Advanced Reviews for Julia’s Gifts

Special thanks to the following authors for offering advanced endorsements of my new book, Julia’s Gifts.

Can beauty and life survive destruction and death? Vivid writing transports readers to the past, where young love is forged and tested amidst the devastation of war-torn France. Graced with soulful sonnets and life-and-death situations, this is no simple romance. It’s a strong and tender Catholic historical novel about growing in maturity and fortitude while discovering the power of hope, self-sacrifice, and prayer. I read Julia’s Gifts within two days, but this touching story of faith and devotion is sure to leave a lasting impression!” Therese Heckenkamp, award-winning author of Frozen Footprints and After the Thaw

“Award-winning author Ellen Gable has created a stunning love story set amidst the backdrop of World War I. Filled with adventure, romance, and intrigue, this gripping tale will keep you on the edge of your seat.  There is so much to treasure in this beautifully-written book: miracles of faith, the power of prayer, the strength of true love, and the grace in using one’s God-given gifts to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles make this an outstanding and unforgettable book.” Jean M. Heimann, author of Fatima: The Apparition That Changed the World

“A sweet romance set amidst the carnage of World War I France, Julia’s Gifts is filled with fascinating historical detail and a reminder that love never fails and that miracles – great and small – happen all around us.”   Carolyn Astfalk, author, Stay With Me, Ornamental Graces & Rightfully Ours

“Julia’s Gifts is a sweet and touching love story laced with beautiful messages. Well-researched, the dialog and details make the story feel genuine, taking readers back to the WWI era where people shop at Lit Brothers department store, ride on trolley cars, and frequent the Horn and Hardart’s Automat. Following Julia as she works overseas as a volunteer medical aid opened my eyes to the hardships of war and especially the great trials and sacrifices of the nurses and volunteers. This story touched my heart in many ways, but the poems written by the character Major Peter Winslow are simply amazing.”    Theresa Linden, author of award-winning Catholic teen fiction

“In the new Great War Great Love series by Ellen Gable, Julia’s Gifts took me on a poignant journey into the midst of terrible suffering and enduring hope. A young woman volunteers to serve in a war-time hospital in France and encounters, up close and personal, the horrors of war. The descriptions of war-torn France felt very authentic and really helped me to envision actual environment. Julia’s dreams for her future husband face unexpected and ingenious twists and turns. Julia’s Gifts is a romantic drama that unfolds far from home—but takes us to the heart of home along the way.”  A.K. Frailey, author

Julia’s Gifts will be available on November 1, 2017!

Virtual Book Tour for Julia’s Gifts will take place November 1-22, 2017. Links coming soon!

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An Open Book – September 2017 #openbook

Open Book

I’m joining with Carolyn Astfalk and Catholic Mom for An Open Book. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

God or Nothing: Robert Cardinal Sarah

Synopsis: In this fascinating autobiographical interview, one of the most prominent and outspoken Catholic Cardinals gives witness to his Christian faith and comments on many current controversial issues. The mission of the Church, the joy of the gospel, the heresy of activism , and the definition of marriage are among the topics he discusses with wisdom and eloquence.

Robert Cardinal Sarah grew up in Guinea, West Africa. Inspired by the missionary priests who made great sacrifices to bring the Faith to their remote village, his parents became Catholics. Robert discerned a call to the priesthood and entered the seminary at a young age, but due to the oppression of the Church by the government of Guinea, he continued his education outside of his homeland. He studied in France and nearby Senegal. Later he obtained a licentiate in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, followed by a licentiate in Sacred Scripture at the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum of Jerusalem.

At the age of thirty-four he became the youngest Bishop in the Catholic Church when John Paul II appointed him the Archbishop of Conakry, Guinea, in 1979. His predecessor had been imprisoned by the Communist government for several years, and when Archbishop Sarah was targeted for assassination John Paul II called him to Rome to be Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. In 2010 Pope Benedict XVI named him Cardinal and appointed him Prefect of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum. Pope Francis made him Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in 2014.

“I have read God or Nothing with great spiritual profit, joy, and gratitude. . . .[Its] courageous answers to the problems of gender theory clear up in a nebulous world a fundamental anthropological question.”  Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

My review: I’m enjoying this book tremendously.  Cardinal Sarah expresses the faith with a firm but gentle tone.  Fascinating life story, but also an ideal book that explains our faith.  Highly recommend (and thanks to Ann for the gift copy!!)

 

Accident Prone by Jude Greggs

Synopsis: (Fiction) David Baker’s life is plagued with headaches. Relationship troubles, an aging mother, and chronic migraines are turning his existence into a nightmare. His misery is further compounded by his antagonistic, four-year-old neighbor who constantly demands his attention. When David accidentally stumbles upon a secret operation that promises to rid him of all of his problems, he wonders if he may have found a means of escape, but will the mistakes of his past continue to haunt his future…with terrifying results? This slightly futuristic, dystopian novel uses the far-fetched, surreal possibilities of tomorrow, to expose the hidden horrors of modern-day reality.

My review: Forthcoming

Prayers, Promises and Devotions for the Holy Souls in Purgatory by Susan Tassone

 

Synopsis: The holy souls are eager for the prayers of the faithful, which can gain indulgences for them. Their intercession is powerful. Pray unceasingly. We must empty purgatory!” St. Pio of Pietrelcina    Tireless advocate for the holy souls in purgatory, Susan Tassone, invites you to join her in the call to action from St. Pio to empty purgatory. Become a prayer warrior on behalf of the suffering souls and bring comfort to them and to yourself along the way.

Tassone provides an unprecedented treasure trove of spiritual tools including devotions, meditations, and wisdom from the holy souls and patron saints of souls in purgatory that you can use to take an active role in this vital and rewarding vocation. Sharing her deep understanding and personal connection with the centuries-old tradition of praying with supernatural charity for the holy souls, Tassone will inspire you with her passion and educate you with her meticulous research. In addition, she provides an avenue for the attainment of spiritual gifts for acts done for the souls that cry out for relief.

My review: Forthcoming

Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith by Robert Barron

Synopsis: “What I propose to do in this book is to take you on a guided exploration of the Catholic world, but not in the manner of a docent, for I am not interested in showing you the artifacts of Catholicism as though they were dusty objets d’art in a museum of culture.  I want to function rather as a mystagogue, conducting you ever deeper into the mystery of the incarnation in the hopes that you might be transformed by its power.” –Father Robert Barron
 
What is Catholicism? A 2,000-year-old living tradition? A worldview? A way of life? A relationship? A mystery? In Catholicism Father Robert Barron examines all these questions and more, seeking to capture the body, heart and mind of the Catholic faith.

Starting from the essential foundation of Jesus Christ’s incarnation, life, and teaching, Father Barron moves through the defining elements of Catholicism – from sacraments, worship, and prayer, to Mary, the Apostles, and Saints, to grace, salvation, heaven, and hell – using his distinct and dynamic grasp of art, literature, architecture, personal stories, Scripture, theology, philosophy, and history to present the Church to the world.

Paired with his documentary film series of the same title, Catholicism is an intimate journey, capturing “The Catholic Thing” in all its depth and beauty. Eclectic, unique, and inspiring, Father Barron brings the faith to life for a new generation, in a style that is both faithful to timeless truths, while simultaneously speaking in the language of contemporary life.

My review: I read this while down in New Jersey visiting my family.  I became sick halfway through the visit and couldn’t do much but read.  She had a copy of this on her side table and I became engrossed.  Excellent read and highly recommend!

Vanished Halls and Cathedrals of France by George Warton Edwards (1917)

Synopsis: (From Amazon) Surviving the ancient wars and revolutions in this, “the Cockpit of Europe,” the great examples of architecture of the early days of France remained for our delight. The corroding fingers of time, it is true, were much more merciful to them, but certainly the destroyers of old never ventured to commit the crimes upon them now charged against the legions of the present invader. These fair towns of Picardy and Champagne are sacked, pillaged and burned even as were the beautiful Flemish towns of Ypres, Malines, Termonde, Dixmude, and Dinant on the Meuse….
Never again shall we enjoy them: the chalices are broken and the perfume forever vanished….The catastrophe is so unbelievable that one cannot realize it. The Seven Churches of Soissons, Senlis, Noyon, Laon, Meaux, Rheims, St. Remi; these such as man probably never again can match, are either razed to the foundations, or so shattered that it will be impossible to restore them.
It is said that the Imperial Government has promised to rebuild these Gothic masterpieces….One cannot trust one’s self to comment upon this announcement. Imagine these sacred ruins…. Rheims!… Rheims can never be restored to what it was before the bombardment. Let it rest thus…. A sacred ruin—the scarred, pierced heart of France! Likewise “these fair sweet towns” of the middle ages; these wonderful little streets and byways, filled with the gray old timbered houses, “old in Shakespeare’s day.” Up to the outbreak of the war there were many of these throughout France, in spite of the wave of modernity which resulted in so much so called town improvement.

My review: I downloaded this on Kindle for 1.59 Canadian and what a treasure.  I needed to research cathedrals of France for my series in progress (Great War Great Love).  Excellent information and photos.

 

Julia’s Gifts (Great War Great Love #1)

Coming soon!  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my upcoming novel, Julia’s Gifts. I’ve been spending the last two weeks implementing suggested edits from my developmental editor.  It’s now in the hands of the copy-editor and will be available as an ARC within a few weeks.

Synopsis:  As a young girl, Julia began buying gifts for her future spouse, a man whose likeness and personality she has conjured up in her mind, a man she calls her “beloved.”

Soon after the United States enters the Great War in 1917, Julia impulsively volunteers as a medical aid worker, with no experience or training. Will the realities of war dishearten her from pursuing her beloved? Will Julia’s naïve ‘gift scheme’ distract her from recognizing her true “Great Love?”

From Philadelphia to war-torn France, follow Julia as she transitions from unworldly young woman to compassionate volunteer.

Julia’s Gifts Cover Reveal

 

My new novel series, Great War – Great Love, begins with Julia’s Gifts, which will be published on November 1, 2017.

Synopsis:

As a young girl, Julia Murphy began buying gifts for her future spouse, a man whose likeness and personality she has conjured up in her mind, a man she calls her “beloved.”

Soon after the United States enters the Great War, Julia impulsively volunteers as a medical aid worker, with no experience or training. Will the realities of war dishearten her from pursuing her beloved? Will Julia’s naïve ‘gift scheme’ distract her from recognizing her true “Great Love?”

From Philadelphia to war-torn France, follow Julia as she transitions from unworldly young woman to compassionate volunteer.

Sunday Snippets – Cool Book News!

Photo copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach

Photo copyright Ellen Gable Hrkach

Please join me and other Catholic bloggers over at RAnn’s Place where we share posts from the previous week.

Here are my posts:

A Subtle Grace #1 (my book, A Subtle Grace, is currently #1 in five different categories, #2 or #3 in several additional categories and #74 over all Amazon e-books!)

7 Quick Takes Friday – Book News News on my work in progress and other projects I’ve been working on.

7QT Friday – Book Sale, Book News Etc.

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-1024x727It’s been a while since I’ve participated in 7QT! But I’m back and there’s a new host, Kelly at Ain’t the Lyceum.

1. A Subtle Grace on SALE for ONLY .99!
My fifth book, A Subtle Grace, Kindle Edition is on sale on only .99 until February 7th!! It’s the stand alone sequel to my second book, In Name Only. To read reviews and an excerpt, click here.A Subtle Grace front cover Nov2013

2. Great Article on Contraception’s “Cascading Rampage”
Excellent article on Contraception’s Cascading Rampage over at The Catholic Thing by a long-time psychiatrist, Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons. Check it out!

3. Instagram!
I just joined Instagram! Here’s my profile link: http://instagram.com/ellengable/ This was my first posted photo:
sunrise in Pakenham

4. From the Hub to the Heart, New Book by Andrew LaVallee
I’ve been working with new author Andrew LaVallee as his editor and book consultant. His book, based on his conversion story, is entitled “From the Hub to the Heart” and is available right now on pre-order from Kindle. Andy also promotes fasting through his non-profit organization Live the Fast. Check his book out here.Kindle small

5. Julia’s Gifts Update
My work in progress is called Julia’s Gifts. It’s a World War 1 Historical Romance Novella. Earlier this week, I was without internet access and took the opportunity to spend two days working on it. It’s set to be released later this year (if I can get my act together) and it’s about an American Medical Aid worker named Julia Murphy.

6. Reading Shelf
Veiled Warriors: Allied Nurses of the First World War

7. Officially Married Cartoon

Copyright James and Ellen Hrkach PLEASE DO NOT USE WITHOUT PERMISSION

Copyright James and Ellen Hrkach PLEASE DO NOT USE WITHOUT PERMISSION