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Uncaged Feature Author – Julie Johnstone

Uncaged: Welcome to Uncaged! Your latest releases have been a Highlander time travel series with a co-writer, Cecelia Mecca. How did this partnership come about? Can you tell readers more about the series?

It’s so great to be here! Thank you so much for having me! So, the Scottish time travel series, Highlanders Through Time, came about when Cecelia Mecca approached me about working together at the NINC conference. I was excited to work with her because I love her writing, and we share a similar fan base. I’d had an idea some time ago about writing a time travel series, and Cecelia had written one before, so after telling her my idea, we decided to go for time travel, but we came up with a new idea in case I wanted to use my other one in the future.
This series revolves around four modern day billionaire bad boy brothers who are tossed back in time to Medieval Scotland! Say that ten times really fast! Anyway, Cecelia and I both share a love for Scotland, and I was pretty steeped in Highland history, so the book delves into the political drama surrounding the death of the Scottish king Alexander. We started asking a bunch of ‘what if’ questions and built are plot from there. What if the king’s death was not an accident but a conspiracy? What if the king of England was involved? What if there was a witness to the plot? What if time travel was possible?
There are four books, and each book focuses on one of the brother’s journeys back through time. The overarching plot though is a quest to find their mother who disappeared five years earlier from modern day New Orleans where they live. Since the day she disappeared their father has been claiming that she was a time traveler who was snatched back to her time, but everyone thought he was crazy. Turns out, he was not so crazy after all. When the father falls critically ill, the brothers go to his home, and discover an ancient chant and a time travelling cross and the journey begins! They set out to try to time travel and bring their mom back to try to help their dad come out of the coma he’s in.

Here is the blurb for book one, Sinful Scot, which is out now!

In a time he doesn’t belong, in an alliance she shouldn’t have made, they’ll fall dangerously, hopelessly in love.

New Orleans, 2020. Billionaire Rhys McCaim doesn’t believe for one second that his missing mother is a time traveler. Still, his father insists that she didn’t leave them willingly but was pulled through time to her true home in medieval Scotland. But when he and his three brothers test out an ancient time-traveling spell to appease their dying father and Rhys is catapulted to thirteenth-century Scotland, he can’t exactly deny it anymore. Suddenly he’s a Highlander in a land on the verge of war. He needs to get back to his time before all hell breaks loose, but first he must find his mother. Luckily, fate drops the perfect guide in his path. She’s brilliant, beautiful and bold, and he’s drawn to her in a way he’s never been drawn to anyone or anything before. But he can’t afford to be distracted from his mission or lower his carefully constructed guard.

Scotland, 1286. Maggie Irvine is betrothed to a vicious man who cares only of wealth and power. Marrying him will restore her family’s reputation, however, saving her siblings from lives of misery. She has resigned herself to her fate, but when a mysterious, handsome stranger magically appears before her out of thin air, her plan—and the stranger’s life—are in jeopardy. And the only way to save him is to risk everything. As she comes to learn the shocking truth of what he hides, Maggie discovers what happens when duty collides with desire and long-abandoned dreams rise to the surface.

Bound by secrets and lies, Maggie and Rhys are entangled in the brewing battle for the Scottish throne. With his knowledge of the future, Rhys possesses the powerful ability to alter history. Yet, to do so successfully, he must let Maggie past the defenses he’s spent a lifetime building. Now, an alliance that began in desperation becomes a need that will leave them both torn between what they should do and what love demands.

Uncaged: What are you working on next that you can tell us about?

I just turned in the first draft of Seductive Scot, which is book 3 in the time travel series. After I take a much needed week vacation, I’m going to be delving into a new historical series that combines Scottish heroes and heroines with the Regency period. I started my career in the Regency period, but I hopped over to the Medieval period three years ago to write my Medieval Scottish books. Fifteen books later, I think I’m ready to shake things up again. It’s really important to me to write what I’m feeling passionate about and not to try to force something just because it’s selling well. Medieval books have been very good to me, but I’m feeling the Regency period again, so I’m going to take a leap of faith and go for it.

Read the rest of the interview in the issue below

Julie Johnstone is a USA Today and #1 Amazon bestselling author. Scottish historical romance, Scottish historical time travel romance, and Regency historical romance featuring highlanders, aristocrats and modern-day billionaire bad boys are her love, and she enjoys creating both with a hefty dose of twists, plenty of heartstring tugs, and a guaranteed happily ever after.

Her books have been dubbed “fabulously entertaining and engaging,” making readers cry, laugh, and swoon. Johnstone lives in Alabama with her very own lowlander husband, her two children – the heir and the spare, her snobby cat, and her perpetually happy dog.

In her spare time she enjoys way too much coffee balanced by super hot yoga, reading, and traveling.

juliejohnstoneauthor.com

Sinful Scot
Julie Johnstone & Cecelia Mecca
Highlander Romance/Time Travel

In a time he doesn’t belong, in an alliance she shouldn’t have made, they’ll fall dangerously, hopelessly in love.

New Orleans, 2020. Billionaire Rhys McCaim doesn’t believe for one second that his missing mother is a time traveler.

Still, his father insists that she didn’t leave them willingly but was pulled through time to her true home in medieval Scotland. But when he and his three brothers test out an ancient time-traveling spell to appease their dying father and Rhys is catapulted to thirteenth-century Scotland, he can’t exactly deny it anymore. Suddenly he’s a Highlander in a land on the verge of war. He needs to get back to his time before all hell breaks loose, but first he must find his mother. Luckily, fate drops the perfect guide in his path. She’s brilliant, beautiful and bold, and he’s drawn to her in a way he’s never been drawn to anyone or anything before. But he can’t afford to be distracted from his mission or lower his carefully constructed guard.

Scotland, 1286. Maggie Irvine is betrothed to a vicious man who cares only of wealth and power. Marrying him will restore her family’s reputation, however, saving her siblings from lives of misery. She has resigned herself to her fate, but when a mysterious, handsome stranger magically appears before her out of thin air, her plan—and the stranger’s life—are in jeopardy. And the only way to save him is to risk everything. As she comes to learn the shocking truth of what he hides, Maggie discovers what happens when duty collides with desire and long-abandoned dreams rise to the surface.

Bound by secrets and lies, Maggie and Rhys are entangled in the brewing battle for the Scottish throne. With his knowledge of the future, Rhys possesses the powerful ability to alter history. Yet, to do so successfully, he must let Maggie past the defenses he’s spent a lifetime building. Now, an alliance that began in desperation becomes a need that will leave them both torn between what they should do and what love demands.

Excerpt

Chapter One

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
~ Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”


The Present
2020
New Orleans, Louisiana

“Don’t tell me you’re gay,” asked the too perfectly put-together blonde standing before Rhys, her eyebrows arched in a question mark. “That would be a shame,” she continued, grinning at him. “All the best-looking men seem to be.”

The bass guitarist strummed more chords from the stage of the Dungeon, and the notes vibrated into Rhys McCaim’s chest, rumbled through his veins, and pounded into his head. Normally, he’d be starting to feel loose by now, unwinding from a long week of running his family’s billion-dollar shipping company and all the responsibility that came with it. But not tonight. Not when Reikart was with him.

He didn’t need to turn his head to see his younger brother’s glare. He could feel it burning a hole in his temple. Rhys was here for the music and Reikart for the women, which was why Rhys rarely frequented this underground club—or any club, really—with his brother. Reikart tilted his head none too discreetly at the raven-haired woman standing beside the blonde. The two friends were a package deal apparently, and Reikart wanted to open his part of the package.

“You’re really not going to dance with me?” the blonde said, managing a perfect pout while sharing a quick what-the-hell look with her friend.
Rhys circled his shoulders, trying to loosen the knots that had formed during the board meeting earlier that day. He mentally cursed his brother for asking to tag along tonight, and he cursed himself, too, for relenting. All three of his brothers were grown men, but as the eldest, Rhys felt responsible for them, as if he had to be the stand-in parent after their mom had disappeared five years before and their dad had slid into insanity.
“I just don’t dance. Sorry.” He shrugged.

Her pout grew more pronounced. “We don’t have to dance, if you know what I mean.” She offered a coy smile.

He knew exactly what she meant, but he didn’t do that, either, or at least he hadn’t in the last year. Hell, he could be a priest with his celibate lifestyle if he had any desire to, which he didn’t. “I appreciate the offer, but I have a girlfriend.”

“Just my luck,” the blonde said, raising her hand to his chest and slipping one long, pointy nail between the buttoned material. She gently raked the sharp end along his skin. “I spot the hottest guy here, and he just so happens to be the last honorable man alive.” With that, she withdrew her hand, flipped her hair over her shoulder, and motioned to her friend. “Come on, Ally.”

Read the rest of this excerpt in the issue below

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