My Writing Process Blog Tour

pen and pencilSpecial thanks to Erin McCole Cupp for tagging me in “My Writing Process Blog Tour.”

1) What am I working on?
I just finished the edits for the next FQP novel, The Lion’s Heart by Dena Hunt, which is set to be released in the next few days on Kindle. The print edition will be coming a little later this month.

As well, I’m currently working on two separate novels of my own: Julia’s Gifts, a Christmas novella set to be published on Kindle 2015 and the third O’Donovan Family novel (as yet untitled) which is currently in the outline, characterization stage. I’m continuing the marketing/promotion stage of my fifth book, A Subtle Grace (O’Donovan Family).A Subtle Grace front cover Nov2013

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I actually write in a couple of different genres, but if I had to name one, I’d say “Religious Fiction.” How does it differ from others? It’s probably more Catholic than most in this genre.

3) Why do I write what I do?
I write religious fiction because I not only want to entertain readers, I want to give them a positive, life-affirming message. I like to call it Edutainment (although I didn’t actually come up with that word).

4) How does your writing process work?
Depending on what I’m working on…if it’s a new novel, I develop an outline and character studies first. This takes the longest, sometimes two years (given I am usually working on 10 projects at one time). Writing the actual story, for me, is the easiest part of the novel writing process. Editing and polishing are the hardest.

I’m “tagging” the following two writers who will be taking part in the Writing Process Blog Tour next week. Please visit them!

Ann Frailey:
A. K. Frailey is a wonderful writer and homeschooling mother of eight children. Here’s the bio from her website:
Ann has a B. S. in Elementary Education and has taught in Milwaukee, WI, Chicago, IL, Los Angeles, CA, Wood River, IL and for Peace Corps in the Philippines. She was married to John Frailey who was an educator for many years. John died from cancer complications December 2013. Ann has eight children and she home educates them while maintaining a mini-farm. Ann devotes her time to writing books that delve into the deep questions of life while entertaining the reader with reflections on the human condition. She is a grateful mother and enjoys spending her time with her children, extended family, and friends.

Imogen Elvis:
Imogen blogs at http://imogenelvis.blogspot.com.au/ and this is what she says about herself:
“I am a nineteen year old Australian writer. While currently unpublished, I am working on publishing a Young Adult Fantasy novel in the future. I study writing, and am in my second year of a degree in Professional Writing and Publishing, with the aim of working as an editor. As well as writing, I also enjoy blogging about reading, writing, and procrastination. You can find me at my blog Gossiping with Dragons. In my spare time I explore imaginary worlds, defeat dragons and eating chocolate while curling up with a good book.”

7 Quick Takes Friday – Musical, Review, Photos Etc.

7_quick_takes_sm1Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday.

1. My Fair Lady
Two Rivers Musicals presents My Fair Lady tonight and tomorrow night. My husband, James, is Alfred P. Doolittle. Ticket information is at this link.MFLMFL 2

2. Catholic Writers Conference Live
If you’re a writer and interested in networking with other Catholic writers, please consider attending the Catholic Writers Conference Live to be held outside of Chicago July 30-August 1, 2014. For more information, check out this press release.

To register, click this link.logo

3. A Subtle Grace Review
I would like to thank Trisha Niermeyer Potter for this outstanding review of A Subtle Grace! I’m always happy when a reader or reviewer enjoys my books. I am especially grateful that Trisha appreciated and understood the underlying themes. Here is what she had to say:
“This is one of my favorite contemporary works of Catholic fiction…The storytelling is masterful, the characters fascinating, and the writing is of high literary quality. People are imperfect—past, present, and future—but each is given the opportunity to grow, change, learn, and be redeemed. In this story it’s shown how the greatest mistake of our lives can be turned into one of the most amazing blessings and even be a source of hope for others. Life’s messy. People are complex. We’ve all got some skeletons in our closets, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t also fit some trophies and triumphs in there as well.”
A Subtle Grace front cover Nov2013

4. Waterfalls
My son took this beautiful photo.

Photo copyright Josh Hrkach

Photo copyright Josh Hrkach

5. The Lion’s Heart by Dena Hunt
FQP will soon be publishing the second edition of The Lion’s Heart by Dena Hunt, whose novel, Treason, recently won the 2014 IPPY Gold medal in Religious Fiction. The Lion’s Heart is a “different kind of love story” and asks the question: Is love ever wrong? From the back cover synopsis:
Paul Meyer has never let anyone get too close. Until Max. The Lion’s Heart is a heart-rending story about love and sacrifice. The emotional struggle of Paul’s same-sex attraction, the guilt he feels, and his ambivalence toward his Catholic faith all come together in this look inside the heart of a tortured man.Front Cover Final revisedsm

6. Review Shelf
Hijacked by Leslie Lynch

7. Jungle Jim Cartoon

Cartoon copyright Full Quiver Publishing/James & Ellen Hrkach Please do not use without permission

Cartoon copyright Full Quiver Publishing/James & Ellen Hrkach Please do not use without permission

Copyright 2014 Ellen Gable Hrkach

7 Quick Takes Friday – Contest, Column, Review, Prayer Intention, CWCL

7_quick_takes_sm1Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday.

1. ENTER NOW!!
In about 17 hours, the contest for a chance to win all five of my print books at Catholic Sistas closes.ASG Giveaway CS

2. God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage (column)
My recent column at Catholic Mom is entitled “God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage.” Check it out here. As baptized and confirmed Christian/Catholics, Christ resides in each of us. If we consider the love that Christ gave us when He died on the cross was His freely chosen gift, totally given, faithful to the point of death and that gift was fruitful (redemption of mankind that opened up the gates of heaven), and if we consider that we are called to image Christ, then we must love our spouse in the same way. Click on one of the links above to read the rest.

Photo copyright Josh Hrkach

Photo copyright Josh Hrkach

3. New Review for A Subtle Grace!
Thanks so much to Sarah Reinhard (author and blogger at Snoring Scholar) for this new review for A Subtle Grace: “Do you like historical fiction? Do you like books that are Catholic without, you know, shoving it down your throat? Do you have a few days to spend with Ellen Gable’s latest book? Because, yes, it is the kind of book that will suck you in, hold you captive, and leave you better for having read it. It’s a good story, well told, and I can heartily recommend it.”

4. Sudanese Mother/Doctor Jailed and Sentenced to Death for Religious Beliefs
Not sure if you’ve heard the tragic story of religious persecution over in Sudan of a young mother and doctor, Meriam Ibrahim. She just gave birth to a baby girl and has a toddler boy in prison with her. She has been sentenced to death for her Christian beliefs. Please pray for her and, if you feel called, sign any one of a number of petitions to release her. Here are just a few:
Go Petition
Change.org
White House Petition (To get Obama to intervene…you have to create an account to sign. I tried for over an hour a few nights ago trying to get onto this site, but couldn’t and finally succeeded last night).

5. Catholic Writers Conference Live
Consider attending the upcoming Catholic Writers Conference Live just outside of Chicago. We’ve got great speakers coming and a few surprises too!

6. Reading/Review Shelf
If you have pre-teens, they will love these delightful books!
The Willow Tree by Alexandra Valentien
A Boy in Hiding by Alexandra Valentien

7. NFP Cartoon

Copyright James and Ellen Hrkach Please do not use without permission

Copyright James and Ellen Hrkach Please do not use without permission

And, last but not least, I’d like to wish my younger but taller brother a very happy birthday today!!!

Copyright 2014 Ellen Gable Hrkach

Sunday Snippets – May 25

Photo copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach

Photo copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach

Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at RAnn’s Place for Sunday Snippets, where we share posts from the previous week and answer a weekly question.

This week’s question: What are your plans for this summer?
Other than taking it easy, we do have plans to attend the Catholic Writers Conference Live in Chicago. We will also be visiting my extended family down in New Jersey and possibly take a trip to visit the Statue of Liberty.

This week’s posts:

7 Quick Takes Friday – Anniversary, Reviews, Giveaway Two new reviews (thank you, Carol and Jean!!) and a link to a huge giveaway at the Catholic Sistas website.

From the President’s Desk – Inspiration and CWCL A brief post on inspiration and the upcoming Catholic Writers Conference Live in Chicago.

Copyright 2014 Ellen Gable Hrkach

7 Quick Takes Friday – Anniversary, Giveaway, Reviews Etc.

7_quick_takes_sm1Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday.

1. 32nd Anniversary
This past week, my husband and I celebrated our 32nd anniversary. It’s hard to believe we’ve been married that long! We went to breakfast at our favorite diner, spent the morning at the National Gallery in Ottawa, then attended Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral.

2. Review at Catholic Fire
Jean Heimann at Catholic Fire always has wonderful things to say about my books. Her recent review of my newest book is no exception!! Thank you, Jean!
“A Subtle Grace is excellent read for historical romance fans. Those who enjoy Christian romance and suspense novels will find this story particularly enjoyable. This is a winner!”

3. Review at Simple Catholic Living
Special thanks to Carol at Simple Catholic Living for this lovely review of A Subtle Grace.
“…a few pages in, I was hooked! As usual, Ellen does a wonderful job portraying realistic, memorable characters and touching on delicate subjects in a sensitive, caring manner. She also weaves authentic Catholic teaching seamlessly throughout the novel, without being preachy or overbearing.”

4. Giveaway of All Five of My Books
Would you like to win all five of my print books?? Go to Catholic Sistas and enter at this link. Or click the picture below. One lucky winner will win all five books!ASG Giveaway CS

5. Catholic Writers Conference Live
Are you a Catholic writer? Would you like to be inspired by great talks and network with fellow Catholic writers? Come join us at the Catholic Writers Conference Live, which is being held in conjunction with the Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show just outside of Chicago this summer. For more information, check it out at this link.logo

6. Reading/Review Shelf
Catholic Mom’s Cafe – Donna Marie Cooper O’Boyle

7. Status Update Cartoon

copyright James and Ellen Hrkach Please do not use without permission

copyright James and Ellen Hrkach Please do not use without permission

copyright 2014 Ellen Gable Hrkach

7 Quick Takes Friday – May 16

7_quick_takes_sm1Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday.

1. Catholic Writers Conference Live
Are you a Catholic writer? Would you like to hear great talks? Come join us at the Catholic Writers Conference Live, which is being held in conjunction with the Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show just outside of Chicago this summer. For more information, check it out at this link.logo

2. Erin McCole Cupp – Interview at Catholic Fiction
One of Full Quiver’s authors, Erin McCole Cupp, who wrote the lively and entertaining Don’t You Forget About Me, is featured over at CatholicFiction.net with a wonderful, insightful and interesting interview. Check it out here.

3. Happy Wedding Day to Elle and Jack!!
My cousin’s daughter (Elle) is marrying her sweetheart (Jack) today! Elle is my namesake and an amazing young woman! I wish we could’ve attended the happy nuptials, but unfortunately, we couldn’t. We’re there in spirit, though! And take a look at their wedding website!! Congratulations to two amazing people! We wish you the most wonderful wedding day and a lifetime of love and joy!

4. The Twilight Zone
One of my favorite classic TV shows is The Twilight Zone. One of my sons bought me Season 1 for my birthday and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it (I’ve been watching episodes while on the elliptical). This was a show that was ahead of its time in many respects…from the unusual and creepy opening music, to the relevant topics and brilliant writing. It was also a favorite of my father’s and we often watched the show together when it first aired.TZ1

5. Ellen Lane Street Sign
Remember last year at this time? My husband had a run in with the law trying to take a photo of this sign. I asked and, like the dutiful husband he is, he obliged. Read all about it here.

photo copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach

photo copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach

6. Review Shelf
“The Paradise Tree” – Elena Maria Vidal (to be published in the Fall)
“The Beauty of Faith: Using Christian Art To Spread the Good News” - Jem Sullivan PhD.

7. How NFP Couples Celebrate An Anniversary (Cartoon)

copyright 2013 James and Ellen Hrkach (Please do not use without permission)

copyright 2013 James and Ellen Hrkach (Please do not use without permission)

Copyright 2014 Ellen Gable Hrkach

7 Quick Takes Friday – March for Life, Movie Reviews, Mother’s Day

7_quick_takes_sm1Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday, where we share seven quick posts!

1. March for Life Canada
LifeSiteNews reports there were over 23,000 on Parliament Hill yesterday for the annual March for Life! (For Canada’s lower population, this is outstanding!!) Unfortunately, I missed it again because of illness, but my second oldest son and his friend were present and had an opportunity to meet and chat with chastity speaker Jason Evert and take a cool photo with him!Jason Evert

2. Kidnapped Nigerian Girls
I’ve been praying for the young girls who have been kidnapped by a radical group claiming that Allah “told” them to sell the girls because the girls wanted an education. On Twitter and Facebook, I’ve been using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls to bring awareness to their plight. You can also go to this website and spiritually “adopt” one of the girls and specifically pray for her, if you wish. (My girl’s name is Tabitha Pogu.) Jesus, Mary and Joseph, keep Tabitha safe and bring her and all the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls to their families.

3. A Subtle Grace
Thank you to all who have already downloaded or bought a print copy of my new book, A Subtle Grace (O’Donovan Family)!A Subtle Grace front cover Nov2013

4. Mini Movie Review – God’s Not Dead
Overall, I loved this movie! Premise: College student Josh (Shane Harper) shows up for the first day of sociology class with a atheist, radical professor (Kevin Sorbo) who commands all the students to write down on a piece of paper “God’s Dead,” then sign it. Josh, who is a Christian, can’t do it. The professor, clearly angry that Josh won’t sign the paper, tells Josh that he will fail the course if he cannot prove to the class that God is not dead. The story and writing were outstanding, most of the actors were also outstanding (especially Sorbo and Dean Cain) and I enjoyed the Newsboys’ and Willie Robertson’s appearances. Highly recommend! (4.5 out of 5)

5. Mini Movie Review – Heaven is For Real
Last year, I read the book “Heaven is For Real” by Pastor Todd Burpo about the experiences of his then four year old son, who was critically ill and who claims to have visited heaven. It’s a compelling read. The movie was a bit slow moving for me, and had the “Fireproof” and “Courageous” feel to it. The acting was outstanding, especially by the young boy who played Colton and Greg Kinnear as Todd was also excellent. Overall, I enjoyed it very much and would highly recommend it to all. (4 out of 5 stars.)

6. Review Shelf
Something Other than God – Jennifer Fulwiler

7. Mother’s Day Cartoon

Image copyright James and Ellen Hrkach Please do not use without permission

Image copyright James and Ellen Hrkach Please do not use without permission

Copyright 2014 Ellen Gable Hrkach