I’m pleased to have JoAnn as my guest on the blog today! JoAnn writes Inspirational Romance, and she’s had a busy few years! Her first novel, Awakening, released in 2010, followed by Second Time Around, in 2011, and now she’s just released a third novel in the series, Twin Hearts! Whew!
So here’s JoAnn to tell us a bit about herself – maybe we’ll learn how she does it!
Who are you?
The short answer—Christian, wife, mother of three, published author, full-time estate administration paralegal and all-around nutty woman who tries to find the humor in life. One of my “catch phrases” is that I’ve “been around in the nicest sense of the word.” Basically, that means I was born in southern Indiana (stress the southern part), migrated to Dallas, Texas after college, met Jim Durgin, a student at Dallas Theological Seminary (a Newport, Rhode Island native who went by J.D. and wore a Stetson but thankfully didn’t swagger), moved to California (yes, the southern part), married Jim, gave birth to our first child, Sarah, moved to Pennsylvania (enter Chelsea and Matthew), moved to Massachusetts and then back home to Kentuckiana (where Indiana meets Kentucky at the Ohio River) in late 2005. Got all that? Ironically enough, I returned to the very town I couldn’t wait to leave when I was fresh out of college and wanted to experience the world. You know what? I’ve seen a lot of the world, and I’ve learned you bloom where the Lord plants you, but home in your heart is with your family and loved ones.
Where am I now?
Since I’m here to talk about my writing career, I’m happy to say I’m in a very good place. I’m blessed to be published by Torn Veil Books of Canada. They give me the freedom to allow me to write my way—meaning outside the box of “formula” romance, and that includes content and word count. In other words, my couples usually get together earlier (sometimes called the “kiss of death” in romances) and work through life’s issues and difficulties instead of fighting feelings of attraction and playing “cat and mouse” until near the end when they fall into one another’s arms, declare undying love, share a kiss and then ride into the sunset. I realize that’s perhaps an oversimplification, but I believe in showing the true romance between a hero and his heroine, and that includes the butting heads, the fights, and the sweet and tender moments along the way that bond them together and solidifies the relationship. Trust me, they encounter stumbling blocks along the way, but I always guarantee a happy ending. As a romance reader, it’s what I love and expect. Some have called my books modern fairy tales with a touch of realism, and I embrace that description! Awakening debuted in November 2010 with Sam and Lexa (a/k/a Lewis and Clarke) and the lively TeamWork crew, Second Time Around in September 2011 and now Twin Hearts has just released this week. Although it’s a series, each book can be read as a stand-alone. Each installment is full of love, romance, humor, drama and adventure.
Where am I going?
I have a proposal currently being reviewed for a Christmas novella, and the fourth book in my series, Daydreams, releases from Torn Veil Books in early December. This one takes place only a few months after the end of Twin Hearts and includes a TeamWork wedding and goes from Manhattan to Louisiana and Texas and back again with one of my girls who meets her match. It’s a fun, wildly romantic adventure for your 2012 holiday reading season!
About Twin Hearts:
Josh Grant is a man seeking redemption. He’s not looking for love, but finds it in a most unexpected and tender way. His twin sister, Rebekah, is torn between two very different men: a dashing, British aristocrat offering her the world, and the other a humble, faithful Louisiana lumber man. When family tragedy strikes, the twins lean on Sam and Lexa Lewis and their fellow TeamWork Missions volunteers for encouragement. Together they learn lessons in faith and family and what’s most important in life as they discover it’s time to stake their claim on love, which means a road trip from Louisiana to . . . the peace to be found in seeking and finding the sweetest desires of the heart.
In this one, I felt the need to bring back Josh, the wayward sheep of my TeamWork crew, and have him find his redemption. As Twin Hearts begins, it’s almost five years later, and he’s come to Houston seeking forgiveness from Sam Lewis, his friend and former mentor. Writing this book presented a unique challenge in that it’s two simultaneous love stories—one in Texas and one in Louisiana. There’s a shocking, but very sweet surprise revealed very early on in Twin Hearts. One of the takeaways from that storyline (a predominant one) is to show how God’s people aren’t perfect and sometimes fall prey to the same temptations and sins as others. It’s how we ultimately deal with the consequences of our sin that makes all the difference and can impact others.
You can find my books at major online book retailers in both paperback and ebook formats. I’d love to hear from readers at my website at www.joanndurgin.com or I’m on Facebook.