First Line Friday: Where Dandelions Bloom

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I am excited to be featuring Where Dandelions Bloom by Tara Johnson. History comes to life within these pages and a story unfolds that both captivates and entertains. CLICK HERE to read my full review!

WhereDandelionsBloom

April 12, 1861
Howell, Michigan

          “Cassandra Kendrick! What have you done?”

 

Uh-oh! Sounds like someone is in trouble… What did Cassandra do? Or maybe what is she being blamed for?  Hmmm…

Click on the title below to snag your copy:

    Where Dandelions Bloom

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Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

 

Where Dandelions Bloom by Tara Johnson

Synopsis:

Cassie Kendrick is on the run. Her abusive father arranged her marriage to a despicable man, but she’s discovered an escape. Disguised as a man, Cassie enlists in the Union army, taking the name Thomas Turner. On the battlefields of the Civil War, keeping her identity a secret is only the beginning of her problems, especially after she meets Gabriel Avery, a handsome young photographer.

Anxious to make his mark on the world and to erase the darkness and guilt lurking from his past, Gabriel works with renowned photographer Matthew Brady to capture images from the front lines of the war. As Gabriel forges friendships with many of the men he encounters, he wonders what the courageous, unpredictable Thomas Turner is hiding.

Battling betrayal, their own personal demons, and a country torn apart by war, can Cassie and Gabriel learn to forgive themselves and trust their futures to the God who births hope and healing in the darkest places?

My Thoughts:

“Did you know that more than 400 women disguised themselves as men and fought for the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War?”

Have you ever wondered what would make a woman in the 1860’s disguise herself as a man, pick up a gun, and fight in a war? I don’t know about you, but when I think of women in the 1860’s I imagine the big hoop skirts with lots of ruffles (Think Gone With The Wind), I never realized that there were women who joined the war efforts.

Author Tara Johnson set out to answer that very question, “what would make women disguise herself as a man, pick up a gun and fight in the Civil War?” For at least one young women living in Howell, Michigan, the answer was to escape a forced engagement to a despicable man.

With vivid imagery and authentic characters, I found myself traveling through the mists of time, and entering a past that I’d only dimly imagined. History comes to life within these pages and a story unfolds that both captivates and entertains. The first few chapters spent time introducing the characters and setting up the story, but after that things really get moving, and I found that I couldn’t put the story down, I had to know what would happen next.

If you enjoy stories set during the American Civil War then you will want to be sure to snag a copy of this story!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

Tara-Johnson A passionate lover of stories, Tara uses fiction, nonfiction, song, and laughter to share her testimony of how God led her into freedom after spending years living shackled as a people pleaser. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and makes her home in Arkansas with her husband and three children. Visit her website and subscribe to her newsletter

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter //

    Where Dandelions Bloom

Also from Tara Johnson

   Engraved on the Heart

 

June 2018 – Month in Review

There have been some wonderful stories that I’ve enjoyed reading this past month! Join me as we take a look back at the bookish fun we enjoyed in June.

Clicking on the link will take you to the blog post for that book, interview or reveal.

Books Reviewed:

TheOrphansWish  The Orphans Wish by Melanie Dickerson

WhereTheFireFalls  Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett

AmongThePoppies  Among the Poppies by J’nell Ciesielski

TheLoveLetter  The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

ADaringEscape  A Daring Escape by Tricia Goyer

MoreThanMeetsTheEye  More Than Meets the Eye by Karen Witemeyer

TheHopeOfAzureSpringsThe Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham

EnduringLove  Enduring Love by Toni Shiloh

 

Author Interviews:

InterviewKarenWitemeyerKaren Witemeyer

InterviewTaraJohnson  Tara Johnson

 

Cover Reveals:

BetweenTwoShoresBetween Two Shores by Jocelyn Green

 

I’d love to hear from you:

Have you read any of the books I reviewed this month? If so, did you have a favorite?
What book(s) are you looking forward to reading in July?

 

Author Interview & Giveaway with Tara Johnson

We have a special treat today! Author Tara Johnson has stopped by to chat with us about her new book Engraved on the Heart.  I absolutely loved reading this story! There is such depth of feeling in this story, that I’m sure you will love it too! You’ll want to make sure you get a copy of this book to enjoy for yourself! CLICK HERE for my review.

Tara-Johnson

Tara Johnson is a passionate lover of stories, Tara uses fiction, nonfiction, song, and laughter to share her testimony of how God led her into freedom after spending years living shackled as a people pleaser. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and makes her home in Arkansas with her husband and three children. Visit her website and subscribe to her newsletter

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter //

 

EngravedOnTheHeartReluctant debutante Keziah Montgomery lives beneath the weighty expectations of her staunch Confederate family, forced to keep her epilepsy secret for fear of a scandal. As the tensions of the Civil War arrive on their doorstep in Savannah, Keziah sees little cause for balls and courting. Despite her discomfort, she cannot imagine an escape from her familial confines―until her old schoolmate Micah shows her a life-changing truth that sets her feet on a new path . . . as a conductor in the Underground Railroad.

Dr. Micah Greyson never hesitates to answer the call of duty, no matter how dangerous, until the enchanting Keziah walks back into his life and turns his well-ordered plans upside down. Torn between the life he has always known in Savannah and the fight for abolition, Micah struggles to discern God’s plan amid such turbulent times.

Battling an angry fiancé, a war-tattered brother, bounty hunters, and their own personal demons, Keziah and Micah must decide if true love is worth the price . . . and if they are strong enough to survive the unyielding pain of war.

Grab your copy today!

   Engraved on the Heart

 

Join me in giving a warm welcome to Tara Johnson!

 

cornucopia-1789664_640Q:  What is your favorite season, and why?

Tara:  Autumn. I love the cooler weather, the brilliant colors of the trees, the excitement of the approaching holidays, the loamy scent in the air, pumpkins, hay rides, hot cocoa…it’s an exquisite time of year in my home state of Arkansas.

Trisha:  Autumn is beautiful, for all the reasons you listed above. Where I live we have lots of grape vineyards, and you can smell the grapes! It’s delicious!

 

book-1209805_640Q:  What is the best part of your day?

Tara:  Waking up early and reading my Bible on the front porch while the rest of the house is asleep. It’s blessedly quiet and a beautiful way to start the day.

Trisha:  That sounds like the perfect start to a day!

 

books-315677_640Q:  What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?

Tara:  I grew up reading anything by Lori Wick. The Hawk and the Jewel, Pretense, Sophie’s Heart and Wings of the Morning were my favorite. I also loved Lori Copeland’s Brides of the West series and Francine Rivers Mark of the Lion series.

Trisha:  Did you take a peek at my bookshelf?! We could be reading twins! Those are some of my favorites also!

 

mobile-616012_640Q:  If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?

Tara:  I have the most strange, eclectic collection of music ever. Being a music major will do that to you. Ha! Scrolling through my playlist looks like this: Matt Maher’s “Lord, I Need You”, Ed Sheeran, Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, David Garrett, the soundtrack from Wicked, Carrie Underwood, Queen and Bethel Music. I love it all.

Trisha:  That sounds like a wonderful collection to music!! I too have a wide collection that I listen to.

 

desk-2158142_640Q:  Did the plotline or the characters come first?

Tara:  For me, it always begins with the characters. Once I know the characters’ fears, childhood memories, passions and goals, the plot falls into place. The reason people are so taken with story in any form, whether it’s a novel, movie, story song, or anything else, is because we’re rooting for the character. What would Star Wars be without Luke Skywalker, or The Wizard of Oz without Dorothy, or Gone with the Wind without Scarlett O’Hara?

Trisha:  I agree! Characters always take center stage for me.

 

book-863418_640Q:  Which character took you by surprise?

Tara:  Micah. I’ll try not to reveal anything here for those who haven’t yet read the story, but Micah’s secret took me by surprise. I was typing along and out it came. The creative process is fascinating that way.

Trisha:  Yes, me too! I didn’t see that coming!

 

baby-1266117_640Q:  What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

Tara:  Probably midnight at the latest. I’m typically an early bird and do my best work in the morning and early afternoon. Most nights I’m asleep by 10:30 or 11:00.

Trisha:  Sounds like me! I can push myself to stay up until midnight, but more often than not I’m in bed by 11:00 if not before.

 

pencil-918449_640Q:  What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

Tara:  I originally wrote a scene that reunited Hiriam with his long-lost daughter. Again, I don’t want to spoil anything but while chatting with my editor, we decided the ending would be more poignant if we left it out. Tough decision!

Trisha:  Hmmm…. that does sound interesting. I have to admit, I like the ending that you settled with.

 

love-2614754_640Q:  What books/stories are you currently working on and how long till we can read more?! (I’m eager to read more amazing stories can you tell?)

Tara:  My second novel Where Dandelions Bloom will release in the summer of 2019, and I’m hard at work on story number three, tentatively titled A Song for Cadence, set to release in the summer of 2020.

Trisha:  I just know they will both be fantastic! I am eager to read more of your wonderful stories! Thank you so very much for taking time to visit with us today and share about your wonderful stories!

*** GIVEAWAY ***

Tara Johnson is giving away 1 (one) copy of her book “Engraved on the Heart”. Winner may choose one print copy or one e-copy. Please review the policies here. Please note that due to shipping cost this print copy is only available to those in the continental USA. The giveaway will be open for one week. At the close of the giveaway period the winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page.

Return daily during the giveaway period to tweet for bonus entries using the Rafflecopter entry form.

 To Enter the Giveaway: 

1.)  Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“What are your favorite things about summer?”

2.) CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter entry form.

***** Giveaway Ended *****
Winner: Raechel L.

EngravedOnTheHeart

May 2018 – Month in Review & Giveaway

There have been some wonderful stories that I’ve enjoyed reading this past month! Join me as we take a look back at the bookish fun we enjoyed in May. Be sure to enter the giveaway before you go!

Clicking on the link will take you to the blog post for that book, interview or reveal.

Books Reviewed:

TheBackcountryBrides  The Backcountry Brides Collection

TogetherForever Together Forever by Jody Hedlund

SecondImpressions  Second Impressions by Pepper Basham

TheCapturedBride  The Captured Bride by Michelle Greip

Edenbrook  Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

TimelessLoveCollection  Timeless Love: Romantic stories that span the ages

AllForLove All for Love: Three Historical Romance Novellas

HerPlaceInTime  Her Place in Time by Stephenia H. McGee

EngravedOnTheHeart Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson

RambleAndRoar  Rable & Roar by Catie Cordero

BountyBeyondReason Bounty Beyond Reason by Kari Trumbo

 

 

Author Interview:

RachelFordham  Rachel Fordham

 

Excerpts:

IMG_0335  Give Me Thine Heart by Andrea Boeshar

img_0361 Facade by Pepper Basham

img_0370 Enchanting Nicholette by Dawn Crandall

 

Cover Reveal:

JaneByTheBook Jane by the Book by Pepper Basham

 

 

I have a full schedule of books I’m looking forward to sharing with you in June!

 

***** GIVEAWAY *****

I am giving away 1 (one) print copy of Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson. Due to shipping cost this giveaway is only open to those with U.S mailing addresses.

Please review the policies here. The giveaway will be open for one week. At the close of the giveaway period the winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page.

Return daily during the giveaway period to tweet for bonus entries using the Rafflecopter entry form.

 To Enter the Giveaway: 

1.)  Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“Have you read any of the books I reviewed this month? If so, did you have a favorite?”

2.) CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter entry form.

***** GIVEAWAY ENDED *****

Winner: Robin W.

 

img_0504

First Line Friday: Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I’m featuring Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson. If you enjoy historical fiction then you won’t want to miss this fantastic story of courage and love. CLICK HERE to read my review.  This story is sure to remind you that you are loved & treasured. There is a God who see’s you and has engraved you on His heart!

EngravedOnTheHeart

April 12, 1861
Savannah, Georgia

          Don’t fail. Tonight of all nights, don’t fail.

Hmm… Sounds like our heroine has something important happening! Pick up your copy of this wonderful book today!

   Engraved on the Heart

 

Visit my Month in Review – May 2018 post and enter the Giveaway
for a paperback copy of Engrave on the Heart!

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson

Synopsis:

Reluctant debutante Keziah Montgomery lives beneath the weighty expectations of her staunch Confederate family, forced to keep her epilepsy secret for fear of a scandal. As the tensions of the Civil War arrive on their doorstep in Savannah, Keziah sees little cause for balls and courting. Despite her discomfort, she cannot imagine an escape from her familial confines―until her old schoolmate Micah shows her a life-changing truth that sets her feet on a new path . . . as a conductor in the Underground Railroad.

Dr. Micah Greyson never hesitates to answer the call of duty, no matter how dangerous, until the enchanting Keziah walks back into his life and turns his well-ordered plans upside down. Torn between the life he has always known in Savannah and the fight for abolition, Micah struggles to discern God’s plan amid such turbulent times.

Battling an angry fiancé, a war-tattered brother, bounty hunters, and their own personal demons, Keziah and Micah must decide if true love is worth the price . . . and if they are strong enough to survive the unyielding pain of war.

My Thoughts:

I was drawn into this story right from the start and blissfully held captive until the last page. Tara Johnson’s writing is so immersive that I felt like I was right there in the sticky heat of Savannah, Georgia. Take a journey back in time through the pages of this wonderful, story of faith. With a poignant reminder that we are all priceless treasures.

Keziah is such a gentle soul. She is soft-spoken and kind. She has a heart for others, especially those she see’s being treated unfairly, those being treated less than the beautiful creation of God that they are. Keziah suffers from epilepsy and has been made to feel that she isn’t worthy of love and a future because of her condition.

Dr. Micha Greyson has returned to Savannah after obtaining his medical degree in Philadelphia. Reunited with his old schoolmate, Keziah, he invites her to an Abolition meeting that will change the course of their lives. With a secrets to uncover and dangerous Underground Railroad missions, you are sure to be kept turning pages!

I absolutely loved this poignant story and give it 5-stars! If you enjoy stories set in the civil war time period, you won’t want to miss this fresh story. I encourage you to purchase a copy for yourself.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

Tara-Johnson A passionate lover of stories, Tara uses fiction, nonfiction, song, and laughter to share her testimony of how God led her into freedom after spending years living shackled as a people pleaser. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and makes her home in Arkansas with her husband and three children. Visit her website and subscribe to her newsletter

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter //

Pick-up your copy today!

   Engraved on the Heart