I’m thrilled to be hosting one of my favorite historical writers. She’s Julia Justiss, and she writes deliciously emotional Regency-set historical romance that brings to life the customs and morals of the Regency world. She is a truly accomplished writer. Julia is with us to today to tell us a bit about herself and her two new books.
You’ve had an interesting and varied life, which has included time as a tour guide in your home town of Annapolis, and also time abroad doing things like writing the newsletter for the American Embassy in Tunisia. How has your background influenced your writing?
Growing up in Annapolis fed a fascination with history—it was all around me, from “George Washington slept here” at several of the inns to the Liberty Tree, where the rebels who would launch the Annapolis version of the Boston tea party met to plan strategy. Becoming a guide for Historical Annapolis allowed me to entertain visitors with stories about the famous—and not so famous—people who created the events that shaped the city. So I guess I fell in love with telling stories with an historical setting while still in high school.
Living abroad and being exposed to very different cultures, both in Tunisia and in Norway, increased my appreciation for diversity and for different “worlds”—and historical fiction, like fantasy, really depends on creating a world for your reader that is different from her contemporary life, yet infused with timeless values like honor, devotion, duty and (of course!) love, values that have endured across all time.
What could be better than history with a happy ending?
You have new books out called The Rake to Redeem Her and The Rake to Ruin Her. Both your heroes and settings seem delightfully different. What can you tell us about the Ransleigh Rogues series?
I wanted a group of linked stories, initially a “Band of Brothers” who help each other survive the storming of the fortress of Badajos during the Peninsular War. My editor wanted a stronger bond between the characters, so the idea of four cousins evolved. Because I enjoyed so much working on the Silk & Scandal miniseries, where the three families intertwined in the original scandal end up in very different situations in life, I liked the idea of having one cousin be an earl’s son, another the illegimate son of the family black sheep, another a poet, another the man’s man who must reshape his life and expectations after losing an arm at Waterloo.
The first (March 2013) book, Ruin Her, features earl’s son Max Ransleigh, the natural leader of the cousins and the one whom they all expect to have a brilliant future in government. After being implicated in an assassination plot against Lord Wellington destroys his hopes for a career in diplomacy, he retreats to his cousin Alastair’s country estate to contemplate his prospects. There he encounters Caroline Denby, an heiress with no desire to marry who hits upon the idea of getting herself ruined, so fortune hunters will stop pestering her and she can return to running the breeding farm she helped her late father establish. Since Max’s reputation is already tarnished, why not help her out by seeming to ruin hers? But when well-laid plans go awry, both Caro and Max end up discovering a life—and a love—they’d never dreamed of.
The second book, Redeem Her, features illegitimate cousin Will Ransleigh. Plucked off the streets and transported to the earl’s country estate with orders to become a “proper Ransleigh” or be sent back, the initially uncooperative Will owes his life to Max’s persistence in persuading him—or pummeling him—into shape. When he returns from Waterloo to discover Max’s career in ruins, a furious Will vows to find the woman who entangled Max in the plot and bring her back to England to testify to his innocence. Except when he finds her, Elodie Lefevre is nothing like the femme fatale he was expecting. A survivor of war and revolution, Elodie has no intention of meekly doing any man’s bidding. So begins a game of persuasion and evasion, with falling in love a result neither could have expected.
The next two Rogues should appear sometime in 2014. Alastair, poet turned heartless rake after a humiliating betrayal, is sure he’s over Diana—until a chance encounter with his now-widowed former fiancée sets him reeling. An affair begun out of revenge soon turns into much more, with Alastair finding the woman Diana has become even more intriguing that the girl he once loved.
Finally, “Dandy Dominic,” who could charm any lady and surpass any man at riding, shooting, and all the manly sports, returns from war maimed and disfigured. No longer sure who he is, Dom shuns his friends and shuts himself away at his country estate. His brooding solitude is invaded by a feisty colonel’s daughter whose pragmatism challenges him to put his losses behind him and start living—and loving–again.
What’s up next in your writing world?
First I need to finish the next two Rogue books. After that…I may revisit some of the secondary characters from my Wellingford family books. There’s the youngest sister of my very first heroine and a scrappy orphan sponsored by a family friend who becomes a Parliamentary reformer. Then there’s a “Regency urban fantasy” series idea tugging at me. There’s never a shortage of things to write about, only time to write in!
Thank you, Julia! Readers, I just finished reading The Rake To Ruin Her last night, and I loved it. Julia is graciously giving away two copies of that book to my readers today. Just tell us what your favorite type of historical hero is for a chance to win! And don’t forget to follow Julia on facebook and Pinterest!
52 thoughts on “Guest Author: Julia Justiss & Giveaway!!”
My favorite type of historical hero is a Tortured lord or a wealthy Duke
Or both, Kristine!
Yep Vanessa both would be perfection 😉
I love them all. I’d have a different one for every day of the week & extra for the weekends. A rogue and a rake comes first to mind though. To go against convention – I do love that in a book.
Mary, I like the way you think!
My favorite type of hero is the tortured soul, either because he has physical problems, or because he had a terrible childhood. Basically, just a hero that needs a strong, feisty heroine to love him and make him whole…
That type of hero is dreamy, Irma!
My favorite kind of hero? Hmmm…that’s a tough one as I have a lot of favorites…almost one for every day of the week. Love pirates and tough guys, but also wounded warrior types. I love guys like Han Solo and guys like Dean Winchester, a character in the tv show “Supernatural”–a hot tough guy with a sensitive streak.
Love both Dean and Han!
My Favorite Historical hero is one that swoops in and claims someone who is beautiful in a different way, but perfect for the position of Duchess or Countess, etc. He needs to accept her for who she is and truely give his heart and care to her.
That is the best kind of her, Rebeccah!
It depends on my mood! But I always have a soft spot for rakes!
I bet a lot of us do, May!
Love those rascally rakes!
Me, too! I have fun writing them, Cate.
My favorite type is a man with a conscience and a sense of humor. This is a truly good man. What more could you ask for?
Excellent characteristics, Connie!
I love a tortured hero. But I also love rakes because when they fall…they fall HARD! LOL
A man with character, integrity and compassion.
Anne, you’re right. A true hero must ultimately have those qualities.
I think I like the titled male who feels he can never get married because he has to take care of – the family monies, the younger siblings, the elderly Widowed Mother – take your pick or make up another. Dee
I love that trope too, Deanna!
My favorite type of historical hero is the tortured and/or damaged hero. I love to see how someone in such a bad place can find love and happiness and get a happily ever after.
That type of hero is perfect for very emotional stories, Barbara.
I love a hero who is realistic – not too perfect, handsome, rich, etc. The perfect ones are as bad as perfect heroines – boring!
My favorite heroes are Highlanders 😉
Yes to the Highlanders!
I love them all! As long as they´re alpha, protective and I get a HEA in the end! =)
Have a great weekend, Linda!
I like a hero is strong even though he may be tortured; one who knows his own mind but will listen to his woman. I don’t like a hero who is so domineering that the heroine doesn’t have a chance.
Yep – alpha doesn’t necessarily mean domineering.
Congrats to Julia on the new release! Thanks so much for sharing! Like May said, the hero I like depends on my mood 🙂 But generally I don’t have a fav. I like them all!
Yes, mood influences my reading choices too, Erin.
I love the honorable hero but the best part of a good book is falling in love with the hero regardless.
I love rakes and rascals… thanks!
My hero has to have a good heart, but it’s that dashing and dangerous appearance that draws me in. 🙂
Good combo, Donna!
My heros have to be more than just a pretty face. They need a good heart and a quick wit so you know they will keep you on your toes.
I love Rakes that end up losing their hearts, and along the way learning valuable lessons.
I guess you could give him the “Rake” label. My best description would be a character a lot like Han Solo. He always has a smart remark and a smirk on his face!
The classic rogue, Renee!
If we look at my reading list, you will find a lot of rakes and dukes. Sometimes I get a double bonus when I find a rakish duke.
Dominic looks like my kind of hero. I love one who was wounded in the war and returns bitter and disillusioned. I don’t think I’ve ever read any of Julia’s books but I’d love to win a copy of this one. Regency romance is my favorite genre though I read others. I’ll be hunting some of them as it looks like she writes what I love to read. Vanessa thank you for this interview. I find most of the new to me authors by reading blog interviews.
I love pirates too, bn!
Great day for an appearance! I’m running between eye doc appointment this morning, fixing lunch for 94-yr-old fil, then home to meet plumbers coming to look at the dishwasher this afternoon. Yikes!
Love the hero types–and a pirate! Thanks to Vanessa for inviting me in–I’ll try to stop by again later.
Hi, Julia! No worries – we’ll be here!
I love the rakes that fall hard for the strong heroine. But any kind of hero works for me! sounds like a fun series!
I think my favorite type of hero is a strong take-charge sort of man who is honorable, has a kind heart, and is protective and compassionate. Think the Duke of Ainsley from Lorraine Heath’s Waking UP with the Duke! Justiss’ stories are now on must read list! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.
My absolute favourite would be those using witty repartee with the heroines. I fall for them every single time.
I get tired of the girl pining away for the man, so it’s a joy to read when the guy just can’t seem to get the girl, no matter how hard he tries (and he does try, LOL).
Being tender with the heroine, but not necessarily so with others, is also a bonus. I just melt….