#FREE on Kindle: Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship

FREE On Kindle Until Thursday!!

“Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship” contains 12 stories that will inspire, captivate and entertain readers.

The idea for this book came about on Valentine’s Day eight years ago, when several mothers were enjoying each other’s fellowship as our children played and exchanged cards. We began sharing how each of us met our husbands. One by one we recounted our stories. It became evident that God’s hand was truly and firmly present in bringing each couple together. Kathy Cassanto, one of the mothers present, said, “It’s too bad there isn’t a book available with Catholic courtship stories.” My initial response was, “Well, if there isn’t, there should be.”  I immediately went online and discovered that there wasn’t a book containing Catholic courtship stories. So I asked Kathy to be my co-editor, and we set out to find inspiring Catholic courtship stories. We didn’t have to search far. Oftentimes, I simply listened to a small quiet voice prompting me to ask a particular couple, “Would you be willing to share how the two of you met?”

We agreed that the easiest and fastest way to gather the stories was to interview the couples, transcribe the interviews and edit the stories. Most of the stories in this book were from recorded conversations, then transcribed and edited, although some were written by the couples themselves.

As we interviewed each couple, a clear picture was emerging: that true love was far different from the infatuation which is so often portrayed in movies and books.

Each of these courtship/dating stories has its own theme, but all of them illustrate that God is the ideal matchmaker. The stories are uplifting, inspirational, funny, hopeful, romantic.

The complete versions of each story are included in the book, along with family photos of all the couples. Here are excerpts of some of the stories.

David and Posie

Leon and Mary Lou

Robert and Sarah

Chris and Micki

James and Ellen

Mark and Kathy

Andrew and Regina

Michel and Jeanette

Tom and Patty

James and Pati

Damon and Melanie

Mark and Yvette

To download your FREE Kindle copy, click here.

Synopsis: Come My Beloved is a celebration of faith and enduring love. This compilation contains 12 courtship/dating storiesthat will inspire, captivate and entertain readers. Included are the following stories: A widow with eight children meets a widower with six children; a woman prays to God for a husband and years later, finds herself falling in love with a seminarian; a man asks his live-in girlfriend “What if we stopped having sex?” and is greeted with tears of joy; an atheist falls in love with her Catholic Prince Charming; a couple meet through a Christian introduction service; a sailor prays a novena to marry the right girl. What these and all the stories illustrate is that God is the ideal matchmaker.

To read reviews, more excerpts and watch the book trailer and interview on Son Rise Morning Show, click here.

Text and photo copyright 2017 Ellen Gable Hrkach/Full Quiver Publishing

Come My Beloved: FREE on Kindle through February 15

“Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship” is a wonderful book with 12 stories that will inspire, captivate and entertain readers. Check out the book website here. To download a FREE KINDLE COPY over at Amazon, click here at this link.

The idea for this book came about on Valentine’s Day seven years ago, when several mothers were enjoying each other’s fellowship as our children played and exchanged cards. We began sharing how each of us met our husbands. One by one we recounted our stories. It became evident that God’s hand was truly and firmly present in bringing each couple together. Kathy Cassanto, one of the mothers present, said, “It’s too bad there isn’t a book available with Catholic courtship stories.” My initial response was, “Well, if there isn’t, there should be.”

I immediately went online and discovered that there wasn’t a book containing Catholic courtship/dating stories. So I asked Kathy to be my co-editor, and we set out to find inspiring Catholic courtship stories. We didn’t have to search far. Oftentimes, I simply listened to a small quiet voice prompting me to ask a particular couple, “Would you be willing to share how the two of you met?”

We agreed that the easiest and fastest way to gather the stories was to interview the couples, transcribe the interviews and edit the stories. Most of the stories in this book were from recorded conversations, then transcribed and edited, although some were written by the couples themselves.

As we interviewed each couple, a clear picture was emerging: that true love was far different from the infatuation which is so often portrayed in movies and books.

Each of these courtship/dating stories has its own theme, but all of them illustrate that God is the ideal matchmaker. The stories are uplifting, inspirational, funny, hopeful, romantic.

Here are a few excerpts:

David and Posie

Robert and Sarah

Mark and Kathy

Michel and Jeanette

Tom and Patty

Damon and Melanie

The Kindle edition of this book is FREE today through February 15th over at Amazon.com.

FREE Until February 16 – Come My Beloved

“Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship” is a wonderful book with 12 stories that will inspire, captivate and entertain readers. Check out the book website here. To download a FREE KINDLE COPY over at Amazon, click here at this link.

The idea for this book came about on Valentine’s Day six years ago, when several mothers were enjoying each other’s fellowship as our children played and exchanged cards. We began sharing how each of us met our husbands. One by one we recounted our stories. It became evident that God’s hand was truly and firmly present in bringing each couple together. Kathy Cassanto, one of the mothers present, said, “It’s too bad there isn’t a book available with Catholic courtship stories.” My initial response was, “Well, if there isn’t, there should be.”

I immediately went online and discovered that there wasn’t a book containing Catholic courtship stories. So I asked Kathy to be my co-editor, and we set out to find inspiring Catholic courtship stories. We didn’t have to search far. Oftentimes, I simply listened to a small quiet voice prompting me to ask a particular couple, “Would you be willing to share how the two of you met?”

We agreed that the easiest and fastest way to gather the stories was to interview the couples, transcribe the interviews and edit the stories. Most of the stories in this book were from recorded conversations, then transcribed and edited, although some were written by the couples themselves.

As we interviewed each couple, a clear picture was emerging: that true love was far different from the infatuation which is so often portrayed in movies and books.

Each of these courtship/dating stories has its own theme, but all of them illustrate that God is the ideal matchmaker. The stories are uplifting, inspirational, funny, hopeful, romantic.

Here are a few excerpts:

David and Posie

Robert and Sarah

Mark and Kathy

Michel and Jeanette

Tom and Patty

Damon and Melanie

The Kindle edition of this book is FREE today through February 16th over at Amazon.com.

7 Quick Takes Friday – Valentine’s Day Edition

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

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

1. Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship
My book, Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship is FREE today through Sunday on Kindle. Click on the book title or HERE to download your free Kindle book. To read more about Come My Beloved, click HERE.Come-My-Beloved-jpg

2. 35 Years Together
It’s hard to believe that this year, James and I will celebrate 35 years together (32 years married). To read our courtship story, click THIS LINK.James and Ellie fb

3. Preparing for Intimacy
My latest post at Amazing Catechists is a re-print of an article from last Valentine’s Day, entitled “Preparing for Intimacy.”
candlelightSmall

4. St. Valentine
Today is the Feast of St. Valentine. To read more about St. Valentine, click HERE.

(Image from Catholic.org)

(Image from Catholic.org)

5. A Different Kind of Romantic Gift (Jump, Squirrel, Jump)
Many long-time readers will remember the story about the squirrel jumping out of my toilet. One of the most selfless gifts my husband ever gave me was cleaning up the mess left by the squirrel. To read the entire post, click HERE.

(image from iStock)

(image from iStock)

6. Favorite Romance Movies
Pride and Prejudice
Love Comes Softly
Jane Eyre
While You Were Sleeping

7. How NFP Couples Celebrate Their Anniversary

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

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

Copyright 2014 Ellen Gable Hrkach

7 Quick Takes Friday – FQP Edition (Huge Giveaway!!)

7_quick_takes_sm1 TGIF!!! Friday means I’m participating in 7 Quick Takes with other Catholic bloggers, but this week it’s over at Clan Donaldson. Head on over and take a look at the other posts!

Today is the Full Quiver Publishing edition, showcasing each of our books.

Last week, we released the Kindle edition of Erin McCole Cupp’s novel, Don’t You Forget About Me. With that release, Full Quiver now has seven titles under its logo. To celebrate, I’m giving away a FQP prize package worth over $100!!! (If you want to win ALL of the print editions of these books, read below and comment before November 1st!! Even if you already have some of these, they would all make great Christmas gifts!!) FQ logo square

1. Angela’s Song by AnnMarie Creedon
Angela ‘Jel’ Cooke is a widow and mother of three who stays busy so as not to have to face the fact that her marriage was damaged and her husband, Devin, died before it could be repaired. Her good friends realize that no amount of home made lasagna, volunteering at church or late night games of Yahtzee can heal Angela from past regrets. When she meets Jack, the teacher of a class she is taking, he challenges her to face her demons. What follows is the poignant, yet often hilarious saga of how Angela overcomes her guilt and learns to love herself and others. Amazon Kindle Bestseller. Angela’s Song is available on Kindle or in Paperback.AS Front Cover Final9-19

2. Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship by Ellen Gable and Kathy Cassanto
This compilation contains 12 courtship/dating stories which will inspire, captivate and entertain readers. Some of the stories include: a widow with eight children meets a widower with six children; a man asks his live-in girlfriend “what if we stopped having sex,” and is greeted with tears of joy; an atheist falls in love with her Catholic Prince Charming; a woman prays to God for a husband and years later finds herself falling in love with a seminarian; a sailor prays a novena to marry the right girl. Come My Beloved is available on Kindle or in Paperback.Come-My-Beloved-jpg

3. Don’t You Forget About Me by Erin McCole Cupp
Mary Catherine Whelihan made it out of Walkerville alive once before. Can she pull it off this time?
Bullies, sexual harassment, finding a corpse in the local creek…. Cate’s childhood in 1980s Walkerville was murder! So what could possibly tempt her to return? A cryptic email from Eugene Marcasian, MD, her grade school crush, might do the trick. Can Cate and Gene find the cause of the mysterious illness afflicting nearly all of the girls in their graduating class, including Cate herself? Or will corporate bullies continue to take down anyone who gets in their way? More importantly, can Cate stay alive long enough to get one more slice of tomato pie? Don’t You Forget About Me is available on Kindle and is also available in paperback (although official release date is November 1st).Don't You Forget About Me FTcasefrontcover

4. Emily’s Hope by Ellen Gable
Emily’s Hope is the gripping story of one young woman’s physical, emotional, spiritual journey from high school to adulthood. Interspersed throughout the story are flashbacks to Emily’s great-grandmother’s troubled life, with a climax culminating in the surprising revelation that Emily and her great-grandmother are connected more deeply than by ancestral ties alone. Based on a true story. Emily’s Hope is available on Kindle and in Paperback.Emily's Hope

5. Growing Up in God’s Image by Carolyn Smith
Growing Up in God’s Image makes it easy for families to approach the topic of sexuality — mom to daughter, father to son, parent to child — especially for that first big talk on the facts of life. This book is about the beauty of growing up as a young woman or a young man. For teens, it provides positive answers through an understanding of sexuality as God intended from the moment He created it and when He later gave it to us as a sacrament through Jesus. For young and old couples alike, it gives a new appreciation of their own sacramental marriages. Growing Up In God’s Image is available on Kindle and in Paperback.Cover for FB

6. In Name Only by Ellen Gable
1896 Philadelphia: Caroline Martin’s life has finally taken a turn for the better. After years of hard work, she has met a virtuous and wealthy man whose love seems to promise the kind of life realized only within the comforting novels she keeps on her night table. Tragedy, however, will teach Caroline of the complexity with which God Himself authors the lives of those who turn towards Him. Gold Medal Winner in Religious Fiction, 2010 IPPY Awards. Amazon Kindle #1 Bestseller Religious Drama, February, March 2012. In Name Only is available on Kindle and in paperback. In name only much smaller

7. Stealing Jenny by Ellen Gable
Mentally unstable infertile woman kidnaps pregnant mother of six. Amazon Kindle #1 Bestseller Religious Drama February 2012, June and July, 2012. Amazon Kindle Top 20 Bestseller since November, 2011 with over 200,000 downloads. Stealing Jenny is available on Kindle and in Paperback.

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This HUGE Giveaway is for ONE FREE PRINT COPY of each of these books (7 BOOKS IN TOTAL)!! To enter, answer the question below before Friday November 1st.

What is your favorite Full Quiver book? If you haven’t read any of these books, tell me which book you are most looking forward to reading!! Make sure you comment before Friday, November 1st!! Good luck!! (NORTH AMERICAN READERS ONLY…Sorry!!!)

Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship FREE Today and Tomorrow

My third book, Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship is FREE today and tomorrow on Amazon Kindle. I was happy to work with Kathy Cassanto in editing this wonderful book of true love stories.

Below are just a few of the many positive reviews this book has received:

This truly beautiful collection of Catholic courtship stories is a must-read for anyone discerning a vocation, especially the call to marriage; and for those courting, engaged, already married or widowed. Highly recommend!” Lisa Mladinich, author “Be An Amazing Catechist,” founder, AmazingCatechists.com

“...whether you’re courting, engaged, newlyweds or celebrating your jubilee years together, this terrific resource offers something for anyone looking to grow closer to God and to one another.
Lisa M. Hendey, author “A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms,” founder, CatholicMom.com

To read more reviews and watch a book trailer, here is the book’s website:
Come My Beloved website

Our Courtship Story

As my gift to you, the Kindle edition of my book of true courtship stories, Come My Beloved:Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship, is free today until midnight.

Since this is Valentine’s Day, today’s post is an excerpt of James and my courtship story (which was the basis for my novel, Emily’s Hope). The entire story can be found in Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship.

Ellen: Because I was very young looking, I did not date in high school or for the year or so after. I longed to meet someone, that special person with whom I could spend the rest of my life. Every night I prayed, “Please God, send me a man.”

During my first visit to Canada in 1978, my pen-pal asked if I wanted to go with her to a jam session where her brother would be rehearsing with his rock band. When we arrived, the band was taking a break. One boy, however, was crouching, with his back toward me, a guitar in front of him, and he was playing the same three or four notes over and over again. I remember thinking that fellow must be dedicated. I also noticed that he had dark curly hair and bell bottoms (out of style at the time) which prompted me to think he must not be too concerned about fashion. A few moments later, the band members took up their instruments. The fellow with the dark curly hair turned around and began playing his guitar and singing. It sounds cliché, but when I first saw his face, he took my breath away. And he played with such intensity that I couldn’t stop staring at him.

James: I wasn’t much for pursuit, except pursuit of excellence in music and art. That seemed so much easier to understand than girls. Ellie, on the other hand, was definitely in pursuit and had a hard time hiding it, even if she tried. One thing is for sure, though, her young looks were less intimidating for someone as shy as myself.

Ellen: I returned to Canada the summer of ’79. Although I was 20 at the time, I looked more like 13 and was rather immature. I was told that James was shy and usually quiet, but when we later met at a dance in the local curling club, we spent the entire time outside (where it was less noisy) talking for three hours. I was nervous because I liked him so much. I actually began the conversation by asking him a “conversation starter” that my pen-pal had given me in case I became nervous. “Nice trees around here,” was all I could come up with. His answer surprised me. “Yes, they are nice. I like the way the light is reflecting off the oak leaves over there.” I never expected such a well-thought out and creative answer to a conversation starter. But as we began to talk, I realized that he was no ordinary young man.

James: It’s funny that although I would have gladly stood on a stage and produced a wall of loud noise to perform at any dance, I wasn’t much for attending them. I certainly saw the empty meanings of much popular music, and spending time outside of the noisy dance hall was a definite option, especially when this time was to be spent getting to know a person from a different part of the continent, a girl, in fact, who seemed to want to get to know me. When time flies by so fast you can’t keep track of it, you know you’re having fun and I certainly felt comfortable chatting with Ellie that night. So comfortable that I almost couldn’t face the discomfort of having to see her return home.

Ellen: Later that week, when we said good bye to one another, he promised that he would write to me. I arrived back in New Jersey and immediately wrote my first letter to James.

In those days, we didn’t have email or cheap long distance or texting, so he had to wait over a week before he received my letter. I had to wait two weeks before receiving a response. When I received his first letter, I knew he was the real thing. Over the next few months, he sent letters frequently and drew little pictures on the backs of envelopes or in the letters themselves, little pencil sketches of scenes, lions or the cartoon version of himself. On one particular envelope, he drew a man crawling over the desert, passing a glass labeled “H20” and saying “Ellen, Ellen.” On another, he drew a picture of me pulling on a phone wire with him saying “Keeping pulling. I’m just passing Syracuse.”

As we began to share thoughts and feelings over the next five months, I became more and more excited at the prospect that he was the man with whom I was meant to spend the rest of my life.

James: I must admit, I wasn’t much of a pen-pal and the only person I had ever or would ever write letters consistently to was Ellie. The delay between one writing and the other responding was frustrating, but it added a certain timeliness to my letters’ content. I tended to write things that would matter regardless of when Ellie read them. One thing is for sure: Ellie’s ceaseless and timely response to every letter I wrote definitely convinced me that there was someone who really cared about me, helping to cement my certainty that I was developing a relationship that was going to work. If she was putting aside the distractions of life just to make sure I got a response every few days, how much more would she truly be able to commit herself to being my lifelong partner when we were near each other?

Ellen: On returning to Canada just after Christmas 1979, James presented me with a beautiful painting (see photo above). When James and I were alone together, we pledged our love to one another and promised that we would be faithful. I was overjoyed because I had finally found the one I loved but unfortunately, he lived 500 miles away. I had no idea what it would mean to carry on a long distance relationship for an unknown number of years, but we were in love and it didn’t seem to matter when we were together.

Although I was Catholic — and had discovered that he was also Catholic — I figured that James was like most Catholics who didn’t follow everything that the Church taught. I wanted to give myself to him physically before I left during that visit so we would have something to hold us together. He was only 17 at the time, but he shared with me that he wanted to wait until marriage to have sex. I was shocked that a 17 year old would turn down an opportunity like that, but in hindsight, his high ideals for morality and “pursuit for excellence in art and music” are the exact traits which attracted me to him in the first place.

We spent the rest of the week trying to enjoy the few days we had left together. When it came time to say goodbye, we both sobbed. Neither of us knew when we would see each other again.

This is an excerpt of our courtship story. The full version is included in Full Quiver’s book: “Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship.” Our story has also been fictionalized in my novel, Emily’s Hope.

This is our 34th Valentine’s Day together. Happy Valentine’s Day to my true love!

Don’t forget, Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship Kindle edition is free until midnight tonight!

Copyright 2011 James and Ellen Hrkach
and Full Quiver Publishing