Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What Draws and Keeps You Reading Love Inspired?

Cheryl Wyatt here. The other day during church small group sharing time, our small group leader asked what it was that first drew us to the church. For me, it was the fact that the worship was so intimate. The lyrics sang directly to God rather than just about Him which taught me to focus more on Him. For some reason that got me thinking about what made me start reading Love Inspireds. Simply put, I know the reads are safe and will not compromise my faith. I love the story worlds and the small town feel of the books.

When I was an aspiring author, I frequented the eharlequin message boards where I met and was mentored by author Margaret Daley (Pictured with me above). Margaret reaches out to so many authors amid her success and she has become one of my closest writer friends. She encourages and inspires me in so many ways. Her books were some of the first LIs that I read. Her hooky writing, sweet settings, spectacular plots and strong characters reeled me in.

I feel so blessed to be a part of a community of authors who so readily reach out to the up and coming authors. Many, many Love Inspired authors encouraged and cheered me along the journey. I'll bet several of them are among your favorites. People such as Margaret and Ginny Aiken. Marta Perry, Debra Clopton, Allie Pleiter and Lenora Worth. I could go on listing names for days. I feel blessed to be a part of the sisterhood that is LI.

So today I'm wondering what first drew you in to reading Love Inspireds? I would especially love to know what KEEPS you reading them?

Is it the clean, Christian content?
The authors' voices?
The small town feel?
The sense of community each book brings?
What else?

I'd really love to know! So post your thoughts in the comment section.

Thanks for sharing!


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Laura, thank you for that feedback. Your comment reminded me that my daughter asked to read an LI the other day. She's a preteen and I felt confident in telling her that it was a chapter book and she could certainly read it.

She finished nearly a chapter before bed and LOVED it.

I get letters from young girls all the time which makes me thankful that Harlequin has the Love Inspired line.

I love that the books feature heroines who are good role models for young girls and heroes who are good role models for young men and how they should treat women.

Thanks again for sharing!

Your readership is a blessing.


Margaret Daley said...

Cheryl, your words blew me away. You're a special person and a terrific writer.

What I love about Love Inspired books is that they can be shared with the young and old. These stories go across the generations.

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Margaret, yes! So true.

Hugs back at ya!

I meant everything I said.


Karen Kirst said...

I love Love Inspired because the relationships are on a deeper level. When I do occasionally read a secular romance, I'm struck by the shallow nature of the love story. As you said, it's nice to pick up a book without worrying there might be something inappropriate. I think also they are witnessing tools - readers can be inspired and encouraged in their relationship with God. I'm so thankful for the Love Inspired books!

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Karen, thank you for the feedback. Very valuable!

Thanks for coming by. We appreciate your readership!


Janet Lee Barton said...

Hi Cheryl, I think I love most everything about them.:) It's my dream to one day write for LI or LIH, but in the mean time, I'll just enjoy each and every Li or LIH book I pick up. I love the small community feel to them--no matter where they take place. I love the different author voices, the fact that they can be read and enjoyed by young and old--and in-between alike.:) Most of all, I love the love stories and the element of faith in each of them.

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Janet, thank you for sharing your thoughts!

I hope you can be part of the LI family soon!


Lyn Cote said...

I remember when I was in Dallas in 1996 at a writing conference and an editor stood up at the one inspirational workshop and announced the new Love Inspired line. What an exciting day!

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Wow, Lyn! What a great memory. One of my fondest memories of this year's ACFW conference is getting to have dinner with you.

And the RIOTOUS laughter when my phone accidentally called yours and we were both so baffled by it because you were seated two persons away from me. What a hoot!


Melanie said...

Like Laura above, I found my first Love Inspired book secondhand, at Goodwill. I was so impressed by the quality of the writing and the emotional depth that I went on to read more. I keep reading them for a number of reasons. Without going into too much detail, I’m going through a rough time right now; I was laid off last year and I’m still job searching. I read very widely, but right now, I don’t want to read books that are depressing. Love Inspired stories are comforting and hopeful. I also enjoy the various authors’ different voices. Cheryl, your writing has a very individual voice; that’s one of the things I love about your books.

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Melanie, thank you! I'm like you with reading. I want something that doesn't leave me feeling dismal afterward. LOL! I love the guaranteed happy ending that LIs provide.

I'll be praying for you and for your situation.

Right now in fact. Be blessed my friend! God loves you and knows intimately your struggle. He is faithful and He will sustain you.


Merrillee said...

I started reading LI books because I wanted to write for this line. I had been looking for a home for my stories, and I thought LI was the perfect place.

Abbi said...

Hi, Cheryl,

I grew up in a small town and I miss that feeling of everyone helping each other and being there for each other. I live in a large metro area now and for the foreseeable future.

I think the LI books also remind me of my roots. That's why I read the line.

Abbi :-)

Jennifer Weitlauf said...

I read one my Mom had gotten in the mail, and later I bought one at the bookstore in the mall. A few months after that I noticed them at Wal-Mart and picked up a couple more. I quickly became hooked and can't wait for the new ones to come out! I love the faith-filled humor and romance-no disgusting scenes that I wouldn't want my child to read. I really enjoy reading several of the series. It's fun to read another character's story. I do have to confess that the books I love the most are the ones liberally sprinkled with humor! If I get through an entire book and it doesn't make me at least giggle I see that as a waste of time. Life can be far too serious and we all need to laugh more! :)

Daisy said...

I read quite a bit, and extremely fast. For a few years, I lived too far to walk to a library and didn't have a car and had two little kids that were terrified of the city bus, but there was a Christian book store close by. At the same time, my budget was very tight and I couldn't afford the price for some of the novels, so I was re-reading a lot and going stir crazy for lack of something new to absorb. One afternoon I went in with my very limited budget, hoping there was something new on the clearance shelf, and the clerk was so excited to tell me about a new line she had just heard about, one that I might be able to find where I could find the monthly Harlequin releases, for the same price. (And that hopefully she would be able to have them in her store soon.) So I looked for it next time I went to Wal-Mart, found my first Love Inspired, and I've been hooked ever since. I absolutely love that I can read a book with a happy ending that shares the many facets of God's love and forgiveness, all while not blowing my budget for the month.

Have a great weekend!
Daisy (charity)

Joy said...

I think maybe the first time I found out about LIs was at a rummage sale when I found (and bought!) a whole boxful. I love reading and appreciate authors who write books free of sex and bad language and having a dose of Christian faith is an added bonus. That was what initially drew me. What keeps me reading are the compelling stories and the believable (and usually loveable) characters. I love all three lines out now...LI, LISuspense, and LIHistorical. To me these stories have more substance than your secular love story and alot of times I find the characters in secular stories to be rather shallow, especially in the romance area. So I am especially grateful for LI and for all of the talented authors who bless us by sharing their stories!

Ausjenny said...

interesting question. I know this isn't love inspired but I first started reading heartsong presents because they were a small easy to read and cheaper book. then later on I found a few LI going on sale at one of the christian bookshops here in a catalogue and ordered them. I love the easy to read stories. They are easy to read and clean and cheaper than some of the other books. I love the easy to read style but with a really good story. I do enjoy all three lines also.

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Merrillee, love that story!

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Abbi, thanks for sharing. I can't imagine not living in a small, rural area, so I feel for you.

I'll bet the city has its perks though! Glad you can revisit the small town feel through Love Inspired.


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Jennifer, we're glad you found us and are hooked! LOL.

I love humor as well.

So many LI authors do it well. Debbie Clopton's characters are so funny and endearing. I enjoy her humor very much. Betsy St. Amant too and Kathryn Springer does cute humor I think. I know there are some great ones that I'm missing brain-wise but can't think of at the moment.

There are some great new LI authors in the lineup too. Audra Harders, Ruth Logan Herne and Tina Radcliffe.

Camy Tang does humor well in LIS. Mary Connealy is a hoot but she's not an LI author.

Have you read Soldier Daddy by me? If so, if you like humorous kid scenes, you will probably enjoy it.

Just beware of bubbles and imaginary geese! LOL.

Thanks for sharing.

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Daisy, I'm so glad you had the bookstore nearby. What a blessing!

Thanks so much for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts.

I too love the price of the books.


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Joy, thank you for the kind words about LI books. Knowing many of the authors personally, I can attest to the fact that those ladies live out the faith that drives their words. They are amazing and I feel so blessed to be a part.

Thank you for sharing!


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Jenny, I love Heartsongs too. It is amazing to me that they can put down an entire story in such a small word count parameter. That takes definite skill.

Thanks for sharing!


Rose said...

very inspiring.