Author Interview: J’nell Ciesielski & The Highlanders collection

Posted November 13, 2019 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, historical, J’nell Ciesielski, romance / 5 Comments

Please join me in welcoming J’nell Ciesielski to the blog to chat about The Highlanders and her new novella “Night Fox”!

Believing she was born in the wrong era, J’nell Ciesielski spends her days writing heart-stopping heroes, brave heroines, and adventurous exploits in times gone by. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages contest and Maggie Award, J’nell can often be found dreaming of a second home in Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Born a Florida girl, she now calls Virginia home, along with her very understanding husband, young daughter, and one lazy beagle.

You can connect with J’nell on her website, Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads and Twitter.

Check out my review of her debut novel, Among the Poppies, by clicking HERE

GENRE: Historical Romance (clean)
RELEASE DATE: November 15, 2019
PAGES: 301

Never underestimate the heart of a Highlander.

Night Fox

After the failed Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, war-weary Deven McLendon returns home to discover a thief creating chaos on his lands. But this thief isn’t like any other. When Rooney Corsen sets out to steal jewels to repay her family’s debts and keep a roof over her little sisters’ heads, never does she imagine snagging the laird’s heart instead.

A Tender Siege

Pontiac’s War, August 1763: “I beg Ye to take me.” Wounded in battle in the American wilderness, Lachlan McRea of His Majesty’s 42nd Highlanders pleads with God, yearning to be reunited with his lost wife and child. As death hovers near, he is discovered by Wenonah, a native widow doing all she can to survive alone while avoiding the attentions of a dangerous Shawnee warrior. In aiding one another, their perils increase. If Lachlan can let go of the woman he once loved, he might find healing for both body and soul.

The Year without Summer

Shoved off his family’s land in Scotland in 1816, Grant Cummings looks for work in Ulster, Ireland. He needs money and a home to raise his young brother. Molly MacGregor loses her father and his income, but she has no time to grieve as she sews and spins to earn enough to keep her and her young brother alive. Renting out the hut on their land might be the answer, but only if she can overcome her prejudice against the handsome Highlander who moves in. Her heart might soften toward him, but not when he plans to set sail for America.

The Violinist

In 1915 Idaho, homesick lumberjack Callan MacTavish despairs of ever seeing his Scottish homeland again. With kindness and patience, music teacher Rose Marchmont reaches a part of Callan’s heart he’d long ago locked away. She sees beyond his rough exterior to the artistic heart beneath. He longs for more than he can offer her, but she doesn’t know about the secret trauma that keeps him from crossing the sea.


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Hi J’nell! Welcome back to the blog!

J’nell: Neither! If it’s morning, then it’s juice for me. Water throughout the day, or a coke for a special treat. Cherry coke!!

Carrie: I’m with you (and now I want a cherry coke!)

J’nell: Netflix all the way. So many options depending on my mood.

Carrie: that’s true – it does have more variety (esp. this time of year lol)

J’nell: Ooh, that’s tough. I’ll go with sandwich. Unless I’m sick and then I want chicken noodle soup.

Carrie: Why IS chicken noodle soup so good when we’re sick & pretty much no other occasion?

J’nell: Board game. Candyland anyone?

Carrie: My 4-year-old nephew would be first in line … and then me, because I can’t resist his requests to play.

Q: Tell me some good books you’ve read recently.

J’nell: A Well Behaved Woman by Therese Anne Fowler. A fascinating look at Alma Vanderbilt where the reader is given a unique glimpse of the woman often considered overbearing and domineering to her daughter Consuelo. Her other book about Zelda Fitzgerald is also excellent.

Carrie: <adding to TBR list>

Q: If I asked your characters to describe YOU as an author, what would they say?

J’nell: Ugh! She’s such a perfectionist. The story can’t continue until she has us doing and saying exactly what she wants us to do. It’s like she thinks she’s in charge and always puts us in the most horrible situations! And what’s with all the bagpipe music when we’re supposed to be hanging out in Paris? Ok, ok, we like to give her a hard time, but sometimes we get to be pretty heroic and the stories always end happily ever after with our true love. All in all, I guess we’ll keep her around for another story. 

Carrie: haha!

Q: Were there any songs that inspired you as you wrote “Night Fox”?

J’nell: If I’m writing a story set in Scotland, there are bound to be bagpipes in the background. It’s how I roll. More specifically, I have the Outlander soundtrack on repeat. It’s so perfect for every emotion needed.

Carrie: ooo – that makes me want to go play The Piano Guys version of Fight Song … love the setting for that music video & love the bagpipes!

Q: If Hollywood wanted to produce “Night Fox” as a movie, who would you want to be cast as the lead roles?

J’nell: I don’t know who these random people are from Pinterest, but here are my inspirations for Rooney and Deven.


Carrie: <waves at random Pinterest people>  🙂

Q: Why do you think we are so often drawn to a Scottish setting (and a Highlander hero!) for romance novels? What did you love most about writing your novella for this Highlanders collection?

J’nell: This is one of those questions that seems so easy to answer at first (because it’s Scotland!), but difficult to nail down an exact reason when you think about it. For me it’s about the romance of the land and what it invokes. Strong Highlanders fighting with honor to guard safe all they love, women as fierce as the men, and a land as beautiful as it is wild. How can you not fall madly in love with such a place? I was so excited to return to Scotland after having my last few novels set in other place, but I also enjoyed writing something that was a little more lighthearted than what I usually write. Sure there’s some drama, but Night Fox came out a little more carefree 🙂

Carrie: “Strong Highlanders fighting with honor to guard safe all they love, women as fierce as the men, and a land as beautiful as it is wild. How can you not fall madly in love with such a place?” <— yes. this.

Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from “Night Fox” & why do you love it?

J’nell: It’s one of the last lines in the book the hero speaks to the heroine and it perfectly wraps up everything that has happened. “I told ye once before that I will catch ye, no matter how far ye run or how long it takes, for ye’re the fox who has stolen my heart.”

Carrie: Pardon me while I melt into a little swoon here – blissful sigh!

Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.

J’nell: WWII Paris. Glamour, treachery, and espionage collide when an English socialite rushes to save her sister from the Nazis, but it may cost her the man she loves.

The Socialite releases April 2020!

Carrie: Yay! I can’t wait!!

What about you? What interests you most about “Night Fox” by J’nell Ciesielski and The Highlanders collection?

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5 responses to “Author Interview: J’nell Ciesielski & The Highlanders collection

  1. Winnie Thomas

    Well, Scotland, of course! And Highlanders in general! Swoony guys in kilts! Need I say more?

    Thanks for the fun interview, Carrie and J’nell! I’m looking forward to reading more of your stories, J’nell!

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