Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cozy Mystery Blog Tour Author Guest Post & Giveaway: Grace Against the Clock (A Manor House Mystery #5) by Julie Hyzy

When Marshfield Manor hosts a charity event, Grace Wheaton, the mansion’s curator and manager, is happy to lend a helping hand—until a killer makes an unwanted donation…

With the town clock in desperate need of repair, local lawyer Joyce Swedburg and her ex-husband, Dr. Leland Keay, are trying to put their differences aside to organize a benefit at Marshfield Manor to raise money to restore the beautiful timepiece. While Grace appreciates the opportunity to support such a good cause, the tension between the unhappy exes is giving her the urge to put both of the organizers in time out.

But after Leland collapses on stage during the festivities, poisoned, Grace suspects there was more going on behind the scenes. Now, she’s in a race to catch a ticked off murderer, and, if she’s going to prevent anyone else from getting hurt, every second will count.

Six Things You May Not Know About Grace and the Manor House Mystery Series
by Julie Hyzy

Where has the time gone?  My fifth Manor House mystery, Grace Against the Clock, debuts July 1, 2014, and I'm both amazed and enthralled by the warm reception Grace and her friends at Marshfield have received. 

Whether you've read one, two, four, or none of the prior titles, you may have fun taking the following quiz.  No worries, we won't keep score.  This is simply a chance for me to share a little behind-the-book trivia with you: 

1. When writing the first book in the series, Grace Under Pressure, I knew I'd have to come up with a suitable name for the magnificent estate where Grace would work and ultimately find a family. What is Marshfield's name an homage to? 

a) A defunct sports team
b) A department store
c) A street in Chicago
d) A wide meadow I used to visit as a child

2. In Grace Interrupted, we meet a little tuxedo kitten for the first time - Bootsie.  Grace wants nothing more than to adopt the bundle of fur.  But there's a problem.  What is it? 

a) Grace is allergic
b) Bootsie's owners reclaim their pet
c) Grace can't have pets in her building
d) Grace's lifestyle can't accommodate a pet

BONUS: What's Bootsie's gender? 

3. In Grace Among Thieves, two priceless antiques play a key role in the story.  What are they? ( Pick two) 

a) An original American flag from revolutionary war times
b) Five Picasso originals
c) A jewel encrusted tiara
d) A World War II sword

4. In Grace Takes Off, Grace and Bennett visit Florence, Italy.  While there, Bennett begins to suspect that his elderly friend's treasures are being systematically stolen and replaced with fakes.  Bennett first notices something amiss (and points it out to Grace) on what piece of artwork: 

a) A Picasso sculpture of a skull
b) An oil painting from Renoir
c) A Ming dynasty vase
d) A fresco transported from Milan

5. Grace Against the Clock was written and almost complete before being assigned a permanent title.  Believe it or not, the first version had no clock in it whatsoever.  Here's the question: The book opens with a fundraiser for renovating the town clock.  What was the original purpose of the fundraiser in the manuscript's pre-title-change version? 

a) A women's shelter
b) Streets and Sanitation in Emberstowne
c) The local hospital
d) The local food pantry

6. Grace's personal issues, beginning with the loss of her mother and her subsequent discovery of other possible family connections, is based (loosely) on what other story? 

a) Jane Eyre
b) The LaPlace-Dutz Saga
c) Anne of Green Gables
d) Pollyanna

Ready? Answers below.  If you get all the answers correct - Woo-hoo!  We must have met in person, because some of this information doesn't appear in any of the books! :)  


1. b - department store.  I named Marshfield after the former (and beloved) Marshall Field's, whose flagship store was on State Street in Chicago, and where I spent many a lunch hour when I was working in the city. 

2. a - Grace is allergic to cats.  As am I - something I didn't realize until our daughters adopted sister cats.  BONUS: Bootsie is female.

3. c and d

4. a

5. c 

6. b - My mother was raised as a LaPlace, but her real father was Joe Dutz, a fact we didn't discover until shortly after my mother passed away and her sister spilled family secrets. 

Thanks for taking the quiz!  I hope you enjoyed and that you learned a little more about Grace and the gang.  If you're new to the series, I hope this quiz piqued your interest.  

Julie Hyzy's very first job had her flipping burgers and chopping onions at a neighborhood hot dog stand. She traded that experience for a job as a singing waitress at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour -- but gave that up when she started college (and because she couldn't carry a tune).

Over the years, she's acted in community theater productions, appeared in television commercials, and crashed a previously all-male fraternity to become one of the first female brothers in Loyola University's Chapter of Delta Sigma Pi. Julie had dreams of becoming a writer, but family, friends, and frat brothers convinced her otherwise. Having held positions as junior officer at a downtown bank, office manager at an architectural firm, and financial advisor at a prestigious wealth management company, she realizes that the business degree was probably a good choice -- but fiction is truly her passion. Now, with some well-earned life experience behind her, she's delighted to finally be able to make writing a priority in her life.

Thanks to the awesome ladies at Penguin, I have 1 paperback copy of Grace Against the Clock by Julie Hyzy to give away to one of my lucky readers!  Just enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win, and be sure to keep checking back for more awesome giveaways!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


holdenj said...

Fun post! Love this series, thanks for the chance to win!

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