I get quite a pile of review books, but my favorites are the novels, especially when they’re good stories. I thought I’d share three of my favorites from recent reading.

Mind over Mind

Author: Karina Fabian
Published by: Dragon Moon Press

A friend, whose taste I highly respect, predicted that Mind Over Mind would be Karina Fabian’s breakout novel. After savoring it, rushing through it, and all but writing the author to demand the sequel, I have to agree.

It has all the elements of a good story, a bit of romance, a mind-tickling plot, and characters who are fun to spend time with. It’s not an overtly Catholic novel, which, in many ways, makes it a great Catholic novel.

As a thumbnail review, I know this is probably leaving you wanting more, but I so hate ruining a story for other people. And what a story it is! It will have you guessing and wondering and staying up late to finish it.

It’s not just written; it’s crafted. I had to wonder why it wasn’t picked up by one of the big publishers and I encourage you to run to your real or electronic bookstore or library and get your copy!

This earned all five of the stars I gave it and I’m waiting impatiently for the next installment.

Catholic Philosopher Chick Makes Her Debut

Author: Rebecca Bratten Weiss and Regina Doman
Published by: Chesterton Press

How often do you find good chick lit, much less Catholic chick lit? Catholic Philosopher Chick is clever without being over-the-top, combining good writing with snappy dialogue.

I don’t like confessing that I’m a sucker for chick lit, because I’m usually NOT. Chick lit in secular circles includes things I don’t really want to read. Chick lit in Christian circles usually involves a sermon. But this? It’s romance and shoes and a plot I enjoyed thoroughly.

I can share it with my teenage nieces and my mom friends with no embarrassment. It’s not so goody-goody that they will stop believing me when I say it’s GOOD, but it’s not raunchy in a way that inspire pelting me with blunt objects.

The characters are people I want to meet. Cate is a recent convert who drops everything to go back to grad school. Her journey is one that I relate with, though I’m much older than she is and have no fashion sense.

Finally, it’s entertaining, plain and simple. There is no preaching, though there is plenty of catechesis (huge credit to the authors for making it relevant and interesting). I found myself laughing out loud more than once and I suspect you will, too.

Sons of Cain

Author: Val Bianco

In my younger days of devouring books at a rate I can only envy these days, I read quite a bit of Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlam, and the like.

I’ve read a pile of fiction by Catholic authors, but this is the first time I’ve found one that reminds me of those page-turning up-late-at-night reading excursions of high school.

I had my doubts about this book, but they were put to rest. I was worried about the book being preachy, stuffy, and, honestly, unrealistic.

Val Bianco does something unique and masterful in this first novel. He makes things that would sound preposterous believable and compelling. He owns the dialogue and has crafted characters who are convincing and more than a little humorous.

In a world where Satan’s greatest achievement is that so many people don’t believe he exists, Bianco tackles a storyline that would be laughable if it weren’t done so well.

Sarah Reinhard loves being a Catholic wife and mom. She’s been happily married for eight years and counting, and she and her husband have three children. She has authored a number of books and writes pretty frequently at her blog.

Visit Sarah’s blog: http://SnoringScholar.com/

Check out her books: http://SnoringScholar.com/my-books/

Sarah is on Twitter.

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