I’m delighted to inform you, gentle readers, that my October Regency historical, FROM WAIF TO GENTLEMAN’S WIFE, is now available!  For those of you who have followed my work for some time, this is the story of Sir Edward Greaves, the third of the three best friends Nicholas Stanhope, Marquess of Englemere (THE WEDDING GAMBLE) and Hal Waterman (A MOST UNCONVENTIONAL MATCH).  The lady who will capture his love is Joanna Anders Merrill, a widow with an unusual and exotic past.

Now for a brief description:

When a destitute governess faints on Sir Edward Greaves’s threshold, chivalry demands that he offer her temporary shelter.  However, the desire Ned feels when he catches her in his arms isn’t at all gentlemanly.

In spite of his attraction to her, Ned finds it extremely suspect that a lady claiming to be the sister of the fired estate manager happens to end up on his doorstep just after his carriage has been attacked by Luddite agitators.  But Joanna Merrill’s large, troubled eyes and slender frame call to something deep inside this guarded man.  For one who has purposefully shunned the conniving beauties of London society, just how much is Ned risking by allowing this intriguing woman under his roof?

“An enjoyable read with absorbing characters and a slice of English history.” 
NY Times Bestselling author Debbie Macomber

That “Elusive Spicy Scent”

Like all my heroines, Joanna has a signature scent—but while I was writing the book, I didn’t know exactly what it was, other than it must come from the India where she spent her youth and contain the tang of sandalwood and the sweetness of jasmine.  Its spicy floral aroma soon bewitched Ned and came to represent, in his mind, the alluring charm of his lady.

Fellow historical writer Amanda McCabe, also a perfume enthusiast, pointed me in the right direction by recommending www.dshperfumes.com, a Colorado company that uses a variety of spices and floral essences to create unique scents.  A quick search of their listings, and I found what must have been Joanna’s blend, “Aphrodisia.”  The catalog describes it as “an aphrodisiac scent with extracts of flowers, woods and spices known throughout history and folklore for their aphrodisiacal qualities.”  Among its ingredients are spices, Bulgarian roses, jasmine, frankincense, patchouli and sandalwood.   The blend was certainly effective in stirring Ned’s passions!

For a special treat and in honor of the release of FROM WAIF TO GENTLEMAN’S WIFE, I’m offering a trial-size bottle of “Aphrodisia” as the prize in this month’s website contest.  Also new on the site are an excerpt, character sketches, photos of the locale and some research bits that went into the creation of Ned and Joanna’s story.  Stop by www.juliajustiss.com to check out the features, and don’t forget to enter the contest for your chance to win a vial of Joanna’s special scent!

Julia