Sunday, December 25, 2005

Gospel Fiction Top 10

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

This summer Chris Wells of CCM Magazine asked me to refer him to great writing by Christian African-American authors. Well, I've done more than that here and at CFB. I'm penning a new literary term- Gospel Fiction.

Oftentimes, I'm asked what's the difference between Gospel Fiction and Christian Fiction. There isn't a difference. All authors write from where they stand, regardless of color. The uniqueness of work written by African-Americans from what I've read so far--and remember this genre is only five-years-old--is its ability to include dominational settings without alienating other Christian views; its clever inclusion of sermons and psalms, and an unashamed, authentic voice that doesn't concern itself with political correctness, homogenized faith, intimate physicality, and stream of conscience prayer in asides. Simply- gospel fiction is about praising God through the story and making him the third element of the triangle to complete every relationship involved. Now onto the list...

Dee's Best 10 African-American Gospel Fiction of 2005.

This compilation is based on rankings by Dee's Books Reviewed-reviewer service, Christian Fiction Blog mailing list nominations, Dee's Books Reviewed bookstore owner compiled books sold stats, Amazon.com readers ratings, and Romantic Times BookClub Reviews by Dee Y. Stewart.

10.  Ain't No Valley by Sharon Ewell Foster
Foster pulls her Ain't No series together for a wedding finale must read.
 
 
What a Sista Should Do
9. What's A Sistah to Do by Tiffany Warren
Great writing from a debut author who knows how to pull three stories together in parallel and in an African-American Christian worldview.
 
 
How Sweet the Sound (Thorndike Press Large Print African American Series)
8. How Sweet the Sound
This analogy shows us why Thomas, Mason and Ray are legends of this genre.
 
 
 

Made Of Honor

7. Made of Honor by Marilynn Griffith
Came across this jewel of a novel this month. A full review is posted this month as well.


 
6. Amen Sisters by Angela Benson

Angela Benson isn't afraid to tackle church politics, scandal and how they affect the congregation in this novel about two twins, who are destined to help each other.

 
Book Cover
5. Crossing Jhordan's River by Kendra Norman-Bellamy
 
 

Kendra is one of the hardest working writers out there right now. She had at least four books on shelves this year and another one on the way in March. But this book unlike her Grace Series is in my opinion her soul-searching romantic best.

4. A Heart of Devotion by Tia McCollors

Can't be anything but biased when it comes to Tia McCollors. We crit this book in our writer's group-The Atlanta Black Christian Writer's Group. We prayed over this book, so I have loads to say about the process of this book. But what I like about it from a readers standpoint is that its not syrupy sweet and Tia has a gift of creating these characters that seek God as if he were air, as if it should be. Be prepared for Zora's Cry this spring.

 
Good to Me
3. Good to Me
Denise Stinson and the Walk Worthy crew have cranked out some gems this year. Plan to discuss this year's line in detail this week. But Good to Me was a good read to me. Great writing, pacing, plot. Good to Me.

 
 
What Ana Mae Left Behind
2. What Ana Mae Left Behind by Felicia Mason

I'm not a fan of stories where the reader has to learn about the main character threw flashbacks, letters found in the attic or any of those Bridges of Madison County type devices. But Ana Mae did leave something behind that was larger than her small fortune, that needed to be told, and found, in order to enrich your soul.

 
Book Cover
1. Dark Things by David M. Humphrey, Sr.
Best book written by an African American Christian writer ever! Fast paced, medical thriller. Universality. Great prose. Moody Press needs a tap on the hand for not publicizing this book better. And why didn't I find this book in Lifeway?
 
 
Comeback toChristian Fiction Blog to see the Complete Top 25 of 2005 this week and my discussion about a novel that deserved to be on the list-Athol Dickson's River Rising
 
 
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11 comments:

upwords said...

Great list, Dee. I'm honored to be on it. Never heard of DARK THINGS. I'll have to check it out. I'm very much looking forward to RIVER RISING.

Marilynn

Julana said...

Thank you for doing this, Dee.

La Monica R. Smith said...

Dee,

You are a gem for putting this list together. I'm determined to read more in '06, but I didn't know where to begin. Now I do.

La Monica

Anonymous said...

I love the list of CF that you have complied. If you happen to make it through, might I recommed on more? It is well worth your time! It is called "The Fall Of Lucifer", written by Wendy Alec.

The book offers a fictional account into the angel's perspective throughout history and into the future. The main characters are three angelic brothers: Lucifer, Gabriel, and Michael.

The novel develops the beauty of heven and the grotesque quality of hell, the depths of evil, and the beauty of grace. It communicates these themes through beautiful imagery and an intriguing plot. The beautiful imagry would make for amazing scenery!

This is a fast read, 300 page novel that is a good spend of your holiday cash. I hope they make this book into a movie. It would be amazing.

Dee said...

thanks for the referral, anonymous.

i left my top 25 list in Atlanta, so i might not post that until next tuesday unless my memory is better than i thought. :)

Marina said...

Fab-u-lous and on-point. You are anointed for such a time as this.
Christian fiction is rocking baby!!

Welcome to committee!
smile

Marina

TheWarrior101 said...

God Bless you Dee for your wonderful comments about my book and my writing, and for making it your Number One selection for 2005. You are a blessing. Your words have been very encouraging as I continue to work to get Dark Things out before the public. Thank you so very, very, much. Your encouraging and inspiring words have truly inspired me to keep writing and to keep pressing.

David M. Humphrey Sr.
Author: Dark Things...
www.thewarriorsagenda.com

TheWarrior101 said...

God Bless you Dee for your wonderful comments about my book and my writing, and for making it your Number One selection for 2005. You are a blessing. Your words have been very encouraging as I continue to work to get Dark Things out before the public. Thank you so very, very, much. Your encouraging and inspiring words have truly inspired me to keep writing and to keep pressing...

David M. Humphrey Sr.
Author: Dark Things...
www.thewarriorsagenda.com

Anonymous said...

Dee
Great job on the list. I too have read Dark Things- Lift Every Voice by David M Humphrey Sr and LOVED IT!
I ended up placing a review on Amazon.com.

I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHY MOODY HAS DROPPED THE BALL ON GETTING THIS AUTHOR AND BOOK OUT THERE!
If Moody Press wants to represent this book then they should DO THAT!
I don't understand how they can just sit on something this great. Kind of reminds me of the worker who was given the 5 talens and burried them.
Moody Press this is a great book, get it out there!
paulettew

Gayle said...

Hey,

How do you find out more about The Atlanta Black Christian Writer's Group? And is anyone going to the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in Dallas?

Great Blog... Gayle
www.busymama.net

Anonymous said...

Great place for beginners! No Jacqueline Thomas titles? Heard she is also very good.

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