The Travelling Heart - Stella Quinn chats to Jillian Jones

The Travelling Heart: a journey with author Jillian Jones

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The Three Date Rule cover imageThis month, The Travelling Heart talks to author Jillian Jones about the setting that inspired her upcoming contemporary romance The Three Date Rule.


What romantic destination did you choose for your novel, and why?

Jillian Jones author image

Choosing one destination of the myriads of options in my novel, The Three Date Rule, was a challenge. The novel opens at The Melbourne Cup. This event takes place each year on the first Tuesday of November and my husband and I had the opportunity to attend in 2013. It’s a curious social wonder, filled with glamour and excitement and it definitely captured my imagination, inspiring the ‘meet cute’ for my Christmas themed story. My hero and heroine, Ryan and Kate, later end up on an organised Christmas tour of Austria and finally, they celebrate New Year in Switzerland. When the idea of the story presented itself, I saw the romantic relationship between my hero and heroine developing while on tour, experiencing a white Christmas in European. I researched tour options and selected the itinerary that I liked the best, which happened to be based in Austria. There are many wonderful potentially romantic destinations that Kate and Ryan visit on the tour, but I’m going to pick Innsbruck, Austria as my destination for this post, because personally, I love the place.

How bookworthy is Innsbruck?

I think Innsbruck is particularly romantic. Nestled in a valley surrounded by magnificent, snow-capped Alps, it’s breathtaking from the moment of arrival. I visited Innsbruck about fifteen years back, when my husband and I were living in Switzerland and it’s definitely one of my favourite places for the beautiful Christmas markets in its quaint old town.

Image Innsbruck copyright Christof Lackner

Photo copyright Christof Lackner, Innsbruck

Both my hero and heroine have an interest in architecture and the medieval Old Town of Innsbruck offers a cornucopia of architectural styles, including examples of Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo (late Baroque) buildings along its narrow, twisting streets. For Kate and Ryan, their time in Innsbruck brings them closer, it’s relaxing and in a blissful state following their visit, they share a special kiss under the mistletoe, and Kate makes a decision that ultimately changes the path of her life.

A number of authors have set their novels in and around Innsbruck. One in particular is a Harlequin romance published in 2015 with a friends to lovers trope, Proposal at the Winter Ball by Jessica Gilmore, offers a glittering sprinkle of Christmas time in Innsbruck. Another one, which is more about a journey from Florence to Innsbruck but still, Overnight to Innsbruck by Denyse Woods is a story about a couple who are reunited four years after being separated on a train, it sounds intriguing.

Readers love a bit of intrigue, or a snippet of local history. Did you find anything interesting when you were researching Innsbruck?

Historically Innsbruck has some wonderful treasures that are worth exploring including The Hofburg which is a former Habsburg palace and a significant cultural building, perhaps another story for another time, but not as such for the purposes of my story.

The Travelling Heart blod headerThe Travelling Heart is convinced: Innsbruck sounds like a perfect romantic destination. Why not take yourself on a fictional romantic holiday of your own there via the pages of Jillian’s novel? The Three Date Rule is available for pre-order now, with the release date scheduled for November 15, 2018.

You can keep up to date with Jillian Jones’ upcoming releases via her website.


You can keep up to date with Stella Quinn and The Travelling Heart by signing up to her (occasional and non-spammy)newsletter here.


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