Shannon here: Tara Johnson shares a romantic excerpt from her latest Historical Romance, All Through the Night. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: Dec 26th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Tara:
When Sparks Fly by Tara Johnson
For Cadence Piper and Joshua Ivy, the heroine and hero in my upcoming release All Through the Night, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight.
After the death of her mother, Cadence sets her heart on becoming a nurse, but fails to meet Dorothea Dix’s stringent requirements. When Cadence hatches a plan to comfort the soldiers by delivering books and singing to them to lift their spirits, all Dr. Ivy can see is a vain, reckless girl in pursuit of romance.
Excerpt from All Through the Night by Tara Johnson:
Slipping through the hallway, Joshua walked into the patients’ quarters and froze.
It was her. That singer. He could never forget her dark, glossy hair nor those blue eyes. She was leaning over a bedside, pressing a cloth to a patient’s head. The man said something and she smiled, a dimple emerging in her smooth cheek.
Joshua studied her slim form. She wasn’t wearing black. Miss Dix hadn’t sent her. Why on earth was she here?
An itch formed between his shoulder blades. He marched up to Nurse Meyers and blurted, “What is she doing here?”
The elderly woman whirled to him with a start, her eyes wide. “Who?”
He clenched his jaw. “The young miss attending Private Scoffield.”
“Ah yes. Miss Piper. She arrived just past noon and inquired about the health of the newly arrived soldiers. Claimed she’d met them yesterday and was concerned about them. Nothing more.” Nurse Meyers’s face creased into a hundred wrinkles as she smiled. “You should have seen them when they recognized her. It was like the sun had risen. They asked her to sing.” Her eyes actually misted, for heaven’s sake. “Such an angelic sound I’ve never heard. After a time, I put her to work with other tasks. The men are loath to see her depart.”
Private Scoffield laughed, snagging Joshua’s attention. Miss Piper squeezed his hand and stepped away.
Was it any wonder they didn’t want her to leave? He quelled an angry retort.
“Should I dismiss her, sir?”
He pursed his lips. The men clearly wanted her there, but her presence clearly breached Miss Dix’s protocol for nurses. There was enough to do with a vain popinjay flitting through his hospital. An idea formed.
“No need, Nurse Meyers. I shall take care of it.” Strolling to the young woman’s side, he cleared his throat. “Miss Piper?”
She turned to him, eyes blinking. Words fled as he looked down into her upturned face. Her eyes were even bluer than he’d imagined. The color of the Potomac on a sunny day.
“Yes? May I be of some assistance?”
He straightened. He would not fall under her spell as the others had. He leveled a hard stare into her eyes. “You do not meet Dorothea Dix’s requirement for nurses, so enlighten me…how did you manage to sneak into my hospital?”
Tara: After a tumultuous beginning and a few hot-tempered exchanges, Joshua and Cadence learn they are each hiding a secret. As such discoveries often do, revelation births understanding, and understanding leads to intimacy.
What I love about Joshua and Cadence’s blooming romance is that neither of them lost their fiery grit. Even with Joshua’s stubbornness and Cadence’s struggle with people-pleasing, they went from enemies to each other’s greatest ally. And when it comes to time to confront each other, neither of them is willing to back away from the hard stuff.
Excerpt from All Through the Night by Tara Johnson:
A muscle worked in Joshua’s jaw. “Are you telling me you want me to stop helping the slave children?”
Was she? “If it means you’re helping them at the expense of your own children, if it means you’re keeping secrets from me or putting yourself in situations that leave you cheating death each time—” she squared her shoulder—“then yes.”
His eyes glinted. “Perhaps I didn’t know you as well as I thought.”
The words were a slap. “What?”
“I was one of those children. I was one of those hungry, helpless souls. And you want me to turn my back on them?”
“Of course not. I’m willing to fill this whole house up with them, but you’re purposefully breaking the law in some cases. Deceiving men through tricks and gambling. Stealing them outright in others. You take unneeded risks.” She stopped, understanding dawning. “You’re afraid.”
Tara: Real love speaks the truth. It confronts. It covers and protects. Best of all, it endures all things.
Joshua and Cadence battle through a war, prejudice, and a secret society who want to destroy them, but the spark that ignited upon their first meeting was the fire they needed to deepen and grow.
We should all be so blessed.
About Tara: 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, podcasts and is a contributor to 50 Life Lessons for Grads (Worthy Inspired). She is a history nerd, especially the Civil War, and adores making people laugh. She, her husband, and children live in Arkansas. Learn more & connect:
About the book – All Through the Night: With her stammering tongue and quiet ways, Cadence Piper has always struggled to be accepted. 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 the soldiers in Judiciary Square Hospital. Only one stubborn doctor stands in her way.
Joshua Ivy is an intense man with a compassionate heart for the hurting and downtrodden. The one thing he can’t have is an idealistic woman destroying the plans he’s so carefully laid. When the chaos of war thrusts Cadence into the middle of his clandestine activities, he must decide if the lives at stake, and his own heart, are worth the risk of letting Cadence inside.
Everything changes when Joshua and Cadence unearth the workings of a secret society so vile, the course of their lives, and the war, could be altered forever. If they fight an enemy they cannot see, will the One who sees all show them the way in the darkest night?
Can’t wait for the drawing? Worried you won’t win? Interested in Tara’s other titles? Get your copies now!
Question: Who is someone who initially caused your temper to twitch but later became a dear friend? What did that person teach you?
Come back Dec 18th for Mary Ellis!