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Author Spotlight,  Giveaway,  Hope-filled Fiction

Terrie Todd: Spotlight on Lilly’s Promise & a Giveaway

Enjoy this post from Historical and Split-time Fiction author Terrie Todd as she shares about her book, Lilly’s Promise. Be sure to comment below by June 6 for a chance to win a paperback copy!

Welcome to the blog, Terrie! So nice to have you here.

Essentially, Lilly’s Promise is the story of a man who survived his own abortion in 1942. He’s not the main character in the book, but the bridge between the two main characters—his mother, Lilly, and his daughter, Diana. Their stories unfold in split-time, with Lilly’s story in the 1930s and 40s, and Diana’s story in present day.

Gianna Jesson, who was born alive after a failed abortion attempt, said, “The best thing I can show you to defend life is my life. It has been a great gift.” In 2019, I learned that someone dear to me had chosen to have an abortion. In the months that followed, I couldn’t stop thinking about who that little one may have been and the life they may have lived. I chose to write about a fictional character who survived an abortion and the ripple effects of his life.

The original title of this book was From the Ashes. Around the time I learned about the abortion, one of the songs we sang a lot at church was “Raise a Hallelujah.” Each time, the words of the chorus spoke deeply to my heart: “Up from the ashes, hope will arise. Death is defeated, the King is alive.”

A deliberately set fire plays a significant role in this story and serves as a metaphor for how our decisions affect our lives and the lives of others. Although we later changed the frequently-used title to Lilly’s Promise, the metaphor holds. God can redeem every regrettable decision, bring hope from ashes, and life from death. 

This book is published as the result of a contest win. Each year, Word Alive Press in Winnipeg runs a contest called the Braun Book Awards. They choose one fiction and one nonfiction book to publish, and this year my book won. I’ve entered that contest before with earlier books, but I’d never won. (And you can only win once.) So, it’s exciting to have this book published locally—it’s my first novel published here in Canada.

I want readers to walk away with increased and profound compassion for women facing incredibly difficult choices. If Lilly’s and Diana’s stories help just one woman choose life for her child or help one woman receive healing from a decision she regrets, I will feel it was worth every effort.

This process has reminded me of the fact that we are all so broken. I believe it increased my own compassion for others, regardless of what reproductive choices they make. The story also served to remind me in a powerful way that our Good Shepherd, Jesus, cares for all his sheep, but he especially pursues the ones who stray.

From an Amazon Review: Lilly’s Promise is real and gritty. It tackles hard topics and deals with them in a beauty-in-the-ashes kind of way. The characters are authentically broken and put back together in only the way that God can do. 

I love the theme of your book, Terrie. Your description definitely makes me want to read it. I’m a huge advocate for life, and the novel I’m seeking to publish centers on the main character’s journey toward wholeness years after a teenage abortion. Forgiveness and hope are abiding themes as well!

I wish you great success and pray for God’s blessings on this project and your future writing endeavors.

Comment on this author spotlight with @tjtodd2 by June 6 for a chance to win her split-time #ChristianFiction book Lilly’s Promise. #giveaway #amreading


Join the conversation. What are your thoughts about reading books that center around abortion? Does Terri’s description and the split-time element of her book sound interesting to you? Is this a book you’d want to read? What questions or comments do you have for Terrie?

Be sure to comment below by June 6 for a chance to win a paperback of Terrie’s book!

Lilly's Promise Book Cover

Lilly’s Promise by Terrie Todd

Click the book cover for purchase link

Orphaned and adopted as a toddler in 1922, Lilly Sampson pursues a nursing career in hopes that it will redeem the shameful crime of arson she committed as a child. When her self-sabotaging choices only build the ash heap higher, will she find the love she desperately seeks?

In 2019, while unraveling a mysterious link in her ancestry, thirty-six-year-old Diana DeWitt is at a crossroads as she tries to help a teenager in crisis. Will the truth she uncovers about her grandmother, Lilly, inspire her to let go of her fear and rise to the occasion?

Terrie Todd’s debut novel, The Silver Suitcase, won the 2017 Word Guild award for Historical Fiction. Her second, Maggie’s War, won the same award for 2018 while her third, Bleak Landing, was a finalist. She was awarded the 2018 Janette Oke Award by Inscribe Christian Writers Fellowship. She released her first nonfiction book, Out of My Mind: A Decade of Faith and Humour in 2020. Her fourth novel, Rose Among Thornes, won the 2022 Debra Feiguth Social Justice Award as well as “Best Cover,” while her fifth, The Last Piece, took the award for Contemporary Fiction from The Word Guild. Lilly’s Promise won the 2022 Braun Book Award from Word Alive Press. Terrie has published eight stories with Chicken Soup for the Soul, two full-length plays with Eldridge Plays and Musicals, and writes a weekly faith and humor column for her hometown paper. She’s also a monthly contributor to the Heroes, Heroines, and History blog.

A former church drama director and administrative assistant at city hall, Terrie now devotes her time to writing and teaching a Creating Writing class. She lives with her husband, Jon, on the Canadian prairies where they raised three children and where her novels are set. She’s a proud grandma to five boys. She’s available for speaking, writing workshops, and book clubs.

Connect with Terrie: Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Amazon

Author Terrie Todd Photo

Please share Terrie’s post on social media to help spread the word about her book!

Check out these interviews with Sarah Anne Crouch, Jann Franklin, and Mesu Andrews.

As a Jesus girl for more than thirty years, Deena Adams understands how important hope is to daily life, which fuels her passion to inspire others through hope-filled fiction based on true to life stories. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and is a multi-award-winning writer, an active ACFW member, and ACFW Virginia president. Connect with Deena through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


  • Lori Byrd

    Abortion is such a touchy subject for so many. You can’t judge what is right for someone else. Thank you for the chance to win.

  • Jeanette Davis

    This books sounds wonderful. I am in the process of opening a home for women facing uplanned pregancies. I have always had a heart for the unborn! I have read other books and have heard a few people speak on all angles of abotion—one young lady who was a twin the mother was 11 years old. Her parents took her for an abortion, well the person doing the abortion, did not realize there were twins and only aborted one, so this young lady survived. Another mother I heard speak about her son who was conceived in rape, and she absolutely adores her little boy (I don’t think she ever considered abortion, at least this did not come out in her talk). But yes this subject needs to be addressed and we need to understand the beauty of life….thank you this book sounds awesome.

    • Terrie Todd

      Wow, what a fascinating but tragic story, Jeanette! I just want to stop right now and pray for you as you embark on this wonderful ministry. Lord, please fill Jeanette with power, compassion, energy, wisdom, and much love as she cares for these precious women and children. Thank you for her. Provide for her and for this work. May all the needed resources come together and may lives me saved. May this home be a place of safety, acceptance, and love. May your peace and presence be tangible from the moment people cross the threshold. In Jesus name, Amen. (By the way, my middle name is Jeanette.)

    • Deena Adams

      Oh, Jeanette. Such a tragic, heart-breaking story. May God have mercy and heal every person broken by the sin of abortion. Thank you for the very important work you’re doing by opening a home for women facing unplanned pregnancies. I prayed for you this moring.

  • Debby

    Deciding whether or not to get an abortion is never an easy decision. I wouldl ike to read this.

  • Shelley Beachy

    I love split time books and would love to read this! I don’t mind reading about topics that can be difficult and think these topics need to be addressed in the times we live in. I’m curious about how you research such a topic. I’m sure it can be emotionally challenging. Definitely adding this book to my TBR list!

    • Terrie Todd

      Hi Shelley. I’m with you–I enjoy split-time because often it shows us that people are really no different now than they were in the past. And I like weighty topics that pack a lot of emotion. The most difficult part of the research–without giving too much away–was figuring out the legal proceedings involved for the 1940s. I had a lawyer assist me with that scene, but even he was a bit unclear as to how things might have gone back then. Thanks for adding this to your TBR pile. God bless!

    • Terrie Todd

      Congratulations on winning a copy of “Lilly’s Promise,” Shelley! The book is on its way from Canada! I hope it blesses you.

    • Terrie Todd

      Great idea, K! I’ve donated several copies to our local center, as well as some of the proceeds from the book, and dedicated the book to the staff and volunteers who do such great and compassionate work. God bless you and your mom!

    • Terrie Todd

      With Lily for a name, I really hope you get to read it. Have you read the nonfiction book, “Lily’s Promise” about a Holocaust survivor named LIly? It’s really good too. My Lilly has two L’s. God bless you!

  • Patty

    I really enjoy the split time books that have been coming out in the last few years… I also like book that take on real life difficult topics like this one.

  • Lynn Moore

    Terrie….. Your book certainly is for the times we are living in. May all the gals who made those hard decisions…and struggle now with the consequences of a broken heart….read your book find hope & healing & the love of Jesus in your writing!

  • Sandy Avery

    I.think this topic is so important and would be a meaningful story to read. I like the split-time element very much!

  • Alicia Haney

    Hi, yes, I would love to read a book like yours. I find it very interesting and very informative. Thank you so much for sharing a little about it. Your book sounds like a great read a like a must read, and I love your book cover. My question is Who has been your hardest character to write about and why? Have a great rest of the week. Thank you for the chance.

    • Deena Adams

      Hi, Alicia. I think Terrie’s book sounds like a must-read, too. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and asking Terrie a question. I look forward to her answer.

    • Terrie Todd

      Thanks for the great question, Alicia! Lilly was definitely the most difficult from this book and possibly from all my books. It was hard to make her a character with whom readers would sympathize (at least, if not like her) when they see her making so many poor choices. That’s also what makes her redemption story richer, though, I think. I hope you read it. God bless!

  • Laurie Wood

    Congratulations on winning, Terrie, and for writing such a powerful story about a subject that affects far too many women. I look forward to reading it! Thank you for sharing the “behind the scenes” of why and how you wrote it. I always love it when authors share their whys!

  • Angie M

    Reading the story line has me interested in reading this book. Lily’s Promise will certainly be on my want to read list.

  • Terri

    Sounds interesting! There was a doctor in the church where I grew up who performed abortions. No big deal–it was his job. We wondered how he could believe killing babies was okay.

    • Lanya

      I really hope he can have a change of heart! Other abortion doctors like Bernard Nathanson have, but it’s still very tragic how many abortions they went through with before they finally opened their eyes.

    • Deena Adams

      That’s sad, Terri. My heart hurts for those who don’t see the truth, and I pray for many to understand how much God loves every person He creates, even before they are born.

    • Terrie Todd

      Thanks for joining the conversation, Terri. Only God knows what is going on in that doctor’s heart. For the most part, I think they truly believe they are helping women. God bless you.