Christian Romance- It Really is a Thing

When folks find out I am a writer, I usually tell them I plan to be a fiction author when I grow up. Their natural next question is “What kind of books do you  want to write?” When I say “Christian Romance”, they often chuckle, and sometimes even say, “Isn’t that an oxymoron?” So sad. Obviously these people have been reading the wrong romance novels.

I must confess that I have delved into those other kind of books once or twice in my lifetime. For the most part, I wouldn’t call them romances. The wonderful emotion called love is usually left out. Many of them concentrate only on the physical side of a relationship.

My friend Shannon Vannatter has made a very successful career out of writing about honest, flawed couples who are struggling to develop all sides of a relationship. Heroines who have been abused and have trouble trusting even the most appealling hero. Men who have made bad choices in the past, and are trying so hard to prove they have changed. Characters who have loved and lost, and are not sure they will ever find that feeling again. Set against a fun backdrop of small towns, cowboys and rodeos, her books easily sweep the reader up for an amazing ride. What a joy these books, and their sweet author are to all who know them.

Two other authors who really know romance are critique buddies Rachel Hauck and Susan May Warren. Their stories are multi-layered, multi-generational, and full of delicious heroes and heroines we can easily identify with. They play on a larger stage, ending up in exotic places, and taking the reader along for a breathless, magical adventure. These two never dissapoint, and I can’t wait to pre-order when they announce a new release.

What these books have in common is the spiritual thread that binds the hearts of the protaganists. Only when they surrender to God’s will do the pieces of their lives begin to come together.

Christian romance- Oh yes. It is very real, very satisfying, and never one dimensional. Now, if you will excuse me, I have another book to read.

Hauck and Warren kindle books

 

Cover Love

According to the age old saying,  you can’t judge a book by its cover. Even if that is true, we still judge them on that basis all the time.

Most of us will pick up a book based on a cover that grabs our attention or intrigues us in some way. Then, we flip it over and read the back cover blurb. If we like that, we might read the first page, and if we like the package, we purchase the book. Once we’re home, we devour its contents.

So, yes, the book cover is vital in the whole purchase process. Perhaps a different saying is actually more appropriate here–“a picture’s worth a 1000 words.” Yes, that sums up the importance of a cover nicely.

For the next two weeks the Inkspers will be sharing some of the covers they think are winners this year. They may also share some that will be hitting the shelves soon and what they think makes an eye-catching, outstanding covers.

In order for a cover to make my list, it needs to

  • draw me in
  • tell me what I can expect from the book (era, attitude, etc.)
  • be attractive (fonts, colors, models used, dress)

Besides my own cover for When Love Calls (which I love), the following are some of my favorites this year so far.

Sweet OliveThis cover just screams fun. The font used for the title is whimsical and the house behind echoes of a romantic, modern day getaway. I haven’t read Judy Christie’s Sweet Olive yet, but it’s on my list.

You can read about Sweet Olive here.

 

 

 

 

 

simple changeThis is one of my favorite of Judy’s covers for the Amana books. It fits the story so well (yes, I’ve read this one and highly recommend it). With one look, you know the Amana dress is not like the Amish. The suitcase gives a clue to the time period, too.

You can check out A Simple Change here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once upon a princeRachel Hauk’s Once Upon a Prince is by far one of my favorite covers this year. It draws me in and makes me want to pick it up. With the bride’s smile and bare feet, you know this is clearly a fun romance, and the heart around the title seals the deal. Even the font echoes a fairy tale.

You can learn more about Once Upon a Prince here.

 

 

 

 

caughtRegina Jennings’ book, Caught in the Middle, doesn’t release until next year, but I can’t wait to check it out. The colors are great, and the expression on the girl is priceless. But my favorite part? The cowboy boots with the her toe turned slightly in which make this a hard to resist cover.

You can pre-order Caught in the Middle here.

 

What do you think makes a great cover? Which of these strike your fancy? I’d love to hear about it.