"All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality -- the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape."
--Author Christopher Benson



Wednesday, June 15, 2011

COZY WEDNESDAY - With Author Julie Hyzy (Giveaway)

I love when authors Guest Post and am so excited about Julie's Guest Post.  Not just because I love her books but she never fails to put a smile on my face.  When you read her post below you will understand what I mean.  I really hope I get to meet her in person some day because after I would get over my nervousness of meeting a famous author I think we would have a blast.

I loved her latest Grace Interrupted  and am thrilled to share my review with you after her post and there is a giveaway too.

Now please Welcome Julie Hyzy!!!

Lori kindly and generously told me I could write about anything I wanted today for my guest post.

But what if what I write about isn’t what you want to read? That may cause a mass exodus from Lori’s wonderful blog. And I don’t want that.

So I tried to decide what would be most interesting, I realized how much I like articles and essays that include lists. You’ve seen the magazine headlines: “Seven no-fail strategies to lose ten pounds!” “Ten questions you must ask your doctor now!” “Twenty easy ways to cut $3,000 from your budget!” Not to mention the R-rated teasers gracing the front of some of the racier magazines.

Hmm… I think I’ve been standing in grocery check out lines too much lately.

I like lists. They’re fun. And I decided to come up with a list of my own. Because I have a new book out (Grace Interrupted, new as of June 7th), and I know I’ll be doing several author talks to help promote it, I thought this list would be especially timely:

Five funny questions authors get asked most often and my personal answers (other authors’ answers may vary):

Where’s the bathroom?/ Where’s the kids’ section?
When I’m signing at a bookstore, I’ve learned to scope out the area ahead of time so that when customers ask (as they always do) I have the correct answer ready.

I have a great idea for a book. You write it and we’ll split the profits. What do you say?
Interestingly enough, this question usually comes from new acquaintances. Maybe it’s because my family and close friends all see how hard I work, and how many hours I put in every single day. They say that writers never take vacations. They’re either writing or thinking about writing every moment. LOL That’s very true.
I know a lot of authors who get very, very angry when someone makes this proposition. I don’t get angry, because I realize that the person asking doesn’t understand that there is no shortage of ideas out there. If a hundred authors were all handed the same idea on a silver platter and told to write, the result would be a hundred very different stories. It’s not the idea that takes all the work, it’s the execution.

Why did (main character) poke her nose into the murder investigation when she was warned not to? She should have left it to the police.
This one does get to me, just a little bit. But the answer is an easy one. If my character would have left the investigation to the police, there would be no story. Or the story would turn out to be something entirely different: a police procedural. Maybe like an EdMcBain novel. Cozy mysteries require that an amateur sleuth become involved in a murder investigation. That’s the fun of the novel. If the protagonist doesn’t get involved, there’s no book. Trust me, in real life, I wouldn’t get involved. Well :::cough, cough::: maybe only just a little bit.

What authors do you like to read?
I have so many friends who are authors, most of whom have been reviewed here on Lori’s blog. When I’m writing my cozies, however, I tend to read in a different genre, or at least a mystery subgenre. My favorite authors are Ray Bradbury, Sue Grafton, and Diana Gabaldon. I avoid cozies because it’s too easy to accidentally borrow another author’s idea. If I’m writing cozy, I’m reading a book with a slightly harder edge, or maybe even non-fiction. When I’m not writing, and it’s time to relax, I’m finally able to get my cozy fix.

And the one we hear most often:
Where do you get your ideas?
The answer is simple: everywhere. People, places, and situations I encounter are all fuel for stories. Sometimes I don’t even remember making a mental note, and so I’m surprised when a memory from twenty years back jumps to the forefront of my brain just as I need it. This is what I love most about writing. The never ending flow of ideas. There are so many stories bouncing around in my brain right now that I’ll probably never get to half of them. Half? Not even a quarter of them! Ideas are like energy, and as long as I have them, I’m rarin’ to write.

Thanks Julie, I love lists too!!!
Cover Illustration
by Kimberly Schamber
Cover Design
by Rita Frangie
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
A Division of The Penguin Group

A Manor House Mystery
2nd in the series

We were introduced to Marshfield Manor in Grace Under Pressure.  

In Grace Interrupted a group of Civil War re-enactors takes over the grounds of the Manor.  The group seems very genuine trying to keep the camp as true to the era as possible, except there are some more "farby" than others.

Unfortunately one of the re-enactors, Zachary Kincade, left his bride basically at the altar and two of her friends show up at the Manor to inflict a little of their own pain on him, but Grace handles that skirmish nicely only to become involved in another when she learns that Kincade has a  past connection to two of the Manor's employees. Another fight breaks out where Grace has to intervene.  With those two battles handled she expects smooth sailing for the rest of the event.  

Wrong, she receives a call to return to the grounds as someone has been murdered.  Yes, the dead man is none other than Zachary Kincade and Grace feels the war has just begun.  Police have overtaken the grounds taking the Civil War participants back to current time and decide that one of the Manor's employees is definitely the killer.  Grace cannot help but to get involved as the suspect is a man she just may become romantically involved with if they can ever get around their obligations to actually go on a date. Can Grace camp out and find the real killer without putting herself in the line of fire?  She has to because she has a new friend waiting for her at home.

LOVED IT so much!!! I fell for these characters in the first book  and they continue to evolve in this book.  Frances in the assistant we all love to hate. Jack is the hunk we all just love.  Bennett is the grandfather we would all love to have. Grace is a strong, intelligent woman dedicated to her job, which she loves, but she also has a very soft heart, that in this story even takes in a stray she is seriously allergic to.

Julie Hyzy set the bar high with the first installment to this series, but she has surpassed it in this story.  A story that is perfectly paced, fun, educational, original, humorous, all interlaced together with a sharp mystery.  Who could ask for anything more? I will, I can't read to read the next edition.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Julie is also the author of The White House Mystery Series, and the Alex St. James Series now available on Kindle. 

 For More information about Julie 
check out her web page or her blog.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Berkley Prime Crime, a division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thanks to the wonderful people at Berkley Prime Crime we have 2 copies of Grace Interrupted to give away!!!


Liz V. said...

As I've noted before, so enjoyed WH chef series, then Grace Under Pressure. Have promised myself to backtrack for Alex.

Tami said...

Thanks for sharing that list. #3 cracks me up! Please, keep letting those characters meddle in police business and I'll keep reading.

Julie Hyzy said...

Thanks so much, Liz! I'm having fun with Grace and Ollie, but I'm hoping to put Alex in trouble again soon, too!

Tami - That one always cracks me up, too. What fun would it be if my characters left all the clues for the police and just sat back, twiddling their thumbs, until everything was solved. No fun at all! LOL

cyn209 said...

i can't wait to read your latest, Julie!!! Congrats & GoodLuck!!!!
also thank you for the giveaway!!!

Cynthia ~~

Debi Murray said...

Julie, You know how much I liked the Ollie books and the Alex books because I've told you that many times in the past. But I just love Grace! Looking forward to digging into GRACE INTERRUPTED soon. Sorry to be missing you at SE WI Festival of Books, but there is always Bouchercon....I'm definitely going!

Na said...

Hi Julie! I'm so glad I came across your guest blog today and discovered you. I think I'll really enjoy your mysteries. The interview was a fun one and your answers were right on point...yes, there would not be a story if the obvious/common sense answer happened.

Gigi Ann said...

I enjoyed reading Grace Under Pressure, so am looking forward to reading this book also. I enjoyed reading your list of questions, and #5 is the one I always wondered about. Where do all the ideas come from. I think I must have a very unlimited thinking brain. It was nice meeting you.

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

This list cracks me up! I love it! I never thought about some of the crazy questions you might get at a book signing. I think if I were to ask an author a question it would be the last one. I think the cozy mysteries have such unique stories adn I often wonder where the ideas come from. Great post! It was nice to meet you, Lori! I am adding all your books to my reading list!

Vidisha said...

Sounds like a great read

Victoria Zumbrum said...

Sounds like a really great read. I enjoy mysteries. Tore923@aol.com

katsrus said...

Love the book cover. Love a great mystery.
Sue B

Dru said...

that was fun.

orchid7 said...

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, and what a cliffhanger! I can't wait to read this book to see how things change for Grace!

GABixler said...

I loved your comment about why the amateur sleuth gets involved...but you know, sometimes, I'd like to see the individual (character) talk more about "why" they do it...I think the reader would enjoy this. I've seen it done in a few cozies, but not often. I guess I'm thinking that some readers who just happen to pick up a cozy might not realize that's the "reason"... surely there are some readers who don't routinely read cozies! LOL It's like in a spooky movie, all of us think that the main character should not go into that room! But they always do...So, I'd like to see the various reasons that an individual might play the "sleuth" as an amateur. What say you?

dollycas aka Lori said...

Thank you Julie so much!!!! I love everyone's comments!!!!

holdenj said...

I loved Julie's stories about book signings and how she prefers to read edgier books when she writing cozies. I really enjoyed Grace Under Pressure and can't wait to read this one! ThankS!

holdenj said...

I think my first comment disappeared! I enjoyed Julie's stories and can't wait to read the new novel! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Julie....I like that you have so many stories in your head. You have to write faster!
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Julie Hyzy said...

Thanks everyone for such great comments! To GABixler, I have to say I agree. I want to know WHY a person does what she does. I hope my books either have the character explain it -- to herself or to others -- or make her motive for involvement clear. I think it's very important for the protagonist to have a stake in finding out the truth. Otherwise, why not let the police take care of it? So much safer that way! LOL

Carol N Wong said...

I think that is so funny about them asking where the bathroom is when you probably have never been there before. Also, the one about giving you the idea, you write it and split the profits!! Seems to me, that writing it should count for 99% of the profits. What if you hate theit idea? It is hard work to turn people down.


Stacie said...

Thanks for the great interview Julie :) Some of your answers made me laugh. I love your all of your books. Can't wait to read the newest one. When is your next Ollie book going to be released?


mamabunny13 said...

Hi Julie! I'm so happy about your quest post here. I can't wait to get started on this series. I'm gonna check into your other series also.
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

LB said...

This sounds like a really good book - an original concept with the civil war reenactments! Very intriguing.

Laurie Brown said...

Can't wait to read your book!

thanks for the giveaway


Anonymous said...

I enjoy your books so much, can not wait until the next one comes out.

Nancye said...

This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net