Must Read Monday: Reader’s Choice & a GIVEAWAY!!!!!


Each Monday I post a book review, or I invite a guest to stop by for you to meet.

Today, I want to know what you like to read.

Right now, I’m reading Judge & Jury by James Patterson. Yes, I read ABA fiction, also called “secular” fiction by some Christians. I read anything, really. There’s differing opinions on this subject.

Some people would say there’s so much great inspirational fiction, why would you want to read anything out of the CBA market? We need to support Christian writers. I agree with this. We do need to support Christian writers and there is ton of great inspirational fiction.

But, there are Christians who do not write for the CBA market. So are we supporting CBA or Christian writers? I think we can do both!


I don’t know what James Patterson’s religious beliefs are, but his books do have some foul language and occasionally, depending on what book it is, he drops the “f” bomb. I completely understand why some Christians would not want to read his stuff. You have to go with what your convictions are. Maybe I’m just a rotten Christian with no convictions.

Although, there are some inspirational novels that do occasionally use some four-letter words. I personally have never read any that drop the “f” bomb. Maybe you have.

 How do you feel about that?

I think as a writer I can learn as much from Patterson or Kellerman (Faye and Jonathan) as I can Steven James, whose books cross both markets, (I read this somewhere so if it’s not accurate, please don’t yell at me) and he happens to be one of my favorite authors. Man, he’s good!

Now, I don’t read Erotica, fyi, I do have my limits. So maybe I’m not a rotten Christian after all and have some convictions. 🙂  My point is, I’m reading Patterson right now. My next book will be a Lynette Eason novel (inspirational). I’ve never read her before, and I look forward to jumping into one of her stories on my kindle.

I did a review on Sally John’s novel, Desert gift a couple weeks ago. It comes out in June. You can read the review HERE. I’m also giving a copy of this book away today! If you would like to enter for the chance to win, please make a note of that in the comments section. If you don’t say you want to win it, you won’t be entered into the drawring. (I spelled that like I wanted to!)

Question: Do you read inspirational fiction only or do you cross over and read books in other markets? Why or why not? I’d love to hear your input! Also, how do you feel about swear words in inspirational fiction?

17 thoughts on “Must Read Monday: Reader’s Choice & a GIVEAWAY!!!!!

  1. I guess that I'm shameless too. I read book from all markets. :o) I have found that books from the inspirational market leave me with a much more satisfied feeling than those from ABA. However, I have read books from the ABA that are awesome and among my favorites.
    Ted Dekker write for the ABA market, but his very much have a deep Christian message to anyone who looks.

    Go ahead and enter me into the drawing too!
    I have never read this book.


  2. Throw my name in the hat. =)

    I mostly read CBA. Like, 95% of the time. There are good books out there that AREN'T CBA but I do bristle at language (even in CBA. I don't like it) and sometimes I end up confused looking for the spiritual truth before I remember it's not necessarily supposed to have one, lol. I don't read to support a market but when I read I most always want it to touch my soul.Somehow. That isn't always with a message of the cross, but I rarely am satisfied with an airy read.

    Example from my childhood might be that I used to like the Sweet Valley Twins books. Not CBA but always had a moral or some insight into the homelife that made a classmate act the way they did. I guess it comes down to good character arc. I want my characters to learn and grow on a deep plane.

    Thanks for the soapbox, you can have it back now. *grin*

  3. "Maybe I'm just a rotten Christian with no convictions." LOL!! I DOUBT that!
    I do love Christian fiction and inspirationals but I read across markets too. (But I draw the limit on eroticas also)
    I am a Christian but I don't write inspirationals–although I may someday. But my books are VERY "sweet".
    Honestly, I wouldn't want choice words in my inspirationals (or young adult). I just feel a lot of writers use those kinds of books as witnessing and as a ministry, so it should be kept on a certain level. (my opinion of course) 🙂

  4. Most of what I have been reading lately is ABA. I love women's fiction and E. Berg caught my eye and I love J. Pecoult. Always looking for a well-written book:)

  5. I love Christian fiction. Lynette Eason is an amazing author. I just finished her latest novel, "A Killer Among Us". 🙂

  6. Great q's today Jessica! I read both, like you. And like you, I can handle swearing. The f-bomb is okay. What really is hard for me though, is when a book uses Christ's name in vain, which seems to be more common than the f-bomb. I can sort of read past it, but it still is like nails on a chalkboard.

  7. Jessica, great way to start a discussion!

    I think it all depends on the person and their convictions, as you said. I personally don't care for books that use foul language. But if it's just once or twice…my warning flags are raised and I take note of it for when I write my review, but I don't throw the book out. However, if its repeated (for example I began one book that had at least 20 bad words in the first chapter), then I won't finish it. Why, when there are so many other great books I can read?

    As a footnote to that, I have to agree with Katie Ganshert when she says that using Christ's name in vain in a book is more bothersome to me than using the f-bomb. It's just wrong. If an author feels the need for a character to use a bad word, I'd prefer the f-bomb being used over our Savior's name.

    As for what I read. Typically, I just read Christian fiction. But that's because that is what I review and I have a ton that are in my TBR pile that I am focusing on. But if I heard a secular book getting high recommendations and isn't a dirty book, I would pick it up and read it. While it might not have the lessons and spiritual encouragement that my favorite Christian authors weave into their book, it could still be a great read (especially if its a suspense or thriller–My ALL-TIME favorite genre!!)

    Well, that turned out to be a longer comment than I intended! lol Just in closing I wanted to say that I am also reading a book by Lynette Eason–A Killer Among Us. I'm loving it so far!! 😀 I'll be posting a review on my blog on Wednesday, Lord willing.

    🙂 Katy

  8. I read from all markets. I'm definitely prone to pick up a CBA but I think its wise to learn from great writers across the board and not seclude myself in security of the CBA

  9. Hey everyone, great comments. Thanks for joining in. We have a broad spectrum of what we will and will not read!

    There's so much good stuff about Lynette Eason, I'm really pumped to start this book.

  10. I do read from most all markets, within my interests. I am not a vampire girl…inside or outside the Christian market. Not because I am judgemental and think this has no place in the CBA, but because I have absolutely no interest in that kind of book. I read thrillers, romance, drama in both markets. I will put a book down if the book's primary goal is to promote the homosexual agenda…or abortion rights…etc. I bristle at supporting someone who vehemently promotes what I do not believe in.

    The occasional swear word does not bother me as long as it is used in context. I had a hard time with Catcher's in the Rye because there was so much of it used.

    I used the phrase "Go to hell" in my Christian novel, but felt that my unsaved character would have said that and so much more if this event had taken place irl. My pastor's wife did ask me if I thought using "hell" was necessary. I chuckled. 🙂

    Oh..and yes..I want to win! 🙂

  11. Opps…Catcher in the Rye…not sure where I was going with that possessive!

  12. I didn't know that such books – Christian / Inspirational existed until about 2 years ago. Over here in the UK such books aren't shelved in mainstream bookstores – not even on shelves labelled 'Inspy Christian. You have to buy them online from speciality websites, and if you don't know that such books exist, why will you look for them?

    I've read aobut 4 inspy books in my life – all my Francine Rivers (The Mark of the Lion series) which my friend recommended. I'd recommend them if you haven't already read them.

    I've been a 'secular' book reader all my life, and will likely always be. I enjoy variety :o)

    Definitely looking to build up my collection of inspirational and Christian authors, though.

  13. I read both Christian and secular books. When my husband's done with his current James Patterson novel, I pick it right up!

    Like you, Jessica, I won't read erotica, but if a secular book is entertaining and the storyline is good, I'll go with it. I don't like limiting myself to only novels aimed at Christians. Unless a book is peppered with swear words, it just doesn't bother me that much.

  14. I read mainstream fiction all the time (guilt free!) but inspy romance is my comfort food.

    Language doesn't me, but repeated uses of JC does.

    I don't read erotica.

  15. Anonymous

    I would like to be in the drawing, too! I read any author at least once…well, except for erotica or trashy novels. Right now I'm wading through both A Hole in the Gospel by Richard Stearn and The Problem of Pain by CS Lewis. Both require me to read a few pages or a chapter at a time. When I read fiction, I don't finish it if it doesn't get my attention right away, so, since I am writing fiction, I am reading popular writers right now, at the moment secular, to see how they get my attention right away. I like Jodi Piccoult's interesting characters and plots and the surprises she puts in almost every chapter. I love that her stories are about real problems…sometimes dealing with problems that aren't common in the mainstream of our population. This promotes understanding and compassion. I would like to write Christian fiction that promotes understanding and compassion. I am with Joy…I can't stand books who take God's name in vain continually. Great post, btw! In case this comes up as "Anonymous", this is Jerri! 🙂

  16. Mmm, interesting topic you started here, Jessica.

    I haven't really ever wanted or thought about crossing into the ABA market until recently. My concern with the ABA market is that you never know what you're gonna get. Looks can be deceiving. I believe it's important to fill your mind with the right images, to "fix your thoughts on what is true, honorable, and good." With that said, labels can also be deceiving. A book can go by the name "Christian" and not be Christian at all. Likewise, a book can be "secular" and still have good morals. So I'm willing to cross over into the ABA market when I know the author or have heard good reviews. There's good writers in both genres, and I can learn from both.

    As for swearing in Christian books, mmm, I'm not sure. There's too much of a stigma for it. Besides, we have enough of it permeating the cultural atmosphere already! It's almost a cop-out. You can get feelings across without using any cuss words.


  17. Oh, also-Lynette Eason is pretty cool. She's good for the creepy/suspensey! Only read one of her novels-Too Close to Home-but liked it!


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