Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Welcome, Julie Howard

I spend a fair amount of time conjuring up ghosts and ways to kill people. Fictional people. As a mystery writer, it’s all in a day’s work. Creepy, I suppose. But consider this: There are thousands of mystery writers out there in the world doing the same thing!
 My latest book, House of Seven Spirits, releases today and includes the specter of murder and ghosts. The story is set in Australia’s Outback and I needed to imagine a mystery that would be unique to this setting.
I sipped my morning coffee, recalled a recent trip to that incredible land down under, and began writing. As usual, the plot came to me all at once.
Most of my books arrive fully formed in my mind and it’s just a matter of filling out the skeleton of plot. Because this was the second book in a series that revolves around ghost-blogger Jillian Winchester, I already had a main character. She travels the world to haunted locations and writes a hugely successful blog about her experiences. My experience in Australia brought home how different Australia is to my own home in the United States. Animals, plants, accents, and phrases were a constant reminder I was somewhere very far away. There are animals and plants in this country that are found naturally nowhere else on Earth. I wanted to showcase just a smidgeon of this in my story.
As a non-Australian, I was also very cognizant I was a bit out of my element. I didn’t want to get it wrong. I have an Australian writer friend who read an early version of the book and gave me some tips. Most of the time, I followed her advice – and, in a couple of cases (minor ones), I didn’t. Writers do take creative license with the facts, after all. Like conjuring ghosts and a haunted sheep station in the vast Outback.
I’m very proud of this book and it’s garnering wonderful early reviews. I hope you enjoy!


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. 

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.

Author Links:

Buy Links for House of Seven Spirits:


  1. Terrific as always, my dear Jules.
    Best of luck with this fabulous story!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! The book sounds great, doesn't it?

  2. Absolutely enjoyed reading how your trip was the basis of the inspiration for your story! Sounds wonderful, Julie. Wishing you all the best with "House of Seven Spirits"!

    1. I love hearing how different experiences inspire different authors. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Sounds like a great read, Julie! Best of luck with it!

    1. I'm looking forward to this one. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Love your inspiration. Best of Luck with your book.
    D. V. 🦉

    1. I want to take that trip, too. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Great post. Thanks for sharing your insights.

  6. Hmmm. Murder and ghosts and deserted homes way outside towns. I don't know if I would go there, but...I'm looking forward to reading your book about it :) And to learning some of the information about the intriguing country . Best of luck with the book, Julie!

    1. I agree with you, Barbara. Nice place to read about, but maybe not visit!