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Monday Musings…How Christian Should a Christian Novel Be?

What makes a Christian novel a Christian novel? Is it the fact that the characters pray? Must there be a message of salvation? Or is it just that the novel is “clean” and has a “hope” message. Personally, I don’t think there is a right answer to this question. That said, I have run across some novels that made me scratch my head and wonder why they were considered “Christian.” I have read books from authors who always include the message of salvation in their novels (Lori Wick) and I have read books from authors who always have Christian protagonist so as to avoid, perhaps, the potential-ness of corni-ness in their books. I have read books that do not have the message of salvation, but were so focused on Jesus that I knew the author had spent some time with Him. And then I have read some books where God is mentioned in the last chapter right before the character thinks they are about to die. But this being the subjective topic that it is, I decided to list some things that I think should be necessary to a Christian novel:

1. Evidence of Faith. This can be shown through the message of salvation or the characters using prayer to combat whatever situation(s) they come up against. But clearly, clearly they could not make it through their situation without some kind of interaction between them and God.

2. Scripture usage. It’s important. I can’t live a successful life in Christ without reading the Bible. If my characters are believers, they should be reading the Bible too.

3. Lifestyle. If the character is not a good person (they don’t have to be perfect), and supposed to be Christian (unless the novel is about that person changing) it’s just not going to work for me. And this includes leading men on, being incredibly selfish, unwilling to hear people out, or being involved in shady areas of the law. Let’s not even begin to talk about Christians who don’t live Biblically, and see no problems with it.

4. Hope. At the end of the day, when I finish a Christian novel, I should leave with hope. I should put that book down knowing that God is still sovereign and He is still in control.

So, what are some things that make a Christian novel a Christian novel to you?

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That’s right guys. This girl is going out of town and will be back to posting no later than Monday April 13th! Also as a side note, The Eyes of the Heart won the grand prize in the 2014 Bookstore Without Borders Independent Fiction Contest (also known as the Lyra Awards)! God is good!

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Books Coming Out This Month!

Abducted at the age of sixteen and coerced into assisting the Jacoby crime family, Shannon Bliss has finally found a way out. She desperately wants to resume some semblance of normal life, but she also knows she has some unfinished business to attend to. She has enough evidence to put her captors behind bars for a very long time.

When Shannon contacts private investigator and former cop Matthew Dane to help her navigate her reentry into society, she quickly discovers that gaining her freedom doesn’t mean her troubles are over. For one thing, her brother is the leading candidate in the race for Illinois governor, and news of her escape will create a media frenzy. For another, the ransom her family reportedly paid years earlier appears to have been a scam; no one knows what happened to the money. And then there’s the fact that Shannon’s escape involved faking her own death. If the Jacoby family learns she is still alive, they’ll stop at nothing to silence her.

If justice is to be done, and if Shannon’s life is ever to get on track again, Matthew will need to discover exactly what happened to her–even if it means stirring up a hornet’s nest of secrets.

A vacation to Sunset Cove was her way of celebrating and thanking her parents. After all, Claire Dellamore’s childhood was like a fairytale. But with the help of Luke Elwell, Claire discovers that fairytale was really an elaborate lie . . .

The minute she steps inside the grand Inn at Ocean’s Edge, Claire Dellamare knows something terrible happened there. She feels it in her bones. Her ensuing panic attack causes a scene, upsetting her parents. Claire attempts to quiet her nerves with a walk on the beach, to no avail. She’s at too great a distance to make out details, but she believes she witnesses a murder on a nearby cliff. When local police find no evidence of foul play, they quickly write off the “nervous” woman’s testimony as less than credible.

But Luke Elwell, home on leave from the Coast Guard, has reason to believe Claire. Years ago when his mother went missing, Luke’s father suspected she’d been murdered. He died never having convinced the police to investigate. So when an employee of the grand hotel doesn’t show up for work, Luke steps in to help Claire track down the missing woman.

As Claire and Luke put together the pieces of a decades-old mystery, they discover that some family secrets refuse to stay buried. And some passions are worth killing for.

Somewhere in a sea of tulle and taffeta, satin and crepe, Katie Fisher needs to find a key ingredient of the perfect wedding–the groom.

Small-town girl Katie Fisher is busy planning her fairy-tale wedding. Sure, her boyfriend hasn’t managed to pop the question just yet, but that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t enter a contest in Texas Bride magazine to win the dress of her dreams, right? Anyway, she’s sure he’ll be getting down on one knee any time now. And a one-of-a-kind designer dress doesn’t just fall out of the sky right when you need it.

But when Katie’s boyfriend takes a job in another town and breaks up with her–on the very same day she wins her dream dress–her world is turned upside down. Dare she go to Dallas to claim her prize? And will the hunky pro basketball player who runs the beyond-swanky bridal shop–yeah, you read that right–discover her humiliating secret if she does?

What Would You Sacrifice to Save Mankind?

The great city of Thyra has fallen and shadows spread across the land. Rowen Mar, the last Truthsayer, is taken before the Shadonae. But the Shadonae are not who she thought they were, and now they want to claim her as their own.

Caleb Tala, former assassin and prince, is now a Guardian of mankind. Exiled from his country, Caleb wanders the desert in search of his mother’s past and clues to who he is.

These are the last days of the Eldaran race. Rowen and Caleb must find their way along the dark path set before them by their ancestors: to heal what was wounded and love where hatred grows. But the road is narrow and the darkness beckons. If either of them fails, all will be lost…

And the human race will be no more.

Book three of the Follower of the Word series.

Any books I left out that you’re looking forward to this month?