Saturday, March 22, 2014

Guest today: Julie Anne Lindsey and Island of Inspiration

by Kaye George

Please help me welcome Julie Anne Lindsay to our blog today. She's a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She says 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 Comes Ashore is a sequel in her new mystery series, Patience Price, Counselor at Large, from Carina Press.   

Here's her post on her Island of Inspiration
(Kaye: I'll admit this is a place I've longed to go ever since I was a child!)

One question I’m often asked is where I get my story ideas. The truth is I have an overactive thought life. My imagination never stops. I see stories in the little things: strangers’ faces, red birds on limbs, the local news, my kids’ arguments, you name it. My mind loads up a freight train full of “What ifs” and the story start taking shape. Most stories end in a few minutes of pondering, others take 90,000 words to explore properly.

Sometimes something big worms into my head and heart and won’t let go, like a song or a scene or a place I visited.

Like Chincoteague, Virginia.

In 2007, about four years before I made my first attempt at writing anything longer than a grocery list, my family visited the island on vacation. I was enchanted. I never wanted to leave. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Chincoteague is a small island off the coast of Virginia. When I say “small” I mean 3x7 miles small. The tiny island community is delightfully unusual, made up of some transient folks who spend the winters elsewhere and others who stay year round. There are quaint little shops and gulls galore. Fishermen and tourists. Craftsmen and artisans. Graceful sailboats skate on the harbor beside bleating tugboats and the occasional water-skier. People rode bicycles in town with baskets on the front. The baskets brimmed with produce from a farmer’s market. Life was slower. People were kinder. I was in love.

If that’s not cool enough, Chincoteague has a sister island, Assateague. Assateague is attached to Chincoteague by a long bridge over a marsh. Assateague is home to a national forest, national seashore, historic lighthouse and the famous wild ponies. Wild. Ponies. You see? Enchanting.

Chincoteague burrowed into my skin that summer and I swear I brought it home in my soul. I’ve thought of the island every day, and I’ve written multiple stories set on the beautiful seashore. I can vividly remember the scent of brine and salt in the heavy summer air and how the evenings smelled of ash from grills and bonfires. Even the note of butter from families eating dinner on their decks is seared into my memory.

The beach was endless white sand. Families walked dogs, pushed strollers and flew kites. The occasional bright red or yellow kayak seemed to fly over the water, cutting expertly through white wave breaks and ebbing waves. I close my eyes and see the weathered boards of the fishing pier and the curving steps to the lighthouse.

When it came time to write my cozy, I knew Chincoteague was the perfect location. I’ve never had so much fun writing anything. Rediscovering those sights and sounds was something I reveled in. I hope I did the town justice.

Have you ever visited a place that settled in your heart this way? I’d love to hear about it. Maybe I can vacation there next!

If you’re looking for a fun new mystery series, I hope you’ll consider Murder Comes Ashore. You’ll find mystery, chemistry and fun. Plus, who doesn’t need an island get away?

Cover Art 2014 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited

Murder Comes Ashore  

Patience Price is just settling into her new life as resident counselor on Chincoteague Island when things take a sudden turn for the worse. A collection of body parts have washed up on shore and suddenly nothing feels safe on the quaint island.

Patience instinctively turns to current crush and FBI special agent Sebastian for help, but former flame Adrian is also on the case, hoping that solving the grisly crime will land him a win in the upcoming mayoral election.

When the body count rises and Patience's parents are brought in as suspects, Patience is spurred to begin her own investigation. It's not long before she starts receiving terrifying threats from the killer, and though she's determined to clear her family's name, it seems the closer Patience gets to finding answers, the closer she comes to being the killer's next victim.

Amazon       Barnes&Noble      

Learn More About Julie at:


Kaye George said...

Thanks so much for the trip to an truly enchanting place, Julie. I admit I've wanted to visit there since I was a little girl.

Julie Anne Lindsey said...

Thank you Kaye! I hope you'll get the chance to visit one day. It's truly worth the time and cost. Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of this amazing blog!

Morgan Mandel said...

what a darling cover! Sounds like a wonderful book.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Loved your post--fun to keep learning more about you!

Barry Knister said...

Julie Anne--
No offense, but any time something big worms into my head and heart, I call my internist, fast.