Friday, July 15, 2016

Going Up South: A Review & A GiveAway!

I consider myself a Southern girl, even if Kentucky is a border state. I don't like sweet tea, but I do love college football and Southern talk.

And I love books set up in the South.

But don't all of us have a slight obsession with celebrities, too?

The glamour of Hollywood, the excitement of the rich and famous?

Ferguson's book Going Up South combines both.

The Hollywood bad boy meets the small-town lawyer, Cassie, as she tries to recover from a nasty divorce and stay partial in the custody case.

In the middle, Dylan's one night stand, Jill, who finally found love with Nick, a widower.... only to find out she was pregnant with Dylan's child. Jill has the baby and doesn't tell Dylan, which maybe isn't the best move, but she's afraid because of his Hollywood connections.

This is where the story opens up...

Life is complicated, and Ferguson writes it well.

This second book in the Southern Hearts series can be read as a stand-alone, but characters are familiar from the first book in the series, Leaving Oxford.

The book touched my heart as well as it intertwined international missions. I've never been on a mission trip, but my sister did and I've been fascinated by it ever since.

The story line is excellent, and it's an easy read and hard to put down. The characters are extremely likeable. You can imagine yourself sitting down with them and having a conversation, or supporting them in their mission field, or cheering for Coach McCoy's football team.

Drama. Love.  Finding oneself in the midst of fear.

I'd highly recommend this book as well as the first book in the series, and I'm looking forward to  the third book in the series (look for a review!) Tackling the Fields.

I did receive a free ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review for Celebrate Lit, but I enjoyed the book so much that I will definitely be checking out other titles from this author!

About the Book

No one told him he had a son.
Actor Dylan Conner is furious. Not only has he been left out of his child’s life, the baby boy has been given another man’s last name. Determined to be a better father than the sorry guy who’d left him and his mother, Dylan fights to ensure a significant place in his son’s life. Unfortunately, his bad-boy reputation overshadows his good intentions. Only one woman in this small town sees beyond his Hollywood image. And he’s falling for her. Too bad she’s the custody mediator.
After her scandalous divorce in the small town of Oxford, Mississippi, attorney Cassie Brooks has no intentions of practicing law again. The humiliating experience left a bitter taste for love, marriage, and her profession.
Now friends need Cassie’s help in a custody negotiation, and her role demands she remain objective. She never expected to be drawn to Dylan Conner—the actor who everyone warns is bad news. Not only is the mediation at stake, but so is her heart.
About the Author

Janet W. Ferguson grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served her church as a children’s minister and a youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a few cats that allow them to share the space.

Guests Post from Janet W. Ferguson

Hi, I’m Janet W. Ferguson, and I’m so excited to meet the readers of Celebrate Lit!
I’ve always been an avid reader, but I’ve had an odd career path prior to writing.
With a Banking and Finance degree, I took my first job working at a brokerage firm handling their mutual fund trades. After the market crashed in the late 80s, I took a job managing a large, upscale apartment community. During this time, I married and became a stay-at-home mom and church volunteer. My volunteering eventually led to a staff position as children’s minister. After five years, I felt my calling had changed, and I left the job, not really sure what God had in store. Haphazardly, my husband suggested I apply at our local schools. Not long afterward, I certified in teaching and became the library media specialist at the large public high school near our home. I met so many wonderful young people as children’s minister and high school librarian.
During my times as a librarian, I had a story idea for about seven years, but never made time to try my hand at writing. Finally, after my elderly parents passed away, and I felt it was time. I wrote every evening for three months, and finished my first story which was Leaving Oxford. I spent the next three years learning about the craft of writing and editing that story. Yes, there was much to learn! In the meantime, one secondary character from Leaving Oxford demanded his own story… From that, came Going Up South.
I tend to write what I know, and I’m from the peculiar and wonderful state of Mississippi. My first story was set mostly in Oxford, Mississippi. The charming town made the perfect backdrop for book 1. So book 2 is also mostly set in Oxford, although the characters go on a mission trip to Honduras.
The hero of Going Up South, Dylan Conner, is a funny and charming actor that made a number of appearances in Leaving Oxford. From outrageous costumes to intense flirting, he just had a personality as large as the characters he portrayed on the screen. In Going Up South, he realizes that he fathered a child, but he had been left out of the baby boy’s life. Though he’d never planned to have a family, due to his disappointment in his own father, seeing the child, his child, changes his mind.
Dylan’s not sure how he’ll raise a child or what to do, but he finds help in his new friend and custody mediator, Cassie Brooks.
The scripture theme for this series comes from Isaiah 61. This particular book draws on “He binds up the brokenhearted.”
The heroine, Cassie Brooks, is still hurting from her scandalous divorce in a small town. Unlike my last heroine in Leaving Oxford, Cassie had done things the way she’d been taught, avoiding alcohol, drugs, and sex outside of marriage. And her heart was still broken by an unfaithful husband. I wanted to show that life just hands out some tough blows, no matter how hard we try to do the right thing, but God is there in the midst of it all. He does bind up our broken hearts.
I pray that you are uplifted by this story, and whatever hurts life has dealt you, that you find comfort in the arms of our faithful Father. Blessings!

Blog Stops

July 8: Bigreadersite
July 11: Pause for Tales
July 17: Quiet Quilter
To celebrate her tour, Janet is giving away some fantastic prizes including a $50 Amazon gift card! Click here to enter:


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  2. Sorry I made a typo and had to delete my comment and start over, ha! (It's late at night) Thank you for the sweet review! Kentucky is Southern :) I'm so glad you enjoyed the stories! I know y'all rule in basketball in Kentucky, too!