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:

'via Blog this'

See all our Contest Entries!

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:

'via Blog this'

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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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!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Fairy Tale Novel Forum

Recently someone asked me if the Fairy Tale Novel Fan Forum still existed, and I answered: Yes! I wanted to post the link so that folks could find it again.

If you've never heard of the Forum before, the Fairy Tale Novel Fan Forum was started by fans of my books who wanted to connect and keep in touch.  It's a private, moderated forum staffed by wonderful young adults, where fans can discuss the books, play online games, and just get to know one another.

You need to sign up and be approved in order to join, but the link is here if you'd like to start the process. If you're a fan of Blanche, Rose, Fish, and Bear and the rest, I hope you'll consider joining!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Finalists in our Contest

We received so many amazing and delightful entries in the #PrincessinDisguiseFTN contest (and you can browse them all here) but today the staff of Chesterton Press voted on their favorites. While we still haven't picked our winners yet, we wanted to share the list of the finalists -- those contestants whose outfits received one vote or more.

We've enlisted a judge off-site to break the tie, and hopefully within the next 48 hours we'll be announcing the First Place, Second Place and Third Place winners, as well as Honorable Mentions for each of our seven categories from the entries below.

Stay tuned!  And congratulations to all our finalists!

Stay Tuned for Contest Results!

We are compiling the posts for the Princess in Disguise Contest and our judges will be making decisions soon... You can see all the entries we have collected so far here: if your entry is missing, email me ASAP and let me know!

In the meantime, enjoy this long blog post from one contestant showing all her entries in the Princess In Disguise Contest!

winged writings, feathered photos: to live is an awfully big adventure: Entries for the Princess in Disguise Contest #PrincessInDisguiseFTN    “Every once in a while you just have to decide to do something very...

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Video Trailer of our Princess in Disguise Contest!

This video trailer features photos of some of the outfits already submitted by fans! Submit your own and join our contest!

Contest Entries so far!

We have nine days left in the #Princess in DisguiseFTN contest (click here to find the parameters and prizes!), and I wanted to post the entries we've found online so far!  If you've entered and your picture isn't up there, let us know.  You can also email entries to me, or post links to them in the comments section of this blog.

*Remember that although this is a photo contest, it's also a fashion contest, so we'd really love to see the outfits as well. So keep that in mind when deciding what photo to pick!*

Thanks so much to everyone who's entered, and remember you can enter as many times as you like, so keep on posting!  And please share this contest with a friend!

  Follow Regina's board Princess in Disguise contest on Pinterest.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

From: Confessions of a Seamstress: The Costumes of "The Shadow of the Bear"


I thought this was the perfect time to do a post about the costumes of "The Shadow of the Bear." (For newcomers to the blog, several years ago I directed/produced a student made/author approved adaptation of Regina Doman's "The Shadow of the Bear." You can read the whole story on this blog.)

One thing fans like myself really enjoyed about the books was how Regina detailed so many of the outfits Rose and Blanche wore. I did my best to be as accurate as possible, but because my role as "costumer" had to come second to "director/producer" I couldn't always be as precise as I wanted. When I couldn't precisely match up outfits, I just put Hannah (Blanche) and Sharayah (Rose) into appropriate colors/pieces.

(Yes, Hannah wore a black wig - she is a natural blonde).   Read more...

Our Hearts Are Restless: Shelf Spotlight: Corinna Turner

A great review of I Am Margaret!

Our Hearts Are Restless: Shelf Spotlight: Corinna Turner: Welcome to this week's Shelf Spotlight!  I've had the fun of reading a series by a brand-new British author, Corinna Turner .  ...

"Based on the story of St. Margaret Clitherow, this is an intriguing look at a young adult's faith in the face of a disastrously pagan dystopia.  Great world-building and conflict, which is made even richer in the following books.  My favorite part is Easter - you'll understand why.  :)"  Read more...

Monday, August 3, 2015

Regina's Reading Table: Intelligent Disobedience

This is an important book.

I met the author, Ira Chaleff, at a local author event shortly after he had moved into our area. Ira is a leader in a necessary area of business ethics: follower-ship. We always hear about the need for leadership, and the training of good leaders, but very few people think of the importance of good followers, or of being a good follower.

I consider myself a student of human nature by virtue of my primary occupation of fiction writing and editing. In order to create fascinating characters, one must be fascinated by humanity. An important part of studying humanity is studying how we relate in group settings, and that has led me to have an abiding interest in sociology. So when I first heard Ira discourse on the importance of follower-leader interactions I was intrigued, and I was excited to get a copy of his landmark book, The Courageous Follower.  I knew he was working on a new book, and I knew I would read it, but I was unprepared for how engaging, provoking, and inspiring this book, Intelligent Disobedience: Doing Right When What You're Told Is Wrong, would be.

The term "Intelligent Disobedience" is used in guide-dog training: dogs who are trained companions to disabled people. When I was a little girl, we had a family friend, Bertha, who was blind, and whose constant companion was a black lab dog, a patient, gentle animal, who was always at her side, listening for Bertha's commands, but wise enough to disobey when needed. Bertha had told us how the dog was not only a guide, but a protector as well: he would stop her from walking into a busy street, or from hitting her head on a low obstacle. I don't know if I ever saw the dog's "intelligent disobedience" in action, but it impressed me profoundly that this dog was not only smart enough to obey, but smart enough to disobey.

How does this play out in human relationships?  Most of us spend our social lives as part of some kind of hierarchy, however informal: we are employed, we are church members, we are club members, political party members: in our personal lives, we are students of teachers, children of parents, and so on. Part of being an adult is learning to be a good team player, to be able to take on a job or responsibility, to be able to be accountable.  There's a lot of conscious and unconscious pressure, especially at school and at work, to learn to obey, to be obedient. While we Americans always pay lip service to the rebel, especially in our entertainment, most of us learn that rebelling in most situations is unproductive and even destructive. When we experience a conflict, especially in personal relationships, we might feel like we have only two choices: obey without question, or rebel and lose everything.

But how often do we learn how to disobey intelligently?

While Chaleff praises thoughtful civil disobedience, he makes it clear that intelligent disobedience is different. It's a wise way of working within the system to preserve the values the institution is based on while opposing a specific command or practice that contradicts those values.

The most riveting part of the book was the true life stories. The young emergency room nurse who was directed to give a patient a medication that she knew was dangerous. The lieutenant who was asked to cover up a military base violation. The teacher who found a fellow teacher had duct-taped a student to a chair. The McDonald's manager who was told to strip-search an employee.  Sometimes inspiring and sometimes disturbing, these stories act as templates for how to act--and how not to act--in difficult situations.

Most of us have heard of the famous Milgram experiment in the 1960s where participants were asked to administer a possibly dangerous electric shock to test participants. Nearly 75% of participants did as they were told, even when they knew it was wrong. Chaleff revisits this experiment to find out something more important: under what conditions did participants disobey the orders? What factors encouraged more intelligent disobedience?

As in his other book, the highly-recommended The Courageous Follower, Chaleff acknowledges the role of belief in higher values and authority (ie: religion) to help a person wisely obey an errant authority. His ability to depict the nuances of ethical behavior is, as in the other book, spot on, making this book an important resource for believers who find themselves in the position of management or employee, in institutions both religious and secular. In a world where business ethics books either neglect or dismiss the role of religious belief, this inclusion is a breath of fresh air.

He also issues a call for educators to examine how they can train their students not just to learn to obey, but how to discern when disobedience is the higher call.  Those who are striving to recover true liberal education (education that liberates) in schools should read this book. Montessori educators and Responsive Classroom theorists would find affirmation in some of their approaches. Classical educators and off-the-beaten-path educators and homeschoolers will find a book they will want to read aloud to their teenagers and absorb into their curriculum.  At least, that's what I experienced!

Intelligent Disobedience is a must-read for anyone who recognizes the paradoxical quality of loyalty: that sometimes the best thing you can do for the authorities in your life is to oppose them. Wisely. Creatively. And loyally.

Read it to your teenagers. Read it to your fellow teachers. Share it with your organization.

This is an important book.

Prayers today...

Please consider praying and fasting today to end abortion.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Don't Forget to Enter Our Contest

Here's a photo to inspire you: