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Julie James | Hitchcock + Bourne=Romance?


Well, sort of.

In their own ways, both of these men inspired me while I was writing my new book, SOMETHING ABOUT YOU. First, let me start by telling you a little about the book.

Here’s the blurb:

Of all the hotel rooms rented by all the adulterous politicians in Chicago, female Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde had to choose the one next to 1308, where some hot-and-heavy lovemaking ends in bloodshed. And of all the FBI agents in Illinois, it had to be Special Agent Jack Pallas who gets assigned to this high-profile homicide. The same Jack Pallas who still blames Cameron for a botched crackdown three years ago--and nearly ruining his career...

Work with Cameron Lynde? Are they kidding? Maybe, Jack thinks, this is some kind of welcome-back prank after his stint away from Chicago. But it’s no joke: the pair is going to have to put their rocky past behind them and focus on the case at hand. That is, if they can cut back on the razor-sharp jibes--and smother the flame of their sizzling-hot sexual tension...

So how did Alfred Hitchcock and Jason Bourne influence my book, you ask? I’ll explain the Hitchcock part first. One of my favorite themes that Hitchcock used in several of his movies is that of an innocent man in the wrong place at the wrong time who becomes swept up in some kind of murder/suspense intrigue. It’s a theme that works well because everyone can identify with it. We watch the movie thinking, "Hey--that could be me. What if I walked into that bar at just the wrong moment and accidentally saw X that got me in a whole load of trouble?"

This is, essentially, the set-up of SOMETHING ABOUT YOU. Only instead of a bar, I use a hotel room. And instead of an innocent man in the wrong place at the wrong time, it’s a woman. My heroine, Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde, is treating herself to some much-needed pampering at the luxurious Peninsula hotel when, in the middle of the night, she’s awoken by strange noises coming from the room next to hers. At first it sounds as though the couple next door is having some kind of crazy sex marathon, but then the noises change. . . and what Cameron ends up overhearing is a murder that involves a U.S. Senator and a call girl. Watching through her peephole, she sees a man leave the hotel room next to hers and thus becomes the sole witness to the high-profile crime. And just like in Hitchcock’s films, that’s where the trouble begins. Trouble, that is, in the form of FBI Special Agent Jack Pallas.

Okay, so this is where the Jason Bourne part comes in. See, Jack, the hero of the book, is this tall, dark, and smoldering tough-guy FBI agent who can pretty much kill people with his thumb--normally the type of hero you would find in an action film or dark, edgy romantic suspense or thriller.

But not this time.

Jack is in charge of investigating the murder that Cameron overheard and--wouldn’t you know it--the two of them don’t get along. They worked together three years ago on a case that ended badly with Jack mouthing off to the press about Cameron and consequently getting transferred to Nebraska. And if it’s not bad enough that the two of them have to work together as Jack tries to solve the crime, things get even worse when it turns out that the murderer may be after Cameron next. . .

When writing SOMETHING ABOUT YOU, I wanted it to be a lighter, funnier contemporary romance, like my first two novels. Sure, there’s a suspense element, but that’s just a subplot--a device that brings these two strong-willed characters who allegedly can’t stand each other together. At first I thought to myself, "You can’t put an edgy, action-hero in a light-hearted story!" But then I wondered, hmm... or can you? I realized there’s a lot of potential for humor in that scenario.

I like to think of SOMETHING ABOUT YOU as my "What if somebody dropped Jason Bourne into a romantic comedy?" book. Which means that my hero, FBI Special Agent Jack Pallas, is running around all dark and scowling and trying to save the day, while everyone else is cracking jokes. What’s fun about Jack is that we get to see him slowly warm up throughout the course of the book as he begins to fall for and trust the heroine.

You can probably tell that I had a lot of fun writing SOMETHING ABOUT YOU, and I hope you enjoy it as well. Here’s a brief excerpt:

"And then I heard the door open, so I ran and looked out the peephole," Cameron said. "Just being nosy?"

The sarcasm seemed to reinvigorate her. "And thank goodness for that," she said. "Otherwise you wouldn’t have whatever information I know that I don’t yet realize I know." She smiled ever so sweetly. "Besides, if I hadn’t been so nosy, Agent Pallas, you and I never would’ve had this lovely chance to reconnect."

Wilkins coughed while taking a sip of his coffee. It sounded suspiciously like a chuckle.

Jack found her sarcasm laughable. Back when he was in Special Forces, before he’d joined the FBI, he’d interrogated foreign operatives, suspected terrorists, and members of various guerilla militias. He could certainly handle one cheeky assistant U.S. attorney. "I’m glad to see the coffee’s put a little ?re back in you," he said dryly. "Now why don’t you tell me what you saw when you were doing your civic duty and spying though the peephole?"

Wilkins held up his hand. "Um, I’m thinking maybe I should pick back up with this."

Cameron and Jack answered simultaneously. "We’re fine."

"I saw a man leave the room, which I’m sure you know," she told Jack.

"Describe him."

"I already described him to Slonsky."

"Do it again."

Jack saw her eyes ?ash. She didn’t like being told what to do. Too bad.

"Five foot eleven, maybe six feet tall," she said. "Medium build. He wore jeans, a black blazer, and a gray hooded T-shirt pulled over his head. He had his back to me the entire time, so I never saw his face."

"Didn’t you think the hooded T-shirt was a little odd?" Jack asked.

"I heard butt cheeks being slapped and walls that were banged so hard my teeth nearly rattled. Frankly, I’ve found this whole evening to be a little odd, Agent Pallas."

Out of the corner of his eye, Jack could see Wilkins glance up at the ceiling while ?ghting off another smile.

"Are you certain about the man’s height?" Jack continued.

Cameron paused, thinking."Yes."

"How about his weight?"

She sighed. "I’m really bad at guessing that kind of thing."

"Make an effort. Pretend this is something important."

Another glare.

Cameron glanced over at Wilkins. "How much do you weigh?"

"Wait—--how come Jack doesn’t have to answer that?"

"The man I saw seems closer to your build."

"Oh, so he’s a smaller guy, then?" Jack suggested helpfully.

Wilkins turned around. "A smaller guy? I’m an inch above the national average. Besides, I’m spry."

"Let’s try to narrow this down," Jack regrouped. "I weigh one-eighty-?ve, Agent Wilkins is about one-sixty. Given that, where would you say this guy falls?"

She looked between the two men, considering this. "About one-seventy."

Jack and Wilkins exchanged looks.

"What?" Cameron asked. "What does that tell you?”"

On that note. . . I think I’ll turn it over to you guys. Let’s talk about other books or movies you like that balance both suspense and humor. Or. . . tell me about your favorite tough-guy hero. Or. . . maybe you have a question about SOMETHING ABOUT YOU. One randomly-selected person who leaves a comment below will win a copy of the book.

Happy reading!

For more information about Julie James’s books, visit Julie's website here.




45 comments posted.

Re: Julie James | Hitchcock + Bourne=Romance?

There is no way that someone else has
not found this to try for Something
About You by now, I have been
following you everywhere on your
promotion Julie and am absolutely
enthralled by this story... It has humor
and adventure and Style!!!

jackie b central texas
(Jackie Burris 6:59pm March 17, 2010)

No matter what the show is about,
drama or comedy I always find I'm
more interested if there's some
romance in it or at least the hint of a
possible romance. Thinking along the
lines of your Jason Bourne comment, I
think 24 also needs more romance
written into it.
(Jung Ja Ahn 12:51pm March 19, 2010)

This story sounds wonderful! It is so different from anything else I have ever read. I am totally intrigued! What a plot!
(Gladys Paradowski 1:37am March 19, 2010)

My favorite storys included romance & mystery.
(Sherry Russell 8:08am March 19, 2010)

Arsenic and Old Lace and Moonlighting are good examples.
(Marlene Breakfield 9:35am March 19, 2010)

Love the story, who wouldn't. A little James Bond & Cary Grant.
(Pat Wilson 10:12am March 19, 2010)

Good morning, everyone! Thought I'd
pop in to say hello. I'll be in and out
all day in case anyone has any

Matt Damon, James Bond, Cary Grant...
all fun things to talk about on a Friday
morning. ;-)
(Julie James 10:51am March 19, 2010)

The book looks like a fun one. It reminds of the television show Castle except the woman is the tough one there.
(Maureen Emmons 11:25am March 19, 2010)

I really like the TV show Castle because it has a nice mix of suspense and humor. Your new book sounds like it also has a perfect mix. I loved your first 2 books. You are a master of witty dialog and battle of the sexes scenes.
(Cheryl Castings 12:09pm March 19, 2010)

I think Karen Rose does suspense and humor well. I agree that Hitchcock movies are at the top of the list as far as films go.
(Leni Kaye 12:09pm March 19, 2010)

I think Sean Connery with a side of Nathan Fallion would be an interesting combo.
(Robin McKay 12:47pm March 19, 2010)

I have always been an Alfred Hitchcock and Jason Bourne fan. Your formula of putting the two together with romance rocks. I really going love reading this book.
(Kai Wong 1:04pm March 19, 2010)

I agree with the Castle comments. It is the sidebar humor that I enjoy and you book sounds like a must buy!
(Karin Tillotson 1:14pm March 19, 2010)

(Desiree Reilly 1:23pm March 19, 2010)

I really have to try your books, they sound like wonderful reads...
(Colleen Conklin 1:32pm March 19, 2010)

I already have this book in my B&N Wishlist and I'm gonna have to pick it up! The more I read about it, the more I have to have it! I love suspense, but throw in some humor and it's great - perfect even. I LOVE when the hero and heroine can't stand each other at first, then have to fight their attraction to each other, then eventually end up together!!
(Kelli Jo Calvert 1:37pm March 19, 2010)

The TV shows Castle, Monk, The Odd Couple were instances where opposites attract. I love the conflicts and discussions (arguments). The resolutions are a bit of a win for everyone.
(Alyson Widen 1:56pm March 19, 2010)

I also love to watch Castle. It can be so funny. Plus Nathan Fillion is so easy on the eyes.
(Linda Kish 2:08pm March 19, 2010)

I love the TV Shows Bones and Law and Order Criminal Intent and Criminal Minds. I love books by Jayne Ann Krentz and Linda Howard because they have romance and suspense.
(Sherry Strode 2:41pm March 19, 2010)

I think "The Mentalist" is a show that balances humor and suspense very well.
(Jane Cheung 2:47pm March 19, 2010)

Great list of tv show heroes. Another one of my favorite tough guys in Mark Valley in the new tv show Human Target. A total kick butt, handsome hero who can pull off a bit of snark, kill the bad guy, and romance the girl.
(Cathy MacDonald 2:55pm March 19, 2010)

WOW, I love Hitchcock. This has to be one of the best of the best and I do want to read as soon as possible. I like this type of setting with mystery, intrique, and of course a love angle. LOL
(Brenda Hill 2:58pm March 19, 2010)

I love romance and suspense.
Then if you mix in some
laughter, you've got the
recipe for a best seller. And
anybody who loves Hitchcock,
has got the cookbook with that
secret recipe in it.
(Lisa Richards 4:08pm March 19, 2010)

Hope the contest results will be something about me. HA!
(Marjorie Carmony 4:18pm March 19, 2010)

Sounds like a good book. I love it when there is a hard a$$. When you mix that with humor, it's usually the best kind of book along with the mystery stuff too.
(Vicki Hancock 4:49pm March 19, 2010)

love the excerpt. Love suspense. Hitchcock is my favorite director. My favorite tough guy is hard to choose, but I always loved Rod Taylor. I loved him in Marnie.
(Phyllis Lamken 5:21pm March 19, 2010)

Wrong time, wrong place - love that because we all can relate. I think that suspense interspersed with humor & a little romance works brilliantly. I want all my emotions to come into play. I was thinking about Cary Grant in "Father Goose". Funny war time movie.
(Mary Preston 5:46pm March 19, 2010)

Julie, I've read your other books and loved them. This one I know I'll enjoy especially with a Hitchock flair to it and Jason Bourne's looks. I was always enthralled by Hitchock's movies and TV show as a kid.
(Nancy Alexander 5:48pm March 19, 2010)

Hi again, everyone!

Just thought I'd pop in to say hello...
glad you're enjoying the excerpt! And
you guys have some great suggestions
of books/TV/films that mix humor
and suspense.
(Julie James 6:03pm March 19, 2010)

Please enter me in your fantastic contest. Thank you and God bless you too,
(Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez 6:24pm March 19, 2010)

I'm currently reading Hard to Hold
by Stephanie Tyler. Jake is a tough-
guy hero to boot!
(Amber Leigh Williams 6:30pm March 19, 2010)

Since I love Hitchcock's stories, I am very anxious to read 'Something About You'. The book sounds great and the characters sizzle.
(Rosemary Krejsa 8:13pm March 19, 2010)

Suspense and humor is great fun! Joss Whedon did it wonderfully for tv and movies.
(G. Bisbjerg 9:16pm March 19, 2010)

...I know, I know. Paranormal but still suspenseful and wonderfully humorous stuff.
(G. Bisbjerg 9:17pm March 19, 2010)

I now have to go and buy your latest book. It sounds like a really great read. I look forward to reading it.
(Maude Allen 10:39pm March 19, 2010)

Thanks for the excerpt. I keep reading good things about this book. Please enter me. Thanks, Sue
(Susan Hussein 11:59pm March 19, 2010)

Beleve it or not my favorite movie is Die Hard the sence of humer in a bat spot make the movie great and i think Bruce Willis is hot in it.your book looks like fun.
(Stacey Smith 1:29am March 20, 2010)

I loved all the Hitchcock movies because they left you on the edge of your seat. One of my favorites was North by Northwest with Rear Window following a close secone. This latest synopsis has me anxious to read Something About You. I have tried to find it and have not as yet, but...I am determined. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful talent with us.
(Cindy Olp 1:42am March 20, 2010)

Give me a guy like Daniel Craig and an adventure like James Bond; a little mystery like Castle and I have a wonderful bonk in my hand!!
(Lisa Glidewell 1:48am March 20, 2010)

I love a good romance/suspense novel but it seems that many of them are either heavy on the suspense/light on the romance or heavy on the romance/light on the suspense.

Your book sounds like it has a wonderful balance of both...and a book I'd love to have the chance to win. Count me in please!!!
(Mitzi Hinkey 3:51am March 20, 2010)

Please enter me in your fantastic contest.
Thanks, Cecilia
(Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez 3:26pm March 20, 2010)

I love Hitchcock movies when I was growing up. They are still some of my favorite movies to watch,like, Marnie and Psycho.

Matt Damon as Bourne has really brought this movie character to exciting new heights.
(Armenia Fox 11:39pm March 20, 2010)

First to mind is TV show Moonlighting, noticed it was mentioned earlier as well, absolutely loved that show.. The book sounds great, I'm going to have to add it to my wishlist.
(Jo Ann Jansing 2:30pm March 21, 2010)

I'm liking the new Diana Orgain new mom/mystery series... A good balance!
(Jane Maritz 6:34pm March 21, 2010)

Sounds like a good story. what made
you decide to make it a humorous
thriller? Murder usually is not a
humorous situation. I like a snarky
relationship between the protagonists
of a story. It adds a bit of spice.
(Patricia Barraclough 8:40pm March 22, 2010)

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