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Local author sidesteps ‘Bubbles’ in latest work

October 12, 2011

Julie Branken

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Just because local author Julie Branken has published a novel for adults doesn’t mean that the bubble has burst on her series of “Bubble” fantasy/adventure books for youngsters.

Instead, Branken describes “Love, Life or Diamonds” as a 25-year work in progress.

“I would classify it as a love story, with fights, adventure and intrigue,” she said.

“It’s a girls’ book,” she added.

Branken, owner of the Plantation Bed & Breakfast just outside Punxsy along Route 119, said the origins of the book came at a time when she was showing properties, and the writing bug just struck her.

“I thought, ‘I just have to do it,’” she said. “And then I wrote and wrote, and there was a story.”

The story: A French family is sentenced to work in the Capetown, South Africa, diamond mines for life after being falsely accused in a drug bust. Then, the family’s son, Pierre — using a fake name, Jacques — is forced to find a jeweler to cut a stash of blood diamonds, or else his family will be killed.

The jeweler in Capetown, Jessy, finds Jacques half-dead on the beach, and, of course, they fall madly in love.

The reader must learn if Jacques follows through with the plot and his lies to Jessy, as well as about Michael, Jessy’s would-be suitor, and the knowledge that Jessy’s twin sister, Patricia, possesses about the plot.

For a story that has taken 25 years to develop, Branken said it’s taken a basic structure of the story, reviews, additions for color, deleting other details and so on ... “So it takes a while,” she said.

It took long enough that Branken said she was ready to wrap up the story.

“I didn’t want the universe to give me any more ideas,” she said. “I tried to ignore this, but it comes back and back. You just have to do it.”

Branken has already written four books in her “Bubble’s World” series, which stars her grandchildren and takes them on adventures around the world, courtesy of the magical Bubble.

In accordance with its alphabetical titles, the next Bubble book’s title will include the letter G, and likely have much to do with Groundhog Day.

In the meantime, “Love, Life or Diamonds,” published by Authorhouse, is available via Branken’s Web site at, or at the Book Nook in the Punxy Plaza.

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