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"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Christina Rich Shares About Her New Book and 'Love of Story'

Today I'd like to welcome Christina Rich as she talks about her new book, Captain of Her Heart which just came out yesterday with Love Inspired Historical.

Christina, tell us a little bit about your new book.

Sold into slavery by her jealous sisters, Ada finds herself captive on the ship of a Greek merchant. Expecting a harsh new master, she's surprised to find the captain compassionate—and attractive. Yet she can't fall for the man who owns her—not when she watched her enslaved mother pine after her unyielding father. 
Nicolaus only wants to rescue the beautiful, mistreated woman from the auction block. He plans to free Ada, just as soon as he secures his inheritance. Which means racing the ship back to his homeland to best his brother. If he loses, all his cargo will be forfeited—including Ada. But as perilous storms reveal her courage and grace, the question becomes, can his heart stand to let her go?

That sounds like a fun and exciting tale. What spiritual truths do you desire to convey to your readers?

I’m big on God wanting our hearts. It doesn’t matter if you’re Jew or Gentile, we’re all in need of a savior, and God says that he desires mercy over sacrifice and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. He wants us. When God said David was a man after his own heart, he didn’t necessarily mean that David had a heart similar to God, but rather David chased God’s heart with everything he had in him, even when he was deep in the muck and mire. The other thing I like to convey, especially being a romance writer, a threefold strand can’t be easily broken. Put God at the core of relationships.

How did you begin a personal relationship with God?

I’m one of those who grew up in church. When I was a kid I’d get made fun of for being a little-church-girl. However, I was also one of those people who recited the salvation prayer every time it was offered just hoping that one day Jesus would really make it true. I was saved back in 1991, but I don’t think I had a full understanding in my heart. I continued reciting that prayer and wondering if I’d ever be good enough for Jesus to love. I could lead people to the Lord and believe it for them, but I had extreme difficulty believing it for myself, which I’ve found that this seems to a truth with many people. It wasn’t until 2008/2009 that Jesus really revealed himself to me. It wasn’t about my ability to be good enough, but about what He’d already done. My husband said something very profound the other day, “The value of a person is determined by the one who paid it… Jesus paid it all.” That is so true, and I have no right to decide otherwise, nor does anyone else. Jesus decided I was worth the cost of His sacrifice. We all are, we have to choose to live fully for Him.

Well said, Christina. What’s something quirky about you that most people don’t know?

Hmmm…. Wouldn’t you like to know. ;) Seriously, I’m not sure I have a quirky bone in my body. 

LOL. :) Do you have a favorite animal and have you ever used one in a story?

I’m an animal lover. Period. We have dogs, three of them. In my first story I used a cub and a donkey. In Captive on the High Seas there are dolphins.

This story is about a far off place, If you could vacation anywhere, where would you go?

I have a list. :) Israel, of course. Scotland, Ireland, and Greece. Maybe New Zealand and Australia. Oh, and I’d love to see whales and dolphins in their natural habitat. And I kind of think diving in a cage to see sharks might be an experience I’d enjoy. Maybe.

Chuckle. You are much more adventurous than I am. :) How did you get started in writing?

I’ve dabbled in writing for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until 2006 I discovered I could actually do this and succeed. I entered a writing contest, and although I sorely lacked grammar skills I came in 35th out of hundreds in the first round.

Wow. That had to have been encouraging. Did you always want to be a writer?

For as long as I can remember. I used to stare at maps when I very little and dream up adventures.

Smile. How do you get your story ideas?

My story ideas come from various places. I’ve dreamed about characters, I’ve been inspired by real-life situations. Captive on the High Seas was inspired by Joseph’s story where his brothers sold him into slavery.

What advice can you give to writers trying to break into the publishing world?

I’m not going to tell you to sit and write, that’s an obvious. And I’m not going to tell you that you can’t edit a blank page, that’s an obvious, too. What I will tell you is that you should always pray over your project. God gave you the gift and the desire to write, so give it over to Him. Secondly, scripture tells us that we are to do everything as unto the Lord, so honor Him with your words. Thirdly, don’t lock yourself in a box of ‘I must land a contract’. Do your research on publishing houses. Sometimes, no contract is better than a contract and don’t be afraid to self-publish, especially given the market these days.  Just make sure your best work is out there, not your second best, but your best.

Great advice, Christina. What foods do you eat when writing to keep you going?

Baby carrots! And if I’m to be honest ;) chips. Not the healthiest thing and something I intend on changing.

:) Before you go, could you tell your readers about your 'love of story'?

As an inspirational romance author some times you get flack from both Christians and non-Christians. Some believe inspirational romance writers create an unrealistic world for our audience. They believe our readers will begin to desire a hero that cannot exist. What I love about writing stories and reading other Christian romance authors is the fact the hero and heroine, through faith, overcome obstacles. I believe our stories encourage our readers to stand for God, accept nothing less than God's best for us, including (especially) romance, and to overcome obstacles to love.

Well said, Christina. Thank you for stopping by for a visit. Don't forget to check out her new book and also leave a comment this month to be entered into a drawing. Here's the grand prize.

Be sure to tune in next Wednesday for an interview with Michelle Ule.

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