Ann Frailey is a wife and homeschooling mother of eight children who lives in rural Illinois.
Posted 7/21/14 at 9:36 AM | Ann Frailey
A Stunningly Honest Look at Real Relationships
Passport by Christopher Blunt a great book that delves deep into intimate relationships between people – not just romantic relationships but the relationship between brothers & sisters, parents and children, friendships, and acquaintances. This is one of the most honest reflections of romantic love I have ever read. Mr. Blunt does an excellent job of sharing relationship struggles from a man’s point of view. Morality and sexuality, passion and love, all brought together under the guidance of the greatest relationship humanity has ever known – our relationship with the God who made us. Well done!
Imaginative with Crisp Details
Don’t You Forget About Me by Erin McCole-Cupp is very engaging and keeps you turning the pages to find out what happens next. I am a world away from what the main character experienced but I found Mary Catherine and Staz’s relationship to be charming – more like what sisters ought to be and often aren’t. The characters over all are very honest. The details are clear and the plot line is quite plausible – though I sure hope no one ever finds themselves in such a terrifying situation. The issues and concerns regarding contraception and what happens to the human body specifically, and to our society in general when we use contraceptives as a way of life, are very real and handled carefully within an imaginative plot line. Great job! FULL POST
Posted 7/19/14 at 8:44 AM | Ann Frailey
1) I didn’t grow up with computers – they were a Star Trek sort of thing – and I actively avoided them in college. It was only as I began home educating the kids that I realized that I had to face the “techo-reality” that was invading my part of the world. Now that I am an author, I have found technology and social media to be an indispensable tool for getting word out about my books. Only today, as I drove through the country side heading toward town, did I realize that I have “met” more people on-line than would ever have been possible in world internetmy “natural” environment. It has been astounding how many people I have connected with, and though the interactions may have been brief they are not necessarily shallow. Hey, I am connecting with you right now – and that wouldn’t have happened on my porch or in my living room. I’ve had a few unpleasant encounters, but the vast majority have been wonderful, even spiritual, meetings. I can’t help but wonder what God might be up to here. FULL POST
Posted 7/16/14 at 10:55 AM | Ann Frailey
The imagination is a funny thing. We fill in the blanks of our understanding with images that comfort or frighten us, as the case may be. In ancient days we filled in the blanks about angels with wings and clouds. After all, we knew through faith that God created a separate race of beings who could move with the speed of thought and were always in the presence of God. So wings and clouds made sense. As our scientific minds have reached further into the outer recesses of our universe so we have faced the enormity of a creation that we cannot limit to ourselves. Could there be other living beings out there? What would they look like? How would they act? How about big-headed, potbellied, little green men who have orders to take over our section of the universe? We had to come up with some way to fill in the blanks, and these images filled our imaginations and fed our anxieties.
The only problem with our images is that they often don’t do reality justice. Never having actually met an angel or an alien, I can’t fill in the blanks better than any one else, but I can say, that through faith, I understand that God is not bound by my perimeters, and historically speaking, He’s been rather good at surprising us. FULL POST
Posted 7/14/14 at 12:01 PM | Ann Frailey
I am happy to announce that Neb the Great made Honorable Mention in the 2014 Hollywood Book Festival in genre based fiction. This means that every book of The Deliverance Trilogy has won something. ARAM won runner up for an Indie Publishing Contest. Ishtar's Redemption made finalist in the Tuscany Press Writing Contest and now Neb the Great has now won this Honorable Mention in the Hollywood Book Festival. Also ARAM and Ishtar's Redemption has won the Catholic Writers Seal of Approval while Neb the Great is under review for that. What a great way to start a Monday!
Here are this week's top picks!
There are very few books I would strongly recommend to Christians across the board but The Scholar's Challenge qualifies. I found this book to be interesting as well as vastly informative. It is really two books in one. Both are told from a servant's point of view but the first is focused on Origen, the great third century Christian thinker and philosopher who did wonders to organize early church documents into a coherent whole. He did some serious speculating which put him into serious trouble but he was obedient to the Apostolic Tradition and bowed to church authority. The second book focused on Jerome, another early Christian thinker, who did a great deal to carry the message of Christ and the teaching of the church to the next generations, albeit, not always without controversy. I am not nearly as good a scholar as Julian Bauer so I can't pretend to outline all his points but I found his book to be very insightful, well balanced, and engaging. I learned a lot from this book, though I'd need to read it over a few more times to pass any serious quiz. I have already put this on next year's reading list for all my high school students. I can't imagine a teacher who wouldn't want to buy and share this book with inquisitive young minds. Wonderful job! FULL POST
Posted 7/11/14 at 8:30 AM | Ann Frailey
1) Pickles are nearly a stable around my house which is why my motto for the cucumber patch is “plant ‘em early, pick ‘em quick.” This year my three youngest daughters decided that they wanted to learn the art of pickling and since I had just picked up the pickling packets (say THAT three times fast!) I was already for the adventure. We made over six quart jars which will last us say, three months. Luckily the cucumber vines are still going strong. I’m just hoping their interest hold out till the salsa starts.
2) I’ve been reading quite a bit of science fiction lately and I’ve come to the conclusion that science fiction writers are reincarnated philosophers. They have an uncanny ability to ask questions with out actually asking a question. In one, I’m wondering if it would really be OK to replace human actors with imitation representatives. In another, I’m wondering if my table is really an alien in disguise, and in another I am wondering when medical technology become moral tomfoolery. I love questions – I don’t have all the answers, but I still love the questions. FULL POST
Posted 7/9/14 at 8:36 AM | Ann Frailey
Well, another way of saying it, “canning”, might not be so impressive though the reality behind the thought still is. I grew up in the city and when I got my first real view of a farm in mid-summer I was absolutely amazed at the vastness of growing life all around me. I had honestly thought that the world was covered in cities and that farms were just squeezed in between. Suddenly I had a new perspective. It takes enormous farms to keep the cities alive.
So when my husband and I were graced with an opportunity to buy a place in the country we jumped at it, and we dove right into the exciting world of country living. But that meant we had to learn a thing or two. Ancestor Arts is what my friend and homeschooling “guidance counselor” calls it. She grew up on a farm and knows all about growing, harvesting, canning & preserving the fruits of the earth. Of course, I had the “uncanny” ability to ask her for help to jam up some fruit, or pickle up some cucumbers, on the hottest days of summer – but she was always willing to share her expertise. And amazingly enough, I actually learned something. FULL POST
Posted 7/4/14 at 6:26 PM | Ann Frailey
1) I cannot believe the 4th is here again. Who’s spinning the globe so fast? The Fraileys will be celebrating along with all the rest – though for me my thoughts aren’t so much focused on “party time”, but on prayer. May the USA remember what makes this country truly great – “The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.” (Thomas Jefferson) May we spend our freedom wisely.
2) The Deliverance Trilogy is still available this summer with ARAM at it’s incredibly low summer price of 99 cents. http://amzn.to/1ui9kLZ In Aram’s time there weren’t even books to read – just epic stories told before an evening fire. So, unless you happen to have bard hanging around and a desire to sit by the backyard barbecue for a few hours, you might want to pick up a copy and have a little fun. If you’ve got a hankering for the ancient days – you can always do a read aloud. FULL POST
Posted 7/2/14 at 9:16 AM | Ann Frailey
Why do the words “getting involved” sound like a person is about to embark on a romantic liaison? The funny thing is, that as social beings created in the image of God we not only have a duty to become involved in the lives of others, we have a yearning for intimate involvement. It is not good for man to be alone. Yet we have so degraded the concept that it appears to mean nothing more than casual sex. Once again a lie-trap which we fall into all too easily. Sad loss.
I, too, sometimes fear getting too involved with other people, especially with problems I can do nothing about, but I have realized after experiencing the incredible generosity of countless people who reached out to me personally, as well as to my husband and children during my husband, John’s, suffering and death, that getting involved is a noble act – one of the highest callings of one human being toward another.
Because, like you, I have a lot to do in a day just taking care of the involvements of my immediate family, I don’t do a lot of reaching out toward the larger world, but I find there are always opportunities to respond to a world in need. At church we learned about Unbound, an organization that sees to the needs of children and aging people all over the world by getting people “involved”. Those with more share with those who have less – but more than that, we share our hearts, our lives, our adventures. My family not only gives a little stipend each month to help a family so their child can go to school but we exchange letters several times a year. It has been a great way to “get involved” which has lead to some wonderful experiences of Christ-like love. FULL POST
Posted 6/30/14 at 8:36 AM | Ann Frailey
Christians have always been a bit defensive. From the first there was the whole explanation-thing, “Well, we are believers in the one God, and in His Son too, and yeah, he was crucified but…” No matter how you put it Christianity always sounded more like fiction than fiction. But the fruit of faith and the grace of God continued to witness the truth down through centuries. The faithful lived, died, and rose again, by the power of the God they believed in. Skeptics would say, “Prove it!” but many would answer, “Disprove it!” just as emphatically. Still, at times, Christianity does sound too good to be true – especially on this side of the Great Divide – which is why, I suspect, many Catholic-Christian authors have been reluctant to express their faith through their writing in any overt way. It was OK to symbolize the faith, and fine to show “universal truth” but, “Don’t you dare try to push you morality, your religious beliefs, down my throat!” So many Christian authors backed off – way off. For Catholic authors who had to step carefully through the minefield of Christian divisions, this dance of caution was even more intricate. FULL POST
Posted 6/27/14 at 11:38 AM | Ann Frailey
Join us at 7-Quick Takes Friday! This Week's Highlights...
1) I really admire people who defend their faith with a cool sense of humor. Erin McCole-Cupp does that and she has written one of the best reviews I have ever read of one of the best books I have ever read. See her review of Dena Hunt’s new book, The Lion’s Heart. http://erinmccolecupp.com/2014/06/25/wwrw-the-lions-heart-by-dena-hunt/
2) I am also reading three other books by Catholic authors and becoming more and more impressed with the high quality of writing out there. I stayed up way past my bedtime reading Passport by Christopher Blunt. A great romance story that is a lot more than just romance. It is told from a man’s point of view and the honesty level in this book is astonishing! I can’t wait to get back to it. And I am just starting a new book (not out yet) called, Stay with Me which is also a great read, wonderful details and seriously funny. I am also on the first few pages of a science fiction story called Ad Limina – a Novella of Catholics in Space. It looks interesting – a new perspective on the future. Well, I am never bored! FULL POST