Saturday, August 27, 2016

Tackling the Field: A Review and A Giveaway Link

Click to buy book.

If you read my review of Going Up South you'll know that I've fallen in love with this series by Janet Ferguson. I love football, I love the South, and I love good writing... and this book offers all of that.

It also offers hope and a message of restoration. It deals with some heavy issues, including pornography, human trafficking, prescription pill addiction, and date rape... but it does so to show that God can and does redeem.

Cole is the star quarterback who used to live like the stereotype until he took a mission trip where his life was changed. Partly due to a romantic interest in what he assumed would be a least-likely girl and completely due to God's greater plan, Cole decides to go all in with his service. Along the way, though, he faces temptations and obstacles that remind us that no matter how long we've been serving God, we will face troubles... but He is greater.

Audrey wants to fall for Cole but a history that has brought her shame keeps her from completely doing so. She has to learn to trust... to trust herself, to trust Cole, and to trust God's greater plan for her life.

Audrey and Cole, along with the cast of supporting characters from previous books in the series. are likeable and the kind of people you could see yourself hanging out with. Their mistakes are those that all of us at one time or another have been guilty of making. 

This book is the third book of the series, and can be a read-alone, but I would recommend reading the first two books as well because they provide good background plus they are good reads!

I did receive a free advanced readers copy from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review... but if there are more in this series I'll definitely be buying them!

About the Book

Cole Sanders is a changed man. The university quarterback questions his direction in life after serving on a mission trip in Honduras. Things that used to fill Cole’s ego seem empty after witnessing the developing country’s extreme poverty and the death of a precious child. The one glimmer of hope through his confusion is the fresh perspective he now has about his tutor, Audrey. She possesses something beautiful inside and out—something that might help him become the person he wants to be.
University senior Audrey Vaughn tutored Cole Sanders for an entire year and never imagined the popular quarterback would see her as anything more than a friend. After partnering with him on the mission trip, they are drawn together. And he appears to have changed for the better. To let Cole into her life, Audrey will have to overcome not only her brother’s distrust, but also the paralyzing fear still lingering from a past she’s tried to leave behind.
Cole can’t walk away from Audrey now that they’re back in Oxford. He’ll have to figure out how to keep her giant of a brother, a lineman on his football team, from killing him when the coach has his back turned. But can Audrey trust her heart to a player so similar to the one who stole so much from her in the past?

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.

Guest Post from Janet Ferguson

Hi, I’m Janet W. Ferguson, and I’m so excited to be back again and meet more readers through Celebrate Lit!
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.
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.
The other 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.
Someone reading this 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.

Blog Stops

August 15: Quiet Quilter
August 18: The Power of Words (Spotlight)
August 21: Karen’s Krayons
August 22: Bigreadersite
August 23: A Greater Yes
August 26: Mary Hake


To celebrate her tour, Janet is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card Click here to enter:

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

My Prayer for 8th grade

So, this morning you were up before I was, which isn't saying much.

You were already dressed and had your backpack loaded, your lunch packed, your football gear ready for practice.

You don't need me for much, these days, it seems...

And I know that is how this motherhood thing is supposed to go.

I look at you, all 6'1" of you, and know that you're just on loan to me....

and that even though you're just an 8th grader, my days of protecting you are coming to an end.

After all, you're bigger than me and stronger than me and probably already smarter than me...

Or at least you like to think so.

But it's a big scary world out there and us mamas get scared a lot of times, too.

Scared that you won't make a good decision or scared that you'll get your heart broken or scared that you'll need counseling for fifty years to undo all of the damage we've done in the past thirteen or eighteen years.

I watch you walk in that middle school with tears in my eyes...

And I don't even consider myself a sentimental Mom.

Because it seems like yesterday you were crying and sitting in Ms. Judy's lap. Like yesterday you were playing in Ms. Nora's room and teasing her and Ms. Charlene.

And it seems like yesterday that I was walking in that building, and I remember those teenage years as being hard.

Young man, you'll face things that I can't imagine.

I hope that I've given  you enough.

I hope  that you've seen me live Jesus enough to know that He is always enough. That He is always good, and that His way is the best way.

I hope that you've learned grace and learned that there is good in everybody, and that it's your job to look for the good even when no one else does.

I hope that I've taught you that material things don't matter, even though I know we love material things. That it's not just about your appearance on the outside, but how you present yourself to others.

I hope that you remember that being mean is ugly and that we didn't raise you to be ugly.

I hope that you're inspired in the classroom and that you work hard, even when you don't want to, because hard work makes you be accomplished.

I hope that I've loved you and your Daddy has loved you and your grandparents have loved you enough that love is what you are.... that it comes  natural to  you.

I hope that you know to enjoy every day that you have, because before we know it you'll be going to work and sitting at your desk thinking of how your own baby is starting school and be a mess...

just like me.  Your mama, always one hot mess.

Here's praying 8th grade is the best year ever. That you'll grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus as much as you grow in stature, and that you'll have favor with Him and with your teachers and with your peers. Here's hoping  that you laugh every day until your belly hurts about something, that you learn empathy and compassion and that you LIVE it, that you are you....

beautiful, growing up, you.

May you shine, my dear one.

And I'll just sit back and bask in it and remember just how blessed I am to be Caleb's mama.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Home to Cedar Branch: A Review

Katie has made a mistake and must face the consequences, but they may be more than she's willing to face. Her family torn apart, she moves home to Cedar Branch with her two teenagers, finding a job waiting tables at the Quaker Café.  Surrounded by the good people of Cedar Branch, she makes a go at a new life until her past hits her square in the face. The resulting turmoil puts not just Katie at risk.

This book is the second in the Quaker Café series, but could be read as a stand alone. Suspenseful enough to keep the reader on the edge of his or her seat, the novel is a delight for readers.

The interesting addition of an introduction into some of the beliefs of the Quaker faith helped add to the story. I was disappointed and somewhat surprised by some of the language used in the book.

I would recommend this book to those interested in suspense. I'd give this book 3.5 stars.

I received free access to this book through and am posting this review on their website.  I receive no compensation from Amazon for using their link with the book information.
Professional Reader