Who Says Counselors Aren't Any Fun?
I had no idea how to write my first cozy mystery, so I started with what I knew. I knew I loved Janet Evanovich’s witty stories and her girl next door heroine. I knew I loved Gemma Halliday’s girlie-girl shoe-designing sleuth. And I knew I loved their special chick lit meets thriller mash up. I wanted to write those.
I was on a roll! Look at me knowing what kind of story I wanted. I could almost type THE END already.
But what would my heroine DO? As much stuff as I make up, I still lean on what I know to support my fabulous fabrications. The problem with leaning is my knowledge base is kind of a snore. I have a psychology degree and three kids. I’m a rural Ohio swim mom. None of that is nearly as exciting as being a Jersey girl bounty hunter or an LA shoe designer.
So, I had two career choices for my heroine: Mom or counselor. Since I do mom 24/7, I went with counselor. I need an escape from momming and writing about it sounded like work instead of fun. Poof! My counseling heroine was born. Unfortunately, she was born with problems. Like boredom. What can she do in an office? Have you ever been to a counselor’s office? Snoreville. I brainstormed….Maybe one of her clients was killed and she went to check on him and found him? Maybe. Doubtful. Counselors don’t go looking for people who skip appointments. And even if she did, isn’t that how every story starts?
Then it hit me. Remember how I asked if you’ve ever been to a counselor’s office? How many people know about it? Who did you tell? “I’m seeing a counselor.” Right. Right? Now, what if my counselor lived in a town made up of needy but reluctant clients? What if they showed up at her doorstep under guise of house warming gifts, casserole in hand? What if they jogged up to her during her morning run and spilled their stories, hoping no one would realize they were getting therapy? How immeasurably frustrating would that be for a Type A counseling type? Answer: Really. Really.
And the ideas rolled. Suddenly counseling wasn’t a suit behind a desk asking “How does that make you feel?” Suddenly, it was a highly irritable, control freak woman forced out of her comfort zone. She’s surrounded by people ashamed of counseling, the thing she believes in most. She can’t go anywhere or do anything without a sneak attack by someone with a phobia, disorder or general complaint. It’s like drive-by grouching. They come from out of nowhere, unload their drama and skip out, tossing cash in their wake. My poor befuddled heroine is ready to snap. Throw in a murder and she spends 300 pages spinning in circles. I love it! And this is how my delightful counseling heroine was born. This is how I hope I made counseling fun. If you’re looking for a new cozy series, I hope you’ll give my debut a try. It’s written from the heart and hopefully with plenty of smiles.
Murder by the Seaside by Julie Anne Lindsey
Armed with a new counseling degree, Patience Price is eager to move back home to Chincoteague Island to help folks with their problems. But she finds the streets awash in more than East Coast charm. There's been a murder, and Adrian Davis, the town golden boy who once stomped her heart into a zillion pieces, is the main suspect. Now he's on the run, claiming he's innocent. Patience finds this…poetic. Not that she holds a grudge.
Adrian's mom is sure that with her FBI background Patience can find the truth. Yes, she was at the FBI—in human resources. Still, she looks into it, but not everyone is happy with her snooping. Either that, or the welcome wagon has some bold new policies involving drive-by shootings.
Things really heat up when a hunky former coworker, an actual FBI agent, arrives to help. But he may be too late; the quaint island harbors deadly secrets—and Patience is running out of time.
Available October 7, 2013
“I loved every minute of this delicious whodunit! Murder by the Seaside is one of those mysteries that grabs hold of you and won’t let go. From the sparkling landscape to the brilliantly drawn characters, Julie Anne Lindsey has created something very special! Plan ahead. You will want to devour this book in one sitting!”
-Darynda Jones, NY Times Bestselling Author of the Charley Davidson Series
Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. In 2013, Julie welcomes five new releases in three genres including her newest title, DECEIVED, a YA suspense from Merit Press, and her first cozy mystery, MURDER BY THE SEASIDE, book one in the Patience Price, Counselor at Large series from Carina Press (a digital imprint of Harlequin).
Julie is a self-proclaimed word nerd who would rather read than almost anything else. She started writing to make people smile. Someday she plans to change the world. Most days you'll find her online, amped up on caffeine and wielding a book.
Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW), Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI), Sisters in Crime (SinC) and the Canton Writer’s Guild.
Find her online:
Tweeting her crazy @JulieALindsey
Soothing her book obsession on GoodReads
Pinning the pretty on Pinterest
Tumbling lamely on Tumblr
Murder by the Seaside is my debut cozy mystery in the Patience Price, Counselor at Large series from Carina Press.