We’ve got a copy of The Fate of Mercy Alban up for grabs today. As usual, leaving a comment on this post will enter you in the drawing.
Update: the winner of this giveaway is karenk. She has been notified by email. Thanks to everyone who entered and check back soon for more great giveaways!
There’s just something about walking through a big, old house that sets my imagination on fire. I start thinking about what might have happened there, the secrets and scandals buried within its walls, the ghosts that might be lurking in its dark corners.
My new novel, The Fate of Mercy Alban, was inspired by a tour I took of Glensheen Mansion in Duluth, Minnesota. Built by the rich and powerful Congdon family in the 1800s, Glensheen sits on the shores of Lake Superior and still is the most magnificent home in the city. It also happens to be haunted. Decades ago, Congdon daughter Marjorie and her husband killed Marjorie’s mother and her maid in the home, and rumor has it that their restless spirits remain.
The Fate of Mercy Alban is not their story — the Congdon murders are a well-known tale not in need of retelling. No, my novel is the story of the Albans, who live in a home similar to Glensheen and who have their own secrets and scandals, murders and mystery.
Their story started to swirl around in my mind as I stood on Glensheen’s patio one summer afternoon and gazed out over the lawn, Lake Superior glittering just beyond it. I could almost see a gala party taking place there long ago — women in flowing dresses, men in summer suits, children playing croquet, servants in black circulating with trays of drinks and hors d’oeuvres, lively music wafting through the air.
And then, being the type of writer I am, I imagined a scream as someone discovered a body near the fountain on the lawn. What happened? Who died there, and why? A story started to take shape in my mind about that party, so long ago. And The Fate of Mercy Alban began.
About Ariel Lawhon
Ariel Lawhon is the co-founder of She Reads, novelist, blogger, storyteller, and life-long reader. She lives in Texas with her husband and four young sons (aka The Wild Rumpus). Ariel believes that Story is the shortest distance to the human heart.