Thursday, September 22, 2011

When Did You Read Your First Christian Romance?

If you read Author Linda Goodnight's blog on Tuesday, you know something about the Carol Award and the past and present finalists. This Saturday night the awards will be announced. Since I write historicals, I wanted to give you some really important history FOR READER of Christian romane. Here goes:

I am very honored to be a Carol Award finalist. I have had the pleasure of interviewing the lady who is the namesake of this award, Carol Johnson, formerly VP at Bethany House Publishers and now a literary agent. (That's her photo above.) Carol (while at Bethany) was the person who was instrumental in getting Author Janette Oke's first book into print in 1979.

Janette Oke's books led the way in the birth of modern Christian fiction. Carol Johnson was also the woman who was a big part of establishing the prestigious Christy Award. The Christy is another award, focusing on the best in Christian fiction. Have you read Christy by Catherine Marshall? That of course is the namesake of this award. For more about the Christy's, drop by

Two years ago, American Christian Fiction Writers decided to honor Carol by changing the name of their Book of the Year award to the Carol. From what I've just written, I think you will agree that Carol Johnson is a woman who deserves recognition for her achievements and what they have given all of us who enjoy Christian fiction. Love Inspired books wouldn't have come about without Carol's efforts to open the door for Christian fiction. So thank you, Carol!

BTW, I will give away a copy of my Carol finalist book, Her Healing Ways to someone who leaves a comment today. 2nd BTW, Renee Ryan, another LIH author is guesting on my blog today. For another chance to win her current LIH, drop by and leave a comment there too.

The questions to comment on are--what was the first Christian novel or romance you read and how did you find it? And have you read Christy or one of Janette Oke's classic romances?


Jennifer said...

I read my first christian romance 3yrs ago. The book was Shield of Refuge by Carol Steward. I have not read Christy but I do have a Janette Oke book When Calls the Heart. I've been a Christian Addict ever since. I thank God for all you who write for his glory. God bless! Jenny

PamelaTracy said...

I read Christy.
And, I can't remember the name of the book, but it had a young woman arrive by train and she was a journalist, I probably read it when I was in my teens and it was by Grace Livingston Hill. I can tell you my last, too. It's Doctor in my Arms by Lisa Mondello.

Kav said...

I didn't even know Christian fiction existed until two years ago. A couple of cyber friends clued me in and made some recommendations.

I think the first book I read was Lady of Milkweed Manor by Julie Klassen followed closely by The Negotiator by Dee Henderson...or maybe it was the other way around. All I know is I inhaled them both and I haven't stopped reading Christian Fiction since. In fact I don't read anything else. I have a hard enough time keeping up with the great inspirational new releases, not to mention getting caught up with what I missed because I'm such a late bloomer!

Kav said...

Oh -- and I also wanted to say how grateful I am to the writers and publishers who have carved a niche out for Christian fiction. And the support of the writing and reading community! Wow!!! Y'all inspire daily in so many ways.

Valri said...

I cannot remember the first Christian romance I read - too long ago! - but I have probably read over a hundred books by now! I love all the authors and stories I've read. Besides the LI authors, I love Dee Henderson and some others. I also enjoy the Janette Oke moves on The Hallmark Channel! I'm currently reading a Victoria Bylin book and loving it :)

Lyn Cote said...

Valri, KAV and Jennifer, Thanks for your stirring support of Christian romance. You're the reason we write!

Missy Tippens said...

I love this history! Thanks for sharing, Lyn.

My first I ever read was a Jane Peart book. I don't remember the title, but I loved it.

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

Great history lesson Lyn! Loved it :)

Vince said...

Hi Lyn:

I keep records on computer and I happen to know that my first Christian fiction romance was “His Saving Grace”, which I read on April 14, 2004. I liked the book so much I went on to subscribe to the Love Inspired line and have since read over 100 of them.


I’d love to win a copy of your book if I can get it in larger print or eBook format. I need the larger type to read it.

Vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

Ausjenny said...

I tried to read Christy as a teen but just couldn't get past the first chapter or so. Janette Oke's Canadian west series was the first Christian Romances I read. I use to read other teen ones but didn't read much for a few years and someone gave me the first in this series for Christmas then the second for my birthday and I got the rest. I then bought allthe books she had. I also found Ruth Masters Bacher and a few others Oh I had a couple of older books was was called Regina which was really good too. Missy I read Jane Pert also she wrote lots of really good books. then I got into the Heartsong Present books and also some promise promise ones.
dont enter me I have this book.

Ausjenny said...

Oh Pamela I know my last too it was out of control by Mary Connealy.

Jackie S. said...

I love to read...did read Christy and some of Oke's (forgot titles)!
Just read a sweet one by Shannon Vannatter...White Doves. Would love to read your book.

Jenny said...

I've been reading Christian fiction for about 16 years, and the very first Christian fiction book I read was Janette Oke's "A Gown of Spanish Lace", and I've read almost every single book she's put out. I have also read Christy. When I first started reading CF, I read a lot of Grace Livingston Hill, Gilbert Morris, Jane Peart, and a lot of those historical CF authors from the early to mid-90s. I then moved on to a lot of the LI/Heartsong Presents books.

I started reading Christian fiction after a trip to the library in the city where I worked (Springfield MO)...there happened to be a LOT of Christian fiction on the shelves, even in the mid 90s. Guess it pays to live in the Bible Belt. =)

Valri said...

Hey, Ausjenny, how have you been?? I haven't talked to you in awhile! I've missed you! :)

I've enjoyed the comments on here today.

Ausjenny said...

Hi Valri I am doing good. have to go to work shortly

Valri said...

I forgot to mention that I did read Christy a very long time ago. I loved that book! My mother was a teacher when I was growing up so we read a lot in our house! She still reads all the time and I still read all the time too! Good habits! I got my love of reading from her.

Have fun at work, Ausjenny!

PamelaTracy said...

I loved Jeanette Oak's book. I was kinda looking forward to hearing if anyone else read the Grace Livingston Hill ones.

Here's a funny. Somewhere in my closet I have Debbie MacComber and Arlene James books from the first Harlequin inspiration line. They are like 30 years old!

marybelle said...

I cannot remember the name of the first Janette Oke I read. It was some time ago. Books with heart.


Ausjenny said...

I read a couple of Grace Livinston Hill later but I really didn't like her books. the ones I read were very similar and I found very judgemental of the times and people of the time.