Wednesday, December 26, 2012

PATH OF FREEDOM - Jennifer Hudson Taylor - One Free Book

Being a quilter myself, I was very interested when I heard about this new Quilts of Love series. Then I had the privilege to read a few of them for endorsement, this being one of them. I love this story.

Welcome, Jennifer. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
True. Often God brings surprises that we do not expect. Recently, my husband gave up a 10 year business and thought it was for a change in his career, but since our daughter began having seizures and entered high school, and faced increasing challenges, we came to understand that he was home for a reason. After a semester in high school, we decided he would homeschool her. We fought the decision, but once it was made, a peace came over the both of us that we could not explain. God needs us to be obedient and flexible. We are stepping out in this direction on complete faith. 

Tell us a little about your family.
We only have one child, so we are a small family of 3. Our daughter has Epilepsy, which disappeared for 10 years and came back during her adolescent years due to a hormone imbalance. A few months ago she was also diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and suddenly everything is starting to make sense. It is a developmental disorder, not a mental disorder, and Celina’s case is very mild. Prior to her diagnosis, I thought of Rainman when I heard of Autism, but our daughter is high functioning and you would never know it unless you spent several days with her. She is nothing like Rainman. We are still learning all the various components, but one thing we have discovered is that she likes a set routine.

I’ve been around several children with Asperger’s Syndrome, and my brother has one grandson with the disorder. I’m so glad you and your husband are able to take the needed time with her. Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Yes, I read less. I don’t have as much time to read for pleasure as I would like.

What are you working on right now?
I am working on The War Woman, the 2nd book in the MacGregor Quest series. It is set in Wilmington, North Carolina, during the American Revolutionary War. I’m trying to stay true to specific events that took place during that time, but create a place and purpose for my characters. I want my readers to experience a measure of faith, romance, and mystery.

What outside interests do you have?
I enjoy parasailing over the ocean and horseback riding when I get the chance. Last year on my birthday, my husband’s gift was for my daughter and I to go horseback riding on the Biltmore Estate. Since my birthday is October 30th, the fall colors of the trees were beautiful. It was a wonderful gift. I love traveling and visiting historical sites. I wish the opportunity for this was more often in our lives.

I really want to visit Biltmore sometime. What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
That it would be a poor person’s profession—much like a starving artist. I had hoped that once I achieved publication, I would be able to transition to part-time work, but now I realize that is very unrealistic so I have accepted my fate and know I will continue working full-time to help pay the bills until retirement—or close to retirement.

And I’m doing it during retirement. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
That God is in control regardless of my past experiences, expectations, and fears. When my husband gave up his job, we feared we wouldn’t be able to make ends meet with my salary, but God has provided in numerous ways. I have received unexpected bonuses from my job, freelance work through my company Upon the Rock Publicist, my writing, and other things that God has gifted to us. We have not lacked for anything.

We learned that about halfway through our adult life thus far. It’s such a freeing realization. What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
1)                  Never give up
2)                  Promote yourself  before publication and continue after publication
3)                  Don’t have unrealistic expectations

Tell us about the featured book.
Path of Freedom, releases January 2013 and begins in Greensborough, North Carolina, in 1858. When Quakers Flora Saferight and Bruce Millikan embark on the Underground Railroad, they agree to put their differences aside to save the lives of a pregnant slave couple. With only her mother’s quilt as a secret guide, the foursome follows the stitches through unknown treachery. As they begin their perilous journey, they hope and pray that their path is one of promise where love sustains them, courage builds faith, and forgiveness leads to freedom.

Please give us the first page of the book.
A shiver of excitement rushed through Flora Saferight at the thought of their upcoming trip to Virginia. It had been at least two years since she’d seen her aunt and uncle, and even then they had traveled as a family by wagon. Now she and her younger sister would be making the trip by train.

“I think this is sensible for our journey.” Standing in Gilmer General Store, Irene held up a red shawl with a lining. Her blue eyes shone bright in the hope of Flora’s approval. Blond curls framed Irene’s heart-shaped face beneath her white bonnet. With a delicate nose and smooth skin heightened by a blush of enthusiasm, Irene was considered the beauty between them.

“Mother would prefer a sensible cloak,” Flora said. “Charlottesville can get awfully cold in the fall.”

Her sister bit her bottom lip and lowered her gaze in disappointment. A dramatic sigh slipped from her lips. Flora glanced around the general store and spied a rack of cloaks in the far corner by the front counter.

“Why not try one of those?” She pointed beyond a table displaying hats and bonnets, hoping to lift Irene’s spirits. “Since we don’t have time to make a new cloak and thee has grown out of thy clothes from last winter, I’m sure Mother would approve.”

“True.” A bright smile lit Irene’s face as she sailed over to investigate. “Now that I’m taller than thee, I won’t be inheriting thy clothes.”

The shop door opened, ringing the tiny bell at the top.

“Good morning,” Mrs. Edwards, the store clerk, called from where she stood on a small stepping stool, stacking bolts of fabric on the wall shelves.

“Morning.” Bruce Milikan stepped inside wearing a white buttoned shirt, tucked into a pair of black trousers. His reddish blond hair lay against his neck beneath his tall black hat. Heat pooled in the pit of Flora’s stomach. She took a deep breath, eager to escape before he noticed her.

Bruce glanced back to ensure the door closed properly. Flora gulped and turned, taking advantage of his momentary distraction to hurry behind a shelf of oil lanterns.

“Flora Saferight!” His deep voice flowed over her like bittersweet honey before she reached her destination. She waited for the sting of a familiar insult. Other girls may have enjoyed his teasing and attention growing up, but she hadn’t. She closed her eyes, cringing as his booted footsteps charged across the wooden floor.


She clenched her teeth and forced a smile as she squared her shoulders and prepared to greet him. Staring stared into his broad chest, Flora had to lean back to gaze into those amazing green eyes. When had he grown so tall?

The freckles she remembered had faded beneath a ruddy complexion and a slight tan. A smile eased his lips, revealing straight teeth—too perfect in her opinion. If only he would smile a little wider, then she’d have the satisfaction of seeing the gaping hole on his left side. Too bad a fall from a tree had been responsible, for she would have dearly loved to claim the honor—especially after he‟d teased her about her two front teeth.

What was wrong with her? Guilt sliced through Flora. Her thoughts were much too bitter for a proper Quaker. They had been children. Still, all his barbed words had cut her to the core and continued to sting like a nasty bee buzzing around inside her soul. “Good morning, Bruce Milikan. I wasn’t aware thee was back in town.”

It had been eight months since she’d last seen him, but she did her best to avoid him prior to that.

“I arrived home a fortnight ago.” He blinked and his smile waned. “For a moment, I thought thee might be trying to avoid me.”

Flora lifted her chin and met his gaze. “Do I look like I’m avoiding thee?” She folded her arms across her chest and glared at him with what she hoped was her best disapproval.

“Goodness, Bruce Milikan, thee acts as if I knew thee would walk right through that door. Since when has thee known me to back down from anything?”

His lips curled as two thin lines framed each side of his mouth into a smile. He shook his head in slow motion. “No, Beaver Face, no one could ever accuse thee of ignoring a challenge.” He shook his head with a reminiscing chuckle. “Thee is the most headstrong girl I’ve ever known—and foolhardy at times.” He folded his arms and stared down at her as if she were still a wayward child.

“Foolhardy? Beaver Face? Really Bruce, one would hope thee would eventually grow up and leave the childhood name calling behind.” Flora bristled, heat searing through her boiling blood as it scalded her heart. “We may only be a year apart in age, but thee hasn’t changed one bit.”

“Come on, Flora, I didn’t mean it like that. It’s more of an endearment now.” He stepped closer, leaning forward. “The rest of thy teeth have grown in and are now perfect.” He glanced behind him as if to see if anyone else was listening. “I’m sorry. I wish I’d never called thee that. I’ve sure spent the rest of my days paying for it.”

She stepped back, too confused by his nearness and stunned by his apology. Flora swallowed, clearing her mind. The childhood taunts she could forgive, but the idea that he would insinuate she’s foolish when she’d worked so hard to become a proper young lady of eighteen, chafed her?

“Apparently, thee isn’t sorry. For thee just called me foolhardy. I’ll have thee know, there’s a good doctor in Virginia who thinks very highly of me. As a midwife, he believes I’ll compliment him his practice rather well.” Clint Roberts had only mentioned it once in a letter, but she chose to interpret his words to mean that. No need in letting Bruce know she exaggerated.

“What doctor?” The light left his green eyes and his lips dropped in a frown. “Is thee courting a doctor?” He shifted, placing his fists at his side.

Irene walked over with a dark purple cloak draped over her arm. The bell rang and a new customer walked in, greeting Mrs. Edwards.

“It’s true,” Irene said. “Flora met him two summers ago when we were visiting our aunt and uncle. They’ve been corresponding ever since.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Jennifer for sharing your life and your book with us today.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog. Path of Freedom: Quilts of Love Series - paperback
Path of Freedom: Quilts of Love Series - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Patty said...

I usually enjoy historical fiction more than contemporary, so I think this book is just my style.

Patty in SC

Amy Campbell said...

I have been wanting to give Jennifer's work a try.
Amy C

Corey Davis said...

I love your are near and dear to my heart because my little girl has seizures too!:) Love you all!

Corey Davis said...

I am from NC!:)

Anonymous said...

This sounds wonderful. I'm an avid quilter and have been fascinated by the role quilts had in the underground railroad. Blessings, Susan Fryman New Mexico

Rosemary Foley said...

This sounds absolutely wonderful....I am going to NEED TO READ this book !!!!! I so enjoy historical fiction !!! thanks for the great giveaway !!!! Rosemary

Rosemary Foley

Rosemary Foley said...

I forgot to leave my address... I come from Peabody Massachusetts !!

thanks so much Rosemary Foley

Susan Snodgrass said...

Hi Jennifer,
I loved your 2 previous books set in Scotland and I'm sure I'll love this one, too. Please enter me for a chance to win.
Susan Snodgrass
Clover, SC

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Patty, As a reader I love historicals as well. I'll read almost anything, but historicals are where my heart belongs.

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Amy, I hope you will get a chance to read some of my novels. You live in our neighboring state. Blessings!

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Corey, We definitely have much in common if you have a little girl with seizures. We are in the midst of adjusting some of my daughter's meds, and there is always that "concern" we feel when trying to make adjustments. And we are both in NC. Blessings to you and your family!

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Susan, I have written a specific letter to readers at the beginning of Path of Freedom. While there is no proof that quilts were used as maps in the Underground Railroad, I pointed out in my letter that there is no proof that they weren't and I loved the idea as a premise for a story for the Quilts of Love series.

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Rosesmary, I hope you get a chance to read Path of Freedom and that you truly enjoy it. Blessings!

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Susan, I'm so glad you enjoyed my highland novels. Path of Freedom is very different. I hope you enjoy them as well. Blessings!

Norma S said...

Hi Jennifer,
Thank you for giving me a chance to win your book. So you like to quilt.It is good that you husband decided to quite his job when your daughter started having seizure so he home school her. Your book sounds great about the Underground Railroad, in Greensborough, North Carolina in 1858. God bless you.
Norma Stanforth from Ohio

Mary Preston said...

Thank you for sharing. I wish you well.

PATH OF FREEDOM looks like such a fabulous read.

Mary P


Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

You're welcome, Norma. Yes, we are looking forward to homeschooling our daughter. We can tell that a level of stress has already lifted from her. My daughter's neurologist thought it would be a good idea since stress can also trigger seizures.

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Thanks, Mary. Many blessings!

Jo said...

I would love to read this book. Please enter me!

Jo from Southern Arizona

Lyndie Blevins said...

Thanks for the opportunity to get this book!

Lyndie Blevins
Duncanville, Tx

Diana Flowers said...

Thank you so much for the opportunity to win this! My daughter suffered from seizures until she was 12 yrs old and then they just stopped. I knew God had healed her and took her to her neurologist and he said if there was any seizure activity she would have to go back on meds. There wasn't and she didn't. PTL! It's a very hard and scary thing to see your child go through, and lifting her up in my prayers!

Diana from SC


Library Lady said...

I would love to win the book, "Path of Freedom" by Jennifer Hudson Taylor.
I can't wait to add this book and the others in the "Quilts of Love" Series to my Church Library.
Janet E.

sharon m said...

I would love your book because I have read books on the underground railroad. One written by Jennifer Chiaverini, is about quilts and the underground railroad. sharon, san diego

Sarah said...

I would love to win,Enter me!!
Thanks for the giveaway and God Bless!!
Sarah Richmond

rubynreba said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rubynreba said...

Love to read this. I enjoy historical fiction.
Beth from IA

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond

mongupp said...

i love patchwork quilts!

Monica , Ontario

Melissa M. said...

Looks interesting!

-Melissa M. from TX

Veronica Sternberg said...

I've read another book in this series and liked it. I look forward to reading this one! I'm in MN.

Lane Hill House said...

A quilting story, and I would have loved to have been on that stool with the fabric nearby!
Fascinating to learn more about the Underground Railroad, and my question how her (young-mother-to-be) mother would have come upon a quilt and left her behind, unless her mother was a station? And how it came into her possession?
As a quilter, I too would like to see the cover of Path of Freedom! And... open it up and start reading. Kathleen ~ Missouri

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Jean said...

Thank you for the opportunity.

Jean Kropid

West Palm Beach, FL

Susan Noble said...

I would love to win a copy of this book by Jennifer I love the name Path of Freedom it is something I would love to share with the parents that are part of my Foundation for Children with Epilepsy. It speaks to me as a book I would need to read as so many of us as parents of Children with Epilepsy are looking for the Path of Freedom. Can't wait to read it!

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Susan, My heroine in my novel, Highland Sanctuary, actually has Epilepsy in 15th Century Scotland. I based her character after my daughter.