HRR Top 5 List & Contest: Julie Johnstone

The Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London

Top 5 Writing Buddies

I feel so fortunate to be a writer. I get up every day and get to do a job I love! Yes, there have absolutely been highs and lows on my writing journey, but the wonderful moments far outweigh the sad ones. One of the most amazing blessings has been the other writers I have met along the way. I would not be where I am today without my writing gals that are my rock in this crazy fun writing world!

I was very fortunate to meet three of them early on as my first critique partners. Samantha Grace, Ava Stone and Jerrica Knight Cantania were in the first critique group I ever joined and these ladies and I have come up the ranks together. We have shared laughter, tears, triumphs, and tragedies, and I know I can count on them always to help me out of a plot jam or life jam.

I was very lucky to meet Katherine Bone, one of my other favorite writing friends in my local RWA chapter, Southern Magic. Katherine never fails to help me when I ask her, and she always has a listening ear. She is one sweet lady who can write a fantastic book blurb as well as some sizzling historical pirate romances!

My last writing friend I cannot live without is Nina McCallum. Nina is not published YET, but she is an amazing writer, and the woman I constantly call on to beta read for me. Nina has been pivotal in helping me iron out many plot issues and I feel so lucky to know her.

It’s so hard to name just five women as the top five when I have come in contact with so many amazing women in this business!



“What are you doing?” Arabella demanded with a gasp.

Justin landed with a crunch of glass in—he glanced swiftly around the room—the study. “What does it appear I’m doing?” he commanded, a trifle irritated, more so that she was upending his calmness again.

She was annoyed? The ungrateful wench! He’d spent the past half hour ensuring she was safe when he could have been sleeping. Where the hell had his control gone? He started to count in his mind when she spoke.

“It appears,” she said, in an acerbic tone, “that you have come into my house without being invited, after stalking me.”

“Stalking you?” This…this ingratitude was a perfect example of why befriending people was more trouble than it was worth. “Miss Carthright,” he clipped, reverting in anger to formalities, “I do not stalk women. Women follow me.” He didn’t give a damn that he sounded pompous. It was the truth.

Her nostrils flared as her eyes narrowed. “Who lives here, Your Grace?”

“What?” he asked, brushing stray bits of glass from his hair he’d gotten when climbing through the window.

“You heard me,” she pressed.

“You bloody well live here,” he thundered, then clenched his fists at his temper.

She nodded. “And as I bloody well live here, as you so rudely put it, is it not correct to say that you followed me?

“All right,” he barked. “I followed you. Are you satisfied?”

The sweetest smile came to her face, lighting her blue eyes and making his chest tighten oddly and his anger slip away. Respect replaced it. She had stood up to him without blinking an eye.

“Not totally,” she said in a lilting voice that matched the sweetness of her smile. “I’d like to know why you followed me and why you had a pistol pointed at me.”

“I followed you, Arabella,” he said, striding past her and into the hall to check the perimeter for intruders, “because I thought you were lying when you said you were not walking home,” he said in a low voice. “I had the pistol aimed at the dark, not knowing who may appear, as I saw the broken window.”

“You saw the broken window when you were lurking around my house,” she stated from directly behind him, her voice low, as well.

He was prowling. Damn her bedazzling blue eyes. But he’d been doing so because if he was going to trust her even a fraction, he wanted to know exactly who she was. He drummed his fingers against his thigh, trying to decide what to say.

“I admit,” he whispered, “that I wanted to learn more about you and make sure you were telling me the truth, as I’m relying on you to help me with a rather personal matter. It is very difficult for me to trust people.” He didn’t know why he’d added the last bit. What a stupid thing to say. Then again, it was always best to keep lies as close to the truth as possible.

“I accept your apology,” she said.

He could feel his brow furrow. “I did not apologize.”

“Oh, but you did.” Her words were a breezy whisper. “I do believe doing so must be so foreign to you that you didn’t even realize what you were doing. Nevertheless, I accept. However,” she continued, still whispering, “next time you want to know more about me, simply ask. I am an open book.”

He cocked an eyebrow. “Which kind? A mystery?”

She frowned. “A very short, boring tale actually, until perhaps meeting you. Things are becoming more complicated now.”

“I have that effect on people who know me,” he replied.


Author Bio

Julie Johnstone is a USA TODAY best-selling author of Regency Romance and the author of a new urban fantasy/paranormal romance book. She’s been a voracious reader of books since she was a young girl. Her mother would tell you that as a child Julie had a rich fantasy life made up of many different make believe friends. As an adult, Julie is one of the lucky few who can say she is living the dream by working with her passion of creating worlds from her imagination. When Julie is not writing she is chasing her two precocious children around, cooking, reading or exercising. Julie loves to hear from her readers. You can find Julie at these places:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads | Newsletter




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25 thoughts on “HRR Top 5 List & Contest: Julie Johnstone

  1. Laney4 says:

    “I have that effect on people who know me,” he replied.
    Reeled me in right there. Love sarcastic humor (probably because I employ it myself, LOL)!

  2. Laney4 says:

    Oops. I should have read the requirement first…. I agree. A sampling is more than enough for me so that I don’t get lost in the translation and instead enjoy the romance for what it is.

  3. Patricia Wissore says:

    I prefer just a taste, if I had to read something in the original language and tome, I’m afraid I’d be lost!

  4. I love authenticity is my historical novels and including the older language is a great way to add that realistic quality to the story. I agree, though, that most people will lose track of the storyline if they don’t understand the meaning of the words, so these days, it’s probably best to just add a little taste of the old world language. Personally, I would love it, but it’s not for everyone I suppose.

  5. Mary Dieterich says:

    I think it’s good to have a sampling of the vocabulary of the day so you understand what the speech patterns were like and you learn new words. But I don’t think it’s necessary to stick strictly to period speech. Sometimes, an anachronistic word will bug me, but I understand most authors aren’t trying to be historically accurate all the time.

  6. Diane Sallans says:

    I’d like as full a serving as seems reasonable, for a very rich dish, moderation may be recommended.

  7. erinf1 says:

    just a taste. I like it to be somewhat keeping with the times, but if the vocabulary is too jarringly different, it throws me out of the story and I lose concentration. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Marcy Shuler says:

    I like a taste. Otherwise it can get confusing to have so many new words/phrases sprung on me at one time that I have to remember. LOL

  9. Mary Preston says:

    A smattering is good. That way I get the full feel of the story without being taken out of it while I ponder.

  10. Carol L says:

    A taste is fine But more then that it tends to side track me. Thanks for the excerpt and the giveaway chance.
    Carol L

  11. Diana Tidlund says:

    I like it that way and don’t get lost but it does take me a little bit longer to read it like that

  12. Linda says:

    I like it in moderation. The main thing I love about historical romance is the elegance – speech included.

  13. Karen H says:

    I like language/speech patterns to be relatively authentic for the time period and location. Years back, I picked up what could have been a very good book but the author had the heroine, who was the uneducated daughter of a tavern owner in London speaking as an aristocrat and it just didn’t gel for me. I couldn’t finish the book….one of the few books I haven’t read to completion.

    On the other hand, I recently read a book that had the hero going deaf…he still had hearing, but in certain situations, he couldn’t hear. The author had some word scattered throughout the book that were in italics and abbreviated. Some words were hard to figure out what they were. I wondered what the purpose of this was so I wrote a note to the author. She told me she wrote those words as how the hero was hearing them. OK, that made sense to me. I finished the book and loved it.

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