Monday, November 11, 2013

Christmas Release 2013 series: Starlight, Star Bright by JoAnn Durgin

JoAnn Durgin
Happy Veteran's Day, everyone! Sincere thanks for everyone who has served our country. You are all heroes! Today, I'm excited to continue our Christmas Release 2013 series here on Seriously Write. Join us for an interview with author JoAnn Durgin, who visited last Christmas with her previous Christmas novella release. Sounds like a new tradition! Enjoy! ~ Annette

An Interview with JoAnn Durgin

Welcome, JoAnn!

How did this project take shape?

I had such fun writing Meet Me Under the Mistletoe last year that I decided I wanted to try writing another Christmas novella. When I began this one, I wasn’t thinking about writing a sequel, but to my surprise and great delight, many of my readers asked if I was going to write about Starlight, Iowa and its fun, quirky residents again. So, the idea was conceived—and the title, Starlight, Star Bright, came to me rather effortlessly. Truly, this novella was a joy to write and I hope the blessing of the Christmas spirit shows in these characters and their story.

Please share some themes of your story. 

Trusting in the Lord’s plan for our lives is one of the main themes of Starlight, Star Bright. It’s about being true to yourself but also how the things of this earth are temporal as opposed to the things of the Lord being eternal. It’s based on scripture from James 4:13-15: 13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”(NIV) 

What makes your project stand out from other Christmas titles?

The fact that it’s a sequel makes this novella unique, which isn’t something I see often with Christmas-themed books (although there are some). Also, Starlight, Star Bright features an ending that’s a little different (don’t worry, I’m a queen of happy endings!), but it’s completely fitting, endearing, and perfect for my hero and heroine, Dante Moretti and Amanda Marston. Also, this novella features a very special holiday wedding…but that’s all I’m saying.

Tell us one interesting fact about your novella.

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe featured a hero who’s the Fire Captain in tiny Starlight, Iowa. In that book, Jake Marston didn’t fight any fires apart from a small kitchen fire at Barney’s Diner. However, in Starlight, Star Bright, Jake and his team do fight a fire, and it’s wonderful to see how the town residents pull together to help the family who has lost their home.

What’s next for you as an author?

I’ve just released a standalone novel called Catching Serenity, set in the fictional town of Croisette Shores, South Carolina. It’s about a woman who lost almost everyone she held dear five years ago. After living in Atlanta for five years, she receives a mysterious note urging her to come home to find her answers. Child psychologist, Jackson Ross, hires Serenity to decorate his new office in Croisette Shores and begins to suspect one of his patients may hold the key to unlocking her secrets. But how can he tell the woman he’s grown to love what he knows without compromising his personal and professional ethics? And when Serenity eventually discovers the truth, will he lose her forever?

I’m currently working on Moonbeams, Book #5 in The Lewis Legacy Series. It will most likely release in the early spring 2014 (I’m aiming for Valentine’s Day, but we’ll see).

What else would you like to share about this project?

This will probably be my last visit to Starlight, Iowa (never say never, right?). I’ve started pondering ideas for yet another Christmas novella. As an author, I’d personally love to make this an annual tradition and introduce readers to many more fun small (but fictional) towns across our great nation.

It was great having you here today, JoAnn! We wish you the best!

Texas-born goalie and World Cup champion, Dante Moretti, only expected tiny Starlight,
Starlight, Star Bright
Iowa to be a blip on the radar of his life. Stopping at Barney’s Diner for a meal two weeks before Christmas, Dante meets two women who quickly capture his heart in very different ways. Then his rental car won’t start, stranding him overnight. Could the Lord have 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?


Starlight, Star Bright is the sequel to the popular Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, part of Pelican Book Group's 2012 Holiday Extravaganza. The author of seven books, JoAnn Durgin is 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.


  1. I love your titles JoAnn, and your covers. Look forward to reading your books. Blessings~

  2. I love the scripture in James and used it in the project I'm finishing now. Your story sounds very romantic, JoAnn.

  3. I'm with Diane on this, JoAnn. Always a beautiful cover and your titles rock! Starlight, Star Bright sounds delicious! Blessings on your holiday season, JoAnn!

  4. Thanks, ladies! I truly do love writing the Christmas stories, full of such hope and love for the holiday season. Hope you'll get a chance to read it! Thanks so much for your comments, and blessings to you and yours as we head into this most special time of the year!

  5. Loved the interview and review. Looking forward to reading it. Love the cover.

  6. I loved both "Meet Me Under the Mistletoe" and "Catching Serenity." Looking forward to reading this new Christmas novella, JoAnn. And I agree with the other comments ... nice cover!

  7. I love Christmas books and sequels, which makes your novella s must for me! Great cover.

    1. Thanks so much, Terri! Guess what? Starlight, Star Bright released late yesterday (11/11/2013), so both novellas are available now! I hope you get a chance to check them out. Thank you so much for your interest, and blessings!


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