Adventure into Romance with Shelley Munro
News About Shelley Blog Books Extras Contact Small Font Large Font

June 1st, 2012
Have You Ever Read an Inspirational Romantic Suspense?

It’s my pleasure to welcome author Alison Stone to my blog today. Alison has a new release called Random Acts, available from Samhain Publishing. Over to Alison…

Alison Stone WNYRWMy debut, Random Acts, is a romantic suspense with inspirational elements. In the case of Random Acts, the story is told from a Christian worldview. The heroine, Danielle, had a rough childhood and now wrestles with her faith. As the story unfolds, her faith grows as she learns to rely on God for strength and guidance. However, this is just one thread woven into the story.

When I started writing, my intention was to write mainstream romantic suspense. As I struggled to find my voice, I read across many genres and finally decided to try writing inspirational romantic suspense. This effort turned into Random Acts, my first sale. After I sold, I worried some people would automatically discount my book because it contained a faith element. Religion can be a polarizing topic. (Just turn on the news.) People will always have strong opinions, but I don’t want “religion” to be the first (or last) thought when someone reads Random Acts. I want them to get lost in a good story. Period. If they remember something about my book long after they’ve finished it, that’s a bonus.

When the reviews came out, I was pleasantly surprised. The library review said, “This romance with a slightly inspirational flavor is recommended for readers who are looking for a sweet, “clean” romance that still packs an emotional punch.” Other reviews were similar. They focused on the suspense and the romance with perhaps a side note that the story had a “trace of inspiration.” I hope this means I wrote a solid romantic suspense and seamlessly threaded in my heroine’s struggle with faith which arose naturally from the story.

My intent was to tell a good story that just so happened to include a faith element. Inspirational stories are not supposed to beat the reader over the head with a preachy message or try to convert people. I believe many people who read books labeled as Christian or inspirational do so because they want to read what I have heard termed as a “clean romance.”

My next book, Too Close to Home, is a romantic suspense, but it does not have a faith element, however it certainly would be classified as a “clean” or “sweet” read. The heroine might instinctively say a prayer when she’s in jeopardy, but her faith journey is not part of the story. As I build my writing career, I think I have to be careful to meet reader expectations. Whether I write romantic suspense or not, I plan to gear towards the sweet, with or without inspirational elements. Besides, this is what I enjoy writing. I hope readers enjoy reading them.

What are your thoughts on inspirational romance? Do you read them? If not, I encourage you to try an inspirational romance. You might be pleasantly surprised. A well told story is a well told story.

Author Bio:

Alison Stone graduated with a degree in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech. After working in Corporate America for a number of years, she retired to raise her young family. Soon the writing bug bit. After years of conferences, critique groups and writing, Alison sold two manuscripts that will be released in 2012. She claims it was easier to earn her engineering degree. Random Acts is her debut novel. To learn more about Alison Stone please visit She’s also chatty on Twitter @Alison_Stone.



Blurb for Random Acts:

Second chances can have a terrible sense of timing.

As a child, watching her mother always pick the wrong man left Danielle Carson wary of opening her heart to anyone—except Patrick Kingsley. But circumstances came between them and left Danielle with a broken heart. Now she buries the pain of what might have been by channeling all her energy into her career. When a family crisis brings her back to her hometown, she is forced to face the past—and the disturbing fact that her sister’s car accident was staged to mask a brutal beating.

A police officer and widower, Patrick guards his heart as fiercely as he guards his beloved daughter. Seeing Danielle again unexpectedly reignites their old flame, but no way will he introduce a woman into his daughter’s life. Certainly not one whose values on faith and family are so different from his own.

Despite their best intentions, they are drawn together—until Danielle learns Patrick had a hand in putting her sister in harm’s way. Her fragile trust is crushed, but Patrick is the only man who can help her stop the villain before everything they both love is destroyed. Faith, family…and their second chance at forever.

Random Acts available at:

Samhain Publishing


Barnes & Noble


Also available at Sony and iTunes.

27 comments to “Have You Ever Read an Inspirational Romantic Suspense?”

  1. Brinda
      · June 1st, 2012 at 3:08 am · Link

    Hi Alison. I’ve never read a book labeled as an inspirational one, but I like the review that the librarian gave your book. “Slightly inspirational flavor” is subtle and a great phrase.

  2. Lo
      · June 1st, 2012 at 4:36 am · Link

    This sounds like an interesting read. Even though I write super steamy (and often taboo) tales, I’m actually a huge fan of sweeter romance and even the occasional inspirational book. Odd, right? ;)

    I’m going to pass this one along to my mom, too. She loves RS but is always complaining that there’s so little that’s sweet available.

  3. Alison Stone
      · June 1st, 2012 at 7:05 am · Link

    Brinda, I was also very happy with the library review. Since Random Acts is my first release, reviews are a whole new part of the publishing world for me. So far, so good. :) Phew.

  4. Alison Stone
      · June 1st, 2012 at 7:07 am · Link

    Lo ~ I’m thrilled that you like to read different genres. I read across the board, too. I think many readers do pick up inspirational romances because they know they’ll find a “sweet” romance.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Cheryl Norman
      · June 1st, 2012 at 7:33 am · Link

    I love inspirational romantic suspense! I hope to write one someday. I definitely will check out Alison Stone’s books.

    • Alison Stone
        · June 1st, 2012 at 8:21 am · Link

      Great, Cheryl. I hope you enjoy Random Acts. Good luck with your writing.

  6. Savannah Chase
      · June 1st, 2012 at 11:32 am · Link

    Alison, it is lovely to meet you. I’ve not read your work but look forward to checking it out.

    • Alison Stone
        · June 1st, 2012 at 11:47 am · Link

      Savannah, I remember you from other blog posts! I appreciate that you stopped by again to say, “hello.” I hope you have a chance to check out Random Acts.

  7. Angela Brown
      · June 1st, 2012 at 1:46 pm · Link

    A story having an inspirational element should not be the reason to refuse to read a great story. Although not a romance, Dragonspell, by Donita Paul, has religious aspects woven through the whole thing. I love all the elements of the story.

    If one were to step back and look at the faith issue in Alison’s novel from a writerly perspective, it can be seen as a great device for conflict. After all, the MC’s lack of faith is a crux between hero and heroine, yet they are drawn to each other. There’s that built in ability for tension. The push an pull.

    So, yes, I would be happy to read a romance, fantasy, sci-fi – whatever – with inspirational elements.

    • Alison Stone
        · June 1st, 2012 at 2:17 pm · Link

      Great comments, Angela. The faith issue can be a great device for conflict. In my story, the hero wonders if it’s wise to introduce to his daughter a woman who doesn’t share his faith. He’s come a long way in his own faith after dealing with the tragic death of his first wife. So yes, the faith element certainly adds to the conflict.

      I’m happy to hear so many readers are open to stories with inspirational elements.

  8. Shelley Munro
      · June 1st, 2012 at 3:03 pm · Link

    Hi Alison,

    Firstly, welcome again to my blog. I’ve read several inspirational romances. I’ll admit it’s not always my favorite. I like a light hand, so that I don’t feel I’m in church and listening to a sermon.

    So would I read more inspirationals in the future? Would I read your book? Yes, in a heartbeat. If the story blurb appeals I’m ready to try any story because the bottom line is that all I want is a good story to take me away from the humdrum of daily life. Like all readers, all I want is an entertaining romance with an “ahh” ending.

    Congrats on the wonderful reviews. That’s awesome!

  9. Alison Stone
      · June 1st, 2012 at 6:02 pm · Link

    Hi Shelley,

    Thank you so much for hosting me.

    I’m with you. I don’t want to feel like I’m listening to a sermon in my fiction. I also like to get lost in a good story.

    Thank you for the kind words. I was thrilled with the wonderful reviews. As a debut author, I had no idea how it was going to go, but one can hope! :)

    Pretty soon, I’ll start sweating out my next release. Do you ever get used to that nervous anticipation? I suppose it makes life exciting.

  10. Hildie McQueen
      · June 1st, 2012 at 10:05 pm · Link

    I prefer paranormal, but on occassion I read inspirational. Lately I’ve read Lindi Petersen who writes contemporary inspirational. Your book sounds good!

    • Alison Stone
        · June 2nd, 2012 at 7:14 am · Link

      Thanks, Hildie. I’ve enjoyed the occasional paranormal, too.

  11. Mary Kirkland
      · June 2nd, 2012 at 3:59 am · Link

    I have read a couple of books like that. I find it ok as long as the inspiration is subtle or there’s just a but of it in the book.

    • Alison Stone
        · June 2nd, 2012 at 7:15 am · Link

      Thanks for stopping by, Mary. Love your pic. It’s very captivating.

  12. Suzanne
      · June 2nd, 2012 at 5:01 am · Link

    What an awesome blurb

    One of my crit partners writes Inspirational R/S
    and I enjoy it quite a lot.

    All the best


    • Alison Stone
        · June 2nd, 2012 at 7:17 am · Link

      Thanks, Suzanne! :)

      Good luck to you and your critique partner with your writing. I have made great strides in my writing in part because of insightful critique partners.

  13. Lydia K
      · June 2nd, 2012 at 6:06 am · Link

    I haven’t read one as yet, but this sounds like a compelling story. Thanks Shelly and Alison!

    • Alison Stone
        · June 2nd, 2012 at 7:20 am · Link

      Lydia, well…maybe you’ll make Random Acts your first inspirational! :)

      When I first started reading books labeled as “Christian,” I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised because as many others have mentioned, I didn’t want to feel like someone was preaching at me. In my opinion, if done well, the inspirational elements should be seamlessly woven in. I hope I have achieved that.

  14. D'Ann Lindun
      · June 2nd, 2012 at 8:46 am · Link

    Would I read an Inspy RS? No. Sorry. You’re story sounds great, but I don’t like faith pushed on me in any form. Subtle, or not. I know what I believe, and why. I don’t mean to offend you in any way. But it’s not for me.

  15. Alison Stone
      · June 2nd, 2012 at 9:01 am · Link

    D’Ann, thanks for stopping by. I appreciate that you took the time to share your opinion. I don’t think the intent of inspirational stories is to push faith. It’s simply another thread in the story, perhaps another source of conflict within/between the characters. However, I think this is one of the beautiful things about books. There is something for everyone. Happy reading. :)

  16. CK Crouch aka Kathy
      · June 3rd, 2012 at 1:58 am · Link

    Alison, I didn’t read one of yours this year but as a judge of the Daphne on both sides I have enjoyed the inspirational romantic suspense books as much as the others. Good luck with sales. I give you two thumbs up.

    • Alison Stone
        · June 3rd, 2012 at 6:17 am · Link

      Thanks, Kathy. :)

  17. sandra cox
      · June 3rd, 2012 at 5:50 am · Link

    Wishing you much success with Random.

    How are you, Ms. Shel?

    • Alison Stone
        · June 3rd, 2012 at 6:18 am · Link

      I appreciate it, Sandra. Thanks!

  18. Nas
      · June 4th, 2012 at 1:32 am · Link

    Hi Alison and Shelley,

    Randon Acts sound interesting. Unfortunately I haven’t yet read an Inspirationals. But the blurb of Random Acts is intriguing.

    Thanks Shelley for highlighting about Alison and her book!