Jody Hedlund: The Inside Scoop! and a giveaway

Jody HedlundHS

 

The Inside Scoop!

 

Jody Hedlund

and her historical romance

Undaunted Hope

Bethany House

********

 

I grew up in… Iowa, Colorado, Utah, and Wisconsin (in that order!). We moved around a lot because my dad was a pastor and served at a number of different churches.

I was inspired to write my first published novel by… my mom. She was the most influential person in my writing career. When I was young, she helped facilitate my love of writing by reading aloud to me, giving me good books to read, and providing the kind of environment that fostered my creativity (in fact we didn’t have a TV for a number of years). She always believed in me, encouraged me to pursue my dreams, and rode alongside me cheering me on.

The books that have most influenced my life are… Anne of Green Gables was one of my favorites as a child because it played a role in developing my creativity as a writer. (Followed closely by A Little Princess and Little Women because they also featured strong, creative girls.)

My biggest challenge when writing is… interruptions! Since I have a large family and homeschool my children, I very rarely have a completely quiet house for writing time. I’ve had to learn to work amidst the noise and chaos! But on especially hectic days, it’s especially challenging to focus.

One of my favourite authors is… is Susanna Kearsley who writes historicals with an element of time travel. The romance is subtle, nuanced, and powerful. She couples that romance with amazing historical detail mostly set during the 1700’s among Scottish Jacobites.

If I wasn’t a writer, I would be… a professional reader? (I could create that job, couldn’t I?)

The superhero talent I would love to have is… moving at the speed of lightning, especially when I have house chores that need to be done!

Undaunted HopeUndaunted Hope

Tessa Taylor arrives in 1870s Upper Peninsula, Michigan, planning to serve as a new teacher to the town. Much to her dismay, however, she immediately learns that there was a mistake, that the town had requested a male teacher. Percival Updegraff, superintendent and chief mine clerk, says she can stay through winter since they won’t be able to locate a new teacher before then, and Tessa can’t help but say she is in his debt. Little does she know that Percival will indeed keep track of all that she owes him.

Determined to become indispensable, Tessa throws herself into teaching, and soon the children of the widowed lighthouse keeper have decided she’s the right match for their grieving father. Their uncle and assistant light keeper, Alex Bjorklund, has his own feelings for Tessa. As the two brothers begin competing for her hand, Tessa increasingly feels that someone is tracking her every move, and she may not be able to escape the trap that has been laid for her.

My latest novel can be described by these 5 adjectives… Adventurous, dramatic, witty, romantic, hopeful

My main character is… Tessa Taylor. Tessa  is the sister of the light keeper in Hearts Made Whole, the second book in the series. Tessa, unlike her sister, doesn’t like lighthouses. Actually, she doesn’t want to have anything to do with lighthouses.

So in keeping with Tessa’s desires, she arrives in the Eagle Harbor, Michigan to become a school teacher. As I researched the area, I came across the diary of a real school teacher, Henry Hobart, who lived and taught in Clifton which was just a few miles down the road from Eagle Harbor. He wrote a detailed account of his life as a school teacher to the mining children.

I used many of Hobart’s experiences in Undaunted Hope. For example, he boarded with a Cornish family, the Rawlings, and Mr. Rawlings was a prominent mine engineer and mechanic. So I had Tessa board with this particular family. Hobart faced many hardships like bedbugs, lice, scarlet fever, the harsh winter, and much more. So again, I had Tessa experience many of those same things.

A previously unknown fact about this novel is… after completing the first draft of the novel, it was WAY too long! I had to cut 10k words including one entire chapter which was a fun scene with both brothers taking Tessa sledding and skiing.

My story’s spiritual theme is… I pray that this story will encourage readers with renewed hope. Just like Tessa, I hope that readers will find the strength to face their fears. We all have things that frighten us, and many times we find it easier to run away from those things that scare us. Sometimes, however, God calls us to walk directly into that thing we fear most. He wants us to know that during those times, he’s there walking right beside us and that he’ll help us come out on the other side stronger as a result.

While writing this novel I learned… a LOT about lighthouses! Over the past couple of years of writing this series, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to visit numerous lighthouses throughout the state. Not only have I attempted to visit the lighthouses that are used as settings for the books, but I’ve also been inspired to visit many others. Every time I do, I learn a little bit more about how lighthouses were operated and have come to realize that they’re all so unique.

The title was chosen by… my publisher from my list of possible suggestions.

As an author, the hardest scenes for me to write are… the ones that involve my characters finally recognizing their spiritual deficit. I want to share spiritual truths, but I don’t want the message to come across like a sermon. So I try very hard to weave in the spiritual threads without being preachy. But it’s challenging to know how much to say and to write it in a way that’s unique and not clichéd.

Forever SafeThe story I’m currently working on is… Forever Safe, which is the fourth book in the series and releases in June. Like the others, it can completely stand alone. There’s no need to read the others first to enjoy the story.

However, the main character in Forever Safe does make an appearance at the end of Undaunted Hope. I won’t say who it is, so that I don’t spoil the surprise for those who haven’t read Undaunted Hope. But I hope that readers will be excited about this particular character getting a story in Forever Safe.

You may not know this about me, but I… not only have FIVE kids, but I also have FIVE cats.

If I could be a character in any novel, I would want to be… Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables, because she was always so imaginative, a true inspiration for how to see the extraordinary all around us.

Thanks Jody!

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

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33 Responses to Jody Hedlund: The Inside Scoop! and a giveaway

  1. What a super hard question because I’ve loved every heroine. If I could only pick one, I’d pick Sister Whitbread from The Preacher’s Bride with Lily from Unending Devotion second. I’m really looking forward to this book. Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. I loved Caroline Taylor in Hearts Made Whole, The Beacons of Hope series. How she fights for her rights to continue running the Windmill Point Lighthouse. She is a very strong fighter and she kept her head through every fight she faced.

  3. I’ve really only read one of Jodi’s books so far, Love Unexpected. Emma stepped into her role with strength and I loved the way she was portrayed.

  4. I liked Angelique in Captured By Love, but to be honest, it’s Jody’s heroes that appeal to me more than her heroines. I liked Pierre in that book, but my all time favorite is Carl in A Noble Groom. It doesn’t hurt that we get to see him on the cover.

  5. I’ve only read Rebellious Heart, and I loved everything about it! I love Revolutionary War history, and I love women who balk at customs like Susanna did.

  6. Katharina von Bora of Luther and Katherina takes the top spot for me. I LOVED this historical!! Second place goes to Annalisa Werner of A Noble Groom.

  7. I can’t pick my favorite heroine. Jody always does such a wonderful job at bringing her heroines to life. But if pushed, I’d say Annalisa.

  8. Oh! Favorite heroine? It would probably be our heroine from A Noble Groom. That book is still my very favorite by Jody. :)

  9. Priscilla White from The Doctor’s Lady! Reading that book made me want to read everything I could find about Narcissa Whitman and then read every Jody Hedlund book I can get my hands on!

  10. It’s been several years since I’ve read any of Jody’s books. So I don’t recall the name of the lady , but I really enjoyed The Doctor’s Lady .

  11. Hope I win the book. Thanks!

  12. I don’t have a favorite Heroine yet from these books, because Jen is a new author to me. If I won this it would be a great Birthday present for me on Feb.8th & I’m a big lover of anything to do with Lighthouses.

  13. I would have to say Annalisa. Thanks for the opportunity to win. This book sounds amazing.

  14. Patrick and Emma is my choice. Thank you.

  15. I liked Susanna Smith because she was seeking justice.

  16. I have not read any of her books as of today.

  17. I haven’t read any of Jody’s books, but I have a couple on my Kindle. I’m looking forward to reading one or two of her stories this year.

  18. I really liked Annalisa from A Noble Groom.

  19. I actually do have a favorite Jody heroine! Lily from Unending Devotion is my fav. I love how she did everything she could to save her little sister.

  20. I haven’t read any of Jody Hedlund’s books but my sister just raves about them.

  21. I have not read one of her books yet, but definitely think I need to be checking her books out. Thank you for sharing and for the opportunity to win.

  22. My favorite Jody Hedlund heroine is probably Emma Chambers. She was placed in an awkward and lonely situation of a marriage of convenience. Even though it would have been difficult, with someone else’s child to rear too, she just made the best of it and tried to be content in her circumstances.

  23. Thanks for the giveaway and interviews

  24. I haven’t read any if Jody’s books. Thank you for this giveaway.

  25. This is actually my first Jody Hedlund book I’m reading (but I’m reading it e-copy and I prefer hard copy). :)

  26. I loved Lily in UNENDING DEVOTION! Lily is a well balanced character with strength and grace. :)

  27. I could relate to the tenacity and loyalty of Lily as she searched for her sister.

  28. Jody Hedlund is another author that I am slowly catching up on past works since we were out of the country some time. I don’t have a favorite heroine, but I loved Katharina in Luther and Katharina.

  29. I really loved Susanna from Rebellious Heart but my favorite character of Jody’s is Carl von Reichert. He’s the best!

  30. I only recently discovered Jody’s books, so I don’t have a favorite yet. I’m looking forward to the day when I do though! :)

  31. Nicole Wetherington

    I haven’t read any of her books yet! I’d love to though!

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