Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wild Card Weekend - Julia Justiss

This weekend, hang out with historical author Julia Justiss and take a chance GAMBLING ON LOVE!

Why do our heroes and heroines usually fight against their attraction, try to explain it away as liking or lust or proximity? Why do they so resist uttering those three simple words, “I love you”? Maybe it’s because committing yourself heart and soul to another person, placing your finances, your future and your happiness in their hands, is a scary and risky endeavor.

As a writer, the theme of love as a risk has engaged me since my very first book, appropriately entitled THE WEDDING GAMBLE. To save her family from financial disaster, heroine Sarah Wellingford enters a marriage of convenience with society gambler Nicholas Stanhope, Marquess of Englemere. Of course, since it’s a romance, after rocky starts and problems along the way, the two ultimately find their happily-ever-after.

Gambling features in the next two books of our ongoing REGENCY SILK & SCANDAL miniseries that kicked off this month with Louise Allen’s THE LORD AND THE WAYWARD LADY. In my story, Book 3, THE SMUGGLER AND THE SOCIETY BRIDE, out in August, heroine Lady Honoria Carlow flees London after a scandal. Angry with her family for not believing she had no part in the fiasco that ruined her, she turns her back on her family’s country estate and instead strikes out for the remotest tip of Cornwall to see her mother’s aunt, a rebellious black sheep who broke with the family after a scandal of her own. In her eagerness to put London and everything “Carlow” behind her, Honoria gambles that this relation she hasn’t seen in years will take her in, despite the shame now clinging to her.

Instead of judgment and censure, Aunt Foxe gives her acceptance and support…even when Honoria finds herself almost immediately attracted to Gabe Hawksworth, captain of a smuggling vessel and dashing local hero. Honoria knows her elevated, proper family would be horrified by her friendship with a low-born free-trader. But when it comes to her happiness, can she follow her heart and gamble everything on this most unusual love?

Christine Merrill’s Book 2, PAYING THE VIRGIN’S PRICE, out in July, features as its hero gambler Nathan Wardale. Cast out of a life of privilege when his father was hanged for treason some 20 years earlier, Nate has earned his own way and has only scorn for the pampered aristocrats whose money and possessions he wins. Until he encounters Diana Price, companion to the daughters of George Carlow—whose testimony sent his own father to the gallows. Nathan, who to isolate himself from the scandal now goes by “Nate Dale,” knows one thing the proper Miss Price does not…that he’s the man who years earlier, on the turn of a card, won from her desperate gamester father the right to take her virtue. It was a stake he never intended to redeem, until he’s drawn into a web of revenge that threatens more than just her good name and leaves him wondering whether what he really wants is her virtue…or her heart.

Pressed on by an opportunity too good to pass up, a sudden hunch, or a handsome face, have you ever gambled on love? How did it turn out? Would you do it again? Two LUCKY responders will win a copy of Christine Merrill’s upcoming PAYING THE VIRGIN’S PRICE.


  1. Wow! So many great new releases! Wonderful characters and story lines, intriguing titles and gorgeous covers : )

    I took a gamble when I met the love of my life, and I lost. When you love someone truly, madly, deeply, the relationship may not last. The love will last forever. I'd take the same gamble every time just to love and be loved that way in return.

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  2. Yes, I took a gamble once but it didn't work out. I don't think that would stop me from trying again if the chance came my way.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  3. Virginia and Linda, hugs on the gamble that didn't pay off...but as Virginia said, to experience that wonderful, crazy, all-encompassing thrill of first love is worth the risk. It does indeed create memories that will last for a lifetime.

  4. Great blog today I love these kinds of books thanks

  5. I was lucky, I gambled on a guy who dated my ex-roomate. We will celebrate our 33rd anniversary next month. My sister also dated an ex- roommate's boyfriend, they will be married 32 years in September! The gamble definitely paid off for both of us!

    johnslake at usa dot com

  6. I love the Silk and Scandal continuity. How cool that you wrote Honoria's story, Julia! She's a fun character, and I can just see her falling for a smuggler. I can't wait to read it.

    Don't put me in the drawing, as I bought my copy of Paying the Virgin's Price yesterday. Can't wait to dig in!

  7. Woohoo, Laurie and sis! Sounds like ex-roomates were good luck! Congrats on 33 and 32 years respectively. Since Barbara didn't offer a story, we're now running 50/50 on the gambles paying off. More stories, anyone?

  8. after being divorced for 8 yrs. I moved to another province and then met a guy visiting one of my tenants at the apartment complex I managed. Next time in town he asked me out for supper and I declined b/c I needed to wash/curl my hair. 45 minutes later I thought why shouldn't I go out with him so phoned and said I'd go if he didn't mind waiting for 1 1/2 hrs. so I could do my hair. He waited and on July 29th we will be married 21 yrs. It paid off.

  9. Robynl, that's a wonderful story! Though I had to chuckle...the opening reminded me of that great Bette Davis line "I'd love to kiss you but I just washed my hair." (I wonder if your dh thought of that when you initially turned him down!) Congrats on 21 great years!

  10. Not a gamble on love, but a gamble on a horse because I liked the colours its jockey was wearing. Won my stake money back 14-fold - what a shame I hadn't bet the house on it...

  11. What a hoot, Alison! You could have retired and gone to live on some Greek island with hot-and-cold running houseboys!

    But you had the thrill of striking it rich, even if the amount was more modest. Kudos!