Monday, June 30, 2014

Joining East to West: Readers with Authors in Growing Christian Market

More Christians in India than ever before have their heads bowed low these days. Praying? Maybe, but also reading on their smart phones and tablets. The popularity of E-readers and apps for enjoying books on smart phones and tablets has substantially increased readership in India, especially in larger cities and among college students. 

After researching and speaking with Christian pastors in India, authors, and a barrage of voracious book lovers, it crystallized the truth that excellent Christian literature and clean fiction are in demand in the East.

"People from India want to read and learn about the Western world," says Shilpa Joshi, a Christian from Bangalore. "We want to explore places like Texas and reading about these places in novels takes us there, but I rarely come across such books."

Holly Michael reported, “During a visit to India last year, browsing large Christian bookstores, I found mostly self-help and spiritual non-fiction books written mainly by Indian authors. I did come across a few nonfiction titles by Joyce Meyer and Joel Olsteen, but found almost zero Christian novels.”

Renjit Varghese, a Christian from Kerala, India lives in Kansas City now. He says that readership is growing among Indians due to the lower cost of eBooks. "But Christian books are difficult to find in India," says Varghese. "Even more rare is fiction written by American authors." When I go back home to Kerala, I take books back with me for my family."  

Seeing the need to connect Christian authors in the West with readers in the East, Holly, author of the soon to be released CROOKED LINES and I began a website: The full name of the premier site is India's Crown in Christian Literature Excellence or ICICLE. The website will feature American Christian authors with books marketed in India through Amazon and other sources. Each author featured will have also give away one copy of their book.

India's Crown In Christian Literature Excellence (ICILE)
India’s Crown is a place where the authors and readers can also connect. It surprised me to discover a few years ago that people all over the world love Texas. My historical Christian romance—reviewers have told me I should add western adventure to my genre—Vow Unbroken is set in 1832 Texas, so I am excited about the untapped market in India. And while it’s nice to sell more books, I’m more excited with the aspect of meeting Indian Christians and making friends across the ocean. With Christ in common, we can minister to one another and see that God is doing wonderful things in other places.

So, Holly and I are off and running on a massive campaign to bring awareness of to India, and fill this niche, with literary minded Christians working on both sides of the ocean. It is time now to welcome authors to contact us about promoting their book. We are filling our calendars now. We’re thrilled to be wide open to Indy titles, but do want to read them ahead of time to ensure the excellence in Christian Literature we advertise. It is this assurance that will catapult India’s Crown into the organization we believe God wants it to be. Visit the site and contact us with any questions.  

Get ready Christian authors in the US! Indian readers want your books! And what a platform God has given us  to spread the Gospel through our Christian Fiction.

Caryl McAdoo 
Looking forward to hearing from you!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Daddy's Home from the War

The first of several 'Prequelettes'; Letters exchanged from 18 year old Levi and his little sister-cousin Rebecca (characters you met in VOW UNBROKEN, four years have passed) The missives will give readers an idea of what's been going on from VOW UNBROKEN's 1832 setting and HEARTS STOLEN, book two, set in 1844.  In May, 1836, his Uncle Henry returns home from the Battle of San Jacinto carrying Levi's letter. He arrives on May 26, 1836...   

After the tears and shouts, the celebration and heartbreak of Levi not returning home but being alive, Rebecca Ruth Baylor Buckmeyer snuggled her two oldest little sisters up close. Instead of a bedtime story though, she unfolded her brother’s letter Daddy brought home to her.

May 8, 1836
My dearest little sisters, Bitty Beck, Mary Rachael, and Gwendolyn Claire…I’m sure Baby Ce Ce could care less only eight weeks old. Or has it been nine now?

The four-year-old popped up. “That’s me! It said Mary Rachael.”
“That’s right. It’s from Levi. He didn’t come home from the war with Daddy, so he sent us a letter.” She turned to the two –year-old on her left. “You remember Levi, don’t you Gwen?”
The little one shook her head against Rebecca’s chest. “No!”
She didn’t chide her baby sister for the bad attitude in her tone. Mama never should have let her start sleeping with her and Baby Cecelia while Daddy was away.

Well, we did it! We’re all Texians now! Don’t know rightly what I expected, but it was unbelievable. Everyone charged shouting, “Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!” It was like one huge roar, and before I could imagine, the battle ended. The Mexicans fired a few shots, but they all turned tail and ran.
You’d never guess it, but you are the real hero of the Battle of San Jacinto.

Her? What in the world could he be talking about?

Yes, you. Remember that morning we left and Blue Dog was torn between staying home with you and going? You convinced him to go. Remember?

Blue Dog hunted down Santa Anna!
Blue Dog hunted down Santa Anna!
“Do you, Becca? I don’t remember.” Mary Rachael stopped twirling Rebecca’s hair and looked up. She loved her little sisters, and the little girl’s beauty almost took her breath away looking so much like her Daddy.

“I do as a matter of fact. I told Old Blue that he needed to go help win Texas’ independence and make sure Daddy and Levi got home safe.”
Gwen sat up, pulled her thumb out of her mouth, then wrinkled her nose and stuck out her tongue at her slightly older sister.
“Now, that wasn’t very nice, was it? You two shush and be good, let me read the letter. I want to see how I was the hero, don’t you?” She started the new sentence over.

Well, Blue is the very one who tracked Santa Anna and found him the next day! No telling what might have happened if the general got away. We might still be fighting. But the defeated cockroach signed the treaty, and Texas is now a Republic! Independent, free from Mexico’s rule! Isn’t it wonderful?

President Lamar is forming a rangering company. Wallace Rusk and I joined up, so now I’m a ranger. How about that, Bitty Beck? Don’t be upset with me for not coming home. I’m sure I’ll be back before you know it, and bring my new friend with me.

Did Uncle Henry tell you about Wallace yet? We found him walking along just outside of Nacogdoches. First said he was eighteen, but I found out he’s only big for a sixteen year old. He had to lie again to get in the rangers with me. He’s had a sad life. Never knew his father like me, but his mother left him an orphan last February. Said she was a sporting lady.

Rebecca gasped. “Oh my.”

“What’s a sporting lady, Becca?”
“Oh, uh, you know. Like marbles… Or racing horses.” How brilliant, Levi Baylor! A little warning might have been nice. Hadn’t the thought entered his mind that she may be reading his letter aloud? Well, at least it wasn’t in front of Mama or Daddy. Surely the little sisters wouldn’t say anything. “Be quiet, now, and let me read the rest.” She read silently until she got past the part about his friend’s mother. Just like him to put the keep it quiet after the bad part. What a clown.

Don’t say anything about that, it should be just between you and me – or about his real age, either.
I know Uncle Henry and Aunt Sue planted all that extra cotton and hate it that I won’t be there to help. This is something I feel I must do. As a man. Lamar is sending all the rangers to Comanche Springs so we can teach the Comanche and Kiowa a lesson for joining up with the Mexicans to fight against us. It’s pretty far west, not far from the Rio Grande is what I heard. Some of the older rangers think we’ll be done by Thanksgiving, maybe sooner.
Can you believe Wallace has never even had a proper Turkey Dinner with all the fixin’s before? Or even celebrated the holiday at all. Maybe I can bring him with me in the fall. I can’t wait for you to meet him. He’s like a brother to me already.
Kiss all my little Buckmeyer ladies for me and give Aunt Sue a real big hug. May be a chance we can come late September and help with the pickin’. I’ll write again next chance I get.

I love you, 
your brother-cousin,
Levi Bartholomew Baylor
“Long live the Republic, Bitty Beck!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My Writing Process BLOG HOP

Good Monday Morning! Preslaysa Williams at asked me to participate in the "My Writing Process" blog hop.

Even if it is Tuesday morning! This was scheduled for yesterday June 2nd, but I found myself still away from home (visited the weekend with my daddy who lives with my sister so she could take a break)and didn't have my information with me, so I'm posting it this morning instead.

So, I have been working on HOPE REBORN, book three after VOW UNBROKEN (March 2014 release from Simon and Schuster’s Howard Books) and HEART STOLEN (September 2014 release), scheduled for a March 2015 debut. All three are historical Christian romances, VOW takes place in 1832 when my state was known as Tejas and a part of Mexico, then HEART comes six years later, 1844, when we were a Republic. HOPE REBORN, set in 1850 after Texas has come into the Union as the twenty-eighth state, explore the romances of the wild west and have plenty of adventure for their characters.

I absolutely love writing for this genre, my all time favorite! The research is fascinating. I love digging into the early history of the Lone Star State and writing for readers who love the Lord. Being able to extol His greatness and never ending love for us is such a blessing. He gives me the sweetest stories and lets me get to know my characters as real friends, making them so easy to write about.

Though many authors write historicals set in the nineteenth century, no where in the world was like Texas – not then, not now! I’m thrilled to find many men enjoy my historical romance novels and say in their five star reviews that I should add western adventure to the genre explanation. J

I started writing historical Christian romance because I met Mary Sue McAdoo Seymour, my agent, at an East Texas Writers’ Conference. Yes, her maiden name was McAdoo. What a fun God thing, right? She told me this was her favorite genre and is I would write one, she would sell it. So I did, and so did she. I started writing in the 80's and have often wondered why God had me writing as my success seemed minimal. I see now that all those years and studying and learning my craft was for such a time as this – such a genre that would advance His Kingdom. And that’s why I write what I do.

I get up every morning and have my first cup of coffee at the computer. I check my social media accounts and love reaching out to those who take the time to get in touch, then I pull up Word and got to my work in progress HOPE REBORN. One thing that might interest you, I've written two novellas - my first! They're about half the size as VOW UNBROKEN at a little over forty thousand words each: SING A NEW SONG and THE PREACHER'S FAITH that are at the publisher's now. They're both contemporary Christian romances. Be watching for those titles!

Now I encourage you to hop on over to a sweet friend of mine who God gave to me, Holly Michaels. Her "My Writing Process" will go up next Monday morning, June 9. (unless she finds herself away from home without her information) Click on over and see what she has to say about her writing experiences.

I want to thank you for visiting my blog today. I’d love to hear from you. Ask any questions by commenting below or tell me why you like to read historical Christian romance. What do you look for in such a story?