I think I may have found a writing career if when I finish my thesis: that’d be writing for Steeple Hill Cafe, the “inspirational” Harlequin novel series:

We are looking for compelling stories that both entertain and promote strong values. Of course, they should also be fun to read and should provide readers with an uplifting and satisfying ending. They should be just like life — except with the right comeback at the right time. These novels can be written in the first- or third-person and can be single or multiple points of view. The writing should be lively and intelligent, with a certain amount of attitude. Think chick lit for all ages. Think romantic comedy with a divine twist.

… There should be no explicit sex in these stories, and a minimum of sensuality and sexual desire. Both humor and drama have a place in these books; foul language, swearing and scenes containing violence do not. Though the stories may take place in urban environments, hanging out in bar settings, drinking alcohol or becoming involved in sexual situations is not appropriate for Christian characters.

…. Because Steeple Hill Books sells to both CBA and ABA bookstores, we must adhere to CBA conventions. The stories may not include alcohol consumption by Christian characters, dancing, card playing, gambling or games of chance (including raffles), explicit scatological terms, hero and heroine remaining overnight together alone, Halloween celebrations or magic or the mention of intimate body parts. Lying is also problematical in the CBA market and characters who are Christian should not lie or deceive others. Possibly there could be exceptional circumstances (matters of life and death), but this has to be okayed by an editor.

We are looking for authors writing from a Christian worldview and conveying their personal faith and ministry values in entertaining fiction that will touch the hearts of believers and seekers everywhere.

Here I thought nothing could be worse than regular Harlequin “novels.” “Christian chick lit” — I suppose it’s the logical progression of a Revolve-ish mentality. Oy.

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