Q&A with L.G. O’Connor, Surrender My Heart


What’s the main reason someone should really read this series? 

The Caught Up in Love series about three women from one family, their secrets, and finding a second chance at love on their road to redemption.

The stories have underlying threads of loss, hope, transformation, resilience, and sacrificing for the people you love. Family is a strong theme, along with how the dead play their part on the living. In each book, the heroine is shackled in some way to someone who has died.

That’s the gist, anyway! But it’s more than that. A tangential thread throughout the series is a crime syndicate investigation that brushes lightly against the family in every book.

Another reason to read Surrender My Heart and the rest of the series: It takes place in New Jersey! The books are set in towns where I used to live (Summit, Chatham) or where I’ve spent time (Morristown, Spring Lake). You can walk the steps of the characters in places like the Morristown Green, the Summit Train Station, the beach on Spring Lake, and more…

What inspired you to write the series? A particular person? An event? 

LOL, yes and no. The first book in the series was meant to be a standalone novel. It’s a May / December romance about a widowed romance writer and a troubled young landscaper who she convinces to be her cover model when she spots him planting trees on the grounds of the local hospital. That was the inspiration, because it happened to me. Kind of.

In August 2013, I was visiting a close family friend when I spotted a group of guys planting trees, and one of them looked exactly like a character in the book I was writing. Unfortunately, I couldn’t muster the courage to stop. Missing that opportunity haunted me for months until it spun itself into a novel in my head and became Caught Up in RAINE (2017 IPPY Bronze Award in Romance). In the first chapter, Jillian stops the car, and offers Raine, a part-time college student, $300 to pose as her cover model. He accepts and the rest becomes their love story!

Caught Up in RAINE morphed into a series about Jillian, her niece Jenny (Shelter My Heart), and Kitty, Jillian’s older sister (featured in Surrender My Heart). Kitty & John’s book sprouted from two scenes I cut from the first novel at the advice of one of my editors, and became the book that anchors the entire series.

The series features heroines of different ages and delivers the emotional intense journeys of Women’s Fiction with the heat levels and “happy ever afters” of Contemporary Romance.

You use tattoos as symbolism in your series. As a result I understand that each book has a patterned design on the cover. Can you tell us about that?  

Absolutely! The design started with the first book, and a tattoo Raine discovered on Jillian’s lower back while he was training her in the gym. Unlike many guys his age, Raine had no ink, and when Jillian asked why, he told her he’d never found anything that meant enough to him to want to carry it on his skin. He did, ultimately, in the most profound way possible. Throughout the series, both heroes and heroines use tattoos to symbolize their commitment.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an author?   

The best: Fan mail! I love when someone tells me how much they enjoyed my book, and that they couldn’t stop thinking about the characters and / or the story; that it touched them in some way, making them laugh or cry. I feel my characters deeply, and it’s very rewarding when someone else catches that same feeling.

The hardest: Discoverability, proving your work has been properly vetted, and having time to thoughtfully connect with bloggers, other authors, and readers. I have my inner circle, but quickly came to the conclusion that I couldn’t do everything. In my case, time is scarce and worth money. I pick and choose as I see fit, knowing that the price could be less readers who find me. Also, getting reviews! Please, please leave one! It’s the best way to honor a book you’ve loved.

Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)

What motivates me? Readership. Connecting. Impacting people’s lives in a positive way through my stories. Seeing one of my books on film or TV would be awesome, too. Oh, and did I mention hot guys with abs? (Kidding!)

About the Author

LG O’Connor is a corporate marketing exec by day who takes her author cape out at night. An avid reader, she loves books with memorable characters that make her heart sing. She’s the author of the urban fantasy / paranormal romance series, The Angelorum Twelve Chronicles, and the romantic women’s fiction series, Caught Up in Love, which debuted the award-winning novel, Caught Up in RAINE. The second book in the series, Shelter My Heart, was a 2017 Kindle Scout Winner. A native ‘Jersey Girl,’ she’s always in search of the perfect cup of coffee and fine Italian leather. Her perfect hero always keeps the heroine fed. You can find recipes, which first appeared on USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog, from the sexy hero of Caught Up in RAINE in his new cookbook, Recipes from Raine’s Roost aka Jillian’s Kitchen, available online where all fine books are sold.

Find & Follow L.G. O’Connor Online: www.lgoconnor.com