Why Romance

I recently read a post on Facebook where a Christian author was complaining that it was getting to the point where Christian books should be labeled as to whether or not they contained described and/or graphic sex, profane language, excessive on camera violence etc. Her chief complaint was that since these books were written for Christians, they shouldn’t have any of that in it.

romantic blogI didn’t think too much of it. IMHO, Christian books should reflect the world they portray. If any author writes a book that has a drug dealer in it or dirty cops, gang bangers or rock stars, chances are–even if the characters redeem themselves by the end of the book–there’s going to be some language along the way. It just seems natural to me.

But I realize now that she was just trying to protect her genre. And how did I figure this out?

A friend of mine just wrote a fantastic book. It’s gritty and raw. It’s the story of a disillusioned rock star and a graphic designer with a brain tumor. Her book does not end happy. No HEA equals no romance in my world. But so many people are calling her book a romance. (Don’t get me wrong: it’s a fantastic book, most probably the best thing she’s ever written. It’s brilliant.)

Yet to me, it’s not a romance.

But it goes beyond that. I get a Bookbub and eBook Soda email each day. On one such email I received an ad for a book that was a forbidden stepbrother priest romance. Huh? And it was in the inspirational category. Whaaaat?

I’ve prowled around on amazon and I’ve seen the warnings, “This book contains (enter undesirable behavior here.)” Rape, bondage, incest. And these are labeled romance! Some have husbands and wives cheating on each other, hitting each other, and even the unmarried heroes and heroines having sex with other people in the book. Not. Romance. Not to me anyway.

This makes me as indignant as the author who wants to keep Christian fiction clean. I want to keep romance…romantic.

When I first started writing romance there were certain rules that had to be followed. The hero and heroine couldn’t kiss anyone else in the book. I was even turned down once because my hero was in a relationship at the beginning of the book. Never mind that the reader knew before they even did that the relationship was for convenience only and would never stand up in the face of love. The editors didn’t like it.

The words used to describe the actual sex act were nicer. Cleaner, maybe even a little euphemistic, but hey, this is romance, woman’s fantasy. It should be romantic.  It needs to be romantic. The relations between the couple should be beautiful. The way love should be.

Language was also cleaner. I can remember when the ‘s’ word couldn’t be used in Harlequins. And the language in single title books, might cross that line from time to time, but definitely not on a regular basis.

So what does this have to do with you?

In July the first book in my new series will be released. It’s a contemporary secular romance. Heartwarming, which means it’ll leave you with the warm fuzzies, and western which means it takes place in Texas and there are cowboys involved. But the main thing is that it’s a little old school.

Yes, it has described love scenes, just a couple. They are beautifully written and very much necessary to the plot. In fact, without the first one, there is no story. There is a touch of language, but you can count the words on one hand, maybe two.  And what is used keeps the book firmly in the PG-13 category. Not above.

My main focus for this tale, as it is with any of my books, is the story. I wanted to bring the reader the best story I could.

I love Seth and Jessie. Their love is nearly impossible and has to be weighed against the needs of the Langston family and Jessie’s need to get away from the town that won’t allow her to outlive her undeserved reputation. It’s a poignant story about second chances and unrequited love. But it won’t need any warnings. Unless I say:

Warning: this book contains sweet love scenes between a small town sheriff and his brother’s girl. It may cause feelings of wistfulness and nostalgia. After reading this book people have been known to want to move to Cattle Creek and take up residence. Unfortunately it only exists in the author’s imagination but you can visit again in the next book in the series.

Until then, check out my new website dedicated to the Cattle Creek series.

www.CattleCreekSeries.com

Lassoed by Marriage

It’s here! Lassoed by Marriage is finally here!

Hi, everyone! Hope you had a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year. I’m excited to tell you that my latest release has released! Lassoed by Marriage is now live at the online retailers.

And it includes my novella, Not So Pretty Penny.

9781634091206Penelope Pinehurst didn’t reach the ripe old age of twenty-five without knowing what the townspeople call her behind her back: Not So Pretty Penny. So when her neighbor declares his eternal love—citing her beauty among her many attributes—she knows he can only be after one thing: her family’s land. With her father and brothers still not home from the war, Penny needs a husband to help her save the farm. But in a country still in recovery, marriageable men are in short supply, leaving her only one choice.

George Washington Brannock is slated to hang for murder, never mind that he was framed. Only the pouch of gold delivered to the sheriff allows him to walk free. Well, almost free. He still has to marry the homely woman who paid for his life. She may have saved him from the gallows, but he’s not staying with her forever. He’ll help her plant her crops, then he’s off to find the man who killed his brother.

Wash soon learns that God has given him a second chance. Suddenly his life has meaning. He finds himself not only wanting to stay and farm the harsh Kansas prairie, but falling in love with his wife. Then the killer shows up at the farm and Wash has to choose between the wife he never wanted and the justice he deserves.

Along with 8 other wonderful Christian stories!

It should be showing up in brick and mortar stores real soon. If you didn’t pre-order your copy, here are a few links to get you started. Happy reading!

kindle    nook    BAM

12 Brides Giveaway

Attention! Attention! There are now 6 weeks until Christmas! Whhaaaattt? If you’re like me you’re asking yourself where the year went. And you might not be in the Christmas spirit. So here’s a little something to jump start your holiday season. The 12 Brides authors are giving away a 12 Days of Christmas Cookbook along with an autographed copy of the 12 Brides of Christmas. All 12 authors, all 12 stories! And not just one copy but 4!

2books

Here’s what you have to do to enter. Follow the link below to Rafflecopter.

You have 24 different opportunities to get  your name in for a chance to win.

The raffle runs from today, November 6 to Tuesday, November 17 at midnight–12 days away.
Just sign up through the form:
Each author newsletter you sign up for counts as one opportunity to win. (12 authors x one each newsletter = 12 opportunities)
Each of the 12 days, we’ll post a new Tweet. If you’re on Twitter, retweeting that tweet will give you another opportunity.
12 days x 12 tweets = 12 more opportunities to win the two books.
Winners will be announced here on Friday, November 20, on the 12 Brides Facebook page, and by email.

Good luck!!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f949595f6/

 

Amy’s Amish Blog

Just stopping in to say there’s a new post up at www.amysamishadventures.com today and will be every day (good Lord willing) for the rest of my PA trip. But it’ll only be on the “adventures” page, because I don’t want readers who have signed up for both to be flooded with email notifications. So if you want those notifications, then pop on over and follow the blog. Here’s a hint about today’s blog. Enjoy!

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#AmyinPA Day 1

What an incredible day I’ve had in Pennsylvania! Stacey and I got up early and headed across the border to Lancaster County. Our first stop was brunch at Yoders’ Restaurant. Thank you to the very special readers who came out and joined us. It was great fun to sit and visit.

amishday1After that we headed over to Sadie’s where we unpacked the car, played with her sweet daughters, and helped with chores. How many Englishers does to take to water the horse? 2 Amish girls. Yes, that is correct. After trying unsuccessfully to fill a bucket by hooking the hose up to the water pump, we discovered that there was a valve and pipe that led directly into the horse’s trough. While waiting for it to fill, we turn to see Sadie’s three year old and two year old have filled the bucket! We fed the chickens, gathered the eggs, then went in to eat.

Supper consisted of tomato pie, baked zucchini, macaroni and cheese, along with baked sweet potatoes, and biscuits with peanut butter spread.

We ate until we couldn’t eat any more, then headed down to Sadie’s brother’s to help with the chores. We helped with the milking, feeding and watering the horses and cows. But my absolute favorite time of the day was sitting on the porch with Sadie’s family. There were ten adults, two teenagers, and three little girls. Such a fun way to see the sun go down, just visiting with new friends while darkness falls.

The Amish Wedding List

Hey, everyone!

Just popping in to say that I have a new blog up over at Amy’s Amish Adventures. It’s all about the Amish wedding gift list that Sadie recently shared with me. If you love all things Amish, you don’t want to miss this! Hope to see you there!

http://www.amysamishadventures.wordpress.com/blog/

And while you’re there, be sure to sign up to get direct notifications from that blog. All Amish themed blogs will be posted there. :)

Thanks for reading!

amy sig

Blogging today

Just wanted everyone to know that I’ve made a few changes to my website with a few more still to come. This site will now be an umbrella for all the others. Some are ready for you to  explore while others are still in the planning stages. My goal is simple, segment each of my genres or series as the case may be so that readers can connect with each site without the distractions of the others. If you love Amish, I have a new site dedicated just to Plain living. I also have my Amie Louellen site which showcases all of my Amie Louellen contemporary titles. Coming soon will be a site about my Loveless Texas Series which begins with Take Me Back To Texas, which recently received its own makeover. And there’s still more brewing.

If you enjoy my Amish books be sure to check out my new Amish centered website Amy’s Amish Adventures and you can read my newest blog about my recent trip to Chouteau, OK. And while you’re there, sign up to receive notifications when I post a new blog.

If you like fun, sassy, and sexy reads, I’m also blogging on my Amie Louellen site about my new Penguin contract and how it affects my pen name. Be sure to check it out. BLOG And I would love for you to follow that blog as well, if contemporary romance is your thing.

Be watching for more changes to come. And remember, the best and easiest way to get the  latest news is  my A Squared newsflash newsletter. If you haven’t signed up to receive it, it only takes a second. Go HERE to fill out the form today! There are special giveaways and exciting things to come this year to those on my newsletter mailing list.

And as always thanks for reading!

Amy

 

Jaded: A Book Review

When I had the opportunity to read Jaded by Varina Denman and review it on my blog, I was very excited at the prospect. I love helping new authors, but I was also very interested in reading the book. It deals with a sensitive subject matter, especially for those who write for the Christian market. The concept of us against the church. I was anxious to see how Varina handled the situations and the lessons learned.

Ruthie can remember exactly when she and her mother stopped going to church, but she didn’t know what happened. The circumstances surrounding their break with the church are eventually revealed along with secrets that have been kept for many, many years.

The first thing that stands out in this novel is the author’s understanding of small town life.  All of the relationships, the intertwining lives, secrets kept and held, gossip, and general slow-paced bustle that can only happen in tiny rural towns.

I enjoyed the characters, how they dealt with one another, the histories they shared and how they coped with it each and every day. That’s not to say that all of the characters are lovable. But isn’t that the way of life?

All in all, the book was an easy read. I found the pages flying by as the story of Ruthie, her mother and father, and all that happened all those years ago was revealed.

Yet Jaded is more than that. It’s the tale of the new preacher coming to town, a little unsure of his talents and a lot unsure of how he fits into the church/town dynamic. It’s the tale of a convicted felon, recently released from prison, coming back for a second chance. But more than anything, it’s about understanding and trust.

With such well-defined and well-developed characters and a touching tale of love, forgiveness, and second chances, Jaded is a story for everyone. I loved every word.

Here’s a little bit about Jaded and Varina Denman.

jadedAs a child, Ruthie was shunned by the local congregation. Thirteen years later, Ruthie’s heart begins to stir when an attractive single preacher arrives. But their relationship is bitterly opposed—unearthing a string of secrets which threaten to turn the church, the town, and her world upside-down.

Jaded is the rare novel that is both love story between a woman and man … and God and His church. Plunging deep into the waters of shame, forgiveness and restoration, it will resonate with every woman who’s experienced a loss of heart … and a thirst for hope.

Varina Denman writes stories about the unique struggles women face. She teaches creative writing and literature, volunteers in her local cooperative, and is a home educator to her five children. She resides with her family in North Texas. This is her first novel.

Get your copy of Jaded on AMAZON and B&N

Cover Reveal

Here it is! The fabulous cover for my new contemporary romantic comedy, Southern Hospitality! This is an Amie Louellen book  and is  rated A. For more info on Southern Hospitality read the blurb HERE. And  coming up in the next two weeks, the fabulous book  video as well as a sneak peek  at Malcolm and Roxanne. Thanks for reading!

Southern Hospitality

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