Free ARAM – Amazon Kindle

Just a little note to let you know that The Deliverance Trilogy book 1, ARAM, will be available FREE on Kindle next week April 14 – 18th.  Holy week special!  Enjoy:)  And for those who prefer a paperback there are still copies available of all three books - ARAM, Ishtar’s Redemption, and Neb the Great - on Good Reads. Just sign up and see if you are one of the lucky ones!

 

Journey toward Forever

logo for akfrailey booksIt is a slow process to discover ways of becoming….Recently I learned that logos and brands are helpful to get your message out quickly – leaving an impression (either deep or fleeting depending on the situation) for readers to really understand what you are doing.  The question for me has always been “What am I called to do by the God who created me?”

I could assume all sorts of images of grandeur but I have a host of family realities which do an excellent job in keeping me grounded. For example – bathroom towels have a way of falling on the floor and need to be cleaned, refolded and put in place…dishes have to be washed (though the kids are reallllly good at that) and there are a thousand details of living that require honest, simple, workable solutions.  There is nothing particularly grand about our day (except perhaps the music and prayer) but it is in those details that sanity keeps a firm grip on me.  (Notice - I don’t claim to keep a firm grip on anything.)

But when this brand idea came up through reading a great book called Sell Your Book Like Wildfire by Rob Eagar…I got to thinking.  What do I want to say about my books?  Why am I spending the time and, yes, the money to get these books out? So I thought about it and prayed about it…In the end my head hurt but I had a notion…

I want my books to “Reflect a splintered fragment of the eternal truth that is with God” as Tolkien once opined but I also want my work to grow with the reader.  Every reader brings their life experiences to the page.  Every reader knows truth from a unique perspective.  Every reader has a story to share.  Every reader has delved into depths too painful to explain and reached heights too grand to summarize. I want those readers – the readers who give their heart and soul to this experience called life and have a passion about being present in reality to know that they are not alone – even when they are beaten up and thrown away by people and a civilization which should have known better.

God created us and God calls us.  Never give up on your future no matter how grim your past. That is why I chose the tree image with the great network of roots.  We must be rooted but not inhibited by those roots.  They are our foundation to grow up and into the light.  May we bear fruit…holy souls who journey toward forever….

The Latin Mass – The Road Goes Ever On

001002 001The Latin Mass magazine was kind enough to write a thoughtful and insightful article reviewing my book The Road Goes Ever On – A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings.  When they format a file I can download I will make it available here. The Latin Mass Magazine – The Journal of Catholic Culture and Traditions has serious in-depth articles which enlighten and challenge the reader to study and inform their faith and life more comprehensively.  For example their articles in this month’s edition include: Lingering in the Courts of the Great King: The Sanctification of Time through Prayer, The Japanese Catholic Martyrs Part 2: Samurai for Christ – The Shimabara Rebellion, The Strange Case of an Anti – Catholic, Culture Wars: Redefining Marriage, Redefining Parenthood and much more.

For more information about The Latin Mass Magazine follow the link below or simply google The Latin Mass Magazine.

www.latinmassmagazine.com

 

Dorothy Day and Strong Catholic Women’s Voices

DorothyDayDorthy Day’s cause for canonization is being put forward by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, the city where she lived and worked the later part pf her life.  Dorthy Day always left me a bit flummoxed.  Her life was such a mix of great good, confused allegiance and horrifying evil.  She grew up in a world renowned for its confusion and she was herself a reflection of someone moving from chaos into a more ordered world with more ordered thinking though she was always a woman who thought for herself.  Early in life she had a series of relationships, attempted suicide and aborted her first child; not the marks of a a future saint.  But then - few saints knew what was coming. Dorothy later embraced Catholicism and came to live for the cause of the poor and the disenfranchised.  She did a great many heroic things, things most of us would not dare to do; stand against war, identify with the poor, begin a newspaper called The Catholic Worker.  But as popular, and unpopular, as some of her actions were she did live her vocation - attempting to do His will in her life - to the fullest.  One thing that can be said for Dorothy – she was no coward!

When I think of Dorothy Day I also think of other Catholic woman who did amazing things.  I think of Flannery O’Conner (author of many short stories who also spoke and wrote about being a Catholic writer) and Sigrid Undset (author of Kristin Lavransdatter-Nobel prize winner and a Catholic convert.) both Catholic women authors who had a lot to say about the world and humanity in general.  They too offer different paths in their approach to God but they did approach and that is the amazing thing.

There are other examples of famous Catholic women who were brave and amazing and saintly but these three stand out in my mind not because they were the best – but perhaps - because they were not the best.  They stand out because they overcame so much and tried to see through such incredibly murky depths.  I guess, for me, the fact that Dorothy Day is being considered for the cause of sainthood – coming as she did from so troubled a past into so heroic a future – says as much to me about the power of God as about a woman’s redemption.  After all…women have been committing sin for an awfully long time.  It seems in our day and age that it is somehow politically incorrect to admit that, but it is true.  Abortion – slaughter of the innocents - in today’s world is as much as anyone’s a woman’s crime.  Yet from such terrible depravity as killing one’s own unborn baby a woman can be reborn.  Eve came to be redeemed not only by Christ but by another woman – Mary- the one who said yes and lived that yes in every heartbeat of every day.  What God can do with a willing heart!

I do not know the state of Dorothy Day’s soul.  I hope she is in the arms of Christ.  I hope a lot of people are in the arms of Christ.  I don’t get to make those decisions.  Thank God.  I get to look at their lives in the clarity of time, be amazed that they ever approached God…and try to do so as well.

A New Review by Brandon Vogt

The Road Goes Ever On: A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings

by A.K. Frailey

iUniverse, 176 pages, paperback

The Road Goes Ever OnWith the recent Hobbit film release, dozens of news book have hit the market. Many examine Tolkien’s Middle-Earth adventures through the lens of Christianity, and specifically its virtues, but few take A.K. Frailey’s path.

Her new self-published her book, The Road Goes Ever On: A Christian Journey Through the Lord of the Rings (iUniverse, paperback, 163), is anything but amateur. It carries an imprimatur from Bishop Thomas Paprocki and the interior layout is professionally designed.

What sets her book apart, though, is the interesting framework. The early chapters gaze on Tolkien’s stories through the the theological virtues—faith, hope, love. She then she uses the four cardinal virtues, the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the seven deadly virtues as alternate lenses.

However, my favorite angle comes in the final third of the book. Frailey pairs twelve of Tolkien’s major characters to Catholic saints. She examines the courageous Frodo in light of St. Thomas More; the prophetic Gandalf in light of Moses; the broken Boromir in light of St. Augustine; and the bold Eowyn in light of St. Clare. Frailey uses Tolkien’s fictional characters to point to real-life heroes who in turn point to Christ. When she compares Faramir to St. Thomas Aquinas, for example, she brings Christ-like purity into focus:

“Both the character of Faramir and the reality of Thomas show us different versions of a pure mind and heart that does not desire the things of this world. They are the examples we should look to first for they show us an uncorrupted path and they are the ones we should offer to the pure innocence of our children.”

In Frailey’s book, the journey into The Lord of the Rings spirals ever deeper with each new lens. By providing several angles through which to gaze on Tolkien’s masterpiece, Frailey brings new color and life to Tolkien’s perennial classic.

 

New Catholic Media and Evangelization in Today’s World

For those wanting to connect with the larger Christian, specifically Catholic, world there are some exciting new developments.  I will just introduce them since I am just finding about these new sites and opportunities and – like you I am on a journey – learning more each day.

First of all there is a new publishing company dedicated especially for the support of new Catholic fiction called Tuscany Press.  They even have a contest out for those who are  interested in trying out their skills and perhaps have their work considered for publication.  For more information just go to – www.tuscanypress.com.

Also there is a writers group in Saint Louis called Catholic Writers of St. Louis run by Denise Y. Montgomery.  She has an active blog and holds frequent writers meetings.  On July 27th she had a reporter in from the St. Louis Review to feature the Catholic Writers of St. Louis in their paper.  For more information on Denice and her group e-mail her at: dymontgomery@gmail.com.

There is also an active blog site dedicated to spreading the word of God through modern technology – Brandon Vogt is a Catholic blogger, writer and speaker.  He is the author of a new book called The Church and the New Media.  He brings a lot of new ideas to the forefront.  For more info on him see;  brandon@brandonvogt.com

I just recently learned about SQPN which is another new media outpost dedicated to faithful evangelization and  outreach.  Its full name is Star Quest Production Network and they are creating engaging media that serves the Church, evangelizing the world and forming authentic community.  They are out of Georgia, USA and the Netherlands.  For more information just go to SQPN.com or http://sqpn.com/about/

Finally there is a big conference being held at the Arlington, Convention Center in Arlington,Texas this year from August 29-31st which will combine the resources of The Catholic Writers Guild, Catholic New Media and the Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show.  See www.catholicwritersconference.com for more information.

I hope this information will be useful to someone who is looking for active, attractive, informative sites to re-energize people about the best news around – God lives in the world today.-

“In the world you shall have distress: but have confidence, I have overcome the world.” – Jesus the Christ  -John 16:33