Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Goddess Fish Promotions Guest Post: Terri Reed w/Giveaway

Today I have author, Terri Read at A Chick Who Reads. Terri writes inspirational fiction. Her latest book is a Love Inspired Suspense novel titled The Innocent Witness. Welcome Terri!

Thank you for inviting me to stop here during my virtual book tour.  You asked me to talk about the challenges of writing inspirational fiction. It's an interesting topic.

I think writers of inspirational fiction as well as non-inspirational fiction face the same challenges. No matter what the genre, authors need to write stories with believable plots, well-developed characters and finish with an emotionally satisfying ending. 

What sets inspirational fiction apart is the element of faith. Faith should be well integrated into the plot and arise naturally out of the characters, whether struggling to accept faith or overcoming some past wound or simply being active in their church community. The last thing I want to do is make the faith element seem forced or unnatural.

Characters resonate when we see their arc, or growth, through the course of the story. That growth happens in the way they come into conflict, either with other characters (in a romance the hero and heroine are in conflict as they struggle to resist falling in love), with themselves (their own flaws and weakness they must overcome) or with the antagonist (in a suspense the villain or threat that must be defeated).  Faith (relying not on their own power but turning to God as a source of strength and comfort), when done well, is interwoven into the hero’s and/or heroine’s arc, becoming part of who they are and integral to the characters finding the inner strength to risk their hearts and their lives.      

An example from my newest release, The Innocent Witness, my hero struggles with his faith because of an incident in his past. Something bad happened, something he blames himself for, and he still hasn't been able to forgive and forget. Through the course of the story, as he observes the heroine’s steadfast faith during horrible circumstances, he begins to question his choices and beliefs, until he’s finally ready to let go of his anger and let his faith not only return, but grow, thus releasing him to accept love into his life.

My goal in writing inspirational romance is always that readers will find the story engaging and come away with a sense of hope.  I believe hope begins with faith.

Book Blurb: Faith sustained Vivian Grant through her horrible childhood and loveless marriage, but how much more can she take? Her husband has been killed. Her autistic son is the only witness. And someone is twisting the evidence to place the blame on her. Viv has no one to trust—and danger is closing in.

A failed protection detail cost former Secret Service agent Anthony Carlucci his job—and his self-confidence. He's not going to fail anyone under his care again. Anthony will risk anything to keep Viv and her son safe…including his heart.

Excerpt From The Innocent Witness: 
"Behind the counter, now!" her new bodyguard commanded as he pushed at her and Mikey. "Move!"
Reality slammed into her brain as she scrambled to the other side of the island. She gripped Mikey close, though he squirmed to be set free. Anthony pressed his back to the cabinet and pulled a gun from a shoulder holster hidden beneath his jacket. He checked the clip.
"Mr. LeMar?" Carlucci shouted.
"I'm fine," her father replied from somewhere on the other side of the island. "Viv, Mikey?"
"They're unhurt." Carlucci turned to stare at her as if making sure his words were true.
Viv blinked at him in horror. "Just what kind of bodyguard are you? You led them right to us."
With his back pressed against the cupboard, Anthony yanked his gaze from the stunning woman beside him. He chanced a look around the kitchen island out the now nonexistent window toward where the glare of sunlight had bounced off what could only have been a riflescope.
Granite exploded on the island's surface. Pieces of stone stung Anthony's face. He drew back. The muzzle flash put the shooter on a ridge to the left of center roughly four hundred meters away on the other side of the lake. A lone shooter?
"I can't believe this. From one nightmare to another," Vivian Grant groused beside him. "You're sure not worth whatever my father is paying you."
Anthony glared at the blonde. The minute he'd seen her photo, he'd known she'd be trouble. Too pretty, too smart and too spoiled.
Her already pale complexion had gone pasty and her sky blue eyes held a mixture of dazed shock and righteous anger. But clearly Miss Idaho Potato wasn't the type to mash under pressure. Good for her. All that polished exterior better not be just for show. He needed her to
keep her head if they were to get out of here alive.

Author Info:
Award winning, multi-published author Terri Reed discovered the wonderful world of fiction at an early age and declared she would one day write a book.  Now she is fulfilling that dream and enjoys writing for Love Inspired. She is an active member of both Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers. She resides in the Pacific Northwest with her college-sweetheart husband, two wonderful children, and an array of critters. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, gardening and playing tennis.
You can write to Terri at P.O. Box 19555 Portland, OR 97280 or visit her online at or email her at or leave comments on or

Author Websites:

Giveaway: Terri is giving away a  $25 Visa  gift card to followers of  the tour that comment; the more you comment, the better your  chances of winning. The rest of the tour dates can be found here:

Goddess Fish Partner


Judith Ashley said...

Well done, Terri. I like your description of how best to include 'faith' in a story.

Judith Ashley

Chelsea B. said...

"I believe hope begins with faith." Wonderful line, Terri! I'm really looking forward to reading your new book!


Nikki said...

Great post!

Paty Jager said...

I enjoy your books and this sounds like another keeper. Loved the potato reference! LOL

Terri Reed said...

Judith, thank you for stopping by. Trying to explain how to weave in the faith element was hard. I'm glad it made sense.

Terri Reed said...

Chelsea B. glad you liked that. You'll have to let me know how you liked the book after you read it. I hope it lives up to expectations.
Thanks for stopping by.

Terri Reed said...

Thanks, Nikki.

Terri Reed said...

Paty, I thought that was pretty funny too. I'm not usually much of a comedian. My husbands says I'm way to serious most of the time but occasionally I come up with something a tad funny. Thanks for stopping by.

Maria said...

Great post Terri! It's one of the best descriptions for inspirational books I've read. A well written story with Faith as a central and well integrated element can't be beat! Thanks for the excerpt.


Jackie S. said...

Love this post, Terri! Would love to read your book. I have Cover Pursuit on my "next to read"shelf!!
Keep up the great writing.

Na said...

Lovely interview. I admire your goal for writing inspirational romances. It is about portraying the element of faith in a natural way and in the end leave readers satisfied and have something to hope for. Thanks Terri.


Julie said...

Congratulations on a great guest post, Terri! I like reading inspirational fiction because I think faith is a very important part of life, or at least MY life, and I like to see it incorporated in a realistic way into stories. And you seem to do that very well, Terri! I can't wait to read your book :)

jwitt33 at live dot com

Terri Reed said...

Maria, thank you for your kind words. It took me awhile to write this post because I really had to think about what I do and then try to articulate it in to a coherent post.
Jackie S., I hope you'll enjoy Covert Pursuit. I had the best time writing that story. The research was so interesting.
Na, you said that so eloquently. Thank you.
Julie, you're very kind. I hope you'll enjoy the book.

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