

Please join me along with co-hosts Carolyn Astfalk and Rebecca Willen over on my YouTube Channel as a YouTube Live Event.  You can still comment and play along, of course.  Our focus will be JUSTICE and our featured fiction will be:

Sabbath Rest Book Talk: Where Fiction is Good for You! March 5, 2017 at 7pm Eastern Time, we'll be discussing JUSTICE in fiction.

Dying for Revenge by Barbara Golder (reviewed on this blog here)

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton

People, I am really fired up to talk about To Kill a Mockingbird.  This is the third time I’ve read it.  The first time was in high school, and I mostly relied on the movie to help me just barely pass my test, because I was a lazy student.  The second time was about 15 years ago, and I loved it… but I felt I didn’t get the ending.  I wasn’t even troubled by it.  I just assumed I didn’t get it, and the problem was with me.  Who was I to judge an American classic with strong moral themes?

This time?

I’ll be honest.

I.  Am. Cheesed.  Off.

That seems like such a blasphemous thing to say, from an American of (presumably) decent conscience.  How can you be angry with To Kill a Mockingbird?! What are you, some sort of racist monster?

Lord, defend me from the sin of racism.  However, Lord, defend us all from the sin of self-justification.

Want more? You will just have to watch this month’s Sabbath Rest Book Talk.

Remember, all SRBTs here on out, I’ll continue announcing the book selections and focus ahead of time, so you can read along and join the discussion a little more easily and thoughtfully. Voila, for April:

Sabbath Rest Book Talk, April 2, 2017, 7pm Eastern. Our focus will be SELF-SACRIFICE

 To keep on top of each month’s SRBT selections, do sign up for my monthly newsletter.

That’s it for March!  While we’re here, gentle reminder: To keep on top of each month’s SRBT selections, do sign up for my monthly newsletter.

What’s your #OpenBook?

Don’t forget to link up YOUR #OpenBook reviews over at Carolyn’s!

Sabbath Rest Book Talk: Where Fiction Is Good For You! (March 5, 2017 at 7pm Eastern Time) Link available in video

Embrace Grace and Love in a Box

Enter the Embrace Grace Giveaway!

What is Embrace Grace, you ask? And what’s Love in a Box? I was asking the same things when the folks at Embrace Grace sent me a request to discuss their ministry on my blog.  They sent me one of their Fearless journals as well as a Pro-Love necklace.

Like this:

And this:


From the folks at Embrace Grace:

Love in a Box is a pro-love initiative launched to help save babies and help moms get plugged into local churches for spiritual, emotional and physical support through an Embrace Grace group.

Boxes are distributed to pregnancy centers nation-wide and given to young, single women with positive pregnancy tests. The box is full of gifts that will inspire hope and impart love to a mom that may be scared for her future. Each box consists of a Fearless Journal and pen, a Bump in Life book, a baby onesie, testimonial letters of girls that chose adoption and chose to parent, an invitation to join an Embrace Grace group and a Brave Girl letter that can be written by YOU!

You have the opportunity to speak into the life of a mom that could possibly be contemplating a life or death decision. You can encourage, uplift and inspire her to choose life and to get plugged into an Embrace Grace support group at a local church.

We want to help brave moms choose life and get plugged into a spiritual family so they can be saved, discipled, mentored and be a part of a community that loves them the way Jesus loves.

Ways you can join in with this ministry:

  1. Start an Embrace Grace at their local church so young women with unplanned pregnancies have a support group.
  2. Partner with the national organization through prayer and support at
  3. Download and print our brave girl letter ( and mail to address below for us to place inside a Love in a Box.  You can mail your Brave Girl letter to:

Embrace Grace, Inc.
Attn: Love in a Box
700 W. Bedford Euless Rd., Ste. G
Hurst, TX 76053

Oh! And don’t forget to

Enter the Embrace Grace Giveaway!

Learn more about Embrace Grace and Love in a Box ministries to women experiencing unexpected pregnancy

My thoughts on the book and necklace I received in exchange for an honest review:

I’m impressed by the enthusiasm that is going into this project, that’s for sure.  I can tell there’s a great deal of heart and care behind it.  I do have a couple of misgivings, though.  I like the journal, but I think that’s heartily due to the fact that I already believe in God; the journal seems to be designed with a belief in God presumed–or presumed that you’ll play along in order to get the help being offered.  In short, I’m troubled by the feeling that this books was put together with the mentality that Simcha Fisher calls Making Poor People Pray.  That said, the bullet-journal style lists are tidy and encourage the recipient to look beyond the present moment’s anxieties, which is a neat way of inviting someone in a crisis to consider a future past the present pain.

Regarding the necklace, I like the design and the message.  I also love the idea of helping a pregnant woman feel more beautiful than she might feel when she first looks into the mirror in the morning after a night of discomfort in all its dimensions.  I’m wondering if a necklace made from other, more natural materials than the ones chosen for this particular design might make a better presentation.  I hate to say it, but there’s no other way: the necklace looks cheap.  I understand needing to make the ministry affordable.  However, I have to wonder if other equally-affordable materials could be chosen to create something beautiful… or have the ministry at the church dig deep and buy the woman a quality necklace, even sterling silver, to remember her courage for years to come… and maybe even one day pass down to the child she gave life because of it.

These are just my opinions, however, so your mileage may vary.  It does seem like a noble idea, one that I might tweak a little, if I ran the zoo.   My girls and I will be joining in by writing some Brave Girl letters ourselves.  I think that’s a neat way to encourage someone who’s scared to the point of possibly biting off her own arm in order to escape a trap, if’n you know what I mean.

I received these products from Embrace Grace through Front Gate Blogger Network in exchange for an honest review.