by Carolyn Astfalk
With her sister Abby’s encouragement, Rebecca has moved out of their overbearing father’s home. When a chance encounter with Chris ends with an invitation, Rebecca says yes. The authentic way Chris lives his life attracts Rebecca and garners her affection.
Chris loves Rebecca and her innocence, but he’s confounded by the emotional scars she bears from her parents and an attempted assault. Her father’s disdain for Chris’s faith and career only make matters worse.
With the counsel of their friend Father John, can Rebecca and Chris overcome every obstacle and bridge the deepening gulf between them and her dad? Or will a crucial lapse in judgment and its repercussion end their relationship?
“Stay with Me bursts with realistic characters, scenic background, humor, heartache and jubilee.”
“A love story but, more than that, it’s a life story.”
“This novel is a great blend of romance and faith witness and comes complete with a great set of supporting characters.”
CIR: What inspired this book?
ASTFALK: A variety of experiences inspired Stay With Me, including a blog post about abstinence education, visits to Shenandoah National Park, and a chance meeting in a grocery store.
CIR: What did you enjoy most about writing this?
ASTFALK: Watching Chris and Rebecca’s love story unfold and creating a realistic, lasting relationship in which a couple grows closer together and to God despite their hangups and missteps.
CIR: Who is your favorite character and why?
ASTFALK: Chris Reynolds is my favorite character because he’s exactly what he purports to be. He’s genuine, sincere, and appealingly masculine. Despite his weaknesses, he loves unselfishly.
CIR: What message do you hope your readers will get out of this book?
ASTFALK: Mostly I hope they’ll enjoy the story, but I hope readers will take away the message that authentic love and sexual chastity are worthwhile pursuits, and that despite our sins and weaknesses, freedom can be found in love anchored in God’s love and forgiveness.
CIR: Is there any content that some readers might find questionable despite the overall “clean” feel of the book?
ASTFALK: I describe the book as “edgy” because it includes scenes of sensuality and sexual reference that are integral to the character and plot development but not explicit or graphic in any way.