Hip Fiction for Righteous Women

Some ‘hip’ fiction for ‘women of faith’

NEW YORK – Religious book sales are on the rise, reporting an 11 percent growth in 2004, and one of the most popular venues is Christian fiction for females.

Karen Kingsbury, formerly with The Los Angeles Times, is the Danielle Steel of Christian fiction, with more than 2 million copies of her books in print. “Fame,” her latest book out this month from Tyndale House, is the story of a Hollywood star and a small-town girl who is tempted by the glamour of movies.

Guidelines for authors are strict: “The stories may not include alcohol consumption by Christian characters, dancing, card playing, gambling or games of chance (including raffles), explicit scatological terms, hero and heroine remaining overnight together alone, Halloween celebrations or magic, or the mention of intimate body parts.”

Among the publishers jumping on board is Harlequin, which last year launched Steeple Hill, an imprint of the romance publisher, which will concentrate on “hip, fun and smart fiction for modern and savvy women of faith.”

Random House’s Broadway imprint will release “Emily Ever After” in July, the story of a country girl coming to New York. Also, Doubleday-Broadway recently announced plans to more than double the sales of its religion unit.



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