Sunday, May 24, 2009

Rosewood Manor

(Photo by Dan Felstead of Wood and Pixels Narratives. Check him out because he has some beautiful photographs.)

The portion of the house showing in this photo reminds me of a house I have been writing about in a new young adult book I am working on. Based on the house from the Dark Shadows soap opera from the 1960s, the house I'm writing about has more Victorian styles than the original Collinwood.

Here is a small excerpt from the first chapter of ROSEWOOD MANOR - THE HARRODSPORT CHRONICLES #1 as the main character gets her first glimpse of the house she will be living in.

Chapter One (excerpt)

Charlene “Charlie” Coffman looked out the window of the train, barely seeing the countryside fly by. She was lost to a world of grief and unknowing. At 12 years of age, she had just lost both her parents to a fatal car crash and now she was being sent off to relatives she had never met.

Mrs. Sutter, the social worker traveling with Charlie, reached over and squeezed the petite girl’s hand.

“Don’t worry, Charlie. I’m sure you will enjoy living with her Aunt Elizabeth. She has a nephew about your age and I’m sure you’ll become good friends.”

Charlie did not answer the woman. As a matter of fact, she had not spoken to anyone since the day her parents died. She had been hospitalized briefly, but the physicians and psychiatrists all said the same thing; the little girl was in shock. They felt sure she would eventually come around.

Elizabeth Harrod lived in the small coastal town of Harrodsport, Virginia in a large mansion on a hillside overlooking the ocean. She and her brother, Roger, were the descendants of Jeremiah Harrod who had founded the town of Harrodsport. They owned much of the land surrounding Harrodsport and operated several large cotton plantations as well as a small fishing fleet and cannery...


...Because of all the trees and vegetation, the house was not visible until to the end of the driveway. When the view finally opened up, both Charlie and the social worker gasped at the enormity of the manor house. Charlie felt her insides start to quiver, like a thousand butterflies had suddenly taken flight in her stomach. The house was huge, several stories tall with large turrets – like a castle – on several corners of the house.

“My, my,” said the social worker, “what a beautiful house.”

“Yes, ma’am; this house has been in the Harrod family for many generations. It’s almost 160 years old.” The driver pulled under a davenport near the front door.

“How many people live here?” the social worker asked. “I was under the impression only one family lived here...


... “And this, my dear, will be your room. And of course, Mr. Tibbles [Charlie's cat].” She opened the door and Charlie let out another gasp. She had never seen such a beautiful room.

The room was decorated in several shades of green, Charlie’s favorite color. Another large four poster bed with a lace canopy occupied one wall of the room. On the opposite wall was a large bay window with a built-in bench. There was a wardrobe and two antique dressers, as well as a coat rack. The last wall of the room had a fireplace with another cheery fire burning. And there on the fireplace hearth was a cozy cat bed!


Dan Felstead said...

I really appreciate the fact that my photo lends to inspiration. Your writing puts me right there on the front porch, ready to climb the stairs within.

Thank You,


Morgan said...

wow, i am really looking forward to this! you've got to let me read it some time!