Author Interview: Lesa McKee

Today I have the honor of welcoming author Lesa McKee to my blog. She’s introducing her Operation Space Cats series of books. Welcome, Lesa!

How would you describe your book to someone who has not yet read it?

LESA: Aristocats fun with Veggietales values! An out-of-this world adventure that’s filled with faith, friendship, & fun.

Is there a message in your book you want your readers to grasp?

LESA: Yes, a message of faith & trust in God. I added a short poem that sums up the lessons in the book in a fun way, and also a short Q&A section at the end of the book for parents and kids to go over with scripture to match up with key parts of the story.

How much of the book is based on real life (either yours or someone you know)?

LESA: I didn’t plan it, but in hindsight I realized one of the cats on the space team, Sir Cavias, walks with a limp due to an injury (like me), and struggles in his faith over it.

I didn’t realize I’d written part of my own ordeal into this character until afterward! Farlo’s silliness, and the overall humor is so me too.

How did you get the idea for the story? 

LESA: I was inspired by a contest for The Space Kitties Anthology. I entered it into the contest and was pleasantly surprised it was one of eleven winners. I also kept in mind my sweet grand-darlings.

Which came first, the title or the story?

LESA: I came up with the title pretty close to the beginning. I wanted something catchy. I already thought of them as my space cats when I started the story. And the team is always going on missions so the title came pretty easily to me. I thought the sub-titles should have a common thread to tie them together, so I went with always starting the sub-title with the word ‘the’ and making it a three-word phrase. So far I have:

Operation Space Cats, The Rescue Mission
Operation Space Cats, The Missing Spaceship
Operation Space Cats, The Time Tunnels
Operation Space Cats, The Starlight Diamond

Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?

LESA: That being a lifelong avid reader does not prepare you to be a writer. I really thought that at the beginning. Over time, and with much studying, I realized there was so much to learn. I joined a critiquing site, and that helped me more than anything. I also followed a couple of really good blogs on writing. I learned the rules of writing, and I’m so glad I did. It improved my stories greatly.

What genre have you not yet written but really want to try?

LESA: As you’ll see in my answer below, I love writing in different genres. So maybe a devotional book, or a cozy mystery. I’ve always thought about writing about my father’s life, and his identical twin brother.I grew up fascinated by their amazing bond.

What book are you reading right now?

LESA: My fellow indie authors’ books. I’ve become a huge supporter and fan!

What’s up next for you?

LESA: I’m planning to continue writing my space cat tales. I’m working with my amazing illustrator now on drawings for book two, Operation Space Cats, The Missing Spaceship, which I will be releasing spring 2017.

I also have a Christian historical romance novella series ‘Bridal Falls’ in the works, a spec fic short story series, Sky, and a short story rhyming book, Little Chick, for the younger kiddos. I’m working on learning how to draw so I can do my own illustrations.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

LESA: If you’re new to writing, I highly suggest joining a critique group. And follow a few good blogs on writing. Other writers are your best friends, so don’t be afraid to ask questions, or for help.:)

That’s great advice, Lesa, and so true. Some of my best friends are other writers I’ve met along this publishing journey! Thanks for visiting us and telling us more about you and your writing.

 

~Every child should have a story-teller in their life.~

lesa's fb pic.Hi! I’m Lesa. That’s Lesa as in Lisa, only with an E.

I grew up at my Grandmother’s knee, listening to the French folk tales my animated Grandma Ida shared. A love of stories was born and my imagination took off!

I started out as a songwriter, and over the years wrote skits and plays for church. It wasn’t until I became a grandmother myself that I decided to write my first short story. Inspired by my own grand-daughter, I set out to write stories filled with faith, friendship & fun.

I entered my very first story in a contest and was pleasantly surprised it was one of eleven winners! This story, Operation Space Cats, The Rescue Mission is now featured in the Space Kitties Anthology.

I decided then and there to turn the story into a series. Each book will be filled with beautiful full-color illustrations, and amazing child & cat friendly covers. Operation Space Cats is in the works, and the series is coming soon!

When I’m not writing (or editing) you’ll usually find me with a good book in hand, a little gardening shovel for planting container flowers, or playing with the grand-kiddo’s. It’s a fantabbielous life! 🙂

Find me on Amazon and Goodreads!

 

 

Blessed Assurance Blog Tour: Author Interview with Faith Blum

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Who doesn’t like a good mystery? I’m sure there are a few, but most people do like mysteries. What about a mystery within a mystery. Faith Blum’s new novella is just that. First there’s the mystery of who tried to dupe five mail-order brides. Then Adelaide finds out someone is claiming she’s a runaway bride. What happens to her? Find out in Blessed Assurance.

About the Book

Blessed Assurance_FrontBlessed assurance, Jesus is mine
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Adelaide lost her parents a year before and now a rich man in town is making unwanted advances toward her. Desperate, she writes to two men and quickly accepts the one from Cheyenne, Wyoming. On the final leg of her journey, in a stagecoach with four other mail order brides, her suspicions are confirmed. Will she ever find a man she can truly trust?

buy-button-amazonAbout the Author

Author Picture 2015-2016 cropped

Faith Blum started writing at an early age. She started even before she could read! She even thought she could write better than Dr. Seuss. Now that she has grown up a little more, she knows she will probably never reach the success of Dr. Seuss, but that doesn’t stop her from trying.

When she isn’t writing, Faith enjoys doing many right-brained activities such as reading, crafting, playing piano, and playing games with her family. One of her dreams is to visit Castle City, Montana, someday to see the ghost town she chose for her characters to live in. She currently lives on a hobby farm with her family in Wisconsin.

There are many ways to connect with Faith online. All of them can be found in one convenient place: http://FaithBlum.com. On her website you can find links to her various social media sites and both of her blogs as well as learn about any events she has coming up.

Today she has graciously consented to visit me here and answer some questions. So let’s find out a little bit more about Faith Blum.

How would you describe your book to someone who has not yet read it?

Blessed Assurance is a mail-order bride story with a twist. The young man Adelaide wrote to is real, but he never wrote the letter. Plus, someone else comes to Cheyenne claiming that Adelaide is a runaway bride. I guess Adelaide kind of got into a bit of a mess. But it’s nothing God can’t turn around and use for the best.

Is there a message in your book that you want your readers to grasp?

God will always work things out His way. It might not be the way you thought it should be, but it will always be for your good.

How much of the book is based on real life (either yours or someone you know)?

Nothing that I know of.

How did you get the idea for the novella?

This novella is a spinoff of my novel, The Solid Rock. Adelaide and the four other mail-order brides were introduced, but the ends of their stories would have made the novel too long and complicated, so I wrote novellas about them instead.

What scene or bit of dialogue in the book are you most proud of, and why?

This part is a little long, but it is my favorite part.

 

Mr. Reese looked Bradley Connor over. “I’ll be right back.”

Mr. Harris and Mr. Connor looked at each other. He was gone for two minutes before he came back with a piece of paper in his hand.

After Mr. Reese settled into his chair, he spoke, “Do you mind answering a few questions, Bradley?”

Bradley shrugged. “I guess not.”

“Good. Are you a born-again Christian?”

Bradley blinked once. “Yes.”

“What do you mean by that phrase?” Mr. Reese asked.

Bradley shifted in his chair. Where was he going with this? “It means that I surrendered my life to God so that I could be born of His Holy Spirit through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

Mr. Reese smiled slightly. “Thank you. How far are you willing to go to earn someone’s trust?”

“If I really care for that person, I’m willing to do whatever is necessary.”

“As a Christian, aren’t you supposed to care for everyone?”

Bradley took a deep breath and smiled. “Yes. So I should be willing to do that for everyone, too. Although, I don’t do it as much as I ought.”

Mr. Reese chuckled. “Who do you love more than anything else?”

“God.”

“If you were to marry, would that change?”

“I hope and pray not. If it does, I pray someone points it out to me.”

Mr. Reese stared at him for a few minutes. “How old are you?”

Bradley started. “What?”

Mr. Reese raised his eyebrows. “Do you have a problem with the question?”

Bradley cleared his throat. “I just wasn’t expecting it. I’m twenty-six.” Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Adelaide lean against the doorframe.

Mr. Reese leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. “When you enter a courtship, are you willing to court the young lady for at least six months before you ask her to marry you? Assuming of course that the courtship lasts longer than a month to begin with.”

“What are you doing?” Adelaide asked.

“Let him answer the question and then I’ll answer yours.”

Bradley pondered the question. With closed eyes, he said, “If—and that’s a big if—I were ever to court a woman, I would take my time. I haven’t ever thought of an exact period of time since I never planned to marry, let alone court a woman, but if she is most comfortable with at least six months, I will respect her wishes.”

 

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about your book?

I don’t think there is anything I would change about Blessed Assurance. Of the three novellas I have published this summer, Adelaide’s was my favorite.

What inspired you to write your first book?

If you mean the first book I published, that would be a short story contest based on a picture. I was too old and my story much too long to enter, but it got the wheels turning and A Mighty Fortress was the result.

Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?

Don’t rush through the publication process. It’s exciting to get a book published, but don’t let the excitement cause any rash decisions.

Considering a book from the first word you write to the moment you see it on a bookstore shelf, what’s your favorite part of the process? What’s your least favorite?

My favorite part of the writing process is writing the rough draft. I love letting the characters take control and wreaking havoc with my ideas for the plot. I love getting a story started and seeing where God takes it. My least favorite part would be editing. It’s hard to spot all the typos and make sure it all fits.

What’s up next for you?

In the next few months, I’m planning to publish a short story, a box set of my three novellas, and an audiobook of my first novel. I’m also working on my next novel series called Orphans of the West.

Thank you for having me on your blog!

You’re very welcome, Faith. Anytime!

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Giveaway

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Faith’s sister, Naomi, graciously hand painted two beautiful bookmarks for this giveaway. There will be one lucky winner. The bookmarks are made with Adelaide in mind. Aren’t they gorgeous?

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Faith’s Blog Tour Schedule

August 26
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Introduction
Letters from Annie Douglas Lima-Excerpt
With a Joyful Noise-Excerpt
Rebekah Lyn Books-Excerpt
August 27
Blue-Brown Books-Author Interview
August 29
Singing Librarian Books-Excerpt
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae-Excerpt
August 30
Ramblings of a Young Author-Review
August 31
Jaye L. Knight-Excerpt
Rachel Rossano’s Words-Excerpt
September 1
The Abrahamic Adventures-Excerpt
Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections-Character Interview (Adelaide)
September 2
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Conclusion and Winner

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Author Interview: Denise Buss

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming author Denise Buss to my blog and introducing her book, Original Design: Set Free to be Who God Created.

Hi, Denise. Thanks for dropping by. We look forward to learning more about you. So, tell us:

How would you describe your book to someone who has not yet read it?

My book is narrative non-fiction. It uses my life as an example to show how Satan uses an array of influences to mold us, in varying degrees, to become someone we were never intended to be. You’ll see how Satan uses our life experiences to distort our beliefs about God and ourselves, thereby taking us off our God-designed path. Through my journey, I show you how God’s mighty hand reaches forth to unbury secrets, gently uproot lies, and heal wounds in our hearts, thereby setting us free from Satan’s grip and restoring us back to God’s original design.

Is there a message in your book that you want your readers to grasp?

The Bible tells us that we are made in the image and likeness of God. Unfortunately, we have an adversary, the devil, roaming around like a lion seeking whom he may devour. Most of the time he doesn’t literally kill us, but he takes us off the path of God by concealing our true identity. Satan attacks when we are young, when our hearts are soft and vulnerable—easily molded.  We don’t realize we’ve been altered because much of Satan’s work is either subtle or completely invisible. But in Christ you have redemption from all of the devil’s work, including the impact it has on your heart, the reactions it produces in you, and even his work that becomes a part of who you are.

How did you get the idea for your book?

Original Design is primarily derived from nearly 80 prayer sessions with my pastor friend, spanning over a period of 3 years. God initially used our prayer time to rescue me from the attacks of the enemy but then later to reveal secrets and unbury lies hidden deep in my heart. As God’s truths penetrated my heart, I changed from a helpless girl cowering in the corner to a mighty soldier in Christ. It is a true a story of overcoming adversity by the miraculous power of God.

How did you get the idea for the novel?

As I was living through trials and praying with my pastor friend, God kept telling me to write a book about it.

Which came first, the book or the title?

The book came before the title.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about your book?

I would try to expand the ending a bit more and give more closure.

What inspired you to write this book?

I initially wrote the book because God told me to. As I got into the project I then had a desire to help others break free from the bondage that Satan’s has put them in.

Considering the book from the first word you wrote to the moment you saw it on the shelf, what was your favorite part of the process? What was your least favorite?

I loved seeing how God took a raw prayer session full of unneeded dialogue and turned it into a beautiful masterpiece of writing. My least favorite part was having an editor who sometimes tried to change (inadvertently) the meaning of the text.

What’s up next for you?

I would like to start speaking at women’s conferences and retreats about God’s healing power.

Is there anything specific you want to say to your readers?

Don’t be afraid to go into God’s refining fire. All of us have things hidden deep in our hearts from our past that need to be burned away. The fire is hot and painful, but He will give you rest as the impurities are removed. And it’s definitely worth it.  Being set free from the work of the enemy is the only way you can be who God created you to be and do what He created you to do. That is your true freedom in Christ!

denise bussDenise Buss works as a nurse practitioner, but also has a Bachelor’s degree in Christian ministry. God directed Denise to write her first book, Original Design: Set Free to be Who God Created, to share her experience of deliverance and healing with others.
Denise’s desire is for God to use her labor of love to transform the walking wounded into mighty soldiers for Christ. She believes this can only occur when God’s truths pierce the heart and replace the lies and deceptions hidden within. Once the heart has been delivered from the works of Satan, the captive is free to be who God created—His original design.

You can find out more about Denise and her book at her website, www.DeniseBuss.com.

 

 

 

Tuesdays with Yeshua: ESV Family Devotional Bible & Giveaway

tuesdays with yeshua jesus

It is very important to both my husband myself, as followers of Yeshua (Jesus), that we lead our children to also learn to love and one day follow Him. A major part of making Him real in our household is talking about Him daily and studying about Him in God’s Word. But sometimes that gets to be a bit difficult when you’re trying to read from an adult Bible and your kids are so busy looking for the pictures they’re not even really listening to the words you’re saying. And, with many children’s Bibles, you run the risk of missing some important story “meat.”

ENTER THE ESV FAMILY DEVOTIONAL BIBLE. This is a colorful hardbound Bible that retells 130 key stories from the Bible with full color illustrations. Each story is placed within or near the actual Bible text it is based on.  The stories are simplified and easy for children of all ages to understand.

The ESV Family Devotional Bible is designed to help families read and apply God’s Word together. This full-color edition features the complete ESV text interspersed with engaging illustrations and gospel-centered devotions related to key Bible stories—guiding families through the entirety of God’s Word over the course of a year. Each devotion also includes discussion questions and suggestions for additional reading, helping families develop a habit of reading the Bible together and applying its truth to all of life.
And I’m giving you all a chance to win your very own copy right now. All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post. Tell me what your favorite Bible verse is, or who you can’t wait to read this Bible with. Just be sure you leave your comment by 11:59 PM EST on May 25th, 2016.
 
If you’ve ever struggled with studying the Bible with your kids in an accurate, kid-friendly way, you won’t want to miss out on this!

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Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/CrosswayBooks/photos/a.129796233631.107576.71392238631/10154030140753632/?type=3&theater

Twitter – https://twitter.com/crossway/status/718552505941041152

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Family-Devotional- Bible-Bibles-

Crossway/dp/1433551497/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461101430&sr=8-1&keywords=family+devotional+bible


Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Sweet Romance Sundays: None Like Him Review and Giveaway

christian romance novels

I’m going to focus on something a little different from what we usually consider sweet romance in this post. I’m going to talk about God’s love for us, in addition to His power. What romance could be sweeter than the romance we have with our Heavenly Father and His Son? After all, we are the bride of Christ.

God is self-existent, self-sufficient, eternal, immutable, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, sovereign, infinite, and incomprehensible.

We’re not.

And that’s a good thing.H7MVxByGH8V3C49J_ORybNPxf5365JcwFTOShypEuB4cvBytQm84DXUnKAFxjYmi61q2RQ=s190

Our limitations are by design. We were never meant to be God. But at the root of every sin is our rebellious desire to possess attributes that belong to God alone.

Calling us to embrace our limits as a means of glorifying God’s limitless power, Jen Wilkin invites us to celebrate the freedom that comes when we rest in letting God be God.

From the very first sentence of this book, “If you had told me five years ago that I would one day write a book for Christian women that led off with a quote from Proverbs 31, I probably would have punched you in the face,” I was hooked.

With a great deal of honesty and insight, plus a fair dose of humor, Jen takes us through some of the attributes that only belong to God – the things that make Him God.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I know you will too. I’ve been given the opportunity to give one lucky visitor a paperback copy. All you have to do to be entered is leave me a comment on this blog post. Tell me, what is your favorite thing about God?

This contest ends at 11:59 PM on May 25, 2016, so be sure to get your comment in before then. And be sure to check out the publisher’s Facebook page listed below. The book’s Amazon purchase link has also been included for your convenience, just in case you can’t wait until the giveaway is over.

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Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CrosswayBooks/?fref=ts

Amazon link for purchase

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Mommy Memoir Mondays: 8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids

parenting

Being a parent is hard. Anyone who’s been a parent for more than five minutes knows this…and it might not even take that long to figure it out. But the parenting challenges change as your child grows. My girls are now 7 and 5, and we’re daily having new conflicts that we did not face even a year or two ago. And I know we’ll face different challenges next year. I don’t even want to think about the teenage years yet!

I want more than anything to raise two little girls who are “great,” but some days I feel like a miserable failure as a mother (can anyone else relate?). As a child psychologist and a father himself, Dr. Tood Cartmell certainly does seem to be able to relate to that feeling. And he’s written this book to help parents communicate, teach, and direct their children in new, more effective, ways. Plus, he really does understand that parents are short on time, so he’s written this book in brief chapters that can be each be read in about 10 minutes or less. I REALLY appreciate that.

This is a fabulous guide for parents with kids of any age. And you can get it for 50% off the retail price between April 15 and May 15, 2016, by purchasing it at moodypublishers.com, and entering the coupon code GREATKIDS16

Plus, when you purchase from the publisher, you’ll receive FREE access to the HEARTS AT HOME “ESSENTIAL WORKSHOP COLLECTION FOR PARENTS.”

More about the book:WebsiteHeader-nobook3.jpg

parenting styles

“I love my child, but parenting is hard.”

Whether you find parenting intuitive or impossible, we could all use a hand here and there. Let child psychologist and father Todd Cartmell walk you through the nuts and bolts of healthy, effective parenting.

Using examples from his home and 20 years of professional practice, Todd gives eight essential and practical tools to help you:

  • Maintain a healthy relationship with your child
  • Develop a nurturing home culture
  • Correct behavior in lasting ways

Designed for busy parents, 8 Simple Tools breaks each tool into five short chapters that include a summary tip and application questions. Use even half of the tools in your parenting, and your family dynamics will thrive. Your relationship with your child will be built on love and trust, providing you with fertile ground for planting God’s wisdom in their heart, and ultimately, seeing them flourish.

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Official Website: http://www.8simpletools.com – Be sure to check out the brief, really fun FREE parenting assessments.

Dr. Todd Cartmell’s FB: https://www.facebook.com/Dr-Todd-Cartmell-193405444025914/

From the author: Dr. Todd Cartmell
Hello.  I’m Dr. Todd!
I earned my doctorate in clinical psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. We then moved to Columbus, OH, where I
completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Wright State University at the Children’s Hospital. Since then, I have done my clinical work at Summit Clinical Services in Wheaton, IL, where I continue to see children, teens, and families on a full-time basis.

I have written five parenting books (faith based), which you can learn more about on the Books page. I have presented many parenting workshops at moms’ conferences (Hearts at Home, MOPS International), MOPS groups, churches, and schools, which you can read about on the Workshop page. I have also recently developed a skill-building game for kids called The Flexible Thinking Game.

In my free time, I enjoy doing anything with my wife, spending time with my boys whenever possible, reading, running, and playing jazz piano any chance I get. My Christian faith is an important part of my life and thinking, and I am continually thankful for God’s grace, of which I am an undeserving recipient.

Sweet Romance Sundays: Don’t Stop Reading Romance Novels

christian romance novels

Earlier this week I read a post about how reading Christian romance novels can be harmful to us both spiritually and relationally. The idea is that it sets up “unrealistic expectations” in our minds for how our husbands should be treating us and sows seeds of discontentment. Because of this, the author of this post believes no woman should read romance novels. I respectfully disagree…sort of.

As someone who is married to a man who is better than any romance hero (as I mention in my dedication to my own Christian-themed romance novella, BELIEVE IN ME), I can honestly say I don’t struggle with this issue of comparing my husband to the romance heroes, except in such a way where he always come out on top. Now, I’m not a big fan of romance novels – even Christian ones – because they only scratch the surface (if that) of what real, true, lasting love and commitment is. That’s their main flaw, in my mind. Granted, in a book of that size, it’s hard to cover all that. It’s much easier to just put in the same old boy sees girl, boy fights with girl, girl decides she can’t live without boy for some inexplicable reason, and then they get married and go to bed with each other (in the Christian books, anyway) formula. But that’s not what real love is about.

Real love isn’t about feelings. It’s not about wearing seductive clothing to get a boy to notice you (I never have, and I won’t ever let my girls). Romance novels aren’t our problem, really. Our problem is we’ve forgotten that real love is about sacrificing our desires for the sake of another. Putting someone else above ourselves.

Romance novels may play a part in our incorrect view of love in certain situations, but really anything can be misused and abused. I find it interesting that the woman who wrote the original post says her book of choice is the Bible, yet she seems to forget that some of the most amazing love stories ever written are contained therein (Ruth and Boaz, and the entire book of the somewhat archaically pornographic [if highly allegorical] Song of Solomon, etc.). I mean, if my husband wasn’t saying a million sweet things a day to me like he does now, then I could certainly hope he might say something like Solomon said to his bride in 6:7, “As a piece of a pomegranate are thy temples within thy locks” (HCSB). And, in that case, I could certainly twist the holy intent of that beautiful passage to feed my own discontentment (people twist the Word to fit their own agendas all the time in proof texting).

My point is, I don’t think we can blame romance novels for that (and certainly not Christian ones). I think we should probably all steer clear of mainstream romance – and most definitely erotica. Those “stories” (and I use that term loosely) are so far skewed from God’s truth you can’t usually find ANYTHING really good or helpful about them. But still. The problem’s not usually with the BOOK (“Everything is permissible for me, but not all things are beneficial,” 1 Corinthians 6:12, AMP). The problem is usually something in US.

Honestly, for most women who find themselves dissatisfied in their own marriages because of something they read about a male character in a book, I would suggest not that they are not in the right place spiritually – although this sort of thinking can soon lead down the road to discontentment, which is a sin. No, I simply think they are not getting their needs met – some need or other…and it may very well be something their husbands are not providing for them. That could open up a topic for discussion – a dialogue in which they could express (in a non-confrontational, non-blaming way) what they need their husbands to do for them that’s not happening at the moment. We all need things from other people from time to time – especially in the husband-wife relationship.

Then again, as I mentioned before, it could just be something within US that needs to be set before God and repented of. For example, I recently became interested in watching When Calls the Heart on Netflix. And I found myself (after 8.5 years of marital bliss and 3 years of solidly happy dating before that) pining away for the excitement and joy of “first falling in love” – that stage that is now long past for me. In the middle of those “woe is me” feelings, I heard that still, small voice whisper, “What about the strong relationship you currently have with your husband, who loves you more than life itself and would do anything for you?” And I immediately answered, “Oh yeah. Right. I should be thrilled with what I have (I am). So, who cares if I may never experience ‘young, new love’ again?” The love my husband and I share is, honestly, WAY better than that.

So, in some ways, I think these sweet romantic stories can actually be GOOD for us. They can open our eyes to our OWN flaws and sins, if we let them. And they can actually point us back to righteous ways of thinking.

That being said, I am a firm believer in abstaining from something – anything – that might cause another believer to stumble. So, if I find that my continued interest in Christian romance causes problems for another believer, I may well have to stop reading and talking about them. I just hope it doesn’t come to that.