Please join me at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday!
1. Early Feedback for A Subtle Grace
One beta reader said that it was a “tremendous sequel.” Another reader said that it is “your very best work. I absolutely loved it! I particularly enjoyed how you wove a pro-life message throughout the book without being preachy. And it was so easy to read! It just flowed. Wonderful!”
2. New 5 Star Reviews on Amazon.com for Stealing Jenny
I’m very grateful for the most recent reviews of Stealing Jenny on Amazon. Of the last ten, nine have been five stars and one, four stars. From Claire: “This book held my attention from beginning to the end. I read it in one day even through the president’s state of the union message. It was well written, fast moving, and really believable.”
From Meredith: “Being a mother, I totally relate to this. Some might write this off as a Catholic lack of reality story. Not me. I’m not Catholic, more pro-choice with a personal feeling of pro-life. It’s a real MUST READ kind of book, and this comes from my heart. But the reader has to dig deeper and realize the emotional depth that Ellen has brought to us.”
3. Downton Abbey Season Four (Spoiler Alert)I’ve so enjoyed this Masterpiece Theatre/PBS British show for the past few years. My favorite couple is Anna and Bates. She’s usually so joyful and such a good person deep down and her husband, who is many years older, is a sweet and gentle man. I wasn’t convinced that their romance was the right thing for either of them during the first season when they began their courtship, but now it seems so natural for them to be together. This season has been difficult for them. Anna has been raped and until last week’s episode has been able to keep it secret from her husband because she’s afraid he will kill the man who did it. During last week’s episode, he overhears her speaking to Mrs. Hughes and finds out Anna’s secret.
Anna: “Well, it’s in the open. No more secrets. I’m glad of that at least. No more fear of being found out, because I am found out. My shame has nowhere to hide.”
Bates: “Why do you talk of shame? I don’t accept that there is any shame in this.”
Anna: “But I’m spoiled for you! And I can never be unspoiled.”
Bates: “You are not spoiled. You are made higher to me, and holier because of the suffering you have been put through. You are my wife, and I have never been prouder, nor loved you more than I do now at this moment.”
I know these are actors, but when you have brilliant writing, outstanding acting and excellent direction, well, these actors ARE Anna and Bates. We’ll see what happens next week and whether he will find out who assaulted his wife. But after last season (when Bates was finally vindicated and released from prison), no one wants to see him in prison again or — worse — hanged for killing a man, even if it was the man who raped his wife.)
4. Picture Perfect It’s hard to believe, but this was only my second published article. It was written in 2002 and appeared in Family Foundations, Spring 2003 issue: I tried to take a mental snapshot of the previous 10 minutes or so. Everyone had come to the table for dinner without being asked twice. The food was piping hot. All five children were sitting and quietly waiting for grace to begin. A soft snow had started falling outside, the woodstove was crackling, cookies were baking in the oven and the Christmas tree, which smelled fresh and green, sparkled with the twinkling lights. It all seemed so perfect, like a painting by Norman Rockwell or a scene from “Ozzie and Harriet.” For just a minute, I had wished that, like in the “Twilight Zone,” life would stop so I could savor the moment. I knew, however, that the scene wouldn’t last like that for long.
To read the rest of the article, click here.
6. Reading Shelf
2012 Tuscany Prize for Catholic Fiction
7. Cease Fire Cartoon
Copyright 2014 Ellen Gable Hrkach