Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Purse by Julie A Burnes - Author Interview and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Julie will be awarding a free Paperback copy of The Purse OR a eBook copy plus and additional eBook to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What do you write in your genre?

My first novel is a mystery/thriller. It can be classified under several different genres, which is what I love about it. There is mystery, murder, intrigue, and a touch of romance. The romance is LGBT and straight alike. The mixture of these worlds is what draws me. These are people one would meet in real life. I enjoy the element of surprise and the build up to something no one expected.

Research required?

The research I did for The Purse was really plotting out biographical identities. Because it involves decades of time going by and the timeline had to coincide with events, I had to figure out who was born when, ages when certain events happened, etc. It was quite a daunting task and I had to refigure it many times to make it believable. That is the essence of research and why we do it.

Name one thing you've learned from your heroine.

Perseverance. My main character, Lydia, has lived her entire life thinking she knows her origins. She keeps going, trying to find out the answers to the past, and she won’t stop until she gets those answers. In the meantime, obstacles keep popping up and she has to plow her way through. I am not sure I would have the energy!

An odd thing you do

An odd thing I do when I am finished writing or sometimes half way through, I like to print a paper copy of my novel and put it in a three-ring binder to read it myself as a whole. It helps me get a feel for the tone of the story, along with some editing. I have found some plot holes this way and it’s been a lifesaver.

Plotter or Pantser?

Definitely a plotter. I am constantly plotting characters—even minor ones—with events and playing with dialogue. I enjoy the process of plotting because it’s never the same twice. The possibilities are endless!

Look to the right—what is there?

A three-ring binder with a printed copy of my second novel. The pages are folded over, both chicken scratches and regular ones—roughed-up copy for sure. Having it here reminds me I need to get busy editing!

Anything new?

My second novel, Dreamers and Thieves, is due out in February 2017. I am very excited, as it is a complete departure from The Purse. It is what I call a psychological thriller. It is about one woman’s story of survival, not once but twice.

Questions for readers?

What keeps you motivated to turn the page until you are finished with a book? What kinds of stories will cause you to follow an author and each book they write?

When Lydia Blackwell visits her dying father for the last time, he reveals the deeply hidden truth about her mother. After the funeral, the stranger Derek Meade gifts her with a gorgeous antique purse. But before she has the chance to connect with the man who knew her father intimately, Lydia finds Derek murdered in his home.

Lieutenant Sonja MacIntosh is assigned to investigate Mr. Meade’s death, but her career on the force never prepared her for Lydia Blackwell. As Sonja works to solve the murder, Lydia takes the greatest risk of her life in leaving Chicago to search for clues to her mother’s past. Their instant attraction surprises them both, but even through the chaos Lydia can’t deny the intensity of her feelings for the strong willed Lieutenant.

Lydia’s possession of the antique purse throws her already chaotic life into a whirlwind of kidnapping, blackmail, vengeful mob bosses, and mind-numbing revelations. Through it all, Lydia must find the strength to accept herself – and those closest to her – despite their darkest secrets.

Enjoy an excerpt:

As she walked into the bedroom, the smell of her father’s cologne lingered even through all the sickness that had been in the air. Stepping over to the deep walk-in closet, Lydia opened the double doors to reveal her father’s suits, ties, and shoes. She made a mental note to have Rosita donate her father’s clothes so they didn’t hang like a shrine. She stared at every inch of the closet until her eyes fell on a small shoebox buried on the top shelf. Lydia retrieved the step-ladder from within a hidden compartment in the closet’s wall and stood on it to pull down the shoebox. Without thinking, she strolled over to her father’s bed, sat down, and went through all the memories kept in the cardboard box.

Many were just baby pictures of Lydia, and then she discovered a picture of her mother when she was pregnant. How beautiful she was; she looked so happy and carefree. What in the world could have happened? More questions, no answers. Lydia decided to keep the picture with her. Digging deeper yet into the box, she also found pictures of her father and Derek together. They made a handsome couple, though it was still difficult to believe her father had been involved with a man. At least true love hadn’t escaped him as she’d previously thought.

About the Author:

Julie A. Burns is a native Iowan born in Marshalltown, Iowa and raised in Davenport, Iowa. After her parent’s divorce at age 7, she took to writing, whether it was her diary or poems about people she met or situations that bothered her. After graduating from high school in 1983, she spent time working as a Nurse’s Aide in different nursing homes in Iowa. In 1989, she gave birth to a daughter, Brittany and raised her as a single parent. In the same year, she enrolled at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology in 1994. Since then, Julie has spent time working with developmentally disabled adults and the mentally ill throughout Iowa and also in Wyoming, where she lived for 6 years. Julie currently lives in Waterloo, Iowa with her spouse. When she’s not writing, she enjoys being a grandmother to 3 year old Sophie.

Publisher author Page:
Smashwords author page:

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever seen/experienced?

  3. How did you come up with the title?


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