Writers are often advised to “write from the heart”. Unless we have an emotional investment in our characters and their lives, it’s difficult — if not impossible — to bring those characters to life for our readers in a meaningful way.
Writing from the heart can also mean sharing our personal beliefs through characters in our stories, not by putting our words into their mouths our our thoughts into their heads, but by finding ways in which the people who live within our stories can show others what we believe about life.
I write romance novels because I believe in love. I believe love is a powerful force for good. If we’re willing to accept love, it can heal us, strengthen us, help us become all we are meant to be.
But there’s more to writing romance novels than love and affection.
In the stories I write, I want to inspire readers, to show that each life is filled with possibilities, and that no matter how difficult things may seem, there’s always room for hope. A reader once remarked that when she closed one of my books, she always had a smile on her face. My stories, she said, made her feel good. That’s how I want each reader to feel at the end of a story.
The idea of love bringing new possibilities is one of the strongest themes in Keeping Faith, the second book of “The Sunset Series”. It is slated for release later this year from Secret Cravings Publishing.
Have you ever heard the insult, “Hey, you born in a barn or something?” Tom Henderson, the main character of Keeping Faith, literally was born in a barn when his drunken whore of a mother took a wrong turn after leaving the outhouse one April morning. He didn’t have a good upbringing and never received an education. Although he’s got dreams, they’re about as far away — and probably as unattainable — as the snow-capped peaks of the towering Rockies.
For Tom, love brings new possibilities, new opportunities, and new determination. He wants many things. Among them, he wants the ability to read and write, to do more than scrawl an ugly “X” to make his mark.
Literacy is one of the most valuable skills we can possess. For Tom Henderson, the chance to learn doesn’t come until he’s an adult. Most of us were much more fortunate, learning basic reading and writing skills as children in school, or, ideally, even before our schooling began.
With literacy, it truly is “the sooner, the better”. Parents and grandparents can do much to help little ones discover the lifelong joy of reading. Many literacy programs exist today to help create a world where every child has opportunities to develop language skills.
One of those programs is Reach Out and Read, and I am proud to be a regular contributor to the organization. Each month, I donate to Reach out and Read. Each month, I also invite friends to learn more about this organization and the work they do.
There are many ways you can help.
You can make a one-time donation, you can become a monthly contributor, or you can support the group by giving children’s books for them to share. Most communities have “drop-off” points where books can be delivered.
Please, take a moment to learn about “Reach Out and Read” and the important work they are doing to promote early childhood literacy, especially among disadvantaged children who might not have opportunities to develop reading skills.
In addition to my regular monthly contribution, I am also pledging for the month of March to donate all royalties from Not the Marrying Kind – Book 1 of “The Sunset Series” to the “Reach Out and Read” program. I’m asking for your support.
If you’ve already purchased your copy of the book, please consider buying one as a gift for someone you care about. Please, let your friends know that each ebook sold during March will go to support early childhood literacy.
Will you join me in my efforts to ensure that all children are given the priceless gift of reading?
Subscribers to “Keep Up with Christina” got a “sneak peek” at a scene from Keeping Faith.
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