A Lifetime of Loving Books

By Denise Turney

love books

Like millions of readers, I have spent a lifetime loving books. One of the reasons I love reading books has to do with the way intricately developed literature penetrates misgivings I might have about my ability to progress, convincing me that I can triumph by introducing me to characters who, although deeply challenged, overcome.

Loving Books for Several Reasons

Sometimes I want to read books I can finish in a few hours, no more than a day. Yet, time savings aside, I can honestly say I love reading books most that take days for me to finish. In fact, like many people who love books might desire, if I truly enjoy a book, I don’t ever want the story to end. Could be a reason why some of us love books that are part of a series.

But, those aren’t the only reasons we have a love of books. After all, don’t true book lovers want to find and enjoy stories that make us think, stories that could change our lives, regardless of where the stories are set or when authors penned them? Don’t we want to have the opportunity to explore complexities of believable characters, the chance to follow dynamic characters through uncommon situations that force the characters to transform, to change.

Never been to historic, faraway places like Paris, France, West Africa, New York City, Scotland or Tokyo, Japan? Pick up an intriguing novel that’s set in these or other cities and regions, places rich with history, tradition and culture, and you could feel as if you have been transported to these locations in a matter of minutes.

Clearly, books can have an empowering impact. Those of us who have spent a lifetime loving books know this firsthand. Great books help us deal with challenging situations in our own lives, beginning in our childhoods. . . early. Great literature shows those of us who love books that there is another way life can be, that we really can live rewarding, eventful lives.

Reasons I Love Reading Books

Like you might, I remain grateful to the authors who did what it took to create stories that packed an entertaining wallop, stories that helped change my life. As it is with many people who love books, starting early in this world, I was extremely fortunate, finding books that connected with me deeply, books that both entertained and inspired me. Because of these early stories, I acquired a growing appreciation for reading great books. My passion for reading shortened the time it took me to understand school text, lesson plans and news articles. In a nutshell, it helped to increase my learning, made it easy for me to excel academically, and, years later, professionally.

Over the years, I have loved turning the pages of the hundreds of books I’ve read. I’ve used all sorts of things for bookmarks (i.e. folded sheets of paper, paper clips, post-it notes, actually bookmarks). Curling up in bed with an amazingly good book has long been a wonderful way to drift into sleep for me. After I finish reading books, I add them to my bookcases, making it easy for me to return to the books months or years later, to enjoy reading parts of the stories.

Loving books is easy, especially when we stop and consider how great books open up new worlds, introduce us to amazing possibilities. After all, what other invention, small enough to fit inside a tote bag, can inspire, motivate and entertain us all at the same time? What other invention helps change our lives the way great books do?

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com, or any other online or offline bookseller and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.

Loving the Right Man, Loving the Right woman

By Denise Turney

While listening to Virginia Beach, Virginia’s radio station 95.7 FM as I conduct research for various writing clients, every now and then a commercial will cross the wire. During the commercial, teens speak about undesirable behaviors their boyfriends or girlfriends engage in. Some teens talk about their boyfriends/girlfriends getting jealous simply because they spoke to another person. Other teens, on the commercial, talk about their girlfriends/boyfriends hitting them because they “love them so much”. The driving message of the commercial is that love doesn’t hurt. Love doesn’t harm.

Love Never Fails

Purpose of the commercial is to make parents aware of signs of domestic violence, painful events their growing children might be part of. It’s a message teens and adults may benefit from hearing repeatedly. This may be due, in part, to the fact that a wealth of emotions are typically a part of explosive, violent relationships. These high emotions can be intoxicating, pulling us in, promising positive emotional highs we may never come down from. Hearing love songs may increase our emotional highs, making it hard for us to break away from these unhealthy relationships, cause us to feel as if a love spell has been placed on us. Rocky, dysfunctional relationships might feel good for awhile. However, love doesn’t hurt.

If relationships don’t involve physical violence, they may involve sexual, financial, emotional or psychological violence. This isn’t love. Even if people we’re in relationships with send us poems about love or quotes about love, that doesn’t mean they love us. Love doesn’t hurt.

It’s not love when we search for (actually look for) faults, errors, wrongs or mistakes in others. That’s not love. It’s not love when we broadcast or highlight mistakes others make, as if talking about someone else’s mistakes wipes our mistakes clean. It’s not love when we try to control and/or manipulate others by force, guilt, fear, discomfort (ever perform the silent treatment on someone) or embarrassment.

Love is Patient, Love is Kind

As I Corinthians 13:4-8 says, “4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”

Contrary to what some who choose to abuse claim, love never failing doesn’t mean that we should stay in abusive relationships. We were created by love. We were created with love. We were created to love. We were created to be loved. As Raymond Clarke learns early in the new book, Love Pour Over Me, we are here to awaken to love. And we have the strength to do that.

Love stands up against the toughest storms. Love conquers all, or perhaps better put, true love remains in its natural state despite all attempts to change it. Even when we think love is gone or buried, it remains. All we have to do is open our eyes and awaken. Sometimes life brings a certain person or specific people, like good friends and a soul mate, into our lives so we can awaken to love. For Raymond, these invitations to accept and receive love come in the form of Brenda (the love of Raymond’s life) and three good-good friends.

Violence, though all around the college students to the point of bloodshed, doesn’t become a part of their relationships. Considering the harrowing and mysterious experiences Raymond has with NFL star, Anthony Thompson, it’s eye raising that the friends never turn on each other. Considering secrets in Raymond’s family’s past, it’s a wonder Brenda continues to love Raymond.

It’s also eye raising that Raymond doesn’t give up on love, his childhood being anything but ordinary. Then, love does not fail. Regardless of twists, turns, challenges and doubts – love simply does not fail. It also never hurts. And when we’re loving the right man or loving the right woman, relationships fill our lives with goodness.

Get your copy of “Love Pour Over Me” Now at –



Amazon.com – http://www.amazon.com/Love-Pour-Over-Me-ebook/dp/B007MC0Z2C

Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-pour-over-me-denise-turney/1109600654

Treasuring African American Love Novels

By Denise Turney

Classic African American love novels like The Color Purple by Alice Walker, Beloved by Toni Morrison and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston celebrate love and romance shared between African American couples, while, at the same time, they probe the intricacies, challenges and triumphs of everyday life. Eras the novels are set in enhance the stories, help to make them all engrossing, intriguing. Because historic events are captured on the books’ pages, the stories are often taught in secondary and postsecondary schools.

After all, a classic African American book is more than entertaining; it’s also educational. For example, stories like Richard Wright’s, Native Son, and Ann Petry’s, The Street,  illustrate the lifestyles, culture, economics, politics and family mores dominating local, regional and national landscapes during the periods the stories are set in.

It may be the rich history these and other classic African American books capture that keeps readers returning to libraries, bookstores and e-book readers to purchase the books generation after generation. Characters like Celie, Nettie, Lutie Johnson and Bigger Thomas are complex. As readers turn the pages of these classic novels, they witness these complex characters transform. Some characters, like Celie, go from feeling insignificant, weak and insecure to learning their worth.

These character transformations inspire readers. Challenging circumstances in classic African American books ring true, are believable. Yet, the circumstances are often so hard that they are painful to revisit. One can only imagine how difficult it may have been for the authors to put the stories on paper, cementing the stories in history. It’s in witnessing the triumphs of the books’ characters that readers are pushed, if you will, into inspiration, deeply encouraged. It’s also why readers feel as if they are getting much more than entertainment each time they pick up and read a great work of art like the volumes of classic African American novels.

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com ($3.03 – lowest price I’ve found so far) and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.

Adapting Christian Books to Real Life

By Denise Turney

Adapting Christian books to real life is becoming increasingly popular. That’s a good thing. People who read Christian fiction books want to believe that the events in the novels could actually happen. Widespread media coverage of traumatic events and trends like hard divorces, child abuse, pastoral indiscretions, poverty and domestic violence have alerted readers of Christian books to more of what goes on in the world.

Empowering Christian Books with Realism

If an author writes a Christian book that depicts characters as flawless, that doesn’t take on any of the above and other challenges inherit in the world, readers are quick to notice. After awhile, readers might start to feel as if they are being cheated. Why? Readers want to easily connect with characters in Christian books; they want to be able to see themselves in scenes depicted throughout the stories. They don’t want to feel as if they are being forced to believe that the world is spotless, that the world has no struggle, disappointments or frustrations.

Another thing readers look for in Christian books is real language, the type of language that people spoke at the time stories are set in. For example, if a story is set in the 1920s, readers appreciate characters using slang and dialect that people actually used in the 1920s. They don’t want to have characters using terms from the 2000s.

To adapt Christian books to real life, inspirational authors could:

  • Develop storylines that mimic real life stories trending in the news
  • Interview area residents, asking them to reveal the top three things they would like to see change in their lives, then adapt their Christian fiction books to those top three things
  • Write Christian books that align with scenes that consistency show up in their dreams
  • Read non-fiction books, picking out the strongest character, research and historic traits in the books
  • Think about their own life experiences, as well as experiences their relatives and friends have had, then have characters in the Christian books they write deal with similar events

Fortunately, it’s possible for authors to pen Christian fiction books without abandoning the moral fiber of their stories. Authors don’t have to line the pages of their books with profanity or explicit sex scenes. That’s not what it takes for a story to feel realistic. It’s also not what readers love. Readers love an entertaining and inspirational Christian book; they also love a book that mirrors their own life, a story that feels real. As authors start writing these types of books, the more they might attract the attention of Christian and non-Christian readers.

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com, or any other online or offline bookseller and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.