Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Blog Tour/Guest Post: A Family Under the Christmas Tree by Terri Reed

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

A Family Under the Christmas TreeA Family Under the Christmas Tree
by Terri Reed
Inspirational Contemporary Romance

Paperback & ebook, 340 pages
October 4th 2016 by Howard Books

In this heartwarming tale set during the Christmas season, a single father and a fashion photographer are brought together by a young boy and a mischievous Bernese mountain dog—but first they must learn to set aside their differences if they are willing to let their relationship bloom.

David Murphy never knew much about kids. But when his brother dies unexpectedly, David is granted custody of his six-year-old nephew, Troy, who he’s only seen once a year since he was born. He already has his hands full running his business, and he has no idea how to help the grieving boy. When Troy runs off one day, David finds him at a park playing with an adorable and rambunctious Bernese mountain dog—who leads him to Sophie.

Sophie Griffith has spent her life travelling around the world as a photojournalist. She has never stayed in one place for long, and her new assignment—helping her grandmother for a few weeks—is just temporary. Once Christmas day comes, Sophie is off the hook and can leave for a new adventure. Caring for her grandmother is a piece of cake—but caring for her new Bernese mountain dog, Riggs, is a different story. It doesn’t help that Riggs strikes up a friendship with a lost little boy one day at the park—and leads her to David.

Neither David nor Sophie have time for romance. But as they spend more time together, they start falling for each other even though they know it can’t go anywhere. Sophie will be gone after Christmas, and the last thing David needs is another distraction as he tries to comfort Troy. But as their faith and growing love for the boy and dog unites them, they wonder whether it’s more than a holiday romance…and maybe Troy might finally get his Christmas wish for a family.

Guest Post
The Characters

The characters of A Family Under the Christmas Tree are very dear to me. I really liked David, Sophie and Troy. As well as Grandma Louise and Simon. I enjoyed developing them because they surprised me the more as I dug into them. I had this germ of an idea—I wanted to do something along the lines of Scrooge meets Mary Poppins. As part of developing the story I find photos of actors that resemble how I see my characters. Having the visual helps me in my descriptions as well as makes them more three dimensional in my own mind.

Bernese Mountain Dog, Public Domain photo, via

The focal point of the story is a Bernese mountain dog named Riggs. I had so much fun finding photos of him to use for inspiration. These dogs are so loving and friendly. As a dog owner, I used some of the many antics of my pets in creating Riggs.

Colin Donnell, photo via

I chose actor Colin Donnell, from Arrow and Chicago Med, as the image of my hero, David Murphy. I had planned for David to be a curmudgeon type who didn’t celebrate the holidays because he was too focused on building his business. As I delved into why he was so driven I was moved to tears. But I wanted to throw him a curve ball with sudden parenthood. However, having an unexpected biological child appear didn’t sit well with me so I played with other ideas. I asked myself if David were sudden given custody of his brother’s child, what would he do?

AnnaSophia Robb for LA Teen Festival magazine, photo via

I chose AnnaSophia Robb, from Mercy Street, as my image of Sophie Griffith. This light and bright character came to me in a dream-yep, that happens sometimes. I knew she was going to be fun to write but she also had her own issues that needed to be explored. As the youngest child with older brothers who weren’t inclined to include her, she struggled to find her place in the world. Through the lens of her camera she captured moments in time but only as an observer. An outsider. Never letting herself become too emotionally involved. That is until she meets David and Troy. With some subtle and not so subtle matchmaking by her grandmother, Sophie’s heart begins to melt. But would she risk it all for love?

Copyright: domenicogelermo / 123RF Stock Photo

For Troy, I scoured the Internet for a photo of a young boy the right age with brown eyes and dark hair. I found a photo on a modeling agency website of a young kid the right age and look. There was such life and merriment in his gaze and the way he was posed, with hands in pockets, feet crossed leaning against a wall, made me think he’s full of humor and mischief just like Troy.

Helen Mirren, photo via

The character Louise I named after my mother who passed away just as I was starting to think about this book. When I wrote Louise I pictured Helen Mirren. I think Ms. Mirren is one of the best actresses out there.

Michael Douglas, FameFlynet photo via

And last but not least, the character of Simon, Louise’s love interest. To me Simon was such a handsome and debonair character just like the actor Michael Douglas.

When you’re reading do you put actors into the roles of the characters?

I wish you a merry and blessed Christmas.

— Terri

Terri Reed’s romance and romantic suspense novels have appeared on Publishers Weekly top 25 Romance and Publishers Weekly top ten Religion Fiction, Nielsen’s Bookscan top 100 and featured in USA Today, Christian Fiction Magazine, More To Life Magazine and Romantic Times Magazine, finaled in RWA’s RITA contest, National Reader’s Choice Award contest, ACFW’s The Carol Award contest. 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. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, gardening and playing with her dogs.

Tour Giveaway

- 1 winner will receive a copy of Love Inspired Classic 2 in 1, Love Comes Home and A Sheltering Love, a light up angle ornament, a Santa bookmark, A Family Under the Christmas Tree bookmark, a manicure set, and a Tule Book Girl book bag (US only)
- 1 winner will receive a $10 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)
- Ends December 22nd

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grab Our Button!


Terri Reed said...

Thank you for hosting me today. Merry Christmas!

Jackie Smith said...

I like your choice of actors/characters, Terri!

Post a Comment