Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The First Lady Podcast

Join my RAWSISTAZ and Carl Weber as they talk about his new novel, The First Lady. Click here to enjoy.

I Dream of Sidney

"I try to write my books so the reader can't put them down...I try to construct them so when the reader gets to the end of a chapter, he or she has to read just one more chapter. It's the technique of the old Saturday afternoon serial: leave the guy hanging on the edge of the cliff at the end of the chapter."
- Sidney Sheldon

Academy award winning screenwriter, Tony Award winning playwright, Emmy award winning television scriptwriter, and bestselling author, Sidney Sheldon passed yesterday. I began reading his novels in high school. Loved them. Can you believe how accomplished he was? Wow. Read more about him here.

Do you have a favorite Sidney Sheldon novel, show, movie, play?

I loved I Dream of Jeanie. Still do.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

the Stones Cry Out

When I learned that Sibella Giorello was a Mount Holyoke College graduate I had a feeling that I would get into this book. Mount Holyoke is a sister school to my beloved Agnes Scott. And if there is one thing I know about Scott and Holyoke is that we learn how to write well. And Giorello did not dissappoint.

FBI Agent Raleigh Harmon races against time and reluctant witnesses to uncover te truth in a murder and civil rights case.

In a crisp style reminiscent of Glenville Lovell and Walter Mosley, Giorello's Harmon searches through Richmond with a sharp eye for detail and yearning any daddy's girl can empathize with. I have been waiting for a gritty detective novel written in a woman's point of view. I love this book. Great writing. Rich storytelling. Balanced Richmond immigration history. Not preachy, but very illuminating. Fantastic debut. The Stones Cry Out: A Novel(Revell, 272pp, January, $14.99)

Business Unusual

Business Unusual
Linda Beed
Setting: Contemporary, Seattle

Sisterhood, family legacy, office drama, romance, faith…Beed tries to tackle all these issues in her debut novel. But she should focus on what she does best—create divine love stories. Too many characters, too much backstory, sermonettes and themes cloud this simple romance between a woman with great faith and a man seeking his.

Read the entire book review at RT or on the February newstands. Or meet Linda and me this April at the 2007 RT Booklover's Convention Faith*in*Fiction Workshop Panels.

RT Convention Christian Workshop Panel Faith in Fiction
Thursday, April 26, 11am-12pm: How to straddle Christian and Mainstream Markets. Like the romance genre, the Inspirational genre has evolved into a much broader category. Learn about this exploding area of fiction and explore how you can adapt your novel to fit within the guidelines while pushing the envelope.
Captain: Dee Stewart Panelists: Linda Beed, Deanne Gist, Jill Elizabeth Nelson, Sharon Ewell Foster, and more...

Monday, January 29, 2007

Fate of Christian Romance Novels

I read an interesting article in the AJC yesterday about the rise in single women choosing to stay single. Article here. While driving James to the train station and Selah to work this morning my favorite morning show- V-103, spoke about the same topic:

Why are women choosing to be single?

As I sat down to began completing my book proposal for a christian romance novel, I stopped to wonder. If 70% of black women are unmarried and 50% of American women unmarried, then why are romance novels still popular? More importantly, since marriage is like the cornerstone for christian romance novels, will these statistics change the way we write romance novels?

I am single, albeit in the process of a reconciliation with Selah's father. But honestly, I am fine being single. In a perfect world we would just date each other and raise Selah together :) Yeah, I said it. Marriage is hard work. Maybe we have too much to deal with then losing ourselves in marriage. I don't know. So I'm asking you.

My main character is caught in a love triangle, but she really is trying to get away from romance to discover who she is. Is there something wrong with that? Is that a non-Christian thing to do?


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Friday, January 26, 2007


Collin wasn’t moving.

Black smoke, bright red headdresses, and peacock colored Rah-rah bands danced by the US Embassy. Powder pink Limestone buildings threw down flames and torn newspapers into the street. But Laurel would not go inside, not until Collin got up. He couldn’t be dead. A shiver ran down her arms. She bit her nails.

The Marine that took her from Collins’ arms said, “Ma’am, you have to go inside.”
She kept her eyes on Collin. “Not without that man…” Then pointed at his body lying prostrate near the gates. “He saved my life.”

Women and children ran past Collin. They screamed: Atansyon. Prese. Prese. Dife! They trample over Collin’s feet and hands and toward his face.

She ran toward the gate and screamed “Can’t you see you’re stepping on your priest?”
A crackling noise burst through the air. The Marine pushed Laurel to the ground and shielded her with his body.

The sour charcoal air burnt Laurel’s nose. She cringed, then tasted steel and dirt on her tongue.

The Marine scooped her back up so fast. She gasped. His hands gripped her so tight she had to cough.

“I won’t leave him hurt like that. He saved my life,” she said. “He saved my life.”

“We know, Ma’am, but we can’t let you go back outside that gate.”

Her body began to give into what was painfully obvious. Collin was dead. Her body quaked. She clutched the soldier’s arms and buried her head in his bulletproof chest.

“God, don’t let him die because of me.”

Then a voice more calming then the lapping water in the lagoon Collin took her to spoke. “Prepare for a miracle.”

Then her nose now filled with lemon grass, fresh, minty water, banana groves and a man, who gave her a new reason to worship.

to be continued...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

If the Shoe Fits

If The Shoe Fits (Steeple Hill Cafe)
Marilynn Griffith sent me a nice Thanksgiving gift last year, a copy of her latest gospel diva read- If the Shoe Fits.

Shoe designer, Rochelle Gardner's love life is raining men, honey. She
has a deacon on her right, her baby daddy on the left and a young
waiter trying to push himself up the middle to her heart. Which man
does God want her to be with, if any? This novel is too many things and a touch too close to my own love dilemmas. (Y'all know about it!!) Anyway...

After reading the first few pages I called Mary. Called her. Y'all I don't have time to call people about their books anymore. But I had to call her and tell her. That this novel is her upside down and sideways. Mary is funny, smart, on point, crazy, God inspiring, just too many things.

And I love this story. I love washing the feet--something we do every
Mother's Day in my home church. I love the rituals. The cool things the
Sassy Sistahood get her into. This book is light and fun and a good
pick me up on a cold, toe curling, man-hating day.

Now in its second printing. You can If The Shoe Fits (Steeple Hill Cafe) right here.

Dee Stewart is a christian entertainment publicist, book enthusiast, and speaker. You can find her at The Master's Artsist every 2nd and 4th Monday.

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Then Came Faith- Review

Then Came Faith(hover your mouse over the title for more info.)
by Louise M. Gouge
Emerald Pointe Books
Historical Christian Fiction - Post Civil War
ISBN:   978-0-97851-372-6
4 Tambourine Players

Abolitionist turned social activist, Juliana Harris has traveled to New Orleans to help the troubled city come together after its surrender. She believes that God has given her a mission to change the hard hearts of former slave owners. But when she befriends an inheritor of a plantation, she realizes that their are two stories to every side.

Confederate veteran/plantation owner, Andre Beuchamp can't believe he helped a Yankee abolitionist. He can believe it. The woman was pretty. But she didn't understand southern life and she didn't understand that the Abolotionist movement not only killed his former way of life, but his faith. How could she be right when he was a Christian, too?

Gouge presented a great problem within the faith community that still hasn't been solved. Why do we treat each other differently because of our race?

If we look at the world of Christian entertainment we see this divide. Gospel music vs. Christian contemporary. Christian Fiction vs African-American Inspirational Fiction. Hotel Rwaanda vs. The Passion of the Christ. Why do we divide CHristian art by race when Christ wants us to treat each other the same?

Juliana and Andre tackle these issue at the beginning of the Jim Crow Era. Gouge's description of slaves are realistic for people living during that time. For me the language and discussions are hard to swallow, because I'm African-American. But it is realistic and written very well. A great book to use in a bible study on race and ethics. It's a great piece for history buffs.

My only reservation was that Juliana and Andre were at times polar opposites. She's an abolotionist; He's a slave owner. The best romance couples attraction isn't based on ethical tension, but who they are deep down should be very much the same.

What I love most is that Andre and Juliana's budding romance shows us that if God is at the center of our lives, then we will begin to trust, hope, and love(August 2006, 384 pp, $10.19 at amazon)

Dee Stewart,

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007 down thru Friday

If you've been to gospelfiction dot com this week, then you will see that it is down. It's undergoing some changes, possibly with hosting and the layout. So come back next weekend and resubscribe. Else the rest of the week I will be here more. Trying to decide what to do with this blog. Continue posting Christian Fiction news or using it for a writing workshop sort of thing. What would you like for Christian Fiction Blog to be?



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