Leaving Oxford by Janet W. Ferguson + (Goodreads) Giveaway

 "...to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.”
- Isaiah 61:3

Title:   Leaving Oxford
Series: Southern Hearts, Book 1
Author: Janet W. Ferguson
Publisher:  Janet W. Ferguson
Release Date:  April 15, 2016
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Fiction

Escaping home to Oxford, Mississippi, seemed like a good idea. Until it wasn't. A year after a tragic accident in Los Angeles flipped her world upside down, advertising guru Sarah Beth LeClair is still hiding away in her charming hometown of Oxford, Mississippi. And she may well be stuck there forever. Suffering from panic attacks, she prays for healing. Instead, her answer comes in the form of an arrogant football coach and an ugly puppy.

Former celebrity college quarterback Jess McCoy dreamed of playing pro football. One freak hit destroyed his chances. Although he enjoys his work as the university's offensive coordinator, his aspirations have shifted to coaching at the highest level. His plans of moving up are finally coming together--until he falls for a woman who won't leave town.As the deadline for Jess's decision on his dream career looms, the bars around Sarah Beth's heart only grow stronger. But it's time to make a decision about leaving Oxford.

I'm always amazed when I read a book, I'm so enthralled by it that I go search for other books by the author and find out it was their debut novel. That is the case with Leaving Oxford by Janet W. Ferguson.
"Growing hurts, but we can look back afterward and see that the change was worth the pain." (263) 

With a story of leaving behind a life of sin, to a life with God in control, Leaving Oxford is Christian Fiction with the heavy emphasis on the inspirational aspect. That's not to say it's preachy, but instead the type of story that inspires you, that gives you reminders and that propels you to take a moment and reflect. As Sarah Beth's story unfolds layer by layer, we meet the woman she is now, and the one she was before, and see her struggles and her triumphs through God's grace. Sarah Beth's story is not only about triumph, but about mistakes, past and present that still need God's loving arms to comfort and pull through. Her backstory, and her current story, particularly her romance with Jesse hits you with the difference and the amazing growth in Sarah Beth and in Jesse.

"Don't confuse passion for love.  Love includes the work that happens after the passion.  Love becomes a choice." (46)

The characters, Sarah Beth, Jesse, Nick, Jill and even sweet, adorable Katie will have a story to tell you. Even Sam and Dylan have something more to reveal. O, and we can't forget the "ugliest" dog, Ginger, can we?  The story itself will have you immersed until the end, and might even come away with a southern drawl, if you can help it!  A story of redemption, faith and relinquishing control, adding in a bit of humor and romance, it's one that will surprise you and have you looking for more. Leaving Oxford left me with a taste of a satisfied read, and a story that's so alluring, I look forward to the rest of the series.

NOTE:  I received a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.

TO PURCHASE A COPY & To Enter the Goodreads Giveaway (ends 9/16)


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.

CONNECT WITH JANET: WebsiteFacebookTwitterPinterest




  1. I am reading this series soon! Like in a few weeks haha! So....not reading full review, but read your opening line of "My Thoughts" I'm so excited!!!

  2. Thank you so much for the beautiful review! I'm thrilled to see my little story on your blog! I know that all good I do and receive comes from the Lord, and I'm thanking Him that this story touched people. I'm thanking Him that you reviewed it, too! So amazing!!


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