When the idea of The Engagement Plot popped into my head, I had some concerns. To be fair, I always have that moment of fretting at the start of EVERY book. Can I do this story justice? Will Jesus be glorified through these pages or am I just writing a frivolous little book that will tickle people’s ears and nothing more? Will everyone hate it? Will no one buy it?
Visions of 100’s of 1-star reviews and single-digit sales numbers dance in my head.
It’s my insecurity blazing in all its glory, but each time, God calms me. Reminds me that He has called me to this, and I need only to look to Him and run the race HE has put out for me. That even if I only sell one book–to my mom–that being obedient to him is what truly matters.
But this story, y’all.
It is set with a backdrop (albeit in the past) of The Bachelor, a very secular and many times scandalous show that doesn’t really espouse Christian values.
The hero wants nothing to do with God for much of the book.
The heroine, once devout in her faith, is currently plugging her ears and putting off a talk to God that is sorely needed–which as we all know, is never a good thing in any relationship, much less one with the Almighty God.
The humor is sassy and snarky and full of sarcasm, which most people have either a love or hate relationship with.
One of the big plot points is a supposed sex scandal. And you don’t see too many of those in Christian Fiction, I’ll fully admit.
The whole plot is literally just that, “The Engagement Plot” aka the big lie that is at the center of the whole story. And I know many readers have issues with a story that has a plot based on a lie. I get it. Lying is a sin. I concur.
And y’all. I wrote this book before the whole terminology of “fake news” was a fad phrase thrown out left and right, but ake news is also central to the storyline. How ironic is THAT.
God and I had lots of chats about all this.
Is this REALLY the story I am to tell? How will it be received by fellow Christians? Will they love it… or hate it?
But God said, “That’s for me to worry about. You just write.”
And so I did.
Thus The Engagement Plot was born, and while it is still an imperfect work of fiction from the heart of an imperfect lover-of-Jesus, I stand firm in my belief that God called me to write it.
But as much as I fully believe that God called me to write this book, I get that it won’t be for everyone. I respect that, as we all have different perspectives and backgrounds that have made us who we are today.
I thought I’d give you some tips today as you decide if this crazy book is one you want to spend your money on…
…you appreciate sarcastic (yet clean) humor.
…you like a clean romance that will make you laugh but also has a deep spiritual thread
…you are okay with reading about imperfect Christians who need God’s grace
…you like The Bachelor
…you think The Bachelor is the worst TV show in the history of TV (basically…the book is about the aftermath of the show, so whether you have watched the show itself will most likely not factor into your enjoyment of the book)
…you are not a perfect Christian (if you are, then you’re a liar, so….you should probably just skip fiction and go straight to your Bible. Actually, we all should be doing that more! I recommend starting with the gospels…Jesus and the tax collectors… Jesus and the adulteress… then move on to Acts and how Paul came to love Jesus.)
…you are okay with characters who still aren’t perfect at the end of the book (but no worries, I’m not a mean romance author. You’ll get your happily-ever-after… but I firmly believe that even Prince Charming and Cinderella still had some kinks to work out later!)
Conversely, you might want to skip this book if…
…you hate reading books that have the word “sex” in them or where characters have to struggle with temptation of that variety. I’m a big believer that God made sex, and he made it to be good and wonderful, and while I also fully believe that God’s plan is for sex to be between a man and a wife after marriage, I have no issue showing characters who struggle with their desires outside of that. I have a lot of readers who are of “new adult” age, and it’s important to me to show that the desire for sex is normal and good, but it’s how we handle that desire that will point us down the road of honoring God or self-gratification. That said, I know some are uncomfortable with the mention of those desires by unmarried characters, so if you’d rather not read about it, I completely understand.
…you think sarcasm is mean and not funny (No judgment from me, but I know some are super not lovers of sarcasm, and if that is you, you most likely won’t find the humor in this book. That’s okay, we’re all different! Just a fair warning!)
…you want characters who always portray Godly characteristics and are very mature in their faith. My characters have some issues, y’all.
…you are uncomfortable with words like “darn” “crap” “heck” etc. My books will always be swear-word free, but I do use those types of words when they are realistic to the character. This is not something God has convicted me of, but if it is offensive to you, I totally respect that and don’t mind you skipping to the next author.
…you hate books that mention God or Jesus. (although I have many non-Christian friends who have read the book and enjoyed it still. Just know that Jesus is a very central and important part of this book. There are no long sermons though, I promise.)
…you are expecting a romance with sex scenes. There aren’t any here.
I don’t know if that will help anyone or not, but my prayer continues to be that God will use this book for HIS GLORY.
One of the things Carly (heroine’s BFF) says to Hanna (heroine) in the book is this… “It’s not about you anyway. It’s about bringing God glory.”
Every time I start to fret about how the book will be received or about reviews or sales or whatnot, I repeat that to myself.
It has nothing to do with me.
And EVERYTHING to do with God. HE is the reason I write. Period.
That said… I do hope you check out The Engagement Plot! If you’re up for it, it’s a funny story that MIGHT just make you laugh along the way!