Thursday, February 1, 2018

Book Boyfriends: JoAnn Durgin's hero


Interview with Sloan McClain, hero of Roundabout (book) by JoAnn Durgin:


JoAnn: Sloan, thanks for being my guest today. First of all, I understand you’re a legacy rancher—meaning your father was a rancher and taught you everything you know from an early age. What do you enjoy most about being a rancher?


Sloan: First of all, that it is a legacy. My grandfather was also a rancher. As an only child, I was expected to take ownership of Roundabout Ranch one day. I’ve always accepted my responsibilities in that regard, but it helps that I genuinely love ranching. There’s something about the physicality of working the land and raising cattle that’s inherently satisfying. It’s honest labor, but it’s also cleansing for the soul. It’s also a great time to talk with the Lord when I’m surrounded by my many blessings. (Smiles) Depending on weather and other factors, one day can be quiet while the next can be chaotic, but that keeps it interesting. No day is like the next, and it’s never boring. Ranchers also have a close network, and we help each other out when needed. Like a built-in support system. 

JoAnn: That’s wonderful. Can you tell us a little about your history with Jensen Callahan?

Sloan: (Chuckles) Where to begin? Jenny and I both grew up in Justis, a tiny town in West Texas. From the time we were kids, we’d see each other around town occasionally. We didn’t really get to know each other until high school. There was something about her that was different from the other girls. She was sassy, smart, and fun. She was also the prettiest girl in town with her long blonde hair and unique honey-colored eyes, but Jenny never thought she was pretty. To be blunt, her mom had something of a bad reputation around town, and her father was too fond of his drink. If I ever heard anyone make insinuations about her, my protective instincts roared like a lion. In spite of it all, Jenny was—and still is—one of the most sensitive and compassionate people I’ve ever known.

JoAnn: She sounds like a wonderful person. Did you two date in high school?

Sloan: Yes. One date and that was it...for both of us. Let me preface that by saying I had a tutor at the ranch for years. That way, I could schedule my classes and study times around work. When I was a senior in high school, I rebelled against my parents and insisted they allow me to attend public high school. For once in my life, I wanted to be with kids my age and have some fun. While I respected my parents, I was also independent and wanted my father, especially, to understand he didn’t own me. Jenny was a couple years younger than me, but we started going out. Unfortunately, my dad didn’t want me to see her (for reasons of his own). So, we had to sneak around. I supposedly spent a lot of time in the library and made a lot of new “friends” I spent time with that year. (Shrugs) I’m not proud of it, but that’s the way it was.

JoAnn: I hate to ask, but did you and Jensen (Jenny) break up at some point?

Sloan: We never broke up, and that was the hardest and most confusing aspect—there was no closure to our relationship. We loved one another, but there’s no easy way to say this except to come right out with it: Jenny’s father was murdered when she was 17. That night changed everything—she ran away from Justis. I was away studying at A&M, and I couldn’t believe she was gone. For 13 long years, I didn’t see her. I kept tabs on her, and I usually knew where she was. I tried to contact her several times, but it was clear she didn’t want to see me or talk to me. But as always, you’ve got to love the way God works behind the scenes. Neither one of us were Christians back in high school, but in His timing and in His way, we both came to know the Lord. Then He orchestrated the opportunity for us to finally see each other again…when Jenny was at a good place in her life, and I felt she wasn’t as much of a flight risk. (Chuckles) That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a shock when I walked back into her life unexpectedly. If there was any chance she’d run away again, I didn’t want to take it. (Shrugs a bit sheepishly)

JoAnn: Oh my! I’m so thankful you could see one another again, though. After all that much time had passed, what was it like seeing each other again?

Sloan: (Sigh). Jenny was—and always will be—the love of my life. She was my friend first and foremost, and we shared everything together. More than anyone else, she showed me unconditional love. While she was gone, I tried to forget her. I dated a lot of women, and I was even engaged for six months. But (massages his fingers over his forehead) no other woman could compare. They just weren’t my Jenny. When I saw her again, she was more beautiful than ever, and I knew she was the only one for me—then as now. As for Jenny, she didn’t push me away. She was wary at first, but she agreed to meet so we could talk.

JoAnn: Awww, that sounds like true love. I hope you two were finally able to get the closure you both needed.

Sloan: (Another sigh) We did, and I finally knew—and could understand—her reasons for running away. On the other hand, it also raised another big question in both our minds. I won’t go into detail, but suffice it to say, it turned out to be a very convoluted situation. 

JoAnn: Thanks for answering my questions today, Sloan. So, I trust you were able to reconnect with your first and forever love…and hopefully ride into the sunset together?

Sloan: (Wide grin spreads across his face) You need to read JoAnn Durgin’s novel, Roundabout, to find out the answer to that question.

JoAnn: Fair enough. Thank you, Sloan.

Sloan: (Tips his Stetson) It was my honor. Have a beautiful day!

~*~
Author Bio:
In addition to Roundabout, USA Today Bestselling Author JoAnn Durgin is the author of the prior eight novels in the beloved Lewis Legacy Series, as well as Prelude, the prequel to the series. 

Her other works include the Amazon bestselling Catching SerenityHeart’s Design and its sequel, Gentle Like the Rain, The Wondrous Love Series, Echoes of EdinburghPerchance to Dream, Whisper to My HeartThe Valentine VerseThee Will I Cherish, The Starlight Christmas Series, and The Serendipity 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. 

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Book Blurb for Roundabout:


At 17, Jensen Callahan fled her small hometown of Justis, Texas, the night her daddy was murdered. From the wrong side of the tracks, and with lingering suspicions but no answers, Jensen found a safe haven with a kindly Christian widow in Houston. Thirteen years later, Jensen finally feels settled and content as a faithful TeamWork Missions volunteer and the office manager for Doyle-Clarke Catering. When Sloan McClain walks into the office to hire the caterers for the West Texas Cattlemen’s Ball, her carefully guarded life is thrown into turmoil. One meeting is all it takes for Jensen to know the tall, dark, and devastatingly handsome cattle rancher—her first love and the boy she left behind in Justis—still holds her heart.

As his late father’s only child and heir, Sloan McClain now operates the family’s thriving cattle ranch and controls their vast oil interests and mineral rights. But for all his many blessings, Sloan’s days are empty and incomplete without a wife to share his life and raise a family. He’s never forgotten Jensen Callahan, the long-legged, golden-eyed blonde beauty he’d dated against his father’s wishes. He’d loved her, and no woman since has compared. After Jensen disappeared, he vowed to find her and bring her home one day, but each time he’d gotten close, she’d managed to slip away. Sloan refused to accept the heartbreaking possibility that she never wanted to be found, never wished to return.

All Sloan wants is a second chance with his first love, but he understands Jensen desperately needs closure about what happened to her father that fateful night in Justis. Together they begin to work toward finding answers as they renew their tentative and fragile friendship. But once they discover the truth, will it set them free or tear them apart forever?

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Buy JoAnn's book on Amazon

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Connect with JoAnn: 

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Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below: 

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21 comments:

  1. Thank you for featuring ROUNDABOUT and the interview with Sloan today, Alexis! I'm thrilled to kick off your book boyfriends series. Blessings.

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  2. Sounds like another fantastic JoAnn Durgin story! I can't wait to meet Sloan and Jenny. Sloan sounds like a worthy hero, indeed.

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    1. Thanks, Kathleen! I can't wait for you to meet them, either! :) Blessings, and thanks for the comment.

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  3. Loved this interview! Just started the book but looking forward to getting to know Sloan and Jensen better.

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    1. Hi Pam, and thanks for the comment! I hope you'll enjoy Roundabout, and I appreciate you being such a faithful reader. Blessings!

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  4. I like Sloan's adorable interview here!
    Janice
    pjrcmoore@windstream.net

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    1. Hi there! Nice to see you again. :) I'm glad you enjoyed the interview, and thanks for the comment. Blessings!

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  5. Sloan sounds like an understanding kind of man. Knowing Jensen needs closure and willing to help her find it. Fine traits, indeed.

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    1. Hi Arletta! Thanks for visiting the blog and leaving a comment. I hope you'll have the opportunity to read Sloan and Jensen's story. Blessings!

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  6. Love reading JoAnn Durgin's books!

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    1. Hi Beth! Thanks so much for the comment and being such a faithful reader of my books. Blessings!

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  7. Fun interview! I admire mostly that Sloan turned to the Lord. Also that he had "protective instincts", and that he kept pursuing Jensen. Sounds like a great book!

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    1. Hi Becky, and thanks for reading the interview with Sloan. He tells Jensen at one point that she taught him that you really can get it right the first time around. Sigh. :) Thanks for the comment! Blessings.

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  8. Loved this. I am a big fan if JoAnn's books.

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    1. Hi Ann! Thanks so much for sharing this blog post and for leaving a comment. Sloan is a special guy (if I don't say so myself). I appreciate your faithfulness to my books. Blessings!

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  9. WOW JoAnn...what an interview! I'm so intrigued :) I'm looking forward to read the book. Enjoyed the interview, thank you!!!

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    1. Hi Natalya! Thanks for reading the interview and for the comment. I hope you'll be able to read Sloan and Jensen's story soon. Blessings!

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  10. I loved the interview. Liked that Sloan understood and was willing to give a second chance. rose blackard (at) Gmail (dot) com Thank you

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    1. Thank you for your comment, Rose. :) Sloan is a very special man, and Jenny is just as special. I hope you have the opportunity to read their story. Blessings!

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  11. Great interview! I enjoyed reading this post. I am looking forward to reading this book..sounds great

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    1. Hi Jackie, and thanks! I'm glad you stopped by to enter and appreciate the comment. I hope you have the opportunity to read Sloan and Jensen's love story. Blessings!

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