Yay, it’s time for a book Giveaway! I love books, I love freebies, and I love helping authors promote their books – especially for the books I really enjoyed reading and know others would as well.
You can enter the Giveaway in the Rafflecopter giveaway below. After you do that, you can read a bit more about my review of the book and learn more about Ellen based on the questions I asked her about herself and her books. I love how blogging and social media connect us readers with authors so we can get to know more about them and their books.
Enter the A Subtle Grace GiveAway Here
Repeating what I said in my previous post, A Subtle Grace is a lovely and delightfully satisfying Young Adult/Adult Catholic fiction! Ellen Gable, a fellow contributor at CatholicMom.com, reached out and asked if I’d like to review her book. I was not very familiar with the book but thought it would be fun to give it a try. Little did I know just how much I’d enjoy it!
I’m not usually much of a sappy romance novel reader, usually those types of books are too…romantic and mushy or even overly detailed and graphic. And I can proudly say I have never read one of those “romance” novels with the picture of an insanely muscular dude with long hair and a ripped shirt cradling a weak-looking super skinny woman with disproportionate voluptuous breasts flowing out from her ripped shirt. Some people call those books, I’m more inclined to label them as trash. But that’s just me.
Anyway, Ellen Gable’s books are definitely not trash but quite the opposite! Reading A Subtle Grace was more like biting into a new dessert I wasn’t sure I’d like but ended up loving every.single.delicious.page I
ate read. I’m glad to have an option for a romance novel I can read without blushing and one which I can lend to young adults to illustrate the differences between lust and true virtuous love! I lent it to our high-school aged babysitter and plan to keep it around for my daughter when she’s ready for it.
My only complaint about the book was that it was so engrossing that I couldn’t put it down! I’d stay up way too late just to see how the plot would unravel.
I don’t want to give anything away – except for the book!. You can read the summary of the book here. Basically, it takes place in the late 1800’s set in Philadelphia. It’s a sequel to Gable’s, In Name Only – which I haven’t read yet but definitely intend to as soon as I can! I was so impressed with how Gable wove all the Catholic traditions and historical culture into the story. She presents the story with a delicate, but enthralling, style.
And now for the interview with Ellen
Ellen, how long have you been a writer? What inspired you to begin writing?
I’ve been writing non-fiction for 20 years. Here’s one of my first published articles, which was originally published in the Nazareth Journal in 1994.
With regard to fiction, my husband was the one who initially gave me the idea to write a novel based on my story and my great-grandmother’s story (my first novel, Emily’s Hope). I enjoyed writing fiction so much that I decided to write a second novel, this time about a fictional 19th century Philadelphia family, the O’Donovans.
Where did the idea for the O’Donovan family come from?
The idea for a love triangle and the basic storyline of In Name Only (O’Donovan #1) came to me very quickly one night when I couldn’t get to sleep. It took about four years to develop and complete the novel because at the time, I was a busy homeschooling mother of five and part-time court transcriptionist. When I finished that novel, I knew that I wanted to continue the story of the O’Donovans because I had come to love the characters.
I was impressed with the amount of historical information you included in A Subtle Grace, especially regarding the Catholic customs, traditions, and the general way of thinking of that time period. Was it difficult to find information for this?
Research is one of my favorite things to do. Authors are so fortunate nowadays to have research via the internet right at our fingertips. All I needed to go was to go onto YouTube and view actual silent movies from the late 1890’s to get a feel for the time period. I’ve also read many novels written in the 1800’s. There are some great websites out there with excellent quality period photos. In terms of Catholic customs etc, I read sections of a 19th century Catholic encyclopedia online. It’s fascinating reading material. The biggest surprise for me was when I found out that illegitimate men could not enter the priesthood without a special dispensation from the Pope. This caused a huge change (and major rewrites) in the “Will” storyline that actually made the story more interesting.
Do you relate to the characters of A Subtle Grace? How so?
The female characters always have a lot of me in them. In A Subtle Grace, I could definitely relate to Kathleen when she was being impatient and frustrated that she was not married at age 19. I certainly felt this way when I was 19, even though there was no societal pressure to get married like there was back in the 19th century.
Will there be a sequel to A Subtle Grace? Please?!
Yes, there will be a Book #3 that will involve a young Italian-American woman and Patrick O’Donovan as the main character. It will take place about ten to twelve years after A Subtle Grace ends. That’s about all I can say at present, since I haven’t really outlined anything yet for that book. I’m currently working on a novella entitled “Julia’s Gifts,” a World War I romance.
Aside from your fictional writing work, what other genre of writing do you do? Which is your favorite?
I blog at Plot Line and Sinker and I write articles on Natural Family Planning and the Theology of the Body for the local Catholic-Diocesan newspaper as well as for several Catholic websites. My favorite type of writing is fiction. Non-fiction in many ways is easier, but with fiction, the author gets to live the characters’ lives, be with them as they experience hardships and joys. Reading is great fun, but writing can be even more fun!
As an accomplished book author, what advice or suggestions do you give to those who desire to write and publish books?
Always try to improve your writing skills and style. Never be satisfied. If you want to write fiction, learn how to do it well: buy books, watch videos, read great fiction. Join writers’ groups, critique groups and spend time developing your skills. Be humble in taking criticism. If you can’t take criticism, this probably isn’t the profession for you.
Head over to Ellen Gable’s blog to learn more about her and her books!