For the next few weeks, we will be hosting authors from Bienvenue Press who will be sharing scenes from their books that highlight their settings. This week, Carrie Dalby stops by the Front Porch to share some of her southern gothic book, Hostile Charms. So, sit back, have a cup of coffee or tea, and enjoy!
On the Front Porch with Hostile Charms
I’ve returned to the front porch today for my sixth and final instalment of my front porch tour. Hostile Charms is the fifth book in The Possession Chronicles. For this one, we’re still in Mobile, Alabama, but the year is now 1912. As in the previous post did, this excerpt features Phoebe Davenport, though she’s with a new helper—Melissa—and this time is on the porch of her mother and stepfather’s house, yet another historic home in town.
By the time Phoebe roamed the hall, Lucy was back to work. In the few hours before Alex was expected, Melissa and the girls created a fort on the front porch with dining chairs and blankets, stocking it with newspaper balls. Melissa held position in the fort to help Bethany, and Lucy watched from the parlor window.
Alex came around the porch and whistled. “And what do we have here? A new castle erected on my turf?”
“Halt!” Phoebe shouted. “Kingdom Davenport secured the island for our purposes and you’re trespassing. Come any closer and suffer the consequences!”
Alex made a show of stomping up the stairs like a giant. The girls giggled and Phoebe reached for a paper ball. Melissa handed one to Bethany as Alex faced the door to the hideout.
Phoebe jumped at him, a basket of ammo hanging from an arm and one ball in her hand ready to strike. “For the king!”
The pelting began.
Alex used his briefcase as a shield while Phoebe bombarded his torso. Bethany managed a few ankle strikes before he collapsed on the floorboards, groaning in false agony. “The knights of Kingdom Davenport are too strong! I fear I’ve lost this battle.”
The girls were on him, bouncing on his stomach and sitting on his knees as they poked at him with play swords.
Phoebe peeled off one of his gloves and struck his cheek with a thwack. “We win!”
“Phoebe Camellia!” Lucy pushed through the screen. “That isn’t ladylike.”
Alex laughed and hugged Phoebe to his chest before letting her go. “She won the battle and all’s fair in war.” He brought his ungloved hand to Lucy’s ankle with a mischievous grin. “Do you still love me, my queen, even though my palace is overrun by ruffians?”
“They can’t be any worse than a rascal like you.”
I hope you’ve enjoyed these glimpses into my historical realm. Hostile Charms is the newest edition to my Southern Gothic family saga. To find out more about the series, check out my website page devoted to The Possession Chronicles. Happy reading!
Bio: Carrie Dalby, a California native, has lived in Mobile, Alabama, since 1996. She’s published several non-fiction articles in national and international magazines, served two terms as president of Mobile Writers Guild, 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 annual Mobile Literary Festival. When Carrie’s not reading, writing, browsing bookstores/libraries, or homeschooling, she can often be found knitting or attending concerts. Find links to all her social media accounts and more on her contact page.