While assessing the inventory of an old villa, Izzy Watson, the Wycliff museum’s part-time curator, wonders who is leaving vintage jewelry on her doorstep. This is the beginning of my fifth novel in my series centered on the fictitious South Puget Sound Victorian small-town of Wycliff. Or is it? Because “Haunted Homes” – that is the title of the latest Wycliff novel – really begins with the journal entry of an Irish immigrant in New York City in the 1880s.
The jewelry finds actually happened to a friend of mine. She thought it might be woven into a story. And she was right. As “Haunted Homes” unfolds, the reader is taken back into an era of Western Washington pioneer days as well as into the very challenging present of the touristy town. The museum of Wycliff is the center of activity in this novel, and be sure: a lot of people from the real-life Historical Museum of Steilacoom will make their appearance willy-nilly in the plot. Some will actually help with the fictitious museum business. Nonetheless, there is plenty of romance going on outside the harrowing museum plot.
This book is not so much about supernatural encounters, by the way. So, don’t expect a ghost story. Rather it is about the ghosts of their past that haunt some people and their families. Of course, fans of the Wycliff series will re-encounter some beloved characters of past novels as well as some new. Another friend of mine, a reader in Spain, had suggested to introduce a soup kitchen into my town scenario. Sometimes ideas like that just make my plot fall in place naturally! In this case, it made for a beautiful side-plot that adds to the warmth as well as to the color of my little small-town. I just hope that my friend will like the outcome as much as I do.
As always, there are also real companies and real places knit into the story. And history fans might get a little more than their usual load of local flavor in this Wycliff novel. The soup kitchen’s recipes in the appendix are, of course, my very own. And the cover photo has also been taken by me. Mind though, neither the lady in the picture nor the postcard have anything to do with my story. Both were a find in an antique store in La Conner, WA. I simply have a lot of fun creating my own unique pictures for my book covers.
As all my other Wycliff novels, “Haunted Homes” is a stand-alone. You don’t have to read the Wycliff novels in a specific order – though you might find you want to get to know the others as well.
If you want to find out more about the Wycliff novels and me, visit www.facebook.com/susannebaconauthor. “Haunted Homes” is available as an AuthorHouse soft cover edition (264 pages), online via AuthorHouse book store, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at any local bookstore (ISBN 978-1-7283-1348-1, $ 20.99). An e-book version is also available (ISBN 978-1-7283-1359-7, $ 3.99).