The Reviews Are Coming In

Well, at least some reviews. And they’re pretty alright. When I write a book, I tend to think it’s really good once I’ve finished the edits and turned it over to the publisher for the last time. Then, about a month before the book releases, I start wondering if it’s actually terrible. Or at least not up to par. I […]

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Is There Sex in Christian Fiction?

Christian fiction sometimes has a reputation for being prudish or stuffy. And I suppose it can be. But it can also be passionate, moving, and yes . . . even sexy. This blog sees occasional spikes in traffic as posts particularly resonate with readers, but most posts fade into anonymity pretty quickly. Except for one. The 2011 post I wrote about sex in Christian fiction STILL gets hits EVERY week. Which leads me to believe folks are interested in the subject. I was inspired to write the original post after reading a scene in Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz. Here it is: “He took his time, his mouth moving along the damp wisps of her hairline to her ear. Breathless, she freed his hair of its leather tie till it spilled like a black waterfall onto the thin fabric of her nightshift. Oh, but she’d forgotten how sweet he could be . . . how unerringly gentle, even gallant. She felt like a bride again and shut her eyes, remembering how he’d held her that very first time, beside all that rushing water. Only now, with time against them, it was sweeter still.” This is a passionate scene between two people who are deeply in love, who long for one another, who are . . . married. And frankly, the fact that they’re married makes this scene even sexier in my opinion. So how do you incorporate romantic sex […]

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Appalachian Thursday – Walnuts

I’m not really a fan of walnuts and that makes me a little bit sad since they’re such a prolific food source in Appalachia. This year’s crop is, ahem–nuts–which might be a sign of a hard winter ahead. We can hardly walk around the driveway for rolling on walnuts. I remember being in the Strawberry Festival parade one year, riding on a float dressed in “pioneer” clothing with my parents. To keep us busy and to look vaguely authentic we had a stump, a hammer, and lots of walnuts. Apparently I liked them better back then. If you have a walnut tree and are wondering how to make use of all those free nuts, here’s what you do: Put on stout gloves and old clothes. Gather fallen nuts and process them somewhere you don’t mind getting dirty. To remove the green husk, roll them under your foot (or car tire) and peel the husk away. If the husk has turned black, you can still remove it and eat the nut, but it won’t taste quite as good. Dispose of the husks in a spot where you aren’t trying to grow anything. They contain a compound called juglone that inhibits growth. Rinse the nuts several times to remove any last bits of hull. Lay out or hang (in a mesh bag) the cleaned nuts to dry. The longer they dry, the more the nutmeat will pull away from the shell and […]

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When You Need a Hero

One of the great pleasures of writing books is inventing heroes. Instead of swooning over other writer’s leading men, I get to build my own. The hero of The Sound of Rain releasing in just over a month, is Judd Markley. I was thinking the other day about just how much I like Judd. I might even go so far as to say he’s my favorite. Which led me down the rabbit trail of pondering which of my heroes I would actually want to fall in love with. I realized, it wouldn’t be Judd. Here’s my hero lineup to this point–which one would you choose? Which one do you think I would? Robert Thornton – Appalachian Serenade – Robert is a more mature store owner who is clever about most things, but not very smooth when it comes to the ladies. He’s a bear of a man with dark hair. Casewell Phillips – Miracle in a Dry Season – Tall, redheaded with a beard in the beginning of the story (he shaves it midway). Casewell is a bit self-righteous, but once he decides to woo a woman, he comes at it with a definite plan of action. He’s a woodworker by trade. Henry Phillips – Until the Harvest. Oh Henry. He looks like a young Gregory Peck–a bit gangly but with promise. Initially he’s too wrapped up in his own problems to be any good to a woman, but he […]

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