As I haven’t had time to get a book review written this weekend, and won’t have time until the next weekend, I’m sharing instead about the wonderful Tara Johnson and her podcast, “This is My Story” where I was blessed to be a guest this past week. We covered all sorts of fun and inspirational topics over the course of about 40 minutes, so I hope you’ll get the chance to listen in.
Episode 3: Silver Strands and “Even Ifs” with Crystal Caudill
On today’s show, Tara and Crystal chat about messy families, the power of not being perfect, plastic Christianity and balking heroes of faith. Crystal shares how escaping PE class led her to Christ. The ladies talk about classics, Christian fiction, wild research, and Crystal’s new release Counterfeit Love. Also on this show… Silver strands, Bearing Precious Seed and what God teaches us when we say “even if”.
Bearing Precious Seed- www.bpsmilford.org
Pre-order Crystal’s upcoming novel here: Counterfeit Love: Caudill, Crystal: 9780825447402: Amazon.com: Books
One of the most nerve-racking parts of being an author is sending your book out into the world for the first time, knowing you can no longer change a single word of your book. Thankfully, the first people to read my novel outside of my critique partners and the Kregel team are endorsers. I am so honored and encouraged by the ladies who read my book and then wrote up beautiful endorsements. For the next few months, I’m going to feature one endorser every couple of weeks. So settle in, hear what they have to say about Counterfeit Love, and then learn about who they are, the books they’ve written, and how you can connect with them. Maybe you will be blessed to discover a new author.
At the end, I’d be blessed if you would leave an encouraging note for this author who has encouraged me so much!
I am pleased to introduce you to . . .
Writer, Singer, Speaker, and Passionate Lover of Stories
Tara Johnson is an author, speaker, and passionate lover of stories. She loves to travel to churches, ladies retreats, and prisons to share how God led her into freedom after spending years living shackled as a people-pleasing preacher’s kid.
From the time she was young and watched Gone with the Wind with her mother for the first time, the Civil War intrigued her. That fascination grew into all aspects of American history and the brave people and stories who made up its vibrant past.
She says, “History is crammed full of larger-than-life characters. Doc Holliday, Annie Oakley, Helen Keller, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Amelia Earhart, and Frederick Douglass are just a few examples of flawed, wounded humans who battled their demons with vibrant determination and left an indelible mark on the pages of history. I suppose that’s why people are so fascinating. No matter the era, we all battle the same wounds. Abandonment, abusive fathers, overprotective mothers, loss, grief, rejection, addiction, crippling anxiety, loneliness, or the yearning for unconditional love, to name a few. We all battle the same junk and have to decide whether to fight or cave. Run or stand. Cry or smile. That’s what great characters do. They are a reflection of our struggles, our own wounds. Our own need. And, when written well, they remind us Who we need to turn to for healing.”
Tara has written articles for Plain Truth magazine and has been a featured guest on Voice of Truth radio and Enduring Word radio. Tara is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She and her husband Todd live in Arkansas and the Lord has blessed them with five children: Bethany, Callie, Nate, as well as Taylor Lynn and Morgan Lane who are with Jesus.
Connect with Tara:
What she had to say about Counterfeit Love:
“Counterfeit Love is a dazzling debut! Caudill weaves a tale of intrigue, danger, and romance. Theresa and Broderick will long live in my heart as deep characters who struggle with relinquishing control to God . . . the same struggle many of us have felt to our core. A story to cheer for and an author to watch!”
Wow. I am humbled, encouraged, and blessed by Tara’s words, and it is my hope that others will be impacted by Theresa and Broderick’s struggles. Relinquishing control to God is certainly something I struggle with and wrestled through as I wrote these characters. Thank you so much for your endorsement, Tara! (And I’m shamelessly putting the link to Counterfeit Love here if you would like to learn more or preorder it.)
I’ve long admired Tara Johnson’s stories. They have such depth, historical accuracy, and just powerful stories. I really encourage you to read them yourself. You can purchase them from any major retailer, but here is the link to her Amazon Author Profile where you can grab any of the titles you like.
Engraved on the Heart
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.
Where Dandelions Bloom
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?
All Through the Night
With her stammering tongue and quiet ways, Cadence Piper has always struggled to be accepted. After the death of her mother, Cadence sets her heart on becoming a nurse, both to erase the stain her brother has left on the family’s honor and to find long-sought approval in the eyes of her father. When Dorothea Dix turns her away due to her young age and pretty face, Cadence finds another way to serve . . . singing to the soldiers in Judiciary Square Hospital. Only one stubborn doctor stands in her way.
Joshua Ivy is an intense man with a compassionate heart for the hurting and downtrodden. The one thing he can’t have is an idealistic woman destroying the plans he’s so carefully laid. When the chaos of war thrusts Cadence into the middle of his clandestine activities, he must decide if the lives at stake, and his own heart, are worth the risk of letting Cadence inside.
Everything changes when Joshua and Cadence unearth the workings of a secret society so vile, the course of their lives, and the war, could be altered forever. If they fight an enemy they cannot see, will the One who sees all show them the way in the darkest night?
Discover the five hidden explosive scenarios that can maim and disable your spiritual life. Tara Johnson attacks these subjects with directness, honesty, insight and a disarming sense of humor. Learn to identify and gain practical advice for how to disable the emotional cripplers of grief, depression, perfectionism, people-pleasing, and fear and anxiety.
Too many Christians are frustrated with the chasm between the truth of God’s word and the reality of their own emotional struggles. Hollow Victory builds a bridge across that divide. Taken from her own real-life experiences, Tara’s book offers hope through a powerful and refreshing look at the hidden landmines that make victorious Christian living feel like a lie.
Leave an encouraging note for Tara Johnson in the comments. This writing journey is rough, and I’d love to bless her as much as she has blessed me.