Monday, December 12, 2011

How Much is Too Much? by Pamela S. Thibodeaux

For many avid romance readers, Christian romance is an oxymoron due to the conservative guidelines set forth by CBA industry. True, these publishers adhere to the requests of their readership, and that’s a good thing. I’ve said numerous times and I’ll say again: Anything that gives God glory deserves to be praised!

On the other hand, inspirational fiction – especially the edgy sort – seems to be gaining more and more popularity with a large portion of the Christian audience as well as Christians who read secular romance because they are dissatisfied with CBA books.

As a reader I love a good romance novel, but there are also times when I crave a sweet read that simply makes my heart sigh.

When I began writing nearly thirty years ago I wrote romance…plain and simple, flat-out romance. The type of romance I read – steamy and satisfying with fully developed love scenes. Nearly ten years after penning my stories in five-subject notebooks, I recommitted my life to Christ and committed my writing to Him but I still wrote steamy, sensual, fully developed love scenes. At that time I had no idea there was a CBA market much less what they required or didn’t allow in their books. I simply expounded on the characters’ faith as a natural part of their lives. And then came the guidelines...Although I did my best to adhere to the rules of writing Christian romance, I couldn’t seem to tone down my novels enough to fit in the conservative box and thus my writing was tagged, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™

For instance – CBA publishers want the emotional side of love not the physical – Excuse me, but personally I can’t have one without the other! I have male friends whom I love dearly but the lack of sparks between us makes it impossible to think of them as anything but friends. On the other hand, I know men who make my pulse race and blood pound but to whom I would never entrust my heart unless I wanted it back in shreds.

And then there are topics which are taboo in Christian books….divorce – uh, excuse me again but the divorce rates among Christians are higher than that of secular couples. And what about domestic violence and child abuse? These things happen as often, if not more often in Christian homes.

Here’s a news flash for you: Christians are human with the same wants, needs, and temptations as non-believers!

So why are so many afraid to accept this and allow authors of Christian fiction to explore not only the pitfalls of our human nature – but the awesome power of God’s love, grace and mercy to heal and save, guard and guide?

True, reader demands have encouraged publishers to allow edgier writing and that too, is a good thing, but how much is too much? When do we cross the line or close the door on the issues plaguing the entire human race? Do we show domestic violence and child abuse in all its ugliness or hint at it but gloss over the sordid truth with pretty words?

Which would be more effective in reaching those closed off to God as a result of their mistreatment?

Wouldn’t a more realistic picture of the dark side of life also portray the reality of God’s grace and power?

I think so, which is why I write “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ Romantic Women’s Fiction that is “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”

My latest novel, The Visionary deals with just such issues. Twins, Taylor and Trevor Forrestier share more than a successful business. The two share a childhood wrought with lies and deceit and the kind of abuse that’s disgustingly prevalent in today’s society. Can the love of God and the awesome healing power of His grace and mercy free the twins from their past and open their hearts to the good plan and the future He has for their lives? Find out in…The Visionary ~ Where the awesome power of God’s love heals the most wounded of souls. Available now through your local bookstore or online @ and

*This post is part of a month-long virtual book tour where 4 autographed copies of The Visionary will be given away. Follow the entire tour (list of stops on my blog and leave a comment on each one because the more times your name goes in the hat, the more chances you have to win!

Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Here's an excerpt from The Visionary:
“Thank you for taking such good care of me.”

“I’m not through yet,” he mumbled, then slid off the couch and swung her up in his arms.

Fear snuck in, darkening her eyes. She stiffened and opened her mouth to protest. He brushed his lips over hers and silenced her objections.

“I just want to hold you,” he whispered and laid his forehead against hers. “That’s all. I promise,” he added, unable to camouflage the need in his voice.


He’d offered her another step to relinquish her fear and trust him. Triumph lit his expressive eyes when she wrapped her arm around his neck, smiled, and whispered, “Okay,” then snuggled her face against his shoulder and let him carry her to the bedroom.

With exquisite tenderness, he laid her on the bed, crawled up beside her, and took her in his arms. Taylor felt the strength of his need in the heat and tensed against the hardness of his body. He eased his grip and propped up on one elbow beside her. His eyes pleaded for grace when he stroked the hair off her face and said in a soft, husky voice, “Please don’t be afraid of me; please trust me. I will never force or even persuade you to give more than you’re ready to.”

They gazed at each other for a long, tender moment. She cupped his cheek in her hand, brushed her thumb over his mouth, then curled her fingers in his hair and urged his head down to fasten her lips to his. A low moan escaped his throat, yet he held himself taut.

Taylor ran her hand over his shoulder and back in a soft caress then wrapped her arms around his waist. “Hold me, Alex, I trust you.”

The emotions reflected in his tone caressed her heart when he thanked her in that beautiful velvety-rough voice. He rolled onto his back, pulled the covers over her, and held her while she slept.


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