Researching Tips by Julie Mulhern – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Julie Mulhern will be awarding $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Researching Tips

The Country Club Murders are set in 1974. In 1974, I was seven. I barely remember the toys I played with much less what the adults around me ate, drank, talked about, wore, drove, or bought.

What do I remember? My mother setting me in front of the television with the Watergate hearings on. She told me I was watching history happening. At seven, I was unimpressed.

To recreate a 1970s feel, I went to primary sources. I am now the proud owner of a huge stack of magazines. Need a recipe from a 1974 Gourmet? I’m your gal. Wondering about a forty-plus year-old article in Cosmo, Vogue or Architectural Digest. I have them all.

And then there’s the television. What fun to watch All in the Family, The Streets of San Francisco, Colombo, and Barney Miller and call it work.

I’ve read best-sellers from the seventies—everything from Fear of Flying to Watership Down.

The music? So much fun. Maria Muldaur and Aretha Franklin, John Denver and Carly Simon. Elton John sang Benny and the Jets (the world is still trying to figure out the words).

The internet is a fabulous resource. Did you know 1974 marked the introduction of the drip coffee maker? Mr. Coffee quickly replaced percolators. Women could have credit cards independent of their husbands. The cost of milk and gas and a postage stamps…

Before I began the Country Club Murders I thought of seventies fashion in terms of white suits with black shirts, bell bottoms, and platform heels. Just google 70s fashion and you’ll see them all. Then, when your eyes are done bleeding, google Thea Porter, Halston, Diane von Furstenberg, Missoni, and Hermes.

Research can be a rabbit hole. Researching the seventies has been a joy. I hope that sense of joy comes through in my books.

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 epicly 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.

Enjoy an excerpt:

The nurse led me to a room with real walls, paused outside the real door, then offered me a gentle pat on the shoulder. “Is there someone I can call to come pick you up?”

I shook my head. Libba was taking care of Grace. I’d talked to them both, assured a teary Grace I was fine and promised to be home soon. Calling any of my other friends would mean a lengthy explanation. I had only one explanation in me and it was reserved for the police. “No, thank you.”

“Not your husband?”

“I’m a widow.”

She sucked in a breath. “I’m sorry.”

I wasn’t. Even if he was still alive, it was unlikely Henry would have gone to the trouble of picking me up from the hospital. “Thank you for offering. When I’m done, I’ll call a cab.”

I smoothed the loose folds of my shirt. Why did I never talk to the police looking polished or put together? Then I entered the room.

Detective Anarchy Jones sat at the table inside.

My feet stopped moving forward, my intestines defied the laws of science and turned from solid to liquid in the time it took me to blink. My knees no longer seemed strong enough to support me. Only my mouth continued to function. “What are you doing here?” I lifted my unbandaged hand to cover it before it said anything else.

Detective Jones stood. A smile that webbed the corners of his eyes and quirked his lips ghosted across his lean face. “The usual. Investigating a murder where you found the body.”

About the Author:

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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  1. I enjoyed the excerpt, thank you.

  2. Thank you for hosting

  3. Thanks so much for hosting me today!

  4. What is your favorite genre to read?

  5. Linda Romer says:

    Guaranteed to Bleed sounds like an exciting read ♡ I would love to read this book. Thank you

  6. kim amundsen says:

    Sounds like a good read.

  7. thais pampado says:

    Sounds like a great book, thanks for sharing.

  8. When you start a new book, do you have all the characters in place and an ending planned, or does it come to you as you write?

  9. I really enjoyed reading the excerpt, well, actually the entire post was terrific, thank you!

  10. I loved your comments. This sounds like a great book and I loved the excerpt

  11. Great tips! I’ve really enjoyed following the book tour for Guaranteed to Bleed and I’m looking forward to reading it :). Thanks for sharing!!

  12. amy bowens says:

    Sounds very interesting

  13. I enjoyed reading your Research tips! Thank you for a good tour!

  14. Roselle Torres says:

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  15. amy bowens says:

    I really enjoyed the excerpt and the research tips. Thanks for sharing

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