I have TWO new series coming out over the next two years: Secondhand Spirits (the first in the Witchcraft Mystery series) and If Walls Could Talk (the first of the Sophie Tanner House-Flipping Mysteries). Both will be released under Penguin’s Obsidian label, and under the new pseudonym, Juliet Blackwell.
Secondhand Spirits will be released next summer (July, 2009). This is the first in a new paranormal mystery about a misfit witch, Lily Ivory, who runs a vintage clothing store in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco:
It wasn’t easy growing up as a (super)natural witch in a small Texas town. The other children, the teachers, even my own mother was afraid of me. If it hadn’t been for my grandmother Graciela, herself a talented midwife and witch who taught me to harness my considerable powers, I wouldn’t have known a moment of tenderness. One of the many curses my status bestowed is a near-perfect memory, and I could recall every alienating episode, every isolating incident, of my thirty-one years.
I hoped to put an end to feeling like a perpetual outsider by settling down and opening my vintage clothing shop on Haight Street. After years spent traveling the world, I landed in San Francisco a month ago and discovered so many beloved local lunatics and cherished iconoclasts in this open-minded metropolis that I fit in quite nicely. Or at least I hoped to. Picking a fight with a child-stealing demon might make that more difficult.
My other new series features an anthropologist-turned-general contractor, Sophie Tanner, who “flips” historic houses in the San Francisco Bay Area. If Walls Could Talk, the first in the new series, will be released in 2010, and a second book in the series will come out in 2011. Sophie is a slightest older, wiser, and more jaded heroine:
Shortly after my thirty-fifth birthday I had come to the conclusion that, in general, people seemed kinder, more intelligent, and more interesting when you couldn’t actually comprehend what they were saying.
Here was my plan: I would move to Paris and crawl into an obscure, anonymous pied a terre to indulge myself in licking the still-tender wounds from my divorce. From time to time I would emerge to eat my fill of glace de cerises, stroll along the Champs de L’Eysees, loiter in the galleries of the Louvre, and maybe even take some handsome, monolingual French man as a lover. But otherwise I would return to my Left Bank refuge to continue my exquisitely solitary pity-party. With the money I received from my divorce, this kind of behavior could go on for years.
Here was the problem: my recently widowed father tricked me into staying “for a few months” to help him out with his construction business. That was four years ago. I was still trying to get to Paris, but I kept getting talked into “flipping” just one more historic home.
I love old houses with the kind of passion some women reserve for bad men: you know the effort’s probably not worth it, and yet there’s an irresistible belief that with enough sweat, tears, and devotion you’ll be able to fix them. Thing is, with buildings, you’ve got a shot. As far as men went…well, that’s another story altogether.
Since both new series will be published under the Juliet Blackwell moniker, I’ll be setting up a new website and blog. Please do check in, though, to see what’s new with Annie Kincaid and the gang, and to follow links from one site to the other.
Again, I love to get mail and I respond to every letter I receive. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, comments, or to be put on my mailing list (I’ll never add you to that list unless you give me permission!)