Sabbath Rest Book Talk/Open Book [August 2017]

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


The aforementioned 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

Our selections for August were:

Sabbath Rest Book Talk: Where Fiction Is Good For You! Join us for August 2017, and we'll talk about how these books show us what we humans can learn about growing up.

Adult Book: Soulless Creatures by Katharine Grubb

YA Book: Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink

Children’s/Readaloud: Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

And here’s what we had to say about them:

And big congrats to Lisa Hendey, who won the signed paperback copy of Soulless Creatures by Katharine Grubb!

Plus, click here to check out our


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:

OpalsJubileeCover GoodMasterCover AnneGreenGablesCover

Adult Book: Opal’s Jubilee by Leslie Lynch

YA Book: The Good Master by Kate Seredy

Children’s/Readaloud: Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery


deets on the way.  

That’s it for August! While we’re here, gentle reminder: To keep on top of each month’s SRBT selections, do sign up for my monthly newsletter. For notifications that each month’s SRBT is available for viewing/listening, subscribe to my YouTube channel.

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! Join us for a monthly video exchange on how fiction makes us more human.

PSA: New Release from Annie Douglass Lima

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.

Click here to order The Collar and the Cavvarach from Amazon 

for $2.99 a discounted price of just 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?


Click here to order The Gladiator and the Guard in Kindle format from Amazon 

for $2.99 a discounted price of just 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.

Connect with the Author Online:

Email: AnnieDouglassLima@gmail.com


Now, enter to win an Amazon gift card or a free digital copy of The Collar and the Cavvarach

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Or find the giveaway at this link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ad2fd99a3/?


Top 10 Reasons You Will Love Catholic Teen Fiction!

Thank you to Theresa Linden, author of the Liberty Trilogy and the newly released Roland West, Loner. In the style of Late Nights gone by, here’s…



1.      Because reading Catholic teen fiction can be more fun than going to the movies.

2.      Because you might waste an entire day stretched out on the couch, reading, but you won’t need to feel guilty.

3.      You also won’t need to find that bookmark you lost because you won’t want to put the book down.

4.      And you won’t need to save your receipts or scraps of junk mail to use for bookmarks. Same reason as number 4.

5.      Because Catholic fiction reveals that there’s more to life than what we can see.

6.      Because of fun author names like Heckenkamp, Cattapan, and Peek.

7.      Because of fun story lines take the reader back in time or into the future, close to the saints, or close to trouble.

8.      Because books don’t need batteries but Catholic books still shed light.

9.      Because you ARE a Catholic teen, so reading fiction for Hindu octogenarians might not be your thing.

10. Because Catholic fiction can stir your heart and give you courage… and direct your soul to God.

Bonus reason: ‘Cause you really don’t want Roland West to stay a loner. That would be sad.

Win your copy of Roland West with this giveaway!

More about Roland West, Loner:

Roland West, Loner is a contemporary Christian story of a fourteen-year-old boy who finds himself friendless at a new school and the subject of cruel rumors. Despised by older twin brothers, he feels utterly alone but not without hope. If he can avoid his brothers while his father is away, he might have a solution to his problem. When his brothers lock him away, having a plan of their own, he gets rescued by an unlikely pair: a neighboring autistic boy and his brother. Struggling to trust his new friends, secrets, rumors, lies, and an unusual inheritance put him on a journey that just might have the power to change the life of this loner.

See the trailer here!

Roland West, Loner addresses loneliness, sibling relationships, facing fears, autism, and the Communion of the Saints. Susan Peek, highly popular author of saint stories for teens, including A Soldier Surrenders said, “A heartwarming tale of friendship, faith, and forgiveness. Linden had me laughing on one page and crying on the next. The story stayed with me long after I closed the last page. Simply put, Roland West, Loner is the best Catholic fiction I’ve read in ages.”

Theresa Linden, author of the Liberty TrilogyTheresa Linden, an avid reader and writer since grade school, grew up in a military family. Moving every few years left her with the impression that life is an adventure. Her Catholic faith inspires the belief that there is no greater adventure than the reality we can’t see, the spiritual side of life. She hopes that the richness, depth, and mystery of the Catholic faith arouse her readers’ imaginations to the invisible realities and the power of faith and grace. A member of the Catholic Writers’ Guild, Theresa lives in northeast Ohio with her husband, three boys, and one dog. Her other published books include Chasing Liberty and Testing Liberty, books one and two in a dystopian trilogy.

Cyber Monday Book Recommendations

Attention Web-mart shoppers!  Today is commonly called “Cyber Monday,” the sequel to Black Friday.  In other words, people are shopping–today, mostly online.  If you’re looking to get the reader in your life a little sumpin-sumpin, take a look at the following recommendations below.  If they’re helpful, go on over to author Declan Finn’s page, because sharing this kind of list was totally his very brilliant idea.

Forgive me for getting myself out of the way first, but for the mystery lover in your life, there’s always Don’t You Forget About Me.  Then there’s Jane_E, Friendless Orphan:  A Memoir for the science fiction adventurer on your list.

Then for the kiddos I recommend:

  • Dear God, I Don’t Get It by Patti Maguire Armstrong.  My review is here.  Buy the book on Amazon here.
  • The King’s Gambit by John McNichol.  My review is here.  Buy the book on Amazon here.
  • The Shubert the Firefly series by Dr. Becky A. Bailey, illustrated by James Hrkach.  My review is here.  Buy the books on Amazon here.
  • Stout Hearts and Whizzing Biscuits:  A Patria Novel by Daniel McInerney.  My review is here.  Buy the book on Amazon here.

Non-fiction for the grown-ups in your life:

  • Strange Gods by Elizabeth Scalia.  My review is here.  Buy the book on Amazon here
  • Fleeting Glimpses of the Silly, Sentimental and Sublime by Michael Seagriff.  My review is here.  Buy the book on Amazon here.
  • God’s Bucket List by Teresa Tomeo.  My review is here.  Buy the book on Amazon here.
  • Cultivating God’s Garden Through Lent by Margaret Rose Realy.  My review is here.  Buy the book on Amazon here.
  • Race with the Devil by Joseph Pearce.  My review is here.  Buy the book on Amazon here.
  • Classroom Management for Catechists by Jennifer Fitz.  My review is here.  Buy the book on Amazon here.
  • Dog in the Gap by Lisa Delay and Doug Jackson.  My review is here.  Buy the book on Amazon here.

Last but not least of my personal recs, here’s some fiction, a.k.a. “brain candy”:

  • Death Panels by Michelle Buckman.  My review is here.  Buy the book on Amazon here.
  • Bleeder and Viper by John Desjarlais.  My reviews are here (BleederViper).  Buy the books on Amazon here.  
  • Treason by Dena Hunt.  My review is here.  Buy the book on Amazon here.
  • Murder in the Vatican: The Church Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes by Ann Margaret Lewis.  My review is here.  Buy the book on Amazon here.
  • Sons of Cain by Val Bianco.  My review is here.  Buy the book on Amazon here.
  • Stealing Jenny by Ellen Gable.  My review is here.  Buy the book on Amazon here.
  • Angela’s Song by AnnMarie Creedon.  Buy the book (and find my review) on Amazon here.  

Now for some other books I’ve not read yet but which are getting heavy buzz on the Catholic Writers Guild Facebook page:

Happy shopping, my Advent-agious peoples!