Lucky & Blessed

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, on March 1, 2021, the book Treasures: Visible & Invisible was released. I’m one of eight Catholic Teen Fiction authors who collaborated to create this story that starts with St. Patrick and a shamrock-shaped stone that he found. This stone travels through the centuries, and my story, Lucky and Blessed, picks up in the year 1540. “A friendship formed over a hidden relic helps Ambrose and Honora survive persecution during the Reformation.”

This was my first attempt at writing a short story and it was truly enjoyable. A bit of a challenge as well, trying to convey a compelling story in the span of just 30 pages or so. I was very pleased with how the story turned out. Apparently, the reviewers were as well. Check out the reviews below. At the moment, I’m giving serious consideration to turning this into a full-length novel. Feel free to give me your opinion in the comments below.

Order your copy now! Teens through adults will love these stories! We’re giving a copy away free too, see the link to enter your name into the drawing!

by Theresa Linden, Susan Peek, Antony B. Kolenc, Amanda Lauer, Carolyn Astfalk, Leslea Wahl, T.M. Gaouette, and Corinna Turner.

About the Book:

  • A teen boy sets out to save a friend from pagan druids, but maybe he’s the one who needs saving.
  • Between a baffling scripture verse and a visit from Heaven, a young monk is in for the surprise of his life.
  • A young girl seeks a mysterious treasure that holds the key to granting a nun’s dying wish.
  • Honora is desperate—then a peculiar clover and a mysterious young man change everything.
  • William’s weekend job is a little gift from heaven, but now his family needs a real miracle.
  • When threatened by mobsters, Grace receives help from a surprising source.
  • Alone and afraid, a young girl finds friendship in a stranger. But could this boy be trouble?
  • Kyle was determined to save the precious relic – but now his whole family is in danger.

From the early days of the Church, objects touched to holy men and women have been linked to the miraculous, such as described in Acts: “when face cloths or aprons that touched his skin were applied to the sick, their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.”

ACTS OF THE APOSTLES 19:12

https://kingsumo.com/g/p38bo3/catholic-teen-books-treasures-launch-giveaway

Here’s my review on GoodReads: Feb 22, 2021 Amanda Lauer rated it, it was amazing  · I really enjoyed the theme of this book, with a relic from St. Patrick being passed down through the generations. Eight authors teamed up to create this anthology and each story is so unique and intriguing. If you want to try reading stories in genres different from what you normally read, this book is for you, there’s everything from historical fiction to science fiction. Treasures: Visible & Invisible is a great read for teens through adults!

Advance Reviews:

“In a world where today’s young adults are constantly surrounded by media that is trying desperately to tear them down, it is a blessing to have books like this that reaffirms our Catholic faith.  Not only does each author give us a great story to read, they also challenge us to think about things like: the hardships of people in our ancient church, putting Grandma first on our social calendars, praying to God when in the midst of fear and suffering, staying strong in our faith while looking death in the face, listening to unlikely friends who lead us on the path to Christ, and ultimately realizing there is sacredness in the relics of our church.  You only find stories that build our faith like this in very special books.  The “building-up”of today’s youth is at the very heart and soul of what the authors are trying to do here, and they have done an amazing job.”

Beth Ruggiero
Lit by the Tree, Literature reviews from the Catholic side.
Litbythetree.com 

“I invite teens, and readers of all ages, to stand on the craggy wind-swept cliff of your imagination, and experience the collection of stories called, Treasures: Visible and Invisible, created by the talented team of authors from Catholic Teen Books. With a shamrock as our touchstone, this book takes us on a journey through an expanse of time from ancient to modern. Be inspired by the holy greatness of heroism rooted in the spiritual treasures of the Emerald Isle.”

Cathy Gilmore,
Creator and advocator of stories that inspire heroic virtue. VirtueHeroes.com

“We thoroughly enjoyed this cleverly written book about the intercession of St. Patrick throughout the ages. The combination of dynamic characters and intriguing stories kept us hooked from start to finish. A valuable addition to your St. Patrick’s Day bookshelf!”

Jennifer & Kate Waldyke, 
Co-hosts of Catholic Mom and Daughter 

“This is the third collection from the authors of Catholic Teen Books. It was an inspiring read. Some stories are of miracles and others about change. Two contributors from the previous collection did not contribute and two new ones have joined the fray. In this collection are 8 stories from the 14 authors who currently compose the collective. My first thought was wow! What an amazing collection of stories around Saint Patrick! I am aware that not everyone likes short stories, but I love them, and this collection is amazing! Short stories are a different art form than novels, and not all novelists have mastered the craft. For a short story to be good, the writing needs to be tighter, cleaner, and crisper. And each of the 8 in this collection is extremely well written…”

Steven R. McEvoy, BookReviewsAndMore.ca

“What a gift to Catholic teens and their families! Each piece in this collection of stories revolving around St Patrick is a beautiful portrayal of the faith. These are wholesome, engaging, and inspiring tales from a variety of genres that will both entertain and spiritually nourish every reader who picks up this book. “

Amanda Lauer is the only contributor whose works I am unfamiliar with. But this story is so well written that even though Lauer writes primarily in a genre I tend not to read I am itching to pick up one of her books. I have read a lot of non-fiction set during the time period of this story over the last few years. Many biographies and histories. This story could easily be from real life. And if a novel with these characters is published, I will be picking it up the day it is available.

Katie Fitzgerald, ReadAtHomeMom.com

The Blog Tour:

March 5           Bonnie Way, The Koala Mom                      

March 6           Leslea Wahl, Ministry Thru Mystery

March 7           Carolyn Astfalk, My Scribbler’s Heart

March 8           Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur, Spiritual Woman

March 9           Erin Broestl, Eight Hobbits

March 10         Corinna Turner, UnSeen Books Blog

March 11         Amanda Lauer, AmandaLauer.com

March 12         Sarah Damm, SarahDamm.com

March 13         Barb Szyszkiewicz, FranciscanMom                      

March 14         Theresa Linden, Things Visible & Invisible

March 15         Steven R. McEvoy, Book Reviews and More

March 16         Lisa Hendey, LisaHendey.com

March 17         Catholic Teen Books, Catholic Teen Books

About the Authors:

THERESA LINDEN is the author of award-winning Catholic fiction, including the West Brothers contemporary series and the Chasing Liberty dystopian trilogy. One of her great joys is to bring elements of faith to life through a story. She has more than a dozen published books, three of which won awards from the Catholic Press Association. Her short stories appear in several anthologies, including Secrets: Visible & Invisible, and Gifts: Visible & Invisible. Her articles and interviews can be found on various radio shows and in magazines, including EWTN’s The Good FightThe National Catholic RegisterCatholic DigestToday’s Catholic Teacher, and Catholic Mom. Her books are featured online on Catholic Teen BooksCatholic ReadsFORMED, and Virtue Works Media. A wife, homeschooling mom, and Secular Franciscan, she resides in northeast Ohio with her husband and children. You can learn more about her at TheresaLinden.com.

SUSAN PEEK is a wife, mother, grandmother, Third Order Franciscan, and bestselling Catholic novelist. Her passion is writing stories of little-known saints and heroes. All her young adult novels have been awarded the coveted Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval and are implemented into Catholic school curricula not only across the nation, but in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand as well. Saint Magnus the Last Viking and The King’s Prey: Saint Dymphna of Ireland were both Amazon #1 Sellers among Catholic books. The King’s Prey was also voted one of Catholic Reads TOP 10 BEST CATHOLIC BOOKS OF 2017 and was a Finalist for the 2018 Catholic Arts and Letters Award. Crusader King was featured as one of the 50 Most Popular Catholic Homeschooling Books in 2013. Susan lives in northeastern Kansas, where she can usually be found with her nose in a book, researching obscure saints to write about. Visit her at SusanPeekAuthor.com.

ANTONY BARONE KOLENC is the author of The Harwood Mysteries, an exciting historical-fiction series for youth published by Loyola Press. He is a long-time member of the Catholic Writers Guild, and his novels all have the Catholic Writers Guild’s Seal of Approval. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps after 21 years of military service. A law professor who’s had his works published in numerous journals and magazines, Kolenc now speaks at legal, writing, and home-education events. He and his wife, Alisa, are the parents of five children, and have been blessed with three wonderful grandchildren. To learn more about The Harwood Mysteries and its author, visit AntonyKolenc.com.

AMANDA LAUER loves writing books—particularly Young Adult Historic Fiction—that portray the Church in a positive light and depict God’s children endeavoring to become the best version of themselves every day. A journalist and proofreader by trade, Amanda embarked on her novelist career with the award-winning and best-selling Heaven Intended Civil War series. A World Such as Heaven Intended earned the 2016 YA CALA award. Currently Amanda has several more books in the process of being published. 

In addition to writing novels, Amanda works in the film industry writing and copy-editing screenplays. She was awarded Best Writer 2020 (Red Letter Awards) for her work as a co-writer on the movie The Islands. To learn more about Amanda, who’s lucky and blessed to be living in a world such as heaven intended, visit her web site: AmandaLauer.com

CAROLYN ASTFALK writes from the sweetest place on Earth, Hershey, Pennsylvania, where she lives with her husband and four children. In addition to her contemporary Catholic romances (sometimes referred to as Theology of the Body fiction), including the young adult coming-of-age story Rightfully Ours, she is a Catholicmom.com contributor. She is a member of the Catholic Writers Guild and Pennwriters. When she is not washing dishes, doing laundry, or reading, you can find her blogging about books, faith, and family life at CarolynAstfalk.com.

LESLEA WAHL is the author of the award-winning Catholic teen mysteries The Perfect BlindsideAn Unexpected RoleWhere You Lead, and eXtreme Blindside. The characters in this short story, Luke, Celia, Austin, and Grandma Grace, appear in her newest adventurous novel, A Summer to Treasure. Leslea’s journey to become an author came through a search for value-based fiction for her own children. She now not only writes for teens but also has become a reviewer of Catholic teen fiction to help other families discover faith-based books. Leslea lives in beautiful Colorado with her husband and children. The furry, four-legged members of her family often make cameo appearances in her novels. Leslea has always loved mysteries and hopes to encourage teens to grow in their faith through these fun adventures. For more information about her faith-filled Young Adult mysteries, please visit LesleaWahl.com.

T. M. GAOUETTE is the author of the Faith & Kung Fu series for young adults, as well as The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch and For Eden’s Sake. She also contributed to the last two Catholic Teen Books anthologies, Secrets: Visible & Invisible with her short story “Sister Francesca” and Gifts: Visible & Invisible with “Just Jesus.” Her novels have received the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval (except new releases for which the seal may be in process). Born in Africa, raised in London, England, Gaouette now lives on a small farm in New England with her husband, where she homeschools their four children, raises goats, and writes fiction for teens and young adults. A former contributor for Project Inspired, Gaouette’s desire is to instill the love of God into the hearts of her readers. You can find out more at TMGaouette.com.

CORINNA TURNER is the author of the I Am Margaret and unSPARKed series for young adults, as well as stand-alone works such as Elfling and Mandy Lamb and the Full Moon (for teens) and Someday (for older teens and adults). She has just released The Boy Who Knew (Carlo Acutis) the first book in her new Friends in High Places series about friendship with the saints. All of her novels have received the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval (except new releases for which the seal may be in process). Liberation (‘I Am Margaret’ Book 3) was nominated for the Carnegie Medal Award 2016 and Elfling won first prize for “Teen and Young Adult Fiction” in the Catholic Press Association 2019 Book Awards. Several of her other books have been placed in the CPA Awards and the Catholic Arts and Letters Award. 

Corinna Turner is a Lay Dominican with an MA in English from Oxford University, and lives in the UK. She has been writing since she was fourteen and likes strong protagonists with plenty of integrity. She used to have a Giant African Land Snail called Peter with a 6½” long shell—which is legal in the UK!—but now makes do with a cactus and a campervan. You can find out more at IAmMargaret.com.

One thought on “Lucky & Blessed

  1. Pingback: Treasures: Visible & Invisible Blog Tour - Carolyn Astfalk, Author

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