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cmastfalk

cmastfalk

Joined May 2017

LibraryThing member Carolyn_Astfalk

📖 Ambassador of Catholic fiction | ⭐️ Award-winning author | ❤️ Theology of the Body romances | CarolynAstfalk.com
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Treasures: Visible & Invisible | Carolyn Astfalk, Amanda Lauer, Susan Peek, Theresa Linden, Corinna Turner, T. M. Gaouette, Leslea Wahl, Antony Kolenc
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These stories make for great reading for St. Patrick‘s Day. Across continents and centuries, a simple object tied to St. Patrick changed hearts and lives.

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In Pieces | Rhonda Ortiz
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This historical fiction was my first pick for the Catholic Fiction Challenge. Rhonda Ortiz‘s debut novel is set in colonial Boston. Not only do you get a smart heroine and a devoted hero but intrigue as well. A great book!

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Recommending Saint Cloud of Gaul as part of the short Catholic Fiction Challenge I‘m hosting on Instagram. It‘s short but adventurous with lots to learn about St. Cloud, of whom I knew little.

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Have you read any good circus-themed novels? I just blogged my reviews for 5, including this time-split one.

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Anyone need to hear this motherly advice today?

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Rightfully Ours | Carolyn Astfalk
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Being together in Heaven for eternity - that's what a Christian mother wants for her family. Knowing she'd likely not survive, Paul's mother shared this desire with him in a letter.

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I think kids appreciate hearing about their parents successes and failures. Maybe especially their failures and mistakes, the consequences, and how they handled them.

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Margo's Diary | Corinna Turner
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Bane‘s mother is not the best, but she does, I think, come around a bit in Corinna Turner‘s dystopian I Am Margaret series.

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The Haunted Cathedral | Antony Barone Kolenc
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Eager to read this one. A lot of people seem to think it‘s even better than the first book in the series.

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Another wise mom. This series is perfect for young teen girls.

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Extreme Blindside | Leslea Wahl
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The wisdom of moms! Love this Christian YA mystery by my friend Leslea Wahl.

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It‘s the perfect day to begin reading this collection of short stories tied by a marble shamrock. ☘️ I‘m so happy to have been part of this project! (Which hasn‘t been added to Litsy yet, apparently.) Treasures: Visible & Invisible.

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Mission Libertad | Lizette Lantigua
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My daughter and I loved this! Learned so much about life in communist Cuba and Cuban immigrants.

LesleaWahl I really enjoyed this one as well! 2y
4 likes1 comment
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Fire Starters | Theresa Linden
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Great book for Catholic teens, especially those of Confirmation age.

LesleaWahl Fantastic book - I‘ve enjoyed this whole series. 2y
cmastfalk It makes a perfect Confirmation gift too. 2y
3 likes2 comments
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I read this for the first time aloud to my kids. Funny, real, and a refreshing look at the Christmas story. The Herdmans make for a great story!

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A very Hallmark-esque friends-to-lovers Christmas romance. 🎄Hayes and Pru have some pretty good chemistry. 😍

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What a fun book! Richard Brockwell is a marvelous character with a great story arc.

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Come Back to Me | Carolyn Astfalk
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Just approved the audiobook version of this story! Coming soon to iTunes, Amazon, and Audible. I love what the narrator, Nicole Braun, did with it.

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Great story and a perfect introduction to Our Lady of Good Hope. The history - Belgian immigrants, Civil War, Peshtigo Fire - all fascinating.

LesleaWahl I added this one to my to-read list.
2y
cmastfalk I think you‘ll like it! 2y
3 likes2 comments
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Love and a Little White Lie is a beautiful novel filled with multi-dimensional characters, a slowly evolving friends-to-lovers story, and a religious awakening.

I couldn't help being reminded of one of my favorite books, The Grace Crasher by Mara Faro, that shares a lot of similarities to this book. If you love Love and a Little White Lie, I highly recommend The Grace Crasher too.

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Love and a Little White Lie is abeautiful novel filled with multi-dimensional characters, a slowly evolving friends-to-lovers story, and a religious awakening.

I couldn't help being reminded of one of my favorite books, The Grace Crasher by Mara Faro, that shares a lot of similarities to this book. If you love Love and a Little White Lie, I highly recommend The Grace Crasher too.

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Beneath Wandering Stars | Ashlee Cowles
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Beneath Wandering Stars is probably one of the best Young Adult books I've read, full of salient truths without becoming lost in existential nonsense or resorting to self-conscious prose.

When Gabi sets of to hike the Camino de Santiago with her (much despised) brother's best friend, Seth, they both keep their secrets and their pain - much due to the critical injury that has left Gabi's brother Lucas in a coma - closely guarded.

LesleaWahl One of my favorites! 2y
3 likes1 comment
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Wow. Dani Pettrey is dropping these characters into jeopardy, and fast. Lots of characters to keep straight here, a whole Coast Guard team and then some.

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The Bird and the Bees | Neena Gaynor
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Loved this debut set in the shores of Lake Erie. The hero, Ketch Devine, reminds me of Michael Hosea in Francine Rivers‘ Redeeming Love.

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A Modest Independence | Mimi Matthews
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Mimi Matthews is a master at romantic chemistry built on emotional intimacy. That is all.

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This was the perfect escape this weekend. Loved this short Regency romance.

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This cyberpunk retelling of Jane Eyre is so, so good! Faithful to the classic and original in its own way. Enjoyable whether you‘ve read (or liked) Jane Eyre or not.

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Mercy's Prince | Katy Huth Jones
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The jobs of fantasy I like: human-centric with names I could pronounce! 🤣 But with dragons and a reptilian enemy too. Throw in battle scenes, intrigue, and a romance and 👍🏻.

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What a gift Nicole Deese has given us in Before I Called You Mine! Lovable characters, check. Witty banter, check. Heart-melting hero, check. But also a glimpse at Lauren Bailey's (and, I suspect Nicole Deese's) heart, moved by God to give an orphaned child on the other side of the world hope and a home.

What follows is not just an entertaining escape, but a moving story of courage and love.

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Take a Chance on Me | Becky Wade
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Fun, quick read that left me satisfied despite the length.

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Reunion | Amy Matayo
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Such a fun, witty escape! A great conclusion to the series with a milder disaster than in the other books.

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The Dating Charade | Melissa Ferguson
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Mehso-so

The Dating Charade juxtaposes light humor and banter with the heavy issues of childhood neglect, abuse, and abandonment. I'm not sure it worked for me.

I liked both Cassie and Jett, and the humorous scenes of children's antics are really the best part of the book.

Interesting premise, cute characters, great kid humor, tragedy, and a wee bit of romance. In the end though, for me at least, it just didn't click.

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Last Shot | Amy Matayo
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Love how Amy Matayo gets in characters‘ heads. Intimacy derived from shared trauma. Can it last?

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Lake Season | Denise Hunter
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Well done! Bring on the nerdy heroes. Cerebral guys who know too much useless trivia can be attractive too.

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A Christmas Carol | Charles Dickens
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Took me long enough. I finally read this classic and am glad I did!

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Danielle Bean shares personal stories and wisdom gained over decades of marriage and motherhood. Instead of sugarcoating motherhood and married life, she draws out the beauty in each.

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I loved this collection of Dickensian Christmas novellas! Some day I‘ll have to actually read A Christmas Carol. 🤣

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Brunch at Bittersweet Caf | Carla Laureano
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Foodie book has me baking cookies!

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Dracula | Bram Stoker
Mehso-so

Slow start, long book, but I‘m hanging in there.

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Honest. Well-written. Not longer than it needed to be. Mary Lenaburg draws such wisdom from her experiences. Raw, real, and powerful.

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All in Good Time | Carolyn Astfalk
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It‘s launch day for my contemporary Christian romance, All in Good Time. It‘s a romance with a little humor and a little mystery/suspense. It addresses a big problem that few of us like to discuss - pornography - and how it affects relationships. And not just men, but women, and kids.

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Mehso-so

Despite being well-written and coming together very nicely at the end, I couldn‘t connect with these characters until 3/4 through. Foodie details were wasted on me. Couple was way too good-looking. Just not my cup of tea.

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The Butterfly Recluse | Therese Heckenkamp
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Short enough for me to read in one sitting. Sweet, clean romance, interesting characters, and an unexpected twist, which, having read this author‘s other books, I should‘ve seen coming.

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I‘m loving the wry retorts of Captain Ethan Saunders!

1 like1 stack add
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The Princess and the Goblin | George MacDonald
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The kids totally lost interest, but I feel compelled to finish it.

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Anna Gerard is a new author to me, and cozy mysteries aren't something I read very often, but the clever title and the absurdity of the blurb (man in a penguin suit murdered, a group of religious sisters moving into a Georgia B&B) appealed to me.

Small issue, but the fact that the main character, Nina, pronounces her name Nine-ah proved a HUGE distraction to me.

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Oh how I‘m loving this flawed, self-deprecating protagonist! Love the wit.

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There You'll Find Me | Jenny B. Jones
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Read this in advance of the movie adaptation coming out this spring! Starts out a little predictable and superficial and then-wow! Jenny B. Jones brings it in the last quarter, breaking open the heroine‘s (Finley‘s) heart. I‘m hoping the movie doesn‘t gloss over the faith aspect or battling an eating disorder. Oh, and great banter.. 😉

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Unlike most dystopian novels I've read, Death Panels depicts a near-future (2042), making it easy to see how the the world could slip from the present to a utilitarian government that relies on complacent citizens who have ceded their liberty for the "good" of the world.

Ultimately, Death Panels show what happens when people turn a blind eye to reality and how small acts of resistance and cooperation can begin to turn a culture around.

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Heartwood Box | Ann Aguirre
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Did something I never do. Selected a book I saw featured in Bookpage. I‘m outside of my comfortable niches. Thoughts so far: Killer first line - “This is where hope goes to die.” Also, present tense isn‘t my favorite, but the author is doing a good job with it. And this creepy house is its own character.