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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Maureen Lang and All in Good Time

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MAUREEN LANG writes stories inspired by love of history and romance. An avid reader since childhood, she started writing the stories she wanted to read. Before publication she won RWA’s Golden Heart and ACFW’s Genesis, and her published books have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Contest, a Holt Medallion, and have finaled in the Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, children, and Labrador retriever. Visit with Maureen at www.maureenlang.com.

ALL IN GOOD TIME
by Maureen Lang
Published by Tyndale House

ABOUT THE BOOK

Dessa Caldwell has a dream:
to open Pierson House, a refuge for former prostitutes in Denver’s roughest neighborhood. But after exhausting all charitable donations, Dessa still needs a loan. Her last hope hinges on the owner of Hawkins National Bank.

Henry Hawkins has a secret:
he owns the most successful bank in town, but his initial capital came from three successful stage coach robberies. Though he’s Denver’s most eligible bachelor, to protect his past, he’s built a fortress around his heart that no one can penetrate . . . until the day Dessa Caldwell strolls into his bank requesting a loan.

Though he’s certain her proposal is a bad investment, Henry is drawn to Dessa’s passion. But that same passion drives her to make rash decisions about Pierson House . . . and about whom she can trust. One man might hold the key to the future of her mission—but he also threatens to bring Henry’s darkest secrets to light. As the walls around their hearts begin to crumble, Henry and Dessa must choose between their plans and God’s, between safety and love.

Readers, buy your copy of All in Good Time today!

AND NOW A WORD FROM OUR FEATURE AUTHOR

Reader's Choice

I recently listened to a debate about the merits of commercial fiction versus classic fiction. The defender of classics stated the richness of language, the depth of characterization, the detail of classic settings provided a much deeper reading experience than the shallow offerings of commercial fiction. Another way she described it was that classic fiction provided a symphony while commercial stories only offered “one note.”

While I do enjoy classics, I also enjoy a variety of commercial fiction—so obviously I disagreed with her either/or assessment. As a writer of commercial fiction, I was understandably offended. I’ve enjoyed so many commercial novels that may not go into the extensive detail of a classic, but nonetheless provides memorable characters, clever plots, vivid settings and evocative language.

On her behalf, I did understand what she was saying. I see a difference in the two writing styles—there does tend to be more time devoted to detail and exploration of settings and motivations in the classics, but I also know commercial fiction isn’t as flat as she wanted the audience to believe.

Her chance of winning an argument, at least with me, is even harder when I’m reminded that many readers today choose not to take the time to read the classics. They were, after all, written during an era when there were far fewer choices to fill whatever leisure time people could find. The classics defender admitted that her favorite, Jane Eyre, takes some time to “get into” but it is well worth the effort.

But that’s just it. In our microwave society, we want everything fast—including our entertainment. I’ve attended more than one writer’s workshop that attempted to teach us to open with a “hook.” Draw your reader in immediately, so they won’t put the book down. Today’s writer knows it’s a hard fight to keep a reader from choosing to do something else, or pick up another of the one-million-plus books that are on the market today, easily and instantly available. Readers can afford to be choosy, simply because there are so many choices—many at low cost or even free.

Our society offers to fill our leisure time in anything from movies to museums, sporting events to ballet. In my lifetime there’s been an explosion of leisure-time activities. Consider the differences in television viewing. I recall when I was a child that we had exactly four television stations, and one of those didn’t come in very well. Around midnight or shortly thereafter each channel played the Star Spangled Banner then signed off until dawn. Nowadays people have literally hundreds of 24-hour-a-day channels to choose from. I’m not sure that’s made the content any better, but it certainly does allow viewers to develop a wider taste.

As a parent, I learned that giving my kids choices made our days go a bit easier than just telling them what to eat or do. Of course, I had to make sure the choices they were given were healthy and wise, but I liked seeing them take a part in the decision. It was an exercise in free will in a good (albeit limited) way.

I celebrate that we have so many reading choices, particularly within the Christian market. Years ago, this wasn’t the case. It was a bit like watching television: we had the Bible (which remains a reading staple for growth and wisdom), non-fiction to support what we learned in the Bible, a few allegories to support biblical wisdom, and some very limited fiction choices (the classics among them). These days the Christian market offers every kind of genre imaginable, safe reads, at least, but hopefully with a nugget of spiritual wisdom as well.

Reader Questions (pick at least one): Do you take advantage of the extensive choices available these days? Do you lean toward the classics, or do you read commercial fiction as well? Do you read more than one genre—romance, mystery, contemporary, historical, etc.? Do you read only Christian fiction, or do you read some general market fiction as well?

* * * * *

Thank you, Maureen, for sharing with us today.

ENTRY RULES Readers, leave your email address (name [at] domainname [dot] com) along with your answer to the question for your chance to win a free autographed copy of any one of Maureen's books (you can view them at her web site). If you do not answer the question, and your email address isn't provided, you will not be entered.

This week, the drawing is open to contiguous US residents for a print copy and international or Alaska/Hawaii residents for an eBook copy.

8 comments:

Lori Weller said...

Thanks Maureen. I can't wait to read your book. i read both Christian and non- Christian books of many genres. I read so much that I would get bored I think in just one. Your book has already been added to my TBR list.
ldwrncpn[at]comcast[dot]com

Pamala Knight said...

Excellent post! Thank you for your insight into the classics versus commercial fiction argument. I agree that there are many choices for readers today.

I already have a copy of the book (and am really enjoying it) so I won't enter the drawing. I read a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, covering multiple genres.

apple blossom said...

I read all genre but try mostly to stick with Christian because of language mainly.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Barbara Anne Waite said...

I am an avid reader. I choose both Christian books, occasionally a classic and occasionally a general market fiction. I do look at reviews on Amazon. I usually check the general market fiction for negative reviews and if there are notes about language or "steamy sex" etc. I remove that book from consideration. I also judge a book by its cover. Bare chested men on the cover mean I don't even glance at reviews. Your lovely covers draw me to your books as well as rewarding stories.

Maureen Lang said...

Thanks for stopping in, ladies! I love hearing from readers about the books they choose. :-)

And I'd like to add a note about the contest, if I may - I'm pleased to offer a choice of any one of my books! So if you already have my newest and would like to choose another title if you win, just let me know.

It's all about getting books to readers.

Barbara Shelton said...

Mostly, I read Christian fiction and non-fiction, historical preferred. Some commercial, but it seems I'm reading less of that. I review most of what I read, and am looking forward to just reading! LOL It would be a joy to read Maureen's new book. Thank you for this giveaway and the chance to win a great read.

In Christian Joy,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

squiresj said...

My 3rd place today to enter to win one of your books. So maybe I will on one of them.
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

Maureen Lang said...

I'm enjoying reading the comments! I'm also celebrating the previous comment about having so many opportunities to win a copy of one of my books. Yippee!! Launches are so fun because of that!

Hope you're a winner!