2020 Carol Award Finalists Q&A (and a Giveaway!): Jody Hedlund & A Reluctant Bride

Posted September 9, 2020 by meezcarrie in 2020 Carol Awards, Author Interview, Christian, giveaway, historical, Jody Hedlund, romance / 46 Comments

One more time, happy Wednesday! Through September 19th (culminating with a list of winners), I have the privilege of sharing mini interviews with nearly all of the 2020 ACFW Carol Award Finalists! Today I’m continuing with Jody Hedlund and her Carol Award finalist book A Reluctant Bride! You can check out a list of all the finalists HERE.

FYI – There will be 2-3 posts per day, and a series-long giveaway, so make sure you catch them all!

Jody Hedlund is the author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Visit her at www.jodyhedlund.com.

The Bride Ships #1
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: June 4, 2019
PAGES: 352

A New Life Awaits Her across the Horizon

Living in London’s poorest slum, Mercy Wilkins harbors little hope for a better life. So when she’s offered the opportunity to join a bride ship sailing to British Columbia, she agrees. The journey abroad is her only prospect to escape a bleak future–both for herself and to help her sister, who’s suffering in a workhouse.

Wealthy and titled Joseph Colville leaves everything behind and takes to the sea to escape the pain of losing his family. As the ship’s surgeon, he’s in charge of the passengers’ welfare aboard the Tynemouth, including sixty brides-to-be. He has no immediate intention of settling down, but when Mercy becomes his assistant, the two must fight against a forbidden love.

With hundreds of single men congregating along the shore of Vancouver Island, eager to claim a bride from the Tynemouth, will Mercy and Joseph miss their chance at true love, or will they overcome the obstacles that threaten to keep them apart?


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Hi Jody! Welcome back to the blog!

Q: How has Christian fiction impacted you personally?

Jody: I have devoured Christian fiction since the time I was a child. One of my favorite family outings was going to the Christian bookstore where my parents always let me pick out a book.

My love of Christian fiction has followed me into adulthood. I continue to devour Christian fiction and am thrilled to pass that love along to my own children and have introduced them to many wonderful Christian authors and books.

Carrie: I love that – and I was the same way from childhood on. Going to the Christian bookstore was always a highlight for me!

Q: When you’re not writing your next award-nominated book 😉 who are your fave authors to read & why?

Jody: Since I write historicals, I tend to stick with reading mostly contemporary romance. So my favorites are Denise Hunter and Becky Wade because those ladies sure do know how to write romance!

Carrie: mmmhmmm they sure do 😀 and so do you!!

Q: Do you have any strange writing habits/quirks?

Jody: One of my habits is to give myself a word count goal for every thirty minute increment of writing time. It helps me stay on track with my daily writing goal, especially when the day is really busy.

Carrie: I bet it gives you a great sense of accomplishment as you go along too!

Q: Which of your characters has really stretched you as a writer?

Jody: The heroine, Mercy, in A Reluctant Bride, stretched me immensely since she was an extremely poor woman from London’s slums. In order to relate to her, I read Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist to understand poverty in London at that time.

Carrie: i bet that was challenging!

Q: What is something God taught you while you wrote A Reluctant Bride?

Jody: We are shaped by our pasts—both the good and the bad influence who we become. But the other truth is, our voyage isn’t over. If we allow God to come in and guide our journey, He’ll give us the courage and strength we need to shift course when necessary, to battle the storms, and to move forward in His strength and with His purpose.

Carrie: amen! such an encouraging reminder!

Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from A Reluctant Bride & why do you love it?

Jody: “For so long she’d thought God had abandoned her. But was it possible God had been there all along, even through the difficulties, making her stronger, working things out in His way.” I love this thought because, again, it reminds me that God is walking with us through our storms and that we’re never alone.

Carrie: oh i’m so thankful for that! ♥

The Young Adult novella, Always, by Jody Hedlund is also a Carol Award finalist!

The Lost Princesses #0.5
GENRE: Inspirational Young Adult Novella

PUBLISHER: Northern Lights Press
RELEASE DATE: August 13, 2019
PAGES: 180

A fierce elite guard. A loyal lady in waiting. They must work together to save three princesses from certain death.

On the verge of dying after giving birth to twins, the queen of Mercia pleads with Lady Felicia to save her infant daughters. With the castle overrun by King Ethelwulf’s invading army, Lady Felicia vows to do whatever she can to take the newborn princesses and their three-year old sister to safety, even though it means sacrificing everything she holds dear, possibly her own life.

Gravely wounded in battle and knowing all is lost to his enemy, the king of Mercia tasks Lance, one of his fiercest elite guards, to protect his family along with keys to an ancient treasure. As Lance makes plans to sneak the princesses out of the capital city, he doesn’t need or want Lady Felicia’s help.

With the dark enemy in pursuit, Lance and Felicia must put aside their differences to outrun King Ethelwulf and prevent him from killing the princesses. In a desperate attempt to hide the young girls, Lance and Felicia agree to a marriage of convenience, a decision that will change their lives–and hearts–forever.


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Also available to read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

I am offering one reader any TWO books (print copies) that finaled in the 2020 Carol Awards! (open internationally as long as Book Depository ships to your address) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What makes you want to read the historical romance Carol Award finalist A Reluctant Bride and/or the novella finalist Always by Jody Hedlund & what did you enjoy about Jody’s answers?

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46 responses to “2020 Carol Award Finalists Q&A (and a Giveaway!): Jody Hedlund & A Reluctant Bride

  1. Patty

    I’ve never read a book by Jody Hedlund that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy! I haven’t read any of her YA books, but I wouldn’t hesitate to give one a try if I ran across it.

  2. Suzanne Sellner

    I have read and LOVED the first two bride books in Jody Hedlund’s series. I really want to read A Reluctant Bride as well. I love how the author’s family encouraged her love of Christian books! Mine did too.

  3. Donna Irvin

    Well I had never heard of a bride ship, what an odd concept to leave and go so far from home. Sounds good!

  4. Elizabeth Litton

    I never knew there were actual bride ships before seeing Jody’s book series. I bet writing those stories involved some fascinating research!

  5. Becky D

    I have LOVED her Bride Ships series!! Great idea, & serious dedication, to read Oliver Twist as a poverty research.

  6. Roxanne C.

    I have the first and third book in this series with the second and forth on my to buy list. Then I will enjoy the entire series!

  7. Victoria D

    I’m still only halfway through this series but absolutely love the first two books and looking forward to reading the next two!

  8. Perrianne Askew

    I have enjoyed many of her books. I’m surprised that she has always had the opportunity to visit a Christian bookstore, even as a child. I never knew of any nearby until adulthood but they’re all gone in my area now. I was also a bit surprised by her tight word count goals.

  9. Rachael de Klerk

    I can’t wait to start A Reluctant Bride! I have yet to read any of Jody’s full-length novels, and I have this one sitting on my Kindle waiting for me😁.

  10. Thanks for interview. Love learning about the author and their books. Would love to read and review books in print copies
    It’s always fun to learn and read new authors

  11. Paula Shreckhise

    Jody is one of my favorite authors. I loved this series. It was interesting that she read Dickens to get a feel for her heroine’s background. My favorite books by her are Luther and Katherina and Newton and Polly.

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