I‘m so pleased to have you here today, JoAnn. I’m looking forward to learning about Daydreams. To start off please tell us about your book.
Daydreams is a contemporary Christian romantic adventure and the fourth in my Lewis Legacy Series following Awakening, Second Time Around and Twin Hearts. Although it’s the fourth book, it can definitely be read as a standalone novel. I drop enough backstory here and there so the reader can pick right up and join in the fun. This one is a personal favorite; I adore witty bantering between a heroine and her hero, and Daydreams contains some of the snappiest dialogue I’ve written to-date. These books center on a group of volunteers in TeamWork, a Christian missions organization. Each book focuses on one or more of the TeamWork volunteers as they navigate life and love with guidance from mentors Sam and Lexa Lewis, my core characters. While fun and lighthearted in many respects, as in all my books, Daydreams has underlying themes of redemption, grace and forgiveness. Daydreams belongs to TeamWork member Amy Jacobsen. Here’s a little more about it:
What the eyes conceal, the heart reveals. It’s early December 2002, and Amy Jacobsen is living the dream: a job she loves with a trendy New York City magazine, a Manhattan walk-up inherited from her grandfather, and a busy social life without the unwanted complication of a steady boyfriend. During dinner one evening with her brother, Mitch, she spies Landon Warnick the next table over. He’s influential, successful and one of the youngest magazine publishers in the country—not to mention one of New York’s most eligible bachelors. After Mitch wrangles a meeting between the two, Landon wastes little time in asking her to dinner. Amy questions her sanity when they share a cozy carriage ride in Central Park and she comes this close to kissing him. Is it the joy and wonder of the Christmas season that’s put stars in her eyes or the enigmatic, intelligent, challenging and incredibly handsome man?
The following weekend, she travels to Louisiana to be a bridesmaid in a wedding and a reunion with her friends and fellow volunteers in TeamWork Missions. Headed down the aisle in the wedding, Amy’s steps falter. Standing at the front is a groomsman who flew into town only an hour before. . . She does a double take. What’s Landon Warnick doing in her world, with her friends? Perhaps more important, why does he suddenly have a Texas drawl and a crescent-shaped scar on his forehead? Sharing a romantic dance at the reception, she casts aside her better judgment and kisses him. She’s lost her mind and her heart might not be far behind, it seems. Let the adventure begin! Is the Lord showing her the “right” man for her heart or is Amy in way over her head?
Oh my goodness that sounds like a good story–one that I must read.:) What inspired the story?
It’s the natural progression in the lives of the various volunteers in TeamWork. Amy has been in the series since the beginning, and it’s her turn to shine. She’s matured quite a bit in the five years since Awakening and grown into a lovely, strong, independent woman. A junior editor at a trendy magazine in New York, she meets her match in magazine publisher Landon Warnick. You’ll notice the Daydreams book cover features a magazine with its pages curled into the shape of a heart. With a journalism background, I particularly enjoyed writing about the NYC publishing world. In a way, Amy is living my dream. I put a bit of myself in every book, whether it’s in character traits, places or experiences.
How long did it take you to write Daydreams? Did you have to do any special research?
I actually wrote the basic story a couple of years ago, a time when I had a lot more energy. As a matter of fact, I wrote the entire series (except for Awakening, which I wrote in less than two weeks but then waited more than a decade to get it published) in a span of less than two years, and let’s just say it’s a long series. Now I spend a lot of time editing. The Lord knew.
I must interrupt, as I’m intrigued. How many books are in the series?
There are eleven books in total.
Wow. You were one busy writer! Okay, sorry for the interruption. Back to my research question.
As far as research for Daydreams, after attending the ACFW conference in Dallas this past September, my husband and I more or less traced the places where Amy travels in Daydreams, including stops in Baton Rouge (where Amy is a bridesmaid in a TeamWork wedding from a couple in the third book, Twin Hearts). Then on to Houston via Austin. A significant portion of this book takes place in The Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas, and I spent several hours there interviewing the concierge and touring the hotel. It’s absolutely fabulous! Of course, Jim and I went on to San Antonio (the setting of Awakening), and he jokingly referred to it as the Trail of Tears. I’ll openly admit to shedding a few tears while standing in front of The Alamo. Anyone who’s read Sam and Lexa’s story will understand.
When did you first start writing and is it something you have always wanted to do, or did you fall into it later?
I started writing full-length fiction as a young stay-at-home mom in the Philly area. It’s always been in the back of my mind to write, and I earned a journalism and English degree. Although those classes taught me writing basics, fiction writing is a whole different ballgame. I put my writing—but not the passion for it—on hold while serving as a pastor’s wife and going back to work, but then I pursued it again when we moved back to my native southern Indiana in late 2005. The Lord honored my faithfulness, and I received the contract for Awakening, my debut novel, on May 1, 2010—a day I’ll never forget. I am truly blessed!
That is a great! I love hearing how writers got started. Thanks for doing a book give away. JoAnn has offered to give away a choice of any of her four Lewis Legacy series books. However there must be at least ten comments for the drawing to take place. As per usual if you are a new follower you will receive a second entry. Don’t worry about telling me, since WordPress tells me about new follows.
Is there any question you would like commenter to answer to qualify for the give away?
Thank you, Kimberly! Here’s my question: Think about one of your favorite novels. What one aspect do you love the most about it (e.g., characters, plot or something else)?
Rules for drawing: You must answer the question for your comment to be entered into the drawing. Void where prohibited by law. Drawing only open to USA addresses.
JoAnn Durgin is the author of the popular Lewis Legacy Series (Torn Veil Books). The fourth book in the series, Daydreams, released in late 2012, as well as Meet Me under the Mistletoe, a 2012 Christmas novella (Pelican Group Ventures/White Rose Publishing). She also has a short story, Please, published in I Choose You, a romance anthology (OakTara Publishers). JoAnn lives with her husband, Jim, and their three children in her native southern Indiana. She’s an estate administration paralegal in a Louisville, Kentucky law firm. She’d love to hear from you via her website (www.joanndurgin.com) or at Author JoAnn Durgin on Facebook.