7 Quick Takes Friday – Books Etc.

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

1. A World Such as Heaven Intended
Have you checked out the new FQP novel by Amanda Lauer? It’s now available on Kindle! Print book coming soon!AWSAHI Final Cover

2. Stealing Jenny #1 Fifth Week!
Stealing Jenny is now in its fifth week of being #1 in Religious Drama.Stealing Jenny

3. Seven Saints for Seven Virtues Book Review
Check out my review of this wonderful new book by Jean Heimann.SevenSaints

4. FQP Books at St. Patrick’s Gift and Book Store!
This is a repeat from last week…but very exciting news for my local readers. All Full Quiver Publishing books are now available for purchase at St. Patrick’s Gift and Book Store in Ottawa.

5. Autumn Beauty

Photo courtesy KJ

Photo courtesy KJ

6. Reading/Review Shelf
Trusting God with St. Therese by Connie Rossini

7. Dust Bunnies 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

Infant Loss Awareness Day – 2014

Emily's HopeToday is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day.

I have lost four babies through miscarriage and three babies through ectopic pregnancy. My novel, Emily’s Hope, is the fictionalized true stories of myself and my great-grandmother, and the story of loss and triumph. This excerpt describes Emily’s loss of baby “Seth.”

“I need to push.” She wanted so desperately not to push, to allow her baby to stay inside of her, and for her to continue to nourish and nurture her child, but her body wouldn’t allow that. She pushed only twice and her small child was born. Emily heard a sound like a kitten crying, then realized that her baby had let out a small, soft, weak cry.

As soon as the umbilical cord was cut, the nurse immediately carried the baby across the room as the pediatric staff attempted to work on their child. Emily and Jason sat quietly, their hearts heavy with emotion. A few minutes later, she felt another contraction and her placenta was delivered. She could hear a nurse referring to “him,” and realized that their child was another boy. After a few minutes, the doctor brought him back, his small form still hidden in the blue hospital blanket. He spoke in a hushed, almost apologetic voice, “There is nothing we can do for him.”

He handed the tiny one-pound baby boy to his mother. Jason held on to Emily’s shoulder and watched as she cradled the smallest baby they had ever seen. He was so perfect and looked identical to their oldest son, Jake. His small body was covered with minute white hairs. He was perfect as he struggled to breathe. He was perfect as he opened his mouth to cry. Emily held her new son as gently as she could. Jason reached over and poured a few drops of water on him and said, “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Emily could feel the vibration of his tiny heart beating so fast.

The nurse came in with a Polaroid camera and asked if they wanted her to take a photo of their child. Emily nodded as the nurse took a photo of her and Jason and their tiny son. She gazed in awe at this miniature human being and marveled at the fact that even though he was tiny, he was so perfect. His little hands looked like a doll’s hands. She removed the baby blanket and laid his small, warm body on her chest. She could feel his heart beating rapidly. After several minutes, she wrapped him again in the small blue blanket.

Then, in an instant, he was still. She could feel that his heart had stopped and he wasn’t breathing, but he continued to feel warm and soft. He looked like a sleeping angel.

If you have lost a baby through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth or infant death, please click on the link above “Baby Loss” for resources and helpful links.

In memory of our seven little souls in heaven: Baby H Twins (June 1986), Baby H (February 1990), Baby H (June 1990), Mary Elizabeth (June 1993), Seth (March 1998), Lucy (March 2006).

Copyright 2005 Ellen Gable (Emily’s Hope)

Seven Saints for Seven Virtues Book Tour

SevenSaintsSeven Saints for Seven Virtues by Jean Heimann (Book Review) Published 2014, by Servant Books

Jean Heimann’s beautifully written and inspiring new book is entitled “Seven Saints for Seven Virtues.”

The author focuses on the seven virtues: charity, chastity, diligence, humility, kindness, patience and temperance as well as the saints who illustrate them so beautifully: Blessed Mother Teresa, St. Agnes, St. John Paul II, St. Joseph, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Monica and St. Augustine.

Each chapter begins with the author telling the reader about a saint whose life was an example of that particular virtue, defining the virtue, then sharing a modern example of someone (sometimes a personal relative or friend) who was also an example of that virtue. Next, the author asks: “How Can We Practice” each virtue. Each chapter ends with examples of that specific virtue in action and what we, the reader, can do to put that virtue into practice.

This is an absolutely wonderful book, inspiring, edifying, informative and beautifully written. It can be read slowly, reflecting on each chapter/saint/virtue or it can be read quickly, taking in each virtuous saint’s life story and example.

Seven Saints for Seven Virtues is an ideal gift for anyone who wishes to grow in holiness and virtue. Highly recommend!

To purchase the book on Amazon, click here.

If you would like to win a copy of this book, please leave a comment below before Friday, October 17th!! (North American readers only, please!)

These blogs will be participating in the blog tour. Please visit them too!

Tuesday, October 14th, Connie Rossini
Wed., October 15th, Barbara Szyszkiewicz
Thursday, October 16th Can We Cana, Karee Santos
Friday, October 17th, Alice Berger
Saturday, October 18th, Jane Lebak
Sunday, October 19th, Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur
Monday, October 20th, Leticia Velasquez
Tuesday, October 21st, Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle
Wednesday, October 22nd, Janet Moore, Book Review

7 Quick Takes Friday – Happy Canadian Thanksgiving

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

1. A World Such as Heaven Intended by Amanda Lauer
Now on Kindle!AWSAHI Final Cover Click here to download the Kindle edition!

2. Working Mother by Erin McCole Cupp
Erin McCole Cupp has more information over here at her post.Working Mother Final-1

3. Thanksgiving Weekend in Canada
This weekend we celebrate Thanksgiving up here in Canada and I’m looking forward to welcoming some of my American relatives to join in the festivities!

copyright James Hrkach

copyright James Hrkach

4. FQP Books Are Now Available at St. Patrick’s Gift and Bookstore!
All of my books and Full Quiver Publishing‘s books are now available at the largest and most comprehensive Catholic bookstore in the Ottawa area, St. Patrick’s Gift and Bookstore!

5. Autumn Beauty in Pakenham

copyright Josh Hrkach please do not use without permission

copyright Josh Hrkach please do not use without permission

6. Review Shelf
Seven Saints for Seven Virtues by Jean Heimann (Look for my review this Monday as I participate in Jean’s Virtual Book Tour!)

7. Thanksgiving Cartoon

Image copyright 2013.James and Ellen Hrkach Please do not use without permission

Image copyright 2013.James and Ellen Hrkach Please do not use without permission


Feast of the Holy Rosary – Favorite Rosary Quotes


October is the month of the Holy Rosary, so I would like to share some of my favorite quotes about the rosary:

“Never will anyone who says his Rosary every day be led astray. This is a statement that I would gladly sign with my blood.” Saint Louis de Montfort

“You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary.” Our Lady to Blessed Alan de la Roche

“Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world.” Pope Blessed Pius IX

“When the Holy Rosary is said well, it gives Jesus and Mary more glory and is more meritorious than any other prayer.” Saint Louis de Montfort

“One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, Our Lady will save the world.” Saint Dominic

“If you say the Rosary faithfully unto death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins, ‘you will receive a never-fading crown of glory’ (1 St. Peter 5:4).” Saint Louis de Montfort

“You must know that when you ‘hail’ Mary, she immediately greets you! Don’t think that she is one of those rude women of whom there are so many—on the contrary, she is utterly courteous and pleasant. If you greet her, she will answer you right away and converse with you!” Saint Bernardine of Siena

“Recite your Rosary with faith, with humility, with confidence, and with perseverance.” Saint Louis de Montfort

“The Rosary is the most beautiful and the most rich in graces of all prayers; it is the prayer that touches most the Heart of the Mother of God…and if you wish peace to reign in your homes, recite the family Rosary.”
Pope Saint Pius X

“Even if you are on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil as sorcerers do who practice black magic, and even if you are a heretic as obstinate as a devil, sooner or later you will be converted and will amend your life and will save your soul, if—and mark well what I say—if you say the Holy Rosary devoutly every day until death for the purpose of knowing the truth and obtaining contrition and pardon for your sins.” Saint Louis de Montfort

“The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families…that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.” Sister Lucia of Fatima

“How beautiful is the family that recites the Rosary every evening.” Pope John Paul II

“The Rosary is a magnificent and universal prayer for the needs of the Church, the nations and the entire world.”
by Pope John XXIII

“The holy Rosary is a powerful weapon. Use it with confidence and you’ll be amazed at the results.”
by St. Josemaria Escriva

“When lovers are together, they spend hours and hours repeating the same thing: I love you! What is missing in the people who think the Rosary monotonous, is Love.” Sr. Lucia of Fatima

Prayers of Love – the Holy Rosary

rosary-maryThis is the month of the Holy Rosary. I’d like to repost an updated article I wrote as a guest post for another blog years ago:

“When lovers are together, they spend hours and hours repeating the same thing: I love you! What is missing in the people who think the Rosary monotonous, is Love.” Sister Lucia of Fatima

I have been a Catholic for my entire life (55 years), but it is only in the last 30 or so years that I have had a devotion to the Holy Rosary. I attended Catholic schools until high school. As a teenager, I would have identified myself as Catholic, but between television and secular influences, I didn’t totally embrace my faith until after I was married, and this was because my husband insisted that we not use contraception during our marriage.

As we dialogued back and forth in those few months before our wedding day, I still didn’t know why the Church taught that married couples shouldn’t use contraception to avoid pregnancy. In fact, I remember thinking that the Church just ought to come out of the Dark Ages and get more in line with the modern world.

In the end, I decided to trust my husband (and the Church). In the next year, we read Humanae Vitae, as well as other church documents, and I became fully convinced that the Church was indeed speaking the truth when she declared that contraception was a grave sin. Before we were married, we learned NFP and we are now a CCL NFP Teaching Couple Specialist (and have been teaching NFP for 30 years).

During that first year of our marriage, a couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses came to our door. My husband and I welcomed them and dialogued with them. Most of their questions centered on Mary: “Why do Catholics worship Mary?” “Why do you say such a monotonous repetitive prayer?” “Why is Mary so important to Catholics?” First, we gently explained to them that Catholics don’t worship Mary, we honor her. As for the other questions, I realized that I didn’t really know the answers, so I did some research.

To the question “Why is Mary so important to Catholics,” what I found out could probably fill an entire book. However, my own thumbnail answer is this: Jesus honored his mother. We, as Catholics, are called imitate Christ. He honored his mother and so we should do the same. Also, as Jesus hung on the cross, He gave his mother to the whole world when He said to John, “Behold your mother.”

Mary is indeed our mother and, as our mother, she desires us to be closer to her Son. The rosary is the ideal way for us to become closer to Him, because as we say the repetitive prayers (with love), we are meditating on His life.

I have found that saying the rosary has brought me closer to my husband and to Christ. Even after 32 years of marriage, we continue to say “I love you,” just as we continue to say the rosary together, with love.

7 Quick Takes Friday – Miscellaneous Book News!

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

1. A Hero for the People: Stories of the Brazilian Backlands SALE
If you haven’t already taken advantage of this amazing sale of the 2014 CALA winner, please head on over to Amazon and pick up this book for only .99!Hero

2. A World Such as Heaven Intended by Amanda Lauer
We are days away from the Kindle release of this Civil War Romance! Print edition will be available late this month, but the Kindle edition will be available by October 15th!AWSAHI Final Cover

3. Stealing Jenny #1 for Third Week!
Stealing Jenny, Kindle edition has been #1 in Religious Drama for the third week in a row! It was #1 in UK in Christian Suspense for 10 days! Stealing Jenny

4. A Subtle Grace
A Subtle Grace has received more five star reviews on Amazon! The ranking is now 4.8, higher than any of my books. Thank you, readers!A Subtle Grace front cover Nov2013

5. Full Quiver Publishing
Check out our FQP website for up and coming book news!Full Quiver logo

6. Reading Shelf
The Blood Cries Out by Karl Erickson

7. Back Up Cartoon

Copyright James and Ellen Hrkach...please do NOT use without permission

Copyright James and Ellen Hrkach…please do NOT use without permission