Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Past Revisited

Coming soon in trade paperback to a Wal-Mart near you:

Cover art for Portraits of the Past by Rebecca Kelly, reissue

Until now the Grace Chapel Inn series novels that I wrote for Guideposts have only been available via their subscription service or from used booksellers, so I'm happy to see this reissue hit the shelves (and, relating to our discussion about recipes in fiction earlier this week, at the back of the book is my recipe for Crepes Benedict.)

If you'd like a chance to check out the more spiritual side of Yours Truly, in comments to this post name a novel you found to be personally inspiring in some fashion (does not have to be religious in theme or genre) or just toss your name in the magic hat by midnight EST on Sunday, September 7, 2008. I'll draw two names at random from everyone who participates and send the winners a signed copy of the reissued Portraits of the Past by me writing as Rebecca Kelly. This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something here at PBW in the past.


  1. The pat answer would be "The Bible", of course. I think I'll go with "The Revenge of the Incredible Dr. Rancid and His Youthful Assistant, Jeffrey" by Ellen Conford. Yes, it's a children's book, but it's delightful even now that I'm an old, old man.

  2. I can't think of any books that I have found inspirational but this book looks good and I'd like to throw my name in the magic hat.

  3. Lamb - the Gospel according to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore.

    Yes, I know that is kinda stupid, but it was truly a welcome back to faith for me at a time when a lot stood and weighed and could have gone either way.

    It is funny. And it is written, primarily to be funny. So spiritual experiences are not guaranteed for everyone, but it is the best book I have ever read. "Spiritual" or not.

    (Aren't all books spiritual in some sense?)

  4. No name in hat, I just wanted to make an observation. In previous posts you talked about your "CGI" novels, and I couldn't figure out what that abbreviation stood for. Now I know!

    All I could come up with on my own was Christian Gay Inspirational, and that just didn't sound right.

  5. Throwing my name in the hat!

  6. I'm drawing a blank on personally inspiring novels, but congrats on the re-release. I'll be looking for it.

  7. Wow, at first I wanted to say I would have never guessed... but then I realized it sounded so mean, haha. Like no way she's spiritual. I truly didn't mean it that way even in my thoughts, it was more of a Damn girl, you sure are versitile!

    As for inspirational the list would be long and varied because I think any book that moves a reader is somehow inspiring them on some level, at least for me that is the case.

    For an all time favorite 'spiritually' inspirational read my favorites have been the Left Behind series.

    Oh, and Frank Peretti's Darkness series.

    See, the list still gets long if I don't stop myself. LOL

    If I don't win, I'll be searching Walmart for your release.

  8. I've read too many to just pick one inspirational novel. Would enjoy reading one of yours--congrats on the re-release and the nice cover.

  9. Congrats on the rerelease! At the top of my list of personally inspiring novels, it's more of a memoir I suppose--A Circle of Quiet, the first of Madeleine L'Engle's Crosswicks Journals. It's one I reread every year as a way of recentering my perspective on life.

  10. I really liked the Coldfire Trilogy by C.S. Friedman. The novels are set on a world where the mist forms creatures spawned from man's imagination. There are demons and monsters everywhere. The antihero in this series remembers an Ancient religion his ancestors followed on another planet, a religion with an omniscent God who is the very essence of Goodness. So, he starts up the first Church on this planet in hopes of either creating such a God to oversee matters on his planet or to draw that ancient God across the Galazy. Of course, his pride is his downfall and he sacrifices most of his morals in order to see if his theory will work, which essentially renders him a monster for a few centuries.

    I won't give anything away, but the antihero's journey in this trilogy made a huge impression on me. He is the kind of antihero I want to write. His fear and curiousity are a knife's edge to balance because if his plan worked, he will have to pay a price to the very God he hoped to create/attract.

  11. Congrats on the re-relaease. Hm. Inspiring. I can't say I found one truly inspiring this year so far. Devil's Arithmetic though is one that sticks in my mind from time to time.

    Sorry for any and all typos but I haven't had my coffee yet this morning.

  12. MissWrite wrote: Wow, at first I wanted to say I would have never guessed... but then I realized it sounded so mean, haha.

    Not at all. Most Christian fic writers tend not to write anything else but inspirationals, or if they do it's very proper/non-graphic stuff. Alas, my big square head never fit in that round little hole.

    Like no way she's spiritual. I truly didn't mean it that way even in my thoughts, it was more of a Damn girl, you sure are versitile!

    Thank you, ma'am. :)

  13. I'm just finishing "Portraits of the Past" that I bought at Half Price bookstore, so I guess don't put my name in the hat. I was looking for a list of the books and for Rebecca Kelly and found YOU! Wow! There are a couple from the series on Amazon, so I'm guessing people who did buy them from Guideposts didn't let go of them much. This has been a good day.

    I guess the Mitford series has been an inspiration to me, as well as, the Portraits of the Past book.

  14. Oooo! I would LOVE to read your GCI book(s)!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE! Bein' a writer who struggles with the line btween christian and not in her writing, I always wanted to see how you did both sides, and you know I love the Darkyn. So, it only makes sense that I should be randomly drawn from that hat. Totally.

    Oh. Right. Inspirational novels. I don't read too much christian fic, but Perretti's books are all top-notch, and I adore Deeanne Gist. Books that make me re-examine myself are inspirational to me in so far as probing my faith, which is a huge part of me, so for that, Joshilyn Jackson's The Girl Who Stopped Swimming; Patry Francis's The Liar's Diary. :)

    *sends special happy vibes to the random name-drawing hat*

  15. Hmmmm... my Bible or the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder

  16. Pretty much every book I've every read by Karen Kingsbury inspire me, but especially Divine and the 911 series.

  17. Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke came quickly to mind as did Three Wishes by Barbara Delinsky.

    Great news about the reissue!

  18. Anonymous1:29 PM

    Tossing my name into the hat!


    Terri W.

  19. The book that came to mind is Just Shy of Harmony by Philip Gulley. Part of his Harmony series. I loved the small town atmosphere that Gulley created.

  20. The only inspirational book I've read in years would be The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch who died recently from Pancreatic cancer. His basic message was it's not how long you live but how well you live and making the most of your time because basically time is all we have and we might have a lot less of it than we think.

  21. In the romance/inspirational genre, I've enjoyed Dee Henderson's "O'Malley Family" and her "Uncommon Heroes" series immensely, and most recently Beth Pattillo's "Heavens to Betsy".

    Julia Spencer-Fleming's current series about an episcopalian (female) priest and the local police chief are mysteries with a thread of romance, which I would *highly* recommend.

    Not a romance but still inspirational: "Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance" by Donald Miller.

    Sadly most "inspirational/romance" books are sadly lacking, or as you said, "very proper/non-graphic", which I find rather bland considering my typical reading appetite. Even if I don't win a copy of your book this time around, I'll definitely have to hunt down a copy and see how you did!

    I'm finding that the kind of book I would like to read - inspirational, romantic, suspenseful - just isn't out there. Hmmm, guess I'll have to write my own! Working on that ...

    — Bonz

  22. Anonymous8:01 PM

    The Arrows trilogy by Mercedes Lackey there is such a sense of (in my opinion) anyway of service, and in the characters case, personal sacrifice and having to know themselves in the the face of hatred and overwhelming odds. I re read these books often.

    Thanks !


  23. I have to say, "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert was really inspiring to me.

  24. I've mentioned this one before in a comment but:

    It's Good to Be Alive - Roy Campanella

    It's an autobiography of one of the first African Americans to play in Major League Baseball which spans his career starting in the Negro leagues (his words) through his tenure in the Major Leagues, including winning the MVP several times and follows through past the car accident which rendered him a quadraplegic through his rehabilitation.

  25. Congratulations! I'll be watching the shelves for this one.

    Most recently I found inspiration from Bujold's Paladin of Souls, because it dealt with spirituality in such a human, flawed, funny way. Really, truly loved it. I also find Madeleine L'Engle's book on writing, Walking On Water, very inspiring.

  26. Can't really think of anything right now so I'd just like to toss my name in the hat, please.

    Cheryl S.

  27. There is a book floating around out there titled 'The Shack" which I have found very inspiring, as well as entertaining.

    Once again, thanks...

  28. I'm reading Susan Coolidge's "What Katy Did" to my daughter right now. I remember reading it as a child, but it's more meaningful to me now reading it out loud, explaining things to an elementary school child.

    Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery has always inspired me to be more friendly and reach out to people in ways I'm not pre-disposed to, naturally.

    Elizabeth Moon's The Deed of Paksenarrion is extremely spiritual to me, despite being completely fictional and awful violent in places.

  29. Wesley S.5:00 AM

    I found Frank Peretti's book This Present Darkness to be inspiring to me as well as In His Steps (Charles M. Sheldon) and That Printer of Udell's (Harold Bell Wright). As for poetry I'd have to say the Diary of an Old Soul by George MacDonald.

  30. Congratulations on the re-release.

    The most recent book I've read that was really inspiring was Brenda Coulter's "At His Command." It wasn't sappy - it was just very good.

  31. I agree with the Bible. I would love to win this book.

  32. Anonymous1:50 PM

    I was surprised to find Shilo Walker's comment included the "Little House" series, because that's what popped into my mind as well. I had to stop and think why, excactly, but they were very important to me growing up, and I really like that Laura could show herself misbehaving as well as making good choices. A few years ago I started re-reading them with my children and fell in love with her word-choice, voice and descriptions all over again.

    I also thought of "The Artist's Way" because while I didn't do all the excercises, I really loved the quotes in the margins.

    I also thought of Joshilyn Jackson's books, specifically, "gods in Alabama." And, I've been thinking about the Harry Potter series a lot too. Probably because I'm teaching RE this year. :)

    I'm also glad to know your book is coming out -- I haven't checked these out yet but will now.

  33. I found Dune by Frank Herbert very inspiring in my early adolescence. The litany against fear helped bunches dealing with middle school teasing.

  34. Some books that inspire me are any of the historical romances by Deeanne Gist (I don't normally read historicals, but Deeanne has a way of making them hysterical...) and fantasies or contemporaries by Sharon Hinck. Her Christian fantasy series (beginning with The Restorer) is unique and well done.

    Would love to read a Christian historical of yours, too. I'm betting you can be at least as funny as DG!