Christmas Town: Steeple Hill Guidelines
Thinking about my new plan of doing a survey of a year’s worth of Steeple Hill book, to determine things like ratio of male believers to female believers AND MORE…I came across this page that explains what can’t be written about in Steeple Hill romances, and thought it might be interesting to us all as I critique this book blind:
There should be no explicit sex in these stories, and a minimum of sensuality and sexual desire. Intimate physical interaction between main characters must be strictly limited. And, unless it is part of the struggle the protagonists face, there should be no premarital sex or graphic violence.
Ah. Just like in Twas the Night Before, when Tom and Noella never had sleepovers, even though they were both in their thirties and engaged.
Although the faith element is central to these stories, the degree of religiousness can vary. We would prefer that specific Christian denominations not be named unless the story requires it, e.g. we prefer Good Shepherd Christian Church to Good Shepherd Baptist (or Presbyterian, Methodist, etc.) Church. The progression of the story must incorporate the faith journey of each character, whether struggling to accept faith or simply being active members of their church community. By the end of the story, protagonists must be both believers and members of a church community.
This is why I want to do my survey—I have a sneaking suspicion that it is far more often the woman who leads the man (back) to Jesus, and I want to see if this is really the case.
Because Steeple Hill sells to both CBA and ABA bookstores, we must adhere to CBA conventions. The stories may not include alcohol consumption by Christian characters, 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. Lying is also problematical in the CBA market and characters who are Christian should not lie or deceive others. Possibly there could be exceptional circumstances (matters of life and death), but this has to be okayed by an editor.
NO RAFFLES WHY????
Also no Halloween. I haz a sad.
Anyway, just some help in case anyone wants to write a Christian romance, and as we dig deeper into Christmas Town.