Today I am so pleased to welcome Keira Andrews back to Joyfully Jay. Keira has come to talk to us about her latest release, A Way Home (which I am reviewing later today and really loved). She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Keira a big welcome!

On Writing Religious Characters in Romance

There’s a huge market in North America for “sweet” (i.e. no sex) and “inspirational” (i.e. Christian) m/f romance. (I’ve never seen m/m inspirationals, but I might have missed them.) There are also “edgy inspirational romances”. What these books all have in common is that they’re written from a Christian perspective and espouse faith.

One of the most frequent questions I’ve been asked about my gay Amish series is whether or not it’s inspirational/Christian. It is not. While religion plays a vital part in the characters’ lives, there’s no religious messaging or moralizing from me. Some of the characters may sermonize (Bishop Yoder springs to mind!), but those are their views, not mine. And there is most definitely sex in this series! (And in all my books. I like sex.)

I’m not religious, which might be a surprise to some readers. I’ve been asked how I can write religious characters when I don’t believe, but the answer is simple: to write any character I have to walk in their shoes. Whether they’re an international superspy, champion figure skater, or a gay Amish man. To me it’s no different.

I don’t need to believe in a specific religion personally to feel empathy for my religious characters, or respect for their thoughts and feelings. Isaac and David believe in God, and that’s what matters. As a writer, my job is to make sure my characters are true to themselves. Of course they’re all in my head, but they feel real, and sometimes they’re very opinionated—which is what makes writing so much fun.

Isaac and David’s struggle with their beliefs and the fact that they’re gay continues in the third book in the trilogy, A Way Home. They need to accept who they are and come to terms with what that means for their faith, but it isn’t easy…

Are there any inspirational/Christian m/m books out there with religious messaging? Let me know if you’ve read any!


Blurb

A Way HomeIsaac and David never thought they’d go back to the Amish world. But when Isaac’s younger brother is stricken with cancer, they don’t hesitate to return. Their relationship is on the rocks after insecurity and fear drove a wedge between them in San Francisco, and David is determined to make things right. Yet if they thought navigating “English” life was confusing, being back in Zebulon is even more complicated.

Their families are desperate to bring them back into the fold, and pressure from the community builds. Isaac and David yearn for a future together, but each day it becomes harder to hide the truth about who they really are. They’re caught between two worlds, and if they’re not careful it could tear them further apart.

Can Isaac and David make their way back to each other—and find a place to call home?

This is the final chapter in a trilogy of forbidden Amish love.


Bio

Keira Andrews

After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, paranormal, and fantasy fiction, and—although she loves delicious angst along the way—Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said, “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”



Giveaway

Keira has brought a backlist book to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Sunday, April 12th at 11:59 pm EST.

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
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