Daydreams

perf6.000x9.000.indd 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

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.

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47 thoughts on “Daydreams

    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Hi Karen, and thank you for leaving a comment. If you see this, please drop in again and leave your e-mail address. I’m with you on the characters, too! Many blessings.

      Reply
  1. elainemcooper

    JoAnn, I love these interviews because I always learn something new! How did I not know you had a journalism background?? Perhaps it is my faulty memory. I am so proud of your success in writing—you are one of the most prolific (and talented) writers I know. I hope “Daydreams” fulfills YOUR dreams! Best wishes and…put me in the drawing!!
    elainemariecooper (ay) yahoo (dot) com

    Reply
    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Always great to see you, Elaine! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I thought you knew about my educational background, so yes, we learn something new all the time, don’t we?I’m sure there’s lots more for me to learn about you, too! Many blessings.

      Reply
  2. Nancee

    JoAnn is one of my new favorite authors! From reading only the tip of the iceberg where it comes to JoAnn’s writing, I LOVE her characters. I think that the characters in a book are what make a book either come alive with activity and emotion, or it can kill a book if the characters don’t have any depth. JoAnn doesn’t leave anything out where her characters are concerned. I can’t wait for a bit more free time to read more of JoAnn’s work!
    Nancee
    quiltcat26[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

    Reply
    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Thanks, Nancee. I can’t wait for you to read more of my books! I’m really hoping you can squeeze more reading time in for my series books one of these days! Blessings, friend.

      Reply
    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Hi Linda, and always good to see you. I hope you’re enjoying Daydreams now, as a matter of fact, and enjoying the bantering between Amy and her guy! Blessings.

      Reply
  3. Anne Payne

    Ok, I don’t usually read too much Contemporary Fiction but this series sounds like one I would enjoy! I love fast and witty dialogue, in any setting. If there’s too much telling in a story, I put it down…bor-ing. Not to say the story can’t have substance because that definitely has to be there, too.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of one of your books.

    Reply
    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Hi Anne, and thanks so much for leaving a comment. I hope you have the opportunity to read one of my books. I love writing that back-and-forth dialogue and believe it’s one of my strengths. I doubt you’d find Amy’s story boring, that’s for sure, and although it has lighthearted moments, it definitely has substance in its themes of forgiveness and redemption. Blessings to you!

      Reply
  4. Shirley Blanchard

    One of my favorite books is by Nancy Mehl, Unbreakable, What I love the most id how she kept the killers a secret till close to the end, and how she showed the faith the town had in God. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of one of your books.
    Shirley Blanchard
    jcisforme@aol.com

    Reply
    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Hi Shirley, and thanks so much for stopping and leaving a comment. So nice to “see” you! I have Nancy’s book on my list to read and I know it’s been very well-received and liked. Looking forward to reading it myself. I hope you’ll have the opportunity to read one of my books soon. Many blessings.

      Reply
    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Hi Jane, and thanks for leaving a comment! I hope you’ll have the opportunity to read one of my books soon. They’re a lot of story for a low price, comparatively speaking, especially in the Ebook version (also available in paperback). Many blessings to you!

      Reply
  5. JoAnn Durgin

    Let’s try this for the third time. I’ve tried to post individual comments but the Reply button is acting kinda funky, unfortunately. Thanks to all of you for stopping by and leaving comments. I treasure them all! I so appreciate your encouragement and support of Christian fiction and its authors. We couldn’t do it without you! Many blessings.

    Reply
  6. Miralee Ferrell

    Characters are definitely the most important aspect of the book for me. I want them to jump off the page. When I finish a book and miss the characters, it’s truly a winner.

    Reply
    1. JoAnn Durgin

      I wholeheartedly agree, Miralee! So NICE to see you again. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Many blessings to you as you continue to write your fabulous books for His glory!

      Reply
  7. KayM

    I think the characters are what makes the book so interesting and enjoyable. It’s the characters that I remember, after the book is closed.

    Reply
    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Hi Kay, and thanks for leaving a comment. It seems we’re all in agreement that it’s the characters that can “make or break” a book. I hope you’ll have the opportunity to read one of my books and see if the characters intrigue you. Many blessings.

      Reply
      1. KayM

        Thank you, JoAnn. I have decided to try the first book in your Lewis Legacy Series. It sounds like a good story with interesting characters.

    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Thanks for reading Awakening and leaving a comment, Diana. I appreciate you. The second book (and following) focus on other members of the volunteers that comprise TeamWork Missions, headed by Sam (and now Lexa). They become mentors for the men and women and each book focuses on at least one couple (sometimes more) and their unique love story. Happy reading, and many blessings!

      Reply
  8. Jasmine Augustine

    I have so many favorites that is hard to answer! I guess the things that keep me reading a book are, the characters and their believability, accuracy in historicals, and I love snappy dialogue like that in Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen.
    Jasmine A.
    montanamade(at)gmail(dot)com

    Reply
    1. JoAnn Durgin

      It can be a hard question to answer, Jasmine, but thanks for your response. I love Pride and Prejudice, too, but the accuracy in historicals is why I haven’t tried my hand at it. I simply don’t have the time for adequate research (I work a full-time, demanding job). But I’d love to try sometime, although I’d probably hide it in a drawer never for the rest of the world to see! Thank you for your comment. I appreciate you. Many blessings!

      Reply
  9. cheriswalwell

    I absolutely loved the Baxter series of Karen Kingsbury. She ended up writing many books about this family but it started with “Redemption.” The one thing that drew me in and kept me reading was the characters. They were so real and I felt like I was one of the sisters (Ashley). Her husband Landon was written so much like my real husband and they experienced so many of the things that my husband and I were experiencing during that time in our lives. I felt like God drew me to those books and ministered to my heart through them. Whenever I think of Karen Kingsbury, I think of Ashley and Landon. Thank you for the walk down memory lane. I can’t wait to read Daydreams. Thank you for this chance to enter and win.

    clSwalwell@gmail.com

    In Him,

    Cheri 🙂

    Reply
    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Hi Cheri, and so nice to “see” you here. Thanks so much for your comments. You know, I didn’t realize Karen’s characters were Ashley and Landon. I’ve always loved the name Landon and Amy’s (her given name is Amelia) been in my Lewis Legacy Series since the first book. It’s Amy’s time to shine in Daydreams. You know, Cheri, I used to always say, “If Karen Kingsbury can write 15 books about the Baxter family of Indiana, I can certainly write 11 books about my TeamWork crew.” You’re right in that you get to “know” these characters and it’s almost as though they become part of your own family. They ARE part of me and I love them dearly. I’m so thankful Karen’s books could minister to you at a time when you needed it. That’s the dream of all Christian writers, especially, that we can touch that ONE person with a message they really need to hear, at that particular point in their lives. Unlike Karen (for the most part, anyway), I employ a lot of humor and witty bantering in my books to go along with the deep emotion and drama. You’ve got to have that balance, just as in “real” life. Many blessings.

      Reply
    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Always good to see you, Joi! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I’d love for you tor read any of my books when you can take the time from writing your own books. Many blessings to you!

      Reply
  10. Veronica S.

    Tough choice! I guess I would say characters are most important for me. If the characters and by extension, the dialogue are great, it makes all the difference no matter the plot.

    Reply
    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Thanks, Veronica. I wanted to ask a question to make readers think. You expressed it perfectly; the dialogue is a big part and yes, an extension of the character that comprises their unique personality. You’re spot-on, too, I believe, in that–no matter the plot–if the characters are solid and the dialogue is intriguing and interesting, the plot can be fairly dull and yet it will still be an enjoyable book. Thanks for stopping and leaving a comment! Blessings.

      Reply
  11. Maxie Lloyd-Hamilton Anderson

    Hi JoAnn. I have heard of you, but never in one of the interviews. I don’t have one of your books and would love to change that by winning this book. It sounds really, really good! It is the characters that are most important to me. It seems like they become my friends. Thanks!
    Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

    Reply
    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Maxie! You’ve heard of me, eh? Good things, I hope! Probably when I’m out and about on Facebook. Smile. Thanks for your lovely remarks and I hope you get a chance to get to know my TeamWork crew. I think you’ll like them, and they definitely have a way of working their way into your heart! They’re part of me and I love them dearly. Many blessings.

      Reply
  12. Jo

    Thank you for the interesting interview. I haven’t read any of your books yet but am looking forward to reading them. I’m usually pulled in by the characters in a book but I have to like the plot as well.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    azladijo(at)aol(dot)com

    Reply
    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment, Jo. I hope you get a chance to check out my books sometime soon! Many blessings to you and thanks for your support of Christian fiction and its authors. We couldn’t do it without you! Many blessings.

      Reply
  13. Pegg Thomas

    Characters all the way. The story must have a plot, of course, but without good characters… who cares? 😉 Thanks for the chance to win a copy. If it’s an e-book, please pick someone else. I don’t own an e-reader.

    Reply
    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Thanks so much for your response, Pegg. My books come in paperback, and if you’re the winner, I’ll sign it for you, if you’d like. I’m offering the winner the choice of any one of the four book in my series. A number of my readers don’t own e-readers, either, and I personally prefer a book although I have a Kindle, as well. Many blessings and happy reading!

      Reply
  14. Pennylynn Moga

    Pride and Prejudice. Lizzie is herself and she is able to laugh at herself regardless of circumstance or the company she is in. Darcy shuns her only to be attracted by that quality. Their dialogue is always sharp and snappy but never dull.

    Congratulations JoAnn on number 4. I am so happy for you. Pennylynn (from MBT)
    riverweaver8 at gmail dot com

    Reply
    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Thanks so much Pennylynn (I love your name; it’s so unusual!). Pride and Prejudice is so great in many ways, isn’t it? That’s why it’s an all-time classic and beloved by readers and authors alike. I love that quality of Lizzie, too, and it’s a very appealing one, and I thrive on that back-and-forth dialogue! Keeps a reader interested and gives you a peek inside the hearts, minds and souls of the multifaceted characters. Thanks for your support of Christian fiction! Blessings.

      Reply
  15. Rose McKeirnan

    Characters is my most important feature of the books I read. Of course, it needs a good plot, but I have to connect with the people. Thanks so much for this chance. 🙂
    Rose
    andantespirit08(at)gmail(dot)com

    Reply
    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Hi Rose, and thanks so much for your lovely response! You know, a book can be technically perfect in every way but, as a reader, if I don’t connect with the characters, then it falls flat and I’m left feeling “meh.” I hate it when that happens because no doubt the author cares about them and intended to write an involving story. But that’s another reason I’m thankful there are many readers for what we write. Plot is important, of course, and especially how the characters respond to the world around them. If I care about them, all the better! Many blessings to you as you read.

      Reply
  16. JOYE

    In one of my favorite love stories I liked how the characters played off each other to solve the situation of the story.

    Reply
    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Hi Joye! I’d love it if you’d share the title of that love story. I’m always looking for new love stories to read, if I haven’t already. What can I say? I love writing about love! Many blessings to you and happy reading. Thanks so much for your comment!

      Reply
  17. JackieW

    Mostly I liked the plot to one of my favorite stories…the books’ characters played a secondary part to the theme of the story. But, quite frankly, I just love to read any book so I have lots and lots of favorites.

    Reply
    1. JoAnn Durgin

      I’d love to know the name of the book to which you refer, Jackie! But, in any case, thank you so much for sharing. Plot is crucial and in many stories it is indeed the plot–intricate and twisting–that carries the book. I’m with you, though, in loving to read, period. I like many different genres and most books carry a theme of “love” in one form or another, no matter what type of love it is. Happy reading to you and thanks for your wonderful comment!

      Reply

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