Sunday, October 13, 2013

Author Jody Hedlund--richly-detailed, stirring and inspiring historical romance!

Rebellious Heart
In 1763 Massachusetts, Susanna Smith has grown up with everything she's ever wanted, except one thing: an education. Because she's a female, higher learning has been closed to her, but her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. She's determined to put her status to good use, reaching out to the poor and deprived. And she knows when she marries well, she will be able to continue her work with the less fortunate.

Ben Ross grew up a farmer's son and has nothing to his name but his Harvard education. A poor country lawyer, he doesn't see how he'll be able to fulfill his promise to make his father proud of him. When family friends introduce him to the Smith family, he's drawn to quick-witted Susanna but knows her family expects her to marry well. When Susanna's decision to help an innocent woman no matter the cost crosses with Ben's growing disillusionment with their British rulers, the two find themselves bound together in what quickly becomes a very dangerous fight for justice.
The legendary real-life love between John and Abigail Adams is the inspiration between author Jody Hedlund's historical romantic fiction "Rebellious Heart". Set in Massachusetts of the mid-1700s, this is the compelling story of a woman who longs for higher learning, and a man who makes his living through his knowledge and skill with words. Susanna Smith was raised in affluence, and confined by the strictures of society. As a young girl, she had been quite aware of her social status, giving her an air of hauteur. Benjamin Ross, some ten years older than Susanna, was the son of a farmer and shoemaker. Young Ben had met the girl several times when delivering shoes to her grandfather's mansion, and he had been struck by the level of snobbery in one so small. Ben's father sold a substantial portion of his land to send his son to Harvard, and years later when Ben returns to Braintree, Massachusetts, he comes home a learned man of the law. Susanna is now a grown young lady, one who has changed much through the restrictions of her own circumstances. The sparks that still fly between Susanna and Ben are now those of two adults, aware of something unexpected flaring to life in each other's company. Ben has aspirations to marry a woman whose social standing will further his goals for his career. Susanna also wants to marry well in order to continue and expand her aide to those less fortunate than herself. Coming to the rescue of an indentured servant on the run, Susanna finds herself relying on Ben's guidance and legal counsel. Friendship and admiration blooms into a longing for a joining of hearts and lives. Can Susanna break free from her family's plans for her future? Dare she hope for a future with Ben? With the stirrings of revolution and the growing unrest of the times, are freedom and happiness achievable dreams? An intriguing and involving story which reminds us of the human drama and sacrifice which led to the birth of a free nation, "Unending Devotion" is unforgettable inspirational historical romance.

Review Copy Gratis Bethany House Books
A Noble Groom
Recently widowed Annalisa Werner has the feeling her husband was murdered but can't prove it. Alone with her young daughter in 1881 Michigan, she has six months left to finish raising the money needed to pay back the land contract her husband purchased, and the land is difficult to toil by herself. She needs a husband. With unmarried men scarce, her father sends a letter to his brother in the Old Country, asking him to find Annalisa a groom.

For nobleman Carl von Reichert, the blade of the guillotine is his fate. He's been accused and convicted of a serious crime he didn't commit, and his only escape is to flee to a small German community in Michigan where he'll be safe. He secures a job on Annalisa's farm but bumbles through learning about farming and manual labor.

Annalisa senses that Karl is harboring a secret about his past, yet she finds herself drawn to him anyway. He's gentle, kind, and romantic--unlike any of the men she's ever known. He begins to restore her faith in the ability to love--but her true groom is still on his way. And time is running out on them all.
An exceptional historical romance, "A Noble Groom", from author Jody Hedlund, will not leave the reader untouched. You will long remember the trials and tribulations of these characters, the resilience of their faith--both old and new, and the enchantment of the romance at the core of the story. Seeking freedom from the oppressive constraints of the class system of Germany of the 1800's, a group of miners and their families settle in the United States in Michigan. Their hopes to continue mining in Northern Michigan are dashed by the brutalities of Winter, and they move southward to an area of the state where the soil is suitable for farming. However, it is wild and uncleared, and seemingly endless back-breaking labor is undertaken before the land is usable. Even though they endured much to gain a freer way of life, old traditions still hold fast, and men still regard women as little more than servants. Women live under the rule of the men, and they have very little personal freedoms. Such a woman is Annalisa Werner, wife of Hans, and mother of little Gretchen. Hans is a an unrepentant gambler, wasting away the precious little financial resources which Annalisa has worked so hard to keep from his reach. One day, she is unable to bear his selfish ways any longer. With another child on the way, and young Gretchen cold and hungry, Annalisa goes in search of her husband and finds him horribly dead. Some in the community suspect that he was murdered by the man who wants the Werner's land for his sawmill business. Annalisa's father is more concerned with securing her a new husband, and he sends word to his brother Matthias in Germany to find a groom for Annalisa. The man who arrives is sent by Matthias, not as a groom, but as a helper for Annalisa at her farm until her real betrothed can finally make the journey. Carl Richards, is no farmhand. He is really Carl von Reichart, a nobleman framed for a crime he did not commit. About to face the guillotine, he is freed at the last moment by Matthias, his manservant, who sends him to Michigan to his niece's farm. Carl is obviously not used to manual labor, but he works hard and applies himself to the task, using his intelligence and charm along with his growing physical strength. Annalisa has never met a man like Carl, who treats her with kindness and respect. Carl never expected to fall for the lovely young widow, but he is smitten just the same. Together they work to pay off the debts left by Annalisa's husband so that she won't lose the farm. They face much adversity, both from man and Mother Nature, but as they toil side by side, their feelings for each other deepen and grow into something rare and beautiful. All the while, they know that Annalisa's groom is still to come from Germany. Carl also knows that his own fateful flight from his near-execution is a secret which could change all their lives forever. Is there a future for Annalisa and Carl and the children? Will his name be cleared and the truth be revealed in his homeland? Will the mystery of Hans Werner's death be solved? Author Jody Hedlund has written an unforgettable and inspirational historical romance. Highly recommended.

Review Copy Gratis Bethany House Books

Unending Devotion
Michigan, 1883

In Her Darkest Hours, Is He the Man She Needs?

Lily Young longs to find her lost sister or will die trying. Heedless of any danger, she searches logging camps and towns, posing as a photographer's assistant. And then she arrives in Harrison, Michigan--and the sights of Connell McCormick.

Connell is determined to increase the fortune of his lumber-baron father and figures as long as he's living an upright life, that's what matters. But when Lily arrives in town she upends his world, forcing him to confront the truth that dangerous men have gained too much power while good men turn a blind eye.

Vexing but persuasive, Lily soon secures Connell's help, drawing them ever closer to each other. Will standing for what's right cost them both everything?
Historical fiction which incorporates real people and events and blends them into a compelling and involving story line with added elements of romance and suspense is simply impossible to put down for a history lover like me. Jody Hedlund is a talented storyteller who combines fact and fiction with inspirational romance and leaves the reader wanting to read more of her work. "Unending Devotion" is set in the lumber country of late 1800s Michigan, and during this time, the lumber industry employed more workers than any industry in America. Its scope was huge, changing the landscape and the lives of those around it forever. With the boom of jobs and money came those who preyed on those laborers in order to siphon off the flow of money as quickly as it came in. Forced prostitution and white slavery made victims of countless young women, giving them little choice but to victimize their cash-carrying customers, who were sometimes brutal in their treatment of the women. Lily Young is desperate to find her sister, Daisy, whom she fears has been kidnapped into a life of prostitution. Traveling with a photographer, Oren, with whom she rescues prostitutes whenever possible, allows Lily to comb the lumber camps for her missing sister. In the town of Harrison, Michigan, Lily finds herself in an unfortunate situation where two men assume she is a lady of the evening, and they begin to fight over her. Coming to her aide is Connell McCormick, whose family owns one of the lumber companies in the area. Normally, Connell tries to stick to his own business and steer clear of the deviltry around him, but he can't let Lily be abused. Lily's fiery determination begins to shake Connell from his tunnel vision, and an attraction grows between them. Both of them have known disappointment and heartache, but will they discover in each other a faith and a love to last a lifetime? "Unending Devotion" is a recommended read for those who can't resist the thrill of well-written historical fiction.

Review Copy Gratis Bethany House Books
Also by Jody Hedlund:
The Doctor's Lady
Priscilla White knows she'll never be a wife or mother and feels God's call to the mission field in India. Dr. Eli Ernest is back from Oregon Country only long enough to raise awareness of missions to the natives before heading out West once more. But then Priscilla and Eli both receive news from the mission board: No longer will they send unmarried men and women into the field.

Left scrambling for options, the two realize the other might be the answer to their needs. Priscilla and Eli agree to a partnership, a marriage in name only that will allow them to follow God's leading into the mission field. But as they journey west, this decision will be tested by the hardships of the trip and by the unexpected turnings of their hearts.
The Preacher's Bride
In 1650s England, a young Puritan maiden is on a mission to save the baby of her newly widowed preacher--whether her assistance is wanted or not. Always ready to help those in need, Elizabeth ignores John's protests of her aide. She's even willing to risk her lone marriage prospect to help the little family.

Yet Elizabeth's new role as nanny takes a dangerous turn when John's boldness from the pulpit makes him a target of political and religious leaders. As the preacher's enemies become desperate to silence him, they draw Elizabeth into a deadly web of deception. Finding herself in more danger than she ever bargained for, she's more determined than ever to save the child--and man--she's come to love.
Jody Hedlund

Jody Hedlund is an award-winning and bestselling author of inspirational historical romances. She currently makes her home in central Michigan with her husband their five busy children.

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment