Friday, October 31, 2014

ParaMysMo 2014: Victoria Laurie, author of the Ghost Hunter Mysteries and more! - October 31, 2014

To close out Paranormal Mystery Month, we have M. J. Holliday from the Ghost Hunter Mysteries written by the fabulous Victoria Laurie!  Victoria also writes the Psychic Eye Mysteries (and more).

       Hey there, M. J. Holliday here. Ghostbuster by trade, kicker of ghoulie ass by necessity.
       Tonight, October 31st marks the worst day of the year for me and my crew. Oh, yeah, it might seem like all fun and games as you and your kids get all dressed up in some creatively spooky costume and parade up and down the streets collecting candy, scaring the neighbors, or TP the house on the corner with the lights out when clearly someone’s home.
       But it’s no fun and certainly no game for me. I deal with the real thing. The real Halloween. All Saint’s Eve. The one night a year when the veil between our world and the lower realms – the one that many evil ghoulies haunt like a local tavern – thins.
       For me and my ghostbusting crew, (my BFF Gilley and my sweetheart Heath), the result is usually a cross between Nightmare on Elm Street and Platoon.
       Around eight o’clock my cell will start ringing, ‘cause some of you decided to get out that Ouija board in between trick-or-treaters, or host a séance for some party guests, or make your house so attractive to the spooks by decorating it to its creepy limits and charging up the ether with all that fear from the little ones, that a tear in the veil will allow the ghoulies to freely enter your home sweet home.
       It usually begins with a flickering of the lights. Just a quick flash of darkness that you’ll shrug off to a surge in the current. Then, maybe there’ll be a creak upstairs. Perhaps some disembodied footsteps. Following that, maybe a door will slam, or a photo of a deceased loved one will fall off the wall. You might shrug a few of these off for a bit, but as the hour grows late and the streets empty of children and your guests head home, a cold chill will start to fill your house. You’ll check all the windows of course, looking for the source of the draft, and maybe you’ll venture upstairs. Maybe the lights will flicker again. You’ll pause on the staircase and wait, but nothing more will come and you’ll keep advancing up the steps. Then maybe there’ll be a creak. A moan. And the haunting sound of quiet…distant…laughter.
       The hair on the back of your neck will stand on end and goosepimples will line your arms. You’ll hold your breath, tell yourself that it’s just your imagination, but then…but then there’ll be a whisper of something from somewhere behind you even though you’re certain you’re the only one upstairs. Perhaps it’ll be a rustling of clothing. Maybe the barest sound of your name. But something will feel like it’s standing right behind you on the landing, and as you turn your head slooooowly around, you’ll realize, you really did venture upstairs alone.
       Or so you thought.
       And then maybe another door will slam. Or the walls will start to ooze a gooey gray substance – ectoplasm – and then you’ll feel that touch to your shoulder, or the weight of someone not there, but there will press up against you. You’ll scream, and then you’ll turn to flee, but as you descend the stairs you’ll swear someone is giving chase. Maybe you’ll scream again. Maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll be too terrified and no sound will come from your throat. Maybe you’ll simply race out of the house and give me a call.
       Which is fine. I’ll be there soon. Armed with magnets to target the electromagnetic energy of your house, sending the spooks scurrying, and stakes to drive into that tear you created for them to climb through. I’ll save you butt while kicking theirs. But it’ll cost you. I’m not cheap, and these busts aren’t child’s play. Trust me on that at least.
       So remember, this Halloween if you want to get out the Ouija board, or host a séance, or turn your home into that house on Elm – go for it. Just remember to get out your checkbook and put my number on speed dial. Look me up. I’m in the book under kicker of ghoulie asses. Pinkie swear.

Ghost Hunter Mysteries
Recent and Upcoming

The Ghoul Next Door
A Ghost Hunter Mystery 8
Signet, January 7, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

On a well-deserved hiatus from the ghoulish grind of their TV show, Ghoul Getters, psychic medium M. J. Holliday, her boyfriend, Heath, and her best friend, Gilley, are back home in Boston. But there’s no rest for the weary ghost busters. M. J.’s ex comes to her for help—his fiancée’s brother Luke seems haunted by a sinister spirit.

The crew sets up surveillance cameras to watch for the possessive poltergeist while Luke is sleeping. But when he goes outside in the middle of the night and returns hours later covered in blood, they are all very concerned—especially when the news reports the murder of a young woman in the neighborhood.

Now M. J., Heath, and Gilley must remain self-possessed as they try to stop a wicked ghost whose behavior is anything but neighborly.


No Ghouls Allowed
A Ghost Hunter Mystery 9
Signet, January 6, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

On a trip to Georgia to see her father, M. J. Holliday finds herself trapped in a haunted mansion and discovers…


M.J. has had a distant relationship with her father since her mother died more than two decades ago. But when M.J., her boyfriend, Heath, and BFF, Gilley, take a break from their show, Ghoul Getters, and visit her family home in Valdosta, Georgia, they find Montgomery Holliday a changed man. The source of his happiness seems to be his new fiancée, the charming Christine Bigelow.

But despite the blush of new love, Montgomery and Christine are dealing with a big problem in the form of the antebellum mansion she is having renovated. After a series of strange accidents, the work crew is convinced the place is cursed, and the contractor has walked off the job. At Christine’s request, M.J. and her pals agree to find out if they’re really dealing with some spirited saboteurs and a possessed plantation home.

To see all of the Ghost Hunter Mysteries with covers descriptions and buy links, 
please click Read more below.

About Victoria

Website  ~  About  ~  Facebook Group  ~  Twitter @Victoria_Laurie

The Giveaway

What:  One entrant will win 1 Mass Market Paperback copy of her/his choice of Ghost Hunter Mysteries 1 - 8 by Victoria Laurie.

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 15, 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

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Days of the Dead Blog Tour - Heroes, Monsters, Monkeys and More by Gail Z. Martin - and Giveaway

Please welcome Gail Z. Martin to The Qwillery as part of her Days of the Dead Blog Tour!

Heroes, Monsters, Monkeys and More

By Gail Z. Martin

I broke some kind of personal record this year for participating in anthologies, with stories in eleven different collections, plus a couple of anthologies that won’t come out until 2015 but had stories due this year. Some of them were an easy fit for tales that tie into the extended universe of my books. Others required coming up with something entirely new, and several were a stretch into genres where I’d never written before. Three were illustrated, something new for me, and one was in a shared world of another author.

That’s why I enjoy being part of anthologies. They give me a sandbox in which to stretch and play, experiment and grow. I can do things in twenty or thirty pages that I can’t easily do in three hundred or four hundred pages, with less risk and more fun. Plus, these anthologies were run by friends of mine. It’s fun when your friends as you to come out and play.

Anthologies also make good sense. Because story collections are like sampler plates, readers who may not have ready any of an author’s novels may find a short story in an anthology by that author and go looking for other works. I’ve had a number of emails from readers who found my novels in just that way.

Another benefit of writing for anthologies is it can give you an idea of whether or not a new world you’ve created is sustainable for larger, longer works. I had written several stories in my Deadly Curiosities universe before I was asked to do a full-length novel. Because I had already tried out the world and its characters, taking on a novel in a whole new genre didn’t seem as daunting as it might have.

Some of the anthologies were for a good cause. Dance Like a Monkey was a charity anthology to help the family of the late C.J. Henderson with medical expenses. I won’t make a dime from it, but C.J. was a friend of mine and I’m happy to contribute to something that may help his family through a rough time.

Athena’s Daughters, an anthology about adventurous women characters written by wild women authors, portrays female characters in a positive light and does so with characters from a wide variety of ages, ethnicities, circumstances and physical abilities. It helps to answer the hunger I’m seeing for more diverse main characters in speculative fiction. Readers want to read about protagonists who look like them, and for too long, the genre has relegated women, minorities and people with disabilities to the role of sidekick or secondary character, if they’re present at all. It’s got an all-new Deadly Curiosities short story that is pretty spooky.

Likewise, the Heroes anthology specifically called for superheroes who were diverse. Instead of a bunch of buff beefcake in spandex, you’ve got over-the-hill heroes, unlikely champions and superheroes who don’t fit the mold.

Unexpected Journeys and Unconventional Fantasy were membership-only anthologies for the British Fantasy Society and the World Fantasy Society, and both contained reprints of my story, Buttons. It’s a great way for me to connect with other professionals in the field who may see my story and want to talk about future anthologies or collaboration. Positive exposure doesn’t hurt.

My story for Big Bad 2 was a foray into horror, something I skirt but don’t set out to write most of the time. It was fun to write a story from the villain’s point of view, and I’m proud of the piece, especially since I considered it to be a stretch beyond my comfort zone.

With Great Power was another superhero anthology. C.J. Henderson personally asked me to write a story with a female hero because he said he wanted something really different and from a woman’s perspective, and he trusted me to deliver that. I was daunted by the request, but the unconventional heroine I supplied fit the bill.

In Icarus: A Graphic Novel, my short story was a stretch goal for the Kickstarter campaign, and it was written to a prompt by Icarus author Gregory Wilson, using his characters and attempting to match his voice and style. Quite a departure, plus it will be illustrated by LucasArts/Marvel artist Joe Corroney.

Realms of Imagination got another all-new Deadly Curiosities story, a good fit for a collection of urban fantasy stories.

Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens has a Sound and Fury Adventure, a spin-off from the steampunk universe my co-author and I created for our upcoming Iron and Blood steampunk novels. The anthology’s premise is just what it sounds like—stories incorporating steampunk and aliens. Who could resist?

Dreams of Steel 5 also has a Sound and Fury Adventure story, set in the alternative history Pittsburgh we created for the Iron and Blood books.

There’s also an upcoming story for a collection involving corsets, and a space-themed anthology for the Origins convention. Beyond that, who knows? I’m having too much fun to quit now.

My Days of the Dead blog tour runs through October 31 with never-before-seen cover art, brand new excerpts from upcoming books and recent short stories, interviews, guest blog posts, giveaways and more! Plus, I’ll be including extra excerpt links for stories and books by author friends of mine. And, a special 50% off discount from Double-Dragon ebooks! You’ve got to visit the participating sites to get the goodies, just like Trick or Treat! Details here:

Trick or Treat: Enjoy an excerpt from Retribution, my short story in the Athena’s Daughters I anthology here:

And a bonus excerpt from He Was a Wonderful Man, a short story by my friend Janine Spendlove, from the Heroes anthology:

And a second bonus excerpt from Lunar Camp by my friend Maggie Allen, also in Athena’s Daughters I:

About Gail

Gail Z. Martin is the author of the new epic fantasy Reign of Ash (Orbit Books 2014) and Deadly Curiosities, a new urban fantasy novel (July 2014 Solaris Books), set in Charleston, SC. She is also author of Ice Forged in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, War of Shadows (Orbit Books, 2015), and Iron and Blood, a Steampunk novel (2015, Solaris Books) which will be co-authored with her husband, Larry N. Martin.  She is the author of The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven & Dark Lady’s Chosen) from Solaris Books and The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn  and The Dread) from Orbit Books.  She writes two series of ebook short stories: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures and the Deadly Curiosities Adventures.

Gail’s work will appear in at several new anthologies in 2014: Clockwork Universe Steampunk vs. Aliens, Athena’s Daughters, Dreams of Steel 5, The Big Bad 2, Dance Like a Monkey, plus an illustrated story in Icarus: A Graphic Novel, Heroes (stretch goal author) the British Fantasy Society’s Unexpected Journeys and With Great Power, a superhero anthology. Other US/UK anthologies include Magic (Solaris), The Bitten Word, Rum & Runestones, Spells & Swashbucklers, and The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women.

Find her at, on Twitter @GailZMartin, on, at blog and She leads monthly conversations on Goodreads and posts free excerpts of her work on Wattpad

The Giveaway

What:  One entrant will win a SIGNED Trade Paperback copy of Ice Forged (The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga 1) by Gail Z. Martin.

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 13, 2014. 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

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

NYCC: Marc Evan Jackson and the Detroit Creativity Project

To kick off the posting of our many videos from New York Comic Con 2014, we are featuring an interview with Marc Evan Jackson. Marc is an Actor, Improv Comedian, Musician, Voice-Over Actor, and a Co-Founder of the Detroit Creativity Project. This Saturday, Keegan-Michael Key is hosting the 2nd Annual Detroit Party to benefit the Project.

Hosted by Keegan-Michael Key (Key & Peele)

Featuring: Marc Evan Jackson
(DCP co-founder, 22 Jump Street, Brooklyn 99)

Paget Brewster
(Criminal Minds, Huff, Friends)

Kumail Nanjiani
(Silicon Valley, The Meltdown, Portlandia)

Thomas Middleditch
(Silicon Valley, Splinterhead)

Allee Willis
(Grammy Award-winning songwriter for the “Beverly Hills Cop” soundtrack, & nominated for “Friends” theme song “I’ll Be There for You”, Artist, Author, & Director)

Benmont Tench
(Founding member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)

And performances by
Sara Watkins
(Watkins Family Hour)

Martin Starr
(Freaks & Geeks, Party Down, Silicon Valley)
with Common Rotation

and more!
Proceeds will provide arts education for Detroit kids.

Tickets may be purchased here. And if you can't attend the Detroit Party,
you may make a donation to the Detroit Creativity Project here.

Marc Evan Jackson
Actor, Improv Comedian, Musician,
Voice-Over Actor, & Co-founder of

Hailing from Amherst, New York, MARC EVAN JACKSON is an enormously interesting person. After graduating with a degree in Philosophy from Calvin College and a couple years sailing aboard schooners in Maine, Marc worked as an on-air host for National Public Radio affiliate stations in Michigan before joining the Second City's resident company in Detroit as Musical Director and Stage Actor before moving to The Second City in Hollywood as Improv Instructor /Director.

Marc voiced the title character in the 2011 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Award-winning “Brick Novax’s Diary” and acted in 2013 Sundance Film Festival Official Selection Film, “Toy’s House” along-side Alison Brie, Nick Offerman, & Megan Mullally. Now titled, “The Kings of Summer”, this film was released in 2013. Marc also appeared in the 2014 audience favorite, “22 Jump Street”.

He also plays “Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars” (a sci-fi western set in Mars) in the nationally acclaimed old-time radio show “The Thrilling Adventure Hour” which is a stage production performed monthly at Largo at the Coronet in Hollywood, CA. The Thrilling Adventure Hour is also syndicated in a weekly podcast on iTunes via the Nerdist Network

Film and television credits include: “Parks & Rec”, “Brooklyn Nine Nine”, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”, Broken Lizard’s “The Slammin’ Salmon,” ”Funny or Die Presents” on HBO, “Psych” on the USA Network, “Last Comic Standing” “Key&Peele,” and “Reno 911!” on Comedy Central, “Happy Endings” and “According to Jim” on ABC, “Scare Tactics” on NBC/Universal’s SyFy Channel, and many others.

Marc Evan Jackson was cast as the lead, Jim Dunnigan, in “Suit Up” produced by Fox Digital Studio in association with DIRECTTV. This digital comedy follows a crisis guru, Dunnigan, as he pilots a college athletic department on the brink. Yahoo! Screen launched this eight-episode digital series in September 2012 and CRACKLE in November 2012. Since January 2013, “Suit Up” has been broadcasted on DIRECTV’s Audience Network. The broadcast series included bonus content, such as behind the scenes features and outtakes.

Marc, an actor, improviser, musician, writer and voice-over talent, lives in Los Angeles with his (current) wife Beth, a cat veterinarian.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Interview with Martin Rose, author of Bring Me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell - October 28, 2014

Please welcome Martin Rose to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Bring Me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell is published today by Talos.  Please join The Qwillery in wishing Martin a Happy Publication Day!

TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Martin:  Like a lot of writers, I was young. I had some obstacles, but I fell into it when I was twelve. And it's hard to say why, why writing was the thing. I just had stories inside me, and it was self-evident the only natural answer was to let them out. So I started sending out stories to print publications when I was 13. I was very secretive about it, I didn't tell anyone, or ask for help. I still have my first rejection letter from Dani D'Atillio at Death's Realm back in 1994.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Martin:  Ambidextrous. Nowadays I make a general outline, but I pantsed Bring Me Flesh something fierce.

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Martin:  Time. Always time. On the surface, it's hard for any writer who starts early in their career to find time, especially if they're not in a financially comfortable place in life. But there's this whole other aspect of time involved in writing that is just not very sexy. It's learning how to deal with time when your heart isn't in it, and how, you know, you could be spending your time on all these other very pleasurable distractions that life provides you. It's not exciting to spend hour after hour in a chair, pecking at the keyboard. And there are all these days and months and years ahead of you, spent waiting for editors and publishers and agents to get back to you. You have to learn to mitigate and leverage time, because if you don't... you give up. Nothing breaks a writer with greater efficiency than Time. And I think that's true of any profession that requires discipline and mastery.

TQ:  Who are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Martin:  I read it all. A lot of books have stuck with me, but it's hard to say what made an influence, because I really, really have a deep desire to innovate language, to create a voice and a style that is all its own, and not beholden to the past. When I was a teenager, I cut my teeth on Lloyd Alexander, Stephen King, Anne Rice, Robert R. McCammon, Edgar Allen Poe, Alexandre Dumas and Edith Wharton. When I got older I found Graham Greene, David Sedaris, Donna Tartt, Robin Hobb, Charlotte Bronte. I read a lot of non-fiction. Economics, political science, history. These days I'm going through Laird Barron's back catalog with a great deal of enjoyment, as well as John Langan, Stephen Graham Jones. Read my first John LeCarre book, and I'm looking forward to reading more of him. Anyone can track my readings on

TQ:  Describe Bring Me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell in 140 characters or less.

Martin:  Love the dead without the guilt. Blood, bullets, conspiracy, and a very dysfunctional family.

TQ:  Tell us something about Bring Me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell that is not in the book description.

Martin:  Well, without giving too much away, there's a suit of armor and a troublesome infestation of flies. There's a particular part I'd love to tell people about, but it would spoil the surprise.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Bring Me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell? Your publisher describes the novel as " imaginative spin on the hard-boiled detective genre and a new twist on the zombie novel." Why zombies? Are your zombies the classic Romero zombie or something else?

Martin:  I'd written a short story with Vitus, a few years back, I think in 2009, and that became the springboard. It was just meant to be a one off short that ended up in a zombie anthology, but Vitus had a persistent voice.

Out of the entire monster catalog a writer can choose from, zombie was not really ever on my list; but I found that a zombie of Vitus's caliber gave me a lot of play I couldn't get out of other monsters that have really come back into public focus, like vampires and werewolves. And vampires and werewolves are often spun to be very sexual, mysterious and seductive creatures, in the popular sphere. But with Vitus, there was no expectation for that kind of glamor. He's not attractive, he's not happy, he's got a lot of trauma. And rather than go with classic Romero zombie – not to say you won't find an element of that in Bring Me Flesh as well – Vitus is self-aware of his monstrousness, and the only reason he has that self-awareness is because he takes medication to keep him sentient. Zombies' continuing popularity is really a sign of a zeitgeist. It's not going away anytime soon. The BBC is running a program called "In The Flesh", about a boy who happens to be a zombie, and is being integrated back into society through medication. I expect our culture will be taking this subject farther to reflect the various social, economic, and political issues that have become too controversial, or uncomfortable, to talk about openly.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Bring Me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell?

Martin:  Some was accidental. I have a friend who's an officer in NYC, and I'd done some research with him about evidence rooms that inadvertantly ended up forming a particular character in the book. I ended up taking the research into some interesting spaces – for instance, I spent a lot of hours poring over materials dealing with the subject of leprosy in medieval times. When I was young, my step-mother told me about a leper colony in Hawaii, and that really began to form the basis for another character. Vitus's back story takes the reader to Kosovo, and the conflicts that erupted in Yugoslavia during the 90s, the NATO airstrikes, and I brushed up on that. Hopefully I didn't screw any of that up, but if there are mistakes, they're all mine. But Kosovo is where Vitus ends up. The recent wars involving the middle east are probably the most accessible to the reader, but I wanted to delve into an area that people would be less knowledgable about, (Kosovo, Bosnia, and Sarajevo) and unable to form instantaneous opinions on.

TQ:  In Bring Me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Martin:  They're all hard. I'm not a large fan of turning my characters into avatars for myself. That doesn't mean I don't take little things from experience and just patch them in places to bolster the identity of a character and flesh them out. But because I don't necessarily want characters to reflect my attitudes or personality, it actually can be quite a grind, to build a person from scratch and make them breathe for the reader, when you may not even like the character yourself. That's what made Vitus the hardest. His brother, Jamie, was a bit of a surprise, but still hard. I did not expect him to flesh out as much as he did. There were intense psychological scenes in the last half of the book I had to take breaks through. I think having empathy makes it harder. That quality creates an obligation to care more about what happens to everyone, even the villains.

TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from Bring Me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell.


"Another man walked in my shoes. I never really got to know him, the boy that I was. At twenty years of age, he died ignobly as part of a military sanctioned, pharmaceutical experiment. In his place, I was born – as a darkling encased in rotting meat, a walking, talking corpse, still picking pieces of his wife and son from his teeth. A convenient tragedy packing heat. I was a pathetic human and I made for an even more pathetic monster."

TQ:  What's next?

Martin:  Hopefully, a follow up, if Skyhorse wants it. I'll be a tourist in the zombie universe for another book or two, if circumstance allows; and then I'll move onto other pastures. I'm always writing. Anyone interested can keep up with my commentary, observations, news, and unwanted opinions over at my wordpress,

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Martin:  Thanks for having me, and happy reading to everyone. There're amazing books coming out this month; I know I'll be reading quite a few of them myself!

Bring Me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell: A Horror Novel
Talos, October 28, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 232 pages

Vitus Adamson is falling apart. As a pre-deceased private investigator, he takes the prescription Atroxipine hourly to keep his undead body upright and functioning. Whenever he is injured, he seeks Niko, a bombshell mortician with bedroom eyes and a way with corpses, to piece him back together. Decomposition, however, is the least of his worries when two clients posing his most dangerous job yet appear at his door looking for their lost son.

Vitus is horrified to discover the photo of the couple's missing son is a picture-perfect reproduction of his long dead son. This leads him to question the events of his tormented past; he must face the possibility that the wife and child he believed he murdered ten years ago in a zombie-fugue have somehow survived . . . or is it just wishful thinking designed to pull him into an elaborate trap?

Unfolding like a classic film noir mixed with elements of a B-movie, Bring Me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell is an imaginative spin on the hard-boiled detective genre and a new twist on the zombie novel. In Vitus Adamson, you will find a protagonist you can care about and invest in as he takes you through his emotional journey of betrayal and quest for redemption.

About Martin

Martin Rose lives in New Jersey, where he writes a range of fiction from the fantastic to the macabre. Visit for details.

Monday, October 27, 2014

ParaMysMo 2014: Joyce and Jim Lavene - October 27, 2014

Please welcome Joyce and Jim Lavene to The Qwillery. Writing as J.J. Cook they are the authors of the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mysteries and the Biscuit Bowl Food Truck Mysteries. As Joyce and Jim Lavene they have written several series including the Renaissance Faire Mysteries and the upcoming the Retired Witches Mystery series, which debuts with Spell Booked in December. They also write as Ellie Grant (the Maggie Grady series).

Celebrating Halloween!
By Joyce and Jim Lavene

Halloween is one of our favorite times of year. We love everything about it from the pumpkins to the candy. We always have a party with games and a bonfire. It’s only natural that some of our characters and books would celebrate it too!

Ghastly Glass is our Halloween Renaissance Faire mystery. Renaissance Faire Village is dressed up with super scary decorations. Fairies become dark and werewolves prowl the cobblestones. The whole place changes to reflect the season. We modeled this after some of the theme parks across the country which hold similar celebrations. It was fun to write!

In our new series, The Retired Witches Mysteries, the second book – Looking for Mr. Goodwitch - will take place during the pagan holiday Halloween is taken from – Samhain. This is celebrated on October 31st and is known as the witches’ New Year.

It is the end of the harvest and the day remembers the summer season with plenty of pumpkins, gourds, warm soups, and stews. The time is used to honor ancestors, and a good time to have a séance. This is the time of the lighting of the fires and divinations.

The actual beginnings of our house-to-house drive for candy come from England. Children went from door to door asking for treats and money, but at Christmas instead of Halloween. They called this time souling. It was also a ritual to help get through the dark times ahead as winter set in.

As usual in the US, our holidays are all mixed up with traditions we’ve borrowed from around the world. Halloween has remnants of the Mexican Day of the Dead as well. Sugar skulls are delicious, and a reminder again of death.

This is the dark time of the year, before the winter solstice changes to allow more daylight hours. It can be a long time between Samhain and Beltane in the spring. Just as it is many months between Halloween and Easter.

We recommend a warm mug of apple cider sipped near a hot fire with plenty of friends and family, no matter why you celebrate in October. Enjoy the darkness. It is only by going through it that we reach the light.

Happy Halloween – Samhain!

Retired Witches Mysteries


Spell Booked
A Retired Witches Mystery 1
Berkley, December 2, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook,304 pages

The national bestselling authors of the Missing Pieces Mysteries summon up the first Retired Witches Mystery in a brand new supernatural series…

Once upon a time in Wilmington, North Carolina, three witches ran a curio shop named Smuggler’s Arcane. But as the years passed, their magical powers started to fade—leaving them no choice but to conjure up a retirement package…

Before they could blink their eyes or twitch their noses, Molly, Elsie, and Olivia somehow became eligible for AARP. But they can’t fly off to Boca Raton just yet. First they must give up their magic, recruit and train three new witches, and pass on their cherished spellbook.

They’ve barely begun to consider potential practitioners when Olivia winds up dead and their spellbook is stolen. To honor their friend and reclaim their spells, Molly and Elsie are about to go wand-to-wand with a dangerous young witch more powerful than the trio was in their prime. And this time they’re going to need more than magic up their sleeves…

Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mysteries

That Old Flame of Mine
A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mystery 1
Berkley, April 2, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

Set in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, J. J. Cook’s thrilling new mystery series features Fire Chief Stella Griffin, who solves crime with the help of her predecessor, who just happens to be a ghost…


After knocking the lights out of her boyfriend when she catches him cheating on her, Chicago fire fighter Stella Griffin hops on her Harley and heads for Sweet Pepper, Tennessee, where she ends up becoming the small town’s fire chief. When her dear friend Tory Lambert dies after her gingerbread-style house is set ablaze, Stella suspects arson and foul play.

As Stella investigates, she gets help from a most unlikely source—the ghost of Eric Gamlyn, Sweet Pepper’s old fire chief. And if that isn’t enough to rattle her, attractive police officer John Trump seems to have taken an interest in her. But Stella’s got to stay focused if she hopes to smoke out a killer before her own life is extinguished.


Hero's Journey
A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Novella
Berkley. December 3, 2013

A hot dog and a hot head are on the loose in Sweet Pepper, Tennessee, and it’s up to Fire Chief Stella Griffin to collar them both...

The Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade’s newly adopted Dalmatian puppy, Hero, is missing. Stella believes he just wandered away from her cabin and got lost. But despite posters and searches by the fire brigade and spotty sightings by locals, there are no leads, and the furry fire fighter has yet to return.

Stella is already worried with a series of progressively dangerous arson fires plaguing Sweet Pepper. And oddly enough, Hero’s appearances are coinciding with the fires. Now with the help of the ghost of Sweet Pepper’s former fire chief, Stella will have to dig up some clues if she hopes to find the pup before he’s lost for good—and find the arsonist before someone loses a life.

Includes a preview of the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mystery, Playing with Fire

Playing with Fire
A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mystery 2
Berkley, January 7, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

Welcome to Sweet Pepper, Tennessee. Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains, it’s home to the hottest and sweetest peppers in the world—as well as at least one ghost and a hotbed of secrets…


Fire Chief Stella Griffin is working to solve the mysterious death of her predecessor, Eric Gamlyn—who also haunts her cabin. Yet the more she learns, the more burning questions she must answer. Just as Stella thinks she has a lead from Deputy Chum, someone snuffs her hopes—and the lawman.

Adding fuel to the fire, Stella’s parents soon arrive—with her ex-boyfriend—hoping to persuade her to return to Chicago. Now Stella is torn between the life she left behind and uncovering what happened to her ghostly friend. But she’d better think fast or more than her investigation could go up in flames…


In Hot Water
A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mystery 3
Berkley, January 6, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

Sweet Pepper, Tennessee, has the world’s hottest and sweetest peppers—as well as a ghost that cooks and a fire chief who fights crime…


Stella Griffin should be bubbling over with joy now that she’s the full-time fire chief of Sweet Pepper, except trouble is brewing on her doorstep. An angry resident has purchased her cabin, and—with a bulldozer in tow—is ready to tear it down. But as Stella worries over the fate of her home and Eric, her ghostly roommate, there’s soon an even greater cause for alarm.

A suspicious house fire in the pricey Sunset Beach community at Sweet Pepper Lake claims the life of ex-state representative Barney Falk. The nature of the death has Stella feeling out of her depth, so she teams up with the state’s arson investigator. Moving full steam ahead with the case, they must smoke out a killer before the firebug strikes again…

About the Authors

Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Penguin, Amazon, and Simon and Schuster along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family. Visit them at

The Giveaway

What:  One entrant will win 1 Mass Market Paperback copy of her/his choice of a That Old Flame of Mine, Playing with Fire or the upcoming Spell Booked. Please note that Spell Booked is not published until December 2014 so you will have to wait for that book if you win and that is your choice.

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 11, 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

The View From Monday - October 27, 2014

Happy last Monday in October! Halloween is Friday and it may snow here on Saturday! That's a bit early for us though we did have a Halloween Nor'easter in 2011. That was not a nice trick! Hopefully we'll have a better Halloween this year. Do you celebrate? Hand out candy?

For Anne Rice fans - Prince Lestat is out tomorrow. This is the 11th novel in The Vampire Chronicles and a return to the this world after a decade away.

Caitlin Kittredge debuts a new series tomorrow with Black Dog. The first novel in Hellhound Chronicles.

There is one Debut this week:

Bring me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell: A Horror Novel by Martin Rose

And from formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy 1) by Pierce Brown is out in Trade Paperback;

William Shakespeare's Star Wars Trilogy: The Royal Box Set: Includes William Shakespeare's Star Wars, The Empire Striketh Back, The Jedi Doth Return, and poster by Ian Doescher;

Sky Pirates (Chronicles of Light and Shadow 3) by Liesel Schwarz.

October 27, 2014
'Til Dragons Do Us Part (e) Lorenda Christensen PNR - Never Deal with Dragons
Taste of Treason April Taylor HistF - Tudor Enigma 2

October 28, 2014
Arrow - Heroes and Villains Nick Aires F
Burn for Me Ilona Andrews PNR - Hidden Legacy 1
Esrever Doom (h2mm) Piers Anthony F - Xanth 37
Otherworld Nights: An Anthology Kelley Armstrong UF - Otherworld
Penumbra Keri Arthur PNR - Spook Squad 3
Red Rising (h2tp) Pierce Brown SF - Red Rising Trilogy 1
The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man W. Bruce Cameron Hu/F
Love Me to Death Marissa Clarke PNR - Underveil 1
The Wolf in Winter John Connolly Th - Charlie Parker 12
Deadly Pursuit Nina Croft PNR - Dark Desires 2
William Shakespeare's Star Wars Trilogy: The Royal Box Set: Includes William Shakespeare's Star Wars, The Empire Striketh Back, The Jedi Doth Return, and poster Ian Doescher MU - Star Wars / Shakespeare
Inner Demon: Part 3 of the Final Asylum Tales (e) Jocelynn Drake UF - Final Asylum Tales
The Book of Strange New Things Michel Faber SF
The Peripheral William Gibson SF
Black Spring Christina Henry UF - Black Wings 7
Blood of Dragons (h2mm) Robin Hobb F - Rain Wilds Chronicles 4
The Eye of the World: The Graphic Novel, Volume Three (Wheel of Time Other) Robert Jordan Wheel of Time Other 3
Riding the Unicorn Paul Kearney F
Black Dog Caitlin Kittredge UF - Hellhound Chronicles 1
Revolution (h2mm) Mercedes Lackey SF - Secret World Chronicle 3
Star Trek: Section 31: Disavowed David Mack SF - Star Trek
One Hundred Years of Solitude (Slipcased Edition) Gabriel Garcia Marquez MR
Dangerous Women 2 George R. R. Martin (ed)
Gardner Dozois (ed)
F - Anthology
The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones George R. R. Martin Elio Garcia
Linda Antonsson
F - Games of Thrones
An Exchange of Gifts (ri) Anne McCaffrey F
Drawn Blades Kelly McCullough F - Fallen Blade 5
Starhawk (h2mm) Jack McDevitt SF - Priscilla Hutchins 7
The Undead Hordes of Kan-Gul (tp2mm) Jon F. Merz F - Shadow Warrior 1
The Compleat Ankh-Morpork Terry Pratchett F - Discworld
Going Postal (ri) Terry Pratchett F - Discworld 33
Making Money (ri) Terry Pratchett F - Discworld 36
Raising Steam (ri) Terry Pratchett F - Discworld 40
Thud! (ri) Terry Pratchett F - Discworld 34
Unseen Academicals (ri) Terry Pratchett F - Discworld 37
Prince Lestat Anne Rice H - The Vampire Chronicles 11
Doctor Who: The Secret Lives of Monsters Justin Richards SF - Doctor Who
Bring Me Flesh, I'll Bring Hell: A Horror Novel (D) Martin Rose H
The Slow Regard of Silent Things Patrick Rothfuss F - Kingkiller Chronicle 2.5
Infection and Containment: Alaskan Undead Apocalypse Books 1 and 2 Sean Schubert H/Ap
Sky Pirates Liesel Schwarz HistF - Chronicles of Light and Shadow 3
Kris Longknife: Tenacious Mike Shepherd SF - Kris Longknife 12
The Darkest Passion (ri) Gena Showalter PNR - Lords of the Underworld 6
Archangel's Shadows Nalini Singh PNR - Guild Hunter 7
Razor's Edge: Star Wars (Empire and Rebellion) (h2mm) Martha Wells SF - Star Wars - Legends
Scars (tp2mm) Chris Wraight SF - The Horus Heresy 28

October 30, 2014
All Souls Trilogy Boxed Set Deborah Harkness F - All Souls Trilogy
The Mailman (ri) Bentley Little H

October 31, 2014
SNAFU: Heroes (K e) Jonathan Maberry
Weston Ochse
James A Moore
Joseph Nassise
MilitaryH - Anthology
They Thirst (ri) Robert McCammon H
The Drawing of the Dark (ri) Tim Powers F
Fangoria Cover To Cover Anthony Timpone (ed) H

D - Debut
e - eBook
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
K e - Kindle eBook
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade to Mass Market Paperback

Ap - Apocalyptic
F - Fantasy
H - Horror
HistF - Historical Fantasy
Hu - Humor
MR - Magical Realism
MU - Mashup
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
Th - Thriller
UF - Urban Fantasy

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Melanie's Week in Review - October 26, 2014

I am baaaaccccckkkkk. I may have to change the title of this to Melanie's Two Weeks in Review.  I hope you haven't missed me too much.  I went home to Canada and had a great Thanksgiving with my family and now back in the UK to a very mild October. I am not only recovering from jetlag but also the clocks going back.  I used to love the extra hour in bed but now I just lament hardly ever seeing the sun! Anyway, I digress.You are probably thinking you wish she would just get to what she read!

I started my holiday with Binary by Stephanie Saulter which is the second book of the Gemsigns series.  Saulter was part of the Debut Author Challenge in May this year with her first book Gemsigns which I reviewed. I loved this first book and book 2 didn't disappoint. I will be writing a full review of Binary so I don't want to give too much away. I would advise you to start reading Gemsigns if you haven't already.

I decided that I needed quick and easy reads while I was on holiday so I popped over to NetGalley to see if they had any HEA for me to read. I found Light My Fire by G.A. Aiken. I have been reading the Dragon Kin novels despite them being a bit too 'erotica' for my liking. I found the first two or three novels (I started at the second novel About a Dragon) amusing and with enough humour I could forgive the non-stop sex. The further I get into the series the more I am getting a bit bored. I feel that Aiken needs to pair off almost every character in some 'stop it, I love it' tale. Light My Fire was set about 10 years after How to Drive a Dragon Crazy and tells the story of Celyn the Charming and the human Elina Shestokova from the Outer Plains. Celyn was your fairly typical drop dead gorgeous dragon who has something to prove and paired with Elina who I thought jumped out of From Russia with Love. Their love story was quite dull but I did enjoy the passages dedicated to Gwenvael and Dagmar who have featured in the last few novels. Normally, Aiken focuses the story from the female lead characters but even in the sub-plots there was much more male dominance in this instalment. I also thought that Aiken almost repeats the ending of book 5 in this book which made me wonder despite the wait, whether this one was a bit of a rush job.

Book 2 from NetGalley was 'Til Dragons Do Us Part by Lorenda Christensen. I was hoping that this was going to be a 'feel good' read as I was going to read it during my flight back. I was glad this was a quick read as boy, it was boring. This is the story of of Savanagh, dragon shifter and art thief. One last heist may well be her very last of everything. Savanagh needs to steal a famous painting from a another dragon's horde but all her plans look like they are going to be foiled by the hunky head of security, Cameron.

The cover is definitely the best part of this book as the plot line was dull, dull, dull. Savanagh was just too good and caring to be considered a famous thief. Cameron was slightly more believable but only just slightly. It was pretty clear that he wasn't that good at his job as he totally missed the fact that a dragon shifter was posing as a wedding planner. I haven't read the other books in this series so perhaps they are better than this one but I don't think I will attempt to find out.

I will only tell you about one more book that I read on my return. My third NetGalley treat was The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes. I was super excited when I read that Patrick Weekes also writes for my 2 all time favourite video games - Mass Effect and Dragon Age. This first instalment of the Rogues of the Republic series brings together the 'dream team'. The baroness/ex-soldier/thief Loch assembles a motley crew to pull the biggest heist ever. She is determined to steal back the priceless elven manuscript from the man that killed her family and turned her into an outcast. Together with a unicorn, a death priestess, a talking war hammer, a magician and a boy with a mysterious birthmark Loch embarks on a journey to break into the most impregnable fortress ever - Heaven's Spire. 

This is a great read which I thoroughly enjoyed. Weekes has combined great characters, humour and adventure. There is also a smattering of romance for those of you who don't want to read about swashbucklers. In parts I felt like I was reading a script from Dragon's Age but as I love these games it wasn't a problem. Weekes really knows how to create great characters and ones  you want to spend more time with. I am really looking forward to what happens next. Also, I LOVE the cover!

That is it for me. I am sure to have more to tell you about next week as with the clocks going back I have a whole extra hour to read something new! Until next week Happy Reading.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Review: The Troop by Nick Cutter

The Troop
Author:  Nick Cutter
Publisher:  Pocket Books, July 22, 2014
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 528 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (print)
ISBN:  9781476717722 (print)
Review Copy:  Hardcover provided by the Publisher
Previous Edition:  Hardcover, Gallery Books, February 25, 2014

Now in mass-market paperback! “The Troop scared the hell out of me, and I couldn’t put it down. This is old-school horror at its best.” —Stephen King

Once a year, Scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a weekend camping trip—a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story around a roaring bonfire. But when an unexpected intruder stumbles upon their campsite—shockingly thin, disturbingly pale, and voraciously hungry—Tim and the boys are exposed to something far more frightening than any tale of terror. The human carrier of a bioengineered nightmare. A horror that spreads faster than fear. A harrowing struggle for survival with no escape from the elements, the infected…or each other. Part Lord of the Flies, part 28 Days Later—and all-consuming—this tightly written edge-of-your-seat thriller takes you deep into the heart of darkness, where fear feeds on sanity…and terror hungers for more.

Brannigan's Review

The Troop is my second horror book for the month of October. I like reading books that creep me out to get me in the mood for Halloween and fall. While my previous book was family friendly, The Troop isn't for children. It's also not for the squeamish reader since it takes some dark turns. I honestly had to stop reading the book at times to take a break. Nick Cutter is a gifted writer of disturbing scenes and doesn't shy away from the use of gore, and I mean gag-inducing gore. Now, I would like to give a disclaimer for those of you out there who like watching The Saw or, heaven forbid, Mordum, to calm yourselves down before bed, you might not blink an eye at the events in this book. For the rest of us, it'll do its job of creeping you out.

As the title suggests, all of this alarming stuff is happening to 12- to 15-year-old boys on a boyscout adventure. For me, this is what made it almost unbearable to read. The things these boys go through are pretty grusome. As a parent, I can't imagine something like this happening, and sadly it's not that hard for this book to be reality. Cutter does a great job of developing some of the characters quickly to establish an emotional connection for the reader while some of the boys still feel a little cardboard. Cutter also openly borrows a writing technique from Carrie by injecting newspaper articles, blogs, court records and even psychological records to give the reader additional information about what's going on off the island and after the events. I enjoyed these a lot as they tease the reader into trying to guess how the book is going to end.

My only issues with the book, besides freaking me out, is how he used the boy scouts organization. There were merit badges that didn't exist and the scout law he used in the book isn't real. As an Eagle scout it always bothers me when writers bend the truth in regards to scouting. Now, I don't know maybe he had to change things up just a little bit for legal reasons or maybe the Canadian boy scout organization is slightly different from the Boy Scouts of America, and, to be honest, it's a pretty small infraction that most people wouldn't notice. It's more of a personal pet-peeve.

If The Troop doesn't creep you out, I would recommend you see a psychologist to get some help. It might not scare you, but it should be a little distressing. As a recommendation, I can't stress this enough due to the high amounts of gore, violence, adult language, and sexual imagery, this is an adults-only book. After reading this book, I'm happily returning to my regular fantasy and science fiction books for a bit.

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.