Monday, December 1, 2014

Cozy Mystery Blog Tour: Author Guest Post, Review & Giveaway: Keeper of the Castle (Haunted Home Renovation #5) by Juliet Blackwell

In the latest Haunted Home Renovation mystery from New York Times bestselling author Juliet Blackwell, San Francisco contractorand reluctant ghostbusterMel 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.

Guest Post by Juliet Blackwell

In Search of Ghosts:
To me, one of the best things about being an author is research.  In the course of writing my two series, the Witchcraft Mysteries and the Haunted Home Renovation series, I get to do things like shop in vintage clothing stores, hang out in Haight Street cafes, and tour historic buildings. 

But one of my favorite parts of research is trailing around after paranormal investigators, peppering them with questions:

Can ghosts reach out and “touch” a person?
Can they become violent?      
What if you had different ghosts or entities in a building? 
From different times, “haunting” the place for different reasons? 
How would they interact?
Why are animals sensitive to spirits, and how might they react?

Actually, I try to reserve these questions for either before or after walking through an allegedly haunted house. While on site, I mostly keep my mouth shut, trying not even to breathe loudly for fear of mucking things up…or possibly attracting unwanted attention! 

Unfortunately, I have found that there’s a lot of “grey area” in the paranormal realm – which, I suppose, is fitting – so not all experts agree on the rules of the afterworld. Some think we bring our own ghosts with us, for example, while others believe in “residual” energies, and still others think sentient beings sometimes roam the earth.

But here are the “Top Five” things I’ve learned from my recent encounters with “ghost professionals”:

1.      Bring extra batteries (some spirits “borrow” energy by siphoning off battery power)
2.      Don’t wear perfume or scented lotions. Ghosts have a profound sense of smell, and whether they like or dislike what you’re wearing, it might not be a good thing
3.      Animals and children are considered more “sensitive” (and attractive to) spirits.  But since they can’t give consent, it’s unethical to take them along on a ghosthunt, darn the luck.
4.      Wear quiet shoes that are easy to run in (self-explanatory)
5.      Don’t make jokes about the size of the ghostbuster’s equipment (also self-explanatory)

So…how about you?  Have you ever encountered something that felt otherworldly? Do you believe in ghosts at all?

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. 

Mel and her supporting cast of characters are back in the newest addition to the Haunted Home Renovation series.  It's another shining example of Ms. Blackwell's talents as she proves yet again that a cozy can be made all the better by adding in her touch of paranormal.  It's another superb mystery, clever and exciting!  Of course, all of the home renovation references are useful and make me want to start a project myself! :)  I also loved the history behind the "haunting."  Very creative :)  

This series continues to improve as it develops itself in to a favorite of mine!  

Rating: 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All conclusions reached are my own. 

Thanks to the awesome ladies at Penguin, I have 1 copy of Keeper of the Castle 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


Fish Crew said...

Love Juliet Blackwell books.

Karen B said...

I'd love to win but I can't find the rafflecopter?

Jonny said...

What do you know about this locksmiths news? Is it reliable enough to use on my car? I just afraide on my security safety. Thanks in advance!

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