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Blackstock, Terri 1957- (Terri Herrington, Tracy Hughes)

BLACKSTOCK, Terri 1957- (Terri Herrington, Tracy Hughes)

PERSONAL: Born December 7, 1957, in Belleville, IL; daughter of O. L. Ward (a retired Air Force Colonel and airline pilot) and Jo Ann Weathersby (a secretary; maiden name, Rogers); married, November 27, 1992; children: three. Education: Attended Hinds Junior College, 1975-76; Northeast Louisiana University, B.A., 1981. Religion: Baptist. Hobbies and other interests: Attending children's extracurricular activities and volunteering in church ministries.

ADDRESSES: Home—Clinton, MS. Agent—Greg Johnson, Alive Communications, 1465 Kelly Johnson Blvd., Suite 320, Colorado Springs, CO 80920. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Writer of romance and suspense novels. Concerned Christian Women for America, cofounder.

AWARDS, HONORS: Reviewers' Choice nomination for Best New Author, Romantic Times, 1986; Reviewers' Choice nomination for Best Dell Candlelight Ecstasy, Romantic Times, 1986, for A Secret Stirring; Golden Medallion finalist for Best Traditional Romance, Romance Writers of America, 1987, for Lovers' Reunion; Golden Medallion for Best Short Contemporary Novel, Romance Writers of America, 1988, for Stolen Moments; Climbing Rose awards, North Louisiana Romance Writers, 1988, 1992; Lifetime Achievement Award for Best Continuing Series, Romantic Times, 1990, for the "Calloway Corners" Series; Special Achievement Award, Romantic Times, 1991, for White Lies & Alibis; Women In Search of Heroes (WISH) award, Romantic Times, 1992, for Johnny Malone, a character in Honorbound; Reviewers' Choice nomination for Best Harlequin American, Romantic Times, 1992, for Honorbound.

WRITINGS:

Sweet Delights: For Love of Money, Tyndale House (Wheaton, IL), 2000.

The Heart Reader, W Publishing Group (Nashville, TN), 2000.

The Heart Reader of Franklin High, W Publishing Group (Nashville, TN), 2000.

The Gifted, W Publishing Group (Nashville, TN), 2000.

The Gifted Sophomores, W Publishing Group (Nashville, TN), 2000.

Seaside: A Novella, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 2001.

Emerald Windows, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 2001.

Cape Refuge, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 2002.

Covenant Child, W Publishing Group (Nashville, TN), 2002.

"SUNCOAST CHRONICLES" SERIES

Evidence of Mercy, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1995.

Justifiable Means, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1996.

Ulterior Motives, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1996.

Presumption of Guilt, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1997.

The SunCoast Chronicles, Inspirational Press, 1999.

"SECOND CHANCES" SERIES

Never Again Goodbye, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1996.

When Dreams Cross, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1996.

Blind Trust, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1997.

Broken Wings, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1998.

"NEWPOINTE 911" SERIES

Private Justice, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1998.

Shadow of Doubt, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1998.

Word of Honor, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1999.

Trial by Fire, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 2000.

"SEASONS" SERIES; WITH BEVERLY LAHAYE

Seasons under Heaven, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1999.

Showers in Season: Book Two, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 2000.

Times and Seasons, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 2001.

Season of Blessing, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 2002.

UNDER PSEUDONYM TERRI HERRINGTON

Blue Fire, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1984.

Head over Heels, Dell (New York, NY), 1986.

Lovers' Reunion, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1986.

Tender Betrayer, Dell (New York, NY), 1986.

A Secret Stirring, Dell (New York, NY), 1986.

Stolen Moments, Dell (New York, NY), 1987.

Tangled Triumphs, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1987.

Ticket to a Fantasy, Dell (New York, NY), 1987.

Wife Wanted, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1987.

Her Father's Daughter, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1991.

Flashback, Silhouette (New York, NY), 1993.

One Good Man, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1993.

Silena, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1993.

Winner Take All, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1995.

UNDER PSEUDONYM TRACY HUGHES

Impressions, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1986.

Quiet Lightning, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1986.

Above the Clouds, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1988.

Emerald Windows, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1989.

White Lies & Alibis, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1990.

Honorbound, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1991.

Second Chances, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1991.

Father Knows Best, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1992.

Sand Man, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1992.

Delta Dust, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1993.

Jo ("Calloway Corners" series), Harlequin (New York, NY), 1993.

Catch a Falling Star, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1994.

Heaven Knows, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1994.

The Princess and the Pauper, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1994.

To Heaven and Back, Harlequin (New York, NY), 1995.

Daniel ("Return to Calloway Corners" series), Harlequin (New York, NY), 1996.

SIDELIGHTS: Respected Christian author, Terri Blackstock, began her writing career in 1983 when she sold the rights to her first romance novel. Since that time, she has become the best-selling author of over twenty-five works of Christian fiction. Prior to her career in the Christian market, she published thirty-two romance novels. Her works range from suspense to general women's fiction to romance. In 1994, she began work in a new genre, the suspense novel. A renewed spirituality is making its mark on her subsequent work; her "SunCoast Chronicles" series of suspense novels carry a Christian message. "I wanted to be able to tell the truth in my stories . . . and not just be politically correct. It doesn't matter how many readers I have if I can't tell them what I know about the roots of their problems and the solutions that have literally saved my life," she once told CA. The author asserts that writing is her most important ministry, but she also is active in her church's ministries in Jackson, Mississippi.

However, Blackstock has not abandoned the romance format that has proved such a success for her; she has rewritten some of her earlier romance novels, turning them into the "Second Chances" series, which is comprised of four books. The first book in this series is Never Again Goodbye, the story of a woman who gives up her child for adoption. After learning that the adoptive mother has died, she reenters her daughter's life. Never Again Goodbye is the first romance novel in which Terri Blackstock has published a book in her own name. Previously her work was published under the name Terri Herrington and the pseudonym Tracy Hughes. Blackstock has published romance novels with Silhouette, Harlequin, and Dell, and published mainstream novels with HarperCollins. Under all of these names, she has more than three and a half million books in print.

The second book in the "Second Chances" series, When Dreams Cross, tells the story of a woman, Andi Sherman, who fulfills her life dream of opening a Christian-themed amusement park. Andi joins an old flame, Justin Pierce, inventor of the "Khaki Kangaroo" series, to help provide further attractions to the theme park by creating cartoon characters. Melissa Hudak, reviewing the work for Library Journal, stated, "While not essential reading, this is still an entertaining romance that should please most readers." When Dreams Cross, a purely romance novel some years ago, has been modified to target the Christian market, as noted by Booklist reviewer John Mort, "making the series about second chances in more ways than one."

The third book in this series, Blind Trust, is a thriller about a woman, Sherry Cranston, who slowly builds her life again after her fiancé disappeared for over eight months. Clint, Sherry's fiancé, returns to town and tries to get Sherry back without success. When Sherry encounters physical danger, she is forced to escape and lead a life on the run. Library Journal reviewer Hudak called the novel "a fun, undemanding thriller" and added that Blind Trust is "a fast-paced and suspenseful read that should please Blackstock's fans."

The last book of the "Second Chances" series, Broken Wings, is a love story which begins with tragedy. Pilot Erin Russell's mentor and friend, Mick Hammon, dies in a plane crash along with 151 others. This devastating event disables Erin emotionally, and she is forced to give up flying. It also seems that the investigation team, National Transportation Safety Board, is trying to use Mick as a scapegoat for the crash. Erin steps in and volunteers to work with investigator Addison Lowe to find the cause of the crash, and in the process, the couple begin a romance and rediscover their faith in the Lord. Library Journal's Hudak commented, "Two dynamic leads give life to this solid if unspectacular romance from the prolific Blackstock."

Blackstock's "Newpointe 911" series is comprised of four mystery and thriller books: Private Justice, Shadow of Doubt, Word of Honor, and Trial by Fire. The first book in this series, Private Justice, is a story about murder and renewed faith in God. Mark Branning, a firefighter, is driven to solve the murder of two firemen's wives with the help of his estranged wife, Allie, and as they work together, they also end up renewing their faith in the Lord. John Mort, reviewing Private Justice for Booklist, commented, "Blackstock is always workmanlike, but she has a better-than-average opener here, perhaps because it's based on actual murders in her own hometown, and perhaps, too, because Mark and Allie's marital difficulties seem real."

The second book in the "Newpointe 911" series, Shadow of Doubt, is a story of murder, scandal, and innocence. Celia Shepherd, whose first husband died of arsenic poisoning, is accused of attempting to poison her second husband, Stan, with arsenic. While Celia was acquitted of the crime the first time around, the subsequent poisoning of Stan makes her look guilty. Celia attempts to prove she is not guilty, and is drawn closer than ever before to God to get her through this trial. Hudak of the Library Journal called Shadow of Doubt a "real page-turner with some exciting sequences and a truly surprising ending."

Word of Honor, the third book in this series, is about attorney Jill Clark and firefighter Dan Nichols who are caught in a tangled web of mistaken identity with a supposed terrorist. Library Journal reviewer Melanie Duncan described this book as "fast-paced action and a reasonable explanation for an improbable plot twist."

Blackstock and Beverley LaHaye, founders of Concerned Christian Women for America, collaborate in writing Seasons under Heaven, a story of four families who are joined together when a little boy needs a heart transplant. Booklist reviewer Mort noted that the book is "a tearjerker with strong female characterizations and believable mother-child relationships that is likely to be very popular." Sweet Delights: For Love of Money shows how unexpected wealth can cause problems by distracting one's focus from the Lord. The two main characters of the novel are united by a freak winning lottery ticket incident that sends them into fast money and attracts constant press interest, and leaves the two of them with plenty of life-changing decisions to make.

In the novel Seaside, Blackstock manages to take time away from her suspense thrillers to write a straightforward story of a mother, Maggie Downing, and her two estranged daughters, Sarah and Corinne, who are drawn together for a family reunion at the beach. A trip that begins with years of emotional walls ends in renewed relationships and faith in God after finding out that Maggie has only months left to live. A Publishers Weekly reviewer commented, "While the plot is predictable, the dialogue is wonderfully natural and the strong female characters surprisingly well-developed for a novel this brief."

Blackstock has also written novels under the pseudonyms Terri Herrington and Tracy Hughes. As Hughes, Blackstock wrote Emerald Windows; she then rewrote it as a Christian novel of the same title under the name Blackstock. The new version of Emerald Windows is a romance novel about an art student, Brooke Martin, who fled her hometown due to ugly rumors of an affair with her art teacher, Nick Marcello, six years her senior. Seven years later Brooke returns to create stained-glass windows for the church, commissioned by Nick. Nick's excitement about the Lord spurs Brooke on to deepen her relationship with God by searching the Bible for her answers. While the book was well received for its deeper meaning, it was criticized for its unbelievable story line. A Publishers Weekly reviewer stated, "Unfortunately for readers, the scandal—a misinterpreted hug between student and teacher—has no teeth, and it strains credulity to think that any town . . . could make so much of so little." Library Journal reviewer Melanie Duncan concluded that Hughes "shows how strength found in the Lord can have a profound impact on a single life and then spread to others who do not even know they are searching for Him."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, January 1, 1997, John Mort, review of When Dreams Cross, p. 819; June 1, 1998, John Mort, review of Private Justice, p. 1728; May 1, 1999, John Mort, review of Seasons under Heaven, p. 1579; January 1, 2002, John Mort, review of Emerald Windows, p. 804.

Library Journal, February 1, 1997, Melissa Hudak, review of When Dreams Cross, p. 66; September 1, 1997, Melissa Hudak, review of Blind Trust, p. 166; February 1, 1998, Melissa Hudak, reviews of Broken Wings and Private Justice, p. 70; September 1, 1998, Melissa Hudak, review of Shadow of Doubt, p. 162; September 1, 1999, Melanie C. Duncan, review of Word of Honor, p. 172; February 1, 2001, Melanie C. Duncan, review of Seaside: A Novella, p. 75; November 1, 2001, Melanie C. Duncan, review of Emerald Windows, p. 74.

Publishers Weekly, January 29, 2001, review of Seaside, p. 67; September 17, 2001, review of Emerald Windows, p. 55.

Today's Christian Woman, March, 2001, review of Sweet Delights: For Love of Money, p. S6.

ONLINE

Heartquest,http://www.heartquest.com/ (March, 2001).

Terri Blackstock Web site,http://www.terriblackstock.com/ (March 4, 2001), "Terri Blackstock."

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