Monday, July 7, 2014

Cozy Mystery Blog Tour Author Guest Post & Giveaway: A Vision in Velvet (A Witchcraft Mystery #6) by Juliet Blackwell

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.

Series: A Witchcraft Mystery Series #6
Release Date: 07/01/2014

Everyday Magic
by Juliet Blackwell

Since I write the Witchcraft Mystery Series, one of the questions I most often receive is: Do you believe in magic?  

That's a tough one.  I do believe that there are a lot of things in this world that aren't explainable by science and logic.  I have witnessed "miracles", and I have met people who seem to just know things.  And I believe that our minds are much stronger than we know, and that focused intention really can result in more than we'd ever imagine.  

I have been lucky enough to work in creative endeavors for many years, first as a painter and now as a writer.  There are times when something takes over, I go into the zone, and time passes without my knowing it.  Those are the moments when I am lifted out of myself and seem to connect with something deeper.  People who meditate, or run long-distance, or who lose themselves in making crafts or singing or other creative endeavors, have probably experienced this magical feeling.  

Traditionally, witchcraft - and other forms of 'folk healing' - relied on this sort of concentration and energy.  The skilled practitioner would make her clients believe they were healed, or the pain was lessened, or that they would find love.  And upon believing it, perhaps that person was opened up to the possibility.  Who knows?  

In A Vision in Velvet, my witchy protagonist, Lily Ivory, is having a tough time keeping the faith when her beloved witch's familiar, Oscar, a miniature Vietnamese potbellied pig goes missing.  The only way she can get him back is to rely on her skills, the strength of her ancestors... and her friends.  Happily, since landing in San Francisco, Lily has made strong friendships, and she knows she doesn't have to go it alone.  And maybe that's the real magic.  

How about you?  Do you believe in magic?  

Juliet Blackwell (aka Julie Goodson-Lawes, aka Hailey Lind) started out life in Palo Alto, California, born of a Texan mother and a Yankee father. The family soon moved to what were, at the time, the sticks of Cupertino, an hour south of San Francisco. Walking to and from kindergarten every day she would indulge in her earliest larcenous activity: stealing walnuts and apricots from surrounding orchards.

By the time she graduated middle school, the orchards were disappearing and the valley at the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay had become the cradle of the silicon semi-conductor. A man named Steve Jobs was working in his garage in Cupertino, just down the street. Juliet's father advised his daughters to enter the lucrative and soon-to-flourish field of computers.

"Bah" said Juliet, as she went on to major in Latin American Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz (they had, by far, the best parties of any department). Rather than making scads of money in computers, she read, painted, learned Spanish and a little French and Vietnamese, lived in Spain and traveled through Europe, Mexico, and Central America. She had a very good time.

Juliet pursued graduate degrees in Anthropology and Social Work at the State University of New York at Albany, where she published several non-fiction articles on immigration as well as one book-length translation. Fascinated with other cultural systems, she studied the religions, folklore and medical beliefs of peoples around the world, especially in Latin America. Juliet taught the anthropology of health and health care at SUNY-Albany, and worked as an elementary school social worker in upstate New York. She also did field projects in Mexico and Cuba, studied in Spain, Italy, and France, worked on a BBC production in the Philippines, taught English as a second language in San Jose, and learned how to faux finish walls in Princeton, New Jersey. After having a son, moving back to California, and abandoning her half-written dissertation in cultural anthropology, Juliet started painting murals and portraits for a living. She has run her own mural/faux finish design studio in Oakland, across the bay from San Francisco, for more than a decade. She specializes in the aesthetic renovation of historic homes.

Finally, to round out her tour of lucrative careers, Juliet turned to writing. Under the pseudonym of Hailey Lind, Juliet penned the Art Lover's Mystery Series with her sister Carolyn, about an ex-art forger trying to go straight by working as a muralist and faux finisher in San Francisco. The first of these, Feint of Art, was nominated for an Agatha Award; Shooting Gallery and Brush with Death were both IMBA bestsellers, and Arsenic and Old Paint is now available from Perseverance Press.

Juliet's Witchcraft Mystery series, about a witch who finally finds a place to fit in when she opens a vintage clothes shop on Haight Street in San Francisco, allows Juliet to indulge yet another interest—the world of witchcraft and the supernatural. Ever since her favorite aunt taught her about reading cards and tea leaves, Juliet has been fascinated with seers, conjurers, and covens from many different cultures and historic traditions. As an anthropologist, the author studied and taught about systems of spirituality, magic, and medicine throughout the world, especially in Latin America. Halloween is by far her favorite holiday.

When not writing, painting, or haranguing her funny but cynical teenaged son, Juliet spends a lot of time restoring her happily haunted house and gardening with Oscar the cat, who ostensibly belongs to the neighbors but won't leave her alone. He started hanging around when Juliet started writing about witches...funny coincidence. 

Author Website:

Thanks to the awesome ladies at Penguin, I have 1 paperback copy of A Vision in Velvet by Juliet Blackwell to give away to one of my lucky readers!  Just enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win, and be sure to keep checking back for more awesome giveaways!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Unknown said...

yes, i believe in magic

holdenj said...

I agree that there are things that happen that aren't necessarily explained by science. So yes, I guess I do too!

Meg C. said...

Yes, I absolutely do believe in magic. Thanks for the giveaway.

skkorman said...

No, I believe there are logical explanations for everything even if we do not know what those explanations are at the time.

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

Unknown said...

I do believe in magic. To quote Hamlet, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Post a Comment

Blogger Templates