Tag Archives: Tara Johnson

Book Review: Engraved on The Heart

14 Nov

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.

Tara Johnson is a writer, singer, speaker and passionate lover of stories. She makes her home in Arkansas with her husband and three children.

Connect with Tara online at her website (TaraJohnsonStories.com) or on any of these social media platforms:

Facebook.com/TaraLynnJohnsonAuthor
Twitter.com/TaraMinistry
Instagram.com/tarajohnsonministry

 

My Impressions:

Civil War-era Savannah came alive within the pages of Engraved on The Heart by Tara Johnson. Although I am a transplanted Georgian (36 years now), I did not know much about that city’s involvement during the war, but this new-to-me author had it spot on. How do I know? I was recommending this book to a friend who happened to teach Georgia History to 8th graders for years. Everything she mentioned about Savannah, I responded with “that’s in the book!”. With its heartfelt message, engaging characters, and historical accuracy, this book is a recommended read for fans of historical romance fiction.

As the book opens, the South is on the verge of seceding from the Union. Sentiments are high with hopes of a glorious future for the old South. But main character, Keziah Montgomery chafes at the old ways and old ideas. Her views on abolition, plus her gender, are disregarded. As her parents work to get her married off, the war begins and everything changes for Keziah.

I loved the history surrounding the Underground Railroad in Savannah that Johnson details. It made me want to visit this city’s historic sites again. Abolition was certainly not popular, but there were many who believed in freedom for all — that was encouraging and enlightening. Keziah and Micah Greyson are integral parts to the railroad, and the book brought new appreciation of the danger involved in such a clandestine undertaking. Keziah longs for freedom of her own — from family expectations and societal structures. Her gender and her misunderstood ailment bring huge limitations to what she could do. That was eye-opening as well. The message of value in God’s eyes is very relevant for modern readers. There’s plenty of romance, mystery, and suspense in Engraved on The Heart — it is the whole package and a recommended read!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Tyndale Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinion expressed are mine alone.)

 

2019 Christy Award Finalists

19 Sep

Here are the finalists for the 2019 Christy Awards. A top honor in Christian fiction, you can be sure of an excellent read when choosing one of these books. Congrats to all the talented authors!

 

Contemporary Romance

Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe by Carla Laureano

Falling for You by Becky Wade

Wait for Me by Susan May Warren

 

First Novel

The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings

Engraved on The Heart by Tara Johnson

The Plum Blooms in Winter by Linda Thompson

 

General Fiction

No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert

Send Down The Rain by Charles Martin

We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartels

 

 

Historical

A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano

Of Fire And Lions by Mesu Andrews

The Seamstress by Allison Pitman

Shelter of The Most High by Connilyn Cossette

 

Historical Romance

A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander

 

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Called to Protect by Lynette Eason

Every Wicked Man by Steven James

Mind Games by Nancy Mehl

 

 

Short Form

A Shot at Love by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock

Falling for Grace by Janet Ferguson

Legacy of Love by Kristi Ann Hunter

 

Visionary

Mark of The Raven by Morgan L. Busse

Shivering World by Kathy Tyers

The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin

The Wounded Shadow by Patrick W. Carr

 

Young Adult

The Crescent Stone by Matt Mikalatos

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

 

 

2019 Inspy Awards Shortlists!

4 May

A big congratulations to all the talented authors whose books are represented on the 2019 Inspy Award Shortlists! So many great books Now you have your summer reading list! 😉

 

Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense

All Made Up by Kara Isaac

Falling for You by Becky Wade

The Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano

Debut Fiction

Among The Poppies by J’Nell Ciesielski

Engraved on The Heart by Tara Johnson

The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham

General Fiction

No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert

Things Left Unsaid by Courtney Walsh

Where Hope Begins by Catherine West

Historical Romance

Romancing The Bride by Melissa Jagears

The Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof

The Thief of Corinth by Tessa Afshar

Literature for Young Adults

The Edge Over There by Shawn Smucker

Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon

A Worthy Rebel by Jody Hedlund

Mystery/Thriller

Delayed Justice by Cara Putman

The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright

Thirst of Steel by Ronie Kendig

Speculative Fiction

Fierian by Ronie Kendig

Mark of The Raven by Morgan L. Busse

The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin