Saturday, October 25, 2014

ParaMysMo 2014: Juliet Blackwell, author of the Haunted Home Renovation Mysteries and the Witchcraft Mysteries - October 25, 2014

Please welcome Juliet Blackwell to The Qwillery. Juliet is the author of the Haunted Home Renovation Mysteries and the Witchcraft Mysteries.

I live in a ramshackle old house that lends itself to Halloween decorations – and celebrations. For years we have hosted a huuuge themed Halloween party: one year it was Crazy Scientists, another was Creepy Carnival, before that was a Great Gatsby Ghost Fete…my favorite year, though, was Zombie Apocalypse. It’s hard to go wrong with a really good Zombie Apocalypse!

One of the best parts about the party was our Costume Room. This tradition began when people told me they got stressed out having to come up with costumes – -this had always been my favorite part of the lead up to Halloween! So I put all my old costumes (and parts of costumes: feather boas, masks, hats, shawls, capes) in one room, and asked for contributions from other Halloweeny friends. It grew so crowded with costumes that people would come to the party just to play dress-up – and lots of people changed costumes throughout the evening, according to their changing moods!

This year, for a variety of reasons, we are skipping the party. I can’t tell you how many disappointed folks have been calling and emailing…but at the very least I have been able to outfit several friends with costumes. The worst part about not having the party is that the cobwebs – which I allow to accumulate all year because I am adding “authenticity” to my party – are now simply a sign of shoddy housekeeping. Sigh.

Anyway, I think my character Lily Ivory might have to take up my Halloween party tradition in one of the Witchcraft Mysteries. She owns a vintage clothing store on Haight Street, after all…it’s like a ready made Costume Room!

Recent Witchcraft Mysteries 
Haunted Home Renovation Mysteries
(click 'read more' below The Giveaway to see all the novels
in each series with covers, descriptions and buy links)

A Vision in Velvet
A Witchcraft Mystery 6
Signet, July 1, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Lily Ivory hopes to score some great vintage fashions when she buys an antique trunk full of old clothes. But she may have gotten more than she bargained for.…

As soon as Lily opens the trunk, she feels strange vibrations emanating from a mysterious velvet cloak. When she tries it on, Lily sees awful visions from the past. And when the antiques dealer who sold her the cape is killed, Lily suspects a supernatural force might be behind his death.

Then Lily’s familiar, Oscar the potbellied pig, disappears. Lily will do anything to get him back—including battling the spirit of a powerful witch reaching out from the past. But even with the aid of her grandmother, unmasking a killer and saving Oscar might be more than one well-intentioned sorceress can handle.

A Haunting is Brewing
A Haunted Home Renovation
    and Witchcraft Mystery Novella
Intermix, October 21, 2014
eBook 109 pages

In this all-new novella, New York Times bestselling author Juliet Blackwell’s popular characters from her Witchcraft Mysteries and Haunted Home Renovation Mysteries find themselves joining forces to solve a supernatural dilemma…

When Mel Turner is hired to rehab an old Victorian mansion to act as the eerie setting for a Halloween bash, she’s expecting the normal challenges—old wiring, bad plumbing, maybe a ghostly specter or two. But when a young man is killed after spending the night in the house, and the mannequins in the attic start to come to life, it’s clear that this is serious paranormal activity. Maybe this time, a real witch is needed.

Recommended by a mutual friend, vintage clothes expert Lily Ivory arrives to offer her help with the mannequins. Armed with Lily’s spells and Mel’s know-how, the two women must figure out the cause of all of the ghostly commotion—before Mel’s renovation project turns into even more of a deadly haunt…

Includes previews of Keeper of the Castle: A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery and Spellcasting in Silk: A Witchcraft Mystery.

Home for the Haunting
A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery 4
Signet, December 3, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

No good deed goes unpunished.

San Francisco contractor Mel Turner is leading a volunteer home renovation project, and while she expects lots of questions from her inexperienced crew, she can’t help asking a few of her own—especially about the haunted house next door…the place local kids call the Murder House.

But when volunteers discover a body while cleaning out a shed, questions pile up faster than discarded lumber. Mel notices signs of ghostly activity next door and she wonders: Are the Murder House ghosts reaching out to her for help, or has the house claimed another victim?

Now, surprised to find herself as the SFPD’s unofficial “ghost consultant,” Mel must investigate murders both past and present before a spooky killer finishes another job.


Keeper of the Castle
A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery 5
Signet, December 2, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

In the latest Haunted Home Renovation mystery from New York Times bestselling author Juliet Blackwell, San Francisco contractor—and reluctant ghostbuster—Mel Turner gets hired for a job that's to die for.

Lately, Mel has been worried about finding enough historic renovation work to pay the bills. But while Turner Construction is in need of a project, Mel’s boyfriend, Graham, has his hands full managing the reconstruction of an ancient building shipped over from Scotland.

With the job plagued by rumors that the stones are cursed, Graham brings in Mel to look for paranormal activity. And while the ghost of a charming Scottish clansman does seem to be hanging around the site, the real shock comes when they stumble upon a body.

When the original construction crew starts running scared, Mel brings in her team to finish the job. Now all she has to do is nail down the killer, and put the spirits to rest, before anyone else winds up heading for the highlands…

About Juliet

Juliet Blackwell is the New York Times bestselling author of the Witchcraft Mystery series, featuring a powerful witch with a vintage clothes store in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury. She also writes the Haunted Home Renovation Mystery series, about a failed anthropologist who reluctantly takes over her father’s high-end construction company…and finds ghosts behind the walls. As Hailey Lind, Blackwell wrote the Agatha-nominated Art Lover’s Mystery series, in which an ex-art forger attempts to go straight as a faux finisher. She is currently working on a novel about a woman who takes over her uncle’s locksmith shop in Paris, entitled The Paris Key. A former anthropologist and social worker, Juliet has worked in Mexico, Spain, Cuba, Italy, the Philippines, and France.

Visit her at, join her on Facebook (JulietBlackwellAuthor) and on Twitter @JulietBlackwell

The Giveaway

What:  One entrant will win 1 Mass Market Paperback copy of her/his choice of a Witchcraft Mystery 1 - 6 or a Haunted Home Renovation Mystery 1 - 4 by Juliet Blackwell.

How:   Log into and follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below.

Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on November 9, 2014. Void where prohibitedby law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To see the Witchcraft Mysteries 1 - 5 and the Haunted Home Renovation Mysteries 1 - 3 please click on 'read more' for the covers, descriptions and buy links.

Witchcraft Mysteries

Secondhand Spirits
A Witchcraft Mystery 1
Signet, July 7, 2009
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Love the vintage—not the ghosts

Lily Ivory feels that she can finally fit in somewhere and conceal her “witchiness” in San Francisco. It’s there that she opens her vintage clothing shop, outfitting customers both spiritually and stylistically.

Just when things seem normal, a client is murdered and children start disappearing from the Bay Area. Lily has a good idea that some bad phantoms are behind it. Can she keep her identity secret, or will her witchy ways be forced out of the closet as she attempts to stop the phantom?

A Cast-Off Coven
A Witchcraft Mystery 2
Signet, June 1, 2010
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Lily Ivory is not your average witch. She runs a vintage clothing store called Aunt Cora’s Closet and has the magical ability to sense vibrations of the past from clothing and jewelry. When students are spooked at the San Francisco School for the Arts, Lily is called in to search for paranormal activity. She finds a dead body—and a closet full of old clothes with some very bad vibes.

Hexes and Hemlines
A Witchcraft Mystery 3
Signet, June 7, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Lily gets called away from her vintage clothing store to give police a witch’s take on how the leader of a rationalist society could be murdered, surrounded by superstitions he discredited.

Evidence points to dark witchcraft. Lily’s determined to use magic of her own to find the murderer, before everyone’s luck runs out.

In a Witch's Wardrobe
A Witchcraft Mystery 4
Signet, July 3, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Lily Ivory is living her dream of owning a vintage clothing store—and practicing magic on the side. But when she encounters a sinister sleeping spell, Lily comes face-to-face with a nightmarish evil...

Taking a night off from running her successful San Francisco clothing store, Lily attends a local art deco ball where vintage fashions steal the show. But when a young woman at the event falls under a mysterious sleeping sickness, Lily senses that a curse was placed on the woman’s corsage.

Before Lily can solve the woman’s magical ailment, she’s asked to assist in investigating a string of poisonings in the Bay Area Witchcraft community. She’s gained the trust of the local covens by supporting women’s charities through her clothing store. But soon, Lily suspects that one of her new acquaintances might not be so well intentioned and could be dabbling in dark magic and deadly botany...

Tarnished and Torn
A Witchcraft Mystery 5
Signet, July 2, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

As the owner of a popular vintage clothing store, Lily Ivory can enjoy a day of antique jewelry shopping and still call it work. But as one of San Francisco’s resident witches, searching for hidden treasures can sometimes lead to dangerous discoveries…

When Lily arrives at an antique jewelry fair, her bargain sensors go off left and right—but she also picks up a faint vibration of magic. Could the hard-bargaining merchant Griselda be a fellow practitioner? It certainly seems that way when a sudden fire sends panic through the crowd, and Lily discovers Griselda murdered in a way that nods to an old-fashioned witch hunt…

A crime that hits close to home turns into an unwelcome flash from the past when the police bring in their lead suspect—Lily’s estranged father. Though he may not deserve her help, Lily is determined to clear her father’s name and solve a murder that’s anything but crystal clear.

Haunted Home Renovation Mysteries

If Walls Could Talk
A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery 1
Signet, December 7, 2010
Mass Market Paperback and eBook,  336 pages

Melanie Turner has made quite a name for herself remodeling historic houses in the San Francisco Bay Area. But now her reputation may be on the line.

At her newest project, a run-down Pacific Heights mansion, Mel is visited by the ghost of a colleague who recently met a bad end with power tools. Mel hopes that by nailing the killer, she can rid herself of the ghostly presence of the murdered man-and not end up a construction casualty herself...

Dead Bolt
A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery 2
Signet, December 6, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook,  336 pages

Turner Construction's latest restoration project is a historic Queen Anne Victorian in San Francisco. This time general contractor Mel Turner has to work around the owners who insist on sticking around- along with some ghosts that insist in their own way that the work stops...

The ghosts aren't the only ones standing in the way of the renovations. A crotchety neighbor, Emile Blunt, secretly wants this house, and could be behind some of the disturbances. But when Emile is found dead, it's Mel who appears guilty. Now she must restore the building-and her reputation-before it's too late.

Murder on the House
A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery 3
Signet, December 4, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook,  336 pages

Bed-and-breakfast—with a side of ghosts.

Word has spread that contractor Mel Turner can communicate with the spirits of the dead, and she’s having a hard time maintaining a low profile. She decides to embrace her reputation for the chance to restore a historic house that calls to her. The new owners, who hope to run a haunted bed-and-breakfast, want Mel to encourage the ghosts that supposedly roam the halls to enhance the house’s paranormal charm.

The catch: Mel has to spend one night in the house to win the project. During the spine-chilling sleepover, the estate gains another supernatural occupant when someone doesn’t survive the night. As Mel tries to coax the resident spirits into revealing the identity of the killer, she risks becoming the next casualty of this dangerous renovation.


  1. I have gone to plenty but never hosted one. I'm thinking next year! The last one I went to, I dressed up as Gemma from Sons of Anarchy. That was before...well, that's a spoiler so I'll not say :)

  2. I have not hosted one, but we have been to several Halloween parties. In fact we are going to one tonight. It's a pirate theme so we have our pirate costumes all ready to go!

  3. I've never been to a Halloween party or hosted one---but I wish I would get invited because it sounds like fun.

  4. never hosted but I've been to a few. I'm the stick in the mud that won't dress up though :) Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love the witchcraft books. I have been to Halloween parties and hve hosted them. They can be fun.

  6. We don't celebrate Halloween here, but a party would be fun.

  7. I've never hosted or been to a private Halloween party, but I've been to community ones hosted by our church.

  8. I have gone to a friend's Halloween party but never hosted one. Love your books! Kuzlin at

  9. Halloween in my country.....only experienced it through books and movies.....