Today I’m participating in the book tour for Sherri Wilson Johnson, author of To Laugh Once More and To Dance Once More. Check them out!
Romance. Scandal. Desperation. Hope.
Stripped of her future, will she concede or fight?
Debutante Lydia Barrington lives a carefree, protected existence on Live Oaks Plantation in Florida. While her sisters happily prepare for their traditional roles as women and talk of courting, Lydia dreams of adventure and independence. She counts the days until she can leave home to explore the world, to dance with cultured gentlemen, to explore politics and art, to leave behind the confining expectations of her family and community—and her God.
Even her friendship with handsome Hamilton Scarbrough isn’t enough to hold her back…until they dance, and her heart considers love.
Confused by her heart’s betrayal, Lydia struggles to gain her independence. Then she overhears a private conversation about a business deal that has everything to do with her future. Now she’s faced with the biggest decision of her life—to concede or to fight. Either choice will require great sacrifice…and, perhaps, countless rewards. In an attempt to escape her imminent destiny, Lydia scrambles to find a solution—at all costs. Amidst the trials that follow, as Lydia runs out of time, she learns the meaning of sacrifice, forgiveness, hope and faith.
Will she ever experience the freedom she’s so longed for, or will her desires change in light of her circumstances? Will she ever be able TO DANCE ONCE MORE
AVAILABLE ON AMAZON
SNEAK PEAK-SNIPPET #1:
April 6, 1886, Live Oaks Plantation on the outskirts of Gulf Resort, Florida
The warm sun beamed through the lace curtains covering the whitewashed windows of Lydia Jane Barrington’s bedchamber. A salty breeze blew across Lydia’s porcelain face and called her from her deep slumber. Her curtains rose with the breeze and jerked back against the windowsill.
Lydia stretched with a yawn, and as morning nudged her, languorously she opened her eyes. She slid from her bed, cast the covers onto the floor, and sauntered across the sun-drenched room.
She pushed back the curtains, gazed out her window, and drank in the scenery.
The mourning doves cooed, and the bushy-tailed squirrels scampered about the lawn.
Chickens clucked while they pecked at the ground eagerly gathering corn kernels. In the distance, cows mooed, waiting for the farm hands to milk them, unaware that summer waited patiently for its chance to scorch the land. The sun shone across the property, and the moss draped live oaks and towering cypress trees painted shadow puppets on the ground. Lydia yawned again, no longer entertained by this commonplace sight. What else did the world have to offer beyond this vast estate?
As a child, Lydia had stared out this same window and dreamed, like most young girls, of being the lady of her own manor with many children. However, over the past year, her thoughts had been on something more than being like most women who seemingly disappeared in the shadows of their husbands. Of course, she might not have a say in the matter if Father betrothed her to someone who wasn’t her choice and forced her into a loveless relationship simply to increase his money pouch. That was nothing more than slavery, and slavery no longer existed, thanks to the Civil War.
The War may be over but the battles still rage. A dissatisfied wife. A misunderstood husband. Three tragedies will alter their path forever. Will their choices tear them apart, or will they allow them To Laugh Once More?
Three years after her marriage to Hamilton, former debutante Lydia Barrington Scarbrough is dissatisfied with life. She has yet to have children, and she spends most of her days sitting in a circle of women chatting about homemaking. She thought life would be more than what it’s turned out to be. Hamilton travels on business and never takes her with him. What’s a lonely wife to do when she has no children to raise? She longs for adventure and romance, and really, she longs for the fulfillment of her purpose in life. A purpose beyond being a wife and raising children.
Lydia faces a series of hardships that stretch her faith beyond capacity. Leaving her childhood home in Florida for Georgia proves to be more difficult than she ever imagined, and her marriage may not survive the trials. Lydia’s own personal battles drive a wedge between them. What will it take to make Hamilton attempt to save their marriage and draw Lydia back to him?
As Lydia strives to etch out a place for herself in a new world full of unfamiliar prejudice and attempts to overcome her private battles, she must help Hamilton understand her deepest longings and learn the true meaning of joy. Will she surrender her will in order to find her purpose? Will her future hold a happier marriage, motherhood, and a calling greater than she could ever have imagined?
AVAILABLE ON AMAZON
SNEAK PEEK-SNIPPET #1:
Lydia Barrington Scarbrough had promised herself three years ago that she’d never let the joy of her wedding day fade from her memory. Now if only she could, life would be easier, for remembering it made her daily mundane tasks seem like captivity. She stood at the kitchen sink, scrubbing the utensils she’d used to prepare her stew. She stood here every evening at this time.
She could still see herself that day, the youngest Barrington child, standing in white in the gazebo, her favorite childhood refuge, with Hamilton and the minister. Winter flowers and ferns had adorned the gazebo, and lace bows had encircled every column. The Live Oaks mansion had never looked so warm and inviting. A banquet fit for a king and an evening of dancing had ensured the guests would never forget the long-awaited union between Lydia and her prince.
However, Hamilton hadn’t kept his promises. Promises to forsake ambition for her. Promises to take her with him on his travels. He’d said he was doing it all for her, but his motives mattered not for he was doing it all without her. Once he’d captured her heart and claimed her as his wife, he’d chased affluence and societal acceptance but had failed to include her in his world.
She loved him still. She always would. Did his river of love run as deep?
Hamilton’s buggy ambled up the sandy path, lined with hemlocks and palmetto palms.
Plunging her hands into the dishwater, Lydia pushed her dreadful thoughts away. There was no room in a woman’s mind for regret or doubt. No room for fretting over missed parties and forgotten ball gowns. She’d talk to him soon about her concerns, but today was not the day. After a day in St Andrews filled with appointments and the long chilly ride home, he’d want a hot meal and his warm-hearted wife to sit with him beside the fire. Lydia straightened her shoulders and sighed.
Hamilton opened the back door, and she fixed a smile upon her face.
“Hello, my love.” Hamilton stepped up behind Lydia and wrapped his arms around her waist. He positioned a kiss upon her neck after nudging away with his nose a rebellious curl that had escaped her bun.
“Hello.” Lydia closed her eyes and leaned into him, longing for his touch to soothe the ache in her heart.
“Are you well?” Hamilton turned her around to face him, dishwater dripping on to the floor.
Sherri Wilson Johnson is an Inspirational Romance novelist, a speaker, and a former homeschooling mom who’d rather have laugh lines under her eyes than worry lines across her forehead. She lives in Georgia with her husband, her two children and her Chihuahua, Posey.
Her favorite thing to do when she’s not with her family is to curl up with a good book or work on her current work-in-progress. She loves to dream of visiting romantic places and is passionate about the Lord, motherhood, homeschooling, and writing. Sherri is the author of To Dance Once More, Song of the Meadowlark, and To Laugh Once More. She is a columnist with Habits for a Happy Home and Choose NOW Ministries.
BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE (Check them out for more snippets!)
December 15 – Book 1 & 2
December 16 – Book 1
December 18 – Book 1 & 2
December 19 – Book 1
December 20 – Book 2