Today author Marianne Evans challenges readers' perceptions about Christian romance. Evans shares her own transition into writing inspirational tales of love, and offers a taste of what types of stories one might find in the genre!
“Aren’t inspirational romances kind of preachy?"
“Aren’t they pure, and sweet, but lacking in realistic, relatable characters?"
“I’d read them, but, where’s the type of sparkling chemistry that gives me the butterflies of falling in love?”
Well, hang on my friends; you’re about to enter the "New Age" of inspirational romance!
I’ve heard comments like these a number of times since I made the change from writing secular romance for Kensington to writing Christian fiction and romance for White Rose Publishing, and what I always ask in return is: Have you read one lately?
I’m amazed by the evolution of Christian romances. Name a current cultural trend, and you’ll find it addressed. Inspirational romance isn’t shy about taking on tough topics like abuse, alcoholism, bullying and autism, death, betrayal. I think that answers the realism argument pretty effectively.
The characters we find aren’t perfect, either. In fact, they’re flawed. They change and grow through the story just like any other well-written romance. However—finding their way to faith and love through their struggles remains an unchanging and wonderful constant. Relatable? Definitely.
The Christian worldview will always color our works, but we don’t preach in sermons, or lengthy diatribes. Instead, we preach in the way our characters live out their stories—overcoming tribulations, falling and getting back up, using love and faith to recover from the blows of life when things don’t work out as planned.
Now, let’s talk chemistry! As someone who loves that aspect of reading and writing a romance, I have discovered the beauty of stories that engage the senses, and display a tender, expressive sensuality without "opening the bedroom door."
There's beauty in the ache, and the wanting and anticipation, so we evoke the feelings and senses of our characters: the texture and glide of satin on skin, the sweet kiss of a caressing breeze, the scent and warmth of the neck that you nuzzle, the gentle give of the lips that you kiss. How about the spice of an orange slice bursting on your tongue, fed to you by the one you love...?
The possibilities are endless. It's all right there in the pages of inspirational romance, and it's powerful!
Take the challenge. Try one. These are love stories rich with conflict, romance, and they explore the world of the senses versus strictly the physical. This truth has opened up all new experiences for me both as a reader and an author.
- Marianne Evans
If you are interested in taking Marianne Evan's reading challenge, you can pick up her new inspirational contemporary romance, Heart's Surrender, in stores now. For other reading suggestions from the inspirational genre, this month we suggest the inspirational romance When Sparrows Fall by Meg Moseley and the inspirational mainstream tale The Fine Art of Insincerity by Angela Hunt, which are both May Top Picks!