7 Quick Takes Friday – Miscellaneous Quick Takes

7_quick_takes_sm1Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday, where we share seven quick posts!

1. A World Such as Heaven Intended
Currently working on edits for the new FQP book, A World Such as Heaven Intended by Amanda Lauer. Tentative release date: October 28. Check out the novel website here. Synopsis: The Civil War tore the United States apart and many friendships and families as well. In A World Such as Heaven Intended Amara McKirnan and Nathan Simmons share a devotion to their Catholic faith but their loyalties lie on opposite sides of the conflict. Dedicated to the Confederate cause, Amara offers to help out at her uncle’s makeshift hospital in Atlanta. Fate brought Nathan to their doorstep and into Amara’s life. Little does Amara know that the wounded soldier she cares for harbors a secret that will not only jeopardize his life but hers as well. Follow Amara and Nathan’s story from the heart of war-torn Atlanta to the Northern Georgia battlefields to the plains of East Texas as their lives become intertwined in a way that shatters the separate worlds they once knew. AWSAHI Final Cover

2. Wildcard Wednesday, the “Get Discovered” Edition
Check out Erin’s “Fiction Improv” post at this link. Participate for a chance to be included in an upcoming FQP Anthology with stories that illustrate principles of St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.WildcardWed

3. The Angels of Abbey Creek by Sue Elvis
I recently wrote about my friend, Sue’s, new children’s book here at this post. Check it out!AAC Sue Elvis

4. Research, Research, Research
I’ve been doing a lot of research for my upcoming short novel, Julia’s Gifts. It’s a World War I romance between an American nurse and a Canadian soldier. Tentative release date is Fall of 2015. Research is one of my favorite parts of writing historical fiction. The National Film Board of Canada’s youtube channel has been tremendously helpful.

5. Free E-Books Coming
During September, I will be doing two free promotions of FQP books. One will be next week and the other will be the following week. Keep tuned here for more details.

6. Reading Shelf
Opal’s Jubilee by Leslie Lynch

7. ‘Another One’ Cartoon

Cartoon copyright James and Ellen Hrkach, Full Quiver Publishing Please do not use without permission

Cartoon copyright James and Ellen Hrkach, Full Quiver Publishing Please do not use without permission

Copyright 2014 Ellen Gable Hrkach

The Angels of Abbey Creek – New Book by Sue Elvis

AAC Sue ElvisMy friend, Sue Elvis, has a new children’s book out and it’s called “The Angels of Abbey Creek.”

Book description:
In Australia, where Christmas is in summer and dads like to play cricket, is a small town. Not far from this town, along a narrow, winding road, is the village of Abbey Creek. And on the edge of this village, nestled among the shady gum trees, is a sprawling brick house. This is the home of the Angel family: Mum, Dad, Edward, Kate, Joe, Celeste, Lizzie and Annie.

And this is the story of their very adventurous year!

It’s a year full of happy days and magic moments, of camping in the bush and perfect beach holidays, of feast days and birthdays and even a First Holy Communion. The year has exciting days and disastrous moments, with racing bushfires, naughty birds and scurrying mice. And it’s full of surprises. The biggest surprise of all happens on Christmas Day!

The Angels of Abbey Creek contains 22 individual adventurous stories which fit together to tell the tale of one exciting year!

This book is now available for purchase from Lulu and will soon be available from Amazon.

Author’s Bio:
Sue Elvis is a Catholic wife and mother of eight, who lives in the state of NSW, Australia. She is the author of Grief, Love and Hope, and has been involved with grief ministry. The Angels of Abbey Creek is her first children’s novel. Sue blogs at Sue Elvis Writes.

Sunday Snippets – August 24

Photo copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach

Photo copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach

Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at RAnn’s Place for Sunday Snippets where we share posts from the previous week and answer a weekly question. It’s been a while since I’ve participated and it’s good to be back! This week’s question: “Introduce yourself.” As my miniature bio says to the right, I am a freelance writer and author of five books, President of the Catholic Writers Guild, self-publishing book coach, editor, speaker, NFP teacher, book reviewer, Marriage Preparation Instructor. I’ve been married to my husband, James, for 32 years and we have five sons ages 15 to 27 and live in the country near Pakenham, Ontario Canada.

This week’s posts:

7 Quick Takes Friday

Parenting Children Who Have Abandoned Their Faith

More Highlights from the 2014 Catholic Writers Conference Live

The Blood Cries Out Blog Tour

Copyright 2014 Ellen Gable Hrkach

7 Quick Takes Friday – Articles, New FQP Book Etc.

7_quick_takes_sm1Lots going on. I’m connecting with other Catholic bloggers at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday.

1. Parenting Adult Children Who Have Abandoned Their Faith
My latest column over at Catholic Mom is entitled “Parenting Adult Children Who Have Abandoned Their Faith.” PACphoto

2. Five Little Souls in Heaven
I’ve posted this before, but this nearly 20 year old article started off my writing career and it also served as the basis for my first novel, Emily’s Hope.hrkach

3. A World Such as Heaven Intended
FQP’s new book (coming out in October) is entitled “A World Such as Heaven Intended” by Amanda Lauer. The Kindle edition will likely be released a few weeks before the print edition. Keep posted here, on Facebook and on the FQP website for more details.AWSAHI Final Cover

4. Lits
I love the architecture of Lits Department Store in Philly. Lits is mentioned in my first book, Emily’s Hope.

Lits Department Store, Philadelphia copyright 2014 Ellen Gable Hrkach

Lits Department Store, Philadelphia copyright 2014 Ellen Gable Hrkach

5. James Foley and Prayer
Wonderful, inspiring article: James Foley and the importance of praying the rosary in captivity. The evil coming from the Middle East has been cause for people of all faiths to increase their prayers for peace and conversion. Slain journalist Jim Foley is truly a modern day martyr.

6. Reading Shelf
To the Heights: A Novel Based on the Life of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati by Brian Kennelly

7. Game Over 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

Parenting Adult Children Who Have Abandoned Their Faith

PACphotoMy latest post over at CatholicMom.com:

Recently, I spoke with several older couples about the challenges (and joys) of parenting adult children. One mother shared her sorrow that her son not only has fallen away from his faith, but is actively antagonistic towards the Catholic faith and to her. A father of four adult sons talked to me about the frustration of finding out that his older son (who spent years serving as an altar boy and who had once considered a vocation to the priesthood) has stopped attending Mass. Yet another woman shared the sad situation of her daughter’s same sex relationship. All three of these parents, faithfully practicing Catholics, asked “What do we do now?” And “Where did we go wrong?”

I’m not an expert, but I do have some experience with parenting an adult child who has abandoned his faith. Here are some reflections that my husband and I have come up in dealing with adult children who have abandoned their faith.

1. Unconditional Love (Love the sinner, hate the sin)
This might seem like an obvious one, but I know some parents who’ve shunned adult children because they’ve stopped going to Mass or are engaging in immoral lifestyle choices.
My gut reaction to that is, “How are they ever going to learn to change if they don’t have your example to follow?” Also, how are they going to experience God’s unconditional love without a parent’s unconditional love? You can love without encouraging immoral lifestyles. If a son or daughter is cohabiting, when they visit your home, separate sleeping arrangements should be in order. If you have younger children, this shows them that you don’t agree with their lifestyle choices, but still love them and welcome them into your home… a home that does not condone cohabitation.

2. Pray for Your Children Every Day
This is also obvious, but a parent’s prayer for his or her child is a powerful one. Our Lady is a powerful intercessor. St. Monica (whose son, St. Augustine, made immoral choices) prayed for her son’s conversion (and it eventually happened!)

3. Look for Opportunities to Dialogue
This can often be awkward. Most adult children of faithful Catholics know what their parents are going to say, but sometimes it still needs to be said. Take the opportunity whenever you can to reiterate your love for them and your disagreement with their choices to live a life contrary to the Catholic faith. However, avoid engaging in conversation if you know they might be antagonistic, especially in front of other family members.

4. Be a Virtuous Example
You can teach your kids all about the faith, especially in the areas of marital sexuality, but if you are not living that faith, these truths may be lost or ignored. This also goes for even more basic virtues like patience, fortitude and hope.

5. Hope, Indeed!
I’ve seen adult children convert very late in life; I’ve witnessed imperceptibly slow conversion resulting from a child’s experience of steadfast parents. Don’t lose hope. Don’t underestimate the value of your prayers for or your personal effect on them.

Parenting adult children who have fallen away from their faith can be challenging. Love them unconditionally, pray for them every day, look for opportunities to dialogue, be a good example and remain hopeful that they will return to the faith.

Copyright 2014 Ellen Gable Hrkach

More Highlights from CWCL

Here are more photos from the Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show and Catholic Writers Conference Live:

Moderating the Catholic Fiction panel

Moderating the Catholic Fiction panel

Self Publishing Panel with Arthur Powers (moderator), Ann Frailey and Eileen Leamy

Self Publishing Panel with Arthur Powers (moderator), Ann Frailey and Eileen Leamy

Sorrowful Mysteries Panel with Erin McCole Cupp and Karen Kelly Boyce

Sorrowful Mysteries Panel with Erin McCole Cupp and Karen Kelly Boyce

To see the previous photo highlights from the Catholic Writers Conference Live, click here.

‘The Blood Cries Out’ Blog Tour

BloodCriesThe Blood Cries Out is a new book by award-winning author, Karl Bjorn Erickson.

Synopsis: Seattle Police Homicide Detective David Lightholler finds himself on a case unlike any he’s faced before. In the midst of working the darkest double homicide of his career, he unearths violent secrets of his family’s past that promise to haunt him for many years unless he can bring redemption and meaning out of the evil of the past–and present.

“I loved it – imaginative and inspiring,” says actor Sean Astin.

“Well written and fast paced,” says David Vermont.

“Enjoyable and uplifting,” says writer Don Mulcare.

Karl Erickson has called Salem home since 1996. He lives on the south side with his wife, two children, and an ever-growing Newfoundland puppy named Chester. While he’s been state employee for nearly two decades, he identifies himself primarily in the role of an author and essayist. He’s the writer of two lighthearted children’s books: Toupee Mice and Tristan’s Travels. Both are published by Rafka Press. His wife, Kimberly Erickson is their wonderful illustrator. Besides writing fiction, his articles have appeared in a wide variety of publications–from America, The National Catholic Weekly and Seattle Pacific University’s Response to a guest opinion writer for both the Portland Tribune and Statesman Journal.

To purchase the book on Amazon, click here.

To purchase the book at Barnes and Noble, click here.

7 Quick Takes Friday – Summer Fun

7_quick_takes_sm1Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday. Today is the beautiful Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

After the excitement of the Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show and the Catholic Writers Conference near Chicago, I had a relaxing week of visiting relatives in New Jersey. #5 Son and myself took a tour of Philly and Atlantic City.

1. Carpenters Hall

Carpenters Hall

Carpenters Hall

2. Ben Franklin Museum
(Not to be confused with the Franklin Institute)

Ben Franklin Museum

Ben Franklin Museum

3. Cool Printing Process
In an effort to show people how the printing process took place in the 1700’s, any museum visitor can add his/her name to the front page of a book published by Ben Franklin. (In my opinion, this was worth the $5 admission fee alone!)IMG_1041

4. Boardwalk at Atlantic City
Next we headed to Atlantic City to visit the Boardwalk (photos below) and to also visit the original site of the Seaside Hotel (where a key scene takes place in my novel, A Subtle Grace). The Seaside was torn down years ago and a modern casino built in that location.IMG_1064

5. Lucy the Elephant
Whenever we’re in the vicinity, we always like to visit Lucy, now a national monument in New Jersey. (That’s #5 son and myself at the bottom left-hand corner of the photo)IMG_1101

6. St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church
We attended noon Mass at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church near the Boardwalk.IMG_1095IMG_1099

7. The Phily Diner
One of my favorite places to eat in the South Jersey area.IMG_1124

All photos copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach. Please do not use without permission.

The Miracle of the Rosary

Today is the Feast of St. Dominic. The modern recitation of the holy rosary has its beginnings with St. Dominic. Read more about the history here. St. Dominic said, “One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, Our Lady will save the world.” If you don’t know how to pray the rosary, here is a helpful link.

Oftentimes, we expect miracles to take the form of visions or healings. But miracles also happen when a person’s heart changes. The following is a true story.

When I was about ten years old, one night after supper, I was sitting on the couch doing my homework. My parents began to argue over bills they couldn’t afford to pay. Each time my mom would yell, my dad would yell louder. It made me feel anxious to see the two people I loved most in the world screaming at one another. Don’t they love each other, I asked myself. And why won’t they stop yelling?

At one point, Dad said something about moving out. Oh God, please, I don’t want my dad to move out. Mom replied, “That’s good.” Please, Mom, don’t say that. I looked at them, but neither of them saw me or the panic in my eyes. They only glared at each other. My father went upstairs. I ran after him and watched as he got a suitcase out and started putting clothes in it. God, why won’t you stop him?

I passed by my bedroom and noticed my rosary sitting on the bedside table. I grabbed it, sat down on my bed and began saying the rosary. As I said each Hail Mary, I pleaded with Our Lady, “Holy, Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.” Please, Our Lady, don’t let my Dad leave us. As I was saying another Hail Mary, my dad walked by my room and didn’t notice that I was there. He stomped down the steps. I couldn’t hear whether he said goodbye, but I listened as the door slammed shut. “Oh, God, please make him come back.”

I continued to say the rosary, each Hail Mary becoming more fervent than the last. I prayed until my heart was bursting. Please, God, listen to my prayer. I began to recite the Hail Holy Queen prayer at the end of the rosary and suddenly, I heard the door open downstairs. Without finishing, I stood at the top of the stairs and I could see my dad standing in the doorway. Mom walked over to him. At first, they were silent. Then, my father started to cry. “I can’t leave you. I can’t leave my family.” He and Mom embraced. I began to cry with joy.

Thank you, God, and thank you, Our Lady, for bringing my Daddy back.

My parents remained married until my father’s death in 1978. Dad was buried with his rosary in his hands. Mom died seven years ago, on this very feast day. May they both rest in peace.

Copyright 2014 Ellen Gable Hrkach