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This past spring I shared with you how much I enjoyed The Carpenter’s Daughter by Jennifer Rodewald. I am super excited to have Jennifer back with us today to share about her newest release, Red Rose Bouquet! (This is the second book in her Grace Revealed series.) Before we visit, here’s a quick peek at the story.
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Cheryl Thompson learned over a decade ago to guard her shattered heart with a veil of cold indifference. Life since that day has been an endless cycle of detachment and loneliness, followed by superficial relationships. Break up, rinse, and repeat. Until something in her snaps. This life…she can’t do it anymore. She returns to her childhood home in the Colorado Rockies to help her Nana, only to discover a man capable of thawing her iced-over emotions—a man she knows she doesn’t deserve, so she pushes him away. But he keeps coming back.
Brock Kelly lived high as King of the Slopes in the world of snowboard cross racing. Medals. Money. Fame. But after a visit to an orphanage in Mexico, he gave up his adrenaline-packed lifestyle to follow a calling from God he didn’t know he had—helping kids who’d been damaged emotionally. When his best friend’s baby sister returns to town, he recognizes the hollow look in her eyes and sees the pain beneath her icy armor. It seems God has issued new call on his life. One he is not prepared for.
Falling in love with a woman who keeps secrets is dangerous all on its own. But when Cheryl finally tells Brock what she’s never told anyone else…no wonder she is the way she is. It would take a miracle to heal that wound, and a love bigger than Brock had ever imagined to walk with her through the process.
Welcome back, Jennifer! Wow — this sounds like another amazing story! What inspired you to write this series or this novel in particular?
I didn’t see this one coming. Honest. As I was going through the final editing stages for Blue Columbine, I got to the scene where Cheryl leaves Andrew in his downtown loft–livid, frozen, and completely unlikable. Something whispered to me, “She has a story.” Probably that “something” was Someone.
There was nothing easy about this story. I found myself shredded through the process of research–something I usually love to do. Sitting down to write her story came with a sense of heaviness and a strong dose of fear. Still, her story would not let me surrender.
I am so thankful. I loved when Brock says in the story that his life was shifting. My paradigm has shifted too. I don’t write so that I can preach. I write so that I may be changed.
I am definitely not the same. (We) cannot escape the demands of deep compassion. Truth. And it has opened my eyes.
Sometimes you have to be willing to look at the brokenness and to allow another’s pain to break your heart before you can truly learn compassion. Thanks to Cheryl, my heart has been shattered. I am better for it. Because of that, I am so thankful for the things that I hadn’t seen coming.
I suspect this is the very reason your stories have such emotional depth to them. Your willingness to go through this process produces wonderful results! Who is your favorite secondary character in this latest novel, and do you think you’ll include that character in a future story?
Ethan and Brandi have a story. Brandi ends up being probably the most unlikable character in this book—and I’m certainly aware of that. But, she and Ethan have some things to work through, and there are reasons for the way she is behaving. You’re just gonna have to trust me on that.
Two things: Compassion speaks. Louder than any well-laid argument we may cleverly outline. Compassion touches the hearts that are too damaged to hear anything else.
And second: Faith is our shield (See Ephesians 6). Whatever battles our hearts and minds are in, we need to believe God—to know and hear what He says about Himself and what He says about us—and then to BELIEVE Him.
That knowledge has to move from our heads down to our hearts! Have you given any of your own personality quirks to your characters? If so, would you be willing to share about it/them?
I have such a bad habit of saying “dude.” Seriously, it’s bad. I’d broken myself of it for a while, but then Brock and Ethan started talking, and I’m gone again. I apologize to anyone who may actually speak to me. It is what it is… ☺
LOL! In some settings, I imagine you’d fit right in! 🙂 Aside from reading and writing, what hobbies do you enjoy?
My favorite thing in the world (when I can, which isn’t often enough) is to go hiking. Love. Next, landscaping/gardening. Spring is the best. Tulips are awesome. The smell of the dirt as it warms in the spring sun… I just smile thinking about it. ☺
I’m not very good at the landscaping thing, so the next time you need a project to work on… 😉 What are you reading right now?
I just finished Joanne Bischof’s The Lady and The Lionheart. So. Good. And, I think I’m going to just order a copy to nail on the wall because the cover is gorgeous! Now I’m itching to finally get into Julie Lessman’s Isle of Hope series. ☺
I keep hearing great things about The Lady and the Lionheart! (Should I give a spoiler and tell you that, not only is the book next on my list, but we’re also going to have an opportunity to meet Joanne! 😀 ) I think you’ll like Isle of Hope — it’s another good one! Can you give any hints about what you’re working on now?
I am getting ready to release a Christmas novella in November, and I’m really excited about that. It is not my normal “flavor” of books—much lighter and much shorter, but I’ve had a lot of fun with it. Hint: if you’re on my reader’s email list, look for a Christmas gift from me to you come November… ☺ Then next year, I have tentatively scheduled as my YA release year, but we’ll see what God has planned for that—as I’ve already said, sometimes I don’t see what He has coming, and that’s a good thing.
Sounds like we need to make sure we’re on that list! (You can sign up here: Jen’s Newsletter.) If you could offer a word of encouragement to an aspiring author, what would you say?
Walk the path God has for you. It’s not going to look the same as another author’s, and that’s more than okay. Listen to His voice above all else. He has a lot to say to the hearts He loves.
That’s so true, not just for writers, but for all of us! Thanks for taking the time to visit with us today, Jennifer!
Your turn! Jennifer’s “dude” reminded me of a recent conversation with my kids about the overuse of “like” among teenagers… Do you have a word or phrase that you tend to use a lot (or even overuse)?
Jennifer Rodewald is passionate about the Word of God and the powerful vehicle of story. The draw to fiction has tugged hard on her heart since childhood, and when she began pursuing writing she set on stories that reveal the grace of God.
Jen lives and writes in a lovely speck of a town where she watches with amazement while her children grow up way too fast, gardens, plays with her horses, and marvels at God’s mighty hand in everyday life. Four kids and her own personal superman make her home in southwestern Nebraska delightfully chaotic.
Also by Jennifer:
Best friends—maybe more—until addiction shatters everything.
Childhood sweethearts reunite, but Andrew is not the boy he had been, and Jamie hasn’t changed. Their connection, however, outlasts time and offense.
Loyalty, love, and then betrayal….For Jamie, one thing becomes clear: Andy needs a savior, and she cannot be it. Will Andrew allow the hand of grace to redeem his legacy of addiction, or will he and Jamie remain the casualties of heartbreak?
Land of her own and the love of a good man.
Shouldn’t that be enough?
Left wounded by a marriage cut short, Suzanna Wilton leaves her city life to start over in a tiny Nebraska town. Her introduction to her neighbor Paul Rustin is a disaster. Assuming he’s as underhanded as the other local cowboys she’s already met, Suzanna greets him with sharp hostility.
Though Paul is offended by Suzanna’s unfriendliness, he can’t stop thinking about her, which unsettles his peaceful life. A hard-fought friendship slowly kindles something more, but just as Paul’s kindness begins to melt Suzanna’s frozen heart, a conflict regarding her land escalates in town. Even in the warmth of Paul’s love, resentment keeps a cold grip on her fragile heart.
Will Suzanna ever find peace?
***Winning title for the 2014 COTT Olympia Contest***
One word can change a life…
Sarah Sharpe has grown up as a carpenter’s daughter, knowing only the rough and work-heavy world of her father’s blue-collar profession. Abandoned by her mother as a baby, she’s lived twenty-one years content to drive nails at her dad’s side. Following her father into the world of construction was a natural path, and she took it without a second thought. But a harsh comment about her “butch” appearance sends her on a search for identity.
Enter handsome and easygoing Jesse Chapman, the roofer she meets on her first foray into volunteer work for Homes For Hope. In every way, the quirky man is her opposite—confident, a people kind of guy, and most importantly, happy. His likable qualities continue to draw her in, and for some reason he keeps coming back to her. But they can’t be more than friends—he’s made that crystal clear. Except for a handful of times…and the confusion is driving her crazy.
Sarah’s quest for self-definition becomes more tangled than she ever imagined, and she discovers that the journey will take her deeper than clothes and makeup. Filling the void in her heart becomes an obsession she cannot escape. How far is she willing to go to discover who she really is?
‘Red Rose Bouquet’ Triple Giveaway:
Jennifer has generously offered a triple giveaway! There is one Rafflecopter entry form, but there will be three winners selected. The first winner will receive a paperback copy of Red Rose Bouquet. The second winner will receive an e-copy of Red Rose Bouquet. And the third winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift card! How awesome is that?!