Stella: Hi Juliana, welcome back to Ex Libris! Care to share what you have been up to since you stopped by in December last year?
Improper Arrangements, began edits on it, and then I wrote the third Improper novella, Improper Proposals, and went through the editorial process for it.
Stella: Your brand new release Improper Arrangements is the sequel to your debut novella Improper Relations, which I loved! :-) Can you share with us why you chose to write a sequel and what inspired the story/characters and their romance?
Juliana: I didn’t deliberately set out to write a series of linked books, but when I finished writing Improper Relations I was curious about Leo’s never-seen fiancée (well, almost-fiancée) Lady Alice. I wondered what might have happened to her after her rejection by Leo, and decided she deserved to have a happy ending of her own!
Stella: Could you tell our readers what they can expect of Improper Arrangements?
Juliana: They should certainly expect an entirely different setting – no more stately homes and London high society. Instead, we follow Lady Alice and her guide as they travel on foot through the High Alps – without a single ballroom in sight.
Stella: Could you introduce the hero and heroine of Improper Arrangements to us?
Juliana: Lady Alice is an unusual woman for her time. Not only has she managed to establish herself as an independent woman, free from the control of a husband or other male relative, but she is also committed to living an interesting, useful and even adventurous life. Beneath her confident exterior, however, is a woman with a wounded heart. She was badly hurt when she was young, and this has caused her to turn her back on the possibility of love and marriage. Until, that is, she meets Elijah Philemon Keating.
She is immediately captivated—not only by his unconventional appearance, but also by the way he commands attention without even trying. Here’s her impression of him from early in the book:
He began to make his way toward me, the look in his eyes chill and assessing and more than a little frightening. There was something quite singular about the way he moved, as if he’d swiftly calculated the optimal route from the room’s entrance to my table and was disinclined to expend any more than the minimal amount of time and effort to reach his objective.
As he walked through the room, heads turned to follow his progress. He was the sort of man who must attract attention wherever he went, and all the more so now that he was finely dressed. His hair was still long, though neatly combed, and he’d shaved off his beard. He looked younger without it, I thought. But no less dangerous.
Elijah is an acclaimed mountaineer and explorer, but loathes the limelight and has chosen to life quietly in a small Alpine village. He’s grumpy and irritable and not at all certain that he wishes to accompany Lady Alice on her journey through the Alps. Fortunately he decides to agree, otherwise the story would have ended before it began!
Stella: Could you whet our appetites for Improper Arrangements in Twitter-style (in 140 characters or less)?
Juliana: One independent-minded Victorian lady + one gorgeous adventurer + one trip through the High Alps = Improper Arrangements.
Stella: A little birdie told me that there may be more Improper stories coming, could you tell us more about the rumours? ;-)
Juliana: There is another novella – Improper Proposals, which will be published on March 24, 2014. It tells the story of Lady Alice’s brother Tom, a London publisher, and Caroline Boothroyd, a recent widow in need of a writing project. Let’s just say the book she agrees to write for him is highly improper – and that, once again, sparks fly when they are thrown together.
Stella: Would you like to share with us your future plans, what shall we be on the lookout next?
Juliana: I’m working on a full-length novel – I can’t yet share any details but you will be the first to know when everything is settled! I’m also set to appear on a panel on writing spicy historical romance with Jess Michaels, Kate Pearce and Monica Burns at the RT Readers Convention in New Orleans in May, 2014. Needless to say I’m really looking forward to it.
Juliana: Although I dearly love Pride and Prejudice, my favorite Austen novel is Persuasion, I think because I am so fond of Anne Elliott. Simply thinking about how she suffers in the years between her rejection of Captain Wentworth’s proposal and their finding love together again…it makes me teary every time! I should add that the movie adaptation starring Ciaran Hinds and Amanda Root is magnificent—highly recommended.
Stella: I completely agree! There is so much heartache and love in that adaptation, love it! …favourite Downton Abbey character?
|The Dowager Countess played by Maggie Smith|
…favourite British tradition?
Juliana: I lived in England during my early twenties and grew very fond of afternoon tea. Not the elaborate kind of tea that tourists eat in grand London hotels – I mean simply a cup of tea properly made (almost impossible to find in North America), served with one or two biscuits (not cookies) that aren’t too sweet or too rich. I still like to brew up a pot of tea on a rainy afternoon and imagine I’m back in England.
Stella: …your favourite authors of historical romance?
Juliana: There are so many! Off the top of my head I would say Elizabeth Hoyt, Tessa Dare, Courtney Milan, Sherry Thomas, Meredith Duran, Loretta Chase, Lisa Kleypas, Julie Anne Long…I could probably add another dozen or so names but you get the idea!
Stella: Thanks so much for stopping by Juliana!:-)
You can find Juliana on her website, Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook and - her newest obsession - Pinterest.
Improper Arrangements by Juliana Ross
A reckless infatuation nearly ruined Lady Alice Cathcart-Ross in her youth, but from the moment she spies Elijah Philemon Keating scaling a rock face without a rope in sight, the man awakens her long-buried desire. Alice has come to the high Alps in search of a mountaineer, and in Elijah she finds the guide of her dreams.
Though Elijah is known as one of the greatest explorers of the age, a tragic accident has destroyed his taste for adventure and society. Elijah can't deny his attraction to Alice, but he resolves to avoid the entanglement that could accompany it. He promises Alice one week in the Alps, and no more.
Alice agrees, valuing her independence above all else. But as the heights they climb by day are overshadowed by the summits of passion they reach at night, these vows become harder and harder to keep…
Juliana has very generously offered an ebook copy of Improper Arrangements (or Improper Relations if the winner hasn't read it yet) to a lucky reader!
To be entered in the giveaway just leave a comment and tell us about your favourite period drama or historical romance author.