I’m thrilled to host Jody Hedlund on my blog today. Scroll down to learn more about her latest book, Undaunted Hope. And that’s not all! Jody is also giving away one print copy of Undaunted Hope.
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 third book.
Yes, my first lighthouse book (Love Unexpected) is set at Presque Isle which is on Lake Huron on the north eastern side of the state. The second book (Hearts Made Whole) is set at Windmill Point Lighthouse that once existed on Lake St. Clair near Detroit.
Undaunted Hope is set at Eagle Harbor Lighthouse which is in the far north of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In fact, it’s about as far north as you can go in Michigan. During the mining boom in the Upper Peninsula, Eagle Harbor saw a rapid increase in the commerce in the area with ships arriving to supply miners as well as load up the valuable copper that was being mined. Due to the dangers of a rocky ledge in the harbor, the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse was established in 1851 to guide ships safely to and from the docks in the harbor.
The heroines in the first two books actually live in lighthouses. In Undaunted Hope, the heroine is a school teacher. Why did you decide for her to be a school teacher instead of a light keeper?
As I researched the area and the Keweenau Peninsula, I came across the diary of a real school teacher, Henry Hobart, who lived and taught in Clifton which was just a few miles down the road from Eagle Harbor. He wrote a detailed account of his life as a school teacher to the mining children.
I loved reading his diary and learning about all he experienced, especially those unique things that came with being in such a remote area of Michigan and living among the mining community.
I used many of Hobart’s experiences in Undaunted Hope. For example, he boarded with a Cornish family, the Rawlings, and Mr. Rawlings was a prominent mine engineer and mechanic. So I had Tessa board with this particular family. Hobart faced many hardships like bedbugs, lice, scarlet fever, the harsh winter, and much more. So again, I had Tessa experience many of those same things.
Eagle Harbor itself has an old one-room school house now known as the Rathbone School House. While it’s no longer in use and serves as a museum, during my research trip I was able to visit it. I used it as the inspiration for the school house in this book.
Do you base the villain in Undaunted Hope on a real Michigan criminal as you do in previous books? If so, who did you pick this time?
The villain, Percival Updegraff, is based on a real rogue from Michigan history, Albert Molitor. Molitor lived in Rogers City and ruled as “king” over his wilderness lumbering community. He controlled who was hired and fired. He had a company store and held a monopoly on all food and merchandise.
He was also a sexual predator. Since he had so much control over the people who worked for him, if he took interest in a woman, he would walk into the woman’s house and order her into bed. If she refused or resisted, he’d fire her husband and force the family to leave the company owned home.
He “ruled” this way until the people in the community finally revolted. They held secret meetings to plan to overthrow him. And while it took a couple of attempts, they attempted to assassinate him. He was mortally wounded and eventually died which finally freed the town of his cruelty.
You have a busy publication schedule in 2016! In addition to Undaunted Hope, can you tell us what other books we have to look forward to?
My second young adult novel, A Daring Sacrifice, releases in March. I’m super excited about this reverse twist on the Robin Hood story set during medieval times.
In June, Forever Safe releases. This is a fourth lighthouse book that involves a very special character. While the first three books are set at all Michigan lighthouses, this fourth book moves to the East Coast to Race Point Lighthouse on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Finally in October, my second historical will release. Following in the same vein as my Luther and Katharina book, I will be bringing to life another historical couple. I hope to reveal the couple, title, and cover in the next few months!
Do you have any parting words?
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
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The giveaway is for one paper back copy of Undaunted Hope by Jody Hedlund and is restricted to US addresses only due to shipping costs.
The giveaway begins on 1/16/16 and ends at midnight on 1/23/16.
To enter, click on the book cover or Rafflecopter link.