About the Book
Langston’s Daughters (The Lockwood Legacy #1) by Juliette Harper
Kate, Jenny, and Mandy. Langston Lockwood’s daughters. His tyranny drove them away. His suicide draws them home. They inherit his land, his millions, and his mysteries. Meet the women of the Rocking L and the men who come into their lives. Together, they begin the journey to discover the truth about The Lockwood Legacy. From the pain of the past they find the strength to build a dynasty.
Family connections and history dominate the world of The Lockwood Legacy books. In the first volume, Langston’s Daughters, patriarch Langston Lockwood isn’t just conspicuous because he takes a Colt .45 to the barn and shoots himself. His presence looms on every page and not in a pleasant way. Langston is a character readers love to hate and struggle to understand. His daughters feel the same way.As the series unfolds, the women work to uncover the details of their father’s past only to discover he led a hidden life. That’s pretty much the focus of the second book, Baxter’s Draw, which came out on February 8, 2015 and a theme that will be more fully developed in the yet-to-be released Alice’s Portrait.
During the character exploration phase of the writing, it just felt right to make Langston the unhappy son of a domineering father, Milton Lockwood. You may not be aware that “Juliette Harper” is the pen name for writing partners Patricia Pauletti and Rana K. Williamson. We’re both talking to you at the moment, but Rana needs to step to the front for a minute.
“It’s important to understand that Milton Lockwood is an old school West Texas ranch man who survived both the Great Depression and the seven-year drought of the 1950s. I can see Milton in my mind almost with greater clarity than I picture Langston. Milton is hard as flint, an uncompromising man glowering out at the world from behind a massive handlebar moustache. He fought the land his whole life. As a father, he thinks he’s preparing Langston to take up that same battle, never realizing – or maybe caring – that his son is a different kind of man.”
The real paternal figure in Langston’s life is Benton Browning, his sweetheart’s grandfather. Benton is a teacher, an intellectual with a consuming passion for books, and a great lover of art and music. Needless to say he’s considered “odd” in the small Texas town where he teaches English at the local high school. (Benton’s name comes up in book two, but readers don’t really get to “meet” him until the third volume.)
For the remainder of Langston’s life, the internalized voices of these two men pull him in opposing directions. There’s no question that Langston makes a series of hard and cruel choices, but as his story comes to light, he pays a tremendous price – as do his wife and daughters.
If there’s any “message” that comes to the forefront here, it’s that families are complicated beasts. Love can and does grow in barren places of the heart. Langston Lockwood’s daughters have to learn to love their father after his death or they can never be reconciled to how he lived his life. This means they also will have to learn about their mother’s “people,” far-flung relatives in Boston they’ve never even met.
We always have a hard time nailing down the genre in which we’re writing, but we love it when readers tells us the family connections feel real to them. As the series continues to play out, we’ll explore both the families into which people are born and the ones they make for themselves. Being a Lockwood isn’t easy. The previous two generations carry heavy loads of bitterness, anger, and hate. The current generation is trying to build something positive from that darker legacy. As writers, we think that says a great deal about the capacity for the human spirit to heal wounds, no matter how old they may be.
About the Author
Juliette Harper is the pen name used by the writing team of
Patricia Pauletti and Rana K. Williamson. Like the characters of their debut series, The Lockwood Legacy, Juliette is a merging of their creative energies.
Pauletti, an Easterner of Italian descent, is an accomplished musician with an eye for art and design. Williamson, a Texan from a long line of hardheaded Scots, knows the world of the Lockwoods like the back of her hand.
“We decided to write under a pen name because neither one of us by ourselves could have created Kate, Jenny, Mandy, and their world,” says Pauletti. “Juliette is a little bit of us both. We want to be her when we grow up.”
“Patti teases me that I just don’t want to own up to writing a book with romance in it,” Williamson adds, “but that’s not true. I like the Lockwood women and the way they tackle everything life throws at them. And before we’re done, they’ll be ducking a lot. I imagine coming into the office every day and saying, ‘Okay Juliette, what’s going to happen now?’ She tells us, and we get it down on paper.”
$100 Amazon Gift Card (INT)