Hi Friends,  Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! If you’ve just discovered the hunt, be sure to start at Stop #1, and collect the clues through all 27 stops, in order, so you can enter to win one of our top 5 grand prizes!

  • The hunt BEGINS on 3/14 at noon MST with Stop #1 at LisaTawnBergren.com.
  • Hunt through our loop using Chrome or Firefox as your browser (not Explorer).
  • There is NO RUSH to complete the hunt—you have all weekend (until Sunday, 3/17 at midnight MST)! So take your time, reading the unique posts along the way; our hope is that you discover new authors/new books and learn new things about them.
  • Submit your entry for the grand prizes by collecting the CLUE on each author’s scavenger hunt post and submitting your answer in the Rafflecopter form at Stop #27. Many authors are offering additional prizes along the way!

It’s my pleasure to introduce my friend and fellow author, Jody Hedlund. We share a love for writing historical fiction, and I’ve enjoyed reading many of Jody’s books.

Here is a brief summary of Jody’s upcoming novel, The Reluctant Bride, which releases in June:  Living in London’s poorest slum, Mercy Wilkins has little hope of a better life. When she’s offered an opportunity to join a bride ship sailing to British Columbia, she agrees. Wealthy and titled Joseph Colville leaves home and takes to the sea in order to escape the pain of losing his family. As ship’s surgeon, he’s in charge of the passengers’ welfare aboard the Tynemouth, including sixty brides-to-be. He has no immediate intention of settling down, but when Mercy becomes his assistant, the two must fight against a forbidden love.


By Jody Hedlund

What is a bride ship and did they really exist?

A bride ship was the term applied to women who sailed from England to one of the motherland’s distant colonies with the intention of marrying Englishmen already there and helping settle the new lands.

Yikes! Sounds pretty crazy, huh?

When I first heard of the concept of bride ships, I was utterly horrified and fascinated by the idea that women would willingly board ships, leave everything they’d ever known behind, and sail to a strange land, all for the purpose of marrying complete strangers.

I couldn’t help but ask myself what kind of woman would do such a thing and why?

In the early 1860s England sent bride ships to British Columbia in Canada. The colony was overflowing with male settlers, primarily because of a gold rush that had occurred in the Canadian Rockies.

An 1861 census showed that females only made up 11% of the population there. With so few women available, men who wanted wives had slim pickings. One minister in British Columbia writing to his supporters said: “Dozens of men have told me they would gladly marry if they could.”

But again, why would women leave the security of their homes and lives to marry strangers? What sort of desperation did these women face that would drive them to take part in a bride ship?

One of the many reasons women left was because of lack of marriageable men. By the early 1860’s, a census stated that there were 600,000 more women than men in England, mainly as a result of so many men already having gone to America or British colonies to find work.

I hope you will read my upcoming release, A Reluctant Bride, to discover more reasons why women joined bride ships!

What about YOU? Does the idea of joining a bride ship sound as crazy to you as it does to me? 

Jody Hedlund is the best-selling author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award. She lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy teens, and five spoiled cats.

Here’s the Stop #4 Skinny:

You can pre-order Jody’s book, The Reluctant Bride, on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD or at your local bookstore! 

Clue to Write Down: these

Link to Stop #5, the Next Stop on the Loop: Jody Hedlund’s own site!

But wait!  Before you go, I’m giving away two copies of my books to two entrants — Across the Blue or Shine Like the Dawn —  paperback or eBook, your choice. All you have to do is fill out the Raffelcopter form below. (USA only) Winners will be announced on March 18th.  


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Until Next Time, Happy Reading,


270 replies
« Older Comments
  1. Tonye
    Tonye says:

    I am glad that I had the opportunity to choose who I would marry. I wouldn’t have wanted to be on a bride ship!

  2. Dianna
    Dianna says:

    This is my first time hearing of a bride ship! It’s definitely a crazy thought to me, but then again women didn’t have many options for independence.

  3. Nicole House
    Nicole House says:

    I cannot imagine joining a bride ship myself or having my daughters do so, but stories about those women fascinate me.

  4. Grace
    Grace says:

    To be honest, I can’t imagine doing it myself, but I do understand their desire to start over and help forge something new.

    It’s not a part of our modern culture anymore, so it seems a bit crazy, but I can also see that it was a fairly common part of theirs.

  5. Connie Ruggles
    Connie Ruggles says:

    I do think it’s pretty crazy to chase after a potential mate by traveling to unknown places thousands of miles away from families and friends, but hey! some people are adventurous like that!

  6. Leah Fargo
    Leah Fargo says:

    I never knew such a thing as bride ships existed! That’s totally crazy; I agree! I cannot even imagine being betrothed from birth or engaged to someone I barely know, much less a woman on a bride ship. It goes to show how far the world has come on matters like this. I can’t even imagine having no choice in choosing my husband.

  7. Jeanine Kowalewski
    Jeanine Kowalewski says:

    No, I had not heard of the bride ships. Both A Reluctant Bride and No Ocean Too Wide sound like great reads!

  8. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    Yes, it does sound very crazy. But also a bit adventurous. I am single and so I must admit a (very small) part of me is really intrigued by the idea…. but yes, still crazy! 🙂

  9. Karen
    Karen says:

    I can’t imagine the strength and courage it took to leave your family and friends and travel across the ocean all alone.

  10. Stephanie Carlson
    Stephanie Carlson says:

    It’s hard for us today to understand why a woman would consider such a thing, but I can see why in those days they did it. It would take a huge amount of courage to do this. This is such a great subject for a book. Thank you using it and for being a part of the scavenger hunt.

  11. LavonSheree
    LavonSheree says:

    This book sounds very interesting. I can’t imagine boarding a bride ship, but no one really knows what we’d do in some circumstances. I’m enjoying finding new authors in this scavenger hunt.

  12. Melissa Andres
    Melissa Andres says:

    I cannot imagine leaving my home and my country to marry a complete stranger! That is such a crazy idea to me. The new book sounds great!

  13. Susan
    Susan says:

    What an intriguing idea! I can’t imagine boarding a bride ship myself, but it sounds like a perfect setting for a story!

  14. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    It sounds like a fairly good idea, kind of like the online dating services today. But, yes, if I lived back then, I’d get on a bride ship and find myself a husband, hopefully he’d be nice. Risky, but so is life.

  15. Brenda
    Brenda says:

    I think the only way I could get on a Bride Ship would be to escape a very bad marriage that some families forced on their daughters for the sake of money or social standing.

  16. Amanda Trumbull
    Amanda Trumbull says:

    I can’t imagine riding a ship that long of a time knowing I was heading over to marry a complete stranger.

  17. Phyllis Bullock
    Phyllis Bullock says:

    I have read other books about mail order brides. Are they similar? I haven’t read any of your books yet. Glad to be introduced to you.

  18. Emilee
    Emilee says:

    It really is hard to to imagine what it would be like. The smells and the clothing, all of it is so far from our life styles today. That’s what makes it fun to read about.

  19. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    Carrie, the raffle link isn’t working. Is it just me?
    Jody, Ummm…. I don’t think I would join a ship to marry a stranger. I would go on a boat to a new land and settle, but commit to marry someone I hadn’t met? I couldn’t do that part.

  20. Heather Holtz
    Heather Holtz says:

    I can’t imagine what it would be like to leave everything and set off to find a husband. Crazy!

  21. Virginia
    Virginia says:

    A bride shio is a pretty wild idea, but offers an intriguing idea for a story. I look forward to reading your new book!

  22. Margie Mijares
    Margie Mijares says:

    I think that sailing on a Bride Ship must have been a wonderful adventure during that time period…especially for young women who may not have had any prospects at home!! If I were a young woman, that might be a great adventure even now.

  23. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    I haven’t read any of your books but am happily introduced to you. I’ve often found the same thought of ‘brideships’ fascinating…
    Thanks for a chance to win.

  24. Patricia D.
    Patricia D. says:

    I’m so excited to be doing this because I found another author that I didn’t know about. Both of these books sound wonderful! Can’t wait to read them!

  25. Ann Zoch
    Ann Zoch says:

    Hi, Jody. I cannot imagine boarding a ship to sail to an unknown place to marry a man I have never met! I can’t begin to understand the desperation, hope, fear, determination, etc. that these women must have felt when they made the decision to take this step! What a courageous act!

  26. Loni Horn
    Loni Horn says:

    The idea of being on a bridal ship sounds intriguing and fascinating. It would be nerve racking to meet a man in such a confined space with no chance of escaping.

    Even though I have heard of mail order brides, I hadn’t heard of brides sailing on ships.

    I want to go right out and buy a copy of your books.

    Loved the idea of the scavenger hunt and found many new books to read and enjoy.

  27. Kelly Kivett
    Kelly Kivett says:

    I can’t imagine how hard it would be to leave everything behind and go across the ocean to marry a stranger! I look forward to reading Reluctant Bride!

  28. Barbara Harper
    Barbara Harper says:

    I’ve not read any of your books, Carrie, but would love to win one and star reading! Re Jody’s question, yes, that does sound crazy! So many unknowns! And no quick and easy way to let loved ones know if you need help.

  29. Christine S
    Christine S says:

    Wow! I’ve never heard about bride ships before. For me personally, the thought is terrifying, but I can see reasons for women taking part.

  30. Maria Evers
    Maria Evers says:

    I love stories about World War II. My father fought in the war and that time period has always fascinated me.

  31. Connie Porter Saunders
    Connie Porter Saunders says:

    Yes, this idea sounds very crazy but so does meeting up with someone through Internet chats! So glad I was able to meet my forever love in a normal fashion!

  32. Wilma DeCamp
    Wilma DeCamp says:

    What a wild concept…like the old time Mail Order Brides with a twist…sounds like an interesting plot to me!

  33. Deanne Patterson
    Deanne Patterson says:

    Yes, it does sound crazy but depending on the circumstances I was doing it for it may take me to the new life I would need.

  34. Janice Moore
    Janice Moore says:

    My answer to your question is : the women who were willing to be on the bride ship had no better options.
    The books sounds fascinating!

  35. Michelle Newman
    Michelle Newman says:

    The history in your new book sounds really interesting and heart-rending. Thanks for sharing!

  36. Jaci
    Jaci says:

    I like the idea of joining a bride ship. In the world of online dating apps, this seems just as logical. Why not travel hundreds of miles to a different Continent to escape the streets of London? I am really looking forward to reading this book after reading Mark of the King last year about a different type of bride ship.

  37. Denise Shafer
    Denise Shafer says:

    I would never join a bride ship. That would be so scary. I love these scavenger hunts. I’m able to read about new books coming out and authors I”m not familiar about.

  38. Carol Graft
    Carol Graft says:

    I confess that I haven’t read any of your books before. I think this is also the first Scavenger Hunt I’ve done. I love these ways of introducing us to new to us authors.

    • Carol Graft
      Carol Graft says:

      Replying as an edit. 🙂 I can’t imagine leaving everything I know for an unknown land to to marry a stranger. And yet, if I were poor and destitute with nothing to lose from going and nothing to be gained from staying and had no attachments perhaps?

  39. Laura Lambert
    Laura Lambert says:

    The idea of joining a bride ship doesn’t sound crazy, especially in a society where being married is so highly prized. I guess I may be like my great-grandmother who was a mail order bride. It’s essentially the same thing.

« Older Comments

Comments are closed.