Jodie will give away a print copy of Hearts Tightly Knit. To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address below.
Hi Jodie, first, tell us a little about yourself.
I've been married for close to 29 years to the love of my life. We have two sons and two granddaughters, and another girl on the way.
Congratulations! Lots of writers loved to read as children. How about you? If so, what were your favorite books?
I loved to read as a child and most often had a book in my hands. I remember reading the Little House on the Prairie series, Encyclopedia Brown, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew and a slew of other titles I can't remember.
Let's talk about your writing. What motivates you to do it?
I write because it's something God called me to do. Writing is a part of who I am and how God made me.
Tell us about your latest book.
Orphaned at age ten, Ellie Stafford and her twin sister Mae made a vow—to stick together and never marry. Now in their mid twenties, they are bucking convention in Calder Springs, Texas, as women with respectable occupations who can take care of themselves. Ellie works at the Good Fixin's Diner and spends her evenings knitting garments for The Children's Aid Society. When a handsome local rancher shows up searching for a cook, she's hardly tempted, despite his good looks.
Luke Rogers owns a spread just outside of Calder Springs. It was running as smooth as cattle going through a chute until his cook up and marries and high-tails it back east. With no cook and a bunkhouse full of ranch hands ready to revolt, he persuades Ellie to temporarily fill in until he can hire someone else. He should have known better than to get tangled up with another woman.
Buy Hearts Tightly Knit here
What inspired you to write this particular book?
I don't know why, but I've always been fascinated with twins—maybe because I only had brothers growing up. Once I decided to have a story with twin sisters, I brainstormed and came up with what they would do if they made a childhood vow to always stay together…what would cause one of them to question the promise?
Interesting. Does your faith affect your writing? If so, how?
Faith is an integral part of my writing. It's woven into each of my stories.
What are you working on right now?
I'm working on the sequel to Hearts Tightly Knit. Love in the Seams will tell Mae's tale and how she finds love.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Pray about your writing and seek others to join you in praying too. Don't be afraid to step out in faith and do what He has called you to do. Don't give up when things look impossible and you face rejections. Trust Him and His timing.
That's great advice. What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?
When I'm not writing, I'm often researching. I also love to walk, read, and spend time with my husband.
Introduce us to the main character in your new book. (the one we’re featuring this time)
Ellie Stafford cooks for the Good Fixin's Diner. One of her specialties is fried steak. The recipe comes from her mother's recipe book (The Improved Housewife, or Book of Receipts; with Engravings for Marketing and Carving by Mrs. A. L. Webster -1855).
What a treasure to have that recipe book. Thanks for sharing with us.
Ellie Stafford's Fried Steak
Such pieces as are good for broiling, are also good for frying.
Brown a few pieces of salt pork; take them up; put in your beef; when brown on both sides, take it up and remove the pan to let the fat cool. When cool, pour in four spoonfuls of water; mix two teaspoonfuls of flour with a little water; mix it with the fat; replace the pan on the fire; stir it till it boils up; pour it over the beef.
and on Facebook