Setting locations of The Possession Chronicles: Part 1

To follow up my two previous posts focusing on the homes of the characters in The Possession Chronicles, I’m going to take a few weeks to showcase other setting locations. First off, here is a 2018 aerial view of downtown Mobile, Alabama. It’s taken from the north, looking south–so the opposite of a map if you pull one up to see more. Mobile River is on the left/east (see the cruise ship–there’s a terminal for it on the riverfront).

I’ve marked some key streets and locations–some of which no longer exist, but I’ll note them below.


A: The historic Courthouse (no longer there–it’s now Mardi Gras Park. The current “Government Plaza” is the large building two properties to the right.)

B: Battle House Hotel (still at the corner of Royal and St. Francis, rebuilt from the 1905 fire–it really happened as it did in Perilous Confessions).

C: Bienville Square (with the fountain, still there!)

D: Marking the spot between Melling and Associates (obviously a fake business, but a real location with an updated building currently there) and the Aethelwulf Club, the exclusive men’s club inspired by a real one–mentioned most often in the short stories.

E: Alexander’s “duplex” (on St. Francis Street, private home, still standing)

F: The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (It was made Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception about sixty years ago–and as such, now has crypts for the bishops in the basement.)

G: Temperance Hall, sight of Mardi Gras masquerades and more (torn down in 1923, new building in its place)

BONUS: The three main roads that run eat/west are marked:

Government Street–the courthouse was on it and the Mellings’ mansion would be about a mile to the right/west off the photograph.

Dauphin Street–a major shopping area and trolley line in the day (still shopping and entertainment/arts district–similar to the French Quarter in that other Southern city that also celebrates Mardi Gras though Mobile started it).

St. Francis Street–often mentioned (Melling and Associates, the duplex, etc. are on it)

(Conti Street runs between Government and Dauphin Street, but it isn’t notable to the plot lines in the series.)

BONUS FYI:

Frederick’s house would be three blocks down/north and three blocks right/west from “G”, but State Street is off the map.


The Eastons’ house is about 3 miles to the right/west from the cathedral–between Dauphin and Government streets off Catherine St.

The original location of Trinity Episcopal (Frederick Davenport’s congregation)–it’s now several miles to the west down Dauphin Street after being moved brick by brick–was at the corner of St. Anthony and Jackson Streets, right about at the bottom right corner of the photograph.

Monroe Park, no longer in existence, would be a mile or more south, on Mobile Bay, after Mobile River meets the bay. Location of several dates/outings for characters. It had the roller coaster, Yacht Club pier, and more.

Now, which places would you like to learn more about? I’ve already had a request for the cathedral, so I’ll share about that next time for sure.

P.S. Here’s a teaser for the next novel in The Possession Chronicles. The expected release date is December 14, 2021, so plan to add it to your winter reading list. There are several holiday scenes in it and nothing says “Merry Christmas” more than dysfunctional family drama, right? And yes, that’s Mobile’s cathedral in the image. Cover reveal for Barren Devotion coming soon!

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.

Free Fortitude

¬†Couldn’t we all use a little extra grit and determination right about now? I know I could.

As a timely gift, my first published novel (now in its second edition), FORTIUDE, is available as a FREE download on Kindle this week. This coming-of-age novel features Claire O’Farrell and her Dauphin Island family, as well as her Creole best friend and Buffalo Soldiers amid the backdrop of the Spanish-American War in 1898. Sadly, those themes are relevant to current events, with hurricanes on the Gulf Coast and acts of war all over the news in recent weeks.

Fortitude is often claimed as a reader favorite from all my novels. It’s geared for ages twelve and older, so it can be shared with younger relatives and friends. I’ve spoken to several schools and at writing events for upper elementary grades through high schoolers about it. It’s even on the small but mighty “Best History Books” list for Grateful American Kids for its historical accuracy and reader engagement–a true honor. (Out of only about fifty books listed, Fortitude is up there with the likes of Newbery winners, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Maya Angelou!)

And, of course, I’ll remind you that Fortitude does tie into The Possession Chronicles. If you’re reading the series, you’ll want to dive into Fortitude because a relation to Claire (and Joe) plays a sizeable roll in the forthcoming final novel of the series.

So grab your free download of Fortitude this week and tell a friend! It’s a great read to discuss in book clubs or one-on-one. And, as always, I’m happy to answer any questions about it–just reach out.

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?