Open Discussion: Summer Reading Challenge-Week 1

Our summer reading challenge has started. Thank you to everyone who posted last week.

We featured two more books this past week, If Only In My Dreams by Belle Calhoune and Over the Line by Kelly Irvin. More options for your challenge.

How is everyone doing? What books have you started? What book are you most excited to read?

Happy reading!

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Open Discussion: Summer Diverse Reading Challenge

Summer is here and we have a great way to spend it reading!

Reading challenges are a fun way to connect with a community and read some new-to-you authors. It’s also a good way to put a dent in your TBR pile. So let’s do a summer diverse Christian fiction reading challenge.

Post below how many diverse Christian fiction books you want to read between now and Labor Day, September 2nd. We have compiled a list of diverse Christian fiction HERE. Each Saturday, check in and let us know how you are doing. The person who gets the closest to their goal will be featured on the blog. We will announce the winner on September 7th.

Let’s get reading!

Open Discussion: Must Read AA Books

It’s Black History Month!

This month always gets me so excited to share the many accomplishments found in the Black community. And since this is a blog about books, what better thing to discuss! I want to know what are your must read African American books. If you can list clean/Christian fiction reads that would be great. But if your must read is not, please leave a disclaimer letting us know why it’s a must read despite the language or situation that removes it from clean/CF category.

I’ll go first. My top 3 recommendations are:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

*It’s not clean or CF due to the language.

This book is a phenomenal look at the struggles the Black community faces. Not just going back in forth between the Black community and the world but the struggles they face with racial profiling from law enforcement. If you haven’t seen the movie either, I’d highly recommend it.

Hidden Blessings by Kim Cash Tate

*Christian fiction

This book had me sobbing my eyes out. I’m not even going to lie or pretend otherwise. The powerful message of God’s goodness and mercy cannot be denied. Ms. Tate is one of my favorite Christian fiction authors. I’ll read anything she writes.

Watercolored Pearls by Stacy Hawkins Adams

*Christian Fiction

It’s been awhile since I read this book but I still remember how I felt afterward. Books like that are ones I consider a must read. Because even though time has passed I remembered that this is a book I had to keep close to me.

So what say you. What are your top 3 (AA books) must reads?

 

Open Discussion: What Would You Like More of?

Happy Saturday, Friends!

I know it’s been awhile since we’ve had a open discussion. Hopefully we’ll have more as we get back into the groove of blogging after our wonderful Christmas break.

Today’s question/discussion is pretty simple. What would you like to see more of in diverse fiction? The world’s your oyster so share in the comments!

 

Open Discussion: Christmas Traditions

DBTP - letstalk

Happy Saturday, Reader Friends!

I love learning about how different cultures celebrate holidays. I think it show how much creativity and wonder there is in the world. I love when I’m in a good book, and I get wrapped up into the story so much that I want to be sitting next to the main character, experiencing the music, tasting the food, smelling the aromas.

This recently happened to me when I was reading Cynthia Marcano’s story (“Have Yourself a Merry Little Cocoa”) in our new boxed set, A Merry Navidad. I was really getting into the pastelitos de guayaba and the pernil, so I decided to badger her to add the recipes at the end of her story. Now I have a great recipe for pernil! And reading the whole set, reeeeeeally got me in the mood to make tamales this Christmas.

I love how books can transport us and how we take feelings and ideas back home with us. I’d like to hear what Christmas books filled you with the Christmas spirit and led you to do something.

I grew up in NJ with an Italian background, so we have often had lasagna or stuffed shells for Christmas Eve and usually a ham for Christmas day. In Mexico, where my husband’s from, some traditional foods at Christmas are: tamales, romeritos, champarrado, buñuelos, ponche, pozole. The list goes on. Also in Mexico, they do Las Posadas, where they parade around town as pregnant Mary and Joseph, knocking on neighbor’s doors, until they find their manger. They also have fireworks and celebrating January 6th (Three Kings’ Day) is a big deal, even bigger than Christmas.

Also what are your family’s and your culture’s Christmas traditions? Please tell us in the comments below about.

*Post written by Allison K García, contributor

tamales, pupusas, and tacos - oh my!


 

Saturday Discussion – Write a Story: National Novel Writing Month

Okay, folks,

I meant to write this post last week (and then again last night), but better late than never! November is National Novel Writing Month (a.k.a. NaNoWriMo), and as one of the official Municipal Liaisons, I love to encourage people that if you have story burning inside you…a story that you’ve had brewing for months…years…decades maybe. This is the time to write it.

Go to the NaNoWriMo website to get started and sign up for free account and to start keeping track of your wordcount!

The goal of NaNo is to write a 50k-word novel in 30 days, which can be accomplished by writing 1,667 words per day for 30 days. Now…you’d have to double that to get it done by November 30th but if that story is calling out to you (or perhaps it is the Holy Spirit!), you can do it! If not, you’ll have at least 25k words of a book, which is much better than no words.

The cool thing is that all over the world, hundreds of thousands of people are attempting the same thing. In the Shenandoah Valley alone we’ve collectively written 1.5 million words since November 1st. I mean, it’s pretty awesome.

So, we talk a lot about diverse literature here. We need more out there. Especially if you are #ownvoice and have a story, let it be heard! Scream it from the…laptop! 🙂 We want to hear it!

Do you hate writing? That’s okay! Writers need readers, too. No pressure! I just think it’s a really cool thing to be a part of, an awesome way to meet neat people in your community, and good way to get words on the page.

Have you done NaNoWriMo? If so, tell us about it below!

Open Discussion: Diverse Books into Movies

Happy Saturday, Reader Friends!

I can’t believe how long it’s been since we’ve had a Saturday open discussion. Today I want to discuss some diverse books that have recently been made into movies.

There are so many questions going around in my brain, but I’ll limit them so I don’t bombard you. 😉

But first, I want to mention some of the books I’m taking about. Please note that none of these are considered Christian fiction. I’m not even sure if they are considered clean reads. I bring this subject up in hopes that it will filter into the umbrella of clean/Christian reads.

  1. Do you think this trend will continue?
  2. What books would you like to be see made into movies?
  3. How do you support these recent changes?

Open Discussion: Dealing with Haters

DBTP - letstalk

Hey, friends! So lately I have found myself at odds on social media. My books deal with the topic of undocumented immigrants and about loving your neighbors, regardless of their status. I truly feel like through my books, God wants me to both challenge other white Christians’ negative stereotypes against immigrants and help them recognize that they too, are made in God’s image, and should be loved as anyone else, and I want to represent people of color as being the strong, amazing people they are and accurately depict their struggles and joys.

For this reason, I often share and comment on posts that deal with this subject, which, as you can imagine, have been numerous these days.

I feel so many emotions flow through me as I read posts and responses from friends and family and acquaintances: anger, disbelief, sadness, desperation, hurt, even helpless at times. To see the anger, the hate, pouring from the screen as they speak of my brothers and sisters in Christ, my husband and his family, my son, my friends, it is exhausting.

I’m not going to give up on writing my books, because I have prayed about it and God keeps giving me ideas. But, part of me wonders if it will make a difference, if people are too far gone…if hate has taken them over so deeply that they will be unable to recognize it in themselves and stop it in its path before its too late.

So, pardon my sad ramblings, but has anyone else ever felt this way while writing diverse Christian fiction or being a POC or just in general? And if so, how do you deal with the haters and take care of yourself?

Please let me know below!

Open Discussion: Christian Fiction only or Clean Reads Too?

Happy Saturday, Reader Friends!

I know it’s been a long time since we’ve had a open discussion. But today’s discussion isn’t so much about diversity, but regarding the future of Diversity Between the Pages. 

It has always been our goal to bring you diverse Christian fiction. There are so many readers who don’t know the books are out there. Our contributors work hard to interview the authors, spotlight the books, and share the thoughts in reviews.

What we are wondering and contemplating is if we should not expand that read to clean reads. So what say you? Should we stick to bringing you diverse Christian fiction only or would you like to read diverse clean fiction as well?

Sound off in the comments! Thank you. 🙂


Posted by Contributor Toni Shiloh

Fear of Appropriation

DBTP - letstalk

Happy Saturday, folks! Today I’m going to share a little about what I’ve been going through with my writing, and I would love some ideas, support, feedback, etc. Whatever you have, throw it at me. I am happy to learn!

So, here is what has been going on. About a year ago, after I released my first book, I started hearing the word cultural appropriation thrown around in terms of artists, etc. While it wasn’t about me or my work, I began to wonder if publishing my book, Vivir el Dream, was cultural appropriation. For those who aren’t aware of cultural appropriation, here is an interesting Wikipedia page about it. The first sentence of the article gives a pretty good explanation of its meaning: “Cultural appropriation is a concept in sociology dealing with the adoption of the elements of a minority culture by members of the dominant culture. It is distinguished from equal cultural exchange due to the presence of a colonial element and imbalance of power.”

I am a member of the dominant culture writing about members of a minority culture in a country where there is an imbalance of power between dominant and minority cultures. And though I am married to someone from the culture I am writing about, have many friends and family from that culture, go to church almost exclusively with my brothers and sisters in Christ from that culture, work with people from that culture on a daily basis, am bilingual, and in my heart feel like that culture is part of me, I know that in the end, I am on the outside looking in. There are many things I can miss or won’t ever completely understand because I am not actually from that culture. Not to mention any unconscious bias that might be hiding inside me.

To complicate the matter, I was doing research for my current WIP by asking a friend about some cultural aspects of El Salvador that I was unfamiliar with: language and food questions, etc. During this conversation she wrote something along the lines of “Gringos, always trying to talk about things they don’t understand.” I got angry about it and then got worried about it and spoke with another friend who had been writing a lot about race and bias. Her reply, “Well, she’s not wrong.” This began a complete tailspin and an overwhelming fear of appropriation. I almost trashed my WIP and since have developed a giant case of writer’s block. It has shaken me to my core. Am I writing what God wants me to write? Should I be writing something completely different?

When I prayed about my WIP, God gave me more ideas to turn the book into a series. So I didn’t chuck it. Now even though I feel in my heart that God has led me to where I am with writing and I am writing what God wants me to write, fear is hindering me. I don’t want to appropriate culture. I don’t want to misrepresent. I just want to share God’s love and create understanding within our communities.

So, what’s a girl to do? Please comment below. Thoughts and advice appreciated!

Allison K. García