The Covering, by Dana Pratola | #fictionfridays

The Covering, by Dana Pratola

Christian romances are a challenging balance of sexual tension and purity. Many times, sexual tension never comes into play, resulting in a feel-good romance where the boy gets the girl and they all live happily ever after. It’s a modern revamp of the fairy tales from our youth.

Don’t get me wrong, those are fun to read, but what does a Christian lady do when she wants a little spice between the pages? Something that reads a little closer to  what she really goes through while encouraging her with a realistic happy ending?

You read The Covering by Dana Pratola.

Tessa, the female protagonist, is a lady after my own heart. More than anything she wants to be the “Jesus Example” to those around her, and to live in a way that He would be proud. Like me, she battles with her temper, of putting her foot in her mouth, and she is tormented by the poor decisions of her life. However, she moves on, determination and faith pressing her onward.

Then Gunnar strides into her life and pushes every hot little button he can get his hands on.

Not-so-figuratively speaking.

The attraction is heady, physical, and enough to cause Tessa more than a single moment of temptation and confusion. After all, Gunnar isn’t a believer. In fact, he makes it blatantly clear he has no desire to become one. But that doesn’t usher away the attraction. Later, when Gunnar begins to show a more tender side to his nature, it definitely does not alleviate Tessa’s inner turmoil.

This zing and clash of emotions is one of the best aspects of the novel. It injects a powerful feel of realism to the romance. In fact, Dana has used this tension as a poignant reminder of our own personal challenges, regardless of our belief system, and how we should and could face them in victory.

Tessa learns much about her character because of her willingness to look herself in the face and see her failings as God sees them: a work in progress. Thus challenged, she attempts to do better at treating Gunnar with respect and understanding, and admitting when she is out of line. It is this humility which continues to attract Gunnar, and allows God to begin softening his heart until he, too, becomes a believer.

Dana handles the conflicts and romance in The Covering from a common-sense/Christian world view, spinning an edgy and powerful story. I would recommend this novel to my Christian and non-Christian friends alike, and isn’t that the best type of witnessing tool?

Nona King

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Savor | CWBC

Christian Writers Blog ChainThis month the topic for the ChristianWriters Blog Chain is ‘Savor’. My friends have posted some incredible reactions to this topic this month, and I hope you take the time to visit the other blogs on the chain (see the links to the left or at the end of this article).

From the day we first arrive our senses are bombarded with inputs, our synapse forming new pathways throughout our central nervous system moment by moment just so we can learn how to… relate to and interact with our environment. Some things we savor with relish. Other things we reject and repress, leaving the memories and the darkness to our sub-conscious… a completely darker side of the same savor coin.

Both, however, contribute to our character. Our image. Our view of ourselves as well as that of the world surrounding us.

Daily we are faced with the choice of how we will interact and react with our surroundings, and daily we fit another piece of our character-puzzle. Did we savor a long, slow commute, relishing the beauty of another day? Or did we reject the possibilities and grumble and grouse and fume?

Did we savor our blessings, giving thanks for what might have been a very different ending to our life story? Or did we gripe about something we wanted but couldn’t get?

I must confess that this week I suffered from the latter. I wanted something unnecessary and found a way to sneak and get it, apologizing after the deed had already been done. My husband, bless his heart, “holds no beef” but his poignant warning of needing to face my fear which causes this behavior… yes, that struck home. A deeply seated fear has begun to taint my view of my blessings, sabotaging a sense of awe and wonder… stealing my ability to savor the simple things.

So, tomorrow I will begin a new prayer journey to tackle a new obstacle and conquer another fear. I look forward to the challenge because I know that, at the end, when victory is mine [through the Lord], I will hold a new level of appreciation for what I have… and a heightened ability to savor what waits around the corner.

What about you? What challenges have taught you to savor?

Nona King

The Blog Chain: SAVOR

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Christian Writers Blog ChainThis month the Christian Writers Blog Chain have been writing on the word ‘savor’, not to be confused with ‘savIor’. 🙂 That would be a different month altogether…. As before, this month I will be posting an appropriate excerpt from one of my novels. This month my possible choices were all romantic in vein, but the following seemed the most appropriate for not only the word in its most literal sense, but the spiritual and philosophical senses as well.

From ‘The Story: a tale of redemption & romance’, my romantic fantasy available through Smashwords for $0.99 cents.


‘It is the name of your future we seek, my lord knight. As King Reese sought and found his new future, battling the darkness of his past self.’

Zain turned away, but he could not venture farther down the mountain path. He fisted his hands.

‘It is the future all desire for you. One of happiness and wholeness. A future filled with peace. One of love and family. It is the future name the God of this mountain desires to guide you toward, my lord. But I have the freedom to do so only should you allow me beyond the silence to the voices. When you face them, that is when they cease to have power over your waiting future.’

“And what future should I seek?” he asked, his voice a low rumble as he desperately held back the tide of hope. “You have seen my past. What future do I deserve but the life of constantly seeking a peace I do not?”

Zain noticed, again, the bright glow of the gem on the apex of her staff– He heard children’s laughter and the melody of a woman’s greeting… He paled and turned, his eyes focusing on the images of family within the white circle.

A slightly older version of himself walked toward a simple home outside of LaDoon castle. He wore the armor of Crusader Captain, the elite guard of the LaDoon Kingdom. An insignia of the highest honor emblazoned his breastplate.

Two boys ceased their sword play to charge toward him in welcome. A young girl of five years ventured after them, a doll dragging behind her as she reached for his hand, her pale hair aglow in the late afternoon sun.

‘This is a future waiting for you,’ the Oracle intoned with gentle passion. ‘Not enough? What of this?’

The oak staff shifted, and with it the images. Another collection of years. He stood, distinguished and content as he trained an older pair of sons in the techniques of battle. A beautiful daughter cheered from the sidelines performing needlework beside her mother, a woman of ethereal beauty and bright eyes. She looked upon her family with adoration, love caressing her lips with such intensity his heart ached for the reality.

‘Or this? Would this future be enough, my lord?’

The images blurred and shifted, focusing on the cathedral within LaDoon Kingdom and rows of soldiers and civilians as he led his daughter to the young man waiting at the alter beyond.

The King’s son.

A royal marriage. A future of prosperity, happiness, and honor for his daughter… and his sons standing near the king in the armor of the knights with honors decorating their tunics and hanging from their necks. Futures of honor. Lives of protection and duty– Zain turned away, tearing his helmet from his head. “Stop.” It clashed to the ground. “Stop, I say!”

The laughter and the images faded as her oak staff lowered. She rested a hand upon his shoulder. ‘My lord, this is a waiting future. One you deserve. A future your friends wish for you.’ Her hold tightened as she turned him to face her; her features yet hidden in the shadows of her cowl. ‘Will you truly turn your back on these? Will you not fight also for the protection of these souls? Will you not give them their lives?’

“How…?” Zain shook his head. “How can this be possible? I know no such woman as would have me.”

‘This destiny awaits your forward step, my lord knight. You must quest through the horrors of your past and realize their importance.’

He clenched his jaw. “Importance, my lady Oracle? My past caused pain and death, nearly collapsing the kingdom I had sworn to protect. How do I find importance within treachery?”

‘You seek it. You compare who you were to who you now are and seek the beauty within the change. You admit the strengths caused by the overcoming of the weakness.’

The need for this future rose within Zain like a torrential wave. He fisted his hands, driving them into his eyes as if to rub the vision from his mind. But the desire already burned his soul. He ached to hear the laughter of family and feel the pride of fatherhood. He lowered himself to one knee, head lowered. “Guide the quest, my lady Oracle, for this future I will have.”

The Blog Chain: SAVOR

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Inspired Juggles

This month’s topic for the ChristianWriters Blog Chain is ‘Savor’, and while today is definitely not my day to post, my fingers continue to migrate to the ‘add new post’ link. Not only that, what has been juggling around in my head seems to follow in line with this month’s topic.

The last several weeks I have been relishing renewed inspiration and focus after a short sabbatical. I’ve not only worked on my ‘sweet & spicy’ romance My Fair Princess [it releases in April], but I have also been conspiring with my husband. What have we been plotting? Two additional installments in THE SOUL CYCLE series: Para and Meek. As mentioned in a previous post, the installments follow the main characters from To Save a Soul and Silver & Iron, but as individuals before they traveled together as comrades.

Meek, the Soul Cycle #4In fact, depending on how Para & Meek turn out, there may be a third installment entailing their first adventure as a team. Honestly, I’m looking forward to that one quite a bit. 🙂 Of course, the hubs and I also conspired together to begin plotting out the last book in the series. Much as I would love to give you a bit of a peek inside the conflicts and angst of that book… I am practicing discretion and keeping my fingers away from those particular keys.

I thank the Lord above for reinvigorating me with the fun and expectation of projects, both old and new. It comes as a breath of fresh air, to be honest, as I had begun to wonder if my time as a writer began to wane. 🙂 Instead I am strengthening my juggling muscles and savoring every moment of the challenge.

What about you? Are you stepping up to a challenge and feeling yourself blessed as a result?

Nona King

Rough Covers for ‘Para’:

Para, the Soul Cycle #3

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Attack of the late night muse

Who knew that I would still be up at 1:14 am (PST) writing the final chapters of my ‘sweet & spicy’ romance, My Fair Princess? But here I am, already 1200 words into it, my music playing, my tealight lamp burning, and my coffee screaming for a refill. I might still retire before more of the morning burns away, but I might not. It’s all me.

I must say, I like the feeling of preferring to remain sleep deprived while being closer to the end of the manuscript. After all, I have a couple people waiting for the ARC and a deadline quickly approaching (April) for the novel’s publication. 🙂 Motivation and accomplishment are wonderful.

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