It’s release day for three of us!

By Liz, celebrating a book launch with Edith and Barb!

First, I love book releases when they happen with other authors – especially Wickeds! It’s just way more fun. Happy release day, girls!! Looking forward to these two books.

And to make it even more fun, Barb’s and my release are foreshadowing the upcoming Halloween holiday, my favorite time of year.

Somewhere along the way I realized that Maddie and the Daybreak Island gang hadn’t celebrated Halloween with all of you. Which just seems, well, wrong, since I can’t get enough Halloween. So I went all in on this one.

Here’s a little about the book:

It’s October in Daybreak Harbor, which means everything Halloween. The town is going all out for the holiday, hoping to one-up the festivities in neighboring Salem, Massachusetts, and Maddie James is delighted to be part of the planning for the annual happenings.

But trouble brews when Maddie’s youngest sister, Sam, books a famous medium, Balfour Dempsey, to come to town for the celebrations and stay in the local haunted inn―along with his equally famous black cat. The town busybody books a secret reading with Balfour and doesn’t want anyone to know why. Maddie’s best friend Becky is hell-bent on getting Balfour to help her solve two 40-year-old mysteries―a murder and a missing maid. And the psychic has a stalker who’s followed him here to the island, demanding he connect with her dead husband.

When Balfour is pushed off the cliffs behind the inn to his death and his beloved cat goes missing, it throws the whole town into a frenzy. And Maddie and her family find themselves in the middle of a murder mystery straight out of a Halloween movie.

So – we’ve got a murder (of course), a psychic, a haunted inn, black cats, ghosts and cold cases. And, saving the best for last, a funeral home. Yep, it’s a pivotal piece of the setting. And it’s the first time we’ve gotten to go inside Daybreak Island’s only funeral home, which just felt right given the time of year.

There’s a story here.

One of my best and oldest friends, Glenn Burlamachi, owns multiple funeral homes. He’s been working in this industry for 30-something years, and so it’s something I’ve been able to get an up-close-and-personal look at. I actually worked at his first funeral home for a while (bookkeeping, not embalming) and it was so helpful to see how the business operates. For research purposes, of course.

Fun fact: The first series I started writing (one that’s still sitting in a drawer) was set in a funeral home. I still haven’t let go of the idea of dusting it off. I’ve always been drawn to this as a setting or a pivotal piece of a series. There are tons of possibilities, and its’ definitely one of those industries that intrigues people, even if they don’t want to admit it!

Glenn has actually been on the blog before – we did an “Ask the Expert” segment with him a few years back. If you’re at all interested in this job, check it out here.

Unlike me, Maddie isn’t thrilled to have to spend time in the local funeral parlor, which adds a bit of levity to the book. I suspect most people are in her camp. But it was really fun to write and revisit this part of my life.

I hope you enjoy Nine Lives and Alibis. If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, you can find it here!

And let me know in the comments how you feel about Halloween-themed books in general. You’ve probably guessed that I love them, but I want to know.

40 Thoughts

  1. Great title! Congratulations! Occasional holiday themed books are generally an addition to fun.

  2. Happy Book Birthday Liz, Edith, and Barb!
    I like themed-books and it doesn’t matter when they come out.

  3. Congratulations on a triple wicked book birthday! Who is serving the cake? I really enjoy Halloween themed books. They add an extra element of spookiness to mysteries. I definitely think there is room in the cozy world for a mystery series set at a funeral parlor. Perhaps you should polish up the old manuscript Liz!

  4. Happy Book Birthday to all three of you!

    Regarding that funeral home set series, my brother’s godfather worked as a funeral director for years. One time we were visiting, and he got a call to go pick up a body down on the Cape. He didn’t know where he was going (this was way before GPS) so my dad said he’d take us home and then accompany him to where he needed to go.

    My sister and I decided we wanted to ride in the hearse. But we made it fun because we would open up the curtain covering the back window and wave to the cars behind us. Since we were driving at night, this completely freaked out those people and whenever we’d do it, the car would pull into another lane. Yes, we were evil children. HA!

    As for Halloween mysteries, they are fine so long as the mystery itself isn’t overshadowed by the Halloween themes. But that pretty much applies to any themed mystery anyway.

  5. Congratulations to all three of you! I love holiday themed books and like to read them year round, but especially at that specific holiday.

  6. CONGRATULATIONS, Liz, Maddie and Barb!!!!! Finally, it is Tuesday…I thought it would never come. OK, so I am set with reading fun for the next week or so. I love Halloween and Christmas themed cozies, so I am a happy camper! Thank you for continuing to send us into your stories so we can have fun sleuthing with your heroines!!! Luis at ole dot travel

  7. Happy release day, Liz! I’m okay with Halloween-themed books. The actual day, well, I blame the PTSD of getting my children through costume drama for my lack of enthusiasm. LOL

  8. Happy Release Day!

    Since my birthday is in October, you know I’m bound to love Halloween. It’s kind of an extension to my big day where its a party everyone is invited to and the gifts are candy and treats. Can’t get better than that!

    Do love books centered around Halloween or other holidays and enjoy reading them all year long. You shouldn’t wait to read Halloween if it’s February. Life’s too short. As a senior citizen I say enjoy what you love whenever the mood strikes. Being retired gives one the freedom to do what you want when you want and reading holiday books when I want suits me just to a tee. Bring them on – including Halloween since I can’t wait to read these two – already read the other new release!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  9. I do enjoy reading Halloween themed books, especially during the fall season. Congratulations to the three of you for gracing your readers with three more books!

  10. I’ve always loved Halloween books going back to Agatha Christie. Certainly looking forward to reading Nine Lives. My pre-order should arrive today. 🙂

  11. Happy Book Release Day to you all!! Exciting for you all and us too!!!
    I love Holiday theme books! Always have! Your book looks awesome!!

  12. Congrats on the new release! My pre-order is on the way. I enjoy Halloween books, but I prefer Christmas. Not that I turn down a new release from any author I love no matter when it is set.

  13. I enjoy reading Halloween stories. We no longer celebrate in our house. We have no children as well as no longer working. We had a bad experience with older kids that made it a bit threatening. So we stopped giving out candy. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you.

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