Welcome to September, everyone! I was so blessed to feature Laura Frantz in August. She is a wonderful woman and it was a joy to get to know her better. Have you ordered her new book LOVE'S RECKONING? It comes out this month, don't forget!
(PS...yes, I know this post is a day early, but do to my schedule, I wouldn't be able to post it tomorrow...)
I am so happy to spotlight Jody Hedlund this month! YAY!! I love this amazing author for so many reasons. Not only does her talent shine, her spirit does as well.
I first read THE DOCTOR'S LADY sometime last year not long after I discovered this fabulous genre. I immediately fell in love with Hedlund's style and ordered THE PREACHER'S BRIDE the very next day. Both books are truly inspiring! (Not to mention loaded with top-of-the-line romance!!)
Her next book UNENDING DEVOTION has just been released, and friends, it's AH-MAZING!! I could hardly put it down, and as I said in my review, I totally cried...and, if you didn't know, that's a good thing. *wink* The characters (and romance!) and message of the book will really affect you--at least it did me!
So, here are some questions that I asked Jody. I have loved getting to know more about her. Wow, she is an incredible woman. I don't know how she does all that she does, but somehow she does it, and she does it very well! *giggle* I decided that I want to be like her when I grow up!
First, tell us about yourself!
I've been married to my college sweetheart for over twenty years, and we have five children ranging in ages from 15 down to 6. Between homeschooling and running our kids to activities, we're crazily busy! We live in central Michigan and so take our summers very seriously, considering at least 6 months of the year are cold and overcast.
I've been creating stories for as long as I can remember but began taking my writing seriously after I got married. Once I started having babies, I took a hiatus from writing. The time away from my writing really enriched me. The first book I wrote after my break was The Preacher's Bride.
When I'm not homeschooling or writing, you might find me sneaking in some pleasure reading. And you'd definitely find me eating chocolate and guzzling coffee!
What inspired you to come up with the story for UNENDING DEVOTION?
I live in central Michigan in an area that was once filled with towering white pines and that played a major role in the lumber era. In the 1870’s through the early 1880’s, lumbering employed more workers than any other industrial occupation in the United States. The white pine tree was considered “green gold” and netted greater profit than the gold rush of the West.
During my research for the book, I began reading biographies about people who lived during the lumber era. And as I did, I ran across stories of young women who didn't fit into the glamorized legends and songs.
The stories of many of these women were much darker. They're tales of women who were abused, exploited, and even enslaved.
Unending Devotion is inspired by one of those women, Jennie King. She rode a train into central Michigan in answer to newspaper ad for a job. She expected to work in a hotel. Instead she found herself enslaved in a brothel. She fled, but was recaptured and beaten. The brave and desperate woman escaped again, wearing only a nightgown, and this time gained help from a local family. The brothel owner tried to get her back again. But the family helped smuggle Jennie out of town and to a safe place.
If you could take one historical Christian romance with you on a deserted island, which one would it be and why? (It could be one of your books or someone else's!)
Oh, that would be SO hard! There are too many awesome books to choose from! But if I had to choose, I'd probably go with Deeanne Gist's A Bride Most Begrudging. It was one of the books I read when I was coming out of my writing hiatus, and it inspired me to work harder at writing historical romances (before that I'd been writing contemporary Christian romances).
What is your favorite bible verse?
One of the many verses I treasure is "I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength." Phil. 4:13 That verse has held me in good stead through many trials.
Here are a few more fun facts about Jody:
Jody Hedlund is an award-winning historical romance novelist and author of the best-selling book, The Preacher's Bride. She received a bachelor’s degree from Taylor University and a master’s from the University of Wisconsin, both in Social Work. Currently she makes her home in Michigan with her husband and five busy children. Publishers Weekly called her newest book Unending Devotion, " a meaty tale of life amid the debauchery of the lumber camps of 1880s Michigan . . . exciting and unpredictable to the very end."
I hang out on Facebook here: Author Jody Hedlund
I also love to chat on Twitter: @JodyHedlund
My home base is at my website: jodyhedlund.com
Ladies, Jody has kindly offered to do a giveaway for her new book UNENDING DEVOTION! (I can hear you squealing with pleasure.) *big grin* If you want to be entered to WIN the book, please comment on this post and include your EMAIL. And, if you're feeling chatty, please tell me what historical Christian romance you would take with you on a deserted island!!
Three cheers for Jody Hedlund!!
Thank you SO much, Jody! I am thrilled about your new book, and I can't wait for other people to read it and feel uplifted just like I did. You are a blessing in so many people's lives and I am very grateful that you are sharing the magnificent gift God gave you.
God bless you and your family!