Come My Beloved Free on Amazon Kindle January 2 and 3

To celebrate the beginning of a new year, on Monday, January 2nd and Tuesday, January 3rd, the Kindle edition of my book of courtship stories, Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship, will be available for FREE on Amazon.

To read excerpts, click here:

In her review of Come My Beloved, bestselling author Lisa Hendey said, “Whether you’re courting, engaged to be married, newlyweds, or celebrating your jubilee years together, this terrific resource offers something for anyone looking to grow closer to God and to one another in a loving relationship. I loved each of the diverse stories in this book, which show a variety of “real life” couples living out their vocation to marriages in different circumstances. Having just celebrated my 25th anniversary, this book reminds me of the importance of keeping Christ at the center of our relationship. Thanks to all who shared their stories and to the editors for creating a great resource for our families!”

Lisa Mladinich, founder of Amazing and author said, “Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship” is a Song of Songs, a book of praise, a treasure-house of faith and romance par excellence! I dare you to try and put it down once you open its grace-filled, enchanting pages. For me, reading this book was a lot like falling in love! The presence of God in the lives of the contributors came through so powerfully to me that as I read the stories, I found myself stopping from time to time to pray and give glory to God. This truly beautiful collection of Catholic courtship stories is a must-read for anyone discerning a vocation, especially the call to marriage; and for those courting, engaged, already married, or widowed. What a great gift to Holy Mother Church, and a powerful witness that God does make marriages in heaven.”

To download the book to your Kindle for FREE, click on the following link on Monday and Tuesday: Come My Beloved Kindle edition. NOTE: The FREE book will not be available until Monday, January 2 and ends Tuesday, January 3 at midnight.

A Blessed and Joyous Christmas!

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:8-11

“Fear not little flock, fear not. Come with me to Bethlehem. Let us celebrate a joyous Christmas. Let us be merry and happy no matter what because Christ is born.” Catherine Doherty

I’ll be taking the next week off from blogging.

A Blessed and Joyous Christmas to all!

7 Quick Takes Friday – December 23

Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at Conversion Diary’s Blog for 7 Quick Takes Friday:

1. My novel, Stealing Jenny, received a great review from the Midwest Book Review. “Stealing Jenny” is a dark page turner that won’t be easy to put down.”

2. Two nights ago, I attended the Preview performance of Kanata Theatre’s Christmas Musical, A Year With Frog and Toad, in which my husband (who co-directed the musical) and son are performing as Father Frog and Young Frog. The cast did a phenomenal job! For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the box office at 613-831-4435.

3. Yesterday, I watched my favorite Christmas movie It’s A Wonderful Life with my family. I still get emotional at the end when George reads the note from Clarence: “Remember George, that no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings, Clarence.”

4. A gift idea for the newly engaged: Give the gift of an NFP course, either a virtual online class or a live class.

5. If you’re giving a Kindle as a gift to someone or if you’re getting a Kindle this Christmas, I’m offering one free Kindle copy of my newest book, Stealing Jenny, to three people who comment on this 7 Quick Takes post before Sunday, January 1, 2012. That’s three free copies! Leave a comment below to be entered.

6. I took the photo below two nights ago when freezing rain coated the hedge in front of our house with ice. This photo doesn’t fully capture the beauty of the frozen hedge and blue lights, but it’s still quite captivating.

7. And, last but not least, it will be a white Christmas for us up here in the Ottawa, Ontario area! We awoke to a beautiful, fresh snowfall of about two inches (photo). Since we will have a white Christmas, I decided to turn on the “snow” feature of my blog.


For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary.

Photos and text copyright 2011 Ellen Gable Hrkach

Prayer: The Cry of a Child by Catherine Doherty

I’d like to share another excerpt, this one from Catherine Doherty’s “Living the Gospel Without Compromise.” This is entitled “Prayer: The Cry of a Child” and is available free as a Pass it On article at this link.

The first step in praying is to understand who we are, and that is awfully difficult. We must acknowledge that we are creatures, saved sinners, entirely dependent on God. We must be, as the bible says, anawim, poor people of God, the poor people of the beatitudes who know that they depend on God. We must face ourselves and realize that we cannot exist on our own, that we are dependent.

To the proud, this is anathema. We look at ourselves and we say “I depend on no one” — and suddenly, in the very saying, we realize that this is not so: we do depend on God. This is the beginning of prayer: that we become beggars before God, knowing that we receive even the steps we take from him.

To begin to pray we must first cleanse our souls of arrogance and pride. In grave humility and as beggars, must we come to him who alone can make us princes and kings and queens, not of earthly kingdoms, but of the kingdom of God. Only when we are thus poor and realize our total poverty, can we go to Bethlehem and meet the Child who became poor for us.

Is there any human being who does not respond to the cry of a child? Did you ever consider the first cry of the Child Jesus? It was his first message of love to us. When we know that we are poor, we can easily enter Bethlehem and answer his cry. We can easily walk behind the donkey that bears the woman and Child. If we are poor we will not hesitate to enter the humble home of Nazareth to take part in the hospitality of Joseph and Mary. Yet the proud and the arrogant look down their noses at simple folk from Nazareth: “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”

If we realize our own poverty we will follow him who had nowhere to lay his head. Prayer is the interpersonal relationship of a poor man with the Poor Man.

If we remain poor and keep following the Poor Man, a change will take place. Up to a point Christ will console us. But as our prayer deepens, we will enter the darkness of a fantastic faith, a faith that we have to pray for. The time will come when we will have to console Christ. For we see him all over the world — in slums, in Park Avenue — in people committing suicide because of the greed of people.

When we console him our prayer will take on a new dimension. The Son of Man became incarnate that we might console him, so that in consoling him we might learn to console one another, to be tender toward one another. He offered himself as a victim for us on the cross so that we might take him in our arms as Our Lady took him in hers.

Our prayer will be dirgelike, and yet, a joy! Our pain will be purified and our prayer will have moved into another dimension: we will want to be on the cross because Love is crucified. A strange thing will happen: our prayer will become a prayer of joy, a fantastic resting in the heart of God.

Thus from a recognition of our total dependence we are led to a prayer where we realize the Father is coming to us, know the touch of his hand, see Christ’s human face reflecting his glory. Thus does prayer become a total and final resting place, a unity, a complete union of ourselves with God. The darkness of faith grows light and there is no need for words anymore. There is only a need for rest, the rest of a beloved in the arms of her Beloved.

A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms by Lisa Hendey

A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms: 52 Companions for Your Heart, Mind, Soul and Body by Lisa Hendey is a beautifully written, well-researched and extraordinary book which showcases 52 saints. The reader can focus on one saint per week (although some people might prefer to read it straight through). I especially like the format. Each chapter begins with basic information about the saint, their feasts, patronages, etc. A story of the saint follows, with lessons, traditions, quotes from the saint, then a week of scripture passages, saint-inspired activities for Mom and children and ends with a prayer and something to ponder.

This is is an outstanding book with inspiring quotes from the saints and scripture passages unique to each saints’ lives and traditions.

The list of 52 saints is not meant to be all inclusive, although I did notice that six of my favorite saints are included: Virgin Mary, St. Anthony, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Gianna Molla, Blessed John Paul II and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.

This is a wonderful, inspiring and informative book that should be on every family’s bookshelf. I highly recommend it!

Order A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms from Amazon or Ave Maria Press.

Copyright 2011 Ellen Gable Hrkach

Sunday Snippets – December 18

Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at RAnn’s Place for Sunday Snippets where we share our posts from the previous week:

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Self-Promotion or the Strangest Place I’ve Ever Sold a Book My latest contribution to the Catholic Writers Guild Blog.

Not My Mother’s Journey Book Review

Trashy Novels, Move Over
I was interviewed by Lisa Mladinich of Patheos and Katheryn Lane, author.

Sights of the Season

7 Quick Takes Friday: More Sights of the Season

Photos and text copyright 2011 Ellen Gable Hrkach

7 Quick Takes Friday – More Sights of the Season

Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at Conversion Diary’s blog for 7 Quick Takes Friday. Today is an all photo Quick Takes with more sights of the season. Some of these were taken last year, some this year:

1. At the Christmas Tree Farm

2. Gingerbread House made by my youngest son

3. Christmas Tree Farm

4. My oldest son experimenting with the camera

5. More photography from my oldest son

6. Winter scene outside our window

7. Another winter scene

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary’s blog.

All images copyright 2011 Ellen Gable Hrkach/Josh Hrkach