The Story Behind Unraveled by Jo Huddleston

August 5, 2017

Jo Huddleston is my guest today and she has graciously offered to give away an ebook to one lucky commenter.


I write sweet Southern romance novels set mostly in the 1950s. I don’t outline my novel but am what the industry calls a pantster. When I begin a novel or novella, I know my characters and how the book will end. Maybe I know a few things that will happen along the way, but not usually. I let the characters lead me from one conflict to another as the story unfolds. Yes, while I write, my characters are real!


My publisher called for stories that had a strong plot element concerning some area of sewing as well as a strong element of faith. My favorite sewing project is crocheting, so that’s what I chose to include in my story titled UNRAVELED.


Knowing that my heroine loved crocheting, I sought to put her in a situation where her crochet project put her in a most uncomfortable place. I began my story with a young woman experiencing a tremendous amount of grief. What had brought her grief? How long would she grieve? How would she and her husband react to her grief?


I took my heroine to the highest level of grieving over a personal issue. She reached a point where she was sure no one understood her problem, no one cared. Instead of reaching out for help, she closed herself off from everyone as she progressed in a downward spiral. She wanted to be normal again, but couldn’t find where or how to start her journey back.


My favorite Bible verse is Philippians 4:8, one of the great verses that encourages us to stay positive. I had to write my story in a way to help my heroine to turn her thinking from her grief and onto something positive, onto her relationship with God. When I did, my heroine fought me all the way, holding onto her grief.


I love being at the beach—any beach. There, I find peace and a closer relationship with God and His creation. As my last-ditch effort to help my heroine break away from her grief, I took her and her husband to a beach on the Gulf of Mexico. I followed them, wondering if this trip would free her from her imprisoning grief.


I hope readers will join my heroine in her struggle. I hope what they learn about my heroine’s battles will help them in their situations of need. And I hope they will connect with the underlying theme of my stories—God’s pursuing love.


Unraveled Back Cover Blurb:


 Alice loses herself in grief and can’t find her way back.


In 1954, twenty-six-year-old Alice Patterson undergoes a pregnancy loss that affects everything and everyone she touches. Emotionally and physically drained, she must come to terms with her traumatic loss or risk losing her husband, her best friend, and her sanity.


Her best friend JayNell and her husband Paul offer Alice support and comfort. She persists in her grieving, which hinders her healing. The doctor advises there is no normal recovery period for what Alice has undergone. Time is her best ally.


In her small southern Mississippi town, her church Sewing Circle’s new project triggers an unsettling setback to Alice’s recovery. Afterward, she succumbs to suspicions of Paul’s infidelity that causes her collapse, from which she may not recover.


Paul’s unspoken goal is that they will recapture the love they held for one another on their wedding day. He’s hopeful that the approaching spring season will bring a reawakening of the Alice he married, as it brings a newness to all living things.


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