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Books and more Books! > Inspirational

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Harlequin Books (harlequinbooks) | 2069 comments Mod
Inspirational romance = Wholesome romances that touch the heart and soul.


message 2: by Lyn (new)

Lyn (lyncote) | 15 comments Okay--I found the inspirational category!


message 3: by Janet (new)

Janet Barton (janetleebarton) | 1 comments I found it, too, through your link, Lyn! Thanks!


message 4: by Jolene (new)

Jolene | 1 comments Yeah - Thanks Lyn for helping find the inspirational category.


message 5: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Davids (patriciadavids) | 3 comments What fun to find my LI sisters here.


message 6: by Jill (new)

Jill Kemerer (jillkemerer) | 2 comments Thank you, Lyn, for steering me here! Hi ladies!!


message 7: by Missy (new)

Missy Tippens (missytippens) | 7 comments Hi, everyone! It's good to find this group.


message 8: by Deb (new)

Deb Kastner (debkastner) | 17 comments Hello all! Thanks Lyn for helping me find "us."


message 9: by Jean (new)

Jean Gordon (goodreadscomjeancgordon) | 19 comments Thanks for the help, Lyn. This morning I saw Sweet Romance, but not the Inspirational area.


message 10: by Carolyne (new)

Carolyne Aarsen | 2 comments Found it too! Thanks so much. Look forward to shared wisdom!


message 11: by Harlequin Books (new)

Harlequin Books (harlequinbooks) | 2069 comments Mod
Yay! You found your way. Welcome to the group ladies.

Sorry, it shows the 6 most recently visited book categories on the group home page, so keep this thread active and it will always be easy to find. If not there is, in small, faded print, a tab for all topics. If you click on it, it will take you to a page that lists all the topics for the folder and you'll see the link for Inspirational. So let's keep it active and easy to find.

I've a question. Authors, I've had aspiring authors ask me about why Harlequin is so strict in the writing guidelines are for the Inspirational line. I usually respond it is because that is the quality our readers have come to expect and it is our goal to have books that share a message about love and faith. Is that a good answer? What advise would you give them for helping to stay within those guidelines?


message 12: by Rhonda (new)

Rhonda Gibson (rhondagibson) | 2 comments Ok... I guess this is the right place to say this :)

Hi all,

I'm finally home and was able to join the group. It's nice to see so many here already :)


message 13: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Davids (patriciadavids) | 3 comments "I usually respond it is because that is the quality our readers have come to expect and it is our goal to have books that share a message about love and faith. Is that a good answer?"

That's an excellent answer. As a writer for Love Inspired with 26 books under my belt, I can say that I don't find our guidelines restrictive at all. I have been able to write books that include alcoholism, unwed mothers, spousal abuse, drug abuse and ex-cons, and all of them have been in the Amish genre. Readers of Love Inspired books want a feel-good, uplifting story about people struggling with real problems and finding that faith gives them strength. If you can tell that story in 55,000 words, you should consider submitting to LI.
Pat


message 14: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Daley (margaretdaley) | 1 comments I'm here. I'm glad I found this. Harlequin does a lot of marketing to know what the readers of certain lines want. Hence the guidelines.


message 15: by Jean (new)

Jean Gordon (goodreadscomjeancgordon) | 19 comments I'd be interested in what the aspiring writers see as LI restrictions. I agree with Patricia. In my stories, I've had an unwed father, a divorced mother, and the hero of my upcoming May book is a "bad boy" motocross racer.

BTW, good answer.


message 16: by Renee (new)

Renee Andrews (reneeandrews) | 1 comments Yay! I found the group :) Thanks for the link, Lyn!


message 17: by Susan (new)

Susan Sleeman | 22 comments Hey all, I'm glad to have found the group. The question is so timely for me as I just received a letter from a reader who believed a word I used in one of my books was swearing. I don't think the word is bad, but she certainly did. She was so sweet in the way she told me about it and I respect her for her kindness in the letter. However, other readers may have taken offense and cancelled their book club accounts. That affects all writers in the line. So as a writer, I don't want to say or do anything in a book that would cause a reader to become upset over what they expected in the books and cancel their subscription. It's sometimes frustrating at how strict the guidelines are regarding language, but this woman is a perfect example of why we have to be careful so ALL of our readers can have a good reading experience.


message 18: by Keli (new)

Keli Gwyn (keligwyn) | 2 comments I'm a new Love Inspired author. My first LIH will be released in June. I've gone through revisions on two LIHs so far and have learned a lot. Part of what I'm learning is what works for the line and what doesn't. I trust that our editors know what readers want, so when my editor tells me something won't work, I make the changes.

For me what is hardest is balancing historical accuracy with what modern readers will accept. Those living during the Victorian Era did things differently than we do, and some of their practices are, to use my editor's term, "gross." Since I don't want to gross out my readers, I'm willing to remove potentially off-putting material. For instance, I couldn't have my heroine saving her hair in a hair receiver, although many Victorian women did. Instead my heroine purchased a hair extension. That compromise worked and eliminated something that could have been problematic for some readers.


message 19: by Regina (new)

Regina Scott (reginascott) | 1 comments I just joined as well. Thanks to Lyn for pointing the way! Now that I am an LIH writer, I don't find the guidelines restrictive. However, when I first pitched to the line I was sweating! I was encouraged to query with a Regency story, and I asked to speak with an editor first before querying. I'd seen older guidelines that said no dancing, no card playing, and no wine drinking. How could I write a Regency with none of the above? But after talking with an editor I had a better idea of what they wanted, and my proposal was picked up. So, I'd say, it's all about the story. And, you know, "they're more what you call guidelines" than rules. :-)


message 20: by Carol (new)

Carol Voss | 1 comments Thanks, Lyn, for posting this link.


message 21: by Harlequin Books (new)

Harlequin Books (harlequinbooks) | 2069 comments Mod
Thank you. Now I can hopefully explain things better to the aspiring authors. Most of their concerns are the ones that have been mentioned so far.


message 22: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Nelson (jessicanelson) | 2 comments Yay, thanks for the link, Lyn!!


message 23: by Cate (new)

Cate Nolan (CateNolan) | 6 comments Hello to all my fellow LI authors. I'm so happy to be a member of this wonderful family of writers. My LIS debut comes out under my pseudonym, Cate Nolan, in October.


message 24: by Mary (new)

Mary Moore (goodreadscommary_moore) | 1 comments Keli wrote: "I'm a new Love Inspired author. My first LIH will be released in June. I've gone through revisions on two LIHs so far and have learned a lot. Part of what I'm learning is what works for the line an..."

Hi All!
Keli, I had the same problem with my latest Regency. They said he was not allowed to drink alcohol. I tried to work it a few ways to have him drink something else, but he can't drink coffee all day! I went to my Regency friends and the only other thing available was spring water! It is not as if my hero had a problem with alcohol, it was just what Regency men do, they have port when the ladies are drinking tea and they have brandy over cards in the evening, etc. etc. But it does go back to what you mentioned in terms of historical accuracy if we are writing historicals. Not to worry, we worked it out to everyone's satisfaction, I finally just added a line somewhere in the story that his father had been a drunkard so he did not drink himself! (: But in this last book, the standards were harder for me than before!


message 25: by Carolyne (new)

Carolyne Aarsen | 2 comments I've been writing for LI from the beginning and have had the privilege of seeing it change and adapt to the market over time. I think what helps me is not to see the guidelines as limitations but expectations. Our readers want to know that they will not be surprised or shocked. I think it's important to respect the inspirational genre and respect the reader. That said, I have had elements in my book that weren't allowed at one time - a dance at a wedding, a hero who was in jail, a single, unwed mother etc. All these have come about because writers, who have respected the genre and the reader have found a way to incorporate these elements in a loving and caring way.


message 26: by Lyn (new)

Lyn (lyncote) | 15 comments Glad everybody found this discussion!

I really don't worry much about the restrictions. As others have said, I've had unwed mothers, divorced single dads, etc. The hero in my Love Inspired Suspense in 2007 had just got out of prison!
Dangerous Game (Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense #53) (Harbor Intrigue #2) by Lyn Cote

The only time I bumped into these "restrictions" was several years ago when my editor wrote on my ms. "Stop the kiss here. She's enjoying it too muchd!" ;-) WINK!


message 27: by Jean (new)

Jean Gordon (goodreadscomjeancgordon) | 19 comments Oh, no! I think I may have one of those in my book that's due a week from Monday.

Lyn wrote: "Glad everybody found this discussion!

I really don't worry much about the restrictions. As others have said, I've had unwed mothers, divorced single dads, etc. The hero in my Love Inspired Suspens..."



message 28: by Harlequin Books (new)

Harlequin Books (harlequinbooks) | 2069 comments Mod
Lyn wrote: "The only time I bumped into these "restrictions" was several years ago when my editor wrote on my ms. "Stop the kiss here. She's enjoying it too muchd!" ;-) WINK! "

LOL easy to fix but exactly the kind of things the aspiring authors worry about.


message 29: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Davids (patriciadavids) | 3 comments New writers can stress themselves into not submitting to Love Inspired out of fear. I hadn't read a single Love Inspired when I first submitted. My agent and I submitted my manuscript to six inspirational houses at once. It was a new track for me as I had been writing contemporary, but after meeting Deborah Raney, I saw "the light" and knew I had been barking up the wrong tree. My ms was 90,000 words, too long for the line, but Joan Marlow Golan saw something she liked in my style of writing and gave me the opportunity to revise and resubmit. All the other houses said, "No thanks."
The point I'm trying to make is Be Brave and Submit. A book, no matter how polished or rough, will never get into print if it stays securely at home in your computer.

I received plenty of rejections in my career, still do occasionally, but I have a strong belief in my God given talent.


message 30: by Lyn (new)

Lyn (lyncote) | 15 comments Good morning from Wisconsin! I just wanted to share that I'm trying out flash fiction this year on my blog. I'm using it as a germ for a new LI Historical--I think? Here's the link to my Goodreads profile and my first attempt. Come back and tell me what you think. A good idea or not?

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show...


message 31: by Harlequin Books (new)

Harlequin Books (harlequinbooks) | 2069 comments Mod
My interest was peaked Lyn. I think it is a great idea. ~ Kim


message 32: by Susan (new)

Susan Sleeman | 22 comments Great idea, Lyn! Very creative.


message 33: by Lyn (new)

Lyn (lyncote) | 15 comments Harlequin Books wrote: "My interest was peaked Lyn. I think it is a great idea. ~ Kim"

Thanks, Kim!


message 34: by Lyn (new)

Lyn (lyncote) | 15 comments Susan wrote: "Great idea, Lyn! Very creative."

:-)


message 35: by Danica (new)

Danica (danica_favorite) | 1 comments Hi Everyone! I'm Danica Favorite, and I write for LIH! I so agree with Patricia's advice to be brave and submit. The only way to follow your dreams to do it!


message 36: by Love Inspired (new)

Love Inspired Books (loveinspiredbooks) | 4 comments Hey everyone, I'm Dream, and I host the Love Inspired books discussions on Harlequin.com as well as the Love Inspired Goodreads group. https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

I love the Love Inspired books because they always encourage me!

I'd love to hear what others love about the Love Inspired books.


Laura AKA Loves 2 Read Romance | 11 comments I love all the lines of Love Inspired, Love Inspired Suspense, & Love Inspired Historical because I can relate to the characters. Also just because it's inspirational it doesn't ram christian beliefs down your throat nor are the characters perfect. The authors do a wonderful job making their characters come to life to the point of they feel like friends and family!


message 38: by Lyn (new)

Lyn (lyncote) | 15 comments Laura AKA Loves 2 Read Romance wrote: "I love all the lines of Love Inspired, Love Inspired Suspense, & Love Inspired Historical because I can relate to the characters. Also just because it's inspirational it doesn't ram christian belie..."

Thanks so much, Laura!


message 39: by Penny (new)

Penny Richards | 1 comments Hi, I'm new to this group, too. This is a very good topic. I write LIH because at this point in my life, I like the historical, maybe to escape the madness of the world around me. I've been very blessed to have written about all the topics I've wanted to write about too, like those mentioned elsewhere in posts. I don't feel constrained at all in my subject matter. I try to avoid the pitfalls of topics and phrases that Lyn pointed out to me back a few years ago, (I still have the list, Lyn)but I still run into problems with a word choice occasionally, even though they may be historically accurate usage, etc. My September book is about domestic violence, a social issue that has been around forever, and one I hope I did justice to. My reasons for writing these books is to maybe provide a little ray of hope or understanding, or laughter to help someone through the day or a bad patch they may be going through. When a reader gives me a hug and says something like, "Loved the book. i really needed that," it makes everything worthwhile. I'm very happy to be part of the LIH family. Ya'll have been great!


message 40: by Sonya (new)

Sonya Heaney | 60 comments Laura AKA Loves 2 Read Romance wrote: "Also just because it's inspirational it doesn't ram christian beliefs down your throat nor are the characters perfect."

I've found a lot of really good historical romances in the LI line. I try to encourage (non-Christian) historical romance readers to give them a go.

I am really happy how they're rarely preachy books, but I've got to say when you get to the point of banning things like dancing (glad to see that rule is apparently gone) and drinking wine in Regency England... It's definitely not the version of Christianity I've lived as a Ukrainian Catholic Australian!


message 41: by Sonya (new)

Sonya Heaney | 60 comments Sonya Heaney wrote: "I've found a lot of really good historical romances in the LI line. I try to encourage (non-Christian) historical romance readers to give them a go."

I've found a lot of really good histo..."


Actually, I should expand that and say I find most LI books to NOT be preachy!


message 42: by Rose (new)

Rose Zediker | 8 comments Hi Everyone,

I've been writing for the LI Heartsong Presents line of books and hope to some day write for LI. The hero/heroine in my April release are in their forties. Readers, do you like to read books with older characters or do you prefer young love?


message 43: by Rhonda (new)

Rhonda Gibson (rhondagibson) | 2 comments Hi everyone,

Rose, I'm glad you asked that question. The LIH that I am working on now has a hero that is in his late 30's. I'd be interested in what our readers think is too old.


Laura AKA Loves 2 Read Romance | 11 comments I think I like a range of ages for my hero & heroine I can't think of an age where I would refuse to read the story because of the age.


message 45: by Jill (new)

Jill Kemerer (jillkemerer) | 2 comments I love reading romance with couples of all ages, but I do get a little creeped out at a much-older man with a young woman. I read a lot of those books from the eighties!


message 46: by Love Inspired (new)

Love Inspired Books (loveinspiredbooks) | 4 comments So interesting to hear the discussion about ages! Does anyone have a feel for too young?


message 47: by Susan (last edited Feb 12, 2015 01:52PM) (new)

Susan | 42 comments Rose wrote: "Hi Everyone,

I've been writing for the LI Heartsong Presents line of books and hope to some day write for LI. The hero/heroine in my April release are in their forties. Readers, do you like to rea..."


I love reading about characters closer to my age!


message 48: by Rose (new)

Rose Zediker | 8 comments Susan wrote: I love reading about characters closer to my age!

I get a lot of good feedback from readers on my books with older characters. I have a Heartsong quilt series with characters in their 40's, 50's and 60's finding love.



message 49: by Susan (new)

Susan | 42 comments Rose wrote: "Susan wrote: I love reading about characters closer to my age!

I get a lot of good feedback from readers on my books with older characters. I have a Heartsong quilt series with characters in thei..."


Thank you Rose.......I'm going to check it out!!


message 50: by Rose (new)

Rose Zediker | 8 comments Susan wrote: "Rose wrote: "Susan wrote: I love reading about characters closer to my age!

I get a lot of good feedback from readers on my books with older characters. I have a Heartsong quilt series with chara..."


Susan, if you read ebooks, they are .99 cents on Amazon and .79 on Christianbook.com


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