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From me to you…25% off

25-percent-off-sale-imageHi Everyone, my book An Unexpected Blessing is now available for pre-order. From now till July 30th, you would receive a 25% discount on retail, an autographed book and a book mark.
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The story explores Feranmi’s elaborate scheme to deceive her parents into believing that she is in a committed relationship, and Alex’s struggle to let go of the past and give himself another himself another chance at happiness.It’s a page turning story of love, forgiveness, and being open to God’s plan in your life. An Unexpected Blessing is set in Atlanta Georgia, Chicago Illinois and Lagos Nigeria. With characters that are as real as your friend, family or neighbor the story revolves around one of three friends who are of differ cultures but joined together by their faith and belief in God.

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The Romantic Hero~ The Christian Way

male modelFound this wonderful and helpful article I might add on the Christian Romantic Hero for all us fiction writer…via socialpolitan.org

What attributes and characteristics make a romantic hero? Does he have broad shoulders tapering to a trim waist? Is he tall and dark? Is he blond and witty? Each author and each reader has her own answer to these questions. Yet in creating a hero, authors are wise to know the more defined guidelines of most Christian publishing houses.

A Hero’s Past

The past creates who he is today. The past formulates his present needs, goals, and weaknesses. Even if he is a Christian, he has flaws, sorrows, and shames. Christian’s sin and so does the hero. He’s behaved in ways that makes him feel unworthy or makes him feel unforgiven. A perfect hero is a cartoon, not a believable, compelling character. Give your hero an event in his life that he wants to forget, deeds he fears others will learn, secrets that smother his growth. Then love moves into his heart through the heroine and the workings of the Holy Spirit and the character will grow.

In Loving Ways, December release from Steeple Hill Love Inspired, the hero’s present life is paralyzed by his past.

Ken winced. Annie’s attitude jarred his memory. He’d been a drinker, created fear in others, embarrassed his family, and caused them shame. For better or worse. Annie’s words crept like tendrils through his conscience. His life had been worse not better. Since running into Gordon, the old days kept niggling at him and brought back fear of discovery. He wished the guy hadn’t remembered him.

Physical Attributes

Though physical attributes are highlighted in most romances, Christian romances tend to focus mainly from the chest upward. The hero might have broad shoulders, a square jaw, raven black hair, mesmerizing blue eyes and an expansive chest, but references to the lower extremities is avoided except for a specific purpose.

Any physical description is most effective when it appears for a greater purpose: drawing out emotion, deepening characterization, or providing details important to the story. Kate Davis sees her friend the arms of a stranger in Secrets of the Heart is jolted by his appearance which brings back unwanted memories and serving an important purpose to the stories conflict.

Not his near six foot stature, but his broad, square frame like a football player. Thick neck, powerful chest, strong muscular legs, and bulging arms she saw wrapped around Phyllis.

In the novella “Better To See you” in Barbour’s Once Upon A Time, the heroine recalls her earlier relationship with the hero.

The arm holding her dropped to his side, and he raised the other, running his fingers through his thick, wavy blond hair. His near-center part tugged at her memory–the way she’d kissed his forehead just below his hairline.

No matter how tall, dark, and handsome the hero is in Christian fiction, the physical attributes are not the most important characteristic to the heroine.

Attributes of the Spirit

The qualities that are enjoyed by most people-compassion, kindness, thoughtfulness, generosity, all gifts of the spirit-are the qualities that a heroine looks for in a hero. In the romantic suspense, Adam’s Promise, a July release from Steeple Hill Love Inspired, Adam is depicted as a handsome, arrogant surgeon, but Kate’s description deepens the characterization.

Kate’s heels clicked along the hallway as her thoughts swung from her frustration with Adam to her admiration. The man could be self-centered one minute and filled with compassion the next. . .when it involved the patients. Beneath her irritation, she admired the man. He’d come from a prestigious family in Colorado Springs. His father was the mayor, and yet, here he was in Venezuela providing health care to the poor in the rustic community so many miles from the comforts of home.

Notice what is important to Kate-his compassion, his willingness to leave family wealth behind-attributes most women would cherish in a husband.

In “Christmas Moon ,” in the two-in-one, That Christmas Feeling, released in November by Steeple Hill, the hero sees the heroine with new eyes.

The truth settled over him. For the first time since Della died, he was looking forward to Christmas. Rose had been the catalyst. They’d become friends. Their lives had become entwined. Blest be the ties that entwine. The words twisted in his head.

As they’d spent more time together, Paul sensed a kind of like-minded spirit they shared. The painting came to mind. They’d both been drawn to it immediately. But it was more than that. He felt comfort in her presence. She exuded compassion and evoked from him a new tenderness.

Is he a Christian?

Is the hero a believer? At times the novel will present a weak Christian, one who believed and allowed his faith to waver, but who is brought back to the Lord through his own growth and change. Being repentant and seeking forgiveness is often part of a hero’s struggle. A Christian hero who is flawed makes a Christian novel realistic as in this selection from Adam’s Promise.

“Is it me, Kate? Can’t you forgive me for my egotism. I can only promise you that I’ve changed. For the first time in my life, I realize that God is the only power in my life. He’s my only hope and strength in this world. No one can do it all alone, and no one can take credit for success because the Lord gave us the abilities. The gifts. It’s as simple as that. . .and somehow I missed learning that in my spiritual journey.”

If a hero is not a Christian, he must be by the end of an inspirational romance, but a full conversion must be through the hero’s own struggle, and not the result of the heroine’s “missionary” dating. In “Better To See You,” a novella in the Barbour anthology, Once Upon A Time, the hero learns through th heroine’s example of Christian living.

Was this God’s work? He wondered. He’d been such a difficult person back then, not only disbelieving, but scorning those who believed…except Lucy. She had made her faith so desirable, so sincere that he had a difficult time taunting her. 

Still, her happy heart and open arms had instilled a small seed of question, of wonder about her beliefs. And he’d done the rest, fertilized by memories of her joy in living, he’d stumbled along until one day, alone in a motel room, he’d picked up a Bible. That day was only the beginning. Lucy would never believe how much he’d changed.

Make the hero realistic. Give him flaws and give him a past that shows his weaknesses and shames. Show how the past molds the hero’s goals and motivations, then how overcoming them changes him for the better. No matter what qualities and characteristics you give your hero, limit the physical description to above the waist and give the hero spiritual gifts that arouses the heroine’s love and respect for him.


© Gail Gaymer Martin

About the Author

Gail Gaymer Martin was born and raised in Michigan, Where she live with her husband, Bob, who is her greatest fan and the best proofreader in the state. Second to writing, she enjoy music, especially singing as a soloist and choir member at her church and a member of the Detroit Lutheran Singers. She also play handchimes and handbells. Visit Gail at:http://www.gailmartin.com.

Nice article via socialpolitan.org

In the Meantime..

Jeremiah 29 vs. 11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”

Oh how I love that verse. In earlier days after finding Christ, anytime I didn’t get what I wanted from God, when I wanted it,  I would use this verse to encourage myself that it will come just how I want it because as the verse said “….plans to prosper you….” I would read that and be encouraged after all, what I wanted was all that mattered (now I can’t believe I had that mindset). For a couple of days or even weeks, I would be the ‘most righteous’ Christian chick out there, singing and praising like no man’s business, with the belief that ok, now very soon the thing I wanted so bad will come through after all …”plans to prosper me”. Whatever I wanted at the time in my mind was just the thing to make me prosper. Days, weeks, even months will go by with me keeping the ‘faith’, but I still didn’t get what I wanted. So I will go and read that verse one more time, then couple it with what Jesus said, if   we humans give the best to our children how much more the Father? You know the verse….Mathew 7:10  “if you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him”. Putting those two passages together, I will be encouraged to push on a little further.

In the end, sometimes I will get what I want, sometimes I won’t. When I don’t, get whatever it is I thought would make me prosper I will sulk and not pray for days, but just like the prodigal son (well daughter in this case), I will find my way back to Him. Why? Because another need has presented itself- you know we humans are constantly in want of one thing or the other. In times like this I tend to forget all the good things He has already done, the fact that I’m alive, healthy, have a job, a roof over my head, a family, can walk, see, hear, taste, smell and other numerous blessings often taken for granted.

Sometimes we forget to praise Him ANYWAY, in the midst of whatever we are going through or whatever it is we want and haven’t yet received. The story of Job is a very popular one; it tells us how a man though stricken with all kinds of adversity, unwarranted for that matter stuck strong to his faith, refusing to curse God regardless of what He is going through. I’m quite sure that any of us going through adversity will not actually ‘curse’ God but I’m certain that we will, just like I used to do…push Him to the curb or just sulk till we get over whatever it is we are trying to get over, then we are back again wanting more, – a never ending cycle of fickleness-#realtalk.com#.  Job’s response to his wife’s demand that he curse God and die in Job 2: 10 was that if we rejoice with God in the good then why we can’t do it in the bad. Being a wonderful Father, He knows what is best for us, Jeremiah 29vs11 says He knows the plans He has for us, not the plans we have for ourselves, but the promise is we shall prosper and have hope for the future. I’m also reminded of Hannah who stayed steadfast and kept the faith year after year of not getting what she wanted- a child.

 The ‘big’ question is how do we conduct ourselves in the meantime? Before we come to our ‘promised land’ how do we act? Do we act flaky like the people of Israel before they entered the Promised Land, letting every wind of adversity sway us to the left or right, or do we stand firm like Job and Hannah? Knowing that HE is the I AM that I AM, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and Omega, the ever knowing God who commanded the universe be formed with just spoken word. Job had everything but God took it away and despite pressure from friends and family he stood firm and steadfast believing in the Lord his God. Hannah didn’t have that child yet but she trusted in God with the knowledge that someday her prayer would be answered,

Ok yes , we haven’t gotten that job, that husband, that contract, that promotion, that house, that child, or whatever it is that you are waiting for or going through…..God sees and HE knows, just as He told Jeremiah in 1:5,“before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…….” your plan and His plan just might not be the same or it isn’t time for the plan to come to pass. The challenge is for us to be steadfast and hold on seeking, praising and thanking Him wholeheartedly while we are in our meantime.