Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Rachel Dodge & The Secret Garden Devotional

Posted December 1, 2022 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, giveaway, Rachel Dodge / 9 Comments

The Secret Garden Devotional JustRead Blog TourWelcome to the Blog Tour for The Secret Garden Devotional by Rachel Dodge, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! I’m delighted to have Rachel on the blog today to chat about her new devotional!

The Secret Garden Devotional

GENRE: Devotional / Classic Literature
RELEASE DATE: December 17, 2022
PAGES: 226

Devotional Inspiration from Mary Lennox’s Beautifully Mysterious Secret Garden

The Secret Garden Devotional offers lovely inspiration that explores the themes of faith, family, contentment, wisdom, and joy in the classic Frances Hodgson Burnett novel, cherished by generations of readers.

Each reading corresponds with a chapter from the book and invites you to embrace God’s guiding hand in your life as you are becoming His new creation. With themes of growth, spiritual nourishment, God’s love and care, and His transforming power, this beautiful chapter-by-chapter devotional includes original artwork throughout. Each reading includes examples from the novel, scripture, life application, and prayers perfect for groups, book clubs, or personal reflection.

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Hi! Welcome to the blog!

Rachel: Summer all the way. I love every season, but I really don’t like to be cold. It makes me grumpy! I think maybe I’m part lizard. I love to cook in the sun and be outside when it’s warm out. I also love summer because we tend to get more family time and everyone’s schedule chills out a bit.

Carrie: i am the exact opposite & part polar bear haha. I get grumpy in summer 🙂

Rachel: Dogs for sure. Cats are super cute, but my husband is allergic and I tend to get itchy around them, so I’ve always liked dogs more. I love how lovable and loyal they are. My dog is my constant companion and his personality is the perfect fit for our family. 

Carrie: I am definitely a dog person all the way through… but I am becoming more fond of a cat that belongs to my husband’s brother’s family. Same cat is becoming more fond of me so it’s a win-win so far lol.

Rachel: Ocean. I grew up spending a lot of time in the mountains, and I do love their rugged beauty. However, the ocean is where my soul is at rest and where I feel filled up. I like the mountains, but I need the ocean.

Carrie: i love that ♥ That’s how I feel, but flipped: I like the ocean but I need the mountains.

Rachel: Both, please! I eat a sandwich every day for lunch, and I have soup as often as I can. During the fall and winter, I try to make a soup or stew for dinner at least once a week so I always have some for my lunches the rest of the week. I can eat either one without the other, but I prefer the combo over almost anything else for lunch!

Carrie: yum!!!

Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?

Rachel: I think writing and organizing (words, people, information, or things) are my superpowers. There are certain things that come naturally to each of us, and I believe God puts those things in us so we can use them to serve Him and others. For me, that’s writing and organizing and other similar tasks. Those are things I just know how to do—without really knowing why. I believe God placed those things in me for a purpose. There are many things I’m not great at. And many things I’m just okay at. But there are only a few things I’m really good at, so I try to pay attention to those things to see what God might want to do with those giftings. My motto: Whatever comes naturally to you, do it for God and you’ll find so much joy in life!

Carrie: this is the best answer ever for this question – love it!

Other than the Bible, what are five of your most cherished books?

Rachel: Anne of Green Gables, The Secret Garden, Farmer Boy, Little House in the Big Woods, Pride and Prejudice

Carrie: I suspected I would see the first two on this list for sure 🙂

Q: Do you have any strange writing habits/quirks? Any snacks/beverages that are a must when you sit down to write?

Rachel: I think my strange writing habit is that I am kind of a strict, no-nonsense, nose-to-the-grindstone type writer. I prefer absolute silence, no interruptions, no people around if possible, and no drinks or snacks except water. I guess you could say I’m a minimalist / loner type writer. When it’s just me and the words, I go into the “vortex” like Jo March and I don’t emerge until I’m done with whatever goal I’ve set for that day. I like my desk to be clutter-free with just a bit of well-placed decor. I prefer natural lighting, so I work by a window whenever possible. If I’m working in the evening, I like soft lamplight. I don’t like taking breaks and would rather work non-stop until I’m finished with a project, but my eyes and my back won’t let me do that for more than a few hours at a time. If none of the above is possible, I can always make it work. I’ve written my books in doctor’s, dentist’s, and orthodontist’s offices; on planes and in cars; at baseball games; on park benches; and anywhere else where I could find 5 minutes.

Carrie: I write like that too – I call it being ‘in the zone’ haha

Q: Why is the theme of The Secret Garden Devotional important to you?

Rachel: The theme of The Secret Garden Devotional is new life in Christ and the hope-filled promise that Spring is always on the way—even during a long drought or winter season. These themes are important to me because I need continual encouragement and hope, and I am convinced that other women do too. We need to know that Jesus is the well-spring of our lives, that our life seasons have meaning and purpose, and that God always has rebirth, renewal, restoration, and revival in store for us, even when we can’t see it yet.

The gardening themes in this book work so well when talking about walking with God and developing a personal relationship with Him. A lot of life is spent planting, pruning, watering, and weeding. It stirs our hearts to remember that if we don’t grow weary in doing good, we will reap a harvest in due time (Galatians 6:9)! Whatever season you’re in, remember that God has a purpose in it—mainly to bring you and the people around you closer to Him. If you aren’t seeing much fruit from your efforts right now, don’t become discouraged. Stay faithful and keep sowing to eternal things. There will be an abundant harvest one day!

Carrie: amen & amen!! so true – and so encouraging!

Q: What is something that surprised you the most while researching The Secret Garden Devotional?

Rachel: I really loved researching the broad Yorkshire dialect that many of the characters speak in the book. I find different English accents to be so interesting! There are a lot of really fun videos on the Internet and many audiobooks of The Secret Garden that can help readers understand how Martha, Dickon, and Mrs. Sowerby might have sounded. I also enjoyed learning about the “cottage-made” food that Mrs. Sowerby made. She knew how to nourish young people and nurse people back to health! I think she was ahead of her time and very wise.

Carrie: how fun!!

Q: What do you most want readers to take away from The Secret Garden Devotional?

Rachel: I really want readers to know how much Jesus loves them. That’s the cry of my heart. That no person would go one day without knowing the love of God for him or her, expressed in the knowledge that Jesus loved each of us so much that He willingly laid down His life that we might spend eternity with Him.

I also want readers to know that God has a purpose for the season they’re currently in. Some seasons are ridiculously hard. Some take our breath away and leave us wondering what just happened. Some are so full and fruitful and others feel like a severe pruning. God is doing a good work in each of us in every season—and he’s always doing something under the surface, even when we can’t see it.

For those in a pruning or wilderness season, remember that God often brings us closer to Him and deeper in our faith when we walk through the hard stuff. He will use it to grow you and to create opportunities for future ministry. Valleys don’t last forever. Night doesn’t go on indefinitely. Winter eventually comes to a close. Take heart and remember: Green pastures and quiet streams are ahead. Morning is on its way. Spring is coming!

Carrie: yes!!!! ♥

Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.

Rachel: This spring, I can’t wait to share the audiobook versions of The Anne of Green Gables Devotional, TheLittle Women Devotional, and The Secret Garden Devotional. I had the great pleasure of narrating them myself, and I hope readers will enjoy hearing me read to them!

Rachel Dodge

Rachel Dodge is the bestselling author of the award-winning Anne of Green Gables Devotional, The Little Women Devotional, and Praying with Jane: 31 Days Through the Prayers of Jane Austen. Rachel’s newest book is The Secret Garden Devotional! Rachel teaches college English classes, gives talks at libraries, teas, and book clubs, and is a writer for the popular Jane Austen’s World blog. She is passionate about encouraging and equipping women to grow closer to Jesus through prayer and the study of God’s Word. A true kindred spirit at heart, Rachel enjoys books, bonnets, and ball gowns.

Connect with Rachel by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

The Secret Garden Devotional JustRead Giveaway

(2) winners will receive a signed copy of The Secret Garden Devotional and a hardcover illustrated copy of The Secret Garden along with a bookmark and stickers.

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight November 30, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on December 7, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


This giveaway is hosted by JustRead Tours, not RimSP
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

What about you? What makes you want to read The Secret Garden Devotional by Rachel Dodge?

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9 responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Rachel Dodge & The Secret Garden Devotional

  1. Roxanne C.

    I read The Secret Garden to my daughter earlier this year. This devotional would be an inspirational treat.

  2. DeAnna

    So happy you have a cat you can get to know, Meez Carrie! They’re not at their best with strangers for the most part, so people don’t really know what they’re like until they live with one or visit one regularly. I hope the two of you really get to enjoy each other’s company. 😀

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