Welcome back, JoAnn! Please tell us about Catching Serenity.
To give you a good idea of what the story’s about, here’s the back cover blurb:
A woman torn apart by secrets. A man held prisoner by the truth. Can the greatest love of all set them both free?
Serenity McClaren had it all before her life crumbled around her like the sand castles on her beloved beach, causing her to flee Croisette Shores and the only home she’d ever known. Nearly five years later and living in Atlanta, she receives a mysterious, unsigned note: Come home, Serenity. Things aren’t as they seem. Time to find your answers. Returning to South Carolina, she prepares to face her demons and the ailing father she left behind, hoping to make peace with both.
Child psychologist Jackson Ross is a man with a surprising past. He’s ready for the quiet life and eager to establish his practice in the quaint, coastal village. After he hires Serenity to decorate his new office, he’s drawn to the beautiful and enigmatic woman yet sees she’s haunted by a past she can’t escape. Wanting to help her, he begins to suspect one of his young patients may hold the key to unlocking Serenity’s secrets. Jackson follows his instincts and discovers the shocking truth, but how can he tell the woman he’s grown to love what he knows—and set her free—without compromising his professional ethics and losing her forever?
Oh, that sounds like a fantastic story! Thanks for sharing. 🙂 What do you hope the readers will take away from Catching Serenity?
Psalm 18:2 says: The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (NASB)
Serenity takes heart and hope in this particular scripture verse. Before the tragedy in her life, she always adored sitting on her beloved beach and walking along the shore. It was there she felt closest to the Lord even though she didn’t understand that’s what it was. Now, coming back home as a new believer, she clings to the Lord and that verse as her stronghold to sustain her through the trials of life. I’ve never written a character as emotionally stretched as my heroine. The lowest point in her life was five years before the story begins. As fragile as she can be, she’s also one of the strongest characters I’ve ever written. She survives circumstances that would send many into a downward spiral of depression and then has the strength to return to the scene of the crime, so to speak. As you might imagine, trust and forgiveness are major issues with Serenity, like they are for many people. Because of her past, she’s afraid she’ll taint everyone and everything she loves. By keeping the hero, Jackson Ross, at arm’s length, she believes it’ll somehow protect him from harm. Likewise, her faith is new and fragile, and she clings to the promises of God and seeks His love as a refuge from the past. But I hope the reader will see that even when things seem insurmountable or impossible—like in Serenity’s circumstances—He is a God of everyday miracles and can give us the desires of our heart if we place our trust in Him. In Serenity’s case, things are not at all as they seem, and she finds that with the Lord, even the unimaginable are indeed possible.
I love that. Thanks, JoAnn. Many writers work full-time jobs as well as writing, including yourself. How do you find the time to do it all?
The simple answer is that I make time. I freely admit I don’t have the energy I did even a few years ago. We go through stages of life where our bodies crave at least six hours or more of sleep each night, and I’m in one of those stages. Four years ago, however, I could stay up writing until 2:00 a.m. every night and get up again at 6:00 a.m. If I did that now, I’d cringe to see the product of my writing! So, what’s a writer to do if she wants to continue to crank out novels on a consistent basis? The basic answer is that writing is one of my deepest passions. Because of that commitment, I carve out whatever free time I can grab here and there throughout the workday: before work, on my lunch hour, and after work. I try to get in as much writing/editing time as possible on the weekends. It’s a fine balance, but the Lord honors that time, and I’ve never suffered writer’s block (and hope I never do). I realize how blessed I am to say that, too. He sustains, as He always does.
I wish I could say I’ve never had writer’s block. I suppose you’re too busy to have time for that. 😀 Have you read a book recently that you would recommend?
I honestly don’t like to answer that question other than to say whatever version of the Holy Bible you prefer. Trust me when I say it’s not a cop-out; not enough people, Christians included, carve time out of their busy schedules to sit down, read, study and absorb God’s Word. In addition to that, a lot of my friends are Christian writers. I don’t like to single out one over the other because there are so many great books out there, both contemporary and historical. What I would encourage readers to do is also occasionally check out the small-publisher books and or the independently published books. They’re often overlooked in the shadow of the larger publishers, and they don’t get nearly the “fanfare” or the attention. Some very good independent books are being written that are inventive, well-done and prompt readers to think “outside the box” of the tried-and-true formulas. Interesting reading, indeed, and some are written by very “big” name authors, as well.
Well said. Thank you.
JoAnn has offered to give away a copy of Catching Serenity to one lucky commenter. You must answer the following question to be entered.
As a reader, what are the moments in a romance that you enjoy the most? For example, do you prefer the getting-to-know-you moments, the unspoken gestures (perhaps chivalrous on the part of the hero), the build-up to that first kiss, the actual kiss, a marriage proposal or a wedding?
Rules: Drawing is open until Sunday November 3rd to U.S. addresses only. The winner will be notified via email Monday November 11th. There must be at least 10 Qualifying comments for the drawing to take place. Void where prohibited by law.
Catching Serenity is JoAnn Durgin’s fifth full-length novel. The author of The Lewis Legacy Series and Christmas novellas, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe and its sequel, Starlight, Star Bright (coming in November this year), she’s an estate administration paralegal in a Louisville, Kentucky law firm and lives in southern Indiana. Visit her at www.joanndurgin.com or via her Author JoAnn Durgin page on Facebook. She’d love to hear from you!