Monday, November 12, 2012

Christmas 2012 Series: Meet Me Under the Mistletoe by JoAnn Durgin

Happy Monday, dear writer! We're getting ever closer to Christmas and still celebrating with news of recent or upcoming releases in Christian Christmas fiction. Today we have an interview with a Pelican Book Group author, JoAnn Durgin. Her contemporary romance releases on December 17th.

What makes your Christmas novel different than others you’ve seen or read?

One of my primary goals in writing novels, no matter the length, is to dig deep into characterization. By the time a reader finishes the last page, I want her to feel she knows my characters and feels as though they’re personal friends. I try to work in history, details, and quirks that make my hero and heroine unique. In addition to romance and spiritual threads, another crucial element I add into my books is humor. One fun aspect of this particular story, which also makes it different, is a bonus “senior” love story, guaranteed to make you smile!

How did the story come about?

I’d been reading a variety of the Christmas novellas from White Rose and, when I saw the call for story submissions for the Pelican Book Group 2012 Holiday Extravaganza, I decided I’d like to try to pen one. For one thing, it helps me stretch and grow as an author to write more concisely (the novels in my Lewis Legacy Series from Torn Veil Books are all over 100,000 words). Although I love my TeamWork crew in that series, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe is a good departure for me in embracing new characters, and it also offers a nice change for my readers.

What time of year did you write it, and how did you motivate yourself to write a Christmas novel at that time of year?

I first submitted my idea and first chapter for my Christmas story in early March this year. During the summer, I continued working on it and we completed edits in August. Working on a story set in snowy Starlight, Iowa, at Christmas was a joy when it was one hundred degrees outside. I adore Christmas stories, and that alone motivated me. These particular characters are special to me, and it was a true labor of love to tell their story.

What’s next for you in writing? (Will you do more Christmas stories?)

Currently, I’m completing edits on my fourth novel, Daydreams, in my Lewis Legacy Series, scheduled to release in December this year. I have a proposal out for a romance anthology and am waiting to hear if my submission was accepted. Other than that, I would love to begin working on another Christmas novella for White Rose. Beyond that, I might release a standalone novel, Chasing Serenity, with Torn Veil and then continue on with my series. It’s my passion, and nothing makes me happier than to bring Christ-honoring fiction to contemporary romance readers.

Pelican Book Group offers what they call a Holiday Extravaganza where all new release Christmas titles e-books sell for $1.00 during December. Here's a link to learn more about all the books releasing as part of the celebration.

I hope you’ll check out all the Pelican Group Holiday Extravaganza offerings!

Thanks for visiting, JoAnn. We wish you the best with your writing!

To learn more about JoAnn, visit her website: www.joanndurgin.com. 

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe

Wounded hero and Starlight, Iowa, firefighter, Captain Jake Marston, has a secret: a promise he made to the Lord when he was a teenager. Now, at twenty-eight, he wonders if he’ll ever find a woman to share his life. His ex-girlfriend unexpectedly shows up on his doorstep—wanting him back—the same night he meets Julia Sinclair, the beautiful, witty pediatric nurse from Cedar Rapids, and younger sister of his Sergeant and best buddy, Dylan. She’s a woman of faith and could be the one, but there’s a huge problem: she’s promised to another. Spending time together during the holidays, Jake and Julia develop a deep friendship and mutual attraction. On Christmas night, Julia makes a life-changing confession, and Jake reveals his secret. Soon after, everyone in the tiny town of Starlight, Iowa, suddenly knows about that long-held secret and Jake goes from hero to laughing stock. Can these two find their way under the mistletoe on New Year’s Eve for a forever kiss?

14 comments:

  1. Ah, JoAnn, I adore firefighter stories (wonder why???). Add the fact that it's a Christmas setting, and I'm totally hooked! I can't wait to read it! Congrats on all your recent exciting news!

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    1. Hi Dora, my world traveling friend! Sounds like a fabulous trip. I'd love for you to read Jake and Julia's story. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Blessings to you and your family as we head into this glorious holiday season!

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  2. Hi JoAnn! Thanks for visiting Seriously Write. I love what you shared the other day on Facebook about visiting the fire station where you spent time doing research for this book. It sounds like you made a sweet connection with the firemen there, and that they appreciated your dedication to them in the book.

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    1. Thanks, Dawn. I'll make it a point to stop by and visit my local firefighters on a regular basis. Great guys (and ladies!). One fun thing I didn't add to my post the other day? When I was leaving the firehouse the other night, one of the guys called out, "Meet you under the mistletoe!" Blessings, friend.

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  3. I'm practically echoing Dora here. I love Christmas stories, and stories with firefighters are a close second (being that I'm married to one LOL!) I've definitely got this on my TBR, JoAnn. God bless you both!

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    1. Hi Tanya! I hope you'll get a chance to read Jake and Julia's story. You're married to a firefighter? They have all my respect. Thanks for leaving a comment! Blessings.

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  4. Ladies, thanks so much. Annette, I appreciate being on the blog today (if you didn't know, Annette was instrumental in Meet Me Under the Mistletoe as one of my editors and gets a "shout out" with Fay Lamb in the dedication). I had such fun writing this story and loved the "God thing" of unexpectedly interviewing my local firefighters (for 3-1/2 hours!) one night this past summer. I'm already mulling over ideas for next year's holiday extravaganza and hope I'll be included! Blessings all.

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    1. My pleasure, JoAnn! Welcome to the family at PBG! And it's a joy to have you here. Happy writing!

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  5. JoAnn,
    It's great to "see" you! I'm looking forward to reading "Meet Me..."

    We need to catch up - lot of things happening.

    Hugs,
    Edwina

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    1. Yes, we DO need to catch up, my friend! Hugs to you right back. Blessings.

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  6. JoAnn,
    I echo the "I love Christmas stories" comments above. And they can be read any time of the year by those of us crazy enough to enjoy Christmas music 365 days a year. :) Thanks for this post.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Mary! I'm having a ball reading all the Holiday Extravaganza books from Pelican Book Group. I hope you'll get a chance to read Jake and Julia's story. Many blessings to you!

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  7. JoAnn, looking forward to reading this one, also!

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