Posted in author interviews, book giveaways

Interview and giveaway with Author JoAnn Durgin!!!

Today I have a special treat for you. JoAnn Durgin is here to talk with us about her new release Twin Hearts. If you love contemporary romance, this book is for you! What’s especially exciting is that this book won’t be released until April 1, so you – my awesome blog readers – get first dibs on the inside scoop about this fab book.

One lucky commenter will be chosen to win a copy of Twin Hearts. (Please see below for all the details on how to enter).

And now, let’s welcome JoAnn!

Hello JoAnn! It’s wonderful to have you here. Can you tell us a little about your newest release? Twin Hearts features the parallel and simultaneous love stories of Louisiana twins Josh and Rebekah (“Beck”) Grant. They are each other’s best friend, and their loving, teasing relationship was a joy to write. The twins are volunteers in a Christian organization called TeamWork Missions (led by my core characters in The Lewis Legacy Series, Sam and Lexa Lewis). Even if readers haven’t read the first two books in the series, Awakening and Second Time Around, they can pick right up with this one. Josh was my wayward sheep in the first book; he’s handsome, funny and charming, but he’s seeking forgiveness for past transgressions. As the book begins, Josh is an up-and-coming attorney in Baton Rouge, and he goes to Houston to make his apologies to his former mentor, Sam. His last meeting with another TeamWork member still haunts him, and when he also seeks her forgiveness, he gets the shock of his life. Although Josh isn’t looking for love, he finds it in a most unexpected and tender way.

Rebekah is an elementary school teacher just outside Baton Rouge, and she’s at a personal crossroads. She has two men vying for her heart: a dashing British aristocrat and a quiet, faithful lumber man who’s also a TeamWork member. In a different kind of plot twist, a plan is hatched in Twin Hearts: give the girl what she thinks she wants in order to help her see what she really needs. Josh is instrumental in that plan, and at eight-minutes-older, loves playing the role of the wiser “big” brother and mentor to Rebekah.

My teaser about Twin Hearts is this: What do guppy lips, frog legs and a gazebo have to do with anything? Believe it or not, they’re very significant components. There’s another untraditional “twin” dynamic to the story, but readers will have to find that one out for themselves.

I can’t wait to read it! Now, you’ve hinted there’s a big secret revealed in Twin Hearts. Can you give us a clue? The only thing I’ll say is that it’s part of Josh’s storyline. My first reader called it a “very shocking, but sweet surprise.” I’m also not revealing the name of Josh’s love interest until the book comes out, with valid reason. Twin Hearts is full of love, humor, emotion, romance, fun dialogue, intriguing characters, drama, conflict—all the elements I hope you’ve come to expect from one of my books.

You write humor into your books, something many writers find difficult. Do you enjoy it? Nothing brings me greater joy than being able to make the reader smile or laugh. There’s enough sadness in life, and my books don’t shy away from that inevitable part of life, but I also strive to bring hope and light into my stories. I adore writing what I hope is witty, clever banter. I go very deep into point-of-view, and such internalizing hopefully helps the reader feel more connected to my characters. They are real to me, and I know that passion shines in my writer’s voice. My humor can sometimes be a little sarcastic, but indigenous to each character. What I love are those moments that make me laugh out loud. If it continues to make me laugh after multiple readings, I know it’s worth keeping.

What was the most challenging aspect in writing this book? Twin Hearts presented a unique challenge: how to go back and forth between the two stories without frustrating the reader? After moving a few chapters around, I realized I needed to do it chronologically and not worry about giving “equal” time to each couple. I wrote until the end of the scene instead of leaving the reader hanging. That might break some of those writer “rules,” but it would drive me crazy as a reader if I cut off a scene in the middle! In the end, it all works out fine. Frequent phone conversations between the twins (and a shared dinner) clue in the reader and keep the action moving forward. Because of a pivotal event in the lives of the twins, the stories converge about two-thirds of the way into the book.

What do you hope readers will take away from this book? Christians aren’t perfect, but we’re forgiven. We sometimes fall prey to the same temptations and sins as the rest of the world. It’s how we ultimately deal with the consequences of our sin that makes all the difference and can have an impact on others. My characters make mistakes—sometimes pretty big ones—and yet they pray, they seek to follow and honor the Lord, and when they stumble and fall, they pick themselves up and keep on going. Some have called my books modern fairy tales, with a dash of realism. I’m a firm believer in happy endings, and when you reach the end of one of my books, you’ll more than likely have a smile on your face.

I agree, JoAnn. I LOVE happy endings! Can you tell my readers where they can connect with you on the web? Sure. I love to connect with readers at my website at

Thank you for allowing me to tell you a little about Twin Hearts. Blessings, my friends, and may your light shine for His glory! Matthew 5:16

Thank you so much for being my guest, JoAnn. And now, here’s your chance to win a copy of JoAnn’s book! (Please note, the winner’s book will be shipped after April 1, 2012).

The rules to enter are super easy! Leave a comment for JoAnn (and yes, anyone can enter, but confirmed subscribers receive two entries and be sure to remind me that you’re a confirmed subscriber!)  Giveaway ends on March 22, 2012. A winner will be chosen at random using


Penny Zeller is known for her heartfelt stories of faith and her passion to impact lives for Christ through fiction. While she has had a love for writing since childhood, she began her adult writing career penning articles for national and regional publications on a wide variety of topics. Today Penny is a multi-published author of over a dozen books. She is also a homeschool mom and a group fitness instructor. When Penny is not dreaming up new characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters and camping, hiking, canoeing, reading, running, gardening, and playing volleyball. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and loves to hear from her readers at her website,, her blog,, and through her newsletter via

39 thoughts on “Interview and giveaway with Author JoAnn Durgin!!!

  1. Waving at JoAnn and Penny! JoAnn is not only a great author, but a loving friend. I enjoyed and reviewed her first book, Awakening. I’m sure this is another great read.
    Thanks for the sharing her story with us, Penny.

  2. Isn’t it wonderful to go to the mailbox and pull out a package that you just know is a book you are dying to read? Congrats to the winners of these 2 books. And Penny, thank you so much for hosting such incredible giveaways. You are a treasure, introducing us to great books that exalt our Lord! Thanks.

  3. OOPs…that was supposed to go to previous post…On this post I would LOVE to be one of those that goes to the mailbox and pulls out this adorable sounding book! JoAnn looks like you would be a HOOT to know! And thanks again Penny for hosting this giveaway.

  4. Good morning, ladies! Thanks for stopping by — your comments made my day! Penny, you are so special, and I’m honored to be featured on your wonderful blog. I learn something new from God’s Word with each book I write, and this one was no exception (plus I had a lot of fun with it). I hope you’ll all have a chance to read it (and wish you could all win!). Blessings to you!

  5. Hi, I’m so excited about JoAnn’s new book and can hardly wait to read it. JoAnn’s stories have gotten better and better in every way since I read her first book, which was a delight. That’s what I like about her writings….they are passionate in the right way, compassionate, happy, funny, and touch my heart about every other page. I love JoAnn’s delight with life – she is an encourager and has become a good friend very close to my heart. Thanks for this inviting giveaway and the chance to win a wonderful gift. I hope I do!

    Barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

  6. Your book sounds like it has twists and turns in the story
    line. It is such fun to read books like these!
    What genre of book are you working or thinking about
    writing in the future? I am a confirmed subscriber of
    Penny Zeller’s…
    Many thanks, Cindi

    1. Hi, Cindi! Yes, my books do have some twists and turns, but they’re also longer than most (although no one’s complained yet). In terms of genre, I’ll stick with contemporary Christian romance for the foreseeable future, although Awakening had a hint of mystery (I was a devoted Nancy Drew fan) and there’s suspense here and there in my book series. I also have a stand-alone book that has a lot of mystery, but it’s on hold right at the moment. I love to read historical romance, but simply don’t have the time for research. I’d be afraid the characters would say or do something wrong for the time period. I write what I like to read, and that’s modern characters who are relatable, and I have so much fun with them! Thanks so much, and many blessings!

  7. Wow could this cover be any cuter! I love it! Thank you for the giveaway! I’m a subscriber and a follower.


  8. I would LOVE to win Twin Hearts! 🙂
    JoAnn is a fantastic writer full of love, hope & inspiration.
    Thank you for the chance.
    Wendy S

  9. I would love to win Twin Hearts. I have bought many copies of JoAnn’s other books for myself and as gifts. I have also re-read them several times, and enjoy the freshness of her writing no matter how many times I read the story. They always have something new to show me as I read them.

  10. I feel like I’m a little late to the game. I just finished Awakening about a week ago—my first sample of Joann’s writing. 😀 It was great! Very different from the traditional Christian romance novel, in many aspects. Fun, lighthearted, but touching on some serious issues.

    Thanks for a sneak peek at the third in the series!

  11. It’s so wonderful to be here with some familiar friends, and some new ones. I wish you could all win my new book! Thanks so much for reading the interview and leaving comments. Penny is such a fun encourager for me, and doesn’t she have the best blog? She does so much, and I adore her books, too! Keep reading Christian fiction, friends, and thanks again! Blessings.

  12. I just finished book #2 and LOVED it – can’t wait for Twin Hearts. I have fallen in love with Joann’s characters, which is the result of good writing! Joann and I met in quite a unique way and discovered our common love for good Christian fiction – her writing it and me reading it!! I love the way she writes love stories that entertain and honor God at the same time. I am so thankful to be a part of this excitement! Keep writing Joann and I’ll keep reading!!!

  13. “Twin Hearts” sounds like a great read. Would love to win a copy. And JoAnn that is a great picture of you! I agree, Penny has a great blog.
    smoore at tcq dot net

    I am a subscriber.

    1. Sharon, thanks re: the photo. My husband, in particular, loves that one, and when I posted it as my Facebook profile photo, everyone encouraged me to use it for my new author photo. Appropriate since Awakening’s cover features the single yellow rose. And my sweet Kevin in Twin Hearts (also in Awakening and Second Time Around) takes one of the “center stage” roles in this new book. He shares your last name, you know. I just adore this guy, and I hope you will, too. Blessings!

  14. Love the cover! I would be delighted to win a copy of this book.

    I am a follower and subscriber!

    Blessings and thanks for this giveaway!

  15. Love the cover. JoAnn, I know I am going to love “Twin Hearts” and can’t wait to read. I already have on my wish list. Enjoyed your interview.
    Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  16. Hi. I enjoyed Joanne Durgin’s first book. I have the second book on my Kindle waiting for me. I would love to win this book. Thanks for the giveaway. I am a new follower/subscriber.

    sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

  17. Thanks so much, ladies! It means so much to me that some of you have enjoyed my previous books, and that all of you took the time to read about Twin Hearts and would like to win the signed copy. I’m glad I don’t have to choose the reader to win the signed copy since I truly wish every one of you could win! Thanks again to Penny for hosting me, and have a great weekend, everyone! Many blessings.

  18. a wonderful posting…thanks for the chance to read this fabulous story…love the cover, too 😉

    i’m a subscriber, too!

  19. Having read JoAnn’s first two novels, I don’t know that I’ve ever looked more forward to a book being released!! The characters in her books are so real and relatable, so sweet and endearing, and so much fun, that I wish I knew them all personally! On top of that there’s always something encouraging on a spiritual level to take away from JoAnn’s stories. Thanks JoAnn and Penny for a great interview.

  20. JoAnn~
    The cover of your book is so adorable….I can’t wait to read it. Do you choose the cover or does someone else?

    Thank you for the giveaway and a chance to win. I am a subscriber.


    1. Susie, I actually work with a cover designer and pick the elements I want added to my book covers. That’s one of the biggest perks of being with a small publisher. You’ll notice I also don’t put “people” on the covers of my books. I like the reader to have in her own mind what my characters look like (so they won’t be disappointed if the “real” or computerized model on the front doesn’t look like what they expected). Hope that makes sense. I pick symbols for what’s most important in my books. This cover works in a number of ways, but that’s all I’m saying. Don’t mean to be mysterious…but then again, I guess I do. LOL… ties in with the dynamic of the twins and the whole storyline. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Blessings.

  21. Thanks for stopping by and leaving comments, everyone! I appreciate them all, and look forward to having you all read the book (and really do wish you all could win the signed copy). Above all, thank you for reading Christian fiction! Many blessings.

  22. Wowza! I am so excited to see all of these wonderful comments for JoAnn! Thank you SO much, everyone, for stopping by and leaving an encouraging word for JoAnn. She really is quite a talented author and I’m looking forward to seeing who is chosen as the winner of her book!

    Thank you, JoAnn, for being my guest. It has been an honor to have you here!

  23. Thanks for having me here, Penny! What an honor it’s been. I can’t wait to see who wins the book, too! I hope I’ll be invited back (hint) for Book #4, Daydreams, a Christmas 2012 release! Many blessings.

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