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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

New On The Shelf At Fiction Books This Week

The review request for this book, came direct from Kelsey McBride, of Book Publicity Services, with copy being made available by the lovely folks over at NetGalley. The Franciscan has been categorised as a religious suspense / thriller, very much in the vein of Dan Brown’s, The Da Vinci Code. Never having read any Dan Brown books, (although I was coerced into watching the film of The Da Vinci Code by hubbie!), The Franciscan is going to take me a long way out of my reading comfort zone. I have however, read and thoroughly enjoyed several religious cult thrillers, so I have high expectations of being won over by this book.

Never one to “judge a book by its cover”, I must be honest however and state up front, that I don’t like the new cover art for The Franciscan. There are far too many words, almost completely obliterating what might have been an otherwise atmospheric image, eminently suitable to promoting the book’s premise! I am not a cover snob, however I much prefer the original 14 year old cover art, to this very overtly promotional messaging!

THE FRANCISCAN – Part One of The Franciscan Trilogy

“The pope is not infallible.”

When the newly elected Pope Francis utters this bold and unprecedented statement, he captures the attention of the world’s population.

His reforms leave no corner untouched as he strips away the mask so long held before the face of the papacy.

Bringing with him an open-minded candor rarely seen by public figures – he’s an inspiration to his followers – and a threat to those who oppose him.


Image Of Author W.R. ParkAuthor, columnist, teacher, lecturer, past president of three advertising agencies, William R. Park, Sr. is nationally known and respected in the advertising and literary worlds—and is a member of International Thriller Writers Inc.

His past works include: The Talking Stones, Overlay and  Fatal Incision, plus several others, currently numbering some thirteen in total, each backed by glowing praise from  bestselling authors.

William currently resides in the Kansas City area with his wife Genie, an ex-high school English teacher who edits his manuscripts and who is also his worst critic!


Catch up with all the latest news at William’s website

Check out The Franciscan Trilogy here

Follow William on Twitter

Connect with William at Goodreads

When I penned this novel about a fictitious Pope Francis fourteen years ago, I never envisioned that a future pope would select the name, Pope Francis I. This novel’s Pope Francis is a bold and courageous pope whose sweeping reforms reversing ancient Vatican edicts place his life in grave danger. The world can only hope and pray that today’s Pope Francis, as bold as he is, will be fruitful in his endeavors and have a lengthy and healthy reign,

‘THE FRANCISCAN’ – A Short Excerpt

A hush fell over the crowd in the square when the pope appeared in the entrance guarded by two huge iron doors. The only sounds were the distant drone of Rome’s traffic and the splashing of the square’s giant dueling fountains. Pope Francis hesitated, allowing his entourage to catch up, before descending the steps to stand before the seated clergy. Forcing a smile, he stepped forward, blessing those gathered for the ceremony.

On about the tenth step down, the crowd’s expression of restraint turned into one of horror and disbelief. Most were too stunned to utter a sound. Screams were trapped in a thousand throats, but all managed to point upward towards the basilica’s dome, and behind those slowly walking down the steps. Wooden chairs being tipped and flung aside clattered on the stone laid square, as the assembled clergy leapt to their feet, anticipating the worst.

Confused by the crowd’s alarm and unaware of the danger, they turned all too slowly to avoid the coming peril. Kim, who was several steps behind the group, was the first to hear a dull cracking sound. He turned and looked up. The huge concrete crucifix that had rested on the left shoulder of the gigantic statue of Christ, standing at the center of the row of saints, broke loose. As it tumbled, it struck the peak of an architectural structure and burst into sizable chunks, showering down on the pope and his unsuspecting group.

Picture of an English red post boxMailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house during the last week. Be warned that Mailbox Monday can lead to envy toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home, where links may be added each week. So why not stop by, leave a link to your own Mailbox Monday post, oh! and don’t forget to leave a comment for our three new joint administrators, after all, we all like to receive them … ‘Mailbox Monday’

Leslie of ‘Under My Apple Tree’

Serena of ‘Savvy Verse & Wit’

Vicki of ‘I’d Rather Be At The Beach’

This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!


Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • I’ve read my share of religious thrillers in the past and this sounds like a great addition to the genre. What are the chances there would be a pope by the same name some 14 years after it was written?! I agree with you about the busyness of the cover shown.

    My only new addition was something for a new book club I’m trying out. (my first!) It’s not a book I would ever have chosen on my own, but I’m really enjoying it.

    The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, The Horse That Inspired a Nation by Elizabeth Letts

    • Hi Kelly,

      This will be my first true religious thriller and I am pleased that you seem quite positive about the premise. As you say, this seems to be very much a book written before its time .. unless of course, there was some higher authority at work when the original draft was being written and published 🙂

      I don’t read a lot of non fiction, so your Elizabeth Letts book definitely isn’t going to make it to my list, I’m afraid. It does sound like quite an inspirational and moving premise though and would probably make for an interesting discussion at a book club. Several of my friends and work colleagues belong to book clubs, but I have to say that I have never really been tempted to join one, so I shall look forward to your updates about your own experiences.

      Thanks for stopping by and have a good week.

    • Hi Harvee,

      It seems like an incredible coincidence doesn’t it, especially as William comments that his Pope Francis is bold and courageous, and it would appear that the real Pope Francis is much more courageous and proactive in his reforming ideas than any of his predecessors. Whether his ideology is going to be enough to bring about change in his reign, or we are going to have to wait for a few more years before the Council of Cardinal Advisors catches up with his reforming ideas, remains to be seen!

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by, your comments are always appreciated.

  • I would have to agree with your assessment of the new cover, Yvonne. I’ll be interested in your review. It sounds like a book my husband would enjoy. Have a great week,

    • Hi Mary,

      I am trying not to think too negatively about the cover art, as it is what is written on the pages inside which really matters, but it is a little difficult not to be influenced by those first impressions.

      I am looking forward to a storyline of intrigue and suspense and a good inauguration into a new genre to add to my reading portfolio.

      Thanks for stopping by, it is always a pleasure to hear from you.

      Happy Reading

  • I hope you enjoy this one when you get to reading it Yvonne. I do agree re the cover though, it just seems a little too ‘busy’ with text and seeing more of the image would have been preferable to me, too. I hope you have a lovely reading week, and thank you for commenting on my blog too, much appreciated.

    • Hi Lindsay,

      The image beneath all that text is really rather alluring and much more easy on the eye!

      It seems as though many of the bloggers I follow, are re-assessing their posting habits just lately. Some have disappeared altogether, whilst many others are obviously making a conscious decision to reduce the number and frequency of posts they publish.

      I seem to have been providing more promotional posts than reviews recently, which suits me much better. I do need to keep a grip on some reviews to satisfy sites such as Goodreads and NetGalley, but I think that is manageable.

      I hope that you have recovered some of your blogging mojo and I look forward to continuing to visit your site.

    • Hi Kathy,

      Great to hear another positive endorsement for the genre, as I must admit, that not being religious, this isn’t a book which I would generally gravitate towards, if I saw it in the bookshop …. especially not with that cover!

      Thanks for stoppping by, I always appreciate your thoughts and comments.

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      It definitely looks as though the author has got carried away by his own PR on the cover art, doesn’t it?

      I am hoping that the characters and storyline are what sticks in my mind when I read the book, rather than all those cover words.

      I did check out the next two books in the trilogy and was sorely tempted to add those to my list, but I shall hold back until I have at least started ‘The Franciscan’ and can gauge how much I am enjoying it.

      Some of the books I get asked to promote and review, cover subjects which I would never pick up off the shelf through my own volition, however I have been amazed at just how much I have enjoyed the vast majority of them.

      Thanks for visiting, Monday’s just wouldn’t be the same without our little chats 🙂

  • I’m a complete cover snob so I’d have passed on that book without even reading the blurb. I’ve probably missed out on a lot of really good books because of it too!

    This does sound interesting, and was going to add it to my tbr list, but then found out it was the first of a trilogy. Now I’ll have to think about it since my tbr list is way to long as it is.

    I hope you enjoy the book!

    • Hi Vicki,

      Definitely not a must read at first glance, for strictly cover snobs, but if you can get past that and take in the blurb, it does seem to have some promise and the extra extracts which were sent to me by the publicist certainly bear that out.

      My initial thoughts about the book being part of a trilogy, were pretty much the same as your own. However, if you check out the series, not only does it sound worth following the adventures of the protagonists, but it also seems as though they can be read as stand alone stories.


      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you received some good new reads this week.

    • Hi Mary Ann,

      ‘The Franciscan’ is so completely different to anything I have read before, that I am intrigued by the characters the author has chosen and interested to find out about the storyline he has given them.

      Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.

    • Hi Tracy,

      I must be in the very small minority of the population which has never read a Dan Brown book, although I did enjoy the film, after being somewhat coerced into watching it by hubbie!

      I have read and really enjoyed the religious cult suspense thrillers of Layton Green, so I am hoping that perhaps this trilogy will match up to the quality of those storylines.

      Not being overly religious myself, my worst fear is that ‘The Franciscan’ is going to be written with too much of a theological bias and will be a little too short on the mystery and suspense aspects …. I do so hope that I am proved wrong!

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that your week is going well so far 🙂

Written by Yvonne