Friday, April 15, 2011

#Fridayreads: Julianne MacLean Appreciation Day - and giveaway!

I'm writing a special Friday Reads post today because I <3 Julianne. She's a fantastic writer, she's a great friend and she's always willing to share her perspective about this crazy job we're in. So today is officially Julianne MacLean Appreciation Day on the blog!

When I first discovered Julianne I fell in love with Surrender to a Scoundrel. Immediately she gained a fan and I went in search of backlist. I gobbled up all her Avon Historicals. And as much as I love the ton and a good old scandal among the lords and ladies, I was thrilled when she said she was writing a Highlander trilogy. Captured By The Highlander was out last month (and was a fantastic read!), and Claimed By The Highlander is out now.

I'm reading Claimed (and wish I had more time to read this week, darn it!) and I'm dying to see how Gwen tames Angus, who is one of the strongest, no-chink-in-the-old-armor heroes I've ever met. The third in the trilogy (Seduced By The Highlander)will be out in October. And this week, Claimed By The Highlander is on the USA Today Bestseller list for the 2nd week in a row. Hooray!

I was surprised to learn in my searching for backlist way back when that Julianne also published a few books with Harlequin - I haven't been able to get my hands on the historicals, but she does have a Silhouette Desire that has been re-released digitally - Sleeping with the Playboy. And then there's The Rebel - a prequel short story to the Highlander trilogy that I haven't read yet - as much as I pride myself of reading EVERYTHING of Julianne's, clearly there are some gaps that need remedying!

But now I come to something new, and this is also where the giveaway comes in. Julianne also writes as E.V. Mitchell and she's published a story called The Color of Heaven. It's been available on kindle for a while, but I waited until it was available in print because I wanted it for my keeper shelf (Julianne is an automatic keeper for me).

The Color of Heaven is soooo different from her other books. It's a contemporary women's fiction, not a passionate, witty historical. The voice is completely different which astounds me - I'm not sure I could write so differently if I switched genres. It's in first person POV rather than third. It switches between the past (Cora) and the present (Sophie). And it tackles the hazy question of what happens in the space between life and death.

Sophie has lost pretty much everything and it breaks your heart, but it's only in that precarious space in time when she's...well, when she's dead, that she gains clarity. Because of it we learn about Sophie's mother, Cora, and the secret about her father and the break up of their family. It's only through learning all these things that Sophie is ready for a true HEA.

If I had to describe the writing in this book it would be with two words - Simplicity and Honesty. Working together, they create a beautiful story that I read in an evening. In that simplicity was truth, and the truth made me cry at times. It is truly powerful writing. I kept thinking - this shouldn't make me reach for tissues. But it did.

And Julianne, being her typical generous self, has given me a spare copy of The Color Of Heaven to give away today.  Not only that, but I'm giving away a prize pack. The trade paperback of The Color Of Heaven, a cover flat of Captured By The Highlander, a Julianne bookmark, and a copy of my May Harlequin Romance release, Honeymoon with the Rancher - just because.

Send me an e-mail to enter, please, and simply tell me if you've ever read any of Julianne's work. If you have I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't yet, well, here's your introduction. I'm sure you're going to become good friends with her work. :-)


  1. Donna, what a lovely post. I read Color of Heaven last week and felt the same way--it's astounding Julianne can have such two strong and distinct voices. That book really moved me, yet I also love her historicals. And in between all the writing, she finds time to be so helpful.

  2. Color of Heaven sounds like an interesting, moving story. I'm looking forward to reading it.

  3. Wonderful blog Donna thank you.
    I haven't read any of her books yet but the Surrender to a Scoundrel sounds good I'm going to get it.

  4. I love Julianne's historicals and this new Highlander series is the bomb.

    Haven't read her newest women's fiction but am looking forward to it.

  5. I enjoyed today's post. I find myself drawn to books by their covers. Julianne's book covers are very eye catching and beautiful. I look forward to reading her books.

  6. Great post Donna. I can't wait to read my digital copy of Color of Heaven. Just finished Claimed by the Highlander, totally loved it.

  7. Enjoyed your post and as requested, sent email.

  8. Colleen2:53 p.m.

    Enjoyed the post... Color Of Heaven sounds like a book I would love to get my hands on. Thanks to you and Julianne for having this giveaway!
    Happy April! :)

  9. Love according to Lily is the first Julianne book I read. I have been reading her ever since.

  10. A wonderful tribute to a wonderful author, Donna. I haven't gotten my hands on Claimed yet, but Captured is delicious and The Colour of Heaven looks amazing.



  12. Great post. I haven't read any of her books yet, but am anxious to do so. Thanks for sharing today!

  13. Julianne's books have been a treat for me. I've read all but these latest ones. "The Color of Heaven" sounds interesting and very different from what I'm used to from Julianne. I'd like to read it.
    Your work is new to me. Good luck with your new book.

    Elaine C.

  14. I love Julianne's stories. This newest Highlander series is a favorite. Anything Scottish and Highlander is always on my list.
    Unfortunately my PC crashed big time a while back taking all the e-books with it and almost everything else. So I have to stick with paper .Or wait till the books are in print.Also look forward to reading Honeymoon With The Rancher.
    Carol L

  15. Hi Donna,
    Julianne is so nice and her books never fail to entertain me. I was thrilled when her Highlander series was first announced. I'd love to read COH. Thanks.

    Meljprincess AT aol DOT com

  16. Probe211@aol3:51 p.m.

    I have never read any of Julianne's books, but she is on my TBR list, especially after reading your wonderful post!! I am unable to read as much as I would like to, due to my hectic lifestyle. I am a caretaker where I live, and I do volunteer work one day a week. Julianne is definately near the top of the list, and I have to get my hands on her books!!

  17. Not sure if I have read any of her
    works, but I am certainly called to
    do so now! They sound just great!
    Thanks so much!

    Pat Cochran

  18. Great post, Donna! I have a couple of Julianne's HQ books I can lend you. The least I can do for FINALLY getting to watch Cranford. :) As for Julianne - you had it bang on. Great writer, awesome friend, and all of her books are well worth the read.

  19. I'm late to the party, but I can't miss out on Julianne MacLean Appreciation Day!

    I've read every one of her books, and she is just my speed - all of her stories have that essential heart-tugging thing I adore. Her newest Highlander series is dreamy!