No one wants to celebrate Christmas this year. Not Ella McKendrick, who, on the cusp of success as a potter, is tasked with her husband’s company party on too-short notice. She gives up her first pottery sale to pitch in, but the joy of the season is diminished.
Not Gertie Wycliffe, Ella’s mom, a new widow who is doing everything she can to avoid her first Christmas alone. No one understands the grief and terror she feels – maybe because the craziness of a seventy-four-year-old woman signing up for skydiving lessons is all she lets them see.
Not Natalie Shaw, Ella’s pregnant daughter. Natalie’s husband is deployed halfway around the world, and she believes that ignoring the holiday might blunt her loneliness.
Then disaster strikes, not once but twice. Three generations, three untenable situations. Three women who come together for each other and remember what’s most important about Christmas.
If you made it to this page on October 29, you should be able to watch below. Good luck!
It’s a list! On Goodreads! Vote for books we’ve already featured and add any books you think we should discuss in the future!
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 September:
Hey there, readers! Please welcome longtime blogfriend and Clean Indie Reads writer Annie Douglass Lima as she shares her latest publishing news as well as offers a free copy of one of her books. Take it away, Annie!
I’m excited to announce that my young adult action and adventure novel, The Gladiator and the Guard, is now available for purchase! This is the second book in the Krillonian Chronicles, sequel to The Collar and the Cavvarach.
First Things First: a Little Information about Book 1:
Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is desperate to see his little sister freed. But only victory in the Krillonian Empire’s most prestigious tournament will allow him to secretly arrange for Ellie’s escape. Dangerous people are closing in on her, however, and Bensin is running out of time. With his one hope fading quickly away, how can Bensin save Ellie from a life of slavery and abuse?
What is the Collar for, and What is a Cavvarach?
The story is set in a world very much like our own, with just a few major differences. One is that slavery is legal there. Slaves must wear metal collars that lock around their neck, making their enslaved status obvious to everyone. Any slave attempting to escape faces the dilemma of how and where to illegally get their collar removed (a crime punishable by enslavement for the remover).
Another difference is the popularity of a martial art called cavvara shil. It is fought with a cavvarach (rhymes with “have a rack”), a weapon similar to a sword but with a steel hook protruding from partway down its top edge. Competitors can strike at each other with their feet as well as with the blades. You win in one of two ways: disarming your opponent (hooking or knocking their cavvarach out of their hands) or pinning their shoulders to the mat for five seconds.
for $2.99 a discounted price ofjust 99 cents through April 28th!
And now, The Gladiator and the Guard, with another awesome cover by the talented Jack Lin!
Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is just one victory away from freedom. But after he is accused of a crime he didn’t commit, he is condemned to the violent life and early death of a gladiator. While his loved ones seek desperately for a way to rescue him, Bensin struggles to stay alive and forge an identity in an environment designed to strip it from him. When he infuriates the authorities with his choices, he knows he is running out of time. Can he stand against the cruelty of the arena system and seize his freedom before that system crushes him?
for $2.99 a discounted price ofjust 99 cents through May 30!
Annie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in Kenya and
later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since her childhood, and to date has published twelve books (two YA action and adventure novels, four fantasies, a puppet script, and five anthologies of her students’ poetry). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.
Hey, Tomato Pie Peeps! This is going to be a fly-by. Things to do, people to see, breakfasts to cook, etc.
Cristina at Filling My Prayer Closet has one part of an interview with little ol’ me, not to mention a giveaway of an ebook (Kindle, I believe) of Don’t You Forget About Me. BTW, this part of the interview reveals how the story came together, how endometriosis of all things played a part, and… outtakes. Books have outtakes. Oh yes they do. Cristina is a hilarious, warm and full of fresh ideas, so go check out this fresh, young lay Dominican.
Tiffany at Life of a Catholic Librarian has another part of that interview and is giving away a hard copy of DYFAM. This part of the interview tackles the value of a Best Good Friend, how to write a mystery if you don’t really read them, and the question everybody seems to want to ask but is afraid to: Is Cate really just Erin with a different name? If I have learned one thing from homeschooling, it is the value of a good librarian–her value is above rubies, above curriculum catalogs. Go visit Tiffany, a lay Dominican Middle Eastern dancer. Yes, you can be both.
WOW! We are getting in some fabulous flashes for Wildcard Wednesday. In case you missed it, WCW is a monthly fiction improv, and this month’s is an audition for an upcoming short story anthology from Full Quiver Publishing. It’ll take 10 minutes to write, maybe 5 to post/link, and you could get discovered. Oh, and the linkup doesn’t even close until September 6 at 1am. Q: What’s to lose? A: NOTHING!
And now I’m leaving you with my tall glass of cold, bubbly coffee.
One of the greatest compliments I’ve received (and, thankfully, keep receiving) on Don’t You Forget About Me is that it isn’t “preachy.”
“While I’m a fan of Catholic fiction, I’m not always impressed by the writing. Don’t You Forget About Me is a well-written, entertaining book that actually has some substance to it. ” -Review by Jay Calvin Nelson on Amazon
“Without being preachy or in-your-face about it, Cupp compares the difficulties and heartaches of being a fallen-away Catholic with the peace and joy that comes when one humbly and trustingly puts his life in God’s loving hands.” –Review by Laura Pearl on Amazon
“Fans of Christian fiction will particularly enjoy the elements of faith that add to the richness of the story without hampering the plot.” –Review by Therese Heckenkamp on Amazon
“I found the religious elements well integrated into the story.”–Review by “ruthjoec” on Amazon
As I told Kate over at So Much To Say, So Little Time, I’m not a message writer. I just want to tell you a story. On the other hand, as I told Catholic Fiction, since I don’t go into a book with message in mind, I tend to discount the possibility that story can be used by God to share a message. So here I am, embracing message even while I embrace the people who might not want to read it otherwise.
Introducing the “One For A Friend” Don’t You Forget About Me Giveaway. Here’s how it works.
Comment below with a link to the review. In your comment, include some (vague) info about a friend or family member (no names, please) who, like Cate Whelihan, is anything but a practicing Catholic–but who just might enjoy reading Cate’s story. Example: “I know someone who thinks I’m crazy that I joined RCIA, but she loves mysteries.” “I have this friend who thinks I’m crazy for not using contraception, but she’s a sucker for romantic suspense.” Etc.
On Wednesday, June 18, 2014, I’ll draw a commenter’s name from a hat. I’ll send that commenter one paperback copy of DYFAM, inscribed to the friend you described in your initial comment. (We’ll work out the details over email.)
Clear as mud? I’m just putting my money where my New Evangelization mouth is. Let me know below if you have any questions.
Speaking of Angela’s Song, when is the last day to get that book free on Kindle? That would be today. Get to clicking!
Speaking some more of Angela’s Song, author Annmarie Creedon (Facebook, Twitter) is hosting my latest stop on the DYFAM blog tour, with a post she summarizes thusly, “Today, author Erin McCole Cupp guest posts here at Roman(tic) Catholic, with her thoughts on purple elephants, bodice rippers and unresolved sexual tension. Read on…“
More posts to come next week!
In other news, I think I’m kind of under spiritual attack since the book came out. My asthma has been flaring off and on for weeks; I’ve had a parade of sick relatives, including kids; a parade of bad behavior (primarily kids); computer problems beyond my power to address; and now this:
I’ve taken the approach to all this that whenever another discomfort, inconvenience, annoyance, or (in the case of the asthma) threat to my life or ability to sleep comes my way, it’s because someone reading the book needs some kind of intercession. So, if that’s been you, please rest assured that I’ve been offering it up for you, whoever you are. I do hope it’s paid off for you! I don’t suffer as gracefully as I wish I did.