#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

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SQT – #CMN, Catholic Writers Conference Live

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-1024x727Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at This Ain’t the Lyceum for Seven Quick Takes Friday. I had a whirlwind trip to New Jersey for the Catholic Marketing Network and the Catholic Writers Conference Live. Here are seven photos from the CMN and Conference:

Speaking to the bookstore owners on Tuesday (notice the riser to help me see over the podium) Photo courtesy Megan Marley

Speaking to the bookstore owners on Tuesday (notice the riser to help me see over the podium) Photo courtesy Megan Marley

#CMNselfie2015, my attempt at a selfie before my first presentation on Wednesday (with help from Pat Gohn)

#CMNselfie2015, my attempt at a selfie before my first presentation on Wednesday (with help from Pat Gohn)

At the Author Reception, with Father Frank Pavone and Janet Morana (copyright Ellen Hrkach)

At the Author Reception, with Father Frank Pavone and Janet Morana (copyright Ellen Hrkach)

With Author Regina Doman

With Author Regina Doman

#cmnselfie2015 with Ann Lewis and Erin McCole Cupp

#cmnselfie2015 with Ann Lewis and Erin McCole Cupp

With other Guild members: Barb Szyszkiewicz, Marianne Komek and FQP authors Carolyn Astfalk and Erin McCole Cupp

With other Guild members: Barb Szyszkiewicz, Marianne Komek and FQP authors Carolyn Astfalk and Erin McCole Cupp

With new FQP author Karina Fabian and Amazing Catechists founder and author Lisa Mladinich at the CWG Booth

With new FQP author Karina Fabian and Amazing Catechists founder and author Lisa Mladinich at the CWG Booth

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)

Our Fairy Tale Romance – Andrew and Regina

It’s February again! Like last year, I’ll be posting excerpts from my book, Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship.

The following is an excerpt of “Our Fairy Tale Romance” and tells part of the story of the courtship of Regina Doman and Andrew Schmiedicke.

Andrew: At 25 years of age I was already a lonely bachelor. After a number of failed relationships in high school, college, and after college; after a number of journeys, adventures, and failed business and employment ventures; I found myself back in Michigan, looking for a job, and feeling…well…like a failure. And a bachelor.

Regina: The Steubenville Youth Conference had been a source of conversion for me when I was a teen, and even as a youth group leader, it was a lot of fun. But by Sunday, I was hot and exhausted, not to mention a little rumpled from sleeping on the ground and having lost my luggage. During one of the sessions, I saw Mike (future brother-in-law) come into the tent followed by a guy wearing a white dress shirt and jeans of the palest faded blue. His longish dark hair was hanging over his eyes. I rolled my own eyes. Clearly, the guy didn’t know how to dress. I was introduced to Andrew Schmiedicke and we shook hands, but given how loud the music was, we didn’t have a chance for conversation. We agreed to meet at Bob Evans for brunch.

Andrew: When I spoke with Regina, she was dressed in a blue denim jumper with a white t-shirt, and her hair was a little messy. Regina was very easy to talk to, but I didn’t feel the slightest hint of a romantic interest. I suspected she might be one of those girls who didn’t care about her appearance very much.

But we had a great conversation about simple living, and the proper use of technology. In fact, we talked pretty much non-stop the entire time, while Mike and Alicia sat listening with smiles on their faces. It was clear Regina and I had a lot in common, especially being writers, but I really didn’t feel attracted to her.

Regina: After the weekend in Steubenville, I could admit that I found Andrew Schmiedicke very intellectually interesting. I began to be curious about him, but I wouldn’t say I was attracted to him. In the weeks after our meeting, my thoughts became consumed with the plans for my sister Alicia’s wedding, which was taking place in January. This was our large family’s first wedding, and Alicia and I had already spun out all sorts of plans to make it unique, romantic, and fun. Since I was always involved in party planning for our family, (and I was the maid of honor) I had a lot to do.

Alicia wanted to do things for Mike too, and that meant we had to involve the best man in the wedding who just happened to be… you guessed it, Andrew Schmiedicke. This gave me an excuse to call Andrew fairly frequently. We would chat on the phone while I bounced ideas off of him, and explained the sort of things our brothers wanted to do for Mike for the wedding: we wanted the groomsmen to throw him a “bachelor bath” party which was the male version of a shower: it involved the men of the wedding party praying and honoring the groom-to-be—after soaking him to the skin in a watergun attack. Andrew was keen to help out and take the lead, so plans were made.

So I was thinking about Andrew, but not romantically. I was glad he was happy to be a partner in the goings-on of our large, enthusiastic family. I was thinking of him that summer, when our family and a dozen other families made our typical joint vacation down to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Those ritual family vacations were almost a retreat, with daily prayer times together, skits, dinners, and beach games. Many of the girls I had gone on vacation with for the past ten years were dating and almost engaged. I was still (sigh) single.

My usual strategy was to hang out with the young married couples. I had always had friends of all ages, and I had no problem chatting with moms, holding babies, and playing with kids. One night when I was sitting on the couch in the beach house of one of my friends, I was watching a young dad play with his toddler son, and I thought to myself, You know, that’s what makes Andrew Schmiedicke different from these other guys I’ve dated. I bet he’s the type of guy who would be a good dad.

Those words had scarcely finished running through my head when one of the moms, Jane, looked at me keenly. “Regina, who are you thinking about right now?”

I blushed instantly. “Uh…” I faltered. “Just some guy I met this summer.”

Looking intently at me, she said, “He’s the one for you.”

Andrew: My attempts to get to know some of the other Catholic girls on campus went nowhere. What was particularly frustrating was that I was attending a Catholic university where there were so many vibrant and wonderful girls. Couldn’t one of them be the one I was looking for? And yet, it seemed that the elusive “she” was nowhere to be found.

Still, I was getting periodic phone calls from Regina regarding plans and events leading up to Mike and Alicia’s wedding in January. I found that Regina, the oldest of ten, had a lot in common with me as the oldest of eleven children. We discovered that we both came from large and rather devout Catholic families. Our occasional conversations were pleasant, but didn’t seem to go beyond that.

The week before Thanksgiving, I expressed my frustration to Father Giles. He told me to ask Jesus to bring the young woman into my life who was to be my wife. So I did. “Lord, if you want me to marry, bring the woman into my life!”

Regina Doman and Andrew Schmiedicke’s entire courtship story is included in my book: Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship which is available on Amazon in paperback or on Kindle. For more information and to see a book trailer, check out Come My Beloved’s website.

Text copyright 2011 Full Quiver Publishing and Andrew Schmiedicke
Photo copyright Andrew Schmiedicke

A Fairy Tale Romance

The following is an excerpt of “Our Fairy Tale Romance” from “Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship” and tells part of the story of the courtship of Regina Doman and Andrew Schmiedicke.

Andrew: At 25 years of age I was already a lonely bachelor. After a number of failed relationships in high school, college, and after college; after a number of journeys, adventures, and failed business and employment ventures; I found myself back in Michigan, looking for a job, and feeling…well…like a failure. And a bachelor.

Regina: The Steubenville Youth Conference had been a source of conversion for me when I was a teen, and even as a youth group leader, it was a lot of fun. But by Sunday, I was hot and exhausted, not to mention a little rumpled from sleeping on the ground and having lost my luggage. During one of the sessions, I saw Mike (future brother-in-law) come into the tent followed by a guy wearing a white dress shirt and jeans of the palest faded blue. His longish dark hair was hanging over his eyes. I rolled my own eyes. Clearly, the guy didn’t know how to dress. I was introduced to Andrew Schmiedicke and we shook hands, but given how loud the music was, we didn’t have a chance for conversation. We agreed to meet at Bob Evans for brunch.

Andrew: When I spoke with Regina, she was dressed in a blue denim jumper with a white t-shirt, and her hair was a little messy. Regina was very easy to talk to, but I didn’t feel the slightest hint of a romantic interest. I suspected she might be one of those girls who didn’t care about her appearance very much.

But we had a great conversation about simple living, and the proper use of technology. In fact, we talked pretty much non-stop the entire time, while Mike and Alicia sat listening with smiles on their faces. It was clear Regina and I had a lot in common, especially being writers, but I really didn’t feel attracted to her.

Regina: After the weekend in Steubenville, I could admit that I found Andrew Schmiedicke very intellectually interesting. I began to be curious about him, but I wouldn’t say I was attracted to him. In the weeks after our meeting, my thoughts became consumed with the plans for my sister Alicia’s wedding, which was taking place in January. This was our large family’s first wedding, and Alicia and I had already spun out all sorts of plans to make it unique, romantic, and fun. Since I was always involved in party planning for our family, (and I was the maid of honor) I had a lot to do.

Alicia wanted to do things for Mike too, and that meant we had to involve the best man in the wedding who just happened to be… you guessed it, Andrew Schmiedicke. This gave me an excuse to call Andrew fairly frequently. We would chat on the phone while I bounced ideas off of him, and explained the sort of things our brothers wanted to do for Mike for the wedding: we wanted the groomsmen to throw him a “bachelor bath” party which was the male version of a shower: it involved the men of the wedding party praying and honoring the groom-to-be—after soaking him to the skin in a watergun attack. Andrew was keen to help out and take the lead, so plans were made.

So I was thinking about Andrew, but not romantically. I was glad he was happy to be a partner in the goings-on of our large, enthusiastic family. I was thinking of him that summer, when our family and a dozen other families made our typical joint vacation down to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Those ritual family vacations were almost a retreat, with daily prayer times together, skits, dinners, and beach games. Many of the girls I had gone on vacation with for the past ten years were dating and almost engaged. I was still (sigh) single.

My usual strategy was to hang out with the young married couples. I had always had friends of all ages, and I had no problem chatting with moms, holding babies, and playing with kids. One night when I was sitting on the couch in the beach house of one of my friends, I was watching a young dad play with his toddler son, and I thought to myself, You know, that’s what makes Andrew Schmiedicke different from these other guys I’ve dated. I bet he’s the type of guy who would be a good dad.

Those words had scarcely finished running through my head when one of the moms, Jane, looked at me keenly. “Regina, who are you thinking about right now?”

I blushed instantly. “Uh…” I faltered. “Just some guy I met this summer.”

Looking intently at me, she said, “He’s the one for you.”

Andrew: My attempts to get to know some of the other Catholic girls on campus went nowhere. What was particularly frustrating was that I was attending a Catholic university where there were so many vibrant and wonderful girls. Couldn’t one of them be the one I was looking for? And yet, it seemed that the elusive “she” was nowhere to be found.

Still, I was getting periodic phone calls from Regina regarding plans and events leading up to Mike and Alicia’s wedding in January. I found that Regina, the oldest of ten, had a lot in common with me as the oldest of eleven children. We discovered that we both came from large and rather devout Catholic families. Our occasional conversations were pleasant, but didn’t seem to go beyond that.

The week before Thanksgiving, I expressed my frustration to Father Giles. He told me to ask Jesus to bring the young woman into my life who was to be my wife. So I did. “Lord, if you want me to marry, bring the woman into my life!”

Regina Doman and Andrew Schmiedicke’s entire courtship story will be included in Full Quiver’s new book: Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship,” to be published this June.

Text copyright 2011 Full Quiver Publishing and Andrew Schmiedicke
Photo copyright Andrew Schmiedicke