Let’s Chat! Author Tara Johnson

Tara Johnson_author_historical romanceWelcome, Everyone

Tara Johnson is our guest author this week. Tara writes historical romance. Tyndale House Publishers recently released Tara’s debut novel, Engraved on the Heart

Tara is offering a copy of Engraved on the Heart in either print or digital form to someone who comments below. So join the chat, ya’ll!

Tara Johnson Before Authoring

I’m a preacher’s kid from Arkansas. I love to travel to churches, ladies retreats and prisons to share how God led me into freedom after spending years living shackled as a people-pleaser. (Click to Tweet!) But that’s a whole other story…

Tara Johnson_author_historical romance

I was always in love with books and story worlds growing up, but my passion was music. When I signed with a small Christian record and management label, I thought I had God’s plans for my life all figured out.

Unexpected Developments

Several years ago, I was diagnosed with gastroparesis, a disorder that keeps the stomach from pumping. It’s a vagus nerve problem which involves pain, nausea, esophagus spasms, reflux and a host of other issues. This nerve dysfunction has now progressed into my larynx. In short, I am losing my ability to sing.

Tara Johnson_author_historical romance When He began whispering hints of change, I was confused. The plans that seemed so certain to me suddenly shifted and I was reminded of this important truth…the more you build your identity on something other than Christ, the greater the pain when that identity crumbles. (Click to Tweet!) 

A Change of Directions

Tara Johnson_author_historical romanceSo, I began to write out my thoughts on a blog. A way to express myself on the days when I couldn’t find my voice. God showed me a great creative beauty in writing. I fell in love with it. As I began to immerse myself in the craft, I learned professionals call an author’s unique way of writing the author’s “voice”.

Letting Go of the Old

Sometimes we cling with white knuckles to our own plans so tightly, we fail to realize God is trying to give us something far better. But in order to receive it, we must relinquish our hold on the old before we can receive the new. (Click to Tweet!)

God may heal my singing voice. He may not. Either way, I’m content. I’m happy. God never takes away without giving something better in return. I have a voice, and I’ll use it for Him as long as He gives me breath.

Because you can have a voice and still not have a voice.

Tara Johnson: A Debut Experience

Tara Johnson_author_historical-romanceSeveral years ago, I signed with the remarkably talented literary agent Janet Grant of Books & Such Literary Agency and my debut novel Engraved on the Heart was just released by Tyndale House Publishers. During each of the milestones—signing the contracts, holding that first book in my hands—-I felt equal parts wonder, gratitude and terror.

It’s a very vulnerable thing to put a piece of your heart out there for the world to see. I particularly wrote a lot of my own struggles into the heroine Keziah. She struggles with epilepsy, people-pleasing and feelings of worth, all during the backdrop of the Civil War.

What’s up with Tara Johnson now?

I just turned in edits on my next story, set to release during the summer of 2019. Where Dandelions Bloom focuses on the life of a heroic young woman during the Civil War who fled abuse at home only to find herself in the middle of our nation’s greatest conflict.

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 determination and left an indelible mark on the pages of history. I suppose that’s why people are so fascinating.

Insight from Tara Johnson

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 to Whom we need to turn for healing.

 

How to Find Tara Johnson

Website

Twitter: @TaraMinistry

Facebook

Instagram

Amazon

~ ~ ~

Lord, how You surprise us! Your ways aren’t our ways, so what do we expect? You’ve woven unexpected threads into Tara’s life and handed her a pen and a keyboard to write stories rooted in her unexpected journey. We praise You, Rapha God, for Your healing touch.
Please bless each word Tara writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake ~

18 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Tara Johnson

  1. JANE WAUGHTAL

    Tara, what a wonder is the purpose our great God and Savior has for each of us. Look where he has brought us – into the somewhat insecure brother- and sisterhood of authors/storytellers. I will be buying your first book as soon as I can and will review it as well. We MUST stick together and support each other! God bless you richly today and in the future while releasing your 2nd book. So enjoyed your “Let’s Chat” offering.

     
     
  2. Tabitha

    Thank you for sharing a part of your struggle with us. We can all take faith in your willingness to let God lead and direct you. I look forward to reading your work. God bless.

     
     
  3. Alison Boss

    Thank you for sharing your story, Tara! Your perseverance and words are an inspiration! So many good thoughts to take to heart…to remember that even when we don’t see God or feel His presence, He is there, working and moving on our behalf, for our good. I love historical fiction, and the Civil War is one of my favorite time periods to read about. I am excited to read your book, Engraved on the Heart! Thank you for a chance to win a copy!!

     
     
    1. Great to see you in our circle, Alison. You’re entered in the drawing 🙂

       
       
    2. Tara

      Thank you, Alison! That’s key, isn’t it? Reminding ourselves of what we know about God, and not relying on how we feel. Hugs!

       
       
  4. Marilyn R

    So nice to meet Tara Johnson here. Hearing testimonies on this blog how God has brought His perfect will to life by various authors is a shot of faith being lifted higher. I prayed after reading this blog post earlier for a healing touch, Tara. Thank you for sharing.

    Engraved on the Heart will be a wonderful book to read. Civil War era is one of my absolute favorite periods to read in Historical Fiction.
    Blessings Tara and Linda.

     
     
    1. Thanks for joining us, Marilyn. I loved Tara’s story too. You’re entered in the drawing 🙂

       
       
    2. Tara

      You’re a doll, Marilyn. Thank you so much!

       
       
  5. Becky Smith

    This interview is so good and uplifting! I loved meeting Tara!

     
     
    1. Tara’s story—and attitude—does lift one up, doesn’t it? So glad you joined us, Becky. You’re entered in the drawing 🙂

       
       
    2. Tara

      Thank you, Becky! Blessings!

       
       
  6. Lucy Reynolds

    I love Tara’s heart. I look forward to reading this book.

     
     
    1. Thank you, Lucy! I pray you enjoy it!

       
       
    2. Great to see you, Lucy. I love Tara’s heart too. You’ve encouraged both of us. And you’re entered in the drawing 🙂

       
       
  7. Brandi

    I’m so glad you were willing to let Him redirect you. 😄
    I’m looking at a massive change as well and it’s so encouraging to hear stories of others trusting Him. Thank you for sharing and thank you for the book opportunity.

     
     
    1. Brandi, I’m praying for you and the big change you are preparing to go through. Exodus 14:14 HUGS!

       
       
      1. Brandi

        Oh, thank you Tara, very much appreciated. All hugs, prayers, and Truth!!! 💕

         
         
    2. Welcome, Brandi! I’m tickled you’ve joined us. You encourage Tara and me both. You’re entered in the drawing 🙂

       
       

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Let’s Chat! Author Michelle Shocklee

Let’s Chat With Author Michelle Shocklee

Welcome, everyone! And welcome, Michelle Shocklee!

Michelle ShockleeMichelle Shocklee joins our chat this week. I met Michelle in our local American Christian Fiction Writers group and knew right away I wanted you to meet this delightful author. She’s offering The Planter’s Daughter in ebook form to someone who joins the conversation. So grab a cup, gather ’round, and don’t forget to comment below.

**NOTE: The winner of the drawing this week is Jean Billingsley! Congratulations, Jean!

Welcome, Michelle Shocklee

Thank you for joining us this week, Michelle. I’ve enjoyed very much getting to know you in our writers’ group and sharing common writing interests. I know others will also.

Michelle’s Before

I was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico, so I like to say I’m a Rocky Michelle ShockleeMountain girl at heart. (Tweet That!) I truly loved growing up in Santa Fe. Not only is it breathtakingly beautiful, with four true seasons, but we lived outside the city limits. We played in miles of wilderness. I have three older brothers and an older sister, so our house was always noisy.

Michelle Shocklee

Daddy, an engineer with the highway department, decided shortly after he and Mom married in 1950 to build our adobe house himself. All throughout my growing up years, there was some type of construction going on. Several years after all of us kids were adults and had moved out, he finally finished our beautiful sprawling New Mexico style adobe home.



Both of my parents loved to read, so books have always been a huge part of my life. Not a birthday or Christmas went by without us kids receiving a book as a gift.

When it came time to head off to college, it never occurred to me to go into something that involved writing. Instead, I followed in my mother’s footsteps and studied Elementary Education. I met my wonderful husband in college, and we’ll celebrate our 30th anniversary this month! Our two amazing sons are grown and making their way in the world.

A few years ago we moved to the Texas Hill Country to become estate caretakers. We live and work on a gorgeous 400-acre ranch where we have sheep, llamas, and chickens. We feel incredibly blessed.

Michelle’s Debut

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NCXI7UK/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1The Planter’s Daughter is my debut novel. It’s been an exciting journey, from the first inspirations for the story to my agent telling me I had not one but two contract offers! From the beginning, I was blessed with an editor who truly understood the story I wanted to tell. Her input and knowledge on all-things southern was invaluable. 

One of the things I was not quite prepared for was the vulnerability I felt when the book released. Even though I write a blog with readers from all over the world and have had numerous short stories and articles published, releasing The Planter’s Daughter was different.  I poured my heart into the book, writing about a time in our nation’s history that is not pleasant and can often be controversial. I’m very pleased that so many readers have enjoyed The Planter’s Daughter and some even say they learned a few things about Texas history and slavery. 


Michelle’s Next

After waiting so long for my first book to release, I’m excited that I won’t have to wait too long for the next one to be published. The second book in The Women of Rose Hill series releases in early 2018. It’s set five years after The Planter’s Daughter, right at the end of the Civil War. I’m also tickled to have a novella releasing in February 2018 in The Mail-Order Bride Collection with Barbour Publishing.

This journey taught me God has a plan and a timetable. Too many times I rushed ahead of him, only to have him remind me I need to wait on him. That is true in writing and in life. God’s plan is always best.

Readers, you can find Michelle and her books at the following links:

 Amazon       Goodreads       Facebook       Website       Twitter

~ ~ ~

Lord, Your plans are perfect; yet we often try to improve them. How foolish. Thank You for Michelle and her commitment to Your plan. I pray You will bless The Planter’s Daughter and her other stories in unexpected and powerful ways. Keep us as writers and readers in the center of Your will. ~ For Jesus’ sake

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16 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Michelle Shocklee

  1. Linda Moffitt

    I lived in a small town growing up but we never came home from playing until the streetlights were on. (Those were the rules) LOL Kids now-a-days will never get it. The amount of fun we had doing that.
    Your book sounds great also. 🙂

     
     
    1. I was reared on a farm, so the thought of life in a neighborhood was a bit foreign to me. But “supper time” was time to go inside. (If Mother had known what all we did, the chances we took, etc. she would have snatched us up and set our bottoms down in our rooms!) 🙂 Thanks for joining our conversation, Linda. You’re entered into the drawing. Please come back.

       
       
    2. Hi Linda, I agree … kids today won’t ever understand the freedom we enjoyed as kids. The world was a different place. Thank you for your encouraging comment about the book! Have a blessed day!

       
       
  2. Hi, Michelle! 🙂

    You don’t look old enough to be celebrating your 30th anniversary! 🙂

    What a “coincidence” that Linda’s blogging about you this week! On Tuesday, I posted a blog about your novel and other new ACFW historical romances. You can check it out here: http://www.christybrunke.com/blog/mothers-day-new-historical-romances/

    I didn’t realize you were in Linda’s ACFW group! That’s great! 🙂 She’s a sweetheart.

     
     
    1. Hi Christy! Glad your post finally made it here! 😀 THANK YOU so much for including The Planter’s Daughter on your blog! That is awesome! Mucho appreciation! And yes, Linda is a sweetheart! We have a great group of writers in San Antonio!

      Blessings to you!

       
       
    2. PS. Girl, you get extra points for not thinking I look old enough to be married 30 years! I am indeed, but thank you anyway!! 😀

       
       
  3. Your upbringing sounds so different than mine! I grew up on Cape Cod–no room for mountains and prairies. I, too, started writing later in life. It’s exciting to know there’s still work to be done after the children are grown. Looking forward to reading your debut novel. Congratulations, Michelle!

     
     
    1. Thank you, Clarice! Visiting Cape Cod is on my bucket list! Blessings on your writing too! I do hope you enjoy The Planter’s Daughter! It’ll give you a little taste of Texas! 😀

       
       
    2. Hi, Clarice 🙂 Yes, it’s exciting knowing there’s still work to be done after rearing children. (Not that what I do at home compares with the work Michelle accomplishes on the ranch, but writing has been good for my aging brain.) 🙂 Always so happy to share these chats with my New Hampshire friend.

       
       
  4. Marilyn R

    It’s nice meeting you Michelle Shocklee here on Linda Davis’ blog. Congratulations on the release of your novel and wedding anniversary.Growing up in a certain area does impact our lives. Caring for a 400 area ranch would be a great experience along with lots of work and responsiblity.

    I definitely want to read your book, The Planter’s Daughter. The Civil War era is one of my favorite in historical fiction books. Thank you for the giveaway.

     
     
    1. Thank you, Marilyn! We do love living on the ranch, but you’re right … it is A LOT of work! Good luck in the drawing for the free book, but if you miss it this time, I hope you’ll still grab a Kindle copy. I think you’ll enjoy it! 😀

       
       
    2. Hi, Marilyn. So good to see you joined our conversation. Life on the farm definitely influences my writing. I’m grateful for my upbringing. And I’m a bit in awe of Michelle and her husband’s daily responsibilities on the ranch. Great to “talk.” Come back!

       
       
  5. Jean Billingsley

    How blessed to have been raised in the beautiful area around Santa Fe and now to experience the Hill Country of Texas.
    Where we are raised has a lasting affect on us all our live.
    Congratulations of your book, look forward to reading it.
    Jean Billingsley

     
     
    1. Thank you, Jean! Yes, Santa Fe is a special place! And we do love living in the Hill Country–even if there aren’t any mountains! 😉 Thank you for your congratulations!

       
       
    2. Hi, Jean. So glad you joined our chat. So true that where and how we’re reared impacts us all our lives! What a blessing we can decide what to emulate and what to leave aside. The older I get, the more l realize how much good there was in my rearing. And the more I focus on it alone. Please come back!

       
       
  6. Jean Billingsley

    How blessed to live in two such special places. I know where we are brought up has a lasting affect on us all our live. Looking forward to reading you books.

    Jean Billingsley

     
     

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