Welcome back, JoAnn! It’s always a treat to have you with us. Please tell us about Starlight Star Bright.
I’m so excited to introduce my second Christmas novella to readers! This is the sequel to last year’s Meet Me Under the Mistletoe (Pelican Book Group/White Rose Publishers). It can certainly stand on its own, but I think the experience is enhanced by reading the first one. Starlight, Star Bright is part of Pelican’s 2013 Holiday Extravaganza of romance and romantic suspense novellas. Such fun! Here’s the blurb:
Texas-born goalie and World Cup champion, Dante Moretti, only expected tiny Starlight, Iowa to be a blip on the radar of his life. Stopping at Barney’s Diner for a quick meal during the holiday season, Dante meets two women who quickly capture his heart in very different ways. Then his rental car won’t start, stranding him overnight. Could it be the Lord has a plan for bringing him to Starlight?
Amanda Marston is excited to be home in Starlight for her big brother Jake’s wedding. When she drops in for a cup of Caroline Picasso’s coffee at Barney’s, who is that handsome, Italian-spouting cowboy? Before she knows it, Dante’s staying with Ben and Caroline and helping out with projects all over Starlight. Does God have a plan for Dante in Starlight—one that might include Amanda—or will he take her heart with him when he returns to Italy?
I know you call Dante your “Italian cowboy,” and that sounds very intriguing. Can you tell us a little more about his story with Amanda?
I’ve always loved a cowboy hero: handsome, strong, loyal and faithful. Dante Moretti was born in a small town in Texas, the grandson of first generation Italians. For the past five years, he’s lived outside of Rome, Italy and played on a championship soccer team (called football in Europe). Because of tragic circumstances in his past, Dante carries a certain sadness in his soul. Dante had no plans to stay in Starlight, but he finds much more than he could have hoped for and finds he doesn’t want to leave. Amanda Marston is back in her hometown to be a bridesmaid in her brother’s Jake’s New Year’s wedding to nurse Julia Sinclair (the characters featured in Meet Me Under the Mistletoe). As Dante and Amanda work together on various projects around Starlight during the Christmas season, they grow close and begin to care deeply for one another. After the wedding, Amanda is set to return to her teaching job in Florida and Dante’s scheduled to return to Italy for another season as goalie. How can these two hope for a future together? This is a fun story of how the Lord in His infinite wisdom, and the characters’ faith in His guidance, work out their dilemma in an amazing way!
Do you have another Christmas novella planned for next year? If not when can we expect your next release?
I love writing the Christmas novellas, and the Holiday Extravaganza is quickly becoming a favorite for both readers and authors. I’m already formulating a new story in my mind, but this is most likely the end of the road for my Starlight novellas. I have another proposal for a novella set primarily in Edinburgh, Scotland. If accepted, it will release sometime in 2014. I’m also hoping to release Book #5, Moonbeams, in The Lewis Legacy Series, sometime in early-to-mid 2014.
How will you be spending Christmas this year?
Christmas will be low-key in our home this year. However, my husband and I are going on a Caribbean cruise in early January and will also visit Disney World for the first time without children. We’ve both been super busy the past few years, and we’re eagerly anticipating this getaway!
Thanks for hosting me again on your lovely blog, Kimberly! I look forward to many more return visits. As the author of Starlight, Star Bright, I will have paperback copies (not available to the general public but only from me as the author). If readers will answer the following question, one reader will be selected to receive a signed copy of the paperback edition. Here’s my question:
What’s the one most important element for you in a Christmas romance novella?
Rules: There must be at least 10 qualifying comments for the drawing to take place. Drawing is open to U.S. addresses only. Drawing closes Sunday December 1, 2013. The winner will be notified 12/2/2013 and have until 12/8/2013 to respond or forfeit the book, No new winner will be drawn. Void where prohibited by law.
JoAnn Durgin is the author of four full-length novels in The Lewis Legacy Series (and more coming!) and Catching Serenity, as well as Christmas novellas, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe and Starlight, Star Bright. When not writing, she lives with her family in her native Southern Indiana and is a full-time estate administration paralegal in a Louisville, Kentucky law firm.