I have the extreme honor of reviewing (bragging about) Jody's latest release The Doctor's Lady. If you haven't heard of Jody Hedlund or of her fabulous books (The Preacher's Bride and The Doctor's Lady) than you must be living under a rock.
Seriously, her books are wonderful! I highly recommend that you get yourself to Amazon quickly and order a copy...or ten! Or you can leave a comment today and you might win a free, signed copy of The Doctor's Lady!
We have a lot going on this morning - my review, an interview with Jody, her contest information and a book giveaway. Yes, I know, it's just like Christmas around here!
Let's get to it!
There are a few specific things I look for while I’m reading a book. How well these things grab me determine how much I enjoy the overall story. Some of my criteria includes: cover art, interesting and historic setting, likable characters/understanding of their motivations, unique plot, and romantic tension…just the right amount (so I'm not wanting to throw the book out the window). :)
When I first heard about Jody’s newest book, The Doctor’s Lady, I knew immediately that I was going to LOVE it! For two reasons…the cover is breathtakingly beautiful and the setting is the early days of the Oregon Trail, a time period I’m obsessed with.
When I finally got my hands on the actual book, I devoured it. True to her reputation Jody didn’t disappoint. She is gifted at weaving stories that naturally unfold, adding in the right amount of suspense and tension and romance along the way. She far exceeded any criteria I had so I was no longer "judging" the book but simply enjoying the story.
It only took me three days to read this book because I just couldn't put it down! It's one of those books that you wish would go on and on and on...A definite must read!
Jody is so talented at transporting us back in time through her stories that I thought it would be fun if we took her along with us. So I asked Jody a few questions about her wagon traveling abilities. ;) And there's a hint at the end about her next book, releasing in 2012!
Here's what she said:
Lacie: If you could serve as a missionary, what part of the world would you like to reach?
Jody: My husband and I have some friends who are living in England and doing youth work there. We get to hear the stories of what they’re doing to try to make a difference in the lives of the young people. It sounds really exciting (and hard too!). But I think that would be one of the places I’d love to go.
Lacie: If you were journeying via wagon across the country, what would be the hardest possession for you to leave behind?
Jody: My coffee pot. Oh and my microwave. Yes, I’m a modern girl to the fullest extent! I love all of the conveniences of the twenty-first century and I couldn’t live without them! (I only live without when I’m in my story worlds!) As far as personal possessions, I’d have a difficult time leaving behind my all of my many books by all of the many authors I love!
Lacie: Which part of the journey would cause you the most discomfort or fear? (example: river crossings, bugs/insects, heat, lack of food, long days, etc.)
Jody: Since I get hot very easily, I’d probably dislike the constant heat. I can’t imagine always wearing the heavy layered clothing that was customary AND living and working without air conditioning. We have such light clothing nowadays and AC at the flip of a switch. It’s hard to imagine getting along without!
Lacie: What part of writing The Doctor’s Lady was the most enjoyable for you? (research, plotting, writing, etc.)
Jody: I actually enjoyed the entire process of writing the first draft. I always fall in love with my books during the researching and planning phase. That love just continues to grow when I sit down to write the book. The writing and the creative process is something that feeds me, refreshes me, and brings me to life.
Lacie: Why do you choose to write historical romance stories? What draws your heart to a certain time period or character?
Jody: 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.
I’m particularly drawn to strong women of the past. I like being able to bring their stories to life because there is so much we can learn from them, and their courage is so inspiring.
Lacie: Can you give us any hints about where/what your next book might be about? :)
Jody: I’ll have another historical romance releasing next year in 2012. I’m really excited about this story because it’s set in my home state of Michigan. It takes place during the 1880’s at a time in history when the lumber era was at its height. Although the story isn’t inspired by a true person the way my first two books have been, I do include several real people, particularly a real villain by the name of James Carr who was notorious in central Michigan for his violence and for introducing white slavery into the state.
Thanks Jody for being such a good sport! I love learning new things about my favorite authors!
Before we get to the book giveaway, I have to tell you about Jody's fabulous contest. I entered it myself and am hoping I win so...actually, maybe you shouldn't enter it. My odds of winning are better if you don't. :)
But I know you'll want to put your name in the pot because she put together the most beautiful trunk full of goodies. Check it out here:
Tell your friends about Jody's BE A TRAILBLAZER contest!
By now you're all dying to get your hands on a copy of The Doctor's Lady. Rightly so. Here's how you can win an autographed copy - it's simple - Leave me a comment before midnight on Friday September 9th and I'll randomly choose a winner! (Winner must have a U.S. mailing address.)
Have you already read The Doctor's Lady? What is your favorite thing about Jody's stories and writing style? If you haven't read Jody's books yet, what criteria do you have that help you decide if you love a book or not?