Saturday, June 27, 2015

Where Were You, Lord - Prayer

I've been inspired lately to write some prayers. Here's the first:

Where Were You, Lord,

I asked,
when I knelt for hours and prayed for your guidance?

The Lord answered:
Did you not feel me in the cool breeze I sent you?

No, Lord. I got cold and went inside.

The Lord replied:
Did you not hear me in the Robin's song?

No, Lord. I found the birdsong distracted my prayer and
I shut the windows.

The Lord replied:
I sent the warm rays of the sun to shine on your face.

But, Lord, I got uncomfortably hot.
So I closed the blinds and turned on the air conditioning.

The Lord replied:
I am here now, and always will be.

No, not right now, Lord.

I've too many things to worry about.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

New Covers!

Fine Form Press has redone several of my novella and novel covers!


Down By Contact
Faith: A Cautionary Tale
Look for these new fabulous covers (and fiction) at itunes (iBooks), Smashwords, B&N, Amazon and all ebook retailers.
~ JT ~

Friday, June 12, 2015

Why I Wrote Sprainter

Today I'd like to share my reasons for writing my inspy young adult novella Sprainter.

Sprainter, Young adult fiction
As I wrote Sprainter, I realized that I was being given a great opportunity to teach along the way. My background includes teaching Philosophy (with an interest in aesthetics) and Art History. Most of my fiction deals with some aspect of art. By the time I finished Sprainter I had written a 100 page novella that spanned five genres: art-themed, young adult, romance, dystopian, and inspirational. Let me say a bit about each genre and how/why they fit into Sprainter.

Dystopian: I thought it was important to show what the future might look like if we allow individuals and organizations to curb or take away our religious freedoms and to close down our churches. This can only happen if we allow it to happen. Regardless of denomination, Churches are integral to one's spiritual development. I thought it was important to create a setting of extreme religious oppression to get that message across.

Art-themed: I believe that true artworks are an important medium to convey revolutionary ideas. Street art, because it is a genre of art that is particularly propaganda/revolutionary, fit perfectly with my characters' use of art to fight against oppression. The point I want to make is that no one is ever powerless. Yes, evil exists in the world, but we must always seek out a way to fight it. Even teens, who oftentimes feel so powerless in the complicated world of grown-ups, should be empowered political/religious activists.

Romance: Sprainter initially began as a teen romance between my two main characters, MrE and OZone. As their relationship evolves, I discuss the topic of intimacy by setting the issue against the backdrop of religion-based chastity. It isn't that I think teens will read this and think: "Oh, Therrien's right! We won't be intimate with each other until after we're married!" But I did want to present another point of view. As the story develops, my characters fall in love with each other, but they have important decisions to make, and one of them is whether they can commit to an ideology that promotes mutual respect among individuals. Yes, it's preachy, but where else will teens be preached to?

Inspirational: I want teens to read a contemporary story that inspires them to action, to hone an attitude of vigilance about fadish trends in the world that could one day (soon) affect their freedom to worship in a religious institution. I want teens to learn to say Grace before meals, I want my readers to look up the Bible passages that MrE and his band of rebels spray paint on the city walls.

Young adult: I want teen readers to have an inspirational story to entertain them and which they can also relate to. There isn't enough young adult inspirational fiction out there to inspire our teens to action and to deepen their (Catholic) faith.

Sprainter is at times what I would call a gritty story. One of the reviewers summed up the story: "Escape from New York meets the Holy Bible." This is in part true; I included some violent scenes because I also wanted to show that even good intentions can lead to bad results, especially when they are taken out of context. There is a fine balance between being devoted to a cause (or a religion), and being fanatical about it.

I hope that I've given you a taste for reading Sprainter. As you can see, there's something in it that will appeal to everyone!

You can buy Sprainter at Amazon, Smashwords, and most e-tailers.


Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Book Review: Bought with a Price

Bought with a Price: Every Man's Duty to Protect Himself and His Family from a Pornographic CultureBought with a Price: Every Man's Duty to Protect Himself and His Family from a Pornographic Culture by Most Rev. Paul S. Loverde
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an excellent resource for anyone either struggling with pornography addiction or for helping someone you know who is struggling. Bishop Loverde offers sound spiritual, scriptural, and pastoral advice for individuals, priests and families who are affected by this disease. His approach is one of warm understanding and forgiveness.

In this short, accessible book Bishop Loverde argues against four popular misconceptions that pornography is acceptable and even 'normal'. His practical advice is designed to help individuals, families, parish men's and women's groups, and priests. The text includes advice, prayers, a study guide and suggestions to seek professional counselling, if need be. And the Bishop even provides an action plan to further challenge society and its casual acceptance of pornography.

This is an important text for anyone wanting to understand, combat and counteract the insidiousness of pornography.

View all my reviews

Monday, June 08, 2015

Book Review - A Confederacy of Dunces

A Confederacy of DuncesA Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For fans of farces, Boethius and Don Quixote, this is a must read!

Otherwise, readers might want to pass on it. Although I am not a Boethius scholar, I enjoyed the convoluted plot and subplots, and the main reason I continued to read was to see how they would all be resolved.

The main premise can be summed up as: an obese man, Ignatius J. Reilly, living by Boethius' ethics (The Consolations of Philosophy) cannot seem to (physically or spiritually) fit into the 'modern world' of 1960s New Orleans.

I've never liked the cover, which is one reason for my not having read Toole's novel until now. I had trouble with the datedness of the text: Ignatius' Quixotic attitude toward 'corrupt' civilization and its 'corrupt' denizens, the social situation (read stereotyping) of gays and blacks, activism, Freudianism and the odd motivations of some of the characters. I also had difficulty, on only one quick read, understanding the role of "Fortuna" and how Toole uses this Medieval concept in the application of justice to his characters.

Having said all of that, I would re-read this novel, since I think it does have an important message about the individual and her interaction with her social setting.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Free Reads!

I currently have three free reads from Fine Form Press for people to sample my writing during these summer months.

They are:

Dr. Farkas
The Well
The Neighbor

These stories are available for free from all ebook retailers - except Amazon. Kindle readers can obtain their Kindle-formatted free copies from Smashwords.

I hope readers will enjoy these short stories/novellas. If you do, I encourage you to leave a review.


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