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Monday, March 7, 2011

Amazing New Finds in Fiction!!!!

Lately I've been discovering more and more Christian fiction writers of a high literary quality. You've probably heard me go on and on about Lisa Samson and Roseanna White already. Now let me add to that list Tosca Lee, Patti Lacy, and Laura Frantz. Allow me to share a few thoughts on some of their new books.

Jewel of Persia by Roseanna White

Having read Roseanna's first novel, I knew to expect beautiful writing, heart-stopping romance, amazing characters, exquisite insight into history and human psychology, and even interesting philosophical conversations. However, this book came with an unexpected bonus in the form of a spiritual warfare thread reminiscent of Frank Peretti. And the author tied it in seamlessly with actual historical facts from the Greek accounts of their war with Persia. You may think you've read the Esther story, but never like this. It is told from the perspective of Kasia, one of Xerxes many wives and childhood friend of Esther. The glimpse into the struggle of being one wife of many is unique enough, but Kasia is also Xerxes's true love. She is torn between her very real feelings for the hunky king and her heart-ache over his often capricious actions, allowing the author to weave themes of love, forgiveness, and serving God that you won't soon forget. This book has everything. It's on my favorite list already.

Rhythm of Secrets by Patti Lacy

This incredible book will touch your heart. I confess that I struggled with the dense language and shadowy secrets in the beginning. However, due to the lovely musical quality and important themes of racism and legalism, I pressed on. I'm so glad I did. This book gets better and better with each turn of the page. The ending is one of the best I've ever had the pleasure of readng. It weaves an incredible portrait of grace with unexpected twists and turns. Beautifully paced, insightful, deep, and spiritual. You don't want to miss this book.

Havah: The Story of Eve by Tosca Lee
I'm still processing this book. It affected me on a very deep level. The writing style was simply to die for. Much of the novel reads like a gorgeous prose poem. The juxtaposition of explosive joy and unutterable sadness was almost more than my heart could bear. I never dreamed of reading a CBA book with such earthy sensuality. It ministered to my spirit something radical in the realm of sexual politics and the male/female relationship that my subconscious is still working out. All I know for sure is that this book changed my life.

Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz

I'm still reading this one, but I've heard so many great things about Laura Frantz. Here's what I've loved so far. Both the writing craft and the artistry of the book are impeccable. And while it is incredibly romantic, it doesn't follow some of the annoying rules of genre romance. We don't even meet the hero for quite a while. There are no overblown "motives" or "goals" driving the book. It's simply the story of a young woman who longs for love, family, security, and meaning like each one of us. And I adore that Laura has a half-breed Indian in a lead role in the story. This is supposed to be a no no in Christian fiction, yet there it is. I've avoided setting a historical in American because this is exactly the sort of plot that appeals to me: slaves, Indians, injustice, complicated relationships and emotions. And I've been told they wouldn't sell. Thanks, Laura, for proving otherwise.


  1. Yet again, seriously honored to be on this list. I have Patti's book on my shelf right now, read Havah nearly two years ago, and seriously regret letting another of my reviewers snatch Laura's book from my fingers. I've heard nothing but great things about it! Didn't realize it had a half-breed Indian in it though. Be still me heart--it takes me back to my teen years, when Indian stories were all the rage in CBA, and I couldn't get enough of them!

  2. Yeah, what happened to the Indian craze? Maybe when we had to start calling them Native Americans we couldn't handle all the syllables. Seriously, my mom and I used to be in the club for Serenade/Serenetta -- the old version of Steeple Hill -- and there were lots of stories with frontiersmen and Indians. I'm one-sixteenth Indian, which means my beloved great-grandfather who I spent a lot of time with, was a "half-breed" as well.

  3. Dina, Wish I could wake up to such wonderful words every morning:) Bless you (and Roseanna) for a great post and comments. It really helps sharing book ideas - I've heard nothing but great things about Roseanna's and Lisa's writing, too. Patti's is excellent and I look forward to her upcoming one with Bethany House this fall. Haven't read Tosca yet but know it's well worth savoring simply because of the subject matter.

    I'm so glad you're enjoying Morrow's story. There's a story in that story:) I'll just say that it made my pub very nervous to have such a hero. But I believe the Lord gifts us with ideas and since I don't follow CBA formulas, I just wrote my heart out. They've steered me in a completely new direction for this next series:)

    We are kindred spirits. My great-grandfather was Cherokee - his name was Robie Bear which was changed to Barr. I had to chuckle about the syllable conundrum:) Bless you for such an uplifting post!

  4. Your book is blessing enough, Laura. Based on all I know about Christian publishing I'm sure there is quite a story behind it. I get so excited when I read books that defy the odds.

    Oh, and I just got news that my first book will be coming out this year with Whitefire Publishing. It's a medieval story some edgy material and a literary feel. I wrote it before I knew all the "no nos", so I'm incredibly excited that it's found a home :)

  5. Oh, Dina! So excited for you! I will definitely be on the lookout and order:) I'd also love to have you on my blog if you're interested when the time comes. I so understand writing without the duress of the "no nos" which is when I wrote TFD and CML. Congrats for you, dear writing friend!!

  6. Yes, I think our styles are very similar, Laura. Let's stick together. I'd absolutely love to be on your blog sometime. Check out Roseanna too for sure. She's another kindred spirit.

  7. Ooh, I'm so honored to be mentioned with Tosca and Laura, whose books I love...

    Roseanna, it is TIME!!! I will purchase one of your books THIS WEEK.
    Cannot WAIT!!!