Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Author Spotlight: Daniella by JoAnn Carter (Encouraging faith though fiction)

When Harrison Beckman meets his father’s secretary, Daniella Duncan, she’s shy and self-conscious. Harrison, however, is determined to get to know her better. Before he gets to do that a rival comes along to steal Dani’s heart as quickly and thoroughly as the company’s contracts, which have been disappearing.

As the mystery unfolds, Harrison has to fight for the woman he loves, even though this means crossing swords with his father and his determined adversary. Will Harrison be able to find the love that could await them or will it be too late?

Author's note:  While in the middle of writing this story, I heard the song MIRROR MIRROR by Barlow Girl on the radio. As I listened to the lyrics, it hit me how many women like Dani, (the heroine in DANIELLA) struggles with self-image.

As the plot develops, and Dani comes to the realization God loves her the way he made her. I had to be honest and ask myself, "Do I believe that?" It’s easy for me to nod my head while I’m writing this, but it’s another story when I’m standing in one of those dinky changing rooms try to find a bathing suit for the summer!

Accepting myself is sometimes is a daily struggle. In the same way this story has challenged me, as you experience Dani growth reading this book, it’s my prayer that it will draw you closer to God as well. (If you’d like to hear Mirror Mirror, click onto this link: )

Read the excerpt!

Harrison took the folder from her extended hand. Her hand seemed so small, and he had the strangest desire to protect her from whatever inner battle she was fighting. "I’m sorry. I know you’ve been with our advertising firm for quite a while now, but until today, I’ve never met you." He added with a smile, "Forgive me, I’m horrible with names. What’s yours again?"

Her eyes grew wide. With a nervous catch, she said, "Daniella Duncan."

"I like that name. May I call you Daniella?"

She shrugged. "Everybody calls me Dani."

"I think I prefer Daniella." Still studying her face, Harrison added, "Somehow, Dani doesn’t seem to fit you."

"Oh, Dani fits me all right. It sounds short and fat." Her hand clamped over her mouth, and her eyes grew even wider. Harrison’s heart nearly broke when she asked, "Did I really say that out loud?"

It had been drilled into his head since he was a boy never to talk to women about two things: their age and their weight. Now, what should he do with this hanging hot potato? Ignore it. "I didn’t hear anything if you didn’t." He tried to continue with the previous introductions. "Everyone calls my father Mr. Beckman, so I go by Harrison."

"Okay. I’ll try to remember that." Daniella seemed to have reached her limit; she looked like a cat being chased by a mouse, desperate for escape.
"Um, I really need to get back now, so..."

"Sure. Thanks again." Harrison didn’t even know if she heard him as she turned and left with quick steps.

He stood quietly by his door and listened to the clickety-clack sound Daniella’s shoes made on the linoleum fade into a soft pitter-patter as she retreated down the hallway. He shut his door while contemplating the strange woman who was just in his office. Pretty but strange...yes, definitely strange. Finally, he shrugged his shoulders and went back to the tasks at hand.

Free discussion questions here:

Price: $3.50 (Special sale for 25% off of this price if you purchase Smuggler of the Heart. See purchase link below for details.)

Purchase link:

Visit JoAnn's Web site at

Connect with JoAnn on Facebook at

JoAnn Carter lives in Vermont with her wonderful husband of 18 years, four children and Ginger, the best dog in the world. She enjoys being with her family & friends, writing, reading, and cooking.

In the past JoAnn has worked as a Licensed Practical Nurse, an apple orchard guide and as a substitute teacher. She is available for speaking engagements to book clubs, reader groups, library groups, women's ministry events, school events and church retreats.

Her next book, The Floating Palace, will be released July 15th through Desert Breeze Publishing. You can access the book trailer here:

JoAnn Carter...Encouraging faith through fiction


Mary Manners said...


What a great spotlight. I really enjoy your work. Daniella is a real treat. I highly recommend it.

Best wishes in the new year!

Donna B said...

Great story! I'm looking forward to many more!

Nice interview too!

JoAnn said...

Mary and Donna,

Thanks so much for stopping by and for your encouraging words!


Sounds like a great read! Can't wait to dig in. And, oh, I can so relate to that dressing room and bathing suit war!

LoRee Peery said...

I loved this story. Women don't have to have anything "wrong" with their appearance to feel uncomfortable. Others don't see us as we see ourselves. It is hard to accept the earth suit at times. I have to remind myself that God sees the heart. Keep up the great work.

Marianne Evans said...

JoAnn always writes great stories, but Daniella really touched my heart, and is a highly recommended read. If you haven't already, pick it up. You'll be glad you did. JoAnn, blessings, and MUCH continued success.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for stopping by everyone. We lost power this morning or I would have chimed in sooner.


JoAnn said...

Wow-- I'm just getting back to my computer and what a blessing it is to see friends (and a few new faces) have stopped by.

Thanks for your kind words and for taking the time out to say, "hi." You're a blessing!

E.A. West said...

Wonderful spotlight, JoAnn! I can identify with your statement, "Accepting myself sometimes is a daily struggle." While I know I am the way God made me, accepting that can certainly be a challenge at times. Daniella touched my heart as I watched Dani's struggles with self image.

Thanks for writing this wonderful story!

Delia Latham said...

Hello, Cheryl and JoAnn! I've been headed over here for a couple of hours, but I kept losing my way... LOL
It's no secret by now that I absolutely loved Daniella. I think Loree is correct that, especially in today's superficial world, one doesn't even have to have anything "wrong" with her appearance to lack self-esteem. But for those of us who DO struggle with an appearance issue - whether it's weight, deformity, mousy hair, chunky ankles, blemished skin...whatever - Daniella is a book sent straight from God to speak to our hearts! I highly recommend this wonderful, easy-to-read story.

Cheryl said...

Thanks to all for taking a moment to stop by and leave your comments. I appreciate your suport of JoAnn and my blog.

God bless.