Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Magnolia Storms by Janet W. Ferguson

September 7, 2017 Christian, contemporary, giveaway, Janet Ferguson, romance 100

about the book

Maggie Marovich couldn’t save her father or her home from Hurricane Katrina, but she’s dedicated her life to meteorology so she can warn others when the monster storms approach. Except…she works three hours inland and rarely risks returning to her childhood hometown of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Both her single-parent sister and the ship pilot Maggie once loved refused to leave the Coast, despite Maggie’s requests. Now a hurricane’s headed toward Mississippi, and Maggie’s sister is seriously injured, leaving Maggie little choice but to head south—into the storm.

The water and tides flow through Josh Bergeron’s veins, and he can’t imagine giving up piloting—even for the love of his life, the infuriating Magnolia Marovich. He tried to move on without her, marrying and having a child. But after his wife abandons him and his little boy, his career choice is threatened by the weight of his parental responsibilities. Moving next door to Maggie’s sister and sharing their child care seems like the perfect set-up. Until Maggie blows back into town.

Being forced to lean on Josh for help washes up the wreckage in Maggie’s faith. Where was God during the destruction of Katrina? Why do some prayers seem to go unanswered? Between the hurricane looming in the Gulf and another gale raging in her heart, can Maggie overcome her past and find the trust to truly live?

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SERIES: Coastal Hearts #1
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: Southern Sun Press
RELEASE DATE: September 15, 2017
PAGES: 216

“Maggie would always be his perfect storm.”

I have to begin my review by saying this: I have loved each of Janet Ferguson’s books but this one? Oh. My. Stars. Magnolia Storms is my favorite, hands down. (If you’re reading this, Janet, you can quit biting your nails lol) Not only is the romantic chemistry off the charts, but the characters are all so endearing and the message of learning to trust God with the ‘even ifs’ is organically and tenderly woven throughout the story.

Josh and his little boy J.D. are just adorable together. Ok, J.D. is adorable no matter who he’s with, but their father-son bond is sweet and precious and everything you want a father-son relationship to be. Aunt Ruth is a hoot, and Ferguson has done a great job of capturing the personality of a fifth-grade girl in Dahlia. And then we come to Maggie, who is much more like me than I care to admit. I so identified with how she is really held captive by her fear, remembering my own battle with anxiety and that need to control all possible outcomes to feel safe. The wise words of Aunt Ruth are sometimes so difficult to apply to our own lives, aren’t they?

“Your faith can’t keep tossing and turning in the wind. Sooner or later, you must decide, ‘Though He slay me, still I will trust Him’.”

A lot of storms hit Maggie all at once, not to mention the actual storm brewing off the coast and triggering all her fears from Hurricane Katrina memories. The truth that Maggie must learn to embrace – the fact that ‘even if’ the worst comes true, God is still good and still worthy of trust – is appropriate whenever we hear it … but especially now as parts of our country are bracing for a round of dangerous hurricanes/tropical storms, other parts struggling to recover from the last round, and other parts drowning in smoke from uncontained fires. The author’s choice to include actual stories from Mississippi Katrina survivors (in a special section after the story) makes the novel itself, and the news we are currently watching, all the more poignant and meaningful.

I would be remiss if I neglected to mention the KISSES in Magnolia Storms. Wow.Za. That first (again) kiss is a doozy. It left Josh dazed and me searching for my fan! Not all the electricity in this novel is from the lightning – a great deal of it sizzles in the air between Maggie and Josh on a regular basis. Whew. Might want to read this one from the safety of your closest swooning injury-preventive location. 😉

Bottom Line: Magnolia Storms may just be Janet Ferguson’s best novel to date, and J.D. is certainly one of the cutest kids ever to grace the pages of a novel. You will sympathize with Maggie as she weathers the storms that life brings her way, and as she remembers the importance of faith, forgiveness, and family. Cammie, Aunt Ruth, J.D., Dahlia, and Josh will also sail straight into your heart. Just the right blend of sweetness and sizzle, the romance will make you smile and swoon. The message of trusting God in the midst of pain and fear has perhaps never been more timely. Fans of the author’s Southern Hearts novels will love this new series as well!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 5 stars / Fabulous!

KissingBook Level: 4 / Keep those fans and fainting couches handy!

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about the author

Janet W. Ferguson grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served as a children’s minister and a church youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. She writes humorous inspirational fiction for people with real lives and real problems. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog (that would be Remi), and a few cats that allow them to share the space.

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Other Books by Janet W. Ferguson

Janet Ferguson is offering a copy of Magnolia Storms to one of my readers (US only). This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? Have you ever experienced a hurricane firsthand?

Carrie

100 Responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Magnolia Storms by Janet W. Ferguson”

  1. Stephenia H. McGee

    Congrats on your new book and great review, Janet! I have been through two hurricanes, Bonnie in Virginia and Katrina. My parents lost everything in that one.

  2. Perrianne Askew

    I lived on the La. Gulf coast for a good part of my early years, until about 23 or so. I have weathered some storms, but NOTHING like Katrina and what we’ve seen these last 2 weeks and with Irma lurking out there at full speed…..it’s just frightening. Needless to say, I’d LOVE to read this book! Congrats on the release.

    • Carrie

      Frightening, for sure! This book is awesome at addressing it without sugarcoating the issue!!

  3. Julie Waldron

    Not a hurricane but we were in New York City when Tropical Storm Hannah hit. We are visiting there again next week. Crossing my fingers…..

  4. Janet Ferguson

    Carrie!! I couldn’t be more thrilled that you enjoyed the story!! Tears of joy and smiles!! I hope your readers like it, too! I can’t wait to find out! Josh may be my favorite hero. I watched hundreds of pilot and nautical videos. It’s amazing how brave they are and all they get to see!
    Many hugs!!!!!

    • Carrie

      Josh is definitely one of my fave heroes too! Whew. Still recovering 😉 Fantastic job, Janet!

  5. MH

    Hurricane Irene came through here and Hurricane Sandy did, too. My youngest was born right after Sandy. And she celebrated her first birthday during a freak ice storm that wiped out our entire town for almost three weeks!

  6. JEANNE CREA

    I have not experienced a hurricane before but the pictures sure do tell the story of heartbreak and devastation. Thank you for the interview and the chance to win!

    • Janet Ferguson

      Hi Jeanne, Yes, there is heartbreak in the devastation, but there is hope.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the interview.
      Blessings

  7. Brittaney B

    Thankfully I have never experienced a hurricane. But I lived in Oklahoma for a while and we experience our share of tornados!

    • Janet Ferguson

      Brittany, Those Oklahoma tornadoes are huge! So scary! They do leave so much destruction.
      I hope you like Magnolia Storms.
      Blessings

  8. Anne L. Rightler

    No hurricanes but back in 1980 we lived in Nebraska and our town was hit by 7 tornadoes one evening. Our house had some damage but it was still livable. Kind of scary. It looked like a war zone.
    Here’s hoping on the book. It looks like a great read…

  9. Evangeline

    Yes, we experienced Hurricane Hugo. My heart goes out to those who are now experiencing hurricanes. The devastation is so awful. Janet is a new author to me, and I would love to win a copy of her book. It sounds great. Thanks for the chance.

  10. Gloria A

    Living in Panama City we have seen some storms. Opal hit directly but we were okay. It was a Cat 5 but dropped to a 3 I believe when it hit. Lots of friends had their homes flooded. Our son has had water in his home near the beach but from heavy rain storms and a backed up retention pond. We have had other storms hit nearby but nothing that we personally suffered lots of damage. KNOCK ON WOOD!

    • Janet Ferguson

      Hi Gloria,
      I love that part of Florida. Glad you were okay in OPal. That flooding is awful, though! So glad you’ve been spared. Praying for all in the path of Irma and those hit by Harvey.
      Blessings

  11. Janet Estridge

    I’m a Native Floridian. I’ve experienced at least 6 Hurricanes in my lifetime. Right now, we are getting ready for Hurricane Irma which when it hits Miami, it will be a Cat 5. We’re still not sure if it will go up the East Coast or straight up the middle, which is where I am. It will be a Cat 4. So prayers are very much appreciated.

    • Janet Ferguson

      Hi Janet! I like your name!! Oh, man you’ve been through the storms! I prayer Irma breaks up! I am praying for Florida and all in the path and for those in the devastation of Harvey.
      Blessings

  12. Veronica

    We live far enough inland that we have only experienced tropical storms or remnants of a hurricane. But my dad is about 20 minutes from Tampa and I’m a little worried right now. Lots of prayers going up.

  13. Kay Garrett

    Thank goodness – NO, I have never experienced a hurricane. I know we live with treats of tornadoes in Arkansas, and although I have seen one, but I’ve not been in the tragedy of one of those either. My heart goes out to those affected in either.

    After reading about Magnolia Storms by Janet W. Ferguson who I adore and your saying it’s her best one yet, definitely went to the top of my TBR list.

    Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

    • Janet Ferguson

      Hi Kay! Y’all do get a lot of tornadoes up in Arkansas! I so appreciate your kind words! I hope you like this story!!
      Blessings

  14. Kim

    Sold!!!

    Carrie, it’s totally your fault that my TBR is worse than out of control!! Can I just say “Thank you?!?”

  15. Pam K.

    Thankfully, I have never experienced a hurricane. It’s an experience I do not desire!
    This book sounds really good though.

  16. Paula S.

    We missed Andrew . We lived in Homestead in 1969/70. Our oldest son was born on Guam when a typhoon came close enough to make 35 of us have our babies at the Naval hospital in 1972. Air pressure dropped. We left Guam in February of 1975 then another typhoon hit.

  17. Chanel Monroe

    This book sounds great. I can’t wait to read it. I haven’t read any books by this author yet but I’ll be sure to check out all her books, including and most definitely this one.

    In other news, I haven’t experienced any hurricanes firsthand and I’m definitely thankful for that.

    • Janet Ferguson

      Hi Chanel! It’s great to meet you! I hope you like my stories!!
      I’m glad you haven’t been through any hurricanes!!
      Blessings

  18. Winnie Thomas

    No hurricanes and no tornados, but earthquakes are a different story. I was in the big one in Yellowstone in 1959 and a couple of ones that were a little smaller than that.

    Lovely review, Carrie! This sounds like a fantastic read, Janet. I’m excited to read it. Hugs to both of you amazing ladies!

    • Janet Ferguson

      Hi Winnie! So happy to see you! I’ve never been through and earthquake. That would totally freak me out!
      I hope you like Magnolia Storms!
      Hugs!!

  19. Vivian Furbay

    We don’t have hurricanes here but have had two major forest fires here in Colorado Springs within the last 5 years. Both destroyed about 400 homes and two people dies in each fire. I wouldn’t want to live in a hurricane area. Would enjoy winning and reading this book.

  20. Susan Dyer

    I survived Hurricane Isabelle in Virginia Beach in 2003. Have been through countless tornadoes in Wisconsin and dust storms in Arizona! I’m so done with weather!! Lol

    • Janet Ferguson

      Hi Susan, I think we are all done with the weather lately! You have seen some storms. I can’t imagine a dust storm. Thanks for commenting! I hope you like Magnolia Storms 🙂
      Blessings

  21. Anne

    I have never experienced a hurricane. Where I used to live we had severe winters and blizzards as well as ice storms.

    • Janet Ferguson

      Okay, Anne. You’ve got me. I’ve never been in a blizzard here in Mississippi. I am not used to cold weather for sure!
      Blessings

  22. carylkane

    Hey Janet and Carrie! I enjoyed this wonderful interview. Janet, congrats on your new series!

    Growing up along the Texas Gulf Coast, hurricanes are a part of life. We just came through Harvey.

      • carylkane

        Janet, thank you for praying! Texas is praying for Florida!

        Blessings and ((((HUGS)))))

        • Gloria A

          Thanks, Caryl.
          Our son lives in Tallahassee and has seen Texas Game Wardens and our daughter saw that there was a convoy of sorts of game wardens coming this way. They said that they were helping because Florida had helped Texas. Our FWC (Florida Wildlife Commission) agents went to Texas. We appreciate all prayers. We are in the tropical storm warning area and have been getting lots of wind today.

  23. Amy

    I was actually on my first cruise when we were sent back out to sea because Hurricane Jeanne was hitting Florida and they closed the port in Miami. Hated it for them, but two extra days on a cruise ship weren’t horrible.

    • Janet Ferguson

      Oh wow, I’ve seen some people stuck out there, but it sounds like being stuck was a good experience for you!
      Blessings 🙂

  24. Dianne Casey

    No, I have never experienced a hurricane and hopefully I never will. I’ve seen a tornado close up as a kid and I can still remember it.p

    • Janet Ferguson

      Hi Dianne, Those tornadoes freak me out! I often watch videos of them for some bizarre reason, but never want to see one for myself. I bet that was scary.
      Blessings

  25. Marilyn

    I have witnessed two Donna when I was in the 7th grade and recently Sandy. Sandy left my area with no cable and most of the stores and banks were closed for many days. Fortunately,that was minor compared to some many others.
    Marilyn

    • Janet Ferguson

      Hi Marilyn, Isn’t life crazy when normal is interrupted that way. We had no power or phone service or cable for a week after Katrina and I was 3 hours inland. It’s weird when our modern technology is knocked out. And yes, we were so fortunate compared to what others went through.
      Blessings

  26. Dianna

    I’ve never experienced a hurricane. A few years ago, I took my daughter (then 6 years old) on a mommy-daughter trip to Disney World. Orlando was having some terrible spring storms, and there were tornadoes at the airport while we were waiting to board our plane. It was terrifying!

  27. Julie Terry

    We were hit by Matthew last year, where I live it wasn’t so bad, now Irma is on her way to Southern GA, so yea I have experienced Hurricanes, also Tornadoes, horrible storms, water funnels when we lived in Hawaii, and snow/ice storms when we lived in VA.

    • Janet Ferguson

      Hi Julie, I’m setting my next book in St. Simons, Georgia, and my daughter (and other family) lives in Atlanta, so I sure pray this storm falls apart.

      It sounds like you’ve been through every kind of storm!! Glad you are okay, and prayers during the upcoming days!

      I hope you like Magnolia Storms.
      Blessings

  28. Becky Smith

    I have never experienced a hurricane, only some straightline winds that broke trees around us, but luckily not on our house. Praying for all in the path.

  29. Deana Dick

    Yes I gave experienced several hurricanes. Just went through Hurricane Harvey . Destruction everywhere, flooding and people helping each other.

  30. Karen K.

    I grew up in the midwest, so no hurricanes. Just tornadoes, and thankfully they always missed us!

  31. Teresa Richardson

    I have been in a hurricane, but our house was on a hill, so we received no damage

  32. Joy W

    Yes, we went through Katrina in south Mississippi. Unfortunately a tornado took our roof off and we lost a lot of things.

  33. Rachel Dodson

    Another great review! I have got to get a hold of Janet’ s books! Since I am a reviewer too I’m going to have to figure out how to review for her. I actually live pretty close to Janet oddly enough. I have never experienced a hurricane first hand but Irma may make her way this time to my neck of the woods in Mississippi.

    • Janet Ferguson

      Hi Rachel! I’d love for you to review my novels! Send me a message on one of my social media outlets or on my webpage 🙂 I hope Irma dies down!! Prayers

  34. Teri

    Congrats on the book release! I have never experienced a hurricane first hand in Ohio, but we do have tornadoes, and those can be pretty scary too! My daddy and I used to sit on the front porch & he taught me how to spot hooks & funnel clouds, what to watch for, & when to head for the basement! Loved those quiet moments with my dad!

  35. Catherine Ojalvo

    Congratulations on the release f your new book!I would love to read it!We live in Cocoa Beach,Florida.Our townhouse is across the street from the ocean.When we saw Hurricane Irma had taken a path to the west,we decided to stay with our neighbors.The water and power went off.The wind was howling around the houses and we lost some roof tiles.The rain was coming down at a slant because of the wind.We used many towels to soak up water.It was scarey when it was dark and your hear al, these creaks from the house and you don’t know what is happening.We are fine andvery lucky!❤

    • Janet Ferguson

      Thank you, Catherine! So glad you made it through the storm. I have been to Cocoa Beach many years ago and enjoyed it. I pray the area recovers quickly.
      I hope you like Magnolia Storms.
      Blessings

  36. Sabrina Templin

    Yes I was in a hurricane in the 80’s while at Myrtle Beach, SC we weren’t evacuated but most people did evacuate because it was so scary. The wind was so strong it rocked the van to and fro on it’s wheels as we watched from the condo.

  37. Patricia Smith

    Loved your earlier books…this one sounds even more intriguing….Yes, I have lived through many hurricanes growing up on the Texas coast and living in various states where my husband was stationed in our Navy years… have seen a lot,but nothing quite like the mess Harvey created here south of Houston…Don’t care if I never hear rain beating on my windows again…Did enjoy reading during the storm…I will need to find a new way to order this book…the store that ordered the other books for me was completely submerged in flood water..the owner is elderly and she may not re-open…:(