Author of the Series: Spirited Quest Mysteries
House of Seven Spirits
Release Date: March 25, 2020
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
“Don’t go up there,” Mason warned. “The wood’s apt to be rotted in places. The floor may not be safe.”
She glanced over her shoulder at him and hesitated. Her California beach home was eight thousand miles away—a fifteen-hour flight plus a day’s drive along bumpy bleak roads. She hadn’t come this far to only examine the structure’s exterior. Her work required total immersion.
She put a foot on the first step and tested it with her weight. Mason strode around the car and halted just below the porch with arms crossed. “Jillian.”
The last thing she needed was someone hovering, directing her on what she could and couldn’t do. When she worked, the “real” world faded in importance. His uneasy energy interrupted her focus. “I’m fine.”
The stair was solid, at least. Not even a creak greeted her as she advanced onto the veranda. He cleared his throat as she took another step, but said nothing.
Despite the heat, a sudden chill rippled up her bare arms, sending prickles all the way to her neck. For a split second, her world tilted and her senses were overwhelmed. The musty odor of freshly shorn sheep wool, clothes flapping on a line, young voices chattering, the sharp tang of blood. Just as quick, the images dissolved and all was still, dry and lifeless once more. She let go of a deep breath, and a feeling of exhilaration swept through her.
Oooh, what a fantastic excerpt! Hello Julie and welcome to the Spotlight! I’m going to start with the obvious, how did you choose your genre?
I like games and puzzles so mystery books fit right into that. When I plot out a book, I’m creating a puzzle for readers to figure out. I’ve also always loved magical realism, and a ghost mystery is sort of in that realm.
I like that… a puzzle. I write paranormal romance. So, I get that side of it, but have never written a mystery, but think it would be a great challenge someday. What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?
I’d love to write young adult fiction someday because I loved reading at that age. I found often when I felt the most misunderstood (and what young adult doesn’t feel this way), I felt connected to a book’s character that could express my feelings. I’d enjoy writing something other teens would find a connection in reading.
I think you’re right and many teenagers find themselves in reading. Do you have any new projects on the horizon?
I have another book coming out this summer as part of my publisher’s One Scoop or Two series. My title is called “Sea-Salt Lavender for Aphrodite,” with sea-salt lavender an ice cream flavor, and Aphrodite the name of a standard poodle. This is a cozy mystery set in a small beach town. I’ll have more information on this book, along with a cover reveal, sometime in May.
Perfect! Hopefully, you will come back on the Spotlight when it’s released! So, a little turn now… I always find research difficult and it takes me a long time to do. What was the hardest part of research for the House of Seven Spirits?
The most difficult part was finding out what children wore in Australia in the 1880s. There is some information out there, of course, but the children in my book were in the Outback and certainly, those kids would wear different attire than those in the city. I spent quite a bit of time searching for descriptions and pictures so I’d get it right.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Keep going and don’t listen to the naysayers. There will always be those who criticize what you write or why you write. Tune them out as much as possible. That’s more difficult to do than to say, but you really need to believe in yourself to get a book written and published. If you want to be a writer, keep writing.
Great advice! What do you do for fun, besides writing?
I love to travel, but doesn’t everyone? I get caught up in history so I always research an area’s past before we go, and I always want to visit museums and historical sites. I have to remember to enjoy the present as much as the past sometimes. Of course, when we travel, I also want to visit all the bookstores too in order to discover new authors and books. We had a trip to Portugal and Spain planned this spring, but unfortunately had to cancel because of the coronavirus. We will definitely reschedule though as soon as it’s safe to travel.
Oh no, I’m so sorry! It will make your trip even more special when you go. I find the simple pleasures I used to take for granted, a special treat now! What book have you read that you wish you had written?
Whenever I love a book, I wish I’d written it. That happens a lot. There are so many good books out there.
Amen! Okay, well, if you were stranded on a deserted island and you could have 3 inanimate objects, what would they be?
A book, a toothbrush, and a knife. I suspect the knife would be most useful.
I agree! What’s next for you, Julie?
I’m writing the third book in the Spirited Quest mysteries (House of Seven Spirits is book #2), and I’ve also started writing a brand new mystery series.
Wow! Busy, busy woman. I can’t wait to hear about them when they’re released. Finally, what would you most like to say to your readers?
I started writing because I love creating and writing stories, but I continue to write because of readers. I’d have to say I was surprised the first time a stranger said they loved my books because when I finish a book, I immediately start writing the next and rarely look back. But the thrill of someone reading and enjoying one of my books is something I cherish, especially when there are so many choices. Thank you, thank you, thank you for choosing one of my books to read. More than ever these days, I hope readers will enjoy my books. You are in my mind while I’m writing my stories.
Where can we purchase, House of Seven Spirits?
Favorite movie: Shawshank Redemption
Best place you’ve visited: Istanbul
Place you’d like to visit: Portugal
Favorite food: Mexican cuisine
Favorite drink: Coffee
Sports team: Boise State Broncos (college)
Oxford comma, yes or no? Sometimes
Pen or pencil? Pen
Favorite music? Classical guitar
Coffee or tea? Ha! Coffee.
What does your desk look like? It’s a café table at a coffee shop, most of the time.
Plotter or pantser? 80 percent plotter
Mac or PC? Mac
Favorite dessert? Chocolate cake
Jamie Fraser (Outlander) or Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades)? Jamie Fraser
You have a time travel machine. Where and when? Sometime in far future on another planet (when they have all the kinks worked out)
Are you earth, wind, fire or water? Water
Where can we find you, Julie?
Julie Howard is the author of the Wild Crime and Spirited Quest series. She is a former journalist and editor who has covered topics ranging from crime to cowboy poetry. Now she edits an online anthology, Potato Soup Journal.