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becke_davis
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Guest Blog by JULIET BLACKWELL

Today's guest blog is by New York Times Best Selling Author JULIET BLACKWELL. Her website is here:http://www.julietblackwell.net/

 

juliet blackwell

juliet blackwell

juliet blackwell

 

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by JULIET BLACKWELL

Bio


National bestselling author Juliet Blackwell (aka Julie Goodson-Lawes, aka Hailey Lind) started out life in Palo Alto, California, borne of a Texan mother and a Yankee father. The family soon moved to what were, at the time, the sticks of Cupertino, an hour south of San Francisco. Walking to and from kindergarten every day she would indulge in her earliest larcenous activity: stealing walnuts and apricots from surrounding orchards.

Photo: My sisters looking normal, our wonder dog Princess, and me as demon child (I'm the one with the belly).

By the time she graduated middle school, the orchards were disappearing and the valley at the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay had become the cradle of the silicon semi-conductor. A man named Steve Jobs was working in his garage in Cupertino, just down the street. Juliet's father advised his daughters to enter the lucrative and soon-to-flourish field of computers.

"Bah" said Juliet, as she went on to major in Latin American Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz (they had, by far, the best parties of any department). Rather than making scads of money in computers, she read, painted, learned Spanish and a little French and Vietnamese, lived in Spain and traveled through Europe, Mexico, and Central America. She had a very good time.

Photo: Graduating from Monta Vista High. That's the Bank of America German Award tucked under my arm, the only award I've ever won. There were only two of us competing.

Juliet pursued graduate degrees in Anthropology and Social Work at the State University of New York at Albany, where she published several non-fiction articles on immigration as well as one book-length translation. Fascinated with other cultural systems, she studied the religions, folklore and medical beliefs of peoples around the world, especially in Latin America. Juliet taught the anthropology of health and health care at SUNY-Albany, and worked as an elementary school social worker in upstate New York. She also did field projects in Mexico and Cuba, studied in Spain, Italy, and France, worked on a BBC production in the Philippines, taught English as a second language in San Jose, and learned how to faux finish walls in Princeton, New Jersey. After having a son, moving back to California, and abandoning her half-written dissertation in cultural anthropology, Juliet started painting murals and portraits for a living. She has run her own mural/faux finish design studio in Oakland, across the bay from San Francisco, for more than a decade. She specializes in the aesthetic renovation of historic homes.

Photo: I'm always happiest with paintbrushes in hand—check out www.truefauxdesigns.com for more art by the author.

Finally, to round out her tour of lucrative careers, Juliet turned to writing. Under the pseudonym ofHailey Lind, Juliet penned the Art Lover's Mystery Series with her sister Carolyn, about an ex-art forger trying to go straight by working as a muralist and faux finisher in San Francisco. The first of these,Feint of Art, was nominated for an Agatha Award;Shooting Gallery and Brush with Death were both IMBA bestsellers, and Arsenic and Old Paint is now available from Perseverance Press.

Juliet's Witchcraft Mystery series, about a witch who finally finds a place to fit in when she opens a vintage clothes shop on Haight Street in San Francisco, allows Juliet to indulge yet another interest—the world of witchcraft and the supernatural. Ever since her favorite aunt taught her about reading cards and tea leaves, Juliet has been fascinated with seers, conjurers, and covens from many different cultures and historic traditions. As an anthropologist, the author studied and taught about systems of spirituality, magic, and medicine throughout the world, especially in Latin America. Halloween is by far her favorite holiday.

Photo: Leading the Halloween ghost stories at Oakland's historic Chapel of the Chimes.

When not writing, painting, or haranguing her funny but cynical teenaged son, Juliet spends a lot of time restoring her happily haunted house and gardening with Oscar the cat, who ostensibly belongs to the neighbors but won't leave her alone. He started hanging around when Juliet started writing about witches...funny coincidence.

Juliet loves to hear from readers, and is available for talks and presentations. Please email her atjuliet@julietblackwell.net, and join her on her blog, Facebook and Twitter links (below). And don't forget to join the mailing list!

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Re: Guest Blog by JULIET BLACKWELL

Magic


Welcome to a little bit of Magic! While researching for myWitchcraft Mystery and Haunted Home Renovation books, I stumble upon some fascinating information. I'll share some of it on my blog, but I thought I'd keep some important tidbits here, as well. Check back often for new topics, and feel free to suggestareas of interest. The subjects below will be covered soon!

Spirit Bottles
Witch Knots
Conjure Balls

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by JULIET BLACKWELL

So sorry about this - my computer has frozen, and I can't open the file with Juliet's guest blog. I'll try again in the morning. Argh!!

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by JULIET BLACKWELL

Sorry for the delay - my computer is acting friendlier this morning!

 

Guest Blog by JULIET BLACKWELL

 

 

Hello mystery lovers!  Thank you for having me on to talk a little bit about my newest novel, MURDER ON THE HOUSE. 

 

The Haunted Home Renovation series is such fun for me to write, because it’s very personal.  In my past novels – I have a series about an ex-art-forger, and another featuring a natural witch with a vintage clothing store-- while the protagonists had bits and pieces of me, they were mostly flights of fancy. I enjoyed thinking about how much fun would it be to have a vintage clothing store and to be able to brew love potions….Or to paint an Old Master forgery with world-class skill.

 

But in the Haunted Home Renovation books, I’ve borrowed a lot from real life.  The main character, Mel Turner, has reluctantly taken over her father’s high-end construction company in San Francisco…and finds more than she bargains for behind the walls.

 

No, I don’t run a construction company, and I don’t live with my father, and I certainly don’t get caught up in investigating ghost stories or solving mysterious murders. But I used to spend a lot of time on construction sites when I had my own decorative painting business in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I grew up in the area.  So on the pages of the book are my dad, my dog, my client’s house, my ex-husband, and more (the names have been changed, of course, to protect the innocent…).  I had a whale of a time with every chapter because I knew the characters so well, and adored spending time with them –especially my father, who lives in another state, and my old pooch who passed away a year ago.  

 

Dad’s a former marine, downhill skier, motorcycle racer, and jet pilot. I never truly understood how brave he was until I went to an event on an aircraft carrier and saw the itty-bitty cable the jet pilots had to catch with the even ittier-bittier hook attached to their speeding planes.  He always had nerves of steel, a conservative pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps attitude, tough when speaking in generalities and yet generous to a fault when faced with actual need.  And yet when my mother got sick, the strong military guy was faced with things he couldn’t pilot or control.  He and I became really close through my mother’s illness and passing.  It is an honor to portray him in my books –though I take a little artistic license, of course! 

 

Oh, and Dog is based on my beloved rescued pup, Sam, who passed away a few years ago.  Sam didn’t like riding in cars, or chasing balls, or anything particularly doglike…but she was such a joy. It was such fun to spend time with my quirky canine again!  And Mel’s stepson, Caleb, is based on my own son when he was a teenager who was a marshmallow down deep, though he mainly grunted rather than communicating.  Still, I couldn’t help but love him.

 

In MURDER ON THE HOUSE, the third book in the Haunted Home Renovation series (coming out December 4), Mel is bidding on the renovation of a fabulous old house in the eccentric Castro District of San Francisco.  But in order to win the coveted contract, she has to spend the night in the known-to-be-haunted house.  What could go wrong? Happily, she has a lot of supportive people in her life, so she doesn’t have to face an entire family of ghosts alone…I hope you enjoy reading the book as much as I did writing it!

 

Author Biography

 

Juliet Blackwell is the NYT bestselling author of the Haunted Home Renovation mystery series (If Walls Could Talk, Dead Bolt, Murder on the House) and the Witchcraft mystery series (Secondhand Spirits, A Cast-off Coven, Hexes and Hemlines, In a Witch’s Wardrobe, and Tarnished and Torn). As Hailey Lind, Juliet penned the Art Lover’s Mystery series, including Agatha-nominated Feint of Art. A former anthropologist and social worker, Juliet has worked and studied in Mexico, Spain, Cuba, Italy, the Philippines, and France. She now lives in a happily haunted house in Oakland, California, where she is a muralist and portrait painter. She was a two-term president of Northern California Sisters in Crime.   Visit Juliet at www.julietblackwell.net; http://www.facebook.com/JulietBlackwellAuthor; and Twitter @JulietBlackwell

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by JULIET BLACKWELL

Here's more about MURDER ON THE HOUSE:

 

 

Murder on the House (Haunted Home Renovation Series #3)  

 

Bed and Breakfast...with a side of ghosts.

 

 

Since word has spread that contractor Mel Turner can communicate with the spirits of the dead, it's been difficult to maintain a low profile. She embraces her new reputation, however, for the chance to restore an historic house in San Francisco's Castro District. The new owners, who hope to run a haunted B&B, want Mel to encourage the ghosts that supposedly roam the halls to enhance the paranormal charm.

 

 

The catch: Mel has to spend one night in the house to win the project. But during the spine-chilling sleepover, the estate gains another spectral inhabitant—when someone doesn't survive the night. And 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.

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dhaupt
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Re: Guest Blog by JULIET BLACKWELL

Ooh I love House renovation mysteries.

 I love the one by Sarah Graves and now it looks like I'll be trying another one. :smileyhappy:

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by JULIET BLACKWELL


dhaupt wrote:

Ooh I love House renovation mysteries.

 I love the one by Sarah Graves and now it looks like I'll be trying another one. :smileyhappy:


I love the San Francisco setting of this series!

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Fricka
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Re: Guest Blog by JULIET BLACKWELL


becke_davis wrote:
Magic


Welcome to a little bit of Magic! While researching for myWitchcraft Mystery and Haunted Home Renovation books, I stumble upon some fascinating information. I'll share some of it on my blog, but I thought I'd keep some important tidbits here, as well. Check back often for new topics, and feel free to suggestareas of interest. The subjects below will be covered soon!

Spirit Bottles
Witch Knots
Conjure Balls


Secondhand Spirits (Witchcraft Mystery Series #1)  A Cast-Off Coven (Witchcraft Mystery Series #2)  Hexes and Hemlines (Witchcraft Mystery Series #3)  In a Witch's Wardrobe (Witchcraft Mystery Series #4)  


Welcome, Juliet to our Mystery Forum. Thanks for the blog and the info in it. I have enjoyed reading the Witchcraft Mystery books you've written. It might be my faulty memory, but isn't the, um, familiar in those books also named Oscar? If so, what made you decide to name him after your own cat(who is a very handsome feline fellow, judging from his pic!)

 

 

 

" A murder mystery is the normal recreation of the noble mind."--Sister Carol Anne O' Marie
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maxcat
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Re: Guest Blog by JULIET BLACKWELL

Hi, Juliet, I love reading about haunted houses and your series sounds great. Looking forward to reading them. Thanks for being here today.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by JULIET BLACKWELL

Oscar strongly resembles my daughter's  cat, Mouse:

 

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eadieburke
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Re: Guest Blog by JULIET BLACKWELL

[ Edited ]

Welcome Juliet:

 

I enjoyed your blog. Your books are all very interesting to me. I have a copy of A CAST-OFF COVEN so I think I'll start with that one.

 

Hope you enjoy your visit with us and come back soon.

Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt