Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Carpenter's Daughter by Jennifer Rodewald {Blog Tour Spotlight, Guest Post, and Giveaway}

Sarah Sharpe has grown up as a carpenter’s daughter, knowing only the rough and work-heavy world of her father’s blue-collar profession. Abandoned by her mother as a baby, she’s lived twenty-one years content to drive nails at her dad’s side. Following her father into the world of construction was a natural path, and she took it without a second thought. But a harsh comment about her “butch” appearance sends her on a search for identity.

Enter handsome and easygoing Jesse Chapman, the roofer she meets on her first foray into volunteer work for Homes For Hope. In every way, the quirky man is her opposite—confident, a people kind of guy, and most importantly, happy. His likable qualities continue to draw her in, and for some reason he keeps coming back to her. But they can’t be more than friends—he’s made that crystal clear. Except for a handful of times…and the confusion is driving her crazy.
​ Sarah’s quest for self-definition becomes more tangled than she ever imagined, and she discovers that the journey will take her deeper than clothes and makeup. Filling the void in her heart becomes an obsession she cannot escape. How far is she willing to go to discover who she really is?
Jennifer Rodewald is passionate about the Word of God and the powerful vehicle of story. Four kids and her own personal superman make her home in southwestern Nebraska delightfully chaotic.

Born in Colorado, she experienced both the seclusion of rugged mountain living and the busy streets of a Denver suburb during her growing up years. Somewhere in the middle of college, she married a Husker and found her way back to the quiet lifestyle of a rural area, which suits just fine.

Blessed with a robust curiosity, Jen loves to research. Whether she’s investigating the history of a given area, the biography of a Christian icon, or how nature declares the glory of God, her daily goal is to learn something new. Aiming to live with boundless enthusiasm, her creed is vision, pursuit, and excellence.

Jen lives and writes in a lovely speck of a town where she watches with amazement while her children grow up way too fast, gardens, and marvels at God’s mighty hand in everyday life.

Guest Post: Behind the Scenes about the Book Cover

Sarah Sharpe is such a distinct and unique character, I knew creating a cover to highlight her story in a single image was going to be a challenge. This being my third novel, I’d been through this particular race before. Filing through stock images, sharing a vision with a designer, and going through mockup drafts can be tedious and time consuming. Don’t get me wrong, finding the right cover for a story can be really fun, but there is in the process its share of frustration. So after about two days of scouring the best stock image sites within my budget and coming up with nada, I knew we’d have to do something different for this book.
Time to call for back up. Enter the talents of my sister-in-law Lorie Jerome, who is a gifted photographer, and a talented stage actress who happens to be my little sister, Joanna Jerome Conn (this is recent, so it’s fun to type out! She got married the day after The Carpenter’s Daughter released. J). The timing for a photo shoot was perfect, because a good part of my family was going to be in the same state for a week (we’re a large family, and this kind of gathering rarely happens as we are spread all over the map).
Guess what? We had a lot of fun! It was so great for me to see the girls in action! I love how God gifts us uniquely, and I really, really love when He gives us opportunities to watch someone else shine in their element. I gave Joanna a character sketch and she grabbed hold of who Sarah Sharpe was and portrayed her perfectly. It’s really crazy to see these friends you have in your head take on skin! J Lorie directed, reset, and captured a ton of great shots, capturing expressions that most would miss. Our task shifted from trying to find an image that would *maybe* work, to deciding which of the fantastic frames we’d use for the book.
Here’s a sampling…
Copyright: Lori Jerome, 2015. Used with permission.
​ This was nearly perfect. Joanna and Lorie captured Sarah’s longing for identity. However, we decided the background, as lovely as it is, didn’t make her pop.
Copyright: Lori Jerome, 2015. Used with permission.
​ Better back ground. Pose…well, maybe. But Sarah’s hair is shorter, and darker. The wispy strands over her face are beyond my skills to change.
Copyright: Lori Jerome, 2015. Used with permission.
Ohh…I like. The longing in her expression is perfect. The hair I could mess with. Bummer, though, I don’t like the way the dress is laying at her shoulder…
This went on for hours. And then a question began to swirl in the back of my mind. What if I let the reader put a face to Sarah’s heart? She could look like the girl they see in the mirror, or the woman who seems closed off, or their neighbor who doesn’t seem to be able to get it together.
It was a tough call, and I hated decapitating my sister (I’m pretty sure she wasn’t thrilled either, but I think I’m forgiven!) but in the end, I’m thrilled with the cover for Sarah’s story. 


  1. I have not read it but enter to win for both my sisters who are the big readers. My oldest sister may have read it, not positive.

  2. So thoughtful, James! I hope your sisters appreciate you. :)

  3. I love seeing the behind the scenes of how a cover came to be! All the little choices make a big impact on a reader's first impression of a book.

  4. This book is on my TBR pile- I love the writting style in the review & it looks like something I'd enjoy to read