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.
What are five of your favorite things?
Janet: I love this question because I have so many favorites. I could go on all day!! But I won’t…
1. I love butterflies. My mother loved them, and after I lost her to Alzheimer’s in 2012, they became so special to me. I saw so many that spring. I thought of her and how she’d transformed from that shattered painful mind and body into something beautiful and free.
I take pictures with my phone of butterflies all the time and post them to Instagram.
2. I love sunsets! (Especially at the beach! My happy place, but you only asked for 5 things!) Every day I get excited when I see what strokes of color God will paint across that western sky. They are so beautiful! He is such an amazing Artist!
Okay… I take pictures of them too. My husband sometimes calls me to tell me there’s a pretty one if he thinks I’m missing it.
3. I love being with family and friends. Without them life would be boring and sad and lonely. Eating and walking and talking and laughing is usually included.
4. I love Christian fiction. That love all started years ago with Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion series, Lynn Austin’s Gods & Kings series, Randy Alcorn’s Safely Home, and Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness.
These books reawakened me to the power of story to teach and influence and change lives, cultures, & generations. After all, Jesus taught with stories called parables.
5. I do love sour gummy candy, the reason sour gummy worms show up in my first book, Leaving Oxford. Of course, I love all candy, vegetables, meat, deserts, breads… well, basically all food. So, I have to go to the gym and walk my dog a couple of miles on most days.
Beth: We are kindred spirits! We have so much in common, except for the gummies and the veggies… that’s all you 😉
Janet: I should’ve added one of my favorite things to do is to laugh. Even in my darkest times when my mother had Alzheimer’s and my father was in the hospital over and over from various age-related ailments, I had to find humor.
We joke about the time that I told my mother she had to lift up a second when I helped her into my van. She asked why, and I explained that she was sitting on my hand. We started giggling, and we had a great laugh together. For some reason, I treasure that moment.
My father had dementia and became obsessed with wanting to wear the color blue. He really loved to see others wearing blue as well and mentioned it often. Now when shopping, my daughter and I always fondly say “get the blue one.” It’s actually my favorite color, too!
Beth: Laughter really is good medicine and I’ve always loved blue, too! Picking your favorite favorites is no easy task.
Tell us a little bit about your Southern Hearts Series.
Janet: So, I write contemporary stories about characters who are dealing with realistic problems like anxiety disorders, life after a painful divorce, and betrayal but in the way that I deal with most difficult and painful blows—a good dose of Jesus and Southern humor. Because without Jesus and humor, some days I’m pretty sure I couldn’t make it.
Southern Hearts series
Janet: There are four books in the Southern Hearts Series starting with Leaving Oxford. They are set in my home state of Mississippi and my next door state of Alabama. All this combines to create my tagline: Faith, Humor, Romance ~ Southern Style
Beth: Leaving Oxford is a wonderful story! (hop over to my review) I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this series!
Tell us about your latest release.
Janet: Book 4 of the Southern Hearts Series is called Blown Together. This is the story set in coastal Alabama, and honestly, it was my favorite to write.
Wealth manager Sam Conrad is accustomed to his domineering father ordering him around, especially at the bank where they both work. But when his father demands that Sam manage the inheritance of his bossy ex-fiancée, Sam has finally had enough. He leaves in search of a new life, and attorney Big Roy Bosarge from Mobile, Alabama, agrees to mentor Sam on his quest for direction. Sam didn’t expect to be thrown together with Big Roy’s eccentric and opinionated daughter.
Storm damage forces lonely romance writer Elinor Bosarge and her hairless cat, Mr. Darcy, out of her Fort Morgan Beach cottage. She plans to take refuge in the boathouse on her parents’ estate, but finds the place already occupied by one of her father’s “projects.” She’s shocked her father would allow another young man onto the property after his last mentee robbed her family and broke her heart. And from the moment she meets Sam Conrad, they disagree about everything from her cat to how to best renovate a local nursing home.
Between her mother’s health issues and the hurricane brewing in the Gulf, Elinor feels like her life is being ripped apart. It doesn’t help that she’s falling for the man she’s determined not to trust. Sam finds himself drawn to Elinor, wanting to help her and this new family he’s grown to love. But can he overcome the barrier she’s built to keep him out? When the storm rages and the two of them are blown together, can Elinor find the faith to open her heart again?
Janet: I was walking along the beach of Fort Morgan, Alabama, one October (which is the perfect time to go by the way). A rain was blowing in around sunset, sand biting my ankles, and I imagined a lonely romance writer who was the queen of bad dates, living in a little cottage with her hairless cat.
I know—I’m weird. But that’s how it started. There’s much more humor in this book I think than the first three, but there are tender moments, as well. I can’t wait for you to meet Elinor and her hero, Sam, in Blown Together.
Beth: I can’t wait! Thank you for being here today and telling us a little bit about yourself and your books, Janet!
Janet: Thank you so much for having me here on your beautiful blog!
Janet is generously sending one fortunate reader a copy of her latest release, Blown Together! Enter to win!
Tell us one of your favorite things! Do you share any of Janet’s favorites?