Thursday, July 04, 2013

ParaCozyMysMo - Interview with Oscar from the Witchcraft Mysteries by Juliet Blackwell - July 4, 2013

Please welcome Oscar to The Qwillery. Oscar is Lily Ivory's familiar in Juliet Blackwell's Witchcraft Mysteries. He's here to help us kick off ParaCozyMysMo and dish about Lily and their adventures together!

TQ:  Hi Oscar. Welcome to The Qwillery!

Oscar:  It’s great to be here! Tell you the truth, I don’t get out of the shop nearly enough. Mistress doesn’t like me going out by myself. She says potbellied pigs cause a ruckus when they walk down the street. Lily can be a real funsucker sometimes…but heck, I gotta love her. And if I didn’t, ya know, she might turn me into a frog. Just kidding!

TQ:  Please tell us a bit about yourself. For instance why do you shift into a pot belly pig and how old are you more or less?

Oscar:  Well, first off, I gotta say, my kind don’t talk about our age. I know you cowans do –um, I meant to say, you non-witchy types. But with folks like me, well, that’s the kind of personal information nefarious sorts might put toward the wrong end, if you know what I mean. As to why I shift into a potbellied pig—my Mistress is allergic to cats, and anyway so many familiars do the black cat thing. And it’s prob’ly obvious by now, but Oscar’s not what you’d call a run-of-the-mill familiar. I march to the beat of a different drummer, yes I do. Also, sometimes I get hungry, and pigs are really smart. And I guess I’m a pretty smart, hungry guy.

TQ:  I know that you love to eat. What is your favorite meal?

Oscar:  That’s an easy one! Tater tots, mac and cheese, grilled cheese sandwitches (get it? Sand-witch? Hahaha!) Oh! And mashed taters. Almost forgot that one. Also, I like chocolate chip cookies with milk. And Mistress makes a mean jambalaya…but not with pork, of course.

TQ:  How did you meet and become the familiar of Lily Ivory?

Oscar: My Master Aidan Rhodes – he sort of runs things around San Francisco, magic-wise. Anyhoo, one day Master says “there’s a new witch in town, let’s go meet her” and next thing I know he’s giving me to her. But she’s a darned good cook, and with me around she’s learning lots about how to function in the magical world; plus, I help her with her spellcasting. She had a rough childhood, and so did I, so I guess we’re pretty lucky to have each other. I got a real nice cubby over the fridge. And she makes awesome grilled cheese and gumbo and grits it just me, or are you feeling a mite peckish?

TQ:  What is the most dangerous adventure that you and Lily have had?

Oscar:  Oooh, I don’t want to give too much away, but in our latest adventure –the one she tells about in Tarnished and Torn – there was almost roast pork at the end, if you know what I mean. It was family stuff. That always gets complicated. On the other hand, just being around Lily is sort of a threat to a familiar’s health…first time I went out with her, we saw the demon La Llorona who was haunting the Bay…*shiver*…and this other time, it was the ghost in the belltower at the art school. I tell ya, the City by the Bay is full of more magical mayhem than one might expect.

TQ: What is the strangest thing that has happened to you and Lily?

Oscar:  Well, this one time we had to take care of a changeling. I mean, Mistress claims it was just a normal grumpy human baby, but she looked like a changeling to me. You know how the fairy-folk are, they think they’re so darned funny when they do stuff like that. And this last time, the whole trip to the Wax Museum was not nearly as much fun as one would hope, if you get what I’m sayin’.

TQ:  What, in your opinion, are Lily's best qualities? How do you think she would describe you?

Oscar:  Lily’s a very powerful witch. Not much more I can say. There aren’t that many of them, you know, the ones who can call on the ancestors and take care of business with the best of ‘em. She’s awfully good with herbs and botanicals –she whips up a noxious witch’s brew for just about any occasion. I mean, the woman runs a vintage clothing store by day and faces down demons by night! Plus, she makes a mean jambalaya. How would she describe me? That’s easy! AWESOMESAUCE. The best thing on four legs! Best familiar of all time! The porcine wonder! The most fabulous….well, you get the idea.

TQ:  What is up next for you and Lily?

Oscar:  In Tarnished and Torn, Lily tells the story of what happens when a woman is killed by pressing, the way they used to kill witches in the old days. And then Lily’s father comes to town, and while I’m all for family reunions this one was a little…dysfunctional. Before you know it we’re tracking down an enchanted opal and going up against a scary fire-dancer. And then next, in A VISION IN VELVET, Lily will tell you all about an ancient curse passed down from the Salem witch-trial days…and an evil oak tree, of all things!

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery!

Oscar:  Thanks for having me! I really gotta get out more. Is it time for lunch?

Witchcraft Mysteries

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.

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...

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.

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.

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?

About Juliet

Juliet Blackwell is the New York Times and national bestselling author of the Witchcraft Mystery series, featuring a powerful witch with a vintage clothes store in San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury neighborhood. She also writes the Haunted Home Renovation Mystery series, starring Mel Turner, a failed anthropologist who reluctantly takes over her father’s high-end construction company…and starts seeing ghosts behind the walls. Under the pseudonym Hailey Lind, Blackwell wrote the Agatha-nominated Art Lover’s Mystery series, in which ex-art forger Annie Kincaid attempts to go straight as a faux finisher: Feint of Art, Shooting Gallery, Brush with Death, and Arsenic and Old Paint.

A former anthropologist and social worker, Juliet has spent time in Mexico, Spain, Cuba, Italy, the Philippines, and France. She currently resides in a happily haunted house in Oakland, California, where she is a muralist, portrait painter, and recipient of the overly zealous attentions of her neighbor's black cat, who seems to imagine himself her new familiar. Juliet served two-terms as president of Northern California Sisters in Crime. Visit her at

The Giveaway

What:  One commenter will win a Mass Market Paperback copy of Tarnished and Torn (Witchcraft Mystery 5) from The Qwillery.

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 August 10, 2013. Void where prohibited by 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


  1. What a cute interview! ...but now I'm hungry! ;)

    I'd probably be cliché and have a cat familiar. Actually, there's so many ferals living around my house, maybe I already do! ;)

  2. Great interview. Looks like a great Book. Cant wait to read it.

  3. This series is so cute! I'd love to have a dog familiar.

  4. Oh I would love a little dachshund to be my familiar. Oh the conversations we would have and the giggles and joking :) Thank you for sharing with us Oscar, your right I am starting to feel a bit peckish. I have read Secondhand Spirits and really loved it. I am looking forward to continuing the journey.

  5. Oh!!! A pig familiar! I so need to read this series. And I want a Human as familiar.... Oh... I already have one ;-)

  6. A cat, any kind of cat. Thank you.

  7. Cat! Addicted to them we just adopted #9 (we lost 5 though)

  8. I, too, would have to have a dog familiar... Darling interview! Thanks for the giveaway!

  9. It wolf have to be my favorite breed of dog : Irish Wolfhound

  10. I've only read the first book in the series so far. But I'm partial to dogs.

  11. My animal would be a cat. I have two and I think that would work well for me.

  12. I can't wait to read Tarnished and Torn. I'm sure you are a big help to Lily while looking for the enchanted opal.

  13. As wonderful as a pig might be, I'd go with a cat. I just love me some cats!

  14. This was a great interview. It's hard to pick what animal would be my familiar, I love frogs but I've never had one as a pet. Though I've had some special connections to some cats and dogs.

  15. What a wonderful interview! Oscar, you are a true original.
    Unfortunately, I could never have a pig for a familiar. I love pork to much, especially bacon and ham.! (sorry Oscar) I would have a cat or a small dog.

    Can not wait to read this book! I've read all the others.

  16. Thanks for the fun post and giveaway! I'd have to say a dog :)

  17. I'd love to have a robin or other small bird as a familiar...they would be great for spying on others! :-)

  18. I've had beagles for years---so I think they would be perfect as a familiar for me.

  19. I love Ms. Blackwell's books!

    I think I'd have a bird - some sort of small falcon. They are so fierce and free.

  20. I have only read the first couple of books in the series but have enjoyed them. As to what animal for a familiar... depends on a couple of things but mostly I lean towards a cat.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    - lavendersbluegreen(at)yahoo(dot)com

  21. I want dragon as my familiar! But not too big, just a little ones. Maybe he also can shapeshift to his big version, so I'm not worry about my transportation when there's traffic in street

  22. A wolf.

    Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com