Author, Spotlight

Ruth Logan Herne: author spotlight

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Eeep! Y’all are in for such a treat today!!! Our wonderful and fabulous guest author is here to chat about secondary characters, share her latest bookish news, and bless your socks off with a whopper giveaway!

About the Author

Ruth Logan HerneRuth Logan Herne loves Charlie Brown Christmas trees, rooting for the underdog and people who go the distance while others see the path as too long or broken!

She loves God, chocolate, writing, dogs and is blessed by a sprawling family, oodles of grandkids and a sweet old farmhouse in constant need of work. She’s sure that clean rooms are over-rated, snakes and possums should mind their own business and buy their own farm and puppies and kittens and babies are about the cutest things on Earth.

A “pull-up-your-big-girl-panties-and-move-on” kind of gal, she is blessed to be married to her high school sweetheart, work with young families who allow her to exploit their sweet children on blogs, and rock babies on a regular basis. An author for Love Inspired Books and Summerside Press, she lives in upstate New York.

website | facebook | twitter | pinterest


Five(ish) Favorite Secondary Characters

Ruthy: Beth Erin, thank you so much for hosting me today! I am over-the-moon delighted to be here, my friend!

And I love talking…. It’s like a serious problem with me, and I understand when people need to just smile politely and walk away. (Although I’ve been known to chase them down and keep talking….) But today we’re talking about a favorite thing of mine, secondary characters… I love them.

I’ve always loved them, because to me they provide the crucial balance for the story. Without them, we can lose insight of the hero and heroine… Great secondary characters provide a sounding board, and often wisdom!

Beth: I’m thrilled to have you here, Ruthy! One of the reasons we get along so well is your willingness to carry on a conversation with minimal exertion on my part.
Secondary characters are fun! Let’s hear what you’ve got!

Ruthy: Some of my favorites in film and print: Marilla Cuthbert (Anne of Green Gables), Aunt Eller (“Oklahoma“), Terence Mann (“Field of Dreams), The Entire Titan Football Team in “Remember the Titans”, Violet Bix (“It’s a Wonderful Life) and Aunt Lucinda in Karen White’s Falling Home and Statler and Waldorf, the two old men muppets who play Jacob and Robert Marley in “The Muppet Christmas Carol”, another holiday favorite!

Beth: I have a feeling you’re just getting warmed up…

Ruthy: I LOVE CREATING GREAT SECONDARY CHARACTERS!!! Here are some faves from my books: Hannah Wilder, the elderly downstairs neighbor in The First Gift from Franciscan Media.

Hannah’s seen the ups and downs of life on both sides of the racial divide and family tragedy. Her quiet faith and sweet quotes lay a framework for healing.

Beth: Aw, Miss Hannah! What a wonderful lady! I wish she was MY neighbor!

Ruthy: Sam Stafford, the powerful, money-loving cowboy who comes “late to the harvest” and turns his life around in Back in the Saddle, book one of the Double S Ranch series from Waterbrook Press.

Sam is a larger than life character, and his grave illness has become the motivation for his family to return to the ranch and make peace. And while Sam has had a change of heart, he finds out it’s not easy being the nice guy when you’ve spent a few decades being a jerk! His health and faith struggles… and his cryptic one-liners… make me smile just thinking of them.

Beth: Mmmhmm, those actions have consequences. Sam keeps moving forward on that straight and narrow, makes me proud to know him!

Ruthy: Cheyenne Stafford, a clutch-your-heart kid in Home on the Range from the Double S Ranch series, and one of my all-time favorite characters because Cheyenne carries the weight of the broken family on her slight shoulders.

In her hopes and dreams she sees a fairytale ending that isn’t going to happen… And someplace deep inside she knows it.

Beth: Oh those firstborns have it tough! The road is rocky right now but Cheyenne is going places!

Ruthy: Try, Try Again, one of my independent novels… In this book “Sarge”, a homeless man who used to be a bridge policeman, the guy who talks folks off the bridge in times of despair, a voice of wisdom wrapped in ragged attire… and then there’s “Foster”, Conor Bradstreet’s butler, the kind and wizened British man who sees a family in flux… and patiently works to make things better.

These two men are a strong part of this novel’s great acceptance among readers and I’m so glad they rang true. When I see a production on stage, or a movie, I love when the full cast is the groundwork for making the story shine… because that’s how I see it!

Beth: I need to read this one, I’ll double check that it’s in my tbr! 

Ruthy: And then there’s an absolutely beautiful character in my highly successful indie novel Running on Empty, a book rated at 4.4 stars with almost 300 reviews… This gripping story brings the heroine back home to care for her dying mother, and Maura Kellwyn is a marvelous glimpse of how difficult it is to understand our children’s problems if they don’t open up to us.

A staunch Christian, Maura has been living under a misguided notion for eight years, and she has eight years of actions to reconcile before God calls her home, and no strength to do it.

Beth: This one is on my favorites list, I think I need to revisit it!



New release…

Their Surprise Daddy by Ruth Logan HerneCruz Maldonado has vowed to provide for his beloved cousin’s orphans. With his estranged mother’s health failing, they might soon be Cruz’s only family. But the kids’ immigration status brings complications.

Mostly “Miss Rory”—their idealistic young teacher—and Cruz’s court-appointed co-guardian.

Cruz has the means to give the kids a good home, yet Rory Gallagher wonders whether he has the heart. That is, until she glimpses the sweet small-town boy inside the polished, handsome Wall Street exterior.

Soon they both begin to wonder if this temporary partnership could turn into more—a chance to raise the children as husband and wife.

goodreads | amazon


Ruthy: Last but not least, my newest Love Inspired book (just released yesterday!) Their Surprise Daddy has a local waitress named “Sadie” who helps our Manhattan hero see the light through small-town wisdom and her history of working for his parents a long time ago… before things got bad.

Her insights help the hero see things through new eyes, and that’s a major wake-up call for a fellow who’s pretty sure he knows everything…. And now realizes there’s so much more to learn away from the busy streets of Manhattan.

Beth: I am so excited about this story that I decided to spotlight it over on Diversity Between the Pages as well!


Coming soon…

Ruthy: The new mass market editions of Back in the Saddle and Home on the Range are out…. and in two weeks, Peace in the Valley!

amazon | goodreads 
book 1 review | book 2 review

Beth: My trips to Walmart are more fun now that I can hunt for Stafford brothers ????



Y’all, be sure to give Ruth Logan Herne lots of love in the comments for this whopper giveaway!!! She is sending FOUR of her latest novels to one fortunate reader!!!

Giveaway includes Their Surprise Daddy, Back in the Saddle, Home on the Range, and Peace in the Valley (US only)

Ruth Logan Herne 4 book giveaway on Faithfully Bookishcomplete giveaway rules

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share Your Thoughts

Ruthy: Do you have favorite secondary characters? People that touch your heart? I’d love to hear who they are and why they appeal to you!

I brought coffee and Danish so we can chat and eat together because conversation over food is just lovely, isn’t it?

Beth: Perfectly lovely! Thank you so much for spending time with us today and bringing goodies (bookish & sweet)!

79 thoughts on “Ruth Logan Herne: author spotlight”

  1. I don’t have a specific favorite but love when someone is the unsung hero. The person who does great things but doesn’t live in the spotlight.


      1. Jamie, I love those people, too… Mr. Edwards from “Little House on the Prairie”… Love him! And Clarence, Angel 2nd Class in “It’s a Wonderful Life”…. 🙂 They make me happy!!!


  2. I love most secondary characters because they are usually the ones overlooked but are usually the ones that do the most and surprise you the most in the end. As for favorite, I’d have to say it’s the one in the book I’m reading at the time. 🙂


      1. Kay, isn’t that the truth? 🙂 Sometimes I see those secondary characters before I start writing a book, but sometimes they amble along like Miss Lana just did in my upcoming “After the Storm” series… and I could just see her, looking like a Southern church lady, like Jessica Tandy and so full of wisdom… because she made so many mistakes.

        Sometimes wisdom is forged truly in the fire.


  3. I also wanted to say THANK YOU for a most generous giveaway and one very fortunate person is really going to be blessed to be able to read not one but four of Ruth Logan Herne’s books. I’d love to be the very lucky person but wishing good luck to all the enter.


  4. Yes, I do enjoy secondary characters! I recently was blessed to have Pepper Basham visit my blog to talk about the secondary characters in her recent book. It was lots of fun to learn more about her thoughts on those characters that had also captured my attention.


      1. Joy of Reading… did Pepper mention that she and I do a mean duet of the theme song from PHINEAS & FERB???? “There’s a hundred and four days of summer vacation, til school comes along just to end it! And the annual problem of our generation, is finding a good way to speeeeeeeend it… like maybe! Building a rocket….” I love Pepper!


  5. This author is new to me, I would be thrilled to win a copy of these books! They really sound like something I’d love to read. Thank you for this fun giveaway. I found out about this giveaway from my sister Trisha.


      1. Holly! So nice to meet you! That’s the best thing about this whole internet phenom, I get to meet folks from all over…. and gather friends! And thank Trisha for me… Where are you guys from? I’m in WNY and we’re just glimpsing spring here… tiny flower buds on maples, daffodils just opening… no tulips, yet! But my rhubarb is growing and it’s gorgeous!!!


      2. Hi Ruth, I live in western NC, in the beautiful blue ridge mountains. Not too far from Ashville and the beautiful Biltmore house. It sure is nice to discover new authors and make friends over the shared delight of books! My sister, Trisha is “joyofreading” and gives me lots of great recommendations.


      1. Kat, I agree. I especially like planting wise kids or olders in a town setting because their points of wisdom can carry through multiple books. That makes it feel like a town comes alive when I read books that do that. That’s one of the things I love about doing Love Inspired books with so many other wonderful authors… we get the freedom to create series that can go on for several books… and the readers seem to love that, too!


  6. I love secondary characters! Without them, a lot of stories would fall flat. 🙂 One of my recent reads, Waiting For Butterflies by Karen Sargent, has a little girl whose innocence allows her to believe when others doubt. So sweet! Thanks for the giveaway! I love Ruth Logan Herne’s books!


      1. Oh, I love it when the faith and innocence of a child leads the way. That’s so true and much more common than we give them credit for! Rachel, thanks for sharing that!


  7. I don’t have a favorite secondary character, but they often add so much to a book. They are very much needed.
    Thank you for the giveaway.


      1. Susan, thank you for stopping by! I agree…. I love mixing up the ages and stages of life. There’s always something we can learn from someone else!


  8. I do have favorite secondary characters and my latest is the sister in A Boy Called BAT because even though she is a “typical” sister and doesn’t always get along with her brother, she still loves him and stands up for him.


    1. Danielle, that’s the art of creating a great character right there… to make them real but have them draw deeply enough to engage the reader full force.


    1. Tami, that’s kind of like “Rhoda” from the Mary Tyler Moore show, back in the day… or Kimmy Gibbler from Full House…. or the neighbors in most Southern novels, LOL! I love to read Southern novels because they love the quirkiness and polish it! Best ever!!!


  9. Yes, I love good secondary characters, too. Every writer needs some to help her main characters bounce their ideas off, and to give them advice, and sometimes show them the best way, too! Let’s see I like Ethel Mertz and in The last two books I ready by Tamera Alexander, my fave secondary character would be Adelicia. Please enter me in the generous giveaway!


  10. I love this WOMAN!! Actually, I love Ruthy AND Beth – so it’s a win-win kind of blog day 🙂 Aren’t her book covers AMAZING, Beth?!!!!
    And I’m a big fan of secondary characters. Ruthy writes them so well!!


      1. PEPSTER!!!!! Nothin’ but love for you, baby!!! 🙂 And yes, Beth is beyond amazing… and I love her name. My oldest is Sarah Beth and then Bethany Lynn… I have a love thing with the name “Beth”, ever since reading Little Women! The name Elizabeth just wins my heart… and any variation thereof!


      1. MH, thank you! I’m so thrilled and honored that Waterbrook re-did my cowboy series as mass market paperback size… because a lot of my readers are so delightfully normal, like me! 🙂 We love a good book and a good bargain!


      1. Caryl Kane, it’s always so good to see you! And I totally agree… If I liked Gone With the Wind…. and I don’t…. because I want to smack Scarlett, she’s such a brat…. 🙂 I’d be picking Melly. I like nice people. And self-absorbed women just make me cringe.

        Aren’t we the funniest creatures?????


  11. Yes, I really like secondary characters, especially when they are older and wiser. Sometimes they lead to another story too. ???? Thanks for doing a giveaway!


      1. Laughing, yes! I love to use the wisdom of the ages…. and the savvy side of teens and kids. Sometimes kids (and dogs) see with the clearest vision of all.


      1. Heidi, so good to see you here!!! We need that sounding board, right? Never a bad thing!!!


  12. I LOVE secondary characters. They add a certain realness to a book. They often play subtle but very important parts in moving the story forward. Sometimes they just provide comic relief. In “My Heart Belongs In Ruby City, Idaho by Susanne Dietze there is a character, Ulysses, he is just an old coot. I loved him. I have so many other favorites too.


      1. I love coots and curmudgeons. Linda Goodnight had a pair of old dumpster divers in one of her Love Inspired series…. Redemption River Series… I loved those old guys.

        And the voice of history that aging characters bring to the story is clutch in resolving and “seeing” the true conflict a lot of times… because if you only have 30 years on the planet, that seventy-year-old has seen more than twice what you have… and a wide range of change and innovation.

        But innovation and technology aren’t always man’s best friend. Hence our love for dogs. 🙂


  13. Yay! Two of my favorite ladies together on one blog! All sorts of awesomeness here! Thanks for the great spotlight. Secondary characters can add so much fun to a story. I love the ones that are quirky and humorous.


      1. Won’t that be so much fun??? And you get to meet my daughter Beth, and you guys will all love each other. Lovers of books…. and God! 🙂 My favorite combination!


  14. i read Gone With the Wind in the seventh grade and it was my first adult book. I have always admired the character of Melanie Hamilton Wilkes. She was unwavering in her loyalty to Ashley and Scarlett and I loved her ability to seek and recognize the good in everyone! Thanks for this interview and giveaway.
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot) com


    1. I loved Melanie, too! And that puts me in the minority among the Seekers, I’m just not a Scarlett fan at all. Self-indulged women make me cringe, then I get MORE WRINKLES and I have to buy more anti-wrinkle cream… 🙂 There’s only so much I can afford, don’t you know???? (Laughing!!!)


    1. Nancy M, then I need to try harder so you DO have a favorite, LOL! 🙂 I agree, the depth of the story is usually resting in the roots of those characters…


  15. A favorite secondary character to me is someone who thinks of others and does for others before they do for themselves but don’t look to get credit for it.

    Cnnamongirl at aol dot com


    1. Deanne, the sacrificial heart! Like Melanie that was mentioned above…. or the quiet neighbor who facilitates the action…. The friend who counsels quietly while working two jobs…. Love it!!!


  16. My favorite secondary character is Madame Rousell in The Thorn Keeper by Pepper Basham. I’ve read 4 books of Ruth’s and really enjoy her writing.


  17. Just reading some comments…I also do love Mr edwards! 🙂 but probably most secondary characters are overlooked 🙂


    1. Jamie, wasn’t he wonderful??? Both in the books and in the television show, I loved him! A little gruff and a whole lot of kind!


  18. I almost always find a secondary character or two that I love and root for. Many times I even end up hoping that they get their own story and adventure. When it does finally happen I go out of my mind with excitement. Yes, I do get attached to background characters!


    1. Christian, I agree…. and I love doing series and giving characters a book of their own. That makes my day! And I love having so many fun “other” characters, of every creed and color, a real team of normalcy. I love diversity in my towns and in my stories… that means a lot to me!


  19. I can’t think of any right at the moment but I agree that I often wish the secondary character got a book written about them as well.


  20. I do love secondary characters. They bring their own energy and humor to the story. I especially love it when they are senior citizens. Their tell it like it is attitude gets me every time.


  21. This is not a Christian book for sure but I loved Mammy in Gone With The Wind. Why doesn’t someone write a book with her as the main character and share her thoughts and feelings she might have had during that time. Her real thoughts during the filming of the movie and the make-believe thoughts and feelings during the movie. I would love to read it.


  22. I love a lot of the secondary characters in books I read. They add so much to the story! I love it when the secondary character later becomes the main character in a series.


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