I’m thrilled to have my friend and fellow inspirational historical author TARA JOHNSON sharing about a spiritual element and excerpt from her upcoming novel, All Through the Night releasing in January 2021.
With each story I write, God teaches me something new. In Engraved on the Heart, God reminded me through the heroine Keziah that broken doesn’t mean worthless. In Where Dandelions Bloom, Cassie struggles to forgive her abusive father, but finally realizes there is no freedom apart from it. Cassie’s story was also a reminder of the hope that blooms, even amid the hardest times…a lesson I’m clinging to during this uncertain season in our lives.
My upcoming release is no different. In All Through the Night, Cadence Piper has always struggled to be accepted because of her stammering tongue and quiet ways. After the death of her mother, Cadence sets her heart on becoming a nurse, both to erase the stain her brother has left on the family’s honor, and to find long-sought approval in the eyes of her father. When Dorothea Dix turns her away due to her young age and pretty face, Cadence finds another way to serve…singing to soldiers in the hospital. When her life becomes entangled with a mysterious surgeon and the press gets wind of her talent, Cadence’s fame soars. Before long, Cadence is pulled in a dozen different directions…singing as the voice of the Union, caring for soldiers, managing her clandestine activities against an evil secret society, all while trying to finally grasp the elusive approval of her father.
Excerpt from All Through the Night
Cadence stumbled through the clawing darkness, but it panted against her heart like a beast waiting to snap her up. No light, no path. No one could see her. Hear her. She was alone.
Warm air invaded as her eyes snapped open. Something fluttered over her face. Her sheets? With a cry, she yanked the offending fabric away and breathed in long pulls of night air. Moonlight cut silver swaths of light across her room. Gasping, she collapsed against her pillow.
It was only a dream.
Sweat glued the fabric of her nightgown to her skin. Her heartbeat slowed as she twisted to stare up at the ceiling.
Only a dream, and yet it wasn’t.
Mother was gone, and she was to blame. Tate had fled and Father had little to do with her. Tears pricked her eyes as her throat swelled. In the ways that mattered, she was alone.
Even now, surrounded by darkness, long-held childhood fears reached out to choke her. Terrified of being noticed while yearning to be seen, truly seen and loved, despite her flaws.
Clutching the sheets between her knuckled fingers, she pressed them to her chest, willing the tears to flee.
God, did you see me then? Do you see me now?
Cadence and I both fell for the lie that approval equals love. After years of exhaustion, of hiding behind my masks and dark depression, I’ve learned that approval and love are not the same thing at all. They are, in fact, polar opposites.
Approval is a stamp that says, “You meet my expectations”. Love says, “You’re a mess, but I’m crazy about you anyway.” Approval and love are not the same thing.
What I had to learn, and what Cadence did too, is my worth in God’s eyes. I’m tired of shackling myself to others’ expectations when obeying Him is all that matters. I’m tired of being sucked into a spiral of exhaustion when He has promised rest. I’m tired of living like everyone else’s opinion of me is more important than His. I have no desire to place people, and their approval, as my idol, my focus, or my hope any longer.
I pray those who read this story will find freedom from people-pleasing, and know that the unconditional love they’ve always longed for is found in the arms of Jesus.
Meet the Author
Tara Johnson is an author and speaker, and loves to write stories that help people break free from the lies they believe about themselves.
Tara’s debut novel Engraved on the Heart (Tyndale) earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly, and finaled in the Carol and Christy awards. In addition to be published in a variety of digital and print magazines, she has been a featured guest on Voice of Truth radio, Enduring Word radio, television and podcasts. Her third novel All Through the Night is set to release in January of 2021. She is a history nerd, especially the Civil War, and adores making people laugh. She, her husband, and children live in Arkansas.
Pre-order link for All Through the Night:
Order link for Where Dandelions Bloom:
Order link for Engraved on the Heart:
More Inspirational Historical Novels
Cynthia Roemer’s PRAIRIE SKY SERIES: Stories of faith and resilience on the Midwest prairie Inspirational Historical Romance
UNDER THIS SAME SKY ~ BOOK ONE
UNDER PRAIRIE SKIES ~ BOOK TWO
UNDER MOONLIT SKIES ~ BOOK THREE
NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!
Tara is graciously offering a PRINT COPY of the winner’s choice of either
Where Dandelions Bloom OR All Through the Night (when it releases)
**Open to US Addresses only