There are a few monumental days that divide our lives. Some are happy—a marriage or the birth of a child. Others are horrifying—that knock on the door or that phone call with bad news—the death of a spouse, child, or parent. There are days when we remember exactly where we were when something horrific happened—September 11, the Challenger explosion, a president being shot.
August 29, 2005.
Hurricane Katrina was a horrifying day that divided the lives of most Mississippians. The destruction and loss was staggering.
Though my home is three hours inland, Katrina’s storm winds still howled and moaned for hours, uprooting trees in every yard in my neighborhood, many of them crashing on rooftops. We had no power or phone service for a week, which was nothing compared to what happened south of us. I had dear friends from the Coast, and for weeks on weeks, I had no idea whether they were safe, due to the damage to communications infrastructure. The storm hit in August and caused the Gulf to surge up to twenty-seven feet in places.
Six months later, I traveled with a rebuilding team to hang sheetrock. The surreal mutilation of the landscape I witnessed, even months afterward, is forever branded onto my mind. No street signs, no landmarks, food still being served by members of churches under tents, because there was nowhere else to get it. I’ve done my best to honor the people who lost so much in this disaster.
This book is dedicated to my friends and all the Mississippians who went through the devastation that was Hurricane Katrina.
A Coastal Hearts Novel
Janet W. Ferguson
Maggie Marovich couldn’t save her father or her home from Hurricane Katrina, but she’s dedicated her life to meteorology so she can warn others when the monster storms approach. Except…she works three hours inland and rarely risks returning to her childhood hometown of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Both her single-parent sister and the ship pilot Maggie once loved refused to leave the Coast, despite Maggie’s requests. Now a hurricane’s headed toward Mississippi, and Maggie’s sister is seriously injured, leaving Maggie little choice but to head south—into the storm.
The water and tides flow through Josh Bergeron’s veins, and he can’t imagine giving up piloting—even for the love of his life, the infuriating Magnolia Marovich. He tried to move on without her, marrying and having a child. But after his wife abandons him and his little boy, his career choice is threatened by the weight of his parental responsibilities. Moving next door to Maggie’s sister and sharing their child care seems like the perfect set-up. Until Maggie blows back into town.
Being forced to lean on Josh for help washes up the wreckage in Maggie’s faith. Where was God during the destruction of Katrina? Why do some prayers seem to go unanswered? Between the hurricane looming in the Gulf and another gale raging in her heart, can Maggie overcome her past and find the trust to truly live?
Preorder the eBook at Amazon for 2.99. More venues to follow--stay tuned!
"Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit, or destination for victims. Children make up almost a third of all human trafficking victims worldwide, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Global Report on Trafficking in Persons. Additionally, women and girls comprise 71 per cent of human trafficking victims, the report states."
I researched human trafficking for a small thread of this story. Trafficking is in our communities, and it's appalling.
Though Tackling the Fields deals with tough issues, it is a clean story--a story of grace and healing, so don't be afraid to read it.
It's free on Amazon July 30th to bring awareness.
Book 3 of the Southern Hearts Series, Tackling the Fields, will likely release early so that it will be available at the Lemuria Signing, August 13th, and the Mississippi Book Festival in August. I must warn you, though, that this is a story I didn’t want to write, but felt called to tackle. The loss of the dream, the loss of innocence, and life’s other unfair struggles can challenge our faith—can make us captive to fear and disappointment.
The sensitive topics in this story seemed particularly sad, but relevant in our society. Trust me, I didn’t prefer to research acquaintance/date rape or human trafficking, but both are going on all too often in communities both small and large. There are a number of organizations set up to help victims of these crimes if you feel a calling to help.
Also, the story is about football. In the South, we love football. In writing this book, I’m not trying to make a statement for or against the sport. My husband and son loved playing the game. After my son suffered a torn ACL, torn shoulder labrum, and four surgeries, he could no longer participate in the game he loved. He mourned the loss of the brotherhood of his team. I saw the popular pastime differently from his eyes. For young men, I believe it is a bond between friends for a common goal. Though the character in this book is totally fictional, I’m dedicating this book to my son, Luke.
Some who read this story may have had something terrible that happened in their past or may know someone who has. God is able to set free the captives, set you free from the bonds that hold you. My prayer is that you find comfort in that truth.
I promise that book 4 will be lighter. For example, there's a hairless cat named Mr. Darcy.
I'm on a blog tour that offers prizes this week.
($50 Amazon gift card, $25 Amazon gift card, signed copy of books...)
The winner may as well be you. Enter here if you want.
Just scroll down until you see me.
I'll also be in Starkville, Laurel, and Mendenhall in the next week or two, and I don't know many people in those places. If you live nearby, come say hello, or if you know someone who lives nearby, ask them to come say hello. :)
Jul 16, 2016 11:00 AM Starkville, MS Book Mart
Jul 18, 2016 5:00 PM MENDENHALL, MS Mendenhall Public Library
Jul 23, 2016
2:00 PM Laurel, MS Jitters Coffeehouse and Bookstore
Aug 13, 2016
1:00 PM Jackson, Mississippi Lemuria Books
Aug 20, 2016
JACKSON, MS Mississippi Book Festival
Under the Southern Sun
Janet W. Ferguson