Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy that Juliet could be here today. Her new book Murder on the House: A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery was just released. She gives us the story behind the story today.
I love doing research. Maybe it’s because of my background as a graduate student in Anthropology, but I can get lost in the research for my books: spending hours on the internet, reading entire swaths of the library, and passing whole days walking the streets of the neighborhoods where I set my stories (notepad in hand, of course!).
In fact, one of my very favorite things about being an author is getting to hang out “researching” for days on end –and getting to call it “work”! One of the hardest things, of course, is later making the tough decisions about what to include in one’s book — and what to leave out. I might find home renovation fascinating , but not everyone is up for me waxing poetic about the art of floor sanding, however intriguing it might seem to me when I witness a really good floor guy at work. (Seriously – these guys are impressive!)
But researching for my Haunted Home Renovation series also includes looking up ghost stories – and those are SO much fun. The seed for my latest novel, Murder on the House, was planted one day when I met a friend for lunch in the Castro District, a quirky, wonderful San Francisco neighborhood.
He told me about a nearby building called Nobby Clark’s Folly, a mansion built on 17 acres in “Eureka Valley” (now know as the Castro) in 1892. This was back before cars, when the area was considered to be out in the boonies for those living in downtown San Francisco. In fact, Clark’s wife decided it was too remote from Nob Hill, so she never moved in. You can see pictures and read the whole story here:
For the purposes of the story in Murder on the House, I changed the architecture from a Victorian extravaganza to an eclectic Greek revival with Italianate flourishes because the Victorian was too close to the home I described in my last book in the series, Dead Bolt. Nobby’s Folly became SF General hospital –it was that large!—which led me to make my fictional house a maternity hospital.
And, like just about any decent historic building in San Francisco, Nobby’s Folly, abandoned as it was, was rumored to be haunted. As one account read:
On nights when the coastal fog creeps down over Twin Peaks and the nearby hills with long white fingers, the huge house looms darkly out of the weblike mist. The hollow “clops” of horses’ hoofs on cobblestone streets and the rickety clink of carriages and harnesses can sometimes be heard passing by, unseen, on wet, cold streets outside the mansion… some of the tenants have heard heavy measured footsteps in the hallways, passing by on their way to some ghostly business. Could these sounds be the ghost of Mr. Clarke returning to survey the old estate that he loved so well?
I ask you, how can a mystery author read something like that and not think up a plot or two? Guess that’s why I love research!
Thank you so much Juliet for sharing your inspiration for this story! I hope you will come back again soon!
About This Author
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 the upcoming 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;
on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JulietBlackwellAuthor;
and Twitter @JulietBlackwell
Murder on the House:
A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery
3rd in Series
An Obsidian Mystery (December 4, 2012)
Published by New American Library
A Division of The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
Bed-and-breakfast—with a side of ghosts.
Mel Turner has a way with ghosts and people are starting to talk. So much so that the new owners of a historic house have contacted her not only to restore the house but to use her abilities to encourage the ghosts thought to be there to roam about. They want to open a haunted Bed & Breakfast.
In order to win the contact she must stay overnight in the house with another prospective contractor and the elderly caretaker, who also is the previous owner. The sleepover comes to an abrupt halt when the estate gains another supernatural occupant. Someone didn’t make it through the night. Mel hopes that she can get the resident spirits help her find the killer before she becomes another victim and joins them in their ghostly world .
These stories first drew me in because of my house construction background but now in addition to that it is the history woven into the story. Juliet Blackwell blends the history with the mystery to give us readers an excellent read. That the house the story is based on could actually have been haunted just added to the story. I could hear the creaks and the groans and the marbles bouncing down the stairs – sent shivers up my spine.
Mel is a spunky protagonist and seems to have no fear most of the time but even this set of ghosts took their toll on her. Her life is not turning out the way she planned. She wanted to take off for Paris but her dad needed her so she came home. She enjoys restoring homes but there are days she wishes for Paris, but I think the trouble who just follow her there. Her gift now realizes would sneak up on her wherever she goes. I am glad she is sticking around San Francisco and the construction biz. Who knows who she will have haunting her during her next renovation?
Murder on the House is a smart and clever mystery all cozy lovers will enjoy!!
Would you like to win a copy of this wonderful book?<
Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!
U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.
Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.
Leave a comment for Juliet for 5 Bonus Entries !
If you publicize the giveaway anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.
Contest Will End January 2, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.
CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Comments on “Cozy Wednesday with Author Juliet Blackwell (Giveaway too!)”
I love home repair and ghosts.
What a great series! I must find it!!! Dee
I would like to win this for my daughter who loves cozy mysteries. Thank you for hosting this giveaway.
Only Juliet Blackwell can make floor sanding sound fascinating! Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm with such a great stories, Juliet!
Thanks for the giveaway. I love these kinds of books and eat them up like candy. Happy hollidays to everyone.
Sounds good! Looking forward to reading it.
Based on the synopsis and review, I will definitely be on the look out for this cozy!
I think Anthropology and Social Work would work well while writing one of your cozies. Enjoyed reading about the Architecture in the cozy. Glad to meet you.
Thanks for the giveaway. I really enjoy your books. I can’t wait to read this book.
thanks for this great giveaway. Sounds compelling and special.
This on my TBR list!
Love reading mysteries.
I just got “if Walls Could Talk.” I’d love a copy of this book! Very neat, by the way, that you had a link to Goodreads – made it easy to add to my “want to read” list!
Thanks JoAnne, I love that feature too!!
I love stories with ghosts in them! Hoping to read the series sometime soon.
Thanks for the awesome giveaway!
This sounds like a wonderful book! Thanks for not putting in the art of floor sanding lol. I think I would have fallen asleep! Merry Christmas!
I love this series!!!!!!
I’ve only read one of Juliet’s books and loved it! Shared it with a friend. Bought it while visiting someone in Florida and devoured it. Fun plots, great characters, attention to detail and the mood created by the setting is fantastic. Thanks!
The rome renovation makes these books seem real to me—plus maybe it’s showing that the author’s good research is also making everyting seem so real–even though ghosts are involved. I really enjoy a good cozy. Thanks for the contest.
This is such a great storyline, I would love to read this book.
I like the history that makes the mystery! Renovation can lead to so many story lines. I’m looking forward to reading your series.
Interesting to hear how the story took shape.
I live in a house that used to be a twin of our next door neighbors. Since, we added a room, you would not know they were once twins.
I love that you love research!!! The hardest part of grad school for me was to stop researching so I think we must two peas in a pod! Would love to read your book.
Interesting story! Thanks for the chance to win!
I Can’t wait to read this! It sounds awesome!
Looks great. I haven’t read anything in the series yet, but my husband and I love home renovation, and I am a huge ghost story lover add mystery and I’m sold.
Juliet, thank you for sharing a little peak into how you work your research into a book. I love learning how a story takes shape!
Sounds like a great book. I love mysteries but haven’t read any in a while.
Comments are closed.