Saturday, July 30, 2011

Call Me Kate by Molly Roe: A Book Review (Historical Fiction)

When you think back to what you learned in history class, what comes to mind?
Are strings of people, places and dates running through your brain?
Or, do you recall particular figures who’s story was so interesting that it captivated you?

I know that for me and many others, it is far more interesting to read about people who walked before us.  Even historical fiction, which takes historical events and people and embellishes to bring intriguing stories presents a more palatable way to expand our knowledge and appreciation of history.  Call Me Kate by Molly Roe meets the criteria of bringing historical events to life beyond a dry retelling in the history books.  I would even wager that many of us have little background or knowledge of the unrest among mining communities of Pennsylvania during the Civil War.
Call Me Kate illustrates the harsh living conditions many immigrant workers faced as well as the unsafe working environment for the boys and men who worked in the coal mines.  Kate is a young girl who finds her dreams of completing school thwarted after her father is in a mine accident.  While he does not meet the same fatal end as others, he is no longer able to work.  So, Kate begins her life as a servant to help the family survive.
At first, she works for a local man while he awaits the arrival of a female relative to tend to his needs around the house.  She misses the simplicity of life before employment, yet finds a balance between work and play as she becomes friends with sisters that live near her employers house.  And, she begins to transition into adulthood with feelings towards one neighborhood boy moving from friend to something else.

When that short term job ends, she is then faced with moving away from her family and all she knows.  Seeing anger in her one friend after his brother is seriously injured in the mine, she also brings her worries about what he might do and how he might be involved with the Molly Maguires.  Under the employment of a rich and powerful businessman’s vacation home, she makes the decision to take action to protect those she loves back home.  There’s plenty of action and tension as Ms. Roe weaves her tail of Kate infiltrating the Molly Maguires in an attempt to save her friend and ultimately save lives.

Throughout the story are references to faith, specifically Catholicism.  You can get a sense of the prejudices faced by the Irish Catholic immigrants in that area, especially when Kate is informed that ALL servants of her new employer must attend services with the employing family.  To her relief, the local priest provides counsel that she follow her employers wishes and come to Mass as frequently as she can attend.

Call Me Kate
is inspired by the stories Ms. Roe’s aunt shared of the family members who came before them, yet pulls in facts from a variety of references to ensure authenticity with regard to events mentioned in the story.  Published by Tribute Books, Call Me Kate is available in hardback, paperback, or electronic format through the publisher or on Amazon

Enjoy the book trailer…

Read an excerpt of Call Me Kate

And find out more about the author…
Molly Roe is the pen name of Mary Garrity Slaby, a veteran language arts & reading teacher at Lake-Lehman Junior Senior High School. Mary holds a Ph.D. in education from Temple University, and Pennsylvania teaching certification in six areas. She has pursued the hobby of genealogy for the past decade. Mary was born in Philadelphia, raised in Schuylkill County, and currently lives in Dallas, Pennsylvania with her husband, John. They are parents of two grown children, Melissa and John Garrett, cover illustrator of Call Me Kate. Digging into the past has given Mary newfound respect for her ancestors and a better understanding of history. Call Me Kate is the first in the author’s trilogy of historical novels loosely based on the lives of the strong women who preceded her.  You can find Molly Roe on Facebook or the Molly Roe blog.

Disclaimer ~ I was provided with a pdf copy of Call Me Kate for the purpose of completing this review.  No other compensation was provided and the opinions expressed are my own.

Guest Blogger, Laura O'Neill , is a Catholic Homeschooling mom that blogs at Day by Day in Our World
"A Catholic homeschool family with four boys sharing from their lives in Alaska as well as product reviews and giveaways."

Book Amazon buy link:


Molly Roe Facebook:

Molly Roe Blog:

Tribute Books website:

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Tribute Books Twitter:

Friday, July 15, 2011


About the Book:
'Gilbert the Goose is very much like the other geese of his pond, until one day, he has an accident, and ends up ice skating instead of flying South for the winter!' 
FLIGHTLESS GOOSE is a story based around a real goose which lived on a lake in Columbus, Ohio. Due to some unfortunate circumstances, the goose was unable to fly south for the winter with the other geese. Eric and Nataliya Goodman, after witnessing the incident, named the goose Gilbert, and envisioned a beautiful tale that would delight children, while subtly teaching them lessons about self worth, tolerance, and friendship. This book uses an original story and beautiful watercolors to teach a very important lesson to young children.

I was able to interview Eric D. Goodman, author of Flightless Goose who is doing a virtual book tour stop here at Raising (& Teaching) Little Saints.   What does this mean?  You will be able to post questions in the comment section for Eric to answer.  Here is my interview of this author.:

1. What made you select animal characters for your book? Why a Goose?

Most of my stories are not based on real characters. Believe it or not, Flightless Goose is based on a real goose! My wife and I used to live on a pond and geese made it their home. There really was a goose who was hit by a car and rendered unable to fly. The geese teased it, flying back and forth and making the goose swim after. And they left the goose behind for the winter. But when they returned, the flightless goose was accepted back into the flock. When I witnessed this, I thought it would make a great story, and perhaps be a good opportunity to teach a lesson about coping with disability, focusing on strengths in order to survive, and accepting others who are different.

2. I noticed that the illustrator shares your same last name, is Nataliya, your sister or your wife? Either case, how hard or easy was it to work with family on this project?

Nataliya and I have been married for 16 years. I think when two people who love one another share a passion about something, it makes it easy to work together. It was easy for us. Nataliya loves her art, I love my writing, and we both wanted to tell the story of this flightless goose. We didn't always agree on everything, but we certainly both agreed with the final product.

3. Do you think there will be a sequel for Flightless Goose? Another adventure?

I hope so! Before we work on a sequel, we're working on another children's book with a completely different set of characters. Then, we'd like to come back and give Gilbert a new adventure. I think Gilbert's friends may find a way to let him go south for the winter even though he can't fly. At a lot of school events, kids have said they think Gilbert should go to school with Johnny. Who knows, it could be a trilogy!

4. What made you decide a children's book over an adult book?

I actually do write adult fiction. In fact, I have a novel in stories being published this month: Tracks. Tracks is a collection of linked stories that takes place on a train. Each story is that of a passenger on the train, but they link together to form a novel. You can learn more about it at

At one point, I did think Flightless Goose would make a good short story or a chapter book for young children. But the more I thought about it, it seemed to lend itself to the picture book format.

5. What was the main message you wanted to portray with this book?

First and foremost, I want readers to enjoy the story -- it's meant to be a fun book. But there are a number of lessons I hope will seep in. Everyone is different. Children should treat one another with respect and kindness. You should never bully another person for any reason. And no matter what difficulty you may face, focus on the positive and don't dwell on the negative. Everyone makes a difference.

6. My kids liked the word art in the book, was that your idea or the illustrators?

Actually, neither. That was the work of the designer hired by the publisher. We submitted the page-by-page text and matching illustrations as original paintings. The publisher took care of laying it all out and designing the book.

7. Do you have kids of your own?

We do. We have a daughter who is 13 and a son who is 6. I think reading childrens' books to them helped us to reconnect to storybooks and inspired us to write and illustrate Flightless Goose. We dedicated the book to them.

Again, thank you!

Tomorrow I will be posting my review of the book and one lucky winner will get a chance to have a copy of the book for themselves.  :)  In the meantime, please check out Flightless Goose on Facebook and meet Gilbert the Goose or if you are ready to own a copy of this great children's book, you can order it here.

Mama Erika

Thursday, July 14, 2011


The Virtual book tour will stop by RLS tomorrow, July 15th, we will have an author, Eric D. Goodman, stop by to answer questions from his most recent book, Flightless Goose. I will be posting a review for this book in the morning with questions/answers I asked Eric.

In the meantime, you may want to check out the book's Facebook Page to get a sneek-peek at what this great children's book is all about.

Of course, we will also be giving away a copy of the book to one lucky blessed RLS reader!  So please stay tuned. 
Mama Erika

Save a Life: 31 year old, mother of two young children with Stage IV Colon Cancer

Dear friends,
Angela was just diagnosed this past Spring with State IV Colon Cancer.  I know Angela because her husband Chris was the youth minister at our Parish for some time.  They have two beautiful little children.  I am posting this information on here so that we can help spread their story and try to get them as much help as possible.  I ask:
1.  Please pray for her healing.
2.  Help spread the word and repost and tweet this as much as possible.
3.  If you can contribute monitarily, that would be great!

Here is more information.
God bless you all,
Mama Erika


Save a Life: Support Angela Faddis' Advanced Cancer Treatments31 year old, mother of two young children with Stage IV Colon Cancer

Our Story

On April 24 of this year (Easter Sunday), we learned that my wife, Angela Faddis, had a large mass growing in her colon and tumors on her liver. Later tests would confirm that she has Stage IV Colorectal Cancer which has spread to the liver. (read more about our story here)

Her cancer is extremely advanced and doctors have informed us that it is considered "incurable". They hoped that with some aggressive chemotherapy they would be able to shrink the tumors enough to operate and bring her to a "curative" state. Their hope was to achieve this ambitious goal after 8 weeks of treatment. 

On July 1st, we found out that this aggressive protocol of three chemotherapy drugs gave a mixed result. The tumors in the liver had shrunk slightly, but the tumor in the colon had actually grown and was now pressing in on the bladder and ureter. The doctor said that the news was "not good, not bad, just different." The problem of course is that for us, “just different” is still not good.
A New Approach
This news has helped us realize that we need to do even more. We firmly believe that a more comprehensive and integrative approach is what Angela needs to survive this cancer. We were home in Phoenix last week and met with doctors to discuss other options.

We were excited to learn of some aggressive protocols and advanced treatments along with targeted radiation and chemotherapy that would give Angela a much better chance for survival. We have heard countless stories of survivors and even have a family friend who survived late stage cancer using these same protocols. We believe that with an integrated approach, we can give Angela the best course of treatment possible and in turn give her the best chance of survival.

We are now trying to raise funds to get Angela these treatments so that she continue to be a mother to our two children, a wife to me, a daughter, a sister, and a friend to those who love her. Some of the treatments will exceed our insurance limits and therefore insurance will only be able to cover some of the costs. We are praying that you will partner with us to raise these funds. 

What we need:
We estimate that our ultimate financial need will be around $65,000. However, in order to at least begin this aggressive protocol - we need to raise approximately $30,000. This will pay for the treatments that are not covered by insurance. We need to raise this money quickly because it is essential that Angela begins treatment right away. 

We will have to move our family to Phoenix during treatment and our prayers have already been answered in that we were offered a free home for the next four months to allow us time to transition and get the treatment that Angela needs. Now we can focus on raising the funds that we need to move forward.

This is Possible
While our goal of raising $30,000 is ambitious, I believe it is fully possible. Back in January of 2010, I was a part of launching a campaign called "Fast for Haiti" which was launched through my blog site and FB page. In that campaign we raised over $8,000 in direct contributions for aid to Haiti and several high schools and universities also led their own versions of the campaign. I've estimated that we raised over $10k in that simple campaign. 

Later that year, when our dear friend, Melanie Pritchard, suffered an Amniotic Fluid Embolism while giving birth, doctors had told her family to say goodbye. Many prayers were being lifted up through Twitter and Facebook. I felt the need to tell Melanie's story and posted a blog about her need for prayers. By the next day 10,000 people had visited my site and over 2400 people shared her story on Facebook, resulting in well over 150,000 people seeing Melanie's story through Facebook. Melanie is alive today because of the countless prayers that were voiced all over the world. It wasn't just me spreading the word, but many people tweeted, and posted Facebook statuses that led to a firestorm of prayer on her behalf. 

These stories give me hope that we can find the support we need. 

Why Give to Us?
We often see people raising money to find a "cure" for cancer. There are tons of great organizations out there that you can give your time, your talent, and your treasure to for this great cause. What we are asking for is help for our immediate need. Your money will not go to finding a cure for cancer, but it will go towards trying to cure my wife's cancer. Obviously I think a lot of people would beg the question, "why should we give money to you?" It is a fair question.

All I can say is that as Angela's husband I am desperate for a way to help her heal from this cancer. I desperately desire for her to be cured of this. We have two children, Gianna, who is four and Augustine who is two. The reasons why our children need their mother are many. We all need her. We can't imagine life without her.

While we are certainly going to trust God with whatever He allows to happen, we also believe that we are called to hope in all things. Our hope is that Angela can live through this cancer. Our hope today is that you will help us meet our financial need so that we can give her the best treatment possible. Our hope is that you will help spread the word and be our advocates to raise these funds.

What We Need & What You Get
Our starting goal for this campaign is $30,000. We are asking that each donor give a gift of $30 or more. 

This goal is lofty, but if you break it down it looks like this:
(based on our 1,000 supporters on FB)
1000 gifts of $30 = $30,000
500 gifts of $60 = $30,000
50 gifts of $600 = $30,000

IndieGoGo encourages that we give some perk to donors. All we can really offer is our prayers of thankgiving for any act of generosity. We will hold a Mass of Thanksgiving in the Phoenix Area for all of those how have helped us on this road. You will be invited and you will be prayed for. I hope that is benefit enough.

Other Ways You Can Help

SPREAD THE WORD: I know what you're saying "what if I can't give that much?" Well what if you could help raise it? We are asking for either your own support or for your help in raising the funds that we need. Would you consider setting a goal of how much you can raise? Maybe it's $30, or maybe it's $600 - either way it will help tremendously.

There are many share tools on this page to help you spread the word. We would love it if you could commit in the comments section below to raise a certain amount. This will only help to get others involved.

You can also connect with us on our Support Angela Faddis page on Facebook.

We ask that regardless of your ability to give, you might pray for us. We have been so grateful for the countless prayers on our behalf and we humbly ask that you join us in prayer. God is bigger than cancer and we trust in him.