Top reviews from the United States

Molly’s Momma 5.0 out of 5 stars 


Reviewed on December 28, 2020 Verified Purchase

I just finished this outstanding multi-generational saga and I can’t begin to express how I feel right now. The language, the imagery, the historical accuracy about the largely unknown fate of the persecuted Irish Catholics in the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries, the universality of human struggles with revenge and religious beliefs—what a stunning and life-changing piece of literature. I could compare this story to the Poldark series in some ways, but in other ways it made me feel like The Thorn Birds and even North and South a little bit? Everyone should read this! How have I waited so long to find this book and this author!

Our characters should be human beings just like we are, each with a significant life story, of sorrows, struggles and joys, as we have. 
Before I wrote fiction, for nearly twenty years of my life I ran an advertising agency pushing all sorts of products, from-geographical areas wanting more business, to car dealers, to political movements. I had to know the product and analyze who needed it in order to advertise it.

Now, I'm a writer of fiction and want to sell my books, but even with my experience in marketing for other people, it is hard to do. I’m so grateful to my small Catholic publishers, so happy to have some books in print. But there’s much more to it than just the satisfaction of holding a book in one's hand.

Unless your piece of writing is a secret diary, the very point in creating it is to have somebody read it, and hopefully be affected by it. To get an audience, you must market your book. If you’re a Catholic fiction writer, to whom do you market?

If your audience is strictly Catholic, my humble opinion is that there are two different Catholic fiction audiences: One is concerned only with ‘all things Catholic,’ and the other, with sort of an elevated intellectualism. Neither market compliments the other because neither wants to truly understand the other. Market One will not accept reading about the up-close and personal particulars of sin. Market Two sometimes gives sin “a break” in that it doesn’t clarify, but only intellectualizes Catholicism.

Both markets are valid. People will read what they want to read. And there are good Catholic fiction authors for both.

But shouldn’t we address a third, larger market? An audience ‘in-between’ black and white Catholicism and intellectualized Catholicism? I believe that audience is out there, and I believe we can access it.

There are some best-selling authors who write from what we call “a catholic world view"—Catholic with a small c, meaning universal. And some of those authors are not even Catholic. So what does this say to a Catholic writer of fiction?

In advertising, if you have a product to sell, you discover the need for it and look for the most universal market for that need. The easiest product to market is one that appeals to a particular need in everyone. Bottled water, for example, is universal. Everyone needs water.

As far as marketing Catholic fiction—the universal need is God. Everyone needs God, whether they actually use the word God, or not. Or whether they even believe in God, or not.

Our Catholic faith basically tells us that we are all created by God, in his image, to live on earth, and eventually return to Him. Of course, many do not share our beliefs. However, every human being, religious or not, innately knows that he/she has some specific things in common. These are intangible things, such as individual memories, particular imaginings, and the choices we make, which come from our free will.

As human beings, in one way or another, all of us love, and will sometimes suffer for that love—whether or not we see ourselves on a personal road to Calvary. And every person realizes that he/she can choose how he reacts to love or suffering in relationships and everyday problems. When we look for the need in the larger, ‘in-between’ market for Catholic fiction, we will surely see these common attributes as human striving, and that,, in very human terms, is a theme for a story that is 'Trying to Say God.'

Except in 'Trying to Say God,' we come upon an even bigger problem. If we want to be published by a publishing house with the means to market, we will soon realize that today’s environment leans toward political correctness--and writers of Catholic fiction are often not politically correct. In order to overcome this, we must strive to be as good as the best writers we know. We cannot expect a big publishing house to produce something less than the best. Naturally, like any other business, they are after a profit.

Sadly, Christians are not held in high esteem today. There is much hatred toward us because we challenge certain behaviors that are the opposite of our beliefs about what is sinful. And there are voices on our opposite side who are no longer fearful about putting out fiction without regard to any moral standard. Many publishing houses tend toward these voices as trendy, and profitable.

But this, too, can be utilized in our fiction. In our Christian belief, no matter a person’s behavior, he/she is still madly loved by God. This does not mean that we go along with wrong behavior in our writing. Instead, we must be fearless, too, and point higher, to God’s infinite love. Maybe this is done through a loving character set against one filled with hate, or maybe in an overall theme of conflict between a character and himself, between what he is pulled toward; good or evil. Our characters should be human beings just like we are, each with a significant life story, of sorrows, struggles and joys, as we have. And each shown as related to us, our brothers and sisters, created by the same Father. We only have to look around us to see them, to see their common needs, and then write about them in beautiful and empathetic ways.

In doing this, we are not looking backward to old mores and religious beliefs. Instead we are shining a fresh light on humanity as it was in the beginning, is now, and always will be. We are affirming the Almighty's presence in the world by fearlessly using our talent and initiative. We are indeed TRYING TO SAY GOD.

I am so blessed to live where I do. South Alabama gives easy access to the beautiful Florida and Alabama Gulf Coasts. In the last days of 2020, my husband and I took advantage of that closeness. Not only were the beaches gorgeous, but we were privileged to see two fighter training jets from a nearby air force base streak the blue sky with white smoke, twisting and turning in the air as if playing with each other. Of course, they were loud. So loud, some children walking alongside us on the beach put their hands to their ears to block out the noise.  But their grandmother was there to see that they did not keep them there long. She pulled the hands away and sternly said to the children, “That is the sound of Freedom. Listen. And do not forget, or else you may lose it!”

In the past months—maybe years—many of us seem to have forgotten what freedom sounds like. And, out of a certain caution, because of Covid, we have been forced to accept the lack of it. As politicians react to the corona virus outbreak, more than a few seem to be following the old adage that you should never let a good crisis go to waste. This especially works for the Democrat’s lean toward socialism. A look at their platform shows that we will be losing our valuable freedoms–our right to a fair election, our right to bear arms, our right to worship, our right to work in our own businesses, our right to protect our own property, and maybe even our right to own property, our right to the honest education of our children in public schools, and the God-given right to life of our children before, and now, even after birth.

The list of rights being taken from us goes on and on. Of course, you will not see this if you watch the main stream media, another freedom being taken from us–the right to the truth. But they have kept the truth from us through their absolute cover-up of facts we should know, or should have known. So, see for yourself. Go to: and be sure to download the pdf for the truth.

Here is the definition of Socialism. 1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods. 2: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property. 3: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be controlled by the state. I want my America back!

Because of a rigged election–and I truly believe it was not a fair election–the Democrat ticket is ready to begin implementing its socialistic agenda. And unless we wake up, and make our own loud noise of Freedom, that agenda will bring about the funeral of our America. Sad. So very sad.


Posted: December 20, 2020 in World On The Edge

The Magnificat

My soul magnifies the Lord
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
Because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid;
For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed;
Because He who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is His name;
And His mercy is from generation to generation
on those who fear Him.
He has shown might with His arm,
He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and has exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich He has sent away empty.
He has given help to Israel, his servant, mindful of His mercy
Even as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity forever.

The Magnificat, taken from Luke’s Gospel (1:46-55), is the Blessed Virgin Mary’s hymn of praise to the Lord. The words are a proclamation of the Lord’s greatness with characteristic humility and grace. It is also known as the Canticle of Mary in the Liturgy of the Hours, a special collection of scripture readings, psalms, and hymns that constitute what is known as the prayer of the church. (Priests and other religious are required to pray sections from the Liturgy of the Hours each day.)

Although the Magnificat has had numerous musical settings from such composers as Palestrina, Bach and Mozart, it can be recited as well as sung. Its name comes from the first line of its text in Latin (“Magnificat anima mea Dominum”) translated in the first line of the prayer.

For a moment, put yourself in her position. When Mary was asked to be that vessel by a messenger from God, what would she have thought–“Am I going crazy? Do I really see an angel? Am I dreaming?” She was engaged to be married. How would Joseph react if she turned up pregnant? He had the right to have her stoned. But there was something in her, a grace given by God that allowed her to trust that the angel was His messenger. She didn’t ask for proof that she would become the mother of the Redeemer. Her only question was, “How?” Because she believed in God, and most importantly, she believed that He loved her, and she allowed Him to do so. She made the decision to surrender her life to Him.


Surrender is the opening move for each one of us, but for most of us, it’s hard. No matter what our personality is, we each have an instilled desire to control our own life. Why is that? Why do we feel we have to be in complete charge of every aspect of our lives? Why are we so afraid to give up control and surrender ourselves and our problems totally to the will of God?

It may be that we don’t believe, as Mary did, that He loves us—-really and personally loves each one of us. And if we don’t first believe that He’s madly in love with us, then there’s no way we’ll surrender or trust Him.Stop a minute and think about it. The person I trust most in the world is the person who loves me, who wants only the best for me, and would lay down his life for me if he had to. If I believe that Almighty God loves me—-and he does–then why shouldn’t I trust Him enough to surrender my fears and worries, all my heart breaks, my illnesses, my lack of self confidence–in fact, everything that bothers or upsets me?

When we give up control of our life in favor of God’s plan–done His way, not ours–then we enter onto that road called Trust. And what does Trust in God prove? It proves His faithfulness. I can certainly say that I’ve seen His faithfulness in my own life. And if you look upon your circumstances, whatever they are, with spiritual eyes, I’m sure you can see it, too. Mary saw it and it caused her to make a decision. It caused her to say: “I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to thy will.”

Got a Sinner’s Heart???

Posted: December 20, 2020 in World On The Edge

Sin enters the heart of every human being.

The stimuli of our five senses is taken in from our environment and sent to our brain which processes the information. To make it simple, we then have a spiritual ability to choose a response–a good response or a bad response. Sometimes we choose the bad response over the good–because every human being has the capability of sin within his heart.

And we sin frequently.

If it wasn’t true, we wouldn’t have needed the Crucifixion, would we?

The question is: What do we do when our sinner’s heart wins out?

Well, let’s first talk about SIN, that human action we don’t want to recognize, the thing or things in our lives we want to keep secret, the things that we cover up so no one will see.

Some of these thought-to-be-hidden human actions are splattered all over the news today. A public hungry for sensationalism can’t get enough of them. Call them out! Show them up! Punish them with a debilitating crucifixion of their own! The Crowd Mentality.

But watch out for that mentality, for who among us is NOT a sinner?

Watch out for those who cast stones, for they may be next. It’s called Hypocrisy, and hypocrites are sinners, too. And they will never have the last laugh. Evil acts do not go forever unpunished.

There are certain moral laws—yes, laws of morality– that must be followed if we want peace and harmony in our world. Without those laws, sin abounds. An abundance of sinfulness is all around us. We see it– and if we are truthful, we see it in ourselves as well.

So, how do we treat a sinner? How do we treat members of our family, our friends? How do we treat someone like ourselves?

How did Jesus Christ treat them?

Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners. Mark 2:17

There is, of course, punishment for sin here on Earth. Our system of laws provides for that. When our country was formed and laws written in the Constitution by our Founders, those laws were based on Spiritual laws that dealt with morality. People break laws when they act immorally—ie. when they do not love their neighbor with  honesty and compassion, or when they do not love themselves as God loves them.

All of us have a sinner’s heart. But we also have a loving heart, set into us by God—a heart of mercy, kindness, and caring about others and our world.

The bottom line is that our human struggle on Earth will always be between the division of good and evil in in the soul of each one of us. Choosing power, or money, or sex, will not satisfy our hearts. Only genuine love–love akin to God’s love–can do that; so shouldn’t aim for it instead? It’s already within us, and stronger than our sinner’s heart. We only have to call out for Him, and follow His lead.

Because we are created as human beings with free will who live a world of infinite possibilities, people often disagree when addressing important moral and ethical issues. For some questions, there just doesn’t seem to be a right or wrong answer. And in some situations, there seems to be several right answers.

Life isn’t black and white. It’s a million gray areas, don’t you find?–Ridley Scott

So what about the grey areas in our lives?

Well, I’m  a writer, so the grey areas are a favorite theme of mine, but those themes are always set against an absolute truth. Years ago, when I was an Art major at Spring Hill College, I considered the shadowing color Grey–not only as it appears in Art, but in life. Now, as a writer, I see it this way: In my characters–and  in life itself– there are always two extreme actions: Absolute Good, which comes from God, and Absolute Evil, which comes from a choice to turn away from God. To ignore this is to ignore Truth.

Think of two ends of a horizontal line. At one end is the bright white of absolute Good. At the other end is the darkness of absolute Evil. The farther we travel from either end, it becomes more difficult to see, or find our way back to the other. In between those ends are lighter and darker hues of the color of GREY. You might call these areas of relativism, the doctrine that knowledge, truth, and morality exist in relation to culture, society, or historical context, and are not absolute. We can surely see that in today’s society!

The fact is most human beings travel daily along a line like this. They travel toward one end or the other, to the light of truth, or to the frequent darkness of a stubborn relativism. But in between the two ends is a lot of area in which to turn in an opposite direction—–either a fall, or an epiphany. This is true, multiple times, in every life, and core for a writer of Catholic Fiction—the possibility of spiritual epiphany with a turn to TRUTH is always present in the work, though it may not always be accomplished by a character. The difference between creating a story and real life is that the fiction writer is pretty much in control. But in our regular everyday lives, possibilities and the choices those possibilities present can be wrong ones.

Life has consequences for being wrong. Giving someone the wrong amount of a medication can kill them; making the wrong job choices, or investment decisions can impoverish a family; the wrong directions will take you where you do not intend to go; and immoral choices like lying, or being unfaithful in marriage, or killing a pre-born child, can result in the destruction of an entire family. This is why an informed conscience is necessary. And this is why we have to look for absolute truths, not relative truths, to guide us.

TRUTH MATTERS – especially when it concerns a whole country on the receiving end of slanderous lies meant to destroy. And those kinds of lies, when we accept them, WILL destroy us–personally and as a people. We see despicableness in some of today’s political leaders, and in the constant refrain of their lies spouted on what ought to be news platforms, but are now only concealers for those who call themselves ‘leaders,’ but who wear false masks while they ignore, and even attempt to tear down the foundation of a great America that has worked for two hundred and fifty years.

But nowhere is Truth more important than in the area of faith and religion, our very personal relationship with God who made us and created our world. It is God who is ultimately in charge, not those who push their own power on the less powerful. Here on Earth, we can’t afford to just accept or just ignore the lies of the greedy.

We need to be engaged. We do not need to be stuck in the middle of that grey line; we need to be headed for the bright light of Absolute Goodness, which is God. For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. –Luke 8:17

Life goes by quickly and we will be called to account. We must form our conscience and the consciences of our children to perceive absolute truths that will guide us throughout our lives until the day of our death. Because Eternity is an awfully long time to be wrong.

(As of now–8:20 am–Facebook has blocked me from boosting this blog to my audience. Please share it!)

L. Lin Wood, the lawyer who successfully represented teen Nicholas Sandmann in a defamation suit against The Washington Post and CNN, has joined the president’s efforts to challenge attempts by Democrats and the media to steal the election for Joe Biden. AND HE HAS GREAT NEWS FOR OUR BELOVED AMERICA.



(As of now–8:20 am–Facebook has blocked me from boosting this blog to my audience. Please share it!)

L. Lin Wood, the lawyer who successfully represented teen Nicholas Sandmann in a defamation suit against The Washington Post and CNN, has joined the president’s efforts to challenge attempts by Democrats and the media to steal the election for Joe Biden. AND HE HAS GREAT NEWS FOR OUR BELOVED AMERICA.



Our fathers’ God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom’s holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King!

from the song, My Country ’tis of Thee, by Samuel Francis Smith, who died in 1895.

Where are we headed as a country? What is the future of our children?

Once a Christian nation, hailed as the strongest democracy in the world, the United States of America is now sliding down a mountain of lies, apathy, hedonism, and a lack of dignity for the human person. Our voice–the voice of the American people is being stolen. Can we hope for a resurgence of GOODNESS, TRUTH, and PEACE? And will we follow through with our hope through America’s legitimate rules of law to achieve it?

The following passage is from my novelette, written in 2014, and the date it takes place is 2020. Very odd, even to me, so I decided to post it –because unless we stand up for what we know is right and honest TODAY, something like “The Institute of Tolerance” is where we are headed tomorrow.

______From Paul Dunaway, Mary’s Mountain:

“Why, Paul? Why did you do it?” she asks as I stand before her. “Think about the successful years we’ve had.”

But I couldn’t think about the years she called successful. I was recalling the hour before, in the lunchroom of The Institute of Tolerance, filled with those, like me, labeled misfits, and no longer suitable for a progressive America. A slant of natural sunlight had barreled through a slim window and struck me like a spear in my side, impelling me to a table top, my feet on either side of a plate of ham, olives, and cheese, all topped with whipping cream, and surrounded by desserts covered with thick frostings. At first, none of the others being re-trained noticed my ascent. They were busy indulging themselves, until I pronounced loudly, “In a silent forest, a tree planted by our fathers, fell.”

A woman with dyed, red hair lowered her chocolate frosted cupcake and tilted her chin toward me. She’d read my books and had once accepted my words; but when she refused the government’s required, deadly–and of course, merciful–injection of her beloved, ninety year-old father, she was forced into The Institute of Tolerance for retraining. “Why, Paul?” the red-haired woman asked. “Who cut down the tree?”

“The tree rotted from within,” I said, catching the attention of a few others still chewing the goodies. “At first, there was no outward sign of the tree’s decay. It appeared unusually beautiful and produced an abundance of delicious fruit, so much that the people lay in its shade, stuffing themselves. Still, there were some who knew the tree was decomposing, yet did nothing to restore it.” I intended to follow with myself as an example of one who did nothing, but a young priest at the table spoke up first.

“Yes, I knew; and I did nothing.” The priest lowered his eyes, as if remembering his ordination, his un-kept vows. He’d been urged by an elderly parishioner to confess his sins and ask forgiveness of his parish. And when he did, his public repentance landed him in The Institute of Tolerance–because confession and forgiveness denoted a higher power, and there was no higher power than pleasure.

“The people are satisfied with self-indulgence!” came the cry of a heavy-weight politician who’d led the fight to legalize any drug whatsoever, to get rid of traditional marriage between a man and a woman, and secure unlimited abortion rights–until he fell into religion, and publicly changed all his agendas. He was still crying foul over his right to free thought, when the traffickers for Tolerance dragged him into The Institute.

“They want only youth and beauty,” said an aged movie star who’d once proclaimed a War against Women, filling the screen with her taut, tucked buttocks and surgically enhanced breasts. But later, when she sagged too much to tack, she challenged the Hollywood mentality, and ended up here, chanting, “Integrity means nothing anymore!”

“Nothing,” mumbled a multi-million dollar sports hero who’d bought and sold drugs and young boys during his spare time off-court; then one day, found Jesus and admitted his errors to the world on Facebook with his post: “Today, money and fame are the new gods. Pleasure is everything. And that is wrong.” The sports hero was snatched from his computer that very night and forcibly detained in the Institute.

“Wrong!” shouted a reporter who’d recently interviewed Irene, and called her an opportunistic liar on a nightly news show.

Aware of my own culpability, I swallowed and went on, “All of us; corporate executives and government officials who turned to thievery, physicians who cheated patients, parents who abused their children, and university professors, like me, who knew long ago the tree was rotting. What did we do about it?”

The people responded in unison, the boom of their voices piercing the lunchroom. “Nothing!”

Abruptly, the double doors flew open, and in the rush of air, I felt the heat of Irene’s teen-aged, overweight bodyguard coming up behind me to poke a finger into my thigh. “Irene wants to see you. She’s told you, and she’s told you. When you gonna learn?” Then Bobbo yanked me down.

“I will speak to the people!” I called out, but already the people were distracted by a line of waiters parading toward them with tray after tray of elaborate desserts. They oohed and aahed, and paid no more attention, as Bobbo led me out. Only the red-haired woman, lifting a spoonful of artificial whipped cream to her lips, followed me with her eyes.

Are You a Candy Christian??

Posted: October 30, 2020 in World On The Edge

Have we become Candy Christians, our once-strong beliefs melting away?

Have we lost all courage to face Goliath?

Are we afraid of a personal Crucifixion?

Have we accepted the sugar-coated, fear-mongering, victimhood imposed upon us by some in our government who spread lies while lining their own greedy pockets?

Will we let the greedy elite control our right to free speech, our right to worship, our right to bear arms?

Are we using the sense and dignity God gave us when we step into Socialism–now being spread by ‘progressives’– without taking a stand against it?

Will we abandon America—one nation under God?

Will we be called racist by those who are actually using race as a sharp-edged tool for their hopeful takeover of America?

Will we cower, and be called “chumps,” by the hypocrite, Joe Biden?

If I painted a picture or wrote a book and told you that everything I showed you or said was true, that you could believe nothing else, and if you did believe otherwise, there would be sanctions you would regret—how would you react? Would you lie down like a fearful dog and accept it? Or would you rise to fight for your freedom to make your own informed choices?

Well, today there is an attempt to control us, using a virus that is to be sure serious, but not defeating, as some would have you believe. “A dark winter is coming,” they warn us. But each of us can respond to that. Each of us has had a dark winter at one time or another in our lives. And yet, we are still here. We are still loving, trusting, thinking, and opposing evil–aren’t we?

BUT we cannot oppose evil if we do not have faith and trust in the God who lives within us.  And that God often uses other people in this life to lead us. We may not like their personality, or their looks, or their mannerisms. But if you need surgery, which do you care more about: your doctor’s bedside manner, or that he/she is a good physician?

More than ever, America needs a good physician, one who believes in our country, its constitution, and its Bill of Rights.

In this crazily dangerous year of 2020, the ONLY physician worth considering is President Trump. If he isn’t elected, God have mercy on us, and on the country we love.

Don’t be a candy Christian. Don’t let them melt you down. VOTE Republican, all the way.