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


Twitter: @TaraMinistry




~ ~ ~

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


    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 Catherine Brakefield

Welcome, Everyone!

Catherine BrakefieldCatherine Brakefield is our honored guest this week. Catherine writes faith-based historical romances. Also, she’s written short stories and pictorial histories of the area around Lapeer, Michigan. How interesting is that?

**Join our circle by commenting below, and you’ll be entered into a drawing for Catherine’s Destiny’s Whirlwind.**

Catherine Brakefield’s Background

The eldest of five siblings, I grew up in a little Cape Cod home on an acre of land on the outskirts of Hazel Park. My parents brought to their humble abode a three-gated saddlebred mare named Black Magic. She began my love for horses.

Love of Reading

My love for reading came during my puberty years. I grew up with limited technical apparatuses: black and white television sets, no computers, no internet, and, would you believe—no cell phones. If I wanted three dimensional characters, I read a book. The rhyming sonnet of words and flowing musical notes of the written language captivated me. My imagination knew no boundaries.

Catherine Brakefield

Love of Written Word

Although love for reading was instantaneous, my love affair with the written word arrived later in life. In college I focused on business, minoring in journalism. I acquired a secretarial job and worked my way up the corporate ladder to purchasing director.

Meanwhile, I wrote stories. 

Catherine Brakefield

God’s Guiding Hand

First, when I was pregnant with my first child in 1976, I wrote a poem that won a contest. My prize was attending Decision School of Christian Writers at the Billy Graham headquarters, which at the time was in Minnesota.  

Then, two months after my daughter’s birth, my grandmother came to live with us. So writing detoured into the inner recesses of my file cabinet. Bottles, diapers, and doctor visits replaced it. Little did I know I was enrolled in God’s School of Christian Learning. The inspiration for my present Destiny series evolved from the twelve years Gran lived with us.

Catherine Brakefield’s Author Debut

Catherine BrakefieldWhen I left my job to be a stay-at-home mom and my grandmother came to live with me, the idea for a faith-based historical romance formed. After my grandmother’s death, I sat down and put my thoughts and love for words on paper. A traditional publishing house published The Wind of Destiny in 2005.

While freelancing for a local newspaper, the idea of writing a history about the region materialized. So I wrote two pictorial histories for Arcadia PublishingImages of America, The Lapeer Area, and Images of America, Eastern Lapeer Area.

Insight from Catherine

Rejection letters have discouraging effects! I needed sound advice. So I joined the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). I presently serve as the president of our local Great Lakes Chapter (GLC). I continued to write my inspirational historical romances while I gleaned more information on how to create a winning proposal, synopsis, and how to talk to agents and publishers. My efforts paid off. At a HACWN conference I met my publisher, CrossRiver Media Group, and acquired Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency as my agent.

What’s Up With Catherine Brakefield Now?

Presently, I am writing my dream of over a decade, the Destiny series:

Destiny Series

Catherine BrakefieldSwept into Destinythe first book of a four-book series, released in 2017. It takes place in Tennessee, during the Antebellum Era. Maggie Gatlan secretly educates the slaves at Spirit Wind Manor. She meets Ben McConnell, an Irish immigrant who was hired to dredge out their snake-infested swampland. Civil War erupts, and Maggie must choose. Conscience and consequence—did she care more for Ben or for her beloved South?

Destiny’s WhirlwindDestiny series, Book 2, released on Catherine BrakefieldApril 17. Collina McConnell promises her dying father to uphold the Shushan legacy of their Kentucky estate. Rough Rider Franklin Long becomes her gallant ally. Then a vindictive lawyer places the family into peril. Esther 8:6 holds new insight for her: “How can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people?” Had her father known this would happen? Had Franklin survived San Juan Hill, and would he return in time?

Wilted Dandelions

CrossRiver Media Group published Wilted Dandelions Catherine Brakefieldin 2015. The story unfolds during the Second Great Awakening in 1837. High-spirited Rachael Rothburn doesn’t need a husband. She wants to travel out west as a missionary to Native Americans. Jonathan Wheaton desires the same. So they agree on a marriage of convenience. In the process of co-existing, they discover God doesn’t create coincidences—He designs possibilities.

How to Find Catherine

Go to my web page, you will find my book signings and my e-mail:  www.catherineulrichbrakefield.com Catherine Brakefield

Visit www.CrossRiverMedia.com , Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, or Christianbook.com to purchase books.


I’m excited about sharing my newest book with you and will supply a copy of Destiny’s Whirlwind. I hope you will check out Swept into Destiny! You will not be disappointed.

Lord of Heaven and Earth, we worship You alone. As readers and writers, we acknowledge You as the Word who was from the beginning. Catherine served her beloved grandmother and devoted herself to her children while You worked out Your chosen plan for her to write. Bless each word she writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake ~ 


14 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Catherine Brakefield

  1. Rose

    Loved the interview. I am the oldest of 10. Would love to read your books.Love that you are a Christian and put that in your books.

    1. Welcome, Rose! Wow! 10 kids … Hats off to your parents 🙂 And to you, too, as the eldest. We were four, and I was the third. I was the “baby” for 11 years which is when my little brother was born. By that time my eldest brother was grown and away from home, so there were 3 of us at home, and I was the middle child. Then when my second brother moved away, I was the eldest of 2. So I experienced each position and enjoyed them all 🙂 Thanks so much for being such a faithful visitor, Rose. Bless you!

  2. Terrific interview. Love reading stories from this period of time. Will look for your books to read.

    1. Thank you Jane! Please keep in touch, just e-mail me at my web page, I would love to know how you liked the books!

    2. Hi, Jane. It’s wonderful seeing you in our circle. Amazing, isn’t it, that we are still chatting after all these years. High School graduation was 54 years ago. Good grief. Isn’t Catherine lovely? And her books sound great. Hope you get to win one.

  3. Ann Ellison

    Enjoyed her interview. Her books sound like good ones.

    1. Thank you Ann. Please let me know how you liked the books!

    2. Hi, Ann, such a faithful supporter. God bless you real good!

  4. Hi Catherine,

    I got all excited when I read “I grew up in a little Cape Cod” becasue I grew up ON Cape Cod. Then I wondered why I didn’t remember Hazel Park. [Sheesh.] I do jump to conclusions.

    I, too, began writing for publication later on in life. Nice to know God will keep us busy even after our children are grown and gone. 🙂

    And you’re off to a very nice start!


    1. Haha, I do that too! Yes, never let go of your dreams. Hope you check out my books. And e-mail me, let me know what you write!

    2. Hi, fellow OFN-winner friend! I love seeing your face and that coffee cup pop up 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, friend.

  5. Lucy Reynolds

    What an inspirational story to never give up on our dreams till they come to fruition. Would love to read your books. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you Lucy. Drop me a line sometime and tell me how you liked them. We serve a great God!

    2. Hi, Lucy! Welcome to our circle! You’re another faithful reader who encourages us all. Thank you.


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