An author on the SinC email list signed off with the titles of her books, Murder by the Seaside and Murder Comes Ashore. As a beach author focusing on Hatteras Island, NC, I had to look for her books and read them. Julie Anne Lindsey writes a fun cozy mystery series set on Chincoteague Island, VA. After reading her mysteries, I went to her website and found that Julie writes in multiple genres including YA and Romance so it’s no wonder that twenty-something main character, Patience Price, solves mysteries and has two men desiring her attention. Please welcome Julie to WWK. E. B. Davis
Would you give our readers a series synopsis of your mystery series?
Mayhem, murder and a sexy secret agent follow downsized FBI worker Patience Price when she returns to her sleepy seaside hometown of Chincoteague, Virginia.
Patience was brought up on Chincoteague Island by hippie parents who never lost the 1960s and have somehow combined those days with new age philosophy. What did Patience have to rebel against as a teen?
Patience emerged from the womb as the ultimate type-A personality. She and her parents were destined not to mix. They are oil and water. If Patience is from Mars, her parents are from Wyoming. A cohesive relationship was definitely not in the cards. As a teen, Patience craved structure and discipline, the very things her parents couldn’t give her. I honestly believe them incapable of anything less than unconditional acceptance. That was a problem for Patience. She and her parents were the embodiment of “You just don’t understand me!” Every teen says it, but Patience really meant it.
Luckily, ten years and all that love has landed her at a point of acceptance. She’s better for their positions in her life. More than once, Patience wishes she could relax, let her guard down and breathe the way her parents do. As the series moves forward, we see Patience picking up some of these attributes.
What attracted you to set your series on Chincoteague Island? Have you lived there?
My family and I vacationed to Chincoteague in 2007 (about four years before I wrote anything longer than a grocery list). When I started writing, my imagination always drifted back to the island. We only stayed for a week that summer, but in many ways, I never left. I think I brought the island home in my soul. I know how melodramatic that sounds, but it’s true. If I could move there, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
In Murder by the Seaside, Patience’s high school boyfriend, Adrian, becomes a murder suspect. Why does she have mixed feelings about helping him solve the murder?
Patience is stubborn and prideful. Adrian broke her heart when he changed their plans to graduate high school and travel the country together by opting for college. He really should’ve been upfront with her, but his reasons were pure and right. She’s kicked herself for a decade for being stupid, not seeing the change coming, and not thinking of college first. She’s really mad at herself, but Adrian’s a handsome and willing target. She also struggles with her remaining attraction to him after so many years. She thought she changed during the ten years she was away, but seeing her childhood soul mate sets off a typhoon of emotion she doesn’t want. One look at Adrian and she’s eighteen and awkward all over again. That’s not great for her self-image. At first, she toys with capturing him just so she can turn him in. After all, she worked for the FBI and she believes in the system. Plus, it *might* feel good in her bad places to punish him for breaking her heart. Patience is a complicated woman.
Why does Patience have insurance problems?
Poor Patience. The minute she starts asking questions about the murder, she becomes a target. This is good news for Adrian. He obviously isn’t the real killer, (unless the welcome home committee swapped casseroles and cupcakes for drive by shootings and car bombs). Unfortunately for Patience, her Prius and new office take the brunt of the killer’s crazy and the insurance company won’t cover fires caused by fireworks lit inside. Go figure. On Patience’s behalf, I feel obligated to tell you, these occurrences were not her fault. Mostly.
Patience returns to Chincoteague Island to start a counseling practice. What aspect of the small resort town impedes her career?
Patience grew up in Chincoteague, loves the people, knows the culture and believes in the practice of counseling. In all rights, she is perfect for this position and it’s a wonderful, needed, addition to her community. Unfortunately, small towns are tightknit and somewhat busy with gossip and hearsay. No one wants to be seen getting counseled. This leads to townsfolk who blindside her at the grocery, beach or home, pretending to make small talk, while spilling their hearts and leaving her with cash. It’s all very bizarre, but she catches on quickly and goes with the flow. Regardless of how the sessions take place, she’s glad to be useful.
Why is Patience scared of the island’s ponies?
Her fear of ponies is one of those irrational, no good reason for it, fears. I have all sorts of those, ponies included. I thought it’d be fun to share that fear with her since wild ponies live on the island.
Everyone seems to know that Patience is a former employee of the FBI. They don’t seem to understand that she wasn’t an agent but in human resources. That doesn’t stop Patience from relying on the FBI’s personnel. What two FBI staffers does she call upon to help her?
I relate to the islanders on this. I based Patience’s character on a dear friend of mine who does the job Patience was downsized from. I am guilty of asking her all sorts of things about the bureau and am gently reminded she does training and recruiting, not investigation. Somehow, it seems everyone at the FBI should be able to track a killer and disable them with a karate chop, doesn’t it?
Working in human resources gave Patience a unique advantage in helping Adrian. She developed relationships with other employees including her best friend, Claire, and her long time crush, Special Agent Sebastian Clark. Sebastian is on leave following a mob bust gone sideways, so he welcomes the opportunity to leave town for a few days and help Patience.
Patience expects Adrian and Sebastian to be rivals, but they seem more like pals, disconcerting her. Why?
I think Patience assumes Adrian will have a problem with her new love interest, Sebastian, and Sebastian will have a problem with her old love interest, Adrian, cramping their budding romance. It’s logical from the standpoint that one is an FBI agent and one is on the lam for murder, but her emotions are all over and she hates it.
I have to say, all these assumptions have more to do with her feelings than anything else. She projects her feelings onto others more often than she knows. It’s how she deals with things she can’t control. They become someone else’s issues.
Mrs. Tucker runs a sock-hop style restaurant and local hangout, the Tasty Cream, but she seems more like a bartender. Is the Tasty Cream real, and how does she support Patience?
The Tasty Cream is very real, though if you visit in real life, look for Island Creamery. I adjusted the name and interior description a bit to fit my world.
Mrs. Tucker is an amazing friend and mother-figure for Patience. Mrs. Tucker is a staple in island living. She hears and sees all by working the ice cream counter. She’s a sounding board for Patience and provides a lot of free meals while Patience gets her practice off the ground.
How did Patience end up with a high school rival, Karen Holsten, and why do they continue their rivalry?
Karen Holsten snubbed Patience for most of their lives because they are different. Karen was raised by parents who valued the notion of high society, power and status. Patience was raised by hippies who run a local t-shirt/tarot shop. Karen likely learned from her parents the Price family was odd, if not beneath her, and she treated Patience accordingly throughout adolescence.
In high school a magical thing occurred. The island golden boy, Adrian Davis, fell madly, deeply, teenagely in love with Patience and for the first time in her life, Karen wanted something Patience had. This life twisted Karen’s attitude toward Patience, turned Karen’s disregard for Patience into active spite.
As for why their animosity continues…Patience had a lifetime of experience telling her to keep Karen at arm’s length. Also, it’s a strange feeling for Patience, “coming home.” What’s changed? Who’s changed? What’s the same?
People always expect others to be the same as when they were last together, but no one ever is. Patience worked hard to earn a graduate degree and make a respectable government employee of herself on the mainland, but back home, it’s hard to figure out where she fits. Until she figures that out, she keeps her guard up.
After helping to exonerate her old boyfriend in Murder by the Seaside and solving the mystery of body parts washing ashore in Murder Comes Ashore, what’s next for Patience?
Murder in Real Time arrives in September 2014. I had so much fun writing this story. I take island chaos to a whole new level. The tourists and birders are finally gone, but the island’s overrun with paparazzi, grieving fans and food trucks when Adrian rents his home to a reality television crew and the host is murdered. On top of that, a shooter on the island seems to be gunning for both Patience’s men. She’s in for another wild ride, but I promise a sweet ending….depending whose “Team” you’re on *stage wink*.
Look for Julie’s books at all the major retailers, and if you want to know more about Julie and her books, you can explore her website. If you need fun beach reads this summer, I can recommend her books.