Blessed are the Stressed – Book Review

Blessed are the Stressed

Blessed are the Stressed: Secrets to a Happy Heart from a Crabby Mystic, by Mary Lea Hill, FSP



Feeling stressed, but not necessarily blessed? Do you want to feel better about the direction of your life? Well, Blessed are the Stressed: Secrets to a Happy Heart from a Crabby Mystic, by Sister Mary Lea Hill, FSP focuses on reducing your stress by embracing the tenets of the Beatitudes. Specifically, this book addresses the importance the Beatitudes play in your life, especially in a culture that tells us that happiness can be found in a slick new car, or a fancy new house. According to Sister Mary Lea, true happiness, or blessedness, is found in… Read more…

Awesome Book! Stay with Me – Book Review

Stay with Me

Awesome, simply awesome! That is it in a nutshell regarding the fantastic book, Stay with Me, by Carolyn Astfalk. This Christian fiction novel centers around two young people in their 20’s, named Chris Reynolds and Rebecca Rhodes. Chris is Catholic and Rebecca is not. This fact comes out early in the story. From that point on, we see two people of different backgrounds with different beliefs and baggage, who fall in love with each other. We see how they face the challenges of maintaining chastity in their relationship. We see how they grow in purity and love for one another. This book is packed with virtue, displayed, oh so brilliantly, by Carolyn Astfalk in the most positive manner.

For me, this book was a page turner. I couldn’t put it down! I had to know… Read more…


Pope Francis: The Church of Mercy

pope francis 2

The Church of Mercy, by Pope Francis: Book Review

For the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, I decided to learn more about the virtue of Mercy. What better book to read than Pope Francis’ The Church of Mercy?

I found this book very insightful. In this book, Pope Francis provides a selection of his 2013 speeches and homilies. Taking into consideration his election as Pope occurred in March 2013, these speeches and homilies were some of his first. Mercy, a hallmark of Pope Francis’ papacy, remains a priority for moving the church forward, as evidenced by his declaration of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Throughout the book, Pope Francis… Read more…

Mercy in the City – Book Review

Mercy in the City

Mercy in the City by Kerry Weber:


Mercy flows in abundance during the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. With that in mind, I thought it would be a good time to share with you my review of Kerry Weber’s book, Mercy in the City. Kerry is a young, single woman living in New York City. This book tells her true life story of her attempt to perform all of the Corporal Acts of Mercy within one Lenten season.


In this book, we traverse through the season of Lent with Kerry chronicling her adventures. She shows us how to… Read more…

Little Lamb Finds Christmas – Book Review

Little Lamb Finds Christmas

Christmas is on its way, whether you are ready for it or not! What better way to get your Christmas shopping started than with the purchase of a beautifully illustrated book about the very first Christmas morning of Christ’s birth! This lovely story, written by Catherine C. Gilmore, presents the morning of Christ’s birth from the animals point of view, that of a lamb, but also of a lion. The lamb represents the young and weak of society, and the lion represents the strong and mature; where both come together and recognize the babe as their King and true leader. Read more…

Yes, Catholics CAN Evangelize

Catholics genersyfs-cover-amazon-lg-210x300ally don’t think of Jesus as an evangelist per say, but rather a storyteller. Well, the Son of God understood parables are powerful vehicles for truth.  Since parables impact people when they can relate to the details of the story, Jesus told stories about the ordinary people of His day.

Nancy Ward also understands when people simply tell their personal journey of faith in their own words,  they can help others who are seeking an authentic meeting with God. Ordinary people can reach, or evangelize, many who are outside the traditional  Church.

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77 Ways to Pray With Your Kids

I am currently working with Peanut Butter & Grace publishing on several projects and have been enjoying this title extensively with my own family.   PB & Grace is a newish publishing company dedicated to family-based catechesis.  There is always more for kids and adults to learn about the rich treasures of our Catholic faith and what better way to learn than together?

Subscribe to the Weekly Family Formation Newsletter, The Bread.

Read my full review of this title and enter to win a copy this week only on Work and Play, Day by Day.


Dolls from Heaven

In a society where secular values bombard our children, Catholics must encourage those who create Catholic culture so we can introduce our children to their rich heritage. Of course we should become aware of great Catholic artists, authors, bloggers and columnists but we must actively support those artists who craft beautiful toys for our kids, toys which promote Catholic values in a way which appeals to real kids.
 I am  personally delighted with the look of a doll created by Kiczek Family, Their first doll is  the young and beautiful St. Theresa.
As a mum, I just know she will appeal to little girls, inspiring them to identify with her. St. Theresa’s story is a wonderful springboard for imaginative play.

Supremacy and Survival: My Book Review

I’m a tremendous fan of Stephanie Mann’s. I have my own copy of Supremacy and Survival, her book about the English Reformation and the English Catholic martyrs.

Stephanie reviewed my novel The Tapestry, and here is just a snippet:

“Throughout this trilogy, Bilyeau provides excellent character studies of the historical figures from Henry VIII, so sad at the end, through the Princess Mary and of course Stephen Gardiner, the bishop of Winchester. She also demonstrates the effects the English Reformation was having on the common people, with whom Joanna lives in Dartford. They are experiencing–and will continue to experience–the changes in religion after the break from Rome…”

To read my blog post on the review, and the review itself, go here.



A Thrilling, Inspiring Video Trailer: Altaration

10985205_10153234929070832_5555931360811790824_nI shared a powerful video  by Ascension Press called “Will You Follow” a few weeks ago. It is a dramatic, vocation video aimed at teens, part of a soon-to-be-released five-part series called Altaration designed to enliven teens with a love and enthusiasm for the Mass.

This 3-minute trailer for Altaration is  extremely moving, thrilling actually. Mark Hart speaks in the power of the Holy Spirit. His words rang in my heart and lifted my spirits with fresh insights into the true meaning of the Mass. His words cast a fresh light on what is really happening on the altar and lit a new fire of love for the Father, Christ and the Eucharist within me.

The video shows flashes of other young people and priests, real men, real role models who will appeal to teens.