Dark Glass Ponderings

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. -1 Corinthians 13:12

I'm thrilled to be part of Amber's Seasons of Love Blog Party and I'm thrilled to share a fun interview with Jody Hedlund, author of one of my favorite books of 2010, The Preacher's Bride.  You can read that review here.  Jody's next release will be The Doctor's Lady this Fall. 

 How did you choose Elizabeth Bunyan as the model for your main character?

I like to read biographies (yes, I’m a history geek!). When I was reading about John Bunyan, I ran across the story about how his second wife, Elizabeth, bravely defended him in front of a court of judges after he’d been accused of unlicensed preaching.

I loved her courage and determination, and I decided I wanted to tell her story to the world. So much is known about some of the great heroes of the faith, but so little is told of the incredible women who stood by their sides and helped shape them into the men they became.

Can you share an interesting fact about the Bunyans or their romance that you learned in your research?

At the end of his life, John Bunyan wrote this in a deed, “The natural affection and love which I have and bear into my well-beloved wife, Elizabeth.” I thought his words were so romantic, especially after years of marriage. It just showed how much they’d grown to love and appreciate each other over the years.

Do you have any Valentine's Day traditions in your family?

On Valentine’s morning, I place a big pretty bag in the middle of the kitchen table with a little gift to each family member inside. Then I attach a piece of string to the gift and run it out to each individual’s spot and tape it to a special heart-shaped box of chocolates. One-by-one, my husband and children take turns pulling on their string and receiving their gifts.

Describe your perfect romantic dinner. What would you eat? Are you cooking or going out? What music would you play at dinner?

At this stage in my life, with five very busy children, ANY dinner I eat alone with my husband is romantic! Every Wednesday night after the kids are in bed, my husband gets Qdoba burritos for just the two of us. And occasionally, we’ll get take-out after the kids are in bed and have a quiet dinner alone. We love those times!

If you were planning a party, which three historical figures would you like to invite and why?

Of course, I would have to invite John and Elizabeth Bunyan, and Mary their blind daughter, simply because I would love to hear what they have to say about my retelling of their lives in The Preacher’s Bride. And I’d have dozens of questions for them about all of the details I didn’t learn during my research.

What is your favorite flower?

The lilac. I absolutely adore the sweet scent. But I’m also very fond of any type of flower my husband brings home for me. Even though we’ve been married for almost twenty years, he’s still very sweet about bringing me bouquets from time to time.

Do you have a favorite couple from the Bible? Why?

I’m quite fascinated by the story of Ruth and Boaz. It’s such a beautiful tale of a poor woman who sacrifices everything, and a rich man who falls in love with her and rescues her from deprivation. It’s just like a rags-to-riches fairy-tale.

How did you decide to write historical romance?

I’ve always loved reading historical romances and losing myself in the past. And I’m also a big history buff. So I was naturally drawn to writing about the things I love most.

Can you share an instance in your life when you clearly understood Christ's love for you personally?

Oh, I’ve had lots of those moments in my life. And now that I have children, I get glimpses of Christ’s love especially when I’m parenting. When I have to discipline or set boundaries for my children, I realize that I’m doing it because I love them and want them to grow into godly young adults some day. It’s a daily reminder that out of his love for me, Christ disciplines me too.

Do you have a favorite dessert? Will you share the recipe please?

Here’s one of my favorites, because it’s not only super-delicious but also very easy!

Gooey-Chocolate Cake

1 Box German Chocolate cake mix

(water, vegetable oil, and eggs called for in the cake mix directions)

1 (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

1 jar (16 oz.) caramel, butterscotch or hot fudge topping

1 container whipped fluffy white frosting or 1 (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 cup toffee chips or bits

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Make cake as directed for 13x9 inch pan; cool 15 minutes.

2. Poke top of warm cake every ½ inch with handle of wooden spoon. Drizzle sweetened condensed milk evenly over top of cake; let stand until milk has been absorbed. Drizzle with caramel topping. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours.

3. Spread frosting over top of cake. Sprinkle with toffee chips. Store covered in refrigerator.

Giveaway: Want some yummy Godiva chocolate?  What's your favorite dessert?

Also to one winner, Jody has offered a copy of her book, The Preacher's Bride.  Please enter in the comments whether you are interested in one or both.
Please include your email in this format:
name (at) where (dot) com
Winner will be announced Monday!!


Hmm... that's actually really hard. I like pie, so I'd have to say most fruit pies :)


Lots of them, but this is a summer favorite.

Raspberry Glaze Pie
1 baked 9" pie shell
1 qt Red Raspberries
1 C sugar
1 C water
3T cornstarch
1T lemon juice
3T Cream Cheese

Take 1 C raspberries and 1/3 C water and bring to a boil. Simmer 3 minutes. Strain mixture to remove pulp. To juice add remaining water, sugar and cornstarch. Stir until thickened. Add lemon juice.
Spread softened cream cheese over baked pie shell. Add remaining berries and pour cooled glaze over pie. Chill
Serve with whipped cream!
ps you can make this with other fruits...I've made black raspberry and strawberry


Hmmm, interesting question. My favorite dessert is creme brulee. Yummy!


It is hard to choose a favorite dessert but I would go with French Silk Pie or those chocolate molten cakes.
This recipe looks yummy.

Hmm, my favorite dessert?? A chocolate bar! :-) Or a Reeses! :-)

I'd love to be entered into both drawings - chocolate sounds SOOOOO yummy right now! ;-)

~ Katy

I would love to win a copy of Jodi's book. She is a new author to me and I love new authors along with all my other favorites. As to a favorite dessert, if it has lemon, anything lemon, I just love it, lemon pie, lemon cake, lemon cookies.......can I say more! God bless you!

Cute Blog! I’m a new follower Happy Saturday!! I would love for you to stop and take a look at my blog as well! Thanks!

Your cake recipe sounds yummy!! I'm gonna have to try it! As for my favorite dessert? That's kinda difficult, I think Peanut Butter Pie would have to be it.
I would love to be entered in both giveaways if possible. I'm excited about reading about the books....I'm always looking for new Christian Fiction to read!
Joy Hannabass

I would love to be included for the book giveaway. The chocolate is tempting, but I don't eat sugar, so my favorite dessert is a chocolate coconut Larabar. gasweetheart211[at]netscape[dot]net

What a great interview/post, Julia! I'm so glad you could be a part of this party--it's been so fun so far! :D

I love Jody's creative gift-giving idea for Valentine's Day. :) So cute!

I would love a chance to win some chocolate, if it's OK if I enter... ;) Thank you!



Hi, Julia! I posted about your interview and highlighted your site in a blog hop I entered. I hope that's okay. I just felt like folks were missing out on reading your great site! . . . I love Jody's book and own a copy. But please enter me for the chocolate. Yum! Have a great weekend.

reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Great interview. Sadly, I didn't even realize what this book was about until this interview. Now I want to read it, though. :)

My favorite dessert probably changes everytime someone asks me, but right now it's probably pecan pie. I'm also really loving fruit right now, but i don't guess that counts as a dessert.

I would love to be entered for Jody's book.

bluerosesheart at yahoo dot com

@ Ariel,
Thanks for stopping by. Good choice!

@ Maureen,

Thanks so much for sharing the recipe. I love raspberries and this sounds like a wonderful summer (or pretending its summer which I love to do at this time of year) book.

@ Jo,

Oh, great answer. I love creme brulee, although it can be tricky. Took me a couple tries :)

@ Wendy,

Those lava cakes are so good. And Jody's recipe sounds heavenly!

@ Katy,

Reeses are my favorite candy too. Gosh, now I'm just going to have to have dessert tonight :)

@ Charlie,

This was one of my favorite books of last year...it comes highly recommended.

@ Heavenly Savings,

Thanks for stopping by and entering. I love saving money. I'll have to stop by and check out your blog.

@ Joy,

I love PB pie, too. So many good ones.

@ Adge,

Oh, I understand about the not eating sugar. I'll enter you for Jody's book though.


I love her gift tradition, too. I think she is amazing that she homeschools 5 kids and gets all these beautiful books written. (You're entered for the chocolate:). Thanks for a great idea, its been fun.

Renee Ann,

Thank you! That was very sweet of you. I did notice I had a few new followers this morning. Thanks for your sweet words and good luck on the chocolate.


I used to crave those Christmas oranges when I was pregnant. I really think you will like Jody's book!

I was very blessed by this wonderful interview, Julia! I haven’t read anything by Jody but this book sounds beautiful. I just read your review for it and WOW, fantastic review, my friend! I know if the book meant that much to you it will be an excellent read. I would love to read it! Thank you so much for the chance :)

And, I loved her Valentine’s Day tradition, too! Sweet and special and something I would like to do with my own family someday :) I really enjoyed getting to know Jody through this interview. Thank you for introducing me to her and for a chance to read her book!

A favorite dessert of mine would have to be my mom’s Coffee Delight! I don’t even like coffee but this is excellent! You start off by making a butterball cookie crust in a 9”x13” pan. Once that is baked and cooled you blend together cream cheese and cool whip and spread over the cooled cookie crust. Then you add a layer of creamy coffee pudding, followed by fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of walnuts. Fridge it and enjoy! It is BEYOND YUMMY!!! I ask my mom to make it for my birthday every year :D


I loved the Preacher's Bride and I'm anxiously awaiting The Doctor's Lady. I'm a bit of a history buff myself ;-) so these historical romances are my faves.

As for dessert, I'm a huge fan of wild blackberry/raspberry pie. There's nothing better than taking that first bite out of a warm pie, it just makes all the hard work of berry picking worth it!

I'd like to be entered to win the chocolate please! :-)

XOXO~ Renee

I just picked up Jody's book The Preacher Bride. I haven't gotten a chance to read it yet, but it's on my bookshelf. I can't wait to get to it because I've heard such great things from book bloggers I follow.

My favorite dessert is Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory.

You asked if I want some yummy Godiva chocolate....absolutely! :) Thanks for the giveaway and great interview!

Joy GLee G@aol. com

Great blog. Following now from Spotlight Saturday

Hello everyone! I'm super pleased to meet some new readers here today on Julia's blog (as well as seeing a few readers I already know!). I'm getting a sugar high just reading everyone's favorite desserts! I think I'm going to have to go eat a bag of chocolate chips or something just to satisfy my craving! ;-)

I'm really thrilled to hear that so many of you have read and enjoyed my book! And for those that haven't read it yet, I hope you'll get the opportunity! :-)

Blessings to you all!

I love NY Cheesecake.

I'm interested in winning either the chocolate or the book. Thanks!
Both would be lovely!

My favorite dessert would probably be Pie....Lemon Meringue or a berry pie!
I would love both, but the book sounds amazing! Please enter me! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

I'd love to be included in your giveaway. My favorite dessert is German chocolate cake!

Thank you for the entry in your giveaway...Jody's book and her newest one look wonderful and I'd love to read "The Preacher's Bride".



That recipe looks great! Thanks for sharing. I'd love to be in the drawing for the book and chocolate, I think that's a fabulous combination. :)

twinwillowsfarm (at) gmail (dot) com

Enjoyed the post. Love to be entered for the chocolate & the book :)

How silly & forgetful I am--my earlier post--I left out my email addy. want[_]adventure[_]write[at]yahoodotcom

I love desserts so it is very hard to pick just one favorite but it would probably be Cherry Pie.My favorite flower is the lilac, too. My grandmother in Colorado used to have a hugh lilac bush ...they don't grow where I live unfortunately.

Julia, what a delightful interview! You asked some great questions. It was so great to learn more about Jody and her thoughts about writing The Preacher's Bride and some other things about her. Jody, I loved this book - so interesting and satisfying! It took me days before I could pick up another book as I was still overflowing from the reading of it. Cannot wait to read your next novel!

Since I've already read the book, please enter me for the chocolates!

carlagade [at] gmail [dot] com

I'd just like to be entered for the book. Thanks!

leanniegehrke at hotmail dot com

What I love the most is Lindt Lindor Chocolate Truffels. They are the best! I love lilacs too. I have 5 bushes of them, which includes a Koren Lilac. I love being outside when they are blooming and just breathing their wonderful perfume. Please enter me for the drawing of the book. I would love to read it. Thanks for the chance.

My favourite dessert is huckleberry pie, but if Canadians may enter I'd love a chance to win some chocolate!

ikkinlala AT yahoo DOT ca

That dessert sounds amazing!

Thanks Julia and Jody!

Great interview and I'd like to be in the drawing for The Preacher's Bride, pretty please, with...apparently whipped topping.

debraemarvin (At) yahoo.

Julia M. Reffner

About Me

My photo
Christ-loving bookworm & homeschool mom of 2 stealing the rare quiet moments to pursue that all elusive writing dream. I also write book reviews for Title Trakk and The Historical Novel Society.


Contributor at The Writer's Alley:


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