Football in the South

College football starts in the South Eastern Conference this weekend. In honor of the upcoming football season, today Janet Ferguson is my guest. Janet and I just enjoyed time together at the ACFW 2016 Conference in Nashville.

Now, here's Janet:

The South, Football, & Life

In the South, most of us love football. It’s something we talk about, cheer for, and spend time watching with friends, whether in person or as a group watching it on TV. The adrenaline seems to flow as the leaves begin to turn from deep greens to those fall yellows and oranges, and a chill touches the air, and those pads and helmets are put on.
My husband played high school football. He was a center. I’ve always watched the sport at whatever school I attended, and of course, in Mississippi, we follow the SEC games. I never thought a whole lot about why we enjoy watching so much or about the injuries the players battle with—until my son played the sport.

His junior year, he tore his ACL and his shoulder labrum participating in this sport he loved. And he was not able to make a comeback. I saw the game through different eyes as he struggled with the loss. He missed the comradery, the goal, the discipline, the friendship. Everything about being a part of a team.

While he was going through three of four surgeries that he ended up having, I began writing Tackling the Fields. It combines this love for a game with the loss of a dream for one character and the loss of innocence for another. It was a challenging, almost painful, book to write. But in the end God heals our wounds and helps each of us recover from our broken places.
He’s there to free each of us from the heartaches that try to take us captive.

I'm so thankful Janet could take time out of her busy schedule and visit today. Tackling the Fields is a wonderful story and is available as ebook and paperback.

Janet Ferguson and Leaving Oxford

Today I'd like to welcome back my good friend, Janet Ferguson. Here's Janet.

Where would you run to escape your problems?

If something terrible happened in your life, is there a place that gives you peace? Oxford, Mississippi is the setting for my book called Leaving Oxford. My main character is in a tragic accident in Los Angeles and wants to escape her heartbreak. I chose the charming area for a backdrop because I had fond memories of the quaint college town.

There’s nothing like walking the downtown square and indulging in sweat tea and a local delicacy. From fried green tomatoes and catfish to fine dining with a Southern flair, Oxford will meet your culinary expectations and more. Just a stroll down the road is one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation. And people do take relaxing strolls along the sidewalks lined with magnolias and giant oaks.
But like in real life, no matter how far we run, our problems follow us.

The heroine of my novel suffers from a severe anxiety disorder. I’ve experienced anxiety difficulties, and I’m open about it. In being open, I’ve met many individuals plagued by anxiety or depression. These terrible disorders also carry an unfair stigma which only adds to the suffering. My desire was to write a novel that would encourage people with serious anxiety problems.

Leaving Oxford is what came of it. God has still been able to use me as a children’s minister, a youth volunteer, and in so many other ways despite my weakness. Whatever struggles and weaknesses you’re facing, you aren’t alone. No matter where you are in life, you are still glorious and useful in God’s eyes.

I hope and pray that at least one person is encouraged by my story.

If you or someone you care about has dealt with anxiety or similar issues, you may enjoy this clean but quirky romance set in Mississippi. If you buy it and enjoy it, I’d be honored if you would leave a review on Amazon. You can sign up for updates and other of my quirky personal stories on my newsletter page.
Thank you for having me on your blog, Jackie!

Here’s the link and a description of the story.
Releasing in April 15
Amazon EBook Pre-Order Discount available now for 99 cents.
Leaving Oxford
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.

Flag of the Week

This week's flag comes from Oxford, Mississippi. Thanks to my friend, Janet Ferguson for sharing this picture.

Oxford has been called the “Cultural Mecca of the South.” It is home of the University of Mississippi and the Ole Miss Rebels.

Oxford offers shopping, sports, history, good music, great Southern food, and fun times.

Come back on Thursday and get to know more about Janet.