Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Tina Radcliffe & Ready to Trust

Posted July 13, 2020 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, contemporary, giveaway, romance, Tina Radcliffe / 156 Comments

Y’all know I always love it when Tina Radcliffe stops by the blog! She’s got a great post & a great giveaway for you today – make sure you have your swoon-protection aids in place for the cover of her new book, Ready to Trust!

Hearts of Oklahoma #2
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: Love Inspired
RELEASE DATE: July 21, 2020 (print) / August 1, 2020 (ebook)
PAGES: 224

Proving he’s a changed man could be his biggest challenge yet.

Rancher Reece Rainbolt’s shocked to learn he’s inherited half of Claire Ballard’s family farm—and that he’s a father. Now Claire’s determined to break ties with the man who once left her behind. But Reece will buy her half only on one condition: she must stay in town to help with the harvest… and let him get to know his little girl.


amazon affiliate link used

in praise of secondary characters

by Tina Radcliffe, author of Ready to Trust

Being a writer is, at times, a God-like feat. We create people. Three-dimensional people with flaws and foibles. People who become real to our readers if we do our job correctly.

However, the most challenging part of breathing life into characters is, in my opinion, the secondary character.

They must be as real as the protagonists, yet, they cannot take over. It’s a very fine balancing act.

The secondary character has a vital role in a story, and without them, the entire book can fail.

The protagonist of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, IS Harry but the series would lack richness without the essential secondary characters of Weasley and Hermione. They are strong secondary characters, but if you pause to examine the story, it is clearly Harry’s journey.

The same is true of Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery. The protagonist is Anne. It’s her story. But there are many secondary characters in the series who are absolutely necessary. They not only flavor the story, but they have important tasks in leading Anne to her final goals.

I really enjoy writing and reading about secondary characters, and as you may have guessed, I want to talk about them today.

Let’s start by discussing the different types of secondary characters you’ll encounter in most books and movies.

First the strong secondary characters. They often appear as side-kicks or the best friend character. Those are the characters you hope and pray will get their own book.

In the Heart of Oklahoma series, it would be each of the siblings. Mitch, Reece, Tucker, and Kate. But here’s a secret. In book 3 of the Hearts of Oklahoma series, His Holiday Prayer, I created a character named Finn Hardy, who absolutely tried to take over.

Finn was supposed to be a walk-on. A flat character with little background, however, no matter how hard I try to make him behave, he kept hogging the spotlight.

Eventually, I know I have to write his story, because I want to know what that story is.

And then there’s the mentor. The mentor is typically a wise secondary character—a teacher, motivator and encourager.

When they are older characters, writers have the freedom to let these people be the cliché spouters. Who doesn’t love a crotchety silver-haired cowboy with a pocketful of Western wisdom?

In Anne of Green Gables, the person who most guides Anne into who she will be one day is Miss Stacey.

In Harry Potter, that mentor is Professor Dumbledore.

Possibly, one of my favorite mentors of all-time is Donkey in the Shrek movie franchise. Donkey pushes Shrek to be brave with wit, sarcasm and humor.

What about the antagonist?  Typically the villain. In other stories, they may simply become the foe of the protagonist. Or their rival.

Wouldn’t that be Gilbert Blythe? Though they eventually become friends and yes, he becomes a love interest.

In Harry Potter, the antagonist is Lord Voldemort.

I mentioned a flat character. These are characters who have a minor role. They don’t change over the course of the story or series, and we don’t have a lot of background information on them. In the Heart of Oklahoma series, that would be the pastor’s wife Saylor Tuttle, a Dolly Parton look-alike. These characters are typically stereotypes.

Flat characters in Harry Potter are Draco Malfoy’s posse friends. In Anne of Green Gables, it would be busybody Mrs. Rachel Lynde.

Here’s a character rundown from Book 2 in the Hearts of Oklahoma series, Ready to Trust.

Protagonists: Reece Rainbolt and Claire Ballard
Secondary Characters of note: Tucker Rainbolt.  Mitch Rainbolt and his wife, Daisy.
Mentors: Willard Cornell and Nan Turner
Flat Characters: Saylor Tuttle and Chef Luna Diaz

Now it’s your turn. Tell me about some of the secondary characters in your favorite books or movies. Those that stay with you long after you finish reading the book or watching the movie. Are there any that got their own book? Or you wish they would? Do you remember any that tried to take over the book?

Leave a comment, and I’ll be sending a Reader Giveaway Pack to one commenter. It includes a Kate Spade Canvas Book Tote and a $25 Amazon gift card.

A freelance writer for over twenty years, Tina Radcliffe is a Romance Writers of America Honor Roll member and an American Christian Fiction Writers Honor Roll member. She is also a four-time nominee for the ACFW Carol Award and a three-time ACFW Mentor of the Year Finalist. In 2014 she won the ACFW Carol Award, and in 2018 she was an ACFW Mentor of the Year recipient. Besides her novel-length fiction for Love Inspired, Tina has sold over three dozen short stories to Woman’s World Magazine. A former registered nurse and library cataloger, Tina is a frequent workshop presenter. She currently resides in Arizona, where she writes fun, heartwarming romance.

Stay up to date on all her releases and fun giveaways by signing up for her newsletter here. Visit her on the web at

Tina Radcliffe is offering a Reader Giveaway Pack to one of my readers! It includes a Kate Spade Canvas Book Tote and a $25 Amazon gift card! (Open to US/CAN. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Ends July 20th at 11:59pm Eastern.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What about you? Check out Tina’s questions above & leave a comment below (don’t forget to claim the entry on the Rafflecopter!)

Tags: , , , ,

156 responses to “Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Tina Radcliffe & Ready to Trust

  1. Wow wow wow!! What a cover!!! Dibs!!!!!😂I’m so excited to read the second book in the Hearts of Oklahoma. Better but an extra box of tissues first!😂💜🙋

  2. Connie Scruggs

    The friends of the main characters in Jen Turano’s books are always fun. Some of them end up getting to be the main character eventually, but some of the lesser players remain in the background. The animals in her book Flight of Fancy were especially entertaining, even if they weren’t humans.

  3. Suzanne Sellner

    I love the series that have several sisters. While two end up being secondary sisters in any given book, they eventually are the main characters in subsequent books. I’m thinking, for instance, of the Thatcher sisters (Beth Vogt), the Chandler sisters (Deb Raney), The Sweeney sisters (Ashley Farley), and The Sugar Baron’s Daughters (Lisa Bergren).

  4. Kelly D

    Tonkee from The Broken Earth Trilogy is my favorite, such an interesting character that needs their own book.

  5. patricia rose

    in Shanna Hatfield’s series most of the secondary people did get their own books i like when that happens

  6. Jessica To

    I read a series where it was a group of friends from the same town and the secondary characters would eventually get their own book with a love interest. It was a really good series.

  7. I always love Tina’s characters.. I just wanted to say that. It is going to be fun to meet Mitch again in her newest book.

    In Kristi Hunter’s Hawthorne series. I enjoyed meeting Griffith, Duke of Riverton in the first book and was thrilled when he had his own book.

    Thank you, Tina.

  8. Anne

    Secondary characters add a great deal to the novel and Boo Radley is an important and vital one in To Kill a Mockingbird.
    Gilbert in Anne of Green Gables.
    Boris in The Goldfinch
    Susan in The Chronicles of Narnia
    Helen Burns in Jane Eyre

  9. Paula Shreckhise

    My favorite book is Rebecca. And what secondary character could be more hated than Mrs. Danvers, the manipulator? But a mentor would be Maxim’s Estate Manager, Frank.

  10. Mj Christopher

    I am always excited to find a new to me author! Love the cover on your book! Yes there are lots of secondary characters that I want to have their own book! Some have some haven’t. I agree with Suzanne Seller, love the Thatcher sisters!

  11. Amy M.

    A few weeks ago, I finished reading Natalie Walter’s book “Silent Shadows” (loved it by the way!) and the main character’s sister (Claudia) had me laughing out loud numerous times. This was unexpected since the book was a romantic suspense, but Claudia brought some much needed levity in heavy times. I’ve already begged Mrs. Walter’s to please let Claudia have her own book. Fingers crossed it’ll happen.

  12. Marisela Zuniga

    I’ve read several books where secondary characters get their own book and I love it! LJ Shen is one of my favorite writers that does this

  13. Amy Donahue

    The first character to pop into my head is Sam from The Lord of the Rings. He’s my favorite.

  14. Okay, bad author here. I read C.S. Lewis but not Tolkein. So I looked up Sam and you are right, Amy. Strong secondary for sure!!!

    “Samwise Gamgee, known as Sam, was a Hobbit of the Shire. He was Frodo Baggins’ gardener and best friend. Sam proved himself to be Frodo’s closest and most dependable companion, the most loyal of the Fellowship of the Ring, and played a critical role in protecting Frodo and destroying the One Ring.”

  15. Merry

    I love Charlie from Irene Hannon’s Hope Harbor series. He gives out sage wisdom. The local community knows him for his culinary skills serving up the best fish tacos. He is also a talented artist.

  16. Secondary characters absolutely draw me into a book. I’m disappointed if the series doesn’t feature my favorites. Carla Laureano’s Saturday Night Supper Club is a great example of foodie friends getting their own happily ever afters. I also enjoyed the first two books in the Thatcher Sisters Series by Beth Vogt. (The third one is on my TBR pile.)

    From the movie Top Gun, I’m disappointed Goose couldn’t have his own story. I liked his fun and loving personality. Perhaps the sequel will lessen my disappointment.

    Now Reece Rainbolt is definitely a hero to swoon over! Love the cover! Congratulations, Tina!

  17. Sandy Smith

    I can’t think of any particular characters at the moment, but I like the series where side characters in one book get their own story in the next. I really enjoy series.

  18. Darlene Owen

    My favorite secondary character in a book/movie is Bonnie Blue Butler from Gone with the Wind.

  19. Sonnetta Jones

    For some reason I am drawn to the grandparents figure in books. In Toni Shiloh’s The Truth about Fame Foz’s grandmother, T.I. Lowe ‘s Miss Delma and Karen White’s aunt in Learning to Breathe offered so much wisdom. Sometimes you would have to unscramble the logic as with Ms Delma and the aunt in Karen White’s book.

  20. Lisa Sapp

    Hi Tina
    I love secondary characters who storm in and almost take over. Your Big Heart Ranch series has Rue and Dutch. Their antics and contributions added so much depth to the series.
    I think the first author whose series captivated me was Linda Lael Miller with her huge McKettricks clan. I loved the historical time periods but through all the offspring who became their own books we got to contemporary times.

    Ever since then I’ve loved series books. That’s where I was introduced to BJ Daniels, as a 2nd book attached to Miller’s.

  21. Roxanne C.

    I enjoy series when the supporting cast of characters of the first book(s) get their own stories. However, I have read so many that none stand out. However, a decade or so ago, there was a historical series where the author never wrote the story of the secondary character that I was so sure would have her own. That was the one time I was disappointed.

  22. Lynette

    I love strong secondary characters. I’ve read so many books with great secondary characters, that it’s hard to pick one. I always think about how the TV show, Gilmore Girls, wouldn’t have been nearly as good without Sookie St. James.
    I’m so excited to read this book!

  23. June

    I’ve always loved Anne of Green Gables! I think Marilla is a great secondary character. I think of her as a good mentor to Anne. I’m partial to her also because my daughter played Marilla in her HS play production!

  24. Marilyn

    From MY Dear Hamilton ,a new release Hamilton and Peggy[his sister-in-law]. Fromm Betsy Tacy and Tib Carney and Wynona From Anne of Green Gables Rilla and Marilla. From Jefferson Hamilton.

  25. Winnie Thomas

    Secondary characters can really make a book stand out. I’m reading Set the Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes right now, and I’m loving Clara and Violette. They add a lot to this already amazing story.

    I’ve got your book coming up next! I’m a bit behind in my reading due to some family time and some health issues.

      • Winnie Thomas

        Her debut novel, Whose Waves These Are, blew me away! Her new one is fantastic, too! Her writing is so poetic and exquisite–just mesmerizing!

  26. Susan H.

    I have a lot on my plate right now so my mind has gone blank, sorry!
    I do appreciate the giveaway!

    • Hi Jocelyn,

      Here’s a kick for you. Whenever I hear the name Jocelyn, I think of a medieval princess with the appropriate gown and braided hair of course. A throwback to Sherrinda Ketchersid’s lovely book. Here’s the first para from my Kindle:

      “I tire of this endless cleaning.” Jocelyn Ashburne sat on the cold stone floor of the cellarium and put a hand to her aching back. Her gray woolen habit made her itch. She wanted to pull off the veil to release her damp curls from its confines. “Methinks the Reverend Mother Agatha is attempting to tire my body and mind into forgetting my desire to return

      Ketchersid, Sherrinda. Lord of Her Heart . Smitten Historical Romance. Kindle Edition.


    I Love all of Melinda Curtis books of The Blackwell Brothers they are so amazing Thank you Tina for sharing !

  28. You have the best prizes Tina! I love reading series where each following book is about a previous secondary character. The latest one I read and loved is the Branches of Love series by Sally Britton. I’m totally on a Regency kick right now!

  29. Kay Garrett

    Enjoyed reading Tina’s take on types of secondary characters especially since she used the In the Heart of Oklahoma series, which I’m loving, as an example.

    Well, all I can say is that Tina succeeds in creating “three-dimensional people with flaws and foibles”. Love her books and always end up having them all on my TBR list as soon as there’s first talk about them or after reading book #1 and already wanting book #2.

    Love all the second characters in the Big Heart Ranch series by Tina. Such a wide array of folks that she makes mesh into one awesome family. It’s the kind of family you won’t mind being part of. She has a way of telling a story that has you feeling the emotions of the characters falling in love with some and wanting to wring the neck of others – about like some of our own loved ones.

    Also enjoying reading about the Sleuthing Seniors in the A Mystery Bookshop Mystery series by V. M. Burns. A great group of spunky seniors for sure.

    In television, can you imagine Andy Griffith without Barney by his side? It’s the secondary characters that add color to a story for sure.

    Thank you for the chance to win an awesome giveaway! Shared and hoping to be the very fortunate one selected.

  30. Kim G.

    I love Ronie Kendig books for many reasons, but one of my favorite reasons is that she really develops all of her secondary characters and many of them get their own books or their own stories within another’s story!

  31. Diana Hardt

    I can’t think of any. Nice cover. I liked the blurb. It sounds like a wonderful book. Thank you for sharing.

    • There you go…BATMAN AND ROBIN. Robin is a strong secondary character. Do we ever find out anything about the cape crusader’s sidekick?

      “The original and longest-serving Robin, Dick Grayson is one of the longest-lived and most-popular characters in the DC Universe, and he created the template for all teenage superhero sidekicks to follow.

      Adopted by Batman/Bruce Wayne after his circus acrobat parents died in a tragic “accident” arranged by a protection racket, Dick Grayson became the Batman’s crime-fighting partner.

      He eventually outgrew the role and took on the new codename Nightwing. Outted by extra-dimensional Crime Syndicate during their invasion of Earth, Grayson faked his own death and, at the behest of Batman, infiltrated the super-spy organization Spyral. He still works for Sypral, under the codename Agent 37, although he recently returned to Gotham City for the first time in months and came clean with his allies regarding his not being quite as dead as he and Batman had pretended he was.”–Comics Alliance

  32. Debra Branigan

    I struggle with these questions because I am not very good at thinking off the top of my head without some generating discussion. I looked at the comments and people have some great ideas here about secondary characters. I would have loved a book from Mr. Darcy’s point of view while that “romance” was going on. I am sure there are many secondary characters who deserve their own story.

  33. Dawn L.

    Zoe was definitely my favorite secondary character in Ready to Trust! I would love for Willard to get his own HEA.

      • Dawn M Leonard

        Tina, I’m glad you’ll consider giving Willard his HEA. Thanks for choosing me as the winner! I’m looking forward to picking out books and using the tote. 🙂

  34. Hi Tina and Carrie! 🙂 One of my favorite secondary characters is Charley in Irene Hannon’s Sandpiper Cove series.

  35. Tonya Lucas

    I love secondary characters who truly leave a huge impression in the storyline. Linda Broday’s Stoker Legend in her Series – Men Of Legend. Stokers the patriarch of the family and his witty sense of humor in each book is amazing. I wish he had his own book. I loved your new book Tina, it was phenomenal.

  36. Megan

    Oh my gosh, there are so many books I’ve read where I wanted to know the secondary characters stories. I think the most recent one I can think of that would be cool to read, if its ever written, would be about Stuart in Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish. He is Hadley’s best friend and I’d love to see his story.

  37. Debbie P

    Uncas in the movie The Last of the Mohicans comes to mind. And he should of had more story!

  38. Sabrina Templin

    Diana in Anne of Green Gables. No, i don’t think she got a book. Hermione and Ron Weesley not exactly in my opinion most of the books were focused on Harry.

  39. Anitra Parmele

    I am reading all these comments and realizing. . .1) that all of you are my tribe! The authors I didn’t already know and love, I am writing down to read later. 2) That I have never thought about the value of strong secondary characters but I am totally going to be more aware now 3) When secondary characters get their own book(s) I often realize that I mis-judged them lol. First impressions even of book characters can be deceiving once you get to know them better.

  40. Dynal Roberson

    Well, I know that Zaphod Beblebrox was such a larger than life character that he definitely tried to take over the Hitchhikers Guide books.

  41. Jeanna Massman

    Mary Balogh writes amazing Historical Romance books where a secondary character becomes the main character in a subsequent book.


    I think secondary characters should be secondary but should get their own books , with their own story explained.

  43. Bec Falk

    Aunt Henry & Aunt Bertie in Karen Witemeyer’s No Other will do. I loved their spunkiness and kindness they displaced. They didn’t get their own book but they did show up in the other books in the series.

  44. Melissa Romine

    I’m reading through Melanie Dickerson’s fairy tale retellings. I love how the characters from one book show up as the main characters in the next book. Lots of fun reads.

  45. Dezi A

    I love stories that come from secondary characters from books I love. I wish I could think of more specifics but lately the books I’ve been reading haven’t had super likable or interesting characters.

  46. Rachael K

    Thinking of great secondary characters–there is scarcely a secondary character in The Princess Bride that isn’t memorable, no matter how little screen time. The whole cast of characters is spectacular, and just about every one has a great quote. (They’re good in the book too).

  47. Jillian Too

    I loved Dove from the Trickster’s series by Tamora Pierce. She didn’t get her own book but I think she deserves one.

  48. Gina Johnson

    I love it when secondary characters get a story. Sally Britton writes Regency stories that have stories for secondary characters.

  49. Sarah Pearce

    I might be 30 years old but I have always been obsessed with Nancy Drew books and always secretly hoped that timid Bess would get her own spinoff!

  50. Donna B

    I can’t think of any right off the top of my head. I do enjoy reading series that give the secondary characters their spotlight. Thanks for the giveaway. I love the cover too!

Leave a Reply