Say BOO to: Juliet Blackwell! - Dark Streets
In the spirit of the month, I thought I’d focus on a writer who combines the paranormal with her mystery: Juliet Blackwell.
Juliet was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area, and after graduating school became a professional artist running her own decorative painting, historical renovation and domestic design studio, which serves as the basis for her Haunted Home Renovation series!
San Francisco contractor and ghost whisperer Mel Turner is the main character in Blackwell’s Haunted Home Renovations series. In the first volume, IF WALLS COULD TALK, Mel takes over her father’s construction business and is met on the site of her first job by the ghost of a colleague who recently met a bad end. Mel hopes that tracking down his killer will rid herself of his ghostly presence, so she sets about doing that. Her only clue: an odd box discovered inside a wall at the job site. Mel sets about making sense of the mysterious contents before she ends up joining her ghostly buddy!
In last year’s volume, A GHOSTLY LIGHT, Mel’s friend Alicia hires her to renovate a historic lighthouse in the San Francisco Bay area. But when Alicia’s abusive ex-husband shows up and turns up dead after threatening both her and Ailcia, things start looking bleak. Mel invokes the aid of the lighthouse’s resident ghosts to help clear her friend’s name!
My favorite, though, is 2015’s GIVE UP THE GHOST. San Francisco millionaire Andrew Flynt wants to sell his Victorian mansion, but angry ghost keeps scaring away potential buyers. When a psychic informs him that his costly plans to renovate have agitated the spirit, Mel is hired to track down and replace some of the house’s original features, a project that is going well – until the psychic is found stabbed. Now Mel has to use her ghost whispering gifts to uncover the haunted house’s secrets, and her sleuthing skills to catch the killer.
Trust me, I’m not a handy person and I’m definitely not into home renovations, but I do enjoy a good ghost story. You will love this series!
Juliet also pens the Witchcraft Mysteries, which feature boutique owner and natural born witch Lily Ivory.
We first meet Lily in SECONDHAND SPIRITS. Lily is a rather unique witch in that her powers tend to draw out mischievous spirits and keep normal humans at a distance. When Lily opens her vintage clothing shop, Aunt Cora’s Closet, in San Francisco, she’s hoping for a normal life at long last. But when one of her clientele is murdered and children start disappearing from the Bay area, Lily feels she might be the only one who can unravel the clues. She tries to keep her powers a secret, but it’s not easy when she’s got to contend with “mythbuster” Max Carmichael and powerful witch Adrian Rhodes!
One of my favorites is A VISION IN VELVET. Lily buys a trunk full of vintage clothes, but 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.
In 2016’s TOXIC TROSSEAU, Lily has her hands full as the temporary leader of San Francisco's magical community. So after her potbellied pig Oscar head-butts rival clothier Autumn Jennings, Lily tries to make peace without a costly personal injury case.
But any hope of a quiet resolution is shattered when Autumn turns up dead. As one of the prime suspects, Lily searches for a way to clear her name and discovers a cursed trousseau among Autumn’s recently acquired inventory. Lily must deal with a mysterious dog walker and spend the night in a haunted house as she delves into the trunk’s treacherous past. She’s got to figure out who wanted to harm Autumn fast, before the curse claims another victim…
This is a very charming series…and who wouldn’t love a witch who has a pig as a familiar instead of the usual black cat!
Also watch out for book 9, A MAGICAL MATCH, coming out on April 3, 2018.
If you enjoy mixing mystery and paranormal, try one of Juliet’s series today. You will not be disappointed!
Columnist: Toni LoTempio
By Toni LoTempio – As T. C. Lotempio,she pens the Nick and Nora mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime. Her latest, Purr M for Murder, first in the Cat Rescue mysteries, debuts from Crooked Lane Publishing in May. She and her cat ROCCO do fundraising for Nathan Fillion’s charity, KIDS NEED TO READ, when they aren’t interviewing authors on ROCCO’s blog! You can keep up with all the latest interviews and news (including her 2014 releases!) at www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com