Thursday, May 17, 2012

Do you love cozy mysteries?

Do you love cozy mysteries enough to proclaim your affection for the genre on a shiny new coffee mug? If so, then you're in the right place!

I just love this mug, don't you? I think the colors are gorgeous and the fact that the mug features the cover of Grace Interrupted (second in the Manor House series) makes me love it all the more

I have not one, not two, but THREE of these mugs that I'd be delighted to give away. All you have to do to be eligible to win one is to write and post a review on Amazon for the NEW book, Grace Among Thieves before June 10, 2012. (See "What you need to know" below.)

It's incredibly important to get reviews up on a book's Amazon site early, and I'm hoping this incentive will encourage some early buzz.

In case you're wondering why I'm offering a mug with the second book's cover on it instead of the new one's, it's because this cover features little Bootsie. She plays a role in the new adventure as well, but she didn't make the cover this time (shh... don't tell her).


- GRACE AMONG THIEVES comes out June 5, 2012 and that's the earliest Amazon reviews can be posted.

- To get this cozy mug, please write an honest review (5 sentences or longer) for GRACE AMONG THIEVES and post it to Amazon before noon (Central Time) on June 10, 2012. (I'd be thrilled if you posted it to or elsewhere as well, but that's just an aside.) As much as I'd like to specify that reviews be positive, that wouldn't be fair. All I'm asking for is your honest opinion and that the review be *at least* five sentences long.

- As soon as you post the review *CONTACT ME VIA EMAIL* immediately and let me know that you've written an Amazon review. Include your snail mail address. I'll jot your information down. On Monday, June 11th, I will draw three names from those whose reviews were posted by the deadline, and get the mugs in the mail right away.

- The book comes out June 5th and the reviews need to be up by noon on June 10th. That means some quick reading, but it also means your chances of winning are very good. Reviewers who don't contact me via email to let me know about their post won't be considered, so don't forget to let me know!

- I will be at Printers Row in Chicago most of Saturday/Sunday June 9-10th, so if I don't acknowledge receipt of your email, don't worry. I'll respond as soon as I get home.

- Professional reviewers (those of you who receive books ahead of release date) are not eligible for this giveaway, but believe me when I tell you that you have my undying gratitude.

- Humble apologies, but U.S. addresses only.

- If the response to this is extra good, I reserve the right to give away an extra mug!

I do have an extra after all - and I'll give that one away to a lucky reviewer of a review. Same rules apply - review from a non-professional, posted between June 5th (release day) and noon  June 10th. Email me to let me know you submitted a review and I'll pull one lucky name from all eligible entries.


Grace Among Thieves
Mystery Lovers Bookshop
Find an Independent Mystery Bookstore near you!

Thank you! Hope you enjoy Grace's newest adventure!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Less than a month!

It's getting close! GRACE AMONG THIEVES will be out in less than a month! I can't believe it!

Third in the
Manor House Mystery series
Coming June 5, 2012
It seems as though I was just talking about my launch party for the last WHChef, and here I am I am announcing that the third in the Manor House Mystery series is out in less than a month! June 5th, to be exact. Wow!

I have to admit, though, I am *loving* my new writing schedule.

As I'm sure you've heard by now, I signed contracts for three more Grace books as well as for three more WHChef. Woo-hoo!! The best part of that news is that I've been able to get my deadlines a bit more spread out. Instead of having books due three months apart and then having nine months of the year where no books are due, I now have them spaced six months apart.


I won't have a traditional launch party for Grace Among Thieves because the Chicago Tribune's Printers Row Literary Festival is that exact same weekend in Chicago. I'll be there, at the Mystery Writers of America tent, as well as on a panel (probably at the library, but I'm not positive yet).

As I mentioned in my most recent newsletter, this new book Grace Among Thieves, my be my favorite book of those I've written. I hope you like it, too! (If you didn't receive a newsletter, email me:  JulieHyzy (at) gmail (dot) com and let me know.

I'll have more news later... LOTS more. Yep, I'm holding back for the moment. Stay tuned for updates.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Waiting for Peter Tork

When I was a little girl, I adored the Monkees. Absolutely loved their zany adventures and even though it seemed as though everyone else went ga-ga over Davy, it was Peter who captured my pre-teen heart.

I might have been a bit young for a real crush when the show originally aired, so I imagine I got caught up in reruns. No matter. At some point my family bought me an album - The Monkees HEADQUARTERS.

I hadn't heard most of the songs on the Headquarters album, and my all-time favorites at that point, the "Here We Come" theme song and "I'm a Believer" weren't even on it. But I loved the cover. I thought Peter, mugging for the camera and goofing off, was just the cutest. This was my first album, ever, and I hurried to play it on one of our many record players. My brother was (and is) into fixing things, so we always had bunches of electrical goodies around.

I liked the songs. All of them. So I played it again. And again. And again.

I grew to love "Shades of Gray." I thought it was so deep. (You know?) So. Deep.

And then, I came up with what I *knew* was the most genius idea ever. Even though it wasn't on this particular album, I remembered that the Monkees theme song promised that "you'll never know where we'll be found," and "we're maybe coming to your town."

To a young girl, this was opportunity! I took to playing Headquarters at the loudest volume imaginable. Why? Firstly, because I knew, I just knew, that at some point the Monkees would come to my town. They would walk past my house and -- when they heard their music being played -- they would naturally stop in to say hello. And secondly, because my mom made me play the record in the basement, I needed to really crank it up if I expected it to be heard outside.

Now you have to understand, I played one side, flipped it, played the other side, flipped, etc. There was no end. I didn't want to miss my chance because it might be today that they walked by. Or tomorrow...

Anyway, with the recent loss of Davy, I've been thinking about the Monkees more lately, remembering how much enjoyment they brought me oh-so-long ago. I have a photo from a friend here, hanging over my desk. She took the pic at a concert about a year ago (Peter, Davey, Mickey only). I recently checked out their images online. So what if he's 70 years old now? That Peter is *still* so cute.

I pulled out a CD collection my brother gave me for a birthday a few years back. It's a great collection, a huge multi-disk set, but it doesn't have a couple of the more unusual offerings of Headquarters, like "Zilch" and "Band 6" but Headquarters is available online. Found it at and ordered it a couple of days ago. It showed up this afternoon.

My favorites have changed and shifted through the years. I think my current favorite is "You Just May be the One," because I remember my mom singing it when I finally came back upstairs after hanging in the basement all day. She'd roll her eyes and chant "All men must... have someone" over and over,  doing a little dance, claiming she'd still be hearing that song in her sleep. Memories of mom are always great and I realize just how incredibly indulgent and patient she and my dad were with me (us). My childhood homelife was wonderful and the Monkees (whether they knew it or not) were a part of that.

Oh my gosh - "Mr. Webster" is on now - I'd forgotten about that one. Kind of a mystery story, with a fun little twist at the end.

Yep, I'm playing the new CD as I type. The Monkees' music never fails to lighten my heart and make me smile.

Plus, you never know. Peter may happen to walk by.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Good day, with sunshine

We've got sunshine now even though it's supposed to rain today and I'm in a very happy mood. Why? Because I got yet another ridiculous spam text/email on my phone last night, about an hour after I'd fallen asleep. Woke me right up and I had a hard time getting back to slumberland again.

Then, at 5:30 this morning, about fifteen minutes before the alarm was supposed to go off, my husband's phone received a similar text.


And seriously - does anyone sending these messages really believe that a person is going to rouse from sleep and say "Whoa!! Look at this great spam I got. Lucky me!! Let me go visit that website/send a reply text/whatever before I go back to sleep!"

I can't speak for everyone, but I can tell you that it isn't happening here.

Before anyone suggests that we simply shut our phones off at night, please remember that we're the parents of three daughters and currently not one of them lives at home. We need to be reachable at any hour any day.

So... with all that angst, why am I happy?

Because I finally figured out how to block the crazy texts! I've looked for solutions online in the past, but I guess I was using the wrong keywords. Today, I found my answer! And I just ran a test, trying to recreate spam to my phone using filters I set up. Woo-hoo!! The test proved that the new system is working!! Very excited!

I know this is not exactly book news, but I'm in a very good mood today for lots of reasons and I just had to share this one.