An excerpt and interview with Phaeton Black and America Jones

Honestly, would you believe Phaeton’s shanghaied in Shanghai story?

Let me set the scene for you. America Jones has just arrived in London after chasing Phaeton halfway around the world. She receives a wire message from him, asking her to meet him at the old flat. When she arrives, Phaeton is having a nap:

She squinted and a few details emerged from the flat below, including a shadowy figure in the overstuffed chair. A soft snore rumbled its way up the stair––it was Phaeton, all right. She ventured further into the room for a better look.

 He lounged in the chair with his pelvis forward, legs spread. America angled her head, studying him. There was a rough of whiskers on his chin, could he look anymore dashing? She exhaled a sigh. Only if he opened those liquid brown eyes.

“A little lower, darling.” He mumbled, still asleep. It suddenly hit her. He was safe. He was healthy. The bilge rat.

“Darling, is it?” she whispered. Her gaze trailed down his open waistcoat to the buttons on his trousers. As if in answer to her own lascivious thoughts the buttons began to open.

She grinned at first––was this some new kind of power emerging? Something ancient and primal fueled by lust? She had noticed a marked increase in her abilities these last few months, there was no question they were getting stronger. She reached out and her hand was slapped away––by what she had no idea. She tried again and was flung across the flat onto the lumpy old chaise longue.

America sat up and stared. Something tugged at Phaeton’s trousers––something powerful enough to manipulate the physical world and yet remain unseen. Rising to her feet, she strode across the floor and slapped Phaeton hard across the face.

He groaned, still in a deep trace. “Just the tip, Georgiana.”

She slapped him again. “Snap out of it!”

Jarred awake, Phaeton pushed away from her and blinked––several times. She slapped him again. This time he rubbed his jaw and his eyes watered. “America?” Gradually, between squints and blinks, he came around.

Her fists landed on her hips. “Who is Georgiana?”

Phaeton eased back into his chair, though he regarded her with some wariness. “A rather persistent succubus.  And you certainly aren’t one of those––thank God.” If it was possible for a man to have sultry eyes, Phaeton had them. He tilted his chin and studied her like she was a painting in the Louvre. “Though, I must admit the nasty little vixen has me in some discomfort––would you mind?” He gave a nod to the bulge in his trousers.

“Stuff it, Phaeton.”

“Exactly.” A slow grin twitched on the devilish mouth. “I’m just asking.”

“Goodness––separated for less than two months and I had already quite forgotten how exasperating you can be.”

“You followed me––rather sweet of you. I wasn’t sure you would. I thought you would think I jumped ship and sailed off––abandoned you.”

America’s eyes narrowed into cat slits. “According to your wire, which I received just yesterday, you were shanghaied––in Shanghai.”

Phaeton shrugged. “Old joke, not particularly amusing anymore.”

She stared at him. “You must trust me when I say, it was never comical––in the  least.” America shook
her head and moved to the pantry area of the flat. She braced herself against the table edge. “I chased you halfway round the world, Phaeton. I want the truth this time, and not a crafty as you please answer.” She swept an errant curl back into her top knot. “I believe I’ve known eels less slippery.”

Phaeton wore that cajoling half smile. “You’re angry with me.”

“Mad at you? No Phaeton, I’m not angry with you. I’m…I’m furious.” America choked on her own words, or was it the painful and growing lump in her throat that stifled her breath? “I searched for you for in every opium den and every back alley of Shanghai. Only after a great deal of money changed hands was I able to find out you’d cut and run––aboard the Boomerang. Do you have any idea how I worried?”

“I’ve caused you great torment, but I swear to you none of it was my doing. Yes, I was on that ship––in leg irons for more than half the voyage. I was cracked over the head in Blood alley, stuffed in a sack and taken aboard ship. “ Phaeton rolled his eyes a bit. “Turns out the captain was a regular chap, with a good supply of whiskey––nightly card play.”

America shook her head. “How lovely for you. I don’t suppose there was any chance to escape––or any way to get word to me?”

“But I did get word to you, love––darling––” Phaeton appeared rather stricken.

The tears that had welled up, were streaming now. “And while we were separated did you…think of me?”

Phaeton rose from the chair. “Every minute.” He strode toward her slowly. “Of every hour.” He caught her up in his arms. “Of every bleeding day.” His gaze fell to her mouth, and her lips parted. Good God, what a hussy––she was sending him an invitation.

“Have I ever told you I love you––outside of  the throes of passion?”

America shook her head.

“I love you.”

“Too late, we’re in the throes of passion.”

Interview with America Jones, and Phaeton Black heroine and antihero in The Moonstone and Miss Jones.

Jillian: “It wasn't easy creating you, America. I needed a heroine who could hold her own with a character like Phaeton Black, Paranormal Investigator, whose weakness for wicked women is as notorious as his affection for absinthe. What can you tell readers about yourself?
America: “My grandmother was a freed slave, and concubine of a French plantation owner. My mother grew up to be a beautiful and powerful Cajun witch, but when I was a child she left me with my  father, a British sea captain, who raised me up. He died shortly before I ran into Phaeton.
Phaeton: You were running all right, from the same men–pirates–who stole your farther's merchant shipping business. Rather mysterious how you found me in that dark alley...Miss Jones...
Jillian: (laughing): “Well, you are a character of loneliness and mystery, scarce seen to smile, and seldom heard to laugh...’
Phaeton: “As pleased as I am to be your Byronic hero, I'm not nearly as disagreeable as say a character like Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights––he can be cruel, malicious, detestable, hardly a cuddly character, and yet critics and readers alike are constantly swooning over him.”
Jillian: (with eyes rolling) “Perhaps, I didn’t punish you enough for your sins––you have too much fun in The Seduction of Phaeton Black.”
America: “Oh, I don’t know, that awful Egyptian Goddess Qadesh nearly drained Phaeton of blood. And he was barely recovered before he was beaten and keel hauled by pirates. That’s quite a lot of abuse, if you ask me.”
Jillian: “And what about you, America. You find such interesting ways to interact with Phaeton throughout the book. As much as you have to put up with his attitude and ill temperament, you still find ways to tease and frustrate him.”
America: “He pretends it annoys him, but really, I get under his skin quite early in the game. Just watching Phaeton deal with the inconvenience of living with a female was a lot of fun for me––and hopefully it is fun for the reader, as well.” 
Phaeton: “What was I supposed to do? The pirates had stolen her merchant ships, burned her warehouse to the ground––I had never roomed with a woman before. I pictured it to be a misery, but I was mistaken about that. America turned out to be quite an astonishing friend, lover and she bakes the most heavenly buns.”
Jillian: At the end of The Seduction of Phaeton Black, I didn’t give you a HEA (happily ever after) ending, but more of an HFN (happy for now). What’s in store for readers in the next episode?
America: “Readers will meet a whole new cast of characters in The Moonstone and Miss Jones. An assortment of horrifying and amusing creatures from 1887 London and an extra dimensional, contemporary London. Not to worry, all your favorites are back, as well. Doctor Exeter, Mr. Ping (Jinn), Edvar the gargoyle.”
Phaeton: “Without giving anything away, at the start of the book two, I get shanghaied in Shanghai, and shipped back to London––I end up rooming at Mrs. Parker’s brothel again. Honestly––where else would I go?” 
America: (grins) “And what was I to think? That he abandoned me in the Orient, of course. I end up chasing him half way around the world. Book two opens just as I am about to catch up to Phaeton. But from the moment I arrive in London, we are tossed into a horrific battle to save 1887 London from unraveling––or disintegrating. Or...whatever you want to call it.” (America winks.) “I’m not giving anything more away, but I must say, Phaeton has many hilarious, and endearing moments in The Moonstone and Miss Jones as well as a very heroic scene at the end–or should I say––to be continued?” 
Jillian: For those readers who’d like to see a visual storyboard of The Moonstone and Miss Jones please visit my Pinterest board: http://pinterest.com/gjillianstone/
America: Or your website. Here’s the link: http://jillianstone.com
Jillian: I invite you all to join Phaeton and America on this sexy supernatural romp–and by the way, America has a question for commenters.

Question for commenters

America: I was being chased down a dark alley by pirates when I ran into Phaeton Black. What is your first meeting story? Can be a funny a story or something sweetly romantic!

Today's giveaway: To celebrate the release of book #2, I will be giving away signed copies of both The Seduction of Phaeton Black and The Moonstone and Miss Jones to one lucky commenter!

MY DEBUT AUTHOR BONUS GIVEAWAY CONTINUES: Leave a comment and earn another chance two win a copy of The Trouble with Cowboys by Melissa Cutler or Lowcountry Boil by Susan E. Boyer, to two lucky commenters!

***Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America  addresses only. If an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.


  1. First again!!! I met my huband at work. He was a route driver for Frozen yogurt companies and he used to bring me back yogurt desserts and treats and leave them on my desk with a cute note. That's when I realized he liked me!


    1. Awwww, how darling Tammy! Sweets for his sweet!

  2. Awesome interview !

    America, the funny part of meeting my husband is that we NEARLY met for about four years. I even saw him perform in a play with the guy I was dating before we met.


    1. Wow, Angi,

      Than it truly was Kismet, as they say. You were destined to be together!

  3. I met my husband at work - he worked for a diff company in the same bldg - He chased me for 2 months before I would even go out with him and then another 13 years before I would marry him :) Needless to say he perservered and got the girl and I think Im a most lucky woman!


    1. Oh my word, Kerry! 2 months, thirteen years...that is a love story!

  4. Umm...my funny meeting story. I met my now husband out at a club where we were all dancing! He kept hitting on me, but I ignored him. Turns out he is friends with my brother and we ended up hanging out at lunch a few days later! The rest is history

    1. sheryl,

      Ah...dancing in the dark! So often we meet people and never see them again. In this case, because he knew your brother, you both received a second chance. My word, fate can be persistent!

  5. Oh my gosh, Jillian, that is a delicious excerpt! Off to add to my TBR pile! Love Shanghaied in Shanghai. You are sooo clever!

  6. America- I was introduced to my now husband when I was 15 years old by a mutual friend. He was in a restitution center (like jail, but allowed to leave the premise to work) and wanted a girl to talk to. We talked for almost a year before we met in person. He courted me for 8 years before I agreed to marry him. 20 years from that first call and we're still best friends and have two kids.

    I'm very much looking forward to reading both your books. I have the first one on my TBR pile on my nightstand.

    1. Rachael,

      What a great "how I met" story! You are obviously a woman after my own heart! I definitely see the potential in Phaeton Black, though he's still proving himself to me! ;)

      I do hope you enjoy our "how I met" scene in chapter two. WARNING: Very spicy!

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  8. America has such an exotic history. She sounds like she has lost family but is also strong for it. I'd say she sounds like she would be pretty brave upon meeting Phaeton. I would hope my first meeting with my one story is witty and fun. Knowing myself I'd be super nervous but also myself, meaning I'd be funny :)

    Now if I did meet my one in a dark alley and was chased by pirates (wow!) I'd probably use my wits and feet to keep going and ask him for a hand!


    1. Hi Na,

      Yes, Phaeton and I have a most unusual and spicy introduction to one another. In fact, we're off to a sexy, but very rocky beginning...all I can say is, it's a wild ride!

  9. Fun interview. Don't have an interesting meeting story like America's.


    1. bn100

      Ha ha! You're right, it's a hard act to follow...for those of you who have read the scene, you know exactly what I mean by hard act to follow! ;)

  10. No interesting story for me. I met my husband in school.... very normal.

    1. May!

      Now, I am so curious! Were you in the same class? Did friends introduce you?

  11. A heroic scene at the end, I do hope we are not left with too much of a cliffhanger. If so, America would you be a dear and whisper in our ears how it turns out? *waiting* Oh, well I guess that little grin of yours says it all huh. =)

    A dark alley is heart pounding adventure, what a great way to meet. My story is more American pie than America Jones. My husband and I went to the same school, we flirted over triginometry problems, I asked to wear his football jersey for Homecoming and he asked me to a movie. Both of us nervous (even though we had been on a few group dates in the past this was our first one on one date), I remember sitting in the dark theater and he moved his hand onto his knee as close to touching me as he could get without actually touching. But I was too nervous to grab his hand or move my knee. After we went for a walk in a park even though it was a very cool fall night, but hey when a girl wants a kiss she will brave the cold! We talked a long time, then got read to go..still no kiss. So I stopped him, grabbed the front of his jacket and pulled him in for a kiss. So glad I did =)

    eyesofblueice (at) gmail

    1. Oh my word, Lexi! You are so hot! I love that you kissed him first! Great first kiss story! Phaeton and I are going on a virtual book tour in mid October, and I just might have to ask commenters for their first kiss story! ;)

    2. Thank you, thank you *bowing head*. America that is a great idea, I love reading first kiss stories!!

  12. I haven't met him yet. Dang it, I reckon he is hiding from me! At this rate I'm going to have to chase him down myself, bonk him over the head & drag him home ala cave(wo)man style.


    1. Haha! Bonk him over the head and drag him home!

      Someday your prince will come! Phaeton is a prince among men, but I have to dig for it at times! ;)

  13. I am currently single, so I don't have a cute meet story. :(

    1. Margay,

      Ah, but you have a new cute meet story to look forward to! :)

  14. WOOT! CONGRATULATIONS Kerry (kerryjcj@verizon.net) you've won signed copies of both The Seduction of Phaeton Black and The Moonstone and MIss Jones!

    Linda (thumbelinda03@yahoo.com) You've won a copy of The Trouble with Cowboys!