In the several years I have been reading books and posting reviews, I’ve never done this. I’ve thought about this for almost a week, and have decided to repeat the contest for “Second Time Around.” Of the three people who commented, only 1 followed the instructions and that post was several days after the deadline. So, I’m repeating the contest. Here is the original interview with JoAnn Durgin, author of “Second Time Around” and my review. At the end, will be the instructions for entering the contest.
Such is the case with Second Time Around, JoAnn’s latest book. A follow-up to Awakening, JoAnn’s debut novel, Second Time Around is the story of Marc and Natalie Thompson. It is the story of a love that is nearly lost due to a tragic accident, of a husband who fights for the life, and then for the love, of his bride. It is the story of a new love that is stronger – a “three cord strand” kind of love that cannot be broken. What a beautiful parallel between Marc and Natalie’s story and the story of God’s love for us – how He fought for our very lives because of His love for us. And His love for us is always stronger than a “three cord strand.”
Here is the synopsis from the back cover (and speaking of covers, don’t you love the front cover??)
Second Time Around will hold you captive from page one to the end. You will be swept up in the lives of Marc and Natalie and by the end of the book, they will be a part of your family. They will be a welcome addition and you will want to read their story over and over.
JoAnn, I know that you are an incredibly busy woman! How do you balance family, working full time, writing and all of the other activities you do?
It is a very delicate balancing act, and there aren’t enough hours in the day. My full-time paralegal job is demanding, and with a husband and three children, something had to give in order for me to devote the time I needed, and wanted, to my blossoming writing career. I resigned from my position as a floor manager with the Kentucky Center for the Arts in late February. I adored my wonderful volunteer staff, but now they’re cheering me on from the sidelines and are so faithful. It’s so gratifying to have a personal contingent of fans!
The short answer is the Lord sustains me, even when I feel like I can’t keep my eyes open or can’t keep going. It’s more of an energy (or lack thereof) thing with me these days, and since Awakening released in November 2010, it’s been an endless round of marketing, blog interviews and editing. Mind you, I’m not complaining, and I realize how blessed I am! The Lord has opened doors beyond my wildest expectations, and I am truly living the dream. How many people can truly say that? The other important thing to note is that the Lord gives me that peace to know that sometimes it’s okay to relax, to sit back and read or do something nice for myself. It reenergizes and refreshes me, and it’s every bit as important as all the rest.
Tell us about your family.
Sarah just turned 22, and she’s a college student and works part-time. Like her father (my husband, Jim), she’s quiet and intellectual, and loves great literature and classic movies. She also resembles Jim with dark hair and gorgeous hazel eyes. Chelsea is almost 19 and also a college student. She’s more the social butterfly, and independent like her mother, and yes, favors me physically with her lighter hair and eyes. Matthew is my 15-year-old, and what a love bug! He’s high-functioning autistic (Asberger’s Syndrome), but he’s the smartest, brightest, most intuitive kid you’ll ever meet. He can look at a skyscraper and build it from memory – almost to scale – with Lego blocks. He’s a freshman in high school this year, and doing very well. He’ll probably be an architect or a salesman (although meteorologist figures in, too). He’s atypical (in terms of the autism) in that he’s incredibly social and loving. Matthew embodies the love of Christ, and he will do great things through Christ who indeed strengthens him.
I understand that Awakening and Second Time Around are part of a series. Tell us how you thought of the idea for the first book and developed it into a series. Or did it even happen that way?
Yes, it’s called The Lewis Legacy Series, and the third book, Twin Hearts, is planned for release sometime in the early part of 2012. It picks up with the parallel love stories of the twins, Rebekah and Josh Grant, both already familiar to readers if they’ve read the other books. There’s something so familiar, comforting and lovely about revisiting old friends, and I like to think that’s true with this series. The books are all written, just waiting to be edited. The beauty in that is that I can go back and foreshadow certain events and add or delete certain things, if needed.
I never thought of writing a series until I rediscovered Awakening more than a decade after it was originally written, and it’s loosely based on my own love story with Jim. It’s a testament of God’s faithfulness. Awakening was the last manuscript I wrote before putting my writing aside for a decade. I’d encourage readers who aren’t familiar with the story to read about it on my website (www.joanndurgin.com). When I looked at it again with “fresh” eyes, I got the idea for a series featuring the different members of TeamWork, the volunteer missions group introduced in Awakening. The volunteers introduced in the books represent different regions of the country, professions, etc. I thought it would be a good way for each book to be a stand-alone love story and yet connected with the other books, with Sam and Lexa as my core characters and mentors to the others (including three of Sam’s siblings). Each one builds on the events of the previous books, but again, each one can stand on its own (and I’m not revealing to anyone how many books there are – suffice it to say, it’s a lengthy series).
Tell us one thing about yourself that your readers do not know.
Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog, Edwina, and for being a supporter of Second Time Around and my other books. It’s been a real thrill. Blessings to you, my friends. Matthew 5:16.