Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Christian Fiction MUST Have Sound Theology

Today I read a blog post on NovelRocket.Com that nearly made me fall out of my chair. Author Mike Duran's article date August 27, 2012 was titled, "Must Christian Fiction Contain Sound Theology?"


Author Mike Duran

I haven't read Mike Duran's work, so I'm not commenting on his books, but his question and ensuing article really floored me. I was sure after reading it, that the many replies following the article would challenge his statement that Christian Fiction DOESN'T have to have sound theology. The responses to his article left me just as stumped, as many of the commenter's agreed with him or supported his views in some way. I felt like I had to stand up and say otherwise. I posted the following comment on the blog, however after receiving confirmation that it posted, it doesn't show up in the comments section. It could be that each comment has to be approved by the blog moderator and may not show up for a while. In the off chance it doesn't get approved, I wanted to share my thoughts on this horrifying question.  Below is the same comment I posted on NovelRocket.com.


"A Christian's calling is to live a life that witnesses of Jesus, to let His light shine through them to others and share His love. Do we all accomplish this every day? Sadly, no. Jesus knows that, it's why He forgives. And He turns those screw ups followed by forgiveness into a beautiful testimony of His grace and power. As writers, I believe we are called to witness this truth.

Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just; whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

So creating characters and stories that present situations that are true to life is a must, but without representing the Hope of Jesus, the joy found in forgiveness and the love found in a new life, where does our witness stand? Does every book need to show a conversion or baptism? Not if it doesn't suit the story. Must they all have happy endings? No. But did it lead the reader to look at life with a different eye? Did it in any way inspire them to look toward Jesus or reaffirm His truths?

The fact any follower of Jesus Christ would ask the question, Should Christian fiction contain sound theology, makes my jaw drop and it should make us take a closer look at why we write what we write. If our work doesn't reflect Jesus in a positive manner, however you choose to do that; if it only represents the evil of the world as an example of what real life is without the effort of shining Christ's light on it, then why do we even choose to separate our fiction into a CBA category? Just because we leave out the steamy sex scenes and most of the swear words, doesn't make our work a reflection of Christ - Not unless we use the truth of God's word as a foundation to show in some manner that evil is evil, even if a good character is taking part.

Must our work have sound theology? YES. There will always be differences of opinion on how certain things are done, different denominations aren't new. But God's word is unchangeable and the foundation, the truth of the Gospel should be easily agreed upon by any Christian. If we don't represent that light of Jesus Christ, then we shouldn't call our work Christian fiction. Publish it in the main stream market and call it what it is, a cleaner version of what every one else is publishing. "

I have nothing against NovelRocket.com, they've created a blog and forum for writer and readers that is very enjoyable, even when I disagree with one of the guest posters. I simply couldn't ignore my conscience.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Guitarist George Dennehy Plays with Feet

Yahoo news featured an article from the Huffington Post on this amazing musician today. Check out George Dennehy playing the Goo Goo Dolls "Iris" on guitar with his feet. He hasn't let his limitations hold him back. Such an inspiration and a  reminder that God has a plan for all of us and if you haven't found that purpose yet, then start asking Jesus to show you. It's certainly reminding me to get my focus back on what's important and quit whining today.

To see him perform with the Goo Goo Dolls and read the article go HERE.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

DawnSinger by Janalyn Voigt

Today, on behalf of Kathy Carlton Willis Communications, I'm touring:



Due to a delay in shipping, my book hasn't arrived yet, so once I've received the book and read it, I'll post a review. In the mean time, here is a fantastic peak into what looks to be a very promising novel.


The High Queen is dying... At the royal summons, Shae mounts a wingabeast and soars through the air to the high hold of Faeraven, where all is not as it seems. Visions warn her of danger, and a dark soul touches hers in the night. When she encounters an attractive but disturbing musician, her wayward heart awakens. But then there is Kai, a guardian of Faeraven and of Shae. Secrets bind him to her, and her safety lies at the center of every decision he makes. On a desperate journey fraught with peril and the unknown, they battle warlike garns, waevens, ferocious raptors, and the wraiths of their own regrets. Yet, they must endure the campaign long enough to release the DawnKing—and the salvation he offers—into a divided land. To prevail, each must learn that sometimes victory comes only through surrender.

Paradoxical Truths Revealed

A new speculative fiction story releases this summer that captures several paradoxical truths, including: freedom comes through sacrifice – AND – victory comes through surrender. allegorical fantasy readers will be spellbound by the incredible imagery and symbolism throughout DawnSinger, authored by Janalyn Voigt. Some of the key points in the book include:

Freedom through sacrifice. When the willful but reverent main character, Shae, learns her secret identity, she has to decide whether to accept her true calling. Although it may cost her everything, the salvation of a nation hangs in the balance. Shae represents the church. We each must lay down our will and our lives to bring freedom to others.

Overcoming prejudice with unity. In DawnSinger, the clash is not over color of skin but between classes of being. Elderland was already inhabited by the Elder nation when the Kindren entered it from another world through a gate that closed behind them. The Elder accepted the Kindren's occupation of Elderland because they didn't want to live in the areas where they settled—areas within reach of garns (goblenesque creatures) and welkes (giant birds of prey). DawnSinger opens as an unknown enemy stirs strife between Kindren and Elder in an attempt to divide and conquer Elderland. As a result, the alliance of Faeraven, a group of Kindren kingdoms ruled by a widowed High Queen, begins to fall apart. This story arc, which spans three novels, is based in large part on Voigt’s father's experiences of prejudice as a half-breed Native American.

Serving rather than ruling. As the High Queen's health fails, Kai, the hero of DawnSinger, must choose whether to reign and rule in his homeland or to continue in service to the new High King at her death. Kai's decision inspires Shae to make her own.

Conquering fear by not letting it consume you. In Pilaer Hold, an ancient place of defeat for the Kindren, wraiths rush toward Kai and Shae's other protectors. They draw their swords, but the more wraiths they dispatch, the more arise. They learn that to defeat fear, something else is needed.

For fun and to benefit the readers of this blog, Shae of Whellein, the main character from DawnSinger, first of the epic fantasy trilogy, Tales of Faeraven, granted a rare interview to Janalyn Voigt, her author.

Janalyn: Tell me Shae, why you always seem to be at the center of trouble.

Shae: I often wonder that too. Problems just seem to follow me around. Maybe I’m too much like my brother, Daeven. He didn’t want to settle down to the responsibilities of a first-born son, so he ran away to sail the seas. They say wreckers lured his ship to its doom on the Coast of Bones. I don’t want to end up like Daeven. If only I could be more like my twin sister, Katera. She seems made for a simple life. It doesn’t help that sometimes visions warn me of lurking evil, or that souls touch mine in the night.

Janalyn: Visions of evil? Souls touching in the night? That sounds serious.

Shae: Things have gotten intense ever since Kai rode into the garden at Whellein Hold on the back of a wingabeast, a kind of winged horse ridden only by Guardians of Rivenn. Kai brought a summons that changed my life forever. But he was followed.

Janalyn: Followed? Why?

Shae: Ask Kai. He won’t tell me his secrets, no matter how irritated I become.

Janalyn: For those who haven’t met him, who is Kai?

Shae: I’m not certain I really know. He’s always been there, in the background of my life. But things have changed, and I’m not sure where I fit in his life any more.

Janalyn: Won’t he tell you that either?

Shae: He says he loves me, despite everything. I’m grateful for that anyway, especially after what happened that night with Freaer.

Janalyn: Care to elaborate? Let’s start with introducing Freaer.

Shae: Beyond the fact that he’s a musician, I don’t exactly know who Freaer is either. He fascinates me, and whenever he’s near I don’t feel quite – safe.

Janalyn: But something happened with this Freaer you don’t know?

Shae: Don’t look so smug when you say that! I’d answer your question but Kai told me not to tell.

Janalyn: [Sigh] I begin to understand why trouble follows you around. So, is there anyone else we should know about?

Shae: Well, there’s also Elcon, heir to the throne of Faeraven. I’m drawn to him, and he seems kind. He’s sad right now because his mother is dying, and I think he’s a little scared. He’s young to become a High King, especially with trouble brewing in Elderland.

Janalyn: Do you think the evil you mentioned earlier lies behind the trouble in Elderland?

Shae: I don’t doubt it. There’s an answer somewhere in all the riddles that surround me. I know it. I only hope I can find it in time, and that I’ll have the courage to face the trials that come, no matter what they cost me. Maybe then I can redeem myself a little.

Janalyn: Thanks for being so candid, Shae. I appreciate this chance to get to know you better.

Shae: Thanks for thinking of me. I guess we’ll both find out what happens as you continue writing. What are the names of your novels again?

Janalyn: I’m glad you asked. The three books in the Tales of Faeraven trilogy are DawnSinger, Wayfarer and DawnKing.

Janalyn Voigt’s epic fantasy trilogy, Tales of Faeraven, starting with DawnSinger, is published by Harbourlight Books. Janalyn also writes in the western romance genre. She is represented by Barbara Scott of Wordserve Literary. Her nonfiction publication credits include Focus on the Family, Scripture Press (now David C. Cook) and Pentecostal Evangel. She serves as a literary judge for several national contests and is an active book reviewer. Her memberships include ACFW and NCWA. Janalyn lives in a quiet corner of the Pacific Northwest, where she discovers worlds of adventure in the great outdoors.

Website: http://janalynvoigt.com
Blog: http://janalynvoigt.com/blog

Friday, August 10, 2012

CFBA: Over the Edge by Mary Connealy

SONG STUCK ON THE BRAIN: The Gambler by Kenny Rogers

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
Over The Edge
Bethany House (August 1, 2012)
Mary Connealy


Over the Edge is how I felt when I finished In Too Deep and realized Seth had a wife he didn't remember... then had to wait months to read Seth's story. I loaned Mom the first two books. She finished Ethan's story and immediately called me to say I forgot to send her the third book. When I told her it wouldn't be out until August, she was as anxious as I was.

Good thing Mary Conneally is quick with her books, we survived the wait and it was worth it. I think Seth's story may be my favorite, although that could be because it was the most recent. Seth and Callie's story starts with bang - literally, and like all Mary's books, keeps rolling without a pause for breath. She creates a funny, compelling romance that stands on it's own, yet pulls a continuing mystery through to completion from book one. Those familiar with the series have a lot of surprises coming. The cave - the center of so much of the drama - finds closure for all the brothers and it's a perfect ending.

Seth Kincaid survived a fire in a cave, but he's never been the same. He was always a reckless youth, but now he's gone over the edge. He ran off to the Civil War and came back crazier than ever.

After the war, nearly dead from his injuries, it appears Seth got married. Oh, he's got a lot of excuses, but his wife isn't happy to find out Seth doesn't remember her. Callie has searched, prayed, and worried. Now she's come to the Kincaid family's ranch in Colorado to find her lost husband.

Callie isn't a long-suffering woman. Once she knows her husband is alive, she wants to kill him. She's not even close to forgiving him for abandoning her.

Then more trouble shows up in the form of a secret Seth's pa kept for years. The Kincaid brothers might lose their ranch if they can't sort things out. It's enough to drive a man insane--but somehow it's all making Seth see things more clearly. And now that he knows what he wants, no one better stand in his way.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Over The Edge, go HERE.


Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Christy Award Finalist, a Carol Award Finalist and an IRCC Award finalist.

The Lassoed in Texas Series, Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain. Petticoat Ranch was a Carol Award Finalist. Calico Canyon was a Christy Award Finalist and a Carol Award Finalist. These three books are now contained in one large volume called Lassoed in Texas Trilogy.

The Montana Marriages Series, Montana Rose, The Husband Tree and Wildflower Bride. Montana Rose was a Carol Award Finalist.

Cowboy Christmas—the 2010 Carol Award for Best Long Historical Romance, and an Inspirational Readers Choice Contest Finalist.

The Sophie's Daughters series. Doctor in Petticoats, Wrangler in Petticoats, Sharpshooter in Petticoats.

She is also the author of; Black Hills Blessing a 3-in-1 collection of sweet contemporary romances, Nosy in Nebraska, a 3-in-1 collection of cozy romantic mysteries and she's one of the three authors contributing to Alaska Brides with her Carol Award Winning historical romance Golden Days.