Thursday, 13 August 2020

Three Last Things or The Hounding Of Carl Jarrold, Soulless Assassin - Corinna Turner

Three Last Things: or The Hounding Of Carl Jarrold, Soulless Assassin
Corinna Turner
Unseen Books
ISBN 9781910806562
eISBN 9781910806579

I have greatly enjoyed all the books by Corinna Turner that I have read. But this is completely unlike anything else I have read by her. This story was a surprise on many levels, and in many ways. At first, I was a little confused by the title. I am very familiar with the theological statement: the four last things, death, judgement, heaven, or hell. The story is very compelling and is an absolute page turner. 

The story follows Carl Jarrold as he prepares for that last walk, as a dead man walking. He has been sentenced to die by lethal injection for his crimes. He has been meeting with Fr. Jacob, and the priest's words have started to crack the shell of this ‘soulless assassin’. In an intense story we follow Carl to the death chamber, a failed attempt, and a window of opportunity. While the death chamber is reset for another go. 

You will feel yourself pulled into this story, and this man’s last hours. To the thoughtful witness of Father Jacob. And to the events as they unwind. It is also a story you will find yourself thinking about for days afterwards. 

This is a story with a number of twists. I was expecting some very different things than the way events worked out. The book took me by surprise, and I was very glad to have read it. Many years back I met sister Helen Prejean, and worked through the book and movie Dead man Walking, in more than 1 university course. That book challenged my own stance on the death penalty. And this book does an amazing job of capturing that same feel. It is incredibly well written. 

This volume comes in at under 60 pages. And yet it is intense and emotionally and spiritually impactful, if you can read this story and not be moved maybe the term soulless could be applied to you. 

I have been in the room where the last execution in Canada took place. And I have read accounts from witnesses of modern executions in the US, and this story is masterfully written to capture these events. No matter your stance on capital punishment, this book will cause you to think, and even though it is fiction, it will stir strong emotions and feelings. It is an excellent piece of writing and I challenge you to give it a read.  

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Corinna Turner:
I Am Margaret Series:
0.0 The Underappreciated Virtues of Rusty Old Bicycles (A prequel)

0.5 Brothers (Prequel)
1.0 I Am Margaret
1.5 How Snakey Got His Name (Short Story)
2.0 The Three Most Wanted
3.0 Liberation
4.0 Bane's Eyes

5.0 Margo's (Attempted) Diary & Notebook
5.5 An Unexpected Guest
6.0 The Siege of Reginald Hill
6.5 Buttons (Short Story)
7.0 A Saint in the Family

Yesterday and Tomorrow Series:

Tomorrow's Dead

unSPARKed Series:
0.0 Breach
0.5 A Mom with Blue Feathers
1.0 Drive!
2.0 A Truly Rapror-Ous Welcome
3.0 Panic! 
4.0 Farmgirls Die in Cages
5.0 ???

Other Books:
Mandy lamb & the Full Moon
Three last things or The hounding of Carl Jarrold, Soulless Assassin
The Raven & The Yew

Contributed to:
Secrets: Visible & Invisible 7 Amazing Stories - Catholic Teen Books
Gifts Visible & Invisible 8 Christmas Stories for Teens

Author profile and interview with Corinna Turner.

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

First Fridays and First Saturdays The Devotions Explained - Catholic Truth Society - CTS Devotions

First Fridays & First Saturdays: The Devotions Explained
CTS Devotions
J.B. Midgley
Fr Richard Whinder
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860825088
eISBN 9781784692186
CTS Booklet D694

I have come to love and depend on the books from the Catholic Truth Society. Over the last few years, I have read over 150 books, and booklets from the CTS. I have may series I love, and many authors who have published with CTS. Ad the CTS Devotions Series is one of the best. The booklet is published without an official author but the description gives thanks to Fr Richard Whinder and Mr Barry Midgley for their assistance in preparing the booklet. Barry Midgley published most of his works under the name J.B. Midgley. Speaking of description the description of this volume is:

“These well-known devotions each have a fascinating origin and history, linked to apparitions of Jesus and Mary: the first to Margaret Mary Alacoque (1673-75) and the second to the three children at Fatima (1917). This booklet sets out how to pray these devotions, and offers helpful guidance as to their value, origins and purpose.

These devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary can readily be seen as relevant to today as they have been in the past. New material on the Rosary and Confessions is included, along with the other traditional elements of the devotions.

CTS is grateful to Fr Richard Whinder and Mr Barry Midgley for their assistance in preparing this booklet.”

And the chapters in this book are:

The devotion of the First Fridays in honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
      Guide to a good Confession
      Receiving Holy Communion devoutly
      Making a Holy Hour
The devotion of the First Saturdays in honour of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
      The Rosary
       ‘Meditating on the Mysteries’
      Other prayers to Our Lady
A note on indulgences

The section o ‘Other Prayers to Our Lady’ has a small collection of 10 Marian prayers. This book is a wonderful little read. We are told in the introduction:

“‘Devotions’ are popular prayers which are not part of the Church’s official liturgy but which flow from the liturgy and in their turn help us to participate in it more fully. The Church encourages these devotions, and in the year 2001 published a document entitled The Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, to foster these popular customs and ensure that they conform to the authentic spirit of the Gospel.”

And later:

“It is to be hoped that this little book may encourage these two devotions anew, and lead many more Christians to discover the riches that can be found there.”

This book delivers on that hope. I was blessed to have read and this book and know that I will read it again and again. I should not have been surprised by Midgley’s contributions to this volume. The style and writing was very familiar. This is another excellent read from the Catholic Truth Society. I highly recommend this little volume, if you already practice these two devotions It will provide you with some more information and ideas for these practices. If you are not it will help you to learn the history of them, and likely inspire you to give them a try. A fantastic read.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

For other books in the CTS Devotions Series click here.

Books by J.B. Midgley:

Advent & Christmastide with the Saints
Antonio Rosmini
Benedict - Patron of Europe
Bernard of Clairvaux – CTS Great Saints
Charles Borromeo  - CTS Great Saints
Companion to St. Joseph
Companion to the Feasts of Mary
Companion to Saint Peter
Companion to Saint Paul
Companion to the Angels
Companion to the Feasts of Our Lord
Companion to the Passion of Our Lord
Dominic - CTS Great Saints
George: Patron of England - CTS Great Saints
Dewi Sant: St David Patron of Wales
Francis de Sales – CTS Great Saints
John Baptist de La Salle – CTS Great Saints
John Vianney – CTS Great Saints
Lent with the Saints
Nurturing the Young
Robert Bellarmine
Saint John the Baptist 
Stations of the Cross and Resurrection with the Saints
The Eucharist with the Saints
The Four Evangelists
Thomas Becket – CTS Saints of the Isles
Vincent de Paul – CTS Great Saints
Witchcraft, Sorcery and Magic

Contributed to:
First Fridays and First Saturdays The Devotions Explained 

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Encounter Science Fiction Short Stories and Novella - A.K. Frailey

Science Fiction Short Stories & Novella
A.K. Frailey
A. K. Frailey Books

I have only read one novel from A.K. Frailey. But have intended to read more of them, and even have a few on my device ready to go. I have enjoyed many of the stories and reflections she has shared links to via social media, and greatly enjoyed them. Last year when I found out she had released It Might Have Been: And Other Stories and a collection of reflections, Heart Beats: Spiritual Being Human Journey. I immediately picked up both. I loved both of them. When I found out she had a new collection out, this volume, I grabbed it immediately and started reading it that day. 

The short stories in this volume are:

Rain from a Cloudless Sky – Old Earth
Mirror Image – Old Earth
The Human Question – Planet Lux
Horizon Line – 34 years After Old Earth
Enemy Self
Dedication – Newearth
Invasion – Newearth
I Never Had A Son – Planet Lux
Alicina’s Journal – Newearth Year 25
Eldars – My Father’s Vision – Planet Crestar
Life of Gorth – Ingilium
Lugg the Mighty and the Oskilth Civil War – Planet Crestar
Omega’s Homecoming – Mystery Planet
Omega’s Creation – Mystery Planet
Hope’s Embrace: A Bhuaci Poem – Planet Helm
Save Our People From Despair – Planet Helm
This Devil Doesn’t Lie – Newearth
From Machine to Man – Newearth
Off-World Faith – Newearth
Romantic Reality – Newearth
Trust Me – Newearth
Never Forget – Planet Sectine II
Mirage – Mystery Planet
Mirage-Reborn – Newearth
Mirage-Reborn – We Are LuKan – Mirage Reborn
A New Life for Lucius Pollex – Space Alliance
Grace Nelson’s Murder – Newearth
Vera’s Wigs – Newearth
Jeremy Quinn – Bothmal Prison
Xavier Pax’s Illusion – Newearth Spaceship Docks
Yelsa’s Choice – Newearth
Jazzmarie – Spaceship Merrimack
Riko’s Uncle Clem – Newearth
Common Destiny – Newearth
Now I See – Old Earth
Out Last The Ages – Old Earth
They Might Be Right – Old Earth
Live – Old Earth
Impossible Beings – Old Earth
The Great Wall – Old Earth
We Would Cry – Old Earth
Of Gods and Men – Old Earth
That’s What Turns Heads – Old Earth
The Play Is The Thing – Old Earth
A Fresh Thought – Old Earth
Speck in the Universe – Old Earth
Live With That – Old Earth
A Tie That Can’t be Broken – Old Earth

The novella is:
To Make a Difference

Some of the characters and places in this collection are familiar from other works of Frailey’s that I have read. So in part it was like a visit with old friends. This collection is just shy of 400 pages of masterfully written stories. It is immensely entertaining. 

After reading this collection I need to bump her unread novels way up in my ‘to be read pile’. I would need to read the collection again in order to pick a favorite story. There were so many great ones in the collection. Again while reading this collection I also thought about J.F. Powers, Powers was a master of short fiction. In his lifetime of work, he published 2 novels, and 5 collections of short stories. But both novels had multiple chapters that had been previous published as shorter fiction. I would love to see some of these pieces resurrected into a larger work. And know that I need to read the entire canon of Frailey’s fiction to put all the different stories into place. This is a great collection of short fiction. I only wish there was an index, or table of contents, but other than that it is another excellent collection, that I highly recommend. Check it out I am certain you will not be disappointed. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by A.K. Frailey:
Melchior: Vengeance is Mine
The Adventures of Tally Ho
It Might Have Been: And Other Stories
Encounter Science Fiction Short Stories and Novella

New Earth Series:
The Last of Her Kind
NEWEARTH: Justine Awakens

Deliverance Series:
Ishtar's Redemption: Trial by Fire
NEB the Great: Shadows of the Past

Hidden Heritage Series:
Georgios II - A Chosen People

Old Earth Series:
OldEarth ARAM Encounter
OldEarth Ishtar Encounter
OldEarth Neb Encounter
OldEarth Georgios Encounter

The Road Goes Ever On: A Christian Journey Through the Lord of the Rings
Heart Beats: Spiritual Being Human Journey

Monday, 10 August 2020

Sam the Guardian Angel - Lis Luwia and Theresa Hossenlopp

Sam the Guardian Angel
Elizabeth ‘Lis’ Luwia
Theresa Hossenlopp (Illustrator)
TAN Books
ISBN 9781505116014
eISBN 9781505116038

When this book arrived my daughter and I immediately read it. She is 9 and she read it out loud to me and her older brother. It is a wonderful little book. The story is written by Elizabeth ‘Lis’ Luwia and illustrated by Theresa Hossenlopp. It is an excellent volume for the young readers in your life.

This is the story of Angie and Sam. Angie is a young girl and Sam is her guardian angel. Each page has text from both Sam and Angie and also a “Did You Know” section with information or teaching from the church. Sam helps Angie understand the mass better.

The illustrations are wonderful. They are photos of clay plate pictures. The style works wonderfully for this story. My daughter loved the illustrations. My so thought they were fu. I would have preferred a more warrior angel, but the book if for young children.

All three of us gave the book 5/5 stars. My daughter has already read it twice more. She struggled with the ‘Did you know’ sections. But absolutely loved the two prayers in the book. Both the spiritual communion and the Angel of God prayer. My son loved the ‘did you know’ sections. And he also really liked the two prayers.

This is a wonderful book for the home, church or school library. It was an instant favorite in our house. And I am certain it will be loved in your house as well.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Lis Luwia:
Sam the Guardian Angel
My Catholic Prayer Journal
Our Lady of Sorrows: A Catholic Novena & Meditation Prayer Journal
Pursuing Christ: A Catholic Man's Prayer Journal

Friday, 7 August 2020

Camino Winds - John Grisham - Camino Island Book 2

Camino Winds
Camino Island Book 2
John Grisham
Dell Bantam
Random House Publishing Group
eISBN 9780385545945

When I was younger, I read several of Grisham’s early novels. But the last of his offerings I read was 19 years ago when I read Skipping Christmas. At least until reading book 1 in this series, Camino Island. Prior to reading that book his writings just sort of fell off my radar as I pursued new authors and genres. That book was mentioned by a director at work recently, so I picked it up and read it in three sittings over a weekend. And started this one 2 days later. This one was a slower start for me, in fact, I put it down and read 2 other books that had just released before circling back and finishing this one. 

This story continues a while after the first. And it is very different. There is a lot of overlap in the cast. But this one is much more traditional mystery – who dun it type story. A lot less focus on the literary scene, still some info around books ad publishing, ad the industry, particularly literary estates. But it was more of the side plot than the first one. It is still a lot of fun. 

In this story the island of Camino, that has always been blessed and hardly touched by storms, hurricanes, and other acts of god. But this time very late the storm dodges ad Camino is directly in it’s path. Bruce Cable the owner of Bay Books, one of his employees and an author hunker down in Bruce’s house to ride out the storm. Much of the island is devastated. And the next day the police show up asking Bruce to be local next of kin. Elson Kerr is found dead on his patio, and Bruce and the gang think it is suspicious. Ad because Nelson was one of his authors Bruce cannot let it lay. Soon he is involved with the family and working with a special investigations company to find out what really happened. 

The story took me a while to get into. I put it down twice. But about the hundred-page mark it really picked up ad kept my attention through to the end. It reminds me a lot of the Spencer for Hire Novels by Robert B. Parker. Bruce is not a physical tough guy, but mentally and in the literary world he is a big player. And in this story we see that he knows how to get things done.

This story would not inspire me to pursue other recent books by Grisham, but I would give another Camino Island story a go. A good read in an interesting series, especially for those interested in the whole publishing and literary scene.

Books by John Grisham:
A Time to Kill (1989)
The Firm (1991)
The Pelican Brief (1992)
The Client (1993)
The Chamber (1994)
The Rainmaker (1995)
The Runaway Jury (1996)
The Partner (1997)
The Street Lawyer (1998)
The Testament (1999)
The Brethren (2000)
A Painted House (2001)
Skipping Christmas (2001)
The Summons (2002)
The King of Torts (2003)
Bleachers (2003)
The Last Juror (2004)
The Broker (2005)
The Innocent Man (2006)
Playing for Pizza (2007)
The Appeal (2008)
The Associate (2009)
The Confession (2010)
The Litigators (2011)
Calico Joe (2012)
The Racketeer (2012)
Sycamore Row (2013)
Gray Mountain (2014)
Rogue Lawyer (2015)
The Whistler (2016)
Camino Island (2017)
The Rooster Bar (2017)
The Reckoning (2018)
The Guardians (2019)
Camino Winds (2020)
A Time for Mercy (2020)

Children's legal thrillers:
Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer (2010)
Theodore Boone: The Abduction (2011)
Theodore Boone: The Accused (2012)
Theodore Boone: The Activist (2013)
Theodore Boone: The Fugitive (2015)
Theodore Boone: The Scandal (2016)
Theodore Boone: The Accomplice (2019)

Short Stories:
Ford County (2009)
The Tumor (2016)
Partners (2016)
Witness to a Trial (2016)


Thursday, 6 August 2020

Dex’s Way - Karina Fabian - Dex Hollister Book 2

Dex Hollister Dex’s Way
Dex Hollister Book 2
Karina Fabian
Laser Cow Press
eISBN 9781733447133

I find it hard to believe that it has been 8 years since I read a book by Karina Fabian, but when I check my list of books read. That is what came up. I have read her contributions in a couple of anthologies. And had picked up a few of her books. They were just all still in my ‘to be read pile’. After reading the prequel to this excellent work, The Old Man and the Void I have already bumped a couple of the others to the top of my to be read list. I read the two Dex Hollister books and one of the anthologies edited by Fabian in under a week. And already have two others in my reading list for next week. This was another excellent story. It was the second story by Fabian that I have read that was not religious, or at least not overly Catholic. There are many religious references within this book, Visions, Gods, and an intricate mythology.  It is pure science fiction. Written in a very classic style. The continues 600 years after the first. And Fabian has masterfully written it. 

Fabian states at the beginning of this volume:

“If you’ve not read The Old Man and the Void, may I suggest you do so first? You’ll enjoy Dex’s Way that much more!”

And I can see her point. But I believe this story is strong enough to stand on it’s own. And that if you were to read this one first you would have a great desire to go back and read the first story. This story reminds me of some of the Alfred Bester Novels I read many years back. There are also echo’s of some of Frank Herbert’s on Dune books, like The Eye's of Heisenberg and The Green Brain. 

Dex is pulled from the accretion of a black hole, some 600 years after he went in. At least 600 years of chronological time. Not the relative time of being near the hole. His is very damaged, and he wakes up in a new age, in a vastly different society, and with a very modified body. He is immediately on a quest to track down the AI that had been his partner and part of his life for years. Soon he realized his quest has not only endangered himself, but some of the few people he has become close to in this time. Can he adapt to his new hybrid human and alien DNA, and customs in time to save his new friends, and hopefully his old AI. 

This book is a wonderful read. Excellent for fans of classic science fiction. Or anyone who enjoys a great story. A fantastic story that I highly recommend. And I really hope it is not our last encounter with Dex.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Karina Fabian:
Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life
Perfect Ten

Dex Hollister Series:

The Old Man and the Void
Dex's Way

Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator Series :
Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator
I Left My Brains in San Francisco
Shambling in a Winter Wonderland

DragonEye Pi Series:

Magic, Mensa and Mayhem 
Live and Let Fly
Greater Treasures: A DragonEye Novella
Murder Most Picante

Space Traipse Series:
Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 1
Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 2

Mind Over Series:
Mind Over Mind
Mind Over Psyche
Mind Over All
Hearts Over Mind

Edited by: Karina Fabian:
Infinite Space, Infinite God I
Leaps of Faith
Infinite Space, Infinite God II

Contributed to:
Firestorm of Dragons
The Zombie Cookbook
The Book of Tentacles
Twisted Fayrie Tales
FRIGHTLINER: And Other Tales of the Undead
Mother Goose is Dead
Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary
Image and Likeness Literary Reflections on the Theology of the Body
Corrupts Absolutely? Dark Metahuman Fiction
Weird Noir
The Complete Guide to Writing Paranormal Novels
Manifesto UF
Avenir Eclectia
Planetary Anthology: Jupiter
Planetary Anthology: Pluto
Planetary Anthology: Luna
Planetary Anthology: Uranus
FlagShip Science Fiction and Fantasy v2i5
My Little Book of Headdesks
To Be Men: Stories Celebrating Masculinity

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Miraculous! Catholic Mysteries for Kids - Kathryn Griffin Swegart - Catholic Stories for Kids Book 2

Miraculous! Catholic Mysteries for Kids
Catholic Stories for Kids Book 2
Kathryn Griffin Swegart
John Henry Folley (Illustrator)
ISBN 9798653120084

This is the fourth book by Kathryn that I read and the second in the Catholic Stories for Kids Series. The first of her books I read was a historical fiction, Perilous Days, Brave Hearts Book 1, after reading that volume I picked up all her books that were currently available. And I loved each of those I have read. I picked up this volume the day it released. And it did not disappoint. The first volume in this series, Heavenly Hosts: Eucharistic Miracles for Kids, was an excellent read. And this one is just as good. The description of this volume is:

“Delight in this treasury of stories taken from Catholic history. Learn about John Bosco's angelic guardian dog, the mysterious movement of Mary's Holy House of Nazareth, the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima and more. Miraculous is a companion book to the best-seller Heavenly Hosts: Eucharistic Miracles for Kids. It makes the perfect First Communion book. Written for ages eight and up.”

The chapters in this volume are:

The House of the Blessed Virgin - 1294
Guadalupe, Mexico - 1531
The Angelic Dog - 1852
The Mysterious Staircase - 1878
The Holy Face of Jesus - 1898
Miracle of the Sun - 1917
The Incredible Escape - 1940
Miracle of the Flying Priest - 1943
Rescue of the Divine Mercy Image - 1948
The Boy Who Loved the Eucharist - 1991
What Science and History Tell Us

The introduction of this volume states:

“In the western part of Maine, a river flows through evergreen forests, over boulders and down to the Atlantic Ocean. On a sunny day, it sparkles like diamonds. The Swift River looks like any other stream, but don’t be fooled.  Prospectors, both young and old, have discovered large nuggets of gold in the bedrock. 

A different type of treasure can be found between the covers of this book. You are about to read ten stories that are gold nuggets in Church history, stories of miraculous escapes, of heavenly visits, of a flying priest and much more. Many have been studied by experts who can only conclude that no scientific explanation is possible. 

All these miracles are gifts from God, freely given to strengthen our faith and to encourage us on this journey to our true home, to the heavenly kingdom.”

And it does an excellent job of that. The book is an excellent read. Great to read to young children, and to read with older children. And for tweens ad teens to read themselves. This book was loved by the three of us who read it, 9, 12 and 50 years old. The final chapter starts with:

“Of all the stories you have just read, the miraculous journey of Mary’s House from Nazareth to Italy might be the most difficult to believe. That is a good attitude. In fact, that is the attitude of the Church with regard to miracles.”

The chapters on Science and History looks at:

The Holy House of Mary
The Shroud of Turin
Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe
The Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano
Miracle of the Sun
John Bosco
The Divine Mercy 

This is an excellent little volume for readers of all ages. It is marketed as being for children, but anyone can be blessed by reading this book with an open heart. This is another wonderful book from Kathryn Swegart. Great for readers of all ages!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Kathryn Griffin Swegart:
Brave Hearts Series:
Perilous Days

Catholic Stories for Kids Series:
Heavenly Hosts: Eucharistic Miracles for Kids
Miraculous! Catholic Mysteries for Kids

Other Books:
The Wreck of the Essex: The Story of Thomas Nickerson

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

In Conversation With God Volume 6 Part 2 Special Feasts April-June - Francis Fernandez

In Conversation With God
Volume 6 Part 2 Special Feasts April-June
Francis Fernandez
Scepter Press
eISBN 9780906138687

It has been four years since I have purchased this volume, and I have now read this edition four times. There are three editions of these book available in English. The original vinyl bound. The Kindle Editions that split each volume (based on Kindle max file size at the time they were released.) And New Single volume eBook editions. I have owned a few copies of the vinyl, but now I love these Kindle editions. 

I have been reading this series for 30 years now. Since they first started being available in English. At first, I bought them in the individual vinyl covered editions. And later replaced them with the boxset, twice. And then once the eBooks were available, I grabbed them up, and after 2 years of using the eBooks I gave my physical copy to a local schoolteacher to use in his high school class. I love these books and have read them around 15 times over years. I love these newer eBook editions.

I have said it before, and will say it again, but there are a few features I love about the eBook versions that I want to highlight. First as a reader you can highlight and make notes easily in the digital editions. You can also pick colors and change your highlighting from year to year. But the best feature of the Kindle version is you can export your highlights and notes and start fresh. I also like having all the volumes on me at all times. I can use them to look something up, using the Subject index or index of quotations to look something up in any volume. I also love that in eBooks you can change the page color, the font, and even font size to make reading better suited to your personally with my dual form of dyslexia

When these books were originally released in English this was the second half of the sixth volume. Both Volume 6 and 7 are focused on special feats. Most of the days in these editions are Date specific feasts. This one goes from Saint Mark the Evangelist o April 25th to The First Martyrs of the Church of Rome on June 30th. This volume also contains a Corpus Christi Octave set of reflections. And some for specific days after Pentecost. A sample of the highlights I made in this volume this year are:

“The Christian knows that God works miracles, that he performed them centuries ago, and that he still works them now. Each one of us, with God’s help, will work miracles in the souls of relatives, friends and acquaintances as long as we remain united to Christ through prayer.”

“Countless pilgrims daily make their way to the innumerable shrines dedicated to Our Lady to discover God’s ways or to undertake them anew, to find peace of soul and consolation in affliction. In these places of prayer, the Blessed Virgin makes the soul’s encounter with her Son easier and his presence more accessible. Every Marian shrine is a permanent antenna of the Good News of salvation.”

“Consistency between our teaching and our behaviour is the very best proof of our conviction and of the validity of what we proclaim. It is often the one essential condition for talking to people about God.”

“God asks something similar of us: no less than to pass unnoticed whilst doing good and carrying out our obligations with human perfection.”

“Each of us, in his or her own different way, has received a specific call to serve God. And throughout our lives we receive new invitations to follow him in our own circumstances, and we have to be generous with Our Lord in each new encounter with him. We have to know how to ask Jesus in the intimacy of our prayer, like Saint Paul: What shall I do, Lord? What do you want me to leave for your sake? What do you want me to improve in? At this moment of my life, what can I do to serve you?”

“With their lives and their words, they considered themselves very much part of this world, of which they were convinced they were destined to be salt and light. An early writer summed it up as follows: Christians are to the world what the soul is to the body.”

“Do we edify others by our sobriety, by the way we spend money, by our unquenchable cheerfulness, by doing our work well, by keeping our word, by the way we live justice at work with our subordinates and our peers, by carrying out works of mercy and by never having a bad word to say about anybody at all?”

Across the 7 Volumes in this series; or 14 eBook volumes because each book is split in two there are over 450 meditations. There is a meditation for each day of the church calendar, Advent, Christmas, Ordinary Time, Lent, Eastertide and of course the 34 weeks of Ordinary time. And as mentioned this is part of 2 volumes dedicated to special feasts, novenas, Saints, and holy days that fall on specific calendar days. 

These books are incredible food for your spiritual life. Every time I read them, every day I am challenged, challenged to become a better version of myself, challenged to live more joy, more hope, more dedication. These books will change your life, and as you read them again and again you will only grow to appreciate them more.  

I had planned on reviewing each of the eBook editions as I read them but have fallen behind. This is my fourth time reading this volume as an eBook. This series has been invaluable in my spiritual life. Sometimes I read it for years in a row. And every time I benefit from it. I grow, I deepen. I strive to mature. 

Of all the devotionals and spiritual books, I have read over the last nearly 30 years I can recommend this series as one of the best. You can read it again and again and always get something more out of it. A few years ago I was asked to come up with my all-time Top Ten Catholic Books this series came in at number 4 but to be honest 2-5 are almost all interchangeable. This is one of my all-time top Christian reads!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books edited by Francis Fernandez Carvajal:
Year of Faith Treasury: The Sacrament of Confession 
Year of Faith Treasury: The Virtue of Faith
Year of Faith Treasury: The Virtue of Fortitude 

In Conversation with God:

In Conversation with God eBooks:
Volume 1 Part 1 Advent 
Volume 1 Part 2 Christmas and Epiphany
Volume 2 Part 1 Lent and Holy Week
Volume 2 Part 2 Eastertide
Volume 3 Part 1 Ordinary Time Weeks 1-6
Volume 3 Part 2 Ordinary Time Weeks 7-12
Volume 4 Part 1 Ordinary Time Weeks 13-18
Volume 4 Part 2 Ordinary Time Weeks 19-23
Volume 5 Part 1 Ordinary Time Weeks 24-28
Volume 5 Part 2 Ordinary Time Weeks 29-34
Volume 6 Part 1 Special Feasts January-March
Volume 6 Part 2 Special Feasts April-June
Volume 7 Part 1 Special Feats July -September
Volume 7 Part 2 Special Feats October -December

Books by Francis Fernandez Carvajal:
Through The Winds and Waves
The Day that Changed My Life

Monday, 3 August 2020

Though War Be Waged Upon Me - Carol Puschaver - A Saint Michael Treasury of Prayer and Reflection

Though War Be Waged Upon Me:
A Saint Michael Treasury of Prayer and Reflection
Carol Puschaver
ISBN 9781693220548


This prayer booklet came recommended from a friend. I am very thankful that they did and that I picked it up and I can highly recommend it. It is a small volume but packed full of information and prayers.

The chapters in this volume are:
Defend Us in Battle
The Saint Michael Chaplet
A Small Prayer Treasury
An Archangel’s Beauty:  Reflections on the Treasury of Western Christian Art
Ways to Love and Honor Saint Michael
Did you know …?

In the introduction we are told:

“As I reflect on the words of St. Paul in the context of current events around the world, I earnestly believe that we are living in a time of extraordinary, if not indeed unprecedented, grace.

The near-constant and ubiquitous barrage of evil can be mind-numbing and paralyzing:  nuclear weapons’ brinksmanship, mass extinctions of untold species, resurgent nationalism coupled with seemingly irreconcilable ideological divides, the mounting, ominous frequency of “once-in-a-century” weather events, commonplace mass shootings, brazen terrorist attacks . . . and the list goes on.”

And that is exactly what this volume does. There are 15 prayers to Saint Michael in the chapter A Small Treasury of prayer. The book is a mix of prayers, instructions, and teachings.

Overall, I am very happy to have added this booklet to my library. It is a great little volume. And I highly recommend it.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!

Saturday, 1 August 2020

Draugr - Arthur Slade - Northern Frights 01

Norther Frights Book 1
Reprint Edition
Arthur Slade
Dava Enterprises

Draugr was the first published novel by Arthur Slade. It was the 7th novel he wrote. And now it is available again in an eBook edition. It is set in a small town in Manitoba, with three American teenagers visiting their grandfather. The first night of their visit their grandfather tells them ghost stories and tales from his homeland, Iceland. The next day the three youngsters Sarah, Michael and Angie have a very strange encounter; it is almost as if their grandfather's tales are starting to come true. And as the old saying goes 'truth is stranger than fiction'. Soon they find themselves experiencing things that should not be possible but are really happening. In less than 3 days they have a life-changing experience.

The three teenagers are supposed to be visiting for 2 weeks but on their second day there, they are told their grandfather has unfinished business and they will be going home the next day. But the house is attacked that night and their grandfather goes missing. Soon Sarah must summon strength and courage she did not know she had; she will have to defy adults she respects and risk her life to save those who are closest to her. This is a story that has an open grave, strange legends, beasts walking the night, and maybe a Draugr, a dead man walking again. It is both frightening and wonderful.

This story is wonderfully written, like ghost stories told around the campfire, but with a depth of details and great characters. The readers find themselves wrapped in a talk at once both exciting and addictive. You will not be able to put the book down. Considering it is Slade's first published novel, it has a level of polish and skill rarely seen in an author's early works. It is an incredible story.

There are three books in the Northern Frights series by Arthur Slade and they are some of his earliest published works, each story based on Norse mythology. They were originally published under the name Arthur G. Slade by Orca Book Publishers. They are back in print as eBooks available from the author. This is an are incredible story by a master storyteller. And well worth the read.

Books by Arthur Slade:
The Dragonfly's Journey (1996)

John Diefenbaker: an Appointment with Destiny (2000)
Dust (2001)
Tribes (2002)
Monsterology (2005)
Villainology (2005)
Megiddo's Shadow (2006)
Jolted (2008)
Shades: 17 Startling Stories (2011)

Flickers (2016)
Crimson (2018)
Death by Airship (2019)

Hunchback Assignments Series:
aka Modo Mission Clockwork Series:
The Hunchback Assignments (2009)
The Dark Deeps (2010)
Empire of Ruins (2011)
Island of Doom (2012)

Modo Embers End - Graphic Novel (2014)

The Northern Frights Series
Draugr (1997)
The Haunting of Drang Island (1998)
The Loki Wolf (2000)

Northern Frights Reprint Editions:
Draugr (2020)
Drang (2020)
Loki Wolf (2020)