Author Spotlight Header Image
Author Spotlight,  Giveaway,  Hope-filled Fiction

Donna Jo Stone: Spotlight on Joann: Apron Strings Book Five

Joann: Apron Strings Book 5 is full of a number of my favorite things, so I thought I’d highlight a few that I incorporated into the story.

Old stores. Historical places you can walk through fascinate me. While my story takes place in fictional Pecan Ridge, Louisiana, I based my store on one like T.C. Lindsey & Co., a family run store in Texas that’s been open continuously since 1847. Currently, T.C. Lindsey is a combination museum and store, selling clothing, snacks, books, and gifts. As I meandered through the store, I imagined what life was like for the people who’d lived and worked there in the past, from trading post days to more recent times. If the walls could truly talk, you can be sure I’d be taking notes!

Strong families. Even if they are imperfect and have issues. No spoilers here, but Joann’s world is shaken up quite often due to family.

Romance. Joann is a bit of a wallflower when it comes to romance. She got her heart broken once by the only boy she ever loved, yet they’re still friends. Because the story is a romance, you can guess what happens by the ending, but let’s just say it can be a bumpy road because of their history. 

Sisters. Joann has the role of both big sister and fill-in mother for her younger sibling, making for a complicated relationship. But what sister relationship isn’t complicated? Their devotion to each other is the bond that helps them through tough times.

Small community. The regulars coming into the store every morning for coffee and a game of checkers. The sweet neighbor lady missing her deployed son, a lady who Joann tries to help by giving her a job in the store. The high school rival showing up periodically to poke at Joann. (In a small town, there’s always someone to add a little salt to the sweet, isn’t there?)

History. Joann’s story takes place as the conflict in Vietnam is escalating. The 1960s is a fascinating time to study, and I found plenty of old photographs and newspaper articles. In Joann’s story, I integrated a few recognizable locations and events, such as Barksdale AFB, Shreveport places of business, and KWKH radio. Before I started writing Joann, I had no idea RAM records in Shreveport was actually a woman-owned business. It wasn’t common for women to be in those positions at the time. For Joann’s story, it seemed natural for her to visit with such a person, so I created a character and studio inspired by the idea of a woman owner. 

Music. In my novel, Joann goes to the drive-in to see the (then) newly released movie The Sound of Music, which my family often teases me over because I know all the songs. It may have been the subconscious inspiration for this post! 

I hope my readers find many of their favorite things sprinkled throughout Joann’s story, but even more, I hope they come to a greater understanding of the comfort of leaning on and trusting in God.

Comment on Donna Jo Stone’s spotlight post by May 21 for a chance to win her book, Joann: Apron Strings Book 5. (Signed PB for US winner or ebook for international) #giveaway


Click the book cover for purchase link

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?

Available for kindle, in paperback, and on KU.

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.

Connect with Donna Jo: Website / Facebook / Instagram / Goodreads / Amazon / YA Almost an Author Writing Column

As a Jesus girl for more than thirty years, Deena Adams understands how important hope is to daily life, which fuels her passion to inspire others through hope-filled fiction based on true to life stories. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and is a multi-award-winning writer, an active ACFW member, and ACFW Virginia president. Connect with Deena through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.