Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Peek Into My Bookshelves: The Guy I'm Not Dating

Trish Perry is here today! Want to know why?

There are lots of wonderful sites and blogs that tell you about wonderful new releases and books that are coming out so you can plan you're reading future. That got me thinking, though, that there are lots of great older books that readers might have missed the first time around. In my room I have a small bookcase with my favorite books that I occasionally go back and re-read. Since these books are so fabulous I'm going to share some of them with you occasionally in case you missed them the when they came out.

Which brings me to why Trish Perry has stopped by for a spot of tea today. She wrote one of my absolute favorite contemporary Christian romance books ever. It's called The Guy I'm Not Dating and if the title itself doesn't intrigue you, the first line, "Yowza!" probably will.

This book was a sort of homecoming for me. I will make a confession. For a while I got a bit turned off by the available Christian romance. I know now that I kept picking up the wrong ones, but it seemed all I ever found was serious and involved at least one of the main characters getting saved. Don't get me wrong, that's great, but I was craving a funny story about people already walking with the Lord.

Enter The Guy I'm Not Dating which is just that. It's funny. It's laugh out loud funny. Even after multiple reads I still giggle. The characters are real and relatable. They have hearts to follow God, but they are still flawed. The Gospel is still shared because there is a conversion scene, but I'll leave you guessing as to which secondary character it is. You just might be surprised.

Here's the book description:

Kara Richardson has finally suffered one breakup too many. She's decided to go the no-dating route to romance, although she's not quite sure how that works.

She couldn't have picked a worse time to meet Gabe Paolino. Gorgeous men hardly faze Kara. A personal trainer, she works with hunks every day. But Gabe, the handsome young deli owner in town, proves way too available and way too challenging for Kara's vow of friendship. How will she adhere to her new lifestyle without scaring Gabe away?

Enter matchmaking friends, a strange elderly aunt, three demanding teens, and one hard-to-take vixen with eyes for Gabe. Add an overcrowded road trip and plenty of God's blessings, and Kara may discover that the guy she's not dating is the best boyfriend she's ever had.

And here's Trish Perry!

Q: As your first published book, I'm sure The Guy I'm Not Dating holds a special place in your heart. How do you feel when you look back on it? 

TP: Yes, although The Guy I'm Not Dating was the third book I wrote, it was the first one I published, so it will always be special for me. You know, I haven't read that book since I wrote it, back in 2005, but that's something I'd really like to do. I think it would feel like reading a book written by someone else. The distance of time sometimes allows for that, and I'd get a chance to see its strengths and flaws.

Q: I know you have carried some of the characters into other books already, but do you have plans to write stories for any of the other characters? I've always wondered what happens to Gabe's siblings. 

TP: That's how it is for the authors, too, as I'm sure you'll see, Kristi, with your own characters. Even though the characters come out of our own imaginations, after we move on, we feel as if their lives continue. But the decision about how long to carry a series ultimately rests with the publisher. Even though Harvest House and I decided to include Kara, Gabe, and their friends in Too Good to Be True and Beach Dreams, we didn't plan to look further into the lives of the secondary characters, like Gabe's siblings. Maybe someday  . . .

Q: All writers know the journey to that first printed book can be a long one. Do you remember how you felt the first time you held this book in your hands? What is one thing you know now that you would love to have known then? 

TP: I definitely remember how I felt when I received my first author copy of The Guy I'm Not Dating, and I've talked about it often, because it was kind of revelatory. 

Although I was pleased and should have been flooded with joy, I looked at the book and suddenly worried it wasn't good enough. My family could now read it and see I wasn't as talented as they thought I was. My friends would do the same. Strangers would read the book and post horrible comments about me online. Even my publisher would suddenly realize it was contracted with this total hack for another book. Maybe all of those things would happen because God needed to show me that writing wasn't really what He had in mind for me. I had a mini-panic attack, I guess. 

So I prayed about it, and rather quickly God put my mind at rest. I didn't hear His voice, but I felt it so strongly, I know it was Him. I knew that Heknew my heart. I wanted to serve and honor Him with my writing. Why would He throw that back in my face? Did I really think that was how He operated? If He wanted me serving Him in some other way, He would guide me in that direction, not stomp on my efforts at writing. As long as I dedicated my writing to Him each day and continued to feel drawn to it, I didn't need to worry about my writing journey. He would bless my efforts or lovingly draw me to something else. That's how He operates.

And that comforting awareness is the one thing I know now that I would love to have know right from the start.

Thank you so much for stopping by! 

You can buy The Guy I'm Not Dating at Amazon, BarnesAndNoble.com, and SignedByTheAuthor.com.


  1. I enjoyed the article, Kristi... It's really encouraging to read material like this when you're still working on the first novel. Hahahaha! God bless you!

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Sybil! I hope you'll check out the book. It really is a great read.