Justine Davis...Lady in Red!

I'm thrilled to welcome Justine to the blog for the first time and to jump right in with a question that matches the title above...

Jan: You’ve owned a 1967 Corvette for many years.  How many good memories are wrapped up in that car?
Justine: More than I could ever explain. My late husband restored it for me. He was a car lover, and also very smart. He made sure I had my toy before he started building—from the ground up—his own hot rod. I could hardly complain about all the time he spent in the garage then, could I? Besides, I always knew where he was. Poor guy, though, he went to all the trouble to have it painted flashy red, thinking I'd want it to look pretty first. I said "That's really nice, honey. Now make it go faster." And he did. J Every time I fire it up, that rumble is him talking to me. 

Jan: When I first approached Justine for an interview, I had no idea how much we have in common.  She is a long-time Harlequin Romantic Suspense author (that’s a small part of our common ground;) with her latest book, Operation Homecoming, released in August. Here’s a little more to peak your interest:
In the next Cutter's Code romance, a hero with a secret returns home…and goes into rescuer mode… 
AWOL in times of family tragedy, Walker Cole doesn't expect a warm welcome home. Nor does he expect to see Amy­­ Clark—his sister's nerdy friend who had a mad teen crush on him—now a smart, sexy woman. 
Though Walker knows he's caused Amy pain and hatred, his own pain is worse. He can never tell the truth about his hellish years away. But when Amy's paralegal work endangers her, Walker jumps at the chance to guard her irresistible body and prove himself worthy of trust and forgiveness. Even Cutter, the Foxworth dog with a nose for trouble, has his back when trouble explodes!


After years of working in law enforcement, and more years doing both, Justine now writes full time. She lives near beautiful Puget Sound in Washington State, peacefully coexisting with deer, bears, raccoons, a newly arrived covey of quail, a pair of bald eagles, her beloved dog, and also beloved ’67 Corvette roadster. When she's not writing, taking photographs, looking for music to blast in said roadster, or driving said roadster (and yes, it goes very fast), she tends to her knitting. Literally. 

Jan Schliesman: How often do you Get Lost In A Story?
Justine Davis: That's where I live. I'm always somewhere in a story. Or seeing things that spark a new or potential idea. For example, a neighboring town has lovely benches throughout their downtown district, donated by residents and local business, with plaques affixed to each, often in memory of someone. I was there the other day and came across a young man standing behind one, looking very solemn and running his fingers over the plaque with the name of someone gone. Knowing it's sometimes easier to talk to a stranger, I asked if it was someone he knew, ready to listen to a sad story. He said "No," and walked away. My mind exploded. Why? What kind of man would react that way for a loss unknown to him? (A very special one, I suspect) Or was it someone he'd wanted to know, but never got the chance? A family member who had died before he was born, perhaps? 
But, over the rest of the day, being a writer, my mind took the wicked turns it sometimes does. After darting along several bizarre paths I thought what if he's a hit man, and the name on that bench was one of his victims? What would bring him there? Triumph? Regret? A desire for redemption? (excuse me, I have to go make a note, the answer to that just now hit me. . .) 

Jan: Both our names start with J, we both write for Harlequin R/S, and…we both worked as police dispatchers!  Can you share a favorite middle-of-the-night story?
Justine: Okay, that is quite a string of coincidences! I loved that job. I've been so lucky to have two careers I love, when many people don't get even one. And since graveyard was my shift, I have lots of middle of the night stories. I think my favorite was a call from a man who had been out to dinner with his wife and they came home to a burglary in progress. I went through the usual questions, first confirming the suspect had fled when they'd come in. Since I had officers in the area I pressed for a description. The man was nearly hysterical and no use whatsoever, couldn't even say what the guy had been wearing. After too much time wasted on questions he couldn't answer, this is what ensued:

Me: "Did your wife also see him?"
Him: "Yes."
Me: "Can I talk to her, please?"
Him: "She's not here."
Me: "I thought you came home together?"
Him: "We did."
Me: (patience at an end here) "Then where is she?"
Him: "I sent her out to look for the guy."

Yep, real hero material, that one. . .

Jan: What’s the best thing about living in Washington State?
Justine: It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on earth. The Sound, two major mountain ranges, (and a few volcanoes, just to add spice!) and green everywhere. Of course, it helps that I love rain. And having grown up in Southern California, where the four seasons are fire, flood, earthquake and drought, I love having actual seasons. Right now the leaves are changing, and the colors are glorious. Besides, who wouldn't want to live here? (Photo attached, Washington Sunrise)

Jan: One more thing we have in common: I was born in an Iowa blizzard too!  Sort of freakishly odd, right?  But an excellent tie-in to the paranormal stories that fans can’t get enough of. Tell me about Fire Hawk.
Justine: Okay, this is getting bizarre! If you tell me you were born at 3AM I'm outta here. . .
I love stories that are set in the normal world with just a touch of what I call the w00-w00 factor. It's great fun imagining my grounded in reality characters having to deal with this weird blip in their universe. Fire Hawk holds a special place in my heart, not only because it won a RITA and put me in the RWA Hall of Fame, but because my dad was there at the ceremony that night. He walked around carrying that RITA all night. Me, proud? You bet. The Hawks were an interesting project, especially going back in time as they did. As for Fire Hawk itself, one of my favorite movies is The Never Ending Story, and I watched it countless times. Years later came a song done by a friend, that sparked the fire. (All three books were born because of his music—I wrote a blog post on it!) Besides, it contains one of my favorite secondary characters ever. A wizard, long before wizards were cool. (actually they've always been cool, Harry just took it to new levels) They've recently been re-released in ebook and a gorgeous new print edition, so it's been fun seeing new readers respond to them.

Jan: I decided to stop pointing out how much we have in common before Justine blocks me on FB and/or kills me off in her next book(!)  She gave such a-m-a-z-i-n-g answers to my questions that I’m going to invite her back in 2016 to kick off the New Year!

Justine’s GOTTA ANSWER: Anything butterscotch or caramel-ly. I inherited that from my dad. Do you get free ice cream?? ;-) 

Jan: If I’m goodJ

Jan: It’s been such a pleasure having you on the blog today, Justine.  Can you tell us what writing projects you have coming up next?
Justine: I don't have many details yet, so instead I'll give you a little *BREAKING NEWS* I haven't announced anywhere yet—I just signed a contract for three more Cutters!  First one is tentatively titled OPERATION PROTECTOR, and Cutter will have his paws full trying to fix the damaged life of a wounded warrior.
Jan: Congratulations!!  And on that note, I'll close out this interview and direct readers to the book giveaway below.  Thanks so much, Justine!

Twitter: @Justine_D_Davis
Blogs: https://justinedaredavis.wordpress.com/   

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for the wonderful interview! I'm always happy to meet new authors and learn more about them and their lives and I would love to win a copy of your new book! Thanks!

    1. Thanks for coming by, Diane, and good luck in the drawing!

    2. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog, Diane!

  2. Forgot my email address. dblaser(at)windstream(dot)net

  3. Hi,

    I love to read across all genres. It makes sense that writers often like to write across genres as well. Happy to try out new authors and follow favorites wherever they may take me.


    1. Mary-- You and me both; my taste is definitely eclectic. Thanks for the adventurous reading spirit!

    2. Hi Mary! Thanks for being such a loyal romance reader!

  4. Great to "meet" you, Justine. That first question and answer just stole my heart !
    Lovely to have you on GLIAS !!

    1. Back at you, Angi! Thank you. That means a lot! Thank you for the warm welcome.

  5. What a great interview! I can't wait for the new Cutter books! Of course, I'm a fan of all your books.:)

    1. Thank you, my friend! Cutter loves you back. ;-) Thanks for coming by!

  6. As long as the genres are within the romance genre, I do not mind cross overs.
    Congrats on your contract news!!! :)

    1. Hi, Colleen. Although I read almost everything (I do NOT have the horror gene) my writing stays pretty much under the romance umbrella. Write what you love, they say.... And thank you!

    2. Hi Colleen! Thanks so much for visiting the blog!

  7. depends on the book, not author

    1. bn-- Good to know it goes that way, too. Thanks!

  8. I really enjoy reading romantic intrigue, suspense, and mystery, but have found favorite authors in almost every genre.....(not horror or exotic)....and love it when animals are included in the stories. Your books sound great and look forward to reading one. (You did a great interview Jan!)

    1. Thanks, Brenda! I agree on animals, and they often become characters of their own, especially dogs and horses. Nobody's quite taken over like Cutter, though!

    2. Ah, car nostalgia. Daddy was the proud owner of a brand new Mustang--the very first Mustang incarnation--'65 or so? I remember it well. It had the shift (automatic) on the middle thing (console?) and my newly-licensed brother thought he could speed shift. He stripped the gears. It wasn't long before Daddy traded it in. I wouldn't mind having that car today. In good shape, what would it be worth?

    3. Hi, Kathleen! I think the very first Mustang was a 64, but they really hit in 65. The things you learn married to a car buff. ;-) Hey, that four-on-the-floor in the 'vette made for an interesting encounter once in the parking lot of my eye doctor. Guy saw the car as I was parking and immediately walked over to admire. When he saw it was a four-speed he looked at the stick, the car, then me and said "Would you marry me?" :-) I had to tell him the guy who restored it probably wouldn't like it if I said yes. One of my fonder memories.

    4. Great to see you here, Kathleen!