Welcome to Leslea’s April Update.
A cover reveal, a giveaway, an online puzzle, news, tips, and book reviews!
Each bimonthly update provides news about my writing, faith-based book recommendations for the whole family, and, to bring out your inner detective, an online game or puzzle.
Scroll down for all the details and this month’s book reviews.
New Release: The 4th short story in my all for One series, The Master Plan, will be released in the next few weeks! Watch my social media posts for updates.
Cover Reveal: I have a new book coming in June – Charting the Course. I’ll be rolling out the cover reveal over the next few weeks, but I’d love to show you the new cover right now! Click HERE!
Current Project: I’ve been working on Blindside 3! It has been so fun to get back to Jake and Sophie’s story. However, the process is time-consuming, so it will take quite some time until it is released. I will keep you posted on any progress.
Newsletter Features: I have a few new features that I’m adding to my newsletter. Besides my own writing updates and the exciting happenings over at CatholicTeenBooks.com, I thought I’d start highlighting my various characters, sharing my favorite writing tips, and offering a sale or giveaway.
Join the Giveaway
Where You Lead is part of a huge giveaway of different Christian books. You can enter this amazing giveaway HERE.
Did you know that twice a month CTB shares inspiring posts? In February, I wrote about my experience with relics. You can check out all the articles HERE.
I often am asked for writing tips, so I thought I’d start including a section with tips I’ve learned over the years or ones author friends of mine have shared with me. Here’s one shared by a friend:
“Write the book you want/need to read. That way, even if it doesn’t sell, at least you’ll have enjoyed the process.” 😉
Today’s puzzle is a word search. See how quickly you can locate all of Josie’s musicals. HERE
Animals of God by Susan Peek
What a precious book! I’ve long been a fan of Susan Peek’s Saint novels for teens, but have also discovered that she has several delightful books for younger children as well. Animals of God shares some fascinating yet true, miraculous stories involving animals. This book is sure to delight and captivate the whole family.
Chime Travelers by Lisa Hendey
This series is a delightful set of chapter books about time-traveling kids who discover different Saints through their various adventures while learning lessons they can apply to their own lives. These fun stories are excellent ways for kids to learn more about their Catholic faith and various Saints.
Saving the Statue of Liberty by Andrea Jo Rodgers
The kids from St. Michael the Archangel Academy are on to their next mission – saving The Statue of Liberty. These books by Andrea Jo Rodgers are such a delight and are perfect for older elementary students. I love the adventure, the friendships, the patriotism, and the bits of history that surround these fun stories. Through some fantastical unknown ways, the kids of Team Liberty are able to transport to historical monuments and save them from the mischievous and villainous ways of Team Mischief.
The Baker’s Daughter by D.P. Cornelius
The Baker’s Daughter is a historical fiction novel for teens. Set in Germany during World War II, the horrors of the time are explored through the eyes of a good Christian family trying their best to survive during the hateful regime of their government. While I felt that parts were unrealistic, it was a clean, thought-provoking story that offered many great discussion questions.
Liddy is intrigued by Marek, the young man who comes to work at her family’s bakery. As she gets to know him, she discovers an intriguing world that she didn’t know existed. As the war progresses and dangers increase, a German officer begins frequenting the bakery. Soon the family must face some difficult moral decisions. Secrets, faith, and history make this book an interesting one.
I did love the mention of Saint Maximillian Kolbe. That was a wonderful touch of history that was very touching and hopefully will bring others to be aware of that incredible Saint.
Heart’s Relief by Ruth Apollonio
Heart’s Relief is the second book in the Annabelle of Anchony series by Ruth Apollonio. What a joy to reconnect with the memorable characters from the first book. I also enjoyed getting to know Annabelle’s family as this new, intriguing adventure unfolded. While the story is thoroughly engaging, what truly sets this fantasy series apart is Apollonio’s poetic writing style.
In A Far Off Land by Stephanie Landsem
The moment I heard about this book, I was entranced. First of all, it’s written by one of my favorite historical fiction authors, Stephanie Landsem. Second, it’s also a rough retelling of a parable that has always really made me think—the prodigal son. And third, it is set in 1930s Hollywood—I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with the golden age of movies. I just knew those three elements would make a winning combination—and I was right.
Landsem has a knack for creating fascinating characters, and in this novel, she has them interacting with actual historical figures, which makes for some intriguing scenes. The three main characters, Mina, Max, and Oscar, were all so well thought out and presented. While they all had their issues, I couldn’t help rooting for each of them. Add the fabulous supporting characters, heart-breaking backstories, captivating historical elements, and a mysterious who-dunnit, and you’ve got a novel that is nearly impossible to set aside.
If you haven’t discovered biblical scholar Dr. Edward Sri yet, this book would be a great one to check out. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed his biblical insights and relatable writing style through various books and Bible studies. In this book, Dr. Sri explains the Cardinal Virtues in a new, fresh way and gives examples and practical ways that we can incorporate them into our daily lives.