Historical romance The Last Debutante is BookPage's March 2013 Top Pick in Romance. It finds a young woman captured by a sexy, naked Scot—whose heart is in turn captured by her. Writes Romance columnist Christie Ridgway, "This is a tender story peopled with memorable secondary characters and two culture-crossed lovers worth rooting for."

We chatted with author Julia London about writing romance novels, torturing characters and much more in a 7 questions interview.

Describe your book in one sentence.
A Highland laird's fiercest battle is waged against the ransom he holds in an English debutante, who refuses to allow her situation to deflate her.

What is it about those Scottish men, anyway?
They are the ultimate historical romance fantasy: Sexy and strong, they take what they want and discard what they don't. They are dismissive of rules and propriety when it comes to true love, and if one claims you and makes you his own, he is yours for life.

What is your favorite part of writing romance novels?
I never get tired of the mating dance between the sexes. It's fun to step into different worlds and watch a man and woman try and resist their heart's true north. I confess to liking to torture them a bit, too. In the end, a hero or heroine of mine only knows how good they've got it if they've been drug through a wringer or two.

"Push the boundaries, turn every scene upside down and see what shakes out."

What's the best writing advice you've ever received?
Push the boundaries, turn every scene upside down and see what shakes out. 

What's your favorite movie based on a book?
Pride and Prejudice, of course! I think I've seen every version of it.

What advice would you give to a woman being held for ransom in 19th-century Scotland? You know, just in case.
Girl, work that captivity like you'd work a shark-infested ballroom!

What's next?
A new historical series about four sisters who realize that when their stepfather dies, they may be nudged out of their cushy situation, and proactively work to make sure that doesn't happen . . . in very unconventional and risk-taking ways.

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