Gratitude Check In

We’re halfway through November. Though life as we know it might not be what we expected a year ago, there are plenty of things to be thankful for. Yes, I write a lot of Gothic stories but I’m a Pollyanna at heart. I may not play “The Glad Game”, but I do have a window full of prisms (that look especially lovely this time of year when the sun is lower) and I always try to look on the Brightside.

So what’s the happy news? I’ll choose three things out of many.

1. I’m enjoying my new glasses. I’ve been using OTC readers for several years for increasingly numerous things and finally got an eye exam last month. On a walk one day last week, I decided they make a good flower holder.

Me. No filter. No makeup.

2. I’m almost done with the first draft of a new novel. I’ve mentioned before that I was slamming out first drafts of The Possession Chronicles novels (average word count for those was 120,000) in about two months. Ode to 2020 and emotional exhaustion, I’ve been struggling to complete a novel I began a year ago this month. I passed 75K on it last night and hope to complete it by Thanksgiving/the end of the month.

Historical inspiration for the main character.

This project is a Possession Chronicles spinoff–a stand alone young adult Gothic novel that takes place in 1897. I get to weave in my Fortitude research (which took place in 1898) as well as Possession Chronicles tidbits, and give a detailed backstory to a minor character from the series (Sean Spunner) while name dropping a few of the main families from the series (Easton and Melling). I’m back to my coming-of-age roots with this one, complete with first person POV for the main character and teen angst/hormones with other main players. (Ever wonder what a Mystics of Dardenne member was like before his initiation, you’ll find out with seventeen-year-old Sean.)

3. Another sale on books! There’s been a lot of those lately. While I share them on social media pages and, if timing is right, in my monthly newsletter, I’m making an effort to include my blog/website with news like this. In celebration of the forthcoming Homeroom Heroes Christmas charity anthology, Bienvenue Press has the digital editions of the two previous Christmas anthologies on sale the month of November. Hometown Heroes benefits Cajun Navy Relief and Rescue and features a Fortitude short, “Courtship and Courage”. Finally Home proceeds go to regional animal rescue nonprofits. You can read Possession Chronicles short #3.5, “Grace Shadowed”, there.

These Christmas anthologies are romance collections, so my stories are a bit cheerier/happily ever after than typical, but I do keep the hint of Southern Gothic readers have come to expect from me. Find “Natural Selection in Life and Love”, Possession Chronicles #6.1 (which takes place the winter of 1912-1913), in next month’s release of Homeroom Heroes.

That wraps things up for me. How are things going for you? Are you able to find the Brightsides in your life?

New Release for Halloween

After last month’s hurricane and then being without use of a computer for over two weeks due to delayed repair issues from Hurricane Sally, I fell off my typical twice a month blogging schedule. Fortunately, I feel like things are back to “normal” for me now–if normal is a spectrum, I’ve at least got a toe on it.

Computer screens aren’t supposed to look like this.

The big news is my latest release–a Possession Chronicles short story. Halloween Pieces, the fourth anthology from Mobile Writers Guild, is available now. A collection of poetry and prose all revolving around Halloween features the diverse membership of our coastal Alabama group.

The four Pieces anthologies. I have a short story in each, from left to right: “Of Goats and Gators” (the short that was my springing board for Fortitude), “Masked Flaws” (The Possession Chronicles prequel short featuring Edmund Easton–this story also available as a free digital read when you subscribe to my newsletter), “Safe Embrace” (a sweet Valentine’s Fortitude/Possession Chronicles crossover with Claire as the main character), and “The Portrait of Eliza Melling”.

My offering, “The Portrait of Eliza Melling”, is historical Southern Gothic–this time with a strong paranormal flare as reader favorite Eliza Melling (who we haven’t seen actively on page since Perilous Confessions) returns in the form of a ghost on Halloween night 1910. It overlaps the Halloween Flirts dance featured in book four, Scarred Memories. Thanks to Eliza’s biting sarcasm, it ended up with a touch of dark comedy. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

Find Possession Chronicles short story #4.1 “The Portrait of Eliza Melling” in this new collection.

Any of The Possession Chronicles stories make great reading on autumn nights. They aren’t all creepy, but the horrors of family secrets and scandal can be just as chilling.

Happy spooky season reading, everyone!

Find more images like this one on my Instagram account. I post a lot of Instagram exclusives you won’t find anywhere else.

Bienvenue to the Chateau Rouge Pt.2

Yet another guest blog snippet. This is from my co-write with Jolie St. Amant showcasing an excerpt from “Revelry’s Requiem” when Father Claudio De Fiore of The Possession Chronicles arrives in New Orleans during Mardi Gras 1911 to visit is cousin, Valentino–who readers met in SCARRED MEMORIES. The Chateau Rouge at that time was a brothel and Claudio soon realizes what his cousin has trapped him into entering.

Site Title

For the next few weeks, we will be hosting authors from Bienvenue to the Chateau Rouge, an anthology that takes place in the enchanted Chateau Rouge Hotel in New Orleans. You will get to see the first reactions and setting from different perspectives as the characters check-in. This week, Jolie St. Amant and Carrie Dalby will be sharing some of their short story, “Revelry’s Requiem”.  So, sit back, have a cup of coffee or tea, and enjoy!

On the Front Porch with “Revelry’s Requiem”

Hotel reception bell

Chateau Rouge wore a crisp gray façade, decorative wrought iron balconies servicing the three floors above the entry. Claudio received a few choice looks from passersby before a doorman stepped aside for him.

The pale blue, cream, and gold Grecian style could not disguise what Claudio had learned to recognize as dark spirits within a beautiful setting. Whispering a prayer, he passed his bag to…

View original post 721 more words

Hostile Charms by Carrie Dalby

My final guest post for this summer series featuring front porches, this time with a sneak peek at the forthcoming HOSTILE CHARMS, releasing in September.

Site Title

For the next few weeks, we will be hosting authors from Bienvenue Press who will be sharing scenes from their books that highlight their settings. This week, Carrie Dalby stops by the Front Porch to share some of her southern gothic book, Hostile Charms. So, sit back, have a cup of coffee or tea, and enjoy!

On the Front Porch with Hostile Charms

2020 June30 KSH full

I’ve returned to the front porch today for my sixth and final instalment of my front porch tour. Hostile Charms is the fifth book in The Possession Chronicles. For this one, we’re still in Mobile, Alabama, but the year is now 1912. As in the previous post did, this excerpt features Phoebe Davenport, though she’s with a new helper—Melissa—and this time is on the porch of her mother and stepfather’s house, yet another historic home in town.

***

By the time Phoebe roamed the hall, Lucy was…

View original post 446 more words

Scarred Memories by Carrie Dalby

Another guest blog post, this time featuring the Davenport house. Be sure to check my website and take a look at the new banner photo. There’s a new cover listed! Book 5 of The Possession Chronicles releases September 8, 2020.

Site Title

For the next few weeks, we will be hosting authors from Bienvenue Press who will be sharing scenes from their books that highlight their settings. This week, Carrie Dalby stops by the Front Porch to share some of her southern gothic book, Scarred Memories. So, sit back, have a cup of coffee or tea, and enjoy!

On the Front Porch with Scarred Memories 

1905 Setting Frederick house2

I’m back on the front porch today for my fifth instalment. Scarred Memories is the fourth book in The Possession Chronicles. For this one, we return to Mobile, Alabama, in 1910. On the Davenports’ front porch, we have three-year-old Phoebe and her babysitter, Darla Beauchamp of Dauphin Island, preparing for Halloween. Hopefully it will help cool you during the heat of summer. It is well shaded.

***

Phoebe sat at the top of the front porch steps, basket in her lap, while Naomi stood inside the open…

View original post 301 more words