Summer at West Castle VBT and Review

Today I’m participating in the Virtual Blog Tour for Summer at West Castle by Theresa Linden.

Synopsis: College student Caitlyn Summer arrives at the Wests’ castle-like house to fill in for their live-in maid. After a recent decision blows her vision of the future, this ideal job and the peaceful surroundings are just what she needs to seek God’s will for her life. That is, until Jarret West, not wanting a repeat of past mistakes, backs out of a summer-long field study overseas and returns home. The two have never gotten along, and unforgettable baggage from the past makes it hard even to be cordial. While Jarret’s faults convince Caitlyn he hasn’t changed, she forces herself to offer kindness. Her act of mercy puts them on an unexpected path where Caitlyn is challenged to look beneath the surface, and Jarret struggles to trust that God wills good for him.

My review: I thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful prequel of Anyone But Him and was so very sorry to see the story end. When I read Anyone But Him a few years ago, I had hoped the author would write the prequel of how this unlikely couple fell in love. Summer at West Castle does not disappoint, and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a clean but compelling romance! Note: To avoid spoilers, read Anyone But Him before you read this story.

About the Author: Theresa Linden is the author of award-winning Catholic fiction. One of her great joys is to bring elements of faith to life through a story. She has over a dozen published books, three of which won awards from the Catholic Press Association. Her articles and interviews can be found on various radio shows and magazines, including EWTN’s The Good Fight, The National Catholic Register, Catholic Digest, Catholic Teacher, and Catholic Mom. She is a member of the Catholic Writers Guild and A wife, homeschooling mom, and Secular Franciscan, she resides in northeast Ohio with her husband and family.

Buy Links:




Author website: Silver Fire Publishing website:

Amazon: Anyone But Him

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

7 Quick Takes Friday – In Name Only Edition

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

Since my novel, In Name Only, is FREE today and tomorrow on Amazon Kindle, I thought I would post a 7 Quick Takes – In Name Only Edition.1. In Name Only, is FREE all day today and tomorrow on Amazon Kindle.

2. In 2010, In Name Only won the Gold medal for Religious Fiction in the Independent Publisher Book Awards. When I found out that my book was one of the top three, I immediately thought, “A Bronze medal would be great.” I never once thought I would win. When I did, I was speechless. In Name Only became the first Catholic novel to win the top prize in Religious Fiction in the IPPY Awards. Later, I attended the awards ceremony in New York City (photo below).

3. Two of my sons posed for the back cover of In Name Only (below: Tim to the left, in the role of “Liam,” and Ben to the right, in the role of “David.”

4. In Name Only has been in the top 100 since June of 2010 and managed to make it to the top ten late last year, taking over the coveted #1 spot in Religious and Liturgical Drama on Amazon Kindle at the beginning of January. Only recently has Stealing Jenny taken over the #1 spot in that category and several others.

5. In Name Only takes place in 1876, Philadelphia. In one chapter, the characters attend the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition. When I was doing research for this book, I used the incredibly helpful and fascinating Centennial Exhibition website. There are hundreds of photographs from the actual exhibition, as well as trivia, facts and other information.

6. I am working on the sequel to In Name Only and it’s tentatively entitled “A Subtle Grace.” Last September, we had a great time shooting photos for the cover with our model posing in beautiful 1890’s dresses.

7. Did I mention the book is FREE today on Amazon Kindle?

For more Quick takes, visit Jen’s Conversion Diary.

Fiction Friday – Excerpt from In Name Only

Today, for Fiction Friday, I’m running an excerpt of my Gold-medal winning novel, In Name Only. I will be giving away two Kindle (or PDF) copies of my novel. Just leave a comment below before Monday, May 23, 2011.

Caroline descended the back staircase to the kitchen. Although she hadn’t taken note of the room before, she found it to be spacious with two cast iron cooking stoves which lined the far wall and a large wooden table with a grinding apparatus attached to it in the center of the room. Servant bells lined the wall above the door. Patsie was chopping a yellow squash at the center table and Selly was washing dishes at a long table which lined the outside wall. The smell of baking bread caused Caroline’s mouth to water and, for a moment, she forgot why she had come down to the kitchen.
“Well now, top o’ the mornin’, Miss Caroline,” said Patsie. Selly turned around and nodded her greeting.
“What is it, Miss?”
“I intend to speak with a woman at the church to find you a place where you can stay for the duration of your confinement.”
“You’ve been so kind. Thank you.”
“You should not be going through this alone.”
Just outside the kitchen, a loud voice bellowed. “Get the damn horse or I’ll be telling Mr. Martin to fire your black ass.”
One of the bells above the door began to ring.
“I must go. I do not wish for him to see me,” Selly was wiping her hands on her apron and walking toward the stairs to the main floor.
“Mr. David,” she whispered, and pointed toward the back door.
“Yes, well, I want to see him. I should like to tell him what’s on my mind.”
“But, Miss,” Patsie called out. “Sure an’ ye can’t be talkin’ ta a man by yer lonesome, tain’t proper. I’m just after tellin’ ye that.”
“I’m not alone. You’ll be in the kitchen. Besides, it’s improper for a man to not take responsibility for his child.”
Patsie shook her head as Caroline rushed out the doorway. David O’Donovan was speaking to the black servant. She had no idea what they were discussing, but Mr. O’Donovan had a distinct frown on his face. She approached him, her chin raised. The moment that he noticed her, his expression softened and he became charming, almost inviting.
“Miss Martin, to what do I owe the pleasure of your company?” As he spoke, she could smell alcohol on his breath. She stepped back, kept silent and glared at him.
“Pray tell, have I done something to displease you?” he asked, his mouth curved in slight amusement.
“Displease may be an understatement, sir.” She regarded him with the angriest scowl she could muster.
“Well, you certainly have gotten my attention, young lady. And may I just say that you are looking lovely today, despite the frown on your beautiful flawless face. If every girl looked as you do in black, she would want only to wear that color.”
She walked closer to David and whispered, “Why do you refuse to help the girl who carries your child within her?”
His face darkened. “Oh, so that’s what’s troubling you. Well, you know, Miss Martin, with girls of her sort, one has to. . .”
Caroline cut him off with a slap to his face. Surprised, he rubbed his cheek, his frown quickly turning to a smile. “Oh, dear. Would you like to slap the other side,” he asked, then turned his other cheek toward her.
Caroline remained silent, her eyes narrowed with contempt.
He leaned close to her face, his voice quiet but firm. “Did Selly tell you I was the only one? Well, my dear Miss Martin, I’m certain I was not.”
“And you know this how?”
“Miss Caroline?” Patsie’s high-pitched voice stopped Caroline from continuing.
She quickly leaned her head through the kitchen doorway.
“Patsie, what is it?”
“I’m havin’ ta tell ye, Miss,” she whispered, “a colleen shoun’t be a talkin’ ‘bout such things.”
“I don’t care.” Turning back toward David, she walked close to him, the top of her head an inch or so away from his chin. “Mr. O’Donovan, Selly told me there was no other.”
“And you believe a common lower class servant?”
Caroline cringed. Common, lower class?
“Of course. Why would she lie?”
“Well, no one forced her.”
“Today if ye shall hear his voice, harden not your heart.”
David raised his eyebrows. “I never took you for a Bible thumper, Miss Martin.”
“I’m a Christian, Mr. O’Donovan.”
“Your naivete is endearing and I don’t want to destroy your obvious innocence, but the servants freely do this.”
“Your behavior makes me ill.”
“Ah, you are even more beautiful when you’re angry. Do you realize your freckles darken? It’s very becoming.”
Caroline again glared at him.
“Aren’t you going to slap me again? I was hoping you would.”
“You are. . .”
“What? I’m what?” He stepped back and eyed her up and down. “Well, Miss Martin, I’ll tell you what I am. I am. . .shocked!” he said, a huge smirk on his face.
“Whatever do you mean you are shocked?”
“Most certainly I am, Miss Martin.” He leaned in close to her and whispered. “You’re. . .not wearing a corset, are you?” His eyebrows were raised and now he was smiling broadly.
All of a sudden, Caroline’s face became flushed, her eyes widened. Now she was embarrassed that she had left her corset off. David O’Donovan, of all people, had noticed.
“Miss Caroline?” she heard Patsie call her again.
Caroline sighed and hurried into the kitchen.

To view a book trailer, see interviews and read reviews, click on the link below:

In Name Only website

In Name Only is available on Amazon Kindle at the following link:

In Name Only also has a Facebook page. Please consider “liking” us:!/InNameOnly

Copyright 2011 Ellen Gable and Full Quiver Publishing