And what does he have to do with timeless romance?
Jules Vanderzeit is my magic man.
My historical romance novels set in the gilded age of New York all have Jules Vanderzeit appearing, not as the hero or heroine, but as a sort of mysterious character who shows up to makes life difficult for my H & H, and then somehow, helps them find their own Happily Ever After. I’ve been asked if he’s a wizard, or an angel, or maybe fate, or something else. I’ll go with the ‘something else’ and all of the above . . . for now.
When I first met Jules in Until We Meet Again, the first of my gilded age romances, I fell in love with him right away. While he has a way of pushing people’s buttons, and making them wish they had never met him, he really has a heart of gold, sincerely good intentions, and a devilish sense of humor . . . once you get to know the guy. As the Maestro, he has the ability to send people flipping through time with the flick of his wrist, although usually he has them do something as simple as walk through a door, a door that leads from here to there. And while they often complain about his unexplainable tactics, they still find themselves compelled to take the path he offers.
After all, life is an adventure, let the experience begin.
As a bit of an introduction, for anyone who may not yet be familiar with him, here’s the opening scene from Until We Meet Again when the heroine, Victoria Winters, is forced to deal with this man of mystery.
She couldn’t be more than a few minutes late for their appointment, and yet the Maestro made a show of pulling out his pocket watch the moment Victoria Winters stepped into his office. Time—and his precious collection of musical artifacts—were the only things Jules Vanderzeit cared about. People were only useful in their ability to function as couriers to retrieve the latest object of his obsession.
“How nice to see you again, Miss Winters. I was beginning to wonder if you would keep our appointment.” The Maestro quickly dispensed with any pretense of pleasant greetings and dove directly into chastising her.
Victoria rolled her eyes with a shake of her head. “Please, Jules, try not to exaggerate. I was only momentarily delayed. I was with my daughter.” She took a seat in one of the low, plush-leather chairs across from Jules, as he sat perched behind his oversized cherry wood desk. Regrettably, it created the perturbing effect that he was looking down on her.
“If you truly valued time, Miss Winters, you wouldn’t be so prone to wasting yours or mine. Someday you may find that a moment of time is all that separates you from that which you desire most.”