18 December 2014

Blog Tour ~ To Dance Once More and To Laugh Once More by Sherri Wilson Johnson

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?

Romance. Scandal. Desperation. Hope.


"I hate being the youngest. You're very fortunate to be eighteen, Josie. You can marry and escape this dreadful place soon."

Josie halted, her dark hair swinging over her shoulder, and turned to Lydia. "There's absolutely nothing dreadful about Live Oaks. Father has provided a wonderful home for us all."

"Yes, Lydia, we have a great home and a marvelous family. How could you ever want more?" Alexa chimed in.

Why didn't she simply drive a stake under her fingernails? "You don't understand. I want to do something with my life besides being stuck on a plantation. I don't mean I don't ever want to be a wife and a mother, I just want to be more." Lydia sister's had obviously never given a thought to what the world had to offer. Were they really her relatives? They certainly didn't look much like her with their olive skin and dark eyes, and they obviously held different ideas of happiness.

The girls plodded on in silence, the rustle of their shoes on the crushed-shell pathway the only sound. Little puffs of dust stirred around their feet.

Josie squeezed her books to her chest. "Lydia, I've never understood your desire to be more than what you are. Father says that rebellious thinking like that will only get you into trouble. You should suppress those thoughts before you get a switch across your backside."

Lydia didn't respond. Heat rose in her chest and threatened to set her pale face ablaze.

She lagged behind her sisters, taking a few minutes to compose herself. Father and Nathan surveyed a cluster of trees off in the distance, probably trying to decide if they could use them for lumber. If only she could spend the day with them on the plantation instead of in the schoolhouse.

With so many twists and turns, To Dance Once More grabbed my attention and held on until the end. We meet Lydia when she is just coming into adulthood, searching for something more out of life. She has an need for independence and a chance to see the world before settling down, but of course fate has something to say about that. That would be Hamilton and boy is he something else!
As luck would have it, Lydia overhears something that could changes everything. Her life is full of ups and downs and heartache. But any angst one suffers through, come happiness. I really enjoyed getting to know Lydia and this time period. Ms. Johnson has given us a very intriguing story.


To Laugh Once More is a Victorian Inspirational Romance set in Georgia in 1895.

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?


"Your stew made me forget about my tiresome day, Lydia. There's nothing quite like a meal made with loving hands."

"I'm glad you liked it." She mustered a smile from deep within, but a cloud of rejection hung over her head. "Have you given any more thought to letting me go with you to Georgia? I can have my valise packed in no time. As your wife, I could be a great representative of our business and our produce."

"No, I haven't given any more thought to it." Hamilton laughed. "It's not the right time."

Lydia rocked in front of the blazing fire, the rocking chair taking her nowhere as it pitched forward and back. Her eyes slid above the fireplace to the painting of them on the beach a handful of years ago. Where had the urgency to be together gone?

"Why are you so desperate to leave home?" Hamilton pulled socks from his drawer and packed them away in his case.

We catch up with Lydia now that she and Hamilton have been married for a bit. Although life hasn't exactly turned out like Lydia had hoped for. Hamilton is away on business rather frequently or helping is mother out since his father has passed. Things seem to go from bad to worse when the she loses her mother and best friend in a house fire. Hamilton decides to move Lydia to Atlanta to start over. Starting over is a challenge but this could be just what Lydia and Hamilton need.
This was another enjoyable book from Ms. Johnson. Catching up with Lydia and the challenges she faces was journey worth taking. 

About The Author
Sherri Wilson Johnson
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 MoreSong of the Meadowlark, and To Laugh Once More. She is a columnist with Habits for a Happy Home and Choose NOW Ministries.




Buy Links:


Good Reads

1 comment: