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.