Monday, August 13, 2012

Guest Blogger: Tamelia Tumlin, Author of Deadly Image (Giveaway)

Gone without a trace ...

Lexi Yates knows she hasn’t harmed her three-year-old daughter, yet the Louisiana town of Gator Bayou seems to think she’s guilty. With her daughter missing, the evidence stacking up against her and her faith in God tested to the limit, Lexi must find a way to convince FBI agent Ace Valdez she’s innocent before she becomes the next target.

Ace Valdez doesn’t trust easily, and he certainly knows better than to fall for a case, yet there’s something about the widowed mother that makes him want to believe she’s innocent, but evidence doesn’t lie. Or does it?

Christian Characters Are People Too
 by Tamelia Tumlin

I'd like to thank The Book Connection for hosting me today on my virtual book tour of Deadly Image. It is an honor to be here and talk to your readers about Christian romances.

Christian romances? Meh! They can’t possibly be very exciting, can they? After all, the characters are perfect, preachy and quite frankly a bit prudish. They must walk the chalk line in their story without even a hint of sin. So this must mean all the characters in Christian romances are cut from same holier than thou cardboard mold and the story has to be dull. Right?

Wrong, wrong and wrong! Now, I’ll admit, even though I’m a Christian, I never really thought an inspirational romance could be very entertaining either. Seriously. If the characters were perfect and flawless where was the excitement? How could I possibly relate to them?

That line of thinking quickly changed when I picked up a Love-Inspired romantic suspense several years ago by one of my now favorite authors, Margaret Daley. The cover on the store shelf caught my attention and the blurb sounded intriguing, but this was an inspirational suspense. Not exactly going to be a page-turner. Right?

Again. Wrong, wrong and wrong! I flipped through the first few pages and low and behold one of the main characters was sitting right smack in the middle of a (gasp) bar with an alcoholic drink on the counter in front of him. What? But, I thought this was a Christian book. (To be considered a Christian book and sold in Christian bookstores you have to follow the Christian Book Association rules and a bar scene is a big no-no unless there is a very good reason for it.)

I’ll admit that scene got my attention. For starters, it shattered my perception of what an inspirational romance book was. I mean come on, the first time we meet the hero, he’s in a bar. Not exactly following the CBA rules, is it? Now, let me stop right here and clarify. The hero of this story never took that drink. This was-I learned a bit later in the book-part of his struggle. Part of what endeared him to the reader. I also learned the heroine of the story was equally flawed and while it was evident she was strong in her faith, she was in no way, shape or form “preachy”.

Hmm…these characters didn’t seem to be perfect. Could it be that this story might be exciting after all?

Yes, yes and yes! The book was definitely a page turner and one I couldn’t put down until I had finished reading every single line. From that moment on I realized one very important truth:  Christian characters are people too. They have the same struggles, temptations, and angst as their mainstream counterparts. They are not perfect. They are not exempt from sin. They are not preachy, though they will share their faith with you if you ask. But, most importantly, they were sinners before they became a Christian so their past may be a bit checkered as well. There may be secrets they’d rather not reveal, past indiscretions they’d rather you not know about and guilt over things they have done or things they should have done differently. Now, we have the ingredients for a very exhilarating story. Hmm… it is beginning to sound like a regular romance.

But, wait! What about being prudish you might ask? How can they fall in love if they never touch each other?

Good question and you are almost right. You won’t find an actual love scene in an inspirational romance, but you will find plenty of emotional tension. You will find a growing attraction and mutual love which blossoms even when the characters fiercely fight it and once in a while you might find a tender kiss or two thrown in for good measure. Of course, the kiss will focus on how the characters feel emotionally rather than physically, but the excitement will be there all the same. So even though there are certain expectations and rules regarding love scenes in an inspirational romance, the attraction will be prominent in the story and the emotional journey you take with the characters will be well worth the absence of an actual love scene. By the time you sigh and close the book, there will be no doubt the characters were meant for each other.

So to answer the question of whether or not a Christian romance can be an exciting and satisfying read I say, “Absolutely!”

This is why I enjoy writing in the inspirational genre. After all, Christian characters are people too and they have a story to tell just like everyone else.

Tamelia Tumlin sold her first story to Dogwood Tales Magazine many years ago while taking a creative writing course in college. The short story titled "The Traveler" was the feature story for that edition. After graduating college in elementary education, life, a teaching career and a wonderful son consumed most of her time. However, in the past couple of years, the yearning to pen fabulous romantic tales of to-die-for heroes and spirited heroines has taken over. Ms. Tumlin has worked with several online publishers, but she is now writing for Steel Magnolia Press. Juggling motherhood, teaching and writing is a challenge, but one she welcomes to pursue her passion. Her novels range from sweet and sassy to dark and dangerous.

Find Tamelia online at:






• Print Length: 113 pages
• Publisher: Steel Magnolia Press (July 6, 2012)
• Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
• Language: English


Author Tamelia Tumlin is offering two lucky readers of this blog a chance to win a FREE PDF or PRC copy of Deadly Image. Since I am having trouble with Rafflecopter and IE9 on this blog, you can enter to win by visiting Tamaelia's website at and leaving a comment to let me know something you discovered about her or her book.

You get a bonus entry if you Tweet the following:

#Win a copy of Deadly Image from The Book Connection #free @tameliatumlin

Leave a comment with your email address. Only those comments with an email address will be used as entries. Please post a separate comment for each entry.

Winner must be 18 years of age or older.


Another good reason to visit Tamelia's website is to get your chance to win 1 of 2 $10 Amazon gift cards. Visit for details.

Good luck to all who enter!


Cheryl said...

Thanks for being my guest today, Tamelia.

Tamelia Tumlin said...

It was an honor to be here. Thank you for inviting me. :)

Kate Dolan said...

Great post, Tamelia! We know that Christians are real people with flaws but there is definitely an assumption that all Christian book characters are too perfect to be interesting. You gave some great examples of how that assumption is wrong! Thanks!

Tamelia Tumlin said...

Thank you Kate. I'm glad you enjoyed my post. Please be sure to enter the Amazon gift card giveaway on my website. :) Also, since you were kind enough to leave a comment you can have a PDF or PRC version of Deadly Image. Send me your email addy and I'll get that to you. :) Let me know which version you'd like.