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Grandeur and opulence are everything in the famed New Orleans Garden District where pets are family and no bling is too big. Opening Furry Godmother, pet boutique and organic treat bakery, is Lacy Marie Crocker’s dream come true–until the glitter gun used to make her Shih Tzu tutus becomes a murder weapon. And Lacy becomes public enemy #1.
Now Detective Jack Oliver is hounding Lacy, and her Furry Godmother investor wants out before his name is tarnished by association. To make matters worse, a string of jewel heists with suspicious ties to the murder case has New Orleans residents on edge. To save her dream, Lacy must take a stand, put her keen eyes to work, and unravel what really happened at her shop that night. But can Lacy sniff out the killer cat burglar in time to get her tail-raising designs on the catwalk?Early Praise:
“In all that New Orleans heat and glitter, there’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. A fun read.”
—Rita Mae Brown, New York Times bestselling author of the Sneaky Pie mystery series
“Everyone needs a Furry Godmother! A delightful new series steeped in the flavor of New Orleans and its old families. Julie Chase’s clever characters are guaranteed to make you smile.”
—Krista Davis, New York Times bestselling author of the Paws & Claws mysteries
“A stunning debut… Julie Chase’s new series is a cross between Laura Childs’ Scrapbooking series and Ali Brandon’s Black Cat Bookshop. A fantastic start to what looks like a promising cozy series. Even if you are not a cat/dog lover, you will love this one!”
—T. C. LoTempio, author of the national bestselling Nick and Nora mystery series.
Q: Julie, thanks for stopping by Island Confidential. Can you tell us something about your protagonist, Lacy?
A: Lacy Marie Crocker is from one of New Orleans’ wealthiest families, but she’s never quite fit in. She chased her dreams of making a life for herself, outside the family fortune, all the way to Virginia, but when a broken heart causes an unexpected change in plans, Lacy heads home to the city she loves. She quickly puts her fashion degree and love of animals to use making custom clothing and costumes for pets by opening Furry Godmother, a pet boutique and organic treat bakery. Lacy is curious, smart and determined, all the things I love in a woman. Better still? She’s kind, loyal and compassionate, all the things I love in a human.
Q: How much do you have in common with Lacy?
A: There’s a lot of me in all my characters, I think. They’re made of my thoughts, opinions and experiences. Good and bad. Kind and evil. They’re all inspired by something I’ve seen, heard or lived. I make strong, smart and determined heroines because those are qualities I admire and aspire to have. If I could sit down and talk to Lacy in person, I’d be there all night. I think she’s fabulous.
Q: Do your characters change and evolve throughout consecutive books in the series?
A: Definitely. In Cat Got Your Diamonds, Lacy comes home to lick her wounds and make a place for herself in a society where she never really fit in. I’ve just finished writing book three, and in less than a year’s time, she’s made a place for herself, while being herself, in that world. She even develops a friendship with her mother, the woman who has driven her bananas for thirty years. Also, the love triangle that emerges in book one takes a distinct turn in book three as the dynamics between Lacy and Jack, and Lacy and Chase evolve. Steadily, her shop, Furry Godmother, makes a name for itself and so does she. Lacy is continuously unraveling who she is, where she belongs in this life and what exactly that means.
Q: Have you ever thought of killing someone that you know in real life–on the pages of a murder mystery, I mean?
A: Ha! That’s a great question! No… I don’t have it in me. I’m a professional conflict avoider. I’m the woman who never thinks of what she should say in the face of a meanie until hours later, long after the creep is gone. Then, I act out the one-sided argument in my shower until I feel vindicated.
Q: How realistic is your setting? Do you take liberties, or are you true to life?
A: My Kitty Couture series takes place in the Garden District of New Orleans, which is, of course, a real place, but the story happens in a very fictionalized version of this neighborhood. For example, Furry Godmother isn’t an actual store on Magazine Street, but Magazine Street is an actual street in the Garden District. For me, finding the right mix of fact vs fiction was a tough one, but I hope the result is a delicious escape.
Q: When the movie or TV series is made, who plays the major parts?
A: Oh, fun! I’d love to cast this show LOL! I’m a very visual person, so I actually kept a pin board of characters up as I wrote, and I used pictures of Ian Somerholder as Detective Jack Oliver’s character, Stephen Amell for Chase Hawthorne, and Jennifer Lawrence is Lacy Marie Crocker.
Q: What’s the worst and best advice you’ve heard or received as an author?
A: The worst advice I’ve seen about writing is that aspiring authors should stick to one genre. I’ve seen tweets and blog posts dedicated to admonishing newbie writers who “genre jump,” calling the behavior amateurish. It’s total nonsense. If you have a story to tell, then tell it. If it’s a horror story today and a romance tomorrow, so what? Writers are creative people by definition. Of course we’re going to have a multitude of ideas. That’s completely understandable. What’s crazy is telling us to get inside one box. I say, fly free young writers! FLY!
Best advice: Don’t give up. No matter how bad today looks, tomorrow will be better. You have no idea how close you are already. You can’t give up now. And that advice covers more than just writing.
Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency. Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey.
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