SQT – The Lion’s Heart and #SSM

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

Given the US Supreme Court’s decision last week on legalizing same sex marriage, I’m dedicating my entire SQT today to a book FQP published last year entitled, The Lion’s Heart by Dena Hunt, which I believe encompasses the Catholic teaching on same sex attraction. Front Cover Final revisedsm

1. Synopsis of The Lion’s Heart
Paul Meyer has never let anyone get too close. Until Max. The Lion’s Heart is a heart-rending story about love and sacrifice. The emotional struggle of Paul’s same-sex attraction, the guilt he feels, and his ambivalence toward his Catholic faith all come together in this look inside the heart of a tortured man.

2. Excerpt
It wasn’t the deception, unpleasant as it was, that troubled him. In fact, he simply couldn’t put his finger on it. All he knew that was truly different with Max was that he loved him. And it was that, that single stark truth, which made everything different. He never loved before… He put the empty wine glass on the balcony floor beside him and tried to find again that mysterious, interior quiet that city noise always brought him. But he felt instead a kind of disquiet that seemed urgent… Love was never wrong. He’d heard that so often from sincere people, good people… ‘Love is never wrong.’ More than a platitude, it became a mantra. No one could argue with it, not without being judgmental or bigoted. Paul himself always believed it, although he never thought much about it before—never had much reason to think about it. But then, he’d never really loved anyone before…

3. Review from Joseph Pearce
“Dena Hunt is a consummate storyteller who does not shirk or shy away from the difficult questions about life and love that her story raises. The Lion’s Heart contains not only the loves of lovers, spouses, parents, and children but also the demons and dragons that selfishness unleashes. The Lion’s Heart is not for the faint-hearted, nor is it for the hard-hearted. It pulsates with a passion that will bring true hearts to their knees.” Joseph Pearce, author of The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde, co-editor of the St. Austin

4. Review from A. K. Frailey
“It may be fiction but The Lion’s Heart reflects a truth that is as real as the sunrise. The moral conflicts and dilemmas are treated with dignity and there are no easy answers, though, thank God, there are answers. The style, beauty, and flow of Dena’s writing speaks for itself. I could not give this book a higher rating, for it is at the top of the charts. I thank Ms. Hunt for having the courage and the beauty of heart to see, feel, and love as she did – for this book is, above all, a work of love. May it be accepted as such.” A.K. Frailey, author The Deliverance Trilogy

5. Review from Fr. Paul Check
“Dena Hunt conveys some of the very real struggles of those persons who have same-sex attractions (SSA), especially the shame, confusion, and misery that can accompany such feelings. She shows how that suffering can affect family and friends. The path to understanding homosexuality requires abundant patience, prudence, and good will because the topic is not primarily a controversial cultural issue, but rather a complex personal reality. It is one for which there is not one simple or general explanation – or response. This novel gives us a glimpse into the lives and hearts of those touched by SSA who are striving to understand themselves, and so to love genuinely after the example of Jesus Christ and the teachings of His Church.” Rev. Paul Check, Executive Director, Courage

6. Review from Erin McCole Cupp
“Whatever side of controversy you call home, this book is a game-changer. With The Lion’s Heart, Dena Hunt gives us a compassionate story courageously told, depicting the truth in all its dimensions. Readers will never be the same, and with The Lion’s Heart, the landscape of faith-based fiction is changed forever.” Erin McCole Cupp, author, Don’t You Forget Me

7. Review from Christopher Blunt
“The Lion’s Heart is a rocketing page-turner that had me hooked from beginning to end. The characters’ very genuine experiences with same- sex attraction, and its consequences, led me to a much deeper understanding and empathy for all those who must bear this burden. Above all, this story powerfully brings to life the reality that love often means saying “no” to one’s own desires, and instead choosing what is truly good for the other.” Christopher Blunt, author of Passport

You can purchase The Lion’s Heart on Kindle at this link.

It’s also available in paperback at this link.

SQT Friday – Sale, Graduations Etc.

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

1. University Graduation #3 Son

#3 son's graduation from Ottawa University (Image copyright Ellen Hrkach)

#3 son’s graduation from Ottawa University (Image copyright Ellen Hrkach)

2. High School Graduation #4 Son
Yesterday, #4 son graduated from high school. He sang his own music composition “Growing Up” at the graduation ceremony (and got a standing ovation from his fellow classmates and the rest of the audience.) He also won the Brody Armstrong Music Award/Scholarship.

copyright Ellen Hrkach 2015

copyright Ellen Hrkach 2015

3. Big Sale!
A group of Indie authors are holding a huge summer sale. To find out more, click here. Stealing Jenny is on sale for .99! (US customers only!)

4. Catholic Writers Guild Blog
I’m also over at the Catholic Writers Guild blog today. Check out the post here.

5. Live the Fast
Have you discovered the joy and value of fasting yet? Whether you fast on a regular basis or not, check out this website to find out more information.

6. Reading Shelf
Victorious Exile by Echo Lewis

7. St. Anthony Cartoon
When my husband initially conceived this cartoon, he used #2 and #3 son’s images. Both of those boys are now men and both are graduates of university!

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

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

SQT – Father’s Day Edition 2015

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-1024x727
Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at This Ain’t the Lyceum for 7 Quick Takes Friday.

With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, this will be an all photo Quick Takes, devoted to the father figures in my life and to my husband:

My father and me, 1961, at a picnic. He died in 1978.
Copyright Ellen Hrkach

My stepfather (1933-2012) and my sister, 2011.
Copyright Ellen Hrkach

My husband and his father (1980), who passed away in 1995.
Copyright Ellen Hrkach

1987, with #1 son. My husband has always been a “hands on” type of father.
Copyright Ellen Hrkach

1990. With #2 son at a winter carnival.
Copyright Ellen Hrkach

1992. Rocking #3 son.
Copyright Ellen Hrkach

1997, swimming with #4 son. Copyright Ellen Hrkach

2000. On the beach with #5 son.
Copyright Ellen Hrkach

Did you count more than seven? There are actually eight photos (I couldn’t do this in less than eight!)

Happy, Happy Father’s Day to my father, stepfather and father-in-law in heaven. And a Happy Father’s Day to my husband!

Updated: Copyright 2015 Ellen Gable Hrkach

Seven Quick Takes Friday – Kindle Sale!

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

Emily’s Hope (Kindle Edition), my first book, is still on sale for .99! Click here to download.

1. Graduations!
June is the month of graduations! There will be two in our family: our third son, Tim, is graduating from Ottawa University on June 14th, and our fourth son, Adam, is graduating high school on June 25th. Let the celebrations begin!

2. Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Today is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus! There is a beautiful and powerful novena to the “Efficacious Sacred Heart of Jesus” that St. Padre Pio recited every day. I also pray this beautiful novena every day for all the intentions of my family.

3. O’Donovan Family Series
There’s a unique page for the O’Donovan Family Series on Amazon.com. Check it out here! Both In Name Only (Book #1) and A Subtle Grace (Book #2) have individual pages as well. In name only much smaller
A Subtle Grace front cover Nov2013

4. FQP Newsletter
If you’d like to receive news about upcoming books and sales from Full Quiver Publishing (my company), please sign up here.

5. Catholic Life Support
Stealing Jenny is mentioned in a list of Catholic books over at 365Catholic.

6. Reading-Review Shelf
True Radiance by Lisa Mladinich

7. 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

Emily’s Hope: .99 Sale on Kindle!

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the publication of my first book, the Kindle edition of Emily’s Hope is on sale for a limited time only for .99!

Emily’s Hope is based on the true stories of myself and my great-grandmother. Here are a few of the reviews I’ve received since it was published ten years ago:

“Compelling…a real page turner.”
Damon Owens, Host of EWTN’s “NFP: Embracing the Marital Gift”

“Your book is a vehicle for the whole truth behind the Theology of the Body, presented so that people can see how the teachings of the Church are to be followed.”
Joan Hon, author, “A Trip to Medjugorje”

“There is so much to love about Emily’s Hope — the innocence of young love, the beautiful, miraculous, healing power of love and the beauty of sacrificial married love and its life-giving splendor. This story is not a fantasy, but is a tender and sensitive portrayal of what makes love real and lasting.”
Jean Heimann, Catholic Fire

“This book is a must read for anyone who has ever questioned whether living the NFP lifestyle is worth it or ever been resentful of the deprivations of NFP. I loved this book!”
Christopher Blunt, author, “Passport”

“I would encourage everyone to read this book, certainly young women. It is a book I can wholeheartedly recommend.
David Beresford, Catholic Insight Magazine

“While this book is definitely about NFP, it is also about the love of husbands and wives, the love of parents for their children and the agonizing moral choices we sometimes face. It is also about real people…and about being witnesses to a culture of life in a world overshadowed by a culture of death.”
Kristie Wellman, One More Soul

The new updated book trailer for Emily’s Hope:

To read more reviews, click here: Emily’s Hope Kindle Edition.

Emily’s Hope Kindle Edition is only .99 for a Limited Time Only!

Seven Quick Takes Friday – Emily’s Hope Ten Years Old

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-1024x727Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at This Ain’t The Lyceum for SQT Friday.

1. Emily’s Hope Ten Years Old!!
It’s hard to believe, but my first book, Emily’s Hope, is now ten years old!
Over at my Facebook author page, as well as the Full Quiver Publishing Facebook page, there will be free giveaways all week!EH Cover email smaller

2. Catholic Writers Conference Live 2015CWCO_live_sm
We’re in the final stages of planning for the Catholic Writers Conference Live in Somerset, New Jersey. If you’re a writer and are thinking of attending, there’s more information here at this link. If you have already decided to attend, you can register at this link.

3. Entertaining and Powerful Post From Erin McCole Cupp
On Why I Stay Catholic With the Aid of the Internet. Entertaining and powerful. Check it out here.

4. Difficult Anniversaries, Decisions and Responsible Parenthood
I recently posted an updated article about the difficulties my husband and I faced in discerning whether or not we should have more children. Check it out here.

image copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach

image copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach

5. Catholic Life Support
Thank you, Ann Frailey, for mentioning so many great Catholic books in your post a few days ago! (Stealing Jenny was included!)

6. Reading Shelf
Specter by John Desjarlais

7. Hotel Cartoon
We’re getting close to vacation time. This is one of our most popular cartoons!

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