FF: Celebrating my CP’s Official Release Day!

It’s Frabjous Friday, time to have some fun and celebrate our successes  If you have good news, I invite you to let us know about it in a comment so we can happy dance with you.

I have some very good news to share . . .

Today is the official Release Day of my Critique Partner Jody Hedlund’s debut novel, The Preacher’s Bride, by Bethany House Publishers.

Jody is holding a cyber celebration on her awesome blog. She’s giving away a copy of her book and a $25 Amazon gift card. You can also add a virtual treat to the goody table.

I became Jody’s critique partner just a few months ago, long after she’d turned her first book in to her editor. Like many of you, I waited eagerly for The Preacher’s Bride to hit the shelves. Knowing that books often appear in stores weeks before their official release date, I called my local Christian bookstore on September 10 and let out a squeal. They’d received their copies the day before. It was late, so I dashed over to get the book before they closed.


My first sighting of Jody's book


One happy customer!


The day I purchased The Preacher’s Bride was the same day I completed a major rewrite of my story and sent it to my awesome agent. As eager as I was to drop everything and devour Jody’s book, I had lots to do. The ACFW conference was mere days away. I had to force myself to set the book aside so I could prepare my pitch materials, pack, and plow through the piles that had reached avalanche stage while I focused on my rewrite. I tucked Jody’s book in my bag knowing I’d have time to read during my flight. Her book would be my reward for getting ready.

While en route to Indianapolis from California, I savored the first half of The Preacher’s Bride. From the first page, I was pulled into the story. I’m sure my fellow passengers could tell from my smile that I was enjoying the book. I love a good romance, and The Preacher’s Bride is one, but even more thrilling was holding my critique partner’s book in my hands. I got a taste of what it will feel like to hold a book of my own one day.

I’d taken a red eye and transferred in Atlanta. Since I don’t sleep well on a plane, I only managed to get two hours sleep. I arrived in Indy midday Thursday, took a short nap, and got the lay of the land. Once I’d located the nearby Taco Bell and satisfied my cravings, I curled up in my hotel room and powered through the rest of Jody’s book. Even though I was exhausted, I stayed up until 1:30 a.m. to finish it. Yes, it’s that good.

The conference began the next day, and I had to stifle a few yawns during the Early Bird session with James Scott Bell. Thankfully, he’s a fun speaker, so I didn’t nod off. I was too excited. I’d met Jody in person that morning for the first time. That anticipated event, along with meeting many other wonderful online friends, served to offset my sleep deprivation.

That night, the Bethany House book signing took place. I was so happy to have Jody sign my copy of The Preacher’s Bride. I couldn’t attend her Debut Party in Michigan last weekend, but I was able to be with her in Indy.


Jody signing my copy of The Preacher's Bride


Sunday evening the conference concluded with the Awards Ceremony. Everyone was dressed in their finery. Afterward, I saw Jody talking with her editor Dave Long. I wanted to get a picture of them with her book, so I made a mad dash up two escalators and two flights of stairs to get my copy. When I returned, our awesome agent was there as well, so I was able to capture a shot of Jody with both Rachelle and Dave.


Jody, her agent, Rachelle Gardner, and her Bethany House editor Dave Long with her debut novel, The Preacher's Bride


I’m thrilled for Jody and have enjoyed hearing about her journey from First Sale to Release. She was my guest not long before she sold. Now her book is in readers’ hands, and the rave reviews are pouring in. How wonderful it is to share in her excitement.


Four chances to win a copy of The Preacher’s Bride . . .

I have the privilege of interviewing Jody on Monday, October 4. In honor of her release, I’ll be giving away THREE copies of The Preacher’s Bride to her visitors, so be sure to stop by and leave a comment on her post.

However, since I love this book and would like to see you enjoy it as well, I placed a call to Jireh’s, my local book store. They had one copy of The Preacher’s Bride left, so I snagged it and am giving it away today to one person leaving a comment. (If you already own the book, you can still enter the drawing. If your name is chosen, I’ll send you a surprise and choose another winner for the book.)

To enter the drawing, leave a comment with your answer to the question below by midnight October 2 (Pacific time). I’ll chose the winner October 3, post the name here, and contact the winner for a mailing address.

How many books do you read in a month, and of those, how many are historical romances?

Congratulations to Karla Meachem, winner of the drawing!

Note: Offer is void where prohibited.

Odds of winning vary depending on the number of entrants.


About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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10 Responses to FF: Celebrating my CP’s Official Release Day!

  1. I’m so excited for Jody! I love all these first book sightings–and I’ve heard nothing but good things about the book.

    I write contemporary romance and hardly ever read historical romances until this year–and so far I haven’t met with one I didn’t like. Can’t wait to read this one 🙂

  2. I feel the same, so excited for Jody and everyone seems to be singing the praise of this novel! I enjoy historical novels!

  3. Pepper says:

    Sign me UP, Keli
    Congrats, Jody.
    so nice to meet you at ACFW.

  4. WOW! Every month varies on how many books/month I read – I would say anywhere from 4 – 8. 🙂

    But, I have only read a couple historical romances; would love to win a copy to add to my library! 🙂

  5. Jill Kemerer says:

    I loved Jody’s book too!! I had to divvy it up between two days and let me tell you, it wasn’t easy to set aside!

    I’m so glad you were able to meet each other and become critique partners!

  6. I will have to order a copy of The Preacher’s Bride.

  7. Sherrinda says:

    I can’t wait to get my copy of The Preacher’s Bride! I have read some of Jody’s work and know what a brilliant author she is. You are lucky to have her as your critter…and she is lucky to have YOU!

  8. Christina says:

    Congratulations, Jody!

    Since I write a lot of reviews, I read a lot! And most of them are romance.

  9. It varies from month to month but I probably average about six books a month and one might be historical romance. Jody’s will be my October choice for sure. I’m excited about it and so pleased at all the favourable buzz she’s getting.

  10. Keli Gwyn says:

    Thanks to everyone who stopped by. It’s fun to hear from those who’ve already enjoyed Jody’s great book.

    I’ve held the drawing for the copy of The Preacher’s Bride I’m giving away on this post, and the winner is Karla Meachem.

    Congrats, Karla! I’ll be in touch.

    If you didn’t win, you have another chance on my next post when I’m privileged to have Jody as my interview guest. I’ll be giving away THREE copies of The Preacher’s Bride on that post, so I invite you to stop by.

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