Category Archives: Books

Sleuthing and solving

Over my lifetime as a reader I have devoured many genres from literary fiction to historical novels, sci-fi and speculative fiction, young ault and the classics to name a few.

Ever since I began my role in elected leadership of my religious community seven plus years ago, I have found myself drawn to the cozy mystery.

Light, simple and enjoyable, the well written cozy is also clever and gives you a sense of immersion into a particular community. Open the pages and you step into your sleuth’s world and follow her as she peels back the layers of disruption and deception that are threatening the coziness of her beloved community.

They also have a beginning and an end. And by the end, the problems are solved. Truth be told that is probably the main appeal for me at this time in my life, when the problems I attend to in my own ministry tend to be more of the lingering and unsolvable kind. Not to mention the problems in our wider community.

All this to say I have had a cozy mystery living inside my head for the past year. My sleuth? Sister Izzie, a youngish nun living on the Jersey Shore.

This week I was blessed with a week away for a writing retreat. The biggest unsolved mystery– would the characters living in my head translate to the written word–has been solved. They now exist in my cozy mystery in progress. And what fun the whole process of writing a cozy mystery turns out to be!

I am only beginning this writing adventure, but so far it has been very enjoyable and a little surprising, in a very good way. These past few years I have discovered great joy in writing, but fiction writing is new to me.

I can’t wait to see how the story turns out. I have an idea of course, but have learned this week that the characters sometimes have ideas of their own when my fingers hit the keyboard.

Introducing … My Friend Joe

Just in time for the end of the Year of St. Joseph, I am excited to share the news that my little book of reflections on St. Joseph has been published by Kenmare Press: My Friend Joe: Reflections on St. Joseph. It is available for purchase as a paperback ($8) or ebook ($1) from the Kenmare Press Online Bookstore.

Description:

St. Joseph, husband of Mary and foster-father of Jesus, is central to the Christian story. Yet, so little is known about St. Joseph, either as an historical figure or as recorded in scripture.  Much of what we understand about Joseph comes to us from tradition, art, and the lived experience of the faithful over the centuries.   Sister of St. Joseph of Peace Susan Rose Francois reflects on her growing spiritual friendship with St. Joseph, who she affectionately calls her friend Joe. Inspired by photographs of Joseph taken by the author, she reflects on her personal encounters with Joseph in conversation with church tradition around this saint.  Through art, prose, history, and prayer she encourages the reader to discover, or deepen, their own spiritual friendship with St. Joseph.

Read more about the book and view the pictures that inspired it here.