Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Book review with a giveaway: Going Up South by Janet W. Ferguson

To purchase your own copy of Going Up South, click here.

About the Book

No one told him he had a son. Actor Dylan Conner is furious. Not only has he been left out of his child’s life, the baby boy has been given another man’s last name. Determined to be a better father than the sorry guy who’d left him and his mother, Dylan fights to ensure a significant place in his son’s life. Unfortunately, his bad-boy reputation overshadows his good intentions. Only one woman in this small town sees beyond his Hollywood image. And he’s falling for her. Too bad she’s the custody mediator. After her scandalous divorce in the small town of Oxford, Mississippi, attorney Cassie Brooks has no intentions of practicing law again. The humiliating experience left a bitter taste for love, marriage, and her profession. Now friends need Cassie’s help in a custody negotiation, and her role demands she remain objective. She never expected to be drawn to Dylan Conner—the actor who everyone warns is bad news. Not only is the mediation at stake, but so is her heart.

My review
The best part of this book was how very real the characters were.  The group of individuals featured in this story were all unique in their personalities and vocations.  They were fearful, snarky, and angry, but they also were loving, compassionate, and forgiving.  They were willing to submit to God and change their ways according to His promptings.

Author Janet W. Ferguson did a great job of moving the story along, and keeping my interest until the very end.  I look forward to reading more books by this author.

Since this was the second book in the Southern Hearts series, I missed a lot of history by not reading Leaving Oxford first.  However, I did enjoy this book thoroughly so I recommend reading the first book first.  Those who enjoy contemporary fiction and southern fiction will also enjoy this book.

I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.

Here are a couple of quotes that I loved:

On a blind date:  "'I hope you at least enjoyed the lunch and the company.'  His eyes searched hers for some sign.  Her mind went blank and she scrambled for something to say.  'I do like this restaurant.'"

"'Libraries.'  She took a deep whiff.  'I love that smell.  Books, computers, and all that knowledge in one place thrills me.'"

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.

Guest Post from Janet W. Ferguson

Hi, I’m Janet W. Ferguson, and I’m so excited to meet the readers of Celebrate Lit! I’ve always been an avid reader, but I’ve had an odd career path prior to writing. With a Banking and Finance degree, I took my first job working at a brokerage firm handling their mutual fund trades. After the market crashed in the late 80s, I took a job managing a large, upscale apartment community. During this time, I married and became a stay-at-home mom and church volunteer. My volunteering eventually led to a staff position as children’s minister. After five years, I felt my calling had changed, and I left the job, not really sure what God had in store. Haphazardly, my husband suggested I apply at our local schools. Not long afterward, I certified in teaching and became the library media specialist at the large public high school near our home. I met so many wonderful young people as children’s minister and high school librarian. During my times as a librarian, I had a story idea for about seven years, but never made time to try my hand at writing. Finally, after my elderly parents passed away, and I felt it was time. I wrote every evening for three months, and finished my first story which was Leaving Oxford. I spent the next three years learning about the craft of writing and editing that story. Yes, there was much to learn! In the meantime, one secondary character from Leaving Oxford demanded his own story… From that, came Going Up South. I tend to write what I know, and I’m from the peculiar and wonderful state of Mississippi. My first story was set mostly in Oxford, Mississippi. The charming town made the perfect backdrop for book 1. So book 2 is also mostly set in Oxford, although the characters go on a mission trip to Honduras. The hero of Going Up South, Dylan Conner, is a funny and charming actor that made a number of appearances in Leaving Oxford. From outrageous costumes to intense flirting, he just had a personality as large as the characters he portrayed on the screen. In Going Up South, he realizes that he fathered a child, but he had been left out of the baby boy’s life. Though he’d never planned to have a family, due to his disappointment in his own father, seeing the child, his child, changes his mind. Dylan’s not sure how he’ll raise a child or what to do, but he finds help in his new friend and custody mediator, Cassie Brooks. The scripture theme for this series comes from Isaiah 61. This particular book draws on “He binds up the brokenhearted.” The heroine, Cassie Brooks, is still hurting from her scandalous divorce in a small town. Unlike my last heroine in Leaving Oxford, Cassie had done things the way she’d been taught, avoiding alcohol, drugs, and sex outside of marriage. And her heart was still broken by an unfaithful husband. I wanted to show that life just hands out some tough blows, no matter how hard we try to do the right thing, but God is there in the midst of it all. He does bind up our broken hearts. I pray that you are uplifted by this story, and whatever hurts life has dealt you, that you find comfort in the arms of our faithful Father. Blessings!

Blog Stops

July 8: Bigreadersite
July 11: Pause for Tales
July 17: Quiet Quilter


To celebrate her tour, Janet is giving away some fantastic prizes including a $50 Amazon gift card! Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/9e33


  1. Hi Kathy! Thanks for the great review! I laughed at the quotes you picked. Can you tell that I used to be a librarian?

  2. Janet, thanks for stopping by! I read that page while I was on my lunch break at work (at the library) and had to share those out loud!

  3. I love books that have great depth to their characters!

    1. Thank you, Natalie! I'm a character-driven writer. I have to feel as though I know them. Blessings :)

  4. Every review that I have read about this book is great! Definitely going to read it!

  5. Great Review! This sounds wonderful!

  6. Sounds like a great book, thanks for the chance to win.

  7. I am anxious to read Janet's book. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Thanks everyone, for stopping by and commenting!