Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Writer's Life: Jody Hedlund

Welcome to another edition of Writer's Life! Every Wednesday features a writer of inspirational or sweet romance novels. I'm excited to share some of my favorite authors and hope you'll find new books for your to-be-read pile!

Please join me in welcoming the mega-talented Jody Hedlund today!! Jody is one of my favorite authors for a variety of reasons.
1. Her books ooze with conflict, drama, romance, and history!
2. She's been a mentor and friend to me for many years.
3. She's one of the most generous writers you'll ever meet!
Her latest book, Captured by Love takes place during the War of 1812 on Mackinac Island in Michigan. We visit the island every few years, so I could not wait to read this book, and, let me tell you, it was worth the wait! I've read history books about Mackinac Island, but Captured by Love brought the rich past of this pretty island to life in a way history books couldn't. My review is below.

Let's get to it!

1. What about writing makes your heart sing?

As a writer, I love telling stories. I especially like the feeling that comes as I near the end of the book when everything looks hopeless, the characters are in big trouble, and somehow I’m able to wrap up the book in a satisfying way. I call it the first-draft love affair! I fall absolutely and madly in love with the story and think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written.

2. What is the biggest hurdle you're facing right now as a writer?

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.

And like most modern authors, we're struggling in this new age of shrinking shelf space and closing bookstores to get the word about our books out. With many readers shopping online these days, it's difficult to find ways to promote our books and get discovered by readers. We count it such a blessing when fans spread the word and leave book reviews! We authors appreciate that so much!

3. What do you do to fill your creative well?

When I have a minute or two to myself, I love to read! I've taken to using audio books as a way to squeeze in more reading, especially as I'm doing house chores or exercising. I've realized that reading sparks my creativity like nothing else does. Not only do I glean nuggets of ideas that I can build upon for my own stories, but I also learn a lot about writing techniques from studying what other authors are doing.

4. What are you working on now?

Currently I'm in the middle of writing my lighthouse series for Bethany House Publishers. I took a trip in June to Michigan's Upper Peninsula to the far northern tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula. I stayed in an assistant light keeper's cottage for a week to research. It was by far one of the most beautiful trips I've ever taken!


I love writing the first draft too, Jody! I call it first-draft-land, my happy place. Then revising kicks in, and it's not quite as happy. Ha! My son started listening to audio books this summer. It's a great way to read when you're pressed for time or have a less-than-perfect attention span. I try to read books outside my genre every month or two. It loosens my brain up! Oh, your light keeper's cottage experience sounds amazing!! Now I can't wait to read your lighthouse series!

Thanks so much for being my guest today!


Michigan Territory, 1814
A voyageur and a young woman swept up in a time of upheaval and danger
discover firsthand the high price of freedom.

The British Army has taken control of Michilimackinac Island and its fort, forcing the Americans to swear an oath of loyalty to the crown in order to retain their land. Pierre Durant is a fur trader who returns after being away from the island for years, only to find the family farm a shambles and those he cares about starving and at the mercy of British invaders.

Torn between the adventurous life of fur trading and guilt over neglecting his defenseless mother, Pierre is drawn deeper into the fight against the British--and into a relationship with Angelique MacKenzie, a childhood friend who's grown into a beautiful woman. She now finds herself trapped by the circumstances of war and poverty, and the cruelty of her guardian, Ebenezer Whiley.

As tensions mount and the violence rages on, Pierre and Angelique must decide where their loyalties rest and how much they'll risk for love.


About Jody ~
Jody Hedlund is an award-winning and bestselling author of inspirational historical romances.

As a busy mama-writer, she has the wonderful privilege of teaching her crew of 5 children at home. In between grading math papers and giving spelling tests, she occasionally does a load of laundry and washes dishes. When she’s not busy being a mama, you can find her in front of her laptop working on another of her page-turning stories.

She loves reading almost as much as she loves writing, especially when it also involves chocolate and coffee.


My Review ~ 5 Stars!!!

Captured by Love captured my attention from page one and didn't let go! I'm from Michigan, and I've visited Mackinac Island many times, so this book touched me in a personal way. I loved Angelique's sweet, spunky spirit. The stakes were high for her in this book. To help her dear, almost-blind friend, Angelique faced punishment from her jerky guardian and the British soldiers in control of the island--yet she continued to sneak away every morning. Her integrity kept me turning the pages.

And Pierre...what's not to like about Pierre? Protective, strong, charming, and very alpha male--I loved him! No spoilers, but there was a point midway through where I held my breath after Pierre did the most perfect thing! Yeah, he was my kind of hero.

As always, Ms. Hedlund excels at bringing the drama, the romance, and weaving it all into an interesting setting. 

Loved this book!

*I received an advanced reader copy of this book with no obligation to review it. All opinions are my own. **


Do you have a vacation spot steeped in history? Have you read any novels set there?

Have a terrific day!!


  1. I stayed up way too late last night finishing up Captured by Love! Talk about a nail-biter! :) There was a point where all looked bleak and hopeless for the hero and heroine, and I thought about Jody writing, and smiled, because she was probably how am I going to get these two out of this mess?? And she does! Loved it. Now to write my review.

    I just took my girls to Walnut Grove, MN where Laura Intalls Wilder lived during On the Banks of Plum Creek. It was an amazing trip. And, yes, there was a book set there. :)

    1. I know exactly what spot you're talking about in Captured by Love, Gabrielle!! Yikes!! And I loved that Angelique had to really put her future in God's hands. What a great book!
      The photos you shared on FB made me want to hop in my car and road trip it to Walnut Grove. I love the Little House series! How cool that you were able to share that with your girls!

    2. Hi Gabrielle! I was indeed thinking "How in the world am I going to get the character out of the Black Hole believably!" The key is believably. I also try to plant clues that then the reader can go back and say, "Oh, now I can see how that all worked out." It's so fun to make messes for our characters!! I love the challenge of getting them out, kind of like solving a puzzle! :-)


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