Thursday, October 16, 2014

Guest Post by Julie Anne Lindsey

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About the book:

With the chaos of summer tourists and fall birders out of town, counselor Patience Price is looking forward to the quiet life she remembers. She longs for some peace. And an apple fritter. But the calm is cut short when a reality show sets up camp to film a special about ghosts on her little island. Now fans, reporters and crew have flocked to sleepy Chincoteague. Who knew ghost hunters had an entourage?

When two cast members are killed in a room at the local B&B—a room usually occupied by Patience's FBI agent boyfriend, Sebastian—she finds herself on the case. Sebastian doesn't want Patience ruffling any feathers but, as always, she can't help herself.

Patience promises to let Sebastian handle the investigation—he is FBI, after all—but after a drive-by shooting, her wicked curiosity gets the best of her. And with the TV show forging ahead with filming, the list of suspects (and the line of food trucks) only grows. But has the shooter already flown the coop? And how do you find a killer when you don't know who the target is?

An Island of Inspiration

by Julie Anne Lindsey

In 2008 I visited Chincoteague, Virginia. Until that year, I didn’t even know Virginia had an island. I’d lived on the East Coast my entire life, clueless. There was an island? I had to see that! So, my family vacationed there for a week and the place has courted my soul ever since. I knew before we arrived. I wouldn’t want to leave. I didn’t. I can remember how it sounded and smelled and buzzed in my system. It was like going home. Except I live in Ohio.

If you’ve never been to Chincoteague, it’s a quintessential coastal town surrounded by harbors and the Atlantic. An old fashioned drawbridge separates the island from the world. The drawbridge might as well be a cone of silence because mainland worries seem to splinter and stop before reaching the tiny community.

The town library is in a quaint little building across the street from a Misty of Chincoteague statue. The local ice cream parlor has a wall of faces who’ve finished the biggest sundae in town. The theatre is one of those small town, two show wonders. Life moves slower. People are kinder. The island measures 3x7 miles small. It bustles with fishermen, craftsmen and people who crave the sea. If that isn’t enough to get you packing your bags (or in my place firing up my laptop) did you know Chincoteague is attached to a sister island, Assateague? Assateague is even smaller than Chincoteague, united by a bridge over a marsh, and home to wildlife. Assateague is a national forest and shoreline. The beaches are pristine. The forest has wild ponies. Did you stop and reread that? Wild. Ponies. There are trails and nature centers and historical lighthouses. I mean. *jaw drop* Where has this place been my whole life? And why can’t I move immediately?

I visited Chincoteague four years before it occurred to me I could write anything longer than a grocery list, but the town burrowed into my heart and has since occupied my daydreams. Chincoteague is now home to my heroine, Patience Price, and The Patience Price Mysteries series I wrote for Carina Press. Patience adores her hometown as much as I do. Writing the series on this island has been a real gift. I’ve loved telling readers about the unfathomably gorgeous sunrises over the harbor and the bleating tug boats already busy at work. I need to tell other in-landers how hilarious and borderline dangerous it is to grill out because gulls line the roofs waiting for dinner to be served. Oh, and I’m terrified of horses, so rounding a corner and coming nose to nose with a wandering pony was a real heart stopping concern for me because I walked everywhere. Who needs a car when nothing is more than a few blocks away? For me, the island was magical. Perfection.

Book one in my mystery series, Murder by the Seaside, flowed easily from vivid memories of that trip. I could literally envision every detail. But then I needed a sequel. I needed a new problem for my heroine. I love the island so much, it was tough to think of a problem and then I wondered, “What kind of things could cause a ruckus on such a peaceful island.” Guess what? I watched a movie that night with Steve Martin and Jack Black. Do you know it? The Big Year? It’s a movie about birders who travel the globe hoping to see the greatest number of different species of birds. You know what island has a ton of awesome birds? *nods* Yep. *steeples fingertips* If a few busloads of birders all rushed to the island to see the same rare bird, it could get kind of full out there. *taps chin* Birders seemed like a great addition to the problems my amateur sleuth already had on her plate, what with work, a new boyfriend, an ex who won’t go away (and he has a dimple). Life. Work. Family. Oh, and a murder. Birders were exactly what she needed to lose her tenuous cool.
So, I sent them.

This time around, I needed something bigger to push my heroine to her limits. You know what drives me batty? Reality television. What if a reality show set up shop on her island? What if one of the “celebrities” was murdered? Ohhhh, I loved that idea. Fans and reporters and gawkers galore would come from everywhere to get a look at the cast and crew, leave a memento at the crime scene or bask in the unfolding drama. You know what else would come along? Food trucks. I love food trucks. We don’t have any in my town, so when I travel and they’re lined up somewhere, I make a quick detour to take advantage of the gourmet delights. Food trucks would make my heroine’s eye twitch. So, I sent a herd her way. I’m ornery like that. 

For me, The Patience Price Mysteries are all about taking the bland and making it grand. I twist and stretch the mundane we all relate to and make it a source of endless frustration for my heroine. Her friends are the best. Her parents are nutty. Her love interests are handsome, fearless and sweet. Everything’s better on the island and hopefully, the murders have enough twists to keep readers guessing. If you’re ready for a reprieve from the everyday, I hope you’ll consider one of my mysteries. More than that, I hope they will make you smile.

About Julie:

Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun. Julie lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Today, she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world.

Murder in Real Time is the conclusion to The Patience Price Mysteries series, from Carina Press.

Connect with Julie:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Buy the book:

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Carina Press

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