Where are all the Catholics?

I’m an author of Catholic fiction for teens. I’m a member of the Catholic Writers Guild and CatholicTeenBooks.com. I’ve received pretty awesome reviews for my novels and even an endorsement from Evangelist Alveda C. King for my pro-life novel, For Eden’s Sake. But if truth be told, my novels are not in high demand. And I’m not the only Catholic fiction author feeling the chill. Authors who I consider far better than I am are struggling to find the audience they’re writing for.

Around the time I wrote my first novel The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch, I remember the cry of many a Catholic complaining that there just wasn’t enough good Catholic fiction out there, above and beyond the usual Chesterton/Tolkien offering. It was true. My desire was to make that change in that regard. Many of the authors I know did too.

Catholic fiction for teens is not an easy genre to write, not because it’s difficult to write, I love it. God picked it for me and it’s my ministry. But like all things Christian . . .  music, movies, etc . . . Catholic fiction is not a popular genre. This makes it all the more discouraging for writers like me who have more than just a story to tell.

With an estimated 1.2 billion Roman Catholics in the world, you’d think there’d be a high demand for Catholic fiction for teens. You’d think Catholic parents would be rapidly sourcing these books out . . . at least once the usual classics have been exhausted. And especially since many of the teen struggles of today go above and beyond the scope of the classics, concerning issues that I can almost bet Tolkien didn’t see coming. But sadly, no. The secular stories still prevail, and with them, a message often lacking God’s word that Catholics are supposed to thrive on . . . especially teens, who are soon expected to leave the security of the nest and enter an unforgiving, faith-lacking, temptation-saturated world. Such a sad revelation.

Did I pick the wrong genre? I can easily write dark novels with tainted albeit likable characters, devoid of redemptive desires, but elevate them to positions of admiration and envy. I can write shallow tales of empty love, including scenes frenzied by desires of the flesh. I can write wicked stories, saturated in adventure, but bereft of light. They don’t even have to be masterfully written stories in order to gain momentum, as we’ve often seen far less exalted to supreme status simply for their perfectly progressive slant. And all these stories would probably get way more recognition, pleasing the social justice warrior to no end. But none of them would be the Lord’s.

No. God picked Catholic fiction for me. It’s my ministry. Teens need it. So, I write on, along with my fellow Catholic fiction authors, touting the goods inspired by a good and loving God who shares His truth with our words. Yet, always wondering where all the Catholics are!

I don’t expect Catholic fiction to surpass secular . . . although, wouldn’t that be an amazing feat? And, boy, would the world be better for it. But with so many awesome stories out there, wrapped in God’s amazing Grace, I do urge young readers to give it a go, and parents to encourage it! Teens may just fall in love with it. It may just be the guidance they need.

FOR EDEN’S SAKE, Published, Endorsed, and Positively Received!

My newest release, For Eden Sake was recently released on September 5th—the feast day of St. Theresa of Calcutta. It has received such great reviews. You can find links to them on the title’s page, along with the book trailer and a link to the first chapter. And it also received an endorsement from Evangelist Alveda C. King! I’m not kidding. I printed her sweet words on the front cover for all to see. I feel so blessed.

“It is a poverty to decide that a child must die
so that you may live as you wish.”
(Saint Teresa of Calcutta)

I’m so excited about this novel. It’s been on my back-burner for many years. But it began nagging at me. A push from the Lord? Quite possibly. Because the story moved along pretty quickly toward completion.

For Eden’s Sake is a pro-life story with a primarily male POV, Isaac, and it’s directed at older teens. My hope is that readers of this demographic will finish the story with not just a newfound understanding of the value of life—from the moment of conception to that of natural death—but also that teens realize the significance of a chaste life.  That they come to recognize that intimacy is a gift from God reserved for married people, out of which the miracle of life comes.

While a story close to my heart, For Eden’s Sake has an important mission. It has a bigger responsibility than my other novels, going beyond the intention of saving souls. It’s task is to save souls and  lives.

Pray with me that it succeeds in this endeavor!

T. M Gaouette featured in Summer 2019 Today’s Catholic Teacher article “Bring an Author to School.”

Hey, Catholic teachers! This one is for you!

Have you considered inviting an author to speak to your students?

One of the highlights of what I do is speak directly to young readers of my novels. As some of you know, I’ve written about these visits and how it’s such a wonderful experience. And I’ve also heard directly from the students who have expressed their appreciation at the opportunity to discuss the stories, as well as the characters that they’ve come to know.

Author visits are extremely valuable to the author and the students, and this month, you can read more about this amazing opportunity, including my own personal experience and advice—and that of some other amazing authors—in the summer edition of Today’s Catholic Teacher. The article, “Bring an Author to School,” profiles the benefits of inviting authors to schools to speak directly to the students. Whether via in-person visits or virtual, teachers can add a valuable dimension to a their language arts curriculum. Check out the article and see which other authors are available for school visits!

Read more about my school visits.

Because Faith-Filled Fiction Changes Lives!

Fiction can have a huge influence in a person’s life, but much more so in a child’s.

Teens deal with a multitude of struggles, from fitting in to dealing with bullying, from friendships to relationships, and so many others in between. Teen years are one of the most difficult, especially in the current state of our society. And when it comes to Catholic teens, there’s the added concern of dealing with all these issues while remaining true to the faith. With so much pressure from society, parents, and peers, it’s hardly surprising that teens get lost in the world.

Fiction can make or break a teen in such situations, especially if they can relate to a character or admire one. We’ve seen it ourselves with stories that have had a negative impact on teens, encouraging them to be more violent or promiscuous, or to follow the world or lose hope altogether. And with the literary offerings focused more and more on spreading worldly views and lifestyles, we at Catholic Teen Books feel it necessary to write more stories with characters that radiate God’s Word, inspiring good morals and virtues. In a variety of genres, these stories provide real life situations that teens can relate to, characters that, although flawed, find hope in a dark world.  Read more…

My Review of Corinna Turner’s “The Siege of Reginald Hill”

The Siege of Reginald Hill

by Corinna Turner

An odd surge filled my heart as I looked at him, sitting there in that chair: so old; so evil; so broken; so… alone. A warmth. A caring. A… love. I loved him. Just another poor sinner who need my care…

SAFETY IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF DANGER, BUT THE PRESENCE OF GOD.

Fr Kyle Verrall is living a quiet life as a parish priest in Africa when he’s snatched from his church one night by armed assailants. He’s in big trouble—his sister’s worst enemy is hell-bent on taking revenge on the famous Margaret Verrall by killing her brother, just as slowly and horribly as he can.

What could possibly save him? The humble young priest is defenseless—or so Reginald Hill believes.

But Kyle has a powerful weapon Hill knows nothing about. And he’s not afraid to use it.

Is Reginald Hill really the hunter?
Or is he the hunted?

MY REVIEW

In this new I Am Margaret installment, Margaret’s brother, Kyle, is a priest in Africa. But after being kidnapped by the notorious—and heartless—Reginald Hill, he’s pushed to his limit. Will he betray God in the midst of his suffering?
It’s not often that a story remains in my mind. There are a few that I’ll never forget even though it’s been years since I read them. Henry James’ “The Beast in the Jungle” and C. S. Lewis’ “The Great Divorce,” and now Corinna Turner’s The Siege of Reginald Hill. An extremely powerful example of what it really means to love our enemies, this novel provokes a whirlwind of emotions. Turner is an amazing storyteller who really delves into the souls of her characters and then relays their every emotion so that we too can connect with them and empathize with their plight.
Sharing God’s love and amazing forgiveness, Turner reminds all Catholics about the depths we must all go to sacrifice in order to really love. I highly recommend this story to young adults!

Check it out below: Buy Now, Blog Tour Schedule, About the Author, and find Corinna Turner on the the web and social media.

Buy Now

As a paperback or eBook

Blog Tour Schedule

Dec 1 – Stop 1 – Corinna Turner – Author of the I Am Margaret series including new release The Siege of Reginald Hill – www.IAmMargaret.com

Dec 3 – Stop 2 – Steven R. McEvoy – Blogger and Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer Steven R. McEvoy on “Book Reviews & More” – www.bookreviewsandmore.ca

Dec 4 – Stop 3 – Erin McCole Cupp – Blogger, Contributor to Catholic Mom and Author (Jane E. Friendless Orphan series, etc.) – http://catholicmom.com/

Dec 5 – Stop 4 – Regina Doman – Award-winning Catholic teen fiction Author (The Fairy Tale novels, The Angel in the Waters, etc.) – http://reginadoman.blogspot.com/

Dec 6 – Stop 5 – Theresa Linden – Award-winning Catholic teen fiction Author (Liberty series, West Brothers series, etc.) – www.theresalinden.com/

Dec 7 – Stop 6 – Sarah de Nordwall – The Catholic Bard! – http://sarahdenordwall.blogspot.com/

Dec 8 – Stop 7 – T.M. Gaouette – Writer, Blogger, and Author of Catholic Fiction (Faith and Kung Fu series) – https://tmgaouette.com/

Dec 10 – Stop 8 – Carolyn Astfalk – Author of coming-of-age romance Rightfully Ours, etc. – www.carolynastfalk.com/

Dec 11 – Stop 9 – Leslea Wahl – Award-winning Catholic teen fiction Author (The Perfect BlindsideAn Unexpected Role, etc.) – http://lesleawahl.com/

Dec 12 – Stop 10 – Elizabeth Amy Hajek – Blogger and Author of The Mermaid and the Unicorn – https://elenatintil.blogspot.com

About the Author

CORINNA TURNER has been writing since she was fourteen and likes strong protagonists with plenty of integrity. She has an MA in English from Oxford University, but has foolishly gone on to work with both children and animals! Juggling work with the disabled and being a midwife to sheep, she spends as much time as she can in a little hut at the bottom of the garden, writing.

She is a Catholic Christian with roots in the Methodist and Anglican churches. A keen cinema-goer, she lives in the UK with her classic campervan ‘Toby’ (short for Tobias!), her larger and more expensive substitute for her lovely Giant African Land Snail, Peter, who sadly passed away in October 2016.

Social Media

Connect with Corinna Turner:

​website: www.iammargaret.co.uk

Facebook author page

Twitter: @CorinnaTAuthor

Guarding Aaron: My New Release in the Faith & Kung Fu Series

Guarding Aaron

by T. M. Gaouette

The world continues to press in on Gabriel Livingstone’s quiet life when fifteen-year-old Aaron Buckley enters Yeung’s Martial Arts Studio looking to learn kung-fu. Gabriel knows there’s a desperate secret behind the boy’s bruises, and secretly vows to be his guard, with the help of his friend Christian. But when Tanner Rose pressures him for strength and direction, and Faith’s continued rebellion send him and his friends to the hospital, jeopardizing Tanner’s career, Gabriel is forced to reexamine his decisions. Is he called to the priesthood or is life behind the monastery walls merely an escape?

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
(Ephesians 6:10-11 RSVCE)

Buy Now

As an ebook:
Kindle

Social Media

Connect with T. M. Gaouette:

Facebook author page

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TMGaouette

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037114.T_M_Gaouette

Instagram: @t.m.gaouette

 

Roland West, Outcast: My Review and Some Mad Lib Fun!

ROLAND WEST, OUTCAST

by Theresa Linden

He’s searching for the truth but is he ready to proclaim it?

For shy Roland West, speech class is synonymous with humiliation. The last thing he wants is more attention from the gossips and troublemakers of River Run High School. But when an outcast’s house is viciously vandalized, Roland needs to find the perpetrators—before they strike again. Yet nothing is as straightforward as it seems. Suspected by the police and ridiculed for his beliefs, Roland draws closer to the sinister truth. When the perpetrators threaten a good friend, can Roland overcome his fear of speaking out and expose them?

MY REVIEW

Theresa Linden has done it again with Roland West, Outcast. We meet the characters we’ve come to know and love, Roland, Peter, Caitlyn and others.
When a new girl in town—and school—is the target of a hateful act, the Fire Starters are quick to help clean up the mess. Peter and Roland also try to find out who did it, but a shy Roland and a smitten Peter have to confront their fears along the way.

In this story, Linden touches upon issues that are prevalent in our society, and she captures them with God’s truth and compassion. Struggling as Christians in a world that is so focused on selfish desires, Outcast reminds us that we should always stand up for what’s right, regardless of what the mass tries to push us to believe. Outcast is fun, emotional roller-coaster, with realistic characters and a lot of suspense.

Jump ahead: Mad Lib FunBuy NowBlog Tour ScheduleAbout the Author, and find Theresa Linden on the the web and social media.

Mad Lib Fun

Although there is a BONUS stop tomorrow (check schedule below), this is the last day of the Virtual Book Tour for Roland West, Outcast! If you’ve stopped by all 7 blog stops, you’ve read the Author Interview, the article “Why We Need Catholic Fiction,” and the article “Embarrassing Moments.” You’ve entered the first GIVEAWAY on Tumblar House’s website, played the “Saints Contest” for several entries to the second GIVEAWAY, and commented on all the other blog stops for more entries. You’ve watched the Book Trailer, and you’ve had an opportunity to begin reading the Prologue of the story.

This is the final blog stop, and we end this tour with a Mad Lib game just for fun!  The Mad Lib is called “Roland Gives a Speech.” Play the game here and answer this question in the comments of this blog to be entered into the second GIVEAWAY: Did you ever give a speech in high school? How did it go?

Since today is the last day of the Blog Tour, the winner will be chosen using an online “winner picker.” Winner will receive a paperback of Roland West, Outcast if they live within the continental US and an ebook (mobi, EPUB, or PDF) for everywhere else (unless the author feels that the shipping cost is not too bad). Winner will be announced here: http://www.theresalinden.com/outcast-blog-stops

Buy Now

As an ebook:
Kindle

In paperback:
Tumblar House

Blog Tour Schedule

If you’ve missed any of the tour, you can still check out some of the stops!

Saturday, November 17 – our first blog stop will be Tumblar House Catholic Bookstore’s blog “The Lounge”.Check out the Author Interview and look for the 1st GIVEAWAY! You’ll be able to enter all week long! A winner will be chosen on the last day of the Blog Tour. While you are there, check out the other great books and content on Tumblar House’s website!

Saturday, November 17 – visit Today’s Catholic Teacher Magazine for my article “Why We Need Catholic Fiction.”  Share the link to my article in Catholic Teacher anywhere to enter the second GIVEAWAY. Simply message me or email me the link.

Sunday, November 18 – blogger Barb Grady Szyszkiewicz shares her review of Roland West, Outcast on Franciscan Mom.

Monday, November 19 – stop by Unseen Books, home of the books by Corinna Turner, fantasy and dystopian author.

Monday, November 19 – blogger Steven R. McEvoy on “Book Reviews & More” Read his review and my article “Embarrassing Moments.” Share your own embarrassing moment in the comments to enter the second GIVEAWAY!

Tuesday, November 20 – award-winning Catholic teen fiction author Leslea Wahl shares her review of Roland West, Outcast on her “Monthly Book Review” blog. Play the “Saint Game” for several chances to enter the second GIVEAWAY!

Wednesday, November 21 – visit blogger Christina Weigand on “Faith, Inspiration, and a Cup of Tea” to read her review and to see the entire Prologue to the Roland West, Outcast! Copy any line of the prologue into the comments to enter the second GIVEAWAY!

Thursday, November 22 – Carolyn Astfalk, author of coming-of-age romance Rightfully Ours, has posted the book trailer and her review of Roland West, Outcast on her “My Scribbler’s Heart Blog.” In the comments, share which West Brother books you have read, if any, to enter the second GIVEAWAY!  (It’s okay if you are new to the series. Just say so and you are still entered to win)

Friday, November 23 – T.M. Gauoette, Writer, Blogger, and Author of Catholic Fiction, shares her review and points you to a Mad Lib game! Play the game and answer this question in the comments to be entered into the second GIVEAWAY: Did you ever give a speech in high school? How did it go?

***BONUS STOP***

Saturday, November 24 – blogger Steven R. McEvoy on “Book Reviews & More”shares his interview of the characters: Roland, Keefe, and Jarret West, and Peter Brandt! Check out the character interviews today!

About the Author

THERESA LINDEN is the author of award-winning faith-filled fiction that weaves the natural with the supernatural. She has eight published novels, including a dystopian trilogy, contemporary young adult fiction, a short story in the anthology Secrets: Visible & Invisible and two short stories in Image and Likeness: Literary Reflections on the Theology of the Body. She holds a Catechetical Diploma from Catholic Distance University and is a member of the Catholic Writers Guild. Her books are featured on CatholicTeenBooks.com, Catholic Reads, and Virtue Works Media. A wife, homeschooling mom, and Secular Franciscan, she resides in Elyria with her husband and three teenage boys.

Social Media

Connect with Theresa Linden:

​website: www.theresalinden.com

blog: Things Visible & Invisible

Facebook author page

Twitter: @LindenTheresa