Happy Spring! The weather doesn't seem to want to make up its mind whether we're going to be hot or cold, but the flowers are in bloom here in Mississippi anyway!
I'm looking forward to attending the afternoon with Mississippi Authors, Wednesday, April 11, 2018 1:00 - 3:00 PM at the Mendenhall Public Library Community Center. If you're in the area, come visit with us!
Also, if you live near Winona, MS, the Friends of the Winona-Montgomery County Library have invited me to speak and eat April 9th at Moore Memorial Methodist Church Family Life Center. Purchase advance tickets from the library for the luncheon.
A few authors joined together to celebrate spring with free or 99 cent novels, and I'm excited to be a part of the festivities! Find your deals here!
I pray your Easter is meaningful next weekend.
Welcome new subscribers and faithful friends! Thank you for your support!
Narrator Naomi Karez has done a fantastic job narrating--again! If you missed meeting Naomi, read about her here. More about my novel Going Up South (or order it) here.
I'm offering two people who comment below (by 2-24-18) an opportunity for a free Audible code for Going Up South. (Void where prohibited.) I also have one code left to offer for Leaving Oxford. If you haven't read it, yet, or would just like to listen to it, mention that in the comments, too.
Meeting Readers, Bloggers, and Authors at CRAVE HIM Reader Event in Dallas!
Book signings and speaking to schools and libraries!
ACFW-American Christian Fiction Writers Conference & meeting my audio book narrator!
Thanks to everyone reading this for being a part of my story! Wishing you blessings in 2018!
As Christmas nears, some are in the midst of pain and brokenness. This season is marred by the loss of a parent, a child, a friend, or another dear person. Some may have been in the path of the storms which came with floods, fire, and wind. Others received that diagnosis, those divorce papers, lost a job. Addictions, betrayals, and pain may have shredded your peace, damaged your hope.
How do we go from brokenness to praise in this holiday season?
Over the past year, I have wrestled with learning to give God praise and glory, not because of my circumstances or my perceived blessings, but because He is God and He is good—because He is my Father in heaven who will hold my hand during the pain, who will comfort me during loss, who will give me peace despite the storm.
Faith is not at its strongest when all is well in my life, but faith kicks in when it seems all is lost, yet somehow, He still offers hope.
I have to catch hold of that hope and hang on with a white-knuckled grasp. I must believe that He catches my tears and that He is enough to get me through whatever season I’m in.
As we celebrate a baby born in a stable, wrapped in swaddling clothes, let us remember that the baby became a man who carried a heavy cross on a back that was torn for us. He was tempted in every way, a man who knew sorrows, but for the joy set before Him endured the cross and shame. Because of His great love for us, He looked past the temporary brokenness to the eternal, and He has defeated death! He is preparing a place for us!
This is Good News!
Hebrews 13:15 says …let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God…
So while my circumstances rise and fall from mountaintop to valley here in this present age, I so desire a faith that clings to Hope and the Good News in the midst of my brokenness.
My prayer is that you will find that Joy and Hope this season!
Janet W. Ferguson
I hope you are having a great start to the holiday season!
Along my writing journey, I’ve met some of the greatest people, both readers and authors, and today I wanted to introduce you to a few friends I’ve made. We are all Christian authors writing the stories we feel called to tell. For the Christmas holidays, we got together to give you the gift of friendship along with some great holiday reading for a great price. Sales running from December 8-12!
A Pony Express Romance by Misty Beller- Only 99 cents!
Then There Was You by Kara Isaac- Only $1.99!
Finders Keepers by Sarah Monzon- Only 99 cents!
The Carpenter’s Daughter by Jennifer Rodewald- Only 99 cents!
Homestands by Sally Bradley- Only 99 cents!
Count Me In by Mikal Dawn- Only 99 cents!
Leveraging Lincoln by Stephenia H. McGee- Only 99 cents!
Free if you sign up for her newsletter!
So Rare a Gift by Amber Lynn Perry- Only $2.99!
Convenient Lies by Robin Patchen- Only $2.99!
Free if you join her mailing list! https://dl.bookfunnel.com/8jxs90pzaj
Calm & Bright by Autumn Macarthur- Free!
Leaving Oxford by Janet W. Ferguson- Free!
Unraveled by Heidi McCahan- Free!
Season of Hope by Alexa Verde- Only 99 cents!
Mail-Order Revenge by Angela K. Couch- Free!
Christmas Reunion by Laura Scott- Free!
Making Spirits Bright by Toni Shiloh and other authors: Only 99 cents!
Enjoy!! Merry Christmas and peace to all!
BTW: Local Friends, I will be at Bay Window Books on Saturday, December 9 from 10-1 signing books with a few other local authors! Hope to see you :)
My husband called from work and said there was a starving cat in the parking lot, and he felt bad for it. For several days, the cat waited for someone to come out, would rub on their legs, and beg. We decided he would take it to our vet and find her a new home. I went to pick her up and pay. The vet brought her out, and I was mortified. She was like petting a skeleton. Her hair was a weird brownish color with some flaky stuff in it. One ear was pointed in the wrong direction. Honestly I was a little grossed out, and I'm a cat lover. The vet said she was about a year old and weighed only four pounds. She couldn't be spayed yet because she was too small and sick.
They put her in a cardboard box, and I nervously drove home. What had we gotten into?
By the time I made the fifteen minute drive home, she had eaten her way out of the box and had an accident :(
She lived in our spacious guest bathroom away from our other two cats for her safety and theirs. She had a parasite and severe ear infection. She lay on a new bed I bought for her, only getting up when we petted her, then she would eat a few bites of food. We treated the illness for over a month and loved on her. She finally gained enough weight to be spayed. She still needed ear medication and antibiotics, though. More love, food, and healing.
Then she started making a real progress. She became a pig, eating constantly. We began letting her out into the house, supervising around the other cats and our dog. She discovered the dog's food and still eats it, as well as her cat food. She climbs on absolutely everything and plays like she's a kitten now.
We were going to find a home for her, but as long as she doesn't hurt the cats we already have, we've decided to let her stay.
We've called her stray kitty, scrappy, and itty-bitty kitty, none of which really seems like a permanent name.
Want to help us find the perfect name? Leave a suggestion in the comments. Someone will win a code for the new Audible version of Leaving Oxford! (Void where prohibited. Winner announced 11-20-17.)
Leaving Oxford is now on Audible! This is my sweet narrator Naomi Karez who I only knew through email. Though I was sorry her family had to evacuate during Hurricane Irma, I was blessed that they ended up just fifteen minutes away from my house. Before I get into that story, HERE ARE THE EXCITING DEALS!
I'm giving away one free Audible code for the audio version of Leaving Oxford to someone who comments on this blog!
My novel Blown Together is completely free to anyone right now as an Amazon eBook! GET FREE eBOOK HERE https://www.amazon.com/Blown-Together-Southern-Hearts-Book-ebook/dp/B01M12YBAO/
And Tackling the Fields is only 99 cents, so basically you can get the whole 4-book Southern Hearts series for a fantastic deal!!
So now, hear from Naomi about their journey during Hurricane Irma:
After living in Florida for almost four years, Irma will have been our first hurricane. As the storm was approaching we were making our final preparations and boarding up our windows. All the hardware stores had completely run out of plywood and materials for boarding up, so we scraped together anything we could find assembling a puzzle for each window and bracing our lanai doors with the ping pong table (my husband is a tennis pro, this is a “must have”), maybe not the best idea. Thankfully in the end it proved effective!
We were planning to ride out the storm until it took a shift to the west, placing us in its direct path. After hearing that we needed to evacuate by 1pm we began packing in a hurry. We had an hour and a half to pack up our family, important items, and hit the road. We made it! All loaded up, 3 kids, a miniature zoo, and our guitars. All we needed then was a Volkswagen bus.
Making our way north, my father in law kindly helped us look for any possible vacancies that would allow pets. The kind of pets that include 2 dogs, a guinea pig, and a fish. North Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama were completely full. Finally he called us and told us he found a vacancy in Brandon, Mississippi. After juggling the ideas of camping in Georgia (that was ruled out in case the storm headed that way), and going out West to stay with my sister, we booked the hotel in Brandon. Lo and behold, Janet Ferguson lives in the area. It was a long journey through traffic but everyone did so well. We were truly blessed!
I had been keeping in touch with Janet who wanted to make sure we were safe. When she found out we landed near her home town she didn’t hesitate to visit. She was so sweet, she and her husband came to where we were staying, brought us gift cards and loads of ideas of fun things to do during our stay in Mississippi. We spent another day with her during our short time there and attended her church Sunday morning. I must say I am thankful there were no closer vacancies. It was such a joy to meet Janet and her husband, we will always treasure it!
I will treasure the time, too! Naomi has such an adorable Christian family, and if you like audio books, I hope you will give her a try! I think she has an amazing voice! Here's the purchase link:
Leave a comment by 10-19-2007 to be in the Audible code drawing (void where prohibited).
Schedule for Magnolia Storms signings:
September 16th Bay Window Books, Brandon, MS 1-3
September 20th at the CRAVE HIM! Event in Southlake, Texas
September 21-23 Marketplace ACFW Conference at the Gaylord Hotel, Grapevine, Texas
October 6 Page & Pallette, Fairhope, AL 6-8
October 23 Mendenhall Library, Mendenhall, MS 5:30
October 28 1-3 Lemuria Books, Jackson, MS 1-3
November 4th Barnes & Noble, Jackson, MS 1-3
I hope to see you! Thank you for your kind encouragement!
Preorder the eBook by 9-14 for only 2.99! Amazon Nook Kobo iBooks Google Play
Paperbacks coming to Bay Window Books Lemuria Square Books Pass Christian Books Amazon
I had no idea when I wrote this novel that the release would coincide with the monster storms battering our country, but I believe in God's timing. I pray for those affected and hope they will be encouraged by my little story.
My father lived to be ninety-four years old. During those last years, his short-term memory eroded. While he could still do math, remember names and directions, he often couldn’t think of what to say in ordinary conversation. When he did think of something, with no short-term memory, he repeated the question or statement many times.
Something like, “Did I tell you the story about getting that grandfather clock from the old post office in Cold Water, Mississippi?” -- times ten. Other times simple requests such as, “Have you seen my wallet?” came over and over. Sadly, the last few months he asked, “Is Helen really gone?” That would have been a nice one for him to forget, perhaps.
It must’ve been isolating not being able to pull information forward and interact with others. As I’m over fifty now, I already struggle to locate the appropriate word or response, at times. I can only imagine how bad I will be if I make it another forty years!
There are two repetitive vocalizations I really miss about my father, though. One was, when he asked how old he was and found out it was in the ninety-year range, he always said, “The good Lord’s been good to me, letting me live this long.” The other thing he repeated was singing hymns. Well, mostly one hymn in particular, “How Great Thou Art.”
In the car, on the way to the doctor’s office, he’d sort of randomly ask, “Do y’all want to sing ‘How Great Thou Art’ with me?” What can you say to that, but yes? It was so sweet. We sang the song at his request in the car, in his room, and he even sang the hymn to at least one of his doctors.
No one in the family who was around my father those last years will ever hear “How Great Thou Art” and not think of him. Of course, we sang it at Daddy’s funeral. The thing is when I’m old-er, and my mind starts to go, I hope I remember to sing hymns. Or even just one hymn. Like my father.
Do you have a favorite hymn?
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!
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Under the Southern Sun
Janet W. Ferguson