Book Updates!, It's sharing time!, Recommended Reads, Uncategorized

Librarians, Teachers, Parents Take Note

Quite often my inbox hosts a message from a Catholic mama that goes something like this:
On Aug 10, 2017, at 8:42 AM, mfree@email.com wrote:
Hello Jean,

Would you please forward to me a list of your recommended books by Catholic authors? I would like it for my own reference, as well as to offer it to the librarian at St. (pick one!) School.  Also, do you have a resource (list, website, etc.) for comparisons, like instead of reading that, read this book.  I would love to encourage my Catholic school librarian to promote worthwhile books to the students (not that Dork Diaries and the like are not worthwhile. HaHa!).

HA!!!!!

Well, my friends, there is not one place (yet) that can list all of the amazing page-turners out there written by faithful Catholics. But I have the following really useful list to get you started.

First off, as far as an “instead of this read that” kind of thing, keep your eyes on Cathy Gilmore’s Virtue Works Media, because Cathy’s big dream is to provide exactly that type of service. For example, instead of The Hunger Games, check out Corinna Turner’s I Am Margaret from Chesterton Press, or instead of the Twilight books, look into Jennifer the Damned by Karen Ullo (Wiseblood Books.)

Now, an absolute MUST-TELL-MY-SCHOOL-LIBRARIAN! is what’s going on down in Florida with Lizette Lantigua’s  Good News Book Fair, a new and rapidly-growing traveling book fair for schools and parishes. Take a look at some of the photographs on her site, because Liz’s displays of books, posters, toys, etc. are beautiful and can even be customized for your organization. (IMHO, Good News Book Fairs should completely replace Scholastic in our Catholic schools.*)

And not to be outdone by Florida, five Texans have come up with Catholic Reads, an online service that offers a free subscription to newsletters with book reviews and hefty discounts on the reviewed titles. Similarly, author-run Catholic Teen Books offers reviews, teaching tools, author info, links, and more if you’re in the market for YA books.

Worldwide, one of the things we are doing in the Catholic Writers’ Guild is revamping our website to make it easier for readers to evaluate our titles and authors by age group and genre. Fresh from the CWG’s blog is this very helpful article which highlights some of my family’s favorite books: this article that would be VERY helpful to pass on to librarians and teachers:  CWG Blog Post: List of books .

Whew! I’m glad I finally stole a few minutes to put all this in one place. And, friends, I really appreciate your sharing this post. So, so many people will benefit from the information I’ve listed here.

Blessings!

Jeanie

*For more on that *cough* humble opinion, I have an article pending publication.

It's sharing time!, Mothers of Mollies, Promoting Vocations, Uncategorized

Holy Molly! Now She’s a Unit Study!

Calling all homeschoolers! Here’s an AWESOME unit study for the kids. God Bless Writer/Teacher/Catholic-Mom-Blogger Ginny Kochis of Not So Formulaic and her two junior staff writers (6.5-year-old B and 10.5-year-old G) for not only reviewing Plaid Jumper, but putting together this incredibly creative and FREE unit study.

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To quote just a few words of the abundant wisdom in Ginny’s post:

“The second installment in the Jean Schoonover-Egolf’s Molly McBride series, Molly McBride and the Plaid Jumper follows the titular heroine as she discovers there’s more to a person’s vocation than the clothes she wears. Discussions with her family, friends, and a trusted Pastor help Molly understand an important truth: God has designed each of us in a unique, unrepeatable way. That is the truth of our vocation, and what we wear on the outside can’t change that. My girls fell in love with Molly’s spirit, immediately identifying with her costume habit (pun intended).”

Be sure to leave a “thank you” to the Kochis Club in Miss Ginny’s comments.

Book Updates!, It's sharing time!, Promoting Vocations, Uncategorized

And the Winner Is

Congrats to Katherine S.! There were 86 entries, and she is the winner of my very first ever Rafflecopter contest, so a signed copy of MMPH is headed her way.

What’s the best part of these giveaways? Making new friends! I had the pleasure of communicating with Katherine via email as well as friending her on FB and checking out her beautiful blog!

Here I am at my beautiful mess, signing her book for her 5 daughters. I told Katherine I hope at least one of them is considering a religious vocation 😉 .

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More giveaways are forthcoming, so stay tuned!
Blessings!
Jeanie
Promoting Vocations, Uncategorized

How to Raise Kids to be Open to Religious Vocations

Huge thanks to everybody who contributed to my article published by Peanut Butter and Grace.  Love you all, Friends! Enjoy.

Book Updates!, It's sharing time!, On Being a Good Friend, Uncategorized

Influencer Of Social Media, Etc.

Blessed am I. So, so blessed am I. For God put in my life such a wonderful group of friends. Yes, some of you are friends whose faces and words have been entirely the glowing-rectangle type, but I call you friends, nevertheless.

Today I opened my large glowing rectangle (laptop) to discover my interview by one of my heroes Amy Brooks has been published! (Squee!!!) Check it out:

Prayer, Wine, Chocolate article.

First thought: Man! Am I really that chatty? Amy, seriously, I apologize for taking up so much of your time, lol!!

Second thought: My goodness I’ve had a weird life! Never saw THAT comin’ when I was 16.

And, get this, I’m sharing article space with Anni Harry, veteran Catholic mom blogger extraordinaire of A Beautiful, Camouflaged, Mess Of a Life. Get out of town! I LOVE her!! What an honor!

Once again I am just sooooo touched, even if it’s the cybernate kind of touching, by the strength of this community of faith-filled workers for Jesus.

Special thanks to Amy Brooks, mom, author and business woman, empress of the Prayer, Wine, Chocolate super power that is taking the world by storm. She ROCKS, and, besides the link above, you can check her out here:

PWC FB page.

Blessings!

Jeanie

On Being a Good Friend

The Muted Birthday

It’s hard to believe our littlest turns 8 today. Like many couples unable to have more children, my husband and I have sometimes failed to thank God for what we have and instead  wished for more. I won’t lie: it is painful to imagine that I will never again experience the joy of cradling a tiny baby of my own so tenderly in my arms. There is nothing in this world like that love. But we know–for an anatomical fact–that no more will be coming. We have, I suppose, come to terms with that.

A while back, rather unexpectedly, a family we know shared some awesome, but surprising, news.  I had the great privilege of a few weeks of joyful planning and vicarious, happy anticipation. But yesterday, my friend went to her doctor appointment for a check up and some good news. She came home with very, very bad news.

I cannot even imagine her pain. We experienced the fear, yes, when I had first trimester bleeding. That was a little over 8 years ago. But that fear turned into…well, she is 8 years old today. My friend will not be experiencing that great wave of relief today, tomorrow, or even 8 years from now.

And, over here on this side of town, I am trying to celebrate a birthday. There is a cake to frost, a house to decorate, and dinner plans need to be made.

I feel guilty.

What kind of friend am I to celebrate my child’s life when, not too far away, a family is mourning? Sure, I’ve done a few little tasks to help, expressed deep sympathies, offered my services in any way possible. I’ve probably done the “right” things. But it is not enough. And I pray.

If you are reading this, please pray for my friend and her family. Any comments are appreciated.

mutedbday