Final Stop on the Guided Tour of the Fury Falls Inn – Residence Upper Floor #visual #layout #FracturedCrystals #FuryFallsInn #HistoricalFiction #HistFic #amwriting #amreading #books #novel

One more stop on my guided tour of the interior of the Fury Falls Inn! If you missed the beginning, feel free to loop back to the Falcon’s Eye view of the property where the Fury Falls Inn is situated, then wander through as the Main Floor, before climbing the stairs to the Upper Floor  to see the guest rooms. Last time we wandered through the Residence Main Floor, and today we’re going on upstairs to take a peek at where the family sleeps. Remember that the inn is a large building, comprised of two separate structures joined by the covered porch.

The family continues to grow as each of Cassie brothers find their way to the inn. When you climb the stairs to the second floor, you emerge into a large hallway with doors leading to the bedrooms. Off to the right is where Mercy and Reggie’s bedroom is located. Beside theirs, at the front of the building, is where Sheridan’s room is located, making it easy for him to ease out of his room early in the morning and go downstairs to start the day’s cooking.

Upper floor of the Residence at the Fury Falls Inn.

Cassie offered to share her room with Mandy due to the ongoing threat to single women in the region. I’m sure Abram doesn’t mind the fact that he’s sharing a room with Daniel, especially since it’s located next door to his fiancée. In the left rear corner you’ll find Flint’s room, which is a larger room befitting the interim innkeeper.

The front left corner is where Giles is sharing a large, two-bed room with his friends, Zander and Matt. There’s one spare room left in the residence… I wonder who will ultimately occupy it? Silas is the only brother left to arrive; he’s on his way. Perhaps he’ll move in there if Flint decides that’s fitting.

The furniture and furnishings are pretty basic in each room: a bed (or two), a dresser, perhaps a wardrobe, and a table and chairs by the window. Each has some kind of curtain or drape at the window to pull shut to darken the room, or block out the flash of lightning.

Thank you for your attention as we complete the guided tour of the Fury Falls Inn. Please descend the stairs and exit out the front door. I hope you enjoyed the tour. <grin>

Happy reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

Fury Falls Inn in 1821 Alabama. A place for ghosts, witches, and magic. A place of secrets and hidden dangers. A place where Daniel Fairhope’s family kept life-changing secrets from him.

His sister’s magic is coveted by two powerful, angry witches intent on her willing compliance with their demands. Worse, a witch hunter is on the loose, determined to rid the area of all witches. Struggling to cope with those threats, Daniel discovers his own unique and powerful ability as well as those of his estranged brothers. Abilities they’ll need to unite to protect their sister and the family secrets. But these challenges all pale in comparison to convincing the captivating woman he meets at the inn to trust him before she breaks his heart.

Books2Read    Amazon      Barnes & Noble     Kobo     Apple

If you’d like an autographed paperback, personalized to you or someone you want to give it to, and mailed to you for only $18, you can order one directly from me here. Be sure to give me the name you want it made out to and your mailing address (you can send both to me at betty@bettybolte.com) and I’ll send it out as soon as possible.

Guided Tour of the Fury Falls Inn – Residence Main Floor #visual #layout #FracturedCrystals #FuryFallsInn #HistoricalFiction #HistFic #amwriting #amreading #books #novel

Welcome back to my guided tour of the interior of the Fury Falls Inn! If you missed the beginning, feel free to loop back to the Falcon’s Eye view of the property where the Fury Falls Inn is situated, then wander through as the Main Floor, before climbing the stairs to the Upper Floor  to see the guest rooms. Remember that the inn is a large building, comprised of two separate structures joined by the covered porch. Let’s cross the dog-trot porch and go into the residence side.

The family enjoys a large common room that functions as the casual parlor and dining room combined. There’s a large fireplace to the left on the wall of the dog-trot porch where they gather for family meetings, adding chairs as needed from other parts of the room. The dining table is surrounded by chairs, waiting for a family gathering. Since the sons have been away from home, the chairs waited with little hope of such an event. But as they boys venture to the inn, the chances for that family dinner is growing!

Main floor of the Fairhope family residence at the Fury Falls Inn.

Off to the right is Reggie’s office, the one Flint uses in his absence. That lone window is the one Flint gazes out of when he’s pondering his future as a hostelry man. The formal family parlor at the right rear of the building doesn’t see much use, since they don’t entertain guests very often. Perhaps one day they’ll have an occasion to use its finer furniture and furnishings, but not so far… If you look out the windows at the back of the building you’ll have a fine view of the Appalachian foothills as well as the row or outbuildings and Cassie’s garden.

Only one more section to tour and that’s the family’s quarters upstairs. Until next time…

Happy reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

Fury Falls Inn in 1821 Alabama. A place for ghosts, witches, and magic. A place of secrets and hidden dangers. A place where Daniel Fairhope’s family kept life-changing secrets from him.

His sister’s magic is coveted by two powerful, angry witches intent on her willing compliance with their demands. Worse, a witch hunter is on the loose, determined to rid the area of all witches. Struggling to cope with those threats, Daniel discovers his own unique and powerful ability as well as those of his estranged brothers. Abilities they’ll need to unite to protect their sister and the family secrets. But these challenges all pale in comparison to convincing the captivating woman he meets at the inn to trust him before she breaks his heart.

Books2Read    Amazon      Barnes & Noble     Kobo     Apple

If you’d like an autographed paperback, personalized to you or someone you want to give it to, and mailed to you for only $18, you can order one directly from me here. Be sure to give me the name you want it made out to and your mailing address (you can send both to me at betty@bettybolte.com) and I’ll send it out as soon as possible.

Guided Tour of the Fury Falls Inn – Upper Floor #visual #layout #FracturedCrystals #FuryFallsInn #HistoricalFiction #HistFic #amwriting #amreading #books #novel

Now that we’ve looked at the Falcon’s Eye view of the property where the Fury Falls Inn is situated as well as the Main Floor, let’s look at the guest rooms upstairs. Remember that the inn is a large building, comprised of two separate structures joined by the covered porch. The upper floor of the public side of the building is arranged with a central hall dividing the 7 guest rooms, with a common seating area at the back by a window. A linen closet is at the front of the building, at the top of the stairs which lead down to the first floor landing near the door to the dog-trot porch between the structures.

The upper floor of the Fury Falls Inn

You’ll notice in the image that each guest room is simply furnished: a bed, dresser, table and chair by the window. There are no closets in the rooms, since they were uncommon if they existed at that time frame. Wardrobes of one kind or another were used far more often. In more rustic dwellings the inhabitants might use pegs on the wall to hang frequently worn clothing and coats/cloaks or trunks to store their better clothing away from dust and light. The simplicity of these temporary accommodations is the reason why Cassie’s father ventured so far to make high-quality improvements to the furniture and furnishings. He really wants to impress his customers!

Next time we’ll look into the private lives of the Fairhope family, with a peek at the main floor of their residence.

I’m so thrilled to be on the cusp of the release of Fractured Crystals! Tomorrow is the big day! I hope you enjoy meeting Daniel and learning more about his life before coming to the inn for the first time.

Happy reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

Fury Falls Inn in 1821 Alabama. A place for ghosts, witches, and magic. A place of secrets and hidden dangers. A place where Daniel Fairhope’s family kept life-changing secrets from him.

His sister’s magic is coveted by two powerful, angry witches intent on her willing compliance with their demands. Worse, a witch hunter is on the loose, determined to rid the area of all witches. Struggling to cope with those threats, Daniel discovers his own unique and powerful ability as well as those of his estranged brothers. Abilities they’ll need to unite to protect their sister and the family secrets. But these challenges all pale in comparison to convincing the captivating woman he meets at the inn to trust him before she breaks his heart.

Books2Read    Amazon      Barnes & Noble     Kobo     Apple

If you’d like an autographed paperback, personalized to you or someone you want to give it to, and mailed to you for only $18, you can order one directly from me here. Be sure to give me the name you want it made out to and your mailing address (you can send both to me at betty@bettybolte.com) and I’ll send it out as soon as possible.

Getting to know Carrie Dalby #author #historical #southerngothic #YA #novels #novellas

Getting to know Carrie Dalby #author #historical #southerngothic #YA #novels #novellas

Please help me welcome author Carrie Dalby to the interview hot seat! First a glance at her bio and then we’ll dive right in…

Carrie Dalby, a California native, has lived in Mobile, Alabama, since 1996. Carrie has published eight novels (with more on the way), one novella, nine short stories, and several non-fiction articles in national and international magazines. Besides serving two terms as president of Mobile Writers Guild, Carrie worked as the Mobile area Local Liaison for SCBWI from 2012-2017, volunteers with Metro Mobile Literacy Council events whenever possible, and helps coordinate the Mobile Literary Festival. When Carrie’s not reading, writing, browsing bookstores/libraries, or homeschooling, she can often be found knitting or attending concerts.

Author Social Links: Facebook * Instagram * Twitter

Betty: What inspired you to write the story you’re sharing with us today?

Carrie: The Possession Chronicles started because the editor I worked with on my first two published novels (Fortitude and Corroded) encouraged me to try my hand at horror. Based on my descriptive style, he said I had “serious horror chops.” I went toward the Gothic end of the horror spectrum. While the whole series is “Southern Gothic family saga,” several of the books in the series could be labeled as “Gothic horror”—mainly Murmurs of Evil and Tendrils of Passion, which were written first. After completing those, I wrote what is now the first book in the series Perilous Confessions, which has horrific events like any good Southern Gothic does, playing upon class distinction, religious morals, debauchery, and “madness,” to name a few themes.

Betty: Which character was the hardest to get to know?

Carrie: Alexander Melling, one hundred percent! I had him planned out and wanted to keep him in his little box because I didn’t like him and he needed to fit my plans. Being the entitled man he was, he made his own choices beyond my outline and kept screwing up what I thought was the proper story for the series. He ended up having so many layers to his personality that surprised me and finally won me over—many manuscripts later. What I hear from readers is that they either love him or love to hate him, and I’ve felt both extremes with him.

Betty: What kind of research did you need to do to write this story?

Carrie: I thoroughly researched turn-of-the-century Mobile, Alabama, as well as the time period in general to capture the Ragtime/Edwardian Era and beyond. That included reading novels written during that time period (not historicals set then—but the actual authors alive and active in those years), digging through newspapers of those years, and basically spending hours at the local history library going through microfilm, maps, and files for the current events, property size, Mardi Gras happenings, and disasters. I used historic buildings and locations from the Mobile Bay area and based the masquerade gowns on actual dresses from those years.

Betty: How many drafts of the story did you write before you felt the story was complete?

Carrie: All my books go through at least two dozen drafts and some over fifty. I started the series thinking I was writing a stand-alone novel, but kept adding to it because the characters weren’t settling down. I kept thinking “one more.” Not until I was at the fifth novel did I realize it was going to take several more to complete the full story arc. After finishing the eighth novel, I went back and wrote a novella bridging the first and second novels.

Betty: What rituals or habits do you have while writing?

Carrie: I like listening to music while I write and always have water to drink.

Betty: Do you have a special place to write? Revise? Read?

I’ll read and write anywhere, at any time—in the car, waiting rooms, in the kitchen, etc. For editing, I need quiet and as few interruptions as possible.

Betty: As an author, what do you feel is your greatest achievement?

Carrie: So far, having Fortitude (my historical Southern Gothic teen novel) listed as a “Best History Book” for Kids by Grateful American Foundation is my greatest achievement. The list only includes about fifty titles, most of which are Newbery Award winners or other classics by authors like Maya Angelou and Harper Lee.

Betty: What other author would you like to sit down over dinner and talk to? Why?

Carrie: Frances Parkinson Keyes. She was excellent with flawed characters and weaving real events into her historic novels. I call her my Southern Gothic soul sister, though she wrote more than just Southern Gothic. She brought so many characters/families to life through different tragedies and triumphs in her novels. And yes, her novels make me cry.

Betty: Success looks different to different people. It could be wealth, or fame, or an inner joy at reaching a certain level. How do you define success in terms of your writing career?

Carrie: Evoking feelings in readers is my ultimate success. Whether it’s love or loathing, if readers have a connection with the characters, it’s a win for me. The best is hearing that the story made someone cry. It’s all about a human connection.

The Possession Chronicles is a Southern Gothic family saga series with eight main novels, as well as a novella (#1.5), published by Bienvenue Press. The series is set in the Mobile Bay area on the Gulf Coast of Alabama between 1904 and 1929. Fans of period dramas and multi-generational sagas like The Thorn Birds, Peyton Place, Downton Abbey, Poldark, and Wuthering Heights will enjoy the lush historical descriptions, scandals, and characters.

Buy Links: Amazon

Sounds like an interesting read, Carrie! Thanks for sharing your writing process and inspiration with us.

Happy reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Getting to know Ellen Prager #author #scientist #books #childrens #fiction #nonfiction  

My guest today brings a very refreshing perspective to her writing. Please help me welcome Ellen Prager to the interview hot seat! Let’s look at her interesting background and then find out more about her writing inspiration and process.

Dr. Ellen Prager is a marine scientist and well published author, widely recognized for her expertise and ability to make science entertaining and understandable for people of all ages. She currently works as a freelance writer, Chief Scientist for StormCenter Communications, and science advisor to Celebrity Cruises in the Galapagos Islands. She was previously the Chief Scientist for the Aquarius Reef Base program in Key Largo, FL, which includes the world’s only undersea research station, and at one time the Assistant Dean at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. She is a frequently requested speaker for public-oriented events and has appeared on-air as an expert for the media, including on The Today Show, NBC NewsGood Morning America, CNN, The Weather Channel, and more. She has published numerous popular science books, including Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans’ Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter, along with children’s books, including her latest, Escape Greenland, the second book in her series for middle graders that combines fast-paced action, humor and relatable characters with fun learning about science, nature and in this book, climate change.

Author Social Links: Twitter

Betty: What inspired you to write the story you’re sharing with us today?

Ellen: Several years ago, while giving talks about some of my other popular science books (illustrated books for young children and non-fiction for high school and above), I was asked why I had never written anything for a middle grade audience (8 to 12 years old). The person asking went on to explain that middle grade is a very important and influential period in a person’s life in which he/she/they are exploring their interests, looking for role models and career paths, and have great influence over their peers and parents. So, I did my homework to discover what middle graders like to read. The answer: fiction and in particular adventure fiction with a humorous twist. I was particularly inspired by Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series in which he combines Greek mythology with adventure and especially sarcastic humor. Since then, I’ve published a three-book series entitled Tristan Hunt and the Sea Guardians (The Shark Whisperer, The Shark Rider, and Stingray City) and this book, Escape Greenland, which is the second book in The Wonder List Adventures (following Escape Galapagos). The books combine adventure, humor, and relatable characters with fun learning about the ocean, marine life, nature, science, and environmental issues.

Escape Greenland has an underlying theme of climate change, a topic I am very passionate and concerned about. I also traveled to Ilulissat, Greenland, for research on climate change for a non-fiction book and became mesmerized by the area and the Kangia icefjord, so I wanted to share it in a fun way with my readers. In the front of the Wonder List books are maps and in the back is a section entitled Real vs. Made-Up in which I ask the readers to decide what parts of the stories are based on real science and what is pure fiction. And then provide the answers.

Inspiration also comes from the overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic response to my previous books for middle graders. Reviews indicate that the humor, suspense, and fun characters in the books keep readers engaged while they learn, which is exactly what I was going for.

Betty: Which character arrived fully or mostly developed?

Ellen: Most fully developed was the main character, Ezzy Skylar. As the second book in the Wonder List Adventure series, she was already evolving after dealing with the grief of her mother dying, her younger brother not handling it well, and a phobia about animals in the wild. She had gained confidence and courage in the first book, but still had serious bouts of insecurity, felt like she wasn’t up to her mother’s legacy, and had become quick to judge others.

Betty: Which story element sparked the idea for this story: setting, situation, character, or something else?

Ellen: A combination of setting, the importance of educating readers about climate change in a fun and understandable way, and the characters.

Betty: What kind of research did you need to do to write this story?

Ellen: I previously went to Greenland to do research on climate change for a non-fiction book. So, I already had great photos and memories of the area and exploring it. For Escape Greenland however I needed to do more research on Greenland, the culture, local traditions, and the people.

Betty: How many drafts of the story did you write before you felt the story was complete?

Ellen: I am all about the rewrite. I go through untold number of drafts before I feel it is ready for prime time and other readers.

Betty: How long did it take for you to write the story you’re sharing with us? Is that a typical length of time for you? Why or why not?

Ellen: It probably took me about a year or a little bit less to write the book. I don’t have a typical length of time as it usually depends on what other projects I am working on, if I am traveling and speaking a lot, and how inspired I am.

Betty: What rituals or habits do you have while writing?

Ellen: I don’t necessarily have any specific rituals, but in terms of habits for me it is all about getting words on the page and rewriting. My goal is to fill those blank pages and then rewrite the hell out of it. It might not be an ideal method, but it works for me and I enjoy honing the text, adding humorous tidbits or fun character details and working on the dialogue.

Betty: Every author has a tendency to overuse certain words or phrases in drafts, such as just, once, smile, nod, etc. What are yours?

Ellen: Just is a big one for me. I need to delete a lot of “justs”. I often find that short, crisp, and to the point is more powerful than wordy sentences, especially for a younger audience. I also watch out for the use of really, very, and that.

Betty: Many authors have a day job. Do you? If so, what is it and do you enjoy it?

Ellen: My day job is several all-in-one and I feel extremely fortunate that I love most of them. I am a marine scientist by training and have had some really cool jobs. I taught oceanography to college students (and took them to sea aboard a tall sailing ship), did research in the Florida Keys with the U.S. Geological Survey, was an Assistant Dean at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, ran a marine laboratory in the Bahamas, and was the Chief Scientist for the world’s only operating undersea laboratory (I have lived underwater twice to study coral reefs). Now my main focus is on bringing ocean and earth science to broader audiences while keeping it accurate and entertaining. I am also the science/program advisor for Celebrity Cruises’ three expedition ships in the Galapagos Islands. So, I have to go to the Galapagos several times a year (a fantastic gig). And I work as the Chief Scientist for StormCenter Communications, Inc., where I consult on various projects. I also do a lot of public speaking, sometimes appear on television as an expert and was a consultant on Disney’s Moana (did I write I love my job?).

Betty: As an author, what do you feel is your greatest achievement?

Ellen: Inspiration! When a reader is inspired to learn, take positive action, be curious, laugh, or simply want to read more, I am utterly grateful and wonderfully satisfied. And in turn, a reader’s positive response inspires me to keep writing.

Betty: What other author would you like to sit down over dinner and talk to? Why?

Ellen: As I wrote earlier, I am a big fan of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series and his ability to combine mythology, adventure, and wickedly sarcastic and creative humor. I’d like to sit down with him to find out what inspires him, where he gets his ideas, and if he ever gets stuck in a plot. In general, I’d simply like to pick his brain a bit. He also seems like a great guy.

Betty: Success looks different to different people. It could be wealth, or fame, or an inner joy at reaching a certain level. How do you define success in terms of your writing career?

Ellen: That’s a difficult question for me to answer and one I am still working on. I don’t think I want fame, as I like my privacy outside of public events and sometimes find it difficult to accept praise. Wealth would be nice and offer security and more time to write, explore, and learn, but I think that’s a long shot. So far at least, great satisfaction has come with inspiring my readers and interacting with them. I think for me success is making a positive difference in my readers’ lives and it also brings me joy. Success or maybe satisfaction also comes when I can personally interact with my readers, answer questions, and see how engaged they are.

Ezzy Skylar, her brother Luke, and their father embark on a trip to number two on her deceased mother’s wonder list—Greenland’s Kangia Icefjord. While worrying that she didn’t inherit her mother’s gene for adventure, Ezzy and her family become embroiled in a dangerous plot. A flight across an obstacle course of icebergs, some hungry humpback whales, and a wild kayak ride atop a river inside a glacier will test Ezzy’s bravery and lead to an astonishing discovery.

Buy Links: TumbleHomeBooks * Amazon * IPGBook

What a cool job you have, Ellen! Thanks for sharing the inspiration behind your stories, too.

Happy reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Guided Tour of the Fury Falls Inn – Main Floor #visual #layout #FracturedCrystals #FuryFallsInn #HistoricalFiction #HistFic #amwriting #amreading #books #novel

Last time I shared the Falcon’s Eye view of the property where the Fury Falls Inn is situated. The inn is a large building, comprised of two separate structures joined by the covered porch. Two of the main rooms you’ll venture into within the stories of the series is the dining room and kitchen. But what do they actually look like? Let’s take a peek, shall we?

Floorplan of the main floor of the Fury Falls Inn in first 3 books of the series.

The main floor of the inn is on the left side of the structure when you’re riding up the front lane. You’ll see here on the far right the dog-trot porch (when I was designing this I short handed it the breezeway) that connects the inn to the residence side (not pictured) to the right. The double door entry is in the center of the front of the building, leading into the entrance hallway. To the right are is the door to the kitchen with its centered work table and sideboards around the walls. There is a door at the back right of the kitchen out onto the covered porch/breezeway.

Back in the entrance hall, looking off to the left you see an arched doorway that leads into the dining room. The bar where Flint works so frequently is straight ahead inside, with tables grouped around the room. The fireplace is on the far left wall, with the square piano that Cassie plays in the front left corner of the room. The entrance hallway leads to the left and right to doors to the covered porch.

This arrangement worked just fine until, in Fractured Crystals, Flint came up with the idea of adding a dance floor for the guests to move to Cassie’s music. So I had to shift the tables back and away, until the layout now looks like this.

Floorplan of the main floor of the Fury Falls Inn as in Fractured Crystals

Flint sure comes up with some interesting ideas for improving the service and offerings at the Fury Falls Inn. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book I write. He will suddenly tell me out of the blue some new improvement he wants to make and go ahead and do it without getting my approval. Effective but a bit inconsiderate, don’t you think? Anyway, I hope you preorder Fractured Crystals and then enjoy reading it when it releases October 12.

Happy reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

Fury Falls Inn in 1821 Alabama. A place for ghosts, witches, and magic. A place of secrets and hidden dangers. A place where Daniel Fairhope’s family kept life-changing secrets from him.

His sister’s magic is coveted by two powerful, angry witches intent on her willing compliance with their demands. Worse, a witch hunter is on the loose, determined to rid the area of all witches. Struggling to cope with those threats, Daniel discovers his own unique and powerful ability as well as those of his estranged brothers. Abilities they’ll need to unite to protect their sister and the family secrets. But these challenges all pale in comparison to convincing the captivating woman he meets at the inn to trust him before she breaks his heart.

Books2Read    Amazon      Barnes & Noble     Kobo     Apple

If you’d like an autographed paperback, personalized to you or someone you want to give it to, and mailed to you for only $18, you can order one directly from me here. Be sure to give me the name you want it made out to and your mailing address and I’ll send it out as soon as possible.

Falcon’s Eye View of the Fury Falls Inn Property #visual #layout #FracturedCrystals #FuryFallsInn #HistoricalFiction #HistFic #amwriting #amreading #books #novel

Before I launch into today’s topic, I’d like to share that you can nab the first 3 books in the Fury Falls Inn historical fantasy series at discounted prices through 9/27/21. See below for more details! And of course, Fractured Crystals releases on 10/12/21, so now is your chance to catch up for less moola. Enjoy!

Let’s talk visuals, shall we? Writers I know use a variety of visual media to help them layout their stories, their fictional towns and floor layouts, and more. Some use vision boards where they make a collage of the clothing, cars, furniture, whatever to refer to as they write. I have shared before the map I created for my A More Perfect Union historical romance series of where my characters “live” in Charleston, South Carolina. I went a little deeper for the Fury Falls Inn series, so I thought I’d share my visuals over the next few weeks before Fractured Crystals releases next month.

I strive to be consistent in my stories, from one to the next. I am compiling a series bible, updating it after each story I write to include any new characters, places, descriptions, etc. That way when I write the next story, I have a quick reference for all the details associated with the people, places, and things. So to ensure I have the property layout consistent, I started with my overall vision of the entire property.

The image shows a circular driveway with the Inn at the back, a row of outbuildings behind it, and a gazebo to the front right among some trees. To the left of the driveway is a stable, pig pen, and carriage house. Up the hill from the inn is where the Fury Falls and hot springs are located.
Aerial view of the Fury Falls Inn property

Now, don’t laugh at my amateurish mapping technique! It’s not something I would ever publish, other than to show you my behind-the-scenes tools. The mere process of creating this aerial view, from what is now the falcon’s eye view—you’ll have to read Fractured Crystals to understand his presence, though—fixed the property layout in my mind. Now when my characters are walking from place to place, I know what they’re seeing, what buildings are where, and what animals, too.

I enjoyed playing with the “drawing” tools in PowerPoint to create my layouts. The trees in particular. Note the road at the very bottom of the image. That’s the Winchester Road that goes from Huntsville, Alabama, to Winchester, Tennessee. Winchester Road still exists, by the way. My husband and I drove it a couple of years ago so I could experience the road as it is today and try to imagine what it might have been like 200 years ago. That’s a tough thing to do!

One of the interesting things about doing this is that the property changes occasionally due to events in the stories. So I’ll need to update some of my layouts going forward. I’ll probably share the before and after of some of the layouts over the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned!

Now, go grab a few books before the prices go back to their regular one. Happy reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

Amazon Fury Falls Inn Series Page

The Haunting of Fury Falls Inn (Free or $.99)

Fury Falls Inn in 1821 Alabama. A place for ghosts, witches, and magic. A place of secrets and hidden dangers. Cassie Fairhope longs for only one thing: to escape her mother’s tyranny. She has a plan, too. Seduce the young man, who is acting as innkeeper while her father is away on business, into marrying her. He’s handsome and available even though he doesn’t have feelings for her. Marriage is her only escape. Despite her mother’s strenuous objections.

But Flint Hamilton has his own plans and they don’t include marriage, even to the pretty temptress. He’s focused on securing his reputation in the hostelry business to make his father respect him. He quickly learns that running a roadside inn in northern Alabama in 1821 means dealing not only with the young woman and her hostile mother but also with horse thieves and rogues.

When tragedy strikes, Cassie and Flint are forced to face unforeseen challenges and dangerous decisions together in order to attempt to rid the inn of its newly arrived specter—who doesn’t have any plan to leave…

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Under Lock and Key ($1.99)

Fury Falls Inn in 1821 Alabama. A place for ghosts, witches, and magic. A place of secrets and hidden dangers. Giles Fairhope reluctantly journeys to the Fury Falls Inn for one reason: his beloved sister Cassie needs him after their mother was murdered.

His father and three brothers are far away, so she’s alone, without any family, in the wilderness of 1821 northern Alabama. He plans to find his mother’s killers, ensure Cassie’s safety, and then go home. Cassie begs him to stay until their father returns, but Giles has absolutely no desire to see him. When Cassie tells him their mother’s ghost haunts the inn, he suddenly faces his dead mother amidst shocking memories from his past and unexpected changes in himself.

His mother’s ghost insists he find not only the killers but a stolen set of keys. Keys which unlock more than an attic door but also surprising and dangerous family secrets. The revelations change everything he thought he knew about his family and threaten his sister’s safety and perhaps even her life…

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Desperate Reflections ($2.99)

Fury Falls Inn in 1821 Alabama. A place for ghosts, witches, and magic. A place of secrets and hidden dangers. Abram must protect his vulnerable sister from all of it. Before the dark side of magic ensnares her.

When Abram Fairhope grudgingly travels to the inn at his beloved sister’s request, he has no idea of the dire revelations about to upend his life. His only desire is to fulfill his familial duty and then get back to his job as senator’s aide. But the shocking truth of his very nature destroys all of his carefully laid plans. Worse still, he must use his newly revealed ability to shield his sister from terrible danger. Threats exist from within and without, especially the surprisingly pretty woman his jaded heart can’t seem to ignore. Can he keep his sister safe and still protect his heart?

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Fractured Crystals ($3.99)

Fury Falls Inn in 1821 Alabama. A place for ghosts, witches, and magic. A place of secrets and hidden dangers. A place where Daniel Fairhope’s family kept life-changing secrets from him.

His sister’s magic is coveted by two powerful, angry witches intent on her willing compliance with their demands. Worse, a witch hunter is on the loose, determined to rid the area of all witches. Struggling to cope with those threats, Daniel discovers his own unique and powerful ability as well as those of his estranged brothers. Abilities they’ll need to unite to protect their sister and the family secrets. But these challenges all pale in comparison to convincing the captivating woman he meets at the inn to trust him before she breaks his heart.

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If you’d like an autographed paperback, personalized to you or someone you want to give it to, and mailed to you for only $18, you can order one directly from me here. Be sure to give me the name you want it made out to and your mailing address and I’ll send it out as soon as possible.

Evolution of a College Name #FracturedCrystals #FuryFallsInn #HistoricalFiction #HistFic #amwriting #amreading #books #novel

I know I’ve mentioned many times just how much I enjoy doing research. Especially if I can actually go to an historic site. But that’s not always necessary. Today I want to talk about the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. I chose this college as Daniel Fairhope’s place of employment in 1821.

In Fractured Crystals, Daniel works at the East Tennessee College in Knoxville. However, according to the history on Wikipedia, the original name was Blount College when it was charted in 1794. Then it was recharted in 1807 as the East Tennessee College. In 1809, the first president and only faculty member, Samuel Carrick, died and the school closed. It wasn’t until 1820 the college reopened and needed to find a larger location to handle the growing number of students. In 1828, the college relocated to Barbara Hill, today known as The Hill.

I share that history to say that technically my character was employed by the school in 1821, when it was known as East Tennessee College as I say in the story. But he couldn’t have actually worked there for very long since it didn’t reopen until 1820. Now, the article doesn’t say exactly when in 1820 the school reopened, so there is that wiggle room, right? And the fact that there were growing pains would mean they’d need more teachers, so they’d likely hire Daniel despite his young age at the time.

I always find it fascinating to learn about the evolution of a place and its name. The reasons for the changing name of the college seem straightforward to me. The UT historic timeline states the college was originally named for the territorial Governor William Blount. Blount College also has the claim to fame of being the “first public university chartered west of the Appalachian Divide, one of the first coeducational colleges in America when five women were admitted in1804, and may have been the first school in the country open to students of all religions when most colleges were affiliated with Christian denominations.”

Sounds like quite a solid start to a fine institution, doesn’t it? I’m glad I chose this school for my story, too.

Have you preordered Fractured Crystals yet? I hope you enjoy the story. I had fun writing it!

Happy reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

FRACTURED CRYSTALS IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER!

RELEASES OCTOBER 12, 2021!

Fury Falls Inn in 1821 Alabama. A place for ghosts, witches, and magic. A place of secrets and hidden dangers. A place where Daniel Fairhope’s family kept life-changing secrets from him.

His sister’s magic is coveted by two powerful, angry witches intent on her willing compliance with their demands. Worse, a witch hunter is on the loose, determined to rid the area of all witches. Struggling to cope with those threats, Daniel discovers his own unique and powerful ability as well as those of his estranged brothers. Abilities they’ll need to unite to protect their sister and the family secrets. But these challenges all pale in comparison to convincing the captivating woman he meets at the inn to trust him before she breaks his heart.

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Nothing but Time: A Pocket Watch Timeskip Story #FracturedCrystals #FuryFallsInn #HistoricalFiction #HistFic #amwriting #amreading #books #novel

I’m happy to share that book 4 of the Fury Falls Inn historical fantasy series, Fractured Crystals, is now available for pre-order. See below for more about the story and links to order your copy today.

One of the themes in this story is time, specifically Daniel Fairhope’s ability to timeskip using a very special pocket watch. So, I thought I’d share what this antique watch looks like, or at least the images I used while writing Fractured Crystals.

I found the pocket watch online at the 1st Dibs website. I chose it as the model for my story because of its age and unique design. It’s described there as “a rare Georgian Verge pocket watch.” The watch was designed and signed by Abraham Colomby, a Swiss maker and retailer who died in Geneva in 1776. When this jewelry store offered the watch for sale (at $5,950, though it’s no longer available) it was still keeping time despite being crafted in 1760. Imagine that for a moment: it has been working for something like 261 years! Blows me away. The workmanship Mr. Colomby brought to bear on a watch.

I love the design of this fancy watch! The rose cut diamonds surrounding the front crystal face and the enamel portrait of a lady on the back, also surrounded by diamonds. Apparently, there are 142 rose cut diamonds in all. Now I did modify the watch a bit to add a second button for my timeskip purposes, but mostly I left it alone.

Here’s a short excerpt when Daniel first encounters the watch in Fractured Crystals:


Giles chuckled at the slight and Daniel shot him a quelling look. Giles merely shrugged and pulled a pocket watch from his front jeans pocket. The gold case with its ring of gems glinted in the evening light, a long chain securing the timepiece to his brother’s pocket. Everything around Daniel came to a standstill as he stared at the beautiful, captivating, entrancing watch. His brother studied the time and then glanced up at him, his smirk shifting into a puzzled frown.

“What’s the matter?” Giles held the watch on his palm, his gaze on Daniel.

“May I see it?” He needed to hold it. His fingers itched to grasp the gold object with a circle of small diamonds around the crystal. “Please?”

Giles regarded him for a long moment and then nodded. “I don’t know why, but now that you ask I feel like it’s the exact right thing to do.”

Giles released the chain’s clasp and then dropped the pocket watch lightly on Daniel’s outstretched palm. The name Abraham Colomby, the watch’s maker, graced the white face of the watch in a flowing script. The metal case warmed to his touch and a sense of peace and rightness filled him. A truly unique sensation. As if the watch had come home to him. He turned it over to stare into the painted coquettish eyes of a young woman in a fancy pink gown and large purple hat with white feathers arching above it on the back. On one side of the watch a nub of a stem bumped the pad of his thumb.

“Where did you get this?” Daniel asked Giles, meeting his brother’s surprised expression.

“In the trunks in Ma’s attic. At the time, I thought I wanted it for its utility but now I get the impression there was more to it.” Giles folded his arms over his massive chest, his eyes serious as he met Daniel’s gaze. “You look like you’ve found your true love, my brother.”

No, not his true love. Something more. A deeper connection. Daniel inspected the watch, turning it slowly in his hand. “I… It’s mine. I know it is, but I don’t remember ever seeing it before.” He frowned down at the gleaming gold metal and then glanced at his mother. “Do you know?”

“Well of course it’s yours, Daniel. You are a Timeskipper after all. I’ve kept it safe for you until your return. Or rather, Giles has kept it under his protection as Guardian.”


I hope you’ll enjoy meeting Daniel and getting to know more about the secretive Fairhope family as well. I’ve heard from several readers how anxious they are to read this story after reading the first three in the series: The Haunting of Fury Falls Inn, Under Lock and Key, and Desperate Reflections. Fractured Crystals is coming soon!

Happy reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

FRACTURED CRYSTALS IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER!

RELEASES OCTOBER 12, 2021!

Fury Falls Inn in 1821 Alabama. A place for ghosts, witches, and magic. A place of secrets and hidden dangers. A place where Daniel Fairhope’s family kept life-changing secrets from him.

His sister’s magic is coveted by two powerful, angry witches intent on her willing compliance with their demands. Worse, a witch hunter is on the loose, determined to rid the area of all witches. Struggling to cope with those threats, Daniel discovers his own unique and powerful ability as well as those of his estranged brothers. Abilities they’ll need to unite to protect their sister and the family secrets. But these challenges all pale in comparison to convincing the captivating woman he meets at the inn to trust him before she breaks his heart.

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Martha Washington Slept Here: Rockingham #history #Princeton #NewJersey #AmericanRevolution #HistoricalFiction #HistFic #amwriting #amreading #books #novel

The last of the war-time headquarters was in Princeton, New Jersey, or more precisely Rocky Hill, at a house known as Rockingham. According to the Rockingham site, the house was built around 1710 with two rooms and a lean-to. Judge John Berrien added on to the house in the 1760s, making the house first known as the Berrien Mansion. The original location of the house had it on a hill overlooking a river, but it has been moved several times to its current location.

George managed the final tasks of the army over several month in 1783. In fact he wrote to his nephew George Augustine Washington the following on August 18, 1783 from Newburgh: “I shall set off for Princeton tomorrow… I carry my baggage with me, it being the desire of the Congress that I should remain till the arrival of the Definitive Treaty…which…is every day expected.” He had no idea just how long he’d be cooling his heals upon his arrival, but from reading his correspondence during this period of time he became evermore antsy for the treaty to arrive so he could finally put finish to the war and go home to his beloved Mount Vernon. He had rarely visited his home over the duration of the hostilities beginning in June 1775 when he left for the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

Remember from last week’s post that he had to move on to this location even though Martha was still laid up with a fever back in Newburgh, NY, until she recovered in late August 1783. When she arrived at Rockingham, she found a two-story clapboard house overlooking a river. My hubby and I were fortunate to be able to tour the home with the caretaker and ask questions. Martha’s bedchamber, he said, was upstairs while George slept downstairs. I’m not sure I believe that, though, since the couple was very close and loved each other. The stairs leading to the second floor were rather narrow and steep, so I find it unlikely she’d want to have to traverse them frequently. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to take pictures inside, but the house is furnished with reproductions of furniture and furnishings of Washington’s time spent there.

On October 31, 1783, George Washington and Congress were informed of the signing of the final treaty declaring that the American States were now independent from Britain. Can you imagine the huge sigh of relief he must have let it out at such wonderful news? He could finally go home! Only not just yet. There were a couple more details that had to be handled. It was at Rockingham that George wrote the Farewell Orders to the Armies of the United States, which were delivered to the Continental Army at West Point, and probably his farewell speech he gave on his way home to Virginia.

Martha left for Mount Vernon early in November while George stayed behind. On December 4, 1783, he officially bid farewell from his officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York City. Then he headed south, first stopping for a time in Philadelphia to wrap up personal and public affairs. But while he longed to be home, he understood his role in the new country’s future. In a letter to John Ewing dated December 13, 1783, from Philadelphia he wrote: “Tho the military Scene is now closed, and I am hastening with unspeakable delight to the still and placid walks of domestic Life; yet even there will my Country’s happiness be ever nearest to my heart—and, while I cherish the fond idea, I shall retain a pleasing remembrance of the able support the Public has often received from the learned Professions; whose prosperity is so essential to the preservation of the Liberties, as well as the augmentation of the happiness & glory of this extensive Empire.” Keep in mind Martha was probably anxiously awaiting him at Mount Vernon by this time.

I find it very interesting that there are no letters from Martha during this entire period. I would think she corresponded with her family and friends at least occasionally, but none are included in the compiled collection of her papers I have on hand. Was she busy with household concerns or ill? I don’t know. It’s only my speculation. I would hope that George had written to her as well, though if you recall one of the things Martha did before she died was to burn all but a few letters between her and George.

He wrote at least a dozen letters while in Philadelphia before telling George Clinton on December 15, 1783, “I am within a few Minutes of setting off for Virginia—passing thro’ Annapolis—where I shall stay two or three days only…”

He passed through Wilmington, then Baltimore, and finally stopped in Annapolis, Maryland, by the 20th of December to officially resign his commission to quash any rumors that he wanted to reign as king. One of my sources claims that Martha went to Annapolis to hear the speech. She might have as her son’s wife’s family lived in that area and she may have wanted to visit with them. But after being on the road so long, I have my doubts that she’d want to travel during December.

In George’s correspondence online his official resignation is dated December 23, 1783 in which he opens with, “The great events on which my resignation depended having at length taken place; I have now the honor of offering my sincere Congratulations to Congress & of presenting myself before them to surrender into their hands the trust committed to me, and to claim the indulgence of retiring from the Service of my Country.” In a subsequent letter he noted that the resignation went into effect at twelve that day. You can read his Address to Congress on the day of his resignation, too.

His satisfaction and relief are so apparent in every letter of his that I read it’s obvious to me he wanted nothing more than to retire to private life again. He and Martha looked forward to spending quiet days at Mount Vernon entertaining their friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. Out of the public eye and safe from any further hostilities or vitriol.

And yet we all know how well that worked out, right?

In case you’ve missed the other posts, I’ve covered these sites:

The first winter headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1775.

The second winter headquarters in Morristown, NJ, in 1776.

Then Valley Forge in 1777-78.

Next at Middlebrook from 1778-79.

Next at Morristown, NJ from 1779-1780. 

Next in New Windsor, NY from 1780-1781.

Back to Pennsylvania and the John Penn House in Philadelphia from 1781-1782.

Next to last war-time HQ was at Newburgh, NY during 1782-1783.

That wraps up my Martha Washington Slept Here series of the American Revolution headquarters sites.

Until next time, may your reading take you many places!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

Martha “Patsy” Custis manages an immense eighteenth-century plantation in the Virginia colony. But as a young widow she’s hard pressed to balance her business and to care for her two young children. They need a father and protector. She needs a husband and business partner…one she can trust, especially now as tensions rise between the motherland and the American colonies. Her experience and education have sustained her thus far but when her life veers in an unexpected direction, she realizes she has so much more to learn.

Colonel George Washington takes an interest in her and she’s surprised to find him so sociable and appealing. They form an instant bond and she is certain he’ll be a likeable and loving husband and father figure for her children. She envisions a quiet life at Mount Vernon, working together to provide for their extended family.

But when trouble in the form of British oppression, taxes, and royal arrogance leads to revolt and revolution, George must choose between duty to country and Martha. Compelled to take matters into her own hands, Martha must decide whether to remain where she belongs or go with her husband…no matter what the dangerous future may hold.

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