Tuesday, September 10, 2013

REBELLIOUS HEART - Jody Hedlund - One Free Book

Welcome back, Jody. Why do you write historical romances?
I love reading historicals, so naturally that’s what I’m drawn to write. I’m fascinated with all of the things that happen in other times and places that seem so foreign to us now. I really appreciate when historical facts are woven into books seamlessly so that I’m learning but don’t really realize I am. And I hope that I can do that in my books too.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I've had plenty of writing-related happy moments! But a personal happy moment was when I was newly married and had just moved near my parents, my dad came over for dinner one night. It was just him with me and my husband. I made a pot of really spicy chili (too spicy, actually!). We had a wonderful evening together. Two nights later he died of a massive heart attack. That dinner was the last time I saw him, and now when I look back at it, I see the time we had together as a gift.

I so understand that. James and I miss our parents a lot. They’ve been gone for a long time. How has being published changed your life?
My biggest challenge at this stage in my life is dividing my time between writing and being a mom. Since I'm a work-from-home mom, there are many special issues that arise around setting boundaries, time management, as well as teaching my children to respect my work time.

What are you reading right now?
I'm reading books by two debut authors: Made to Match by Melissa Tagg and Burning Sky by Lori Benton.

What is your current work in progress?
Currently I'm working on the first book of my Michigan Lighthouse series that will be releasing late next year (2014).

What would be your dream vacation?
I’d love to take a research trip to England or Germany and visit castles. I know my husband would enjoy going too and would put up with my obsessive need to read about and study all the historical details of everything I come across.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
With my inspired-by stories (like my current release Rebellious Heart), I choose the characters from history I'd like to write about first and the setting is simply the by-product.

All of my other books so far are set in Michigan which is where I currently live. I love being able to bring Michigan history to life which hasn't been done in too many historical romances.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
My other hobbies when I’m not writing or reading? Drinking coffee and eating chocolate—of course!

No seriously. At this stage in my life because I’m busy teaching my children and being a mom, I spend most of my free time doing family-related things. Amidst all of the busyness, we do try to carve out fun family time each week. We love taking family bike rides together, playing games, and having family movie nights.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
I struggle the most during the editing phase of each of my books. The love affair that started during the first draft comes to an end. I fall out of love with my books. By the last edit—called the Galley Review—I finally reach a point where I loathe the book, think it’s the worst thing I’ve ever written, and wish I could just throw it away.

I overcome my loathing of one book by starting a love affair with the first draft of another story. Such a system continually keeps me writing!

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Write a couple of books first and unleash your creativity. Then start reading books that explain how to write. Study techniques, practice them, and keep writing. When you begin reaching a level in your writing where you think you’re ready to start querying, get a critique partner to read your work, vamp up your online presence, and immerse yourself in the writing industry

Tell us about the featured book.
Rebellious Heart is another story inspired by a famous couple from history similar to my books, The Preacher's Bride and The Doctor's Lady. This book is set in Colonial America and inspired by the beautiful courtship of John and Abigail Adams.

John and Abigail Adams are known for their wonderful marriage full of love and friendship. They penned numerous letters to one another during their lifetime. And although much has been recorded of their marriage, very little has been written about their early days and courtship. I thought it would be fascinating to bring that early period to life for our modern generation.

As in previous books, I've changed the names of the main characters and fictionalized aspects of the story. In Rebellious Heart, Susanna Smith plays the role of Abigail Adams and Ben Ross stages for John Adams.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Braintree, Massachusetts
September 1763

Chapter 1

“He’s guilty of murder.” The judge’s voice echoed through the meetinghouse. “I hereby sentence him to be hanged.”

Murmurs of approval broke the tense silence.

But Susanna Smith’s chest constricted with something close to pity. From her spot in the gallery, she had a clear view of Hermit Crab Joe, of the flicker of surprise that rounded his eyes and cracked the weathered skin of his forehead.

He might be a murderer, but that didn’t stop her from feeling sorry for the lonely old recluse.

“Thank the Lord,” Mary whispered. “Now we can finally sleep peacefully at night.”

Her sister’s words gave breath to her own thoughts, to the worries that had plagued her since several local farmers had discovered the battered, lifeless body of the young maiden along the rocky coast of the bay. The surrounding parishes had been able to speak of nothing but the murder for the past week.

 Now perhaps they could resume normal life again.

 Susanna folded her hands in her lap. "We need to pray for his poor lost soul.” But even as the words left her mouth, her gaze strayed to the slumped shoulders of Mr. Benjamin Ross sitting on the bench next to Hermit Crab Joe.

Mr. Ross had spoken eloquently and passionately on behalf of his client. His defense had been flawless, and he'd almost made her believe the aged seaman was innocent. Almost.

Yet no one else in their law-abiding community besides Hermit Crab Joe even came close to being a suspect. And it was too frightening to acknowledge the possibility that a murderer still roamed free, that perhaps one of the God-fearing men sitting in the box pews below was to blame instead.

“I hope we'll have the hanging today and be done with this awful affair.” Mary tucked a loose golden curl back under the wide brim of her hat. Her usually pale cheeks were rosy from the stuffiness that had settled upon the square room. The clapboard building which also served as a place of worship was filled beyond capacity. Even with all three doors open, the crispness of the September afternoon had been unable to penetrate the interior of Braintree’s Middle Parish Meeting House, especially to the gallery where the women sat.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love hearing from readers! Make sure you stop by one of these places and say hello!
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
Or you're welcome to email me at: jodyhedlund@jodyhedlund.com

Thank you, Jody, for sharing this new book with us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Jody Hedlund - Christianbook.com
Rebellious Heart - Amazon.com
Rebellious Heart - 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 Google +, Feedblitz, Facebook, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Britney Adams said...

I am captivated already and can't wait to read more! I love knowing this story was inspired by John and Abigail Adams and their courtship. I look forward to reading REBELLIOUS HEART! Thank you so much!

Britney Adams, TX

pol said...

DON'T put me in for the book, I have it and love it...just wanted to say HI and let everyone know how wonderful this young author is. Jody has a large family yet does wonderful job with research and writing. I just love reading her books that are fictional from historical facts. This time I have gone and researched this couple John&Abigail Adams too, learn lot from her books, thanks Jody.
A fan and reader in Ga
Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

Heidi said...

What a personal interview. I'm excited to read this one!

Heidi, CA

Melody said...

I love that this is based on a famous couple from our past!

Donna, TX

Melissa M. said...

I have never read a book by Mrs. Hedlund, but this sounds good!

-Melissa M. from TX

Tonja Saylor said...

I really enjoyed the Preacher's Bride and this book sounds just as good! I can't wait to read it!
Tonja VA

Pam K. said...

I've read several of Jody's books and really enjoyed them. I'm looking forward to reading "Rebellious Heart" so it would be really great to win a copy.
Thanks for the chance.


Katie G. said...

This sounds like a wonderful read! Please enter me. I'm from NC.

Jean said...

I have read every one of Jody's books and LOVE her. It would be great to win this book, but, if I don't, I will certainly purchase it!

Jean K
West Palm Beach, FL

Stephanie said...

I have not yet read any of Jody's books, but I have read wonderful reviews and look forward to reading her books in the near future.

Stephanie C. in IA

Melanie Backus said...

Rebellious Heart sounds like a wonderful book. It is a great interview and I can't wait to read this book.
Melanie Backus, TX

Jody Hedlund said...

Thank you all so much for stopping by my interview today here on Lena's blog! I hope you'll all have the chance at some point to read my book! For more chances to win a copy, make sure you visit my website at jodyhedlund.com and check out my "Rebellious Heart 20 Book Giveaway" (on my Media page). Blessings to you all! :-)

Mary Preston said...

Thank you for the chapter. REBELLIOUS HEART sounds like a fabulous read.

Mary P


bonton said...

Hi, Jody!

I really enjoyed your interview, & learning more about you & your writing. I enjoy learning history through reading fiction. I don't have any of your books, & would love to read this one - thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

I hear so many authors refer to their books as their "babies" - surprised to hear you say you're ready to throw a book in the trash by the time you finish the drafts, edits, etc.. I have to say that I would feel the same as you, the process doesn't sound like much fun, & I'm sure I would never
have the patience to be a writer.

I am a Michigan lover (love all the lakes), & visit there as often as possible. I lived in an apartment on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, in St. Joseph - for a year - absolutely loved it!


bonton said...

Forgot the state - sorry!



momofmhasr said...

~ I have really enjoyed the two books of yours that I have read. I love the history that is so rich in them.Michelle Corning Nova Scotia Canada (corningfamily(at)eastlink(dot)ca)

momofmhasr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A Cooking Bookworm said...

This sounds great -- I just finished A Noble Groom and loved it! My favorite book of Jody's! Looking forward to reading Rebellious Heart soon! (Oh, I'd love to visit England and Germany and their castles, too!! My dream vacay...some day!)

Binghamton, NY

mybabyblessings AT gmail DOT com

Deb said...

I would love to win a copy.

Deborah D, FL

Kandra said...

Jody's books are so good! I'm looking forward to this one!

Kandra in OK

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

This book looks awesome, I would love the chance to read it!
Thanks for the awesome giveaway, enter me!

Marissa said...

Can't wait to read this one!! Looks super awesome!

Marissa from MN

Anna R. Weaver said...

Ooh, love the cover! Please drop my name in the hat. :)

Anna from GA

Jasmine A. said...

I have been reading so many good reviews of this book that I really want to read it and review it for myself.

Jasmine A. in Montana

Barbara Thompson said...

Book sounds great. I've read some of Jody's books, so I know it's great. Jody is a fabulous author. Please enter me in the giveaway. Thank you!!

Barbara Thompson in Louisiana


Lourdes said...

Love your hobbies :-) would love to win.

Lourdes from Long Island, NY

Abigail Richmond said...

Looks Awesome!!! Please enter me! Thanks!

Blanch, N.C.

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant

sam said...

I would love to win REBELLIOUS HEART. I enjoy Historical fiction to learn about other times from our own. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

EJ said...

The special time with your dad was truly a gift. A few years ago we decided at the last minute to travel to AZ to see my mom for Christmas. A week after we left, she died in her sleep. So thankful for that time that God orchestrated for us. Love reading Jody's books. Elaine in Iowa

Cathy said...

Looking forward to reading this book!

Cathy, B.C. Canada

CentralEast2 said...

It looks like a great book.
Carol from AL

Veronica Sternberg said...

This sounds like a fascinating story! I'm in MN.

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

Sounds like a great romance story to read.
Beth from Iowa

Kristie said...

I don't know that I've read a book where a real couple is fictionalized. At least not that I know of. Fascinating. Kristie from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.