Everything's alive with anticipation this afternoon cause everyone's getting ready for tonight's big show: the RITA awards. The RITAs are the Oscars of the romance industry, and tonight, published RWA members in all categories will be vying for top honors.
david r long  dee gist
Inspirational romance author Dee Gist (right, with myself and Bethany House Fiction Acquisitions Editor, David R. Long) is up for Best Inspirational Romance for her novel "Deep In the Heart of Trouble." The book's a wow and a style of Inspy some have termed "edgy," because books like DITHOT don't fit the old-school style of what used to be called "Christian" romance. 

Back in the day, Christian romance was a bit of an evangelical tool, so the arc of conversion of some character in the book -- and a big 'ol altar call -- was more important than the love story.  While the old school Christian romances need to be well respected because they so influenced the sub-genre -- and so many still love the style -- the books don't "work" for all readers today who enjoy romances with Christian themes and elements. Enter Dee Gist with novels that allow for folks to be both believers and individuals with the needs to love, be loved, and express those needs in all the ways in which Dee believes God gifted humans.  Dee also often explores complex issues -- especially ones important to young people who are Christians -- in ways that allow readers to make thoughtful choices, and grow deeper in faith.

All eyes will be on Dee and the rest of tonight's RITA nominees, and I'll report back later with news of the winners and, most important -- who had the cutest shoes!

Are you a fan of Inspy?  What kinds do you like best?

Message Edited by Michelle_Buonfiglio on 08-14-2009 11:32 AM
by amyskf on ‎07-20-2009 08:05 PM

I'm not normally an inspy reader, but I definately want to check out Dee Gist's "Deep In the Heart of Trouble, " actually the one before that one too. Does that make sense? Whenever I've read her on a blog she always comes across so down to earth...I think my fear -- in reading inspy -- has been that I'll be preached to. Now, logically, I know that's not the way of it with lots of writers, I just am having a hard time getting past that.


The funny thing is, when religion, or spirituality is brought up in 'secular' books I have no problem with it...hmm. 

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎07-20-2009 08:29 PM
I lean toward the steamier books, but I've read a few inspirationals, too. I also met one of the RITA nominated authors - Judy Duarte. Very nice lady!
by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎07-21-2009 12:13 AM

That's definitely a concern of many, amy.  You can read Dee's books as stand alones, but reading the 'prequel' to deep in the heart, courting trouble, makes for a really rich experience.  out of all her novels, these two have the strongest Christian elements, but still, Dee doesn't prostheletize.  There's a very important theme in the book about self-forgiveness that probably flies in the face of lots of folks' ideas about how one 'gets right' spiritually. But Dee really tries to help young girls and women who've made what they believe are mistakes w/out judging them, and by giving them ways to help themselves move forward. 


That said, I love her very first book, cause it's set in the, I think, 16 -- or would it be 17th C -- in or near the Jamestown settlement.  It rocks and any romance lover would enjoy it, especially ones who like 'secular' novels and are looking for ones w/out explicit sex scenes, but with strong, appropriate sexual tension between a married couple.  


I've not read duarte, becke, but i know she's very popular now.  I've spent only a bit of time with her and found her very nice as well.


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