Friday, October 14, 2022

An Excerpt of BOUND in Sword&Spade

It is always gratifying when someone you admire appreciates your work. So when Jason Craig, editor of Sword & Spade and author of Leaving Boyhood Behind: Reclaiming Catholic Brotherhood asked if he could publish an excerpt from BOUND, I was delighted to say yes. S&S is focused on issues that men and families face with ideas and solutions from a Catholic perspective. This issue of S&S was devoted to the historic decision of the US Supreme Court to reverse Roe v Wade--to give thanks to God and to remember that we still have to fight at the state level for the most vulnerable in our society. The date of this reversal was profound for Catholics because it was the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Font of Love) and the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, who leaped with joy in his mother's womb at the sound of Mary's greeting. Such a beautiful sign from God to bring us hope. Life is winning!

But the story that touched my heart the most was from Jason himself, "Thank you for not killing me," words spoken by his 13-year-old niece at her mother's (his sister's) wedding. Not every child is born in ideal circumstances, but they treasure their life. I've seen my share of bedraggled children in India and not one of them wanted to die. Ever. They begged for food or money. They wanted to live. Yet we would think them better off dead. Jason's essay recounts his shock at learning that his pro-life mother made an appointment at a Planned Parenthood clinic to discuss what their "choices" might be.  

The excerpt he chose to publish was the chapter when Rebecca takes Joy to an abortion clinic. If you read closely, you will see how language is used to hide the truth of what is actually happening. I am so proud to be in the pages of Sword & Spade.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Interview with Jayne de Sales

So much going on this summer but I wanted to share a link to my very first recording as a guest on Jayne de Sales' podcast. She "dives deep into why fiction matters with some of the most interesting living authors." Thank you, Jayne, for inviting me. It was a great pleasure.

We're not quite sure how she came across my work but she read BOUND and loved it and wanted to talk about it on her show. I was thrilled and a bit nervous because I think best through my fingers and not with my mouth but what a joy to converse with a kindred spirit. We spoke for about half hour about gardening and pets before we decided to record and ended up talking more about the writer's journey, which is also tied to my faith journey. Enjoy! Here's her lovely introduction: What treasure can you find in West Yellowstone, Montana? Scientist-turned-writer Vijaya Bodach found a copy of her favorite tale in a used bookstore there. Science, wonder, and faith were central to our conversation, and she even reveals what stories do to our brains on an MRI. Stick around to the end where she shares her recipe for Mango Lassi! This author of the Young Adult Novel “Bound”, set in Pullman, Washington is a fellow graduate of Washington State University. Go Cougs! 

I learned several things. Improvisation and spontaneity are good for thinking and articulating on my metaphorical feet. I will seek out more opportunities because it was very enjoyable, though there's lots of room for improvement on my part. I gained a new insight from Jayne when I mentioned my tendency of jumping into things and them working out. She said it's the opposite of fear holding us back from our dreams. So true. We should trust more in the Lord and listen less to the devil and his lies. I spoke about what I want, but the truth is, we should be constantly seeking what God wants from our lives. We owe Him absolutely everything and I'm discovering that I'm happiest when I'm doing His will. And it's not at all onerous. In fact, quite the opposite, as you can see below.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

More Short Books

I updated my Short Books page but forgot to do so on the home page. I have two more short books, Midnight and Baby Max for babies and toddlers and Max and Midnight for beginning readers. 

Midnight and Baby Max is a picture book in photographs about a kitten and a baby. It's available as a paperback (recommended) or e-book. Free preview.   

Max and Midnight is a chapter book about their adventures they have as they grow up with line art from my daughter. Available as a paperback (recommended) or ebookFree preview

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Short Books

I have drawers full of short stories and poems and decided that this is the year I will make them available as a collection. And with this coronavirus pandemic, our children returned home shortly after Spring Break. What a blessings it has been. One of the fruits has been the gift of original line art from my daughter for a collection of short stories about the time when they were little. I thought with so many families homeschooling and hunkered down at home, this would promote the simple joys of childhood.

And when a friend told us about a writing contest, we got to work! We didn't win but we have this beautiful and sensible book to share. I hope you all will take a look. Happy reading and writing.

Max and Dagny is a collection of 20 easy-to-read stories, poems, and fun facts for beginning readers. It's available as a paperback (recommended) or e-book with darling little illustrations from my daughter. Free preview here

Why in the World? is a nonfiction book about the Coronavirus pandemic for children aged 6-12. It covers basic virology and immunology, brilliantly illustrated by Kris Manning. It's only available as an ebook at this time. 

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Respect Life BOUND Sale

October is Respect Life month and I'm having a sale both for the e-book (on all platforms) for 99 cents and paperback of BOUND for $10.99 this entire month. This is a perfect time to get multiple copies for your classroom or book group discussion. I hear it has provoked many thoughtful discussions, especially when it's hard to choose life. Please contact me if you want me to come speak to your class or book group. It would be a great pleasure. 

I am a few days late but September has been a busy month with two writing conferences, deadlines to meet, and preparing for two High Masses (JOY!). I hope you will share this with your friends. Also, I hate to beg, but if you've read the book, I would really appreciate a quick review on Amazon--this is not like the book review you had to do in school; rather the best and easiest way is to just express your honest reaction. Perhaps it made you think. Maybe you want to spend more time with Rebecca and Joy (I do!) or you hated the ending. It's really okay. Once a book is published it belongs to the reader. I am thankful for all my readers whether or not they have reservations about leaving reviews. 

Here's the most recent review: 
August 9, 2019
This is a page turner with multidimensional characters and realistic, compelling choices for the main character. The metaphor of the possibility of alternate realities is apt as Rebecca navigates a series of tough decisions and revelations to ultimately make up her own mind in a way that is satisfying and believable.

One of the things I've learned is that Amazon gives a boost to your book if it has more than 50 reviews. So my heartfelt thanks to all who've read AND reviewed BOUND. I keep praying it will fall into the hands of those who need to read it.

I've not done any marketing for my other books, except for a school visit or two the years they came out. At the Write2Ignite conference, quite a few people were astounded that I have a lot of books and I don't market any of them. But I have no need when teachers and librarians see them listed in industry journals. Alas, most self-published books have the problem of discoverability; they do not get seen and they sink into oblivion. Actually, the vast majority of trade books tank too, so I don't feel too terrible. It's the bestsellers that keep a publishing house in business, that allows them to purchase books that they love that only 500 other people might love. So I'm very thankful for the bestselling celebrity books because I've read so many wonderful books that otherwise wouldn't be published. 

In any case, this is a great time to be writing. You have more options than you think. Don't let the rejections get you down. Persevere. Here's something I wrote on rejections for Write2Ignite.

Happy reading, writing AND submitting, folks!

Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Back-to-School Giveaway

Tiffany Turner of the Indie Children's Authors Connection is holding her annual Back-to-School Blog Tour and Giveaway with a chance to win a $25 Gift Card from Amazon and I am so pleased to be part of her Blog Tour. So head on over to read about my childhood reading and grown-up writing. The giveaway started yesterday so don't miss the previous interview or the chance to enter the giveaway. Thanks, Tiffany!