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Lynn Austin’s: Wonderland Creek

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In the past I have mentioned that Lynn Austin is an excellent and widely-read author of superb Christian fiction. However, I have not mentioned that she has many little-known books that would make excellent Christian films. While not much can beat her landmark novel, A Proper Pursuit, she has many selections that come close. One of these is the book Wonderland Creek, Austin takes on a different setting with this book that you will not find in her others. This book has always been one of my favorites, partly because of it’s eccentric charm, and partly because of it’s well-developed characters. Wonderland Creek deals with subjects such as backward mountain communities, librarians, truth, lies, life lessons, romance, action, mystery, and everyday adventure. The opening chapter introduces the reader to a young woman named Alice Grace Ripley. Alice has loved books for as long as she can remember, and while reading fiction is hardly a crime, Alice has begun to unknowingly believe that her beloved stories are the guidelines for real life decisions. Alice has it all, the storybook boyfriend, a loving family, and a comfortable job as (what else?) a city librarian. However, that is all about to change. Alice’s boyfriend becomes increasingly frustrated with her obsession with fiction and accuses her of living in a fictional world. They argue, and eventually decide to part ways. Confused and hurt, Alice turns to her books for comfort, only to discover that they make her more unhappy. She makes a last-minute decision to take a trip to the mountains of Kentucky to deliver donated books to a small community there. While there Alice will discover that the real world is a far cry from what one can find in a storybook, and that life, love, and commitment are concepts that she has never fully understood. Will Alice ever find her Prince Charming? Will she gain a correct perspective on the world of non-fiction? Most importantly, will she discover the Creator of every good and perfect thing? To answer these questions, read the book!:-) Wonderland Creek would make an excellent romantic comedy in the hands of a good writer/director. It would require an excellent casting job, strict adherence to the original plot, and superb production quality. Once again I will say that there are many Christian novels, like Wonderland Creek, that can and should be on the big screen. I can’t wait for the day when filmmakers realize the potential found in Christian novels such as these.

Angela Elwell Hunt: The Emerald Isle

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The Emerald Isle is the final installment in Angela E. Hunt’s The Heirs of Cahira O’Connor series. Throughout the series a young woman named Kathleen O’Connor has been researching the lives of her famous ancestors, and discovering their incredible stories of bravado. After looking into the lives of Anika, Aidan, and Flanna O’Connor, Kathleen finally decides to research the ancestor who started the legacy of the O’Connor women. The Emerald Isle deals with subjects such as sacrificial love, discovery, friendships, sadness, broken families, healing, love, forgiveness, reconciliation, and God’s grace. The novel opens with Kathleen meeting her best friend Taylor at a local restaurant, she expects this encounter to be a typical, enjoyable lunch filled with playful banter and long conversation. However, she is shocked to discover that Taylor has invited her to lunch only to inform her that he is getting married…to a young woman named Maggie…in Ireland…and soon. This news floors her, as she has recently been examining her own feelings for Taylor. Much to Maggie’s dismay, Taylor invites Kathy to join them on their Irish adventure. After much consideration, Kathy decides to go along and use the opportunity to find out more about her heritage. Little does she know that along the way she will discover important life lessons, and find the one whom her soul loves. To find out who Kathy’s true love is, and to discover the story of Cahira O’Connor, read the book! We here at Box Office Revolutionary believe that the Heirs of Cahira O’Connor series would provide excellent fodder for a Christian miniseries, film series, or several individual movies! It is our continuing belief the Christian filmmakers should look no further than Christian book series to find quality content.

Angela Elwell Hunt: The Velvet Shadow

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The Velvet Shadow is the third installment in Angela E. Hunt’s four-part book series, The Heirs of Cahira O’Connor. In the two previous novels Kathleen O’Connor learned about two women in her famous lineage who broke free from the molds that society had placed them in, Anika and Aidan O’Connor. This time, Kathleen discovers the most recent woman in her lineage that made her mark on history; Flanna O’Connor. The Velvet Shadow deals with subjects such as war, racial tensions, rash decisions, grief, sacrifice, and love. Flanna O’Connor and her family lived in the Civil War Era, a time of great turmoil and confusion. Flanna was born into a wealthy family who had a prominent position in society. The tiresome and petty demands of this lifestyle have driven Flanna to her wits’ end, as she has never enjoyed catering to society’s expectation of how she is supposed to live. All this is regardless of the fact that there is an impending war between the Northern and Southern states. In the midst of it all, she has her own dreams and goals in life, the most important one being her long-held dream to become a doctor. However, both her gender and her position in society have made that goal virtually impossible to achieve. Flanna’s parents would like nothing more than for her to marry a man that she does not love, in whom they see all of the impeccable qualities of a matrimonial prospect. In a moment of desperation, a confused Flanna reluctantly agrees to become engaged to said man, however, she almost instantly regrets this decision. Seeing no way out of the path she has chosen for her life, Flanna decides to disguise herself as a man and join the Union Army, with the purpose of using her position as a soldier to care for the wounded, rather than kill others. As she journeys to battle with the Southern states, Flanna will discover that war is not what she expected, and neither is love. Will Flanna survive the perils of the Civil War? Will she find the one whom her soul loves? To answer these questions, read the book!:) This novel would make a great third installment in a four-part Christian/Inspirational miniseries. However, it would also be an excellent action-adventure/romance standalone film. There is really no way for Christian filmmakers to go wrong, if they choose to make movies out of timeless novels such as these!

Angela Elwell Hunt: The Golden Cross

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The Golden Cross is the second installment of Angela E. Hunt’s famous four-part series; The Heirs of Cahira O’Connor. The Golden Cross deals with subjects such as, the consequences of sin, world travel, second chances, secrets, suspicion, love, and sacrifice. Similar to the first novel, this one begins with Kathleen O’Connor, an English major who is curious to discover more about the famous women in her lineage. All of the women Kathleen will discover fulfilled Cahira O’Connor’s prayer that bright stars would break forth from the course to which they were bound. This time, Kathleen looks into the story of Aidan O’Connor, a young Dutch woman who was raised on the tumultuous shoreline of Java, Indonesia. Growing up among prostitutes and criminals has made a difficult life for Aidan, and she has always longed for something more than the lot she has been dealt. Aidan’s secret talent is art; a hobby that she excels in. When a local professional artist happens by her little corner of the world, she takes advantage of his presence to show off her skills. The artist is surprised to find that Aidan is, indeed, talented. He takes her into his home, much to his grown children’s chagrin, and plans to take her on a world voyage with him; as an understudy. However, there is one problem….young women are not allowed on board ship. So, he disguises Aidan as a boy and they embark on a great journey. Along the way Aidan will discover the wonders of God’s creation and find an unconditional love she never knew existed. Will Aidan be discovered? What wonders and or dangers await her in the great unknown? Most importantly, will Aidan recognize that the love she has been searching for can only come from God? To answer these questions, read the book!:) We here at Box Office Revolution believe that The Golden Cross would make for a great second installment in a Christian themed miniseries starring the Cahira O’Connor book series.

Angela Elwell Hunt: The Silver Sword

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It has been established that Angela Elwell Hunt is one of the most influential and brilliant writers in the world of Christian fiction. When one examines her widely read and esteemed selection of novels, they have no choice but to conclude that she is a talented author who is using her gift to spread the Gospel worldwide. One of her best and probably one of her most obscure series is titled the Heirs of Cahira O’Connor This four-part series has an epic beginning and a strong, while somewhat nostalgic ending. These features alone would make it an amazing candidate for either a four part movie series or a Christian themed miniseries. Interestingly enough the namesake of the series does not make an appearance until the final novel. The first book is titled The Silver Sword, a simple title, yet with so much intrigue. This book deals with subjects such as the forbidden education of women, the Catholic church, Protestantism, secrecy, disguise, conflict, combat, courage, love, and sacrifice. The Silver Sword opens by introducing the reader to a young woman named Kathleen O’Connor. Kathleen has recently learned that she could be related to the fabled O’Connor women who made an impact on the world with their lives. The distinguishing mark of this clan is a white streak through the hair of those most closely related to the original O’Connors. Kathleen herself bears this mark, and has long wondered why, and how it came to be. She decides, at the request of her professor friend, to do further research on the subject of her roots. She discovers three O’Connor women who were famous in history for their feats, one of them was a young woman named Anika who lived in medieval Prague, and longed for something more than what was expected of women in this era. Kathleen is able to put aside her skepticism and becomes interested in this woman who impacted her country in a huge way. Anika O’Connor and her father live in and run a local book shop. Anika’s father has illegally educated her far beyond the allotment for women in the era. This fact has remained successfully hidden from the iron-fisted Catholic church in their village. However, this is not the only secret that Anika and her father are hiding, they are illegally translating the Bible for a local Protestant pastor. Anika’s father is eventually discovered and killed for his treason. Spurred on by this tragic occurrence, Anika decides to disguise herself as a man and take a position as the understudy of a legendary knight who lives in the King’s castle. This disguise, for various reasons, proves to be difficult to uphold, and many times she risks being discovered and killed for her impersonation. Will Anika be discovered? What is her destiny? Will she live to share her faith with others? To discover the answers to these questions, read the book!:) We here at Box Office Revolution believe that there should be a new era of Christian movies that include miniseries, as many prominent Christian authors have whole book series that need to be brought to attention on the big screen. In short, Christian movie makers looking for variety should look no further than Christian novels for inspiration!

Angela Elwell Hunt: The Fine Art of Insincerity

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Angela E. Hunt is one of the greatest writers of Christian fiction on the market today. There is  no denying that she brings one the most unique, and humorous perspectives to the world of Christian fiction. Hunt has written a wide variety of books on nearly every topic you can imagine, and has something for every reader, no matter what style of writing they enjoy. I have always appreciated that she is not afraid to let her personality shine through her novels. It adds an unexplainable amount of depth to a book when the author is not afraid to add his or her own opinions and flavors. One of Hunt’s most well loved novels is titled The Fine Art of Insincerity; if this title does not give you a glimpse of her rather sarcastic humor, I don’t know what will. The Fine Art of Insincerity is a landmark novel that combines both humor and the reality of human weaknesses to create an amazing read that you will never forget. I would love to see this novel hit the big screen as a Christian movie, as I believe it would be an unforgettable real life drama that would impact the lives of many. This novel deals with subjects such as family tension, generational traits, worldly pleasures, suicide attempts, abortion, pain, loss, secrets, suffering, sisterly interaction, forgiveness, and God’s mercy and love. The opening chapter introduces the reader to the three main characters; three estranged sisters who have been forced to meet, as their deceased grandmother’s house has finally sold. They decide to make it a long weekend and clean out all of the clutter in preparation for the new owners. While they are there they find many nostalgic items that remind them of their grandmother’s life….and secrets that they never knew existed. Ginger, the eldest sister, takes pride in the fact that she, unlike her two younger sisters, has kept the same husband over the years. Yet, little does Ginger know that her pride will turn to devastation in the very near future…. Annoyed at the lackadaisical attitude on behalf of her two younger sisters, Ginger steps in a dictates her plans for the weekend. However, these plans only cause turmoil, as it is not long before Ginger and Penny are arguing over keepsakes. Rose, on the other hand, seems depressed and distant, not interested in any of the activities, and seemingly content to expend the least effort possible. Ginger and Penny will be shocked to learn of their younger sister’s plans for the following day. The weekend as a whole will cause the sisters to learn many shocking truths about themselves, and their grandmother’s life. As a result, their outlook on the world will forever be changed. What dark secret is Rose hiding? What storm is Ginger about to face? Will Penny ever settle down and take responsibility for her decisions? To answer these questions, read the book! I would love to see this movie hit the big screen as an inspirational/Christian drama film, as I believe it would revolutionize the Christian drama genre. You can look forward to more book reviews on Angela E. Hunt’s novels in the future, as she is one of my favorite authors.;)

Seasons of the Heart Series: Spring’s Gentle Promise

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Spring’s Gentle Promise is the final novel in Janette Oke’s Seasons of the Heart Series, and while the ending is predictable in some ways, it is worth a read because it concludes one of her classic series. The book deals with subjects such as marriage, family, hardship, poverty, fatherhood, hope, defeat, and triumph. In the first chapter Josh takes pride in the fact that he is the legal owner of the family farm, and discusses his hopes and dreams for the future. He also discusses his plans for marrying and starting a family of his own. There’s just one problem, he can’t decide between two potential wives! Torn between the two women, he must make a decision, and quick! Meanwhile, Uncle Charlie’s health is fading fast, and Josh worries that Grandpa will be lonely without his longtime companion. About halfway through the novel Josh finally picks a bride, and begins to live his dreams. Everything is finally going his way, he has found the one his soul loves, and they have started a family together. Then, tragedy strikes, the town goes bankrupt, and everyone is either moving away or scraping by with the little money they have on hand. To make matters worse, this economic catastrophe has struck in the middle of a drought! Will Josh trust God to provide for his family’s needs? Will they survive? To answer these questions, read the book!;) Personally I would love to see some of Janette Oke’s lesser known novels become prominent in the world of Christian film-making, as she has many stories that would make great first films for a budding film company. We here at Box Office Revolution have said it before, and we’ll say it again, if you want to generate quality Christian films, look no further than Christian novels! In addition, if you do decide to take on this admirable feat, stay true to the original content!!!!

Seasons of the Heart Series: Winter is not Forever

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Winter is Not Forever makes it’s mark as the third installment in Janette Oke’s nostalgic Seasons of the Heart Series. As one of the final books in the series, it portrays the beginning of the end of Josh’s story, without being too rushed. This is an excellent example of a book that covers a large span of time, but doesn’t forget to add detail and depth. This book deals with topics like prayer, discovering one’s purpose, emerging adulthood, family relationships, friendships, loss, grief, love, and faith. The first chapter opens with Josh explaining that he has recently graduated from high school and is trying to discover what God would have him do from here. He questions God regarding what profession he should pursue, should he stay on the farm and care for the land, along with his ailing Grandpa and Uncle Charlie? Or should he leave all that he knows and pursue something completely foreign to him? Josh’s longing for a purpose is only heightened when one of his childhood friends leaves home to be a missionary in a foreign land. Josh misses his friend, and longs to do something similar. As life seems to keep passing him by, he considers his options and begins to test out ideas. Grandpa and Uncle Charlie surprise Josh by hiring a cook and a housekeeper, both about his age, to help out around the house. At first he resents the girls’ presence, but eventually learns to appreciate the work they do, and even builds lasting friendships with both of them. Josh’s answer from God, along with the tragic loss of someone he holds dear come nearly in unison. What profession has God chosen for him? Which one of his friends/family members was taken home to the Lord? What will Josh do now that he has a definite life calling? To answer these questions, read the book! Winter is not Forever can be considered a last farewell to Josh’s childhood, he becoming a man now, and must act as one. While some may say that this novel is simply a prelude to the next one, I think that it should be valued just as much as the others. Each novel portrays an important part of the main character’s life, and without the third book the reader would be left to wonder. However, I think that this novel and the final one in the series should be combined in the final episode of a Christian/inspirational miniseries, as the two combined best portray the main character’s adult life.

Seasons of the Heart Series: The Winds of Autumn

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In the previous post, I introduced you to Janette Oke’s Seasons of the Heart Series, and provided a brief summary of the first novel’s plot. The second installment in this beloved series is titled: The Winds of Autumn. This novel deals with subjects such as adolescence, Christianity, the theory of evolution, life struggles and victories, friendships, enemies, love, loss, grief, anger, bitterness, forgiveness, and grace. In the first chapter of this novel, Josh explains that their local schoolteacher has recently gotten married and left her position, so he is staying with his Aunt Lou and her new husband while the townspeople search for a new schoolteacher. Meanwhile, he and his friends are enjoying a break from their studies. However, with no schoolwork to occupy them, they quickly become bored. Josh and his three friends discuss what they should do in honor of this unexpected holiday, and quickly decide that they want to go on a camping trip. Now all they have to do is convince their families that it is a good idea. When only three out of the four friends receive permission to depart upon their great adventure, they debate whether or not to go at all, but eventually decide to press on without their unfortunate friend. The trip starts out glorious for the threesome, but quickly goes from bad to worse. Upon his return home, Josh learns that a new teacher has been selected, a middle-aged man…with an attractive daughter. Josh is personally selected by the teacher to be a tutor for his daughter, whose apparent weakness is mathematics. However, Josh soon discovers that his duties as a ‘tutor’ are not what he expected, this leads to an extended conflict between him and one of his friends. In the meantime, Josh’s Aunt Lou has an exciting announcement for the family, which ends only in grief for all of them. Confused, saddened, and angry at God, Josh tries to reconcile his faith with this tragic occurrence, and cannot seem to. Will Josh forgive God for allowing tragedies to happen? Will he stay strong through the storm? Will he ever resolve the conflict between him and his former friend? Read the book to find out.;)  As previously mentioned, in my opinion many Christian book series, including this one, would do well in a miniseries form on the big screen. For in a book series, the story doesn’t end with just one novel, it is slowly unfolded among the pages of several novels.

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