Sunday, April 21, 2013

JoAnn Durgin's Novel Daydreams

Back Cover Blurb:
What the eyes conceal, the heart reveals. It's early December 2002, and Amy Jacobsen is living the dream: a job she loves with a trendy New York City magazine, a Manhattan walk-up inherited from her grandfather, and a busy social life without the unwanted complication of a steady boyfriend. During dinner one evening with her brother, Mitch, she spies Landon Warnick the next table over. He's influential, successful and one of the youngest magazine publishers in the country—not to mention one of New York's most eligible bachelors. After Mitch wrangles a meeting between the two, Landon wastes little time in asking her to dinner. Amy questions her sanity when they share a cozy carriage ride in Central Park and she comes this close to kissing him. Is it the joy and wonder of the Christmas season that's put stars in her eyes or the enigmatic, intelligent, challenging and incredibly handsome man?

The following weekend, she travels to Louisiana to be a bridesmaid in a wedding and a reunion with her friends and fellow volunteers in TeamWork Missions. Headed down the aisle in the wedding, Amy's steps falter. Standing at the front is a groomsman who flew into town only an hour before. . . She does a double take. What's Landon Warnick doing in her world, with her friends? Perhaps more important, why does he suddenly have a Texas drawl and a crescent-shaped scar on his forehead? Sharing a romantic dance at the reception, she casts aside her better judgment and kisses him. She's lost her mind and her heart might not be far behind, it seems. Let the adventure begin! Is the Lord showing her the “right” man for her heart or is Amy in way over her head? 

Book Excerpt: 

   Amy Jacobsen’s breathing slowed to a crawl. Swiveling on the counter stool at the upscale Manhattan eatery, she craned her neck to get a better view. Outside the large picture window of CAFÉ EDUARDO, holiday shoppers crowded the sidewalk as the tall, dark-haired man made his way toward the entrance. Landon Warnick. Tuning out the clink of glassware, piped-in holiday jazz and animated conversation all around her, Amy observed with unabashed interest as he held open the front door and ushered two austere businessmen inside. She’d seen his photo on the masthead of his magazine and splashed across the society pages enough times to recognize the founder and editor in chief of NEW YORK SCENE. The majority of men in her industry who’d reached Landon’s status were well past fifty with paunchy middles, deeply-grooved faces and more hair on their chins than their heads. Stereotypical or not, unfair or not, most smoked or drank like fiends. None of them looked like this. Ever the literary groupie, Amy catapulted the well-respected figure to the top position on her list of “Publishers I’d Like to Meet Someday.”
   Today might be that day.
   Closing the door against the onslaught of blustery, early December temperatures, Landon peeled off his gloves and greeted a man by the door with a hearty handshake and matching smile. No doubt, the publisher knew half of Manhattan, or the other way around. In person, he appeared younger and more personable than she’d imagined. All he needed was a baby to kiss and he’d be a worthy political candidate—towering over most men and seemingly in complete control of his world. The erratic rhythm of Amy’s pulse testified to his good looks. Hardly what she’d term a pretty boy—in spite of his impeccable clothing and slightly long but stylish haircut—he radiated a rugged masculinity in the way he moved, his posture and the set of those broad shoulders.
   When Landon removed his black overcoat—revealing a dark suit, white dress shirt and pale blue tie—it was impossible to ignore the dozens of women turning their heads in his direction. A disgustingly thin, bubbly blonde hostess bounced forward and greeted the group with a cloakroom attendant in-tow. After gathering their coats, the attendant hurried off as the hostess marched them past the small crowd already waiting for tables. All that and clout to spare.
   Lost in thought, Amy twisted back around to the front. She startled when the bartender placed a napkin beneath her half-Coke, half-Diet Coke and slid it across the bar. Resting his elbows on the highly-polished wood, he lifted velvety-brown eyes—fringed with insanely long lashes—to hers. New York City had enough cute, suave bartenders to fill Yankee Stadium, but she didn’t want or need one flirting with her. “Afraid he’s taken, sweetheart.”
   Her father was the only man allowed to use that endearment, but she hadn’t heard it from him in over four years. A wave of nostalgia swept through her and tears stung her eyes. Swallowing a sharp retort, she raised her chin. “I don’t know what you mean.” Glancing at the clock on the wall, she willed Mitch to be on time for once. Too bad this was the only semi-warm place to wait for her brother or an available table, whichever came first. Next week, she’d choose the restaurant.
   A low chuckle escaped as the bartender wiped a dry cloth over the bar, buffing it to a high shine. “Landon Warnick. He’s always a hit with the ladies. Gets ‘em all stirred up, but that guy’s married to his work.”
   “Excuse me?” Stirred up? “I only have the highest regard for Mr. Warnick as a writer, editor and publisher.”
   His laugh was hearty. “Sure. That must be it. His journalistic credentials.” When he anchored a lemon wedge on the side of her glass, it earned him a little extra tip for remembering that minor but important detail before he endangered it with a suggestive wink and a bet-you-can’t-resist-me smile. “Can I get you anything else?”
   Feeling awkward under his brazen scrutiny and embarrassed she’d been caught staring, Amy tucked a few strands of hair behind one ear, avoiding those flirtatious eyes. Surely the bartender didn’t believe her fascination with the handsome publisher would translate into a date—or more—with him. Sad though it might be, it probably worked with some women.
   “This is all I need, thank you.” The half-and-half was perfection, but she’d hug that compliment to herself. No sense in giving him undue encouragement.
   The bartender lowered his stubbled chin and surveyed her with puppy dog eyes, his smile revealing a deep dimple in his right cheek. “Name’s Marco, at your service. Are you sure there’s nothing else you—”
   Okay, enough of this. “As a matter of fact,” she said, lowering her glass, “maybe I do need something.” She hoped it came across as firm and businesslike.
   Hearing a grunt, she turned as Mitch dropped into the vacant seat beside her. “Hi, sweetie. Glad you could make it.” She gave him a peck on the cheek and pasted on a smile that begged him to play along.
   “Want anything from the bar, sir?” Marco tugged on the towel draped over his shoulder and swirled it inside a freshly-washed glass. Judging by his wink, he didn’t buy the idea she and Mitch shared anything other than genetics. Their matching dark hair and gray-green eyes gave them away every time.
   “Club soda with lime, please. Don’t let me interrupt. Go ahead, love bunny. Tell”—Mitch peered at the bartender’s nametag—“Marco what you need. I’m curious to hear the answer myself.”
    Might as well make this good. “It’s tomorrow night, but it’d be great if you could come,” she said, resisting the urge to laugh at the incredulity in her brother’s expression. After twenty-seven years, he shouldn’t be surprised she’d taken his bait.
    Serving Mitch his drink, Marco leaned one elbow on the bar and leaned close. “Sure thing. Where to, sweetheart? If it’s an AA meeting, I know a lot of the counselors.”
    Mitch turned aside and coughed as Amy met Marco’s gaze. “Actually, it’s Wednesday Bible study and prayer meeting at my church. Want to come?” Yep, that should do it. She avoided looking at her brother. He’d seen her in action before and she’d hear about it later. As expected, Marco ducked his head, mumbled something under his breath and wasted no time disappearing around the corner.
    “You’re a wicked one,” Mitch said, making an annoying clicking sound with his tongue. “Using your faith to turn away men. You can’t help yourself, can you?” As he raised his glass halfway to his lips, his grin was wry. “Is this your method of missionary dating, luring unsuspecting men to church under the guise of something or other?”
    “Of course not. Don’t be smug. That would be disingenuous.”
    “What’s that mean?” He shot her a look before draining his club soda. “I’m a stockbroker, not an expert on the English language.”
    “You know very well what it means or you should return that fancy Ivy League degree and demand your money back. I gave Marco the opportunity to go, and I’d love it if he’d take me up on the offer. On the other hand, if he’s not interested, it’s a surefire way to send a guy sprinting in the opposite direction. You saw what happened. He couldn’t get away fast enough. I guess that’s what I get for waiting in the bar—in the restaurant you picked, by the way—but it’s not like I’m going to find a man by strutting around Manhattan wearing a T-shirt that reads, ‘I’m a Bible-believing girl—Only Christians need apply’ emblazoned across my chest.” She frowned. “Not that I’m looking in the first place.”
    “First of all, you never strut,” Mitch said. “Maybe you should try the T-shirt idea, though. It’d be interesting to see the kind of response you’d get, although that slogan’s a whole lot more provocative than you realize. I’m afraid I’d need to summon the Chastity Patrol to protect your honor.”
    She blew out an exasperated sigh. “Give me a break, Mitch. Contrary to what you believe, I can take care of myself, thank you very much. The right man will come along in God’s timing, if it’s meant to happen. I’m in no hurry.” Drumming her fingers on the bar, she made a mental note to get a manicure—maybe splurge on a pedicure—before the wedding in Louisiana next weekend.
    “I’d pay good money to see Amy in love. It’d smooth out your rough edges, soften you up.” Mitch met her gaze. “Seriously, it’d be nice to see you smile and enjoy life more. You work too hard and play too little.”
    “Speak for yourself. It’s not like I’m sitting home alone, pondering my single status. As a matter of fact, I haven’t been home one night this week.”
    “Then I guess I shouldn't remind you it’s only Tuesday.”
    The corners of her mouth quirked. “You know what I mean. I stay busy and have plenty of friends.” She waited as Marco replaced Mitch’s drink. Why am I so defensive? Plenty of time remained on her biological clock and she wasn't anywhere near the desperation stage.
    “Snobs,” Mitch said with another fake cough.
    “Are you calling me a snob? And what’s with the coughing? Are you catching a cold?” She pressed her hand across his forehead.
    “No, Florence Nightingale. The company you keep. They’re snobs.”
    “Enough of that,” she said, withdrawing her hand. “Find a man who can challenge me and then we’ll talk.”
    “I imagine most men run in the opposite direction like Marco and don’t know what to make of you. The difference with you is you mean what you say. You’d love nothing more than for this guy to go to Bible study with you and maybe find Jesus.”
     “A girl can hope.”
     Mitch stared her down. “I know you’d never purposely pull a holier-than-thou, sanctimonious attitude, but have you ever considered you might come across that way?”
   Amy swallowed a sharp comeback. At least she tried to help others, even if her efforts—or her words—were sometimes misconstrued. Inside, she cringed, not wanting to admit there might be a sliver of truth in what Mitch said.

Author Bio 
Daydreams is JoAnn Durgin’s fourth published novel in The Lewis Legacy Series, following the popular Awakening, Second Time Around and Twin Hearts. JoAnn and her family live in southern Indiana and she works full-time as an estate administration paralegal in a Louisville, Kentucky law firm. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (national and Indiana chapter) and the Louisville Christian Writers, JoAnn’s prayer is that her contemporary romantic adventures will touch hearts and lives with the redeeming love of Jesus Christ. 
You can find out more about her at

You can purchase Daydreams at:

Or ask your local library to order it in for you!

JoAnn Durgin is giving away a copy of her novel DaydreamsThe giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


Boos Mum said...

I enjoy her stories. Glad she has written another one. I would so love to win this one. Please enter me.

sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Hummm! Sounds interesting. I've not read any of JoAnn's books yet. So will try to win this one. Thanks for this chance. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Hummm! Sounds interesting. I've not read any of JoAnn's books yet. So will try to win this one. Thanks for this chance. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

JoAnn Durgin said...

Thanks, Boos Mum! I think you'll enjoy this one and hope you get the opportunity to read it. Maxie, do you have a Kindle? My publisher has packaged the first three books in the series for only $9.99 in a bundle pack. My books are lengthy, and I like to think that's a really good deal. I appreciate your stopping by and leaving a comment, ladies. Thanks for your support of Christian fiction. We couldn't do it without you! Blessings!

KayM said...

I enjoyed the excerpt and would love to read Daydreams. Thank you for offering a copy.
may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. It sounds so good.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

jude urbanski said...

Sharon and JoAnn, a really fun and informative post! I've read all the Lewis Legacy series and this one is like icing on the cake. JoAnn's stories have-yes, always a page turning romance, but she also is able to impart reality of God's amazing love to us even at our most unlovable times.

I have the book, so please if I'm drawn, pass it on for some lucky person to read,

Patricia Bradley said...

JoAnn's books sound like the kind I like to read. Thanks for having her on here. Going to see about subscribing to your blog. pat at ptbradley dot com

Jo said...

This book sounds great!


Anonymous said...

I loved "Awakening" & "Second Time Around" I can't wait to read this one!

Anonymous said...

By the way, this is my favorite cover in the series, it's very pretty!
Emilee Douglas

Jo said...

Please enter me! This sounds so good.


Library Lady said...

I would love to win this book to add to our library shelves.
Thanks for the opportunity to do so.
Janet E.

Patty said...

I don't think I've read any of JoAnn's books, but after reading the excerpt, and being single myself I can't wait to read more!


Cynthia A. Lovely said...

I've read about JoAnn before and would definitely be interested in reading her latest book.

Teela said...

I would really really like to win JoAnn's book,She seems like she'd be so much fun to have as a friend!

JoAnn Durgin said...

Thanks for all the lovely comments, ladies. I wish you could all win the copy of Daydreams. It's a fun one and a personal favorite of mine in the series. Many blessings and thank you for your support and encouragement of Christian authors!

Merry said...

Loved the excerpt... now I want more! Thanks for a chance to win it.
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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