Archives: Jody Hedlund

Wagons Ho! On the Trail with Jody Hedlund

Since her Oregon Trail romance, The Doctor’s Lady, was released in September, author Jody Hedlund has been riding across the blogosphere sipping tea (slightly sweet), swapping stories, and sharing secrets at over 52 blogs.

Today Jody is joining us to celebrate her fabulous book which also marks the end of her blog tour.

Yep, I’m the last little blog wagon over the hill.

"Do you really have to stop again?"

It gets even better.

In order to make this last stop super special we get to choose a charitable organization for Jody to donate copies of her books. Yippee!!!!

Many hands make light work, right?

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let’s talk about Jody’s second book, The Doctor’s Lady.

Now if you aren’t already familiar with Jody’s writing, then you are in for a treat. From 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 Doctor’s Lady was a touching, sweet romantic read which required a tissue box and fresh mascara by the novel’s end. (And, I really don’t consider myself a crybaby. Oh – what am I saying? I cry over coffee commercials. You know the one where the soldier surprises his mother on Christmas Eve? I’m tearing up now. Let’s move along.)

I also loved that Jody based her characters on actual people and events. The Author’s Note at the end gives yummy historical background details, but we can peek into the research behind The Doctor’s Lady at several trail stops from her blog tour.

For instance, while visiting over at Marcia Richards’ wagon blog, Jody explained why the Oregon Trail was called an “unheard-of-journey for females.” And, when Jody called on Susie Finkbeiner she confided that while writing The Doctor’s Lady she considered Kevin Costner (Dances with Wolves) and Gwyneth Paltrow (Emma) as her Eli and Priscilla.

I also learned a lot about writing from her trail stops. Over at Roni Loren’s, Jody described how to create sizzle without sex. Then, while ringing the cowbell over at Jenny Hansen‘s blog, Jody gave tips on how to organize plot ideas.

Ambling over to Gina Conroy’s blog, Jody shared coping strategies for combining homeschooling with a writing career, and confided to Patricia Woodside how she wishes for a nanny after the schooling is done. (Me too!)

Whew! That’s only a few stops! (You can find a complete list of all the great blog visits at Jody’s blog.)

Obviously, some wonderful conversations had already taken place, so I wondered how to make this last blog stop fun and meaningful. As I was re-reading The Doctor’s Lady I reflected how difficult it was to get books to western missions and missionaries in the 19th century.

And that got me thinking. . .

In the 21st century, we still have remote places in our world and communities where receiving a book – especially a new  book – is a luxury.

So I took a deep breath and asked Jody how she would feel about donating her book to an organization which distributes books to underserved communities.

Jody – being the lovely person she is – jumped right in and volunteered to donate BOTH of her books, The Doctor’s Lady and The Preacher’s Bride, to whichever organization YOU chose.

Plus, she offered to give a copy of The Doctor’s Lady to one lucky winner who comments below!

Isn’t that wonderful?

Now before you scroll down to enter your name and email  in the comment box for your chance at the giveaway, please just take a moment to read about the five different organizations wanting book donations and then vote for your favorite choice.

It’s that simple!

Now here are our choices:

Illumination Publishers International is a non-profit organization which sends Christian literature to missionaries and Christians in third world countries.

Judith’s Reading Room is an non-profit organization which creates mobile libraries for VA hospitals, war zone areas for active military, pediatric emergency rooms, and underserved communities.

Christian Library International is a non-profit organization that brings Christian literature to men and women in prisons.

Donation Town is an online directory for local charities that accept book donations for adult literacy programs, hospice reading to patients programs, and small struggling libraries.

Christian Resources International a non-profit organization which ships donated books to missionaries and pastors around the world.

[polldaddy poll=”5604867″]


Don’t forget! Leave a comment with your name and email and you will be entered in a drawing for The Doctor’s Lady. (Drawing and voting results will be announced November 1.)

Happy trail reading!!!

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons


Update 11/1/11:

Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote in the poll! We had a fabulous time. Here are the final results. . . and the charity with 48% of the vote was Judith’s Reading Room! They will receive a copies of The Preacher’s Bride and The Doctor’s Lady courtesy of the wonderful Jody Hedlund.

Also congratulations to Beverly! selected your number as the winner of the book giveaway, The Doctor’s Lady.


September Moments

Ever take a few moments to reflect on how quickly time passes? I know my perception of time has shifted over the years, so that today everything I do seems accelerated, sometimes blurry.

I try to counter those rushed feeling by reflecting on how I spend my time through scribbles written on my over-sized calendar.

It’s not a journal, per se, but notes about events that made me happy, sad, or left an impression on me. The responsibility of a full-fledged journal hasn’t been do-able since I was in my teens and early twenties. So I use short notes.

And, I’m in good company. Martha Ballard was an 18th century wife, mother, nurse, and midwife. She started jotting notes about her day’s activities when she was 50 and kept it up for 27 years, with over 10,000 entries.

Kaiulani Lee in A Midwife's Tale, a movie based on Martha Ballard's life.

Here is an example:

On Monday February 25, 1788,  Martha Ballard wrote:

Clear. mr Ballard & Theophs went to Varsalboro. Revd mr Foster Came for me to See his infant; it has a Coald. I Came home at Eleven o Clok; walkd; was much fatagud. Jono & the Girls were gone to Ride in a Sleigh. [   ] Came home half aft 12.

What compels a 50 year old woman to sit by candlelight, two hours after her family is asleep, and record such mundane happenings?

I find that reflection encourages me. I wonder if that’s why Martha wrote?

What do I track? Multiple things. Ordinary events. Unlike Martha Ballard, I rarely comment on the weather, but themes about my work, family, visitors, and financial bookkeeping run through my notes just like hers.

Here are three from September:

Favorite September moment in teaching:

9/20 – My 12 year-old won 2 games off of me during our bi-weekly tennis match. She’s still a beginner, but seeing her determination to break my serve – and then doing it – was a bittersweet moment for me as a mother-teacher. I think I’ll look back on our September games as the beginning of the end. Soon enough, I’ll be struggling to beat her.

Favorite September moment in writing:

9/10 – Got some important non-fiction deadlines met, but to me success – and satisfaction – in writing comes through my fiction.  A scene I was laboring over suddenly clicked into place, and I shaved 1,239 words AND renewed the energy on the page. If it wasn’t for moments like this then I would have given up a long time ago.

Favorite September moments in reading:

(This has to be plural because I can never limit myself when it comes to reading!)

9/10 –  After dinner with friends, I described my husband as a “Chinese mother” and my friends knew exactly what I meant because we have all read The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua.  Even though Chua’s lifestyle (Yale professor, wealthy, excessively driven) are a moon’s distance away from our own, we appreciate Chua’s candid opinions and her transparency about her own parenting – warts and all. I cherish those book moments when so much laughter and understanding and connection are conveyed in a phrase. It’s lovely.

Amy Chua and family

9/26 – I pre-ordered the paperback copy of One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. My book budget is pitifully small, and most of my money must  go for school-type books, so pre-ordering a book that I could borrow from the library (or perhaps get through PaperBack Swap)  is a splurge. But building a library of exceptional books – written in my genre – is important so I closed my eyes and clicked. I’ve already read the book 2 or 3 times, so I know I won’t regret it. But honestly, it always makes me queasy to spend any amount of money on my personal writing library.

9/23 – Bought, read, and cried through The Doctor’s Lady by Jody Hedlund. My rule of thumb is to ALWAYS read a book before purchasing it. But, I took  a leap of faith with The Doctor’s Lady since Jody’s The Preacher’s Bride was so good. The Doctor’s Lady turned out to be excellent, so I suffered no guilt for buying, instead of borrowing, it from the library. (Whew! Thanks Jody!!)

**(Heads up: I’m hosting The Doctor’s Lady End of the Trail blog party right here on October 24. Mark it down! )**

Now it’s your turn. Why do you think we like to record our thoughts and daily activities? Is it about reflection or vanity? Is reflection part of your monthly routine?