Giveaway & Interview with Luanne Rice, author of THE LEMON ORCHARD

the lemon orchard

Photo Credit: Goodreads


Last year, I requested The Lemon Orchard by Luanne Rice through Netgalley. After reviewing The Lemon Orchard, I added Luanne to my ever-growing list of authors that have a backlist of books I need to check out. This year, when Luanne’s publicist contacted me about a review or interview, I was able an interview (plus a giveaway!) for the readers of Traveling With T!

Read on for the interview with Luanne as she reveals how this story came about, some thoughts on grief and her role in the character’s story.

Interview with Luanne Rice:

Luanne, how did you decide on the setting of the novel, THE LEMON ORCHARD?

Like Julia, the main character, I had recently moved to Malibu CA after a lifetime on the east coast.

How involved were you in the selection of the book covers for paperback and hardback? While each is different, both are striking in their own way!

Although my publisher does the covers, I have approval.  I especially love the paperback cover.

Did you ever consider Julia and Roberto’s story ending in a different way?

I have no control over my endings.  That sounds strange, but once the characters are in motion, they tell the story.  My job is to type as fast as I can and follow them where they go.

Grief, no matter how different we are from one another, is a common bond. Julia and Roberto are both grieving over their daughters. Was your plan to show that even as you are grieving- life goes on?

Thank you for saying this.  Loss is so wrenching, and it can seem impossible to find solace anywhere.  But sometimes your heart can be touched in an unexpected way, and goodness comes flooding back.  I feel that’s what Julia and Roberto did for each other.

Have fans of THE LEMON ORCHARD heard the last from Roberto and Julia? Might there be a sequel one day?

I keep dreaming about them, and that’s often a signal that I need to write about them again.

Illegal immigration plays a role in this book. How did you research that issue? Was there any negative reaction to that theme of the book?

I have a good friend who’s undocumented, and his story inspired the book.  I interviewed him about crossing the border, then I went to the desert to volunteer with Water Station, a non-profit that provides water to save the lives of migrants.  I  also interviewed Border Patrol agents, who I found to be compassionate.  My readers have responded to The Lemon Orchard the way I’d hoped—it’s a story about people, human hearts, not political issues.


*Special thanks to Luanne and Mary for the interview!



Traveling With T has 1 copy of THE LEMON ORCHARD up for grabs. The details: Open to US/Canada only and giveaway ends June 17th. Check the Rafflecopter link for more info.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,

T @ Traveling With T

T Traveling With T pic sign off

11 thoughts on “Giveaway & Interview with Luanne Rice, author of THE LEMON ORCHARD

  1. Really interesting interview! I think it’s so fun when an author lets the characters create drive the plot, especially because I find that author’s who express that sentiment are often the authors who well rounded, believable characters. I’m terrible about getting to the back lists of authors I love, but I’m trying to work on that a bit the rest of this year.

    • Thank you so much! I don’t always like when an author says something like that- BUT it’s because there is this one author who always says that while she keeps her characters in the same stagnant position (yes, I’m slightly bitter!) However, with Luanne, I not only enjoyed the answer- I understood exactly what she meant. Her characters were interesting and believable!
      Will I ever get to the back list of newly discovered authors? Prob not! But I hope.

  2. Lori Steve says:

    I absolutely Love Luanne Rice, she has been my favorite author for many years and I was blessed with the opportunity to meet her this year on her book tour. “The Lemon Orchard” is a great book that touched me in many ways. She did a wonderful job.

  3. I loved this book! I grew up in Los Angeles going across border to Tijuana and went to Pepperdine for my 1st couple years of college. This brought back many memories I hadn’t thought about for over 30 years. We experienced a wildfire while at Pepperdine that burned houses all around the rental I was living in at the time. The smell, sounds, night bright with fire. Beautiful writing, I hope you will do a sequel!

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