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?
“Rightfully Ours deals with the virtue of chastity head on; yet in a manner that would make any teen want to be like Rachel and Paul. These two characters serve as excellent role models for teenagers coming to grips with burgeoning love and sexual desire, contrasted against all that they have been taught concerning morals and virtue.”
“The characters are complex and well developed; I found I liked spending time with them so much, and was so interested in not only their relationship but the adventures they undertook together, I could not put the story down.”
“A keen observer, Astfalk soaks her written pages with reality. Rightfully Ours, like her other romance novels appeals to the senses. You can smell the baking cookies and feel the bite of a January freeze. Her understanding of human emotions transports her readers into the minds of her characters as they experience blessings in the guise of disasters and conflicts.”
CIR: What inspired Rightfully Ours?
ASTFALK: A newspaper clipping about possible gold treasure lost during the Civil War as it was transported across Pennsylvania on its way to the Philadelphia Mint. I held onto that clipping for a couple of years before I worked it into this story that ended up being about buried treasure, both literal and figurative. I think deep down, most of us dreamed of discovering buried treasure at some point. I know I sure did!
CIR: Who is your favorite character and why?
ASTFALK: Paul is my favorite character. He’s the hero, and he shows the most depth and change. He goes from a lonely, adrift young man to a self-assured man capable of real virtue and sacrifice. I think he comes across as genuine in his sorrow, his self-doubt, and his struggle to form convictions that he can stand by in the face of temptation.
CIR: What other books, movies or shows might you compare to this story?
ASTFALK: In some respects, I’d say it’s similar to A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. It’s a coming-of-age romance and faith is part of it, but it has more adventure than A Walk to Remember and a happier ending.
CIR: What themes do you address in this story?
ASTFALK: The value of authentic love, integrity, and premarital chastity. That authentic love is a great treasure both worth waiting for and worth sacrificing for. Sometimes, especially when we’re young, we think we have things figured out, but once our convictions are tested, we end up doubting. That’s when we really need to come to our conclusions with guidance from those we trust.
Please note that although this is a YA novel with Catholic themes, there is some mild swearing.