Rachel Hauck

Best-selling author and award winning author Rachel Hauck lives in central Florida with her husband and loving pets. She earned a B.A. degree in Journalism from Ohio State University and spent seventeen years in the corporate software world before leaving to write full time. Rachel loves to teach and mentor writers.

She is a Book Therapist at www.MyBookTherapy.com, a daily craft blog and community for writers. In the past, Rachel is the president of American Christian Fiction Writers and now servers on the Advisor Board. Visit her blog and web site at www.rachelhauck.com.

January’s Jade

The gemstone jade is honored for its strength and beauty. Much like me, um, er, sorry, lost my train of thought.

Where was I? Right, talking about jade. I just finished writing a story, The Sweet By and By, with a heroine named Jade. She is strength amid weakness. Beauty against the backdrop of brokenness.

A good book should weave together the strength and beauty of the protagonists, don’t you think? Such stories linger with us long after we turn the final page.

What draws you into a story? For me, it’s the setting, often the “fragrance” of the authors’ hearts. The words they use to open the book.

But what keeps me reading is the characters. Often, they have some strength that inspires me. In Susan Meissner’s Shape of Mercy I was challenged by Mercy’s faith and endurance during unbelievable, unfounded accusation. How would I feel if my friends or family were accused and condemned for a crime they didn’t commit? If such a trial ever comes my way, I’d want to be brave and wise like Mercy.

What about beauty? Do you see beauty in the books you read? Sometimes it’s the lyrical writing. Other times, it’s the setting, maybe the actions and victories of the main characters, or a combination of theme, setting, and characterization.

Lisa McKay’s My Hands Came Away Red has descriptive, detailed settings. The reader is captured by the beauty of the rain forest and the silky water of the river. It’s as if the reader is stranded with the teens.

Francine Rivers’s Redeeming Love is a classic tale of strength and beauty.

Every fiction tale is rooted in reality, bolstered by elements of strength and beauty living in the heart of the authors. From comedy to tragedy, thriller to suspense, fiction is full of jade gemstones.

Christian-based fiction has an additional element: the fragrance of Christ. The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”

Those who believe bear His fragrance, an aroma inhaled by all, stirring a hungry heart. As you read your next CBA fiction title, let your heart be stirred. Inhale the fragrance of Jesus. Take time to discover the strength and beauty.

Love Starts With Elle