Saturday, July 27, 2013

Author Showcase: Doreen Cox

I'm starting a new feature on my blog: Author Showcase.

For this new blog feature I am not interviewing the authors. I am simply showcasing people who have so generously taken the time to promote my own promo tweets on Twitter. In some cases, I have read some of these author's books, but in many instances I have only retweeted their links. (Unfortunately, due to the glacial speed at which I read, I cannot possibly read everything I want to.)

First up is long-time Twitter friend: Doreen Cox, non-fiction author of Adventures In Mother-Sitting!

From Doreen's Amazon Author's Page
Writing my book after the time of Mother-sitting was cathartic for me as it relates to my dance with grief. During those caregiver years, there was never a dull moment much less a moment in which I could relax. I'm not complaining for that is the way it is for a Care Bear. Humor got me through most of those days. The vacuum that came after Mother-sitting became filled with writing, editing and publishing. The vacuum that came after my memoir was published was emotionally difficult for me. In hindsight, this last vacuum was a necessary and cathartic time. Without the earlier distractions to engage me, a plunge into the abyss of sadness and despair allowed me to deeply grieve my mom's death and the 'death' of my role as her Care Bear. The experience of Mother-sitting taught me that joy, frustration and despair are juxtaposed emotions that are part of any experience, including writing and publishing. ADVENTURES IN MOTHER-SITTING is a memoir that speaks to a journey through grief, through losses of many kinds.

My 5-star review of Doreen's book Adventures In Mother-Sitting can be found on my blog's Book Reviews page.

Doreen's links:
Amazon Author's page:
Blog: Treasured Encounters

Doreen also has a bunch of other links (she's everywhere on the internet...)

I strongly recommend following this wonderful writer and most wonderful person! Oh... and by all means read her heart-warming memoir of caring for her ailing mother.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Banned Pro Life Ad

I thought I would post Heroic Media's beautiful Pro Life ad - recently banned by USA Today and the NY Times, among other media outlets.

Ad copyright (c)2013 by Heroic Media
The pro-life ad was part of the Texas Pain-Capable Unborn Child Act, a law (passed 19-11) that will stop abortions being allowed after 20 weeks - when a child feels pain.

Yes, let's stop the war on children.

*I did not request permission from Heroic Media to post their ad on my blog.

Addendum (July 25): For those of you interested to read a first-person account of what the mood was like in that Austin Texas capitol building for the pro life vote, I've put a link to Emma Smith's powerful essay: "Eyewitness To Evil."


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Review: Sick Puppy

Sick Puppy
Sick Puppy by Carl Hiaasen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Laugh out loud funny!

The best reason I enjoy reading Carl Hiaasen novels is because I will never be able to conceive of plots (and characters) such as his.

In Sick Puppy he has... let me see if I can recall most of these characters: a prostitute whose clients are Republicans, a self-sufficient eco-terrorist, a slob lobbyist/big game hunter, a rogue former Florida Governor, a killer with a 9-1-1 call fetish (among several other fetishes), a black Labrador (one of the Sick Puppies alluded to in the title), an entrepreneur with an unnatural love of Barbie dolls, two Eastern bloc real life Barbie dolls, and so on. This list barely touches the cast of interesting characters.

Readers will enjoy Hiaasen's sense of humor, his quirky characters, and his convoluted plots (which are surprisingly easy to follow!)

Although they pretty much all do, this particular Hiaasen novel reminded me of Donald Westlake's books.

A well-written and entertaining read!


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Review: Lumen Fidei: Enciclica sulla Fede

Lumen Fidei: Enciclica sulla Fede
Lumen Fidei: Enciclica sulla Fede by Pope Francis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the first encyclical that I've ever read. I found it (surprisingly) easily accessible and I look forward to reading previous ones.

I thought the work was well written and both Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis had much to say about faith - Lumen Fidei meaning the Light of Faith. The text addresses most of the current challenges facing the Church: the arguments against Nihilism, relativism, homosexual unions, etc. were presented in an easy-to-follow dialectical fashion.

I especially liked the chapter where Jesus is understood as the synthesis of Hearing the Word and Seeing the Word.

I strongly recommend the encyclical to anyone who is interested in what the modern Catholic Church is concerned with, and why the Magisterium (the teaching authority of the Church) responds the way it does to current events, while claiming (correctly) that it is acting out of love.

And, of course, the encyclical should be required reading for all Catholics!

Interested readers can get complete text by following the link on My Reading List - Religious Texts page.


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Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Timeless Christian Persecution

I recently saw this Make Your Own Roman Arena activity book in a dollar store and snapped a picture of it:

I can't help but feel that this activity book is insensitive and offensive to all Christians. After all, martyrs' blood filled the Colosseum sewers at the height of the persecutions of Early Church Christians, and to have such abhorrent behavior trivialized as the subject of a kids' activity book (without explaining the historical context) is sad and intolerable.

If you look inside the arena you can see a lion dragging a dead or dying Christian by the arm. Fun!

For anyone who thinks that I am being too "thin-skinned" that I see the worse in things, that I should relax because this is just a kids' book, I end this post by referring to Monsignor Fulton Sheen:

A Plea for Intolerance by Fulton J. Sheen
In 1931, Monsignor Fulton J. Sheen wrote the following essay:

“America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance - it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded.”

“Tolerance is an attitude of reasoned patience toward evil … a forbearance that restrains us from showing anger or inflicting punishment. Tolerance applies only to persons … never to truth. Tolerance applies to the erring, intolerance to the error … Architects are as intolerant about sand as foundations for skyscrapers as doctors are intolerant about germs in the laboratory.

Tolerance does not apply to truth or principles. About these things we must be intolerant, and for this kind of intolerance, so much needed to rouse us from sentimental gush, I make a plea. Intolerance of this kind is the foundation of all stability.”

In this age of relativism, political correctness, and rampant tolerance, I am making a plea against the type of tolerance that trivializes the spilled blood of  all Martyrs of the Church.
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