The Catholic Teen Books authors, many of whom I have the pleasure to call my friends, have put together their fourth short-story collection. Ashes: Visible and Invisible releases January 31, 2023 on the feast of St. John Bosco, the patron saint of teenagers.
Ashes contains ten short stories by Theresa Linden, Marie Keiser, Cynthia Toney, Ellen Gable, Antony Kolenc, Amanda Lauer, Carolyn Astfalk, Leslea Wahl, T.M. Gaouette, and Corinna Turner. All of them have some connection to Lent, and each story stands on its own. You can enjoy these stories in any order.
Ashes, like all the CTB story collections, is packed with well-written stories that are faithfully Catholic. The stories feature teenagers growing in faith and virtue—teenagers facing true-to-life situations, teenagers dealing with moral dilemmas, teenagers seeking to know the right thing to do. Settings for the stories vary from the time of Jesus to the Middle Ages to modern times and a dystopian future. There’s something for every reader, and you might even enjoy exploring a new-to-you genre.
One of my favorite things about the CTB story collections is that many of the stories are connected to these authors’ larger-format work. The characters you meet in these collections might be minor characters from a novel, or a story might include a bonus scene that picks up where a novel leaves off. These stories are a great way to get to know a particular author’s work, and after each story you’ll find a note from the author explaining where you can read more about that character.
Take a peek into the stories you’ll read in Ashes:
- When Liz’s faith journey hits a roadblock, will an unexpected detour and chance encounter set her back on track?
- A teen’s future was all set—before his tragic loss. But his friend’s secret past just might save it.
- Justin’s religion is outlawed. When an unbeliever asks him about the meaning of life, what can he say?
- Could God be asking Paul to sacrifice a piece of himself for Lent—literally?
- A modern American teen discovers what faith, life and love are like in seventeenth-century Scotland.
- Teenager Lexie Dugan struggles to understand the sacrifice of Lent when she’s asked to help take care of her siblings while her pregnant mother is on bed rest.
- Asher’s desire to prepare for the Messiah intensifies after he’s robbed by bandits but would fighting alongside the Zealots be the best way?
- When a risky Ash Wednesday mission to sterilize T. rex eggs goes wrong, fasting is the least of Joshua, Darryl, and Harry’s worries.
- A medieval girl stranded on a forsaken path confronts threats from without and turmoil from within.
- Struggling with loss, hunger, and temptation, Ethan finds himself walking in the steps of Jesus.
Visit CatholicTeenBooks.com to learn more about the authors behind this story collection and the mission of Catholic Teen Books.
Catholic Teen Books is offering a fun prize pack in conjunction with this giveaway! Enter today to win a copy of Ashes, Lenten socks, a handmade rosary, devotional for teens, and more! This giveaway ends on release day, January 31.
Copyright 2023 Barb Szyszkiewicz
Images: courtesy of CatholicTeenBooks.com
A copy of this book was provided to me for the purposes of this article.
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One thought on “On My Bookshelf: Ashes, Visible and Invisible”
Thanks for sharing! Hoping to offer teens something a little more this Lent. There’s not much out there geared to them for Lent.