Thursday, August 7, 2008

True Romance

(Minutes: The car was totaled. But my son is alright.)

(What's outside my window today: A squirrel had built a nest in the maple tree. I guess she wasn't the engineer she thought she was. It came tumbling down and is hanging from a branch.)

On the ACFW loop yesterday they were discussing sexual tension and how far should a Christian author go with it. Most said to end with the bedroom door closing. Julie Lessman, author of 'A Passion Most Pure' replied with what I think was the perfect answer, and she included an
excerpt from her book. If you did not get a chance to read it, here is what
she wrote.

'I've been told that my debut novel, A Passion Most Pure, is one of the edgiest novels in the CBA romantic realm, so I totally relate to those flag-waving nerves!! In fact, I was so nervous about CBA guidelines, that I actually created two versions of the ms. -- a CBA version and an ABA version. Fortunately for me, my agent sent the ABA version to my publisher, who bought it and touched almost none of the edgy things I had been worried about. So I definitely concur with the rest of the loop authors who indicate that the CBA has become more relaxed in their stance, but ALL within good taste, in my opinion.'

'Colleen said "You can go to the bedroom door, but you shut the door." I would take that a step further and say as
long as a couple is married, you can take it into the bedroom (or at least I have been allowed to do so by my publisher), but you close the door right at the point of actual lovemaking ... kind of like the old movies did with love scenes that fade to black. To show you what I mean, here is a scene from A Passion Most Pure between the mother and father after they had a fight, which takes you into the bedroom, but then closes the door:'

'He whispered his sorrow, telling her he loved her, cherished her, needed her. His lips brushed against hers, and he could feel the fire of his passion burn deep inside. With renewed intensity, he kissed her again. He felt her relent with a startling hunger of her own. Sweeping her up in his arms, he laid her gently on the bed, his lips never wavering from the sweetness of her mouth. In one beat of his heart, he was overcome with love for her. An intense rush of emotion flooded his soul for this woman who possessed his heart so completely. He stroked her face, her neck, her arms with such impassioned tenderness that a soft moan escaped her lips.'
"Marcy, I love you,” he said, his voice a hoarse whisper, “more than life itself."
'She met his mo
uth violently with her own, and he knew in that one action, she forgave, allowing the intensity of their love to carry them away.'

So my advice would be to pray about it, and then write the book of your heart. Trust me, your editor will cut whatever they deem to be over the top.

Whew, isn't that awesome!

In Marylu Tyndall's newest novel The Falcon & the Sparrow...she has a scene early on that ignites the physical attraction between the two main characters. It is deftly done, if for a lack of words superbly done. It is so incredibly romantic that it will make you sigh. I love old movies, you know the romances that take you to the brink. That's The Falcon & the Sparrow, as far as I have read into chapter 6. You will be on the edge of your seat for the heroine. Worry about her. And when the hero, Chase, corners'll be turning the pages as fast as your eyes can soak in the words and your fingers can turn the pages.

I'm waiting for Julie's book to arrive any day. I cannot wait to read it, especially after reading her excerpt. Honestly, her response to this question gave me much relief. I too have fretted over if I went too far...or not far enough.

You can find out more about her novel, and the sequel that is coming out in September at her website. Marylu has move to come as well and I've included her website. Hers site has in audio the soft lull of the ocean, and features her other books.


J. M. Hochstetler said...


I agree with what Julie said in general terms. But as both an author and a publisher, I'm comfortable with showing the entire scene--as long as it involves a married couple and focuses on their emotions instead of on the physical aspect.

In fact, in Wind of the Spirit, I tried to do just that, and so far those who have read it felt the scene was beautiful. I haven't had any objections so far. I guess I'll see what kind of response I get once it's published. lol!

Seriously, if mature teens and young adults read more stories that showed the beauty of married love, they might begin to see faithful marriage relationships as the ideal and desirable for their lives instead of blindly accepting the current societal norms.

Deb said...

I'm mystified by Julie's comment. Yes, the book can be called "edgy" and though I'm only halfway through it, I can see how it could be considered so. But there's a dichotomy here, in that some publishers accept this level of sexual tension and many do not -- in fact, I'm hearing right now that I needn't even allude to the fact that my (married) couple has Done The Deed.

How does this play out? One set of guidelines for the newbies and a very different set for the established? This inquiring mind would love to know.