By Jody Holford & Kara Leigh Miller
They can pretend they’re fine…
Moving to NYC is supposed to be the fresh start Kristy Andrews so desperately needs, but she can’t seem to shake the after-effects of having been kidnapped last year.
Detective Jackson Reed never meant to kill an innocent man, but knowing that doesn’t change the guilt he lives with every single day.
But they can’t hide forever…
When Kirsty and Jackson meet, the connection is instantaneous, but neither is ready to open up about their pasts. Can love and trust conquer their demons?
In order to have a future, they’ll have to face their past…
When Kristy starts receiving threatening messages, her anxiety kicks into overdrive, but the last thing she wants is Jackson worrying about her.
Jackson may doubt his ability to return to active duty, but he has no doubts about his instincts concerning Kristy. Someone is trying to hurt her, and he refuses to let that happen, even if it means going back to work; something he wasn’t sure he’d do.
As the threats increase, Jackson shows Kristy that strength doesn’t mean facing her fears alone, and Kristy shows Jackson that forgiveness starts from within. Can they save each other before it’s too late? Or will the past come back to haunt them?
Available now on Amazon.
So what is Christian Romance anyway?
By Jody Holford & Kara Leigh Miller
We all have preconceived notions about things that we haven’t experienced before. When we wrote Dangerous Love, the story before Jaded Love, we were nervous about balancing the scales to appeal to more than just romance readers and more than just Christian readers.
Though we were more comfortable the second time around, we still had to ask ourselves:
1. Where do the faith elements fit in?
2. How do we show the depth of their connection without crossing lines?
3. How does the faith of each character and their combined faith (or lack thereof in some cases) impact their relationship?
Integrating faith into our story had to be about more than the setting– it often took place in a church. This definitely worked to our advantage with dialogue. However, like any element in fiction– suspense, romance, mystery– we wanted faith to be woven into the fabric of the story, much like the romance and the character identities. We didn’t want Christian readers to be bothered by too much romance and we didn’t want romance readers to feel there wasn’t a strong enough connection. On top of this, we wanted the suspense to keep readers intrigued and the story moving along.
By focusing on the emotional pull between Kristy and Jackson along with having a clear idea of where they both stood on their own spiritual beliefs, we were able to reach our goals. Jackson has issues with faith because he’s lost it in himself and, in part, in the world around him. He sees darkness everywhere. Kristy has an open mind in terms of her beliefs as an adult. She doesn’t have the strength of conviction that her close friends have but this allowed her to grow in the story. The emotional journey they travelled, coupled with their need to believe in each other, strengthened their faith in God and their trust in each other.
How religious do you need to be to enjoy a Christian Romance? Books with a faith element ask no more from you than any other book. Reading requires a naturally open mind; we let ourselves fall into a book, the world, and the character’s lives. We don’t need to be a police officer because Jackson is or a scientist because Kristy is. Books take audiences on a journey and each of us react differently depending on our own personal background. Meaning, someone who has struggled with their faith may identify more strongly with Jackson. Someone who has never questioned their faith might align themselves with Kristy. Or sometimes, for some readers, it’s not a question of faith, but simple enjoyment of good words.
Christian Romance and Christian Romantic Suspense share many of the same important features of secular fiction: there needs to be a strong story, relatable characters, and a reason for the audience to keep going. Though religion, or the character’s faith is an integral part of the story, it is also an integral part of the main characters. The first time around, that seemed more daunting than with Jaded Love. For us, writing about Jackson’s wavering faith– a strong part of his character– was like writing about his protective nature or his inability to forgive himself. With Kristy, her reception to embracing faith in her life is as much a part of her as accepting flaws in the people she loves. It has to become a part of who they are for it to not feel like a white elephant in the room.
Our goal was to create a story that shows the power of forgiveness, trust, love, and God. We hope our readers will agree that we accomplished this goal.
Kara Leigh Miller
Kara lives in Upstate New York with her husband, three kids, three dogs, and three cats. When she’s not busy writing romance novels, she’s spending time with her family or attending one of her many writer’s groups. An active member of The Romance Writers of America and the CNY Writers Haven, Kara is also Managing Editor for Anaiah Press’ Surge and Romance Imprints. She absolutely loves to hear from her fans and fellow authors, so feel free to drop her a line anytime!
Jody is a wife, mom, reader, and a writer. She is also a blogger and follower, a word twister, and a Gemini.
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