Guest Author & Giveaway: Julia London featuring Summer of Two Wishes

Tuesday, August 18

***This contest is now over. Thanks for entering!***
Today it is my complete honor to be featuring what I consider to be Julia London’s finest novel, not just of this year, but of all-time...Summer of Two Wishes. I have been a longtime fan of her writing, and knew this was going to be an auto read for me when I saw she had a new book coming out. Previously I had only read her historical romances, and had a feeling just from the front cover, without even reading the back cover, that this book was going to be different.

Summer of Two Wishes was a book that I immediately connected to. Read the first chapter excerpt and I think you will understand what I mean. It is a complex passionate love triangle involving Finn, the soldier who has been held secretly captive by the Taliban for three years and has been declared dead by the US Military. Macy his beloved wife who deeply mourned him every day until she decided that she had to start living again, and Wyatt the man who saved Macy from her grief and offered her a renewed life and a promise of love.

I made the mistake of starting this book before going to be one night. I usually read before going to bed, so this was nothing new. However I became so captivated by the characters of Cedar Springs, engrossed by Macy’s dilemma in having to choose between the two men that she loves dearly and the obstacles that each of them must overcome until the conclusion of the novel that I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to finish this book in one sitting. I could not put it down. I hated that it had to finish; that I had reached the end. It was a touching, smoldering, heart wrenching love story where tough decisions had to be made and one heart inevitably had to be broken.

I absolutely loved Summer of Two Wishes and can’t recommend it highly enough. This was a 5 star read, and can’t wait to read the next book set in Cedar Springs! It is a great summer read, and would even be perfect for a reading group. Keep reading to learn more about this lovely story in an interview with Julia London and for a chance to win one of two copies being given away.

Whose wife was she?

Macy Lockhart's life shattered in a moment with the news that her husband, Finn--serving in the military overseas--has been killed in the line of duty. Their ardent and devoted marriage is over, leaving Macy alone and directionless. But while she tries to sustain herself with memories of Finn, the quiet, strong man who made her and their small Texas ranch the center of his life, it is wealthy Wyatt Clark who slowly brings joy back into her life. Her love for Wyatt may be less romantic than the breathless passion she'd once shared with Finn, but she vows to cherish him, and their marriage is happy and solid as a rock. Until the day that Finn, miraculously spared from death, returns home to claim his bride...

How can a woman choose between the two men she loves? And how will she make the right choice--for herself and everyone involved?

Read an excerpt


Welcome to Seductive Musings Julia! Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Thank you so much for having me! I really appreciate the opportunity. As for myself, alas, there is nothing too terribly exciting. I have published twenty-five novels, which honestly surprises the hell out of me, and have lots more in the works. I live in Austin with my husband. I am dog lover, brownies are my favorite food group, and I took up running a year and a half ago. I worked as a public administrator in the White House and in Austin before I finally realized I simply could not do that the rest of my life. So I started writing. I wrote a romance novel, because that’s what I was reading at the time, and I seemed to have a knack for it. Voila, here I am, ten years later. I love to laugh, I love to travel, and I love for someone else to clean my house.

For you, what makes a romance novel a great love story, and who are some of your favorite authors to read? What's on your keeper shelf?

Oh, good question. Let me say first that personally, I like to read about strong characters in interesting situations, peppered with humor and lots of emotional heft. The characters don’t have to be perfect for me—I like to read about their redemption. I think that a great love story involves all of that: Humor, emotion, two people who have compelling reasons to love one another and fight to be together. But for it to be a really great love story, there has to be a great conflict, something that seems insurmountable that the lovers must overcome to achieve their Happy Every After. I have so many books on my keeper shelf. Some of my favorite romance books are Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught, Summer by the Sea but Susan Wiggs, All Through the Night by Connie Brockway, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman.

Tell us a little bit about Summer of Two Wishes, your newest contemporary romance.

There is definitely a couple of insurmountable obstacles! This is the story of a woman who loses the love of her life to the war in Afghanistan. She grieves for a long time but finally comes to the realization that life is worth living again. She meets another man who helps lift her out of her despair and falls in love with him. About three years after she last saw her first husband, she is settling into life as a newlywed again and gets word that there has been a mistake—her first husband isn’t dead at all; he’s been held captive by the Taliban, escaped, and now he is coming home. Of course that is happy news, but then the inevitable question rises up: Whose wife is she? She loves two men, and two men love her, but she must choose, and someone is going to be hurt.

The book trailer for Summer of Two Wishes is incredibly moving. It really sets up Macy’s emotional dilemma in choosing between her two men, and made me so eager to read this book. The premise of your story, a love triangle involving a war hero, could unfortunately be ripped from today’s headlines. What was your inspiration, or muse for Summer of Two Wishes?

It started with my nephew, who joined the Marines a few years ago because he thought it was the right thing to do after the events of 9/11. I’ve really admired him for that. He served two tours in Iraq, but is out now and on to his new life in construction. When you have a loved one over there, the thought of losing them is never very far from your mind. In addition, annually our local paper runs an issue of all the men and women from Central Texas who have lost their lives in the war. You cannot look at those pictures and not imagine the grieving families who would give anything to see them come home. It’s heartbreaking. I began to think, what if one of them did come home? What would he or she come back to? How would life have changed? My imagination went from there.

You are most know for your historical romances, for someone who has not read your contemporary romances yet, what would you say to convince them to give it a try?

I think that the voice that draws some readers to my work is voice they will find in my contemporary fiction, as well as the elements they have come to expect from me. There is humor, there is emotion. There are fully-realized characters. I also hope the subject matter will entice readers. It’s hard to know what attracts readers to certain books, but I know that I’ve always written the kind of books I like to read. The historicals I write have emotional angst in them, but they are flights of fancy. This book is a little different because like you say, it could be ripped from today’s headlines. I hope the reader believes they may rely on me to tell the story in a way they can relate to. Other than that, it’s anyone’s personal preference, but I sincerely hope they will give it a try.

What other books can readers look forward to in the near future?

I have a lot of things in the works! In October 2009, the last book of my historical Scandalous Series, A Courtesan’s Scandal (following Book of Scandal, Highland Scandal) will be released. In 2010, One Season of Sunshine, another book set in Cedar Springs, Texas will be out, as well as the start of a new historical quartet, The Secrets of Hadley Green. That series is set in 1807, in the village of Hadley Green south of London. An old crime wreaks havoc in the lives of several people as they try to determine what truly happened all those years ago. In the course of discovering the truth, several secrets are revealed and unlikely pairings occur because of it. I have just started writing the series and I love it.

If you could ask readers a question, what would it be?

What draws them to any given book? It’s sort of a pop quiz—quick, tell me the first thing that comes to mind. It’s very interesting to me to know what other readers see when they look at all those books in a bookstore or online.

Where can readers connect with you?

Everywhere! I’m online everywhere, because how else can I procrastinate properly when I am chained to a computer all day? Here are the places they can find me and say hi at Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Goodreads, The Whine Sisters, and The Goddess Blogs

Finally, just for fun, what is your favorite quote?

This quote is taped to my filing cabinet:

“There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” W. Somerset Maugham.

Julia London Revealed:

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. Live Outside the Box!

Q. What’s your greatest fear?

A. Losing the ability to write, either physically or mentally

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?

A. I talk with my hands

Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

A. No hesitation - chocolate

Q. What do you regret most?

A. No regrets!

As I previously said this book would be a great read for the end of the summer, with a group of your friends, or with a book group. Get together after reading the book and enjoy the Book Club treats on Julia's website where she has recipes (which look mouthwatering), music that inspired the book and would be great companions to your get together (really gets you into the Texas state of mind), and links to charitable organizations you may wish to contribute either time or money to after reading Summer of Two Wishes.

I mentioned being charitable didn't I...courtesy of Pocket books I have two copies of Summer of Two Wishes to giveaway! Trust me, you really want this one so take advantage of the many different ways to earn extra entries, but to be eligible make sure you answer Julia's question to readers in addition to leaving a meaningful comment.

"What draws them to any given book? It’s sort of a pop quiz—quick, tell me the first thing that comes to mind."

Ways to earn entries:

  • In order to be eligible you must answer Julia's question she posed to readers in the interview, and leave a meaningful comment
  • Become a follower of Seductive Musings, and/or mention that you are already a follower in your comment (good for 3 extra entries)
  • Blog about this contest on your blog and leave a link with your comment (good for 5 extra entries)
  • If you don't have a blog, don't worry you can earn extra entries by telling your friends. If they leave a comment on this post and mention that you sent them you can each earn extra entries (good for 2 entries for the referrer and the commenter for each friend)
  • Purchase any item from the Seductive Musings Amazon store by using this link, or the Amazon widget contained within this post and email a copy of your purchase receipt to me no later than the deadline to enter (email available in sidebar). Sorry purchases made prior to this date do not apply, and link contained in this post must be used. No faxes or snail mail copies are allowed. No purchases are necessary to win. (good for 20 entries, or 30 entries if a purchase is made from the featured author's available titles)

How to enter:

  • You must answer Julia's question and leave a meaningful comment in order to be eligible.
  • You can choose to earn extra entries as many different ways that you want, but please place all of your entries in ONE comment
  • Your comment MUST include your email address in order for you to be eligible

Rules and disclaimers:

  • This contest is open to residents of the U.S. only, and NO PO Boxes are allowed
  • The contest will end Saturday August 22nd at 11:59 pm EST and winners will be contacted via email
  • Winners will be selected using
  • All winners will have THREE days from the date they are contacted to provide your mailing address. If you do not respond within three days a replacement winner will be selected. NO EXCEPTIONS
  • The book(s) will be mailed directly from the publisher or author and no substitutions are allowed
  • Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit
  • All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice

Good Luck!!!


Amy M August 18, 2009 at 8:04 AM  

This book sounds amazing! Great interview too.

I am a cover buyer all the way. If the cover grabs my attention, that is the one I go with. There are so many books that I have had great finds, not knowing anything about them, just based on the cover!

Thanks so much for the chance to win! Oh, I am a follower too :)

Amy M
atc218 at aol dot com

MoziEsmĂ© August 18, 2009 at 9:38 AM  

The cover - I like something that will inspire me to action as a result of reading, but it's not always easy to tell this from the cover...

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

CrystalGB August 18, 2009 at 2:34 PM  

Great interview. Summer of Two Wishes sounds good. What draws me to a book is a combination of back blurb, author name, cover and positive buzz about the book.

I am a follower.


sarabelle August 18, 2009 at 4:53 PM  

Excellent post. This book sounds wonderful. I love Julia's writing.

The author is the first thing that draws me to a book., Then I read the blurb, and then if its part of a series I look for the rest of the books to go with it.

I am a follower and have told 2 of my friends about your blog.

Sarabelle252000(at)yahoo dot com

Armenia August 18, 2009 at 5:28 PM  

Very nice interview ladies. Julia, I didn't know you lived in my neck of the woods. Your book sounds like I'll need lots of tissue by my side.

What draws me to a book is usually the reviews, the cover, and the blurb.

I'm a follower

post to my blog:

Jane August 18, 2009 at 5:34 PM  

Happy Release Day, Julia. The plot is what draws me in. If the blurb has intrigued me, I will pick up the book.

I'm a follower of this blog.

janie1215 AT excite DOT com

Beth August 18, 2009 at 7:12 PM  

Usually the author's name draws me to a book if it is someone I've read before. If not, the cover is a big pull.

BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

Beth August 18, 2009 at 7:12 PM  

I'm a follower.

BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

Jake Lsewhere August 18, 2009 at 7:30 PM  

Looks like a good book, please enter me into this drawing.

I'll admit sometimes I'm just shallow enough that the cover art attracts me to a book, or its title or who wrote it or if a friend says its good. It really does just vary from mood to mood and book to book.

I'm also a follower via Blogger.

Thanks for hosting this giveaway.

Mitzi August 18, 2009 at 7:35 PM  

What draws me to a book is the blurbs and good reviews. Once in a while I'll buy a book because of it's cover. Lovely interview and the books sounds like a great read.

I'm a follower.

mitzihinkey at sbcglobal dot net

Thanks for the contest,

Emma,  August 18, 2009 at 8:32 PM  

What draws me to a book is the author, an excerpt from the book I read and the reviews of the book. "Summer of Two Wishes" sounds wonderful. Please enter me in the giveaway. augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com. Thank you.

Catherine @ The Blonde Diaries August 18, 2009 at 8:50 PM  

I am a sucker for good covers and great/catchy titles. If the book has a cute title and unfortunately a pink book cover I will most likely buy it. Sometimes that works well for me and sometimes it doesn't.

I'm also now following you on Google Friend Connect :)

theblondediaries @

Estella August 18, 2009 at 8:50 PM  

What draws me to a book is author name and/or recommendation.

I am a follower.


I Heart Book Gossip August 18, 2009 at 9:05 PM  

+1- Great interview. This book is mesmerizing.

+1- The cover and review always draw me to the book.

+1-Julia, did you have to do a lot of research for this book? Congrats on the release.

+3 Already a follower.

+5- Blogged on sidebar

cindyc725 at gmail dot com

carolsnotebook August 18, 2009 at 10:52 PM  

I have to enter after you recommended it so highly.

Sometimes, just the cover can draw me to a book. Or it's an author I love. Oh, and of course on-line reviews. :)

I'll include this in a blog post, but it won't post until Saturday morning. Sorry.

By the way, do you mind if I steal your rules and disclaimers. You put it all so clearly.

carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com

celi.a August 19, 2009 at 12:19 AM  

I'm a big Julia London fan...and this definitely does sound like the ultimate insurmountable obstacle!

I think what draws me to a book, first thing, is the genre. I look for books in my favorite genres first, though I may be wooed away by recommendations, covers, sales, etc. But genre before all.

Thanks for holding the contest!

etirv August 19, 2009 at 2:51 AM  

I'm a sucker for excellent reader reviews and that's what draws me the strongest to a book!


etirv August 19, 2009 at 2:52 AM  

Already a follower!


Brenda August 19, 2009 at 9:32 PM  

I usually am drawn to a book by the author, next it is something in the description on the back of the book, the synopsis of the story has to grab me.

dancealert (at) aol (dot) com

Patricia Barraclough,  August 19, 2009 at 11:35 PM
I guess I'm a follower, I receive daily messages from you.
What draws me to a book? The cover might draw my attention, but I'll read the little story blurb on the cover flap or back of the book. If the story sounds a little different, the characters appeal, it is a type of story I like, then I'll get it.
I read the back cover short on this book before hearing any reviews or promo comments. It grabbed me right away and I decided it was one I'd be reading. The more I hear about it, the more I want to read it.

Esme August 20, 2009 at 12:28 AM  

I am a complete sucker for book covers-I know it sounds shallow-but when I have never heard of a book-the title and cover will often times pull me in.

I follow

blogged at Chocolate and Croissants

chocolateandcroissants at yahoo dot com

Jake Lsewhere August 20, 2009 at 6:56 AM  

I've also blogged about this giveaway here.


Dixie August 20, 2009 at 8:10 AM  

I know you're not supposed to judge a book by the cover, but that is what initially draws me to a book. Then I pick it up and skim the description and usually buy based on that if it sounds interesting.
I am already a follower here.


Debbie F August 20, 2009 at 9:05 AM  

The cover a book is very important. I will not even pick up a book if I don't like the cover. I know that I have probably missed out on alot of wonderful books because of this but I can't help it!

dcf_beth at verizon dot net

Debbie F August 20, 2009 at 9:05 AM  

I follow!

dcf_beth at verizon dot net

budletsmom August 20, 2009 at 3:26 PM  

I would say the first thing is the cover - if I am at the bookstore I look for the cover however if I am shopping at Amazon it is based on the author (one I have either heard of or read before) or a recommendation of a friend.

budletsmom at yahoo dot com

budletsmom August 20, 2009 at 3:27 PM  

Oops I forgot to add that I am already a follower to.

budletsmom at yahoo dot com

Debs Desk August 23, 2009 at 9:51 AM  

What draws me to a book is first the cover. Has to have a great cover, then second is great first page. If I read the first page and get drawn in, then I have to have it.

Debs Desk August 23, 2009 at 9:52 AM  

+3 I am a follower.

Marie August 24, 2009 at 3:46 PM  

I am really drawn by a cover -- that is usually what gets me to pick up a book unless I already know the author.

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