Tag Archive | Jody Hedlund

Together Forever and a Q&A with the Author

Marianne Neumann has one goal in life: to find her lost younger sister, Sophie. When Together ForeverMarianne takes a job as a placing agent with the Children’s Aid Society in 1858 New York, she not only hopes to give children a better life but seeks to discover whether Sophie ended up leaving the city on an orphan train. Andrew Brady, her fellow agent on her first placing trip, is a former schoolteacher who has an easy way with the children–firm but tender and funny. Underneath his handsome charm, though, seems to linger a grief that won’t go away–and a secret from his past that he keeps hidden. As the two team up placing orphans amid small railroad towns in Illinois, they find themselves growing ever closer . . . until a shocking tragedy threatens to upend all their work and change one of their lives forever.

My Review:

Here it finally is, the next book the Jody Hedlund’s Orphan Train Series. As a fan of Hedlund’s books this one left me feeling happy, sad, excited, and counting the days until the next one comes out. When I first read that this book was going to be about the character Marianne, I was not sure if I was going to like the book, since I did not like her character in the first book. But I decided to give her the chance to change my mind and she did. Marianne grew up within the pages of this book.

Hedlund’s style of writing is excellent. She gave enough description and made the characters different from each other, especially since Andrew’s personality was a little more humorous. That made both main characters clash, because Marianne had a more serious personality. I enjoyed that part very much. Another thing about this book was that I could see it in my head. I could imagine what the characters, the train, and the towns looked like. The description was very well done.

As I kept reading the book, I knew it was going to be one of those books I had to finish and I did! The only thing that left me disappointed is that the next book, Searching for You, is not out yet. And from what I can find out, it won’t be out until December. I guess I will have to reread the two book and the novella again before that.

I highly recommend this book and this series–well the books that are out! I am looking forward to the next book as well.

Want To Read Some More:

Read my review of With You Always, the first book in this series, here.

Want to learn a little how the cover was made? Read about that here. It is really fun to see how covers are picked.

Here are some Q&As with Jody:

What do you hope readers take away from Together Forever?

I pray that in reading this story, not only will readers gain greater insights and a different perspective of the orphan train movement, but that they will also be encouraged to know God is present in their weakest moments. He doesn’t necessarily promise to give us the courage of a lion or to make everything perfect. But He does promise that His strength is available and that His power will rest upon us. Perhaps that strength will be just enough to get out of bed for another difficult day. Or perhaps it will be just enough to face the illness or hurt or heartache we bear. We can rest assured it will always be just enough. His strength is made perfect in our weakness.

What are you working on next?

 I’m in the editing phase of the third and final book in the orphan train series, Searching For You, which releases in December. It wraps up the story of the Neumann sisters by finally giving long-lost Sophie her happily-ever-after. I don’t want to give too much away, but I can tell you that Reinhold Weiss also has a major role in helping Sophie as she struggles to make a new life for herself.

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

I also love to chat on Twitter: @JodyHedlund

My home base is at my website: jodyhedlund.com

Find me on Instagram: instagram.com/jodyhedlund/

Come pin with me on Pinterest: pinterest.com/jodyhedlund/pins/

Title: Together Forever

Author: Jody Hedlund

I received this book from the Bethany House Publishing of the Baker Publishing Group as a gift from the author.

This review is written in my own words and is my honest opinion.

Read about the the next Book!

Despite years on the run, Sophie Neumann is determined to care for two young children.Searching-For-You She won’t abandon them the way she thinks her older sisters abandoned her. But times are growing desperate, and when she falls in with the wrong crowd and witnesses a crime, she realizes fleeing 1850s New York is her only option. Disappearing with her two young charges into a group of orphans heading west by train, Sophie hopes to find safety and a happy life. When the train stops in Illinois for the first placement of orphans, Sophie faces the most difficult choice of her life. Reinhold Weiss has finally purchased his own small farm. With mounting debts, a harvest to bring in, and past scars that haunt him, he’s in no position to give his heart away . . . but can he say no when his long-lost friend shows up on a nearby train pleading for his help?


Lastly, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to comment below! I love hearing from you as well!



A Loyal Heart

He’s taken her as his prisoner. But she’s holding his heart captive. In gaining their freedom, A Loyal  Heart.jpgwill they lose what matters most? When Lady Olivia’s castle is besieged, she and her sister are taken captive and held for ransom by her father’s enemy, Lord Pitt. Loyalty to family means everything to Olivia. She’ll save her sister at any cost and do whatever her father asks—even if that means obeying his order to steal a sacred relic from her captor. As Lord Pitt’s commander, Sir Aldric is in charge of the beautiful but feisty new prisoner. He has his hands full attempting to keep Lady Olivia out of trouble. When Lord Pitt throws her in the dungeon and threatens to hang her for stealing, Aldric conceives a plot to save Olivia’s life—betrothal to him. Can Olivia give up the prestigious match her father has arranged with a wealthy marquess in order to marry a lowly knight like Aldric? And can Aldric move beyond his past mistakes to embrace love again? When loyalties are tested, they’re thrust into danger that could cost them their love and their lives.

My Review:

A knight in shining armor, a damsel in distress, and true love worth fighting for sums up this brand new young adult book by Jody Hedlund. A Loyal Heart is the next installment of Hedlund’s An Uncertain Choice Series.

It was a great, clean read for teens trying to find good read. (Oh by the way, if you are older, you can still enjoy this read.) The plot was fun and intriguing with two main characters that each had an even amount of time to tell their own story. Hedlund wrote the book in first person but every chapter switched points of view from Olivia to Aldric.

To sum up my review, this story is really good and I recommend it! Oh, I am also really looking forward to Hedlund’s next book in this series. Personally, I hope to read about Olivia’s sister.

Title: A Loyal Heart

Author and her website: Jody Hedlund

This review is written in my own words and is my honest opinion.


A Dangerous Engagement

Just as merchant’s daughter Felicity Mayson is spurned once again because of her meager dowry, she receives an unexpected invitation to Lady Blackstone’s country home. Being introduced to the wealthy Oliver Ratley is an admitted delight, as is his rather heedless yet inviting proposal of marriage. Only when another of Lady Blackstone’s handsome guests catches Felicity’s attention does she realize that nothing is what it seems at Doverton Hall. Government agent Philip McDowell is infiltrating a group of cutthroat revolutionaries led by none other than Lady Blackstone and Ratley. Their devious plot is to overthrow the monarchy, and their unwitting pawn is Felicity. Now Philip needs Felicity’s help in discovering the rebels’ secrets—by asking her to maintain cover as Ratley’s innocent bride-to-be. Philip is duty bound. Felicity is game. Together they’re risking their lives—and gambling their hearts—to undo a traitorous conspiracy before their dangerous masquerade is exposed.

A dangerous engagement

This book is the third book in Melanie Dickerson’s series The Regency Spies of London. This book was is not my favorite Dickerson book but it is not at the bottom. The idea of the story was good but in my opinion it dragged on. However, the story was still good.

The cover of the book was actually the reason I picked up this book and wanted to read the book. Also I knew it was a Melanie Dickerson book and I have read almost all of her books.

I would recommend this book because Melanie Dickerson is the author and all of her books have been good, clean books that can be read my teenagers and adults. I have younger teenage sisters and it makes me happy that there is an author that I can recommend to them because of her wholesome books.


Title: A Dangerous Engagement

Author: Melanie Dickerson

Author’s Website: http://www.melaniedickerson.com/

Reading Resolution 15: Read a teen book.

I received this book from Waterfall Press for this review.


Have you read all of Melanie Dickerson’s books? Well if you have, Jody Hedlund’s  The Uncertain Choice Series is a good clean series that I would also recommend to teenage girls, as well!


This review is witten in my own words and is my honest opinion.

With You Always and Q&A with Jody Hedlund

A Riveting Look at the Orphan Train from Historical Novelist Jody Hedlund.
When a financial crisis in 1850s New York leaves three orphaned sisters nearly destitute, the oldest, Elise Neumann, knows she must take action. She’s had experience as a seamstress, and the New York Children’s Aid Society has established a special service: placing out seamstresses and trade girls. Even though Elise doesn’t want to leave her sisters for a job in Illinois, she realizes this may be their last chance. The son of one of New York City’s wealthiest entrepreneurs, Thornton Quincy faces a dilemma. His father is dying, and in order to decide which of his sons will inherit everything, he is requiring them to do two things in six months: build a sustainable town along the Illinois Central Railroad, and get married. Thornton is tired of standing in his twin brother’s shadow and is determined to win his father’s challenge. He doesn’t plan on meeting a feisty young woman on his way west, though.

With You Always

With You Always is the first installment of Jody Hedlund’s Orphan Train series and to be truthful is a great beginning. I had the privilege of being apart of Jody Hedlund’s influencer team for this book. For me personally, being an influencer for any author is hard because I never want to hurt the author’s feelings by not liking their books. Jody Hedlund does not have to worry though. I really liked this book. Everything about the book, the time period, the characters , and the plot was intriguing till the end. When I was reading this book, I could imagine each scene. Elise and Thornton are great main characters. I started this book thinking “Oh, I will be able to put this down, when I need to do other things,” but that was not the case. Every time I was interrupted, I was like, “No, I need to keep reading. Go away.” So last night, I was up really late reading and I finished the book. Hedlund did an excellent job with this book. A good book, to me, is a book that I cannot put down, and I could not put this book down.

I would recommend this book and cannot wait for the next two in this series. To readers who like historical fiction, this books is worth taking the time to read.


Title: With You Always

Author: Jody Hedlund

Author’s Website: http://jodyhedlund.com/

Reading Resolution 1. Read a book where the author is from your home state.

I received this book from the Bethany House Publishing of the Baker Publishing Group for this review.

This review is written in my own words and is my honest opinion.


Keep reading to read a few great questions that Jody Hedlund answered about her new book. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did!

Q: What is the inspiration behind your new Orphan Train series?

A: I have long been fascinated by the era of the Orphan Trains and the heart-wrenching stories of the homeless and helpless young orphans that were taken from the streets of New York City and other eastern cities and shipped West by the dozens. I was familiar with stories of those scared orphans who were placed out in what was thought to be a more wholesome, healthy environment of the newly settled Mid-Western states. Some of the orphans found happy endings and were adopted into loving families. Others experienced great abuse and heartache in their new homes. While stories of the orphans who rode the trains have been told—and rightly so—the stories of the women who were involved in the movement are not as well known. One of the things I particularly like to do when telling my stories, is focus on women who have been overlooked by the pages of history. I consider it a great privilege to be able to bring forgotten women to life for our modern generation. Thus, throughout this series, I’ll be focusing each book on a different aspect of the Orphan Train movement, particularly from the perspective of women who experienced riding the trains in one form or another.

 Q: What are you working on next?

 A: The second book in the orphan train series releases next summer in 2018. The story continues with Marianne Neumann. She gets involved in the orphan train movement as one of the placing agents and accompanies the orphans as they ride the trains west. I hope readers will enjoy Marianne’s story and also appreciate learning more about the orphan train movement from the eyes of the compassionate workers who tried to place the orphans into new homes.

Q: What special research did you do in writing With You Always?

 A: In the beginning phases of writing this series, I did a great deal of reading about the orphan train movement. In particular, I really loved Stephen O’Conor’s book, Orphan Trains, because he includes so many personal stories and details about real orphans, which are heart wrenching. I also read, A History of New York City to 1898, by Burrows and Wallace, which gave me great insights into the lives of immigrants, particularly immigrant women. Masses of foreigners were arriving into New York City on a daily basis, and the book gave a detailed look into their pathetic housing situation, the difficult working conditions, as well as gang problems and the underworld. Finally, another important aspect of the story that required a concentrated amount of research was the development of railroads. The mid-1800’s was an incredible period of growth for the railroad industry in the Mid-West. The new railroads aided the orphan train movement but also brought about the settlement of the Midwestern states, including Illinois, which is one of the settings of the book.

Q: An e-novella, An Awakened Heart, kicks off the series. What is the novella about, and is it a must-read in order to understand the series?

 A: An Awakened Heart is not a must-read in order to understand the series. But I do highly recommend reading it. (Plus it’s FREE, so you have nothing to lose by giving it a try!) The e-novella introduces a couple, Guy and Christine, who are both passionate about helping the poor immigrants crowded into the overflowing and dirty tenements of New York City. The novella shows their efforts to bring about change in the city, but also brings them together in a satisfying love story. The novella also introduces the three orphan sisters who will each become main characters for the three full-length novels in the series. It gives some of the background information on their situation, particularly how they become orphans, which I think readers will find helpful as well as informative.

Q: What do you hope readers take away from With You Always?

A: One of my hopes in telling this story is to leave readers with the reminder that God is walking with us in whatever dark valley we’re going through. Often, like Elise, we tend to pull away from God and let the bitterness of our circumstances drive us into a cave of isolation and self-blame and heartache. But God wants us to realize that even if we pull away from Him, He’s still there walking by our side, waiting for us to reach out our hand and grab a hold of Him. He never leaves us or forsakes us. He’s there waiting.

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