Could you please introduce yourself and maybe tell us 5 interesting facts about yourself that readers wouldn’t necessarily know about you?

I am admittedly a bit of an oddity, although if there is one thing I have learned, it’s that you can’t stereotype romance authors! I am an epidemiologist (otherwise known as a disease detective) who works for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by day. I started writing mainly as a creative outlet for the stress of my day job. But once the writing bug sunk its teeth into me, I found it impossible to let go, so now I struggle to balance what amounts to two full-time jobs.

Five interesting facts:

1)     I am a recovering and sometimes failing Diet Coke addict. I give it up at least annually.

2)     I suffer from a self-diagnosed case of Seasonal Affective Disorder, and October-March I survive by dosing myself with 30 minutes of artificial sunlight every morning.

3)     I promised my kids a pony with my first book deal and delivered on that promise!

4)     I am a veterinarian by training. And yes, my hand HAS gone there. I have pictures to prove it.

5)     I get up and write from 4 to 6 am every day to get my word count in before life kicks in.

MOONLIGHT ON MY MIND is your third book and is releasing March 25th. What can you tell us about this upcoming release?

Moonlight on My Mind is the third and last book in my debut series. It features characters readers first met in my other books, including Patrick Channing (a veterinarian from What Happens in Scotland), a Miss Julianne Baxter (a fun busybody from Summer is for Lovers).


To ruin a man’s life once takes a regrettable mistake.

To do so twice takes a woman like Julianne Baxter.

Eleven months ago, Julianne’s statement to the authorities wrongly implicated Patrick, the new Earl of Haversham, in his older brother’s death. The chit is as much trouble as her red hair suggests, and just as captivating. Now she has impetuously tracked him to the wilds of Scotland, insisting that he return home to face a murder charge and save his family from ruin. A clandestine wedding may be the only way to save her reputation—and his neck from the hangman’s noose.

Julianne has no objection to the match. More and more she’s convinced of Patrick’s innocence, though when it comes to igniting her passions, the man is all too guilty. And if they can only clear his name, a marriage made in haste could bring about the most extraordinary pleasure…

 See the Book Trailer Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0EUI3B4ts0

WHAT HAPPENS IN SCOTLAND was nominated for Best First Historical Romance for 2013 RT Reviewer’s Choice!  Congratulations!!  Where you expecting the warm welcome your books have received?

Thank you so much! I was absolutely bowled over to make the RT Reviewer’s Choice list, and so, so thankful to hear from reviewers and readers who love my writing. But the welcome hasn’t been all roses… What Happens in Scotland has a decidedly different format from most historical romances (namely, the entire story takes place over 24 hours, and the hero and heroine are looking for each other for half the book, rather than interacting together in the same scenes). There are some historical romance readers and reviewers who definitely did not appreciate the novelty. 😉 But for those who eagerly embraced the differences and told everyone they knew to read it, I will forever be grateful!

What is about the historical romance genre that draws you in and ultimately you decided to write in this genre?

I’ve always preferred historicals to any other category in the Romance genre. Something about being swept away to another time and place where the social conventions were so different appeals to me on both a personal and intellectual level. When I decided to start writing, there was never any question in my mind which genre would be my focus. And, given a time machine, no question I’d choose to go back instead of forward!

If you could collaborate with another Historical Romance author on a secret project, who would you pick to work with and why?

Some of my favorite authors include Joanna Bourne, Meredith Duran, and Julia Quinn, and who wouldn’t want a secret project with any one of those inspiring ladies? But it is patently unfair of you to make me pick just one.

So I would choose to go on an international tour with all of those authors, with sociologist Meredith Duran as our official tour guide through India. When we are arrested as spies, Joanna Bourne will use her State Department background to talk our way out of prison. I, of course, will handily diagnose the enteric bacterial infection we get from drinking the local water, and Julia Quinn will treat our infections, using her own medical school background and her internal medicine husband’s guidance. And of course, we’d all go on to write an anthology about our experiences.

See, I TOLD you that it was impossible to stereotype romance authors!

Is there a book that you love to reread over and over again? If so, what do you think is it about that book that resonates with you?

The one book I have returned to several times in my life is probably going to surprise people…. It’s Ken Follett’s “Lie Down With Lions.” I first read this book during a 3 month stint in Africa, where I was working as a CDC scientist on polio eradication, and it carried me through some difficult, lonely days. Though Follett is primarily a suspense and sweeping saga sort of writer, Lie Down With Lions is a romance at its heart, featuring a love triangle set in war-torn 1980’s Pakistan. I would also strongly argue that even though it is in the 1980’s, it most definitely qualifies as a historical novel.

As to why the book resonates with me, I think it is because I found the descriptions of the region and the people so evocative. I re-read it every few years, and I am just as blown away by it each time.

Since it’s Historical month at UTC, we want to know why you love the era in which you write in and perhaps share with us some of your favourite books that explore that time period.

I will always reach for a historical first, given my choice of books. In addition to the amazing authors I mentioned above, here are some others I love:

1)     Cecilia Grant: A Lady Awakened (I blogged about it here😉

2)     Sarah MacClean: A Rogue By Any Other Name

3)     Julie Anne Long: What I Did for a Duke (but literally, anything in her Pennyroyal Green Series!)

4)     Elizabeth Essex: Almost a Scandal



Jennifer McQuiston’s debut historical romance, What Happens in Scotland, is a lively, romantic adventure about a wedding that neither the bride or the groom remembers.

Lady Georgette Thorold has always been wary of marriage, so when she wakes up next to an attractive Scotsman with a wedding ring on her finger, it’s easy to understand why she panics and flees. Convinced that Georgette is a thief, her may-be husband, James McKenzie, searches for her. As both try to recall what happened that fateful night, they begin to realize that their attraction and desire for each other is undeniable. But is it enough?

Fans of Sarah MacLean and Mary Balogh will enjoy this charming historical romance from New York Times best-selling author Jennifer McQuiston that features unforgettable characters and a satisfying mix of adventure and passion.


His heart is unavailable.
Luckily, her interest lies in the rest of him…

Though she was just a girl when they first met, Caroline Tolbertson’s infatuation with David Cameron remains undimmed. Now fate has brought the handsome Scotsman back to Brighton for what promises to be an unforgettable summer. Soon, Caroline will have to choose a husband, but for now she is free to indulge her curiosity in things of a passionate nature.

That is, if David will agree to teach her.

Past mistakes have convinced David he’ll make a terrible husband, though he’ll gladly help the unconventional Caroline find a suitor. Unfortunately, she has something more scandalous in mind. As the contenders for her hand begin to line up, her future seems assured…provided David can do the honorable thing and let them have her.

When a spirited young woman is determined to break Society’s rules, al a gentleman can do is lend a hand…or more.


[about-author author=”Jennifer McQuiston”]



Jennifer has a package of What Happens in Scotland and Moonlight on My Mind
up for grabs to a lucky maiden!  US and Canada.

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    1. Thanks Denise! I am looking forward to giving some books away! Although I will say… I don’t have ARC’s of Moonlight on My Mind yet, so that is going to be a “send to the lucky winner immediately as soon as I get it” kind of fulfillment….

  1. I agree with the love of being swept away – not just to see other people, but another time and place. Knowing that time is “rea” makes it even better.

  2. i really loved the second book (mmm david cameron.. not the PM might i add). and I’m really looking forward to the third!

  3. congrats to Jennifer on the new release!!! LOL… sounds like you have a full and happy household! Thanks for a fun interview!

  4. A pony? How cool do your kids think you are!! I love that you have so much training and such a serious responsible day job yet write these fantastic stories that take us away… so what books did you read when you were a child that you just had to share with your children, and why?

    1. My kids don’t think I am all that cool, but they DO love that pony. So, books I knew I must share with them… the Little House on the Prairie series, and the Misty of Chincoteague books.

      Now you can probably see why I got them a pony… I made sure they were horse-crazy from the womb. 🙂

  5. Thanks Jennifer for the connection of the 3 books. I couldn’t tell if they were a series or not. I picked up IHIS on a whim as I love Scottish Romance and I couldn’t tell if SIFL was connected to it or not. Now I know the 3rd ties them all together. Thanks and I wish you the best. My daughter was studying to be a Vet but changed to Animal Behavior so I understand about the “Hand” thing 😉

    1. LOL, I hope it wasn’t the “hand thing” that changed her mind… it isn’t really that bad! Plus, you are concentrating really hard, feeling for tiny clues like the whir of blood in an artery that tells you if the cow is pregnant. They are all connected in that certain characters tie in, but the books can also definitely be read as stand alone… you don’t absolutely have to read them in order. Hope you enjoy it!

      1. Jennifer ~ Thanks for the reply :-). In my daughter’s case it wasn’t the “hand” thing…She was the first in her class to do it, lol. It was finding out her sophmore year she didn’t think well in a crisis. Not a good thing for a Vet with a distressed animal on the table. Her strengths lay in interacting with the animal when they were alert and responsive. She’s an “animal whisperer” with an instinctive gift so she went into “animal behavior” instead of “vet”. She’s now working with horses on a volunteer basis and having a blast.

  6. Hi Jennifer! I loved your first 2 books, as you well know! LOL! I actually never realized What Happens in Scotland occurred over 24 hrs & that they spent half the time looking for each other! You packed plenty of romance in it, so I didn’t notice!

  7. A veterinarian by training and an epidemiologist and an author! Smart woman. It’s the Diet Coke and its hidden potential to increase brain power. Don’t..stop..drinking..it.

    1. Well…. I also scoop litter pans far too sporadically, have a terrible habit of overcooking chicken, and have closets that look like a Goodwill bomb went off in them. So in other words… you probably shouldn’t think too highly of me. 🙂

      And lest anyone think I am TOTALLY off Diet Coke, I do give myself permission to have it in the occasional bourbon cocktail.

      You know…two vices are better than one.

  8. OK folks, it is my bedtime. I am not even exaggerating. The kids are still up, but I must be off to sleep, or I won’t be able to get up at 4am to hit the pages of my next work in progress. It has been lovely chatting with everyone… good luck on the giveaway!

  9. I haven’t read Jennifer’s stories yet, but after reading this interview I know I want to. She has such an interesting background, and I love the other authors she listed.

  10. Loved the interview! I really look forward to reading your work, your books sound wonderful. I am hooked on Scottish Romance right now 🙂 Thank you for the amazing giveaway!

  11. I just finished Summer Is For Lovers and it is AMAZING!!!! I adore your covers as well!!

    I’m so impressed that you manage such demanding dual careers! (And I think I speak for most of us when I say we will survive without seeing those pictures proving where you’ve had your hand –I’ll take your word for it. 😉 )

  12. I am tired just reading this interview! Not one, not two, but three or four full time careers. Yah, you didn’t count wife and mother (aka domestic engineer and human resource specialist) in the career count. These are some impressive careers you have going here. Amazing! Thank you for sharing with us. I was interesting and inspiring.

  13. I enjoyed the interview because I love learning more about authors and their work, it makes reading the books even more fun.

  14. Hi Jennifer! I’m a newbie to your books so I hope to remedy that soon! You definitely seem like a super woman with all those careers PLUS being a wife and mother! How do you find the energy?! Plus a house full of pets? Heaven to me!

  15. I’m in awe that you can write so much between 4 to 6 am and still go work a normal day. I can’t even function at that time of the day!! Love your books!! Thanks for sharing the great interview!

  16. I haven’t read your books but after this interview and reading the blurbs I definitely intend to rectify that. Plan to start with What Happens in Scotland. I think that will an interesting read since it took place over 24 hours. What a unique concept. Thanks for the giveaway, too.

  17. I am worried you guys have me pegged totally wrong! No super woman here. I still sitting in my bathrobe at 9:30 on a Saturday morning, house is a wreck, piles of laundry everywhere, while my husband (who undoubtedly deserves sainthood) takes the kids to a morning riding lesson so I can type. It certainly isn’t a pretty writing picture today. 🙂 Or most days, for that matter.

    We all balance an amazing amount of stuff in our lives, be it jobs, aging parents, children, volunteer positions… I am truly in awe of what most of us manage to accomplish in a 24 hour period. Maybe that’s why it felt so natural to write What Happens in Scotland that way, LOL!

    FWIW, 4am tends to freak people out, but truly, I am flabbergasted by those authors who can write AFTER their kids go to bed. I chose to write in the early morning because I am neurologically hard-wired to be a morning person. In other words, I have mush for brains by about 8pm. I am utterly USELESS. The house could be on fire, and I’d be like “what’s that beeping noise?”

  18. I am loving all the comments, and the well wishes. You guys are really helping inspire me to jump in deeper on the manuscript I am working on this morning, so wanted you to know you have my thanks!

    But damn, I want a diet coke right now.

  19. I haven’t read any of your books but just know from the review that I will love them. They have promptly gone to the TBR pile.

  20. What an interesting interview! I am very impressed that the author works full time for the CDC and has time to write such wonderful historical romances. The covers are so beautiful. I am looking forward to Moonlight on My Mind. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  21. I enjoyed the interview and really liked your “author tour.” I had a lot of fun reading It Happened in Scotland, and I look forward to reading Summer is for Lovers, and Moonlight on My Mind.

  22. Since you are a veterinarian and travel for the CDC, have you ever treated exotic animals during your stints? Sticking your hand up lions maybe?