Books I'm reading:

Mercy Thompson series (Moon Called, Blood Bound, etc.) by Patricia Briggs. I've tried several urban paranormal fantasy/romance books, but most have not impressed me until I read Briggs' books. The exception would be some of Marjorie M. Lui's books. She's a little heavy on the language, but I love the gargoyle books.

And here's a quirk of mine--if I don't like the language, I keep a pen handy. I also use it to throw in the occasional forgotten question mark, quotes, etc. I read a favorite author's book lately and I swear that the copy editor never got their hands on it. I get twitchy when I read my kid's homework, too, though I try not to comment. Occupational hazard.

The Adventures of Alfred Kropp by Rick Yancey

Ranger's Apprentice Series by John Flanagan

Brisingr by that home schooled guy, Christopher Paolini

Calvin and Hobbes comic books

Mary Balogh, Lisa Kleypas, Lynn Kurland, Julia Quinn, Shana Abe (oh, more dragons, please! Her web site says there'll be five in her Smoke Thief series).

Raiders of the lost Corset by Ellen Byerrum (her books are so clever and funny!)

Popular Mechanics and Popular Science Magazine (Gotta keep up my tech advances. Besides, I enjoy learning about advances. It's so inspiring.)

Science Daily emails

Cook's Illustrated Magazine (I love cooking, but only if it turns out good. These guys take a lot of the guesswork out of new recipes. =)

Angels on Earth Magazine (I cry a lot when I read these stories--happy tears.)

The Bible



Shows I enjoy:

Movies like Iron Man and the Narnia series. I'd watch more Lord of the Rings if they had them. Hear there's a couple of Hobbit movies due out in the next couple of years.

Iron Chef (Why can't can't someone invent a way for viewers to taste that food? They need a magazine to compliment it)

Cartoons like Ben Ten, Batman and the Justice League (Yes, I'm very sophisticated)


The Dog Whisperer (I thought it was kooky at first, but it's hooked me)

What Not to Wear (All mom told me was to wear clean underwear. There's got to be something useful I can pick up from that show, don't you think?)

The Weather Channel, occasionally. I like to drool over the warm weather the rest of the world enjoys, though you guys can keep the tornados and hurricanes. I'm not keen on heat in the 100's, either. On -50 degree days, it does make a girl thoughtful, though.



The best gift ever:

Hard to top Godiva and a Barnes & Noble gift card.

Honey, are you reading my site? My birthday is November 8, you know. (Just in case he isn't, I think I'll leave him a note. I like to be helpful that way.)



Writing Music:

I like eighties music, a sprinkling of county, new stuff here and there. Last summer I bought a Martin guitar for my husband and a Stratocaster Fender for myself. Best thing I ever spent my royalties on! The man is getting good :)

Me? I er, I sing very well. Grin.

I write to the sound of Van Hallen (Jump, Loves Walks In), Monster Ballads, Tim MacGraw, Allen Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, Tina Turner, Enya, Queen, Def Leopard, Kelly Clarkson, Enya, an eighties mix and assorted KLOVE artists.



Christian Beliefs vs. Writing Romance

Question from a reader: how do you balance your writing and your Christian beliefs?

An excellent question and one I donít mind answering. If youíre looking at issues of aliens, changelings and general wild imagination, the Bible is full of dreams and visions and people who speak with the occasional talking donkey. There are giants and dragons, angels and demons.

Modern authors like to portray angels and demons as human, but the Bible is very specific about their characters. Angles are messengers of God and demons are agents of Satan. ďAnd there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels under his command fought the Dragon and his angels. And the Dragon lost the battle and was cast out of heaven. This great dragon...called Satan or the Devil, the one deceiving the whole world...Ē Rev. 12:7. The Bible says that Satan grew prideful and thought he could take the place of God, so he was cast out of heaven with a third of the angels who had followed him. These became demons.

If you want first hand experience of both, I can raise a few hairs. Just try to get baptized as a believer when youíve been messing with the occult. Weíll get back to that. The point is, lots of conservative Christians will object to any brushing with the supernatural because it often involves the occult. I do more than brushóI leap right in the puddle and cause a splash! There is a line I donít cross, though. I donít do witchcraft. My Darkland books with the werewolves are more about prejudice than anything else. Oneís race should never be an issue. Character is what matters.

Iím going to assume you havenít read the Bible, at least not in its entirety, that your knowledge is second hand. That could be incorrect, but I have to start somewhere.

My books have sex. Just saying the word is enough to make my granny blanch. Of course, this is a woman who calls anything that isnít a full blown bloomer a thong. Love her dearly, but still canít convince her Canada is no longer controlled by England.

Personally, I love sex. Been married 15 years and still enjoy it several times a week. With the same man. Whom I love dearly.

Canít get more Biblical than that.

God has no issue with lovemaking. He invented it. Thereís a big fat sexually explicit text right in the middle of the Bible called the Song of Songs, or Song of Solomon. Written by King Solomon of the thousand wives, itís enough to make you blush. Read it and see.

God does have definite issues with lusting after anyone who isnít your spouse, though. Check out Godís top ten (the ten commandments). Itís in Exodus chapter 20 and is the foundation of the Christian faith. Worship only God. No idols, no using Godís name as a curse word, take Sunday off, honor your parents, no murder, stealing, false testimony, coveting your neighborís stuff or adultery (sexual relations outside marriage.) Nothing startlingly offensive in that list.

The 70ís free love people would argue with the sexual law, but none of their arguments to ďdo what feels goodĒ has more substance than the hard evidence otherwise. If everyone followed that rule there would be no abortions, no rape, prostitution, no pregnant teens with bleak futures, far fewer children with only one parent or broken homes. There would be less broken hearts, and isnít that what romance is all about?

Thatís the thing. I write about romance, not sex. Itís just like the spices in Raguóitís in there. Canít make a pizza without it.

Naturally, my biblically based beliefs include ďone man, one womanĒ relationships. The bible states clearly that homosexuals will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 is crystal clear about Godís feelings about this. Contrary to the propaganda, I believe that homosexuality is a choice, like stealing, like drinking, like drugs. Addictive, sure, but a choice, one that can be overcome.

Making gay marriage legal wonít overcome their guilt, depression and confusion. It wonít take away the pain they live with. So many children are raped and grow up thinking they are gay as a result. Many come from broken or dysfunctional homes. Itís the unadvertised truth of homosexuality. Take a poll some time and see if itís true.

As with the rest of us, it doesnít matter how ďniceĒ they are. Everybody has sinned. Everybody had done something wrong. Me. You. Thereís one way to heavenóthatís through accepting Jesus as lord.

Look, homosexuality is a big issue, and not one Iíll cover here. If you want a compassionate Christian look at it, type ďwitnessing to homosexualsĒ into Google.

So why am I a Christian? I accepted Christ as my savior when I was really young, but as a teen had doubts fostered by our culture and my own raging hormones. I had a huge love of books and loved fantasy, comic books and sci-fi. Unfortunately fantasy also has lots witchcraft and questionable sexuality in it. I experimented with the occult and got burned. In my early twenties I decided to get serious about my relationship with God and get baptized...

Ever have a dream you canít wake up from? Ever have demons killing you in your dreams? Ever wake and be unable to move, unable to speak although you are wide awake? It was all I could do to nudge my husband and croak, ďPray,Ē some times, the demonic oppression was so strong. The same thing happened to him. I was afraid to fall asleep as this happened night after night. Finally I got smart. I prayed for God to send angels into my dreams to protect me. After that Satan would try to attack me and angels would show up and kick his butt, or God would simply wake me up. Iíve prayed the same prayer nightly for over ten years now, and the pattern has continued. If I needed no other proof of Godís love and protection, I would believe. There has been so much more, though. Heís been so incredibly good to me.

So thatís why I believe, and how I find balance. I pray daily, go to a healthy church on Sundays and I work to actually do what I believe. Itís not easy for someone who tends to be reserved to speak my mind in social situations, but Iím working on that, too.

I donít share my personal beliefs with many as Iím a writer, and a romance one at that. This is what goes into my books, though. This is part of who I am.


Autumn Dawn