The Homes of The Possession Chronicles: Part 2

Welcome back to my mini blog series featuring the homes in The Possession Chronicles. Unless there are requests for other houses, this will wrap up the homes and next time I’ll share other setting locations. I include the addresses so you can do a virtual tour of the neighborhoods with an online map if you’d like.

Frederick Davenport’s house. Located north of downtown on State Street, Frederick’s house is visited (so far) in Perilous Confessions, Scarred Memories, and Hostile Charms. Less ostentatious than the other homes in the series, I think Freddy’s home was a perfect fit for the sensible accountant. (If you’re current with your reading of The Possession Chronicles, you’ll know where he lives as of the latest release.) I can imagine Phoebe sitting on the steps with Doff and her stuffed bunny.

254 State Street in Mobile, Alabama

This historic neighborhood is referred to as De Toni Square and is featured in local walking tours and visited by tourists stopping by the [haunted] Richards D.A.R. House Museum, which is around the corner. While not as flashy as the other homes, I find this one just as appealing. I went by the house a few weeks ago with a reader/friend while on our own Possession Chronicles walking tour of downtown and it’s being renovated. Hooray for people who restore historic buildings!

As a quick reference, though it isn’t seen on page as often, the house next door is what I used for the Beauchamp house that Darla moves into when she arrives in Mobile from Dauphin Island in Scarred Memories. It’s worth a peek.

256 State Street

Alexander’s Duplex. Just a few blocks west from the north side of Bienville Square, is what I dubbed “the duplex”. First seen on page in Perilous Confessions, we get a shocking return to it in Haunted Remains. Beware the happenings in the third floor front bedroom!

257 St. Francis Street

From my research, I learned that this late 1800s building originally had wooden balconies. The iron wasn’t added until the 1920s, but I use it in the series for two reasons: I prefer ironwork and I like to use things that readers will recognize when looking at the settings whenever possible.

As a bonus, here’s the inspiration for Seacliff Cottage, the Eastern Shore home of the Mellings. Seacliff Cottage is the only home in The Possession Chronicles that isn’t located where the house is in real life, and that I have never seen in person. The setting for the property is the Ecor Rouge area, and there was a historic settlement call Seacliff/Sea Cliff just to the south of it. I borrowed the name from that–and yes, I’ve seen old maps/books with the spelling listed both ways. I went with one word for my house.

Historic marker on Senic Hwy 98 near Montrose, Alabama.

As for the house itself, Seacliff Cottage is inspired by the William H. Mason House in Connecticut, chosen for it’s Gothic details and having the appropriate build era (pre-Civil War). I found this video on Youtube during my research phase, which helped me with the tone of the exterior, including the back porch and Magdalene’s favorite spot–the attached gazebo.

Since the time the video/information was posted, it has been saved from demolition and restored. To my joy, I recently stumbled across an updated photo of it on Instagram. Complete serendipity.

Be sure to check out the Mellings’ Government Street mansion as well as the Easton home on my previous post. Did I miss a house you wanted to see? Just let me know.

The Homes of The Possession Chronicles: Part 1

Welcome to the first in a series of blog posts featuring the homes of The Possession Chronicles characters. All the city houses in the family saga are actual homes in Mobile, Alabama. Part of my research is choosing locations that are historically accurate–houses, churches, parks, hotels, and more. For the most part, I keep to the facts, though I have been known to fictionalize a few things. (I typically note those liberties in the Author’s Note/Acknowledgement section.) To start things off, here are the two main family homes in The Possession Chronicles, the Melling and the Easton houses.

The Mellings’ Government Street mansion. This one I fudged on the build year by a couple to have it complete for their 1904 Christmas party in Perilous Confessions. (It is on record as being built “circa 1906”, so it’s not too far off.)

1209 Government Street, Mobile, Alabama

Designed by my favorite local architect, George B. Rogers, this beauty is one of dozens of homes he designed along Government Street and adjoining (now historic) neighborhoods. During the the first few decades of the twentieth century, everyone who was anyone in Mobile high society had a Rogers designed home. He built a wide variety of private and public buildings, including a skyscraper, a Scottish Rite Temple, the library, a public high school, and Bellingrath Gardens and Home (one of “America’s Castles”). I refer to George Bigelow Rogers as Mobile’s Frank Lloyd Wright. Want a peak inside the “Melling” home? Check out the Zillow listing from when it was last on the market.

The Easton Home. This majestic Queen Anne Victorian is a reader favorite. Built from a kit in 1897, the home has all the details you expect from a life-sized dollhouse.

1552 Monterey Place (at the corner of Catherine St.) in Mobile, Alabama

Today, the “Easton” home is a functioning Bed and Breakfast with a stellar reputation–and it’s for sale! Check out the gorgeous photos and all the stats here. Have you ever wanted to own a B&B? This is the perfect one to step into. The current owners are welcoming and full of all the Southern hospitality you’d expect. I give a nod to the Kate Shepard House name by having the oldest Easton sister, Susan, married to a David Shepard of Grand Bay.

What other homes or locations do you wish to read about and see? I’ll be sure to feature them in the weeks ahead.

Haunted Remains Soundtrack

I used to post this for all my books, but I think I’ve forgotten to with the past few releases. So, here it is (once more) for your listening pleasure: the Haunted Remains Soundtrack.

It’s a broad range of music styles, which represents my eclectic taste as well as the range of emotions in the book. Feel free to jump around with the tunes or only listen to what you like or aren’t familiar with–it’s up to you. Have fun!

The soundtrack listen in chronological order. If you’ve read the book, you’ll be able to follow along with the plot points.

1. The Cult’s “Sun King” is a song inspired by King Louis XIV of France but it works well for Alexander’s often bloated view of himself.

2. “Kiss Me When You Come Home” by Hanson works well for both the Melling and Davenport couples.

3. Shinedown’s “How Did You Love” is a great reminder for Alexander–and everyone–that it’s your actions that speak louder than words.

4. “Shameless” by Garth Brooks. Need I say who the song is for?

5. Another one for both the Mellings and Davenports, “You Lift Me” by my favorite singer, Mitch Malloy.

6. “Sweet Love Child” by Europe captures the sensuality of Alexander and Lucy’s relationship and the power it holds over him.

7. “Demons” by Imagine Dragons could possibly be the theme song for The Possession Chronicles, but in Haunted Remains we fully see Alexander’s struggle with his inner demons.

8. Vance Joy’s “Lay It On Me” is another two-for-one double duty song.

9. One more by Imagine Dragons–“Bleeding Out”–to show that Alexander has atoned and will give anything to make things right, especially for Lucy and her daughter.

10. “In Her Eyes” by Josh Groban closes things out, showcasing Alexander’s thoughts on his marriage and all he’s been through.

I hope you enjoyed the musical journey through Haunted Remains. Is there a song you think fits the book?

Online Event!

In celebration of my critique partner’s debut novel that releases tomorrow, June 15, I’m participating in my first official event in over a year. WooHoo!

The event is a Zoom conversation all about Southern Gothic, with just a few highlights about each of our new releases. It’s FREE and hosted by The Haunted Book Shop here in downtown Mobile, Alabama, but everyone is welcome to join us–even if you aren’t local.

Register here to receive the link and come hang out with us for an hour. Candice Marley Conner‘s Southern Gothic YA mystery The Existence of Bea Pearl is the main release we’re celebrating. Besides me and Candice, author Jodi Cain Smith is joining us. She is the founder of the Mobile Literary Festival, which I’ve been lucky enough to work on with her from the beginning. Besides that connection, all of us (including Angela from The Haunted Book Shop) are Mobile Writers Guild members, so it will be like a literary family reunion.

If you have any interest in Southern Gothic or want to learn what it’s all about, join us. There will be a Q&A at the end too.

And, one more time, in case you missed the embedded hyper-link above. Here’s the registration information.

May Thoughts and Adventures

First off, this will be my only offering this month. I’m two and a half weeks into first drafting a novel and preparing for a journey. The adventure will be discussed in my June newsletter. (Now is a good time to register for that if you haven’t already.)

My current project is the third book in what I now know is a trilogy spin-off of The Possession Chronicles. With the first manuscript, I thought I was writing a stand alone. Then I realized those main characters needed to finish their story, nineteen years later. And when I finished that second story, I knew those people and the next generation needed one more novel–and a couple more years–to come full circle. I’m at twenty-two thousand words and feeling great about it. At least today. Emotions over projects have an ebb and flow. Some days everything looks like junk, the next day it can be jewels.

Me with my novels and anthologies featuring my short stories–and lots of azaleas–in March 2021.

One of my June blog posts will have the cover reveal for Haunted Remains, the sixth novel in The Possession Chronicles. I’m super excited for this reveal. It will have a depiction of Alexander Melling as the focus as he is one of the POV characters. It’s about time he gets to share his side of things as the series wouldn’t be possible without his choices. He’ll join Lucy, Eliza, Magdalene, Claudio, and Frederick in this epic cover collection created by Ashley Byland.

I’ll catch up with you in a few weeks. In the meantime, happy reading! If you want to keep up with me in between blog posts or the monthly newsletter, check out my social media links on the CONTACT page and follow me on one (or more) of those sites.