Author Interview and Giveaway – Where Dandelions Bloom – Tara Johnson

23 Comments on Author Interview and Giveaway – Where Dandelions Bloom – Tara Johnson

Isn’t this a gorgeous cover? And to know it’s based on a real person is always cool. I’m so happy to have Tara on the Index!


, , , , , , , , , , ,

Where Dandelions Bloom

Cassie Kendrick is on the run. Her abusive father arranged her marriage to a despicable man, but she’s discovered an escape. Disguised as a man, Cassie enlists in the Union army, taking the name Thomas Turner. On the battlefields of the Civil War, keeping her identity a secret is only the beginning of her problems, especially after she meets Gabriel Avery, a handsome young photographer.

Anxious to make his mark on the world and to erase the darkness and guilt lurking from his past, Gabriel works with renowned photographer Matthew Brady to capture images from the front lines of the war. As Gabriel forges friendships with many of the men he encounters, he wonders what the courageous, unpredictable Thomas Turner is hiding.

Battling betrayal, their own personal demons, and a country torn apart by war, can Cassie and Gabriel learn to forgive themselves and trust their futures to the God who births hope and healing in the darkest places?

Tara’s Website



Questions about Tara’s Story

What inspired your story?

Where Dandelions Bloom was inspired by real-life Civil War hero Sarah Emma Edmonds. I discovered this larger-than-life hero while doing research for another story and was immediately entranced with Emma’s courage. Not only did it take guts for her to run from her abusive father to find shelter in the chaos of war, but she was so remarkable as a soldier, her commanders took note and had her work with James Pinkerton as a spy. At one point, she was a woman playing the part of a man playing the part of a woman. Talk about courage!

What was the hardest part of your book to write?

Writing Cassie’s mental and emotional break-down was extremely difficult. Soldiers endure so much both on and off the battlefield. Compound that trauma with the continual deception of being a spy, as well as the scars of running from an abusive father, and trying to write inside Cassie’s viewpoint was emotionally exhausting.

What did you learn about yourself while writing this book?

God has a unique way of testing me on what I write. It makes me think twice before embarking on a new story! Where Dandelions Bloom was written at a time in my life when I was struggling with forgiving someone. God used Cassie and Gabe’s story to tenderly remind me that holding on to that anger and bitterness only keeps me strapped to the one who hurt me. Forgiving cuts the cords and removes the weight, allowing me to enjoy freedom and joy again.

God also taught me of the resilience of the dandelion…beauty that continues to bloom among the hard places. He showed me that sometimes He doesn’t remove us from our hard circumstances because He’s more concerned about shaping us into the image of His Son through those circumstances. That’s when something amazing blossoms.

What character in your book turned out to be your favorite?

Jonah Phifer. How could anyone not love such a fun-loving, precocious little bundle of trouble? He was the dandelion in this story…a beam of light during the shadows of war.


Questions about Tara’s Reading


Which book got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals?

When I was a young teen, my Mom had a collection of books by Janette Oke and Lori Wick. I would gobble up everything they wrote. While reading Lori Wick’s The Californians series and Wings of the Morning, I realized I could do nothing but read historicals for the rest of my life and be completely content.


Who is your favorite Christian Historical heroine?

Hadassah from Francine Rivers’ A Voice in the Wind. Her transformation from a trembling girl who questions her faith to a brave, heroic woman of God is inspiring and deeply touching.

Tara is giving away a hardback book (USA Only). Enter the Rafflecopter below!

**If you don’t want to enter Rafflecopter, tell me in a comment below: “I’m not entering the rafflecopter, but please throw me in the hat” so I can manually put you in there for a chance.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway