Guaranteed to Bleed
by Julie Mulhern
Crystal: Today I have the pleasure of hosting Julie Mulhern. Welcome Julie! I'm so happy to have you here today. Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?
Julie: Like my heroine, Ellison Russell, I am from Kansas City, Missouri. Like my heroine, I am the personal maid of an evil genius masquerading as a Weimaraner. Unlike my heroine, I am happily married.
Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?
Kizzi roused herself enough to try to pat her daughter’s knee. She missed. For one ephemeral instant she leaned forward in space and hung there—a lob shot in tennis, a perfect chip in golf. In the next heartbeat, she fell, wedging herself between the brass coffee table and the couch with her glass still firmly gripped in her hand. The contents sloshed, but not a single drop spilled.
I gasped. CeCe did too. We both rose from our chairs.
Not Alice. She crouched. “Oh, Mother. How could you?”
I wondered the same thing and more. How could Kizzi let Alice intrude on CeCe’s grief? How could Kizzi come here and get sauced? How could she not see that her daughter was disturbed?
With an ease that spoke of heart-breaking regularity, Alice shoved her forearms beneath Kizzi’s armpits then stood, lifting her mother with her. When they were both standing, Alice pushed her mother back onto the couch then offered CeCe and me an apologetic smile. “Mother has a problem with balance.”
Mother had a problem with gin.
Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for Guaranteed to Bleed?
Julie: Guaranteed is the second book in the Country Club Murders series. Don’t you love the title? A friend who remembered how madras fabric used to be “guaranteed to bleed” suggested it.
Crystal: What are you currently working on?
Julie: I am currently working on book four of the Country Club Murders. It is scheduled to release in October. Book three, Clouds in my Coffee, releases on May 10th
Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing?
Julie: I roll out of bed early—so, so early—every morning, let the evil genius out in the backyard, push the button on the coffee maker, and sit down at the kitchen table to write.
Crystal: Did you have to do a lot of research for this book or any other? If so do you have a fascinating fact that you have learned you would like to share with us?
Julie: I do a fair amount of researching the 70s which is such fun. I’ve even researched the phrase “guaranteed to bleed”. Brooks Brothers bought 10,000 yards of madras and started making clothes. Their customers complained about the fabric bleeding and fading. In an inspired marketing maneuver, they declared their fabric was “guaranteed to bleed”.
Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?
Julie: I adore Gretchen Archer, Susan Boyer, and Phoebe Fox.
Crystal: Is there a genre you haven't written that you would like to try?
Julie: I’m incredibly happy writing mysteries and I’ve signed a contract for an additional six country club murders so it looks as if I’ll be writing what I love for quite a while.
With his dying breath, Bobby Lowell begs Ellison Russell, “Tell her I love her.”
Unable to refuse, Ellison struggles to find the girl the murdered boy loved. Too bad an epically bad blind date, a vindictive graffiti artist, and multiple trips to the emergency room keep getting in the way.
Worse, a killer has Ellison in his sights, her newly-rebellious daughter is missing, and there’s yet another body in her hostas. Mother won’t be pleased.
Now Ellison must track down not one but two runaway teenagers, keep her promise to Bobby and elude the killer—all before her next charity gala committee meeting.
Guaranteed to Bleed buy links:
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I hobbled up the long, bricked walkway that led to CeCe Lowell’s door. The Parisian sales girl had sniffed and told me that pain was a small price for beauty. My feet disagreed. That the navy of my pumps exactly matched the navy of my dress was of little import to toes crammed into pointy shoes. They’d stopped whispering their discontent. They were yelling.
I ignored them and rang the bell.
CeCe answered it herself.
The poor woman looked as if she hadn’t slept. She also looked disappointed, almost as if she was expecting someone else. It was a fleeting impression. One I dismissed when she grabbed my good wrist and pulled me into a hug.
She released me. “Thank you for coming,”
“I tried to call.” Five times over the course of an hour I’d received a busy signal. Then the need to find the name of the girl Bobby had loved and to offer CeCe my condolences had compelled me to don my too-tight shoes and drive to her home.
“I left it off the hook.” She rubbed her red-rimmed eyes. “She kept answering it.”
Who? One of CeCe’s sisters? “If now is a bad time, I can come back later.”
“No!” She snatched at my wrist again. “I mean no, of course not. I’m glad you’re here. Come in. May I offer you coffee?” She led me toward the living room.
Something was off. Wrong. Grief thicker than fog wrapped around her yet she seemed manic, desperate. I understood why when I crossed the threshold into CeCe’s living room.
Kizzi and Alice Standish shared a flowered couch.
Kizzi lived behind a curtain sewn from dry gin martinis. Her daughter Alice was nuttier than the little bowls of mixed almonds and cashews the club puts out for bridge snacks. Word on the golf course was that Howard Standish was considering having them both committed—to different facilities, of course.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Julie Mulhern is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions. She is a 2014 Golden Heart® Finalist.
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