Romance Novels That Should be Written but Won’t

This is an experimental, humorous piece. I’m working on fiction now. Perhaps I will use my Medium account to start writing about Christianity and creative writing–both the process and theory.

A Time for Love

(Time travel romance.)

The Times Bestseller by ima nyball

Lord Neville St. Just III–a dashing nobleman–travels from 19th century Europe to 2020 Chicago through a plot hole in the space/time continuum. He happens to meet Chloe Camden, the jaded editor of a woman’s magazine.

She is smitten by his good looks and charm. He is smitten because she is the protagonist.

Eventually they have a falling out. Chloe gets sloshed after a hard day at work and attempts to seduce Neville despite his emphasis that he is waiting till they marry.

The morning after he accuses her of being a brazen hussy and a lush. She accuses him of benevolent sexism. Neither knows what the other’s words mean but they feel insulted.

Lord Neville travels back to his own time where ladylike women are plentiful and Chloe stays behind since she prefers her hedonistic lifestyle and smartphone (The right to vote is kind of nice too.) Both live happily ever after in their proper chronologies.

The End

 

Stable Boy

(Historical Romance.)

The Times Bestseller by ima nyball (2)

Set in fifteenth century France, young Margarite Ramboullet is pledged to be married to a man she is not madly in love with for a political alliance. Charles de Tencin is her equal in wealth and social status and their marriage will please not just their families but a number of political figures.

As her wedding draws near, Margarite discovers a burning passion for virile, muscle-bound Jacques the stable boy. His animal magnetism overwhelms her.

Jacques proposes Margarite flee her impending nuptials to a man she cannot love (or at least has never swapped spit with.) He suggests they go to the vast woods of a neighboring estate where they can spend their lives hiding from her parents, her jilted fiancee, and all the other enemies they will make by not going through with the marriage. He can build a hovel and they will live on roots, berries and an occasional poached squirrel. Which the gently bred Margarite will field dress.

Amazingly enough, Margarite decides to marry a man of similar life circumstances who is well read instead of an illiterate stable hand. After the marriage she finds Charles enjoys the same poets and also adores hunting with falcons.

Jacques consoles himself with another chamber maid. Their father confessor compels him to marry her. Both couples live happily ever after since an attraction of opposites is overrated.

 

The Rakish Rogue

(Regency romance.)

The Times Bestseller by ima nyball (1)

 

Set against the backdrop of decadent Regency England, naive Annabella Huntington follows her heart in this riveting tale.

On her nineteenth birthday, the orphaned heiress comes out–meaning she is eligible for marriage. Soon dozens of enamored swains follow her about–enthralled by the beauty of which Annabella remains clueless. This throng of suitors swells to hundreds in number, till her guardians beg her to choose one because they never go away and are eating them out of house and home.

Two catch her eye. Poor but honest John Sterling–an aspiring barrister. And the rogueish-but-charming Sir Arthur Burns.

Sterling is reliable as well as known for his good deeds throughout the neighborhood. But his clothes are of an unfashionable cut and he never learned to dance or flirt properly. Sir Arthur lacks ambition, but this is irrelevant since he’s the heir to a vast estate. Arthur knows how to use his income to dress in emulation of Beau Brummel and throw lavish parties. He’s prettier than Sterling, knows the latest dance moves, and is also a good three inches taller.

After a few months of wavering, Annabella makes her decision when her guardians beg her to choose Sterling because of his emotional stability. She becomes Lady Burns within the fortnight. The heart wants what it wants.

Her heart wants something different within the next six months. Especially as the years go by and Sir Arthur gambles away their income–and spends the rest on lavish parties, clothes, horses and women.

John Sterling contents himself with Annabella’s less beautiful cousin Jane. He’s overjoyed to discover she has something between her ears. The Sterlings live happily ever after.

 

Love Thy Enemy

(Contemporary Romance.)

The Times Bestseller by ima nyball

Youthful Patty Hertz meets a handsome billionaire Alpha Bluebeard. Syndrome never explains what Bluebeard does to earn his billions. He has no social skills or talents beyond looking impressive in a suit. (Illegal drugs?)

Anyhow, motivated purely out of love for Hertz, this incredibly wealthy young man kidnaps her and drags her off to his lair. He explains he is concerned about her safety and this vault is fireproof, earthquake proof and sealed against all bad guys but himself.

After he kidnaps her and does some other icky stuff, Patty Hertz decides her love and acceptance will change him. The fact that Alpha is handsome and rich has everything to do with this. He releases her and she continues to return to him instead of reporting him to the police.

Not once does Patty consider finding an ugly but good man and giving him grooming tips to make him more beautiful on the outside instead of trying to make a handsome reprobate repent and become good through encouraging his wickedness.

In the end Patty Hertz realizes she isn’t in a romance but a horror novel. Nobody lives happily ever after. Not even the reader.

 

Sad to say there are actually novels geared for a Christian audience now with the incredibly stupid trope of the “He’s a bad boy but my eros can change him.” None are quite on par with the Fifty Shades… but it should disturb us how lacking in discernment Christ’s bride has become.

And how we have turned marriage–or rather romantic pursuit–into a genre of its own to emphasize “finding the one” over serving our Lord that we may spend eternity with our one true soul-mate. Christ Jesus. The One that we actually have been promised according to the Scriptures.

Romance Novels That Should be Written but Won’t

Reasons to Hope this Advent Season

Henry_Ossawa_Tanner_-_The_Annunciation.jpg

There were corrupt bureaucrats running the show. One high ranking official had no qualms about infanticide if it suited his political aspirations.

A foreign power had seized control from God’s people. While allowed to inhabit the nation they had founded long ago, they had to pay taxes to the invading government and submit to the authority they had not voted into office. This galled the soul of every patriot who prayed that this political battle would be won supernaturally.

Religious factions were a problem. There were the liberals who didn’t take the scriptures that seriously–at least most of the scriptures. There were the conservatives who strove to walk in obedience but often slid now into hypocrisy because they cared more about looking holy than being holy.

Dark forces were at work. More and more dangerous madmen ran around, attacking and killing for no apparent reason.

Does this scenario sound familiar?

Take heart. We have reason to hope.

The Second Advent is at hand.

Once again God will use the meek and lowly to prepare His way.

For He comes. Not on a donkey this time.

Reasons to Hope this Advent Season

I Love This Sermon

50550983-The-Girl-Nobody-Wanted-Tim-Keller-pdf (1)

Rejection is horrible. It literally makes my body ache all over.

But God has compassion on the unwanted. He looked out for unwanted wives and widows–Hagar the discarded concubine of Abraham. Leah the unloved wife Jacob married by mistake. Naomi the older widow and mother-in-law of Ruth.

What’s interesting is how He helped these women.

He saved Hagar’s son Ishmael to provide for his mother in the wilderness after they had been sent away.

Instead of making Jacob fall in love with Leah, He demonstrated His love by blessing her with 7 children. Something the lovely and beloved Rachel could not give their husband.

Instead of giving Naomi a new husband, He gave her a surrogate grandchild Obed through her daughter-in-law Ruth. (When people give me glib assertions “God’s got a Boaz for you!” I just roll my eyes and shake my head.

If I were Ruth’s age it might make sense. But now I’m Naomi’s.

A friend of mine had a bunch of ladies at her church chew her out for declining to date a jailbird they considered a worthy catch since he said he was a Christian and hadn’t broken the law in prison. “Don’t limit God.” they told her.

Maybe they were limiting God for thinking all the happy endings He provides are identical to the fluff called “Christian romances.” He has His own way of doing things and doesn’t limit himself to the template the CBA provides its novelists.

I Love This Sermon

The Only Thing That Matters

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It seems all my friends are online or long distance now. I go into town three or four times a week–including church on Sundays.

For me socializing mostly comes in the form of group forums, blogging, emails, texts. Occasionally handwritten notes/letters and phone calls.

Last week I received devastating news. Two online friends died. One after the other.

Neither was a Christian.

I made one attempt to share the Gospel with one. I prayed for her too.

But not as much as I should have.

I can’t quit grieving and lamenting my lack of efforts. Too caught up in my own aches and pains and worries over finances.

In the end there are only two things we can use to successfully measure a Christian life.

  1. Whether we belong to Christ.
  2. How we treat the least of these and make every effort to evangelize.

The problem with most “evangelism” techniques is they require acting like a used car salesman. My friend had been emotionally abused by people who then urged her to ask Jesus into her heart. This made her unwilling to hear me talk about Him.

More time spent with her–listening more about her life and problems–might have opened her up.

The biggest regret in my life….

The Only Thing That Matters

The Unprofitable Servant and the Prosperity Gospel

But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?

And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?

Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.

So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which were commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which have done that which was our duty to do. ~ Luke 17:7-10

"Madame asks how your program is?"

 

The prosperity gospel evangelists would have us believe that godliness means health, wealth, and a smoking hot spouse. By this definition the Apostle Paul, Barnabus and many early Christians were ungodly. Not to mention our Lord Jesus Himself.

The only things we have a right to demand from God are things He has promised. These include:

  • the fruit of the Spirit–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control
  • the hastening of the Kingdom of Heaven
  • for men and women everywhere to have the opportunity to come to repentance
  • for the unity of Christians in our love for one another
  • the wisdom to know His will and the strength to carry it out
  • the opportunity to escape temptation
  • deliverance from Satan and his demons
  • our daily bread–our real material needs as they emerge

The truth is you can have enough faith to move Pikes Peak and still not be able to leave your wheelchair. (I firmly believe in miracles by the way.)

You can eat your veggies and still get cancer too. Or be a teetotaler with liver problems.

You can be honest and hard working and tithe–yet still wind up in poverty.

You can be scrupulously chaste, attend church every time the doors are open, yet die a virgin.

Nowhere in the Bible does the Lord promise us earthly goodies for following Him. We are to pursue the Kingdom of God. And His righteousness.

Pray for the increase of His Kingdom and personal holiness that will please Him.

He will care for the rest.

The only material goods we should pursue are sufficient food and clothing. Contentment with the above is all we need.

Remember we are only His servants. He owes us nothing for obeying His orders.

 

Cartoon by Eldon Dedini. First published in Esquire. Feb., 1955.

The Unprofitable Servant and the Prosperity Gospel

Review…”Redeeming Singleness” – Barry Danylak

Very valid observations.
The post modern church’s teachings and attitudes on sex (including “True Love Waits”) are more influenced by Hollywood pop culture than we realize.

A Young Theologian

‘Redeeming Singleness’ is an amazing work of Biblical theology. As the book’s tag-line states Danylak seeks to explore “How the storyline of Scripture affirms the single life”.

Paul’s teaching on singleness in 1 Corinthians 7 and Jesus’ earlier teaching in Matthew 19 strike many as a surprising shift in thinking from the Old Testament’s strong focus on marriage and family as the best way. Though the New Testament often continues to affirm the high value of marriage and family these few references to the gift of singleness are also present and can be seen as slight anomalies.

This is where Danylak’s incredible exposition of the grand narrative of the Bible comes in. This isn’t a book on singleness just dealing with the ‘singleness texts’, or practical issues for single life or a call to the church to make way for single members, but a thorough look at how it is Jesus…

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Review…”Redeeming Singleness” – Barry Danylak