By Janet W. Ferguson
An Australian, a South African, a South Carolinian & a Mississippian
What would bring four women from different parts of the globe to Dallas, Texas, to stay in a hotel room with people they had never met in person?
A passion for story and a passion for the Lord!
Last summer I had the pleasure of meeting Narelle Atkins of Australia and rooming with her at the American Christian Fiction Writers national conference. Also bunking with us were Marion Ueckermann from South Africa and Heidi McCahan from North Carolina in the U.S. We became fast friends as we worshipped with veteran Christian authors, heard new ways to think about the craft of fiction-writing, and shared meals with others like ourselves—strange people who make up stories and talk to pretend people on a daily basis. It was amazing.
Our stories are similar, yet as unique as the voices God gave us. While the other ladies set their heroes and heroines in exotic locations, mine are set in my home state of Mississippi. The area is in the Deep South of the United States. The Gulf of Mexico is the southern border, and the massive Mississippi River in the west. We are an interesting blend of industry, timber, and farming—and a bit of a quirky group of people. Claims to fame include being the place of birth of Elvis Presley as well as the birthplace of blues music. People in the South even have their own genre because of the strange sense of humor called Southern Contemporary.
Here’s a little about my story set in Mississippi. It’s the first in a series called Southern Hearts. The second novel, Going Up South releases June 15.
Southern Hearts Series ~ Book 1
Escaping home to Oxford, Mississippi, seemed like a good idea. Until it wasn’t.
A year after a tragic accident in Los Angeles flipped her world upside down, advertising guru Sarah Beth LeClair is still hiding away in her charming hometown of Oxford, Mississippi. And she may well be stuck there forever. Suffering from panic attacks, she prays for healing. Instead, her answer comes in the form of an arrogant football coach and an ugly puppy.
Former celebrity college quarterback Jess McCoy dreamed of playing pro football. One freak hit destroyed his chances. Although he enjoys his work as the university’s offensive coordinator, his aspirations have shifted to coaching at the highest level. His plans of moving up are finally coming together—until he falls for a woman who won’t leave town.
As the deadline for Jess’s decision on his dream career looms, the bars around Sarah Beth’s heart only grow stronger. But it's time to make a decision about leaving Oxford.
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.