Thursday, April 19, 2012

Guest Post: The Shoppe of Spells by Shanon Grey

Today's special guest is Shanon Grey, author of The Shoppe of Spells, the first in her series The Gatekeepers, about the quaint town of Rutherford, Georgia and its very special inhabitants. Shanon wants to talk about the reality in her fiction. Here is a quick blurb of the book:

          When is a whole more than the sum of its parts? When it has ties to the quaint little town of Ruthorford, Georgia—as Morgan Briscoe discovers when a cryptic message threatens to change her life forever.
Morgan’s relatively normal life is turned on its ear when she learns not only that she is adopted, but her birth parents are dead and she now holds half-interest in a business with their ward, Dorian Drake, who, despite his riveting good looks, can barely conceal his hostility toward his new partner.
Morgan discovers that she is more than she seems and together she and Dorian have the ability to control a portal to another dimension. Unable to contain their growing attraction, Morgan and Dorian dance around their desires and her burgeoning abilities, until danger forces them to face their destiny.

                                                        A Little Reality through Fiction
                                                                   by Shanon Grey

When writing The Shoppe of Spells, I wanted to create the perfect small southern town. I drove all over, looking for the perfect setting. What ended up happening is that I found it by combining many places I visited. The Abbott Bed & Breakfast came from a B&B in McKinney, Texas called the Tartan Thistle, which I had visited on several occasions. It belonged to my best friend’s cousin and once a year she would close its doors and invite a bunch of us “girls” for a week of eating, shopping, touring and gabbing, which we did quite well. This huge old Victorian was perfect for Abbott Bed & Breakfast, which I made even larger in my story. The Scottish theme of much of the d├ęcor even matched. What came first? Who knows? That’s that chicken-egg thing.
I just learned that the owners moved and sold the Tartan Thistle. I don’t even know if it will remain a bed and breakfast. However, it will do so in Ruthorford, where it has a place of prominence and import. Owned by Teresa Abbott-Ruthorford, the Abbott Bed & Breakfast anchors Ruthorford and its descendants, the special people that inhabit this fabulous small town. Now, it will remain a reminder of a place I loved and a place that helped inspire my Gatekeeper series.
The large Weeping Willow that is showcased in The Shoppe of Spells, behind the Abbott Bed & Breakfast, also will now exist only in my works. If you’ve been to my site,, you have probably seen the picture of it under Bric-a-Brac. I discovered this majestic old tree while visiting Dunaway Gardens in Georgia and it was perfect for a romantic setting behind the Abbott B & B. I found many other things in this incredible place as well. It helped inspire the grotto scene (a favorite, I might add) in The Shoppe of Spells. I found out recently that one of our treacherous storms took out my beloved Weeping Willow. The owners rushed down and worked diligently to take samples and make repairs in hopes of grafting still living portions to what was left. Fortunately, they are very fast growing trees. So, in another 20 years or so, my beautiful willow should return. It does remain, however, majestic and unharmed behind the Abbott Bed & Breakfast in Ruthorford, Georgia for all to enjoy.
Fiction, besides being a great way to relax and escape the day-to-day worries of this world, also can be a way of adding a bit of life to things that pass on. For me, the Abbott Bed & Breakfast will always be a reminder of fun times and shared laughter and the Willow that stands behind it of regrowth and renewal. As you read my stories, know that I always add a bit of reality to my fiction, not only for authenticity but also for saving a small piece of life on my pages.

How fascinating, Shanon. I always wonder about where authors pull their background information from, so this is wonderful to read about. Thank you for stopping by!


ShanonGrey said...

Thank you for having me! It's a pleasure to visit you.

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