Humbled, Honored and Surprised: Arnprior Author Inducted Into Hall of Fame in New Jersey

Ellen Gable Hrkach photo.jpgFrom the Arnprior Chronicle Guide:

When local author, Ellen Gable Hrkach, was informed this past July that she was being inducted into her high school’s hall of fame, she was “humbled, honoured and surprised.” The award is “in recognition of outstanding achievement” regarding her success as an author of fiction. The induction ceremony took place on Oct. 7 in Glassboro, N.J. A graduate of Triton High School, class of 1977, Hrkach was a member of the National Honor Society and graduated sixth in a class of over 450 students. She joins 40 other Triton alumni whhave been inducted over the years.

The author recently released her ninth book, Charlotte’s Honor, the second of three books in the Great War — Great Love series. The first in the series, Julia’s Gifts, was published last year. Both books are appropriate for age 12 and over.

Hrkach, who writes under her maiden name (Gable), says that she “enjoys creating stories, especially historical fiction.” In her new book, Charlotte’s Honor, 21-year-old Charlotte enlists as a medical volunteer during the Great War. She begins working in the death ward of the field hospital near Soissons, France, holding dying men’s hands and singing them into eternity.

Award-winning author Therese Heckenkamp highly recommended the novel, saying that it’s an “authentic story of compassion, self-sacrifice, and the true meaning of love.” Dr. Jean Egolf, wrote that “Charlotte’s Honor is a beautiful, tender and moving story set during World War One …” and that “it will not disappoint.”

The main female characters in the series are American and their love interests are Canadian. “I am American, and my husband, James, is Canadian. It’s been fun exploring that relationship with fictional characters.”

Originally from the Philadelphia-South Jersey area, Hrkach is now a dual citizen, having received her Canadian citizenship in 2014. The author began writing Christian fiction when her five sons were small children. The hobby eventually turned into a full-time career of writing, editing, book coaching, and ghostwriting.

She is currently working on the third novel of the Great War — Great Love series, Ella’s Promise, as well as two other novels entitled Where Angels Pass and A Faithful Heart.

Awards and Translations

In 2015, Hrkach’s fifth book, A Subtle Grace, was a finalist in the IAN Book Awards in both the romance and historical categories. In 2010, Hrkach’s second book, In Name Only, won the IPPY Gold Medal in Religious Fiction. In 2006, her first novel, Emily’s Hope, won an Honourable Mention in the IPPY awards.

All of her books are available on Amazon Kindle and in paperback. Her third book, Stealing Jenny, is available in three languages: Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian and will soon be translated into Lithuanian. Julia’s Gifts is available in Italian and will soon be available in Portuguese, Spanish, and French. Stealing Jenny is also available as an audiobook (narrated by Lisa Reichert). Since 2009, the author’s books have been collectively downloaded nearly a quarter of a million times on Kindle. To date, she has published nine original works and has contributed to numerous other books.

Upcoming Book Signings

The author will be signing and selling books at the following events during the month of November:

Friday, Nov. 2: The Knights of Columbus Ladies’ Shopping Night, St. John Chrysostom Parish Hall, Arnprior, Ont., from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 10: Catholic Women’s League Bake Sale and Bazaar, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish Hall, Braeside, Ont. from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 24: Christmas Craft, Bake and Business Sale, Nick Smith Centre, Arnprior, Ont. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Charlotte’s Honor costs $15 for the print edition and $4.99 for the Kindle edition. It’s available online via Amazon and through the publisher’s website at More information can be found at the author’s website:

Like Arrows in the Hand of a Warrior (Or How Full Quiver Publishing Got Its Name)

FQ logo square“Children too are a gift from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children born of one’s youth.
Blessed are they whose quivers are full.
They will never be shamed
contending with foes at the gate.
Blessed is the man who has filled his desire from these things…” Psalm 127 3:5

So how many arrows make a full quiver?

The answer is that it depends on the quiver…and the size of the arrows.

Our publishing company’s name is Full Quiver Publishing.

We now have 14 books (most published by other authors) and four books coming in the next year.

Often, people assume that we are part of the “Quiverfull” Movement. At Wikipedia, Quiverfull is described as: “a movement among conservative evangelical Christian couples… it promotes procreation, and sees children as a blessing from God eschewing all forms of birth control, including natural family planning and sterilization. Adherents are known as “quiver full”, “full quiver”, “quiverfull-minded”, or simply “QF” Christians. Some refer to the Quiverfull position as Providentialism…”

An internet search of the words “Full Quiver” shows our website on the first page, along with a majority of websites and blogs devoted to the Quiverfull Movement.

I admire couples who follow this ideology, especially in this day and age when the majority of married couples are using artificial contraception or becoming sterilized.

However, we are not part of the Quiverfull Movement. Instead, we proudly use and teach Natural Family Planning to plan, space and limit births. When we are teaching NFP, we always encourage generosity and always stress there should be serious need to avoid pregnancy. We agree with the Church’s teachings on the Theology of the Body and are well-versed in the two encyclicals Humanae Vitae and Familiaris Consortio. Our publishing company publishes fiction and non-fiction that promotes the Church’s teachings on sex and marriage.

So why the name?

Years ago, I listened to a talk by Kimberly Hahn, in which she quoted the Scripture passage above and talked about the great gift of children and why generosity was so important. She later stated this concept in her book, Life-Giving Love: Embracing God’s Beautiful Design for Marriage: “We are in a spiritual battle, and our children are our arrows: How many arrows do you want in your quiver when you go into battle?”

This talk made a deep impression on me. So when we were forming our publishing company, after discussing different names, this is one that we felt God calling us to use: “Full Quiver Publishing.” It never dawned on us that we would be confused with the Quiverfull folks and that, occasionally, we would receive an email or a call from someone in the Quiverfull movement.

Back to the number: most quivers hold about 12 arrows. My husband and I have lost seven babies through miscarriage and are raising five sons: we thank God for our “full quiver.”

Copyright 2013 Ellen Gable Hrkach

7QT – Catholic Conferences and Lenten Books

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-1024x727Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at This Ain’t the Lyseum for 7 Quick Takes.

1. Catholic Conference 4 Moms
The Catholic Conference 4 Moms begins today and continues through Monday. For registration and more the information, click here. There are many great speakers on the schedule. I’ll be talking about Responsible Parenthood (or How I Came to Have Five Kids When the Doctors Told Us to Stop at Three). Registration is FREECatholic Conference 4 Moms Banner.

2. Dynamic Women of Faith Conference
I’ll also be speaking at a one day women’s conference in Toronto next weekend (March 14). The topic of my talk will be “Coping With Difficult Losses.” I’ll be signing and selling books as well. DWF2015PNG

3. Discover or Rediscover Fasting
Lent is an ideal time to discover or rediscover fasting. Andy LaVallee’s book, From the Hub to the Heart, is not only an inspiring conversion story, but it is a great resource re: fasting! Kindle small

4. Amazon Author Page
Amazon has recently designed Amazon Author Pages. Check out my author page here.March 5- Amazon Author Page

5. Season of Mercy: Lent and Easter by Catherine Doherty
I highly recommend this wonderful book by Catherine Doherty.LentandEaster

6. Reading Shelf
My Battle Against Hitler – Dietrich von Hildebrand

7. Burger/Texting Cartoon

Image copyright James & Ellen Hrkach

Image copyright James & Ellen Hrkach

Copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach 2015
Cartoon copyright James and Ellen Hrkach (Please do not use without permission)

7 Quick Takes Friday – #1 on Amazon & VBT Links!

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

My virtual book tour continues this week and ends on Monday!!

1. A Subtle Grace #1!!
A Subtle Grace has been #1 in Religious Drama for five days now!! Woo hoo! This book holds the record for my fastest book to make it to #1!! asg bestseller

2. Miss Alexandrina
Miss Alexandrina hosted me on Sunday with some great interview questions! Thank you!!

3. Kathleen Basi
Thank you, Kathleen Basi, blogger at So Much to Say, So Little Time, who hosted me on Tuesday!

4. Don Mulcare
Don Mulcare posted this wonderful review on his blog on Tuesday as well. Thank you, Don!

5. Mrs. Mackerelsnapper
Erin McCole Cupp hosted me on Wednesday and she even included a delightfully scrumptious sounding recipe for Victorian Fish Curry!! Thank you, Erin!

6. Carol @ Simply Catholic
Carol hosted me on Thursday. Thank you, Carol!!

7. In Name Only Also #1
While A Subtle Grace was at the #1 position of PAID Kindle Books, In Name Only spent most of the week at #1 in both Religious Drama AND Victorian Romance in FREE books!! (It is no longer FREE, alas…)INO # 1 cropped

Thanks again to all those bloggers who have hosted me during my VBT for A Subtle Grace!

7 Quick Takes Friday – Volume 68

7_quick_takes_sm1Friday means it’s time to connect with other Catholic bloggers for 7 Quick Takes Friday. This week, it’s at Camp Patton.

1. Amphibian Choir – Spring Has Arrived!
We know when spring has truly arrived: frogs start to croak in the swamp across the street. Each day, more frogs add to the amphibian choir. In fact, some days it’s so loud that the “choir” can be heard even with the windows closed. I remember when we first moved here 18 years ago, our oldest boys (then 8 and 5) could not sleep because the frogs were so noisy. Over the years, though, it’s become the official start of spring in our little corner of the woods. And, for me, the high-pitched sounds are music to my ears.

photo copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach

photo copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach

2. Fossil, Fossils, Fossils
One of the great advantages of living on bedrock is that there are numerous fossils. This is one of the fossils embedded in our bedrock driveway.

photo copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach

photo copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach

3. A Subtle Grace Update
This week, I researched Victoria guns and revolvers that would have been available in the late 1890’s. I don’t like guns, never have, but I found this research interesting. I watched a few videos on youtube and was amazed that many of the Victorian guns in existence today are still working.

4.Intersex Fish
Great article by Simcha Fisher called “So Long and Thanks for all the Intersex Fish,” about the impact that chemical contraception has on fish and an organic company who does not want to pay for their employees’ contraceptives.

5. Recipe – Banana Oat Cookies
I recently found this recipe on Pinterest. It is a no wheat, no sugar, no milk products, no eggs recipe. I made these the other night and they were right delicious out of the oven. They became rubbery as they cooled. But still very tasty. And…I do admit I added about two tsp of sugar to the mix because it needed a wee bit. Also, I baked them slightly longer than the recipe calls for.
Banana Oat Cookies:
Three mashed bananas (ripe)
1/3 cup applesauce (no added sugar)
2 cups oats (I used quick cooking)
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
(I added two teaspoons of sugar)
Drop on ungreased cookie sheet and flatten. Bake in pre-heated oven 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.cookies

6. Reading Shelf (Children’s Books)
The Locket’s Secret by K. Kelley Hayne
St. Francis and Brother Duck by Jay Stoeckl, SFO
Stout Hearts and Whizzing Biscuits (A Patria Story) by Daniel McInerny

7. Laundry Cartoon (Classic Cartoon)

image copyright James and Ellen Hrkach

image copyright James and Ellen Hrkach

Copyright 2013 Ellen Gable Hrkach

Sunday Snippets – March 3

Image copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach

Image copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach

Join me at RAnn’s Place for Sunday Snippets where Catholic bloggers share posts from the previous week.

Fallen Men – Book Review

Farewell, Pope Benedict XVI

7 Quick Takes Friday – Volume 61 (Update on A Subtle Grace, Farewell to Pope Benedict, a cartoon etc.

Copyright 2013 Ellen Gable Hrkach

7 Quick Takes Friday – Volume 60

7_quick_takes_sm1It’s time to join with other Catholic bloggers at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday.

1. Proactive Lent
Lent has begun in earnest. One of the things I do every year during Lent is “de-clutter.” I tend to let stacks of books, papers and other paraphernalia pile up without sorting properly. The end result is my house tends to be cluttered. I still give up a few things, but since I’ve already given up wheat, that takes care of most “goodies.” Since the beginning of Lent, I’ve sorted through books and a few large stacks of paper.

2. Popular Name from 1871-1880
In researching names for my fifth book, A Subtle Grace, I was surprised to discover “Ellen” was the 6th most popular girl’s name in that period. Can you guess one of the names that was more popular?(In the top five of this period). Comment below to be entered to win a print copy of God Moments III: True Love Leads to Life (I contributed three stories to this book).

3. Pope Leo XIII
I discovered this cool video of Pope Leo XIII in 1896 on youtube. There is a short audio clip of Pope Leo XII at the end. If you’re wondering why I have been doing research on this Pope, it’s because he makes a guest appearance in my upcoming novel, A Subtle Grace. To find out more about this Pope, click here.

4. Fan Mail
I’ve received more than the usual amount of fan mail this week and it’s been very humbling. It’s still hard to imagine or believe that I have “fans.”

5. Simultaneous Bestsellers!
Earlier this week, for the first time ever, all six of my company’s books, including my four, have simultaneously been on at least one bestsellers’ list.

6. Antique Books
Another thing I found this week while doing research was that many antique books from the 19th century are available FREE online. This book, entitled “The Science of a New Life” by John Cowan is a fascinating journey into Victorian attitudes, biases and religious overtones. What was so refreshing was the author does not attempt to hide his horror for “abortion” which at the time was called “Feticide.”

7. Texted Cartoon

Image copyright James & Ellen Hrkach

Image copyright James & Ellen Hrkach

Don’t forget! Let me know one of the names you think might have been in the top five in the period 1871 to 1880 to be entered to win a free copy of God Moments III: True Love Leads to Life. You’ll get one entry for each name you guess correctly. Comment before Monday, February 25th @ eight p.m. to be eligible to enter!

Copyright 2013 Ellen Gable Hrkach

Marketing Your Self-Published Book

My recent post at the Catholic Writers Guild Blog talks about marketing the self-published book:

After years of creating, editing, polishing and many revisions, the last line of your book is written. You have sent it off to the printer. You are finally finished! Now you can sit back, kick up your feet and relax while your book becomes a bestseller.


For the self-published author, the writing of his or her book only comprises 10% of the work. In my experience, 90% has been promotion and marketing.

I’ve put together some pointers that might help the novice self-published author. These are things that I have learned from ten years experience as a self-published author, things that will help you to market your book.

One: Produce a quality book There is no substitute for a quality book. Don’t take short cuts! Hire a professional editor and cover designer. Hire a book coach…please produce a quality book. If you publish a poor quality or mediocre book, no amount of marketing is going to help it sell.

Two: Create a website for your book, along with a book trailer. Here is my second novel’s website and book trailer: In Name Only.

Three: Attend local Catholic conferences Since I was writing Catholic fiction, the first thing I did as a new author many years ago was to attend a local Catholic conference. I sold 22 books at that conference. I use the word “local” because obviously there will be expenses for attending out-of-town conferences and an author must weigh the cost of attending to the possible income to be made.

Four: Ask friends, relatives and anyone who is willing to write a review of your book. This has been helpful, although friends and relatives can sometimes go overboard writing gushing reviews.

Five: Social networking/Web Presence Ten years ago, the only social networking sites available were blogs. I didn’t have time to start writing a blog, but I did join Facebook way back in 2006 in order to keep any eye on my teenagers. As my friend list grew, it turned out to be a wonderful marketing and promotion tool. Join Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linked in, Google plus. (BTW, feel free to follow me on any of these sites and I will follow you back!) Make a Facebook page for your book.

Social networking takes time, but these websites can be a tremendous help in promoting your book. Once my boys grew a bit older, I began writing a blog. I also write columns for four different websites and I try to comment frequently on other blogs.

Six: Enter your book in book award contests A major award has the potential of selling books. I entered my first book, Emily’s Hope, in the 2006 IPPY Awards. Although I didn’t walk away with a medal, they sent me an “Honorable Mention” certificate and a few stickers. When I entered my second book, In Name Only, in the 2010 IPPY Awards, I had no aspirations of winning anything. When I found out I was a finalist, I automatically assumed I would receive a Bronze medal. Later, I was shocked to discover my book had won the Gold Medal!

Although it doesn’t claim to be all-inclusive, this link contains a list of self-publishing contests to enter: Be aware that most of these require an entry fee.

Seven: Release your book as an e-book at a reasonable price (more on e-book pricing in a future post). I wrote about Kindle books in a post last year on this blog.

Putting my books on Kindle has been the single most important marketing device for me. To illustrate this, let me state that in the first six years of my writing career, I sold a total of about 2000 print books, and these sales were mostly from conferences I attended. Last year alone, I sold 5000 e-books and 500 print books (not too bad for a relatively unknown author). In the last six months, over 60,000 people have downloaded my books. Some of these were free promotional downloads, but after the free promotions were over, I saw a spike in sales for all three of my novels (5,000 books SOLD in nearly two weeks). All three of my novels have been in the top ten of Religious and Liturgical Drama for three months, and most of the time, they are in the top four.

Because a self-published author doesn’t have a publisher to help them market, we should add “marketing” to the long list of things we must do ourselves.

You may have just written a literary masterpiece. But if you don’t promote it, it will be destined for oblivion.

Copyright 2012 Ellen Gable Hrkach

Image purchased from iStock.