Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Donna Jo Stone & Joann

Posted May 15, 2024 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, clean, Donna Jo Stone, giveaway, historical, romance / 17 Comments

Donna Jo Stone interview

Please join me in welcoming author Donna Jo Stone to the blog today to chat about her new novel, Joann – part of the Apron Strings series where one cookbook connects women from 1920-2020.

Donna Jo Stone

Donna Jo Stone writes southern-flavored novels for the inspirational and general market. Her stories are often about people facing tough times. Not all of her books have romance but when they do, the romances are sweet. No graphic language, sex, or violence, just plenty of heart-tugging emotion with endings that leave readers with a sense of hope.

When she’s not writing or reading, she spends her time hanging out with family and friends, and occasionally visits bookshops and fabric sales. You can learn more about Donna Jo by visiting her at

Her novel, JOANN: Apron Strings Book Five, releases May 15 and is available for kindle, in paperback, and on KindleUnlimited.

Joann by Donna Jo StoneJOANN by Donna Jo Stone
Apron Strings #5

GENRE: Historical Romance (Clean)
PUBLISHER: Aileron Books
RELEASE DATE: May 15, 2024
PAGES: 214

One cookbook connects them all…

Joann ~ Book Five in a string of heartfelt inspirational stories, featuring different women throughout the decades from 1920 to 2020.

Twenty-four-year-old Joann Kincaid’s life ambition is to one day run the family’s general store in Pecan Grove, Louisiana. It’s 1965 and the times may be a-changing, but Joann’s father is stubbornly hanging on to old-fashioned views about what he wants for his daughter. She’s just as determined to prove she’s a capable businesswoman.

In the past, she entertained romantic dreams alongside her vision for the store but discarded those notions when her high school sweetheart, Nathan, left for college. Now he’s back to reestablish his family’s farm—and a relationship with Joann. She still loves him but isn’t sure she can trust him.

As the conflict in Vietnam escalates, there’s a real possibility Nathan could be drafted. Should Joann pursue her lifelong dream to continue her family’s legacy? Or give Nathan a chance to prove he’ll be her true and committed love before it’s too late for them?


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Other Books I’ve Featured in This Series

Hi Donna Jo! Welcome to the blog!

Donna Jo: Apples. There are so many varieties. I love fresh apples. I wouldn’t turn down apple pie, either.

Carrie: yum! yes please 🙂

Donna Jo: Winter, because I love the possibility of snow. I live in the south and it doesn’t often snow here. When it does, it is magical!

Carrie: I completely agree. I grew up with very snowy winters but since moving south they are few and far between – which makes snow all the more special when it does happen!

Donna Jo: I adore the smell of coffee, but drink mostly tea because I am sensitive to caffeine.

Carrie: if coffee tasted like it smelled, I would probably like it lol

Donna Jo: Soup! It’s warm and filling, and if company should pop by, you can stretch it out for one more bowl.

Carrie: so true!

Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?

Donna Jo: I am a master at collecting fabric and art supplies. I like to organize them for short periods of time. I am also good at planning art projects. Not that any of this means there will be an actual product created. Sometimes there is, which is a nice change of pace from the usual activities of spreading the supplies out on a work surface to gather dust. I also like recycling and upcycling things, I suppose a holdover habit from saving toilet paper empties for VBS.

Carrie: haha! i love this answer

Q: Who is your favorite book character from childhood?

Donna Jo: Winnie-the-Pooh. He’s exactly the kind of bear you’d want to spend an afternoon with, kind, undemanding, and happy to stop and have a treat with his friends or take a walk and enjoy the simple pleasures. 

Carrie: Winnie-the-Pooh is the best ♥

Q: If I asked your characters to describe YOU as an author, what would they say?

Donna Jo: They might say I bother them at all hours of the day and night. When an idea strikes, it’s usually at odd times. Then I find myself making notes or editing at two in the morning. I’d be ever so annoyed if a person kept changing my name the way I rename my story people.

Carrie: LOL!!

Q: What surprised you about Joann or your characters as you wrote their story?

Donna Jo: I started with the idea of a young woman navigating the changing roles she might face in the 1960s. I knew she would feel torn between running the family store or getting married, and that her relationships would be complicated. She’s strong-willed and persistent, but I was surprised to find she was also plagued by self-doubt and quietly vulnerable. Her vulnerability plays out in her closest relationships. The sweetness between the sisters was a nice discovery, and heart-tugging at times. I may have cried a little as I wrote about them.

Carrie: I love discoveries like that as a reader, too!

Q: Were there any songs that inspired you as you wrote Joann?

Donna Jo: Because the story takes place in the 60s, I made a huge playlist to listen to while writing Joann’s story. I can’t say there was one particular song, but I began to get a feel for Joann by listening to the music of the era. The characters in this story would have gone to plenty of music events and listened to KWKH, the radio station out of Shreveport known for the popular music show, The Louisiana Hayride. In the story, Joann visits a fictional recording studio based on RAM, a woman-owned recording studio located in Shreveport at the time. As you may be able to tell, music played an important part in this story!

Carrie: that sounds like a fun playlist!

Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from Joann & why do you love it?

Donna Jo: “At the first chord of an old hymn, the music took Joann back and grounded her in the present simultaneously. The only thing better than being in the arms of her family was to be in the arms of Jesus, and the music reminded her how blessed she was.

Nothing was as glorious as being with loved ones, celebrating God’s goodness in the company of believers.”

I love this quote because music has always stirred me. We all have favorite hymns or special songs. Music has a way of capturing a moment, bringing back memories, or evoking deep emotions, and sometimes all three at the same time.

Carrie: so true! I always say that story is the language of my heart but music speaks to my soul.

Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.

Donna Jo: I have two books slated for release later in 2024.

When the Wildflowers Bloom Again is set in 1978 rural North Louisiana. After being assaulted by her cousin, fourteen-year-old Marigold Parker finds out she’s pregnant. She knows babies are a gift of God, but doesn’t know who to turn to for help. It’s a story about family, betrayal, and the beginning of healing.

The Key Collector’s Promise, a domestic suspense romance, is part of the Our House multi-genre inspirational series. All the stories are set in Eden Cove, an English coastal village. My mom was from England, so I couldn’t resist joining in! The Key Collector’s Promise is set to release in September.

Joann giveaway

Donna Jo Stone is offering a print – or ebook – copy of Joann to one of my readers! (US only for print. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What makes you want to read Joann by Donna Jo Stone?

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17 responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Donna Jo Stone & Joann

  1. Valerie Stoj

    I love Joann – the novel and the character! I cheered for her as she discerned her future, and I related to her relationship with her father. I was fascinated with the descriptions of running a small family-owned store, which reminded me of The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery by Amanda Cox. I wonder if I was a shopkeeper in a former life. ;0)

  2. Kay Garrett

    Thank you for the interview with Donna Jo Stone. Great way to find out more about this new to me author. Especially loved the quotes! Can’t wait for the opportunity to read and review “Joann”.

  3. Stephanie Daniels

    Joann is a delightful read. Donna has a gift at making character’s real and showing their inner struggles. I hope many readers find her stories.

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