Growing up as a Christian teenager I reached that age where “romance” became a thing with me. I began to devour any fiction books I could find. Nom. Nom. Nom.
I remember one day in my room I’d read about the 100th guy with broad shoulders, muscles, and perfect looks, and girls with auburn hair and purple eyes. Yes purple! I got disgusted and said, “I’m not reading Christian romance anymore!”
That ended that.
I started seeing this cookie cutter mold over and over with Christian romance.
- There was no REAL problems.
- No REAL emotions that really struck me.
- It was like I was watching the same movie OVER and over.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with Christian romances, so hear me out, this was just where I was at as a reader.
When I’d find one of the romances that actually stuck out, I’d consume it, talk about, and encourage others to read it. One in particular was The Hawk and the Jewel, as well as A Gown of Spanish Lace. Both of those were really different and caught my attention.
Fast forward in time.
As I grew up, I discovered I loved writing. At first I’d written a lot of Christian fiction (action-adventure) and a romance that was huge! As I got sick of Christian romance I began to see my writing straying from that stuff.
I swore I’d never write Christian romance. Ever.
I was at work, and a bit down I guess. I said to my sister, with an extreme eye roll, “I should write a romance, because romances sell.” I seriously no sooner said that, then BOOM. God drops an idea in my head. I hear my character Zoe say, “Why is it always nine o’clock?”
- I’ve probably shared this before, but the reason why Zoe said that was, I always said to my sister at work, “It’s always two o’clock!” Our break was at three, so it felt like that hour in-between took forever! So, Zoe began to express my frustration.
I can’t explain to you what happened, but it did. God dropped Grace Alive in me. Literally gave it to me so fast that my head was spinning with the story. I’ve NEVER written a book that fast in my life. 10 days.
What happened to me swearing to never write a Christian romance?
Something changed in me, and I realized that people needed to hear Zoe’s story. They needed to know how amazing God’s love for them was. This book literally changed my view, making me cry when edit. I’d wipe tears away as I felt Zoe’s pain with her.
Zoe is me. I’m Zoe. Not literally of course. But, so many things Zoe feels I’ve felt. I’m sure you have too. That’s what I was missing in Christian romances. Real feelings. I wanted to be able to relate with a character and watch God move on them. I wanted to watch things happen in me as well as in them. It sounds weird, right? It’s fiction!
Maybe. If you let it.
Ages ago I read a book called, A Voice in the Wind, by Francine Rivers. This book shook me up. I remember crying at the end of it and praying, “God, I want to be close to you like that.”
This is my prayer for Zoe’s story, Grace Alive. I pray as you open it up and read it, that your heart begins to feel the Love of God. He loves you so much. From a writer who hated Christian romance, I want to tell you that my heart has changed. I was just missing the REAL. The UGLY. The reality of real grace and real forgiveness. I hope you can see it as you crack those pages open.
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Natasha House is the author of Grace Alive, a modern day Christian romance novel where Zoe, a pastor’s daughter faces a giant challenge with the topic of courting. If you enjoy Christian romance, with humor, drama, and passion, then pick up your copy here.
Meet Zoe Reed
She is 26, unmarried, and still living with her parents. Working at a lame craft store, she feels like her life has become one giant disappointment.
Waiting for Mr. Right, yet having never been on a date, let alone kissed a man, she wonders if he will ever come.
Then she meets Branson Tate
The handsome man and his three kids stumble into her life, and she finds him to be polar opposite of what her parents have always wanted for her.
But when Zoe’s dad, the pastor of the largest church in Michigan, says God spoke to him who her husband is, she’s faced with a choice.
Is her father hearing God or is she?