Monday, March 21, 2011

JoAnn Durgin's "Awakening"

We're happy to have JoAnn Durgin with us today talking about her book Awakening. To learn more about JoAnn and her book, read on!

Title: Awakening
Publisher: Torn Veil Books

Cover blurb: Lexa Clarke signs up for a short-term summer assignment in San Antonio with TeamWork Missions, hoping to make a difference in the world. TeamWork director Sam Lewis has a job to do and can't afford to be distracted by the petite, feisty blonde. But when she tumbles into his arms from the top of a house they’re rebuilding, Sam suspects his life will never be the same. A God-fearing man. A God-seeking woman. A combustible combination.

1. How did this story come to you?
A lot of the people, places and events in Awakening parallel my love story with my husband, Jim. In many ways, I lived this story, and I like to think it makes it more real. The strength of character, unwavering faith and goodness in Sam is based on Jim. And the stubbornness, resourcefulness and resilience in Lexa is based on yours truly.

2. Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Awakening was written more than a decade ago before putting my writing aside to raise our three children. In late 2008, I literally dug it out from under the bed and blew off the dust bunnies, but I only had the last half. Reading it with fresh eyes, I knew this was the story the Lord wanted me to tell. Not only did He give me my story back, but He opened the doors of His choosing in very dramatic ways (read about it on my website). I still haven’t found an agent, but Awakening sold to the first publisher who reviewed it. I am very blessed.

3. Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
(1) I’m related to an oil millionaire as well as a PGA golf champion who won the Master’s and the U.S. Open golf tournaments. (2) I’m a diehard Boston Red Sox fan and can get very loud and boisterous watching them. We were blessed to live in Boston when they won the World Series after 86 long years, and had to go through their biggest rivals, the New York Yankees, to do it. (3) I credit rejection (twice) by one of the best Christian agents out there, criticism from a multi-published, award-winning author who said there wasn’t a market for a book like Awakening, and a layoff from my paralegal job that led to getting my manuscript in the hands of my publisher. Now, I’m on my way in my writing career and have an even better paralegal job. It never ceases to amaze me the miraculous ways in which the Lord works to accomplish His perfect will!

4. What are you working on now and what's next for you?
The next installment in the series is called Second Time Around, and it’s currently under review with Torn Veil Books. The entire series is written, awaiting edits, with a second series right behind it that’s an indirect offshoot from this one. I’ve got a few stand alone novels I wrote years ago I might pick up again, and I started something totally new recently just because I missed the creative process of writing. I’m never idle, and try to do something connected with writing every day.

5. Parting comments?
One of the biggest challenges for a writer is to create characters who become so real they literally jump off the page and into the hearts and minds of readers. If a writer is passionate about their characters, the story shines. The Lord is my co-author, and I’m writing the stories He’s given to me. If you’re a writer, my best advice is to pray and commit your work to the Lord. And then simply write. If you’re a reader, I hope when you pick up my book, you’ll find an involving story featuring a healthy dose of romance with deep emotion and a little adventure thrown into the mix! Thanks for allowing me to share with you today.

6. Where can fans find you on the internet?
I’m on Facebook, and messages can also be sent to me via my website at I’d love to hear from you! I regularly blog on Reflections in Hindsight on alternate Wednesdays and Hoosier Ink on the 30th of each month. Blessings!


  1. Hi, JoAnn! Lovely to see you here. And folks, JoAnn's story is a sweet treat--I've read it!

  2. Nice interview both JoAnn and Dawn. I'd love to win a copy of your book joann. My email addy is tracy[dot]krauss[at]gmail[dot]com/ thanks

  3. I won't enter the giveaway since I had the honor of reading and reviewing "Awakening" for JoAnn. She's written a superb love story so I'll congratulate the winner. You'll be pleased.

  4. What a great group of writer friends! Thanks so much for your wonderful, encouraging comments and for stopping by K. Dawn's blog to visit. It should be a fun week. And right back back at you about all your books! Blessings.

  5. JoAnn's story sounds great. Lucky you, Melinda to review for JoAnn. i would love to win this book. Thanks to Dawn and JoAnn for the interview and chance to win.
    Marianne from Arizona

  6. Yes, romance is often neglected in long time marriages. I have been married for over twenty-eight years. And recently, my husband has decided he is tired of being married. (He is filing for a divorce.) Thanks. gahome2mom/at/gmail/dot/com

  7. Sounds like a good read, thanks for entering me in the drawing.

    twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

  8. Sounds like a good book. I'd love to be entered in the drawing.

    ryssmiles[at]yahoo[dot ]com

  9. Sounds like a fun book. Linda

  10. would love to read this story...thanks for the chance :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  11. Thanks for stopping by to visit, everyone! Gahome2mom, I'm so sorry to hear, and I'll pray for you. I wish all of you could win my book! Keep reading, and I'll keep on writing the stories the Lord has given to me. Blessings!

  12. would love to win this book.wlworkman[at]backroads[dot]net

  13. love to win thanks

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  14. Enjoyed the interview JoAnn and Dawn. Your book cover is attractive and sweet - suggesting romance. I like that your story is based on truth. The best personal experiences make wonderful material for a good book. Thank you for the giveaway and the chance to win. I hope I win.

    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

  15. I would love to win this book! Please enter me.

  16. JoAnn, your book sounds delightful. :) It's fun to hear how the Lord has opened a door for you into writing again. I've got young kids and am just beginning my venture on this amazing, humbling, challenging, exciting road. I hope the Lord continues to open doors for you!

  17. Hi Barb! You might recall I wrote to you around the time of the Super Bowl. Thanks for stopping by and good to see you again. Judylynn, thanks for coming by! And Jeanne, best of everything in your writing journey. Write when you can steal a few moments to yourself. You're right about it being humbling and challenging, but it is so exciting! I'll pray for the Lord to open the doors of His choosing for YOU, too. Thanks so much for stopping by everyone! Blessings.

  18. Awakening is a wonderful, romantic read! Obviously, I know this endearing love story already, so allow someone else to win it (I own 2 copies!). And I am so sorry about the dear lady that wrote she is getting a divorce after so many years of marriage. I pray that she finds renewed hope and healing. And yes, we ALL still need romance in our marriages! Thank you, JoAnn for a lovely and fun story.

  19. I would love to read your book. I love when truth meets fiction to some extent...usually makes for the best stories!


  20. Sorry I'm late to the party, JoAnn. Vacation was great, but keeping up with everyone using only my Blackberry was a bit challenging.

    You love baseball and you're a paralegal! Two more things we have in common! I wish I could add the rich and famous relatives to the list.

    Can't wait to read your book!

  21. WriterMarie, I agree about truth meeting fiction making the best stories. I try to add either people, places or events from my life into all my stories. And Elaine (speaking of putting real life stories into HER book) and Linda (loved your book and I promise that review soon!), thanks so much for dropping in and commenting. Blessings to all!