Saturday, May 16, 2009


AZGirl in TX is the winner of the first half of May contest. Please contact me with your mailing address. AZGirl, Love Beyond Time is yours, but I can't send you the Jeri Gilchrist book because she's a personal friend who wrote a lovely message inside my copy of the book and I don't plan to give it away. Send me a list of several other books you would like and hopefully I'll have one of those available.

Some novels aren't really quite novels. The novel format is merely the vehicle used to preach a sermon, teach a lesson, or explain a concept. Some of these books are excellent books and highly enjoyable; others are not as is the case with other books. Many readers enjoy this method of learning; others feel disappointed when they discover they have picked up this type of novel. So there is no misunderstanding, I'm letting readers know upfront that the three books I've chosen to feature for the second half of May contest are all this type of book. They are all three excellent books, but they do not fall into the traditional novel category.

First is Meeting Amazing Grace by Gary and Joy Lundberg. This is a fun exploration of relationships with In-Laws.

The Holy Secret by James L. Ferrell concentrates on the concept of becoming holy, of loving holy things, and of hope and redemption.

Chasing Paradise by Chad Daybell presents a story which is both entertaining and inspirational as it asks, can a spirit have much influence on the living?

The question I'm asking this time is how do you feel about this type of inspirational novel? Are you more choosy about which inspirational novels you'll read than you are with traditional novels? Do you prefer the more subtle messages contained in traditional novels. Should fiction entertain only?

By the way, if this type of novel isn't your choice in reading material and you win this contest, you can select any of the other books I have available for give-away instead of one of these three.

Entries to win One Last Chance by Jerry Borrowman are still being accepted until Tuesday, May 19th at noon. Entries in that contest added today through the Tuesday deadline will be entered in the last half of May contest as well.


Britt said...

I don't like to say that novels "should" or "shouldn't" do whatever, but for me personally if a novel feels like nonfiction, I'd rather read nonfiction.

I have no problem with a novel that has a message, but sometimes you feel like the plot is completely contrived to deliver the message, so why not just write it as nonfiction to begin with?

I don't like my novels trying to beat me over the head with something.

Stephanie said...

I'm really picky about novels. I love inspirational ones. I don't like to "read between the lines" and putting meaning to books, even if it wasn't meant by the author, I love making the book personal. Sometimes inspirational novels can get a little to preachy, and then I say I'll just go read the scriptures. I think there is a perfect balance, with just enough inspiration to make your day brighter but enough story that it keeps you interested. I think Tennis Shoes among the nephites is a good version of this. It has enough story to keep it interesting but also inspiration to go read the sciprtures and find out more about these inspirational people

Melanie Goldmund said...

I hesitated about commenting on this particular question because my first thought was, "Ugh, inspirational novels, what if I actually win one of them?" Then you reminded me that we could choose something else.

I don't think novels should only entertain, but I prefer it when the message isn't up front and in your face. I'll admit that I often read just for fun and don't mind if there's not a message, but I have to be in a particular kind of (very tolerant) mood if I'm going to knowingly sit down and read something that is Inspirational with a capital I. I personally like novels that make you think a little, but that weave their message slyly into their format so that it's not blatantly visible, and it only hits you later when you're considering what you've read.

Randy and Lisa said...

I love to read, and having read some inspirational books, even by the authors you have chosen in the give away, I do enjoy having a message in the book. I do tend to enjoy the book better, when the message is weaved into the storyline, instead of ones where the inspirational message seems to be a separate part of the story. Even in tradional novels I look for the message or point that the author is trying to get across to the reader. Sometimes I'm in the mood to read a book which really makes me think, and other times I enjoy just reading for the fun of reading. The novels I really remember, though, are those which really make me think about a concept and how it can be applied to my life. If I should win, I already know which of these three books I really need/want to read.

Mindi said...

I, like Melanie, like inspirational novels that don't hit you over the head with their message. It makes me feel like I am being preached at. I love it when a week later I can say "oh! That's what they were talking about!"

Amy Btw M said...

Jack Weyland's books remind me of this. They aren't purely inspirational, but some teach you on subjects like rape, teenage pregnancy, and disabilities. I like those kind of book that try to teach something practical like that. I agree a non-fiction book would be a more direct approach, but definitely not as entertaining. I like these kind of books.

Me again said...

I think there is a fine line between being preachy and being too preachy. If it advances the story, then great. If it just takes up 3 pages then yuck.

Amy's comment above mine reminded me of a favorite. 'Sara, whenever I hear your name' Its been a while, but I remember the message of that story. And I read that when I was in Junior high. That was a good 15 or so years ago. It had an impact on my life.

So there you go. these types of books can really have an impact if written in a way that will keep a reader reading. If not, then they are likely to start flipping pages looking for the story to continue.

Kelsi Rose said...

I like to read a good story, regardless if there is some sort of message involved. I find that any book can have gospel principles within the story. Anything good testifies of Christ, even some authors that wouldn't be normally associated with the Spirit. I have found gospel principles in Harry Potter. I suppose that you can find what you are looking for in any book.