7 Quick Takes Friday – December 23

Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at Conversion Diary’s Blog for 7 Quick Takes Friday:

1. My novel, Stealing Jenny, received a great review from the Midwest Book Review. “Stealing Jenny” is a dark page turner that won’t be easy to put down.”

2. Two nights ago, I attended the Preview performance of Kanata Theatre’s Christmas Musical, A Year With Frog and Toad, in which my husband (who co-directed the musical) and son are performing as Father Frog and Young Frog. The cast did a phenomenal job! For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the box office at 613-831-4435.

3. Yesterday, I watched my favorite Christmas movie It’s A Wonderful Life with my family. I still get emotional at the end when George reads the note from Clarence: “Remember George, that no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings, Clarence.”

4. A gift idea for the newly engaged: Give the gift of an NFP course, either a virtual online class or a live class.

5. If you’re giving a Kindle as a gift to someone or if you’re getting a Kindle this Christmas, I’m offering one free Kindle copy of my newest book, Stealing Jenny, to three people who comment on this 7 Quick Takes post before Sunday, January 1, 2012. That’s three free copies! Leave a comment below to be entered.

6. I took the photo below two nights ago when freezing rain coated the hedge in front of our house with ice. This photo doesn’t fully capture the beauty of the frozen hedge and blue lights, but it’s still quite captivating.

7. And, last but not least, it will be a white Christmas for us up here in the Ottawa, Ontario area! We awoke to a beautiful, fresh snowfall of about two inches (photo). Since we will have a white Christmas, I decided to turn on the “snow” feature of my blog.


For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary.

Photos and text copyright 2011 Ellen Gable Hrkach

Fiction Friday – Stealing Jenny Chapter 2

Excerpt from Chapter Two:

In her living room, Denise Kramer peered out the window at the bus stop across the street. She took the last drag of her cigarette, then crushed it in the ashtray while slowly exhaling. Jenny Callahan would soon be traipsing up the street to pick up her daughters at the bus stop.

She first noticed Jenny four months ago at the veterinary clinic where Denise worked as a vet tech. Denise couldn’t stand the way Jenny paraded her big stomach in front of her, lording it over her that she was pregnant and Denise was not. Later that week, Denise was alone for a few hours working at the office doing treatments for the post-op animals. She took out Bootsie Callahan’s file and discovered that Jenny lived only two blocks away. Better yet, Jenny’s kids caught the school bus right across the street from her.

During the ensuing weeks, Denise occasionally parked across the street and watched them through the front bay window in their living room which was rarely curtained off. She couldn’t stand their quaint happy family with their quaint little house and their quaint laughing children.

Over the past four months, she spent time searching online to find out more about the Callahans. The more she studied them, the more she hated them: the kind of couple who just looked at each other and became pregnant.

Denise, on the other hand, had tried for years to get pregnant with her husband, Lou. Fertility drugs, three failed in vitro attempts and still no baby. The last straw was when the adoption agency turned them down, saying that Denise’s smoking, and her ‘questionable’ psychological assessment precluded them from placing any babies in their care. Lou finally left, telling her that she was “obsessed” with having a baby.

Denise soon began to share the “news” with her co-workers, neighbors and cousin that she was pregnant. When asked, she told them that she had decided to attempt in vitro again without Lou and this time, it worked. Many celebrities and Octomom had proven that women can have babies without a significant other. Who needed fathers anyway?

Except she wouldn’t be trying in-vitro again; she had a better plan.

Stealing Jenny will be available in print or in Kindle on September 15th.

Copyright 2011 Ellen Gable Hrkach/Full Quiver Publishing