A List of Inspiring Theology of the Body Fiction: #ShowUsYourList

showusyourlistlogoErin over at “Will Write For Tomato Pie” has a wonderful idea of having bloggers create alternate lists of entertaining books that are true, beautiful and good. Here is her challenge and mine as well!

“I challenge anyone who complained about 50 shades of anything to now spend some time and energy promoting entertainment that is true, beautiful and good.”

I posted about the “Antidote to #50Shades of Degradation: TOB Fiction: over at Amazing Catechists last week. Below is the list of Theology of the Body Fiction that I recommended and continue to recommend as “true, beautiful and good!” (Pardon the self-promotion of my own books and those of my publishing company!)

St. John Paul II said we can “overcome evil with good.” Here is a list of contemporary Catholic novels (in order of publication date) with Theology of the Body themes that can uplift, inspire and serve as an antidote to ALL the secular, trashy novels that promote illicit lifestyles. These novels encourage virtue rather than vice, respect rather than domination, and love rather than lust.

Emily’s Hope (Ellen Gable, 2005, FQ Publishing)

Passport (Christopher Blunt, 2008, Pelican Crossing Press)

Midnight Dancers (Regina Doman, 2008, Chesterton Press)

In Name Only (Ellen Gable, 2009, FQ Publishing)

Stealing Jenny (Ellen Gable, 2011, FQ Publishing)

Finding Grace (Laura Pearl, 2012, Bezalel Books)

Angela’s Song (AnnMarie Creedon, 2012, FQ Publishing)

Rapunzel Let Down (Regina Doman, 2013, Chesterton Press)

Vingede (Friar Tobe #2) (Krisi Keley, 2013, S & H Publishing)

Don’t You Forget About Me (Erin McCole Cupp, 2013, FQ Publishing)

A Subtle Grace (Ellen Gable, 2014, FQ Publishing)

The Lion’s Heart (Dena Hunt, 2014, FQ Publishing)

A World Such as Heaven Intended (Amanda Lauer, 2014, FQ Publishing)

Working Mother (Erin McCole Cupp, 2014, FQ Publishing)

FREE on Kindle! A World Such as Heaven Intended

Today through Thursday, Full Quiver Publishing’s new book, A World Such as Heaven Intended by Amanda Lauer, is FREE today through Thursday on Kindle. AWSAHI Final Cover

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.

Reviews:
“Amanda Lauer brings history to life in this fast-paced, emotionally charged, splendid tale. Extremely enjoyable.”
May McGoldrick, International Bestselling Author of The Thistle and Rose, Secret Vows and the Highland Treasure Trilogy

“The South of 1864 springs to life in ‘A World Such as Heaven Intended.’ Rich in details of language, setting and social mores, Lauer takes readers on the journey of her protagonist, Amara McKirnan, a strong woman ahead of her time who wrestles with her blended family and the horrors of the Civil War to find the peace and happiness she is convinced awaits her.”
Marni Graff, Author, The Nora Tierney Mysteries

“‘A World Such as Heaven Intended’ is a fast-moving historical romance which will keep you turning pages until the very end! An excellent read.”
Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur, Author, The Catholic Baby Name Book

“A charming romance with well-drawn characters and clear imagery, offering the reader a chance to slip away to another era and come home refreshed.”
A.K. Frailey, Author, The Deliverance Trilogy

Download your Kindle copy for FREE at this link.

7 Quick Takes Friday – July 4

7_quick_takes_sm1Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday.

1.Tom Brokaw Explains Canada to Americans
Today is July 4th and earlier this week, we celebrated Canada Day. To celebrate both holidays, I thought I would share this appropriately beautiful video of Tom Brokaw explaining the relationship between Canada and USA (from 2010 Calgary Olympics).

2. Catholic Writers Conference Live
To find out more information about the Catholic Writers Conference Live in Chicago, read this news release!

3. A Subtle Grace #1 and In Name Only #2 in Britain
Yesterday, my books, A Subtle Grace and In Name Only (the two O’Donovan family books) reached #1 and #2 on Britain’s Amazon!A Subtle Grace #1 UK

4. Love, Obsession and Stalking: New Novel Tackles Challenging Issues
Christian Newswire recently posted this news release on A Subtle Grace!A Subtle Grace front cover Nov2013

5. CALA Finalists Announced!
The Catholic Writers Guild recently released the names of the finalists for the Catholic Arts and Letter Award. Check out the announcement here. Congratulations to all the finalists!

6. Goodreads Giveaway
Goodreads is giving away three free copies of Dena Hunt’s book, The Lion’s Heart. Check it out here.Front Cover Final revisedsm

7. Hope For Dad 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

The Lion’s Heart Now Available On Kindle

Front Cover Final revisedsmFull Quiver Publishing, my company, has just released on Kindle a compassionate and compelling story about two men dealing with same sex attraction, The Lion’s Heart, by Dena Hunt. This book has the endorsement of Courage International.

We have also created a new novel page for this book. Check it out here: www.thelionsheart.ca You can read reviews, an excerpt and a synopsis.

First, a synopsis:
Is love ever wrong? 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.

Here’s an excerpt:
“No, 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….”

Here are a few reviews for The Lion’s Heart:
“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 Review

“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 http://www.akfrailey.com

“The Lion’s Heart moved me to the core. Dena Hunt managed a rare feat: a delicately crafted novel that is at once a work of beauty and existential weight, and yet forces you to keep reading with all the urgency of a thriller.”
Bernardo Aparicio Garcia, Publisher, Dappled Things

“Whatever side of the 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 About Me

“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 International

“If I had not been familiar with Dena’s writing, I would have passed on this novel due to the subject matter. I read the book because I know Dena as a daily Mass communicant and fellow parishioner. I know I can trust her to have something meaningful to say and to say it in a beautiful way. “The Lion’s Heart” does not disappoint. The topic of same sex attraction might be troublesome at first but Dena goes for the heart of the human condition. She writes about the universal conditions of desire, betrayal, contrition, and forgiveness. As a devout Catholic she includes characters we will all recognize, showing us their shortcomings as well as their redeeming qualities. At the core of it all is a human heart made in God’s image to be redeemed only by our loving God.”
Deacon Paul Worth, Texas

If you would like a FREE Kindle copy, please leave a comment below or email me: fullquiverpublishing(at)gmail.com

Don’t You Forget About Me FREE on Kindle Today Through Thursday

Don't You Forget About Me FTcasefrontcoverWho doesn’t love FREE books? Erin McCole Cupp’s Don’t You Forget About Me is FREE today through Thursday on Kindle.

Excerpt:
“Doesn’t signing in at the Technology Annex check-in desk blow the whole cloak-and-dagger bit?” I asked.

Gene furrowed his brow for a moment. “I’m not looking for cloak-and-dagger. I just want to buy enough time to get some answers and put a stop to whatever is making people sick. But Mary Catherine—I don’t know what kind of wasp nest we might be kicking at here.”

“Nice image.” My stomach knotted.

Gene gently but firmly grasped me by my upper arms. “I’m not kidding. If what our coffee shop friend said is true…”

I picked up where he trailed off, “Then Walkerville wasps carry some pretty wicked stingers.”

Gene nodded. “I’m willing to give it all to find the truth. I’m not sure I want you to.”

He was right. This wasn’t picking up rocks in Quaker Creek and looking for water pennies. This was digging up what two potentially deadly forces—Big Pharma and The Mob—wanted kept buried. I forced myself to look directly into his eyes. “Search softly,” I said, “and poke with a big stick.”

Reviews:
“Don’t You Forget About Me…is a rollicking fun and exciting cozy murder mystery. I found it genuine and fascinating in every way: the characters, the setting, the plot, and the twists. The author’s strong and clever command of the written language makes this book an entertaining page-turner. Don’t You Forget About Me is well- plotted with never a dull moment. From a narrow escape from a window, to a gunfire-in-the-woods scene, this novel will have you reading with bated breath. Fans of Christian fiction will particularly enjoy the elements of faith that add to the richness of the story without hampering the plot. Fallen away from the Catholic faith of her childhood, Cate encounters not preaching, but simple, strong faith in action, even in the face of deadly adversity. I recommend this highly-enjoyable, cozy, clean, lively mystery to all readers!” Therese Heckenkamp, award-winning author, Frozen Footprints

“Mary Catherine Whelihan leaves her hometown– and the gruesome memory of discovering a dead body– to become a successful author. When she reluctantly shows up for her class reunion, she finds herself running for her life. Don’t You Forget About Me is a quirky, fun, mystery-romance that will tickle your funny bone while making your hair stand on end.” AnnMarie Creedon, author, Angela’s Song

“This captivating murder mystery made me laugh, cry, and crave Italian food; ‘80s pop tunes are still stuck in my head. If you like mysteries that offer a good mix of suspense and science, don’t miss this book.” Barb Szyszkiewicz, “Franciscan Mom” http://www.franciscanmom.com

“As a reader whose preferred genre is non-fiction, I hardly expected to find myself so completely engrossed in Don’t You Forget About Me. The book has all the elements of a good novel, with its principal charm resting in Erin McCole-Cupp’s affable and believable characters. I read Don’t You Forget About Me in a single sitting, and then put the book down with the wistful feeling of someone departing a gathering of friends.” Celeste Behe, writer

“It’s easy to identify and sympathize with protagonist Cate Whelihan as she returns to her hometown and faces not only the classmates who bullied her in school but also her junior high sweetheart and fellow nerd, Gene. But before the might-have-been couple has time to ponder the what-might-yet-be, scary things start to happen. Suspicious deaths. High incidence of cancer among Cate’s classmates. Living in denial by some. Fear of speaking out by others. Should Cate and her ex even bother trying to help the people who rejected them so many years ago? Readers will be chuckling one moment as Cate tries to wisecrack her way through social awkwardness, and biting nails the next as she faces threats, corrupt police, and the business end of a gun.” Daria Sockey, Author, ‘The Everyday Catholic’s Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours’

“I could not put the book down! What a fast-paced, intriguing, captivating story line – full of surprises! The characters are so very real … Do yourself a favor …. crack open your copy of Don’t You Forget About Me. You will be glad that you did.” Mike Seagriff, Author

Download Don’t You Forget About Me for FREE today through Thursday (June 10-12, 2014) at this link: Don’t You Forget About Me Kindle Edition

My Writing Process Blog Tour

pen and pencilSpecial thanks to Erin McCole Cupp for tagging me in “My Writing Process Blog Tour.”

1) What am I working on?
I just finished the edits for the next FQP novel, The Lion’s Heart by Dena Hunt, which is set to be released in the next few days on Kindle. The print edition will be coming a little later this month.

As well, I’m currently working on two separate novels of my own: Julia’s Gifts, a Christmas novella set to be published on Kindle 2015 and the third O’Donovan Family novel (as yet untitled) which is currently in the outline, characterization stage. I’m continuing the marketing/promotion stage of my fifth book, A Subtle Grace (O’Donovan Family).A Subtle Grace front cover Nov2013

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I actually write in a couple of different genres, but if I had to name one, I’d say “Religious Fiction.” How does it differ from others? It’s probably more Catholic than most in this genre.

3) Why do I write what I do?
I write religious fiction because I not only want to entertain readers, I want to give them a positive, life-affirming message. I like to call it Edutainment (although I didn’t actually come up with that word).

4) How does your writing process work?
Depending on what I’m working on…if it’s a new novel, I develop an outline and character studies first. This takes the longest, sometimes two years (given I am usually working on 10 projects at one time). Writing the actual story, for me, is the easiest part of the novel writing process. Editing and polishing are the hardest.

I’m “tagging” the following two writers who will be taking part in the Writing Process Blog Tour next week. Please visit them!

Ann Frailey:
A. K. Frailey is a wonderful writer and homeschooling mother of eight children. Here’s the bio from her website:
Ann has a B. S. in Elementary Education and has taught in Milwaukee, WI, Chicago, IL, Los Angeles, CA, Wood River, IL and for Peace Corps in the Philippines. She was married to John Frailey who was an educator for many years. John died from cancer complications December 2013. Ann has eight children and she home educates them while maintaining a mini-farm. Ann devotes her time to writing books that delve into the deep questions of life while entertaining the reader with reflections on the human condition. She is a grateful mother and enjoys spending her time with her children, extended family, and friends.

Imogen Elvis:
Imogen blogs at http://imogenelvis.blogspot.com.au/ and this is what she says about herself:
“I am a nineteen year old Australian writer. While currently unpublished, I am working on publishing a Young Adult Fantasy novel in the future. I study writing, and am in my second year of a degree in Professional Writing and Publishing, with the aim of working as an editor. As well as writing, I also enjoy blogging about reading, writing, and procrastination. You can find me at my blog Gossiping with Dragons. In my spare time I explore imaginary worlds, defeat dragons and eating chocolate while curling up with a good book.”

7 Quick Takes Friday – New Book Updates Etc.

7_quick_takes_sm1Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday.

1. First Proofs Have Arrived
The first proofs of my new book, A Subtle Grace, have arrived! I’ve already given them to the proofreaders so I missed a photo opportunity. But I’ve ordered more to arrive next week and will have photos then.

2. A Subtle Grace on Track for March Kindle Release
Right now, my proofreaders are poring through the proofs looking for typos and format issues. I have a second medical person reading through for accuracy of medical situations. I hope to hear from the gun experts soon. A Subtle Grace front cover Nov2013

3. Long Books Have Less Readers…but Series Books Often Have More
I knew this book was as long as its prequel, so I had a short panic attack when I received it, feeling its heavy 420 pages in my hands. Holding the two books side by side, there’s no denying that they are very similar. Total pages, if one wants to read them one after the other, will be 840 pages. That’s as long as Gone With the Wind. The publishing world’s recommendation for book size has always been under 400 pages and, no matter what I did, I could not get this book down to only 400 pages. I recognize this could limit the number of readers and, frankly, I don’t care, especially since “series” books do tend to sell more because readers are invested in the characters. However, one need not read the first book (In Name Only) to be able to read this one. The books are stand alone books that can be read independent of the other.

4. The Spiritual Works of Mercy: TOB Style
In my latest post at Catholic Mom, I talk about practicing the Spiritual Works of Mercy through the Theology of the Body.

According to the Catholic encyclopedia, mercy is “a virtue influencing one’s will to have compassion for, and, if possible, to alleviate another’s misfortune.” The spiritual works of mercy are one way Catholics can show charity and compassion to others. Since my husband and I are trained in the Theology of the Body (TOB) and teach Natural Family Planning, we have always tried to practice the spiritual works of mercy through our NFP ministry.

Many Catholics do not understand the Church’s teachings on sexuality. Mother Teresa once said, “If you judge someone, you have no time to love them.” Sharing the truth with charity and without judgment is extremely important. To read the rest, click here.

5. Pope Francis on Confession
During his Wednesday audience, Pope Francis encouraged the faithful to go to Confession. He said, “The sacrament of Reconciliation is a sacrament of healing.”

6. Reading Shelf
A Pius Legacy by Declan Finn

7. Burgers Cartoon

copyright 2012 Full Quiver Publishing/James & Ellen Hrkach  Please do not use without permission

copyright 2012 Full Quiver Publishing/James & Ellen Hrkach Please do not use without permission

Copyright 2014 Ellen Gable Hrkach

7 Quick Takes Friday – Mini Review Edition

7_quick_takes_sm1Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday.

I’m trying to catch up on reviews and there’s no better way than to write a 7QT post with seven mini-reviews!

1. The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning by Simcha Fisher
Funny, engaging, entertaining and true to life…this book needs to be on every NFP-using couple’s bedside table. I laughed out loud many times and shared favorite sections with my husband. Highly, highly recommend! Buy it here on Kindle.

2. Elizabeth: A Holy Land Pilgrimage by Cheryl Dickow
In this short novel, we meet Elizabeth, wife and mother who takes the (solo) trip of a lifetime to Israel. We accompany her as she travels throughout the Holy Land. Not surprisingly, she makes a spiritual journey as well. The book’s summary says it all: “not the typical inspirational novel. Part travelogue, part history lesson, part Bible study, this book blends a wonderful story with empathetic characters.” Enjoyable, edifying read. Buy it here on Kindle.

3. The Good Sinner by Elizabeth Schmeidler
Speaking of women named Elizabeth, many readers may know Elizabeth Schmeidler from her pro-life and music ministry. She is also the author of three novels. The Good Sinner is a fast-paced, page-turning, pro-life thriller that illustrates any heart can change. Entertaining, edifying and inspiring!! Here is the link to the Kindle edition.

4. A Body in Prayer by Neil Combs
Have you ever thought of using your whole body to pray? Have you thought about how each part can be used to praise and glorify God? Prayer doesn’t only have to be vocal. We can pray with every part of our body. Neil Combs walks you through “praying from head to toe.” Inspiring, beautiful and highly recommended! Only 2.99, the link to the Kindle edition is here.

5. Now And at the Hour of Our Death by J.S.B. Morse
Mary Credence is the daughter of a senator and the professed virgin finds herself pregnant. How did it happen? Was it by the Holy Spirit, is she keeping a romance secret or is there some other explanation? It was an interesting enough story and a compelling page turner. However, sometimes the writing seemed too clinical for a novel and I found Mary’s character at times off-putting. The ending was a bit too neatly tied up. But overall, I enjoyed the story and would read more by this author. Buy the Kindle edition here.

6. The Miraculous Medal: Stories, Prayers and Devotions by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle
This is a fascinating, inspiring and prayerful book and anyone who wears the Miraculous Medal can learn more about this beautiful devotion, even if you have already read other books on the topic. The story of St. Catherine Laboure is included, but the author shares personal stories as well. Highly recommend! Buy it here on Kindle or Paperback.

7. Wrapped Up: God’s Ten Gifts for Women by Teresa Tomeo and Cheryl Dickow
Delightful and inspiring book about the “ten gifts” God gives to every woman to help her embrace her unique vocation: God’s Love, God’s Forgiveness, Allowing God to be God, Joyful Attitude, Suffering, Letting Go, Sacramental Life, Sisters in Faith, Setting Priorities and the Gift of You. Beautifully written in each author’s distinctive voice, I found it inspiring and enjoyable read. I highly recommend it! The Kindle edition is at this link.

Copyright 2014 Ellen Gable Hrkach

7 Quick Takes Friday – Volume 96

7_quick_takes_sm1Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday.

1. Interview with Erin McCole Cupp
If you missed my interview with Erin McCole Cupp, author of FQP’s new book, Don’t You Forget About Me, you can read it here. If you leave a comment before tonight at midnight, you can be entered to win a free print copy of Erin’s new book.

2. Crazy Love – Now Available on Kindle
Eileen Leamy’s moving account of finding love late in life (and the joys and challenges that came with it) is a beautifully inspiring read. Paperback edition coming soon! Check it out here at this link.

3. Goodreads Giveaways
Right now, Goodreads is giving away Don’t You Forget About Me by Erin McCole Cupp and a delightful children’s chapter book called “The Willow Tree” by Alexandra Valentien. If you’re on Goodreads and you’d like to enter to win a copy of either of these books, pr just read more about each book, click below:

Don’t You Forget About Me Goodreads Giveaway
The Willow Tree Goodreads Giveaway

4. Dancing on Friday
For the past two years, I’ve been helping an elderly friend and fellow parishioner of my church write her life story. The local newspaper ran an article last week about it.

photo copyright James Hrkach

photo copyright James Hrkach

5. St. Gertrude’s Prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory
This beautiful prayer is one that I say daily but it is an ideal prayer to recite during November, the month of the Holy Souls. According to tradition, our Lord promised St. Gertrude that 1000 souls would be released from purgatory each time it is said devoutly.

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.

6. Reading/Review Shelf
Angels for Kids – Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle (highly recommend…of course I highly recommend any book Donna-Marie writes!!)

7. Game of Life 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 2013 Ellen Gable Hrkach