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Writer’s Life: Serena Chase

The Seahorse Legacy

Welcome to another edition of Writer’s Life, my interview series with authors of sweet or inspirational romance. Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Serena Chase! Serena and I connected through her fabulous blog, Edgy Inspirational Romance. If you haven’t checked out her Wednesday feature, “The Author’s Casting Call,” you need to. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy seeing pictures of cute guys cast as heroes in our favorite books? That can’t be just me! Oh, and the heroines get cast too… :) Serena also reviews novels for USA Today‘s Happy Ever After blog and is the author  of The Eyes of E’veria series,  more info below. A new edition of the third book in the series, The Seahorse Legacy, is available now!

 

Let’s get to it.

1. What about writing makes your heart sing?

Every once in a while a line or passage slips through your fingers and you realize that little nugget is speaking to your own heart as much (or more) than your audience. Those are magical moments!

 

2. What is the biggest hurdle you’re facing right now as a writer?

Summer vacation! With two kids still at home and a husband who is an elementary principal, summer vacation is great for them . . . but not so much for me, since I work from home. I love my family, truly, but when school breaks, so does my sanity, via my usually quiet writing space. It is really difficult to keep the flow going, to focus, with constant interruptions, noise and activity about the house and the yard, the need for transportation to the pool, practices, friends’ houses, driver’s ed . . . And don’t get me started on the guilt that results when I’m working and they’re all home and I feel like I should be with them, but I also need to play with my imaginary friends so I can meet a deadline . . . Oy!

 

3. What do you do to fill your creative well?

I am energized by travel–which I don’t do nearly enough–and by interacting with other fiction authors. Also, taking a break from reading for review (I review books for USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog and for the Edgy Inspirational Romance blog) and instead reading for pure enjoyment is good for me. Honestly, that is a treat! Since I couldn’t afford a real vacation this summer,  I took July and August off from reviewing (mostly) and I’ve been reading through the backlog of books I’ve wanted to read for a while, but couldn’t fit it with my review schedule. It’s been so much fun!

 

4. What are you working on now?

I just released a new edition of Eyes of E’veria book 3: The Seahorse Legacy, and I’m finishing up The Sunken Realm (Eyes of E’veria, book 4) It should release within the next couple of months, and once it’s out . . . I’m taking a break from that world (E’veria) to get after a contemporary paranormal romance series I’ve had on the back burner for a while. I am sooo excited to further develop this new project!

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Summer truly is a challenge. I don’t envy you the driver’s training. We survived that last year, and we moved on to college visits this year.Yikes! I feel guilty for all the reasons you listed every day during the summer. We have to meet deadlines, but we want to be there for our family. It’s really hard.

Congratulations on wrapping up your gorgeous series this year. I’m intrigued by the contemporary paranormal romance series, too. Mmm! Thank you so much for being my guest!

 

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The Seahorse Legacy

THE SEAHORSE LEGACY ~

 

a Pirate, bound by a centuries-old oath

As Keeper of the Seahorse Legacy, Cazien de Pollis is a King among pirates, divinely appointed to dispense justice on the seas. Bound by the sacred oath of a long-dead ancestor, he must fulfill a contract to wed the green-eyed Oracle’s Daughter named therein—or risk losing everything he and his people hold dear. But at nineteen, with the identity of his betrothed only recently revealed, Cazien resents the contract—and the urgency within him to see it satisfied.

a Knight, determined to prove her calling

Erielle de Gladiel returned from the quest for the Remedy, changed. Not only are her formerly-blue eyes now a brilliant shade of green, but she must don gloves to hide inky evidence that her prophetically-bestowed title, the Oracle’s Daughter, demands more from her than the task already completed. Erielle’s dearest-held dream is realized when she is knighted by her King, but unbeknownst to her, that very honor jeopardizes the prophesied purpose to which she and Cazien have been called.

a Legacy, demanding surrender

Just as Cazien summons the courage to collect his bride, dark rumors and darker deeds crawl up the coasts, calling its guardians, the Seahorse Pirates, into action—and Cazien away from Erielle. But even though the Oracle’s Daughter knows nothing of the contract to which she has been consigned, Cazien’s enemies have somehow learned of his interest in Erielle. And if they reach her before his ancestor’s weighty oath is executed, the Seahorse Legacy will be forfeited . . . and darkness will be given reign.

 

 

The third book in this series-within-a series, The Seahorse Legacy begins an epic tale of piracy, adventure, and romance. Giving subtle nods to several fairy tales, including an unexpected twist to the story of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, this romantic adventure will conclude in Eyes of E’veria, Book 4: The Sunken Realm, coming in 2015.

Want to dive deeper into the world of E’veria? Look for the first two-book set in the Eyes of E’veria series by Serena Chase! The Ryn (book 1) and The Remedy (book 2) retell the classic Grimm fairy tale Snow White & Rose Red on an inspirational and epic scale.

 

PURCHASE THE SEAHORSE LEGACY

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Serena Chase

ABOUT SERENA ~

SERENA CHASE lives in Iowa with her husband, two teen daughters, and a big white dog named Albus. A frequent contributor to USA Today‘s Happy Ever After blog, Serena is an avid reader of young adult fiction and inspirational romance and has become a respected influencer within those communities. When not engaged in her varied roles within the publishing industry, Serena can be found watching action movies and dreaming about someday living in a cottage by the sea. Connect with Serena Chase on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter (@Serena_Chase) and visit www.serenachase.com to subscribe to her newsletter and gain access to exclusive, subscriber-only content.

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I read a lot of contemporary romance novels, but I love getting lost in a unique story-world like Serena’s! Is there a setting that really stood out for you in a novel? Do share!

Have a terrific day!

Giveaway of Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth K. Vogt!

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

I’m so excited today! Beth K. Vogt’s new series featuring destination weddings launched June 30 with, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, and I’m giving away a copy to one blessed reader! Woo-hoo!!

I’ve been a huge fan of Beth’s books ever since reading Catch a Falling Star. Every time I read one of her stories, I laugh, I cry, and I don’t want it to end. It’s a reader problem I’m sure you understand. Anyway…

Besides being an extremely gifted writer, Beth is one of the most genuine, generous and fun women I know. I’m thankful for the many ways she’s encouraged me personally, and I hope you all pick up one of her books to see for yourselves what I’m talking about!

To celebrate her release I’m giving away a paperback copy of Crazy Little Thing Called LoveSee the form below for the easy entry options!

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Crazy Little Thing Called Love ~

Wedding bells and storm clouds collide in the first engaging novel in a brand-new series about destination weddings, the power of love, and the possible mishaps and missteps that happen on a couple’s journey down the aisle to “I do.”

Paramedic Vanessa Hollister has put her adolescence behind her, including the unwanted label of being the new kid in town over and over again, thanks to her father’s military career. She’s overcome what her mother called “the biggest mistake of her life” and is planning an elegant destination wedding in Destin, Florida with her new fiancé. But will the reappearance of her first husband from her what-were-you-thinking teenage elopement disrupt her dream of an idyllic beach wedding?

As a professional storm chaser, Logan Hollister is used to taking risks. However, a reckless decision during the last tornado season has him questioning the future of his team, the Stormmeisters. Coming face to face with his ex-wife eight years after their divorce compels him to confront his greatest regret: losing Vanessa. Does their past give him the right to interfere with her future?

A fast-moving, powerful hurricane throws Vanessa and Logan together as they evacuate to a storm shelter along with other residents of the Florida Gulf Coast. Forced to spend time together, the pair battles unexpected renewed feelings for each other.

Vanessa and Logan are faced with a choice: Should they accept, once and for all, their teenage marital mistake? Or is God offering them a second chance at happily ever after?

Purchase CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE now!

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Beth K. Vogt

About Beth ~

Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” A 2015 RITA® Finalist and a 2015 and 2014 Carol Award finalist, Beth is a contemporary romance novelist with Howard Books. Her 2014 novel, Somebody Like You, was one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Books of 2014. In 2015 she introduced her destination wedding series with both an e-novella, Can’t Buy Me Love (May) and a novel, Crazy Little Thing Called Love (June). Connect with Beth at bethvogt.com.

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Where is your ideal wedding location? A church, beach, outdoors or somewhere else? I’d love to hear it!

Have a terrific day!

 

Writer’s Life: Danica Favorite

The Lawman's Redemption

Welcome to another edition of Writer’s Life, my interview series with authors of sweet or inspirational romance novels. I’m thrilled to have Danica Favorite today! Danica and I met years ago at an RWA conference in Washington D.C. I knew her from the Harlequin forums, so I was especially happy to run into her in person. Since then, we’ve reconnected through ACFW, and I had the pleasure of a long, deep discussion with her over coffee in Dallas. I wish we lived closer to each other! Danica’s second Love Inspired Historical, The Lawman’s Redemption, released July 1! Yay!

Let’s get to it.

1. What about writing makes your heart sing?

I just really love exploring people’s stories and lives, so it’s all about getting to know these people and have their stories come to life, ending on a happy note. Probably the happy note is the most important part. There’s enough depressing stuff in this world going on, so I like to make sure the happy part really comes out.

 

2. What is the biggest hurdle you’re facing right now as a writer?

Finding enough time to do it all. I work about 30 hours a week, have two busy kids, we just moved, and we’re building on to our new house. Did I also mention that I have a book to write? So it’s really interesting sometimes, finding a way to balance it all and finding time to fit everything in.

 

3. What do you do to fill your creative well?

Great question, because the answer is something I’m really passionate about. For writers, and pretty much anyone else, it’s so important to keep that creative well filled. I’ve created a lot of exercises to help people engage creatively with the world. That’s been the key to keeping my creative well full. I do a lot of art journaling, regular journaling, crafts, knitting, outdoor activities, prayer, meditation, creative movement, and a lot of other fun stuff. I think it’s important to shake things up now and then, so I’m always trying something new. I have a page on my website dedicated to my creative practice, so stop by!

 

4. What are you working on now?

I’m in the middle of my third book, which is Emma Jane and Jasper’s story. And wow! It is quite the ride. I’m at the place most people call the “sagging middle” but with the way bullets are about to start flying, this book is doing anything but! I’m also working on some fun creativity books that I hope will help writers (and regular people!) engage in a deeper creative process.

 

***

Danica, I love your art journal! My son and I took some of your tips and have added to our art journals here and there. You’re so right about doing a variety of things to stay engaged. You inspire me!

***

The Lawman's Redemption

The Lawman’s Redemption ~

Lawman on a Mission

Former deputy Will Lawson is fighting to regain his reputation—and Mary Stone is his only lead to the bandit who framed him. Now that he’s tracked Mary to Leadville, Colorado, Will needs the proud beauty to reveal her past. Instead, his efforts spark a mighty inconvenient attraction…

Mary’s only real crime is that she once believed an outlaw’s lies. Still, she fears disclosing the truth to Will may land her in jail—and leave her young siblings without protection. Now she must choose between honesty and safeguarding her family. And if Will does clear his own name, can he convince the woman he loves to share it?

 

Buy The Lawman’s Redemption now!

 

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Danica Favorite

 

About Danica ~

A dedicated professional in the publishing world, Danica Favorite works as an online moderator for a major publisher where she connects readers and writers with new fiction releases. With four active kids, a devilishly handsome husband and insane dog, Danica’s never short of inspiration when it comes to writing characters for her latest book. She and her family make their home in Denver, Colorado, where they enjoy the mountain lifestyle with the comforts of the city.

***

Have you tried art journaling? It’s fun! Here’s a link to Danica’s Art Journal blog!

Have a great day!

Odd Television Choices When Sick

I had a migraine this week. It was a doozy, one that had my head throbbing and my stomach churning. The nausea was so bad all I could do was lie on the couch and watch television with one eye open.

 

 

Here are some of the shows I watched (I fell asleep often, so I don’t think I watched an entire episode of anything):

1. Good Morning America (I usually tune into this every morning for the local weather).

2. Some show I thought had Abolone Snails in the title on Discovery Channel for shark week. Now mind you, I was drifting in and out of sleep, but I thought one of the divers was eaten by a shark and died. I can find no trace of this program on Discovery Channel’s TV schedule, so maybe I was hallucinating.

3. Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Making the Team Season 9 Episode “Getting the DC Look.” This was a rerun from last season. Yes, I saw it the first time around and enjoyed it the second time around!

4. Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Making the Team Season 9 Episode “Time to Get Serious.” A double-shot of reruns! Yes!

5. Bride of Jaws. Another Shark Week delight from the Discovery Channel.

6. Real Housewives of Orange County Season 10 Episode 4 “Charity Case.” I’ve never watched the Real Housewives of Orange County. It’s a strange show.

7. The last three innings of the Detroit Tigers vs. Seattle Mariners game. Tigers won! Yeehaw!

8. The Spoils Before Dying: Part 1 on Independent Film Channel. This is a bizarre mini-series with Will Farrell, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and other stars. Last year’s The Spoils of Babylon was one of the oddest things I’d ever laid eyes on, so I tuned in to this year’s show. It was a little boring, but I’ll watch Parts 2 and 3 for giggles.

Yep. That’s a lot of television right there, but like I said, migraines leave me borderline comatose, so I was happy for the distraction.

What is the weirdest show you’ve watched?

Have a terrific weekend!!

Writer’s Life: Lyn Cote

Lake, Lyn Cote

Welcome to another edition of Writer’s Life, my interview series with authors of sweet or inspirational romance novels. Today I’m blessed to have Lyn Cote on the blog! Lyn is an award-winning, multi-published author of contemporary and historical romance, and she’s also a generous writer who has helped many new authors like myself. Her new book, Blessing, the second in her historical romance series, Quaker Brides, came out this month!

Let’s get to it.

1. What about writing makes your heart sing?

I love it when my characters “take over” the story and start doing  and saying things I didn’t expect them to!

2. What is the biggest hurdle you’re facing right now as a writer?

Just keeping up with the demands of working with two publishers and also self-publishing books that don’t “fit” the traditional market but which I want to write.

3. What do you do to fill your creative well?

Where I live feeds my creativity. I live on a lake in the forest. Also I find trips–even day trips–energize my imagination.

Lake, Lyn Cote
Lyn Cote’s view of the lake!

 

4. What are you working on now?

I’m just finishing up work on my Quaker Brides series for Tyndale House. The second book in the series Blessing released July 1st. I’ve just finished a proposal for another series for Love Inspired Romance and also a novella that will come out in November. See I’m keeping busy!

***

Lyn, I’m amazed at how many books you’ve published and continue to publish! Congratulations on all your hard work and success. Living on a lake in the forest would definitely fill my creative well. I love long walks outdoors! Thank you so much for being my guest today!

***

Blessing by Lyn Cote

Blessing ~

An impetuous love swept Blessing Brightman away from the Quaker community, into the highest ranks of Cincinnati society. But behind the glitter of ballroom and parlor, her spirit slowly eroded in an increasingly dangerous marriage. Widowed young, determined never to lose her independence again, Blessing reclaimed her faith and vowed to use her influence to fight for women’s rights and abolition.

Gerard Ramsay, scion of a wealthy Boston family, arrives in Cincinnati hoping to escape his father’s clutches with a strategy that will gain him independence. His plan is soon complicated, however, by the enchanting widow. Never before has a woman spoken as if she’s his equal—or challenged him to consider the lives of others.

In a city nearly ablaze with racial tensions quickly dividing the country, can two people worlds apart possibly find common ground?

Buy Blessing Now! 

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Lyn Cote

About Lyn Cote ~

Author of over 40 books, award-winning author Lyn Cote writes contemporary and historical romance. Her homepage blog features “Strong Women, Brave Stories.” Visit her website/blog at LynCote.com and find her on Facebook, GoodReads and Twitter.

 

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If you could live on any lake or ocean, which one would you choose?

Have a terrific day!!

 

Weekend Plans?

It’s the 4th of July weekend, and I’m excited about it. First of all, the forecast calls for NO rain. It’s been a rainy, flooded mess here, so sunshine is something to celebrate. Second of all, there are a bajillion different fireworks’ displays nearby. I love fireworks! Thirdly, I plan on baking brownies. Not a big deal for many people, but brownie dough tastes fabulous.

Two other things I’m looking forward to?

This:

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

 

And this:

A Rancher for Their Mom

 

 

Yes, I’ll be kicking back with those two lovelies. What’s better than fireworks, sunshine, brownies and books?

Do you have weekend plans? Are you excited about them?

Have a safe and terrific weekend!

Writer’s Brain and Multiple Projects

Writer's Brain and Multiple Projects

Symptoms of writer’s brain:

1. Overwhelming desire to drop everything and explore a new idea.

2. Inability to focus because five things are clamoring for attention.

3. Disconnect with the world around us due to immersion in whatever we’re working on.

 

I didn’t always have writer’s brain. In fact years went by with me functioning quite well. Before I got serious about getting published, I worked on one idea or project at a time. By the time I signed  with my agent, I’d gotten into the habit of plotting one book while writing and revising another, as well as keeping up with daily social media tasks.

Now that my career has been moving forward, I constantly deal with multiple projects. This causes writer’s brain on a regular basis. For example, this week I’m working on:

1. Initial promotion plan for Unexpected Family.

  • Organizing a group Facebook party for launch date.
  • Emailing bloggers to set dates, guest posts and interviews for blog tour.
  • Setting up a private Facebook group for readers who want to help spread the word about my books (if you would like to be a member, please email me jill(at)jillkemerer(dot)com).

2.  Write the first fifty pages of new book to submit on proposal. I’m 5,ooo words in and plan on finishing the draft this week.

3. Continue working on nonfiction book.

  • Ordered a book on copyrights and permissions.
  • Drafting another chapter.

4. Reading one book I agreed to influence.

5. Write a short piece for my church’s outreach committee.

6. Update the home page of my website (I do this the first of each month).

 

With all these projects, it gets difficult to prioritize.

Should I write another scene of the fiction proposal first? Or type another chapter of the nonfiction? How do I fit in the promotion tasks? How long will it take me to read the book I’m influencing, and when should I start it (I already know I won’t want to put it down!)?

All those thoughts swirl, throwing me into writer’s brain. It’s not pretty. It’s easy to get stuck really quick! Instead of wallowing in a bag of M&Ms, I looked at my week and decided what to work on and when.

  • Mondays are always full of chores and errands, so I fit my promotion tasks in between them. I drafted the short piece for church Monday night.
  • Tuesday brought more time-consuming morning chores/errands, but after lunch, I worked on my fiction proposal until we had to leave for my son’s baseball game. I sketched out the next scene while the boys warmed up before the game.
  • This morning I’ll be updating my home page and writing more of the fiction proposal. Tonight I’ll take notes on the copyrights and permissions book.
  • Tomorrow I’ll continue the fiction proposal and revise the church piece before sending it. We have another baseball game, which means I can read a few chapters of the book I’m influencing before the game.
  • Friday I should be finished with the proposal draft, so I’ll write another chapter of my nonfiction then.
  • And this weekend I’ll read the rest of the book I’m influencing.

Even if the week doesn’t go according to plan, I know I’ll meet the majority of my goals. Best of all, none of my current projects will fall through the cracks. Phew!

It’s not easy to prioritize. It’s certainly not easy to make progress on multiple projects! But this is part of my job, and I love my job. I get excited every day (and a little panicky at how to fit it all in) to develop ideas into books and to promote them. It just takes a little planning and a lot of focus. :)

How do you deal with multiple projects?

Share your tips! And have a wonderful day!

 

Get Back on Track!

Last night I took a walk with my husband, and it hit me that I’d been off track with my health plan for a good week. It’s crazy that it took me a week to even realize this!

 

I also set insanely high writing goals, ones I realistically knew wouldn’t work based on my writing style. This will come as a shocker, but I haven’t met those either. I don’t feel bad about it. I’ll explain why in a little bit. But all this getting-off-track stuff brought out my analytical side. Why, after months of steady progress with my healthy habits, had I slid out of them?

I had to identify what I was doing differently.

1. I stopped tracking my calories, my exercise and my water intake.

I use an app called MyFitnessPal on my phone to count calories (type in the food you ate and you can pick from a list) and track my exercise. Yet, I hadn’t logged anything since last Tuesday. To be fair, we were out of town for a good portion of that time, but still.

2. I stopped making exercise a priority.

Due to summer scheduling problems, my friend and I had to drop our twice weekly yoga sessions to one. I’d also been doing a mini cross-fit workout once or twice a day, and I really was noticing results with that. However, I wasn’t doing cross-fit either, and they literally take less than five minutes to do! Oh, and jogging twice a week? Had morphed into a long walk now and then. Ain’t nobody getting in shape with a weekly exercise tally of one yoga session and a random long walk.

3. More and more “junk food” snacks were edging out fruits and vegetables.

All the small choices I make add up over time. They were adding up, all right. Right onto my hips. The result? An overall feeling of fluffiness. Plus, my mood went from powerful to meh.

I’ve been here before, friends. And I’ve gotten back on track. I will this time, too.

How I’m getting back on track.

Stop doing what doesn’t work, and start doing what does.

It’s as simple as that.

Starting today, I’m:

1. Tracking calories, exercise and water intake.

I truly don’t mind doing this. It’s not difficult, and it keeps me focused.

2. Making exercise a priority.

Yes, this means deciding how many workouts and which ones I’ll do, but shouldn’t I be doing that anyway? Yes.

3. Eating fruit and vegetables before junk food.

I will never give up junk food. I love candy, chips, and soda. But I enjoy them in moderation. It’s time to get back to that.

As far as my writing goals, I don’t need to get back on track, because I AM on track. I set way too high of goals, and I know it. It takes me a lot longer to write the first three chapters of a novel than the rest of the book. I could rush, but I would just end up spending the same amount of time or more fixing them later. Since I track how many hours I write and how many words I write, I know I’ve put in my best effort.

How do you get back on track when you slide away from your goals?

Have a fun weekend!

 

We’re Talking Lighthouses with Jody Hedlund

Hearts Made Whole

Today, I have the pleasure of talking with Jody Hedlund about her lighthouse series, Beacons of Hope. The second story in the series, Hearts Made Whole, is available now. I loved it! My review is at the end of the post.

Let’s get to it.

 

1. Each of your lighthouse books is set at a real lighthouse that once existed in Michigan or still does exist. Tell us a little about the lighthouse in this second book.

 

In my first lighthouse book (Love Unexpected), the lighthouse was set at Presque Isle which is on Lake Huron on the north eastern side of the state. For the second book, I picked a lighthouse in a completely new location with the intention of giving readers a different flavor of climate, geography, and the population.

 

Windmill Point Lighthouse once existed on Lake St. Clair near Detroit, a much more urban and highly trafficked area than the remote wilderness of Presque Isle. Windmill Point Lighthouse was a strategic beacon that helped ships cross from Lake Huron over into Lake Erie as those ships transported raw goods from the Northwest states to eastern cities and seaports.

 

The lighthouse is named after the old ruins of a windmill where early frontiersmen brought their grain for grinding. Also, legends attribute the area to being an old battle field of a savage encounter between the early French settlers and Indians. As many as 1000 Fox Indians were slaughtered on the banks of Lake St. Clair. Later settlers to the area uncovered bones, arrowheads, tomahawks, and other gruesome mementos of the battle.

 

Today, all traces of the original windmill, lighthouse, and burial grounds are long gone. If you visit Grosse Pointe in the Detroit area, all that remains is a small conical structure with a white flashing light.

 

2. Many of the heroines in your books are inspired by real women. Is that true of the heroine in Hearts Made Whole? If so, what women provided inspiration?

 

The woman light keeper in Hearts Made Whole is inspired by Caroline Antaya. Caroline lived at the Mamajuda Lighthouse on the Detroit River a short distance away from Windmill Point Lighthouse.

 

Caroline’s husband served with honor in the Union army during the Civil War, losing several fingers on his hand at Gettysburg. Eventually after returning from the war, her husband was named as keeper of the Mamajuda Lighthouse, but he passed away of tuberculosis.

 

Part of what really impressed me about Caroline Antaya’s situation was that she had been doing a fantastic job as a light keeper. But the district lighthouse inspector trumped up charges against her saying that she was in ill-health and incompetent. He took away her position simply because she was a woman and gave it to a man instead. Fortunately, her community rose to her defense and enlisted the help of a Michigan Senator to help her get her position back and she went on to serve as a light keeper for another three years.

 

In those days, when women were regularly discriminated against because of gender, Caroline’s story is inspirational and an encouragement to persevere in the face of injustice. I admired Caroline’s will to stand up for herself and to pave the way for women coming after her to use their God-given talents and abilities in roles and jobs that had previously been closed to women.

 

3. Why lighthouses? What fascinates you about these shining beacons?

 

I’m fascinated with lighthouses for a number of reasons. First, my state of Michigan is home to the greatest concentration of lights in the United States. In fact, Michigan is noted as the state where the most lighthouses were erected. And now today, more than 120 remain compared to 500 total for the rest of the nation.

 

Not only are lighthouse beautiful and picturesque, but they bring back a sense of nostalgia, poignancy, and romance that few other historical markers do. They’re rich in historical details and stories. They’re wrought with danger and death. And they’re just plain fun to explore. Climbing the winding staircase, reaching the top, and peering out the tower windows (or in some cases going out onto the gallery) is breathtaking.

 

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Thank you so much for sharing your fascinating lighthouse details with us today, Jody! I feel as if I’ve toured the lighthouses in book 1 and book 2 in the series. You brought them to life for us! And what better reward for a winding climb than a beautiful view of one of the Great Lakes.

 

***

Hearts Made Whole

 

Hearts Made Whole ~

After her father’s death, Caroline Taylor has grown confident running the Windmill Point Lighthouse. But in 1865 Michigan, women aren’t supposed to have such roles, so it’s only a matter of time before the lighthouse inspector appoints a new keeper–even though Caroline has nowhere else to go and no other job available to her.

Ryan Chambers is a Civil War veteran still haunted by the horrors of battle. He’s been given the post as lighthouse keeper, and the isolation where he can drown in drink and hide from his past is appealing. He’s not expecting the current keeper to be a feisty and beautiful woman who’s none-too-pleased to be giving up her position. They both quickly realize he’s in no shape to run the lighthouse, but Ryan’s unwilling to let anyone close, ravaged by memories and guilt. Caroline is drawn to this wounded soul, but with both of them relying on that single position, can they look past their loss to a future filled with hope…and possibly love?

 

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Jody Hedlund

About Jody ~

Jody Hedlund is a best-selling and award-winning author who loves history and happily-ever-afters. She makes her home in Midland, MI with her husband and five children. When she’s not writing another of her page-turning stories, you can usually find her sipping coffee, eating chocolate, and reading. For more information, go to JodyHedlund.com.

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My review 5 STARS!!
I’ve been a fan of Jody Hedlund’s historical romances since her debut novel. I always say, “This is her best yet,” because each book is SO good! The same can be said for Hearts Made Whole. I loved this book!

This is the second in the Beacons of Hope series, and the story takes place on the shores of Lake St. Clair in Michigan right after the Civil War. Caroline Taylor has her hands full keeping the lighthouse after her father’s death, and the board refuses to consider allowing a woman–however capable–have the job. Ryan Chambers is given the job, but not because of his experience. The war left him guilt-filled, maimed, in constant pain and addicted to alcohol and opium.

I enjoyed how Caroline’s strong, compassionate personality helped heal Ryan, but they both acknowledged only God can heal. It was wonderfully woven together. I wanted them to have a beautiful life together, and the obstacles they had to overcome were tremendous. I didn’t want their story to end–and I was so happy at how it all worked out.

Now I just have to wait patiently until the third book comes out!
**I received an advance copy of this book with no obligation to review it. All opinions are my own.**

 

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Would you be willing to climb a tall, winding staircase in a lighthouse to see the amazing view? (I would!)

Have a wonderful day!

If We Were Having Coffee Together

If you and I were having coffee together, my end of the conversation would include the following.

 

Door

 

 

It’s been a very rainy spring/summer for us. On the plus side, our grass is a gorgeous, lush green. On the negative side? It’s also full of mushrooms. Yuck. :(

 

Flowers

 

Our front porch was dull and uninviting, so last weekend we gave our wrought iron chairs a fresh coat of black paint, tossed a few new throw pillows on them, and planted hanging baskets and two pots to flank the door. Much better!

 

Chairs

 

Tomorrow is my wedding anniversary! *swoon* My husband always, always makes me laugh, and we like to joke that we made it another year. The truth is, I couldn’t imagine even one day without him. He’s my better half!

We’re wrapping up another baseball season. We’re pumped up about the big tournament this weekend and can’t wait to watch the boys play.

My day planner ends in June. Maybe a trip to Barnes & Noble is in order to purchase a new one. Hmm… I also need to create a six-month plan of attack for my upcoming books.

I know, I know, I’m quite the conversationalist. Trust me, if we were having coffee together, there would be a lot of laughter throughout!

What’s going on with you?

Have a fabulous day!

 

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