Angela ‘Jel’ Cooke is a widow and mother of three who stays busy so as not to have to face the fact that her marriage was damaged and her husband, Devin, died before it could be repaired. Her good friends realize that no amount of home made lasagna, volunteering at church or late night games of Yahtzee can heal Angela from past regrets. When she meets Jack, the teacher of a class she is taking, he challenges her to face her demons. What follows is the poignant, yet often hilarious, saga of how Angela overcomes her guilt and learns to love herself and others.
Angela’s Song already has 13 five-star reviews on Amazon! Click on the link below to download your free book:
Angela’s Song Kindle Edition – Free Download
And…if you’re looking for a print copy of Angela’s Song, I’m giving away five free copies on Goodreads. Click the link below to enter:
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
copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach
My latest post at Catholic Mom is entitled “Building A Culture of Life.”
In John Paul II’s encyclical, Familiaris Consortio, (On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World), he states (p. 45) “The Church is called upon to manifest anew to everyone, with clear and stronger conviction, her will to promote human life by every means and to defend it against all attacks, in whatever condition or state of development it is found.”
Our society has become a culture of death. Here in Canada, since there is no law against abortion, killing an unborn child is legal right up to the moment of delivery. Some contraceptives are actually abortifacient (cause early abortions), rather than preventing conception. In certain parts of the world, pre-born baby girls are being killed by the thousands simply because they are female.
We need to fight against the culture of death by building a culture of life. Here are a few ways to do so:
Prayer and Fasting
Never underestimate the power of prayer and fasting. Daily Mass, the daily rosary, a weekly fast (especially on Fridays) and other forms of prayer have more effect than we can possibly realize. Spiritually adopting a baby in danger of abortion (http://www.spiritualadoption.org/) is a beautiful way we can build the culture of life. I also try to recite the Litany of the Saints daily. We can never know the effect that our prayers have had (until we die), but be assured this is one of the most important ways to build a culture of life.
Chastity, NFP and Openness to Life
All Christians (not just Catholics) are called to practice chastity and be open to life. Being chaste before marriage and practicing marital chastity (faithfulness) is essential for building a culture of life. Contraception is “intrinsically evil,” (CCC 2370) it harms marriages and separates couples physically and spiritually. Natural Family Planning (www.ccli.org) is a safe, moral and effective way to avoid and plan pregnancies.
Make sure that your voice heard. Register to vote and vote often and whenever the opportunity arises. This can be no more evident than in our upcoming presidential election. Although I have been living in Canada for 30 years, I am still a US citizen and I have continued to vote in US Federal Elections.
Corporal/Spiritual Works of Mercy
Performing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy will also help to build a culture of life because these works will help build spiritual character. When we are closer to Christ, we are closer to a culture of life.
The corporal works of mercy, based on Matthew 25:31-36, are: 1. feed the hungry 2. give drink to the thirsty 3. clothe the naked 4. shelter the homeless 5. visit the imprisoned 6. care for the sick 7. bury the dead.
The spiritual works of mercy, commanded or encouraged in many places Scripture, are: 1. admonish the sinner 2. instruct the ignorant 3. counsel the doubtful 4. comfort the afflicted 5. bear wrongs patiently 6. forgive all injuries 7. pray for the living and dead.
Peaceful Pro-Life Events
Attend peaceful pro-life events like the National March for Life (in the USA it is held every January; in Canada, it is held every May), the Hike for Life and other Pro-Life rallies.
Patience and Charity
It’s important to be patient and charitable when speaking to, interacting with or debating with those who are pro-abortion. Many of these fiercely pro-choice women have had abortions. Try not to be judgmental. In some cases, these women were coerced by their partners or parents (those who should’ve been protecting them) into having an abortion.
Be a Good Example
Being a good example of Christian virtue is another great way to build a culture of life. Volunteer at a pro-life women’s shelter, embrace faithful Catholicism and donate money to causes that build the culture a life.
If each of us does our own part, we can help to rebuild a culture of life, one that is an antidote for our current culture of death.
Copyright 2012 Ellen Gable Hrkach
Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday.
1. Little Shoes
Recently, while shopping at a local department store, I noticed a sale: girls’ Ugg knockoff books were only $10. I looked through the bunch and found a pair in my size: 2. They fit perfectly and, in fact, are so comfortable, I feel like I’m wearing slippers. Usually it’s challenging for me to find any sort of shoes without “Dora the Explorer” or “Disney Princesses” on them. Not that I have anything against those characters, but I don’t think a woman over 50 ought to be wearing shoes with colorful images of Dora or Cinderella. As for the boots, this was one of those times I was happy I have small feet.
2. SCSS Conference
Next Thursday, my husband and I will be traveling to a suburb of New York City to attend the 20th Annual Conference of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists. There will be sessions for writing and the arts. I’ll be presenting a talk on “Successful Kindle Marketing for the 21st Century Author.”
3. Autumn in the Ottawa Valley
A beautiful autumn scene. Photography copyright Josh Hrkach.
4. Stealing Jenny Only .99!
For a limited time only, my third novel, Stealing Jenny, is only .99 on Kindle.
I watched the most recent presidential debate with interest. Yes, I live in Canada, but I’m still a U.S. citizen and I have continued to vote (I just sent in my “overseas” ballot). The number of times Obama mentioned Planned Parenthood was absurd. After his poor performance in the last debate, he certainly came out swinging in this one (to his detriment, I think). The way the moderator interjected made her less of a moderator and more of a Obama supporter.
This election is probably one of the most important in recent history, for a variety of reasons. So if you can, please vote. Make your voice be heard.
6. Books on My Review Shelf
Look for my reviews in the next few months of the following books on my review shelf:
I Believe: The Creed and You by James Forsyth
At the Heart of the Gospel by Christopher West
I’ll be interviewing Christopher West about his latest book for CatholicMom.com.
7. Classic Cartoon (Tie the Knot)
I’ll be taking a break from 7 Quick Takes next Friday as I’ll be traveling.
Copyright 2012 Ellen Gable Hrkach
Recently, I hosted a book tour for this book with a reflection from Sarah on the Transfiguration. The following is the review I posted at Amazing Catechists.
Author Sarah Reinhard never ceases to amaze me. She’s the mother of three small children, has an active blog, is a columnist for (it seems like) 100 websites, is CWG Chair for the Seal of Approval Committee… and on top of it all, she’s managed to write four books in two years! As the author of four books (written over ten years) myself, this is nothing short of miraculous!
Her most recent book, A Catholic Mother’s Companion to Pregnancy: Walking with Mary from Conception to Baptism, is a beautifully written year long reflection with a spiritual focus.
As with Sarah’s other books, each chapter has a format and sections within the chapters: Walking with Mary, One Small Step, Faith Focus and Praying Your Pregnancy. Interspersed throughout the book are short contributions on different facets of pregnancy from various Catholic writers including Karen Murphy Corr, Jennifer Fitz, Jane Lebak and many others.
Part 1 is a weekly journal and starts from conception right up to labor. Part II covers labor and birth and Part III talks about Baptism. The author discusses fears, hopes as well as the details about what is going on at each stage of pregnancy with mother and baby. Father’s role is also included.
I enjoyed Sarah’s honesty. There is no sugarcoating any of the information. She shares some of her own worst fears and concerns in pregnancy. I also appreciated her humor.
I highly recommend this wonderful resource. I think this book’s Catholic focus makes it the ideal gift for expectant Catholic mothers as a companion in pregnancy.
Copyright 2012 Ellen Gable Hrkach
Here are a few of the posts and reflections on pregnancy loss that I’ve written over the years:
Ecce Ancilla Domini, an article on openness to life.
Probably the most viewed article on my blog is entitled “Difficult Anniversaries, Responsible Parenthood,” which speaks of the difficult decision we had to make after I nearly died from complications of an ectopic pregnancy. The doctors were urging us to get sterilized and we refused; instead we used Natural Family Planning to avoid pregnancy for a few years. As time went on, however, we felt God calling us to be open again. After speaking with a pro-life physician, as well as a faithful priest, we made the decision to be open to more babies. The photos below are of our two youngest sons: the two children we were told not to have (top) in 1999 and, most recently, (below) in 2012. I thank God every day for them.
To celebrate the launch of her new book, A Catholic Mother’s Companion to Pregnancy: Walking with Mary from Conception to Baptism, Sarah Reinhard invites all of us to spend her blog book tour praying the rosary together. Today, she shares this reflection on the Transfiguration:
He took a couple of ordinary fishermen and transformed them into apostles. And, a few years ago, he took an egotistical, very full of herself young lady and transformed her into a Catholic. It’s a journey I’m still very much on, a battle I’m still very much fighting, a conversion story I’m still very much writing.
This mystery always makes me think of the many experiences in my life that have changed me, pushed me into more than I was before. Among them–near the top!–is the ongoing experience of motherhood.
It has required me to be open to so many things. I’ve had to stretch and then stretch some more. I can’t help but be amazed at the many times God has used ME as his instrument.
When I look in the mirror each day, it’s not a professional businesswoman who looks back at me, but a mom who is part juggler, part comedian, part chef-chauffeur. I never thought I’d make noodles from scratch and enjoy canning jelly and tomatoes. Who knew I would spend my days this way? Instead of designing the next great tractor ad, I’m stepping on tractors on the living room floor. Instead of writing great ad copy, I’m writing books for Catholic women.
The Transfiguration never fails to inspire me and make me wonder what God has in store for me. I’m pretty sure it’s nothing like what I have planned!
As we pray this decade of the rosary, let’s hold all those brave women who have said yes to difficult and challenging motherhood in our intentions in a special way. Don’t forget, too, that we are praying for an increase in all respect life intentions as part of our rosary together this month. (If you’re not familiar with how to pray the rosary, you can find great resources at Rosary Army.)
Our Father . . .
10 – Hail Mary . . .
Glory Be . . .
O My Jesus . . .
You can find a complete listing of the tour stops over at Snoring Scholar. Be sure to enter to win a Nook (and any number of other goodies) each day of the tour over at Ave Maria Press. (Note on Nook giveaway: only eligible US residents may enter).
To read my review of Sarah’s new book over at Amazing Catechists, click here.
I’m giving away a free print copy of this book! To win, leave a comment below (before Friday, October 19th) to be entered!