Seasons Change – Fall Into Love with Jody Hedlund

Well, I just finished reading Jody Hedlund’s debut novel, The Preacher’s Bride, and it was fabulous. Beautiful word pictures, heartwrenching emotions, and a story worth telling over and over again. So for icing on the Friday chocolate cake today, we have Jody visiting to give you all a taste of her wonderful writing skills.

I imagine we’ll be seeing a lot more from this talented new author.

Another thing I REALLY like about Jody is that she’s a mom of 5 – like me J Life takes on whole new meaning with a herd at home. Nothing like the Duggers, I’m sure – but it’s still pretty crazy.

To learn more about Jody and her writing, visit her website at www.jodyhedlund.com

To read my brief review of her novel, The Preacher’s Bride, visit www.pepperbasham.com

Thanks for being part of the Seasons Change blog series, Jody. And welcome to Words Seasoned With Salt. I’m so excited for your success.

1. What are some elements that are present when a hero and heroine first realize they are falling in love with each other? What are some beautiful, interesting, unique ways of showing that realization?

 When I’m shaping the relationship of my hero and heroine, I try to gradually build up the growing love. Each story is different based on the characters and their interests, but here are a few elements I think are important with every romance:

Developing mutual respect and admiration for each other’s talents and abilities

  • Seeing beyond outer characteristics to inner strengths and beauty of character
  • Knowing the hurt and pains of each other’s pasts and genuinely caring for each other regardless of the weaknesses
  • Building a friendship, enjoying each other’s company, being able to laugh together
  • And of course, there’s always some physical attraction too, but I don’t want this to be the primary reason a couple falls in love.

In The Preacher’s Bride, Elizabeth Whitbread works as a housekeeper for John Costin, taking care of his four young children while John devotes himself to his growing preaching ministry. However, John’s enemies want him silenced and attempt to enlist Elizabeth’s help.

 Elizabeth finds herself in more danger than she ever bargained for, all the while falling in love with the bold preacher and his children. When Elizabeth is hurt by one of John’s enemies, he realizes that he is beginning to care for his young housekeeper. He crafts a candlestick for her and goes to visit her.
2. Please provide an excerpt of your writing that shows this realization.

“You must rest now,” he said as they came to the top of the stairs. “Your father has ordered it.”

            He carried her to the bed and lowered her to the sagging mattress. Instead of backing away he hovered over her. His breath fanned warmth over her forehead.

She sucked in a gasp of air and waited—waited for something she couldn’t name.

At the echo of voices in the stairwell, he straightened and bumped his head against the slanted ceiling. He ran his fingers through his hair and then glanced around the room. His gaze came to rest on the candlestick, only a hand’s distance from her head.

“I see you got my gift.”

 She tipped her head and let her gaze caress the dotted pattern once again. “It’s beautiful,” she whispered past the lump in her throat.

 “I made it for you.” His looked from the candle holder to her face then back again.

Her heart constricted with a tremor of delight. “Thank you.”

            He shifted his feet and glanced around the room again. “The children miss you,” he finally said.

            “Tell them I miss them too.”

            His eyes strayed to her bruised cheek.

            She raised a hand and covered it.

            “I despise whoever did this to you.” He hesitated. “I realize working for me will put you in danger. But if you’re willing, I’d like you to resume your duties once you’re able.”

            Had Catherine failed to win John’s heart as she had hoped?

            He tilted his head and raised an eyebrow.

            Relief slipped through her, and she smiled. “Are you actually admitting you need a housekeeper?”

             A grin tugged at his lips. “I know we didn’t get off to a good start—I was proud and naive. But I clearly see now what a help you’ve been. We can’t get along without you. I need you to be my housekeeper.”

            She wanted to throw caution away and shout out that she desired nothing more than to return to her housekeeping position, that she’d been afraid of losing it and couldn’t dream of doing anything else.

            “If you’re willing,” he added.

            She held her emotions in check and nodded. “I’m willing.”

            She was always willing to serve the helpless and needy, and the Costins certainly fit those qualifications. She would serve them as she did anyone else in need.

Her willingness had nothing to do with John.

Nothing at all.

(From Chapter 13 of The Preacher’s Bride ©Jody Hedlund)

Oh Jody, thanks so much for that wonderful peek back into the world of Elizabeth and John. And have I mentioned what a wonderful story this is?!?

 So – the era Jody chose for her story is unique. Have you chosen a unique era for yours? Are there certain historical eras you like to read?

Inspirational Moment:

Psalm 51: 1-2

 1 Have mercy on me, O God,
   according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
   blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity
   and cleanse me from my sin.

We all fail, but there his grace and mercy. And though we fail, God’s love is unfailing.

Next week?

Ruth Axtell Morren stops by. don’t miss it.

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