Author Interview: Janet Ferguson

Author Interview: Janet Ferguson

Today it is my pleasure to introduce to you, Janet Ferguson. I’ve “known” Janet online for several years now, and she is a joy to keep up with. But let me introduce you to her properly. 

Janet W. Ferguson is a Christy Award finalist and the FHL Readers Choice Award-winning author of realistic inspirational fiction. An avid reader, she loved books so much she found a job as a librarian so she could be around them all day. Then she turned that love of story into writing faith-filled novels with characters who feel like best friends. You’ll laugh and cry as the quirky heroes and heroines chase their happily ever after. ​Janet and her husband live in Mississippi where they say y’all a lot, and she forces him to visit the beach as often as possible. They have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a cat that allows them to share the space.

You can connect with her through:

Website  |  Facebook  |  GoodReads  |  BookBub  

*If you sign up for her newsletter, you will get her Christy Award finalist novella, Falling for Grace for free. Click here!


Now for the fun stuff! I have to admit I am partial to my Fast Five. 🙂 So settle in as I hit Janet with rapid-fire.


CC: Milk or Dark Chocolate?

JF: Both!

CC: Print or E-book?

JF: Love print but since my eyes are aging, eBooks are easier to read now.

CC: Cat or Dog Person?

JF: Both again. 🙂

Morning Person or Night Owl?

JF: Night for sure. Mornings hurt!

CC: Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?

JF: Summer and beaches.

Now for a couple of fun personal questions:

How can we pray for you?

JF: That the stories I write glorify God and spread the Good News of His love and grace.

CC: Amen! Amen! 

What is your favorite Bible verse?

JF: So many! But I love Isaiah 55’s invitation,
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.”

We think we need so much, but really God supplies our true needs.

CC: It is so easy to get wrapped up in the “things” of life instead of what we truly need.

What are you reading right now?

JF: I am finishing a novel by Tosca Lee called A Single Light. It’s a thriller for sure.

CC: I’ve not read anything from her, but I have heard her writing still keeps you on the edge of your seat.

What do you like to do when you aren’t reading or writing?

JF: Walking outside, trying new restaurants, traveling, Bible study, and taking pictures of nature keep me happy.

CC: Those are all great hobbies. My family especially loves trying new restaurants.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

JF: In 2012, both my parents passed away, along with my mother-in-law within 2 months. I’d had a story idea for about 7 years. After those losses, I realized life was short, and I began writing my first novel which became Leaving Oxford.

CC: Realizing the brevity of life can be a kick in the pants for so many things. I am sorry for your losses, but so glad good came out of them in the form of your writing.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

JF: A lot of times, I write sitting on my bed, LOL! My room is quiet and I have a stack of pillows piled up and research books spread out all over.

CC: That would be far too tempting for me to take a nap instead of write. LOL

What is your writing Kryptonite?

JF: I hate editing. It’s just so hard to rethink something once it’s finished, especially part of the plot or story.

CC: I’m the opposite, but I can see where that could be difficult. 

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

JF: I’m not the best at having a schedule anymore. I’ve decided to write one book a year, giving it my best work. If I get behind on my deadline though, I’ll go to a library or coffee shop to finish those last chapters. Sometimes I have to get away from distractions at home.

CC: Distractions at home are the hardest. You literally have to leave in order to escape them. One book a year sounds like the perfect pace to me! 

What has been the biggest challenge for you on your writing journey?

JF: Writing the stories of heroines who’ve gone through abuse was incredibly hard, because I had to dig into how that must have felt and how it affected them. The emotion of that is tough.

CC: That is definitely a huge challenge and one that also becomes a spiritual battle in and of itself.

Let’s talk about your newest release, Healing Skye.Healing Skye: A Coastal Hearts Novel by [Janet W. Ferguson]

People can’t be trusted.

Animals always made more sense than humans did to marine biologist Skye Youngblood. After her mother’s tragic death, she left Alabama and never looked back. These days, she pours her heart into protecting nature’s sea creatures. When she returns to Dauphin Island, Alabama, for a temporary manatee migration study, her dark past is much too close. She can’t let her guard down. But how can she keep her heart hidden when a kind man with a genuine smile makes her want a fresh start?

Charter fishing pays the bills for widower Pete Thompson and his little girl, but like his father, a pastor, Pete can’t help but fish for men. Only, after growing up under constant scrutiny as a preacher’s kid, Pete’s ways are a bit more unconventional. And the bulk of his life revolves around raising his precious daughter.

When he witnesses the car wreck of a new marine biologist on the island, it doesn’t take a genius to see that more than just her physical pain needs tending. Pete feels called to help Skye find true healing, but he’s navigating dangerous waters. And he’s not at all sure he’ll walk away unscathed.

Purchase your copy here.

CC: Who was the most challenging character to create?

JF: Probably this last character Skye. She’s had such a hard childhood with a terrible stepfather and a mother who suffered from depression.

CC: Those traumatic backgrounds can really make for reluctant characters–even for us the author. I’m so glad you stuck with it.

Which character was the most fun to create?

JF: My hero of For the Love of Joy, Davis, showed up in The Art of Rivers as a side character and he was just hilarious. He was also in Star Rising. At some point I knew he had to have his own story. I think God gave me Davis as a gift and a joy to write.

CC: That is so sweet. I love how those recurring side characters eventually get their own stories.

What was some of your favorite research for Healing Skye?
JF: For Healing Skye. I loved researching manatees. I even went to swim with them in Florida! They are truly gentle giants.
CC: My family saw the first time in the wild this summer. They really are fascinating and so gentle.
How did this story affect you as you wrote it? Did God teach you anything through the writing?
JF: A couple of things came to me through this story. Sometimes we don’t think God is with us because of the bad things in life, but if we really look, we can see that He was there walking with us, sometimes carrying us, all along. Another thing I processed is that the church is made up of broken people, but it is still Christ’s bride.
CC: Amen to all those hard lessons!
If you could be any of your characters, which one would it be?
JF: I love Rivers from The Art of Rivers. She’s artistic and kind and though she might come off as weak, she’s truly strong in her core because of her faith.
CC: I love that. The core of our faith is really our strength.
How do you select the name of your characters?
JF: Oh goodness, I spent hours looking at websites with names and baby names and historical names and name meanings. It’s a rabbit hole for sure. I keep a long list of names. If I meet someone or hear of an interesting one, I make a note.
CC: I love capturing names as I meet new people. Writing historical, it’s rare that I get to use them, but there are some fascinating names out there.
What do you hope readers will take away from your story?
JF: We have a God who cares about your pain. We have a God who loves purely—a Savior who heals.

Thank you so much for joining me today and providing all of us with a wonderful distraction. As my final question, I have my usual “Fun Question”.
What are the top three things on your bucket list?

JF: They all involve travel, I think! I’d like to see Scotland, the rest of the United States that I haven’t gone to, and New Zealand.

CC: Travel never gets old. Or at least the dream of it, and your location selections are excellent!

Thanks for getting to know Deb Kastner with me. Don’t forget to check out her book, Healing Skye, and answer the question below to let us know what your bucket list items are.

Author Interview: Rachelle Paige Campbell

Author Interview: Rachelle Paige Campbell

As my reading has been sporadic and my ability to write book reviews has been limited, I am relieved that I can at least provide you with introductions to some great authors and characters. This week I have the privilege of introducing you to Rachelle Paige Campbell.  

Rachelle Paige Campbell writes contemporary romance novels filled with heart and hope. She believes love and laughter can change lives, and every story needs a happily ever after.

You can connect with her through:

Website  |  Newsletter  |  Instagram  |  Amazon  |  BookBub  |  GoodReads



Now for the fun stuff! I have to admit I am partial to my Fast Five. 🙂 So settle in as I hit Rachelle with rapid-fire.


CC: Milk or Dark Chocolate?

RPC: Dark

CC: Print or E-book?

RPC: Print (I love bookstores.)

CC: Cat or Dog Person?

RPC: Dog

CC: Morning Person or Night Owl?

RPC: Morning person

CC: Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?

RPC: Summer

Now for a couple of fun personal questions:

CC: How can we pray for you?

RPC:  I want to pray that we all recognize our similarities over our differences. Our communities make our country strong and we can’t be ripped apart from each other.

CC: That is definitely something our country needs in a big way. It has broken my heart to see our country so divide. 

What is your favorite Bible verse? Why?

RPC: John 8:32. “You will know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” I feel this so deeply in my soul. When you are guided by Him, you can’t be dissuaded by (sometimes petty) other influences.

CC: Amen. It’s so important to stand firm with him. It makes things so much easier to deal with life, even when life isn’t easy.

What are you reading right now?

RPC: At the moment, I’m reading craft books as I edit two manuscripts. I’m looking forward to the next batch of Love Inspired suspense books.

CC: I have a soft spot for LIS. I have few waiting for me as well.

What do you like to do when you aren’t reading or writing?

RPC: I love to garden. I live in the Midwest so I have a limited season. I take full advantage of the warm days.

CC: I envy your ability to garden. I have a black thumb. Although, I am very proud of the ONE tomato I have. . . even if it isn’t really growing anymore or turning red . . .

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

RPC: I’ve been telling stories since I was a kid. It wasn’t until I had my first child that I decided to pursue my dream.

CC: I think storytelling just runs through must writer’s blood.  

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

RPC: When I’m writing a first draft, I “see” the plot. I end up editing to make sure my readers can “feel” the book.

CC: That makes sense to me!

What is your writing Kryptonite?

RPC: The words “hey mom” snap me out of my writing groove in a second. It’s a little complicated writing over summer break but I figure it out.

CC: Boy do I feel that one. Interruptions are TERRIBLE.

What is your work schedule like when you are writing?

RPC: I do my best writing in the morning. Over my morning coffee, I review my notes for the next scene and think about it while I’m walking my dog. When I get home, I’m ready to dive in.

CC: Routine makes such a difference when you have the ability to write.

What has been the biggest challenge for you on your writing journey?

RPC: At the start, I wasn’t hitting goals as fast as I “thought” I should. Learning to embrace my process and my path has made so much difference in my mindset. I love the journey I am on and am so grateful for every step on the way.

CC: Learning what is realistic for yourself and your life is really key. I’m struggling to learn that one myself.

Let’s talk about your release, Love Overboard.

Forced to share a stateroom with her ex-fiancé, Caitlyn fakes amnesia to stay on board her dream Alaskan cruise. Torn over deciding his future, Cruise Director Gregory tumbles into helping her. As they grow closer, unspoken secrets threaten to rip them apart, for good.

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  iBooks  | Google Play  | Kobo

CC: Which character was the most challenging to create?

RPC: Caitlyn was a challenging character because she is shy. My dad is a very shy person. I’ve grown up watching people make assumptions about him based on his reticence. The opinions are always wrong so I wanted to explore shyness from the inside out.

CC: Having personal insight into that must have been helpful and helpful for understanding your father. 

What was some of your favorite research you discovered while preparing for Love Overboard?

RPC: While writing Love Overboard, I discovered a slew of old travel videos available on Amazon Prime. I watched hours of Alaskan cruise videos from the 1980s and 1990s, produced by cruise lines. It was like traveling back in time to my childhood.

CC: Oh, that is fun. I didn’t even realize they had those!

How do you select the names of your characters?

RPC: When I’m selecting character names I first check to make sure I haven’t used the name already. I am not trying to create a universe populated with relatives across my non-series books. Then I figure out the year they were born and look up the popular names from that year on the social security database.

CC: That Social Security database is SO incredibly useful for that!

What was the inspiration for your story?

RPC: I have always wanted to take an Alaskan cruise (still dreaming about it). I have been lucky enough to take several Caribbean cruises. On one trip, my husband and I found a hidden room in a fake smokestack with a beautiful view and a baby grand piano. The discovery sparked a story (and you’ll see this in a scene).

CC: Oh that is cool! Now I’ll have to be searching for secret rooms if I ever make it onto a cruise!

What do you hope readers will take away from reading your story?

RPC: I hope readers will be encouraged to take the trip, take the chance, and fully embrace their lives.

CC: That is an exciting encouragement.

Thank you so much for joining me today and providing all of us with a wonderful distraction. As my final question, I have my usual “Fun Question”.

If you could travel anywhere without worry about cost, where would you travel?

RPC: Alaska is my dream trip and I hope to go one day.

CC: I am right there with you. It’s definitely on my bucket list. 

Thanks for getting to know Rachelle Paige Campbell with me. Don’t forget to check out her book, Love Overboard, and answer the question below to let us know where you would travel.

Reader question:

What do you think about historical stories? Should they portray things with as much accuracy as possible to the time, or should authors make adjustments for today’s cultural perspectives?

Husband Auditions by Angela Ruth Strong

Husband Auditions by Angela Ruth Strong

Husband Auditions

by Angela Ruth Strong

So this is one of the super rare times that I’m going to share a contemporary romance review. As many know, this season has been a rough caregiving season, and during the first few very intense days of post-surgery caregiving I found myself needing something different. I’d seen people all over talking about this romantic comedy called Husband Auditions and it just seems like exactly what I needed to get a light-hearted laugh and entertainment.

Husband Auditions delivered. There were scenes I straight up laughed out loud over. Like when Gemma asked Meri to duck tape her to a chair . . . I don’t want to spoil the fun, but it was perfect and hilarious, and something my suspense writer friends and I would totally do. However, the book wasn’t just something you laugh your way through, finish, and then set aside to forget about. This story dealt with Meri who had built marriage up as an idol in her life and Kai who struggled with laziness after so many failures in his life. I don’t believe I’ve ever read a more realistic portrayal of the struggle or a healthier resolution to a love story. It is a story I would really encourage all my unmarried friends especially to read. Not only will you get a laugh, but you’ll also get a really healthy perspective of marriage before you say “I do.”

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Portland, OR

Plot Overview:

How far would you go to find the perfect husband? All the way back to the 1950s?

In a world full of happily-ever-after love, Meri Newberg feels like the last young woman on the planet to be single, at least in her Christian friend group. So when she’s handed a strange present at the latest wedding–a 1950s magazine article of “ways to get a husband”–she decides there’s nothing to lose by trying out its advice. After all, she can’t get any more single, can she?

Her brother’s roommate sees the whole thing as a great opportunity. Not to fall in love–Kai Kamaka has no interest in the effort a serious relationship takes. No, this is a career jump start. He talks Meri into letting him film every silly husband-catching attempt for a new online show. If it goes viral, his career as a cameraman will be made.

When Meri Me debuts, it’s an instant hit. People love watching her lasso men on street corners, drop handkerchiefs for unsuspecting potential beaus, and otherwise embarrass herself in pursuit of true love. But the longer this game goes on, the less sure Kai is that he wants Meri to snag anyone but him. The only problem is that he may not be the kind of husband material she’s looking for . . .

With droll comic timing, unbeatable chemistry, and a zany but relatable cast of characters, Angela Ruth Strong has created a heartfelt look at the reality of modern Christian dating that readers will both resonate with and fall for.

What I loved: The healthy, Biblical resolution of their relationship and personal growth at the end. I really hope I get to read a novella or something with them again.

Favorite Character and Why:  Gemma was a hoot. I really loved her odd and quirky ways, and the duck tape scene? That was pure hilarity. 

Who would like this? Anyone looking for a fun, quirky read that also has truth to chew on. 

Rating and Why: Five stars. While not my usual read, it was funny, quirky, and I was completely blown away by the end. It has stayed with me and left me chewing on what I took away from it since I read it. I’d share what I took away from it, but I don’t want to ruin the end. 😉


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