Wednesday, May 3, 2017
For Love and Honor by Jody Hedlund
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Book: For Love & Honor
Author: Jody Helund
Genre: Young Adult Historical
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Lady Sabine is harboring a skin blemish, one, that if revealed, could cause her to be branded as a witch, put her life in danger, and damage her chances of making a good marriage. After all, what nobleman would want to marry a woman so flawed?
Sir Bennet is returning home to protect his family from an imminent attack by neighboring lords who seek repayment of debts. Without fortune or means to pay those debts, Sir Bennet realizes his only option is to make a marriage match with a wealthy noblewoman. As a man of honor, he loathes the idea of courting a woman for her money, but with time running out for his family’s safety, what other choice does he have?
As Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet are thrust together under dangerous circumstances, will they both be able to learn to trust each other enough to share their deepest secrets? Or will those secrets ultimately lead to their demise?
We all have flaws, but in this fairy tale, Lady Sabine's life is in danger because of a birthmark. After all, that mark has been there since birth. In that way it is far fetched but it's a fairy tale. Again, we have instalove, but the story is still interesting. While I enjoyed this book it strikes me as less of a YA and more of a book for an older reader. Both Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet have a lot of growing to do during this book. The setting was fun and throughly fictional. Over all, a fun read.
Jody Hedlund is a best-selling and award-winning author who loves fairy-tales and happily-ever-afters. She makes her home in Midland, MI with her husband and five teen-aged children. When she’s not writing another of her page-turning stories, you can usually find her sipping coffee, eating chocolate, and reading.
Guest Post 1
Is Chivalry on the Brink of Extinction?
By Jody Hedlund
With the release of Fifty Shades of Grey movie and its popularity, I can’t help but wonder about the long-term consequences that such ideology will have on how people view relationships.
Already, too many couples struggle to maintain happy, healthy relationships. In fact, it’s become almost a weekly occurrence to get news of another friend or acquaintance who is dealing with a spouse cheating or leaving.
Mutual respect, loyalty, honor, and self-sacrifice have become out-dated, forgotten, or tossed aside in place of short-term pleasure that often leaves people feeling hollow and empty.
I honestly can’t help wondering where chivalry has gone, and not just the man-doting-on-the-woman chivalry. But mutual chivalry, the kind where each person in the relationship puts the other in high esteem, uplifts them, and makes a concerted effort to protect and cherish (both emotionally and physically).
Has chivalry become antiquated in our modern society? And even if it has, should it be outdated and on the brink of extinction? Should we be making more of an effort to reclaim mutual respect in relationships?
The kind of respect that does things for someone with no thought of getting anything in return.
The kind of respect that is graciously honest about problems instead of sneaking around and being unfaithful.
The kind of respect that is willing to sacrifice and see the needs of others instead of demanding our way and our own needs be met first.
As my teenage children enter into dating relationships, I worry about the influence of movies like Fifty Shades of Grey. I worry that they’ll see dysfunction as the norm. I worry that they’ll settle for a lot less than they should in their relationships. I worry that they won’t even know the meaning of chivalry.
Of course, we’re having candid conversations about all of these issues. Of course, my husband and I attempt to model mutual respect. And of course, I’m praying my teens work on growing their own character so that they can be strong and ready for whatever they might face.
But one of the things I’ve done over the past couple of years is write a young adult (YA) series that is aimed at some of these very issues The third book, FOR LOVE & HONOR, just released this spring (and can be read as a stand-alone). Since the story is set in medieval times amidst castles, knights, and ladies, chivalry is already a huge part of that era.
More than giving readers a glimpse of chivalry, however, I hope the book sparks some discussion about what it means to have healthy, respectful relationships. The book contains reader questions at the end that youth groups, moms and daughters, or friends can use together.
It’s not just another dating book. Instead it’s a fun and entertaining story that can hopefully facilitate discussion regarding what it means to truly demonstrate chivalry in our relationships.
So what do YOU think? Is chivalry on the brink of extinction? What are some ways we can make sure that we don’t lose it?
Guest Post 2
Why I Write Young Adult (YA) Books
By Jody Hedlund
FOR LOVE & HONOR is the third book in my Young Adult (YA) series set during medieval times and centering around knights, castles, and daring damsels. For those who haven’t yet read An Uncertain Choice or A Daring Sacrifice, don’t worry. All of the books can be read as standalones.
While this YA medieval series has been a step away from my usual historical romances, I have to admit that the series has been SUPER fun to write.
First, I love writing in the medieval time period, a time overflowing with danger, wars, plagues, strange customs, harsh living conditions, and incredible differences between the have’s and the have-not’s. All of that is such excellent fodder for developing page-turning stories. And so usually as I’m writing these stories, I have no trouble putting my characters into life-threatening danger, which is always fun.
Second, I’ve had fun writing my YA series because I love being able to speak truths into the hearts of young people. I have 4 teenagers and one tween, so I’m surrounded by teen angst every day! As a result of dealing with lots of teen issues with my children and their friends, it’s my goal to share hope and encouragement that if my characters can persevere and handle the growing-up issues with integrity and strength, then my readers can too.
Finally, I’ve enjoyed writing my YA series because I believe teens need clean romance alternatives. A lot of teens are reading romances (that’s when I started reading them). I’ve loved being able to provide a clean romance alternative with chivalry and honor and courage and lots of other themes that will hopefully give young ladies encouragement and inspiration as they move forward into building healthy relationships of their own.
Lest adult readers worry that FOR LOVE & HONOR might be too juvenile for them, then let me put your fear to rest. Reviews from my adult readers are showing that they, too, are enjoying the new book:
“This is marketed as YA, but it’s wonderfully interesting for all ages, in my opinion.”
“Even though it is written with the younger set in mind, I, being of the older set, enjoyed it immensely.”
“For Love and Honor is everything that fans of Jody Hedlund have come to appreciate and enjoy; regaling her readers across the generations with the timeless reminder that God-given uniqueness is a priceless gift, bestowed out of everlasting love.”
How about YOU? Have you read any YA books lately?
Guest Post 3
The Importance of Recognizing an Author’s World View
By Jody Hedlund
Over the past several years, I’ve read quite a number of Young Adult (YA) books. Part of the reason is because I have four teens and one tween. So I want to keep up with the literary smorgasbord offered to teens, especially because so many books end up as blockbuster movies. Both the books and the movies open the door for lots of discussion. We talk about objectionable behaviors, difficult life-issues, character likability, and so much more.
One question I almost always ask is: So what’s this author’s world view?
We all have a world view– a set of principles we live by or the philosophy of life that guides us. Usually we see everything through the lens of our world view which dictates how we live, the decisions we make, the way we treat others, etc.
Authors have world views too. And those views color and shape everything we write into our books, whether we intend to or not.
For example, after reading the best seller A Fault in Our Stars, I talked to my daughters about cancer and all of the sadness and fear that come with it. But beyond that, we talked about the author’s world view. What did he believe about death, the afterlife, about God (or the lack thereof), and about the meaning of human existence? The author’s philosophies DO come across. Perhaps subtly. But they are there nonetheless.
Most of the time, however, we don’t really take the time to think about the views that form the foundations of the books we read. In fact, I would go as far to say that most of the time our kids read for entertainment with little thought about the author’s world view and how it may or may not line up with what they believe.
As a result of simply drinking in whatever we’re told, we become susceptible to fads, whims, and sometimes even deceitful philosophies masquerading as good.
Obviously, I permit my children to read a wide variety of books. I don’t shelter them or require them to only read classics. But hand-in-hand with giving them the opportunity to read popular books, I take my responsibility seriously to have frank discussions about what they’re reading (and watching).
The fact is, sadly, that all too many teen books nowadays require a lot of debriefing. And I have to admit that I would love to be able to have more choices for wholesome (yet entertaining!) books that I can put into my kids’ hands.
It’s my prayer that FOR LOVE & HONOR can be that kind of book. Please spread the word so that we can pave the way for more books just like it!
How about YOU? Do you think about an author’s world view as you’re reading books?
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To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away all three books in the Noble Knights Series!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b6fc