Saturday, August 20, 2016

"tackling the fields" by janet w. ferguson

Audrey and Cole, two supporting characters from the first two Southern Hearts novels, take center stage in Tackling the Fields.

Cole Sanders is a changed man. The university quarterback questions his direction in life after serving on a mission trip in Honduras. Things that used to fill Cole’s ego seem empty after witnessing the developing country’s extreme poverty and the death of a precious child. The one glimmer of hope through his confusion is the fresh perspective he now has about his tutor, Audrey. She possesses something beautiful inside and out—something that might help him become the person he wants to be.

University senior Audrey Vaughn tutored Cole Sanders for an entire year and never imagined the popular quarterback would see her as anything more than a friend. After partnering with him on the mission trip, they are drawn together. And he appears to have changed for the better. To let Cole into her life, Audrey will have to overcome not only her brother’s distrust, but also the paralyzing fear still lingering from a past she’s tried to leave behind.

Cole can’t walk away from Audrey now that they’re back in Oxford. He’ll have to figure out how to keep her giant of a brother, a lineman on his football team, from killing him when the coach has his back turned. But can Audrey trust her heart to a player so similar to the one who stole so much from her in the past?

As I've read Janet W. Ferguson's Southern Hearts novels, I've been impressed by how realistic they seem, even though they feature characters who live extraordinary lives (at least extraordinary compared to the lives lived in my little corner of the world)—college football coaches, movie stars, football players with major draft prospects.

Tackling the Fields centers on college quarterback Cole Sanders and Audrey Vaughn, his tutor-turned-crush. Following a life-changing mission trip to Honduras (which takes place in the previous book, Going Up South), Cole feels pulled toward Christ and toward Audrey. As he grapples with his faith and his feelings, Audrey deals with her own scars that keep her from fully trusting Cole.

Overall, I enjoyed Tackling the Fields. It deals with weighty topics like date rape, human trafficking, and addiction, but it also provides a compelling love story. While I did feel like maybe a few too many things were packed into the novel, so not everything was paid off (such as the oft mentioned but never seen Harrison), I really enjoyed Cole and Audrey's story. 4 stars.

Up next is Blown Together, which will feature Sam Conrad (friend of Cole's coach, Jess McCoy) and Elinor Bosarge (sister of Cassie from Going Up South). I'm definitely looking forward to continuing this series!

Note: Tackling the Fields is the third book in Ferguson's Southern Hearts series. Though it can function as a stand alone novel, Cole and Audrey will make much more sense if you've at least read Going Up South first.

Buy the book.

Follow the blog tour to see what others are saying:
August 15: Quiet Quilter
August 16: A Baker’s Perspective
August 17: Blogging With Carol
August 18: The Power of Words (Spotlight)
August 19: inklings and notions
August 20: Christian Chick’s Thoughts
August 21: Karen’s Krayons
August 22: Bigreadersite
August 23: A Greater Yes
August 24: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner
August 25: A Reader’s Brain
August 26: Mary Hake
August 27: His Grace is Sufficient
August 28: Cassandra M’s Place
August 29: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

Read my reviews of Leaving Oxford (4 stars) and Going Up South (4-1/2 stars). 

To celebrate her tour, Janet is giving away a $75 Amazon gift card Click here to enter.

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.

From Janet: Hi, I’m Janet W. Ferguson, and I’m so excited to be back again and meet more readers through Celebrate Lit!

This is a story I didn’t want to write, but felt called to tackle. The loss of the dream, the loss of innocence, and life’s other unfair struggles can challenge our faith—can make us captive to fear and disappointment.

In the South, we love football. In writing this book, I’m not trying to make a statement for or against the sport. My husband and son loved playing the game. After my son suffered a torn ACL, torn shoulder labrum, and four surgeries, he could no longer participate in the game he loved. He mourned the loss of the brotherhood of his team. I saw the popular pastime differently from his eyes. For young men, I believe it is a bond between friends for a common goal. Though the character in this book is totally fictional, I’m dedicating this book to my son, Luke.

The other sensitive topics in this story seemed particularly sad, but relevant in our society. Trust me, I didn’t prefer to research acquaintance/date rape or human trafficking, but both are going on all too often in communities both small and large. There are a number of organizations set up to help victims of these crimes if you feel a calling to help.

Someone reading this may have had something terrible that happened in their past or may know someone who has. God is able to set free the captives, set you free from the bonds that hold you. My prayer is that you find comfort in that truth.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. Thank you for the kind review! I hope you like Sam & Elinor's story. It was my favorite to write. Blessings :)

    1. I can't wait to read it--I have a feeling I'm really going to like Elinor!

    2. I love Elinor, but she's quite prickly,ha!

  2. I really look forward to the next book in this series!
    Blessings, Carol :)

    1. Yes, this series has been great; I'm glad it's continuing! Thanks for stopping by!


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