250scavengerhuntWelcome to the Fall 2013 Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! The hunt has 25 stops and runs from 10/18 (noon MDT)–10/20 (midnight MDT). It’s a great way to discover new books from some of your favorite authors (and maybe meet some new authors you haven’t yet heard of). The grand prize is an iPad Mini, plus two chances at a 25-book prize pack. Some individual stops even have an additional prize, so read each post carefully!

There will be a red clue at the bottom of each post that you’ll need to write down, and that clue will guide you to the next stop. It’s best to begin the scavenger hunt at stop #1, Lisa Bergren’s site. Then after you’ve gone through all 25 stops and collected all the clues, fill out the Rafflecopter form on Lisa’s site. Be ready to provide the completed clue quote within 24 hours of email notification from Lisa, or another will be drawn randomly. No need to email or submit it unless you’re notified on 10/21. The contest is open internationally, so everyone is welcome to participate! Let’s get started!

Meet Jody!

Author Picture

I’d like to introduce you to Jody Hedlund, author, blogger, and pinner extraordinaire! No, really—you need to check out her Pinterest boards. They’re awesome! Award-winning author Jody Hedlund makes her home in central Michigan with her husband and five children. When she’s not busy with her family, she loves to read and consume large amounts of chocolate and coffee. You can connect with Jody on her website or via FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

RebelliousHeart_mck.inddI’d also like to introduce you to Jody’s latest release, Rebellious Heart. It’s definitely on my must-read list! Here’s the synopsis: “In 1763 Massachusetts, Susanna Smith has grown up with everything she’s ever wanted, except one thing: an education. Because she’s a female, higher learning has been closed to her, but her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. She’s determined to put her status to good use, reaching out to the poor and deprived. And she knows when she marries well, she will be able to continue her work with the less fortunate. Ben Ross grew up a farmer’s son and has nothing to his name but his Harvard education. A poor country lawyer, he doesn’t see how he’ll be able to fulfill his promise to make his father proud of him. When family friends introduce him to the Smith family, he’s drawn to quick-witted Susanna but knows her family expects her to marry well. When Susanna’s decision to help an innocent woman no matter the cost crosses with Ben’s growing disillusionment with their British rulers, the two find themselves bound together in what quickly becomes a very dangerous fight for justice.”

Readers can be fans of authors—but have you ever thought authors can be fans of their readers? Jody shares some secrets about just how much we authors appreciate our readers:

Dear Readers, Your Favorite Authors Love You!

Dear Readers

I love my readers. The longer I’m a published author, the more I realize just how much my readers mean to me.

Authors can’t survive very well without readers. As much as writers like to say things like, “Write for yourself,” we all know we wouldn’t pursue publication if we didn’t want people to read our words and find some meaning in them.

The bottom line is that writers need readers, appreciate all their support, and value their encouragement—often much more than readers realize. So dear readers, on behalf of all writers, please know how much we appreciate you!
Here are several things readers do that get authors really excited (at least that really excite me!):

When readers send the author a personal note.

I save every email, Facebook message, and handwritten note that readers send me. In fact, my publisher asked if I had a few that I would be willing to pass along to them so they could read them to their staff—because even publishers appreciate affirmation and feedback on all they invest in their authors. I had a hard time choosing which notes to send because they’re all so meaningful to me.

When readers write a review for an online bookstore or blog.

Many readers are silent and distant admirers. And that’s OK. I realize not everyone is going to want to go public with their praise of a book. But writers appreciate all the reviews they get. Even though we can’t individually acknowledge or respond to every review, I’m always thrilled when someone takes the time to post one. In fact, when I do come cross a blog review on one of my books, I like to put a link to it on my website. Make sure to check out the list of blog reviews on my latest release, Rebellious Heart!

Authors need readersWhen readers connect on Facebook or Twitter.

I like having real connections with people. But I usually won’t know a reader is lurking unless they jump off the sidelines and send me a comment or tweet. Call me corny, but I even like hearing simple details like this message I got on Twitter: “Finally got a Kindle. The first book I purchased was The Preacher’s Bride by @JodyHedlund! Can’t wait to read it!” Or this one on Facebook: “I took Jody’s A Noble Groom on vacation this week. Finished it in two days by reading it by the pool and staying up until midnight.”

Those kinds of short messages can go a LONG way in bolstering the shaky confidence of writers who labor so hard over each book and yet battle insecurity, poor sales, low advances, and obscurity on a daily basis.

So my dear readers, thank you for all you do to encourage me (and other writers) in so many ways. The writing journey wouldn’t be nearly as fulfilling if it weren’t for you! YOU make us want to continue to write and pour out our hearts into our stories! Thank you!

Question for readers: Did you realize how much authors value your feedback? How can we authors show YOU our appreciation better?

You can purchase Jody’s novel, Rebellious Heart, at AmazonBarnes & NobleCBD, or your local bookstore.

The Scavenger Hunt Skinny

Before you go, write down stop #12 clue: TO DYSTOPIAN.

Your next stop is Jody’s own blog! Make sure you make the rounds to all 25 stops and then enter the Rafflecopter form at stop #26 back at Lisa Bergren’s site to be in the running for all the big prizes!

Bonus Prize!

I’ll also be giving away a $100 gift certificate to use toward the purchase of one of Bill Coleman’s beautiful Amish photos! Use the widget below to enter!

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