Wednesday, March 11, 2015

STAND BY YOUR MAN: REDEEMING HAUNTED HEROES (OR BAD BOYS GONE GOOD!)


Move over, Tammy Wynette!!

Okay, I can't sing worth a hoot, but ’ll be the first to admit—I am an AVID Inspirational romance reader/writer with a weakness for bad boys. Not just any bad boys, mind you, but those smoldering, still-waters-run-deep kind of guys that weaken your knees.

You know the type—the tall, brooding men with a questionable past and a penchant for the ladies? Because somehow, someway you just KNOW that underneath all those bad decisions these guys make, there’s a hurting little boy inside, desperate for a love that will save him. And I’m not just talking about the love of a woman, here, although I do like plenty of that in my books as well. Nope, I’m talking about the love of God, that deep and mysterious component that for me personally, ignites the WOW factor in a hero.

To me, there is nothing stronger than a wayward guy gone good. It takes strength of conviction and a lot of humility for a man to bend his knee to God, but when he does, he rises as a tower of strength and manhood, not in his own power, but in God’s. It’s like epoxy—the strength of a man combined with the strength of his Savior, recreating man as he was meant to be—a warrior, a protector, and fiercely devoted to both God and the woman he loves.

Which is why there is ALWAYS some form of a deep spiritual-redemption scene in each of my books for the hero. Why, you ask? Well, it’s my humble opinion that not only does a powerful redemption scene strengthen the hero in your reader’s eyes, but it strengthens and deepens a novel as well, so I encourage you to give it a try if you never have. And honestly, who better to redeem than those stubborn bad boys?

Which is why the heroes in all of my books were, at one time or another, bad boys—womanizers, drinkers, thieves, men driven by lust rather than love. Human beings with a painful past that throughout the course of my books, become human beings with a future of hope.

So … how do I like to stand by my men? Well there’s #NOLIMITS to the ways to do this, but here are a few things I’ve noticed in my redemption scenes that make the hero’s “redemption” more powerful for me personally:

—Redemption scenarios always follow a series of conflicts that slowly strip the hero of his own strength and ability to deal with the problem.

—Redemption scenarios are almost always internal monologue (hero thinking/talking to himself) because somehow for me, the privacy and intimacy between him and God allows the hero to remain strong and retain his pride without exposing his most intimate act of surrender.

— Heroes in redemption scenarios always experience a peace that takes them by surprise.

 — Redemption scenes have to be believable (thank you, Artist Librarian!) or they will have the opposite effect you want, possibly turning the reader away. Tapping into the  emotions of a hero during a life crisis or deep disappointment is one of the best ways to do this, in my opinion, since redemption is such an emotional thing for each of us. Which means it can't happen over the course of a couple of scenes (thank you, Audra!), but needs that thread woven throughout the whole book.
— And one of the few times it's okay to have a hero cry in a book is in a redemption scene when he's alone with God, and frankly as a weepy CCDQ myself (certified caffeinated drama queen), I kind of like to make the heroes cry every now and then, you know? :)

With that in mind, here are scenarios I’ve utilized to implement a redemption/faith message in my own books as well as excerpts for the first three only, in the interest of time. I hope you can feel the power of redemption in each and every one.

Radical Redemption: A bad-boy hero goes from night to day, beginning with an early scene that reflects a lifestyle totally opposite of Christian values: womanizer, drinker, bitterness toward God, etc. A slow breakdown of his resistance throughout the book follows until a mid-point life-jolt scene, finished off with a conversion scene close to the end for a more powerful punch.

—Reluctant Redemption: A hero is forced into redemption against his will via a twist of the arm by someone or something he loves/respects, not really embracing it fully until he begins to see the positive changes in his life.

—Reawakened Redemption:  A hero who was raised with faith but just goes through the motions for his family’s sake, no real heart commitment until the light goes on following a series of conflicts and counsel from someone he loves/respects.

—Renewed RedemptioN: A reformed bad-boy hero who has embraced faith, but hasn’t given it his all until a mid-point scene rocks him, which deepens his faith when he is counseled by someone he loves and respects.

DESPERATE REDEMPTION: This is a hero whose fears drive him to push past a surface or shallow commitment to faith in order to battle something or someone, eventually deepening his faith for the right reasons.


1.)   RADICAL REMDEMPTION:

You know, I’ve never been one of these timid, take-it-easy type of gals when it comes to romance. For me, it’s all or nothing with extremes that I love to reflect in my stories. As a CCDQ, I want lots of drama and angst because there are few things more powerful to me in romance novels than the redemption of a bad boy.

Case in point: Collin McGuire in A Passion Most Pure. I knew it was risky having a player for a hero, a womanizer who used women for his own gratification, and believe me, I got my fair share of 1-star reviews over having that kind of hero in a Christian novel. But I gotta tell you that Collin’s dramatic redemption not only spoke to me, but to my readers as well who voted Collin their #1 favorite of all my heroes. Here are clips showing the before, during, and after of Collin’s redemption, and you tell me if seeing a bad boy fall to his knees before God isn’t one of the most powerful turnarounds you can put in a Inspy romance novel.

COLLIN’S ORIGINAL BAD BOY IN THE BEGINNING:
        He heard her soft moan as she pressed against him, and for the briefest moment, he froze. In his mind's eye, it wasn't Bree’s lips he tasted, but Faith O’Connor’s. An unfamiliar ache stabbed within. Where the blazes did that come from? One brief encounter and some woman had him thinking about her? Wanting her? Well, it wasn’t going to happen. He would be the one who decided whom he wanted and whom he didn’t. As long as he had a breath in his body, no woman would control his thoughts, and certainly, no woman would possess him.
        The ache was replaced by an icy anger that stoked a cold resolve within. He wanted to push Bree away, to tell her that her kiss produced nothing but contempt. That neither she nor any woman, least of all Faith O'Connor, would ever own him. But he didn't. Instead, he jerked her close, his lips returning her passion with a hard fervor. And in the heat of their embrace, in the smoky midst of Brannigan’s Pub, he quickly seared the memory of Faith O'Connor from his thoughts.

COLLIN’S COME-TO-JESUS MEETING 2/3 OF THE WAY THROUGH THE BOOK WHEN HE’S DRUNK IN A BAR:
        "Collin, it doesn't have to be like this. You don't have to let this control you anymore. This is not the way to get the love you want. Faith knew that, and you can too. Trust me, Collin. I wouldn't steer you wrong, and neither would she. Faith loves you, and the only thing standing in the way is this––your rebellion against God and everything He represents. He wants you, Collin. He wants you to pursue Him instead of your lust."
        Collin might have been asleep, for all Brady knew, now lifeless and still, his head buried in his arms. But as Brady finished speaking, Collin’s body stiffened, and when his head lurched up, Brady barely recognized him. His face, blotched and swollen, was pinched in shock as his bloodshot eyes fixed on Brady’s. "What did you say?" he whispered.
        Brady blinked.  "I said it doesn't have to be like this …"
        "No, the last thing––what was the last thing you said?" Collin's eyes were crazed.
        Brady thought about it. "I said He wants you, Collin. He wants you to pursue Him instead of your lust."
        Brady watched as this grown man trembled before him. He had never seen Collin like this. For that matter, he had never seen anyone like this before, and he sensed something spiritual was going on. 
        Collin's fingers shook as he ripped them through his hair. He seemed almost fearful as his eyes locked on Brady's. "That's just what she said, Brady, word-for-word, the first time she talked to me about God. How could you know that? How could you?"
        Brady exhaled slowly, a shiver traveling his spine. He smiled. "I didn't, Collin, but God did. What I want to know is, what's it going to take to get your attention?"
        Collin sat there in a daze and shook his head. "I don't know," he said in a hushed tone, "but this is a devil of a start.”

COLLIN’S EVENTUAL REDEMPTION DURING THE WAR:
        Collin vaulted off his bunk and bent in to where Brady slept, reaching for the Bible he always kept by his side. He clutched it to his chest and hurried outside the billet, the moonlight cutting shadows around him like the noon of day. His fingers fumbled the pages in a rush, seeking the Scripture he had read before his last shift in the trenches. His hand stilled as he found it, and for the first time, he understood its meaning with frightening clarity.
        To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
        The verse pierced his heart. Overwhelming grief brought him to his knees in the dirt, not caring who might see or who might hear. He had spent his whole life chasing after the wind, and it had never yielded anything more than emptiness that blustered cold in his heart. No more, he thought, it was over. The life he led was over, and with God’s help, a new one would begin. He had allowed the prayers of Faith and Brady to go forth on his behalf, but had never uttered them himself. And looking up into the heavens, he cried out to their god, and in the instant it took for him to speak, that God became his. Like the shaft of moonlight washing over him, a holy peace flooded his soul. For the first time, he understood the fervor he’d seen in Faith, the peace he saw in Brady, and he was filled with awe. Every conversation he’d ever had with Brady convinced him he would never be happy until the desire of his heart was one with God’s, just like Faith had said. Only, his heart had heard it too late to have her. 
        Slowly Collin rose from the dirt, astounded at the serenity he felt. He breathed in deeply to fill his lungs with the cool, night air. He couldn’t have her, but she would always be a part of him. He knew to the depth of his soul that it had been her prayers that had saved him. It was a debt for which he would always be grateful. He wished her well.
        No, he thought, there was no wishing to it. He would pray that God would bless her with the marriage she deserved. He owed her that.
        Quietly, he entered the billet and returned the Bible to Brady’s side. Crawling into his own bunk, he closed his eyes and slept, finally, the slumber of a man with peace in his heart.

2.) RELUCTANT REDEMPTION:

In Love at Any Cost, Jamie MacKenna is a handsome pauper looking to marry well in order to provide a surgery for his crippled sister. When his sister refuses to have a surgery bought by his engagement to a wealthy socialite he doesn’t love, he’s forced to surrender to God against his will.

JAMIE’S ORIGINAL BAD BOY BITTERNESS:
        Bram shook his head, easing his car past a peddler on a bicycle. “You’re something else, MacKenna, you know that? One of the nicest guys I know, hard-working, smart, give the shirt off your back. Yet under that heart of gold is a fortune hunter with the glint of gold in his eyes. Doesn’t make a lot of sense, you know?”
        “Sure it does.” Jamie grinned. And why not? His dreams were worth it—from his hopes to provide a surgery that could heal his sister someday, to his drive to be the youngest senator from the state of California and effect change in the Barbary Coast. He gave Bram a wink. “May as well fall in love with a rich girl as a poor one.”
        “So you say,” Bram said with a shift of gears, “but it’s been my experience that life doesn’t always comply. You fall in love with whom God chooses, Mac, and sometimes a fortune doesn’t come along with it.”
        Jamie propped hands to the back of his neck, absently staring down Market Street with a stiff smile. “See, Bram, that’s where you make your mistake—leaving everything up to some deity who may or may not exist. Well, not me. I’ve gotten this far on my own ingenuity, so I see no reason to depend on some fairy tale for the most important thing in my life—” his smile veered into a scowl—“marrying well so I can take care of my family because God hasn’t had the time.”

JAMIE’S RELUCTANT REDEMPTION:
        Jess glanced up with a smile so full of love, it thickened the walls of Jamie’s throat. “Promise me, Jammy,” his sister said, using the nickname she’d given him when she was two, “that you’ll lay your will down for God’s so he can bring us the miracle we all so desperately need.”
        Pulse staggering, he stared at her, his breathing shallow. Lay his will down for God’s? Pry his fingers apart and let go, just like that? Trust a God he’d never trusted at all, just on a whim? His eyelids weighted closed. No, not on a whim. On a request from the sister he loved, the mother he cherished, and the friend he respected. The sting of tears burned in his nose when Cassie’s image came to mind. And the woman I want.
        His breath caught at the twine of Jess’s fingers in his. “Let go, Jamie, and let God be God,” she whispered, the trace of an imp in her smile. “He does it so much better than you.”
        Let God be God. He closed his eyes and in the whoosh of an exhale, he felt his will crack, a fissure of hope no bigger than a thread in a smothering shroud of disbelief. Relinquishing a weary sigh, he finally nodded, Bram’s words echoing in his mind. “Faith can move mountains, you know—be they granite . . . or pigheaded pride.”
        His mouth quirked despite tears burning his lids. Pride he had plenty of, but faith? He drew in a shaky breath and released it, fluttering her ebony ringlets as he pressed a kiss to his sister’s head. “Okay, Jess,” he said, finally willing to let go—not the precious sister he cherished in his arms—but the pride that separated him from her God.
        Delicate arms quickly swallowed him whole.
        Her God, yes. His heart skipped a fractured beat. And now, apparently—his.

3.) REAWAKENED REDEMPTION:

In A love Surrendered, Steven O’Connor is the bad boy turned good for the wrong reasons, out of guilt rather than faith. He goes to church with his family because it’s expected, but his faith is in name only. Until conflict coupled with a series of talks throughout the book from people he loves and respects finally bring him to his knees.

        “God will help you do the right thing.”
        His father’s parting words opened his eyes, prompting him to search the heavens. “Will you, God? Will you help me to do the right thing—not just with Annie, but with the rest of my life? I . . .” His whisper broke in the dark, hoarse and cracked and so desperate for change that emotion choked the words in his throat. “I-I’ve made so many mistakes . . . with my father, with Maggie, with You. I’m begging You . . .” A heave shuddered his body. “Forgive me, please . . . and change me like you changed my father . . . and help me to become the man you want me to be.”
        The steady beat of the rain drummed on the roof while the cold air chilled his body, the cool and damp of impending winter heavy in the air. And yet somehow, Steven felt warm, his breathing shallow as his eyes scanned the sky. There were no bolts of lightning to illuminate the dark nor peals of thunder to herald anything new. Only the still small voice of God in his heart, stirring a flame of hope that brought peace to his soul.
He leadeth me beside the still waters . . . He restoreth my soul . . . He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness . . .
        “I don’t understand,” Steven rasped, eyes brimming with tears. “Why do you even care?
        Because you are mine, the thought came, and Steven bowed his head and wept.
        Because for the first time in his life, he finally understood.
        He was.

MY GIVEAWAY:
Leave a comment telling me how you’ve redeemed your heroes or just a comment about whether or not you like a redemption scene in your romance novels, hero or heroine. Then I’ll enter you for winner’s choice of any of my books, including signed manuscript copies of either of my eBook novellas.

BONUS 10-BOOK GIVEAWAY:
Be sure to check out a cool contest going on right now that author Sarah Ladd has put together with some authors of historical romance, including moi. Enter by clicking on the following link and GOOD LUCK!! http://gvwy.io/62o5k



ABOUT JULIE:  Julie Lessman, award-winning author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, and Heart of San Francisco series, was named American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards. Julie has garnered 17 RWA and other awards and made Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction. Her latest novel, Surprised by Love, appeared on Family Fiction magazine’s list of Top Ten Novels of 2014. Her indie book A Light in the Window is an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers' Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Best Award winner.

You can contact Julie and read excerpts from her books at www.julielessman.com, or through Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest, as well as sign up for her newsletter. Check out Julie’s group blog, The Seekers, Writers Digest 2013 and 2014 “Best 101 Websites for Writers,” and Julie’s own personal blog, Journal Jots, voted blog of the month in the Readers’ Choice poll of Book Fun Magazine.





138 comments:

Marianne Barkman said...

Julie, your novels ROCK!!!!! And I'm convinced it's because of your strong redemption scenes. They always inspire me!

Kelly Blackwell @ Heres My Take On It said...

Julie, I love a redemption scene. The truth is I have always had a fascination and a strong attachment to the bad boy. My son is into video games online and he classified the heros that I like as chaotic neutrals. When I've looked this up, I've found he's pretty on point. The beauty of the chaotic neutral is they can swing good and oh how awesome it is when it happens! Love it! Thanks for giving such a good description for different redemption stories. I am in the beginning stages here with Speedbo, but I appreciate this post so much for the direction. Thank you Julie!

Lyndee H said...

Whoa! Who's that big hair, beautiful gal? (wink) Great examples, as always, Julie. You make it so clear through your writing.

Melissa Jagears said...

GLAMOUR. SHOTS. I wanted one of those so bad....

I'm checking in speedbo wise because we sorta supposed to do that right? I've edited 6 chapters so far, hope to have #7 done here really soon. One more chapter and they get into the "it needs more editing zone" so probably can't keep up that pace. BUT mom in law is coming over so maybe for a little bit....

The Artist Librarian said...

Julie, you better not tell us this is another photoshop by your amazing husband, 'cause it sure looks legit. ;-)

I don't normally like "bad boys" but Julie Lessman heroes are an exception! =)

As long as the redemption scene is believable, as a reader, I'm fine with it. After all, we need characters in a variety of stages in the journey of life. =)

Cindy W. said...

I loved the post Julie. And I love the hero or heroine who is redeemed within a story. I love to root them on!

Love the picture Julie!

Have a beautiful week everyone. Go forth and Speedbo.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I love ripe-with-emotion scenes, Julie. I love the awakening, the realization that we have purpose on this planet, not to take, but to give.

Lovely! And when you take a strong hero and show his warmth and insecurities, that's artistry. Beautifully executed, my friend!

Ruthy

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I have finished edits on September book and sent them back to very nice editor...

I have completed a bit of research I needed to do.

Speedbo Goal Now: Finish 2nd Cowboy Story, which I am absolutely in love with, and I don't mind saying that. Three hunky cowboys (Bonanza-style), a wealthy spread, cows, dogs, chickens and did I mention most everyone hates them???

Oops. :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Coffee is here!!!!

And donuts, all kinds. Too busy to cook, so Donuts it is!

Kelly Bridgewater said...

I love all your characters, Julie. I love characters that have that genuine moment of redemption. Plus, I love how you use the bad guy scenario for God to change them right where they are. God tells us to come to him as we are, then he will change and use us for his glory. I like that about your characters. Keep writing great stories with redemptive story lines.

Julie Lessman said...

GOOD MORNING, NASHVILLE!!!

Whoops ... I mean Seekerville! Sorry, between writing this post and editing a book set in the South, I tend to get off track ... ;)

Hope you're hungry,'cause we have a Southern buffet to die for starting with Georgia Peach French Toast, Scrambled Eggs with Chives and Peppers, Callaway Garden Speckled Heart Grits with Cheese and Pecans,Scarlett's Hash Brown Potatoes, Pittypat's Chicken Gravy, Crispy Fried Chicken Drummettes, and Rhett's Favorite Sausage Links. All served up with Fresh Seasonal Fruits, Mammy's butter biscuits and lots of coffee and tea, including the house specialty, Southern Toasted Pecan K-cups, so y'all dig in, ya hear?

Hugs,
Julie

Tina Radcliffe said...

I should have been given a spew alert for that Tammy Wynette look-a-like photo.

OHHHH MYYYY!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Yes. DO CHECK IN FOR YOUR SPEEDO PROGRESS and get your name in this week's drawings! There are 135 of you out there. So check in.

Prizes listed under the Speedbo tab above.

Julie Lessman said...

MARIANNE!!! No, YOU rock, girlfriend, for reading my books in the first place, so THANK YOU for the sweet comment.

And I gotta tell you that it's the redemption scenes that inspire me, too, not to mention make me tear up almost every time when I'm reading the entire story. Because as much as I love romance, for me there's nothing more inspirational or beautiful than redemption. I honestly would rather read a scene with a man bending his knee before God than a kissing scene and trust me -- that's saying something!! :)

Hugs and GOOD LUCK in the contest, my friend!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

KELLY, that is sooooo interesting, my friend -- "chaotic neutrals," huh? Not sure I understand the name, but if it means "bad boys," I'll take it!

And, yes, I think a lot of romance readers and writers have a strong attachment to bad boys, especially in the secular world where almost all of the heroes I've ever read are bad boys in some form.

The "beginning stages of SPEEDBO are a great time to sow those redemption seeds in a novel, so I'm hoping that today's post nudge some of us in that direction because I sure do like to read a good redemption. Almost like a testimony, you know? Except it's a hunky hero's testimony, which is twice as good to an inspy romance reader, or at least this one! ;)

Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, LYNDEE ... well, it ain't Loretta Lynn, I can tell you that because she sings WAY better than me and has the plantation and bank account to prove it! ;)

Thanks, Lyndee, for your sweet comment -- I try to make it as clear as I possibly can because I'm a bit on the simple side and need most things step-by-step, you know? ;)

Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

MELISSA ... me, too, darlin', because Glamour Shots were SO the thing way back when. Not even sure if they're still around, but maybe I'll do it again if they are. Went with my sister for my birthday back then, and it was soooooo much fun!!

Six chapters edited is pretty darn good as far as I'm concerned -- I didn't come anywhere that close, which just goes to show you either write cleaner than I do or I'm an anal CDQ who has to edit 60 times before I can move on. Let's just go with you writing cleaner, okay? ;)

Have fun with the MIL ... sounds like you might have a good one there ...

Hugs!
Julie

Missy Tippens said...

Julie, thanks for listing the types of redemption. I don't think I'd ever thought that through. I, too, love a good bad boy in books! This will be a nice reference next time I'm working on a story!

Missy Tippens said...

BTW, you've made me want to dig out my Glamour Shot! I naturally have straight, thin, fine hair, but actually have big hair in my photo too! :)

Julie Lessman said...

ARTIST LIBRARIAN!!!

First of all, Jenn, if I have told you before, it's sooooo great to see you here on a regular basis, girl, and I realize you have been for a while now, but I just wanted to say it again.

Secondly, nope, hubby had nothing to do with this photo EXCEPT he did clean it up some because it was sooooo old, it had dirt spots and smears on it. He did ask me if I wanted him to take the laugh lines out by my eyes, and I told him no because I was thrilled they were there. This pic was taken when I was in my 30s, so the fact that I had crow's-feet lines back then tell me it's natural and not from age, which somehow makes me feel a wee bit better, you know? ;)

You are absolutely right about the redemption scene being believable, which is a point I could add below because if it's too preachy or too perfect, it will have the opposite effect you want, so GOOD POINT, Jenn, thank you!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Thanks, CINDY, I'm pretty fond of the picture, too, because the big hair ALWAYS makes me smile.

I sooooo remember the big hair because back then everybody teased their hair somewhat for height, which I thought looked better. It took me FOREVER to just let my hair go flat, which has obviously been the style for a long while now.

Same thing for the blazer or jackets, in letting the blouse or shirt be longer so it shows beneath -- had SUCH a hard time with that, but now I think it looks good. :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Thanks, RUTHY!

You said: "I love ripe-with-emotion scenes ..."

Oh, me too!! Unfortunately, that's all I like to write, which I think may wear some people out, but I sure love all that emotion swelling and retracting like a tide on a shore. Saves Keith a lot of angst if I can put all that drama in my books instead of our lives ... ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

RUTHY SAID: "Three hunky cowboys (Bonanza-style), a wealthy spread, cows, dogs, chickens and did I mention most everyone hates them???"

SOUNDS WONDERFUL, girl, so bring it on!! I LOVED Bonanza!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Whoops, RUTHY ... this early in the morning, I only do one comment at a time since that's all my eyes take in, or I would have put my responses to your comments in one.

Thanks for the donuts ... we'll put 'em on the Southern buffet that I was late getting out since I don't get up with the roosters ... :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Aw, KELLY, thank you SO much, sweetie -- much appreciated!

You said: "God tells us to come to him as we are, then he will change and use us for his glory. I like that about your characters."

I like that about them too, Kel, because I came from the same ilk as my bad boys even though I was raised in a God-fearing home. So as a "bad girl" for a good part of my life (16-23) I appreciate redemption all the more. :)

Hugs,
Julie

Audra Harders said...

Julie, your books have so much soul in them, it's amazing you haven't become a one-woman revival ministry, LOL!

God changing lives. This is not something that happens over the course of a couple of scenes, but as you mentioned, the character needs that thread woven through the whole book.

Very powerful. Very memorable.

Thank you for this timeless reminder to think through the journeys of our characters and work on the redemption part through the entire plot.

As always, great post Jules!!!

Elaine Manders said...

It's so hard to make a bad guy likeable and to make a conversion story believable, but you do both so well. In my current novella, the heroine has decided she doesn't want to marry the hero. Then, unknown to him, she finds him on his knees. It changes her perspective completely, which is good because this is a novella, and they don't have time for much angst.

Audra Harders said...

BTW, you wear the hair well : )

Julie Lessman said...

Sorry, TINA ... but I was actually hoping that would be the response since there's NO WAY I'd post a picture like this for anything other than a laugh. ;)

YES, let's hear some SPEEDBO progress, everyone!!

Hugs,
Julie

Audra Harders said...

Ruthy, you are editing, revising, beginning new books all in one month.

OMG.

You are a wonder.

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, MISSY ... now why did I already suspect that about you, girl?? That you like bad boys?? ;)

Not everybody likes bad boys, especially readers in the Christian market, but somebody's gotta write them for those of us who do, right?? Besides, it's sooooo fun to redeem them!!

Hugs,
Julie

Wilani Wahl said...

Julie, I do like redeeming the hero especially the way you do it.

I wrote 1,060 words yesterday and hope to get a lot written today in between my super busy schedule. So far I have written 15,124. I am amazed at how much more I am accomplishing this year then last year. It also tells me that I can keep this up even when it is not March.

Julie Lessman said...

AUDRA SAID: "God changing lives. This is not something that happens over the course of a couple of scenes, but as you mentioned, the character needs that thread woven through the whole book."

OH, AMEN, Auds, great observation and one that I need to add to my list above, so THANK YOU!

And I soooooo loved the big hair back then, although the Glamour Shots gal made mine a wee bit bigger than I was used to at the time, so I always thought it looked like a Country Western singer. :)

Love you!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, ELAINE, thank you SO much for your sweet comment, my friend -- MUCH appreciated!!

You said: "In my current novella, the heroine has decided she doesn't want to marry the hero. Then, unknown to him, she finds him on his knees. It changes her perspective completely, which is good because this is a novella, and they don't have time for much angst."

Oh, GOOD ONE, Elaine -- that sounds like a great plot!! And I have to laugh at your line that it's a novella, so not much time for angst. Which is EXACTLY why I gravitate towards those L-O-N-G books because I thrive on all that angst and drama! ;)

Hugs and GOOD LUCK!

JULIE

Julie Lessman said...

LANI, thanks, my friend, for your sweet comment!

You said: "I wrote 1,060 words yesterday and hope to get a lot written today in between my super busy schedule. So far I have written 15,124. I am amazed at how much more I am accomplishing this year then last year. It also tells me that I can keep this up even when it is not March."

First of all, SUPER CONGRATS ON over 15,000 words -- you ROCK, girlfriend!!

Secondly, I think that is one of the BIGGEST benefits of SPEEDBO, and that is it teaches us that if we did it once (write that many words in a month), we can do it on a regular basis, so you go, girl!!

Hugs,
Julie

Barbara Scott said...

Julie, I love every novel you've ever written! When I read your post, I realized I need to mix in a little more bad boy in my hero. So far this month I've written over 10,000 words, but I started my own personal SPEEDBO at the beginning of February. I'm clocking in at 42,401 words so far. Almost at the mid-point! Boy, have I got plans for Buck and Katie.

Oh, and I'll be stopping by the buffet. Sounds so much better than my regular All-Bran and almond milk.

Sierra Faith said...

I definitely like redemption scenes in my romance novels!! Thanks for the giveaway:)

Myra Johnson said...

Love these examples, Julie!!! There really is something about a redeemed hero, and I've used a few of those in my books. Faith struggles make Christian fiction so much more believable, because human being's faith (at least in my experience) is ever rock-solid unshakable.

BTW, love the pic! I remember when my daughter was soooo into having a Glamour Shot done for her high school senior photo. She looked great, but . . . as a mom . . . ??? I kept my eye on the clothing choices!!!

Myra Johnson said...

That should be NO human being's faith is ever rock-solid unshakable.

#typingfail

Julie Lessman said...

BARBARA!!! I believe you just made my day, my friend, and probably my month! Thank you SO much, not only for reading my novels in the first place, but your sweet comment as well. Coming from a respected author/editor/peer means more than I can say!

And over 42,000 since February??? HOLY COW, girl, you are s-m-m-mokin'!!!

Hugs and Happy writing!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

SIERRA FAITH SAID: "I definitely like redemption scenes in my romance novels!!"

LOL, SIERRA ... I'd say that's a given for anybody with "faith" in their name, girl! ;)

Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
JULIE

Julie Lessman said...

MYRA SAID: "There really is something about a redeemed hero, and I've used a few of those in my books. Faith struggles make Christian fiction so much more believable, because NO human being's faith is ever rock-solid unshakable."

Oh, AMEN to that, my friend, and that's one of the things I love about your books, Myra, are your real characters with real faith issues that are often as shaky as our own! :)

YOU ALSO SAID: "My daughter was soooo into having a Glamour Shot done for her high school senior photo ... but I kept my eye on the clothing choices!!!"

LOL ... yes, they do tend to go a little overboard, but since "overboard" is what I do so well (and I was an older gal at the time rather than a teen), I LOVED it!! ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Southern Buffet featuring biscuits from the Loveless Cafe, perhaps????

I love those biscuits!!!!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh Julie, I so LOVE your bad boy heroes. And I am a fan of bad boys also. It is so moving to see them come to the Lord or find themselves. The farther they have to come, the more rewarding and touching is the victory.

Thanks for sharing all those tips.

Kate said...

I so appreciate redemption themes, because I am in such need of it myself. It makes a character relatable and also serves to touch my heart and draw me closer to my Redeemer. Thank you!

Julie Lessman said...

Sorry, RUTHY, the biscuits are from Miss Pittypat's Porch restaurant in 'Lanta! But Loveless Cafe doesn't exactly sound like a warm and cozy breakfast place, you know? Is that in your town?

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, SANDRA, thanks, sweetie, you already know I love your heroes too! And, yep, gotta love those bad boys for sure -- somebody has to, right?? ;)

You said "The farther they have to come, the more rewarding and touching is the victory."

Sooooooo true, my friend!!

Hugs and Happy Pickleballing, girlfriend!

Julie

Sally Shupe said...

Love redemption stories. Thanks for the great post!

Speedbo update: total so far for March:10,000 words. I haven't written for today yet. I have to wait till I get home from work. Since the end of January when I started seriously writing and keeping track, I have written a little over 30,000 words. Thanks for the encouragement and support here! Please enter me for the critique or gift card. Speedboing on!

Jackie Smith said...

Love the glamour shot!!
Julie, you know I love all your books...especially your redemption focus!
Please count me in for SBL!

Mmmm sounds like those biscuits and grits are Southern for sure....suits me - a GA lady.
Can't wait to read your "southern" writings.

Dana McNeely said...

Julie, thanks for the understandable writing tips and the illustrative examples from your writing. I love the emotion in those scenes!

Speedbo progress - so far I've stuck to my goal of writing every day. It's been helpful to sneak in extra challenges - writing early before work, evenings without TV, and taking a vacation day to write with friends.

Barbara Scott said...

Julie, my mind is whirling now with ways to give Buck a "past" with drinkin' and women of ill repute when he was younger. He's tried to reform on his own, especially now that he has had to marry Kate O'Brien to preserve her reputation. But they're living in the same cabin even though they're not sleeping together. How much can a poor man take? Think I gotta burn that cabin down.

Kim Amundsen said...

Yes I do like a redemption in books sometimes.

Nicki Olsen said...

Miss Julie, this post is what my friend Mariah would say is "on point"!! Your novels are my FAVORITES!! Your redemptive scenes are one of the main reasons I love your books (Plus as you've previously mentioned, your characters have a serious swoon factor for us ladies!!) Collin and Jamie's stories were my favorites with redemptive scenes but my favorite hero of yours is probably Bram...I don't know, I've always wanted a guy best friend and Bram fits that profile perfectly! Can't wait to see the redemption I know is coming for "Blake the Rake"! ;) Thanks so much!

~Nicki

Stephanie Queen Ludwig said...

Good morning, Julie! I loved reading the excerpts from your books again, and seeing your redeemed heroes. When I initially read the books, I knew that's what was happening, but it's nice to see it in black and white, you know?

Funny you should mention this post today, because I JUST wrote a scene in my murder mystery in which one of the characters (the murder victim) has a rocky past, but is redeemed by God and the love of a good woman. Granted, this happens long before the story starts and is told in third-person, but I'm going to use it as a tool later in the story to recall to the hero that change is possible in his own life.

I recently purchased "Dare to Love Again," so that will probably be my next read. Looking forward to it!

Also, and this is TOTALLY off topic, but do you watch Downton Abbey? One of the characters is considering moving to Boston, and since this is the 1920s, I was thinking some Fan-Fic of this character interacting with the O'Connors would be so much fun!

Have a wonderful day!

Kav said...

I love the way you redeem bad boys, Julie. After reading your list, I am thinking it is the internal monologue in your heroes that grabs me hostage and makes me an emotional wreck. And I love that.

Not too long ago I read a book with a very bad boy hero who was redeemed by the end but I couldn't actually finish the book because he was soooooo awful at the beginning. I'm realizing now that it's because there wasn't enough of that internal monologue going on. I couldn't see the reasoning behind his actions (which I found abhorrent) so I couldn't relate at all. He was always justifying his actions which drove me mad and I wanted to intervene and take that poor heroine some place safe.

Pam Hillman said...

Julie, you are amazing. Love how you can tick off those major changes in your bad boys lives.

And, know what else I noticed?

Was it Myra who posted about James Scott Bell's Mirror Image concept? Several of your examples showed that major epiphany happening in the middle of the book. :)

Perfect examples!

Kathryn Barker said...

Julie,

I love redemption scenes in romance writing if it's not stereotyped or cheesy. I've heard many testimonies from wonderfully strong, bull-headed men who've come to Jesus in amazing ways.

Thanks for defining types of redemption. It'll help when writing a redemptive scene.

My Speedbo progress has slowed...and I have every classical excuse to justify a pity-party! LOL

Have a beautiful day!

Julie Lessman said...

KATE SAID: "I so appreciate redemption themes, because I am in such need of it myself. It makes a character relatable and also serves to touch my heart and draw me closer to my Redeemer."

Thanks SO much, Kate, for your beautiful comment because that is EXACTLY why I love to write (and read) redemption scenes, because I, too, am in dire need of redemption, still, in certain areas of my life. But like the Bible says, "we are being transformed into his image ... from glory to glory," so hopefully by eternity, we'll get 'er all done. :)

And, YES, writing and reading scenes like this draw me SO much closer to our Redeemer as well, which is why I balk whenever anybody tells me I should consider writing for the secular market. I've thought about it over and over, but in my heart of hearts, but having God strong in my books (almost like a character, my agent once said) in my books is just too critical for me.

Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

SALLY, WOW!! Over 30,000 words written since the end of January is HUGE, my friend, so SUPER CONGRATS!! You will likely be one of those who has this novel written before Speedbo is over!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

JACKIE!!! Thanks, my friend, I do know that, yes, and it ALWAYS makes me smile sooooo big!!

And you're a Georgia gal? When then, you are going to LOVE my Isle of Hope series, then, because it is Georgia through and through! :)

Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
Julie

Jan Drexler said...

I love this, Julie! Trying to work in that redemption and growth in the character is hard to do in a believable way, but you do it wonderfully. Thank you for the examples!

Now to go and work on my current hero's redemption :)

Julie Lessman said...

WOW, DANA ... great job, girl, on that daily writing and being so creative and diligent with it, too, by early-morning writing, during evenings without TV, and taking a vacation day to get 'er done. That's gonna take you far, my friend, so GOOD LUCK, both with Speedbo AND in my contest!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

BARBARA SAID: "Julie, my mind is whirling now with ways to give Buck a "past" with drinkin' and women of ill repute when he was younger. He's tried to reform on his own, especially now that he has had to marry Kate O'Brien to preserve her reputation. But they're living in the same cabin even though they're not sleeping together. How much can a poor man take? Think I gotta burn that cabin down."

LOL ... now you're talking Mary Connealy with burning that cabin down, girlfriend, especially if a gun goes off in the process! ;)

I am SO excited about your story, Barbara, and completely intrigued. Looking forward to reading it, my friend!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

KIM SAID: "Yes I do like a redemption in books sometimes."

LOL ... only sometimes, huh? You are TOO cute, Kim, but I totally understand. Anything can be overdone! :)

Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
Julie

Sally Shupe said...

Julie, I wish I would have a novel finished before the end of Speedbo! God said start this other story for this. All I knew was what was going to happen in the story. Didn't know characters, didn't know anything lol. So the 10,000 words for March is on this new story and it is coming along nicely. Figured out who the characters are, what's going to happen, and have an outline of sorts going now. Your post will help me to add another layer to the characters. Thank you! I'm just writing, writing, and at the end of the month, I'll see where it stands. Once I figured out the opening scene, it blended nicely with what I already had. I love how God works that way. At least He knows where this story is going.

Julie Lessman said...

Gosh, NICKI ... you sure know how to put a big, fat grin on a girl's face, my friend -- THANK YOU!!

You said: "my favorite hero of yours is probably Bram...I don't know, I've always wanted a guy best friend and Bram fits that profile perfectly!"

You know what, Nicki, Bram ended up being one of my favorites, too, and I didn't expect it, about either him or Megan, but they both took me by surprise (no pun intended). There is such a strength in Bram that hooked me as well, which was similar to Brady in A Passion Denied, but lighter and not as dark of a past.

You also said: "Can't wait to see the redemption I know is coming for "Blake the Rake"! ;)

Oh, girl, you have no idea!! Blake's redemption brought tears to my eyes, and I hope it will yours too. I think primarily because the title of the book, Grace Like Rain, is also the title of an absolutely INCREDIBLE video by Todd Agnew. Don't know if you have seen my Journal Jot where I not only give the link to Todd Agnew's song/video, but celebrity pix of Blake and the first chapter, so I encourage to check it out if you haven't already, okay? Here's the link, my friend, and GOOD LUCK in the contest! :)

JULIE'S JOURNAL JOT ABOUT GRACE LIKE RAIN NOVELLA

http://www.julielessman.com/journal-jots1/2015/2/21/saturday-february-21-2015.html

Hugs,
Julie

Vince said...

John Goodman’s
Epithet


He was a good man
who did the right thing
from a love of God.

He resisted temptation
and the lure of lust
though it tried his soul.

He sacrificed current pleasure
for joy and treasure
in the future.

With character and discipline,
plus years of sacrifice,
he established a firm career.

His efforts provided
a safe loving home
for his wife and children.

He was a good man.
Never a lost lamb.

He was definitely not hero material.



****

Dedicated to the John Goodmans of the world and romantic heroes like Sterling Wade in the “The Price of Victory.” : ) (Now I know why I love that book so much!)

Good boys don’t like seeing the bad boys get all the nice girls! Isn’t a life overcoming temptation, sometimes at great costs and pain, as worthy as conflict as having to be redeemed after a life of mostly pleasurable sin?

“Ladies love outlaws like babies love stray dogs.”

It just isn't fair!!!

Vince

P.S. I’d still like to be in the drawing for your newest book. : O) BTW: This was a great post. I'm just not the best audience for it. : )

Julie Lessman said...

STEPH SAID: "Funny you should mention this post today, because I JUST wrote a scene in my murder mystery in which one of the characters (the murder victim) has a rocky past, but is redeemed by God and the love of a good woman. Granted, this happens long before the story starts and is told in third-person, but I'm going to use it as a tool later in the story to recall to the hero that change is possible in his own life."

OH, WOW!!! Very, VERY cool, my friend and beautifully thought out. It will add A LOT of depth to the inspy part of your novel doing it that way for sure, you brilliant little thing! :)

Ah, Dare to Love Again ... the cranky Italian police detective with a penchant for animal crackers and the stick-wielding heroine who makes "points" with him repeatedly, as in the stick kind! I hope you like their story, but I will warn you, this is the least romantically passionate of all my novels (i.e. almost no kisses ... SHOCK, SHOCK, I know, in a Julie Lessman novel!! Which is why it's the ONLY one of my books that hasn't gotten a 1-star review yet, so keep that quiet before somebody nails me ... ;) But the romantic tension is VERY high, so that saves it. ;)

You know, I'm gonna whisper this lest I be hung up to dry, but I am one of the VERY FEW people who do not care for Downton Abbey, which is sooooo very odd given that it's the same time period as the O'Connors. But my hubby and I watched one episode and had no desire to watch another, so I suppose I should give it a chance. But I don't watch all that much TV anyway, so I just never got back to it. I do know, however, that I am soooooo in the minority here, so forgive me!

But that said, YES, that would be rather fun having Downton Abbey meet the O'Connors! ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, KAV ... I guess I should apologize for making you an "emotional wreck," but the way I figure it, if I have to live with myself that way (as an emotional wreck), then I want company ... ;)

You said: "Not too long ago I read a book with a very bad boy hero who was redeemed by the end but I couldn't actually finish the book because he was soooooo awful at the beginning. I'm realizing now that it's because there wasn't enough of that internal monologue going on."

WOW, thanks SO much for your insightful comment, my friend -- it is SO true!! We gals want to get in the heads of our heroes, and one of the main reasons is because heroes are not normally chatty or humble enough to expose their weaknesses (the pride thing going on, you know), so we MUST get into their heads, especially on something as important as redemption!

Thanks for your great comment, Kav, and GOOD LUCK!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, PAM, good eye, my friend, and thank you, too, for your sweet comment!

You said: "Was it Myra who posted about James Scott Bell's Mirror Image concept? Several of your examples showed that major epiphany happening in the middle of the book."

I hadn't noticed that, but you're right, so thanks for pointing that out!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

KATHRYN SAID: "I love redemption scenes in romance writing if it's not stereotyped or cheesy. I've heard many testimonies from wonderfully strong, bull-headed men who've come to Jesus in amazing ways."

AGREED!! Cheesy or stereotypical does NOT work, so you really have to do it right or you and your hero will lose your reader. But on the other hand, when "wonderfully strong, bull-headed men ... come to Jesus in amazing ways," it helps to make for an "amazing" book too, in my opinion. :)

I sooooo relate on the pity party, girl, so I'm saying one for you right now that you are able to work in some time between whatever's going on so you can make some progress.

Thanks for your great comment, Kath, and GOOD LUCK in the contest!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, JAN, how are you, girlfriend? It seems like I haven't seen you for a while, so I hope that's a good (busy with books) thing! :)

Thanks for your kind comment, my friend. Don't know if I'm always successful at it, but I certainly try! :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

SALLY SAID: "Once I figured out the opening scene, it blended nicely with what I already had. I love how God works that way. At least He knows where this story is going."

Oh, YES, don't you LOVE when that happens?? I'm soooo glad for you, Sally, and here's to finishing that book by 3/31 -- LOTS of days left, so you go, girl!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, VINCE ... you NEVER fail to make me laugh, my friend!!

LOVE John Goodman’s
Epithet -- I'm assuming you wrote that? How long does it take you to knock out something like that? It would take me HOURS!! Hopefully it didn't take you as long ... :)

YOU ALSO SAID: "Good boys don’t like seeing the bad boys get all the nice girls! Isn’t a life overcoming temptation, sometimes at great costs and pain, as worthy as conflict as having to be redeemed after a life of mostly pleasurable sin?"

EXCELLENT QUESTION, Vince, but then I would expect nothing less from you than an excellent point or question.

I've given this serious thought as to why so many women seem to be attracted to "bad boys" or "rebels" if you will, and the only thing I can come up with is that they represent the "forbidden fruit," meaning things that are dangerous and sinful, and as fallible human beings who are easily tempted, this holds appeal.

Also, there's a certain degree of confidence in a bad-boy hero who is his own man, doing what he wants when he wants. But for me, that's ALL the more reason to swoon when a guy like that bends his knee before God.

It's a little bit of "The Prodigal Son" story coming into play, I think. The good brother was always with his father, so it was not something that caused a lot of excitement or drama, whereas the prodigal son caused a big stir because it was such a radical change and humbling, and people like radical change for the better -- at least I do, as a bona fide CDQ. :)

You also said: “Ladies love outlaws like babies love stray dogs.” It just isn't fair!!!

LOL ... no, it isn't fair, true, and maybe it's the innate need in women to "change" a man for the better or the attraction toward rebellion that I mentioned above, but it does seem to be true for a lot of women, myself included.

Although I WILL say that my latest hero, Bram Hughes may be the exception for me of all my heroes. He's the only one who is solid in both his faith and avoidance of temptation (at great cost and pain) and has only a very minor past of delinquency that most teenagers go through, without major sin. I'm anxious to see what you think of him, Vince, so GOOD LUCK in the contest!

Hugs,
Julie

Holly said...

I loved your excerpt. Have to read your books now. Love a redemption that I have read this. Never new before. Thank you. I read at least two books a week. Must pick up these now.

DebH said...

Audra said: Julie, your books have so much soul in them, it's amazing you haven't become a one-woman revival ministry, LOL!

ummmm... who's to say you HAVEN'T? I've a sneaky suspicion that peeps have been reached - you just won't know this side of heaven. yep, your stuff is THAT GOOD!

Vince: count me in as a girl who likes the man who has overcome temptation and led an upright life. mainly because I have two uber manly brothers who have lived such lives and they've been my heroes since childhood. bad boys are sort of eye candy for me but I don't want to take a risk on them because my father was a deadbeat dad and that soured me permanently on ever trying to fix a bad boy. give me the "boy next door", "loyal friend from childhood" every time.

that being said. I do tend to swoon over your heroes Julie - mostly because you redeem them into men who resemble my brothers quite a bit (well... minus the rebel youth phase)

name in draw please - I love a shot at any Lessman book.

Speedbo update: erm... not good. minimal progress/ minimal words as life has been a tad upheaved of late. the bright note: my brain is filling up with words itching for release through the keyboard and Seekerville has provided grand guidance and inspiration.
am thrilled that others are progressing so well. very cool to see and uplifting to me because I know that I can get there too.

Jon and Vicki Marney said...

Great article about writing redemptive scenes. As I talked to you previously--my current WIP involves 2 mc who both, already love the Lord and are trying to work their way through the typical side-lines that through in the doubt. Yes, it is lefe's realities, but not as captivating as a redemptive scene. Hmm...food for thought.

As to Speedbo update, I am working daily on my WIP, but a lot of it is being spent editing,madding more conflict & polishing--but it is also resulting in new words, even if it is slower than I want it to be. Please throw my name in any and all drawings. ;)
Vicki

Julie Lessman said...

HOLLY SAID: "Have to read your books now. Love a redemption ... I read at least two books a week. Must pick up these now."

LOL, HOLLY, you don't mess around, do you, girlfriend? You go right for what you want, and I am SOOO glad you "want" to read my books -- THANK YOU!

I will warn you, however, that my books are not only more spiritually passionate than a lot of romance in the CBA, both also more romantically passionate, too, so if you want to check out my favorite romantic and spiritual excerpts out on my website first, just to make sure my style suits, then here's the link:

JULIE'S EXCERPTS

Also, my books have a lot of twists and surprises in them, so they are best read in order. Which means if you start with the my first Irish family saga (which the 1st excerpt I posted above is from), then you want to start with either A Light in the Window (on sale for $1.99 right now, so it's a good time to buy) or A Passion Most Pure (also on sale for $5.99). Or you could start with Love at Any Cost, which is book one of a whole new series.

My recommendation would be A Light in the Window, so if you do read any of my books and like them, do let me know, okay? And if you don't like them? Uh ... well, never mind. ;)

Hugs!
Julie

Janet Dean said...

Excellent post, Julie! Love your bad boy heroes and your terrific redemption scenes!

Smiling at your big hair. I had long big hair, even had it permed so it was curly.

Also had a glamour shot taken. Anyone else?

Janet

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hey Julie,
Couldn't resist popping in! Love this theme and I think a similar post was responsible for a redemption scene (or a least a 'surrender to God' scene) at the end of Irish Meadows.
My next book has a hero redeemed in prison, so he's already on the road. But I just realized I should have probably hammered it home at the end. Maybe in revisions!
Love to be in the draw - it there's one book at least that I haven't read yet.
Cheers,
Sue

Jana Vanderslice said...

RUTHY!! I'm dying! :) When are those books with the Cowboys Everyone Hates coming out? I'm ready to devour them now! Those are going to be good ones! (like they ALL are anyway!)

WILANI! U Rock! I can't wait to see your name in Print!

And JULIE the Great! GREATEST BIG HAIR EVER!!! Thanks for sharing how you write your bad boy heroes!

SPEEDBO Update-- I've worked on my goals every day that I expected to. That's a HUGE THING for me!! I've made BIG progress on our "Fierce Faith 2.0" (which is good b/c we start this Sun!). God has been so Faithful & so Big! No Surprise there!!

Debby Giusti said...

Wonderful, Julie, as your posts always are.

I love redemption. It fits into any Christian story. Having that bad boy fall to his knees and recognize his failure is powerful. Love when he asks God's forgiveness and then is able to eventually forgive himself. Of course, you do it so well!

Becky Dempsey said...

I haven't put any redemption scenes in my books yet but I have a bad boy hero that is begging for his story. I just have to figure out what it is! I'd love to win one of Julie's books.

Speedbo check in--I have filled in about 1/2 of another scene.

Kelly Goshorn said...

Julie, so glad we didn't have to post our big hair photos in order to comment!

I love that bad boy Collin McGuire and how you made him a younger version of Patrick. Talk about two redeemed heroes! But, in real life I stayed away from those types.

Yes, I love a good redemption scene. I think it makes the characters relatable. Who hasn't felt the need to recommit their life to God at some point - you don't have to be a "bad boy" to feel you've drifted away from your Savior. As for my WIP, my hero falls into the Reawakened Hero model. His mentor Neil helps him connect the dots and see the Light!

Speedbo Update - still chugging away on revisions - another 2 hours done today!

Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

I love redemption scenes in novels. :) I just checked and each of manuscripts has at least one. I'd never realized it before.

Thanks for the great post! :)

Julie Lessman said...

Aw, DEB, thanks for your kind comment -- that blesses me because as we all know, touching others for Christ is the MAIN reason we all do what we do, so bless you for encouraging me!!

And YAY, Deb, that you fall in line with Vince's leanings on the bad boy/good boy scenarios, and with good cause. I honestly think there are more of you guys out there in the CBA than those that embrace bad boys, and the success of Amish romance is certainly proof of that because even if an Amish boy is bad, how bad can he be, right?? ;)

You said: "Speedbo update: erm... not good. minimal progress/ minimal words as life has been a tad upheaved of late. the bright note: my brain is filling up with words itching for release through the keyboard and Seekerville has provided grand guidance and inspiration.

Then I would say that's not "minimal progress," my friend, because there's a lot more that goes into a good novel than just slapping those keys, and that's all fermenting in your brain right now, ready to super-charge those fingers when the time is right. :)

Hugs and GOOD LUCK in the draw!

Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, VICKI, good to see you, my friend!!

You said: "Yes, it is life's realities, but not as captivating as a redemptive scene. Hmm...food for thought."

Maybe not as "dramatic," as a redemptive scene, girl, but certainly can be as captivating, especially to the right audience, which the CBA is. I honestly feel that the more middle of the road you can be with both spiritual and romantic passion in the CBA, the better you will do because it's been my experience that too much of anything (i.e. lots of passion, drama, angst, problems) doesn't fly real well in the large portion of the CBA market, or at least that's been my experience. Could be just me. ;)

Hugs!!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

JANET SAID: "Smiling at your big hair. I had long big hair, even had it permed so it was curly. Also had a glamour shot taken. Anyone else?"

Oh, gosh, Janet -- I would kill to see that, girlfriend -- I bet you looked hot! :)

I still remember how long curly perms were in, it seemed like FOREVER, and gosh, were they easy!! I did my hair like Shelly Fabares from the old TV show Coach, and it was the best hairdo I've ever had. Here's a link to jog memories on that look! :)

SHELLY FABARE'S LONG CURLY HAIRSTYLE

HUGS,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

SUE SAID: "Love this theme and I think a similar post was responsible for a redemption scene (or a least a 'surrender to God' scene) at the end of Irish Meadows."

Oooooo, then I reallllly can't wait to read it, girlfriend, and it's up next on my TBR, so I'm EXCITED!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

JANA SAID: "And JULIE the Great! GREATEST BIG HAIR EVER!!!

LOL, thanks, Jana ... now if only I could sing Country-Western ... ;)

YOU ALSO SAID: "SPEEDBO Update-- I've worked on my goals every day that I expected to. That's a HUGE THING for me ... God has been so Faithful & so Big! No Surprise there!!

WHOO-HOO, girl, and YES, "no surprise there" at all with our God!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Thanks, Deb -- I appreciate your sweet comment.

And redemption does fit in so well into any Christian story, whether it's a all-out, "fall-to-your-knees" kind of redemption or quiet and subtle -- it's all good! :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, BECKY, sounds like you're making good progress on Speedbo, girl, so keep plodding away! And oooooo, a bad boy hero just "begging for his story," eh? Sounds fun to me, so you go, girl!!

Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
Julie

Debby Giusti said...

LOL at Kelly Goshorn's comment about posting our big hair pics. I've got plenty. Actually, I liked the style...in the day.

Now I'm happy with my more manageable mane!

You do look like a vamp, Julie!

Is Glammar Shots still in business?

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, KELLY ... no, you don't have to post your
"big hair photos" to comment, but I would definitely give you an extra point if you did ... ;)

You said: "As for my WIP, my hero falls into the Reawakened Hero model. His mentor Neil helps him connect the dots and see the Light!"

Oh, that's such a GREAT opportunity to tie in a close male friendship, too, Kelly, which I absolutely LOVE, so I hope you plan to do that!! One of my favorite things about A Passion Denied was the close bond that I was able to demonstrate between Brady and Collin when I revealed a hidden need for Brady to actually ACCEPT his redemption fully. That was a type of redemptive hero that I didn't include above because I wasn't sure how to say it. :)

You also said: "Speedbo Update - still chugging away on revisions - another 2 hours done today!"

WOW ... you've gotten further than I have on my revisions today, my friend, so you go, girl!! :)

Hugs and good luck in the contest!

Julie

Julie Lessman said...

ANNA SAID: "I love redemption scenes in novels. :) I just checked and each of manuscripts has at least one. I'd never realized it before."

WHOO-HOO, girl, good for you -- sound like my kind of books!! :)

Hugs and GOOD LUCK, my friend!!

Julie

Julie Lessman said...

DEBBY SAID: "LOL at Kelly Goshorn's comment about posting our big hair pics. I've got plenty. Actually, I liked the style...in the day."

OH, ME TOO, DEB!! Soooo easy and really very cute. See the link I included above for Shelly Fabares' curlydo big hair -- I still think it's gorgeous!!

YOU ALSO SAID: "You do look like a vamp, Julie!"

LOL ... well, what you see is definitely what you get, especially back then. I've always been a bit of a vamp, which is why I guess I loved Scarlett O'Hara and my own character Charity O'Connor sooooo much! ;)

And, yes, I just Googled Glamour Shots, and it' IS still in biz, although considerably subdued, it appears. ;)

Hugs,
Julie

CatMom said...

Awesome post (and hair!) Julie - - love those redeemed bad boys in stories. You do that so well (okay, you do everything well in your writing).
Did I ever tell you that I LOVED your book SURPRISED BY LOVE ? If I didn't tell you already, please forgive me - - you are amazing and so talented. SO thankful I got to see you in the hotel lobby at ACFW last Sept.!
Hugs, Patti Jo :)

Julie Lessman said...

PATTI JO!!! Soooo thrilled you enjoyed SBL, my friend, and if you post a review, be sure to let me know so I can enter you in my contest to have a character named after you in my next book, okay?

And thank you SOOO much for your sweet comment -- it blesses me A LOT!!

HUGS and Good luck!
Julie

Carol Garvin said...

Wow, that's quite the hairdo! :)

I don't like too-obvious redemption scenes, but that's because I'm not writing strictly inspirational stories. In achieving his character arc, however, I love it when the main character finally realizes he has to take a different and better approach to his problem, and doing so is beyond his ability. That moment of humility and vulnerability always seems to make up for all his previous shortcomings.

My week of March Madness and Speedbo didn't end with quite as much accomplished as I'd intended, but there's been progress. I took some time to evaluate a couple chapters that weren't working. AND we embarked on a mini-kitchen renovation last weekend! That's way too distracting! Pray for me, folks!!! ;)

Bettie said...

Up to 7600 for Speedbo challenge. Would love to read one of Julie ' s books. Busy day....

Ruth Logan Herne said...

What a delightfully busy day!!! Oh my gosh, this rocks! Julie, your magnetism makes me grin!!!! Love it!

I did over 2K on my cowboy book today, and now I'm recharging my batteries with a 1K sprint on a summer novella.

With (of course!!!) cute kids, hot Greek hero and a heroine who would have been happy to never come home again... but Ooops! Here she is, settling her mother's estate.

It is just so hard to ESCAPE your past these days!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Do my eyes deceive me? Did a Southern gal just admit she doesn't know where the Loveless Cafe is?

Nashville. With the best biscuits ever created by Annie Loveless's own recipe. It is the cutest place, and oh my stars, I'd go there again in a heartbeat and if I lived in Nashville, I'd weigh a buttzillion pounds, they're that good.

If we're ever in Nashville together, we should drive out there and eat. I promise you, Annie's secret recipe biscuits are way more inspirational than any conference class I've ever attended!!!

Wait.

I've played hooky for most, so maybe I'm biased! Food first!!!

Julie Lessman said...

CAROL SAID: "We embarked on a mini-kitchen renovation last weekend! That's way too distracting! Pray for me, folks!!!"

LOL, CAROL, trust me, a kitchen renovation trumps Speedbo in my opinion, but don't tell Tina!! ;)

And, yes, I will pray for you, you little brat, even though I would KILL for kitchen renovation! :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

BETTIE ... trust me, girlfriend, you don't want to read one of my books as much as I WANT you to read one of my books, so here's hoping you pull out a win! :)

And 7600 words is nothing to sneeze at girl, that's AWESOME!! And way more than I've done. Of course, I'm doing editing ... :)

Hugs!!

Julie

Julie Lessman said...

RUTHY, good thing there are no hurricanes in upper New York because you are MORE than enough of a whirlwind for them, girl!! 3K before your head hits the pillow? I swear you're on speed ... or K-cups, one of the two ... ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

RUTHY SAID: "Do my eyes deceive me? Did a Southern gal just admit she doesn't know where the Loveless Cafe is?"

Well, in my defense, I am not classically "Southern," although I DO love Southern pecan coffee!!

But no, I plead guilty -- never heard of Loveless Cafe, so it's nice to learn something new, even if going there would make me weigh a buttzillion pounds. LOL ... you are SUCH a hoot!!

I'm not much of a conference-goer either, Ruthy, nor a how-to book type of gal, so we have a lot in common, including love of food! :)

Hugs,
Julie

Nashville. With the best biscuits ever created by Annie Loveless's own recipe. It is the cutest place, and oh my stars, I'd go there again in a heartbeat and if I lived in Nashville, I'd weigh a buttzillion pounds, they're that good.

Mary Hicks said...

Hmmm, awesome hair. :-)

This was a fun post to read after a long day at the hospital with my brother. ( He's doing great! )

Liked your examples, Julie, but I like those nice guys out there . . . :-)

Sandy Smith said...

I think you rock those redemption scenes, Julie. They are important to show how the hero has changed from the bad boy to a true hero.

Please enter me into the drawing.

I hope speedbo is going well for everyone. My goal is 1000 words a day and I am over 11000 now, so on target.

Kelly Blackwell @ Heres My Take On It said...

I totally didn't think about checking with my Speedbo numbers. My goal was 1500 words a day. Today I haven't sat down to write (just got home from work and taking my son to the library)but so far I am sticking to the goal fairly well. I have 16,804 words so far. This is my first Speedbo, and I am so happy to be here to learn and share. :)

Julie Lessman said...

MARY ... SO glad your brother is doing "great" and that I could give you a little bit of "fun" after a long day, my friend.

And you're not alone, Mary, in your preference for good boys vs. bad boys. Vince wrote a poem about it, and a number of commenters agree with him, as I'm sure the majority of the CBA readership does too. I would say most of the secular romance novels glorify "bad boys," but without redemption. I do like reading/writing about bad boys, but only if they are eventually redeemed.:)

Hugs and GOOD LUCK in the contest, and I'm saying one for your brother.

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Aw, thank you, SANDY -- I appreciate your sweet comment, my friend.

You said: "They are important to show how the hero has changed from the bad boy to a true hero."

I couldn't agree more -- talk about a dramatic character arc, eh?

And 11,000 words ROCK, girlfriend, and so do you!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

HOLY COW, KELLY -- 16,804 words??? You are crankin', girlfriend, and I am jealous!!

Hugs,
Julie

Leola Ogle said...

I love this post. My favorite kinds of romance to read always have a bad boy being redeemed. Some coworkers (all guys)told me one time that all women need to experience a bad boy in their lifetime. I said, "Hogwash! They just need to read about them."
I'm plugging along on Speedbo. Doing something every day. And I'm up for anything in the giveaways: Amazon gift card, critique, books, etc.

Julie Lessman said...

LEOLA SAID: "Some coworkers (all guys)told me one time that all women need to experience a bad boy in their lifetime. I said, "Hogwash! They just need to read about them."

LOL, good for you, girlfriend -- I agree totally, except I would add two words:

They just need to read about them GETTING REDEEMED"! ;)

AND "plugging away" is what Speedbo is all about, my friend, so good for you!

Hugs and GOOD LUCK in the contests!
Julie

Vince said...

Hi Julie:

My poems take about a half hour to write on average. First I get an idea with a twist. Like a good man who is not fit to be a hero. Then I pantser the lines hoping that some will come together. This is easier than you might think because there is no length requirement. Anything can be cut if it makes the poem work. If it does not come together quickly, then the poem has to wait until another day.


I really like your idea about strong heroes being a key to Amish romances. I've liked all the Amish stories I've read and as far as I can remember, it has always been the heroine who needs redemption or is in need of help as when she is a young widow. This feature alone might explain why Amish romances are so popular.

As far as bad boys being the forbidden fruit, that might be part of the attraction. But there is also the Casanova element of wanting what so many other women have found attractive. Just consider how often the heroine will notice how other women look at the hero. This is almost obligatory in a restaurant scene! (There are a lot of predatory waitresses. : ))

Men are very different. Bad girls are not who a man wants for his wife and the mother of his children. Even those bad boys are always going after the good girls! Now that's a real double standard!

Actually, I'm more interested in Kiss-ology. We are on the same page on that topic. : )

Vince

P.S. I absolutely want to read the book with Bram Hughes as the hero, ASAP! (Maybe this post explains why I most like the priest in your Boston novels.)

Dana R. Lynn said...

I'm jumping in really late today. I really enjoyed this post, Julie. I remember telling you that one of the things I loved about Collin was that he did need redemption, like we all do at some point. (Although I still love Mitch *sigh*).

I see redemption stories and I can't help thinking about St. Augustine, who was a huge bad boy before Christ entered his life. In fact, I was just telling my 11th grade CCD class this on Sunday.

Thank you for giving us such delightful flawed characters to cheer on.

Julie Lessman said...

WOW, Vince, I practically can't write a comment in 30 minutes, much less a poem -- you are one talented guy, I'll tell you that.

And, YES, I'm glad you see my point on the Amish stories. I mean, heck, even if there ARE bad-boy Amish heroes, how bad can they be? Stole a buggy? Stole a kiss? Come on now, although I'm sure there are some stories out there with bad Amish boys who do worse, but they are few and far between.

LOL ... only YOU would notice predatory waitresses, my friend! I might have to disagree with you on your Cassanova point that women want what other women have found attractive. I'm not so sure about that. For instance, when Brad Pitt first hit celebrity status as one of the sexiest guys in Hollywood, I just flat-out couldn't see it. He did nothing for me AT ALL. Now I will admit in later years, I find him a wee bit more attractive, but I think that's because I used one of his pics as a celebrity look-alike pic for Luke McGee. I think it may have been from A River Runs Through it, and he was in a squat, holding a fishing rod with a mischievous smile. That was SO Luke to me (aka Cluny McGee), that I instantly fell in love with Brad too. :)

TOTALLY AGREE with you that bad girls are not who a man wants for his wife and the mother of his children AND that it's a real double standard!

Oh, gosh, just SEEING the word "Kiss-ology" makes me pine because that's what I wanted to call Romance-ology sooooo much, but several people said that "kiss-ology" wouldn't fly as well in the Christian market, and they were probably right. So I went with Romance-ology instead, but I still regret it. I'll tell you what -- the secular people would have glommed onto the Kiss-ology title. :)

Oh, YES, I LOVE the priests in my novels too, although there's only two. But Father Mac in the O'Connor saga was one of my favorite characters EVER, as was Father Fitz in ALITW too. Something VERY strong about priests, maybe because they are men who are able to say no to the carnal to say yes to God -- that is VERY attractive to me! :) Uh, that kind of man ... not the priest. :)

And I do think you will like Bram A LOT, or at least I hope you do. He's at the center of one of my favorite spiritual scenes I've ever written, called "The Abraham Factor," which is a lesson God taught me before Bram teaches Logan. :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Oh, DANA, I am sooooo with you on Mitch (and Luke), but Collin's redemption is one of my favorites of all those I've written (his and Steven's).

And, YES, YES, YES, I love St. Augustine's story soooo much, so thanks for mentioning that.

LOL ... it's my pleasure to give you "such delightful flawed characters to cheer on." I'm good at writing them because I have so much experience at being flawed! ;)

Hugs,
Julie

LoRee Peery said...

Julie, I do like redemption scenes, and I have used them in my stories. If my hero or heroine is a believer when the story begins, they haven't grown or something in their past keeps them from peace. By the end, they not only have the love of their lives, but deeper love for the One who gives us life. Excellent post, thank you.

Tanya Agler said...

Thank you for your post, Julie.

I like redemption scenes. I think they make the hero more interesting, more human.


Micaela Wood said...

I absolutely love the redemption aspect of your books, Julie! It's part of what makes the conflict so enticing...knowing that it has a purpose and a message in the end :)


Thank you for writing such amazing books! Would love to win one of your new novellas :)

HUGS,
Micaela :)

Julie Lessman said...

LOREE SAID: "Julie, I do like redemption scenes, and I have used them in my stories. If my hero or heroine is a believer when the story begins, they haven't grown or something in their past keeps them from peace. By the end, they not only have the love of their lives, but deeper love for the One who gives us life."

Oh, girl, BEAUTIFULLY said!! And thank you SO much coming by and for your kind comment. And, YES, as authors for Him, that's what we ultimately are trying to do -- use OUR love stories to deepen our readers' love stories WITH Him!

Hugs!!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

TANYA SAID: "I like redemption scenes. I think they make the hero more interesting, more human."

I couldn't agree more, my friend, in spades!!

Hugs and GOOD LUCK in the contest!

Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Thanks, MICAELA -- I agree wholeheartedly that "it's part of what makes the conflict so enticing."

Excellent point, my friend, and GOOD LUCK because I would love to send you a novella!

Hugs,
Julie

Deanna Stevens said...

Beautiful picture.. I just received one of your books and looking forward to reading it soon!!
Tosss me in to the drawing please..

bonton said...

NO one knows about writing stories of redemption for those "bad boys" than the "Queen of Romance", LOL. I always love reading your excerpts about them- the downside of doing so is sitting here with tears in my eyes, wanting to re-read each of your books and not having the time.

I think one of the attractions to "bad boys" - for some women - is the need to mother and/or change them, another could be due to insecurity and feelings of not deserving someone better. Also, I think there are probably some women who have always been, or known as, "good girls" their entire lives and yearn to experiment with the wilder side of life.

As with you, I've lived those years of once not serving God and doing "my own thing" - it's not hard for me to understand or accept these life realities in the Inspirational Fiction I read. None of us is perfect and we need to better understand the problems of the "bad boys" (and girls) in order to more effectively witness to, and reach them, for God. Reading of their redemption in Inspirational Fiction not only helps us do that, but provides reading enjoyment and inspiration.

I think the Loveless Café Ruthy referred to may have once belonged to the country music singer Patty Loveless. I've had it on my list of places to eat for some time now, but never took the time to look it up when I was in Nashville. Perhaps you can try it during ACFW next year??

Re: the Amish boys, there was a TV show about 5 Amish boys and girls moving to New York (and later to Florida)and their experiences as they dropped their Amish dress and lifestyle. Some of them returned to the Amish lifestyle, although ostracized until they repented - the shows probably had an impact on the Amish image for some people. I'm wondering what percentage of the Amish have deflected the Amish lifestyle and how many hidden secrets there may be within their communities. Although they are known for their strong convictions, they are also imperfect and some have issues just as we do.

Loved the "glamour shot" and the "big hair", Julie!! Your beauty was apparent then and is now also - inside and out!! Can't wait to read your next "bad boy" redemption story!!

Good luck, "Speedbo" writers - don't forget those "bad boy" redemption scenes!!

Julie Lessman said...

DEANNA, YAY!!! Which book did you get, out of curiosity? And if you like it, I hope you let me know. And if you don't ... uh, well, never mind. :)

Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

BONNIE!!! Always makes my day, my sweet friend, when I can read one of your comments. Like Vince, you are VERY insightful.

For instance, you said: "I think one of the attractions to "bad boys" - for some women - is the need to mother and/or change them, another could be due to insecurity and feelings of not deserving someone better. Also, I think there are probably some women who have always been, or known as, "good girls" their entire lives and yearn to experiment with the wilder side of life."

WOW ... three great points, boom-boom-boom, just like that, ALL excellent!! You could SO be a novelist, Bonnie, I swear you could!!

Mmm ... the Loveless Cafe, eh? Well, next year in Nashville sounds like a must-do, and wouldn't it be wonderful if you were there too???

LOL ... that big hair was something, wasn't it? But I have to admit I still like it ... :)

Love you!
Julie

Loraine Nunley said...

Great post today Julie! Thinking about it, I realize that I do enjoy a good redemption story. I guess because it's at the heart of our salvation. "A Passion Most Pure" is one of my favorite books - maybe that's why!

Speedbo update: Lots of distractions today, but I am pleased that I got a little more than my goal accomplished. Yay!

Abbi Hart said...

I had a crazy day yesterday so I didn't get the chance to read this till today.
The redemption scenes! The well done ones, especially yours, never fail to make me go weak at the knees. I don't think there is anything that makes a hero more attractive than watching him surrender to God.

Julie Lessman said...

LORAINE SAID: Thinking about it, I realize that I do enjoy a good redemption story. I guess because it's at the heart of our salvation. "A Passion Most Pure" is one of my favorite books - maybe that's why!"

Aw, thank you, my friend, your comment truly blesses me!!"The heart of our salvation," indeed, and there's nothing more precious than that. :)

And good for you that you that you got even more than your goal accomplished, especially in the face of distractions -- that's tenacity for you, girl, and it will also be success come 3/31!

Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

ABS!!!

See? I know I've said it before, but I will say it again -- you and I think SO much alike, which is why you get my stories like you do, and that blesses me to no end!!

I feel the EXACT same way that there is nothing "that makes a hero more attractive than watching him surrender to God." That's why Collin on his knees in the moonlight and Steven weeping on his front porch during that misty night make me tear up every single time.

Sorry about your "crazy day yesterday." Am praying that today improves considerably for you, my friend!

Hugs,
Julie

J:-)mi said...

I like reading about them, but I gotta admit, I'm super thankful for a husband who never was that "bad boy" like described here. His faith and humble but determined walk with God, his passion for ministry, his spiritual encouragement to me - these all drew me to him in early high school so that by the time I graduated and was only a few months into college I was convinced I'd marry him someday! I just didn't realize that God's plan was for him to propose only 2 weeks after my conclusion! :-)
But even as I say this, my own attempt at writing has included a "bad boy redemption" scene. So while I may not want it in my own life, I obviously think it makes for a great story!

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, J:-)MI, same here. I got burned by a number of bad boys, so I knew firsthand that I didn't want anything to do with them after I became a Christian at 23. But they do make for a good story when redemption is so dramatic, and unfortunately, they do draw readers to a degree, at least in the secular market. Call it forbidden fruit or a James Dean draw or whatever, but bad boys are fun to write and read about, ESPECIALLY when they get redeemed. :)

Hugs and GOOD LUCK in the contest!
Julie

Pam said...

I do like redemption scenes in novels (especially Julie's). Many of us like the "bad boy" hero but don't want them to STAY bad! It is so much better when they turn to God and become a real hero.

Julie Lessman said...

PAM SAID: "Many of us like the "bad boy" hero but don't want them to STAY bad! It is so much better when they turn to God and become a real hero."

Oh, AMEN, Pam!! That's what this is all about in inspy romance -- redeeming the bad boy, where you take the reader on a dramatic turnaround. Heck, it's like a makeover show in a sense, only God does the makeover! :)

Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
Julie

The Artist Librarian said...

Julie, it's great being back! Though I'm feeling the midterm crunch before spring break ... (hence some Speedbo pushed to the wayside) prayers coveted for sure! =)

Julie Lessman said...

JENN!!! Prayers coming your way, my friend, so go get 'em, girl!

Hugs and Happy Studying! :)

Julie