Please help me welcome author Julie Mulhern to the blog today!
Tell us more about your book—take us beyond the official “book blurb”.
The denizens of 1902 New Orleans’ red light district aren’t strangers to sinful, violent acts–but, the freshly eviscerated men found in the gutters send a collective shudder through the crescent city.
Though dire warnings, predatory men, and evil spirits abound, Trula Boudreaux, madam of Storyville’s most exclusive brothel, is more afraid of her growing attraction to the Yankee sent to investigate the murders. Trula is prepared to risk her life to protect her business and keep her girls safe from the killer prowling the steamy streets. But is she willing to risk her heart?
Zeke Barnes is torn between duty and a new-found passion for a mysterious temptress. His was a seemingly straightforward task – catch a vicious killer and escape the city’s sultry heat. When partnership with local police proves to be of no value, he is forced to rely heavily on the city’s most alluring lady of the night.
Give us more info about your main characters—who are they?
My heroine, Trula Boudreaux, is a madam. Hers is the most exclusive house in New Orleans and she takes care of everyone who works there. She’s seen the best and worst of men and she is not impressed with the male half of the species. The hero, Zeke Barnes, is a Yankee—a no-nonsense sort of man who doesn’t believe in entanglements. Of course, the get…entangled.
Of course! 😉
What scene in your book was the most fun to write, and why?
There is a scene where Trula and Zeke lose themselves in a moment, kiss and then back away. I had tremendous fun with that.
I’ll bet! 🙂
How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?
I got serious about writing in 2013. In 2014, I sold the Haunting series and a mystery series. 2014 was also the year I was a finalist in the Golden Heart contest which has turned out to be one of the biggest blessings in my life. Getting to know the other finalists, trading tips, and learning together has been a joy.
What do you like best about being a writer?
There’s nothing better than putting words down when they are flowing.
I hear you!
What is the most challenging part of being a writer?
There’s nothing worse than putting words down when they are trickling one at a time.
What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?
I just finished up the second Haunting book, A Haunting Need. I imagine it will release next year along with my third mystery in the Country Club Murders series, Clouds in My Coffee.
Sounds great! I love the Country Club Murders series’ title.
What authors and/or books have inspired you?
There are so many wonderful romance writers – Loretta Chase and Sarah MacLean come to mind. Lord of Scoundrels might just be my all-time favorite with Nine Rules to Break… a close second.
Excellent choices! I love Sarah MacLean’s series…
What are you currently reading?
I am reading The Cake Therapist by Judith Fertig and enjoying it very much! Next up is Double Mint by Gretchen Archer.
Please share a favorite scene from your book with our readers.
Zeke growled. The sound reverberated through her. He caught her nape, turned her head then forced her lips back to his. His fingers played in her hair, displacing her new hat.
It fell and instinctively she left off her exploration of his muscles and caught it. It slipped through her hands. She pulled away, bent to pick up the abused and very expensive hat from its spot on the floor. The coolness where their bodies separated was as shocking as being doused with cold water. She snatched at the hat’s curved brim and staggered away from him.
What had just happened? How had she lost control?
Trula held the hat in front of her like a shield but her eyes sought his. Smoky depths promised undreamed of passion if only she’d drop her hat and return to his arms, his kisses, his bed.
She retreated another step. Shook her hat. “You bent my feather.”
“What?” An eyebrow rose. For once he didn’t look devilish. He looked confused.
“My feather. You bent it.” She smoothed the ostrich plume with shaking fingers. “I have to go. You have to go. I told you never. Why won’t you believe me?” Her breath came so shallow that uttering those few words left her winded. She stepped farther away from him.
“This thing between us—” His voice sounded like a caress. More seductive than warm bread pudding on cold, hungry night. “You feel it, too.”
Well of course, she did. She recognized lust. She made her living off of it. She also recognized the folly of pursuing it. “You’re wrong. There’s nothing between us.” Lying to him was one thing, lying to herself another. This thing went beyond mere lust. It was completely insane. She had to put a stop to this. Immediately. If she didn’t, her heart might shatter beyond repair when he left.
Ignoring the thunder of her heartbeat, she marched to the nearest mirror and repositioned her hat. It didn’t look any the worse for wear but she worried with the feather anyway. “I have to go.”
“You’re leaving? Now?”
Better a cup of pain now than a bucketful later. “I have an engagement.” She crossed to the door.
He caught her wrist. “Trula, promise me something.” The heat of his hand almost blistered her skin.
“Promise you?” She tossed her head, seeking refuge in ersatz anger. “You bent my feather!”
“I mean it, Trula.” The back of his fingers brushed against her cheek and her traitorous body urged her to surrender, to give up, give in to pleasure. She straightened her spine.
He brushed his finger along her jaw. “Promise me you’ll stay out of the investigation.”
“No.” She smoothed her skirt.
He glowered at her. “Then promise me you won’t investigate without me.”
“Fine,” she snapped. She’d agree to anything if it meant stepping away from him and getting her galloping heartbeat under control.
Thank you so much, Julie!
Keep reading to find out more about Julie and her latest book, A Haunting Desire!
Julie Mulhern always wanted to be a writer. She spent her childhood creating pen names and dreaming of exotic, mysterious, romantic places. To that end, she went to Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia (because, when you’re from the Midwest, the South is both exotic and romantic). There she earned degrees in politics and French. She even spent a year living in Paris. But the Midwest beckoned and she returned home. Now she lives with her husband, two daughters and a dastardly dog. It might not be exotic or mysterious but it is romantic.
About the book:
New Orleans, 1902
A killer walks the streets of New Orleans, eviscerating men and leaving them in the streets, and for madam Trula Boudreaux, it’s bad for business. Trula needs help but she’s not prepared for Zeke Barnes, the charming would-be savior who darkens her doorway—or the yearning he awakens. For while Trula knows well the delights of lust, she avoids love at all costs…
Investigating the killer was one thing, but Zeke can’t help but be enchanted by the gorgeous mystery woman who runs an exclusive brothel. Caught between his duty to protect the city and his clear-as-day desire for Trula, Zeke sets about capturing Trula’s heart—or at least a place in her bed. But with every moment Trula resists, Zeke falls into greater danger.
For his investigation into the haunted city and madam doesn’t just risk his heart but both their lives.