Book Review & Giveaway: REBELLIOUS HEART by Jody Hedlund

Author Jody Hedlund

Author Jody Hedlund

When I first encountered Jody Hedlund back in mid-2009, she was a new blogger seeking representation and publication for her writing. She often used examples from PILGRIM’S PROGRESS in her posts, and admitted a passion for John Bunyan. So it was no surprise when her first published novel was a story loosely based on the second marriage of John Bunyan. (THE PREACHER’S BRIDE, Bethany House, 2010)

In that book Jody’s writing transported me right into the story’s mid-1600s setting… something that rarely happens unless an author has done a remarkable amount of research and used the information effectively.

In each of her successive books, Jody’s knowledge of historical times – i.e., 1836 Oregon, 1880s Michigan, and 1763 Massachusetts – evoked the same reaction, and I’ve been drawn into reading a genre that previously had never appealed to me. I eagerly devoured her newest book, REBELLIOUS HEART, when it was released in September by Bethany House.

At the end of this post you can leave a comment and be entered in the draw for a copy of REBELLIOUS HEART. :)

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Rebellious-HeartREBELLIOUS HEART takes us into the lives of two people from vastly different backgrounds. Susanna Smith is a bright young woman of good social status who, despite being denied the education she desires, displays her intelligence and asserts her independence as she works for social justice. When she seeks to aid a runaway indentured slave, she is assisted by the son of a farmer, country lawyer Benjamin Ross, who is also involved in the pre-Revolutionary discontent of the time. Their developing friendship places Susanna and her family in great danger.

Inspired by the unique friendship of US president John Adams and his wife Abigail, the story places richly detailed and believable characters into historically correct settings while playing out a fascinating and fast-paced plot.

I asked Jody which scene in the story she found the most challenging to write…

“Which scene in Rebellious Heart was the most challenging to write? I’d have to say the first scene in the courtroom where Ben is defending Hermit Crab Joe. I always want the first chapter to accomplish many goals. But often that’s hard to do without being wordy (and potentially boring the reader!).

“My original version of the scene was MUCH too long. And once I’d written it, I realized right away that I would need to pare it down quite a bit. But at the same time, I was told I needed to add more period detail to the scene so that readers could understand right away that they were in Colonial Times. So essentially I had to cut AND add at the same time!

“Fortunately, I’m not married to my words and I can usually cut and chop without mortally wounding myself. The hard part was trying to figure out exactly what was necessary for the scene and setting and what was overkill.

“Once I had eliminated as much as I possibly could, then I had a Colonial “expert” give me advice on where I could add a little more period detail to make the chapter/book more authentic.”

That authenticity stands out in all Jody’s writing, but especially in REBELLIOUS HEART. If you enjoy good historical fiction, you’ll want to add this book to your list of must-reads!

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If you’d like to have your name included in the draw for a free copy of REBELLIOUS HEART, please leave a comment below and be sure to provide your e-mail addy when prompted. The draw will close at 11:59 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Tuesday, December 24th. I’ll be taking a blogging break during Christmas week, but will post the name of the winner on Friday, December 27th.

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You can find out more about Jody and her books on her website: jodyhedlund.com

She hangs out on Facebook here: Author Jody Hedlund and also loves to chat on Twitter: @JodyHedlund

She is represented by Rachelle Gardener at Books and Such Literary Agency.

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17 thoughts on “Book Review & Giveaway: REBELLIOUS HEART by Jody Hedlund

  1. Hi Carol -

    I’ve read several of Jody’s books and enjoyed them. Please enter me in the drawing. susanjreinhardt AT gmail DOT com

  2. Hi!
    I would love to be entered in the drawing!

  3. Lis says:

    I think the first chapter of a book is so important! It makes me want to keep reading or to put it down for another time. I’ve read some great reviews for this book!

  4. I love historical fiction and REBELLIOUS HEART is on my wishlist! Thank you so much for the opportunity to win a copy!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

  5. sharon says:

    This historical novel sounds captivating and very special. thanks for your giveaway.

  6. HannaH Rose says:

    I’d love to enter this drawing! :)

  7. Carol says:

    Thanks for stopping in today and for all your interest in Jody’s book. It’s an excellent story… suspense, danger, romance and history! I know whoever wins the draw will be in for a great read.

  8. Patti Lougee says:

    Can’t wait to read this one!! Jody Hedlund is on my top list of writers. LOVE her!

  9. I’ve read this book and highly recommend it. Wonderful well written historical novel that lets the reader see, feel and walk the journey with the characters to experience what life was like for people back then.

  10. Ola Norman says:

    This sounds like a great book! Can’t wait to read it.

  11. Jody Hedlund says:

    Hi Everyone! Thank you all for swinging by today!! I hope you’ll all have the chance eventually to read the book! And thank you, Carol, for hosting me for an interview and for doing the giveaway! :-)

  12. Darlene says:

    Jody’s books are excellent reads. I would love to win her latest one as I haven’t read it yet. Thanks for the wonderful interview.

  13. Bonnie says:

    An interesting story line! I have read many wonderful reviews of “Rebellious Heart”, & would love to read it! Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

  14. Mallori says:

    I read my first Jody Hedlund novel (The Doctor’s Lady) this past summer and loved it (as well as The Preacher’s Bride)! I really enjoy reading novels that are loosely based on real people or events. Somehow it makes the book become that more believable. Can’t wait to read A Noble Groom and Rebellious Heart!

  15. S. Etole says:

    Yes, please enter me in the drawing. It sounds like a great way to begin the new year. Please let me know if I need to send an email address. Have a wonderful Christmas.

  16. territiffany says:

    I love get books and also watched her take off as a writer! Talker445@Yahoo.com

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