Love Hurts: A Book Review of Resistance: Fighting the Devil Within by Michael Voris

Standard

young-woman-2622725_1920She laughs as she runs with her diamond-shaped kite. Her long auburn tresses fly across her face and bounce down her back as she peers at the sky. She is beautiful, maddeningly beautiful. So carefree. So competent. So real.

He runs along after her, watching her, loving her.

With one hand held aloft, holding the kite string, she runs. Faster and faster, she sprints over the rocky terrain. Her kite spins and rolls in the air. She can’t get the height she wants. But then, she’s made the kite herself and it has no tail, nothing to make it stable.

He doesn’t dare correct her. It would dampen her delight, her pride of accomplishment. Maybe hurt her feelings. She hates when he criticizes her. And he can’t bear her rejection, her anger.

Catching a wind current, the kite shoots up. “Oh, look! There it goes!” She runs faster, her eyes on the kite and not on the ground.

A cliff lay ahead, hidden from view. Should he tell her? Though she didn’t look inclined to slow down, she likely knew. If he brought it up, it would spoil her fun. She would think he doubted her. He couldn’t bear to hurt her feelings, to risk making her mad at him.

Look how she smiles. How she laughs. How she runs like there is no cliff. In a few short steps she’ll reach it. Should he say something?

Five, four, three…

Two…

One…


Love Hurts: A Book Review of Resistance: Fighting the Devil Within by Michael Voris

The short story is preposterous, of course. No one would let another, much less one they love, race off a cliff to avoid hurting his or her feelings. Or would they?

resistanceMichael Voris’s Resistance: Fighting the Devil Within drove home to me the fact that true love does not remain silent in the face of danger, especially the danger that matters most: spiritual danger.

Michael shares a lot of tough stuff in this book, including the influence of Liberation Theology, Sexual Liberation, Homoheresy, and the media on many in high places in the Church, and the dismal statistics that show the decline of authentic faith in the Western world.

These are hard topics to read about, write about, research, and discuss. In reading this book and from following Michael over the years, I’ve come to realize: Michael Voris loves Holy Mother Church. If he didn’t, he would not expose himself to the anger, hostility, misunderstanding, and rejection of so many brothers and sisters in Christ. But he knows, as any good parent, friend, or spouse knows, that sometimes love hurts.

Real love desires the good of the other and not just the affection of the beloved.

Through his ministry, a labor of true love, Michael seeks to warn the wayward and motivate the faithful. Resistance: Fighting the Devil Within gives a clear warning about the fate of the Catholic Church in the West and in the world. This book reveals the evil that has been attacking the Church in modern times. Michael calls on faithful Catholics to “adopt an attitude of resistance to the corruption of the faith.”

While I’ve heard and read about the disturbing modern-day attacks against the Catholic Church from without and within, Resistance shows the cause and effect, which explains how we got where we are today. Because these things are so ugly, diabolical even, it is hard to look at them. And a part of me would rather not know. But not knowing doesn’t make the problem go away. As with any successful marriage, company, or organization, productive and sometimes painful self-evaluation is necessary. It is not enough to just recognize the bad fruit, we must also look at the tree and all the way down to the roots.

Resistance does not stop there. This book makes clear that to effect change, we need to begin with ourselves. And so Part II of this book provides concrete steps for self-evaluation and spiritual growth through an examination of the Beatitudes. I know that I will read Part II many times, especially the mediation on Peter. Peter’s story is told in the meditation of “Blessed are those who Mourn.”

“There is no man in Scripture who so impulsively and radically loved Our Lord as did Peter. And then in one horrible succession of events, he cursed and threw it all away. All that was left now was a lone, direct look from Jesus penetrating Peter’s spirit to its core…” ~Resistance: Fighting the Devil Within

We’ve all been there. At least I have. We’ve denied Our Lord. We’ve failed the test. We’ve chosen the easy way and not the right way. But Peter repented, and Our Lord forgave him. Then Peter got back up and lived his life boldly, fearlessly, selflessly in love with Christ and His Church. He loved to the point of death, also on a cross but upside down because he felt “unworthy to die in the same fashion as Our Lord.”

We need to get up too and live in this love. I love the Catholic Church. It is the church that Jesus built. Thus, it provides all that one needs to know God and to grow in holiness. It is the Bride of Christ.

For my love to be real, it needs to be selfless and purified. I need to look at the ways in which I seek to compromise with the truth or fail to follow the teachings of the Church, the ways in which I’ve shied away from correcting another or speaking the truth to avoid hurting feelings or coming across as being judgmental. Does this sound hard? Impossible?

As so many saints have proven over the years, unflinching faithfulness is possible.

And isn’t that what we all want? Faithfulness. You want it from your spouse, your children, your family, and friends. God wants it too. He wants me to be faithful because He wants me to open my heart to His transformational love. And whether we like it or not, sometimes love isn’t that heart-tingling feeling that has you walking on clouds. Sometimes the beloved has to say, “No, that’s not good for you.” “You’re on the wrong path.” “This is going to be hard.”

Because—let’s face it—when love is real, sometimes love hurts.

When writing my dystopian trilogy, which is a supposition of our world if we don’t change course, I struggled with the final book. I couldn’t fathom an ending because, at times, it seems evil has won and falsehood is so enmeshed in our culture that it would be impossible for a new, holy culture to emerge. Like in the Battle at Minas Tirith in the Lord of the Rings, the odds are ridiculously overwhelming. Evil stretches out aminis tiriths far as the eye can see. The good are few and most are ill-prepared. Evil goes on the offense while the good tuck themselves away and struggle at defense. Walls that have stood forever crumble, lives are lost, and the enemy has just unveiled Grond.

You know what I’m talking about, right? That one-hundred-foot long battering ram shaped like a ravening wolf with fire burning in its jaws.

But I am a Christian. And I’ve read the last page of the book. (Not referring to the Lord of the Rings, though of course I’ve read that.) I’m referring to the Holy Scriptures. We win. Jesus Christ has already claimed the victory. And in Him, we win too. Love win—true love, that is.

So I realized how the third book in my dystopian trilogy needed to go. The answer is with you and me. It is in pursuing holiness right here and right now. It is loving despite the cost. It is that sacrificial love that makes me willing to lose a friend today because I am unwilling to lose that friend for all eternity. Not on my watch.

Resistance: Fighting the Devil Within gives a clear idea of what the spiritual battle looks like for the Church in our times. It is a clarion call to all the faithful to get our boots on the ground.

Whether you are Catholic or not, I recommend that you read this book. It will offend you and startle you and maybe even open your eyes to the attacks that have been going on for years against the Catholic Church. And hopefully, this book will shake you to the core and motivate you to get on your feet and enter the fray. Fight for true love! Fight for Christ!

Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden!
Fell deeds awake: fire and slaughter!
Spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered,
a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!

Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!

~Theoden’s rallying cry in The Lord of the Rings

 

Advertisements

New Adult Mystery Romance: Giveaway

Standard

3D-Book-Template

My new adult Christian mystery romance ANYONE BUT HIM came out this month. And you have two chances to win a free copy!

  1. Stop by Sarah Damm’s blog for her book review and a giveaway!
  2. Stop by CatholicMom.com to check out an excerpt and the book trailer and then enter a second giveaway!

Click here to check out the entire Virtual Book Tour. You’ll find more reviews of Anyone But Him, a cooking video and printable recipe taken from a scene in the story, and an author interview!

If you know someone who might enjoy this book, please spread the word!

Anyone But Him is brimming with delicious romance, keep-you-guessing mystery, and a dose of humor. Wonderfully written with well-developed characters, and a solid plot.” ~An Open Book Family

Book Blast: Rightfully Ours by Carolyn Astfalk

Standard

rightfully oursRightfully Ours: This young adult romance by inspirational fiction author Carolyn Astfalk bears a Nihil Obstat and is a CWG Seal of Approval winner!

A coming-of-age story of first love, buried treasure, and discovering some things are worth the wait.

Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Paul Porter’s relocation to Pennsylvania is a temporary move during his dad’s deployment. Or so he and his brother think, until devastating news lands on their doorstep.

Paul’s new home with the Muellers provides solace, especially in the form of Rachel, his friend and confidante. Their abiding friendship deepens as they work side by side to uncover what could be lost treasure.

Will they acquire the strength of character and virtue to take only what rightfully belongs to them or are they in way over their heads, with more than a few lost artifacts at stake?

Excerpt:

An unexpected detour left them lost in the dark. Paul had been certain they were heading the right way, but the two-lane country roads they had traveled the last half hour had few markers, and his older brother questioned whether they had missed a junction sign. Paul’s grip tightened on the clumsily-folded map as he peered out the window. Maybe Sean should drag his knuckles out of the Stone Age and get a GPS.

 Paul had been anxious about this move more than the others, even though it would only be temporary. The claw-like limbs of the barren trees whizzing by his window made the whole ordeal seem even more foreboding. He’d never been through North Central Pennsylvania, but in the daylight, the mountains would probably be beautiful, if a little desolate.

It’s only for a few months. By spring, Dad would be home, and things would go back to normal. Normal for them anyway. Besides, maybe he’d like it here.

Website:  http://www.carolynastfalk.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CarolynMAstfalk

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/CMAstfalk

Instagram:  https://instagram.com/cmastfalk/

My Review:

Well-written and enjoyable, this story takes an honest look at the physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects of teens in a serious relationship. As Paul’s and Rachel’s feelings for each other grow, they confront new emotions and urges that they don’t always know how to deal with. Like every child raised Christian, they know what they are “supposed” to do but in some moments, they don’t understand “why.” Sometimes they are confused and make poor choices, but through all the temptations, challenges, and even failures, they both develop an understanding of the value of chastity. By the end of the story, they have a clear, solid, and mature grasp of its worth.

Rightfully Ours provides a thoughtful analysis of intimacy from a teen’s point of view, making it a great book especially for teens who struggle with sexual temptation and for parents who want a deeper consideration of the trials teens in love face. (check out my full review on Goodreads!)

 


Author Bio:   carolynCarolyn Astfalk resides with her husband and four children in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where it smells like either chocolate or manure, depending on wind direction. She is the author of the inspirational

 

romances Stay With Me and Ornamental Graces and the coming-of-age story Rightfully Ours. Carolyn is a member of the Catholic Writers Guild and Pennwriters and a CatholicMom.com contributor. Formerly, she served as the communications direct of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, the public affair agency of Pennsylvania’s Catholic bishops. True to her Pittsburgh roots, she still says “pop” instead of “soda,” although her beverage of choice is tea.

Buy Link: http://a.co/9BT0frl

Tweet:

A coming-of-age story of friendship, love & doing the right thing – even when it’s tough. Rightfully Ours @cmastfalk #YA #CatholicTeenBooks

Virtual Book Tour ~ Christian Mystery ANYONE BUT HIM

Standard

Blog Tour for Anyone But Him

ABHpromo1

Thank you to all the bloggers who are taking part in this Virtual Book Tour! And thank you to everyone who visits the blog stops!

First stop, April 5th: Steven R. McEvoy’s blog Book Reviews and More
Steven R. McEvoy is a prolific reader and reviewer. Last year he read 380 books! He also creates “Top Ten” lists and posts author interviews with 20 Questions. Click here for my interview on his site. He also plans to share an early review of Anyone But Him.

Second stop, April 6th – Larry Peterson’s blog Cradling Catholic   
Larry Peterson is the author of The Demons of Abadon, a supernatural thriller pitting Good against Evil, and several other books. His blog made the list of the Top 100 Catholic Blogs!

Third stop, April 9th – Carolyn Astfalk’s blog My Scribblers Heart
Carolyn Astfalk is the author of three inspirational Christian romances, including her debut young adult romance, Rightfully Ours. She is also a prolific reader, reviewer, and blogger. You can learn more about the books she’s read from her monthly An Open Book blog post. For the blog tour, she will be posting a recipe from a meal prepared in Anyone But Him!

Fourth stop, April 10th – Ellen Gable Hrkach’s blog Plot Line and Sinker
Ellen Hrkach is the author of several bestsellers, including the award-winner In Name Only. She is also the founder of Full Quiver Publishing, a publisher that seeks to make fiction available that celebrates the Catholic Church’s teachings on sexuality and marriage.

Fifth stop, April 16th – Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur’s blog Spiritual Woman   
Patrice MacArthur is a homeschooling mom, writer, editor, artist, and the author of The Catholic Baby Name Book and Letters from Mary to a Young Mother.

Sixth stop, April 18th – Ellen Gable Hrkach’s blog Plot Line and Sinker
Ellen will be posting her review of Anyone But Him one day, and she will post an author interview on the other! Please stop by her blog both days to check them both out!

Seventh stop, April 19th – A. K. Frailey’s blog The Writings of A. K. FraileyA. K. Frailey is a novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter. She has nine published books and several articles in national magazines. She recently released the second book in her science fiction series, Newearth: Justine Awakens. If you are a science fiction fan, please check that out on her blog too!

Eighth stop, April 23rd – Sarah Damm’s blog      
Sarah Damm’s faith shines through on every page of her blog. She writes at CatholicMom.com and WINE: Women in the New Evangelization. She is also one of the contributors of The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion: A Book of Daily Reflections.


Ninth stop, also on April 23rd – CatholicMom.com  

Created in 2000, this website is all about Faith, Family, and Fun from a Catholic perspective. It is a rich resource for all Catholics seeking spiritual enrichment for their families. I am happy that this will be one of the blog stops for Anyone But Him! They will be hosting a giveaway of the book!

Last stop on the blog tour, April 27th – Barb Szyszkiewicz’s blog Franciscan Mom  
Barb Szyszkiewicz is another prolific reader and reviewer. She is also an editor at CatholicMom.com and a contributing writer for Today’s Catholic Teacher.

Please come along on the virtual blog tour!

Countdown to release ANYONE BUT HIM, New Adult Christian Mystery

Standard

In two days, my debut Christian mystery romance comes out! So today I am sharing the “Press Release.”


 

Press Release: Award-Winning Novelist Pens Pro-Life Mystery Romance

Redemptive Message Converts Hearts and Minds

Pro-life mystery romance, ANYONE BUT HIM by Theresa Linden, is slated for release this April 5, 2018. Theresa writes Catholic fiction in a variety of genres, including dystopian, supernatural, and contemporary. She has eight published young adult and new adult novels. Two of her short stories appear in Image and Likeness: Literary Reflections on the Theology of the Body. Her books won awards from the Catholic Press Association two years in a row. Theresa’s passion is to create stories that weave together the natural and supernatural, bringing spiritual realities to her readers’ imaginations and showing the power of faith and grace.

Her emotionally-charged mystery romance, ANYONE BUT HIM, follows a young woman suffering from amnesia. She finds herself clear across the country from her childhood home and married to a man who pushed her best friend in high school to have an abortion. Unable to remember the past three years, she struggles to solve the mysteries of her amnesia and her marriage to this man who had never shared her values. Suspicious circumstances surrounding her husband tempt her to leave and start life over, but they also challenge her Christian faith and convictions about marriage. The arrival of her first love, her husband’s younger brother, intent on helping her regain her memory, offers a glimmer of hope. Together they uncover secrets involving her coworkers and the local abortion clinic, but nothing to explain why she married this man. Who changed – him or her?

Early Review:

“I sped through chapters trying to guess who could be trusted, who had changed, and how an investigation into an abortion clinic’s deceptive practices could be the key to Caitlyn regaining her memory.”  ~Carolyn Astfalk, author of contemporary inspirational romances, including Stay With Me and Ornamental Graces

 

ANYONE BUT HIM by Theresa Linden

6 x 9 300 pages ISBN-13: 978-0-9976747-4-3 LCCN:  2017918741

$13.99 in USA Publication Date: April 5, 2018

Hardback Paperback eBook

Christian Mystery Romance

 

Stay tuned for the “Virtual Book Tour” blog stops & dates! The book tour will include early reviews, a recipe from the story, book trailer, author interview, and a giveaway!