Book Blast: Rightfully Ours by Carolyn Astfalk

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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

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Virtual Book Tour ~ Christian Mystery ANYONE BUT HIM

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Blog Tour for Anyone But Him

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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

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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!

 

 

Quality and Content You Can Trust

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I am happy to be a member of the Catholic Writers Guild. This is a professional organization that does so much for writers, including providing opportunities for networking with other writers, publishers, and editors. Additionally, they help authors promote their work.

But they also provide a service to bookstores and readers!

logo color CWG SOA (002)Four times a year, they review books submitted to them, analyzing them for quality and content. When a book merits the CWG Seal of Approval, bookstores and readers can rest assured that it has editorial integrity and that it supports Catholic beliefs and values.

If you’ve ever read a book that disparages your faith, is poorly edited, or that contains explicit material that you don’t want to read, you can appreciate the value of this seal. The 1st quarter Seal of Approval awardees have just been announced!


1st Quarter 2018 Seal of Approval Awardees

The Fisherman’s Bride, Catherine Magia

Survival Sacrifices, Theresa Alt

Our Lady of Fatima Graphic Novel, Samuel Estrada

The Other Side of Freedom, Cynthia Toney

Julia’s Gifts, Ellen Gable Hrkach

Standing Strong, Theresa Linden

Bead by Bead, Meggie Daly

Turning in Circles, Michelle Buckman

Paul’s Prayers, Susan Lee Anderson

Saving Faith, T.m. Gaouettee

Eugenios, Julian Bauer

How God Hauled Me Kicking and Screaming Into the Catholic Church, Kevin Lowry


Three of these books, including one of mine, are on the CatholicTeenBooks.com website! If you enjoy clean, faith-filled, and exciting young adult fiction, please visit us!

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4 Books You Want to Read

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Toward the end of last year and the beginning of this, I’ve read some books that I highly recommend. You might want to check out these books yourself… for the love of puppies, special needs children, human life, and your soul!

more than


If you read this book, you will know….Miranda Gargasz has a heart for all living things, but especially the at-risk doggies!

I purchased a copy of this book as soon as it came out! My children thumbed through to see all the cute dog pictures, but then I finally got the book back, and I found a wealth of information inside. Author Miranda Gargasz did a ton of research!

She provides the sad statistics about the numbers of dogs that enter animal shelters every year, and the numbers that never make it out. She explains what goes on behind the scenes in dog kennels and gives examples of the incredible efforts of the Lorain County Dog Kennel (LCDK) workers and volunteers. This book includes several heart-wrenching and heartwarming interviews of these workers and volunteers.

It also spotlights specific LCDK dogs that have been through great difficulties–abandonment, abuse, neglect, accidents–but have been given a second chance. Miranda tells the stories of her own two dogs (both from LCDK), the trials and victories, and the treasure her family has found in them.

And Miranda also provides concrete advice and ways you can help. This book is valuable for its content, but you might also want to get your copy to help the dogs. MORE THAN A VILLAGE: making a difference in the lives of homeless pets—all the proceeds go to the Lorain County Dog Kennel!


9781910806074 (002)I finally read the first book in the I AM MARGARET series! I read all the other books in the series already. Don’t ask me how I ended up reading the first book last.

Anyway, I absolutely loved this book and all the books in the series and will definitely re-read them. Turner presents a dark futuristic society where not all people are considered equal. Those with imperfections, no matter how insignificant, are kept around only so that they can provide “parts” for other people.

Filled with moments of pain, compassion, courage, and hope, this story is tense and fast-paced with twists and surprises, but more-importantly it is thought provoking. The Catholic perspective gives even more depth to this dystopian (compared to other popular dystopians). It really delves into the meaning and value of all human life, regardless of a person’s ability to contribute to society.

Note to parents: this book contains violence, gore, rough language, and sexual innuendos (no sex or anything like that—it’s a very clean book). It is suitable for mature teens and adults, and is sure to deepen a person’s faith, perseverance, and admiration of the martyrs. Check out I AM MARGARET! Great reading material for the #MarchForLife bus trip!


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START HERE! With BROTHERS: A Prequel Novella 

This novella is a great introduction to the I AM MARGARET series, or consider it a bonus for those who have already read the series.

Corinna truly knows how to create solid characters, a sense of urgency, and a well-developed dystopian world. In this story, I enjoyed meeting a new character and following one that I got to know through the I AM MARGARET series. I love how Catholic elements are weaved into the plot because any true change in a person or society must affect not only the physical but the spiritual, the complete person. This story rings with beautiful messages of faith, forgiveness, and trust, and powerfully demonstrates that we, as members of the Body of Christ, belong to one spiritual family.


rebecca

I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this children’s story, REBECCA & HEART, as much as I did. But I must confess this story really touched my heart, and I would love for everyone to read it. Rebecca, the main character, has autism. We also have a son with autism, and he is such a treasure to us. While most children with autism struggle with social interactions and are overwhelmed with sensory input of one kind or another, every child is unique. Some have special abilities like Rebecca, but most don’t. Still, every child, no matter their gifts or challenges, brings something wonderful to the people around them, if people know how to look for it and appreciate it.

Told from a fly’s perspective, this story has humor but also insight and depth. As Rebecca’s adoptive parents, and the others in her new home, try to understand Rebecca’s unique way of relating to others and the world around her, every one of them grows in compassion and sensitivity, not only toward Rebecca but toward each other. It is a great story for children and adults alike to help develop empathy for people who experience the world differently. This story would be perfect for schools and families. I highly recommend REBECCA & HEART.


What books have you read lately? Please post in the comments and share what you enjoyed about them!

Book Review: The Grace Crasher

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516arGS316L._SX331_BO1204203200_It’s been a long time since I’ve laughed so much while reading a book. This story has so many hysterical parts! I absolutely loved it!

The Grace Crasher opens with Julia and her best friend Robin in a Christian store, shopping for things that can help Julia look like she’s evangelical. She desperately wants to get an apartment but the landlady is a born-again Christian.

At one point, Julia tries on a shirt and turns her backside to Robin.

“Does this Jesus shirt make my butt look big?”

“Not big, just …trapezoidal.”

Then they move to the Bibles. Julia grabs the plain one that simply said Holy Bible because it seemed like the most Bible-ish one.

We soon learn more about Julia, her family, and her interests. She has a crush on Dylan Heath, the lead singer of a local indie band, but when she sees cute Mark, the store’s manager, she decides it’s a good idea to have a backup crush.

I must admit: it was Carolyn Astfalk’s review of The Grace Crasher that compelled me to get a copy for myself. Her book reviews are thorough and reliable, and I think we have similar tastes.

I cracked this book open (actually I read an ebook, so that phrase doesn’t really work) expecting to find a light, humorous, enjoyable story that I could read a little at a time before bed, and I was not disappointed. Author Mara Faro pokes fun at both Evangelical and Catholic Christians, but not in a mean way. It was all gut-busting fun! But as the story developed I also found surprising depth of character and story-line. The main character faces trials many can identify with and goes through a beautiful transformation.

Well-developed and realistic characters, along with the continuous humor, and the deeper spiritual insights made this a fantastic story that I highly recommend.

Other Reviews:

“A great take on infatuation vs. love, speaking the truth in love, and being true to yourself.” ~

“Julia’s path is a relatable one, and in her flaws and the flaws of the characters around her, we see ourselves and our own brokenness with delightful clarity.” ~

“Loved it! Fun, inspiring, quirky,…I had lots of laughs reading this!” ~Amazon review

Funny, insightful, and brilliant!” ~Vera A. Velk

A hilarious, poignant story that sets the broken love among families, friends, lovers, and fellow believers against the backdrop of God’s unfailing, patient, perfect love.” ~

You can learn more about the author Mara Faro at her website.

You can get the book on Amazon in both paperback or ebook format.

Contemporary Catholic Teen Fiction

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The Goodreads GIVEAWAY for my contemporary Catholic teen fiction Standing 3DStandingStrongCoverStrong ends soon. If you haven’t had a chance to check out my books, here is an opportunity to get one for free. This is the fourth book in the West Brothers series. Many of the same characters are in each book, and they take place chronologically, but you can still enjoy them out of order.

“Another chapter in Theresa Linden’s masterfully-developed series for teens that will resonate with everyone who has struggled to find his place in the world, been tempted to take the easy way out, or doubted the work of God s hand in his life.”    ~Carolyn Astfalk, author of Rightfully Ours

“After reading STANDING STRONG your own spiritual life cannot but be strengthened, making you also want to stand strong for God.” ~Susan Peek, author of The King’s Prey

“This is an excellent book by an incredible author so check it out. Her handling of faith in her fiction is masterful. ~Steven McEvoy, reader extraordinaire

You’ll have another opportunity to win this book and much more on November 17th (which happens to be my birthday!). Along with 5 other authors from www.CatholicTeenBooks.com, I will be hosting a Pre-Christmas Virtual Facebook Party.

Check out the video invitation for a bit of inspiration! The party will be from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. It will be packed with games, prizes, and wonderful gift ideas.

We’ll have a winner every ten minutes and an amazing Grand Prize. Follow the FB page for details. Beginning November 1st we will post prize images and other fun details. Here are the prizes I’ll be contributing:

Standing Strong is available as a paperback and eBook. You can learn more about it and my other books on my website.