Melchior Chapter One

Available Now On Amazon: Melchior

Chapter One

Hairy Hedgehogs

Melchior felt the sneeze pulsing through his head like liquid fire. Squeezed under his bed, arms lodged tightly against his body, he had no opportunity to stem the rushing tide.

“Agh! If-only Chloe-dusted more-thoroughly! Slovenly house-maaaaaid! Achoo! Achoo!”

The smarting pain to his head when he smacked his skull against the wooden frame definitely checked the relief of the explosion. Melchior grimaced. The real object of his interest lay just out of reach. He stretched as far as his short stature would allow; the vellum roll merely sat there, completely indifferent to his struggle.

“Aw! Hairy hedgehogs! Why can’t I do this one thing? Why does everything have to be so…damnably difficult?”

“Father! Faaaather!”

Melchior’s head smashed against the underside of his bed one again as he struggled to extricate himself before his daughter entered the room and found her noble father’s backside peeking out from under the bedstead. He had his reputation to protect…among other things. But Melchior’s respectability could hardly cloak his body at this crucial moment. Although he wiggled backwards as fast as he could, the sneezes grew in proportion to his anxiety.

“Oh, Mother Most Holy, I’ll say my devotions more regularly if only—”

“Father…? Father! What in Woden’s name are you doing down there?”

Melchior’s whole body slumped against the dusty floor.

“One more incident like this,” his eldest daughter had warned him just yesterday in her most despairing tone, “and I’ll have to send for Aunt Martha.”

Yes, yes! Roaring rabbits! He was getting old, and perhaps a tad bit forgetful, but that wasn’t what led him to squiggle under the bedstead. He had a perfectly good reason for getting down on all fours and lodging almost his entire body between his hard bed and the dusty floorboards. It was all because of that treacherous roll of vellum. He needed it. He must have it! Who cared for dignity when the whole world waited on the brink of despair for this one piece of momentous news?

Angels above be praised! He had discovered the most amazing thing. He, Melchior, son of Jeremiah and Freda, simple thane, wordsmith, and inventor, had discovered, well, it had been revealed to him in a dream – the one unifying principle of reality! He knew it, and he knew he knew it….or at least he had known it last night when he woke up in the pitch black with the vision still clear in his mind. So, he had done what any intelligent, honest, decent man would do. He struck a flame to his candle, retrieved his quill, and, snatching his precious roll that contained all his inspirations, he wrote down this most amazing bit of universal truth. Why, the world would never be the same once he shared what he had learned!

Unfortunately, after having scribbled down the vision in its entirety, he was exhausted. He carefully rolled the vellum and placed it beside his bed. When he awoke this morning, he remembered his great good luck, but to his horror there was no sign of his treasure. He searched frantically all over the room, tearing it to pieces. Not that there was much to tear apart; his personal possessions consisted only of a bed, a desk with one leg slightly shorter than the others, and a single straight-backed, armless chair. He had tossed his clothes upon the floor in his desperate search…or were they there already? Never mind that!

Perhaps the roll had merely fallen and rolled under the bed? When he got down on all fours, which was no easy feat, he could see the edge of what looked very much like his precious document. Without premeditated thought, he began to squiggle…and thus…here he lay…bare legs sticking out from under his bed. What else might be laid bare; he shuddered to think.

“Father? Are you ill? Having some kind of a fit?”

Melchior sighed.

“Harry! Come here! I think father’s had a fit and died half under his bed! Hurry!”

“Hurry, Harry!” mimicked Melchior under his breath. “Hurry and save your already dead father! Bah!”

Before either Harry or his eldest daughter, Adele, could rescue him, Melchior managed to squiggle backwards the last bit and fully extricated himself from the humiliation he had plunged himself into. He sat there, his head propped on his arm, which was propped rather casually upon his knee. He stared at his two children, rather surprised that the whole brood hadn’t followed them up the stairs into his little sanctuary. After all, their house only had a few rooms, and every squirrel and bird knew exactly what went on inside each. He blinked like a cat as he waited for the inevitable.

“Father, what were you doing? You scared me half to death! I thought…well…I don’t know what I thought, but—”

Melchior put up his hand wearily. “Don’t say another word. I know what you imagined, and I must say, you have a deplorable lack of faith in your father. Do you think I’d die in such an unceremonious way? When I’m ready to die, I’ll let you know.”

He looked at his son, whose mouth hung slightly open. Although Harry possessed a kind and gentle soul, he was not the brightest candle on the lampstand. But he was strong, and that was worth something. “Help your father to his feet, Harry.”

Harry obliged.

Melchior surveyed his eldest daughter and then his son. His shoulders slumped. They were truly the kindest people he knew, but times were hard and there was so much decency being lost from their everyday world that his heart nearly broke when he thought of it. He remembered the stories his father and grandfather used to tell of the Roman days and how things used to be. But now, all was rot and ruin. There was so little of the old grandeur left.

If only his wife, Edwina, had not passed away, leaving him to manage everything. He still owned a small portion of his lands. As a full-fledged thane, he maintained five hides as the law demanded. And he possessed a name and reputation as an educated man. He was considered wise in a land of ignorant, inarticulate…. Oh, never mind! He must not think of it. If only Edwina had been able to pass along more of her own noble strength. But she had been so busy raising the babies and maintaining the household that she had had little time to speak about the past and what they had known…their honorable name and stolen inheritance. Melchior forced himself into the present moment. “Where are the others?”

Harry’s mouth hung open, but Adele spoke up in her usual brisk fashion. “They’ve gone to the festival. Don’t you remember, Father? You gave permission last week. Lord Gerard is holding a feast in honor of his daughter’s betrothal to Lord Marlow with games and races and food and drink. You promised everyone might attend.”

“At this hour? Why the sun has just risen!”

Adele studied her father, one eyebrow raised. “You’ve been up half the night again, haven’t you? Oh, father!”

Melchior grimaced at the reproach for he had been up half the night; undoubtedly the morning had flown by while he slumbered, but still…. Melchior fell to his knees again.

Adele shrieked. “What now, Father?”

“My roll! My parchment fell on the floor―that’s was why I was half buried under the bed when you found me.” Melchior struggled to his feet and, carefully appraised his two children, eyeing not only their size but also their agility and mental acuity. He pointed to his daughter. “Adele, get under there and retrieve my roll. It’s very important, and I must have it!”

Adele shook her head one last time before she got on her knees, wiggled under the bed, and returned with the roll pinched daintily between two fingers. She held the dusty vellum out to her father. “What’s it this time?”

Melchior pursed his lips although his eyebrows furrowed anxiously. What if he had imagined the whole thing? What if he had dreamed that he had discovered the one great unifying principle of the universe? What could he say?

“I’ve discovered something very important, but I’m not ready to reveal it yet. Besides, the world, as it stands today, isn’t ready for what I have to offer. We live in a land of fools ruled by barbar—”

“Father! Don’t speak so loud! King Radburn is very powerful and has many spies. Besides, we owe him our allegiance.” Adele’s gaze fell, her cheeks flushed.

Melchior lips stretched back with a slight hiss. “Yes, they are rather treasonous words, but they have meaning―at least they should.” He had more intelligent conversations with merchants than with lords, and the Saxon king was one of the most loutish men he had ever met. King? Why, Melchior could name three hunting dogs with more sense! But that was none of his business. All he had to do was manage his own estate, keep his children alive, and stay out of trouble. He snatched the roll from his daughter’s outstretched hand. “Yes, well, this will help to keep my mind on better things.” A sudden frown crushed his heavy brows over his eyes. “Why aren’t you two at the celebration?”

Adele ran her fingers through her hair, a sheepish grin replacing her serious expression. “Ahh, we’re going…but there were things to attend to. You want something to eat? Some bread and meat?”

Melchior rubbed his lean belly. Yes, food would definitely help. Hot food and a mug of warm ale would go a long way toward improving his mood. Then he could read over his work in the quiet of an empty house. Peace and quiet? Why this would be a prize! “Is everyone going?”

“Not Selby. I’m leaving him behind to watch over things―in case you need something.”

Melchior put on his most benevolent face, a wide smile to match his wide eyes. “Ah, let the poor man go. Even if he can’t partake, he can watch, and you might slip him a little something.”

Adele’s pursed lips and scowl disagreed. “I don’t know if Lord Gerard would like that. Slaves aren’t invited to such things. Father, what can you be thinking?”

Melchior could feel his quiet time slipping away. Selby had an uncanny ability of finding him alone when he least desired company. The old fool would sidle forward with a ridiculous complaint or some “momentous” news (the cow had calved, the oats were up, it looked like a storm was coming), and then the garrulous codger would start to chatter. Why he could chatter a man’s two good ears right off his head.

Melchior aimed his gaze and spoke so clearly, that no one, not even Harry, could mistake his meaning. “Adele, I order you to take Selby and the rest with you. Say that they’re to help with the children. Say that they’ll help with the cooking or the cleanup. Say whatever you wish, but take them away and stay a good long time! You understand?”

Adele nodded and sniffed. She understood all too well. Her father was up to one of his schemes again, and he wanted to be alone. Well, she wouldn’t get in his way. She had better things to do than fret about an old man’s foolishness. It would break her mother’s heart to see him now. He never took care of himself. He never bothered to dress neatly and he was so reclusive that all their neighbors were saying that he was mad. He was an old man, it was true, but Adele knew her father better than anyone, and she knew that he was as wise and crafty as ever, but he obsessed over strange secrets.

In a fit of lonely desperation, he once recited some notable quote to Lord Gerard but Lord Gerard had only laughed, pounded him on the back, and said that he had drunk too much strong wine. Melchior, who already hated the man, hated him even more and avoided him after that. Adele winced at the memory. Though she had no love for the conquering Saxon, she did like the look of Lord Gerard’s nephew, Robert. She dearly hoped that her father’s eccentricities wouldn’t make her less attractive to her neighbors.

“As you say, Father. We’ll be leaving in a few moments. I just need to get my cloak. The night will surely be chilly.” Adele left the room with one final direction to her brother. “Get father’s food, will you, Harry? See that Selby carries in the tray and a flask of ale.”

Harry, used to obeying his sister’s commands, turned away.

Melchior watched him go with a slight ache of regret. He hardly ever spoke to the boy in kindness for there was so little to praise. Suddenly his heart smote him, and Melchior called out to his son’s retreating figure. “Have a good time, Harry! Dance with one of the pretty maidens for me.”

Harry turned and gazed at his father. He knew when people were making fun of him for the sting bit deep, but he realized with an indecipherable sense of sadness that his father was not taunting him but wishing him well, saddened all the while that it would never happen.

As soon as everyone was gone, Melchior picked up his scroll and carefully began to unroll it by the window. He stared wide-eyed, anxious to uncover its marvelous contents. First, there was the part about the stars alignment, which he had begun to chart five years ago after he had seen a propitious sign leading him to believe that his future was exceedingly bright. After a bit, he had become frustrated with the clouds forever covering the night stars so he began to record his family tree, and, although it wasn’t particularly detailed, it pleased him to have the whole family in one place. Then, of course, there was that bit about animal husbandry…but his interest had faded after a disease nearly carried off all the cows. In the margins, he printed quotes of learned men that he soon memorized. He used to recite them at gatherings to amaze his family and impress his friends.

Finally, here it was. Why? What had happened? The first few words were clear, for he had still had some ink on his pen; he must have wet it with his tongue as was his usual habit but…. Oh, flummoxed foxes! He had forgotten to dip his pen in ink. All that remained of his vision were some scratches and stray marks where his fingers had smudged the material. Just a few faint words were all that bore testimony to his vision, his wonderful knowledge that would save the world from disgrace and utter ruin!

Melchior stepped away from the light and fell heavily onto his bed, his hands hanging at his sides. How could this have happened? How could he have both been given such a gift and then had it snatched away all in one pitiless day? Did God not care for him? Did the Heavenly Host laugh at his attempts to understand his mighty world? Or was this the work of the devil to send him straight into the arms of the mistress of despair? If so, Beelzebub almost won.

Sighing, Melchior rose off the bed and went back to the light streaming through the window. There were a few readable traces upon the parchment. Melchior considered throwing the whole document into the fire, but then he remembered that such costly vellum was hard to obtain, and he would have nothing to write upon if he threw this away.

“Bah! What does it matter? The greatest knowledge in the universe has just slipped through my fingers. I am not likely to have that vision twice! And I can’t even remember the first thing about it other than it was lovely, and I was happier thinking about it than I had ever been in my life. But it’s gone now. The treasure has been stolen not only from my grasp but from my mind as well. Oh, Lovely Mother, have you no pity for your servant?”

Melchior heard the song of a bird just outside his window. It was a perky sparrow bouncing about from branch to branch as if it had nothing better to do than dance away the day. But as Melchior stared, the light fell on the vellum in such a way that the first scratches were discernible and Melchior bent in closer. “What’s this?” Melchior peered at the vellum and the words were suddenly quite clear.

“And he showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal….”

Clenching the velum in utter frustration, Melchior shouted, “What in eternity does that mean?” Yet his heart was lightened, for although his entire vision did not come back to him, he did sense the unspeakable joy he had known when he had first sat upon his chair in the blackness of night and wrote the message he was sure had come from God. Well, if God did not want him to know the whole message now, so be it. God was a mystery. He still had hidden within him this marvelous secret, and when God wished him to remember, he would recall the vision in full. And next time…he would dip his quill in ink!

Dying for Revenge – Book Review

dying for revengeDying for Revenge: The Lady Doc Murders

Book 1 

The Lady Doc Murders: Dying for Revenge by Dr. Barbara Golder has seriously messed up my sleep patterns. With eight kids there is little chance that I will EVER sleep in, so my only hope of obtaining a decent night’s rest lies with the reasonable assumption that I will hit the pillow by about 10:00 PM.  But all reason, in fact long years of self discipline, fly out the window when I pick up this book. I may kick myself in the morning, but secretly, I’m greedily looking forward to the sun (and the kids) going down and cracking open the spine once again. 

Dr. Golder’s hysterically funny, dry wit, intriguing mystery, fast action, and wonderful characters set this high above the average murder mystery.  Pick it up and enjoy.  But a warning to the wise, you may have trouble putting it down. Get your sleep before you open it

Dying for Revenge Kindle Edition link: https://www.amazon.com/Dying-Revenge-Lady-Murders-Book-ebook/dp/B01F9IGQVE

Novel Page: http://ladydocmurders.com   (Full Quiver Publishing)

Author’s website: http://ladydocmurders.weebly.com/

Book Series Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Lady-Doc-Murders-1171887676163049

Instagram: @ladydocmurders

Twitter: @ladydocmurders

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Barbara-Golder-Author-1764757320425828

Email: ladydocmurders@gmail.com

Synopsis: Someone is killing the rich and famous residents of Telluride, Colorado, and the medical investigator, Dr. Jane Wallace, is on a collision course with the murderer. Compelled by profound loss and injustice, Jane will risk her own life to protect others from vengeful death, even as she exacts a high price from those who have destroyed her world. DYING FOR REVENGE is a story of love, obsession and forgiveness, seen through the eyes of a passionate, beautiful woman trying to live her life — imperfectly but vibrantly — even if she won’t survive.

Author Bio: Dr. Barbara Golder is a late literary bloomer. Although she’s always loved books (and rivals Jane in the 3-deep-on-the-shelf sweepstakes), her paying career gravitated to medicine and law. She has served as a hospital pathologist, forensic pathologist, and laboratory director. Her work in forensic pathology prompted her to get a law degree, which she put to good use as a malpractice attorney and in a boutique practice of medical law, which allowed her to be a stay-at-home mom when her children were young. She has also tried her hand at medical politics, serving as an officer in her state medical association; lobbying at a state and national level on medical issues, writing and lecturing for hire, including a memorable gig teaching nutritionists about the joys of chocolate for 8 straight hours, teaching middle and high school science, and, most recently, working for a large disability insurance company from which she is now retired.  Her writing career began when she authored a handbook of forensic medicine for the local medical examiner office in 1984. Over the years she wrote extensively on law and medicine and lectured on medicolegal topics. On a lark, she entered a contest sponsored by the Telluride Times Journal and ended up with a regular humor column that memorialized the vagaries of second-home living on the Western Slope.  She currently lives on Lookout Mountain, Tennessee with two dogs, two cats and her husband of 41 years.

The Adventures of Tally-Ho

Tally Ho spread 1_smWhile my husband was alive, we came up with a great idea to write a story based on the wonder of raising our kids in the country.  It seemed so right, like an apostolate. We knew we had been blessed in a mighty way, and that God had guided us to our little place and helped us to learn the amazing skills needed to garden and manage a mini-farm.  John took to homesteading like a fish to water.  Other homeschool dads used to call him “Our Amish Paul Bunyan.” So, it felt natural to share our joy and success with others. I wrote stories based on what we did everyday: meals, working our little garden, nurturing nature, loving kids… loving God. John was going to create the illustrations since he had a wonderful knack for drawing.  Except he couldn’t.  Leukemia intervened and that success was put off…forever it seemed.

After he passed away, I kept feeling tugged to see our project through to completion.  But how?  Well… God has ways. I’m not sure if John was whispering in anyone’s ear, but somehow or another I met up with a wonderful illustrator who knew exactly what we had imagined. She put her talents to work and the story unfolded, better than I had imagined. It’s just been published under the title: The Adventures of Tally-Ho. Tally-Ho was what John called our fourth daughter because she loved to gallop around the house on her imaginary horse. How we used to laugh about that.  What a wonder imagination brings to life!

As I state in the dedication to the story, John’s love made the stories true.  His vision is what made our real life family possible.  As I contemplate the finished product, I wonder what God will do with this little book.  Surely He has a plan. I very much doubt that it has anything to do with making money.  I pray it has something to do with loving families.

I am studying Creative Writing for Entertainment in a Masters Program and I feel like I have been assaulted by the weirdness of our entertainment world.  God have mercy on our souls for what we place in front of children as humorous or serious drama. There are wonderful writers out there – may God give them strength!

So Tally-Ho, like a newborn, has been placed on the amazingly huge Amazon shelf with some pretty odd stuff. I pray that it will be a light and joy to someone’s soul.  Perhaps it will be a vision of what might be…a hope, a dream, a longing that yearns to be fulfilled. Real dreams don’t die…they grow.

I think John would agree.

The Adventures of Tally-Ho

Websites for a Better World

rainbow 2There are a number of great websites which do a lot to make this world a bright, happier, more loving place.  I came across one the other day.  It’s calledHabits to Discover Success.

There is a lot to peruse: Recommended Resources, Building Better Vocabulary,  Making the World Better, Bite Sized Advice and News and Views.  I love the main theme:

“Every habit, good or bad, begins in our thoughts.
Why not crowd out negative thoughts that create chaos?
Why not promote the good, the true and the beautiful?
We can make our world better one thought at a time!”

“Here you will find resources that:
• build character
• educate
• promote good thoughts”

This is terrific stuff for parents and grandparents looking for ways to help kids, neighbors, family, and friends discover concrete ways to assist our world toward a better life together.

In all the chaos in a world torn by division, threats of war, violence, and despair, it is heartening to find a site that offers real hope.  As long as we hang on to hope, the best of the human race cannot be defeated. 

The Adventures of Tally-Ho

Tally Ho spread 1_sm

The Adventures of Tally-Ho written by A.K. Frailey, author of The Road Goes Ever On – A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings, The Deliverance Trilogy and Georgios I & Geogios II, and Illustrated by Chris deShazo owner of Spectrum Graphics Studio, is due out this autumn.  The cover reveal is coming soon…

What little girls love: faith, family, fun, little critters, and adventure!

Wholesome family-farm adventures, big brothers, helpful sisters, kittens and a lively possum…A great read aloud for the whole family. Gorgeous illustrations!

Grandma & Grandpas will love this holiday gift – a book to enjoy the whole year through!

Mom’s and Dads looking for something to share with their little ones?  Here’s a wholesome family story including home-school adventures, delicious home-cooked meals, humorous treks through the woods, and family prayer time  – all reflecting a sincere love of nature… A great read-aloud!

Attention: Big brothers and sisters! A wonderful way to spend an afternoon with the family.

Celebrate the extraordinary-ordinary of faith-filled family fun!

Raising kids – God’s way – with nature’s wisdom. Stewardship & love for life: The Adventures of Tally-Ho.

The Adventures of Tally-Ho really began when my 4th daughter ran into the kitchen yelling “Tally-Ho!”  She was having a wonderful adventure on an imaginary horse and my husband and I just smiled at each other in reflection of her joy. As we discussed the kids’ wonderful imaginations growing up on our mini-farm in rural Illinois, we considered how different their lives have been from our own. We had both been raised in cities, far from the natural wonders our children encounter on a daily basis. As my daughter came through again, encouraging her horse onto more  adventures, it occurred to us that we could share a bit of what our kids experience through a story with illustrations to match. I was the writer of the family, so I set to work on a basic story line while my husband began to work on sketches.

But as sometimes happens even with the best of dreams, our plans were thwarted when my husband was diagnosed with Leukemia.  We endured a four year battle with cancer before he died.  For some time I could not pick up the threads of our Tally-Ho project, but then I encountered a wonderful artist, Chris deSharzo of Spectrum Graphics Studios, who could grace the story with the same zest for life that John had known. I prayed about it and after sensing a rightness about moving on, the project was picked up.  And so, The Adventures of Tally-Ho has been given a second chance.

The grace of my husband’s life reflected a sincere love for all of humanity especially in children and nature.  May that same love be offered to you through The Adventures of Tally-Ho.

 

Georgios II

Georgios II – A Chosen People is published. Available on Amazon.

GeorgiosII_Cover_v1Georgios II – A Chosen People

“I know you will enjoy reading Ann’s latest book. I find her writing to be a breath of fresh air in today’s complicated world. If you are looking for a favorite new author, grab a copy of Georgios II – A Chosen People. Be prepared to be entertained!” —Joanna Helm, owner of Words, Wicks and Wood.

“Georgios II – A Chosen People is the continuing tale of a young man’s search for his heritage and the meaning of life. On this quest, Georgios, a stranger in foreign lands, encounters vicious enemies, strange gods, deception, unwelcome truths, but also true friendships, love, acceptance and inner peace. The characters are vividly real and the story is rich with events.” ~~Dee Marley, small business owner, wife, mother of 4

Georgios symbol-fish4At seventeen, Georgios has a man’s body and a self-determined goal, but will his heart remain undefiled when he is offered the chance of a life time? His friends from Georgios II – Hidden Heritage come along for the journey only to find their lives threatened and their plans turned upside-down.  Rueben remains his trusted friend though he must decide where his first loyalty lies―with his friends or with his God.  Seanan, ever the adventurer, almost loses his life and his wife when a nightmare sends him back to the sea. As a man of exile, Lysander’s loyalty supports the best in Georgios while becoming ennobled by Rueben’s vision of a better world. Gutun, embittered by hard fate, has chosen to align his will and his vengeance with gods who will never set him free. Continue this exciting, first century voyage as Georgios learns that manhood is measured not by the strength of his arms but by the endurance of his heart. 

rainbow 2“An engaging adventure that speaks to the readers’ inner voices of good and evil.  A true lesson in bravery, loyalty and fortitude.  Any age would learn from this book’s message.” ―Sally Sheilds, wife and mother of 4

Georgios II – A Chosen People, the sequel to Georgios I – A Hidden Heritage, had me spellbound as I was taken to the ancient world through the characters, culture and beliefs of the time. A well-developed story with a satisfying conclusion kept me turning the pages anticipating the fate of the characters and marveling at how well the development of Christian belief was intertwined with the story. Highly recommended. ―Ann Stock, wife, mother and OSMM member

Available on Amazon with all of A.K. Frailey’s other books. Enjoy!

 

Catholic Life Support 2 – Books

Here is Catholic Life Support 2 – Books. These are new books written by Catholic authors. Our goal is to help encourage, support, and assist each other in our journey toward our greatest good – God.  Enjoy:)  Great books for great souls!

Navigating Deep WatersNavigating Deep Waters: Meditations for Caregivers by Jeannie Ewing: Grief afflicts everyone’s lives, including caregivers who provide long-term care for one who requires special needs. Yet caregivers are so often left feeling burnt out, aggrieved, and simply lost or emotionally drained. Navigating Deep Waters: Meditations for Caregivers is a unique resource for busy caregivers who are physically and emotionally spent at the end of a long day. http://amzn.to/1JVuURI

The Scholar's ChallengeThe Scholar’s Challenge by Julian Bauer: In the third century, the Roman Empire threatened Christians with torture and death if they did not sacrifice before the Roman gods. The Church thrived under such pressure, for as Tertullian said, “The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christianity” Instead, the greatest threat to Christianity was Christianity itself. Divergent theories of God’s nature, apostolic tradition, and dissimilar copies of Holy Scriptures caused the early Church to question itself. Without telephones, printing presses, or a reliable postal system, the 1,800 bishops of that time found themselves in numerous cultures, speaking different languages, and needing someone to gather and consolidate authentic Church doctrine and reliable Scriptures. They found such men in Origen and Jerome. http://amzn.to/1Fbb3ri

Affairs of the HeartAffairs of the Heart – God’s Messages to the World by J.I. Willett: Affairs of the Heart – God’s Messages to the World is the wake-up call to follow your dreams and change the world one person at a time. This clergy-approved book is changing lives and relationships and is a great women’s inspirational story. http://amzn.to/1H1LnPc

Birds of a FeatherBirds of a Feather by Kaye Park Hinckley: The first story in this collection sits a reader bolt upright. Two stories in, you marvel at this storyteller, who sends us flying over new country, a landscape of modern parables where faith runs river-deep. Kaye Park Hinckley seems to overflow with beautiful, heartbreaking love and lessons. A world with broken wings can surely make use of such stories.  http://amzn.to/1AAbkZ0

Trusting GodTrusting God with St. Therese by Connie Rossini: Are your fears, weaknesses, doubts, and anger keeping you from intimacy with Christ? Do you struggle with despair? Let St. Therese teach you perfect trust. Learn how Therese of Lisieux trusted God through tragedy, scruples, spiritual darkness, and physical suffering. Connie Rossini pairs episodic stories from the saint’s life with memories of her own quest to trust. http://amzn.to/1AAReOv

A Body in PrayerA Body in Prayer by Neil Combs: A Body in Prayer was written for people who want a richer prayer life. From getting past obstacles (no time to pray) to learning to include God in the little moments of life, a Body in Prayer shows different ways to think about prayer and to use our whole bodies to pray. By being the hands of Christ, using our eyes see Christ in others and even using our stomachs to fast, we find many ways to be A Body in Prayer. http://amzn.to/1KBCGl6

AngelhoodAngelhood by A.J. Cattapan: Seventeen-year-old theater geek Nanette believes her life is headed toward stardom on Broadway. But when her dream theater college rejects her and her best friend dies in a terrible accident, Nanette decides the world would be better off without her. Unfortunately, the afterlife offers something less than a heavenly situation. Trapped between alternating periods of utter darkness and light, Nanette is stuck following a high school freshman around. Soon, she learns she’s a guardian angel, and the only way she can earn her wings is to keep her young charge, Vera, from committing the same sin she did—taking her own life. http://amzn.to/1Kt9KZd

The BenchThe Bench by Linda Rawlins: Rocky Meadow, Vermont, seemed to be a quiet little town until people started dying or showing up in the emergency room under mysterious circumstances. Dr. Amy Daniels is a trauma surgeon, who recently moved to Rocky Meadow after a family tragedy. There she meets Father Michael Lauretta, a psychologist priest who counsels troubled clergy and pastor of the famous Rocky Meadow Retreat House. Together, they save lives and souls and try to solve a mystery before they become the next target of a greedy killer. Will they be able to put a stop to this deadly rampage? http://amzn.to/1cnconz

Return to ParadiseReturn To Paradise by Tim Speer: David had planned to go to his college homecoming and then spend a week with his parents. However, an accident on the highway sends him on a detour that will ultimately result in him spending the weekend in Spring River, a small farming community where many of the local farmers are facing foreclosure. Is David’s arrival in Spring River purely happenstance, or is there a reason for him to be there? As David learns more about the corrupt practices of the local bank he must decide what role, if any, he will play in trying to stop the foreclosures. Complicating his decision is Sarah, a local waitress. With plans to only be in town a couple of days, David knows that Sarah will likely be just a passing acquaintance. But is that all she really is to him? Through prayer and faith, the town of Spring River is given new hope. http://amzn.to/1LUcS0B

The Blood Cries OutThe Blood Cries Out by Karl Bjorn Erickson: Seattle Police Homicide Detective David Lightholler finds himself on a case unlike any he’s faced before. In the midst of working the darkest double homicide of his career, he unearths violent secrets of his family’s past that promise to haunt him for many years unless he can bring redemption and meaning out of the evil of the past–and present. http://amzn.to/1HGUFQU

Neb_Cover front cover onlyNeb the Great – Shadows of the Past by A. K. Frailey: Neb fears his own passion; he must love someone. When he finally meets his match, it almost destroys him. The innocent are never truly alone and the guilty are never really free. Neb the Great battles for souls as well as power. http://amzn.to/1PSkvuM

 

Chasing LibertyChasing Liberty by Theresa Linden: Liberty 554-062466-84 of Aldonia lives in a responsible society that cares for the earth and everyone on it. They have learned to balance resource consumption with replacement initiatives, unavoidable pollution with clean-environment efforts. Science ensures that every baby born is healthy. The government ensures that every baby born is needed. All are cared for, taught, and given a specific duty to perform, their unique contribution to society. Why is Liberty so unsatisfied? http://amzn.to/1GnBudY

Passport

Passport by Christopher Blunt: A coming-of-age story about a young man’s discovery of self-sacrificial love. It is told through the eyes of Stan Eigenbauer, who is living a generally upright — but comfortable and self-satisfied — bachelor’s life. When he meets a lovely young woman, he thinks he’s found the one thing that was missing: a passport to “heaven on earth.” http://amzn.to/1eQuwsf

 AWSAHI Final CoverA World Such as Heaven Intended by Amanda Lauer: In “A World Such as Heaven Intended,” Amara McKirnan and Nathan Simmons share a devotion to their Catholic faith but their loyalties lie on opposite sides of the conflict. Dedicated to the Confederate cause, Amara offers to help out at her uncle’s makeshift hospital in Atlanta. Fate brought Nathan to their doorstep and into Amara’s life. http://amzn.to/1fWw2JA

 

A Catholic GardenerA Catholic Gardener’s Spiritual Almanac: Cultivating Your Faith Throughout the Year by Margaret Rose Realy: The first book to offer gardeners spiritual resources and creative projects that connect a love of gardening with their Catholic faith. Margaret Realy, master gardener, retreat leader, and writer, presents this spiritual companion that follows the natural and liturgical seasons and offers gardening tips and easy-to-do projects for each month of the year. http://amzn.to/1KkoV95