Monday, September 27, 2010

The Preacher's Bride Review & Giveaway

Do you want strong characters? An interesting story line? Seventeenth century history? Burning buildings? Love? A bit of action and intrigue? The Preacher's Bride supplies all of this and more. Immediately the reader is introduced and immersed into the world and challenges of Miss Elizabeth Whitbread. This young Puritan woman's convictions are strong, stronger than most of her peers in Bedford, England.

May 1659 brings the sad news of Mary Costin's passing, leaving her husband John and their children behind. Mary's infant son Thomas is not expected to survive, but Elizabeth is determined to intervene on his behalf. Elizabeth is soon hired as John's nanny and housekeeper and does her best to comfort the grieving children. John, nearly oblivious to his family in his grief, throws himself into his preaching and work to drown his pain. 

A series of misunderstandings between Elizabeth and John prevent them from getting off on the right foot. They come to an agreement, and Elizabeth will aid the Costin family till she weds Samuel Muddle, the local cooper. To further complicate matters, John experiences pressure from some government officials to cease the "unlawful" teaching of God's word.  This persecution extends to vicious rumors about Elizabeth and John's relationship and the threat of physical harm to...well, I won't give it away.

Elizabeth's marriage arrangement with Samuel is a practical one, for she has had no other suitors and desires to marry and have a family as is expected of all good Puritan girls. The arrangement with the Costin children is a matter of conviction; she feels called to help the grieving family. She doesn't expect to fall in love. With John.

What happens when Samuel forces Elizabeth's hand, making her choose between him and her call to help the Costins? Can she separate herself from John and the children? Is John even remotely aware of how Elizabeth feels? Will John's enemies succeed in silencing him?

I wanted to read this book for a number of reasons. When I saw that this story was inspired by John Bunyan's life, I was intrigued. Jody is a blogging friend, and I shared in her journey to publication through her posts. It was exciting to see her dream made a reality. And I love Christian historical fiction, so it was a given that this would make my wish list. Imagine my delight when I was able to become an influencer. 

The Preacher's Bride was excellent. Jody shares a compelling tale that captured and held my attention from beginning to end. Her ability to draw the reader into Elizabeth's world is truly a gift. This poignant story, based on real events, is one I will remember for a long time.

This book was provided as an influencer's copy by Bethany House. No compensation was received.

Interview on Thursday

Thursday's post will feature an interview with Jody Hedlund. Won't you join us? I'm excited also to share that Jody is offering a copy of The Preacher's Bride to one of my readers. Info is below; please note the details to ensure your entry.


To Enter:
  • Leave a comment to this post, include your email address like so: karenelange(at)gmail(dot)com. Entries without email address are not eligible.
  • Receive an extra entry by becoming a follower, or by reminding me that you already follow.
  • Receive a bonus entry by posting about this giveaway on your blog, on Facebook and/or Twitter. Please be sure and comment telling me so.
  • This is open to US residents only. For those of you who follow outside the US, I apologize.
  • Deadline to enter is midnight Eastern Standard Time, Saturday October 2, 2010. Winner will be notified via email and will have 36 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. Winner will be announced in Monday's post.                                                                                                               
 What's on your reading list this fall?



  1. I would love this book! Let me know if I win and I will give my address.

  2. Hey there. Great review. Sounds awesome. I have several books Im reading - some fiction, some non fiction. I know, I need to finish one and move on to the next! Im saving the new book from the author of Sarah's Key for my trip to N. Carolina in a week. Im already a follower or I'd follow you all over again my friend! Ive twittered this blog post.

  3. Best wishes for Jody and the success of her book The Preachers Wife. I just finished Dante's Inferno. I need to read another classic or two. Maybe something from John Steinbeck.

    Stephen Tremp

  4. Hi Karen .. sounds a fascinating book .. and the influence of John Bunyan - makes it more so - I'll keep my eye out for it over here .. the interview on Thursday sounds good - have a good week .. Hilary

  5. Hi Karen..what a wonderful review. The books sounds lovely. As both you and Jody are my blogging friends, both the review and the book interest me. I am glad that you were chosen as one of the influencers. Have a nice week.

  6. Jennie,
    Nice to see you. It's a great read!

    Thanks for sharing about the giveaway! Thank you for your sweet words. Got you on the list:)

    Classics are always a good thing. Have a great week!

    This might be a book you'd enjoy. The historical element was very interesting. You have a good week as well!

    I know, my interest was peaked knowing who Jody is. She does not disappoint!

    Thanks and blessings to each of you,

  7. I own this book and loved it also. Very well done. :O)

  8. Karen, like you, I loved The Preacher's Bride. Jody is a gifted storyteller.

    Please don't enter me in the drawing. I have four copies of the book and will be giving away three of them when I'm privileged to interview Jody on October 4 at Romance Writers on the Journey.

  9. Hi Karen,

    Thank you so much for the lovely review of my book!! It's so fun to hear what others are taking away from the story! And thank you for having me here on your blog this week! I'm honored! :-)

  10. Hello Kare,
    Just popping over from "DL Hammons, Cruising Altitude." Saw you are the sole KY representative and I wanted to check out my fellow Kentuckian.

    I will be following along now and the book sounds very interesting :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  11. This sounds interesting, thanks for the chance to win!
    I'm an old follower through Google Reader.


  12. Diane,
    I know, it's a keeper!

    She IS gifted, that's for sure. Your giveaway sounds like it will be great. :)

    You are welcome. It's a pleasure and an honor to have you here!

    Nice to meet a fellow Kentuckian, glad you came by. Will hop over to your blog, thanks for following!

    Always nice to see you. I think you might enjoy Jody's book.

    Thanks and blessings to each of you,

  13. I cannot wait to read this book! I am following you now. I just finished my biography last Saturday. Don't know what it's future is but for now for family.

  14. I'm so eager to read Jody's debut novel--I won it on her blog, and am looking forward to my package in the mail.

    Apart from Preacher's Bride, I have 2 Kathi Macias books on my fall reading list, as well as The Love Dare, which I'm halfway through. And of course, the world's all-time bestseller, the Bible.

  15. It sounds like there's nothing dull about this one! Okay, so I follow you (check) and my email address is

    Thank you for entering me!

    Oh, and fall reading list? More mysteries and some possible re-reads of a favorite Christian series, Jan Karon's Mitford books.

  16. Kerrie,
    I think that you will love it. I cannot wait for her next book! Added you to the giveaway list!

    You will most likely love it too. Glad you are getting a copy! :)

    Got you entered my friend! Your fall list sounds great!


  17. Hi Karen -

    Great review! Now, I want to read this book more than ever. Please enter me. I'm a Follower. :)

    susanjreinhardt AT gmail DOT com


  18. I have just recently had my interest piqued by the Puritans. What an amazing lot they were!

    I've no doubt this is great read. In fact, I think I just saw it at my local Costco.


  19. Hi Karen - This sounds like a great read. Please enter my name in the giveaway!


  20. Great review Karen! I already wanted to read Jody's debut novel, but now my hands are itching for my own yesterday!


  21. I was thinking about this book today! Thanks for reviewing. I'll have to get a copy now for sure. I'm across the border so can't enter the contest unfortunately!!

  22. Karen, lovely review. I knew you would NOT disappoint. You are my go to girl if I want to know about a certain book. Can't wait to read the book. It awaits me. :) Thanks for such a lovely birthday wish, Karen. It meant the world to me. Oh and I am a follower. (Which I guess you knew that. LOL) If I won the book, I'd give my copy to my sister.

    Jody, I miss seeing you. I really can't wait to read your masterpiece. :)

    I look forward to the interview.

  23. Wonderful review! I can't wait to read this one ;) WInner or not, I will be getting my hands on this one, for sure :)

  24. Susan,
    Thank you! I think this is one you'd enjoy. Added you to the list:)

    There is a lot of interesting history within the culture. Something to learn from them, I'm sure!

    It is! Got your name on the list! :)

    Well, I'll hurry us along to the weekend and if you are the winner...:)

    She is a gifted writer. I think you might enjoy this one!

    Hope your bday was a good one! If we must get older, we may as well have fun doing it:) Got your name on the list!

    So good to see you, can't wait to hear more of your ACFW adventures! This would be a good summer read for you:)

    Thanks and blessings to each of you,

  25. I'm a follower. :) Great review...I lived near Bedford when I was a little girl. :-o

  26. I would love to receive a copy of this book!!

  27. Oh, Jody's book sounds wonderful! I love historical fiction. Thanks for the great book review, Karen. Sounds like a must-read! Please enter me for the drawing:

    Looking forward to the interview on Thursday!

  28. Sharon,
    Small world, isn't it? Would be interesting to hear your take on the setting.

    Added your name the list. Thanks for coming by!

    You are welcome, glad you liked the review. :)


  29. I'm reading The Preacher's Bride now. And am LOVING it!!! You are right, Jody brings the reader immediately into Elizabeth's world and you feel her emotions, as well as John's grief for his late wife. And you find yourself cheering the characters on through their many obstacles.

  30. Please enter me! I'm a follower. I'm looking forward to reading this book! Thanks for the chance to win it.


  31. Looks like a great book! Please enter me!


  32. Great review. I'll have to read this book! Found you from Elizabeth Mueller's blog. I'm a follower!

  33. Congrats to a fellow blogger/writer and what a great review! The story sounds compelling and, like you mentioned, the basis of John Bunyon is really interesting...but who is he? All I can think is Paul Bunyon!

    My fall reads? Leighton Gage's 'Buried Strangers,' more Michael Malone, Louis Penny's 'The Brutal Telling,' Val McDermid--I've missed three of her's! And more, I'm sure...


  34. This book sounds fascinating! I'd love to read it. Thanks for the review. Just became a follower; thanks for the invite. :)


  35. Awesome giveaway! I've been trying to win this book everywhere!

    I'm a follower!

  36. Can't wait to read this book. It looks like such a good read!

    I'm a follower!

  37. Oh, Karen, I LOVED this book - LOVED it!!!! Great review, and I look forward to your interview with Jody. :-)

  38. Hey! I already have the book and I can't wait to read it!! Loved your review!

  39. Heather,
    I know! It's just sweeter knowing that it is Jody's book, isn't it?

    You are welcome! It's such a great read:)

    It is! Got your name on the list:)

    Thanks for coming by, and it's so nice to meet you!

    Thank you:) John Bunyan wrote Pilgrim's Progress and stirred things up quite a bit in his day.

    It is very good, and you are welcome for the review. It's been my pleasure.

    Good to see you, and thanks for dropping in! Added your name to the list.

    Thanks for coming by! Added you to the list as well.

    I know, it was such a great book! :)

    Thank you! I am sure you will enjoy it:)

    Blessings to each of you,

  40. Hey Karen! I'm already a follower.
    wolferock AT earthlink DOT net

  41. Oh, I'll try to stop by Thursday for sure!

    This fall? Believe it or not, I have a lot of YA on my list right now. I've been a kick lately.

  42. Great review. I would like to enter the contest.


  43. Thanks for the giveaway. Right now my reading list is rather long with books I want to buy, books I've won, and books I already bought. I'm trying to get through the easy YA stuff first before I get into any of the real meat and bones kind of literature if you know what I mean. Not that YA doesn't have meat and bones but it is usually a quick read.

    giveawaymommy at

  44. I am a new GFC follower

    giveawaymommy at

  45. Diane,
    Okay, got your entry noted! :)

    You know, I like YA every so often just for different. Who knows, maybe someday we'll write some YA:)

    Thank you! Added your name to the list.

    Thanks for joining us. Entry noted!

    Blessings to each of you,


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Have a blessed day!