Sunday, April 8, 2018

I'm happy to be joining #BerkleyMystery in celebrating the April 3 release of 
Book 9 in the Witchcraft Mysteries
by Juliet Blackwell

Witch and vintage store owner Lily Ivory faces her most difficult mystery to date with a case of mistaken identity that hits close to home...

Lily Ivory and her friends are planning a 1950s-themed brunch to benefit the local women's shelter. When a figure from her past shows up unannounced, threatening her unless she returns something that belonged to him, Lily's fiancé, Sailor, steps in to defend her. After the same man is found dead later that day, Sailor is the primary suspect. He swears he's innocent, but multiple witnesses ID him as the perpetrator of the assault. Lily vows to clear his name...only she's not sure where to start with the mounting evidence against him. 

When she sees Sailor in the neighborhood despite knowing he's in jail, Lily starts to wonder if there could be a doppelganger in San Francisco. When she's not busy helping customers find matching outfits for the upcoming event, searching for a vintage wedding dress for her own nuptials, and dealing with an ill-timed magical cold, Lily begins to suspect one of her magical foes is targeting her loved ones in an attempt to weaken her.

San Francisco as a magical playground
by Juliet Blackwell

What I love most about reading a favorite series –more than the individual plots themselves-- is falling back into the world of the characters. Is it silly to admit that I do the same when writing my own series?

I’m sitting in France as I write this blog post, and San Francisco feels far away. But as I work on outlining the Witchcraft mystery #10, I am brought right back to the world I have created: Lily’s vintage clothing shop, Aunt Cora’s Closet, on Haight Street; Bronwyn and Maya and Lily’s other friends; her magical colleagues, Aidan and Herve. And Lily’s fiancé, Sailor, of course, and her dear friend/pig/gargoyle/sidekick, Oscar.

Of course, any novel is set in the world of the author’s imagination. With paranormal storylines, of course, that world is allowed to be even bigger than the everyday world we know.

In the Witchcraft mysteries, the streets of San Francisco have become a magical playground. Sure, there are real-world problems like rent hikes and people in need; but there are also woodsfolk and sorcerers, magical practitioners and evildoers. It’s such fun to wander the streets of the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood and imagine who might be peeking around what corner; not to mention the many possibilities lurking behind bushes and trees in Golden Gate Park. These days I see the city through an author’s eyes, for better or worse.

In A Magical Match, natural-born witch Lily Ivory teams up with her nemesis, Patience, and roams those streets in search of the clues necessary to solve a murder and get her hunky fiancé out of jail. Now that I’m working on the following book in the series, I’m remembering just where I left Lily and the gang, and dreaming about what they might be up to next.

So as I visit the French countryside, stopping in at old stone abbeys, wandering through limestone caves, prowling about old castles and wine cellars, I have a magical San Francisco on my mind. 

But then again, it’s my world…so who says a castle or wine cellar might not appear in the next Witchcraft mystery?

Is there a fictional world you would like to enter for a day, or a week, or longer?

Juliet Blackwell

Juliet Blackwell was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, the youngest child of a jet pilot from New York and an editor from Texas. She graduated with a degree in Latin American Studies from University of California, Santa Cruz, and went on to earn Masters degrees in Anthropology and Social Work from the State University of New York, Albany. While in graduate school she published several articles based on her research with immigrant families from Mexico and Viet Nam, as well as one full-length translation: Miguel León-Portilla’s seminal work, Endangered Cultures. Juliet taught Medical Anthropology at SUNY-Albany, was producer for a BBC documentary about Vietnamese children left behind by US soldiers, and worked as an elementary school social worker in rural New York. Upon her return to California she became a professional artist and ran her own decorative painting, historical renovation, and domestic design studio for more than a decade. In addition to mainstream novels, Juliet pens the New York Times Bestselling Witchcraft Mysteries and the Haunted Home Renovation series. As Hailey Lind she wrote the Agatha-Award nominated Art Lover’s Mystery series. She is past president of Northern California Sisters in Crime and former board member of Mystery Writers of America. Juliet lives in a hundred-year-old house with extensive botanical gardens in Northern California, but spends as much time as possible in Europe and Latin America. She believes in the magic of language, travel, and cultural exchange to open hearts, minds, and souls.

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  1. "A MAGICAL MATCH" by Juliet Blackwell sounds like a book I'd enjoy reading. Thanks for all the information and bringing this book to my attention.

  2. Thanks, Lisa! Hope you have a wonderful Sunday.

  3. Thanks for sharing your post Lisa.

  4. I enjoy these books they help take your mind off of the real world for a little while.