Judging a Book by its Coverage (50 Shades of What??)


A Holy Romance

Somewhere along the line

I heard this wise advice

The first lover to say no

is always in the right


For shades of gray can vary

and some are black as coal

if selfishness is reigning

and true love is not the goal


 But I prefer a Holy Romance

between a Lover and His bride

where He sacrifices all He has

to give her everlasting life.


Wendy ❀ 2015




Husbands, love your wives,

just as Christ loved the church

and gave himself up for her to make her holy,

cleansing her by the washing with water

through the word,

Ephesians 5:25-26




There’s been a lot of media coverage about a certain shady novel and movie.

So even though I have zero interest in anything within the erotica/porn genre,

I’ve been exposed to some of the hype over it.


I spent most of Valentine’s Day weekend

scrutinizing my inspirational mystery romance manuscript

looking for flaws in grammar and such,

until my eyes were ready to fall out of my head.


But going on lovely walks with my handsome husband helped save me.

And would you believe that sweet guy

even gave me roses

while I was editing the romantic part of my novel?




♥ ~ Sigh ~ 

I love my man.


And I appreciate that he’s a gentleman.


If you’re wondering what prompted this post,

check the link (I’ll include it at the end) that’s written by a woman

who wishes (sort of) that she hadn’t gone to see the movie

 that’s based on the book everyone’s talking about.




It makes my concern about a little old kiss

between two of my characters

seem… well… so… innocent.

I love a Holy Romance.

Do you?


Holy Romance Blessings  ~ Wendy 


 If you’re curious about the post I mentioned,

click on the word heart for the link to the post.


What’s your favorite romantic novel or movie?




85 thoughts on “Judging a Book by its Coverage (50 Shades of What??)

  1. Beautiful photos and words Wendy to take us away from the ‘Grey’. It’s disturbing to me that so many women even wanted to see the movie. Apparently it has broken box office records all over the world. What does this say about women? Do the majority crave domination, bordering on abuse? It worries me and I just feel totally alienated from it all. Ugh. Sounds horrible to me. And this is a wonderful letter to children. I have shared the link on Facebook xx

    1. Dear Christine, it was on my personal Facebook home feed that I discovered the link. A dear happily married friend shared it. I’m so glad she did. It’s refreshing to know that not everyone is buying into shady side of things. Thank you for spreading the message of true love. <3

  2. First, beautiful words and tribute to your husband. And the images are heavenly! I have no desire to see that movie. Maybe “back in the day” I would’ve, but now I find it so negative and why does our society “enjoy” this negativity. That’s a rhetorical question. 😉 I used to read a lot and hands down my favorite romantic novel is Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach. I’ve read it three times I think. What a beautiful soulmate lovestory!

    1. Thank you, dear Laura. I understand all about “back in the day.” If I could rewind my life, there are things I’d erase. But grace has wiped the slate clean and colored my present life with beautiful shades of Love.

      You’ve got me curious about Bridge Across Forever. ❀ By the way, I’m very honored that you called my pictures heavenly.

      1. You are so welcome. They are indeed heavenly. Oh yes, for years I wanted to rewind my life or erase a lot of it. But there is God’s forgiveness and what I do from now on that counts. And yes! Read that book! If you are a hopeless romantic and believe in soulmate love you will love it. <3

        1. Giggle. I’m definitely a hopeless romantic. My husband had my number when he wrote poems for me, and my favorite cards from him are the blank ones where he writes in his own words. Sigh. <3

  3. Wise words, as usual. Also read the link. Thank you for including it. I thank the Lord that my daughters have escaped the corruption that is in this world through lust, but now I pray for my granddaughters. I shudder to think of the world they will grow up in.

    1. Clarence, I’m indebted to the “Only Wise God” for rescuing me from the shady places. And I’m trusting that He will lead our children safely Home. It’s scary that so much depravity is only a mouse-click away. “As it was in the days of Noah..” The Lord can return any day now–I’m so ready. ❀

  4. I think part of the problem is that people today don’t really know what ROMANCE is. They think they can fill that void with loveless relationships like that in this book/movie. We can’t rely on Hollywood to set the parameters of a loving relationship. Love is Godly, and Hollywood doesn’t understand Godly. If and when people finally find themselves in a relationship where they relate to each other in ways like holding hands, sharing life – faith – silence – pain and genuinely go out of your way to do something simply because they know it makes their spouse happy, they will discover what it feels like to truly love and be loved.

    1. Gene, your comment brought tears to my eyes. Yes, many people “don’t really know what ROMANCE is.” I came from a divorced family. It was through wholesome marriage books that I learned how marriage is supposed to look. Nothing outshines true love. ❀

      1. Wendy, I didn’t know you were from a divorced family. I worry sometimes about my children being from one, but at the same time I know it would have been worse on everyone if we stayed together.

        Fifty Shades? As a woman who has been through a tumultuous marriage, it offends me that a controlling, abusive man is seen as desirable (because he’s rich, maybe?). I haven’t read the trilogy but apparently she changes him in the end. Isn’t that one of the biggest pieces of advice women are given, that you shouldn’t get involved with someone, expecting that you can change him?

        As a writer, it offends me that such poorly written tripe has made this author a very rich woman. And of course it is all about money to these people, as well as the publishers, movie producers, etc. And to think we have to live through the promotion of two more movie releases as they work through the trilogy. Ugh.

        All I can say is I’m happy romance isn’t dead in our own marriages. Love the roses!

        Jennifer xo

        1. Dear Jennifer, I always support and encourage spouses to leave an abusive partner and get into a safe place. To stay in danger is to teach one’s children that it’s okay to abuse or be abused. I admire women or men who can leave a hateful relationship.

          Divorce can be a good thing when it involves leaving a narcissistic person who refuses to get help. Denial on either side is toxic to children.

          I love your comment, especially about the books. I agree that it’s stupid to enter a marriage thinking one can change the other person. We can only change our own dance–not theirs. <3

          PS – Any harm I may have suffered from my family's divorce would have been from the emotional roller-coaster years of turmoil before it all came down. Yes, divorce can be a good thing. xo

  5. I believe, everybody was simply curious to see what that is since there was a commercial every 5 minutes on every channel, at least in Canada. I haven’t read the book, and I have bad experience with overrated and over-marketed movies and other products, therefore, I’m not feeling I missed something not seeing this.
    Wendy it’s so nice you can say something that great about your husband! God has blessed you with this relationship which you so much deserve!
    My husband fits exactly in the same category, plus he sings very well and plays guitar, and supports my art in any possible way.

    1. Dear Inese, I loved hearing that your husband supports your beautiful art. True love builds up each other. <3

      These days one pretty much has to check different sources for reviews about movies before viewing them.

      Here's a link to a VERY conservative movie review site that our family uses.
      At least with this strict site we know what we're getting into before we take the plunge.

  6. Such a great post, Wendy!
    Mary and I were discussing this movie last week. Neither of us understand why women would support this garbage – we just don’t get it! I know supporters of this book/movie would say that we’re closed-minded. That’s probably true, but this year we’ll celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary, and I know at least one thing about great relationships – you better be closed-minded about things like this movie if you want your relationship to stay strong.
    BTW; It might seem strange that a man would answer your question about the most romantic movie and I know my pick is going to seem strange, but… I choose Ben-Hur. It’s a manly romance story. Not only is it a great love story between a man and woman, but also between that same man and Christ.
    It’s also the complete opposite of “50 Shades.” From what I’ve read, 50 Shades is about a man grooming a vulnerable woman to be his virtual slave. In Ben-Hur the love story begins with the man freeing the woman he loves from slavery.
    It’s also a great example of how much Hollywood has changed over the last 50+ years: Ben-Hur won 11 Oscars, a record that has never been broken.

    1. Great advice, Bill, that we “better be closed-minded about things like this movie” if we want a strong marriage relationship (congratulations on 30 yrs). I couldn’t agree more. And I love that you offered a “manly romance story.”

      The contrasts you pointed out between the two movies gave me goosebumps. Yes, a true hero frees the one he loves and doesn’t enslave her. We’re blessed to be free in Christ. The more that depravity shows up in Hollywood–the closer it is to the Lord showing up again. And that’s one subject I don’t want to be closed-minded about.

      Guess what movie I want to watch this weekend? Ben-Hur (it’s been a while).

      Thank you for your wonderful comment. Blessings to you & Mary. ❀

  7. The two best romantic love stories ever told, I think, are PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and JANE EYRE. I watch them over and over again and have several versions of them to compare. There is some parts of all of them that I love. I’ll bet your novel turns out to be a winner too, Wendy! I’ve had no desire to see the movie you mentioned. I was curious in the beginning but after reading comments of other found more and more reasons not to go see it. This is a great post as usual, missy! Love and hugs, N <3 🙂

    1. Dear Natalie, curiosity isn’t going to get a chance to kill my peace either. I appreciate family friendly movie reviewers who tell it like it is. I loved both Jane Eyre and the Pride and Prejudice novel (I can see one of them on my shelf from where I’m sitting). ❀

      Thank you for your encouragement, sweet sister. <3

  8. This post was so refreshing! I loved the beautiful photographs of the flowers and the droplets of water clinging to them. I think they are so magical. I have a hosta that sometimes gets droplets like that, and I never get tired of looking at them. I liked your poem, too. We are the Bride of Christ, and are cherished by Him. This causes my heart to rejoice.

    I don’t read a lot of fiction these days. I don’t go to the movies a lot either. I like to watch old t.v. shows a lot, and I lose track of time and forget to catch up on movies. “It’s A Wonderful Life” is so romantic. I watch it probably once every year. There are two scenes that are so sweet. One is when George is a kid working in the drug store and Mary (an even younger kid) whispers in his deaf ear “George Bailey, I’ll love you till the day I die”. Then there is the phone scene where George is being stubborn and is spurning Mary, and one of her suitors who is a mutual friend calls her on the phone, and George breaks down and declares his love.

    All of the interactions of Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe in The Anne of Green Gables series of books are romantic to me.


    1. Theresa, our family watches “It’s a Wonderful Life” every December. And I agree about those two parts being exceptionally poignant. They make me smile as I remember when my husband (back when we were ‘just friends’) told me that he was never going to get married. <3

      This truly is a wonderful and unpredictable life. ❀

  9. I recall a time when D.H. Lawrence’s ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ was the furtive resort of most of the country’s male population, who hid it inside their daily newspapers on the London train. How innocent it all seems now! ’50 Shades of Grey’ is the favored read of most of the country’s female population, who do not bother to hide the book inside other publications.
    The rock to which I cling is the evolved truth of history; in which Lawrence’s other work stands far taller than Connie and the gamekeeper’s forest games. Having just re-read ‘The White Peacock’ I can testify to that. What, I wonder, apart from the rest of her current infamous trilogy, exists in the body of E.L. James’s work that history can be allowed to judge?

    1. Frederick, your thoughtful observations remind me that evolution is alive and well in the literary world. But I can’t say that it or we are better for it.
      Freedom of expression is good though–and so is freedom of choice. And I forever choose the path of Redemptive Love. Innocence is lovely. ❀ Thank you for your comment. I was unaware of “The White Peacock.”

  10. I have no desire to read the books or watch the movie. Just as I have no desire to read the precursors of this novel that have been part of our human history. I don’t see any point when I can have a thoroughly joyous time doing other things like looking at your photos and feeling my heart soar at their loveliness.

    1. Such kind and lovely words–thank you. ❀ I believe we’re what we see, read, and think. And I prefer to focus on the prettier things. But I’m willing to dabble with shifty characters when I write for the purpose of a redemption story. But I must see justice and a happy ending.

      1. I like a happy ending but if it can’t be happy I like the ending to be satisfactory. Such a book was The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico. I haven’t read it in a long while but I still remember how it grabbed my heart. I was interested to read this review of it. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/dec/19/winter-reads-snow-goose-paul-gallico Apparently when the book was labelled overly sentimental, Gallico responded like this But Gallico was unrepentant, responding that “in the contest between sentiment and ‘slime’, ‘sentiment’ remains so far out in front, as it always has and always will among ordinary humans that the calamity-howlers and porn merchants have to increase the decibles of their lamentations, the hideousness of their violence and the mountainous piles of their filth to keep in the race at all.” Now ain’t that the truth. 🙂

        1. I vote for “sentiment over slime” too.
          “Satisfactory ending” is a better choice of words over “happy ending.” Stuff happens, and real life endings tend to be a blend of happy and sad.
          I’ll go check the link now. ❀ By the way, great comment, as always.

    1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Mary’s book of short stories. Yes, I too like the “gentle way she handles romance and relationships.”
      I appreciate the beauty, poignancy, and humor that you include in your blog posts. ❀

  11. Wendy, love your “Holy Romance” piece. Isn’t it great to have romantic husbands. All the best with your romance novel. And I too, have no desire to see “50 Shades of Grey”. 🙂

  12. Love your post and photos. I’m so glad you followed me. I hope we inspire each other! (Oh, I hate that book, and so sad it got made into a film so it can trash up the screens as well as the pages. Really enjoyed your post about this!) My favorite film and movie is Pride and Prejudice. Although “Children of a Lesser God” is a close second. From 1986. Where have all the good films gone? Hub and I have to watch British TV or we pretty much watch nothing (unless you count baseball & football).

    1. I’m impressed that you draw so regularly. It was nice to meet you through my sketchypoet blog. I’m hoping to get back into my drawing more, and I’ve even moved thousands of my nature pictures to a computer in my creative space (woman cave) to spur me on. By the way, I like your taste in movies. ❀

      1. Looking forward to your drawings! (And I meant to say my favorite book and film is P&P. Oh, it was a long day.) I draw every day because it scrubs and rinses out my soul. All the gunk goes bye bye. Therefore, art will always have a place in my life. Gotta sleep now, but it really is nice to meet you. 🙂

          1. So true. Wow, and so hard to copy, huh? Or even come close to trying to imitate. (I often wonder how people can look outside and ever doubt that God exists. What the heck is that about?!)

  13. Great post Wendy and I love all your gorgeous pictures. I spoke to my publisher about this book and she told me that lust sells, that was why most people have read the book and have watched and would be watching the film. I would click on that link, I’m sure I would be blessed. Thanks for sharing this Wendy, love doesn’t have to be corrupted.
    Blessings. 🙂

  14. 50 shades has been so hyped. My 11-year-old asked about it because that’s all they talk about on the radio. My vote for greatest romance movie: Wall-E. Seriously. I love it.

    1. Eli, it sure has been hyped.
      I realize I’m judging a book solely by its coverage–but I’d rather not see what’s under its covers anyways.
      My husband and I love the way Wall-E says Eva’s name. It’s such a fun movie and a great choice for a romance show for the whole family. ❀

  15. Oh, I almost forgot- my daughter just asked me about favorite love stories… in our sharing, we both thought Anne (of Avonlea) & Gill was so sweet a story of love. Also, Guido & Dora in Life Is Beautiful. 🙂

    1. Isn’t it wonderful to share a love of books with a daughter? My daughter and I have both read the Anne of Green Gables series and watched the movies. A fave for sure.
      I just checked out the trailer for Life is Beautiful and now I have to see it. Thanks for the heads up on it (I was buried in mothering, diapers, and pregnancy when that movie first came out). ❀

      1. You’ll have to let me know how you like the movie. They are married in real life, btw.

        My daughter is the avid fiction reader, actually. (Although, I did read the Mitford series and so enjoyed.) Our love story conversation was regarding movies. We have done some movie marathons 🙂 Needless to say I haven’t read the Anne series. I’d have to ask her if she has.

        She’d probably love your book! All the very best with your work.

  16. Wendy, I have no wish to read the book or see the movie. Sounds like a lot of Hoopla to me. My favourite romance would be Gone With The Wind, I read that book as a young lass and got swept away by Rhett Butler lol. Im a romantic at heart and I do believe loving someone should have a mind connection as well as the physical. Your hubby sounds gorgeous.

    1. Kath, I only read Gone with the Wind four years ago. The thickness of the book intimidated me, so it sat on my shelf for years. But I couldn’t put it down once I’d started it.
      Scarlett sure knows how upset a reader. I wanted to jump into the book and lecture her. Rhett adored her. But her contempt eventually drove him away. A pretty face can only take a gal so far. ❀ What I learned about writing from that book is the importance of touching a nerve in the audience.

      1. Indeed, also that she was driven by the need to own something. I think she captures the essence of human nature at it’s finest. We never know what we truly have until it is gone Wendy.

  17. Dear Wendy,
    I couldn’t agree more and refused to read 50 Shades of Grey, or see the film. I’m not being judgmental about it or the people who choose to see it – it just doesn’t appeal to me and I have so many other great books lined up that are more important to read. Like you, I’m happily married for over 40 years now to my soul mate – the love of my life.
    What is genuinely funny are the spoofs that have followed on – Fifty Sheds of Grey, garden sheds that is, and from an Australian rural romance writer, Fifty Bales of Hay. Both screamingly funny.

    Do I have a favourite romance novel, I have two: Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre. Keep on with your exciting writing.

    1. Thank you, Mary, for your encouraging words. I need to check into the Australian title you mentioned since I adore books that make me laugh. And Jane Eyre is calling to me from my white wicker shelf and begging me to read her again. So many books–so little time. I keep sneaking away to bed earlier each evening so I can read more. ❀

  18. What a lovely poem. Hopefully after the initial hype dies down, this trilogy will be forgotten. After trying for several minutes to pick a favorite romantic novel or movie, I realized I don’t read or watch too many romances. The Sound of Music kept popping into my head, though, and then I remembered the romance between Maria and Capt. Von Trapp is quite well done!

    1. Marcia, our family watches The Sound of Music every year. My favorite line is when the Baroness says to Maria, “There’s nothing more irresistible to a man than a woman who’s in love with him.” There’s some good marriage advice between those lines. And I can feel a future post brewing in my mind (a poem too). Thanks for dropping by. ❀

  19. Beautiful photos and poem Wendy, so tender. I’m not interested in the….shades of…. Romance to me is about the little kind and lovely unexpected actions and things that make my heart sing. I love Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve got mail..The holiday with Jude Law and Cameron Diaz; just a few romantic films I love to watch over and over again. I love Wuthering Heights, The Time Traveller’s Wife, Out of Africa,By Grand Central Station I sat down and wept, Gone with the wind…to name a few novels and an autobiography…I love romance.

  20. Lovely post, Wendy. I, too am blessed with a wonderful guy and have been calling him Sweetheart for fifty years… God is good! As for romantic novels, there are so many, but one in particular (now out of print, but available for loan from many libraries) is THE FAR PAVILLIONS by M.M. Kaye. I highly recommend it. Blessings, Bette

    1. Thank you for the suggestion, Bette. I’ve downloaded a sample chapter to my Kindle. And I love hearing about couples who have been together as sweethearts for a long time. Congratulations to you both. ❀

  21. Thank you for your heartfelt poem, Wendy. From what I have gathered from the tv ads for 50 Shades of Grey and from the remarks of some who have read the book, this film is about the antithesis of love as it is defined in 1 Corinthians 13. I think that it is very significant that both of the actors in the lead roles were not exactly impressed with the characters they portrayed. It makes me wonder why they would have taken the roles. Money, I expect. My sweetheart and I have been married 45 years (46 this September). We met in high school. I was extremely shy and he was not. He has always encouraged me. We have had bumps along the road, but they have only served to strengthen our marriage.
    I loved Anne and Gil in Anne of Green Gables. Their romance seems so realistic, sweet and funny. I also love all of the romances in Jane Austen novels. I think one of the funniest scenes in a romantic movie is the one in Sleepless in Seattle when the men sitting around the table are teasing the leading man’s sister about “An Affair to Remember” (also one of my faves).
    Oh yes, I enjoyed the book “Gone With the Wind” but I too wanted to shake Scarlett!

    1. Mollie, I think Margaret Mitchell did an excellent job creating a character like Scarlett that we love to hate so much that we end up loving her anyways. ❀ And I love hearing about couples like you and your husband where the man has been an encouragement to a shy lady. Did your husband pull on your braids in school like Gilbert did to Anne? And since you were shy I suppose you wouldn’t have hit him on the head with anything—right? 😉

  22. P.S. Another of my favourite romances was that of Jo and her professor in “Little Women” (the book and any of the film versions).

Leave a Reply