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Grace-filled Tuesdays (Book Club "Meeting" #20): An Erin's Ring Giveaway!

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The Grace-filled Tuesdays Book Club met today over at my flagship blog, String of Pearls. We talked about my second YA Catholic novel, Erin's Ring, recipient of two book awards from the Catholic Press Association.
If you haven't read Erin's Ring yet and would like to do so, you might be interested to know that I'm hosting a giveaway.

I'm giving away five free promo copies of Erin's Ring, with the winners to be announced on Nov. 1.
If you'd like to find out how to enter, head on over to String of Pearls for more information.

Miraculous Medal Giveaway

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During Lent, I will be giving away a total of 500 blessed Miraculous Medals on my blog.  If you're a teacher, religious ed instructor, homeschooler, parent, or grandparent who would like some of these medals for your classroom, co-op group, or loved ones, stop on over at String of Pearls for more details.

5 things you didn't know about St. Therese

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October 1 is the feast of St. Therese, Carmelite nun and Doctor of the Church. I have a giveaway and some special deals to celebrate. But first, here are five things you may not have known about this beloved saint.
1. She almost died as an infant. Before Therese was even born, her mother, Blessed Zelie Martin, was already suffering from the breast cancer that would eventually kill her. She was unable to nurse Therese properly, but did not want to turn her over to a wet-nurse. A previous daughter had died in a nurse's care, and daughter Celine had not fared well with a nurse either. Eventually, when Therese was nearly starved, Zelie did find a nurse for her. Therese lived with the nurse for over a year. Afterwards, she had trouble re-attaching to her own mother.
2. She dreamed of posing as a penitent. Therese and her father, Blessed Louis Martin, used to bring fish to an order of nuns that cared for penitent girls. Some of the girls would join the order. Therese, in …

Celebrating "Celebrate Teen Literature Day"!

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Posted two days ago at String of Pearls:It's still National Library Week, and I'm still running a giveaway here at the blog.  Leave me a comment anytime before midnight on April 18, and you could win one of two prizes: a signed copy of my first novel, Finding Grace, or a signed copy of my second novel, Erin's Ring. This is a good day to talk about these two books, because today has actually been dubbed "Celebrate Teen Literature Day," and both of my novels fall into the teen/young adult (YA) category.  (Although don't let the YA tag deter you from reading them if you're a full-blown adult; I tried to write these stories in such a way that they could be enjoyed by readers from middle school to middle age.)

When I set out to write Finding Grace, I wasn't even sure it would ever be officially published as a book, with a glossy cover and professionally printed pages.  I thought that when I finished, I might run off copies for my boys, so that when they h…

A Novena and a Giveaway

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The plight of the persecuted has never been more dire, yet most of the world has remained silent---a deafening silence!  My heart has been heavy with wanting to help those who are suffering the unimaginable.  They are constantly on my mind and in my prayers.  While I have tried hard to shield myself from the graphic photographs, just reading about the atrocities has flooded my mind with images that I can't forget.

Many nights thoughts and fears have consumed me. Perhaps fear is not the correct word. I do not fear, I know that the gates of Hell shall not prevail. I know that my God has already won. I know that Christ is risen, and in Him I shall never die. God always prevails and provides. However, the feeling of evil closing in around us has greatly saddened my heart.

Read more on Veils and Vocations.

Erin's Ring Giveaway

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I was so thrilled to receive this photo recently, via text message, from my niece.  She's a 5th grade teacher at a Catholic school out in the Midwest, and she's having her students read Erin's Ring--my second YA novel, published by Bezalel Books in November of 2014.
I'd love to see Erin's Ring, a story about "the legacy of love and the power of faith," get into the hands of more kids like the ones pictured here (and their parents, too--it's a book for all ages).  Therefore, I'm hosting a giveaway on my blog.  In honor of National Library Week, which is April 12-18, I'm giving away one copy of Erin's Ring, along with one copy of my first Bezalel novel, Finding GraceHead on over to String of Pearls to find out how you can enter to win.

Telling your Faith Story by Nancy HC Ward

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Several years ago, as I was on my way into St. Patrick’s Church, a man approached me. His eyes looked straight into mine, searching for something. Perhaps directions to some place in the neighborhood? Then he inquired, “Let me ask you something. Why do you go to church?” Spontaneously, I answered, ”Because I love Jesus.” My answer surprised me. It sounded like a slogan from Vacation Bible School. Sometimes the Holy Spirit catches me with my barriers down and blurts out the truth. The man smiled, and then leaned toward me intently. ”But why do you go to this church? He pointed to the church building in front of us. I shrugged, "This is where I live, and Jesus is here. If I lived in a different neighborhood, I’d go to a church there.” He nodded and slowly walked away. That encounter came to mind as I thought about the many opportunities the Lord puts right in front of me to tell about my faith in God. My natural shyness prevents many of these occasions from making any impact on thos…

Win a free book for a first communicant or other child!

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CatholicFamilyGifts.com offered me a free first-Communion gift to review and give away to one of my readers. Since my boys are currently interested in hidden picture books, I chose Can You Find Saints?: Introducing Your Child to Holy Men and Women. After the review, I will tell you how can enter to win this book.

Can You Find Saints? is one in a series of four  books by Philip D. Gallery. The series also includes Can You Find Jesus?, Can You Find the Followers of Jesus?, and Can You Find Bible Heroes? Janet L. Harlow illustrated all four books. They combine hide-and-seek fun with learning about the faith.

Given the cover and the genre, I was prepared for cartoon illustrations similar to the Where's Waldo? series. Harlow provides more than that. The inside front and back covers contain a parchment-like timeline of saints, beginning with Abraham. "Search 1: Mary Lives a Life of Perfect Virtue" delighted me with its depiction of the mysteries of the Rosary and appr…