Monday, January 22, 2018

Celebrate Lit Tour featuring JoAnn Durgin's novel "The Valentine Verse"

Welcome to my blog's stop on JoAnn Durgin's book tour! She's here to share insights about her new novel "The Valentine Verse". I've included my review of JoAnn's book. 

I hope that you will enjoy this fun feature!

My Review of The Valentine Verse:

"The Valentine Verse" is a creative, heart-touching, lovely story written by JoAnn Durgin.

The characters are complex and likable. The author drives the reader deep into the characterization of Thornton (the hero) and Vara (the heroine). It was impressive to see how the author gently peeled back the multilayered backstories of her main characters and used their experiences, joy, and pain to weave a beautiful love story.

I thought that the way Thorton and Vara met in the cafe was unique, mysterious and sweet. The scene made me curious to know more about Thorton and it made me wonder if Vara would ever let her guard down enough to let a man like Thorton woo her heart. 

Thorton's grandmother was a true gem. I liked the role she played in bringing Thornton and Vara together. The author also weaved the grandmother's backstory into the plot in a way that was not distracting from the main plot but just enough to satisfy the reader's curiosity.

The pacing of this plot was perfect. The dialogue was clever and refreshing. 

I think that this book deserves a solid 4-star rating on!

*Celebrate Lit provided me (Alexis A. Goring) with a complimentary copy of The Valentine Verse. My opinions in this book review are my own.

About the Book:

Author: JoAnn Durgin 
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 5, 2017

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for February 14th anymore! Love should be celebrated every day of the year. That’s Thornton Fielding’s philosophy. In spite of a few false starts in the arena of love, he holds out hope he’ll eventually find the woman of his dreams. The problem? He loves his job, and there’s no end in sight to his travels. But when Thornton returns to his tiny hometown of Cherish, Minnesota, he meets a beautiful and intriguing woman he believes might be God’s answer to ending his bachelor status—permanently. 

Vara Alexandris is soured on love and scoffs at the notion of soul mates. But soon after meeting the handsome and unconventional Thornton, the speech and language pathologist suspects he might be the perfect ally to help jump-start her stroke patient’s recovery—if only Vara can keep Thornton grounded in Cherish long enough. This man who spouts romanticized and idealistic ideas about love seems all too eager to resume his world travels. 

Could it be Thornton actually prefers globetrotting in order to avoid a romantic relationship? Is it time for Vara to call the dreamer’s bluff? And can Thornton convince Vara to put past heartache behind her and trust in God’s plan for her heart? 

Join Thornton and Vara in USA Today bestselling author JoAnn Durgin’s latest release full of her trademark humor, romance, and lively, small-town characters in a story of God’s fierce passion and loving guidance for His children—if only they pay attention!

The Valentine Verse is sure to warm your soul during any season of the year. 

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author:

JoAnn Durgin is the USA Today bestselling author of the beloved Lewis Legacy Series as well as Prelude, the prequel to the series. Her other works include the Amazon bestselling Catching Serenity, Heart’s Design and its sequel, Gentle Like the Rain, The Wondrous Love Series, Echoes of Edinburgh, Perchance to Dream, Whisper to My Heart, Thee Will I Cherish, The Christmas Challenge, and the popular Starlight Christmas Series. 

A former estate administration paralegal, JoAnn now writes contemporary Christian romance full-time and lives with her family in her native southern Indiana. Writing Christian fiction is her passion, and she loves nothing more than sharing the hope to be found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.


Guest Post from JoAnn Durgin

A Little More about The Valentine Verse from JoAnn Durgin (author):

I adore writing and reading contemporary Christian romance, but I’ve noticed very few novels in the genre have an actual Valentine’s Day theme and/or title. Perhaps authors believe it would limit the “shelf life” of their book. 

The way I see it, if Christmas novels (and Hallmark Christmas movies) can be popular year-round, why not Valentine’s Day books? I’ve always been somewhat of a rebel in my writing career. Don’t tell me I can’t do something or I might just try it (within reason)! After a Christmas release last year followed closely by the eighth installment (500 pages) of my longest-running series, I knew I couldn’t possibly release a Valentine’s Day book. That’s when one of the primary themes of The Valentine Verse “hit” me—Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be reserved only for February 14th. Expressing our love to one another should be celebrated throughout the year! This concept became the philosophy of the hero, Thornton Fielding, and the book released in early May. 

Let me tell you a little more about the idea for Thornton…I dedicated The Valentine Verse to my uncle, Mr. Thornton, and named my hero after him. My uncle was instrumental in my being able to quit my full-time paralegal job in mid-August 2014. Without going into specific details, there were three things that took place (“signs,” if you will) beginning earlier that same year, which seemed to clearly indicate I should try to make writing my full-time career. 

My debut novel released in late 2010 and the story of my road to publication can be found on my website at By early 2014, my books were beginning to find faithful readers, and I was blessed with decent sales. The third and final “sign” and blessing came from Mr. Thornton. Truly, it was as if God were saying, “JoAnn, what more will it take for you to step out in faith?” I promised the Lord and myself that I’d take a year and see how it went…and I haven’t looked back since! I took the leap of faith, but I’m also doing what I feel the Lord has called me to do. 

Almost three years to the day of quitting my day job, I released my 24th novel. God is so good, and it is my great honor and privilege to write for His glory. Thank you to Celebrate Lit for the gracious opportunity for this blog tour. The Valentine Verse features fun characters (how can you miss with a small Minnesota town named Cherish?), heartwarming lessons, *sightings* of two of my most popular heroes from another series, and even a surprising twist at the end! 

I hope you’ll enjoy The Valentine Verse

Blessings, friends!



*Matthew 5:16*

Blog Stops

Mommynificent, January 10
Power of Words, January 10 (Spotlight)
Karen Sue HadleyJanuary 11
Reading is my Super Power, January 11 (Interview)
Quiet Quilter, January 12
RemembrancyJanuary 13
Bibliophile Reviews, January 15
Texas Book-aholic, January 16
Janices book reviewsJanuary 18
Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 19
Carpe Diem, January 20
Simple Harvest Reads, January 21 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
God is Love, January 22
A Greater YesJanuary 23
margaret kazmierczak, January 23 (Interview)
Pursuing StacieJanuary 24
BigreadersiteJanuary 24


To celebrate her tour, JoAnn is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!


  1. Thank you for your wonderful review on "The Valentine Verse". I can't wait to get to read this book.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Hi Kay, and thanks so much for following along with my blog tour for The Valentine Verse! I truly hope you can read Vara and Thornton's story soon. Blessings, and thanks for the comment!

  2. oh your review is wonderful. add that to the excerpt and ohhh I have to get this book. thanks.
    quilting dash lady at Comcast dot net

    1. Hi Lori! I appreciate your following along on my blog tour for Thornton and Vara's story in The Valentine Verse. I hope you'll have the opportunity to read it soon. Blessings!

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you for commenting, Cheryl! I hope you'll be able to check out The Valentine Verse or another of my books sometime soon. Blessings!

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you, Kelly! I hope you'll be able to read Vara and Thornton's story. I appreciate the comment. Blessings!

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks, Emma! Thornton and Vara have plenty of fun moments in The Valentine Verse. I hope you'll be able to read their story. Blessings, and thanks for the comment!

  6. I really enjoyed this blog today!

    wfnren at aol dot com

    1. Thanks for reading about The Valentine Verse, Wendy! I hope you can check out the book soon. Blessings!

  7. I love how it is romantic but in a modern way, it could be a true story, but so much better! I love Valentine's every day, that would be wonderful!


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