What book should you read next? What words should you write next? Whether you're a reader, a writer, or both, you need look no further for ideas and pointers to help you make up your mind. You might even get your next book for free--and signed by the author!

Sometimes I even give away my own novels. My Inspirational romances and devotionals are pictured below and are detailed on my Books page. You can always count on a trace of humor in my novels and nonfiction. Whether you're a teen or a woman mature in years, I think these stories will ring true.

Read on, and discover some of today's most appealing Christian novelists, their latest books, and their words of wisdom and imagination. Enjoy!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Michelle Sutton and Free Books!

PhotobucketSometimes for dreams to come true, you have to let go . . .

Before we visit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Veronica Heley's novel, Murder My Neighbour, is:

mittens0831@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll contact you today for your snail mail address, and we'll get your book to you right away. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right (above my list of books) in order to participate in future book give-aways!

Now let's revisit with novelist Michelle Sutton, author of Letting Go (Sheaf House, August 2011).

PhotobucketMichelle is a social worker who has been writing romantic fiction for over seven years and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, as well as an avid book reviewer and blogger on a variety of sites. She founded Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers social networking site which has over 1000 members.

Southeastern Arizona is where Michelle calls home. She loves being surrounded by mountains and clean air, which inspires many of her novels. She and her husband are approaching twenty-one years of marriage and their two sons will begin their second year of college in August.

She is the author of a dozen novels releasing through Dec 2011 and and additional six new titles and two re-releases are scheduled to happen between 2012 and 2014.

Please tell us five random things we might not know about you.

--I have written several books that will never be published.

--I met my first publisher at a conference when we were roommates.

--I've been married for over twenty years.

--I have a step-daughter that is 18 months younger than I am.

--I'm allergic to cats, but I have one… (God bless my precious feline family member.)

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Letting Go.

PhotobucketOutwardly Diane Simmons appears to have everything a woman could want. A successful attorney, she’s beautiful and talented, and yet she always seems to be attracted to the wrong men. Longing to be loved for who she is, not for what she looks like, she finally realizes the world’s view of love is totally unrealistic and distorted and gives up on romance. She wants to find a better way but has no clue where to look.

Dave Passel can never father a biological child. He loves his foster son deeply, but something goes terribly wrong before the adoption can be finalized. When the State tries to reunite the child with the birth mother he has never known and the new caseworker accuses Dave of sabotaging visits with her, he hires Diane to fight for him in court. He believes in God’s sovereignty, but bad experiences with his late wife make it hard for him to trust Diane as she advocates for his son. If only he didn’t struggle so much with letting go.

I wanted to write a story that resembled the social work scenarios that I've experienced for years, and wanted to show the healing process occurring between two broken-hearted people. Hence the characters in my book were born. Dave had a bad experience with his previous wife that followed the situation of several foster-adoptive single dads that I'd worked with whose wives were suddenly pregnant, yet he - the husband - was sterile. I thought that would make for an interesting backstory for the hero. I also have known a number of women who have longed to be mothers, but for one reason or another that wasn't meant to be (in a biological sense.) So an interesting situation develops where both of my characters think the other won't want them because they can't produce children. They see themselves and defective even though they are beautiful and successful people with the means to parent a child and a heart full of love for children.

What is it about your lead character that will make your readers care about her?

I think Diane's experience exemplifies many women in the world today. She has been used by men who didn't want to commit to her. She believed that if she learned everything about romance and pleasing men (through women's magazines, romance novels, etc.) that she would snag a good man and keep him for life. This theory fails to be proven in her life over an over again. She feels cheated because of the lie that she believed for many years… if you are sexy enough, someone will love you and want to marry you. Her anger turns inward when she decides she's been deceived for the last time and she becomes very depressed.

Most novels feature a villain, whether in the form of a person or as an entity or psychological fear. Who or what would you say is your novel’s villain?

In this case I thought it would be fun to make the attorney appointed by the court to represent what is in the child's best interest to be an ex-girlfriend of Dave's from high school. He is conflicted because he wants to adopt his son more than anything in the world, so he worries about upsetting his ex for fear that she will recommend against him adopting. It really stokes the hero's anxiety in the story when the two attorneys (Diane and his ex) try to one-up each other in court to impress Dave.

If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?

PhotobucketDave Passel – actor Dylan Bruno

PhotobucketDiane Simmons – actress Scarlett Johansson (looks sexy without even trying)

What is the last book you read that you would recommend?

I've read a ton of books lately, but I really enjoyed Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond. It's a debut novel and historical fiction. The publisher was Thomas Nelson.

What are you working on now?

I have a deadline for a book that I wrote seven years ago. Finally sold.

Where else can readers find you online?


The book can be purchased in fine bookstores and online via the following buttons:

438013: #Letting Go, Healing Hearts Series #1

Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

What topics do you think cliché in the Christian fiction market today?

Thank you, Michelle, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Michelle has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, August 29. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Michelle's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Be sure to check out my interview with Bonnie Leon, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of her book.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.


dancealert said...

I don't know if there is a cliche - I haven't read enough Christian books to be able to answer that. I've only been reading Christian books in the last few years.
I'm a subscriber and a follower. I psoted this to my blog: http://dancealertreads.blogspot.com/2011/08/reading-writing-and-stuff-in-between_22.html
Brenda from Michigan
dancealert at aol dot com

apple blossom said...

I'm not certain there is a cliche in the Christian book market

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

misskallie2000 said...

I have read over 30 Christian fiction books and I don't think there is a cliche. The authors are fabulous and the stories are awesome.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

ZachandZoesMom said...

I don't know if this is a chiche or not, but I am SO TIRED of all the Amish Books!!! Enough already!!!
This book you wrote looks interesting!! :) I am putting it on my wish list!


Tore said...

I don't know if there is a clinche either but I love reading christian fiction books. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

Rebecca said...

One thing that I feel is kinda cliche in christian fiction is how perfect their lives are. They never seem to have problems that are insurmountable. It seems like their lives are so easy.

Thank you for the chance to win this. This looks like a great book. Thanks again.


Michelle Sutton said...

LOL! Thanks for commenting folks. I guess reading over a hundred books a year (like I do) is where you see overly done themes and cliches. Maybe you all need to read more... Ack that sounded insulting. Didn't mean for it to sound that way...Just sayin'... I love Christian fiction. Just wanted to know if any of you see similar stuff to what I see.

Trish Perry said...

I think Rebecca hit the biggie right on the head--perfect lives. It can be quite difficult sometimes for the writer of Christian fiction to SELL a novel that involves truly imperfect, real characters and issues. I think many authors would write tougher, more realistic stories and characters if they were allowed. And the publishers are often constrained as well, by what bookstores will carry.

But I think that's bound to evolve because of e-publishing. While it's sad that quality will also suffer in much of what's available (because anyone can publish an e-book, talented or not), the possibilities of what good novelists can produce for readers is also opening up. The next decade will be very interesting for Christian fiction, I think.

Nancye said...

I think a cliche may be the the girl is attracted to the "bad" boy and her parents forbid it but she dates him anyway. In the end the bad boy does something amazing which impresses the girls family and then all is sunshine and roses. This cliche is not just present in Christian books, but in other books as well. These books are not all bad, just predictaable.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Pam K. said...

I agree that Amish fiction seems to be way over done. And Amish/vampire? That is totally bizarre!
Some books do have characters whose lives seem perfect but I've read plenty of Christian fiction where the characters have problems. That's when the authors can bring in the theme of hope through God. It's through adversity that we really come to trust God; that is shown in many of the books I read.


Patricia said...

Oddly enough, my sister and I were just talking about this last night. Cliches and overdone:

1) Amish
2) Amish
3) Amish
4) Predictable endings (Amish)

Not that I haven't bought and/or read predictable ending Amish books - I definitely have - but those are also the ones I then give to my sister - to sell in her second hand bookstore - where they fly off the shelves!!

We bookish types do have our quirks!!

My email, for when I win this wonderful sounding book of Michelle's:

madley (AT) cogeco (DOT) ca

Thank you, Michelle and Thank you, Trish!


by Pegg Thomas said...

Cliche? Probably the woman being the strong Christian and the man being either a backslider or heathen. Why is it rarely the other way around?
twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

karenk said...

cliche...i haven't noticed a theme from the books that i have been reading.

thanks for the chance to read this one :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Michelle Sutton said...


This is funny, but it almost every book of mine the guy is the good Christian and the woman is the heathen. Funny, eh? Only a few exceptions...

Denise said...

Hmmm. I don't know about cliches in Christian books. However, if you see the same plots over and over..you could consider that cliche, but so far, I haven't come across any of that.

Denise said...

Oops! Forgot to put my email.

music grrl 2 @ hotmail dot com

Judy said...

I don't think cliché is a bad thing in the Christian market. We live in a world of turmoil and uncertainty. We want to read books that give us hope. I like to feel good after I read a book and know that good won over evil. I noticed that several comments knocked Amish fiction. We can chose to read Amish books or not. I love Amish books as well as regular Christian fiction. For me it is all about after a hard day caring for my 83 year old Mother who has dementia sitting down to read something that brings me to happy tears and uplifts my spirits.

"Letting Go" sounds like a great read and I would love to win a copy of it.

God Bless!

wfnren said...

I agree with most of the comments, I can't think of anything cliche in Christian Fiction. Just keep writing them please.


GShaw said...

I have not read Michelle's books, but would love the opportunity, since reading her interview.
My email: ggshaw61[at]gmail[dot]com
Thank you for sharing this interview.

Amber said...

First off thanks for a great interview and a chance to win one of your books I havnt read any of them yet but I am always looking for new Authors to read !!
And as for your Question about what is cliche in the Christian Market today , Just my oppion here and not saying that it makes for a bad read because it dont But you have alot of the same story basis ! boy meets girl falls in love and they live happily ever after Or there seems to be alot of story lines where there arent people having to really make things in Life and In Relationships work , As I said I love sitting down and reading a good book that makes ya laugh and even cry and while alot of them may seem to have the same story line or plot to them I think some stories of the not so perfect life that we face daily and how we depend on our strength from God to get us through life !! Even when we dont think we are strong enough to handle it !!
thanks for the chance to win your book , and a great question God Bless and Have a Wonderful Weekend

Shelly said...

Thanks for the great interview with Michelle. I haven't had a lot of time to read lately, but I'd say there is an abundance of formulaic romances in chic lit. Girl likes guy. Guy has issues. Guy gets it together. Girl gets guy. The names change, the scenery changes, but the formula is still the same. I'd also agree that many times the Christians in these romances are a little too good to be true. I like to read chic lit that is snarky and Christians who are a bit of a mess.

donnyandshelly at yahoo dot com

Vie said...

Hmmm. Cliche. Well, I'd have to vote for predictable endings. I love books with lots of twists that I never saw coming.

vherlock at yahoo dot com

Mila Petersburg said...

I think I am going to read this book. There's a huge of mix different things going on in the real world now, causing people to react differently. Like before, for a man to seek for a women, he seeks it through the heart not in the mind. For the mind holds all the influencers that could make the decision a poor one. Now, it seems like the mind is taking over the heart, making people to decide on the looks, not in the inner beauty.

Mila Peterburg
Christian Books



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