Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Thoughts from Shutting up and Listening

Dear friends,
I've been silent for a long time on many issues because I don't really feel I have much to say. But I do have a tremendous need to pay attention and listen.
I am a novelist who has trouble now finding time to write novels. I am a comic book writer in search of funding. In the meantime, I am raising young adults, teens, children, and toddlers, and teaching English and Religion to a pretty amazing bunch of teenagers. So when I come online, I mainly listen. I listen to my old friends and my parents' friends. I listen to those I've met once and regret not seeing more often, my colleagues in the Catholic press (so many of them excellent hardworking people), those I've never met, those I know from my own town or parish, and to my fellow authors and artistic friends. And the listening is better than the speaking.
Back in college, I came to the realization that I actually liked people. I was a loner with few friends as a child, self-absorbed and self-centered. Even my relationship with Christ was immature, Pharisitical, and self-referencing. In college I passed through two years of hellish isolating depression, and when I emerged from it, I realized that I had actually come to truly appreciate other people, during the time when I was separated from my own self and my own creativity. I believe Christ allowed that because He did not want me to follow my vocation as a Catholic writer full of the smug and certain ardor of my youthful conversion. That sojourn in a mental wilderness where I learned the hard way that I could not trust the ranting feverish profanities of my own brain prepared me to more fully embrace the Church. God proved to me that I could not trust myself and that I needed other people, as problematic as they are. He also showed me in particular at Franciscan University a sketch of the Church, the Catholic Church, in all her messy, tangled, disreputable, chaotic, and persevering glory.
That vision of her has informed my life as a Catholic. I have no doubt that I'm serving Christ, but I am also serving His Bride. Forgive the genderisms, but in my experience, women keep men real. Men may have high-flown ideals and kingdom-wide plans for greatness, but women ask them for a ring on their finger and a regular paycheck. In the same way, the Catholic Church keeps Christianity real. It's what it all looks like when human beings put the words and deeds of Christ into practice. It's a mess, but it's real, and it's human. And God wanted a human church, not a spiritual idea. The whole idea of the Lord God, from creation to this holy present moment, is to empower human beings to actually do things that have consequences and which last. Woman is an embodiment of this idea: we make humans, with the help of the Lord, as Eve said in the Bible. The Church is that Woman who by joining we get to help make something that will last.
Now, I have never been an idealist, perfectionist type. I never expect much from human beings. I feel I’ve known enough good and holy people to realize that no one, not even Mother Teresa, is Christ Himself. (I met Mother Teresa once, and she was clearly holy, but too busy to make eye contact.) And I discovered I never really expected that. So I confess I do not understand the rage of my good friends who are scathingly disappointed in fellow Catholics, fellow pro-lifers, fellow Americans because of the revelation of this or that (very real) failing. I have been listening to the rage and trying to understand it, and I feel it springs from bitter disappointment in humanity.
I have read Church history: I never want to go back to the Middle Ages or the Renaissance because I know that having a political profligate sinner on the papal throne would have hurt my faith. I feel gratitude for all the popes we have had in the modern age. I love Pope Francis, but he’s a different kind of leader, more of the radical poet, not really concerned with helping others to agree with him. And I always thought being Catholic wasn’t really about the Pope anyway, any more than it’s about your local bishop (who has seldom been anything more than a name to me, aside from real giants like John Cardinal O’Connor). So I don’t get the disappointment and the rage, and the criticism, and the conspiracy-building-connecting-the-dots that so many of my friends are engaging in. Have circumstances always been this dire, human beings always been this malevolent, Christians always been so vile and racist/nativist/selfish/leftist/rightist/communist/hedonist/puritanish/istististish?
Well, yes.
I know for a fact that I myself have always been vile and lazy and hypocritical and vain, so I can at least speak from my own experience. But you all have befriended me anyhow, society has not incarcerated me (yet), and the grass does not burn under my feet, and, in truth, I eat my bread in peace and go to sleep in comfort without care for the morrow. I hope to keep Hell and my promises to God for a truly uncomfortable conversion at equal and safe distances from myself. I deduce from this (forgive me) that other people I love might also be quite as bad as myself, but I try to be charitable. Yet in my truthful moments, I acknowledge this sham existence I lead, and I begin, yet again, to solve the problems I have caused that are right in front of me, and patch up and repair the evil I have done in the past.
Yes, we have problems. The horror of abortion marches on heedless. The idolatry of contraception and the idiocy of pornography and the tragic destruction of micro-civilizations by the millions that is divorce roll their jagged wheels through our relationships, our towns, our cities, our countryside. We block our borders and ignore world horrors. The wealth of American resources is frittered away on silliness while those in other countries starve and lack. Globalization paralyzes us into inaction. Participating in the Internet (like this, which I’m typing while my children dally about finishing their homework and my to-do list glares at me) redefines our emotions and conceptions. We are always reacting, never acting, harried by the comforting addiction of the screen. What will history think of we adults, who fought television boldly in our youth, but succumbed to social media with nary a whimper of regret? I suspect the worst evils, the cancer that will kill us in the end and damn our souls to hell, are the ones that seem the nicest and most comforting now. Which is why I don’t see racism and Nazism as the danger because, simply, they are obviously evil. And just as I’ve criticized Christians for piling on condemnations of homosexually-attracted people while ignoring divorce, I do see telling off others, the shaming, the public sneer, the bulls-eye of rhetoric that feels so good through the keyboard as doing far more damage to fragile friendships, to relationships gone cold through failure of face-to-face contact, than any amount of alt-right immaturity.
Our problems are dire. And yet, we have lights that turn on, and grocery stores that have food, and people who are civil and who don’t murder and rob us, though we are strangers to them. We should be grateful, and far more grateful than we are. If we were to burn everything down and start over, what kind of selfish righteousness assures us that we won’t make things in our utopia much, much worse? America is bad, Western Civilization is bad, but it could easily be much, much worse. We do need to right the injustices, cut out the cancer, rebuild and so on, but let’s be realistic about the state of the infection and the precision of the cure, lest we cause more evils than we intend. We are trying to cure the patient, not kill him, and that requires holding back and not destroying everything for the sake of eradicating something. John Cavanaugh- O'Keefe once said that what keeps pro-lifers real is the reality that fighting abortion means being kind to desperate, fearful pregnant women. You can’t save a baby without helping the muddle that is the mother. That means oftentimes you need to slow down, shut up, and listen. Most of real life is like that, and eradicating real evils in a civilized society involves that too.
We take the miracle of civilization for granted. But the Church came of age in a society that was losing civilization, and she knows the value of it. That’s why I refuse to use profanity and avoid vulgarity in public: because I respect the civilization of which those rules are the outward forms. Doing good is easier because we are civilized, because we are polite and respectful and stand in line and follow the rules. The Church saw what the world was like in the ruins of Roman civilization, and emphatically decided that civilization was better than barbarism and chaos, better for children, better for the poor, better for the weak. It was a woman’s choice, and a very womanly choice, and I believe it was a wise choice. Individual choices are stronger in a civilized world. If we value individual freedom, we should value civilization.
We are connected more than we know to one another. That was the lesson I learned through depression, and both our independence and our feelings of isolation are illusions. Our environments are made of people, each connected to the other by a relationship, and poisoning one relationship opens the possibility of poisoning many others. We should tread carefully because we can block one troll, but we can’t block humanity from our lives. God made humans in such a way that our actions have consequences that spread further and faster than we wish or know, and the only salvation for us is forgiveness and reparation. Which brings me back to being Catholic, since we Catholics are supposed to forgive and have our sins forgiven, and our spirituality includes doing reparation. What makes you Catholic?
Catholics are Catholic because they don’t leave the Church.
Not leaving the Church is like not leaving your spouse. Marriage has taught you that your spouse is a jerk, selfish, tyrannical, exacting, cold, unimpressed, cynical. But if you are honest, you will acknowledge that you are the same. And you will stay, because you are not giving up on yourself, and you are not giving up upon your spouse. And if you are wise, you know that hot coal of anger can be wafted into a smoking hot passion of love and comfort with just a little bit of shifting your position. You don’t settle, you don’t give up. Like the Von Balthasaar position on Hell, you don’t expect them (or you) to change, but you also can’t stop hoping they (and you) will change for the good and for the better. Hope is life. And hope is action is love. We are fragile wimpy creatures. We will not change if we run away. That freely-chosen bondage is what frees us from ourselves.
Every day you don’t leave your spouse is a good day. Everyday you don’t leave the Church is a good day. Every day you don’t give up on humanity is a better day for humanity.
If you want to improve your marriage (and I hope you do!), shut up and listen to your spouse and family. And then when you speak, speak wisely (and you’d better pray first).
If you want to improve our Church (and I hope you do!), the same advice might be in order.
And just as, in the case of improving your marriage, you should probably stop complaining about your spouse in public, so many Catholics prudently refrain from directly criticizing in public the Church they hope to reform. This is not purely fear or co-dependence or the money trail, just long-term thinking. There are many, many valid criticisms of the Church they could air if they wanted (just as you could humiliate your spouse much better than any stranger could) but they choose not to do so.
The more I listen, the more I feel the need for prayer. We do need change, world-transforming change. But it will not come through violence or voting or political action, but through conversion of heart, one heart at a time, one marriage at a time, one family at a time, one institution at a time. We need to keep listening, and keep talking wisely, fearlessly, but with an eye to the future relationship, not keeping score, but figuring out how to keep the marriage going.
You see, we are all, this mass of humanity, treading water, holding onto one another, and keeping one hand, at least, on the Church. We are afloat because of Her. She is like Peter walking on water, and a terrifying spectacle it is, especially when you know Peter and know what a flake he is. But don’t lose sight of the fact that the entire thing is a (pardon me) freaking miracle, sustained from moment to moment through history.
She is not sinking because of Christ.
Catholics are Catholic because they don’t leave the Church.
Stay strong, my friends.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Regina Update Summer 2017

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Saturday, April 8, 2017

Easter basket tour 2017!

We've got books for teen girls, tween boys, babies, and more in our third Easter basket tour with more baskets and more sweet ideas for Easter treats! Take the tour.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Ben Hatke Eisner Award

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

We now have live chat on Chesterton Press!

Here are my husband and daughter testing out the chat boxes. So if we're in the office, you can easily reach us if you have questions about books and ordering!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Regina Doman's Updates: Questions about Black as Night and Waking Rose

Regina Doman's Updates: Questions about Black as Night and Waking Rose: It's been a while since I've posted reader questions about Black as Night and Waking Rose, so I thought I'd post this latest one:

There seems to be symbolism in the book Black as Night that I don't understand. The main one I have trouble comprehending happens to be the title of the play Rose was in in that book, Through the Looking Glass. I noticed that Elaine is the founder of the Mirror Corporation, and towards the end of the book Bear happens to literally be on the other side of the looking glass in his father's house. 

Another question I have is for Waking Rose. When Rose is in her coma and Dr. Murray is giving her something to make her stay in her coma, I was wondering what Rose sees. She sees Dr. Murray as a serpent and it talks about what she sees as a type of palace and everyone is sleeping and she can't seem to wake them up. Is what she seeing the inside of Graceton? So when she wakes up she can go throughout Graceton? Thank You!  -- B.F, 4/18/2016  read more...

Friday, April 15, 2016

New baby and new books!

In my first day in the office after giving birth to little Irene Margaret (born April 4th, pictured above), I found two new books waiting for me which I wanted to share with Chesterton Press fans. SOMEDAY is a timely thriller in novella form by British Catholic YA author Corinna Turner.

Two years ago today, 276 schoolgirls in Nigeria were kidnapped by radical Islamists. The whereabouts of most of them are still unknown. Lest the world forget and move on, Corinna Turner, partnering with Aid to the Church in Need, has retold the story in modern Britain, giving a twist to the story, making it surprisingly relevant and inspiring. The best part is that all proceeds from sale of SOMEDAY go to Aid to the Church in Need, which ministers to persecuted Christians worldwide. Also available in Kindle and eBook formats: and if you buy the hard copy, you can get the ebook for free.

The second book is my first non-fiction, No Longer Strangers: The First 40 Years of Franciscan University Households, written with Fr. Gregory Plow, TOR. Why do we Christians need community? Why is the "small group" an essential part of human life? How does community help to ground us as human persons? How does it affect our spiritual life? This history of the implementation of student "households" at my alma mater, Franciscan University looks at these questions in context of the real-life campus-wide experiment begun by Fr. Michael Scanlan in 1974-5 and how the concept has developed and changed over the course of 40 years.

Anyone interested in the concept of Christian community, at the parish level or in some other form, will find this book fascinating.  How it helped bring about a revival of faith on a dying college campus is a story both miraculous and instructive. You can find both at ChestertonPress.com.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Regina Doman's Updates: RIP: Jerome Heckencamp, Computer Expert Extraordin...

Regina Doman's Updates: RIP: Jerome Heckencamp, Computer Expert Extraordin...: Asking for prayers for the soul of my friend Jerome Heckencamp, brother to Catholic YA suspense author  Therese Heckenkamp Popp , who passed away this week. I became acquainted with Jerome when I was writing my fifth Fairy Tale Novel, Alex O'Donnell and the 40 Cyberthieves...

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Sisters of the Last Straw author Karen Kelly Boyce: Avoiding the Preachy and Boring

Posted in this week's Trenton Monitor:
“When I read the books I was buying for my grandchildren, they were preachy and boring,” Boyce said. “I wanted to make them laugh. People have faults. I wanted to teach the kids to forgive.” In response and recalling the Sisters of Mercy who schooled her as a child, she created the Sisters of the Last Straw series of mysteries for children ages six to 12.

...“With hindsight, I now realize the wonderful education and faith that the Sisters of Mercy gifted me. Most of the sisters were kind, hard-working and faithful. I remember them with great delight and I am grateful for them,” Boyce wrote. “I realize now the sacrifices they made… As an adult, I understand that nuns are human beings with virtues and flaws. Perhaps that is why God inspired me to create characters who work hard to overcome their human failings. In Sisters of the Last Straw,…all of [the nuns] are good, all of them human. I can present the sisters and the faith with truth, humor and gratitude. It goes to show that what they taught me must be rubbing off.”

As described in the book synopsis, the fictitious order of nuns in the series is so named by their bishop because they had been dismissed from other convents for their bad personal habits. All have strong faith…. and foibles. Mother Mercy is a born leader who struggles to control her temper; Sister Krumbles loves all God’s creatures, but is disorganized and clumsy; Sister Shiny is vain but keeps the convent spotless; Sister Lovely struggles with cigarette smoking but is kind and generous; Sister Lacey is rough-and-tumble who fights her impulse to curse with silly rhymes and exclamations, and Sister Wanda is always getting lost but never loses her gentle personality.

The series, published by Chesterton Press, details the nuns’ exploits in three novels thus far: The Case of the Haunted Chapel, The Case of the Missing Novice and the The Case of the Stolen Rosaries book which garnered the CPA award.


Monday, October 12, 2015

Introducing our picture books! The Monks and the Story of Job

I am very pleased to let you know about two picture books we have recently released, the first ones ever published by Chesterton Press. The Story of Job is my retelling of the book of Job which I told to my own children, and which my friend Ben Hatke kindly illustrated. It's been a family favorite which I've shared with audiences when I speak on suffering. After years of audience members requesting their own copy, I am pleased that it's finally in print. I hope it will help other families the way it helped ours. As for the other book...

Several years ago, I was acquisitions editor for Sophia Institute Press, and The Monks' Daily Bread manuscript by my friend Sylvia Dorham found its way into my inbox. I was charmed by the concept, delighted by the Dr. Seuss-like rhymes, and wanted to see the book get into print. But although publisher John Barger shepherded Sylvia through several grueling rounds of revisions which made the book better and funnier each time, Sophia Press ultimately decided not to publish the book.

So when I went back to working full-time for my own company, Chesterton Press, and I found that Sylvia hadn't yet found a publisher, I couldn't resist offering... Sylvia's response? "Ok, twist my arm! Harder!"


The final piece of the puzzle arrived in the form of a clever little art portfolio tucked into an envelope which I found in the mail later that year, featuring an accordion of original superhero trading cards, three original tiny comic books, and a handwritten card from an artist I had never heard of: Christopher Tupa. At some point, it occurred to me that he would be the perfect artist to illustrate this funny story.

So it is with much pleasure that I introduce to you the first picture books from Chesterton Press: I hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoyed helping to create them! 

Peace and good.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Regina's Reading Table: Clive Staples Lewis: A Dramatic Life

I began as a C.S. Lewis geek and I still am. I was a Lewis geek before I was a Tolkien geek, a Chesterton geek, or even a fairy tale geek. If there is a writer I self-identify with, it's Lewis. He writes as I would like to write.  I've heard some Chestertonians say of Lewis, "Oh, everything you can find in Lewis, you can find in Chesterton." If you're only looking at Lewis's apologetic works, then perhaps that might be true (but I feel Lewis is different in tone and emphasis and tactic from Chesterton), but I feel that Lewis is superior to Chesterton when it comes to writing fiction.

Chesterton is Chesterton, no matter what he writes: but Lewis morphs. Narnia is quite different from Mere Christianity, and the Space Trilogy and The Pilgrims' Regress are each its own creature, written for specific audiences and I suspect it might be difficult to imagine the author of Narnia as the author of a book as brutal as Till We Have Faces.  I also love Lewis's literary works, although I have not finished English Literature in the Sixteeth Century, Excluding Drama (but maybe I'll read it next).   Last time I checked, I think I had about three books to read before I could say I'd read the entire Lewis canon, but I'm sure there's a few more pieces of unpublished work they've dug up since then. And I used to have read every published book about Lewis, but as his fame has spread, I'm afraid I'm far behind in my Lewis studies.

That being said, I'm familiar enough with the life and work of C.S. Lewis to be a fairly good judge of biographies about him, and this old one, which I just finished reading, was excellent. I found it in a stack of someone's giveaway books, and picked it up because, you know, Lewis. But it's taken me several years to actually read it. And even though it was published in 1986, Clive Staples Lewis: A Dramatic Life was worth reading: after a while, I enjoyed it so much that I made myself stop before I'd read more than a year's worth at a time, so I could savor the experience. That's high praise of any book, and particularly a book about Lewis. Even though the title is awkward: Lewisians know C.S. Lewis hated the name "Clive" and insisted on being known as "Jack," the book is much, much better than its title and dated cover might lead you to guess.

I'm intrigued in the storytelling techniques that biographers use, and I admired Griffith's structure of using years instead of chapters, and instead of using a strong narrative voice, letting the subject and those who met him speak for themselves. For instance, one chapter might begin with a snippet from a New Year's letter Lewis wrote to a friend, and then next section would be a recollection from Tolkien's diary about a meeting he had with Lewis in their favorite pub. There were copious and interesting quotes from the near-thousands of letters Lewis wrote to people all over the world over the course of his life, as well as recollections from others who knew or met Lewis, such as T.S. Eliot and his fellow professors at Oxford.  This fascinating collection must have been quite a task to amass, but it has the overall effect of letting the subject and his contemporaries present the man, while the narrator recedes into the background.

I appreciated that, since the last biographies I happened across of Lewis took adamant sides in the various controversies surrounding Jack Lewis's life. Some hate his Protestant Christianity (Humphrey Carpenter): others find him lacking as a person (A.N. Wilson). Others (usually those who knew Lewis such as George Sayer) have a bone to pick with other biographies. And then there's the controversies, a lot of inside baseball. Most prominent is the Warnie Lewis vs. Walter Hooper spat, which sometimes transmorgifies into a Protestant vs. Catholic spat.

The short version: Lewis's older brother and close companion Warner Lewis struggled with alcoholism, leading to Jack needing to hire a private secretary--Hooper--the last year of his life.  After Jack's death, the two apparently quarreled, leading to a fight over the unpublished papers and memorabilia Jack left behind, and a regrettable subsequent muddle over his legacy. Hooper allegedly found Warnie Lewis trashing a huge cache of Jack's papers and took (stole? rescued? depends on who you read) them from the burn pile, later publishing them in various collections. Warnie responded by donating nearly everything else to a Protestant college in America, Wheaton College, which today houses the Marion E. Wade Collection, containing much material about Lewis and his fellow "Inklings."  That Walter Hooper later converted to Roman Catholicism and has opined that Lewis himself might have been close to conversion embittered the already personal controversy.  I won't go into the nastiness, and I'm grateful that Griffith sidesteps it.

Griffith also manages to be fair and sympathetic to both the controversial women in Lewis's life: Minto and Joy. Paddy Moore's mother, "Minto," was an older woman whom Lewis adopted as his own mother shortly after Minto's son, a friend of Lewis's, was killed in WWI (Jack Lewis had lost his own mother while still a child and missed her terribly). Jack supported both her and her daughter Maureen, even when Minto grew old and crochety and unpleasant. Warnie Lewis and Minto came to hate one another: Jack Lewis managed to love them both. Biographers tend to believe either Warnie's version or Jack's version of Minto's character. Griffith does an admirable job balancing the two and graciously omits the scurrilous speculation of later biographers who are unduly influenced by Warnie.

And then there's Helen Joy Davidman Gresham, the American poet exiled in England and dying of cancer, who began as a charity case and ended up marrying Jack Lewis, bringing him incredible happiness the final years of his life. Warnie liked Joy, so she gets a fair shake in most biographies. But some biographers suspect she seduced Lewis with her pushy American ways. (I personally find her endearing and funny: among her last words were, "Don't get me a posh coffin. Posh coffins are all rot." and "I am at peace with God.") No one can help but be moved by their late-in-life love story, which will I think, stand the test of time, and the canonization efforts of bad movies like Shadowlands. However, some Catholic admirers of Lewis suggest that it was her influence that stopped Lewis from converting to Catholicism. I find this unconvincing, and Griffiths gives evidence to the contrary: he reports that the Bishop of Oxford told Lewis that he could not marry Joy in the Anglican church because she had been previously married, and the Anglican Church was not permitting second marriages at that time (the 1950s). Lewis pleaded that Joy's previous marriage was to a man who was already married, so wouldn't that make her previous marriage invalid anyhow?  Bishop replied that while the Roman Church might give him an annulment on those grounds, Canterbury would not.  Griffith also cites Lewis's growing distress with Anglican theological dissent: in one case, Lewis even told an Anglican priest that if the Anglican Church ceases to believe in the miraculous, he would be forced to leave, and become a Roman Catholic.

I admit that the controversy of whether Lewis might have become Roman Catholic doesn't interest me as much as might be supposed. It doesn't affect my love for him as a writer, and although I sympathize with his friend J.R.R. Tolkien's frustration that Lewis didn't convert while alive (apparently Lewis was a very prejudiced Northern Irish Protestant--talk about baggage!), I find many reasons to value Lewis despite his non-conversion to my own church. Mere Christianity is one of the most important books I've ever read, outside of the Bible, and That Hideous Strength remains my favorite fictional work ever.  Plus I share Lewis's periodic experiences of mysterious phenomenon which he called "Joy" which still unsettles and enriches my life, and his autobiography Surprised by Joy, affected me deeply. When an author is able to help you make sense of a highly personal spiritual experience, you never cease to value them. Lewis connected the dots for me, and I will always be grateful.

So even though I did not read this biography until now, I highly recommend it, especially in the light of more polemical and personal biographies that have been published since that time. It's a most enjoyable read, and an excellent first biography for those who know the author's works but not the person of the author. Sometimes Lewis as a person will frustrate you, sometimes he will shock you, but in the end, his suffering and his abiding love for Christ and belief in Him overcome all the rest.

Clive Staples Lewis: A Dramatic Life: Harper & Row, 1986. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Kids & Teachers: Back-to-School Sale - 25% off on $75 or more purchase.

Back-to-School Sale!  Now through Labor Day!
25% off when you buy $75 or more!
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Back-to-School Sale! 25% off when you buy $75 or more!

Back-to-School Sale!
Now through Labor Day!

25% off when you buy $75+

Here's some ideas...
Get the first 5 Fairy Tale Novels at the discount price of $79 and get an additional $25% off!Only $59.25 for all five!

Or get the first 5 John Paul 2 High books at the discount price of $66 plus The Ball and the Cross ($20) or The Truth is Out There ($12.50) and get an additional 25% off your purchase!


Or get Catholic Philosopher Chick 1 & 2 plus I Am Margaret and The Three Most Wanted for $75 but with the 25% discount it's only $56.25!
Catholic Philosopher Chick Makes Her Debut - by Rebecca Bratten Weiss and Regina Doman  I Am Margaret - by Corinna Turner 
Remember, with your purchase of the Fairy Tale Novels, John Paul 2 High, Catholic Philosopher Chick or the I Am Margaret series, you get the eBook versions FREE AUTOMATICALLY.

We now have some of our books organized by grade level.

We also have several Educator Resources available.  Some are FREE.

The Princess in Disguise Entries and Winners slide show:  View it on YouTube.

Wishing you a happy new school year!
Andrew & Regina
Chesterton Press
Shop Chesterton Press's Sale Now!

At a Fiction Writing Intensive I gave last month, some of the attendees asked about the Fairy Tale Novel Fan Forum.  I wanted to let folks know that the Forum is still around and doing well!  The Fairy Tale Novel Fan Forum was started by fans of my books over seven years ago and is a private moderated forum. To join you need to sign up and get approved, but it's a wonderful place for fans of Blanche, Rose, Bear, and Fish to discuss the books, play games, and get to know one another. So I hope you'll consider joining!

Here's the link.  
Coming soon: The Monks' Daily Bread!
And other new offerings from Chesterton Press: stay tuned!
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Monday, August 31, 2015

Book Reviews and More: The Three Most Wanted - Corinna Turner - I Am Margaret Book 2

"These books are so good it took every ounce of self-control to not pick up book 2 until after writing my review of book 1 I Am Margaret It was worth the wait. This book continues immediately after book one. The story in some ways has a very different pace than book one. But it is a very tight story. A story about resistance, about friendship, betrayal, faith and a journey of 2000 kilometers and above all hope." Read More...Book Reviews and More: The Three Most Wanted - Corinna Turner - I Am Margaret Book 2:

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

#5Faves: Contemporary Catholic Fiction-Writers Edition | Carolyn Astfalk

Carolyn Astfalk mentioned me in the company of some other really good Catholic authors in her blog post today!

#5Faves: Contemporary Catholic Fiction-Writers Edition | Carolyn Astfalk:

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Monday, August 24, 2015

"One of the Best Books I Have Read This Year..."

Steve McEveroy writes: "Sometimes it really pays to follow authors you really like. Regina Doman recently posted about this book, and it caught my attention. To be honest I had never heard of the author or the series. I am so glad it did. This is one of the best books I have read this year and the best new Catholic fiction author I have discovered in years! This book was incredible...." Read More

Book Reviews and More: I Am Margaret - Corinna Turner - I Am Margaret Boo...:

Price: $19.50 Now on sale for $14.50 at Chesterton Press.

Friday, August 21, 2015

And the Contest Winners!

Great Pictures, Wonderful Princesses!
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Celebrating 20 years of Fairy Tale Romance - Get 20% off your order today!
We were amazed by the many creative and beautiful and clever outfits posted or sent in by the fans of the Fairy Tale Novels as part of the first PRINCESS IN DISGUISE Contest. So a big THANK YOU to everyone who entered, and who put such love and effort into your effort. I'm afraid you made judging VERY difficult. 

There were some pictures that were not marked as public and thus not searchable which we didn't discover till after the deadline had passed, so sadly we were not able to include them in the contest. But the good news is that I think we had so much fun seeing the entries that we'll probably hold the contest again next summer, so those who were too late for this year's contest can have a jump on next year's!

If you'd like to see a full list of all the entries (including the ones who were not eligible including entries by my daughters Rose and Marygrace and by one of our contest judges Elenatintil) click here.

We selected three winners: a First Place Winner, a Second Place Winner, and a Third Place Winner, all of whom will win prizes.  

And since we had such a great selection, we wanted to call attention to the following entries who, although not prize-winners, definitely earned the title of Best in Category.  So, before we announce the winners, scroll down to see the description of each category and the outfit which we thought best exemplified that category.... 

Reading Poetry at Night:

At evenings at home, the Brier girls read poetry, drink tea, practice piano or violin, or just chat with their new friend Bear. What would you wear for a relaxing evening in the Brier apartment/cottage?
@shutupandreadwithme choose a comfy leather chair in cozy surroundings while wearing an earth-tone ensemble. She got extra points from us for reading a very "Brier" book of poetry. Great job!

Going to the Opera:

A surprise night out with a good friend -- what to wear? This is the dilemma Blanche and Rose face when Bear shows up on their doorstep with three tickets to the Met. What could you throw together for a surprise nighttime outing to an artistic destination?  Bonus for doing it in five minutes like Rose does! :)
Anna C.B. put together a number of wonderful ensembles but we loved this lacey red blouse for a surprise outing. @ayeseabee

Thrift Store Outing:

A trip downtown to browse flea markets and thrift stores in search of the perfect prom dress: what would you wear to go out shopping? What sort of outrageous outfits would you try on at a thrift store?  (“Remember, it’s no fun unless you try on something you know you won’t buy.”) Bonus for doing this category at an actual thrift store!

We received barely any entries for this category, but @hannah_whimsy had two entries, and we loved the blue sweater and colorful bag in this outfit, plus the mirror selfie.

The Unlikely Cinderellas:

Rose and Blanche both end up going to the senior prom - and have completely different adventures! What would you wear for a special occasion?  You can emulate Rose or Blanche’s prom outfit, or do something completely different!
There were a number of great entries in this category but we decided to go with Gina M.S. who looks stunning and statuesque in a red velvet dress and silver flowered necklace.

Saving Your Prince:

On the last day of school, the girls can wear whatever they want…but their last day of school ends up being a big adventure as Rose tracks down a murderer and rescues Fish, and Blanche makes a lonely journey to try to save Bear’s life… If you had to go on a sudden quest to save a life, what would you want to be seen wearing while doing it?
It was truly a dilemma to pick from all the creative entries in this category (including a very fun outfit by Jillian), but we agree that Emily Byrd S. has put together an outfit that is very "Blanche" (down to the signature key necklace). She also showed she knew how important it is to bring a good purse on a rescue mission.

Roses in Bloom:

At the end of the adventure, Rose and Blanche have a chance to dress up like princesses NOT in disguise to meet with their princes. If you had to show your true self as a princess, what would you wear?  What significant colors or items would you choose? Bonus for dressing up with a sister or friend!
Again, this was a hard choice, but we decided to choose Marya S., who selected a thrift-store find in royal blue-and-black, with a handmade wire-and-jewel crown. A princess no longer disguised indeed!

Ongoing Adventures:

What other outfits might Rose and Blanche wear that don’t fit into these categories? Post your own inspirations and creations here! Extra points for using thrift store finds or homemade items, just like Rose and Blanche did!
@hannah_whimsy's sister looked ahead to Rose's further adventures in Waking Rose ("I shall have twenty cats and talk to them all") by wearing a cat-print tunic with a very "Rose" scarf. 

And Now The Winners.

Third place: 
Miss Rose T. was inspired by "Roses in Bloom":
she is wearing a handmade Civil War-era ball gown. Truly all roses!
Second Place:
Inspiration: "Going to the Opera." Hannah reasoned that when you only have a few minutes to change, you can't go wrong with an elaborate brocade satin gown with simple accessories. A real inspiration!
First Place:
Inspiration: "Going to the Opera"
Sarah and her sister are ready for a night on the town in black velvet and red satin: we loved their complementary ensembles: truly theatrical with a "rose" signature! Congratulations Sarah!
View all Entries
So thank you again to all of you who entered, and watch for our video trailer of all the entries, finalists, and winners, which should be posted some time next week!

And don't forget that today is the LAST DAY of the Chesterton Press 20% off sale! You can get the Fairy Tale Novel eBooks for as low as $4.00 and the novels for as low as $12.00!  The 20% discount is automatically added to your order at checkout.

Thanks for reading about the winning entries in our Princess in Disguise contest, and happy browsing! 
Shop the Chesterton Press Sale!