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New Orleans, Research & The Red Carpet Awards (Spoiler: I won!)

Authors have to get their facts straight. Authenticity is a huge part of storytelling. It’s true! For me, that means getting my boots on the ground. I’m a total research nerd, and immersion is by far my favorite method for getting the details perfect, especially when it comes to locale. I can watch movies and tourist videos, review photos and ask questions, but there are some things I just have to experience to understand. Culture is one of those things. So, I travel. (Hey, what can I say? It’s a tough job). Once I’ve exhausted all the resources available from home, I compile a list of my remaining questions, buy my plane tickets and wave adios to rural Ohio. C-Ya!



My latest destination? New Orleans. July 28th – August 2nd. It was Ah-Mazing.


 **I was there. I took this photo. I still can’t believe it.**

(That’s St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square, the heart of the French Quarter)

 I’d read about the city for months, years really, it’s been a lifelong dream of mine to visit. I’d even interviewed several lifelong residents, but I still didn’t know what it felt like there. I needed to know. I’m very “method” like that. I have to experience things as a means for understanding them. It’s how my brain works.


(This was my new boyfriend… until he dumped me for a voodoo doll)


What was I saying? Oh yeah. Despite all I’d read, I still didn’t know what NOLA air felt like on my skin or what it smelled like. What was the vibe there? How about the people? The accents? The traffic? Road conditions? How about the most common expressions, attire, sights, sounds…I could go on. I really could. I have a list. So, when one of my 2014 mysteries was named a finalist in the BTS eMag Awards in New Orleans, I made plans to get answers for my research, and while I was at it, I’d attend the Red Carpet Awards! Look at me getting all the birds with just the one stone!


 **Red Carpet Awards selfie.** Told you I was there!

Okay, but before the awards, I spent about three months making an hour-by-hour itinerary for six days beginning at 6:00 am each morning and ending at midnight each night. I stayed three nights in the French Quarter and two in the Central Business District. In the Quarter, my hotel (Dauphine Orleans) was haunted and so was May Bailey’s, the attached bar and former brothel. The bar was haunted by brothel workers and Civil War soldiers, in case you wondered. People really think this. Ghost hunters have been there to *document* the happenings. It’s adorable. The hotel was one little block away from Bourbon Street, so the only strange things I saw during my stay came crawling home at dawn in last night’s clothes….or lack thereof.



As an aside: everything in NOLA is allegedly haunted. NOLA folks are incredibly superstitious and believe all the things, so I learned quickly to nod, appropriately wide-eyed, in faux agreement. They didn’t understand or appreciate my: Ohio people think that’s hokum attitude, so I adjusted. I mean, when in Rome, right? Haunted, you say? 0_0 Oh, my!

Anyway. I took a three hour segway tour around the neighboring boroughs, visited Armstrong Park and fun places like Treme.



I rode streetcars and took a jazz dinner cruise up the Mississippi.



I took the ferry to Algiers.


Toured a convent and two cathedrals.




Went on a culinary history tour through the French Market and watched them make beignets and pralines. Yum!



I did a Ghost tour through the French Quarter, and a historic pub crawl down Bourbon Street,


(That’s me in the center with my go-cup)


two cemetery tours,


I enjoyed a delightful walking tour of the Garden District and got tons of details for my book,



The true crime tour wasn’t as fabulous as the others, but I went! I also visited three local museums including the 1850′s house, the Cabildo and the Presbytere, where I learned about the city’s history from actual city historians,(My inner nerd is still amped about this) plus I read up on the evolution of Mardi Gras and saw tons of jaw dropping displays.




I sobbed inside the Katrina museum like a baby. I just can’t with that. SMH.



I had the muffaletta at Napoleons


and a purple drank at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop. (Not a typo. It’s called a purple drank).



I ordered cafe au lait and beignets at Cafe Du Monde, and they were delicious.



Spoke to fifty cabbies and soaked in three hundred years of everything in roughly 120 hours (traveling, even by plane, took the better part of two of my days – one going and one coming BUT I took notes on that too, all in the name of research). Oh, and did I mention the Faulkner House Bookstore in Pirate’s Alley? Gorgeous. I died a little in there. Happily.




I loved this trip more than most. It was a lifetime in the making for me, and it culminated in a little extra unexpected baggage for the plane ride home.



I won at the Red Carpet Awards! My novel, Murder Comes Ashore, took first place in the Mystery category and earned an honorable mention for their readers’ choice novel of the year!


Ahhh, I miss you already, New Orleans, but you’ve cultivated a place in my heart, and one day I’ll have novel proof of your impact on me. *Stage sigh* I seriously LOVE research!


Time to Get Your Geek On! Join A Geek Girl’s Guide to Murder Celebration Tour!

GEEK-GIRL_murder_ROUGHS_3Join the celebration! Stop by participating blogs, get the inside scoop and nerd out

with Me and my Geek Girl Mystery debut!

(Plus there are prizes. You want the prizes. It’s Okay. I know you do).

Tour Participants

August 31 – Fresh Fiction – 5 Ways A Geek Girl’s Guide to Murder Changed Me

August 31 – Musings and Ramblings - Review

August 31 - 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,  &, Sissy, Too ! - Spotlight

September 1 – Bubble Bath Books – Review

September 1 – Lilac Reviews – Guest Post

September 1 – Teaser Tuesday - A Sneak Peek at A Geek Girl’S Guide to Murder

September 2 – Carina Press Blog - Top 5 Inspirations for A Geek Girl’s Guide to Murder

September 2 - Moonlight Rendezvous – Review

September 2Bookbrowsing5 Ways I Make Time to Write

September 3 – Queen of All She Reads – Review

September 4 – View from the Birdhouse – Interview

September 4 – Talk Nerdy To Me – 5 Reasons to Geek Out at the Local Renaissance Faire

September 5 – Book Babble - Review

September 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Guest Post

September 7 – The Ninja Librarian - Review

September 7 - Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes  – Spotlight

September 8 – Girl with Book Lungs - Review

September 8 - Christa Reads and Writes  – Guest Post

September 9 – Jane Reads  – Review

September 10 – A Blue Million Books – Interview

September 11 – Latte’ Da!  – Guest Post

September 11 - Tea and A Book – Review, Interview

September 12 – Frankie Bow – Spotlight

September 12 – Brooke Blogs – Guest Post 

September 13 - Community Bookstop – Review

September 14 - StoreyBook Reviews – Review

Huge, enormous thank you to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours. She’s 100% fabulous and I love her. Thank you, Lori!!!!

About A Geek Girl’s Guide to Murder

IT manager Mia Connors is up to her tortoiseshell glasses in technical drama when a glitch in the Horseshoe Falls email system disrupts security and sends errant messages to residents of the gated community. The snafu’s timing couldn’t be worse—Renaissance Faire season is in full swing and Mia’s family’s business relies on her presence.

Mia doesn’t have time to hunt down a computer hacker. Her best friend has disappeared, and she finds another of her friends murdered—in her office. When the hunky new head of Horseshoe Falls security identifies Mia as the prime suspect, her anxiety level registers on the Richter scale.

Eager to clear her name, Mia moves into action to locate her missing buddy and find out who killed their friend. But her quick tongue gets her into trouble with more than the new head of security. When Mia begins receiving threats, the killer makes it clear that he’s closer than she’d ever imagined.

Find it on:

Amazon       Barnes&Noble       Carina Press     iTunes    Kobo

Mia’s Brains & Beauty Grand Prize Package includes:


  • print copies of two of my other mysteries, Murder by the Seaside and Murder in Real Time
  • a Pop! Mary Poppins
  • awesome pastel glasses
  • a ‘geek inside’ transparency
  • a Captain America travel mug
  • false lashes, a mini clippers
  • emery board and hot pink tweezers set
  • Nicole nail polish in the fabulous shade of “Who are you calling a shrimp”
  • an 8GB novelty Ninja memory stick :)

Visit one of the participating blogs above to enter the rafflecopter for this prize. Comments are appreciated here, but they won’t help you get your hands on that collection of fun up there ;)

Scavenger Hunt! — 1 item — #BeAWinner

Okay, you guys. The time has come. Murder in Real Time is in stores and I have an awesome, super fun scavenger hunt for you. AND I have prizes. I want you to have my prizes. Here’s how you get the prizes:

Check your local participating retailer for Murder in Real Time. It will be on the racks under the HARLEQUIN banner, sitting proudly with the big girls. It looks like this:

How to Play:

1, Find the book in a local store (WalMart, KMart, Meijer, Fred Meyers, Books-A-Million)

2. Take a picture and share it on your social media. Be sure to add me so I see it: @JulieALindsey on Twitter or tag me on FaceBook.

3. Tell me WHERE you found it


I’ll share your picture with my followers and contact you about your prize. How easy is that?


Okay, but what’s the book about?

Murder in Real Time

Book three of The Patience Price Mysteries

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?

What are people saying about it?

The mystery is interesting and kept me flipping the pages until the end … I felt like I was one of the islanders…
~The Gal in the Blue Mask
 Will keep the reader hooked all the way to the end… a must read.
~Booklady’s Booknotes
 Murder, mayhem and a dash of romance …
~The Ninja Librarian
This was a fun new mystery. I want to know more and will go back to read the first two in the series.
~Rantin’, Ravin’ and Reading
This book is a captivating whodunit…You will not be able to put this book down once you start.
~Shelley’s Book Case
I really enjoyed this contemporary romance/mystery story. The characters were a lot of fun. I loved the island setting!
~Brooke Blogs
What are the prizes?
Oh, so many prizes. I’ve got print copies of Murder by the Seaside, where it all began.
I’ve got digital copies of Murder by the Seaside AND Murder Comes Ashore, book 2 in the series. I’ve got copies of Misty of Chincoteague, a classic story of the island ponies. Stuffed plushie ponies, cool nautical jewelry, coffee cards for my fellow caffeine addicts, you name it, I’ve got it. I want you to have it. SO, 1. find MURDER IN REAL TIME at a local store, 2. tell me WHERE you found it and 3. share a picture . 
Where can I find it?
Check your local North American WalMart, KMart, Meijer, Books A Million and Fred Meyer for Murder in Real Time in June & July 2015, then share a pic of your find with me!
Let me know when you find one!
Contest begins June 1, 2015. Ends July 31, 2015

A Geek Girl’s Guide to Murder: The Scoop

Geek Girl Mysteries is a new series about a geeky woman (girl was good for titular alliteration, but Mia’s most definitely an adult woman) who uses her dogged curiosity and fat IQ to solve murders. I modeled her after Felicia Day. She’s a delight to me. Her local PD and homicide thinks she’s kind of a pain, but what can I say? She gets the job done. 

She loves all the coolest things from vintage clothing to cosplay and Ren Faires. Her family’s a large slice of fruitcake. And her community is wealthy-weird. I hope you’ll enjoy her stories, too. 

About the book:

A Geek Girl’s Guide to Murder, book 1 in The Geek Girl Mysteries

GEEK-GIRL_murder_ROUGHS_3IT manager Mia Connors is up to her tortoiseshell glasses in technical drama when a glitch in the Horseshoe Falls email system disrupts security and sends errant messages to residents of the gated community. The snafu’s timing couldn’t be worse—Renaissance Faire season is in full swing and Mia’s family’s business relies on her presence.

Mia doesn’t have time to hunt down a computer hacker. Her best friend has disappeared, and she finds another of her friends murdered—in her office. When the hunky new head of Horseshoe Falls security identifies Mia as the prime suspect, her anxiety level registers on the Richter scale.

Eager to clear her name, Mia moves into action to locate her missing buddy and find out who killed their friend. But her quick tongue gets her into trouble with more than the new head of security. When Mia begins receiving threats, the killer makes it clear that he’s closer than she’d ever imagined.

NEWS: A Geek Girl’s Guide to Murder is at Alloy Entertainment right now!! Alloy is part of Warner Brothers and they requested an early copy in April, for television series consideration. I’ve got my fingers crossed & you can read it first here:

***Click HERE to Request an advanced read from Net Galley today! ***

How about an excerpt?

I dashed my coffee with cinnamon and grabbed a little wooden stir paddle. Bernie’s blog was right. There was trouble at the clubhouse. I pressed the cup to my lips and inhaled tendrils of bitter steam. My eyes slid shut while I counted to ten and organized my thoughts. What exactly were residents receiving in email? Whatever it was, it hadn’t come from me and I doubted it came from the clubhouse system. Could they be lying? How many complaints were there?

A long shadow overtook me.

My lids popped open, and I jumped to attention, stuffing swollen feet back into their luxurious torture devices.

The shadow had a stiff-looking man in his midthirties at the end of it. “Mia Connors?” His voice was deep with a hint of Southern charm.

Hmm. White dress shirt. Shiny shoes. “Are you a cop or a salesman?” I squinted through foggy glasses and set my coffee aside. “I met with our software rep last week, and we’re all up-to-date on licensing, so I guess cop.” Cops wore uniforms and carried twenty extra pounds but, for some inexplicable reason, most men liked being mistaken for one. He was definitely new to Horseshoe Falls. Resident? Guest?

He frowned. “I look like a cop?”

I wasn’t expecting the frown. I gave him another long look. The light bulb flickered on in my scrambled brain. “Oh.” I dug into my handbag, searching for my business cards. “Are you looking for some technical assistance?” I stage-winked. Detailed internet research was my specialty. If the information existed, I could find, compile and deliver it with great discretion. For a reasonable fee.

“Technical assistance?”

“Sure. Online. I can clean up anything you need or get details on anything you want.”

He tented his brows.

I backpedaled. “Research is a passion of mine.”

He shifted foot to foot and stretched a hand in my direction. “Before you say anything else and this conversation takes a whole new turn, I need to introduce myself. I’m Jake Archer. I’m the new Horseshoe Falls Head of Security.”

“You’re not wearing a uniform.” I gave him another once-over. “Why are you in a suit?”

“It’s my first day. I’d hoped to make an impression. Disappointed?”

Disgusted with my lack of insight. Of course he was the new guy. Bernie described him on her blog. Handsome. Sullen. “I thought you’d be more brooding.”

He slouched forward and looked at me with narrow eyes. Like I wasn’t making any sense. Which I wasn’t.

I pinched my lips between my teeth. “I mean, someone said you were brooding. Not me.” I flailed mentally. “Not brooding.” Swarms of staffers rushed past us. The meeting was over.

A nervous laugh bubbled up, and I tamped it down. “I meant serious. You’re very serious. Probably in cop mode. Security mode? I’m sure you’re not at all brooding. I’ve got to go.” Ugh. I turned away, stuffing napkins and sugar packets into my bag for later. I’d finish mixing my coffee behind the safety of my office door.

He followed me down the narrow hall toward the line of employee offices, easily matching his pace to mine. “Anything you want to tell me?”

“I sometimes help people erase things they don’t want online. I also help them with research. I thought you were approaching me for my help.”

“Anything else?”


“Why’d you assume I was a cop?”

“Or a salesman.” I slowed my pace, relieved to reach my office door. “It was just a guess. You know, like when you go to a restaurant or a party and someone catches your attention, so you make up what you think they’re saying, what they do for a living and why they’re there. Then you get closer to see if you’re right.”

Jake blinked. “No.”

Of course not. Normal people didn’t do that kind of thing. Socially awkward girls with insane imaginations did. “Well, anyway. This is my office.” I turned my back to the door, hoping he wouldn’t follow me inside. “I’ve got work to do if I want to get the system’s problems worked out before we’re all fired, and I’m having a rough day anyway so…”

He didn’t make a move to leave.

My heart stammered. Why was he grilling me like this? I couldn’t take confrontation. I babbled. I behaved stupidly. I filled quiet moments with my personal brand of crazy.

Two seconds later, I caved. “First, some jack—someone took my parking space, and now I have to fix whatever has happened to the email system or lose my job.” I exhaled deeply. “You should go.”

His scrutinizing blue eyes pierced me to the door. “Why do I make you nervous?”

I tugged at the neckline of my dress to circulate the suffocating air and chomped on the inside of both cheeks. You’re too close. Asking a whole heck of a lot of questions and way too close. My fingers curled at my side. I shut my eyes and cried out to the Universe, Help!

“Nothing else you want to tell me?”

I rolled the back of my head against the office door. “Uh-uh.”


Thangs and Stuff. STUFF.

A lot has happened over the past six months. Like, a whole lot. As a result, I’ve fallen away from blogging in favor of making contracted deadlines and self-imposed ones.

 Busy busy busy

My stress level is creeping toward insanity levels, but insanity is my sweet spot, so it’s all good.

I’m basically a high functioning caffeine-addict. Thank you, Writer-Life.

Here’s a quick catch up on all the things and stuff I wanted to blog about, but didn’t get to in a timely manner: 


These are not in any particular order….

1. I signed two new contracts for a total of 5 upcoming releases in 2015-2016. 

** 2 contemporary YA titles from Lyrical Press

**3 cozy mystery titles with Carina Press

2. Murder in Real Time, book 3, The Patience Price Mysteries, was picked up for Harlequin’s book club distribution

3. Murder in Real Time was also selected for a new retail trial program with Harlequin 

4. I’ve been to a legit zill author/book events on the East Coast and throughout Ohio. It’s been fun. I love to go. Please invite me. I will come.

5. A Geek Girl’s Guide to Murder, my upcoming August cozy release, is available for request on NetGalley!


6. A Geek Girl’s Guide to Murder was requested by Alloy Entertainment a couple months ago. Alloy is a Warner Brothers affiliate and they requested an advanced copy from Harlequin. Yes. I die every time I share that news.

7. I parted ways amicably with my agent. It was the scariest thing I’ve done as an author, but necessary…I think. I’ll talk more about this later.

8. I’ve entered short stories into 2 anthologies 

9. I entered the opening chapters of a new work for the Stafford Award

10. I’m planning my trip to New Orleans for the Red Carpet Awards in July. Murder Comes Ashore was a mystery finalist. I CAN NOT WAIT.

That’s the scoop. 


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