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From the author’s website:


Jody has written novels for the last 18 years (with a hiatus when her children were young). After many years of writing and honing her skills, she finally garnered national attention with her double final in the Genesis Contest, a fiction-writing contest for unpublished writers through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers).

Her first published book, The Preacher’s Bride (2010 Bethany House Publishers), hit the CBA Best Seller list on two different occasions and has won multiple awards.

Her second book, The Doctor’s Lady, releases in September of 2011. She has completed a third book which will be released in 2012. She’s currently busy researching and writing another book!


MBA:     What was the inspiration behind The Doctor’s Lady?

This book is inspired by the true life story of Narcissa Whitman, the first white woman to brave the dangers of overland trail and travel west. In 1836, she married Dr. Whitman, and then the next day
left her childhood home and would never return for the purpose of starting a mission among the Nez Perce natives.

It was my hope in this story to bring Narcissa Whitman to life. This heroic woman has often been ignored and at times even disparaged. In reality, she exuded incredible courage to attempt a trip many proclaimed foolishly dangerous. It was called an “unheard-of-journey for females.” Because of her willingness tonbrave the unknown, she led the way for the many women who would follow in her
footsteps in what would later become known as the Oregon Trail.

MBA:     What percentage of The Doctor’s Lady is true? And how much did you add?

As with any story of historical fiction, the large majority of what I’ve written was truly from the depths of my imagination, all of my creative meanderings of “what could have happened.”

However, in my research of the Whitmans, I drew from numerous biographies. While I wasn’t able to stick to every historical detail in complete accuracy, most of the story outline is taken directly from Narcissa’s diary.

I tried to follow the trail they took west as closely as possible. While I was unable to include every stop and incident of their travel for the sake of brevity, I did try to capture the essence of their journey. I included their travel first by sleigh, then steamboat, and lastly by wagon and horse.

Make sure you read the Author’s Note at the end of the book where I explain in more detail which specific incidents came from the pages of her diary and what I made up for the sake of the story.

MBA:    How long did it take to write the book? What was most challenging?

The research took six to eight weeks. I wrote the first draft in approximately five months and fell in love with it.

However, the editing phase was the most hallenging. Somehow in the first draft, I gave my main characters problems and haracter arcs that were too unlikable. My editors encouraged me to revamp my charcters so that they would be more positive and appealing to readers. The editing phase took much longer than I’d anticipated and spanned several months,including two sets of major rewrites.

MBA:  As a homeschooling mom of five children,how do you manage to find time to write?

 It’s definitely not easy. I feel like I have two very full time jobs! But like any other writer trying to balance dual careers or multiple responsibilities, I’ve had to look for ways to make it work. I’ve scaled-back on outside commitments and simplified home life as much as possible. I also stick to a very strict writing schedule when I’m in first draft mode. I block out writing time and don’t let myself go to bed at night unless I get in my daily word count.

MBA:    What do you think is the most important quality it takes to be a successful author?

One of the key qualities in becoming a susccessful author is learning to be an enthralling and captivating storyteller.

Writers can (and should!) work on improving their techniques—how to write good dialog, how to write tightly, how to develop their characters, etc.

But first and foremost, I think readers are looking for stories that blow them away. At least as a reader, that’s what I long for!

MBA: What’s coming next?

In 2012, my next historical romance releases. I’m really excited about this story because it’s set in my home state of Michigan. It takes place during the 1880’s at a time in history when the lumber era was at its height. Although the story isn’t inspired by a true person the way my first two books have been, I do include several real people,particularly a real villain by the name of James Carr who was notorious in central Michigan for his violence and for introducing white slavery into the state.

The heroine of the story is a young woman, Lily Young, who is looking for her sister who’s caught up into the degradation of lumber camp life. While Lily searches for her missing sister, she fights against the evil that runs rampant around her, and she fights not to lose her heart to the lumber baron who turns a blind eye to the lawlessness of the lumber business.

Jody, Where can readers find you?

I hang out on Facebook here:Author JodyHedlund

I also love to chat on Twitter: @JodyHedlund

My home base is at my website: jodyhedlund.com


<img src=””http://www.jodyhedlund.

It’s new.  It’s fabulous.  And it’s just for YOU!

In celebration of the release of The Doctor’s Lady, Jody is offering her readers a chance to win an incredible pioneer prize package valued at $300.

Visit the Contest page or find Jody on Facebook to learn more, submit your entry, and tell your friends.

Then be sure to come back on September 27th to see if you are a winner.

Link to  contest page:<img src=””http://www.jodyhedlund.

WATCH THE BOOK TRAILER: http://youtu.be/3n-UrDeevrE



  • Publisher:Bethany House (September 1, 2011)
  • ISBN-10:0764208330
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764208331
  • SOURCE: Received from the publisher and author for review.

They vowed to keep their marriage in name only.

But when the unexpected happens on the grueling journey west . . .

Their carefully constructed partnership will be put to the ultimate test.

Priscilla White knows she’ll never be a wife or mother and feels God’s call to the mission field.

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.

Read an Excerpt

 Buy This Book!


Thanks to Jody,we are offering 1 print copy of “The Doctor’s Lady” by Jody Hedlund. Open to U.S residents only.No P.O. Boxes,please. The winner must have a U.S. mailing address. This  giveaway will run from today September 5,until September 12,2011. Please tell us something you learned from this interview…



 THE DOCTOR’S LADY by Jody Hedlund is an exciting inspirational historical
fiction set in 1836 Angelica, New York and Oregon Country. It is written with
depth,and details. It has some romance, historical facts, secrets,
faith,following God’s plan, harsh
elements,struggles,trials,forgiveness,danger,Indians,missionaries, fur
trappers and an epic journey across the Continental Divide for two white women.
This is the story of Priscilla White and Dr. Eli Ernest. The story was inspired
by real life characters Marcus and Narcissa Whitman,who where a young couple who
traveled across across country to Oregon to start a mission amon the Nez Perce
natives,their faith,trials and struggles for survive.In this story Priscilla
needs a husband to join a missionary group and Eli needs a wife to continue his
exploration and mission for the Nez Perce Indians. Together, with another young
couple The Spalding’s they face danger,struggles,learn to love each other,follow
their dreams,and their destiny. They face many difficult times but find not only
matters of the heart but also,an adventure that will test Priscilla’s
spirit,faith and an epic journey of survival. Where Priscilla and her young
companion Mabel will become the first two white women to cross the Continental
Divide.A must read with many of action,adeventure and twists and turns.This is
truly an author to watch for See “The Preacher’s Wife”,her debut novel.”The
Doctor’s Lady” is truly inspirational story of how a marriage of necessary can
endure to become marriage of the heart.This book was received for the purpose of
review from the author and publisher. Details can be found at Bethany House,a
division of Baker Publishing Group.