In Name Only FREE This Friday and Saturday!

My second novel, In Name Only, will be available FREE on Amazon Kindle on Friday, March 2nd and Saturday, March 3rd! If you don’t have a Kindle, the Kindle app is free for PC, iPod, iPad or other device at this link.

In Name Only won the Gold Medal for Religious Fiction in the 2010 Independent Publisher Book Awards and spent seven weeks as the #1 Amazon Kindle Bestseller in Religious and Liturgical Drama.

In Name Only is an historical romance (it takes place in 1876 Philadelphia) with Catholic themes and characters.

Here are what some folks are saying about In Name Only:

If you love romance but hate smut, pick up this beautiful story and let it carry you away. The characters are believable, layered, human and humorous even in the midst of tragedy. The reader never loses hope and is rewarded on every page with little gems of character behavior, dialogue, plot twists and romantic intrigue. I was so very sorry when it ended!
Lisa Mladinich, writer, novelist, founder,

“...this is the the best book I’ve read in a long time. It has all the qualities that make for an outstanding, memorable novel–and it’s Catholic as well! I highly recommend it!
Therese Heckenkamp, Traditional Catholic, and author, Past Suspicion

“…conveys the beautiful Catholic teachings on conjugal love, and shares both a pro-life story and a conversion story.”
Jean Heimann, Catholic Fire

There aren’t too many historical romance novels that appeal equally to men and women, but Ellen Gable pulls it off admirably with IN NAME ONLY. My wife read the novel first–and kept telling me “You HAVE TO read this book!”–while at the same time not allowing me to pry it from her fingers until after she finished it. Ms. Gable’s writing gave birth to very real, three-dimensional characters. I especially liked how she could portray a man given over to every imaginable vice without ever lapsing into too lurid detail. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!” Gerard Webster, award-winning author, “In Sight,” and “The Soul Reader”

“…Ellen Gable has crafted another beautiful historical romance which examines difficult issues faced by people in every age. While her exceptional attention to historical detail allows the reader to feel immersed in the story’s post-Civil War era, the challenges the characters must deal with – lust, adultery, abortion, class and gender prejudice – all are still very real and relevant to a modern audience. Handled with amazing sensitivity, In Name Only is not simply a novel about one man’s redemption from the addictions that plague him, but a story about how love can change us all if we let it…” Krisi Keley, author, “Pro Luce Habere

If you’d like to download In Name Only for FREE, just click “purchase” at the Amazon listing page of In Name Only this Friday and Saturday and it will be downloaded to your Kindle device…FREE!

To find out more about In Name Only, you can read reviews, excerpts, watch a book trailer or watch a Catholic TV interview at the novel’s website: In Name Only website.

Welcome Risen Jesus by Sarah Reinhard – Review

My latest review at Amazing Catechists is for “Welcome Risen Jesus: Lent and Easter Reflections for Families” which is Sarah Reinhard’s second book. It follows the same easy-to-read format of her first book, “Welcome Baby Jesus: Advent and Christmas Reflections for Families.”

In the introduction, Sarah writes, “This booklet will help you and your family focus each day on the three pillars of Lent: prayer, fasting and almsgiving.”

Like her first book, each day has a think, act, pray section, although this version also includes a paragraph entitled “Fast.” Each page lists a pertinent Scripture passage.

A few examples from the Act sections: “Do you have lunch money or some saved allowance? Give all or part of it to a food pantry or soup kitchen,” or “Wash the dishes or help with the cleanup as much as you can.”

The Fast sections include suggestions such as: “Give your dessert — or the favorite part of your snack — to someone else,” of “Don’t eat between meals today,” or “Do a chore you hate without mentioning you hate it or calling attention to the fact you’re doing it.”

This is a beautifully written and illustrated book. The fact that it is geared to both parents and children is what I love most about it. This offers parents and children a unique opportunity to grow together in faith during the Lenten season and takes only a few moments each day.

I look forward to using this booklet with my own family and I highly recommend it to all families who wish to grow in faith during this beautiful Lenten season.

Copyright 2012 Ellen Gable Hrkach

Sunday Snippets – February 26

Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at RAnn’s Place for Sunday Snippets where we share our posts from the previous week. For me, it’s been a slow week for blogging. But I did manage to post a few:

Stealing Jenny FREE on Amazon Kindle Tomorrow The Kindle edition is no longer free, but it was free for one day this past week. I believe this is one of the reasons Stealing Jenny has gone viral (see 7 Quick Takes post below). Thousands of people downloaded Stealing Jenny for free last Tuesday. As soon as the free promotion ended, however, many readers continued to download it.

Lenten Promise Leads to Award-Winning Devotional This is a press release for my friend, Karina’s, book. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend this book!

7 Quick Takes Friday – Exciting Book News During my 7 Quick Takes, I shared that my third novel has gone viral overnight! Although it’s been in the #1 position before (for three days in November), this time, it’s solidly in the #1 position in three different categories and in the top ten of several more. Earlier today, it was #70 for overall paid Kindle books (1.5 million books) although now it’s sitting at #112 overall. I’m still pinching myself!

For more Sunday Snippets, please visit RAnn’s Blog.

Copyright 2012 Ellen Gable Hrkach
Photo copyright 2011 Ellen Gable Hrkach

7 Quick Takes – Exciting Book News!

Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at Jen’s Conversion Diary, for 7 Quick Takes Friday.1. I’m absolutely thrilled that Stealing Jenny has taken over the #1 Position in two separate categories on Amazon Kindle: Religious and Liturgical Drama, and Literature and Fiction (Drama), as well as achieved the #2 position in Religious Fiction (Mystery)! Of course, I don’t mind at all that my second novel has been ousted out of the #1 position it’s held for nearly two months, since the book doing the ousting happens to be one of my own. It’s also pretty cool that all three of my novels are in the top three of Religious and Liturgical Drama!

2. In Name Only continues to do well as it is now at the #2 position in Religious and Liturgical Drama and is listed in the top 30 of another category!

3. Enough of my good news…now onto to great books that I’m reading: Sarah Reinhard’s “Welcome Risen Jesus” and Kathleen Basi’s “Bring Lent to Life” are outstanding books for Lent! I’ve also just finished Dana Doyle’s riveting new book called Hope for Healing. Reviews of all three books will follow in the coming weeks.

4. My friend, Krisi Keley, is offering her two-volume novel “Pro Luce Habere” FREE for the next few days. I don’t usually read “vampire” novels, but this is incredibly well-written and has Catholic themes.

5. Full Quiver Publishing’s upcoming book, “Growing Up In God’s Image” by Carolyn Smith will be released at the end of next month. It’s a “new approach to the facts of life talk” and not only gives the basics, but the theology behind it as well.

6. Full Quiver Publishing is also excited about the new novel we’re publishing by AnnMarie Creedon called Angela’s Song! Check out this excerpt on her website.

7. In celebration of Stealing Jenny’s success on Amazon Kindle, I’m giving away a free PRINT copy. Leave a comment below before Friday, March 2nd to be entered to win!

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

Lenten Promise Leads to Award-Winning Devotional, Why God Matters

For immediate release:

Layton, UT; Pueblo, CO— In 1996, Karina Fabian, mother of toddlers, made a Lenten vow that launched her career as a writer. Years later, it led her to share that joy of writing with her father, as they collaborated on an award-winning devotional, Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life. This year, she hopes to share the joy of Lent through her book and the Why God Matters website.

Deacon Steve Lumbert and his daughter Karina Fabian share their stories of how God led them from casual belief to deep devotion, and offer tips and exercises to help you see God’s hand–and take it. Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life is published by Tribute Books and won the Christian Small Publisher Award for best book on Christian Living. It has over 40 reviews from readers of many Christian faiths who recommend it not only as a book to read, but to go through slowly, doing the exercises to strengthen their relationship with God and to be more aware of His presence in her life.

This year, Fabian and Tribute Books are opening the Why God Matters website to faith stories by others, especially Lenten faith stories. “I believe that Lent, and Lenten vows, can change lives,” Fabian said. “I’d like to share that hope with others, and the best way is through sharing our stories.”

Fabian credits her 1996 vow with giving her life its direction. She had always enjoyed writing, but it wasn’t until the Lent after leaving a career in the Air Force that she took it up professionally. “I was home with the kids, and getting a little stir crazy as Lent was approaching. I try to not only give up something for Lent, but to take up something to better serve God as well. So that year, I decided to give up reading fiction and take up writing.”

By Easter, Fabian had a job with the Wyoming diocese newspaper, and freelanced for several parenting and local magazines. She also wrote some slice-of-life stories, but seldom sent them out, and eventually moved more into writing fiction. However, in 2009, when Tribute books was seeking someone to write a short devotional of personal stories, tips and quotes, she felt God calling.

“I was a little intimidated by the project though. I felt something of this magnitude needed someone with a theological grounding, too. Then I realized, my father is a deacon—and he is full of terrific stories.”

Deacon Steve Lumbert, who came to faith while Fabian was in college, had never written a book, but was excited to collaborate with his daughter. Working on this book brought a new level to their relationship.

“God continues to bless me through that Lenten vow,” Fabian said. “Not only will I cherish having worked with my father, but the book itself has touched so many lives. People have written to us that it’s helped them understand their faith better , brought them closer to God, or touched them when they really needed it. I hope this Lent, through the website, we can do this some more.”

Fabian is also willing to speak to book clubs and parishes through telephone or Skype. Contact her at: karina (at)

Photos, interviews, and more information available on request or by visiting or

Stealing Jenny FREE on Amazon Kindle Tomorrow

Stealing Jenny, my pro-life suspense novel, will be available for FREE all day tomorrow (February 21st) on Amazon Kindle.

After three heartbreaking miscarriages, Tom and Jenny Callahan are happily anticipating the birth of their sixth child. A neighbor, however, is secretly hatching a sinister plot that will find Jenny and her unborn baby fighting for their lives.

“Stealing Jenny is a gripping novel filled with engaging characters, a compelling mystery and a message which underscores the precious dignity of life. I literally couldn’t put it down and give Stealing Jenny my highest recommendation.” Lisa M. Hendey, Founder of and author of “A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms”

“Ellen Gable is a masterful storyteller.Stealing Jenny is a smoothly written, chilling tale of gripping suspense. There are terrifying moments and heart-wrenching moments. Catholic faith and hope are tested. Above all, the sacredness and privilege of precious new life is made indisputably evident I never wanted it to end!” Therese Heckenkamp, Traditional Catholic

“Stealing Jenny will keep you on the edge of your seat and probably destroy your sleep pattern as you stay up to find out what happens. This is a novel that should come with a warning label!
” Sarah Reinhard, author, “Welcome Risen Jesus: Lenten and Easter Reflections for Families”

“Stealing Jenny is …another finely-plotted story and a cast of very real and well-drawn characters which highlight Ellen Gable’s ability to write beautiful Catholic fiction in any genre.” Krisi Keley, author, “On the Soul of a Vampire,” and “Pro Luce Habere”

“I could not put it down! I highly recommend this book.
” Donna Piscitelli, award-winning author

If you have a Kindle, you can download this book for FREE all day tomorrow, February 21. (If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the free app for your PC, iPad, iPod or other device at this link.

Sunday Snippets – February 19

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

Increase the Odds of Self-Publishing Success
My post at the Catholic Writers Guild Blog.

Our Courtship Story This is an excerpt from my book Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship and tells the story of how my husband and I met.

Life in a Cartoon World
My guest post at Catholic Sistas on the origins of our cartoons.

The Benefits of NFP My latest post at Catholic Mom.

Photo and text copyright 2012 Ellen Gable Hrkach

The Benefits of NFP

My latest post at Catholic Mom is a reprint from Amazing Catechists called “The Benefits of NFP.”

Natural Family Planning (NFP) provides many benefits that not only promote healthy living, this remarkable method of birth regulation is also environmentally friendly and fosters authentic marital love.

NFP is safe
There are no harmful side effects for either the husband or wife. It is completely safe, 100 percent natural, and involves no potentially harmful devices or drugs.

NFP is healthy
There are no pills, invasive procedures or long-term drugs. Women who use NFP know more about their bodies and can discover health problems sooner.

NFP is effective
Used and taught properly, NFP can be 99 percent effective in avoiding pregnancy. In our experience as an NFP user couple, we have never had an unplanned pregnancy in nearly 30 years. NFP can also assist some couples in achieving much-wanted pregnancies without chemicals and operations.

NFP costs very little to use
In this economy, NFP is very cost effective. Other than the cost of the course, materials and the replacement of thermometers, NFP costs very little to use over a couple’s 20 or 30 years of fertility, compared to purchasing condoms, diaphragms, pills and other chemicals or operations.

NFP is environmentally friendly
NFP does no harm to the environment. Charts can be recycled and there are no chemicals or other devices used.

NFP is marriage insurance
In a study done by the Couple to Couple League, couples who used NFP had a less than two percent risk of divorce compared to the national secular average of 50 percent.

NFP is morally acceptable
Married couples who use NFP are spiritually healthy because NFP fosters authentic marital love and allows a couple to love as Christ loves: freely, totally, faithfully and fruitfully.

NFP works with irregular cycles
NFP is not like the old rhythm method, which depended on regular cycles. NFP’s charting system works with a woman’s present signs of fertility.

For more information on NFP:

Text copyright 2011 Ellen Gable Hrkach
Cartoons copyright Full Quiver Publishing/James and Ellen Hrkach

Life in a Cartoon World

If you ever wanted to know more about the origins of our cartoons or the process it takes to create one, I’m guest posting over at Catholic Sistas with a post entitled “Life in a Cartoon World.”

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” Like the old adage says, an image can usually tell a story better than words. Of course, storytelling in any form is as old as human beings. Comics or cartoons, humorous ways of telling stories, have been popular since the 1930’s, and many people still look forward to the “Sunday Comics” in local newspapers.

Today, comics are not only seen in newspapers, they also appear in magazines and, more recently, on the internet.

As a child growing up in New Jersey, I loved to read the Sunday comics. I never dreamed that I would be helping to create one. Of course, that was before I met my husband.

The origins of our little “comic” or cartoon actually began 47 years ago. My husband, James, an artist from the time he was three years old, used to doodle and create little caricatures of people around him.

Years later, when I was a teenager, I traveled up to Canada to meet my pen-pal. I know that it sounds cliche, but when I first saw James, he was so handsome that he took my breath away. As I got to know him, however, what really attracted me was his quiet, kind, and witty personality. Since we lived 500 miles apart, we began exchanging letters to keep in touch.

To read the rest of the article and see more cartoons, please go to the Catholic Sistas Blog.

Our Courtship Story

As my gift to you, the Kindle edition of my book of true courtship stories, Come My Beloved:Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship, is free today until midnight.

Since this is Valentine’s Day, today’s post is an excerpt of James and my courtship story (which was the basis for my novel, Emily’s Hope). The entire story can be found in Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship.

Ellen: Because I was very young looking, I did not date in high school or for the year or so after. I longed to meet someone, that special person with whom I could spend the rest of my life. Every night I prayed, “Please God, send me a man.”

During my first visit to Canada in 1978, my pen-pal asked if I wanted to go with her to a jam session where her brother would be rehearsing with his rock band. When we arrived, the band was taking a break. One boy, however, was crouching, with his back toward me, a guitar in front of him, and he was playing the same three or four notes over and over again. I remember thinking that fellow must be dedicated. I also noticed that he had dark curly hair and bell bottoms (out of style at the time) which prompted me to think he must not be too concerned about fashion. A few moments later, the band members took up their instruments. The fellow with the dark curly hair turned around and began playing his guitar and singing. It sounds cliché, but when I first saw his face, he took my breath away. And he played with such intensity that I couldn’t stop staring at him.

James: I wasn’t much for pursuit, except pursuit of excellence in music and art. That seemed so much easier to understand than girls. Ellie, on the other hand, was definitely in pursuit and had a hard time hiding it, even if she tried. One thing is for sure, though, her young looks were less intimidating for someone as shy as myself.

Ellen: I returned to Canada the summer of ’79. Although I was 20 at the time, I looked more like 13 and was rather immature. I was told that James was shy and usually quiet, but when we later met at a dance in the local curling club, we spent the entire time outside (where it was less noisy) talking for three hours. I was nervous because I liked him so much. I actually began the conversation by asking him a “conversation starter” that my pen-pal had given me in case I became nervous. “Nice trees around here,” was all I could come up with. His answer surprised me. “Yes, they are nice. I like the way the light is reflecting off the oak leaves over there.” I never expected such a well-thought out and creative answer to a conversation starter. But as we began to talk, I realized that he was no ordinary young man.

James: It’s funny that although I would have gladly stood on a stage and produced a wall of loud noise to perform at any dance, I wasn’t much for attending them. I certainly saw the empty meanings of much popular music, and spending time outside of the noisy dance hall was a definite option, especially when this time was to be spent getting to know a person from a different part of the continent, a girl, in fact, who seemed to want to get to know me. When time flies by so fast you can’t keep track of it, you know you’re having fun and I certainly felt comfortable chatting with Ellie that night. So comfortable that I almost couldn’t face the discomfort of having to see her return home.

Ellen: Later that week, when we said good bye to one another, he promised that he would write to me. I arrived back in New Jersey and immediately wrote my first letter to James.

In those days, we didn’t have email or cheap long distance or texting, so he had to wait over a week before he received my letter. I had to wait two weeks before receiving a response. When I received his first letter, I knew he was the real thing. Over the next few months, he sent letters frequently and drew little pictures on the backs of envelopes or in the letters themselves, little pencil sketches of scenes, lions or the cartoon version of himself. On one particular envelope, he drew a man crawling over the desert, passing a glass labeled “H20” and saying “Ellen, Ellen.” On another, he drew a picture of me pulling on a phone wire with him saying “Keeping pulling. I’m just passing Syracuse.”

As we began to share thoughts and feelings over the next five months, I became more and more excited at the prospect that he was the man with whom I was meant to spend the rest of my life.

James: I must admit, I wasn’t much of a pen-pal and the only person I had ever or would ever write letters consistently to was Ellie. The delay between one writing and the other responding was frustrating, but it added a certain timeliness to my letters’ content. I tended to write things that would matter regardless of when Ellie read them. One thing is for sure: Ellie’s ceaseless and timely response to every letter I wrote definitely convinced me that there was someone who really cared about me, helping to cement my certainty that I was developing a relationship that was going to work. If she was putting aside the distractions of life just to make sure I got a response every few days, how much more would she truly be able to commit herself to being my lifelong partner when we were near each other?

Ellen: On returning to Canada just after Christmas 1979, James presented me with a beautiful painting (see photo above). When James and I were alone together, we pledged our love to one another and promised that we would be faithful. I was overjoyed because I had finally found the one I loved but unfortunately, he lived 500 miles away. I had no idea what it would mean to carry on a long distance relationship for an unknown number of years, but we were in love and it didn’t seem to matter when we were together.

Although I was Catholic — and had discovered that he was also Catholic — I figured that James was like most Catholics who didn’t follow everything that the Church taught. I wanted to give myself to him physically before I left during that visit so we would have something to hold us together. He was only 17 at the time, but he shared with me that he wanted to wait until marriage to have sex. I was shocked that a 17 year old would turn down an opportunity like that, but in hindsight, his high ideals for morality and “pursuit for excellence in art and music” are the exact traits which attracted me to him in the first place.

We spent the rest of the week trying to enjoy the few days we had left together. When it came time to say goodbye, we both sobbed. Neither of us knew when we would see each other again.

This is an excerpt of our courtship story. The full version is included in Full Quiver’s book: “Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship.” Our story has also been fictionalized in my novel, Emily’s Hope.

This is our 34th Valentine’s Day together. Happy Valentine’s Day to my true love!

Don’t forget, Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship Kindle edition is free until midnight tonight!

Copyright 2011 James and Ellen Hrkach
and Full Quiver Publishing