Tuesday, August 18
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?
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
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:
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
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