Character Spotlight: Jody Hedlund’s Emma & Patrick with a giveaway

Love Unexpected


Meet an Irish immigrant and a lighthouse keeper in

Jody Hedlund’s

historical romance

Love Unexpected

Bethany House


The Story

What Is the Secret That Could Shipwreck Both of Their Lives?

All Emma Chambers ever wanted was a home, but when her steamboat sinks just outside Presque Isle, she’s left destitute and with no place to stay.

An unlikely solution arises when the lighthouse keeper arrives in town. He’s just lost his wife and is having a difficult time caring for his child. So a traveling preacher gets the idea that the keeper and Emma might be the answer to each other’s dilemma. After a hasty marriage, she finds herself heading to the lighthouse with this handsome but quiet stranger. Nothing in her aimless life, though, has prepared her for parenting a rambunctious toddler, as well as managing a household.

Emma soon suspects Patrick may be hiding something from her, and then she hears a disturbing rumor about the circumstances surrounding his late wife’s death. It seems as if her wish for a home and family of her own could end up leading her once more into turbulent waters.

Introducing Emma & Patrick

Brief physical description

Emma Chambers is an Irish immigrant, with wispy blond hair and brown eyes that are like rich coffee. She has loose strands of hair that she tucks behind her ears.

Amanda Seyfried

Patrick Garraty is also Irish born, Patrick has dark brown hair, green eyes that are wide and warm and framed by thick lashes, weathered sun-bronzed face, and a once-broken nose.


Emma: Amanda Seyfried

Patrick: Gerard Butler

Strengths and weaknesses

Emma is an immigrant woman who has been without a place to call home for many years. She’s moved around a lot in her life and so one of the things she longs for most is a permanent home, a place she can call her own. Her deep longings make it all too easy to jump into a marriage of convenience with the local light keeper who just lost his wife and needs a helper and mother for his toddler.

While Emma is adventurous and kind and willing to plunge into new situations, she also has to learn that no matter where she’s wandered, no matter what she’s faced, God is the only solid home in her life. He’s there as steady and constant as a lighthouse, bringing her Gerard Butlersafely into his harbor where she can find hope and rest.

Patrick is a godly man who seeks to live a quiet and upright life. All he wants to do is keep his past mistakes in his past. He knows he’s been forgiven for his sins, but the crimes he once committed still haunt him.

As Patrick comes face to face with those things he’d much rather keep hidden, he has to learn that not only does he have to accept God’s forgiveness, but he also has to forgive himself, which can often be one of the hardest lessons of all.

Your inspiration for the characters

The book focuses on Mary Chambers Garraty, a real woman from Michigan history who is known as “Mother to a Lighthouse Dynasty.” Mary settled on Mackinac Island where she met and married Patrick Garraty in 1859.

Patrick Garraty didn’t become keeper of the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse until 1860, so I took some license with the dates in my story, having him as keeper a year earlier than he really was. I also took the liberty of having Mary meet Patrick while already a lightkeeper at Presque Isle rather than on Mackinac Island.

Mary was an assistant to her husband for ten years at which time one of her sons took over as assistant. Patrick and Mary had seven children. Four of them eventually became keepers, including one of their daughters Anna. In fact, Mary and Anna have earned the distinction of the only mother-daughter keepers in Michigan.

Background to the story 

I wanted to write a series about lighthouses for a number of reasons. First, my state of Michigan is home to the greatest concentration of lights in the United States. In fact, Michigan is noted as the state where the most lighthouses were erected. And now today, more than 120 remain compared to 500 total for the rest of the nation.

Second, I was drawn to lighthouses because I’m fascinated by the women keepers who have largely been forgotten by our modern world. During the prime lighthouse era in the 1800’s to early 1900’s, most light keepers were men. But occasionally women were appointed to the head keeper or assistant positions.

Michigan has the distinction of having the most women keepers. During my research, I was thrilled to find a well-researched book that centered on those Michigan women keepers. It’s called Ladies of the Lights: Michigan Women in the U.S. Lighthouse Service by Patricia Majher. I loved reading about the approximately 50 women who served as principal or assistant keepers to Michigan lights. They inspired me to bring their stories to life.

Thanks Jody!

Relz Reviewz Extras
Reviews of A Noble GroomUnending DevotionThe Doctor’s Lady, and The Preacher’s Bride
Character spotlight on Carl & Annalisa
Character spotlight on Lily & Connell
Jody’s Pop Quiz
Q&A with Jody
Character spotlight on Eli & Priscilla
Visit Jody’s website and blog
Download Jody’s FREE novella Out of the Storm (Beacons of Hope): A Novella
Buy at Amazon: Love Unexpected (Beacons of Hope) or Koorong

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52 Responses to Character Spotlight: Jody Hedlund’s Emma & Patrick with a giveaway

  1. I never visited a lighthouse.
    But Jody’s books really got me willing to visit one.
    Hopefully, I’ll get to someday!

    Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  2. I’ve visited a couple lighthouses but not in the towers

  3. Yes, I have visited a lighthouse! I grew up near one on the Gulf Coast across the bay from Galveston, TX. :)

  4. I love how quickly Jody has been turning books out for us, even if it’s getting hard to keep up with reading them all! A great problem to have, don’t get me wrong. 😉

    I have visited a lighthouse, actually, on the coast of California. It was a historical landmark as well and fascinating to walk through!

  5. I’ve visited a light here in Ga.on the coast. We all (5) climbed to the top. Memories!

  6. Yes, on the South Carolina coast.

  7. No I have never visited a lighthouse. I would really like to though. I plan on going to Michigan in the next year so maybe my dream will come true really soon. Thank you for the giveaway.

  8. I visited one in Oahu, HI. The trek up was difficult, but the view GORGEOUS!

  9. I have never visited a lighthouse but I would love to someday.

  10. Yes I have, in St Augustine, FL with my daughter and granddaughter. Unfortunately my granddaughter was the only one to go to the top, my legs wouldn’t let me and my daughter started up but didn’t even get halfway up as she’s afraid of heights and had to come back down. She got so scared she didn’t know if she’d make it back down. Rachel and I took pictures of each other at the same time.


    • I have a couple of family members where fear of heights is an issue. Good thing lighthouses look pretty spectacular from the ground, too, Wendy!

  11. I have been to several lighthouses. My husband proposed to me at a Lighthouse!

  12. I live near St. Augustine, FL, yet I have never visited a lighthouse. However, I can’t wait to visit the lighthouse in this story!!! The prequel was fantastic.

  13. No, I have never visited a lighthouse, but I would love too! I have read several books where the home was a lighthouse!

  14. I have never had the opportunity to visit a lighthouse. Hopefully, one day I will.

  15. Yes. In North Carolina.

  16. I’ve never visited a lighthouse, but I’d love to one day.

  17. I visited a few lighthouses with my family on our east coast road trip when I was a teenager. More recently I’ve been to our local one here in San Diego on Point Loma.

  18. Thank you SO much for hosting me on your blog, Rel! I always appreciate your support and hard work with all of your blog posts! And thanks to everyone for stopping by and chatting about lighthouses! :-)

  19. Yes – 3 actually – Jupiter FL. , St. Augustine, FL. & Point Loma in CA. – I loved them all!

  20. I have never seen a lighthouse, but love them. Would love to one day.

  21. I’ve never visited a lighthouse. I hope to someday.

    Love getting to know the characters. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Merry Christmas!

  22. I have never visited one but I hope to in the future.
    Thank you for this interview and giveaway.
    cps1950 at dot com

  23. I am proud to say that my husband and I have visited more than half of Michigan’s lighthouses. In fact, my husband proposed to me at the top of the Fort Gratiot lighthouse! We have had many vacations memories of our visits to these wonderful lighthouses. Thanks for the giveaway!

  24. I’ve never visited a lighthouse. I don’t think I’ve ever even seen a lighthouse except in photos. I would like to read Jody’s book though. This new series sounds really good.

  25. I have visited a couple lighthouses and really liked all of them. They make especially good pictures, too :)

  26. Hello Relz and Jody. Haven’t had an opportunity to see a lighthouse except in pictures. Would have liked to, but my legs couldn’t manage the stairs anymore. Would love to win Jody’s book.

  27. I’ve visited several lighthouses on the west and east coast of the US. So cool!

  28. I have visited several – it always amazes me the life of the person who has to care for them! And the views are spectacular :) Looking forward to reading this book Jody, and thanks again Rel!

  29. I haven’t, though I think it would be a fun experience! Lighthouses are kind of foreign to me. Thanks for the giveaway Rel!

  30. I have never visited a lighthouse. Thanks for the interview & giveaway.

  31. Yes, I’ve visited one in Michigan and one in the Outer Banks.

  32. I have never visited a lighthouse, I live in Nebraska & haven’t traveled to any place that would have one. I’ve read a few books with lighthouses but I’m sure I would enjoy reading yours too…

  33. I have visited a ligthouse! It was on the Oregon coast and it was at least a hundred years old! It was pretty cool!

  34. I have visited one in Oregon before.

  35. I have been in most of the lighthouses in Michigan. I even got to climb to the top of a few of them. The views are great up top!

  36. Visited, but never actually been inside . . . Minnesota has a few up the North Shore of Lake Superior, which are fun to see.

  37. Got to visit a lighthouse in maine on vacation 5 years ago they are awesome.

  38. This summer we revisited the Haceta Lighthouse, just north of Florence, Oregon. We actually took a tour to the top and I realized my fear of heights has increased over the years. I think I will keep my sightseeing closer to the ground from now on!

  39. I have visited the Point Bonita Lighthouse in Marin County, CA, near San Francisco, several times. It’s pretty cool! I would love to visit others.

  40. I enjoy visiting the
    Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse in Baltimore, Maryland

    It is a interesting and historical lighthouse. Every lighthouse has a story and when I visit this lighthouse I always imagine what ths one’s story is.

  41. I have visited a lighthouse once, when I was a child on a school trip. It was a wonderful experience.

  42. I’ve visited several but have not actually been inside any of them. The Marblehead Light on Lake Erie is probably closest for us. We also visited the Big Red Lighthouse in Holland, MI and saw where two or three others along Lake MI were. We’ve also seen the Presque Isle Light which is where this novel is set. Would love to win the book to share with my church! (I already read – and reviewed – this one. It has gotten me hooked on Jody Hedlund!!!)

  43. We have a lighthouse here in MN and it is pretty neat to visit and see all the history. Not to mention it is gorgeous!

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