Monday, March 23, 2020

#NewRelease #GuestPost - "House of Seven Spirits" by Julie Howard

Writing a Series

First, I want to thank Amber for hosting me on her blog today. I always appreciate the opportunity to talk about writing and my books, especially since I have a new release this week.

The second book in my Spirited Quest mysteries comes out March 25 and is called House of Seven Spirits. When I wrote the first book, I didn’t envision the story evolving into a series. I don’t typically include ghosts in my stories – my books are mainstream murder mysteries. But as always seems to happen, I fell in love with my characters and their lives, and didn’t want to let go of the people in the first Spirited Quest book.

Jillian Winchester, the main character, is a ghost blogger and has a business that revolves around her talking to spirits and often solving the mystery behind their lives. I instantly realized the ghost world would be filled with mysteries and, at times, a murder or two.

A series is different than a single stand-alone book in that a character needs to grow and change, but not too much. Readers want to be able to read the books out of order, or to pick and choose a single book from a series and not feel lost. At the same time, those who like to read an entire series enjoy the subtle changes that may occur.

In House of Seven Spirits, Jillian heads to Australia’s vast Outback to investigate what happened to a family of seven who disappeared without a trace in the 1880s. The man she fell in love with in the previous book, an Australian, accompanies her and there’s a bit of romantic tension as their careers goals clash.

I’m midway through the third book and plan a fourth as well. This series is a blast to write and think readers will enjoy these novella length stories. Below is some more information on this latest release, House of Seven Spirits.


Some secrets are deadly, and ghost-blogger Jillian Winchester and her photographer boyfriend discover it's true when they set out to investigate an Australian family who disappeared without a trace in the 1880s. 
An abandoned sheep station rumored to be haunted by the long-dead Kinsley family is one challenge. The other is the beautiful but deadly Outback.
As Jillian probes deeper into the mystery, one thing becomes clear: She might not make it out of this quest alive.


“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.
Someone’s here.

Buy Links for House of Seven Spirits:


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.

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