Journeys of faith are as unique as the individuals traveling them.
Just as one style of worship and set of religious practices don’t resonate with every Christian, neither would one type of Christian fiction novel.
Since writers hail from all walks of life and varying connections to God, so do our expressions of that faith in our fictional work.
In fiction, few of us are trying to preach. We want our characters to “reveal” biblical truths or convey lessons simply by being and doing. Readers are invited to enjoy our stories and take whatever messages they will. Some novels will simply entertain while others may sear your soul.
The beauty of this genre is that rather than cookie-cutter stories that all end the same, readers who search hard enough can find writers whose books engage them and challenge them as much as books from any other genre.
Consider adding the Christian fiction novels below to your gift list this Christmas:
· The Ideal Wife by Jacquelin Thomas – Bestselling author Jacquelin Thomas pushes the envelope in this novel by addressing the swingers’ lifestyle and what happens when one woman casts aside her morals and faith for the sake of what she believes is love.
· Sins of the Father by Angela Benson - This compelling novel shares the story of a wealthy media mogul who has a secret second family. When Abraham Martin’s conscience gets the best of him, he – and his families – must face the consequences of his choices and learn to forgive.
· This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti – This classic Christian thriller is an action-packed story of spiritual warfare between the forces of good and evil. Readers will finish this book with a deeper understanding of the power and importance of prayer.
· Blessed Trinity by Vanessa Davis Griggs – In this novel, the oldest of three sisters perfects a façade of success and happiness, when in reality she has spent her life guarding a terrible secret. Readers will keep turning pages to find out when and how she’ll handle the truth, and whether it will destroy her or strengthen her faith.
· Chosen by Patricia Haley – Sibling rivalry rears its head in this novel when the leader of a multi-million dollar ministry decides that his younger son rather than his firstborn should take the helm of the organization. The two half brothers and their mothers plot and scheme over who will have final control. Their actions remind readers that authentic faith in God doesn’t hinge on titles and power.
· The Rivers Run Dry by Sibella Giorello – In this Christian fiction mystery, a flawed FBI agent struggles to settle into a new assignment while dealing with a boss who dislikes her and while helping her mother through a personal crisis. Readers can relate to Raleigh Harmon’s imperfections yet still be intrigued by her work and her efforts to find a missing woman.
· The Bishop’s Daughter by Tiffany Warren – Bestselling author Tiffany Warren reflects our culture’s disdain for Christians through her journalist character Darrin Bainbridge, who decides to tell the “truth” about Hollywood ministers by exposing one bishop’s fraud. Darrin’s plans are complicated when he falls in love with the minister’s daughter.
· The Face by Angela Hunt – In this intriguing novel, a severely deformed woman who has been hidden in a CIA facility since birth and used to help the government accomplish certain goals, is discovered by a long-lost aunt. The aunt helps her reclaim her life and decide, for the first time ever, who she wants to be and for whom she wants to live.
· Lady Jasmine by Victoria Christopher Murray – The latest novel by Victoria Christopher Murray, who is credited with birthing the African American Christian fiction genre, tells the story of Jasmine, a character from Murray’s previous novels who has a history of scheming and lying. Jasmine has promised her minister husband she’ll keep no more secrets from him. She tells all but one horrible truth – the one that now leaves her facing blackmail.
There should be something in this eclectic mix of Christian fiction novels for most book lovers on your list. Some of the titles are overt in sharing messages of faith while others use Christianity as an undertone. Choose a genre –mystery, suspense or romance, for example - that your book lover already appreciates and you won’t go wrong.
Stacy Hawkins Adams is an Essence bestselling Christian fiction author, freelance journalist and inspirational speaker. Her sixth novel, Dreams That Won’t Let Go, will be released in January. Other titles include The Someday List, Watercolored Pearls and Worth a Thousand Words. Visit her website to read excerpts of her work: www.StacyHawkinsAdams.com