SQT – #Free Book and New Channel for FQP

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-1024x727Please join me and other Catholic bloggers for Seven Quick Takes at This Ain’t the Lyceum.

1. Stealing Jenny #FREE on Kindle
My third novel, Stealing Jenny, is #Free on Kindle until Saturday. One line synopsis: Mentally unstable women kidnaps pregnant mom of five. Right now it’s #1 on Amazon’s FREE books in a variety of categories in the USA, Canada and Britain. Stealing Jenny

2. Full Quiver Publishing Has a New YouTube Channel
My company, Full Quiver Publishing, has a new YouTube Channel. Check it out here. Please consider “subscribing!” We’ve got more book trailers to add, as well as more interviews with our authors.

3. Virtual Book Club Appearance
Last night, I spoke via Skype to a book club near Barrie, Ontario. They had read my first novel, Emily’s Hope. They asked some great questions and I had a wonderful time speaking with them.

4. Efficacious Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Here is a very powerful novena that I pray daily. Saint Padre Pio recited this novena every day for all those who requested his prayers.

5. Review by Ann Frailey of Do You Believe?
I really enjoyed Do You Believe (from the creators of God’s Not Dead). My friend, Ann Frailey, posted this review of the movie at her blog and also at Catholic 365.Do You Believe

6. Reading Shelf
The Well – Stephanie Landsem

7. Touche Cartoon

copyright 2013 James and Ellen Hrkach Please do not use without permission

copyright 2013 James and Ellen Hrkach Please do not use without permission

Stealing Jenny #Free on Kindle until Saturday

Stealing JennyMy third novel, Stealing Jenny, will be FREE today (April 14) through Saturday (April 18) on Kindle.

Jenny Callahan is happily expecting her sixth child. But it’s not without complications. To make matters worse, a neighbor is secretly hatching a sinister plot that will find Jenny and her unborn baby fighting for their lives. Or…the one sentence synopsis: Mentally unstable woman kidnaps pregnant mom of five.

Reviews:
“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, 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, author, Frozen Footprints and Past Suspicion

“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. But beyond being a great suspense, it’s also an excellent example of morals in action and family life redeemed. As a fan of Ellen Gable’s work already, I’m now officially getting a t-shirt!” Sarah Reinhard, blogger, author

To download your Kindle copy for FREE, click here.

#VBT – Eve’s Apple by Marie Therese Kceif

EvesAppleEve’s Apple by Marie Therese Kceif
Short synopsis: A Witness of God’s Faithfulness: Marie struggles to grow in grace and guidance from the Lord while slowly recognizing her own rebellion. She intimately shows us the highs of her aviation, military and automotive careers and the suffering lows of abuse, bankruptcy, and divorce. Her relationship with God grows through it all. Eve’s Apple is a witness of how God gently guides one of His Eves into a slow freeing surrender of a Mary’s trusting yes. This is a journey of hope, faith, and real relationship!

Available on Amazon in softcover and hardback:
http://www.amazon.com/Eves-Apple-Marie-Therese-Kceif/dp/1462410219

Also available at the Publisher’s Website:
http://bookstore.inspiringvoices.com/Products/SKU-000693538/Eves-Apple.aspx

Goodreads Giveaway: (drawing to occur April 26)
https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/132147-eve-s-apple

Author’s Biography:
From farm life in Wisconsin, Marie Therese Kceif went on to have a varied full life. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics. Marie became an active duty US Army Capt. and pilot, automotive manager, bible study leader, RCIA guide, lector, speaker, writer, mom and wife. She now lives with her husband in Fenton, Michigan.
You can contact Marie Therese at marietheresekceif@gmail.com

Reviews for Eve’s Apple:
Joseph A. Marsigla, COL, MS, Commander, US Army: “Some words that come to mind are warm, introspective, wonderment, I could go on and on. The talent God has given her has allowed me to look at my life, to look at things I have not thought of in some time. I see many parallels and similar struggles. This book is one of those rare jewels that can change lives.”

Father David Harvey, Senior Catholic Priest: “An able storyteller and an adept communicator. She speaks with conviction and grace.”

Jill Savage, Hearts at Home founder and CEO: “She has a story to tell, and she tells it well. She’s honest and open about the less-than-charming part of her story. Most important, however, she is candid and sincere about the work God has done in her life. Our moms were touched by her story, and I know you will be, too.”

Other stops on the Virtual Book Tour:
April 9 – Karee Santos (Can We Cana)
April 13 – Ellen @ Plot Line and Sinker
April 14 – Michael Seagriff (Harvesting the Fruits of Contemplation)
April 15 – Alexandrina Brant
April 16 – Karee Santos (Can We Cana) Review
April 17 – Jean Heimann (Catholic Fire)
April 18 – A.K. Frailey
April 19 – Melanie Juneau (The Joy of Nine)
April 20 – Nancy Ward (Joy Alive.net)
April 21 – Dana Doyle (Catholic Working Mom)
April 22 – Ellen @ Plot Line and Sinker (Interview)

Want to win a #FREE E-Book of Eve’s Apple? The first person who leaves a comments wins the free e-Book!!

SQT – White Easter and Cool Technology

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-1024x727Please join me and other Catholic bloggers for Seven Quick Takes Friday at This Ain’t the Lyceum.

1. White Easter
It’s not the first time and certainly won’t be the last time we’ve had a White Easter. And it certainly made all things look “like new.” Very appropriate for Easter!

image copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach

image copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach

2. 21st Century Technology
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I do love 21st century technology. A few days ago, a N.J. religious education director asked us to give a Sexuality and Natural Family Planning talk for their Pre-Cana course (they couldn’t find a live replacement for the original couple doing the presentation). So tomorrow morning, we’ll be giving the talk via Skype.

And…next Thursday evening, I’ll be speaking via FaceTime to a book club who is reading my first book, Emily’s Hope.

3. Virtual Book Tour for Marie Therese Kceif
Yesterday was the first stop on the VBT for Marie Therese Kceif, author of Eve’s Apple. Karee interviews Marie, who is a former military pilot.EvesApple

4. Full Quiver Publishing You Tube Channel
We’re in the process of creating a Full Quiver Publishing YouTube Channel, where we’ve been uploading radio and TV interviews as well as book trailers! Check it out and let us know what you think! Full Quiver logo

5. Divine Mercy Novena
We’re nearly at the end of this beautiful novena, but you can always catch up here.

6. Review Shelf
Hush Hush by Michelle Quigley

7. Less Cost 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 2015 Ellen Gable Hrkach

Good Friday Reflection from Catherine Doherty

Photo by Ellen Hrkach

Photo by Ellen Hrkach

“The great question that stands before us on Good Friday is: are we going to empty ourselves in response to his emptiness? The moment we do, we shall know the joy of Christ! Notwithstanding the pain, the cross, the tomb, if I empty myself because I am in love with God, I shall know joy.”

Catherine Doherty, Season of Mercy

7QT – Book on #Sale, Lent Movies & Other Cool Things!

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-1024x727Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at This Ain’t the Lyceum for 7 Quick Takes Friday!

1. Angela’s Song Only .99!!
Angela’s Song by AnnMarie Creedon is only .99 until tomorrow! Head on over to Amazon to pick up your Kindle copy for only .99!AS Front Cover Final9-19

2. Catholic Writers Guild
I’m over at the Catholic Writers Guild blog today speaking about the importance of being needed.

3. Ecce Ancilla Domini
My post in honor of the Feast of the Annunciation two days ago and on the importance of saying yes to God’s will sparked a lot of comments.

Image copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach Please do not use without permission

Image copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach Please do not use without permission

4. Do You Believe
Have you seen the new faith-based movie, Do You Believe, yet? It’s from the same producers and writers of “God’s Not Dead.” I thoroughly enjoyed it. Do You Believe

5. The Passion of the Christ
Our family watches this movie every year, on Good Friday, when we return home from the Good Friday service. Powerful, hard-to-watch movie.Passion

6. Reading Shelf
A Catholic Gardener’s Spiritual Almanac by Margaret Rose Realy.

7. Kidding Cartoon

image copyright 2011 James & Ellen Hrkach Please do not use without permission

image copyright 2011 James & Ellen Hrkach Please do not use without permission

Copyright 2015 Ellen Gable Hrkach

Ecce Ancilla Domini

Image copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach Please do not use without permission

Image copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach Please do not use without permission

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord…” Mary’s words in Luke 1:38 echoed loudly in my heart when I found out that I was pregnant for the first time. To say that I was thrilled would be an understatement.

“A sword shall pierce your own soul.” These prophetic words also echoed loudly in my heart when I lost twins early in that pregnancy. And, with the loss, came the realization that being open to life didn’t always mean having a baby in my arms.

‘Openness to life’ is a phrase often used to describe the attitude of those using Natural Family Planning, whether they are avoiding or planning a pregnancy. However, when it comes to actively seeking a pregnancy, another form of ‘openness to life’ comes into play. I like to call it ‘openness to God’s will.’ For, in this openness, a couple truly becomes vulnerable — naked, in essence — before God, exposing them to whatever God allows.

This type of ‘openness’ can mean dealing with a whole range of possibilities: infertility, miscarriage, a baby with abnormalities, a pre-term delivery, a stillborn baby, or a healthy, full-term infant. But, in a sense, this is the same ‘openness’ that Mary embraced when she was informed that she would be the mother of our Savior: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord…”

To illustrate this, here are some examples:

I know one particular couple who tried for many years, unsuccessfully, to have a baby. They went through denial, then acceptance, of their infertility. The wife questioned God. “Why did you give me a godly man if we can’t have children together?” Eventually, they adopted two beautiful girls from China.

In our own case, James and I have had to endure the loss of seven babies through miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. Some of those pregnancy losses entailed major surgery and, in two instances, I nearly hemorrhaged to death. During one miscarriage, my spiritual director offered these consoling words, “Perhaps God is asking you to sacrifice the joy of holding this child in your arms so that He may quickly hold your child in heaven.”

Several years ago, a woman from our homeschooling community was expecting her sixth child. At 19 weeks gestation, she began exhibiting signs of early labor. Her son was born and only lived for a short time. However, she shared with me that, as difficult as it was to hold her dying son in her arms, she truly felt blessed. The moment her son died, filled with God’s grace, she more clearly understood in a small way what Our Lady endured by holding the crucified and dead Christ in her arms.

Six years ago, our close friends welcomed a new child into their family. At birth, their son appeared normal, but as she held onto him in those first few moments, she realized that he had Down Syndrome. When she called me, her voice was so full of love for her child that it was as if she was sharing with me that her baby had brown hair instead of blond. Her ‘openness’ to the wonderful gift that God had given to her was a testament to her trust in God and acceptance of grace in her life.

Finally, the idea of total ‘openness’ was illustrated more fully to me a few years ago while I was at the hospital waiting for my youngest son to come out of minor surgery. I watched a mother come into the nurses’ station with her toddler in a stroller (who, in my eavesdropping, I had learned spent a long time in the special care nursery). Unable to catch a glimpse of her son, I watched from a distant position as many nurses gathered around the stroller to see the baby, and I could hear his sweet laughter as he reacted to the different nurses and to his mother.

My curiosity could not stand it any longer. I moved closer to see what this baby looked like. As the child came into view, I’m sure I let out a quiet gasp. His skull was misshapen, his forehead gigantic compared to the rest of his head. Immediately, I felt tremendous pity not only for the child, but for his parents. Then one of the nurses tickled him under the chin and he let out a squeal of laughter, a high-pitched, sweet sound. In that moment, I no longer saw someone who was deformed. I saw a little person who was radiantly beautiful; a representation of innocence and goodness. I felt an overwhelming urge to embrace him.

‘Openness to life’ means accepting God’s will for us. If our baby has disabilities, it is important for us to pray for the grace to handle the challenges. If we must endure the loss of a child through miscarriage or pre-term birth, it is essential not to give in to hopelessness, but to realize that God has a plan for each unique human being he creates.

It’s not easy for a couple to surrender their life-giving capabilities to God’s design and to accept whatever comes from that. True ‘openness to life’ means becoming like Mary, a “handmaid of the Lord.” It means being open to whatever God chooses for us, whether it’s infertility or a child with disabilities, whether it’s a healthy baby for us to raise, or one for Him to hold in heaven.

Happy Feast of the Annunciation!

Copyright 2010 Ellen Gable Hrkach