Monday, November 17, 2014

Taking A Look At Christian Fiction

There a cycles and trends that repeat every couple of years or decades, especially in the publishing world.   However, now it seems that there are no cycles but just trends due to the wealth of self published and independent publishers that changing the way readers  discover new authors and titles.  This is especially true with Christian Fiction.  For years it has been considered a small niche in the publishing market, with Tyndale, Bethany House, Castle Gate Press,  and Zondervan providing the path for Christian Authors and readers to meet.  That's not the case any longer.   The big five publishers, HarperCollins as one example,  have stepped in and acquired the smaller Christian publishing companies in an attempt to get into the market.  Not a bad move considering the range of what Christian fiction covers.  Everything from spiritually lifting stories to romance without the hardcore erotica.  There is something for everyone.  In other words there is a bigger niche in which the publishers can explore and find a new audience.   Before discovering some of the newer titles that were published this year,  here are some older titles and veteran authors that may be of interest to readers.

Janette Oke is a veteran romance Christian author. Fans of this writer can honestly say they were readers  of Christian Fiction before Christian fiction was cool.  Most of her stories take place in the Western Frontier and Oke's series Canadian West is the perfect example of a strong heroine who adjusts to a new life in the Canadian Frontier and settling into the her new position as the school teacher.   Nestled in the series is a wonderfully written romance that flourishes between the heroine and aRoyal Canadian Mounted Police.  The title of the first book in the series is When Calls The Heart (Canadian West #1). 

The Circle Trilogy is an interesting tale woven by Ted Dekker that will take the reader's breath away.  First published in 2004,  this series brilliantly intertwines reality and dreams.  Once the reader is introduced to Thomas Hunter, they will never be able to forget the unlikely hero who maneuvers between two realities and conquers dangers, deceit and destruction.  It is in a word,  a thrill-ogy.  A must read for any reader interested in Christian Fiction.

Mark Bertrand's Roland March Mystery series fairly new but it has the feel of a ready made classic series.  The first in the series Back On Murder, was published in 2010 and Detective March is the type of character that everyone will root for just as they did for famous detectives like Columbo.  In the first book, readers find that Detective March is ready to retire, but the disappearance of a famous Houston Evangalist's teen daughter throws him into the middle of a crime investigation.  This is his chance to prove that he is one of Houston's finest.  Terrific writing filled with suspense and surprises.  Although this is Christian Fiction, it is not overly preachy, which makes it readable for those who want a good mystery without the sermon to go along with it.

For political thrillers, look no further than Joel C. Rosenburg's Dead Heat.    As the title suggests the story begins as a President nears the end of his term and two candidates are vying for his seat.   There is a death threat on the head of one of the candidates and the Secret Service must determine which candidate is the target of terrorist extremist in order to save the lives of millions.  This is an edge of your seat kind of book, not to mention one that can not be put down.

These three titles are especially good and demonstrate quite well the versatility of the genre.  This list is by no means complete.  There are so many authors whose talents have yet to be discussed  Having said that, next week's post will provide a peek at some new authors that have made Christian Fiction just as interesting and timely as those mentioned here.

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