Rightfully Ours by Carolyn Astfalk

Do you have a young teen who devours fiction?  Rightfully Ours by Carolyn Astfalk is the ideal book for them!

Title: Rightfully Ours

Author: Carolyn Astfalk

Publisher: Full Quiver Publishing

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

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/3hapfaRNItA

Blurb: 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 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.

Its 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.

“We just passed it,” Sean said over the acid rock music blaring from the speakers. “I thought you were watching for signs. Some navigator you are.” Sean scowled and jerked the wheel to the right, causing the truck to careen onto the berm and Paul to slam into the door.

Paul rubbed his shoulder where it had smacked the door and sat upright. “I’m sorry, okay? I guess my mind wandered.” He’d swear “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” had been playing for the last half hour. He hoped to God at least one other radio station had a signal strong enough to carry over the mountain they’d crossed.

“Yeah, you’ll be sorry when we run out of gas and have to sleep in this truck.” Sean sat hunched over the wheel, his strong arms gripping the ten and two-o’clock positions. His left leg, forever encased in worn denim, bounced erratically in a rhythm out of sync with the booming bass rattling the speakers.

He pulled into a narrow gravel drive and backed the car out onto the main road, completing his three-point turn. The high beams caught a pair of glowing eyes sinking into the underbrush on the opposite side of the road.

“We’ll get there, okay? Maybe if you’d get a GPS or something—”

“You want to pay for it, by all means, do like the commercial says and give a Garmin. Otherwise, maybe you should go back to grade school and learn to read a freakin’ map.”

Paul suddenly felt ten years younger than Sean instead of the four that separated them.

“There it is, on the right.” Paul pointed to a road sign obscured by an overgrown sumac tree.

Sean turned right, and in the space of a mile, the road went from desolate rural to brightly-lit business district.

He swung the truck into the hotel parking lot, rolling over a speed bump with a jolt that made Paul glance out the rear window to see if the pickup had lost any critical parts.

The parking lot islands were filled with mounds of clay and not a living thing grew around the building, which looked as if it had been assembled and dropped into place like a giant LEGO creation.

“Well, if it’s new, at least the mattresses should be good.” Sean killed the engine and shoved his keys in his pocket.

Apparently Sean had chosen to look for the silver lining, like he had when he first told Paul about this move.

“Hey, it’ll be cool.” Sean had waved a couple of employment and tourism brochures at him. “Just us. A new job for me, and when I’m off work, we can hang out. Maybe do some hiking, hunting, backpacking. Maybe meet some new people.”

What he meant, Paul thought, was that he might meet a girl—the girl—something that, despite his good looks, he hadn’t had any luck with at home in Maryland.

Paul recognized he didn’t have a choice in the matter and settled for making the best of the situation. Still, he felt uneasy about the whole thing. There was a finality about it. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but he sensed that this move wasn’t going to be what either of them expected.

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34597236-rightfully-ours

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Rightfully-Ours-Carolyn-Astfalk-ebook/dp/B06XTCC1X3/

About the author:

Carolyn 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 director of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, the public affairs 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. You can find her online at www.carolynastfalk.com.

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Theology of the Body Fiction – #NFPAwarenessWeek

Since this is “NFP Awareness Week,” I’d like to share some of my favorite Theology of the Body fiction!

(Pardon the shameless self-promotion of my own books in this list!)

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, 2010 IPPY Gold Medal Winner)

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, 2016 CALA Award Winner)

A World Such as Heaven Intended (Amanda Lauer, 2014, FQ Publishing)

Working Mother (Erin McCole Cupp, 2014, FQ Publishing)

Stay With Me (Carolyn Astfalk, 2015, FQ Publishing)

Dying for Revenge (Barbara Golder, 2016, FQ Publishing, Finalist Next Generation Indie Book Awards)

Dying for Compassion (Barbara Golder, 2017, FQ Publishing)

Discovery (Karina Fabian, 2016, FQ Publishing)

Image and Likeness: Literary Reflections on the Theology of the Body (Cupp and Gable, editors, 2016, FQ Publishing)

Rightfully Ours (Carolyn Astfalk, 2017, FQ Publishing)

To check out many of these books, go to the Full Quiver Publishing website!

Theology of the Body Fiction – #NFPAwarenessWeek

2016-english-poster-final-470wAs we continue to celebrate “NFP Awareness Week,” I’d like to share some of my favorite TOB fiction!  (Pardon the shameless self-promotion of my own books in this list!)

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)

Stay With Me (Carolyn Astfalk, 2015, FQ Publishing)

To check out many of these books, go to the Full Quiver Publishing website!

Don’t You Forget About Me on Sale on Kindle for .99!!!

DYFAMpromoTwtr3-2016

Reviews:
“Don’t You Forget About Me…is a rollicking fun and exciting cozy murder mystery. I found it genuine and fascinating in every way: the characters, the setting, the plot, and the twists. The author’s strong and clever command of the written language makes this book an entertaining page-turner. Don’t You Forget About Me is well- plotted with never a dull moment. From a narrow escape from a window, to a gunfire-in-the-woods scene, this novel will have you reading with bated breath. Fans of Christian fiction will particularly enjoy the elements of faith that add to the richness of the story without hampering the plot. Fallen away from the Catholic faith of her childhood, Cate encounters not preaching, but simple, strong faith in action, even in the face of deadly adversity. I recommend this highly-enjoyable, cozy, clean, lively mystery to all readers!”
Therese Heckenkamp, award-winning author, Frozen Footprints

“Mary Catherine Whelihan leaves her hometown– and the gruesome memory of discovering a dead body– to become a successful author. When she reluctantly shows up for her class reunion, she finds herself running for her life. Don’t You Forget About Me is a quirky, fun, mystery-romance that will tickle your funny bone while making your hair stand on end.”
AnnMarie Creedon, author, Angela’s Song

“This captivating murder mystery made me laugh, cry, and crave Italian food; ‘80s pop tunes are still stuck in my head. If you like mysteries that offer a good mix of suspense and science, don’t miss this book.” Barb Szyszkiewicz, Franciscan Mom

To purchase the Kindle edition for only .99, click here.

Interview with Carolyn Astfalk, Author of Stay With Me

Stay with Me front coverAs part of the Virtual Book Tour for Stay With Me (by Carolyn Astfalk), I interviewed Carolyn a few weeks ago about her book.

1. Stay With Me is your first published novel. But is this the first novel you have written? If not, tell us about your other works in progress.

I have three other complete novels that are in various states of polish. My first, Rightfully Ours is a coming of age story about the value of friendship, first love, and integrity. All In Good Time is a contemporary romance (with a touch of suspense) about a widow and mother of young children who falls in love with a never-married man. Ornamental Graces is a Christmas contemporary romance about lost innocence, overcoming guilt, healing, and an ex-girlfriend who won’t stay in the past.

2. Rebecca’s sister, Abby, is hilarious, but also a very believable (and blunt) character. Is she based on anyone you know? Or perhaps an amalgamation of people you know?

Writing Abby was sheer delight. Her snarky, brutally-honest remarks are the kinds of things that would never slip past my internal filter. So, while she’s not based on any one person or persons, I suppose she says and does the things I imagine I might if I had a radical personality change.

3. Some authors know at the beginning of the writing process how the story will end. Did you know as you were writing the book that there would be a — for want of a better phrase — fall from grace for some of the characters?

I envisioned a happy ending from the beginning, but the final twists in Chris and Rebecca’s relationship were unplanned, mainly because they defy convention for this genre. They were the result of simply wondering What if? and then realizing how such a fall from grace, as you put it, was exactly what needed to happen not only to test their love but as the final impetus to solidify Rebecca’s internal transformation.

4. You’re the mother of four children. How did you find time to write a full length novel?

It’s tough. I began the first novel when I had only two children and my husband was gone on extended travel for work. I’ve discovered I cannot out-wake my children, so I write when I can in small increments during naps, late at night, and when I can around activities, meals, diaper changes and daily chaos. Some days no writing gets done, and some days too much. It’s difficult to strike the right balance.

5. What are the best three books you’ve read recently?

I loved Tammy L. Gray’s Sell Out, a modern Christian romance with an anti-bullying theme and messages about courage, kindness, hope, and forgiveness. I also enjoyed Susan Peek’s Saint Magnus, The Last Viking, which is about as far as you can get from a dry, stodgy, lives-of-the-saints tale. It’s full of action, strength, and courage. And finally, Corinna Turner’s The Three Most Wanted, the second in her I Am Margaret dystopian series is a great read. It’s fast-paced and action-packed.

6. As I said in a previous question, I found the characters in Stay With Me so believable and endearing. Do you happen to have a sequel planned for Stay With Me? Did you have a sequel planned when you starting writing this novel?

I wrote Stay With Me as a standalone novel. However, between other projects, I began writing about Chris’s brother Alan and sister-in-law Jamie just for the sake of increasing my daily word count. I’m not sure if it’s a novel or a novella, but although those chapters have been lying dormant for months, I think there’s more there. In Stay With Me, you get the sense that while Alan and Jamie love one another, their fledgling marriage has a weak foundation, and I’m interested in exploring why and how they can recommit themselves to a more fruitful marriage.

7. Tell us more about your writing journey. Have you always felt called to write fiction (and more particularly, Theology of the Body fiction?) Or did it gradually develop over time?

I always enjoyed writing, but through high school, college, and in the jobs I held after college, I wrote nonfiction. Until I tried National Novel Writing Month in 2010, I’d never written any fiction longer than a short story. Until that time, I hadn’t grasped that my elaborate day dreams were stories my subconscious wanted to tell, and I didn’t nurture my creativity. When I began writing Rightfully Ours, though I had a vague idea about the plot, the Theology of the Body themes that emerged surprised me. Early in our marriage, my husband and I had a deep interest in the Theology of the Body and participated in many Engaged Encounter weekends. The wisdom and beauty of the Church’s teaching about human sexuality is close to my heart, and I believe it’s critical to our health as individuals, couples, and even as a society. Time and again, it simply resurfaces in my writing.

8. What is your favorite part of the writing process? Least favorite?
My favorite part is when all the puzzle pieces fit together – the plot is resolved, the themes emerge, and all of the threads are neatly tied up. Sometimes I marvel at how it happens almost as if the story has a life of its own. My least favorite part is extensive editing. I like the problem-solving aspect of editing, but by the tenth go-round, it’s lost its appeal.

To buy Carolyn’s book, Stay With Me, on Kindle, click here.

To buy the print book on Create Space, click here. To receive $2 off, use this code: B3E4E622

To buy the print book on Amazon, click here.

To check out the novel’s website, click here.

7QT – Books to Celebrate Valentine’s Day Etc.

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-1024x727Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at This Ain’t the Lyseum for 7 Quick Takes Friday.

1. Come My Beloved FREE on Kindle
My book, Come My Beloved, is FREE on Kindle until February 16th.Come-My-Beloved-jpg

2. The Antidote to #50Shades of Degradation: TOB Fiction
My latest post over at Amazing Catechists suggests there’s an antidote to the #50Shades books: Theology of the Body Fiction. Links to recommended books are included.

3. Catholic Conference 4 Moms
I recorded a talk on “Responsible Parenthood or How I Came to Have Five Kids When the Doctors Told Us to Stop at Three.” Registration is FREE and lots of prizes to be won, so head on over and register!Catholic Conference 4 Moms Banner

4. From the Hub to the Heart
Beautiful Conversion Story now available on Amazon Kindle!
Kindle small

5. Old Fashioned (Movie)
I haven’t seen this movie (it’s not available in our area yet) but it looks like a Christian alternative to the #50Shades movie that’s coming out this weekend.

6. Reading Shelf:
Doors to the Sacred: Everyday Events as Hints of the Holy – Bridget Haase, OSU

7. Hotel Cartoon

Image copyright James and Ellen Hrkach.  Please do not use without permission

Image copyright James and Ellen Hrkach. Please do not use without permission

NFP Week: Theology of the Body Fiction

Full Quiver logoOne of my favorite ways to promote the Theology of the Body is to recommend novels with a great TOB message. My publishing company publishes novels with Theology of the Body themes.

Want to learn more about the Theology of the Body? Interested in promoting it? Read and recommend one of these books! This list is not all-inclusive:

Emily’s Hope (Ellen Gable)Emily's Hope

In Name Only (O’Donovan Family Book 1) (Ellen Gable)In name only much smaller

Stealing Jenny (Ellen Gable)Stealing Jenny

Passport (Christopher Blunt)passport

Angela’s Song (AnnMarie Creedon)AS Front Cover Final9-19

Don’t You Forget About Me (Erin McCole Cupp)Don't You Forget About Me FTcasefrontcover

A Subtle Grace (O’Donovan Family Book 2)(Ellen Gable) A Subtle Grace front cover Nov2013

The Lion’s Heart (Dena Hunt)Front Cover Final revisedsm

Do you have any favorite TOB novels to add? Please feel free to comment below!

Copyright 2013 Ellen Gable Hrkach