Meet author J’nell Ciesielski

With a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, J’nell Ciesielski weaves fresh takes into romances of times gone by. Bestselling author of The Socialite, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle. Learn more at

Tell us about your newest book.

To Free the Stars. Ten years have passed since Jack and Ivy, elite operatives for the secret agency Talon, rescued their friend Philip and completed their fateful mission. The 1920s are in full swing as American speakeasies thrive amid Prohibition, and despite the team’s best efforts, the deadly cult, the Order of the Rising Moon, lives on in the shadows. Which is no surprise to Ivy; nothing has gone as she expected since that day after Poenari Castle.

When a wave of assassinations strikes world leaders, intel confirms the Order’s involvement. Ivy holds them responsible for the tragedy that changed her life, and she is determined to find and destroy the villains once and for all—but she must do so before their relentless assassin eliminates his next target. Her. Except, there’s something oddly familiar about the way he moves, the way he anticipates each of her moves. It’s as if he knows her. But that’s not possible. Is it? Ivy will have to rely on every skill she’s learned if she hopes to survive—and save those she loves. No matter the cost.

What inspired you to write To Free the Stars?

TO FREE THE STARS is the second book in the Jack and Ivy novels and was the part of their story that I was most excited to tell. It’s a Jason Bourne meets Captain America’s the Winter Soldier mashup with tons of action and adventure set from bustling DC to the quiet farmland of Virginia, to a Paris cemetery, to the folklore mountains of Romania. There are assassins, and the fight between good and evil, but the heart of this story is about a marriage. More specifically, a marriage on the rocks and trying to gain its footing again through love, hope, shame, tears, and even a few thrown dishes.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

A thrilling adventure filled with glamorous espionage and a boundless romance inspired by The Winter Soldier.

What genre do you focus on?

I usually stick to historical with heavy romance threads, but for this story I decided to throw action/suspense into the mix because it’s all about spies and their globe trotting adventures.

Why do you write?

I write because I can’t NOT write. All these stories well up inside me and won’t leave me alone until they’re told. It’s freeing to tell these bits of myself. At the end of the day, I just want to tell good stories, and if readers enjoy them and maybe learn a bit of history along the way, even better.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

Because this story is inspired by The Winter Soldier character from the Captain America movies I wanted to give a nod to that winter connection. Ivy, the heroine, is often associated with Christmas time, particularly in the song The Holly and the Ivy. Jack, the hero, is named after Jack Frost.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

I’m up early to get my daughter off to school by 9 am, then I do errands and chores, and then finally sit down to write for a few hours until it’s time for my daughter and husband to come home. I never work on the weekends because that is family time. The only exception is if edits are due.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

I am very much an introvert so I love being tucked away in my office, just me and my imagination. Unfortunately, authors can’t squirrel themselves away forever because so much of the marketing and publicity has been placed on our shoulders. It can be very difficult to put myself out there, but hopefully readers won’t think I’m too weird.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

I get to spend my days doing the thing I love most, write. Not many are able to commit to full-time writing and I am so grateful each day that I can tell these stories and enter these worlds that fill my head.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

I’m an Air Force veteran. Not many people know that, but I come from a long line of military service. It wasn’t something I ever planned on, but after graduating college I still didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life so I signed it over in service of our great country for four years.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

Every book I change. My process evolves as I grow more confident in my skills, and as my life changes those are the subjects I want to start including for my characters to experience.

What is your favorite pastime?

Eating and traveling! I have a habit of dragging my family around to historical sites.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

Among the Poppies

The Songbird and the Spy

The Socialite

Beauty Among Ruins

The Ice Swan

The Castle Keepers (part of a collaborative novel)

The Brilliance of Stars

What are you working on now?

I haven’t quite announced it yet, but it’s glamorous, frothy, and set during the jazzy 1920s! Stay tuned for details in the new year.

Website: J’nell Ciesielski | Historical Romance Author (

Link to book: Books | J’nell Ciesielski (

Social media links:



Follow me on social media!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *