Jodie Bailey writes novels about freedom and the heroes who fight for it. Her novels include Freefall and Crossfire from Love Inspired and most recently Quilted by Christmas from Abingdon Press. Her devotions have appeared in Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home and Sweet Freedom with a Slice of Peach Cobbler. She is convinced a camping trip to the beach with her family, a good cup of coffee, and a great book can cure all ills.
Jodie lives in North Carolina with her husband, her daughter, and two dogs.
Let’s talk about Quilted by Christmas (Abingdon Press, October 2014). Please tell us about it.
When Taryn’s grandmother faces a medical crisis, she asks Taryn to sew an heirloom quilt for her cousin’s wedding. Taryn is forced to accept the help of Justin Callahan, the man she once loved. The problem is, Taryn still loves him, but she has a secret that could drive him away forever.
What inspired your story idea?
My grandmother had died a few months before, and she was heavy on my mind. She was my best friend, my mother figure, the person I talked to every single morning. This part of me wanted to sit and talk with her one more time, and I decided to write about a woman who was also close to her grandmother. Enter Jemma and Taryn…
Right after my grandmother died in 2009, my brother found an unfinished quilt in her sewing closet, one that had been pieced but never actually quilted. For Christmas, they had it quilted and gave it to me. My grandmother was known for her sewing, and to have this “lost” treasure she made of scraps from some of her projects is wonderful. Also, my brother and I spent several strained years in our early twenties. To have the relationship we have now is a gift and a beautiful thing in my life… That quilt means so much, that he knew I’d love it like I do.
Our Thanksgiving or Christmas “traditions” can occasionally take a detour, sometimes starting a new tradition. Have you ever had an unexpected or unusual holiday celebration—and what did you learn from the experience?
When it comes to my family, “tradition” is the way it is. For example, my dad always puts a Life Savers Storybook and the largest candy cane he can find in our stockings. Even when I was in college, he did that. Right after I married my husband, we moved to Michigan, and I was sorely missing my family, because there is so much love in our Christmas. Two days before Christmas, I got a box in the mail. Inside? Two gigantic candy canes and two Life Savers storybooks. I sat in the parking lot of our apartment and cried. My daddy will always be my daddy, no matter distance or age. Some things you just can’t change.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I have a series coming out with Love Inspired Suspense about soldiers in a unit that combats cyberterrorism. The first book releases in 2015. I’m also getting ready to publish the first two books in the Dellinger Racing Series, set in NASCAR. I am super excited about that! Look for those hopefully in early February.
A few fun questions…
What’s your favorite Christmas comfort food?
It’s not comfort food per se, but every year on Christmas morning, my dad would make fried eggs, country ham, and grits and red eye gravy. To this day, I do the same. When we lived up north and couldn’t get grits or country ham, my dad would mail me a package a couple of weeks before Christmas so I could have a proper Christmas morning breakfast.
What’s your favorite Christmas song?
My favorite Christmas hymn is What Child is This. I just love that song! One of my other favorites is an OLDIE by The Lettermen. Their version of The Christmas Waltz is one of my favorite things. And if I could put Harry Connick, Jr.’s When My Heart Finds Christmas and Third Day’s Christmas Offerings on permanent rotation, it would be fabulous.
Which best describes your perfect Christmas tree: a lush blue spruce decorated with the latest couture; a shaggy cedar covered in homemade ornaments and strung with popcorn; a vintage aluminum tree with shiny glass bulbs; or a palm tree adorned with pink flamingos?
I’d have to say the shaggy cedar. Every ornament on our tree has a story. No popcorn though. The dogs would have a field day with popcorn.
Thanks, Jodie! It’s great to have you back at DivineDetour.
Thanks for having me! It’s always fun, Kathy!
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For more information about Jodie, visit her website.
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