Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Book Blog Tour: The Kiss of Jesus

Although I am still in Jordan—and will continue to write posts from our Catholic Bloggers Press Tour, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to tell you about a special new book, The Kiss of Jesus: How Mother Teresa and the Saints Helped Me to Discover the Beauty of the Cross, by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle.

Donna-Marie needs little introduction. She is a prolific author, a well-known inspirational speaker, a popular radio and TV personality, and a respected Catholic personality.

Although we have never met in person, I have been blessed for years to call Donna-Marie not only a colleague, but also my friend!

I am honored and grateful to be part of Donna-Marie’s Blog Tour in celebration of her latest book’s release, The Kiss of Jesus. 

Question: Donna-Marie, can you tell me your favorite Scripture?

My favorite Scripture is Matthew 25: 31-46. Particularly, I love this instruction from Jesus: “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of the family, you did it to me” (Matthew 25: 40). It’s how I try to live my life.

Question: When and why did you decide to become a writer?

I can’t pin point and actual “when” I decided to become a writer because I don’t think I ever made a decision in this regard. I believe that my writing is a vocation that Our Lord unfolded in my life.

Allow me to explain. When I was a teen I used to write inspirational verses. Later on, I would write op-ed pro-life pieces whenever I could fit them into my schedule. I did so to encourage and to raise awareness about the dignity and sacredness of human life.

And, speaking of human life, something extraordinary happened when I was pregnant with my fifth child. I had to be placed on complete bed-rest due to severe complications with my pregnancy. It was a tough “sentence” but I wanted to do all I could to preserve my baby’s life.

It was during this pregnancy when I was put still that I became deeply inspired to write for expectant mothers and families. Suddenly, I envisioned a nine-month pregnancy as a nine-month novena! I wanted to write something that could serve as a prayer journal for expectant mothers, that would also be a novena to Jesus, the Blessed Mother, and the saints. I penned the manuscript while lying in bed.

Later on, it became a book and my spiritual mentor and mother Blessed Mother Teresa wrote the foreword! It is titled, Prayerfully Expecting: A Nine Month Novena for Mothers to Be. That was the first book I wrote, but it became the third one to be published years later. My memoir, The Kiss of Jesus is my twentieth book.

With that said, to answer your question, I didn’t actually choose to become a writer. I believe, I dare say, it was chosen for me. And, I continue to put pen to paper or fingers to keys because I want to encourage others and help inspire them to grow in holiness.

Question: What was the hardest thing about writing this latest book? and the biggest surprise?

The hardest thing about writing this book was revisiting the terribly traumatic parts of my life in great detail. There were other challenges along the way as well.

The biggest surprise was in seeing a variety of beautiful threads of graces woven throughout my life as I wrote my story. I also saw some awesome occurrences beginning to make more sense as they were knit together in grace.

As well, I was totally surprised to discover some pretty fascinating things I had not seen before. For instance, one example is recognizing that in the very same location that a terrible transgression towards me was committed, many years later, a wondrous miracle  occurred in someones heart right because of God’s graces working through me.

Question: What do you hope your readers will walk away with from this book? 

I hope and pray that my readers will walk away with a huge dose of hope in their hearts. They will hopefully feel that whatever trial they are enduring could be used by God to transform hearts and souls when they offer it lovingly to Him. They will hopefully see that they too can get through the dark valleys with God’s help.

I pray that my book will even help to heal deep wounds—all by God’s amazing grace!

Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle