Mystery and fantasy writing

Archive for February, 2014

A House and a Home

There’s always a house. 

It might be grandmother’s house, surrounded by flowers and oak trees, filled with the good smells of chicken pie and vanilla pound cake.  Or it might be your first home, that little fixer-upper in need of modern plumbing and a paint job.  It might be the house where you learned to play the piano, a mysteriously dark house crammed with stacks of old magazines, or the one house in the neighborhood that always looks haunted, its lawn overgrown with weeds, its windows broken, and a dead car in the front yard. Or the house on the corner, the beautiful neglected Victorian mansion you wish you could afford to buy and restore. But somewhere in your memory and in your dreams, there’s always a house.

In my Grace Street Mystery series, 302 Grace Street becomes the home that everyone has always wanted.  It’s a big, rambling three story house that always needs repair, and yet it retains the comfort of an old pair of bedroom slippers.  Everything fits from the open living room with its island of comfortable mismatched sofas and chairs to the big kitchen overlooking a back yard filled with ancient oak trees.

302 Grace means something different to each person living there. The house belongs to Camden, a young man struggling with his psychic abilities. To Cam, who was abandoned as a child, the house represents safety and security, and he is happy to take care of it.  

His friend David Randall, a private investigator, finds a haven at 302 Grace after his family falls apart. Randall feels responsible for the car crash that killed his little daughter, and he feels her presence in the house, a presence he finds difficult to accept.  But for now, the house is not only his home but a place where he can have an agency of his own.

Also in the house is Kary Ingram, a lovely young woman who found shelter after her rigidly religious parents disowned her for becoming pregnant.  Now unable to have children, Kary is reorganizing her life to be able to adopt, and Randall, who can’t bear the thought of being a father again, realizes in order to win Kary’s love, he has to work through his sorrow to give her the one thing that will make her life complete.

The porch, where all the events of the world are settled, has rocking chairs and of course a porch swing, Cam’s favorite place.  It’s here that the characters will tell stories, solve mysteries, and discover that they are a family.  And nothing says Southern family more than a front porch.

Throughout the series, 302 Grace Street is the constant that keeps everything and everyone together.  It is the home you’ve always wanted filled with people who love you and who will always take you in.  It is the home that solves the biggest mystery of all: who am I and where do I belong?