The Reading Habits of Jody Hedlund (with a giveaway)


Are you a re-reader? Why, or why not? And if you are, what are some of the books you have read over and over?

I’m generally not a re-reader. I simply don’t have enough time to read all the books I’d like to for the first time, much less again.

When is your optimal time to read – do you prefer to read in one long block, or do you also read for five minutes here or there when you can?

I read every night before bed to unwind from my day. How much time I spend reading before bed varies depending upon how tired I am and how much the book grips me.

I’d love your thoughts on novellas. Are you thumbs up or down? Or does it depend?!

Thumbs up! I recently read To Have and To Hold: Three Autumn Love Stories(by St. Amant, Ganshert, and Wade). Novellas are like mini-cupcakes. They’re short and sweet and easily digested in bite-sizes!

Are you faithful to a genre, an author, or simply quality writing?

I read widely across different genres. I love variety, trying new authors, and discovering gems.

Which factors most influence your selection of a book?

If the book is by an author I know and love, I’m usually excitedly waiting for the next release.

If I hear buzz about an author I don’t know, then I’ll usually check out how many reviews there are. If there are a lot of negative reviews, I’ll read some of them to try to understand if the concerns are legit or merely subjective complaints.


Jody’s TBR


Your fiction pet peeve?

As a romance writer as well as reader, my pet peeve is when the couple finds their happily-ever-after too early in the story. I like the romantic tension to play out as long as possible.

What book have you read this year that you could not put down, and why?

The Girl From the Train by Irma Joubert was very hard to put down, especially the second half of the book which had me in tears at times. It was a fascinating perspective of World War II as well as the difficult years afterward. The setting of the book moves from Europe to South Africa, which was interesting and new to me as well.

How do you mark your spot – folded page corner, bookmark, dollar bill, whatever is at hand?

I mark my spot mostly with homemade bookmarks that my children have made over the years.

Whose debut novel impressed you more than you anticipated?

The young adult fantasy, Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. The story world was very well crafted, the plot was riveting, and the characters well-developed.

When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you?

I need to be able to care about the characters. If that happens, I can usually finish the book even if the plot doesn’t necessarily captivate me.

What are some of your favourite CF reads from around 10 years ago, or further back?

My favorite series from about 15 years ago is Lynn Austin’s Chronicles of the Kings. It was the first series I read by her, and I was utterly delighted to have the Bible (the Old Testament!) brought to life.

Snack/drink of choice while reading?

Coffee and chocolate of course!

What book cover has really caught your eye?

I have cover envy for Susanna Kearsley books, especially The Winter Sea.

Which author makes it easy to turn off your internal editor?

My internal editor usually shuts down when I’m reading any genre other than historical fiction. For some reason, I have a difficult time reading in my own genre.

What book do you wish you had written? Why?

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Of course my version wouldn’t have included all of the bodice-ripping sex scenes or vulgar parts. But I adore time travel and love how Gabaldon made the time travel so realistic and believable.

Thanks Jody!

Newton and Polly

Newton and PollyAmazing grace! How sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found…

Now remembered as the author of the world’s most famous hymn, in the mid-eighteenth century as England and France stand on the brink of war, John Newton is a young sailor wandering aimlessly through life. His only duty is to report to his ship and avoid disgracing his father—until the night he hears Polly Catlett’s enchanting voice, caroling. He’s immediately smitten and determined to win her affection.

An intense connection quickly forms between the two, but John’s reckless spirit and disregard for the Christian life are concerns for the responsible, devout Polly. When an ill-fated stop at a tavern leaves John imprisoned and bound, Polly must choose to either stand by his side or walk out of his life forever. Will she forfeit her future for the man she loves?

Step back through the pages of history, to uncover the true love story behind a song that continues to stir the hearts and ignite the faith of millions around the globe.


Relz Reviewz Extras
All Things Hedlund @ Relz Reviewz
Visit Jody’s website and blog
Buy at Amazon: Newton and Polly or Koorong


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24 Responses to The Reading Habits of Jody Hedlund (with a giveaway)

  1. Newton and Polly was wonderful! So loving Jody’s historical novels!! And I love her historical romance novels too. :-)

    I am twinning with Jody in regard to re-reads. With so many great novels out there who has time to re-read?

  2. I don’t have specific names off the top of my head, but what about some of the Christians who ministered to or commanded our troops during the horrific struggles of WWII. I know a movie is coming out shortly about Desmond Doss.

  3. Real life story turned into a novel would be any european royalty.

  4. I’d love to read this story about Newton! I do love historical fiction, based on real life people.

  5. I can’t think of any off to top of my head…. I loved Newton and Polly… I never knew the role Polly played in his history!

  6. I would love to see CS Lewis life and faith story in novel form.

  7. I would love to see Amy Carmichael’s life in fiction form. She is a wonderful role model and a very godly woman.

  8. Ruth Graham’s life would be interesting in novel form.

  9. I am looking forward to reading Newton and Polly. I have really enjoyed any books of yours that I have read. I can’t think of anyone right at the moment that I would like to read about but if you write it, I will read it.

  10. I suggest Dietrich Bonhoeffer as a subject for a novel. I enjoy Jody’s novels and would like to read Newton and Polly.

  11. I re-read books when I’m tired and need something I know I’ll enjoy. But I have to wait until I’ve forgotten enough of the story that it feels new again.

    I like historical fiction that introduces real life people that aren’t real well known.

  12. I’d like to see my great-grandmother’s life story in a book. She was such a fascinating, godly woman.

  13. I love your books! I can’t think of anyone specific but maybe one of the preachers during the Great Awakening or a couple out of World War Ii?

  14. I would like to see Elizabeth Elliot’s life written in a novel. It would be such a sad story but full of the Lord’s sovereignty.

  15. I would’ve loved to read an autobiography by my 2nd great grand aunt, Victorine. (I totally had to use the relatiomship calculator for that!) She was the older half-sister of my 2-greats grandma. Victorine was born to her mom, Catherine, in France in 1877 under mysterious circumstances. When she was 4-5, my 3-greats grandfather, Conrad, brought her and Catherine to the US, where they married and settled. Victorine got two younger sisters, but both of their parents were dead within a decade. Their stepmother, who had only had that role for a year, abandoned them when their father died. She went back to her parents, and the 3 girls were sent to an orphanage in Detroit, over 100 miles from where they lived. I would love to know how all three sisters coped with their sad childhoods, and how they all turned out. They all seemed happy by outward appearances, but I wonder about the emotional side of things. I would love to know their perspectives on their lives. (I’d also love to know where their dad is buried, but that’s another thing altogether! Haha)

  16. I love Jody’s books and the fact that she bases them on real people. I’m not sure whose story I would like to read, but I hope that Jody keeps writing books along these lines. I do like someone else suggestion of C. S. Lewis–that would be interesting. Or maybe George Washington? I do like books set in Europe, so any figure from that area would be good too. :)

  17. I would like to see a Jane Russelll book, she was a famous actress in the 1950’s who was considered a sex symbol but was a Christian who led prayer meetings and tried to share Christ with other actors.

  18. I am currently reading “Newton & Polly” and lovin it!! And the cover art for this book is captivating – excellent representation of this story!

  19. Kathleen Newberry Killgallon

    Who would I like a book about? I’m going to say my Grandparents or another Ancestry.
    I love to reread books, Anita Stansfield, Gregg Luke, Jennifer Moore, Sarah M Eden, Clair M Poulson, Jeffrey S Savage. Most LDS authors. I also try non LDS books as long as its clean. Most of the time I can’t put the book down the first time of reading it. I don’t like sex and or swearing in books.Inspiration books are great.

  20. I would like to see Abigail’s (from the Bible) story written. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman and became David’s wife after her husband Nabal died after suffering a stroke for insulting David and his men. So little is written about her, but it would be fascinating to her her back story and then her life after she became a princess.

  21. I would like to see Ruth’s story or even Issac and Rebekah’s story

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