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.

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?

Springing Along

After finishing the first draft of my latest project at the end of March, I took a few days off to reset my mind. Powering through 118,000 words in just over two months merits a mini-break. Then, I dove into what I think was my final round–or next to final round–of self edits (draft twenty-four) of Barren Devotion, the seventh novel in The Possession Chronicles.

One of the period pieces of photography that helped me set the mood for Barren Devotion.

Yesterday, I completed the first draft of a short story to submit to the next Mobile Writers Guild anthology. The deadline is May first, so I’ll be powering through edits the next few weeks. I even gave it the first round of edits last night after only a couple hours away from it–not the best thing to do, but I’m on a time crunch. Generally, the longer you’re away from a project, the easier it is to see the flaws. Fortunately, I have just enough time to submit the story to my critique group so it can have more eyes on it before submitting. That’s always a good thing–especially for writers like me with dyslexic tendencies.

It looks like the rest of April will be spent editing the short story, while waiting to hear from the editor of Haunted Remains, the 6th novel in The Possession Chronicles. The next book releases this July and several editing rounds with a professional will be happening before then. And the cover art–I always look forward to that.

I already have an idea for another project, but it’s on hold until I see to these deadline projects. I tend to get obsessive about projects and find it difficult to balance more than one at a time, so I hold back the new ideas until I get a clear creative calendar. That doesn’t work for everyone. A lot of people I know, if they don’t act on an idea, they lose it. For me, it builds up like pressure behind a dam and when I get to it, it spews out. Not a pretty visual, but first drafts are messy.

At least, that’s how it’s worked for me the past few years. Creativity has an ebb and flow, just like the rest of life. I used to not be able to fast draft. Now I can–except for last year. It took me thirteen months to draft one novel when the previous six novels took an average of two months each. But this last one put me back on my fast draft schedule. I don’t force it–I go with it. Life is too short to be overly hard on yourself, especially with creativity. Take breaks, reset, allow your output to change with life’s demands. We’re human.

Cover Reveal for Mosaic of Seduction

Cover art for the next release–my first (and so far, only planned) novella–is here! Though a series of eight main novels, The Possession Chronicles continues to grow with short stories, this novella, and my current works-in-progress: spin-off novels. Welcome Eliza Rose Melling to the the cover art world of this Southern Gothic family saga.

Cover design for Mosaic of Seduction (and the rest of The Possession Chronicles) by Asley Byland of Redbird Designs.

I finished the first draft of Mosaic of Seduction a year and a half ago. It was an interesting feat to juggle because it is #1.5 and the first two books in the series were already published–and the third in final edits–when I wrote this one. (Translation: everything was set in stone, as opposed to when I wrote all eight novels before publication of the first and could go back to earlier books and tweak things to fit the evolving narrative.)

While I knew the basics of what happened between Perilous Confessions and Murmurs of Evil, I didn’t have answers to all the details. Eliza Melling’s side of the story was more colorful than I expected, and like her father, she didn’t play fair. She threw me some massive curveballs–like being engaged–that I had to make work with the already published storyline. And Claudio! He didn’t share with Magdalene half of what he went through with Eliza at Seacliff Cottage. Filling in this missing year from the timeline was both fun and frightening.

Be on the lookout for Mosaic of Seduction. “Buy” links will be forthcoming–within the next few weeks. It’s a quiet release, no set release date, but it will be FREE to download digitally from your favorite online bookseller. A paperback edition will also be available for purchase for those collecting the physical series. Enjoy this special addition to The Possession Chronicles and the unfiltered view it gives you into the Melling family dynamics.

Pinterest Boards

As a highly visual person, I enjoy utilizing Pinterest for research and story ideas. I have boards for each of my novels and even some of the main characters, as well as for favorite things like books, movies, and colors.

While I search things on Pinterest, I also do a ton of research for my historical fiction in person–on location and in libraries. I have a lot of research photos that I haven’t added to Pinterest, though I sometimes post about them on social media. Here are a few samplings from the 1910 Mobile Register newspaper I came across while researching for Scarred Memories–great examples of how truly modern the era was.

Would taking the time to upload my research photos be something you’d be interested in seeing? (I’m adding these two to the Scarred Memories board now.)
Give me a follow if you’re on Pinterest.