My featured author today is Julianne MacLean, a USA Today bestselling author and an incredibly talented woman who writes across multiple genres. I’m so thrilled to host Julianne on the blog – I’m convinced it’s because of her that I’m published in the first place. Several years ago, Julianne critiqued the proposal of my first as yet unpublished historical romance. It was a pretty good manuscript, but I just couldn’t seem to bring it up to the next level. But Julianne’s perceptive critique and fabulous advice gave me the tools I needed revise that manuscript into a winning proposal, which eventually won me my first publishing contract. To say that the woman is smart, talented, and hardworking (and beautiful, btw!) is an understatement!
Until recently Julianne was primarily known for her passionate historical romances, and her current series about sexy men in kilts, the Highlander Trilogy. Her latest, Claimed by the Highlander, was on the USA Today bestseller list for three weeks in a row!
But Julianne has branched out into other genres and new ventures, and with stunning success. You may have heard about her women’s fiction novel, The Color of Heaven, which she indie published under the pen name of E.V. Mitchell. Not surprising to anyone who’s read Julianne’s books, The Color of Heaven was a smashing success, hitting the Amazon bestseller lists and reaching #1 on the contemporary romance list this month.
And now Julianne is mixing up again! This week sees the release of another indie published book, The Sexy Girl’s Guide to Cowboys.
I’ll turn the blog over to Julianne now, and let her tell us all about her new book.
THE SEXY GIRL’S GUIDE TO COWBOYS is a story I wrote in 1995, when I was still an unpublished writer and time travel romances were selling like hotcakes to all the publishers. When I finished it, however, the trend was on its way out, and no one was buying time travels anymore, so after shopping it around without success, I shelved it and started something new.
I wrote another western romance set in Dodge City called PRAIRIE BRIDE, which sold to Harlequin, and that was my first published novel. Since then, I have published seventeen romances, but I always had a soft spot in my heart for that quirky time travel I wrote back in the nineties when I was an eager, aspiring author.
So here we are in 2011, and e-book technology has made it possible for me to publish the book on my own. It took some effort, because I wrote it when I was a very “young” writer, and the prose needed some polish, as well as the characterizations. I had no idea what to expect when I re-read it after all these years, but I was pleased to see that the story had great bones! It was an absolute joy to work on, and I hope I will hear from some of my long-time readers who know that this is one of my earliest manuscripts. I wonder if they will recognize how my writing style has evolved.
To be honest, I doubt I would conceive of this story today, because I tend to go for heavier plotlines and darker characterizations – especially with my heroes. Sheriff Truman Wade does show some signs of this, however (he has a dark past), and when I finally began to rework the book, I could see how certain things have remained the same. I always loved a tortured hero, and I doubt that will ever change.
Incidentally, the original title for the book was JUNEBUG JESS, and I believe I will always refer to it lovingly as “Junebug.”
Julianne thanks so much for coming on the blog to tell us about your latest book. It sounds fabulous!
Since Julianne’s latest book is a time travel, let’s talk about that. Do you read time travel romances? If so, what are your favourites? One commenter will win a copy of Julianne’s Western romance, The Marshall and Mrs. O’Malley.
48 thoughts on “Guest Author: Julianne MacLean & Giveaway!”
Hi Vanessa! Thanks for having me as a guest today! Now let’s give a way a book… 🙂
You have the most interesting guests and I always learn something new not only about your guests but about you as well.
I have read several historical romance time travel books and I hate to admit that this early in the morning I can’t remember the authors. Both authors based the stories in America with the time travels “transported” here. One series had Vikings and other had Scotsmen. Thinking about it now I can’t remember why I stopped reading them because they were so much fun to read.
I’m thrilled that Julianne is writing about cowboys because we have one in the family. My sister-in-laws husband is a cowboy in the true sense of the word. They live in Baggs, Wyoming and my brother in law and his family lived on a ranch that covered parts of Wyoming and Colorado when he was growing up. It was actually on Bureau of Land Management land and his Dad used to send the “brothers” out to round up the herd. They’d be gone for at least a week and would drive the truck pulling the horse trailer as far as it would go and then ride until they reached the herd and then head back to the ranch! Can you imagine asking today’s teenager to do that?
One other important thing to note is cowboys sure do know how to dance!
Jeanne – my great grandfather was a cowboy as well – but in Alberta, which is our Canadian Wild West :). That was a while back, of course. But he was probably a teenager at the time.
Jeanne, I love your responses to my blogs – you always have such interesting and fun things to say!
I wonder if the Viking books you’re referring to are Sandra Hill’s. Didn’t she do time travel romances with Vikings? And Karen Marie Moning had a time travel series with Highlanders and Fae characters that was just wonderful.
Very cool about your s-i-l’s hubby. Man, it’s a hardworking life. And yet still cowboys find time to dance!
Vanessa – I think your right that the one series was Sandra’s and I forgot the stories I read by Karen which were terrific. I think the one series I read about were set in Vermont up in the mountains but can’t remember if those were Karen’s or someone else wrote them. Maybe someone will reply and help me out!
Vanessa, having had Julianne as a critique partner, I can vouch for how much of an improvement she can make to a manuscript! I happen to love time travel romances and I can’t wait to download “Junebug” to read on the plane on the way to conference!
Kelly, she’s awesome, isn’t she? See you at the conference!
You are a doll, Kelly 🙂
And may I give you a plug here? It’s easy to critique a manuscript that is as good as yours. It’s not wonder Carina Press snapped you up.
Kelly’s book is called Outlaw Bride, and it’s everything a romance reader wants in a classic western. I just loved it.
Oh, boy! I like all Julianne’s other books so looking forward to this time travel. I think the first I read was DG’s The Outlander and the last A Knight In Central Park by Theresa Ragan. But a time travel with cowboys, can’t wait! Thanks, Vanessa.
You’re welcome, Bev! I hear you – time travel AND cowboys!
I love time-travel books!! My first ever was Jude Deveraux’s Knight in Shining Armor, and I was hooked. I really got into them with Constance ODay-Flannery, but I also love Sandra Hill and Lynn Kurland.
I already got Julianne’s newest western time-travel for my Kindle, but would love to have a copy of The Marshal and Mrs. O’Malley.
Hi Betty! Thanks for the great list!
When I decided to switch to urban fantasy I went back to a pure fantasy novel I wrote 20 years ago for Holt that was supposed to continue into a trilogy but didn’t. I always liked the heroine and so, twenty years later, I updated her and wrote her a new contemporary adventure and now I am working on book 6. I bet Julianne’s experience with her cowboy novel is familiar to many writers. Thanks for a fun chat.
Thanks for stopping by!
I haven’t read too many time travels, but Outlander remains one of my all-time faves.
As for western time travel, ‘Supernatural’ just did an episode this past season where the Winchester brothers were transported into the Old West. Dean’s expressions as he encountered life in all its gritty glory were priceless.
And recently the time traveling Thor was immensely enjoyable on the big screen.
Outlander is the motherlode of time travel, of course. And I love that you brought up TV and movies. Anyone remember the HG Wells book, The Time Machine? Great movie with Rod Taylor. He was a hunk, back in the day.
I have always loved time travel, The Chronicles of Narnia were my favourite books as a child, and I will pick them up and re-read them to this day. A Christmas Carol, Alice in Wonderland were others I loved when I was younger, and both Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander series and The Time Traveler’s Wife were wonderful. There are so, so many more, just too many to list here. Great interview ladies, and thanks for the contest! 🙂
Great list, Pauline!
Hello Pauline – Postal strike is still on :). Or is it? Did any Canadians get mail today?
Vanessa and Julianna,
I love these interviews, they have introduced me to so many new authors and to books that are constantly being added to my to-be read pile. Also for authors I am familiar with I love the insights into their lives.
I do read read travel romances and I love them! They give stories an extra sparkle and really do “transport” me there. I think what I enjoy most is the experience and the imagining as I put myself in the character’s place. Like a fellow commenter, my first time-travel was A Knight and Shining Armor. I mostly find this theme in fantasy/ science fiction novels but I do enjoy them in romances. Funny, Outlander seems to be “the” time-travel romance to read and I haven’t read it yet, planning to this summer.
By the way, I noticed The Color of Heaven caught my eye on amazon on its own merit. I didn’t even know it was written by Julianne. Surprising in a good way. It’s great when authors branch out into different genres as I do like to keep my readings diversified.
Sorry for the typo up there, JULIANNE! Grr!
Na, I’m so glad you’re enjoying these guest features. I love them.
I have to throw in a plug here for my own critique partner, Debbie Mazzuca, who writes great Highland historical time travel books for Kensington. Her first was Lord of the Isle. Awesome book!
No worries Na – you got it right in the last paragraph 🙂
One of my favorite things about time travel is the way we get to revisit history with the modern mindset. This sounds fabulous!
That’s a great point, Kelly!
Great comments everyone! Julia – I must seek out that Supernatural episode. Another movie I’mlooking forward to is Cowboys and Aliens – though it’s not really a time travel, but there are some similarities with the clash of modern and old worlds.
A few of you have mentioned Jude Devereaux’s Knight in Shining Armor – a great book. I still have a very old dog-eared version of it on my keeper shelf 🙂
I have never read time travel stories, but this sounds like a very good read!
Thanks Karen! You sould give it a try. When I read my first one in the 90’s, I became totally hooked. I loved the issue of how they would ever end up together in the end. Would the out-of-place character stay in the past? Would one follow the other back to the future? Or would there be some other solution? It adds an extra question to the happily ever after. And I could always relate to the modern heroine who was dropped into the past. I loved the reality tv show the 1900 House, where modern day characters were forced to live like people lived at the turn of the century, and it was a rude awakening for them!
I haven’t read very many time travel stories… but, if you’re writing it, I’d love to read it! I’m sure it will be fabulous and probably get me addicted to time travel stories. I did read all the Narnia books AGES ago… I didn’t think about those as being time travel stories until I see someone else mentioned them.
Thanks for the contest!
Linda, I guarantee Julianne will hook you!
I like time travel books-OUTLANDER is my favorite!!!!!!
Audra, Outlander is a favorite with just about everyone!
I Love the time travel stories of Sandra Hill and Lynn Kurland.
I also LOVE your Highland series and I’m looking forward to the next release.
I’d love to win THE MARSHAL AND MRS. O’MALLEY.
Thanks for the opportunity!
Great choices, Betty!
Love time travels and all the conundrums that go with it! The first time travel book I read as an adult was “Time and Again” by Jack Finney, published in the 1970s. Not a romance per se, but very interesting, and incorporated photos “taken” by the hero in 1880s New York. The method of time travel in that book was totally stolen for the movie “Somewhere in Time” starring Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve. The book’s sequel, “From Time to Time” has intriguing premise about how the sinking of the Titanic (and the death of a government envoy who was on board) started a chain of events leading to WWI and all subsequent ills. There are plenty of folks who either love or hate those books, but I enjoyed them.
Look forward to reading your book!
Sounds fascinating, Jennifer!
Thanks for posting Jennifer. That books sounds really interesting – and I loved the movie Somewhere in Time. I must see if I can find it again…
I love Knight in Shinning Armor and DG Outlander series. I love the time traveler being thrown into another time and then having to deal with all the problems it causes.
Wow! I read Knight in Shinning Armor and I had forgotten all about it! I know it’s on my bookcase somewhere and I’m going to try to find it tonight to re-read it!
My husband is always getting on me for taking over the bookcases we have but it’s books like Knight in Shinning Armor that must be re-read that keeps me taking over half of his shelves!
I haven’t read that many time travel books lately. But I have in the past, Lynn Kurland, Sandra Hill, the outlander series and even the Highlander series by Karen Marie Moning. Love them !!
I always dreamed that I travel time and end up in the arms of some gorgeous highlander…*sigh*
Thanks for the opportunity !
Thanks for stopping by Natasja! And we share a similar dream – waking up in the arms of a Highlander. *sigh* describes it well… 🙂
I have been a huge fan of time-travel romance since Jude Devereaux (loved time travel novels since I read The Time Machine in high school). Julianne’s sounds excellent.
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