January 6, 2012

The Secret Heiress by Terri Reed: Guest Post & Giveaway {Goddess Fish Promotions}

Today I have Terri Reed, author of The Secret Heiress, on the blog for a guest post about five books that influenced her writing and also a giveaway. Enjoy!

1) In Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women, ISBN-10: 0812214110, Jayne Ann Krentz and the contributors to this volume—all best-selling romance writers—explode myths and biases that haunt both the writers and readers of romances.

In this seamless, ultimately fascinating, and controversial book, the authors dispute some of the notions that plague their profession, including the time-worn theory that the romance genre contains only one single, monolithic story, which is cranked out over and over again. The authors discuss positive life-affirming values inherent in all romances: the celebration of female power, courage, intelligence, and gentleness; the inversion of the power structure of a patriarchal society; and the integration of male and female. Several of the essays also discuss the issue of reader identification with the characters, a relationship that is far more complex than most critics realize.

When I read this book, I finally realized why I was so drawn to romance novels and helped me to understand how to write to that others would be drawn to my stories.

2) Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain. ISBN-10: 0806111917

This book provides solid instruction for persons who want to write and sell fiction, not just to talk and study about it. It gives the background, insights, and specific procedures needed by all beginning writers. Here one can learn how to group words into copy that moves, movement into scenes, and scenes into stories; how to develop characters, how to revise and polish, and finally, how to sell the product.

This book helped me to understand the structure of story telling. I don’t think I would have sold had I not studied this book.

3) The Writers Journey by Christopher Vogler, ISBN-10: 0941188132.

The Writer's Journey is a guide to the patterns of mythology that lie nestled in all narrative writing. Based upon the work of Joseph Campbell, it offers the reader a set of useful myth-inspired storytelling paradigms and step-by-step guidelines to plot and character development.

A must have for any fiction writer. This book helped me to nail down the journey that my characters must make in order to reach the goal of a happy ever after.

4) Danger in the Shadows by Dee Henderson

Sara is terrified. Hidden away in the witness protection program, she is falling in love with former pro football player Adam Black-something that could get her killed. And FBI agent Dave Richman has his hands full keeping her safe from her sisters killer. When events bring Sara face-to-face with terror, will she rely on God for protection?

This was the first inspirational suspense book I read. I enjoyed the book and decided that was what I wanted to write. I have read all of Dee’s books.

5) Presumed Guilty by Tess Gerritsen ISBN 0778303314

Guilty until proven innocent. Miranda Wood arrives home to a dark, cold cottage - and a man, stabbed to death, lying in her bed. Miranda is the obvious suspect, and she looks even guiltier when her bail is paid by an anonymous donor. As Miranda fights to clear her name, she unearths a murky history of blackmail, corruption and scandal. As she gets closer to the truth, it becomes clear that someone else wants to kill Miranda - someone with a personal reason for wanting her out of the way...

This book was recommended to me by an editor at Harlequin when I first started writing suspense back in the early 90’s. It was my first introduction to Tess’ work and I have been a big fan ever since. I have read this book several times and never tire of the plot or the characters.

A Shocking Revelation

Finding out she is heir to a fortune shocks Caroline Tully to her core. And to “qualify” for the inheritance, she just has to visit her newfound grandfather’s Mississippi home from Christmas to New Year’s. Adopted as a baby, Caroline knows nothing about her mother’s family...and doesn’t realize they can’t be trusted. When attempts are made on her life, there’s only one man who can protect her. Donovan Cavanaugh—a man who made her lonely heart want to love again. Posing as her fiancĂ©, Don promises to find the would-be killer. But will his protection-and his love-be enough to keep her safe?

Protection Specialists: Guarding the innocent.


Her anxious expression tore at him. “But what’s more troubling is Isabella Maddox was murdered.”

His gut clenched. “Was her killer brought to justice?”

Her mouth twisted in an aggravated frown. “I don’t have any details. Mr. Paladin wouldn’t give me any further information about her. He said in order for me to secure a place in Elijah Maddox’s estate I must go to Mississippi and stay with the Maddox family from Christmas Eve through New Year’s.”

“They can’t legally compel you to do this.” Wariness took hold. “Why would they want you to come there?”

“He wouldn’t say, only that it was important that I do.”

Ridiculous. “You’re not thinking of going.”

A determined light entered her tawny colored gaze. “I have to.” Her expression implored him to understand. “Not for the money, though. I’ve been looking for my birth parents since I was eighteen. I need to know who these people are and what happened to my birth mother.” She touched his scarred hand. “Will you take me on as a client and accompany me?”

“We have a lot to arrange before we head south.”

She grasped his outstretched hand. Their palms pressed together, restoking the heat inside her. Her fingers curled automatically around his as he pulled her to her feet. She didn’t want to let go. His touch not only warmed, but made her feel connected to him. And kicked up an anxious flutter inside for yearning for that connection. Not going there. Ever. Again.

She extracted her hand. “How do we explain your presence in Mississippi?”

His mouth twisted in a grim smile. “I’m your new fiancĂ©.”


At an early age Terri Reed discovered the wonderful world of fiction and declared she would one day write a book. Now she is fulfilling that dream and enjoys writing for Steeple Hill. 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 with her dogs.

TOUR WIDE GIVEAWAY: Terri will be giving away a $10 Visa GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Be sure to visit the rest of the TOUR for more chances to win. 


  1. I started my love of historical novels with a book by Georgette Heyer, and I still love them. Yours sounds really good.

  2. As I read your post today, I was struck by the fact there is a lot more to the writing process itself than just sitting down and writing a book. In your opinion, what percentage of 1) book-learning including but not limited to, college courses, reading how-to books); 2) seminars, workshops, association membership; 3) talent/imagination; and 4) actual writing of a story is really involved in getting a finished published book?

  3. Reading Karen's comment, makes me realize I don't thank you great authors enough!! Love to read!

  4. MomJane, I love Georgette Heyer too! Its been years since I've picked one up. Now that I have a Kindle, I may see if I can find one and download it. I like having the Kindle to stick in my purse for when I'm out and about and bored. Especially at the doctor's office. Thank you for stopping by.

  5. Karen, great observation. Most people don't realize the work involved by the author. For me, I'd say 50% was learning via books, seminars, being apart of Romance Writers of America, revising and revising and more learning, then maybe 10% talent/imagination and 40% sitting in the chair, hands on keyboard and write even when I can't think, don't feel good or am struggling with the story.
    Thank you for commenting and asking such great questions.

  6. Jackie, you're so sweet. You're welcome and thank you for reading!!

  7. Congratulations on the new release, Terri! I love your cover.

  8. Hi Terri!

    I have all three of your reference books - excellent choices. Your new release sounds awesome. Congrats!

  9. Heather, the art department did a fabulous job on the cover. Thank you for stopping in.

  10. Cassiel, good for you for having those books. I never tire of reading them.
    Thank you for taking the time to comment.

  11. Congratulation on your new release! I've heard nothing but great things, and I can't wait to read it!


  12. The book sounds great!

  13. Love the cover on this one! Your book sounds really great. Enter me please.

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  14. Chelsea so happy to know you've heard good things.

    Sayomay, thanks for stopping by.

    Martha, I love the cover too!!

  15. Thanks for the giveaway! The book sounds very interesting!

  16. I love these suspense style books. There don't seem to be many of them written these days.

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.


  17. It was interesting going through your list of the 5 books. I learned something today thank you.


  18. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win. I loved the excerpt and would love to win and rea this book. You are a new author for me and always looking for new books and authors to check out. Thanks for the chance to win.

  19. Sophia, I love suspense books too. Guess that's why I write them. LOL. Thank you for stopping by.

    Marybelle, these are really good reference books. And the two fiction ones are my favorites.

    Christine, so nice to 'meet' you.


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