Release day eve is always exciting and nerve-racking. As my 7th book releases tomorrow, I am praying it finds its audience and brings healing.
Here's my letter to readers:
In 2017, the year I started this novel, drug overdoses killed over 70,000 people in the United States. More people in our country died that year from this epidemic than those who were killed by guns, car crashes, or HIV/AIDS. Addiction isn’t the plight of any one demographic. Drug addiction and alcoholism are devastating our children, parents, sisters, brothers, cousins, and neighbors. If your life hasn’t been touched by this issue, count yourself blessed.
Addiction is a cunning and dangerous enemy, stealing the lives of medical professionals, teachers, law enforcement officers—any career you could name, along with teenagers and the homeless. There aren’t enough jails or enough funds to incarcerate all these members of our communities. We have to find ways to rehabilitate. In my county, the sheriff’s department is trying innovative ways to help the prisoners who struggle with addiction. Our local lawmakers are grappling with the issue. I don’t have the answers.
There is heartbreak for those who love addicts or alcoholics and are at a loss as to what to do. Al-Anon is a wonderful support group for families who find themselves in this position. I interviewed dear people who battle addiction and those who try to pull people from its deadly grip. Twelve step programs like AA, NA, and Celebrate Recovery can help. If you are struggling with addiction, if you know somebody who is, or if you feel moved by this issue, please be in prayer for addicts, for their loved ones, for the community of people God has raised to support them, and for lawmakers as they contend with the issues. God’s life-changing power is real. He is the One who offers true freedom.
Not everyone gets a happy ending to their addiction story in real life. If that’s your family’s reality, if you’ve lost someone, I’m so sorry for your heartbreak. Know that you are not alone, and our Heavenly Father can bring healing.
There is power, hope, and peace in Him,
Janet W. Ferguson
Let me know if I can pray for you!
Though I have always love to read nonfiction and fiction, writing books has been a wonderful adventure I never expected to take. Meeting sweet readers and fantastic authors has been such a blessing!
I didn’t grow up thinking I wanted to write a novel, but in my 40s, the story idea for Leaving Oxford refused to go away. Some of the first advice I received from a literary agent after I finished that manuscript was to find good critique partners. Through the American Christian Fiction Writers organization (ACFW), I met so many amazing Christian authors, even fan-girling over some like Francine Rivers. I’ve critiqued with many wonderful writers over the years. We helped each other become better writers. I am reminded of the verse in Proverbs: As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
Today, I want to introduce you to two of those Christian authors that I respect so much. I consider them dear friends now. I hope that's okay with you :)
Misty Beller a multi-published, prolific Christian author of sweet historical fiction novels set out West in the 1800s. More than just being a critique partner, Misty has been my guide in all things marketing, advertising, business, and technology. (The tech part drives me crazy!) I’m so thankful for Misty’s expertise! She’s such a sweet and gentle spirit too. Misty has this unique way of reining me in when I leave positive town and venture down a negative path. I need that kind of friend!
I am so excited she will have books releasing from her dream publisher, Bethany House, starting in October. In the meantime, she has 19 other novels for you read. Here’s the latest one releasing, and it’s only 99 cents!
Jennifer Rodewald is another Christian author who I love! As soon as I opened her first sub for critiquing, I knew she had an amazing talent. And heart. She pushes me to dig deep into my characters and their emotions. Jennifer doesn’t shy away from tough subjects like alcoholism or marital problems, but she’s versatile. She also writes sweet rom-coms plus dystopian young adult novels as J. Rodes.
Jen has a 99 cent deal on one of her novels too.
I hope you enjoy getting to know Misty and Jennifer!
Speaking of meeting people and making friends... There are only a few more days until The Art of Rivers releases! And I'm biting my nails! I have a couple of events coming up to celebrate the release. Come by if you're in the area:
July 27 Lemuria Books, Jackson, MS at 2 p.m.
August 17 Mississippi Book Festival, Jackson, MS, author alley 9 a.m. until I can't take the heat anymore :)
Have you made friends through reading or writing? I hope so!
Stay in the Loop!
For News & Giveaways Click Subscribe Button!
Under the Southern Sun
Janet W. Ferguson