Story Spark: Wait for Me by Jo Huddleston (and a Giveaway!)

WAIT FOR ME finalAuthor Jo Huddleston is today’s guest. She talks about the inspiration behind her latest novel and is giving away a copy to one lucky commenter. See below for details.

When I wrote Wait for Me, I had been to a real coal community one memorable time. I went home from college with a friend for a weekend. Her home was in the coal mining region in southern West Virginia. Her house was palatial. Her daddy owned the coal mine there as does Julie’s daddy in my story.

I couldn’t see the coal community the night we arrived. The next day my friend took me to the company store. From there, I saw the tipple. An imposing structure towering above all around it.
The memory of that tipple took root. I wanted to write a book about a coal camp’s tipple. My second fiction series is set in the coal mining region of West Virginia.

When my friend showed me her small community, she didn’t show me the miners’ homes. What she knew and I didn’t was how the miners’ families lived—not in palatial dwellings!

Not until I researched for my story did I learn about coal miners’ substandard housing. The owner of a coal mine owned the miners’ homes—better described as shacks. All had only two bedrooms, no running water, and no bathrooms. The coal community had one well from which all the families drew water and carried it back to their houses.

My research for my story was an eye-opener. Photos from coal communities swelled my compassion for the people who lived there and subsequently I was able to write passionately about their lives.

With Wait for Me, research became more than valuable. Without this research I could not have written authentically—my descriptions and dialog would have been cardboard imitations. When you read Wait for Me, please know that compassion oozed from my fingertips as I tapped my keyboard. Enjoy reading about Robby and Julie!

Wait for Me

Can Julie, an only child raised with privilege and groomed for high society, and Robby, a coal miner’s son, escape the binds of their socioeconomic backgrounds? Set in a coal mining community in West Virginia in the 1950s, can their love survive their cultural boundaries?

This is a tragically beautiful love story of a simple yet deep love between two soulmates, Robby and Julie. The American South’s rigid caste system and her mother’s demand that Julie marry an ambitious young man from a prominent and suitable family. Julie counters her mother’s stringent social rules with deception and secrets in order to keep Robby in her life. Can the couple break the shackles of polite society and spend their lives together? Will Julie’s mother ever accept Robby?

JO PK fullMeet Jo

Jo Huddleston is a multi-published author of books, articles, and short stories. Her debut novels in the Caney Creek Series and her latest book, Wait for Me are sweet Southern romances. She is a member of ACFW, the Literary Hall of Fame at Lincoln Memorial University (TN), and holds an M.Ed. degree from Mississippi State University. Jo lives in the U.S. Southeast with her husband, near their two grown children and four grandchildren.

Connect with Jo

Website & Blog           Lifelines Now Blog 
Facebook           Goodreads

Purchase eBook for Kindle and print copies of Wait for Me at:

Your Turn

Tell us about a time you had to wait for something. Why did you do it?


The names of those who leave comments before 11:59 p.m. (Central time), Sunday, June 7th, 2015, will be entered in a random drawing for an eBook for Kindle copy of Wait for Me. The winner will be announced on Monday, June 8th.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete offensive or off-topic comments.

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18 thoughts on “Story Spark: Wait for Me by Jo Huddleston (and a Giveaway!)

    • Hi, Jo. I’m so glad to have you as my guest and appreciate the obvious love and respect you have for your characters–and more importantly, those very real people who live in the coal community. Thank you for your insight. (P.S. I’d have replied sooner, but I was having laptop issues. All fixed now.)

  1. I waited many years to go back into the workforce because I wanted to help my husband on our farm and also be home to raise our daughter. She was in college when I began working at our public library. I retired after 22 1/2 years. I am very proud that I was able to put my family first, to work in a career that I loved and also earn my para-professional certificate in library science.

    Jo, this book sounds wonderful!
    cps1950 AT gmail DOT com

      • Connie, that’s a great example of waiting. At one time, working in a library was my idea of a dream job. But when given the opportunity to pursue a degree in library science, I opted to get a Master of Liberal Studies degree instead. I loved the program, but sometimes wonder if I shouldn’t have stuck with the other option! Thanks for visiting.

  2. Would love to read Wait for Me! Sounds like a really interesting & moving book. I’m glad that you had the desire to write about a coal camp’s tipple & that the desire stayed with you through the years.

    • Hi, Janet. Thanks so much for stopping by. Your comment about being glad that the desire to write about a coal camp’s tipple stayed with Jo for years resonates with me. I wonder if it’s things like that–memories or insights or observations that cling to our hearts and don’t let go that often transform into the most incredible stories. I believe so. Thanks again.

  3. After almost 35 years in the workforce for the State, my job (my title) was in jeopardy. I only had a little less than a year that I would be eligible to retire at the age of 55. I had to wait and prayed I would still be working until then. I was able to work 7 months past the age of 55 and then I retired. It just took longer to transfer all the work that I have been doing to the other office downstate.
    Looking forward to reading this book and the series. Wait for Me sounds very interesting.

  4. I really love reading books from this website because it is nice to be able to read books that are not violent and sexual in content. It is hard to find a good book without all of the stuff that we actually should not read in the first place. Thanks for allowing me to enter this contest. Have a wonderful weekend!