Catching Serenity

Catching Serenity Front Cover Image (2)

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 or via her Author JoAnn Durgin page on Facebook. She’d love to hear from you!

27 thoughts on “Catching Serenity

  1. Shirley Blanchard

    My answer to the questions is, i like the weddings they are always the happy time when friends and family gather, i hear so much about this book i cant wait to read it, JoAnns books have never let me down, and you will never ever be embarressed are find trash in her books squeekie clean giving God the glory.
    Shirley B

    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Thanks so much, Shirley, and I adore your email address (never noticed it before). You are one of my best cheerleaders, and I praise and thank the Lord for you! Blessings!

  2. Judy B

    I like the moments in the romance when the man and woman finally realize that they are meant to be together. Then of course this is sealed with a kiss/or kisses! I really enjoy the tender moments too when the man is a total gentleman and respects the woman he is dating. Such as opening car doors, etc. Treating her like a princess!

    I’m a romantic and I love that my husband still opens my car door for me AND he still calls me his bride!

    I have read every one of JoAnn’s books and loved them. I am looking forward to reading Catching Serenity! Even though I haven’t read it yet, I know it is going to be a great read!

    Judy B

    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Hi, Judy, and thanks so much for stopping by and your faithful support of my writing journey. I can’t wait for you to read Serenity and Doc Jack’s story! And you know I like my heroes to be gentlemen. Chivalry makes me sigh. Many blessings to you, my friend.

    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Thanks so much for reading the interview and I appreciate your adding Catching Serenity to your TBR pile. I hope you have the opportunity to read it! I love your “name,” Joyful Reader! Many blessings.

  3. Diana Montgomery

    I think i like the romance getting to know the person building up to the marriage. I want to more or less be treated like a lady. I don’t want to see romance end after years of marriage it must be kept alive. Loving your book Catching Serenity. As all of your books I love them.
    Love to win a autographed one.

    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Ah, Diana, you always know how to make me smile. Thank you, my friend, for reading Catching Serenity and I’m so happy you’re enjoying the story. I think you’ll agree it has a little bit of everything! Many blessings to you.

  4. chris granville

    Im very interested in the meeting and getting to know you stage
    Your book sounds great!
    God bless you
    Chris Granville

    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Hi, Chris, and thanks so much for dropping by and answering my question. I love hearing the responses from readers. I hope you can check out Catching Serenity! Blessings.

  5. Patty H

    I love to read the meeting and getting to know you part of the story. What makes a person think it would be worth the effort and chance of getting their heart broken…

    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Hi Patty, and thanks so much for reading the interview and answering my question! I LOVE your response. Very thought-provoking indeed. Makes me wonder if you’re a writer. Hmm… Blessings to you!!

  6. Pam Cannata

    Although I love all aspects of a romance novel, I suppose the getting to know you/build up to the first kiss is my favorite part. I enjoy the tension between the characters when they both want so badly to be together but just don’t know what to do next, and then they finally they make that next step and kiss. JoAnn, you never fail to provide that wonderful connection between your characters for me…Sam & Lexa was a great example! Can’t wait for these next ones!!!

    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Ah, Pam, one of my best readers! Thanks so much for dropping by and leaving a comment. I appreciate you so much, and yes, I love to build that tension between my characters, as you well know. Many blessings to you, my friend!

    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Hi Angie, and thanks so much for dropping by and leaving your comment. I love all these responses. In my romances, you always get the proposal (not that it’s a spoiler since they ARE romances). Sometimes you get a wedding, sometimes not. I’m not saying about Catching Serenity, but consider it’s a standalone book with a sequel… Smile. I think you’d enjoy it. Many blessings to you.

  7. Maxie Lloyd-Hamilton Anderson

    Hello JoAnn, This sounds very interesting. I’ve not had the privilege of reading one of your books yet. Hoping to make a change by winning this one. Would be a good one to start with.
    I love all of the points you make in your question. I go enjoy the building of the couple getting to know each other, and eventually realizing they are in love. I am a Romantic at heart but lost my Romantic gentleman 16 years ago to cancer. He was the best. So, I’ve not wanted another. Thanks for a chance to win your book. MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Hi, Maxie! I know our paths have definitely crossed on the internet before on various blogs. I’d love to have you read one of my books, and yes, this one would be good since it’s a standalone novel and not part of a series. I agree with you and like all the aspects of falling in love and would be hard pressed to answer my own question, believe it or not. That’s what makes their story unique–the entire process! I’m so sorry you lost your beloved, Maxie, but so thankful you enjoyed that great love in your life. You have been indeed blessed. Many blessings, and thanks for reading the interview and for leaving a comment.

  8. Merry

    The build up to the first kiss is always fun, a dance of attraction. 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway, Catching Serenity sounds intriguing.
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Hi, Merry, and thanks for stopping by and reading the interview. I love the “dance of attraction,” too, and if you like witty bantering, I think you’d like Catching Serenity (as well as all my books, as a matter of fact, to be quite honest). But I love the way you stated it. Smile. Love your email address, too! Many blessings.

  9. JoAnn Durgin

    Hi Martha, and thanks for reading the interview and for your comment. Yes, becoming friends is such a crucial part of the process, isn’t it? That’s definitely what you’ll find in Catching Serenity. Many blessings to you!

  10. Melanie Backus

    I love the unspoken jestures. When sparks fly between two people without a word spoken, Oh My! For me it was a wink from a man across the room. I have been married to that man now for thirty eight years.

    1. JoAnn Durgin

      Hi Melanie, and thanks so much for stopping by the blog and leaving a comment. You’re right…the unspoken gestures can mean so much, can’t they? I love your story of the wink…they can be quite powerful indeed and the start of a beautiful relationship, as in your case. Congratulations on 38 years of marriage! Blessings!


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