Two Full Quiver Novels Are Finalists in CALA!

Congratulations to two FQP authors! The announcement of the finalists for the Catholic Arts and Letter Award has been released: The Lion’s Heart by Dena Hunt and A World Such as Heaven Intended by Amanda Lauer (both published by Full Quiver!) are finalists in this year’s Catholic Arts and Letter Awards!
Press release from the Catholic Writers Guild:
It is with great excitement that the Catholic Writers Guild announces our finalists for the 2016 Catholic Arts and Letters Award for Fiction! We want to thank all of you who entered the contest. Our judges had many terrific things to say about all the entries this year. The quality was remarkable, and we truly appreciate your dedication to Catholic fiction.

The finalists in the category of YA/Children are:
The Tree of Healing by Diana Tabbaa
A World Such as Heaven Intended by Amanda Lauer
I Am Margaret by Corinna Turner

Front Cover Final revisedsm
And the finalists in the Adult Fiction category are:
Catholic Philosopher Chick #2 Regina Doman and Rebecca Weiss  
The Lion’s Heart by Dena Hunt
The Watson Chronicles by Ann Margaret Lewis
The winners of the CALA will be announced July 28th at the Thursday morning breakfast sponsored by CMN at the CMN Trade Show in Schaumburg, Illinois. For information on attending this show or to register, please go to




To celebrate, Full Quiver Publishing is offering a $4 off coupon for both books.

To purchase A World Such as Heaven Intended: go to this link and put in code: GYAKZBAR

To purchase The Lion’s Heart, go to this link and put in this code: ZWG5ZRME

The Wisdom of Humanae Vitae and the Joy of Being Open to Life

The end of June every year marks two very difficult anniversaries for me. On June 26th, 1986, I was rushed into surgery to remove a tiny baby from my right fallopian tube. This, after already miscarrying a baby from my womb. I woke up in the hospital with the knowledge that I had conceived twins…and I would be leaving the hospital with neither in my arms.

At the end of June in 1993, I found myself in an ambulance fighting for my life, bleeding internally as the result of ectopic pregnancy complications. It’s hard to believe it’s been 18 years.

The following is a reprint of an article I had published a few years ago which deals with the difficult decisions James and I faced when deciding whether we should limit our family to three boys after a life-threatening pregnancy in 1993.

Pope Paul VI in his papal encyclical Humanae Vitae states: “ Responsible parenthood… has one further essential aspect of paramount importance. It concerns the objective moral order which was established by God, and of which a right conscience is the true interpreter. In a word, the exercise of responsible parenthood requires that husband and wife, keeping a right order of priorities, recognize their own duties toward God, themselves, their families and human society.”

In the ambulance, as I drifted in and out of consciousness, I didn’t have much time for retrospective thoughts, except “Please God, I can’t die. I don’t want my little boys growing up without a mom.” I was bleeding internally, the complications of ectopic pregnancy surgery two weeks previous, and quickly becoming weaker and weaker. Waking up later in the recovery room, I was thankful to be alive.

“You should not be having any more children.” The words were harsh and at first, we took them as truth. I was capable of having more, but after two ectopic pregnancies and complications from one of the surgeries, we were told that we must limit our family to three boys. The doctors suggested that I be put on hormonal contraception. They later urged me to have my remaining fallopian tube tied. The physicians weren’t the only ones to give the ‘order’ to stop having children. Well-meaning relatives and friends felt it was their duty to tell us that we should not get pregnant again. “You don’t want to be irresponsible, do you?”

“It concerns the objective moral order which was established by God…”

It became evident, as we dialogued with both the physicians and the well-meaning relatives and friends, that they were concerned only about my physical health. Most of them cared little, if at all, for my/our spiritual well being. And, initially, in those first few weeks after my surgery, we felt that we ought to listen to the “doctor’s orders.”

However, as the months went by, I began to regain my strength. We continued using NFP in the most conservative way, often adding one or two days to the rules for extra security. A year later, with heaviness in my heart, I thought of the future and the fact that we would not have anymore children. I wondered whether God was calling us to actively seek another pregnancy. My husband and I discussed it, then brought our concern to our spiritual director, explaining to him that the doctor told us that we should not have any more children. “James and Ellie,” he said, “that is a decision to be made between the two of you and God.” He encouraged us to pray about it and he further recommended that we talk to a faithful Catholic doctor. We knew of a Catholic physician through a neighboring homeschooling community. Her response after reviewing my file was that we could try for more children, but that I would need to be monitored carefully in the first several weeks to confirm that it wasn’t another ectopic pregnancy.

… a right conscience is the true interpreter…”

For the next several months, we prayed together. We deeply desired another child, but we did not want to be careless or irresponsible. After much prayer and discernment, and weighing all the risks, we decided to actively seek another pregnancy.

“…the exercise of responsible parenthood requires that husband and wife, keeping a right order of priorities…”

Ten cycles later, we were still not pregnant. We felt at peace with our decision to seek another pregnancy and, although disappointed, we trusted that God knew what He was doing. Eventually, we stopped charting. Another eight cycles went by with no pregnancy and I began to sell off most of my baby furniture. A few weeks later, it dawned on me that I hadn’t had a period in six weeks. The next morning, I took my temperature and it was 98.9. After 18 months of saying no to us, God was saying yes and blessing us with another eternal soul. I was thrilled that another new life, the fruit of our love, had begun, and would be sheltered lovingly in my womb.

With the blessing, however, soon came suffering. I began having debilitating migraine headaches and some days I could not get out of bed. Worse than the physical pain, however, was the emotional suffering. Doctors, well-meaning friends and relatives told us that we were being “irresponsible” and “selfish,” and that if I was suffering, “I had asked for it.”

At 30 weeks, our unborn baby was six pounds and I had already gained 50 pounds. That might not seem like much, but with my four feet nine inch frame, it meant that I could not drive (the seat had to be pushed back so far to allow for my large stomach that my feet couldn’t reach the pedals) and I could not walk the last six weeks of the pregnancy.

Our son, Adam, was born eight weeks later at nearly ten pounds. The pro-life Catholic doctor who delivered Adam by C-section told me that we could try for another baby someday, but that the pregnancy would again have to be monitored. Three years later, our youngest son, Paul was born.

“… recognize their own duties toward God, themselves, their families and human society.”

The words of Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae courageously proclaim the truth of responsible parenthood and openness to life. The decision to have or avoid another child remains a decision between the couple and God. No one else ought to make such a life-changing and important choice because no one else will have to endure the consequences (and joys), nor will anyone else have to stand before God someday and explain their actions.

Although we could have used NFP to avoid pregnancy permanently and to limit our family size to three sons, we chose to listen to our hearts, to answer God’s calling, and to seek more children. When I consider that our two youngest sons (pictured above and below) might possibly not be here today, my heart becomes heavy. Both are unique, talented, funny and amazing human beings who have already given so much to our family and to society. I am grateful to God, because I can’t imagine our family without them.

Here they are posing for an updated shot of that same photo! (Now 20 and 17 years old.)

photo courtesy James Hrkach

photo courtesy James Hrkach


Copyright 2016 Ellen Gable Hrkach

Infinite Space, Infinite God II

InfiniteSpaceII_medIf you enjoy science fiction that recognizes faith, especially the Catholic faith, as an integral part of human society, you’ll love ISIG II. However, Karina has another surprise coming in September from Full Quiver Publishing: Discovery, the first Rescue Sisters novel, starring the three sisters of the Order of Our Lady of the Rescue as they travel to the edge of the solar system to explore an alien spacecraft. To get all the news, plus chances to win prized, writing tips and great articles and stories from all her worlds, join her newsletter, FabianSpace.

Infinite Space, Infinite God II is available from Amazon here at this link.

My review is below:

Infinite Space Infinite God II is a compilation of 12 short stories which have both inherent science fiction and Catholic/Christian themes. It is similar to ISIG I but slightly different in that most of the stories focus on the individual. The editors state: “Institutions had let humankind down overall, so it was up to the individual…”

These are stories with Catholic characters and situations, most set far into the future, where Catholic priests are no longer limited to parishes on Earth, but are appointed to positions on other planets and in other solar systems. The people in the stories are not perfect but believable and well-developed characters who are presented with unusual sci-fi moral dilemmas.

I’m partial to time travel stories, so my favorite of the twelve is “The Ghosts of Kourion” by Andrew M. Seddon, about a widowed professor (Robert Cragg). After Professor Cragg tragically loses his wife and daughter, he travels back to 365 AD to the Greek city of Kourion. This is the ideal story to start off this book of short stories not only because of all the moral implications involved in time travel, but this emotional story captures the reader immediately.

The remaining stories include a tale about a nun who faces venomous snakes, a priest who battles aliens, a character who is genetically engineered and whose usefulness has ended, a clone named Lorraine and her friend, Father Markham, and much more. Although many of the stories have Catholicity woven throughout, this book is appropriate and fun reading for readers of all faiths.

Entertaining, well-written, ISIG II is filled with interesting characters and unique situations, beautiful imagery. ISIG II offers humor, sci-fi, Catholicity and suspense all in one book.

I highly recommend this entertaining book to everyone, especially to those who enjoy Catholic science fiction. It is an “Out of This World” treat!

The Kindle Edition is here at this link.

The Print Edition is here at this link.


Catholic Writers Conference 2016

Check out this wonderful video for the Catholic Writers Guild upcoming conference:

Prominent Catholic Writers to Speak at Conference in Schaumburg, Illinois

Contact: Ann Lewis, 317-755-2693

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., June 16, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — Several prominent Catholic writers will speak at the eighth annual Catholic Writers Conference LIVE taking place July 27-29 at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center in Schaumburg, Illinois (near Chicago.) Sponsored by the Catholic Writers Guild and the Catholic Marketing Network (CMN) and held in conjunction with CMN’s annual retailer trade show, the Catholic Writers Conference LIVE provides Catholic writers with a prime opportunity to meet and share their faith with editors, publishers, fellow writers, and bookstore owners from across the globe. The theme of this year’s conference is “Openness to God’s Will.”

Presenters include keynote speaker Margaret Rose Realy (A CATHOLIC GARDENER’S SPIRITUAL ALMANAC), authors Gary Zimak (FROM FEAR TO FAITH), Karina Fabian (GREATER TREASURES), Lisa Mladinich (TRUE RADIANCE), Lisa Hendey (THE GRACE OF YES), Ellen Gable (STEALING JENNY) and many others.

The conference will give authors an opportunity to meet personally with publishing professionals and pitch their writing projects. Some participating publishers are Ignatius Press, Ave Maria Press, and Servant Books. In addition, attendees have the opportunity to sign up for a fiction critique workshop with award-wining short fiction writer Arthur Powers (A HERO FOR THE PEOPLE), a non-fiction critique group with Nancy Ward ( and attend writing workshops with novelists John Desjarlais (SPECTER) and Michelle Buckman (RACHEL’S CONTRITION). Michelle Buckman will also be offering one-on-one critique sessions. Information for all these events can be found on the conference website.

The Catholic Writers Guild, a religious non-profit organization affiliated with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, sponsors this conference in July, an online conference in March, and a writers’ retreat in October to further its mission of promoting Catholic literature. CWG President, Joseph Wetterling, says, “The Guild exemplifies the Catholic ‘both/and’ with writers from every part of the world, in every genre, and from every walk of life. We’re diverse in personality and style but united in our loyalty and love of the Catholic faith. The Catholic Writers Conference Live is a unique opportunity to come together in fellowship and sharpen each other toward our united mission: a rebirth of Catholic arts and letters.”

Registration costs $80 and $45 for students. CWG Members receive a 10% discount. There’s also a discounted registration combined with a CWG membership. To register or for more information, go to

Interview with Author Barbara Golder and Giveaway!

Dr. GolderDr. Barbara Golder is the author of FQP’s newest book, Dying for Revenge: The Lady Doc Murders Book One.  Today is the last day of the Virtual Book Tour for her book and also a giveaway.  Leave a comment below (before June 20th) to be entered to win a free PRINT copy of Dying for Revenge?
EGH: As a writer, I would think that having worked in the medical and legal professions would give you a plethora of good writing material.  But what — or who — actually gave you the idea to be a novelist?

BG: I got my start writing as a lark. The Telluride Times Journal, a newspaper that is no longer in publication, had a competition for the best skiing accident story. I had a particularly amusing anecdote which I wrote up and sent into them. When I got the newspaper a couple weeks later I was looking at the winning entry of the contest and didn’t actually realize until I got halfway through it that it was mine.

Because we have a second home in the area, I got the bright idea to write a column about second home ownership. It was a humorous column and I had a lot of fun doing it. After a couple of years of this,my husband and I reconnected with an old friend, Doreen Thistle, who happens to be an editor and literary agent. Steve, my husband, sent her some of my columns and she asked whether I had ever considered writing fiction.

I think everyone who loves books dreams about writing the Great American novel. I never had any illusions that I could write the Great American Novel. But I thought I might be able to spin a reasonably good dime-novel murder mystery.  I suppose I have always been something of the storyteller, particularly when my children were little. And I have always been a teacher and had a knack for bringing in concepts that don’t seem to be terribly similar and making them work together. I suppose that’s a kind of storytelling as well.

And I have always enjoyed murder mysteries from the time I first read Sherlock Holmes. I had actually had an idea knocking about my head for probably 10 years and decided to give it a try. Doreen, now my literary agent, asked me to send a first chapter. I did, she liked it, and she coaxed the rest of the book right out of me.  I wrote nights and weekends for a year or so getting Jane’s story down on paper. Doreen was very much the midwife.

Part of the reason I wanted to write this book the way I did is that I got very tired of reading murder mysteries that had absolutely no mention of faith. I spent a lot of time in forensic pathology, dealing with people who have just been confronted with sudden and unexpected death. I can tell you from my experience that they do not ignore God. They might rail against Him or they might run to Him but they don’t –by and large–ignore Him. I wanted to write something that was a little closer to my own experience. Not a book that is centering on faith, but a book in which faith is quietly central to the characters and just part of their ordinary struggle in life.
EGH: As an author myself, I know that some of my own idiosyncrasies, personality traits and habits show up in my characters and more specifically, my protagonists. How close to the character Jane are you? What are the similarities and what are the differences between you and Jane? 

BG: This will give you an idea of how incredibly clueless I am. When I first had a friend read the earliest drafts of Dying for Revenge, he commented on how much of me there was in Jane and I was dumbfounded. Jane is something of a smart alec, as I am. Certainly many of her expressions are mine. And there was something of a spiritual journey involved in writing the book. It started out one way and ended quite another and I worked through a lot of my own thoughts, ideas, and I suppose my own injuries as I wrote about them through Jane’s eyes. But she is a totally different woman. Really. She’s smarter, she has more faith, she has more children, and she’s a lot braver than I am. But of course, we share a background in medicine and law, and apparently she talks a lot like I do.

EGH: The characters in your novel are so well-developed that I feel like I know them. How do you go about developing your characters?  Do you write character studies or base your characters on people you know?
BG: I suppose I do a little bit of both. Instead of writing the book in a linear fashion, I tend to write the scenes that I see most clearly and visually first and then go back and work in the connecting bits.  The characters come alive as part of the story and they really do take on a life of their own. They aren’t, for the most part, consciously based on anyone I know (including myself). I have always been an observer of people, and part of being a pathologist, like part of being a writer, is noticing the details of situations and people. I suppose that comes through in my writing. I do try to keep track of the details of the characters life so that I don’t make timing mistakes or continuity mistakes. My character studies tend to be brief little sketches but I have found them to be very helpful
I do have to admit that my son gave me the inspiration for no less than four characters in the book. There is a wealth of material in Nathan’s life to work with. (Thanks, son!). And I have to say it one more time that my husband is not –repeat not– Dead John.
EGH: I learned from your author bio that you are an avid reader.  What are three novels that you’ve read recently that you recommend?

BG: This is going to sound odd, but I haven’t read any novels recently apart from all the work I’ve been doing on my own! Most of my leisure reading tends to be philosophy, theology, bioethics, or cosmology these days. I would recommend “The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos” by Brian Schwimme. It isn’t a novel but it is wonderful. One of my longtime favorites is “Grandmother and the Priests” by Taylor Caldwell–I love her detailed and visual style and her leisurely and entirely Celtic way of telling stories.  And like any good Southerner, I love anything by Flannery O’Connor.  Ian Rankin’s “Knots and Crosses” I liked very much; his character development is splendid, and I love his use of language.  And the story is something more than just the mystery, which I appreciate in a good novel. His books tend to be, at least for me, about relationships as much as they are about situations.

EGH: Most of the setting of the novel is Telluride, Colorado.  Why did you choose this setting for the first book in the series?  Will the other books take place in Colorado or will there be other settings?

BG: I chose Telluride because it seemed to work. I suppose it was because I was working for the paper there at the time. Anyway it’s a lovely town, we have enjoyed being second homeowners there for many years. It is a quirky community that provided the right kind of infrastructure for the story.  The next books in the series will take place in different places. Jane has children scattered throughout the world, Eoin is Irish, and it seems like a good idea to move the stories around. Telluride, like Cabot Cove, is too small to sustain too many murder mysteries! Even Jessica Fletcher had to go out and about.

Dying for Revenge Final Front

To enter to win a print copy of Dr. Golder’s new novel, please leave a comment below (before June 20th).
Dying for Revenge is available both on Kindle and in paperback.
Check this link to read reviews, see a book trailer, read an excerpt and click on links to the other bloggers’ posts on the Virtual Book Tour!

An Open Book

Open Book


I’m linking up with Carolyn Astfalk and Catholic Mom for “An Open Book.”

Here’s what I’ve been reading:

Angels All Around Us by Anthony DeStefano

I received this review copy last year and have finally gotten around to reading it.  It’s a beautifully written book that’s hard to put down.  I am thoroughly enjoying it and will be passing it on to others in my family when I’ve finished.

Angels All Around Us


The Family Tree Problem Solvers: Tried and True Tactics for Tracing Elusive Ancestors

I haven’t read this yet, but I’m hoping this book will help me to trace two lines of my family tree that don’t seem to have any information on Ancestry.

Family Tree


Full Cycle by Christopher Blunt

There aren’t too many novels that both parents and kids can read and enjoy equally. Full Cycle is one of those few. Despite a physical disability that makes him one of the least-athletic kids in school, 11-year-old Alex Peterson sets his sights on something crazy: doing the 200-mile Seattle to Portland bicycle ride in a single day. The only way he can get there is to convince his father to return to the sport and train with him as a real partner, and this leads to some of the plot’s most captivating twists. Full Cycle is not just a story about a bicycle competition. It’s a story of a father-son relationship; it’s a story of the importance of working together as a team, about encouraging our children to reach beyond their limits. It’s a wonderful story about focusing on abilities, not disabilities. This would be an ideal novel for a parent and child to read together. Highly recommend.

Full Cycle


That’s it for me, although I’ve been reading submitted manuscripts and projects for editing.

Check in at Catholic Mom or Carolyn Astfalk’s site for more posts!

Dying for Revenge – Day One of Virtual Book Tour

DyingForRevengeToday is Day One of the Virtual Book Tour for Dying for Revenge – The Lady Doc Murders Book One!  The paperback edition is now availableThe Kindle edition has been available for two weeks.

“Barbara Golder joins the ranks of Chesterton’s bloodthirsty heirs as she spins a tale that will delight mystery fans. With Dying for Revenge in hand, your beach experience is now complete!” Mark P. Shea, Author of Mercy Works

Someone is killing the rich and famous residents of Telluride, Colorado, and the medical investigator, Dr. Jane Wallace, is on a collision course with the murderer. Compelled by profound loss and injustice, Jane will risk her own life to protect others from vengeful death, even as she exacts a high price from those who have destroyed her world. DYING FOR REVENGE is a story of love, obsession and forgiveness, seen through the eyes of a passionate, beautiful woman trying to live her life — imperfectly but vibrantly — even if she won’t survive.

To view the book trailer, click below:

Other Social Media Links for author Dr. Barbara Golder:

Novel Page:   (Full Quiver Publishing)

Author’s website:

Book Series Facebook page:

Instagram: @ladydocmurders

Twitter: @ladydocmurders

Facebook Author Page:


To read an excerpt, click on the novel page.


Please visit these other blogs during the Virtual Book Tour.

Thursday, June 2, Sarah Reinhard at Snoring Scholar

Friday, June 3, Patrice McArthur

Saturday, June 4, A.K. Frailey

and Barb Szyszkiewicz

Sunday, June 5, Erin McCole Cupp

Monday, June 6   Carolyn Astfalk, Review

Tuesday, June 7  Theresa Linden Things Visible & Invisible

and Jean Heimann

Wednesday, June 8   Virginia Lieto

Thursday, June 9  Christopher Blunt

Michael Seagriff

Friday, June 10 Therese Heckenkamp

Saturday, June 11 Plot Line and Sinker, Interview