Meet Jody Hedlund, the bestselling author of seven novels, including Captured By Love, Rebellious Heart, and A Noble Groom, winner of the 2014 Carol Award and Inspy Award. Jody received a bachelor’s from Taylor University and a master’s from University of Wisconsin, both in social work. Currently she makes her home in Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children.
I’m delighted that Jody agreed to stop by and share her love of lighthouses with us and give away a copy of her new novel, Love Unexpected.
A Love Affair With Lighthouses
By Jody Hedlund
Over the past year I’ve become obsessed with lighthouses. It all started when I began to do research for my Beacons of Hope series my editor asked me to write regarding women light keepers who worked in Michigan lighthouses.
Michigan is a peninsula surrounded on three sides by Great Lakes. As a result, Michigan has gained notoriety for being the state with the most lighthouses. It has over 120 compared to 500 total nationwide.
Michigan also has the distinction of having the most women keepers. During my research, I was thrilled to find a well-researched book that centered on those Michigan women keepers. It’s called Ladies of the Lights: Michigan Women in the U.S. Lighthouse Service by Patricia Majher. I loved reading about the approximately 50 women who served as principal or assistant keepers to Michigan lights. They inspired me to bring their stories to life.
Since I live in the middle of Michigan, I’m within a couple of hours driving distance to many lighthouses. So of course I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do hands-on research to the sight of the lighthouse that I use in my free enovella, Out of the Storm, as well as in my newest release, Love Unexpected.
The name of that lighthouse is Old Presque Isle Lighthouse and it’s located on the rocky shores of northern Lake Huron. I was able to climb the 40 foot tower and walk through the unattached keeper’s house.
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.
The men and women who lived in the lighthouses faced deprivation, isolation, and often great losses. Every time I visit a lighthouse, I gain a deeper appreciation for the people who devoted their lives to serve their country through manning the lights.
Love Unexpected explores both the romance and the danger of the lighthouse era. In the midst of a marriage of convenience, both of the main characters, Patrick and Emma, have to learn that no matter where they’ve wandered or no matter what they’ve faced, God is there as steady and constant as a lighthouse, bringing them safely into his harbor where they can find rest. I hope as you read the book, God will speak to you the same message!
As a gift to you (and to get you excited about lighthouses), I’m offering a FREE copy of my recently released lighthouse e-novella, Out of the Storm.
Question for YOU: Do you like lighthouses? Have you ever visited one? If so, where and what was it like?
I love hearing from readers! Make sure you stop by one of these places and say hello!
I hang out on Facebook here: Author Jody Hedlund
I also love to chat on Twitter: @JodyHedlund
My home base is at my website: jodyhedlund.com
Congratulations to Cheryl Barker who won the signed copy of LOVE UNEXPECTED by Jody Hedlund!