Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Love Unexpected by Jody Hedlund -- Book Review

Book Review: Love Unexpected by Jody Hedlund 
Published by Bethany House Publishers 2014 

The back cover blurb: 
All Emma Chambers ever wanted was a home, but when her steamboat sinks just outside Presque Isle, she’s left destitute and with no place to stay. 

An unlikely solution arises when the lighthouse keeper arrives in town. He’s just lost his wife and is having a difficult time caring for his child. So a traveling preacher gets the idea that the keeper and Emma might be the answer to each other’s dilemma. After a hasty marriage, she finds herself heading to the lighthouse with this handsome but quiet stranger. Nothing in her aimless life, though, has prepared her for parenting a rambunctious toddler, was well as managing a household. 

Emma soon suspects Patrick may be hiding something from her, and then she hears a disturbing rumor about the circumstances surrounding his late wife’s death. It seems as if her wish for a home and family of her own could end up leading her once more into turbulent waters. 

My Review: 
This novel starts off with plenty of action. Emma is on a steamboat that is attacked by pirates, who set the ship on fire. Talk about tension and high conflict. Right away you’re empathic to Emma and her brother, Ryan. You’re there with her and feel her panic as she becomes separated from her brother when the ship starts going down, you’re there with her as she’s in the water about to drowned, and you’re there with her as she and her brother are saved. And that’s just in the opening of the book. 

You're able to catch your breath a little as you switch to Patrick’s point of view. But right away you feel his desperation. His wife has died and Patrick has a toddler who needs constant care. What's this poor guy going to do?

Enter Holy Bill, the traveling preacher. He’s the matchmaker in this novel and a very memorable character who sees the good in people. The world needs more people like Holy Bill. He comes up with a solution for both Emma and Patrick. 

I loved this beautifully told love story.

The only thing that puzzled me was that the description of Emma in the novel didn't quite match the woman on the cover. However, the emotion and tenderness on the woman's face certainly did and that's the most important thing. The artist captured Emma's soul on the cover.

This book arrived when I was going through a trying time with my husband’s health. Love Unexpected gave me an escape from circumstances I could do nothing about. I could hardly wait to read what would happen next. 

Jody Hedlund is a master storyteller who brings her characters to life so much so that you don't want to set the book down. When you finish reading the novel you feel lost as though close friends have moved away. But unlike friends who are gone, you have the book and can read it all over again. 

You can purchase Love Unexpected in most book stores or purchase a hard copy or ebook on Amazon.   

I was given a copy of Love Unexpected to read and review, but that in no way influenced my review. 

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

So Very Grateful!

Me and a member of my writing group, Nikki. Hubby is in the background with Aunt Carol.
I have so much to be thankful for. I have a wonderful family, the greatest friends and fans in the world, and so many other blessings that I could go on and on. I'm not bragging, I'm just very humbled and grateful.

And I absolutely have to say I'm very grateful for the many friends and family members who came to support the launching of my new book, Deceived


Last week Deceived received some wonderful reviews: Book Giveaways, My Book A Day, I love to Read and Review Books , Fire and Ice , and Min Reads and Reviews

Plus it was featured on Books and Benches

I also had a wonderful interview on I Am A Reader. She asked the more interesting questions. For instance: 

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be? 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

What is your scariest?

Okay, now I answered those. Soooo, why don't you give it a try? 

Come on. 

Share. 

You know you want to.

One more thing:
I have a signing Saturday November 29th at the Seagull Book in Sandy from 9-11 a.m. Come see me. I have chocolate. :)
 
 Hugs and blessings,

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Deceived's Book Trailer

I'm so excited to post the book trailer for Deceived

It's short and to the point. 

Enjoy!





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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Adding Irish Touches to My Story.

I need to apologize for not posting last week. Hubby was rushed to the hospital with a pulmonary embolism. Many prayers were said on his behalf and as a result he is home now and doing very well.

During all the worry last week, I received some good news about my new novel. I learned that the book launch for Deceived will be November 15th at the Fort Union Deseret Book Store from 1:00 to 3:00. They want me to do a reading from the book, and there will also be door prizes, so stop by and join in the fun.

Okay, now on with the blog . . .

Cliffs of Moher
 
Have you ever wanted to go to Ireland? 

Me, too. 

And since my new novel, Deceived, has a main character whose  grandfather was from the Emerald Island, I really wanted to experience the place for myself.


So a few years ago, my daughter, Tricia, and I went on a dream trip to Ireland. That trip gave me enough information for several books and all I could have wanted for Deceived

Let me tell you a little about my main character's Irish background.

Tara Kelly grew up hearing stories of the old country from her grandfather. His stories were so vivid that Tara captured many of them in the picture books she created.

 Some of the stories were about rural Ireland.


Some were about the wee folk.


And some were about castles.


But in Deceived you never read about these stories.

What you do read about are Tara's dreams of Ireland. 

About the Burren limestone . . .


 About the capstone at the dolmen at Poulnabrone and how she believes it is a portal to the Land of the Dead . . .

 
And about the ghost that haunts Tara.


Okay, so that might not be a ghost, but then again, maybe it is. I took the picture while on a haunted bus tour of Dublin. Below is our tour guide.


I think he had probably been in the Land of the Dead quite some time. He smelled like he had been. Come to think of it he was actually from the haunted castle below.


We had so much fun!!!

 Even though Deceived it not set in Ireland, it does play a major role in the story.

Traveling not only makes a lot of wonderful memories, but it also helps a writer add terrific back story to a novel. 

Where have you traveled lately? Did you gather wonderful memories?

Next time I'll post about the history of the other main character in Deceived, Joseph White Eagle. 



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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Bi-pap, Surgery, and Tender Mercies

Have you ever heard of a Bi-pap machine? 

I only learned of them recently. I knew about C-pap machines. Several years ago Hubby was diagnosed with sleep apnea so we got the C-pap machine, hoping that would help him sleep better.

However, it didn't help. Poor Hubby still suffered, so he gave up using the machine.

And his health continued to slide. Here he is about a year ago. We'd taken our grandson for a hike. Hubby struggled to keep up.


Last June we went to Washington and visited a cousin I hadn't seen for many years. After we'd been there a while my cousin took me aside and told me how concerned he was about my husband's health. I knew Hubby wasn't feeling well, but for someone else to point it out alarmed me. 

How could I not have seen how ill my husband was? I mean, I live with him . . . I live with him and that's why I hadn't noticed his steady decline.
 
So as soon as we returned home, I called the doctor. After meeting with our GP, we were sent to a couple of specialists (a sleep specialist and a spine doctor).

Boy, were my eyes opened about sleep apnea. Did you know that if apnea is left untreated a  person's body will start to shut down? Needless to say, Hubby went in for a sleep study. 

And then we waited for the results.

Meanwhile, the spine doctor did an MRI which showed that Hubby had a herniated disc and degeneration of the spine. The spine doctor sent us to a surgeon. After injections and all sorts of tests it was decided that Hubby needed to have several discs decompressed. Surgery was scheduled. 

This was going on at the same time as the sleep study and the results were coming to a head at the same time. Talk about jangled nerves and sleepless nights.

After many prayers, Hubby was able to get a Bi-pap machine, which goes a step further than the C-pap and helps him breath when he stops, plus this machine also allows for oxygen. We were able to pick up the machine the Friday night before his Monday morning surgery. A very close call. 

Pre-op and dreading surgery.
 Pre-op was interesting. I knew Hubby was anxious. But soon they came and took him up, and I was directed to the waiting room. I sent a text to our daughters and son. They wanted to know when the operation started. 

As the minutes turned to hours, I grew nervous. After a couple of hours, my son showed up. He couldn't stand the wait and took time off from work. Finally an exhausted doctor came and told us all went well, but there had been major damage to Hubby's herniated disc and the doctor had to remove most of it.

That was three days ago. 

Hubby is home now resting in bed. He has a long ways to go with six weeks of no bending, lifting, or twisting. He can't even drive a car until we go back to see the surgeon next month.

Through it all I could see God's tender mercies. I know there will be more challenges and tender mercies ahead, but I had to publicly acknowledge the help our family has had from a loving Heavenly Father. 

Has there been times in your life when you have felt God's tender mercies?

I know I promised last week to post about Ireland and what it has to do with my new novel, Deceived, but I just had to take a break and give you a slice of my life as I'm living it.

I promise to let you know how Ireland, the Nez Perce, and a cattle ranch in Idaho play major roles in my book.

 
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