Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Grace-filled Tuesdays (Book Club "Meeting" #9)

It's book club day!  Welcome!

So, to start things off...I just visited the Barnes & Noble website and came across this 5-star reader review for Erin's Ring (written by a gal who goes by "Catholicmum"--love it!).  Apparently, it was posted 143 days ago, but I saw it for the first time this morning.  I thought since it's book club day, I'd share it here at the blog:

Laura Pearl writes a wonderful novel that will be enjoyed by both adults and teens alike.
She blends in the rich history of life in a New Hampshire town in 19th century America and then describes life for a 13-year-old Molly, a member of a large, Irish Catholic family.

There's joy and sorrow interwoven in the pages, and of course, there's the mystery surrounding the Claddagh ring. Mrs. Pearl possesses a wonderful, heartwarming ability to tell a story, keeping the reader's attention. I look forward to additional novels from her.

Mrs. Pearl also describes the importance of faith and its role in people's lives. The beauty of the friendship between Molly and  Theresa highlights the importance of opening one's heart to others, particularly people who are undergoing trials.

Reviews like that completely warm my heart, I'll tell you. They remind me that it doesn't matter if my books sell a lot of copies or if they garner a lot of accolades; if they touch the heart of just one reader, that's enough.

When I started writing Finding Grace in 2007, I had a different sort of story in mind than you'd find in most modern mainstream novels.  I wanted to leave something behind for my grandchildren, something that would show them the beauty of their Catholic Faith and hopefully inspire them to swim against the tide and fight the good fight in an increasingly secular world.  I was going to run off copies for them; that was the extent of my ambition.  But my husband and one of my sons had bigger plans for that book, and they encouraged me to send the manuscript to Bezalel Books, where it was published in 2012.  And without Finding Grace,  there would be no Erin's Ring, because the first book led directly to the second.

Sometimes I'm completely amazed that I've had two books published. (I'm pinching myself--and OW!--I guess I'm awake.  So my wildest dreams have come true, and then some.)  But I know it wouldn't have happened if it wasn't meant to happen, if God didn't have some special plan in mind for those books.  I may not ever know what that plan is during this lifetime, but I believe there is one.

In the meantime, I have been given marching orders by Cheryl Dickow, the publisher at Bezalel; knowing my reticence when it comes to the marketing and promotion of my work, she has encouraged me to "be brave, be bold."  It's not about me, she reminds me; it's about using fiction as an evangelization tool.  It's about trying to spread the Word of God through the medium of an entertaining story. So...

Okay then, now I'm going to show you how brave and bold I am:  If you are a teacher or a parent of middle school, junior high, or high school students, and you think your school would be interested in using Erin's Ring in their religion, history, or reading curriculum, I might be able to work it out so that I could come for a classroom visit.  I did this for my niece's fourth-graders last May, and it was a wonderful experience.  I am able to travel more easily than your average Joe, due to the perks of my husband's job; and since becoming an empty-nesting grandmother, I have overcome a formerly crippling fear of flying.  My husband and I do a lot of traveling to see our kids and grandkids--but I just might be able to squeeze in a side trip to most locations in the Continental US.
Please notice the "Commas Save Lives" t-shirt in the background!

Just thought I'd throw that out there.  :)  :O

Okay, before I go, here's a book club question for you: what's your favorite genre of fiction (YA, historical fiction, romance, sci-fi, etc.)?  I love historical fiction and 19th-century literature--and actually, just about any genre but sci-fi or fantasy.

Until next time, happy reading!


  1. I love historical fiction too!! Love the review, it's spot on.

  2. I know--historical fiction is my fave (especially WWI- and WWII-era stories).

    And I was so happy to see that nice review. :)